Weekend Open Thread

Hepcat ShadesSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

I just got a pair of Pucci sunglasses I absolutely love, but Madewell’s new collection of shades is kind of calling my name. They have normal tortoiseshell and black ones, but I’m particularly fond of the quirkier ones like these fuchsia pink “hepcat” shades. (While you’re there, check out the intimates section — lots of really lovely things — and the sale section, filled with cute dresses). The shades are $55 at Madewell. Hepcat Shades

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Comments

  1. SF Bay Associate :

    So, our new friend Kontractor’s husband was unexpectedly redeployed again, and she’s feeling down (see the Thursday afternoon thread). He’s based at Travis, and she lives in Concord. To the Hive signal (which I envision as Rosie the Riveter, but I know that won’t project well onto the sky)! I’m tied up this weekend, but maybe some of you ladies are free. I also imagine Kontractor may want to hang out with her husband as much as possible before he’s deployed, so I hope Kontractor will let us know how and when we can help. Kontractor, what say you?

    • She asked for some lead time in the this mornings thread- I think she mentioned June. But I hope you do all get together!

    • K in... Transition :

      I can be an email penpal if she wants someone to chat with or vent to or whatever!

    • Kontraktor :

      Hi guys, thanks again for this. I really am excited. I’ve always wanted to attend a meet up anyway so this serves a lot of great purposes.

      My anonymous email address is cheshercat at hotmail dot com (oh, how vintage). I’ll probably use that to correspond for awhile.

      I think I would suggest a weekend after Memorial Day! Maybe that first weekend, but I’ll be kind of open most weekends after Memorial Day. Hopefully that gives a lot of people time to plan. I know how busy schedules can get with family/kids/errands piling up with work/etc.

  2. K in... Transition :

    random thought… why is it so tough to find a paying writing or editing or research or transcribing job that can be done from home?

    signed, someone who’s gotten so used to not being micromanaged that part of her is dreading when she finds a job and goes back to a set schedule with a boss over her shoulder

    half kidding… ok, maybe only 1/4 kidding

    • Francie N. :

      K – I read in a Fins (dot) com newsletter that there was a company looking for people to do research about patents. The company is Article One Partners LLC. I know you are not a lawyer, but from the article, it did not sound like you needed to be one, more so be good at internet research.

      • K in... Transition :

        just read up on their site and they basically allow a person to do all of the research and then decide 6-8 weeks later if the research is worth anything and, if so, how much. going to research it more but it seems like a potential scam to get free work and pay nothing or little… but I really appreciate you passing the info along :)

    • A friend of mine just started running an ad in the bar journal about 15 years ago, offering research and writing services on a contract basis, and she’s done well, she’s still doing it.

    • I just emailed you a possibility.

    • i wish i could afford to pay you to do all my comms writing for me, because i S*CK at it, and i have to do so much of it, ugh. :o( but i don’t think my funds would help you at all. ;o)

  3. Equity's Darling :

    My hands are looking older than my age. I’m a little concerned about this.

    I don’t smoke or participate in manual labour, and I feel like I apply lotion regularly, but obviously not regularly enough?

    Any tips to make my hands look like they belong to a 25 year old instead of someone 10 years older? To prevent them from looking any older as I continue to age, even if I can’t make them look younger now?

    • Ooh, replying on this just to subscribe to this thread (although 300 emails from now I may regret it!) because I feel the exact same way!! I was looking at my hands while I drove the other day and realized I have old crone hands already!!! I do the same, no smoking or manual labor, lotion pretty regularly w/drugstore brands…

    • Botox for your hands? (Note, I have no idea if this is a thing. Also…the concept creeps me out.) :-P

      On a more serious note, maybe you could get those kind of paraffin treatments where you wear gloves to bed and it ultra-moisturizes your hands? Is it a dryness problem or something else?

      • Though, my father has excema or psoriasis on his hands, which would actually be worsened by moisturizer. So you might want to get it looked at by a dermatologist first, just to make sure its not something that needs medical treatment.

        • Uh.. Eczema is not worsened by moisturizer. Also, psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, eczema is not.

          • Right, I can’t remember which one he had…it must be psoriasis than (I get the two names confused.) So I covered my bases. I feel fairly confident Equity Darling will not take any medical advice from me.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I think it’s a combo of dryness and wrinkles- because even when I put on lots of lotion, I’m still pretty wrinkly in the hands.

        Oddly, my face is doing great wrinkles/hydration wise, but I’m betting it’s because I spend a lot of time/money on my face products and don’t really put a ton of thought into my hand products.

    • For prevention: Sunscreen – every day. Re-apply. For past damage, I use the same products on my hands that I do on my face. Once a week, I use a body scrub on my hands. It seems to work pretty well.

      • SPF 50 and UVA protection. Every day, even in the winter. Several times a day because once you wash your hands, it’s gone. Keep small tubes in your desk, your car, your purse etc.

        And I also agree with using whatever you use on your face (for me: retinol and anti-oxidants) on your neck, chest and hands, too.

    • Try a spa treatment to ultramoisturize.

      What kind of lotion do you use. Curel and Eucerin are great….

    • Is it a lack of skin elasticity; pigmentation changes (such as age spots); changes in skin texture, etc.? I would try whatever facial products you may have had success with for similar prevention. Staying hydrated, lotion with collagen, and sunscreen will help stave off the inevitable. There are also more drastic cosmetic options, such as laser treatments for skin discoloration, but I don’t think you are anywhere near that option yet.

      • Professor Chic :

        Try Boots No 7 Protect and Perfect Hand Cream, available at Target. I tried it on just one hand for a few weeks, to compare and contrast, and I swear it made a difference. My hands will still look like my grandmother’s sooner than I would like, but they do look better than they did. (And no, I don’t work for Boots or Target. I really am a professor.)

    • My hands definitely show my age (47) and I don’t use lotion often enough. I guess the only good thing is that I look at my hands and they look just like my mother’s. I don’t otherwise look like her and she passed away many years ago. Just a little bit of nostalgia for my bony wrinkly hands. I actually mostly like my hands. I have long tapered fingers and, like my mother, deep nail beds that always make my nails look long even if they’re not.

    • Sunscreen! Your hands get sun exposure all the time, even in winter, and we don’t think to protect them like our faces. You might also try and AHA or BHA treatment for dark spots or uneven skintone.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am 53 and my hands have always looked older than my age. At this point they look kind of Crypt Keeperish. I have always stayed out of the sun and moisturized and manicured, and I think a lot of it is just heredity.

      For spots, though, your doctor can dab on some liquid nitrogen, which will cause them to scab over and when the scabs are gone, the spots will be too!

    • Anonymous :

      Any skin treatment that you do to your face (me, nightly retinol cream), also do to the backs of your hands.

      • I do this too – makes a world of difference. Serums, vitamin C, moisturizer, sunscreen, face scrub….all go on my hands.

    • I have chronically dry hands and raggedy cuticles (due to my climate, mostly, but metalsmithing doen’t help either.)

      Moisturizing is all well and good, but I think Julep’s Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub is magical. It’s the Number One Bestest Hand Product Ever, if you ask me.

      (Their Everyday SPF Hand Cream SPF 30 is very nice, too.)

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’ll be watching this thread too! Any suggestions for hand lotions with SPF? I really like Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula because it’s nice and thick and makes a difference right after I use it, but it doesn’t have an SPF.

    • Brainstorm! Scr*w trying to save your hands. Instead bring back gloves as a daily fashion accessory!! You could be SO fashion forward and just start rocking gloves with your suit every day and if anyone asks you about it just say “Oh, everyone is doing it. Didn’t you know?”

      Done. :-)

    • Get a paraffin bath. It’s fantastic. Your hands (and feet) will look 10 times better. Also moisturize and wear sunscreen. But seriously – don’t know why no one else uses these.

      http://www.target.com/p/HoMedics-ParaSpa-Plus-Paraffin-Bath/-/A-11534022?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C11534022&CPNG=health%20beauty&ci_sku=11534022&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=

      • Oh, and it does take a while to heat up, but I just plug it when I am home all day and then use it as it heats up. You can reuse the wax.

        For a hand cream, I am not picky, usually Vaseline Healthy Hand and Nail does the trick.

    • FormerPhotog :

      A few times a week, I use a glycolic scrub from Julep, and then a really deep moisturizer before I go to bed ( I like the Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Cream, but YMMV). It seems to help, and it definitely helps my morning suncreen soak in better.

    • I love this conversation about hands. I’m serious. First time commenter, just came across this blog.
      I am so with you on the hands, I was complaining about mine the other day. I carry sunblock in my car and lather up my hands pretty much every time I get in the car. The spots on the left side are there because that’s where your arm gets the sun! I use a brand that I ordered online, smells good, and doesn’t make your car all crazy white with stains.
      Will let you know the brand. And, stay away from the chilac or whatever the hell that is. That’s like sticking our hands in a fake baker!!!
      Someone called me superficial for obsessing over my hands and I said zip it, I want my hands to match my face. DOY.

      • I also never use the uv lamps at the salon to dry my nails, which they try to get you to do even for regular polish. Everyone there always gives me a weird look for it, but f it. I don’t need to up my cancer risk.

        • holy crapola I’m such a moron! hadn’t even thought of those uv lamps to dry my nails. Thanks for the tip. That’s now so obvious, now that you say it.
          On the hand cream….. just checked the label, it’s clarins age defying hand cream. That’s the one I keep in my car, and love.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Just checked out your blog and love it.

    • i’m sorry to tell you, it doesn’t get a lot better. I do think it’s heredity and also, being thin does not really help on the hands (though that is not my problem!) Agree with other posters who recommend religious use of sunscreen – after all, your hands are really never covered except for in the dead of winter. if you’re into more extreme measures, IPL and laser can help.

  4. So I live in Bay Area … fam lives in NY. Sisters were going to fly out yesterday and 1 started having contractions (she’s just under 8 mos). She’s not coming but the other is. I’ve got an hour to kill after work before heading to SFO tonight. What to do… what to do…

  5. Is it possible to get jeans tailored? My jeans always gap at the waist – thank you 12″ waist-hip ratio. It drives me crazy but they need to be large enough to fit over my hips yet inevitably never fit properly at the waist. Any suggestions/brand recs you have are greatly appreciated. TIA.

    • Yes, same problem here, I do this. Should be <$15. Recommend Christopher Blue jeans, which are the only ones I dont' need to tailer.

    • Legal Marketer :

      Yes! Most higher-end denim boutiques will do this for free if you buy the jeans there, but mine (in the Midwest) also does jeans you bring in that were purchased elsewhere. I think they charge $15 for those.
      I’m sure any tailor can also do it. My little sister is kinda crafty and she just does them herself, but YMMV.

    • The only jeans I’ve found that don’t gape on my pear-shaped bootylicious figure (and seriously, I can fit a watermelon back there with most jeans) are Levi’s 512s. I think they are supposed to be a knockoff of the Not Your Daughter’s Jeans ilk with the tummy control, about which I do not care, but NO gape. Just a snug back waistband.

    • A Ninny Mouse :

      Levi’s in the Bold Curve.

      • River Song :

        Yes the Levi’s Bold Curve are the only jeans I’ve worn in years that don’t fall down or gap. I do have an issue with them, though: There’s too much material around the thighs, and it bunches up and looks weird. So if you have thinner thighs, they may not work.

    • K in... Transition :

      I have the same proportions… some say that I should shop in stores/online stores meant for women of ethnic backgrounds known for that shape. never tried it but it might be a really good idea!

    • Anonymous :

      Hey, I have a 12-inch w/h ratio too! Gap Tall Perfect Boot work for me, as I am so 5-11.

      For years, I thought I had a big butt. Then at a wedding dress fitting, my seamstress sighed, “oh you have such a tiny waist!” *lightbulb*

      • I’m not heavy, but my shape is apple-ish and I am *so* jealous of curvy/pear-shaped girls. What I wouldn’t give for a cute waist. I could belt things! Tuck in my shirts! Rock a two-piece bathing suit!

        • I hear you. I always think that even if I can’t lose weight, I would love to redistribute it away from the tummy/boobs to the hips/bu*t area. Take comfort in the fact that most apples have gorgeous legs!

      • I’m 5-11 too! Which makes it even harder to find jeans the right length and w/h proportionate. Thanks everyone for the great recs, please keep them coming :-)

      • 2nd the Gap Perfect Boot… I have a 10″ waist-hip difference and think these are more flattering on me than the curvy cut, though for your proportions you might try those as well.

    • Totes McGotes :

      I think a friend has her jeans tailored (hemmed, actually in her case) at Nordstrom.

    • Second the recommendation on Levi’s Bold Curve. Also Gap Curvy Bootcut work great for me too.

    • This is only helpful for those who have a sewing machine, but somewhere someone linked to this DIY that Blew. My. Mind.

      Basically with a sewing machine and a short piece of elastic, in about 5 minutes you can get just enough stretch to eliminate the waist gap, without a trip to a tailor. I actually don’t have a sewing machine any more, so I hope someone here can try this and I can live vicariously!

      www [dot] iammommahearmeroar [dot] net/2010/06/ crack-kills.html

  6. I’ve been invited to a pirate party. Yes, a pirate party. I love theme parties. So I want something fun but don’t want to spend a ton of money on it (or even any money, if possible) and would like it to be easy because I have to go to a wedding later that night. Any ideas?

    • I don’t know if this counts, but Cafe Press has a ton of funny pirate t-shirts for National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

    • Maybe some black flowy pants, black shirt, and a red scarf around your head? Throw in an eye patch for good measure!

    • MissJackson :

      Can I come? Seriously, the worst thing about being an adult is the lack of theme parties.

      I think an eye patch is a clear winner — I’m sure you can find one at a party store for like $1. Also, a bandana for around your head, which should be similarly cheap. And a plastic sword — again, I would think a party store would have these. Then, you can pretty much wear whatever you want that you already own.

    • Anonymous :

      A Seinfeld poofy shirt, of course. Arrrgh!

    • Anonymous :

      To rephrase: “Please style an outfit for me that is both Pirate Party-appropriate, and Wedding-appropriate, so I don’t have to change.”

      I’m envisioning something wenchy with thigh-high boots.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Black gaucho pants, striped shirt and an eyepatch. Maybe tie a stick to your leg. Sounds fun!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Wow I totally missed the wedding part. How about black pants (maybe fold up one leg for a peg leg) and a striped silk top + eye patch?

    • How about tracking down a full skirted black dress (a quick google shopping search turned up a bunch). For the pirate party, you could wear it with red accessories (I’m thinking a red bandana, a red belt, maybe knee high boots, and bangly bracelets). Then for the wedding, strip off the accessories, switch into purple or pink or yellow heels, add a bright scarf or necklace, take off the bandana, and yay, you’re wedding appropriate.

    • White pirate shirt over the dress you’re wearing to the wedding, with a thick belt and eye patch.

    • SoCalAtty :

      There is an Etsy seller called “Damsel in this Dress.” Her stuff is FANTASTIC. I have 2 of her corsets, and they are worth the splurge, especially if you get one that can be reused for other events.

    • I got a “lady pirate vest” at my local costume shop a few years ago. I’ve worn it for lots of different costumes (pirate, gypsy, beer wench, etc.). It is a tight vest that laces up below your bust. It can turn lots of dresses into a pirate outfit.

      Add a scarf on your head, hoop earrings, and boots. Good to go.

  7. This is probably a long shot, but does anyone here work in the field of international development (or know someone who does)? I’m trying to break into it, and all my attempts thus far have been fruitless. I know this is an extremely difficult field to break into, and it’s really about connections, but my resume seems to be going straight to the recycling bin of prospective employers.

    • I have also tried to break into this and related fields and it is pretty difficult. Tried several times with USAID type positions (i am an attorney, so think foreign service attorney positions) UN positions, etc. and have gotten nowhere. My husband’s cousin recently got a one year fellowship with the health department of a developing country doing something to do with epidemiology (don’t know the specifics) – her particular discipline is health related. I know she tried for several years to get international development type positions with no luck. She eventually went back to school to get an MPH with an emphasis on international public health, did some great research along the way, made some good connections and eventually landed the position. Do you already have a degree in an international development type field? I think that helps.

      • I have both an BA and and MA in sociology, focus on international relations, and in my current positions, I oversee field operations in US territories… soooo I’m not too far off the beaten path! I have thought about doing something similar to what your husband’s cousin did, and going back to school and getting another advanced degree more tailored to the international field, and a doctorate is an option since I know those are highly desired in this field.

        Good luck to you in your quest – it’s tough out there.

    • I actually have some friends who do, both work for NGOs in DC. One was unemployed for a while but landed a great job, the other was such an all star going into it (ivy ba, oxford ma, us embassy internship in a super interesting tumultuous country, was a founding editor of an english language daily in indonesia….plus the most likeable person). Jobs are out there but it seems like they are incredibly rare or hard to break in.

      No good advice, just good vibes your way!

    • Anonymous :

      Do you speak 2-3 languages? If so, that will help a lot. If not, while job searching start learning French and Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, or something based on the regions where you want to work. I speak Japanese, a spattering of Afrikaans, and intermediate Spanish, and read French, so when I went looking into development, US government agencies were falling over themselves to hire me (mostly b/c of language background). There are few Americans who speak multiple languages and can easily pass a background check.

      Also, experience grant writing will help. . . so start doing that free lance now.

      • Hi anon, do you have any suggestions as to where to find freelance work for grant writing in intl. dev?

        • freelance- there’s a microvolunteering site with that but blanking on name.. will come to me. something short and catchy targeting younger crowd.

      • DC is center of this in US, so you need to be on ground there if not already. Or, try foundations in other cities or volunteering abroad first.

    • International Development... :

      Email me at non.anon at yahoo dot com. I am traveling right now so may not respond right away but I’ll get back to you.

    • I did this for a few years before law school (definitely not long enough to call it a career). I started out with a volunteer fellowship position in a developing country and networked from there. If you are going the NGO route instead of the government route, know that the job searching never ends. Most people I knew had cobbled their careers together with successive postings at different organizations lasting somewhere between a few months and a couple of years. I know little to nothing about headquarters work though.

    • I went through the same issues when I tried to break into the field. Languages will definitely help, particularly Arabic, French, or Spanish. The other factor is experience. Experience, especially on the ground in a developing country, will go far. For a lot of people I know who now work in the field, this meant going to a country and working or volunteering with local NGOs.

      I ended up getting an advanced degree in international relations, but I don’t think that helped me get the job so much as all the internships/research I did while I was in school. Nobody even asked about my degree and the focus was completely on what work/volunteer experiences I had in the field. Experience in managing money and programs, attracting money/programs, grant writing, project evaluations, etc. are also helpful.

  8. I don’t wear lipstick, but cannot live without some kind of lip balm. Do you have any you love? My lips have been so dry lately, so I think it may be time to try something new.

    • If you are willing to invest some money into it, the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 is basically unbeatable in terms of actually treating the chapped lips. Seriously its like a miracle balm, but its also kind of pricy. It comes in both non-colored and colored varieties.

      • Also, when you go in the store, there is something they have you use first that kind of exfoliates your lips before you apply the lip balm…don’t know if its available commercially though, but it adds to the effect.

        • Okay, seriously sorry for the three posts in a row, but its the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, which I think is the actual miracle worker (might actually work with any high quality lip balm chapstick.) All done now.

          • I got a mini tube (so cute) in my May Birchbox. First time in a while that my Birchbox was decent. I have been applying it like it’s no one’s business.

      • I like to put on eucerin, or even just plain old vaseline, before bed. It does wonders for chapped and dried lips, and I wake up with soft lips every morning. During the day, I like Burts Bees.

        • PharmaGirl :

          I do the same… vaseline at night and burts bees during the day. I use very drying lipstick (24-hour something-or-other) so the extra TLC at night is necessary.

      • Seconded — I really love the Fresh Sugar lip treatments. Hard to get over the $22 price, but it is worth it.

      • Agree, the fresh lip treatment is so so worth it.

    • Always a NYer :

      Clinique Chubby Sticks for tinted lip balm. For really dry, chapped lips I swear by Rosebud Salve in a Tube. I have a tube of it everywhere – purse, car, desk at work, nightstand by bed.

    • Pangea organics lip balm (originally tried via birchbox). Love it.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I love the Blistex Medicated Lip Balm as a basic to fill in between the times I lose my mind enough to go into Sephora and purchase the Fresh Sugar.

    • phillygirlruns :

      blistex medex (in a blue pot) for the very dry times; regular ol’ chapstick (cherry or strawberry) every damn day.

      • Addicted to this stuff (the Blistex Medex in the blue pot). I have 8-9 going at any given time (various bags, nightstand, dresser, car glove box, office desk drawer, etc.).

    • Rosebud Salve during the day; Lahsinoh (n*pple cream for nursing) at night. You can order it on Amazon and my CVS carries it. I used it in a pinch once when I couldn’t find lip gloss one day and it is awesome.

      • Lady of the Lake :

        Second Lansinoh. I’ve always used it on my kids’ lips if they get badly chapped, because I know it’s fine for them to ingest – and you know that’s going to happen when your toddler sticks her thumb in her mouth immediately after you apply it! It worked so well on theirs that I’ve used it on mine as well.

      • Love Rosebud Salve. Love it.

    • I have been using these little capsules of lip serum, and while they don’t feel as waxy as lip balm, they have made a huge difference in the texture of my lips. I haven’t had dry lips in 5+ months, and I used to have them all the time. I use the whole Rodan + Fields line now, but this is my favorite little product. I get 3-4 days (morning and night) out of each capsule & have had the same jar since Christmas, with at least a month’s worth left (in case the price is freaking you out.)

      https://pirkkoskincare.myrandf.com/Shop/Product/AALS060

    • I love the Fresh Sugars, but I used the tinted ones. For plain balm, I love Aveda’s lip balm.

    • Also, so sorry for the downer note, be sure to get your blood sugar checked.. Dry lips can be an early symptom of something screwy going on there.

  9. Nail polish question — so it’s time for a mani-pedi & I love red on my fingers, but get flummoxed by what to do with my toes. I usually do either a matching red or a neutral/pale pink like bubble bath. Anyone have a fun color combo to help me break out of this rut?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I like to do a deeper or sparklier version of what’s on my fingers. Like, red fingers and sparkly red toes. Or light gray fingers and graphite toes.

    • K in... Transition :

      I was doing teal on my toes for a long time, then I switched to a shade that changed based on the angle of the light… right now, I’m rocking silver. (It’s magnetic polish but I could never get the magnetic part to work so I just keep it because I like the color)

      • Always a NYer :

        What’s the deal with magnetic polishes? Are they really magnetic or am I missing something? =p

        • manomanon :

          supposedly you wave a magnetic stick (that comes with the polish) across the polish while its wet- super close but not touching- and it makes stripes or patterns based on how you do it…
          I haven’t tried it yet- I got some in my last Julep box so we will see

          as for toes- I put the super nutty colors I can’t rock at work on them- neon orange, purple, mega sparkles etc.

        • Yep – the magnet is in the cap or something. I got some for my niece for her birthday.

    • I like red and purple together. Try to think of it in terms of clothing – usually helps me coordinate without matching

    • How about a coral twist on your regular colors? Essie Ole Caliente (coral red) on your fingers and a peachy-pink on your toes? Links to follow.

    • Gunmetal gray, purple, orange/coral, or a sparklier version of the red on your hands

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I saw someone last week with gold polish on her toes that looked fantastic. If you have the right skin tone for it, I vote gold.

    • I had OPI Turquise and Caicos on my toes for awhile and it was lovely and made me happy every time I saw my toes. Right now I have a coral/orange color. Both would be lovely.

    • Kontraktor :

      I have a goldy color I like a lot for my toes- Chanel Peridot. It looks gold it most lights but sort of metallic-y green in others. I think it’s a really nice neutral.

    • One of my current favorite combos is pale gray fingers (OPI Moon Over Mumbai) and pinky-coral toes (OPI Mod-ern Girl). I have also enjoyed purple/coral combos, and am probably going to do turquoise/coral whenever I get around to painting my nails.

    • you guys are awesome!! thanks so much for the suggestions. i am most looking forward to my mani-pedi now.

  10. Etiquette question – I’m attending a wedding at the end of this month. The bride and groom were both at my wedding last year and gave us a nice present. Their wedding invitation says “no gifts please, your presence is blessing enough” — but I’d feel pretty weird not giving them anything. What to do?

    • I would take them at their word and get them a beautiful card.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I always feel weird not giving gifts. If you can afford it, I would get a nice card and note inside that in celebration of their wedding, you’ve made a donation to a charity they support in their name.

      • I love this idea of donating in their name to a charity.

        My other suggestion would be to get them a gift certificate to some high end restaurant that they wouldn’t otherwise go to so they can treat themselves – wait until they get back from their honeymoon and then give it to them as a “welcome home” gift.

    • You could get them a very nice card and if you know where they are going on their honeymoon, maybe a Zagat’s guide or something similar to the locale (I know before my honeymoon I had exactly zero minutes to plan). Ooh, or you could get a map of the area and circle key locations and then just right in little notes about it that you looked up on the internet. That way you do something thoughtful, but its not really a “gift”.

      Plus, if you know they are actively involved with a charity, I do think that’s a nice idea.

    • My husband and I tend to give nice gifts, but we asked for no gifts at our wedding. I would estimate that about half of our guests still gave us gifts, which were totally unexpected but generally lovely. The reason we asked for no gifts was (i) almost all of our guests were traveling; (ii) we lived in big city in a small apartment; and (iii) we had accumulated most things that we “needed” already.

      I would say gifts are not expected, and you should not feel required. Here are some of the things that we got that we loved: (i) gift certificates for date nights to nice restaurants and (ii) gift certificates for places that sell furniture. We also got some nice cutting boards and dish towels- things that you always need. Someone gave us a kitchaid mixer and someone else gave us an immersion blender- both of which we have used a lot.

      If I would have registered, the one thing that I would have wanted was really nice towels and sheets. These are things that people tend to skimp on for themselves, but it is nice when starting a new marriage to have good linens.

    • Thanks for the suggestions all! I’m travelling to another city for the wedding, but could certainly mail her a ‘welcome home’ gift later. I love the idea of a donation to charity as well and will give that some thought to see if I can figure out the perfect one.

    • My go-to in a situation like this is a donation to a charity you know they love or support. If you have absolutely no clue what their preferences are, a gift to their alma mater(s) works, too.

      • Be careful with this. If anyone gave a gift to either of my universities in my name I would be pissed. Maybe not so much my UG, since they were just sort of big and clueless, but definitely my LS since I feel they scr*wed me over big time.

        • I also will never give money to my LS for similar reasons, but I would not be annoyed with someone who did so in my name. I would take it as a thoughtful gesture and hope that the money went to good use.

          • I wouldn’t necessarily be annoyed with the person, just annoyed that the law school got more money it doesn’t need. My LS is constantly putting the guilt trip on us for being the “lowest donating class” since whenever, regardless of whether or not that’s true, I graduated in 2008. Of COURSE the school is not getting donations, half my class got laid off! Maybe more! Plus, the year after I graduated, they got a huge donation, they’re not hurting for money, they’re just greedy.

    • DC Association :

      How about sending them a gift on their one-year anniversary instead? Now that would be a huge surprise and totally unexpected.

      • Anonymous :

        I also asked for no gifts at my wedding and was surprised how many people did not honor our request. I think if they ask for no gifts, then that means no gifts. But I think the anniversary gift is an amazing idea! I was floored at how many people send me an anniversary card or note and commented on how much fun they had at our wedding. That meant more to me than any wedding gift ever could. So drawing from previous posts, I would say send high-end linens for an anniversary gift!

    • My wedding was no gifts as well. We were grown ups already and had just combined two households. Did not need anything! Some people got s things. The only two I remember were a bottle of French Champagne sent to our hotel room two hours before the wedding, and a set of Riedel wine glasses some coworkers chipped in on, as thy knew I was really into rhones and the glasses are specific to that style of wine.

  11. PSA: Bl**mingdales is having an awesome sale, especially in the Home Department. Anyone who has bedroom/bathroom/kitchen needs should check it out. I wasted an hour today looking at the pretty things.

  12. Writing Insecurity :

    How long does it take you to draft a brief/opinion? Not a memo, but something significant to be filed. I am a second-year judicial clerk, and I just finished a draft of an opinion and order regarding a relatively complex contract interpretation issue. The opinion is only 6 pages long – but I have been working on it since 8 this morning, creating an outline also, and with a break for lunch. Is an hour a page an appropriate amount of time to spend? (This includes citations, looking up standards in Lexis).

    I am just worried than when I step out into private practice in 3 months, I’m going to be hated/fired for what seems to me a very slow pace, even though I’m busting my butt.

    • That seems quite fast actually, especially if you weren’t already familiar with the issues raised and had to do some research. I only had a handful of one day cases as an appellate clerk- and those were all cases with short briefs and involved recurring issues so that I could copy standards/format from an opinion I’d already written.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Everybody thinks they take too long. EVERYBODY. Sounds like taking a day to do a significant opinion and order is just fine.

      And whatever you do, don’t write down your time once you get to the firm because you think you are too slow. It’s a huge temptation, but you need to resist. Really.

      Repeat after me: Everybody thinks they work too slow, and you are doing just fine.

      • This is my fear – that there will be a six page motion for summary judgment, and I will be laughed out of the office because I have to put down TWO DAYS on my time sheet. But if you say to, I will.

        • Former MidLevel :

          She is totally right. Do not cut your own time. Push yourself to work effectively, but don’t worry about this. If, in the unlikely event, you DO spend too much time on something, the partner can adjust the bill accordingly.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I do say so! Trust me on this! :)

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          nah, that’s fine. We have to request approval of time from our clients before drafting summary judgment motions in our office, and we usually request at least 40 hours just for drafting, and then another 10 for research, and still usually go over the approved time, at least for the drafting/reviewing. Admittedly our SJ motions are more like 25 pages, plus expert affidavits, but it will always, always seem like it’s taking longer than it should.

      • Completely agree with senior attorney!!! Do not write down your time (the partners will be doing PLENTY of that, trust us). Plus in private practice you are sometimes bound by small page limits and it can be tough to cover a complicated issue in 5 pages or 10 pages. Sometimes I spend half a day figuring out how to cut something down.

        Legal stuff can be complicated. It takes awhile. One day to do a six page opinion on a complicated issue sounds fast to me.

      • SoCalAtty :

        I completely agree. I used to think I was WAY too slow when I first started in private practice, and I was spending about an hour a page. I still spend about that if the issue isn’t too complicated (straightforward demurrer, ex parte, motion to strike) but on a motion for summary judgment or something more tricky? 2 hours a page, or maybe even more, isn’t unusual. I just finished a 15 or so page appellate brief, and I’m sure I spent a week on it. My thought is that a judicial opinion is closer to an appellate brief than a demurrer, so I think you’re good.

        PS I really love this discussion, because I think sometimes we bill in a vacumn and don’t have anyone to compare ourselves with (other than the people who wear metaphorical t-shirts that read “I billed 2400 hours last year, yipeee!”) (I’ve done that, and there is nothing “yipee” about it.)

    • MaggieLizer :

      1 -1.5 hours per page including research time is about average for me. I just did a bench memo recently that took a bit longer because I had to re-read the parties’ submissions several times and do my own research.

    • D. Ct. Clerk :

      Also, I wouldn’t focus so much on the page length. Writing short opinions can sometimes take much longer than short ones, and vice-versa.

      • I know you didn’t mean to write short and short, but I have to say it made me laugh out loud especially with vice versa then added. :-) Short and short or short and short, it make a difference!!!

        Thanks!!

    • a passion for fashion :

      thats crazy fast.

      and FWIW, stuff always takes way longer than you think it should.

    • Once I’ve read all the research and any important cases and generally have an idea of what I want to say, I figure an hour per page of just pure writing time.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      It was my impression that if you are a new attorney, you should write how much time it actually took, and the partner on the case will review the billing and write off your time if he or she feels that it was too long? Obviously, when I was a summer, some clients were unwilling to pay for summer time at all, but no one ever made fun of me for the hours I took writing something. Plus, it seems that you are not so slow after all.

    • It all DEPEND’s on the ISSUE. If the ISSUE is dificult, it will take alot of time to phrase the issue and then discus it intelegentley. When I drafted my first POST trial Breif, the manageing partner literaly ripped it up and said I did NOT know how to write!

      OMG, I was realy pissed off b/c I got a B in MOOT court and the TA said I was very smart and very persuaseve. He said he was going to give me a B+, but He changed his mind b/c I would NOT go out for a beer with him. FOOEY. I wanted a B+

      Anyways, the manageing partner now LIKES everything I write. I learned just to COPY the old breif, and just change the name’s and the date’s in every place.

      I cant wait to meet my MOM and go shoppeing in New Jersey!

      The day is OVER and I will NOT work at all this weekend!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!

    • That seems really fast to me.

    • (warning, geek reference incoming)
      Hofsteader’s Law: It always takes longer than you think it will, even when you take into account Hofsteader’s Law.

    • Two hours billable per page unless you are copying from another pleading or the issues are simple. Nobody really cares so don’t worry about it unless you are missing deadlines. More hours = a more polished pleading. Also, more billable hours = more collections for the firm. So don’t write your time down. Ever.

  13. hey dudes,

    I’m speaking at a CLE next month on employment law; part of my presentation will cover discrimination in hiring. I want to make it “fun” by giving some real-life examples of wildly inappropriate interview questions. So far I have quite a lot of Are you married? Are you planning to have children? How do you feel about taking a job away from a deserving man? (seriously)

    If you’ve ever had to field a ridiculous interview question and don’t mind sharing, I’d really a
    love to hear the horrors!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      My black friend told me she once went to an interview where the interviewer asked, “And we have a strict dress code here. Your hair naturally, is it curly? Or is it like that?” (Like that meaning the chin length, relaxed hair done the way she normally does it).

    • I don’t know if this fits, but I interviewed a while back for a job that would have required me to move to work there. The interviewer noted from my resume where I was currently living and I stated that if I got the job that planned to relocate to the area. To which he responded, “Well you’ll have to find a roommate.” Because apparently a single, young female can’t live alone? Yeesh.

      • Either that, or he was trying to hint to you that his company’s pay was so craptastic, that he knew no one could afford to live in that area w/o a roommate. ;-)

    • I recently interviewed an older female attorney for an article I’m writing. She told me that at the beginning of her career she was once asked in an interview what kind of birth control she was using.

    • MaggieLizer :

      “How much does your childcare cost?” I do not have children.

      “Do you plan to come back full time once you have children?” I did not mention wanting to have children, I have never been pregnant, and I am not married.

      A PARTENER at STAIRED at my legs the ENTIRE interview. FOOEY on him! But seriously, that happened.

      Another interview didn’t involve inappropriate questions but really turned me off the company because they repeatedly emphasized how great their maternity leave, flexible hours, daycare credit, etc. were. I interviewed with 8 people the same day a male candidate was interviewing. I asked him if they had emphasized the family-friendly atmosphere and he seemed surprised and said they hadn’t mentioned it. I got an offer but did not accept.

      • Former MidLevel :

        The focus on maternity leave and similar also really turned me off when I was doing law-firm interviews.

        • I can see how that would be offensive but as someone who would love their 6-mo paid leave (I get 6 weeks partial pay at my company)… I can also see why they want to highlight it. Really good benefit. I’m about to be unpaid half the summer and none too thrilled about it.

          • Former MidLevel :

            That makes sense to me. If I’d gotten the spiel presented as “look how great our benefits are,” I think it would have come across very differently. In my case, I got more of: “you’re female, therefore OBVIOUSLY your #1 concern relates to family benefits.” It wasn’t offensive, per se – but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth.

      • I wouldn’t let that turn you off. We can’t ask candidates these questions so I usually say something like “I don’ tknow if this applies to you, but I like to tell everyone x, y and z” and just tell them about some of our great policies.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Oh I 100% agree that benefits like that should be mentioned up front because they can be a great selling point. It’s offputting, though, when every single interviewer – of 8 interviewers – talked at length about maternity, flexible hours, and child care, and continued to talk about it when I tried to divert the conversation to something else. And didn’t do the same to the male candidate.

        • I agree with MaggieLizzer. It’d be one thing to hand out a benefits summary which includes such things, along with sick leave and stuff that applies to everyone, to every candidate as a selling point. But to shower every female candidate with maternity leave benefits would be most offensive. I’ve never wanted children and certainly wouldn’t pick a job based on maternity benefits, but being told about them insistently would absolutely give me the impression that this is a job where I’d be expected to take second place in career development.

    • Kontraktor :

      I moved because my husband relocated and I was moving with. I had an interview in a then-local office with a firm that was interviewing me for a position in my new city. I was first asked why I was relocating… okay, fair enough. I said, “My husband is being transferred with his job, so we are relocating together after a period of geographic separation.” But then I was asked the follow up of, “What does your husband do?” Okay, gray area… I answer, “He’s in the aerospace industry,” trying to keep it broad. But THEN I was asked, “Well, what is his job specifically?” Sadly I felt flustered and felt compelled to answer honestly (with his military position) but I felt really uncomfortable and I feel that type of question can’t be legal…

      • Because I’m fully in touch with my Inner B*tch, I’m not sure I would have been able to handle the question as nicely as you did. I might have bust out with a testy “are you interviewing my husband for this job or me? “

      • PharmaGirl :

        I’ve experienced that type of questioning during an interview and assumed it was just friendly conversation.

        • SpaceMountain :

          It could be they don’t want to hire a military spouse who is going to move in 3 years. I don’t know if this is legal, but it’s certainly one of the reasons it’s so hard for military spouses to get jobs.

          • Kontraktor :

            I think this was it, at least I sensed it was because I think I got a question after that about how long I was planning on being in the new area. I am about 99% sure it’s illegal to discriminate based on military status- I was just surprised the person would be so blatant about asking a direct, basically primed for discrimination type question. Not only that, but an interviewer shouldn’t be judging on something like that anyway becaus ehe/she has no idea what a family’s military comitments are in terms of time, for one thing, and for another, well, you make plans and then life happens- for all anybody knows, their military spouse could get in a car crash tomorrow and be medically discharged. It’s just not relevant information.

          • PharmaGirl :

            Ah, I didn’t think of that, not being familiar at all with military. It does cross the line.

    • AnonetteII :

      True story from a Dallas interview: “I’ve been known to have a hot temper. Are you going to cry if I yell at you?”

      • My current boss did say in my interview that he cursed a lot and if that was something that was going to offend me, I shouldn’t take the position. His cursing doesn’t offend me, but his other comments…

      • “The last guy I hired turned out to be legally blind and can’t drive but I can’t fire him because of the ADA. Do you have a driver’s license?”

        Sadly, I took the job.

      • “In this office, we work hard, but we party hard too.” [looks at my resume] “But I see you’re familiar with that.”

        Um, thanks?

    • Vintage Lawyer :

      “How do you keep such a good figure?” Honest to God.

    • I had been laid off due largely to economic reasons at a law firm in the height of the recession (over a 1/3 of my department was let go), and the partner I was interviewing with made me explain why the firm had decided to keep each associate that was still employed at the firm instead of me.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      How often do you work out? What specifically do you do when you work out? [May have been related to the job since it was working at a group home w/ troubled kids. Not sure if he wanted to know if I'd be able to model good behaviors or be strong enough to restrain them. Either way, it came across hella creepy and I declined a second interview.]

      This one I totally opened the door on accidentally – you know those yellow live strong bracelets? I was wearing a purple one that I wore all the time and forgot to take off for my mock interview in law school. The interviewer asked me what charity it was for. It was for the Crohns and Colitis foundation. Which led to “oh, what got you interested in that?” Which led to, oh, I have Crohns. I spun it well and talked about all the great leadership roles and research I had been able to do through my work with the organization and how I learned a ton about the ADA and reasonable accommodations.

      In the feedback phase the mock interviewer said I handled that great and he learned something new too. He hadn’t thought before how asking about a charity or bracelet could lead to a candidate feeling forced to disclose a disability. I said if I really wanted to keep it a secret, I wouldn’t be wearing the bracelet, though in reality, I at that time was not disclosing it to future employers and had simply forgot it was there.

    • interview question :

      “Sooo…. how would you handle working with all guys? Because, um, in this industry, um, sometimes… there’s um… well, what I’m trying to say is, it can be a little crass and kind of grab-a$$. Wait, not that anyone would do that to you, but just, you know, the atmosphere. So, how would you handle that?” (this is response to a less awkward question about how I’d handle working with mostly male colleagues and I said I’m sure it would be fine, I’ve worked with men, and I have a husband, brother, and dad, so it’s not like I haven’t been around men my whole life)

    • Anon for this :

      you have to read this in the correct mental voice, but when I was at an interview lunch, the interviewer ordered a salad that wasn’t on the menu and then said as an aside: “it’s really great to be a regular here – it really impresses clients, especially female clients, to be able to order secret dishes.” Then when the salad arrived, he asked if I wanted a bite off of his plate.

      • Was it good?

        • Anon for this :

          heh. I awkwardly said no thank you. the whole lunch makes me feel squicky just recalling it – another choice quote was “I’m the hiring manager, so you know, you really only have to impress ME.” No idea how I managed to keep a straight face long enough to shake hands outside the restaurant and part ways.

      • This is pathetic on so many levels. First, the attempt to impress, second, making it about female clients. And third, a salad? LOL.

        What exactly is supposed to be impressive about his sad diet food? You’d think he’d have ordered something really exotic, difficult to source and difficult to prepare.

        • Anon for this :

          we were at a steakhouse and it was a chopped salad. To be honest it looked pretty bad, as chopped salads go – so finely chopped you could almost have used a spoon to eat it. it certainly fit with his dated attitude toward everything else.

    • A good friend of mine was interviewing at a religious — Catholic — organization. His last name is “Solomon” and the interviewer said, “Solomon…so is that Jewish?”

    • River Song :

      “We didn’t know someone so accomplished would be so young.”

      I didn’t get the job. My consolation was that Anne of “Anne of Green Gables” was told nearly the exact same thing by the headmistress at her first teaching position.

      • Slightly different, but at my Summer Associate welcome cocktail party (there were only two of us) the partner introducing us, who is a sweet old man, said “You wouldn’t guess it since they look so young, but they both WORKED before law school!” Like this was the most amazing thing ever.

    • Not sure if this works, but I got the most ridiculous answer once. I asked about culture at a large law firm. The partner said “It’s like the freaking rainbow connection around here. We’ve got Mexicans, orientals, blacks, jews, women . . . ” Needless to say, I wasn’t too broken up when I didn’t get that job.

    • “You know, you might have to get dirty, and you’ll be working mostly with men” – asked during an interview for a safety job at a very messy factory. I was wearing an interview suit and heels (the male candidates were also wearing suits). Safety jobs are always messy (and usually working with mostly men) and it wasn’t my first safety job. I asked a couple other candidates, and no one else got that question. Luckily I was thinking on my feet and answered, “Well, I wouldn’t work in safety if i didn’t mind getting dirty. Aren’t all safety jobs that way?” I ignored the men comment.

    • This is hilarious. Someone once asked me in an interview “what was the last thing that made you cry” umm…this question?

      I’ve also been asked if I was married, and if/when we were planning to have children. That one seems pretty typical, sadly.

      • I agree that the “are you married” question is pretty typical. I recently interviewed for a summer position at an educational institution and was asked by the (female) interviewer. For law jobs in the South, I somewhat expect it from the good ol’ boys, but I was a little taken aback to get the question from another woman.

    • “We expect our female employees to wear more makeup than *gestures to me* that.”

      Uh, yeah, pulled my application right after that.

      • SoCalAtty :

        I’ve just had the typical “are you planning to get married” (before I did) and “are you planning on having kids” (after I started wearing my ring to interviews). I’ve had a few political questions (“who did you vote for in the last presidential election”), but the worst have been after the interview. One particularly great nugget was “you can be a good lawyer or a good parent, but not both.” This from someone with kids! Another was “oh, you just bought a house? We like new homeowners, because they need money and have great billables.” Ok…that one was said semi-jokingly because I was already the 2nd highest biller in the office, but still. Same firm, pregnant women or those with kids would be threatened with the “mommy track” if they ever left for an appointment or had any issues whatsoever.

        I had a friend interviewing for her residency, and she had the Dr. interviewing her note her complexion and start talking about “you people get all the funding, and you people this, and you people that…” She grew up right outside of Sacramento and went to undergrad with me. It was pretty offensive….luckily she matched somewhere else.

        • SoCalAtty, I had a partner say a similar thing to me about not being able to be a good mother and a good lawyer. I blasted him for the comment and gave my notice two weeks later. Unbelievable the nerve of some people!

          I had a male interviewer ask me several years ago if I was married and when I replied yes, he asked me for how long. When I told him two years, he said “That’s good, so you’re past the honeymoon stage and not stupid enough to have kids yet.” Ummm…ok.

    • I once had an interviewer ask me (1) what my husband would do if I got the job (it was in a different city) and (2) what my father did for a living.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Oh! I got asked if my husband would be able to survive at home without me if I had to travel for work. I laughed and said yes, I can’t survive when he travels. He cooks and cleans and I (cue long pause realizing I do nothing) and the interviewer laughed and said “watch football?” And I laughed and said, yeah, exactly. I actually got that job and ended up really liking that interviewer in real life but that question was really sexist and insulting.

    • Someone once asked if I went to my prestigious tech school undergrad (think MIT/Caltech) to find a husband.

    • I have not landed an analyst position because the interviewers only want to sleep with me.

    • During a chatty interview that was part of law school on-campus recruiting, it came up that I was originally from Bloomington, IN. The (male) interviewer, from a major NY law firm, said, “Oh, that’s where the Kinsey Institute [for Sex Research] is.” “Uh, yes; most people mention Bob Knight [still there at the time; I'm old], or maybe Breaking Away.” “Well,” he replied, “sex is my thing.” Thud.

    • Why do you need health insurance? Doesn’t your husband have coverage?

    • Did you cohabitate with your husband before you were married? == question posed to me at big firm interview by hiring partner.

      Are you aware that our dress code does not permit ethnic earrings? ==During q&a with recruiting director after a big firm OCI callback. I was wearing small pearl studs as always. And we weren’t discussing the firm dress code at that time. I was too nervous to ask what was an ethnic earring but have often wondered. Giant gold disks stretching my earlobes down to my shoulders? Or shrunken heads? Yes but I save those for hearings. Twigs and beads? Elephant tusks? Of course, with hose and skirt suit at jury trials. Or did she mean Celtic cross or Star of David?

    • Interview Question :

      A colleague of mine interviewed with a very big company. The interviewer knew from on-campus interview that she was married. During the on-site interview, first thing he said “You are not wearing your wedding band, I am also not wearing mine (showing his fingers) and laughing” . She accepted the offer though.

    • I notice you’re engaged to a [insert job type here]; obviously that will be difficult if you get this role, what do you plan to do about it? (gotta love the military)

      -not a question but a rule: make the client feel special, but try not to sleep with them. Although obviously your adults so….

    • Anonymous :

      This didn’t happen to me but to a colleague – at a different company than our current one, the interviewer surmised from his mannerisms that he was gay and spent 10 minutes talking about domestic partner benefits, with the assumption that my colleague would . Completely inappropriate to assume someone’s sexuality unless they’ve explicitly told you!

    • Questions about my husband. It’s happened to me twice because my husband and I are in the same field. My qualifications and position are quite good, but his are … well, better. It’s SUPER-offensive to be reminded of this in job interview situations, though.

      Once at a networking event with a potential employer, the hiring manager who knew my husband was chatting me up about bringing me in for an interview, which was flattering. But then he said, “Honestly, though, we really want your husband. Can you help with that at all?” Another time, *I* was interviewing a candidate for a position at *my* company and, when he realized who my husband was, he spent the rest of the interview asking questions about my husband’s job. I decided he must rather work with my husband and did not give him a good review.

      • Anastasia :

        ugh, same here. My husband and I work in different aspects of the same field. The last company I worked for tried to hire him…I actually left that job because my supervisor cared more about my husband than about my work, and I found the way the supervisor handled the whole situation really inappropriate.

    • I skipped a grade in elementary school, and graduated from college in three years, then went straight to law school. Plus I look young for my age. At one OCI interview, a middle-aged male partner flat-out asked me how old I was.
      Me: *long pause*
      Him: It’s not a trick question
      Me: 21
      Him: How could you possibly know at 21 what you want to be when you grow up, let alone where you’d like to work?
      He spent the entire rest of the interview urging me to drop out of law school, even though I was at the top of my class.

    • anon today :

      I had “what do you do to stay in shape” once. It was for a paralegal job.

    • I have been asked if I was planning on having children… by a prominent partner at a labor and employment law boutique.

    • My recruiter when I joined the Army:

      Slimy recruiter: At your physical, you’ll need to tell the doctor if you’ve had sex before (looks at me expectantly).

      Me: OK

      Just last year prior to flying me out for face to face interviews:

      Recruiter: What’s your birthdate?
      Me: Um that’s an illegal question.
      Recruiter: But I need it to book your ticket!
      (Long involved conversation about how he’s not getting that info and oh yes well OK maybe I can just book the tix and get reimbursed.)

    • lucy stone :

      You went to a Jesuit school. Are you Catholic? Where are you planning on going to church?

      You mentioned moving here because your significant other was in the area. Are you gay?

  14. Anyone know of good restaurants to eat at in Fairfax, Virginia? My brother is graduating and I’m in charge of family dinner- there will be 20 of us- but I’m not familiar with the area. I prefer family styl, asian or indian cuisine. The closest I could find to that description is PF changs, hah, any recs???

    • “Fairfax” is pretty broad. Is this GMU graduation? How fancy a place are you looking for?

    • Not PF Changs. What are you looking to spend and what area exactly do you want to go to?

      I can recommend some great authentic Asian food restaurants that are family style but they’re pretty obscure to most people. Peking Gourmet Inn on Leesburg Pike and Lucky Three on Leesburg Pike are both good ones.

      • Looking to spend max $15-20 per person. I love Peking Gourmet and was considering that, alas it’s in Falls Church not Fairfax. The graduation is during lunch time so I’m sure everyone will be famished and won’t want a 25 minute drive to Falls Church.

    • This is a GMU graduation. The range is probably $15-20 per person. Thanks in advance!

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      Cee Fine Thai Dining on Fairfax Blvd. 

    • Bummer, because my suggestions were Four Sisters in Merrifield or somewhere in Eden Center (Viet Royale is my personal fave). I don’t have any good recommendations for Indian/Asian close to GMU.

      • I second Four Sisters. It’s 10-15 minutes away from GMU and there is a semi-separate party room that will fit 20 people.
        Elephant Jumps (Thai) is also in the same area; they do regular dining but might accommodate a family-style party esp in the off hours.
        For Chinese, China Star at Fair City Mall makes the best food but it seems just too casual… I’ve always gotten takeout there and never dined in.
        I’ve read good reviews of the Blue Ocean (Japanese) but have never eaten there.

    • Bombay Bistro is pretty good and not too far from GMU.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I like Bollywood Bistro (Indian) and Asian Bistro (asian, obvi) at the new shopping center they opened downtown. We held my parents’ anniversary party at Asian Bistro, and they were extremely helpful. Minerva at the other shopping center (the one on 50 with the hooters) is also quite good, but a larger venue.

      I also like Wine House in the same shopping center (the first one, with a Panera and a Potbelly and some other stuff, closer to the city hall), but it is a bit more expensive and not family style. We held my sister’s graduation party at Bombay Bistro, and it was also nice, but I think I like Bollywood Bistro better.

    • Richmond Lawyer :

      My sister is graduating from Mason next week, too! Congrats to your brother!

      I don’t have any good recs for Fairfax, but second all the places mentioned in Falls Church (where I grew up)

  15. ChocCityB&R :
    • I’m not wealthy and I still prefer Nordies. I just don’t pay full-price. But what’s nice is that they still treat you like a fully fledged human being if you don’t pay full-price. :-P

    • That’s a pretty silly study. Of course more people making $150k + shop at Nordstrom than Barney’s or Bergdorf’s. There are Nordstrom stores all over the country, and I’m pretty sure the other two are only in Manhattan. Rich people don’t only live in New York.

      Anywho, I like Nordstrom the best because of the piano player. It makes me feel like I’m on a luxury cruise in the 1920s.

    • Definitely not wealthy, but I do the majority of my shopping at Nordstrom’s… and fill in the rest with Forever 21 ;)

    • MissJackson :

      I feel like Nordstrom ought to be the favorite department store of everyone. Their customer service is out of this world.

    • Jacqueline :

      Love Nordstrom, but I’ve noticed a slow removal of the piano player in Chicago-area stores. They never have one at the Michigan Ave location — now it’s piped-in lite rock like every other store. I miss the refined elegance of the live piano music! Anyone else notice this at their locations?

      • manomanon :

        We lost our piano years (like 5 or 6 ago) however, shortly before that my mother saw an obituary for the piano player in the paper so we never knew if that tied into it…

  16. These sunglasses look very childish to me. Like something a 7 year old would wear? Am I that out of touch with style?

    • No, I agree. But then, I rock $5 flea market sunglasses that are large with rhinestones. But black. And I’ve gotten tons of compliments!

  17. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    I have to go to a funeral on Tuesday. I have a black dress, but would have to expend the money to have it dry cleaned. So before I go there, is it appropriate to wear a muted color such as a dark cranberry instead of black? If I do this, should I incorporate some black into my outfit?

    Thanks in advance ladies.

    • Yes, you can wear colors other than black. I wore dark green to the last funeral I went to. And I don’t think you have to have a black item, either.

    • Kontraktor :

      I think it’s fine to wear dark colors, but I personally would probably prefer to wear black just in case the family was sensitive to that. Do you have anything gray?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      IMO it’s fine not to wear black but I would stick to cooler colors so probably wouldn’t go with a cranberry type. Navy is fine though.

      Also, it would be perfectly appropriate to wear black or gray pants and a muted color shirt as well.

    • Anonymous :

      As long as your outfit is unmemorable and nondistracting, I think you are fine.

    • another anon :

      What about a black or charcoal suit? Or just black or grey pants and black or grey top?

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Thanks ladies, as a law student, I have a couple of suits in my closet, so I will take a look at those.

    • I have never been to a funeral where people wore all-black – just subdued church-type clothes- but this could be a regional/cultural thing. The last one I went to I wore a black and white floral printed dress with a black cardigan on top.

    • It was nice to read all the responses. I’m in the PNW, and have been appalled at the funeral wear. I kid you not, the last memorial I went to had people wearing shorts and flip-flops. And not their nice new shorts and flip-flops, but the kind you’d wear in your yard. Meanwhile, I’m flipping out because I couldn’t fit into my black dress and was wearing a navy one instead, and had had an argument with my boyfriend over his not wearing a suit (he wore dark slacks and a button-down shirt, and was among the best dressed men there). I understand that not everyone has formal funeral wear – but please put at least the same effort into your clothes that you would going to the mall!

      //rant over. Sorry about that. It drives me crazy to go to my dad’s hometown, as it’s so different from the equally small but much more old-fashioned & formal town that I grew up in.

      • “Put some effort into your clothes”?

        Are you *sure* you’re talking about PNW?

        When do they/we ever put effort into clothes? Except if they are from REI or used for outdoor activities.

        • I’m in Seattle- feel same about a wedding I went to here- there was a woman in cargo pants, and guys in t-shirts. I thought it was so rude to the formal bride and groom. But PNW, it is. Was at a funeral in SoCal where people were in flops and flowered skirts. Depends on location.

    • Ms Basil, I think the dark cranberry or a suit would work as long as the outfit is conservative. I sing at a lot of weddings and, trust me, many people wear really inappropriate clothes (think c*cktail dresses) to funerals just because they think they have to wear black. I usually wear black or gray. I tried brown once and felt completely uncomfortable, but I was up at the front of the church in front of everyone.

    • If the mere cost of dry-cleaning a dress seems like such an imposition, I’d simply skip the funeral altogether. Clearly you weren’t close to the departed one, and you won’t be missed.

  18. Yeah! TGIF :

    Happy Mother’s Day to Kat and all the other moms!

  19. Ladies, I took your advice from several weeks ago, and threw myself on the mercy of the Nordstrom lingerie department. It was kind of hilarious: the clerk was all, well, the good news is, your b**bs haven’t actually gotten smaller. You only think they have because your bras are so old. And then she asked me when I purchased the one I was wearing…and you guys, it was from my days as a VS salesgirl. IN HIGH SCHOOL (I’m four years out of law school, FYI).

    And now I have three new bras, and it’s like…HELLO, LADIES.

    Also, related to the hands thread above: has anybody tried that Clinique dark spot corrector? I am tempted to give it a shot at the age spots I have on my face and arms.

    • Ack, okay, this is the motivation I need. Do DC/NoVA peeps have recommendations for which Nordstroms to hit up (Tysons v. Pentagon City, etc.) for badly needed new lingerie?

      • I haven’t been to the one at Tyson’s but had a good experience at Pentagon City. I can’t remember the name of the woman who fitted me but she was an older Asian woman.

        • DC Association :

          Ha ha – I went there and said older Asian woman helped me. I Told her I needed new bras b/c I had gained weight. She said, “Well okay, let’s just go up only one band size and concentrate on losing the weight!”

          Anyhow, I think one cannot go wrong at any Nordstrom.

      • Casper Clone :

        Me too. We’re lucky that we have a plethora of Nordstrom’s around here – those two plus Montgomery Mall on the MD side at least. Has anyone tried one recently?

        • I go to Montgomery Mall, and it’s lovely (plus, as I mentioned above, it’s seldom without live piano on weekends).

      • Just went to the Pentagon city one last week for new bras and it was great. They also listened and only brought me the (boring colors and non-push-up) style of bra I requested, that weren’t ridiculously expensive. Love Nordstroms.

      • Pentagon City; not tried that department at the Tyson’s one.

    • Love the Clinique Dark Spot Corrector. I get adult acne and it worked very well to help with my acne scars.

    • I tried the Clinique dark spot corrector, but found much better results for a little more money going with a prescription-strength cream. My dermatologist suggested “Firm and Fade” with retinoic acid hydroquinone to address hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. best. Ever!!!

  20. Firstworld problems! :

    So my jeans were a little snug when I got dressed this morning, but I figured they would loosen up as the day went on and all would be well.
    No so!
    Instead, they seem to be growing more and more constricting by the minute and all I can do is fantasize about leaving work early so I can go home and put on some sweats!

    • Have you considered the possibility that this is more of a mental phenomenon than a physical one today?

    • I feel your pain. I am losing weight and thought I had lost enough weight to wear my of my favorite suits. The skirt zipped up fine but was a bit snug but manageable. As the day wore on, it got worse and worse. I had a function to attend after work and no chance to change! I was in agony all evening! But boy did my pjs feel good!

    • Bloating?

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