Thursday’s TPS Report: Pique Knit Jacket

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

Pique Knit JacketHappy Thursday! This is a really cute pique knit jacket, on sale at The Limited. I like knit jackets because they’re often as comfortable as a sweater, but with almost as much polish as a blazer. This navy one looks like a great basic. It was $89.90, but it’s marked to just under $63 today — plus take 30% off your purchase (so: $44). Pique Knit Jacket

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]
(L-2)

Comments

  1. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :
  2. Former MidLevel :

    Love this!

  3. That’s a really nice looking jacket for the price. Wonder if it would be worth getting despite the whole belly situation.

    Stupid question threadjack: How long have I been “practicing law?” That is, if I want to say that I have been practicing law for X years, when do I start counting? I clerked my first year out, so, even though I passed the bar right away, I didn’t bother to get sworn in until the next year, when my clerkship ended and I started actually lawyering. So, did I start practicing when I started clerking, when I passed the bar, when I got sworn in, what?

    • I probably should have said the whole “growing belly situation.” I just re-read that post-posting and realized it would make no sense to anyone who didn’t know I was pregnant.

    • for general purposes, I would use the bar pass date, since I read the question more like “how many years of experience do you have?” – it’s not like you were held up by a C&F inquiry, and you were providing legal services.

      but for something pickier – I’m not sure.

      • Totes McGotes :

        Agreed; I would specifically answer, “I was admitted to the bar in [DATE],” but were I asked, “How long have you been practicing [type pf law]?” I would answer accordingly.

    • i use the year i graduated, even though i clerked for 3 years, and like you, didnt get sworn in until after my first clerkship. I consider clerkships practicing law (first one didnt require bar passage, second one did). So I’ve been practings since right after I took the bar (3 mo after graduation) and started clerking.

    • Former MidLevel :
    • I say you BEGIN practiceing law when you gradueate from Law School, even tho you are NOT a member of the BAR until alot later. So if you graadueate in May you start practiceing right away. I did NOT even pass the bar the first time, but I still say I have been practiceing for 6 year’s now.

      I have a question: Does any one know about asking AT&T about replaceing my I-Phone? Like a dummy, I let Dawn play Angry Bird’s with my I-Phone and she dropped it. FOOEY!

      When they said they would NOT replace it, so I then said I would get one from VERIZON. I still have 2 month’s left on my contract, but want a NEW I-Phone anyways. Any better idea’s from the HIVE?

      • WHO IS DAWN????//

        Ellen, you had BETTER NOT be messeing with me!

      • Tell AT&T their coverage stinks and you will tell the hive unless they replace the phone. But Next time, insure the phone. I dropped mine in the toilet by mistake. That turned out to be a real Phooey!

      • Ellen, are you on a family plan with your sisters? Because if so, you can get an upgrade if anyone on your family plan has an upgrade. Also, if you are only two months from your upgrade, I believe that you should get a discount from the non-upgradeable price.

        Further — no matter what you do, you should sell your broken I-Phone on gazelle or a similar site. Even a broken screened phone gets some money.

        Also, you should tell us who Dawn is, or Ellenwatch will platz.

        • Oh come on, loyal readers. A little faith! I was all over Dawn, Ellen’s 3-year-old “neice,” from the first mention. I even name-checked her again earlier this week.

      • Bar counsel says if you “practice law” before being admitted to the bar, you are committing an ethics violation- unlawful practice of law. So, start the count after being admitted and sworn in- but be sure to let people know you have also clerked.

    • Another Erin :

      Clerking definitely counts as practice, unless specified otherwise in a job posting or waive-in requirements.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      In my area people always refer to what “year” you are in which I think sounds so deceptive. By “big law” standards I’m a third year. I would be considered a fourth year in September when the new first years start. But, I was sworn in November 2009. I will not yet have had my third year anniversary of my swearing in when I am considered a “fourth year.” When I say I’m a third year, it sounds like I’m saying I have three years of experience, when I really have two.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Bonus though – when applying for jobs that require “three years of experience” and you have 2, it sounds better to say “I’m a third year attorney” which is still correct under traditional calculations.

        • Though – FYI – when I was going in-house and said I was a 5th year, an interviewer called me out on it -She said it is only a little over 4 years since you got out of law school. She never did the BigLaw thing. Instead she went to the company straight from law school. So when I explained, she said they did not have that concept in-house. (The other interviewers who went through BigLaw knew what I meant.)

    • I’m also 12 weeks and just ordered it in a large. I figure I will use it because of the way the button is.

    • A partner I worked for told me to always round up. People are asking in a sales situation and you gotta sell yourself. Don’t be dishonest, but don’t discount your experience either.

      I just say “since ” where I use the year that I graduated/passed the bar/was sworn in. Granted, I only “practiced” law for about 2 weeks of that year and I don’t consider my career as actually started until the following year. But it was long enough ago that a year here or there isn’t critical.

    • Just want to add a (related) “PSA” that I wish someone had told me in law school: for at least some federal government jobs (definitely the federal agency where I work), they count “years of professional attorney experience” starting from when you are sworn into your first bar, regardless of what type of work you have done before getting sworn in. So it’s a good idea to get sworn into at least one bar ASAP because you can then get raises (which are sometimes dependent on how many years of “professional attorney experience” you have) sooner. For example, if you took and passed the July 2009 bar, but didn’t get sworn in until June 2010 (b/c, e.g., you were clerking that first year and the clerkship didn’t require you to be admitted to a bar), you wouldn’t be eligible for the raise that you can get after 2 years of “professional attorney experience” (to GS-13) until June 2012.

      I hope someone else can benefit from this info!

  4. I think the $63 is already after the 30% off. Just looked at maybe buying it, and the price stayed at $63.

  5. soulfusion :

    I really like this but I never shop at the Limited, how is their sizing relative to Banana or J Crew?

    Also, am I the only person dumb enough to keep trying to wear shoes that just don’t fit right? I have these really cute yellow peep toe flats I bought for my walking commute a few summers ago and every summer I try wearing them once or twice even though I know they aren’t going to magically stop pinching. I just want them to work!

    Oh, and one last thing – yesterday’s comments/advice to the question of a red dress inspired me to pair my new red shift dress with a purple cardigan! I never would have tried this on my own and I really love the look!

    • soulfusion :

      meant to say thank you for the advice that wasn’t actually directed toward me but hit submit too soon :)

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      You are definitely not the only person. I have a *beautiful* pair of silver, barely there heels. The first time I wore them, I almost cried at the end of the night, and took them off for the walk home, even though the ground was frozen and covered in snow and my feet were starting to get frostbite.

      But they are SO pretty. So every year when I have a formal event I try them again and again, end up hobbling. Damn it.

    • Nope. I just try to wear the pretty toe-pinchers when I know I wont have to do a lot of standing or walking.

      Red dress + purple cardigan sounds really pretty!

    • I think sizing for The Limited is a bit more generous than J Crew/Banana.

    • (a) No you are definitely NOT the only person to do this.

      and (b) shoes that aren’t comfy for walking are perfect for leaving at work and then wearing around the office (really how much do you walk there) but then switching out into commuter shoes before heading home! haha.

      • soulfusion :

        My office has a whole collection of shoes, I just hate when flats (Naturlizers, no less!) are relagated to around the office only.

        • Naturalizer flats are the devil. STAY AWAY. Their heels are eleventy thousand times more comfortable.

          • You think so? I love my Naturalizer Maude flats – I even bought a second pair when the first wore out.

          • Another Erin :

            Yes. Least comfortable shoes ever. It’s like they’re made out of solid plastic that is going to pinch and rub no matter how much you “break them in”.

          • just Karen :

            I’m wearing my Maude flats now and they are my most comfortable shoes!

          • I have three pairs of Maude, all different colors, and think they are wonderfully comfortable.

          • my leather nautralizer flats are the best!!

          • just realized I also have the maude

      • SAlit-a-gator :

        I keep trying to make the same shoes work that left me in tears only months before – they’re sitting there, they’re pretty, yada yada. Then I can’t wear other comfortable shoes because of the huge blisters I get. So this year I’ve decided that each shoe gets three wears – after that its Goodwill. Life is too short to wear shoes which scrape off your skin! I’ll wear high heels that are only mildly uncomfortable, but I’ll draw the line at skin scrapes, blisters, etc.

      • I prefer the Alexander McQueen shoes I saw at the Met. I have the legs and body to wear them but most others simply can’t pull it off like me!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I recently splashed out on some more-expensive-than-usual heels and I’m determined to make them not hurt. They are fine on, but not great for walking. They are leather, though, so I’m still optimistic that they will get better.

    • I also hang on to painful shoes, even though I know that it is silly. Sometimes I keep trying to wear them, hoping that something will magically change (it never does) … other times they just sit in my closet, gathering dust. Periodically my mom will talk some sense into me and I will either consign (if relatively unworn) or toss.

    • Definitely not the only one. Particularly if they are leather, consider taking them to your local cobbler and asking for help. If put a piece of clear tape on the outside of my shoe everywhere I get pinching or discomfort and then bring in the marked shoes to ask if they can be stretched or if they have a silicone pad that will correct the problem.

      • soulfusion :

        Originally the problem was the back which dug into my heel so I stretched them. But now I realize the unfixable problem is they just squeeze too tight against my pinky toes. I think these just have to go, no matter how cute they are.

        • This is not an unfixable problem! There are stretchers with moveable nobs on them that can stretch out that area literally overnight.

    • K... in transition :

      I should start by saying that, whenever possible, I’m barefoot. So shoes for me already s*ck just because I have to wear any at all lol I don’t spend much on shoes, in part because they’re off as soon as possible and in part because I’ve never made enough to spend a ton on them. That said, I’ve been known to throw shoes into the donation pile (or into the garbage) if I wear them and they reek havoc on my feet.

      I know that, if I have the shoes in the closet, I’ll never remember to replace them, but I might forget why I never wear them, so getting them out is my best bet not to end up in pain all over again!

      • soulfusion :

        I am also barefoot as much as possible – even sitting at my desk in my office. I never wear shoes at home and my favorite thing about summer is I can skip socks except when I’m at the gym/running. However, I still inexplicably love shoes!

      • I’m a barefoot girl too! I’m barefoot right now under my desk in fact :-)

        If not barefoot, I have some pretty supportive flip flops that’s like being barefoot.

        But I too still inexplicably love shoes!

  6. recent grad :

    Thanks for all your book suggestions yesterday! I am going to the book store after work today – any other rec’s for good beach reading? I am planning to stock up!

    • Try The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes. It’s sort of a cross between An Affair to Remember and To Catch a Thief.

      Also, I keep a spreadsheet with all the books I’ve read in the past 8 years with the genre and a rating. Let me know if you’d like me to post a link.

    • Seattleite :

      Ann B. Smith wrote a really charming series – the first is called “Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind,” I think. All titles start with “Miss Julia…” They are funny and wise, and it’s really interesting to watch the character evolve over several books.

    • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. The first of a trilogy, second part due in June. Vampires and witches usually aren’t my speed, but Harkness is a really really good writer. Can’t wait for the next book.

  7. Shopping challenge: I saw a woman exiting the Metro today wearing a textured black suit. Jacket had bracelet length sleeves. Pencil skirt with 2 vents in the back. It looked great, any ideas on what it was?

    Sidenote: do bracelet length sleeves look silly on those with really long arms?

  8. Threadjack: I need advice for an appearance in one of the NYS Appellate Division courts. I’ll be appearing for oral argument one day next week when the temperature is supposed to hit 88. I’m wearing a navy blue summer-weight skirt suit. Do I need to wear pantyhose? Usually I would, without question, but considering the heat, and the fact that I will probably get there sweaty even if I don’t wear hose (it will be worse if I do), I wasn’t sure what the better option would be.

    TIA!

    • Anon from Chicago :

      I used to clerk in the 2nd department in Brooklyn. I didnt wear stockings when i was in court. That said, you could always put them in your purse, then step into the restroom to put them on when you arrive, and do the same to take them off before you leave.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        This is what I would do. If possible, I would maybe even wear a different top to go there and then change into what I’m going to wear to court.

    • It’s likely that no one will really notice, but I, personally, would. Think of it this way – you’ll probably still be cooler in a skirt & hose than the men will be with their pants, jackets, shoes and socks, and likely long-sleeved tucked in dress shirts. However, you could always try thigh-highs if those are your thing.

    • The judges will not be able to tell from the bench whether you’re wearing hose. The view will be blocked by counsel table and the lectern.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Better to look over professional than under professional. I was in a board meeting yesterday that took place “on site” and it was in an un-air-conditioned, windowless conference room. Everyone kept their suit jackets on. I wanted to start the trend and take mine off but I decided it was better to wait for someone more senior to do it. They never did. It was miserable. [Decided to interject my random vent into your question. Sorry.]

      • Another Erin :

        In this situation, I always take mine off because it is more professional to have your jacket off than to sweat profusely. But it’s awkward, I agree.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Agreed but at least the jacket masked how profusely I was sweating. I think if I had taken it off I still would have had visible sweat marks on my shirt.

    • Another Erin :

      I would. Take a cab over and ask the driver to turn on the AC?

      • soulfusion :

        Unrelated rant about this – I recently got in an argument with a cab driver leaving JFK over my simple request to turn on the AC. He first tried to tell me to just roll down the window but the problem was humidty and after wrestling with my luggage and maneuvering through the crowds, I was soaked and an open window wouldn’t help. I told him I just needed it for a few minutes. He then tried to tell me something about it being broken. I persisted and he then tried to tell me he was sick. I insisted I only needed it for a few minutes – and my frustration was not helping my temperature. He finally relented and turned it on and I settled into a phone call. After a few minutes I couldn’t figure out why it was still so hot and I realized he had CLOSED the vents! I was so angry I just rolled the window down. He put a jacket on. Except for maybe Duane Reade, no other public interaction can get my blood boiling more than a NY taxi driver.

        • long time lurker :

          I am one of those women who never has the cold problem in offices, I usually trend towards feeling too hot, always have (not hot flashes). I constantly have problems with cab drivers and the A/C. Many times the vent in the back barely lets in any cold air even the driver is agreeable to my wishes and has the A/C on full blast. They are just poorly designed.

          • soulfusion :

            This was one of those newer cabs that didn’t have the vents in the back. And I felt like his refusal was an attempt to cut costs like when they tell you at the end of your fare that their credit card machine doesn’t work. Oh, and my inability to regulate my own temperature is hormone related.

            And Another Erin – if I had more hair I would try that one.

          • OMG I get so frustrated when they say their credit card machine doesn’t work.

            This is my new tactic. “If I can use my credit card, I will tip you. If I can’t, I do not have enough cash to tip.”

            (It doesn’t always work, but I have success about half the time.)

        • Another Erin :

          Ugh that’s annoying. Sometimes they tell me to open a window, but I just say that the wind messes up my hair (which is very curly) and no one has ever argued with me about it.

        • That’s not ok. NYC Taxicab Rider Bill of Rights says you have a right to heat or a/c upon request. (From nyc [dot] gov website.) You can submit a consumer complaint on the site, if you have the driver info and want to pursue.

          • soulfusion :

            yes, I know, which is why I kept insisting. By the way, why isn’t the Rider Bill of Rights in cabs anymore? It used to be posted in the back but now that they have the tvs I don’t see it anymore.

    • Yes. Leave nothing to chance. Commute in your shell minus jacket minus hose and change in the bathroom.

    • Thanks for the responses. I was leaning toward wearing them because it’s more formal, but the discomfort factor was making me waiver. Unfortunately, taking a cab isn’t an option, and I’m not sure that I’d be able to get hose on when I get there if I’m already sweaty (maybe I never learned the proper way to get them on, but it’s an annoying struggle in the best of circumstances!) Oh well! Like Lyssa said, at least I’m not a guy in a suit!

      Thanks again ladies!

  9. Early medical Tjack.

    OK hive … I may be hypothyroid.

    Did a long TSH/TRH blood test about a week ago…I have the results with #values, but don’t know how they will be interpreted. This test was done after a typical slate of endocrinology labs at which time the doc said “If you had this TSH level in the past, I would have said you were hypothyroid.” My levels were 149 about 18 months ago and are now 203. If that means anything to someone in the hive, Yeah!

    Simultaneously, they found me to have low VitD (for which I’m taking 50,000IU once a week) and low B12 (was about 275 and they say 300 is minimal). I’ve deferred the B12 injections. I want a good experimental design on cause-effect.

    My list of symptoms had quite a sudden, one-day onset. Strange.

    So, what questions should I ask next week if they do feel I’m hypothyroid? (I’m on hormone replacement therapy since 2001 after total removal of my stuff.)

    I know we don’t give professional advice in the hive, but I’d love to hear from experience as to what I should ask about.

    Thanks ‘rettes.

    • that should be 1.49 and 2.03 on the TSH readings (from the one time draw of blood lab, not the recent multi-draw).

      Guess I’m anxious…don’t know what put this in moderation either.

      • “r e t t e” will put you in moderation.

        • Thanks! I was going nuts waiting. :)

          Love your posts Godzilla … now I’m flashing back to black and white movies starring Godzilla and all sorts of monsters. Hoping that your ex-wrestler is a god instead!

          • Haha thanks. Hope your health situation gets more clear soon, I know how frustrating it can be.

    • Hypothyroidism is very common, especially among women (I’ve seen ranges from 4% – 12% of the US adult female population). Treatment is to replace the hormone your body is not making. The most common brand drug is Synthroid.

      Questions you should ask: do you have Hashimoto’s? If you do, there will be antibodies in your blood. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune version of hypothyroidism. The treatment is the same either way, but I have heard of people with non-Hashimoto’s self-correcting and being able to stop treatment.

      Ask how frequently they’ll want to re-test you. There’s usually a lot of adjusting when you first start treatment. Get them to explain TSH, T3, and T4 to you. Given your low vitamin D, ask them if you should be concerned about your calcium levels. Ask them how it can be that your D is low if you’re already on such a high supplement level. Ask them why you would have low B. Ask them how these things might be interrelated. Ask them if you have any nodules. Ask them what you haven’t asked but should have.

      Some links:
      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353
      http://www.thyroid.org/

      Good luck!

      (I don’t have any idea whether HRT matters to this or not.)

  10. Crazy Anon from yesterday :

    I just want to thank everyone that responded and helped me see clearly what I knew I should be seeing clearly, but didn’t want to (re bf accused of retail theft). I really appreciate this community.

    • I also wanted to thank everyone for their list of happy things. In a sh*tty week, I really needed it. That list of happy things…is now MY happy thing!

      • Agreed! Maybe we should make that a weekly thing. It felt so good to force myself to come up with happy things, even on a terrible, no-good, very bad day, and read all of the things that made everyone else happy.

        • Ditto. Yesterday’s posts were some of the best in a really long time.

          Also, I really want my empty envelope mailed to me.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I had an empty envelope mailed to me by my tenants who tried to claim their money order for rent was stolen from the envelope. If it wasn’t their 9000th excuse and if the envelope wasn’t still perfectly sealed I might have believed them. They lost all credibility though when I just requested proof of purchase. I told them to tell me what store they bought them from and if I called and confirmed MOs were made out in my name, purchased by them, for the full amount of rent, I would have forgiven the missing rent for that month. No proof = liars. Grrrrr. It is an old story but still makes my blood boil.

      • Totes McGotes :

        I’m so sorry I missed it, but it made for a lot of smiles this morning!

        • K... in transition :

          hehe ironically, hearing that an idea of mine made people happy was my happiest part of yesterday!

        • Yesterday I was happy because I skipped work to sleep in and spend the day with my husband, and didn’t touch a computer all day. So I missed the thread, but today I am happy because I went back to read it. :)

  11. phillygirlruns :

    so, this weekend i went on an absurd shopping spree at target. mostly jewelry/accessories, but i also picked up a few tops for work. i’m wearing one today – link to follow, but it’s the mossimo “knit to woven colorblocked top.” it’s available in solids and prints, silky-ish in the front and jersey in the back…ridiculously comfortable and a really, REALLY great buy. i’ve gotten several compliments on it today – wearing the bright green/yellow print with grey pants and a black blazer. i feel edgy and will probably pick it up in a couple other colors.

    • phillygirlruns :
      • Ohhhh, I like that a lot! Good choice.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Cute top! I’m a huge fan of target clothes recently and have received many compliments on my little collection of target cardigans.

        Question, why are they labeling that top as color block? Do I just not understand the trend?

        • phillygirlruns :

          i think it’s because the jersey side is solid and the fancy side is print. it’s not really colorblocking, as i understand it, but meh.

      • Really nice! I have been looking for more affordable, machine-washable tops with sleeves in vibrant patterns to wear under suits – this looks perfect. Can you tell us how long the blouse is? I’m pretty tall and don’t want to rock the belly shirt and blazer look.

        • another anon :

          I got it in the blue/red color and love it too! I’m 5’10″ and it’s long enough on me.

          • Thanks. I got it in blue/red and gray/yellow, and two other sleeved Merona tops (one gathered neck in yellow/pink, and one cowl neck in violet/white) to get the free shipping.

    • soulfusion :

      I love this!!

    • Oh, that is pretty! I think the yellow/gray one is my favorite but the blue/red is nice too.

      This is my favorite most recent Target acquisition: http://www.target.com/p/mossimo-womens-twist-back-knit-top-assorted-colors/-/A-13971290

      I have it in green. It’s a gorgeous color and has some interest, because of the back, but it’s otherwise simple and classic. Love it. Only quibble is that it’s a bit long on me (could be great for longer-waisted ladies though!) so I have to wear it tucked in, which limits its not-at-work use to a couple of casual skirts.

    • I also had a ridiculous Target shopping spree over the last two days, but more on the casual end of things. I got two more Merona gathered scoop neck tees, a pair of denim capris, a navy linen dress I adore (http://www.target.com/p/merona-womens-flutter-sleeve-dress-assorted-colors/-/A-13958854, on clearance for $18), a white hat for the beach this weekend, and two sets of fabulous Gilligan and O’Malley “wonderful edge” bikinis with silicone that stay in place and no VPL. Love! I also picked up some flavored margarita mixers for my beach trip.

      • Perhaps TMI, but I LOVE the Gillian and O’Malley bikinis, with or without silicone edges (they sell both at Target). So comfy, and I don’t get VPL in either.

        TMI/PSA over.

        • Eh, I think it’s on the safe side of the TMI line. But I’ve always been an oversharer!

          I think I’ll be buying more than the 4 pairs I started with. Have you had any quality issues? That’s my biggest worry since they’re $6.50/pair (I’m cheap, I’m used to free-with-coupon VS!), although I’ve been pretty pleased with Target’s clothes quality lately.

          • Hmm, I almost always get costco underwear, but I’m not liking my latest buy and they seem pretty cheap (already had some problems with elastic/seams unraveling). I’ll check these out! Thanks you guise! :-)

  12. going anon for this one :

    I need some advice for ending a four year relationship. I’ve never been in a relationship this long, and all my previous ones ended by sort of letting things fizzle out. I do care about my boyfriend, and I know he is truly in love w/ me and enamored, so I’ve been putting this off because I don’t want to hurt him. He’s a really great guy, but I don’t think for me. I know that he is going to be extremely heartbroken by this, but I am ready to pull the bandaid off. help!

    • I will combine some advice from the Dixie Chicks with some advice from Dan Savage.

      Let ‘er rip, Let ‘er fly. Come on baby say it, do you think I’m gonna cry….okay you probably know the rest.

      But I think Dan Savage is right about this. He says that by refusing to break up with someone because you don’t want to be the bad guy, not only are you being a coward, you’re being cruel to them because you’re not letting them move on and find someone who actually wants to be with them. And you’re not letting them be mad at you and get over it. Both of which they need. So you just gotta do it. There’s actually no way to do it that doesn’t hurt.

      • Ditto. Been there before, and it’s just hard. But it’s gotta be done, and you’re wasting your time and his in the meantime. Tell him the truth–you care about him, but don’t see it going anywhere, and don’t want to hold you or him back from something else that will.

        And don’t fall into the trap of softening it with “for now.” Unless you mean it. Or unless you like the idea of damning you and him into an endless cycle of false hope and guilt.

        • +1

        • Totally agree with the advice to be firm and hold fast to the decisoin. I went through this with my college/post-college BF and was not firm; he argued, and begged, and negotiated and the “break-up” took about four months. It was so awful that my roommate was sometimes in tears, too. And I think we were calling up poltergeists, because things started to fall of the walls. Seriously.

          And FWIW, it did turn out to be the best thing all around. He tried to negotiate by among other things saying we could get married and he’d support me in law school. I pointed out that this was unlikely since he was not getting his act together to even finish college. So he did finally finish his degree, in some kind of computer science. And about 10 years ago he sold his tech company for multi-multi-millions and has a pretty nice life, complete with his own plane. I’m not as well off — but still glad I didn’t marry him.

      • As tough as it will be to break up, it’s also when you both get to start moving on. Don’t delay!

        • Is true. A few months after I finally got up the guts to call it quits on a similar situation, I met my now-husband. Never would have been ready to meet him if I hadn’t ripped that band-aid.

    • I think that it is probably a little bit easier to do a serious, “we need to talk tonight” appointment that will give him a few hours notice. That way, it won’t come as a shock to him (most likely), and he may have enough time to think about it and realize that it’s the best thing for both of you, too.

    • K... in transition :

      If you live together, make a plan for how the division of things will go. Think about any plans for things you have together and consider how that will go. Tell him that you need to talk tonight at 7 or something so you can’t back out of it.

      Then sit down with him and explain that, while you truly care about him as a person, you don’t feel that this relationship will go further than where it is and you want more for each of you. Then listen. Sit for as long as he wants and listen. Don’t get defensive or angry, let him have whatever space he needs. He’s beginning to process for the first time (probably) whereas you’ve had a long while to consider this and decide and come to terms with it. Be polite and be firm. Do not give him false hope that you will someday reunite or that you can still be friends immediately. Then explain your thoughts on how to divide things/handle future plans/etc. Also, if you live together, begin sleeping in a separate place immediately. If someone has to sleep on the couch, it should be you right now.

    • The best break-up advice I got was: “It’s a break-up, not a negotiation.”

      In this situation (and I was there a year ago), people try to negotiate. Don’t let him, don’t let yourself. I was living with my BF when I broke up with him. To prepare myself, and to force myself to go through with it, I made up the bed in the guest room and cleaned out the second bathroom for his use. I didn’t touch or move any of his stuff.

    • going anon for this one :

      luckily we don’t live together… I think my refusal to live together after 4 years (and I have no plans to move in anytime soon) is another indication that I’m not into this as much as he is. This is all good advice… I just need to find the right time. It’s so hard because we make good *friends* but I would say not much more.

  13. I made a mistake yesterday. Not a big mistake, more just like a sloppy, obvious mistake (think – calling a brief a motion in some places but not others). In fact, there were three such mistakes in this three-page motion I drafted, and this partner I don’t get to work for often sent me a redline pointing them out to me.

    Honestly, I am horrified that I did that. I just can’t believe it. I feel like I’m going to lose my credibility over something so stupid. I really never do stuff like that; I was not really thinking clearly yesterday.

    Should I say something to her? I know the answer is probably going to be no, but I just want to tell her that I never do stuff like that and to give me another chance!

    • Former MidLevel :

      I wouldn’t say anything. I would make the edits (assuming you have e-control back) and make sure the next draft is perfect. Even if she doesn’t give you more work for a while (or ever), just keep on kicking a** for other partners. It is going to be okay.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I know that the answer is ‘no’, but I totally sympathise as I always feel like I should try to explain my mistakes so that people don’t think I’m completely stupid. The point is though, unfortunately, that you made the mistake, minor or not, and it’s too late now. Best you can do is do a fabulous job next time.

      Did the redline only have those mistakes in it, or did the partner send you other comments? If the former, it’s a bit pissy, if the latter, then I really wouldn’t worry about it and try to do better next time.

    • soulfusion :

      At this point I think drawing attention back to the mistake turns it into something bigger than it is unless you haven’t returned the final draft yet (wasn’t clear from your post). If you are still finalizing, I would apologize for the sloppy first draft followed swiftly by an indication that you will be more attentive to details going forward – and do so. If the assignment is finished and you want to continue to work with her, let her know. Seek her out and tell her you would like to have a chance to work with her more often.

    • a passion for fashion :

      we all make mistakes. move on and dont apoligize. i know the instinct is to want to explain, but it annoys me (and others as well) when people try to explain why they made mistakes. Unless there is some underlying problem that needs to be addressed (doesnt sound like there is), then just fix it this time and get it right next time.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I feel your pain. I had something FILED full of typos and vented about them on here. It was a joint project so many of the typos weren’t mine but I was kind of in control of the project and still responsible for them. I said something to the partner like “thank you for taking the time to point out those typos to me. I am usually much more careful than that and I don’t know how I missed those. I will be sure to do a more careful fresh read of a final filing.” He ended up responding that he wasn’t annoyed with me, more annoyed that the filing was finished on a weekend when no support staff were there to second proofread. He reiterated what we all know that you just can’t proof your own work. It was still embarrassing but I felt much better after. He came to me to talk about the typos though which is different from your scenario.

    • Been there. In my practice we often represent defendants, so I’ve given a partner a draft before where we are the plaintiff and referred to our client as the “defendant.” It’s something that I normally would catch, but that day I didn’t.

      If you’re still making edits to the document, I’d apologize and just say something to the effect of “I’m embarrassed. Normally I would catch something like that and I promise it won’t happen again.” If the document is done and out the door, maybe say something to the partner in passing (in the kitchen, hallway, etc), mentioning how much you enjoyed working with her and then mention that those errors are out of character for you. We’ve all had “off days” and if you keep kicking butt in all your other work, this partner will realize it was likely an anomaly.

    • Been there too. I misspelled the partner’s name on the signature line. Repeatedly.

      I think we’ve all done this. Including (if she were honest) probably your partner. Just correct it and try to make it a rare event. I learned to print EVERYTHING and read it on paper before handing it off. It doesn’t catch all the errors, but it has saved me quite a few shame moments. Wasn’t there a thread a rather long time ago on how to proof your own work or how not to make idiot mistakes like this? I could do well to take another look at that–it had good suggestions.

      • soulfusion :

        One of my tricks is to read from the last page to the front since I naturally pay less attention in proofing near the end of a document.
        Another one I learned from my judge is to spread the entire document out on a conference room table from page 1 to the end and do a couple of slow reads. I do the first read from the beginning and the second read from the end. For me this is the best way to catch formatting issues. This is especially helpful for checking cross-references since I don’t have to leaf through pages for comparison.

        • Thanks, guys. Y’all really made me feel better. I’m still upset, but at least I’m not the only one who makes these mistakes!

      • still need a handle :

        I had a written review once which criticized me for making typos–and the review itself had major typos. This review was complete un-ironic.

    • Don’t stress! Everyone makes these mistakes. I’ve read an 8th or 9th draft from a very senior associate (and not one that I initially drafted) that had typos in it that no one up to me- including two partners, a paralegal and the senior-had yet caught. It happens.

      Also, to make you feel better: I once FILED something in which I repeatedly referred to one of the defendants by the wrong name. Like, not a misspelling, just a wrong name. It had to be refiled. I was embarrassed. It happens. Don’t beat yourself up- just do better next time!

    • Don’t say anything. It sucks, but you know, it could be worse. You could have, like, put the entirely wrong case caption on the front page of the brief. Not that *I* ever would do something like that. But it could happen. To someone. Who, again, was not me.

    • onehsancare :

      Want to feel better? As in, “I’ll never make a mistake THAT stupid”?

      This was a while ago, but I was a named partner, maybe 15 years out of law school, working with the senior partner on a big project. He asked me to look at a brief he was writing. I did my normal edits, but also made comments throughout, like (“I think this argument is stronger if you move it up to the abstention section,”) in parenthesis and italics. It was his case, though, so I let go of the document when I gave it back to him.

      The next day, I discovered it had been filed, still containing the sentence, “I’m not completely comfortable making this argument, because (blah, blah).”

      • @onehsancare – I just have to tell you how much I love the h e double matchsticks out of this story. I feel like I narrowly avoided some version of this happening by the hair on my chinny chin chin.

      • Chicken Counselor :

        Hilarious!!! Not nearly as funny, but I had a judge point out to my opposing counsel in a hearing that his brief had at least 2 sections that started off OK, with a well written topic sentence, and then finished with (in italics): “insert argument here”. The judge thought it was super funny and forwarded it around to his judge friends.

  14. Looking at white and navy I have a Styling question.

    I have gotten a short sleeve white cricket sweater from Ralph Lauren, classic style with navy piping on collar and sleeves.
    I love is so much I want to get the most out of it. I’ve worn it twice with navy slim fit pants and boat shoes. Then today I am wearing it with white pants in AT signature fit with red patent shoes.
    I do not mind wearing that sweater to death, because it makes me feel like I am in a resort (I am having no vacation this sumer), but I ran out of ideas on how to style it.

    I am in a casual office but I tend to dress up.
    Any styling suggestions?

    • I like that you put it with white pants! That sounds awesome. I think you could definitely do a colored pant (like a coral, red, or green), but don’t see why you couldn’t put it with a skirt as well.

    • Heyyyyyy Houda! Glad you had such shopping success in the States.

      A white sweater with navy piping – this will go with SO MUCH. Besides white and navy, try gray, beige/khaki, yellow or even green. A soft pink would be nice, too. Orange. Red. Really, you can’t go wrong with this sweater – but I wouldn’t do black or cream. That’s pretty much it.

      • Thanks Ru, shopping was just great. I did not go overboard, but picked pieces I know I will wear to death. So far I have been wearing all the new clothes and I still get that large grin when I rip out the tags.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      It might look nice with a floaty pleated skirt (a longish one for work) in either Navy or some other colour. I say this because I have the perfect skirt and I also love the sound of the sweater!

    • I immediately saw the magenta Skirt in my mind’s eye. That’s *so* what I would wear it with.

    • Seersucker skirt?

  15. Just was reading an article in the New York Times about the “trend” (which I think is defined as 3 people) for moms to take their young daughters (like ages 11 or 12) to get waxed before summer camp (legs, bikini, underarm, brows). It made me a little sad. Part of me thinks back on how I destroyed my legs when I first started shaving and how nice it would be not to mess with that at overnight camp. But part of me thinks that’s such a young age to start putting society’s expectations of beauty on those girls. Waxing hurts! And — I know there are exceptions– I’m not sure there are that many girls out there who really need a bikini wax that young.

    Of course, I went to an all girls camp, and I started shaving my legs more to feel grown up than because I had really hairy legs. I just can’t imagine taking my own daughter (still a few years away from this age) to get waxed at age 12.

    • Oh my gosh, this breaks my heart. At 12 I don’t think I could have handled having a bikini wax. My brain would have exploded.

      • Eh. Bikini wax, maybe not, but I got my legs waxed when I was 12 and I learned to shave under my arms that same summer. I am pale and have dark hair. It was not cute, it was very noticeable, and I was super self conscious about it. I didn’t go to camp, but I remember refusing to go on a class trip to a water park because I didn’t want anyone to see my legs/underarms. I think my mom did the right thing.

        Yes, of course, some girls don’t need it. But some do. Not to mention that, for whatever reason, girls are maturing physically sooooo much sooner now.

        • Waxing wasn’t really around when I was that age, but I hear you on the pale with dark hair. Plus my leg hair grew back fast and was coarse – I remember getting comments about my “stubble” and it was mortifying. Not sure what I would do if I had a daughter, but I would hope she’d be able to come to me and say if something like leg or underarm hair was bothering her and we could figure out together what to do.

          I remember never wanting to go swimming or do other activities for which I’d have to bare my legs. That’s worse, I think, than taking a young girl for a leg waxing, with the caveat that it should be something the girl wants, not what the mother thinks she should do.

        • phillygirlruns :

          agreed. i’ve been having my lip and eyebrows waxed (or nair-ed at home) since i was in third or fourth grade – not so much a brow shaping so much as getting rid of my bert-and-ernie eyebrows. i was a hairy kid and got made fun of relentlessly for it. for me, my mom taking me to get waxes or sitting with me in the bathroom with that sulfurous stuff on my face wasn’t about being “beautiful” or meeting society’s expectations so much as it was a recognition of the fact that ten year olds will torment other ten year olds for having mustaches.

    • That’s so sad! I went to an all-girls camp as well and would basically not shave my legs for the whole month. It was so awesome to be carefree for that time! That makes me sad too.

      Of course, I didn’t have any bikini problems, which are different.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m torn on this. My parents never enforced any “don’t grow up too fast” rules re: nail polish, leg shaving, etc. I’ve also heard if you wax someone when they’re in puberty and their leg hair is just starting to come in, it never really finds its roots and grows back. Think how much I would save in hair removal products as an adult!

      On the other hand you’re right – why is it so important that an 11 year old be hairless? Who does it impress?

      That being said, it wouldn’t have been so bad to get my caterpillar brows waxed before I started middle school, rather than at the end of middle school. My mother, who is freakishly basically hairless, did not know what to do with her daughters. We all inherited my father’s hirsutism and probs could have gotten the “shave that ish” talk a couple of years sooner than we did.

      • yeah, my mom and I have completely different hair. She has fine blond hair and doesn’t wear much make up or do her eyebrows (they’re so light she fills them in with a pencil). I was also rocking a slight unibrow, then tried to fix it myself and ended up shaving most of my eyebrows off!

    • Another Erin :

      OK, bikini wax is way inappropriate unless the girl is the extremely rare preteen who has enough hair to be visible below a bathing suit. But as for the leg and underarm wax, assuming the girl has enough hair that it’s rational for her to want to remove it – I would have LOVED if my mom took me to do that. Learning to shave was completely traumatic, and I never really figured it out – I stopped shaving and switched to depilatories and wax around age 25 and it has made my life so much better. Shaving is the last thing I would have wanted to deal with at summer camp.

    • While this seems a little extreme, I often wish that my mom had been a little more proactive with me in terms of grooming. She is very low-maintenance and her attitude towards things like shaving, waxing, wearing makeup, etc. was, “oh, that all takes so much time and effort – you’re better off postponing it as long as possible!” As a result, I spent several years being mercilessly teased by older boys (!) about my hairy legs (the girl’s uniform at my school was a jumper; covering up with pants was not an option). I also wish I could Photoshop the ridiculously bushy eyebrows I’m sporting in my high school yearbook pictures.

      • long time lurker :

        I wish my mother had helped me out a little with my unibrow. That came from my dad’s side of the family so she never had to deal with it, and she is a low-maintenance type too (as am I), but I cringe when I see the pictures.

      • Anon for style :

        Oh yes. My mother didn’t/doesn’t wear makeup.

        So I asked a friend who was little help in hs and college. The guy I started dating in college (he’s my DH of 25+ years) suggested makeup and then he went with me to Macy’s. Also suggested his mom’s salon for a lopping off the long hair (and it’s been “short” ever since). Happily, I know he has great style and has taught me alot. I’m on my own with it forever now but we do like going shopping together. He buys things on the web and sends them as a gift/thinking of you when he’s overseas on long-term projects….

        So in my case, DH better than mom help :)

        My dad said when I was in HS “So glad you dipped your fingernails in blood.”

        Really? I grow them nicely and it was Revlon Red. Nothing shocking, mind you.

        • Mountain Girl :

          It’s good to be the mother of only boys. :)

          • Kontraktor :

            I used to want only boys for this reason, but then I wonder how in the world I would teach them to be in the tiny percentage of men who don’t patronize p**n (and who also abhor it). Then I think about how I would probably end up being so sheltering and overcontrolling that I would end up with those creepy type sons who everybody found a bit “off” and who wore braided belts and hiked up khakis and ill fitting polos as a 15 year old and I would probably hate that too.

            What is the good advice for raising boys? Why can’t kids just automatically know everything there is about growing up?? :-)

          • Mountain Girl :

            The best role model my teenage boys have is my DH (their dad)! He is an avid outdoorsman but works as a counselor/teacher. I feel like he provides them with great tools and advice on how to find a balance between being too macho or overly sensitive. I find DH to be an incredible judge or character and he is incredibly intuitive when it comes to what people are really saying. I would certainly not be able to provide this to my kids on my own but he provides this for them. I find that as they have gotten older they tend to look at him as their role model and look to me for encouragement and validation that they are getting it right.

    • I was pretty hairy and I would have LOVED it if my mom had taken me to get waxed. Kids were making fun of me by that age and it did bother me.

      • Anony-moose :

        Same here. I was in sleep-away camp for a week every summer and sometime around the ween-age years age I overheard some other kids making fun of me because they could make out the bushy pubic hair under my wet bathing suit. It was mortifying and I still have a complex about it.

        • I was on swim team and when people talked about shaving I assumed they meant for races. It wasn’t until one of my “friends” pointed out to my crush that you could see that hair poking out around the edges that I realized not only that a) I needed to start shaving my legs and b) I needed to shave/trim that area too. I was a shy kid and still am fairly prudish about that sort of thing, but I sosososososo wish my mother had actually -talked- to me instead of giving me the “What’s happening to my body book for girls.”

          • CA Atty — you shaved before championships???? (haha…i assume you’re just talking about the parts covered by suits anyway.)

          • TCFKAG: I was more referencing in general. I wasn’t all that fast, so when they would say they shaved or similar I would think “oh, for x meet coming up I don’t have to do that” rather than “what body part are they shaving and why?”

            But no, not the area just covered by suits. My brother, at 14, asked me to shave his back. I said “you don’t have any hair there!” He said “do it anyway, it’s faster.” I made him get mom to do it. No freaking way.

            But my embarrassment was everything covered by pants. pubic hair, leg hair, yeah. I wasn’t the swiftest one to catch on to this stuff. I was pretty sheltered and a complete tomboy…

      • I will love my mom forever for helping me with this (and of course for all the other reasons she’s wonderful). I started waxing my unibrow when I was about eight, legs and armpits when I was 11. I am very pale and inherited my crazy dark and heavy body hair from my dad. When I got the nickname Miss Mustache in second grade, and a boy in my third grade class got the word “hairy” in a spelling bee and spelled my name, my mom took care of that right away. Beauty isn’t everything, but kids can be merciless and there’s no reason to put up with that unnecessarily.

    • Kontraktor :

      Maybe this might be a topic worthy of its own thread, but what do you all think is the best way for mothers to educate their daughters about this sort of thing? I don’t have kids yet but have always thought about how I would want to be a good, open mom about these sorts of awkward things because my mother never told me anything about anything (ugh, I was so naive and weird for so long). But at the same time, I can’t see the guidance not being awkward unless one has a Lorelai/Rorey Gilmore type relaitonship with their daughter (and I don’t think I would ever have that sort of relaitonship with my kids).

      What are your thoughts? How can moms tell their daughters about these things without everything being awkward and traumatic?

      • My best friend in the whole world, who is dark and hairy, said that when she moved to middle school in 5th grade that her mom gave her a “going to middle school” talk that involved a section something like this:

        Kids will make fun of you, no matter what. Everyone will make fun of everyone. It is very important to me that you are a kind, moral person, and do not make fun of others. If you will focus on striving for the best character qualities you can, I will be happy with you no matter what shoes you wear, or how you style your hair, and I will be happy to give you more lattitude with your appearance. Your body will go through a lot of changes in the next year or two. If there’s anything you feel self-conscious about (she was purposefully vague), come tell me and we’ll discuss how to handle it.

        She said it worked for her great, esp because she had to start shaving everything very early. I don’t know if it would work for everyone.

        • I think this is a great way to handle things. I hopefully will be attuned to what is going on with my own daughter – even if it involves waxing – to support her. I am so glad I don’t have to go thru Middle School again and anything I can do to make that passage easier will be my goal.

      • soulfusion :

        I tease my mom about this very issue because in high school she introduced me to depilatory cream for my mustache. She did not disclose that it was something she used and I had never seen her using it so I thought I was an abnormal freak. I think normalizing it – letting your daughters know you do this sort of maintenence before it is necessary for them. But I also think it is an issue that is discussed more openly these days anyway since waxing, threading and laser hair removal seem far more common now.

        • Kontraktor :

          I’ve always thought that letting your daughters see you, as a mother, doing these beauty routines would perhaps be good. Like, make sure your daughter sees you putting on makeup over the years, goes with you to the hair salon, maybe even sits around with you in the waxing room when she is a bit older and you’re having that done. That way, by the time she’s 11 or 12, these things are ‘normal’ to her and it’s less a question of ‘what is that, Mom’ and more a question of, ‘when can I start doing that like you, Mom.’

          I don’t know my opinions yet on what age it is good to putting up the boundry between kids’ and parents’ body openness (ex, clearly it’s normal to take your 2 year old into the shower with you- at what age does that stop?), but if there were a way to balance bodily privacy with bodily knowledge for same gender children, surely that would help as well (I’m thinking in terms of a daughter knowing what a grown up woman/mom looks like and then knowing she’ll look like that one day too).

          • SpaceMountain :

            12-year-old girls tend to find their mothers mortifying, and pretty much all my hygiene suggestions to my daughter are met with opposition and defiance. She is old enough to shave, but she wants nothing to do with it. She also hates brushing her hair, getting haircuts, showering, shopping for new clothes, any suggestion of make-up/lip gloss, etc. I’m not pressuring her — just making suggestions and backing away when she declines, as I want her to know I’m ok with these things. Many of the girls in her grade are up on hygiene and trying to look nice by now, but she doesn’t notice or care. Her (much adored) 18-year-old niece is coming to visit in a few weeks; I might enlist the older girl to teach my daughter a few things.

          • Regarding boundaries, I think what is “normal” varies wildly by families. I have a friend whose 3 kids (ages 7 and up) regularly barge into the bathroom when she is showering or using the toilet. She finds this perfectly normal, while I find it horrifying. I have never seen either of my parents naked (not even when I was a tiny child) and one of my goals in life is to keep it that way. There is probably some middle ground, but not sure what it is…

        • Amen. I didn’t realize my mother shaved her armpits and thought I was some kind of freak for having hair there when she didn’t.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I’m really interested in hearing responses to this.

        Also not a parent, but I have two younger sisters (one much younger so that my middle sister and I were able to provide older-and-wiser advice as she entered puberty). I honestly noticed when I was in middle/high school that people with older siblings seemed to get through school the least awkwardly – that is, that they were dressed okay (my mom bought all my clothes until 9th grade. I had 4 pairs of jeans embroidered with flowers all the way up the legs (with flowers at the top and roots/stems on the bottom). She thought they were “cute.” They called me “flower girl” on the bus.), didn’t have awkward hygiene issues, got their unibrows taken care of, etc. I’m sure there will be people that disprove my theory, but I really felt like my sister benefited a lot from having two older siblings who weren’t too far removed from the pain of puberty – and were willing to take her concerns about her body, etc, seriously and do something about them. I don’t know how to embrace this sort of philosophy when I’m a parent, however, without body shaming my kid.

        • Definitely went on a “covert mission” to get my little sister some underwear that didn’t show above the top of her low-rise jeans or her tighter skirts/pants. My mom just refused to buy her “inappropriate” underwear so that she wouldn’t have VPL. My sister did her own laundry, so all I had to do was deliver a bag of goodies to her room when my mom was out of the house. She put them on under her jeans, came in, bent over/sat down/did a crazy dance, and no visible underwear. WONDERFUL memory between her and I, and the building blocks of a very open, honest, and in my opinion, helpful relationship between me and my sister! We’ve since discussed a number of awkward things that I had to hear about from my mom, and she’s been spared the super uncomfortable conversations for the most part.

        • OMG, my mom got these hideous “outfits” that were like a baggy short with button up hawaiian-shirt-style over it all in the same pattern. I still cringe just thinking about those nightmares! :-) I don’t even know what to call them to try to google for a picture, but picture a short sleeved, very loose (boobs developed early!) hawaiian shirt and shorts, elastic waistband, slightly below the knee, in this pattern.

          http://www.selectism.com/news/2012/05/03/our-legacy-splash-linen-button-down-flower-shirt/

          Oh, I was rocking it alright!

      • While the subject of makeup for tweens isn’t as awkward as some things, it’s one that is often fraught with tension (mom: “that blue eyeshadow is too much” – tween: “but everyone is wearing it”, etc. you get the picture). One of the smartest things I ever did as a mom of a daughter was take my daughter to an Aveda salon for a makeup lesson and some starter “supplies.” Since Aveda tends toward a more natural look, the makeup person was able to convince my daughter how good a light hand and natural looking makeup highlighted her looks, and I never had to have the fight about eyeliner and neon blue eyeshadow. Don’t know why I came up with this idea, but given our relationship at the time (just a wee bit combative, lol) I probably added years to both of our lives.

        • This sounds like a good idea. I was personally banned from all make up besides mascara until I graduated high school. I think this was a combination of my mom not wearing make up at all and her fear that I would walk around looking like a clown. I am grateful that I missed the heavy makeup phase that a lot of girls seemed to go through but I would have liked to have SOME knowledge about how to put the stuff on.

        • Second the suggestion to bring in a professional. My mother LOVES make-up and bold colors, but I’ve always been more natural/classic. When I was 13, she took me to a BeautiControl consultant to get my colors done, have someone teach me how to apply make-up, and purchase a few products. She let me start with the full face, but I opted out of mascara and lipstick almost immediately. She basically taught me that make-up was an enhancement, not a cover-up or flashy thing. She didn’t make a huge deal out of me wearing it or not wearing it, so we never fought about that. High heels and dangly earrings on the other hand… world. war. three. I pity my dad during those years!

        • How old was your daugther when you let her start wearing makeup? My daughter starts middle school in the fall and I’m sure this will come up. Currenty, makeup isn’t allowed at her elementaty school, but some girls are wearing a little lip gloss and getting away with it -which, honestly, I think is fine and age-appropriate, but my daughter has so far followed the school rules.

          I am sure she’ll start hitting me up to let her wear makeup in middle school, though, and I know it’s more or less allowed there.

    • I dropped out of gymnastics b/c I was just too furry. And didn’t go swimming spontaneously for decades (even with waxing, there is the dread grow-out period). My mother grew up in a rural area where even if you were to show a lot of skin (there was only a swimming hole), there weren’t options other than shaving and plucking. For me, I have nearly translucent skin and dark brown hair that gets ingrown FAST from waxing and gives me a 5:00 shadow from shaving. AND I HAVE DAUGHTERS. I think we’ll be going the laser route as soon after they begin having issues if they think they can deal with the stinging (and shaving /waxing if not, if that’s what they want). It may be horrible, but I think it would be more horrible not to give them options with the world being what it is.

    • This makes me so happy that the girl scout camp I grew up at (and eventually worked as a lifeguard at) had a proud tradition of letting bikini-area hair grow long and natural–even if some spills over. No shame, no embarrassment.

    • Ugh. My daughter is 11 and still plays with dolls. You’re killing me!

  16. momentsofabsurdity :

    Argh. I had a legit mental breakdown on the phone with my mom yesterday about housing. Her suggestions (don’t spend money for a one bedroom, get a roommate) were fine but she was presenting them in such a purposely-obtuse way (oh gee, Mom, I could save money with a roommate? Why didn’t I think of that? Oh wait, I’ve been trying to find a roommate for 3 months! But yeah, I feel so special and good to tell you I haven’t found anyone, so I’m considering spending more for a 1 bedroom) that I was seriously holding back tears on the phone.

    Anyone have any happy stories to make me feel better?

    • No stories, but http://www.omfgdogs.com/

      I’m sorry your mom is being difficult. I think it’s really hard for them to admit sometimes that we’re going to do things differently than they would–and that they don’t really get a say anymore. Stay strong, do what you need to do for you.

    • Yes. At least your dad isn’t trying to make you import a husband, so that’s good! My parents have accepted that I don’t want to marry beige guy, also good. I did try to reach out to him and learn more about him so I wouldn’t feel like I hadn’t given this a chance but he’s really not trying. Shrug, another one bites the dust.

      *I don’t think there’s anything wrong with importing a spouse, it’s just not for me.

      Don’t you feel better now?

      • Another Erin :

        Beige guy? I haven’t been reading this site enough lately…

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Beige guy was a guy Ru’s family set her up with recently. He checked all sorts of boxes on paper (right family, right religion, right education, etc) and wasn’t objectively unattractive, but Ru was very meh on him (no chemistry), and feeling like a jerk for being meh on a perfectly nice guy who just felt… beige. Not bad or good, just… bland. Her family was really pushing it because he checked all the boxes in terms of background and Ru is of course getting ridiculously old by their standards (love you, Ru!) and “running out of time.” We supported her decision to not get married to a guy she feels meh about, so she stood firm to her family and the search begins anew.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Ha! Give me another 5-6 years of being single — I’m pretty sure if I hit thirty with no Brown-Doctor/Engineer-Good-Christian husband in sight, importing will be seriously discussed (by them, not me. I’m more of a localganic type girl — ha!).

        • Hate to break it to you but they’re secretly already planning it (you’re 23, right?). You just don’t know. But once you’re getting “over the hill”…be prepared for more parental weirdness.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            24. I’m already getting the “why are you so focused on your career?” talk!

      • i haven’t been around much, so i’m glad for the update that this worked out (for now).

    • Another Erin :

      My life improved greatly when I decided not to talk about money with my parents any more. Unless you need her help to pay for the one-bedroom, it’s really none of her business. If she brings it up again, just say “oh yeah, I’ve got the apartment situation resolved” and change the subject.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        You’re right — I shouldn’t have gotten into it with her at all since I don’t need her $$, just wanted to talk through options with her. I think sometimes in the aim of providing advice, she has no idea how harsh she is being (“How will you ever qualify for a mortgage if you are this fiscally irresponsible at 24?” “Why are you moving out of your current place – when I moved to this country, my whole family lived in a basement together!” “I was not that much older than you when I took out my first mortgage, and you don’t have nearly enough in savings to pay for grad school, let alone a mortgage.” Etc etc)

        • Another Erin :

          Yes, because all the other 25-year-olds have enough money in the bank to pay tuition and living expenses for graduated school, and have also recently put 20% down on a lovely condo. You’re a failure in life, momentsofabsurdity.

        • If it makes you feel better my mom is like this too. I think it is something in your genes that kicks in once your kids turn 22.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If I recall correctly, you are in Boston right? Would you consider living north of Boston closer to NH? I have a friend living on the north shore looking for a roommate right now. Not sure if I could convince her to move into the city though.

    • Gah, I feel for ya. Don’t know how your mom is, but mine sometimes has a hard time understanding (or accepting) sometimes that I don’t do things the Optimal Way not because I fail to see the wisdom of them, but because I have tried and cannot. Why don’t I have a better-paying, more prestigious job? It’s not because I chose it; it’s because I didn’t get another offer, Mom. Sometimes your little girl doesn’t win, okay?

      (file under: Lessons I need to remember when it comes to my own kids)

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I really hope I will remember this lesson. This is exactly what happened to me when I got my first job — my mom saying when she head my salary, “Oh my gosh! That’s less than what secretaries make! Why don’t you get a better paying job?”

        Well, gee, Mom, thanks for that. I will definitely consider taking one of the non-existent, entry-level $100K-in-a-recession jobs that people are pounding down my door offering me. Thanks!

        • Kontraktor :

          If it makes you feel any better, my parents ask me “Why I have not written the CEO of [Giant Fortune 500 Company] because if I just write to him, he will surely sympathize with me and help to get me a job.”

          I’m not even kidding. My parents seriously think things work like this. I have gotten into numerous screaming matches with them about jobs and job hunting because they just do not understand.

          • momentsofabsurdity :
          • Oh yes. My parents told me to just go downtown and walk into every law office I saw to hand out my resume. …..um, no. But that’s what they did! Thirty-two(three?) years ago!

          • Haha! I laughed out lout when I read this because I think I’ve had the same exact convo with my mom. I have a good job with flexible hours and great benefits, and my mom sends me info on jobs all the time because my current job isn’t “high profile” enough for her. I feel like no matter what it could always be better in her mind. If I were a supreme court justice it wouldn’t be as good as being the chief justice and the like.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      If it makes you feel better, my mother has extremely similar unhelpful housing search advice completely divorced from reality (mainly because my mother is not from NYC and thus thinks every neighborhood I consider is super dangerous. This is the same woman that told me to just go into work earlier so I could leave earlier so I didn’t have to walk home after dark in the winter. I then had to inform her that the sun sets at 4pm in the middle of winter in New York and that would be therefore be impossible).

  17. Cornellian :

    Coupon code 241 for another 15 off of 50 dollars spent at the limited, FYI.

  18. I noticed your comment yesterday about throwing up and your husband taking care of the mess. I am hoping this means that you may soon have news for us?

  19. recent grad :

    So I’ve been working in my office for 6 months and still haven’t personalized it. No pictures, no decorations, nothing. Does anyone have any suggestions for decorating it on the cheaper side? Ideally, I’d like to get a nice framed map of the world. But those $250 versions are just out of my price range. I’m open to any suggestions. TIA!

  20. Allergy update: I stopped taking my allergy injections. And I’m magically 90% better. I’m one of those few rare people that have a systemic reaction to them – I was taking steroids to mitigate symptoms. So no injections or steroids makes me much happier.

    Also, I got imaging done on my sinuses and guess what? They’re clogged. No wonder I have headaches. Gonna try to deal with it via nasal spray and a different steroid (I’ll miss you, prednisone). If it doesn’t work, then I may need surgery.

    In conclusion, I’m just REALLY HAPPY that I have a plan of action for my head. How’s everybody’s allergies treating them?

    • soulfusion :

      My allergies were the worst I’ve ever had this year! I saw my pulminologist and she said I was testing at only 60% lung capacity so I was in a full asthma flare-up and dangerously close to a full attack. She immediately put me on a nebulizer with albuterol and another asthma medication, had me continue to take my asthma medication plus singular plus Benedryl before bed and a Claratin in the morning. I went back to see her after about 5 days of this routine and although my lungs were back in normal range, I was still drippy, sinusy and miserable so she added a nasal spray and a week of prednisone to my drug arsenal. This got me back on track so now I just take normal asthma meds/nasal spray/Claratin and albuterol as needed. If I am anywhere near grass or trees for very long I get a slight rash. All of those unnecessary details to say – you are not alone this year! My doctor said it is one of the worst pollen count years in the NE in years. Good luck with the nasal spray and steroid switch, surgery sounds no fun.

      • Yikes, glad your asthma situation is resolved! I really puzzled my doctors, tho, because I was breathing fine but there was obviously something really wrong with me. Here’s to all of us feeling better!

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I’m actually getting great results from my allergy shots (I’m allergic to a little bit of everything [even roaches!]). I started them in the fall and I just got to my maintenance dosage and can already tell the difference. I still take zyrtec daily and I occasionally use my nasal spray, but I don’t have any other symptoms that cannot be controlled by the meds. Before I started the shots I was miserable in the spring and fall even with all the meds; I would get terrible sinus headaches.

      Allergies are the pits! But here’s hoping that your situation will improve.

    • I’m off my maintenance inhaler and registering about 95–98% lung capacity now. Happy days indeed! Now if my ears would only unclog.

      • OMG THE EARS. It’s the weirdest feeling ever. And sometimes, they’re unevenly clogged and then you get vertigo and feel dizzy and nauseous and UGH. G’luck, yo. If it doesn’t resolve soon, maybe it’s time for steroids for you also?

        • No no no just got done with a huge course of them earlier this year (lung capacity at 50%, doctor freaked me right out by RUNNING into the room and announcing I had the lungs of an 84 y/o). But I did start taking sudafed yesterday w/ my flonase (which I love love love).

    • Horrible. This was the first winter since stopping the allergy shots 15 yrs ago that I got bronchitis. Doctor put me on Singular but I still have the swollen lymph nodes.

      Also, I’m convinced those shots are evil. I don’t know anyone that didn’t have some type of respiratory issues w them.

  21. Stinky stonk :

    Ladies, my feet really really reek. When I take off my shoes when I get home, I immediately have to wash them with soap because they smell so bad. The thing is, I’m currently pregnant so I can’t use Drysol or some of the more stronger remedies of combatting foot odor. Does anyone have some milder recommendations that work at least somewhat well? I already use the Super Soles inserts in my shoes, and I change them every month or so but still – the smell is awful.

    • Another Erin :

      Do you wear socks? Try wearing socks, especially the moisture-wicking athletic kind of those will fit under your work shoes.

      • Stinky stonk :

        Thanks for your response. I don’t wear socks – wouldn’t they show while wearing heels? I’ve seen those little panty hose types that go over one’s feet, but those are so thin. Are there socks that are similar? Any specific recs?

        • If you don’t wear hose, try cotton footliners – they sort of just cover up to your toes and heels. They tend to slip off a bit when I walk any distance (like, the 10 minutes between bus stop and office) but they are much more comfortable than wearing shoes barefoot. Especially work shoes, but I wear them now even with summer flats on weekends. You can pick them up (usually a 2-pack for $6) at any drugstore in the pantyhose etc section. They keep your shoes much nicer too, because any sweat is caught by the little sock/liner instead of your nice shoes. I keep a whole bunch in my sock drawer and try to switch them out daily, or rinse them at the end of the day and then throw them into the weekly laundry.

        • I wear trouser socks every day, with flats or heels. Obviously, that’s not an option if you’re wearing a skirt. Have you tried exfoliating your feet? Maybe do a little scrub with baking soda?

      • Another Erin :

        The smell comes from bacteria, which comes from your having sweat into your shoes. Even if you’re not sweating on a given day, the bacteria is in your shoes making your feet smell. Unfortunately, pantyhose type socks are not sufficient to make a barrier between your feet and your shoes. (They may help with preventing your feet from sweating if you get new shoes. Buying high-quality shoes with a soft leather, breathable lining should also help.) But I think you probably need to do is stop wearing pumps and start wearing shoes that can be worn with socks, at least for the time being while you’re pregnant.

        Trying again because this didn’t post the first time…

    • Mountain Girl :

      Underarm antiperspirant – it roll it on my underarms and then on the bottom or my feet every morning. It’s simple and you probably already have it on hand.

    • I have heard that soaking your feet in apple cider vinegar can help. Also, I don’t usually like anti-bacterial soap, but washing your feet with something like Lever or other anti-bacterial soap might help.

      Check out Hue for sock variations. I swear that somewhere I saw they have socks that just cover your toes and have an invisible elastic that goes around the back of your heel, so theoretically you could wear them with slingbacks. For some reason I think I saw them on the Alterations Needed website, in a post about how she gets her shoes to fit, but I’m not sure. Pretty sure they were Hue, though.

    • Stinky stonk :

      Thank you ladies. I work in a really hot climate where wearing hose is unbearable in the summer. And I wear skirts or dresses as a result, so I need to wear something that will be covered. And, firm has a no sandals/open toed shoe policy, so I’m stuck with heels. I’m only 5 weeks along, so wearing heels is fine for me (aside from the stench).

      I will look into the cotton footliners, the antiperspirant idea (that’s really neat) and the apple cider rinse and see how these work out. Thanks!

      • Oh, another thing – stuff your shoes with newspaper at night. It will help absorb any dampness and help with odor. Seriously, I once wore a pair of skecher-type shoes walking around NYC all day in August, a very hot, nasty August day. I nearly killed myself with the odor when I took them off in my hotel room. But, stuffed them with newspaper and within a few hours, no more smell.

        Some people also recommend putting shoes in the freezer to decrease the stink, but my freezer is tiny and has no room for shoes.

      • i sprinkle baby powder in my shoes for a little smell-barrier.

      • onehsancare :

        I used to have canvas inserts filled with diatomaceous earth that lived in my sneakers and kept them from stinking even though I worked out in them every day and they lived in a tiny locker.

        I haven’t seen them for sale for a while, but you could put some diatomaceous earth in knee high stockings (knotted at the top!) and keep them in the shoes when you don’t wear them.

    • If you don’t want to wear socks try the terrycloth shoe inserts from Aldo. I use them in all of my shoes all the time, but in summer when I don’t want to wear stockings I don’t have the issue of stinky stinky feet. You can throw them in the washing machine too. Amazing! They have changed my life.

      • also you might try cleaning your shoes with lysol wipes or similar product before and after each use to avoid bacteria building up

  22. I’m hoping someone will have a great suggestion for a dress to wear to an evening wedding. It doesn’t have to be super formal — a nicer maxi dress would be my preference. The catch is that I’ll have my newborn son with me — he’ll be about 4 weeks old, and I’d like to find a dress that’s suitable for breastfeeding. I’m hoping some corporettes will have some great ideas. Would like to spend $200 or less. Would be even better if I could order it online. Prebaby I was a size 8, I’m guess right now I’m about a 12 with even proportions, and I’m 5 ft. 7 in. tall.

  23. Threadjack- I just graduated from law school and have no job lined up despite going on 15+ clerkship interviews for state judges. My father was informed by one of this patients that there will be several new judges this year. It seems that she offered to submit my resume to these new judges after I send it to her. Not sure exactly how all of this went down, but I figure it is worth a shot. My question is do I send a cover letter to be passed on to these judges as well and if so, how do I address it since I do not know their names and how many do I send, etc? Do I send her a cover letter or just a general letter mentioning the connection even though she would recognize my by my last name?And what exactly should I write to her? Any advice/wisdom? I guess I am just unsure about exactly how to do this, especially while studying for the bar exam! TIA!

    • letter-writer :

      I have to ask – what sort of patient is this? I’m giggling at the mental thought of your father being the on-call doctor for the State X Judiciary.

      But really – how is she connected to these judges? Has she ever met you? Why can’t you submit it to those judges? Are they taking new clerks, or are they holding onto current clerks for now?

      • Haha perhaps I should include more specific information. My father is a pediatrician. His partner was talking to this woman, who I am assuming is the mother of a patient, and she works at the courthouse. Not sure how they got onto this topic, but whatever. I did a search and found out that she is the secretary to the assignment judge so she probably knows the judges who are coming on, and what type of law, etc. Also, these judges will be in need of clerks and I figure if someone who already works there and seems to have an “in” gives them my resume, might be helpful. She has never met me, but still seemed willing to pass along my resume. Also, honestly I don’t think I would have time to research the judges coming on and send them each resumes until after the bar exam so this would be a good option. I figured it was easier to just keep it simple; sorry for the confusions.

    • I had a similar question last week, and the hive gave me brilliant advice, of course: Address the cover letter to the woman helping you, and in the first paragraph thank her for her assistance. Example: Dear so and so, Thank you so much for agreeing to help in my search for a judicial clerkship in X state, or X district, etc. I graduated from X school in X year, etc. etc. Then in the second paragraph just continue on as you normally would with a cover letter.
      This worked really well for me!

  24. K... in transition :

    Just an update… am about 90% done with the surface level stuff in my new house… the last of the boxes will be unpacked today. Granted, I still don’t own a vacuum and need to buy a desk/chair/file cabinet/etc. for my office, the place needs to be painted, and I still need to clear out the basement and garage, but the living space (living room/kitchen/bedrooms/office) are unpacked.

    Considering that I probably won’t be able to afford office furniture or a vacuum for a while (still on the job hunt), this is about as far as I’m going to be able to get for a bit on this section of the house, so I’m feeling a tad accomplished!

    • just Karen :

      Hooray! It always feels amazing to get the boxes out and finally be able to enjoy your new space – congrats!

    • Awesome! When I helped my brother move, we scored a vacuum for $10 at Goodwill. It was like new and glittery lime green. He’s more cheap than he is ashamed of his glittery lime green vacuum. That thing retailed for at least $100.

  25. lapsed Catholic :

    Anyone sort of half-heartedly Catholic and not sure what to do about it? I don’t go to church regularly, but my family (Italian and Polish) is definitely culturally Catholic and we go on holidays. I find the rituals comforting and there’s a lot I do like about the church… but I don’t like much of what I hear from the Vatican. At times, when I go to a church I like, I feel like the parish has almost nothing in common with the Vatican, and it seems okay to be a Catholic because I’ve found others like me… but then the Vatican will proclaim something I don’t agree with and I get upset all over again and wonder if I should just leave. Yet I can’t imagine actually doing it. I want to embrace it, but I don’t always feel like it welcomes me (or at least, the Vatican doesn’t. My local parish definitely does)… anyone else in the same boat?

    • (ugh, I have gotten “posting too quickly” several times now)

      Not to stir anything up (are there denominational rivalries?) but this is what I love about being Episcopalian — I love the rituals, the songs, the community. But we’re not pushy about doctrine, so you don’t have to accept everything the bishops say to feel welcome at the church.
      Also, I went to a fairly liberal Catholic high school, and many of the teachers and students disagreed with some Vatican teachings but still felt very strongly and proudly Catholic, so it seems like a common thing. That whole “freedom of a well-formed conscience” thing.

      • Lapsed Episcopalian :

        In my southern locale, the far-right faction of the church is in control. I am a convert, and I joined years and years ago largely because of the “wide umbrella”. It just makes me so sad to hear some of the things I’ve heard in the past few years, out of the bishops, priests and a fair number of the laity in this area. I’ve even been told that my opinion is less valuable because I was not born and raised in this church. And they wonder why membership is declining ….

      • One of the few things that helps me is to remember that its been like this like generations. There has always been dissension in the Catholic ranks and, no matter what they say, it isn’t a solid line tracing back to the first Pope. And the way they structured it … on a parish level, then a diocese level, then a regional level, then a church-wide level allows at least some decisions to made in the places that it makes most sense. And change to come, at least slowly.

        But…I do think that the destruction of liberation theology was a tragedy. As is the catholic churches official (though largely ignored on the ground apparently) position on c*nd*ms in Africa.

    • Constance Justice :

      This is very timely over here, and I am looking forward to the responses. My family is also very culturally Catholic, and it does feel like home to me. Personally, I shop around for a parish that I like, and stick with it. I go at least once a month, so a little more often than you. I’ve been so upset with the Vatican that I have just not gone for long periods of time, but I’ve found that I feel better with the comfort of a parish I can support than walking away from the church all together.

      Sorry I don’t have any useful advice, but know that you are not alone. Also, I’m so happy that you found a welcoming parish!

    • Another Erin :

      Can I suggest, gently, that maybe you should go directly to the source and read Bishops’ Conference statements and Papal documents yourself, rather than relying on the New York Times and other biased liberal media sources to tell you what they want you to think the Church says?

      • lapsed Catholic :

        I never mentioned the New York Times or other “biased liberal media sources,” so I’m not sure where you got that from.

      • Constance Justice :

        Respectfully, I think you might be making some unfair assumptions. I feel much the same as the OP, and my feelings do arise directly from the Bishops’ Conference statements, and other statements passed down through the diocese.

    • Yes. It was ridiculously important to me to get my kids baptized… yet I get so irritated with what Rome says/does at times. But I love my parish, it’s small and super easy going… and the other church we sometimes attend used to let the nun lead mass until they got the smack down from the bishop. So yeah, totally there with you.

      • This has kind of been an issue in my friends recently. All of us were baptized as babies, yet none of us go to church now (although Christian, not Catholic). Everybody is debating whether to baptize their babies or not. And how weird would it be to ask some random neighborhood church you’ve never been to to baptize your baby?

        • lapsed Catholic :

          Just out of curiosity, did you and your friends get married in the Catholic church?

          And yes, I know what you mean about asking a random church. I think this about marriage (a long way off for me, but hopefully someday) — I want a strong connection with the church where I eventually get married.

        • lapsed Catholic :

          Oh, sorry — rereading your comment I see that you said you’re Christian, not Catholic. Never mind!

    • Oh honey, I feel like a healthy minority (solid majority) of Catholics in the US are in this camp.

      I know I am. Its hard. I fight the urge to just give in and become a Unitarian frequently.

    • I have a sort of similar situation. My extended family is very Catholic, but I was raised Episcopalian (largely bc of my dad’s issues with the church). My husband is Catholic and he and his parents have a really beautiful faith that is deep, but not unquestioning. I.e. they are open-minded, compassionate, wonderful people. I have been attending mass w/DH since we started dating and feel very comforted by the rituals and drawn to many things about the church, esp. the focus on social justice and the meaning of many of the holy days. So at times, I think about converting. But I just cannot picture doing so when the Vatican’s positions on many issues are fundamentally incompatible with my beliefs. I would feel like a hypocrite. No advice, your post just resonated with me.

      • lapsed Catholic :

        This is exactly how I feel, but on the other side. I have thought about attending an Episcopalian service to see what it’s like. Would you say that the services are fairly similar to a Catholic mass? And I fully understand where you’re coming from about liking the rituals and focus on social justice (the latter, especially, really resonates with me and keeps me feeling connected to Catholicism when other aspects of it alienate me).

        • It depends on the church. Many Episcopal church are High Church, which means it’s very similar to the Catholic Liturgy. My Mom goes to an Episcopal High Church, which is basically like a Catholic church but progressive, gay-friendly and she has a female priest.

        • To me, a Catholic mass just feels different than the Episcopal services I attended when I grew up. I was much younger when I attended the Episcopal services, though (last time I went, I was prob 18 or so). The format of the service is very similar, but certain prayers are said slightly differently. Also, something that is very different is that (in my experience), there was far less focus on Mary in the Episcopal church. Not sure that this would be the case for every Episcopal church, this is just how it was for me in the church and family I grew up in.

    • I’d use the same barometer as what I told my sister (a very pased Catholic): Do you believe in the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church? If you still believe in the things about Catholicism that are specifically Catholic-i.e, the Sacraments, transubstantiation. If so, then (to me) the other things are not as important. I don’t believe in everything that comes out from “official” Church media. I wish the Church hadn’t engaged in past behavior and would allow women to be priests, etc. But, I believe in the faith of the Catholic Church. I also think that doubting is normal and you should be open to finding a spiritual home that makes you feel comfortable.
      Good luck.

    • I think of it like politics. I’m not going to change what party I align with just because my politician is tweet d pics again. Its kind of a head in the sand approach, but I support my parish which is great and welcoming and just kind of try to ignore rome.

    • My religious/spiritual journey is a long and complicated story, but I officially converted to Catholicism as an adult and unofficially left the Church a couple of years ago. There is a lot I really liked about the Church, but I came to the conclusion that it’s a fundamentally immoral institution, despite the many wonderful people who are a part of it, and I could not associate myself with it any longer. Moreover, I felt that my values were diverging so significantly from church teachings that it was almost disrespectful for me to represent myself as Catholic. I attend a Unitarian church now. My fiance’s family are regular church-goers, so I attend mass with them on holidays without a fuss, I just don’t take communion because I know the church wouldn’t approve due my un-confessed mortal sins.

      This is a tough issue, and I don’t begrudge anyone their own way of handling it. We almost never agree with everything espoused by the institutions we are a part of and deciding at what point you can’t be a part of it anymore is extremely personal. I know radical, lefty qu*er Catholics and Catholics for Choice and I respect those people for representing those beliefs within the Church, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.

    • I work at a Catholic HS and am married to a Catholic, so I can somewhat relate. The biggest reasons I don’t convert (not looking to start a flame war — these are just personal opinions!) are the whole male-leadership-crazy-Vatican-proclamation thing I see happening, plus the Church’s official stances on gay marriage and women’s healthcare issues. These are dealbreakers for me.

      However, there’s a lot I do like about the Catholic church, and most of that comes from (get ready): nuns. Nuns are AMAZING. If you ever read Nick Kristof’s work (NYT columnist), he once said that whenever he visits the darkest corners of the earth — places totally shattered by human atrocity; Darfur, for example — it’s NUNS who are there helping people, doing what needs to be done, etc. Nuns are also known for being more liberal and progressive, hence the reason the Vatican is coming after them right now.

      So yes: I take solace in nuns.

    • karenpadi :

      Commiserations. I went through the same “discernment” process about 10 years ago.

      I was a very pro-Vatican II Catholic. My brother and I both wanted, but never received, a calling to the priesthood/sisterhood. We were raised in the most “liberal” (and largest) diocese in the parish. My mom taught CCD (where she told her students to think very carefully about judging a woman who gets an abortion). My dad is a Franciscan.

      During my discernment, I started going to services at other churches. I think I went to Methodist, Episcopalian, ELCA (Lutheran), Presbyterian, Unitarian, and a bunch of other services. It helped me along my path.

      My mom is starting to ask the same questions you are. And now the bishop has moved the (very Vatican II) parish priest from the largest parish in the diocese to the equivalent of Siberia. It sounds like the new priest is very much a Ratzinger/Dolan-type theologian. It’s tough.

      • Same thing happened to the wonderful, pro-Vatican II priest who ran our wonderful, liberal, supportive community Catholic Church in which I grew up. Now…its not really “Siberia” and he seems happy there, but my home church is slowly splitting at the seams as people get disillusioned.

        One time my husband, who grew up bitterly in a more “traditional” Catholic church looked at me and said “its no wonder you’re still a practicing Catholic….you weren’t actually RAISED Catholic!” Which made me lol.

        • karenpadi :

          So so true. If I still lived in my hometown and never had to experience the more “traditional” parishes (and, by extension, study the actual USSCB documents myself), I would, like my mother, still be practicing.

          I hope my home parish doesn’t break up. They have a great community and that my mom is really involved in.

    • My husband and I had the same struggle and eventually came to the decision to leave the church. We were both raised in it, but have chosen not to raise our children in it. We were also not married in the church. It is an ongoing source of argument with his mother. We identified with the cultural aspects of it and found Mass comforting, but could not reconcile many of the administration’s policies and actions and decided that we did not want to be there if we were only half in it.

    • I suppose a lot of it depends on what proclamations you disagree with. I’m a Catholic and, admittedly a devout one. Reading the Catechism is something I think every Catholic should do because it gives you such a deeper appreciation for the depth of thought and the centuries of knowledge present in the Church. I think it can also offer some perspective on how different we actually feel from the Catholic Church.

      I’m guessing you are mainly fighting the church on modern social issues, not necessarily on the core doctrines of the faith pertaining to the sacraments, transubstantiation, etc. But those social issues are meaningful to people and so I understand how challenging it can be when you wish that the Church believed what you do. As I’m sure you know, however, when the Church speaks infallibly on an issue, it cannot change its position until we receive further revelation from God on the matter. So as Catholics we’re sort of in a bind: How do we stay within the church, when our inclinations are to disagree with the Church on particular issues? I’ve sort of adopted this framework for thinking about them:

      I tend to ask myself: (1) Is this an issue on which the Pope has spoken with all of the authority of the Church behind him? If not, then I feel free to disregard. If yes, then… (2) Have I, with an open heart and an open mind, honestly considered the Church’s position on this issue? This usually means I have gone to the original Vatican documents and read them, prayed about them, and, in some cases, sought counsel from a priest or fellow Catholic on the matter. If yes, then… (3) Do I disagree with this position because of my own selfish desires (i.e. I really don’t want to have 10 children) or emotions? Or do I see a real flaw in the church’s logic? (4) Is my position fundamentally incompatible with the rest of the Church’s beliefs (how central is it to the doctrine, how isolated an issue)?

      If I can get through those steps and feel as though I see a real flaw, not fundamentally incompatible with the rest of church doctrine, then I go with my conscience. But I try at every step of the way to put a heavy thumb on the scale in favor of the Church’s authority, because Tradition and revelation through the leaders of the Church are important aspects of our faith. I have had some negative experiences along the way with particular people in the faith, but I love the Church. I don’t think I could ever leave.

      That said, if you just feel unwelcome in the Church or can’t support the institution because of particular issues, you should feel empowered to leave. There are many religious options and, as I believe in the universality of salvation, I think the best any of us can do is to try to live our consciences.

    • My dad’s family is Catholic. My great uncle’s a priest, actually, and we would go to his parish a few towns over for the holidays. (My dad is a lapsed Catholic, for some of the same reasons)
      I think a lot of it depends on the parish. Part of it was that we had the family connection, but my great uncle was also an awesome orator, but I always felt like his church was more welcoming than the one in our town. (It was also larger and prettier, which matter a lot when you’re 10 and not religious). Maybe there is another one that you could go to?

      I remember that we took him to see the first Harry Potter movie, and his next sermon was about how the movie is not about witches, but really about how good triumphs over evil. Lily’s love for her son saved Harry from Voldemort! Evil has no power in the face of love!
      and then of course the Vatican renewed its stance on witchcraft, so I can understand the frustration…

    • Oh, right there with you. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t think about jumping ship for the Episcopalians. And I hear you about the marriage/family concerns, too – I always imagined being married in the Church and having my children baptized, but now I don’t even know if I could honestly do it.

      A few months ago, I read Anne Lamotte’s “Grace, eventually,” which is the latest in her collection of spiritual memoirs. She’s not Catholic, but one thing she said really resonated with me: you don’t leave a place just because you don’t agree with it.

      I also really highly recommend “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything,” by James Martin, S.J., which really helped me appreciate the faith itself for what it is, and not to pay so much attention to the other stuff.

    • Have you been to mass recently? I am largely in the same boat as you, but have always enjoyed going to mass for the major holidays, particularly the comfort in being able to go to any church and know all of the prayers and most of the songs. And then they went and made a bunch of changes! It almost sounds like they are trying to roll the language back to pre-Vatican II days. I agree with what the others have said, for me, I’m trying to focus on finding an individual parish that feels right for me and my family. Good luck!

      • Lots of people (including my mother) are just sticking with the old language on principle, not to mention the fact that how are you supposed to change the way you’ve been doing it for 50 years! Plus…most of the changes are so silly or mouth twisty. I understand I guess about getting closer to Latin or whatever, but…seriously.

    • Oh yes. Especially going through infertility I feel like I’m being pushed further away from the church because of their stance against IVF etc.

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