Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Memorial Day sales are starting to kick into gear, and I’m hoping to do another round-up this weekend with more of my favorites. For the weekend open thread, though, I’m drooling over this stretchy button-front blouse — it looks perfect for running around on the weekend and looking pulled together but still being super comfortable. It’s part of the James Perse online sample sale — was $155, now marked to $89.

(L-2)

Comments

  1. Apparently my car just got broken into while in the locked, unaccessible-from-the-outside apartment garage. It’s so comforting to know I live alone in a place with criminals…

    • Two out of three roommates had their cars stolen out of our gated, must have a clicker to get in OR out, parking lot. Both cars were later found by the police and returned; however, one of the two had the same care stolen *again* out of the same parking lot. People are the absolute worst. (Also, consider moving)

    • karenpadi :

      I used to live in one of those places. But the fence was ridiculously easy to jump. Heck, I even jumped it a few times when I forgot my keys.

    • I’ve always lived in gated apartments, and one with a fully-closing garage door like you see in houses (i.e. no open airspace to jump or squeeze through). In every one, it was ridiculously easy to get in the complex if I misplaced my remote. Cars tailgate in, people tailgate in the pedestrian entrances, the gate breaks and is left open, or handymen roaming the property leave the gate open all day so they can move about freely.

      In other words, please don’t trust that your car or your person is safe just because there’s a gate. Don’t leave valuables in your car, and always play it safe and be aware when walking to/from your car.

      I’m sorry this happened to you :(

  2. I just got an unsolicited/unscheduled 10% raise. Woohoo!!!!

    • Congratulations! What a way to start the weekend!

      • Thank you! My husband has been telling me to ask for more money given that my workload will likely increase due to recent staffing changes (I know everyone here would tell–nay, order–me to ask, too), but I trust my boss to do right by me. As nice as it is to get the money, it is even nicer to work for someone that actually appreciates the work I do and to not have to haggle over pay. A wonderful way to start the weekend, indeed!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Whoa! Congrats!

      Can I rub you for good luck? ;)

  3. Lands End sweaters? :

    I was excited to stock up on some new cardigans and shells at the Lands End 30% off sale, but all the sweaters in the colors I want are an 85% acrylic/15% nylon blend. The reviews are pretty mixed WRT the material — anyone have any experience with these? I would prefer cotton but there’s not as much variety.

    • i haven’t tried any of those sweaters, so I don’t have tops, but can I just say that I am So Annoyed that LE Canvas took all their regular sweaters down for the summer!?! WTH? that makes no sense, i wear cotton sweaters to work all summer long! ggrrr

    • Kudos to Land’s End. I placed a full-price $270 order on Tuesday and haven’t received it yet. I didn’t know they were having a sale until I saw your post. I chatted with customer service and they gave me the full 30% credit.

      So kudos to OP, too. Thanks for the heads-up!

  4. Dudettes, nothing has ever so undermined my faith in humanity as “Say Yes to the Dress — Bridesmaids.” Its like a train wreck.

    It makes me want to send an e-mail to my bridesmaids weekly to tell them how much I loved them.

    • You know what this means? A new show I have to start watching.

      Train Wreck TV is my guilty pleasure – Real Housewives of New Jersey? check. Mob Wives? check. Shahs of Sunset. Oh my yes.

    • I have a harder time watching the Atlanta show in general (let’s jack her up!), but the Bridesmaids spin-off is a total train wreck. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped watching it, of course…

  5. I will be having a major career transition in September, as in taking a new bar exam, moving to NYC and don’t yet have a job. It’s due to the husband’s job, and I am totally on board with the move, but it definitely means that there are a lot of unknowns on my end. I will have 2 years of IP litigation/transaction experience, and I think I will go nuts if I have to continue working in a firm. I have massive anxiety 24/7 and I can’t keep it up. It is just a very bad fit for me and my sanity.

    I want to go work for a company or start-up, doesn’t even have to be entirely legal, where I can put some of my knowledge to use, but also learn new things, like e-commerce or HR, or whatever…I need a change. But where do I find these jobs? I have no idea where to look for these things. With firms, you can figure out if they have your practice area, see who they list as the hiring partner, etc…but if I don’t even know which company I want to work for, then how do I go about finding the job?

    Anyone have great job search strategies, or have good stories about transitioning away from the firm experience without having a lot of practice years under your belt?

    • Well, having done the move-to-NY-as-junior-lawyer bit, now living in Seattle as person working corporate with many start-ups bit, I will add I didn’t see a lot of that in NYC. Mucho law, finance, etc. But could just be that I didn’t know about it. I recently read about an incubator org based in NYC that helps launch entrepreneurs there but forget the name- it was in Inc. magazine.

      • There’s a ton of start-ups in NYC. DH has worked at several in recent years and his friends at many more (in a technical capacity). Two of his former coworkers are currently starting-up startups. They all get jobs through word of mouth though. I would look forward to some heavy-duty networking.

    • Joan Holloway :

      There are so many tech meetups and startup events here in NYC all the time. I would suggest getting plugged into some of these things right away. Perhaps also look into a resource like In Good Company–not that you want to start your own practice, but they know people who know people . . . networking. The advantage of these activities is that you’ll begin to build a network of contacts. Hopefully you’ll enjoy yourself at the same time. It’s an active way to see what’s out there and to talk to people to figure out what you’d like.

  6. I am seeking help from the hive to track down an ad that I cannot seem to find, now that I need it. For what feels like 10 years, I have noticed a one-inch ad in the New Yorker featuring a glass bowl engraved with two names. I want to get one of these for a wedding present for a young couple and now I cannot find the name of the company. I googled like crazy but none of the results seemed as nice as the one in this New Yorker ad. Any help would be appreciated.

      • I have no idea if this is what you’re looking for, but may I just say that I registered for some of my wedding presents at Simon Pearce and everything they sell is beautiful and of amazing quality (and hand-blown in their factory in Vermont). They really are a company well worth doing business with.

        Pitch done.

        • Seconded – we received some off-registry gifts from Simon Pearce, and all of them were kept with love! (This should be particularly impressive given the “should I buy off-registry” threads on here…)

          • You guys are amazing! This is exactly what I was trying to find. They are a broke young couple (he’s recently back from Afghanistan) who eloped to avoid family drama. My SO and I have agreed to send them one beautiful thing to commemorate the marriage and a big fat check to say, “Thanks for avoiding the family drama!”

          • Oh, that’s lovely! You’re so sweet.

      • That’s gorgeous. I wish I could afford it as a gift for my sister’s wedding! You’re definitely giving an amazing gift.

    • We did vases for our parents one year through Simon Pearce — I don’t think that is the same company with the advert in the New Yorker — they turned out beautifully but extremely pricey. So if SP comes back with a really high number, keep your eyes open for the other company.

      I adore Simon Pearce. Would convert all my glassware to them in a second, if I could. Their seconds are great, too.

  7. Blonde Lawyer :

    Memorial day question -

    Growing up, my family always visited the graves of our deceased and planted flowers over memorial day weekend. None of my friends’ families did this. Today, someone at my office mentioned having to pick up flowers for “the graves.” I seriously had begun to believe my family was the only one that did this. Certain family members made it a real somber occasion instead of a fun summer is here party weekend.

    So now, I’m trying to figure out if it is a regional thing, heritage thing, veteran thing, etc. I’m guessing some of my friends’ families didn’t follow this tradition b/c their family was scattered across the country and not buried at the cemetery down the street like my grandparents.

    So — did you/do you visit graves and plant flowers at them this weekend? If yes, any idea why?

    • layered bob :

      Yes, we did growing up. Now I live very far away but my family still does and I will send flowers for the graves, if I remember in time. And then we go eat pancakes at the high school after the ceremony in the cemetery. (Still not Memorial Day without pancakes.)

      I didn’t realize this was not a thing. As data points, my family does have veterans. We’re rural and Midwestern.

      • Another Sarah :

        My rural midwestern family with veterans does the same thing. My Aunts and Uncles (and Mom, but she’s not in the area anymore) coordinate to bring my Grandma (who I think is the only one left out of her brothers and sisters) to go to “visiting” with flowers.

    • We always planted flags on veterans’ graves with the Boy Scouts. We were the only branch of the family to live in Kentucky, so there were no nearby family graves to visit.

    • We visit my hubby’s grandparents on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day and lay flowers. His grandfather was a Veteran (1918 US Naval Academy grad) and we used to take his grandmother there every year to lay flowers before she died. She was one of my favorite people so I like to continue the tradition. The cemetery has the flag that he was presented with and they fly hundreds on Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day and July 4th.

      His grandparents were both mid-western and traditional. All of my family members are buried on the East Coast or in the South and I’m on the west, so we’ve never done it for my side.

      So I guess that this doesn’t answer your question. :)

    • We did on some, but not all Memorial Days. Usually the veteran relatives, like my great-uncles who fought in WWII and the like. We would also bring extras to visit the graves of other veterans who didn’t have flowers.

      So not alone. But we also still had a party, it was just part of the day.

    • I’m not this weekend, but I remember doing this with my parents when I was younger. Usually on Sunday after church. My grandfather was a vet, but we did this before he died too. Now that I think of it, I always associate this more with Easter time than Memorial Day, but it has been a while so I’m not sure. Either way, it wasn’t expressly tied to veterans b/c we did it for all graves, vets and non. We only did it for relatives buried nearby. For what it’s worth- white, protestant, blue collar fam but not especially military-oriented (there are several vets in the wwI/II/vietnam generations, but none current), grew up in rural area on east coast.

    • I remember visiting the graves and planting flowers when I was a kid. But, we lived about 3 blocks from the cemetery where my great-grandparents, grandfather and now many relatives (including my mother) are buried. We could ride our bikes up there and did, and also went sledding on the side of the hill that didn’t have graves. I think we made more of a big deal about it on Memorial Day. Now I live in a place where it is the custom to visit graves and take flowers on Nov. 1 (All Saints Day) and I don’t live anywhere near where I grew up and neither do any of my family. I feel badly that I haven’t been to my mom’s grave in so many years.

    • SO’s wardrobe update!
      After much delay, last weekend we went to Nordstroms and the SA there worked *miracles*. He talked my SO out of pleated pants, into slim-cut up shirts, and may have slightly opened his eyes to the world of men’s fashion. The concept of “quality clothing” really got through to him- clothes that will last and look nice are worth the expense. (…the expense here being spending any money at all on clothes!)
      We walked out with a pair of slacks, two dress shirts, and then hit up Gap and Sears/Lands End for more basics. Still a work in process, but I’m so glad I can finally throw out those pleated pants.

      • sorry, I have no idea why that ended up as a reply.

        • Oh god. Do you think they could convince my husband to wear non-pleated pants? He refuses. :-P (Also, sorry to comment on this in such a serious thread, but did want to reply to this.)

        • MissJackson :

          Yay! I’m so glad that you had success at Nordstrom! I told you that they are miracle-workers!! Honestly, if they converted my husband, they can convert anyone! TCFKAG, the Nordstrom sales associates can convince anyone to get rid of pleated pants — I was sure that my husband was a lost cause, too.

    • My family has always done this with all deceased relatives – not just veterans. We don’t typically make a huge deal of flowers, but we’ll put some flowers or such at each site, pray, move to the next one.

      I’ve also noticed now that very few of my friends do this, though, so I don’t know how common it is. It might just be something people don’t typically discuss.

      • New poster :

        I can only remember doing this occasionally on Memorial Day, but there was usually always some kind of ceremony elsewhere (like on an aircraft carrier with a band). My granddad was a Pearl Harbor survivor, in San Diego, so big Navy town.

    • Before it was Memorial Day, it was Decoration Day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

  8. Jenna Rink :

    A few days ago, my neighbor had a small fender bender in our driveway while my outdoor cat (a stray who I adopted and he refuses to stay inside during the day) was nearby. I’m worried that my cat distracted her and caused the accident. Is this just my outdoor cat guilt speaking (I have a lot of it) or should I be offering to help out with the repairs?

    • This is definitely not your fault. Not even close. Even if the cat distracted her, that’s on her- imagine if you rear-ended someone at a light and said you were distracted by their wacko bumper sticker. Is it then their fault? Of course not.

      • Jenna Rink :

        Thank you! I kind of recognized that I was being silly, but every time I saw her bumper I started feeling guilty again. A neutral opinion is just what I needed!

    • Seattleite :

      Don’t feel guilty about your outdoor cat. My two, adopted from shelters, were ‘street kitties’ for several months before they were trapped and brought to the shelters. Although they clearly love a constant source of food and petting, warm fires, and soft beds, they also turn neurotic if not allowed to go outside. I lived in a high-rise for two months last year, so no outside access, and one cat got really depressed and anxious. Moved to a townhouse and he bounced back immediately.

    • They live in a neighborhood. There are distractions sometimes. It’s not your cat’s fault. They should have been paying attention to driving, not your cat.

  9. My SO told me last night that he is definitely moving to his other home (in another state, a significant distance away), as planned, in the fall. We have been together six years and I guess maybe I thought he would change his mind and his plans, but he’s going to do it. He wants us to go along for the next few months as if everything’s okay and I just don’t know if I can do that. I love him and I guess, despite “knowing” I thought he might change his mind. I feel like, at my age, I shouldn’t be having my heart broken like this. But he’s the first man I’ve ever had in my life who really treated me well. This really sucks. We were supposed to be on vacation together this week and I don’t even know if I can look at him without being angry and upset.

    • I’m so sorry. I was in a somewhat similar sort of situation several years ago with my now-DH where we knew he was moving away in several months and, at the time, we thought it might be the end of the relationship. Obviously, it wasn’t. But before he left, I really thought it was. I remember how awful it was to have a looming end to something that was otherwise going so well. What we ended up doing was deciding to just take it one day at a time, both before and after the move. He’s here now and you love him, so don’t pre-emptively end it (kind of the romantic equivalent of don’t leave before you leave). Try to recognize how good it is and enjoy it while it lasts. I know this is so much easier to say than to practice, but it helps to sort of accept that the future is out of your control and all you have is the present.

      What does he want to happen when he moves? break up and move on, long-distance, you moving? Do you disagree with/resent his reasons for moving?

    • This does really suck – I’m so sorry to hear it. But I wouldn’t want “to go along for the next few months as if everything’s okay.” And I would not go on vacation with him. You deserve to move on with your life – not to be tied down to a guy who has already told you he is going to leave you.

    • Oh NOLA! That sucks!

      I’m not clear though. Is he moving and intending to end the relationship? Or is he moving for other reasons and trying to keep your relationship going long distance?

      If the former, I’d kick his lazy ass out today.

      • Well, that’s the weird thing. I had always thought that when he moved that would be it. Then again, I thought that when he retired, and that’s now two years ago. He lost everything in Katrina and relocated within the state, but still worked here. A couple years ago, he had the opportunity to buy his dream house in a location that he has always loved and planned to move to when he retired (he retired fairly young in a political situation). He goes there for 2-3 weeks at a time now and has seemed to enjoy the stimulation of having one foot in each place. I can’t go with him (I have to work) so we videochat every day and he says he misses me horribly and can’t wait to come “home.” At any rate, now he’s looking to swap things – move there and make it his primary residence but come back here to see family members and check on his house. I think, if I were willing, he would continue the relationship long distance. It’s weird because every time we have thought, in the past six years, that something had changed dramatically and we might not be able to see each other as often, etc., it’s all worked out fine so I’ve just taken a “let go of having to know how it’s going to work out” attitude and everything’s been great. This, I’m not sure.

        • Okay – at first it seemed like he wanted it to end when he left. But I still don’t think it’s wrong for you to be upset and not want to “play pretend” until he leaves.

        • NOLA, it sounds like your SO wants to keep things vague because it works for him But you are perfectly within your rights to insist that the two of you have a specific plan for continuing your relationship. Or not. But after six years together you need to know.

          On the other hand, if what you really want is a conventional marriage, this is probably not the guy for you.

          • You are a wise woman, mamabear, and I think you’re right about him wanting to keep it vague. I’m not sure if he’ll commit to a specific plan. It’s a long drive (9 hours) and not really a great place to fly to and from. We’ll see.

            I don’t know if I need or want a conventional marriage at all. I’ve been married, I’m too old to have kids, and, since I’ve been with current SO, I’ve become so independent that I don’t even know if I could live with someone, let alone be married. I work a lot, work out a lot, keep house on my own schedule, and I like it that way. That’s why this relationship has really worked for me. He takes me out of my stress zone and keeps me mentally healthy. He has done a lot for my confidence and he is a tremendous support for me about my work. But I also have my space and I was completely smothered in my marriage. So there it is.

          • ((((((hugs)))))) Nola

        • NOLA, you sound pretty ambivalent about what you want out of this relationship, and you’re 6 years into it. Maybe that’s a sign that while you really like and care for this person, he’s not really a long-term keeper?

          Also, hard to tell exactly how this went down, but it sounds like he just made a major life decision without meaningfully involving you. You deserve better from a partner. Hard to see why this would be the last major life decision he unilaterally makes.

          This situation sucks. Keep us posted.

          • Hmmm… well I don’t feel ambivalent. I love what we have, which is a loving supportive relationship where we are passionate about each other but we don’t live together and don’t expect marriage. I know that’s probably not realistic long term for most people but it has worked for us so far. For various reasons (past infidelity when married, his very conservative political and social views, he says he has a bad temper), I don’t know if I would marry him.

            We went out to dinner tonight with a really good friend and he didn’t want to talk about it with her, but she knew and brought it up and she said when we dropped her off that she may never see him again and started to cry. He won’t admit that it could be true!

            I did get him to talk about it a little bit this afternoon and I told him that it hurt me that he was being so matter of fact about it and acting like he could just turn off our relationship. He apologized and got pretty emotional. I guess we’ll see.

            I’ll keep you all posted.

          • It sounds like you have some stuff to work out with him. Even if you two aren’t on a marriage track, partners talk about life decisions and do what’s right for each other and the relationship, not just what’s right for one of them.

            Sending lots of hugs.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Are you going to be in the same state? Next state over? In the same country? Piece of cake, dear, piece of cake!!! A relationship does not depend on being in the same house or within a certain set of miles of one another. As long as you are together in your hearts, distance is just a bump in the road….

    • Divaliscious11 :

      What are you upset about, exactly? The prospect of a long distance relationship, or that he didn’t change his plans for you? Why is he moving? For work or some other opportunity? Also not sure why your upset if he told you this is what he intended? Long distance relationships are challenging, but they are completely manageable, but it sounds like there is something else you are upset about…..

  10. Sale TJ: apply Promo Code SALE20 when purchasing sale items on Bloomingdale’s website – the site doesn’t provide that valuable detail; I simply googled “Bloomingdale’s Promo Code;” I just used it and saved a lot, so I wanted to share this info.

  11. anon in DC :

    I just joined Netflix and am confused… Do the series rotate? I was looking forward to watching The Big Bang Theory and all of Downton Abbey but they aren’t available. Will they ever be back or did I miss out?

    Also, what series/movies would y’all recommend? Thanks!

    • Midwesterner :

      You may want to try Hulu for BBT and PBS for Downton Abbey.

    • Licenses expire and Netflix acquires new ones all the time, but the TV shows are fairly consistent. I’m pretty sure that I saw Downton Abbey on there earlier today, they only have the first season now, but I’m sure in a few months they will have the second. (I got impatient and bought it on iTunes, $2o well spent!) I don’t recall every looking for Big Bang Theory, so I can’t say. Some series that I’ve watched are Friday Night Lights, Louie, Dexter, Parks and Rec, and Breaking Bad. All recommended!

    • anon in DC, check out Sherlock on PBS. You can watch Season 1 on Netflix on Demand. I -think- most of the Season 2 episodes are available on PBS online (look under Masterpiece Theatre).

      Also, Revenge. *Love* Revenge (though, give it a few episodes–it took me probably until episode 3 to really, really TOTES OBSESSED get into it).

      • Revenge is the most delightfully soapy show on tv right now. It has really grown on me. And the finale was amazing!

      • Adore Revenge. So soapy, yet so good. It walks the line of intense cheese, but I have the sense that the actors and writers, etc know that they are producing cheese — they aren’t thinking they’re making The Wire, so in that way it’s great.

    • I spent a long time looking for rental options for BBT and never did find them. We ended up purchasing all seasons. I was really annoyed. I do love the show now that I’ve caught up and started watching it regularly again.

      • I think episodes of BBT are on three different channels here. I have a hard time following them in order but I’ve probably see most of them by now, just not when they first air. We are obsessed with it. I even have a Knock Knock Knock Penny! tank that I wear to the gym.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Jim Parsons signed my program tonight! (He’s in the play Harvey this summer in between BBT taping seasons).

          Sorry, just needed to share that exciting bit of geek fandom.

      • I noticed it was at redbox. I’m not sure which season(s), though.

    • As I posted below, I’m watching Drop Dead Diva right now on Netflix…though be aware, may annoy if you are a lawyer. :-P

    • White Collar on Netflix.

      • Ditto – anxious for Season 3 to get added. Must resist buying it on Amazon VOD.

        • We gave in and bought it on Amazon. Easier to stomach once I realized that the cost of the beer we were drinking while watching was greater than the cost of buying an episode.

          Also, I discovered recently that my library has all of BBT available to check out, so for those of you looking for it, that’s another option.

    • Downtown Abby is on netflix

    • Anonymous :

      I am waiting for Game of Thrones to become available on Netflix.

  12. Midwesterner :

    Anyone have experience with making their own work clothes? I’ve had some success with clothes that didn’t matter. Fleeces for layering in winter/outside exercise; casual skirts for spring/summer weekends. Usually for under $5/piece including fabric, notions & patterns.

    I’m wondering if this could be expanded to basics such as work skirts, shells, or basic pants or shirts. There is a store nearby that will put the vogue patterns (basic pants, skirts, wrap dresses in a more modern take) on sale for $1.99, $2.99, or 25% off and suiting or shirt fabric for 50% off, depending on the week. Store coupons can be added on top of the discounts.

    A coworker with experience in this area said it is cheaper to buy the clothes on sale than making them. She is a 00 or 0 though and may have a different experience.

    • Midwesterner :

      Also, those that sew their own clothes and are fans of the skirt, the pink sprite is on sale for $19 right now. I tried they grey on in-store and the stripes weren’t that bad. Those that can make patterns from intact clothing could have a cheap, flattering skirt and pattern for low cost. Others could take it apart and have a pattern that way without too much outlay based on the cost of paper patterns.

    • One of my colleagues learned how to sew and she’s saved a lot of money making curtains, etc. She also got into making dresses for awhile and she found some patterns and got the fit just right, then she could make the same dress in different fabrics and they looked different. She was talking the other day about possibly sewing a formal gown for a Carnival ball because they can be so expensive and she could experiment between now and then.

    • layered bob :

      I’ve done this, but only when I lived closer to my grandparents and could use my grandma’s serger to finish things. I just have a sewing machine myself and prefer serged finished edges.

      Can’t do pants – they are way too complicated to cut and fit, with waistband, pockets, zipper, beltloops… no thank you. Totally not worth the effort.

      Basic pencil skirts I can do and have done. (Used a pencil skirt that I had already as a pattern.) I’ve never done a dress for work but I’ve sewn sundresses for casual wear – I like to do that because I can alter the bust/neck/waist/length to accomodate my tall, busty frame. I like to sew so I do it as a hobby when I have time, but I don’t think it’s necessarily cheaper – it does take time, so even if the fabric/pattern is cheap cheap cheap, my time to make it is “expensive.” And it can be stressful.

    • Skirts and shells will be easiest, followed by pants, and shirts. The hardest part will probably finding fabrics – the bigger chain stores have tons of fleece and quilting cotton, but tend to be a bit thin on garment fabrics. Work wear will look more polished when you get the finishing details right – finished edges, button holes, interfacing, etc.

      You’ll probably get the most bang if you have a couple of patterns you are comfortable with (and flatter you) and can crank it out in different fabrics. A serger is helpful for using with knit fabrics, but isn’t strictly necessary for other fabrics.

    • I’d love to sew some clothes! I’ve started with a few small projects–aprons for friends’ kids, simple backpack for DS, pillowcases. Problem is, I don’t have a machine so I either have to do it by hand, borrow Mom’s when I visit or use odd substitutes, like lots of fabric glue. I’m ready to buy a machine, but need advice on what kind to get. I don’t have lots of room or money. I’m back and forth between having one built into a table that swings down when not in use and a portable one that I could stick in the closet when I’m not using it. Do any of you sewing Corporettes have advice on machines?

      • Midwesterner :

        I have one of the singers from target black friday. Not the best machine available but serviceable w button options and stitch width ca be adjusted

      • Silvercurls :

        I got my current machine (vintage 1960s or 1970s) from a store that sells & repairs sewing machines and vacuum cleaners. If you don’t want or need any of the more modern features thins might be a good route for you. I’ve never looked online for used sewing machines but that might be another option.

    • I wear clothes I’ve made at least twice, usually up to 4, times per week. I started sewing again (after learning as a teen) in order to get clothes that fit me properly (small waist, full thighs & backside).

      Skirts are definitely the easiest and quickest to sew and fit. I doubt I’ll ever buy a pencil skirt again. Tailored shirts with a stand, etc, are probably the hardest (outside a tailored jacket). Of course, I have fitting issues with shirts that I haven’t worked out yet, so that might be talking there. There are simpler patterns for tops out there, though. Pants really aren’t that bad – there are great youtube tutorials for sewing a fly, etc. out there that I use every time I sew a fly. I’m actually wearing pants I made right now, and they fit without gapping at my back waist! I also sew dresses fairly often, and spent a couple of months getting a sheath dress pattern fitted properly, and I have plans to make several sheath dresses. Of course, my plans always outweigh my time.

      In the last year or so I started sewing knit fabrics on my regular non-sewing machine. They are fast, easy, easy to fit, and very instant gratification type projects. LOVE sewing knits now!

      If you’re looking for a good website, patternreview dot com has an active community and an extensive database of pattern reviews.

      The biggest issue you will have is getting quality fabrics. Sure, you can get cheap suiting fabric, but it will look cheap. I plan on venturing into wool pants this fall. They may not cost less, especially when my time is taken into consideration, but sewing is my hobby, and I know I will get a good fit. And nothing beats that sense of satisfaction when you sit back and look at what you’ve created. Oh, and when someone compliments you on something you’ve made (not knowing you’ve made it yourself). I love that too.

  13. Ladies, I could use some moral support. I’m a low-level associate in BigLaw and I’ve been killing myself all week trying to write multiple briefs by end of the weekend, all on tough issues. Just found out that one of them has been lost to cyberspace in its entirety. The third is not even started. Also, I’m pregnant (work doesn’t know yet). I just feel like I’m not cut out for this. Combined with the fact that I’ve now had to cancel the only vacation I’ve scheduled since I started (plus work this whole weekend) and that I feel like I’m risking the health of the baby by not getting any rest and living under this much stress (and the nervous breakdown I just had on the bathroom floor upon realizing that my brief has disappeared). . . it just seems so pointless. how are you supposed to not get too upset when your emotions are out of control and you’re trying to meet unreasonable work expectations? I just need a break, I guess but there is no end to this work load in sight and my efforts at expressing that I have too much on my plate are completely ignored. Oh and we added up my student loan balance — $160k so I can’t quit any time soon. Guess I’m just looking for some internet hugs or words of wisdom.

    • Midwesterner :

      Have you looked at jobs at the federal level? In the Midwest, there have been a few AGAs posted with Justice. They’ve also had a few that the position has been negotiable. Don’t forget Revenue, Patent, Defense, Labor or Treasury if your specialty aligns with them.

      Depending on when you graduated, you may be eligible for forgiveness on some of the debt. I’ve also seen people negotiate salaries at higher than the step 1 level so don’t just go by the base salary. Some have been able to get years of service credit that puts them in the safe zone in case of a RIF or increased placement order for new open positions if that occurs. Since the government can’t accept “free” labor, you would be paid at minimum a straight rate for every hour you worked over 40 hrs/week. They also tend to support and pay for professional accreditation since they are currently fighting the government employee stereotype with the public over salary/tax issues. Leave, and advance leave in case of pregnancy, tends to be inline with liberal private industries. (we had someone show up so sick on her first day that the nurse wouldn’t let her in the building bc of H1N1 that was actually pregnant and they held the job for her).

    • It sounds like a rough situation, and I can’t really chime in about the work, other than to be generally sympathetic, but I do want to reassure you about the baby.

      When people talk about maternal stress affecting fetal health, they are talking about famine, war, refuge status, prolonged malnutrition, violence, etc. They may (MAY) be talking about long hours on your feet with dehydration, poor nutrition, cigarette and alcohol use, etc. They are not talking about white collar stress from professional jobs. This is not to say that being pregnant isn’t an added stress on YOU, and the pregnancy isn’t making it harder to deal with all that’s going on in your job. And how this all plays out may be a telling lesson about how you want to ultimately structure your baby. But you are NOT hurting the fetus by working long hours and writing briefs and feeling like an emotional wreck. I was given the green light by my OB to work 80 hours a week as a surgical resident, including being up for 36 hours every four nights, and standing for long periods of time in the OR. Drink plenty of fluids, eat healthfully, take 10 minutes breathers when you need to, stretch your legs and go for walks but don’t worry about whether this is harming the fetus.

      • Sorry, I meant structure your work, not structure your baby. I’m assuming your baby will have arms and legs in the usual places, Etc.

        • ECMD…I have NO idea what this was in reply to anymore. But I must say, it’s one of the best non-sequiturs I’ve seen in awhile.

          • For reasons I can’t explain, the (longish) post is in moderation. Then I posted the correction without realizing its in moderation. I thought about posting another correction to my correction and realized that might be OCD. So I just left it and thought, well at least someone will laugh.

          • Oh yeah, in context it seems so normal now. :-)

          • Yeah, when I realized the mistake I was like, oh man, that’s a funny one. I was thinking so many thoughts at once evidently…

          • It DID make me laugh!
            But now that the full thing is up, it’s a very comforting message (imho)

    • Have yourself a good, ugly cry. Sucks to do it in the firm bathroom, but shiz happens, and you’re certainly not the first person to have a firm-bathroom meltdown (hi!).

      Can you reshedule your vacation so you have a light at the end of the tunnel?

      It always helped me to remind myself that I was getting really good experience. Bill 300+ hours in a month? Yeah, that blew. But good experience under my belt. Walking home from work after 10 p.m. yet again? Totally blows; but I was developing valuable skills. It ultimately added up to something that allowed me to get out of Biglaw (for TX) and to an in-house job that I <3.

      Hang in there. This too shall pass.

    • Joan Holloway :

      Anon, I’m so sorry you’re having such a terrible weekend. Can you go home, get some sleep and start again in the morning? It sounds like you really need some rest, and there are 3 full days left to this weekend.

      You say that you’re low-level, but I suspect the people above you think very highly of you to be giving you so much substantive work. There are other first year associates who probably have no work because they haven’t earned the trust that you have.

      Here’s the thing: if you screw this up and destroy your reputation–and I highly doubt you will–you still have time to earn the money to pay off your student loans. Worst case scenario: you get a bad review and are given a few chances to redeem yourself but don’t. In that time, you save every last cent of your salary to pay off your loan. You do NOT live a lifestyle that cannot be sustained apart from Biglaw*. Continuing the worst case scenario, you are given a deadline by which to find another job, and you find one–you WILL because you have great experience and are obviously very smart–and life continues.

      The hardest thing about being a junior associate is the complete lack of control in your life. Add to that a little life growing inside you, and I can’t imagine what you must be going through. You’re allowed to feel emotional.

      Try to decide what’s important to you and what you will and will not compromise on. Biglaw is dysfunctional. There is no balance. If you don’t stake out what you need, no one else will give it to you. You may not be cut out for Biglaw for the long haul, but there are ways to get through it until it serves your purposes.

      *Having said all this, the one Biglaw lifestyle expense that I feel is totally justified is a life coach, preferably one who has worked in Biglaw and can advise you on all this. I had one named Elena Kaspi–I haven’t talked to her in ages, but she was amazing.

      • Joan Holloway :

        Okay, I miscalculated how many days were left in the wknd when I wrote that last night . . . but I still hope you were able to get some sleep.

    • Working Girl :

      I have been there and it was exhausting during those first few months when I had to hide the pregnancy. Here is the thing: most big firms give great maternity leave. Stick with it and before you know it you will be holding your baby while not even thinking about work and while getting paid for 12-18 weeks to bond with your child. It’s worth it. Once you go on leave, you can re-evaluate. You’re almost there.

    • You’re not alone; nobody’s really cut out for over-full time work and pregnancy. It’s an absurdity that modern US society has put us in. I was recently stunned in an on-line discussion to hear how many women said they had taken naps on floor of their office; until then, I thought I was the only one! It’s rough on everybody. If work doesn’t know yet, I’m guessing you’re in the first trimester. That was the hardest for me, physically and emotionally, and I think second tri is usually the best for most women. The closest to words of wisdom I have are that the stages of pregnancy and early childhood change fast so even though it may be hard, you don’t have to put up with it forever. (Same thing is true of the sweet parts–that’s why there are so many cliches about how fast it goes). Hang in there!

  14. Ladies, its clearly late in the weekend and I don’t know if people will see this. But my hubbie is away this weekend so I’m watching some new television.

    I’m watching Drop Dead Diva on Netflix on the advice of ladies on here. But I don’t know how far I’m going to be able to make it. I’m really struggling with how fast and loose they play with her whole “lawyerly” job. I mean, what type of lawyer is she? One week she does a torts case, the next employment and the next family law (which…btw…is her own parents divorce…can we say BAD IDEA!!!!???)

    Anyway. What sort of generalist is she? What sort of law firm is this?

    • Further question…I just got the the episode where she’s celebrating her new body’d birthday. And she didn’t know how OLD she was (or that it was her birthday.) HAD SHE NEVER LOOKED AT HER LICENSE???? Seriously, this show is pretty enjoyable, but some of the little inconsistencies are driving me cray-cray.

      • I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve worked in law. I’ve had the same issues with the show – too many inconsistencies with her profession and logic.

    • Heh, I think the show is cute but I really have to turn my brain off. Also, I’ve discovered that I can handle shows making up substantive law and I can handle them playing fast and loose with things like how long trials take, but when they start screwing around with legal ethics or criminal procedure my annoying lawyer brain activates.

    • I have to just turn off the lawyer part of my brain when watching any legal show. I mean, The Good Wife is amazing television, but both the law and the law firm are completely unrealistic, and talk about playing fast and loose with legal ethics and criminal procedure! (Although I haven’t seen the most recent season yet, and it sounds like some of the legal ethics stuff might be addressed).

      • I love Good Wife. I knew one of the writers of Drop Dead Diva. He seemed concerned about the same things – sometimes the legal accuracy is scrapped in favor of plot devices, etc.

  15. Beds- any good suggestions on where to get? Looking for stable frame for queen mattress, ideally coming with headboard soft to lean against. Needs to be minimal size/appearance (condo dweller, small room), light in color (pale wood/white etc.). I am having the internet thing where there are a million online but nothing that seems to fit the bill. Have checked Ikea, Dania, Macys, Wayfair, Amazon, Target.. willing to pay decent amount of right.

    • No idea if they’ll have what you are looking for, but additional places to check are Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Room and Board. That plus Ikea is where most of my stuff is from.

    • Seattleite :

      E.than A.llen and B.assett both have upholstered headboards. [trying to avoid moderation!]

      Also, google “designer furniture warehouse everett.” It’ll be a bit of a drive from downtown Seattle, but the Everett location is right off the freeway. They have stuff from many price points. I bought a dining room hutch and chairs there for less than 1/4 their price at a local upscale furniture store.

    • Try J.C. Penney for soft headboards and AllModern for minimalist frames.

  16. New poster :

    I have a Nordstrom question, hope it’s not too late in the weekend. I bought a pair of shoes last week at full price and when I got them home, saw them on Bluefly for much less. Exact same shoes. I have seen people mention here that Nordstrom does price matching, but would they do it for a discount e-tailer like Bluefly? The difference is about $120, so not insignificant. Thanks for any advice!

    • Seattleite :

      ?? Ask Nordstrom. The worst they can say is “no.” I promise, they’re not going to send stink bombs through the phone, ban you from the store, or try to get you fired just because you ask.

      “I just bought these shoes. Now I see I can buy them for $XXX on Bluefly. Can you match that price, or should I return them and buy them elsewhere?”

      And I truly do mean this kindly – if you are that hesitant to ask for what you want in a no-lose situation, please get some assertiveness training. Life is way too long to stifle your own voice like that.

      • ChristinaMD :

        WOW. Assuming that she needs assetiveness training simply b/c she was asking about returning a pair of shoes and whether Nordstroms recognized online vendors… is just… in the words of Carolyn Hax, “Wow.”

        • Joan Holloway :

          So glad you said something, ChristinaMD.

          • yep. Someone (not sure if it’s the same person) cut me way down on a post upthread and I was starting to think the tenor of the site was changing to be nastier. That would make me sad.

            Newbie, remember to ask a couple different people if the first says no, and let us know if Nordstrom does the adjust for Bluefly. Like you said, they might see the internet clearance-ness of it as an easy out.

          • Seattleite :

            JenK, I don’t know what post you’re referring to, but except for my very first post years ago, all my posts have been under this handle. If I do disagree with posters, I do it openly.

          • JenK, I also feel like there’s been a lot more vitriol lately. What’s up with that?

          • I totally agree. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I was hesitant to post something more personal on the weekend. During the week, there’s a smaller, more supportive group, then on the weekends, things tend to get more negative – at least by a few people. Because I subscribe to comments, I see where one person can come along and add negativity to several threads. It’s sad.

        • Yeah, jeez Seattleite. People are testy this weekend.

      • Seattleite :

        I am very sorry. I wasn’t trying to cut the OP down, and I sincerely hope that she didn’t take it that way.

        She struck me as being extremely unsure of herself, and almost frightened to make a simple request. I was trying to encourage her to speak up, and did so very badly.

        • New poster :

          I accidentally hit “Cancel Reply” and this came out at the bottom. Which made me read down and see that people are getting awfully cranky during this long weekend…

          Thanks for clarifying, and for jumping in, thoughtful others. Just logging in and seeing this now, but please don’t worry that I would be hurt by a comment made by someone on a website who doesn’t know me. I will go into Nordstrom this week and ask. I work a lot of hours, like most people on this site, and was trying to avoid the extra trip to the mall if we already knew that this was out of the question, that’s all.

          • I’ve never shopped at Nordie’s so this may be incorrect, but since you work so much, maybe you could call their customer service number? Some retailers have different divisions for brick and mortar vs. online sales, so it may not work if you bought them in-store, but it may save you a little bit of time. Either way, good luck- hopefully they will say yes and you can use the savings to buy something else.

        • Seattleite, thanks for posting this.

          • New poster :

            I called. The main customer service line has nothing to do with the stores, but their general policy is no price adjustments for online-only retailers (but something like Bloomingdales online is acceptable, because they have brick and mortar stores). Then I called the customer service department of the store where I purchased them, and they said the same thing.

            I asked to speak with someone in salon shoes (to practice my assertiveness in case anyone was worried about it). They said they don’t do price adjustments at all, and that each store and each department has its own policies. I will try taking the shoes in in person and seeing my main shoe man Michael, maybe he will hook me up. I waited too long and they have now sold out of my size on Bluefly anyway, otherwise I would just buy the shoes there and return at Nordstrom without a second thought.

            Just an update in case anyone else was wondering. I had honestly never heard of the price matching thing with Nordstrom before reading it here, which is why I was a little skeptical in the first place. Thanks for all the responses.

  17. SoCal Gator :

    I have been told I should watch The Good Wife but start at the beginning. Where can I get season One? It’s not in Netflix streaming.

    • I heart Good Wife :

      DH and I started watching from the beginning about 2 months ago. We LOVE it. But it comes from Netflix only on DVD.

      If I could have any lawyer’s wardrobe, it would be Alicia Florrick’s. She has my coloring, so I spend part of each scene fantasizing how her suit would work into my wardrobe.

      • SoCal Gator :

        I just checked out Hulu Plus and it has The Good Wife streaming. And now using AirPlay you can stream from your I-device to the TV using Apple Tv, which I have. Thinking about subscribing.

    • check your local library! mine has many DVD series that you can’t get on netflix streaming.

  18. Seeking Dress :

    Saw a great dress at a wedding last night – sheath dress, short sleeves, pockets in the side seams of the skirt, it was orange/light blue/gray/black/white with an abstract pattern that included what looked like clubs and spades from a deck of cards. Exposed zipper down the back. Anyone seen this anywhere??? Thanks!

  19. Valentino Silk Scarf :

    I bought a gorgeous silk scarf at a consignment store yesterday. Heavy silk twill. I’m guessing 36 inch square (it’s at the dry cleaners now). Floral design: black center, red border, pink yellow & green flowers in a ring between the center and the border. Single word “Valentino” in one corner. I paid $60.61 with tax. I am very happy with my purchase because I know it is an item that will get a lot of use.

    Questions:

    1. I have been all over the internet and can’t find an image of this scarf. I’m wondering what season it was, how much it was new etc. Is there some kind of resource for that info?
    2. Ditto for Hermes scarves. There was a Hermes scarf in the same drawer. It was $695 and the silk was not anywhere near as nice as this one. (I personally didn’t care for the design either, but that is subjective.)

    • From my experiences consigning, there is some sort of database that a lot of the stores use to determine their pricing. I don’t know the name of it, but you may call around and ask- the consignment store you purchased from may tell you.

  20. I have been struggling with deciding what to do with my career for about 4 years now and I feel like enough is enough. I have spent countless hours doing my own research with books, talking to family and friends, etc. I think it might be time to involve a professional but not sure which one. Is this something a therapist could help me work through?

    • another anon :

      I highly suggest a career counselor. I don’t know what you’ve done on your own, but I had a Strong Interest test done (among others) and thought it was quite useful.

      • I know this sounds silly but how do you take the test? I found a few websites that administer the test online but they looks shady and the one that looks legit won’t let you order a copy unless you are a licensed career coach or psychologist. My alma mater’s career services department will only let you take it in person which isn’t possible for me. Can you buy this test at a book store?

  21. Ladies –

    Tonight’s Mad Men. Women in the workplace. Please discuss.

    • Honestly, I may not be able to watch the show again. Several times this season I have thought, “Boy, Matt Weiner really hates women.” I understand it was the culture of the time, but I hate watching women repeatedly put in humiliating positions, such as Betty in a fat suit.

      • It was definitely yucky, but I dont think it means Matt Weiner hates women.

        I didn’t watch the show initially, but I worked with this guy (about 10 years younger than me) who kept talking about how great is was, back when “things were the way they’re supposed to be” (i’m not joking, but maybe he partially was)

        So I watched the show and my immediate take-away was that the #1 theme of Mad Men is how much it sucked to be a woman back then.

        I really think that’s Matt Weiner’s overall message. There are people out there today who claim that gender equality has set women back, but do you see any happy women (at work or stay-at-home) on that show? No, all the happy go lucky types are men.

  22. Okay. I know it’s late in the game for the weekend. And I want to preface this by saying I have awesome in-laws. I mean, they raised my husband. My in-laws are loving, accepting, caring people who adore my child and have accepted me wholeheartedly into their lives.

    And they are here for the rest of the weekend, which is great, because as stated above, DH and I are on call tomorrow together, and it magically solves all our childcare problems. So please take this complaint with a grain of salt, but I need to get it off my chest.

    My father in law is going to eat us out of house and home. We got (huge) burritos for dinner. My mother in law and I ate a half (I do not have a small appetite). My husband at 3/4. My FIL ate a full burrito. And two pieces of bread. And a bowl of cereal. And an apple. And the last of our watermelon. And then dug in our freezer and ate the rest of our frozen yogurt and the last of my skinny cows. And some of our almonds. Oh and a bagel.

    Clearly, it bothers me, because I kept track. I always plan to have extra food around, but I always end up feeling resentful. Like, who eats that much? And how come I don’t get to eat leftovers later? Please please please hear me — I know many of you have real issues with your in-laws, and I fully acknowledge that this does not count as a real issue. But tomorrow I’m going to go to the grocery store, buy another loaf of bread gallon of milk jar of peanut butter and vat of vanilla ice-cream and tell him to go to town.
    Okay, calm now. Overall I’m lucky. But it always makes me crazy.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re being extremely petty. Seriously. Let it go. It’s strange and again, incredibly petty that you’re keeping track of everything your in-laws are eating. Not just your father in law, but also your mother in law, too. Honestly, I feel kind of bad for them.
      Sorry. But since you asked, I truly think it’ll help you, and your relationship with your in-laws, to know that in at least in person’s opinion, you really need to lay off.

      • Did you not see the preface? Back off. Let’s be supportive of each other here, even in our needs to vent over things we know we couldn’t say IRL.

        • Christ. Do not tell me to back off. How does it help her to validate everything she says – untruthfully? To make her more resentful of her in-laws? She’s being judgmental, and hopefully realizing this will compel HER to back off.

          • Validate, as in tell her they are true? Nothing could be more useless. Emotions are not factual statements. They are feelings. Everyone has a right to their feelings; it’s what we do with them, how we express them, that we might want to change. I don’t see anyone here saying “Go blast your in-laws with hateful invective”, and I don’t think that’s what she’s doing. She started off by C(her)A and making it very clear that she knows the tiny place this holds in the otherwise good relationship and that it’s a little thing that’s bugging her, but it’s bugging her. Venting in a completely separate forum can be a healthy way to release negative emotions without damaging the relationship. I don’t think I have mach more to say on this, other than let’s be supportive of each other.

          • Couldn’t disagree more, sorry. When I have friends being unreasonable in relationship IRL I tell them the truth then, too — and they don’t seem to mind being told if they’re unfair or unreasonable. I certainly appreciate it, when friends tell me as much. You don’t always know when you’re being a jerk, and being informed of it helps you change not only your behavior but the way you view something. Frankly, the poster here is being a jerk. Hopefully being informed of it will enable her to change her perspective and how she’s viewing her poor FIL. For you to tell me to “back off” from giving her that view is obnoxious, and seems to undermine your whole “Let’s just support each other” ethos.

          • Yiiiiikes. Hope you inform your friends they’re being judgmental, extremely/incredibly petty, unreasonable, otherwise flawed human beings, etc. etc. more gently than you do here. Sometimes it is good to have a close friend ask you, “Fo real?” but can’t say I’d be friends too long with someone who was determined to be absolutely no-holds barred blunt with me about every negative judgment she had about my attitudes/conduct/behavior. I appreciate that sometimes my friends just let me be ridiculous.

      • Couple of things:

        1) I actually didn’t “ask” anything. I was venting. And that was explicit.

        2) I think it’s pretty clear that I know I’m being petty.

        3) I appreciate you opinions. Clearly, I’m posting on a forum, so I’m not anticipating either no response or a chorus of support. But I would ask you if you think harsh words are the best way to get people to change behavior you disagree with or dislike.

      • I have to agree with Anonymous, actually, although I know her tone was harsh. Your inlaws are providing free childcare, which is invaluable. FIL eats a lot, yes, but they are providing a service back in return. And you and your husband make very good money, I assume. I can see how it would be frustrating when your favorite snacks are getting eaten, but at the end of the day – this is not a big deal (as you point out yourself).

        I have to say that I cringed when I read your note. I know that you’re venting, but in my culture, we say that the “guest is god” and we provide tons of food to our guests and we don’t think anything of it. Keeping track of how much people eat — it really makes me feel sad that you’re doing that!

      • For –’s sake, people, she’s got house guests! How is she supposed to keep the fridge stocked if she isn’t keeping track of what’s being eaten? Besides, can’t any of you tell me what you and the people you were with ate at your last meal today?

        Anyway, thanks for the heads up on the infeasibility of using this site as a place to post a funny rant about something odd that’s bugging me, especially if it’s something we all know not to address with the person involved.

    • Who cares? :

      I think the call is getting to you or something! So he eats a lot, who cares?

    • I get how other people’s habits, when they are suddenly living with us, can be incredibly annoying.

    • layered bob :

      oooh I feel resentful like this when my brothers come to stay with me… particularly since they can go through in one sitting boxes of things that I eat slowly and view as “treats” (chocolate bars, ice cream sandwiches, etc.) . They eat SO MUCH. And I grew up with them, in the same house, eating the same food, so you’d think I’d know how to keep food on hand for them. And every time they come I’m taken by surprise.

      Which, as you say, does not mean that I don’t love them and want them here. I would love if they would visit even more often. And I’m glad they feel comfortable enough to go through my cupboards. So I try to remind myself that I am grateful that they are eating me out of house and home, because I could not have them at all, and that would be way worse.

      So you already know that it’s petty, but you’re not alone – sometimes our families just bring out all our angst and pettiness and weirdness, and that’s just the way it is. I try to remember how grateful I am that I am having *this* problem and not some worse problem, and that puts things in perspective.

      … and then when they leave I totally appreciate again how long a half-gallon of milk lasts without them :-)

      • I like your reply. But I don’t think she knows she’s being petty, or how weird it is that she’s analyzing every single thing her family is eating.

        • She doesn’t know? Then why did she say, “I fully acknowledge that this does not count as a real issue”?

          • It IS sort of weird that she’s tracking everything her free babysitters are eating.

    • Don’t feel bad. All of us have relatives or inlaws whose habits get on our nerves, especially when it impacts us (no leftovers). My brother in law does not eat huge meals when we go out, but he comes in two or three hours later and eats another meal, seriously. MY LEFTOVERS!! How dare he! Plus he is getting quite a paunch. I would say beer belly, but he does not drink much. So let yourself be peeved at him, laugh it off, and move on. Of course, I would think as a doctor the unhealthy aspects of this also play into your reactions. Too bad we cannot control other people’s bad habits :)

    • Sounds like a healthy growing boy! Seriously, where does he put it all?

      Glad you have a place to vent and hope you feel better now. Just don’t take him along when you’re on call. He’d steal the kids’ bacon!

      BTW, my peeve about my FiL (when I had one, before the divorce) was that he would go on long walks, and sometimes decide to help me out by swinging by the grocery store. There often were items I needed, but he never ever bought them. He’d get things he thought Americans like me like, such as an oversize bag of potato chips.

    • This made me laugh – reminds me of my former housesitter. She was a broke college student with roommates and she loved staying at my house and took great care of my cats, so I paid her well and always left food for her. I would try to stop her from eating certain expensive things in my fridge (like dried porcinis and truffles) to no avail. I swear, I would come home from a trip and the fridge would look like I had emptied it out to clean it! I came to wonder if she was taking food home with her – or having dinner parties at my house with her friends.

      Good to vent here – it’s frustrating when you’re busy and you try to plan food and somebody mows through it. Try to keep your sense of humor about it!

    • EC MD, Costco is probably very grateful when your FIL comes to town.

    • ECMD, when you run out of food, just smile sweetly at him and say…”Oh no! We’re out. Could you run to the store and get more???”

      But oof. That’s a lot of food!

      • I think when someone is giving you free babysitting to help you out of a jam, you provide the food. I get other people in your space would be annoying but I mean, he’s hungry right? he’s not eating all that and then throwing it up or anything. So I would turn a blind eye for this and focus on all the good things. (And I say this with sympathy, I don’t have many overnight houseguests cuz I like my own space too) But I agree with the people who are urging you to stop keeping track of the food, I think that’s making your annoyance seem even bigger.

        • Yeah I agree with this

        • I’m not saying she shouldn’t give him money to PAY for the food! He just may get more careful about how much food he eats if he has to go buy some of it. :-P

          Haha. Seriously though, this is one of those things you just have to smile and deal with with family. It pales in comparison to family who is willing to watch a toddler for you though. :-)

    • I get it – it’s not about the food but about the upset daily routines and strange people in your house.
      No matter how wanted, wonderful and helpful the guests are, in a normal middle-class household (no live-in maids or visitor cottages) there would still be a degree of… imposition? discomfort?..

      That said, the real fridge pillaging is done by teenage boys and THEIR guests. You have a few years to prepare.

    • Working Girl :

      My FIL does the same thing and it drives me nuts. Frankly I never thought of myself as petty for being annoyed, so you are one step more enlightened than I am. There is nothing wrong with being a little off put. Nor do I think you are weirdly “tracking” anything as people suggest. When you are running a household with kids and doing groceries all the time, you notice what is missing because you are the one making sure there is food for your family there and paying attention to this kind of stuff. You don’t have o be “analyzing” or intentionally tracking anything to notice.

      • Yes. I keep track of what visitors eat so I know what to buy/make next time they’re here. My mom will always say she wants to go out to eat. Took me a few years to figure out that she didn’t mean to insult me or find my food inedible. She just doesn’t get how nice it is to slow down and mindfully make a meal that will be enjoyed by other adults. Even now that I’ve figured that out, she still won’t tell me her preferences–I have to watch for them.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Anyone else think that there is one person posting as a bunch of the anons to make it look like her position has more support? I smell advanced trolling.

      EC MD – that was a funny vent. My husband used to get annoyed when my brother would visit and eat and drink all his food. Now we eat/drink mostly healthy food so my brother isn’t interested in it LOL.

      • Definitely over the top. EC is a regular poster that gives good advice and I thought the post was funny. You obviously make your FIL feel very welcome and I am sure you’d never make an issue of it. I’d like to be a guest at her house – lots of food there (having been a guest many times where there’s been no food whatsoever).

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Yes, I think that’s one of the issues with how commenters “sign in” on this site–there’s not really an accountability attached to the name.

      • I don’t think so – there are a variety of opinions on this site.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I didn’t mean EC MD was a troll!!! The anons responding!!

      • I’m not a troll, I’m a regular poster and I didn’t write the original response (from Anon). I also think that EC MD’s response below was very gracious and thoughtful.

      • Haters gonna hate!

      • Anonymous :

        This is the original, “harsh” Anonymous. And, I am different from “Anon” and “Yup.” You honestly think no more than one person is capable of thinking that the OP is being petty, and that her cataloguing of her what her guests are eating is weird? How insulting.

    • I want to thank everyone for the variety of replies. I honestly didn’t think I would be starting such an issue, and I think that a lot of good points were made. I hope it was clear that I did know that it is petty of me.

      The thing that make it challenging is that my in-laws don’t drive while they are here, and we don’t live walking distance to a market, so the only reason I’m really keeping track is that it’s my responsibility to provide the food, so as he’s eating, I’m adding to my grocery list. But it’s not the end of the world, it’s just another chore to juggle, and I am very very grateful for their presence, and our relationship.

      One of my favorite aspects of Judiasm is the idea of “acts of loving kindness” and reading this thread reminded me of how great I have it with my family, and how nonjudgmental and loving they are, and that has allowed me to replenish my cupboards from a place of love rather than panic that food was disappearing faster than I could restock it.

      Hope everyone’s work week is productive and not too stressful.

    • So funny – I have sort of the opposite problem. My MIL will not touch any food I prepare – like it’s poison. I pride myself on my cooking, and put a lot of effort into it, but she won’t budge. She was here last week for several days, and all of the food I had purchased, hoping we would eat in once or twice, just rotted in the fridge. In the past, she has sat at the dinner table and flatly refused to eat the dinner I prepared. It makes me crazy too, but I am trying to learn to let it go.

  23. Government Work? :

    The leave and health benefits are okay. Nothing you wouldn’t find at a private employer with a good benefit package. Security, job not physical, tends to be a little better. This seems to vary by agency, but for those that work for government agencies, have you found that you wear your series and grade regardless of your actual job?

    It just seems odd that you can be assigned job duties and held accountable; but if the person you need information from is a higher grade, they don’t have to listen.

    Also, duty assignments seem odd. You can be assigned more responsibility but receive “nothing” except another duty to add to your resume. At least in private industry, you can negotiate a small bump in $ or title change to offset some of this. It seems in government, you are what you are until a slot at a higher grade is open. Even then, you will get the $ but may only continue to do the work you did before.

    I guess I’m just rambling as friends that don’t work for the govt don’t understand and it’s a topic I wouldn’t want to share with coworkers. Anyone experienced this? How did you deal with it or did it male you go back to the private sector?

    • Anon for this :

      There are advantages and disadvantages of any workplace, and the government has its own special quirks. I would argue that job security is much better than in the private sector, but that’s a minor quibble. The issue of pay for performance is a real one, but hard to measure accurately, I suspect, and it depends greatly on where in the private sector you think you’d go, and the state of the economy in that industry. I don’t know of anyone in govt who “wears series/grade,” and at least in my agency I don’t know the ranks of most of the people I work with other than my direct reports and my supervisor. (I know those only because the information is on the evaluations I write for them and my supervisor writes for me.)

      If I have a problem with a higher ranking person not providing information, I will address the person as professionally as possible, but then raise the matter with my boss or the other person’s boss. I don’t see this as being materially different than when I worked in the private sector and a higher ranking person didn’t provide the info/turnaround/response in a timely basis. Higher ranking people in my private sector job ‘didn’t have to listen’ any more than in government and the way to work it out is no different. Public or private doesn’t matter when your work is stymied by someone who doesn’t have to take orders from you, and the only thing you can do is make it clear (professionally!) to your supervisor that you cannot complete X until you have Y and Y is currently with JaneBob.

      Additional duties do come without any additional pay, but I found the same was true in my private sector position as well. Yes, I could ask for more money, but the firm didn’t have to give me the bump or raise or bonus, and job titles where I worked were set and nonnegotiable. Friends in other industries tell me that it was completely unheard of to ask for a change in compensation “just because” you were assigned other duties; especially if the other duties came along because of layoffs and work just needed to be redistributed. At one point when my firm wasn’t doing as well as before, it changed our benefits package and reduced bonuses significantly; for a few years we were basically getting less for the same amount of work. Promotion tracks in the private sector can also be dead ends (no real moves until you show you are qualified and the best candidate for the job, and no guarantees that you will get it….same as in govt).

      I guess my bottom line is that everything you wrote here is true and can be incredibly frustrating, but I found that several of the issues you raise are not any better in the private sector, but the private sector can make decisions (good, bad, and ugly) faster than the government; that speed might reduce frustrations but it’s balanced by other factors, such as employees have less recourse. The grass isn’t necessarily greener, but it may be a different type of grass.

      • Government Work? :

        When I worked in the private sector it seemed like there was less combativeness and more of a common goal. For example, I wasn’t in the same direct reporting structure as the controllers but I worked in the VPs direct organization. There was never an outright salary/rank discussion when something came up. It was so much easier to get information, work together for a solution, and if I said something couldn’t be done bc of internal policy, us code, contracts, etc there wasn’t too much of a fit. Promotions were more straightforward. If there was someone they wanted, that person got it and an announcement was made congratulating them. Otherwise, the position was posted and mostly fair game.

        With the government, it seems like everyone feels like someone is out to get them and you have no business looking at “their area”, your not their boss so you can’t “tell” them what to do, etc. We have a monthly report the director sends to HQ. I can’t make any of the offices turn-in information for the brief. (sometimes the Director can’t get a straight answer out of them.) Government promotions? I’ve seen too many panels and the selection sheets to buy it.

        I never saw anything like this at Treasury so I know not all positions are like this and agencies are different. I get it’s the management style that is frustrating me. Sommany positions are only open to current agency employees, I feel like it would be difficult to switch and going back to the private sector may be my only option if I want a different environment.

        • Where does your agency rank on the “Best Places To Work” in the government list? My agency is at the top, and I see none of these problems. I don’t think you can just pin this on being a government job — it’s just bad management. You might want to target your future job search at agencies and sub-agencies that rank high on that survey.

          • Government Work? :

            Not in the top 100; actually, not in the top 50%. Do you know where the numbers come from? That don’t exactly match the annual OPM scores we get but I would guess they would be related?

            There aren’t many agencies or sub-agencies in my area that are ranked highly. Time to start saving for a relocation? I am a somewhat higher grade which has made switching agencies difficult. I’ve interviewed for positions bit they always chose someone that was an in-house promotions. (some of those interviews were closet interrogations where it seemed like more of a way to exclude the lateral so X can be promoted; the person that got it shouldn’t have been in the interview, should they?)

  24. New poster :

    Thanks for clarifying, and for jumping in, thoughtful others. Just logging in and seeing this now, but please don’t worry that I would be hurt by a comment made by someone on a website who doesn’t know me. I will go into Nordstrom this week and ask. I work a lot of hours, like most people on this site, and was trying to avoid the extra trip to the mall if we already knew that this was out of the question, that’s all.

    • SoCal Gator :

      Maybe you could call Nordstroms first before making the trip to the store. If they sound encouraging, that would make it worth your while. My customer service experiences with Nordstroms have all been Exceeds Expectations. Good luck!

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