Weekend Open Thread

Donna Ricco Ruffle Matte Jersey DressSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Reader K wrote in to recommend this cute dress, which is now steeply discounted and still available in lots of sizes: ” Obviously, it isn’t necessarily work-appropriate, but it is a GREAT date-night dress. I wore it out to my Valentines dinner with my fiance and got 2 compliments on it just walking to our table. And he hasn’t stopped asking when I’ll wear it again. It is very va-va-va voom, but pretty forgiving in the middle because of the pleats.” I like it — particularly the pleats. It’s $44.97 at Nordstrom Rack. Donna Ricco Ruffle Matte Jersey Dress

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  1. I wanted to be the FIRST to say I am back from doing my EBT’s and wanted to make sure every one knows I was NOT at the manageing partner for sneezeing on me. I did NOT have the flu, but do NOT like it when he shine’s his head with his dirty hankercheef!

    I met a new guy, Larry, and he seem’s nice, but I am NOT going to let him get any where until AFTER I am sure he is sincere. That is what hapened with Alan. FOOEY on him.

    • Anonymous :

      Finally!!!!! Do NOT blOw this one Ellen.

      • Or do, if she wants him to stick around. Hehe.

        • Pftooey! You do want to start giving any guy on the street BJs on demand. Best to wait until after you get the ring to do that.

    • karenpadi :

      Ellen, I dated a “Larry” a few months back, I hope it isn’t the same one. We might have to FIGHT over him.

      • I hope NOT! NO man is worth Fighting for my dad says.

        My Larry (and btw, I have NOT done anything sexuel with him –FOOEY!) is has a JD degree FROM Fordam University. He has a job also.

        I agreed with my FATHER that I will not sacrefice my BODY for ANY man until I get a REAL comitment leeding to MARRAGE! Not like ALAN. Fooey on Alan.

    • Consider looking at Brookline if you are thinking of buying. The school system is excellent and the commute isn’t too bad. You may not think your baby will be in school soon, but if you are buying, you should be staying in the same place at least 5 years. Boston and Cambridge do not have good school systems.

  2. Chowda powa :

    TGIF Ladies!

    I would love some advice on where to live in Boston. We are open to buying or renting and have saved up a good amount, so we are flexible on price. I have never lived in Boston before, but I know the area somewhat because my sister used to live there. Here are some key considerations:

    1) My husband will work close to the Alewife stop on the red line in Cambridge. I will work in the financial district. It’s more important that we live closer to my work (ideally walking distance, but if not, I’m open to commuting by T).

    2) We have always lived in big urban cities and love the city feel. It’s very important for us to be in an area that is neighborhoody. We love to walk to great restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, parks, etc.

    3) I’m expecting a child in the fall, and we’d like to raise our child in an area that is safe and kid friendly (good schools is a plus, but the baby won’t be going to school for a while so that’s less of a consideration for us).

    4) We’re both people of color, and would like to live in a diverse, cosmopolitan area.

    5) No suburbs.

    Any thoughts? South End seems like a good option, but would it be a pain for hubby to commute to work? I don’t know much about Cambridge, but have heard others rave about it. Other ideas?


    • It sounds like anything within walking distance to the Red Line. If you’re looking for an area that still has something of a city vibe with a little more green space, you might look in the Porter Square area (border of Cambridge/Somerville). Central Square has more college kids I think. Kendall Square has lots of luxury high rises and the like, but I think its more true urban without the green space.

      South End wouldn’t be the end of the world for a commute to Alewife, but honestly the Red Line isn’t super dependable so I’d try to be further out along it rather than starting from all the way downtown.

      I’d rent before you buy– especially since almost anything you’d be buying in that area would be a condo, which have tough resale value.

    • Two cents :

      Sounds like Beacon Hill would be a good option. Your husband would be walking distance to the Charles MGH stop on the red line, and you would be walking distance to work (probably a 20 minute walk, maybe less). Beacon Hill is cute and neighborhoody (and expensive). :) I don’t think it ranks high on diversity, however.

      • I do love Beacon Hill — but it is just oh so expensive — and oh so hard to get outdoor space of any kind. But if I was a katrillionaire that’s where I’d live. :-)

      • Anonymous :

        I agree that if you’re willing to pay for it, Beacon Hill is your best bet based on your list. I don’t think you’ll find good public schools in Boston proper.

        If you’re flexible on commuting by T, I would suggest cambridge/sommerville near porter square. The area nearer to Cambridge is very neighborhood-y and more diverse than BH. A bit further to have a large selection of restaurants, but still close to some nice places, and your money will go a lot further than on BH. Plus there’s a great coffee shop right near there that I make to swing by whenever I’m in the area.

        That said, if you’re going to start dropping your Rs (based on your moniker), I’d look at Revere :)

    • Thirds for porter square.

    • Somerville near Davis is also relatively diverse – my husband and I have lived there almost 4 years now and really like it. We’re walking distance to the Red Line and lots of shops and restaurants. The T can be a pain sometimes, it’s very nice to be in an urban area without being right in town, and there are a number of playgrounds nearby and plenty of young families.

      • I think the restaurants in Davis Square are better than those right around Porter — but Porter has the grocery store right there. I also think Porter has maybe a slightly nicer (but more expensive) stock of apartments.

    • I would definitely rent for a year so you can figure out exactly where you want to be. Porter or Davis would be my top pick for neighborhoods that suit your needs, both are on the Red line.

    • Chowda Powa :

      Thank you for the helpful recs. Will check out Beacon Hill and Porter/Davis. Does Porter/Davis feel suburban? Can you walk to restaurants, bookstores, etc.? As mentioned, DH and I have lived in various cities since we’ve been married (last 10 years) and we’re huge fans of urban living.

      • I’m going to put in a plug for Central Square if you like an urban feel and lots of restaurants. It’s definitely not as adorable as the rest of Cambridge, but it does have incredible restaurants, from higher end New American places like Salts, Craigie Street, and Rendezvous, but also incredible ethnic restaurants (Sichuan, Indian, falafel, Korean BBQ). There are also several decent coffee shops and bakeries (1369, Flour), plus a killer ice cream shop (Toscanini’s), and two (two!) Whole Foods within walking distance. It’s also 2-3 T stops closer to downtown than Porter and Central, so your commute would be pretty easy.

        The downside of Central Square is that it is gritty, with more dicey blocks and more homeless than the rest of Cambridge. It sounds like you’re used to big cities though, so if you’re willing to make that trade-off it could be worth it.

        • Current Cantabridgian :

          I live between Harvard and Central squares now, closer to Central. There are certainly college kids but they tend to be grad students not undergrads. I think it is more racially diverse than Porter/Davis but I haven’t spent too much time in those neighborhoods. On our block there are lots of parents with young kids. I have occasionally run into shady characters but I generally consider it to be safe. It’s easy to walk to tons of restaurants, 2 branches of the public library, 2 Whole Foods, a Trader Joes, and an independent coop grocery store, parks, coffee shops, etc. It would be farther away from your work than Beacon Hill but it would also be cheaper and a little less… uptight (I think).

          I personally have found the Red line to be pretty reliable. Of course it breaks down sometimes but it is way better than the other subway lines. From where I live it takes maybe 20 minutes to get to South Station during rush hour (which includes at 7 minute walk to the Central T stop).

      • former Bostonian :

        I used to live in Porter in grad school. I don’t think that Porter/Davis is too suburban. It’s not like living in midtown manhattan to be sure, but it has a great neighborhood feel, and there are tons of restaurants/cute shops/book stores in the area. And it is only about a 15 min. walk to Harvard Sq., which also has great options. I lived there for several years without a car and never had a problem. After I graduated from law school, I lived in the South End for a couple of years. While I also really enjoyed that, I have a real soft spot for Porter Sq. If I moved back to the east coast, I would definitely choose Cambridge over Boston.

        • PharmaGirl :

          Camberville>Boston for sure. I never lived south of the river and never felt like I was missing out. I was in grad school in the south end so spent my days there and my nights/weekends back in Cambridge/Somerville.

          • Anne Shirley :

            To me, Sommerville feels very suburban. I’d want a car if I lived there. I’d try out beacon hill, back bay, and depending on hubby’s thoughts on a longer commute, def consider the south end. The great thing about Boston is that it’s really a small city, so you can visit lots of neighborhoods in a weekend trip

    • I know nothing about Boston, so I have no specific advice. But I am currently looking for a house in a different metro area, and I had the same reasoning on schools (don’t care because not preggers yet so it is unlikely I’ll ever have to worry about it in this house). BUT I work with several social workers who I asked for advice about different areas. One of them advised that she puts a lot of weight on schools, even if you don’t have kids, because good public schools are a good indicator of the community’s function and general community involvement. Just something to think about.

      • Plus public schools are a major indicator of resale value. But if she wants to be urban and have public schools that are really good, she’s going to have to go in Brookline, which is going to be one h*ck of a commute for her husband. So its kind of a toss up.

        • A good bet in Cambridge is Hastings Square, near Central Square and near the Charles River. But public schools in Cambrdge are lousy. You will probably want private schools for your kids unless you live in Lexington, Newton, or Brookline.

          Been there, done that, got the tee shirt.

          • Okay…that’s a wild exaggeration — at the very least you must have been willing to send your kids to Wellesley, Weston, or Concord. (I’m sorry…but that was a pretty snooty sentence.)

  3. Hooray, Weekend Open Thread, I have been waiting for this for days.

    Does anyone know if US engineering degrees are accepted in Germany? DH and I might move there, and I am wondering if his degree will be worth something.

    Same question for France, that would be an alternative if we move closer to the border and he could work in France while I work in Germany (yay EU).

    Maybe some tips on where I can check that stuff online? I seem to have bad luck finding anything.

    • I am not entirely sure – a quick look at jobs at the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine showed that companies were just looking for applicants who had completed their studies in engineering. My husband is an engineer (educated in Germany) and based on what he has always said, and Germany’s switch to a bachelor and master’s degree system, I think a master’s degree would be more likely to be viewed as equivalent than a bachelor’s. In my experience Germany can be tough in terms of recognizing foreign qualifications, however.

    • Hey there,

      well if he’s working for a US company I think he’d have no issue. The problem is that in a lot of countries in Europe, a basic Engineering degree would be equivalent to a master’s degree in the US. I know this includes Germany and Holland, but I don’t know about France.

      The bigger problem will be getting a work visa. My husband was almost assigned to Germany at one point, so I started looking it up, and I recall feeling that while it wouldn’t be impossible, that finding a job that would get me a visa or vice versa would be difficult.

      P.S. we’re both engineers.

      • WorkedAbroad :

        Your degree is certainly worth something; how much probably depends on if he also has work experience. Does he just have a Bachelors, or also a Masters? Germany is in the process of moving from their Diplom system (which was basically the equivalent of a masters) to Bachelors/Masters. I don’t know if this is relevant in your situation or not, but, it you happen to have gone to an “elite” school (MIT, Stanford, etc), Germans seems to really respect those degrees (since they haven’t traditionally had “elite” schools, they seem rather fascinated by ours.) Good luck!

    • This is not a good time to get a proper residency in France. You can hope that Sarkozy gets canned next month, although the likely winner has already announced that he wouldn’t improve immigration at all .

      Meanwhile, degrees being ‘accepted’ is a hazy concept. If you’re working as an engineer, and you went to a reasonably large university, there should be not much problem getting an engineering job in France. Especially if you’re working at a company they may have heard of. That does not translate at all to being accepted in academia. And it also depends on the kind of engineering. Software, electrical, no problem. Other kinds? Mmm.
      Much depends also on how old your husband is. Forty is already considered to be one foot in the grave. Fifty you should be retired. And he’d better be white :-). So it’s no fun at all if you’re not a straight white male in your 30s.

      There is a huge difference in status between a permanent job (CDI) and a temporary one (CDD, which can legally be up to 2 years). If you’re going to stay a while, you definitely want to do your best to get a CDI, silly as it may seem since many temp jobs last longer than permanent ones in the US, if you see what I mean. But it’s a lot like tenure, the only way to get a permanent job is to have one already. So I’d strongly advise getting a job remotely and only then moving, it’s much less likely to happen in the other order. Skype interviews and such, visit if necessary, or just come for a jobhunting vacation when you’re far enough along to interview. Be aware that they can easily take 6 months to make up their minds after you think it’s in the bag. Many HR people justify their existence by idle interviewing, with no real intention to hire anyone.
      And if he’s moving to come along with you, NEVER admit this to anyone. The only job he could ever get then would be maybe in childcare :-)..

      PS: they do monster. For computer stuff, you must use lesjeudis.com

    • anon in Germany :

      Hey Lawlala, I am US born but an engineer educated in /working in Germany. If your husband is a professional engineer, even with a bachelor’s degree, he will have more luck having his degree recognized. The title isn’t common for most disciplines of engineering in the US, but if he “only” has a bachelor’s, it may be worth looking into while still in the US.

  4. Can anyone recommend a residential real estate lawyer in the DC area? My BFF is having ridiculous drama with a house that they were supposed to close on weeks ago, and has decided it is past time to bring in bigger guns…

  5. In House Counsel :

    Corporette mamas and mamas-to-be,

    Am looking for suggestions for where to pick up a couple pairs of maternity work pants as my regular clothing is getting tighter and I think its time to search for more comfy options. I’d liked this pair at the GAP ( http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=761853002&tid=gofr1r) but sadly they’re sold out in most sizes. Looking to the hive for suggestions on where to get a pair of black and grey pants to carry me thru the pregnancy at work. Thanks in advance!

    • The perfect boot pants from Gap were my go-tos – http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=6026&vid=1&pid=761851

      I also had some tweedy ones from Motherhood that looked good from afar and good enough up close, but no joke felt like PJs. If not the same these look really similar: http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?Product_Id=986240270&MasterCategory_Id=MC5
      I don’t know why more maternity pants don’t have a band like this, like a super-stretchy stocking rather something shorter and thicker that toward the end starts to hurt.

    • AppealingLawyer :

      I had a heck of a time finding maternity pants that fit me (most would fall down and sag too much). I ended up buying a pair of Eileen Fisher pants with an elastic waist in the regular department (not maternity) and they saw me through to the very end. There was also a black skirt too that had an elastic waist. I did the same with casual pants–I bought a pair of Lands End (I think they were called Starfish Pants) that sort of passed for something better than sweats and wore them everywhere I could.

      I had better luck with skirts and dresses and would recommend going that route.

    • I spent most of my 2 pregnancies in the Gap full panel modern boot pants. Loved, loved, loved them.

    • I love my AT Loft maternity pants! I ordered them in my regular size and both the fit and quality are great! I ordered work pants (black and tan pairs) and a pair of jeans and really couldn’t be happier. I also got a couple of pairs at Target and they are satisfactory. I did not like the quality or fit of the pants at Motherhood Maternity.

    • I got mine at JC Penney. Not the highest quality of course, but they came in talls (which was hard to find) and worked just fine for the few months that I wore them. I got both black and gray. They have sort of a medium panel with elastic on the waist, so it’s not the full panel that covers the entire belly.

    • a passion for fashion :

      pea in the pod worked best for me

    • Got a posting too fast error! Anyway, I liked pants from the brand Three Season Maternity. You can purchase them in various department stores and online. They are the only pants that lasted me my entire pregnancy. They have a demi panel and are adjustable on the inside.

    • I had some great cadeau maternity pants and japanese weekend pants and skirts. the jersey pants and skirts were great and I had a pair of Liz Lange pants from Target that were great too. Congratulations and have fun!

    • Anonymous :

      I just took some regular pants to the tailor and had a maternity panel sewn in ($35, YMMV). I did the same with my favorite jeans.

      Then again, I’m 5-11 and most maternity pants are not long enough for me.

    • Diana Barry :

      Pea in the Pod, I have 2, black and grey, with the “secret fit belly” (nice and stretchy, stays up!). Very comfy. Do go and try on though, since their return policy is horrific.

    • Kohl’s carries a maternity line that is fairly reasonable and associated with one of the big maternity stores, not remembering the name. I purchased a pair of black and grey pants with the tummy panel that lasted me the whole pregnancy.

    • I spent much of my pregnancy in a full panel charcoal gray pair of pants from Pea in the Pod. They were on the pricey side for maternity pants, but I wanted a pair that looked professional, and they lasted me from a few months in all the way to 41 weeks. I alternated those pants with a pair of black Olian maternity pants, which were the most comfy pants ever! I wore the gap jeans for my entire pregnancy, but wasn’t thrilled with the quality of their work pants. Congrats!

    • I loved my H&M maternity pants!! So comfy and great for work.

      • In House Counsel :

        Merci for all the suggestions! I have made a list and will attempt to hit some stores in search of these items.

  6. Los Angeles Meet Up On 4/1/12 :

    A group of us have organized a meet-up in Los Angeles on Sun. 4/1/12. If you are a So.Cal ‘rette or are planning to be in the area that day, save the date and join us for brunch! Email me at LosAngelesCorporette at yahoo dot com for deets. The more the merrier!

    • Los Angeles Meet Up on 4/1/12 :

      Incidentally, if any of you have organized/attended meet ups elsewhere and have tips, suggestions, or ideas for a good first time meet up experience, please share them with us!

    • Sounds great! This is my first meetup and I’d love some tips on anonymous etiquette. Should I email you from an anonymous email? Do we use our real names when we meet in person? Can we have a secret password? :) (OK, that last one, maybe the last two, were a joke … but seriously, what’s the protocol here?)


      • Los Angeles Meet Up On 4/1/12 :

        Whatever you feel most comfortable with is fine. If you want to be added to the email list (where everyone else will see your email address), and you’d rather remain anon, then consider setting up an anon email address just for meet up purposes and use that when you email me.

      • I hope this one is successful and happens again! I’ll be out of town that weekend, but would otherwise be there. Enjoy!

  7. Since we’ve had several housekeeping discussions this week: do you guys re-seal your bathroom tile? If so, how often? I have a vague recollection of being told to do this, but I’ve owned my condo 3 years and never have. Sounds like a serious project that will require the Homeless Depot. Ugh.

    • AppealingLawyer :

      I’ve never heard of resealing your tile, but I’ve heard of resealing your granite counter tops, which is supposed to be done once a year. It’s not hard but it’s a bit of a pain because you have to let it dry, etc. You should be able to find a spray bottle of sealant near the cleaning supplies.

    • what kind of tile do you have? I can see re-sealing making sense for more porous finishes (marble, granite, etc – as AppealingLawyer noted) – but for run of the mill porcelain I’ve never heard that advice.

    • I had tiled bathrooms and laundry room in my last house, and never did any re-sealing over eight years. Even after the very difficult dog stayed in the laundry room for a while, it didn’t seem to be a problem.

    • MissJackson :

      You might be thinking of re-grouting?

    • I remember being told that too! But I looked into it and pretty much every source I could find on the internet machine said it was silly.

    • I do think you’re supposed to re-seal your grout every so often if you want it to remain pure white or grey or whatever color it was originally. But I don’t do it and don’t know anyone who does.

    • I reseal the grout on the bathroom floor about every 2 years. It was tan and is now a bit darker, probably since I didn’t seal it often enough. The tile extends halfway up the walls and I don’t worry about them since they don’t get the same wear that the floor does.

    • i did it! :

      You can do this yourself, no problem. I am horrible with home improvement stuff and this is the one thing my husband will “allow” me to help him do to the house. It’s idiot-proof.

      You are supposed to re-seal your tile grout (the area between the actual tiles) every 1-3 years. For high-traffic areas, bathrooms which are used every day, or in areas that you use a lot of cleaning product, “they” (meaning our tile store, our independant tile installer, our carpet cleaner who just did a deep clean on our tiles too and a friend’s dad who is a contractor) say you are supposed to re-seal every year. That seems a bit excessive so I’ve put our high traffic areas on a 2-year schedule. Also, I’ve been hearing to extend your sealant, wash your floors with 1/2 the cleaner but with hot hot water.

      We just re-sealed our entry and kitchen flooring. Here is what I know. The sealant prevents water and dirt from settling in the grout (which is pourous). It’s just a thin coat of protectant so it wears out over time, which is why you have to re-seal it. If you use a lot of floor cleaner, it will increase the wear.

      To seal, (1) clean your tile floor really well (remember, any dirt left over or stains will be “sealed” in). To remove stains, take a very very fine sandpaper and lightly sand the stained grout. Be careful you don’t rub the sand paper on the tile… you don’t want to scratch it. (2) let the grout completely dry. (3) while drying, go to your local home improvement store. Find someone who knows about tile and tell them to hook you up with good quality grout sealing stuff. Sealant goes a super duper long way so unless you have a massive area, just get the smallest container they have. You will also need a tool which the person will find for you (if should be by the sealant. It’s essentially a black sponge thing on a stick but the sponge has just the right absorbtion and is slanted for easy application). Also pick up a small container you can use to pour the sealant into while working. A left over sour cream or cottage cheese container is perfect too. (4) pour a bit of sealant into your container (1/2 in deep for starters) (5) you will now essentially dab the sealant into the grout with the special sponge, like you are sponge painting the lines. More is better so don’t be skimpy. You want there to be enough to seep into exposed pores. Any sealant that gets on your tile will come off with wear and your next cleanign so don’t worry about wiping it off. The container will tell you the drying time. If your grout sucks up the sealant way faster than the stated drying time you may want to go over those areas again.

      It’s a bit back breaking but it doesn’t take long. For example, if you are talking about a standard bathroom, it will take you about 10 minutes.

      Good luck!

      • This is really helpful! Thank you. Thank goodness I have small bathrooms. Now off to the Homeless Depot. Fun weekend :)

        • My former contractor called it Home Cheapo. :)

          • My gay friends call it Homo Depot. One gay couple I know was propositioned for a threesome by the guy who was loading something in their car. Too funny.

  8. Is it time for another book thread? What are people currently reading?

    I’m reading Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth by Kristen Iverson. From a corporette perspective, I’m fascinated by the ways in which her fashion choices seem to be inextricably linked to her great success in politics/social reform.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Ooh – fun. I’m reading “Fever” by Lauren DeStephano. It’s the sequel to a book called “Wither,” which was amazing. But then again, I’m a sucker for sci-fi dystopias…

      • I read Whither last year, but was kind of neutral about it and haven’t decided if I want to pick up Fever, yet. How do you think it compares?

        I also love sci-fi dystopias, I’ve read The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson and Crossed by Alli Condle (sequel to my favorite of the dystopias that have come out in recent years- Matched) in the past few months.

        • Former MidLevel :

          I’m not that far into “Fever,” bu so far the best adjective I can think of to compare it to “Wither” is “grittier.”

          How did you like “Jenna Fox,” by the way? I keep going back and forth on whether I want to read it.

          • Hmm, I might like a grittier version of Whither. I liked Jenna Fox, it’s less dystopia and more sci-fi, and doesn’t have the pounding excitement of, say, Hunger Games, but the writing is better than most of the YA dystopias I’ve read, the ideas are very interesting, and the characters are very well-realized. I’d say it’s one of my favorites of the ones I’ve read, with the admission that I prefer character over plot and come at it from a sci-fi background.

          • Given that I’m currently writing a dystopia for adults, I’m THRILLED that I might have at least two readers (if I ever get published). Yay!

          • Former MidLevel :

            Matilda – Definitely let us know when (I’m going to be optimistic) your book gets published.

          • Former Midlevel, I can’t seem to actually reply to the comment I’m responding to, but I’ll definitely let you know!

        • I’m a fan as well, though Game of Thrones is eating all my reading time recently! I recently read “The Passage” by Justin Cronin. It was…really good, but really weird at the same time. I almost felt like he was trying to be too “oooh I’m so cool” about his writing but at the same time it really sucked me in. Anyone else read it? I’d be curious to know what you think.

          • “The Passage”! I am obsessed. I read it twice last year. It actually was better the second time. The sequel, “The Twelve”, is supposed to come out this year.

          • I just finished The Passage! I thought it was great, and can’t wait for the next one.

            I love the female characters.

            I’m normally pretty sensitive to authors who are full of themselves (or think I am), but didn’t feel that way about Passage. Maybe because I didn’t really talk to anyone about it or read anhing about it before I read it, so I don’t really view it as popular or trendy.

          • I don’t remember how I got it, the library probably, so I knew nothing about it. It was really good, as I said above it really sucked me in and I was sad I couldn’t get the sequel right. that. second. Good to know it’s coming out this year! Agreed on the female characters.

            I don’t know that I thought Cronin was full of himself as that there were a few times I was thinking “alright with the fabulous imagery already just tell me what the BLANK is really going on!!!” Then again, I think that being able to elicit that type of response is invaluable for a writer.

        • Hi Lynnet,

          Have you read Scott Westerfeld’s Pretties/Uglies/Specials/Extras series?
          Very dystopian and a fun, fast read.

          • No, I’ve been meaning to pick them up for a while, though. It keeps on slipping my mind when I’m actually at the library.

    • I just finished Matthew Pearl’s The Technologists. It’s fictional regarding disasters in the Boston area, but the people who solve it are from the first graduating class of MIT. 2 of the main characters (Ellen Swallow and Bob Richards) were real people. Ellen Swallow helped found the AAUW.

      Now I’m reading samples on my kindle to determine my next book.

    • Recently finished The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy – was a good read!

      Has anyone read The Night Circus? I have heard a lot of good reviews and wondered if I should make that my next one.

      • Former MidLevel :

        I *loved* “The Night Circus.” One caveat: If you don’t like non-linear storytelling, you might not like this.

        • Notalawyer :

          I thought it was overhyped. Read it for the images it puts in your mind, but not the plot. (There’s very little of that.)

    • I finally started The Girl Who Played With Fire this week. Hooray for quasi-mindless thrillers.

    • I just finished 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami today. It was good–definitely too long, and weird in both good and bad ways–but also very interesting. I love books that question/distort reality.

      • I love Murakami books, but agree that 1Q84 goes on too long. Have you tried Hard Boiled Wonderland? It’s my favorite Murakami novel.

    • Not fiction, but I’m reading Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of our Nature – How Violence Has Declined” and it is seriously one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. His enormously entertaining (while informative) style is great, and there are plenty of passages about medieval torture devices, cannibalistic tribes, and witch hunts to keep a historical/psychological piece interesting.

      Note: I may never actually finish it though, because it’s like, 800 pages long. But I really want to and keep getting sucked in, so that’s good!

      • P.S. – We should make a “Readers who Enjoy Corporette” Goodreads group. I love seeing what all of you ladies are reading.

        • anon in tejas :


        • Ask and ye shall receive!


          • Oops, I think you have to use this link:


          • Thank You! Now you will know my real name . . . but I kind of don’t care that much.

      • I thought this sounded interesting, but was worried it would be too dry. It’s definitely going on my list now!

        • There are some bits where he delves into the statistical analysis of his findings and explains/justifies the math behind them. I can understand that, because he wants the book to hold up to criticism so he has to cover his argumentative bases. It’s pretty easy to skim past those parts.

      • Hmm, might have to add to my list! Pinker’s “The Language Instinct” is one of my favorites of all time! I agree that his style is both entertaining and informative.

    • I’m reading Thirteen, by Richard K. Morgan. Fantastic, hyper-violent hard sci-fi, if you like that sort of thing (which I do).

    • On the non-fiction front, I just finished two books:
      1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, by Charles C. Mann
      A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves, by Jane Gross

      I have 33 samples on my Kindle to look through for my next book. I’m hoping to get 3 or 4 worth buying out of that stash.

      Oh, and speaking of Kindles and samples: Amazon keeps absolutely no record of the free sample chapters you download, so if something happens to your physical device, you lose them all. My Kindle screen cracked, and Amazon replaced the device for free, but I lost all my samples. Obviously, I was able to find 33 more, but it still sucked.

      • Ooh, I wasn’t aware of 1493. I loved 1492. I’ll have to add this to my reading list!

        • There’s a 1491 as well! 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. It’s in my sample pile. I figure I don’t have to read them in order, because I know how the series ends.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m currently reading middlesex, by jeffrey eugenides. i found it a little tougher to get into than the marriage plot, but after about 100 pages it started to hook me. i probably would have given up if i hadn’t liked the marriage plot so much.

      i am a dedicated steven king fan and recently finished 11/22/63. i found it very difficult to put down, and for a 700ish page book it was a very fast read.

      • Tra la la :

        Middlesex is one of my favorite novels. I hope you like it. I found it fascinating.

        • anon in Texas :

          it’s a million years better than the marriage plot! my favorite!

      • Loved Middlesex, and Eugenides’ flowing beautiful writing style. But, had awfully difficult time with the Marriage Plot.

      • Oh i liked middlesex! And I’m currently reading 11/22/63 and LOVE it. So good! (and I’m not a stephen king fan, generally).

      • OMG I love “Middlesex”! I have probably read it 5 times. I’m jealous that you are reading it for the first time :)

        I also liked “The Marriage Plot,” although I didn’t find the characters as sympathetic.

      • Loved Middlesex! I just got 11/22/63 and The Marriage Plot from the library last week. Finished 11/22/63 already. It was good, but after I was done I was a bit disappointed. Starting the Marriage Plot this weekend, as soon as I finish The Tempest for a book group.

      • PharmaGirl :

        I downloaded Middlesex and read a few pages only to realize I’ve read it before. Wah wah. That sure ruined my commute.

    • I’m reading the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn. I’m hoping to finish those over the weekend and then get stuck into some Hemingway.

      • Backgrounder :

        I’m reading A Dance with Dragons, GoT FTW!

        • I’m reading A Storm of Swords! I get them on my nook from the library so I sometimes have to wait for AGES to get the next one but I actually just took off my request for A Feast for Crows because I was 1st on the list (which meant I would get it within 3 weeks). I only have 2 weeks to get through all 1000+ pages so I’m on a reading binge right now! :-)

          • I am also reading A Dance with Dragons! I just started watching the HBO series as well… Consider me hooked! Although I hate it when the characters don’t look the way I’ve pictured them.

        • Barrister in the Bayou :

          Awesome! I love the entire series, I want to reread the first 2 before HBO’s GoT comes back in April!

          • I still haven’t seen HBO’s version, I just started hearing the buzz and then there must have been a wormhole or something because I looked for the first book online at the library and it was available so I downloaded and started reading immediately. I think for #2 I was number 15 on the wait list before I finally got to read it.

            Once I finish the series I’ll probably Hulu plus or Amazon Prime or Netflix the series :-)

        • anon for this :

          So good! Glad our little A Song of Ice and Fire corner is gaining some new members :)

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Another Game of Thrones fan… re-reading and amazed at the detail I was oblivious to the first time around….

          • Divaliscious11 :

            And Potter! I cried when Dobby died and cheered when Molly fought Bellatrix!!! (difficult to post from work so I am late to the party these days!)

        • P.S. I am STILL (remember, I’m in book 3 now) pissed at what Ned did re: Lady during the trip to the capitol. Even though for the first two books I pretty much despised Sansa as well. She’s growing on me now.

          • I’m getting to the end of book 4. It’s odd how perception of characters changes. I kind of like Jaime now.

    • I am reading the Stand by Stephen King. About halfway through and so far so good. I am a big fan of Stephen King!

      • Hey, me too! It is a lonnggg book though. I had to take a break and read something light after a stressful week, but now I’m back into it.

      • i mentioned above that i love king – the stand is one of my favorites. i should reread it soon, but (as i’m sure you know) it’s a serious project. excellent, excellent book, though.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I just finished Outlander and I loved it; there was a lot of lovin’ going on, but the story was right up my alley. I’m pretty sure I’m going to read the rest because I’m somewhat compulsive when it comes to a series of books; I generally have to read all of them.

      I also finished (on audiobook) His Majesty’s Dragon and Throne of Jade. I have to thank the Corporette that recommended HMD!!! I’m going to listen to the entire series.

      The next book on deck is World War Z.

      • Backgrounder :

        I liked Outlander too. Dragonfly in Amber was pretty good as well. Voyager has been in my reading “queue” forever! Need to finally read it :)

      • I just finished the new bio of Steve Jobs, and now I’m reading another non-fiction book about the introverted personality type called Quiet (author is a Harvard Law grad and former transactional lawyer in NYC).

      • Love His Majesty’s Dragon. I devoured the first three, but somehow missed the fact that there were more until my most recent trip to B&N, so I’ll be getting the rest of them soon. So so so good.

      • I have Tongues of Serpents on cd in my car, but I haven’t started it yet.

      • I’m reading a Throne of Jade right now! I figured I’d be alone.

      • Outlander….awesome. You have a year or so to read all of them so you are ready for the next one coming out. Diana gabaldons blog is fun to read -you can connect with it on Fb.

        I just finished the latest jd Robb In Death book….and then read memoirs of a geisha (guess I need to watch the movie now).

      • I loved World War Z and have told everyone I know about it! I am kind of jealous you are going to be starting it fresh.

    • I am re-reading The Two Towers for about the 10th time, and supplementing that with The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt.

      • Nonny, since your comment a few weeks (?) ago, every time I see your username I remember how excited I am to see The Hobbit and it brightens up my day. That is all.

        • Oh, thank you Portia! That is so nice. I have been trying to come up with a better username and maybe it should be Hobbit-related. :-)

    • Just finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – really loved it and highly recommend it. Now I’m reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein.

      • Another great one!

        I just finished “The Remains of the Day,” which I thought was good but not amazing.

        Tomorrow I’m off to the library to pick up “Believing the Lie,” by Elizabeth George. Historically I love her books, but I have heard lukewarm reviews of this one.

        Luckily I have a long list to tackle once I’m done!

      • I’m reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter too! I’m enjoying it a lot but it’s more like a fun magazine article than the fool-proof how-to manual I was irrationally hoping for, heh.

    • I’m reading Swamplandia! right now, and have gotten completely sucked in.

      For you fantasy/sci fi people — I just finished the third (and most recent) volume of Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles, and cannot recommend the series enough!

      • Swamplandia! is so good. I can’t wait for the author to come out with more books.

    • I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse series a couple of weeks ago and I’m on Dead as a Doornail – book 5, I think? I see why so many people enjoy them! I can’t always stand reading so many books in a row by the same author, but I’m not having any trouble with this series.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      A friend just sent me I Totally Meant to Do That by Jane Borden, which is about a southerner in New York. I started it this afternoon, and it’s going to be a quick read. Entertaining so far, though.

      But before that package interrupted me, I was in the middle of reading The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley for the umpteenth time

      • I love Mists of Avalon. So much. About once a year go back and reread my favorite parts.

    • I’m reading Wool – Omnibus by Hugh Howey. Incredible dystopian science fiction, will probably win the Hugo award this year.

    • Just finished “Bond Girl,” which turned out to be not worth it — though reading it made me wonder what other Corporettes thought/would think of it! It’s about a young woman working the trading floor of a large (fictional) investment bank just prior to the 2008 crash. I thought it would offer some interesting/insider observations about the financial bust, but it was basic chick lit. And unfortunately, not very entertaining or well-written chick lit (especially compared to Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella’s “Undomestic Goddess” or my gold standard, “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” I’ve decided to read Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short” to try to get that insider perspective instead. I loved “Moneyball” the movie, so that book is on the next-to read list too.

      Just before that, I read P.D. James’ “Death Comes to Pemberley.” I love P.D. James, and I love Austen, but I wasn’t sure the mashup/pastiche would work. I did like it, very much. I won’t rank it as one of my very, very favorite James novels (Taste for Death and Devices and Desires, probably), but it’s her excellent writing and excellent plotting.

  9. Oh.so.tired. :

    Hi ladies! The hubby and I are going to Philidelphia this weekend. We’ll be staying in downtown. Any recs for where ti go and what to see? We alreadt plan on seeing independence hall/ liberty bell. Also any recs for places to eat on a budget?

    • there was a thread on this on Feb. 24 TPS report – if you google site:c*rporette(d0t)com [trying to avoid moderation] and Kanella, the thread should pop up. I’ll repeat one part of advice here – BYOB restaurants are a great way to stretch your dollar for a nice dinner!

    • Eat at Reading Terminal! They have everything under the sun, at good prices. (More of a lunch food court then a sit down dinner, but definitely a Philly experience. Have fun!)

    • If you’re going to be around Independence Hall for lunch, check out Eulogy on 2nd and Chestnut. Great Belgian place with beer, burgers and mussels.

    • The Mutter Museum!

  10. Chafing thighs :

    Ladies, I’ve spend my entire life in pants and jeans because I have fat thighs. I’m not fat, but my thighs rub together and chafe making skirts and dresses very uncomfortable to wear (I walk a lot, no car, big city, etc). Is there a solution for this (other than Spanx because that’s too hot in the summer)? I would love to wear skirts this summer and look like a lady.
    Thank you.

    • Body Glide, which runners use to prevent chafing. It’s similar to a deodorant stick and is scent-free.

    • Something like this is a life saver:


      • Yes to both suggestions above. I carry most of my weight in my legs/hips, and I use both options. I will say: with body glide products, I usually carry a stick in my purse for long days, as I sometimes (not always) have issues with its longevity. This could have to do with how thorough I am in my application, however.

        • Body glide also helps with leather shoes chafing on your feet (on the rare occasion I have to wear shoes with no hose) if you have that problem, as I do.

          • Genius! Thanks! I always always wear hose with my shoes when I’m wearing a skirt, but am very guilty of not wearing them (or knee highs) under pants. I’ll have to try this trick.

    • Chafing thighs :

      addendum – I’ve tried wearing gym-type shorts under my skirts at the suggestion of a friend, but those just bunched up around my cr**ch and made it even more uncomfortable.

      • Gym shorts are too heavy. The things I linked to above are essentially a slip, but in short form.

        Body glide also works amazingly well.

    • Boy-shorts underwear?

      • not boyish :

        My experience is that full booty and full thighs do not agree with boy shorts. They ride up in strange ways, bunch up in the crotch, and create giant wedgies.

        • Clearly the wrong boy shorts! Try another brand. I’ve switched 100% and I have all that in spades :-).

        • Try Maidenform boyshort 40760. Only kind I have found that don’t ride up. I have a very wide but flat bottom and full thighs.

    • Fellow Big-Thigher :

      I use a combination of baby powder and really, really cheap “mineral” face powder (so that the overall powder color is about my skin color and it won’t show up) and I use a powder puff and container to put it on in the morning, and then I use an old face mineral powder container with a face brush (like the big, poufy ones) in my purse and if the chafing start again I will use the ladies room during the day and pull it out and powder my thighs. It works for hours at a time – on a summer day, I will do it in the morning and maybe reapply twice before 8PM.

      It seems SO intimate to post this here, but I have a feeling I’m not alone. I can’t run in shorts or anything because of the chafing. I learned this method from my great-grandmother when I was a little girl, and now that I’ve grown into a replica of her body shape I’m so thrilled to have been taught this lesson. Evidently, when women all work skirts/dresses all the time in the South, this was a regular part of the ritual for those with power thighs.

      • Merabella :

        My granny also taught me this, and it was reinforced by my mom. I agree that it works wonders. PSA – don’t use talc! Bad for your body, links to cancer and all that.

    • So, I swear I don’t normally watch Oprah (though I am totally tivo-ing the Bobbi Christina interview this Sunday and have nothing against her) … but I remember watching once and Oprah said that she cuts her pantyhose off above the knee and wears with summer dresses to prevent chaffing. The bonus is you get to repurpose your hose if you snagged them, etc. Not sure why, but it’s been like 10 years and this has stuck with me.

      • MissJackson :

        This probably works, but only for the not-very-extreme cases. As someone who used to be quite heavy and who is naturally blessed with large thighs and a pelvic angle that all-but-guarentees chaffing, I can tell you that pantyhose can actually make things less comfortable for more extreme cases of chaffing. Plus, I feel like they would ride up?

        The “pettipants” are probably the most full-proof solution, with BodyGlide being a runner-up.

      • God, the only thing MORE uncomfortable to bare-legged chafing is pantyhose digging into my thighs. I cannot even imagine suffering in pantyhose in 100 degree weather.

    • Sorry if double posts — bike shorts, body glide and deodorant all help me in the swampy summers.

      • I'm Just Me :

        Not bike shorts, but Target has a line of fake Spanx that are lighter weight and not as suck-it-in. They are more streamlining and can take the place of a slip. They are in a bluish package and are called something like waist to thigh slimmers. Bike shorts are so heavy.

    • Grr — put in a comment and it got eaten by the dreaded “posting comments too quickly” fiend.

      Chafing Relief Powder Gel by Monistat, available at most drug stores in the feminine products section. It is my BFF. My thighs have chafed my entire life, from size 8 to size 16 and everywhere in between. This has been a lifesaver.

    • I just wear bike shorts under all my dresses. I like the heat gear ones from UnderArmour and the equivalent knockoff by Target’s C9 line. Body Glide is good if you aren’t doing serious walking but it won’t stand up to hours of walking.

      By the way, the proper term for what you describe is “chub rub” and it’s extremely common.

      • Ew, first I hate that “term.” Some people rub without any chub. It all depends on the angle of the pelvis, the musculature of the legs, etc…

        Re: Body Glide, ymmv but I used it for a marathon and it worked great. Applied once at the beginning and had to grab the vaseline on a stick at around mile 22, so it lasted about 22 miles of running. My time overall was just over 5 hours, so I would say it lasted over 4 hours.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m also of the thunder-thighs persuasion and also recommend body glide (get one to keep at your desk so you can reapply, because it doesn’t last forever).

    • I think Spanx makes a version that is much lighter weight than their regular version – maybe called Skinny Britches, if I recall correctly (Spanx site is blocked at work or I would confirm for you!)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I have these, and they are somehow less comfortable than the regular spanx. I can’t figure out why. Maybe they dig into my waist more than the regular ones since they’re not as thick?

    • I wear inexpensive Spandex shorts that I get at Target. Works perfectly to eliminate chafing, but doesn’t smush you in as much as Spanx and is therefore much more comfortable.

    • I swear by these shorts-things from Uniqlo – they’re like spanx shorts but less constricting. I’d say they’re halfway between spanx and bike shorts. They are breathable and cheap too! I stock up when in NYC because I think that’s the only city in the US that has a Uniqlo store.


    • I use unscented Lady Speedstick because I already have it in my drawer. Does the trick.

    • I use spanxlike things in a variety of thicknesses and materials, or just summer hose (10 denier).

  11. Vactioning in Sin? :

    Yay, Weekend Thread! This week’s been dragging on forever…so glad it’s here!

    Any advice on how to handle comments on “living in sin” (or in my case, going on vacation with on your boyfriend)?

    My really awesome boyfriend took me on an incredible weeklong Hawaiian vacation recently. The trip was a combined Christmas/birthday gift from him.

    A lot of the senior people I work with came into town this week, and during a cocktail hour, a few asked about my trip. One woman asked if I’d gone with my family and I said no, I’d gone with my boyfriend. She laughed and then said, “Oh, well let’s just call it what it is then – living in sin!” in front of a group of about 6 people. I was definitely taken aback and not sure how to respond, especially because we don’t live together (yet). I just kind of laughed along with her and fortunately someone else recognized the awkward moment and jumped in to ask about the helicopter ride we took.

    Any idea how to respond to those types of statements or judgments about living/cohabitating/vacationing with a boyfriend? We will be moving in together this summer and we both definitely want to marry each other. However, I just turned 24 years old and am in no great hurry to tie the knot, so there will likely be a period of one to two years before any rings enter the picture and I’m sure there may be a few of these types of comments in my future. They definitely make me uncomfortable, as I don’t like the thought of having to justify anything to my colleagues, nor do I enjoy the feeling of being judged for the decisions I make in regards to my relationship.

    It may also be worth nothing that I am the youngest in my group of 15+ employees by about 3-4 years and I am the only unmarried member of the team. I live in California but the women in question is from the South, and my group is scattered geographically across the country.

    Help please?

    • How bizarre. Did this happen in 1942? Personally, I would say it’s not even worth responding to. Her issue, not yours.

      • My thought exactly – time warp.
        If this was someone out of work, I’d tend to say something like ‘hell yes! don’t you wish you were?”.
        But work.. You’re saying this is a senior person you work -with-? Not someone directly over you? Not someone likely to ever be over you? Then you did the right thing by laughing, that’s the only possible retort. Hopefully she’s the only one to feel that way. But do try to avoid her if at all possible. And quit if they try to transfer you under her for some reason.

    • Living "in sin" longer than most marriages last :

      What I want to say: “She’s from the South. Ignore her.”

      What you should say, “How ’bout those Dodgers.”

      • Hey now. We’re not all like that!

        She was completely out of line and, I would venture to say, diminished herself in the eyes of all of your coworkers. Hold your head high and vacation on, sister.

    • That is so weird. I lived with my husband for about 8 years before getting married, and I don’t recall anyone ever saying anything like that to me!

      If it seems like she was just trying to make a joke (however uncomfortable and awkward as it is), I would just acknowledge the statement with a look of surprise, and change the topic. If I felt like that person really was making a judgment about my life, I would probably have said something like, “Yes, and we’re having quite a lot of s*x.”

    • Whaa? I would’ve been speachless too. I highly doubt this will ever come up again. If it does, I would just give her a funny look like she just told you, unsolicited, that she likes pink unicorns who eat oatmeal at snacktime and then say “so, as I was saying, we took this insane helicopter ride, blah blah blah”.

    • Laura Holt :

      Yeah, this is so weird. As someone who currently lives in California, I would agree living together before marriage for a couple years is extremely common and its definitely much more atypical to wed without ever living together. These kind of weird comments don’t really demand a response and I would just ignore her completely and act as if she didn’t say anything. If you have to interact with her again and she keeps making comments and making you uncomfortable, I guess you could say something like “My living situation is not really your concern.” Personally, I would just ignore her.

    • Honestly, I’ve just chosen to ignore these types of comments. I can’t believe a co-worker would say something like that and would probably be quite taken aback if ever someone I worked with commented so openly on my personal life, especially in front of other co-workers. However, as a GRITS (Girl Raised in the South) I’ve received many, many comments from family members and strangers back home about my “living in sin” with my boyfriend- although most people choose slightly “nicer” phrases.

      If the person is someone I don’t know well or don’t have to interact with often I will ignore the comment completely. The idea is to just to ignore the issue and not encourage any further discussion. Sort of like that post the other day (yesterday?) about dog training and ignoring behaviors you do not like (it really did work by the way with our greyhound and his whining). If its my mother or someone I’m closer to, I tell them in a nice way that I really don’t appreciate that kind of statement regarding my personal business.

      For a co-worker type situation my advice is the first time someone says something, ignore it and move the conversation along as if nothing was said. If it comes up again I’d talk to them in private or go to HR- depending on how comfortable you are with the issue, person, etc. And if I was really feeling ballsy I’d make a somewhat pointed joke about how old-fashioned (read: just plain old) they must be to harbor such notions in the first place.

      • I have been working a long, long time and am amazed at what people think they can/should say. I have been much happier since I adopted a “mostly ignore it” approach. Especially with a senior person, you just can’t win and you don’t really want to draw attention to what she is saying. Here’s my technique: I look mildly puzzled, say “mm-hmm,” and plow right ahead as if the words were not spoken. Now, if you dis one of my friends (or gay bash or whatever), I will be all over you, but that’s different.

      • Try: “What IS it with your generation?”

    • job hunting :

      I’ve gotten comments like that. I say it’s one of MANY sins if you’re counting.

    • Anonymous :

      It was a joke from an older woman. No one was judging you, she was commenting on you being young and having a romantic, sexy getaway with your man. No biggie. Really.

      • That’s how I would interpret it, too. She was probably more expressing a little jealousy then anything (Not in a “anyone who says something negative must be jealous” sort of way, but a “Ah, I remember when I was young and free” sort of thing.)

        But, either way, so what? Do you think that what you’re doing is sinful? Then, assuming she really does think that, you two respectfully disagree. She’s not the arbitrator of what is and is not sin in your life, so it absolutely doesn’t matter what she thinks.

    • If it happens again — coming from her or someone else at work — I’d just say something flippant and maybe partly double-entendre, like: “Oh, yes. Haven’t you heard? *Everyone’s* doing it.”

      • And agree that this is really weird. I honestly don’t think I know anyone in my circle of friends who are married/RDP who didn’t live together — and at the very least take vacations together! — before getting married.

  12. JCrew loving ladies – can someone tell me more about the Tippi sweater? I really hate going to the store near me so I’m hoping ya’ll can answer my questions.

    1. Is there a uniboob effect since its crew neck?
    2. Think this is something you can wear 3/4 seasons? I hear sweater and think thick knit winter wear, but it looks perfect to go under suits.


    • 1. Not for me, but I have very little boob to uni.
      2. Yup. It’s pretty thin, definitely not thickly-knit winter-wear.

      Welcome to the Tippi bandwagon, L!

    • Goosebumpy :

      Just got one in the mail yesterday. I’m actually debating whether or not I want to keep it since it’s quite thin (almost like a heavy t-shirt, except somewhat see-through). I like the fit, though–the crewneck is a little lower-cut than some crewneck styles, so you get some collarbone in there (which I love). And I’m small-chested and had no problems with the fit on my ladies.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I have a Tippi sweater and love it! It does not give you a uniboob — it has a very flattering fit and looks great under a jacket or blazer. It is thin enough to wear all year (I am in California). If you want the same cut but in cotton, get the Jackie, which I also love.

      On that subject, I am reposting a question from an earlier thread. Does anyone have any experience with the J Crew factory store sweaters? They have an online deal for the Thalia sweater, which seems similar to the Tippi and Jackie, but is only $49.50. I am hesitant to order without knowing whether this is far inferior quality to store merchandise like the Tippi. Has anyone had experience with this?

      • phillygirlruns :

        to socal gator: no experience with the thalia sweater, but the factory jackie cardigans i’ve bought are definitely not as substantial and do not hold their shape as well as their retail counterparts. i’m heading to a crewlet next weekend and will let you and the rest of the hive know if i’m able to check the thalia out instore.

        to L, the op: i own four tippi sweaters. it is one of the only crewneck sweaters i’ve been able to find that doesn’t give a uniboob effect and that’s flattering on my larger chest. i also have two of the online-only v-neck merino sweaters, which are the same knit and general cut of the tippi. i wear them under jackets easily and will probably wear them all four seasons, commute permitting.

        • I like the fit of my Tippi, but it hasn’t held up very well. I bought it this fall. It’s already pilled quite a bit and started to look shabby.

  13. Blatantly trolling for good wishes for my 1/2 marathon on Sunday! :) Hoping to beat my pre-babies(!) time.

  14. Happy Weekend! I finally got “the” skirt delivered last night. Sadly, I think I am in the “not for me” camp. And I so wanted to love it!!! I am going to hang on to it a few days just to make sure I wasn’t disappointed by my high expectations.

    My problems are basically that it manages to make me look both frumpy and too sexy for work. The material is indeed substantial but it’s still a pencil skirt and maybe I just need my pencil skirts to be wool or similar, or at least to not drape my posterior quite so closely (for what it’s worth my SO loved it!!)… Also, even though I sized down, it still managed to be the tiniest bit too big — not so big that a size smaller would help (and it would probbaly make my rear end look even more scandalous) but big enough that it sits low on my hips and is, thus, too long. Maybe I need petites?? Anyway, I am going to play dress up with it this weekend and see if I can figure out a solution but just wanted to report back. It is very well made so I can see why y’all love it.

    And, also, for those of you that are in the LOVE IT camp — the red clay and green grove colors are on clearance at Nordstrom Rack for $25 (size 2 and 10 only). Enjoy!

    • Merabella :

      I have both the petite and regular sizes of the skirt. I personally like where the petite hits on my leg better. I’m 5’5″ so not technically petite. I also have a booty. Hope this helps.

      • This is good to know. I wore mine yesterday for the first time as well, and I like it but I think a petite would be better.

    • But frumpy and sexy hits right in the wheel house of frumpskank that we are all striving to achieve, right? :-)

      • It’s frumpy from the front and sexy in the back — it’s like the mullet of skirts on me!

        • Oh….an angel just got her manolos (because that was a spit-take moment).

        • Geriatricia :

          That was how it fit me, too. (I think we have similar body types — I am 5’4, curvy/hourglass.) I believe I ordered it in two sizes and petite and regular (so four versions) and they all looked fat/lumpy in the front, bootylicious in the back. And my hips looked really wide.

          • Oh good god, I am so glad I am not alone in that. I literally had a little bit of a low self esteem moment last night (not helped by the fact that I was trying it on post-a few beers and tator tots). I was going to order the petite, but maybe I will save myself the trouble now. Our bodies do sound similar; I am so glad it’s not just me :)

          • Same here, it gave me a pouch in the front and scandelous in the back.

          • Napoleon, give me some of your tots.

        • “mullet of skirt” – BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I am so stealing this one, AIMS!

    • Since you brought up The Skirt….has anyone successfully washed theirs? I know the tag says “dry clean only,” but I’m nervous to try. If so, did you machine wash or hand wash?

      • meant to say “I know the tag says “dry clean only,” *so* I’m nervous to try.

      • I have not but will be watching this for people who have!

      • MissJackson :

        I recently bit the bullet and threw my moss green version in the wash – machine, gentle cycle. I laid flat to dry, and it looks like new. Definitely will not be dry cleaning these ever again.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yes. Gentle cycle, hang dry. It’s fine.

    • I didn’t know we were allowed to speak against The Skirt, but it also didn’t work for me.

      My position is officially that The Skirt doesn’t work for everyone, and I am unanimous in this. Call me a strumpet if you must.

      • TROLLOP!!!!

      • Oops – I guess I broke the commandment!

      • It didn’t work for me either … I have much better luck with the JCrew No. 2 pencil skirt. The length and fabric weight are perfect for my body. Sadly, it’s pricier than The Skirt.

        • MissJackson :

          Yeah, I vastly prefer the JCrew No. 2 also. I have narrow hips but not a small waist, which is pretty much perfect for the No. 2.

          I have several of The Skirt because at $33 on sale and a great color palette, it’s hard to pass up, but The Skirt makes my (proportionately small) hips look weirdly big. It’s not my favorite.

          • Me too — small hips, thicker through the middle. The JCrew Skirt alternative is a better fit.

      • Barrister in the Bayou :


      • I thought we agreed I was a strumpet. But I like slattern and strollop too.

        • I mean trollop. A strollop is a trollp & slattern who can’t spell.

          • Put that trollop in a skirt with a pattern and it makes her a slattern with a dollop of fashion! ;-)

          • Susan, more fairies are wearing expensive shoes now :-)

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        @mamabear: You’ve all done very well! *falls over*

      • Frump Strumpet! Mullet Slattern!

      • Is a strumpet a little like a crumpet? Coz I like those.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        The Skirt doesn’t work for me either. J.Crew No. 2 Pencil all the way.

    • I just got mine in the mail, and have the same situation… It was just a little too clear about the shape of my derriere. However, my roommate thinks that’s just how pencil skirts are *supposed* to fit. (She is of a similar body type—relatively thin, but curvy—and her tailored skirts fit her that way.)

      So I guess this is a larger question: How are pencil skirts supposed to fit on ladies with curves? The models they show in those “how office clothes should look” photo galleries are always size 0s, so I just got the impression that anyone larger just shouldn’t be wearing them at all.

  15. Semi-regular poster going anon for this one….

    In light of the recent what-threadjacks-do-you-skip convo, are there posters who you skip? IN NO WAY am I suggesting you name names (please don’t), but I just think it’s interesting (and very real-life-y) that I see comments from certain posters and, admittedly, roll my eyes. Obviously, no one gets a long with everyone, so I just think it’s interesting that that remains true online. I also wonder, if due to the recent political convos, if this is more true than ever for some of us…

    • Oh no! Its ME isn’t it. I knew it Anon — I KNEW IT.


      • secret for this :

        Ha I have started skipping a lot of your posts, but not in I hate you way or anything! I’ve just started skipping all the inside jokes (blue nail/hair elastic/frumpskank/hugs!!) posts. I use this site more for advice/information than community building, but appreciate how great it is that others use it differently. (so I use it like a lady wikipedia rather than a facebook)

        I’ve also started skipping some posters who have been going through tough times lately for the same reasons. I give advice when I can but I tend to get overly internet involved so have stopped skipping any really down complaining threads. (but again, appreciate that they are getting support)

        • Half the time I don’t even know what I’m talking about anyway, so skip away. :-) haha.

          • secret for this :

            you are usually very witty- I just tend to be scanning so I skip one or two liners

        • Lady Wikipedia is one for the ages. You’ve now violated your own rule by creating another inside joke!

      • I’m the opposite and have an internet crush on TCFKAG. I’ll be skipping a whole section of comments that I find uninteresting but if I see you commenting in it, I stop to make sure I’m not missing anything good!

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        no worries, TCFKAG — I would read for your comments alone! :)

        • secret for this :

          Hope I made it clear that I don’t skip her because I find her annoying or anything, just was commenting on the way I use the site.

          • Don’t worry secret for this…you can say mean things about me all the time if I’m going to get this much positive reinforcement (and I totally didn’t take it that way, I’m just joking around with you…which luckily you might not read…so yay!)

          • secret for this :

            now I’m wracked with guilt so will be reading everything you write twice to allievate the guilt :)

            I meant it more as a commentary on how I use the site but I reget using a commentator by name.

          • HUGS!!!!

            (I actually have no idea what this is reference to, but since you referenced it.)

        • Just FYI y’all — I showed my husband this thread last night — he gave me a Look (you know the one) and said “I think you spend too much time on that website”). :-)

          • he is WRONG, tell him to leave you alone, because we think you spend just enough time on this website! ;o)

    • Well now you’re going to have to name names.

    • MissJackson :

      I don’t skip particular posters. I do occasionally eye roll, but that doesn’t keep me from reading!

    • Always a NYer :

      I don’t really judge anyone based on their political leanings. That said, there have been discussions that I’ve gone anon to answer when I’ve leaned to one side of the spectrum ;)

    • There are a few posters who annoy me, but I usually read their comments specifically because I want to know what annoying things they are posting. Probably not the best tactic, but there it is.

      • I think this is called hate-reading. And I do it too, not for commenters but for entire blogs.

        • secret for this :

          oh god. I hate read so bad

        • Hate-reading! Hilarious.

        • I hate-read the Popular page on Pinterest. See my prior rant on creepy baby pictures.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          Haha I hate read feministing (and I actually consider myself a feminist), I just find it hilarious/overblown/sad. I think I sort of hate/love read gawker.

    • Anon for this :

      Of course there are posters who some of us read more than others (as evidenced by the fact that we all care about different things from yesterday).

      But why are we posting about it? Is this high school?

    • Makeup Junkie :

      I skip Ellen and all the inside jokes too

    • SF Bay Associate :

      * mentally lighting a candle for Shayna *

      • I wonder if she is still around posting under another name.

        • I’ve thought about that too, but I actually doubt it. Remember when “75” came back as “Parisienne”? It was obvious. The most colorful posters out themselves even when they try incognito–they can’t help it.

      • Nice one.

        She was on Jezebel for a while after going all “Goodbye, cruel world!” from this site. But I think she got banned for some choice privilege-denying comments. (Of course, getting banned from Jezebel these days is almost a badge of honor, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.)

  16. I’m gonna continue “shopping” today because I am a masochist. If anyone would like to join me, I will be cruising the new DSW on 34th, Famous Footwear, Macy’s and maybe H&M and Old Navy. I don’t think I’ll be going east of 6th Ave. I’m the lady in navy who will stubbornly keep the hood of her coat on her head indoors.

    • hellskitchen :

      I might run into you at the new DSW. I had forgotten it opened on March 8 and walked by it last evening on the way to a work event. It took all my willpower to not heed the siren song and walk in right then. But I can’t hold it off any longer.

    • So glad to know there’s a new DSW on 34th! I always get lost trying to find the one in Union Square (I always think I know where it is, then do something wrong). Just heard that my grant project will be meeting in NYC in the fall. My favorite time to visit!

    • In my new-this-year location I have to drive about 30 minutes to get to a DSW, but I’ve been seeing their commercials with their fab wedges (although I don’t like wedges, I once rolled my ankle at Grand Central Station DC and almost fell all the way down the spiral-ish staircase, sending me carooming into guy-I-liked-who-didn’t-like-me and I think he actually believed I did it on purpose.) and when they get to the part in the commercial where the one chick asks the other chick “where’d you get those shoes?” I always yell out “DSW!!!”

      Thank god I watch tv alone or with the deaf 95 year old. Geez.

      • That’s too cute. DSW was always out of the way for me before, so I’m hoping this new location has a good stock.

  17. So happy the weekend is almost here because it has been one he*l of a week! UGH!

    Had a paralegal just walk out on our very small firm without any notice. She left huge stacks of documents with very unhelpful sticky notes on them. And now everyone is going through her desk to find out what she was actually doing and all of her unfinished work is being placed on me to get done, get extensions, etc.!

    Got a call from my firm today at 8:00 a.m. ( I had just got out of the shower) letting me know I had to be in court at 8:30 a.m. because another attorney had double booked his scheduled. So, I showed up with no case file, no background knowledge of the case, no anything! Booo!

    The owner and lead attorney of the firm is on vacation.

    And I am on my period.

    Okay done venting! Thanks!

    • It’s the same time of the month for me. I’ve had migraines all week and I’ve slipped and fallen twice this week.

      Today I arrived to discover the reports that should have run from 6pm yesterday on didn’t run. They were just queued on the server so more and more kept joining the queue. One of my team is out sick and the other is on vacation.

      Cancelled jobs repeatedly. Finally had the server rebooted. The reboot took an hour and a half. Spent the rest of the day restarting all the jobs – about 100 – and monitoring them, as well as fielding questions about the missing reports and issuing apologies.

      Bright side: got kudos from the Director and the AVP (my boss is out, too) for handling the situation and sending out appropriate emails. Also, I’m leaving in 15 minutes (missed lunch and my gym class) and I’m dining with my family, including the adorable nieces and my baby nephew. My sister-in-law will have a big glass of wine waiting for me when I arrive.

    • Ok, that’s a rough week! Next week HAS to be better, right??

    • ugh, this has been a HORRIBLE week for me, too! I have decided it is a combination of the full moon, the massive solar storm, and the Ides of March coming early… Me and my coworkers have gotten called out by colleagues on group emails for allegedly doing things wrong (when we weren’t), there is inter-office drama, I stumbled over myself and sounded like a complete idiot on my 6am call this morning, I have WAY more work to do in the next two weeks than I could ever possibly do, even if I worked 24 hours a day, I have a business trip coming up i am completely freaking about, and I have two major work deadlines happening simultaneously, immediately after my trip. I have barely slept in two days, and I doubt i will get much sleep all the way up to my trip. …..

      so yeah, you are not alone, craziness up in the house…. but thanks for creating venting space I could hijack!!

    • EPICALLY BAD WEEK — hope you have a relaxing weekend, and YAY for this week being over!

    • Had 11 (consolidated to 8) motions in limine due today by 3. (Court closes at 4 and is at least a half hour away.) I started them 3 days ago. I’ve been at my firm less than a year and the case has been there 5 years so I clearly did not half the info to go in them. My boss was a huge help and very supportive but I still barely slept the last couple nights. He took me, his assistant, and an attorney from another firm that reps a co-def. out for a round of drinks after they were filed. I’m laying in bed with a glass of wine and a bota box not far away and loving it. Cheers to the end of the week and I hope you get your light at the end of the tunnel soon. I totally understand the “more work than there are hours” feeling and it sucks.

      • Blarg!! what is WITH this week? and i started in with the hot toddys when i got home, whiskey is making things better ;o)

  18. AppealingLawyer :

    Any advice for networking/”working a room”? I’ve been invited to attend a fancy fundraiser for a politician where I won’t know anyone. I think it would be a good thing to go to but I don’t have much practice at introducing myself to strangers. I also don’t want to come off as pushy.

    • Merabella :

      Sarah Ferguson has some stuff about working a room I read a while back and found (oddly) helpful.

    • What works best for me is to stand near someone (not creepily close, but fairly close) and then turn toward them and say “Hi, I’m ___ (your name).”

      • Eloise Speghetti :

        Agree with that strategy. If you start on someone who also looks alone, you can team up and work the room together.

        • I’ve used that strategy as well as the, “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Jill.”
          It kind of opens the door for them to start talking about themselves. Good luck! (“networking” sometimes gives me anxiety!)

        • Agree with keeping a non-creepy distance and teaming up with someone else.

          Take a deep breath, smile, appear engaged and poised, and go for it – someone has to make the first move and once you break the ice, the night will be a lot more comfortable. I read somewhere that people like to talk about themselves, so you could just introduce yourself and engage in some smalltalk/question asking (Hi, I’m eek, have you been here before; I love your shoes, you must read corporette; can you believe this crazy weather). Presumably since it’s a fundraiser, you should have something in common with most people. Move on from people that don’t seem friendly/talkative – they might be that way or are just shy/unsure. Also, steer clear of anyone that gives you a weird vibe (overshares way too much personal information, wants to be BFFs, acts inappropriately). I’m horrible at remembering to remember names and I always appreciate someone that remembers mine. Good luck; once you introduce yourself to one person the subsequent introductions are much easier.

  19. Devil's Advocate :

    With all the talk about women’s contraception not being covered by all health care plans, where do men factor into the conversation? The Pill is just one form of contraception, condoms are another, so are IUDs and (voluntary) surgical sterilization. Should health care plans be required to cover the cost of condoms and these other forms of contraception? I don’t think so. Both men and women benefit from contraception, for obvious reasons. To make this a women’s only issue is bias, not to mention detrimental to the enormous strides made by the feminist movement.


    • Ideally your right. But in reality, since women are the ones who bear the greatest burden of pregnancy, they are also frequently the ones who enforce or ensure birth control. In addition, other than the condom, efforts at male birth controls have not been effective as of yet.

      • And condoms don’t offer other health benefits. I think part of the reason for the demand in coverage is that things like the pill address health problems that are not pregnancy related, such as severe PMS, lowering certain cancer risks, missed periods, etc. I was prescribed the pill when I was 17 because I would only get my period 3-4 times a year. I actually used condoms for years and years even though I was on the pill and had the hardest time stopping when I became monogomous with my SO because in my mind the pill was to regulate my period and condoms were to protect me from unplanned pregnancies and the like.

        But, that said, I’m all for free contraception. One of the great things about NYC is that we have our very own official city condom and you can get as many as you like for free. I don’t use condoms any more, but I find that the NYC condoms make fantastic souvenirs when I travel.

        • Nitpicking :

          The pill doesn’t protect against STIs. Let’s not forget this. There are health benefits to condoms, and their use should be encouraged.

          • Obviously did not mean to imply that there are no health benefits to preventing STDs or that condom use should not be encouraged. Only that condoms do not have health benefits aside from sex. You can be against contraception/sex/whatever, and still recognize that for some women the pill is a treatment – even if she doesn’t actually ever have sex. On the other hand, I don’t think there are doctors out there encouraging patients to just wear a condom from time to time (not that I don’t oddly love the image).

        • …..wait what?
          not to be awkward or anything, but please tell more about this official city condom (and where you pick them up for free??)

          • The original design was the most fantastic. It spelled NYC CONDOM in the lettering used for the subway lines. The current version is less awesome in comparison because it doesn’t use the same lettering. You can get them in several places throughout the city, inc. many colleges, all Housing Works shops, and the official NYC Store by City Hall. Probably tons of other places, too. They were originally introduced on Valentine’s Day several years back by city employees who handed them out at various subway stops. They are probably not the most awesome condoms (I hear the technology has gotten rather fancy as of late) but they are free and totes adorable.

          • nyc.gov/condoms

        • Let me google that for you.


          • wooo thanks all!
            I have an interview in the city on Tuesday so I’ll pick up some afterwards. too cute!

        • I did not know about this free NYC condom. It has its own website!

    • Not to mention that there are many other preventative medicines* for which there is no mandate to provide complete (or any) coverage at all. Catholics have to pay for your contraception, but I have to shoulder the 200-mo payment for my preventive asthma medication. If preventative medicine should be covered, then why only pick one type of preventative medicine that also happens to play well with certain much-coveted demographics of voters? (Oh, I just answered my own question.) And why pretend it’s about “helping” poor women, when it’s really about women who are middle class enough to have employer-sponsored health insurance?

      I try not to discuss politics, but this mandate really gets me fired up. Here’s a good analysis of the issue: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/cochrane-on-obamacares-contraceptive-coverage-mandate/

      (Accepting for the sake of argument only that contraception is a “preventative medicine” and that the government should be mandating that private employers cover anything at all.)

      • Your health insurance doesn’t cover preventative asthma medicine? Have you tried appealing that with a doctor’s note?! That seems like it should be covered.

        • Not really the point, but it’s covered after I meet my deductible. Because the government hasn’t mandated that my employer should pay for it for me (and, of course, reduce everyone’s salaries proportionately to make up for having to pay for it), I still have to meet my deductible before it’s covered, and then I have a co-pay.

          • Well…it is a little bit the point, but I was mostly just flabbergasted by that.

          • @TCFKAG – it’s pretty common really. I have a very good health insurance policy provided by my employer, but only a very limited number of procedures are covered 100% with no deductible or copay. I think it’s limited to an annual physical, gyno exam, and vaccinations. Everything else has a deductible (for the plan I chose it’s $1500) and copay after you meet the deductible.

          • Okay, but that has to do with the type of plan you’ve purchased. So your medication IS covered — but you’ve purchased a plan that requires you pay up to X dollars first before it covers anything. That’s different than saying the medicine isn’t covered, because it is. (That’s what had me so confused.)

            I was on a plan like the one you described and, as someone with high medical bills, loved it because I ALWAYS hit my annual deductible.

          • karenpadi :

            That’s funny, my co-worker gets monthly allergy shots that are 100% covered as being preventative under our plan.

          • I’ll second Bluejay’s anecdotal evidence on asthma meds. I’m on my husband’s plan, which is basically a platinum plan from his employer, and I still have to pay out of pock or a co-pay for my preventative asthma meds. I’ve paid anywhere from $50-$200 for a 30 day supply of meds. Fortunately, we can pay from the tax-free HSA account.

      • I suspect that you and I are at the opposite ends of the spectrum politically, but I just wanted to point out that I would support regulations requiring preventative care/medications to be covered (maybe not at no cost, but up to X%) regardless of who uses them. Of course, I know that has a lot of practical/economic implications that don’t make it feasible.

        But to play devil’s advocate – perhaps the BCP was the first to be mandated simply because of its (relatively) low cost and widespread use. I don’t doubt it has to do with the fact that women (and young women) are coveted voters. But I think there’s also a reason to start there.

        And I respectfully abstain from voicing an opinion on the mandate’s effect on Catholic organizations. I haven’t done enough research into its wording to have a valid opinion.

      • Agree that your asthma medicine should be covered and that you should try appealing that determination if you haven’t already. But wherever you stand on the contraceptive issue, the compromise reached does not actually require catholics or anyone else to cover contraception – it requires insurance companies to do so; and the insurance companies are glad to do so because it’s actually more cost effective for them in long run. I can understand the original controversy but not its continuation. I know this is a touchy subject, but unless catholic churches go into the actual health insurance business, they’re not covering anything. And if health insurance becomes mandatory – all women, including poor ones, are going to get the coverage, no?

        Really not trying to start an argument. I am not a huge fan of the health care law myself. I wish the gov’t would just have an affordable public option for people and stop telling any one what to do, but that’s just my two cents.

        • Forcing a Catholic employer to pay an insurer to provide contraception is effectively no different than forcing the Catholic employer to provide contraception itself.

          And I agree that this could be settled if we had an effective public option. Our current system of relying on employers to provide health insurance is nothing short of insanity.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            I concur.
            On both points.

          • karenpadi :

            But Catholic employers whose employees are mostly Catholic (e.g., parishes, dioceses) are not required to pay for contraception or to pay for an insurance plan that covers contraception.

            The Catholic Church, on it’s own volition, entered into the secular marketplace when it opened its universities and hospitals to non-Catholics and when it started hiring non-Catholics en masse. The “Catholic” hospitals compete in the secular marketplace and are funded by secular dollars (e.g., tax-exemptions on profits and property, insurance dollars from non-Catholic insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, and government-sponsored charities). Thus, they are regulated as secular institutions. That includes doing somethings the hospitals don’t like, like using Medicare reimbursement codes, providing a safe workplace, and including health insurance for their secular employees that conform to state and federal regulations.

          • so do kosher delis. the government would not force them to serve pork.
            there was a great testimony in congress on this — excellent analogy . . .

            The full text of Bishop Lori’s testimony may be found online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/lori-testimony-for-oversight-on-religious-freedom-2012-02-16.pdf

          • Under the compromise, the Catholic employer is not paying an insurer to provide contraception; the insurer is being paid for the same policy as before, which the insurer independently agreed with the govt will now include contraception.

            And as far as the kosher deli metaphor, respectfully, per Jon Stewart: “Your parable about the kosher deli, while delicious, makes no … sense…. Nobody’s forcing the kosher deli owner to serve a ham. In the metaphor, it’s more like the owner of the kosher deli is refusing to pay taxes because his money could go to food stamps, which someone could theoretically use to buy ham.”

            http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2012/02/jon-stewart-birth-control-hearings.html (note the bit about the Church having no issues covering Viagra).

        • Quick question: Isn’t the issue re: Catholics covering contraception that some Catholic organizations are large enough to be self-insured, so they technically ARE in the health insurance business? (I am not being snarky. I just don’t know the answer.)

          • karenpadi :

            Most “Catholic” hospitals and universities buy coverage though a “Catholic” health insurance company.

          • anon for this :

            That would be news to me. I work for a Catholic university and we have Blue Cross Blue Shield. And most people who work at the university (especially the faculty) are not Catholic. Then again, we are not diocesan, but run by a rather liberal order, so that could make a difference.

          • That’s part of the issue (for instance, EWTN, the largest Catholic media company in the world, is self insured). But it’s not the only issue. Requiring a Catholic employer to pay for insurance that covers contraception is effectively the same as requiring a Catholic employer to pay for contraception directly. The effect is the same; the Catholic employer has paid for contraception. This is a violation of a fundamental doctrine of our faith and is a violation of our religious freedom. It’s akin to requiring the owner of a kosher deli to pay a supplier to serve pork to customers.

          • I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I usually don’t say anything in these debates, but the kosher deli is a terrible metaphor. A kosher deli, much like the catholic church, can do what it wants but the right to do what it wants ends when it stops acting as a kosher food purveyor and begins to act like any other private actor. A church is exempt, an insurance company – even if it’s run by the church- isn’t. If that’s not palatable, the church should go back to just being a church.

            By your logic, the church-run non-church institutions and insurance companies would be exempt from all sorts of non-discrimination statutes, fair labor standards, and the like, if the church claimed it interfered with doctrine. Should the catholic insurance company be allowed to fire gay people because that interferes with their doctrine too?

          • karenpadi :

            Bluejay, you and I disagree on this. I respect you but I disagree with you that 1) medical insurance is solely paid for by the employer and 2) that paying for something through insurance is the same as paying for it directly.

            1) Medical insurance is part of wages paid to employees. Employees earn wages through their labor. As such, insurance isn’t some kind of magnanimous gift granted to employees. It’s part of the employees compensation that the secular Catholic-affiliated hospitals must pay to compete in a secular marketplace. If it makes Catholics feel any better, they can pretend that the contraceptive insurance is only paid for by the premiums paid by the non-Catholic employees.

            2) OK, if I take it as a given that paying for something through insurance is the same as paying for something directly, then a Catholic-affiliated employer (and, by your logic, all Catholics) are ultimately morally responsible for everything an employee buys with her salary. She might buy a gun or Internet p*rn or, heaven forbid, a copy of Luther’s 95 Theses. If the Catholics want to avoid all that guilt, and save all those souls, the theologically sound solution is to bring cash wages to zero and provide “on-campus” housing, food, clothing, transportation, etc.

            Wait? That won’t work? Why not? Because secular people don’t want to live in a monastery. The Catholic hospitals and universities are secular institutions and the Catholic Church is competing in a secular marketplace for secular employees.

            Regarding the Kosher deli serving pork analogy. It’s a bad analogy. There is no medical need to eat pork. Eating pork does not, in and of itself, prevent medical conditions. We don’t cover “pork” as part of medical insurance. Quite frankly, it’s insulting to women to compare a legitimate medical need to deciding which meat to have with lunch.

      • I would imagine that most people who support the mandate also believe that other preventive medicines should be covered, and other types of preventive medicines that aren’t covered simply haven’t been given as much media coverage so fewer people know about them.

        As someone who started out neutral/leaning against the mandate, I’ve never in my life felt as under attack as a woman as I have in the past few weeks. From the hearing with no women witnesses to Rush Limbaugh’s comments, I’ve felt like I’m living in the prequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.

        • Actually at that hearing, the panel included two women witnesses for the majority (i.e. against the mandate/republican); the media seized on the fact that there were no women included for the minority (i.e. pro-mandate/democratic). The media mostly neglected to report that in their outrage over the lack of democratic women.

          • That’s good to know, thank you. That was not reported in any of the articles I read.

      • Actually, preventative services are covered under ACA if they are proven to be evidenced based and graded A or B by USPSTF, unless your plan is grandfathered in. Is it perfect? No. Does it make advances in trying to get insurers to do the right thing? Yes.

        I suppose I can understand the religious angle of being upset about birth control coverage and certainly if you or your employer have a long-standing religious affiliation, I think you should be exempt. But that needs to be clearly stated up front to prevent a**holes from deciding hey this is cheaper, so now I can claim I’m religious and save a few bucks. I won’t get into the whole women have a right to this and that, but I don’t understand the hostility.

        And finally, the general argument of “I don’t agree with X, so I shouldn’t have to pay for it” grates on my nerves. People do this with EVERYTHING now, particularly as it relates to taxes. I don’t like NASA so I should be able to designate my tax dollars don’t go there. That’s not the way the system works, for better or for worse.

        • I’m not convinced that employers shouldn’t be required to do something just because it is “against their religion.” In this case it may seem pretty reasonable, but there are a LOT of things that employers are statutorily required to do that technically run contrary to their religious beliefs. In my part of the world, my future employer is very likely to be Mormon (and not just that – but a conservative old male Mormon). The Mormon church’s technical doctrine (though oft ignored, much like Catholics with birth control) is that a woman’s place is in the home and she should not get a job if she is married. Before Title VII forced them not to, many conservative male Mormon employers discriminated against married women because they didn’t want to support them in the marketplace when their religious beliefs told them those women should be SAHMs. I don’t think a religious freedom argument should have gotten them out of that, and I think that same principle means that religious freedom doesn’t get you out of providing contraceptive coverage to your female employees.

          • karenpadi :

            This. Thank you.

          • I’m not necessarily either, but for the sake of this discussion if you’re a catholic non-profit for example, I think its fairly obvious that you will object to BC. If you’re CNN, you shouldn’t be able to say, wait I now object too! Trying to simplify here. Quite frankly, I think all preventative services (reproductive and not) should be 100% covered if they are evidence based and/or recommended by your doc. But this is coming from someone who has a lot of health issues.

          • The Catholic church (and all churches) as an institution are exempt from rules like this. For example, in the LDS church (sorry, most familiar with this) they institutionally fire female Seminary teachers when they get pregnant. Whether you agree or not, it is their actual church and religious business, so they get to pick this. What doesn’t make sense is when the institution isn’t a religious one, but is instead run by people who have religious convictions. Should I have to make sure that the ultimate decision maker at my company isn’t a Jehovah’s witness so that I will get blood transfusions covered in an emergency? Just because it’s “obvious” that someone will object doesn’t mean that they should get special treatment. Brigham Young University (run by the LDS Church) can’t discriminate against women even though they would probably like to fire them when they get pregnant like they can do when they are employed directly by the church, because they are prohibited by statute. This seems “obvious,” but they are still not allowed to do it. The distinction between Georgetown (“obviously” would like to not pay for BC) and any other company that is run by someone with Catholic beliefs is not a principled one.

          • Yes, and also karenpadi at 5:09pm (what time zone is this board, anyway?). As I have said elsewhere, or maybe here, if you take the federal money, you play by the federal rules. No one is forcing the Catholic church to run hospitals or universities, or accept student loan money or payments from Medicare/Medicaid. If they got out of the business, I’m sure another group would step in, especially for a hospital in a high-rent area. I’m really tired of all the fuss over birth control pills – a lot of people have a lot of sex without wanting to have a lot of children. That is just the way it is now and it is not necessarily orders of magnitude more immoral than the way things were in the “good old days.” Do you think before the pill came around no one was having sex before they got married? Please.

            Insurance is shared risk. Sure, other people on my plan are “paying” for my birth control pills, but I’m paying for all their unnecessary antibiotics, trips to the doctor because they feel a little achey, diabetes medication when some exercise and a healthy diet would probably work in many cases, and cancer care for smokers, too. We all have “morals” (I think it is quite immoral to indiscriminately use antibiotics and contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria) and it’s ridiculous to fight over whose morals count more.

            Sorry, I’m crabby today. Today was the last day for a very good “workfriend” who I will miss, and some of whose work I’ll have to take up. This work may require unpleasant interactions with some other colleagues and I am not looking forward to it.

          • Agreed. Taking this more broadly beyond the contraception battle, I’m always concerned when religious institutions try to use their religion as an opt-out to the laws of the land.

            They operate in a country where there are lots of people who are not of that religion and don’t want to be controlled by the beliefs of that religion.

            This is also why it’s as much of a concern that in certain communities where there are fairly conservative/orthodox Islamic beliefs that we do not allow those communities to create a “sharia law bubble.”

            It’d be different if they want to use the political system to go door-to-door and convince all voters to change laws to sharia-type laws, but it’s not acceptable to create religious islands that up-end laws that protect others.

          • This ! absolutely agree. I always thought America was the not the middle east where women are systematically discriminated in the name of religion and actually believed to be second class citizens under the guardianship of a male member (father/husband/son). Current attack on women in America is so shocking. All this religious freedom cry out is absolute crap, these are simply means keep woman under a man’s control.

      • I would assume covered contraception is also subject to the deductible, so your arugment isn’t really on-point, in my view.

        • Actually that’s the entire point of this mandate – contraception must be covered 100% with absolutely no portion of the expense being paid by the insured person. No deductible, no copay.

      • Um, bcp isn’t the only no cost-share preventive service required of all new health plans under ACA.

        I have my own political opinions about this that I don’t want to discuss here, but I think the facts should be correct.

        • FYI, here’s a complete list:


          • Thanks for posting that Rg — I actually hadn’t seen it (mostly because I’m avoiding this issue like the plague because it depresses me) but that’s interesting. I’m glad to see depression screening on there!

          • Oral contraceptives do stand out on that list, though, as they are one of the few medications (as opposed to screening tests and other services).

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      I received a telephone survey yesterday that asked if I was aware that Obama provides contraception and advice on how to use it and whether I agree with that. I just pictured Barack using all the bananas in Africa to demonstrate a condom like in 7th grade health class and couldn’t stop giggling. I could not stop giggling.

      • And now I can’t stop giggling. His public speaking style is so scholarly — can you imagine him demonstrating the proper use of a condom.

        Oh geez. That I would pay to see.

      • Eloise Speghetti :

        ACK. I meant contraception and training in third world countries.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Thanks for the clarification…. I couldn’t quite get to Obama, condoms, bananas and Africa without some disturbing thoughts/stereotypes that we’ve unfortunately been exposed to again since he was elected…..

          • Eloise Speghetti :

            Yeah that was really embarrassing to read back. I over edited the first time. Sorry ladies! I definitely was not trying to offend!

    • If an insurance covers a vasectomy it should cover the Pill. Both are elective preventative measures to having kids (as I see it) and imo both should be covered. Put aside the moral arguments about birth control in all forms for a minute – it is more cost effective for an insurance company to cover my Pills then it is for them to cover my childbirth expenses.

      • Why should the insurance company (or actually, your employer) be legally forced to cover the Pill at 100% so you don’t have to pay a single penny to use any type of Pill you and your doctor want, but you still have a deductible and copay for that vasectomy?

        Few insurance plans don’t cover the Pill at all, exactly for the reason you state. The ones that don’t are generally offered because some people don’t want the Pill to be included, and insurers make special policies that exclude it at the request of those people.

        • Few insurance plans don’t cover the Pill at all, exactly for the reason you state. The ones that don’t are generally offered because some people don’t want the Pill to be included, and insurers make special policies that exclude it at the request of those people.

          And actually, I phrased this incorrectly. I should have said that few insurance plans don’t cover *contraceptives* at all, regardless of the type of contraceptive (the pill, vasectomies, IUDs, etc). In 20 years of Catholic education, I’ve never heard of an insurance plan that doesn’t cover the Pill if prescribed for medical reasons, and I’ve had it prescribed for medical reasons and paid for by insurance provided by a Catholic institution myself.

        • That comment was directed to whether or not they should have to cover it. In my mind, I equate the two services as equal in terms of preventing childbirth. If you’re going to make the argument you should offer preventative services to prevent childbirth, to me, they are all the same and should be treated the same.

          For what its worth, I get that your passionate about this, and quite frankly I am too. I do this for a living day in and day out. I’m not trying to write a novel about contraceptive coverage policies, but I am in fact aware of them. I treat my comments on Corporette as light off-handed remarks, if that helps give you any context to my remarks.

      • Except, really, the Pill is not like a vasectomy, in that a vasectomy is a one-time expense, whereas presumably the insurance company would be paying for the Pill each month that you were not pregnant/trying to get pregnant during your childbearing years. The better analogy would be an IUD/tubal ligation. (And I would also point out that not all insurance covers vasectomies)

        I do, however, agree with the spirit underlying your comment. And yes, it would definitely be cheaper to cover the Pill than childbirth, though many insurance policies only cover childbirth expenses if there is a “maternity rider” that is purchased for extra $$. Even with this rider, the out-of-pocket costs can be very high, depending on the policy.

    • karenpadi :

      Vasectomies are surgical procedures that are commonly covered in health care insurance plans.

      Unlike the Pill (unless you are in DC, I think) or diaphragms, condoms are over the counter and don’t require a prescription from a doctor. IUDs are purchasable only by a doctor and must be inserted by a medical professional. In the current debate, women are only asking for contraceptives that are provided through/via a doctor to be covered in the same way that other preventative health measures (e.g., vaccinations) provided through a doctor are covered. Condoms, being over the counter, are not analogous to commonly used birth control methods “for women”.

      I think you are confusing two arguments here. 1) That insurance shouldn’t cover ANY contraception–including sterilization, devices like IUDs and diaphraigms, prescription drugs like the pill, or condoms because sex is optional. and 2) That covering more permanent methods of birth control is not necessary because condoms are cheaper (and so is abstinence).

      Regarding 1. I’ll not engage. I am trying to be objective here and I can’t be objective on that issue so I’ll let someone else address it if they so desire.

      Regarding 2. I hate arguing by analogy but here I go. That’s like saying that because people can exercise and eat better, we shouldn’t cover treatments for type 2 diabetes or heart disease. That because people who are allergic to pollen or dust can “just stay home and keep their house clean”, we shouldn’t cover allergy treatments. It’s nonsense.

      The reality is that modern medicine improves quality of life and insurance is there to help society spread the costs of modern medicine across a large population having varied medical issues. What your opposing side (my side) is arguing is that, it isn’t right for a major medical expense that only one half of the population to not be covered and that not covering contraception amounts to gender discrimination.

      Regarding a “bias against men” in these conversations. Again, condoms are over the counter and don’t require a doctor’s prescription. If the Pill was OTC, we wouldn’t be arguing that it be covered. Further, among me and my girlfriends, it’s also more common (about 60/40) for the girlfriend to buy condoms than the boyfriend.

      Most feminists want gender-equality. Not for women to be superior to men. If a prescription birth control pill for men makes it to the market, or if temporary sterilization procedures such as RUSIG are approved in the US, many feminists would support those being covered by insurance.

      • ^this.

        Also RISUG is just *neat*.
        It’s a tiny bit of charged polymer that’s inserted into the vas deferens and zaps (the oppositely charged) sperm cells. I believe it has started clinical trials in the US this year.
        It’ll be interesting to see if that procedure will strike any debate within the religious community.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Every sperm is sacred.

          • +10 LL points for the Monty Python reference.

          • MaggieLizer :

            After I posted that I realized it might seem like I was serious. I’m glad someone got (and posted) the reference!

          • And for that matter, any m@sturbatory emissions where the sp3rm clearly wasn’t seeking an egg could be deemed reckless abandonment!

    • Anon for this :

      Ladies — I know we all care about this very adamantly from different sides (and obviously anyone can just scroll past) — but this is the second weekend open thread where one of the first threads devolved into a BC debate. I feel like it may be getting a bit out of hand, especially since this seems like one of those issues no one is going to be convinced by some random strangers on the internet to change their views on.

      • This.

      • secret for this :

        I’m def hate reading these threads.

        Please save me from myself!

        • I swore after the last weekend that I was out, but they keep dragging me back in. But now I think I’m done. :-P Only inside jokes from now on, just for secret for this! :-)

          • MaggieLizer :

            If you can work the term “frumpskank” into this discussion, I would giggle with glee.

        • Noooooooooooo, I LOVE these bc threads. Keep at ’em!

        • AnonforThis :

          Yes, thank you. I appreciated the chance to hear the other side’s POV, but at this point it’s mostly hate reading.

      • I would normally agree with you, and obviously we aren’t going to form a consensus on this issue, but I’ve actually learned a lot from reading these and it makes me proud and happy to see that we have such smart, articulate women on all sides of this issue. Hooray ladies!

        • I kind of feel the opposite. I’ve been shocked at how much misinformation is being spouted, by both sides. I think half the people have read one facebook post somewhere and are now spouting off “facts.”

          But I do agree on the articulate point.

      • The ‘hot button’ nature of reproductive politics in the US is pretty weird to many of us elsewhere but hearing the issues in Corporettes’ own voices has been interesting and educational for this non-US reader. Thank you to the ladies who’ve posted.

    • http://blog.sfgate.com/richmond/2012/03/09/rick-santorums-bill-of-rights-for-women/?tsp=1

      • Great article, can’t believe there are women out there voting for this nutcase in all the primaries! Shocking.. He absolutely wants women to be barefoot/pregnant/in the kitchen, not be 50% of the workforce, law firm partners/CEOs/heads of state. And yes, legal bc and abortion helps women in pursuing power and ambition outside of making sandwiches. Absolutely hate how such high level politician can get away with trashing women’s right to economic/reproductive freedom in 2012s America.

      • I would laugh, except I’m so terrified. The one, single, solitary thing I appreciate about Rick Santorum is that he’s so upfront about being anti-woman. You don’t have to wonder.

        • that’s me: would laugh, but am terrified that he’s even a serious candidate!

          at least there’s one bad thing in it for men, re: Mr. Happy, but of course I presume it would be totally OK under this regime if Mr. Happy’s needs were taken care of elsewhere. I MEAN, boys will be boys, am I right??

          • You are so right!! Women should go back to putting aspirin between their knees. That will solve everything.

    • Paying for Condoms with Pre-Tax Dollars :

      My insurance (really good Blue Cross) doesn’t cover condoms or spermicides. It did cover my IUD.

      However, I can pay for condoms and spermicide out of my Flexible Spending Account, which means I use pre-tax dollars to buy them. Essentially, the federal government is subsidizing my purchase of condoms and spermicide (and bandaids and sunscreen and eyeglasses and insulin supplies etc).

  20. After job hunting and working a mind-numbing temp job for months and months, I was offered a job today! This website helped me a lot with job hunting tips and comments along the way, so THANK YOU to everyone here who contributes to the hive. I just graduated from law school last May, and was getting pretty discouraged by the job market, so I’m really excited that I’ve finally landed a job using my degree!

    I had two interviews with the firm over the past few weeks, and I was offered the position over the phone today. I was asked to come in on Monday to hammer out the details and discuss “my salary requirement.” As a recent graduate, I’ve never been put in the position of a salary negotiation. Besides the basics (do my research re: market rates, try to get them to offer a range rather than stating my numbers first, don’t be afraid to ask for more than they first offer, etc.) does anyone have any tips for me? Salary was not discussed at all during the interview process, and the job is a (first-year) associate position in the LA area at a small firm (~7 attorneys.)

    • Congrats!! IT’s such a relief, isn’t it!?

      As for salary, I don’t have a lot of advice because it depends so heavily on your employer, what I would do is figure out what you can live on. What are your rent payments, loan payments, utilities, etc…, also look at the market, I’ve heard of attorneys being paid as little as $35k/year, I started at $48k, up to $60k when I passed the bar. I took what my employer offered me and didn’t particularly regret it though I did have to go in and ask for raises every year. The guys I worked with tried to negotiate their salaries and ended up with the same I did.

      One thing that might help get some better advice, are you LA as in Los Angeles or LA as in Louisiana?

    • It might be a bit late in the day (well, it is here in the Midwest) but get in touch with your law school or any others in the area and also the local bar association. Many of them have done salary surveys and can give you information about the pay range in your market based on firm size and specialty.
      And congrats on the job!

    • The rule of thumb is that a lawyer should be making 1/3 of your billables for the year (ideally (the firm’s billable hour requirement) * (your billing rate)). As a first year, you’ll likely have some time written off, so it is reasonable to be below the 1/3. I would recommend at least asking about those statistics at your in-person interview if you don’t already know them and use that figure as a goal, even if you’ll take less.

      • Really? This is shocking. I’m making half of what 1/3 my billables would be for the year. I don’t know anyone in my area who’s not senior making that much.

    • I dont have anything to offer but CONGRATS! Im in a similar situation (graduated in May, still temping, looking for something fulfillings) and am glad that you were able to pull yourself out of it! Feel proud! And celebrate all weekend :)

    • No advice, simply to say congratulations !

  21. manomanon :

    It’s the weekend! Yay! Except not because I have to drive to Boston at 5 tomorrow morning… but still weekend!
    also a question!
    I have the longchamp bag that everrrrrybody has but I have had weird wear issues that no one I know with the bag has ever seen and I’m wondering if anyone has tips. The lower corners are showing wear (like I’ve stopped using it for now because corners look like they might split open if I’m not careful. Beyond that the rounded upside down triangle where the straps are sewn in seems to be tearing the inside layer away from the exterior (complete with a few tiny holes)
    I used it almost daily for about 5 months and carried my laptop wallet and maybe a textbook or two when I went to class etc. I have been much less hard on the bag than my friends have been on the bags they have had for multiple years without every running into a problem like this. I got this bag over the summer (And tragically not from Nordstrom or I would just go there and ask for help) and am sad that it seems to be biting the dust so quickly

    • Contact Longchamp. http://www.longchamp.com/en/customer-service-262.html

      I think they should be able to replace your bag. I have returned “fancy” bags for replacement/repair before – it’s not a Nordstrom only policy, although Nordstrom might make it the easiest on you.

      • manomanon :

        Thank you!! I couldn’t make the form work but I called the number and they are going to fix it for me- for free! Such a good end to the day

        • So glad to hear that! I am a big fan of their bags and would have been very disappointed to hear otherwise.

    • Accountress :

      No advice re: Longchamp bag, but-

      Is your username a Muppets reference? If so, brava!

      • no it isnt :(
        Remember those old Dr. Pepper commercials that went something to the effect of manmana do do dooo dooo? (ok here’s a link since I can’t type musical sounds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYrrrDHF3P0)
        It’s kind of a play on that…
        which I just learned came from the muppets… so inadvertantly I suppose the answer is yes

        • Oh shoot, I always thought it was this manamana

        • but your manamana has its own level of (meta?) awesomeness

        • actually, the original mais non mais non song was in a Swedish er*tic film/pseudo-documentary, and then was used on the 14th episode of Sesame Street, before showing up in the first episode of The Muppet Show.. which i find a very interesting journey….

          and children, today’s adventures in ridiculously useless pop culture trivia of the 70s was brought to you by the letter C and the number 7…. say Goodnight, Gracie!

        • manomanon :

          haha I’m getting a whole new education this weekend!

    • I do not think they are meant to carry that much weight. I am on my second one and both have what you are talking about in the corners. The one I carried for 2 years of school (books, laptop, etc.) looks terrible. It has holes at all four corners. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect Lomgchamp to replace it when you are putting so much weight in it. I buy them knowing they will wear out, run them into the ground, and then replace.

      • manomanon :

        That’s really interesting- it makes you the only person other than myself I’ve known to have that problem. All of my friends lug 20 pounds of stuff around with them and no problems whatsoever- their bags have lasted them 3 or 4 years at this point, which I consider to be a much longer than expected life. I was thinking for the cost/material combination it would last about 1-1.5 years

      • A bit late – but I carry TONS of stuff and have had mine for over 10 years (wanted a non-backpack in high school). I have a BIT of wear and tear in the corners like you say but it’s hardly worth me bringing it to the store for them to replace/repair b/c I can’t go a day without it. FWIW the corner holes are big enough that water would leak through, but nowhere near making me worry they’ll continue to rip.

  22. Dear students, job seekers, and other lower-income ‘rettes –

    Does anyone want a new-to-you leather tote? I have a red structured leather tote that I bought when I was in law school to take on job interviews. It’s a nice bag and perfectly appropriate for a corporate environment, but it’s not really my style – I bought it thinking it was the perfect lawyer bag, but I was young and didn’t really shop strategically at the time. I’ve since upgraded to a new work bag, and I was going to consign my old tote, but I decided it would be nice to pay it forward by giving it to someone who needs a nice professional bag and can’t afford one. (Dress for Success is not interested in receiving bags in my city.)

    The bag is from Franklin and Covey and it is very structured, and it has a slot for a laptop. It is not really big enough to hold a pair of shoes too. It is very similar to this bag: http://www.ebay.com/itm/RED-Leather-Franklin-Covey-Laptop-Briefcase-Purse-Bag-Tote-/251012440346?pt=US_CSA_WH_Handbags&hash=item3a7181e11a (note this is not my ebay listing; I just found it on an image search and am providing it for illustration). It has a matching wristlet that’s a bit on the small side, and it has a key fob that you can attach to the inside of the bag so you don’t use your keys. I have not used it often and it is in good condition; the only damage is at the end of one of the straps, and it is minor and could easily be repaired. I think it will stand up to another 3-5 years of use.

    Like I said, I’d really like this to go to someone who has a pressing need for a nice professional bag and can’t afford one. If you’re interested, post a comment with your contact info or, if you don’t have an anonymous email, you can shoot me one at non.anon at yahoo dot com. I’ll ship it for free. I guess it is first come first served.

    (Jeez, I meant to post this early in the thread. How did it get so many comments so fast?)

    • watchthecityglow :

      Emailed you! (Even if I’m not first in line, I think it’s a great thing you’re doing — us job hunters appreciate these things for a morale boost!)

  23. Any other Boston ladies at the Association of Women Judges’ luncheon today? Corporette got slammed in the keynote remarks as encouraging women to dress too conservatively in court. Apparently before a female judge, we should all wear color.

    • Like colored suits? Or just colored shells underneath our suits? I’m confused. Also — why was this even brought up?

    • Wow really? I’d love to see a transcript…

    • SpaceMountain :

      Huh? The 7th Circuit oral argument guidelines specifically say to wear a dark, conservative suit, such a grey or navy.

    • Wait, Corporette was discussed at a Luncheon? Kudos, Kat, when you’re big enough to be criticized, that must mean you’re really big!

    • Please tell us more…

    • I read this and thought of the leopard/polka-dot/sequin loving comments I’ve seen lately. I would love it if somehow there were a way for someone reading this blog to show up in front of the keynote in some business capacity COMPLETELY decked in all of the aforementioned trends.

    • So Judge Gertner (head of D. Mass, now retired) was telling a story about two law clerks who were very quirky individuals, but one day they both showed up in chambers in black skirt suits with white shells. She asked them why they were in such a boring uniform and they said because Corporette told them to! So really, the clerks slandered corporette and the judge had poor information.

      But this kicked off a whole tangent about how women dress too much like we are trying to be invisible and boring. She advocated at least a bright shirt and good shoes. I was sitting next to a california judge who said when she was working as a PD she always wore something fabulous because her cases were always losers on the facts – might as well get points for the outfit. Gertner herself was in a beautiful cranberry red jacket.

      The actual important part of the talk was about how women opt out before they opt in, turning down opportunities to go for a job they’d love because “someday they might want to have a family” or “want a good work life balance”. Try for the job first, then see how the balance is, then work together with your employer to fix it. There was a lot of old school feminism going on, which warms my heart.

      • I think corporette has changed since its first days. I think it was originally very no!!! no dangly earrings EVER. you can NEVER WEAR COLOR. DONT HAVE A HAIRSTYLE PUT IT IN A BUN OR YOU WILL NEVER BE PROMOTED. no nail polish alllllllooooweeeeeddd!

        • Totes McGotes :

          Well, if you’re not wearing nail polish, it can’t chip, thereby revealing your CHIPPED SOUL!!!

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Not sure it has changed all that much…..

      • Well…Judge Gertner is a bit odd (in the best possible way). There are definitely some female judges in D. Mass. I wouldn’t want to go too crazy with my wardrobe in front of.

    • This makes me wonder. Are there any female judges reading on here? I think I’d love to be a judge someday but there seems to be this bias in my state that judge=couldn’t hack it as a lawyer. Judges here are really under paid. I’d love to hear from a female judge about what steps she took in her career that led to her position.

      That said, I wish I knew about this conference because I would have attended and I totally would have squealed out loud when Corporette was mentioned. Crazy.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Do you mean state judges as opposed to federal judges? Because I don’t think anyone thinks that about federal judges.

        • Yes. State judges.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            You could just cite Justice Cardozo or Justice Brennan or Justice O’Connor as counterexamples (all of whom were elevated from state judge-ships)! Although maybe some people don’t think they could cut it as lawyers…

    • Anonymous :

      I saw a prosecutor arguing a motion to suppress the other day. She was wearing a cheap thin black sweater, black knit pants (from afar you would swear they were gym pants except they did have back pockets), flat with some type of socks, and a handband with a ponytail. True story. She looked like she was dropping off her kid at school in the morning and going back home.

      • Is it possible she didn’t know she’d be in court that day? In some court-heavy jobs (prosecutors, PDs and the like), you often get drafted into court unexpectedly when someone else can’t cover their docket or something else has gone awry.

        I always keep a black jacket in my office for this purpose, but it does sometimes result in odd outfits…

      • I love that this blog can be about “feminism” and empowering women, yet whole threads can be devoted to tearing down women. Do you know what it is like when you write these and someone recognizes themselves?

        • Divaliscious11 :


        • Well I think this particular example is a little rough (pretty specific, easy to figure out) — but I think you have to strike a balance. This is a blog about clothes and professionalism as much as anything else, so we need to be able to talk about what works well in a professional environment and what doesn’t.

          But I personally try to avoid specific examples of things I don’t like on specific people. On the other hand — it IS helpful to me to think about making sure to take hair bands off my wrist before I interview, just in case. No matter how much I joke about it here.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Did she win her motion???????

      • lucy stone :

        I’ve worn similar oufits where I thought I’d be having an office day and then gotten a call that we need a warrant. It happens..

  24. Can anyone recommend their go-to navy blazer? I have thrown in the towel on the Lands End Canvas Heritage Blazer, which is EXACTLY what I want, in terms of fabric & style, because the upper arms are just too tight on me no matter the size. I can get away with a sleeveless shell underneath, but I really want one I can wear all the time. Can anyone think of a decent substitute? Brooks Brothers seemed like an obvious candidate but didn’t see one I liked. I would like a lightweight wool or wool blend, and if it helps, I wear a blazer mostly with jeans or sometimes over a dress. Not suit-formal. Thanks.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Not sure if this is helpful, but I got my go-to navy blazer at a J. Crew outlet a few months ago. It’s the boyfriend blazer. I got it tailored substantially to make it less slouchy and more polished, but it was a good price even with the cost of tailoring.

    • I have a Calvin Klein one that is actually the top to a skirt suit I got at Marshalls. The whole suit was probably $50 and the suit jacket works great as a stand alone blazer and goes with everything. I’m pretty sure it was there because it was mis-sized. It is a size 4 and when I bought it I was wearing an 8 but it fit me. Moral of the story – when discount shopping, try on everything you like even if it’s not your size.

      I also have a trendier boiled wool blazer that I wear on more casual days or working weekends in jeans. The blazer is pretty snug and looks like it came from the juniors section but is super cute. I got it at Nordstrom’s Rack. If I find either online I’ll send links.

      • This is the same name brand. Mine is wool/polyester, doesn’t have cuffed sleeves, and is navy. I can’t find it online. These are cute too though.


  25. Also, reposting the link to the corporette map, because I think it is way cool!


    To add a pin, click the pin icon up in the top left corner and then click where you want it to land. If there’s already a pin for your location, edit it and and your handle.

    Kat – can we save a link to this somewhere on the site for future reference?

    • I couldn’t figure out how to label Philly without exposing my “real” name – can someone else start one there?

      • just Karen :

        There you go – hopefully it worked!

      • I just put a pin up, and lo and behold! my whole name (google username) was up there, so I took it off. So sad… I’m way and away the only one in this part of the world, looks like!

    • I can’t figure out how to add myself to the Dallas pin. Can someone either (a) do it for me or (b) explain how to do it like you would to a child?

      • 1. Click on the link
        2. At the top of the list of existing place tags on the left, you should see a red button that says Edit. Click it.
        3. Click on the Dallas place tag in the list of existing tags. A pop-up should appear over the map with a box for Title and Description.
        4. Add your name to Description and hit OK.
        5. Go back to the top of the list of existing place tags and hit Save.

    • who is at the North Pole? Greenland?

      • Those have to be accidents, right? I mean — a couple of those are WAY the heck up there.

      • MissJackson :

        I’m not sure, but I think that people might be accidentally moving pins. The pin that I placed hours ago in Pittsburgh is now somewhere in northern Canada, so unless someone is trying to suggest I move, I think that’s what’s going on :)

      • Accident. I couldn’t figure out how to make my cursor NOT a pin, so I tried pushing the pin button again (in the arctic ocean) and just made a pin. Blerg. If I try to figure out how to fix it I’ll just make it worse.

    • How cool is that! Thanks for posting.

      First ‘rette in my state!

  26. Hm. I might have gotten moderated out when I tried to post this question before — trying again. Apologies if my prior post goes up and this turns into a duplicate.

    So I am finally, after many years of considering it, getting a new tattoo this spring. It won’t be my first, but it’s much larger than my prior one — it will go over my back, shoulder, and side, and will apparently take three or four sessions to complete. The problem: according to my research, during the healing period (which sounds like about a week after each session), I will be restricted in the clothing I can wear — and, in particular, will apparently not be able to wear a bra due to the straps. Since I’m the only woman in an all-male office, and I really don’t want to answer questions about my tattoo, I’m trying to plan. I’ve been looking at the backless bras available at Gap and on Amazon, and was thinking maybe I can wear one of those, with a tank top to hold it in place and provide some extra protection, under my work clothes. Anyone have any experience with those? Or, any other tattooed Corporettes with other advice?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I was just being moderated. Darn it. Sorry for the duplication. :-(

    • I have one on my side, and part of it goes where the band of the bra lies on your rib cage. I wore a bathing suit top while it was healing–I could make it really loose so it was comfortable, and a padded one provided enough support I didn’t feel completely awkward around people. And lots of layers…But mine didn’t go over my back or shoulder, so it might not work for you.

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      Does it go on your lower back?

      • It will start at my shoulder and go down my side, probably to about midthigh. I’m not sure exactly where it will stop, just because the artwork isn’t final yet.

        • “It won’t be my first, but it’s much larger than my prior one” – I totally read this as “much larger than my prison one” … heehe ..I have a tattoo too. Not being snarky :)

    • I’ve never tried a backless bra, but I would definitely suggest buying it early and wearing it to work for a day or two before you get tattooed, and bring a regular bra with you just in case the backless one fails.

      Otherwise, maybe you could wear one of those athletic tops with a built in bra? If you’re wearing a jacket or heavy sweater as your outermost layer, and you’re not that big, it shouldn’t be noticeable. Or you could try those stick-on things but I’m not sure how supportive they are. I definitely wouldn’t want to be noticeably braless in an all-male office.

    • Mine wasn’t tattoo related, but I’ve had incisions below my breast (where the bottom of the bra would be) and had incision on my side (just below the armpit where the side of the bra would be), both to remove cancer. I: (a) wore clothing that was darker/thicker and could disguise better, (b) bought a few of the Hanky Panky bralettes that are all lace, and (c) bought a few longline modified sports bras that helped. They weren’t perfect solutions, but they made the combined 6-8 weeks of awkward dressing for work & court a little more tolerable.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      How are you, size wise? Can you get away with the support of a tank top with a shelf bra (size up so it’s a tad loose) and flesh colored pasties to prevent any nip-pokage? I would do that and wear looser fitting tops so the no bra thing is less noticeable.

    • I have one starting at my side and up my ribs.
      I simply wore a triangle top from a bathing suit. The threads are very thin and will not rub against your new ink.

    • these are amazing. have them for formalwear/dresses but they’re SO comfy, if washing them were easier I’d wear everyday. http://www dot nubra dot net/

  27. Hi ladies!

    Curious if anyone has styling suggestions for this dress. Shoes / jewelry, etc.?


    • I think I would layer on some gold/silver bangles, and wear a pair of gold/silver heels (the bangles/heels don’t necessarily have to match, or could involve both gold and silver). I’d probably skip wearing a necklace. The shoes the model has on are AMAZING — but it might be super hard to find something like that.

    • I’d do nude-for-you shoes, maybe navy or burgundy if you can find something that isn’t too matchy-matchy. I’m sure metallics would work as well. I’d skip a necklace for sure, like Celia said, but compensate with great (non-dangly) earrings and bracelets or rings.

  28. One of the best columns about parenting I’ve read in a while, about
    pre-child smugness about other peoples’ parenting.


    • I loved this. Parenting has been, um, humbling for this former Judgy McJudgerson. Thanks for posting.

    • I love that article, and it is so spot-on. I’ve endured Childless Parenting Experts (as I call them) for a number of years now, and in Berkeley, where everyone’s business is Everyone’s Business.

    • Great read, thanks!

    • Hmm, interesting. As a Longtime Childless Parenting Expert (LCPE) myself, I would never even think to judge a person for any of the things that she discussed. I have, would, and will continue to think poorly of parents in a lot of situations I’ve seen. For example:

      * From my waitressing days, a family that came in weekly and allowed 2 yr old twins to run the entire restaurant and throw glass objects on the floor, only being saved from danger by the hostess or server on multiple occasions. Also, a very overweight woman who demanded “extra-extra butter” for the bread, announcing proudly that her daughter liked to eat it straight.

      * From my grocery store days: parents who would yell at or smack the hands of children who asked (once) for candy at the register.

      * A woman I encountered recently who, when her 1.5 yr old asked for candy, gave her a full sized bar from her purse, and when she finished that and asked for more, apologized profusedly for not having any more and promised to pick some up on the way home.

      * People who feed their kids fast food more often then non-fast food, or who insist that their kids “won’t eat” almost any non-junk food.

      * Another woman I encountered recently who’s baby-daddy (of 2) brags about his KKK connections.

      * Anyone on Toddlers and Tiaras.

      Yep, I know parenting is an adventure, but I’m pretty confident I’ll keep my smugness about these things. :)

  29. Anyone know of a good pair of khaki/beige skinny jeans that don’t cost more than $60??

    • GAP is currently selling a few different styles of skinny jeans (a lot of them are cropped but some are not) in many different colors at either $59 or $69 and I think they have a 30% off deal this weekend.

  30. Vactioning in Sin? :

    Ugh, moderation… trying again.

    Yay, Weekend Thread! This week’s been dragging on forever…so glad it’s here!

    Any advice on how to handle comments on “living in sin” (or in my case, going on vacation with on your boyfriend)?

    My really awesome boyfriend took me on an incredible weeklong Hawaiian vacation recently. The trip was a combined Christmas and birthday gift from him.

    A lot of the senior people I work with came into town this week, and during a cocktail hour, a few asked about my trip. One woman asked if I’d gone with my family and I said no, I’d gone with my boyfriend. She laughed and then said, “Oh, well let’s just call it what it is then – living in sin!” in front of a group of about 6 people. I was definitely taken aback and not sure how to respond, especially because we don’t live together (yet). I just kind of laughed along with her and fortunately someone else recognized the awkward moment and jumped in to ask about the helicopter ride we took.

    Any idea how to respond to those types of statements or judgments about living or vacationing with a boyfriend? We will be moving in together this summer and we both definitely want to marry each other. However, I just turned 24 years old and am in no great hurry to tie the knot, so there will likely be a period of one to two years before any rings enter the picture and I’m sure there may be a few of these types of comments in my future. They definitely make me uncomfortable, as I don’t like the thought of having to justify anything to my colleagues, nor do I enjoy the feeling of being judged for the decisions I make in regards to my relationship.

    It may also be worth nothing that I am the youngest in my group of 15+ employees by about 3 or 4 years and I am the only unmarried member of the team. I live in California but the women in question is from the South, and my group is scattered geographically across the country.

    Help please?

    • Say, “Yup, I sure am a trollop. But did I tell you how amazing the snorkeling was on the big Island!”

      I’m sorry — but that is the RUDEST thing a co-worker could possibly say. I took it from family (jokingly) when I lived with BF before marriage, but no one at work ever said anything or should say anything. So I say you give her the benefit of the doubt the first couple times and just laugh it off and just change the subject. But if she keeps saying things like that, put on your most serious face and say “It makes me really uncomfortable when you talk about that. Please stop.”

    • Holy cow! I can’t imagine anyone even saying that! I’ve been with my boyfriend about 2.5 years and we’ve talked about getting married but no rings and we essentially live together and have traveled together and nobody has ever said a thing. That lady was a b-!

      Although, I have to say, because of the typo “going on vacation with on your boyfriend” I read it as “going on vacation with ONE of your boyfriends” and it wasn’t until I got to boyfriend singular that I realized it! I was thinking dayum! you go girl!

      I think your response has to depend on how rude you want to be. I would probably say something like, “no, nobody calls it that or has in 50 years. If that bothers you, I won’t tell you about it.” and walked away. On the other hand, if it was a client/supervisor I would have smiled and said “well, we’re in a committed relationship, just not married yet!” Then fumed to myself and probably posted here about how rude some people are.

      Actually, I was told by my boss to just call my boyfriend my husband “because boyfriend sounds juvenile.” Forget the fact that we’d been dating for all of 2 months and moved in the same social circles, talk about a good way to freak a guy out!

    • karenpadi :

      The woman was being rude and shouldn’t have said what she said. She needs to, at least at work, recognize that this isn’t the 1950s anymore.

      You did the right thing, not responding and allowing someone else to change the topic.

      FWIW, when I had a serious boyfriend, I referred to him as my partner or my significant other at work. It indicates that this is a serious, long-term relationship.

    • secret for this :

      I would say that most people aren’t judging you. I have two widely different suggestions. If it ever comes up again, one way is to go snarky, such as “well I hear it is more fun than being married!” with a little look. The way I would probably go is to go up to the woman, and not all super serious but just say “Jane, I just wanted to approach you privately instead of saying it in the moment, but I didn’t appreciate your remark about living in sin today in front of our peer coworkers. I’m an adult, and it is really not your buisiness if you feel its a sin to go on a vacation with my boyfriend.” (She might not have meant it like that, but I think it will highlight that she may have been joking, but she used words that shamed your private life)

    • I like a disarming “why do you say that?” sort of approach. Then she’ll stutter and make even more of a fool of herself. If she comes up with a somewhat coherent response, say “what an interesting opinion.” Then change the subject.

      • I love this approach. Works all the time. That or “wow” followed by a chipper segway into something else.

        Personally (in non-work settings) I go with, well at least I won’t be cold in Hell. Makes people tend to realize how outlandish their remarks really are.

      • Vacationing in Sin? :

        I love this too! Thanks.

        The woman in question is very senior to me, so snark isn’t really an option here (as much as I would love to employ it).

      • Or, since you don’t really care WHY she says that, you could say “I guess you COULD say that” and then move on. Kind of shuts down conversation.

    • That is the weirdest thing ever, particularly here in progressive CA. No one should have said something like that, and if anything, people walking away from that conversation would have negative thoughts about the woman who inappropriately asked you that question, not you.

    • locomotive :

      What in the world?! I can’t even fathom someone saying that to me! Granted, I’m at a pretty young finance firm but still, I have rarely heard comments like that made about ANYONE. Would she say to that to a non-married couple who took a weekend trip somewhere? Or went camping together? Jeez – calling it ‘living in sin’ also means that she’s applying her values and religious views to everyone else in the group.

      Anyway that was more rant-y than helpful but I probably would have sucked it up and been extra sarcastically sweet and said “Thanks, I’m glad you understand what a great vacation it was *super sweet smile*”

    • Anonymous :

      She used to have fun sexy romantic getaways with her man and her girlfriends used to giggle about it being “sinful.” She is not judging you. She was joking with you. She was trying to bond with you. It was awkward because you are young and don’t know how to kid around with grown ups. Oh, and you did say it was cocktail hour, right? So don’t go next time if you can’t handle a little tipsy fun about your romantic life.

    • Am I the only one who thinks the OP is overreacting? I have had multiple people (both in and out of work) joke about “living in sin” and I, too, often tease people about it. I’m not religious or have any background which might cause me to think it’s *actually* sinful. To me it’s just such an outdated phrase that it’s funny to use. I would feel terrible if someone I said this to interpreted it as me passing judgment on them. That being said, I wasn’t there and don’t know the exact context (besides the fact that it was a cocktail party, so less formal, and also that it was said with a laugh), but if this had been said to me in the context the OP gave I don’t think I would have given a second thought about it.

      • I think it depends on the age of the person using the phrase, honestly. I wouldn’t have batted an eye if someone at my level had used it, as I think it would have conveyed the same joking tone that you mentioned above. However, if the woman saying it to me was 20 or more years older than me, I would likely have a different reaction, because at the time she grew up, it was still considered somewhat scandalous to live with a man before marriage.

    • I would find it pretty offensive but would play naive and say something like “Living in sin? What do you mean by that?” or say “Living in sin? That’s an expression I haven’t heard in a long time.” Put it back on her. Absolutely none of her business and I don’t think this can come under the “friendly teasing” banner. If you were to speculate about her sexual life and marital state in front of coworkers, woudl she like it?

  31. Equity's Darling :

    Hi All,

    I have a question for the lawyers: how did you pick what area of law to work in? I’m an articling student, and I’m torn between two practice groups at my firm. They’re not at all similar, so I really do have to pick one or the other. Both Group A and Group B have indicated that they want me in their group, and will pull for me during hire-backs, and I get along well with both groups.

    It’s been assumed that I would go with Group A because of my educational background and general interests, but I actually like Group B a lot. I’d say I like the work about equally at this point. I think both groups are well led, well-run, busy (I’d have no problem making hours), and would offer me great mentorship.

    I think that Group A has higher expectations of face-time, and likely would be a little…limiting, should I decide to go in-house at any point. Group B has lower face-time expectations, and is in-house friendly. Group A is also very perfection-oriented, which scares me a bit, because even though I am a perfectionist, having it coming from inside is a lot different than an external pressure.

    I’m also very worried about letting down Group A if I end up picking Group B, which has already essentially “claimed” me, and picked my office for after I’ve been called. I don’t want to burn bridges, because I really do respect the group, and I don’t want them to feel like I’ve led them on.

    What other factors should I consider in picking a group? Any suggestions on which factors deserve more weight? If I pick A will I be stuck there forever, or can I switch to B at some point in the nearish future?

    • karenpadi :

      I would ask myself “which days do I look forward to more? The days with Group A or with Group B?”

      I think the most telling points of your post are: “Group A is also very perfection-oriented, which scares me a bit, because even though I am a perfectionist, having it coming from inside is a lot different than an external pressure.” and “I’m also very worried about letting down Group A if I end up picking Group B”. So I think you might be leaning towards Group B.

      Don’t worry about the “losing groups” feelings. You can’t be in both groups at the same time. Just come up with some CYA reason for choosing the other that passes a sniff test and don’t burn bridges.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Well, my comment re: letting down Group A is because I have been pegged to be part of that group from when I was hired, and then again once I started doing work for them, and they loved me, and my work.

        They tend to only pick “stars” for their group, so it’s a huge compliment, but at the same time, the rest of the firm has immediately backed-off, so it very much might be seen like I’ve led on Group A.

        They literally have picked my office for 6 months from now (I haven’t even been called yet), and mentioned my name during their presentation on succession planning to the executive committee. Basically, everyone is under the impression that I’m going to Group A.

        I get comments about it all the time. Just this morning, someone mentioned Leader A’s “head exploding” if he found out that I ended up choosing Group C (which I will not do, but still). He’s actually a very calm Leader, but the rhetoric is apt. I feel like Group A would be very very disappointed.

        I’m currently split 50/50 between the groups. I enjoy them both and look forward to both (work wise, meeting wise, time wise, etc.), but for different reasons. I do spend most of my time with Group B now, because I’m in that group’s rotation, but I did more Group A before (while I was in their rotation).

        I don’t know if this changes the analysis, but Group A is solicitor work, and Group B is more litigation.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I was in a similar position when I was a summer associate. The deciding factor for me was the quality of associate life. The firm really tried to shield the summers from the downsides; I probably wouldn’t have picked up on the extent of associate misery if not for another summer who had worked in biglaw before law school. The associates in the department I thought I wanted were always on their blackberries – to the point that you couldn’t really have a conversation with them – and always looked tired, stressed, and frazzled.

      I’m so, so glad I made the decision I did. The associates in the group I thought I wanted (and would have gotten if I’d asked) have a really tough job, both in terms of the hours and emotionally, and I don’t think I would have been able to handle it. If you as a law student are picking up on things like face time and perfectionist tendencies AT ALL, then there’s much more to the story. Trust your gut.

      • Equity's Darling :

        This is my fear.

        The associates seem way more stressed in Group A than in Group B, and I’m not sure if it’s personality based, but they’re more stressed, yet none have children (except one, who also has a wife at home and a nanny).

        Group B includes 2 moms with relatively young children (and no nannies/SAHD), and they seem less stressed than the people in Group A.

        I’m young, and I don’t see kids in my future anytime in the next 3-5 years, but at the same time, I think that it’s very indicative of the work environment when moms can have kids in Group B, and not be super stressed.

    • Sounds to me like you are leaning towards Group B.

      Karenpadi’s comments are all right on, but I would add one other important point – where are the people whom you get along with best? You are going to be working with these people *a lot*, so it really matters that you like spending time with them.

      For myself, the decision was pretty obvious because I kind of fell into a practice area while I was articling – it was something I enjoyed and just seemed a natural fit for me. But it also helped that one of the partners in that practice area was really in my corner and stood up for me throughout my articles, and I wanted to continue working with him.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I really get along well with both Groups, but I do find Group B easier to connect with on a personal level.

        I’m actually worried that I like Group B so much that it skews how much I like the work…and in that case, I feel like I would be screwed if I left the firm, because then I might not like the work as much (does that make sense?).

        I’m arguing myself in circles at this point, and I’m feeling frustrated, and like I really need to let Group A know what is going on. I feel like I’m cheating on them.

    • This is the whole point of doing your articles in a firm large enough to provide you with rotations or exposure to several areas of law. The area you think you might practice can change completely. (I thought I would be corporate/commercial and ended up loving my litigation rotation, but have ended up doing compliance work. Go figure.) Pick the one that will make you happiest. Group A is trying to hedge their bets, but in no way does that require you to do what they want.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Yes, I was offered an article with a boutique for the practice Group A, and I said no for pretty much exactly that reason- I didn’t want to say yes to A without having seen the rest of the alphabet.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      I will be entirely honest with you. I examined areas in which I excelled and then picked the one with the most longterm profit potential –i.e., in which area would I most likely make partner and make the most money.
      sad, but true.
      I have not regretted my decision.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Thanks Amelia, I actually hadn’t really considered that (I don’t know why…we’re paid lock-step, and both groups are busy enough that I’d get a good bonus, so I sort of didn’t think it mattered now, and longer term, I’m undecided about staying in private practice). I’m glad you brought it up.

        Group B is also much more friendly to females being junior partners, but Group A is….not. For equity partners, well, our firm has probably 5 ladies across 10+ offices and like 600 lawyers (big for Canada, I know, small elsewhere). I’m pretty certain it would be easier to make junior partner in Group B, and I have no idea where it would be easiest to make equity partner. So…B wins for private-practice.

        I did private practice with Group A, I worry would feel burned out and want to leave within three or four years at most, but I also feel like it would be difficult to go anywhere else but private practice. With Group B, I feel the opposite, that I’d be happy to be there for a long time, but it would be easy to leave if I felt like I had to. Option-wise, I think B wins.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      One thing to consider also is the long-term view in the event that you decide to move firms etc. Is the type of work easily transferable? Are there many other firms in your city that do the type of work and that you would want to work for?

      The people factor is important, but people leave and you may leave, but the one thing that follows you throughout that is your practice area and it may be worth thinking hard about the type of work you would be doing as an associate, whether it would keep you interested in the long-term and what your career prospects are in the different areas.

  32. For those of you with an Ipad, what do you use it for? What do you use it for if you also have an IPhone?

    My DH wants to give me the Ipad3 when it comes out, but I am not convinced I will use it very much. I thought the same thing about the Iphone, but now that device is indispensable to me. I am happy with my Sony reader for reading, and with my Iphone for email.

    • I use mine mainly as follows:

      – At work, if on a conference call in another office (b/c work supports iPad for email, this makes managing email during calls much easier than squinting at the blackberry)
      – At home, keep it near me when I’m lounging around on the couch – this is where I use it most, both for reading (both through newspaper/magazine apps and Kindle app) and for casual web browsing. Much more comfortable and convenient than having the laptop out.
      – Generally handy for travel!

      • also, you may want to get an iPad 2 instead (they reduced the price by $100) – not sure the incremental differences on 3 are worth the now-premium price.

    • You might or might not use it, especially if you already have an e-reader. I got the iPad 2 before I got an iPhone, and I still prefer the iPad to the iPhone for evening browsing, e-mail, reading, app-using, etc. because of the larger screen. I’ll also add that my MacBook was semi-out of commission at the time I got the iPad, so I kind of got the iPad as a pseudo-laptop replacement. I like my iPad a lot, and I’m happy I bought it, but I don’t really consider it indispensable. Hope that helps.

    • The iPad is my computer at home, because our one home computer is constantly being monopolized by either my husband or our kids. Also, the home computer is downstairs in a separate office/library type room, and sometimes I want to look something up or connect to social networks when I’m upstairs watching TV in the opposite corner of the house. It’s easier to grab the iPad for this.

      I use the iPad now as my kindle, using the kindle app, so I can read while commuting or at lunch. I also use it to check my personal email when I’m at work, because email sites like yahoo and gmail are now blocked by our company firewall.

      I used my iPad a lot on my last long trip. I downloaded movies onto it and watched those while traveling, and listened to music on it as if it were my iPod.

      I intend to start sending pdfs to my iPad and taking those to meetings rather than printing out long agendas and exhibits, but I have a habit of note-taking on exhibits and I’m not sure yet how to accomodate that on the iPad. I’m sure There’s An App For That, but I haven’t found it yet.

      • Remote Instead of Email :

        @mamabear: if you want, you can load gotomypc or pocketcloud on your iPad and on your computer. then you can remote in from your iPad to your computer to access whatever PDFs or other documents you want. i do this instead of emailing things to myself because i worry about having numerous copies of documents (and possibly numerous versions of documents) floating around.

        • Thank you! Our systems here at work are on lockdown, meaning I cannot add any software to my work machine. Someday, I understand, we’re going to start using some kind of cloud storage we can access from multiple devices, but it hasn’t happened yet.

        • PS do you have any suggestions for making notes on PDFs on the iPad? It seems like something one could do with a stylus, but I haven’t found an app.

          • Remote Instead of Email :

            I don’t know how to do that. Sorry.

          • Here’s an article about some of the apps that annotate pdfs!


          • Mamabear, I like Notability the best for this. It syncs well with Dropbox (or home computer), lets you e-mail from within the app, you can also record your notes, import web clips, figures, add photos, take a photo, and it displays handwriting pretty well. I haven’t bought a stylus yet, but I did research them. Waiting for my want to be become a need before I purchase. Also, I like that I’ve only owned the app for about 6 weeks and it’s had at least one update which to me means that the developers are reading user feedback and making adjustments.

            It is regularly on sale; this week it’s 80% off. I can’t see the price because I own it but I think it’s a few bucks. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notability-take-notes-annotate/id360593530?mt=8

          • What that what?? Thank you both! I love these leads!

            Why could I not find this searching the app store??

          • Yeah, it didn’t turn up in iTunes for me either, I’d been testdriving a few other unpaid notetaking ones, then stumbled across some article that mentioned it. I figure I blow 99 cents on other stupid stuff, so my what the heck turned into a what the awesomeness!

    • watching netflix in bed!

      seriously, i am not a technology adopter and really had no interest in the ipad before i got one. Now, i love it. Seriously, its amazing. I promise, if you get it, you will soon not realize how you lived without it.

    • iPhone user here, too…I enjoy the iPad much more than I thought I would and was surprised at how much I use it. I use it almost like a computer at home, unless I am doing heavy editing in a document or I’m using a website that requires Flash. I leave my computer at home when I travel and it’s so light and portable that it makes traveling a dream (beware of well-meaning TSA agents that reorganize iPad in bin – my smartcover disengaged; I now make sure to lay it flat leaving plenty lot of space around it). Battery life is 10 hours, as advertised. Ex. watching a “Horrible Bosses” took about 15% of battery life. Also, the speaker is pretty impressive.

      I use it to read, refer to recipes when baking (protect screen and try not to drop on tile floor), do some file sharing/notetaking, FruitNinja (insert shame), movies through iTunes, TEDtalks, ABC Player, PBS player, and Flipboard. I can type pretty well with the on-screen keyboard. Occasionally use it for iMessage, Skype, and my messenger app (Beejive). I like Flipboard for news. It’s easy to manage space through iTunes or Cloud.

      Unsolicited advice:
      – Article from SmartMoney called “4 Reasons to Pass on the New iPad” http://tinyurl.com/7to6kk8
      – A helpful reader posted about purchasing accidental insurance through SquareTrade (thank you to the poster – I am going to purchase some). I dropped mine a week ago, cracked the glass and dented the back. I ended up replacing it yesterday.

    • I finally got an iPad in jan. I use it for all my personal stuff…web browsing, reading e books (my nook is dusty now), etc.

      At work, I’m using notability for note taking during meetings.

    • I have iPad, iPhone, and MacBook. I use the iPhone when I’m out, and at home when I am on the couch and just need to read email or quickly look something up. I use the MacBook for word processing, spreadsheets, or intense web browsing (when I know I’ll need 10+ tabs open). I use the iPad 2 for EVERYTHING else. So pretty much I am on the iPad all the time. It is great for reading blogs, light surfing, and shopping. I also use it to play music sometimes and am hoping to get one of those cool sonos speakers to pair with it. I highly recommend getting one.

  33. dry clean or not? :

    Question for the hive. I have a red Talbot’s tank – 92% silk, 8% spandex that says it is dry clean only. I noticed the last time I wore it that the fabric under the arms is slightly dark, like my gel deodorant got on the fabric. I know it wasn’t sweat, because it has been cold! Will that come out if I get it dry cleaned? Should I try to handwash instead? Any fabric care tips for this are appreciated!

    • I always hand wash my silk garments in cold water, blot with a towel, hang to dry, then iron. I have never had a problem. Be aware, however, that red seems to be the dye that bleeds the most, so if you do hand wash your tank, expect the water to turn pink. As long as you use cold water, and only swish it around for a couple minutes, it shouldn’t fade visibly.

      I use Woolite or gentle shampoo for my hand washing.

      • Woolite was mild sometimes in the 50s, but it’s not now!! It’s only better than Tide and hot water, but you should avoid it now. You’re much better off with either mild plain shampoo (not conditioner or weird color stuff) or dish detergent. Really. That holds for sweaters too.

    • My armpits get wet even if it’s cold. Are you sure it’s not sweat?

      You can handwash this in cold water with delicate fabric. I have a top with the exact same fabric composition and sometimes I even throw it in the washer in a delicates bag on the delicate setting.

    • Hand-washing may not work if your shirt has a glossy or otherwise distinctive sheen and you want to preserve it – somehow water ruffles the silk fibres in some way and they don’t go back to the way they were, even if the rest of the shirt is fine. If you dry-clean, mention the spots and ask if they can be got out without damaging the fabric.

      • dry clean or not? :

        Yes, pretty sure, Bluejay. Think it was the gel deodorant. SS, there is some sheen to the fabric, probably should have mentioned that. And this is why I don’t often buy silk!

  34. PS to ELS and others who have been encouraging. After our thread on Wednesday with L as original threadjacker re: weightloss and my response to her that I was frustrated because my scale has not moved: it finally did! I’m down 1.4 lbs and 1 inch on my waist. Thanks for the cheering up!! :-)

    • That’s awesome! Congratulations! Did you make any special changes to nudge the scale down?

      • Just kept doing what I was doing. Running and tracking my calories. I’ve found that it’s really a two-pronged effort for me. I can diet all month and not lose and I can run all month and not lose, but if I diet and run at the same time…loss! It’s just slow. I read some of these wonderful stories of losing 100lbs, 150lbs, etc… I have less than that to lose, but not much. And each of these stories they all seem to lose like 10 lbs immediately, in the first week! Or certainly the first month! I always hope to lose 1-2lbs per week and I just have to accept that my body isn’t going to let go quite that quickly. Sometimes it will, but sometimes it won’t. It’s still a healthy change.

        Also, as the weeks have gone by I’ve been trying more and more to eat fruits and veggies. At first, since I was calorie counting, it’s SO much easier to just grab pre-made foods. The calories are RIGHT THERE on the label! No guesswork! But then I realized that although I oddly FEEL like I eat plenty of fruits and veggies, there were days where the only ones I would eat were in my lunch soup. I think that has really helped.

        Thanks again for the encouragement everyone, it helps so very much!

    • YAY!!!!! I’m so happy for you.

    • Wow! 1.4 pounds and a whole inch in the waist is a good ratio! :-) You go girl! (You should imagine that said with full nineties attitude.)

  35. Wow…not even 2p.m. PST/5p.m. EST and almost 300 comments!

  36. Legal Marketer :

    It’s time to buy a new down comforter. I want a good one, as I am very delinquent in replacing them (7ish years?) but would like to stay under $300.
    What should I be looking for and does anyone have a favorite brand to recommend?
    I was thinking this had already been discussed several months ago, but I couldn’t find it when I searched, so sorry if it’s a repeat question.

    • Accountress :

      I love my Laura Ashley down comforter from Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s a few years old, but it’s fantastic. I think it was $150 originally.

    • Garnet Hill or The Company Store! You need to know what TOG (thickness/weight) you want in advance. I also love Marks and Spencer’s comforters (from England) in their down alternative. Shipping to the US from M&S is $15 and well worth it, as they are very reasonably priced.

    • They’re supposed to be replaced at regular intervals???

      • I did not know this!
        FWIW, I just got one at IKEA. LOVE!
        Not sure about the “live plucking” issue, I’ll have to research that before I buy the next one.

    • I just got a marimekko one at Crate & Barrell – well technically a duvet (Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off) plus the marimekko duvet cover – and I love it.

    • In House Counsel :

      Love the Charter Club brand at Macys. I’m on my 2nd (after about 5 yrs with the first) and they’ve help up really well. Plus with sales and coupons, I’ve scored them for between $150-200.

  37. shoot, I’m already far down in the thread, but hopefully folks will see this over the weekend.

    I need some season/weather dressing advice from the east coasters. I have a business trip in DC week after next, and I am so used to it feeling ssoooo ccoooold when i come to DC from California in March every year, I got my basic wool suits prepped for the trip. And now the weather says it’s going to be 68-70 degrees and sunny!!

    I only have one three-season wool suit, the 2nd jacket I’m bringing is a textured grey wool (link to follow) and my other skirt is a black & white tweedy pencil skirt. AND, I wanted to wear my knee high black high heeled boots with the skirts. Are these ok outfits, or am I going to look weird, and out of season wearing tweed and knee-high boots in 70 degree weather?

    Cause if the answer is yes, I have no idea how I’m going to get another mid-season suit together in 1 week :o(

    • this is a link to the same jacket I have, its a textured flannel-y wool


    • Pretty blazer. Honestly, keep checking the weather. It flurried earlier this week and then was 75 yesterday. I think you can get away with both your suits, but may need to change the styling depending on the weather. Go with pumps and maybe some colorful shirts to make them feel springier.

    • You can do those suits just change out the boots for reg heels

    • The weather is all over the place, 70+ one day and 50- the next day. I second the other poster: if you can just have an extra set of pumps or non-boot shoes just in case it is really warm, three-season wool and the other jacket will be fine. I’m sure there will be DCers who are wearing more ‘springy’ outfits because they are excited that they can, but what you described would not be out of place. Even the boots would probably be fine, I still see a lot of boots on the streets, especially for the windy/chilly/rainy evenings.

      • phew!! thanks everyone for reassuring me. I can definitely bring pumps, that’s an easy fix. Now I can chill and stop obsessing about my clothes, and start worrying about the actual work part of my trip! what would i do with out the ‘rettes!?

    • I think you will be ok. The weather has been all over the place, but even the warmer days have been quite windy and it’s still cool in morning/evening. Also, shoutout to the cherry blossoms — NPS says they have “visible florets” and should be in bloom Mar 22. If you’re interested I hope you get to see them or at least see them from the plane, if you’re flying into National.

      • phew!! thanks everyone for reassuring me. I can definitely bring pumps, that’s an easy fix.

        And yeah, somehow this trip always falls during cherry blossom, which is not the best plan, since everything is more expensive and we have to deal with the crowds, but we never have time to go and see the trees.

        Now I can chill and stop obsessing about my clothes, and start worrying about the actual work part of my trip! what would i do with out the ‘rettes!?

    • The weather has been really weird lately, but on balance it’s been much warmer than usual. DC is also humid, so a 75-degree day feels warmer than it does in Cali. I think you’ll be fine in your basic wool suit, especially because you can just wear it outside without a coat and be warm enough. I definitely wouldn’t wear the knee high boots though. Some women have started going barelegged here, and it’s definitely too warm for boots. Tights or hose and pumps are a better choice.

      • Oh, and I think the tweed skirt is fine too – I didn’t mean to make it sound like only the suit would be fine. It’s only March; plenty of people are still wearing winter fabrics.

        • that’s what i was hoping to hear, Bluejay. I can switch out the shoes, as long as the wintery fabrics won’t look bizarre. I was worried about the humidity, but i’ve been on the west coast so long, I feel like i’ve lost my sense of weather/clothing on the east coast. It’s so great to have somewhere to get advice on this kind of thing, thanks so much!

    • The boots may stick out if it’s in the 70s. I’d recommend wearing the same suits but with pumps. Most women in D.C. are now wearing tights with pumps or going bare-legged.

  38. Where do you shop for swimsuits? I had a weekend beach trip with friends last summer and in a panic bought a $200 swimsuit (an Australian brand I think) from a local store. It was great for the trip, but I’ve changed sizes since last year and don’t want to spend that again on something I will only wear a few times a year.

    • Holy cow, I picked one up from JC Penney’s for $3 on final clearance.

    • Jcrew is having a 20% off swim sale today and poss thru the weekend – lots of choices!

      • Oooo…I like lots of these. I’m a sucker for paisley. Not sure why, but I even have a paisley table cloth. I think its because my mother exclusively wears solids :).

    • I like going places where they stock a lot of different brands, to try on as many different cuts as possible; department stores are good, so are TJ Maxx-type places. I’ve also gotten some really cute bikini tops at Old Navy.

      Also, this is timely for me, since I think I need a new go-to bikini this year. I somehow lucked into the perfect pair of bikini bottoms my senior year of high school, at a Guess outlet of all places. They fit perfectly, are extremely flattering, and are solid black, so every year I make a token effort to find a new bikini, fail to find bottoms that beat the Guess ones, and so buy a new top so I can have “new swimwear.” But alas, the bottoms are getting noticeably stretched out, so I think I’ll have to actually (gulp) plunge into hardcore swimwear shopping this spring.

      • Another vote for TJMaxx. I just bought a Ralph Lauren suit there this week for $30.

      • I still have a super cute, perfect color bikini that I haven’t not (been able to) worn since college. My sister even borrowed it once and BEGGED me for it and I refused. SOMEday I will fit into it again and then I will be glad I’ve been saving it for 15 years!!!

        • PSA – Just be sure to get it wet (maybe in your bathroom) and try it on before you wear it out in public to make sure that the elastic hasn’t died… it would suck to have the bottoms fall down or the top suddenly release the girls when wet because of elastic that’s lost its spring!

          • It probably has, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get brave enough to wear it in public. But I will at least put it on and show my boyfriend and be able to tell my sister that there was a damn good reason I didn’t let her have it way back then! :-)

    • I have an embarassingly large amount of swimsuits from Target. They put them by the register at the store by me almost year round! I just can’t help myself.

    • Lands End Canvas! I just ordered a few really cute ones there for a vacation and they were super cheap. Word to the wise, size down. Their stuff runs huge.

      • Second Land’s End Canvas! They’re awesome and well-priced.

      • just bought two from Lands End Canvas on clearance (listed in the overstocks section online) for like $7. One’s floral and really great; the other is a straight cut bandeau that I’m not that happy with.
        I found that they ran small? It’s cut more like juniors sizing than the regular Lands End line.
        I wore XXS/O in Canvas tops and shirts, but an XS in swimwear fit great. (this might be because I have boobs? idk bathing suit shopping is always torture)

        However, they’re not that expensive, and you can return them to any Sears so just order a bunch to try on!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Old Navy or Land’s End. The swimsuit that I have gotten the most compliments on and has lasted the longest is from old navy and was probably like $20 bucks. Land’s End are always good quality, and if you get them on sale, not that expensive.

    • Lands End!

    • Land’s End. I’ve already received a couple of catalogs featuring swimsuits this year – and they usually have a least some options year-round, I think.

    • Nordstrom, but it was on sale last summer – I think Trina Turk’s are so pretty, they are even prettier on sale. TJMaxx is a good bet. JCrew’s made me feel really bad about my body – probably a combination of me/bad fitting room lighting/poorly designed bottoms.

    • Victoria’s secret. I usually don’t like their stuff but their swim wear is amazing. I really like that you can mix and match tops and bottoms. My only complaint is that they are slightly limited in their pattern choices (I prefer patterned to solid swim suits), but the quality is great for the price. I you want something disposable, target had some really cute ones when I was looking about a month ago. The quality was not as good as VS but they had cute stripes and the colors were very bright and fresh.

      I have to say I do not like the J.Crew swim, and I buy 90% of my wardrobe at J.Crew, so I really, really tried to make it work. The material they use just feels bad and the quality is ok. If they were about half the price, they might be okay, but at that rice, they should be a lot nier and more comfortable. I also found the fit to be really weird (and I tried several ops, bottoms, and sizes), and their clothes fit me great.

      • L from Oz :

        I assume the Australian brand was Seafolly – all my stuff is from them. It’s expensive, as has been noted, but fantastic – I have a cover-up, board shorts and a tankini from them, and they make someone very round like me look curvy and shapely – and I can swim well in everything.

        I would definitely prefer to pay less for my swimming costumes, but the quality is so much better, it’s worth it. (I also have Zoggs and Speedo for swimming laps, but they’re not substantially cheaper at full price, which I normally have to do in my size. And those cossies might be practical, but stylish…not so much. I swim so much that I can just about justify owning that much swimming gear at those prices. Well, almost.)

    • Willing to take on snarkiness for this one: Abercrombie & Fitch.
      I am petite and look like a teenager, so this brand is my guilty pleasure whenever I travel to the US.

  39. NYC ladies:

    I’m hoping to make a pilgrimage to one of these mythical Nordstroms. What’s the best one within driving distance? I’d prefer LI or NJ over Westchester.

    • Anonymous :

      Short Hills NJ has a good Nordie’s. I think its Rt 78 West to Rt. 24, and then a quick right off the exit (heavy merge).

      I have not been to the Westchester mall in White Plains in years, but if I remember correctly it is basically the same shops as Short Hills.

  40. I’ve gotten a few cute ones in the past from Victoria’s Secret — they’re everywhere from $30-$150. I was actually looking at the Target site today and was impressed at how many cute ones Target had, especially if you’re just looking for a basic bikini. Also saw some cute ones at the Gap.

  41. Rocking the Boat :

    Have any of you bailed on a relationship after three years?

    The guy is great and I love him, but he feels like my brother. Being around him isn’t exciting sexually or mentally anymore. Has anyone else gone through this, and for those of you who have been in a relationship for longer than this, is this a normal part of the ups and downs or should I cut my losses now? I’m 26, in my second year of practicing law, and feel like a jerk because this guy is perfect on paper. I’m just not into the idea of marrying him.

    • I haven’t done this, but if I were on the other side of this situation, I would want you to break up with me. Everybody deserves to be in a relationship with somebody who is batsh*t crazy about them, and that includes your SO. IMO, you would be a jerk to stay with him and keep him from dating other girls who will love him in the boyfriend way, not the brother way.

    • I haven’t, but I’ve seen friends who have left SOs after similar or longer amounts of time and they have all ended up better off. I agree with SLCanon, I’d want you to break up with me if I was your boyfriend too! 26 is still so young and personally I’d rather break up with a boyfriend at 26 than a husband at 36 or 46.

      I had a boyfriend who broke up with me after about 1.5 years because basically I wasn’t affectionate enough with him. Looking back, I wasn’t affectionate enough with him because my feelings about him had changed over the relationship and while I still enjoyed spending time with him, I just wasn’t into him in the way I should have been. Even though I’m still single now, I’m so thankful that he ended it.

    • The time has come to break up with him. It will be hard and sad but you both deserve to be sexually and intellectually attracted to one another. Eventually someone will come along who does that for you and you’ll break up anyway.

    • Had one of those relationships. He broke up with me. It sucked but was much better for the long term.

      Now married. Been with SO 6 years (I know that’s not forever, but still). Still batsh*t crazy about him, even though our relationship has changed from first flush of love. DEFINITELY don’t feel like he’s my brother…if you know what I mean.

    • I’ve done this. I broke up with someone (when I was 25) that I had been with for a little over 3 years, for the same reasons to describe. I broke up with him after we started looking for engagement rings. I’ve been with my now-fiance for 4.5 years, and I’m still interested in him on all levels. So in my experience, losing complete sexual and mental interest isn’t a normal part of a three-year relationship. Don’t feel like a jerk.

    • Yes, I’ve been in your boat exactly. We even owned a home together, but the writing was on the wall. I was 28 when we ended it. Thankfully we have managed to stay good friends and he’s still in my life. The break up was awful but I’ve now met a great guy who challenges me mentally, introduces me to new things occasionally, and the romantic connection is still there years later.

      Also, I would add that I grew a lot as a person being single again in my late 20s early 30s. That free time allowed me to explore new interests. I’ve never regretted my decision- and I don’t think my ex has either.

    • Just adding one more vote to the unanimous opinion here–and I have had this experience as well (at the 3-year mark). It ended mutually, and it was for the best.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. Break up was at 5 years, but should have been at 3. We’re both better off, and friends. The biggest impediment/difficulty in our friendship is mutual resentment that we let it drag on. But search your own heart and mind and consider if there is some way to get that spark back. Our issue was WAY bigger than a mere lack of spark.

    • Rocking the Boat :

      I hate it when the hard answer is the right one. Thanks all.

      • May be too late but I think in a lot of relationship, things die down after 3-4 years. Some people are lucky enough to have that spark all through the relationship, but for many people, it kinda calms down. If you feel absolutely nothing for him any more, then you should break up, but you should be sure that you’re not throwing away a good relationship for that “spark” which may fade after a while with many others. This may sound almost 18th century, but it’s really really hard out there to find someone even halfway decent after a certain age, for both men and women. So if you’re 26, this is a really good time to decide what to do, including walking away, but you need to remember that your selection gets worse as time goes by.. (unfair world, but that’s how it is..)

        • Rocking the Boat :

          I am having a hard time exactly because of this. He feels like my best friend, not my boyfriend. The not wanting to have sex thing is worrying me. No meds or anything to blame it on…I just don’t want to.

          • anon for this :

            You’re 26–you shouldn’t feel tied down to a guy you don’t feel passionate about. I’m about 10 yrs older than you and didn’t take my own advice–married the guy and ended up finally leaving after 8yrs of a “passionless” marriage when I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  42. I just did something that now I’m wondering is weird. I’m just a law student, but lots of times acquaintances ask me about legal advice. I obviously can’t help them, but one of them specifically asked if I had a recommendation for a real lawyer. I didn’t personally know any lawyers that do that kind of work, so I emailed the attorney who hired me for this coming summer. I’ve spoken to him periodically, and he seems helpful and nice in general. Is this a weird thing for me to do or a faux pas in any way? I’m suddenly very nervous about it. I figure that if somebody at his firm can do it, they get more work, which is good, and if not he can recommend somebody else (which is also good because people often recommend stuff back . . . right?). Yeesh. Somebody confirm whether I screwed up or not, please.

    • That’s what I would have done too, for the same reasons.

    • Nope. People look for referrals for lawyers all the time — in fact giving referrals is practically a favorite past time for some lawyers.

      I’m sure you’re fine.

    • karenpadi :

      Nope. In my firm, it’s very common (e.g., once or twice daily) for attorneys to send an email blast asking if anyone has a referral in xyz area of the law.

      Referrals are like informational interviews or giving informal presentations. They are a professional courtesy that lawyers do for other lawyers. It’s one of the decent things about this profession.

      • It was a running joke that people would send the most OBSCURE e-mails seeking referrals to the firm wide e-mail list at my old firm. As in “I’m looking for a trusts and estate attorney in Djibouti who has expertise in gay and lesbian adoption and end of life decision making” (just as an example).

        • Equity's Darling :

          I’m actually laughing, because we get those alllll the time (at least once a week). And I always find them hilarious and pretty bizarre.

          • Me too. They come over ABA section listservs. “Local counsel needed in Bujumbura,” and then 25 people reply to all, and then three people reply to all telling them not to reply to all. And then it happens again the next week

      • I would just tell them to search on Martindale Hubbel. Do this all the time.

  43. I like this dress but it’s got an air of maternity wear – or I think it would if I were the one wearing it. I’m not pregnant, though. So I must pass.

  44. YOU GUISE I’ve been taking depositions for two days in a row with a hair elastic on my wrist THE WHOLE TIME!

    //Kanye shrug//

    • Imma let you finish, but I heard that Portia interviewed for a job today with TWO hair bands on her wrist. She by far did the best advanced trolling of the day. :-P

    • Did you wear a reallllllllllly cool scarf the whole time?

  45. Ladies, can you share any real estate tips? Anything you wish you knew when buying your first house? Horror stories welcome :)

    SO and I just got preapproved for the amount we want and found a cute little rehab with some great features (roof deck, parking, etc.). I was looking over the good faith estimate- can I cut out some of the fees for things I can handle myself, like for a notary ($40!) and mortgage recording? We’re also thinking about an FHA as opposed to a conventional loan- any experiences? Finally, any recs for an inspector in Philadelphia?

    • You probably CAN cut out some of those things, but I’m not sure you should. Its a stressful, complicated process and even if you feel pretty confident, it can be an overwhelming day. We did not hire an RE attorney when we bought our first place as I’m an attorney and the mortgage company hires an attorney that basically has the same interests you do (they registered the deed for us btw and I don’t think we paid for that).

      If you have the cash to put down 20%, I would to avoid the FHA loans. First of all, FHA loans can be complicated, they can require multiple inspections, and it can just be a mess. In addition, the points add more to your monthly payment then you would think. A traditional mortgage worked much better for us.

      • That’s so interesting re: FHA loans. I have one and it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Now, I haven’t done a conventional loan and it was new construction so we were not exactly worried about wear and tear type damage, but still. Also, I had no points at all.

        The only thing I don’t like about the FHA loan is that you have to have mortgage insurance until you’ve paid down something like 78% of the loan, which I was told in writing by my lender was only 5%. If I could get rid of mortgage insurance I would save like $75/month and apparently that’s going to go up dramatically in April. So, that’s irritating.

    • Seattleite :

      Don’t do a rehab unless you genuinely *love* doing rehab work. Like, seriously love it.

      Rehab takes twice as long and is twice as expensive as your very best estimates, and if you’re doing it while you’d rather be snorkling, biking, walking, reading, vegging, theater-going, drinking, or having s*x, you will end up hating the house and/or each other.

      Also, don’t do it if the enthusiasm and self-starter level isn’t the same for both of you. My XH was wildly enthusiastic on the front end, but he wasn’t a self-starter. I lacked the strength and skill set to just do it myself. (We had no bathtub for 11 months with two toddlers, and I got a tub only because I threatened to move to a hotel.)

      OTOH, if you can afford to pay someone to actually do the work, go for it. When I’m rich enough to afford designer duds, I’m spending that money on rehabbing a craftsman bungalow.

      ~former rehabber

      • Sorry if I wasn’t clear. It’s already been rehabbed for us. I don’t plan on doing anything other than changing the paint

    • Scully, at least in my state, CA, it’s illegal to notarize a document in which you have a financial interest. And, if you do hire a notary, notaries are allowed to charge $5-10 per signature, and if you’re handling title and loan docs as part of a closing, $40 is a bargain. I’m just sayin….

      My mother is also a realtor, so I’ve heard it all. You are on the right track–her #1 tip: Make sure you do a very, very thorough home inspection with a trusted, reputable, recommended home inspector. Test every light switch, faucet, disposal, appliance hookup, doorknob, cabinet, window, vent, check roof/foundation, etc. You will be on the hook for _everything_ that doesn’t work after the deal closes, unless you negotiation a holdback/escrow for something specific. This can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of post-closing headache, and is super-important! Good luck.

      FHA vs. conventional loan will largely depend on $$ value. Out here in CA, it’s hard to even get a conforming loan due to real estate prices.

      • Usually though if you go to a bank that you have an account with they’ll notarize for free.

        • so anonymous :

          Yeah, but when you are sitting at a real estate closing, you can’t excuse yourself to go have a document notarized (a document which the bank brought to the closing and you would have to take away with you).

    • You can bring your own notary! Many lawyers are notaries. If need be, find a friend.

      • Really? I was a notary and was advised when I became an attorney that I should give up my notary license. Many lawyers employ notaries in their offices but I don’t think I’ve ever met an attorney who is also a notary.

    • Ditto Seattleite – plan to spend more money/time on rehab than you budget. I’m glad you’re getting a home inspector – at least you’ll know all issues even if the seller may not fix them. I have a friend that negotiated a waiver of most of the junk fees, but when closing time came she and her husband were charged the fees. Paperwork was amended, all turned out well.

      • Consider opting out of owner’s title insurance. We looked into this issue carefully when buying our first place and decided that in our case it wasn’t worth the price.

    • lucy stone :

      The attorney who does closings for our CU waived the notary fees for us. Yours may as well.

  46. I’m going home!!! No more computer till Monday!!! It’s 70 and sunny and perfect here and I’m going to spend every second of the next two days enjoying it!!! Peace out homies!!!

    (PS if you’re looking for exclamation points over the weekend I’ve used them all up with this post!!)

    • Noooooooooooooooo!!! It is so cold and gross here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      (see, there were still a few left)

    • It was 81 degrees in LA today! But sadly I did not leave my office once. Enjoy your weekend!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Thanks guys! It’s cee-razy how much more I look forward to the weekends now that I’m not working through them and only see me SO during them! It was a fabulous weekend and I am sad it is Monday, although now that I’m not working weekends I actually enjoy my weeks (yes, even including Mondays *gasp!*) a LOT more. :-)

  47. PSA – Did you know it’s daylight savings time this weekend ? Spring forward – i.e., we lose an hr (unless you’re somewhere that doesn’t do daylight savings)

    • Crap, really? That completely and totally sucks.

    • Aargh. No daylight savings where I am, which means the time difference between me and bf will be 8 hours. 9 was baaarely manageable–at 10 p.m. his time it’s 7 a.m. mine, but early morning calls will be so much harder now!

      • My bf and I are on the same time difference as you, so I sympathize — it’s really hard! At least my time change will catch up in a few weeks.

      • If it used to be 7am his time when it’s 10pm your time, now it will be 8am his time. DST is an hour ahead of standard time.

    • I don’t like losing the sleep (esp. because I have a newborn), but I loooove that it will stay light later. I vote for DST all the time!!

  48. sad for boss lady :

    I have a strange problem (?) and I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with the same sort of issue.

    I am working part time as a bookkeeper at the local branch of a national NFP org. This is a job I expect to leave in the next 6-12 months. I report directly to the VP for Finance. I like her a lot as a person, and I wish her well in her career. However, she is very obviously insecure, and is a poster child for the “before” stories in NGDGTCO. This didn’t really bother me until I had to do a bunch of financial reports that involved me getting payroll information. Now I’m angry on her behalf. She is getting paid what I did when I was the assistant manager at a coffee shop, which is jack squat. And it’s not that its a NFP with no money to pay people. The president and other VP make 6 and 3 times what she does, respectively. She has access to the payroll information too, of course, so she knows this as well.

    So here’s my question: Is this a situation where I just need to keep my trap shut and just vow that this will never happen to me, that I will always negotiate salary when getting job offers, etc? Or could I casually leave a copy of NGDGTCO in my desk on my last day and hope she reads it? My jaw literally dropped when I found out how little they were paying her, and I wish there were something I could DO to help her without embarrassing or upsetting her.


    • Wow, I was just thinking about this type of thing. I watched Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk about succesful women. It was forwarded to me by my little sister, who is in her last year of university, and has previously told me that “people don’t negotiate in my industry”. As it happens I think that is dead wrong, since she’s in one of the few industries that IS growing right now.

      I’m hoping this means little sister gets it now!

      • Hmmmm…my inclination is to say leave it alone. It’s not your place to come to the rescue and she may not appreciate it. But I understand why you feel the way you do. I would too.

    • If she knows what she makes and what others make, then I’d leave it. Maybe there’s some other reason – like she has a trust fund and only takes a minimal salary because she doesn’t need it and wants the non-profit to keep its money. It can’t hurt to give her a copy of NGDGTCO, but if you do, I’d just give it to her as a gift and say it’s one of your favorite books. Don’t bring up the salary info.

      • Makeup Junkie :

        Giving a manager that book would come across as very insulting, I think. Better to just mention that it was read and enjoyed and did the manager read it too?

    • Nothing good can come of this. There may be some underlying reason why she has a lower salary that doesn’t have anything to do with negotiation. Maybe they’re expected to work 60-80 hours a week and she can’t put in more than 40, maybe she negotiated better benefits/paid maternity leave, maybe she doesn’t feel comfortable making tons of money in a nonprofit. There are so many possible explanations and if I were in her place, I’d find it really insulting to have someone assume that the reason I don’t make as much as others is because I can’t negotiate.

      • sad for boss lady :

        Thanks for the advice everyone. I’ll probably just let it be.

        It is possible that I’m jumping to a conclusion about why she is being paid so little, but she works 60 hours a week, has the same or worse benefits as everyone else, has grown children (so no maternity leave), and certainly does not seem to have a trust fund, based on some of the things she’s said about her finances. I think part of what makes me upset is that she seems to regularly let people take advantage of her, and it makes me angry on her behalf.

        However, after giving it some thought, I realize that it’s not really any of my business, and I just need to butt out, and leave it alone.

  49. Restructuring, managing my manager :

    Hi all, a (rather long ) question on how to manage my manager, and what one should do in a restructuring.

    We are under going restructuring. It will be a fundamental change to the organisation. About 75% of staff will have to reapply for jobs, of which there will be 25% fewer than before, and the structure will be flattened with less senior roles available. One of the unspoken reasons for this restructuring is to thin out the mid-senior ranks. My manager falls within this category (mid-senior) and some say an example of a manager who should have been managed out years ago. I’m not concerned exactly about not securing a position in the new restructure (I think there will be a job, the question is whether one would want to do more work for same pay, less advancement opportunities).

    I am concerned about how to position myself for the best possible job after the restructuring. My manager is not held in high regard by the predominantly male management (nor is she respected by a good deal of female colleagues) and I am concerned that this will impact on my ability to secure the positions I want. My reputation within the organisation is not strong in the sense that I have been out of this office for a few years. I do not have visibility, or as one manager told me on why my last promotion attempt was unsuccessful, my work is at the level above and individual managers absolutely supported promotion, but I’m “not famous enough” and a few months back wasn’t enough to develop that. Unfortunately restructuring is here, and while I think I have built up some credit in the “reputation bank” in the limited time, I am worried that my current manager may be the only one who has a good appreciation of my skills and achievements.

    While this is happening, there are a number of projects that must go on, and I must continue to work with my manager who is probably aware that she will have a tough fight to hang on to a job, let alone a managerial position. She is a micromanager, but one that can’t keep on top of the details, or often even the big picture. I struggle to remain patient and calm with the amount of extra work she generates e.g. panicked call at 5pm for an extra 50 pages of briefing notes for her meeting the next morning at 9am, because she is not across the issues (your fault), but will also refuse to let me join the meeting. I don’t want to get on her bad side (as a number of colleagues have, and whom she has tried to sideline) as I will be dependent on her as a main referee in the new restructuring/reassignment process, but I also need to get things accomplished and think of my own reputation.

    So ladies, in this position, how would you:
    a) manage your manager, who is not particularly good at their job and you suspect would happily hang you out to dry if she thought it advantageous?
    b) go about making your achievements know more broadly, without incurring the wrath of said manager?
    c) prepare yourself to look for opportunities elsewhere – what specific best steps would you recommend?


    • In search of Bunksters bark :

      You probably don’t want to hear this, but

      D. All of the above.

    • A. Don’t. She’d hang you out to dry? Eff her. Look after yourself.

      B. I think NGDGTCO actually has a lot of good pointers on how to do this. If you haven’t read it already, I’d suggest you read it. Then, use the model at the end of the book to develop an action plan for yourself.

      C. I’d start looking now. If you’re in an industry that uses recruiters, call a couple. Tell them you want this to stay confidential because your employer doesn’t know you’re looking. And update your resume; make sure it reflects your most recent work and that you use it to sell yourself well.

  50. My high school mentor just texted me that he is having a baby girl. Would love to send something. Maybe a book? Does anyone have suggestions?

    • Oh and do I send something now? Or wait til the baby is born right?

    • Books would be nice – especially if the high school mentor was an english teacher. Or if you know the baby’s name and/or the nursery colors, a quick search on Etsy for baby blankets, boppy covers, wall art, etc. will give you more options. If it’s a first child though, I tend to buy more practical gifts from the registry. Are you invited to the baby shower? If not, then I think it’s okay to wait to send the gift until after the baby is born. Otherwise, I give a baby gift at the shower and then I send a card and a small gift for mom (like a spa gift card) after the baby is born.

    • I love to send my own kids’ favorite baby books as baby gifts.
      They are
      The Very Hungry Caterpillar
      Goodnight Moon
      Pat the Bunny

      Definitely get the board book style, except for Pat the Bunny, which is its own thing.

      • Those are terrific; also try The Going to Bed Book and Moo Baa La La La

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I definitely remember The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pat the Bunny, and Goodnight Moon from when I was a child, so they must be good. (Apparently after our parents read us Goodnight Moon on a vacation at the beach, though, my brother and I made them drive us around the island so we could say goodnight to everything. Goodnight, ocean, Goodnight, lighthouse, goodnight park by the pier… etc and so forth)

    • I think a book is perfect for a high school mentor. I have made a habit of giving the first-time parents I know the Dr. Seuss book “Oh The Places You’ll Go.” I like thinking about a parent starting to read that to her child when they are very young and one day the child being able to read it on her own…makes the book so much more true :)

  51. job seeker :

    I’m looking to lateral from one big firm to another for geographic reasons. I’ve been working with recruiters but am displeased with them for various reasons, so I’m thinking of just mailing resumes and cover letters to all the firms in my desired area that have practices in my area of law. Is this a total waste of time?

    • I bet if you were willing to post your destination, people might have recommendations. For example, I know of recruiters in LA and DC that I think very highly of.

      If you want to go the direct route, I would check law firm web sites — I know that my (former) firm generally posted when it was hiring. And when I applied to firms that had postings listed on their sites, I got responses. I don’t think that — had your resume just come across our recruiting manager’s desk unsolicited — it would necessarily get much traction, but I could be wrong. It’s a different story if you know someone in a target office that can go to the recruiting manager, and the partner in your targeted group….

  52. Re: online privacy/tracking

    There was some chatter recently regarding plug-ins and browsers. I mostly use Firefox with use the free TACO plug-in (also available for other browsers). The first time you visit a website it will let you turn on/off tracking and remember the setting. Also it can hide your IP address, tell you a website’s risk level and inform you of the social networks trying to track you, ad networks trying to profile you, and companies trying to track you. You can customize settings for each website, use the plugin to pull up privacy data on a site, etc.

    Abine Corp also offers other paid products that allow you to delete yourself from the internet, but I haven’t tried any of them.

  53. Mamma Mia :

    As was foretold by the wise and powerful Corporettes that went before me, going off the pill has really made my face break out, and completely grosses out my whole look. Help! What can I do about this?

    • Clarisonic and Paula’s choice to try to mitigate the damage :-(

    • The single product that has made the most difference in my skin is a zinc-vitamin C serum. I randomly discovered a company called Malibu Wellness because my mom’s derm recommended their C-serum to my mom after a surgery or procedure (I can’t even remember know). I googled and decided to try their Zinc-C serum, and while my skin is not perfect, I have really not had any serious breakouts since (an occasional whitehead, or hormonal cyst, but nothing like my skin would erratically erupt before), and I’ve been using this serum for at least 3 years now. It costs around $30 per bottle, and a bottle lasts me over a month (but not quite two) used generously once a day over my face, neck, and decolletage.

      Also, I have started using my Clarisonic again, and am wondering why I ever stopped.

      • ETA – My skin apparently responds well to zinc. I previously posted about Head and Shoulders original version working better than anything else on my bacne. FYI, I’ve also had success with glycolic acid (Jan Marini) and various salicylic acids, but benzoyl peroxide has never worked well for me. I don’t use any of that now though, just the zinc-C, plus whatever night treatment I am cycling through (currently Somme Transport, previously Philosophy Miracle Worker pads, before that Philosophy Help Me), a moisturizer at night, and either Smashbox Photofinish Light or Philosophy The Present in the morning.

  54. So 3 weeks ago when I was up at Sunapee with my nieces while their parents were in the Caribbean, I accidentally broke a lamp.

    It was on a table next to the couch in the rental house that my sister has this winter. I learned the next morning that the table it was on was already broken. Apparently, that happened earlier in the season when one of the kids sat on it.

    So when I leaned back on the couch against the table, the table collapsed and the lamp broke.

    Today I got an email from my brother-in-law with a link to the lamp, which is sold out and was $100. I just searched online for it and spoke to customer service at the company. I’m going to send him a check, but I honestly don’t think it’s fair. The table it was on was broken. They shouldn’t have put the lamp back on it.

    Plus, I didn’t get paid for the babysitting.

    • No idea what your relationship with your brother in law is, but if I were you, I’d tell him exactly what you wrote above — it’s a little ungrateful for them to want you to replace a lamp that you broke under perfectly understandable circumstances.

    • I don’t think it’s fair either, it’s actually really petty given the circumstances (broken table and you helped out with kiddos) and they were on vacation in the Caribbean. Not like you were dancing on the table, Bunkster!!!

      I have sisters and I rarely communicate with my BILs, so if that were me, a sister would be the go-between. I am also confident a broken lamp would be overlooked. A few thoughts: 1) reply back and say that yes it did happen while you were there, you’re surprised to see the e-mail expecting a replacement given the circumstances; there was a known problem that wasn’t fixed. 2) reply back with a tally of your expenses and a link to childcare costs for a week and deduct the cost of the lamp from your expenses. Tell him you can accept a check. 3) If you still end up giving money, consider going to the bank and getting it in rolls of pennies. Well, that’s passive aggressive, so don’t, but it’s a funny thought.

      Finally, it seems like you see your family a lot, particularly when it comes to helping out with nieces/nephews. A lot of families don’t have family members that are dependable/willing to help out, so he should be a little more grateful.

    • First of all — I don’t think YOU broke the lamp — but that’s probably neither here nor there.

      In situations like this I try to figure out how important the issue is to me vs. how much money it is. I guess I’d probably not pick a fight with family over this much money — BUT, they are being total idiots especially since you volunteered to watch their kids for them! They should be nicer to you since next time you might think twice.

      But that’s just my two cents.

      • yeah I agree– if the money isn’t a big deal for you, just send the check and let it go. It’s not worth the family drama. If the money is an issue or you really can’t let it go, I’d suggest talking to your sister about it. I would call her and have an actual conversation, forget email. It’s much easier to tell how someone really feels on the phone (when you can hear voice tone, inflection etc) than email.

        • Yeah. I was just mostly posting to vent. I’m going to suck it up and send $100. That kind of money is kind of a lot for me, but it’s not for them. Their combined annual income is about 4 times what mine is.

          • One question – does your sister know he has asked you for the money? I can see my BIL doing this same thing, but if my sister knew about it, she would tell him he was being a jerk and wouldn’t let me pay. If she does know and agrees with him, I would probably pay too, just to avoid contributing to family drama, but I’d also mention to my sister that they shouldn’t have left the lamp on a table that was broken. I would also be less likely to babysit for them again, much as I love my nieces and nephews.

          • WTH? I wouldn’t send it. I know from your previous posts that you don’t have a lot of extra cash, and if they have a lot more than you, they’re being ridiculous. Also, I agree with the commenter who wondered if your sister even knows about this?

          • I’d like to amend my statement to add that he’s tight (in addition to being petty). And I’m glad it was *only* a lamp. Some people are just tools.

          • Please do not do this!! The resentment will sting for years. Talk to your sister.

          • This. Talk to your sister. Tell her it is not about the money and you’d be happy to send a check if they insist, but that you want her to know how you feel about this. Better to talk about it now than for you to feel resentful about this (especially if your sister may not know).

            Really, you were helping them have some time together in the knowledge that their kids were om good hands and without incurring any extra expenses. This is true regardless of how much you enjoy spending time with your nieces. I love my nieces and nephews to death, but trust me, when I’m spending more than a day with them I’m doing their parents a favor.

    • That sounds really petty. I’m sure he will be charged for it by the rental company, but still. I’d talk to your sister and see if you can find out why he’s being petty about it, rather than confronting him directly. And maybe don’t use the word petty, at least not right away.

    • karenpadi :

      Are you bl**ping kidding me? I’d ignore his email and mentally dare him to bring it up again.

      If he does, I’d vow to never babysit for free for him again. And I would pay it. In 100 monthly installments of $1.

    • I would start with a reply email to BIL and sister that says, “Wow. I feel hurt by this email.” And nothing else. Move it from the realm of financial accounting to the realm of family feelings and obligations. Then wait and see how they respond.

      You aren’t committing to paying or not paying, simply saying how you feel at the moment, which is totally valid.

      While breaking the lamp has consequences, so does the request to pay for it. All the consequences should be brought to the table fairly explicitly with all the parties present.

    • Respond to his email with the going rate for overnight sitters and let him know he can take the $100 out of your pay.

    • D@mn, it’s SOOOO hard to get capable household help these days! Can you believe that the babysitter was so klutzy and broke our “prize” lamp?

      I agree that talking (via phone not email) with your sister is the best course of action and sending a check if it gets too intense. It’s too bad if it keeps you from seeing your nieces as often or keeps the nieces from getting to play with fun Auntie Bunkie.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I’d send him the $100 bucks, plus an invoice for the babysitting, including overtime for every hour of 8 per day…… What a jerk!

  55. Paging hip hop anonymous :

    Posting this early enough so that maybe you’ll see this sometime before Sunday afternoon — the plan is to go to Go Vertical at 4pm on Sunday. I just realized — if you participated in the Philly ‘rette meet-up thread, my first initial is P and you can totally email me at that address so we can coordinate. Neither my regular partner nor I are particularly good (we just barely claw our way up 5.7s), so we’re totally thrilled to have a beginner along. Hope to hear from you!

  56. I accepted a new job in my department and started this last week. Went home crying every night, I hate the job so much. I spoke with my old boss yesterday and she says that the person they hired to replace me (who hasn’t started) would be better suited to fill another, equivalent open position and she would love to have me take my old job back. I’m planning on telling my new boss on Monday. Does anyone have any advice on how to break the news? I know this is going to be a little ugly for my career in the short term – my new job had been announced to the 50+ people in the university I would have been working with and I’m going to look a little flakey. However, this job is taking my career in a direction I don’t want to go. I’m pretty sure this is the right decision, but the whole situation is a bit embarrassing, made worse by the fact that it’s the same department so I’ll see everyone involved on a daily basis.

    • I do think you made a good decision, and it isn’t that unusual. I don’t think it will hurt your career in the long run, but it will be awkward for a while. I would sit down with your new boss in person on Monday, and say something like “Old Department has offered me my old job back. It was a hard decision, and I am really grateful for the opportunity to work in your department, but I have decided to return to my old job.”

      Honestly, if you hated it, your boss probably didn’t love you anyway and he may even be relieved that you found an out. Good luck!

    • If other people in the department question you about it later, you can say something like, “Oh, it was sort of a temporary trial to see if I was a good fit doing XYZ. Turns out it wasn’t an ideal match, so we returned to the status quo. Live and learn!” All delivered with a chipper smile, like it happens all the time.

      Because, let’s face it: any new position is a cr*pshoot. What looks great in an interview may turn out to just be a bad fit.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Hold up a sec- you started a new position last week and are already set to quit? Why did you take the new job? I think the first few months in a new role often majorly suck, so if the things you thought when you took it are still valid, you need to stick with it and have a make it work moment. To me this looks flaky, and is a crap thing to do to the person who has been hired to do your old job. Sure, your old manager thinks they’d be better at a different one, but they applied for and got yours!

  57. Shout out to the person who recommended the Halogen Carryover Scarf (back when Kat recommended a heavier scarf). I ordered it in Cloudburst (sort of a dark gray) and it’s perfect! I took it to Boston with me, and even wrinkled in my luggage and stuffed in the top of my purse and carried everywhere, it looked great and went with everything I took. It’s linen, so not too heavy but warm enough when I needed it. Lots of pretty colors still available.


  58. CustomSuiting? :

    I recently got contacted by a sales person from Tom James trying to sell me custom suits. I have male friends who have used them, and swear by their shirts. Has anyone used them for female suiting? I am petite, but otherwise not that hard to fit, and the suits are above my usual price point. Is it worth the splurge for custom?

    • There has been many complaints on corporette about the womens custom suiting

    • they suck. that is all.

      okay, if you actually want more, there was a thread about them a month or so ago – i had a really bad experience with them that ended with them acknowledging they aren’t very good at women’s suits.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i ordered a suit from a tom james rep based on the recommendations of a well-dressed, but male, partner friend of mine. in the wrong order, i then came on here and asked for opinions and got a whole lot of horror stories. i’ll definitely post a review once i get my suit, but i probably would have just avoided the whole thing if i’d thought to post here first.

  59. I’m considering having either part of my ovaries, or some eggs vitrified in a year or two. I know it can sound kind of weird, but I do like the idea of having 32yo eggs until the age of 45 or 50. Though I’d prefer to have kids in five years or so, I havent met the right guy for me yet. I also feel I have some working on myself to do before marriage. If I met him later, I might be hesitant to have a child after 40, because of the risks.

    It’s a bit strange, but I’m not even sure I really want to have kids, but I do want to have the options. I have PCOS, so if I did want kids, even in my 30’s I might need IVF anyway and am insured for that. So for me, it is only a very small extra medical treatment. It’s fairly expensive, but I could save for it and have it done when I’m 32. I do think I might be better of investing that money for retirement, but on the other hand it is not a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things.

    Have any of you considered it? What are your thoughts?

    • All I can say is that if I were in your shoes I’d go for it. I’m 40 y.o. now. Didn’t meet my SO til I was 37 and still not sure about kids but it sure would be nice to have the option.

  60. Thank you ladies for creating such a fun and intelligent community. I’m having a very Corporette weekend: first time trying to wash a suit using Laundress and started using the Clarisonic Mia.

    A question… Has anyone had luck with removing pills from knitwear and sweaters? I tried a small electric clothes shaver from Target 10 years ago and the results were underwhelming. Have they gotten better? Any specific brands? Other techniques?

    • A friend recommended the “sweater stone” to me (bought it off Amazon). Didn’t have amazing results on my first cashmere sweater (that is super-pilled to be fair) that I tried it on, but she SWEARS by it, so I wonder if I’m doing it wrong.

    • D Train South :

      D-FUZZ-IT sweater/fabric comb. Very inexpensive, but priceless.

  61. LifeCoach :

    Oohh…love the weekend thread! I’d love some input!
    I just saw several references to MagicJack on a “year ago” thread. I do lots of phone meetings from my home office. I’m often on the phone for 60-90 minutes at a time, and a good clear signal is important, so I’ve kept my landline. But I’m also trying to trim costs wherever possible and I’d love to get a cheaper phone service. Does anyone use MagicJack and do you have any experience with the quality of the connections? Or…are there other options that I may not have thought of? (I have wireless internet through AT&T, if that matters.)

    • I live overseas and have good highspeed internet in my apartment, so I do all of my phone calls to the US via my googlevoice #, through gchat. It’s currently free… they keep saying they will charge eventually, but last I heard it’s free to call US and Canadian numbers through 2012. Anyway, the sound quality is very good almost all of the time — there have only been a handful of calls that have had problems, and they were all to cellphone users, so it’s anyone’s guess where the problem originated. I am sure sound quality would be even better if I actually used a headset instead of just using the speakers/microphone on my Mac. Maybe try signing up for a google # since they’re free, and try it out with friends/family and see if you feel confident enough in the quality and in your headset, etc., before you switch over to something else.

      • I also use Google Voice. I use it for international calls, and can actually do it via my Android phone as well as my computer. Their international rates are much lower than the rates for a landline or with a calling card, and in some cases even cheaper than Skype. I don’t have any sound quality problems, but I guess that would depend on the strength of your internet.

    • A friend of mine has magic jack because she lives in an area without cell coverage and it’s cheaper than a landline. It might be her internet, it might be her phone (which is older), but the connection is terrible. It constantly gets all cut up – I hate it and I think she does too.

  62. I just got back from the mall and saw an interesting trend several times.

    It was jean shorts, tights, and flats.

    Have you ladies ever rocked something like this?

    • Makeup Junkie :


      In 1985.

      • Ha! I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I wore jean shorts, white tights, Bass “bucks,” and a striped Oxford blouse on my first date. I was 13 and it was 1988.

    • Funny story — I was out with my sixteen-year-old mentee two weeks ago in Harvard Square (think super trendy/super hipster) and we were eating ice cream in the window of an ice cream shop. A girl walked by in that look and I was just like “EEEWWW” and she was like “that’s a thing” and gave me the weirdest look. By the time we had finished our ice cream, at least four-five more girls had walked by in that look.

      So its a thing. A terrible thing, but a thing none the less.

      • Rihanna has been rocking jean shorts with thigh high leather boots. And by rocking them, I mean.not.at.all.rocking.them in this universe and all others.

    • I went to a Lego Star Wars event at my local mall today, so I can’t say that I saw any current fashion. I did, however, see several members of a Star Wars reenactment league, in costume and in character. Single ladies, I guarantee you, these guys are available.

      • As much as I love Star Wars, I do not know if I’m the single lady to bring love into their lives.

        • You’d probably have to wear a Princess Leia wig every time you wanted to get it on.

      • Accountress :

        You know what? I’m kind of into that. I’m gonna find me a Han one of these days, and ensure that he is no longer Solo.

        • If these guys had any sense they’d all dress up as Han Solo, but they were all dressed as storm troopers and Jedi knights. My son thought it was the coolest thing ever (he’s 9, and that’s why we were there) but it gave me worries about his future.

    • I think it looks great… on the 15-16 year olds I see it on all the time. If I was that age, I’d probably rock it too. At 27? Not so much.

    • That’s been around for a few years, surprised you haven’t seen it before! I’ve only done it a couple of times, but I always wore jean shorts + tights + (very casual slouchy) boots, not flats.

  63. I need some advice.

    I’ve just started a big project at work with a male colleague. (I’m a lawyer, and I took a case outside my practice area, and the male colleague is co-counsel because he knows the area.) Male colleague doesn’t work in my office, but he’s someone I see fairly regularly on a professional basis.

    About 2-3 years ago, I used to have a big crush on this male colleague. I made a move, we had a beer together, but we didn’t do much more than that, and now he’s married to someone else. I met his wife once, at a local professional group Christmas party.

    Is there any reason I should tell my (non-lawyer) boyfriend about how I used to have a crush on my colleague? I’ve been with my boyfriend about 8 months, and we are thinking of moving in together in the summer. We’re committed.

    Boyfriend knows about my big new case, and knows I’m co-counseling with a guy, but doesn’t know I used to have feelings for the colleague. I have no romantic feelings for the colleague any more.

    I kind of think there’s no upside to telling my boyfriend about the history. Nothing is going to happen between me and the colleague, and it may just worry boyfriend.

    What do you think? Should I tell my boyfriend? (Would he want to know?)

    • My SO would NOT want to know. I just advise you to be very careful: no late night private meetings, no just-the-two of you drinks. But no upside to telling about this very nominal history.

    • Oh, no way. There’s nothing you can do except hurt your boyfriend’s feelings. I can’t imagine what good would come of it.

    • Agree. It’s got nothing to do with you and your boyfriend.

    • Nope. I’m firmly in the camp that you don’t owe SO’s full disclosure of every s*xy-time thought you’ve ever had — and this one sounds like it would needlessly cause strife. Agree with above, just keep the relationship wholly professional and you’re fine.

      My husband has actually met every guy I’ve ever “been with” been with — but he doesn’t know who they are. And I don’t know who his are. I think some things are best left in the past, but that’s just me.

    • Diana Barry :

      Nope, don’t tell him. :)

  64. True Confession :

    My SO and I just had an exciting conversation about us getting married this am. After he went home, I went on gmail and created some possible gmail accounts for when/if we get married: myfirstname.middleinitial.hislast name, my initials.hislastname, etc.

    I feel a little insane, but this definitely falls into the “well, if it doesn’t hurt anyone” camp. Except, of course, others with my first name + his last name.

    PS: Lest I sound like a small, dumb child, I am a lawyer, 34, and nobody expects me to change my name (outspoken about my progressive politics). But I secretly want to: his name is much nicer than mine is and my I haven’t seen/ spoken with my father or his family since I was 11. I say time for a new beginning with my love.

    • Congrats! I don’t want to rain on your parade, but I have had tons of problem with gmail and using a “.” in your address. For a long time my email address was firstnamelastname, and someone else with the same name had the address firstname.lastname and I got her mail ALL THE TIME – personal mail that I’m sure she didn’t want anyone else to read – and then events her friends invited her to got added to my google calendar.

      Long story short – I don’t think you’re insane, but I’d make addresses without the “.”.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Periods don’t matter in gmail addresses–it must have been something slightly different, or they’ve changed. Gmail just ignores the dots entirely:


        • This. My gmail is firstinitial.ridiculouslylonglastname. Sometimes people miss the period, send me email at firstitinitialridiculouslylonglastname, and I always get it. I’ve had that address for five or six years, too, so if there was going to be an issue it would have shown up by now.

      • This is one of the reasons that I changed my gmail e-mail address about 18 months ago. It was ridiculously common and I had at least three other legit people that I would get mail for. One was a woman in the UK (she owned several properties that she rented and was a frequent traveler), the other was in NYC (I got invited to A LOT of fabulous parties), and I can’t remember where the last one was. One of them got really indignant with me over e-mail…hello, get some manners and stop flexing your keyboard muscles. I e-mailed google, they said it wasn’t them. Also, I had this guilt that I was getting other mail and the sender was thinking “wow this person sucks because they never respond to me and I am going to write them off forever.”

        And, enjoy the crazy jumble waves of happiness that you’re experiencing!

      • [email protected] :

        fyi – if you have [email protected], you also have [email protected] the dots are not recognized by the gmail filter. :)

        • [email protected] :

          see here: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/1-awesome-gmail-tip-you-dont-know-about-seriously/

    • Married, took his name :

      I was one of those women who never really cared much for marriage or “following the rules”. After living together for 8 years, he wanted to get married. It also mattered to him that I change my name. Never thought I would, but I did it.

      And, you know what, I love it…..it gives me a little thrill whenever we can refer to ourself as “The Smiths”

    • This is like the modern day equivalent of writing your name as his in your notebook. (Just kidding, I say this is just good sense!) I wouldn’t tell him though…just in case he’s the type that frightens easily. ;-)

    • you are not insane, you are ADORABLE! ;o) enjoy it, and that sounds like an awesome reasoning for changing your name, yay, so happy for you!!

    • I did this before I got married (or officially engaged)! My husband actually wanted met to… he got super excited about it. I was worried I would like jinx us or something. So far so good.

      I still haven’t completed the transition though. I just forward email from the new gmail to my old one. I know there’s some way to import all of your contacts/archives etc from one gmail account to another, but I’m too lazy to do it.

  65. Connected with a recruiter this week and am meeting her next week. Turns out she has placed two former coworkers, which I find very encouraging. I have worked with several recruiters in the past and not gotten very far, so hopefully this will go better. Have other people actually had luck with recruiters? It seems that they just want to stick me in one of the five jobs that they have available, even though they are not what I’m looking for and then get annoyed with me when I tell them that. They are off by things like location (I don’t want to move! or commute two hours a day), hours (I’m trying to work less, not take a job that’s 50+ hours a week all year long), etc, not necessarily the work itself.

    • I have worked with several, all during my period of unemployment last year. Overall, I found the process much as you described, and it was very frustrating for me. If I had a dollar for every email I received trying to sell me on a job that wasn’t right for me, I would not have needed unemployment benefits! I think it’s important to keep in mind who is paying the recruiter’s salary – obviously, they are going to be more motivated to find candidates for their clients than they are to seek out the ideal position for you.

      I would make sure you are clear and firm about your desires and deal-breakers – and tailor your resume, LinkedIn profile, etc., so that any recruiter who comes across your name will have a better idea if you are a good match for their openings.

      In the end, it was a recruiter who helped me get my current position – but she was one out of more than a dozen that I interacted with over 6 months.

    • I think the issue with recruiters is that you have to remember what THEIR incentive is, which is to place you as quickly as possible, not necessarily in the best possible position for you. They will also invest more time and energy in your search if you are a better candidate (i.e. more likely to earn them a commission). So if you go in understanding those things, it can be an okay relationship, but I wouldn’t trust my entire job search to one!

      I also think that a lot of jobs that are listed through recruiters are either for positions that are particularly hard to fill OR are work-places that aren’t big enough to have their own HR staff to do the search. The prior is great if you happen to be one of those in-demand people (but then you might not need a recruiter to find a job at all) and the latter is worrisome because small companies can vary wildly in their quality of work experience.

      Anyway — thats just my two cents. :-P

      • so anonymous :

        I am interested in recommendations for DC recruiters (legal/corporate). TIA.

  66. Divaliscious11 :

    Just getting the post number off of 666

    • This has got to be one of the most active threads ever. Now I’m just posting to see if we can hit 700! Are we all just really bored this weekend??

  67. ladies, any ideas for a quick ice-breaker at the beginning a meeting? about 20 people in attendance and they all work together, but want to get to know each other a little better, (so beyond just introductions.)

    • Two truths and a lie. (Each person tells two truths and a lie about themselves and you guess which is which.)

      Or else, we did one where pairs sat together and then wrote on cards three things they learned about each other that they hadn’t known. We then exchanged the card (blind) and read them out and people guessed who each person was.

    • One of my faves is People Bingo, but you need to know something personal about everyone if you are the planner. You hand out a piece of paper to everyone and there will be 20 boxes with a little phrase (ie. Has two cats or born in Australia). Everyone has to run around getting the person who fits the box to initial their paper. It is chaotic and gets the energy up!!

  68. Oh, ladies, I am so sad. We had to have our little old dog euthanized this afternoon. We knew the end was coming, but it was still so hard.

    My husband bawled his eyes out and I was overwhelmed by his intensity. I’ve never seen him this emotional before. After 15 years, there was this deep well spring of grief tapped in him.

    We still have our two cats and they are getting extra cuddles tonight.

    • Aw, sorry you are going through this. I have been there, and it was one if the hardest days of my life. But it will pass eventually and you will have great memories of your little friend forever. I am sure your dog was also very lucky to have you guys and lived a wonderful, happy life.

    • i’m so sorry :o(

    • I’m so, so sorry TechAnon. When I was a teen and we had to put our 16 or 17 year old miniature poodle to sleep, I cried so hard and so loudly, I think I scared the vet techs. When you’ve had a dog that long, its like losing a family member. Allow yourself to grieve in the same way — but also remind yourself that you did do what was best for him or her.

      But yeah — all that’s to say, I’m just so, so, so sorry.

    • I’m so sorry for you and your husband!

    • I’m so sorry.

    • So sorry. Been there. Hugs to you and your husband.

    • So sorry for your loss

  69. Corporettes, I have a job-related legal problem. I work as a litigator for the Executive or Judicial Branch of the federal government (keeping it vague.) Our office has a very limited charter. We are specialists. We earn 28 days per year vacation, 12 days sick leave. We are six lawyers and seven paralegals, one political boss and only one supervisor whose had this job his whole legal career.

    An odd thing is occurring between me and the supervisor. I work a minimum 8 – 10 hours per day, lots longer while I writing specialized documents or preparing for or am in trial. The supervisor spends part of the day purveying his private business (pretend he sells golf clubs, on-line, over the phone, with drop-in clients, using our telephones and printers.)

    This past two months, my supervisor has had his secretary send me emails like this: ‘FarWest, you came to work 5 minutes late on Monday, and 6 minutes late on Friday. Please compete your timesheet for this time.”

    Well,Corporettes, there is no timesheet for 1/10 if an hour. Our minimum billable event is ed.25. So, I am being order to delete a half-hour of vacation pay because of allegedly being late for eleven minutes. Mind you, I disagree that I’m late at all. The clocks are all set ten minutes fast so that the secretaries can leave early. And I refuse to rat myself, so the boss overrides my refusal.

    Is it even legal to take leave pay from me when I work a full 8, 9, or 10 – 12 day? I’ve never shorted my office for a minute. Morever, my trial results, my writing results, and my reviews from clients are all outstanding.

    Do you know what type of legal specialist I could speak with? I tried to Westlaw this on my own, and was helpless. This is depressing the hell out of me; I dread coming to work, and I feel my boss is trying to shame me to quit.

    Any advice will be gratefully embraced.


    • Jesus Christ almighty that’s ridiculous. Especially for someone who I presume is salaried. I would post this again Monday as you will get better results, but your best bet would be finding a friend who does employment law and chatting with them about it. My memory is that this would probably violate the wage and hour laws, BUT, that the Federal government is not covered by that if I remember correctly (but I don’t cover it).

      I think the more critical issue is how to manage this situation. It frankly sounds like your boss is trying to harass you out. Other than starting to apply for other jobs or seeking a transfer within the agency, I’m not sure what to do.

    • If you’re a federal employee aren’t you in a union? They will have a board you can take a grievance like this too. I’m almost sure it violates the rules, even if it’s not actually illegal.

      • Your agency should have an omsbudman. Start there.

      • Naw, federal lawyers aren’t in any union. Yes, the job is salaried. And, we are too small to have a human resources department or ombudsman.

        I’m having a yearly review with him on Monday (the first ever in 15 years). I think I know our likely topic.

        But still unanswered, is this practice — however absurd — even legal? I’ve searched all sorts of legal employment journals, and specialty employment law sites, but I can’t find a single thing on or near point. . . . And I thot I knew how to research. I can approach him with the idea that docking my vacation for 30 minutes if I come to work 5 minutes late is shamefully ridiculous, but I’d rather approach him with the fact that it’s not even legal.

        Thanks for your suggestions!

        But still. . .

        • Anonymous :

          I think this might violate the FLSA in the private sector. Docking a salaried employee’s pay turns them into an hourly employee eligible for overtime, so while you might lose the docked pay, you would also gain by getting paid time and a half for every hour over eight you worked. But I don’t know if federal employees are covered — as stated before.

    • Whistleblower :

      File a whistleblower claim against him for using govt resources to run his business. But then he will come down hard on you about allegedly being late. Is there any way for you to prove that you are in the office on time? If so, start documenting it.

  70. Washing the Gap Perfect Trousers –

    It says warm water on the tag…but I’m terrified. I have a worse-than-laundromat machine in my apartment building so I was planning on washing on cold. That’s not going to ruin them? Or should I go with the instructions? (These are like the only pants that fit right now, so I really don’t want to screw it up. Although 4 more pairs to try on are in the mail – thanks to whoever posted about the 30% off at Gap this weekend!).


    • Seattleite :

      Generally, the laundry tag specifies the hottest safe temp for washing. So if the tag says warm, both cold and warm water will be fine.

      If the inside of the washing machine drum is rough and snags your clothes, consider getting an extra-large mesh bag and washing the trousers inside that.

    • I have these and I wash them in warm. Cold would be fine too if you prefer that, but I’ve never had problems with them shrinking or running in warm.

    • Thank you for the reassurance!

  71. lucy stone :

    I’m sorry. :(

  72. Do you ladies have any advice for dealing with a co-dependent soon to be mother-in-law? She lives across the country from us, but is in constant contact (calls my SO literally every.single.night. right before bed) and is very manipulative in her relationships with her 3 kids (ex: blowing medical issues way out of proportion and having the kids fly out to take care of her at least 3x a year at the drop of a hat). She’s a single mom and I give her credit for raising 3 great boys all by herself, but I think she is over-invested in their lives (given that they’re all 25+ years old) and depends on them way too much for her emotional well-being. She doesn’t have many friends and hasn’t had many romantic relationships in the past 20 years and rationalizes it as a sacrifice made for the sake of her kids, but now it seems more like a crutch that allows her to avoid ever leaving a comfort zone, while also making her kids feel responsible for her loneliness.

    I’m really nervous about her reaction to ways that I know the family dynamic is going to change post-marriage. We’ll be splitting holidays between our two families, taking some vacation time to ourselves, and be focused on building a life together and I’m nervous that she is going to react badly to this normal process of her son becoming an independent adult. Any words of wisdom?

    • Diana Barry :

      I think some of the recent threads about overbearing moms would be helpful for you (from sometime this past week or 2, I think).

      The most important thing I’ve learned when dealing with my MIL is to let my DH talk to her. You talk to him, but he talks to her. So he is the one to take the call or press ignore every night, etc. etc., he is the one to tell her about your holiday plans, etc. :)

    • I think you’re right to be concerned… sounds like she already has issues with him becoming an independent adult (after all, he’s already an adult, isn’t he? If not that firm on the independent part!) and, I’m sort of reading between the lines, but it sounds like he hasn’t been real consistent with setting boundaries.

      Does your fiance see things the way you do? Before you get married, he should start setting some of those limits NOW, and occasionally tell her ‘no’ when she gets demanding, rather than have it be a shock to her after you get married. If he’s very submissive to her now, to not ‘rock the boat’, then suddenly starts standing up for himself after you get married, she’s very likely to blame you for all of it, no matter what he says.

      Good luck!!

    • I think the really important thing to remember in this scenario is that there is nothing you can do to change her.

      And there is nothing you can do to change her relationship with your fiance.

      Think long and hard about whether you want to marry a man with this close of a relationship with his mother. And think, seriously, about whether it’s ok with you that he calls her every night. If it’s not, then you need to tell him. But don’t expect this 25+-year behavior to change just because you don’t like it.

      It’s a tough situation. But you can’t change other people, just your reaction. So if it’s going to be an issue, make sure your fiance knows. But if you love him and want to be with him even if this behavior continues (which it very well may), then it’s small stuff about which you should not sweat.

      I agree with the other poster – if tension arises between him and his mom, you can guarantee that someone will be blaming you.

      In-laws are a pain in the ass. That’s just a fact. They have always been, and they will always be.

      But you get to decide how you want to react, and whether it’s going to bother you. If it bothers you, your fiance needs to know.

  73. Anyone out there who could comment on the differences between San Francisco BigLaw (litigation) and NYC BigLaw (litigation)? Am thinking of moving from NY to California, and am horribly uninformed. (I’d be moving for family reasons, not necessarily career reasons.) Seriously, I’ll take any comments/thoughts/reactions/gut feelings.

    • karenpadi :

      No personal experience. But I haven’t heard that there’s much of a difference. I think the biggest hurdle is the CA bar exam. But in the SF Bay Area we have great restaurants, no winter, and Napa Valley.

  74. Anonymous :

    Interesting article about the brainwashing cult of SATC:


  75. Gail the Goldfish :

    What’s the website that tracks the price of an item and sends you an email when it drops? There’s a shirt at White House Black Market I want to stalk.

  76. It’s time to say goodbye to my black flats and I’ve come across the Croc Marnie. Anyone have experience with them? Do they look like something professional I can go to court in, and do they make a lot of noise when you walk (like some commenters on piper lime have said)? I like the price ($40), the footbed support (I have high arches prone to falling and sciatica heavily exasperated by flat soled shoes), and that the soles are more heavy-duty than most flats. I am a NYer and definitely need shoes that not only feel good to walk in, but also will stand up to heavy mileage. I know a lot of ladies here are big fans of Cole Haan, but I find that their shoes are too small in the footbed for me (I’ve gone through, and given away, about 4 pair now).

    Thanks in advance, ladies!

    Link here: http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=36918&vid=1&pid=782183&scid=782183002

    • ETA: Meant to have a line in here asking if anyone has suggestions for other super comfortable flats (it’s been a LONG weekend!)

    • Oh, I actually used to have these. I couldn’t wear them without socks. They are just rubber on the inside, and your foot gets sweaty and clammy and then it rubs and gets a blister. You can definitely tell they’re rubber; I had “brushed rubber” ones that looked a bit less-rubbery, but you could tell. I definitely would not wear them to court.

      I find that Merrells are the best brand for shoes that I can walk in and are also professional enough for court. My current favorite pair is the Angelic Emme, but that has a slight wedge heel so it may not be flat enough for you. But all Merrells have remarkable arch support and good soles.

      • Or if you really like Crocs you could try these, from their non-rubber line: http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?searchCID=4016&cid=4016&vid=1&pid=909213&scid=909213002 (Crocs Semmy in case the link doesn’t work.)

    • Cole Haan tends to run very narrow in the footbed. You may want to try Born or Nurture (Dillard’s brand) flats. They are a bit roomier in the footbed and have a lot of arch support. Merrell shoes are also very comfortable, but in some seasons they don’t seem to have anything that would be appropriate for a workplace, much less a courtroom.

    • Thanks for the input, ladies. GREAT info to know, J! Saves me $40. I’m leaning towards the Sperry Palmdale (my sperry topsiders are my most comfortable shoes right now), but I don’t know how I feel about spending another $100 on walking flats that may or may not last for a whole year again. Thanks for the brand suggestions, MelD! I will definitely look at their styles.

  77. Major thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  78. Im visiting asheville, nc this weekend. Anyone have any restaurant or “must dos” recommendations?

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