Weekend Open Thread

Cole Haan Air Jalisa Tall Boot Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Yowza — in addition to tax day sales (with lots of pieces under $50), 6pm.com is also featuring sales from Cole Haan and Stuart Weitzman. I’m digging these tall classic boots, with concealed Nike Air technology, a nice round toe, and a stretchy back panel. They were $298, but are now marked 60% off to $119.20 (lots of sizes left in both black and brown!). Cole Haan Air Jalisa Tall Boot

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  1. I am the “Basics” OP from earlier this week. Just wanted to post an update.

    I went to both BB (they didn’t have the really nice pants TCFKAG found) and J. Crew (for decades now, no pair of pants I have ever tried on there is cut for my body). Then I decided to meander through Macy’s. Motherlode.

    Jones New York: Why didn’t I know about this brand? Very basic staples. I found several styles of casual summer capris from which to choose. All well made (high quality fabrics and construction). Their fit model must have the same shape as I do, unlike the J. Crew fit model. Machine washable. Very reasonable prices. What’s not to like? I bought two pairs of side-zip, polished cotton, no waistband capris (one black, one white) and two pairs of front-zip, waist-band, flat front, side pockets capris (one black, one white). Also, a terrific black and white Chanel-type tweed skirt suit (more graduation or wedding attire than office, but the two pieces as separates go with everything).

    Lauren by Ralph Lauren jeans. Apparently, I am the fit model for the classic straight cut. I put them on, and they fit perfectly. No gaping at the lower back/waist (hello J. Crew). Good fit through the tush, hips and thighs. Not too “skinny” or too “flare” at the bottom. Reasonable price. Well made (fabric and construction).

    Anyone else have luck at Macy’s or with these brands? I know they are not haute couture, but they solved a slew of my basics issues.

    (FYI on the fit issue: I am 5’3”, 120 lbs, have a barely discernible waist but am otherwise shaped like a 40-ish woman who exercises regularly and eats well. Most pants I try on are too tight in the hips, tush, thighs and knees but curiously also have about 3-5 inches of extra room in the back of the waist.)

    • I’ve had days like yours at Macy’s — everything I try on fits well and is exactly what I need and is on sale and someone handed me a coupon to use — and more (many more) when I can’t find a single thing that I like, that fits, and that flatters. I keep going back hoping to have one of the good days, but they’re few and far between.

    • We must have a similar body shape except I am considerably heavier. Jones New York is great because the suits come in separates AND petites. I am 12P jacket because I have a short waist, no boobs, and very short arms and I wear 14 pants or skirts because I am hippy with thighs but pants often gape in the back on me. The other thing is the Jones looks like nice fabric even if it is a poly-blend. I, too, just discovered Ralph Lauren and bought a pair of twill pants that fit great. Before I quit smoking I was a 4P in top and a 6 on the bottom. I like Michael Kors at Macy’s as well.

      • Yes, the gape! What is that about?

      • Wow, we are the same sizes, apparently! 12P-small-chest top and 14 on bottom! I’m really trying to do something about that though…first session with a new trainer yesterday. Sadly, I do not have the “before I quit smoking” excuse.

        • I have a body that needs alot of work, ESPECIALY since SUMMER is comeing up and I want to go to the beach and go swimmeing!!! So I have to STOP eating MATZOs, and all other kinds of BREAD, and starting to drink more POLAND SPRING WATER.

          The manageing partner told me “your tuches is getting to big for your body”…..Nice guy (but he is RIGHT)…


    • I am a pronounced pear, with all my curve in my hips and thighs, and the key is really tailoring. I know it sounds like such a pain, but it’s really soooooo much better than hours and hours struggling in and out of pants and losing all of my weekends crying in dressing rooms.

      I find pants that fit in my hips and thighs (as in, skim over my hips and thighs, so that they do not look tight on my thighs at all, because if they are tight in my thighs the pants look like they go *in* at the knees, and I think that just looks weird) and then I take them to my awesome local tailor, who can easily take in the waist for me in about a week.

      As soon as I found one pair of pants that fit well and I liked how they looked after she took the waist in, I went back and bought the same pants in every color, and took them straight to her. I am so relieved to be done freaking and obsessing about pants. …. except I will have to when it comes time to buy another full suit, but I am trying to block that out for now…

      Also, my perfect pair of pants I found from recs on here: The Halogen Taylor cut pants.

      • This, I love the Halogen Taylor cut fit. Perfect for pear shaped figures, I get a pair each year from nordstorm. No other pants fit me so well, AnnTaylor/Jcrew/BR are so painful and make my thighs look horrible.

        I also like Jones NewYork pencil skirts from Macys and Amber brand skirts from nordies, fit very well.

    • I am an hourglass and love my Lauren by RL jeans!

  2. Blonde Lawyer :

    Went to an awesome mentoring dinner w/ a judge and 6 other women yesterday. The judge had a white hair tie on her wrist (no blue fingernail). She also occasionally played with said white hair tie. I wanted to hug her and tell her how happy the other readers here would be to hear about her hair tie. I knew that would be weird, so I refrained.

  3. Equity's Darling :

    So, I’m being called to the bar this summer, and honestly, I’m having trouble choosing what my next “life goal” is.

    I had the plan to become a lawyer about five years ago, so I applied, wrote the LSAT, etc., and now that I’ve mostly finished that, I’m totally struggling with life goals- for career, and everything else. I’m feeling a little “now what?”.

    Any suggestions for refocusing my life? Making some new goals? I’m feeling pretty aimless, and not particularly passionate about anything (except travelling, which I do as much as I can).

    • Anonymous :

      I read an article earlier this week on pursuing non-traditional goals at Ms JD – the article is under the heading Big Time Small Town Law. The article is on the front page, but relatively low down, and is a Step 1. If you click on the author’s blog at the bottom, there is a Step 2 article as well, and I thought that was particularly useful.

      I’ve struggled with this too, and while I’m happy now, I kind of wish I’d read an article like this a few years ago and done less aimless drifting.

      Here, I’ll risk moderation: http://ms-jd.org/big-time-small-town-step-1-crafting-definition-success

      • Equity's Darling :

        Thanks for the article! I’m definitely going to spend some time thinking about the five questions posed, because as it stands now, I only have an answer for number 4.

        (1) Who do you want to build a reputation with? (2) Where do you want to be on a Friday night? (3) Where do you want to be on a Monday morning? (4) What are your five happiest memories?(5) What, objectively, is holding you back from your ideal life right now?

    • I went through kind of a long funk after law school over this issue. I had my clerkships and my biglaw job lined up and so…everything about my life was done. I’d spent every day of my entire existence before then building up to that moment and then there was a *huge* “Now what?” Especially because most people’s “now what?” is marriage and/or children and while I would love love for those things to happen for me, they haven’t so far (I’m 11 years out of law school).

      I don’t have any real advice, unfortunately. Two years in biglaw were quite enough for me thankyouverymuch, so I switched over to government. I eventually got the hang of “building a career” and so there is that to work on. But now it’s mostly just a matter of living my life, making sure I have interests other than work and playing on the internet, making sure I leave the house on weekends to see friends or meet new people.

      It really took me a good 7 years to get over no longer having a check-a-box list to achieve, which is somewhat ridiculous! I’m very happy in the job I have now and have no desire to move up, over, or out; for many, career goals can give you that structure. Therapy helped.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Well, I’ve been finished law school for a year or so, since in Canada we article, so I’m articling, and I’m really okay with the transition out of school and into work (I don’t miss school at all)…it’s more the transition from into being a full-fledged lawyer that is sort of making me feel lost.

        I’m turning 25 in three weeks, so I assume at some point a marriage/kids will happen, but I’m currently not pushing for that within the next 3-5 years, so I’m sort of like “what will I accomplish in that time, other than working and travelling”.

        • Springtime :

          As Type As, I think we all struggle with this.

          I’ve started running races. I’ve always been into fitness, but learning to train my body to run faster is a great way to keep pushing myself to new goals.

          Also, did you decide what practice group you’ll join? I remember your post from a few weeks ago. And did you keep dating the guy you were feeling ‘meh’ about? I’m struggling with the same concern right now :).

          • Equity's Darling :

            I’m signed up for City Chase this summer with a friend, maybe I’ll sign up for another race towards the end of summer too!

            I’m impressed that you remembered both the practice group and the guy!

            Still no decision on practice group, though I have made movement because now both groups know where I stand (which is in no-mans land), and I have lunches planned with both the practice group leaders (individually, and then with them both together), to help me pick. The plot thickened when an in-house position was also made available to me, and I’m mildly on the fence about that, though leaning towards staying with the firm.

            And nope, got rid of the guy. He needs to be more interesting than my existing friends, and worth giving up sleep for. When dating become a chore, I’m out. And I’m young enough that I don’t feel an immense amount of pressure for anything serious (thankfully). I really just needed external confirmation to trust my gut on the guy:)

          • Springtime :

            Oh well I remember because like you, I am an articling student (thank goodness a soon-NON-articling student).

            I’m assuming that the firm has already decided they want to hire you? I just know from my friend’s experiences sometimes you have to show undying love for one practice group in order to get an offer, otherwise you’ll be left in no-man’s land permanently. Just a thought.

            As for the guy, your phrase about “being more exciting” than my friends is perfect. That’s how I feel about this guy- he needs to be more interesting (how I manage to do way more than him every day still boggles my mind). I think I need to have an honest talk with him. Sigh. I feel bad because it’s been long enough that some attachments have developed.

          • Equity's Darling :

            Isn’t it so great to be almost done articles? Yay! I’m looking forward to meeting the next set of students.

            I’m lucky because though an actual decision hasn’t been said, it’s been…”suggested” by many that I don’t need to worry. And both groups have said that they would welcome me with open arms, and that it’s my choice, so….really, I’ve shown love for both, and at this point it’s a matter of long-term goals for me (probably why I have no clue which to pick). I have partners in my corner in both groups, so I think I’m good (or I’ve been told that I am).

    • SF Bay Associate :

      A word of caution – I had this too… worked hard my whole life, culminating in landing the biglaw job, and passing the bar. And then there was this profound sense of “now what?” I had everything I ever wanted, or thought I wanted, and somehow ended up really depressed. I hope that doesn’t happen to you, too, but keep an eye on yourself for signs of depression and get help early if it seems like you’re heading in that direction.

      • I am a banana. :

        I went through this too. When I switched jobs and moved to a new city it helped, because it reminded me that I can do whatever the eff I want. To the OP – it is a very difficult transition, and I wish I had better advice, but I would recommend trying to focus on enjoying small things that make you happy. I feel like I am just now settling down from what you are describing and I’m two years ahead of you.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Yea, I’ve struggled with that in the past, so I know what to watch for on the signs of depression, but thanks for the reminder, sometimes I need that so I can check in with myself. :)

    • I loved being a prosecutor and I love being involved in politics. Never did BigLaw, but did have a detouor in the non profit world. Also great, but the salary was unsustainable after having kids.

  4. 17 Things Successful Career Women Know :

    I found this article interesting: http://emilybennington.com/women-work/17-things-successful-career-women-know/
    My favorites are #1 (Lasting success is created by good habits, which are very often destroyed by bad excuses.), #6 (Tomorrow’s dreams are only achieved by today’s action.), and #13 (How people act is their karma. How you react is yours.)

    What you you add to the list?

    • 17 Things Successful Career Women Know :

      What *would* you add to the list? Argh.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Not sure but I love this line from one of her other articles:

      “There’s a thin line between being beautiful and being sexual. One is what you are, the other is how you act. “

  5. Cryptic PSA:

    Not to make this a story all about myself, but let me just say that if mamabear ever offers you an opinion on a matter of taste or style, you should listen to her.

    Because she has her finger on the pulse and she Knows Things.

    (mamabear: check your Etsy mail & all will become clear)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      This nosy girl wants to know more!

      • This one too. But I will accept the PSA on face value and go from there.

    • Hahaha – it’s so true. :)

    • ala the graduate, instead of whispering “plastics” I’m just going to whisper “turquoise earrings, Kanye’s shop”


      • I wore turquoise clip-on earrings to my job interview today! (I don’t have pierced ears for many, good reasons). I love them and I think they make me look like a real life grown up!

  6. Oh.so.tired :

    Colored blazers… where can I buy them? I’ll be starting BigLaw this fall and want to slowly start building my wardrobe. Im on the hunt for some nice colored blazers that are affordable (~$100) and preferrably available in stores so I can try them on. Where should I look? I’ve tried AT and BR and no luck.

    Along the same lines, what else do you ladies recommend I start buying now (6 mos. before job starts) to start building my wardrobe?

    Btw, I’m buying early because i have a long way to go but also because I want to find good deals on everything (sales + coupons) since I have a ton of buying to do.

    • This may have been a one-off, but I found a fantastic peach colored blazer at Forever21. It’s surprisingly well made (lined, pockets, etc.) and the fabric’s not obviously polyester. That said, I’ve seen hundreds of awful attempts at a blazer in F21, so this might have been a fluke. Worth a shot if you find yourself nearby while shopping though.

    • Zara had some nice, if slightly trendy, colorful blazers a few weeks ago.

      • phillygirlruns :

        seconding zara as well. i was in there last weekend and they had a couple of good choices.

    • phillygirlruns :

      my favorite blazers are all j.crew – they have great colors and are well-constructed, so they’ll last. they’re over your price range but i’d start shopping sales – there are a couple on final sale now in your price range (in limited sizes and colors, of course, but some fun ones – bright blue, a green tweed and a magenta flannel).

      • Theres a couple of fall-weight ones on sale at JCrew right now – the schoolboy blazer and the hacking jacket.

    • Ny and co. Great colors this season, sized to fit women rather than teenagers. Not bad quality either. Big sales going on.

      • Huge sales. I was there yesterday, crabbing about the long lines (even to get into the dressing rooms) until the cashier rang me up. That’s when I realized both the items I bought were 70 percent off. The blazers are nice, but FYI they are very bright jewel tones and a fabric something like twill. May be more casual than you are looking for.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        This has become my go-to store recently! They have a ton of blazers right now in a bunch of different colors. The store near me is organized by color, so that makes it easy to seek one out in a color that you like.

        Things have been 50-80% off recently. I think the UPS driver is probably starting to recognize my name since I’ve practically had to replace my entire wardrobe recently.

        • I don’t want to be all over this thread but- my UPS driver not only recognizes me, but honks and waves when he sees me out for a run 10 blocks away from my house. Maybe I shop online too much? No?

          • Sydney Bristow :

            That is too funny. I’m never home when my packages arrive, so he wouldn’t recognize my face but he probably recognizes the yellow sticky note permanently posted in the front window of my apartment building instructing him to deliver my package to my neighbor if my roommate isn’t home!

          • Yeah, mine has figured out that I have a new baby in the house (giant diaper deliveries at least once every 2 weeks) and now kmocks quietly instead of ringing the bell. It’s really nice. Also kind of sad?

          • I think it’s kind of sweet.
            Also, reminds me of the fact that my grandfather was on so many mailing lists that he developed a rapport with his mailman … to the point where the mailman came to my grandfather’s funeral!

          • Ha, this makes me feel better about my bi-weekly “you’ve got a package” routine with my doormen.

          • whatever, i know my mailman, and fedex guy, and ups guy! 2 of 3 are cute… been sleuthing for my single lady friends (confirmed one has kids/wife). they are really nice and during a snowstorm i saw them out there together chatting with neighbors in the street. in the middle of a city neighborhood. they wave at me too. this is a nice thing in life.

    • Try Talbots. They have three different fits and have a lot of great colors. I just purchased a kelly green and a pink blazer.

    • actually got a great blue/purple tailored blazer at Talbots a few months ago, awesome color. And a red one from Nordstrom’s.

    • Jacqueline :

      You’ll have to dig, but H&M has some great ones for around $50.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        second H&M. and the part about digging. but they seem to be big into blazers this season.

    • Appelican :

      I agree with Talbots.

    • Foundations :

      No, not that kind. Well, sort of that kind.

      There are some items you will need a lot of, so you might as well find versions you like now. And by “like” I mean: they fit properly, they are well made and so will last, they are tailored and so won’t go out of style, they are reasonably priced so you can buy two.

      * Black pumps.

      * Stockings.

      * Bras/panties for under office clothes.

      * Shells (or Ts or whatever you prefer) for under suits.

      On the suits question, I’d find a Macy’s with a large women’s suit section (not all of them have it) and go every couple weeks for a while to cruise the selection. When I was in your position, I bought a handful of not-expensive Macy’s-type suits (Tahari for ASL, Calvin Klein, Jones NY) and then, slowly over the years as I found them in timeless-for-me styles and as I could afford them, I added more expensive suits that last for years (Brooks Brothers, Nippon).

      • Anon for this :

        I have worked in big law for 12 years and can honestly say I have not seen a tremendous amount of blazer wearing. If you need to dress professionally for a day, you are going to wear a suit. On business casual days, I think cardigans are much more common, not o mention comfortable. I hate wearing a jacket at my desk.

        Things I would be on the lookout for now:

        The best neutral suit you can afford in grey or blue (I know black is more common but I feel like it looks so severe on me now). Preferably buy a cut that you can wear the pieces separately (consider fabric here too, I think wool crepe is easier to pair up.) If you are going to invest in a blazer, buy one where you are sure the weight and color of it go with your suit separates. For example, I just bought a Lafette blue suit and also a blue jacket in a boucle fabric that looks fun for work and with jeans. Sadly, I have a cute boucle jacket from Talbots that never sees the light of day because I didn’t follow my own advice.

        Shoes! You will need some pumps to match that suit.

        • Anon for this :

          Also, you don’t need to do a ton of buying. I honestly believe quality over quantity is the way to go. You would be much better served by a jacket in a neutral, like blue or khaki, that you can pair with different fun (cheap) tops than by three cheap jackets in stand-out colors that you cannot wear all the time.

          You may also want to get a feel for the place where you are working before you do major shopping. Even if you were a summer there last year, I would not judge the dress code for a firm by what folks wear in the summer, when things veer more casual. See what people are wearing in the fall first.

  7. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Okay ladies, y’all know I like to push the envelope when it comes to the prints I like to wear to work, but I want to know where to draw the line. So are these prints (and of course the dresses themselves) work appropriate? If not, why? Thanks ladies.

    http://bit.ly/IRXpzH (I’m thinking this one may need a cardigan for work)

    • I love the black and white dress. The other one is just ok for me, because I don’t think it’s not very flattering on the model.

      I tried these boots on and they were very comfortable. They’re also available in a shorter heel at 70% off. http://www.6pm.com/cole-haan-air-jalisa-tall-boot-60-black

    • Ms. Basil, I freaking love both of those dresses. I don’t do bare shoulders at the office, but both of these would have been fine at my business casual law firm with a cardigan. I’m guessing they will be a little too too for other commenters, though.

    • Love the second one (especially the vintage vibe), but you’re right it’ll need a cardigan. Not sure about the first one. I work in a casual office but it looks like it can’t decide between dressy and casual. Or maybe it’s just not my style at all, so I can’t see it.

    • The striped one has a work-appropriate silhouette. If your office is keen on fun colors, I’d say go for it. It’s hard to tell whether the second one is a cute summer dress or more of a Betty Draper silhouette, but I love the dots and think they are generally fine for an office.

      • I loooove that colorful one! I’d wear it. If you’re nervous, add a blazer, and it’ll be fine. I agree the second one seems like it could lean toward Betty Draper, so I guess it would depend on the fit.

        • Agreed. I really love the colored one, and I think the polka-dots would be fine with a cardigan.

          • My only concern about the cardigan is that then it would *really* look ’50s housewife.

        • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

          b23, what do you think about adding a (colored) blazer to the black and white dress? Less housewife, more competent lawyer?

          • That’s where I think the fit matters. Sometimes when dresses have wider bottoms, like it appears this one may, I don’t think a blazer looks very good or is very flattering because it covers the waist. In theory a blazer would help, but I’m afraid in execution it wouldn’t look that good.

          • Also, I think at that point the dress becomes way less cute. Part of the fun of that dress is the shape, and you’d be covering it. I bet you can find something similar in a pencil shape, which would look great with a blazer and be totally business-appropriate, in my opinion.

          • Go with a flared blazer, or even peplum. Fit is going be important here like b23 points out – if you can get the tapered waist of the jacket to match up to the waist of the dress, score.

          • MissJackson :

            I think the solution here is a cropped blazer, so that you still have the defined waist, but you get the benefit of the more “business” structure of a blazer.

    • LOVE the black and white one to the point I’m wondering if I can justify the purchase. The striped one is not for me and seems a bit form-fitting for the office. But it would be completely appropriate for my office if anyone could pull it off.

    • I actually love the bright stripes, but the black and white is too Mad Men for me

    • just Karen :

      Love love love the black and white dress, but wish they would show the waist without a belt! If it doesn’t come with a belt, I am fine with them showing it styled with one in ONE picture, but come on! I want to see what it would look like as it comes!

    • Lady, I always love your picks. And that striped sheath is gorgeous. If the fabric isn’t shiny/shimmery, I would say it’s work appropriate.

      I’m more eh on the black and white one because it’s a pretty common style and print. If you like it, go for it.

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        Is it weird that I’m prouder of the fact that you love my choices than I am about my upcoming graduation?

    • Equity's Darling :

      I love the black and white one! And I think the colourful one is awesome too (though not my style), and would look great with a blazer or cardi.

      I think it’s all about knowing your office….the first one would be okay for me on a Friday, otherwise no go. The second print would be a no-go at all times.

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        But one thing I’m curious about is how to know what prints are good at your office. I’m assuming people are not going to just walk up to me and say, that’s an inappropriate print, please go home and change.

    • Love them both! Are you trying to wreck my budget???

      If you throw a sleek-fit (not boxy) black blazer over the first dress, it could probably work (depending on your office.) Love the latter, and second (third?) the suggestion to wear it with a cardigan.

    • Littlest Attorney :

      I’m in love with the black and white one (saw it in the catalogue last night!) and it pains me that people think its not work appropriate. Full skirted dresses are the only ones that look vaguely right on my extreme pear. I know that they look a little (or maybe a lot) “lady who lunches” but I’ve decided I don’t care because I want to wear something that is flattering on me!

      • Anon for this :

        If you like the striped dress, check out BR’s MadMen collection. They had a griped sheath that was a bit more subdued and gorgeous!

  8. Nominations for an “Ask mamabear” thread? ;)

  9. Best Friend vs Boyfriend :

    A few weeks ago, during a girls night out, one of my closest friends admitted to another friend that she doesn’t like my boyfriend of over a year. I was in earshot of their conversation and heard everything, and I was definitely surprised and more than a little bit hurt when she said that. My relationship with my boyfriend is great and I’m really, really happy. He adores me, there’s no drama, we get along well…there are no red flags that would cause a friend be concerned, so I have no idea why she would say such a thing. Plus, she’s really only met him 3 or 4 times, so it’s not like anything happened between them to cause any friction or bad blood.

    At the time, this friend was getting married soon & I was in the wedding, so I didn’t say anything to her about her remark because I didn’t want to start any problems before her wedding. Her wedding is now over. Said friend and I went for dinner the other night, and she made more than one disparging or backhanded remark about my significant other. It’s really starting to bother me, and now I feel like I can’t even talk about him in her presence without feeling judged. I want to address it with her because I feel it causing a rift in our friendship (we’ve been friends for almost 7 years) and I would hate for that to happen, but I’m not sure how or what to say. Any ideas or suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Grown ups use their words.
      Just ask her what’s up. She may know something you don’t. He may have hit on her, who knows.

      • viclawstudent :

        Or she’s just taken an irrational dislike to him, and when she’s politely asked to explain what her disagreement with your SO is, she’ll end copping to the fact that there’s nothing to it – which happens, and is best dealt with if it’s out in the open.

        Next time she says something disparaging/backhanded about him, just pause and say, “I’ve noticed that it seems like you don’t really like X. I’m not sure why that would be.” Then leave a silence and let her fill it. If it’s meaningless stuff or she doesn’t really have a reason, politely tell her that while you generally respect her opinions, you’d prefer she kept this one to herself in the future.

    • I would ask her straight up why she doesn’t like him. And if she doesn’t have a good reason (he hit on me; I saw him out with someone else) and it just comes down to incompatible personalities, then tell her how much you care about him and that you’d appreciate it if she’d stop making remarks about him around you because it hurts your feelings when she does.

      Incidentally, I think this is pretty crappy behavior on your friend’s part.

    • Friend Dilemmas :

      I posted on a similar situation a couple of weeks ago (some of my friends are not huge fans of my bf and they hardly know him). I will try to link to this since people gave some very good advice.

      Some other thoughts: First impressions are hard to get rid of. Maybe think back to the few times when your friend met your SO. Was there anything unusual? Maybe he is not a super social person, and they would do better if they had some time in a quieter setting. I would also think about how you have talked about your SO to them. I realized that sometimes I complain about little things my SO does and my friends hang on to every word. So now I’m trying to share the great things that the BF does for me, because otherwise they’re not gonna know about them. Good luck!

      • Friend Dilemmas :

        Search for “Friend Dilemmas” on this comment thread http://corporette.com/2012/03/21/wednesdays-tps-report-tweed-lena-dress/

        • The first year I dated my now husband, none of my friends could stand him. Now, they absolutely love him and would probably choose him over me. Some of them even play golf with him and things like that.

          Part of it is he is hard to read at first, and part of it was that he was about 2 years out of a divorce when we met, and was still pretty bitter. Once he got back to normal, his happy personality won them over.

    • I would just ask her. Go out to dinner at a quiet restaurant where you can stay for a while (or if you live alone, invite her over). Say, “A few weeks ago I overheard you telling Kate that you didn’t like Jack. I want to understand what it is that you don’t like about him, because I think he’s great and we have a good relationship, and I want you to be able to see that as well. You’re one of my closest friends, and your opinion matters to me.” And, I think you could also throw in something to the effect of, “I feel like you sometimes make disparaging or offhand remarks about Jack, that make me feel like you’re judging my relationship, and it’s really hurtful.”

      She’ll be embarrassed and possibly a little defensive, and probably also a little reluctant to tell you why she doesn’t like him (because that’s a hard thing to tell your friend). You have to try to stay calm and not get defensive, but be persistant in trying to figure the source of her feelings. If she doesn’t have a “good” reason, or if you think her reasoning could be overcome by greater familiarity with your BF (examples: she thinks your BF is too possessive or jealous, she finds him boring, etc.), tell her so: “Cecilia, I know you’re not the biggest fan of Jack, but he truly is wonderful, and I would appreciate it if you would take some time to get to know him better so you would realize how happy he makes me.”

      Also, on a related point – pay attention to how you’re talking about your BF. It could be that all she hears is negative stuff about him. I know you said that you have a great relationship, but sometimes friend dynamics affect how people talk about things in their lives. I have had girlfriends who make conversation by over-dramatizing negative events, and they like it when other people do the same.

      These conversations are always hard, but if she really is a good friend, she will try to do better. Good luck!

      • Oh, and also – please try to avoid talking about this with your BF without trying to resolve it with your friend first. You don’t want to make him feel bad about something that he can’t control, and then be reluctant to interact with your friend if she turns over a new leaf.

        • Best Friend vs Boyfriend :

          Thanks! I like the wording you used, I’ll have to practice with that as this friend is not great at confrontation and I think you phrased things very nicely.

          No, my boyfriend doesn’t know what she said/how she feels, but I think he’s starting to figure it out. She didn’t acknowledge him once throughout her entire wedding weekend, which he realized and we both felt was pretty rude. This is also why I want to nip it in the bud before it gets any worse.

          • Yes but don’t “confront” her about it, just ask. And if she has a reason for disliking him, don’t argue. You can correct facts (she thinks he did X when you know he did Y), but if she thinks he’s arrogant, you can’t change her mind by arguing about it. It won’t help things. I think if you bring it up in this manner (instead of being defensive and confrontational), she will feel badly about what she said and hopefully it won’t happen again. Was she drunk at the time? She may have blurted out something she normally wouldn’t say out loud because of the alcohol.

            Also, it may just be that you and she hang out more alone than together with SOs in the future. That’s ok. Or you may drift apart over it. That’s ok too. Sometimes you can’t force things and you have to choose between a romantic relationship and a friendship. As another poster said, you can’t force her to like your bf. But you are certainly entitled to expect that she be polite to him and to you.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        This is great advice.

        I’ve been on the other side of the equation recently because my entire family dislike’s my sister’s boyfriend. I live across the country and before I met him, one of my other sisters called to ask my advice. I suggested she express her concerns (which I think are extremely valid) ONCE and then drop the issue because it will only cause a rift. If you have the conversation with your friend and she continues to make similar remarks about your boyfriend, you might want to tell her that you heard her concerns, love that she wants great things for you, and that you think your boyfriend is exactly that. Then ask her to not bring up the issue anymore because it is making it difficult for you to be yourself around her.

    • YMMV, my experience is totally different from yours, and all other disclaimers…

      My now-husband is (1) incredibly painfully shy, and (2) had surgery as a child that results in him walking with a stride that looks like an incredibly aggressive gangster swagger – and you wouldn’t know it was a limp and not just how he walks unless you knew. So, when I first brought him to meet my friends at a dinner, to them it look liked he swaggered in and then refused to talk to everyone all night.

      As a result, they were all really put off by him because they thought he was condescending and, in general, an ash-whole. It was only because I already firmly knew how awesome, funny, kind, smart, caring, and generous he was that I made a point of having everyone get together with him one on one so they could get to know him better where he felt more comfortable.

      In my situation, which I am sure is totally different from everyone else’s, if I had become defensive it would have made things worse. Now, everybody loves him too.

    • I don’t disagree with the other commenters’ suggestions on how to approach your friend to ask why she doesn’t care for him. It’s the best approach. But, I would add a caveat to remember during and after your conversations – your friend is not obligated to like your significant other. She is obligated to be nice and respect him, but he doesn’t have to be her favorite person too. For example, it was not respectful of her to be talking about him negatively to your other friend.

    • Totes McGotes :

      What stuck out to me was that your closest friend has only met this guy 3 or 4 times, and you’ve been with him over a year. If she feels like you’ve gone MIA since meeting him, she may resent your sudden inaccessibility (and what she may feel it implies about him) more than she substantively dislikes him.

      Either way, you should just ask her what’s up. Let us know how it goes.

      • Best Friend vs Boyfriend :

        I thought about that, but even though she’s only met him 3 or 4 times, she and I still spend lots of time together.

        My boyfriend works 60-80 hour weeks at an incredibly demanding job (think investment banking), so he’s just simply not available a lot of the time for social things like happy hours/dinners/etc, hence the limited interaction with my friends.

    • Frustrated Academic :

      If want to keep this person as a friend, you need to address it now, rather than let it get to the point where it blows up and the friendship ends.

      My fiance, his brother, and “friend” grew up together, lived together after college, etc. Brother and friend are the same age and fiance is about 20 months younger. From the time that I was in the picture (we were all in our 20s), all three had long term ladies who would, eventually, become their wives. At some point friend and his wife moved to to our midwestern town. Soon brother became engaged. Friend and friend’s wife were the MOH and BM at brother’s wedding. I was not asked to be in the wedding party and did not think anything of it–I was just upset on my fiance’s behalf that he was not asked to be brother’s best man, but whatever.

      Fast forward three years later, we are all at brunch and my fiance made an off-the-cuff remark correcting friend’s wife about a statistic. I did not think anything of it, but to friend’s wife, who evidently had been never liked me or fiance (she said we were too smart) and had evidently stated this to mutual friends, this was the last straw and she lost it. Upshot, friend and friend’s wife storm out, my fiance is reduced to tears (he is not a dude who cries!), and brother tells fiance to apologize because friend and friend’s wife are so upset.

      Eventually, fiance gets to the bottom of the situation to discover that neither friend nor friend’s wife like me and friend’s wife thinks that fiance is essentially jerk who likes to lord it over people how smart he is. Now, after 30 years of friendship, fiance and friend do not speak. We spend less time with brother and brother’s wife than we used to because those two couples are still friends. I would note that I had *nothing* in comon with either friend or friend’s wife, except for what I believed was our shared love for fiance and never said anything negative about them, etc because they were fiance’s “people” and you just don’t do that.

      However, if friend had told fiance years before that he and his wife did not like me and did not get my sense of humor, fiance could have known about the issue and dealt with it, either by ending the friendship on good terms, or choosing to do things with friend without the ladies.

      Sorry for the long rant, but I really think if you value this person’s presence in your life, you must address this issue now and nip it in the bud if possible. Otherwise, everyone could end up hurt. Hugs!

    • Any chance that your role with your friend has changed since your long-term boyfriend has become part of the mix?

      Or she’s gotten married, and the whole dynamic and expectations are, well, adjusting?

      With the backhand comments, say you said X, it sounds like you are [angry at BF], [protective of me] [whatever fits] – tell me more, I get the sense that you are unhappy/worried/XYZ, and as my friend, I want to understand what that’s about.

  10. Got rejected from my dream fellowship last night. :( I’m really sad about it, thankfully I do have an offer for one (my 3rd choice, but still an offer) and one pending still. I really really hopedthe dream job would give me the offer-I was one of 2 final candidates. I’m not sure if I should try to hold out on the other position, at an org that is great but has been so slow and disorganized in the whole process, or just accept the one I’ve got. I know having a position is great, I just really wish it were the dream job.

    • sorry about the dream job not coming through but take good vibes from being the first runner up, that indicates good fit and positive potential in the space. Meanwhile, I think it’s very appropriate to politely follow up with Bachelor #2 with something along the lines of “wanted to check in on timing and progress, I am very impressed with your firm and feel I could bring a lot of value to you with my skills in X/Y/Z in your A/B/C projects… Bachelor #3 has made an offer which is very intriguing but I would so prefer to work with your wonderful company but I will need to make a commitment to them one way or another within the week so was wondering about timing and next steps with you …” You never know, it might move things along.

    • I’m sorry you didn’t get your dream job — it sucks, but I really hope you can see yourself happy and fulfilled w nr 3. Also, making it to the final 2 is quite an accomplishment.

      I’d contact #2, like Michelle said. Did they say when you can expect to hear back? If the window has passed, I’d call or e-mail your contact to find out. I’d wait until Monday, though. If you don’t hear back within a reasonable time, I’d accept #3. Also, I’d be concerned that #2 is slow and disorganized in other areas, which might make it a pain to work at if you were offered and accepted a job there.

      • Thanks for the encouragement.

        I spoke with #1 and #2 when I got the offer from #3 on Monday to see where they were in the process. #1 said Wednesday or Thursday, #2 said by the end of next week. It is also frustrating because I don’t think it was me as a candidate, rather a few important logistical details that didn’t mesh.

        I know this is really dramatic sounding, but it is hard to see myself being happy at 3 after the exposure to 1 & 2. It isn’t the end of the world, I just finally saw myself doing something in 1 or 2 that was much more in line with what I want from a job/life. I’m sure that 3 will be fine, and at the very least, I will learn a lot. In a year, I might be a better candidate, but right now I just feel so far afield from where I want to be. Which sucks.

  11. My company has charity dress down days – pay the proscribed amount and you can dress casually for that day (they put a sign up to notify visitors/clients). However, lately they have changed from actual charities, such as the Red Cross after a natural disaster, to individual recipients “in need.”

    Does this strike anyone else as odd?

    • How are the recipients chosen?

    • I’ve seen it done this way. Usually its done where employees nominate people they know in the community who are in financial or medical crisis. I think the logic is that the few hundred or at most thousand dollars that these days raise don’t make a huge impact on the Red Cross, whereas they could make a huge impact on an individual having a temporary crisis.

      I guess it is more prone to abuse than traditional “charities”, but I think there are plus sides as well. Aren’t you told a little bit about the people who receive the donations each week?

      • Anonymous :

        Giving to individuals does strike me as odd…I could definitely see the reasoning behind giving to say, a local homeless shelter or a local women’s shelter rather than some huge organization like the red cross, but I’m not so sure that I would be comfortable with giving to individuals. It seems like it would be really easy for someone to take advantage of that system.

    • Huh? They actually demand the visitors AND clients to contribute? How many come back I wonder?
      If an employee has a need, e.g. there is a serious illness or death in the family, tying this with a “jeans Friday” seems callous to me. People will donate and normally not expect enything in return.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think the sign is to notify visitors/clients of why the employees are all in jeans.

      • I think she means that they put up a small sign in the lobby so visitors understand why the employees are all dressed casually.

        • These signs always make me laugh. I don’t know why. Maybe its because I wonder where it stemmed from . . . like, the first time a client or someone complained that everyone looked like a slob. Maybe it just seems funny that it has to be explained. That a previously offended (?) party will see the sign and go “oooooooooooooooh, NOW I don’t care that the receptionist is wearing jeans.”

      • I also didn’t understand it to be a DEMAND to wear jeans and contribute. Instead, people could OPT to wear jeans and contribute.

    • Can I just say how much I dislike this kind of charity at the office? I prefer to make the decision as to how I allocate my charitable donations.

      A few years back the senior manager of my department collected donations after a major disaster and I had already donated a large amount to a favored charity. I declined the give to her charity and felt like such a jerk. I always wondered if she made a tax deduction for the full donation.

  12. Frustrated Academic :

    Any suggestions for cute flats or wedges that I can wear to my wedding weekend welcome dinner and to rest the footsies during the wedding day itself? Can build my Friday night outfit around the shoes, but they have to be able to peep out from under my wedding dress and look cute…Thanks in advance, ladies!!

    • I’ll try to dig up a specific pair, but metallic flats are a favorite of mine. They’re slightly more whimsical/dressy than a basic pair of ballet flats, and I’m imagining them being very cute with a wedding dress. Depending on your coloring/preference, you could go with gold or silver.

    • I love the Apepazza brand in terms of looks and comfort. I have just looked at what’s available on 6pm and heels dot com and there are a few nice options, both flats and wedges.

    • Oil in Houston :

      For my wedding last year, I bought adorable Vivienne Westwood flats. They might be sold out though (like this, but in white http://www.polyvore.com/vivienne_westwood_gold_bow_black/thing?id=20381805)

    • I have seen (online and at Nordstrom) a “flat wedge” (about 1/2 inch high) by Geox that has peeptoes. I saw it in black patent, but if it comes in any wedding-appropriate colors and if it is cut for your feet, it would be nice. $134, I think.

    • MissJackson :

      These aren’t technically flats or wedges, but I think they’d be fabulous: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/attilio-giusti-leombruni-pleated-pump/3145879?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=3362

      If you’re looking for comfort and cut, AGL is hard to beat (not cheap, though, unfortunately).

      • MissJackson :

        I have no idea where my brain is today. Cut? I think I meant cute :)

    • How about these? http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=30566&vid=1&pid=284530&scid=284530012
      Not sure how comfortable the ankle thing would be, although I think I tried these on in a different iteration and they were pretty comfortable.

  13. Background: A Democrat strategist stupidly shot off her mouth by stating that Ann Romney, a mother of five boys, has “never worked a day in her life.” Twitter exploded, the country went crazy, on both sides of the partisan divide, condemning and apologizing and distancing and blaming. Everyone proclaims that moms have a super-hard job and that all moms, working and SAH, work really, really hard.

    Thesis: These sorts of incidents, and the resulting panic where everyone has to repeat over and over that motherhood is the hardest work in the world, ultimately are harmful to women and feminism (from the perspective of equality), on the basis that they support the presumption that women and women alone are the caretakers of the children and the home. No one ever talks about how dads have a really hard job or work really hard. No one ever uses the term “working father.”

    Discuss! (Just the thesis, if you please – I’m not particularly interested in defending or condemning the Democrat strategist who made the comment that sparked this or discussing whether or not moms actually work hard (of course they do); I’m more interested in the effect of the non-partisan response.)

    • I don’t see this instance as harmful. Traditionaly, women have stayed home. I think that is changing, and quickly, but its not 50/50. Being a parent is tough, period. I think if it was a stay at home dad and someone said he had never worked, he would also be defensive.

      • But the response is not “parents work hard.” It’s “moms work hard.” Only moms. I argue that the response *should* be “parents work hard,” but it is not.

        • I agree, Lyssa. That’s always rubbed me the wrong way. You put it well.

        • I agree, Lyssa. My husband works at home so he is home with our son after school. Hubby gets a STICKER if he takes the kid to school!!!!! A sticker! For doing what parents do every day.

        • Oil in Houston :

          agree. it irks me every single time

        • Right, except that Mitt Romney is also a parent and he also worked during at least part of the time his kids were growing up so no one would say that “he never worked a day in his life” bit about him. I guess the alternative would be to say that “all stay at home parents” work hard, but that becomes quite a mouthful and isn’t as pithy as “moms have the hardest job of all.”

          This whole thing actually really bothers me. Not because I think parents – moms and dads – don’t work very hard, but because a lot of people – men and women – don’t have a choice but to work. Not trying to take anything away from stay-at-home moms, but I feel like all this media hoopla implies that the choice is simply between working women and stay-at-home moms and that both have important jobs, blah blah, when the reality is so much more complicated that the media pretends. And, yes, stay at home parents do work hard, but do we really think that working parents have it any easier? If we’re honest, can’t we admit that maybe some of them might – GASP- even work harder? Not to mention all the guilt they’re going through for being working parents? I know it’s not an acceptable sentiment in most circles, but not all things are equal.

          • Happy Anon :

            Well said. I agree. I’m sure there are many men and women who would choose to stay at home – to raise their kids, to write a book, to work out all day and be in amazing shape, to garden, whatever – if circumstances allowed. There are also many men and women who would “go to work” regardless of the paycheck. SO MUCH of this issue is about self worth and value. People get up in arms on both sides of the coin because they feel undervalued and stay at home moms (parents, whatever) are often so sensitive and need to assert the “BUT I WORK HARD TOO!!” because they feel somehow insecure about their choice. Of course everyone wants to feel they work hard, are important, contribute some value. Of course people who work AND parent are more often than not working harder than either (a) stay at home parents or (b) non-parents who work. Two jobs vs. 1. That said, if only we could just let an individual choice be an individual choice and respect that…. but that would probably wipe out at least half of our discussions here and amongst friends! (Not saying I’m beyond or above any of this, just pontificating.)

          • The working parent does everything the SAH does, just more and pays the bills, too.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Anon – I have to slightly disagree with you. The working parent doesn’t have to supervise the children for 8-10 hours/day. Usually there is either another parent doing that or a child care provider. Yes they still have to walk the dog and clean the house and feed and bathe the kids, but certainly the child care part is outsourced.

          • I think part of the problem is that Americans equate self-worth with work. It’s the protestant work ethic in us. There is a sense of guilt and shame that comes when people sense that that you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. We don’t want to be viewed as privileged or lazy. That’s basically a sin in many eyes. So that’s why everyone feels like they have to argue about whether a stay at home mom’s life is easier than a working mom’s life. It’s about attributing value to someone’s life based on what they do rather than on who they are. I think we’d all be a lot healthier if we could stop judging and comparing and just have a little more empathy.

        • I guess I thought the conversation is about “moms work hard” because Ann Romney is a mom, not a dad. I just didn’t read a female bias into it. I thought it was a rude thing to say, and it would also be rude if levied at a stay at home dad.

    • I worry these things are more harmful because they divide women between “working” and “non-working” — which I just think is a fundamentally false divide. I think part of the challenge “women’s issues” have faced over the years is that we’ve been fighting internal battles over what women “should” be doing with their time, rather than just supporting each other in our choices.

      • TCFKAG,

        I agree with you completely. I think one of the best tools the anti-feminists have is the conquer-and-divide argument. Also, I thought this was a really good article on the issue, that helped me to mature in my beliefs:


        • That’s a very good article. People are so frequently too quick to judge. It is so worthwhile to remember that for so many issues we are all on the same side, just with very different ideas of how to get there!

          For the sci-fi geeks out there, has anyone read the Honor Harrington series by David E. Weber? Particularly in later books as Honor climbs through the ranks to more diplomatic/political positions the contrast between her society and that of the “People’s Republic” reminded me a bit too strongly of the right/left divide here in the US! (Hopefully I’m not talking to myself here…)

          • Anonymous too :

            Love Honor! Yes, definitely reflective of the various divisions that exist.

      • I completely agree both with Lyssa’s thesis and TCFKAG’s comment.

        The comment that spawned this was infuriating to me for exactly the reason TCFKAG mentions.

        It seems there are a certain set of responsibilities that are considered mom responsibilities whether the woman works or not. Then depending on whether the mom stays at home, works part time, or works full time, there are different expectations of what she “should” be doing at home. But the bottom line is that all these women have certain things expected of them on the home front. That hurts all moms and it hurts non-moms too because then they are assumed to have “all this free time” or if they are of child bearing age and don’t have kids, that they must be singularly career focused, etc. etc.

      • yes!
        Whenever this issue comes up it leads to a debate on which one is “better”, and ultimately that decision should rest with each particular woman or family.
        I also think that the view of men as childcare-incompetents doesn’t help. (anyone see the preview for the comedy about new fathers? “No judging!”)

        • That’s one of my biggest pet-peeve – the stereotype (see, for example, almost any commerical for a household product; most sitcoms) that men are completely incompetent to care for children or do housework (or are just plain idiots). Harmful to men and women.

          • Yes, it’s harmful and can lead to Kramer vs. Kramer. If you’ve ever seen that movie, it’s heartbreaking, but I left it wondering if that father would have ever learned to get his crap together and actually do some parenting if his wife hadn’t left and forced his hand.

          • I hate the portrayal that father’s are incompetent. My husband is a stay at home Dad and does a much better job then I would at sticking to a schedule, discipline, etc. At work, we are a team of 15 people and three of us have the Dad’s staying home with the kids, the economy has greatly changed family roles. Tough job on both ends, and yes, the Mom guilt kills me when I travel for work or go out with friends, but this is what works for us.

    • I’m sorry for the awkwardly worded post.

      I’m sure motherhood is rough (I’m not one so I can’t comment). I know being a parent isn’t easy. That (hopefully) is a path that is chosen and so while it may be important and hard, it is a choice. Yes, being a working mother is hard, but so is being a working father. So is being a childless employee who has to pick up the slack to compensate for others.

      The fact of the matter is yes, most women pick up the childcare duties in this country. But what is funny to me is that we emphasize the hardships but don’t ask WHY that is. Or what could be done to make it easier/more equal. All working parents should have the opportunities to contribute equally (or as they see fit) to raising their children. Shouldn’t be based on gender. (With the exception to this is that women who give birth will likely need longer to recover.) how many companies offer paternity leave? or would think its suitable for a father to take off a month to spend with his new child?

      Finally, the reactions to me miss the mark about a conversation we SHOULD be having in this country – work life balance. We push our employees until the breaking point and tell them you should just be grateful you have a job. How about encouraging people to be well rounded members of society? Providing incentives to be more productive and have higher quality work. We seem so focused on more more more that imo we’re losing sight of the bigger picture.

      • True, but then this country would start looking like Europe and Americans tend to find that irksome. Not sure why.

        My personal pet peeve on this point, are fathers who say “I have to babysit tonight”. No, you’re not babysitting. If they’re your children it’s called parenting.

        • Likewise “I help out around the house.” Help who? It’s your home and you have a role in maintaining it. You’re not doing your wife a favor here–especially if she had to ask and you want some kind of medal for doing the laundry once in a while.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I saw that this morning and my view is that there are a few categories of people with children (although the focus is always on the women in these categories).

      People who have “traditional” jobs or careers outside the home
      People who stay at home to raise children
      People who both raise children and have a traditional career/job outside the home.

      Each of these is work. In many (most/all) cases, it is hard work. Someone always judges someone else based on which of these categories they fall under. There is also judgment as to whether someone chooses to have kids or not, whether someone with kids is a “play date” kind of parent, etc.

      We all need to stop being so judgmental about these decisions. Speaking solely about women, how can we expect men to respect our decisions about these life choices (or necessities) if we as women continue to tear each other down for them?

      That being said, what Hilary Rosen said about Anne Rmney not working a day in her life was awful but I think the point she was trying to make was that Anne Romney didn’t understand what average mothers go through in deciding whether to stay at home or not because the Romney’s had the money to not have to make that decision. Although, if Anne Romney had wanted to have a traditional career, I’m sure someone would be judging her for letting someone else raise her children. It’s a no win situation until we start coming from a place of respect for personal decisions like these.

      • long time lurker :

        Many many women (my mother included) do not have a choice but to work because the family needs two incomes to get by. Not the case with Ann Romney. Rosen could have avoided the whole issue by saying the Romney family in general is out of touch with the economic issues middle-class families face given their substantial wealth. The fact that Rosen’s statement came out that way was really unfortunate and highlights the judging that women do of each other’s choices.

        • THIS THIS THIS. And some women (or men) stay home because their salary is what it costs to put the kids in daycare while they’re not in school or stay home because they accidentally chose a career path they hate and makes them miserable to be around so it’s easier for the family to live simply and have a happy parent than to be dual earners and keep up with the Joneses. What works for one family doesn’t work for another and we can’t judge each other for that!

          I wish Rosen had said the Romney family is out of touch with the middle class because that was exactly her point instead of this battle that is being played out now.

          • And along with judgment free, no one should be judging Ann Romney for staying home. She had the money to make that choice and she made it and we should support her choice regardless of whether we agree with her politics or we ourselves are in the position to make that choice.

          • Agreed that we shouldn’t be judging anyone’s choices. But I think there is something to be said for placing choices in context. And to pretend that choices are made in a vacuum does a disservice to the debate we as a society could be having.

        • But then it is a rich vs. have to work issue and not a women’s issue.

          Look, I am a lawyer. I am upper middle class because I have always worked. I have more in common, when it comes to voting about the economy, with other people who work than I do with people who depend on their family member(s) to support them. Equal pay. Access to capital for businesses to grow. Discrimination laws. Work-home balance. These are the things I care about. And Mrs. Romney and I do not have the same interests when it comes to these issues, even though we are both women.

          • Plenty of people have always worked and are just barely getting by. How hard you work is by no means the sole determinate of how well off you are economically in our society.

      • Not sure how many people saw the actual interview or read the transcript, but just for perspective outside of this discussion, here the full text of what Rosen said:

        “What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that’s what I am hearing. Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.

        She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we worry – and why we worry about their future. I think, yes, it’s about these positions and, yes, I think there will be a war of words about the positions.”

        It’s less about being a sahm and more about romney using his wife as an political tool to connect to middle class women voters.

        • I just reread the sub-thread and saw that this has already been addressed. Oh well, the more you know.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Yes, my post was more directed at the overall debate regarding stay at home moms than her remarks. I also agree that the full statement of what she said is important and I think she meant didn’t work as in didn’t need to get a paycheck, but the way she said can be interpreted to mean that she doesn’t consider raising children to be work.

      • I disagree. I don’t drink the “let’s not judge” Kool-Aid.

        If women want to be treated as grownups, rather than like a special disabled class of people who are victims, then the choices they make should be open to being judged. Hilary Rosen was wrong in saying that Ann Romney has not worked a day in her life because being a SAHM *can* be a sh!tload of hard work.

        However, being a SAHM can also mean that you have the latitude to do absolutely nothing, because you are not answerable to a boss. The people you deal with are your children, who, when they’re young, are under your power. In the real working world, we work with lots of people who are our peers, who are jostling with us also trying to get ahead, and we have no authority over most of them. We have to negotiate dealing with bosses, sometimes more than one, and sometimes difficult ones. SAHMs don’t have to do that.

        You are only answerable to your children if you have a sense of responsibility and not everyone does. You are somewhat answerable to your husband, but he’s probably afraid the SAHM will cut off the s#x, so he won’t say anything. (This is the power of “sleeping with the boss” and some lazy people who hide under the cover of being SAHMs know this and exploit this.) Work expands to fill the time.

        There’s also the effect that if a critical mass of people who are wealthy enough to be SAHMs choose to be SAHMs, then, they make it that much harder to get any sort of social or political momentum for companies to pay for childcare (on-site or off-site.) Why should companies provide childcare if they can expect that a reliable, and sizeable portion of the female population will drop everything as soon as their kids are born? Like it or not, SAHMs do affect other mothers and the childcare resources available (or not). They lessen the demand for childcare providers. And that’s a fact.

        Also, enough with the claptrap about how parenting is the “hardest job in the world” because you can’t really measure it. But if you can’t measure it, how can you tell it’s the hardest? Whereas if you want to go by some generally agreed-upon objective measures, then it’s not the hardest job in the world.

        • This! Why am I a lesser person or a nasty person just because I chose to become a full-time professional and support myself instead of having children? People choose to have kids and either work or not work. Great. Entirely their choice. Not my business. But neither is it anyone’s business that I chose not to have kids.

          CBC-HPSK = Childless By Choice – Husband Parents Step-Kids (and also was the primary caretaker when he was married to their mother).

          • Where anywhere in this thread did anyone say that people who chose not to have kids were lesser beings?

      • Agreed. This may go into what OP didn’t want the discussion to be about, but the (unhappily phrased) remark was made in the context of Ann Romney being an advisor to Mitt Romney on issues facing working women. The notion that she is qualified for that, just by virtue of her sex, is frankly offensive to me. As a childless working woman who doesn’t have relevant professional expertise, e.g., through having done relevant research or counseling, I also wouldn’t count myself as an expert on any issues facing working moms / parents.

    • I was surprised that Rosen’s remark turned into a “debate” about stay at home moms. I don’t think that’s what she was trying to say at all. Didn’t she say Ann Romney never worked a day in her life, she’s never had to worry about how to put food on the table or keeping lights on etc or something to that effect? And it was in response to Mitt Romney saying that his wife told him all women care about is the economy.

      To me, she was saying that Ann Romney’s opinion doesn’t matter because she’s rich. She’s not the average woman (nor is Mitt the average man). Honestly, even if they never had kids, Ann probably wouldn’t have had to work a day in her life. The family is loaded.

      Then republicans or whoever started it seized on that bit about Ann Romney not working a day in her life and spun it into an attack on stay at home moms. And this debate ensued. I agree that it is damaging to women to the extent that it took a non-gendered political issue (out of touch rich people) and turned it into yet another rehash of the SAHM vs working mom debate, thereby making women look petty, melodramatic, and irrational.

      This sort of thing reminds me why I hate politics and contemporary American political discourse.

      • Sorry, I see that most of this point was already made. I just wanted to add that I think this media circus/outrage is a bit of a non sequitur. I think the republicans very cleverly took an attack on the Romney’s wealth (which is hard to defend) and spun it into an attack on conservative family values (easy to defend). I hate that shameless political maneuvering gets treated like an legitimate philosophical debate.

        • Anonymous :

          Ok, but to be fair, let’s not make the whole scenario a Republican/Democratic issue. I think anyone running for president does not know what it is like to be in the shoes of a lower/middle income family right now. It might be a matter of degree the amount of money the Romneys have versus the Obamas versus the Clintons or the Bushes – but none of these people are lower or middle class, for goodness sake!

          • Anonymous :

            They’re not lower or middle class now. But let’s be clear: Bill Clinton was born into a middle class family and was basically the child of a single mother (and later an abusive stepfather), and Barack Obama certainly didn’t come from wealth. Both Bush presidents and Mitt Romney were born into extraordinarily wealthy and powerful families. There are certainly Republican politicians who come from the middle class (Huckabee, Palin) and there are Democrats who come from wealth (Kennedy), but it’s just not accurate to say that Obama or Clinton have the same background with respect to class that the Romneys or Bushes do.

          • True. I think it was the republicans who spun this particular comment- but only because it was made by a democratic pundit. I think if a republican said it, the dems would have scrambled to do the same thing. It’s definitely not party-specific. And it’s not like the dems are raising the level of this particular debate.

            And you’re also right that all of the candidates are in the top 1% of wealth. No doubt. It’s just that the Romneys are so far beyond that I do honestly thing there is a difference in Mitt’s ability to relate and any other candidate’s (Barrack or other Republican primary candidates). It is truly mind boggling how wealthy Mitt Romney is- not that this reflects poorly on his character, but it is not irrelevant to his perspective and world view.

            For the record, I am not a dem or a republican and I don’t vote consistently with either party. I go candidate by candidate. So any partisan bias was truly unintentional.

        • THIS. Ugh. The state of what passes for political discourse in this country these days sickens me. I blame cable news (not any particular channel, just the existence of it).

    • Lyssa, I agree with your thesis. That they never say this of fathers, and it’s so specifically about “motherhood” is where I smell the rat.

      It sounds like part of the agenda to absolve men from their responsibilities as a parent, to dismiss the roles of SAHDs, and also, a way to keep SAHMS in their place by heaping fulsome, insincere praise on them.

      Yesterday, I was posting about how a lot of the younger guys in certain industries (like finance) are very manipulative in forcing (and it’s definitely forced, it’s not an actual choice made by their wives because of the duress these men put on them) their wives to quit their jobs as soon as they have children.

      These men trot out the full catechism of false compliments:
      1)You’re just so special that our children will grow up emotionally stunted and warped without your devoting your time to them.

      2)I would quit if I could. (I always tell them that they can quit, actually, and there’s no law preventing them from being a SAHD. They give me blank looks when I say this.)

      3)It’s the hardest job in the world. (And then, when they’re out drinking with coworkers, they b!tch constantly about how their wives are stupid, can’t operate the blender properly, don’t do enough around the house and how “do you ever notice that the longer a woman stays at home, the less the b!tch does?”)

      • You make some good points. I also roll my eyes at the “its the hardest job in the world” business. Is it really? I think there are a lot reasons this cliche is so prevalent, but it really isn’t a feminist thing to throw out there. It’s pandering. And I respect SAHMs. No judgement from me at all. I don’t think women owe it to other women to prove anything by working, nor do men. I don’t think anyone who has been around small kids all day would say it’s easy, but hardest job in the world? hardly. Can’t imagine how miners, prison guards, roofers etc would feel about that. It’s not like it is either easy or the hardest job in the world. Can’t it be in between, like, you know, almost every other job out there?

        • Anonymous :

          I would rather go to my job every day than stay home with my son all day. That sure wouldn’t be the case if I were a roofer!

      • Susan, not to quibble on word choice, but I don’t know if it’s as cut and dry as men forcing women to do anything. You could, perhaps, argue that society tries to force women and the men you speak of subscribe to these notions and do their part (and certainly the tax code would support this argument) but I think it’s more complicated than a few guys in finance manipulating their wives into staying home – if it were that simple, their wives would have to be as stupid as they claim they are at happy hour.

        • AIMS, you’re absolutely right. It’s not that cut and dried and I hope my post didn’t make it seem that way.

          I was just trying to indicate that there are some people who definitely use this “hardest job” rhetoric to further their agendas, which I wouldn’t describe as “right wing” (sorry, TheCurb and b23!! and thanks for the correction), but I would describe as an agenda that wishes to perpetuate traditional gender roles.

          I find social pressure that forces people to adhere to traditional gender roles to be damaging to men and women, but am focusing on the women, as this site’s target audience is women. Some may view social pressure to make people adhere to traditional gender roles as a good thing, but I’m not one of them. :-)

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think the biggest problem in the response is that Rosen was right. Ann has not worked. “Work” and “job” are different from “wife” and “mother”. That doesn’t mean raising children isn’t hard or valuable, but it isn’t “work” in that sense, just like I didn’t have a job or “work” when I was a full time student. Admitting that doesn’t mean law school wasn’t hard work. I know it seems nitpicky, but I think refusing to acknowledge the difference hurts, and it helps mask the ways in which work – in the traditional for pay job sense- is fundamentally different from hhomemaking and childrearing. Calling Ann Romney the CEO of the Romney Family obscures the fact that she is not earning an independent income, and paradoxically makes it seem that home based activities are only valuable insofar as they are analogous to “work.”

      • Anne, I don’t think you’re being nitpicky, and I think you do make a good point that there is a difference.

        It’s odd to see factions from the left and from the right uniting to try to conflate work & job with wife & mother, for very different motives.

        For the right, it’s because they think that being a wife and mother are the only things a woman should do, so they’ll say anything to make that the case.

        For the left, it’s because tasks associated with “women’s work” like parenting, have so often been crapped on, that it’s seen as a way to reclaim and to show respect to women. I understand the impulse here, but I think it’s ultimately unproductive to muddy the terms and confuse the discourse.

        • Good lord. I get so tired of the left saying the right wants to keep down women. Some do. Some in the left do too. Stop making such horrible generalizations. It drives me flipping crazy.

          • b23, I’m not trying to drive you crazy. Sorry!

            When I say “the right,” I should have said, “socially conservative on women’s issues.” There are plenty on the right who are fiscally conservative, but are agnostic on social issues, and agnostic on women’s issues.

            But as for the social conservatives, yes, they are trying to keep women down. They define what they think as the only acceptable choice for women (be SAHMs), and if you limit someone’s choices, yes, you are keeping them down. I hope you’re not going to argue with that.

            Some on the left do it, too, but the social conservatives seem to have cornered the market on this one.

          • I appreciate your apology, but I still don’t think you get it quite right. I am socially conservative as well as fiscally conservative, but I also work (very hard) outside the home and plan to do so when I have kids. I also take birth control. But I am pro-life and don’t think the Catholic church should have to pay for birth control.

            My point is not to lay out all of my beliefs, but just to tell you that this is way too nuanced of a debate to be able to say “social conservatives want to keep down women.”

        • As a working woman who is “on the right” your response is incredibly insulting. This conversation is so interesting without going there.

          • Saw your clarification below.. should have refreshed the page before commenting. thank you!

      • Anne, I think you’ve articulated exactly what it is that has been bothering me about this whole debate, and conversations like this in general. It’s just not work. Doesn’t mean it’s not important or hard, or maybe ever harder or more important, but it is just.not.work. And while it’s perfectly sweet to think of Mitt coming home to Ann and saying, “you’re the CEO here, sweetums,” it’s just not the same as being an actual CEO.

        I sympathize with any woman or man who chooses to stay at home to raise kids and then feels disparaged for not working, I do. But the solution is not to pretend that they’re at work, too. That does everyone a disservice. The solution is an honest conversation that respects their contribution for exactly what it is.

        This might be going too far afield, but I just don’t understand why we have such an obsession with equality that we have to make everything “the same” in order to not make anyone feel left out. Worse is when we throw empty platitudes around, like “parenting is the most important job there is…” No, it’s not. It might be the most important job for you, the individual parent, but I think that person working on a cure for cancer or a vaccine for AIDS is actually doing something more laudable as far as humanity is concerned.

        I’m sure I’m biased, too, and this conversation will devolve into something where we all shout past each other, but I really just wish we could talk about these things openly and honestly. And, to start we need a new word for parenting that accepts its importance without calling it something it is not.

        • It’s not an obsession with equality, it’s insecurity. It’s needing to prove something to others. Sure, some people will judge you harshly, but so what? Life’s not as much fun, if you spend a lot of your energy jumping up and down to prove something to these people (who will still be judging you anyways!)

          If one chose to be a SAHM but then feels insecure about it, then it might be more productive to thoroughly examine one’s choices and determine if one feels like it’s worth it to be a SAHM or not.

          However, I often see that what happens is: handing out “Mommy cards” instead of business cards, driving around in cars with huge stickers that say in giant font: PROUD TO BE A SAHM, and sending annoying emails to non-parents and working parents saying stuff like: “I’m watching my kid, who’s watching yours? I love my kids more than you do.” The SAHM doth protest too much. The happy SAHMs I know just look happy, without any preaching.

          • I’m sorry, I don’t think anyone sends out emails saying that, or if they do they are a seriousa**h*le and probably not typical of the sample. Maybe you’re trying to make a point by saying that as a whole for SAHMs, but I think it comes off as bitter and divisive.

            I also disagree that it’s just about insecurity. It’s not that simple. This country does not deal well with difference. We believe that all religions are equal, that all career choices are valid, that all cultures are the same, etcetera and so on. In a way this is good, but in a way it’s BS and avoids actual meaningful discussion and impedes progress. Not all religions are equal. Those that believe stoning adulterers to death do not belong on the same page as more evolved isms. Intelligent design is not a theory on par with evolution, we should not treat it, or teach it, as though it were. There are countless more examples.

            This controversy is not happening because a handful of SAHMs feel insecure. It’s happening because we as a society say these things – working men and women included. Blaming it on SAHM’s insecurities is not going to move the conversation forward.

          • Adele, I agree with your point but just for argument’s sake I will say that I did have a “SAHM” say essentially that to me. She went on a tirade about how it would be extremely irresponsible of me to decide to have kids unless I was willing to give up my career because you never get the time back with your children and only bad mothers who don’t care about their children work. Just for personal rant purposes I will note that the reason she’s a SAHM and her fiance too is because they both got fired from their jobs and decided to use unemployment insurance as an excuse not to look for work for a year and sure if I got fired I could live off the government for a year too and stay home with my kids but I don’t think that’s something to brag about. Anyway, I do think it is based in insecurity on her part but when you are a working woman who wants/has kids there are SAHMs out there who try to make you feel guilty like that in order to make themselves feel better.

          • Sometimes the truth hurts. And is divisive. And yes, I have received those emails and I have seen people with those stickers on their cars. And I live in a very “blue state.”

            It’s not all about insecurity, but it’s certainly there. Not all SAHMs are like this, of course.

          • I don’t disagree that insecurity is a part. We are all insecure about our choices. And even beyond insecurity, our choices inform what we care about, what our pet peeves are, so on. Not incidentally, and I say this with affection, was this topic brought up by Lyssa who has a husband who plans to stay home. What rubbed her the wrong way is, I am sure, informed in part by her sensitivity to the subject based on her own life plans.

            My point is the insecurity is a small part of the bigger more complicated picture and to write it off as insecurity on the part of SAHMs and that’s that does a disservice to the complexity of the issue and fails to explain why this has touched off such a firestorm among everyone else.

            I am sure we are all nuanced individuals IRL, but sometimes the oversimplications on this blog and others really do not reflect this. Susan, I am sure we agree more than we disagree, but your phrasing does not advance the debate. It’s not about the truth hurting. There are a number of ways to say something; not all are equal.

          • I think you’re right about the insecurity Susan, but I think working moms are guilty of the same thing- making insulting judgments about SAHMs because they personally feel a little bit insecure about not staying at home. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle, unfortunately, with everyone feeling attacked all the time for personal decisions. Not sure how to break the cycle except for everyone to stop projecting their own life choices and expectations onto others, which is easier said than done.

          • By saying it’s insecurity, you are implicitly judging their decisions. Like Adele said, everyone is insecure about their decisions, especially mothers (whether they work or not). To say SAHMs are the only insecure ones is pretty insulting, as if they have something to be insecure about. Some may be, for sure. But I know plenty who aren’t, who love their decision, who left high-paying and powerful positions to stay at home. Don’t judge their decisions and say it’s not about equality, it’s because they are insecure.

        • I agree with Adele’s distinction. When people talk of SAH parenting as “work,” I think they are trying to convey that it’s not pleasant/easy/enjoyable. But I don’t think anyone thinks it’s any of those things. And I don’t think that’s what’s meant by saying SAH parenting isn’t a job, or isn’t work.
          Something being difficult or gross or exhausting doesn’t turn it into a “job” or, as Mrs. Romney later called it, a “career.”

      • An excellent analysis of this point from late this afternoon’s Washington Post:


        • Interesting. I’m disappointed that Rosen’s apology/backtracking was so …cowardly. She’s going to spend the weekend with her kids! teaching them lessons! That’s the guilt speaking right there. I wish she had just let it go.

      • Good point – and I would add (as a mother who has always worked at a job that pays a salary) the whole “mothering is such hard work” line really annoys me. My child is not “work”. She is not something that was forced on me by the need to support myself. She is not a job. Parenting her is a joy and a privilege that I chose. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would stop working. I would not stop parenting (or even use the money to hire someone else to take care of her). Indeed, the biggest advantage to a sudden windfall would be the opportunity to spend more time with her.

        Being a mom is not always sunshine and roses – but I wish people would stop talking about it as if it were the equivalent of digging ditches in a southern summer for 8 hours a day.

    • divaliscious11 :

      I actually agree with what I perceived to be her intent – not dismissing that being a SAHM mom is a tough job. Its that a SAHM with virtually unlimited financial resources, and in-hme assistance (housekeeper etc…) has a very different experience than a SAHM who is doing so but scrimping and sacrificing because staying at home is a strain financially. I don’t think she intended to “knock” her but to point out that there is a chasm of difference between her experience and the vast majority of SAHM or WOHM’s for that matter. I thin the same thing is the case when we talk about our struggles as professional women, versus the issues working mom’s who work in blue collar, or even pink collar jobs. Even when I am really struggling to balance, I am aware that many people would love to have my “problems. doesn’t mean they are less problematic for me, but my griping about giving up my home office for my au pair, is NOT the same as the mom who is nervous about leaving her kid in a home day care because its all she can afford.

      I also don’t think you can discuss this in a vacuum – as you were getting at, because dads are parents too, but I think many men don’t feel the same pressure to primary parent their kids, and leave the issues associated with care-giving to their wives to work out. My husband is pretty hands on, but even still with a job that requires significant travel, the bulk of managing it, still falls on me…

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I don’t have anything to add (too late to the parade), but I really like this discussion on here–and I think it is particularly relevant on a blog like this one. Brava Lyssa and others!

      • Yup, agreed! Nothing to add myself, since I think others have already said what I would have, but it’s been very interesting to read all of the comments.

    • Lady Girl :


      Very interesting topic you’ve pointed out. I know what works for me, and that is to “work” in the sense of a full-time job with a paycheck and career advancement. My mother raised me to never depend on a man–and this came from a woman in a happy, solid, decades-going-strong marriage where she has worked part-time, but admittedly depends on my father financially and always has. I am only 24, but I pull in a strong salary and I work my a** off because I can sleep at night knowing that I am floating my boat, so to speak. I pay my bills, I buy my clothes, I put away my savings, and I call my shots. End of story. I would rather have my teeth pulled than have it any other way.

      In my college days I worked for a company that worked closely with public schools. 99% of the volunteers were women. On a larger scale, this opened my eyes to the fact that our society depends heavily on the unpaid labor of women. I think this will be changing radically in the next decade, but it’s definitely out there. Frankly I’ve had too much sauvignon blanc after a grueling day at the office to properly analyze such an observation, but just think about it.

    • If you don’t want to discuss the strategist, you shouldn’t have led with calling her remark “stupid.” The statement was accurate. I don’t think she helped herself or the president or Democrats by voicing it, but that’s another issue.

      • It troubles me how many people are defending Rosen. I read it in the paper and it made me ill. You can all rationalize it however you want, but the comment was not professional, considerate, or consructive. It does not help women or anyone to say things like this, no matter how you interpret the ‘true meaning’ or define work. Both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were treated like demons in the last round, and to me this signalled the kicking off of another sad, sad season of women treating each other horribly and making things worse for us all. It is shameful. Mrs. Romney also has MS and had breast cancer. Everyone has their journey in life. Making a personal attack and judgment on people’s families is just wrong, period. Rise above the fray people and see this in the broader context- mean girl behavior.

        • Something can be a mean thing to say and still be true. I defend the accuracy of the statement, not Rosen for saying it. We all have our our journeys, sure. And Mrs. Romney’s journey has not included having a job. That is neither an “attack” nor a “judgment,” although you seem to think otherwise.

          • The statement wasn’t accurate on its face without interpretation. If she said “she has not been employed by an organization”- yes. But the word work has different connotations, and to many, is insulting to SAHMs, making it an attack and judgment. That is why there has been such a reaction- it isn’t people’s imaginations.

          • I think this is a problem of language. Yes, we use ‘work’ very liberally. When someone keeps a strict diet and exercise regime, we may say they ‘work’ hard at their physique, but it doesn’t make their diet and exercise plan a job.
            The words work and job actually mean something specific. As Anne Shirley said above, lots of things are quite hard and yet aren’t work (e.g., law school). As someone else also noted, many mothers don’t see raising their children as work – they chose to do it and they do it because they are invested in the outcome, not because this is how they have decided to support themselves (although the last may be in a way true for some women, too). What Rosen said is accurate. Frankly, we do stay at home moms a disservice by pretending that what they do has to be the same as a job in order to have meaning. Being a stay at home mother should be viewed as valuable in and of itself, without having to resort to these pandering half-truths.

            FWIW, certain other languages have a word that similar to work but that translates roughly as ‘effort.’ I would not dispute that stay at home moms make a tremendous effort every day. But they don’t “work” in the same way I do. Certainly, they don’t have to worry about not telling off the boss or getting fired.

    • Chiming In :

      Here are a couple of random thoughts in response to what is posted above and below on this topic:

      1. The discussion should move away from the word “choice.” Use of that word makes it seem as if I chose to stay home with my children while you chose to go to work. I think that concept, if it applies at all, applies to *very few*. First, we are all born into a certain family, financial position, and cultural position. The studies show that it if very different to move out of this position. If I am raised to be a worker and you are raised to be a SAHM, chances are that is where we will stay. I could elaborate on this, but will leave it alone for now.

      2. I was raised in an ultra-left wing democratic family in an ultra-blue state. I didn’t meet my first Republican until I was in law school on the west coast. I say this just to put some context in what I am about to say. The idea of choice and that each person can just decide what to do, what to believe, etc. doesn’t work out so well, it turns out. Please see The Righteous Mind” By Jonathan Haidt. Also, another book as recently been published (see last week NYT week in review) that points out how the religious division in the United States has been negative for our country. These books point out that 1. societies function better when we are thinking about the greater good and 2. when we are religiously united in a single goal (at least that is what I got out of the reviews without reading the books).

  14. Nony Makeover :

    Long time reader and poster with an odd-ball / somewhat embarrassing question about getting my sh*t together. TIA for reading!

    I am a young, professional woman (not law). I have a graduate degree, and a good job. My colleagues would describe me as smart and capable. The problem – I have recently realized that somewhere in the past few years I “let myself go”. I gained a ton of weight (5-6 dress sizes), became sloppy with my appearance and started being very messy at home. As a result, I’ve recently become aware that I do not make such a great first impression, though that is promptly rectified once people see my work product.

    I used to say that all this happened because I worked so many hours, and while my hours are long, they’re not much more than the average successful professional. So, how do I start getting back on track? Every week, I’m confident this is the week when things are gonna change (diet wise, appearance wise, etc.) and it all flops by day 3. I’m definitely not trying to be perfect, but I want to feel like I’m a real adult (turning 30 next month). Thoughts on how to make this happen? For what it’s worth, I’ve been seeing a therapist and this has helped my mood, but hasn’t gotten rid of the bad habits I developed. Unfortunately I’m not in law, so my income does not allow for hiring help.

    • Hmm, maybe you’re trying to change too much at once. I think you would want to start with just one item — diet, exercise, appearance, etc — and start with something small there. Like with diet, your goal could be to eat salad for lunch 2x a week. Do that for a few weeks. Then add another goal — e.g. eat a piece of fruit every day with breakfast (or just eat breakfast period). Do that for a few weeks. Once you’ve accomplished a few of these you’ll feel much better about yourself and much more confident about your ability to change.

      • Oh, and lots of luck!

      • Can't wait to Quit :

        I agree, and my strategy would be to start with your appearance before you start on your weight – you will see results and improve your image much more quickly. My advice would be to do these things one at a time, so you aren’t trying to change everything all at once.

        Get a haircut. Tell the stylist that you want something that works with your natural hair texture and is easy to style and maintain, so that the day to day upkeep of the good new haircut isn’t so daunting that you give up.

        Take care of your skin. Get a scrub cream at the drug store and exfoliate a few times a week. Get in the habit of performing your skin care routine every night – you will look better immediately.

        Get some makeup advice (Clinique counter, Sephora, etc). Get a foundation that really works with and matches your skin. Have the consultant show you a simple, polished daytime look. Start wearing makeup to work.

        Look at your wardrobe, and get rid of anything you don’t enjoy wearing. Get some clothes that you do enjoy wearing.

        Feeling well dressed and well groomed will go a long way towards making you feel like you are in control of your life and image, and then you will be more confident and ready to tackle the bad habits instead of just beating yourself up about them.

        • I second can’t wait to quit. Do something now so that you feel better about yourself, and as long as you’re paying attention you’ll eventually figure out the rest.

          First: keep working hard. Nothing in your personal life will compensate if you start letting that slip.
          – get a good haircut this week :-).
          – get thee to a personal shopper, and improve your wardrobe now, for the way you are now. If you lose weight later, so be it, but at least you’ll be looking good in the meanwhile. There are many conversations about personal shoppers on this site, look them up and find one that works for you. Just about everyone recommends Nordstrom’s, but not everyone has one handy.
          – while you’re at it, get a proper bra fitting. Nothing does as much for your wardrobe :-).
          – more exercise before you start messing with the diet (although there is some good advice elsewhere on this site about healthier foods to keep in your desk). Can you spend 15mn walking to work in the morning, or back from work later at night? That alone will make a world of difference.

          What’s this can’t afford to hire help thing? I have a hard time believing you can’t hire someone to come and clean your house a couple hours a week. That alone would make a big difference, if only because like everyone else you’d have to put some stuff away first :-). Also this makes me think you may want to be paying some attention to your finances.

          • I was with you until the last paragraph, M-C. In my city, having someone come clean for a couple hours a week would be $300-400/month, and not everyone can afford that. It doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t paying attention to their finances; in fact, it may mean they are paying very close attention to their finance and living within their means.

          • Cleaners are a godsend :

            See if you can have someone come over less often than once a week. We have cleaners come by once a month, and it’s $110 a month to clean my 1800ish square foot house. I live in the suburbs of a major western city.

    • associate :

      As your colleagues say–you are smart and capable. To get where you are (successfully through school, into a good job, kept that job) you have applied yourself, made hard decisions, and shown self-restraint. Apply the same principles to your appearance/health too. “Letting yourself go,” for lack of a better term, is a series of small decisions. You are capable of making different ones, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to be as successful as you are. Try starting with one habit you’d like to change, and treat it like you would an assignment or work, or a test in school. Think of it as starting a new habit instead of breaking an old one. You can do it :)

    • I think the first thing to realize is that you can’t do it all at once. I am 30 and I struggle with all of this on a daily basis.

      Someone posted this article for me awhile back and I found it very interesting.

      You can only do so much. Right now my goal is to lose weight. I didn’t let myself go in the way you described, I’ve always been overweight but I’ve always been very athletic, when I stopped being athletic (thanks to work, school, relationships) I started packing on the flab without really noticing. So now I’m focusing on recovering my athleticism. I am watching what I eat, and more importantly tracking everything I eat, but if I have a (or 3) ferrero roche chocolate egg (bad boss for bringing them in!) it’s okay as long as I don’t go more than 2 days in a row without a workout of some sort. As exercise gets to become more of a habit, I intend to cook more healthy meals rather than relying on raw fruits and veggies, which gets boring.

      Once exercise is a habit and I feel a little more comfortable in the kitchen, I know I need to add some cleaning time to my schedule. Right now I basically clean a bit on the weekends, only what really needs it, my bf picks up a lot of the slack in that area, and we call it good. That’s not fair to him, and honestly I would prefer my living space to be a bit cleaner, but I can only do what I can do.

      If you have specifics, you can try adding one thing per week, or every other week. For instance “every day this week I will wake up 15 minutes earlier, my bedtime goal is x” that will give you more time to get ready in the morning, able to be a bit more put together, maybe have breakfast or rinse your dishes before leaving for work in the morning, whatever works for you.

      Try putting things into the weekend. I’ve been cooking all my breakfasts for the week on Sunday then refrigerating/freezing for the week. Sometimes I nuke before leaving, sometimes I eat it cold in my car, it works for me!

      Find shortcuts. I used to despair about bringing a lunch to work because quite honestly I like to roll out of bed about 15 minutes before I leave for work. I found some healthy soups with low sodium and have been having a different one for lunch every day. I’ve had some repeats of my favorites, but I’m not sick of them yet! It takes 3 seconds to grab a can of soup and stick it in my purse. Maybe for you that means packing lunch the night before. Maybe it means buying premade salads at the grocery store. Whatever works for you.

      I highly recommend sparkpeople(dot)com. We have a group for ‘rettes, and you can find me under the name IronBlossom. Not only does sparkpeople help with diet and exercise, they have what they call streaks that you can set to be anything you want. So “vaccume 3x/week” or “watch 1 less hour of tv” and the site will track for you what percentage of the time you do that.

      Habits are habits good or bad! Breaking one and starting a new one is long hard work, but totally worth it!

    • I think baby steps are the way to go. You’ve already done the hard part of recognizing that things need to change and identifying what needs to change. Don’t try to tackle everything all at once because it is SO daunting and overwhelming and easy to fall off the wagon then. Pick the one thing that’s easiest for you to stick with (appearance, cleaning, diet) and focus on that. Don’t beat yourself up about the other stuff. It takes a LONG time to make a new habit (I think 21 days?) and everyone falls off the wagon when trying to develop new habits. If you fall off the wagon on Day 3, let it go and make an effort to refocus on Day 4 instead of the following week. Once you “master” one thing, it’ll be easier to keep in that groove and add another thing.

    • Get a thorough physical, get your thyroid checked, and blood sugar. You’re seeing a therapist so I assume you’ve considered whether you are depressed and if so are getting treatment for it. Feeling tired, unable to make yourself eat right, exercise, clean the house, put things away, all are signs of depression, but also thryoid issues. I’ve been there on both of those, so I know how hard it is to find the right treatment. Good luck, hope you get back on track soon.

      • Marie Curie :

        And have your vitamin b12 levels checked as well. Deficiency can manifest itself in depression-like symptons and general fatigue/lethargy.

    • Merabella :

      I think that it is a good idea for you to see a therapist, because some of this may have to do with underlying issues that you haven’t dealt with.

      Bad habits are always hard to break. I think that joining a group, or organization sometimes helps to break you out of them. Maybe trying something like Weight Watchers, or joining something like a workout group, will make you more accountable because others will see you. This has helped me in the past.

      Also in the appearance department – ie trying new make-up/hair/etc – try going to a make-up counter and getting a demonstration on new techniques. Maybe it will spark some inspiration to continue it on your own.

      And as always, take it one day at a time, if it flops on day 3 try to get back on the horse on day 5. It isn’t all or nothing. Breaking bad habits takes time and determination.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Echoing the baby steps thing. I had a similar realization about a year ago, and what worked for me was picking on issue that I wanted to work on first, and then waiting until I established good habits around it until moving to the next issue. So now a year later I am 50 pounds lighter, my house is mostly clean, and it’s time for me to start working on revamping my wardrobe and hair/makeup regiment. But I can say that starting small and having weekly/monthly mini accomplishments is what got me here.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        *picking one issue.

        Also I wanted to say good luck to you, and don’t let “slip-ups” stop you. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

    • I agree with baby steps, I had a similar situation a few years ago. I realised I was wearing a “uniform” to work. I work in tech, so no one really cared or noticed, but once I did, I felt like a total frump.

      Part of the problem was I’d gained a lot of weight due to medical issues. It’s incredibly difficult for me to lose weight and shopping was demoralizing so when I found something that fit, I’d buy it in every color…and bam. Uniform.

      I couldn’t change everything at once either, so I started small, decided I was going to do make up at home instead of in the car or at my desk. So that was 5 minutes more to my routine in the morning. Then I started to shop for cute stuff slowly. One blouse at a time, I made rules for myself…no matter how much I loved how something fit, I could only get it in 2 colors at most.

      That’s had an effect on my whole attitude…I’m still bigger than I’d like to be, I may never be smaller than this again, but I have realised that just hoping there’s a large something to hide behind isn’t the answer. I feel better about myself now, and it’s helped me to accept who and where I am right now.

    • long time lurker :

      Something you wrote struck a cord with me – it all flops by day 3. I struggle with making goals and then days will go by and I’ve done nothing, and I figure, why bother. Like I will say I will go to the gym Tues and Thursday. I skip Tuesday, because something comes up, so then by Thursday, I”m like, why bother the week is shot. I’ve been trying to make myself get over that – in my example, go to the gym Thursday. Even 1 day of exercise is better than none. Plus, it is getting me into the habit.

      Also, with appearance, I need short cuts to help me get ready in the a.m. I feel better when I look good, but I struggle getting ready in the morning. I got a shorter hairstyle with layers that does not take as long to blowdry/style as my long thick hair. I spend a few minutes thinking about what I will wear before going to bed, and I might pull out one thing as inspiration, such as a blue cardigan. I haven’t graduated to picking the whole outfit out, but I give it some thought and that makes it easier for me. I went to the makeup counter and said I need a look that takes 5 minutes, show me how to do that.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      Nony M., law school d*amn near broke my spirit. I am not the same person now that I was before I went to law school. It changed my life in a lot of negative ways and I truly suffered because of it (gained weight, felt like cr*p physically and emotionally, couldn’t sleep, my mood was jacked up, etc.). The smoke finally started to clear about a year ago (I graduated in May of 2010) and I realized that I was really unhappy and needed to change things because I was not being my best self and people were starting to notice. I took the approach that Nancy P mentioned and I decided to start with one thing at a time and went from there .

      I started my journey with my mental well being, because my anxiety (and a little depression) was getting in the way of my day to day life. I had turned into a terrible and angry person and that was the issue I decided to address first. I started therapy last fall and went consistently for a few months. Therapy helped A LOT. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to move forward with the rest of my journey until I went to therapy. I believe that it decreased the likelihood of self-sabotage.

      Once I got the “mental” aspect somewhat under control, I decided to get a physical done in January. My doctor tested me for the works and it turned out that I actually had some medical issues that were preventing me from being my best self. Hearing the doctor tell you that you are overweight and have some issues is totally more powerful than self-browbeating.

      My therapist and medical doctor made some recommendations and I have been implementing them slowly but surely. I started some medication, I changed my diet, and I started going to the gym.

      I won’t bore you with more details, but the main thing is that you cannot let your situation overwhelm you. I had to divide my issues into portions and conquer them that way otherwise I would still be paralyzed with fear and making excuses for myself (I’m tired, I’m busy, I’m already overweight so I’m going to just eat that extra taco). You also have to be kind to yourself in order to succeed. There are some weeks where no matter what I do I can’t get all my work done, my apartment is a disaster, and/or my eating habits are terrible. BUT I don’t give up; I allow myself a short pity party and then get up the next day and start over.

      Good luck Nony M. I bet a bunch of us here will be cheering you on because we have totally been there before!

      • very anon :

        B –
        You’ve said what I, also as a 2010 grad, have been trying to put words to for the past two years. Law school nearly broke my spirit, also. And not in the “oh this is really hard way”, but in a manner that made me seriously consider checking myself into some sort of inpatient treatment by graduation.

        • Also 2010- spent the last year of law school having PTSD every time I got within 3 blocks of my school. Even after moving 3000+ miles away, I still have nightmares. I already hated law school & then I had a TERRIBLE experience my last semester. It really killed my self confidence, my creative spirit, and everything I liked about myself.
          Whenever I hear people say going to law school can’t hurt… I always think, “you have NO idea.”
          2 years later, I finally feel like I’m regaining some of that back… but I’m not sure I’ll ever fully get over it.

      • anonforthis :

        I don’t think it was law school that did it to me but the start of law school definitely coincided with some tough mental health issues for me. I ended up dropping half my courseload spring semester of 1L year because I was too depressed to really function.

        I hope everyone is doing MUCH MUCH better now!

    • I echo what everyone else has said and add two recommendations:

      Zen Habits blog – I think he has a book, too
      The Happiness Project book – Gretchen Rubin

    • Not sure if someone’s already mentioned this, but I’d also check out Flylady. She has a free daily email or if that’s overwhelming, I think you can just follow her on facebook. She breaks down your cleaning into small tasks and small routines to get you started. Love her mottos — “don’t try and catch up, just jump in where you are.”

      Also, she teaches a lot about letting go of perfectionism. Instead of worrying midweek you’ve screwed up and the week is shot, she’d push for you to change your perspective and restart midweek. Do what you can – even if it’s only 10 minutes a day, etc.

      Hope that helps!

      • SpaceMountain :

        Flylady was so helpful for me back when my kids were little and I was working a lot. I stopped getting her email a long time ago when she had some technical issues, but much of it stuck with me, including the baby steps, laying out my clothes at night, and not feeling like a martyr when I did nice things for my family. It was a real attitude adjustment, but resulted in a brighter outlook on life that has lasted years.

        • I subscribed to Flylady for a while and, like you, haven’t received her e-mails for a long time now. But the one thing that stuck with me was keeping the kitchen sink clean. That one little thing makes me happy whenever I do it.

        • Same here re: Flylady — I haven’t subscribed in years, but I still do all the dishes/shine my sink every night, and make the bed every day. It really is such a positive attitude adjustment — I have strong perfectionist leanings, and it’s so much healthier, mentally, to have the “just jump in” and “just do 15 minutes” approach.

          • Oh, and for the OP — you can find Flylady here:

            Second the recommendation for the Happiness Project book. The same author (Gretchen Rubin) also has a blog to check out for free.

    • anony too :

      I am also interested in the response to this question.

    • I just wanted to say, thanks for posting this because I, too, am having a hard time making the changes in my life that I would like to be making. The advice that people have posted is really helpful.

    • Newish lurker :

      Unlurking to say that you might find it useful to read “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg (he wrote the infamous Target data article). If you want a close look at how habits actually work, and how to modify your “habit loops”, it could be a possible resource in addition to other sites that people have mentioned, like Flylady. I have a good friend who is more or less in the same situation as you are — unhappy with her weight, her environment, her feelings about her job — and she started with the sites FlyLady and UnF**k Your Habitat. But she did say it all started when I took her to Sephora and had them show her how to do her eyebrows and bought her a lipstick. Making little changes that made her feel prettier, like putting on makeup every day, led to the ability to tackle larger, less immediately pleasurable changes. Good luck!

      • Jenna Rink :

        Thank you for posting about UnF**k Your Habitat! I tried Fly Lady a few years ago and found her too…twee. UnF**k is just what I need!

    • Nony Makeover :

      OP here. Thank you to all of you who have already replied with suggestions and encouragement. I really, really appreciate all your thoughts and love that your recommendations are concrete. I am encouraged to hear that other ‘rettes have been in the same position and managed to get things “on track”. I will keep you posted on my progress!

      • This thread is inspiring me to, at 8 p.m. Saturday night, go through the piles of clothes in the bedroom and 1) at least put everything away and 2) maybe put together an outfit for next week. Even though I really want to be watching TV.

    • Nony Makeover, everyone has given good advice. I’ve been there and my hints are to not have a do-or-die mentality. I’m prone to this…the “I’m going to lose 20 pounds in six weeks and be able to run a marathon and have an amazing, clean house…” and then burn out on day 3. The suggestion of the Flylady is good- build on her tactics. Clean for 10-30 minutes every day, not “clean for 3 hours and have my house look like Extreme Home Makeover in a week.” Clean one kitchen cabinet every night, or one desk drawer. After a week,your kitchen/office will have improved quite a bit. Similarly, with diet tell yourself you’ll eat 1 fruit serving and one veggie serving at each meal in week one. In week 2, cut down on your trigger food and replace with salad. Build on the success each week.

      Another idea is to hire a dietician or a personal trainer to get you over the hump. On day three when you want to quit, you’ve already made an appointment to see your trainer and if you skip, you waste the money. Or hire a diet coach that you talk to by phone or email every day for a month.

      If money is tight, enlist a girlfriend or workout buddy and agree to meet for a walk 2-3 times a week before or after work.

      Now I’m off to clean my sink…. good luck!

    • Lady Girl :

      When I was a student I was oh-so-carefree with a shaved head and no make-up and many unshowered days. Once I transitioned into professional adult life, I found it helpful to seek out female role models–yes, in the third-grade sense of the word.

      Do you have any ladies at work who are just the bee’s knees? They look smashing and exude confidence and are above all things brave and courageous? Emulate them! Seriously–copy them. Don’t go out and turn yourself into an exact replica, but let them inspire you and own it for yourself.

  15. Hello. I am seeking advice on a big where-to-live-decision. My husband and I live in a bigger city and currently are in a one-bedroom loft that is about 1,100 square feet. It has only one main wall dividing the large bedroom from the living area and kitchen so that the area is split about into about one-third bedroom and two-thirds living area. We are expecting a baby in August and have been looking for a small 2-3br house to rent. Unfortunately, the selection has been dismal. We are focused on a few key neighborhoods but have found nothing that will work for us. This is not a situation where we are extremely picky and so will never find anything to suit us, but we do have some core requirements: a d/w, W/D, close to a bus line. We have just this week begun to also consider condominiums but also have seen nothing that will work on the condo front. So now we are considering staying in our 1br loft. Here is what we would do: Convert the bedroom into a nursery that would also remain where we store our clothes and get dressed. Create a bedroom space for us in the main living area while reconfiguring the rest of the space for dining and TV/relaxation. My question: Does this seem like a crazy plan? We are not ready to buy (and won’t be for at least three years) and don’t want to live in the suburbs and are interested in some creative solutions. Have others had a newborn in a space this small and made it work? Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated!

    • Before I read the bottom 1/3 of your post I thought to myself “just reconfigure the loft”. Not crazy at all, I think it makes perfect sense.

    • I agree reconfigure the loft, but I would probably partition out a small baby bedroom rather than give baby the bedroom and leave your clothes there – it might disturb the baby when you need to dress or put away laundry or whatever, and babies don’t need large rooms.

      • long time lurker :

        I guess it depends on your habits, if you are watching tv or cooking while baby is napping then the baby might need the bedroom for quiet.

        I know people in NYC who have done a baby in their own bedroom for a year or two, before moving to a 2 bedroom, so I think it can be done. Good luck.

        • We’ve done this. I think it’s actually convenient, especially while nursing. Had to forgo TV in the bedroom, but many experts recommend against it anyway.

        • For the first year, our babies slept with us (me) night nursing was much easier and there was more sleep. We had a mini co-sleeper which we used as well (has storage space in the bottom) – it was between the wall and the bed, so our kids were in it until height became an issue.

          Put a waterproof mattress cover on the bed, if you don’t have one already.

          Our kiddos startled less with flannel sheets when we were laying them down to sleep independently.

          Random thoughts on a Friday. Congrats! And you’ll be fine. The Next Housing Arrangement will come, and after baby arrives is just as good.

      • Bursting out :

        Put the baby in your bedroom with you, in either a co-sleeper or bassinet. Babies don’t need much room and it will be easier to nurse/ change her at night.

        We are currently in an 1100 sq ft house with new baby (in an expensive urban area), and I kinda regret turning the office (tiny bedroom #2) into a dedicated nursery, because she is always with us in either the living room or our bedroom, and could really care less about her cute nursery. If you have more kids, or start to feel cramped in your place when she starts walking, you can look for a new place then.

    • Google “Attorney-At-Large” and look at her “simplifying” tab. She has a post about loft life with a child. I think it is totally doable!

    • DC Association :

      When I had my son, we lived in a 1br apartment that was probably 850 sf. We stayed there until my son was a year old. His crib was in the corner of the bedroom. Honestly, a baby doesn’t take that much space. You will be find in your current place as-is.

    • The baby can totally share your bedroom with you for at least a year. I think that’s pretty standard for apartment-dwelling families. That way you can continue looking for a place that suits your needs at your convenience, and move out when you find the place instead of having a hard deadline.

      • When I was a baby, my parents lived in a small place. My mom told me that I was in the room with them but they put up a curtain to separate my crib. They didn’t move into a bigger place until I could draw back the curtain. Maybe try something like that.

    • When we got pregnant with our son, we were living in a 620 square foot 100 year old 1 bedroom cottage. For about 8 weeks, we were convinced we needed to get a bigger place. This was in summer 2008, when real estate in our town was at it’s peak, but many felt as though the bottom was about to fall out at any time.

      Not wanting to take a million dollar mortgage when I was still in training, we held tight. For the first 4 months, our son stayed in a bassinet in our bedroom. We put a changing pad on our dresser. Over time, we added components. Eventually, he moved in to a crib in our dining room. At night, he’d fall asleep in his peapod (a small tent) in our room, then get moved to his crib when we went to bed.

      These are not your solutions — these were our solutions. But my point is that by looking at space creatively you can definitely stay in your loft. One thing I like IKEA for is that they are very focused on small spaces, and have some really creative solutions.

      Congrats and best of luck!

    • I just saw a link to this on Apartment Therapy. It seems like a great idea for your loft: http://www.hitherandthither.net/2012/04/mini-crib-update.html

    • Even though we live in a ~1800 sqft 3BDR house in the ‘burbs, our son didn’t use his bedroom for quite a while. He coslept for 13 months. I think he slept in his crib for all of 2 nights. You’ll be fine for quite a while in your current setup, IMHO.

  16. Wardrobe/packing help please! I will be attending a 5 day conference in DC next month. The days will be filled with meetings, and a blazer is required. For night, we have two sort of fancy (I think) dinners/receptions and one night of theater. What would you pack? I recently lost some weight and am lacking dresses. Do I have to wear a dress to the receptions/theater? Any help would be much appreciated!

    • If you don’t have dresses, do you have some nice pencil skirts with a fun shirt? You could wear the pencil skirt with a more formal shirt and the blazer during the day and then switch it out for something more festive at night (maybe with a fun piece of jewelry or with a vibrant print).

      Where are all those Cosmo articles about day to night wear when we need them! :-P

    • Conference Capsule! :


      • Just found this blog this week – it’s awesome for capsule wardrobes!

      • OMG CC, thanks to you I just wasted about half an hour reading Vivienne! I may have a new addiction. Not that I’m *complaining* or anything…. ;-)

    • Road Warriorette just had a post about this:

  17. Barrister in the Bayou :

    I recently purchased some makeup brushes and while I haven’t used they yet they seem really soft and I think I’m going to like them.

    However, I’m curious to hear what the hive uses in terms of brushes.

    *Once I wash and get a chance to use my new ones I will try to review them and reveal the brand ;-)

    • Brushes are tools. Depending on the cosmetics and the look you’re trying to create, they can be awesome. Or they can be terrible. And good brush hygiene is important, too.

    • Seattleite :

      I have a Prescriptives foundation brush, and all my other brushes are a mix of Eco-Tools and Mac. Eco-Tools are softer, shed less, and much less expensive than Mac brushes. So that area of Ulta is now my first stop for brushes.

    • I’m paying rapt attention here, as I’m a makeup dunce and have never bought a makeup brush.

    • I have MAC brushes and use them as follows:

      189 Square foundation brush: in the very rare cases that I use a liquid foundation.
      252 large shader: I use this to apply undereye concealer and on blemishes
      228 mini shader brush: to apply eyeshadows
      129 powder/blush short: I use it to apply my powder foundation, blush, and sometimes to contour – I might get a kabuki brush but it will wait as these retail for almost 50 USD
      130 Stipler brush: this is a small blush brush for creamy textures, I don’t use it much but if someday you are going without makeup, you can use it to blend a creamy blush.
      217 blender brush: I use it to blend my shadows for a softer look

    • I only use two brushes with any regularity. I have a travel powder brush (retracts into the handle) and an eye shadow brush. I had always used eye shadow applicators and switched fairly recently to a fluffier eye shadow brush and I love it. I think I got both at Sephora. No idea of the brands. I also have a blush brush, but I rarely wear blush (I’m pale and I just own it).

  18. Are there any Prius owners here? I’m seriously thinking of buying a Toyota Prius and I wanted to see if any owners can give me their honest opinion of the car. I take public transportation to and from work, so I would only drive the car on weekends and one or two nights a week. Does anyone have problems with the battery draining when they don’t drive the car for a few days? Also, I live in the Northeast. Any problems driving a Prius in the snow?

    • I drive Priuses at work and they’re ok. It’s perfect for the amount of driving you’re describing. Battery drainage should not be an issue – our cars are sometimes not driven for a couple days at a time. I would say if you live in a big city and aren’t planning 300 mile roadtrips, go for it.

      • Anonymous :

        See, I would say that if Anon is driving that little, it doesn’t make sense to get a Prius, because it is unlikely that she will save enough on gas to make up for the difference in cost between the Prius, and say, a Corolla, or some other similarly sized non-hybrid but relatively fuel-efficient car. (I don’t own a Prius, but I did consider getting one when I was buying my last car).

        • True enough, perhaps the money/gas savings issue isn’t that pronounced. Then again, it depends on the driving environment. In a city like NYC, where you idling in traffic for dozens of minutes at a time, the engine actually does shut off and you’re sitting in a super quiet car (it’s kind of spooky, actually). If you’re in a less extreme urban environment where your foot is always on the gas when you’re driving, then I absolutely agree with you.

    • I don’t own a Prius personally but my MIL does and says that it handles poorly in the Vermont snow.

      • I’m a 10 year Prium owner. They are problematic in new-fallen snow (I’m in Boston) – b/c the wheels are small and it is a light car, they can’t get much traction, especially on hills. The 1st generation models had some battery issues but to my knowledge, they’ve all been addressed. If you get one, the dealer will probably tell you that if you don’t drive it for more than 2 weeks, you should unplug the small battery to prevent it from discharging completely. It’s a great car though, overall, and I strongly recommend it.

      • lawtalkinggirl :

        My sister and my dad each have a Prius and they seem to do just fine in the winter with proper snow tires. We had record snowfall in SC AK this year and I don’t think my sister ever got stuck once. A lighter car can have an advantage in the snow since only one person is required to push out of a snow berm.

    • My mother and grandmother both own prius’ as well as two of my co-workers actually (see above: CA) :-) I don’t think the battery thing is an issue. My mom works from home and lives in a very walkable town so sometimes doesn’t drive her car for days. My grandmother even more so, as she really doesn’t drive much at all anymore, so her car is usually only used when someone comes to her house and drives her somewhere. No issues yet.

      My grandmother lives in the mountains and has driven in snow without any issues or complaints. Note however, this is California snow. Usually, we just wait for the roads to be cleared and go from there.

      • I always think the plural of Prius should be Prii, no?

        • I think for years Toyota said people could call it whatever they wanted in the plural, but last year they came out and declaredd that the plural would be Prii. I still say Pruises personally. Or avoid talking about more than one.

    • I used to drive a Prius for work – they have terrible blind spots because of the shape of the back. Other than that no complaints. The newer ones might come with blind spot detection systems – definitely get that if you can.

      I highly recommend test driving all the hybrids you can find before you decide – the Prius is not the only option. Thats what I did and I ended up with a Ford Fusion Hybrid that I adore. It’s fine in the snow.

      Also theres a website thats all about hybrid cars that has user reviews.

    • I love my Prius! I also know tons of people that own them (agree with see above: CA) and they all love them too. We’re like a cult.

      There’s no snow here though, so I couldn’t say how it handles in the snow. I disagree with Godzilla though, they’re perfect for 300 mile roadtrips! Mine has gotten way worse mileage than normal the last couple of months when I’ve just been driving it 3 miles back and forth to work each day since I haven’t had time to go anywhere further than when I’m out more than ten minutes at a time. And even if the battery did drain (I don’t know why it would though) you could still run on gas which would eventually recharge it.

      • Yes, highway driving will of course give you better gas mileage than local driving. I just feel unsafe in small cars in long trips. I like being in more solid sedans, the Prius literally rattles when another vehicle speeds by in an adjacent lane. It’s a comfort thing.

        • Actually the Prius should get better local gas mileage. Because of all the starting and stopping the car will use the battery more and the gas motor less. The gas motor so small, that both the battery and gas motor will usually run together on the freeway. I didn’t believe the dealer when I bought it, so I tracked my mileage to confirm, and he was right!

    • I have rented them (these things happen when you are in CA–tons of hybrids!). Anyway, I found the visibility VERY bad for lane changes. There’s a lot of “car” and not a lot of window in your blind spot, which explains why people always say that Prius drivers are bad drivers. I now know that they can’t see.

      Also, I don’t think the interior of the prius is very nice–it’s very plastic-y. If you’re going to go for a prius and don’t mind a not nice interior, check out the Honda insight. It’s a lot cheaper than the prius…there’s a prius premium, and the insight gets just as good of mileage.

      I always research cards on Edmunds.com…you should head there an read real owner reviews too.

    • I’ve had a Prius for 6 years and love it. I’m also in California, so I’ve not driven it in major snow although its handled just fine in many weekend trips to Tahoe. If you’re on the shorter side, I think the back blind spots can be more of a problem, but I’m 5’7″ and haven’t had an issue. The battery has never discharged, and as Cali CPA mentions, the gas motor should charge it back up if it did.
      My favorite parts about it is the very comfy, spacious interior (adult size back seat!), the flexibility of folding down the seats and fitting 2 mountain bikes, or other bulky stuff in the back, and the great mileage (which is better in-town than on the freeway). I’ve taken it on lots of road trips and it does great too. It should be hitting 100,000 miles this month and I’ve had no problems.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve driven these things for years (long story). There’s a range of models now and Lexus makes a nice one too (CT200h). Low ownership costs and they hold their value. Stay away from the Gen 1s though!
      You won’t be disappointed.
      If draining the 12v battery is a concern you can get a switch put in to shut it down when it reaches a certain level.

    • divaliscious11 :

      I live in Chicago and have a 2005 Prius that we use as a third car. I love it, and if my main car wasn’t nearly paid off, I’d probably buy the new wagon one….. My only not so great is that the car was designed for small people. Yes my very tall husband can drive it for short periods of time, but I’m just under 6 ft, and I think if I drove it a long distance it wouldn’t be so comfortable. I haven’t had any issues with snow, but Chicago generally does a really good job of clearing roads etc… so no guidance for a place less timely on snow removal.

    • I’ve had my prius for 7 years and I seriously love the darn thing. I live near Denver, and it’s just fine in the snow, but I grew up in a snowy area, so I’m not new to driving in the snow. It’s seriously awesome in the snow since I bit the bullet and bought snow tires. It has a phenomenal amount of space to haul your crap too. I literally had someone do a double-take with what I had crammed in there (plus a car seat!) at IKEA. I’ve left my Prius parked in a lot at the airport for 5 days more than once, and it’s never been a problem. The only negative things I have to say about my Prius is that the seat doesn’t have electronic adjustments (probably does have that in a new model) and it’s not the best in the mountains.

  19. Interview advice :

    I am about to interview for an internal position that I would really like. It’s a lateral position, but would provide a much-needed change. I am completely qualified, but am also competing against other completely qualified people. I would really love your best interview advice!

    • Anon for this :

      Does your management know? Some companies require the employee to notify their supervisor prior to even applying for any positions within the company.
      Also, do not assume that an internal candidate has an edge just by virtue of being internal. In terms of pay, you are at a disadvantage against a cheaper applicant – you may be moving laterally but it’s assumed you won’t agree to reduction in pay.

    • Anonymous :

      2 things come to mind : first, understand as much as you can about the priorities of the new position with focus on the external ones ie. which are the key clients/ jobs/ projects, and be prepared to show how you can hit the ground running in terms of contributing in these areas (your ability to deliver on the internal priorities are likely to be taken as given and you’ll want to counter any impression that the internals are your primary qualification for the job).

      Second, be prepared to talk about why you see the new position as providing development which you would otherwise be seeking outside your company. Practically all companies like the idea of providing a career path for their people and mentioning this is likely to help the recruiter feel good about going with an internal candidate, all other things being equal.

      Good luck !

  20. For all of you ladies who were loving the Hilary Clinton photo and texts, did you see this column? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/opinion/dowd-state-of-cool.html?_r=1&ref=maureendowd

    • I found you again! I read this and wanted to come back here and make a comment, then got distracted with the 17 things article and…well…it’s now several hours later (and the final contract that I need to draft this week is not yet done).

      I loved this article, I think it expresses many of the things I’ve thought about HC over the years. Maybe it’s because she’s just a bit older than my own mother, or because the Clinton’s power dynamic (minus the cheating!) reminds me a lot of my parents, but I’ve always felt a “special” I don’t know, resonance? with HC? I’m not sure that’s the right word, but hopefully you see what I mean.

      Anyway, back when she was in the WH she seemed so stifled. She had great ideas and was a wonderful, active FL but…always seemed like she could do more. Then when she ran in 2008(7) she really just seemed so uncomfortable in her own skin. Like “well, duh you should vote for me, I’m me? Also, I’m going to get ridiculous and go hide in the corner over here and let my handlers talk for a while and OH YEAH, by the way, I’m HILLARY CLINTON!”

      Now she seems like a power broker, and she knows it, and she’s good at it, and EVERYONE knows it. All the potential that I think has been screaming to get out of her is being realized and I really truly hope she is elected in 2016, even though if I were her I wouldn’t want to work until I was 72, but I think she has the passion and the drive and the brains and would be fabulous for the country.

      Ok, enough gushing! :-)

      • I saw a video of her on a talk show somewhere in SE Asia after she became SoS, and she was so relaxed and funny. I don’t know what it was about the presidency and the WH that made it difficult for her to let that side of her personality shine, but I was utterly charmed by it.

        • Agreed! I was a Barack supporter in ’08, because something just seemed–off about Hillary; I didn’t have a particular problem with her, but I felt like I couldn’t get a read on her the way I could Barack. Now I love love love her!

      • You’re right – she does seem to have come into her own and is more comfortable being herself. I had also wondered about the age issue – would she want to work that long?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Thanks for sharing this. I’m usually not a huge Dowd reader, but this article gave me chills. It so perfectly articulated exactly what is so powerful about that photograph.

  21. blown away :

    Confession, and I’d love to hear what other people think of the concept embodied in the title of this article (much more so than the article itself): how busy you are is not the indicator of how successful you are.


    I read this as a link from the “17 Things” article above, and I feel as though a light bulb has gone off in my head. I have never once thought that I could be successful if I was not, in fact, busy every single moment of every waking day. I think I might have just opened this window to re-defining my entire life in light of this new concept.

    I don’t have to feel overwhelmed and stretched too thing to qualify as successful.

    • I read that from 17 things as well and really like the idea. I’ve been hearing a lot more of this idea of living a MIA life – Mindful, Intentional Actions, and I really am trying to put some of the ideas into use. It strikes me how much of my life gets whiled away on things that are just not very important, while I try to change my commute to save 10 minutes or go to bed after midnight because I’m trying to get all the things done that I should have and could have done earlier…but was “too busy” doing…something!

    • I don’t have to feel overwhelmed and stretched too THIN to qualify as successful.

      Also, then I’ll have time to spell correctly.

    • Wow – I had the same reaction. Not so much about work (though definitely a little bit), but more about other things in life I may not want to face. How many times have I used being so incredibly busy at work and elsewhere as an excuse not to focus on a meh relationship? Reducing the clutter, not being too “busy” to think about things you don’t want to – yikes.

  22. Anyone interested in a Tampa meetup?

  23. I am moving back to the area where I grew up and am interested in transitioning to a non-practicing legal job such as legal publishing or policy research. I am moving to an area that has a very large range of industries/jobs including federal and state government. I have worked in big law and currently work for a quasi-state agency. I have really only done contract work, although many different types. I plan to join the Junior League and local bar association after I move to network. I also have friends in the area that are lobbyists, lawyers, and legal administrative types. I plan to contact everyone to let them know I am coming back to the area and want to catch up, with the plan to sneak in a discussion about my job search at some point.

    Have any of you switched to nonparticipating positions? What all is out there? I am kind of at a loss of what to look for outside of the traditional job sites, etc. I have never had a problem getting a job before but anticipate the road will be much more difficult now. I have been saving and saving to prepare for my period of unemployment. Any suggestions or tips on avenues I explore or other things I do I try to figure out what else is out there? I’d love to go back to school to be a teacher, but at this point cannot take on more student loan debt.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Have you looked into your law school alumni network for leads, email the social/volunteer committee of the local bar association before you move in the area so you have some events on your calendar.

      What policy centers exist in your home town that are doing research in your quasi-state agency field? If you get a position at a university (research center), tuition remission for teacher certification may be an option. Your lobbyist friends may kn

      And be upfront with your friends, you want them to think of you IMMEDIATELY if something sounds promising. No sneaking :) You will find a great job.

  24. The Sheryl Sandberg article Kat posted in the previous thread struck me, esp this quote:

    “People one-upping eachother’s stressful work habits is an epidemic. Time spent is the easiest metric we have to measure our commitment to our jobs. Other metrics such as insight, creativity, and productivity are nebulous and subjective. Time is quantifiable: did you spend 5 hours more than Mary? Or 20? Time comparisons give the illusion we’re comparing apples to apples with respect to effort.”

    This country (or maybe just NYC?) is so crazy! It fits my current situation exactly. Our standard expected hours are in before 8:30 and leave no earlier than 7pm for most. Plus we have to eat lunch at our desk. There’s a running “joke” in my financial services office when ppl (besides secretaries) leave before 7pm “Are you taking a half-day today?” My job doesn’t even require so many hours of ‘work’ but here I stay, for better or worse, putting in that good ole face time (being too junior to put my foot down).

    • Also, I wonder how I would even look for another job if I can’t sneak out for an interview. How have others managed to find jobs while working 100% face-time in the office w/ no breaks allowed for the most part? Can only feign so many dr’s appts I imagine, esp when you do in fact need to go to dr. Gonna have to save those days off when the time comes I imagine.

      • Ask if companies are willing to interview you first thing in the morning. It obviously depends on your company, but I am not really missed when I’m an hour or so late because everyone here comes in at different times.

    • I’m in financial services and there’s definitely a face-time requirement here (mostly unspoken, but enforced by jibes and snarky remarks about when certain people leave. It’s used to make them object lessons to keep the rest of us i nline.)

      One really needs to be either the head of a big powerful (rainmaking) division to be able to change the culture. Even the senior line-managers don’t have the social/political clout to make lasting, wide-spread cultural change in the big shops.

      • And when you arrive as a rainmaker, you can look forward to replacing the requirement for office face-time with client face-time. Plus revenue.

    • I hate the emphasis on time rather than on results. At my job, we have often been asked to estimate the amount of time we spend on certain projects (even things we worked on six months ago, and it’s next to impossible to remember). Now we have to keep track of every minute we spend and give weekly reports to our bosses. Management has no other process in place to measure our effectiveness, and it drives me crazy. I am a quick, efficient worker. But I feel like I have to draw everything out so it looks like I’m busy enough not to layoff.

  25. Can someone recommend a good brand of nude stockings/tights for spring? In the winter I love wearing Hue’s black tights. Now that it’s spring, I’m noticing lots of women wearing stockings/tights that don’t seem like the typical drugstore ones I remember my mom wearing. Favorite brands?

    • I’ve posted on other threads, but I like the Hanes Silk Reflections. I think they’re great. If you search for that on here (search on google site:[name of this site]), you’ll find threads where other people have made recommendations.

      I also just recently purchased Philippe Matignon Jade/Playa Nature in Nude (a European brand) which I haven’t worn yet, because they look so fancy I’m sort of saving them for a special occasion. They’re a little…sparklier, then I expected, but they’re also very pretty.

      • Anne Shirley :

        oooohhhh i want those. if i cant have wills at least i can have kate’s pantyhose :)

        • Lol. You caught me, that’s why I bought them! I googled, “what pantyhose does kate middleton wear?”

      • Seconded. I bought Hanes Silk Reflections on TCFKAG’s recommendation and they’re GREAT so far. (Thanks, TCFKAG!)

    • I actually like Hue’s pantyhose too. I think the kind I like best is called No Waistband, or something like that.

  26. Maternity clothes shopping update:

    I was the poster who asked for recommendations in the Seattle area and wanted to update on those stores and the national stores I visited, particularly because I drew from so much good maternity shopping advice here.

    Seattle shops: I saw some mixed reviews on Sugarlump but had great luck. I appreciated getting top brands for discount prices. I can’t afford Japanese Weekend at retail, but I can on consignment (and this was one of the few places I saw JW). Me n Moms was decent — tried on much more for fewer pieces, but I liked what I got. One of the best consignment shops I visited was in Tacoma, in case that is helpful for anyone: Blooming Kids Boutique. Not a huge selection, but I lucked out and prices were good.

    Otherwise, I would highly recommend H&M. Only some stores carry maternity and some have a much better selection than others. But if you find one with a large maternity section, it’s great: cute and well-priced. I’ve seen a lot of recommendations for JCPenney but did not care for the clothes. I have also seen criticism of Motherhood Maternity here, but I found one of my favorite shirts there and a few very cute dresses at the Motherhood section in Macy’s. One cute shirt at Kohls.

    Good luck to others on the hunt. If you like shopping with a friend, I’d say definitely bring one along … maternity clothes shopping takes a lot of trying on and patience, and it really helped to have my mom to hang things up and bring me things she liked.

    One question: Any tips for pregnancy yoga pants and work-out shorts? I’m in need and didn’t have time to track those down. I’m thinking Target. Tried on at Motherhood and too thin.

    • I got some yoga pants and shorts at old navy that I was pretty happy with. Only caveat is that the pants were too short for me at 5’9″. I am actually wearing the shorts right now (8 weeks postpartum. Guess I should get to the gym!).

    • Thanks for update! Sorry you missed Childish Things and Again and Again (hate these names…) I got a bunch of great stuff at both last week (don’t find my prior stuff now:). H&M Seattle doesn’t carry it unfortunately.

      • Ruby, I did make it to Childish Things … sorry, I forgot to mention that one. I did find a couple of things I really liked there, so it was a great recommendation. You may already know this but H&M in Southcenter (not too far from Seattle) and Tacoma carry maternity. I went to the one in Southcenter so can’t speak to the selection in Tacoma. But I thought the Southcenter store was definitely worth it.

        • Oh good! I really like that shop on my circuit.
          Southcenter- I work right by there actually- forgot they had a bit in the H&M but it was all very casual from what I saw, sad as they have some good reg. work clothes at times. I’m good on casual… work stuff has been the challenge.

          I went by a Seattle annual consignment sale run in an elementary school yesterday for babies/maternity/kids- it was crazy. There were people lined up for blocks to get in at start time. (I just went in as had to pee and then they opened, hehe). But, picked up a bagful of stuff quick- bigger and nursing $1 tank tops/t shirts, $10 Pea in Pod silk top, etc. Great prices. And some baby crap (drying rack etc). It was the closest I’ve seen to the TV coverage of crazy people at Thanksgiving attacking Wal Mart for a tv deal or whatever.. people were going nuts in there. My husband saw a nice bassinet 4 minutes after opening, and a lady was already guarding it like a pit bull. We just stopped by briefly on the way to a dressy event so were in/out but I was impressed with the selection and level of organization.

  27. Anyone have any experience with Wolky shoes?

  28. Threadjack: I now really dislike one of my husband’s friends.

    Here’s the background: both Mr. Anonia and me work at demanding jobs where we can’t easily take lots of consecutive vacation days without a lot of advance planning b.c. of the “thin bench” situation at our respective workplaces. A 1-weeker would be do-able, a 2-weeker, right out.

    Mr. Anonia, his good friend X, and his friend (not as close, but still a friend) Y are all going to turn 40 this year. It’s a big birthday for those who are into birthdays. We don’t have kids, neither does X, but Y is married w/ kids. Y has decided that he wants to do a “men only 7-day vacation” in Florida or the Caribbean so they can all celebrate their 40ths. He wants to invite a few more guys. It’ll be like Spring Break, except with midlife crisis and more money to spend, I guess.

    Mr. Y making this into a, “guys only, if you don’t go, you’re a wuss or you’re wife’s a controlling, fun-killing ball-and-chain” thing makes me seriously dislike him. I had been thinking of planning a little romantic trip for Mr. Anonia and me to go to Paris for a long weekend, and given the timing of the guys only trip, Mr. Anonia must choose between the two. He just can’t be out that many days consecutively. I am so disliking Mr. Y for putting my husband in this position, and being so exclusionary about it.

    To be fair, Mr. Y is not a mindreader and can’t have known about my Paris idea. And I do admit that part of the resentment is that he is so explicitly exclusionary about something that is often celebrated with nearest and dearest (big birthdays.) It’s not that Mr. Anonia and I have to always be joined at the hip and never ever take vacations apart, but we get so little vacation time together, that it is precious to me.

    My spiteful thought about this is: Mr. Y, just because you are sick of Mrs. Y’s v*gina and she’s probably sick of your tiny library-pencil d—, doesn’t mean that’s the case with every other couple, so f— off and butt out.

    Anybody else hate any of your husband’s friends?

    • so anonymous :

      I think a week-long guys-only trip is a bit ridiculous. A weekend is fine, a three-day weekend maybe, but we’re not in college anymore and people have responsibilities and diminished livers. Maybe if they’re actually doing something that requires time, like scaling a mountain or biking across the country, but otherwise, h e l l no.

      • I completely agree that a week seems way too long! To use what might be half of someone’s total vacation for the year on a “guys only trip” is ridiculous. I would not be happy either!

    • I have a girlfriend who is kinda, sorta like this. All women in our group are married with kids (no babies). She assumes all of us need frequent breaks from home life and these breaks can only be in the form of barhopping, clubbing until late hours. I hate loud music and these outings are very trying. If I don’t go, I will be considered aloof and unfriendly, and I genuinely like my friends and want to connect as a group – just not in a freaking bar!

      • Whatever, that sounds awful (the deafening music), but then again, I really don’t like things that cause ear-pain! Are the other friends in your group totally into loud-music? Part of me says you gals should meet up with her afterwards (if you all hate super-loud music), but part of me feels like you should stick with her, maybe for safety issues, especially if she wants to drink a lot at some of these clubs. Oof. A difficult dilemma.

        Is it the dancing? Or is the “scene”? If it’s the dancing, perhaps you girls could go on a spa-retreat together (way more peaceful!) and take some dance/exercise classes together? If the latter, I’m out of ideas.

        • Susan, there is at least one woman who is not feeling the scene. Most in our group would be fine just going out to dinner at a place where we can hear each other talk – and get home before midnight… but where’s the fun in that!
          The fun gal’s birthday is coming up this month. Oy.

    • eh, I don’t really think that is a reason to hate the guy. Or speculate on his private parts. I mean 7 day vaca without the spouse is def a long time. But your husband’s a grown a** man. People have to choose between things all the time. There is no reason for you to have to dislike Mr. Y. Hubs should just say he can’t go, and deal with some private ribbing from mr. y like friends sometimes tease each other. It kind of sounds like hubs want to go, which is what might be bothering you.

      • Anonia (OP) :

        Indeed, Mr. Anonia is a grown man. He opted to go to Paris with me, but yeah, he did want to go to both, but had to choose. I don’t resent his wanting to go– it’s fun hanging out with friends, but I resent the exclusionary element compounded by it being seven fricking days.

        Friends definitely can tease each other, but often, in jest, people say what they really think. If he really does think that guys have to be away from their SOs/wives for some midlife crisis Spring Break, then I think he’s really lame, slightly misogynistic (in an unthinking, unexamined life kind of way) and an @ss. If I dislike someone, I will snark at them (and their private parts.) It’s not like I need this @ss to like me.

        • I don’t see how a vacation with friends is misogynistic (I’ve gone on girls only trips). Have you thought that its not that he thinks guys need that, but that he needs it, and hes hoping his friends would come to?

          I guess I just don’t see why your upset about the exlusionary element/7 days part when he decided not to go. 7 days is a long time, but when your planning the trip you get to pick the dates, and then other people can chime in with “i could only do 3-4″ etc.

    • Does Mr. Anonia want to go? If so, I’d back off and suck it up. I do understand why you’re annoyed, but doesn’t seem to be much you can do. Maybe you can go away that week as well, to visit family or friends you haven’t seen in while.

      If Mr. A doesn’t want to go, just remind him that this isn’t high school and who cares if your friends think he won’t go because of you or your relationship.

      I don’t know that I hate any of my husband’s friends, but there are definitely some who get on my nerves. I try to back off as much as possible. It can be delicate to avoid the “nagging wife” label (not that I care what his friends label me as, but I don’t like DH feeling bad about being caught in the middle).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Do they see each other regularly? My husband and his high school friends live all over the country and at one time, all over the world. They made it a point to have a yearly reunion together. Sometime for a week, sometime for a weekend. When more were single than married, it tended to be guys only and I had no problem with that. Having the wives there really does change the dynamic. Are some of the wives the types that require “entertaining?” Would they be happy sitting there watching the guys guzzle beer and catch up, not including the wives in the conversations? If so . . . wouldn’t it be more awkward if the wive’s were there? Personally, I didn’t have much interest in attending these reunions until more girlfriends started going.

      The dynamic changed one year when one of the guys, without warning, brought his girlfriend. My husband was sad that he didn’t know and didn’t bring me. From them on it has been a mix but the guys discuss beforehand if it will be “guys only” or “mixed.” Usually, it depends on the girls work schedules and how many will be going.

      Will your husband have fun? Will this be the vacation of a lifetime? Then “let” him go, and take him to Paris later in the year and don’t make him feel bad about it now. Otherwise, you still won’t be getting what you want and his trip will be ruined too. Personally, I wish I had such a close group of friends to take a girls only trip.

      Also, last year for our anniversary, my husband bought me a trip to visit a close friend who had moved away, and I in turn bought him a trip to go on one of the weekend trips with boys described above. We both had a blast and really enjoyed it. Sometimes trips w/o the spouse are good for you too.

      • Anonia (OP) :

        Everybody lives 20-40min away (by car). Mr. Anonia decided against, even though he likes this group of guys. Mr. Anonia went to a college reknowned for drinking, and did his share, so he feels like that part of the trip (which sounds like it’s 80% of the reason) doesn’t quite hold the same appeal as it did back in his youth.

        I didn’t guilt him, I told him, you’ll only turn 40 once, but Paris will still be there. And he thought about it for a few hours and said he thought Paris would be more fun.

        But I won’t lie and say that I don’t harbor resentment towards Mr. Y. He’s never gonna be a favorite of mine. Let’s just say he’ll never get any favors from me. He’ll get basic, maybe slightly frosty civility and that’s plenty.

    • I think seven days is a long time for a 40 year old man to spend on a trip with friends. A long weekend, yes, but seven days – unless they’re going to Africa on safari or something – seems weird and disporportionate.

      I also think it’s weird that your husband rarely has the opportunity to spend a 7 day vacation with you but can make time to do it with his guy friends.

      Last, if your husband’s friend is really the goading, “p***y-whipped” taunting kind of guy he sounds like, 1) I feel sorry for Mrs. Y, and 2) he’s also probably the type to goad his guy friends into inappropriate behavior with other women, so I would at least make sure you talk about boundaries and limits with your husband before he goes. Especially when you say it will be like spring break but with more money.

    • Totes McGotes :

      Just curious, and I swear, no snark, but has Y literally characterized this jaunt as “let’s get away from our Buzzkill-Jill wives” or is that just how it feels to you because you (not unreasonably) feel left out and hurt?

      I know you didn’t ask for solutions, but: does DH’s birthday actually fall during the guys-only trip? could DH join them just for a couple of days? could you announce to DH that you’re taking him to Paris on his birthday and actually go at another time?

      My group of close friends has talked about doing a ladies-only cruise or the like when we turn 35. I hope my SO doesn’t feel left out, because it’s not about escaping him, but about my relationship with these women who would all be ticking off a big milestone together. Is part of this distress that it’s hard to imagine the guys bonding in the way you would expect women to on an analogous trip?

      • Totes McGotes :

        To clarify: by “could you announce to DH that you’re taking him to Paris on his birthday” I meant “make the announcement on his birthday”, but never mind that because it looks like he already knew about it.

      • Anonia (OP) :

        I saw the original email (Mr. Anonia showed me when he told me about the trip).

        The exact wording was: “let’s get away from the women, OK”? So yeah, I’m projecting my own resentment of being excluded, but I thought the wording was a bit jerky. He could have easily said, “let’s make it guys only.” Which is a very different word choice and tone!

        Mr. Anonia’s b-day is the week right before this 7-day junket, so the timing was unfortunate, yes.

        @mamabear– good point about the boundaries. Since Mr. Anonia decided not to go, we didn’t have to dive into this issue too deeply, but we did discuss (and re-affirm) our set of boundaries about what was appropriate and what wasn’t.

        • Totes McGotes :

          I agree that the wording wouldn’t make me feel good to hear, but 1) he didn’t say something as extreme as “let’s get away from these life-ruining b!tches!” and 2) he sent the email to your husband, not you. Obviously I don’t know this guy, but maybe he really didn’t mean that he hates women, but just wanted to get away with his friends without making it a big couples thing?

        • I know that Mr. Anonia can’t take off enough time for both Paris and Y-Chromosome Trip near the same time. But could he take off time for Paris near his own birthday and time for Y-Chromosome Trip some other time (it’s for his and X and Y’s birthdays, so it could be any time, right?)?

        • oh, honestly, I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill if all he said was, “let’s get away from the women, OK?”

          • Agreed. Let it go already! Your husband doesn’t want to go right? You all aren’t fighting about it right? LET IT GO.

            Right now it sounds as if you think you are a ball-and-chain and your husband would want to run away from you.

          • Ada Doom Starkadder :

            One of the benefits of reading and posting late is the threads are more fully developed by the time I get to them. At least, that’s my glass-half-full interpretation!

            Having seen the OP’s followups, I think she has let it go, at least with regard to Mr. Anonnia. They don’t seem to have fought about it, from the the OP’s comments.

            But the organizer of the trip has basically landed (permanently?) on the OP’s sh1tlist. I’m not sure if that’s appropriate or not, but the OP is free to like or dislike whom she wants. People dislike each other on much less of a basis.

    • Yeah, I get that you’re frustrated, but I think you’re making this into a big thing that it isn’t. Mr. Y feels tied down, he’s married and has kids, and misses being in college and having fun with the guys and no snotty noses to wipe! There’s nothing wrong with that and I think many people here can relate. 7 days does seem a bit long, but what the heck, if you’ve got the time and money, why not!?

      Now the question is, does your husband go? Well, that’s kind of up to him, really. I get that you were making plans but your husband lives with you and sees you just about every day (I assume) maybe he wants to see his old friends?

      Your hate for Mr. Y just seems a bit overblown, what are you afraid of? It sucks if your husband would rather go do this than go to Paris with you…on the other hand, again, you see him all the time and I’m assuming he doesn’t get to see the other guys much at all. Maybe you could plan something a bit closer to home that you could do as a regular (vs. long) weekend getaway?

      • Anonia (OP) :

        Yeah, probably a bit too much venom on my part, but gaah, did it feel good to get that out of my system.

        Thanks for all of your comments and I’m glad none of you thought I was utterly batsh!t crazy for feeling resentment over this. And don’t worry, I’m not about to throw a Molotov c*cktail into Mr. Y’s house. =) Enough of my female friends connect (by degrees of separation) with this group of guys that I couldn’t vent to them. So thank you all for listening to me, and taking the time to respond. This is such a great site, and you’re all wonderful!

        • Now THAT I can relate to 100%!! :-) I hate it when I feel like I just need to vent and just. CAN’T.

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to take a guys- or ladies-only vacation. Even though I like most of my lady friends’ sig-Os, sometimes it’s nice just to get together as friends and be able to have conversations we can’t without the sigs around.

      However, demanding a week of a friend’s is frankly selfish, especially in light of the fact that most people only get 2 weeks, and those have to account for family vacations, holidays, and sometimes non-vacation things (like being sick).

    • I don’t think a week is that long. I took a 10 day trip without my DH once because a friend had a king size bed to share for free in the Caribbean. Why don’t you just tell him about your Paris idea and talk it out?

    • divaliscious11 :

      Not for this kind of reason, and nothing for nothing, I’d LOVE a week long girl trip, and it would have nothing to do with my feelings for my husbands and kids. I hope my husband wouldn’t call my friends names etc… if they suggested or planned one. Are you sure you are really upset that your husband considered this other trip and ergo maybe doesn’t the exact same way you do about your vacation time? Doesn’t mean he doesn’t adore you, just maybe doesn’t see every moment of his vacation time as precious for the purpose of being with you. Might just want to hang out with guys…. just a thought.

  29. Julie Steinberg :


    Hi all,
    I’m a reporter for a finance career website from the Wall Street Journal called FINS.com. I’m writing a piece on younger women and the trouble they encounter finding older male mentors. I’ve heard tales from women at law firms and finance firms that say it’s difficult for women to pair up with men because the men don’t feel like they can spend too much time one-on-one with a woman they’re not involved with. Has anyone had this happen to them? My piece will focus on ways to get around this and still develop a mentoring relationship. Feel free to get in touch at [email protected]


    • There’s actually already been several discussions on this site about the issue (not that people shouldn’t also respond here and/or email you). Try doing a search within this site for the key words.

      • I’ve seen both sides here – One relationship with a male mentor (who helped me get a job! who gave me excellent personal advice! who introduced me to his children! who always bragged about how great his wife is!) went horribly, horribly wrong when he crossed some very serious lines. Another male mentor, on the other hand, has been nothing but excellent, encouraging, and a true wealth of information for me as I grow in my profession. I agree with what M, above, wrote about the success of mentor/mentee relationships being about parties’ expectations.

    • Julie there is no such thing as threadjacking the open weekend post :)

      I’m on the opposite side of the coin if you are interested. I’m a 25 year old attorney, and have had two great male mentors. (And a great female one that would be the poster woman for what a corp e rette should be!)

      • I am a banana. :

        Another in this camp. I’m a mid twenties 2nd year attorney and I have had two awesome male mentors.

      • Third this, I’ve had (and still have) excellent male mentors in my career, ranging in age. I don’t know how I’ve made it easier per se, but keeping things professional and perhaps tending more towards business coffees or lunches (rather than drinks or dinners) helps. But I would do this with older female mentors as well…so, yeah.

      • Fourth. I have not experienced this purported reluctance of older men to mentor younger women. I am a first year associate working exclusively for a male partner, and in school my internship supervisors were always men, so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing (or all my bosses are exceptionally awesome)…but I do not feel/have never felt like I am kept at a distance because I’m a girl.

        Perhaps the real issue is expectations. I do not expect a mentor-figure to spend lots of out-of-office time with me, and it sounds to me like those types of things are the real issue for men who worry about appearances. I do not think it is necessary to go out for drinks with a person one-on-one to have a mentoring relationship. I get plenty of guidance in work-related settings, and I have been lucky to work with people who freely share their experiences with me.

        I don’t have any advice for a woman who wants to be mentored by an older man that seems only to want to take younger men under his wing, but, FWIW, I tend to think that a man who is afraid to spend “too much time” with a young woman in a professional context is not someone who would really be a good mentor to a young woman anyhow…

        • Fifth. I have two great male mentors (a partner and a senior associate). I honestly think it is person specific, rather than gender specific.

          • Anne Shirley :

            Many of my best mentors are men my dad’s age who have daughters.

            I’d also question the premise of your article- in terms of men not being able to spend much one on one time with women they arent involved with. Does anyone spend all that much time with a law firm mentor? I mean these aren’t buddy buddy relationships. My best mentoring relationships are with people who I keep in touch with via phone and email, grab lunch with occasionally, and plan to attend industry conferences CLE with from time to time.

          • I think I agree with this. I don’t really “socialize” with my mentors. I assume a lot of these articles assume somehow that we’re all going to be playing golf with our mentors and drinking Old Fashioneds with them ala Mad Men. Given the billable hour requirements at most law firms, you don’t have TIME for that kind of relationship with mentors, or any colleagues really. I go to drinks with a few female and male colleagues occasionally but mostly keep work socializing for group things or coffee or lunch.

  30. Julie Steinberg :

    Thanks, I’ve read some bits here but need some quotes for the piece, so would love to chat about it again. Also, happy to speak with people on background/grant anonymity.

  31. I just realized how long and how closely I’ve been reading this blog. I remembered that Kat did this post about Cole Haan boots and checked back to see if it was the same product as this post. They are not the same boots, and I can’t believe I remembered this from almost two years ago, when I can barely remember to turn the coffee maker off in the morning.


  32. Which would you choose? I believe investing in foreign markets involves risk. I believe that overseas markets provide attractive investment opportunities.

    • As the US will be growing at a much slower rate compared to the rest of the world (except Europe) in coming years, I would say the risks are worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      There’s risk, and there’s RISK! Know your limit, stay within it.

      • Ditto. Also, I am not sure you can lump all international markets together under one heading. They all have different their peculiarities. I think everyone who is looking into seriously investing in anything should do extensive research first.

  33. Sydney Bristow :

    I’m going on a Caribbean cruise a week from Sunday and need some packing advice. I’ve never been on a cruise before and after working 70-80 hours a week for the past few months, I am beyond excited for a vacation!

    I have 1 pair of black shorts and am planning o get a pair of denim ones this weekend. I also have 2 swimsuits, a swingy knit skirt that I was planning to throw on over my swimsuit when not in the water, and a cute black cocktail dress. I was planning to also pack a pair of lightweight grey dress pants and white 3/4 sleeve linen jacket. If I include a ton of short sleeve tops, will that be adequate for a cruise? I’m totally at a loss. I think there are 2 “formal” dinner nights and I was planning to wear the dress for both.

    Also, I practically live in flip flops in warm weather and trek all over NYC in them. Other sandals typically destroy my feet because I have bunions. Should I pack something other than my flip flops and a pair of dress shoes I was planning to wear with the dress?

    I’m normally so overly prepared for things but this time I’m down to my last weekend to shop! This work schedule is slowly killing me and I cannot wait to be lounging by a pool/the ocean sipping a mojito! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Laura Holt :

      I’m very jealous! I’m sure you will have a fabulous time.

      I’d pack more than 2 swimsuits – I like to go swimming just about every day when I’m in that kind of climate & so for a 7-day trip I’d normally take at least 3. Shorts and short sleeve tops and a swim cover up should be good for pretty much everything during the day (e.g touring towns, excursions, lounging by the pool, exploring the ship). If you like jersey-type sundresses, they are also a great thing to take on trips like this – they are cute, don’t wrinkle, you can pack about 20 of them in a small roll aboard and Target and Old Navy have a good selection for <$30. You might also want to take a sweater or pashmina for evening breezes and over air-conditioned dining rooms.

      For dinner on non-formal nights, you should check the cruise line's suggested dress – I believe some of them frown upon shorts in the dining room. I can't imagine they would turn anyone away, but you might feel more comfortable in long pants (I think dark, work-appropriate jeans are fine) or a dress (pretty much any dress that's not obviously a swim cover-up is fine for the dining room). If you plan to eat in the dining room, you might want to bring something like this in addition to the dress pants, so you don't have to wear them every night. If you plan to eat at the casual buffet type places then this doesn't apply.

      There's no reason you can't wear one dress at both formal nights, but I'd bring two dressy-ish dresses (doesn't have to be within the strict definition of semi-formal, I think a smart work dress like a sheath dress would be fine too). You can always spill something (although I suppose this is less of a concern with a black dress) and you'll be taking lots of photos, I presume, so you might want to have 2 dresses or at least different accessories to give a different look.

      Shoe-wise, if you're comfortable walking long distances in flip-flops, you should be fine with just flip flops and a pair of dress shoes.

      I also recommend a big, cheap-ish nylon or canvas tote for lugging your stuff to and from the beach, small purse or wristlet to take to the dining room.

      • I’ve been on several cruises — though I don’t get that dressed up or swim that much. And I’m willing to do a quick load of laundry on board in exchange for packing less.

        Here’s my list:

        1) jeans / long sleeve tee / fleece / running shoes for travel days (if leaving cold climate)
        2) 3 pairs casual shorts / 3 tee shirts (you could substitute sundress) for non-swim suit lounging and excursions
        3) 2 swimsuits and one coverup
        4) one nice dress or one skirt/top for formal nights
        5) one pair nice capris and one polo shirt (to change into after day) for non-formal dinners (since I shower, wear, and the put on pjs, one set is enough)
        6) one light sweater for evenings on board
        7) one pair flipflops OR water shoes
        8) one pair nice shoes / sandals for evening
        9) assorted socks / underwear / bras
        10) pjs
        11) work-out clothes (one wicking teeshirt, one pair shorts) – wore shoes on plane

        There are some excursions that require closed-toe shoes, so I would recommend bringing a pair.

  34. Gail the Goldfish :

    Bunkster, just wondering how the job offer negotiations went. Let us know!

    • Tired Squared :

      Second this! Wishing all the best for you, Bunkster!

    • Hey… Sorry. I meant to post earlier. I got the cool, closer company to up their salary offer to match the other one. The other company is now hinting that they’d go even higher.

      But I think I’m going to take the fun company, not necessarily because of the perks, but because it’s in Cambridge so I can take public transportation, which I’m going to need right now. I was in a car accident yesterday. It was road rage-fueled by the other driver. It was really scary.

      I’m okay. I hurt my knee. And I don’t have a car right now.

  35. Did someone on here mention a few books that came out recently about will power? I can’t seem to find the poast – if so, please let me know the title/author if handy. Thanks!

  36. More Men's Fashion Help :

    Hello readers!

    My husband works in a business casual environment with occasional jacket-and-tie days. He is not much into fashion, and I am a bit clueless myself, though I have sites like this one to help guide me! He usually appreciates my help with his clothing choices as long as I am not too overbearing – I am usually the one to say, “Honey, it’s time for a new pair of shoes,” he just doesn’t tend to think about stuff like that on his own.

    Spring is here, and this time of year I usually place an order through Lands’ End for him for…wait for it…short-sleeved button-down shirts. But I have seen those maligned on this site as of late. Unbeknownst to me, that look is out (and maybe was never in!). I think this is an ideal time for us to update his wardrobe. These short-sleeved button downs have been a summer staple since the mid-2000’s. I don’t want to suggest that he stop wearing them altogether, but instead of ordering more of the same, I’d like to help him branch out to something new. Any suggestions for business casual wear that will also keep him comfortable and cool in the summer? He doesn’t have the type of job where he is stuck in the office all day, he is out and about around town quite a bit so comfort is key. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

    • Banana Republic? They have a sale on at the moment.

    • Yeah, short sleeved button downs aren’t a good look unless you’re a Mormon missionary in a hot climate. If he can wear a polo shirt at work (maybe only on Fridays), that’s not a bad look. Otherwise, he really should stick with long-sleeved button downs and just loose the jacket in the summer (or only wear a jacket inside). Sadly, men just don’t have that many options for office attire.

    • Options
      1) button down long sleeved shirts with the sleeves rolled up (as long as he is not wearing a jacket)
      2) polo shirts as mentioned by Bluejay
      3) madras plaid short sleeved shirts for a retro look (a know-your-office option)
      4) retro bowling-type short sleeved shirts (again, a know-your-office.) They are not exactly of the moment current, but probably better than short-sleeved button downs.

      I feel your pain. We live in temperate Berkeley but my husband commutes to a business casual job in a relatively sweltering environment (90s & sometimes 100s in summer.) Also, he’s a bit of a peacock among men and wants to look current, not the stereotypical clueless guy.

      • Ooh, I don’t get to comment a lot since I am out west and usually get to read later in my day! My SO works in bus cas and is also out and about a lot – he is lucky that he’s able to wear polos on a daily basis, but he also wears a lot of short-sleeved, button-up shirts that do not have the button-down collar (he is from FL originally and maintains that he used to live in this type of shirt there…). Many of his are plaid or madras-like, as mamabear mentioned, although his favorite is actually a solid blue. I think he likes BR the best (both for these types of shirts and decent polo-styles), but he has also liked Polo/Ralph Lauren ones, too. FWIW, he is 30-ish and definitely does not dress/look like a stuffy old man. :) HTH!

        • I forgot to say that he usually wears these types of shirts untucked … making it a pretty casual day at the office, if he’s wearing them to work. His standard work “uniform” is khakis or comparable pant with polo-type shirt, substituted for long-sleeve button downs (and sometimes sweaters) in the winter.

          • More Men's Fashion Help :

            These comments have all been very helpful, thanks!

            I think even veering toward a different color scheme within the same type of style can be an update. My husband veers toward the lighter colored khakis and shirts (especially light blue). I wonder if darker all over won’t be more sophisticated.

          • More Men's Fashion Help :

            PS – I also found this slideshow very helpful. I think I can sell it to DH if I can somehow hide the fact that the advice is coming from
            GQ ;) – http://m.gq.com/style/wear-it-now/201009/new-business-casual-september-gq-style

    • I may be too late to the game, and these may be too casual, but for warm climate and relatively casual wear but my husband really likes these short sleeve patagonia shirts:


      They are super cool and look pretty up-to-date, but do need to be worn untucked, so it may be too casual.

      • More Men's Fashion Help :

        I like this recommendation. Even though it’s a similar look it’s a bit updated. Thanks!

  37. I watch a lot of Law & Order (and TV in general) and have had a question for a while – and I just realized that I have a great resource here to provide an answer!
    Of course I realize that it’s just a TV show and may or may not reflect reality, but …
    It appears that after the jury finishes deliberating, the judge receives a little note from the foreman (foreperson?). He or she reads it and then asks “Has the jury reached a verdict?” Isn’t that what was on the note, meaning that this is a stupid question? Or is not the verdict and I’ve been mistaken all the years?
    Thank you all for your patience with this ridiculous, yet serious, question.

    • I believe that the verdict is on the paper — but for the purposes of the record, the judge has to verbally ask “have you reached a verdict?” Its just about creating a complete transcript.

      • Yup. Gotta have that little colloquy out loud for purposes of making a complete record.

    • It’s the verdict form. The judge makes sure that they’ve entered proper verdicts for each charge.

    • Thanks, all!

  38. Curvy-fit shorts? :

    Ladies, do curvy-fit shorts exist? I recently discovered the wonders of curvy-fit lines at AT, BR, etc. Now I’m shopping for my first pair of real shorts in 5 years, and I’m totally striking out. “Normal” cuts are weirdly tight across my butt, while the back gapes so you could fit an entire fist in there (not to mention the unimpeded view of my underwear!).

    Do any stores offer curvy-cut shorts? Are there brands that work well for this situation even if they’re not specifically branded curvy? I wear an 8 in the Ann Taylor Julie line, if it helps.

    • I’m curvy as well. Shopping for pants is bad enough, but shorts? It’s a miracle that I own any.

      For this season I have been thrilled with the stretch twill shorts at J. Crew (do a search for that on the site; they’re in black or purple right now). They’re a good fit for me, stretchy but also thick enough not to be too bootylicious when I get the size that fits my waist.

      I have never seen shorts labeled curvy. However, I have in the past found pairs with adjustable tabs on both sides, sort of like sliding buckles. It accommodates a smaller waist but is also a cute detail.

      • River Song :

        On a side note, have you or anyone tried the scalloped-edge shorts? J Crew has them, and I know other places do too. They look very cute in theory, but I wonder what they actually look like on.

    • I have a pair from the AT outlet. They’re my only pair of shorts and I wear them once or twice a year.

      I officially hate shorts. Love them on other people, but I’ve given up.

    • the little tailoring/alteration fix to the waistband is not a terribly expensive one, and then you have a pair of shorts that fit perfectly. Ask at your dry cleaner’s if you don’t already have a source. My dry cleaner does it for somewhere between $10 and $20.

    • I found a couple of pairs at Old Navy. Basically the shorts seem to have the same “fit” as the jeans, just… shorter. We seem to be about the same size, and Old Navy’s The Dreamer jeans are the only jeans I’ve found that will consistently fit me in the waist. The Dreamer shorts fit me just as well as the jeans do.

    • I have a pair of khaki shorts from Lands End Canvas from last season that fit well, and I have literally not worn shorts in years (YEARS) because of fit issues. They are most close to this:


      I really like them, and am considering ordering another pair. The idea of owning two pairs of shorts that I might actually wear is totally crazy if you knew me.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      This is probably a little late to be chipping in my 2 cents, but hey, here ya go:

      I hate shorts shopping as well, and I am curvy of hip and thigh, but a bit more slender of waist. It’s been years since I’ve had shorts I’m happy with. This season I finally found some! I’m loving the Gap boyfriend chino (i think) shorts this season. They are long enough, but are more casual so I don’t look like I’m going to play golf. They tend to run a little big, but that’s the whole relaxed boyfriend thing they have going on. I’m obsessed, got a coupon, and ordered them in 4 colors.

  39. Another Sarah :

    Can we do another introspective thread? :-)

    My bf and I are pretty serious, and so we’ve mentioned marriage and our future together. Naturally, that got me thinking of family and kids. I’d always thought that even when I have kids, I won’t be a SAHM. Nothing against SAHMs, I just don’t think it’s for me. My bf is very supportive of this, and says that I have too much ambition to pour into something small like a child and I need somewhere else to let it out (in other words, he’s super fab :-) ).

    A couple of my friends are very happy SAHMs, and I’m open to the idea that a baby may come along and I could change my mind. But I started thinking about what, in the first place, made me decide that I couldn’t be a SAHM. My mom stayed at home to raise me and my sister, and my parents did a pretty decent job at raising two successful, professional, caring, human-needs-oriented kids. But I think my parents’ marriage dynamic made it so that I saw my mom as always subordinate to my dad, the breadwinner of the family. My parents jointly raised us, but my dad was always the one who made any kind of decision that had anything to do with money (aside from the day-to-day stuff, like groceries). I could see my mom resent it, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, and so I think I grew up thinking, “I will make it so I will never need to ask my husband for money. Lottery chances seem small, so working it is!” Money was a big deal growing up, and I saw that when you controlled the money, you controlled the family, so I wanted to make sure I controlled the money. For better or for worse, this is kind of the mentality I have about it.

    So, as questions to ponder, what do you think made you make the decision to do what you’re doing now, be it work with kids at home, stay at home with kids, not have kids, not get married at all, etc? Where did it come from? I can understand both doing the opposite of what your mom did (my grandma worked 2 jobs with 8 kids, my mom stayed at home, I’ll probably work), and doing what your mom did. Was there anything that made you do the same/different?

    • Man. Good question. I will be very interested to see what people write here. Offhand I have 2 comments:

      1) All of the moms of my friends who stayed at home have said that they regret it and advised their daughters to continue working. The kind of dynamic you’re talking about, where it seems like the man-as-breadwinner always has the last word, does seem to be involved. I know that I am not in these marriages myself, and no one but the two spouses knows what’s really going on. But to me, the fact that these moms tell their daughters not to do what they did says a lot.

      2) My mom worked–sometimes part-time, sometimes full-time, sometimes making more than my Dad. She was always harried and guilty, and there was a fair amount of fighting in my house despite what I think was a happy, loving family. It was just a ton of stress (3 kids). My mom is incredible and encourages me to do whatever I decide. However, when I look at what her life was like, I feel like I don’t want mine to be as crazy. She’s super extraverted and was always delighted with the concept of being a mother, and even then it was clearly very hard. TENTATIVELY, my solution seems to be not to not work, but instead…to not have kids. I’m afraid they would grow up feeling my resentment.

      • You’re not alone (although we are definitely in the minority!) as I’ve decided not to have kids as well.

        My mother stayed at home when my sister and I were young, then went to work part time, then full time in an office when we were teenagers, and worked her way into a managerial position… but I remember her never really being happy, not really. She later enrolled in college when I was in HS. I think she always regretted not going on to college and getting married and having kids so young.

        There probably was a time in my life when I would have had children in the right relationship, but honestly, I’m so glad I didn’t… because it would have been something I did because it was ‘what you did’, not because it was right for me. I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable totally depending on someone else’s income, and I don’t think I have the personality type and am ‘into’ kids enough to stay home all day with them. But, I also think I’d be totally stressed out trying to work full-time and raise kids, and probably feel guilty on top of it. So I have decided that not having children at all is the right decision for me.

    • Double Post (sorry!) – Like you, I don’t have a husband or kids but I’m almost positive I want to continue working when I have a family. Observing my mom go through her own career dilemmas influenced my thinking big time. Partially at my father’s urging my mom took a break from her career when I was close to finishing up elementary school so she could spend more time with me. I was young, but not so young that I didn’t notice how this changed her routine. I think she really genuinely liked to spend time with me, but she also seemed a little um … bored sometimes. And she definitely resented having to ask my dad for money instead of having her own budget. She was very successful before she stopped working. Once I got older she wanted to go back and wasn’t able to land the same level position she had before.
      PS – I’m not saying that all SAHMs have to ask their husbands for money or are bored, etc. This is just what I remember from my mom’s experience. I should also say that we lived in a very traditional household, so I’m sure others’ experiences are different.

    • I’m 51 and was the only one in my circle of friends who had a mom who worked full-time at a pink collar job. I never gave it much thought growing up – my mom was always there for us and somehow she managed to balance things pretty well. I also married really young (while in undergrad, DH was 1 year older). I remember being shocked when some people asked me if I was going to quit school to support HIM while HE was in school! Ha!

      I think one of the biggest influences on me in this area was a professor/advisor I had whose husband up and left her with 2 small kids. She was adamant that all women have an education and be able to support themselves and their families. Because even if your husband didn’t leave the marriage, he could be taken out by the proverbial bus and you could be left in a very vulnerable position. It stuck with me. Six years down the road I had almost completed my graduate degree when my only child arrived – and for me, there was never a question about staying home – I’ve always felt the need to be self-sufficient and model for my daughter how important this is. It’s been the right decision for my family.

      • Geezerette :

        I’m in my late 50s, and my mom never worked outside the home, nor did I even know any moms who worked as I grew up. My generation was the first to have a real choice. My mom and many of my contemporaries who made other choices often laid on the guilt — I have always worked, returning to work very shortly after having each of my children. They are adults now — with multiple degrees and well-paying jobs and happy marriages, so I don’t think they were warped by having a WOHM! The issue of being self-supporting is important, and I stress that to my college students, many of whom seem to expect that mothers will stop working when the kids come along.

    • SpaceMountain :

      With your parents, the money thing sounds more like a power struggle, and somewhat separate from the SAHM issue. I know of relationships where one spouse hands over the paycheck and the other one controls the finances — it just depends on who is best with money. So I don’t think earning the money necessarily means you control the money.

    • My mom didn’t finish college and was economically dependent on my dad. She was always very firm about education for my sister and me so that we wouldn’t be in the same situation. I am a lawyer who married a man that simply does not earn very much money. Not working isn’t an option for me.

      I never considered my husband’s earning potential and the sahm issue before we married. I am curious if others have taken that into consideration when choosing a partner.

      • Yes, this. I do not have children but when we do I plan to continue working (I would take a year of maternity leave if I remain at my current firm). My mother was stuck in a very bad relationship for most of my childhood because she didn’t have an education or a means of supporting us kids without dragging us all into poverty. I never want to be in a situation where an inability to support my children means I cannot make the best life choices.

        My boyfriend has the same career path as I do and currently there is no difference in earning potential but I am much more ambitious and can see this changing in 10 years. We have spoken about him being the SAHD or doing the part time thing after my maternity leave ends, while I do the full time work thing.

      • My mom was in the same situation (economically dependent) and advised me the same. My mom did work full time because we needed the money, but it was in an administrative type position and we depended primarily on my dad’s salary. I think she could have been a SAHM if she really wanted to, but she was afraid of being 100% dependent on my dad.

        There were three of us and when we were all small my mom worked second shifts (like 7pm- 2am or something like that). She watched us during the day, and my dad watched us in the evenings. I remember her being very busy and frazzled during this time. Looking back, I can’t imagine how she did that. It must have been hell on their marriage. My mom is also not a night person at all, and she must have been sleep deprived for years. When we were in school, she worked day shift again and we went to daycare for summers. I remember whining about daycare a lot because I hated the daycare provider’s dog. I feel bad about that now.

        My mom was born in 1950 and I think she was definitely part of a generation that tried to do it all (home cooked meals, clean house, active kids, job). I remember she loved Roseanne because it was the only show that she felt realistically portrayed being a working mom.

        How has this affected me? Well I am an attorney and it was definitely my mother’s insistence on my having a career that inspired that. But I married a doctor, and I know I won’t have to work for financial reasons (once he’s done residency, if that ever happens). We don’t have kids yet but might soon-ish. Lately I’ve been thinking that I’ll work part time when we have kids, and I have been surprised that I’m even thinking that. But I think my mom would have worked part time if she had the luxury and would have been less frazzled. If I stayed at home completely, I think I would be letting my mom down– but maybe not too much because I would at least have the ability to support myself if I needed to, which was her big thing.

        whoa, good questions.

      • I guess I am in the process of choosing a partner…I am now dating someone very seriously, and we intend to marry and have children together. He is extremely smart and extremely hard working and incredible well-educated….in a profession where his hours are very flexible and his salary is very low. To be with this man, I will always work. He will continue working and also be the more-primary parent. So I didn’t necessarily think this through when I decided to go on a first date with him, but I am aware and not resentful. I’ve always planned to be a working mom and I’d always hoped that I’d meet a really nurturing man. (I’m a little more…tough?) This works for us.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Well my perspective is skewed because my mom died when I was 2 so I was raised by my dad. I work, because I enjoy working, am fiercely independent and my kids are 9 and 10. I always said I wasn’t cut out to be a stay at home mom, but right now my husband and I are planning for me to stop working in the next 2-3 years, mainly because its what will be best for our family. If we could do it today, I would, but we have a few financial goals we need to achieve so we can do it and it now be a stressor (eg…pay off law school/b-school loans, for one). And crazily enough, I am looking forward to it! But you are right to be concerned about how income drive the balance of power. I think we have had periods of time where we both have been primary income earner, so to some extent we’ve already dealt with thise issues. Also, I am the money manager for our family, so I a not worried about being in the dark or shut out etc… and those other “things” that happen when one person has all the money power. My advice would be to be open to your feelings and don’t beat yourself up if your feelings change.

    • I’m the top wage earner so it was always a given that I would continue working. In addition, when our first was a wee baby, my husband got laid off, so that sealed the deal. He stayed home until she was 4 and our next baby was just under 3.

      In one sense, those circumstances alleviated any guilt I might have felt about not choosing to stay home with my babies. I literally did not have a choice (unless you count both of us going on welfare as a choice – I don’t.)

      But in another sense, I carried a little resentment that I didn’t have the option. I will be honest with you and say I don’t really think I would have chosen to stay home full time, given the choice. If I had stayed home, I would likely have been the biggest control freak b1tch on the playground. My alpha dog personality is probably better suited for the office. (And believe me, I run into my fellow alphas on the playground – they may be busy and in charge of the mommy’s group and have plenty of stuff to say about working moms, but I’m not convinced they are actually happy, you know?)

      So the third option, the brass ring we’re all going for, is work-life balance, where we either work part-time, or have some sort of magical full-time job that allows us never to miss a t-ball game or a birthday party, and to have a home-cooked organic meal on the table every night. I’m not sure that actually exists in real life. Part time jobs are notoriously second class citizen positions, or are full time jobs in disguise, with all of the responsibilities of full-time, but none of the pay, seniority/title, or benefits.

      So we all just stumble along, doing the best we can.

      My husband and I both work full time now and our kids are in elementary school. I don’t think I do the working mom thing perfectly, but to the extent I partially succeed, it’s because I’m secure enough about my talents to say “no” to unreasonable demands, and because I have a full partner at home, not a dude who comes home, turns on ESPN and asks what’s for dinner. (As if I didn’t also work the full time job he’s just worked.)

      And I will not underestimate the importance of my friendships with other professional women. We get together once every other week – at least – for lunch or cocktails (yes, the cliched Mommy’s Night Out) and we bounce strategies and ideas off each other about this whole mythical balance thing. The one thing I can tell you I’ve learned from those friendships – no two of us have the same home life. Everyone makes it work her own way.

      My mom worked full time in the 1970s, with my dad being the typical what’s-for-dinner guy described above, and somehow raised or at least kept from dying three daughters who today are independent, successful career women, not on welfare, not on drugs… so even though she wasn’t home every day with us, it appears she did something right.

      • Mamabear – you are so right about the power of these friendships. Without the support of like-minded women, it can be difficult at times to maintain confidence in your own work/life decisions. There are so many people ready to criticize you (or the broad group of women like you who choose to or must work) : your own family members, in-laws, friends, neighbors, strangers, employers, politicians, the media…the list goes on and on. The support of other women who care about you is critical.

    • No kids yet, so haven’t decided what I’ll want to do myself, but my mom worked full time when I was growing up. I honestly believe that it made me more independent and flexible, and she was a great role model as I am beginning my own career. I have been reflecting on this a lot lately as my friends start to have kids and a few of them are SAHMs or part-time SAHMs and have blogs where they post pics of their decorated nurseries – magazine worthy birthday parties – clothes they’ve sewed for their kids – cupcakes that look like caterpillars, etc. etc., you get the idea. None of those things were present in my childhood, and I turned out perfectly fine. It’s taught me that you don’t have to be a perfect mother, or what society thinks is the perfect mother. If you are happy and love your kids however you can, your kids will be happy, and they’ll grow up well adjusted – and that’s true whether you are at home with them or if you are working.

    • No kids, but BF and I are discussing pretty seriously. While I do have this interest driven fantasy of being a SAHM, I’m pretty sure that I’d actually miss work — since while I may not like the hours and the weekend emails, I do get a lot of satisfaction out of my job.

      But really the biggest driver would be financial independence. Of course you wouldn’t want to have a child with someone you didn’t trust to take care of you and the child(ren), things happen and people do change. Also, if we stay in this area (DC) we will need my salary to live as we would like — yes, it would be doable on his, but it wouldn’t be easy to actually save anything.

      I think a lot of this attitude comes from seeing my parent’s relationship. My mom stayed at home with us when we were little — which I do appreciate — but then went back part-time and then full-time teaching after my older brother left for college. She LOVED working, she’d be tired and frustrated, but even as a self-involved teen, I could tell she was happier having her own thing. The person it was hardest on was my father.

      A few years ago (after college) she told me that between having babies and moving around, she was never able to actually have a job for more than a few months when we were younger — and that it depressed her to have to leave work for a pregnancy (she was a lab chemist at the time) or to move. And there was never any financial need for her to work — although I do think she appreciated having her ‘own’ money. Also, her own mother worked soon after her kids were no longer very young, partly for the money, but I think mostly because she really loved it.

      I think both my parents would encourage me to keep working after a kid, because the wouldn’t want me to be financially dependent on my spouse and they think that I’d be more than capable of it.

      In contrast, my brother’s wife stays at home with their kids and my parents don’t expect, or want, her to go back to work (of course, they have no say in the matter, this is just based on comments they have made). She and my brother do have three closely spaced kids, so that’s a factor, but I think they are less concerned about her financial independence and they don’t think she’s driven enough to make it work.

      • springtime :

        Definitely saw this problem in my family growing up, and it is the reason I want to keep working if/when I have kids.

        My mom was smart and very successful but I always felt that she resented be a SAHM. It got much worse once I (the youngest) went off to college and she had no one to take care of anymore. My dad is very nice and open and loving but sometimes I could see she would pick fights about him “thinking he is better than her” for no reason other than she felt inferior.

        I think having a separate identity from your family is important in making yourself happy. A career can fulfill that, but other things can as well. For me, I have invested too many years and too much money into my education not to ‘use’ it. Also, as depressing as it sounds, I think it’s important for anyone in a relationship to be able to leave if something bad happens and still be financially stable. Once you leave the workforce for a few years, you are dependent on your spouse for income.

    • My mother was home with me from age 4 to 8. It was lovely, but I think that after a while it drove her crazy. She was a schoolteacher, so for a while, it satisfied her professional interests as well (lots and lots of activities), but eventually, she just wanted to be out of the house.

      Developmentally, it was *really* good for me to see my mother go back to work. I remember quite clearly how it forced me to realize that she was a *person*, not just a mother. Once she did return to work, her job was more demanding (although less prestigious) than my father’s (he was a tenured prof, which meant his hours were very flexible), and so my dad did the majority of day-to-day childcare.

      I don’t have kids, but I’m really put off by the idea of staying home with them. I like children well enough to have them, but not well enough to be with them every waking minute of the day. I know I might change my mind (impossible to know until the situation arises), but if I ever remarry it’ll be critical that my spouse is on the same page and doesn’t expect me to stay home. If he wants to stay home, that’s fine; otherwise, we’ll look into options. I don’t think it’s essential for biological parents to be the primary day-to-day caregivers for small children – many of the things I cherish most about my childhood are memories of time spent with my nanny, a beloved babysitter, or the neighbor lady who watched me after school.

      I should add that my mom was also raised by a working mother, and when I asked her if she ever felt guilt/anxiety about this, she said, “Guilt about your choices as a mother is a waste of emotion.” It was rather freeing to hear.

    • I don’t have any kids at present, but plan to either stay home or work part-time when kids come into the picture. Personally, I grew up in a household where both parents worked long hours and were rarely home. They missed recitals, sports games, award ceremonies, and many dinners. When they did come, they would normally sit there distracted and talking on the phone. Honestly, I feel as if my parents worked hard so they could pay other people to raise me… daycare workers, teachers, babysitters, whatever. As a little kid, I maybe spent 2 or 3 hours around a parent each day? I do think there are working mothers who can do a better job of raising their kids, but just because of my experiences I probably have swung to the other side.

      To me personally, it would be more worthwhile to be actively involved in my kids’ lives than to make partner or to have a successful business career. If my husband would rather be the one to stay home, that would be fine as well. I just want my future kids to have at least one parent dedicated to spending a significant amount of time with them. No judgments on other people. Just my opinion.

    • I always knew I wanted kids and always knew I wanted to work. I worked extremely hard to put myself through school and to create a career I am proud of. We have two girls; I am acutely aware that my life is an example to them in every aspect- how to be a mom, a woman, a daughter, an employee, a wife, etc. I try to make sure that my girls know that women can be anything they want to be, judges, lawyers, doctors, and stay at home moms. I’m the mom who weaves feminism into the bedtime stories! I took quite a bit of time off when my first daughter was born and was itching to get back to work. I am one of those people that thrive on being a professional woman. (This doesn’t mean that I don’t miss my kids, I do). I also live for my kids. I LOVE LOVE being a mom. The balance isn’t easy and I rarely get it right, but it is worth it for me to try.

      I have friends who are SAHMs and friends who work outside the home. I have to say that I have more in common with those who work outside the home because they understand what my juggle is like. Sometimes I envy those moms I see who go on all the field trips and volunteer in the classrooms. But, I am proud of what I do. I am proud of what it shows to my girls. I have my own identity. My identity is not tied to my kids, or my husband, or my job. I think sometimes SAHMs can get lost in the mix. From what I’ve observed, it seems easier to retain a sense of yourself/your intrinsic worth as a person if you have a professional outlet. That said, the SAHM/WOHM thing is an intensely personal decision and I support anyone’s choice, whatever it is. You have to do what is right for your family at the time you make the decision.

    • Anonylicious :

      My mom stayed in an abusive marriage because she didn’t have the means to support us kids if she left my dad. I don’t think I could ever be a SAHM because I don’t think I could trust anyone, no matter how much I loved them, enough to be financially dependent on them.

      But that’s my damage. I’m sure there are plenty of stay-at-home parents with perfectly healthy relationships with their spouses.

    • I almost hesitate to post, because I’m in such a fortunate position with my work-life balance that I feel like if I talk about it, I’ll sound like I’m bragging, or somehow ruin the tenuous balance that I have.

      I had my son as many of you know as a fourth year surgery resident. I was about 75% of the way through general surgery residency and if I didn’t finish I would essentially throw away four years of medical school, four years of residency, 200K worth of education debt and my dreams.

      Working 80 hours a week with a 0–18 month old was incredibly difficult, put pressure on my marriage and made me question my sanity on a daily basis. With just weeks to finish residency, I would drive to work at 5 in the morning and contemplate quitting. I am very fortunate that my husband is also a physician so we could have lived on his salary.

      Now, two years later, I’m in a really good place as far as work life balance. I am one of those people who would be an anxious mess if I stayed at home all day. I adore my son, but I also get a lot of personal gratification from working. We are also incredibly lucky that we can afford (easily, to be honest) a full time nanny who takes fabulous care of my son and fills in the gaps at home. I work four days a week, take 7-10 days of call a month, and feel relatively sane most of the time.

      My mother’s father died when he was 27, so my grandmother was a full-time teacher and single mother in the 50s and 60s. My mother went to law school in the late 60s, couldn’t get a firm job (nor did she really want one) once my parents divorced, and worked her way up from legal secretary to VP of compliance at a Fortune 200 company. My father’s mother was miserable as a stay at home mom in the 60s. One of my sisters-in-law stays at home with their two kids and seems pretty happy, but is on Facebook, etc constantly and seems to need a hobby. My other sister-in-law works and doesn’t really like her job, but economically she can’t really quit. I am so so fortunate to make great money doing a job I love. If we have another kid, I might cut back slightly, but maybe not. Four days a week is a great balance and I’m lucky to be able to do it.

      • Happy for you that you have it so good, EC MD. You should never hesitate to share – you are an inspiration to us alL!

        • Anonymous :

          ECMD – I know what you mean about hating to share what is good, but don’t hesitate to share. We’re always rooting for you.

          To the chorus of well-thought-out sentiments above, I would just add that beyond money and control, I think it can do some damage to a marriage when you have one person stay at home, especially in those situations where both people start out as professional types. I felt this first hand when I was out of work for a few months. Perhaps it was all in my mind, but I felt I had to work very hard to have something interesting to say when my husband came home. Not because he made me feel that way, but because he would come home and talk about a new case or some crazy opposing counsel, and I would talk about how I reorganized the kitchen cabinets or who was on Martha that day doing what. I literally found myself reading the paper cover to cover just to make sure I would have dinner conversation to contribute.

          I have friends who are stay at home moms and, happy or not, they all complain about how their husbands don’t really talk to them when they come home. Given that my relationship began with hypotheticals about life estates and fee tails while studying for a Property final, I guess I fear that another downside of staying home, besides my own sanity, is the relationship I share with my husband. There is even a recent book which I am sure over generalized but basically has the following premise: high achieving women often take the same perfectionist approach they had to their studies and career and drop out to be perfect moms; the men they married – the high achieving men they met in ivy league business and law schools – don’t want to come home and hear about organic homemade baby food and who did what at they play ground, so the marriage suffers, they look for what they saw in their wives in working women at their office, and the marriage fails. I think that oversimplifies things, but it is not something one shouldn’t consider.

  40. Like you, I don’t have a husband or kids but I’m almost positive I want to continue working when I have a family. Observing my mom go through her own career dilemmas influenced my thinking big time. Partially at my father’s urging my mom took a break from her career when I was close to finishing up elementary school so she could spend more time with me. I was young, but not so young that I didn’t notice how this changed her routine. I think she really genuinely liked to spend time with me, but she also seemed a little um … bored sometimes. And she definitely resented having to ask my dad for money instead of having her own budget. She was very successful before she stopped working. Once I got older she wanted to go back and wasn’t able to land the same level position she had before.

    PS – I’m not saying that all SAHMs have to ask their husbands for money or are bored, etc. This is just what I remember from my mom’s experience. I should also say that we lived in a very traditional household, so I’m sure others’ experiences are different.

    • Great questions. I think about this all the time. My mom always worked full time. I think she was the only one. My dad did help like making dinner. But my mom still did most stuff at home. My dad also traveled a lot. But I always felt important. Both attended performances, etc. My mom was my girl scout leader and worked full time in the late 1970 and early 1980s!

      Fast forward…DH and I both work full time. Our girls are 12 and 9. No, I don’t show up to help on picture day at school but I do volunteer when I can. I think it’s very important for everyone that I work. I am happier and I my girls have a good role model. Recently, the 12 year old recounted a story from school. A boy in her class said something about moms sitting on the couch and doing their nails. Isabel told him that she thought was mean to say. The boy said well, that is what his mom does. Isabel said, well my mom is traveling on business and has an important job. So, he should not say that all moms are like that. Moms are important. I was very proud. I love my kids, but I am better mom working. My firm’s workload is a bit light. Shareholders will probably be asked to reduce hours in lieu of layoffs. So, I might get more time with the kids…

  41. ChristinaMD :

    Looking for suggestions – in addition to my 9 – 5 I teach part time at the local community college. I have recently been informed that due to decreased enrollment none of the adjuncts will be teaching this summer. It doesn’t bring in substantial income, but it’s the difference between eating Raman for 3 months, and being able to go out/entertainment/shopping (~$500 – $1000/mo). Does anyone have any suggestions for easy ways I can make up the income without spending a ton of time at a second job over the summer (and probably not retail since with the discount, I may end up even poorer than if I simply took the summer off). I’ve checked other county community colleges and no one seems to be hiring :(

    • Since you have teaching experience, maybe you could teach a standardized test class or two? I’m not sure that you would make $1000 a month but making something like $500 a month seems within reach.

    • Tutoring?

    • Teaching online? That would increase your number of potential employer institutions.

    • What’s your teaching experience in? I agree that tutoring is a good option. I would post fliers in local coffee shops (or in higher income areas where parents will spend the $$ to get their kids private tutoring), or maybe even Craigslist. Depending on what your day job is, what your teaching experience is, and what subjects you are tutoring, you could probably charge a minimum of $40/hr/child. Doing it yourself is more lucrative, but if it is too difficult to find students, there are also tutoring centers that will hire (e.g., SCORE!).

      Babysitting could also be an option — could list yourself on sittercity or something.

    • River Song :

      Even though your experience is with a community college, I would branch out and try additional colleges and universities. Depending on your field, there is usually always a need for adjuncts. Now, how well you are treated/paid as an adjunct varies (I’ve had two adjunct experiences: great and terrible). Good luck!

  42. Hi fellow corporettes – saw this video tonight on women’s bodies and motherhood and of course thought of this community. Hope you all enjoy. (Link to follow.)

  43. Hi all, saw this tonight re motherhood and our changing bodies & thought of this community. Hope you all enjoy. youtube dot com/watch?v=kfOBGQpG9fA&feature=youtu.be

  44. Reposting this threadjack since it was pretty late in the thread yesterday:

    I had a baby last year and took maternity leave (1 yr unpaid) and have been back at work now for about 6 months on a 3 day a week basis.

    Basically I just don’t feel as on top of things as I used to. I’m a consultant engineer and it’s like I’ve lost my ability to focus. I feel easily distracted, and my memory just doesn’t seem to pull up things as well as it used to do. I was always that persons who could recall what was decided at a meeting six months ago without needing to refer to the minutes. Now sometimes I find myself fumbling for a word.

    I’m sure lack of sleep sometimes is part of it but I’m just frustrated I don’t feel as “sharp” as I used to at a time when I feel under special pressure to perform at my best so my career doesn’t take a bigger hit than it already has.

    Any suggested strategies? Ideas? Has anyone else dealt with this? I’m trying to up my use of to do lists, outlook reminders and so forth but I just wondered if anyone had any other suggestions or had experienced anything similar.

    • Unfortunately, you’re really late in the thread again (these weekend open threads get out of control quick). I think that you can’t possibly be alone in this. I remember when I was a kid, my mom had a mug that said “Whatever women do, they have to do twice as well as men to be considered half as good.” I think unfortunately, frequently in the first year or two when women come back from their maternity leave, they have to work twice as hard to “prove” that they are committed to their career.

      For day to day things, I’ve found success with the system that involves setting specific timed work goals (like I’ll work for x time and then have x times for break). Then for longer term goals and specific work tasks, I’d suggest perhaps trying to set yourself a series of ten goals over time at work, to increase your productivity and focus. And really try to be completely present at work when you’re there and then completely present at home when you’re there (if you can, put away the computer and the blackberry and don’t check work e-mail until you go back in the next morning!) Perhaps also meet with a work mentor and talk about where you actually want your career to go, sometimes these meetings can help refocus us on our goals and get us re-motivated (also, finding time to go to networking events…especially women oriented ones sometimes have the same effect.)

      I haven’t had a baby, but I have had to come back to work after serious medical issues and I’m currently trying to stay focused on a job despite it being unfulfilling and these are some of the strategies I’ve used.

      • Oops, I have no idea why my “website” linked to g-mail — but at least it doesn’t get you INTO my personal e-mail. LOL.

      • Thanks – I appreciate your response. I think perhaps I do need a work mentor – it’s currently a little tricky in my company as we are a satellite office with only a few local staff of which I am the only female so I might have to look a bit further.

    • River Song :

      It sounds like we have a similar situation. Just last night, I made a list of things I feel like I need to do to get “me” back. Personally, I think it’s about balance: a balance between my child, my husband, my work, and me–and I’ve realized that I need to build relaxing time into my schedule (and stick to it, or it will never happen). Make sure you are taking care of yourself. Can you use one hour weekly of babysitting time to do something just for you–go to a coffee shop and read a book for pleasure, take a bath, see a friend? Exercise may also help you clear your mind and feel better, and that’s something you can do with your toddler (run/walk with a stroller or go for a bike ride). Motherhood is so hard! And you are in no way alone in these feelings.

  45. I work for a small company in a very casual office environment. My two bosses are married to one another, and workdays are full of lots of banter. They are in general a super-egalitarian couple, and I get the impression that they split responsibilities at home and at work very well. However! My male boss has a tendency to toss around the word “b*tch” when the level of banter gets a little bit too sassy. As in, during the course of a joking conversation, his wife or I will say something funny, and his response will be to laugh, and say, “manipulative b*tch!” This happens once every few weeks, and obviously, I hate it. He seems aware that this is an inappropriate thing to say, because he often will let the phrase trail off before he says it all, but it has happened enough times that I don’t think it will stop on its own. I’ve tried dialing down the joking in order to prevent the situation from ever arising in the first place, but then my super-serious demeanor really stands out in the office.

    So, hive, please help me out: What’s the best way to tactfully tell my boss I’d rather he not call me a b*tch? Ugh.

    • Is he calling you a bitch or his wife? If it’s you, just say “I don’t like being called a bitch” and leave it at that. If it’s his wife, just butt out.

    • Anne Shirley :

      You don’t have to be tactful when someone calls you a bitch! “hey bitch” “don’t call me a bitch!”

    • Reminds me of Top Chef when Dave says “I’m not your b*tch, b*tch!”


  46. I have another interviewing question. As the primary breadwinner for a family of four and as a women, what are your thoughts on letting this information slip into the interview process? The reason for doing this would be to let the interviewer know that I have a family to support. In the old days, I believe that men who had a family to support were viewed to be more in need of a job than others and especially more in need of a job than women, who were perceived as taking jobs from men who had a family to support. Has the world changed sufficiently that now a woman with a family to support has an edge over those who don’t? I know I am going to hear from all of the women who have no kids or no family to support that this thinking would be unfair to them. I know the reaction that a job is a job and either you are qualified for it or you are not, etc., but would it be really so bad to slip this in if it is in fact your situation? When I interviewed for my most recent job, I let it be known during the interview that I had a family to support. I also repeatedly reminded my employer of this fact. I don’t think it helped me to get the job or to keep it, but I think it was a subtle reminder that I wasn’t just a woman working for the fun of it and of how dependant four people were on that job. Also, do men do this kind of thing still? Do the let it be known during the interview and thereafter how important the job is to their family? If men do it, it should be alright for women to do it too, right? I am thinking of simply saying that the job is very important to me because I have a family to support. Maybe single working mothers do this too? O.k. Let me know your thoughts.

    • I’ve seen single mothers do this and be discriminated against because the employer assumes their attention will be split. Wrong, not okay, not legal, but it happens. Might it happen with married mothers too? Even if they say they’re the bread winner? Probably, honestly. The world is still a sexist place.

      Personally, sexism aside, if I was interviewing someone who tried to make it sound like she needed this job more than the other candidates (for whatever reason) rather than making an argument about how she was a better fit, I’d roll my eyes and downgrade her. Very few of us have trust funds and are working for fun; the rest of us need the job, for any combinations of unique and persuasive reasons and it’s just not that relevant to an interviewer what yours are.

      • Totally agree with Em’s second paragraph..

        • It seems like its the norm to have two working parents just to keep families going – so I’m not sure the logic behind OP’s concerns are validated – even if your partner worked, you may still need to earn another salary. I am fairly fresh out of law school but in all the interviews I’ve had I’ve never ever felt like I needed to justify why I needed the money because of my gender. I know that gender discrimination is not gone completely, but we are not living in 1950 anymore. Employers want someone who is going to get the job done, and done well, period.

          • O.k. A couple more comments in response to what is already posted. First, a stay at home dad would imply that your attention is not as divided. For example, in my last job, travel was required. During the interview travel was discussed, and it was no problem for me because there was a stay at home dad. This would not have been possible if we were both working. Second, many husbands are stay home dads because they were laid off, or their industries were illiminated. This has put a huge financial strain on many families, such as mine. So although we really need the two incomes, we don’t have them, making us much more vulnerable. Finally, this kind of thing comes up all of the time anyway, in my experience, because many jobs do not offer benefits, as in “I can’t accept the job as presented because I need benefits.” The obvious implication is that no spouse has a job that provides benefits. O.k., just some further thoughts. Please continue to discuss.

          • I still think you need to avoid making it sound like you need the job “more” or you are trying to somehow reverse the 50’s “I’m the primary breadwinner” argument. I just can’t see it coming off well. I think if, in concrete ways, it comes up in the interview — like you are discussing travel and you can say “I can travel” or if you get to the salary negotiation stage and they ask you about benefits you can say “I need benefits because I do not have an alternative source.”

            But the reality is, I’d be really hesitant about letting it sound as though you’re carrying the burden of a family of four into the job. Both because it may turn off some interviewers (everyone “needs” the job financially, whether they have a spouse working or not), but also because of the implicit assumptions we discussed earlier in the thread or yesterday (sorry, can’t remember). People assume, rightfully or wrongfully, that women bear more of the child-care burden. They are going to worry if you sound like you have this burdensome family-life AND financial burdens AND etc. etc. etc. Just don’t give them the ammunition, focus on why you’re most qualified.

            At least, that my humble opinion.

      • Completely agree with the second paragraph. When I interview someone, I don’t care why the candidate needs a job. I care about making sure the candidate is the best fit for the position. Focus your comments on why you’re the best candidate for the position, not why the job is the best job for you. It’s fine to mention your family if it’s relevant (e.g. if the interviewer mentions that the firm has on-site daycare, you could say that that would be great for your toddler), but don’t bring it up ad hominem.

        • That’s great, and you are obviously a woman. But do men think this way, especially men of a certain age? Do some men still have the old school attitude that women are taking jobs from men who really need them, or is that generation gone? If they are still around, doesn’t this trump that attitude to the extent it still exists? Also, women have worked so hard to be able to be the breadwinner and perhaps have a man stay home with the kids. Shouldn’t they reap the benefit of what used to be the job preference for men? Also, many of the male lawyers I know, especially of a certain age, have a wife that takes care of everything for them. They can relate to the pressures of supporting a family and may empathize with a woman in the same boat. So I am not asking this question so much from the perspective of a female interviewer, but from the perspective of an older male interviewer. Thoughts?

          • I don’t think anyone has the attitude that women are taking jobs from men who need them. As for your question about whether women should “reap the benefit” of former discriminatory preferences in favor of men, no, that would be both illegal and wrong.

          • I think that even an older male interviewer’s primary concern is not how much you need the job, but whether or not you’re a good fit for it. Emphasizing your family’s dependence on you is, I think, to your detriment not your benefit – even if you were a male candidate, I think that an interviewer who hears “desperate sole supporter of four children and a spouse” would be thinking about your stressful home life. You don’t want an interviewer thinking about that; it makes them suspect that you’ll be less focused. All you want them thinking about is how great you’d be for the job.

          • Jenna Rink :

            I would think that any older man with the attitude that “women are taking jobs from men who really need them” probably has a number of out of date, sexist viewpoints and is not going to be impressed by a family in which the woman is the sole breadwinner.

          • Except that back when family wages for men were common practice, there actually were women who were the sole support for their families (as there has been for all of human history). And those women did not get the family wages the men got. The reason they didn’t was because the system was not “looking out for families”; it was sexist.

            Older male interviewers who are so entrenched in that old system as to think men supporting families should get higher wages are – sorry to say – still likely to be sexist. Might you get lucky and get someone who has twisted that old system in his mind in such a way as to think you deserve the job more than a woman who doesn’t support a family by herself? Maybe, but it’d be luck – there’s not a social phenomenon you can rely on to get it.

    • If there is a part of the conversation where it’s natural to discuss kids, I think that’s okay. For example, if you go out to dinner or drinks as part of your interview process, and someone else mentions their kids. But that’s just making conversation in a more casual context… I really don’t see kids/family obligations coming up in a formal interview, and it would be unnatural/awkward to try to force it.

      Otherwise, I disagree with “needing” a job more because you have a husband/children to support and other candidates may not. Moreover, as others pointed out, your status as a parent/breadwinner is likely wholly irrelevant to whether you’re qualified and the best candidate for the job. Focus on your qualifications and showing that you’re a good fit for this company’s culture, and leave the family out of it.

      Finally, I always thought family played more into promotion/firing decisions than it did hiring in the first place.

  47. Oh.so.tired :

    Questions for Paula’s Choice Users:

    Which products do you ya’all use and what results have you had? Im thinking about buying some products but there are so many options and I have never taken good care of my skin so this is all new to me. Btw, I’m 24 with very occassional breakouts, combination skins, fair skin and mild redness around the nose.

    Gal Who Uses Bar Soap as Facial Cleanser

    • I use the Skin Balancing line, and it’s amazing. I used to get terrible acne, and now I only get the occasional hormonal pimple. I first tried the Clear anti-acne line but it was too harsh on my sensitive skin. I think from what you describe, the Skin Balancing line would be right for you. i don’t use the entire line; I use the cleanser, toner, exfoliant and antioxidant, but I use a Clinique sunscreen/moisturizer and eye cream that I already used before starting on Paula’s Choice.

      Eversave dot com had a voucher for Paula’s Choice (for Washington DC – not sure about other cities). Not sure if they still have it but it was a pretty good deal – $15 for $30 worth of products.

    • I was inspired to try Paula’s Choice from all the recs on here, too. My skincare routine was not much better than yours – I just used a drugstore cleanser on my face and moisturized.

      I was not about to overwhelm myself with an entire 5-step routine off the bat, so I just purchased the hydralite one-step face cleanser for normal-to-oily/combination skin and the BHA 1% lotion/exfoliant. My routines now are as follows:

      Morning: use the cleanser in shower, moisturize with my normal Olay moisturizer (sunscreen when necessary – I know, I know, it should be every day). Evening: wash with the cleanser, follow with the exfoliant, then the Olay moisturizer. I’ve been really, really happy with these products / this routine so far. When I place my next order (still several months away, at least), I may consider adding an additional step like a toner or serum (I ordered a couple of the free samples when I placed my first order, just out of curiosity).

  48. Ladies, this study from the UK might be helpful or interesting for those of you in biglaw:

    Women and people from ethnic minorities have to employ special strategies to overcome institutional discrimination when working in large law firms.


  49. Hi there, longtime reader, first-time commenter here. I have a question about storing clothes.

    I am a new mom who has decided to work for a friend who runs a marketing consultancy firm out of her home rather than go back to my corporate job. I’ll either be working out of my home, or hers, with some infrequent client meetings (she’ll handle most of them, and most of her clients aren’t local). I need a few basic business-casual/business-formal outfits, but for the most part, I’ll be able to work in jeans or yoga pants almost every day. I am unsure what to do with my business wardrobe. I don’t want to get rid of it, because I do anticipate going back to a more-formal job at some point. But I don’t know when that will be, and since I had a job where I had to wear a suit or a jacket every day, I have a LOT of formal clothes (I was kind of a shopper, for awhile) in a small apartment that has gotten a lot smaller, seemingly, since my daughter was born. I really don’t need to be wrestling past my old suits when I’m trying to get the stroller out of the hall closet.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on how to store my business clothes? Should I look at storage at a facility or dry cleaners? (I’m a little concerned about cost, with that.) Or can I just pack things carefully in a couple of storage tubs and put it in our building’s storage area, which is climate-controlled and guaranteed to be dry?

    • Amy, I responded below.

    • Clean everything first and let anything dry cleaned air out (no plastic covering) and then pack into breathable fabric containers. They’ll be fine.


    • Before you pack everything away, if you were kind of a shopper I’d seriously take a look at what you have. If it may be a couple years before you get back into a more formal job situation, you should probably get rid of everything you aren’t likely to use again. Pregnancy (and working at home tete a tete with the fridge :-)) has a way of doing things to your weight, so who knows what you’ll be like when you’re going back to an office. And whatever seems really fashionable now probably will look horribly dated in a couple years. If I were you I’d pick out your best-quality, most classic clothes, enough for a couple weeks say, and ditch the rest. At least now you could get some money for it at the local consignment shop..

  50. Wardrobe question. Situation: panel interview Monday for big internal promotional opportunity. Constraint: 7.5 mo pregnant. Most of maternity clothes no longer fit including the black maternity blazer. Get super hot in most outfits so must take that into account. Large company, management position, know half the panel.

    Decent looking synthetic blouse with pattern, or plain colored cotton one, with black pants that look like trash bag material. The pants fall down when walking. (no other pants work now at all)
    Dresses with blazers: I have one nice cream colored maternity blazer that fits. It doesn’t look great with black. I have lots of other blazers that just can’t close in middle in conservative colors. Will probably need to remove blazer per being hot.
    The dresses that fit: lovely silk black/white flower pattern, slightly flarey at bottom. Works with cream blazer but not a serious business look.
    Black wrap dress- fits well, but not overly businesslike. Goes with black/white pinpoint open blazer.
    Print dress black/white- ugly synthetic short sleeve dress that looks like a low-end store piece. Fits great though and comfortable. Can layer black blazer open.

    No option is ideal… would love feedback! I will attend to hair/makeup and maybe wear a distracting scarf. People understand, it’s just not my typical interview attire so annoying. Mostly, need to prep and physically rest so can get through it without muscle pains/exhaustion.

    • Vote for the black wrap – if you’ll be taking off your blazer, this seems the best among the three.

      • Had to do a major briefing of a government official 8.5 months pregnant with my third child. All I fit into was a horrid lavender linen look suit, and I was too uncomfortable to wear shoes that weren’t birkenstocks. It wasn’t a good look — I did it by making jokes about how I looked and how much I was looking forward to getting back into business suits — said even a buttoned up shirt would seem comfortable after the pregnancy gig. It worked pretty well, they all laughed and the briefing went great.

      • Agree that the black wrap dress + open blazer sounds best. It sounds the most neutral / won’t call attention to your wardrobe.

    • I’d wear a dress with the black maternity blazer that doesn’t quite close. I assume it comes closer to closing than your non-maternity blazers do, and as such it won’t be so obvious it doesn’t fit. If your non-maternity blazers don’t look obviously too small then that would be fine too if you prefer a color other than black. I wouldn’t wear the cream blazer unless it matches the rest of your outfit.

      I’d wear a dress, and since you’ll probably take off the blazer, don’t go for a sleeveless dress. Since you know half the panel, presumably they’ll understand why you’re somewhat dressed down, but I think it’s a good idea to make some sort of funny comment about how this is the closest thing to a suit you could make out of your maternity wear, because sometimes people can be utterly clueless and might ding you for not wearing a suit.

      • Thanks all! Sounds like the black wrap dress (plus slip) plus open black/white pinpoint pattern blazer. Will try it all on today. May try low heels though have been in flats since October. The blouses with pants are better than the other dresses too but the patterns just aren’t something I’d normally wear.

        Amazingly, the black maternity blazer is too small in the shoulders now- incredible. The cream one is so nice, but just does not match these dresses.

        It is good that I know the decision-makers already.

        • Any chance you could go buy a maternity suit that fits today so that you will feel professional and fabulous at your interview? I’m sure others will be understanding no matter what you wear but it sounds like you are doubting how you will look and that lack of confidence may come through in how you speak and present yourself. It could be money well spent to buy something for the interview and re-sell or donate it after.

          • Ha. That’s the challenge- I am literally out of the sizes. I am really petite with a larger-than-life belly so bigger sizes don’t work, and smaller sizes don’t work, even in maternity. Thanks though. Evidence: was at physical therapist Friday for pain management- she asked three times if I was sure I wasn’t due til June, and wasn’t having twins. It was irritating and started becoming insulting- no, lady, told you the first time- but you get the idea. I am not proportional! Separates (bottoms) just don’t work.
            Though- I did get some weird suspenders that hold pants to bra, so my one pair of salvageable pants are back.

            And I tried on the black dress plus gray-ish blazer- it actually looks pretty good all things considered. Everyone was right. Heading out shortly to check consignment shop up my block for a fabulous silk scarf in blue or something nice and appropriate. I have a few that work but could use a refresher piece.

            It won’t affect confidence- I actually find it visually entertaining- just wasn’t sure which ensemble was best choice and this feedback really helped! Ideally I’d have someone other than spouse over to see the actual fit/results of a few… but busy prepping my actual content for the interview, and resting up so I won’t be too tired:) Also the others aren’t lawyers by background as I am, so they are less formal generally. And most already aware I am late-preg.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Ruby, good luck today!!

          • Hey, thanks!! That was nice to wake up to over coffee just now!
            Will do best, all you can do… was a long day of organizing thoughts/materials Sunday, struck down by swelling for a few hours so had to rest… going to telecommute to my earlier meetings to minimize chances of spasming pain and swelling (usually kicks in right at interview time, joy) so half the battle will be physical. I’m pretty good normally at these things but definitely not in a normal state. Decided to say at outset I’ll need a quick break halfway through, may need to pause when speaking, etc., both to reduce my strain and anticipation of strain (peeing, out of breath, hot, need to get leg blood flow going, no back support in there…), and it’s actually a technique that shows confidence/equal control of situation if done right. Again appreciate the good wishes!

            ps don’t know if you’ve ever shopped for maternity suits but let’s just say that market leaves a lot to be desired. Given the awful make of most of it, I’ve found that ‘real’ blazers unbuttoned often look better. I got a few bigger than normal ones second hand early on and it’s amazing, they now fit like a glove and don’t gape open, the one for today lays flat on each side of belly. Even if the black mat jacket still fit well, it honestly looks like a stitched together trash bag! I never realized what a fabric/fit snob I’d become:) Luckily this isn’t much of an issue since I know the people and I am more formal than most anyway (manufacturing company). Eg- they know I briefed a visiting White House official visiting west coast last week and the official said good things about me Friday. So less stressful than a new org situation. Nonetheless it is a haul and an operation at a tough time physically, but such a good opportunity! Realize just totally rambled here. Signing off.

  51. I’d love other perspectives on a situation I’m facing.

    I dragged my husband to a remote location for a great job opportunity 7 years ago. We love it here but he’s made some career sacrifices. We both want new jobs now (but we’re not desperate) which means we’d had to move somewhere else since the opportunities are extremely limited where we are now.

    I have an offer for a fantastic job that is about 1000 miles away. We like the location and it’s a bigger city with more future opportunities for both of us. Although we don’t really know anyone there and it puts us further away from both of our families (which we’re ok with). He’s got a few leads that are directly relevant to where he wants his career to go, but nothing has panned out yet. The company that made me an offer has been trying to help (but can’t guarantee anything) and has already given us a long time to get all the pieces into place. And now we have to make a final decision by Monday.

    Has anyone ever achieved the “move to a new location that you love with 2 good if not ideal jobs lined up” so the decision sort of makes itself? Not sure if life ever works out that cleanly, even though that’s what we were hoping for. If we turn down this opportunity, I’m not sure if it’s realistic to hope that everything would work out the next time around. Said another way, we could be back in this same position again with one job lined up and needing to decide.

    When it’s been one person’s career leading, what tips the scales for deciding to jump to a new opportunity? Money isn’t an issue and we have the flexibility for me to start and him to stay in his job for a bit longer if needed. But I’ve already made him do this before, and I don’t want him to hate me if his career struggles for a bit. On the other hand, what I do is much more specific which means fewer job opportunities and this new city would offer a big upside for having a choice of companies/jobs in the long term.

    Anyone else been through this before? I’m a consultant not a lawyer in case that matters and there’s a pretty amazing relocation package that goes with this job. (If we do go through with it, I’ll be back here asking for your advice on how to uproot and move 2 cats that hate being in a car for a 1000 mile trip. Ugh.)


    • Jenna Rink :

      My advice would be to really talk this through with your husband. Give him every opportunity to say no. My husband tends to be really supportive immediately, and then start thinking about the downside for himself later. Think about the worst case scenario – if he doesn’t find a job in 6 months will he blame you? But also weigh the best case scenario. It sounds like the new city would be a big positive for his career based on the variety of opportunities. This is such a tough decision, I hope you come to a conclusion you are both happy with!

    • Very late chiming in, but hits close to home so I wanted to respond anyway.
      Sounds exciting but tough. Similar situation with my husband, except nothing panned out for him in New City B and we couldn’t afford for him to be out of work for an extended period of time. (Frankly, not just for the money — I want him to be happy and satisfied in his life too, and part of that for him means feeling good about his work). Our temporary solution is doing long-distance (we’re only about 350 miles apart) for the time being. During this time, I’m focused on career advancement and he’s working on career opportunities that will work in City B.

      Great advice from Jenna to talk about it and talk again and again. Make sure you both talk through the different permutations and understand what the pluses and minuses are for each of you.

    • Thanks for the input – I really appreciate it. We have been really talking about the immediate and longer term implications (for a long time) for both of us – so the dialogue is definitely there. He keeps telling me that what I decide is fine with him, which isn’t how I want to handle this. I think he’s a bit more conservative (and passive?) about big changes but ends up embracing them later. I’ve tried to frame it as the decision is his to make since of course I want to do it.

      Liana, how did you deal with telling people in your situation? I’m worried that even if we commit to doing this, the hassle of explaining to people what’s going on (moving for my job, he’s still searching, etc.) is going to add an extra level of strain, stress, and awkwardness. We’re both pretty private so I can see it being really annoying.

      (Argh, it was so much easier to make these leaps of faith on my own. I’m fine with dealing with all the consequences – I hate putting them on someone else!)

    • It may still be morning there so I’ll chime in anyway :-). Basically, I don’t know hardly anyone where both jobs at once have come through at the same time. So don’t fret about the timing, just be happy you’ve found one.
      However, considering the current job picture, you may want to consider having your husband hang on to his job for a bit while he keeps looking, even if it means a few months of expensive airplane travel. One is in a much better position to get hired when already employed.. You can put a firm deadline on it if you feel uncomfortable at the thought of a temporary separation, like 3 or 6 months. But it sounds like it may not be necessary.
      You should also consider that if starting a new job you may be totally snowed under with the workload for a bit. So sparing him the putting up with you may be doing him a favor :-).

  52. I think the laundress website has some tips on this. If I recall correctly, it explains how to pack your suits and other nice clothes away. (I think you could put them in your building’s storage area).

  53. Hi Corporettes,

    I’m usually just a lurker here, but I’m in need of advice, and I trust this community to tell it to me straight.

    I’m a grad student taking time off from school to intern at a great company in my desired field. I’ve been interning for 2.5 months, and I absolutely love it — the work is fun and challenging, and the people are smart and nice.

    When I took the internship, I negotiated a little on salary, getting $5 more per hour than their initial offer, plus a $1000 moving bonus. I was fairly satisfied, although I realized soon after that I should have pushed for more on the hourly salary. Still, I figured, it’s a great learning experience, and it’s fine for 6 months (the duration of the internship).

    Yesterday, I found out that another student from my school, with a very similar background, is starting an internship with the same company this summer. Here’s the kicker — she’s getting paid much more than I am. She negotiated harder, and they gave her more as a result.

    I’m frustrated with myself for not pushing harder when I had the chance. My feeling here is that I missed my opportunity, and to bring it up now would seem unprofessional. Is my feeling right? Is there any way I could ask for more at this point? It would, of course, be tremendously helpful to me to have a higher salary, with student loans, etc.

    I really like this company and would be happy to work there after graduating. I know that they really like me, too. They are going through a period of growth where they really need to bring on new people to keep up with client work, but are having trouble finding people who are good at what we do and a good cultural fit. My boss has told me that I’m both, that she’s thrilled I’m working with them for six months, and (implied) that I’ll be likely to get an offer from them after graduating. I think this is my only leverage for a current salary re-negotiation.

    What do you think, Corporettes? Is it worth asking for more at this point? Or am I correct in thinking that I should suck it up and take it as a lesson to push harder in future salary negotiations?

    • Anonymous :

      Unfortunately you have to suck this up to a life lesson since its a short-term internship. Kick butt in the internship and hope for an offer and negotiate hard

      • Agree.

      • Agreed too. You missed this boat, so chalk it up to experience. But be sure you don’t get snarky about it, either to the company or to the other intern – it’s still a good opportunity :-).

  54. my bad luck to be at the bottom of the weekend posts, but i have this PRESSING question about being a fairly high powered litigator and needing to dress in a conservative court or other very serious situation in a year when NO ONE is making suits. really, what are we supposed to wear? i do have a closet of lafayette suits, nice, conservative, and boring, but, ahem, due to working to much and working out not enough, i find myself in need of a slightly more roomy waistband and as i set out to buy a few new things, i would prefer something that is traditional enough to pass the conservative test, but not hopelessly boring (or too young). what brands/stores should i be looking at?

    • I love Tahari and Theory suits, and you can get them much cheaper at an outlet. Jcrew also makes decent suits. All of these are conservative, and not too young. Although I suppose they are all generally a bit “boring” in color/cut.

    • Ann Taylor always has good suits. I also like Tahari ASL suits, which I buy at Macy’s.

    • Talbots!

      • Maddie Ross :

        Second this. Also consider myself to be a high-powered litigator and am in courts where I need to wear a skirt and hose as a female generally. I’ve been really happy with Talbots (but then again, I truly do not mind the unlined pants thing…) And I’m in my early 30s and do not think they “date” me — I think they are pretty traditional, but youthful.

    • Well, having just spent the last four months laboriously mail ordering and returning suit after suit… here’s what I have to say:

      I ended up with the Brooks Brothers stretch pinstripe skirt suit in navy (Item # WJ00020 and Item # WX00061 ). These pieces are still available in the sale section of the site in many sizes. I don’t know what is wrong with BB’s marketing, but the clothes look much better in real life than they do on the website. I am tall (5’9″) and the skirt hits at the top of my knee. The jacket is a flattering slim cut and doesn’t look as long on me as it does on the model. Also, the pinstripe is subtle, whereas when you zoom in on the photo, it looks kind of garish to my eye. Overall, it’s a nice classic suit and doesn’t look too matronly or trendy imo.

      If the Brooks Brothers suit didn’t work out, I was prepared to drop the big bucks and get the current BOSS Black skirt suit which only comes in grey (I tried it on in-store). For me, the grey was a little lighter than I would like, but I was getting desperate, and the cut was beautiful on me. Classic and traditional. It’s available on the Nordstrom website (item #522037 and item #522048).

      During my fun (not) quest, I also purchased and returned: J.Crew Super 120s navy pinstripe skirt suit (none of the pieces fit me well; the fabric is beautiful though); Club Monaco wool suit (very meh… it only comes in black or light grey, fabric seemed kind of cheap); Elie Tahari Seaway Summer Sharkskin suit (jacket didn’t fit me and the fabric was a bit too shiny for me, also didn’t like the drape of the fabric on the skirt– shiny + super delicate fabric = unflattering).

      Hope this helps!

      • Court Suits :

        This. Only certain manufacturers make court appropriate suits (traditional tailoring, pockets in the jacket, skirt, high quality fabric and construction). Brooks Brothers is the classic. Unfortuntely, they come around rarely and you have to always be on the lookout and acquire them slowly whenever they appear. Luckily, these kind of suits are constructed to last, so once you find them, buy two and enjoy them while you continue the search. In other words, you have to keep slogging through it. Another lesson learned: when you find yourself in a city with a large population of professional career women, visit the Brooks Brother, the Saks, the Macy’s and the Bloomingdales because those particular stores will have more appropriate court suits than their counterparts in other towns.

        I don’t think this is what Gloria Steinem (or whoever) meant when she said “constant vigilence is the price we pay for independence,” but it also applies here.

  55. Sorry for the (potential) double post — last comment got stuck in moderation.

    Hi Corporettes,

    I’m usually just a lurker here, but I’m in need of advice, and I trust this community to tell it to me straight.

    I’m a grad student taking time off from school to intern at a great company in my desired field. I’ve been interning for 2.5 months, and I absolutely love it — the work is fun and challenging, and the people are smart and nice.

    When I took the internship, I negotiated a little on salary, getting $5 more per hour than their initial offer, plus a $1000 moving bonus. I was fairly satisfied, although I realized soon after that I should have pushed for more on the hourly salary. Still, I figured, it’s a great learning experience, and it’s fine for 6 months (the duration of the internship).

    Yesterday, I found out that another student from my school, with a very similar background, is starting an internship with the same company this summer. Here’s the kicker — she’s getting paid much more than I am. She negotiated harder, and they gave her more as a result.

    I’m frustrated with myself for not pushing harder when I had the chance. My feeling here is that I missed my opportunity, and to bring it up now would seem unprofessional. Is my feeling right? Is there any way I could ask for more at this point? It would, of course, be tremendously helpful to me to have a higher salary, with student loans, etc.

    I really like this company and would be happy to work there after graduating. I know that they really like me, too. They are going through a period of growth where they really need to bring on new people to keep up with client work, but are having trouble finding people who are good at what we do and a good cultural fit. My boss has told me that I’m both, that she’s thrilled I’m working with them for six months, and (implied) that I’ll be likely to get an offer from them after graduating. I think this is my only leverage for a current salary re-negotiation.

    What do you think, Corporettes? Is it worth asking for more at this point? Or am I correct in thinking that I should suck it up and take it as a lesson to push harder in future salary negotiations?

    • How much longer are you working there? It seems worth it to ask for more!

    • I would probably leave this be. Since you’re there for a term, and not the duration. But depending on the field, if you do decide to say something perhaps you can frame it not as a raise but as an end bonus? Or maybe you could ask them for another $1000 to move back?

      Really, though I am sure it’s frustrating, try to think of this as a great life lesson.

  56. for your enjoyment.. here’s a hilarious example of a retail marketing description of ‘work to weekend’ wear- check it out to see why so funny. not in my office!

    I came across it through a facebook post- I’m acquainted with the model. She is stunningly pretty in person, with a body that is hard to believe (full in right places, shapely/toned), and a professional dancer that is so fun and sexy to watch I always feel bad for staring (I know her from my social salsa dancing crowd). I am glad there are those people who aren’t stuffily dressed lawyers and make the world a more visually appealing and more sensual place. (not that we can’t too but you know what I mean..) Amazingly, my friend is partnering with her for a dance competition- and his wife of 25 yrs, also a dancer, is fine with it- she didn’t want to have to do all the practices. I’d have to think on that one personally were it me:)


  57. so anonymous :

    Am I the most cynical person in the world? I’m watching House Hunters, and, upon seeing a couple with obviously different goals, mentally fast forward to my own version of the ending: “They got divorced and each was able to live in the house he and she wanted.”

    • I feel that way about most of the couples on house hunters; I don’t watch regularly, but I watch often enough and my general feeling is many of the couples are out of sync/don’t particularly enjoy each other. And then I wonder if they are on their best behavior for the camera (yikes, if they are) or if the producers ask certain questions so it seems that way + creative editing.

    • I think part of it is scripted to that each one has different pros/cons to articulate,but even then there are definitely some that are more in sync than others.

      Mostly I can’t watch it because the episodes in low cost of living areas make me so frustrated with my own housing search in a high COL area.

  58. Did they repeal the “leggings aren’t pants” rule and forget to tell me? Because I was just at the mall and in the course of 30 minutes, I saw at least half a dozen women and girls wearing leggings in lieu of pants. I was so so close to chastising one girl, but then I looked at my own outfit and realized that I wasn’t really in a position to offer fashion advice.

    • so anonymous :

      That’s hilarious! I recently moved to a part of the country where leggings and Uggs are high fashion. Also caked-on, Kardashian-style make-up. So I avoid the mall.

    • Anonylicious :

      I saw one girl a couple of months ago who was wearing tights as pants. They weren’t even leggings! Her shirt didn’t even cover her butt, either. Luckily, her underwear did. As I saw, through her tights. Which were. Not. Pants.

      So now, when I see someone wearing leggings as pants (and I live in a college town, so that’s pretty often), I think, “at least they aren’t tights.” It is a sad, sad world we live in.

      • i saw an intern at my office wearing a tunic with sheer control top pantyhose and heels. I know they were control top because I could see the control top. My jaw literally dropped – she really looked like she just forgot to put on her skirt.

        • Yowza! I think that my biggest issue with ladies who choose to forgo “real” pants is that so many of them do not pay attention to whether or not crucial body parts (e.g., butt, abdomen) are covered with a top.
          I also have noticed that many leggings-wearers tend to be larger. As a plus-size woman myself, I can understand the allure of the elastic waist and stretchiness; however, I realize that this is not super-flattering, so I look for other alternatives.

      • There are leggings made of thicker material that provide reasonable coverage, then there are thin almost sheer leggings that display every crevice, lump, bump, underwear outline etc. The latter are what I have a problem with. When the rear end is uncovered in these leggings which it often is, they make someone look undressed and I find them a little shocking to see in public.

        • I agree. Leggings that cover you – fine. Leggings where I can see the color of your underwear from a distance – less ok. You can wear whatever you want, but I reserve the right to judge people when I can see their underwear (or at least, want to tell them their underwear is visible in case they are unaware, as I would want someone to tell me).

    • Sigh. I wear leggings as pants all the time. Not to work, obvs, but seriously–what I wear to the mall/grocery store/walk my dog/stroll around town is my business. Please tell me why you would think it even remotely appropriate to chastise a complete stranger for wearing something that you, personally, do not like? How would you feel if the young, leggings-wearer turned around, gave you a side-eye, and said, “Wow, thank you for the input. Just FYI as long as we’re sharing, your top makes you look like an inverted triangle and you might want to get those brows waxed,” which I can almost guarantee you would be my response if a stranger ever offered an unsolicited critique of my clothes. So I mean, props to you for restraining yourself, but really. Can we hold the judgment.

      • So do I, a, so do I. Shirt to the waist and everything, too. I look perfectly respectable and normal (and, well, freaking awesome, too). (Clearly, not yo everyone, but, well, one can never please everyone, of course) I grew up in SE Europe where this was absolutely normal and I’ll be damned if I ever stop doing things (not hurting other people) that I want ot do because of the general public perception.

        • Oh, and I would actually quite LOVE IT if a kind person provided me with feedback on the matter. Almost always, I am in a mood appreciative of a good laugh.

      • Hive Mind :

        Sorry, leggings aren’t pants and you are in the WRONG for wearing them as such. Stop now. Seriously. The Hive has spoken.

        • Even for doing pilates/yoga? Can I walk to pilates in my pilates leggings?

        • oh hai STFUC

          • Seriously? Can we keep that kind of language off this board? I don’t care how offended or annoyed you are, it’s never appropriate to call another woman by the C word.

          • Really belated but she meant STFU c*rp*r*tt* (probably just used C to avoid moderation.)

          • Yes definitely what she said. Was trying to call out the un-funny satirist (if we can call her that). But definitely not calling her a C word! Geez.

    • I think the “leggings aren’t pants” rule needs some addendums. Because there are yoga pants out there that are almost leggings that are made out of thick enough fabric that people can pretty much wear them as pants.

      And also there’s the thing that I really can’t get worked up about what people wear to the mall or to the grocery store. Sure, they’re not the most flattering things in the world out there. But frequently, they look better then those “jeggings” or skinny jeans that ARE pants that people wear with impunity. So meh.

  59. Fies anyone share my belief that many of us are married to the same man: The Man Who Knows Everything?

    I know my mother thinks she is also married to him. : )

    • I dated the Guy Who Thought He Knew Everything. He did not, in fact, know everything. :)

    • Unless you’re married to The Man Who Can’t Apologize Until Tomorrow, then no.

    • I was.

    • I dated that dude again and again, until I recognized that that was what I was doing, and stopped. Never going back!

    • Ooh, my sister in law is married to him. Luckily, he’s pretty good hearted about it…but sometimes he does get annoying.

      (Note…he’s probably most annoying to me because I occasionally fall victim to “The Woman Who Knows Everything” syndrome.)

  60. volunteering as networking :

    Ladies, where do you all volunteer? I’d like to volunteer (in a non-legal function) but still meet potential contacts.

    • Tired Squared :

      I volunteer with one of my county’s animal shelters. I haven’t found potential clients that way since I’m still waiting on bar results, but there are often people who say, “oh, you’re a lawyer? I have this question … ” if that’s what you’re looking for.

    • I used to volunteer with an animal rescue organization and did really mentally taxing things such as socializing puppies and giving dogs/puppies baths before their adoption events.

    • Pick a cause that matters to you. Hunger, education, animals, etc. Then research boards of the organizations in that field. Most organizations publicly list their boards, and often their top donors, in Annual Reports. Find an organization that has the types of contacts you would want to get to know and get involved – join a board, offer to host of fundraising event, volunteer, etc.

    • I joined the Junior League. There are many social elements and networking opportunities, but I was also matched with a very fulfilling community service project. It is expensive though.

  61. Hey ladies, so I’m in this new relationship with a guy I really like (or thought I did). He did something to upset me last night (nothing major but it was something that came off very inconsiderate). Because I’m horrible at relationships and communicating, what is the best way to talk about this? Normally, I would just break up with the guy but I think I like this one and think it’s just a matter of communicating my feelings to him but I guess I don’t really know how to do that. I don’t want to do it in person because I’m afraid I’ll cry and I don’t want him to see me cry (nothing wrong with crying but I don’t want him to see me as weaker). Is via phone ok? Or maybe ask to meet at a Starbucks and talk (think I”m less likely to cry in a public space)? Wait a few days to calm down and then bring it up? After we talk, is it ok to just say I need space for about a week and that we shouldn’t hang out for that time? Sorry I’m just not sure what is normal and the best approach to handle without blowing this up to the point where I get frustrated and just end things. Thanks in advance!

    • This is hard to answer without knowing how big of deal the thing he did was– I can’t tell if you are reacting appropriately or overreacting.

      Either way, phone is fine but in-person is better. I wouldn’t ask him to meet specifically for this purpose unless it is truly a big deal, and it doesn’t sound like it is. For example, if bf forgot to consider you when making plans and you felt left out, calling a meeting to discuss that would be an overreaction. And would lead him to think “is this girl going to call a town hall meeting to discuss our feelings every time I forget to take out the trash?” Some of this is particular to my own relationship, because DH hates talking about anything serious like this and is prone to just shut down. I save “big talk time” for when there is a big fight brewing.

      But it’s very important to not do anything until you’ve had some time to cool off and get some perspective. For me, I find that if I wait 24-48 hrs, I’m less angry and more level-headed. It might also help to bounce it off a trusted friend, and see if they think you are overreacting or underreacting. Sometimes you need distance.

    • I am virtually incapable of talking about hurt feelings without crying, and I feel like that detracts from what I want to communicate, so my default for tough conversations is email. You can choose your words carefully and you can say everything you need to say without getting derailed. Sometimes the email is a prologue to an ongoing conversation, but I think it really helps take the emotional charge out of the situation when you have taken the time to sit down and think through what it is that upset you, and it is a better starting point because he knows where you are coming from. I only do email when it’s a big deal, though (i.e. something that other more extroverted women would want to have a sit-down talk about).

      If it is a relatively minor infraction, I would find a way to casually bring it up next time you are spending time together or talking on the phone. Don’t attack, just let him know that when x happened you did not like it very much. You said it’s a new relationship, so remember that you are both still getting to know one another and do necessarily know what will upset one another.

    • I think you just say it. Don’t do it over the phone or by email. I wouldn’t do it at a Starbucks. Just pick somewhere relatively private like your house or a park and say something along the lines of, “so the other night, you did X, and it upset me because of Y. Can we just talk about it so we can get past it?”

    • KK, M and AIMS, thanks so much for your advice. I thought I was about to lose it earlier. It’s been almost 24 hours but I’m going to hold off doing anything for another day or so to cool down. And while I have cooled down for most of the day, I just got all pissed thinking about it again. Lol. I don’t think I will email but I did write down all my thoughts as if it were an email and it helped me articulate and pinpoint what made me upset so I will use that as talking points. And as suggested, I’m just going to bring it up the next time we hang out and just talk about it so we can move past it. Until then, I will keep listening to my “I’m better off without him” playlist to calm me down–it reminds me that I could break it off if I wanted to. :) Thanks again!

      • This is also extremely belated, but as long as you’re not the type to get into screaming brawls, the car is a great place for these slightly awkward, “I need to talk about my feelings” conversations. Something about not being able to look each other straight in the eye really diffuses the situation and calms everything down.

        (But if you’re screamers, don’t do it. Its dangerous.)

        • This is too funny to me, because I totally agree re: it being much easier to have slightly awkward conversations in the car, and early on in my relationship with my now-husband definitely would spring somewhat intense conversation topics on him while we were driving. He was always very gracious about it, but I have since learned that he HATES (Ellen-all-caps-style) not being able to look a person in the eye when he is having a serious conversation with them, so it was basically the worst possible situation in which to have these conversations for him (though the best for me). Anyway, just something to keep in mind — YMMV of course!

    • If it takes you a whole week to cool down enough to talk, either you should get yourself to a therapist or you should just break up. Most lesser issues can be cooled off about in a day or so. But also I wouldn’t let this fester too much on general grounds: if you take so long to work up to an Official Talk, chances are the poor guy will wonder what the hell you’re up to, and may not even remember what happened or be able to claim not to. I also prefer to cool off before getting into a difficult subject, it makes for more fruitful discussion, but there’s cooling off and then there’s sulking. Make sure you don’t fall into the latter, or you may no longer have a choice about a breakup.

  62. Julie Steinberg :


  63. Julie Steinberg :

    Thanks for your help, everyone! Much appreciated.