Thursday’s TPS Report: Gold Button Sweater Jacket

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

Banana Republic Gold Button Sweater JacketSo normally, I hate gold buttons.  I don’t know what it is about them — too 80s? — but I rip ‘em off any item of clothing I buy, and replace them with other buttons pretty quickly.  (Mother of pearl, plain black, whatever.)  So I’m surprised that I really like this sweater jacket, as is, in all its nautical, preppy glory.  Ladies, what are your thoughts on buttons (in general and specifically here)? This sweater does look perfect for chilly summer days spent in lots of air conditioning — do note it’s nearly sold out but for select sizes and colors. It’s available in regular and petite for $69.99 (on sale) at Banana Republic. Banana Republic Gold Button Sweater Jacket

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Comments

  1. Ladies, I passed the background check and can now give notice. Unfortunately, I’m working from home today.

    Do you guys think I can give notice today via email or should I wait until I’m back in the office tomorrow?

    • PharmaGirl :

      Congrats!

      I would wait for tomorrow. Take yourself out for a nice long celebratory lunch today!

    • Always a NYer :

      First, congratulations and hugs!!!! Second, I’d wait to give notice in person, just so you can see the look on your boss’ face when you tell him. And so you can give us the play by play of what happened, of course ;)

      • That’s exactly what I was thinking!

      • In fact, I’d wait to give notice until you can purchase a secret spy cam for your glasses or hat or something so you can FILM the look on mean bosses’ face and then post it here for all of us to see! (Too much? No never!)

      • Seconding this!

        • TJ-ing this TJ to say Frugal City Girl, I just enjoyed your post on Little Women. I just re-read it over the summer for the first time since I was fairly young (10 or so?). Much more interesting from the adult perspective, I think – particularly Meg’s plot!

          • hellskitchen :

            seconded! I have been enjoying your blog FCG and the Little Women post was a refreshing read

          • Aw, thank you! :D I was so shocked to find out how much I was rooting for Meg, when my 11-year-old self had been so totally into Jo. My memory of Meg was of a vaguely disapproving mother figure, but this time around I realised that was part of the joke!

            I was a bit disappointed to discover that Laurie wasn’t as heartthrobby as I remembered either, though – sigh for lost innocence. :)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yep. The look on his face when you (politely and professionally) inform him of your resignation will be absolutely priceless. Take a mental picture and savor it. He’ll probably also say something really hilarious as well that he wouldn’t say in an email.

        CONGRATS BUNKSTER!!!!!!!

    • Diana Barry :

      CONGRATS!!!!

      I would wait until tomorrow and just slack off today. :)

    • Congrats!!

      I would do it in the office. Aside from seeing the “reaction shot,” you get to miss that awkward feeling of walking in tomorrow with co-workers already gossiping about your news.

    • Also as others have said, clean off anything from your work computer that’s yours and you want to keep. Hopefully your manager doesn’t take the classless way out, but you should be prepared for being walked out ASAP just in case he really-o truly-o is a doosh.

      • This! you need to be there to take care of the stuff on the computer/corporate network and in your desk.
        Congratulations!

    • I also don’t know if you saw this the other night, but I think there is a strong possibility that when you give notice, your boss will tell you leave immediately and not come back. Wait until tomorrow. You don’t want to have HR mail you your stuff.

      • Oh, and congratulations! I really don’t mean to be the voice of doom, just having a bad week.

      • 100% agree. Only tell them you’re leaving once you are physically ready to leave.

      • another anon :

        This. And I would take a little time tomorrow morning to get at least your essentials together before you give notice, so that you can just grab your stuff and go if you are asked to leave immediately.

        And make sure you don’t leave any beverages on your desk–wasn’t there a commenter a while back who quit or was let go, and when they sent her her stuff someone had put a full cup of coffee into her bag, ruining the bag and a bunch of other stuff?

    • Former MidLevel :

      Congrats!

    • Tomorrow. Leave a post-it note on his computer monitor.

      Too much?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would give notice tomorrow in person and hand a letter of resignation to them. And smile. And maybe write a memo to your boss about why you’re leaving and CC *his* boss.

      So glad you’re getting out of there Bunkster!

    • Congratualtions! Do it in person – give yourself some time in the office tomorrow to grab your contacts and work product, and wipe your computer, first. And then enjoy the process!

    • Congratulations! I’m seriously very happy for you.

      I’d wait until tomorrow because it’s the polite thing to do, although frankly your boss doesn’t deserve common courtesy. But if he fires you on the spot, you’d rather be there to collect your things instead of waiting for them to be sent (and possibly sabotaged).

    • CONGRATS!!!! So glad you’re able to escape! I would wait until tomorow so you can see his look when you resign. While he doesn’t deserve basic courtesy, this is another chance to show you’re the better person. Enjoy and celebrate today!

    • Congratulations!

    • springtime :

      CONGRATS! It makes me so happy to know you don’t have to work at that awful place anymore! yay!!

    • MaggieLizer :

      Congrats! If you can stealthily take a picture of your boss’s reaction, please post it!

    • Tomorrow, because no matter what happens, maybe he’ll seethe all weekend. I don’t normally advocate behaving like that, but he’s such a tool…

      Congratulations!

    • Tired Squared :

      SO happy for you, Bunkster!

      Wait until tomorrow … you deserve to see the look on that awful boss’s face when you tell him you’re out of there!

    • Congratulations, Bunkster!

    • Congratulations! Definitely in person… you can draft your letter today and hand it to him first thing tomorrow.

    • Congratulations!!! Fantastic that the waiting is finally over.

    • I’m so excited for you! I’m excited for your new job and so happy you don’t have to deal with that crappy boss any more.

      When I resigned from my last job, I just walked into my boss’s office, sat down, and said, “I’m quitting.” He said, “I thought you might be thinking about that.” And then I had a resignation note on his desk later that afternoon. I’m not sure what else you need to say.

  2. I love it.

    I saw this article in the NYT the other day about cohabitating, and I’d like to hear your thoughts.

      • I agree with the thesis of the article – I’ve seen the statistics showing that couples who live together first are more likely to divorce, but the reason to me seems that it’s more difficult to go “nah, this just isn’t working out” to someone you’re living with than someone you’re not. There is a major financial and time/hassle disincentive to breaking up with someone you’re living with, and I can totally see how that leads to inertia and couples marrying just because they feel like they should.

        • anon atty :

          I’ve actually seen the opposite statistic — that couples who DONT live together first are more likely to divorce, i think the rationale being that living together is a big deal and often people just are not compatable once they start doing so.

          • Anon for this... :

            Um….what do you mean by “compatible”? I’ve never known a marriage to break up because “Suzy always leaves her socks on the floor” or similar.

          • I think the ones that don’t live together but divorce because they’re oh so surprised that the other person doesn’t live like they do just failed to have the proper fully-fledged, honest conversations before getting married.

          • It’s not Suzy leaves her socks on the floor, it’s Suzy leaves the lights on all the time and our electricity bill is through the roof and her priority is not saving but spending, and all that petty stuff you don’t know about before you live under the same roof and share expenses.

          • Yeah, those are serious topics, but I feel like if you take your relationship seriously enough beforehand, you’ll know about it whether you live together or not. I swear, some people just don’t pay attention to how much their mate spends until it’s suddenly “their” money, and that’s just stupid. I know people who have divorced because the wife spends too much money, but she literally did not change her habits after the wedding. It was there the whole time, he just chose not to pay attention.

          • b23, my mother says, “people tell you who they are *all the time*. You just have to pay attention.” I think she’s onto something there. ;-)

          • I totally agree that (a) attitudes towards money and suchlike are super, super important for compatibility, but that (b) that doesn’t automatically happen with living together – you can (and should!) talk about it beforehand too. It’s no different than eg whether or not you want kids. You need to have that conversation no matter what.

    • Affianced :

      I saw this, too, and it prompted me to buy and read her book, “The Defining Decade” last week. Very interesting and easy to read exploration of how determinative life decisions about partners, work, education made in your 20s are and how to make them more clearly.

      Her main point about cohabitation is that it should be a conscious choice, not something you fall into. Her data (and I think I read this in the book, not the article) show that couples who cohabit after a conscious commitment have a lower divorce rate than couples who fall into cohabiting. So the title of the article is a little misleading: it’s not living together without a marriage certificate that is dangerous, it’s living together without a conscious and discussed/expressed commitment.

      This comports with my own experience.

      • so is her theory in the book the same about falling into a career, education, and other (non-spousal) life commitments?

      • I was kind of wondering about this myself. I can’t really tell from the synopsis/reviews of her book on Amazon whether it would inspire me or send me into a depression (for what it’s worth, I am 28 and don’t feel like I’ve really gotten myself on track yet, so I wouldn’t want to read a book that amounts to, “Hey, if you haven’t figured out what you’re doing with your life by 25, you’re pretty much scr*wed. Joke’s on you!”).

        • I am about the same age as you January and I feel the same way too. I don’t think it is too late for us!

        • i can’t imagine that i’m any better off than you. i’m the same age, but seemingly on the surface have it all figured out and am totally on track. in reality, i’ve just fallen into everything i’ve done professionally and just roll with the punches, very few of the decisions were conscious or thoughtful, yet resulted in a “career” that i’m good at, but don’t love and don’t think i’d ever choose for myself. depressing.

        • Well, I certainly hope it’s not too late for any of us! :) I guess I could always read the book – I wonder to what extent she takes into account circumstances beyond an individual’s control, like this less-than-welcoming job market. Bah humbug.

          • This! I hate the fact that this decade is supposed to be so defining in my life when I feel like most of the choices I have made are the result of a bad job market and college tuition rising at an unprecendeted rate. They are definitely not the same choice I would have made if the circumstances were different but you do what you have to do. Can’t say it doesn’t frustrate me though. My husband and his friends graduated college when tuition was reasonably affordable and the economy was booming. I definitely see a difference in his and his friends career trajectories because of the opportunities that were available to them in their early 20′s.

        • I’d give it a shot. Frankly, the lessons about making thoughtful choices are valid at any age, and I have plenty of contemporaries (I’m 45) who could use to learn them. In any event, the book is an easy evening’s read because it is a narrative told as a series of stories (“my client Suzy came to see me because …”) arranged into chapters by topic (choices about work, choices about love, etc.).

        • January and other 20-somethings: read this book! I also bought the book after reading the article about co-habitation, and it provides a really interesting and compelling perspective on the 20′s being a defining decade in one’s life, i.e., all the choices you make now really do shape what your personal life and career will be like in your 30′s and beyond. Especially if you feel like you really haven’t gotten on track yet, this book will be a gentle kick in the pants. I’m way beyond this stage myself, but plan to give this book to my 22-year-old daughter!

      • I agree re living together without conscious thought. I lived with my now husband for 8 years before we got married, and I think (or at least I like to think) that we were very thoughtful about our relationship, whether it was what we wanted, and whether we were ready to take an even bigger step (marriage). We did a lot of talking about our relationship during those years and I feel very confident that we can make our marriage work in the long haul because we have such a solid base (of course everyone thinks that, but we’ve discussed, extensively, many “worst case” scenarios that can put a lot of pressure on a marriage and we agree on the general course of action in terms of working on our relationship).

        I’m definitely pro-cohabitation before marriage (or really, just not anti-cohabitation), but I do agree that in an ideal world people would make those decisions without time/financial pressures.

      • Ditto about the conscious choice part.
        Living together because you’re serious about each other = good.
        Living together because your roommate moved out and hey why not? = bad.
        Living together because your city is really expensive and you hate having roommates = bad.

        Etc.

      • It tracks with my own experience too. I “fell” into a co-habiting relationship by dating one of my housemates in a group house (never, ever ever do that! learn from my mistakes, please!), and I stayed way longer than I should have in a bad relationship because I was so worried about the hassle of leaving. I was running very low on money and couldn’t afford to forfeit my deposit (which my then-boyfriend almost certainly would have kept if I had moved out without his approval), and I worried about what my friends and family would think about my leaving so quickly when we had been living together and it appeared to be such a “serious” relationship. In retrospect, I should have just left and figured out a way to make it work, but being in the same house definitely created some powerful economic and psychological motives not to leave. I’m so glad that I put my foot down when we moved somewhere new that we were going to live in separate places at first. We broke up a month later.

        I would still want to cohabit again before marrying, but only with a very conscious decision and only after being together for a long time (at least one year, ideally two).

        • Also, I would want a cohabitation agreement if it was at all financially feasible for us to have that drawn up by a lawyer.

    • I think it’s BS. I agree with all her points about thinking about things thoroughly, etc., but disagree with the conclusions. And since her piece came out, lots of others have been written refuting her conclusions and data.

      It has been pointed out that statistics that correlate living together with higher divorce rates are outdated. Apparently, the more recent studies indicate that only people who make a habit of living together with multiple partners face a higher risk of divorce.

      • Can you link to some of the other articles? I thought about you (oddly enough, since I don’t actually know you) when I read this because y’all don’t want to get married, right? So living together is obviously different in that case; I would assume that your decision to commit is similar to getting married.

      • Ah AIMS you beat me to it. I think to nuance it even more- the study was so outdated that it was really only polling those who made a habit of living together, ie lived with every bf they had because it was from (i think) 1980 when “respectable” couples were married before living together.

        Every recent study I have read points in the other direction- that living together first leads to a lower rate of divorce.

        • I do know several couples who lived together, and are still living together, where the girl is just waiting and waiting for the guy to propose. I do think it takes out some of the incentive.

          • eh I think that says more about the girl/ and or couple than the living together though.

          • Re: Incentive/Motivation

            I completely agree here. As a datapoint, I’m not religious at all (not an active member of any organized religion) but I knew I did not want to live with my guy (now the DH). These are just my personal beliefs and experiences, not by any means, a guideline by which others should adhere, of course.

            I saw marriage as a bright line in the sand, which I liked. I also understand the people who are against the institution of marriage (as currently set-up by our government). For those folks, I see their cohabitation as being as important and weighty as the official “marriage.”

            But, for the men who say, “Yes, I do believe in marriage and want to get married someday,” I see living together with someone like that as a cop-out.

            It allows him to appease the demanding, increasingly anxious girlfriend without having to make that bright-line declaration. It comes across half-assed. I don’t want anyone in my life who’s there in a half-assed way.

            DH and I dated 6yrs before getting married, and in those 6yrs, we saw a lot of each other’s character and supported each other through a lot of good and bad things. We had all of the difficult conversations about expectations, money, lifestyle, children (what #, if any), religion, in-laws, boundaries, etc. These discussions came up organically, as we went through life, and as life happened to us. We were very known quantities to each other when we got engaged. We never lived together until after we got married.

            I didn’t feel any urgency to marry, though, nor did he. (This would probably be very different if I wanted to have biological children. So that was a factor.) Our relationship just grew closer and closer together, and I felt happy that we both reached the conclusion that we wanted to be with each other forever, and that we wanted to make it official with a (low-cost) wedding. We wanted to make that decision clearly and boldly. In the time we’ve been married, we’ve had a really, really great time, and we look forward to many more enjoyable years together.

          • I like this, Susan! I agree. My husband and I are religious, which is why we didn’t live together beforehand, but we had those same conversations and have now been married almost 10 wonderful years. There haven’t been any real surprises, and we still love to be around each other. Even though I’m very gregarious, he’s still my favorite.

          • Susan, I’m sorry but what a sad description of women! a demanding, anxious woman who can’t decide for herself? That says more about that one woman, than women and people who live together as a collective group. I am not a fretting, anxious defenseless woman desperatly waiting for a man to validate my existence so maybe that’s why I don’t view living together as a man’s way to appease the woman in his life. In fact, I know some woman who actually wanted to live together before marriage! Imagine that, a 21st century woman who thinks its a good idea to live together before marriage.

          • cfm, I don’t know what you’re getting huffy about. There was nothing in my post that was about you or your specific situation. There was also nothing that said that all couples who live together are doing so because the man is appeasing a desperate woman. My post was not about you.

            However, there are a number of men who SAY they want to eventually get married, and the women who are living with them who believe that, also believe they’ll be the one to marry these men, but get increasingly anxious and unhappy, because many of them do want to have children, and they see that window of opportunity narrowing because the men never show any inclination of actually taking things to the next step.

            Yes, of course, there are plenty of women who wish to cohabit, for a whole host of different reasons. I never said there wasn’t. And yes, the 21st century woman has a lot of choices. And again, my post was not about you, but um, congrats for being a 21st century woman who is making her choices, and congrats for making the post about you.

          • Susan I wasn’t making it about me, I was putting in a defense for most women. i would hope we are not all waiting for a guy to propose instead of being an equal partner. All of my women friends/mentors/etc are not the outdated example you described as representative of all women. Your second paragraph just baffles me. I don’t know why any woman would be getting anxious that the man isn’t taking the next step. All of my friends and people in my circle came to the decision to get married together. The man did the proposing, but the discussion and agreement came first so they knew when it would be withing a range of months or one year.

            I honestly am not trying to be snarky or huffy, i just think you are describing relationships that seem really outdated

          • cfm, thanks for your reply. And I apologize for what was an unnecessary amount of snark in my initial reply to you. I wonder if we’re talking past each other rather than really disagreeing.

            I only wish that that particular model of relationship …dysfunction I was describing was outdated. But it’s not. Even of late, we’ve had (much younger than me) posters here talk about their experiences of waiting for boyfriends to propose, and getting anxious. It’s happening even now. It’s not just in the man-woman dynamic, I’ve seen it in gay relationships, too, and it’s a smaller subset of “what happens when person X wants to take it to the next level and person Y doesn’t want to or feels no urgency”. X and Y can be any age or gender or orientation.

            But with the woman-man dynamic, there are some hard biological facts that make it a fairly common situation.

            Granted, I don’t think the dynamic I described is the majority, but it’s common enough that a lot of posters here have remarked on it, know people currently in that dynamic, and are sometimes in that dynamic. It’s not because women are weak or desperate collectively, nor is it even so much that the specific women in these relationships are weak or desperate.

            I just think it’s a difficult situation– a lot of these guys don’t want to be pressured into marrying or asking their gfs to marry them, and I don’t blame them….being under the gun in any situation doesn’t necessarily bring out the best human impulses or reactions.

            I think our society now finds it much more acceptable for people, men and women both, to “find themselves” in their 20s. And that means that a lot of trial-and-error (in terms of careers, relationships, personae, social sets). And I generally think that that is a good thing. I find fewer restrictions on personal choices to be better than more, and that’s my own political/ideological fiddle here.

            However, even if societies change, we haven’t really changed our biology that much. In one of the weekend threads, it seemed to me that a lot of women who do want children, know that pretty early on. Not all, but enough that it’s a noticeable pattern. But we also know that fertility declines significantly after 35, and again after 40 for women. For a woman who wants 3 or 4 children, but wants a marriage as the foundation for introducing children into her life, a certain amount of concern (or anxiety) is understandable. It does not make them weak or desperate. It just means that they’ve done the math. Especially if they’re 30 and they’ve been with their lovely boyfriend for 4 years and they’re not married yet. They are now contemplating possibly losing someone they love dearly, in order for hypothetical children. I would call that “stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

            These women *can* decide for themselves, it’s just that it’s going to be a tough decision. I can’t fault them for sticking around and seeing what they want to see, even if it’s ultimately the wrong decision for them.

            And as for “waiting” for the man to take the next step, I’m always amazed at how many guys, who are self-professed non-traditional/free-thinking/etc. who still think they should be the ones to have to propose and suggest marriage instead of being the recipient of a proposal from their gfs.

            Sad to say, many of these guys would crap their pants if their gfs proposed, so until the society *fully* changes to where some of these couples are able to arrive to a shared decision, and to not let it lie indefinitely, and where the guy is cool with the gal proposing, then this dynamic is likely to persist. Maybe not the majority, but I don’t see it fully going away either.

          • Solo Practitioner :

            I’m about to move in with my boyfriend. I recently spoke to a male relative about 10 years older than me about it. He said, “Make sure you’re on the same page about marriage. If you want to eventually get married, make sure he knows that before you move in.” He was warning me about getting stuck without a ring. Apparently it’s happened to a few of his friends.

            Luckily, my boyfriend would propose like tomorrow if I were ready.

      • agree.
        The divorce rates in the Unites States AND the amount of couple cohabitation before marriage have both gone up, but correlation doesn’t mean causation.

    • I agree that you should not “slide” but “decide” but was dissapointed that the research she used to make her point in the article was from 1980. that was a very different time as far as living together. I thought it was almost sneaky how outdated the info was.

      • Agreed. Not the most recent data to be using. In fact, it’s data older than most of the people she believes are being hurt by this phenomenon.

        And FWIW: my husband and I lived together prior to getting married. However, we had long talks about it, why we wanted to live together, and what we expected that such a decision would mean. In the end, we did it as a step toward marriage after we’d been dating just over a year. We were discussing marriage, and really, in every sense but the “I have a ring” modern sensibility of engagement, we were engaged to be married.

      • Agreed. I thought a lot of what she says in the article comports with what I’ve observed in real life, but she doesn’t seem to be making an anecdotal argument.

    • I thought this comment (on the NYT site) was interesting, although I am no social scientist or statistician and would love for someone more familiar with the author’s data and the commenter’s points to weigh in:

      As a social scientist, I am appalled at this use of data.

      Imagine you have 100 couples in your research cohabitating before marriage.
      65 of them breakup. 35 of them go on to become married. 20 of them are in unhappy marriages and eventually divorce.

      This article purports that 20 of 35 are a bad percentage – that because those 20 couples divorce, then cohabitation is to be questioned. THIS IS BAD MATH! One should be looking at 20/100 as the basis for analysis.

      Undoubtedly, many many marriages never happened because cohabitation led some of the couples to believe they were not compatible and end their relationships.

      In the end, one could conclude that perhaps cohabitation indeed saved many couples from engaging in unhappy marriages in the first place.

      Secondarily, where did the author get her data? From her own profession experience? She is a psychologist after all – the likelyhood she even *see* any cohabitors in happy marriages is slim to none, no? Happy doesn’t go to the shrink.

      • Also, of my married friends, I can’t think of a single couple that didn’t cohabit before marriage (self included). The only people I know who live apart before marriage are people who are very religious, and they are unlikely to divorce in any case. My parents only got engaged because my dad asked my mom to move with him when he got a job out of state, and she said her parents wouldn’t let her move in unless they got married first. So you can say they waited until marriage, but I don’t know that their process was the most thoughtful. I would want to get married because I wanted to get married, not because I wanted s-ex or cohabitation.

        • “The only people I know who live apart before marriage are people who are very religious, and they are unlikely to divorce in any case.”

          I wonder about this. I read recently than Ann and Mitt Romney got engaged on the night of his senior prom, when she was a sophomore in high school. They got married three years later, when she was 19. And they’re still married.

          I suppose it’s possible that they were both self-aware and mature enough to make a perfect mate choice when they were so young. It’s also possible that even if their marriage were bad, they would never divorce (for a plethora of religious, cultural and financial reasons). I’m not sure I understand.

          • I don’t quite understand your question. But my experience is that religious couples have different expectations of what a marriage means, and that the standards for satisfaction are different (not necessarily lower). There is a lot more emphasis on having children and rearing them in a certain way, as well as taking on certainly daily practices and belonging to a community and relying on its members. You don’t need or expect a “soulmate” (not that moderately religious or secular people always do)… you have fewer decisions to make, at least in some arenas… s e x and money are maybe not as divisive/central…there are fewer childrearing topics on which you are likely to strongly disagree…you were probably raised similarly by your parents and thus have fewer differences in expectation or experience…gender roles are defined not as much by you as by your religious affiliation/community…divorce is far less common and less accepted, so there is pressure to stay married even if you don’t like it…. I think partly this sort of marriage can be harder to get out of, and partly there are fewer sticky issues likely to divide the partners. In the same way that someone who is happily religious isn’t likely to question his/her beliefs, s/he isn’t likely to question his/her marriage in the “could I be happier” sense. Not to say that divorce never occurs, but I think there are fewer triggers and, when there are triggers, there are fewer people brave enough to go through with it, both because they want to be accepted in their communities and they want their kids to be accepted.

          • I don’t know. I’m LDS. I got engaged at 18 and married 4 months later when I was 19. We celebrate our 18th anniversary this summer and have a very happy, great marriage. We knew each other about a year by the time we tied the knot.

            My parents dated a year, got engaged, got married about 4 months later, and celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this weekend. I consider their marriage very happy.

            My inlaws, who are not religious, only dated each other ever, from the time she was 14. They’ve been married 40+ years – got married a week after she wrote her last high school exam. I consider their marriage to be happy as well.

            It’s a really interesting phenomenon, the getting married young thing. I’ve seen it work out really well for some people, and really poorly for others. I know you don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors, but in my family & among my close friends, we’re pretty open about discussing our relationships, and I like to think that they trust me enough to tell the truth.

            I don’t know why some marriages work out & some don’t, and I’m not convinced it’s something you can study & come up with an answer to. I know there are definitely things you can do to have a stronger relationship. My dh & I talk about absolutely everything, even through our ups & downs, and I know that’s a key reason we have such a strong relationship. But even if there’s a list to follow, some marriages just don’t last, and I can’t imagine anyone goes into a marriage not wanting it to succeed, so there is definitely something else – personality maybe? that has a big impact on everything.

            And maybe I’m just being to philisophical this Thursday morning.

          • Most of my family members are deeply (socially) conservative and extremely religious. They also married young to people they met in high school and stayed married. If asked, they would say happily married. Looking at them, one thing you said jumped out: “perfect mate choice”. They are not looking for or expecting “perfect”. What they want and expect out of marriage is different that what my urban, nonreligious, nonconservative friends want and expect. They share values and expectations, but not necessarily interests. My cousins’ definition of a good husband is one who works hard, doesn’t drink or gamble, keeps the yard up, goes to church every week, and is a good father. They would never dream of leaving their spouses because they are not “happy”.

            My point being that different people have very different expectations about what constitutes a good spouse and whether they are happy in their marriages depends largely on whether those expectations are being met. (And of course, many religious groups help define those expectations.)

        • Didn’t live together before marriage, not due to religion (I’m very religious, my ex-h wasn’t) but by preference. Got divorced anyway. I’m like the white whale!

        • I would say that 75% of the married couples I know did not live together before marriage, and it wasn’t for religious reasons. There are many reasons that people do not, and I’m a little offended that some people think that it makes you an outlier. My husband and I did not — I valued my independence and own space. We are about to celebrate our 15th anniversary.

          I would say of couples in my circle who are divorced, maybe 50% did and 50% did not. My group is in a low-divorce demographic: Gen X, highly educated, late-20s and early-30s marriage.

          • So no offense, but thats because you got married 15 years ago. You weren’t an outlier then. Now, a very large majority live together first. (all 10 weddings Ive been to in the last two years did) 100% of my engaged friends lived together first.

          • So do you think that’s a generational difference between Gen X and Gen Y? I wonder. And if so, what caused the shift? Gen Y being children of the Boomers?

            So I’m not sure we can make a call on cohabitation- divorce for either generation at this point, if there was a shift — it’s still too recent. Interesting to think about.

            Cfm, I’m not offended by your point but I’m also not sold on everyone is now doing it. Despite my advanced age I am still friends with a significant number of people in their 20s.

          • I think there is a generational difference between Gen X and Gen Y. I think that difference in time is a big one in terms of social values, technology, etc. I agree that it is way too early to analyze divorce rates, since I’m in the “get married” age right now (26). So my friends are mostly the 24-30 range and for me its 100% on my engaged, married, or serious relationship living together.

            I think another major factor would be location. I’m DC, and most of my friends are located in DC, Bos, NY, and some in Philly.

      • agree with you on the bad math.

        Even with good math, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics, as Mark Twain said.

        (and I’m a statistics professional – actuary)

        You can use stats to say whatever you want to say, basically.

    • Westsidebee :

      FWIW, my DH and I married young (21 and 22) and did not cohabitate first. I think it’s pretty easy to know if you’re compatible if you spend a lot of time together, and at each other’s places, without actually living together. I agree that the leaving-the-socks-on-the-floor thing isn’t what breaks a marraige.

      We are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this summer!

      • BigLaw Optimist :

        Congrats! :)

      • But don’t you think it’s easier to not cohabitate when you get married young/right out of college? I’m in no way saying one way is better than another, and I think everyone should be motivated by their own belief system in these kinds of decisions.

        However, even my non-religious friends who had no problem with cohabitating didn’t do so if they got married right out of college. I think part of it has to do with the fact that (in most cases) graduation from college now signifies the entrance into “real” adulthood and financial independence. I dated someone seriously in college (but did not marry him), and would never have dreamed of cohabitating while my parents were helping to pay for my college tuition. Conversely, I did move in with my now-husband about a year before our formal engagement at the age of 24.

        • Westsidebee :

          Hi ELS, yes, that’s a good point. It is probably easier to avoid co-habitation in college. I’m not against co-habitating at all actually — as long as it is a considered decision. I’m just throwing in my data point that we are very happily married, and did not cohabitate. I don’t think cohabitation is necessary to find out if you’re compatible.

    • I guess I’m some version of old-fashioned. I don’t think anyone should cohabitate until they have a serious committment. In my world that means engaged.

      I do know one couple that has lived together for 20+ years and never married, but that’s more about neither of them feeling strongly about the “piece of paper”, as they put it. They are definitely in a committed relationship, though.

      • I know a couple like this. They never really wanted to get married, but have been together for 8+ years, including making graduate school decisions and relocating their careers for each other.

        And then, out of the blue, I just got a Save the Date for their wedding this summer. Huh.

  3. PSA: Dillard’s is having an additional 30% markdown on its sale items. Their Antonio Melani brand is one of my favorites for suits, and they also have lots of blouses (with sleeves!) and dresses on sale.

  4. I’m biffles with gold, so I’m pro-gold buttons, if and only if they are not spray painted gold. Because those start oxidizing and peeling and generally look cheap. But metallic gold buttons or other hardware? Immediately catch my eye.

  5. Happy for Bunkster's new job :

    Bad c-rette story! I almost missed my flight last night because I was so engrossed in C- rette. I missed the gate and lost track of time. Only when I heard my name and ” the doors are closing” did I come to. Thanks Ladies!

  6. I’m normally not a fan of flat gold buttons, but the cut of this looks so flattering. Thanks Kat!

  7. Casper Clone :

    Prominent gold buttons like this one = only gold jewelry? Or, with this one, maybe a fun colored skirt and then metalic shoes?

    • Nope. Pearls and other gems would look great with this sweater, even if they’re not mounted in yellow gold. But keep it simple, the buttons are the statement here.

      • Casper Clone :

        Hmm. Earings I can see, necklace still seems odd to me; will keep an eye out for examples. This is why I keep reading the blog here; I need all the advice I can get!

        • I wouldn’t do a necklace. Maybe a pendant on a chain, tops. Go for a bracelet, ring and/or earrings.

          • Am also wearing this now! I have the apricot color and I have it on with a long gold chain necklace with quarts beads (think, JCrew sytle necklace). I DO love myself a lot of gold, so YMMV, but I like how the buttons and necklace look together. I am wearing it open though over blouse, so I do think if it was buttoned up the necklace would not work as well.

  8. Diana Barry :

    Threadjack, ladies –

    ISO floral (or colorful, if no floral) flat espadrilles w/ ballet flat styling (so not the square foot opening) and fabric upper, under $100. Go! :)

  9. Well, after hemming and hawing for eternity and coming to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to run across the man of my dreams in my office of fresh-out-of-college or 37+ guys (I’m 25) I joined eharmony last night.

    Any tips? I’m an introvert at heart so this could be very… interesting

    • I’ve been to the wedding of more than one e-harmony success story! I haven’t done it myself but I do think the best advice is to just be open to the experience and give it/people a shot.

    • Congrats on putting yourself out there and being accepted! (E-harmony rejected me. Being rejected by an entire dating site is even more awesome than being rejected by a single man.)

      I think success is somewhat dependent on locale, but if nothing else it is a great way to meet people and try new restaurants/places in your city. Have fun!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Whatever to e-harmony. My friend got rejected there too and thinks it has something to do with the fact that she’s an atheist. Plenty of other dating sites to try too!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I don’t think that’s it. I was on eHarmony for months and am atheist. I got matched with lots of people.

          eek!, don’t be afraid! My friend and I joined eH at the same time, and about two months in, she met her now-husband. As I’ve said on c’rette before, I advocate saying “yes to coffee” to just about everyone who contacts you in online dating, as long as they aren’t creepy or not meeting very, very minimal criteria (for me, college degree, not attending religious services every week, good grammar in initial contact message, and a few other things). It’s just coffee, it takes 10-15 minutes, and you’ll know at that point if there’s a spark that makes it worth seeing the person again another day, over a drink or meal. I also advocate lots of “yes to coffee” because rejection hurts a lot less when you’ve got another half dozen coffee dates set up later in the week. Mr. Tuesday didn’t like me? That’s cool, we’ll see what Messers. Thursday, Friday, Saturday AM, and Saturday PM think. Good luck!

        • eHarmony Success :

          I’m an atheist and put that in my “profile” and didn’t have a problem. Think perhaps it’s more along the lines of what Bluejay said.

        • I took the E-harmony test as well and also was rejected… I think its because of the ‘atheist’ as well as I lived in a ‘bible-belt’ area, and didn’t want to travel over 100 miles to date… so I kind of limited myself out of their system! lol!

      • They rejected me the first time I tried too, but I retook the test a few months later and they accepted me. It depends on whether they have people in their database at the moment that their algorithm considers compatible with you; it’s not arbitrary.

        Having said that, they gave me so few matches that I ended up quitting the site and getting a refund. So maybe it wasn’t the best idea to try again.

        • I also got rejected and later accepted. I think I was able to get accepted because I fudged some answers (not outright lies, but if I was on the fence about something, I chose the more “socially acceptable” answer – I’m thinking about the questions about being happy, satisfied, getting angry, etc.)

          Ultimately, EH was an epic fail for me, but I have heard at least one firsthand success story, so it can’t be a complete waste of time for everyone.

      • MissJackson :

        My husband was rejected (pre-meeting me, obviously). I believe that it told him that he was “undateable”!

    • Just go out on a lot of dates. Don’t stalk people online. Get out and do stuff, and have a lot of dates. Don’t take it too seriously.

    • eHarmony Success :

      GOOD FOR YOU! I am engaged to my eharmony guy and literally could not be happier. I was also 25 when I joined. I obviously had a great experience with it, because I met my fiance just two months after signing up, but it can be a tough road (he was on and off the site for two years before meeting me, but admits he met a number of otherwise attractive, nice girls on the site).

      Tips: (1) post cute pictures, but especially ones of you doing things you love. The guys on the site seem to be truly focused on relationships (rather than more flings like you might find on match or okcupid) and will be psyched about your dog, hiking obsession, scuba diving, whatever you do. (2) don’t narrow yourself too much by age group. For example, I was 25 when I joined, and had the age bracket between 25 and 35 (I think?) and found I clicked best with guys in their early 30s (which had not been my experience in “real life” – had never dated someone in their 30s before). (3) be willing to take all the silly steps (eharmony calls it “guided communication”) to get to know people. it is helpful and means that you’ll actually have something to talk about when you eventually progress to email/meeting. I’m very shy as well, and hated the dating scene in my city as I always felt awkward. this was a much better way to get past the shyness! (4) don’t be afraid to meet someone if you find them interesting! the good part about eharmony is the whole guided communication/get to know you phase allows you to feel like you “know” the person at least a little bit before meeting. (5) more on the introvert thing – this is great in that it allows you to go at your own pace, and avoid a lot of the social game playing that the regular dating scene and other sites may have – everyone knows you don’t bother doing the giant eharmony quiz and signing up, etc. if you’re not interested in a relationship, so you can skip the whole worried part of “do we want the same thing?!” because yes, typically, you do.

      Now, to be honest, I only met two guys through eharmony because the second one happened to be the one I fell in love with and I know that’s lucky and rare, but the first guy I met was great too! In my experience, at least in my east coast metropolitan area, I interacted with a bunch of good looking, successful, somewhat shy, relationship-minded guys that I otherwise would not have met. YAY for you – I wish you lots of luck and you should post again and keep us updated!!!!!

      • Thanks! You’ve given me some comfort that this doesn’t have the automatic making of some Lifetime movie of the week. Its completely out of what I ever saw myself doing and I like the idea of having time to get to know each other before committing to a date (I know I know – its really not that big of a deal but still!).

        • eHarmony success :

          Totally – I know what you mean. I was honestly really embarrassed when I joined and only told my roommate when I was freaking out before my first date because I wanted her to know where I was/what I was doing in case it turned into a Lifetime movie and I never came home. It was different than I thought it would be though, and the guys all seemed much more normal about it than I thought. None of my male friends are embarrassed or shy about being on various dating sites and they are all good guys! I wish you lots of luck, have fun with it!! The experience will also open you up to other “real life” dating opportunities too I’m sure.

          • MaggieLizer :

            As to the Lifetime movie point – chances are you won’t meet any crazies, but please be safe. I have a designated friend who knows to expect a text from me before and after every date. If the date is going well, I excuse myself to the ladies room to let her know. I text when I am leaving my date and when I am safely in my apartment, just in case he follows me home. I also put on my work calendar (which my secretary can access, again just in case) each date’s name, phone number, and where we’re going.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I started Match about 2 months ago and I was EXTEMELY busy at first – spent about an hour a night responding to emails, went on first dates with about 15 guys – but the matches have really slacked off. I live in a relatively small area and I’m seeing a lot of the same people over and over. The guys also tend to be… not exactly what I’m looking for in terms of education and career goals.

      I set up a profile on eharmony but haven’t subscribed yet. Can someone comment on the differences between the two sites? What are these question things that guys keep sending me? And why the h*ll do they ask me about my views on s*x while dating as one of their 5 questions???

      • The questions are the “guided communication” things that eharmony does – you basically just pick questions to send to people with profiles that interest you and there are probably some guys/people that do this to a bunch and fire off the same 5 questions. The s*x while dating I think is one of the eharmony created questions you can pick from the list! Kind of weird. I don’t think I ever got any of those when I was on the site, but don’t remember. My instinct would be….avoid the s*x while dating question guys haha!

        • MaggieLizer :

          Maybe they’re eharmony’s way of letting girls know if the guy is just in it for a fling! I will NOT be responding to a guy who asks me whether I PUT OUT before he’s even spoken to me. Fooey on that!

      • IIRC, EH has this thing where your initial communication with a match should be a list of 5 pre-fabricated questions (you pick from a list of 20-ish). I believe the idea is that you pick questions that relate to issues that could be deal-breakers for you. So, if guys are asking you questions about sex, it’s because they feel strongly about it (either pro or con) and will only continue communication with you if you respond the “right” way.

  10. Eloise Spaghetti :

    Someone please remember how much I hated the cold when it’s August. I want to stop wearing a jacket please! If Mother Nature is reading this blog, please take note of my request for 75 degrees and sunny.

    • DC Kolchitongi :

      I found that a) EHarmony’s matching algorithms were a little better than random chance, but not much; and consequently b) I spent so much more time rejecting and being rejected than anyone ever would in real life and it WORE. ME. OUT. I just couldn’t do it after a while. I need the natural, organic getting-to-know-you process that happens when you meet people in a non-romantic context in real life.

      I will add that I had a good friend doing it at the same time as me, and she had absolutely no problem with the endless string of single-serving dates. She is pretty extroverted and was able to have fun with it.

      Will also add that after all the EHarmony nonsense, I ended up meeting my husband at work. We started dating when I was 24 and he was 37. So you know… don’t count that out :)

    • I know! I’m so annoyed because I was in [city I live in] on Monday and Tuesday, then went to [city I used to live in] for work Wednesday and it rained where I was and was sunny and low 70s where I wasn’t BOTH TIMES!!!

    • punk rock tax lawyer :

      I wish I could send some heat up to you! It’s 86 degrees out now where I am — high of 93.

  11. Where is another Zumba fan??

    I do Zumba at home on the Wii when I don’t feel like going to the gym. I can now keep up with it on hard. I am tired of my cardio routine of the treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc. I am thinking about going to my first “live” Zumba class after work today. What am I in for? I’ve seen the class going on while I am working out and everyone is very serious and very good! Everyone looks intimidating. I’m nervous lol. Can you really burn up to 60o calories in an hour??

    • Yay! You’ll have a good time, I promise. Do not be nervous – the fun thing about Zumba is that you can pretty much flail around and go left when everyone else is going right and it won’t matter. Most people are concentrating on what they’re doing anyway, so they’re unlikely to notice if you miss a step.

      … and I’m already all over this thread, so I’m going to go do some work now. Yikes.

    • There is a bit of a learning curve when you go to a new class. If it’s a good class, it will be very full and have a very loyal following that already knows all the dance steps. Don’t be intimidated by that. Live Zumba classes are good or bad based on the instructor, not based on what gym it is. The good instructors tend to go from gym to gym teaching Zumba.

      • Agreed. The instructor really does make or break the class. If you are going to a class at your gym, ask which time/instructor is most popular – they are most likely going to be the best.

      • Backgrounder :

        This. Good instructors are key. I’ve been to zumba classes with so-so instructors (didn’t cue well, wasn’t super high energy, moves weren’t that fun/cheesy) and as a result had a so-so workout. On the flip side I’ve been to classes with an awesome instructor (cues! high energy! great music/moves!) and had an awesome workout!

        • DC Darling :

          Can’t agree enough with this. Look up your instructor at zumba dot com and see how many years they’ve been doing it, how many times they’ve been to the annual zumba get together thing and how many different types of zumba they are certified to teach. Some are more qualified than others but it mostly depends on the persons style of teaching and you can’t figure that out without going to a class of theirs.

          Also, shop around for zumba places or gyms that offer zumba and say that you want to try a trail class to get a feel for it. Most places should have a “one class free” or “discounted trial class” sorta deal so try a few places, or a few instructors and see who you like best. Good luck and have fun!

    • WisconsinEtte :

      I loved my live Zumba class and I was a size 20 when I signed up for it. If you can keep up with Wii, you can do the live one. I went down to a size 14 from just doing only Zumba 3 times a week for 5 months before my wedding.

      You will be disgustingly sweaty afterward, so plan to go straight home, or to shower afterward. My ponytail used to be drenched. You will love it, as long as you don’t worry about whether you are doing the moves “right ” vs. just getting the workout.

    • Zumba classes are really fun. In my experience, the classes are welcoming and everyone is there to have fun. No judgments. And yeah, you’ll burn a million calories.

      My advice: definitely try it, and definitely hydrate beforehand/afterward.

    • I agree that there is a bit of a learning curve. My Zumba instructor is great though and says it is about being the best you can be and don’t be upset by unexpected solos! The idea is to have fun and keep moving!

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      You’re in for a lot of fun! Just remember that you are there for you. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If you can’t pick up a step, improvise. Just keep moving!

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I’m not all that coordinated and just started to go to Zumba classes. One day I just decided to try it and jumped in on the class. Most of the girls did know the steps but they were welcoming and did not make me feel bad or silly when I messed up . I was intimidated at first, but after you do it a few times you notice that everyone makes mistakes, but they keep going because they are having such a good time.

    • I’m not Another Zumba Fan, but I’m a zumba fan. As far as the workout itself goes, you can expect it to be mostly fast paced, equivalent effort to running for an hour but a lot more fun (IMO). Some teachers take more breaks than others (some stop between every song for a few seconds while others set up a playlist that moves seamlessly between songs), but if your teacher isn’t taking breaks and you get tired, just march in place a bit or move to the side. As for not knowing what you’re doing, don’t feel like you’re the only one who can’t do the moves. Most Zumba teachers play the same repertoire of songs over and over, so if you go to their class often enough, you’ll learn the moves to every song; they may work in one or two new songs per week. So no one knows the steps their first time. If you’re not too shy, try to stand in the middle near the front so that you can see the teacher; it’s much easier to learn the steps if you’re copying the teacher rather than copying the person in front of you.

      Have fun! I love Zumba – I wish I was going tonight instead!

    • I have a friend who not only gives awesome advice about work issues. She’s talked me off the ledge several times this year. She also recently became zumba-certified. I wish I was as cool as her.

  12. My personal trainer tried to kill me last night. I think I may report her.

    I mean, obviously not really, but it was a freaking hard work out and I can barely move today.

    • DC Darling :

      But isn’t that the best? If I’m not sore the next day after a (strength/weight training) workout I feel like I didn’t get my money or time’s worth.

      Exception are cardio workouts. I determine how good of a workout it was by how much I sweat. Super scientific methods over here.

      • viclawstudent :

        Ha, those are my non-scientific ranking factors for success level of workout, too. Resistance training = how sore I am the next day (especially if it’s a new workout with the trainer), cardio is how much of my ponytail I sweat through (if all of my hair gets wet, good).

    • I do an hour of legs with my trainer every Friday ( 200 squats ! Plus other leg work), and it just about kills me too. He is a really great trainer, and after I told him how sore I was, we stop at 45 minutes, and he “stretches” me.. he’s very strong, and can get my legs to go plces I can’t. . .that has really helped with the soreness. See if your person can do that for you. . . .

      • Tired Squared :

        sweetknee, I just had to laugh — if I tried 200 squats, my knees would be anything but “sweet” the next day!

    • Always a NYer :

      I feel your pain, literally! Yesterday I worked out my upper body on the weight machines and then had an hour of Krav Maga after work. Today I can barely move my arms, but that’s okay =p I really don’t feel like I’ve made any progress unless I feel it the next day.

    • Me, too! I had a conversation yesterday afternoon with a student I know from the gym (weight room). I hadn’t seen him in the gym in awhile so I stopped to chat and he said that he has been working out with a trainer and found that if he gave himself less rest time between reps, he was getting a better workout. I decided to try it last night and I am dying this morning. Sore everywhere.

  13. Ladies, curious- what would you do if a guy you were dating, it was fading/didn’t think it was going anywhere sent you this?

    http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/do-you-want-to-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too/

    IMO, even if he has some point, isn’t it kind of rude to be sending articles like this? What if I sent guys article about how they’re all jerks?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would not respond. It is incredibly rude and I would not contact him again.

    • Pretend I’d never met him.

    • Was there any explanation or note with the link? This is so weird I wouldn’t even know where to begin….

    • It says he’s manipulative and lazy and self-delusional.

      1)Manipulative, because you have to go down this windy road of figuring WTF he’s really trying to say.

      2)Lazy, because he can’t be bothered to say this himself in his own voice, with his own words

      3)Self-delusional– if he send this to you, he probably wants you to do the official “dumping”/leaving, but he doen’t want to do it, he wants to believe he’s a great guy.

      Ignore this person and never call/write/acknowledge him again. Ugh.

    • I would think that guy was a “glassbowl” and tell him it’s not working out.

      Also, that article is ridiculous. What, is that woman supposed to marry the guy she doesn’t feel anything for just because she wants to get married and he’s good on paper and willing? That does not seem like a recipe for a lifetime of happiness.

      • well to be fair, the article was saying either let the guy go or commit, dont start looking around behind his back and keep on the backburner.

        • but there is no defense to sending that article like that. dtmfa

        • Yup, true, and you know what I did? I ended it but we started talking about. we were supposed to hang out tomorrow night and this just turned me off totally.

        • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dating more than one person at a time as long as you haven’t said you’re exclusive. The article was a little murky on the point of whether the “dating around” was going to be above board or not.

          The tone of “I presented you with this perfect guy why don’t you immediately marry him and have 10 babies” just really bothered me. I hate the implication that women should just settle for the first good enough guy that comes along without taking into account their attraction or feelings about the guy. I could be projecting a little, though.

      • Yah, I agree. To give context, he is one of those guys who is constantly trying to figure out what other people are thinking, why they think the way they do, etc. It just creeped me out to think he looked up that blog to find an explanation for my behaviour.

        He DID do all of those right things- calling, being available, being polite, etc. but i never had a spark with him. I gave it two months for a spark to develop and nothing did. We were too different (he didn’t like sports AT ALL and I was a varsity athlete, is one trivial example) and I just didn’t see long term potential. We were running out of things to talk about unless it’s about ‘what people think’. Calling me consistently does not make a relationship!

        • Whoa…yeah, DTMFA. I mean, that article is basically saying commit or dump right? I think the choice is obvious ;) Whatta jerk.

        • Ada Doom Starkadder :

          I don’t see why he couldn’t just say call you and say, “Dear Anon, I feel like I’ve had to do all the work of moving things along, but I am wondering if you don’t really have that *spark* for me. I like you, and hoped things would develop further, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. No hard feelings, but I think we should part company. Best of luck.”

          Instead, I predict (snarkily) that this guy will go on to marry someone, and when he wants to get divorced, won’t actually go to a lawyer. Oh no no no! He’s too clever for that. He’ll give her a “recommended reading list” full of novels about disintegrating marriages and hope that that’ll prompt her to do all the work of finding a divorce lawyer and initiating the proceedings. He will do this regardless of whether he cohabits with her prior to marriage. ;-)

    • I think this is a passive-agressive way of talking about your relationship issues.

      My relationship isn’t perfect, and I’m not a perfect communicator, but I do know that if you have issues about the two of you, the way to address it does not involve sending your partner a link like this.

      I think you should address this in an adult way. Be the bigger person here. Call him (not text, gchat, or email). Ask to see him in person. Then say, “You know, that article you sent me kind of caught me for a loop. Can we talk about what’s going on between us?”

      And then, if you’re not all that into him, dump his ass.

      I’ve been on the other end of “not really any spark, but wait to see if this develops into something,” and it’s not pleasant. I wish they would have just dumped me earlier. It’s really a way of toying with someone’s feelings, like the article says.

  14. Anyone have tips on using hot rollers? I’m hoping for Kate Middleton hair – I have the same length, texture and color… Round brush blow drying is not working out for me, and I can’t go to my hairdresser every morning!

    Thanks!

    • Did you try curling your hair with flat-iron ? There are a ton of video on youtube.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I think I’ve mentioned this on here before, but I am a hot roller fan. I used them back in middle and high school in the 90s and have started using them again regularly in the last few years. On a near to daily basis, I use a small set (5) of big (1.5 inch) rollers. On special occasions, I use a larger set of various sized rollers for more wave. The key to get waves is to start mid-way up the length you’re curling, the same as with a curling iron, and wrap the ends. Then wrap up towards you’re head. There are several tutorials online that I’ve seen, so you might google it or check out utube. I don’t wash my hair particularly often (it’s long and fairly thick) so I usually plug the curlers in when I get in the shower. Get out and do a quick blowdry to catch any moisture from the shower, and then put in the rollers. I take them out after I get dressed and do makeup, do a quick run through with a brush and am out the door. Easy peasy.

    • I’ve been using hot rollers since high school — SO EASY. Roll up hair, brush teeth, wash face, put on makeup, take hair down. Rinse and repeat.

      Get some hairspray and make sure you have a comb — other than that, it’s pretty much idiot-proof (which is why I’m able to do it — I am a moron when it comes to hairdressing). FWIW, I’ve used hot rollers on both long and short hair. Totally awesome.

    • For what it’s worth, I find that I get a Kate Middleton-esque effect when I use Velcro rollers. I start at the crown of my hair and roll away from the scalp. It’s best for me if I leave them in for a long time (like 20+ min.), but my hair is very fine and somewhat thin.

    • Another option is a 1.5″ barrel curling iron. I like to curl my hair away from the face, but I think for Kate’s look you’d do a mix of toward and away. Also SO easy — just take large sections and work your way around your head. It takes 10-15 minutes, tops.

    • You can get a professional “perm” to make your hair look like that. Mine lasts about 8 months but can last 3-8 months. Basically you get the top 41/5 of your hair straightened (as in Japanese thermal reconditioning) but then have the bottom 1/5 (or as little as possible) permed regular way. Depending on how good your salon is, the curly part can be very natural looking like you just did a blow-dry, or it can look a rather too curly. BUT, in the unfortunate latter case, after about a month, the perm loses its curliness, and you get that blow-dried but with some curls effect. Depending on how high you want your curls, you can do 2/5 of your hair curly, etc. I got mine done for about $400. But it may be cheaper in LA or NY, or more expensive if you go to more high-end places. Plus my hair is rather long.

      • Mine is straight hair – I got it permed once and I was asked not to wash my hair for 3 days – when I washed it on the 4th day, there were no curls left and it looked like my regular hair. I thought it was a joke – spending that kind of money and putting on all those chemicals only to go back to my natural self in 3 days. I got it done in Austin, TX and went back to my home in NY so yep, it was a lose-lose for me. Did anyone else experience this?

        I get my eye lashed permed regularly though. Haven’t tried tinting them yet.

  15. TJ …

    I applied last year to a part-time school program (meaning I’d study part-time, and do my regular job the rest of the time). I had to send a resume and a cover letter. I was accepted, but couldn’t go because I didn’t get the grant to finance it (long story short – grant is not awarded by merit, only by seniority). It’s a very common situation here, so the program manager told me to apply again this year, and that I’d certainly be accepted again.

    So, I apply this year, both to the program and to the grant. However I’ve put aside enough money so I can finance the program on my own, if I don’t get the grant.

    My question is : can I send the same cover letter than last year ? Not that I’m lazy, but my situation and my motivations are *exactly* the same than they were last year, and I made sure to be very precise and in-depth for this first letter. So basically, I’d have to reword it around, and it doesn’t make sense to my very rational self :) .

    What do you think ? I don’t know how competitive the program is, only that I got accepted once so my resume is obviously good enough.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would change it. They have access to your old materials and it will look lazy if you don’t change it. Plus, how long can it take to change a cover letter?

      The bulk of the information would be the same but I would part use the cover letter to a) reiterate how disappointed you were that attending last year wasn’t possible and b) stress how you are now committed to attending their program this year and c) update the on any work changes (you must have done SOME new projects or taken on some new responsibilities over the course of the year). I’d just wordsmith the rest so its similar-but-different and update your resume as necessary.

    • Did you actually have to decline admission, or can they treat you as a deferred admissions candidate?

      Absolutely update the cover letter, even if it’s only to say “last year I was committed to x, y, and waiting a year to reapply has confirmed that this is the right path” or something.

    • Good point about the “I couldn’t make it last year but I’m applying again because I’m so commited to it !” part ! Will def. add this !

      @momentsofabsurdity : I don’t know whether they keep old files. They told me to build it all again, while the grant manager told me just to update a few points for their own application.
      I worked on exactly the same project (science here, not law – in my field, projects can typically last a few years) – of course I didn’t do the exact same things, but the change are not at a level that would be relevant for the program (which is about management, so unlikely to be interested in the fine difference between two or three close science-y tasks).

      @a. k. : I had to decline admission. Where I live, if you want to go back to school as a professional and don’t have some funds, you basically have to apply for the regional grant. So declining admission because you didn’t get the grant is completely OK and usual. Actually, if I were to follow the program on my own money, I would be one of the very few that do this.

      However, I was of the same mind, reusing the same cover letter just sounds … lame, somehow. I’ll have some quality time with my keyboard – better safe than sorry, I would hate to be rejected just because I’m in love with my first letter :) .

      Thank you !

  16. Legally Brunette :

    If anyone is looking for a classic black dress under $50 (and free shipping):

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/tahari-by-arthur-s-levine-pintuck-cap-sleeve-sheath-dress/3258433?origin=PredictiveSearch&resultback=2060

    I’m not crazy about the material, but it fits really well, as does all Tahari ASL on my pear shape.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Is the lower half structured or more clingy?

      • Legally Brunette :

        I tried this on a while ago and just bought it now for the sale price. My recollection is that it was quite structured because the fabric is pretty heavy. I’m bottom heavy so I’m always concerned about cling in the hip area, but that wasn’t the case with this dress.

    • Thank you! Tahari ASL is a fantastic fit on this fellow pear as well. Their dresses always manage to look like they are custom tailored for me. Just picked one up.

  17. I love gold buttons and I love this jacket. Unfortunately I’m not tiny.

  18. Blonde Lawyer :

    “Anon” posted this late yesterday and I think it is a great question and would love to hear the answers so I’m reposting for her.

    A question for the legal corporettes:
    Can someone give me a basic breakdown of the requirements/expectations of partnership at a firm? I recently joined a midlaw firm from a government agency as an associate. I’m in a busy practice group where the expectation is generally, if you work hard and clients respond well to you, you will make partner. This sounds really stupid, but in terms of job structure/compensation/expectations – what does that mean? I know that’s what I’m going for but have no idea what it looks like when I get there. Are partner draws based on billables, origination credit, etc?

    Thanks so much. I feel like I have no clue but in gov’t it just wasn’t an issue.

  19. Blonde Lawyer :

    “Anon” posted this late yesterday and I think it is a great question and would love to hear the answers so I’m reposting for her.

    A question for the legal ladies:
    Can someone give me a basic breakdown of the requirements/expectations of partnership at a firm? I recently joined a midlaw firm from a government agency as an associate. I’m in a busy practice group where the expectation is generally, if you work hard and clients respond well to you, you will make partner. This sounds really stupid, but in terms of job structure/compensation/expectations – what does that mean? I know that’s what I’m going for but have no idea what it looks like when I get there. Are partner draws based on billables, origination credit, etc?

    Thanks so much. I feel like I have no clue but in gov’t it just wasn’t an issue.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I had a discussion with a junior partner at my firm about this recently, and this was what I garnered from the conversation:

      Junior partnership is basically income only, and is based on pulling in clients and billables, etc. They do get to vote on some issues during partner meetings.

      Equity partnership, at my firm, involves bringing in clients, etc, and there is a points system that determines compensation (I don’t know the details of the points system), and the allocation committee meets yearly- the allocation committee, from what I gather, is basically all the equity partners meeting, drinking, and deciding how much they think each of them deserves. It can be quite contentious at my firm, apparently, depending on whether the firm had an exceedingly good or bad year.

      The equity partners get a certain number of points allocated for the year before that determines their draw from the previous years income. However, during the year, they’re all paid based on the points from the previous year. If their points go down, or it’s a bad year, they may end up having to pay money back into the firm. If their points go up, or it’s a good year, they get the extra draw after the allocation meeting.

      Points are based on the number of clients you’ve brought in, in addition to billables, from what I understand, and the points for the clients brought in varies based on the amount of work the client gives the firm, and a few other factors that I don’t know about. The equity partners get full voting rights on everything.

      And politics within the firm play into whether you’re made partner at all, obviously, because the equity partners get to vote on who gets junior partnership, and they also vote on who gets to become equity partner.

    • Depends on the firm. Most require you to have your own clients to be partner, or to acquire them shortly after becoming partner.

      Different “flavors” of partner are:
      Equity – gets a cut of what everyone brings in
      Income – you get most of the billables you bring in, except for overhead and equity partner costs
      Contract/junior – kind of a test, you are made partner for 2 or so years then reviewed/voted upon to become an income partner or whatever the next level is. An “up or out” situation, basically.

      And there is also “counsel” or “of counsel” where you have job security and a nice paycheck, but will never be made partner. Of counsel used to be reserved for retried/semi retired partners, but now depends on the firm.

      Anyone else?

    • Former MidLevel :

      This varies widely. The best thing you can do is develop more-senior mentors at your firm who will clue you in to how things work at your particular firm.

      • This — I’ve worked at two comparably sized law firms within the same city, and the practices of those firms on these issues do not match each other or the practices described by other commenters. Find a mentor at your firm who can clue you in.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        For those of us with NO CLUE about how partners make money, it helps to hear all the options out there. I also know many involve buying in for equity partner, hence the title equity partner. That isn’t something yet on my radar to be saving for but maybe it should be.

        Frankly, the steady associate paycheck sounds better so far. Though I’m sure you have the ability to make way more money as a partner, not knowing what I’m actually going to make at any given time would stress me the heck out unless I had some base guaranteed comp.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Fair enough. And I really wasn’t trying to be evasive or unhelpful. But it’s hard to say much without outing oneself.

        • MaggieLizer :

          I’m confused about the buy-in too. At my firm at least they don’t tell you, even approximately as I’m sure it changes year to year, what the buy-in could be. It’s my understanding that most people borrow the buy-in money from the partnership and then pay it back over however many years. A first or second year partner’s income is generally lower than a senior associate’s income, and I think the buy-in loan has a lot to do with that. This is all rumor though!

  20. Okay, regular poster going anon for TJ.

    I am in a masters program and opted to write a paper in my area of interest in lieu of a class.I was assigned an advisor for this. The said advisor was not a prof but a management type of person  in the said area of interest. I had independence to set the direction and write out a draft outline of my paper, which I submitted to the said advisor. 
    Let’s  just say that the said advisor had agenda of his own and forced it on me in various ways. He dismissed my various drafts and attempts and shaped the paper towards an end product that he wanted. I suspect that the wanted me to do his grunt work on issues that he may have to deal with internally and my paper will aid him with his agenda. 

     I suspect that he will use my product to push his own proposal to his company.  Is there any way I can stop him from doing so? Any way I can assert my intellectual property rights over the paper?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Watermark it with your initials, “DRAFT ONLY” and send it to him only by PDF? No idea, honestly, but sorry this is happening to you.

    • DC Darling :

      Any chance you could ask for a second reader? A professor you have a relationship with and explain to him what’s happening? You may be in it too deep to change your topic but you can and should prevent him from taking advantage of you.

      Also, I’m not sure how feasible it is or if it will help but publishing your finished product will at least stamp it as absolutely your own.

      • Hmmm. I wonder if that is possible at my school I will have to find out. However, it may already be late for that.

        Do schools do any grade change after the grade has been awarded?

        But at least I guess, someone else will know that it my intellectual property at least.

    • Ha, welcome to the mistake I made for my degree. This is pretty standard for all papers, I think. And I wonder why it’s taking me forever to write the stoopid paper. And I love my advisor. So no advice, just commiseration.

    • Campus Counsel :

      Check your school’s policy on who owns research papers and the data in them. At my state school in the US, students own the copyright in their papers. Two exceptions: (1) data in the papers may belong to the professor in whose lab it was collected, and (2) if the paper was created as a deliverable for sponsored research, the contract with the sponsor may set forth a different copyright owner.

      Assuming you own your copyright, mark each page with a footer that says “(c) YOUR NAME 2012.” Give it to him as a PDF only.

      The bigger question, I think, is whether you want your name associated with this paper if it reflects his, not your, views. A second reader is a good option. You might also make an appointment with the Chair of the department and innocently present this issue to the Chair and ask for advice. There may be rules about whether and how he can use student work.

  21. Any suggestions for a good tailor in Austin, TX? I don’t need any major work done–just hemming and nipping in the waists of a few suits. I live in the Far West area, so I would love to find a place northwest of the city. Thanks!

    • I like this place – http://www.austinalterations.com/

      Have had skirts and jeans taken in, dresses hemmed, etc. They can be a little disorganized (called me about a bill that was wrong on their end, couldn’t find one of my items and I had to wait a few minutes for them to look around), but they’re affordable and have a relatively quick turn around.

    • used to live in austin. had a great tailor in the hyde park area. don’t know of any in far west but you reminded me of my tailor and how great she was and how much i miss austin.

      SIGH

    • LawyerChef :

      I like Ace Custom Tailors. They have a location on Far West Blvd. See acetailors dot com.

  22. Blonde Lawyer :

    I’ve posted before about congressional action that will impact federal pay/benefits. Other people have commented that they are a federal employee but didn’t know and were glad I posted. I suspect I get more info b/c my husband’s union is very active. Here is another link for those that are interested. This one will effect pensions. Last time I posted, the bill in question didn’t pass. I’d like to think the phone calls and letters to congress helped.

    http://www.nteu.org/PressKits/PressRelease/PressRelease.aspx?ID=

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      The link takes you to all their press releases. The one in question is titled
      “House Committee Bill Takes Aim at Workers’ Pensions Rather Than Spreading Sacrifice”

    • I’m having a little trouble understanding the article. Do they mean pensions or the TSP?

      • Pensions. TSP is voluntary.

        • I feel really stupid… but I get a pension? I’m a fed started a year ago but I dont think my paycheck is contributing towards a pension

          • It’s really, really tiny if you’re in the FERS system, but it does exist.

          • The “basic benefit” OPM refers to here is essentially a pension. http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fers/index.asp

          • TurtleWexler :

            cfm, if you look at your L&E statement, there should be a line that says “Retirement” — this means FERS (pension) contributions. It is separate from TSP and TSP matching contributions. It’s all very confusing, but I’m going to a retirement seminar next week that will hopefully clarify things for me and if you’d like me to give you a little rundown of it afterward, I’d be happy to.

          • Anonymous :

            Yep — check on your next paystub. It should be 1% or so to “FERS.” You have to work for the feds for 5+ years to be able to collect any pension, but theoretically, you should be eligible to collect it when you retire if you meet that requirement. (I say theoretically because who knows if it will actually be around when us young’uns get there…) It’s not optional, either, which is what makes the House proposals so annoying. I don’t know if I will stay more than five years, and in any case, I’d rather not contribute 5+% of my salary to something so uncertain. Oof.

          • Right now, federal employees contribute 0.8% of salary and the federal government picks up the rest, estimated at 6.2%. So the proposed 5% would leave the government paying only 2%. The pension does add up; essentially when you retire you get a base plus 1% of your salary for each year of federal service. Assuming that FERS is still around then. For more info, see: http://mark-butler.suite101.com/how-the-federal-employee-pension-system-works-a260961

          • Don’t feel bad cfm, I’ve been a fed for about 2 years now and still don’t quite understand the FERS/pension business. I’ve been operating on the assumption that I need to fund my TSP as if I were still in the private sector and it was a 401K.

            Question for Anonymous: So you mean if you are a federal employee for only 3 years, you still have to put X% of your salary into FERS, but get NONE of it when you leave? I do intend to stay more than 5 years, but that could be a lot of money for someone to have to give up.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Polly D – I feel the same way about my husbands. I think the pension is a base amount you get and contribute a minimum towards. I think the tps is more like a 401k where you contribute and the gov’t matches and your contribution is portable. You only have an interest in the gov’t match once you are vested which I think is 5 years of service. If you leave, before then I think you lose your mandatory contributions but not your voluntary TPS contributions. I think the more you contribute to TPS the more you get when you retire. It is in your name, unlike the regular pension. I could be completely and totally wrong.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Turtle,

          Yes please! I’d like to know too.

          • TurtleWexler :

            For PollyD — you get your contributions back when you separate from federal service if you haven’t been in long enough to vest, but if you don’t roll them straight into an IRA, you’ll be taxed on them. But the FERS program doesn’t just keep all your contributions forever when you leave.

          • TurtleWexler :

            Blonde Lawyer, I will definitely write up something for whoever is interested after the seminar next week. But my current understanding of when you separate (I had a little mire than 3-month separation when I moved and then fortunately landed another fed job) is this:

            FERS: there’s a yellow form you fill out to get your mandatory contributions back. I was lazy/disorganized and didn’t send it in before getting my new job, which worked out well for me! You don’t get any of the gov’t FERS contributions when you cash out though. If you’re in more than 5 years, I don’t think this applies.

            TSP: the usual vesting period for the agency automatic 1% is 3 years, and it disappears once you’re separated more than 60 days. Any other matching contributions stay in your account, along with your own contributions. You can roll a TSP account over into an IRA but its usually not recommended because the administrative fees for RSP are so low, it’s often more financially savvy to leave it alone until retirement time.

            Will post more when I have the whole scoop from the people who know.

  23. I adore this sweater! Yum.

    For those of you who are M a c y ‘ s shoppers, their Friends & Family sale is on now through 4/30. 25% off with code FRIEND.

    Question, also, about American Apparel clothing — it’s on H a u t e L o o k today and I saw some stuff that looks cute/fun for weekend. Is it of decent quality? How does the sizing run?

    Thanks, and sorry for all of the random thoughts + stream of consciousness stuff in one post. This is me, trying to be efficient!

    • American Apparel is good quality but the sizing is super, super small. Like, I’m an XS or S in every single major brand I have ever tried on, but an M at AA. So I’d go up at least one, probably two, sized. Also, IDK if you care about this, but the CEO of AA, Dov Charney, is a woman-hating creep and they have really repulsive employment policies (to say nothing of their ad campaigns), so I’ve decided to cease supporting his business. But it’s your choice how you want to spend your money.

    • I don’t know about the quality, but it runs small.

    • You might want to check out Alternative Apparel. Same concept (cotton basics), a little pricier but a little nicer quality (IMO), and less doosh-ery.

  24. Have this in bright orange and love it! I do generally pair it with other gold jewelry. I,ve been doing it with navy pants as I’m afraid with black I,ll look like Halloween.

  25. Anony anony :

    Ladies, I have a question on a rather serious topic: I’m wondering if any of you have ever “gone back” to a man who abused you, either physically and/or emotionally.

    I know people ordinarily say “this is for a friend,” but in all honesty, this is for me. I’ve been seeing a therapist for relationship issues, and we have recently come to the realization that I might have feelings for a man I dated for 3 years… who hit me near the end of our relationship. It was never emotionally abusive.

    I swore up and down that I would never see him again, yet in the couple months, I’ve found myself thinking about him, missing him, and considering his recent overtures about getting together for dinner. My therapist says that these things can work, especially when both parties are getting help (and the guy is). But I also wonder, what kind of over-achieving professional woman decides to go back? Am I the only one who has ever felt this way?

    • Anon for this... :

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think it matters if you’re an over-achieving professional woman or not. I think it matters if you really believe: (1) that the incident was a one-time mistake; and (2) he is really trying–and wants to–change.

    • Anon for this... :

      Oh, and you are definitely not the only one who has ever felt that way. I wish I could give you a hug.

    • Oops… left the comment in the thread below.

    • I’ve gone back…for acts 2 and 3. It’s tough. I know that no one could have convinced me to not go back to him so I won’t tell you it’s a mistake. If you are like me, you already know it’s a mistake.

      You gotta do this for you. Looking back, my relationship with this guy was a tough life lesson that I’m glad I learned in my 20s.

    • I agree that being over-achieving and professional has nothing to do with it. The question is whether it’s right for you right now. Even if he is healed and nothing like that ever happens again, do you think you could really form a strong bond of trust with someone who did that to you? Would you always be wondering if it might happen again? Would you be afraid during an argument? Would you censor yourself to avoid rousing his anger? To me, these are the relevant questions.

      • Also, if you are considering kids in the future, would you trust him around the kids? Children can provoke the temper like nothing else. As a person who experienced childhood violence, I would never in a million years have kids with a guy who I even suspected of being capable of violence.

        This may not even apply to you if you don’t have or want kids, but I just thought I’d throw it out there.

      • Seattleite :

        I think that being over-achieving nad professional does have something to do with it. O-A&P people tend to shape their lives by force of will, and it can be very difficult to accept that we can’t necessarily ‘make’ our relationships healthy/happy/work.

        Can people change? Sure. Do they? Not as often as we like to hope. I still think about a boyfriend who was Bad News, and there are certain parts of him I will always love, but now I just know to look for those parts in someone else, who will also not be abusive.

        • I see your point. The way I was taking it was that OP was thinking she was “too smart” or “too together” to have experienced intimate partner violence. This is a really common thing for women to think – that only poor women, or uneducated women, or unsuccesfull women with no other options end up in these situations. That is, of course, untrue, and it’s damaging because it prevents women from seeking help because they don’t want to perceive themselves that way or be perceived that way by others. Maybe that’s not what OP was thinking at all, but do know it is a common train of thought, and I try to counter it when I can.

          • Anony anony :

            Thanks, Jenny and Seattleite. It’s really a combination of both points — I do “shape” my life as Seattleite suggests, so it was definitely hard to realize I wasn’t in control there. But as Jenny mentioned, I was asking because I don’t have any other friends (that I know of) in this kind of situation. I know you never know what happens with other people behind closed doors, but the only women I’ve ever seen in this situation were the women who came into Legal Aid.

            I just wanted to know it wasn’t just me, I guess.

          • You are definitely not alone. Unfortunately, women in every walk of life are affected by violence. I wish you the best as you figure this out.

          • I have also been the victim of partner violence. And I never want to tell anyone, because I’m so in charge in the rest of my life, that I fear people will think that I should have just gotten it together and left earlier. Because I’m the responsible, “together” person.

            I haven’t even told anyone in my family. Because they will think I’m weak.

    • You’re not the only one. But IME it’s really, really tough to reestablish trust with someone who has physically abused you. Do you really want to be at your most vulnerable with him? Even if he loves you, can you trust him? If he hits you again, then what?

    • Anony anony :

      Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses!

    • You’ve been with him for 3 yrs and that’s a long time. There could be various degrees to this – if it happened only once during a very bad fight then that’s one thing; if he’s an angry person with no-self control in general, then it’s another thing. You may want to be vary about the latter esp. when you guys are married and life gets in the way…

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