Weekend Open Thread

Miz Mooz - Panthea (Pink) - FootwearSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

These look like the perfect running-around-town sandals for weekend shopping or whatnot. Ankle strap so you can actually run? Check. Nude-for-me color so they’re flattering? Check. Slight bit of height to the heel? Check. And there’s even a zipper in the back so you can get them on and off quickly. Lovely. They’re $99 at Zappos (available in pink, pictured, a darker brown “cognac,” black, and a fun kelly green). Miz Mooz – Panthea (Pink) – Footwear

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  1. momentsofabsurdity :

    Reposting here from the news roundup (since those comments never get read) so the original poster (dancinglonghorn?) can see it:

    Thanks so much for the commenter who recommended the heartmycloset seller on Etsy. I had a custom dress made (this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/59110896/cindy-custom-made-pencil-dress-all-sizes in navy with a white belt) and it fits great!

    The measurements are slightly off in some places but I measured myself and I can see where she’s off because of the weirdness of my shape — so now I know better for next time I order. I got it lined for a very reasonable fee, the fabric is nice, the dress is impeccably made and generally — I adore it. I’ve already decided on the next dress I’ll order from them.

    Thanks again!

    • Thanks for reminding me how much I want the bow-fronted dress.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        For what it’s worth – there are even more of her dresses available at her non-etsy store.

        This is the next one I’m buying:

        • Curse you. That is STUNNING, and I’m not even particularly a Duchess-copyist.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I am a total Duchess copyist (except for today’s Emilia Wickstead which I didn’t particularly like), so it’s perfect for me!

            Also seems like an excellent and versatile dress. It’s my next “splurge” purchase for myself after I find an apartment.

          • That may very well be my congrats-you-found-a-job! present to myself. (Once I, you know, find a job. God. July and my last paychecks are looming.)

        • D*mn you and your pretty dresses too.

          (Obviously my feeling on the Duchess have been well established.)

          • @TCFKAG: Have you been able to find anything about the Duchess’ diet (other than that silly Dukan nonsense), exercise (other than that Wills had an in-palace gym built for her) or beauty (especially that shiny hair) routines? I should be embarrassed by how much time I’ve spent looking, and I still have found nothing.

          • haha. No. But I haven’t tried, genetically I could never be her shape. Though, the shiny hair…that IS a secret I’d like to know. I bet it’s keratin treatments or some equivalent.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Finding this store with even more designs, btw, was a terrible life decision on my part, btw. My wishlist grew exponentially.

        • BTW, who was looking for the tie-neck shirt from Gossip Girls the other day (I can’t remember).

          This might be nice instead — though its not Alexander McQueen of course.)


          • And this is going to become mine someday. I don’t know when, but not too far in the future.


        • Wow. I must have this dress. http://heartmycloset.myshopify.com/collections/dress/products/belinda

          That is all.

    • Kontraktor :

      Thanks for the review! I desperately want a dress from there so it’s good to know it’s worth it.

    • just Karen :

      That dress is lovely – did the seller line it for you for an extra charge, or did you pay someone locally to do it?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        The seller lined it for an additional $8 which felt fair.

        • just Karen :

          Wow – that seems so worth it, and I wouldn’t have thought to ask. That dress is now on my wishlist! Thanks!

    • I’m glad you mentioned it – I’ve bookmarked her page for when I’m finally ready to make the jump and order something!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Someone else ordered a custom dress from etsy – a jersey from someone in Isreal – did we ever get a follow-up?

      • Legally Brunette :

        Yes, the seller is Lirola from Etsy. I can’t remember who posted the review, but she said that it was a fabulous fit and quality. Still like heartmycloset better, but Lirola’s clothes are lovely.


        • Divaliscious11 :

          Yes, I love her stuff! Have to check out heart my closet, but I see some Lirola in my future…..

    • Thanks for posting the review — I also put the shop as a favorite on etsy and having been thinking about going for it but wondered how others had fared. What fabric did you get? I noticed that some of the fabrics she uses have a bit of stretch, which would be great.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I got the navy fabric which definitely has a bit of stretch to it and is quite nice feeling. If you order, she sends you swatches of all her fabric for future orders!

        • Thanks. And a nice bit of marketing on her part, to entice you into the next dress purcahse.

    • I got one from her too from that recommendation, and I love it. It’s very slightly off, but I think I measured myself a bit wrong. It’s still great, just be really careful when you measure.

    • I read some of the customer feedback from the site and it looks great. One thing – I got the impression that all the dresses are made in Vietnam. I don’t have a problem with this, but realize that some corporettes may. (Certainly, the etsy shop website makes it look like a one-woman company.)

    • River Song :

      Has anyone ordered–from this shop or another–a custom dress, inspired by a photograph? This shop says they do that, and I’m tempted.

      My only prior experience with custom clothes didn’t work out so well, though I think it was my fault. I had just had a baby, my measurements were confusing to me and I measured wrong.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I am blown away by her dresses and the super affordable prices. I like that there are options provided. Many of the dresses are show with pencil skirts but I love a lines and full swingy skirts and now I am plotting my next purchases.

      My favorites in no particular order:



    • migraine Sufferer :

      Oh man. I want them all!

    • Two cents :

      Ooh, that was my recommendation! Never bought anything from her before but find her dresses so, so lovely. You’re tempting me to pull the trigger. :) So glad that it worked out!

      Any tips for measuring yourself properly?

    • You know, if you’re getting custom clothing it’s perfectly OK to get something which works with the uniqueness of your shape :-). (nobody’s weird in custom..). First, I’d just tell the person (hey! my upper arms are really large! my shoulders are really square! whatever). And then you can take a few quick pictures to illustrate your point – not flattering poses mind you, but mug-shot quality phone pictures that show your nonstandard traits clearly. You’ll get a much better fit that way.
      And if you get a couple really nice pictures from you in the dress for the event, the seamstress will much appreciate them, with or without explicit authorization to use them in her portfolio :-).

  2. Any tips for someone dealing with the extreme self-destruction of an alcoholic in the family (FIL)? I have been told to try Al-Anon but they do not have meetings I can get to in my area and their website seems sparse. Any online resources or books you can recommend? Or stories of how you made it through? It’s been about two months of crisis-type events and I’m really burning out…

    • SoCalAtty :

      Oops. Your reply went down below. It’s down there! [points down the page]

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Hugs to you for dealing with this. My (unhelpful to you) solution was to cut the person out of my life. It was a heart-wrenching and impossible decision, but their toxic behavior was starting to really weigh on my mental health. I wish I could give you better advice, but your struggle is in my thoughts.

    • There is a book called Intervention: How to Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help, that my family members have found enlightening. They also decided to seek counseling with someone that specialized in substance abuse issues so they could learn how to cope. Due to distance and disinterest (I took ChocCity B&R’s route instead) I didn’t attend, but those that did now feel much more at peace with the situation. Hugs to you and your family. You’ll get through this, but you need a plan. And each other.

    • I have not yet read this book myself — plan to! — but it is apparently the Al-Anon theory and practice in book form:
      “How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics” by Al-Anon Family Groups.

    • Definitely recommend seeing if you can find a substance abuse counselor near you.

      Otherwise, the biggest advice I can give is to just keep reminding yourself that addiction is a disease and it requires treatment and if the person who is addicted won’t acknowledge the problem or refuses treatment, there is nothing you can do and it’s okay to do nothing–you are not responsible for fixing the problem. I come from an extended family of alcoholics and I think the only reason everyone else has survived is that we’ve reached a point of saying “when you want help, call me.” If they seek treatment, we assist with anything we can. If not (or if they deny a problem), then any issues that arise because of their addiction are their problem.

      (I realize this seems incredibly harsh but it’s been decades, not months, and at some point you have to realize you’re not responsible and they have to WANT help to fix anything).

    • It’s hard to give advice without knowing more. I went through a really terrible few years with a family member, a few times actually because of relapses, and it was rough. The situation ended in a mental facility, though now the person seems to be doing better (knock on wood; you never really stop expecting it). Honestly, it’s just a horrible thing and it does not get better unless the person 100% gives up on all alcohol. There’s no ‘just a little is okay,’ or ‘it’s okay if it’s white wine and not something harder.’ In my situation, as sip of beer would be too much; you could just see the eyes narrow and change ever so slightly and it was trouble thereafter. The thing that helped me cope with it is understanding how it works – alcoholism literally changes your internal chemistry. Reading on the specifics of how it all works made it a little easier to at least understand what was happening.

      Also, not sure how your situation is, but mine involved a LOT of crazy behavior and verbal abuse. Just delusional craziness. At some point, this someone explained it to me as a light switch – sometimes it’s on, sometimes it’s off. That helped with not taking it personally.

      I never went to al-anon or any of that stuff because I felt it was a bit cult-y, but it does work for some people. Perhaps there are online support communities, too. Good luck. I wish you strength in coping with this. Know that whatever it is, it is not about you.

      • Moonstone :

        Really good advice here, but I just have to say: Al-Anon is about as cult-y as Weight Watchers. I’ve been to both; they work because attendees feel less isolated and because the stories reinforce positive behavior.

    • Does Co-Dependents Anonymous have meetings near you? That might work, too.

    • You have my sincere sympathy. I had an ALMOST family member (my ex fiance Alan) who I ALMOST married, but I (mabye thru divine intevention) decided that I would NOT be abel to MARRY him after he got abuseive, even tho he had a good job as an accountent and even tho my parents both wanted me to MARRY him and have a FAMILY.

      You are better then that, I was told, and I finaly learned this for myself. You need to take care of yourself and NOT worry about the source of evil (the bottle). If you can get him to leave, that is what I did. If not, you should NOT do anything to inable him.

      If you can NOT go to alanon, you should read the 12 step book b/c that focuses on you, not the drunk who is getting you exheausted. I had to throw Alan out once and for all, even tho I had feelings for him –and occasionelly still do, especialy when I see all the other jerk’s out there that just want me for sex. You should know you are worth alot more and not to short – change yourself with any man. Now I do NOT have a man, but I do NOT cry over it. I will find a decent man who will treat me well and will marry me and will buy a nice house for us and we will have a family. That is SO much better then having a drunk (or even a dry drunk) around to baby-sit. FOOEY on that.

      You are in my prayer’s. Go with God. Best of everything to you.

    • Anon for this :

      My mom was an alcoholic from about the time I was in high school until she passed away in 2009 from complications related to her alcoholism. She was a “functional” alcoholic for most of it, so I had less crisis-type events. While it was all happening my coping strategy was to push her away after my efforts to help her were completely useless. I tried to mentally and emotionally distance myself and when I had to be around her for holidays and such I would just remind myself that I had to just get through that day and I could return to my life.

      I never went to Al-Anon, but I did go to a therapist to talk about some of my anger after she passed away– the feelings that they don’t care enough about you/life/other people to change, that they’re “doing this to themself,” etc. It really helped me.

      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. It can feel so lonely and embarrassing… but trust that there are millions of people out there that have dealt with this, and you can get through it!

    • CPA to be :

      My dad has been an alcoholic/rx pill addict since I was a small child. Finally, 10 years after moving out of my parents house, am I okay on an everyday basis. This is such a horrible, awful, crushing problem, and I am SO sorry you have to deal with it. Eight months of therapy helped me way more than al-anon. I talked about my dad’s alcoholism and thought about it so much for so many years that al-anon just made me focus on it more than it let me move on from it. Some sort of “anonymous” meeting might help you if you are just beginning to deal with this, though. Something that my therapist recommended that actually helped me a lot was to become friends with a long-time sober alcoholic (part of the “culture” is to not call themselves former alcoholics, but sober alcoholics). They can give you perspective like nobody’s business. For some reason, when I was wracked with guilt about letting my father face the consequences to his actions, hearing from my sober alcoholic friend that I was making the right decision helped immensely.

      My dad is still alive, but we (awkwardly) talk maybe once or twice a year. He went to rehab my senior year of college, but started drinking again afterwards. I only feel guilty about not having a relationship every once in a while. Mostly when some idiot who has no clue what I went through says “but he’s your faaather!”

      No. He is not my father. My father = all the adult male mentors who have helped me through life, have been there for me, etc.

      I am so sorry you have to deal with this. It is truly awful.

      / end soapbox.

      • There are online AlAnon groups such as key to harmony (a yahoo group). I strongly recommend both AlAnon and finding a therapist for yourself. This tough is too tough to address all by yourself.

        Coming to understand that alcoholism is a disease over which I have absolutely not the slightest bit of control was very freeing for me. I could give up trying to fix things, manage feelings, etc.

        Hugs to you! It can get better, whether the alcoholic finds sobriety or not.

    • Further reading: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/0425191656/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2NQNHOBTFL0F&colid=23RD95WYEIXA

      I my experience, dealing with alcoholic self-destructive behavior is nearly as bad as being an alcoholic yourself, just as exhausting. And alas, I’ve never seen anything work besides leaving. Cutting them off, whatever corresponds to your situation.
      Courage! You’ll feel better once it’s over, promise.

    • SMART recovery has a lot of online resources, including an online support group for family members. http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/family.htm

      Al-Anon does have some online support groups. http://www.ola-is.org/

      And, take care of yourself — don’t feel you have to burn yourself out to fix everything. Get support, set boundaries, and keep them. Good luck to you.

  3. Cute shoes! I somehow just recently realized that 1″ to 1 1/2″ heels are comfy-er than flats. It was a true revelation, and now I am restocking my casual shoe wardrobe. (Husband is so sad.) These are very likely candidates.

    • I like these a lot, and I am looking for something like this. I think I’ll walk through DSW this weekend, and if I cannot find anything, I’ll be ordering these.

      • PSA: Madewell has a bunch of cute options in that heel height range. My favorites are the whistlestop sandal, but there’s also the station sandal and a couple of other ones.

    • Oh absolutely! With my bad knees, I cannot wear completely flat shoes unless they are seriously padded. My one problem with ankle straps (but more with heels) is that when my foot goes down into the shoe, the ankle strap isn’t long enough. And my ankles aren’t big!

    • My orthopedist told me to wear moderate heels to help a problem with my ankle. Apparently flats, even those with good cushioning and support, are tougher on ankles and knees that moderate heels. He “prescribed” heels under 2 inches.

    • Not a lawyer :

      I think I read somewhere that podiatrists recommend a low heel over totally flat shoes.

    • I don’t know that podiatrists recommend high heels, though–I think they have the more clunky heels in mind–they’re certainly more comfortable for my insane feet.

  4. A while back I asked for feedback about hiring a housekeeper every two weeks, and I just want to say thanks for the validation, because I finally did it! It was so wonderful to come home to a spotless house (especially a few days before 6 family members arrive for vacation). Absolutely wonderful, and worth every penny.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Ours came this week, too. Best money ever spent on our marriage, even if she did give me a heart attack by putting our All Clad (ebay!) in the dishwasher and running it. New rule: please don’t run the dishwasher.

      • Last week was our cleaning week, but our dishwasher had been broken for a couple of days (it didn’t complete the cycle, so it was full of dirty stuff that had been partially cleaned that we needed to deal with). The housekeepers did not notice/ignored the note I left about the broken dishwasher and the fact that the bottom of the dishwasher was full of gross water, and they unloaded the dishwasher into our cabinets, resulting in lots more gross dishes. New rule: please do not deal with dishes at all.

        • sickness.

        • If your cleaning ladies demographic is similar to the cleaning ladies demographic in my city, you need to leave notes in Spanish. Otherwise they may just be picking out the word or two they know and guessing at the meaning of the note – “oh, dishwasher? She must want us to empty it. ”

          And I’m a native Spanish speaker, not being snarky at all.

          • Mousekeeper :

            I insisted on hiring a cleaning lady when my first child was 4 and I had just paid off my student loan (back when you could pay a law school loan off in 10 years). I was working full time, cleaning my house on the weekends, and trying to find time to spend with my son, and running myself ragged. After I wrote the last loan check, I said, “Enough!” and insisted on a cleaning lady every two weeks (couldn’t afford every week). We have had the same C/L since my 17 year-old daughter was a baby. She is Polish and because she does 2 houses a day, she just does the basics, which is fine with me. I don’t mind running the vacuum or doing a quick bathroom swipe on the off week. The only downside is that on “Teresa days”, I run myself ragged picking up in the morning before I leave for work so that she can vacuum the entire floor and wipe down entire counters. If you find one you like, treat her well – a day’s pay on Christmas and her birthday, and something on Easter or other significant holiday.

  5. SoCalAtty :

    Ugh. Big giant hugs to you. I lost my mom to this just over 2 years ago…she was 51. She started when she was 20…so I got to deal starting basically when I was born until just recently. The biggest thing is resisting the urge to try to “save” them. You will totally destroy yourself in the process. All you can do is point out what they are doing, offer to help them get into a program, but bottom line is they have to want it for themselves. I also just went through this with my Aunt’s husband, and we had one of my husband’s Uncles do the same thing about 5 years ago, leaving 3 teenagers behind with their mom.

    I am not a big therapy person, but in this case I would reccomend it. That way you can go in and say “how the bleep do I react to this?” – and they can help keep you objective.

    If you want to email or need a pen pal just to vent, email me at meyerlemony at gmail. Big hugs!

    • I’m so sorry you lost your mom. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your email.

    • Whoops read this after I posted but I’m so sorry about your mom and that you had to deal with everything that entails.

      • Anon for this :

        We have a lot in common!

        • SoCalAtty :

          Anon for this – we sure do! What a roller coaster. No idea how I made it through law school and my 2nd year associate year with all that going on. I have a feeling it is one of the reasons I lost my job in a “layoff” – I missed a day because my mom drank herself into a coma and I get the feeling they thought, internally, “oh this is going to be an issue let’s get rid of her.” 1 day…the week after xmas. I was “layed off” 2 weeks later, with 2 weeks remaining of my vacation time that they paid me. Clearly, I was taking too much time off while billing 200+ a month.

  6. Any thoughts on when it makes sense to spend the time & money to go get re-fitted for a bra post-baby? I stopped br**st feeding 6 weeks ago and I am pretty sure my pre-baby bra’s aren’t right anymore. But don’t want to have to re-invest all over again if things are still in changing mode.

    • Diana Barry :

      Ugh, no idea. I have bras in every size from 34A to 38G, which represents skinny wedding day to immediately post-partum. I shudder to think how much $$$ I have spent on bras!

      Maybe wait another month to see if anything changes and then go?

    • new york associate :

      I would give it a little more time. I felt like it took my body a full three months to go back to normal post-breast-feeding.

    • If you’re back at your pre-baby size on the whole (or at a size that you think will be your new normal, on the whole), then I would say go ahead. But if you’re not, I would wait until you get to that point, because your rib measurement and cup size may still change a little bit more. I’d say I was back to normal about 2-3 months after I stopped breastfeeding, and while my rib measurement was the same as pre-baby, my cup size was one size smaller.

    • migraine Sufferer :

      I bought 3 sets of bras, in stages, since I stopped nursing about 1 year ago. If you don’t want to do this, I would suggest just buying one in beige (or some neutral) and then getting some sports bras that will accommodate the continuing changes. I just bought my last set this week and am pretty sure this is where I’ll stay (unless I lose weight…)

      Total amount spend on bras post nursing: well over $500

    • Anonymous :

      I just went to Target and bought some Gillian & O’Malley (Target brand) bras to get me through the in-between periods (no fitting, obvs). They were about $15 each and surprisingly well-made. My Target also took bra returns in case you don’t want to try on in store.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I wear my Target bra more than my fancy Nordstroms ones. I found a 34DD in store that must have been a return b/c normally they only sell their dd’s online. I’ve been hooked since.

    • You don’t need a lot of bras, they dry quickly – two will do for a while, one in a pinch (use the hair dryer in a humid-morning emergency). But bras that don’t fit are horrible, feel very bad, make all your clothes look bad. Try to get at least one decent one, and adjust later as necessary :-).

  7. karenpadi :

    Bay Area Women,

    Any ideas for an East Bay gathering? I am thinking June (but not Father’s Day weekend) in Berkeley, Lake Merritt, or somewhere BART-friendly in the East Bay.

    Suggestions please!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I know almost nothing about the East Bay, but am excited for the meetup. So bummed I had to miss the last one.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Karenpadi, I’m so lazy that I know I need to get on the listserv and you’ve told me how to several times and I have yet to do it. Many apologies for my insubordination.

      Is this meetup going to be a brunch? If so, I’d suggest Cafe M in Berkeley. If it’s for drinks, I like Jupiter for a casual beer and college students vibe, and Hotel Shattuck for a fancier vibe.

      Lake Merritt – Rudy’s Cant Fail Cafe (more casual/punk rock vibe) Terrace Room or Lake Chalet for fancier vibe. Drinks, the Layover, Era, the Den, Dogwood, Van Kleef’s, 19th St. bar, Luka’s, Trappiste, Beer Revolution.

      • karenpadi :

        Thanks! We’ve been doing early afternoons on Saturday. I don’t know how people feel about an evening meet-up for drinks but I’m open to it.

        The list is my hotmail account. Just email me at karenpadi at hotmail if you want email messages about the meet-ups.

        • Relatviely new to corporette and would be very excited to meet up! I’ll be e-mailing you…

    • Kontraktor :

      I’m so excited! Yay I like all these places (well… from what little I know of them). I have zero preference as to time, but perhaps earlyish afternoonish would be better for people with families.

    • Can we do somewhere a bit further south than Berkeley – is Fremont too far? I know Berkeley has great restaurants but it’s a little far for me.
      Either lunch or afternoon tea/drinks would work for me!

  8. ChocCityB&R :

    Yay Open Weekend Thread! I am so out of it that I thought yesterday was Friday and kept refreshing and waiting for this thread. I have a randomish shopping question that only you ladies can answer:

    My husband is for some reason obsessed with jumpsuits. He thinks they are super sexy (whether it’s the tight leather Rihanna video version, or long flowy beach vacation style). His birthday is coming up and I want to buy one to wear, but I have no idea (a) if I will look ridiculous because jumpsuits are now horribly out of fashion and (b) where to find one. Ladies, please help!

    • Anthropologie has had a couple of really cute ones lately (not the tight leather Rihanna video versions).

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Oh, and to make things more specific, I’m not looking for a formal jumpsuit for his birthday dinner, but something cute/semi casual I can wear during the day while we do fun stuff. Also I’m tall and busty, so I need something that won’t be flood wear and not backless/sleeveless so I can wear a bra. My budget is under $100 and styling options are greatly appreciated!

      • New poster :

        I recently bought a cute black pants one at Forever 21. It has a long, tassel-y beige tie belt. Super cute and well under $100 (I think I paid about $35). You might be able to find it online.

        • New poster :

          PS, it’s really cute that your husband is obsessed with jumpsuits. He’s so fashion forward! Generally I think of jumpsuits as being in the category of things that women like but men are like, I don’t get it.

          • ChocCityB&R :

            New poster, I think it’s my husband’s superhero fetish coming through. He always had a thing for catwoman ;-)

      • This one is cute – maybe to “formal”, though?


        • ChocCityB&R :

          Ohhh this might be perfect and the price is right. Thank you Selia!

    • So, if I had to wear a jumpsuit (like if a gun were literally pointed at my head, because they would make me look so short and round) I would get one like this that could almost be a maxi-dress:


      I’d then wear it with a shrunken blazer or jean jacket or leather jacket or something funky over it and with bright chunky jewelry. Then I’d walk to the police station to report the man still holding the gun to my head. But, since you’re tall — this might actually work okay on you.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        TCFKAG, how did I know you’d come through with something gorgeous? You really need to start charging for your services. Alas, my boobs won’t let me wear this, (unless there is some magical thing an H cup can do to wear halter tops?

        • Okay, this one won’t work for you for a variety of reasons, but I have to share it…because its kind of fun. And its the closest I’ve ever come to looking at a jumpsuit and thinking…hmmm…I might wear that (actually this one and the one above both did that to me.)


    • new york associate :

      If you happen to be close to an 18W, I actually think this one is cute: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/sejour-knit-jumpsuit-plus/3246870?origin=keywordsearch&fashionColor=&resultback=0

    • How about this one?


    • This one is cute and casual and it’s only $30: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/agb-jumpsuit-sleeveless-belted-wide-leg?ID=661602&PartnerID=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc=LINKSHARE-_-4-_-31-_-MP431&LinkshareID=J84DHJLQkR4-7ireHp40yffAEjxFgGLYjw

      • New poster :

        This is basically identical to the one from F21.

        • ChocCityB&R :

          I like them both! I’ll try Forever 21 first though, cheaper and on my way home from work.

  9. How do Boden dresses run? I’m a petite between a 2 and 4 (usually a 2 on top and 4 on bottom) and considering this dress in the blue: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Petite-collection/WH343/Womens-Regatta-Dress.html

    I’m guessing a 2 will work because the skirt is sort of a-line, but I’ve never ordered from here before.

    • I am all over this thread, but Boden dresses run small, especially though the hips and bust.

      • Ditto! I love their dresses online, but haven’t bought yet due to sizing concerns and my healthy thighs.

    • I find them to be big all over, but especially big in the chest and waist. And most I’ve bought end up being more empire waisted than I expect from their photos.

    • Agreed on their clothes running big in the waist and the chest. I think their stuff is adorable, but I’ve given up on trying to buy it. I’m pear-shaped, and I think maybe Boden clothes are just better suited to apple-shapes.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I am the exact same size as you. I buy 4s from Boden if the dress is at all fitted in the hip area and a 2 only if it is fairly loose or flowing. I would be on the edge with this one since you are right that it does look somewhat a-line, but I would click to see the garment measurements for the 2P and the 4P and compare to your hip and waist measurements and decide from there.

    • I’d go 4 — I find their tops are sometimes boxy, but the bottoms are generally narrow through the hips. The stuff at Boden that works tends to work really well, but I think their fits are less consistent than other brands.

    • I also find Boden dresses run kind of narrow through the hips (I’m a pear who is also 2 on top and 4 on the bottom, as it happens). This dress actually looks less a-line on the model than it does in the other pictures. I would be inclined to go with a 4 because of that, but it could go either way.

    • You can click through the tabs and get the exact measurements by size for each garment. I am a 12 to 14 usually, and Boden’s 12’s fit me. I am pear/8 shaped, FWIW. So, in my opinion they run BIG…but it might be different at the other end of the size range, way down in petite-land–that’s not where I am!

    • I find Boden unpredictable, so I only buy things fron them with a healthy number of reviews. Regular Boden customers know that their sizing can be wonky, so people tend to be extra-helpful about fit in the reviews. This weekend I wore a totally amazing maxidress that (thanks to other reviewers) I ordered in a “tall” size and it fit perfectly. I never need tall szes, as I’m only 5’5″ – so that should give you some idea how oddly Boden can fit.

    • So I think Boden used to have “UK sizes” (read not vanity sized), but they recently switched to “US sizes” – you will see a note to that effect on their website.
      This may be the reason for the varying experiences on their sizing. Their current sizing I would guess to be more generous, but I’ve bought dresses prior to the switch, and have had to size up then.

  10. These are hideous.

    • no!!! i love them!!! I guess this is payback for when I dissed Kat’s shoe pick last weekend…

  11. Robbing peter to pay paul? :

    Wondering if I could get some thoughts on this… like most recent grads I have a ton of debt. Some of it is credit card debt, some student loans, and one private bar loan.

    Over the past couple weeks, due to a cash flow issue, I added roughly $400 to my lowest-interest CC (I also always charge gas because I get a rebate). Today, I was paid and would be able to pay off all the charges from the last 2 weeks.

    However, I could instead put the $400 towards (a) my bar laon, which although it has a lower interest rate actually earns more interst than either of my CC’s every month, due to the higher balance; or (b) my higher interest rate CC (which still earns less interest every month than my bar loan).

    So how do I decide which is the best option? What factors should I consider aside from the total amount of interest I will pay? emotionally I like the idea of paying off the recent charges just because I am making a point to try to really live on what I earn but practically I would like to cut down my interest rates. I am also trying to improve my credit score.

    • I would put any extra money to the highest interest rate first. Then when that is paid off, switch over that payment to the next highest interest rate. I hear what you are saying about overall interest, but I still think this is the way to go (others can correct me if I’m wrong). And have a celebration every time you pay off a loan.

      • Some people pay off the highest interest rate loan first, some people start with the smallest balance loans (while making minimum balances on all debt), and then snowball the payments to the larger balances as the smaller balances are paid off. Bonus if the highest interest rate is also the smallest balance. Starting with the smallest balance gives you the psychological victories early on. Either way is a valid choice.

        Bottom line – do what is going to give you peace of mind. Personally I would always try to pay off my credit cards every month, since those represent ongoing expenses and will only get bigger. You aren’t going to stop using your credit cards, are you? Loans are the kind of debt that only get smaller as you make payments – maybe you end up paying more than you might otherwise (because of the additional interest), but it’s not going to grow like credit card debt can.

      • I believe this is the advice that I read in one of Suze Orman’s books. Makes sense to me.

        Financially savvy ‘rettes, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that as long as your credit card is not maxed out, carrying a balance shouldn’t have a negative impact on your credit score. My understanding is that you should aim to keep a low ratio of credit being used / available credit.

        I don’t know anything about the impact of loan debt on credit scores (possibly should have looked into this before taking out loans for grad school, but too late now!), but would be interested to hear from someone who does!

    • RussiaRepeat :

      My rule is always highest rate paid off first (except on my mortgage because paid-down principal comes off the back end). I think it’s not how much interest is accruing every month because if you have $400 off the principal on the higher interest credit card, you’re saving more in future interest costs than if you applied it to the bar loan.

    • We always always pay highest interest rate first. We look at it as rate of return on investment. :-)

    • The total balance you’re carrying in each of the types of debt you describe is irrelevant to your analysis. Either way, you are paying off only $400 of whatever the total is. Thus, your $400 is best spent paying off whichever debt carries the highest interest rate, regardless of the principal balance.

    • If your balance on the credit card you pay gas on isn’t very high, then I would pay that off ASAP. It’s good to pay off the credit card you use for regular expenses paid off every month so you can take advantage of the grace period.

      After that, pay all extra cash to your highest interest rate debt and minimums on the rest. As far as your credit score, keep your utilization low on revolving credit and always pay on time.

    • Anonforthis :

      Mint-dot-com has a great little goal-setting feature that will give you a payment plan for your credit card debt by ranking them according to interest rate. It recommends paying the minimums on all your cards and then putting any extra toward the highest rate card until it’s completely paid off. Then do the same thing with the remaining cards until they’re gone. I’ve been working on paying my credit cards down since I graduated two years ago, and I have to say the Mint plan helped. I finally got my credit score to the point where I could snag a 0% interest balance transfer deal and expect to kill the rest of my credit card debt off in the next two years!

  12. I need to vent for a sec.

    I just cannot even with my secretary today, you guise.



  13. Palo Alto? :

    I’ve been invited to be a guest in a wedding in Palo Alto and will probably make a mini-vacation out of it. I’ve been to San Francisco and Napa/Sonoma before so I am looking to try something a little different. Is it worth it to spend a few days in Palo Alto? Should I try something else – like Carmel/Monterey/Santa Cruz?

    Also – what is the etiquette on what I pay for? I will be attending with a guy friend (not boy friend). I know I pay for my plane ticket. How about car rental and hotel costs?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Palo Alto is fun but you don’t need to spend more than a day there, I think. Besides seeing Stanford and maybe going walking up in the foothills (which are beautiful and I definitely recommend doing), there isn’t a *ton* to do unless you’ve got friends in the area. I’d take the extra days and go to Santa Cruz – beach, boardwalk amusement park, lots of fun things.

      If the guy is just a friend, not a date, I would offer to split all of it. He may or may not take you up on it, but I’d treat it the same as going with a girl friend.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Oh! Second the suggestion for Half Moon Bay, below. If you can afford it, the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is literally my favorite hotel… ever. It is right on the water and completely beautiful. Definitely try and check it out for dinner (the restaurant inside is quite good).

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I totally agree that the only thing worth seeing in Palo Alto is the Cantor center’s Rodin sculptures, and only if you’re into that. (Thanks to karenpadi for showing it to me!). I agree with everyone else that you should go to the coast.

          I love the Ritz in HMB. I go there sometimes just to walk the grounds and enjoy afternoon tea with a book in the lounge. It also has a spectacular golf course if you or guy friend are into that. There’s really not much else in HMB though.

          Monterey and Carmel is 2 hours from PA. Note that highway 17 is gorgeous but is often a total clusterf, so take 101-S to 156-W to get to Monterey instead. Or take Highway 1 from HMB and allow for plenty of time (stop at Swanton Berry Farm along the way). Yes to the aquarium, yes to Point Lobos, yes to Passionfish or its sibling Turtle Bay, I’d vote Monterey Fish Market over The Fish House though the Market has no ambiance or views. Drive 17 Mile Drive, which is a private road ($10 fee) which takes you past spectacular estates and stunning views, including the famous Lone Cypress of Pebble Beach. Walk around adorable Carmel-by-the-Sea (use 17 Mile’s Carmel gate). Santa Cruz is also fun and there are some good wineries in the mountains, like Bonny Doon.

        • SoCalAtty :

          I LOVE Half Moon Bay!! Not far from “downtown” in Pescadero is a place called Costanoa. No phone/tv but super pretty property with amazing hiking/mtn biking.

          A word of warning – their beds are HARD! I solved this by asking for a couple extra comforters and putting them under the bottom sheet.

    • karenpadi :

      Palo Alto isn’t all that interesting unless you are a tech-geek (then it’s fascinating and wonderful). I would check out Carmel/Monterey/Santa Cruz.

      In Palo Alto, my favorite (free!) spot is the Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford Campus. It has a huge collection of Rodin sculptures.

      In Monterey, definitely go to the aquarium and Point Lobos State Park. There’s a great fish restaurant (cooked, not sushi) just off the highway called The Fish House. They don’t take reservations and fill up fast.

      In Carmel, check out Pebble Beach. It’s gorgeous.

    • I second palo alto not having enough to keep you busy (unless you just want to be lazy and hang out at a park or something- lots of pretty parks) but instead of santa cruz, I’d do carmel. it’s so beautiful there- just gorgeous. Another idea is half moon bay or pescadero, both very easy (less than an hour) drives from palo alto, and both on the coast. Have fun!

    • What would you do regarding costs if you were traveling with a female friend? Do that.

    • Also in Monterey is another fish restaurant called Passionfish (actually just outside Monterrey) which was also awesome.

      The drives along the coast between Monterey and Carmel are beautiful and that’s worth it alone.

      • Second Passionfish. I think it is in Pacific Grove. Also, be aware that it will take about 90 minutes to 2 hours to drive to Monterey/Carmel. As someone mentioned, Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz would be much closer.

    • The Stanford campus is beautiful and they have the nicest museum/collection of Rodin outside of Paris, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Cantor.

    • i sixth/seventh, etc. all the don’t bother w/ PA unless you have some real reason to check it out. if you’ve been to the bay area before, i’d branch out to santa cruz/monterey/HMB as others have suggested, but if you haven’t, i’d do SF/napa/sonoma, myself.

    • Santa Cruz! (I’m biased because I’m a local, but hey….) We’re also only about an hour from Palo Alto.

      Food and drinks:
      (a) Poet and Patriot Pub (nice Irish bar, very friendly and low-key)
      (b) 515 (cocktails and food)
      (c) Penny Ice Creamery
      (d) Marini’s (delicious candy)
      (e) tons of taquerias
      (f) Lots of good little brewpubs—I recommend Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery all the time, and Seabright Brewery for $7.50 special pitchers on Thursdays.

      (a) Go to Natural Bridges or Wilder Ranch. They’re on the north end of Santa Cruz; both are beautiful. Wilder has tons of hiking trails, and the beach at Natural Bridges isn’t so bad.
      (b) For the beach, go to Seabright Beach; stay away from the boardwalk. And, in fact, Ocean St. in general if you can manage it.
      (c) The boardwalk is good if you want to do boardwalk-type things. If you don’t like boardwalk-ish things or little kids, stay far, far away.
      (d) There’s a tourist train that runs between SC and Felton—I’ve not gone, but it looks pretty fun, actually.

      There’s also, of course, tons of hiking/biking in the area.

  14. Hi, my name is: ANON :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a book about how to deal with an SO who is unemployed and possibly depressed?

    Back story– last year, I finished law school and began working at a big law firm. My husband had hated his job for a number of years, so now that I have a salary that doubles what he made, I told him he should quit his job and take some time off to figure out what he’d like to do instead.
    More than six months have passed since he quit his job, and he has, to my knowledge, not made a serious attempt to look for work or update his skills or anything. Most of his time is spent going to the gym or playing computer games while I am at work. I am growing increasingly pissed off about this, and I don’t have the kind of personality that lets me express my concerns in a non-sarcastic/bitchy manner. I love him very much and want to approach this in a way that doesn’t make him feel anxious and depressed or emasculated, because he is prone to anxiety and depression. He is not lazy, he is just very passive and prone to inertia, so I feel like if I could just somehow get him started looking for work, he would get into it and find a job.

    We aren’t wanting for money because we are used to living on half of what I make now, but I am getting increasingly freaked out about student loan debt and savings for a house and a family, and I am also getting worried that the longer he waits, the more difficult it will be for him to find work even though he has very in-demand skills from a prestigious college and a decent work-history before this 6 month sabbatical. I am so stressed about our financial future and I am worried about him personally. I told him he should start seeing a therapist again, but he has not set up an appointment to do so. I really need some outside help with figuring out how to deal with this because what I have said to him so far or the way in which I have said it is obviously unhelpful and likely counter-productive. Please help.

    • Can you set up an appointment to see a therapist together? That would accomplish two things: 1) Getting him to a therapist and 2) Perhaps allowing you to express your feelings/ learn to express your feelings in a way that isn’t b*tchy or sarcastic.

      I really feel for you. My H just quit his job because it was completely awful and the hours were harmful to our relationship. He is in the throes of starting his own business and it’s been really tough for me not to just take over. And, when I converse with him about it, I don’t come off as nice and supportive as I should. I can envision us being in your exact situation if his venture doesn’t work out or doesn’t result in enough of a paycheck to be continued.

      You’ve been more than supportive for the last 6 months, so now maybe it’s time for being proactive. Hugs to you.

    • I can relate to your situation, my husband is in the process of withdrawing from grad school and figuring out what he wants to do instead, and it’s hard to know how to help in this process without coming across as pushy and annoying. In my experience, what doesn’t work is 1) asking him if he did X or Y today, or when he’ll do it, and 2) suggesting things that I think would be helpful (take an interests inventory! volunteer here!). What has worked a lot better is telling him what I’m worried about (money, his happiness) and then letting him figure out solutions to these problems. I’d just try talking to your SO about things that relate to you (you’re stressed out about your long term financial future, you’re worried that the length of his employment gap will start damaging his work history). It sounds like a lame therapy tactic, but it really does work to keep the focus on what you’re experiencing and not on him and what he’s doing wrong, it makes the conversation much less defensive.

    • I second setting up an appointment for therapy for both of you. If he’s depressed I know it seems ridiculous but he is probably unable to make an appointment for himself.

      Also, any chance you can write him a letter and ask him to read it while you’re at work one day? I, too, am not always at my best when I am really upset about something and am much better able to express myself in writing.

    • Anonymous :

      I might suggest that you start with a therapist. (said gently, not sarcastically)

      It sounds like you are stressed and you have identified the fact that your personality isn’t such that you know how to approach this with your husband without being bitchy/sarcastic. Both of these issues could be helped by a therapist. This might also help segue into your husband going back to therapy as well.

      If you can’t do that, I would suggest writing out what your concerns are. Be specific, what are your goals that you feel are being unmet, what are your expectations of your husband (and what are the sources of those expectations — fairness? concern for his wellbeing? anger?). After you have done that, then try talking to him. Person-first language can help with the bitchy/sarcastic tendancy (“I am feeling stressed.” “When I see X behavior from you, I feel Y.” Rather than “You are . . . ” “You make me feel . . .”)

      Also try to discuss the issue as a team exercise. Is it possible that as you have become more stressed you aren’t spending as much time as a couple? That you are working more for fear of being the sole bread winner? If so, that might be part of a plan — as he starts making efforts to get back into the working world, you both can start planning more couple time to make sure you are connecting.

      Good luck!

    • My husband and I both graduated law school in 2011– me with a job and him without. He looked for something for about 6 months and went through periods of trying to find something and being too down on himself to try. Although sometimes I’d get annoyed at him, I tried to deal with the annoyance on my own by venting to my Dad or sister about it, or by running it out at the gym. My husband doesn’t do good with tough love, so I knew that being sarcastic/pushy in any way would hurt rather than help. I suspect yours may be the same if he suffers with depression/anxiety. I just tried to be as supportive and positive as possible, taking any and every opportunity to build up his self esteem, and eventually it worked out.

    • My husband and I went through something a bit similar a few years back. He moved cities (which is how we started dating), and was practicing law at the time. He’d been out of law school for a few years and HATED being an attorney. He was unemployed for about four months, looking for something he might hate less, then gave up and started doing legal contract work (which was even worse), then joined the firm where I was a legal assistant (which was by far the worst work environment!). I wanted very badly to help, but just didn’t know what to do or say. When he was unemployed, he was supposed to be looking for his “dream job” but instead spent all of his time playing video games and hanging out. We bought every career changing book you could name, and he at least thumbed through most of them to no avail. Luckily, I decided to go to law school out of state shortly thereafter. The prospect of taking another bar exam was too much, so he looked for a job as a teacher — something he’d always kind of wanted to do, but that people kept saying an attorney was too overqualified to do. He loves his new career.

      I know my story isn’t terribly helpful in that it took a major external event to give my husband the push that he needed, and you guys are obviously settled where you are now. One thing I thought was interesting, though, was that he always knew deep down what he wanted to try next — it just took something big to allow him to say: “hey, I can’t practice law at least for a little bit, since I don’t have the bar in this new state, so I HAVE to try something new!” Once he could say that, he no longer felt like he was “wasting” his law degree by becoming an elementary and secondary school teacher (how I feel about people who think being a schoolteacher is “less” than being an attorney is a totally separate post). He claimed during the months of unemployment that he had no idea what he wanted to do — but teaching was the only thing he kept coming back to, and when push came to shove, the thing he did. Maybe it’s important to find that one thing in the back of your husband’s mind and encourage him to pursue it. You guys also have the luxury of not needing a second salary immediately — so your husband could do unpaid or part time work in an industry he’s curious about, or even think of pursuing a new degree. Maybe if it’s presented in these terms — not that it has to be a full-time permanent job right now, but more that he needs to find something to explore within the next couple of weeks — he will be more motivated, since the pressure will be a little less intense.

      Above all: talk about it. Sit down and tell him you haven’t wanted to be confrontational, but that you’re scared and worried. Cuz sooner or later, it will all come out. Better for it to come out in a conversation that you’ve initiated and orchestrated, and that you begin with the intention staying non-sarcastic and judgmental (and believe me, I sympathize with your frustration and fears!).

      Good luck!

    • I’ll second previous suggestions of counseling and dealing with annoyance through another trusted person. (Say nice things about your husband before venting about him to your family though. If your family only hears complaints, they may get a negative impression of your husband and marriage.)

      I am in a similar situation, except my husband has a horrible, low-paying, part-time job. One thing that seems to have really helped us is that we have talked about what my husband will be doing while at home. He cooks, cleans, takes care of the pets, meets repairmen etc, maintains the cars. He has also been immensely helpful on some large projects, including buying our first house.

      I think giving him responsibility for other things has really helped my husband feel like he is valued/ an equal partner/ accomplishing things. That has made him less prone to anxiety and depression and “getting stuck.” I think it’s also given him a kind of “permission” to be unemployed, which has taken off some of the pressure (which in his case was counter-productive) but also really led him to want to go back to work in his industry. And, when I come home to a clean house and a husband who’s cooking dinner, I really don’t feel the need to badger him about a job search :)

      End result – husband is actually moving forward with the job search and has three solid leads this week! Also, marriage is in-tact.

      • By the way, if your husband is currently depressed, and not just prone to depression/ anxiety, then I recommend seeing a counselor. I’ve suffered from depression myself, and I realize that you can’t just give depressed people something to do and expect them to do it, let alone to feel better about it. I was just sharing my personal experience in my relationship. My husband is also prone to depression and anxiety as well, and he was seeing a therapist and on medication for anxiety before we discussed how he’d spend his time while unemployed.

    • anon reply :

      Regarding “HI my name is anon” it’s too late for you but FYI to others from painful personal experience: If a spouse is going to quit to look for a job, be a Stay-at-home-dad or go back to school, setting ground-rules ahead of time is important. If you just say – ok, you can quit to chase your dream job – there is no game plan. And make it a shared plan – in writing is good.

      Say “Ok, we’re agreed that you are going to quit your job. We expect that this will be a temporary thing of 3/6/9/12 months to enable you to look for a new job/attend grad school/take care of baby and will get a new job lined up by X date. While this should enable Spouse to relax and decompress, the idea is to return to work at a job s/he loves by X date. Job hunting will start on Y date, career counselor will be employed, school will be complete by Z.” Otherwise you run the risk that what happened to anon will happen to you(it may still happen -who knows). A wife could even have to pay spousal maintenance permenently later if stay-at-home spouse decides to leave and wants to continue to live “at the standard of living to which s/he has become accustomed.” It has happened and could happen to you.

    • I can chime in on this thread, only from a slightly older person’s (47) perspective. My husband got layed off three years ago from a job he had for 15 years that he always said he loved and thought he was going to retire from (not a lawyer). I am a lawyer, and at the same time he got layed off, I got a job that paid extremely well and was more than enough for our family of four to live off of. My husband decided he was going to take the long vacation he never had and used his severence and his unemployment to justify this while he made a slow effort to find a new job. I think he was unmotivated, and his job search emails were full of typos, and none of the jobs available or that he applied to seemed good enough for him. I finally persuaded him to take a commission sales job thinking the flexibility would be good for our family with me working full time and two kids. He worked at the commission sales job for two years and never made any money, but wouldn’t look for other work, and claimed he was still learning the business after two years. I became extremely resentful of this situation and all of my friends and family thought I was crazy for allowing this to continue, but I had and have no control over him, and still don’t to this day. My last hope is that a friend of mine also happens to be a life coach. She is aware of the situation and I have persuaded him to have a free session with her and after that, if he wants, I will pay for four more sessions. She thinks she can turn him around. This is my last hope. I think that a life coach will be better for him than a therapist (no offense to the therapists out there). I don’t think he would see a therapist, as it implies that there is something wrong. I think a life coach will be better because itsounds more positive and is forward-looking, which is what I think he needs. I have posted before about my resentment over this situation, and pretty much got beat up over it, although I notice lately others are allowed to resent their husbands without getting beat up, so I hope this is now considered o.k. Anyway, to the original poster, you may want to check out a life coach, and I will update the hive as to whether this last-ditch effort helps my husband.

    • Hi, my name is: _______ :

      I really appreciate the advice given. I showed my husband this thread and talked a bit with him about it. I feel optimistic that things will get better, and I already feel better just by knowing that he now understands how I feel.

      • Yeah, much as I’m not usually very therapy-oriented :-), I think it could be a good thing here..
        Let me suggest another angle to it though: we had a talk here recently about someone who had to move back in with her parents, and they were driving each other crazy. Lots of good talks about whether some of the problem came from not participating enough in the household, ie doing housework. Is your husband playing on the computer -and- doing the dishes? I’ve had a decent time with my partner alternating periods of (voluntary or not) unemployment, because whoever is not working does most of the housework. Not that bringing home the bacon means you get to throw your dirty socks on the floor or anything :-), but someone being supported not working needs to pull their weight in the house to make it fair. So if that’s not happening, you really should put your foot down somehow, it’s not OK.
        PS: if he adamently refuses to come see a joint therapist with you, or just doesn’t show up, then let me gently suggest that you go alone..

    • Anonymous :

      I would suggest couples counseling. My husband adjusted badly to a move across the country, which left him working at home full time. I love to move and enjoy the thrill of a new city. He on the other hand fell apart. Working at home was boring, he didn’t want to go out and meet people, he started putting on weight and was angry about being ‘less fit’. As his depression worsened, I had more trouble getting him out of the house to do things. The couples counseling was not about his “depression”, but by talking about what we want and what we have and where we are going, he just started taking more initiative and taking better care of himself. I never said it, but somehow the counselor was able to get him to take better care of himself.

  15. these are cute, they look perfect for an outdoor event when you want to look a little hipster chic

  16. would you say anything (TTC related)? :

    So I just had to inform my boss that I need to be out for a couple days next week. I knew the timing is bad b/c many ppl are already out. When he told me this I said I know, and then basically explained that I’m losing my pregnancy and need surgery (its a couple of weeks before I would have told had things gone differently). Obviously I didn’t have to provide details, but generally we have a good relationship and since the timing really isn’t great for the group I was okay sharing. He’s not the touchy feely type, so I didn’t expect verbose condolences, but I also didn’t expect a rather irritated reiteration of how inconvenient it is but, well, you gotta do what you need to do I guess. I resisted the urge to mention how inconvenient it is for me to have a fetus without a heartbeat in my womb and apologize that my baby didn’t have the courtesy to check the leave calendar before deciding to stop developing.

    But now that I’m out of the moment, I’m wondering if I should say something. Like I said I didn’t expect him to really say anything, I also did not expect the level of insensitivity that I did receive. By contrast, when my grandfather passed last summer, he, same boss, was the one who insisted I let him give me advanced sick/personal leave so I could take a week and a half off without having to use my vacation (my grandfather lived in another country so it had to be a long trip if I went). I just really feel differently about my boss now and about working here.

    • I don’t have any advice to you but I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. Hugs, thoughts, prayers, good vibes, all going your way.

    • So sorry for your loss and for this added emotional burden. I can only imagine how painful that conversation must have been. I would focus on myself right now, and would not say anything, since saying something would just make me more sad/frustrated/angry. In a few weeks or a month, when you have recovered from your surgery, I would have a private conversation and mention how difficult a time it was for you, and how you would have really appreciated more support. PS: generally, I would not say anything at all-that’s why owners/managers get paid the big bucks-to deal with such inconvenience, so I would go do what I had to do and not really think twice about whether it was difficult for him. But that’s just me. I tend to feel that if well compensated people feel the need to vent about their problems, they can, but that doesn’t mean I have to give a sh!t about their feelings. Hugs.

    • Anon in ATX :

      no advice to give, except maybe he’s having a bad day too? I’m so sorry you have to go through this. *hugs*

      • Anon in ATX :

        To add to my comment above, it sounds like this was a one-time thing that is sort of out of character for him, since he has been supportive in the past. If so, I would probably just try to get past it without saying anything. *more hugs*

    • 1. so sorry you are going through this. I’m torn- I get the desire for personal satisfaction from telling him he behaved wrong, but i don’t know if that will help you or help you feel better about him. Chances are slim you will confront him and he will say “How could I have been so insensitive! how awful for you, I feel terrible) My other thought- did you explain it with the same words you explained here? Cuz I could see him think you were telling him you were getting an abortion and maybe he felt really unconfortable you were telling him? Or in general, maybe he just felt really uncomfortable hearing about something going on in your womb? No excuses for him but I can picture some great guys I know being told that and feeling uncomfotable and panic-y and not fully realize what they are being told. For instance, I don’t think my boyfriend has any idea what happend during a miscarriage. I don’t think he knows that women often have them even, he has just never been told/spoke to someone dealing with it. to be honest he might not even realize (since weve never tried) that it can be an emotional thing for women, and he is a very sensitive, caring, guy. He would know if for instance the person announced that they are pregnant, and then said they lost the pregnancy, but if someone just told them they were losing it before it was announced, he might not realize the emotional implications of that.

      My end advice is to say again how sorry I am to hear that you are going through that, and ask yourself what you want to gain by saying something to him.

      • Agreed. Given his previous sensitivity over your grandfather, I would wonder (1) did he hear you correctly or (2) did he understand what you were telling him. My senior partner has always been a bit hard of hearing and I have learned over the years that if he does not hear me, he often just has very little reaction and continues the conversation since he gets embarassed to ask me to repeat myself. Or he may have heard, but did not really quite understand that you were losing your baby. Losing a pregnancy may not have quite hit home with him.

    • No advice except to say that sometimes people, especially men, when faced with an emotional situation they don’t understand kind of shut down. So grandfather dying — they get it — but losing a pregnancy, they freak out and go with putting their head inside their shell.

      Just ignore it, take a deep breath, and take care of yourself over the next week. Your firm/company won’t go out of business and everything will still be there when you get back.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        This. I so feel for your situation, and honestly I would not know how to properly react if you told me about it. When it comes to showing sensitivity for these kinds of things, I’m all thumbs. Since he is the type of person who has shown he has a heart in the past, I’d surmise that he just didn’t know how to respond to your news and let verbal poo come out instead of the appropriate supportive and sensitive comment. Once, when faced with a friend whose mother had just died, I blurted out “oh, my cousin’s roommate’s mom died this week too.” I was mortified, and high tailed it out of there before I jammed my foot even further down my throat. Later I rectified the situation as best I could, but in the moment, I was a total ass and didn’t mean to be. This is a fragile time for you, but I still think you should try to give boss the benefit of the doubt pending further evidence of evilness.

      • This to infinity. A few years ago, my grandfather who had alzeheimers was having some health-related issues. I spoke to my male boss about the fact that I needed some time off to assist my mother in dealing with the situation. We had always had a fantastic relationship and he responded in a rather insensitive way. It pissed me off BIG TIME but I later found out that he simply didn’t know how to respond and was caught off guard.

        I am very sorry for your loss.

      • Yeah. He could be having a bad day, it could be truly terribly inconvenient, or he could be flipped out about how to deal with this. Hopefully he’ll behave better when you get back, it doesn’t sound like he’s generally inhuman. Try not to think about it, taking care of yourself is much more important. So sorry you have to go through this :-(…

    • First off, I’m so sorry for your loss and for how hurt you must feel. To feel awful about something and then have it compounded with someone else’s insensitive comment is really painful.

      A couple things ran through my mind when I read this though. One, is it possible he didn’t understand exactly what you were saying? The way you explained it above, I could see someone (like, an older man who doesn’t know much about “lady stuff”) thinking you meant you were voluntarily terminating, and being cranky that you didn’t schedule it for a better time. (Note, in NO WAY is this comment meant to express or start anything political, moral, or otherwise hot button!!!) Could he not know what really happened?

      Second, could it be that he’s just in a cranky mood and reacted inappropriately and later today or next week will apologize or say something more sensitive to you? Not that this is an excuse or makes it OK, but I’ve had it happen to me before where I’m nice about the, like, first 2 people asking for deadline extensions, but when the 3rd person asks, I get short and snappy, even though that 3rd person’s is the most legitimate.

      If you feel you need to say something, I might send an email saying something to the effect of “Dear Boss, Thank you again for approving my personal days on short notice. I appreciate your understanding and flexibility during this difficult time.” Something that makes clear the seriousness and sadness of what you’re going through without being too emotional.

      Once again, I am so sorry for your loss.

    • How horrible. I’d probably only say something if I thought he misunderstood your situation. Otherwise, he’s just a jerk. I hope you have a better support network outside of work. Hugs to you.

    • I’m so sorry. That sucks on so many levels.

    • I was relatively new to a law firm when I had to take four days leave because my terminally ill father, who had been living with me, had passed away. The firm gives three days bereavement leave, but I also needed the extra day to clean out his house, which was not local. (Note, I had been with the firm for about four months, but had not taken any vacation even to take a rest from taking a new state bar exam.)

      I did not expect anyone to really do or say anything since I was relatively new to the firm. I made sure I e-mailed all the partners I was working with about the status of my projects very early in the morning on the first day that I was out, and so, I figured that I should be able to have the time off. One partner wrote to another partner disparging things about me- like how I had dropped the ball on a project and was disappointed that I took 12 hours to respond to an e-mail. Needless to say, I found out.

      I just cannot let it go (now about 6 months later). I think the guy is a complete jerk, and from all accounts, my opinion of him is not inaccurate. It has tainted the way that I feel about the firm as a whole. However, I do not really think that there is anything that could be said or done. I do not understand why people cannot sometimes act like humans- with emotion and compassion…

      All this is to say, I think that your feelings are valid… or least they are valid to me. I am very sorry for your loss.

    • I’m sorry for your loss. As for your boss, he is either a normal person who misunderstood your condition and therefore responded inappropriately, or a person with some personality disorder that he’s not good at keeping in check: sometime he responds appropriately to mournful situations (your grandfather’s passing) and sometimes he doesn’t (miscarriage requiring surgery). If you’ve worked with him for awhile, I would think that you could tell which one he is. If you think he’s the former, then perhaps it’s worth bringing up to clear the air and change your attitude towards the place. If you think he’s the latter, there’s probably less use in bringing it up. You’ll just have to add that as a con to your list of pros and cons if you’re seriously thinking about moving on to a new job.

    • So sorry to hear this. No advice, but regardless of how bad of a day he is having, your “news” should have hit him enough to show a little kindness.

      • Based on the way you phrased his reply, if he’s not normally an as*, I kind of do think he may have misunderstood and thought you were voluntarily ending a pregnancy.
        Otherwise, he’s an insensitive arse.

        I agree with several others in that:
        If you think it’s the latter, I probably wouldn’t say anything because I don’t know how much good it would do. But if in hindsight, you think it could be the former, I might say something to make it really clear. I don’t think a ‘thank you for your support in this difficult time’ statement is going to clarify anything. Since you’ve already broached the subject, I would find a time to say something like “Thanks again for your understanding about the time I have to miss, I wish things had worked out differently. Of course, we were waiting until X to announce the pregnancy, so I know the complications from this miscarriage are out of the blue” or something like that.

        I’m not sure ‘losing a pregnancy’ is as clear to some men as it is to us, so actually saying miscarriage might clarify the issue for him, although I know it’s got to be very hard for you.

        • Agree that “losing a pregnancy” is probably not clear to a man. (I have not heard this expression either.) It sucks that you even have to explain with such detail, but that’s Biglaw. So sorry for your loss, OP.

    • Diana Barry :

      So sorry for your loss.

      Also, your boss is a DOOSH.


    • what a jerk.

    • Hugs & prayers.

      I had similar experiences with colleagues when my daughter was seriously ill and in hospital. She was in intensive care and they were angry I had not given a clear date of return while the child was in hospital. I took emergency leave, and said I’d be in touch when I had some idea of when I could be back.
      I was called and asked to take over an assignment if sorts.
      I was at the end of my tether and was horribly upset.

      I still don’t know how to come to grips with it.

      Maybe he was stressed. If it was an out of character unusual thing to happen, I might let it go if everything else is going well and you’re happy with how you’re treated.

      Lastly, I suggest waiting a week or two before responding. You’ve been through a really hard time, and don’t need to add TK that in any way.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss and for the way you were treated. I have no advice to share except that I think he is an absolute jerk.

  17. You guys, the ad on the side of my screen right now is for Brooks Brothers and has a ~10yo girl wearing what appears to be a madras dress with a madras blazer over it. I really dislike this look, especially for kids, and it’s bringing back bad memories of pretentious kids I went to college with (sorry to those of you who like madras). As an anti-prepster, THIS is what makes it hard for me to shop at BB. I hear what y’all are saying about the quality, but the ads… oh, the ads.

    • so anonymous :

      That’s funny. I do not like the ultra-preppy look, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me on little kids, just adults.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      Funny, if I didn’t think BB was terribly overpriced for kids clothing (especially given how rough they are on their clothes and how quickly they outgrow them) I’d shop there all the time. I’m so tired of all the kids stores that think the only options for toddler boys clothes are skater punk/camo/licensed Disney characters!

      • Word.

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto. I’m waiting for the Nordie’s sale so I can pick up some MiniBoden for boys there.

      • Right there with you. I’d much rather my son wear a polo shirt than some ugly licensed screenprint t-shirt. And don’t get me started on the stuff in Justice . . . .

        • PharmaGirl :

          My stomach turns every time I walk by the Justice in our local mall.

    • SpaceMountain :

      But you should see the clothes my pre-teen daughter wants to wear. It’s all short-shorts, skin-tight, and/or completely revealing in the pre-teen section these days. I wish she’d let me dress her in madras.

      • Of course, when I was a pre-teen and a young teenager, all I wanted to do is wear all-black baggy clothes and skater sneakers and the like. It annoyed my mother almost as much. All she wanted in the world was to get me into a pastel. lol.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Does your pre-teen have a job? Where is she getting money to buy these short shorts, skin tight or completely revealing clothes? There are lots of cute, non revealing teen clothes. If I make the money (or dad), I get final say on how its spent…..

        • SpaceMountain :

          Yes — key on “wants to wear.” I won’t buy her that stuff.

          • I’m with you SpaceMountain. I won’t buy my tween stepdaughter that stuff either but her mom does. Which means I am the “B” who makes her change before school sometimes…

    • So what y’all are saying is that I won’t be so judge-y of kids’ clothes once I have a kid of my own I’m struggling to dress? :)

      I just wish BB didn’t do all their ads so very “stodgy prep-school American” so I could relate to them and want to go into the store. I hear their non-iron shirts are a miracle to behold.

  18. Just picked up this bm dress which I really, really like – but am concerned about finding the undergarments to go with such a low back! I’m a 38DD so something is necessary… thoughts? (In Cda alas so no Macys/Bloomies, but style suggestions appreciated).

    • No advise, but that dress is lovely!

    • karenpadi :

      You could get a 3-in-1 bra and wear the halter attachment and the extra wrap-around low back straps.

      Kind of like this one (and the model is even wearing it this way!):

    • A quick Google search tells me that braallure dot com is “Canada’s online lingerie store” – not sure if this is true, but I would recommend some kind of online retailer because you will find so many more options than in-person shopping. Since bras are the kind of thing that you have to try on, you can always order multiple sizes and then return what doesn’t fit.

    • Littlest Attorney :

      Realize you don’t have Macy’s but I recently bought this bra for a similar sort of dress and it works well. I wear it with the straps set “wide” and the low back attachment. Hopefully you can find something similar or a retailer that sells this in Canada!


    • Forget the convertables. Long line bras are the way to go for low backs or strapless. I like ones that reach below the natural waist. I’m a 30DD, so not quite as generous up top, but still need serious anti-gravity help.

      • I agree with this. If it comes in your size, a Felina Long Line Bra (bustier, really) would be the way to go. And that’s a pretty dress!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Go to a local speciality store. Holts doesn’t carry my size in my city (seriously, the biggest is like a 34DD, so that’s not happening). And shopping online is a risky move that I tried for a while, and eventually realized it wasn’t working.

      I finally went to a bra only store in my city, and lo and behold they not only had my size, but measured me by having me try on dozens and seeing how they fit, as in, they wouldn’t let me leave the store with a bra that I hadn’t tried on and been confirmed for fit by one of their ladies- it seems kind of odd in retrospect, but they fit SOO well, I am a converted shopper. (If you’re in Calgary, it’s SHE Apparel that I like, FYI, though I also hear good things about Cat’s Pyjamas)

      As an aside, I’m a 36DDD, and I got a Freya 3-in-1, and it’s so amazing. Expensive, but worth it. I’ve also been very happy with the Empreinte ones that I’ve purchased, though they are t-shirt bras.

  19. I will be networking while unemployed over the next few months and am planning to buy some business cards. What information should I include? Do I need to put my full address or is city sufficient? Should I list where I am barred, pending and where I have sat for the bar but. Have no results? Email and phone number obviously, but what else? My LinkedIn profile link?

    Somewhat related, I have to decide whether to go inactive in my current state before I will know whether I have been waived into DC or have passed VA. I feel like I should stay active in at least one jurisdiction, but since the money is coming out of my unemployment pot I am hesitant. Thoughts?

    • Totes McGotes :

      I wouldn’t order *real* business cards yet considering that your bar status is so up in the air. You can buy sheets of pop-out cards that you can print on using your printer at home, but it would be unpleasant to have 250 or more cards that are going to have outdated information very shortly. I would put where you are admitted and that VA is pending (I wouldn’t put anything about DC if you didn’t actually sit for its exam).

      • Thanks! I will get the pop out ones for an easy way to exchange basic contact information with people I meet. Since I won’t even be sitting for VA until July, as you pointed out (and I didn’t think about), they easily become outdated.

    • I agree with Totes McGotes re: the biz cards. I got interim cards and most of them went to waste.

      Secondly, re: the admission issues: It seems you’re asking whether any of us would pay dues in the state you’re currently licensed in, given your unemployment and pending bar/waiver results? If that’s the case, I’d ask whether you are planning looking for employment in the state where you’re currently licensed. Would you be willing to take a job there? Would you be willing to do legal work there while looking for jobs in other jurisdictions where your results are pending?

      If the answer to these two questions is no, I don’t know that I personally would pay for another year of dues in the first jurisdiction. Others may disagree and have excellent reasons for doing so.

      Finally: hope you hear good news regarding VA/DC soon!

      • ELS -I should have been more specific! I currently live in PA, however, I am moving to VA on June 14th. I have no plans to seek employment in PA. I am sitting for the VA bar in July. I would like to do doc review for a bit until I he something more permanent, but so far have seen many opportunities that only require DC bar. It seems as though my PA status is not useful for anything once I move. I just get inexplicably uneasy at not being active anywhere, but at this point I think saving money is the more practical way to go.

        • My understanding is that you can’t waive into DC unless you are currently active in another jurisdiction, correct? So I would wait until you are in DC and then drop PA

          • This is my understanding, too.

            If you used your prior MBE score in PA to waive into DC, it’s probably best to keep the PA license. However, I think you could call the DC bar to A) ask if that is necessary or B) when you could expect your request to be processed (I think the current wait is around 9 mo?)

            In any case: very good thoughts to you for your search and your bar study.

    • On the other hand… I just got 250 free Vistaprint cards and, including shipping and a fee to have no vistaprint ad on the back, the total was ~$10. You can just throw extras away in a few months.

      • This. honestly, I think the pop out ones look a little cheap…and through vista print you can get pretty nice ones for very low cost. Since your bar status is in flux, and I’m saying this as a non- lawyer so take with a grain of salt, maybe leave off the specific state details and just make it clear that you are barred since that’s not going to change. Especially if you’re looking in DC, I think ppl here are used to having out of state applicants and will assume you’re figuring out how to waive into DC. Not having state specifics wool allow the cards to last longer.

  20. A friend asked me to help her find a suit featured on this site that had a “cool double fold in the hem of the jacket.” I can’t find it. Anyone remember what this might be?

    • Could she mean the Anne Klein Pleated Skirt Suit? (I’ll post the link in a separate post to avoid moderation.)

      • http://corporette.com/2010/12/01/suit-of-the-week-anne-klein-pleated-skirt-suit/

    • Seattleite :

      This is all I’ve got: http://corporette.com/2012/04/18/suit-of-the-week-donna-karan-3/


    • Seattleite :

      Or maybe this one:


      Gah. No time for tinyurl, sorry.

  21. Kontraktor :

    I’m so excited. I have 2 interviews coming up in the next weeks with jobs that could actually provide me real growth and opportunity. I have a second round (~5 candidates) early next week for a job I feel might be a bit of a stretch (but I made it past the many-candidate first round!), but I am so excited for and would kill to have. Competing for a final round interview that will be 2 candidates. The other interview is a final round for something different, but I would still be very interested to do it and think it would give me marketable skills for the future.

    Going to Macy’s this weekend and hoping I can find a suit I love that lives online. And maybe an extra one or two. This might prove to be difficult since I can’t remember the last suit I successfully bought off the rack, but fingers crossed.

    I am hoping for good outcomes. I feel like I need a bone so much, although I’m trying desperately not to gnaw too much on these mini-bones of opportunity that have been given so far, lest I fall into huge despair if the bones get taken away.

    • Well…you know we’ll be rooting for you. And I hope they’re close by!! :-)

      • Kontraktor :

        Oh yes… both are in the city on the subway line! Makes them even better. ;-)

    • Good luck! We’ll all be pulling for you. And agreed on the perils of gnawing mini-bones. I had a second-round interview last week and an only-round interview on Monday; it’s so, so hard not to get too attached to the idea of working either of them.

    • fingers crossed!!

    • Good luck with the shopping, and it all sounds very very exciting :-)!

  22. collegiette :

    In my last-minute quest for an internship (i.e. working for free for six weeks before fall semester – anywhere really) a friend mentioned that his uncle would be willing to help out. Uncle had seen a profile picture and complimented my appearance, then asked him about my work ambitions. Background – he’s huge in HR, formerly high up in *big* government agency, now in a swanky HR firm. I was initially creeped that he mentioned my appearance and *then* offered the help. I’ve sent him my resume and he’s agreed to call next week. In this situation, Uncle is a great contact to have. The Question: Do I take the kind help and just tread lightly? I’m trusting my gut to be careful here.

    • My first instinct was, “That is super creepy!” but on further reflection – unless you say otherwise – it sounds innocent enough.

      I think you need to consider:

      1. what specifically was his comment about your appearance? There’s a big difference between “She’s a really pretty young lady” and anything that goes into detail about body parts, for example.

      2. what does he mean by “help out”? Is he offering to pass your name along to his colleagues/friends, or is he offering to take you on as an intern at his company? And if it’s the latter, what kind of contact would you have with him?

      3. did your friend mention you to him, or did he come across your information on his own? If the latter, what were the circumstances? If he was looking at his niece’s contacts on LinkedIn looking for potential interns or new hires, that’s one thing … if he was stalking his niece’s friends on Facebook looking for Spring Break pics, that’s a whole other ball of wax.

      • and by “niece,” I meant “nephew” – sometimes I read too quickly for my own good!

    • Anonymous :

      Take the kind help and tread lightly.

    • I agree — accept, but tread lightly. It may have been completely innocent — if your friend showed a picture of you to his uncle and the uncle said “what a lovely young lady” or “wow, she’s quite pretty,” that might be a perfectly harmless remark that people make all the time when a family member shows them a picture of a friend. It might have been more automatic than anything else. I know that my parents are very much like that — if I show them a picture of a friend, there’s a 95% chance the first thing they will say is: “oh, she is so pretty! How did you become friends?” It’s just their way of complimenting my friend to be polite to me when they have nothing else to go on.

      That said, if the picture was, say, of you in a bathing suit or, as someone said above, the uncle mentioned a specific body part other than your eyes or smile, that might be very creepy indeed.

      • collegiette :

        My friend told me that his uncle had seen my twitter profile and “kept saying how you were gorgeous” and in another conversation about it again, “told me you were beautiful” and noticed the capitol was in the background. Thus prompting the conversation between them that I was looking for summer work. He then offered his help and we swapped contact information through the friend. About the hierarchy here – it’s unknown at this point. I’m assuming he would be willing to hire me at the firm. I was sure to ask for “any leads” instead of work specifically at his firm. My friend said an internship is “guaranteed.” It’s possible that I’m overthinking it, but a simple compliment isn’t so… gushy? Still weird to me.

    • I don’t know. I’m on the fence here. I think you’re saying that your friend didn’t show the uncle your profile, but that the uncle stumbled across you and then made a point, on two occasions, to say something to his nephew about your appearance. If so, 1) Uncle is a well-connected creeper or 2) Friend is flirting with you by telling you that (friend agrees with uncle). Also, I don’t know anything more about your friend/friendship, so I’m making a leap with that conclusion.

      I would trust your gut and tread ever so lightly. If it’s #3 as Coalea stated, he’s likely into you for social reasons. Alarms are going off in my head for you.

      • collegiette :

        @eek, that’s correct. And 1 and 2 are both possibilities, but the first is more likely. I’ll follow up next week.

    • Take the help, but be a sensible girl. No meeting alone, unless you’re in a public place. Coffe in a restaurant, not interview in a closed office. Just walk out immediately if there’s anything the slightest bit off in person, like reiterated remarks about your appearance (if he’s a creep, he’s not going to help you unless you put out).

  23. CleveAnon :

    Just a vent….I work with a wonderful, kind, warm, competent woman who is nonetheless a loud person. She speaks loudly. She sighs loudly. She eats loudly. She plays the radio in her space loudly. If there is gum in her mouth, she is popping it. If there is a pen handy, she is clicking or tapping it. And I feel rotten because I like and respect her so much, but the constant column of noise rising from her desk is so irritating!

    • Ruthy Sue :

      I can completely relate! There are only a couple of us in the office today, me and Loud Lady (LL). LL is senior and very knowledgeable, but she’s got to be losing her hearing. In a sea of cubicles, you can clearly hear LL’s phone conversation with her mother at least 8 cubes away. I’m so distracted by her noise I can’t stay focused! Hang in there!

      • Her mother is probably the one losing her hearing. Not that it’s an excuse…

        • Ruthy Sue :

          For anyone else I would that and give her a pass, but she does it with all phone calls. Her voice is just extremely loud all. the. time.

    • I Think Your Colleague Is My Next-Door Office Mate :

      wwwDOTsimplynoiseDOTcom is my friend.

      • Anonymous :

        THANK YOU THANK YOU. Now I can ignore the people who chat all day long at the cul-de-sac at the end of my hall.

      • Wow! I just went to check that site out of curiosity and couldn’t believe how irritating I found it. Even worse than the Fran Drescher clone who sits 3 cubes away (got to listen to her on the phone this morning talking to her father’s doctor about his upcoming colonoscopy and the problems with his “vertebras.”) Glad that you found something that works for you, though!

      • My friend too! And we have the same next-door office mate. How odd.

      • Oh, thank you!! Soooo good!
        And more discreet than ear plugs :-).

    • layered bob :

      yep, I also love Ambience on my iPhone. If you can wear earbuds at work, it’s beautiful. I wear one earbud so I can still pay attention to what’s going on around me, but it’s enough white noise to minimize my irritation at noises around me.

  24. Defining Decade As Gift? :

    Is a copy of Defining Decade an appropriate gift for:

    1. 21 year old male. Creepily brilliant (perfect SAT math score). Should be a junior in college. Refused to apply to college. Until last month living with his mother. Until January, not working. Now working a “not real” job (e.g., customer service retail no diploma required, minimum wage, grandma owns company).

    2. 23 year old male. Also brilliant. Graduated from Top 20 university with degree in Business and Statistics last June (June 2011). Moved back home to live with mom. Looking for “real” job.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Definitely appropriate for them read but depends on your relationship to them and how passive aggressive you will come across in giving it. I have a friend who would benefit greatly from its advice (26 and still sporadically taking classes for a bachelors/working occasionally) but I feel like it would be rude to give it so I have stuck to singing its praises at all available opportunities.

      • On the surface, it sounds that #1 has some sort of autism-spectrum disorder. I’d tread carefully.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          What makes you say this? Other than very bright, nothing else screams or evens suggests ASD. Sounds like lazy, unmotivated and not required to be responsible for himself.

          • @Lurker and Divaliscious11: welcome to the debate between his mom, his dad and me. We never know and we oscillate between the two. It is a mystery.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            ASDs can be diagnosed, laziness etc… is cultivated or permitted…..

            As a mom of a kid with autism we should be careful not to confuse social impairment with triflingness. It’s insulting to people with autism…..

    • re: #1, why are you sending a gift to my nephew? :) (re, yesterday’s thread)

      • Actually, I was thinking about my gift recipient when I read about your nephew yesterday. But I know his aunts, and I know they would never be on this blog.

        • Just know he won’t send you a thank-you note. :)

          • Curiously, neither do either of these two (stepson and (very) younger brother). Hmm.

          • PharmaGirl :

            None of my 4 nieces and nephews have EVER sent me a thank you note. They range in age from 6 to 18.

          • My nephews don’t send thank you notes but I always get a call or text from them as soon as they get something from me. In fact, when I sent a surprise silly gift to the 14 year old, they both texted me pictures of it. We mostly communicate via text with the occasional Google chat thrown in. They’re 14 and almost 16.

          • @NOLA, I’d be so happy to get a call or text. I’m not hung up on a physical note.

          • Yeah I know I’m lucky. My nephews think I’m fun so they keep in touch really well. Who knows where they got that idea! Even funnier is the fact that my brother is completely puzzled by the fact that his kids want to hang out with me. The two of us get along fine, but we’re so different.

    • On the fence as to whether it is “appropriate,” but I think it’s probably likely to stoke shame and/or resentment either way. I’m sure #1 has heard all about his decision not to go to college yet (if he’s anything like my cousin who could almost exactly fit that description…), and #2 probably already feels shame about living at home and not yet having a “real” job. And even if the book gave him a kick in the pants, there aren’t enough “real” jobs in this economy yet for recent graduates to all have them, even from top schools, so it may just add to the sense of humiliation without making it easier for him to get a job. I graduated from a top 20 college in 2010 and many of my friends are still working service jobs or internships. I don’t think any of them would particularly enjoy being reminded that their current employment situation may well affect them for the rest of their lives, as true as it might be.

  25. Ok, yay weekend. Going anon on this one.

    I am not normally an anxious person. A few years ago I developed a very unusual food allergy to a certain fruit. If I eat it, myface swells up, I get itchy and red all over, throat has not closed, thank g-d, but that’s always the fear because doctors say that allergic reactions tend to get worse with each incident. Usually taking antihistamines helps, so I almost always keep some on hand. For the most part, it hasn’t been a huge problem.

    Last year, I ate some “raw” nuts and had a similar reaction as with the fruit. It was very unexpected because as with the fruit, this is something I used to eat frequently. Not “raw” but roasted, cooked, ground, whatever. Since then, in the past year, I keep freaking out that I am going to develop more weird allergies. I think especially the whole nut thing is just making me really panicked because I know nut allergies can be deadly. This has basically resulted in me panicking on a frequent basis that something is happening, even if it isn’t – I have imagined allergic reactions to everything from shrimp to red peppers to sunflower seeds. I am cutting foods I love out left and right based on these perceived potential “reactions.” Recently, I had a major episode at a show where I felt like I couldn’t breathe when the lights went out and I thought what if there was almond flour in my fruit tart that I just had and my throat closes up and I die. It only lasted a few seconds but I have never experienced anything like that. I found a claritin in my purse and swallowed it and felt instantly better, but it was scary!

    More often, it manifests itself in just stupid little episodes where I start to wonder if I am going to “react” and then I look in the mirror a 1000 times to check if anything is happening and I pop antihistamines and drink tons of water. Obviously, this is not healthy and is affecting my productivity. I also worry about it getting worse if left unchecked. I’m going to see my GP for a referral to go get tested for all food allergies and see if that helps, but part of the anxiety is just that this happens to me with foods I have previously been okay in eating so not sure if that will help.

    Any other advice? Coping strategies? I’ve never experienced anything like this and frankly do not know how to deal.

    • Allergies :

      Getting tested for allergies absolutely will help. It’s not uncommon for people to develop new food allergies to foods they used to eat without trouble. It’s only if the tests come back negative for the foods you’ve reacted to that you should have any anxiety. Until you get those tests (shouldn’t be more than 1-2 weeks; your GP should refer you immediately and you should go to the allergist on the first available appointment), just stick with the foods you’ve been eating for the last few weeks without reaction. Also, if your insurance doesn’t require a GP referral, just go straight to the allergist.

      • Allergies :

        Oh, you should also take a daily allergy pill, like Claritin or Zyrtec, until you get those tests (you may need to be off of them for 24-48 hours before the tests, so be sure to ask that when you make the appointment). I had a friend who developed all kinds of food allergies in his 20s and his allergist had him start taking Zyrtec daily as a sort of “insurance” to reduce potential reactions. I would tell you to just take Benadryl but that would probably make you too sleepy! This might also help assuage your anxiety because you’ll know you have some allergy meds in your system at all times.

    • I’d definitely see an allergist (if nothing else but to get some peace of mind). It is both (a) common to develop allergies later in life and (b) possible to be allergic and/or sensitive to the oils in raw nuts and fruits that get cooked out of the cooked or roasted versions — which might explain why you hadn’t had these reactions before.

      Finally, this is where I”m a bit out of my depth since I’ve never had an extreme reaction, but if its really making you anxious perhaps you could get a prescription for an epi-pen? You might never need it, but it might prevent some of the anxiety.

    • I, too, developed a fruit allergy (apples and cherries, mainly) as an adult (only fresh fruit, though, cooked and dried are fine). I get itchiness in my mouth and throat and some nausea, but no breathing difficulties. Dr. Google tells me this is Oral Allergy Syndrome and rarely results in anaphylaxis. I wouldn’t diagnose anyone over the Internet, but take a look and talk to your doctor about this.

      As far as developing other allergies, Dr. Google also provides a handy list of the different types of OAS, related to pollen type. Given my problems with apples and cherries, I think I have birch and/or alder pollen sensitivity, so may react to other foods on that list, although I haven’t so far.

      Definitely do talk to your doctor about this, but if this is indeed what you do have, maybe learning a bit more about it will make you feel better. I figured if the apple allergy developed gradually, a similar allergy to other fruits also will. It’s a pain, but I’m not particularly worried about it being life-threatening, especially because I could tell within a couple of bites, or one cherry, that I was reacting. You could ask your doctor to prescribe you an EpiPen and keep that with you. I also swell up like a balloon from bee/wasp stings and did have an EpiPen for a while, just in case that got worse.

      Oh, and everyone is different, but I have a friend with nut allergies and although she tries to make sure to avoid them, if she accidentally eats something that has nuts, she knows within moments and stops eating it and does not have a severe reaction.

      • LOL – Dr. Google is actually part of my problem. Every time I read up on weird food allergies, I develop a new sensitivity. What’s that? Sunflower seeds made an anonymous interneter allergic, maybe it will happen to me! Apples are a frequent source? Why, yes, now they are for me, too! I like your attitude about it. I think I need to channel this myself and not assume that a bit of peach is going to kill me even if I am sensitive to it.

    • Anon for This Too :

      I agree to get tested for allergies ASAP. This will not only help to calm your overall fears about allergies, but it will actually identify what you are allergic to and you can work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan.

      I do think part of the issue is psychological, however. If you felt ‘instantly’ better after popping a Claritin, that to me says the effect was much more psychosematic, as the medicine in Claritin actually takes a few hours to work/build up in your system (unlike the medicine in Benedryl which works almost instantly). I was having some bizarre allergic asthmatic reactions to some dust/mold in your vaccum cleaner for awhile after a bad lung infection, and Claritin didn’t do much to relieve my immediate symptoms, although I did start taking it daily. Benedryl worked much better for the immediate relief. This was also the case when I had two extremely severe reactions to artificial sweetener. I had to take a large dose of Benedryl to get the reactions down quickly.

      Perhaps as a mental coping strategy before you see the doctor, could you limit yourself to food you feel mentally comfortable eating? Don’t even think about touching the anxiety inducing foods. Just eat what makes you feel comfortable for a week or so. It can’t hurt. If you continue to experience the food anxiety even after getting reated for allergies, I would probably look into some therapy, as you could be having anxiety about other issues or about a lack of control (I had that for awhile too and it was manifesting itself in sleep patterns for me), so therapy could be helpful in working to reduce that anxiety.

    • Do you carry an Epi-Pen? I have food allergies too, and mine cropped up as an adult, but have remained stable with no new allergies for years now. So not everyone get new allergies. I have never needed an Epi-Pen, but always carry one with me. You will not die from an allergy if you have an Epi-Pen; you may still need to go to the hospital, but it will save your life. If you don’t have an allergist already, find one, and I’m sure she will prescribe you an Epi-Pen right away. Keep in mind that Epi-Pens expire and actually lose effectiveness at their expiration date (it’s not a sell by date, but rather a use by date), so you have to note the expiration date and make sure you replace it promptly.

      I find that Benadryl is the best way to deal with minor allergic reactions. I take a daily antihistamine for my allergies (I have environmental allergies too), and a Benadryl at the first sign of a food allergy reaction. So maybe carry Benadryl in your purse. It may help.

      I used to have the “stupid little episodes” you describe too. After a while, you become accustomed to your allergy and more familiar with the types of foods you can eat, and you also become familiar with your reactions and can recognize them instantly. Then the false alarm panic stops. You’ll be ok – everything you describe is normal. But you definitely need to see an allergist, and not just your GP.

    • Also, carry liquid benadryl with you. That way if you do have a reaction to something new and aren’t prescribed an epi-pen you can actually get something down. allergy testing will make you feel much more confident. They literally test you for a million things. You will be sore the next day.

      Traumatic experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Due to a unfortunate scenario I know correlate being very stressed to being itchy and catch myself scratching until there are bumps and then I freak out about the bumps. Therapy can help. Once you rule out the medical causes consider talking to a counselor.

      One trick I use when I panic and feel like I can’t breathe is to hum. Finally, logically I know if I can hum, my throat isn’t closing and somehow it feels easier than talking.

      • Thanks all, this is very helpful to hear. Keep it coming, please!
        I think my biggest fear is that something terrible will happen. I am allergic to cats and environmental factors, too, but that doesn’t phase me much because I know that I’ll be miserable with itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing, but I know I will get through it just fine. With this on the other hand, because the symptoms are so unexpected and physical – swollen lips, swollen eyes – it’s easy to freak out. I think going to get tested will probably help. Left a message with my GP for a referral just now!

        • Anxiety, do see an allergy specialist, get tested, consider shots etc etc.
          But don’t overlook handling the anxiety.
          Remember it’s normal to feel anxiety when you may die :-). But it’s not good when the anxiety is affecting your life as much as what you’re being anxious about.
          You probably need to do something specific about it, like make sure you’re not doing something that may be making the anxiety worse (smoking?) and that you learn some good methods to handle it (yoga breathing leaps to mind, or kava kava herb extract). Then you can think more clearly about the allergies.
          Also, for me acupuncture really helps bring down allergic reactivity, plus it’s excellent for anxiety. Just a suggestion, whatever works for you is what works for you.

    • Stone fruit :

      I developed an allergy to cherries, then peaches, in my early 20s. Then I added a couple of tree nuts in my later 20s. These were all things I ate regularly and without incident until the reaction. From what I can tell, they are cousins of each other, so I try to avoid all stone fruits and most tree nuts (except pistachios, which might be a hill I’m willing to die on).

      I agree with carrying liquid Benadryl (and pills too) as a quick first line of defense, but I’d also get checked by an allergist and ask for a prescription for an Epi-Pen. Food allergies can sneak up on you. I also avoid eating things that might have tree nuts or stone fruits as a hidden ingredient. Also, I have gotten comfortable asking about ingredients and making very pointed remarks that I am actually allergic to the item in question, not that it’s an aversion. It might seem like you’re being a pain, but the establishment having to deal with your reaction will probably be more of a pain to them in the long run.

      Good luck!

    • Mountain Girl :

      Just curious if your fruit allergy was tropical? My sister developed a very serious allergy to tropical fruit in her 30’s. Pineapple is the main culprit but kiwi, mango, pomegranate, figs and soy are also on the do not eat list.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Not to make you more anxious but there are lots of foods that you can be allergic to that you can’t really be tested for. You have to trust your body. I get that yours is tricking you and you realize you can’t just trust it right now. I’m allergic to Red Dye 40 and strawberries. I was allergy tested for strawberries and told I’m not allergic. Yet, every single time I eat them I break out in hives and get itchy. I’m not going to eat them anymore. I was also told that I couldn’t be officially tested for the red dye allergy. But, if I have a large enough amount of it, not only do I get itchy but my tongue and lips swell up. Good luck! I know this is tough.

    • You need to see an allergist; a good one who will deal with allergies and check on why your allergies are now getting worse.

  26. Manomanon :

    Guess what! All of my nails are sparkly blue right now- sadly none are chipped :-(
    However, I won’t be wearing it to an interview – just graduation since it’s our class color.
    But I thought the Hive would be amused-
    A question though- what color hair tie do I wear on my wrist?

    • Does your school have a second color? I’d get a hair tie in that color. :-)

      • manomanon :

        It does- sadly my class color and the school color are the same- It made buying sweats easy… hair tie and nail polish coordination not so much…
        maybe I’ll have my best friend’s class color for my hair tie…

  27. Pregnancy alert – feel free to skip.

    I work in regional mid-law and I am expecting my first child. I would love Hive recommendations on maternity suits. I hate the maternity clothes I’ve seen so far, and they do not look office-appropriate at all to me. I recognize that people don’t necessarily expect pregnant women to wear suits all the time, but I like wearing suits and would like to continue.

    FWIW, I am tallish and normally size 12-14.

    • Anonymous :

      No answers – but I’m interested in this too. I’m a 16, and I am the only woman in my mid-law firm, so the first pregnancy they’ve had to deal with. I’m very early, but I really, really want to continue wearing suits and be overly professionally dressed throughout my pregnancy, to counteract any concerns they might have.

      • Exactly! I feel like it sends the wrong message to start dressing casually just because I’m pregnant.

        • PT Lawyer :

          True, but in my experience people tend to cut pregnant women a lot of slack in the clothing department, if only because most people understand that you don’t want to spend a ton of cash on ill-fitting clothes for 6 months.

          That said, I am very tall (6ft) and wound up getting maternity panels put in work trousers and jeans –$40 each at my local tailor. That, some Gap maternity, and jackets worn open, got me through two pregnancies. I understand that AT Loft has maternity online now too.

          Also — try ebay if you don’t mind previously worn items.

          • Separates. I didn’t find any suits that worked. Things fit differently in different places at different times. Separates can look professional (also a suit wearer here)- I wore fancy jewelry, silk scarves, makeup, and put my hair into twists way more often than normal to compensate for the outfits and flat shoes. Hehe, I’m due anytime now, and went to work today… after finding out that nearly none of my maternity tops cover my belly now- even the huge, long ones. My maternity blazers stopped fitting in the shoulders 1.5 mo ago. ONly one pair of pants can even get on. Dresses are about it- and I can’t wear blazers on them, too hot. So, you do what you can. I was horrified by all of this at first, but now it is about getting to the end of it- and it’s true, we notice more than others. Several people say I look great at work all the time.

    • I would LOVE to hear answers to this. I’m at the in-between stage of 19.5 weeks and things just aren’t fitting right.

      • A Pea in the Pod has some, look under “work clothes” category. They are sold as separates, but some nice professional suit pieces.

    • AnonAnon33 :

      There are two women currently pregnant in my law firm, and I’m always impressed at how stylish they look. Not sure where they get their maternity suits, but on non-suit days they both tend to wear wrap dresses. The wrap dresses (which always have sleeves) look really nice and professional, and seem like a very flattering way to dress at this stage in their pregnancy (they’re both 3-6 months). So I would recommend investing in some of those. A nice jacket can easily be added to complete the look and give it a more dressed-up feel.

    • I don’t know how their sizing runs, but I generally found a Pea in the Pod to have the most professional maternity options. It can be on the expensive side (I’d be willing to pay their prices for clothes that I’d wear for the next few years, but had trouble shelling out that much for something I was only going to wear for one season). Gap maternity often has decent trouser-style pants, which I sometimes matched with my non-maternity jackets (unbuttoned, of course).

    • Try Asos? Depending on the season they have lovely looking dress shirts and suit separates.

      Also super congrats :)

    • BellaBand until you can’t fit into regular suits. Then Pea in the Pod or Gap for separates. Isabella Oliver for the more expensive options. Nordstrom has some maternity online still, I think. Boden and Loft now have maternity (didn’t when I was pregnant). And there are some nice, pricey online maternity boutiques. But generally, you may want to rethink wearing full suits, if only because the maternity suit options are limited, sometimes quite ugly, and always pretty expensive. It is expensive enough to stock a regular suit wardrobe, let alone a special pregnancy suit wardrobe (and even if you are having more children, your pregnancy “seasons” may not match the next time around). In BigLaw, I did a lot of suit trousers or formal trousers/pencil skirts with maternity dress shirts and cardigans.

    • I’ve been in the same situation. I had my best luck looking through the resale stuff on Ebay for brands and appearance.

      Unfortunately, my information is (looks at son) 4.5 years old, but am about those dimensions

      Brands with better fit (then) : A Pea in the Pod, three dots, Mimi Maternity, Dividends, Liz Lange and ….

      Motherhood Maternity has a wide range, however they have mixed quality and (were) terrible on returns and exchanges. Shop in person and try stuff on.

      Japanese Weekend was lovely, but were cut small.

      You may want to see if there are any high end consignment shops nearby, many with children’s clothes carry maternity clothes, including career clothes.

      I’m a “suit” mom, myself, and there was a time when the pregnant me would just want to swear with all of the bows, and cr@p that would undermine an otherwise passable professional outfit.

    • I haven’t tried these suits (never been pregnant – I actually heard about them in an article about the woman who started the company) but suitsyourbelly.com has suits up to size 18 that look promising.

    • I just wear my regular suit jackets open over my maternity dress (I have a couple black maternity dresses that I use for court). I’m tall, so my regular suit jackets were tailored to fit my longer proportions. I never found any maternity suit jackets that fit right, and I wasn’t willing to spend money on a tailored suit I would only wear for a few months.

      Although I can’t say I have ever seen a maternity suit jacket that looked right. As soon as you button it over the big belly, it looks so odd. I remember trying a few on and thinking I looked like a female Tweedle Dee (or Tweedle Dum).

    • Seventh Sister :

      I wore a lot of maternity dresses with blazers. I had a few suits, but honestly, most maternity suits are usually pretty awful. I agree that Pea in the Pod has the nicest stuff, but I bought at least one suit from Motherhood (which is mostly full of low-cut polyester crap).

      While I usually don’t go into Gap for me, they actually had some nice maternity clothes.

    • I wore gap maternity dress pants/skirts, gap maternity tops (nicer knits) and my pre-pregnancy blazers. Wedges were great to look kind of dressy but still be comfortable. But I work in a much more casual environment (software consulting).

    • another anon lawyer :

      I have had to wear suits a lot this pregnancy, but I hate maternity suits. So I bought maternity pants and dresses that go with my regular jackets, and then I just wear the jacket open. This has been the most flattering look for me, and it also means I don’t have to shell out cash for maternity jackets.

      For non-suit days, I generally wear dresses (often with a cardigan or blazer — my regular ones, worn open) or pants separates. I never found a maternity skirt that looked that professional/flattering, so I generally stick with dresses or pants. Using jewelry, scarves, and my full range of regular cardigans, blazers, and jackets help me feel more like “me,” and enable me to buy fewer maternity items that I wear more frequently.

    • Hi, I am 20.5 weeks pregnant, with my first, and am also having a lot of trouble finding professional “lawyer” wear … although I can mostly get away with dresses (especially while pregnant) at my government office, there is still the occasional situation for which I really need a suit (upcoming federal court trial) and I’m feeling a bit frantic that I haven’t found one yet. (And the “wear your regular blazers unbuttoned” advice just hasn’t worked for me… I grew out of my old blazers 10 weeks in, seriously. I gained in my shoulders, rib-cage, arms and bust right away. Ugh.)

      At this point, the rest of my maternity wardrobe is fairly set (i.e. I don’t have the budget for any more additions) but a suit (or simply a blazer) still eludes me.

      Here’s what I’ve tried: (I’ll include links where applicable, hope they work!)

      Pea in the Pod – tried a suit on in store and it was hideously unflattering and very expensive. I decided if I was going to look terrible I would spend less.

      Amazon – Maternal America Front Tie Blazer, and matching pants and top:
      The blazer was actually cute, I would have kept it if I had liked either of the bottoms or if it had coordinated with my maternity work pants (Gap – the basic black ones they have). The front tie seemed like it would work throughout 2nd and 3rd trimesters. However, it had 3/4 length sleeves, which, while cute, wouldn’t really work for federal court here. The pants were cute, except a smidge tight on the butt, while fitting elsewhere (and I figure my butt’s still growing) and same with the skirt. Other than the snug-butt issue, these were fairly TTS (I ordered medium, and was a medium pre-pregnancy, although gained much more than I was supposed to in the first 20 weeks.)

      Amazon or Diapers dot com – Olian Vertigo Maternity Blazer and Pants
      I was bummed about the quality of these. The pants were okay but bunched a bit at the crotch. The jacket is unlined and just wouldn’t lay well at all. Like Pea in the Pod, I decided I won’t pay that much for a jacket that looked and felt terrible.

      Ebay — my experience was not great, as this is my first pregnancy I’m just not sure about sizes and brands. I ordered three blazers and none fit or looked great in person, and now I’m stuck with them, so I don’t think I’d recommend it unless you know exactly what you’re ordering.

      Resale stores – I’m in Denver and haven’t had much luck, the maternity resale stores here (that I have managed to get to) seem stocked with jeans, basic shirts etc.

      Here are my next steps:

      I’m debating between ordering a blazer super up-market in the hopes of finding something that is quality enough that I’ll still wear it when I go back to work… or just going super cheap and planning on burning it in protest after I give birth. 3rd option is just buying a non-maternity blazer in a couple of sizes up from my regular size and wearing it open.

      High end:
      Isabella Oliver, Everyday Blazer
      Looks fab, but I’m worried about the “heavy jersey” description – sounds comfy, but not sure it will fly in federal court.

      These suits look awesome, but are also really pricey.

      Jules & Jim “Perfect” Maternity Blazer
      I have a couple of other Jules & Jim items (bought via Amazon) that I have found to be good quality, and this description says it’s fully lined.

      Blossom Paulina Blazer
      Looks adorable and like it would fit in those transition months after pregnancy, but expensive. They also have a “Harley” blazer that I don’t see on their website now, and I would have ordered except it was only available in my size in off white, and given how much I seem to spill stuff now…)

      Motherhood Maternity has a blazer on its website that appears to be lined, and is around $30, however none of the stores near me have it in stock and I’m debating paying for shipping if I am likely going to have to return it.

      Congrats & good luck! If you find something awesome, I’d love to hear about it.

      • another anon lawyer :

        Based on what you wrote, I’d find a regular blazer a size bigger to wear open. The maternity jackets tend to be expensive and ill-fitting, and you can use a regular blazer a size bigger postpartum.

  28. Did any of you ask to go part-time after returning from maternity leave, knowing your request would probably be denied? If so, how did you go about it?

    Also, I’m about to begin my third year of law practice this summer. I don’t enjoy practicing and I would like to transition to HR elsewhere, which is something I’ve wanted to do since law school. The only issue is that I need to take a big pay cut (down to appx 30-35k from 50k) to break into the field in the company I like. My husband makes enough to support both of us, but not a ton of money either. What would you choose? Money or …potential happiness? Student loans are not much of an issue, we’re paying them down as fast as we can (paying out half of our takehome) and if I kept my current job, they would be paid off in March or April.

    HELP. Thanks.

    • REALLY need advice. Thanks!

      • Unable to give advice on the maternity leave question, but I think you should pursue the HR opportunity. You are interested in it, and it’s a field with some growth potential. It may mean only a year or two of lower pay.

    • Seattleite :

      Personally, I’d get the debt paid off, and assuming that your husband makes enough that you can still save extra (not just retirement), then I’d make the switch. (If he doesn’t, I’d get an emergency fund in place before I switched.)

      In my experience, working jobs I hate ends up being more expensive. I have less energy at the end of the day, which leads to more takeout, housekeepers, etc. Plus, I tend to ‘reward’ myself more by spending money in an attempt to fill that deep and dreary hole in my soul.

    • Yes, I asked for part time in writing with a salary proposal. My request was denied and I resigned my position. It was scary, but oh so necessary for many reasons.

      I switched positions, took a 30 percent pay cut for a different law job and immediately started receiving comments from friends and family about how much happier I seemed. It did require a lot of belt tightening in some areas, but as new parents we were spending much less on going out, travel, etc., which made the lifestyle change easier.

    • Certification :

      Some of our more senior HR people have some certificate (I don’t know the name) that makes them far more valuable/marketable/whatever. Maybe if you get that before you move your salary cut won’t be as great?

  29. Do cheap upholstered headboards exist? I really want a headboard but feel silly buying one when money is someone tight. I feel like it is something I should be able to do myself for 60 bucks but don’t really feel up to it. I’ve never seen one for under 150 and its just one of those things I feel like should exist. Even ikea is expensive though!

    • An upholstered headboard is probably one of the easiest do it yourself home-projects. Depending on the fabric you choose, you can probably keep it well under $150. Your best other option is probably craigslist or yardsales, but those are hit or miss.

      • Any suggestions on guides to do-it yourself? I went on hgtv.com but once their instructions called for 3 different types of saws I shutdown.

        • apartment therapy :

          Not sure if this will get stuck in moderation, but try apartment therapy [DOT] come and type in “headboard” in the search bar. There are plenty of DIY instructions there!

        • YounghouseloveDOTcom and littlegreennotebookDOTblogspotDOTcom are great websites for DIY home ideas.

        • Here is a cheap and easy headboard from younghouse love –

    • Also, if there is a school with an interior design program close to you, a student there may be willing to do it in exchange for portfolio credit. or if you have a crafty friend? My sister made one for her bed. I think she only spent an afternoon on it, so it’s manageable. tutorial link to her blog to follow in reply.

      • http://theadventuresofsusiehomemaker.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-i-made-my-upholstered-headboard.html

        • If you’re on pinterest there’s probably lots of people who’ve posted how-to’s on this. Not sure if there’s a search option but you might want to check.

  30. I’m catching up with an old friend who just moved to town tomorrow night. She is making dinner and when I asked what I could bring she said just to bring something I’d enjoy drinking. Generally, I bring a bottle of wine to dinners (not meant for that night) and be done with it. However, I don’t actually drink alcohol… so what should I bring in this case? I’m generally a water or club soda kind of person.

    • Nice sparkling water? Nice soda like Izze or the like?

      • That’s what I’d do.

      • You could bring your favorite soda, or you could bring one of those pomegranate fizzy waters or lemonades they sell at Trader Joe’s (that sort of thing), or you could look up a fun, non-alcoholic cocktail recipe that could also be adapted to alcohol and bring the fixings for that.

        But I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you bring wine, I really doubt she’s going to tie you down and pour it down your throat.

    • PharmaGirl :

      What about a sparkling cider or some other ‘fancy’ non-alcoholic drink? Or you could make something yourself with fresh fruit and sparkling water.

      I would also bring a bottle of wine for the house.

    • Moonstone :

      She may not realize that you don’t drink alcohol. I would go with a sparkling beverage in a bottle, like a four-pack of those Izze drinks (I like the pomengranate) or sparkling cider. You know, like non-drinkers have on New Year’s Eve. It’s a little more festive than a 2-liter of 7-Up. But, to be honest, I would probably still bring a bottle of wine to the dinner.

    • If you have time, you could make a fancy syrup that could be mixed with just club soda and lime or with club soda and alcohol. It feels like you went out of your way to do something special but takes the focus away from the alcohol. My husband and I make these when family members who don’t drink come over.

      Here’s an example of one I really like. http://www.thekitchn.com/drink-recipe-rosemary-citrus-s-148624

    • World Market carries fun flavors of Italian soda. That’s what I always get for non-drinkers at our craft nights because it’s fun and they don’t feel left out.

  31. Rising 2L here, interested in health or other admin law on the East Coast. I’ve had trouble using the NALP website to figure out which firms specialize in these areas, and therefore am having trouble narrowing the list of firms I’m interested in applying to for summer associate positions next year. Any tips?

    • Find an alum from your law school who does this type of law in the markets you are interested in and ask them to do a phone conversation, informational interview to get a feel of which firms are busy, which firms are active, etc. Because even firms that list specialties on their websites don’t necessarily have an active practice in them.

      Though, unless you’re top of your class from a very good school, I’d probably just apply everywhere and hope you get something. But that’s just because I’m feeling grumpy this week.

    • For health law, check out the AHLA and HCCA websites. There are about 10-15 top firms that always speak and sponsor everything, you’ll be able to figure out who are the real players pretty quickly.

      I’ve been a health lawyer for over a decade, if you haven’t already, you need to focus on contracts and regulatory law. Ideally, take classes at the University of Houston or St. Louis (both have semester programs for other law students). Either one of those programs will put you ahead of the curve. Good luck!

      • Thanks! I hadn’t considered taking classes at a different school – would you recommend that even though they are ranked lower than my school, and might prevent me from getting a concentration in health law?

        • Yes, both programs have health law classes, which you will not be able to get elsewhere. However, I would only do that if you are sure you want to concentrate in health law. You might not be able to swing it, depending on what classes you still have to take at your school. Since you are a 2L, I suggest looking for specific health law clerkships. Most of those will recruit out of those two schools. *Be warned, there are firms who bill themselves out as having a niche practice when they really don’t, be it health law or environmental or entertainment, etc.

          I’d also think about applying to the DOJ and CMS/OIG, if they take summer clerks. If your area has a Medicare Fraud Control Unit, that would also be a great opportunity to find out if compliance work is something you are interested in pursuing. All are great places to work as a health lawyer (and extremely desirable on resumes).

  32. Can anyone give me some insight on Cole Haan shoe sizing? I’ve been drooling over them forever and I think I’m finally going to snag some today. Do I need to size down? My feet are fairly narrow. TIA!

    • They run narrow but otherwise I’d go with your normal size. Don’t size down.

    • I size down 1/2 a size for their flats and wedges but find the heels to be TTS.

    • Thanks so much ladies. I’m between 8 and 8.5 so I think I’ll try the 8s. Wish me luck!

      • River Song :

        Good luck! I just ordered my first pair a few months ago and love them! I’m a 10 1/2, which is often difficult to find or inconsistent, but the Cole Haans fit me perfectly.

    • layered bob :

      I find the sizing to be inconsistent between styles, but maybe it’s just because my feet are between sizes. I have fairly narrow feet but not narrow enough for “narrow” shoes, so Cole Haans are great width-wise. I generally wear a 10, 10 1/2, or 11 and prefer 10 or 10 1/2 in Cole Haan. 11s are too big.

  33. So, I don’t have life insurance and it’s really been bothering me. My DH has a small policy so we need to supplement that and then get a policy on me in case (or I suppose when) I kick the bucket. I’m 33, he’s 37 and we are both very healthy. Where do I begin? Term? Life? Amount? Should I go through our insurance agent? Someone else? I love the internet but sometimes there can be so much info it’s overwhelming.

    TIA Ladies!

    • We are 26/27. We just applied for term, but it was a term-80 or something like that. We went through Northwestern Mutual and our agent did a complete analysis. His recommendation was a lot more than we decided we needed for our goals. Our goals are to ensure that the survivor is able to afford childcare, pay off the mortgage, and have a buffer. The agent will likely suggest coverage that takes care of retirement, college, etc. etc. I guess you just have to think about what is important to you and keep that in mind while going through the process. By the way, a nurse stopped by our house and took urine samples and blood. Awesome way to start the day!

    • Couldn't Wait to Quit :

      Term Life. Don’t bother with a whole life policy that’s supposed to be some sort of investment. Whoever has your car insurance probably does life insurance too. If you have homeowner’s insurance, you can try to bundle all three together and you might save some money. DH and I have term coverage that’s equal to our mortgage balance on the assumption that if either of us dies the other could support themselves (no kids involved), but it would be nice to have the house paid off.

      • another 2nd from me, and I endorse this as an actuary – except I would carry more than your mortgage balance. I’d do 5 – 10 times annual income. Mainly because your income will grow during the term & it’s easier and cheaper to get more term now when you’re young and healthy.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Agreement number whatever! Unless you are super wealthy and need places to put money, whole/universal/investment policies are bunk. If you like the idea of an investment policy price your payments, then price a term policy and put the difference in a no load mutual fund. The ones offered by insurance companies are rackets!

      • @Diva, yes, for the most part. But there may be tax advantages to whole life if you are in a very high bracket and expect to be so at retirement. But for the vast majority of us, yeah, term is 100% the way to go.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Yep – that’s what I meant by super wealthy, and have exhausted all of the other ways to shelter income. Before my husband was my husband he’d been sold two of these policies – you should have heard the mumbling and stumbling from his insurance guy as I asked him why on earth he’d sold these to my husband. Then I asked the kicker question about where the premiums go the first 5 years or so (into his pocket basically)….. But this is the kind information that people with generational wealth tend to know and those without tend to get caught in….

    • I’m 33 and got a 30 year term policy when I was 32. I got a really high amount, but I figure if we have kids, buy a nice house, etc., expenses will only increase over time, and given inflation, the value of the benefit decreases over time. Also, if you are young and healthy, the higher benefit is actually not much more. Initially I was looking at a policy benefit of X amount, decided to go with 2X, and the premium was only about 30% more for the larger policy.

      Whole life policies are crazy expensive, though I understand there are some tax and estate planning advantages to them if you are very high net worth.

    • Thanks everyone! This is the baseline of info that I was looking for. We will start with our homeowners/auto carrier and go from there. I like the idea of obtaining more than we need now to account for future growth. I’ve been thinking I need each of us to pay off the mortgage we will likely have in about 5 or 10 years and live for a few years without worrying about working. Thanks!!

    • Why do you need life insurance if you both work and you don’t have kids? I would save the premiums and buy it only when you need it.

      • They’re young and the insurance would be cheaper to put in place now, I think.

      • There are plenty of reasons to have it in this situation. My husband and I are both young and we both have life insurance.

        In our case, he’s the breadwinner (very, very well-paid niche job) and while we live modestly for our combined income, he makes 3x what I do. if he were to die suddenly, I would be financially screwed in addition to completely heartbroken if he didn’t have life insurance.

        I’m of the opinion that ANY married couple should have life insurance if it would be a hardship to live on the lowest salary alone, if one of the spouses died. But then, I’m a risk-adverse lawyer.

  34. I have a question about cell phone plans paid for by one’s employer. I will be starting my first post-graduation job in the fall. My employer (BigLaw firm) provides each attorney with a cell phone — our choice between BlackBerry and iPhone — with the option of importing in your existing number. The firm then pays for your cell phone — text, talk and smartphone capabilities.

    I have an iPhone that I plan on keeping. I don’t know whether I should just use this for work, or if I should keep my iPhone separate for personal use, and get a BlackBerry for work purposes. On the one hand, I really don’t want to lug around two phones — that seems like a logistical pain, and like it would create more confusion (two phone numbers, inability to check all my mail on one device, more potential for missed calls and messages, increased likelihood of losing one). On the other hand, I know that employees whose cell phones and plans are paid for by an employer do not have absolute privacy, and I would hate for my personal text messages and e-mails to be accessed by anyone else! I don’t think there’s any reason why my cell phone would ever be monitored and my personal messages checked — but it seems cautious to avoid this scenario by just having two separate phones.

    So my question is: what have you opted to do? And do you have any advice for me? Thank you so much to anyone who responds!

    • I have two phones and I find it tremendously helpful. I like to keep my work and personal lives separate. Direct every work contact to your work number. Have that listed on all official documents at work. If pressed, provide your personal cell as your home number. For me, my personal cell is (no landline), but somehow listing it as home seems to convey if you’re calling me there it must be urgent and you’ve gone through all other mechanisms to reach me. Just don’t pull out your personal phone at meetings.

      Finally, I do iphone personal and blackberry for work. I find the blackberry to work a bit better with my company’s software/it department. Plus there’s the fact that I can easily distinguish the two.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        This! I do iphone personal and blackberry for work, primarily so I can leave my blackberry if possible (I don’t want work popping into my life at the gym, etc.). I also find the blackberry to work better with firm software and whatnot and it’s tremendously easier to type long, rambling emails on the blackberry (for me at least).

        Also check to see if your blackberry gets a phone number if you don’t port over your personal account/number. My work-issue blackberry doesn’t have a phone plan, so no one gives out their blackberry numbers. That said, it does have the capability to make calls (at some outrageous cents per minute charge), so if ever my trust iphone dies, I can make emergency calls on the work blackberry.

      • LinLondon :

        Second this 100% I have a personal iPhone and a Blackberry for work. I’d haaaaate having a BB as my “real” phone, but for the things I need to do with my work email, I think the BB is way better.

    • My hubby had two phones but it was a total pain (and worthless expense). He ditched the personal phone and now only uses his firm Blackberry. I’d only be concerned about the monitoring if I was involved in drug sales or prostitution. After all, I write/respond to emails from friends on my employer’s network-I can’t be bothered to do everything from my home account, especially if the topic is innocuous. Also, $60/mo adds up-why not put that money to retirement or paying down student loans?

      • you must trust your employer a lot more than I do! I regularly schedule medical appointments, coffee dates, vacations etc via email – not exactly illegal stuff, but things I don’t particularly think my employer needs to know.

      • Also you don’t have to be a prostitute to text your SO some things that youd rather your employer not see

      • This – think of how many lawyers a BigLaw firm employs. The only way they are specifically monitoring your emails/texts is if they already suspect you are doing something illegal or unethical. They may have some sort of filter that would direct certain messages for review (i.e. containing words like p*rn) but I doubt they are even doing that because of the man-hours that would be required to review any flagged messages.

        When I was in BigLaw I only carried one device. It made my purse a little lighter, and if they give you a firm device they expect you to always have it with you, you do NOT want to explain to the partner that you missed his email because you forgot to bring throw your BB in your purse along with your iPhone.

        • Exactly. An IT person at my agency told me they have the ability to monitor everyone’s activity but they don’t b/c 1) there are waaaay too many people and 2) they really don’t care what you’re doing

      • I just use one phone (iphone) for everything. I don’t think I’d be able to keep up with two phones, and I don’t want to pay extra to have two. I’m also not particularly worried about being monitored – a friend of mine used to work in IT here and basically told me they don’t monitor.

      • I use only my firm blackberry (and my firm email account). I seriously could care less if my firm wants to look at when I have a doctors appointment scheduled or what I’m emailing to my hubby or friends. For me the benefit of only having one device far, far outweighs any theoretical privacy concerns. We have something like 1500 employees, I’m sure they’re not looking at my stuff. And if they are, well, I can’t say I care all that much. For me, having only one device to carry around is awesome. I hate carrying purses, so the fact that I can just slip my b’berry in my pants pocket on the weekends and be in touch with anyone and everyone I need to is outstanding. Once you have two things to carry, you pretty much have to go to the purse. As for knowing whether to answer “hey” or “hello, this is [full name]”, that’s what caller i.d. is for.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          GW, I’m a doc review attorney and I seriously suggest not using our work email for personal emails. You would not believe the things I know about people through their emails. If I didn’t live in NYC, I’d be scared to actually meet one of these people someday because all I could think about is that I know they have 2 mistresses or their marriage is falling apart or wonder how things are going with their flirty coworker. All of that stuff could get turned over one day and you just don’t know what might be seen by your company or how it will effect you.

      • You have clearly never done a document review – in my experience anyone who has read tons of personal emails culled during an electronic doc review keeps work email/personal email totally separate.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Yep. As I sit here doing a doc review which includes very personal emails.

        • Exactly.

          Plus, my current small-law firm has the capacity to check, and with only 20 lawyers carrying cell phones, it’s much more probable that they actually ARE checking.

          I carry both my BB and my personal iPhone at all times. I’d much rather carry two and pay a little more to know my personal life is personal.

        • I’ve done doc review, and I’m too lazy to keep work / personal e-mail totally and completely separate. But I do draw the line somewhere. That’s what gmail’s for.

          • I’ve done doc review and used to keep separate esp when working in gov’t (public records). BUt at my company I just have my bberry now, no other number. I just live life according to the NYTimes front page rule as much as I can- ie what if the whole world saw this text? And when people start texting me things that aren’t logistics oriented etc.- I reply with please call or email me instead.I like saving the money and don’t do anything sketchy that worries me about them seeing. I don’t have mobile personal email, but I’m fine with that.

          • Same here.

        • Personal emails could be subpoenaed too, though. I generally don’t write anything in email that’s terribly personal – I save it for phone calls.

        • I have a combined work / personal blackberry – hated carrying 2 around. But for those of you that are concerned about monitoring, does that extend even to using the gmail app on a work phone? Or texting using your personal cell #? I rarely send personal emails from the work account.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I have two phones. I want my personal life, and I also want the ability to have a phone while leaving the work phone off and/or at home, such as on my honeymoon. And sometimes, I want to be able to easily ignore my personal calls and focus on work. I answer my personal cell with a “hey” and my work cell with a “This is [name].” If my mom calls me on my personal cell during the day, I usually ignore it. If she calls my work phone, it’s an emergency and I need to pick it up immediately.

      And for those of you who say “the firm is never going to look at my emails/texts”… well, probably not, but it’s all archived. Once the firm installs anything on your device, they can look at it remotely, see everything in it, and install or delete anything, and remotely back up. And while the firm may never have reason to suspect you of anything improper, from time to time, the firm DOES get subpoenas for whatever reason… malpractice claims, usually. And then your colleagues, or outside counsel for your firm, may have to review all. of. your. texts. and. emails. I did a review like this last year. Thankfully, the people I was reviewing were in another office than mine, and I have never met them, but it is damn awkward reading their personal emails and texts. One foolish person even had nude pictures of his/herself on that person’s blackberry. I saw those too. Whatever you put on your firm-accessible device, it is no longer yours.

      Two phones, all the way.

    • I have a personal cell and a work blackberry. I have my personal phone calls forwarded to my blackberry, so I usually only have to carry around one phone. Usually, I leave the personal phone at home and use it mainly for sending photos of my dogs to my kids who are away at college.

      If I’m going on vacation, I de-link (un-forward) and just take the personal phone. If I were to look for a new job (I’m not…), I would use the personal phone for those calls. Or if I want to make personal calls on nights/weekends, sometimes I use the personal phone, although my employer doesn’t care that employees use the blackberry for personal calls (as there is no additional cost to them).

      It doesn’t eliminate the expense but I don’t want to give up a personal number I’ve used since 2004.

    • My company provides a phone. However, I didn’t want to have to carry two phones ever. So I ditched the company phone and just use my personal phone for everything.

    • TurtleWexler :

      I have two phones — personal is an iPhone, work is an Android. But I didn’t have the option of combining them, and my agency has quite strict usage rules (although I’m allowed to use my work phone for some personal stuff, there are enough rules that I’m terrified of accidentally violating one so I just don’t use it for non-work things). Even so, I like having them separate and it’s not as much of a pain to carry two phones as I anticipated it would be. If I ever were to switch to a different agency or a firm, I would definitely choose the two-phone option again.

    • I have one work, one personal, and while it is an added expense, I like my privacy and it’s also a signal to myself about separating work and personal life. Another added benefit is that if I can’t find one phone, I can call it with my other phone :) Finally, this probably sounds paranoid, but I also wanted to have it separate during my first few months just in case things didn’t work out. Unlikely, yes, but it happens.

      You should try and find out if there are any other rules about porting your personal number over – for example, if you port your current personal number and use it as your business line, will your firm keep it after you leave? Would you care if they did?

      I have the bare minimum data/voice/messaging on my personal phone which keeps costs lower as well.

      • In House Lobbyist :

        I agree with 2 phones. It really isn’t that much of a pain and you just never know. But I’m also paranoid about Facebook so I could just be weird!

    • Another Sarah :

      I also have two phones. I don’t really care about my boss reading my personal email or texts (on the work phone I have work, family, and super-best friends), since they would be pretty boring to him. But if I were to leave, I don’t want to deal with buying my phone number that I’ve had since forever from them. So I have a work Iphone and a personal Blackberry, and everyone is cool. It also makes it convenient if one phone dies, I have a backup.

    • My employer lets us use our own phone and they install work email on it with some privacy protections that they control remotely. We have to sign an agreement about security and confidentiality of our phone, but part of the agreement says that they will not look at or touch anything on our phone except our work email (unless we lose the phone, in which case they can do a full wipe of the phone upon request). I went for this option because it protects my privacy – if I took a work cell phone, it’s property of the employer and they can look at whatever they want on it, so I wouldn’t want to use it for my private stuff. So far this has worked out well for me.

      • Tiny greyhound :

        No one has mentioned this but keep in mind if you ever separate from your employer that they often will take your work cell phone when you leave. I also know that these days certain IT departments are limiting what you can and can’t do ( like add an app) and what you can and can’t search for on your smartphone’s browser. Yes, it’s a pain to carry two phones but it’s the best way from a privacy standpoint.

    • My firm has a similar policy. I started with the BB but have since gotten an iPhone and switched to just having the iPhone. I think the answer would depend on how the firm’s service is structured on the iPhone. At my firm, they use the Good app, so everything is confined to that app-e-mail, calendar, etc. They cannot access anything else on my phone, so for example, if I lost my phone, they would just wipe the app rather than my personal email/texts. I have friends who access their email through the email function on the iPhone, and that seems to be opening you up to more scrutiny and issues. All in all, I prefer just carrying the one phone. But, the Good app is inferior to the BB for a couple of reasons, so if that’s what the firm uses, just make sure you know the functionality before you commit.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have a choice, since I work for the government and using my blackberry as my primary personal phone is not an option. I have an iPhone that belongs to me as my personal phone. I’ve gotten completely used to having two phones and it’s not bad at all, although sometimes a little heavy. If I had the option to have a work iPhone that I could also use for personal calls, I would probably think hard about it, but only to save the cost of the data plan.

      As long as you already have your iPhone (and presumably a contract) and want to keep it, I’d just go with having two separate phones and keeping personal calls, texts and emails off your work phone to protect your privacy. I’d also get a blackberry, even though I hate them, because it will likely get service some places an iPhone won’t (my work blackberry has saved my butt on several occasions this way), easy to tell the two apart, and it is slightly more functional if you’re primarily using it to type and make phone calls. Blackberry also has some lighter weight plastic models so that carrying around two phones won’t be as heavy.

    • You really must have 2 separate numbers for your work and personal life. I won’t go on and on about it, but you’ll be sorry if you merge them. And don’t give work your personal number!! Be sure to configure different rings for both functions, so you know instantly which is which.
      However you can get some phones that allow you to have both SIM cards in the same phone, if you really can’t stand the thought of having 2 phones.. Smartphones too, so no problem to substitute for a Blackberry.

    • Two phones :

      I have two phones – both are iPhones. Along with what the other two phone people have said, I would ask about your company’s policy for reviewing smartphone data, i.e. does everything belong to them? (My company has gone so far as to say that anything on a 3rd party USB drive that is stuck in the computer could be reviewed/owned by them.) So I could surmise that a 3rd party app (i.e. gmail) would be susceptible to their policy of being reviewed by them.

      Here’s why I have kept and use a personal phone: personal emails that extend to family issues (i.e. wedding, illness, etc), vacation, and job searches/interviewing. I also ditch the work phone on the weekend (if possible) or vacation, where I really and truly do not have access to email/phone, as my out of office states. The weight of the phone is not an issue; the iphone weighs like 1/2 pound.

      In terms of deciding what to have, BlackBerry or iPhone, what works with your company’s email system the best? While I can type faster on a BlackBerry, for work we switched over to iPhones and I’ll eventually learn to type faster.

      Yes it’s a PIA sometimes to have two devices, but I know that my personal life is separate from my work life.

    • OP here — thank you all so much for the advice! I think I’ll go ahead and have two phones — I want to keep things separate, and the idea of anyone reading the text messages I send to my SO (just because they’re very personal, not because they’re X-rated or anything like that) and siblings etc. really bothers me, and I do a lot of my personal communicating with close non-local friends via personal email, and often read those emails on my iphone. I think for me the real challenge will be keeping my calendar straight using two devices, since I do all my scheduling on my iphone…

      Thanks again – hope everyone had a good weekend!

      • If you use google mail, you can keep 2 separate calendars, see them both together (in different colors :-)) on the same phone and update/synchronize them from different PCs, so that your private events remain private. You can also buy an Outlook/gmail synch piece if that’s what your office uses.

  35. Tax trouble :

    I just had a conversation with an old friend that is freaking me out. She has been struggling with depression for years, and confided in me that, about five years ago, she had turned her finances over to her sister because sometimes she couldn’t get it together to pay bills on time, etc.

    My friend has just discovered that the sister’s boyfriend, who did both sisters’ taxes, never filed her tax returns. He filled them out, she signed them, but they were never mailed to the IRS — for several years. (I don’t understand exactly what happened.) Now she has a notice from the IRS.

    She has had the taxes withheld for these years, and the amount seems to be roughly correct for her tax situation, but she is terrified that she is going to get arrested for tax evasion.

    I don’t even want to talk about the boyfriend. He’s out of the picture, and it does not appear that there was any theft of funds (it’s not like he cashed her refund check or anything). But we can’t get any answers from him, either.

    Tax savvy Corporettes — how can she try to make this right? Does she need a tax attorney right away, or can she work with an accountant?

    • Did she have a copy of the taxes that she signed?

      I’ve known a few people who have had similar situations to your friend. To get charged with a tax crime, you have to be proven to have violated the law knowingly. In a case like this, I think the IRS will be more than happy to make a settlement with her, especially since the tax was actually withheld and she doesn’t actually owe anything (or not much, at least). If I were her, rather than spending the money on a lawyer, I’d call the IRS (there should be a number in the letter that they sent) and explain that she had the taxes prepared by a third party, she signed them, and she had no idea they were never sent. The IRS agent should be able to work things out with her with minimal trouble.

      • I think it is a little more serious. For five years she never thought she should be getting a refund? When she signed the refund, it should have said how much she should be getting back right? But she never questioned that she never got it? I don’t think she’ll get arrested for tax evasion but I think this should be a real wake up call for her to get her life in order. It might be worth it to go to an intial consultation with a tax attorney

        • Divaliscious11 :

          She may not have thought she was owed a refund. Some people do their tax planning so they don’t owe, but don’t get anything back either…..

          • But she wasn’t even able to file her tax return, i don’t think she was doing much tax planning

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Most people do basic planning when the fill out their W-4. I agree that it sucks, but if she turned her finances over to her sister, why hasn’t her sister been on top of this?

    • Hi TT,

      I’m a Revenue Officer with the IRS and my job is to collect delinquent tax returns. Here is my advice. Have your friend file all her returns now. She needs to send them signed and certified so she will get a certified receipt back confirming the IRS got them. If all the returns are refunds, she should not get hit with any penalties, but will lose refunds that are more than 3 years old (2008 and before). If she does owe money on any of the returns, she’ll get hit with the normal penalties and interest. If she can not full pay the amount she is going to owe, she can apply for a payment plan if she doesn’t owe too much, otherwise, her case would likely be assigned to a revenue officer to resolve.

      It is very unlikely she would be hit with any criminal charges, but without knowing more I can’t promise that would be the case. The most important thing is for her to get into full filing compliance now so if her name comes across someone’s desk, they can see that she has started the steps to get back in good compliance. No one sells a case to DOJ of a person trying to do the right thing.

  36. Anyone ever had skin get darker during pregnancy (I’ve been told by a non derm its probably melasma)? I look like I have a permanent mustache [and its not hair, its the skin].
    I would LOVE to know how to get rid of it :)

    • 1) Hydroquinone rx
      2) Laser

      Probably both have to wait until after pregnancy. Sorry, that sucks.

    • And should have added…I am 8 months post pregnancy, and no longer bfeeding…so I’m game for all ideas.
      And thanks mamabear, it really does – I am becoming quite handy with concealer though ;)

      • I’d get a referral to a derm as soon as possible. I didn’t get pregnancy melasma but a good friend did & she now wonders why she waited so long to treat it.

    • If you are not comfortable with a hydroquinone prescription, you could try Phyto X from Skinceuticals, which is pretty natural for a hyperpigmentation serum. I have been researching and may take the plunge soon – the reviews are good, but they say you have to stick with it for at least 3 months. On the plus side, you only need a couple of drops.

  37. Yay weekend! :

    So far :
    1. I got to leave work at 2:30.
    2. 2 new magazines came in the mail
    3. A random adorable girl stopped me at Target to ask my opinion about a purchase because she thought I was cute. (If you are a ‘rette – thanks, you made my day.)
    4. My husband and I actually get to stay in town and have minimal commitments all weekend.

    Happy weekend to everyone!

    • Jacqueline :

      1 and 2 alone would make my day! Sounds like a great start to the weekend — enjoy!

    • I feel like a walking cliche this weekend. I’m exhausted from work, had crazy dreams last night, and my SO may be moving to another state. I ate gelato and bought jewelry. When my new Bon Appetit arrived this afternoon, I realized I had never opened the one from the previous month. Sheesh.

  38. MoInBoston :

    Hi everyone! Sorry about the threadjack – I’m hoping someone else here has experience with what to wear to internal interviews! I am a strategy analyst in a fairly conservative corporate office outside of Boston and am interviewing for a different position within the group I currently work in. My interviews (3) are taking place during the workday, with managers who I already work with on a day to day basis and will likely interact with on normal work projects during the morning before my interviews. I am very seriously interested in the role, I believe I am qualified and want to put my best foot forward during the interviews. Given that this is not your typical interview scenario, I’m drawing a blank as to what is most appropriate for me to wear. I think my options are: (1) wear an interview suit to the interview (which means I also wear it to work all day, which might look a little out of place), (2) dress normally during the day, change into my suit for the interview, then change back, (3) wear a nicer version of my normal office attire for the interview (a dress/cardigan or nice pants, heels and blouse). Thanks so much for any comments you can share!

    • Kontraktor :

      Could you wear a suit sans jacket during the day with a blouse that could be worn by itself? Then just throw the jacket on for the interview?

      The other thing I would suggest if you felt it was formal enough would be a nice dress (maybe something plain and black in a nice fabric) and a blazer (like a muted/dark tweed one).

    • You should wear an interview suit. I think changing before and after adds unnecessary complications, but that is up to you.

      Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can take an internal interview any less seriously than you would take an external interview.

    • I would say that you should wear whatever you would wear to the most formal meeting held at your company. This shows you take the interview as seriously as you would a meeting with the CEO or a major client. At my office you would be expected to wear a suit.

    • MoInBoston :

      I’ve been a long time Corporette reader but never posted here until now – thanks so much for your quick responses and all of your advice!

  39. layered bob :

    Mr. layered bob has an interview at GM next week. They are flying him out. We are thrilled.


    He currently works for a super-casual tech company, and is interviewing for a role similar to what he currently does. If it were me interviewing, I would have a good idea of how to dress to convey “serious interview” + “cool tech person.” But I have NO idea how he should dress. HELP?

    Additional details: His current job is so casual that he doesn’t own a business suit or dress pants (with the exception of a tan summer-weight suit that he wears occasionally to church or summer weddings.) But GM is not a super-casual tech company. On the other hand, it’s a completely new position in a relatively new division.

    As an added complication, the interviews begin at noon directly after a morning flight. So whatever he wears he probably needs to wear it on the plane?

    • I think it matters (or would help) to know where geographically GM is located. Detroit/Midwest?

      • Anonymous :

        Yep, Detroit. He currently works in Chicago.

        • Anonymous :

          Classic suit for the interview. Nothing fancy or flashy or on trend. He should stand out, not his clothes. I’d go charcoal or navy solid suit. GM is pretty old school.

          • layered bob :

            that’s what I was afraid of. we’re a couple of youngsters making entry-level $$ and a new suit + tailoring, last minute, is going to blow our budget for, like, ever. okie doke. off to the nearest BB to see if I can find his size on the sale racks…

          • You know, you might look at Men’s Warehouse if finances are a real issue. I’ve seen decent (not fabulous) quality stuff there at a very reasonable price. And if it’s brand new you don’t have to deal with the “it doesn’t wear well” issue. Also, I think they are pretty awesome about quick turn-around for alterations and pressing.

          • I disagree. Some casual employers perceive suits as stuffy and suit-wearers as not fitting in with company culture.

          • Oops, nm, I’m confused. I read too quickly and thought he was a GM employee interviewing for the super-casual job, not vice versa. I agree he should wear a suit, and MW is a good choice.

        • I’m trying to think of a way to say this without implying youve done something bad. So you haven’t done anything bad! But I think a good rule is to not identify the company you are asking about. GM is big but not that big ya know? and there are GM corperitas (avoiding mod hopefully)

          • layered bob :

            I hear you. I actually changed some details in the post but didn’t want it to get too wordy explaining that I changed details. But I thought it was significant that it’s a big, old, Detroit-based company that is different from what he’s doing now.

    • Definitely a dark suit (from a former DTW auto industry employee). If you’re young, I suppose slacks and sports jacket would be okay, but if he’s going to be shopping either way, it’s useful to own one suit.

      My DH and engineer bought his first, and only, suit on deep discount from Macy’s. They are always having sales, and it was the same price and infinitely better quality than the ones he tried on at Men’s Wearhouse.

      • Agree with Rtg. Without giving away too much about myself, I know this employer very well. Traditional all the way. Suit. Polished shoes. The whole business.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks folks. Mr. Layered Bob is out of town this weekend for work so I’m doing legwork on the suit. I appreciate the suggestions. I with their were a C0 r p 0 r ette for men, since this has been so helpful for me. Would that be just Corpo rate then? :-)

      • BTW…if you’re looking for a last minute, classic grey suit, I’d check JC Penneys. My hubbie still gets his suit there and really like them — and they come as separates so might take care of some of the tailoring issues.

      • Also, check Jos A Bank. They’er always having a sale…

      • lucy stone :

        I find Ask Andy About Clothes to be really helpful for men’s clothes.

  40. notawedgegirl :

    Totally random TJ: I WANT to like wedges, but every time I buy a pair, I feel clompy (I can’t think of a better word for it). I’m short and curvy, and they somehow accentuate that in an unflattering way that a heeled pump or sandal doesn’t. Yet I always see them looking amazing on other women, so I continue to buy them… and then they just sit in my closet.*

    Is the key to go with a more delicate wedge, or should I just avoid them altogether? Wedge loving ladies, what do you pair them with — fuller skirts or pencil?

    *The same thing happens to me with round-toe flats (so cute on others, but they make me look like I have no feet) and anything with an ankle strap.

    • I wear wedges with wide-legged jeans and casual dresses. They just look less dressy to me than pumps. There are some narrow wedges out there, which may look better on your leg, but could also defeat the purpose of the wedge for extra stability. I actually find that skinny wedges require more balance than regular old heels.

    • I have adopted wedges as a go-to professional shoe because I walk back and forth between my office and the hospital all. the. time. and they are way more comfortable than heals. That being said, on the linoleum floors of the hospital, the nurses call out good morning to me before they actual see me, because I clomp around. It’s a tradeoff.

      • Hah! I am also known in my office for my shoe noises. I sit a long way from the printer and walk fast and wear heels. People are nice/funny about it, and sometimes when I’m wearing flats or barefoot (I know my office, it’s ok) I get comments on how no one heard me coming.

        Re: wedges, ITA that they’re less dressy than pumps.

        • Pretzel_Logic :

          To TJ a TJ, does anyone have good reviews of closed-toe espadrille-type wedges? I’ve put my Google hat on a few times to find some and haven’t had much luck. I’m tall already and I don’t mind a significant heel, but I really hate the “hoof” look of platforms and would like to avoid that if possible…

  41. Anonymous :

    I wish there was a FAQ.

    I’m pear shaped (defined waist, carry weight low in my butt and have “saddlebags” as my mother called them). Is The Skirt flattering for this type?

    • Yes, you are exactly who The Skirt was made for! :o) Or, it works great for me anyway. Definitely size down a size. I have the exact same shape. I didn’t have to have the waist taken in, which is a huge relief, because most pencil skirts I definitely have to.

      Besides, they are on sale right now, and Nordies has free returns! Give it a try! ;o)

    • same figure type here and the Skirt sadly does not work for me (and I’ve tried it in several sizes)- it fits great- no gap at the waist- but it really accentuates my saddlebags.

      Agree that with free shipping and returns you have nothing to lose by trying though!

  42. Gift question…My parents are staying at my SO’s parents’ home in a couple weeks. Previously when SO’s parents stayed with mine, SO’s parents got them a nice serving bowl as a gift. My parents want to give them something equally nice. Thoughts? Wine is out (my parents aren’t drinkers and would be terrible at picking something out), as is anything perishable, since they’ll be driving in from out of town.

    • Anonymous :

      Something for BBQ season? Cedar planks, fancy wood chips, smoker box?

    • Anonymous :

      summer croquet set. they can all play!

    • I don’t drink, but I have several shops in the neighborhood that’ll recommend something appropriate, no problem. I usually get compliments on my great butcher’s excellent choices :-). As long as you make it clear that you’re willing to spend serious gift money, there is no shortage of good advice.

    • Something from Nambe maybe?

  43. Going beneath the google-radar for this one.

    I’m an ’05 grad who is acting as first lieutenant/coordinator/small tasks do-er for the firm’s largest client because the partner has other clients and can’t deal with all of this. All in all, it’s a pretty thankless task/role with one perk–I am the first associate to get invited to swanky client-appreciation events twice a year. I “got” the responsibility by mentioning that I’d like to get more involved with this client at my yearly review and based on some client management I did at another firm.

    There has only been one surprise: a “gunner,” power-tripping, know-it-all, ’08 grad associate who apparently wants my “job”. He criticizes everything I do to the partner (even when I’m just passing along information from the client). The partner is standing up for me.

    Today, based on his “expertise” he misrepresented a functionality in Microsoft Outlook and insisted that I was handling meeting requests wrong. Luckily, the partner knows better and I didn’t have to defend how I do things (which are spelled out by the client). He insisted I was doing things from my phone that I should do from my computer (nope), that I need to perform tasks that are best done by other people (because attorneys shouldn’t have to follow up on meetings they attended), that I should delegate some things to people who aren’t qualified to do those things (paralegals don’t know technology–they know how to do paperwork), and that I need to be micromanaging other attorneys more (ha!). The partner and I told him about some invisible-to-him redundancies and some things we are working on to smooth out processes.

    Ugh. I just want to tell him to stop it. That he isn’t impressing anyone. He isn’t adding anything to the conversation. The partner doesn’t have time for this sh*t. How do I tell him to mind his own business and service the (smaller) clients he is in charge of?

    • People are d!cks sometimes, and it sounds like your boss has your back. Unless you’re in a supervisory capacity to this associate, it’s not your place to tell him to stop it and do his job. If he keeps it up, the partner will tell him when he fires him. If you really need it to be addressed, you should speak to the partner about your concerns and ask him what steps he thinks are appropriate for you to take or what steps he would be willing to take to make the guy cut it off.

      If you are in a supervisory position to this associate, a good old-fashioned verbal smackdown is called for. Just let him know in no uncertain terms that he needs to cut this crap out, but use professional language and don’t raise your voice lest you end up looking like the bad guy.

    • I need to pick a name :

      Former Big(ish)Law associate here….

      Sounds like Gunner is more an annoyance than an actual threat, since the partner seems unswayed by his “helpful” comments and obviously trusts you. I’m not sure how much you can do to take people like Gunner down a notch or two, but depending on how confrontational you want to be about this, you could:

      a) essentially smile and nod every time he offers a suggestion, tell him “thanks for your input” and then just keep doing what you were doing; or

      b) tell him flat out that he seems to be overly concerned with your handling of your client, that you have it covered, that both client and partner are happy with your work and he should probably worry about whether his own clients are happy.

      What’s the partner’s personality like? Is s/he likely to just keep ignoring Gunner, or will s/he eventually snap and tell him to shut it?

      I’d be curious to hear what others have to say about this, but my gut feeling on this guy is that he’s pretty transparent to others in the firm and probably not very likable, and all of his “suggestions” are just putting him in a bad light to the firm. Given enough rope, he may just hang himself.

    • http://www.bullyonline.org
      It’s still good now because partner is not going for it, but you don’t know who else may be listening to him. And you don’t know when he may finally find something that tips partner over. Try to deal with it, with partner’s help if possible, before you get put into a serious situation.. HR may be your best bet, but only with partner’s help if at all possible. In any case, start documenting now! What he says, how he says it and to whom, how he’s wrong.

    • Sounds like you don’t need to do anything, and that Gunner 08 Grad is digging his own grave quite nicely.

  44. last minute styling suggestions?? :

    Can I wear silver jewelry (with an amber ‘stone’) and bronze shoes, with a black cocktail dress? What purse? HELP!! I have no matching/coordinating abilities…

    • I would think yes…I have a set of earrings that are silver, gold and bronze. I think it’s OK to mix metals (or metal-colors) as long as it looks intentional. Perhaps then a clutch that also mixes metallic colors?

    • I’m probably too late, but with this I would have carried a colored purse, like a bright red or something. To avoid adding more metallics. But I think you can mix metallics in jewelry and shoes, they’re no where near each other in the outfit anyway!

  45. A post above got me thinking. I’m 40 y.o. and single, and I have no life insurance. Is that crazy? I always thought life ins. is something you get when you have kids. Now I’m wondering if i should reconsider. I can afford it but there’s so many other areas I think my $ should go toward that are more of a priority (day to day expenses, saving for retirement, a house, etc.) Have I got it all wrong?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think unless someone is financially depending on you to stay alive and earn a salary (for example, if you are paying off student loans which your parents cosigned, or if you are a joint debtor on a mortgage with your sister) life insurance isn’t hugely necessary. However, it may be more difficult for you to get life insurance as you age if you get ill, so if you think that you may one day have someone financially dependent on you, it’ll be cheaper to get it when you’re relatively healthy.

      • This. I’m in the same situation (single, no dependents). I have some life insurance through work but I have a separate (term) policy that will cover my outstanding student loan balance and a little more.

      • Agree with momentsofabsurdity and karenpadi so long as there is enough in your estate to mean that heirs get to keep whatever you leave them (ie they don’t have to sell the car because they can’t make the payments) and to take care of the executrix. Don’t you love that word?!

      • Totally. If you don’t have dependants, you don’t need it. There’s enough to bury me and keep my cat, that’s the basics :-).

    • Seattleite :

      At the very least, you should have enough to cover your burial, etc. – and tell your executor about it. You don’t want your survivors having to make decisions about that while wondering if they’ll be paying, or having to front the money and seek reimbursement from your estate. I’m divorced with two kids, but I took out a small policy with my brother as beneficiary specifically to cover those expenses. It seemed like the least I could do to make that time easier for all.

    • I only have the minimum provided my my employer without charge (equivalent to my salary). I figure I may need to support my parents when they are elderly, so if I die, it will be nice for them to get some cash.

    • I’m of the same mindset of you. I’m also single, no kids, and think that because of this I don’t really see why I would need life insurance. Additionally, I don’t have any debt, and my mom is the beneficiary on all my retirement accounts. I don’t really know what the extra insurance would do other than give her (or someone else I designate) a big lump of money, so I don’t see the point… consider me short-sighted.

    • Agree with those who say don’t get it unless you have dependents. OR if you’re planning to have dependents and prefer to qualify for it while you’re young and healthy (premiums rise as you age.)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I just found out I have a tiny policy my grandfather bought me when I was born (he sold, you guessed it, life insurance). I asked why as I have no dependents and never plan on having any, my parents said for burial costs. So there’s that, I guess

  46. I’ve had darker spots on my face (not pregnancy related) and have seen great results with clinique’s even better dark spot corrector. It’s really the only thing that’s worked for me. One drawback is I’ve noticed the area I use it on tends to get dark again when I stop using it. Not sure if that’s just because of continued sun exposure but I can say it works as long as you keep using it.

  47. Searching.... :

    I remembering being able to search on this site. Now I can’t find any way to search the site.
    Specifically, I’m trying to find the discussion not too terribly long ago where people were commenting on their favorite Unitarian churches in the Washington, DC area.


    • Seattleite :

      You have to do a google search now. “site:[thissite].com unitarian”

    • And if you just want someone to answer…I highly recommend All Souls in Columbia Heights. Very welcoming environment.

    • Anonymous :

      River Road Church in Bethesda is also a good community.

  48. Help.

    I need to take my grandma shopping, mostly for a special occasion outfit on a moderate budget. Shopping for a woman past 60 is ridiculously difficult. Any advice or hints on where to go? I’m wide wide open to all suggestions. This will be in the bay area if location helps.

    • Seattleite :

      I’m assuming that she’s not terribly fashion- and clothes-conscious, otherwise she’d know where she wanted to go herself. So…maybe David’s Bridal? They have online an entire selection called ‘mothers and special guests.’ It looks like the dresses in that section would cover a broad range of generational sensibilities and sizes. I saw several under $100.

    • Macy’s. Seriously. They are my new answer to everything.

      • Word. Macy’s.

        Also, i don’t know how formal the event is, but we dealt with this for my mom at my sister’s wedding. My mom is not really a clothes person and just wears pants and simple tops. We found her a nice, but basic pair of white pants, had them tailored so they looked just right, and a gorgeous silk jacket that was a statement piece/color. Then she just wore a simple white t-shirt under it. That way she felt special and fancy, but also comfortable and herself, cause she just doesn’t do dresses/skirts. But this was for a very simple, summer wedding, so I don’t know if that’s too casual for your purposes.

        • my mom’s jacket was sort of this idea:

    • SpaceMountain :

      Angie at Youlookfab once had a post on a woman in her 70s who was one of her clients, and she looked great. If you can search that site, see where they shopped.

    • Nordies? My mom went there when she needed to get a MoB dress and shoes for my wedding and she had been all over and was feeling hopeless and the sales rep there just took her in hand and found her the perfect outfit. It wasn’t the cheapest outfit in the world, but I think my mom would have kissed the sales rep if she could have.

  49. http://nomoreharvarddebt.com/

    Thought this would be interesting.

    Paid off 90k in 7 months and how he did it.

    • I read some of his entries. He sounds smart, articulate, thoughtful, responsible, fun. In short: marriageable!

      Should we introduce him to any ‘rettes in Austin?

      • There is a slim chance I’ll be moving to Austin…just sayin’. He sounds like a total catch. Although I don’t think I could never take a vacation again, no matter how appealing early retirement is; perhaps I could balance the budget out by reducing his entertainment/eating-out costs with my kitchen-fu.

    • Something about this guy really rubs me the wrong way. I think it is the fact that he created a blog to explain how he paid of 90k of debt although he is probably in the top 3% of earners and has no dependents. I paid off 80K in debt over 6 years while making only 45k. Given this guys circumstances I don’t see how what he did is so extraordinary. I understand that it is a huge sum to pay off but he didn’t have to overcome financial hardship – he had to cut back on hanging out with his buddies and could only onwn 1 vehicle instead of 3. That is just called being responsible and is not blogworthy.

      • Concur.

        Also, from reading, he’s also not a “catch” in my eyes, as he’s self-admittedly become much more comfortable with financial risk. At the end of this project he had almost zeroed out his cash with another two weeks to payday. I’m unwilling to put myself in that kind of financial situation.

        Frugality is great. I’m paying half my take-home to my loans, and hope to have $140K paid off in 10 years on a modest salary. But the smug tone? Not so great, IMO.

      • Fellow Texan :

        I don’t have a problem with him doing the blog if he felt that would hold him accountable to his goal.

        But I do agree that his situation is not one that most people can or should emulate.

        First of all, as some of the news coverage has pointed out, he made some ill-advised financial moves, like liquidating his IRA at a penalty and giving up the employer match on his 401k by not making any contributions. One criticism that I do think is unfair is that he should’ve just paid the minimums on his “3% debt” and invested his money elsewhere. Anyone who says a 2011 Master’s grad has 3% debt obviously has no clue that interest rates for grad students are 6.8% on the first ~$21k/year (Stafford) and 7.9% on anything above that. The only people who were getting 3.4% were undergrads who qualified for subsidized Staffords, and it was only this past year that it was 3.4%–the rates were phased down over several years.

        Second, if you run the numbers, he must have had a pretty substantial IRA to do this. $90k in 7 months is just under 13K per month. Adding in his $3k/mo expenses, he would have to make $16k pre-tax if he was making the payments solely out of income, which means an annual salary of over $200k. I believe ~$125k is a fair approximation for MBAs in their first year out (from everything I’ve heard, they start a little under first year Biglaw, but they move up much faster), so his IRA must have been pretty something like $55k after the penalty to cut the balance down to $35k, which he could manage on roughly $5k of monthly income after taxes and expenses. I realize he took on a second job landscaping, but I don’t think that would’ve brought in enough every month to change this analysis substantially–he still would’ve needed a significant IRA to make this work. How many grads with high loan balances have that much in savings/retirement?

        Third, while there are certainly grads out there who struggle to downsize their lifestyle from what they enjoyed with Mom & Dad (who’ve been working for 20+ years) or even in their luxury-style dorms that contributed to their sky-high debt, I don’t know many who had 3 cars or in general are spending anywhere near his levels. That he was able to “cut back” his spending so much doesn’t impress me much when you consider how ridiculous it was to begin with for someone in his situation (based on my estimates above, it looks like he was spending every cent he made). For someone who is already living frugally, you’re not going to find 5k in expenses to cut and throw at your loans each month.

        Finally, while I appreciate some of his cost-cutting endeavors, like taking dates hiking (I’m an outdoors girl and would much rather do this than drop $200 on some see and be seen restaurant), some of the other things were pretty DOOSHY, as Ellen would say. Smuggling a flask into a bar? Sneaking a bag of M&Ms into the movie theater is one thing, but BYOBing to a business whose sole purpose is to sell alcohol is pretty lame.

        I won’t criticize him for making six figures though, like a lot of commenters on news stories. I think that’s actually one of the great takeaways from his blog–taking on high debt is not necessarily a bad idea when its for a Harvard MBA and you’re looking at a six figure salary that will enable you to pay it off. It’s *not* a great idea for a Bachelor’s degree that, even after working 30 years, will never pay six figures, and from a private school that costs $60,000/yr. I realize the market changed for a lot of law grads in the last few years, but for people looking at going to school in the present with full knowledge of the crappy economy, it’s a cost-benefit analysis they have no excuse for not performing.

      • The DOOSH giveaway for me is the title of his blog. It could have been “nomoreschooldebt” just as well.

  50. Resume question :

    Looking for input from the hive! What do you all think of trying to express some personality in your resume? This was feedback that my SO recently got about his resume from a friend. SO worked before he went to law school and he’s already finding it hard to fit everything on 1 page (prior jobs are relevant to the potential positions he wants).

    I can understand trying to express that you’re more than your job, but admittedly it’s somewhat foreign to me as I’m working in an academic setting right now and am used to having a CV. (BTW, I also find it weird to include your GPA from more than a decade ago, but he swears it’s important to include it.)

    • I’m in law and have some hiring authority at my firm. I never see GPAs on a resume unless it’s a current student. Either you include honors, or if you didn’t get honors it just says your degree. Some people include an extraordinary academic accomplishment like a *very* high class rank, Order of the Coif, etc. Everyone includes their journal; if I don’t see a journal listed I assume you weren’t on one.

      I think you can show some personality in the layout and font of your resume, somewhere between a plain, straightforward Times New Roman 12 point resume and Elle Woods’ perfume-scented pink paper. You don’t have to add a whole new interests section, but you can word your resume in a way that shows aspects of your personality, e.g. “Headed department task force on fundraising” would show leadership and initiative, or “Captain of company softball team” would show that you’re sporty and like hanging out with colleages outside of work, “Provided 100 hours of pro bono services” shows charitable and community involvement, “Published note on legal strategies to abolish puppy mills” shows interest in animal rights, etc. Including professional activities such as membership in a local bar association, volunteering with a legal aid clinic, etc is also a good idea and can show your personality a bit. It’s also good to list your foreign language skills if you are professionally fluent, and that also will add personality.

      Also, if he worked before law school and it’s relevant, it’s fine to have more than one page. I wouldn’t take up over a page if he’s only listing law school activities, but for real jobs it’s fine. It’s important to include all your relevant employment. and then if you’re already over a page it doesn’t hurt to add one line of activities and interests.

    • GPA from someone who’s ever worked is downright weird..
      I wouldn’t add info about hobbies and extracurricular activities either. To me, it’s about how you word your work-related accomplishments, and having accomplishments at all. Read all of askamanager.org, something’s bound to come up.
      Also, if I may, getting your SO to do your resume is on a par with having them teach you to drive – possible, but risky on several levels :-).

      • Resume question :

        Yeah, that’s what I thought (GPA on resume) but he swears it’s really important. To clarify, SO did his own resume, but he asked me to proofread it.

        • Then you should probably stick carefully to proofreading alone, for your sanity as well as his. Maybe gently recommend getting some real advice, and point him to askamanager. But he’s going to have a hard time finding a job this way, if only from his attitude that probably extends to more than GPA. If you’re not willing to bail now, try to stay well out of it :-).

  51. Hello my lovely ladies! I was wondering if any of you know where I can purchase suit (separates) with an a-line skirt? I don’t really like pencil skirts (I’m short and I just don’t feel like they flatter me especially if I’m wearing flats) but all skirt suits seem to have them! Banana has one but only in black and tan it seems. Ideally I’m looking for any shade of gray or navy. Thanks in advance!

    • Pretzel_Logic :

      I just picked one up at Limited in black…I can’t recall if there were other color options.

      I’m tall and I don’t wear pencil skirts without heels, btw. They just don’t look right with flats to me.

    • If you’re willing to spring for it, Brooks Brothers has the best looking A-Line suit I’ve seen in a long time (it was featured on this site I believe.)

      I’ll post the link to the skirt in the next post.

      • http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=374&Product_Id=1652806&Parent_Id=1034&default_color=BLACK&sort_by=&sectioncolor=&sectionsize=

    • Some of the Calvin Klein suiting separates for Macy’s have A-Line suit options

    • Ann Taylor has one right now with an a-line skirt (in their tropical wool line).

  52. Amelia Bedelia :

    I’m intrigued by the plug for eShakti dresses, and especially skirts. Can anyone on this site speak to the sizing and quality?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I was very disappointed in a skirt that I purchased from eshakti. Granted it was custom size, so I may have measured myself incorrectly (although I used to sew so I know where the measurements are supposed to be taken) but the sizing was way off. I also didn’t really like the quality of the fabric (wrinkled basically at the touch) and there was a weird ruffle thing in the back that hadn’t appeared in the pictures.

      • Amelia Bedelia :


      • Sydney, if the sizing was off did you consider returning it? I could see how fabric quality and even weird ruffles may be chalked up to the travails of Internet shopping, but way off measurements are just too far off..

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Unfortunately the return window was pretty short and I missed it. I need to make one of those spreadsheets that everyone was talking about earlier this week to stay on top of returns…or just order everything from Zappos!

          • Everything from zappos would be very limited :-).
            But it doesn’t sound like you’re going to have this problem from eshakti again. Sigh.

  53. Finished my first week at the new job in litigation support this week. It was so different than appeals and the week flew by! I went to court and was introduced to a bunch of judges who were all very nice, drafted responses to three post trial motions (one of which the judge requested a proposed order on), answered a few questions and was asked by a senior attorney to assist on high profile trial in July. The pace is so different much faster that appeals and the atmosphere in the office is much more social than my old office. Although it will take some more settling in, so far I am really satisfied with my decision to switch jobs and step outside of my comfort zone. I was so nervous going in. Thanks for your support Corporettes!

    • Totally Qualified :

      So, did any of your colleagues ask you yet whether, in all your years of reviewing trial transcripts, you ever saw X and what you thought of it?

      • Not yet! I am waiting to get the question though and will keep you posted.

  54. Anonymous :

    Random question: any runners with “chub rub” ever consider liposuction to correct the problem? I’ve been a runner for 10 years now, and my thighs touch regardless of how thin I am (seriously 8% body fat and size 0 at one point, and they still touched). It causes chafing and limits the shorts I can use for long runs. Part of me wants to get lipo to fix this, but I also wonder whether it would correct the problem and whether it is worth the (large) cost to do so.

    Thoughts? TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Should probably also mention that Body Glide doesn’t help at all– I currently have to wear long bike/compression shorts for any run over 3 miles.

    • I’d try running skirts before lipo. Mine all come with compression shorts and are super, super comfy.

    • I have a similar problem, even at 10% body fat. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s really “chub” that’s the problem, or inner thigh muscles, or the width of my hips. I suspect my muscular thighs and the frame of my body have a lot to do with it, and I don’t think lipo could really take care of it. It sounds like “chub” might not be your real problem, either.

      That said, a quick google search revealed a few people who have had it done and seem happy with it.

    • Biking shorts. My thighs rub no matter how thin I am too, and life’s too short to put up with that.

  55. I’m considering this dress http://m.allsaints.com/product/?all=1&page=1&category_id=22&prod_desc_id=5052654071719&position=95 for my wedding (clearly non traditional here). Thoughts from the hive mind?

    • Leslie Knope :

      This just goes to the main page–what is the dress name?

      • It’s a wrap dress “skull de joey”

        I like it but wonder if it’s too too and not enough wedding for the family

    • I lovelove love this. Gorgeous and perfect for a non-traditional wedding!

  56. Coworker from hell :

    This is a follow up to my previous posts about a coworker who is attempting to sabotage me. I found out that in addition to trying to act like he is my manager, he has made disparaging remarks about my work product to my actual manager. He is also going around telling other team members that the team made a mistake letting me sit in on strategy meetings because I am “too inexperienced”. I have notes from him and my managers telling me that I provided a lot of great input during the meetings and that they are very happy with my performance so he has done a 180 since these meetings took place. I also discovered that the coworker from hell is planning on writing me a negative review in my next 360 review.

    This review will go on my record with the company so I am very concerned what this will do to my professional reputation. In addition to dealing with this, this guy has also made inappropriate comments about my body to me and about me to other coworkers, and personally insulted me, and called my husband a douchbag to me in the middle of a team meeting. At the time he had never even met my husband. I haven’t shared any of this with anyone at my work or with my husband.

    I am so upset and I don’t know if I am being irrational but I want to share all this with upper management to do two things:

    A) get back at him for being an a**hole
    B) discredit his reputation before mgmt reads his nasty review of me

    I know I am probably too upset to think straight but I don’t know what to do to protect myself. Upper management doesn’t know anything about the situation so this bad review will come out of the blue and I’ll be left to try to defend myself. I don’t want to go to HR as I don’t want to get flagged as someone who is difficult to work with.

    Please help I am really struggling with this one

    • Silvercurls :

      Hello and a hug from one dark-of-the-night wanderer to another. I’m concerned that the situation has you so unhappy that you’re posting to Corporette at midnight and feeling all alone. (OTOH, I’m awake myself because my own sleep cycle got disrupted by stress-induced insomnia earlier in the week. Personal, not work-related, but still stressful.)

      I’m also concerned about the tone of your latest message. In earlier posts you’ve described the situation and the assertive, capable ways in which you’ve responded. Now you’re also stating your desire to get back at this person and discredit him. Self-defense is good, but not at the expense of causing unnecessary harm, even to one’s attackers. (There’s a difference between being strong and being over-aggressive in defending oneself.) The high road may not lead directly to the corner office but it usually gives one more inner peace. So yes–and I write this with caring, not condemnation–maybe you are too upset to think straight. Sometimes it’s best to step back from a problem and let your brain cells regain their bounce and flexibility. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor; in my own defense I’ll say it’s late and I’m tired. ;-) )

      The good news is that there’s still half of the weekend left in which to chill out and recharge your batteries. Read a magazine, watch some relaxing TV, or take a walk outside, knit, putter around tidying up some part of your home…whatever makes you feel good. I also recommend telling your husband, even if only to say “this is bothering me; I don’t want to talk about it for a long time but I did want to tell you that it’s happening.” (It would also be great if you can share this with someone at work…didn’t you say that you have spoken with your supervisor and he/she seemed to be supportive of you? And–more comfort–probably some of your other coworkers are not taking his every negative statement about you as the whole & undiluted truth?)

      The hive will be here for you later; right now I want you to do something to make yourself feel calmer in real life. My sense is that things may look better, or the solution will be easier to see, after you have taken a break from pondering this situation. Sorry if this sounds preachy. I don’t mean it that way. (Again, it’s late and my own brain cells are not firing on all cylinders.)

      I’m going to be running around tomorrow but I’ll try to check for replies (from you or others) at some point in the day or evening. Right now please tell yourself that even though this one coworker is being extremely difficult, there are other people in your life who want what’s best for you, and that you’re both capable of achieving that in your life and deserving of that support. I’ve already followed my own advice by having a cup of herb tea (I know, this sounds so old-fashioned!) and am now sleepy enough to try to outwit my insomnia. Take care.

      • Silvercurls :

        In moderation (not sure why? too long) so trying again in the super-short version:

        Posting at midnight is a sign that this is really bothering you; sorry you’re struggling; take comfort in having half of the weekend left in which to fit some self-caring/self-nurturing time; talk to your husband even if just to give him the heads-up that this is bothering you; believe in yourself and have faith that things will work out; often it’s best to take a break–it makes the problem more manageable when you return to it.

        Wish I could have been this concise the first time around, but I’m fighting my own battles with insomnia (currently my stress-response-of-“choice”, argh) so my own brain isn’t 100% clear and I’m not always super-articulate.

        I believe it was Shakespeare who wrote that sleep “knits up the ravelled cares” of life (? apologies if I’m mangling his language.) . So true.

        • Thanks for your response! I did end up getting some sleep! I have been driving myself into a tizzy thinking of the best way to handle this with the least amout of damage to everyone involved but I get so upset at the thought of someone doing this to me solely because of his own insecurities about my excellent work performance. Not to mention the black mark his nasty review will be on my file.

          Just to clarify I have shared the overall situation with my manager and my husband but NOT the comments about my body and insults about me and my husband. This guy is a loose cannon so I have always tried to let his comments roll off my back and all my interactions with him have been respectful and professional.

    • Anonymous :

      You may not want to go to HR, but you need to go to HR with this. Particularly the inappropriate comments regarding your body. This is both (1) to get it on the record that there are issues before he does your 360 review and (2) to get it known that HE is creating a negative work environment.

      You are past the point of trying to deal with this without the Company’s help (whether it be your manager or HR).

      • Agreed that you need to go to HR; it’s what they are there for. Comments about your body, calling your husband a DB… so far over the line of professional behavior that you can’t even see the line anymore. It’ll be nerve-wracking but will probably lead to an improvement in your situation.

        Tell your manager, too.

        The point isn’t to get revenge or to discredit his review. The point is to improve your working situation. His behavior is unacceptable, period, and you shouldn’t have to deal with it.

    • Sigh. Second recommendation today, but it’s really excellent: http://www.bullyonline.org
      Don’t go to HR till you have all your documentation in hand, if only because that will convince them they should at least try to listen to you. Also because you need to be prepared for them not to be necessarily supportive :-(. You are too upset to think straight, but hopefully a good night’s sleep will have helped? Start by getting it all in writing, with dates and all supporting documentation, names of witnesses etc, that’s the most important part.

    • Classic sexual harrassment and retaliation –

      He made comments about your body.
      He called your husband a “d-bag” in public.
      Then when you didn’t like it, he is letting everyone know he’s going to give you a negative 360 review.

      If you work for a company of any size, they will have done extensive training on sexual harrassment (and its fraternal twin, retaliation) and will absolutely intervene.

      Document, document, document. When he says or does something inappropriate, write it down, with the date and time and names of anyone who witnessed it.

      If I were you, I’d be knocking on HR’s door first thing Monday morning. And I’d tell your boss exactly what you told HR. They cannot ignore this or make you the bad guy.

  57. Silvercurls :

    P.S. Forgot the most important part in my super-short summary: Take care of yourself! The hive will be here for you (and I’ll check in at some point tomorrow).

  58. Another Sarah :

    Another work corollary post to previous posts regarding work :-) As background, I’m an attorney doing marketing and not-really-law for an international (French) company. I don’t have experience in what I’m doing, but I have the skill set (for the most part), so I’m at a manager-level, although our branch is small enough such that I don’t have anyone below me.

    2 months ago, my co-manager pulled me aside and said that I don’t do project management, and that he can’t work like this. I said that I do, it’s not to a specific method, but that I think I work just fine and frankly, he needs to learn how to be a bit more flexible. Boss stepped in and said that he had been wanting co-manager to teach me project management for awhile now and that I should learn how to do it because people want to feel more part of my team. I told him that from what I can see, my productivity will drop, my stress will rise, and I’m going to waste my time. Boss agreed on all points, said that it’s important that people feel more involved in my projects, and that I’m so smart and go so fast that I need something to slow me down so I don’t leave the weakest part of my team in the dust.

    This past week, boss proposed team building training for me, which I said I thought I didn’t need because people on “my team” (i.e. the ad hoc groups of people I ask for help with my projects) work just fine – work gets done, on time, and well – what more can I ask. Boss replied, in a nutshell, that he wants me to be friends (like, real-life friends) with my co-workers, get them to “really believe” in my projects and that I need to be nicer. As I described in an earlier post, I’m not a “Go team!” kind of person to begin with. During lunch and out of work, everything is fine with my co-workers, talking with them about their lives, trips, etc. My co-workers even volunteered to help me move – so to me, everything’s fine. I told my boss that if he thinks I need the training, I need it, so I’ll go. He said that if I don’t think I need it then he’s not going to send me.

    This whole shebang has made me inexplicably angry, which I realize is completely irrational – what they want doesn’t seem too far off from what I already do, but I can’t seem to get over the “they want me to do WHAT?” feeling. Oh, and no one has really explained to me, even after I’ve asked, what exactly they want. The only reason they give me for changing (it’s not company policy, btw) is so others can feel more involved and for political reasons, not because my boss doesn’t like how I work and my work product. I committed to two years with the company to justify a higher salary in negotiations, and now I’m thinking, “what have I done?” I’m not quite sure how much of this is first-job issues that will just work themselves out, and how much of it is “this is really not for me” kind of thing. I know there’s a cultural/language gap, but I’m beginning to think that in order to overcome it I need to become someone I’m not, which makes me resentful. I just want to put my head down and work, why can’t I do that? Is it too much to ask to know what I’m doing before I deal with inter-office politics? Any advice?

    Eeep! Sorry for the giant post on a Sunday… :-)

    • Okay, I’m coming at this from a manager’s perspective but I have to say that I’m not sure I understand why you are so resistant to learning project management and group processes. They really are helpful! I am an administrator/manager in a team-based organization and, while I am fast and productive on my own, I can’t do it all. I wouldn’t want to! You need to bring other people in to your work appropriately and manage their time effectively and learn how to manage the group to make good decisions together. As angry as you are about this, I truly think that this would be a great opportunity for you. Try to work on being open to those ideas. There’s a difference between your initial (maybe defensive) reaction and how you will eventually process all of it.

      As for being real-life friends with your co-workers, I think that’s a lot to ask. I do spend some time outside of work with my co-workers but my closest friends are outside of work. I wouldn’t want someone to tell me who to be friends with and, in fact, I draw a line at socializing with staff who report to me. There are too many personnel issues that can come up to allow friendship to come into the picture. I think perhaps your boss isn’t expressing it well but he just wants you to play well with others at work. I could have been you when I was younger. If you really want to succeed, you’re going to have to get better at the things your boss is suggesting.

    • What I’m reading between the lines is that the people you work with don’t feel that you value them personally or their work product. That’s a big deal. You’ve been told twice now that your boss thinks you could benefit from project management and team building training. This sucks to hear, but whatever awesome job you believe you’re doing, you are not meeting expectations in at least one area– working with other people.

      Leap on the opportunity for (free!!! company subsidized!!!) training and try not to see it as a personal affront. You’ve said you don’t have experience in what you’re doing. How could additional training hurt? You’re bound to learn something. Even if you don’t apply it at this job, you might find it helpful five or even ten years from now. Again: how could it hurt?

      Also, it will give your boss and co-workers warm fuzzies about you wanting to fit into the culture of the company and validating what they believe to be important. What’s so wrong with that? Cultural fit is a big deal. Maybe ultimately this isn’t the right company for you if they want you to sit around singing kumbayah with your co-workers, and you’d just rather keep your head down at your desk. But making an effort to fit in and showing a willingness to learn and step outside your comfort zone will go a long way.

      And as for being friends with your co-workers outside of work, I wouldn’t put too much stock in that suggestion. Your boss may have suggested building friendships w/ your co-workers as a way to build some camaraderie in light of your flat refusal to do any team-building training. One way or another, it sounds like s/he wants you to improve your relationship with your co-workers.

      Good luck.

    • Oh Sarah, I hate to break it to you but when your manager tells you you need to learn to be nicer, it’s time to get out. A French company that tells you to be personal friends with your coworkers is probably suffering from an excess of reading US management drivel too, and has its priorities completely mixed up.
      I second Herbie in saying that you should make nice and go to the training, having it on your resume can’t hurt you, and you may even learn something :-). But I’d do that to give time for your resume to hit a nice target out there, and hope the training is just the cherry on the cake for someone. And I’d also do my best to get some documentation of the fact that your projects are in fact doing well, just in case. Make sure that part comes through loud and clear in your resume, and that you can sound confident about it in an interview.
      The other good part about training is that it’ll get those people out of your hair for a while :-). Think of it as a vacation.

      • I’m curious about this idea that being told to be nice to others —> bozo company, must get the heck out?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Your boss is telling you that you are not succeeding at your job. He wants you to do it differently. Telling him it will make your productivity drop, stress rise, and waste your time is, frankly, unprofessional. And those types of reactions are probably why they are recommending this training. Especially since you know there is a cultural/language divide, I find it really odd that you are jumping at the chance to learn how to bridge that gap. I think this does sound like first-job issues, but they won’t just work themselves out until you realize that working well with a team and selling what you do to your group is a huge part of being a successful employee.

    • Another Sarah :

      Thanks for the replies – I appreciate it! I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to suck it up and do it more, but I think my biggest hangup is that I see my co-manager doing it, and I don’t think it works. To me, it seems as though he wastes a ton of time. The projects that I’ve done using the method run, on average, between 4-9 weeks late (which I can’t stand). If the warm fuzzies make up for the loss in productivity, fine, but so far I don’t think they have. Maybe I haven’t been doing it long enough to get to the point where warm fuzzies are more important than getting something done?

      I’m not sure why I’m so angry about it either, but I do think the whole introduction to it could have been handled better.

      • tough love time- your posts reeks of entitlement. You don’t get to go in and say the system isn’t working. When you get to the top and have no boss, by all means, make your own system. Get rid of that system. And when a young employee who just starts tell you she doesn’t want to do it your way because she thinks your way is really ineffective, think about what your reaction would be.

        • Yeah I agree with this. You need to readjust your attitude. Remember, you don’t have the big picture here!

    • Part of your job is making your boss(es) happy, not just completing your projects. I have a coworker who very effectively “gets things done” but everyone secretly hates him because he does it by politely but publicly calling out his team members. Who are grown ups with fifty things on their plate. They are trying get to everything and don’t need to be called out on it. We continue to be courteous and friendly because we are mature professionals. Take the training. If your boss says you need it, you do.

  59. Is a French manicure okay for a conservative office? I’ll be working only with men if that makes a difference. Thanks!

    • In a word? No.
      And it’s not just for men. A “French” manicure says loud and clear “I don’t do any work, I can’t”. Is this what you want to convey?

    • I think this is a YMMV thing. They definitely don’t say “I don’t do any work” to me. First I’ve heard that to be honest.

  60. Sibling Rivalry :

    It’s late in the weekend and I know few people will read this. I feel so dumb about this and I know it’s whiney, but I can’t help it. I know this is unbecoming and horribly juvenile, so bear with me and then tell me I’m crazy at the end.

    I graduated with appox. a 3.8ish GPA from a top 20 school a few years ago. I worked for it and worked to get the best internships I could every summer, which set me up great for post-graduation in terms of grad school and jobs. I am pretty happy with grad school and my personal life, and in 99% of my life I am over this stupid sibling rivalry, but right now it is really bothering me.

    My youngest brother has never had to work for anything. He has nearly a 4.0 (like 3.96) at a top 20 university but has never really picked up a book. Because he has an eidetic memory. So really, he hears it or sees it once and has it forever. He made Phi Beta Kappa and the first thing my aunt said when she found out was “Well wouldn’t it have been nice if he had to work for it?” In 4 years of college he hasn’t really had an internship or any kind of employment experience and no extra-curriculars outside of IM sports. Legitimately nothing. He worked one summer for 3 or 4 weeks in the office of a family friend. He is graduating at the end of this week and still has no job lined up. He applied for a few in the fall that were not entry level jobs, they looked at him and saw he had no experience, and then he just stopped applying, hoping my parents would continue to fund his life (which he told me, knowing they said they wouldn’t, but also knowing they could and that they wouldn’t want him to be destitute and without health insurance). Then about 3 weeks ago, I helped him apply for a job in a competitive NYC law firm. Because he has zero experience, I didn’t think he would get it. But it looks like he will. And this makes me so angry. After doing absolutely nothing for 4 years, he’s potentially getting an 80k job. I know I should be happy he likely has a job and that it will be good for the rest of his 20s development etc, but I just feel like I worked for things and it’s not fair. NOT FAIR. You don’t get to do nothing for 4 years then end up on your feet with no effort involved whatsoever.

    Ok, vent over. I apologize for acting like a 4 year old.

    • Hun, haven’t you ever heard that life’s not fair? Focus and be proud of your own accomplishments, and think about how your hard work adds to you as a person. You have a quality, work ethic, that he doesn’t have. He has a quality, his amazing memory, that you don’t have. Imagine if he was thinking “she gets that job just because she works hard she is not even as smart as me! But she got a job right out of school and I didn’t and my gpa is way better than hers!”

      Him being successful doesn’t take away from your accomplishments. Its just two different people with different qualifications. Life is long sweetie there will be up and downs for you both. Nothing about what you described sounds like a sibling rivalry, its just straight up jealousy. There will always be people who you could be jealous of, and obviously it hits close to home when its someone from your home. But focus on yourself, and remember that he is not taking a job from you, getting a job helps your family as a whole.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I understand your frustration. I don’t have siblings, but sometimes I find myself getting a little jealous of friends who got jobs because of who their parents are or who have fancy clothes or houses because their parents bankroll them. But then I remember that it’s not a zero-sum game.

      Like cc said, your consistent hard work has shaped you. You will be successful in your job because you have a great work ethic. There are a couple of lawyers in my firm who got their jobs because their parents are big clients. I have zero connections and have worked hard for every accomplishment I’ve had. I’m accomplishing a lot, and my work ethic has been noticed favorably many times. So, try to keep your head up. You should be proud of your accomplishments.

    • I agree with AnonInfinity above. School rewards great memory. Real life rewards hard work. In the long run, his lack of work ethic will count against him a lot more than your lack of eidetic memory will count against you.

      But it’s ok to feel jealous sometimes, it doesn’t make you a 4 year old, just human :)

      • Agreed. Life is going to be tough from him here on out if he’s not willing to put in some effort. Memory can only get you so far. Laziness is not going to be particularly well received at a big NYC law firm.

      • I agree and was going to make the same point. Sibling Rivalry’s brother is about to get a reality check. While his photographic memory made school a breeze, it will help him only marginally at his job, and while his family have helped compensate for his lack of motivation, his bosses and co-workers at his firm will not pick up his slack for him.

    • Some people, including your brother, are lucky – and that includes being lucky to have you to help him find a job. Pat yourself on the back for having helped him, and do your best to recognize that his success does not detract from your own. What goes around comes around, mostly, and it was good of you to help him out.

    • If your brother is a bona-fide genius you can probably make yourself feel a little compassion by reading up about geniuses. A huge percentage of them never fit in to the world at large and are never successful. We hear about that handful that actually manage to fit their square peg skills into the round hole world and make a ton of money, but that is in reality quite rare.

      I am assuming this is just a vent, and that you will be able to maintain a loving, sisterly relationship with your brother, whether he succeeds or fails.

      I’m probably projecting but I can vividly imagine my daughter writing your post 15 years from now. This mama just wants her babies to love and support each other their whole lives, despite their differences.

      • Sibling Rivalry :

        We definitely have a great relationship outside of this. In fact, yesterday we talked on the phone for a half hour. So it’s not like this really impacts out relationship in real life. We had sort of a tumultuous relationship in our early teens for reasons not related to this at all, but now we get along really well, which I am really glad about and wouldn’t trade. So dont worry mamabear, I’m sure your daughter will love her brother in 15 years regardless. (ps you sound like an awesome mom!)

        It isn’t a zero sum game and you guys are right, he’s going to have to work harder at this potential job (or any other job) than he has ever worked in his life. I’m happy he’s my brother and am proud of his successes. I do want him to well and I definitely dont want him to fail. At all. I was just really frustrated.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      You know, I think you need to evaluate the relationship you have with your brother. Because I just think about my little sister, and anytime she does something amazing–I am so thrilled and happy that she is my sister and that she’s succeeding in life. I went to a fancy undergrad which has a strict grading policy and graduated with something like a 3.4 in engineering. She currently attends a slightly less fancy (I am really splitting hairs here, think the difference between Penn and Yale) undergrad and has recently been getting A+’s in her chosen major, biology. If I were like you, I feel like I would be constantly comparing us and annoyed that she is doing so well at an “easier” school. But that would be crazy! It’s not a zero-sum world, and when someone, especially someone close to us does well, there is really no space for being less than happy about their achievements.

      So be happy for your brother! If he does well in life, he can help you take care of your parents in their old age. Let’s reserve schadenfreude for when people we dislike do badly (and hope *they* never do well), and instead hope that people close to us are successful so we can share in their achievements.

  61. Anonymous :

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