Coffee Break – Madisen Colorblock Leather Flats

I found these shoes a few days ago and liked a lot of things about them — the selection of colors (I’ve pictured the blue ones, but they’re also available in beige and orange, pink and black, and basic black), as well as the price. I’ll admit, I’ve never owned a pair of Jessica Simpson shoes, but I’ve heard good buzz about them. They’re $59 at Lord and Taylor, but if you use code SAVEMORE the price falls 20% to $47.20. JESSICA SIMPSON Madisen Colorblock Leather Flats

-------Sponsored Links--------



  1. I’ve been waiting for this! Bf and I are planning on eloping (perhaps with a follow-up party for friends and family somewhere down the road) in about a month. I feel silly going all out on a wedding dress since it’s going to be just the two of us (I’m hoping to spend under $800, the less the better), but I still want something pretty and unique – and I’m having a difficult finding anything I like.

    Does anyone have any ideas – especially unconventional ones – about where to look or for suggested dresses? I want something more casual or bohemian, perhaps short, and definely not the super shiny bridal fabric. For an example of what I mean, I LOVE the Laure de Sagazan wedding dresses –, but they’re totally out of my price range. J. Crew’s Silk Petal Dress is nearly there, but I don’t love it enough – Oh, I’m in New York as well if you have local suggestions!

    (As an aside, if anyone has any ideas about where we can run off to that’d be awesome! I was thinking maybe a southern town would be fun, since I’ve never been.)

    • Have you seen BHLDN? Some of their stuff is really expensive, but they have a few reasonably priced gems (especially in the reception dresses section). I really like this one:

      As to where to run off to, I have friends who eloped to Puerto Rico and to NYC. Both were pretty hassle free and seemed like great places for a quick honeymoon.

    • check out very reputable site w/ a range of prices. you can also isolate the search by location (so you can try on the dress before you buy it). congratulations!

    • Ruche has a new wedding line that’s quite inexpensive, with vintage-inspired, mostly short dresses.

    • I fell in love with my jcrew wedding dress (gracie) and then found one, unused on ebay for under $400.00. This gives me lots of room to have it altered to fit fantastically. Good luck!

    • DC Kolchitongi :

      I got my wedding dress from Fancy Bridal NY at 26th and Broadway. www dot dress me fancy dot com . They specialize in less-formal dresses that are totally different from what you see at most bridal salons, and they’re priced very reasonably. Most styles are under $1000 in polyester, or under $2000 in a selection of very nice silk blends.

      I live in DC (obviously) but made the trip up to NYC to visit their studio, because I specifically wanted a tea-length dress with a portrait neckline and was getting sick of plowing through rack after rack of strapless ball gowns at the local bridal shops. It was totally worth the trip — Gregory (shop owner) is amazing and it was just an all-around wonderful experience. Definitely check them out!

    • I had a co-worker recently elope to New Orleans. They got married at an old mansion that specializes in weddings, and she said it was fantastic. They supplied everything, including the witnesses (which was good because it was apparently very spur of the moment).

      Congratulations, and I hope you find your dress!

    • Definitely check BHLDN and Xtabay Vintage, both have unique gowns in a range of prices and are available online. BHLDN has a gorgeous 1920’s inspired gown with beading at the bottom that would look darling in a Charleston wedding!


    • I’m wedding dress shopping in NYC too! I haven’t been yet but based on yelp reviews, Lovely Bride in the West Villiage looks promising.

      • Lovely Bride *is* darling, actually — although their dresses, while very reasonable for “bridal” dresses, may not have much in the under $800 range.

        I would also consider going to Saks/Bloomies/other stores and just taking a look at their white/pale colored dresses — either in the evening dress section, or in the various designers. You might get a lot more mileage out of something that is not tagged explicitly as a wedding dress, and I feel like white dresses (especially pretty, lacy ones) are so popular just as summer dresses these days, you might find something unexpected and lovely.

    • Austin, TX or Texas Hill Country (vineyards around Kerrville/ Fredericksburg) are lovely this time of year (and early summer before it gets too hot)

    • I loved Kimera, in Brooklyn — not as expensive as other wedding dresses, but really beautiful — they are at www dot kimeradesign dot com.

    • lucy stone :

      I got my dress at Dolly Couture in NYC and love it, but that might be a little too frou-frou for you. One of our groomsmen’s wives got her dress at Neiman Marcus and it was a short BCBG that was really cute.

    • Anonymous :

      I love this $52 dress from the Nordies juniors section:

      Bonus: it’s made in the USA!

    • You should check out Savannah and Charleston. Very beautiful coastal towns with lots of Southern Charm and they are really reasonably priced.

    • Angelo Lambreau in the East Village does both wedding dresses and c*cktail dresses. I got married in a custom red c*cktail dress he did for me for ~$800. I’ll post a link to his site in a follow-up comment.

  2. What is the big deal with Toms shoes? Am I missing something? I don’t get the appeal.

    • I don’t get it either. I feel like the wedges could be cute except the logo is so obvious that it ruins the look. I like the overall concept, but the styling doesn’t do it for me.

      • I think it must be their charitable angle. The shoes themselves do not justify the hype.

        • Yes, that’s it, I think. My sister is into socially-responsible goods and she has a couple of pairs. I find them uncomfortable because they don’t have good arch support. Otherwise, I would totally support the cause. :)

    • I think they’ve just got a lot of buzz right now. Theoretically the big deal is that they’re a socially responsible company–if you buy a pair, they donate a pair to an Argentinian street kid–but the thing is, Toms cost $50, and the pair they give to the kid costs like, $2. So I think they play to people’s desire to “help the poor street kids,” without actually putting forth any effort themselves.

      FWIW, I have a pair of Spanish alpargatas that look a lot like Toms (less than half the price, though), and they’re incredibly versatile and comfortable casual shoes, which I will definitely be replacing when they fall apart. So while I like the idea of a Toms-type shoe, I personally do not care for paying an extra $30 in the name of faux-social justice.

      • locomotive :

        Where can I get a pair of spanish alpargatas in the US? I understand what you’re saying completely but I love my TOMS bc they’re the first shoe of that type I have had. People compare it to espadrilles etc but I haven’t ever seen another pair of shoes like them! they’re lightweight, easy to wear (slip on w/o socks), comfortable, lightweight again (great for traveling) and look just hipster/trendy enough to wear with a plain tshirt and skinny jeans. Yes, they’re greatly overpriced but I’ve worn mine enough since purchasing that I think it’s justified until I find a better alternative!

        I do also have a pair of keds and bensimons but they’re both quite a bit heavier than the TOMS.

        • Anonymous :

          I love my Sidewalk Surfers, from Sanuk.

        • I didn’t try them on, but I saw Toms knockoffs in Target last week. The last time I was in New York, there was a stall selling whatever the Central American equivalent of alpargatas is at the Brooklyn Flea. I think they’re out there if you’re willing to take the time to look for them.

          But I mean, if Toms are worth it in your eyes, go for it! They aren’t for me, but we’re all different.

        • Barrister in the Bayou :

          Soludos. They range from $28-$42 and come in all sorts of colors and patterns. I ordered a pair last year and they still look great. I had to put an insert in them (I have flat feet) but I still love to wear them.

      • Toms: “Here, kid! Have a pair of shoes your mom made for us in our sweatshop!”

    • I don’t get it, either. They’re the spring/summer version of Uggs, except I don’t think they’re very comfortable. :)

    • They are my dog-walking, casual, run-to-the-store shoes. I like slip-ons for that purpose and Toms are really comfortable. Plus, to my eye, they are cute – I like that they are close fitting which makes make my feet look smaller and are a bit more stylized than your average casual shoe. The charity aspect doesn’t make a difference to me, as I don’t think it’s an especially effective charity, and I do think they wear out too fast given how expensive they are. Mine are getting holes in the canvas, and I’ve been considering my options for replacing them. I was thinking of some slip-on Converse, but those don’t tend to have that much padding in the foot bed. I’d love to hear any recommended alternatives.

      • I just got a pair of slip-on keds from DSW, and I like the footbed so far. I have tried on Converse (not slip-ons, though), and I think the keds have way more support.

        • Equity's Darling :

          I find Keds are much harder on my feet than Toms are…I’m not sure why, but I honestly can’t imagine wearing the Keds that I have all day, but I do it frequently with Toms. And I broadly agree with Jenny, the charity aspect is not a selling feature for me, but they’re super comfy, make my feet look tiny, and are cute for casual wearing.

    • big dipper :

      I think they’re a cuter casual option than sneakers. I don’t have a pair of Toms, but I have a pair of Sanuks [very similar] that I wear all the time. Also, I like to wear them instead of flip flops or other open shoes in the summer.

      Also… the streets of NYC are gross…I hate wearing sandals for casual wear and coming home with dirty feet. This type of shoes solves that problem – they’re lighter weight than most flats or sneakers.

      • Yes, the dirt factor is another reason I love my Toms. I hate wearing flip flops around on the filthy DC streets, especially the metro, in the summertime, and Toms are lighter and cooler than most other shoes with that level of coverage.

    • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

      I actually like some Toms; I really don’t care about the charitable aspect, to be honest.

      They’re comfortable casual shoes. Not great quality to begin with, and sometimes the quality dips considerably– in fact, just sent back a pair of boat shoes because they looked like a 5th grader’s craft project.

      As for the logo MelD mentions, I’ve never seen it on my shoes, but I don’t own any of the wedges as I am firmly in the anti-wedge camp.

  3. Ooh, cute. They’re actually $39.99 at Dillard’s. And they have a few more colors.

  4. Quick note that the first pair of Jessica Simpson shoes that I bought will be my last. Absolutely the most uncomfortable shoes I have ever owned and I don’t say that lightly. The leather was so stiff that there was no give at all. I forced myself to wear them multiple times to hopefully soften things up and break them in but they were absolutely unwearable. Try them on before you buy and judge for yourself. And if anybody wants some horribly uncomfortable camel colored pumps … they’re in my ‘to go to Goodwill’ box right now.

    • FWIW I have a pair of Jessica Simpson pumps that are the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned – I was truly shocked but now I’m a convert, so if a reader likes thems, it might be worth a shot.

    • Different strokes – I have a friend who LOVES JS shoes, but can’t wear them. She buys, wears once or twice and then gives them away. I can usually take or leave them, but I always always always look in her goodwill box when I’m at her house, I’ve scored some excellent, comfortable, free shoes that way!!

    • PharmaGirl :

      My one pair of JS shoes were also the most uncomfortable shoes I have ever owned in my life. I ended up walking barefoot in the freezing cold because they hurt so much. Tossed them in the trash immediately.

    • I have a pair of JS flats and they’re very comfortable. No arch support, but nice and flexible.

  5. Posting again because my links put me in moderation (links now in reply):

    I’ve been waiting for this! Bf and I are planning on eloping (perhaps with a follow-up party for friends and family somewhere down the road) in about a month. I feel silly going all out on a wedding dress since it’s going to be just the two of us (I’m hoping to spend under $800, the less the better), but I still want something pretty and unique – and I’m having a difficult finding anything I like.

    Does anyone have any ideas – especially unconventional ones – about where to look or for suggested dresses? I want something more casual or bohemian, perhaps short, and definely not the super shiny bridal fabric. For an example of what I mean, I LOVE the Laure de Sagazan wedding dresses, but they’re totally out of my price range. J. Crew’s Silk Petal Dress is nearly there, but I don’t love it enough. Oh, I’m in New York as well if you have local suggestions!

    (As an aside, if anyone has any ideas about where we can run off to that’d be awesome! I was thinking maybe a southern town would be fun, since I’ve never been.)

  6. Threadjack – My favorite store, LongTallSally, is advertising pop-up shops in various cities over the next few months. Have any of you tall girls been to one of these and, if so, is it worth the time or is it a total zoo? (Note that I’d have to travel to one of these cities so it’d be a big investment in time/money – I’m just so desperate for tall clothing and have no patience for ordering things, trying them on, and returning them over and over and over. . . ).

    • You could go to the Mall of America in Minneapolis – they have a permanent store. I went there once….and it was too tall for me. Other than that, I don’t have much in the way of advice.

    • I can’t tell if you’re asking for experience with LongTallSally in general or specifically with the pop-up shops. I’ve been to the location at Mall of America and was disappointed. That location used to be a store called The Tall Girl Store, and, IMO, the old store was much better. LongTallSally seemed to be geared more towards older women with the rise on the pants, the style of the clothes, etc. There were a lot of casual clothes, and the work clothes were very basic (black pants, etc.) As for the pop-ups, I hadn’t heard of that, but if there’s one coming to a location near me, I would check it out as well. I understand your desperation…I’m 6′ tall with long arms and legs. It’s tough to find clothes that fit.

    • HI–not sure if you’ll get this. Yes, I have been to the SF pop-up before. The pop-up shops are really zoo-like if you don’t get there first thing on the first day. The changing rooms are really bare-bones, so wear undies you can change in public in (the lines were so prohibitively long that people were just going behind the changing rooms and changing in the open–it faced a wall). I’m thinking cami and boy shorts.

      They have limited selection, but I got an ah-mazing motorcycle jacket there last Fall. They also have a really great jeans selection if your inseam is 36 or up. The rest of their clothes can be really dowdy. I have a short torso and long limbs, and they cut for a proportionally tall woman, so a lot of their shirts go down to mid-thigh on me.

      Overall, LTS uses a lot of polyester and rayon, so it’s not my favorite. But they do have some cute accessories, and I think it’s worth getting up early for on a Saturday. I have not regretted my purchases.

      As an aside, their mail-order in the US is _AWFUL_, so if you do want to buy anything, just call the Minnesota Mall of America store and all those friendly, helpful Minnesotans will package everything up for you. Cheers.

  7. Smelly feet :

    Help! How do you ladies deal with feet odor? Every time I take off my shoes my feet stink even with socks on. Its so embarrassing especially when going to someone’s home.

    • Get a deodorizing foot lotion. You can also use a reg. clear deodorant/AP.
      Also, not wearing your shoes twice in a row seems to help.

    • Anastasia :

      I have some Dr. Scholls foot powder that I sprinkle in my shoes if I’m wearing them without socks. It helps with both smell and moisture, and seems to work better than just plain baby powder.

      Do your feet stink, or do your shoes stink? If your shoes are transferring their odor to your feet – kitty litter in pantyhose (weird, but it works) or newspaper + fresh air do wonders for deodorizing shoes.

    • Someone gave me a tip on here about using vaseline on your feet when you run/workout. I’ve been doing that and the vaseline I found in the back of the cupboard was “baby” vaseline, so it’s powder fresh smell or something. Anyway, I’ve been doing that and it works GREAT. Another thing, since I was already doing that, when I put on socks to walk around the house I’ve been putting a lightly scented hand lotion on my feet. Those both have seemed to work, though I haven’t had bad foot odor problems except in the summer so we’ll see if it keeps helping.

      Other than that, what AIMS said. :-)

    • Cotton socks, and changing your shoes (e.g. not wearing the same shoes two days in a row) helps a lot as well.

    • A friend of mine rubs her feet with lemon wedges (yes, I am not kidding). She swears by it, but I have not tried it personally.

  8. I rarely post, but I just wanted to thank you all. Last week I had my quarterly review meeting with my managers (I work in two different departments), and both of them offered a promotion. I spent the weekend freaking out, but today I’m excited about taking a position that’s a bit of a reach but a great step up in my career. You ladies have really boosted my confidence at work (or at least my ability to fake it!), since I don’t have any career women in my life to give advice (not that I actually posted asking for advice, but I obsessively read all the thread jacks about career advancement). Kat really does have a great thing here!

  9. Comeuppance :

    I don’t know if any of you will remember me but I posted about six months ago asking for advice on how to speak to your supervisor when you know you’ve been performing badly. A lot of you offered support and I really appreciate it. It was one of the most awkward and difficult things I had done in a professional context and you know what? I just had my annual review and I got very good ratings. I’m astonished and pleased, and very grateful of the supportive work environment I got after that discussion. Just wanted to share my progress with you all.

  10. he Melitta :

    I like Tom’s. They are a nice casual shoe, and can look really cool with a patterned fabric.

    I will say that I am getting le tired with color blocking– I know that it is very “in” right now, I feel like I can’t go a full day without hearing something about it! However, I have never been much of a Mondrian or Rothko fan. Maybe if someone came up with a Kandinsky print I would like that!

  11. Hi – regular commenter, anon for this…anyone have experience with being “ready” to move to the next level in a relationship (ie – moving in, getting engaged, etc.) before your partner is? How’d you deal with it?

    My BF (about to turn 30) and I (24) recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary. I’m ready to take things to the next level (move in, get engaged, etc.). My BF tells me he sees a future with me, that he wants a life together, etc. – we’ve talked kids and values and careers and all of the “big stuff” that you cover when you’re trying to figure out if you want to build a life with someone.

    However, he can’t give me any kind of a timeline or an idea of when any of the “next steps” in our relationship will happen. He’s very traditional and says he wants to be, or at least feel, “in charge” of the major decisions in our relationship – like deciding when we get engaged/moving in. I can understand that, but at the same time, it’s really difficult for me to be so passive and feel like I’m just waiting on the sidelines till he decides that he’s “ready”, especially when it comes to such major decisions about my/our future. He’s taking a major professional exam in a few months, so understandably his focus is on that and his career at the moment, but it’s hard not to feel a little bit rejected when he’s not where I am, yet.

    Has anyone been in this situation before? How did you deal with it or what did you do? He’s a great guy who really cares about me and I’m confident that I want a future with him and that he wants one with me, but negotiating the “timeline” of our relationship is harder than I’d anticipated, especially for a Type-A-Planner-Overachieving-Go-Getter like myself. Any advice or words of wisdom are appreciated.

    • “He’s very traditional and says he wants to be, or at least feel, “in charge” of the major decisions in our relationship – like deciding when we get engaged/moving in.”

      This would be a dealbreaker for me if this was as set in stone as it sounds, sorry. I get that some guys want the perfect, surprise engagement. But moving in together? Will he get the final say in when you guys start a family? Move across the country for work?

      • I agree! I haven’t read the other comments yet, but these decisions should be made as a couple. I can understand him wanting to do the engagement on his own (buying the ring and proposing), but this seems a bit controlling to me.

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        Agreed. Living together, and marriage (if that’s in the cards) is a partnership. But I guess he thinks he’s the senior partner calling all the shots on all the big decisions, and you’re the hard-working associate, who should be grateful for whatever he decides.

        He sounds a bit like a “Masterful Man (TM)” and that makes me cringe. Read Tom Wolfe’s _A Man in Full_ if you want to know what a Masterful Man (TM) is like and if you can get 100 pages in without barfing at the arrogance of it all.

      • The traditional “guy is in charge of life decisions” thing would be a dealbreaker for me, too — it’s not just about not being able to plan, it’s about how you interact as a unit. I want a relationship where I feel that I’m being treated as an equal partner, not waiting in anticipation of what he’ll do next.

        That said, different strokes for different folks — my brother and his wife have much more traditional ideas about gender roles in a relationship, and while it caused them stress early on in their relationship (because she similarly felt like she was waiting around for him to propose), they’re now happily married with a kid and it works for them.

      • This, this, this. I think it might be helpful for you to think about whether you want this type of relationship, or if you want a true partner. I personally think all of those decisions are ones that should be made together (although I am “traditional” in that I think the actual engagement should be surprise, I also think that you should know the general timeframe in which it is coming, e.g. in the next 6-8 months). I could never be with someone who didn’t want to share the responsibility for making lifechanging decisions. BUT there are many women who are different, so it may be different for you.

    • I think that part of the downside to being in a relationship with someone who wants to be in charge of the major decisions is that you have to passive. While you are waiting for him to make his move, it might be good to consider how you feel about ceding that much control to him for the rest of your life.

    • Throw out the idea of a timeline. You can’t schedule how the relationship is going to happen. If he’s not ready, then he’s not ready, and you either need to be on board with that, or cut bait. Stop worrying about where you “should” be with your relationship, and just enjoy your time with him. Sure – let him know that marriage and kids and all of that is on your mind, but don’t fall into the trap of saying “We’ve been dating for [arbitrary amount of time] so that means we have to take this next step”.

    • Judgmental :

      I am going to be judgmental, so go ahead and disregard or yell. But to my mind (I’ve been around about a decade longer than you, and I have a few LTRs under my belt), (1) you are on the young side to be “knowing” it is time to take it to the next level, (2) your relationship is on the young side for you to be feeling ready to take it to the next level — one year is really not long, especially when you are only 24, and (3) your boyfriend is a sexist jerk and/or control freak.

      If I am wrong about all these things, then I guess you just be patient, make sure he knows how you feel, and if you get the sense after months or years of waiting that he is not going to be ready to up his commitment ever, then you dump him.

      Also, PSA, you probably don’t want to say “overachieving.” That means you are achieving more (by dint of hard work) than you should by rights (because you are not really as smart and gifted as your achievements should really demand). It is the opposite of “underachiever,” per which you are smart and gifted but lazy, so you don’t achieve what you should by nature be achieving.

      • I agree with Judgmental, especialy on numbers (1) and (2) – you, and your relationship are still very young. Also – if he’s 30 and pausing on next steps, that may be its own red flag to the relationship…

        • Can't Wait to Quit :

          I agree about his age. Honestly, I don’t think you should spend more than a year with someone without a serious discussion of where the relationship is going. Yes, you are young-ish, but you’ve been together a year and talked about all sorts of deep topics, and if he can’t decide to sh*t or get off the pot, that’s a problem. Don’t let him string you along until you wake up one day and feel like you’ve wasted your time.

    • karenpadi :

      I agree with Rosie–a guy who wants to have the authority to dictate the relationship is a deal breaker.

      This situation is common, the guy says he wants to move ahead but…not yet. The gal stays in the relationship wishing, and hoping, and waiting, and praying. But the guy never moves ahead. Then it’s 4 years later, and the gal gets fed up and leaves.

      You deserve someone who respects that you want to move forward, who wants to move forward with you, who wants you to be involved in making decisions about the relationship, and who has some idea about how he wants the relationship to progress (including an approximate timeline).

      • I agree with this almost 100%. My only caveat is that at 24 and with only a year into the relationship…I’m not sure that OP isn’t jumping the gun. Also, I don’t really know anyone who has an actual timeline about how they want any not-yet-entered-into relationship to progress.

        Communication is going to be key, as with everything in life.

        I also agree that him saying he wants to be in control and you being okay with that are two very different things and kind of a red flag to my mind. It reminds me of movies/tv where one person in the relationship is clearly not in the “marriage” headspace and gets proposed to. Usually ends badly! (HIMYM Robin & Kevin) For me this would also be a deal breaker. We are PARTNERS not paternal-figure replacing father for the good of little wifey a la 100 years ago.

        • Diana Barry :

          Meh on too young. I moved in with my now-DH when I was 23 and a 3L, about 6 months into our relationship; we got married when I was 26. We BOTH definitely knew that was where the relationship was headed, even at the young age and short duration of the relationship

          But ditto that if your BF wants to be in charge of those decisions, that is a major red flag, and I would say at this point, it’s time to cut and run.

          • Second on the youth thing. Twenty-four is definitely old enough to be ready for marriage, and a year is certainly enough time to start being ready (both of those are situation dependant, of course). I was 3 years married by 24, and quite happily so.

            Putting aside the control issue (which I agree is troubling), I think that he should be able to at least speak to what is holding him back or what his concerns are. If they’re “I just want to not worry about life/our future/anything until this exam is over,” I think that’s acceptable. But I’m seeing a lot of women who just accept putting off and putting off the decision, until all of a sudden, they’re in their 30’s and there’s no marriage/kids in sight, and it’s just too hard to leave. (Which I know is fine for some people – not trying to diss people who don’t get married by their 30s, just saying that if you want marriage and kids and stuff, it’s a lot easier to do it if you’ve had the chance to meet the right person in your 20’s, which is harder if you’ve been in a “not-bad-but-not-permanant” relationship for most of that time period.)

            So, if you decide that the control thing is not an issue, I would say wait until the exam is over, then start pressing for a timeframe and some reasons. If several months go by and he’s still pushing you off, then it’s time to consider whether the two of you just want different things.

      • Agree with karenpadi. I was in a relationship for 2.5 years in which he “wasn’t ready” to move forward, and didn’t know when he would be, and like an idiot I waited around for him to be ready. You can probably guess where this is going: he met someone else, and was ready to move forward with her in a hurry. It wasn’t that he didn’t know when he was going to be ready to move forward, he just didn’t want to do it with me (sorry for the bitterness; trying to keep it under control).

        The other posters are right that one year is not hugely long, and 24 is relatively young, but I think the relationship and the OP are old enough to at least know where something is heading. It’s not as though you’re 18 and might want to date for five years before doing anything else (or maybe some 24-year-olds do, which is fine, but that doesn’t sound like you).

        On the other hand, a major professional exam can be pretty distracting. Maybe wait until he’s taken it, then raise the issue?

        • Anon from Chicago :

          try setting a “ultimatium” for yourself. If its really important to you, say to youself, if we have not taken the next step by X, then I will move on. (DONT set this for him). If you are otherwise ok with how things are going, just hang out and enjoy the relationship. People get to that “right” place at different times.

          • Anon (OP) :

            I like the idea of a personal ultimatum for myself – thanks for that suggestion!

      • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

        This this this! A guy who won’t even talk timelines with you is a huge red flag.

        You are worth knowing whether the two of you are on the same page goal-wise. And him saying, “Oh, yeah, of course I want to get married, but I don’t know when, and oh I want to be traditional and be the one in charge of that” doesn’t cut it.

        I would think long and hard about how long you’re willing to stay in this relationship without getting engaged. Set a date. And if you get there and (a) you’re still not engaged and (b) he still refuses to articulate a date by which you will be engaged, then cut him loose and GTFO.

        Hugs. Hope it all works out.

    • I was the one who took longer to be ready to get married in my relationship, so I can only offer a perspective from the other side. It had nothing to do with my now-husband – I had things I needed to work out from past relationships, the example of my parents (that I wanted to avoid), and simply just not feeling ready. I think it helped him to know that I wasn’t going anywhere, and I was committed to making our relationship work long-term. The reason why he knew these things is because we talked about it, a lot.

      All that aside, though, I am a little concerned that your BF wants to be “in charge” of major decisions in your relationship. Are you seriously not supposed to have a say, and just be willing to accept his terms, no matter what? What happens if he’s not ready to move in with you for many more years? What if he is willing to move in with you now and not ready to get engaged in a (subjectively) reasonable timeframe? Regardless of tradition, you are an equal partner in this relationship, and you DESERVE a conversation about the timeline and expectation for these major events. (Sorry to get all Ellen on you)

      My DH did not want me to propose to him – we discussed it and he was very adament that he wanted to be the one to do it – so I get feeling like you’re just sitting around waiting for him. You’re not taking anything away from him by telling him your expectations for moving the relationship forward – it’s not like you’re trying to force him to move in with you or propose tomorrow. Expectations need to be discussed and managed – if he’s not willing to move in together for another year, you need to know that so you can make decisions accordingly.

    • This line stopped me cold: “He’s very traditional and says he wants to be, or at least feel, ‘in charge’ of the major decisions in our relationship – like deciding when we get engaged/moving in.”

      Based on the discussions I’ve seen here, I’m definitely on the more-traditional end of the spectrum. But even in super-traditional relationships (I’m talking my friends who firmly believe the man is the “head of the household,” etc.), the man usually doesn’t unilateral “decide” these things. He definitely is the one who proposes and picks the exact day to do so, but usually couples still have some joint understanding that they are moving toward marriage and on what (rough) timeline. Seriously, not even my evil ex (who is definitely of the “head of the household” school and was super-controlling) would have purported to be “in charge” of deciding when/if we got married.

      So reading that your guy wants to be “in charge” signals (at least to me) that he is either: (1) even more controlling than my evil ex (in which case, please run!); or (2) is not quite as into sharing a future as you think he is. I suspect it’s the latter. If you really think it’s more of a matter of him wanting to “surprise you” with an engagement ring (or just to pick the date), I think it’s fair to give him an outer limit – like: “Okay, I understand how you feel, but if we’re still just dating this time next year [or whatever], I’m not going to be happy.”

      In any case, you should not have to sit on the sidelines of your own life.

      • Oooh, I almost forgot. I also had a friend who’d bf used to tell her this, and he was from a far-away land so she kind of indulged him…only to find out after spending 4 years of her life planning to be (and getting a degree that was useless to support herself but would have helped her make a perfect household) his wife, mother of his kids, stay at home, lap of luxury type stuff…that he was and had been “engaged” (arranged marriage) the entire time. He told her, with tears in his eyes, that he would always love her but if he didn’t marry this other woman that he would be disowned and he didn’t want to be poor.

        She was effed in the head for a very long time after that.

        • wow, seriously? Someone actually *lived* the plotline of Sense and Sensibility IRL?? Is it wrong that i kind of half think that’s cool?? (while i mostly sympathize that that must have really sucked for your friend :o( )

          • It cracked me up actually because sometimes people wouldn’t believe her story (there was more, it was pretty nutty altogether) but she would bring out pictures and a couple times show her (canceled) unlimited, unmarked black card, etc… She had to have a few drinks to get there, since it was very painful for her, but it was always pretty fun for me to watch the doubting thomas’ faces change.

            Luckily, she’s now in a much better place, a much more equal relationship, a beautiful baby, I like to think things happen for a reason and I hope she’s happier now that she would have been with that doosh!

          • that is so horrible that a jerk could still get away with that kind of cr*p for that long in this day and age. :o( and it is sooo great that she got away from him and found the great life that she deserved, good for her!

    • Anonsensical :

      I’m not sure I can offer any advice, but your post makes me think there are some questions you need to answer for yourself. It sounds like there are control issues here, but I don’t know enough to say if your BF is trying to assert control by making you wait, or if you’re the one who wants to be in control and you’re struggling with having to leave things to someone else. If it’s the former, I’d see that as a big red flag. If it’s the latter, take a deep breath and realize you can’t always run the show when you’re in a relationship. Try not to see your BF’s need to focus on his career right now as a form of rejection, and try to be supportive of him. It’s not always easy to strike a balance in a relationship with two Type A professionals, but it can be done with patience and hard work on both sides. Good luck!

      • anon for this :

        agree that OP is jumping the gun re: engagement at 24… but that said, when I was 32 and started dating a younger guy, I told him fairly early on that i wanted to be married sooner rather than later and that if I felt like I/we were ready to get married (and he didn’t propose to me) then I would propose to him. The answer could be yes, it could be no, but that was my right (and so much better in my head than an ultimatum, even though that was pretty much what it was).

        He proposed about 13 months after we met, and we’ve been happily married for 3 years now.

    • I agree with others that it’s a red flag that he needs to be in control. I have a friend who is in a somewhat similar situation in terms of the marriage and let me tell you that she’s extremely unhappy. Her husband made the decision about when they had children, even though she wasn’t ready. Her husband has told her that she can’t put the children in preschool for any period of time because she’s a SAHM and should be with the children at all times, etc.

    • Anon (OP) :

      Okay, I think my “in charge” comment is being misinterpreted (and now I think of it, it was wrong of me to state it that way – that’s what I get for typing this during a mindnumbing 2 hour conference call). I wish Corporette had an “edit” button so I could go in and rephrase that sentence!

      Here’s what he’s told me recently: he doesn’t want to feel pressured into any big decisions. He wants to feel like he’s arriving at these decisions independently, on his own terms and at his own pace, rather than feeling rushed just because I am “there” and ready before he is/because he’s turning 30 and it’s the age you should do these things/because all of his friends are starting to settle down. While he’s made it clear we can definitely talk about the future and our expectations for it and what we both want, he’s going to move at his own pace. It’s not like future plans are completely off the table for discussion and then one day he just pulls out a ring because he’s decided he’s ready (or doesn’t, and I’m left to deal with that).

      These “relationship decisions” are the only time I’ve ever seen him feel so strongly about making a decision independently – because if it was like this all the time, we definitely would not be dating and I would not be considering a future with him! For example, he recently turned down a job out of state last month after we discussed it and decided it wasn’t the right move for us. He really is considerate and kind and definitely not controlling; he’s just very analytical and logical and deliberate and careful.

      • Agree with the above comments that your relationship is still pretty young, so throw out the timeline (I totally understand how hard that can be) and focus on whether you like spending time with BF. Pay attention to whether you see the relationship progressing, so that you don’t get stuck in something that isn’t going anywhere. But the for the most part – just enjoy spending time with each other.

        • Totally agree with this. I think corporettes tend to be a very Type-A group. This is good in some ways, but it can also lead to way too much worry and you’ll end up missing out on what you do have right now. Instead of analyzing everything and spending your energy on trying to control the future, focus on enjoying the present. Let go of the need to have a timeline. Stop worrying so much and have faith in your relationship.

      • Got it. But even if “he’s going to move at his own pace,” that doesn’t mean you have to wait on the sidelines indefinitely or just wait around forever. And FWIW, I don’t think you’re too young.

        • Anon (OP) :

          Oh, there will be no waiting around forever! I’m definitely willing to be patient for a while, even if it’s hard for me, since I am young (you’re right about that, and no one is as surprised as I am that I feel as ready as I do to move forward with this relationship). At the same time, I’ll won’t be hanging around longer than a year or two with no progress or decisions being made towards a shared future together.

          • Anon (OP) :

            Edit: totally skipped over the “don’t” in your last sentence…reading comprehension fail.

          • I think that’s more than fair. Just clue him in to your expectations–in a honest, open way, of course – not an “ultimatum” type of way.

      • Ok, well, I’m glad for your sake that he actually isn’t controlling! So, I’ll reiterate what I said above: I took longer to be ready for marriage than my husband. We started dating our senior year of college, moved in together at around the 2-year mark, and then lived together for about 8 years before getting married (and lived together for about 6.5 of those years before getting engaged; he was ready at about the 4-5 co-habitating year mark).

        I think he’s trying to tell you that he’s sort of freaking out about the idea of getting married. His friends are settling down, but he isn’t ready to do the same, and his girlfriend is already there, and WHAT DOES HE DO.

        I don’t think that you have to be ready to get married to move in together (I know some people disagree). So, if you are ok with that as a middle ground to move your relationship forward, I think that is a good starting point for a discussion with him. “John, I want to see our relationship move forward, and I know that you’re not ready to get engaged, and I’m okay with that for the time being, but I think we should discuss moving in together. We’ll try it out for a year.”

        • Completely disagree with this suggestion to move in together now. He said that he’s not ready and wants to make his decision on his own time. Given this, I think pushing him to move in together is just going to come across as more pressure to move forward NOW. He is not ready to move the relationship forward yet. He needs the time to think, to make his decision(s). Better that he take the time now than do something out of pressure that may well backfire.

          • I agree with this. Especially given that he’s preparing for that exam – I’m sure that I wouldn’t have wanted to make any life changes when I was studying for the Bar! I also don’t think that you can really “try” moving in together for a year and see how it works – moving out from living together is very hard. Pushing him to move in together sets you up for a relationship where you just live together for years on end, when you want to get married (I’m assuming that you really want that – obviously, it’s different if you’re not interested in marriage), and makes it even harder for you to leave if you finally realize that he’s not going to pull the trigger on marriage.

          • Agree, agree, agree. Moving in should be a step towards engagement, not an interim period where you “give it a year.” When I moved in with my now fiance, we made it very clear to each other we were moving in together because it made sense (logistically, economically, emotionally, etc.) and that we would be engaged within a year.

            I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people cohabit together for ages where one clearly wants to get engaged, but the other doesn’t – all because the one who was ready to be engaged thought engagement would “naturally” follow or that moving in together would somehow convince the other. Moving in does not inherently move your relationship forward – it often causes total stagnation out of inertia.

      • Having the benefit of your edit, I’d say that his request for some space on this issue is pretty reasonable given that he has a major professional exam coming up. Also, if a lot of his friends are settling down, he might be feeling some peer pressure and growing pains. Either way, give him some space and don’t bring it up for a while, at least until his exam is over. Spend the time figuring out whether you definitely want to spend your life with this person and thinking about how moving in together might work financially, so that you are ready to have that discussion when it’s time. It is also helpful to have discussions about finances, marriage, and kids in general without talking about your specific relationship or timelines.

        Also, from someone about 4 years older than you and recently married (after dating for 6 years): one year is really not very long, especially when you’re 24. When I think about my relationship with my husband after one year of dating, everything has changed so much that it’s funny to even think back on it. Things are still pretty new for you and that’s great. Enjoy this time for what it is- the transitional period between just dating and maybe this is forever. If you marry this guy, you will hopefully be spending 50+ years with him. One year is nothing compared to the commitment you’re contemplating, and if you wait two or three or more years, that will still be minimal. So, I guess my point is, it helps to focus on the institution of marriage and all that entails, rather than the wedding/act of getting married.

        Also, you should absolutely stay away from all wedding-related websites/magazines/tv shows for now. It’s very easy to get distracted by that stuff and force something. You will get there eventually (with him or someone else) and you can OD on wedding-related media then.

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        Glad he’s not the uber-controlling creep that he sounded like in your original post.

        However, he’s still a bit entitled and selfish-sounding here. Last time I looked, your relationship involved two people. It’s a situation where a unilateral decision will impact *two* people, the person making the decision and the other person. I’m assuming he cares about you. If he does, then he should care about the impact his decision-making will have on you. Why should he be allowed to set the pace? Just because he’s “traditional”? (“Traditional” almost always seems to mean: I feel entitled just because I was born with the other type of reproductive organs.)

        His pace affects your life, and the plans you might make. There will be a lot of relationship decisions, not just a proposal. Should you always have to tiptoe around his delicate and kingly male sensibilities? What about having children? What if he wants to be the one to decide unilaterally that he’s “ready”?

      • Although the ages were reversed, one of my very close male friends had a relationship that sounds a lot like yours. His girlfriend was ready to take the next step after a year or so, but he wanted to let things happen more organically. I know he cared deeply about her and really saw a future with her, and I’ll just assume your boyfriend feels the same. Ultimately, the girlfriend’s pushing doomed the relationship. He resented her trying to drag him more quickly down that path, and she resented that he didn’t cave to her timeline.

        I think a year is enough time to know whether a relationship is going somewhere, and I think a couple years is a reasonable timeline to give him so that you’re not “wasting time” with someone who doesn’t have the same end goal in mind that you do. I was 23 when I met my husband, and I told him earlyish in our relationship that I wouldn’t hang around more than a few years without a ring because I wanted to get married and have kids pre-30. He propsed after 2.5 years because, even though he wasn’t ready to get married, he didn’t want to lose me either. Did I force his hand? a little. But I’ve watched my girlfriends keep moving the line in the sand and the next thing they knew they had been with the same guy for 7 years and he was still waffling and they were angry about their “wasted” 20’s. If that’s not ok with you, you have to stand up for yourself.

        So basically, I think as long as you’ve made it clear what kind of timeline you have in mind, you should allow him leeway within those parameters and not make a huge issue of it.

      • As much as it will go against what everything in you wants to do, step back a little. Make sure you are maintaining your friendships and family ties. If you do end up taking your relationship to the next level, you won’t regret having strong friend and family relationships. If it doesn’t work out, then you won’t be left to figure out the aftermath on your own.

        This will also help you take your focus off of your differing timelines and help signal to him that you’re not depending on him for your happiness.

        My now-husband and I had this conversation a couple of times, one of which resulted in some “time off” because he needed some time to think about the next step. I knew that he was it after our third date and was having a hard time understanding why it didn’t seem as obvious to him. I also hated giving so much of my heart to someone without any reassurance that we’d end up together and wanted to know from him if I was being unrealistic.

        My husband is also incredibly careful and deliberate in ALL decisions (took him 2 years to decide what kind of car to buy) and just wanted to be sure. But once he was sure, he was so sure. It’s a really nice feeling to move into the next phase of your life together because you both agree that it’s what you want than because one of you pressured the other one into it.

      • People may hate me for this, but honestly it is a rare man, no matter how in love,that is going to happily propose when pressured into it. It’s not a man thing really, it’s a person thing. Doesn’t everything feel better when you arrive at it based on your own reasoning and excitement?? Seriously honey, it’s such an old and perhaps cliche/1950s way of thinking, but if you want to move in and you want a ring, just stop talking about it! A few weeks after you make NO mention of a ring or a move in he’s going to be thinking “hmm… did I do something? did she change her mind?” and he’ll think of the issue on his own. It works. Compare me to best friend, her begging for a ring since month 3 of her relationship (started around the same time as mine) and me happily engaged and getting married this winter and I never once brought up a timeline or need to get engaged. Of course your comments on “relationship discussions” ie general thoughts on the future, what you want out of life, etc. are very important and good to have, but once you start pressuring for the ring or the move in, you’re just working against yourself! Timelines are too much pressure on BOTH of you.

      • lawtalkinggirl :

        I have a friend who was in a similar situation. She and her husband dated for about 5 years before becoming engaged. At about year 3 my friend started to get antsy about marriage. She is 3 years older than he is and at that time she was 31. By year 4 we had regular conversations about how slow he was to propose. She did not want to push him but she felt so sad every time another friend got engaged or married. Plus she wanted kids and 35 was looming fast. She had at least 3 melt-downs that I know of with him over him not proposing.

        Finally he did propose, they got married last fall, and she is having a baby this summer. Her guy is just very very slow to make those kinds of decisions. He is a wonderful, sweet, and caring person who loves my friend very much, and did from the beginning. He is introverted and thoughtful and deliberates very carefully over big decisions. He just needed to become ready on his own schedule. They were always headed towards marriage; it just took a little while.

        The problem is that if the woman wants kids there is a biological deadline that cannot be ignored. Since you are still 11+ years away from that deadline, you could probably afford to give your guy a couple of years and see what happens. But only you can decide whether it is worth it to wait for him or not.

      • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

        :\ <– busting out the emoticons after reading OP's clarification. I'm not sure if this is better or way worse! This sounds even more ambivalent than I originally thought.

        I'll reiterate again: don't give him an ultimatum, but decide for yourself at which point you need to walk. And stick to it, no matter how hard it is.

    • Ditto to what everyone else said about the “very traditional” thing. I think that’s worth a lot more conversation. Does he really mean to cut you out of the decision-making process, which is how it sounds? How will you two make major decisions, such as where to live, what house to buy, when to have kids, how to raise them? Are you willing to be passive and on the sidelines for *ALL* of these decisions? This is not just about getting engaged, it’s about how you will live the rest of your lives together.

      The other stumbling block to me is the timeline. If he’s not there yet, I’m not sure he can make predictions on when he will/will not be. And this is not something to force. What happens if he promises you now that you’ll be engaged inside a year, then 11 months from now, he’s still not really ready? My husband and I naturally came to a decision that we wanted to spend our lives together and the “timeline” came afterwards. Once we had gotten there, then we talked about the where’s and the when’s.

    • I typically would tell you to sit down and have a thoroughly transparent discussion with him about this, particularly in light of his need to be “in charge.”

      However, I think you should hold off until he takes his major professional exam in a few months. This is a MAJOR big deal for him. Give him the gift of not bothering him until it is over. When it is over, you will also be negotiating from a position of slightly more strength than you are now because: (1) you will have roughly 50% more time into the relationship than you do now; and (2) he won’t be as anxious about his exam.

      When you do talk to him, though, I strongly suggest that you get to the bottom of this “need to be in charge.” Major red flag. Ask him how he thinks the two of you will decide whether to have kids, when to have kids, how many kids to have, whether to have joint bank accounts, who will own title to the house, whether you go to church (or equivalent), how often and where, which towels to buy, what you keep in the refrigerator etc. I’m thinking about the sister of last Friday’s poster whose husband never told her until well after the wedding that he doesn’t want to have sex. If my BF said he “needs to be in charge,” I would cross-examine him about that because I would wonder what else he’s hiding in his pocket that I don’t know about.

      On the exam-waiting thing, my former husband waited several months while I was studying for and taking the California Bar Exam to tell me he wanted a divorce. While I was initially irritated that he was “faking it” all those months and didn’t I look foolish for not knowing, I was much more grateful that he did not allow his own selfish needs to f*ck up my performance on the bar.

    • a couple of thoughts . . .
      – 24 isn’t too young to know you love someone, but it is young enough to not have to worry about getting married just yet. As some people have pointed out, you’re not close to running up on a biological clock & even if you spend a few more years with this guy, you still haven’t “wasted” your 20s, you’ll have quite a few more dating years to go.
      – why do you want to get married after dating for only a year? I think the second year of a relationship is the hardest — year one is all “firsts” (first holidays, first birthdays, first dates, etc.) and those are fun & wonderful. After that, “reality” sets in & it’s easy to think things aren’t as wonderful. I personally like the time to get to know someone after the glowy first year.
      – I’m not so concerned about him being controlling based on what you’ve said here. I think we all want to “control” what happens in our lives & your BF isn’t so different to not want to feel forced/pressured/timelined, etc.

  12. In-House Mouse :

    TJ – what is a young female attorney to do when a networking lunch with an older, prominent and married judge turns into an inappropriate proposition? I told him a firm “no” at the time, but now he wants to have lunch again. I am fairly new to my job, and though I don’t work directly with the judge, there is a good chance I will end up in his courtroom at some point in the future. I don’t know who to turn to for advice, since I really don’t want this to get around. Should I confront the judge and reiterate my disinterest, or should I pretend it never happened? Has anyone else been in this position and how did you handle it?

    • Invite a coworker to join you.

    • karenpadi :

      You can say no to lunch. Otherwise, yes, invite a co-worker (male, preferably) to join you.

    • Invite a coworker, preferably male, to join you AND pretend it never happened.

      Options are a) he realized he behaved inappropriately but still wants to mentor/network; or b) he’s trying for another shot.

      Odds are about 10-1 in my head that he’s on b.

      • In-House Mouse :

        If he’s trying for another shot, why shouldn’t I act like a mature adult and let him know why I am rejecting him (inappropriate to get involved due to our relative jobs, I don’t want to be involved with a married man)? How could being direct and honest possibly be the wrong choice? I am not a troll, but am just trying to suss out my options at this point. Are married men who hit on younger women really that incapable of an adult conversation?

        • In Some Contexts, It Is Still 1952 :

          Because if you are direct with him, he will always be embarassed about this. And instead of realizing that it is his fault, he will associate it with you and may treat you badly, either in his court or otherwise within your local bar. If you let him save face, he will be more inclined to treat you as if it never happened.

          Yes, this is what mothers used to tell their daughters in 1952. What can I say?

        • “Are married men who hit on younger women really that incapable of an adult conversation?”

          Yes. Particularly ones who hit on a younger woman who will appear in their court. This isn’t some random married dude you met at happy hour. He probably gets off on having some sort of sway over you, and giving him an explanation will only give him an opening to try to refute your reasons why not. He’s an unethical creeper and you shouldn’t give him the time of day.

        • Agree to a large extent with Bluejay re “married men…” yes.

          In my experience (granted, not terribly broad) giving an explanation like this “I don’t want to get involved with you because you’re married/older/professional contact/etc…” just gives him the opportunity to turn it around and try to argue with you “My wife doesn’t understand me/doesn’t put out” and lie to you “we’re separated” (no they’re not). Just for an example.

          He doesn’t want to talk about this, he wants to bang you so that for the next 10 years when he’s sitting on the bench getting older he can elbow his clerk/bailiff every time you walk into his courtroom and say “I tapped that.”

          Sorry. Men can be pigs.

    • I may be in the minority, but I would decline the invitation and I wouldn’t respond to any future contact from him. Why should you have to sit there feeling uncomfortable while he leers at you as your male coworker makes small talk?

      If you have to appear before him in the future, keep it strictly professional and avoid being alone with him. Of course you have the option of filing a (possibly anonymous depending on state rules) complaint against him with the judicial ethics board, since it’s likely an ethical violation for him to hit on an attorney who appears in his jurisdiction, but that kind of thing can sadly be a career-ender if word gets around.

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        I’m assuming you mean that it’s a career-ender for the victim?

        If so, sad that it always seems like the perps have all the power and the victims/whistleblowers are the ones who are treated like pariahs.

        • Yes, for the victim, and yes, I totally agree with you. But it’s something that a woman should take into account when deciding whether to report inappropriate behavior.

    • I’ve never been in this position, but I’ll dissent from most of the above and agree with Bluejay — I would politely decline his offer for any one-on-one or small group meetings. Be cooly polite in large group things. And be professional in court.

      But seriously, if a creepy old man thinks of you in such a way that he makes a pass at you at a business lunch, what could really come of having another lunch with him. In all likelihood its more of the same.

      • In-House Mouse :

        Thank you everyone for sharing your opinions. It makes me sad that even the amazing women on this board agree that it’s still a man’s world. I am still struggling with the idea of avoiding the issue, pretending it never happened, and avoiding the judge in the future. It seems so cowardly and is against my instincts. But you raise some good points about how some older men still expect women to act like it’s 1952.

        Where do you draw the line between being a trailblazer and speaking your mind, and following the status quo?

        • In Some Contexts, It Is Still 1952 :

          I draw the line when it affects my ability to practice law, earn money and prepare for retirement.

          And it’s not that he (old) expects you (young) to behave as if it is 1952. It is that the 1952 women understood that a person is less likely to be aggravated with you and find a way to cause you harm if you give him or her a graceful way out.

        • “Where do you draw the line?”

          Unfortunately, you have to draw it at where your professional goals are. If your job will require him to be in a power position over you, then, again unfortunately, you have to tread lighter than you otherwise could. I’m afraid that’s just the world.

          And yes, even in 2012, women experience retaliation for speaking out.

      • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

        Agree w/ Bluejay & TCFKAG: decline his invitation. Something along the lines of, “Thanks for thinking of me; unfortunately, things are crazy at work, and I just can’t.” And keep repeating some variation thereof in response to all of his invitations until he gives up.

        Don’t go to lunch with him even if you bring a male coworker. This creep already hit on you. Doubt a chaperone is going to do much to quell his advances.

    • I was in a similar situation with a senior guy I had worked with – he came on to me, I turned him down. when I turned him down, I said something like, ” thanks, I am not going to stop by your room tonight [we were at a conference]. And I’d just like to thank you for all of your help and advice with my job search. ” He replied that regardless of “anything else” he was glad to help me. And I’ve seen/spoken to him a couple times since then, never brought it up again, and it’s all been totally kosher and he has been helpful, professional, and appropriately friendly.

      I say meet with the judge one more time (invite a coworker if you want) and see what happens. If he doesn’t bring it up, don’t do so yourself and just pretend it never happened. He is probably a good connection to have, be the bigger person and let it slide , but just this once.

      • In-House Mouse :

        Thank you for this. It gives me hope that I don’t have to close this door (yet). This community is an amazing resource!

        • Also, at the time I was really upset about it because I thought it meant all the interest he had shown in my career (introducing me to Important People, talking with me about cases, etc) was only based in his desire to “hit this.” Right after the incident I went home and cried, posted about the incident on Corporette (!!!) , got a lot of helpful responses, and then went to a friend’s house and drank.

          I tried to find the thread with my experience in it for you but no luck.

          I think for your situation it also depends on exactly how skeezy he was in hitting on you. As upset as I was when it happened to me, I didn’t feel “victimized” as some posters above suggest you might have been. For me, it was just one awkward non-sequitor remark he made (literally when we were in the middle of discussing a SCOTUS case), as opposed, to say, whispering something really graphic in my ear or grabbing me. It was just more that my pride was hurt and also it felt skeezy because I thought of the guy as a mentor and he was married and *significantly* older than me.

          Bottom line – it’s sleazy and off-putting and unprofessional on his part. Possibly in violation of the judicial ethics for your jurisdiction, especially if there was any implication that you could get special treatment if you slept with him or somehting. But you are both adults – if he just asked you out and you turned him down, it’s really not that outrageous of a thing for him to do (although still unprofessional and sleazy given the context) . Different story if he did more than that.

    • I agree with asking someone to accompany you, but I would probably ask an older, female mentor to join you. That significantly reduces the likelihood that he will hit on you, and it eliminates the likelihood that he & your invitee are gross together.

      • In Some Contexts, It Is Still 1952 :

        This is a fabulous idea! The most senior female litigator in your firm. Or the most senior female litigator you know in town. If you don’t know either of those women personally, this is the perfect opportunity to pick up the phone (phone, not email) and introduce yourself and invite her (beg her?) to join you. Who knows what could come out of this? A new mentor? The information that the experienced female litigators in town know all about his ways?

    • Decline a second lunch. Bringing somebidy else won’t make it any less awkward. You should also document what happened even if just an email to yourself wuth a date stamp in case he tries to hold this against you in the future.

  13. That video Kat linked to above is hysterical. Love.

  14. Kate Spade Question :

    Does anyone have patent Kate Spade Karolinas? Do they break in nicely? I just got a pair, and man are they stiff in the toe box. I’m thinking I may need to return them. : (

  15. It is law school exam season. I have four 100% exams next week. I am coming down with the flu (on top of anxiety and depression that I have to deal with on a regular basis). FML

    • Start taking care of yourself now and try to head it off as best you can! Eat healthy, drink lots of fluids, take ibuprofen or something if you are achy, and try and get as much sleep as you can. It sucks that these things always seem to happen during the imporant times, but do as much as you can now to try and keep it from getting worse. Hang in there!

    • Take a day off of studying and let yourself recuperate a little. I always find that even just one care-free day of watching bad TV and lounging in bed really helps.

    • NE Attorney :

      1L– That is just miserable. If you truly have the flu, I would HIGHLY recommend talking to your professors/deans about it. I took my evidence final my 2L year with the flu and spent half of the time just staring at the board. Luckily, I did ok, but when the situation repeated next semester, I talked to the dean and was able to take my exams a couple of days later. If that isn’t an option, as JKS said, take care of yourself. And, try and figure out which meds you can take and still function. Good luck!

    • 4 exams in 1 week? As in 4 finals? Jaw is now on my keyboard! Get yourself some soup, a good movie, Advil, and take the night off! Good Luck!!!

      • Equity's Darling :

        That’s actually pretty common for law school. In 1L, my winter exams were one a day, with the first on a Friday and then Monday through Friday.

        Also, to the 1L, I feel your pain, I had to have surgery in my last semester of 3L, the same week that exams started…to this day I’m annoyed with my grade in Trusts, because I attended every class and did all the readings, but I was still out of it when it came time to write the exam, and I didn’t want to defer, because that would have meant not graduating that semester.

    • Does your school allow you to take 4 exams in one week??!! I seem to recall that my law school allowed students to re-schedule an exam if something like that happpened.

      And if you do get sick, definitely reschedule. I got a horrible flu during 1L exams and missed one, if not two, exams, that I re-took a week later.

      • Equity's Darling :

        At my school, you were only allowed to reschedule if you had three in a row (or any at the exact same time, obviously), so…Monday morning and afternoon, and Tuesday morning would be a reschedule, but Monday morning, Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon would be no reschedule.

        My law school sounds kind of draconian, but it was the same way in undergrad for me. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing?

        • My school never lets you reschedule for poor schedules, and I’m in the U.S.
          At least if you’re a first year, everyone’s in the crappy schedule system together.
          Feel better!

    • What law school schedules 1L finals all in the same week? I know that happens to upperclassmen occasionally (who get to choose their schedules), but typically all 1Ls take required classes and the registrar spaces the finals out. I can’t believe they’re doing that to you. I would think the whole 1L class would be revolting.

      If you think you’re coming down with influenza as opposed to a bad cold, you need to get yourself to the doctor immediately and get some Tamiflu. Also some zinc lozenges wouldn’t hurt.

      • Mine did! All my law school exams were in one week. How many weeks were your alls in???

        • My previous law school had the 1L finals all in one week, which I enjoyed because I just studied everyday with my friends and got it all out of the way. At this school, it depends. This semester I have a week off between the last day of classes before my first final and then a final 4 days later.

          Also, a lot of people claim the flu when it is really just a bad cold. If it is really the influenza, as anon says above, go to a doctor ASAP. When I had the flu I literally could not move for 4 days, only remember my mom feeding me Advil, and missed high school midterms.

        • I am pretty sure our 1L exams were evenly spaced over 2 weeks, and then 2L/3L exams were when they were.

    • Sleep and fluids! repeat until feeling better.

      If you must, study in bed with some soup and tea and long naps in between chapters. Stay away from communal study areas.

    • viclawstudent :

      I had 4 law exams in a week last term and came down with the flu that week (although not the worst case I’ve ever had, fortunately) and it turned out very, very well grades-wise. So it is possible for these things to turn out okay – and I will have my fingers crossed that my luck rubs off on you! During that week I just kept saying to myself, no matter how much this sucks, I can do it for a week. Head up, chin up: you can make it through this.

      More practically, drink a ton of water (and green tea, if that’s something you like) and try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even if you’re not getting as much sleep as you’d like. If you can find the time, taking even a half-day away from the studying regime and just snoozing and watching bad TV and eating things you like always seems helpful to me.

    • Everyone is on the money about rest/fluids/etc. And even if it’s not influenza, it may be worth it to go to the doctor so that you have documentation should you feel ill enough to ask for a reschedule.

      Also, re: the anxiety and depression that you said you have to deal with on a regular basis… Being depressed/anxious sucks. And sometimes it’s easier to minimize it and to say “it’s not that bad” and to just suck it up and try to soldier through (or at any rate it feels like that’s what you have to do). But, if you’re not seeing someone about it, please, please do. It’s amazing how much easier and more enjoyable the rest of life is when you don’t feel awful all the time.

      • Anon for this :

        Regular poster, anon for this – I am late to comment but I just wanted to say that if you aren’t on medications and in therapy for the depression and anxiety, DO IT. If for no other reason than that you will get better grades when on meds. I wish someone had told me this prior to my 1L year. Finally got it together prior to the bar exam and am now settled in a happy career, but I still regret waiting so long. And if it is a money issue, figure out where else you can cut your budget to cover it, it is really that important. Good luck on finals! Do practice exams!

    • I’m late but want to wish you well.

      Also, water, honey (I drink it hot with a little water), zicam (zinc), and rest. I have soldiered through many times and recently discovered that by taking a day or less, I can usually recover in less than half the time – amazing what taking care of yourself does. (Though I honestly don’t do this as much as I should… like now, when I’m sick and working almost two weeks straight.)

  16. Anyone have any experience with Shoedazzle? Looking for shoes to wear to a wedding, but I really detest these things where I have to join just to shop…

    • I believe ShoeDazzle is one of those where you sign up and then they charge you $40/month and send you a pair that you pick out but if you don’t pick they just send you. Or something. I wouldn’t recommend. Look at Zappos or ShoeBuy or 6pm, something like that.

    • With Shoedazzle you have to “join” as in sign up and answer some questions so they can determine your style and what you’re looking for. Then every month they will create a “showroom” for you with about ten pairs of shoes, ten purses, and some jewelry options. Every item is $39.95 with free shipping both ways. You are not charged until you order something. It used to be that once you ordered something, you would then have to log in at the beginning of every month and skip that month or order something or you would be charged, but they recently changed their policy so you don’t have to do that anymore. Now you only pay if you buy something. I have a friend who ordered some shoes from there and was happy with them, although I can’t speak to the quality. If you’re looking for shoes for an event, this doesn’t sound like the option for you.

    • Thanks for the replies. I will keep shopping…

    • Actually, Shoedazzle very recently changed their business model and no longer requires (or maybe even offers?) subscriptions to shop. You cannow simply buy online like with any other retailer.

  17. anon does ivf :

    IVF and work related TJ:

    For those of you who have done IVF, how did you handle the schedule uncertainty at work? I was originally scheduled for an egg retrieval on Sunday, but based on today’s monitoring it may get pushed later into next week. Given the uncertainty I don’t want to pre-schedule time off. My plan is just to call in sick the day of (even though I’ll know 2 days in advance), but I’m wondering if anyone had other suggestions. I’m also still unsure how to handle the transfer…though I was just going to come in late that day and take some sick time w/o too much detail. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue for my job as I’m trying to avoid scheduling morning meetings next week.

    FWIW, though he’s a pretty nice guy, I don’t want to tell my male, childfree boss until I’m pregnant and out of the woods.

    • Diana Barry :

      My friends and I that had IUI/monitoring/IVF would send an out of office to our secretaries saying we had an “appointment” that morning and should be in by X time. Nobody noticed.

      2 or 3 “appointments” shouldn’t raise an eyebrow. BUT if it would, then I would suggest taking a sick day, particularly with the transfer…my friends that had IVF felt pretty weak/icky after the transfer and a sick day would be a good idea. :)

      Good luck!!!

    • I gave my immediate supervisor and my closest (in terms of work) same-level manager a heads-up that I would need to take a couple of days off for outpatient medical procedures during X timespan, and that unfortunately I wouldn’t know the exact timing until about 2 days before. (I included the “outpatient” detail mostly in hopes that would make it seem less serious and would keep them from pressing for more detail…whether it was that or not, neither of them asked for anything else.) I was admittedly lucky on timing in that it fell right around Labor Day weekend, when things are quiet here and lots of people are taking time off to make an extended weekend or to cover the childcare gap between summer programs and school starting, so it wasn’t really a big deal. And then my transfer fell over the weekend so it was just the retrieval day I needed to take off.

      As far as the transfer goes – have you been told for sure yours will be in the morning? Mine was at 3 pm (2 pm hospital arrival), and I guess in theory if I’d been working that day, I could have worked the morning and then left for my transfer, I don’t think I would have been of any use that day. It might be better to just let your boss know you’ll have to be out for the day as soon as you get the call letting you know whether they’re doing 2 day, 3 day, 5 day or…well, I think those are the only transfer time frames I’ve heard of.

    • NE Attorney :

      anon: Truly wish you the best of luck with this cycle. IUI/monitoring/ IVF is so tough. I did the monitoring early in the morning (7:30ish) and would be to work on time, and frequently early, albeit with long sleeves to cover my arms. I only went through IUI (3x), but for the day of the procedure, I sent a bland “appointment” notice and came into work late. The third time, I took a day off and took it easy, which was so much better and I think helped. Good luck!!!

    • Been there :

      You’ll need to take a full day off for retrieval and transfer. Fortunately my retrieval was on a saturday so I only had to take off 1. For the other day I told my boss I had tests scheduled and may not feel good afterwards so may need to take the day or telework.

    • I’ve had 5 over the years. All were early to mid-morning. I called in sick that morning the first few retrievals. For the last few, I called in that morning and told my secretary I’d be arriving at work in the afternoon at the earliest because I forgot I had to run lengthy errands or had housing issues (e.g., DMV/traffic court, plumber, a/c repair). It was easier. Nobody raised an eyebrow or asked for details when I used non-illness excuses. Retrievals were easy-peasy for me so I was always able to work from home that afternoon. I could’ve gone into the office in the afternoons but the docs were semi-fussy about taking it easy and I didn’t feel like making the commute when the day was half over already.

      With the transfers, I called in sick and stayed home the entire day. The transfers were not as easy and my docs would never have allowed me to go to work the same day of a transfer. I was always sore the day after. I remember having a hard time getting out of my office chair, walking up the stairs to the entrance of our building and keeping up with my coworkers walking to lunch. A few people noticed my slower than usual pace. Once I blamed it on a tough (imaginary) workout, once I claimed a back injury. Once I told the librarian I had an ovarian cyst removed and totally regretted it b/c she asked a lot of questions about it.

      I do not miss the daily needles, bruised arms and drug addict veins. But it worked. Best of luck.

  18. Can we continue the perfume discussion here? Yes, people who are sensitive/allergic to perfume may be in the minority. But you know what? It can negatively affect people just like cigarette smoke can. Not only that, many smokers air themselves out before entering a building just so that they don’t impose on other people. Do perfume-wearers do this? No. And after a while, people who wear perfume can’t smell it on themselves anymore and spray more, just so that they can detect how lovely they smell.

    I know that I, fearsome anti-perfume evangelist that I am, won’t change your mind. But you really do physically hurt people by wearing perfume. #endrant

    • Always a NYer :

      What about body odor? We have no problem telling someone, “Don’t wear perfume, you’ll set off my allergies/asthma,” but what about, “You smell like you haven’t showered in a month, how about you go introduce yourself to a bar of soap”? Let’s add showering to the list of things to do so we don’t offend others.

      Somewhat defensive daily perfume wearer

      • Please, let’s do add it. It’s the same situation where people are used to their own scent and don’t realize that other people are bothered by it.

      • I think the difference is that no one actually gets sick from smelling someone’s body odor. How would you like it if you got a migraine or had a (life-threatening) asthma attack every time a particular coworker walked by your cubicle?

        If you must wear it, wear it in an amount that can’t be detected from more than 18 inches away.

        • Respectfully disagree. I have had interactions with individuals in the past whose body odor was so strong that it actually did trigger a migraine.

          • Always a NYer :

            This. There was a girl I went to high school with that never showered. Even sitting on the opposite side of the room from her made me and everyone else in the room want to wretch. Every time the teacher would walk by her or there was the slightest breeze, the smell was overpowering. It triggered migraines as well as nausea. So yes, if some stranger tells me perfume is rude, I’ll up the ante and say not showering is ten times more offensive.

        • You have never worked in a big city ER. Definitely can get ill from body odor. :)

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Or lived/worked in a big city in a neighborhood “in transition.”

          • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

            Or been on the train between terminals at O’Hare in the summer with a few individuals who come from cultures that don’t use deodorant. Holy crap, getting nauseated just thinking about it.

      • Perfume is great :

        Smokers “airing themselves out”??!?!?!? That still smells 1000 times worse than perfume and is way more bothersome to many more others.

        Ranter, just get over it. I hate what some people do and it bothers me, but you know what? I’m an adult and realize the world doesn’t revolve around me, I can’t dictate my preferences to others and have the world respect them, and I realize that I (and you) probably do things that really bother someone else. Maybe your shampoo stinks to me, or your breathe is horrendous to some stranger.

        Get over yourself.

    • I would dearly love it if you would explain to my coworkers that dousing yourself in perfume after your cigarette break is not the way to cover up the stink.

      • It’s possible to get rid of the stink without perfume, for reals. I have a coworker who I didn’t even realize that smoked until I heard someone telling him that he should quit. I was super impressed – cigarette smoke triggers my asthma.

    • Do you not eat peanuts because somewhere out there is a stranger allergic to peanuts and you might expose them to it?

      I would not wear it to the office if someone I worked with had an allergy. But no I am not going stop wearing it because some stranger somewhere might run into me.

      • Yeah dude. I missed whatever discussion this is continued from, but I will continue wearing a small amount of a tasteful fragrance, until I have a coworker come to me and say s/he can’t function because of it. The second that happens, I will cease wearing perfume to work. I will not arrange my life because of a hypothetical situation.

        As proof of this, please see my workplace’s “no mints” policy. We have a student with such severe allergies to mint that she’ll go into shock if she smells one. I got rid of the Altoids in my desk with a smile on my face. But will I forever refrain from having a breath mint, because I know that someone, somewhere out there could have a reaction to that? Heck no.

    • Actually, most smokers I know spray perfume on them to mask the cigarette smoke.

      I’m not anywhere on this debate, I hardly wear any perfume and don’t work with anyone who is allergic or take public transportation.

      But I do think that if you’re wearing enough scent that you could be tracked through a 17 story building, you should probably lighten up a bit!

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        Have any of you ever read _The Spy Wore Red_ by Aline, Countess of Romanones? (Partially fictionalized memoirs of the author’s experiences as a U.S. spy, working in Spain, in WW II .) It’s a great fun airport/travel read, first of all.

        Second, when she talks about the training she went through, one of the cardinal rules of spycraft was: NO PERFUMES. Your scent gives you away, and let someone know you were there. Also, it’s not helpful if you have to sneak up on someone and they can smell you coming from a mile away wearing Eau de Cloying.

        • Sure no perfuming while spying. But there is nothing more annoying than these preachy don’t wear perfume or someone COULD DIE threads. I am a grown woman. I will wear my perfume. If you have a severe allergy that could trigger an attack, by all means, ask for a work policy that says no perfumes. But no, you can’t regulate strangers so you can have the perfect morning commute.

          • Ada Doom Starkadder :

            I hate the smell of perfume, but I actually agree that I hate the tone of these threads, the whole “I’m hiding behind my allergy because I need a passive-aggressive reason to control your behavior.”

            I’d much rather the more honest, “your perfume is stink@ss to me and I hate it, even though I don’t think I have the right to force you to not wear it.” That to me is way more courageous.

        • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

          No Perfume While Spying. Corporette Rule #2381.

    • I have asthma and cannot tolerate any perfume. It makes me cough and wheeze and gives me a headache. There is one person I work with whom I adore, but she wears a lot of perfume and I have to air out my office and run the fan after she has been here. I think I really offended a sweet older man at my church who always wanted to walk me to my car and give me a hug. I would go home and smell his cologne on me all day and I couldn’t take it. I stopped allowing him to hug me and the poor guy looked so forlorn.

    • I am fascinated/surprised by how fiercely people are defending their perfume habit (especially surprised at a comment in the last thread).

      When I was going through school they sort of drilled it into us that we could not wear perfume to interviews or to the office. Personally, every time I’ve been able to smell someone’s perfume or scent in the office it hasn’t been “wow that smells to beautiful”, but more like “wow, that smells like cheap bath and body works”. One could argue this is evidence that good perfume does not bother anyone, but I remain afraid to wear perfume to work.

      • long time lurker :

        I dislike all perfume/aftershave, etc. scents and would generally prefer people not wear them in a manner that I can smell it when said people are sitting across my desk from me. I don’t have any allergy or medical issue, I just don’t like it and I don’t like the scent invading my space. So when I smell perfume, I am generally just annoyed. I am “sensitive” about few things but perfume is one of them.

    • Nopity Nope :

      I’m sorry. It’s too much to ask someone to refrain from wearing perfume because they may pass someone in the lobby or on the trian or in the street who is allergic. I eat trailmix on the subway and sometimes as I walk down the street… should I stop? I am extremely allergic to cats. People sit next to me who have cats and the cat hair or whatever on their coats trigger an allergy attack. Do I think badly of them and do I think they should keep all of their clothes in a cat-free environment? No. It’s life.

      With that said, if someone in my office was allergic to perfume and I was informed of it, I would refrain without hesitation. If someeone 10 floors down from me is allergic to perfume and I don’t work with that person ever, then nope, I’m wearing perfume. Sorry.

    • Can we please not have this discussion? It was one of the longest and most vitriolic that Corporette has ever had.

      • A nice solution would be if people would start seeking from stores, and buying, fragrances free of synthetic ingredients, preservatives and chemicals such as pthalates. There are lots of natural scent + alcohol only or such alternatives available now, and they generally don’t cause the migraines and allergies that the traditional perfumes contain. I personally hate the ones with toxic ingredients being around me just as I hate cat hair (severe allergy)- if it was up to me I’d ban toxic cleaning agents and all of that from my work place. I understand that it isn’t. But, I am at a loss for why so many people want to apply chemicals to their own body, let alone force the rest of us to inhale it. (also goes for makeup, lotions, etc though those don’t aerate like perfumes). Hopefully over time the shift to less harmful substances will increase.

    • I personally have a perfume and smoke allergy, but regardless, I think it’s inappropriate to wear noticeable scents to the office. Just like work clothing, your scent should be neutral. There are plenty of other ways to express yourself, including outside of work hours. That said, I do hope people realize that strong chemical scents can be damaging and even debilitating to others.

    • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

      I’m fascinated by the passionate defense of perfume-wearing. I’d assumed it was considered unprofessional to wear perfume to work for quite some time now.

      • I dont usually wear it to work. But hate the passive aggressive snarkiness of the no perfume ever people. I think a lot of people are defending it extra because of how awful the other side is about it.

    • I find this conversation so interesting. I don’t personalyly like perfume, and I have a slight allergy to it, but I am not offended when people wear it to the office. Actually, I just had a baby and his sitter wears this really old woman perfume, and my baby comes home every day smelling like her old woman perfume. I don’t enjoy it, but he isn’t allergic ot it, and I certianly won’t ask her to stop wearing it.

    • I am confused by this thread. Did somebody actually just compare perfume to second hand smoke?

      Coming from both a smoker and a perfume wearer (extremely light on both habits, although they are undeniably there), I often go out of my way to avoid people after I’ve had a cigarette (e.g. smoking right at the end of the day before I go home and never in the middle of the work day, never standing outside the entrance of a building, throwing them into the trashcan, etc). I mean… I kind of understand where this rant is coming from. I’m not particularly sensitive to smells, except for bad ones, but I would happily forego a perfume if a coworker explained her allergies/migraine/whatever but am not going to be careful just in case *someone* out there *may* have a sensitivity. But the analogy to cigarette smoke kind of threw me for a loop.

  19. short lashes :

    I seem to remember a thread about people’s favorite mascara’s. I’m looking for a good drugstore-variety. Can anyone remind me how to google search within corporette comments? TIA!

  20. Amelia Pond :

    (This may go up twice. I got the posting too fast error!)
    After you talk to KLG’s coworkers can you talk to mine? Not only does she not air out after a cig break, she puts her body splash on right outside my office door then adds a full dousing of hair spray on top of it all. I can’t leave my office for a good half hour without walking into a toxic cloud.

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