Tuesday’s TPS Report: Juicy Couture Fitted Prep Blazer

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

I would not think a red houndstooth jacket would be my thing, but after seeing it in stock (and styled) by five different online shops, I really like it. For the office, I’d avoid wearing it with navy, although that’s the obvious choice — I’d try it with a black pencil skirt, or perhaps a light gray trouser. It’s $248 at ShopBop (and Zappos, Juicy, Piperlime, and Nordstrom). Juicy Couture Fitted Prep Blazer

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

Comments

  1. You’re killing me, Kat. I love this.

  2. I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you to whoever recommended the Skimmies by Jockey. They have opened up a whole new world of skirt and dress wearing for me!

    Which leads me to wonder …. what is the best advice/recommendation that all of you have received on this site?

    • The best advice I have received is to match color with color. Like, instead of wearing one bright color with all neutrals, pair it with a second bright color. This site has inspired me to wear red with pink, green with yellow, and coral with colbalt. It’s like a whole new world!

    • You know, I had this sudden realization last night that I was at a Jockey store on Saturday and didn’t even think to look at Skimmies. Darn! If I had been by myself that day, I would have had time to think…

    • Merabella :

      I had never heard of these before. I don’t know how, but I will have to buy them now. The best advice I’ve received is to buy stuff on Amazon. Like household items. I never thought to do that, but having them shipped to the house is awesome.

      And the pomodoro technique. It helps me power through days when I just want to sit an read blogs all day.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Can you talk about them more? I hated this NAS year’s spanx shorts – usually I size up one size and am comfortable, but this year I went up two sizes and they were still too tight. Blech. So the Jockey ones are smoothing without compression? How thick is the fabric? Are they true to size?

      • I’ve found them smoothing, not compressing, and they run a little big. I’m a size 14 and the L is fine, not tight at all. The material is about as thick as the Spanx shorts, but silkier. They are really awesome!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Ok, these sound amazing. Are they only available online? Or does Macy’s or some other B&M carry them?

        • How high up on your waist do they sit. Say, in comparison to your belly button?

          • I am wearing them right now (agree with others’ descriptions, BTW) and have them pulled up past my bellybutton. However, I don’t think you would *have* to wear them that high. It’s just my weird personal preference.

      • so I found the Jockey Skimmies through this site too & to answer your question, they’re kind of like super soft tights w/o a constricting waist band and no compression. they’re pretty TTS, and may run a little big – I just ordered my size online and they’re comfortable/non-constricting. I love them.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        Smooth without compression; fabric is soft, about as thick as Spanx, but doesn’t feel like the control top part of pantyhose. I’d recommend sizing down. I bought my actual size first and the legs creep up a little the more I walk around in them, but down one size is perfect. PSA for those who already love them — now they offer even more colors online (including PINK!, gray, navy, and white).

    • All of the recipe recommendations y’all give. I save them and have incorporated many into my regular menu routine. And on that note, I made that savory orzo pasta salad last night that someone recommended (the one with sesame oil, golden raisins, etc.), and it was flipping delicious. I am hoping my lunch plans get canceled so I can stay in the office and eat the leftovers.

      • That was my recipe! I got that from a coworker in DC many years ago and I make it a lot for potlucks. Yum.

      • Yes, the recipes. I was thinking last night i wanted to give a shout out to Herbie, for the ‘salmon in the oven’ reminder for a quick dinner. I did it this weekend, and had the leftovers yesterday, it was so good!! Thanks, Herbie! ;o)

    • Honey Pillows :

      FLYlady.net! Keeping my house relatively clean has made everything in my life infinitely better.

    • My first one is the same as DC Jenny’s, which is that pairing two corresponding bright colors, like coral and turquoise (in a controlled and purposeful way) is a total power look and actually works better than just one splash of bright color (IMHO).

      The other is that grey pumps are better than black pumps in almost every way.

    • MaggieLizer :

      That the proper way to request a gentleman’s presence for the evening is to invite him to your lady-garden party. Pretty sure this should be in Emily Post.

    • To tuck my shirt over then under my underwear stap!

    • Cookie Butter.

      • What is this? It certainly sounds promising — two of my favorite words sitting right next to each other.

        • Someone mentioned it here a while back and it’s sold at Trader Joe’s with the peanut butters. Something like “Speculoos Cookie Butter.” Now, there is a knockoff called Biscoff that is widely available, but Cookie Butter is worth it in so many ways. I also sent it to SO in Afghanistan. He was silent and skeptical and now he loves it, too.

          • I have the Biscoff kind it is delicious! I love the Biscoff cookies!

          • Biscoff is soooooooo good and so are the cookies. But Cookie Butter is really so much better. I was hoping it wouldn’t be true because it’s harder for me to aquire, but.it.is.

          • actually, trader joes is a knockoff of the Biscoff brand (which is European)

    • Mountain Girl :

      You all introduced me to spanx and changed my life forever!

    • Just want to say that I ordered the skimmies too… so excited to have found them! I hate spanx, and was looking for something that will stop my thighs from rubbing together this summer (oh, third trimester of pregnancy, yay!) … and just got mine from amazon. Thanks to all who made this recommendation!

      Also, I love my Babyliss hairdryer that was recommended here!

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Paula’s Choice products – my skin no longer gets a dry freak-out period every month.

    • Anyone know where to buy the Skimmies in Canada? They sound wonderful, but I can’t find them anywhere, and shipping from the Jockeys website costs literally as much as the shorts themselves (I can’t bring myself to pay sixty bucks for glorified underwear!)

      • I buy mine on Amazon – not sure if that changes shipping costs or is available in Canada though, I’m in the US.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Target for women’s clothing. I never saw it as a viable option before hearing people gush over certain items.

    • I’m a little late to this thread, but I wanted to post a counterpoint review of the Skimmies. Mine arrived on Monday, and I kind of hate them. They are long – realllllly long, like maybe a 10-inch inseam. And they just feel like the top part of a pair of tights – thin, sort of itchy fabric. They make me much sweatier than compression shorts, and I have to scrunch them up around my crotch or they show under my normal work skirts that hit a couple inches above the knee. I’ll definitely be sticking to my usual 4″ compression shorts.

    • Backgrounder :

      I <3 the skimmies too! Just bought two pair thanks to this site.

  3. Job Searchers? :
  4. CleveAnon :

    I’m stuck in a tricky management situation with an inter-institution collaboration. I’m working with employees at another institution (no hiring/evaluation privileges) who have a very different communication style that’s causing some problems. Two of the people in this collaboration have a much more emotional communication style than I do—their emails and phone calls focus on how they feel about what they’re being asked to do. This is problematic because they’re carrying out their portion of this project with occasional disregard for protocol, as well as demonstrating some jaw-droppingly unprofessional behavior (attempting to kick collaborators out of a shared training session, for one).

    Email chains between our site and theirs might go like this:

    Us: I understand that you’re having some issues with Project X.
    Them: Yeah this is all so dumb this is a total moving target we were told [patently untrue thing] and now you’re telling us [true thing].
    Us: I hear your concern; in the future you should [follow protocol].
    Them: Well we’ll do what we’re told but we won’t change midstream just because you feel like it.

    Us: Can you please correct this problem with Project X?
    Person 1 at Site 1: This is not my fault.
    Us: Can you please see that someone at your site corrects the following issues with Project X? (These are clerical errors that should have been caught several weeks ago)
    Person 1 at Site 1: You are KILLING ME.

    I need to communicate to them that they must follow our protocol and collaborate in good faith. I’d like them to feel heard and like their feelings have been addressed—we’re never going to get anywhere if they resent us. I do not have the ultimate power to really get firm with them, although I can go over their heads to their project manager if necessary. Their site is remote, so in-person “come to Jesus” meetings are out of the question. Any suggestions? Any general suggestions for reading for management communication?

    • I started reading ‘See Jane Lead’ a while ago and there is a whole chapter on how to deal with situations like this, I definitely used some of the suggestions including rather than telling them the solution trying to get the group to collectively come up with what needs to be done, even if it requires a fair amount of coaching to get there.

      Is there any chance of video conferencing? Nowhere near as good as in person but being able to see faces/body language can be helpful.

    • First, I love the “you are KILLING ME” email. I feel like it’s what my 13 year old cousin would write to me. Second, do you think these are people who would respond well to a discussion about consequences? As in, “the reason this is the protocol is that if we don’t do X, Y happens and this is why Y is bad.” Or would this just invite them to argue with you over whether Y would really happen? Is the protocol something you have any authority to change? From the exchanges you posted, it sounds like they don’t like the way they’re being asked to do things and/or feel powerless. Could you open the door to a discussion about how they think it should be done, which would also include you explaining why that would/would not work? Not that you’d have to do what they suggested, but people calm down if they feel they’ve been heard.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Have you ever listened to the Career Tools and Manager Tools podcasts? They talk a lot about communicating with people who have different communication styles. The paradigm is called DISC. There’s some info about identifying what style the person is and then about communicating effectively with that style. One of the styles (I think it’s S?) uses many more feeling words and is a more emotional communication style. Once you decide what categories the employees fit into, you can listen to the podcast that just deals with communicating with that style. They have several podcasts on each different style (how to handle disagreement, how to email with that style, etc.).

    • How are you documeting the follow up items that everyone needs to get done? I would go with AMB’s suggestion of coming to a group consensus and then follow up in writing – “Team – Thanks for a great meeting today. Here is what we agreed on, etc.”. This may help you cut down on them making stuff up. Copy everyone so they are all in the loop – no such thing as too much communication in these cases. Good luck!

    • Been there :

      If you want them to feel heard and have their feelings addressed, then, um, hear them and address their feelings. Unless these emails have to be incredibly formal because they’re being preserved for posterity in some way, how about if you stick to your protocol guns, but loosen up otherwise? Example:

      Us: I understand that you’re having some issues with Project X.
      Them: Yeah this is all so dumb this is a total moving target we were told [patently untrue thing] and now you’re telling us [true thing].
      Us: Wow. That is frustrating. I’m so sorry you’ve been getting jerked around like that. If there’s anything I can do to make sure we’re more consistent and not do this to you, I’ll do it. In the meantime, you should [follow protocol].
      Them: Well we’ll do what we’re told but we won’t change midstream just because you feel like it.
      Us: Great! Thanks so much for being flexible like this and shifting to follow the protocol. I’d hate for all this work you and I are doing to go to waste because we didn’t keep to the protocol.
      Again, I wish we hadn’t put you through this. I don’t anticipate any changes, but if anything else comes down the pike, I’ll be sure to alert you so you know what’s going on and can speak into the process.

      Us: Can you please correct this problem with Project X?
      Person 1 at Site 1: This is not my fault.
      Us: Yeah, that didn’t seem like something you’d miss. Is there a way you can work with us to see that someone at your site makes the corrections?
      Person 1 at Site 1: You are KILLING ME.
      Us: : ) Yep, that’s my job. Anything for the sake of protocol!

      I know my examples are far from sounding “professional.” But sometimes you just need to be an ordinary human being talking to other ordinary human beings.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This.

        Another line I like is “So that [thing that they can support], you need to [thing I need them to do.” For example, “so that you perform redundant work, please await the protocol which will be distributed next week.”

        On a related note, check out “Talk so your children listen and listen so your children talk.” It’s designed for parenting (as made obvious by the title) but is so very useful in the professional world.

        And sheesh, I didn’t realize that “You are KILLING ME” was an option. I have wanted to give that response SO MANY TIMES.

    • I’m not sure that this will help with communication, but exactly what are they getting out of this collaboration? If it is something that a higher-up just volunteered them for, which just heaped more work on an already busy schedule, then I could sort of see why they might be acting this way. It doesn’t make it right, but perhaps you are more excited about the collaboration than they are. Also, maybe pick up the phone. A phone conversation might proceed better than the email chains have been.

    • CleveAnon :

      Thanks everyone! These are really useful suggestions–I’m picking up the phone tomorrow and chatting with them, and taking the formality down a notch.

  5. How to style this?

  6. Off topic reality check (please skip if you aren’t interested in family drama).

    I have a large family – lots of aunts & uncles & cousins. An aunt/uncle are moving to Europe and are downsizing. I discovered that their daughter is selling family antiques (owned by their mother – my grandmother) in the local online swap meet. Is it wrong for me to suggest that family be given the first shot at purchasing these family items? And only if no one wants them that they be sold to the general public?

    It’s not that they need the cash, or that there aren’t family members who could afford to purchase these things. There are also easily accessed venues where items could be stored until the purchasing relative came to pick it up. I’m baffled, as this just isn’t how I’d approach the situation at all – which makes me want confirmation that I’m not a total weirdo before gently and politely asking about this.

    Thanks for any feedback – and sorry for the threadjack.

    • Yes, tell them that, and do it soon. My mom (and I, but my mom felt it the most) is still heartbroken that relatives sold my great-grandmother’s beautiful Spode china. They sold it before we even had the chance to talk about it. So yes, email or call them NOW.

    • I don’t think it’s in any way wrong for you to suggest that. I know I would be the first to suggest it. She’ll probably be relieved that someone wants to keep them in the family and help her get things moving forward, I don’t think she wants to dump precious family belongings on strangers, so I would suggest it in a flattering way that allows her to see the value the items have to you guys and help her, she’s probably bugging out. Good luck!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think it’s apprpriate to say something. I’d approach it at first with an item you love that you think she might sell. Say that you love it and would like to keep it in the family and gauge her reaction. You could probably suggest at that point that other family members might want to look through the items before she take them to the swap meet.

      If there is something in particular that you or a family member really wants though, I’d speak up soon. She might not think that anyone would want the things.

    • I don’t think that’s weird at all.

      However, it may be useful to have a suggestion as to what to do if more than one person wants a particular item. E.g, draw numbers and everyone gets one first pick.

      • To divide my husband’s grandmother’s collection of dolls, we did this:
        1. If you gave the doll as a gift to her, you had first dibs.
        Then:
        2. Each item is set out with a paper
        3. Each person goes around and writes on the item’s paper if they want the item and how strongly they rank it (1/2/3)
        4. Someone looks at all the papers and tries to give grandmother’s kids their first choices, then grandkids, etc.

        And I agree with everyone else that it’s reasonable for you to ask that they don’t sell the stuff, but do it soon.

    • Yes, do ask them to give family first dibs. My mother was the oldest child in her family and my cousins were all too young to get anything when my grandmother and my mother passed away and I got a lot. I have been really careful to ask my cousins about anything I intend to get rid of (especially jewelry). I shipped all of my mother’s crystal to one of my cousins several years ago.

    • Yes, tell them immediately. I cried when I learned that my relatives sold most of my grandmother’s things in a garage sale to complete strangers.

    • Thanks everyone, for the feedback. I’d like to step in as a fairly neutral observer – there’s nothing I’ve seen posted for sale that I particularly want – before other relatives find out and hit the roof that she’s selling family stuff behind their backs (which to be honest, may be what she’s doing – part of what lead to my discomfort is the way this has been hidden from relatives living in the same town and nearby). Ah, family- they can make going to the office a delightful escape!

    • Definitely not wrong! But say something NOW, before it’s gone.

  7. Love this! Unfortunately, it’s not budget-friendly, at least for me

  8. Merabella :

    This model looks like Leelee Sobieski. Weird.

    • locomotive :

      random addendum: she is so pretty. I also met her brother in college and he is a complete jerk and not nearly as pretty.

  9. Does anyone own Tom’s wedges? Are they comfortable? Good quality? Thanks!

    • I tried them on and felt like my foot was slipping too far forward in the shoe–like the angle was off somehow.
      This wedge style from Lands End is more open (wedge espadrilles– sling back), but have to say it was 100 times more comfortable if you’re looking for something with that sort of casual wedge look. I’m a 10.5 and own it in the chambray in an 11. Really cute and comfy.

      http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-parker-mid-wedge-knotted-espadrilles~234764_253.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::YME&CM_MERCH=search-_-wedge&origin=search .

    • I have them and wish I could be a fan — the heel is really stiff & has given me wicked blisters. The sizing is a little off too — my regular size is a little small & the next size up is huge. Quality seems okay, but the fit was really off for me. They are squishy & comfortable other than the heel blisters.

    • I have some. I have narrow heels, so a lot of shoes slip on me–these don’t. The canvas was stiff at first and almost gave me a blister on the heel (thank goodness for the blister block stick in my purse). They were also snug at first. But, after I wore them a couple of times they sort of molded to my feet and have been comfortable ever since. Someone in Nordstrom gave me the hint that they would stretch and since the initial couple of wears they’ve been great. I think the quality is fine.

    • Wedges are always a challenge for me–they almost never fit right–but I really like my Toms.

      (I took all the labels off, though. Aesthetically, it was a vast improvement.)

    • Maddie Ross :

      I love them and have 2 pairs. They took a little breaking in (which was unexpected, as my Toms “flats” did not), but now I love them and can walk miles in them. I can’t really endorse the quality though, as they have started to fall apart on the heel, but that’s partly because I have walked miles in them and they were my go-to shoes all last summer.

    • I love Tom’s and even wore one pair on a hike right after purchase. The wedges, however, have been impossible to break in. Very disappointing.

    • Just my opinion :

      I have some and love them. They have given a little making them very comfortable, but I must have a narrow heel, because I understand the comments of the other posters. Even if mine only last one season, I’ve enjoyed wearing them. And the price was right in Nordstrom’s.

  10. Weekend Getaway Ideas :

    While my husband and I were sitting in traffic last night we started talking about taking a short vacation (3-4 days) in late August or September. My initial thought was to go somewhere warm with a beach. Maybe Miami (where I’ve been before) or Destin? Or maybe somwhere in the Caribbean? Bahamas? Jamaica? I’m having a hard time trying to narrow down a place.

    I’d even be open to somehwere like a state park where there’s some hiking. I don’t necessarily want a big city to go sight-seeing. Something more relaxing would be nice.

    Anyone have any reccomendations or ideas? I think price-wise I’d like to stay under $2500. Thanks!

    • AnonInfinity :

      Where are you? I’m in the South, and my husband and I recently decided to plan a beach vacation. We had the same budget as you and found it difficult to find flights to Caribbean destinations that would allow us to stay in budget. We ended up going to Miami and had a great time. We went over budget by just a little, but that was due to our own ridiculous dining habits (see, e.g., $100+ lunch).

      LOTS of people in my area go to Destin and the surrounding beach towns. Those are great for relaxation, but there’s not much to do other than sit on the beach. If that’s appealing to you, you can get some good deals in those areas compared to Miami. And the beaches on the gulf are beautiful, IMO.

      • If you’re considering Miami, I’d also check out the Florida Keys. Key West is pretty touristy and busy, but some of the other keys have beautiful beaches and an incredibly relaxed vibe. The drive isn’t that bad from Miami, and it’s incredibly scenic.

        I think I’m talking myself into scheduling a vacation right now…

    • Vieques.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Second Vieques.

        Though keep in mind that late August and September are the most likely times for a hurricane. Probably not likely to happen, but a possibility.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Also, my parents love to take weekend trips to Seaside, Florida (where the Truman Show was filmed). There’s a state park that has cabins for rent that are apparently a great deal and nice. I’ve never been, but it might be worth looking into.

          • Destin’s great, but if you’re looking for something a little smaller and slower paced, the little beachside towns/resorts on 30-A in the panhandle of Florida (Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Watercolor) are all gorgeous and wonderfully relaxing. They all have nice restaurants and spas (Alys Beach is next to Rosemary, so that’s the one to use there), the water is warm and the sand is perfect.

    • Weekend Getaway Ideas :

      We are in Ohio, so that’s why I was thinking of Florida might not be too far away. I’m leaning towards Miami and I’ll check out the Keys as well. Thanks!

      • We went to the Keys a few years ago and LOVED it. We didn’t really enjoy Key Largo (the Hilton there doesn’t have a real beach, just some sand they dumped on a narrow strip) but Key West and some of the other ones were amazing. Key West is a bit touristy, but they have some really good restaurants, and it’s not usually crowded every day, just when the cruise ships come by.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Myrtle Beach? Some friends are taking a weekend trip to VA wine country. They’re staying in a B&B in Leesburg and having a limo (apparently the rates for a car vs. limo weren’t significantly different) take them around to some of the vineyards one day. There are pretty hiking trails in the area too.

    • Check out Sanibel and/or Captiva Island on the Southwest Florida coast. Beautiful!

    • This is kind of the opposite direction, but what about northern Wisconsin/Minnesota/Michigan? State parks, some nice resorts on the lakes, beaches, and it will still be warm (I mean, is there a place in the country that isn’t warm right now?)

      • As someone native to Michigan, I’m convinced there’s no better beach than Lake Michigan. Glen Arbor, Grand Haven and Ludington all have beautiful beaches, and September is the best time for swimming in Lake Michigan. If you go to Glen Arbor, you’ll be close to Sleeping Bear Dunes, which was voted the most beautiful place in America last year. You can get beaches and hiking there!

      • D Train South :

        I am from another part of the country entirely, and also second this (perhaps surprising) suggestion. This area is gorgeous that time of year.

    • Outer Banks. You can walk the beaches for miles.

    • If you want relaxing and you’re coming from Ohio, I’d recommend the Finger Lakes. It’s amazingly scenic and perfect for a long weekend getaway. We drove there when we lived in Ohio.

    • You might consider St. John, which has a US National Park on the island (Virgin Islands National Park). Then you could get in some hiking but also some beach time.

    • Weekend Getaway Ideas :

      Thanks for all the great reccomendations! I’m going to do some research on all of these and see what works best for us with regard to scheduling, costs, etc.

    • Check out beaches in the Charleston area — Wild Dunes on Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island. Beautiful beaches and close to Charleston, which is awesome and full of amazing restaurants and old historic streets. If you want to stay a little further out, the Sanctuary is a gorgeous 5-star hotel on Kiawah Island, still an easy drive to Charleston.

      I have been to the Keys and love them. They are a very different type of beach experience! TripAdvisor has good information on different hotels. I wouldn’t want to stay in Key West but there are a wide variety of places to stay all up and down the islands.

      Or if you can get a reasonably-priced flight, Bermuda?

      I must disagree with the poster who recommended Myrtle Beach. There are so many nicer, less crowded beaches to visit in NC and SC!

    • One thing to consider is that it is hurricane season then. If you do the Caribbean, I would try Aruba since it is out of the hurricane zone. I went there in September after a month of working crazy hours on two deals. It was perfect. Beautiful and very relaxing.

  11. That is a gorgeous jacket Kat!

  12. Inspiring Women :

    A couple of people posted about Sally Ride’s death yesterday and how sad it makes them. Same here. I never really wanted to be an astronaut, but I always thought she was so freaking cool.

    I was sharing my sadness with my husband last night, and I could tell he did not know who Sally Ride was. This made me even sadder because he really did want to be an astronaut until the end of high school. I would consider him a feminist and not one who would usually ignore women’s accomplishments. When I expressed my shock, he joked, “Well, I didn’t want to be a lady astronaut.” (He was being ironic, I promise.)

    Then I thought about a recent departure from my firm where one of our partners left because she got a very prestigious appointment. There was a lot of talk about her leaving and people saying how she was a great example for women lawyers. It’s true. But she is a great lawyer, generally, not just as a lady lawyer, and I would argue that we should all look at her example.

    I don’t have a question or anything, just wanted to express my disappointment that sometimes it seems like men aren’t encouraged to look up to great women. What is up with that?!

    • Amen!

    • Diana Barry :

      That is a very good question!!!!

      It made me think of a similar situation: my husband thought that s*x discrimination didn’t exist any more. Then a few years ago, two (!!) of our friends were fired from biglaw while they were pregnant, and related several nasty comments from the partners who fired them. Now DH believes that s*x discrimination is alive and well.

      • Research, Not Law :

        My (progressive, most-of-his-friends-are-women) husband had a similar realization while watching me and my female colleagues in science. Now with two daughters, he definitely sees the world differently.

        Well put, Inspiring Women. Well put. I have had male role models, but I can’t think of a time I ever heard a boy or man say to the effect “I’d like to be like her someday.”

    • on feminism :

      Semi-related, but my husband often tries to be “supportive” by asking for my opinion on things in the news, situations, etc., but he always phrases it as, “Ya know, since you’re a feminist”. It’s odd, because I wouldn’t identify myself as a feminist because I see feminism as competitive bargaining, not integrative bargaining (ie: either women win or men win, vs. society wins because we’re all more productive/equal/happy etc.). Though I know that feminism has many philosophies, faces, and mantras, in my mind, being “a feminist” means you hate men, want to burn your b r a, and you judge woman that don’t want to become a CEO and choose to have children. I feel like my husband has this same view/definition of feminism, so when he frames conversations with, “You’re a feminist”, it’s like he’s pigeon-holing me into this extreme. I’ve called him out about this, and he says he’s trying to be supportive, but I feel like this is a general issue with a lot of men. They think they’ll be agreeing/progressive/supportive, but they’re still labeling/pigeon-holing/stereotyping without realizing it.

      It just leads to the mentality about “lady astronauts”… which they fully support letting women be astronauts… but they wouldn’t aspire to be Sally Ride because she’s a lady… which it’s great for society to have a lady astronaut, just not for me personally because I’m a man…

      • Inspiring Women :

        I totally agree that the attitude often comes when the person is trying to be supportive. The lady lawyer stuff was always in the context of talking about how great she is and my own potential. My firm, and specifically the person who said those things, is very supportive of women and believes that women can accomplish as much as men.

      • Um, feminists do NOT hate men. In fact, many of us are married to men! And, it’s not feminists that think men are neanderthal boors that just can’t possibly cook, or take care of their kids properly, or not be rapists. That’s all anti-feminists. Almost every single feminist I know has or wants children and most of us sure don’t want to be CEOs, as this is about the worst job for work/life balance there could be!

        I don’t mean to be a b****, but if this is your definition, no wonder your husband thinks stories about feminists/women don’t matter to men. It’s feminists that want to make a world that works better for both men and women. The straw-feminist you describe barely exists, and if she does, she sure doesn’t have any power!

        Sorry, but this kind of thing makes me really frustrated and annoyed. When women on this site have bought this anti-feminist BS about what feminists are like, how on earth are we ever actually going to move forward.

        • Me too! This BS makes me so angry, maybe because it’s so new to me. I never encountered the so-called “anti-feminist” view until just a few years ago (I guess I was sheltered). An in-law of mine was recently talking about how she was upset that when she went car shopping with her husband, the salesman talked only to the husband when it was she who would be driving the car. She said “I’m no feminist, but if I’m buying the car, you should talk to ME!” Uh…what? Then what are you?

        • on feminism :

          I thought I made it clear that I know this isn’t the philosophy of a lot of feminists, and I completely agree that “feminism” gets a bad rap. I’m in an area of the world where people still associate feminism with that definition, so it’s difficult for me to want to put myself in that camp, even though I know many feminists don’t hold this view. I am saying that I don’t want to be labeled with what I believe is a very loaded definition, particularly in my area of the world. For me personally, calling me a feminist, even in an attempt to be supportive, puts me in a very small box of extremists, which I’m not. If I hear someone say they’re a feminist, I have to fight the immediate reaction to assume they hold extreme views that I disagree with. I don’t think it’s wrong to recognize and discuss my gut reaction to that label, and recognizing that it’s not a view that most feminists actually hold today. As you say, if we’ve bought into that definition, we’ll never move forward. What I’m saying that is there are a lot of people who still hold that view or fight that view within themselves… even educated, empowered, women and men.

          • But by not wanting to be identified by the label, you are giving credence to those people who think (wrongly) that feminists are all extremists who hate men.

          • It sounds to me (and maybe I’m misunderstanding you) that you think that today’s feminists are different from feminists in the past, and that the feminists from the past were more extreme. This seems like an unfortunate viewpoint to me. I hear this sometimes from my husband (who, as you might tell from my in-law story, comes from perhaps the same part of the world you do), that the second wave feminists were bitter, hateful, angry people. But these were the women who made this site possible. People labeled them as hateful and angry because these women wanted to change the status quo. That’s usually how people react to people trying to make a change — labeling them as angry extremists. There’s not an American woman today who doesn’t owe something to these women. Even if you’re a SAHM in a complementarian marriage and identify your husband as the head of the family, you still got to do that because of choice, not because there were no other options. And the world takes you more seriously when you speak because these women were willing to risk looking hateful and angry.

          • But there’s no way to change that view if people won’t call themselves feminists! Fighting the power isn’t a walk in the park…If people in your area view “feminists” as you say, maybe you can make a big difference by demonstrating that, in fact, feminists are not scary bra-burning man-haters.

        • Agreed. It also bums me out when conservative women (Sarah Palin, Bachman, et al) don’t describe themselves as feminists. I agree with the M-W definition of feminism: “the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” By that definition, there’s no way you’re running for Pres or VP and *not* a feminist. And by the strict definition of the term, you can totally be a pro-life (housewife, long-haired, bra-wearing, whatever) feminist. It’s a shame that the word has partisan implications.

          • To be fair, when those women do call themselves feminists, a number of women who call themselves feminists (I don’t think that they are, but they would certainly claim to speak for feminism) go nuts attacking them and claiming that they, despite their acheivements, are the antithesis of feminism. These attacks often include far more than just policy disagreements, but go into sexist name calling, sexual judgments, and comments on their appearance.

          • I agree.

          • Those women get attacked for calling themselves feminists because they want to use the power and opportunities they have gotten *because* of feminism to take away those same powers and opportunities from other women. So, while I agree that the partisan stuff is frustrating, I can also see why it happens this way. (Not to say the Dems are perfect. They are not. No one is suggesting universal day care or even paid maternity leave, so that’s disappointing on all levels.)

          • Cornellian :

            My very traditionally gendered, masculine, boxing and ex-college athlete ex-boyfriend had a shirt that said “This is what a feminist looks like.”

            hot!

        • @Jo March: This. x1000.

        • I think that, unfortunately, there are a small (but of course) vocal group of women out there who became “feminists” instead of…I don’t know…joining a sorority or something. And they use the mantra of feminism as their “in-group” and anyone who doesn’t exactly conform to their idea of what that “means” is in the out-group. Its just their way of pointing out others flaws (or circling the fat on those who don’t conform…as I like to think of it.)

          But because I can’t really do anything about those “feminists”, I just choose to ignore them and keep fighting the good fight as best I can. And trying to remember each day that a big part of feminism should be and could be understanding that experiencing womanhood and manhood and adulthood isn’t gong to be the same for everybody. And that’s okay.

          Now where’s my guitar. I want to sing some friggin’ kumbayas.

      • An aside: I’m shocked that you feel that way about feminism.

        I’m a feminist because I think we should all be treated with respect, dignity, and (to the extent that it is humanly possible) with equality. While I probably fit a lot of the stereotypes you gave (notably that I don’t want to have children and didn’t take my husband’s last name), I don’t judge women who make different choices. Feminism, to me, is about being free to make decisions that make you happy, and not having society (or someone else) tell you what that should be.

        I want people to be free to have the lives that they want. I want women who want to have children to have them. I want women who want to stay home with their children to feel free to do so, and women who want to be working mothers to have accommodations that make that possible. At the same time, I don’t want to be pressured or labeled as “weird” for being a woman who does not want children.

        And FWIW: I’m also for gender-blind hiring, paternity leave, etc. I got married, and view my husband as my partner. Sometimes he has the last say in something. Sometimes I do. Regardless, we always talk it out together. Regardless, I respect and love him as a human being. Not because he’s a man, but because he’s a person, and all people deserve those basic considerations.

        • I don’t think its shocking she feels that way about feminism. I am a feminist, but feel I have to clarify that I mean it as in the definition of the word, not the way its been hijacked today. Unfortunately, many angry women who no grasp on logic have hijacked the word. In other situations, these groups got their own word. (People are called tea partiers, not conservatives. Or the occupiers, not liberals.) Unfortunately with feminism, the extremists have taken the word, so women feel the need to dissassociate with it. (the same way normal liberals would be if all the occupiers were simply called liberals. You’d get a lot of, I’m no liberal, but I do believe x,y,z)

          My fiance thinks I’m *not* a feminist. When really I am, and he is too.

          • on feminism :

            Yes, CFM, I think you’ve explained it better than I did in my follow-up response!

          • WHO? Who are these women? Because they sure aren’t out there doing the hard work of feminist activism! They are straw-feminists invented by the anti-feminists. Seriously, can you name even one?

          • Jo March, that’s my question too. Who are these apparently crazy women who wrecked the cause of equality for us all?

            Cause I hope that they aren’t people like Sally Ride who was called a radical in her day.

            Here is a quote from the nytimes article on her death which i think sums this up well.

            “Speaking to reporters before the first shuttle flight, Dr. Ride — chosen in part because she was known for keeping her cool under stress — politely endured a barrage of questions focused on her sex: Would spaceflight affect her reproductive organs? Did she plan to have children? Would she wear a bra or makeup in space? Did she cry on the job? How would she deal with menstruation in space?

            The CBS News reporter Diane Sawyer asked her to demonstrate a newly installed privacy curtain around the shuttle’s toilet. On “The Tonight Show,” Johnny Carson joked that the shuttle flight would be delayed because Dr. Ride had to find a purse to match her shoes.

            At a NASA news conference, Dr. Ride said: “It’s too bad this is such a big deal. It’s too bad our society isn’t further along.”

          • Jo March, these aren’t straw feminists, I see or read them everyday. Many protested on my campus recently. pretty much the whole site of jezebel has become this type. Those women who at any, any perceived slight, take up the mantle of feminism and scream SEXISM, BUUURN HIM! BURN HIM! sometimes, people (men and women) are just run of the mill jerks. It is not sexism to be jerk. Sometimes, people are sexist. But we devalue the power of feminism and the horror of true sexism when your ready to scream sexism at every slight. I see it on this site sometimes too. When people read about protests like that, articles like that, it becomes the definition of feminism, and then people (erhm Marrisa Mayers) become relunctant to identify with them.

          • on feminism :

            @cfm, didn’t mean to leave you out in the cold explaining my post this morning, just got really busy at the office. I think this conversation would go better in person, when ideas can be more easily clarified, or among IRL friends who know your background and your views a little more thoroughly!

      • As a woman, feminist, and Space Camp alum, I strenuously object to your definition of feminism.

      • Thanks @TBK, you worded my opinion so well, agree 10^6

        Proud to be a feminist and not shamed of the label one bit.
        I am grateful to the past angry extremist feminists for all they have done. I owe them the opportunities and choices I have in life today, thank goodness they were angry and fought tooth and nail for women’s rights or else we would still be shining the the kitchen floor for rest of our lives.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Amen to this. They had every right to be angry and if it made people uncomfortable, that’s too bad, so sad!

        • oh my word. Shes not talking about past angry feminists. We are talking about extremists TODAY. who are just hateful in general people and go around talking about being feminists and how they want to physically harm men.

          • To echo Jo March–Who are these people??? I’ve never heard of them! Or seen them! Please, and I mean this in all earnestness, point me to one article describing these hateful people who wish death upon men.

            If a “feminist” is not someone who supports equal rights for both sexes, what is a feminist, then? Are you actually telling me that there are people out there who would define their own feminism as the desire to physically harm men?

          • Senior Attorney :

            Same here. Honestly, I am not familiar with this phenomenon except in the imaginations of people who are uncomfortable with women asserting their rights.

          • I don’t understand how I am being attacked here. I seem uncomfortable with women asserting their rights?? I don’t know how you got that impression. I’ve posted here many, many times about how I am a feminist. But I also recognize that some people who identify with feminists have hijacked the term. But sure, shoot the messenger by saying its only in my imagination.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            I don’t think many (if any) feminists want to physically harm men (except self-ascribed “radical feminists, who will not allow trans individuals to join their protests if they were born male), but if you read a few posts on the blog feministing, you will definitely see the attitude that makes many women, including myself, reluctant to take on the mantle of feminism. Palin, Bachmann, et al., are not allowed to be feminists. Anyone who does not support abortion is not allowed to be a feminist. Oftentimes, anyone who doesn’t see social situations through the lens of oppression is not a feminist. Just check out their recent posts bashing Melinda Gates and other crazy things.

          • Thank you Alanna I really appreciate that you responded. I see this kind of attitude so much it was surprising to me to hear that others have no idea what I was talking about

      • I also think people just don’t like being pigeon-holed. I actually do consider myself a feminist (I’m not vocal about it, but I generally refrain from political discussions when possible), but recently a friend’s boyfriend said, “Wow, you guys are clearly not feminists!” when my friend and I were talking about Kate Middleton (we are fans of her style. I had noted that she doesn’t have enough of a public persona to have an opinion about her as a person). Then he added that he often thinks he is more of a feminist than his girlfriend. I didn’t get into it with him because I wanted to be polite, but I resented him a little bit for it, and I think it’s usually probably the wiser course not to label someone, feminist or not.

    • SKR was such a pioneer, and such an inspiration. I saw a speech she gave a few years ago where she told this great story about how she was in the news everywhere when the shuttle launch was preparing. A mom told Sally a story about how her son was super into the space thing and was watching all the pre-launch shows and documentaries, so she let him stay home (dressed as an astronaut) to watch the actual launch. Shortly before the launch, the boy burst into tears. When his mom asked what was wrong, he said “I want to be an astronaut, too – but can boys be astronauts?” The story was all about perspective (and I probably messed it up – apologies) and seemed really telling about the era and about how the culture so affects our thinking. Anyway, that story was meaningful to me and I thought I’d share it. On a separate note, my heart broke again when I heard that her partner of almost 30 years was denied federal benefits upon her death – I can’t imagine.

      • Another perspective story–my SO cried the first time he was to be examined by a male doctor (I think he was about 5), because he had never seen a male doctor before. He thought only women could be doctors, so he didn’t understand what was going on.

      • Similarly, my sister and I had this book growing up that was called “girls can be anything” which talked about how little girls can grow up to be things like doctors, airline pilots, politicians, etc.

        My sister recently read it to her kids and their reaction was like “duh” of course they can. They totally didn’t even get the premise of the book and kept asking questions like “why wouldn’t girls be able to? Was the little girl in the book blind, etc?”

        Interesting how fast times change. It gives me hope.

      • It is funny how as a child you think your own little world is “normal” and the only way that things can be. When I was very young my father would spend most days at home on the couch, often drunk, while my mother was out working 10-14 hours a day. So I just thought this was how it worked–moms work and dads spend their days on the couch. In 1st grade, my friend started telling me all this stuff that her mom did and I asked her how her mom had time for all that when she had to work so much. She then told me that her mom didn’t work, only daddies had jobs. I was floored that men could have jobs. I just assumed everyone’s family must be like mine (mom works all day and dad spends day on the couch). Of course, my friend was just the same. She couldn’t believe that a mom would have a job.

      • Senior Attorney :

        When my son was 3 or 4, we had the day off for Lincoln’s Birthday. I told him that Abraham Lincoln was a great president of the United States, and that he was a lawyer, just like Mommy. My son looked up and exclaimed in disbelief, “A MAN lawyer?”

        • That is hilarious! My friend’s daugher (4 yo) told me one day that she had the same birthday as someone famous. I asked her who and she said he was very tall and lived up north by Santa. It was Abraham Lincoln.

  13. Tax-exempt thread jack…

    I work for a non-profit, and I’m thinking of running for a small position in local government. My boss signed off on this, but I’m wanting a second opinion that this doesn’t violate 501(c)3 rules. My employer will not be involved in the campaign whatsoever. Thanks!

  14. Last week I read Gone Girl based on some recommendations here. I finished it last night and need a new book. What are you all reading and recommending now?

    • Just finished two non-fiction books that were both terrific:

      1. Madeline Albright, “Prague Winter”

      2. Erik Larson, “Devil in the White City”

      • I love the latter. I’ll have to try the former as well. I’m reading 11/22/63, which is by Stephen King. It’s amazing. I’ve never read a Stephen King book but this one isn’t like his others. It’s historical fiction and not gorey (although there’s a couple of sort of rough scenes). It’s more of a thriller than his usual horror books.

        • Oh, and I heard Erik Larson is writing another book that is supposed to be even better than Devil in the White City. I read another of his books, Isaac’s Storm, about the hurricane in Galveston at the turn of the century, and was a little disappointed after how much I liked Devil in the White City. Hopefully this new book (I’m not sure what it’s about) will be more like that.

          • I heard his latest, In the Garden of Beasts is supposed to be good. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet though.

          • I really liked In the Garden of Beasts, so if you liked Devil in the White City, give it a try.

          • Ooo! Loved Devil in the White City, thought Isaac’s Storm was OK, and I just picked up Garden of Beasts from the library! I ‘ve heard fantastic things about it, and can’t wait to settle in with it!

          • Backgrounder :

            I love Devil in the White City but was less than thrilled about In the Garden of Beasts. For some reason, despite being a history buff, I couldn’t connect with the writing much as Devil and found parts to be pretty boring.

        • My then-husband and I read King’s “The Stand” together and were both so scared that we kept leaving the lights on in the house and making sure the doors were locked :)

        • A lot of Stephen King books aren’t very gorey and are pretty amazing. He gets pigeonholed as a “horror” author, but I think he is much more than that.

          The Dead Zone has some of the same elements as 11/22/63, if you like that–it is an excellent book and (in my humble opinion) better than 11/22/63. The Green Mile is a really touching story. The Stand and the Dark Tower Series (all 7) are some of my most favorite books, although there is some gore involved in those–I still wouldn’t call them horror novels. I also like many of his short story collections–Different Seasons is definitely not a horror story collection, and Hearts in Atlantis was also a good collection.

      • You all convinced me! I downloaded Devil in the White City. Thanks so much!

      • I loved “Devil in the White City.” Definitely second that one.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Jasper Fforde! For a one-off, read his Shades of Grey (I know, unfortunate name, but not at all like That Book), for a series, read his Thursday Next series. The premise is that books in this culture have a cult status that echoes the way we treat religion and celebrity. There are political parties and religious movements based on this or that novel, and people make pilgrimages to Stratford upon Avon like they do Mecca. And our heroine can jump into books, of course.

      • how have i not heard of these books, yet?? gah! You had me at ‘jump into books’ ;o) thanks!!

      • The Thursday Next series is like my ideal alternate reality. They are awesome books and extremely funny, too. Highly recommended.

      • Isn’t Shades of Grey supposed to be part of a series? I was under that impression when I read it recently. I think I also saw that a new Thursday Next book was recently released – thanks for the reminder!

    • I’m reading Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. It’s interesting and a quick read.

    • Someone here recommended Defending Jacob, which was incredible.

    • Mysteries by Tana French. There are 4, the last just came out. I recommend reading them in order, but it’s not essential.

      We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

    • I’m currently reading mysteries and trashy romance novels as an antinote to dissertation stress but I’ll be taking note of recommendations for when I can finally concentrate on something more serious.

    • Just read Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Both were good but I prefer the latter– which I really liked!

      I just started Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano and it’s good so far!

  15. Who is responsible for the return of rayon? Why are we re-doing the 80′s? How long before every damn t-shirt has little puff-ball of material in the shoulders pretending to be shoulder pads? Again, why are they making clothes out of rayon? The thing is, I buy the outfit because it looks and feels nice. And then, I wash by hand, hand dry and iron but it still looks like crap.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’ve accepted the return of neon, and poufy hair. I’ve made peace with zebra and cheetah. But I REFUSE to wear those ridiculous necktie shirts that were the staple of the workingwoman’s wardrobe in the 80′s. If shoulderpads come back, I’m going to buy a cabin in the middle of the woods and hermit myself.

      • How did you know that my new rayon dress is cheetah print?

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Uh ohs! Are those neck-tie blouses generally frowned upon, or just personal preference? I have a silk one from jcrew in floral print that I kind of love, but now I am worried that I look like I should be wearing shoulder pads too! I was in diapers in most of the 80s so I don’t have the memories of that…

        • I love them too! But I was also in diapers in the 80s…

        • Cornellian :

          I was 3 when the 80s ended, and I LOVE those blouses.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Sorry for the late reply; I was a wee one in the 80′s as well, and I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but whenever I see one of those, I think of that Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton movie, 9 to 5. Also, highly unflattering on busty ladies.

          Some ladies DO pull it off, but I always look fussy and matronly in them.

      • Whenever I see those pussy-bow blouses (gawd, that’s a terrible phrase), I immediately think of my great-grandmother. I cannot recall a time in my early childhood when she wasn’t wearing these.

    • Some of us like rayon. Especially those of us with wool allergies.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      My guess is high cotton prices led to the return of rayon. But I don’t like it any more than you. I want my cotton.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This.

        Although, I welcome woven rayon for skirts and dresses. I like the way it flows and have been missing it all these years.

    • Sorry. My bad.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Fun tip: rayon acetate will dissolve in acetone. So you could be wearing clothes that dissolve in nail polish remover!

    • Just count yourself lucky that you aren’t wearing the original 80s rayon. Gave you a whole new perspective on the concept of “shredding” :-)..
      At least rayon breathes. Which is better than you can say for polyester.

  16. Dress recommendation – I bought a Jones New York Collection black ponte dress about 3 weeks ago, and am wearing it for the second time today. It is perfection, but looks like nothing on the hanger. Elbow sleeves, boat neck, loose sheath shape with a twisted waist detail that defines without being overtly sexy, perfect knee length on me, but ymmv. It’s a simple piece that looks “done” with no effort. It can take accessories like nothing I’ve owned – great with a slightly funky shoe, would be good with a scarf if that’s how you roll, awesome with a statement necklace…

    Link to follow. It’s on sale.

  17. I have a situation with a good friend that I am not sure how to deal with. We have been fairly close friends for about 5 years now. She is great in all aspects except one….her choice in men. She tends to choose men that are already “taken”.

    Make a long story short 3 years ago she started seeing a guy who was already in a relationship. He broke it off with his girlfriend and my friend and him ended up engaged. My friend broke off the engagement because (gasp!) he cheated on her. I didn’t approve of the relationship because of the way it started but I kept it to myself.

    Now the same story is playing out again. She is seeing a guy who is already in a relationship and to make it worse she knows the woman. She is justifying it by saying he has said he doesn’t want to marry this woman, is going to end it soon, isn’t in love with her, etc. Well this guy dumped his girlfriend this weekend and immediately afterwards is with my friend.

    I am appalled at her behavior but I don’t want to lose a friend over it. My husband pretty much no longer likes her anymore over this and I can understand why. We have a great relationship in all other aspects but this makes me uncomfortable and it is difficult to support her relationships if this is how they begin. Maybe it isn’t my place to say anything about the situation?

    • Motoko Kusanagi :

      How long before she starts chasing your husband, do you think?

      Note that I am NOT implying that your husband would be at all receptive to this – quite the opposite, from your account, I think.

      I’m just sayin’…

      • Believe me I have already had that thought. I would guess that she wouldn’t go that far but never say never I suppose…

    • I think it’s something you say something once without prompting from her, in a way that lets your friend know that you are open to talking without (too much) judgment about her choices. “Friend, I’ve been noticing a pattern in your relationships that concerns me…”

      Not because you don’t have an opinion on what she’s doing, but opening the conversation with judgment is the surest way to alienate her. But after that, unless she’s asking you for relationship advice (and inviting your opinion on her situation), I’d keep my trap shut. Sometimes people have to make their stupid mistakes before they can learn from them, but airing your concern in a way that doesn’t make her defensive might get her thinking enough to avoid any REALLY stupid mistakes.

    • I’m not good w/ psych analysis, but I wonder what it is she’s looking for/feeling (or lacking) about herself that she finds in these men. I had a friend that was very clever and highly intelligent and always managed to be in train wreck relationships.

    • kerrycontrary :

      I don’t think it’s your place to say anything, but I’m very wary of women who go after taken men. I don’t like to spend time with them in case they get any ideas about my boyfriend. While I trust my boyfriend, you don’t want to play with fire.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a slightly different take on this, as someone in the same boat. I have not completely cut my friend off, but I have put significant distance between us as a result of her choices. This has absolutely nothing to do with fear she will move in on my SO. It’s not a factor at all. To me, it is indicative of character traits I don’t want in my friends, especially my best friend. I’ve struggled with it for months, trying not to be too judgy, thinking she was clouded by lust. But that is not the case — she’s intentionally breaking up another relationship. And when she started lying to me about her whereabouts when she is with her SO (unnecessarily and after burdening me with the truth), I concluded that our friendship is irreparably damaged. It’s heartbreaking, but I think we’re basically done.

    • Research, Not Law :

      A friend via my husband has been following the same path. Mostly I feel sorry for her, because it’s just so sad and desperate. It does frustrate me, though. She’s a nice person, but her behavior is deplorable. I try to keep my judgment to myself, but I find that leads me to avoid her since I have no response to her conversation of new loves or loves lost, or both. Husband and I have tried to explain to her how it would be in her advantage to find a man who is more appropriate, but then she goes back to her old thing. Sigh. It wasn’t planned, but a distance has definitely come between us.

      Oh, and since she has made this a real habit, my husband is no longer comfortable being alone with her. They were close friends for years before he met me and I have complete confidence that he is not and would not be interested, but he wants to avoid the awkwardness that would result of her attempting and I’m all for it.

    • Anon for this. :

      Threadjacking this to ask if you would automatically think that a woman who began a relationship with a “taken” man had a character flaw that would prevent you from liking/respecting her, if you otherwise did like her.

      I am currently married to a man with whom I had “questionable beginnings.” He was with another woman when I met him / started things. I wonder if people automatically think these things about me.

      • Anon for this. :

        For the record, I’m only interested in my husband. Not your husband. Or any other taken men, ever.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Absolutely, yes, I would think there was a fundamental character flaw that would prevent me from fully respecting her. Will I be rude? No. Will I want to be friends? No.

      • Seattleite :

        Anon for this, twenty years ago I would have. Age and experience have taught me that relationships are complex, the ‘cheater’ is sometimes actually the abandoned party, and one ‘questionable’ decision does not a character make. So, no – I wouldn’t automatically think those things about you. If you were proud of that, feather in your cap style, I would judge. Hard.

        The OP’s friend, however, seems to directly target ‘taken’ men. IMO, she’s looking for the validation that comes from ‘earning’ the love of the emotionally unavailable. That comes from a place of deep damage, and OP runs the risk of being collaterol damage.

      • Coming in late here, but I wanted to reply so that you knew you were not alone. I’m also married to a man who was with another woman when we started things. A few friends know this, because I confided in them early on, but now I don’t tell people, because of reactions like SF Bay Associate’s.

        FWIW, I think when I was younger I also had a more absolute attitude toward people in such situations and would have judged the parties negatively, right off the bat. Now I believe that no one knows what the true situation is except for those involved (and each person has his/her own view there too), so I don’t judge people — including myself — negatively for this.

      • In case you’re still reading, no judgment here either. You’re clearly not a serial ‘taker’. We don’t always meet the love of our lives when we and they are new and dewy. Life is life. Stuff happens.

        • Anon for this. :

          Thank you seattelite, anon and ss for your relies. For various reasons, many people do know the circumstances and I suspect many have the less-seasoned opinion of SF Bay Associate, but I take it with a grain of salt (didn’t intend for the double seasoning reference) because I know that love and relationships are not always black and white. I am not a serial taker, it was an awful decision and difficult time, and we’ve remained committed to each other and our decision. But, yeah…there are people who don’t like it / me.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I’m a little bothered by the condescension in being painted as “less seasoned,” which allows you to dismiss my opinion, so I feel the need to respond. I actually used to be more flexible on this issue when I was younger, willing to accept the behavior of friends who were cheating, willing to listen to their self-serving justifications about why it’s not really that bad that they are cheating on their allegedly exclusive relationship, or are abetting someone else’s cheating on his/her own allegedly exclusive relationship. I’ve heard lots of excuses, and I have bought them. But over “seasoning,” I’ve realized there’s actually no excuse for the lying and dishonesty inherent in cheating. It’s just wrong. No, relationships are not always black and white, but the idea that one should break it off with one person who reasonably believes you to be exclusive before taking up with another is a simple truth, even if it’s inconvenient for those who want to cheat and dream up excuses to justify acting on their desires.

          • Anonymous from Above :

            Yeah, I kind of agree with SF Bay. I just don’t think there is a good excuse for not ending the existing relationship if you are going to pursue a new one. The ongoing lying (even if it is mere silence) bothers me tremendously. And I think both the cheater and the other party should have the fortitude to step back while the existing relationship is resolved. I simply don’t think people lack the control to handle these things appropriately. That is certainly not the case with the friend I reference above. Both parties are perfectly capable of handling this right, but have chosen not to. Ostensibly, it is to protect the spouse. I think that is ridiculous. Frankly, I think the cheaters are getting something out of the secrecy.

    • You might want to slip into conversation something wistful about how you’re not feeling that enthused about the latest because most likely this relationship too will end in (him) cheating.. Maybe she’s like one of these people who can’t make up their mind on an empty apartment because she can’t imagine how she’d occupy it? In any case, whatever the cause, she probably hasn’t made the connection between how she gets a guy and how he’ll get rid of her too. Don’t hammer her with it, as it’s just likely to end the friendship right there, but if you can articulate the connection she may eventually think better of it.

  18. tshirt making? :

    Does anyone have experience with printing t-shirts (e.g., for an event, etc)? I’ve tried a couple of times in the past and they were sort of junky (poor quality T’d mostly, or just looked very cheap). Does anyone have any recommendations for websites that use good t’s and good printing? I figured maybe someone’s made some for their work or for an event, so might have good insight!

    thanks!

    • anon for this :

      No website recs, but if you are in Atlanta, i have a brick & mortar rec for you.

    • I’ve used Custom Ink before and it’s worked out well. (custom ink dot com)

      • I’ve also done Custom Ink on 2 or 3 occasions with good results. Plus I love any company that shows you pictures of the t-shirts on actual people to help you gauge sizes.

    • I”ve used Design a Shirt (designashirt.com) and been really happy with the service and final product.

    • Me to We styles does custom. They’re based in Canada though so sometimes shipping takes a bit longer. We did them for a big event (about 2000 people) and they did a lovely job.

    • I was happy with my order from Inktastic.

    • Depends on the event, but if you really want high quality you might be better off buying the shirts yourself and then taking to a local embroidery shop to put the logo on with thread. They can usually do the same designs as a screenprinter,although I think it is more expensive. Plus, by buying your own shirts you can get the quality you want.

  19. newjobanon :

    Anon for this… is there a way to ask about seating arrangements when offered a job? I assume you shouldn’t ask during the interview, but once an offer is made? Having bounced around between offices and cubes, quite frankly I find myself not sure I’d be willing to go to another job and sit in the cube farm. Am I being unreasonable?

    • Don’t know how to ask it, but I’m with you. I wish I’d known I’d be in cubeland when I took my current job.

    • Hmmm…could you ask for a tour? Or phrase the question: How do the teams work and collaborate together?

      • This.
        I had an interview a while ago and the interview room was in the back of the office suite. So I saw as I walked that they had an open office layout. No walls, not even cubicle walls. This was a no-no for me and I mentally crossed this employer off my list.
        After the seating arrangements I’ve seen, or been in, I no longer complain about cubicles.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      You could ask – or a way around it might be to ask if you can be taken around the floor for a brief tour and then you can find out that way. Here usually people who have second interviews get a tour of the office.

    • I would (and have) just ask! Just like you would ask about benefits, preferred working hours, etc. I would just say something like, ” I am very interested in this position and think it will be a great opportunity. I do have a few questions. Will I have an office or a cubicle?” And then ask any other benefit/HR type questions you have.

      • Gooseberry :

        Completely agree with Anon about asking.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I would ask if it’s the difference between accepting or declining.

        My department is split between two locations due to space shortage, and my supervisor always does interviews in the nicer space. It’s been a real point of resentment for new hires, actually. They see floor to ceiling windows at the interview and find out on their first day that they are actually going to be in the basement.

    • Sheesh, yes. I don’t know how people would take it, but it’s really important. I have a private office and I supervise a lot of people and have confidential and private conversations. I interviewed for a similar level position at another university a few years ago and the offices had walls that didn’t go all the way to the ceiling. I just couldn’t see how that would work and it would be a step back.

      • Hey NOLA, Check this out -http://neworleanscitybusiness.com/thenewsroom/2012/07/24/new-retailers-coming-to-elmwood-shopping-plaza/

        Excited about the DSW!

        • Holy moley! I just sent your link to a couple of people – including my new faculty member who is starting on Wednesday. She was just in my office and was asking about DSW. Awesome! I knew about Ulta. Still holding out for Homegoods. I was at Homegoods in Charlotte and I wanted EVERYTHING!

        • Oh and by the way, I noticed Five Guys is on the list – what my nephews and I refer to as “big bag o’ grease”

    • Yes, of course. I know people who have asked it to be stipulated in their offer letters that they will have a private office with a window. It’s a pretty normal thing to ask about.

  20. Blonde Lawyer :

    If anyone is near a Tanger outlet, I got some good deals there last week. If you have a AAA card, you get the coupon book for free plus some other additional discounts like 10% off at BR.

    I had never really shopped at Van Huessen before but they had great pencil skirts and under suit shirts on deep discount. I saw 2/3rds Attorney looking for under suit shirts yesterday but didn’t get to post until today. I bought shirts that button front, cap sleep, scooped neckline with no collar. They are deep colors like dark teal and purple. Everything there runs BIG. I am usually a 6/8 and fit in 2′s and 4′s in their skirts. I bought an extra small!!! in one sleeveless button front I bought. I’m a 34DD so calling me XS is hysterical. I’m usually a large in dress shirts. For the scoop neck ones, I bought small. They are still a little big in the gut but they are tight around the cap sleeve. Not good for anyone with really large arms.

    Overall, TONS of sales though. The shirts were $6-12 and the skirts were $15 I think. It was one of those 60% off plus 20% off plus 15% off plus coupon kind of deals. I got multiple outfits for around $50 I think.

    I also scored a great purple pencil skirt, lined, at Dress Barn for $22 after coupon and a suit at BR for around $80.

  21. Maternity Leave/Pregnancy thread jack…. “To Do” list help?

    So I’m 30 weeks along (first time mom) and have been freaking out recently about how in the world to prepare for a 8-12 week “break” when I take maternity leave starting in October. Any tips from ladies who have been through it? I’m struggling to get my regular work done, as well as keeping notes on projects so that they are organized enough for others to pick them up and understand what’s going on if necessary… plus trying to finish up major projects and get my desk organized (I’m paying the penalty now for my disorganization in the past.) Making this more difficult is that I’m just tired. The last thing I want to do at the end of a long work day is stay a little longer and work on organizational tasks. I’m a government lawyer (mostly civil advice, a little litigation – but the litigation will be the easiest thing to just hand off to a co-worker for a few weeks).

    And as side question – any other general (non work) advice for my baby prep to-do list? What did you wish you’d done before the birth? (That might not have been obvious before you became a mother?) What was easier to do while you were home on maternity leave than you anticipated? (Thank goodness I have an Amazon prime membership so I’m betting the 2 day shipping will come in handy when I’m sleep deprived and stuck at home in the initial weeks!)

    Thanks very much for any advice!

    • On the work front, do you know yet who your back-up(s) will be while you’re on leave? Maybe it would be easier and less tiring to do a couple “brain dump” sessions where you sit down with them and go over stuff rather than trying to document every detail.

      Non-work-wise, my biggest pieces of advice (which I learned the hard way) are (1) to get plenty of easy food options on hand like freezer meals and (2) if you’re going to be pumping when you go back to work start building a breast milk stash early – it would have been so much less stressful for me to have had some buffer rather than always having to pump enough the day before for my daughter to have the next day.

    • Can I chime in that I would also love advice, especially about the issues raised in Paragraph 2?

      I am wondering about an additional item: My hubby and I just (in March) relocated for me to take my dream job. He will therefore be staying home with our baby until she is at least 6 months old. Is there anything I can do to help him adjust to being a stay at home dad?

      • My husband is also a stay at home dad. I made sure during my leave to give him plenty of opportunity to get used to taking care of and comforting our son. It was hard for me not to really monopolize the time with him, since I was sad about having to leave him to go back to work. But I think it was important for my husband and son to get used to each other. We also signed up for the baby music classes at our local library and baby swim lessons, just so they would have some activities to do together. He was usually the only dad there, so that is something he had to get used to. They would also come visit me on my lunch break, which he said really helped to break up the day. My son is now three and he and his daddy are so close!

      • In House Lobbyist :

        My husband stays home with our son too. The best thing I read was to not try and manage everything Dad is doing with the baby. I decided that as long as it wasn’t risky to the baby’s life or health, I was not going to say “you have to do it this way”. He picked out the diaper bag (military bag instead a fancy designer one) and I try not to worry if the baby’s clothes don’t match. Having easy to make food for lunch was also a good thing.

        Being the only Dad at the park bothered him at first and some women were rude to him about it. But we are on year 2 and he says it doesn’t bother him now. I think there was a previous post on here about stay at home dads you might want to look for.

      • Let him do things his way. When our oldest was about 6mo old I went back to work p/t & dh was a f/t student. His classes were MWF so I worked T-Th. The hardest thing (for both of us) was for me to let him do tings his way and recognize that there was more than one right way to get the diaper changed, so to speak. If you have any control freak tendencies at all make sure you work on that before going back to work!

        Also recognize that while there are many social opportunities for SAHM, there aren’t always as many for SAHD, and in my dh’s experience at least, the life of the SAHD can be lonely.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Give them time alone, particularly in the week or two before you return. Good opportunity to go shopping for work clothes before you return.

        Let him work out his own schedule. Let him choose the diaper bag (my husband preferred a normal backpack). Don’t smirk when you see the baby’s outfit.

        SAHDs are pretty common here, but it’s still a lonely life. Infants aren’t great conversationalists. Be sensitive to that. Run home for lunch, if you can, to give him a bathroom break and free hands to fix lunch. Take a day off work or arrange alternate care to give him a break one day.

        Expect to take a baby the *second* you walk through the door. Use the bathroom at your office before you leave. Resist the urge to tell him how tired you are after being at the office all day. Tell him how much you appreciate his hard work. We’ve taken turns being the SAH and working parent, which was so good for our marriage. They are both hard roles.

    • I took an afternoon about a month before my due date and organized all of my cases. I wrote a status update on each one and made a sort of master list so that my secretary would know where each case was, what we were waiting on, any extensions needed, etc. I tried to clear out any outstanding tasks that needed to be done. As I got closer to my due date, I made sure to leave my desk organized and to update the master list each afternoon. My baby came about 2 weeks before my due date and so I was glad that each day I left knowing that if I had the baby that night, I had left things easy for others to pick up.

      Before the baby was born we just made sure to keep the house a little more picked up than usual. I knew that I didn’t want to come home from the hospital to a sink full of dishes, clothes all over the floor, etc. so everyday I made sure to do those little things that sometimes I would just wait until after work or whatever.

      Also, (assuming you are married/in a relationship) go on a couple dates with your husband! Of course it is important to go out alone after baby comes, it is never the same since you will always be a little worried about how baby is doing with the sitter! Enjoy these last few weeks together!

    • I’ve never take a maternity leave but two of my colleagues did – one right after the other. One had everything organized and talked with people about where she was leaving projects and had asked people to sub for specific things and we discussed what could wait, etc. The other just walked out and had a conference she was planning. She had asked a few of us to volunteer for specific things but she never told anyone else what the others were doing so we had no idea where to refer. So if you have major projects, make sure each person knows who is doing what. It also helps if you are available to answer questions that would help someone move forward.

    • Freezer meals already portioned into 1-2 person meals. Also, figure out what meals you like that you can eat one-handed and without much prep. Some days I couldn’t be bothered to take 5 minutes to warm up lunch and learned to keep filling snack foods on hand (plus, you will likely eat a few meals over the head of a sleeping/nursing baby on your chest, this is not the time for hot soup). The second half of maternity leave got much easier bc I felt better and could get out of the house.

    • Almost done :

      Timely question, as I have less than a week left (getting induced if it doesn’t come before then.)
      I suggest you start copying someone (your assistant or someone else familiar with the matter) on almost every email you send. I warned my assistant I would start doing this and she knows she doesn’t have to respond to most of them, but it keeps her in the loop in case I don’t make it back into the office.
      I also keep two to-do lists – one is tasks I really need to do before the end of the day in case I’m not here tomorrow (last kid came 4 weeks early!) and the other is things that need to be done but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if someone else took care of it after I leave.
      I sent email “introductions” to everyone outside of our organizations (vendors, reps, contractors) that included my assistant and the person/temporary consultant who would be covering for me so all contact information has been exchanged and everyone is aware of who they can contact.

      I have been having more frequent status update meetings for all my projects, and don’t go more than a few days or a week without checking in on things.

      Non-work related things I did ahead of time included updating my (personal) addresses and pre-printing two labels for everyone (thank you cards and baby announcements.) I also made sure I had plenty of return address labels and stamps. Reminds me I need to try to buy some Thank You cards to have on hand.

      Make sure you have stocked up on stuff you don’t think to buy every week but might run out of soon (TP, dog food, dishwasher detergent, birthday cards, body/hair products) to minimize unneccessary trips and errands with a newborn.

      And yes, before I leave the house or my office, I straighten up a bit and think “I may not be back here before someone else is in here looking for something.”

    • I would recommend starting the day with organization/planning for leave, rather than the end. That way you are fresh and may be more productive. Keeping your desk and office neat is important; I left work not in labor one day and then had the baby early the next morning; basically from 36 weeks on I would leave work as though someone is going to have to sort through your desk the next day.

      Look into grocery delivery; it saved our bacon. And I definitely echo other people on not micromanaging dad. My husband has some different ways of doing things, but his different approach often is more successful than mine with our 3 year old. The more you let them be them, the more they figure out how they want to do things. It is tricky, especially when you are breastfeeding, to give up that control but you really really really have to do it.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Take one or two mornings to document your projects and organize the files that others will need to access while you are gone. Do introductions for coverage person to rest of team. Then the bulk will be done and you can just update your notes regularly and cc your coverage on all emails, which takes much more work. Agree with the two to-do lists. From 36 weeks on, leave your day as if it is your last, so spend a couple of minutes making sure that the notes are up to date. After 38 weeks, I started to email the person filling in and project managers a status update when I left on Fridays.

      For home/yourself:
      – Freeze meals. I would do foods without dairy if you plan to breastfeed. You can always add it, but you can’t take it out.
      – Make a Costco run to stock up on one-handed snacks: fruit leather, granola bars, nuts, beverages. Add fresh fruit and yogurt or string cheese when baby arrives.
      – Give the house a thorough, deep cleaning by 35 weeks. Good time to call in mom and friends to help. Similar to your office files, keep it tidy routinely and give it a good clean on the weekends.
      – Go out on dates! With your husband and your friends.
      – Figure out what you want to do with your hair. You’ll want it easy, so if that means a ponytail, grow it out now. Similarly, get your hair cut/dyed/etc and waxing done about 37 or 38 weeks, since it will be a while since you make it back in.
      – If you will be nursing, have a couple of nursing sleep bras or tanks on hand in 1-2 cup sizes larger than your pregnant size. But wait on any ‘real’ bras until after your milk comes in, since the sizing isn’t as flexible.
      – Buy a kindle if you don’t have one already.
      – Don’t worry about having everything for baby set up or purchased. You only need a carseat, a few clothes, a couple of blankets, diapers, and a place for baby to sleep. Do as much as you can, but don’t let it be a point of stress. The world won’t stop when baby arrives – you just don’t want to HAVE to leave the house for the first two weeks.

      And wholeheartedly agree with everyone above about not micromanaging dad. He will have different approaches and that’s okay.

  22. Quick salary question. Any ideas of salary range for an in-house position with a mid-sized publishing/media company where the “legal department” currently consists of only a general counsel? This position would be assisting the G.C. and requests a minimum of three years’ experience. It’s located in a Midwestern city but not Chicago. Think smaller, more like Kansas City, Minneapolis, Omaha, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, etc.

    • You really can’t compare Omaha (pop. 800K) and Minneapolis (pop. 3.3 million), sorry. Not only is Minneapolis the biggest (by about half again as many people over the next smallest), but it has a lot of companies headquartered there (Target, 3M, Best Buy, etc.) which tends to increase in-house job availability and bring up the base salary, in my experience. I think people can probably help more if you give the actual city, if you’re comfortable with it.

    • Mr. East is in the publishing industry and although his connections and experience are non-legal, most positions tend to pay NY/SF scale regardless of location. Not all, but most.

  23. This has probably been covered before, but my boyfriend and I are heading to NYC in a couple months for an extended long weekend. Any suggestions on great things to do (that aren’t too touristy), great restaurants or shopping?

    • Always a NYer :

      230 Fifth for drinks. It’s in an office building on Fifth and 27th, catty-corner to the Museum of S*x. Walk back to the elevators and go to the top floor. If you get there before 930pm or so you won’t need to wait in the queue. Inside is really nice and the music isn’t too loud so you can carry on a conversation if you wanted to. The best part is the rooftop, awesome views of the city, just amazing. I can’t recommend this place enough. Have fun!

    • If you search this site on google and look up the name Colicchio you’ll find the last thread we discussed NYC things to do, because I know I recommended his restaurant. If you don’t know how: go to google and enter site: [this site] Colicchio

      Hope this helps.

    • Go see Sleep No More. You’ll never see anything like it again.

  24. Laundry help please! A few days ago I accidentally threw a new white, dry clean only sweater in the hamper, rather than the dry clean pile. This would normally have been caught when I went to do the laundry, but last night, my boyfriend decided to “help” me while I was at a work function and the sweater went through the wash and dryer. It was really sweet of him to try and help me out, but now parts of my lovely white sweater are tinged gray.

    Anyone have any dye transfer removal methods, particularly for whites? I looked into replacing the sweater, since I just bought it a few weeks ago, but Nordstrom has since sold out of it. Help please!

    • Winterberry :

      Sorry to hear about your sweater! I’ve lost a few items of clothing to Mr. Winterberry’s helpfulness, but I’ve paid him back by washing his wallet once or twice. :) As much as it stinks to have to replace stuff, it’s wonderful to have a partner who’s happy to do my laundry.

      I’ve never tried this, but I’ve heard RIT color remover is made for just such a situation. And maybe eBay for a replacement sweater? Or see if a replacement can be located at a store even if they’re gone online?

    • long-time lurker :

      Since its already been washed… I’d soak in Oxyclean for an hour or so and then rinse on a delicate cycle.

      • Winterberry :

        I forgot about Oxyclean! I’ve used it a few times on white sheets with great results. Also, I’d note that gentle persistence can really pay off. No scrubbing (can damage the fabric) but don’t be afraid to wash, rinse, let air dry to check the progress, and repeat many times.

    • Mountain Girl :

      RIT color remover is a life saver. I had this happen before and Oxyclean didn’t do anything. Rit worked like a charm.

      • Second that. This is much more effective than oxyclean, which isn’t designed to do the same.
        And yes, it’s sad to lose some cherished clothes to bad laundry practices. But it’s much sadder to live with an inconsiderate lout who never would think to do your laundry :-).

    • Oxyclean once took red wine out of a brand-new off-white sofa for me, so I worship at its shrine.

  25. Mary Ann Singleton :

    Hey mamabear and other Tales of the City fans – Armistead Maupin’s house in SF is on the market (he moved to Santa Fe). It is dreamy, but sadly it is out of my budget. I’m hoping there is an Anna Madrigal around to snap it up and throw some great parties there.

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