Weekend Open Thread

ASOS Neon Pink Double Strap WatchSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

OK, I’m kind of obsessed with neon pink at the moment.  Is it because I had a really, really awesome sweatshirt that said “Washington, DC” in alternating shades of neon pink, yellow and green, which I unwittingly wore to my surprise 16th birthday party?  Hey, who knows.  I do like this neon pink double-strapped watch from ASOS, though — was $35, now marked to $28.  ASOS Neon Pink Double Strap Watch

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P.S. In tech news, hooray for the Sprint 4G network — there for me when Time Warner Internet is a complete and utter failure. Grumble.

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  1. Hi ladies,

    Hoping to get some suggestions for bf’s dress shirts. He has a huge neck. Like 17 1/2 around the next is still kind of tight on him. Any suggestions for dress shirts for a person with normal body but really thick neck? Should he be going custom? If so any suggestions in DC that are under or around 100? He doesnt wear them often so one good one would be a good start, I am dragging him to a lot of weddings this year. TIA!

    • lucy stone :

      Has he tried the ones from Lands’ End that have the comfort neck?

      • Legal Marketer :

        I second trying the Lands’ End shirts in the athletic cut. They hold up really well, too.

      • I havent seen any on the lands end site that are labeled as athletic cut. Sorry if its me and my searching skills, but would you mind linking? Thank you! and thanks to all for the suggestions

        • lucy stone :

          Try: http://www.landsend.com/pp/mens-tailored-fit-no-iron-pinpoint-dress-shirt~193083_59.html

          They used to make ones that were actually called “comfort neck” but I can’t see those now.

    • My SO has a large neck about that size, broad shoulders, smallish waist, and 6’4. He does really well in Hugo Boss dress shirts, 1901 (purchased at Nordstrom) and even BR dress shirts work on him.

      Hope that helps.

    • My husband has similar issues with shirt fit. We started going custom a few years ago, and have never looked back. The shirts fit perfectly, and the options are limitless. Average cost of about $125 for basic—>$175 for fancier ones.

      • Do you go to a tailor for that or a company? Thanks!

        • When we lived in colorado, there was a shop that did the measurements and then sent off to have them made in NY. Store was called Rutledges. I think a number of independent stores around the country use the same system. Now that we’ve moved, I think we’ll use Nordstrom–mostly because its a convenient location. And because I love lounging in the big leather chairs in men’s department there!

    • Has he tried athletic cut or tailored cut shirts? I don’t know about neck size but they are typically for guys with smaller waists/no belly. Might work for him to make up for the large neck size without a ton of fabric at his waist.

    • AgencyCounsel :

      My husband has an 18 inch neck and he likes Jos. A Bank shirts.

    • Oil in Houston :

      I swear by Thomas Pink, they have great choices, based in UK, but I’m sure they ship

      • they have stores all over, DH loves them but doesnt have this sizing issue.

    • My brother has a ginormous neck and average/athletic body. His fave shirts are Brooks Brothers and Jos. A Banks.

    • My SO has the opposite problem (thin neck and very long arms – he’s a monkey) and he has had great success with customizing shirts at Charles Tyrwhitt. They seem to have many more options in terms of collar and sleeve lengths than other designers (including collars up to 20″) and you can order the combination that works best for your SO in store or online. This has worked better than the bespoke places he has tried because you can see and try on the patterns and fabrics in store (though they dont stock the weird sizes, you have to order them). Quality is great and though the initial price point is high, they often have sales when my SO will load up.

    • My BF has a large neck & extremely broad shoulders and favors Brooks Brothers. He has a couple of Nordstrom shirts too, but those are hit or miss for him.

    • My SO is the opposite, long, long arms and scrawny, scrawny neck. He gets his shirts custom-made at Brooks Brothers. Pricey, but they last him several years, then he buys a new batch of 10 or so.

    • Alan also had a very FAT neck (to go with his FAT head). When we were dateing, his neck would get the PILLOWs all sweaty and dirty.

      I told him that he HAD to wash his head and FAT NECK before he could Lie down on my bed OR on my couch. He got very angry, b/c I said his neck was fat. It also got very RED in the summer, b/c he has red hair and is fair skined.

      So he covered his NECK in the summer with a towel, and I told him he looked like a FAT Jack La Layne. He then wanted to sleep with me, and I said NO. FOOEY on him. I got the last laff, and now I am looking for a NEW boyfriend. FOOEY on ALAN!

    • I found company in the “dragging him to a lot of weddings”:)

      • Anonymous :

        Custom! My husband has had great experiences with mytailor.com – website for the Hamrajani Bros out of Hong Kong. Shirts starting at $75, but there are many fabrics and pricing based on the fabric selection. Can customize collar, placket, make one wrist slightly larger than the other to allow for a watch, etc…

    • My tiny office neighbor gets his shirts made through moderntailor.com—might be worth a gander. I’ve considered getting shirts made through them myself.

  2. Anyone try that Suave Keratin line? Any good?

    • ChristinaMD :

      Are you interested in the straightening process or the shampoo/conditioner? I was interested in the straightening products and the HORRIBLE reviews on Amazon scared me from even looking at the box cross eyed in Target. They might have reviews of the Shampoo/Conditioner over there too?

  3. Ft. Lauderdale :

    I posted on yesterday’s Coffee Break, but only got one rec (thanks for Yolos!), so I thought I’d try again.

    Husband and I are going to Ft. Lauderdale in late May. I’m wondering if there are any restaurants or sights that we shouldn’t miss?

    • PittsburghAnon :

      You aren’t getting any recs because Ft Lauderdale has very little in the way of good sights or good restaurants. I love the beaches there, but there isn’t much else. Casablanca’s (right on the beach, across the street) is good for a dinner.

      • :) I thought this but didn’t say it. Lauderdale- not for me culturally. Miami I love.

        • PittsburghAnon :

          Tell me what you like to do in Miami – I’m there all the time for work and I need to explore more.

          • Where to begin… visit the spas (the Viceroy has a great one, and the pool area, which you have to walk through to get to the spa, is just so Miami). Walk around the Design District. Eat breakfast or brunch at Gigi’s. Versailles for the standard authentic Cuban food fix. South Beach is its own hot lovely mess. Hang out at the beach, stroll down to see the Art Deco buildings, eat or shop on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

    • I use tripadvisor.com for most of my travel research.

    • I live in Broward County and can tell you that there is nothing worthwhile in Ft. Lauderdale. Go to the Galleria Mall, eat at Capital Grille or Seasons 52. If you want to experience South Florida, go to Miami!

    • Agree that there’s more to see & do in MIA (for a certain scene anyway), but FLL should be fun for a relaxing beach vacation. I always use Yelp for restaurant recs and TripAdvisor for hotels, if you don’t already have one. Cuban food is good anywhere in South Florida, so make sure you get your fill of that. My grandmother lives in Delray Beach and I’ve been to some good Cuban places around there but I dont remember the names (and anyway if you’re looking to drive that far for dinner, I assume you’d head to Miami). I went to Ft. Lauderdale with her once, but I think we ate at a Cheesecake Factory, so probably not the kind of recommendation you’re looking for. Yelp should be a big help restaurant-wise though. As far as activities, what sorts of things are you into? If you’re really into active stuff, I’d recommend looking into watersports like sailboat or jet ski rentals. If you like animals, maybe you can do a tour where you can see manatees or nesting sea turtles. If I were going my plan would just be to swim, lie on the beach, read and eat lots of Cuban food. Enjoy your trip!

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you like this sort of thing, you might want to check out Vizcaya Museum in Miami. It’s an Italian-style grand home built right on the water by an American titan of industry around the turn of the last century. Pretty house, pretty gardens. My hubby and I really enjoyed it.

    • Los Olas Blvd. on the river in Ft. Lauderdale is more of an adult party scene than South Beach and there are decent restaurants there. It may be cheesy but I always take out of towners on the Jungle Queen because it offers an nice tour of the breathtaking mansions along the intercoastal and it makes for a relaxing couple of hours. We have a small arts museum, a science museum, a performing arts theater, etc. When I want to go out with my husband, we usually head to the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, just south of Ft. Lauderdale. Very commercial but plenty to do in the way of gambling, dancing, and comedy shows.

      • MissJackson :

        +1 for Los Olas. There are several good restuarants there, although I’m blanking on the names.

    • Check out Market 17 for dinner. Unless you are staying at the Hilton, you’ll likely want to take a cab (it’s in kind of a random location), but my husband and I really enjoyed the food. It focuses on locally sourced ingredients, and the menu was pretty inventive. I also enjoyed my dinner at a sushi place on Los Olas (can’t remember the name).

  4. anon in DC :

    Help! I must have tried dozens of SPF moisturizers throughout the years. I’m currently using Origins Bighter By Nature SPF 35 Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer. While I like it enough, if I don’t use just the *right* amount, it takes a good two hours for it to soak into my skin.

    I’d like something light yet hydrating with at least an SPF 25 that absorbs quickly. It seems impossible to find a day moisturizer with sunscreen that isn’t somewhat greasy or sticky. The worst had to be Cetaphil SPF lotion, it left a sticky film on my face that I needed to wash off immediately.

    TIA and looking forward to hearing your recommendations.

    • Have you thought about using a powder? Sephora has a couple of great ones.

    • I have a powder that I use, but I don’t find it as comforting as putting on an actual lotion. My primer has SPF 25 or 30 (NARS), and I also use a powder foundation from Bare Minerals (SPF 15 or so) and a powder sunscreen on top of that. Sounds like a lot of stuff but it’s not.

      • skinceuticuals universal tint 50. it’s the only one in us without chemical ingredients and works well for me.

    • Have you tried Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 50?

      Or what about separating the two – La Roche Posay makes a high SPF “melt in” lotion that’s amazingly fast-absorbing and then if you feel a bit dry, you can add a light moisturizer on top.

      • AgencyCounsel :

        Ditto on the Neutrogena Heathly Defense SPF 50. I use it daily.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Strangely, Neutrogena Healthy Defense and I don’t get along. It leaves my face looking very white and never fully absorbs. It works great for my DH though.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i use clinique and like it a lot. superdefense 25 during the day, then just the regular old clinique at night. i think Macy’s is having a gift with purchase now.

      • I used Superdefense and still thought it took too long to soak in. By the way, anon in DC, I could have written your exact post. I went from Clinique to Cetaphil, and I’m not a fan of either. Cetaphil feels more like a sports sunscreen or something. I’m interested to see the responses.

    • Makeup Junkie :

      I’ve got oily-ish skin and I like Avon Rejuvenate. It has SPF 25 and isn’t too creamy. Avon Ultimate was way too rich for me and left me slick all day

    • AccountingNerd :

      Jan Marini daily antioxidant face protectant. It’s SPF 35 and about $52.00 but lasts 4-6months if you use it every morning. It’s amaaaazing. I have oily skin, and it’s the only moisturizer that doesn’t feel greasy. It makes your skin feel like silk. I never burn when I wear it, even if I spend the day at the beach or pool. My husband even uses it sometimes. I buy it at a salon/spa, and you can look online to see which salons in your area carry it.

      • Second the Jan Marini, and you can buy it at SkinStore dot com. They frequently have 20% off sales/promotions, and I think you can get cashback through either e bates or fat wallet.

    • Image Daily Defense. It’s free of parabens and all the other nasties that can clog your pores, really effective, and a little goes a long way.

    • I swear by Elta MD UV Clear. I also had problems with neutrogena not blending in. I find that with this product I don’t even need a moisturizer and it soaks in very fast.


    • I really like Eucerin SPF 30. Haven’t found it in stores lately, so I get it through Amazon. Light and quick to absorb. Generally my skin acts up on everything, so I was happy to find something that works!

      • just fyi folks with all of these the chemical ingredients break down by mid-morning (not to mention the long-term potential effects of the free radicals)- if yours doesn’t have a physical blocker (zinc/titanium) that lasts til you remove it you aren’t getting much protection. from a person with skin cancer prone issues/past scares who takes this extremely seriously.

        • Makeup Junkie :

          what would you recommend instead? Although I think my foundation has zinc/titanium

    • RussiaRepeat :

      I use Cerave–very gentle and recommended by my dermatologist after Neutrogena started causing a burning feeling when applied after a hot shower.

      • I second Cerave. Their pm moisturizer is also great, and both are incredibly affordable.

    • Eucerin 30 spf facial moisturizer. Nice, not sticky, good moisture, applies smoothly. No white tinge (at least in my opinion).

    • petitecocotte26 :

      I’ve been using the Shiseido suncare line since college. The SPF 38 face/body lotion is light and absorbs quickly. If I need more moisturizing (usually only in the winter), I’ll apply a lightweight moisturizer over the sunblock. The 3 oz bottle might be pricey at $35ish, but it usually lasts a good three to four months. Highly recommend.

    • I like Kiehls superfluid. It’s super light, SPF 50 and doesn’t give me breakouts

    • I use Clinique SolarSmart SPF 30. It is a little greasy at first application but if I let it sit for about 10 minutes before putting on makeup it absorbs and isn’t greasy anymore.

    • I wear Philosophy’s Hope in Jar SPF 25. But I highly recommend going to your nearest Sephora and trying out a variety of products for yourself. They have literally hundreds of sunscreen/moisturizer combos, and you can test them on your own skin until you find the one that’s right for you. It’s how I found my beloved face regimen, but you never know what will work for you until you test it.

    • Young Skin Forever :

      Me, too! I’ve tried dozens over the years. I am 45, and when I first started looking for oil-free moisturizers with sunscreen over 15 years ago, hardly anyone made them. As the technology improves, there are more available on the market, but it is still hard to find one that is truly lightweight. Many of those mentioned here are too heavy for me or break me out (Kiehls Superfluid, Cetaphil).

      For the past several years, I have used and loved White Lucent Brightening Protective Emulsion SPF 15. It is very light and feels nice. It does not break me out. And it has both UVB protection (SPF 15) and UVA protection (PA++). The UVA PA++ rating is not in the title or on the bottle, but it is clear on the box and in the package insert.

      I just got a sample of Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 PA+++. It is not a moisturizer, just a sunscreen. It felt as light and nice in the store as my White Lucent. I am happy that is has more sun protection than my White Lucent: UVB SPF 42 and UVA PA+++. I will start wearing it today for about a week; hope it works for me.

      By the way, I have a list of all the sunscreen active ingredients listed by whether they protect against UVA1 (long), UVA2 (short) or UVB rays. I keep it as a contact in my phone so that when some sales associate starts on a sales pitch about how great a product is, I can ask for a list of the ingredients and analyze it myself. If anyone wants a copy of the list and can tell me how to post it here, I’m happy to do so.

      Sometime this summer (in the US) sunscreen will have to have new labeling that addresses both UVB (SPF) and UVA (the international scale is +, ++ or +++ but the US is using a different scale pegged to SPF that I must admit I don’t really understand yet). Just something to look for.

    • Late to the party, but: Aveeno Active Naturals spf 30. I wear it every single day, face + neck. (Neutrogena has some good tinted sunscreen/moisturizers, too, but I have trouble matching my skin tone with those.)

  5. My local women’s bar association does a great event where they host dinners at a local restaurant with a female judge or another high ranking woman and the first 8 women to sign up get to have a group mentoring dinner with her. I signed up for one in April with a judge and am trying to think of some great questions to ask her. One question I’ve always wanted to ask a judge is how difficult is it for him/her to only consider the admissible evidence when deciding after a bench trial and to not be prejudiced by stuff that would have been excluded if it were a jury trial. I’d also like to know what steps in her career she thought were critical for her becoming a judge. Any others?

    Second part of the question. I’m an extrovert. When I’m nervous I can totally just domineer a conversation and talk and talk and talk. I’ve worked on interrupting less and listening more. It helped me to see other people making my same mistake and realizing I don’t want to do it anymore. This comes out the worst when I’m with a group of strangers and there is awkward silence and everyone else is more introverted. I just feel the need to keep it flowing and so I talk. I’d like to get better at asking other people questions and listening more. Any tips on this? Things to do other than talking when there is silence? Questions that will get others talking that will force me to shut up?

    I am not going to know anyone else at this dinner so I’d like to try to be prepared and not talk non stop. (head nod to the three other Boston ‘rettes that politely listened to me talk non-stop at our January meet up.)

    • Someone suggested this on this site a week or so ago:

      When someone relates their experience, ask three questions before you relate your own experience or tell your own story.

    • I would love to ask a judge what courtroom behavior/litigation style/tactics she finds the most annoying/distracting/unprofessional/unpersuasive and then what doe she find the opposite. What is the number one thing a lawyer can do to gain credibility? I assume it will be something along the lines of be prepared, know your case, blah blah but still.

    • Try waiting a few more seconds before you feel the need to fill the silence. Some people (and this is partly a cultural thing) have a longer “acceptable pause” between the time when one person finishes her sentence, and the time when the next person starts talking. Others (me included) find it more comfortable when the next person to talk just interrupts or talks over the tail end of the previous person’s sentence.

    • I have a friend who talks WAY too much. All of her friends know this and there are even people who just will not go to dinnner with me if she is going to be there because it is difficult to get a word in edgewise, for hours. So, the main thing I would say is Just.Do. Not.Talk. Seriously, keep your discussions very limited.

      My friend knows she talks too much, others have mentioned it to her, but she cannot stop herself. Do not feel compelled to fill every pause or quiet moment with a question or comment. That may be hard to do, but pretend you are witness at a deposition and think to yourself “if I say more than three sentences, I am talking too much.” At one time, of course.

      Hel-lo’s suggestion is great. I had not heard that before.

  6. Whoops, meant to post this on Weekend Thread and not the weekly news roundup…

    Looking for advice from the lawyerettes: I left my midlaw litigation job in hopes of landing in house or gov’t work. About 50% of my work for midlaw was for a single quasi-government client for whom we served as general counsel. I loved that part of my job and hated the rest of it. Anyways, I had some successful interviews (made it to last round for 3 jobs) but no offers so I ended up taking a job at a very tiny law firm to be near my fiance. Definitely not my cup of tea and I’m still longing for in house or government work. An internship was just posted in the General Counsel’s office of a company I’ve been stalking and they’re looking for JD candidates or graduates. I’m going to apply and who knows if they’ll bother to call me back but is it career suicide for a 5th year associate to take an internship like this? My thought was best case scenario they make room for me permanently, worst case scenario I walk away with some in house experience. Am I oversimplifying that?

  7. totes ridic :

    Does anyone here have a Lo & Sons bag? I’ve been looking for a nice nylon tote for work, and they look fairly promising. Between the Brookline and the Travel Tote (I have a 15″ Macbook Pro, so no Savoy for me, unfortunately), which would you recommend? The T.T. looks a lot sleeker, but I don’t know if it’s worth the price differential.

    I’d also appreciate it if anyone could direct me to any discount codes that may be floating around? Everything I’ve found seems to have expired in December 2011 at the latest, and I’m kicking myself for not having taken advantage of the many 40% discount codes that were available last year.

    Thanks in advance!

    • I have been carrying the Brookline to work every day for about 6 months. It’s nice looking, a good size, and the pockets are well-designed (except for the outside zipper pocket where the zipper scratches the heck out of my hand every time I try to get something out). Unfortunately, the strap broke (hardware came apart) after about a week of use. I emailed the company and they were nice about sending a new strap right away. However, the same exact part broke on the new strap just a few weeks ago. I don’t think I’m overloading the bag or carrying anything particularly heavy, so I think it must be a design flaw. Also, one of the small interior pockets has come unstitched. I really thought I would love this bag – so much so that I came on here to recommend it after I got it – but I don’t think the quality is worth the price.

    • In House Counsel :

      I have the OMG black which I use for business travel. I find it to be of good quality and the compartments/shape are good for travel. I don’t know about quality issues (no problems with mine though I clearly don’t use every day but more like 1-2x a month for work travel) but I would hold out for another code rather than paying full price.

      • I’m totally getting one when they’re back in stock, and debating between the OG, OMG, and TT. Thoughts on sizes? I’m hoping to use it for both daily and travel use. I bring my laptop home from work 1-2x a week, and often am toting something else (pilates clothes, shoes, snacks, additional work papers).

        • In House Counsel :

          My OMG fits both my work issued Dell Latitude and my older (circa 2009) Macbook. There is still a decent amount of room to fit a pair of shoes, a book or some papers, my wallet, extension cord etc. It definitely doesn’t make the bag light but there is room for more than just the laptop whereas I think the TT is slimmer and harder to fit as much. I am about 5’4″ and think the OMG is a good size — the OG would have overwhelmed my frame and is probably way too big and thus too heavy/bulky. Also the OMG can fit under the seat on an airplane whereas I’d think the OG would be harder.

          • Thanks IHC! I’m also 5’4″, and looking at the pictures on the website I also think the OG would overwhelm my frame, so the OMG it is. Now just waiting for them to come in! I can’t wait to have a bag to loop over my suitcase handle.

        • I don’t think the T.T. would fit all of those things. On a daily basis, I carry normal purse stuff (lotion, sunglasses, wallet, etc.) and my lunch in mine. I think the things you listed wouldn’t really fit. A pair of heels takes up most of the space, so I carry my lunch separately on days that I have shoes in the T.T.

      • I am a banana. :

        I have an OMG and I love it too. Did not pay full price. I bought it so that I could walk to work in the rain. It has held up well over the last three months of daily use, I haven’t had any strap breaking problems.

    • I have the T.T., and I like it a lot. I have had it since the fall, and use it for work everyday, plus occasional travel as my second carry-on (love the adjustable sleeve to put it over the roller). It is not as lightweight as I would have hoped, but it’s pretty good.

      Just a warning–I got a new 13” Macbook Pro and it just fits in the laptop sleeve in the T.T. I have an older 15” and I do not think it fits (if you want, I can check when I get home if that would be helpful). I fee like I read something about this issue, too–maybe on their FB page?

      When I bought, they had a discount code for 10% or so if you liked them on FB.

    • FYI, they’ve been out of stock of a bunch of styles for a while, but I just got an email saying that they’ll be getting stock back in a month or two, and offering sneak preview and discount for everyone who’s been waiting. You should get on their waiting list — maybe you can get the discount too!

    • I have the TT and really like it. I use it as an everyday bag but specifically bought it due to what seemed to be exceedingly travel-friendly features. The organizational features are great and it has been very handy as my 2nd travel bag. Note that the main compartment is a little small to hold much of a lunch (or small handbag, if you’re trying to avoid checking luggage but still want to bring something beyond just a wallet) due to the relative flatness.

      I did shell out the full amount but only because I “needed” it for a trip. I did see that they were offering discounts again shortly after that, so I would recommend holding out until you get one. I think that the suggestion to go on the waiting list is probably a good one.

    • I love my T.T. Mine’s the lavender with gold ?trimmings variety. Used infrequently; had it for 4 months. Bit disappointed that the gold colour is literally rubbing off leaving silver patches. Did not expect that given the price and recs. Perhaps the tropical climate has something to do with it:(

      • I forgot to mention that an inner pocket is beginning to come unstitched. Trying to avoid stuffing that pocket to prevent it getting worse, although that’s definitely not what started it off.

      • I’m sorry if this comes off sounding like a lot if negative comments; it’s a great design, very functional though slimmer than I anticipated.
        If at all, I’m cross since I have no easy way of getting it repaired and I picked something that I thought offered great quality for just that reason.

  8. Posting again b/c I’m trying to avoid moderation, apologies if this gets posted multiple times…

    Looking for advice from the lawyerettes: I left my midlaw litigation job in hopes of landing in house or gov’t work. About 50% of my work for midlaw was for a single quasi-government client for whom we served as general counsel. I loved that part of my job and hated the rest of it. Anyways, I had some successful interviews (made it to last round for 3 jobs) but no offers so I ended up taking a job at a very tiny law firm to be near my fiance. Definitely not my cup of tea and I’m still longing for in house or government work. An internship was just posted in the General Counsel’s office of a company I’ve been eyeing for months and they’re looking for JD candidates or graduates. I’m going to apply and who knows if they’ll bother to call me back but is it a terrible career move for a 5th year associate to take an internship like this? My thought was best case scenario they make room for me permanently, worst case scenario I walk away with some in house experience. Am I oversimplifying that?

  9. PharmaGirl :

    On the 4 items of clothing thread yesterday, several people mentioned chambray shirts. I haven’t worn those since the early 90s when I was in high school and had no idea they were a wardrobe staple. Am I totally missing out? Any shopping/styling recommendations?

    • I wear mine with almost everything. Mine’s from JCrew outlet; I know their regular store has a lot of options too.

    • I love chambray shirts. Agree that they’re great with sooooo many things. Mine’s from the Levis store.

      On a somewhat related note, since I didn’t comment on the prior thread, thought I’d throw this out there: one of my “live-in” items for the past 2 summers is a DKNY denim dress that I got on sale for like $25. It’s amazingly versatile (not in the “dress it up for a party or wear to work” sence, but all other life’s occasions from sitting on couch to going out to a bar to shopping to you-name-it), comfy, and makes me feel surprisingly cute when I wear it.

      • Good call, AIMS. I got a similar-sounding dress from NY&Co. (never shop there!) that I love love love. It should have been on my list too.

    • Madewell has adorable ones. I’m wearing their ex-boyfriend chambray as I type this.

  10. ChocCityB&R :

    Two meta questions for the weekend:

    1. How did you ladies come upon your usernames? I switched around for a long time before I picked one that I hoped no one new would use (I was born and raised in Washington DC, hence, Chocolate City Born and Raised) but would say something somewhat personal about me. I look at other user names and I so strongly associate them with the personality of the poster that I can never think of Kanye West the same way again ;-)

    2. How do you regulars keep up with the comments on this site? There are some women who are so supportive and active on every post, and I’m lucky if I get to the weekend or morning threads before there are already 300 posts. I see a subject that interests me, or I want to lend support to a poster, but by the time I arrive I will have been the 90th person to do so. I’d love to become a regular, but I’d have to go part time at work to make it happen…

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      1) Mine’s from the West Wing, which is my favorite tv show–one of the characters has a pet goldfish named Gail.

      2) Read most of the morning thread on lunch break, usually catch up on the later threads in my late-afternoon mental brain break and occasionally read them at night when I get home.

    • Skippy pea :

      I came up with my name pretty randomly. No rhyme or reason for it.

      I also am unable to keep up with all the comments on the site and hence cannot be as supportive or helpful as I like to be.

    • My name is just my first name. I don’t usually run across too many people who are Just Jennys, as opposed to Jennifers, but a couple of weeks ago someone with the username Jenny posted something about coming from a financially privileged backgroud, which is sooooo not me, but I thought it would be rude to reply to say so. Maybe I should change to JennyDC or Jenny in DC or something to avoid confusion?

    • Equity's Darling :

      I was sitting in Trusts, and umm…we were talking about Equity’s Darlings (aka, bone fide purchaser for value without notice), so that was that.

      I am terrible at keeping up with the comments, I really wish there was a more organized way of dealing with them, so usually I’ll skim them early in the day, and then again before bed, just to see what’s up.

    • I’m on the west coast, so when I get up in the morning and like to read a little internet, there’s usually a fair number of comments but not tooo many. And after that I just skim over things I’ve already read or don’t care about.

    • 1. I know someone with a lot of relatives who happen to be named Lydia. So here I am just another Lydia.
      2. Whether I am commenting seems to depend on my work load. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to read Kat’s post alone.

    • I have a couple of names I use on the internet. I can’t even remember how I picked them all…1 is a family nickname and the others are made up on the spot or nonsensical.

      I stay with Anon now because someone on Corporette started using my REAL name a couple of months ago. My name is extremely unusual and not-English, so it does not feel like a coincidence O_O

    • Love your username, ChocCityB&R! I too struggled to come up with my username. For some reason, I felt a lot of pressure to come up with the “perfect” username before posting. I had been lurking for a *really* long time – like, 2 years, and had never posted a comment. Reading all of the postings, and gaining insights into people’s lives but never divulging my own details, I stated to feel a bit like a voyeur. And, since I am a lawyer, I became…Lawyeur.

    • Mine is the name of my car.

    • karenpadi :

      1. FirstNameCampName (I use this handle on a lot of sites). I picked it out back when hotmail was hot and I was working at Girl Scout camp every summer (good times). I got the camp name because I was learning how to scuba dive (Padi does scuba certifications) when I needed to pick out a name and someone already chose “Scooby” (I wanted to be “Scuba”). I might have some issues using a trademark in my online identity but they haven’t caught me yet!

      I’ve been using the name for so long that I answer to karenpadi IRL. FWIW, I still answer to Padi too (when I don’t want to use my real first name, I go by Patty).

      2. It’s easier if I make a reply during short coffee breaks and use CRT+F to find my name and any replies. If it’s a long thread asking for advice, and I find that someone else has given the advice I would give, I just say “this” and may be add a sentence or two. I skip certain threadjacks like vacation (unless they mention scuba diving) and “what are you wearing?”. By the end of a 200 comment thread, I have 3 or 4 comments and can pretty quickly skim the rest.

    • Backgrounder :

      My handle has to do with my job…

      As for keeping up with the posts it is like a full time job! I’m not a regular poster per se but definitely a regular lurker. I like to check once in the morning, once around lunch and once in the afternoon. More often when things are slow at work. I feel like a corporette stalker saying that :)

      • Francie N. :

        1. Its from my favorite book :)

        2. I can’t but I try, I am like Lawyeur and Backgrounder I read multiple times a day, but mostly observe the conversation, unless I have something important to add.

        PS So So So Anon if you read this I will follow up from yesterdays thread :)

    • I don’t know why I picked this handle but it’s really easy for me to scan text and find it, so that’s nice. As for how to keep up…I get really bored at work, even when it’s exciting. I need that quick break and flip back and forth from Corporette to whatever I’m doing. Although I do spend wayyyyyy too much time here.

    • In honor of Fiona from Burn Notice. =)

    • a passion for fashion :

      1) i picked this name because if i was not a lawyer, i would be doing something fashion-related. Outside of my family and my job, fashion is really the only other thing about which i am passionate.

      2) my reading and commenting is inversely related to how busy i am at work.

    • I’m a mama, my last name sounds like bear, and I feel like all y’all’s mama because I’m 47 and it seems like many of you are in your twenties.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I’ve been legallybrunnette on the internet off and on. No good reason–just like the movie and am a proud to be a brunette. But this being a lawyer blog, of course there was already another legallybrunette when I discovered Corporette. I was a little crushed!

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      I responded to a Zumba-related thread under this name and never changed it. I had previously posted a few times under another name that related to my work and location.

    • The name of my cat. I read the comments on my phone when I’m stuck in court or elsewhere. I haven’t figured out how to search for a word on my iphone so have not been able to comment much outside the office.

    • 1. My name is my location. Kinda boring and I’m not really a boring person but I like the name.

      2. I’ll comment on something and subscribe to comments. On gmail they come in one thread that I can scan through (either on my computer or on my phone) easily and if I see something I want to comment on, I’ll jump in. Of course, this entirely depends on when I’m in my office and have time to catch up.

      • I also subscribe to comments. So I kind of think of Corporette as an email list instead of a blog. :)

        My name is just something I came up on the spot. I don’t use it anywhere else.

        (I’ve posted under other names for different threads, too, depending on how embarrassing my threadjack would be.)

    • 1. There was another E that posted, so I decided to use E-Squared, then I realized it was ESQuared, which is even niftier and more relevant. When I post anon, I use the same #s after the anon so that I can keep track of my posts.

      2. I just randomly skim & comment. Usually when someone is asking for advice that I have relevant info on. Currently have been spending way too much time here.

    • I’d give a 100 cyberdollars and a hug to any corporette who’s first real name is also Houda… ya .. thought so! So I figured if my first name is THAT rare, I could as well use it.

      I read all the posts either on lunch break or at night

    • I picked mine because my name starts with the same letter, am born in May, and was a long time reader deciding whether to post before I did. I think I may have wondered if I would get responses to my query, that first time too :)

      I live in Asia, am about 10h or so ahead of you lovely ladies so keeping up and being early enough to respond is always a challenge.

    • EC is my initials, I am an MD. I chose to distinguish that piece not so much because I wanted to show off, but because so many of you are lawyers, and I thought it set me apart.

      Depending on how busy my clinic schedule is, I often read between patients (probably leaving my dictation to be done some other time…). On other days, I don’t log on until my son is watching his video before bed.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      I live in San Francisco and had just been to see Tales of the City the musical (loved it!). Also, read the Tales of the City series 10 years ago and it really shaped my introduction to SF. And I think a lot of newcomers have a little bit of Mary Ann in them, whether they want to or not :). (She’s not always the most likeable character.)

      • I remember watching the Tales of the City on KQED when it came out! No DVRs in those days – it was literally must see TV. Sometimes I’d have friends over to watch. (Same for Twin Peaks.) I loved Mary Ann Singleton and could totally relate to her. I’ve always smiled at your handle.

        Also… I went to an Armisted Maupin book signing. You know he started that book as a series for the Chronicle?

        • Mary Ann Singleton :

          Loved the TV series too! I am a big Maupin fan, even so much that when a condo recently went on the market on Macondray Lane I wanted to jump at buying it, even though it was way out of my budget.

          Have you read Mary Ann in Autumn (his latest book)? I really loved it – it brings back a bit of the Mary Ann we knew and loved from the first book (instead of the news anchor with rock hard abs who leaves her adoptive daughter behind). I think Maupin decided to make peace with her in the last book.

          • No, I haven’t read that! Something new to download to Kindle. :) Thanks!

    • 1.) I bet you can guess why I chose this name.

      2.) I have ADD so this site is just a huge welcome distraction to the mundane of office life. I tell myself if I finish X, I get to go on Corporette. It is a reward. And when something crappy happens and I just need to escape for a bit, I go on the site. I check it at least 10+ times per day but when I do it that much it is far easier to read just what is new. When I’m super busy, I just control f for my name and see if there are any new responses. I probably spend about an hour a two a day on this site when you add up all my breaks but it keeps me sane and is worth it.

    • 1) I kind of mentioned this when some poster were wondering whether I was Finnish (based on my handle), but here it is again- picked it from the title of a song I really, really like. I am not Finnish. :) I also wanted to pick something unique.

      2) I was wondering the exact same thing! Thanks for asking the question. I have been reading the posts regularly but started posting only recently. Especially when I have a really busy day, I can’t get to the posts until the very end of the day. Sometimes, I feel that it is too late to comment at this point and I just browse through them. I guess, that the Weekend Open Thread is the easiest to keep up with because it remains active throughout the weekend.

    • 1. My last name is Cox and I’m an MD. And I re-he-eally like the show Scrubs.

      2. I don’t always get to keep up – I usually end up reading everything at the end of the day. Which means I don’t often get to comment because by that point it’s so late that no one else is reading anyway. Ah well. Even though I’m a chronic lurker, I still feel like part of the community.

    • ‘Cause Special Agent Dana Scully is awesome. I’ve though about becoming a Special Agent from time to time.

    • Am I The Only One? :

      Am I the only regular reader and commenter who uses a new, topic-specific name for each comment? I am way too concerned about privacy to post with the same name all the time.

    • Totes McGotes :

      1. Mine is a reference to the movie I Love You, Man. I used to use another name, but it was too close to my real name, I’m in a small legal community, I am constantly recommending Corporette to people, and it was exhausting to mentally edit my posts to stay anonymous. I considered a number of handles, but this one always made me laugh. So now I say what I want, but if my location becomes a topic of discussion, I use a different handle.

      2. My job is godawful. My form of rebellion is to sit on Corporette for hours hitting Refresh… Refresh… Refresh… If I’m actually getting anything done, I either ctrl+f myself or accept that I will be behind.

    • lucy stone :

      1) Lucy Stone was one of the first known women to keep her own name after she married. I’m doing this and it is causing a bit of consternation with pretty much everyone in my life .

      2) I don’t, if I am busy at work.

  11. soon to be hitched :

    Getting married next weekend! Very excited. Any advice? (Most open-ended question, ever.)

    • PharmaGirl :

      Relax, hydrate, and give in to the fact that something will go wrong. ;)

      • enjoy it for what it is and don’t care when something does go wrong. congratulations future mrs!

    • Congratulations!

      Don’t sweat the small stuff – if you ordered pink icing on your cake, but it is red when it is delivered – who cares! Nobody will notice or care! Just enjoy your day – it is one of the only times that so many different people from so many different aspects of your life will be in one room.

      • Second on don’t sweat the small stuff! Try to be prepared for what you can, but don’t let some little thing ruin the whole day for you. The more you let go, the happier you will be.


      • LLM in BsAs :

        Third on don’t sweat the small stuff… unless you are literally sweating.
        Story: we did formal pics between the ceremony and dinner at the venue, inside the hall. It was end of summer, so the hall had AC. My elderly grandmother sat in on the pictures, got cold and requested the AC to be turned down. Come to the dancing, and I almost fainted, my brand new mother-in-law literally fainted, until we figured out the situation with the AC. And we reamed the venue coordinator for a) turning down the AC in the first place, and b) not turning it back up when dancing stared.
        Moral: be clear with the venue who can give orders/make changes at the venue.
        We were clear to the DJ that no one was allowed to use the mic for any reason whatsoever or to make song requests. We never figured the AC. Still a great wedding!

    • Enjoy it!

    • Oil in Houston :

      congrats! I got married in June, my advice:
      – avoid the sun – I had breakfast in the sun with my grandma 3 days before the wedding, and got a stupid tan line around my neck, which really irritated me…
      – sleep as much as you can, I didn’t sleep well the night before (duh) and not at all the night after (partying) – I got so tired I collapsed on my way to the honeymoon, not a great start!
      – don’t drink (too much) before the wedding itself, I normally drink a lot of water as I’m always dehydrated, but mass was 90mn-long and toilets breaks were not an option!
      – on a similar note – don’t drink alcohol before ceremnoy! a friend of mine drunk too much champagne with her BM getting ready, and was a bit tipsy at church! not a great look!
      – don’t forget to give your maid of honour a ‘bag of essentials’, mine had: make up wipes (useful to get my make up off my new husband’s collars after the pics), safety pins, headache pills, tissues (for my mum:)), plasters (for BM feet), make up for the pics, our speeches
      – I also gave my maid of honour, and his best man a list of the ‘do not miss’ pictures with family and friends (and despite that, forgot my brothers’ SO, still upset about that..)
      and finally, a change of clothes for the next day… my brother forgot mine at home, and I had to borrow my bridesmaid’s dress for my trip back home!!

      more importantly, enjoy every minute!!! it goes so fast!!!!

      • Agree on the “do not miss photos” list, but we gave it to our photographers, and we introduced the photographers to our brothers, so that they could ask someone besides us who people were if we were not available.

        • If you have time, send your photographer pictures of your impt people, not just names. Hard to pick out who is who but easier to recognize faces.

        • We didn’t think to get a pic of the two families combined. There are pics of me w/ the hubs, his parents and sister and pics of the hubs w/ me, my parents and brother, but none of the 8 of us. If we could do it again, we would get one of those.

    • congrats!

      buy cushy inserts for your shoes — my feet were KILLING me by the end of the night.

      • Or have a back up pair of shoes that are approx the same height as your wedding shoes (maybe wedges versus heels). The coordinator at my venue put them at my table at the reception for me.

        • This. 1000x this. Two pairs of shoes. Change after the ceremony. Cannot emphasize enough.

      • Anonsensical :

        Or go barefoot. I had two pairs of shoes for my outdoor wedding ~ flat sandals for the outdoor part, and heels for inside dancing. I didn’t wear either pair and ended up returning them later. :)

    • just Karen :

      Mine’s four weeks from tomorrow, and the best advice I have heard so far was someone telling me to stand in front of a mirror 24 to 48 hours beforehand and tell yourself “from here on out, what happens, happens – just enjoy yourself”. In other words, obsess all you want about tablecloth color two weeks ahead, but if it’s wrong day-of, just let it go.

    • Seconded (or thirded) on the must-take photos list — if you haven’t already given that list to your photographer, try to do that before the day itself. Also — designate someone (a relative, bridesmaid, day-of coordinator, etc.) to make sure to set aside some food for you at the reception/party and to make sure that you get to eat! Especially at the c*cktail hour (if you’re having one) — I would not have gotten a bite of any of our amazing hors-d’oeuvres if our phenomenal coordinator had not pulled aside four or five of them and showed up at my side during all the meeting and greeting.

    • At some point in the 24 hours before my wedding, as my husband came rolling in with his 4 groomsmen totally grungy from his camping batchelor party, I realized we didn’t have refrigerator space to hold all the flowers and I was stressing about my divorced parents interaction at the rehearsal dinner (not to mention whether my future MIL would have enough energy to attend as she had recently had a cancer operation) I stood in my kitchen and had an epiphany. I realized in that moment that I could choose to be neurotic about everything, and have crushing anxiety that would ruin everything, or I could relax and enjoy what was a very joyous time for me and my husband and family. I made a conscious choice to be present for the moments that were occurring rather than running every worse case scenario. It really worked for me, and I ended up having a great time at my wedding. My best memory is walking through downtown Seattle, in full wedding dress, with my husband in a tux. In our usual moment of cheapness, we decided to park several blocks from the reception since meters were free on Sunday. The groomsman who was supposed to take us had forgotten. We walked through downtown Seattle, and everyone smiled at us — seniors, tourists, homeless. It was really magical.

      • Love this story!

      • Awww…I wish I’d seen you EC! It does sound magical. I love seeing brides in wedding gowns. We’ve seen wedding parties and/or weddings in Bellevue Downtown Park and at St. Thomas/St. Edwards’ State Park.

      • Such a lovely story; thanks for posting.

        When I was posing for my wedding pics I had random tourists walk up and ask to take a photo with *me* because they liked the idea of a pic with a traditional bride. Others just asked to take pics of us. Whatever. Looking back I was strangely unperturbed.
        Probably the excitement and the ego-boosting compliments.
        Ah, youth.

    • Best advice I got was to just focus on the day. REALLY focus and you will actually remember things and not just have picture or video-induced memories 5 years from now.

    • Congrats! :

      Don’t forget to eat during the day! It is a long and busy day but eat breakfast and lunch. And iff you can swing it try to sneak into the reception and eat there early. Our wedding coordinator prepped a plate of appetizers and brought it to us in the waiting/entrance room where no one could find us before we entered the reception. It made the next eight hours of dancing, mingling and drinking a lot easier.

      • Eat something before the wedding, because chances are you’ll be so busy talking to friends and family that you won’t eat much at the reception. My sister, who was my best woman, brought hubs & me green chile cheeseburgers before we got ready for our Santa Fe wedding. It was the best thing to calm me down and prep me for the evening.

      • Second! My husband and I arranged it so we could eat together alone for about twenty minutes between the ceremony and the reception. This is obviously totally dependent on your schedule (we had our pictures done before the ceremony and left right away so we got to the reception site before the guests), but it was completely worth. It meant that we could spend the whole reception focused just on seeing people and enjoying ourselves!

    • DC Association :

      When you are walking down the aisle, remember to hold your flowers down. I think so many brides are nervous, excited, etc they end up holding them high – it blocks your dress.

  12. White Suits? :

    My law school graduation is impending, and a century-old tradition means we don’t wear caps-and-gowns; we wear suits. Specifically, white suits.

    Has anyone seen a nice one lately you could recommend? I think ideally I’d love to find a white sheath dress and white blazer I could later wear as separates.

    Cheers, and thanks for the advice in advance!

    • Oh I think you positively must wear Celine Dion’s backwards Dior suit from 1999!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Neiman seems to have a bunch of nice white suits (though not that many blazer + dress combos, unfortunately).

    • BB had a lovely looking white linen one in the latest catalog

    • I went to a law school graduation where the graduates wore white and lots of the men had on seersucker and the ladies wore white dresses, but not necessarily suits.

    • Lord the Ford :

      If this is a certain burnt orange school, you don’t have to wear a white suit (unless you prefer to, of course). Most of the females I know wore Easter or sundress style white dresses.

      • SALit-a-gator :

        This. White sheath dresses were the norm at my law school graduation that required similar attire. If you want a suit, Macys has some white suits online right now, so that’s another option.

      • At the sunflower ceremony my year, very few women wore white at all. I guess we were lazy… I think I wore a grey skirt suit, actually. Was not at all willing to track down a white suit.

    • http://www.thelimited.com/groups/suits?size_filter=&color_filter=White&price_filter=&order=&last=color_filter

    • Try Zara. I was just in the store and saw a number of neat jackets in white. No idea about bottoms, I didn’t look.

    • http://www.dillards.com/product/Anne-Klein-Suit-2Piece-Skirted-Suit_301_-1_301_502899990



      I’d also second Bonnie’s suggestion on the Limited suit. I love mine, it’s very nice quality. Checking Marshall’s/TJ Maxx might also be worthwhile; I picked up a white linen Calvin Klein pantsuit last season and white sateen Kenneth Cole pantsuit this season.

    • Check out White House Black Market. They always have white dresses and blazers

      • Here’s a white blazer:

        And two sheath dresses:


  13. I made it to the end of fiscal year without a total nervous breakdown! (Though it got close at times) Off to see the Hunger Games (um, again) and give my liver a good workout this weekend to celebrate.

    • amb, wondering if you happen to be at a certain regional law firm in Texas.

    • Left my heart in San Francisco :

      Or a certain Boston-based firm?

    • Lucky you. I’m having trouble making it through quarter end in my financial services firm!

      • I’m actually a govt wonk in the great white north… Everyone closes the books march 31, and adding in the federal budget of DOOM (that turned out to be not so bad for everyone but the penny) made for a zany week.

        • I saw that. I can’t believe you guys are getting rid of the penny. How sad.

          Although I don’t use them anymore either…

  14. I am tempted to read the Game of Thrones series and know that some commenters here have endorsed it. What holds me back are the many negative reviews talking about way too many characters, having trouble figuring out who they all are, no likable characters, too much sex/violence…

    Are there still some high endorsements of this series?

    • Yes! But you have to get past the first book to get there.

    • No likeable characters, whaaaa?!

      I just started reading the first book. I think it’s fun, engaging, and a page-turner. It’s like summer beach reading (in my case, without the summer or the beach).

      And if someone with some seamstress skills will help me, I want to put together a book of patterns so people can sew their own versions of the clothing the characters wear. There have already been two cookbooks, and since G.R.R.M. goes into such detail with his clothing descriptions, I think we could do it. And it would be a giant hit with the Etsy/RenFaire/cosplay/fantasy crowd. Who’s with me?!

      • I used to be a costume designer. Also, I haven’t watched the HBO series, but don’t know if their designs will become default? loadedkady at yahoo dot com

      • you are a genius: i will buy all. the. clothes. …. and wear them… all the time…. for absolutely no good reason…..

    • Geezerette :

      Loved the whole series of books! There are good websites with all the details on the characters and maps that I referred to while reading the books — helpful when you forget just who one of the many minor characters is.

      • Backgrounder :

        This. I’m on the fifth book and sometimes I find myself googling a character to get a refresher like who is this? what house are they from? why/how are they important to the plot line again? I also like to look at some of the maps which are really helpful when you get to books 3-5 and the characters are doing a lot of travel outside of Westeros.

    • Honestly, I loved the first book…I could not put it down. From there though my opinion of the series went down hill. I picked up the series based on the recommendations here. I felt by the fourth book, I was mostly annoyed reading it because there seemed to be hardly any development in the story line.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        skim the 4th (I usually just read the characters I like), but the 5th is much better and advances the plot (well, I don’t know if advances is the right word; adds more to, maybe)

    • I’m watching the last episode of the first season this weekend. I just have a bit of a hang up with all the shows set in time periods where it is acceptable to beat and r@pe women. I know that it is a part of history and happened and happens. But no one could get away with writing a contemporary piece like that. The fact that it is sci-fi/fantasy almost makes it worse. That said, I do enjoy the show, got sucked in by the plot and am excited for the next season.

      I made a comment to my husband that I wouldn’t mind shows like that so much if they were more realistic in regards s3xual things guys used to do with each other during battle/those times. I guess there is another show/movie out that does depict that as well instead of just all the “hot” girl on girl scenes.

      • I also have a huge issue with r*pe scenes. I understand that it was part of life and continues to be a reality for a lot of women, but I just don’t want that graphic image in my head. I don’t mind as much if there’s an allusion to it, like in “Law & Order: SVU” or something (though, those plots can get pretty disturbing sometimes). I’ve found that the older I get, the less I want to put that stuff in my head… it just gives me terrible, vivid, dreams for weeks on end. I couldn’t get past the second episode of “Game of Thrones” because of the inc*st/r*pe/violent nature of any s*x. I’m sure it’s an engrossing series, but I just can’t get past the frequency of graphic scenes.

      • Err did you miss the male-male gay s*x that was shown pretty explicitly in the show, and heavily alluded to in the books?

    • Keep this near you while you read: http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljvomnekzJ1qa2ylwo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAI6WLSGT7Y3ET7ADQ&Expires=1333226417&Signature=ZLUE7KFHvZlHnywmzBVLeUWnFnA%3D
      I don’t recommend using the wiki or anything, because I’ve had some big plot twists given away with that method.
      Enjoy. It’s fabulous.

    • I read the first book, and enjoyed it, but thought it was really depressing. When my friends were all like, “Oh, things start to look up around the 4th book,” I decided that I really didn’t want to spend that much time being depressed. I made it through two episodes of the tv show before deciding I didn’t need to go through that story a second time.

      Foreign Affairs has a really interesting article about The Game of Thrones as political theory, and at the end it addresses some of the violence toward women critiques. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137360/charli-carpenter/game-of-thrones-as-theory

    • I love ASOIAF. Yeah, there are a lot of characters, but the wiki’s helpful if you need a reminder in the fourth book who Horror and Slobber are. Some of them are likeable, some of them are not–but one thing GRRM does well is give every character dimension (if someone had told me he would find a way to make a certain Lannister twin one of my favorite characters while I was reading the first book, I would have laughed in your face), so if you’re looking for A White Knight defeats The Forces of Evil, this is not for you.

      There is a lot of sex and violence. It doesn’t bother me particularly, but if it would skeeve you out I’d avoid the books. Or you could do what I did, which is reach a sex scene, roll my eyes, and skip ahead three paragraphs.

      Overall, though, I loved these books. I mean, I read them all between December 16 and like, January 10. I would not read that many pages, much less that quickly, of a series I didn’t really love.

    • lucy stone :

      I read these after the TV show started last year on the recommendation of one of our friends. I loved them and plowed through the series in about a month (that included a beach vacation of nothing but reading). I enjoy everything about the series and view it more as a political thriller and less as a fantasy series.

  15. Corporettes – lurker turned poster (apparently!)

    I am applying for a marketing position within a law firm. I have marketing experience, although it has been about 7 years since I have worked in that industry. I have practiced law for the last 4 years. The job description on the website of the firm requests a “work sample” and salary requirements. I have no idea what to use as a work sample. Also, I do not want to give salary requirements at this stage, but am afraid my application will not be considered without them. Any advice on how to proceed is appreciated!

    • If it’s a request for salary requirements in a cover letter, I go with a simple “My salary requirements are flexible.” It addresses the matter and avoids ruling you out as a candidate or under-valuing yourself.

      Also in the cover letter, address which marketing skills you’ve used on the job, as well as specific outcomes. A large part of practicing law is using strong, tactful communications; connect the dots for them by showing how you can translate your most recent experience to the new job. Good luck!

    • Legal Marketer :

      For a work sample, have you written or contributed to any RFPs while you were practicing law? A sample of one of those would be good. Also, if you have authored, or significantly contributed to, any copy that was used on the firm website or collateral, that would be fine as well.

      I know we often work with attorneys on that stuff to ensure it’s technically correct.

      • I am a partner at a law firm and have been in charge of hiring the marketing staff.

        I have wasted a lot of my time and the candidate’s time when we have not been on the same salary page. If the job posting does not give a salary range, and you are looking for something above $50k, I would find a courteous way to say that you are not seeking an entry level salary. On the other hand, because you have been a lawyer, the employer might be concerned that you are looking for a higher salary than you actually are. I think you might eliminate youself from consideration if you don’t answer this job requirement in your application.

        For work samples, consider identifying your Twitter account and any blog you might have. We don’t care about the content (for the most part). We are looking for evidence of participation in social media. If you have created any videos, I would send a sampling, even if they are personal (as long as they are decent!). If you have ever created a newsletter, written a published article, prepared a print ad or a press release, those would be good.

  16. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a long, long time. And, although we plan to stay together forever, we have no interest in getting married. Calling him “boyfriend” seems all wrong. It’s too casual. “Partner” and “significant other” aren’t satisfying either. So, I’ve come up with a new word for a long-term committed partner: “osdop”. It stands for “opposite-sex domestic partner.” Here’s hoping it enters the vernacular soon. What do you think? Too weird? I would also love to know what other non-married folks call their long term partners.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Before Mr. East and I got hitched, I usually referred to him as “my ham slice” or “my jellyroll” when people around the office asked.

    • I’m all for your logic, but it’s just not an easy word or acronym with that particular consonant/vowel combination. If you want to add some extra words beyond boyfriend/partner, why not just “domestic partner”, leaving out the “opposite sex” because you’re obviously opposite sexes. In other words, don’t be redundant. You could also try out something old-fashioned, but cute, that definitely gets the point across, like: “And this is my better half, XXXX”.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Why is it “obvious” that her domestic partner/significant other is of the opposite sex?

        • I envisioned the OP looking for a term to use when introducing her guy to others. It would be obvious when she says, “I’d like you to meet my XYZ, Fabio,” because the dude would be standing right there.

          On the other hand, if the term is used in general conversation (“My XYZ and I went antiquing over the weekend”), you’re right, SFBA, it’s not obvious.

          • It made me pause, but afeter a second’s reflection I also took it to mean OP would use the term when refering to him in conversations with others who have some background already (maybe met him, or saw a photo of him in her office, or heard about him in some other context, etc). Not that it would be obvious that someone would have a significant other of the opposite sex.

          • Creepy that I was going to write the same thing, and we have the same handle.

        • …because she is a woman and said he is a man

        • I assumed AT meant if the OP was introducing the fellow he would be standing right there, so people could see he isn’t a woman. Not obvious if she’s talking about him when he’s not there, though often it’s easy to guess from the name.

          • I apologize if my comment wasn’t clear and hope no one took offense. I wasn’t trying to assume anything — I was imagining her introducing him and saying “osdop” and then when people ask what that stands for, “opposite sex” seems kind of redundant.

            Reflecting more, however, I guess I would not be inclined to adopt phraseology like “opposite sex domestic partner” or the acronym, because to me it comes across as preemptively announcing “I’m not gay” to people you don’t know well (since people you do know well will likely know at least something about your S.O.) in conversation. If someone is concerned that other people will make assumptions about them, isn’t it easier to use “boyfriend”/”girlfriend” or otherwise indicate the sex of your partner in a natural way in the conversation like karenpadi suggests? (Thinking of SNL, “I’d love to introduce you to Pat, she’s my better half”/”My partner Pat and I just bought a house in the neighborhood that he grew up in”).

        • I call my long-term BF my “bearded half” (he has a beard) to avoid confusion.

      • I am in the same boat as you. Together 7.5 yrs and living together for 3.5. I hate when married people ask when we are getting married or why we aren’t yet. I don’t want to say anything that would offend them so I usually just say “I don’t know” or “never”. Never usually gets a good reaction LOL. But honestly things are good and we are only 25.. why get married?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      “my common-law husband”

      • Ha! I used this one recently. Went to the ballet and were seated next to this chatty older couple, they kept asking if my SO was my husband, so I just said, “yes, but common law..”

        • careful, if you call him your common law hubby in a common law state he could end up your real husband! :)

          • Or conversely, you’d seem like a really terrible lawyer if you said that about yourself in CA. ;-p
            I just call him my boyfriend, and if people get hung up on it & it is more convenient (usually when we are doing healthcare stuff, because we are domestic partners for that), I call him my husband.
            I don’t really care what other people think about us, I know what we are. ;-)

    • I just refer to mine by name. People figure it out.

    • karenpadi :

      I see nothing wrong with partner. I think “sig other” is too much of a mouthful.

      I think some people associate partner with LGBT couples. I can see how it might be an issue in some parts of the country but even then you can slip in his gender fairly easily like “my partner, John, and I went on a picnic. He brought sandwiches” to clear up any confusion.

      Else, if he’s OK with it, you can just call him your husband–I have friends who do that. No one asks to see a marriage certificate during casual introductions.

      • My husband didn’t like being called my “partner” because he thought people would take it to mean business partner.

        Before we were married, we lived somewhere where there weren’t tons of cohabiting, unmarried couples, and people often asked after my husband. Fine if you’re both okay with it.

    • The ball and chain? My old man? The syrup to my waffle?

      Personally, I just like boyfriend.

      I have recently started working with a colleague who refers to his long-term girlfriend as “my lady friend” or just “my lady.” It comes across as totally creepy.

      • Wow, can I tell you how much I hate “ladyfriend?” Spluh.

        • My aunt’s father-in-law moved into an assisted living facility after his wife passed. He became close to another resident at the facility, and our family always referred to her as his “lady friend.” “Girlfriend” didn’t seem appropriate, since the woman in question was over 80. In that context, I thought it was kind of cute and not creepy.

          • Yes, older people get a pass on lots of things. I used to work with a man who called me “My Dear” all the time in meetings, and it would have really bothered me if he hadn’t been in his seventies. :)

          • Given that context, it is adorable!

        • Really? I’ll have to keep that in mind. When I meet a co-worker’s girlfriend/wife/fiancee/whatever for the first time, I like to ask about them later but can almost never remember their actual role, so I just default to saying a little jokingly “I was great to me your lady friend at the party last week!” No one has ever told me this was unappreciated, but I’ll have to work harder to remember names and roles, I suppose, so I can avoid using it.

          • I find it creepier when someone says “my ladyfriend” than someone else referencing to “your..” but I find the term generally awkward.

            This may be related to the fact that my grandmother always calls boyfriends or even fiancees “her FRIEND” with a huge emphasis on it. I know it is because she doesn’t want to assume, but if someone introduces as boyfriend or fiancee, it’s not assuming anything to use the same term. However, I always find xfriend to be a bit of a cop-out (other than the tradition boy/girlfriend),

      • Agree. What’s wrong with boyfriend? That’s what he is. There’s no status change based on length of time together. Same as married folks actually- your husband is your husband, whether you’ve been married for 50 days or 50 years. You could also just call him your husband if that’s what you consider him to be. Or just his name, because the people who know you well will know what the relationship is and who cares about those who don’t?

      • I have deposed many people who use that phrase… it ALWAYS comes off as hella creepy!

      • Damn! I call my long term girlfriend my lady or my ladyfriend all the time.

        I live in a big, liberal city but work in a place that is staffed mainly by older republicans for a variety of reasons. I like the term lady friend because it makes clear to the other person that this is my romantic partner not just a platonic friend (girlfriend is used heavily here by older women to refer to their platonic female friends and I’ve had some horribly awkward conversations where we were using different meanings of this term.)

        I also feel that partner can sometimes invite questions or have an overly activist tone (neither of which I mind in real life but don’t really want to deal with at work.)

        I feel like ladyfriend is clear enough so that I can just drop it casually in conversation to head off the “is your husband coming to x function?” questions but breezy enough that the conversation doesn’t get awkward when I say it. Creeping people out though was totally not my intention!

        • I don’t find it creepy for what its worth, that sounds like a good way to use it!

          • Thanks!

            And for the record I really love my colleagues and I believe they really enjoy working with me too. I just feel that sexuality doesn’t have a place in the workplace so I try to treat it as matter-of-factly as possible.

        • Weirdly, “ladyfriend” does not come across as creepy to me when you’re using it to describe a same-sex relationship. Hmm… Maybe I am a liberal bigot. :)

          I think I find it creepy with my co-worker because he is, in fact, creepy.

      • Bada$$ McGee :

        I like lady friend but mostly because it reminds me of The Big Lebowski, my favorite movie evar.

    • Before I got married, I jokingly referred to my husband as my “hetero life-mate”.

    • I’m totally on-board with just making up a new word for this. And, can I say how much I Hate the word “partner” for a person in a romantic relationship? Oddly enough, I until recently had a busines partner, and I found myself constantly saying “my partner” in ways that were interpreted as ambiguous. (“No, no, I have a husband and a partner!”)

      But, I agree with the comments that osdop is a hard one – I had to scroll back several times because I’d already forgotten how it went while reading this. The letters are just odd. But, anything is better (IMO) than partner or boyfriend (for a person well past being a boy).

    • In sociology slang — POSSLQ (person of opposite sex sharing living quarters, pronounced “Possle-Q). I doubt that would work for day to day conversation, though, unless you want a steal way to identify the sociologists in the room :)

    • anon in DC :

      If you’re planning to stay together forever, how is that different from being married? Is it not wanting to conform, feeling a piece of paper (i.e. marriage certificate) is worthless compared to your commitment to each other, or are there other factors keeping you from marriage? (I’m asking this out of genuine curiosity, btw.)

      • Not the OP, but similar situation. 10 yr. relationship with plans for the future, i.e., buying a house together. We’re not getting married for the foreseeable future.

        If we got married, I would lose out on some significant financial benefits; I wouldn’t gain any benefit from the income-based repayment plan for student loans (10-yr forgiveness). Our taxes would also increase- we’re get the “marriage penalty” due to our incomes. And if he wants to go back to grad school, my income would reduce the amount of financial aid he could get.

        We’re not having kids, so I don’t see much of a benefit right now. As we gain more assets as we age, it might make sense from a legal perspective for health and estate purposes. We’re going to reevaluate in ten more years. In the mean time, we’re drafting a cohabitation agreement this year and discussing wills, medical directives, and such.

        • Can’t you just file separately for IBR? I’m getting married in a year and on IBR but didn’t think anything would change

          • Do you live in a community property state? That might affect things.

            The marriage penalty can be huge. Huge. My husband and I often say that we wish we’d had the wedding but never filed a marriage license. We’re talking nearly six figures we would have saved in taxes so far had we remained separate financial entities for the IRS’ purposes.

          • I just did a bunch of research related to IBR and m consolidation applucation, and my understanding is that if you file taxes jointly as a married couple, your spouse’s income is definitely considered for the purposes of your IBR. It may still be considered if you file separately, I am not sure about that. I also know a couple (two attorneys) who chose to wait ten years before getting married specifically because of how the particular public interest loan forgiveness program one of them was enrolled in would count the other’s income.

            I hope you figure out something that works for you!

          • It’s usually much more advantageous to file as single than married but separate. Married but separate is restrictive- you lose a lot of credits and deductions, including the student loan interest deduction. You might want to talk to an accountant before doing IBR married but separate. Sometimes it makes more sense to file as married and make the standard payments.

        • Here, too :

          Similar reasons, although to (1) protect my step-kids’ eligibility for financial aid, which I would decimate if we were married; and (2) protect my income and assets from their mother who exclaimed upon learning of our (now loooong-term engagement), “Oh, now you’re going to be married to a fancy attorney, so you can start paying me more.”

          I will (and do) happily contribute to my stepkids’ needs. But their mother? She’s a grown woman with a job and her health. She doesn’t need me to augment her income.

          • Anonymous :

            If I did not want to marry my husband for financial reasons, I think that I would “marry” him anyway and call him my husband.

  17. Ramon for this :

    A close friend has an autistic son who is not receiving any kind of treatment (e.g., speech therapy, medication), despite the recommendations of several doctors. At 9 years old, the boy is too old for an early intervention; however, from everything I have read and heard, it sounds like there are still options available to help improve his quality of life – and hers.

    Can anyone recommend a non-judgmental way that I can encourage my friend to take these important steps? She has occasionally shown interest in seeking out some kind of professional help (hence the doctors’ recommendations), and I have helped her search for providers in her area. But typically she doesn’t follow through and finds some excuse to keep everything status quo, even if that is unpleasant for her and her family. (FWIW, her husband is not at all helpful. When he’s not ignoring their son, he’s yelling at him to stop his repetitive behaviors.)

    • Check into the local county Developmental Disabilities board – they generally have great programs, information, support, etc., that maybe she has not even thought of! Maybe it is just too overwhelming, upsetting, etc. so she is avoiding it?

      Would you be able to just grab coffee and have a “heart to heart” very direct conversation – “I know we have talked about finding assistance with “Joey” and I wondered how that was going since I haven’t talked about it with you lately…”

    • I don’t know that I can offer anything too helpful. It’s such a difficult and sensitive situation. We have family friends with a somewhat similar issue and they won’t even acknowledge the problem, they just keep finding doctors who tell them all can be solved through natural therapies and avoid anyone who says otherwise. Their child is getting close to school age and it’s really bad. So far, they have avoided the problem by just holding him back a year to give him time to “catch up,” but it’s not getting better and it breaks your heart to see a child not get the care he so badly needs. But honestly I don’t know what you can do when the parents refuse to participate.

      On the other hand, it sounds like your friend is less in denial about it than ours, so perhaps there is hope. Another friend of mine who is going through something personal and deeply difficult surprised me recently by responding really positively to the idea of a support group. I had previously suggested everything from self help books to therapy to no avail, but something about the idea of meeting with others in a similar situation really appealed to her. Maybe you could gently suggest that you heard of a support group for parents of kids on the autism spectrum (or perhaps there is some online community) and how helpful those can be in raising a child, and that will start her on a path to dealing with this more proactively? Sometimes it’s easier to take deal with it if you see others dealing with something similar.

    • Could you offer to go along to a school IEP meeting to help her remember/understand the issues and recommendations? He probably can’t get disability accommodations at school without statements from a current treating provider. If you start by helping her with the IEP, then she can identify what she wants for her son. When she realizes she can’t get it without seeking intervention, you can help her get that intervention. Going the IEP route means it will be the school telling her what she needs to do and making recommendations too. Depending on your district, she might be allowed to sign a release to let the school talk directly to you too. Many districts are allowing families to appoint “advocates” since it is so overwhelming for the parents to deal with and not everyone can afford a lawyer or social worker to attend every meeting.

      • Ramon for this :

        Surprisingly, she is fierce about getting his IEP updated every year. He has a full-time aide; however, this person is not an educator or a trained to deal with special needs children. Basically, it’s a babysitter to keep “Joey” from causing major disruptions in his (mainstream) classroom and to make sure he gets from one place to another (cafeteria, school bus) without running away. The IEP doesn’t seem to address other issues, though. He’s been held back once but is expected to do all the same work – including homework – as his classmates.
        I’m so sad to see my friend struggling, but at the same time I kind of want to shake her by the shoulders and wake her up. :(

    • gov't attorney :

      You may want to suggest she get in touch with her local Arc, which is a nationwide organization that advocates for individuals with developmental disabilities. As Selia mentioned, your area likely also has a Developmental Disabilities board or some other local council that meets regularly. Your friend will be able to meet other families who are dealing with similar issues and can get the support/direction she needs to find resources to help her.

    • Seattleite :

      Is she feeling overwhelmed? The depression rates among the parents of special-needs children are astonishing. High-functioning women hide depression well, and it tends to look a lot like “just not getting around to doing” stuff.

      • Ramon for this :

        Yes, Seattelite. She works full-time and basically runs the household and raises 3 kids solo (see above, re: hubby).

        When she had her most recent consultation with a psychiatrist about her son, the doctor recommended that (in addition to pursuing various treatments for her son) she start counseling for herself and consider antidepressants. She did neither. She’s one of the most generous people I’ve ever met, but refuses to accept any help from others.

        I appreciate the recommendations that other posters have made, but as far as I have seen the problem is not the lack of resources or her lack of awareness about them, but rather her refusal to make use of any of them. I guess there is no way I can force her to do something; I just have to support her as my friend and hope that she eventually realizes what she needs to do.

        • Seattleite :

          I think the important thing to remember is that when someone is clinically depressed, they’re not “refusing” to do things, even the important things. She may simply have *completely* maxed out her bandwidth. Do you have the type of relationship where you can offer to set up the therapy session (and the babysitter) for her?

          There is a lot of internal shame attached to depression. She may be refusing help because she feels that she should be able to do it alone. That is the depression talking. Please, try very hard not to judge her.

          • MD/DC observer :

            Ramon for this: Hugs for caring so much about your friend and her child with autism.
            Seattleite: Hugs to you for suggesting that Ramon for this arrange both the therapy session _and_ the babysitter.

            This is a hard one! Maybe your friend would be more receptive if the message of “I know it hurts to hear this, but your child really needs XYZ services” comes from another parent of a child with autism, or a child with other types of special needs, or a close onlooker (aunt, uncle, neighbor) to a child with autism or another disability? It also might be easier for your friend to hear your message if it’s phrased in terms of helping her child toward positive growth rather than in terms of her child being in such bad shape that XYZ must be started immediately.

            But again, Ramon for this, you’re being a good friend by caring and by sticking around. Maybe you could remind your friend that she can’t take care of her child or children unless she first takes good care of herself. As the flight attendants tell the passengers, if you’re travelling with a child, put on your oxygen mask before you help the child sitting next to you with his/her mask.

    • So I’m travelling and can only post on my phone and have no great advice. But I loved that you were “Ramon for this”and I had to say so!

    • Sounds like your friend is probably in a bad place emotionally.
      From my very different cultural background I feel my suggestions probably wouldn’t make the cut. However, perhaps searching around for some parent support groups online which could be a source of support to her, even with the cover of anonymity, might be useful. I was thinking along the lines of actually printing a few things out for her to read and pursue if interested.
      A lot depends on her and your relationship. Is it denial? Pride and shying away from ‘sympathy’? Ignorance? Sheer inability to cope? Likely a combination.
      Hugs to you for trying to help and sending good thoughts their way!

    • Oh, you should seriously be minding your own business here. Unless you can talk to your friend about your own experience as benefiting from one of those therapies you advocate, it’s not your place to decide what she ought to do with her own son, no matter what you perceive him to be. You can say you’d rather not see the whole family together because you can’t handle how the husband or child is behaving, that’s your prerogative. But you can’t just butt in to a difficult situation because you’ve read something about what they should do. If she hasn’t followed up on your previous recommendations, it’s probably because what you provided doesn’t suit somehow, in ways you don’t understand. Let up..

    • Anon for this :

      If it raises to the point of being educational neglect or medical needs neglect or if the father’s actions are abusive, you could report the situation to CPS. If it doesn’t then your take on the issue is personal opinion and you should let the child’s parents make the call- they are closest to the situation.

      Could you, in a non intrusive way, give her articles you find on the benefits of various interventions for Autism?

      I like the suggestion to help with babysitting and other tasks. She may just be overwhelmed. Caring for a child with Autism isn’t easy and it doesn’t sound like her husband is offering much support.

    • Mom of a 9 yo boy with high-functioning autism, aka Asperger’s syndrome, here.

      Before getting into what you should do, what are the boy’s symptoms/behaviors and what are the doctors recommending? What, specifically, is impacting their quality of life? What is unpleasant? Is he defiant? Obsessive? Sounds like there are some repetitive behaviors — how significant are they? What providers were recommened to the family? Psychologist? Psychiatrist? Developmental pediatrician? Neurologist?

      At 9 and with an IEP, speech therapy should come from the school. And medication … well, you don’t medicate specifically for autism. You determine what (IF ANY) symptoms or behaviors might benefit from meds and then consider treating those. And that’s only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks of the meds. Having looked into these meds pretty closely (and have one kiddo on them, though not my Aspie), they are serious stuff. It’s not a quick, easy decision and does not help every kid.

      There are also lots of groups out there, on-line and in-person, for moms with kids who are on the spectrum. I belong to a handful of them. If anything, joining a group may be the best first step for her, where she can get to know other parents, see what they are doing with their kids, etc.

      I’m happy to discuss this off-line if you’d like.

  18. What would you wear to a six year old’s bday party? How casual/dressy do these things tend to be as far as adults are concerned?

    PS: To all who so helpfully responded to my query earlier, I bought the doll and 3 books (including “Button Up! Wrinkled Rhymes,” which is so awesome I want to keep it for myself). I debated getting a more “grown-up” doll, but decided a promise is a promise and went with the “baby” doll that I promised my friend’s daughter in the first place. I will let you guys know if I made the right call Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me :)

    • I have a 7 year old and jeans are generally the standard, with a cardigan or button down in my experience. Unless the party is billed as something else, I have not experienced a “dressy kid party”. I am in the midwest, so not sure if it is different elsewhere!

    • I think the dressiest you would go is a super casual dress with flats. But I’m in NYC and that’s pretty standard weekend wear in warmer months.

      • Thanks guys! It’s not in NYC, which is, in part, why I was wondering. I just didn’t know if jeans would be out of line. Also don’t want to be overdressed. I have attended very few of these in my adult life, if that’s not beyond obvious from the question.

    • I love that we know what to wear to work but are confused about leisure events. Wear what you like! That dress that feels too iffy for the office. Or whatever you feel like. There are no dress codes for children’s bday parties.

      • Haha, too true. I am thinking of wearing a dress with big red polka dots and very low wedges. My gut instinct is to just wear something that I am comforable in and that will appeal to children and won’t piss off any parents ;) Thanks!

        • That dress sounds very cute. If you remember, I’m the one who’s going to a 6-year-old’s birthday party at the American Girl doll store. It’s a tea. I think I have to wear a skirt or dress.

          Then the next day I have a christening and since I’m the godmother, I’ll be wearing another dress.

    • Something washable or that I dont care about getting frosting on…..

  19. Anon for This :

    I really need advice for this and I have nowhere else to turn.

    My sister just told me how miserable and unhappy she is. She is 26 and has been married for 5 years to an amazing guy who really loves and cares about her. However, throughout their entire marriage they have only had s*x 10-15 times, and only then after days of arguing and on her insistence. They didnt have s*x before marriage because she wanted to remain a v*rgin so she did not know of his problem. They didnt have sex on the wedding night, honeymoon, or any anniversary. He loves her and cares about her, and she him, but she can not take it anymore. She says he has no s*x drive or desire. Fwiw, neither I nor she think he is gay. She’s never seem him looking at p*rn or “helping himself” so it really seems as if he has no s*x drive. He refuses to see a doctor and thinks its just who he is. She’s threatened to leave him if he does not seek help and he says he’ll go to a doctor by never does. I am incredibly sad that she has been living like this and hasn’t told anyone. I am shocked because they just always seemed so happy and I can tell that he cares so much for her and he does take care of her every need. And she loves him but just cannot live like this anymore but has stayed with him because she’s so afraid she’ll end up alone an regret it. What advice can I give her? How can I console her? Has anyone experienced this with their SO?

    • ChocCityB&R :

      This is so heartbreaking, my heart goes out to your sister. It seems she’s going about things the right way, but not carrying them out. She should say that she is leaving if he doesn’t seek help, and if he doesn’t, she really should leave. Not necessarily for good, but getting her own apartment even if it’s just a month-to-month lease will show him that this is serious for her, and should be serious for him. It’s the only way when your partner is not taking something of this magnitude seriously, and refuses to seek help.

      Again, my heart goes out to your sister.

      • Anon for This :

        Thanks ChocCity. I told her this and offered that she can always come stay with DH & I but to make sure he knows it is a “serious separation.”

    • I am going to have to channel Dan Savage on this one and say it is not fair for him to expect her to give up this important part of herself and her identity for life. If he won’t even seek help for something that’s making his wife so miserable, I’d say he’s not actually an amazing guy who really loves and cares for her. I would advise her to get some s*x positive counseling on her own, consider options for a “monogamish” relationship, and perhaps pursue a trial separation, in that order.

      And I’m really sorry she’s in this situation. It’s awful when people are compatible in every way except for one, but this is too important to ignore.

      • karenpadi :

        Yep. This is Dan Savage’s specialty. I was in a similar situation (not quite as drastic). It was tempting to not end it because the relationship itself seemed good. But it’s not good. It’s awful, riddled in passive aggression, rejection, and contempt because one person feels like her needs aren’t being met and he feels inadequate.

      • Wholeheartedly agree.

      • Anon for This :

        I didn’t think about the counseling for herself. I suggested couples counseling and she is going to urge him to go with her. But I think you make a good point- ill bring it up with her

      • So true.

      • What if they were totally compatible in every way, but… he gambled all their common money away? Would it be OK then to try to fix the problem?
        I do think this business of marrying as a virgin (let’s forget the coy asterisks, shall we?) is dreadful. She could have avoided the whole situation if she hadn’t been led to believe that ignorance is good. So now that she’s here, she needs to figure things out better for herself. Clearly she hasn’t learned anything worthwhile about sex so far. If she’s going to improve the situation, she needs to find out more about the topic in general. If practicing with normal people isn’t something she wants right now, at least she ought to read about it from people who have more open attitudes. Dan Savage is an excellent recommendation.

        • Don’t want to speak for the OP, but I think the asterisks were used to avoid moderation, not to be coy.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Oh and I forgot to add that your sister should be seeking help for herself as well. I’m sure this has done a number on her self esteem (not just feeling unsexy, but feeling unloved because husband won’t make a change for her.) In the end, it may be that they have substantially different sex drives and have to come to some sort of compromise (she has sex less than she wants, he has sex more than he wants, she seeks pleasure outside the relationship, he takes meds) or end the relationship. But if she’s not willing to walk, it may very well be that he will not ever be willing to change.

      And you should be supportive, lots of listening, little judgment, reminding her she’s a wonderful lovely person deserving of love etc…

    • Has your sister talked to him from the standpoint of “Why did you not share this part of who you are before marriage?”. Asking that might give her the final answer either way that she needs, rather than focusing on something he won’t (based on past actions) follow through on.

      • Anon for This :

        She did ask him this and his response was that his other relationships were normal. She doesn’t buy it. There’s a difference between low s*x drive and no s*x drive – she thinks he just never had any s*exual desire but he doesn’t realize its not “normal.”

      • Liar, liar, pants on fire!!

    • I come from the other side of that equation. I have almost no s*x drive. I could care less about s*x and have pretty much always been that way. However, I realize this is an important part of most relationships. Because of that I have started researching s*xual disorders and have spoken with my doctors. I think it may be easier to try to trigger s*x drives in men (a la Viagra) but I am not a doctor so . . . I also am in therapy trying to figure out if it’s a mental thing. My suggestion would be couples counseling with a therapist that specializes in s*xual issues. If he is not open to that she may have to make the tough decision to cut and run.

      • I agree with this advise. It seems like there must be a deeper issue involved other than low s*x drive. My s*x drive has gone down in recent years, but I still initiate and make sure my partner and I have that time together a couple times a month or more because I know it brings us closer. It sounds like he must have an actual aversion to s*x and that they both aren’t being forthright in talking about it for them to have been together so few times throughout their relationship. I think this is more than just about s*x. Counseling could be helpful.

    • Have they done any marriage counseling? There are s*x therapists who specialize in this kind of thing, but the fact that he won’t go to a doctor is also troubling. Maybe she could get him to go to a counselor to help him see how much this is affecting the marriage, and maybe then he’d be open to going to a doctor? Did he come from a strict religious/conservative/”don’t ask don’t tell” background regarding s*x? Some people think it’s dirty/sinful/whatever if they were brought up that way, and never manage to break that mentality once they get married. Your sister needs to help him understand that it’s not just a physical connection, it’s a mental, spiritual, and emotional connection, so by refusing to make an effort to figure out the problem, he’s hurting the other healthy/wonderful parts of their marriage.

    • My sister was married for 6 years and NEVER had s*xual intercourse with her husband. Yes, I’m dead serious. And even better, she had been a virgin when she married, so when she divorced him she was a 36 year old virgin.

      She had oral I believe, but nothing else because her husband never wanted to. I did not find this out until she was in the process of divorcing him, and was dumbfounded by it all. We never found out why he acted the way he did, but of course, my sister felt really terrible about the situation. I’m really sorry your sister is going through this, but she should not put up with this and should not stand by her husband if he is unwilling to get help. My sister is now happily remarried and has two beautiful children.

      • I’m glad you’re sister bounced back! What a horrible situation!!

      • Anon for This :

        Thanks Yup.- it truly helps to hear this. Did they ever seek counseling or medical advice? Although it’s sad to hear that it did not work out for them as a couple in the end, I’m so happy to hear she has found happiness. I only hope the same for my sister- I just don’t know if she has the strength to take that step.

        • Hi Anon for This, I think my sister tried to suggest counseling but her ex was not open to the idea. Also, unlike your brother in law, my sister’s ex was horrible in other ways. Ironically, the actual reason for their divorce stemmed from his emotional (and I suspect) physical abuse of my sister, and the no s*x was just on top of a lot of other crap.

          Her ex had been married once before and had a child through that marriage, and my mom always guessed that he didn’t want to have s*x with my sister because he was worried about having another kid (his first child is very sweet, but could be called “simple” by some for lack of a better term and my mom thinks he was scared to have another child of the same background). I truly don’t think the ex was/is gay, but I guess you never know.

          At the end of the day, after a lot of soul searching, my sister divorced him and later remarried about 2 years later. She is much, much happier and only regrets wasting so much of her life with her ex.

          I will also say that your sister’s situation is not as uncommon as you would think. I know two other women who have been through similar circumstances. In the first, the marriage was never consummated at all, and in the second the husband had equipment problems and could not physically consummate the marriage. Both ended in divorce.

          I wish your sister the very best of luck. Even if he is wonderful otherwise, the no s*x is a deal breaker unless he very actively and quickly seeks help.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Has she tried to explain that her needs are not being fulfilled in the relationship rather than just addressing how many times they have s*x? If he doesn’t have much of a s*x drive, it might be hard for him to understand how important a healthy s*x life is in a relationship. He’s probably just hearing her say “I’m mad because I’m h*rny and you’re not giving me any” rather than “I’m upset that you’re being dismissive and unsupportive of my needs.”

    • If he thinks this is just who he is, then I don’t think she’s going to get anywhere by telling him he’s wrong. He can’t be “fixed” if he doesn’t think there is anything wrong.

      If she has sat down to explain to him that s*x is an important part of a married relationship, that she wants more than what they’ve been having, and asked him what his thoughts are about it and he still won’t do anything, then she needs to accept that as his choice and either live with it or move on to another relationship. He could still love her and want the best for her, but not be the right partner for the rest of her life.

      As for her fear of being alone – is it really better than what she has right now? At least if she is single, she can start looking for someone that suits her better. And has maybe learned something about what to discuss before getting married?

      • Anon for This :

        You’re right. I can’t imagine being alone would be worse. I guess in a way she is “alone” already.

    • His hormone levels may be off. My guy’s drive really increased after he learned during a doctor’s appointment that his testosterone level was too low. A blood test and some pills made him feel much better.

      • Anon for This :

        I hope that there is a medical “fix” for his problem. But I doubt that it would help only because it doesn’t seem like his s*x drive has decreased but that it just doesn’t exist. If you don’t mind me asking, did your DH have a very decreased s*x drive? And how was he able to get his diagnosis of low T levels.

        • He did but he sucked it up for my sake. He had his swimmers (hate that term but trying not to get moderated) tested when I wasn’t getting pregnant. When we learned that his stuff was low quality, my RE sent him to a urologist where we learned of his low T levels. We had never thought of that before but he has felt much more frisky since the meds regulated his T levels.

          • Anon for This :

            Thanks Anon. It just really drives home how important it is that he atleast be open to seeing a doctor.

    • My former situation was not quite the same but similar. My ex had “equipment problems” and he had them from the beginning of our rekindling the relationship (we had been involved when I was in college and there were no problems then). I would ask him if he had spoken to his doctor about it and he said that he did and that there wasn’t anything physically wrong. He also told me it hadn’t been a problem in other relationships (which I don’t buy). At one point, we had a blow-up about it and he said it was psychological and I told him that he needed therapy. Yeah and he was a psychologist. Well, that certainly came back up and thrown in my face (years later) when we were splitting up. What I should have said was that we should go to couples counseling together. Live and learn. I can say that incompatibility of s*x drives was one of several things that killed our marriage. It sounds like your sister and her husband have a good relationship otherwise. It’s sad because I think this can be a dealbreaker.

      • Of course, I know I was a jerk about it. Lots of wrong things about that relationship.

    • There was a “Dr. House” episode about this…and of course House cured him.

      Sorry, not trying to be flip but he needs a doc. And I’m glad your sister has you. You’re a good sister.

    • anon for this :

      I’m guessing your sister is a Christian due to the no sex before marriage thing? I would definitely look into therapy and, realistically, gently moving your sister towards a divorce. I know many many “straight” Christian married-at-21 guys who are now in their 30s and gay. They never “seemed” gay but they are all happily divorced. It’s likely that this will never resolve. She is only 26. She has no kids (?) She needs to cut her losses and move on.

      Also, your letter radiates with admiration for this man. I’m not your sister but even I’m finding it irritating. If he is refusing to go to therapy, refusing to discuss this and refusing to have sex, he is not being a good husband. Full stop. He is not “taking care of her every need” either, is he? In fact he’s clearly leaving many of her needs unfulfilled. The truth is that you don’t really know anything about their relationship. And your clear bias (in favor of the relationship) may be one reason why. Please, just take her side. She needs you to be 100% on her side. Not on the side of her marriage or her “husband”. Stop praising a man who is doesn’t care that she is “miserable” or “willing to leave” and start caring about your sister.

      Sorry if this seems harsh but your comments really trigger me. I grew up in church and I’ve watched so many young women encouraged up the aisle into unhappy and even abusive relationships based on “helpful counseling” like this. “I know how much he loves you” etc etc. Many married before age 21 and many were divorced before they hit their mid 20s. I know of at least 2 outright annulments (marriage never consummated at all).

      I know that there are many relationships which deal with libido incompatibility, for a number of reasons. Some work and some don’t. But based on my experience, if they are Christians who married early, then she should walk now.

      • Check out Asexual Visibility and Education Network – http://www.asexuality.org/home/ it may be a useful link to possibly explain your sister’s hubby’s behavior

      • Anon for This :

        Not harsh at all. I want to just be there for my sister and be as supportive as I can. I didn’t realize that my agreeing about what a wonderful guy her husband is not helping. Fwiw, brother-in-law and I are really close but wonderful friend does not equal wonderful husband. Thanks for putting this in perspective. It’s just so hard to say and do the right thing because I am still shocked.

        • anon for this... again :

          Yeah, you sound like a great sister and you obviously mean well and want the best for her. But yeah, your friendship with him has to take that back seat to your sister’s welfare. Your sister may want permission to be angry with her husband – justifiably – for refusing to deal with this and putting her in this position. Blind reasonableness on your part may undermine her own ability to ask for what she wants or even leave if it comes to it.

          She needs your support and right now I would take a stance that you should be saying nothing positive about him. She should say positive things if she likes and you can affirm them but you should never compliment him unsolicited. It’s really not about him, it’s about your sister. There will be enough people and pressures telling your sister to compromise and stick around, she needs people on her side.

          FWIW, my older sister nearly married a guy who was a great friend and who we grew up with and all loved… who I found out as an adult is an “ex-gay”. He went to religious conversion therapy and now identifies as “not gay”. He is married to another woman now with a child. My parents knew about this and support this kind of “treatment”. At the time, we – her younger sisters knowing nothing about it – really really wanted them to be together and said so – repeatedly. It was a big mistake on our part but I credit her that once she found out about his orientation, she ended the relationship immediately against all of the advice from family and friends. If we were older sisters and had more power, would we, along with our parents, have pushed her to make what would have been a huge mistake? Now my attitude is that the institution of marriage has enough champions. I owe my loyalty only to my sister.

      • Not a Christian, but come from a religious and traditional background. When my sister was going through all of her issues with her ex (see my post above), I can’t tell you the number of people who told her to just live with it, that her ex would eventually come around, that “everything would be ok once they had kids.” Um…he never wanted to have s*x so how could they have kids?? It was so infuriating. So many women put up with so much crap.

    • I hear you that he’s refused to go to a doctor before, but there are real medical problems, like pituitary adenomas, that can seriously affect sex drive, particularly in men. They can also affect other things if they go untreated, so if there’s any way to get him screened by a doctor…

    • Get out now :

      My thoughts in no particular order:

      * he is not “taking care of her every need” because physical intimacy within a marriage is a need and he is not doing it. (Cultural aside: Jewish law defines a wife’s three basic rights as food, clothing and sex and a husband must ensure that sex is pleasurable for his wife. Not doing so is grounds for divorce. This is old-time Judaism, FWIW.)

      * i wonder if he lied about his interest in sex before the wedding so that your sister would marry him? It’s one thing to wait until you are married to have sex; it is something else entirely to not tell your future spouse that you never want to have sex.

      * Sex is an important part of a marriage. Your sister’s marriage is not complete without it. At 26 and without kids, she is PLENTY young enough to find her soulmate and a happy, fulfilling marriage. That has to be better than the prospect of the rest of her life with this guy.

      * At 39, I almost married someone with a similar attitude toward his sexuality. I have written about it here before. We had dated about a year and had pre-marital sex, which was good, but not excellent. There were many things he would not do for me, although I did them for him. Then, after months of couples counseling, we broke up for several months. When we got back together, he was not physical at all. At all. After a few weeks, he sat me down for a big, serious discussion. He confided that the only sex in which he was interested was v*ginal int*rcourse with no f*replay ever. Ever. He knew this would not be satisfying for me. He wanted my permission to do it for himself and not for me. For the rest of our lives. “Because in every other way we have the perfect relationship.” I walked away. Not two years later (at 40), I met my now husband. The difference between the two relationships is like the difference between the black and white portions and the living color portions of Wizard of Oz. Brilliant and stark. A long winded way of saying she should get out now while the getting is good. It will be bad for a while. And then one day it will be spectacular and she will wonder why she ever put up with it.

      * The church folk who say your sister should suck it up and it will get better later or some such should mind their own business. She is only on this earth for so many years. They should be happy ones.

      • Get out now :

        PS: You are welcome to share my story with your sister if you think it would help.

    • AnotherAnon :

      In response to his saying he’ll see a doctor but not following through, one thing your sister could try is making an appointment and accompanying him to it. It’s possible he’s too embarassed to seek help. If he still refuses, then it sounds like she’s headed into deal-breaker territory.

      I went through something like this with an ex-boyfriend. He was a really wonderful guy, someone I deeply cared about. But he had some serious hang-ups about s*x. After several encounters that seemed “off,” including one in which he couldn’t perform, at all, I asked him what was up. He told me he thought s*x is something only animals should do, and humans are too enlightened for it. I ended it. FWIW, he’s now married and has kids with his wife. Though when I heard that she conceived through IVF, I really really wondered what’s going on. I hope, for her sake, that he changed.

  20. Sugar High :

    Due to a combination of poor planning on my part and an extremely busy day so far, I forgot to bring food for breakfast/lunch and have had no time to grab anything, and am thus subsisting on the treats provided for a coworker’s retirement party. Things I’ve consumed so far today: two donuts and a slice of cake.

    My body is literally hating me right now – I promise to clean up my act tomorrow!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Having been in your situation before, I now keep a jar of Jif in my desk, and a cache of plastic spoons, plus a costco-pack of Luna bars.

    • This is why I have a food drawer. I try and keep fairly healthy items stashed away (granola bars, peanut butter, almonds) in addition to the quick pick me ups (chocolate, namely).

      • Sugar High :

        I used to have a food drawer, but I cleaned it out recently because most of the stuff was expired/didn’t appeal to me. I’m definitely regretting that I didn’t replenish my supplies BEFORE getting rid of stuff. I’ll be heading to the store on Monday AM to stock up!

      • Isn’t peanut butter loaded with calories and mostly fat? And high salt? Sorry just trying to clarify because with a persuasive argument in favour, I’d add it to my food drawer!

    • Happy Anon :

      How do you manage to keep food in your office!? Clearly a weird problem of mine (I don’t have a weight issue) but if I buy a box of granola bars or keep snacks stored in my office I inevitably eat them ALL. Just because they are there. No joke, when I was on trial working like crazy once I had a giant tub of peanuts in my office and I ate so many of them in one night that I triggered a mild peanut allergy! Oops. But seriously – how do you keep yourself from digging into your snack stash unnecessarily?

      • I think individually wrapped things could help–I know I can limit my intake of granolar bars better than I can a big bag of trail mix or chex mix (for example…)–but I’m in a similar boat.

      • I keep my snacks in a locked cabinet and (unless there are extenuating circumstances) I only open it during what is, for me, snack time (between 3:00 and 4:00). Also, I try to keep foods that I will eat (granola bars, rice cakes) but not things that are so tasty that I will overeat.

      • No joke. I also eat anything in site. After polishing off a whole bag of chips and a box of cereal I started giving leftovers to my assistant to “hide” for me until the next day. I’m not so desperate to go digging through her drawers and it worked. I just don’t like to do that on a regular basis because it would probably bug her and make me seem childish. I hear ya though. I can eat a bag of chips and a box of cereal and still be hungry.

      • Happy Anon – Are you eating full, legitimate meals outside the office? If you’re eating a full breakfast (lean protein, fiber, and whole grain), and the same for lunch, then you won’t eat an entire bag of Doritos or peanuts or whatever.

        How do I avoid eating all the snacks I can reach? By filling up first on healthy, full meals. And cutting back on sugar, which always makes you want more sugar.

      • Yeah, I would love to have a food drawer at work for the days that I legitimately forget my lunch or work later than planned and need a snack, but when I’ve tried to do that it has turned into my boredom snack drawer. Right there with you, I just don’t have the self control to have snacks in arm’s reach.

  21. Does anyone have experience with Dorothy Perkins clothes? How’s the sizing? (especially for smaller sizes or petites?) How’s the customer service?

    • LinLondon :

      This may be 100% useless, because I’m tall and large:
      I shop there relatively frequently, though only their (non-ugly) dresses and jeans. The big thing to note about sizing is that I really, really think that most UK clothing retailers get their US size conversions wrong. For example, I’m a UK 16 on top, which DP has listed as a US12. I’d say I’m more between a US 14 and 16 on top, and definitely not a 12. My friend is an 8 UK and tends to wear a 6 US (not 4, as the site says), so I think it’s a similar problem in smaller sizes, too. So, I would recommend ordering one UK size smaller than the site says.

      I have a very wonky waist-to-hip ratio and their jeans are my favorite in the world, so if you’re hippy with a smaller waist, then I highly recommend the jeans, even if they’re a bit on the cheap side.

  22. anybody else doing Tough Mudder this weekend?!

  23. Lotto ticket in Boston :

    My mom has called me no less than three times to buy a lotto ticket. Never bought one before. Where to buy a lotto ticket in downtown Boston? Tried searching online for a list of retailers and got nothing. Ideas?

    • There’s a convenience store on Oliver St., between Franklin and Milk streets, called Oliver Convenience or something similar. Across from the Langham garage entrance/exit.

      • Lotto ticket in Boston :

        Thank you! Anyone know where to buy a ticket closer to Gov’t Center?

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I think you should be able to buy them in some of those underground convenience stores on the T. Maybe try there?

        • Thanks all! Bought a bunch yesterday, sadly I am not a millionaire. :)

      • There is a shoe repair place next to that same convenience store that is just FANTASTIC and very reasonably priced, for future reference.

  24. I have an event to go to this spring, and the dress code was just announced as “summer cocktail attire.” I am also sun-sensitive, and the gala is outside, and the sun won’t have set when it starts, so I’m not sure what to do. Big floppy hat doesn’t scream cocktail attire to me, and I haven’t seen a cute parasol… anyway, my questions are:
    (1) what is “summer cocktail” attire? materials, cuts, etc?
    (2) what do men wear? regular tuxes? seersucker? linen?
    (3) how do I deal with the sun?

    Please help! And thank you!

    • Maybe lily pulitzer’s dresses if it starts during the day?

    • If it were me . . .
      I would wear a knee-length silk sheath dress from Boden (probably one with a small, pretty floral print), nude patent wedge peep-toes, big sunglasses and a structured broad-brimmed straw hat. I agree that it would be better to go structured vs. floppy on the hat. Try Helen Kaminski or Eric Javits.

      For me, IMHO, no tuxes outside in daylight. Nor any black/dark suits for men. I think linen or seersucker would be ideal. Think Gatsby/Ralph Lauren/Nantucket/J. Crew in the olden days. Another option — the navy blazer over khaki or white or cream trousers. If east coast, guys might be able to do leather boat shoes.

      • For inspiration, you might try to find pictures from any of the benefits/galas that they have in places like the New York Botanical Gardens — I’m thinking the NYT Sunday society page photos — or just run Google images on “garden party.”

        Or, if you want to go big, Google images on “Royal Ascot”!

  25. This morning as a treat to myself after a rough Thursday, I had my hair professionally blown out before coming into work. I’m in NYC and made an early appointment at Drybar in the Parker Meridien. The blowout took a half hour, cost $40, was fantastically done, and has made my outlook on Friday awesome. The experience has been so positive (I know, so vain) that I’m considering getting this done weekly on Mondays (I can usually make these last 3 or 4 days as my hair is very dry). What do you guys think? Does anyone else do this?

    • I go to the same drybar! I LOVE it. I probably go once every two weeks or so … usually on Fridays so I look great for the weekend. If I could afford it, I’d go twice a week!

    • Happy Anon :

      I’ve been dying to try out that Drybar but for some reason am nervous about it!! Never had a blowout before – low maintenance blonde beachy hair thing didn’t matter as a student but now I feel the need to “match” my prof wardrobe a bit more. Any tips on “style” or what lingo to use!? I know that sounds dorky but…I’m a blow out v*rgin.

      • drybar makes it easy — they have a style book, so you just flip through the pictures and tell them which one you want. it’s online if you want to check it out. I usually get the manhatta (straight) or straight up (straight but with a little body/curls/waves at the ends)

    • I have an appointment there this Monday! Glad to hear about your good experience. Was the appointment really only 30 minutes?

      I totally think you should make this a weekly thing.

      • Mine usually runs over to about 45 minutes because i hav really thick hair…depending on the time of day, they can be running 15 min behind schedule

      • Yes! Maybe 35 minutes max. My appointment was early enough in the morning that there was no wait. And while my hair is thick and shoulder-length, it blow dries straight pretty easily. I got the “straight up” look that CMJNYC mentioned, which is just a blow dry and not finished with a curling iron, so even faster because of that.

    • Sounds awesome! I wish we had something similar in DC.

    • not in NYC, but I too pink puffy heart Drybar. Makes my day, week, weekend, whatever. If I could go every week, I would, but I think I work out too much to make it worthwhile.

    • Migraine Sufferer :

      The WAC in Seattle offers this as a courtesy after workouts.

  26. Hi Ladies!

    Going anon for this. I am so thrilled that I have recently been offered the Director of Governmental Relation position at a relatively small but growing engineering firm that has been around for ~6 years. I feel like my career is back on track! This is my first official governmental relations job (although I am a former Hill staffer), but does anyone have some tips on ways I can be successful in this role? The company is creating this position for me (!), so I have a lot of leeway to make what I want of this. I know that I will be spending about 60% of my time winning contracts with local county governments, and then spending the rest of my time doing sole governmental relations work at the state and federal level. It’s likely that within the first 2 years, I will be solely gov rel work. I want to make sure I really hit the ground running and am an effective Gov Rel Director. If anyone has any tips for me, or for working in the engineering industry in general, please share! Thanks!

  27. Liquor or convenience stores – and be prepared to wait in line. :)

  28. momentsofabsurdity :

    Dear Corporettes:

    PLEASE do not list your pastor as a reference. Particularly if he is not labeled as such and if your pastor is the type to try and convert me during the call. Please.

    • karenpadi :

      Ouch. That would stink.

      Does anyone have a good one-liner for addressing attempts to convert when “No, thank you” doesn’t work? I don’t feel like I owe random strangers a life story about my personal religious beliefs to explain that they aren’t going to convert me.

      I’ve used “oh, I have a copy of the Bible already, thanks!” (even if they aren’t offering a copy) to some success but I’m not convinced it’s the best way to get rid of them.

      My very religious neighbors cat-sit for me and have tried to convert me. Now, whenever I’m gone, I throw my Bible on the dining room table and open it to a random parable in Matthew, Mark, or Luke for their snooping pleasure. Maybe I’ll find the story of Judith for my next vacation–I like that one too.

      • Seattleite :

        “I’m very happy with my faith, thank you.”

        Pleasepleasepleaseplease leave the bible open to song of solomon. highlight the juicy parts.

        • karenpadi :

          I’m tempted but they have the key to my house and hold my cats’ combined 18 lives in their hands. The sacrifices I make for my ungrateful, hungry, kitties…

          oh, I’ve had some truly devious ideas about how I could mess with them. But they are good people, they watch the house, and haven’t tried to convert me since.

          • Tired Squared :

            I read this to say that you have 18 cats. Clearly in need of a weekend!

      • I usually say, “I am familiar with your beliefs and I don’t share them. Thank you.” Repeatedly. To varying success. It works best with Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses/Seventh Day Adventists, as they tend to assume you’re not familiar with their beliefs, rather than with Protestants, who tend to assume that you are familiar with their beliefs.

      • I’m probably the wrong person to ask. I was recently involved in a 30 minute trying-to-convert-me-on-the-train conversation that ended around the time I said “maybe God is speaking to you through me to tell you to stop evangelizing.” I can’t say I am particularly proud of that approach, but my initial respectful approach had failed, and I honestly felt so disrespected that I didn’t care. This coming from someone who actively tried to convert my friends back in the day. Amazing how the tides can turn…

        • Love it. Back in college, I used to take the train when I went home. I once had a guy sit next to me and say “Are you prepared to die right now? I am. If this train crashes right now, I’ll be perfectly content.” Man, did I wish I was legal then I could have hit the bar car. Instead, I pretended to be asleep.

        • Ada Doom Starkadder :

          That is awesome. It is disrespectful to keep pushing at somebody to convert if you’ve asked once and they’ve said no already. Granted, it’s condescending in the first place, because they are assuming they know better than you what the right path is.

      • I’m religious (Episcopalian), so I was often dispatched by my ex-h and his friends to deal with door-to-door missionaries. My stock line was always, “You know, I’m familiar with the Book of Mormon/the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses/[insert proselytizer’s faith here], and my own beliefs are different. Have a great day!” and then I’d shut the door.

      • being a Christian has made such a real everyday positive difference in my life that I want to tell you whats working for me. Its like one starving person telling another starving person where they can find a hot meal.

        • Just because a person isn’t holding a McD’s bag, doesn’t mean they’re starving.

      • If they are evangelical Christians sometimes I will just straight up lie and say “yes, I have accepted Jesus as my lord and savior” and walk away (or not precisely lie…but I know they wouldn’t think I had). For the other denominations where I’m not as familia with the lingo, I just generally go with, “Thank you but I’m not interested.”

    • This reminds me of when I was 16 and applying for my first job (waitress in the dining room of an assisted living facility). I had to provide 3 non-family member references, but I had no previous employer. So, I listed 2 babysitting clients and my parish priest (I was involved in the youth group). Hopefully he did not attempt to convert anyone!

      • For teenagers, I think it’s expected that references are limited. I wouldn’t let something like that count against a 16 year-old.

      • I think for a 16 year old, those are appropriate references. Even an 18 year old.

    • One of my candidates listed the recreation manager at her job site as a reference. The poor guy was happy to serve as a reference but could not answer any of our questions about her work as a professional. Just sad.

  29. Re-posting to avoid moderation, sorry if double-posted:

    I have an event to go to this spring, and the dress code was just announced as “summer c*cktail attire.” I am also sun-sensitive, and the gala is outside, and the sun won’t have set when it starts, so I’m not sure what to do. Big floppy hat doesn’t scream c*cktail attire to me, and I haven’t seen a cute parasol… anyway, my questions are:

    (1) what is “summer c*cktail” attire? materials, cuts, etc?
    (2) what do men wear? regular tuxes? seersucker? linen?
    (3) how do I deal with the sun?

    Please help! And thank you!

    • This is the perfect opportunity for a maxi dress (this will always be my attire suggestion, apparently). Keep a lightweight wrap to cover your arms/shoulders. Stand in the shade or always stand with the sun to your back so that it doesn’t hit your face. Done and done.

    • anon for this 2 :

      Knee-length linen dress, lightweight shawl and dressy wedge sandals.

      Men probably wear nice khakis, button down shirts and navy blazers, which they will ditch immediately.

      If you don’t feel adequately protected from the sun by sunscreen, by all means wear a hat. I think a cloche style is more appropriate than a big floppy hat for c*cktail attire. Also make sure your hair will be able to recover when you take the hat off later.

      • ruh roh, I outed myself as anon for this 2.

        C’est moi, mamabear.

      • Not dressy enough?


        • Love! For my most recent outdoor summer c*cktail event (my sister’s wedding in not-as-balls central CA) I wore very similar shoes & felt completely appropriate.

          • uh, that was hot-as-balls.

            Something is definitely amiss with my internet/typing skilz today.

          • I just thought that was some Cali slang that I wasn’t in on.

          • Bada$$ McGee :

            AD, me too! I was thinking, “not as balls?! what is this magical phrase?!”

    • Definitely a maxidress. I saw the cutest ones online yesterday (BHLDN, Anthropologie, Piperlime, and Nordstrom). An awesome hat would keep the sun off or a lightweight shawl. In Texas it is fairly typical for guys to wear a nice guayavara (sp?) Mexican/Caribbean shirt or a linen shirt. My husband usually wears a nice Guay shirt and linen pants with leather flip flops. If you look in the resort collections, you should be able to find options.

    • MaggieLizer :

      My firm has an even like this every year. I usually go for “garden party” but maybe in a nicer, more evening-appropriate fabric. Something silk maybe, though I think cotton is perfectly fine; I’d probably stay away from satin, though I wore a satin-esque light flowy halter dress from WHBM to one of these events and fit in fine.

      For the sun, you could totally do a hat! Something Derby-inspired would be lovely. Also, SPF moisturizer + SPF foundation, sunblock all over, and cover your chest and shoulders as much as possible when you’re in the sun. Light wraps are perfect for this, and they have the added benefit of providing a bit of warmth when the sun goes down. Cardigans can work too, but it can be kind of awkward to cover your chest depending on what you’re wearing.

    • Oops — just saw this. I responded above. I think a hat with a somewhat extended brim would be best, to keep the sun entirely off your face. Something like this:

    • What I don’t understand is why you need to avoid moderation. And why you think that a second round will get you answers the first didn’t. If there’s so much volume that your query gets lost, adding to it is counter-productive.
      One word: sunscreen.

  30. momentsofabsurdity :

    Reposting (moderation! Blech!)

    Please do not list your pastor as a reference when applying for jobs. Particularly if he is not labeled as a member of the clergy (would have avoided calling altogether), and especially if your pastor is the type to try and convert me during the call. Please..

  31. Bar taker :

    Has anyone taken the February bar in Illinois? The official word is that results come out in “the first two weeks of April,” but I heard anecdotally that they always come out on April 1 around midnight. True? (You can tell how nervous I’m getting…)

    • Anon from Chicago :

      I took it in 2007. I want to say the results came out around April 6. The good news was that I was sworn in on May 10, which is about 14 months faster than it took to get sworn in in New York

  32. Do people have recommendations for good carry-on suitcases? I like mine generally, but I’ve been called out twice by airlines who claim it won’t fit in the overhead bins. (It does, but annoying to deal with.) I think I need a new one to avoid this situation together, plus mine is starting to look beat after about 50 trips. I want something LIGHT and sturdy.

    • Lands’ End?

    • Depending on how small you want to go, I bought the Victorinox Mobilizer NXT 5.0 Wheeled Eurotote (eBags) with the same criteria in mind. It’s not much for organization per se, but I can easily fit a couple days worth of clothes, running gear, and carry-on toiletries with no problems. It’s easy to wheel and weighs less than 6 lbs. on its own – so no problems getting it into the overhead compartment, either space- or lifting it over my head-wise.

      Unfortunately it is pricy, >$300. I expect it to last for a while though, and along with my Lo and Sons TT has definitely solved my short-trip needs.

    • Eagle Creek. It looks a little casual (but it comes in black as well as other colors), but nothing is lighter. Bought a few pieces upon luggage store recommendation after having back issues, would never buy anything else. Not at all cheap but very much worth it.

      • brookstone dash lightweight i love it

        • Ooh! It’s $99 which seems like a great price. Plus I can get grey, which is different but not too different. I may be sold . . .

          • Bada$$ McGee :

            Nancy P, can I just tell you how distracting your moniker is for me? My mom’s name is Nancy, last name starts with P. Every time I read your comments, I secretly wonder if you’re my mother! (Are you?)

      • Second for Eagle Creek. I have 2 of them (one carry-on, one larger) and they’re both fantastic. The carry-on is pretty new, but I’ve had the other one for about 3 years now, lugged it all over the place for multiple trips (sometimes overstuffed), and it still looks almost new.

    • Briggs & Riley. They’re tough, and have wonderful warranties. They’re a bit pricey, but they’ll last forever (holding up much better than my Tumi, for example). DH is a road warrior, so this is something we pay attention to. Just check your favored airline’s site for max dimensions (they’re all similar, but not identical), then pick a bag that fits.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Second. Mine is 3 years old and still awesome. I got my DH one as a groom’s gift. He’d been very jealous of mine, so he actually hugged his new toy.

      • 2nd Briggs and Riley. I’ve had mine since 1996. I’ve also had my Hartmann since 1998.

        It’s worth it to spend money on luggage. Briggs and Riley fixed my suitcase twice, for free.

        • Nice! Ours aren’t that old, but I got my Tumi in 2001, and it’s had to be repaired twice (and is overdue for a third time in the shop). We got our first B&R about 5 years ago, and it looks new, as does its companion that we got about a year later.

    • Samsonite spinner. It is awesome. Fits tons and designed for overheads. Holds up great.

      • http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/samsonite-rolling-tote-hyperspace-spinner?ID=643177&CategoryID=20559&swatchColor=TOTALLY%20TE#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D102%26ruleId%3D74%26slotId%3D5

        Mine is similar to this, few years older, i love it

      • Tired Squared :

        Second the Samsonite spinner. I’ve had mine for at least 7 years and it’s still going strong!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        thirded! I got mine at Tuesday morning at a super deep discount, and it’s great. Spinners were a brilliant invention. I liked it so much I went back and bought the next size up, too.

      • I have the same one and I love it. I paid a lot less for it from Irv’s Luggage (local store near Chicago, but they have an online store and will ship anywhere – google their name).

    • Patagonia MLC – meets most airline standards, fits everywhere I’ve had to stuff it, seems bombproof. I think they make a wheeled version now, too.

    • SpaceMountain :

      You know, it depends on the airline’s rules and the type of airplane. I have suitcases that fit in some planes’ overheads, but not others. I fly American a lot, so finally found the exact dimensions for their allowable carry-on on the type of airplane I was flying a lot, and ordered a suitcase with those dimensions.

    • Tumi

    • No suggestions, but I have the exact same problem and have so many trips coming up this summer that I need to get on this so that I can stop being yelled at at the gate. :) Thanks for asking and thanks everyone else for good suggestions!

    • DC Association :

      Well you probably won’t see this but I’m posting anyway! I am working at a conference in Korea so have lots of downtime and catching up on posts.

      I like Heys. Go to Marshall’s or TJ Maxx – they always have tons of them. Super lightweight and fun colors and patterns.

    • lucy stone :

      I just got a new one from L.L. Bean, the Carryall in Medium, that is tapered on the ends to “help” it fit in bins. I have an old Samsonite that fits but have the same problem you do where they claim it doesn’t fit. I haven’t flown with it yet but am doing so in two weeks and will report back.

  33. Tips on surviving a Board interview for an NYC outer-borough coop? It’s our first :)


    • Do you think you might have any financial issues? Like was it a financial stretch for you to buy this place? Is your income from free-lance or other less predictable sources? If so be prepared to answer those questions. If not, then don’t worry about it. My last co-op board interview was largely a discussion of area drycleaners.

    • Our Brooklyn coop interview was no big deal at all. They basically asked whether I had any reason to think I might lose my job and not much else. I think there was a plug for joining the garden committee. Good luck and congrats!

    • Depends on the coop — whats the price range, who are the people on the board, what are their professions, how high are the maintenance fees, what sort of coop does said coop hold itself out to be, etc etc etc. If you’re in an outer borough, it may not be so bad, but some of them can be a pain in the a–. Just dress appropriately (like you’re going to a job interview), smile, and act like you’re going to be a 100% A+ stellar shareholder

  34. Gift ideas for a one year old’s birthday party? She’s a happy, friendly little girl with foodie/urban parents who live in a downtown highrise. Her party is a picnic in a big city park. Any ideas? I’m hoping to spend less than $50 or so.

    • just Karen :

      I love Melissa and Doug for toddler toys – this might be cute for a picnic party:

      Lots of food sets here – I love the Sushi, food groups, and taco sets!

      • That little picnic basket is the cutest ever! Might have to buy it for my colleague’s daughter.

    • Check out the board books by Amy Wilson Sanger (available on Amazon). They are all about a different kind of food (and super cute, IMO).

    • i just bought this as a babyshower gift that the parents and big sis loved: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042RU2K0/ref=asc_df_B0042RU2K01958061?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B0042RU2K0&hvpos=none&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=282085216218253356&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

      i also threw in some cute board books (whatever the store had, i was short on time).

    • Some cool toys I’ve noted lately:
      toys that you put your iphone in so that littlies can play with them:
      A stuffed animal w/ 3 separate parts that you can interchange with other versions of the toy.
      A stuffed animal made from one of the kids drawings (do 1 yr olds draw? not sure…).

    • PharmaGirl :

      I’m a big fan of the Plan Toys brand and bought a few of them for my son’s first birthday (favorites are the cone sorter, punch and drop, and walk n roll). I’ve gifted a few sets of the Uncle Goose embossed alphabet blocks and they were always well received.

    • My niece who is that age loved a little teapot and little cups and spoons to go with it (plastic or wood). Also, we got her a little princess tent type of a thing that she liked since it was kind of her own little “house”.

  35. Looking for bag recommendations.

    I’m an attorney and an adjunct professor at a local law school. What this means is that a couple of times a week, I end up schlepping around my laptop, work files, a casebook, a statutes book, and all the other random documents and technology I need for these marathon days. I am small in stature, and I’m pretty sure the answer is a rolling laptop bag, but I have not found one that is large enough to hold all of my materials for the day and is still smaller than a suitcase. Any recommendations out there?

    • karenpadi :

      I say give up. Consider it a badge of honor to be so busy that you need all that stuff. I have the Samsonite rolling office. It’s huge, uninspired, and ugly but it’s great for business trips.

    • Would love to hear about these too, since about once a week I work at our downtown office, which means carrying my work laptop, whatever I’m working on, extra shoes… as well as taking public transportation. I usually carry a shoulder tote of some sort and use a rolling laptop bag from Target, but that is starting to break, so I should probably look for a replacement.

    • I use the same Samsonite Spinner rolling tote that was linked in the thread about suitcases above for days when I have to carry my laptop and files. It’s the perfect size and a spinner is way more convenient than a traditional bag that has to be carried behind you.

    • I’m in the same position, and I haven’t found a great solution. I borrow one of my firm’s rolling document boxes for the day, usually.

  36. Future Marylander :

    I’m temporarily moving to Maryland, specifically to the Columbia area and I’m looking for housing advice. I’m looking for a studio in an affordable and safe area. Which areas would you recommend looking at? I’m not familiar with the area at all.

    My position comes with long and unpredictable hours, so I’d need to be max. 20 min away from work. Apartment rents in Columbia are a little higher than what I hope to pay for a studio. I’ve looked at Laurel, but the safety of apartments there seems questionable. Any recommendations. Thank you!!

    • Try the Arbutus area – cheaper but safe and not far away. And also close to Baltimore.

      • Maybe try further up towards Ellicott City. On the south side, there are some nice places in Elkridge, which is getting built up a lot now- they have a Trader Joes. My friend used to rent a nice condo off of Rt 1 in Elkridge, near Arbutus. I think they found it on craigslist.

        Is the work you’re commuting to in Columbia? If so, it kind of depends what part you’re commuting to– Columbia is kind of a sprawling area.

    • ChristinaMD :

      I’d probably suggest staying out of Laurel proper, but N. Laurel along Rte 29 can be very nice. There are apartments right next to the mall, that seem quite attractive when you are pulling in – I’m not familiar with the rents there. I might suggest you look at private rentals, if you’ll be in town long enough to warrant it – there are a number of nice condo and townhome developments immediately off Snowden Pkwy, beginning with Snowden Square up to its intersection with 108 (butting Elkridge/Ellicott City). Personally, I find Arbutus farther away than 20 minutes in most MD traffic, and also a bit run down, as do I find most of Catonsville, which is another adjacent city (in their defense, both are MUCH older towns than Columbia, which came into being in the 1970’s with the New Urbanism movement). I’m also not the biggest fan of the east side of 95, if I was looking for a place to situate myself.

  37. Anonymusic :

    I need help getting caught up on the music world. I have no music collection, no ipod, and have never downloaded a song from itunes, mostly because I could never afford to sink a lot of money into it. I also never really had time to spend on music. I’ve always just listened to the radio. I have more discretionary income now and have been listening to Pandora a lot, which has reminded me that it would be nice to have “my own” music. I still don’t have a lot of time because I have small kids. How do I go about this? Do I just download hundreds of songs from itunes? Is there a service/app where I can do this in a more organized fashion? How does everyone afford, both time and money-wise, to keep up with the music habit. Besides the radio, how do you find music that is current and appeals to you without spending hours on it. I seriously feel out of step and feel stupid even asking this, so all advice welcome.

    • karenpadi :

      I’m like you. I am a mostly radio person but there are times where radio just isn’t going to cut it. Pandora is great but I don’t always have internet.

      1. I adore Satellite radio. I have a Sirius/XM radio and docking stations in my home, office, and car. It’s great for listening to my typical genres but also for when I crave variety. Ever spend a night just listening to jazz? Ever have guests who appreciate the Blues? Need spooky sounds for the trick-or-treaters? Satellite has it all.

      2. For exercise, I gave my music-savvy but anti-spending-money-on-gifts brother money to purchase an iPod Shuffle for me. For gifts at holidays and birthdays, he loads it up with songs for my runs.

    • Spotify is great!

    • Do you already have a CD collection? You can rip those onto the computer as MP3s, and start your collection there.

    • Use a website like Spotify or Rhapsody to help you determine what it is that you want/need. I use Rhapsody (cause I have had it forever) — I can create playlists to see if the song or album is worth investing in (and have that flexibility from my computer or my Android) before committing. I also feel a little less guilt listening to really bad/cheesy music as part of a service like Rhapsody rather than paying for the same song on iTunes. (I like some embarrassing stuff for my running playlists.)

      And there is no need to download hundreds of songs right off the bat. Start with albums or artists you really love, do some research, listen to Pandora for similar styles and artists, and move forward from there. There is no rush to spend a dollar per song to build up a tepid collection.

    • I find tons of new music/artists through the All Songs Considered podcast. (I just listen to it on NPR’s website.) If that’s not the music you like, there are tons of other podcasts to be found on NPR and elsewhere.

    • big dipper :

      spotify! if you pay for spotify premium, you can stream music on your phone at any time. if you have a smart phone, this eliminates the need to buy single mp3s/buy mp3 albums. you pay a flat monthly fee, and you can access pretty much any music that you’d want.

      plus they have some great apps to help you find new music or music similar to what you already like.

  38. Big angry rant!
    Today, I feel like strangling my vet.
    My little cat Sacha was spayed last week and that stupid doc forgot to put an e-collar on her.
    She ripped off all her stitches and had a deep open wound for days.
    I took her back. She has to stay at the clinic for 3 days. I just hate him for being so incompetent.
    If anything happens to my cat I’m suing his a$$

    • so anonymous :

      I know there are a lot of attorneys on this site, but I hope you’re joking. There are ways to address the fact that you’re unhappy with the services you received other than resorting to the court system.

    • Why didn’t you ask for the E-collar before you took your cat home from the vet’s office? When I had my cat neutered, my surgical release form stated that if I noticed that my cat was licking at the wound too much then I could come back for the collar, fortunately he left the incision alone, but I made sure too keep a close watch on him for the first couple of days after his surgery. Were you not watching your kitty or at least checking the wound on a regular basis for the first few days before the large open wound developed?

      • This is what I’m wondering. When my dog had stitches on her shoulder, I thought it was my responsibility to make sure she didn’t get at the wound through some weird contortion of her head/neck or with a paw.

        • That sounded kind of harsh, sorry. Of course I hope your kitty feels better soon. If you feel like your vet isn’t treating your cat properly or isn’t communicating with you what you should expect or watch for, don’t hesitate to look for a new vet.

      • Sorry I agree, its not incompetent to not provide the e-collar, and I don’t understand how the cat having an open wound for days was his fault. But I’m sending lots of good wishes to the kitty, its so hard seeing them hurting

    • Ohhhh that is so awful. I would be so upset too. I am sure Sacha will be ok – cats rip their stitches open all the time and it shouldn’t result in any real complications. Still, it’s awful that something that can be so easily prevented happened. The doctor sounds like a fool and I hope they’re providing all the follow-up care for free (and that you find a new vet next time Sacha needs care).

      • Sorry I was angry my post is so badly written.. but yes I was crying my head off and corporette was on.
        I am not suing the vet, anyway it is not legally possible in my country. I am just angry and sad for my baby cat. The reason I was upset is because the vet said Oh your cat is too active so we will keep an eye on her for 3 days. He almost made it sound as my Sacha’s fault.
        I did not ask for an e-collar because I didn’t know my cat needs one (my first cat spay).
        I had my dad travel to my place and watch over her but he didn’t notice the wound (the whole thing is half an inch) until I came home and found that she ripped off everything.
        Now, my cat is at the clinic and I know I will pay the bills because the clinic does nothing for free, which I do not mind as long as my cat gets better.

        • dude, you need to chill. your cat will be fine. i grew up with outdoor cats who have seen a ton of scratches and gnashes over their lives (one of them is 14 years old!). theyre animals.

        • Ugh, a responsible vet would have asked if you’ve had a pet cat before and would have gone over post-surgery instructions with you (such as whether you need a collar, what to do if she rips her stitches, etc). I’d find a new vet. I’m sorry this happened and i hope you have Sacha back safe and sound very soon.

  39. Just accepted a job offer in downtown San Francisco! Yay final semester of college (I’m a Computer Science major). Any lady developers here?

    PS Negotiating increased my offer by 10k <3

  40. Lotto Fever! :

    Just bought this watch! I love bright pink!

    And I’m anxiously awaiting the lotto results:-)

    • Lotto Fever! :

      Didn’t win the lotto… But just got an email that my watch was mailed. Yay!

  41. OK, since “you can do so much with a law degree…..” (lol. just lol.) I’m having a quarter life crisis.

    I’m a 3rd year litigator in a general practice mid-law firm. I like commercial lit/labor and employment OK, and typically do this work….when things get slow and I go looking for work, I end up with one jr. partner’s worker’s comp files (defending). I HATE THIS TYPE OF WORK, but am not in a position to turn it down when hours are low or the people who normally give me work are out of the office. Problem is, the junior partner who started giving me comp work keeps coming in with this $hit. I was literally crying today (closed door) thinking, “yes, this is your life. well done. you are $100k in debt and defending worker’s comp claims” (some people may love this type of work. i despise….it is not the prestige factor, but I just find it really dreadfully tiresome. even though insurance companies always pay their bills, their work makes me really sad/irritated/annoyed/bored/frustrated/anxious/etc.). To add to my frustration, our partnership/bonus track is receivables based (so based on the amount of $ that actually comes in, rather than hours)–I can spend 4 hours on a full rate client or 1.5 DAYS on the comp work to bring in the same margins… (while my peers in corp. or m and a are doing full-rate work). There’s no upside for MeH.

    If this becomes a big part of my practice, I cannot see myself being well-adjusted after 20 years. (luckily, it will take me more than that to pay off my law school debt, barring mega-millions jackpot). I’m OUT. I guess, 2 questions:

    (1) is there a socially graceful way to opt out of a certain type of work if you do not want your career to head that way? (most of this person’s work is not time sensitive. I have tried to say, “i have x, y, and z with hard deadlines in the next 2 weeks. I will not be able to get to this until x date,” but this is not a disincentive. i still end up with the file). I understand that I must pay my dues and due unpleasant work because $*hit rolls downhill….BUT I don’t want this to be my career path/specialty. Jr. Partner does this work exclusively. there’s another associate (jr. to me) who tends well towards ins. defense and claims to love it because “he can get it down to a science” because all of the claims are similar). I do not want to be junior comp-work partner’s next in line! How to change this course?

    (2) what are my exit options? (realistically?). Mid-law, small-ish midwestern city (although large for the region).

    • Wish I could reply with advice, but instead eagerly want to hear what others say on this. There are a couple partners I work for that I’d like to dodge as well. They aren’t evil, but I do not like working with them. I’ve tried to politely put off work like you’re doing but somehow they always end up giving me the work anyway.

      • You need to start plotting your transition to something else on the side. No, I imagine you can’t turn down much assigned work in your job. Make a proactive plan. Is there a firm you think you’d like better? A different type of job? Plot out what landing those spots would take, make a 3-yr plan and execute. I’m talking about doing stuff for free on the side, when you are exhausted. I was in L&E and hated it. I spent 3 yrs on side joining committees on stuff I was interested in, got a certificate, joined a nonprofit board, etc. It led to my dream job. It was tiring to plug away, but no one is going to hand you a transition without you pulling yourself up and doing it.

        • Bada$$ McGee :

          This. If you have a billable hours requirement, and you don’t have enough work to make your goal, you need to accept whatever work you can get, no matter how tedious / glamorous.

          If you have enough work to get you to hour billable goal, I always found that some version of, “Because of my other deadlines, I’m not going to be able to turn my attention to this until [some date in the future]” typically worked well. However, there will always be some partners who consider your turning down work to be a bridge burner, no matter how reasonable your excuse might seem (or how unreasonable their demand is). Be okay with the fact that if you turn down work from a partner once, you might not get to work with them again.

          And, as Ruby said, start plotting your transition to something else.

    • Do you have a mentor there? Can you say something about how you’re really interested in x and would love to do more of that work? That won’t help you right this second, but if a few higher-ups know that you really like x, they will keep you in mind when opportunities for x come up.

    • I think the easiest way to do this (relatively speaking) is to get to a point where you have so much going on for other partners, that – when asked by the partner you don’t want to work for – you can say “You know, Partners X and Y have given me projects that are taking all my time right now” – and leave it for the junior partner to fight it out with them if he wants your time. Since he’s junior, he probably won’t be successful with that. That’s easier said then done, I know, but I think taking on as many projects as you can with the people you like, even if it leaves you temporarily overloaded, and doing a really superlative job on them, can pay off in terms of being able to turn down the stuff you don’t like gracefully and ending up with a reasonable caseload.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Sorry to hear you’re struggling with this. But you are right to worry about getting pigeonholed in a specialty you don’t like.

      As far as “a socially graceful way to opt out of a certain type of work if you do not want your career to head that way,” this depends a lot on your firm and circumstances. But if work is slow, it’s hard to turn down work without: (1) looking like a prima donna; or (2) getting on the layoff list.

      I second all the advice about plotting your “escape” – you may not be able to make a transition right away. But I found that when I spent my rare, precious free time networking and working on developing my skills and expertise in my desired area (maybe for you it could be writing an article for your local bar journal on an area you would prefer to practice in), it helped ease the day-to-day misery because I knew I was on a better path. Good luck!

  42. I got stuck in moderation so I apologize for reposting . . .

    I am applying for a marketing position within a law firm. I have marketing experience, although it has been about 7 years since I have worked in that industry. I have practiced law for the last 4 years. The job description on the website of the firm requests a “work sample” and salary requirements. I have no idea what to use as a work sample. Also, I do not want to give salary requirements at this stage, but am afraid my application will not be considered without them. Any advice on how to proceed is appreciated!

  43. Having dark thoughts about getting rid of a heap of stuff since I am running low on storage space. Some stuff is admittedly good quality, and perhaps I might need a reading lamp again someday… You get the picture.
    How do you deal with situations like this? Just toss?
    Really interested in how the hive views this. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

    • I have literally never thought twice about anything after giving it away.
      JUST DO IT! Sometimes it can help to have a friend there for moral support & encouragement.
      I make myself feel better about it by just telling myself that if I do need it again in the future, I’ll buy a cooler, better, more fun one. AND Depending on the city you live in, the use of your real estate is probably worth a lot more than that silly lamp that’s hogging it.

    • so anonymous :

      I donate to those charities that come and pick stuff up from your house. It makes it so effortless, and even when I am stressing about giving away an item I might someday have a “use” for, at least I can tell myself that someone can use it more than me (and the charity gives you a receipt for tax purposes).

    • Seattleite :

      I give myself permission to keep a few things that I’m truly ambivalent about, but they have to go to a halfway point like the garage or a storage unit, in a sealed box (or in a big garbage bag). Then in 6 months or a year I clear all that away to a donation center, WITHOUT OPENING THEM.

      I’ve also been known to roughly calculate replacement costs v. storage/moving costs+my time costs in locating the darn thing.

      Finally, I had to admit to myself that my tendency to keep things stemmed from my (rather poor) childhood. I tell myself OUT LOUD that it’s okay to let it go, and that if I need to get another one I’ll have the money to do so.

      From recent posts, I know it sounds like I talk to myself a lot. But it only takes about five minutes a day, swearsies.

      • Hey, no shame in talking to yourself. I have experienced some shame when I realize I’ve been talking to myself as I walk down the street and there is a person nearby whom I didn’t notice, but who sure noticed me. The actual talking, though, I think is fine. I just find myself interesting.

    • Do it. I recycled all of my childhood stuffed animals (they were pretty ratty) in one fit of cleaning even though my mom shipped them 2000 miles to me because she didn’t want them in her basement anymore. It was after a day of helping a friend pack up her house and seeing all that stuff. It had just accumulated after 13 years. I was horrified.

    • Give give give. If you have some things that are just TOO hard to give away to charity, maybe try Freecycle. It’s a list-serv system, and there ought to be one close to you. You just put out a message that looks like “Offer: My grandmother’s old sewing machine” describe it a little and see who replies. When I have trouble giving something away, I’ll freecycle it and be really picky about who I give it to. Then, its more like I’m giving someone a gift of something that I love but just don’t need. If you pick the right person they’ll be really appreciative, and then you’ll feel better knowing its being used well and by someone who will care for it.

    • You can always go back to Goodwill and buy that lamp if you really need it. But probably, the really poor people will need it more.

      Hoarding Disorder runs in my family. It’s a constant struggle. I have to make little bargains with myself. And continuously remind myself that having the space is better than having the stuff.

    • I’m an accountant, so often things come down to money for me. I think, how much will it cost me to buy a new reading lamp in 5 years. $50? OK, is that so much money that I won’t be able to afford it in 5 years? No? Donate it. Or, is it worth it to me to store the lamp for $10/year? No? Get rid of it.

      I’m almost at the point with our storage unit that I want to get rid of everything in it. Unfortuantely there are several things with lots of sentimental value that we just don’t have room for right now that I really don’t want to get rid of, so the storage unit stays. But each year the stuff in it gets less.

    • My parents, who live miles from a body of water, were victims of freak flooding sometime back. (The flood that made the national news because a mall in RI was underwater.) They had hoarded all kinds of crap in their basement. There was basically a path through the middle and just stuff. They are older and have health problems and couldn’t deal with the mess. The flooding was about knee deep. My husband and I spent a weekend hauling ridiculously heavy wet junk out into the yard (wearing full protective gear). Eventually, it all went into a dumpster. The dumpster was pre-paid for up to one ton of stuff. My parents exceeded their pre-paid allotment.

      I used to sentimentally save everything. After that experience, I view stuff so differently. My new standard is “if my house flooded, would I want I be glad I had kept this when I’m hauling it to the dumpster?” The worst things water-weight wise were bags of clothes that were supposed to go to good will and bags of plastic bottles to go to the redemption center. They all filled with water. Also, my parents did lose some very sentimental items in the flood. To that I said “why were these treasures in the basement to begin with!!!” So, that was my other kick in the pants to actually do something with the things I wouldn’t want to lose. Scan those old black and white navy photos. Make a shadow box of grandpas coins. Don’t just through everything somewhere to be dealt with later.

      So – look at your crap. If you want to keep it, do something with it. If you don’t, remind yourself that you don’t want to have to haul it out after a flood or fire and get rid of it now.

  44. Hi all,

    I’m looking for a spring/summer work-appropriate perfume. I tried some at Ulta and they all either smelled too sweet/fruity or had this weird plastic smell. The no goes included Issey Miyake (sp?), Ralph Lauren Blue, and Lancome O. I liked DKNY touch of verbena, but it only lasted about 30 min. on me. I’m thinking something citrusy/green/watery.

    • Started a bottle of Cool Water woman yesterday and it lasted and seemed right for my workplace. Still not got over Nina but admittedly too girly for me now, for most occasions.
      A friend used to wear Bvlgari classic and smelt amazing but I understand they don’t sell that anymore.

    • flowerbomb?

      randomly, (promise I am not 16), viva la juicy by juicy courture is nice. I also like escada, Poppy, etc.

    • The general consensus on the boards have been that you really shouldn’t wear scent to work, but if you must: Channel- Cristalle, Dior-Eau Savage, Jil Sander-Man, 4711, Balmain-Jolie Madame and Bottega Veneta. Yes, some of these are men’s fragrances, but they work on women as well. I also think that a lot of the Hermes scents will be work appropriate

      Look for scents that have bergamont, vetiver and violet in their formulations as those notes don’t read so “perfumey”.

      • Makeup Junkie :

        Or get perfume oils! Perfume oils are perfect for work because the scent is a lot closer so someone would have to be very close indeed to get a whiff.

      • I don’t remember that being the consensus at all, it seemed like at least half if not more wore scent to work.

        I really like Marc Jacobs Daisy for the spring/summer

      • Booklover :

        I don’t work in the corporate/legal world, so maybe wearing perfume (or not) is a bigger deal to those who do. I’m just looking for something suitable for everyday for an early-40s woman who doesn’t want to smell like a fruit salad topped with sugar syrup!

    • I liked the sample of dkny verbena,too. I really enjoyed Diane von Furstenburg’s new fragrance. Not sure of it’s summery, but the scent lasted all day (in a good way).

    • Jacqueline :

      You could also try Now Smell This, the perfume blog (n s t p e r f u m e . c o m) for more ideas. The community is helpful and friendly — and truly obsessed with perfume. They have a feature called The Monday Mail where readers write in asking for perfume recommendations based on their interests, personalities, or other perfumes they like.

      • If you do this, please report back! I bet a few of us would love to know what they suggest for you!

    • West Coast 3L :

      Try Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche. Love. Versace Versense and Gaultier Classique X are amazing as well, but don’t last as long. I picked up Armani Acqua di Gioia a few weeks ago and it hits the watery note well, but it also has a hint of sweet white floral, which makes my head hurt.

      Confession: my guilty pleasure is actually just a touch of Versace Pour Homme. I know, I know, men’s cologne, but by just using a teeny tiny bit, you get that perfect fresh, citrusy, watery, ever so musky scent without smelling like aftershave. I’ve spent months looking for the perfume equivalent and it just doesn’t exist. So I caved.

    • Bada$$ McGee :

      There is such a thing as work-appropriate perfume.

      • Bada$$ McGee :

        dangit! That was supposed to read: There is *no* such thing as work-appropriate perfume.

        To clarify: just don’t do it. Save the perfume for dates, going out, social occasions, etc.

  45. Completely unrelated to the usual topics of conversation on this board, but please bear with me. My husband and I have two very adorable little cats that are just under a year old, a boy and a girl. We just had the boy in to the vet to get checked out because he’s awfully skinny, and they found a heart murmur that they’re worried may be the start of heart failure.Because we’re totally crazy cat people, we’re taking him to a feline cardiologist on Tuesday to get an ultrasound done and determine what (if anything) is the matter, and what we need to do for him.

    In the meantime, I’ve been doing the ugly cry at random times throughout the day. I know he’s just a cat, but DH and I don’t have kids (and don’t plan on having kids) so our little furballs are very, very important to us.

    Any good thoughts from the hive would be very much appreciated.

    • Tired Squared :

      Thinking good thoughts for you and the kitties, ELS.

      • Thanks so much. We’ve luckily got the means to get him treatment and help to make him comfortable/happy if it’s a serious problem. He’s a great cat and has the best kitty life ever in our house and gets lots and lots of love, so I’m not worried about him knowing we love him to pieces.

        The thing that I keep focusing on (which is, btw, the worst thing to focus on) is how much DH and I would miss him, to say nothing of his kitty “sister.” We got them around the same time, they’re a month apart in age, and they love each other to pieces.

        I guess I just wasn’t prepared for something that’s potentially serious at this stage of his little life.

        • Tired Squared :

          I completely understand– my last cat passed away around 18 months due to heart problems. But in her case, her heart/lungs never fully developed, so she was extraordinarily lucky to have the time that she had. I hope that your little boy is fine … or that if he does have a problem, that it is VERY treatable! Please keep us updated!

        • PharmaGirl :

          Poor baby isn’t even a year old yet? I remember the intense feeling of love and attachment from the day I brought home my rescue kitten. It would break my heart to lose that little furball, even though she’s ruined every piece of furniture I own in the past 12 years. :(

          I hope he comes through this okay and you’re amazing for doing what you are for him.

        • EmpLawyer :

          We had a kitty who lived to be 17 years old with a heart condition. (He actually got good about taking his daily meds.) In the end, he passed away from an unrelated condition (most likely cancer). Best wishes for you and your kitty!

          • Thanks everyone. I’m feeling a little better about the whole thing today, and Boy Cat is his normal, playful, sweet self. I’ll let you all know when we know more.

    • Best of luck to him and you and your husband. Cats can be such an important part of life– I’d do anything for mine, too.

      • I cannot imagine my life before our crazy canine.. lots and lots of best wishes for you and your little guy.

    • Good luck. Your kitty is so lucky to have parents like you. A pet who is loved and adored can survive so much more. My fingers are tightly crossed that this is a very treatable problem.

    • My cat has a kidney disorder, and (you guessed it) she also has a nephrologist who’s been caring for her since she was 2, so I know exactly how you feel. Specialized veterinary medicine is very advanced and, if the cardiologist you will probably have lots of options for treatment. Don’t despair, and give your little guy some extra kisses and pets. It’s proven that snuggling with a pet lowers your stress level and blood pressure!

      • Bluejay, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s done the vet specialist thing. Growing up we never had sick cats, so this is all a learning experience for me.

        And FWIW, Gus (my little boy cat) has no idea that he’s potentially sick. He’s been running around and terrorizing his sister all weekend. Though I think he’s glad of the extra cuddles he’s been getting.

    • Bada$$ McGee :

      ELS, thinking of you! I hope you can take comfort in knowing that Mr. ELS Kitty will have a great life with you and DH, regardless of its length. And also, think positive! You don’t know if this is heart failure yet. Mr. ELS Kitty very well might be with you for a long time to come.

  46. I’m not super religious but found a ton of comfort in this prayers for pets blog when my cat was very ill. I posted on this blog asking for some very specific things. They all happened the next morning. Coincidence? I hope you find it similarly comforting.


    • Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m not religious at all, but I too, find this very comforting.

  47. Seattleatty :

    I’m looking for recommendations for a nice watch that I can use for everyday wear. I’m looking for something rather small and lady like, preferably with a gold band and a small face. I’m petite with a small frame, so I don’t want to overwhelm my wrist with anything large. I’m hoping to spend no more than a couple hundred and I don’t care about brand status. Any brand or specific watch recommendations will be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

    • I LOVE Kate Spade’s new watch collection.

      • Wow, I think I know what I want for my next big present! Those are gorgeous.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I asked for a burberry watch for my birthday (link to follow). It’s pricey but I’m obsessed with it and have never owned a nice watch.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Here’s the link…


        • Such a pretty watch! Although it wouldn’t fit my personal style, I love the band. Personally, I am saving my pennies for a Kate Spade watch, the Waldorf strap is my favorite.

      • Love my Burberry watch, too. They are usually on sale at the anniversary sale. Mine is almost 3 yrs old and no scratches on the dial (it’s crystal sapphire).

    • Accountress :

      Nordstrom has some lovely Skagen watches- just got one for my mom, she loves it.

  48. HotChildintheCity :

    Could anyone shed some light on the purported rule of thumb ratio of 1:3 between hourlysalary and billable rate for attorneys? I’ve read elsewhere and seen mentioned here that an atty should generally make 1/3 of the rate at which her firm bills her out to clients. I’m only two years out of law school, but due to the tough market and other circumstances, I just landed my first associate position at a small firm 3 months ago ( the past year and half I spend working in quasi-legal-related temp jobs). I view my position as that of a first year associate because I have been with the firm for less than a year I know that my firm bills me out at about $275 an hour. I make $80,000, which I believe is around average for small firm compensation for first year associates in my market (Irvine, CA). My salary, when computed out to an hourly rate, is nowhere near 1/3 of my billable rate. So, my question is, what;s wrong here? Is the 1:3 ratio more for big firm compensation rates than small firms? Is my firm billing me out at a higher-than-market rate

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I’m at a small/mid firm in NYC and I’m nowhere near 1/3, either, so I’m curious about this, too.

    • They’ve padded your rate for the extra hours they anticipate it will take to train you. It looks like they expected to bill about half your hours this year (you bill 1800 and they bill the client 900 of those) and write off the rest. That’s a pretty reasonable expectation.

      Also, are you in an area of litigation where you are paid on a contingency basis or where the opposing party is expected to pay your clients’ fees (lemon law?)? In that case, they jack up the hourly rate because the judge will write down hours.

      That said, I don’t even bill out at $275 (2005 grad). That’s a really high rate for someone just starting. So I’m not surprised you aren’t getting a third. I think they are shortchanging you a bit but, like you said, it’s a tough market. I’d stick around, you should be getting good raises or bonuses as you get more efficient. If you aren’t at 100k in two years, I’d look elsewhere.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        I don’t think 275 is that high at all to be billed out. After law school, before I found a slightly more permanent gig, I worked part-time for a solo practitioner, and she billed me at 250 to her clients, and I wasn’t even admitted yet (I had passed the bar though). Granted, it was a specialized and somewhat expensive area of law, in a high cost of living area.

        However, to the OP, 80k seems great (I wish I was making that) for a ‘first year’ at a small firm. I think the ratio is bogus.

  49. Offbeat Question for ‘Rettes –

    I just read a pretty gross article about a Kotex tampon purchased that had mold on it on Consumerist – and some of the commenters brought up something called “Diva Cup” to use instead of sanitary pads/tampons. Is this something that’s been discussed here or that anyone has any experience with?

    I looked it up here – http://www.divacup.com/ – and I’m sort of intrigued, but concerned about the hassle of cleaning (and sanitation) and re-using.

    • karenpadi :

      I used the divacup for about a year. I never got the hang of it and always had some days where a seal hadn’t formed. The daily positioning and cleaning wasn’t bad if I could do it at home. I didn’t mind cleaning it because I usually had to wash my hands anyway handling the filled cup. In a public restroom, well, I wouldn’t attempt it.

      After each cycle, I would boil it for ten minutes to sanitize it. I bought a really cheap pot at kmart for this purpose (I’m icked out by my own bodily fluids and food, yes it’s irrational). My dad, my then-boyfriend, and my brother loved to use that pot for some reason and it cracked me up. But I didn’t dare tell them why I really had that cheap pot. :-)

      That said, some women (including my best friend) love the diva cup. My bestie has had hers for over a decade.

      • I had the same problem with a seal not forming, and believe me, I always found out that the seal didn’t form at the worst possible time. Never again.

    • We had a really long discussion on this in the past, probably six months to a year ago. A lot of people had really good things to say about the diva cup and it made me interested in trying it out, but I’ve been too lazy to do so yet.

      • This is the thread (which even got a STFU Corporette mention):


        I won’t re-write my pros/cons list, but I am clearly a fan and suggest you try it. Just know it will probably take a few cycles until you really feel comfortable with it (if you do at all) – I hated it the first time I tried it and now can’t imagine going back.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Hey, I made it STFU Corporette! I’m going to take that as a point of pride.

          (And “standing on line” just doesn’t make sense. Seriously. Think about it. There’s not some line on the ground that you’re standing on top of–well, not usually. You are, in fact, the line. You are therefore in line. )

          • Weirdly, I had somehow missed this tumblr’s existence. Now my new goal will be to make it on there. Must strive to be more offensive.


          • STFU Gail the Goldfish!!!! j/k :D

    • I have one, but I have never really gotten the hang of it. I keep Instead cups around, which are disposable, as other alternatives to pads/tampons (and you can wear them during s*x). I used to use them much more often, but for some reason I stopped being able to insert them correctly and get them to stay in place, and they’re not comfortable.

      I saw that article, too, it made me want to go back to OB.

    • I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Diva cup. I’ve been using it for 2 years and never had an issue. I wash with water & gentle soap during AF and then boil to sanitize just before I need to use it again. I find it quite comfortable, but I don’t like to run in it. I always need to use a pantyliner because it leaks a tiny bit (i’ve had 3 kids, though, and the last was 9lbs).

      If you think it’s something you can handle sticking in & taking out on a regular basis, and it does get your fingers a little dirty, I’d recommend trying it.

    • I used it for two cycles back in the day (I took Seasonale then, so I only had periods every 4-5 months), and I loved how long I could leave it in, and how much cleaner I felt (for some reason, there wasn’t as much of that iron-y smell when I used it). But I got a UTI every cycle that I used it, which was, to put it mildly, un-fun.

      Now I have a Mirena IUD, which (fingers crossed), appears to have dramatically reduced my periods, so this is less of an issue.

    • layered bob :

      LOVE my diva cup. Started using it in 2008 and haven’t used a tampon since then.

      For people who couldn’t get a seal with the diva cup, there are many shapes/sizes of men strual cups to try – all my friends use cups but we all use different brands.

      Cleaning – I boil and sanitize with hydrogen peroxide. Here’s a community with a TON of info about cups: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/

    • I use the Keeper (same concept as Diva Cup, but I think different brand, so perhaps there may be slight differences in the design). I went to a hippie-ish college where a lot of girls used them and I was really skeptical and grossed out at first, but I finally converted and honestly am way happier. Unlike others, I’ve rarely had problems with it not sealing. In fact, one of the few downsides for me has been that the seal is strong enough it can be slightly uncomfortable to remove it. Have used it for about 2 years and it’s held up really well — I’m really pleased at how much money I will likely save over the long term compared to tampons, since it looks likely it will last for about 10 years, as advertised. It can be a bit awkward and unwieldy compared to tampons, but for me it’s been worth it for 1) savings 2) lower impact on the environment and, most importantly, 3) no risk of toxic shock. I used to forget and leave tampons in for 24+ hours (bad, I know…) and then would freak out every time I had a chill or a headache. The only circumstances under which I would look back, I think, would be if my flow got heavy enough that I needed to change it frequently throughout the workday. (I don’t like changing it in public.)

      As for cleaning, I usually wash it pretty intensively with hot water and soap in the shower once a day while I’m using it, and then again at the end of the cycle. It seems to work fine, although I’ve considered starting to boil it as well just for extra sanitary precaution.

    • I like the Diva cup because it’s unobtrusive, but I also have leak issues, so I also use a pad.

    • I’ve been alternating between divacup and Instead for years. I keep tampons for emergencies (in my desk at work, for example), but I much prefer Instead.

  50. anon mouse :

    dear ‘rettes:

    I posted about 6 months ago when I was first starting a job after undergrad and was having a hard time adjusting seeking advice/sympathy/a kick in the pants. I received so many reassuring comments and helpful suggestions, I just wanted to make a quick note and say thank you! I’ve posted a few times since then on random issues and I really appreciate the collective wisdom. I’m really enjoying my work, can see this possibly becoming a career (as much as any 22 year old can)… and I’m probably the most appropriately dressed female in the office!

    Love the support here.

    xo anon mouse

    • anon mouse :

      also, what a poorly written paragraph. they should moderate out comments posted beyond 20 hours of consecutive awake hours.

  51. Has anyone here ever worked with their best friend? Just been offered a great job at my friend’s work. We would be in different teams and probably wouldn’t see each other on a day to day basis, but I’m just wondering whether it would impact on our friendship. We are pretty competitive as it is. Any advice?

    • Tired Squared :

      I worked with a best friend once. We were in the same group and worked together on a daily basis … and we’re no longer friends, much less best friends, anymore.

      For what it’s worth, I’ve had much better luck turning co-workers into close friends than turning a close friend into a co-worker.

    • Yes, we’re in different groups and it is such a blessing. It is amazing to have here there and it has only made us closer :)

    • It can be done :

      I work on the same team as a good friend of mine, but we were co-workers at another company and became friends out of that. So far, it’s been working well, but I think it has been helped by the fact that we worked together previously and have a background as co-workers in addition to being friends.

      Having a conversation about expectations could be helpful – how often will you eat lunch together, when will you include each other in work outings, etc. This doesn’t need to be a formal conversation, but just getting a sense of her expectations up front could help you avoid confusion/hurt feelings down the road.

      • Thanks all for the advice. I’m also slightly worried about the cross over between work life and social life. Will ponder it some more.

  52. EasterBunny :

    Have any of you dealt with feeling like you’re hyper-aware of *everything* going on around you? I have a hard time not noticing some of the weird things people are doing around me (ex: the girl peeling off her sunburn on the subway, the guy tapping his toe a mile a minute at a table next to me, the woman who keeps adjusting her underwear on the treadmill) and while it can be distracting at times, I’m mostly bothered by it because it makes me so self-conscious of everything I’m doing. I end up being so aware of everything I do- at the dinner table it’s did that lime juice splatter near someone, at a bar I’m wondering what exactly I should be doing with my empty hand, etc. that it makes it hard to enjoy certain situations. It’s not a major problem, and it’s not one I think anyone else has been able to pick up on, but I think dealing with it would go a long way in my personal comfort in certain situations and would make me so much more relaxed!

    • All I can do is say, “me too!” And I think it’s not everyone who is like this. You know how your cover letters all say, “attention to detail”? Mine do too. And my attention to detail is excellent. I am also unfortunately extremely self-critical. I work on it.

    • Jacqueline :

      Yes! Sometimes I feel like this at the office, and it drives me crazy. I put on headphones. It’s harder to avoid on public transit or at the gym.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Just as a heads up, if this starts to really have an impact on your ability to interact with others, do your job, or leave your house, you should consider seeing a professional. I have had similar symptoms right before having a panic attack, and a lot of my “attention to detail” stems from an overwhelming anxiety problem and low self esteem, as well as some obsessive compulsive stuff. So long as this isn’t hurting your life, it’s just a quirk of your personality and in a lot of ways a true asset that you should use to your benefit. If it starts to make your life more difficult, consider seeing someone or reigning it in.

  53. LongTimeSingleton :

    Wise ladies:

    After being single pretty much since college, I met someone wonderful in my early 30s. We have now been together for almost 2 years, and this is serious and real and wonderful. I adore his company, we have a great time together, and we share almost every major life goal (and talk well about the ones we don’t). I am genuinely happier when he is around, and I very badly want to marry him and start a family together. I have never seriously even imagined doing that with anyone else.

    BUT. I always liked my single life. I like my apartment. I like my friends (almost all single). I like my closet and my coffee shop and my schedule. Even though we spend 5-6 nights/week together, having my own place feels still very me. We are talking now about moving in together, which makes me really, really happy…but a little sad too. What about sleeping in the middle of the bed? Having things exactly the way I left them? Also, we are planning on getting a way nicer apartment, which means moving about a mile away from all my friends to a less ritzy neighborhood.

    Yes, I realize that I am EXTREMELY lucky. And I am 98% thrilled. But does anyone commiserate with my 2% sad? (To be fair, he does, actually…since he too is a long-time singleton.)

    • Yep, I totally commiserate with your 2%. I didn’t realize until after my divorce how smothering that much togetherness was for me. I should have relished more those alone times I had. I have come to really enjoy my independence and my alone time, as much as I love my SO. I have wondered since if I could go back to having my life that intertwined with another person. That said, I think in retrospect, I could have done more on my own or with friends, and I could have enjoyed the time I had alone more, rather than worrying about when he was coming home. It sounds like you two could find that balance – happily doing your own thing in separate areas of the house, but still “home together.” Congratulations! I think you’ll make it work.

      • I really really encourage you to get a place with enough space to have your own room. My husband has an in-home office because he works at home and I wish that I had my own place for all of my things as well as a place to go when I want to meditate, or read, or whatever. I should add that we have a kid so the lack of privacy gets to me. I will say that my husband and I are not jealous of each other and he is fine when I spend time with my friends or family and he has no resentment about taking care of our son when I am out. So, get married, be happy, but make sure from the beginning that you designate time and space for you.

    • I think this is a pretty normal feeling. I got married at 27 and we had been together since 21, but a lot of that time was long distance so I had my own friends/life/work and he had his. We were both used to going out whenever or wherever and just calling to check in at the end of the night. Had our own stuff, apartments, cleaning habits, etc. And at 27, I felt that I was a pretty confident, mature, independent woman who was used to taking care of everything herself. This is probably all true to an even greater extent for you. I do think it’s different than people who get married in their early 20s before they’ve had to live as a fully independent adult yet- not saying it’s easier, just different.

      I will say the first year of marriage has been mostly about learning to join our lives and spaces. We lived together for a few months before marriage, and had done so for various periods (of a few months) on and off previously, as grad school schedules allowed, but it was still an adjustment. It’s a little more of an adjustment than I expected, honestly. But it is worth it, for me. It’s a tradeoff- you are sacrificing some degree of autonomy for the benefits of having a partner in everything.

      I’m still in the middle of it, so not sure I have enough perspective to give you great insight. But I would just suggest that you be patient, understand that there will be some sacrifices and that’s ok (you don’t set feminism back 50 years by compromising with your SO), and make sure you guys can talk about disagreements without getting too angry.

    • Jacqueline :

      Totally understand. I LOVE my apartment and my alone time, and while I know that when I meet the right guy, I’ll be willing to give up some of that independence to make room for someone wonderful, a part of me is already a little wistful about sacrificing personal time and space. Especially if you’ve been single for 8-10 years post-college and most of your friends are single, it’s only natural that you would have been focused on building a life you love. The fact that you’re very aware of these feelings and willing to talk them out with him is a good sign. Good luck, and congratulations on taking the next step!

    • I’m with you. I’m also getting ready to move in with my bf, having lived alone for 7 years.

      I’m mostly worried about his kitchen holding all of my things. :)

      But yeah. Make sure he understands that you need time to yourself. He probably needs time to himself, too.

    • I definitely felt like this. I got married at 25, after dating my now-husband since I was 17, but I’d also lived alone for four years prior to getting married and loved it. The hardest part of getting married was adjusting to living with someone else. But a year and a half later, I have to say that I’m adjusted and that I love being married.

      Fwiw, I’d be more worried if you weren’t a little bit sad/scared before moving in together or getting married. It’s a big decision. Being sad means that you recognize that.

    • Yes, definitely. I think mine was more like 10%! DH and I met when we were both early 30’s and were long-distance for the first few years of our relationship. Moved in together at the same time he moved to my city (about three years after meeting) and I had several meltdowns while looking for the apt. we would rent together. So there we were, both ~35 years old neither ever having lived with someone before, and both extremely set in our ways re: living/housekeeping/lifestyle/space/alone time.

      What helped most:
      * Finding an apt. to rent together that I *loved*. Truly a gorgeous place and seriously under-market — we lucked out — so that I felt much better about leaving my 1BR where I’d been happily solo for 4 years;
      * Acknowledging outright to each other, multiple times, that we both like, want and need independent time and space;
      * The fact that we have pretty similar levels of comfort re: how clean/neat/picked up the apt. should be on an everyday basis — we also explicitly divided up chores (I do most of the laundry; he does most of the cooking; whoever didn’t cook dinner does evening dishes cleanup; we grocery shop together, etc.);
      * We got a decently large place, with separate closets and a separate office vs. living room and big kitchen — this way, at any given time, we can each be in our own space even though there’s not a “his room” and a “my room”;
      * When we moved to a different apt. several years ago (a year before we got married) and had the room for it, we got a king bed. Amazing.

      I also have a pretty time-consuming hobby outside of work, and he knows I want to be able to commit time to that without his feeling like I’ve abandoned him for the hobby. Similarly, he likes to do gym/boot camp workouts, which I don’t enjoy. Just make sure to set expectations, and discuss things like this up front. There will likely still be plenty of things you like to do together. Moving in together doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip.

      But I empathize!

    • Sort-of-TJ, but has anyone had to deal with the opposite experience? I’ve never lived alone in my entire life, and currently live with my SO. However, next year we will temporarily (9 months) be living apart. I’m the one moving from our current place, and I’m torn on what living situation I should look for. On the one hand, living alone sounds lonely, and I’m the type to get a little suspicious of every bump in the night, so I think I might be kind of freaked out, at least for a while. On the other, I will be a first year biglaw attorney, and think I might want to enjoy quiet time and not worry about a roommate (whom I probably wouldn’t know) the little time I’m at home. Any thoughts?

      • I went through that right after my divorce and I can’t deny that it was really hard. I took Ambien for awhile just so I could fall asleep and always woke up way too early. Having a cat means I will always hear bumps in the night (she bangs through the door into my bedroom during the night pretty regularly), but I got used to that. Living someplace where you feel very secure really helps. So I would say be picky about a place to live and don’t compromise on security. As you’ll see from my posting above, it does get better. A lot better. You’ll be surprised how not lonely alone can be.

      • LongTimeSingleton :

        I got my first place alone when I was 23. I agree 100% about finding a place that you like and where you feel secure. Don’t feel like a baby about wanting a doorman. Don’t feel like you need to venture into edgy neighborhoods. My first place was TEENY (TINY) but it had a doorman and a gym in the building. I walked around the neighborhood a ton during the day and at night to make sure I felt safe and good there.

        As a lawyer myself, I think roommates + long-distance SO + new BigLaw job = horrorshow.

        Also, a low maintenance pet (like a cat!) might be really nice :)

  54. I need some new cooking ideas. I generally cook on Sundays for the week so I need dishes that can be reheated easily. I’d love some new chicken dishes, sauteed or baked, that can be served with lots of veggies and brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Two examples I make already are chicken piccata with mushrooms and artichokes and a baked chicken with spinach and parmesan. My SO likes both of them but I’d like to branch out. I searched epicurious to no avail. Any new ideas?

    • Pinterest!

    • Jacqueline :

      This is an amazingly simple and delicious chicken recipe I love that requires almost no prep time:


    • Cooking Light just had a bunch of chicken recipes in a recent issue – you can probably get them all online. I usually have to adjust them slightly to my tastes, but it’s a good starting point.

    • I'm Just Me :

      Check Everyday Food (on the Martha Stewart website). They have easy, basic but good recipes, many of which can be made ahead. Look for the Mediterranean chicken and the Greek Chicken Cutlets as examples. I just looked and there are 110 chicken recipes on the website.

    • I like the blogs Kitchn and Smitten Kitchen for recipe ideas/inspiration. Also love Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.

    • I recommended this last weekend on the vegetarian thread, but it is actually a chicken dish:
      http://www.lundsandbyerlys.com/recipes/recipes/a/african-peanut-butter-stew.aspx The stew itself has lots of veggies, and I usually half the chicken (and use chicken breast vs. chicken thigh) and up the veggies, then serve over rice or couscous.

      That recommendation came from this blog: http://happilyeverjohnson.blogspot.com/search/label/Grocery%20Bag She publishes a weekly meal plan (Grocery Bag) that usually has at least one chicken dish. The honey ginger chicken bites look tasty but I haven’t made them yet.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      tried this last week and loved it. I’m sure you could switch up the sides if you’d rather not have potatoes.


      • That looks really good! We tend to eat more sweet potatoes than white potatoes but I think it could work otherwise. I bought a couple of cooking magazines today and got some new ideas but I’ll definitely check out these ideas. I’m not a big recipe cook – usually just use recipes as a jumping off point.

    • For creative healthier recipes, try skinnytaste [dot] com. I think she also puts weight watchers points on there, for those of you doing that. She has some good asian inspired recipe (the turkey meatballs are fantastic and there is also a great dupe of the chicken lettuce wraps from PF Changs. I’m making her baked chicken parm tonight…

    • Bada$$ McGee :

      I’ll share with you what I have in the oven right now! I’m having it for dinner tonight and will portion it out & freeze for lunches / dinners this week.

      Salmon w/ Tomatoes & Basil. Preheat oven to 450. You’ll need: olive oil, salmon filet, salt & pepper, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes sliced in half, foil. Drizzle olive oil on your foil. Place filet on foil. Salt and pepper filet. Place halved tomatoes + several basil leaves on top. Fold up foil packet to seal it (your salmon will steam in the packet). Place in a roasting pan in your oven. Cook until done. DELICIOUS.

      Also, as an easy side, I do tomato-braised swiss chard. Separate chard stems from leaves. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add chopped stems (they’re tougher, need to cook longer). Cook until they start to soften. Add chard leaves + can of tomatoes. Add salt and pepper (and, if you like heat like me, red pepper flakes). Cook until leaves are done. If you need more liquid in the braising process, I suggest plain old chicken stock. Again: DELICIOUS.

      • The fish sounds really good if I could make it with something else (tilapia?). Neither of us like salmon.

    • Bada$$ McGee :

      Also, I highly recommend buying a counter-top rotisserie. Mine’s from Cuisinart. I had second thoughts about getting it–would this be one of those things that just sits on my counter (or in a cabinet) unused??

      It is f’ing awesome. It makes it so easy to roast absolutely wonderful chicken, shrimp, scallops, veggies, etc. I’ve done quail and cornish game hen in the rotisserie, too, and they’ve come out beautifully. Definitely a worthwhile investment for hassle-free cooking.

      • Interesting idea! I have absolutely no counter space in my kitchen so I bought a baker’s rack and I still have to be careful about what I add. Recently bought a panini press, which we love. I’ll have to have a look at a rotisserie and see how big they are.

    • Bada$$ McGee :

      (I lied.)

      Since you’re asking for chicken. Here’s one I love. From the Better Homes & Garden New Cookbook ((c) 1996): Sauteed Chicken & Artichoke.

      You will needs: 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. 1/4 cup flour. 1/4 teasp. salt. 1/4 teasp ground sage. 1/8 teasp. pepper. Veggie oil. Dry white wine. 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and halved. 4-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained.

      In a bowl, mix up your flour, salt, sage, and pepper. Reserve 1 tablesp. of the flour mixture. Dip rinsed & patted dry chicken in the remaining flour mixture to coat.

      Heat cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in your chicken and cook until no longer pink, turning once. Remove from skillet, and drain off excess oil.

      Stir together wine + reserved flour mix, then pour into skillet. Add artichoke hearts and mushrooms, and scrape up the crusty bits from the pan. Cook and stir until your sauce is nice and thick and bubbly. Pour over chicken to serve.


      • That’s really similar to my chicken piccata (I make it artichokes and mushrooms). SO loves it, so this might appeal to him, too.

  55. Foul Mouth :

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on cursing (cussing, swearing, whatever you call it) in semi-professional contexts. I went to a CLE yesterday taught by a fairly offbeat attorney, and he cursed up a storm throughout. It was extremely entertaining, and I would say that it was, by far, the most useful CLE in terms of actual ideas that I could implement in my practice, that I’ve ever been to. Perhaps the relaxed atmosphere, associated with the language, helped that along?

    For context, I live in the South, and cursing in courtrooms, even quoting someone in a relevant way (“He said ‘I’ll kick your bleeping bleep'”) will get a contempt charge. But I do hear some attorneys who curse a blue streak in their non-courtroom times, and I admit that I like it. (I went out for dinner and drinks with some of the students and the instructor after the CLE, and, while we had a great time, it was, again, definitely R-rated conversation.) At my firm, I hear the (male and older) partners curse periodically, but not frequently (usually in the context of “X says this, but we know that’s BS”). I’ve maybe seen it a little bit around clients, but only the ones that we’re very, very comfortable with – which I think is appropriate. When I go out with other attorneys, I occasionally run into one like the instructor there, but usually don’t hear much, particularly from my peers.

    I have an Italian background, and sort of enjoy cursing a blue streak myself, but I also am the sort who tends towards politeness and introversion, so I rarely take the opportunity.

    • For whatever reason, I think litigators curse more- something about the personalities drawn to litigation. And especially those in criminal law or other situations where you deal with a lot of “colorful” facts.

      Personally, I like it. I have always had a fairly unfiltered vocab and I truly believe that the F word is the most versatile word in the english language. When I started my job, I distinctly remember realizing I would fit in great when I heard how freely my boss (a 55 or so yr old mother of three) let the F word fly.

      The only time I have a problem with cursing in general is when it is directed at someone in anger- i.e. yelling “you miserable f***ing a-hole” at someone. But then I’m truly bothered by the anger and disrespect behind the words, not so much the words themselves.

    • karenpadi :

      I have mixed feelings about this. I have a potty mouth myself.

      The height of my potty mouth was at a firm in a practice group where swearing like a sailor was expected and the partner rewarded us for the most clever ways to drop 4-letter words. In my interview, the partner was wearing a blue streak and I think cinched the job when I accidentally dropped an f-bomb (in my defense, it’s hard for a pottymouth to not swear when someone else is swearing). But that practice group was miserable and awful. There was no respect within the team for the other members of the team and I can’t help but think the swearing was a symptom of the lack of respect.

      In my current firm, I think I have the worst pottymouth of anyone (but it’s better than it was). I might occasionally hear a “bullsh*t”. This group is very cohesive and nice to each other. Is the lack of swearing part of that? I think it’s a case of correlation not being causation but I could be wrong.

      • Pretty much everyone in my department curses like a sailor (a phrase which I maintain should actually be “curse like a lawyer”) and we get along swimmingly, so I think you’re correct that there was no causation. At least based on my personal anecdote.

    • Litigators at least at my northern firm, tended to curse like the dickens. I found I actually related to them better when I dropped the occasional f-bomb.

      But for me, cursing works better when used infrequently for a bit of shock value. When used as mere punctuation, it loses it’s meaning. So I try to use swearing strategically in conversation (as that CLE instructor probably was to keep everyone’s attention.)

  56. New poster :

    Hi all,

    Someone posted a recipe here recently that was in response to a search for vegetarian main courses. It was some kind of pasta with goat cheese and (I think) maybe walnuts. I am not having any luck searching for it in the comments–if anyone remembers or has it, would you mind re-posting? Thanks!

    • Jacqueline :

      Was it this one? http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ziti-with-portobello-mushrooms-caramelized-onions-and-goat-cheese

  57. Dragon v. Typing :

    This may be too late in the weekend and too far down in the thread, but does anyone use Dragon dictation instead of typing? Has anyone switched to Dragon after becoming very proficient at writing by typing? How was this experience?

    • Former MidLevel :

      I’ve used Dragon and it is pretty good. But you have to invest significant time in “training” it and you still have to carefully proofread after you’re done. I’m a terrible proofreader, so I moved away from Dragon. But it was a life-saver back I was having health issues that made typing very painful.

    • I’ve known several people with serious carpal tunnel or general mobility problems who used it. Current versions are hugely improved over the first several ones. It helps a lot if you invest some time up front to train it to understand your special vocabulary, spoken by you. I think it’s a very viable thing, although as all new things it takes a while to switch and to get up to full speed. Much depends on your motivation though, like why you’d want to give up typing if you’re good at it?

      • Dragon v. Typing :

        A firm I am looking at requires Dragon! So after many years of typing, I would be required to switch to dictation and switch to Dragon. I was wondering if anyone has done that and how difficult/easy it is. As a seasoned brief writer who types all of her own work, I would have to do things a new and different way.

        • There is no way anyone could tell technically how a document was produced, whether by typing or Dragon (it’s not word processing software, it’s an entry interface). So I think you should gleefully agree to whatever, and then you can type to your heart’s content. Except maybe be a little sneaky about it, which shouldn’t be too difficult as the main problem with Dragon is that you really need a private office so as not to drive others crazy.

          Typing is a whole lot faster than dictating. Use that as your argument if you get busted and they get nasty about it.

          But do give a thought to whether you want to work for a firm that micromanages to that extent, and is so clueless about the technicalities of what they’re doing. It’s great if someone’s discovered Dragon for themselves, not so if they feel like they have to impose it on everyone. What else could they be missionary about? Will they be issuing regulations on underwear like that infamous Swiss bank? And if they can’t even type, you can bet the office is even further behind on good use of computers than most law offices are (no offense to any parties here :-)).

    • My firm tried to get everyone on Dragon. It never really caught on because it takes so long to train the voice recognition. They gave up and now we are encouraged to dictate documents and send them to an overnight transcription service somewhere in Texas.

      • An overnight service almost surely means a long chain of around-the-world subcontractors, ending with some poor person in Indonesia. Great for client confidentiality..
        Really, getting Dragon trained doesn’t take that long. And learning to type isn’t that bad either.

  58. Here is another interview related question. If you wear your favorite power suit to an interview or informal interview type meeting, and then you meet with that same person again, like maybe for a second interview type meeting or to meet others in the firm, what do you wear? Can you wear the same suit with different shirt, shoes and accessories, or do you need to start all over again with a different power outfit?

    • I’d find a second powerful outfit! Every Corporette can use at least two ;)

    • I just had two interviews in a short period of time; I have two different suits for this purpose, and they were quite impressed. It’s always good to have a backup outfit, anyway. I don’t think you’ll be thought of less, however, if you wear the same suit with a different shirt.

  59. BrokeBridesmaid :

    So I finally had the wedding shower today and I just need to vent about how terrible it was! I drove 1.5 hours each way, got there early, didn’t really know anyone so I felt awkward for most of the time, had to help unwrap the gifts while the bride’s sister slacked off, and the mother had to take a picture with every single gift! Ugh it took up my entire day and now I’m exhausted, but have a ton of work to do.

    Also, the bride told me that they are having the rehearsal dinner the night before, but she didn’t tell me earlier and my family usually skips it so I didn’t even think of it. I think my b/f has plans that night and he asked me if it was okay before he made them so I can’t fault him for that. Now I just have to decide if I want to go or not and if so, to drive the 1.5 hours each way or shell out another 1.5 for a hotel room alone. Opinions?

    • seriously :

      Haven’t seen earlier posts on this, so there may be more to the story, but this seems a bit whiny to me. Yes, it took up your day, but presumably this person is a friend of yours? It is too bad you don’t seem to just be happy for her and happy to be part of her day.

      I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t do rehearsal dinners, and yes, they usually are the night before. I’ve been a bridesmaid several times where I lived in a different state from the bride, and it was always expected (by me and by the bride) that I would be there for that. I would imagine your friend’s feelings would be hurt if you skipped the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Not to mention that maybe if you go, you’ll get to know some of the rest of the wedding party so you won’t feel awkward?

      • BrokeBridesmaid :

        Yes, it was definitely whiny. Did you not see the part where I said I just need to vent? The bridal party is myself and her sister, just us two. She has no other close friends so there was no one else even close to my age. All of the guests were relatives or older women who were friends of her mother. Obviously if there were 4 or 5 other bridesmaids, it wouldn’t be so bad. The awkwardness comes from that so going to the rehearsal dinner wouldn’t help much. Plus, when she told me about it, she specifically said it wasn’t such a big deal if I couldn’t make it since I am in law school and will be studying for the bar. If she said it was very important or really meant a lot to her, I would of course go. Also, even though she said it was fine if I missed it, I still feel guilty about possibly skipping it, which is why I sought out opinions.

        As you can also probably tell from my handle, I am a broke bridesmaid. I already spent a ton of money on engagement gifts, shower gifts, dress, accessories and I will be paying for the bachelorette party, hotel, wedding gift, etc. I am going to be graduating law school without a job, hence the broke part and probably overextended myself already because I was trying to be a good friend and bridesmaid. I guess the response I was looking for was either it’s not a big deal to skip it or it is generally a big deal and you should go since I am not sure of what is proper because in my culture and family, this is not part of the tradition. Then my concern was whether I should drive 1.5 hours each way or spend more money on another night in a hotel.

        It honestly felt like you were attacking me in that response. I understand that some bridesmaids don’t have financial limitations, but I am not that fortunate. Obviously if money wasn’t a big issue, of course I would just go and spend another $150 on the hotel room. If we are good enough friends, she would understand. Really, you think I’m not happy for my friend? Being happy for someone doesn’t make it impossible to feel annoyed about all of the obligations and dealing with her difficult sister, who is the only other bridesmaid! I’m sure I didn’t give you enough details, but implying that I am not being a good friend or that I’m not happy for her is very offensive.

        • Agree w/ Jellyfish. I think you’re a good friend and I also think you are having buyer’s remorse over all the expenses you incurred so far. To me, that seems the real issue (being overextended and the stress associated with the creep of additional expenses + being a law student/studying for bar); it’s hard to set boundaries (financial and otherwise) when you’re a part of the wedding. I think mentally you need to accept the sunk costs, ask around to see if there is anyone that can put you up for the night of the rehearsal dinner, and try to say no to future expenses (hair, makeup, whatever).

          I don’t think it’s the end of the world to skip the rehearsal dinner, but if you can make it you should. It’s customary and hopefully there’s an open bar :D

          • BrokeBridesmaid :

            I’ll probably suck it up and go so that I don’t offend anyone or seem like a bad bridesmaid/friend. I’ve been a bridesmaid twice before and the whole thing was pretty casual/relaxed so this one came as quite a shock, and the added expenses are overwhelming. Next time I will do what Jellyfish suggested and think twice.

        • It’s a big deal to miss the rehearsal dinner if you’re in the wedding. To me, studying for the bar is a flexible activity (unless the exam is the same day as the wedding). If you’re low on cash, cut back on the wedding gift/bachlorette party contribution/etc. I’m sure she’d rather have you there then check another item off the registry.

        • seriously :

          “Did you not see the part where I said I just need to vent?” Who’s attacking who? You asked for opinions, I gave mine. In it, I said that I wasn’t aware of the history. I gathered from your screen name that money was an issue, but the primary issues that you mentioned (other than the reference to spending another 1.5 on a hotel room, which I didn’t quite understand other than it being a second night) seemed to be about being there at ALL, rather than about money. That was the basis for my comments about being happy for your friend.

          I didn’t mean to offend you, but my opinion was only that, and was based on the details of your post. Obviously there is more to the story. I get the sunk costs, and the feeling stressed about spending money on stuff that seems frivolous to you – or at least, not what you would choose to spend your limited money on. But I also feel that when you told her you would be a bridesmaid, you signed yourself up for at least some of that, including the rehearsal dinner. As others havesaid, you may want to reconsider next time, or at least get your friends to give you a better idea of their expectations, so that you can decide whether you can make it work. That doesn’t really help your current situation, though. In my experience, people who plan rehearsal dinners care about that kind of thing. But if she has told you she does not (not mentioned in the original post, and would have changed my answer), then I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Maybe you can tell her that you can manage the bachelorette party or the rehearsal dinner, but not both.

          • BrokeBridesmaid :

            You’re entitled to your opinion, but you might want to rethink how you express it. If you wanted more clarification about things, you should have asked that rather than jump to such conclusions. I didn’t provide all of the details in my first post because I didn’t feel that it was necessary to bore everyone in a long drawn out post, and I didn’t expect that kind of hurtful response. It was entirely a money issue. the 1.5 on the hotel room was supposed to be $150. I’m going to be spending about $1,500-$2,000 when all is said and done. I think being a bridesmaid should be about more than just being obligated to spend a ton on wedding events. A good friend would be understanding and accommodating. Even if you misunderstood my post, saying “It is too bad you don’t seem to just be happy for her and happy to be part of her day.” is going to make someone get upset and defensive.

      • Well, now, seriously, you’re being a bit unkind here and probably should have read the previous comments before diving in :-).
        But BB, you were in fact quite whiny. You committed to something you didn’t really want, you’re being a carpet to further demands, you have nobody to thank but yourself. You should probably think over your priorities and practice being a bit more assertive (note I didn’t say aggressive, clearly you can do that already). Sadly, you’ll probably end up resenting the bride enough to break off the friendship, which will make all this fuss come to nothing. And I’d also question why the girl has no other friends, which seems odd. But whatever, don’t vent-post to a bunch of strangers on the net and then expect nothing but supportive responses, you need to pay a shrink for that kind of thing and that’d just be an additional expense :-).

    • The rehearsal dinner is almost always the night before the wedding. I can’t remember the exact history but think the shower as you’ve described are pretty standard. Perhaps you could have used today to get to know the other bridesmaids better. It sounds to me like you’re resenting the role you had agreed to play.

    • Jellyfish :

      I disagree with the tone of “seriously,” but then I am getting married without a wedding party at all, and certainly no bridal shower or bachelorette party. And I am skipping the majority of a friend’s bachelorette party and all of her bridal shower because I don’t feel like shelling out so much money for her — not that she isn’t a good person, and not that I couldn’t afford it, but I just think it’s excessive.

      That having been said, considering that you are a bridesmaid, I think that if you can make the rehearsal dinner (won’t break the bank), you should. You might ask the bride if there is anyone else looking for a roommate for that night, and then you might be able to skip half the cost of the hotel room. If the dinner is near where the wedding will be, then it’s not really costing you extra commuting time, just forcing you to commute a day early.

      And this is why I am happy never to be a bridesmaid (and why you might reconsider if you receive a similar offer in future).

    • Take control of your own life. I have declined many, many things over the years due to my own needs and preferences- you will face this as a lawyer if you haven’t realized it yet. You can do what you want and frankly if you are this miserable/resentful participating in the prep events, you shouldn’t do more. People can tell.
      I did a bridesmaid gig while on my way to law school and honestly still am sore about the costs and time I put in. I was much younger then and wouldn’t do same now. I didn’t have bridesmaids at my own non-traditional wedding in large part because of this and other experiences.
      I’m not saying you should prioritize work and the bar above everything else in life. But passing the bar is important. There is also time for yourself: working out, dating, eating right, a walk in the park, whatever. Every hour you spend on pre-wedding activities takes away from that. Yes it would be nice if you could do it all and take care of yourself, but I agree that these events go on way too long, especially if it’s not in your town.

    • So… I understand this is a rant BUT I feel like people who overextend themselves have to take on at least some responsibility for being overextended.

      It seems like nothing she is asking is wildly Bridezilla-ish. You complain that you don’t know the other wedding guests. Well, get to know them! People over 30 don’t smell bad. They can even hold conversations ;-) You complain about the costs, which again seem to be predictable. Also 90 min is a lot but honestly, it’s not ridiculous time to travel for a wedding. It’s not 4 hours or even cross country. Really, driving 90 min to fulfill a commitment to your friend is not that big a deal. And, as for the cost, you have and have had the ability to open your mouth to explain to your friend about your cost limitations this entire time.

      I feel like I know lots of people who do what you do which is to passively say yes to things and then become horribly resentful about them. I have no idea why.

      • BrokeBridesmaid :

        Thank you for at least understanding that it was just a vent along with a request for a general opinion on rehearsal dinners since I’ve never been to one and a decision between spending another night in the hotel or driving a lot the night before the wedding. The 90 minutes is fine, but I just needed to decide if I wanted to drive 180 minutes the day before the wedding and get up early to drive another 90 minutes in the morning. I don’t want to be too tired for the wedding. If it was 4 hours away I would probably go to two events and if it was across the country, I would only go to the wedding if it was a close relative.

        I’m extremely introverted and socially awkward, so even though I did make conversation with them, it was awkward for me, mostly just because of my personality. If there were other bridesmaids I probably would have just gotten to know them over time, but that wasn’t an option. Her sister spent most of the time talking to her family, which is understandable of course.

        Ugh, this entire thread made me more stressed out and feel even worse about myself and the job I have done as a bridesmaid when I just wanted some friendly advice from those who have had more experience with weddings. I think I will quash all further discussion of this wedding….at least on Corporette.

        • Sweetie you are doing a fine job as bridesmaid, I’m sure. With the wedding so close, try to enjoy what’s left! 1.5 is a drive, but think of it as its 1.5 hours out of a lifetime, and this will be her only (hopefully!) marriage. So you have three choices with the rehersal dinner: 1) Go, drive there and back. Kind of annoying but probably the best option. 2) Go, get a hotel, ask your bf to meet you there after his plans so you can both wake up together. Make it fun! But kind of expensive. or 3) don’t go.

          People are kind of jumping on you because she has put reasonable expectations on you, but you are letting this one be the straw that broke the camel’s back, when it sounds like you let yourself get overextended, and it sounds like most of the akwardness was just in your own head. Weddings are akward for most people! Unless they are very close and know the whole inner circle. Now you are trying to throw a corporette pity party, but you dont need one! Im sure youve been a great friend and bridesmaid, and now you are at the home stretch, so try to enjoy it and remember you are celebrating the start of a marriage, not just a one day wedding. I hope it all goes smoothly!

  60. Guys! I finished Tough Mudder this weekend! Considering changing my Corporette moniker from “Herbie” to “Bada$$ McGee.”

  61. Menlo Park gal :

    Peninsula ladies, are there any local young professional orgs near Menlo Park/Palo Alto? I’ve seen a lot in SF but none in MP/PA. TIA!

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