Tuesday’s TPS Report: Elva Skirt

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Elie Tahari Elva SkirtOooh: great skirt from Elie Tahari. While I suppose it is on trend with colorblocking, I like the softer, more artistic (Rothko?) approach to the color blocks. I also think the vertical nature of the pattern would be really flattering. I’d wear it with fairly neutral colors: perhaps a white or black tee or blouse and a white or black blazer, or (while it’s still chilly out), perhaps some black tights and pumps and a black turtleneck. It’s $198 at Bloomingdale’s. Elie Tahari Elva Skirt

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Comments

  1. Always a NYer :

    That horizontal stripe at the bottom would drive my OCD up the wall. It also looks unfinished… Usually I love Elie Tahari but I’ll pass on this.

  2. Anybody checking out the Club Monaco online store today? There is a really cute short-sleeve polka dot blouse, but I think their largest size will not accommodate my chest. I hate that!

  3. Anon for this :

    Immediate Treadjack!
    I feel like a terrible person asking this, but I need advice. My little brother is getting married this summer, and I am somewhat less than excited for him. He lives my parents halfway across the country, and I’m on the east coast with my husband. We’re 6 years apart and have never been close at all. You could say there’s even some animosity between us. I don’t approve of his wedding (he’s still in college, and on top of that I think he’s too immature to be making this commitment), but I think I’ve done a decent job not laying that all on him. I’ve tried to be indifferent, which is easy given that he never talks to me at all.
    Anyway, he’s getting married this June and I suppose I should go. But I have to take time off work and I have to fly out there and will have to rent a car. It’s going to cost at least $1000 just for me and my husband to be there. Do I also have to get him a gift? He didn’t even ask me to be in the bridal party, and for my wedding he piggybacked on my parent’s gift and drove up with them, thus spending no money at all. I feel like because I’m more financially well off that I’m supposed to and he’ll expect me to, but I really don’t want to do anything more for his wedding than I absolutely have to. I’m just going through the motions. Do the motions require some kind of gift on top of paying for all this travel?
    I know I sound callous, but I really just want to do what is socially required and get all this over with.

    • Gooseberry :

      I think you should do whatever feels right and good for you and your husband. But, just food for thought — getting at least a small gift to wish them well in their new married life probably won’t be something you ever regret 20 years from now. Hard to say how the passage of time will make you feel about not getting him any gift at all. For me, I’d spent $x just to buy my own peace later. (Selfish? Yes. But that’s never bothered me. :))

      • AnonInfinity :

        I agree with this. Plus, not getting a gift is likely to cause a whole thing, and you’ll have to explain just what you said to us to him, your parents, and your new sister-in-law. I would buy a small gift ($20 or so) just to avoid the drama.

        • I also agree.

        • anon today :

          A $20 or so wedding gift is just as bad as not giving any gift. $50 at minimum, the OP and her husband both have well-paying jobs and will look cheap otherwise.

          OP – if you don’t want to go to the wedding, don’t go, but do send a gift. Tell your brother that you/your husband aren’t able to get off work but you wish him and his fiancee all the best.

          • I disagree with a $20 gift beeing worse than none at all. Some of the most meaningful gifts I’ve ever gotten didn’t cost much. And the idea of “well-paying” jobs is different all over the country. I agree to send something–it doesn’t have to be extravagant and try to go be happy for the couple. Going will be woth it to avoid this being thrown in your face later. FWIW, I don’t get along with my brother and his wife and I have also had some disagreements so I get why this is tough. In my case, I’m the overbeaering older sister and he’s tried to pave his own path apart from me and so we clash like you wouldn’t believe. Good luck, this is tough.

          • You can get a little Nambe heart-shaped bowl (the 4 1/2″ size) for $20-$30, they are a pretty, thoughtful gift for a wedding imo, if you don’t want to spend much.

          • My god the typos are terrible in my earlier comment– I swear I can spell IRL!

          • This.

    • Your brother was (presumably) between 13 and 17 at your wedding, whereas you are an older, independent, married person with a job and an independent source of income. Its much more acceptable that he was included on a family gift to you at your wedding then that you not get him a gift at his. Look at it as the money he spared you from having to spend on a bridesmaid dress, shoes and a hairdo if you had been in the wedding party (which frankly you should probably appreciate not having to do!!)

      So yes, I would get a gift. It doesn’t have to be big, but maybe something meaningful instead. Something that you had in your house growing up that you and your brother both appreciated that you know he would like to have in his house as an adult. Or a cookbook (like the Joy of Cooking) with a heartfelt note saying how you hope they’ll be able to use this as they cook for each other in their new lives. Or something like that.

      Perhaps now that your brother is out of your parent’s house and living on his own and maturing, you two will be able to heal some of the animosity between you. You may never be besties, but you know what they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. ;-)

      • Anon for this :

        Nope – he was 20 at the time of my wedding with his own job. He’s 22 now.

        • Sorry — I misread your post, I thought you said you were married six years ago. :-P

          I still say get a present though — if nothing else to avoid drama (though my husband’ older brother and wife didn’t get us a present…and I guess it didn’t cause drama…but I did sort of raise my eyebrow).

        • I think many, or even most, 20-year-old guys would not have it enough together to get a wedding present for their sister, whether they have a job or not. Going along on your parents’ gift seems pretty normal to me at that age.

          Also, it doesn’t seem quite right to judge what you’ll have to spend on his wedding by what he spent on yours. I would say go, get a gift, put a smile on, and think of all the goodwill your brother will have toward you for it. Or even if he doesn’t, think of the bad feelings you’ll be avoiding by participating cheerfully.

          • Agreed – I wouldn’t have thought to give an gift independent of my parents at 20. Please don’t judge him too harshly for that. I think you should give a gift that is in line with what you would give anyone else.

            Your brother is still very young – I can’t believe how immature I was at 22 – and you don’t know how your relationship with develop over the years. My relationship with my siblings is much better now than when I was 22. I think that not attending his wedding without a serious reason may be something that your relationship never recovers from. I know that sounds dramatic, but I view it as a relationship ending move.

          • At that age and younger, I got gifts for my cousins getting married and for their children (for any of the various reasons you give children presents – birthdays, baptisms, etc.). (I’m the youngest on both sides of my family for my generation.) While in high school, I’d say piggybacking on extended family wedding gifts is often acceptable. I wouldn’t for immediate family (ever) or after high school.

            I was also raised to be close with family and financially independent (started paying for some stuff on my own in middle school, gradually increasing over time), to give an idea of where I’m coming from here.

          • PharmaGirl :

            I was a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding when I was 21 and did not buy her a gift. In addition, my parents purchased the dress and anything else I needed. I was relatively immature at that age and did not have a close relationship with my sister (due partly to the fact that I was away in college). Ten years later she was my MOH and went above and beyond.

            Just some perspective.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Maybe I am awful but through college, when my family went to weddings, we gave gifts as a family and it never occurred to me to buy a separate gift, outside of the gift from the family. We STILL give gifts as an immediate family (all of us siblings are all still unmarried college/recent grad aged so there are no other “family units” to invite) if the whole family is invited, and obviously weddings to which only a few of us or one of us are invited we give as appropriate.

          I also think that gifts should be given without the expectation of reciprocity. Give a gift if YOU want him to have it, not based on what he has/has not given you in the past.

          • I went the family gift route even in law school. I thought the couple would be happy to have me travel from far away to celebrate with them and not care whether I gave them a separate thing from what my family gave them.

          • This question, and the mention of reciprocity, put me in mind of this piece from last night’s Marketplace on NPR:
            http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/why-giving-stuff-away-good-business

            Personally, I don’t think gift-giving, wedding attendance, etc. should be viewed as a competition between loved ones.

            If the OP were a friend of mine, I would advise her to both attend the wedding and get a gift for the happy couple. And as for being asked to be in a wedding, I took it as a given that I would be in my sister’s wedding, but I don’t expect that my brother’s future wife will ask me to be (although I certainly will do it if asked).

          • My family does this too. Actually for the most part, I am the one that picks out & orders everything for everyone (even sometimes my own gifts), but I use my parent’s credit card to do it. That way, we always have a pile of gifts for every event, they are happy that they don’t have to stress about finding a gift & I am happy that I get to be thoughtful & creative and that I’m not getting in more debt then I already am. It is just assumed that all of the gifts are from all of us when they are opened…. my brother (who is 23) gets to freeride the most, but hey he’s the youngest & he’s slowly been surprising everyone with his own kind of thoughtfulness.
            If you don’t give a gift in this situation, I think you will regret it.
            However, if you talk to your parents, you could in advance possibly piggy back off of or add to THEIR gift so that it is from all of you.

    • Yes, you need to get a gift. He is your brother, and whether you’re close or not you should give him something (and don’t be overly stingy). Treat him as though he is your friend, even if he isn’t. It won’t hurt, and it may help to lay the groundwork for a better relationship in the future. (And you will need to have a working relationship when it comes to end-of-life issues with your parents.)

      • Diana Barry :

        Exactly this.

        • agree – glad I read through before writing the same thing. I would add go to the wedding. You guys are still young & the hurts that start now, like not going to the wedding, can add up over time.

      • Agreed. You’re the more mature sibling. You need to model that behavior for him.

        This is a big day for him. It’s not the day for you to express resentment.

      • This is a very important point. Relationships with siblings may seem pretty unimportant when you’re in your 20′s, especially if they’re far away. But you will probably have to work with them around some difficult issues 20-30 years later when your parents are elderly. I’m going through that now, and negotiating things with my younger sister has been hard, even though our relationship over the years has been generally good.

        • This is even more important since he lives closer to your paents while you are half way across the country and, assuming he stays nearby and you stay where you are, much of the day-to-day “burdens” will fall on him and, presumably, his wife. For these reasons, I say forge as good a relationship as possible with him and his new wife. Good luck!

    • In this situation I would say that you need to get at least a small gift for your brother and his wife. I agree with the other posters that not getting a gift for him would bring up more problems then just getting the gift. It doesn’t have to be big, just something nice – like a baking sheet, or a set of mugs, or whatever. Or you can piggy back on your parents gift and get something larger from all of you. That way it is less from you than “from the family.”

    • I would be the adult here and give a gift that you and your husband are comfortable giving. It doesn’t have to be big, but a card wishing them well (if you can bring yourself to write the words) and a small gift for them as they start off their married life would be good here.

      It is hard to tell from your post what the issues are, exactly. Are you upset that you’re not in the bridal party? Why would he ask you, if you don’t talk, you’re not close (maybe there’s even some animosity), and you don’t support his marriage? Also, parents paying for travel at that age (especially if they’re driving anyway) doesn’t seem unusual to me. While a gift from him would have been nice, I don’t see it as that surprising (especially if you guys don’t usually exchange bday/holiday gifts).

    • A quick related story: I went to a wedding this past weekend where it was obvious that the bride and her sister did not speak. Whether or not she meant to, her animosity toward her sister was evident throughout the evening. She came off as petty, selfish, and immature. Many guests (read: everyone I spoke to) commented on her demeanor throughout the night.

      I’m not suggesting that you would act like the bride’s sister did– I’m just saying that if it is a possibility, do the bride and groom a favor and either make a concerted effort not to show your lack of approval if you attend the wedding or avoid attending at all and send a non-stingy (i.e., at least $100) gift. Additionally, as some of the other posters have said, maybe attending could help you to repair your relationship with your brother. Also, who knows, maybe you will have a good time!

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes, you need to go, and yes, you need to get him a gift. I would spend $100 at least.

      He is still very young and yes, the marriage may not last, but your relationship should continue to get better as he gets older and matures, and going to his wedding to support him will only help that.

      • Yes, agree to all of this. Also, I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you need to grow up. Yes, you. I know that often relationships with siblings and parents makes us regress back to the petty teenagers we once were, but you need to get a grip on that and be the bigger person here. Act like the adult you claim to be- this is your little brother. He is closer to you genetically than anyone else in the world and has known you for most of your life. You will only get one of those (assuming you don’t have others, either way, the number is limited). You may not approve of the marriage but, honestly, that ship has sailed so you need to get over it and be there for him. And do not spend the entire wedding speculating when the divorce will happen. Go and try your best to sincerely wish him well.

        Imagine if you have two children and twenty some years later they are acting/feeling like this towards each other? If you can’t do it for him, do it for your mother.

        • This.

        • Amen.

        • yes.

        • Holler.

        • Yep. Agreed.

        • As a mother, I endorse this This. It would break my heart if my children grew up and were strangers to each other.

        • Who we are related to is not our fault nor a burden we are obligated to bear for the rest of our lives. Genetics, so what? Some siblings are a negative influence in our lives. And “do it for your mother” … yeah… the mother may have been the person that caused this failed sibling relationship to begin with. Easy for someone with a functional family dynamic to say, but frankly, the mother made that bed. She can lie in it now.

          • Glad I am not the only one with a dysfunctional sibling relationship caused, in part, by my mother.

        • Exactly. He’s your brother, so you go to the wedding and buy him a nice gift without complaining about it. Sheesh.

        • I have an older brother who I think still resents me because of childhood issues. Or maybe because I didn’t give him an individual wedding gift when he got married when I was in grad school.

          We’re civil to each other, talk occasionally, and exchange holiday gifts and birthday cards. I’m sure he’d come to my wedding, so it’s not too bad. I’ve tried to be closer — be the better person and reach out — but there’s no reciprocity.

          I tell myself it doesn’t matter, and I have my own ‘family’ with my friends — but honestly – it sucks. There’s a chance his kids are going to be the only ones in the next generation, and I haven’t seen them in almost a year and a half.

        • Agree. There is no reason to cause extra animosity.

        • Richmond Lawyer :

          I agree with anony, apart from genetics being brought in. My younger sister and I are both adopted. We have different gene maps, but couldn’t be closer! Not sure if the genetics matter, but the same argument could be made for roots.

    • LLM in BsAs :

      Maybe you can do what my brother did for me?
      When he got married, I got them a nice throw for the bed from Crate&Barrel (I know my sister in law likes to nap) and some $ to spend, with the instruction of “spend on something frivolous, do not get essentials with this”.
      When I got married, he was living in the US, I was in Buenos Aires. They both came to my wedding, and for a gift they got us pre-paid reservations to a fancy dinner for our honeymoon (we went to France, and they had pre-booked and paid for a fancy dinner one of our nights there). They also added some $ with the same “get something frivolous” instruction.

      We are not particularly close, but both gifts were totally appropriate and more than appreciated.

    • My gut tells me that attending the wedding and giving a standard gift is the right thing to do to avoid drama. (And that is probably what I would do since I am kind of a doormat when it comes to family stuff.) But the less wimpy person in me wonders: What would happen if you and your husband did not attend but sent a generous gift? If you have a legitimate reason for not being able to attend (travel time, work, cost, etc.) then you might be able to get away with that. (And, in this situation, because it is your brother’s wedding, I do think that you need to have an excuse or an explanation for not attending.)
      Side note: Clearly you still recall that your brother didn’t spend any money for your wedding and now that this has come up, it bothers you. So I suggest taking some route on the high road to avoid your brother and his new wife harboring a similar animosity toward you.

    • A note about the passage of time… My half-brother, who I was never that close with, scheduled his wedding for a weekend I was taking a full-length scheduled practice test for the bar. The wedding was kind of an informal thing, and our family was never consulted about when a good time for the wedding would be. In my the-world-is-ending-bc-im-taking-the-bar hysteria, I didn’t do the trip home, and sent a gift. Now that my nephew has come along, he and I are a lot closer. There’s something about a little person with some of your blood in them that changes perspective. I WISH I had not done the stupid practice test and gone to the wedding, regardless of how I felt. Now I’m planning my wedding, and I realize I won’t be offended if he doesn’t come, so I guess it wasn’t that big of deal then. I still wish I had been there with bells on though.

    • I’ll offer a different perspective. I’m trying to think of how I would feel if I were you. My brother and I have never been on friendly terms. Animosity is putting it mildly, thanks in vast majority to our mother treating him much better than I. He was the clear favorite, and I never got over it. I did not invite my brother to my wedding, despite the fact that he lives in the area. I knew that having him there would negatively impact my happiness at my wedding, even if he did behave like a normal person, because merely seeing him (and seeing our mother’s interaction with him) would bring back all sorts of hurt and anger I’ve been dealing with for decades. Yes, I’m in therapy (and so should you be).

      So, if I was (were?) you, and my brother was getting married halfway across the country, and it would cost me $1k plus missing work, I honestly would not go. I would probably send a $100-$200 impersonal gift off the registry (e.g. gift card or kitchen electric) with an incredibly generic card like “best wishes” just to assuage a sense of familial obligation, and that’s it. You aren’t going to magically repair your relationship at the wedding. Sending a nice, generic gift leaves open the possibility that you may reconcile in the future because you’re not that )*@$ who didn’t even send a gift, but you know what? You won’t be happy for him, and you’re not honestly there to support the couple, so don’t go.

      However, I will agree with everyone else that you shouldn’t hold it against him that he didn’t get you a gift when he was 20 when you got married. He was still living off your parents at that point, so he was basically part of their household still. Being upset that he didn’t spend money to get to your wedding and get you a gift when he was 20 is petty. And also, you are not close, so why the h3ck would he ask you to be part of the bridal party?! Surely his fiance knows how strained your relationship is. Be mad for legit reasons instead.

    • Anon for this :

      I suppose I knew the answer, because I had to ask in the first place. Thanks for reminding me to be an adult and for allowing me to whine like a child briefly. :)

      I think my biggest issue comes not from the lack of reciprocity in gift giving, but in the fact that I’ve always (and I guess, will always) have to “be the bigger person.”
      I was the bigger person and asked my husband to ask brother to be a groomsman. I tried hard to involve him in my wedding and have continued to try to mend some of our issues, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I kind of expected him to continue what I tried to start, but I guess not. I’m pretty sure we’re only invited to the rehearsal dinner at the insistence of my father, who is paying for that portion of the wedding.
      I just don’t like how only 2 years ago he was “too young” to take responsibility for himself in gift-giving matters, but then he gets engaged 6 months later and now he’s “grown-up” enough to get married and I’m suppose to be happy for him and cough up a ton of cash and be supportive, etc. Our relationship is scarred with similar problems all throughout childhood (related to similar treatment from our parents despite our large-ish age difference, and his expectation of similar treatment despite our age difference), and I’m not sure if there is much that will really fix it now. It’s complicated. I have similar issues with my parents in all of this, but they’ve tried to make amends, where he hasn’t.

      I look down the road and foresee a circumstance on the horizon where I’ll be explicitly asked to “be the bigger person” and help my brother out of a financial hole he’s currently digging for himself, and I just don’t like where all this heading. I guess I was looking for a way out, but you’re all right that it really isn’t appropriate right now when I should be (At least acting like I am) happy for him.

      • These family things can be SO hard. Take a deep breath and try to remember that he probably didn’t have a whole lot of control over who his bride chose for her wedding party (brides tend to be A LOT more opinionated about those things then grooms are)…and also, be happy that he saved you an extra hundred of dollars in expenses. :-)

        I don’t know where the wedding is, but maybe try to plan something fun for you and your husband to do while you are there. I always find that I resent these sorts of “mandatory” trips a little less if I feel like I schedule something fun for myself as part of it. And just try to take a long view of familial relationships — sometimes they improve (and sometimes they don’t) — but they rarely stay the same. But it sounds like you’re doing your best!

      • Too some degree you will always be the bigger person – if only because you have 6 years of life experience on him. And the difference at 22 and 28 (your ages now, right?) are still pretty big. It may get better with time, as Brother figures out what being a grown up is about (he seems to be in that extended adolescence that permeates American culture) – and he may not. But won’t you feel better knowing that YOU at least made the effort.

        As for bailing him out financially – that’s not being the bigger person. That’s enabling bad decisions. Good luck!

        • Yes, exactly- you may always have to be the bigger person, because you are older and you yourself think that you are the bigger person. But maybe the best way to head off these mistakes you think he’s making is to build a relationship with him so that he will listen, at least a little, to your big sisterly advice and guidance. This will require a lot of patience and conscious effort on your part, but it would be useful.

          It’s not his fault how your parents treated him or you. That’s on your parents. You and your brother are adults now and you need to build an adult relationship- this does take conscious effort, but it’s worth it. Think about it this way- a good, healthy marriage requires continuous effort and maintenance, right? And that’s the family you chose for yourself. If you want a good relationship with your brother, that might take even more effort, because you didn’t get to pick the brother. It may be that you don’t want a good relationship with him and don’t think it’s worth the effort. But you are the older, more mature person and you will most likely have to take the lead in where your relationship goes.

          My perspective– middle child with a little bro and a big sis. Good relationships with both now, but not always and certainly not when we were kids.

      • I think it would help if you separated his wedding from all the other issues you have with him. All that other business really doesn’t matter wrt this wedding. He’s getting married and typically when people get married, we celebrate with them, whether we think it’s a terrible decision or not. As for the family dynamics and financial issues you see looming in the future, deal with those on a case by case basis. Attending his wedding doesn’t mean that you’ll bail him out in the future.

        • This. Times 100. You are not obligated to bail him out — ever.
          Plus, you never know — your brother’s fiancee may be far more responsible with money, or frugal, or ambitious, and this relationship and their marriage could be what encourages him to become an adult and stand on his own two feet.

      • Anon for this, too... :

        I just wanted to sympathize about the younger, irresponsible sibling. When I got married a few years ago, little sister (who lives on a monthly allowance from dad, even though she is a mid-20s college grad. she spends her own money PT job money on travel and hobbies) skipped my rehearsal dinner, flew in the morning of the wedding, picked something up at a gas station to stand in for a gift, and left again before brunch the next day. Even though obviously I had given her the “appropriate” sisterly role as MoH!

        That said, being a big sister means being the bigger person, so you have to suck it up, buy a nice gift and act happy. You know you have to. I would have to do the same thing, and I would be just as frustrated about it. Better to whine here than to your family! :)

      • OP, I get it. My sibling and I have a similar age difference, we are radically different people, our parents treated us very differently, and at one point my mother told me my sibling might not make it to my wedding because sibling couldn’t get out of work. If I tried that shit, I would have been disowned (which maybe is not a bad thing). I had similar issues when my sibling got married, and yes, now I have had to dig my sibling out of a financial hole that sibling and spouse (who is my age). There is no easy answer other than to be the bigger person.

      • I have a similar relationship with my younger brother. He was always the “baby” and my mother’s favorite, which, in my opinion, allowed him to never grow up (he’s 45+ now). It was extremely frustrating to me-he always wanted everything to be “even” among the siblings, even when the older 3 (myself included) were married and had kids (e.g. we all exchanged smaller presents between more people, but he needed one “large” one, to balance out the other gifts he was buying). I thought this was all petty and selfish, but I kept my mouth shut. He has matured over the years, and I’m now glad that I never said anything about his behavior. It’s definitely allowed us to have a closer relationship, whereas if I had spoken my opinions, I’m sure he would still be holding a grudge and we would be estranged. Amazingly, one year he told me that he had given our other siblings a “big” birthday gift one year, and that it was my turn to get the “big” gift. It was a pair of Marimekko (sp?) pearl earrings. I was stunned. So, I’d advise against the “token” gift, and I would definitely vote in favor of attending the wedding. Even it you don’t do it for your brother, it will be a great family occasion. I’d be willing to bet you will look back on this in 10 years and be glad you did-either because it improved your relationship, or just because you will be glad you took the higher road. I have never regretted my adult actions, even during the many years I felt my brother was being a huge, whiny baby.

        • I believe in treating people nicely based on their track record of treatment towards me. So, a few bad incidents are forgiven but a track record of entitled whining and other crap wouldn’t be forgiven.

          But I am always amazed when people write about obnoxious whiny, selfish, narcissists, and how “grateful they are to have a semi-functional relationship” with said twerps just because that twerp is a brother/sister/aunt/uncle/whatnot.

          These are the same people who are likely to drop a friend for similar behavior. I do not see why having similar genetics gives people a free pass to be whiny narcissists who are constantly forgiven and coddled.

    • You don’t sound callous – you sound dramatic and insufferable. You seem to have the same brand of immaturity you say your brother has by asking us if it’s “okay” to do the thing that I know and you know (and everyone else knows…) will cause the most amount of drama within your family at an event that is about your brother, not you.

      • Too mean. Seriously, we all use this space as a sounding board while we are thinking things through. All the other posters were able to offer advice without calling the OP “insufferable.” She’s just trying to figure out her options.

        • Maybe what I said was harsh, but I don’t think it was out-of-line for this forum and certainly not an unsolicited, purposefully malicious comment, which is my interpretation of “mean”. If you’re a 28 year old woman still bringing up the fact that your little brother didn’t pony up enough for your wedding present two years ago, you need a wake-up call.

          Further, I really believe she already knew her options, given that her entire post was framed in terms of “I know I sound callous”, etc. As the poster below points out, she’s fishing for an excuse to do something she already knows is inappropriate.

          • Maybe, but all the time people here post about, “I should probably go to the doctor for this, but what do you think about this large, painful growth somewhere on my body…” and then people tell that person what she already knew, that she should go to the doctor.

            Part of the benefit of corporette, I think, is that we can ask questions like this and get honest, but not snarky, advice. Your comment sounded too harsh to me, too.

      • My mother was upset about her little brother’s wedding at age 19 and, yes, she caused drama about it. That was in 1970 and they are still happily married. My mom, of course, divorced my dad a few years later. Just something to think about. :)

      • reply to anon @11:11 :

        Actually, I don’t think you’re being too mean. I think when someone is clearly fishing for permission to act in a manner that’s not appropriate, it’s okay to call them out on it.

    • Sibling relationships are so weird the way they ebb and flow over the course of a lifetime. Twenty-five years ago, when I was just out of college, my sister bugged the h!ll out of me. (She is 10 years older than I am.) I moved out of state and we spoke only a couple of times a year. For a long time, I didn’t care for the guy she married. But eventually we found more common ground. She had kids that I adored, and she is a great mom, so I got to see her in a more positive light. Now, we live two miles apart and see each other at least once a week. I wasn’t real excited about going to her wedding all those years ago (and I sure did not have a good time), but I am glad I did. I agree with the advice about sending a nice gift.

    • My brother and I were not close at all either until our other brother died unexpectedly. Since that time, we have both made a real effort to become closer, and while it HAS been an effort, it is one that has really paid off. I wouldn’t say we’ll ever be best friends, but having him as an ally as we care for aging parents and face other issues has been a comfort. I’d say this is a good time to be the bigger person and lay the groundwork for a better relationship in your future. You never know when, for whatever reason, you may wish you had a stronger relationship.

    • Make a plausible excuse not to attend, but send them a decent gift, and refrain from letting on how you feel about the marriage. This leaves a friendly path for your future relationship with him.

    • Whatever decision you make, please keep in mind what a lasting effect it will have on your relationship. Emotions run really high around weddings and people don’t forget insults that might seem slight to others – after all, you seem upset that your brother didn’t get you a gift for your wedding when he was 20. How hurt will he be if you don’t get him a gift when you’re 28?

      For some perspective… I got in touch with a half-brother I’d never met when I was 18, and he asked me over the phone to attend his wedding (then almost a year away). The wedding was on the east coast, I was on the west coast working full time supporting myself on $8/hr, no vacation time, paying for night school, all with no assistance from family (mother kicked me out at 16 and we weren’t speaking at the time). I told him the likelihood that I could come up with enough money to attend was slim, but I would do my best. He was so offended that he never sent me an invitation and never responded to any of my calls or emails. It’s been almost 10 years and we still don’t speak. His reaction was super extreme and immature, but people get very touchy about their “special day” and I would definitely think twice before acting in a way that could even potentially be interpreted as offensive.

    • anon prof :

      My brother did not attend my wedding, with the rather ridiculous excuse that his work was moving offices that day and he needed to be there. I will never forget that, and neither will my husband. I know it won’t be easy or cheap, but I think it’s important that you go and be nice. It will mean a lot to your parents, if nothing else.

      • My younger brother, when told of my wedding date, asked that the wedding be moved because it conflicted with his schedule. Needless to say, the relationship hasn’t gotten any better over time.

    • I have younger brothers and I sympathize with feeling like you’re always the one who is expected to be more mature, etc. However, I do agree with the other commenters: 1) I honestly wouldn’t expect a 20 year old to give me an independent wedding gift. Honestly, i had a couple of friends who attending my wedding who were in graduate school and didn’t even give me gifts. i didn’t care- they were broke and they made the time to come, that’s what mattered. 2) I would never expect to be in my brother’s bridal party, particularly given that you have said you two don’t even get along. Why would you expect your new sister in law to ask you to be a bridesmaid, especially when you don’t approve of the wedding? 3) Regardless of all of the above, he’s your brother and unless he has done something truly awful, I say you suck it up and be at least outwardly happy for him on his big day. You have the rest of your lives to decide to break ties or show resentment, but if you act out now, he may never forgive you. His wedding is not the time to be petty. Also, on the matter of a gift- get whatever you feel you can afford. 20 dollars is fine. A card with a gift certificate to the movies and an inexpensive bottle of wine, maybe? Just something to show that even though you don’t approve, you’re his sister and you’re there for him.

  4. Amelia Pond :

    I am starting the morning out with a case of advanced trolling! I ran into a woman wearing a lovely black and white tweed suit, an amazing teal silk shell, and in her hair she had two sections each about the width of a pencil, wrapped and braided in neon colored threads with 3 plastic beads on the end of each that gently clicked together when she moved her head. The braided sections had grown out some so there was a 1/4 inch root that was slightly matted. My boss (a man who would not notice a blue nail if it poked him in the eye) asked if this is a new thing? So ladies? Are neon beaded hair wraps in?

    • Amelia Pond :

      Sorry for the multiple ? I am still working on my 1st cup of coffee!

    • Sounds like she just got back from spring break.

    • I am wearing blue nailpolish on my 10 fingers.
      But our dress code policy has just changed to no dress code so I am enjoying my newly acquired freedom

      • Nice – which blue?

      • I have blue nails, too! Less as a fashion statement and more as a March Madness thing, as I am a graduate of a Blue school in the Final Four. In my state this week, no one will be bothered by the blue nails other than fans of the other state school in the Final Four.

        • Pretzel_Logic :

          Ha, MOR, I’m at said Blue school and I’ve been trying to advance troll all the Red grads with as much blue as possible all week. What blue polish did you get, I’ve been thinking about upping the ante ;)

    • I used to do this in high school! Ah memories. That is almost 20 years ago so it is due for a comeback, but I can’t see it working with a suit.

    • Richmond Lawyer :

      Love this! The weekend after I took the bar exam, I went on vacation with my parents and younger, college-aged sister. I came back to our spot on the beach and my sister was getting a few braids and neon beads done in her hair. My mom kindly offered to pay for me to get a few braids done, too. I gently reminded her that I was starting my clerkship on Monday, so would have to turn down that opportunity.

  5. Gooseberry :

    Posted this earlier this AM, but figure there’s a better chance of responses if I re-post: Does anyone know how Muse dresses fit? I’m a 2 in Jcrew and AT, and usually a 2 or 4 in BR. Also, looks like they are all 95% poly and 5% spandex. Is the material cheap looking/feeling?

    Thanks!!!

  6. Yesterday, I was wearing a color clock skirt with black tights.
    Link to follow.
    I am petite/short, so the skirt is not as short as it looks on the model.

  7. Repost from last Friday: Cole Haan threadjack: I have several pairs of the Talia mid pump heels from Cole Haan. A few weeks ago, the heel broke on one of the shoes. There appear to be some sort of seam near where the heel connects to the bottom of the shoe (there must be a weak spot, as the break is pretty clean). I called Cole Haan and they sent me postage for the shoes so I can mail them back and get a gift card for the most recent sale price (which I am sure will be lower than what I paid for them, but I got a good year’s worth of wear out of them). Today, the heel on a second pair (same model, different color) broke in the exact same way. What gives? Is this a problem others have had with this particular shoe? Is it possible that I walk in a way that is bad for this particular shoe? I’ve never had this happen with any other brand.

    • I’ve never had this problem with Cole Haans. Do you drive in those shoes or do anything else that would put lateral pressure on the heel?

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      I have a few pairs of Talia pumps (mid and tall) that I wear religiously and haven’t ever had this happen. As for the sale price, you may get lucky – most of them seem to still be at full price. And if it’s a patterned kind they don’t have online anymore, pop into or call your local store. After I walked into a store, a delightful CH associate spied a pair of beat up flats on my feet from a few seasons back and managed to procure a new pair from some warehouse somewhere for me. It was like magic!

      • Great suggestions! I do drive in them and I wonder if that is what is causing the stress that led to the breaks. I may have to invest in driving shoes!

    • I had this same thing happen with two successive pairs of Cole Haan Air boots (ones that Kat featured here). The first pair I returned to Nordy’s and they replaced (and gave me the difference because they were on sale). The second pair I just returned and got my money back. I can’t remember which heel(s) broke though. And like you, I’ve never had any other shoe lose a heel in 30+ years of wearing pumps.

      And now I just bought the Air Talia mid pump – also from Nordy’s – so I hope to not have the same experience.

  8. This may be the old ladiest post of my lifetime, but I had an idea and wanted to bounce it off of people/see if it’s a bad one. So I have orthotics (old lady clue #1) and have been wearing them almost daily for nearly a year. They’re pricey ($400) so I don’t want to ruin them and can’t afford a second pair. BUT I’ve not been sure how to clean them and I feel like my feet sweat enough that it’s bound to be gross not to clean them somehow.

    I read something online about “cleaning” jeans by freezing them b/c it kills the bacteria. I was thinking this should work for my orthotics, too. So they’re sitting in a ziploc bag in my freezer right now. Genius or stupid? Will I have ruined them you think? Any ideas for cleaning them otherwise?

    Love,
    Grandma Batgirl

  9. Pretty skirt, but unless the model is 7 feet tall, it looks like it would be way too short for most offices.

  10. Anon for this :

    I just need to vent. I really hate my husband’s boss. He is so awful there really are no words for it. I feel terrible for my husband, because I know he likes his job otherwise. I think that all of this is wearing him down emotionally, and I wish I had advice to give him.

    • Right there with you sister. Sometimes I feel like my husband’s bosses (and by extension his job) can turn my otherwise lovely husband into a bitter, grumpy, stranger who I barely want to live with! So I hate them. And try to get him to find a new job….thus far to no avail.

    • I can completely sympathize with your frustration. My H just got a new boss and H quickly went from a person that loved going to work to someone that hates it. It hurts to see him like that, but the company he works for is probably where he is going to make his career, so he has to stick this out and he knows it. Lately, I just let him vent to me, and completely support his feelings and then I tell him that this new boss will eventually dig his own grave and the company will can him. (And I desperately hope that they do.) It’s a tough thing to go through, having a miserable and worn down SO. Hugs to you. Be sure to make the most of the time that you two spend together so that he can take his mind off work. That has seemed to help in our situation.

    • Have been through the same with my husband also. Don’t worry too much about advice if none occurs to you – some times these situations just aren’t within your hands to fix. I know mine was very appreciative of the fact that I shared his anxiety but could also muster up the energy to take his mind off it on weekends and such. Hope it gets better soon.

  11. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    There’s something about this skirt that I’m not really feeling. Can’t quite put my finger on it though.

    What do you ladies think about this dress (http://bit [dot] ly/HeirVn)? Too much? I’m just crazy for polka dots!

  12. Thanks to whoever recommended the Food + Wine Recipe of caramelized onions, mushrooms and goat cheese pasta. I made it last night and it was easy and really yummy! Plus I have two more dinners for my husband and I in the fridge.

  13. i think this got lost in link moderation the other day, so i’m going to try again. To the corporette looking for her holy grail of pointy toed metallic flats — i have a lovely contender. link to follow.

  14. Kate Spade Elina flats in “old gold”

  15. I have a threadjack! We’ve talked before about “special time” (euphemism to avoid moderation, but you get it) with our SO, and how many times per week that happens, especially as it relates to work stress. I’ve been married for nearly 4 years, together for nearly 8 years, and between stress and being tired, things are just sporadic and frustrating. I want to enjoy him in my head, but in my body, it’s just too much effort! When we go on vacation or have a long weekend, things are great, we make up for lost time, and we’re always satisfied. I just can’t seem to get into it during the week when I’m tired and stressed, and I know he’s confused about it. Lately he’s been trying too hard to entice me, and I’ve mentioned that being so overt/charicatured about it just kills the moment (it’s like he’s channeling “pick up a woman at a bar” from a movie or something, just trying way too hard) . I just want to get in bed and let things happen naturally, but by the time I get in bed, I just want to snuggle and fall asleep! How do you subdue the chaotic mess in your head and workday so that you can actually enjoy your husband on a regular basis? Again, not a performance issue or desire issue, just too tired/stressed to make the body match the thoughts!

    • I totally understand where you are coming from. Something I once read: Men have s#x to feel close, women need to feel close to want s#x. Plus I think it’s just harder for women to shut down the part of their brains that is obsessing about work, chores, etc that need to get done, which really interferes with getting into things. Fatigue and stress certainly don’t help.

      Some things that might help: Just do it, even if you don’t expect to make it all the way, IYKWIM. It sounds weird, but sometimes I am just in the mood to enjoy the physical closeness and don’t want the extra pressure of having to get all the way there. My BF is rather results-oriented, which is generally great for me, but sometimes I just like him to have a free ride (well, he does all the work, but doesn’t seem to mind!). It’s still enjoyable for me and I think it helps us feel closer, which I think helps me get in the mood more frequently. We’ve also started going to bed a little earlier and chatting a bit or watching something silly on the iPad, just cuddling and being close without necessarily any expectations. This also helps me feel closer and makes me more likely to want some action. I think just finding more ways to enjoy being together (without the pick-up overtures) can help.

      • Yes! The results-oriented thing is what is hard sometimes, he’s so sure that he’s failed if I don’t finish. Sometimes I just tell him that I want to enjoy being close, but I’m not trying to finish, and he usually accepts that. I think that’s where the overly-trying-to-turn-me-on comes from, because he doesn’t understand that starting and going without finishing can be quite nice, if finishing is too much effort. Not all the time, obviously.

    • Also stressed :

      Two suggestions:

      Have you tried actually just scheduling a night, like Wednesdays and making it “special times” night. That way you don’t have to worry about the stress of “will we or won’t we” or seduction or anything and you can just get excited for it. You could even treat it as a date night and make something nice for dinner — kind of make it a reconnection night.

      Another idea is just, if night time is hard for you, have you tried the mornings? Get up half an hour earlier once or twice a week. :-) You can burn calories before you even get to work!

      • I love morning special time. Way better than evening special time, IMO. Doesn’t happen often at our house on work days, unfortunately. :( Maybe I should make the effort sometime in the next week.

    • Here’s what I find (its personal, though, so it may not be the same for you). I usually have similar feeling to you (just want to get into bed/cuddle/fall asleep). However, I find that once I “start,” its always enjoyable (kind of like the “do 10 minutes of excercise” trick) and I always love it. So, I simply start (either at his initiation or mine) and when its over, I never regret it. In fact, its usually pretty awesome and I fall asleep with my mind blissfully cleared and relaxed.

    • Like most of the things I do in life, I revert to the Nike motto. Just do it. I think most people get into it once they get going, feel better b/c it will be one less thing to stres about (I see you are stressed about not doing it because you’re stressed), and you’ll sleep better :)

    • One problem may be that you’re just seeing “special time” as a nighttime, right before you go to sleep, kind of thing. Go to bed earlier, don’t wait until you’re about to fall asleep. Skip watching TV or reading at night and snuggle with your husband, talk a little, then turn off the talk and focus on each other. My SO handles this really well when I get home and I clearly have “monkey mind.” He wants to hear about it, but after I tell him what’s up, we don’t discuss it endlessly. We get it out, then I focus on us. If all goes well, you should not only forget about work – you’ll be lucky if you remember your own name!

    • I agree with other posters that sometimes you just have to get in there and once it gets started it is easier to enjoy it. Its like the gym, you know its good for you, but getting suited up to go is the hardest part. I have found that the more I just do it, the more interested I am in having “special time” later.

      I also agree with the poster that said “Men have __ to feel close and women need to feel close to have __.” Maybe you aren’t in the mood because the dishes aren’t done and the laundry isn’t folded. Say something to your SO like – I would be more interested in have “special time” if x, y, and z were done. I bet he’d jump on those chores ASAP.

    • Anon for this :

      Going to bed earlier has helped me. And, I agree with what other people have said about just doing it. Another helpful tip – don’t put pressure on yourself to make it “great.” Give yourself permission to have “average” s*x.

    • Diana Barry :

      Just do it!

      Honestly, this is the best advice I have seen. Once you start, you may find you get into it more than you were expecting, or even just enough to make things good, but it won’t be often that you need to stop. :)

      With this pregnancy my s*x drive has been really nonexistent, and now I am so big that no position really works for me, but my H is still into it way more than I am. I find that when I make time to start s*xy-time, it is better for all parties involved. He is not frustrated, I am happy bc he’s happy (and some of the time I get really into it too!), and it’s an all around better situation.

      Also, don’t wait until bedtime- try the first possible moment. Not being as tired makes a big difference.

    • I’ve found that exercise really helps with my desire for “special time.” The more that I exercise, the less stressed I am, and for whatever reason, it puts me in the mood more often. When I stop exercising, my libido tanks. Just a thought.

    • Everything you said is my problem too. Tired, stressed, busy…..
      Oh and he’s on a med that lowers drive, and I’m on bc pill that is drying :-(

    • I am in a long distance relationship at this time, but when we were in same city and nights he stayed over (almost 4-5 a week), we will just totally focus on each other. Dishes can stay, apartment can be dirty, forget about tv shows/books, we just won’t care. Sometimes we will start cuddling and watch a show online right after coming home as a way to relax, and things would start from there. Dinner/dishes/laundry all the minor details can wait for later. But then again, we are not married so may be it gets different, I don’t know. These days I just can’t wait to hop on a plane to see him.

    • Morning s#x!

    • OP here – thanks for all the suggestions, the common theme seems to be Nike-style JUST DO IT, so we’ll see how that attitude serves me after work :)

  16. Big thank you to whoever recommended the Report Grover flats from 6pm dot com last week. I had a pair of black patent Jessica Simpson (I am not ashamed!) flats that I wore. to. death during my pregnancy and the year after, and had yet to find the perfect replacement. I have literally been hunting for two years and poof! Corporette to the rescue. Love it!

    • that was me! I also went and bought a second pair because the deal was so good… I admit it! I figured that once the pair I had got worn down I’d have a second pair waiting in the wings.

  17. I’m the one who posted on the very difficult sibling early last week. Thought I would update for anyone who might be curious.

    I decided that a few days with no contact would be a good start. After 4 days, I get some emails pertaining to some gossip (“so-and-so did this can you believe it?!”) which I suppose is an attempt at reconciliation. More gossipy texts and finally a “where ARE you?!” when I realize that maybe my sister is actually concerned that I might be dead. I finally reply with “I’m okay, I’ve been busy, but I also don’t really feel like talking. Please try to understand.” More texting ensued that resembled a snake spitting venom “i’m a hater- i have serious issues- everyone thinks i’m crazy you’re a psych b * tch- I’m 30 and I can do whatever I want- i’m so much better than you” I could go on and on. I tried to reply calmly that I just thought having some space would be best, but I got more angry messages. I finally said I wasn’t going to reply anymore bc I was going to the gym (which was true), and one last evil message ended it.

    Feeling better that I didn’t engage, (although I guess I could have not replied at all) but also equally upset that I have to tolerate such evil words. Anyway, I * hope * it’s the step in the right direction toward slowly reducing my contact.

    • Sorry I meant that she called ME a hater, and i have issues- and that she can do whatever she wants….you know what I mean. *goes and gets a coffee*

    • Sorry – this has to be terrible to go through. I think you are doing the right thing, though, by not responding to her venom.

    • One Star Out of the Constellation :

      It probably feels strange to be sticking up for yourself. I think you are doing the right thing.

      In my (unfortunately broad) experience with these things, the person who stops accepting the poor treatment is the one who gets blamed by the person who is doling out the poor treatment. In other words, she will blame you for not engaging when, in reality, she should be blamed for her misbehavior. Because you are the single star in the family constellation who is refusing to continue to revolve around her in the dysfunctional orbit to which she has become accustomed, she will say that you (not her dysfunctional orbit requirements) are the problem. If you’re not expecting this already, just wanted to mention it so you aren’t surprised.

      • This! (And very nicely said may I say).

        But — more broadly — you also need to be prepared for the fact that she may try to get others in your family to “take her side” and to convince you to come back to her. They will appeal to your duty as her sister.

        So you may hear about it from others than just your sister — it’ll be hard, but deep down they’ll probably understand why.

        • Agree with all of this. Stay strong and know that you’re taking care of yourself in the long run.

        • Oh yes, i was well-prepared for the fact that I would be blamed considering she has NEVER accepted fault for anything (and i mean really, who hasn’t screwed up before in their life? it’s okay to just own up to it) and the fact that she has done this in the past.

          I’ve given in before (hence the cycle of being nice to her, getting hurt, being nice after awhile…) because it’s easier to just be nice than to listen to her evil words. That’s what my parents do after awhile. And I know that they will get annoyed that I’m not “co-operating” by just letting it go. I used to get this lecture all of the time- which is probably why I’m such a people-pleaser now- i.e. “be the good child and don’t cause us anymore grief.” Probably not the best advice, but at least I know it now.

        • I’m sure psychologists (K in NYC?) have an actual name for this phenomenon. It just always reminds me of those high school chemistry drawings of protons circling a neutron to form an atom. One proton gets off course and the neutron calls foul.

      • This is so well put. I was the only one who would stand up to my abusive father and he lashed out at me and has turned parts of the family against me because I’m the one that rocked the boat but whatever. At least I have my sanity. In fact, I actually have a whole new outlook on life. Once you realize that it is okay to have boundaries and enforce them and to take up space on this planet, you never look back.

    • Seattleite :

      I’m sorry it went down like that. Good for you for not engaging. I think you will feel more peace with this decision. FWIW, I have two sisters with whom I am not close, but I have been blessed with two very good friends who are like sisters to me. I wish that for you, too. There may always be a part of you that wishes you could have the sister you deserve, the close relationship you’re ‘supposed’ to have, but it gets better with time.

    • I too had a very difficult sibling. Eventually I just stopped being in contact with him. I can’t even say I regret it, since his being around was always irksome and miserable, and it wasn’t likely that he was ever going to change. We haven’t spoken in years. It wasn’t a happy decision to have to make, but has turned out to be the best one.

  18. I have kind of a weird shopping advice question, and I won’t be surprised if nobody responds. But…

    I have always been crazy about silk button-front shirts, both for work and off-work time. I’d be happy owning no other kind of shirt. However, I don’t like to buy many that aren’t machine washable, so I have not had many…until this spring. Suddenly I’m finding a lot of machine-wash silk shirts. My thought has been “get them while you can!” because we may go back to a drought any time. That has happened to me with other items I crave, and if I haven’t stocked up I often regretted that.

    Any thoughts on whether I should continue buying essentially every (good) one I find, or whether washable silk shirts are going to become a constant, easy-to-find item? Any warnings about the washable silk that is suddenly surrounding me? These items are either 100% silk or a silk-cotton blend.

    • I am right there with you both with my desire to buy them and my worries about them. I bought one from Land’s End Canvas and I love it — and I’ve washed it only once so far and it wrinkled like a mother (its of course lay flat or line dry) so I’m avoiding washing it TOO much because I’m worried about wear.

      Not sure if the machine washable will become universal (though my instincts say they’ll stick around because they’ll be popular) but my general impression is that they quality is maybe less. But they also tend to be cheaper, so I think you get what you pay for (since you can have more!)

    • I wash all my silk tops on delicate and hang to dry, regardless of what the tag says. A lot of manufacturers will just put “dry clean only” on the tag by default. The main issue with silk is that it will get water stains if part of the shirt is wet. If you get it all wet, then there shouldn’t be any issue.

      • Word. And people have been washing silk in water for millenia.

        In terms of fabric quality, tho, that’s always going to be a challenge. I bought this gorgeous silk-cotton blend blouse from BR that wrinkles like bananas, I’m so frustrated with it.

        • heeeee. A shirt from BR that wrinkles like bananas.

          • I actually enjoy ironing, so wrinkling in the wash does not bother me! But the bit about machine washing all silk is a revelation. Thanks! I always get unexpected insights here.

          • LOL I did not even realize. I’m too awesome.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Seriously. The ancient Chinese did not have dry cleaners.

          I hand wash my silk shirts (even the ones that say dry clean only), but I only handwash because my washer is horrible and I don’t trust it. If I go visit my parents and use my mom’s nice front-load washer with the “delicate” and “hand wash” setting, every silk item I own is going in there. I’ve gotten pretty bold with washing stuff lately. Even suiting pieces that say “dry clean” instead of dry clean only. I’ve yet to ruin anything.

          Also, steamers are awesome for wrinkled silk.

    • same. i adore silk button front shirts, for casual and work wear. i have been buying up all of my favorites this season. my favorite cross over ones for work & play are the j.crew silk/cotton blend perfect shirts. they look sharp under a suit and on the weekend with jeans and flats.

    • no advice for you, but question for silk lovers. I’m traveling and in a hotel room, and I dribbled something on the front of my silk shell. Should I try to get it out with shampoo and water and then iron the shell, or should I wait till I get home? I don’t want the stain to “set” and I’d like to wear the shell again on this trip. Have any of you successfully done this?

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        What kind of shampoo? If it’s pretty mild, I’d try it. I’ve washed silk shells with Johnson’s baby shampoo before.

    • These sound terrific. Please provide links to some of the shirts you’ve liked when you have a chance.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I would totally just scoop ‘em up while you can. If you buy too many now, and they stay popular and available, so what? If you don’t buy them, and they disappear into the abyss, that’s just devastating.

      The same thing happened to me with flat shoes. I’m 5’10″, and have always been tall, and have always not loved wearing heels. Up until about 5-7 years ago it was SO HARD to find flat shoes, that I used to buy like 4 pairs of the same shoe when I was able to find one that was comfortable and slightly attractive-looking. It was like searching for the holy grail. I have bad feet anyway that seem to prefer not to be shoe’d, so the comfort thing was huge.

      The purpose of my anecdote was just that you should take advantage while you can. Flat shoes may be everywhere now, but if they were to disappear in a year, I’ll be glad I have like 100 pairs to get me through. Styles come and go, and since you love this one, go for it!

      • In search of Bunksters bark :

        Please tell me where you are finding all these beauties! Maybe in the afternoon coffee break.

  19. So, any ideas on what to wear to a beach wedding in May? Let’s say your 50ish, and not terribly proud of your bare arms. And you think hose are probably not appropriate for a beach wedding, but you have spider veins on your legs. Sigh.

  20. Today I had my review.

    Instead of focusing on my performance in 2011, my boss spoke almost exclusively about what happened on Thursday – the fact that I went out for lunch with my team and then left at 5 for my hair appointment.

    When I mentioned the incident that happened that morning where he upset me, he insisted that that happened on Friday. And then refused to address my issues about it. He just kept saying I was mistaken. He was angry because he wasn’t getting the right answers.

    Even after I laid it out for him, he brushed it aside so that he could return to the fact that I took lunch.

    • Email him

      Dear boss,

      As we unfortunately used my review timeslot to discuss the company policy on breaks and how it should be amended for your project group I have taken a quick look at your calendar and scheduled a seconded meeting for my review. I’ve also laid out a short agenda covering past performance, objectives for the year ahead and areas for improvement. Finally I’ve asked Bob* to attend to take notes and help keep us on topic in our discussions.

      Love ‘n’ hugs

      B

      * Bob can be your mentor, an admin assistant (bonus points if you can get whoever does admin for jerk boss’s boss!) or a union rep if your workplace has a union.

      On a separate note, don’t let this man bully you. Stand up to him (politely) and he’ll back off.

    • Diana Barry :

      Your boss is a DOOSH (tm Ellen). Jeez. I hope you get out of there soon!!!!!!

    • Bunkster, based on all of your posts over this last year (+?) I think all of us would agree that your boss is horrible and you do not deserve to be treated like this over and over. What is your plan to get out of there? You need one! You are worth being treated well… it’s time for you to believe it.

    • Where do you live? Someone get Bunkster a new job!!

      • Anonymous NYer :

        Seriously! I’m looking for a job in Boston (or NY), but I’m in a pleasant part-time situation right now. Not permanent, but pleasant for now. I would seriously give you my first real job offer if we were in the same industry (don’t think we are based on past posts), even though I’m still looking for a permanent gig.

      • In search of Bunksters bark :

        I’m changing my handle. From now on, I will be known as In Search of Bunkster’s New Job.

  21. Anonymous Job-Hunter :

    I need some advice on how to structure my resume. My law school resume was, obviously, education-heavy. I have recently left my first job as an attorney after nearly 2 years of practice. I am applying for legal and non-legal jobs. Some of the non-legal jobs are in technical areas in which my undergraduate research will be relevant. I am thinking I will draft two different resumes, one for legal jobs which does not go into detail about my undergraduate activities, and one for the non-legal jobs which includes that information that would be relevant. I just worry that with only 2 years of experience, it will be difficult to convey how much I bring to the table besides just my legal experience. Thoughts?

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think doing targeted resumes is a great idea. As to your worry that “it will be difficult to convey how much I bring to the table besides just my legal experience,” does that apply just to the “non-legal job” version of your resume or to both versions?

      • Anonymous Job-Hunter :

        Probably both. There is very little about my legal experience that separates me from any other 2nd year attorney – I haven’t had trial experience or much of anything besides average young associate motion/brief writing, research, dealing with discovery, etc. What I do think gives me a boost is my technical education; I had no trouble understanding and explaining the mountain of drawings, documents, and information provided by a chemical plant, for example, which is something that some of my peers might struggle with. While this is the type of thing I can explain in a cover letter, I wish it were easier for my resume to reflect my greatest strength.

        • Do you have a professional profile on your resume. I was updating mine recently and was advised (by someone who does HR) that a brief paragraph (2-3 sentences) at the top of the resume can give it the “why the employer should care” punch it might need. Way shorter than a cover letter, but lays out what your experience means to the employer

        • Former MidLevel :

          Ah, I see. Definitely put something about your technical experiences on both resumes, but put less on the legal version. After all, legal employers (with a few exceptions, like patent law boutiques) care most about your legal experience. For legal jobs where your tech background could be relevant (e.g., patent law, maybe some products-liability fields), you can add more to your resume and play it up in your cover letter.

  22. lawnonymous :

    Slight threadjack – for all of you lawyer ‘rettes, how did you get used to being mediocre in law school? (Assuming you were, that is…)

    I can’t get used to the fact that I’ll probably never be top of my game. It’s entirely an ego and self-esteem thing, but it really hurts like hell that I’m comparing myself to people who are far more intelligent than I am. It feels like trying is futile, because no matter what, I won’t win.

    • Honestly, that is something to get used to in life and would apply in most fields. There will always be someone smarter, nicer, better looking, and/or willing to work harder. Always. It doesn’t mean you don’t play the game. And especially with education/career, not winning is not the same thing as losing. Plus a lot of times, “winning” in law comes with a lot of dreary work and responsibility. Law review, working in BigLaw, etc., are all very prestigious and provide excellent experience and life lessons, but at the end of the day, it’s just a lot of work with a fancy title. Titles are very important to some people, but for many people they get less and less important as time goes on.

      Good grades and being on law review are obviously very important in law school and will certainly make it much easier to get a “good” job, but I will imagine I am not the only one who can tell you that you can get a job you enjoy and find rewarding without them.

    • Former MidLevel :

      For what it’s worth, being in the middle of the pack in law school does not mean that you can’t be “top of the game” as a lawyer. Excellence in lawyering is not just a product of the type of analytical intelligence that is tested and rewarded in law school–it also takes things like common sense, emotional intelligence, attention to detail, and strong communication skills.

    • I don’t know what year you are, but do you have a summer job lined up? Participate in pro bono? Lead a student group? For me, finding meaningful, law-related things to do outside of class helped me stop the grade comparisons.

    • I am a banana. :

      Focus on being the best at something else. Go volunteer at a legal clinic and kick its teeth in, or get in shape and run that 10k. You haven’t lost the ability to be at the top of your game just because you couldn’t dominate law school. Remember that. You will be awesome at other things later. Law school blows.

      -Lawyer who sucked at law school but rules at life and being a lawyer, just like you will be in a few years.

      • lawnonymous :

        Thank you, banana. I can’t wait to get out into the working world and show ‘em whose boss. I’m just sick of this petty bs*t that law school brings.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Also remember that your current classmates are your future colleagues. Don’t be too quick to write them all off because you feel competitive now. There is room enough in the profession for all of you.

    • Anonynonyony :

      I was “top of my game” in law school (i.e. one of the best students in my class) and got laid off after just a year at my big-law job because there wasn’t enough work and am still looking for a permanent position while temping.

      Agree with what others said, try to take a long view of law school and your career. And develop a specialty (any specialty) that you can market — whether its legal clinical work or getting published in a niche area or whatever — so that even if your grades aren’t *the best ever* you can say but I was passionate about xyz in law school and worked really hard on that. Lets talk about it. (Also — become friendly with at least 2-3 professors, they will help you find these things to focus on.)

      • Anonynonyony :

        Also, that first paragraph should have ended with “so success in law school doesn’t really equal successful career either.” Or something like that. :-P Realized I left the important message of that off. haha.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        I agree with the get friendly with professors advice. I was one of the ‘mediocre’ law students in law school, and I wish I had followed that advice. I know people who basically walked into their dream first jobs because of a professor making a call, regardless of their grades. But usually, the professors you should be cozying up to are the ones in whose classes you do the best.

        I know it’s hard to follow that advice before you get your grades the next semester, but if you’ve had a class you did particularly well in (even me with my terrible GPA got 2 A-’s and an A), take every other class that prof teaches, even if you have zero interest in the subject. Go to office hours. Get to know that prof better, and share with him/her your goals for your career, and you never know what could happen.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      Here’s the problem: success in law school is measurable by their standards. But once that is over, everyone who passes the bar is lawyer. That’s your focus for now. If you are using grades as your only scale then that’s your problem. Just shrug off the class rank for now and bust your butt the best way you know how to get the degree. In the meantime, get an externship or participate in pro bono or legal clinic to get real world experience.

      I go up against top firm lawyers all.the.time who are completely terrible. They must be charging $500/hr for their services and they are so terrible, sometimes I barely make a presentation in response. They don’t present well, they talk way over everyone’s heads, and frankly, their arguments are way off base. Those lawyers may make a ton of money and work for big law but, they sure do not win against me unless my facts are terrible. And when they leave you can tell they do not even know they just lost. It’s all about finding your niche and keeping your clients happy. Because that’s who really decides if you are a good lawyer, your client. Just because you are a lawyer that doesn’t mean that is the only thing you are.

    • I know how this goes… I was BARELY mediocre in law school and when I was job hunting I avoided applying to any jobs that requested a transcript. No real advice as to your internal struggle, but I know how you feel :(

      • After reading the other replies I feel inspired to write a more positive and articulated response (and I do actually have some constructive advice, I think). I was in the bottom of my class after 1L year (think: the dreaded bottom 30%). Like a few others managed to do, I clawed my way to the solid, mediocre middle. My 1L summer I interned with a judge (unpaid, but looks GREAT on a resume) and then, starting my first semester 2L year, I worked part time at a law firm (again, for free), which helped me land a well paying summer gig where I worked part time during my 3L year, which gave me the connections I used to get the gig I have now (with a few months of soul-wrecking unemployment in between). My advice to you is to not let law school get to you. Work your a– off, get the best grades you can, and focus on making yourself marketable. Yeah Biglaw wants to see journals and top 10% etc etc etc, but the majority of firms out there want to see competence and know-how. I am definitely sensitive about my law school gpa and transcript (as indicated above), but I, in no way, think that I am less *smart* than my classmates who had better classroom performance. An A in torts does not a good lawyer make.

      • NotVeryAnon :

        OMG. We have the same initials and the same life!!!!

        • NotVeryAnon :

          Well, at least we have the same initials. HATED law school and didn’t work very hard to make it love me back. I did know that I wanted to be a lawyer, so I put a lot of effort and love into internship apps, internships themselves, and the job hunt. Graduated with a great public interest job lined up. Now am a very happy lawyer. Still in touch will my one favorite professor and all of my internship supervisors/buddies, but not really any fellow students. See above, re: “HATED LAW SCHOOL.”

        • ahahaha true confession: EK is kind of a nickname, but does contain some initials of mine. But other than that, we could have very similar lives. I am also quite happy in my found job, which just goes to show that there’s hope for all of the mini-EKs out there, no?

    • Getting a “real job” helped. I worked as a law clerk and a judicial intern where I was actually doing legal work instead of just studying and thinking about theory. I realized that I could do the work and enjoyed it. My bosses’ feedback that I did great work helped a lot, too. That made only being “average” in law school (after being top of the class in high school and college) more acceptable to me.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        Ditto this. Working as a judicial intern enhanced my law school experience, made me a bit more marketable and improved my legal writing skills. And it was fascinating!

    • Another Sarah :

      I was also mediocre in law school. Stupid grades and stupid law school exams…grrr!! So I made up for it – I joined a moot court team, sat on e-boards, coached a moot court team, did clinic, volunteered, and otherwise stacked the “Activities/Honors” section on my resume. I also didn’t apply anywhere that requested a transcript. I got a quasi-law internship after I took the bar, rocked my first assignment because I knew how to work my a** off, and got a permanent offer in the second week of my internship. Now, even with all the craziness that goes on in my office (project management and egos aside), I have a pretty good gig at a company that actually invests in me. If I had awesome grades in law school, I wouldn’t be this lucky. :-)

      Not winning at law school doesn’t mean you can’t win at life. Winning at law school doesn’t mean you’ll win at life. But they make you think it. Stop. :-)

    • formerly mediocre :

      Why do you think you are far less intelligent than everyone else? The ability to do well in law school doesn’t equate to being smarter or more capable of being a good lawyer. I am a horrible student when it comes to learning anything via lecture. Case in point- I had a hearing yesterday with opposing counsel from the local law clinic. One of the students apparently thought she was hot stuff because she was the top of her class, summered at a prestigious law firm, etc. She made a pretty big mistake when it came to conversing with her client about the previous history of the case. She missed that no matter how smart you might be, you’re going to be at a serious disadvantage if you can’t develop a good relationship with your client.

    • If it makes you feel any better- law school was the first place I was ever in the middle of the pack. It really did my confidence in for awhile. However, I worked hard to excel in classes that would be my eventual niche field and have worked exclusively in that area of law for ten years. And, you know what? I’m really good at my job. Really. And, I like it. Just because you may have middle grades the first year or graduate in the middle of the pack does not mean you are destined for a life of mediocrity! You define who you are, not grades, jobs, or others.

      Chin up, Charlie.

    • lucy stone :

      I was a completely average law student (I think I was in the top 55% or some crap like that) and I think I’m pretty bad*ass at my job. Law school is a mindf*ck and I enjoy the practice of law far more than I enjoyed law school.

    • Agree with the others…. and FWIW, I didn’t even start out in the middle of the pack at my law school…I was in the BOTTOM. I managed to claw my way up to the middle in my 2L and 3L years when I finally got to take classes that I was interested in. But guess what? I’m a good lawyer. Law school just sucks and being “good” at law school doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be a good lawyer. There are a lot more things involved in being a good lawyer than being able to write a flowery essay pontificating about the theory of the law. (Actually, I’m not even convinced that the latter has anything to do with being a good lawyer, but it sure seems to have a lot to do with getting a good ranking in law school). It is tough suddenly not being the “best” anymore, but just hang in there!

      • Ya, I’m with you– my school didn’t do a public ranking of students, but we did have a curve. So I can’t know for sure where I was ranked, but I’m fairly certain I got the WORST grade in the class in at least 2 classes & I was def in the bottom 30% after my first year. Somehow, I still graduated with a not god awful gpa & passed the bar.
        The feeling bad about yourself though is an issue apart from the grades– seek therapy immediately. Just to have someone outside law school to listen to you. I’m finally doing it now (2 yrs after graduation) and I wish I would have done it sooner.

    • Praxidike :

      It was very hard for me, especially because about 90% of my self-esteem was (and is) derived out of my intelligence/academic achievement. But it’s true, I was totally mediocre in law school (as in, in the top 50%). While I was IN law school, I focused on the stuff that I knew I excelled at, like writing. I took as many legal writing courses as I could, and got very good grades in those courses (of course those did next to nothing to help my GPA because of the first year grades). I also worked and did a good job at my small insurance defense firm, and I was on moot court (because I AM a good writer, and also good at oral argument).

      Please also be aware that mediocre law school performance does not necessarily translate into being a mediocre lawyer. I always, always, always excelled academically before I went to law school. I have an engineering degree from an excellent university and graduated magna from that university. Law school, as I said, was a different bag, and I was terrified that I would be a “bad” lawyer – but that is decidedly not the case.

      Right out of law school, I had an appellate clerkship (state court of appeals). Then, I had a state supreme court clerkship. Then I was unemployed for a little while. Then I started at an insurance defense firm, ended up developing my own insurance coverage practice, and became a partner at that firm over the course of five years. Then one of my big clients offered me the opportunity to go in-house, and I took it. Now I supervise my former partners, and a lot of other attorneys, in litigation throughout the state. Aside from my first clerkship, I have not provided a law school transcript to ANY employer. My grades simply did not matter; my performance mattered.

      Now, if you want to go into biglaw, then you’re going to have a tough time. I did not plan to go into biglaw and my expectations were that I would end up as a litigator. So I ended up doing what I wanted to do, and I love being a lawyer. I don’t view myself as a mediocre lawyer, either. I have a near 100% affirmance on record on appeals, and I’ve argued before my state’s supreme court.

      Take heart. Being mediocre at law school doesn’t mean that you’ll be mediocre forever. But yeah, it still smarts when I think about all those people who did better than I did when we were in school together, and I have no good advice on how to make that go away.

    • The 2 most financially successful lawyers from my graduating class were solidly in the middle of the class. Both are partners in small litigation firms, and make boatloads of money. I graduated in the top 10 in my class, and am an associate making a fraction of what they make. Not that it matters to me, I took a few years off when I had my daughter, and kind of started over at about age 45 (switched from corporate/transactional to litigation). But success in law school is not always a good predictor of success in the practice of law.

    • I was totally a mediocre law student. Never went to class, just didn’t enjoy that part of school in the least, but I enjoy practice as much as/more than many of my peers and have done just fine. Just focus on the parts that you like – particular classes, particular readings – and grin and bear it. The practice of law is very, very different, and frankly I’ve seen many of the bigger eggheads from my class (I mean that very affectionately) drop out of private practice over the years because it does require very different skills in some ways. School performance is not the end-all be-all predictor of success. Maybe you can get involved in a clinic or something similar that will give you a little more confidence in your hands-on abilities. Don’t take things too personally, and don’t let yourself get caught up in being too competitive with your classmates. Try to see them as your future colleagues who you’ll want to be on friendly terms with 10 years from now.

      • lawnonymous :

        Thank you for this. I’ve stopped participating in social events because of all the work I have to do, but I know that’ll change next year.

        • Also Not Great At Law School :

          You know what I did? I decided that I would no longer allow myself to feel guilty about how I performed in law school or undergrad. There was a particularly bad day, where I was unemployed, living at home, and studying for the bar exam, when I felt like a complete failure. I pulled out a piece of paper to write down my thoughts and suddenly I decided that I didn’t really give a —k about what the world thought about my good or bad academic performance because I work hard, I’m a good person, and I am not defined by my law school ranking. I literally decided that I would no longer allow myself to feel bad about my grades. It was probably the best thing I did for myself in several years, allowing myself to feel terrible but then also committing to not living by regretting the past. Remarkably, it worked. I carry the paper in a small pocket of my wallet. Now I don’t think about law school grades much because it’s just one facet of my life. There will always be a little regret but nowhere close to the huge embarrassment I used to feel.
          A few years later, I have a job I absolutely love with a boss who impresses me more every day with his intelligence and compassion and legal skills — and, lo and behold, he eked into law school through their summer program. He hired me over 50 other people because of my personality. Go figure.

  23. Maybe it looks better in person, but in the photo the skirt looks kinda like badly-assembled patchwork.

  24. I’m a little behind on the posts and just read the dream one. I want to thank the ‘rettes who shared their “pre-cognition” dreams. I have had those for a very long time now and people in my family joke I’m psychic. It makes having a nightmare very scary because I never know if it will come true or not. I kept having a recurring dream that I was at a wake but I couldn’t see who was in the casket. I later learned my grandmother had passed away. She lived alone and the whole time I was having those dreams she was deceased. I was 13 at the time. Creepy.

    The funnier dreams were when I worked at a jail and I would dream I was fighting people. I’d end up fighting for real in my sleep and actually punched my husband in the face once. Luckily I outgrew that after changing professions.

    • Merabella :

      I had a terrible dream last night involving an epi-pen shortage, which is weird because I have never even used one. I have no idea what this means at all, but I blame reading all those stress dreams yesterday.

    • Oh no, you were a “karate-sleeper”!

      I once had a dream when I was trying to have “specialtime” with DH. In my dreams, I was the hot s#x goddess moving seductively at him. Think: “Venus-as-bellydance-goddess”

      In reality, my right hand which I’d sort of slept on (which was numb and floppy) was flailing and pawing at his shoulder ineffectively. DH was bewildered at what I was doing and thankfully woke me.

    • I don’t really remember my dreams but I occasionally elbow my bf in the face. Not really sure why, except that he’s a close sleeper (i.e. every time I roll away from him, he glomms on) so potentially I just don’t realize where he is, but he says at least twice I have opened my eyes after clocking him and said “hah, serves you right!”

      Don’t really know why…

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