Suit of the Week: Reiss

Reiss Women's SuitFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Love, love, love this “is it navy? is it purple? is it royal blue?” color, especially for a classic suit. The skirt suit strikes me as something wearable even at the most conservative of offices, but with just a hint of a fashionable edge. I also think this could be one of the easiest suits to grab and go in the morning because white, black, cream, and gray will all look lovely with it — just throw it on and hit the road. The pants are a bit too modern for my taste (slim! cropped!) but they do look nice on the model, so if you have the body and the office for them, rock on out. The jacket (Reiss Maxine CURVE FRONT JACKET) is $500, the skirt (Reiss Venetia SEAM DETAIL FORMAL PENCIL SKIRT) is $230, and the pants (Reiss Milano ROLL BACK SLIM FORMAL PANT) are $255.

Reiss Maxine CURVE FRONT JACKET Reiss Venetia SEAM DETAIL FORMAL PENCIL SKIRT

(L-5)

Comments

  1. Two cents :

    Threadjack right off the bat — I’m planning a VERY last minute trip to Puerto Rico (like, we’re leaving next Friday). This is a post bar exam trip for me, and hubby will be coming.

    Seems like many of you have been to PR and loved it, so any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. First question, should we stay in PR or Vieques? Vieques looks amazing, but I’m wondering if we would want the option of doing not just beach stuff (I assume there isn’t much to do on Vieques besides the beach)?

    Any other must do things in PR? We will go to Biobay in Vieques for sure.

    Thanks so much!

    • Anonymous :

      I went to Puerto Rico a few years ago. I recommend staying in PR. I was with friends, and we spent plenty of time at the beach but the city of San Juan was great [such good food!] and we also hiked to waterfalls in El Yunque, went ziplining, etc.

      But it depends on what you’re looking for. For a post-bar trip, a trip that exclusively involves relaxing at the beach might be what you need!

      • Hike to the waterfalls in El Yunque. Seriously, its the best thing ever.

        Its been so long since I’ve been there, all my other advice is kind of out of date.

        Oh, tour the Bacardi factory, I bet that’s still there. :-)

    • Definitely go to BIoBay. If you are staying in Vieques, the W is the best. My mom stayed there after the family trip to the Fajardo area. By the way, Fajardo has some of the best restaraunts we’ve eaten at and we’re food snobs (La Stacion and Pasion spring to mind)! Hit up Trip Advisor and you should be fine. A day trip to Old San Juan would be worth it. Have a blast!

      • Second the biobay. I loved Vieques and thought it was well worth the extra travel. Most relaxing beach moments of my life.

        • Oh and you really need a car in Vieques so check first if there is a rental jeep available and if there isn’t I’d probably skip Vieques.

          • I WOULD BE VERY CARFUL of PR. THERE ARE ALOT OF PEOPLE THERE THAT NEED MONEY AND IF YOU ARE YOUNG AND PRETTY, LOOK OUT!

            FOOEY on PR! FOOEY!

    • attorney, core :

      If you want a relaxing post-bar trip, PR. Stay in the Isla Verde area of San Juan — lots of great hotels right on the beach, plus a bunch of nice restaurants within walking distance. It’s about a 20 minute cab ride to Old San Juan. You can arrange day trips from your hotel to El Yunque, to the Bacardi distillery, etc. Or you can just veg by the pool or on the beach. Have fun (and have a fruity cocktail for me)!!!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I loved Vieques, but really all there is to do is beach and beach-related activities (though you could go hiking or bike riding or horseback riding).

      If you’re staying for more than a day or two, the experience will be much better if you rent a car (preferably a jeep. Some of the roads are rough). We had one reserved, and I’m sure it would have been nice, but they neglected to tell us until we got there that you had to be 25 to rent it because of insurance reasons. The person I was with was a few months shy of 25 (this was during law school), and they wouldn’t give us the jeep, and by that time, the few places on the island that would rent to under-25s were out of vehicles. We rented bikes from the place we were staying and biked from the little town to the beaches on the old navy land, and I thought I was going to die. (I was really out of shape. Vieques has a lot of hills). A jeep would have made it much easier, though the beach was worth it.

    • Haven’t been to Vieques, but general PR suggestions: stay part of the time in San Juan, and part of the time somewhere else. I would stay in the Old City–we didn’t, and it was a hassle to get from where we were (Condado) into the city, especially since the buses were not operational when we were there. You can walk around, go to restaurants, go to the Bacardi factory (you take a ferry from Old San Juan), and go to the forts.

      We drove east and hiked in El Yunque (highly recommend) and then stayed at the Ceiba Country Inn (reasonably priced, friendly, lovely spot). From Ceiba, which is right next to Fajardo, we did a biobay tour (there is one you can do in Fajardo, although it might not be as good as the Vieques one, but FYI, I think there are sharks in the Vieques one if that freaks you out…I was happy to do it in Fajardo, which is enclosed, because being in a kayak in the dark in the middle of an open bay would seriously scare me).

      We did a day trip on a catamaran out of Fajardo, which was a lot of fun. You sail out to a few snorkel spots, and they provide lunch, snacks, and drinks. (We booked spots on the Spread Eagle II last minute, which I recommend, despite its name.) We also did a day trip to Luquillo Beach, which is beautiful, and there are these little food kiosks that are fun to try. And second La Stacion in Fajardo.

      We planned our trip extremely last minute, and we ended up doing 2 nights in San Juan, 3 nights in Ceiba, which I thought was good, although next time we will stay in Old San Juan itself, and we’d like to check out the caves in the west (and my SO would like to see the thing from James Bond).

      • Also, on car rentals, we rented a car from the airport the day we were leaving San Juan to drive out to Ceiba. We had a sedan, which was fine–I would not have wanted a larger car on some of the roads in the national forest.

    • Two Cents :

      You ladies are awesome, thanks! Such helpful suggestions. We are staying 5 nights, so it looks like staying in PR is better than Vieques, given that we might want to do more than just beach stuff.

      Keep the suggestions coming!

      • If you stay in (or make it to) Old San Juan, check out Verde Mesa, an awesome vegetarian plus fish restaurant that even non-vegetarians love. It’s at the corner of Tetuan and Cruz.

        I’d visit one of the forts in OSJ and go hiking in El Yunque. You can check out puerto rico day trips dot com for more “off the beaten path” suggestions (the natural waterslides at a place called “charco frio” are pretty cool).

      • Baby DC Attorney :

        I was in San Juan last summer for my post-bar trip, and I highly recommend eating at Marmalade in OSJ. My fiance and I are both pretty big foodies, and agreed it was the best meal we’d ever eaten. We did the 5 courses with wine pairings – not cheap, but 100% worth it.

      • When my husband and I went for a week, we spent two nights in Old San Juan, two nights on Culebra (smaller version of Vieques), two nights in a guest house in Humacao, and a night in Isla Verde.

        In Old San Juan, we toured the fort and looked in the shops. The evenings we were there we went to a street festival. Culebra is a smaller island off PR, and it had some of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen. Then, we went to Humacao, and we stayed with this couple that runs a hang gliding school. They gave us kayaks to ocean kayak out to monkey island, where you can near the island and see all the monkeys playing. We also drove to El Yunque one day.

        My sister had a group of girl friends go to PR for her bachelorette. We stayed in Candado, and we could easily walk to the beach, shops, and restaurants.

        We have talked about going back and staying in Rincon, which a surfers village. The island is pretty small, and so, it is easy to drive across it.

    • Please go on the bioluminescent kayak tour. I thought it was so cool!

  2. Has anyone ordered anything from Reiss? What is the quality like? Worth the price?

    • I haven’t, but I have been drooling over their clothes ever since someone linked to them a while ago. Look at their dresses — so feminine and gorgeous.

      • Anonymous :

        Yezzzzzzz! We now have all the ho-hum workdays covered among Corporettes! And I wasn’t even actively recruiting.

      • Welcome to the family! I wasn’t even actively recruiting! But we now have all the normal weekdays covered among Corporette aliases!

        –#1 Most Universally Dreaded

        • EndofDays :

          Ha…S*ck it Monday.

          You ain’t got nothing on me.

          • You promise to end the grind, whereas I start it all over again.

            But still–do let us know when you’re coming. I heard some people might want to straighten up a bit first ;)

          • April 16th :

            Ha! I may look innocuous at first glance, but beware. This year, I am the Monday from h3ll.

            US Corporetters, how does your form 1040 look this year?

    • they have awesome sales, so i’ve gotten some great stuff there. excellent quality, lasts forever, seem to be cut for my pear-shaped self, but sizing can be inconsistent depending on the item.

    • They are a UK based brand. Very small cut, if you ask me (no curves allowed!). Their quality is good, but they do use a lot of synthetic fabrics, like BR or Mango or Zara would (but I would say their quality is comparable to, say Zara Woman, vs. just regular Zara stuff). I think they are definitely quite pricy, but some of their stuff is so fashion-forward it’s worth it. For instance, Kate Middleton wears a lot of their clothes.

      They also tend to cut somewhat long-limbed, (so like, if you are say 5’7 to 5’9″, this is your store). I am taller and lankier than that and find a lot of their long sleeves, pants, etc. to be a bit too short.

      Hope that helps.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I bought a fitted blue blouse from Reiss on deep discount and just love it! So well cut and made, top quality material, a gorgeous color and a very special piece. I really want to add a few more Reiss pieces to my wardrobe although I wish they were not so pricey. They do have great sales. They are not cut generously. While I am a 2 or 4 in J Crew, I am a 6 in Reiss (US sizing).

  3. I know there are some Hunger Games fans here so thought I would let the hive know that tickets for opening weekend for the HG movie just went on sale. Opening weekend is March 22nd, and in NYC, the midnight show is already sold out. I’ve begun re-reading the books in anticipation!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I just finished re-reading HG! I really hope the movie is appropriately awesome. Hearing now how Dan Radcliffe was an alcoholic banging groupies really put a damper on the HP movies for me, especially since I was already disappointed by how much plot they cut out and/or invented.

    • Oh – that’s right – thank you! I’m going to get on the stick right now and order my tickets. SO excited!!! I’m also re-reading the books now. Yay!

    • Although I also want to see the HG movie, my big exciting upcoming cinema experience is The Hobbit. I have already begun re-reading the entire Lord of the Rings series in preparation, even though the film isn’t due to come out until the end of the year. Everytime I think about it I get all bouncy with anticipation.

    • Got my tickets – thank you, Dagny T. Katniss, here I come!

  4. Stunning. So are all of the clothes on this site! Does anyone know if any US store sell this brand?

  5. Wish their sizes went bigger than a 10. I love the color of this suit and one day really want to own one. There was a beautiful deep purple suit from Neimans featured on this blog several years ago, and I still think about it to this day. Unfortunately, as a law student at the time, it was way out of my budget.

    • goirishkj :

      The one with a jacket and dress? Yeah, I remember that one. I considered getting it at the time but realized I had more pressing uses for that money. Responsibility sucks sometimes :(

  6. This is beautiful suit, I love it and am SO grateful I’m not a size 10 or smaller because I need to save my $100s to pay down my student loans!!

    • BTW…Ca Atty, not to be too much of a stalker, it sounded like you might have a migraine from the other thread.

      I suggest two extra strength excedrine and two benedryl and anti-nausea drugs (if you have them) and sleep as soon as you can get it. And if you still have it tomorrow, try to see your doctor! They suck!

      FYI…I’m not a doctor, so take this with a hearty grain of salt.

      • Thanks for the advice, I took 6 ibuprofen, which did eff my stomach a little bit but took care of the headache. I think it was more that I’ve been a bit sick and fighting it, let myself get dehydrated, and only got about 4 hours of sleep…probably less when you count all the times my rambunctious cats ran across my face and woke me up! My body fought back big time. I did accomplish my one big goal for today and am about to head home to sleep though.

        Thanks again, I’m so grateful to have this forum and all you wonderful folks!

  7. Anonymous :

    Ooh love the suit and color. Wow. Never tried Reiss before so can’t wait to hear what others will say about it.

    Threadjack though: so I’ve been completely horrible about wedding gifts due to to a crazy past 2 years (moved jobs and cities, new job has a crazy work schedule, and just generally travling for weddings and other social occassions all the time) & thus have been horrible about sending wedding gifts to my dear friends. I know you have one year from the wedding to send a gift but now it’s been almost two years. I would still love to give a gift but don’t know what to give at this point since the registries don’t really have much and if they do, it’s just the random stuff and not even sure if they would still want those items anymore. Any suggestions? And what do I say when I finally send? Thanks in advance!

    • That’s really nice of you. Since so much time has passed, I would think about the couple and their style, and try to get them a personal gift rather than go off their registry. Do they like to cook? I think Le Cruset (or analogous) bakeware dishes are cute. If they like to entertain, serving pieces are always really great (silver trays, bowls, etc.). If you’re having trouble figuring out what type of style they have, take a look at the registry items and try to find something in a similar vein. Or, you can try to give them an “experience” (like, a gift card towards an opera or restaurant in their city) for their anniversary.

      As for what to say, just make it heartfelt. Obviously you care enough about these people to send them a wedding gift, so tell them that! I’m sure they will be really touched.

    • Diana Barry :

      I got a few late wedding gifts and have given some. A couple of things I would recommend: (1) good quality chef’s knife, if within your budget – we got one of these a while after the wedding and it was GREAT. Or (2) a platter. I always give Maine themed ones since I am from there and they are a little bit different, and that will guarantee that the people always think of you when they entertain or use the platter. :)

      • Another S :

        Love the Maine theme idea because I too am from Maine. I recently remembered I have a few overdue wedding presents to get and was going to give gift cards (since the registries are long gone) but I might rethink if I can find some good Maine stuff!

        • I’m from Maine too, guys! Whoa…you know how it is. I’m automatically assuming that we all know each other from high school.

          • I’m also from Maine! My husband always jokes that hometown must be much bigger than I claim, because we always seem to run into people from there.

          • Suited Up :

            Weird- fellow Mainiac-turned-flatlander here. Though I have to say that the only two Maine-themed gifts that would appeal to me are a box of Needhams and/or a crate of live lobster!

      • Frustrated Academic :

        I always bring Sky Bars that I buy at Reny’s back to my Mid-west office after spending a week in Maine for the holidays–they are such a hit!

      • Just a PSA: some cultures believe that giving knives as a wedding gift is bad luck. Supposedly a knife gift “cuts the ties that bind”? I didn’t know that until we asked for a nice set of knives on our registry. Quite a few people expressed shock, but we shrugged it off.

        We divorced 8 years later. Maybe it was the knives after all!

        • We divorced 6.5 years later, but I’m pretty sure the knives didn’t make my ex-h a jerk and manchild. Maybe they did…..mmm, in which case I should thank those knives because they saved me from a lifetime of misery.

        • If someone gives you a knife as a gift, you give them a dollar so that you have “paid” them and it’s not a gift. Breaks the bad luck spell or something.

    • Another idea would be a gift card to a restaurant in whatever city they live in with a nice note wishing them an almost happy two year anniversary. That way they can use it to go out for their two year anniversary. :-)

    • Forget the registries at this point. I would send something you can never have too many of (like the serving platter someone suggested, if they like to entertain) or, my personal preference, a gift certificate to a nice restaurant in their area so they can have a date night (or anniversary dinner!) on you. I would send a card with it that mentions the lateness and apologizes in a lighthearted manner, e.g. “Sorry for the delay- I thought sending a wedding gift right after the wedding would be too predictable!” or ” clearly I got so drunk at your wedding that I forgot to send a gift!”

    • anonymous :

      I would send something. I still remember what every person got us for our wedding, and yes, I remember exactly who failed to get us anything. It honestly feels like a snub, and not because I want the gifts.

      • although I’m all for gift-giving because you choose to for any reason or no reason, I think this is probably way incorrect… you feel how you feel and that’s fine (of course) but there are a zillion reasons someone doesn’t give a wedding gift. The way I see it, someone took time out of their lives to spend a day celebrating you. They may have spent money flying/driving to your location, on hotels, on clothes to wear or a manicure or whatnot to look appropriate for your event. If you remember every person, why not remember them for the reasons you chose to include them in your day rather than to feel snubbed that someone couldn’t afford to get you a gift or had some other reason that probably led them to feel terrible at the time anyway?

        • anonymous :

          Thanks, that’s a good way to look at it. I can be thin-skinned sometimes and take things personally that may have nothing to do with me. I guess I just jumped to the conclusion that it meant they didn’t like me or something.

          • as an unemployed person heading to a wedding in June of one of my dearest friends, I’ve been agonizing over how to afford: flight, hotel, rental car, the right outfit, how to do hair/nails/makeup for the event. No clue how or whether I can afford a gift… she’s one of my favorite people on this planet (which is why I’m eating ramen to afford that list above) but I have to hope that the strain on me to attend and the years of friendship that led to her inviting me are enough for her to know how important she is to me. I can’t imagine your loved ones don’t feel the same :)

        • Thanks, K. That’s what I wanted to say.

          • :) any time… just glad it didn’t read harsher in writing than I intended it!

      • I’m on your bandwagon. No matter how hard I’d try, I’d remember who didn’t give a gift & feel snubbed. Come on people, is it that hard to get a card at the very least? And maybe make something? It doesn’t have to big or grandiose… but I think you should give something. Or own up to it and have a convo with the bride/groom and let them know that you aren’t giving a gift because going to the wedding is a stretch.
        Also, saying you are going to give a gift & not giving it– is just rude. It really rubs me the wrong way when people don’t follow through.
        And don’t even get me started on couples not sending out Thank You notes….
        But, I just have a stick up my butt about certain etiquette things.

    • I think a registry-type gift is good with a gift receipt (and from a store that is convenient to the couple). Bed, Bath, and Beyond has these useful casual serving pieces–tiered trays, veggies and dip trays, etc.–that might be good, depending on their style.

      I also like the idea of a restaurant GC, but I have also given them and had them go totally unused like others mentioned. If they drink wine, what about a short-term subscription to a wine-of-the-month club? I would love that right now.

    • Two years is PERFECT to give a nice bottle of cab–that’s when it would be released. So then you can get them a cab that they can bust out in twenty years…I’d go for a nice Hall, Silver Oak or Far Niente! Yum.

      • OP here–Thanks all for the awesome suggestions! I feel really horrible about not giving anything so far and you guys have helped tremendously with ideas. Thanks again!

  8. I love the jacket and skirt – beautiful color! The only thing stopping me (well, aside from the price tag) is my concern that the jacket might be a big too tight for me at a size 10. I think I would be very “fat guy in a little coat.”

  9. found a peanut :

    i love this! Any clues on how Reiss fits?

  10. Emergency Cash :

    The discussion this morning about where people put there savings made me think that I should have some emergency cash at home. (We already have a savings account with a decent amount.) But how much should I have on hand? FWIW, I live with DH in NYC, and we have no kids. I emailed DH about it this afternoon, and he said $500, which sounds low to me. I was thinking more like $1K — enough to get emergency transportation out of the city, stay at a cheap motel for min. 1 wk., and pay for food/supplies, assuming ATMs are out of commission for a while. Is that a decent ballpark figure, or do others keep much more or less? And is this emergency stash for the type of emergency like I am imagining, or for something else (like, am I estimating the costs of the wrong types of things)?

    • I think what you’re imagining sound like the kind of things you should be thinking about (for the longest time I really wanted an emergency kit just in case of the zombie apocalypse, but I didn’t actually spend money on one until I had several different friends get caught in bad natural disaster type situations). However, I’d guess you probably only need enough for 3 days, since if things are bad enough that all of the ATMS on the eastern seaboard are down for a week then you’re probably in zombie apocalypse territory and you have bigger problems than the lack of cash. That said, if you can afford to have $1000 stashed away and it makes you feel safer to do so, there’s no real reason not to.

      • found a peanut :

        I often make plans based on what will happen in the zombie apocalypse. For example, I have determined that it’s better to head west (from NYC) than east, because going to Long Island is just going to mean that eventually you’re going to be stuck between the zombies and the ocean. Much better to go west and head toward colorado or nevada, good-weather states with lots of open space.

        • go to the mountains people. they are very bad climbers.

          • I live in the mountains, so I’m currently safe from zombies, but I also live within the danger zone for what’s likely to be one of the first targets in the event of nuclear war. I also have plans for forming a guerrilla resistance force should the world ever be invaded by space aliens. Hey, I have insomnia, what else am I supposed to do while not sleeping?

            It took me a lot longer than it should have to get around to forming an emergency kit because it was difficult for me to separate out the fantasy necessity from the actual necessity.

          • In the case of nuclear war, I think we’re all scr*wed — have you ever seen the first and second strike maps?

          • When deciding what books to keep when I moved, I used the “what would I want if civilization was destroyed and the entire education of the children in the bunker would be based on my library.”

            Which means the children of the post-apocalyptic future are going to know a lot about religion, history, and the natural sciences, but will probably be very confused about math. And they’ll think that the towering giants of English literature were PD James, Iain Banks, and China Mieville.

          • P.D. James *IS* one of the towering giants of English literature.
            (Based on my bunker library, all future children will equally revere Maud Hart Lovelace.)

        • This should help with planning. http://nymag.com/guides/everything/zombies/

        • Although, in a real zombie apocalypse, wouldn’t a smallish island with agricultural land and fish in the surrounding waters be a great place to be? You could decapitate the zombies on the island and you would then be safe…I’ve never seen zombies swim.

        • This is my husband’s favorite topic of conversation for car trips. Since we saw Contagion, though, it’s usually about what we’ll do if a new disease starts wiping out humanity. We’ve decided we’ll probably head away from society, north into the woods for about a year to let the disease run its course. Inevitably, the conversation turns into the hubs trying to talk me into letting him stockpile a supply of hand tools that he thinks would become valuable currency once society has broken down to the point that we no longer rely on money.

          • Has anyone seen the commercials for the new show coming to the History Channel (I think) about people who are readying for apocalypses of one kind or another? You should not watch it — it sounds like it would be bad for you.

          • Haha! I promise we’re not total nutcases, just imaginative. Also, I make sure to shut him down at the stockpile point of the coversation. I just tell him that in an emergency, remember, we’ll have to pack light so we don’t get slowed down by stuff.

          • Merabella :

            Apparently your husband and my husband hang out… This could have been written by me.

          • TCFKAG I totally want to see that apocalypse show!

            Where I used to live I would have been a sitting duck, but now I live in a place where I can access weapons, tons of tools, fresh water, and create barricades. Plus, for some ungodly reason (that oddly makes me feel a little better) we have a TON of canned food. I don’t usually eat canned food, but still!

          • When I told my husband about this thread, he declared “in the event of apocalypse…no one is taking paper money…I’m filling the garage with gasoline”. At which point, I got worried. :-P

        • Best Corporette comment string ever. Clearly, I have been woefully lax on my zombie preparations.

          • ChristinaMD :

            I seriously don’t think I’ve ever loved the hive more than reading this thread. I also spend way too much time making decisions based on the inevitable future zombie apocolypse. Sadly, I also bring it into conversation way too much that I suspect people no longer humor me as joking ;D

        • MissJackson :

          Ladies, my husband and I have a zombie apocalypse plan. We are at ground zero (Pittsburgh), yo!

          Also, for training: https://www.zombiesrungame.com/

        • I did not survive in my first Run For Your Lives zombie run. Bugger got me running up a hill jumping out of the bushes. So beware of that. I am just happy to have had some practice, although now that I am undead I suppose it doesn’t really matter!!

          I have been watching promos for Doomsday Preppers (NatGeo) and I am fascinated. The bios of the Preppers are pretty cool although light on substance. I am going to try to watch the show for sure.

    • Seattleite :

      I keep about $1500 in my house. Be prepared for the price of things to go up in an extended emergency. Also, make sure you have lots of small bills – you really don’t want to pay $20 for a bottle of water because you have nothing smaller and the vendor ‘doesn’t have’ change.

      I keep my cash for two scenarios: 1) External emergency that could possibly require evacuation (earthquake, attack); and 2) Emergencies are inconvenient but allow me to stay put. An example of this is a regional ice storm a few years ago that knocked out power for 5-7 days. Card readers, cash machines, etc – all were nonfunctional. FTR, I was very glad at that point that I have a fill-the-tank-at-half-empty policy. The one working gas station within 15 miles was reserved for first responders. Long lines at the ones 15-40 miles away.

      • long time lurker :

        Yes….NYC blackout a few years ago I had NO cash on me or at home, and the ATM’s were not working. I had to borrow $20 from a coworker to buy water on my long trek home (wearing a pantsuit, heels and very hot outside), and was lucky I had a gas stove and pasta/sauce to eat at home for dinner. Now I always have cash (and sensible shoes in my office).

      • I am screwed in an emergency. I never have cash on me and my car is always low on gas. I’d be scrambling through coat pockets for stray $20s.

      • Northridge :

        Ditto the small bills. I lived in LA during the Northridge earthquake. We had returned from being out of town the evening before, so when it hit we had no food in the house. Based on our experience walking around town for hours to get enough groceries for a couple days, I now keep an envelope with $1,000 in small bills in my car IN A BACKPACK with the rest of my earthquake kit. Why backpack? My then-husband carried all those groceries back to the house after Northridge. Next time, I at least want to have a backpack!

        • you keep cash in your car??? guess i lived in nyc too long, where car was broken into nearly daily in brooklyn- i didn’t keep anything in there ever after first rounds of stuff got taken. do you have a garage at work and home?

    • I agree that $500 sounds low to get out of NYC. You’re probably only talking about 3 days, not a week, but definitely be prepared for the price of everything to go way up.

      For those of you living in a disaster-prone area, try to stock an emergency supply of flashlights, batteries, essential medications, several gallons of water, and pet supplies. Also, if you would use your car to get away from a natual disaster and have a safe place to store it, keep a couple of cans of gasoline nearby – or at least keep your car half-full. Having your basics covered before a natural disaster is on the horizon will make your emergency cash stretch much further!

    • I only keep a few hundred dollars on me in cash, as if it’s an emergency, in reality there’s no where to go and I’m staying put (I live in DC). What I do have on hand is emergency supplies – bottled water, canned food, flashlight with batteries, and semi-full tank of gas (to charge my electronics, not to drive anywhere).

    • We have a couple hundred dollars hidden in the car in small bills, and always try to keep the tank at least half full. We don’t make a point to keep cash in the house, but we should, and we are starting to accumulate canned goods. We have some batteries and a solar charger for them, would like to get a hand crank radio/flashlight.

      For those of you that store water, what kind of vessels do you have? Do you just have plastic bottles? We are looking for something that won’t leach into the water over long-term storage.

    • The “big one” (i.e. earthquake) is always on peoples’ minds where I live (supposedly we’re “overdue” for a very high magnitude quake, and of course my city and home are both poorly situated and structurally unprepared). Last year after the earthquake in Japan, I assembled an emergency backpack that has about 30 Think Thin bars (you may laugh, but they seriously fill you up like nobody’s business, and the peanut butter ones aren’t bad, very high protein), beef jerky, freeze-dried fruit, vitamins, 2 military-grade ultralight waterfilters, $300 in small bills, photocopies of all my essential docs, a tiny self-charging camping radio, a USB jump drive with copies of my essential documents and digital versions of some very important photos, flashlight, a pint of whiskey, meds, hunting knife, first aid kit, socks and undies, old running shoes and enough durable clothing for about 3 days.
      I camp a lot, and for the longest time relied on the (poorly formed) assumption that I could quickly grab things I needed from my outdoors supplies. I do “loan” things back and forth from my emergency kit to my camping stuff (I don’t need 2 radios, food and batteries expire, etc), but I always replace it. I feel a lot better just knowing it’s there (at home). I don’t have a car, or I’d have one there as well.

    • If you lived through Hurricane Katrina and were one of the unlucky people stuck in areas without power for weeks, no gasoline to travel and major roads shut down, you would be thinking exactly as you are. Minimum one week in a cheap motel.

      I know friends/clients who lived through Katrina, not myself personally, but I did live through an ice storm which struck north Mississippi and left me, smack in the middle of town, without power for 21 days. ATMS and gas stations were down for 10 days. There WAS no place to stay unless you already had enough gasoline to get out of town, and I mean a fairly long road trip to a motel with rooms and power.

  11. anon today :

    If anyone has experienced getting a positive “high risk HPV” result from their annual pap, and needing to schedule a colposcopy, I’d really appreciate the stories. Also how to discuss with longtime s.o. (i have no reason to suspect infidelity).

    • Diana Barry :

      I had one a while back. I was single at the time, but the dr explained that HPV can crop up at *any time* and lie dormant for many years before it does, so I had no idea from whom I would have gotten it. Also, the doc told me that 75% of s*xually active adults have HPV (or something like that) so it’s by no means rare.

      I had the colposcopy with freezing done on the abnormal cells (this was all done at the same time). It hurt some but was very quick (like a bad pap smear). Then for about 2 days I had a dull crampy feeling, kind of like period cramps, and lots of discharge, and that was it.

      Since then (that was 10 yrs ago or more) I haven’t had any more abnormal paps, everything has been fine. Good luck!

    • I had the same thing happen back in the day when I was still dating my first boyfriend ever, and believe me I was so freaked out and angry. The colposcopy procedure itself was invasive but not painful, and it only took about 5 minutes. In my case, it turned out to be a false positive and I’ve never had an abnormal pap again in 15+ years.

      • Same – another false positive here…my dr. also told me the same thing about HPV can lay dormant for a while, the procedure is uncomfortable, but short. It didn’t take much longer than a normal pap.

        • I had a false positive for HPV many years ago as well, though I didn’t have to have the colonoscopy. Still, I’m always terrified that the subsequent “nothing’s wrong” and the next 10+ years of normal paps are wrong and I really do have HPV and I’m probably giving it to my boyfriend and he’ll hate me forever.

          • I don’t think HPV affects dudes in the same way… unless you guys break up & he sleeps with another lady.

    • This happened to me. It was definitely scary, when the nurse called me and said I had HPV and needed to come in for the colposcopy (although she was very nice, and didn’t use a term like “high risk HPV,” which might have sent me through the roof); I had the standard (stupid) reaction of OMG I’m a s l u t, only awful people get STIs, my life is over, no man will ever love me again, I am going to die of a terrible bleeding cancer, etc. etc.

      Fortunately, my OB/GYN is amazing, and calmed me down a ton when I actually went in for my second appointment. She said that all an STI meant was that you were sexually active, and pointed out that most women/people will have HPV at some point in their lives. As far as the HPV itself went, she talked about the entire range of pap results, and the various gradations of severity–I can’t remember all the details, but you should ask yours–and for me, seeing that I was on the lowest possible grade, and that I had to get through like, six more levels before I actually got to cervical cancer, was very reassuring.

      As far as the colposcopy itself, it wasn’t a big deal for me, and I didn’t find it any more uncomfortable than a regular exam would have been. I was biopsied, and that stung a bit, but again, nothing major.

      I have been single throughout this process, so I haven’t had to talk to an S.O. about this…no help there, sorry. But I’d see the reaction as a pretty powerful statement about his or her character.

    • I had a couple abnormal PAPs because of HPV and then all of a sudden they were normal again. The doc said there was no telling how long I had it and it could stay dormant for years to come.

    • I haven’t experiences this before, but you might find this story helpful: www(dot)thedailymuse(dot)com/health/living-with-an-std/

    • anon for this :

      I went through this while dating now-husband. We both just kind of figured that one or the other of us had picked it up somewhere along the way – it is soooooo prevalent. He has had many more partners than I, so we both think it’s probably his “fault” – but again, it’s so incredibly prevalent and many forms of BC don’t prevent transmission, so it’s not even like it implicates unprotected s*x.

      I had a colposcopy and then went on to have a LEEP. I do not remember either as being particularly painful – just the normal awkwardness and discomfort of a pap. The colposcopy had a “punch” feeling that I didn’t care for, and I didn’t like the cauterizing buzz/whirr noise of the LEEP (kind of like how the dental drill noise is so discomfiting), but neither procedure sticks in my mind as being terrible.

      At the time (3-4 years ago), my OB said the LEEP came with a risk of premature labor or miscarriage down the line because it may weaken the cervix. I actually had a miscarriage last year, but my OB for that chapter of my life says that the way LEEPs have been done for the last ten years or so, there is no evidence that they weaken the cervix to any extent.

      I was still young enough to get the HPV vaccine when I had the bad pap. Apparently there are around 4 types of high-risk HPV, and if you are young enough to get the vaccine to guard against the other ones you (presumably) don’t have yet, it’s advisable. It’s a series of 3 shots.

    • Same story as everyone here – diagnosed with HPV and dysplasia, had the colposcopy then the procedure where they freeze off the abnormal cells. Some cramping and discharge, but nowhere near as bad as my teenage periods. I do remember getting a weird head rush from one of the procedures, it wasn’t painful but it was interesting. No abnormal paps since and it’s been close to 20 years.

      Don’t stress and don’t feel bad. This is so common – I know several people who had HPV + dysplasia. As far as fertility goes,one friend of mine had to have rather extensive freezing off (maybe a cone-something of the cervix?) but went on to have one successful singleton and one successful twin pregnancy. The twins start high school and I think the singleton graduates this year.

    • High risk HPV here too. I had a coloposcopy and LEEP done about 5 years ago. Slightly painful, but nothing worse than normal cramps afterward. I was pretty upset right before the procedure because I was worried about whether I would be able to have kids. I went on to have 2 healthy, normal pregnancies and vaginal deliveries. I’ve had normal paps since then as well.

      As for talking to your partner, like the previous posters said, the virus can be dormant for years.

      I am slightly concerned that HPV has been linked to other types of cancer for which there is no early intervention similar to colposcopy/LEEP. I try not to worry about it and tell myself that those studies are probably faulty.

    • I had HPV several years ago. The colposcopy and biopsy were a little uncomfortable but not too bad. I had to tell my boyfriend, now husband, that I didn’t know where I got it from or how long I had had it. He was more concerned about my health than anything else and
      was very understanding. I was really scared but it cleared up on its own and I’ve had normal paps ever since. Don’t worry. It is very common.

    • This happened to me about 6 months ago. I’m a 3L, so I had the original pap done through student health, but decided I wanted to do all the follow up procedures elsewhere. I went in with my results and talked to the doctor for about 20 minutes and found out that “on a scale of 1-100, [I] was about a 2 on the dysplasia scale.” I’m so thankful I went elsewhere, as I kind of despise student health and their inability to tell people what is actually going on and moving them along to the procedure right away. Anyway, the colopscopy itself was semi painful. They gave me some topical anesthetic, sort of like Novocaine, but it still really hurt. It was supposed to feel like a pinch but did not. I also have a pretty low pain tolerance, though. I went back about 2 weeks later to get the results and check out the scarring. Then, they told me that the most common treatment for this level was to basically cut them out with a wire. Again, more pain than they told me there would be. The Dr. said that with treatment, at the stage I was at, most women’s HPV goes away immediately because it hasn’t spread and the dysplasia is barely present. I have to go back for my first follow up pap in a few weeks, but I don’t anticipate there being any evidence of HPV. One thing he did tell me that I found very reassuring was that he said in 30 years of practice, he had only diagnosed 2 women with full on cervical cancer, and neither of them had had a pap in 10+ years. There is no reason to think that you would have that issue, so don’t stress thinking it’s cancer right now (if your mind went there at all).

      Like what everybody else said, this is in no way any kind of a reflection on you. The vast majority of the sexually active population gets HPV at some point. Most people will have it, even if they don’t know, because it is an STI that clears on its own. I had people say things in general conversation about people who had STI’s that I was really offended by. I even gave them an opportunity to take back their comments, but they doubled down. I know that I’m not “dirty” because of this, so don’t let anyone make you think you are!

      I was in a relationship at the time and had been dating the same guy for about a year and a half. I told him and he was actually really worried about himself. (One of the reasons he is now an ex is that he was so concerned about the fact that he might get anal cancer from HPV and not that I might be kind of stressed or anything from what I was going through.) This shouldn’t be the case. Also, unlike other things, you can’t pass it back and forth (like a cold or whatever). I’m sure telling him will be fine, just be calm about it.

      *Hugs*

    • Just a warning for the colposcopy–if you hate paps, you’ll REALLY hate this. I went in for one and was super super uncomfortable–they offered to prescribe me a valium and come back in a week, but I just wanted to get it over with. Luckily, they didn’t see anything at all, so I didn’t have to do it again. Fingers crossed I won’t again any time soon.

    • So glad you posted this today. I had an abnormal pap last year, had a culposcopy, which revealed high grade leisons, had to have an LEEP (along with full on surgery to remove endo)… and just found out that my follow up pap is still mildly abnormal. Soooo pissed.
      Initially, I thought I had gotten it from BF… and he thought that he had gotten it from me. So we had a good laugh about that.
      But the culpo and LEEP aren’t that bad, not even half as bad as getting an IUD. So don’t sweat that. And all of the other poster’s stories about people having kids afterward make me feel a little better. Though I feel like my lady parts are generally screwed up because of all this.
      Doc said to stay away from cigarette smoke and avoid stress, to minimize recurrance. I don’t smoke, but apparently I am really stressed out.

    • This happened to me a few years ago when I was engaged. Adenocarcinoma and high risk HPV+. Whoa boy, I got that call from my doctor on my commute home, held it together while I talked to her, then hung up, pulled over, and called my fiance crying that I was never going to be able to have kids and I was going to die of cancer before I’m 30. It was a total overreaction, in retrospect. Like others have said, HPV can crop up years after you were exposed to it, so it’s not an indicator of infidelity. I hope your SO understands and is supportive, and I hope your test results are good. *hugs* Don’t feel bad, it’s way more common than you think, and a lot of abnormal paps turn out to be one-timers (though not mine, unfortunately).

      I’ve had a couple colposcopies. The first one was so uncomfortable, maybe mentally more than physically, that I subsequently fainted – vasovagal response – and had to hang out at the dr’s office for an extra hour and drink orange juice like I’d just given blood. Not to freak you out, but it could happen; my doctor said it isn’t uncommon. It never happened to me again… though a colposcopy will never be my favorite way to spend 10 minutes. Try to take the day off work or go later in the afternoon if you can, you may be totally fine, but if you have cramping and spotting (or fainting spells!), you’ll be much happier knowing you can go home and relax on your couch.

      FWIW, even if you get bad test results, it’s not the end of the world. My doctor keeps admonishing me to have kids soon, I’ve had 2 cone biopsies, and the 3-6 month frequency of appts is annoying, but I have every expectation of being fine as long as I keep getting little bits of my cervix cut out as necessary.

      One last point as a PSA: A major symptom that something might be wrong is abnormal bleeding–even just a little bit. I noticed a pink-tinge in the *ahem* discharge after s*x several months before my first bad pap. Not every time, but frequently enough that I was curious… but not curious enough to call my doctor, which is what I should have done.

    • Anon today, too! :

      Just seeing this late in the evening. I had (have?) high risk HPV and have had it for about four years. I had one doctor tell me that I should get a LEEP procedure but three others (just moved a few times) told me that as long as we kept an eye on it, it was fine for now. I think that I have very few affected cells (but did have the high risk strain) but my last pap came back clear and we’re waiting six months to see how the next one turns out.

      I remember being really upset when I found out…and every six months when I went for a pap…and two weeks later when I’d get the colposcopy! But aside from it being a pain in the butt every six months or so, I don’t think it’s something to lose sleep over. The vast majority of women who die of cervical cancer are women who hadn’t been to the OBGYN for many, many years at a time. I do think this is why it’s so important to stay on top of your pap tests, though.

      As far as colposcopies go, they’re not a walk in the park, but they aren’t terrible either. I think the first time it was toughest mentally for me. It basically feels like a pap with a few pinches/punches (which is taking the tissue sample) and you may feel your uterus cramp up or quiver at the time. I highly recommend taking two advil about 30 min before you go in (but tell your doctor that’s your plan, obviously) and (if you have it) a xanax or something to calm your nerves. Don’t get up too quickly afterward–I fainted once but I think it had more to do with the whole thing being sort of stressful. I would take the rest of the day off work–not because you’ll necessarily need to, but it’s all kind of stressful and you may feel uncomfortable.

      Finally, as far as HPV prevalence and the blame game thing, I have had four OBGYNs tell me that most sexually active women have this at some point in their lives and most don’t know it when they do. It’s possible I got it from my bf at the time…or the guy I dated 5 years before him. There’s not much you can do to prevent it apart from using condoms (which doesn’t totally eliminate the risk) so you shouldn’t feel bad about being unsafe if you’ve been conscientious about safer sex. Lastly, and I know I’ll get a lot of flak for this, I have specifically asked all four of my OBGYNs in the past few years whether this was something I should tell future partners (I think current partners are different but only because of the level of trust involved and the fact you may need emotional support) and they all gave me an unequivocal “no.” They all said that there isn’t even a test for HPV in men, that the health risk to them is small and virtually unavoidable anyway if they’re having sex with women, and that any future partners they have will also likely have been exposed to HPV previously. They all said that if I had warts or some other STI, that would require full disclosure.

      I’m not saying what anyone should do with future/current partners, but I thought that was interesting information. Everyone has their own compass.

      Good luck! I’m sure it won’t be nearly as bad as you’re imagining. Treat yourself to some ice cream and fun magazines or something!

      • I agree with not bothering to tell future partners. We probably all have it. We all just need to assume we all have some strain of HPV and just stop worrying about it. Except for getting regular paps.

        • Anon today, too! :

          Totally agree. It’s not your normal STI because it’s so widespread that it’s basically just part and parcel of being sexually active. Regular paps are super important, though, as is condom use outside of a monogamous relationship (which, obviously is very important regardless).

    • Anonymous :

      A huge percentage of the population has HPV but it is a small number of strains of the virus that can turn into cancer. I had a bad case of warts when I was in my early twenties. I have been married now for ten years and when I was forty, my doctor found pre-cancerous cells on my vulva. It is very rare. I hate it mostly because it reminds me a the very promiscuous time in my life. Please please don’t get mad at your partner – you may very well have had it for years and have passed it on to him. Good luck, hon.

      • Anon today, too! :

        Just remember that you can get warts or high risk HPV from a single encounter with someone who has it–you don’t have to be promiscuous to get it, it may just increase your chances of getting it. I think that’s such a common misconception that people have and that so much shame stems from there.

    • everyone else has covered most of what I was going to say, so I’ll just say one big ‘ditto’ … but i do want to say, I did kind of freak out at first. But, luckily, I went and found a much better ob/gyn who was also a naturopath, and she really calmed me down. The colposcopy is not a huge deal, and it’s mostly to double check. The vast majority of results from the colposcopy are going to confirm that it’s nothing. In my case, it turned out to be one of the few exceptions to that, and still, even though I was frustrated at the time, it really has turned out to be not a big deal.

      It did turn out I had some cells that had progressed to severe dysplasia, but all this stuff goes slowly, b/c the dysplasia spreads slowly, so there is plenty of time to figure out what is going on with your doctor and decide what to do. There is no rush, and don’t let your doctor let you feel rushed. About a year after the first abnormal pap, I was scheduling an outpatient procedure at the hospital for the most severe of the cells. But honestly, I don’t want to scare you, cause even though it was a not fun few days, it really was no big deal, and looking back, it really was never that bad. And, even though these procedures are uncomfortable and NOT fun, my doctor reminded me over and over, that the cervix is a very resilient organ. Think about how much it changes during childbirth. Even if you have some abnormal stuff going on, once the cells are removed, the cervix will grow back perfectly healthy. This is *nothing* like other types of cancer cells in other parts of the body.

      So, my advice for you looking back: Make sure you have a doctor you feel is calming you down and helping you carefully think through decisions. Take deep breaths, and don’t freak out. DO NOT do internet research!! (it totally freaked me out) and as for the HPV, it is Soooooo prevalent now, hopefully you have seen that based on all the comments here!!

      You’ll be fine, just breathe. ;o)

    • I’ve been down this road as well. Abnormal pap, HPV diagnosis, followed by a colposcopy. Doc at the time reccomended another pap in 3 months to see what happened due to the small amount of abnormal cells present. That pap, along with the three I’ve had since, all have come back normal. All other docs think I had a strain that cleared on it’s own. I took 2 Advil before the colp and was fine. Felt exactly like a regular pap.

      When I found out (by an incredibly impersonal and terribly written letter), I freaked out, cried a ton, and drank an entire bottle of wine while shaming myself for sleeping with a loser or two in prior years. My boyfriend, now fiance, was SO GREAT about it and really helped ease my anxiety. I think you should tell your boyfriend. If he sucks about it, that’s a pretty big sign that he’s not worth much more of your time. I also confided in my mom, who basically read me a laundry list of women (including herself) who have had it. You are definitely not alone in this!

  12. Kat, Based on many of your recent recommendations, I’m guessing that you have “Snow White” coloring. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have for those of us who look better in warmer and/or more muted tones.

  13. Dear semi-incompetent secretary,

    If someone calls you, asking you to remind me to respond to an email that I have received. Please find out who and what email? “I dunno” and “it was a girl” is not a helpful response.

    I suppose actually asking you to book travel for me (which really, I didn’t think was ever going to happen, so I suppose I should count my blessings) was enough for one day. Also, proper airport codes are your friend. Our city has three airports.

    Me

  14. Re: the emergency money/Zombie thread above – are you guys for real (not the ones talking about zombies) or are you all kidding?

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who has nothing more than a flashlight, candles, some water and a couple cans of soup, and laundry quarters stocked up at home in case of emergency. Do people really worry about this?

    • I live in Earthquake country, so my emergency kit is geared toward that rather than a zombie apocalypse. I try to remember to update it every time we change clocks forward or back. My downfall is squirreled-away cash, as in I don’t have any, as in I spend it every time we have some.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I don’t even have this. It never even occurred to me to have emergency cash in the house. I think I have a flashlight, but it probably doesn’t have batteries…

    • I had two different sets of friends caught in the hurricane last year, a couple of friends in San Diego when the entire city lost power (they’d been about to leave on a long trip so they had absolutely nothing in the house), and my hometown was being regularly hit by pretty bad storms that left us without power for a couple of days at a time (a tree fell on my workplace). I don’t have the emergency kit for the zombie apocalypse, I have it so that I don’t have to brave the grocery store the night before a big snow storm, and so that I have some way of knowing which way the tornadoes are coming if we lose power. In other words, it’s not for major emergencies, it’s so that I don’t have to worry about anything in the case of a minor emergency.

    • Emergency Cash :

      I (the OP) only worried about it because others were discussing it, but the truth is that it’s not crazy to have some emergency supplies. For the hurricane last August, I ended up scrambling for supplies on Friday to take to my elderly relative’s, where we stayed (since we lived in an evacuation zone). Yes, we were fine, but it would have been nice to have a radio, batteries, etc., in case something had gone wrong; by the Friday that I took things seriously enough to go shopping, things were either sold out or way overpriced. Post-hurricane, I have bought us a two-person emergency kit and a Red Cross radio. I’ll probably never need them, but I can afford them, and I would rather feel overprepared than underprepared.

      As for the cash, I am pretty good about not spending my savings, and given that we have a decent amount in a savings account, what does it matter if I also start a “cash savings account” in my apartment?

      All this prep is, to my eyes, a relatively cheap insurance policy. And since I hope to have kids in the next five years, it seems particularly prudent. I don’t worry, but I would like to be prepared nonetheless. It’s kind of like why I go for an annual checkup every year: at my age, with my history, I don’t think they’ll find anything of note, and I don’t stress out about my MD appts, but I do schedule and go to them nonetheless. It doesn’t cost me much (DH and I both make relatively large salaries), and to me, it’s worth it.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Let me put it this way: I was in the “hurricane evacuation zone” for whatever hurricane was predicted to hit New York last summer. NY Mag was mocking the lines at the grocery store, saying “doesn’t anyone have enough food to survive 3 days without heat/water in their apartment?” I looked around and the answer was a resounding no, I do not, unless I was surviving on a jar of peanut butter alone. Though, thanks to that possible disaster, I now own more than one flashlight and 8 gallons of bottled water. (the only flashlight I owned prior was one shaped like a cat that cranked by hand that my mother gave me “to carry on your person at all times in case you’re in the subway and the power goes out.” (I don’t)).

      • I heart your name, big time. And also the cat flashlight.

        To the OP – no, I don’t really have an organized emergency kit. My husband and I like to camp, so we have a camp stove, batteries, headlamps, and related items. During Irene last year we filled the bathtub, poured water into pitchers, etc. But, reading the emergency thread made me realize that we almost never have cash, which, I am going to take out of the ATM very soon, just to be prepared!

    • I think this is somewhat a regional thing. In the Northeast, the only realistic things that could go terribly wrong (knock on wood) are snow, hurricanes, power outages, and possibly a remote chance of terror attacks (in NYC and maybe the other major metro areas). The first two are the most likely I think — and for those you have pretty long warning in the NE corridor generally, and really only need to maybe stock up on batteries, blankets (which you probably have) and water. Maybe a generator if you’re really remote. For the third, the needs are basically the same except you don’t get the warning. The final, well, I think each has to decide for themself how they prepare for it.

      But in other parts of the country, where earthquakes, killer tornadoes, or really bad hurricanes/flooding, etc. are a much more serious problem, I think disaster preparedness is more of a way of life.

    • I live in a part of the country where there’s the occasional tornado (they never “hit” my city because of where we are situated, but only around it), and last year we got snowed in for two days (which was also pretty rare). In those cases, though, we generally have enough warning through weather reports that we can pick up some extra supplies and make sure our electronics are charged. I’d die of shock if we were the target of any attacks – zombie or otherwise – because I live in smallish-town Midwest. In that case, I wouldn’t have to worry about supplies. Based on all that, Bluejay, I’m like you – some water, non-perishable food, candles, flashlight, plenty of blankets.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i have flashlights, and scented candles. little to nothing in the way of canned food (i think i have one can each of coconut milk, pumpkin, and diced tomatoes). and, as i discovered a couple of weeks ago, the batteries in both of my flashlights are (were) dead – and the more powerful of the two flashlights had so much dust in it that the innermost battery was stuck.

      i didn’t think much about an emergency set-up until hurricane irene – that ended up being nothing, and i didn’t even lose power, but i really should put something together.

      • Get some curry powder and that would be a decent curry phillygirlruns.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        here’s the thing with canned food. Most things that come in cans kind of suck if they aren’t heated. (well, except maybe tuna or canned fruit). My emergency food (again, purchased for hurricane irene) was largely junk, because when else can you get an excuse to eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, little debbie snack products, and cheetos?

    • We have a way-too-big “go bag”. In it: some food (granola bars, peanut butter, etc.), a can opener, glow sticks, flashlights, ponchos, a hand-crank radio, face masks, whistles, copies of key documents, first aid stuff, personal care stuff (toothbrushes, washcloth, soap, etc.) and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember offhand. We keep a few gallons of water in the closet, and some cash (small bills) separately. The go bag is based on info being passed around after 9/11 (http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_prepared/supplies.shtml).

      We don’t worry about it, but we’d feel irresponsible if we didn’t have it.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Just to clarify – I’m not judging the people who have emergency supplies, I’m more worried that maybe I SHOULD have some.

      But then again, extreme weather emergencies are relatively uncommon in England (thankfully) and when we occasionally have snow and everything stops working, it’s usually only for a day or two at most.

      If I lived in tornado/hurricane/earthquake country, I would probably be better prepared.

      • Um…last week British Airways cancelled every flight out of Heathrow for under an inch of snow. So, you guys aren’t exactly disaster-proof. :-P Or prepared. :-)

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Oh yeah, this is totally true, but it’s not usually for long. Last year I was victim of the Heathrow snow closure and it sucked, but it’s still pretty rare. Even when it snows you can usually walk to a shop somewhere – it’s more of a problem in the countryside than in the city, aside from the lack of public transport.

          • Seattleite :

            Yes, but here in the US, grocery stores keep enough stock on hand for about 3 days. If the big supply trucks can’t get through, there will be nothing to sell to the people who walk to the store.

          • London in Snow :

            I was in London during the “blizzard” last year. Hailing from the US midwest, the way a small amount of snow shut down the city was mindboggling. If, instead of the usual day or two, a snowstorm made driving dangerous for 4 or 5 days you’d really want some supplies… and so would everyone else. Therein lies the problem: stores can’t restock from their warehouses on foot, even if you personally can reach the store. Remember that these emergencies can lead to any number of unforeseen consequences that wouldn’t necessarily be solved by walking to a store after a storm – like a driver who doesn’t know how to deal with slick roads crashing and knocking out power on your block, or a pipe freezing and bursting in a particularly bad cold snap.

            The general rule of thumb for emergency planning is that just because an emergency is “rare” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare to survive without modern amenities for a short period of time. By definition, an emergency *is* a “rare” and disruptive event, and thus people won’t know how to deal with it at first. You want to put yourself on as good a footing as possible while things are getting sorted out. It’s the same reason as to why you have a first aid kit – hopefully you will never need those giant gauze bandages, but if you ever get a bad enough cut to need them, you will be very, very grateful they’re there.

    • We have a bunch of emergency supplies spread throughout the house, including a battery operated radio and spare batteries, flashlights (some hand crank ones) we usually have a decent amount of food, first aid supplies, etc. but it’s not all together. We should have water & cash, but we don’t right now. The types of emergencies that could hit here are a house fire, power outage, limited water (and these three, imo, are a risk everywhere) blizzard, and that’s about it.

      One of the most important things to have in your house, imo, in case of a minor emergency is a land line with a phone that doesn’t require electricity to work. You know, the cheap $5 or $10 ones? We’ve had to use ours a few times over the years and we always make sure there is at least one plugged into a phone jack just in case. Cell phone batteries die, cordless phones don’t work without power, even many of the fancy phones won’t work without power, but a basic phone will.

    • Actually, I’m worried what would happen if my wallet got stollen/ lost. I would have to cancel all my credit cards and bank card, so if I didn’t have cash around I would be SOL.

    • I do, but only because earthquakes are always looming on the horizon where I live. I don’t want to get hurt or be inconvenienced because I didn’t think about what could happen. There are some people (I’ve dated a couple of them) who are way more into the survival things – I once dated a guy who didn’t want to buy a car made after 1992, because he couldn’t fix certain things without a dealership “after the apocalypse.” I want to keep myself safe and put myself in a position to help out others in case the unfortunate happens.

    • My sister keeps $500 in cash easily accessible in her nightstand. She has dated several law enforcement officers who recommend this as “go away” money.
      They said often, when someone breaks into your house, they are high or looking to get high, so if you give them $500 in cash, they’re more likely to just take the money and “go away”, than to stay and torment you/trash your house or worse.
      I think it’s kind of weird, but maybe it’s true.

    • Don’t forget supplies for your pets. I have several cans of dog food and a zip lock of dry food, an extra leash, dog license and vaccination records.

      I live where earthquakes are a reality so an emergency kit is good to have. I only put it together a few years ago and i felt so much better after I did. I have variuos cans of tuna, chicken and beef (yuck), cans of fruit, few cans of soup, tons of energy bars, fruit leathers, gum, pack of cards (yup), 1 battery powered flashlight with extra batteries, hand crank flashlight with an alarm and radio, glow sticks, can opener, small first aid kit, survival knife, lighter, jugs of water that I swich out every 6 months or so and that’s it I think … I need to add cash and a pint of whikey apparently. I’ll take care of the latter pronto.

      If i ever need it I hope I’ll have a full fridge and pantry at the time. God help me if I have to eat canned chicken and fruit leathers for days on end!

      • When my ex and I evacuated for Katrina, we didn’t take enough cat food (of course, we couldn’t have – we were gone for 3 months). We walked into a vet’s office in central PA and asked if we could buy her prescription canned cat food. They said no, you need a prescription. We explained that we were evacuated and they asked why we didn’t call our vet. Yeah right. Who knows where our vet was at that point? I finally said to them that it wasn’t crack, it was cat food, and we knew exactly what our cat needed. And they sold it to me. Unbelievable.

        Here it’s always a big difference between staying (batteries, flashlights, radio, candles, water for drinking, water for everything else, a phone that plugs in without power, canned food, lighters) or evacuating (more complicated because you don’t know how long you’ll be gone and exactly what you’ll need). We also had a tornado come down my block in February 0f 2007. Scary when it happened, but power was back on that night. I’ve lost power for 3-5 days with a tropical storm/Cat 1.

    • Seattleite :

      I’m absolutely for real. I have seven 5-gallon jugs of water in my garage, flashlights everywhere, the aforementioned cash, backpacks to grab in case of evacuation (although I admit the food is probably expired), and close to a year’s supply of food staples, freeze-dried, and canned food (subsistence-level). Plus the guns, ammo, and skill to defend my supplies from looting.

      I’ve known many families who survived on food storage during layoffs, including my own as a child. As for emergencies…I’m more interested in my own well-being than any government agency or kind stranger. So I’ll depend upon myself rather than them.

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you! As a Red Cross volunteer, people like you save me a ton of time and effort. Every person that can take care of herself frees us up to take care of someone else who truly can’t prepare. The sick, the elderly, out of town visitors, the very poor: they really need our help more than your average lawyer or other well-paid professional.

      • Northridge :

        In addition to food, water and cash, don’t forget:

        * Rx drugs
        * tampons
        * toothbrush/toothpaste/handwipes
        * pet/baby food
        * extra pair of eyeglasses
        * clean underwear
        * battery-less radio (to listen to emergency announcements)
        * flashlight
        * first aid kit

        Sign me,

        No more earthquakes

        • @Northridge — Just wanted to say hi from another “Valley Girl” — I was there for the 94 Quake — are you still out there?

          • Northridge :

            @PHX

            In OC now. Which must be why I have no problem keeping that backpack in the trunk with, inter alia, cash and medical supplies in it. Theft is not a big concern here.

            @Ruby

            When I lived in NYC, the only thing in our car was a xerox of the registration. Other than that, there wasn’t so much as a box of Kleenex in the car, glove compartment, trunk, nowhere because we just assumed it would be broken into every day. So I hear you.

      • Okay, because you mentioned guns and we live in the same city: any suggestions for a good place to take a class on basic pistol skills for the complete novice?

        • Seattleite :

          cbackson,

          I used to teach novice handgun classes at a local range. My life changed and I don’t do it for pay any more, but if you want some private instruction I’d be happy to teach you. While you think about that, I’ll reach out to some instructors I know and see where they’re teaching these days.

      • we lost heat/power recently in a snowstorm and it was good having the stuff around that we had- but it wasn’t enough, must say. no backup generator in a condo.

    • If you live in Waffle House country, you can always check the level of damage in your area based on the Waffle House Index. “The Waffle House Index is an informal metric used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine the impact of a storm and the likely scale of assistance required for disaster recovery.” There is nothing that cures a hangover faster than some Waffle House.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffle_House_Index

  15. phillygirlruns :

    looks like we have at least a few people interested in a philly meetup – email phillycorporettes at gmail and we’ll get a group email going to set something up.

  16. Anonymous :

    Suggested things to have on hand to survive for 3 days for various emergencies: http://72hours.org/index.html

    Makes you think!

  17. Milton Waddams :

    Can anyone recommend a good stapler that will staple more than 20 pages at a time?? The stapler my office provided me is a joke.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I broke 4 staplers in my first 2 months at my firm. I finally gave up and I exclusively use the automatic stapler thing we have at each photocopier, or I pick “staple” as one of the photocopy options.

      I think central services at my firm thinks I’m unqualified to use equipment now though, when I ordered a new hole puncher, one of them came by to “teach me how to use it”.

      All this is to say that I don’t have any stapler recommendations.

    • Okay. This is strange to admit but I love my stapler. The one that was first given to me was horrible. My assistant felt so bad that she read all the reviews on OfficeDepot and Staples (yes, she is that amazing) and found me the best stapler ever. And it’s cute and is easy to use.

      Silver Bostitch, Model B3000.

    • I bought myself an electric Stanley Bostich that staples up to perhaps 25 pages at a time. After that, I used a Swingline heavy duty that does up to 60. You need at least two staplers, one regular duty, one heavy duty.

  18. Maybe preggers :

    Thoughts on flying while 5 weeks pregnant? DH and I were excited to have booked tickets to Hawaii for my post bar trip. However, I’m pretty sure that I’m pregnant (period 2.5 weeks late, but I haven’t taken a blood test to know for sure).

    DH wants to rethink the trip because of the flying involved — the flight will be about 6 hours for us. I know that there is a greater chance of miscarriage in the first trimester, so I too am wondering if we should rethink this flight. This is my first pregnancy, I’ve never had a miscarriage before. (We bought the flight on miles and we can cancel the hotel, so we wouldn’t be losing any money on this if we had to reconsider).

    Thoughts? Am I being paranoid or is this a legit concern?

    • Diana Barry :

      Don’t worry about it AT ALL, unless you have some kind of predisposition to clots. The vast vast vast majority of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormality, so basically you will miscarry or not, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

      The only usual restrictions on flying are after 35 weeks or so. :)

      BTW, congrats if you get the BFP! :)

    • Research, Not Law :

      Go!

    • I was 2 months pregnant when I flew to go skiing. Not my smartest moment (the skiing, not the flying). Imagine altitude sickness and morning sickness combined. Super FUN! I had no problems with the pregnancy because of the flight. Now that I think about it, I flew pretty much throughout both of my pregnancies with no issues.

      • did it myself last fall multiple times, in middle of a miscarriage scare. wasn’t pleasant, but you can do it. stay very hydrated (you’ll have to pee every few minutes, but otherwise you will get very dehydrated).
        also upgrades help… if there was ever a time to cash in miles etc this is it. they ran out of water in coach. the room in first class helps to be able to flop around for comfort.

    • You should go–it’s going to be a lot harder to go to Hawaii after you have a baby! Seriously, I travel all the time (including weekly business travel up through week 36 or 37 with my second child), and have never had any problems. Drink a lot of water, walk around and stretch, but otherwise don’t worry about it unless you have some preexisting risk factor.

  19. west coast girl :

    Speaking of the Red Cross, here in the Bay Area they sell emergency kits in bright red back packs. I bought a four person one (Although I live alone), and keep it in the trunk. It’s probably time to go through it and replace expired items after 3 years.

  20. Reposting since my reply is buried in an older post:

    NYC Get-together & Sendoff for K in NYC
    Those who are interested should email me at edna_mode_nyc (at) yahoo (dot) com.
    K has said that sometime between 3/19 and 3/22 would work.

    One idea — just to get the ball rolling, would folks be interested in meeting either at the Museum of Modern Art or the Met Museum? I can get 1 or 2 people in for free with me, and it’s not super-pricey as long as you don’t try to eat meals there or buy stuff. I find museums a great affordable place for people to get acquainted– can walk and talk and also take in some art!

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