Weekend Open Thread

Bottega Veneta Indigo SandalsSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Zappos has a lot of sandals on clearance right now, and while at first it looked to be a pretty ho-hum sale, I discovered a ton of steep designer markdowns. I love these sexy Bottega Veneta sandals in a gorgeous indigo — great mix of leather, suede, and synthetics. Hello, date night!  They were $680, but are now marked to $325 at Zappos. Bottega Veneta – 290310W832 4207 (Indigo/Indigo) – Footwear

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  1. Go ahead and blow we-told-you-so raspberries at me, but I bought a DvF wrap dress at the NAS!

    And I even used the acronym NAS just now.


    • SF Bay Associate :

      Exciting! Which one?

    • Imma gonna go on TUMBLR and POST ALL ABOUT THIS. FOR SHAME.


    • LOL. Did you buy it at the store or order it? Cuz if you ordered it, that doesn’t mean you’ll keep it!

    • eastbaybanker :

      Lucky you! The Reara Colorblock? It was the only one I saw on sale and WISH it would fit me. Too short for this tall lady…

      • It’s a Julian with a gray & white quasi-camo pattern, and it’s just barely long enough on me (plus 3/4 sleeves, which I appreciate, otherwise they’d be way too short).

        I don’t know why this is, but I’ve noticed that DvF dresses sized S-M-L tend to run longer than numbered sizes. I got a blue wool/cashmere Linda dress recently, and the sleeves and hem are significantly longer (viz., long enough for me at 5’10”) than the basic silk jersey staples. We’re talking inches. FWIW.

    • a passion for fashion :

      If it makes you feel any better, I swore I was not going to go to the sale becuase i just dont need anything and I have a bit of an issue with needlessly spending money on clothes and shoes (of course, they are generally wonderful, lovely clothes and shoes that often provide some form of instant gratification, but i digress . . . .)

      Well, I went. And of course, I bought stuff. I only went into the shoe dept and was able to limited myself to just 2 pair (which took all of the willpower left in my body on a Friday afternoon), though they are probably the only two pair of shoes not on sale. However, I must recommend both pairs, as they are insanely comfortable.

      (1) the Cole Hahn air monica ballet flat in tango red. I think others have recommended this shoe, but it is just fabulous.

      (2) the Ferragamo Flo wedge in black patent. its about 3 inches, closed toed black wedge with the classic ferragamo grosgrain bow in the front. also just beautiful and comfortable.

      (3) finally, i did not buy them becasue i got the ferragamo instead, but tods makes a black suede close-toed wedge that is about 2 inches. most comfortable shoe that is not a tennis shoe that i have ever tried on. i opted for the ferragamo only b/c i wanted something a little dressier, but seriously, i may need to go back for this shoe b/c it is a-maz-ing.

    • KE, I am judging you SO HARD right now … (see thread below) ;-)

  2. newjobanon :

    Does any one have any tips for getting more work? I’m new and I’ve asked a few of the higher ups for more projects and have come up with a few ideas for proactive projects, but I am spending most of my day on [this site]. I suppose I should count my lucky starts, but I hate feeling useless.

    • If you’re a lawyer, how new are you? I think often at firms it just takes a few months for partners to start giving you enough work to fill the time, since in the beginning they have to teach you everything.

      • newjobanon :

        I’m not in law, but I’m in the first month at my new job. I’ve got experience in my field, so I don’t need hand-holding. I’ve mentioned I like to be busy and now have point blank asked for more work. Several times. I’m not sure what else to do?

        • I wouldn’t worry just yet. You’re doing the right things and in your first month, nobody expects you to be slammed.

    • emcsquared :

      When I started at my new law job, I made it a point to meet as many people as I could – I went to department meetings for various departments, took people out to lunch and coffee. It took 3-4 months, but it did result in a significant amount of work and projects. Plus, now I know the firm so much better and can make cross-marketing suggestions.

      • That’s a great idea. Things have been slow at my new job. I try to attend extra meetings and go to lunch with people, just to learn more about the company. Thanks for the idea.

    • FOOEY! I have to much work all of a sudden and no more money from the Manageing partner.

      I want some equity partipaetion according to Dad.

      Monday I will ask the Manageing partner for 10% of the Billieng’s on my new cleint and if Jim keepes giveing me new Case’s I will be Abel to save a chunk of change in my 401k. YAY!

      I do not want to date him and I can’t rely on a man to suport me! FOOEY!

      • Please, Kat, can’t you filter the Ellen posts? They aren’t funny. Your blog deserves better than his/her/its stupid nonsense.

        • S&S Associate :

          Lighten up! No one is forcing you to read it.
          Personally, I look forward to finding Ellen’s posts and am disappointed if I miss them.
          As the Supreme Court said in Cohen v. California, you are always free to avert your eyes.
          Keep up the posts, Kat. We love them at S&S.

          • Me TO. I liek these POST’S.

          • Anonymous :

            Hurray for Kat and preserving the First Amendment and the ability to FOOEY!

            Say offensive words are printed on someone’s t-shirt and you feel your moral beliefs have been violated. Well, too bad — avert your eyes, the Supreme Court declared in Cohen v. California. Does pornography offend your moral sensibilities? That’s not a good enough reason to be able to ban it, the Seventh Circuit decided in American Booksellers Association v. Hudnut. These rulings make it clear that although minorities have a right to their views, private moral and religious beliefs cannot constrain others’ behavior.

    • Maine Associate :

      I’m not sure how large your office is, so this may not work. My office is me and 2 partners. When I need work and the “got work”? e-mail does not generate anything, I comb the calendars for deadlines and appearances and then ask about specific cases. For example, I’ll see that the Smith divorce has a witness and exhibit list deadline approaching in a week, so I will ask the partner if he needs helps preparing that. The answer is almost always yes.

  3. Two travel questions:
    1. What should I expect going through TSA with a sling and ace bandaged arm? The sling comes off, but the ace bandage too? I tried to google it this morning and found stories about TSA making people go through drug tests because they thought they had wrapped cocaine in their ace bandage. Thankfully my local airport seems to have it a little better together than this.
    2. I arrive at Midway tonight at 11:30. Is my only/best option a cab to get downtown?

    • Generally they just slide a piece of paper for an explosive powder test under your cast / bandage. Personally, never was clearing security easier for me than when I had a broken leg and all over leg cast. Good luck! And feel better!

    • Orange el (elevated train) goes from midway to downtown in about 30 minutes.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        But the last train is at 1am, so if you’re delayed or have to deal with baggage and it’s 12:30, give up and take a cab.

        • Thanks. This is the actual piece of important information. Hopefully we aren’t delayed-I’d rather just pay for the el than a cab!

          • I recommend cab — I’m usually a-OK taking the El as long as there are enough bystanders nearby, but that may not be the case so late at night. Good luck! Chicago is an awesome city.

          • Anonymous :

            I take the el at all hours of the night and never feel threatened. Just keep alert and don’t walk around with headphones on at 2am! And riding in the first car will keep you by the conductor – which is what most women do at night in Chicago.

  4. ChocCityB&R :

    I’ve noticed a few “how should I do my hair” type questions on the last few posts, so I thought I’d chime in with a unique hair styling question. I have shoulder length dredlocks. I have no idea what to do with my hair. I wear it in a low ponytail every.single.day. If anyone has hair similar, or has seen a stylish lady with dreads on the subway, or just feels like surfing through a bunch of ethnic hair care blogs, please help me find a work appropriate style for my semi-conservative office. I’ll follow-up with a link to a picture of someone with hair similar to my own and some styles I like, but wonder if they are work appropriate.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Ok so my hair is about the length and thickness of Whoppi in this photo: http://static.weddingcometrue.com/weddcometrue/2010/03/dreadlock-hairstyles-2.jpg

      I must keep my hair out of my face, so I like a style like this: http://www.hairweb.org/images/rasta-neu2.jpg

      I worry that it will look too juvenile.

      • Merabella :

        I don’t have dreds, so take this with a grain of salt, because I have not a clue on how to style them, but could you do a take on a french braid by adding dreds to the braid as you go?

        I’ve done my hair in this style:

        I don’t know if this will work for you, but I just imagined it in my head and it seemed cute.

      • I’ve seen a girl here at work with similar hair, she uses a thin hair band to keep it out of her face. The rest of her outfit is always very spot-on, conservative, tailored, yet young which is part of the reason why she can pull that hair off in my opinion. I’ve also seen people who pull that length of dreads in a bun, though I imagine that can be quite difficult depending on the thickness and structure of yours.

        • This! We have a female attorney who has a nearly shaved head in my office. She is the most stylish woman here and looks extremely professional and poised because her clothes are just always sooooo meticulously tailored and put together. I want to be her sometimes!

      • ChocCityB&R :

        It does seem cute! But I think I distinctly remember a thread where people said french braids were “too young” for the office. As with a lot of things regarding hair styles, I wondered if it would apply to me, or if it was just for straight hair… Part of the problem is that my outfits are not always spot-on, unlike the lady boardroom belles described below. I’m a young professional so still building up my wardrobe.

    • a former co worker of mine had dreads, but they were slightly longer than shoulder length – probably to about where her bra strap would cross her back? She used to do a cute half up/half down pony thing, with the ponytail being really high up…looked super cute. i’m giving a terrible description,i know, but i’ll try to find a picture.

    • Okay, this is sort of outside my area of expertise, because my hair is in a pixie and when it was long I wore it in a low pony or with a hideous banana clip, but what about working in some scarves or ribbons as a way to tie up an undo? I assume traditional pinning isn’t strong enough to hold up a french twist?

      I’d kind of avoid looks where too much hair sticks out.

      This looks really cool if you could figure it out (lord knows I couldn’t) and there are some tutorials on how to do french braids and twists with dreads on the youtube.


      :-) Sorry if that’s not much help.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        Wow! That is just gorgeous. TCFKAG, how did I know you’d come through? I’m now off to spend my lunch break perusing this gallery. I have NO CLUE how to do that to my hair, but I can pay someone to do it.

      • That looks beautiful! Also like the bun.

    • I don’t have dreds because I have committment issues. But I do wear double-straded twists very often. I will try (and probaly fail) to describe what I do with them in professional settings:

      (1) I’ll pull the twists closest to my face back behind my head while twisting them towards the center of my head, then I secure with an attractice clasp or dark hair tie. Essentially, it looks like my hair is half-up half-down, but with visual interest in the back.

      (2) I wear a bun of twists that I devised while taking ballet classes in undergrad. I pull the top 3/4 of my hair back in a simple bun with one hair tie. Then I take the bottom right of the remaining twists, pull them up to the top of my bun, and secure with another hair tie. I do the same thing with the remaining hair on the bottom left with a third hair tie. If the hair ties are dark enough, they are pretty much invisible. The result is a very complicated looking bun that I get TONS of compliments on. It also stays on while completing fast turns in a leotard and tights.

      (3) For special events, I’ll have a stylist put them in a complicated updo. I don’t tell them what to do, they make something up. It usually takes less than 15 mintues because there is no actual hair styling involved. (I did this for a beauty pageant in high school and won. I know that’s absurd, but it shows how good it looks. I didn’t expect to win because it was a mainstream pageant, I was one of very few black contestants, and natural hairstyles usually don’t win that kind of event).

      • I am going to do a 2 strand twist over the weekend.
        I would love to try the second hairstyle you described.

    • Check out pics of Lisa Nutter, wife of the Mayor of Philly, and head of a big educational non-profit in Philly. Her hair is a bit longer than yours but rocks the locks in all sorts of super formal settings.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Styling options:

      – Curl them on spiral sticks while still damp and let them dry or sit under the dryer
      – Bun
      – Pull top up off your face and let back hang down
      – hi/low pony (or double connected pony)
      – french roll/single french braid
      – You can play with color – try a temporary rinse – one that washes out after 6-8 washes – either a shade or two lighter or darker like a warm brown or a blue-black.

      And you don’t have to make rest of your look uber-conservative or restrained.

  5. Ellen alert: Ellen just posted on the skirt thread. At least I think it’s Ellen!

  6. What’s the consensus on judging? I know it’s wrong to do but I still judge. There’s an open thread over at CapHillStyle on cheating and I’m floored at how accepting the posters are on forgiving an indiscretion while wanting to work on the relationship, entering a long-term relationship even though they were “the other woman”, or simply being accepting of a cheating spouse and believing that just because he broke the vows they shouldn’t. WTF?! I’m judging hard and feel no shame in doing so. I also judge people in my everyday life that have done something similar. I look down on them (more internally than externally) and put no trust in them. I mean, why should I, if they can’t prove honorable to their SO, why would they ever be honorable with me?

    I also feel the same when it comes to all this talk on babies and maternity leave. If one more person tells me that I’ll want nothing more than to bond with my baby once I have one, they’ll meet my right hook. Men don’t get talked to like that, don’t talk to me like that just because I have the capability of housing a growing human.

    And please, Hilary will never be a fashion icon, but she kicks @$$ as the most powerful political figure in our country. Back off with the comments about her hair and pants suits.

    End of rant, feel free to judge me now.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I judge regularly and ruthlessly. However, with rare exceptions, I keep my judgments to myself (or anonymous on the internet). I think this has made it possible for me to have friends. I don’t judge myself for being judgey…it’s just how my mind works and always has. One day I’ll work on changing how my mind works in this respect, but I have other self-improvement goals that go before my judgmental nature.

      And speaking of judgment, how wrong is it to require your brother to submit a budget to you before loaning him any more money? Let me correct myself…these are not loans because loans are for things you expect to get back. How can someone in one breath ask you for hundreds of dollars, and in the next talk about a vacation they are planning in the next 6 months? ARRRRGGGHHHHHH family.

      • Oh hon, I feel for you.

        Not sure if you want to go down that route, though, the asking for a budget proposal. Your brother may end up resenting you for trying to “control” him. Maybe you can just cut him off (money-wise, not contact)?

        • ChocCityB&R :

          I know, I’m just going to give him the money because it’s for a legitimate use (paying a utility bill). I just hate that the reason they are in the mess in the first place is because they spend so much on things they don’t need. I think this may be my last “gift.” I recognize that I have to cut him off or else he will never learn. I just worry because he has kids and I don’t like the thought of them going without…

          • If he asks for things for the kids in the future, why not buy it for them yourself? At some point, knowing he can always turn to you is only going to cause more harm then good. I’ve seen it in my own family. I’m sorry, this really sucks.

          • eh – let him suffer the consequences of not paying the utility bill. Which are – 1) go without or 2) work it out with the utility company. Are the kids going to be in danger – i.e. heat stroke – or just inconvenienced? If they have to go without electricity for a few days, the kids will survive. You could offer to babysit the kids for a few of those inconvenienced days….

            The problem with the “last time” is they don’t believe you until the next time.

      • A loan comes with terms, so it’s not bad at all. You can say this is a loan and as such I’d like to see this. Or this is a one time gift. After this the bank of ChocCityB&R is closed. Your choice on what you [brother] pick (assuming you’re comfortable with either), but I say put it out there clearly.

      • A suggestion re your brother: I bought my sister a car many years ago, and it was more than the $10,000/year (then) gift allowance. So I wrote it as a loan and then, every year, wrote off $10,000 as a gift on my taxes. You could consider something like that.

        Also, I think it should be in writing no matter what. And what about non-monetary payback? Like, if he doesn’t make a payment, he has to do X for you instead?

        Also (last one), would you feel better paying the electric company directly so that you know the money goes there?

        Also (really last one), most electric companies have low-earner programs. Maybe he should sign up for that: lower rates, payment plans, etc.

      • Having gone through this with my own sibling, I feel you. After the most recent “gift”, sibling went out and adopted two cats. Gee, thanks.

      • I think it’s absolutely justified to work out some sort of terms with your brother particularly if he starting to develop a pattern. It only does him more disservice if he becomes comfortable in using your income to supplement his (or to finance vacations). I think communication is key. You need to have a serious conversation with your brother and be honest that, while you’re happy to help out in an emergency situation, you have noticed that he has not made any real efforts to avoid future “emergencies” and you’re starting to resent the behavior of relying on you for a bailout.

        That being said, my dad was in this same situation with his brother ages ago. He outlined a plan for his brother to pay him back, and the brother blew up and they haven’t had a relationship since. As a result, I don’t ever remember meeting that uncle… wouldn’t know him if I passed him on the street. Not saying that will happen in your family (I’m sure it was just a product of a couple really immature, stubborn men), but it’s always a possibility, so tread carefully…

    • There isn’t a consensus on judging, although in polite company, one isn’t supposed to do so or to acknowledge it. I find it akin to putting one’s head in the sand, though.

      I can only speak personally here– I won’t judge someone for dressing in a manner I don’t like. It tells me nothing about their character. I won’t judge someone for stuff they can’t control (e.g. demographics.)

      However, I will judge someone for dishonesty and unethical behavior. I refuse to get snookered by the “judgment jiu-jitsu” that dishonest people use- where they do something bad to somebody, notice they are being judged, and turn around and try to wrong-foot the judgers by trotting out, “oh, you’re so judgmental” crap.

      One thing I will say, as to the idea of people who are cheaters and whether they can be good coworkers/teammates/effective at their jobs. I’ve known cheaters who were fantastic teammates and great at their jobs. * Never underestimate the human ability to compartmentalize. *

      It doesn’t mean I’ll like this person and want to be his/her friend outside of work, but it also doesn’t mean that they’ll necessarily backstab me. I’ve seen plenty of people who were excellent spouses to their husbands/wives be backstabby at work.

      Separately, I think that people have different tolerance levels for the amount of crap that people heap on them. Some people will tolerate cheating, disrespect, and all manner of bad treatment and keep seeking more. Others won’t.

      I do wonder if the folks in the first group are suffering from the sunk cost fallacy problem, you know, “I’ve sunk N years into this relationship, and even though s/he lies, drains my bank account, ruined my credit, has slept with all my coworkers, disrespects me in front of my friends, and says horrible things about my parents, I can’t be single again, etc. etc.”

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        “Separately, I think that people have different tolerance levels for the amount of crap that people heap on them. Some people will tolerate cheating, disrespect, and all manner of bad treatment and keep seeking more. Others won’t.”

        This times 100. My step-daughter accepts the most atrocious behavior from her mother (yelling, blaming, name calling, mind changing (“Daughter, do X.” Daughter does X. “Daughter, you are a bad person for doing X.”)

        When mom tries that on my husband and/or me, we refuse to play. We don’t attack back, but we don’t respond and we do/don’t do things based on what we think is best, not based on what mom says.

        My question: When will step-daughter realize that she holds the key to her own prison and if she stops taking the crap, she won’t have to take the crap? I keep hoping it will dawn on her what she is away at college…

        • Mother – daughter relationships are complicated. I respect what you’re saying, but I would submit that it’s a lot harder for a daughter to draw the kind of line that you’re describing with her mother than it is for you and your husband to draw that kind of line with his ex-wife. Particularly if your step-daughter is still in her teens.

          I’m not saying that you’re wrong that she holds the keys to her own prison, but I suspect that’s very hard for her to see right now, even if you’ve pointed it out to her. Try to be there for her with support. And despite the theme of this thread, try not to judge her if she’s not able to step back far enough to see or understand the dynamics between her and her mother right now.

          • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

            Yeah, although I do judge her mom,** I am very careful never to do that when my SD is with us.

            Whenever I talk to her about her mom, which is rare, it is one of two approaches: (1) something positive (like, if we’re cooking and she asks me a question, I will answer and then say “but you should really ask your mom because your dad says she is a gourmet cook, so I’m sure she knows more about this than I”) or

            (2) to describe facts only, with no opinion (like, “we don’t have car insurance for you and your new car yet (a few days after she passed the test) because your mom said she wants particular documents from our insurance company before she sends us a check and the insurance company is still preparing them” rather than “even though we sent her those documents one year ago and again six months ago and both times she said she didn’t want to use our insurance company but refused to offer any other solution and she is not in a position to add you to her policy because she does not have a policy because her car and her car insurance are paid for by her employer aka her mother and she did not disclose any of that during the divorce or on her taxes, but she dragged out the discussion about insurance for one full year because while she is not interested in a solution, she is keenly interested in continued engagement with your father, in my opinion” — all of which is true but none of which I ever say to my SD).

            And frankly, I suspect that it is extra hard for the daughter of a mother with mental health challenges to fully accept that because then you have to deal with the risk that you may also have those genes.

            ** I actually try to temper my judgement when I can stand to because I am pretty sure that her (mis)behavior is caused by some mental health challenges, and it’s hard to blame people for that. Although I do not always have the zen-ness to be so forgiving.

          • This.

            What you are doing right now is probably the best thing you can do for her: showing her how to deal with a person like her mother in a grown-up and mature way. She’ll figure things out in her own time, and when she does, she’ll have your example to follow.

        • Your step-daughter is in her late teens or early twenties? Give her time– lots of time. She’s still figuring out who she is as a person and has lots of maturing to do. Kind of unfair to expect her to have this all figured out by now.

      • anon just in case :

        Interesting. I’m heading to a family get together this weekend. Sil was recently sentenced because of the thousands of dollars she stole from a local children’s organization. Money she stole to fund a gambling and drinking habit she has. Oh, and she’s cheated several times on bil. And he knows all this. I hope I don’t have to face her, but I’m sure I’ll see bil this weekend. Unfortunately. He wants to try and save their marriage, which I could understand if they were dealing with one of those 4 issues, but all 4 together? Makes me wonder if he’s suffering from the sunk cost fallacy problem you described. Oh, and she stole money from their teenaged children as well. Makes me angry just thinking about it. Dh is livid over the whole situation too as it’s his name that is being dragged through the mud (small town, uncommon last name, no question who she’s related to). Good thing we don’t live in the neighbourhood any more. Mil just wants everyone to get along and wants no conflict in her home, which I can understand, but dh feels like she’s got her head stuck in the sand, although I know she doesn’t, she just really really doesn’t like angry people in her home, which I believe is her right.

        It’s a mess, and I fully admit to judging sil, bil, and mil to some extent as well. And I own it. Although I won’t get in any of their faces about it because I’m a conflict avoider and I don’t feel that it’s totally my business, kwim? Sil didn’t do anything specifically to me besides the stain on the family name (I took dh’s name when we married almost 18 years ago).

        And I feel really badly for my niece & nephew who must be in such a difficult position, although I doubt the know about the cheating, and possibly don’t know about the gambling either.

        Thanks for letting me get that out. It’s been bursting inside me all week!

        • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

          Perhaps your niece and nephew (or your BIL on their behalf) should sign up for a credit reporting/identity theft service. I mention this because I read an article about parents who, for whatever reason, steal their children’s identity and then wreck their credit by taking out loans and not repaying them and other shenanigans. If your SIL has addiction issues, she is apt to try this again. The kids won’t find out until they are applying for college loans or their first credit card or the like and it is too late

      • Agreed! We all make judgements (most of which I hope we keep to ourselves). However, unethical, flat-out rude or bad behavior is deserving of, and perhaps calls for, judgement. For example, if a coworkers neglects their duties and lies about it, how can a department function without making the “judgement” that he or she is perhaps irresponsible?

    • How do you define judging? I have opinions and they’re pretty well formed. And I’ll express them without much pressing (though I also know when to hold my d*mn tongue). But I also know that other people’s life experiences are different than mine and lead to different places and conclusions (like about their feelings about monogamy or cheating, for example) and that freaking out about that isn’t going to get me anywhere.

      And I try to remember that you catch more bees with honey than vinegar … so I guess I judge to the extent that I disagree with people and sometimes with their choices. But I try to always keep their humanity in mind while I do so, which I know is harder to do over the anonymity of the internet or the street. But I think if you give out good vibes, you get those back.

      I don’t know…its just how I try to be. Both here and out there IRL.

      • Always a NYer :

        Well said. I try to do the same but am often haunted by the saying, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” It might seem silly to some but I feel conflicted when I find myself wanting to condone the behavior of my friends and family that I myself would not do. My inner monologue attacks and is all, “What does this make you? You’re just as bad. How could you think like this yet act like that?” Usually I need to step back from that person to evaluate the situation and see how they handle themselves. Only then am I able to interact with them again.

        It really is all about walking that fine line. But once you blur it, all h*ll breaks loose.

      • You are awesomes, TCFKAG.

    • I judge myself for being horribly judgey… in my own head…. well, I try to keep it in my head… and usually succeed… except when I don’t…

    • anon-oh-no :

      i dont get your comment on maternity leave. are you jsut ranting that you dont like people giving you unsolicited advice?

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      Okay, but do you judge Hillary for staying with Bill after he cheated?

      • I absolutely judge her for that. But given the current lineup we have in charge she’s the most qualified.

        • Anon in ATX :

          I used to judge Hillary for staying until I realized she was in the ultimate no-win situation. She would be judged for staying/she would be judged for leaving. Same goes for anyone else, no matter your choice, you will be judged for it, so you should do what’s best for you and your family in whatever situation it is. Not to say that it is not hard to judge others, of course I do it myself.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            This. If you are going to get shat on in either case, do what is best for you and your family. I was much harsher toward her…then I got married and had kids – and while that doesn’t excuse his behavior, it does give me insight I didn’t have then in to how she reached that conclusion.

      • I did initially. I was way harsher on her than on Bill. Not fair, but it’s true.

        Now, not so much. Being quite a bit older and with some more experience under my belt, I don’t judge her because every relationship is different, and couples frequently choose to try to rebuild a relationship after cheating rather than ending it. Would I make the same decision? I hope I don’t have to find out. But I can respect that that is what some people choose to do.

    • Your two paragraphs are kind of different but your first 1- yeah I judge people who cheat. That’s a huge character flaw, and there has never been a “good” reason, or morally just reason to cheat. I don’t think it means they are like, the WORST PERSON EVER. but I def think of it as a mark against their character. One of my friends cheated on her bf, or comes very close to that line, and I don’t let her talk about it, and I let her know I don’t think that’s good at all. Would also never ever stay with a guy that cheated.

      I guess I judge inappropriate outfits? I def do an internal eyeroll when I see too much skin. But its not like I interact with those people so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    • It’s ok to be judgy, but just be careful with it. Not suggesting you personally will ever do any of the things you are upset with others over, but the saying that “you never know” is there for a reason. Also, I’ve found that if are hard on others, you tend to be hard on yourself, which isn’t good.

    • I try not to judge too much because you never really know someone else’s circumstances. (Classic example: annoying person who takes the elevator one floor, but who has arthritis or painful shoes, or some other good reason for taking the elevator one floor other than laziness.) Also, I just find judginess to be corrosive to me and my moods. The more I judge others, even silently, the more I judge myself and my loved ones. The more I give others the benefit of the doubt, the kinder I am to myself and those around me, and the happier I feel in general. What is that quote, “Be kind to everyone you meet for they may be waging a mighty battle”? Something like that?

      That said, I am far, far from perfect. This is definitely a continual work in progress.

      • “Also, I just find judginess to be corrosive to me and my moods. The more I judge others, even silently, the more I judge myself and my loved ones. The more I give others the benefit of the doubt, the kinder I am to myself and those around me, and the happier I feel in general.”

        • Ditto! My attempts not to judge are not totally altruistic.

        • YES YES oh my goodness yes. It’s hard not to be judgmental sometimes, but I really try and keep it to myself. When I let myself start down the judging (and complaining, but that’s not quite the same thing) road, I end up feeling worse about myself.

          And honestly, it’s impossible to ever know all of the factors that lead into someone making a decision you want to judge them for, whether that’s staying with a cheating SO, cheating on an SO, or wearing peep-toes in court. So it’s really better to just–not go there.

      • Anita (formerly S) :

        I like your thinking and I need to employ it more myself. As I get older, I find myself being more understanding of what I perceive to be mistakes that people make in their lives. I’ve made more than enough of my own. Not judging is not the same thing as condoning, by the way. You can make the decision not to accept certain behavior towards you or the people in your life without making a blanket judgment about the person(s) whose particular actions you don’t accept.

      • I like this a lot Jenny

      • Yes, exactly what you said, DC Jenny, and you said it so well!! This is exactly why I end up judging myself *for* judging more than I judged the original person….

        AND, this is so timely, dudes, because I am judging myself super hard for just now LITERALLY : Slipping. On. A. Banana. Peel. A Literal banana peel. No Joke. and falling on my face in the street… and why did I slip on a banana peel in the middle of the sidewalk you ask??? Because I was reading corpor e t t e on my phone while i was walking instead of watching where i was going…. {{{shameface}}}}

      • just Karen :

        DC Jenny, I just cut and pasted your words into a text document so that I could hold on to them – incredibly well put, and something I need to remind myself of frequently.

      • I completely agree with this. I will say that I am much less judgmental now at 28 than I was at 18, and I expect that trend to continue. Some of it is because my experience and worldview continue to expand. Some of it is a conscious choice because, as DC Jenny said, judginess is corrosive to my own life and moods.

      • I think you’re spot on about how judginess affects a person. I used to give up “thinking mean thoughts” for Lent each year. It was a-MAZ-ing how much making conscious decisions to give others the benefit of the doubt changed me and my whole attitude. People I never thought I could like on Ash Wednesday were decent, interesting people by Good Friday. I was a happier, less stressed person. It’s a wonderful, freeing approach to life. And I thought my new attitude usually had staying power throughout a few more months before, I would slowly slip back to being judgy and then cleanse again next Lent.

    • When it comes to CHS, judge away. She certainly never hesitates to judge.

      • Seriously.

        • I absolutely judge her for her frequent grammatical errors. It drives me nuts when she’s being all catty about something while misusing words and splicing commas.

    • My instincts are usually set on judge-y, but I try to have an internal dialogue with myself where I remind myself to cut other people some slack, recognize that I don’t know everything about them or why they might do something, and back off.

      I’m operating under the theory that if I work to be mentally kinder to others, I’ll also be mentally kinder to myself about my own (many) flaws and screw-ups.

    • I distinguish between “judging” and “recongnizing that I would likely make a different decsion.” Judging is generally reserved for behavior of one person that directly impacts someone else, e.g. a cheating spouse. The later is what I do for “victim-less crimes.” Here I would include spouse that choose to stay. I’m also in the camp that it is not the job of single people to police other people’s relationships, so I tend to file that more in the later category than the former.

      I generally feel like it is better to go through life assuming the best in people — that they make the best decisions they can with the information and experience they have at the time — until proven otherwise. Excessively “judging” I think runs counter to that, so I try to avoid it.

    • I only judge judgmental people. Seriously, you have no idea what goes on in anyone’s heart and mind. Life’s complicated.

      This is not to say that you can’t have beliefs or opinions, or a certain set of rules for yourself, but to actually judge someone? I mean what are you even doing there – thinking they’re a bad person? A fool? A trollop? I am not trying to be snarky, but really I just don’t even have time to go beyond, “I don’t think I would ever do that/put up with that, I wonder how s/he can….”

      • This. And I wonder if the people who judge the hardest will ever slip up, and find themselves with no friends or allies.

        I feel like I can be disappointed in a person’s behavior or choices, but I can’t ever fully understand what they’re going through, so I try to be accepting. This is especially true for isolated incidents. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt – on big things and on little things. I do think it makes me a happier person. Bitterness and judgement is, frankly, ugly. (I guess you could say I judge those who judge). It also seems like a waste of time and emotional resources to judge people for things that have zero actual impact on me. (I am not talking about an amorphous , “well, they cheated so they *might* someday, possibly, maybe do something dishonest to me.”)

    • Anonymous :

      Women are different than men. Biologically. And hormonally. We have different parts. But, if you don’t think that you will want to bond with your baby after you have him or her, then God bless that kid.

      • Eyeroll – of course she’ll bond with her kid. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that she’ll be so in love with her baby that she’ll never want for the intellectual and professional interaction of working with adults. You can love and bond with your kids without being completely ga-ga over the baby stage.

        And how patronizing (matronizing?) is it to have someone else tell you how you are going to experience the parent-child bond. That’s just rude, even if it might ultimately be true.

    • I used to be judgier in my 20s. My 30s, not so much. Life happened and I now realize that while I do have an opinion, it’s usually only informed by what I know. I know there’s always another story and I’d rather spend time thinking about things that are in my control. Also, judgy behavior really brings me down and messes with my mojo. So yeah, I have an opinion on everything, but I try to realize that people have more to offer than just the bad and the only person I can control is me.

      • awesome. i have 2 comments now. weird. I guess what I am sezzin is really important.

    • I used to be judgier in my 20s. My 30s, not so much. Life happened and I now realize that while I do have an opinion, it’s usually only informed by what I know. I know there’s always another story and I’d rather spend time thinking about things that are in my control. Also, judgy behavior really brings me down and messes with my mojo. So yeah, I have an opinion on everything, but I try to realize that people have more to offer than just the bad and the only person I can control is me.

      And generally I give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove that they just suck as a person. Then I JSFAMO and don’t waste time thinking about them.

    • anon for this :

      Agreed. Agreed. And agreed. I judge left and right. It’s not my fault I’m prettier, smarter, and have better taste and better common sense than most people I meet.

      Oh, yes I did.

    • You seem like a joyless person. Why the f— do you care if someone forgives their spouse? Or trusts their partner after they make a mistake.

      God, I really can’t stand people like the OP. Let she who is without sin cast the first stone.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      The judging is probably okay so long as you keep it to yourself and not hold it against a person in an unreasonable way. But people live their own lives and if they can sleep at night with the decisions they’ve made – more power to them.

  7. Building a new wardrobe :

    Hi Ladies.

    Now that the bar exam is finally over, it’s time for me to turn my attention to my BigLaw job starting in October. I have 2 great quality suits that I bought last year while I was an SA, and two average quality suits that I might replace later on. However, my firm is business casual and I need to buy a work wardrobe to match that. I am literally starting from scratch and need some help as to what pieces I should buy that are versatile but not boring. Nothing in my student wardrobe works and my last summer’s work wardrobe was borrowed!

    So far I’ve ordered nuetral pencil skirts in Navy, Camel, Black, and Charcoal. I also ordered two of the new skirt in blue and purple. And I’ve ordered two silk blouses in taupe and ivory, and two button down shirts from BB in white and blue. I’ve also ordered a black blazer and black cardigan.

    I know that I have a long ways to go still. I need to buy: pants, denim trousers, more blouses, cardigans, and some pumps. My question is what colors should I focus on to complete my wardrobe and how many of each item should I have before October? So far I’ve gathered some nuetrals but also two colorful skirts. I’m sure I can supplement it as time goes on, but I would like to not have to worry about it for the first few months.

    • LeChouette :

      I’d recommend (assuming you live in a cool climate, if not, ignore) buying lots of things that look good with black tights. In NYC anyway it gets too cold to go without tights pretty quickly–I had started in the fall with a bunch of navy outfits and wish I bought things that were more black-tight compatible.

    • Hey Building, I’ve been at my job a while now but back in the day I started out my conservative office job with almost the same building blocks. I’d be happy to make a few polyvore sets for you based on what you have and talk about this via e-mail. Let me know if you are interested.

    • Merabella :

      I would look into some print/bright colored tops (blouses/sweaters). That way you can do the print top/cardigan/skirt thing. I also suggest getting things that will go well with tights to help extend the time you can wear it into the winter (depending on climate).

      Also, don’t forget accessories – an assortment of belts and shoes go a long way in extending your wardrobe. Statement necklaces and other jewelry can help as well.

    • I’m horrible in that I love making lists of pretty much everything. So the way I handle my wardrobe is that, in spring and fall, I write out every item I own in categories like tops, bottoms, sweaters/jackets, dresses. Then I write out outfits like navy skirt, striped top, white jacket, nude heels, silver jewelry. If I can make ten outfits, I figure I have enough clothes for the season. I then go and try on each outfit (because sometimes they don’t work in real life) and re-work my list as needed. I usually idenify a few pieces I need to fill in the gaps (like a skirt and top that work but need a cardigan in certain color) and that becomes my shopping list. I fully accept that this is over the top OCD land, and I’m weird in that I really enjoy the process, but hey, whatever works.

      • My hyper-focus-ADHD brain loves your idea!
        An awesome addition would be to take a picture of the outfits and print it.
        Then you have few pictures of ready made outfits in your dresser for those days you hit the snooze too long and your brain just can’t function to put an outfit together!

        • I Basically do this with polyvore. I clipped all my workwear or something similar and spent several hours one weekend putting together outfits. It was incredibly helpful for finding holes in my wardrobe and now I just open my laptop to my polyvore to find something to wear (cross checking with my calendar that lists which outfit I’ve worn every day so I don’t repeat often)

          • MissJackson :

            You guys would love Go Chic Or Go Home. I don’t know exactly how to describe it — wardrobe catalog + Pinterest for clothing/accessories?

            Basically up upload pictures of everything you own (google image search does the trick for a lot of recently-purchased items), and then you can “create” outfits. You can also upload pictures of you wearing an outfit (haven’t done this myself), flag outfits of people that you “follow” as things you’d like to try, etc. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks and I kind of love it. I’ve been challenging myself to wear everything in my closet (ashamed to say I have too much stuff with the tags still on) — and it’s worked really well. Today I’m wearing something that I never would have thought of except that I spent 10 minutes playing with stuff online, and so many people have complimented me on my outfit.

            It’s gochicorgohome.com if this sounds appealing.

        • Building a new wardrobe :

          Both are excellent ideas. I’m going to start on the list today, and when I have purchased some completed outfits I’ll take some photos so I have some ready-to-go outfits. Thanks ladies!!

      • @TBK – I do the same thing – I also have an Excel list for every Trip I’ve ever taken, so I “pack” in Excel during my commute and then throw everything in a suitcase when I am home. To the tee outfit plans also help me minimize space. I once took a 3 week road trip and only needed a carry-on bag. I never repeated an outfit during those three weeks and only did laundry once.

    • Hey Kat –

      This would be a fantastic piece for a blog post – as we head into August, there are a LOT of us who are either (1) done with the bar and beginning a new job; (2) finishing a clerkship and beginning a job; or (3) coincidentally moving somewhere new – I’d love to have a blog post about the number and staples of the ‘business casual’ office.

      In the meantime, I’m happy to keep on reading this thread.

      • 2/3 attorney :


        • 3rd! After working for about three years, I am still having a hard time building up a wardrobe. I moved to a much cooler climate (with seasons!) and I am finding it incredible difficult to buy basic pieces for the different times of year.

    • I have an informal rule for myself that if I am dressing business casual, 2 of the 3 pieces I am wearing must match. That way, even though it is casual, it looks polished and planned.

      This rule ends up with my wearing a LOT of sweater sets (sleeveless shell and cardigan), with either a skirt or pants.

      So I would say 3-5 sweater sets: definitely black, plus other colors that work for you. Mine are eggplant, deep red, slate blue, darkish watermelonish pink, deep teal.

      The shells also get worn under suits.

    • What colors do you like? Focus on those. Depending on your office, you can wear whatever suits your fancy. I have a lot of pink, for example, but that might not work for everyone

      Buy a few dresses. Easy those days when you don’t want do deal with putting together an outfit.

      • Cornellian :

        second the dresses. half a year in to biglaw, and it is so much easier to have one less thing to worry about: no need to worry about hems, or shoes, or the weather, or whether the fabrics work together.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Third re dresses. A good dress is a joy for a very, very long time. And I also agree re buying colors you like. I used to think I “should” buy pastels, etc. to have more variety in my wardrobe, but gave that up. Now I stick to what I love (jewel tones) and not only do I actually *want* to wear my clothes, but they all pretty much go together, so it makes outfit creation that much easier.

    • Even if your firm is business casual, presumably there are going to be plenty of occasions where you do need to wear a suit. If you’re just starting to build a professional wardrobe, I’d buy some more suits and then use the pieces individually as separates for business casual. For instance, you’re going to want a pairof black pants and a black blazer. Why not buy a black pant suit, and then use the pieces separately? That way you have the suit too for when you need it. Once you have some nice suits, then you mix in some more casual pieces to stretch your wardrobe out — some cardigans, a couple of interesting skirts, and lots of patterned tops (if you have an Ann Taylor Outlet near you, they have fabulous inexpensive tops that you can wear under a blazer or cardi, good inexpensive suits too).

      • sweetknee :

        I agree with GW, but want to caution you about using suits as separates. I did that too early in my career, and found that I wore the pants or skirt a lot more than the jacket to the suit. As a result, the “bottom” got dry cleaned more often than the jacket, and when I wore it as a “suit”, you could tell. It was probably because my suits were not incredibly high quality, but just something to watch out for.

        I usually only wear suits to Court and depositions, so a couple of days a week, I am pretty much business casual. I can’t say enough for cute printed tops and cardigans ! You can never have enough cardigans in my book.

        • that’s why in the old days, people would have a suit made with two trousers to one jacket…the trousers always wears out faster!

          • It also helps to get suits that have both a skirt and pants – that way, you’re doubling the use of the jacket.

        • I always take all of the suit to the cleaners at the same time to avoid one piece wearing out sooner.

          • That’s the real solution to this problem. Well, having 2 pairs of pants and getting all 3 cleaned at once is probably the best, but barring that..

    • I would build a wardrobe of neutrals and expand around it based on your preferred colors.
      When I first started in corporate life, my wardrobe was mainly black and gray.
      Eventually I realized I didn’t quite like this palette. So don’t feel obliged to go for black just because it is thought to be professional or easy to wear.
      For me, the color that makes me most comfortable is navy. I have a ton of navy pieces and then whenever I make new additions, they have to go well with the navy: beige, yellows, whites, etc.
      This way you have several possible combinations without breaking the bank.
      I see you didn’t expand on your shoes purchases so I4d say you need 2 pumps in black and brown, a pair of flat shoes, Boots and for the fun of it one pair of shoes that adds a pop of color (Red, yellow etc.)

    • I actually think you should stop shopping. You’ve got a lot to work with, so at this point I’d use what you have and observe around the office for a while, then take direction on what you want to add from what you think works for your office. Even if you were there for a summer, you could still benefit from some watching time as the seasons change and you get more comfortable in your specific practice group.

    • Hi–some great advice on here so far re (i) thinking about tights (ii) developing a palette and (iii) factoring in that accessories can extend your wardrobe. There was a just a post on this, so I’ll add one more huge thing–you have no idea yet whether your office will be freezing or hot. So don’t buy a lot of anything that is “one layer” (e.g. blouses) until you know whether you will always be bundled. I have spent money in advance of jobs and found that due to temp issues, I, for instance, always wear skirts or always wear pants or always wear a sweater over everything.

      Also, I would not try to build a whole wardrobe in one season–pants and skirt styles changed, colors go in and out…you might look “really 2012″ if you buy everything now. I am much more of the “buy some basics that can all be swapped in with one another” and then build with a few quality pieces per season. If you have too many prints or too many trendy things (ruffles, waterfall sweaters, etc.), then you will see, in a few years, that all of that stuff will have to go at once too!

      Last, we talk about this a lot on corporette…unless you’ve interned in the same office, a lot of what you think is cute on the rack might not work in your office. You might get “comments.” “Oh, what high heels.” “Oh what a lovely dress” (snark, snark). So don’t do all of your shopping now. Get enough to get you few a week or two and then add as you go!

    • I agree with R in Boston – hold off shopping until you have a chance to take in your new environment and peers. The one thing I think you’re missing are white/ ivory knits to go under your jackets and cardi’s – no need for anything too expensive since you’ll replace often as they lose shape and discolour, just find something that fits nicely and is substantial enough so you have the option of taking off your top layer, and buy in multiples. These pieces are great because they keep your wardrobe going when you don’t have time to handwash and/ or iron silk or cotton shirts.

      • I agree with R in Boston, MJ and ss — with the exception that I think you should buy a great pair of black pants (and white camis or tees as ss said) and THEN stop. Check out Kat’s “The Hunt” post a week or so ago for recommendations. I love the Gap Perfect Trouser because they come in Long and X-Long lengths; many others love the Gap Modern Boot, the Express Editor pant or the Halogen Taylor pant. None are that expensive, and at least for those of us who prefer pants to skirts (or like them equally), the black trouser is the workhorse of a business casual wardrobe.

    • D Train South :

      Personally, I recommend adding some burgundy, including cordovan shoes if you can find a pair you like. It is a sharp, conservative color that goes with all of the colors you already have in your wardrobe, plus some other brighter colors you might add as you build — like teal and yellow. It is not for every skintone, though, so YMMV.
      I also agree that a couple of dresses are a great addition. One-piece dressing is a huge relief on those days when you were out too late the night before, wake up late, or are just disorganized for some reason.
      Finally, I strongly suggest investing in appropriate outerwear, including a great raincoat/trenchcoat, a short coat/jacket, and a long coat with a great scarf and gloves. I find myself interacting with higher-ups on my way in and out of the office more often than during the day, which means I’m usually wearing outerwear of some kind if it isn’t summer. These can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. They just need to be clean, stylish or conservative or both, and well-fitting over your clothes.

  8. references :

    OK …so I sent a list of references to a potential employer yesterday which included one person, A, who would not be my first choice from that organization simply because I didn’t work as closely with her as I did with others. Since sending the list of references, I have heard back from Person B (my first choice reference from that organization) so I know it’s ok to submit his name. Should I email the potential employer and suggest they talk to B instead of A? Or will this look weird?

    • SpaceMountain :

      Yes. “In updating the information for my references, I now have contact information for Person B, who is more familiar with my work at Organization X than Person A, the reference I previously sent you. If you wish to contact Person B, please reach him at xxxx, or e-mail to xxx.”

      • references :

        Thanks! I just feel a little silly about it since I rushed to get them the list as fast as possible; could have just waited until morning and then I would have had the correct info in place. But I promised at the interview that I would do it that night, so I did. Oh well!

        • Keeping your promises is most important, don’t fret :-)..
          And good luck!! Fingers crossed for you.

  9. phillygirlruns :

    GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. just found out that my favorite olympian – weightlifter donny shankle – is at my gym RIGHT THIS SECOND. he just took a picture with two of my coaches and another member. i’m all starstruck and here i am, stuck at my desk, only 7ish blocks away. sigh.

    • I get ya, honey. I went out to lunch one day in the FQ and there, sitting just a few tables away from me, was Jessica Harris, the food historian who used to regularly appear on Cooking Live. I always thought she was so cool and there she was, just having lunch! I went back to my table and my girlfriend and I were totally goofy wanting to stop and talk to her. Of course, only a few people around would even know who she was, but we were starstruck.

  10. Thought about the hive and the subject of changing one’s name, or not, when getting married, when I was paging through last Sunday’s NY Times and came upon this wedding announcement. (Yes, I look at them. I like the how-they-met stories, and twice I saw someone I knew, including — seriously — a kid I used to babysit. And forgive me if someone mentioned this earlier this week, I was working long days and had to give up this site for the duration.) It announced the marriage of Lily Thom to James Lilly and stated “Ms. Thom is keeping her name.” Anyone think she seriously considered taking his?

    • You never know. Lauren Bush (some model/celebutante/whatever) married one of Ralph Lauren’s sons and she was talking about how she thought it was really romantic to take the husband’s name.

      Separately (not about the same ‘firstname lastname’ problem), but on name changes– when Heidi Klum decided several years into the marriage to take Seal’s surname, I thought they were doomed. It reeked of casting about desperately for sentimental symbols to try to bolster a weakening marriage. Yes, I read too many tabloids.

      • So…her name is now Lauren Lauren?

        • Senior Attorney :

          Are you kidding me? If I had the chance to make my name something like Lily Lilly or Lauren Lauren, I would totally jump at it!

          Especially the first one. Love. Seriously. Can you imagine the hours of fun, spelling it for people? “One L in the first name, two Ls in the last name.” Or actually, “A total of two Ls in the first name, total of three Ls in the last name.” Which would almost certainly, on occasion, result in “Lilly Lillly.”

          *hugely entertained*

        • remember the “Lauren” is pronounced differently than the “Lauren”!

          • Mighty Mouse :

            Nah, both are pronounced like a woman’s name. Though it’s common to hear “La-REN,” I’ve heard that’s incorrect.

          • Mighty Mouse :

            Oh, fondue. Just read further down. Sorry for the duplicate.

      • Wait – then Lauren Lauren?

        • Just saw her in a magazine. She goes by Lauren Bush Lauren. Really. As if being George W’s niece wasn’t difficult enough.

      • Jacqueline :

        It’s Lauren Bush Lauren, I believe.

      • Plus the emphasis on the last lauren is LauREN. But…yeah. That’s a lot of Laurens in one name.

        I did go to school with someone named Doctor Doctor though (it was not that abnormal for his culture). I thought his parents were trying to tell him something.

        • It’s only LauREN if you are trying to be (not very) funny, like Tar-jzhay for Target.
          It is absolutely not LauREN. Don’t be that person!

          • REALLY? That’s not how you say it?

            #mindblown. I really thought that was how you say it. Luckily I don’t buy much of his clothes or go into his store or have reason to say his name very frequently.


          • Anonymous :

            The *only* reason I know this is from Friends – I figured if Ralph Lauren was giving them enough money to be Rachel’s place of employment, she would pronounce it correctly. Learning through re-runs, people.

          • I was going to say I’ve never heard that and I knew someone who worked at ralph lauren. They just said it like you’d say lauren

          • I always thought that was the correct way too, until Carson from Queer Eye said only “eeedjits” pronounce it that way. And I hung my head in shame. ;)

          • “Learning through re-runs, people.” <– {LIKE}

        • She could have been Lauren Bush Lipschitz.

          • I’m so glad you said this, because I kept hearing it on TV and radio (when everyone was mad bc R Lauren had the olympic opening ceremony outfits manufactured in China) and they all said “lauREN” and in my head I was screaming “I’M PRETTY SURE IT’S JUST SAID NORMALLY.” (I really was screaming in my head. I do that a lot).
            *relieved to know I really am always right* haha

      • Heidi and Seal :

        @ Susan:

        So did you think their annual re-weddings were schmaltzy? I thought it was so sweet, and now I feel snookered.

        • The first few times, I thought: goofy and fun and sweet.

          And then it got old. Although I’ll always love Heidi’s Halloween bash. It’s still awesome.

          Btw, my DH didn’t know who most celebs were and what was going on in their lives early on in our relationship. Now that we both share grocery-run duty, he knows who everybody is and he was the one who told me about the Heidi/Seal divorce. I *heart* my DH.

      • Wait, Seal has a surname?

    • She would but she obviously doesn’t love him. Poor guy.

    • I knew a woman named Gail who married a man whose last name was Gayle. She, being a baby boomer in a conservative/religious state, took his name, and is named Gail Gayle.

    • I grew up with someone whose mom’s name was Joan Jones. So some people do change it!

    • Haha, I read the same thing and thought the same thought! In my mind, he proposed and she said, “okay, but I am never going to take your last name, is that cool?”

      Also, as a confession, I often get slightly sad when someone (almost always a woman) gives up a really awesome sounding name for a crappy sounding one.

      Now that gay marriage is becoming more mainstream, I also really enjoying reading those announcements to see how same sex couples handle the situation. I’ve noticed a lovely trend of both people taking a hyphenated name. There was even a non-same sex couple that did this in last Sundays’ section. I was impressed.

      • ha, I’m the opposite. I always thought I wanted to keep my name, but then it turned out that my now-husband’s name was just way cooler than mine, and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity.

        • I used to joke with one of my best guy friends that we should get married for just a few days so that I could take his supremely awesome sounding last name (it would have sounded even awesomer with my first name). I totally get it.

        • Honey Pillows :

          A friend of mine married a guy whose last name is Steele. And she kept her name!!

      • my sister and her husband have hyphenated both of their names, and they live in suburban Virginia, and he is former Marine… only one example of how awesome he is…

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve known a couple of people with GIVEN names like that, including one person who’s parents gave him the exact same name for first, middle, and last. I won’t say the real name for obvious reasons, but it’s similar to Brian Brian Brian.

      • This kills me. My 5th grade teacher’s last name was Larsen, so she named her kid Lars. Sheesh.

        • Anon for this :

          I went to middle school with a kid like that. His last name was Arsenian. You can guess the first. It was not good.

        • I think these are understandable. Larsen means son of Lars, so perhaps Lars was a family name. Similarly, the Armenian -ian or -yan ending means son of.

          • Sure. But these particular people were about 8 generations removed from Scandinavia, so it’s not really tradition in their family, just weird.

        • Cornellian :

          Yeah, that is pretty standard in my experience. There are seriously about 8 scandinavian male names, and you add sen/son for “son of”…. so you get Lars Larson, Peter Peterson, Hans Hanson, etc.

      • That is so bizarre. But I know of someone like bvt mentioned, an arbitrator named Nels Nelson.
        If you’re Lauren Bush, you can’t plan in advance who you’ll marry — well, maybe she can, but not most of us — but the parents who give kids these kinds of names to begin with should be flogged.

      • I work with someone who has a name like this. He goes by his initials (so, e.g., instead of Robert J. Roberts, he goes by RJ Roberts) but our emails are all under our legal names so it always comes up there. Poor guy, but at least he’s got a sense of humor about it.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I went to school with a Louis Louie. He very much preferred that you pronounce his first name like “Lewis.”

    • The guy who won American Idol was Phillip Phillips. Why’d his parents do that to him?

    • Honey Pillows :

      Any uber nerds seen the IT Crowd episode featuring Peter File? (Say it with a British accent.)

      I could see a name like that prompting a breakup. Or at least, stopping the relationship from progressing past the exchange of last names.

    • My step-daughter, with a perfectly fine Irish birth last name, took her husband’s name. I begged her not to. Her new name is “X” Blight. As in a blight upon the landscape, etc. She’s the artistic type, not a word-person. I showed her the dictionary definition, but, no matter, love prevailed.

      Yep, and her husband has a first name that, when shortened, just adds to the comedy.

      So, carry on Blight Family. And, oh, his side of the family are major Aryan Nation people, and my son by my first husband, is mixed-race. I just have no words for this situation.

      • This is when you want to make sure to introduce her as your step-daughter, with emphasis on STEP. “I did not make her, I did not raise her, I’m merely working on improving her father” :-).
        Mama mia. Maybe it’s also good she’s no longer named like your husband.

  11. Can I just squee at how much I’m looking forward to the Olympic Opening ceremony in (roughly) an hour and half?

    Nobody at work is getting into the Olympics at all, and I’ve actually marked all the events I would like to see in my calendar, so I feel a bit geeky about it.

  12. Jenna Rink :

    Is there a version of “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay” for jobs? I’ve been waffling back and forth about whether to stay in my current position or move on. I really love my work, but I have one boss who is a disorganized mess and another who takes out the stress of her personal life on me. In general, my organization is pretty dysfunctional. On the plus side, I work in higher education admin and the group of students I work with is amazing. Perhaps because of the problems within my organization, they are incredibly appreciative of the work that I do. I still have a lot of ideas about how to improve my department, but most of them require the cooperation of other people (see “dysfunctional organization”).

    I’ve been casually job searching for the last six months and am feeling exhausted and burned out with it. Every time I get close to a new job, I start realizing how sad I am at the idea of leaving my students. Also, my boss and her husband seem to have worked out some issues, so right now she’s being far less horrid to me than usual. It feels like there are an equal number of points in both the pro and the con columns, and I can’t decide what to do!

    • Good question.

    • Not the only one :

      “I have one boss who is a disorganized mess and another who takes out the stress of her personal life on me.”

      I also work in academe, and have both of these bosses. But in my case, it is the same person.

    • I’ve been struggling with this lately (well, my version of it). It took me taking a trip to Auschwitz this spring, and also a family member to really understand that I don’t have it so bad. Also, when I interview other places or hear stories and realize that every workplace is dysfunctional in its own special way, I feel a bit better. *Apologies for bad Tolstay paraphrase!

    • I don’t have anything insightful to say except to pass along one piece of amazing advice that was once given to me by someone very wise: “No job is better than your boss.” It’s always held true in my own life.

    • Anon for this :

      I’m right there with you, Jenna. I feel like if you have such affection for the students you work with now, you’ll feel the same about students at a new job. I find that the problems that bug you never seem to change, you just get used to them after a while. But if you’re even casually looking, maybe it’s a signal to yourself to go before you really, really can’t stand it anymore. You know yourself best though – you have to decide whether its fear holding you back or true affection for your job as it is. I’ve read that the most important factor in loving or hating your job is your boss.

      Good luck!

    • First, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Second, I’m in higher ed as well and I have taken a long-term optimistic approach to my work. Like, in a year or maybe two, things are going to be great (and they already are in some areas), but we might have to walk through fire to get there. I’m senior, so I have a lot of influence on how things happen, but I’ve been in your situation and I just tried to do a great job and move forward and my boss eventually left and I got her job. That said, if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, think about the fact that students change every year. But what makes these students special? Is it something about the type of student your university attracts? Something about the mission of the school? If that kind of thing is important, you’ll want to look carefully at new jobs to make sure you’re not losing that in a job change.

      Best of luck!

  13. MiddleEastMunchkin :

    Hi Ladies,

    As part of my current ‘life overhaul plan’, which includes everything from frequent exercise to setting right my culinary ineptitude, I am looking to read more. Could anyone offer any suggestions in relation to books to look at? Topics I enjoy include: contemporary politics (Middle East, South Asia, US); world history and armchair economics. I would also appreciate fiction recommendations. I’m not really into chick lit though, so nothing of that sort, please.

    Thank you!

    • Francie Nolan :

      If you have not read it The Quants is a good look at some aspects of the fincial crisis. A bit biassed in my estimation, but still a good read.

    • Just read Madeline Albright’s “Prague Winter” and loved it.

      Read Kai Bird’s “Crossing Mandelbaum Gate” a couple years ago and liked it a lot but thought it skewed too much pro-Arab.

      Loved Jung Chang’s “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China.”

      • My husband is currently reading to me (translating from the Hebrew into English) Yair Lapid’s “Memories After My Death.” It is available in English translation. It is phenomenally interesting and well written. The story of his father, Tony Lapid, who survived the Holocaust in Belgrade as a child, moved to Israel after the war, and became first a journalist and then a member of the Knesset. Written by his son Yair pretending to be the father, Tony, writing his memoirs after his death. Tony Lapid’s storing is captivating, but it is told against the back drop of a whole lot of European and Middle East history, politics and economics.

    • I like most anything by Michael Lewis (Moneyball is surprisingly engaging and The Big Short is downright infuriating.)

      • Anonymous :

        Second the Moneyball rec. I don’t care about sports, but it was still fascinating.

        I imagine you’ve already read Freakonomics, but I’m behind the times and just caught up. It was a fun, quick read.

    • I recently read Republic Lost by Lawrence Lessig and highly recommend it. Lessig has his biases just like everyone else, but I found him to be very self-aware and it was one of the more clear-eyed views of the American political system that I’ve read in a long time. No matter what your politics are, I think he raises several very interesting issues.

    • Rory Stewart’s _The Places In Between_. This dude is hardcore– he crosses Afghanistan *on foot* and lives to tell about it.

      He’s also written _Can Intervention Work?_, which is an interesting perspective on Western (military and other) intervention in the Middle East.

    • Economics: I really liked both of Stephen Landburg’s books, The Armchair Economist and More Sex is Safer Sex. Very useful and fun.

      Politics: The Post-American World, Release 2.0, by Fareed Zakaria — very engaging and relevant.

      History: I am not that into reading history books for fun, but I liked the Cleopatra biography quite a bit.

      Fiction: Now reading the Night Circus and very much enjoying it. I stayed up all night last week finishing Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Great book.

    • If you like politics and are open to fiction, I highly recommend anything by Christopher Buckley. He’s one of my absolute favorite authors. If you’re familiar with the movie “Thank You for Smoking”, it was based on one of his novels. He writes political satire and is ABSOLUTELY F&%*$ING HILARIOUS. One of my favorite things about him is that (despite what I understand to be his political leanings), he makes fun of everybody/all political leanings.
      My favorites are Supreme Courtship and No Way to Treat a First Lady.

    • Merabella :

      I love Disappearing Spoon. It is about the history of the periodic table, which sounds boring, but is really quite the opposite. It goes into all the drama behind the whole thing. Honestly, I’ve suggested it to several people and they always end up suggesting it to their friends.

    • Honey Pillows :

      50 Shades of Grey. You know you want to!


      (for the record, I haven’t)

    • Fiction with some history thrown in (neither of which is new):

      Galileo’s Daughter

      People of the Book

      Nonfiction about contemporary politics (which I haven’t read but which is getting great reviews): Rachel Maddow’s new book. Can’t think of the name.

      And for both politics and economics, maybe Stiglitz, The Cost of Inequality (or something like that).

      • People of the Book is really good. I like most of the stuff Geradline Brooks writes, but the one about the plague is probably my favorite. It might be called Year of Wonders?

        • Yes, Year of Wonders. Gah, that book was so good.

          • She also wrote a book called March, which is the story of the father from Little Women, like what he was doing during the book. It was very good. I do have to say, though, that both March and Year of Wonders included some rather graphic gory scenes. Not gratuitous, but kind of creepy.

            Geraldine Brooks also wrote a book about women and Islam, Nine Parts of Desire. Her husband, Tony Horowitz, wrote a book called Baghdad Without a Map, about his travels in the Middle East in the 1980s (so it’s rather outdated, but still good), and also wrote Confederates in the Attic, which was about Southern attitudes toward the Civil War and very eye-opening to this Yankee.

            I have The Disappearing Spoon on my bookcase, not sure why I haven’t read it yet. I think the same guy wrote a book about genetics, he’s writing about it on Slate. It looks like it could be pretty good.

    • a have a couple recs about afghanistan, just cuz that’s an issue I read a lot about.

      A Woman Among Warlords, by Malalai Joya, the youngest person elected to the Afghan Parliament

      And my mother just read this one that I gave her and said it was an engaging and enlightening read: Forbidden Lesson in a Kabul Guesthouse by Suraya Sadeed, about her travels providing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan during the 90s and 00s.

      The other things I’ve read lately were bor-ing and i wouldn’t wish them on anyone ;o)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        What were those boring things which I should not read?

        • Haha! Well, besides appropriations bills and GAO/CRS reports (ugh), nothing that’s a bestseller or anything, just books on nuclear weapons science/policy that i would not be reading if i didn’t have to. Also, ‘Backlash’ (about the rise of the teaparty) was kind of interesting, but not a great read. I wish i had the time to read stuff i actually *want* to read.

          Altho, some more i actually would recommend: Foreign Policy’s e-books are pretty good. I really liked their book on the Arab Spring, ‘Revolution in the Arab World’, it was a quick read, and they have been coming out with new ones.

          And fiction: it’s a couple years old, but Laila Lalami’s ‘Secret Son’ is a novel set in Morocco, but it’s a lot about contemporary politics, too.
          And if you haven’t read Marjane Satrapi’s books/graphic novels (Persepolis, Persepolis 2) you really should.

    • More suggestions :
      (1) the Economist website – much of the content is free and you can get a subscription if you find you like it
      (2) not quite Middle East but ‘Ottoman Centuries’ by Lord Kinross about Turkey from the 13th to 20th century is really superb history plus superb writing
      (3) for South Asia, ‘Maximum City’ by Suketu Mehta about Bombay is a great read about a mind-boggling complex and exotic city
      (4) Niall Ferguson is a highly readable pundit with serious credentials as a historian – try ‘Empire’ which is a well-argued thought-provoking case for the benefits of the British Empire in its day
      (5) for US, I find I keep going back to de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’ – still deeply inspiring about the ideals of the USA’s founding as a state and very thought-provoking about where the experiment fails and succeeds today. But this is a very very dense read, albeit in language of great elegance and clarity – suggest taking it in small bites.
      (5) for fiction and still in Bombay, ‘Sacred Games’ by Vikram Chandra is a lot of fun – it’s primarily a thriller about a terrorist bomb plot but is dense with characters and sub-plots. ‘Love and longing in Bombay’ by the same writer is short stories, also good, easier to read in digestible bites.

      Have fun and post again if you enjoyed – would love to hear if you had liked something.

      • Middle East Munchkin :

        I wrote my first ever politics essay at university on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and read it cover to cover. I loved it :D. I might consider rereading it actually as it’s been a few years since I first came across it. Maybe it would be a good companion to some books on modern day America.

        The Economist is great too and about the only vaguely intellectual thing I read regularly.

        I think I read some Ferguson when I was studying Indian history (again at university) and I have always found books that present counter cases to accepted understandings on a topic to be quite interesting so I think I would be super interested to give that a go.

        Thank you!!

    • It’s European but anything by Timothy Garton Ash is amazing. He’s a British journalist who spent time in Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

    • “The Battle for God” – It looks at the history of Islam, Chritianity, and Judiam and the rise of fundamentalism in each over the past centuries.

      • Middle East Munchkin :

        OOoo, look interesting!

        ome really good suggestions here – thank you!:D

    • Seattleite :

      I hope you’re still checking this thread!

      PLEASE read Dorothy Dunnett. She has some light mysteries and I’m not talking about those. Specifically, I am recommending “The Lymond Chronicles” and “The House of Niccolo.” (Each is a 6 or 7 volume series.) They are historical fiction, but not light, romanticized historical fiction. The most well-researched, demanding historical fiction I’ve ever read. She covers internal politics, treaties, trade routes, banking, war theory, religion, and much more. The Niccolo series is especially fascinating for its look at mercenaries, the Italian city-states and banking families, and opening up at trade routes around the world.

    • I really liked “Nothing to Envy” by Barbara Demick. She follows several North Koreans who chose to defect and talks about their lives before and after leaving. It’s from 2009, so the politics are starting to get dated, but the stories are still great.

      • “Nothing to Envy” was so awesome. It blew my mind.

        I’m way late with the suggestions, but if you’re still reading I have recently enjoyed
        -Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline (thought-provoking)
        -The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (semi-fluffy journalist book about psychopaths)
        -Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl (terrifying and fascinating; rather long and dense)
        -Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. – How the Working Poor Became Big Business by Gary Rivlin (sort of bogs down in the second half but utterly fascinating)

        My Goodreads Read shelf is here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1253638?shelf=read. Would love to connect with ‘rettes on Goodreads, especially non-fiction readers.

  14. Diana Barry :

    ARGH, ladies:

    Vogue this month has a caption with one of their fashion photos reading, “Not sure if that dark, handsome district attorney invited you to a power lunch to discuss your client’s case – or because he has a crush? The tidy, gamine effect of this appealingly plain, blush-colored frame bag walks that delicate line.”

    I find this horrendous. Is it just me?

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m most appalled at the use of the phrase “power lunch.”

      but yes. the sentiment is pretty awful in general.

    • I saw that too. Vom.

    • OC Lawyer :

      Please, oh please, send that page to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the SF Glass Ceiling Initiative. Please!

    • I hope he has a crush, because then I can use my feminine wiles to kick his a$$ in court. Perhaps this is what Vogue was suggesting?

      Also, if he notices your “blush-colored frame bag” and you are a lady, I don’t think he has a crush on you. Just sayin’.

    • eeewwww.

      • Also, everyone in the WORLD needs to call a lawyer before the write sh*t like this. On Drop Dead Diva, the main character gets in big ethical trouble (and all the other lawyers act all snooty) when she reports that her client and a third party conspired and USED HER SERVICES to commit criminal fraud AND fraud on the court. And this article suggests that you should try to date opposing counsel on your client’s case, like that’s A-OKAY.

        Is there a job opening for ethics counsel to hollywood/magazines/stupid things everywhere. Because these sort of things are what gives lawyers bad reps. Grrrr.

        • Probably not. Or at least I never heard back from CNN when I offered my services interpreting Supreme Court Opinions after that whole health care debacle………..

        • yeah, i dont think they want ’em/can afford ’em. :oP

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Clearly the choice of appropriate purse is the most important consideration here because straight men always notice and appreciate accessories. Obviously Vogue didn’t do its homework here: watching Legally Blonde on cable (don’t you tap those last-season Prada shoes at me!)

    • I find it entertaining, in the way that some movies are just so bad, they’re entertaining (to laugh at.)

      Would love to have the MST3K “team” reading all the Vogue articles and captions together. :-)

  15. S in Chicago :

    I recently had a keratin smoothing treatment (Coppola). Although I love that I don’t have to worry about summer frizz, it has done a real number on my scalp.

    Are there any dandruff shampoos that are sulfate free that you can recommend? Much harder to find than I expected.

    • Neutrogena T-gel is my go to for any scalp issues.

      • S in Chicago :

        Thanks. I used to really like that, too, but second ingredient is a sulfate. I’m just shocked there aren’t more options given how many places are performing Brazilian blowouts these days.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I use JASON Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo. It says there is no lauryl/laureth sulfates. Bottle says “say goodbye to dry, flaky, itchy scalp.” I don’t know if it is totally fulfite free. I see “sodium sulfate” and “sodium lauryl sulfoacetate” on there.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m here late, but you could add tea tree oil to any sulfate-free shampoo.

  16. Have spent the day banging my head against the wall trying to get a room in the same town as Big Boss whom I’m supposed to accompany on a business trip next week – the hotel is completely booked, both my groups’ admins are out of the office – so I am calling almost on the hour looking for a cancellation. We’ve been trying to get this meeting to happen for ages and am so concerned that if something goes off the rails this will look really bad.

    Was just told by my acting director that she finds me super effective, but its hard to feel that way when being foiled by a small town sporting event taking every hotel room in the vicinity.

    • Might be worth trying Vacation Rentals By Owner — sometimes you can get a last-minute deal on a rental house or condo, and it’s not necessarily the first place folks will look who just want to be in town for a sporting event.

      • VRBO is a great idea. And have you also just gone to expedia or hotels.com; they should have a compilation of almost every hotel in the city in one place.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Is there only one hotel you can consider? Have you begged your case to the front desk manager? They have much more flexibility than the folks on the reservation number, if this is a major chain hotel.

      • There are a number of motels in town, all of which have been booked for months in anticipation of this event. We didn’t realize this when my big boss finally said he would go, but that next week is the only time he can go. He got a room via a cancellation so I’m just refreshing their website again and again, having called the front desk 5 times today already. Yay weekend project!

  17. Shopping help TJ!

    You all have talked before about lace dresses, so hopefully the wonderful c o r p o r e t t e s can help. I’d like lace dress, under $200, either a pencil skirt or full skirt style, knee length (I’m 5″4). Bonus points for sleeves.

  18. I’m in a new job and I’m happy with my position so far. Good, challenging work that I enjoy doing. It is a good step up. But I’m having trouble with the office culture / politics. I am confident in my quality of work. I’m also an introvert.

    I’ve been observing the successful people at work and they are mostly outgoing, and so INTENSE about ALL THE THINGS. I havent worked at a place like this before, where appearances matter so much. Its mostly males here, but Ive been observing the other female analysts and they all take the same approach. For example, at meetings they go full on bit*h face mode – apparently this conveys they are smarter? Capable? I don’t even know. Ive been trying to be more outgoing and speak up more, and be more stone faced in meetings, but it’s exhausting. On top of that I have to dress up interview style everyday, full hair, make up, nails, etc or I stick out a ton which has also been an adjustment. Do I just have to keep trying? Help!

    • Francie Nolan :

      Hi Friday,

      I can relate I was in the same boat when I took my first position at an Investment Bank. I too was very intimidated by all the type of people you describe at first (I still am at times) my best advice is this, you got the job, you earned your place at the table. It will take a little time to adjust to the culture, but if they did not think you would fit they would not hire you. And as far as full on interview attire, I have a few tricks – I am really bad about mani’s so I keep my nails short and buffed, still conservative and profession (YMMV) I bought a few suits, it makes dressing easy and I me them up as much as I can. My final secret is that underneath their cool exteriors they still put on their hose one leg and hop around at a time :)

    • I hope you get some good advice, but can I just say I really, really hate the term bit*chface? Particularly in a context like this— at a meeting, when appearing, and being, serious is completely appropriate. I mean maybe if the stone-face appeared at a toddler birthday party or a kitten-viewing, it would be remarkable, but at a meeting?!

      • Honey Pillows :

        I hear you, but “frowny-face that has a serious and foreboding aspect due to a naturally austere set of facial features which may or may not actually reflect the wearer’s actual emotions” is a bit of a mouthful.

        Suggestions for other terms?

        • I used to work in IB and I called that “Gameface.”

          Like when hockey players set their jaws and have picked out who they’re going to beat up in the course of the game.

          It’s sad that there’s so much insecurity that these people take themselves way too seriously.

          • Yes – this is what I’m talking about! I don’t feel the need to do this at all. I don’t see how it adds to my performance, but it seems to be working for them so now I don’t know if I should be doing this or not.

          • Honey Pillows :

            As I understand it, (that word)face describes a very particular kind of face. Specifically, when you look angry/miserable when your face is actually completely neutral. Women who have naturally pouty mouths and stress lines in their forehead, for example. http://blog.krisatomic.com/?p=1617

            But of course, I may be misinformed.

          • Yes – I take that term to mean that you’re one of those women whom total strangers constantly tell to smile. Which makes me scowl even more.

      • Point well taken. I’ve seen the term used before here, but I’m sorry if it offended anyone. Being serious is completely appropriate, what I’m describing goes a little beyond that.

    • I hear you. And I also worked in IB (first job outta college–holla!) and found how dressy and serious everyone was to be offputting. I think you need to distinguish between being crazy intense and being professional. You do not need to put “gameface” on every time you are in a meeting. However, you are probably noting that the culture as presented is not “you.” Key in to that instinct and realize that you can be an authentic leader/authentic team member, without wholly becoming like them. Sometimes you will need to “act like them” to fit in. But other times, once you become more confident in your seat at the table/abilities/knowledge, whatever, you can be more “youreself”, and be just as, if not more, powerful than the freaky-intense people. In fact, if you can project a cool demeanor and still know your stuff, I think you will come off as a lot more mature and authentic than the other folks who act all fakey-control-freaky–aggressive.

      All of this is really nuanced–I am not saying to stick your nose in the air or pooh-pooh them. It’s more of a realization that “Hey, I don’t have to be just like them!” sort of thing. It may be that you can get away with not being so intense, as long as you are professional, businesslike and capable. Women, in particular, can be really effective leaders, or even “calming influences” in situations that are really alpha and macho and intense. You can “diffuse” the room by not talking extra loud, like some of the intense guys. You can actually command authority for not acting like the rest of the lemmings. I hope this is heartening. I have seen it work!

      In my case, what I took from IB was (i) I am NOT like them and I DO NOT want to be like them in 5 years. So…FWIW, this may be a gut thing that something’s telling you that folks are a _leeeeetle too serious_ or it might be that you’re just not used to what “professional” or “gameface” means, at least at this organization. I can’t tell you which it is from afar.

    • The simple answer is yes, keep trying. I’ve seen many many generations of incoming analysts and year 1 is tough on everyone. There is a certain amount of rewiring which covers everything from the substantive to the trivial (your boss’s preferred excel format – 1 decimal place or 2?) to the behavioural (extreme attention to detail, never missing a deadline and yes, always looking the part). This is also the time in which you and your firm figure out whether or not banking is right for you.

      If it is, the best advice I’d have for a sustained career is to figure out as early as possible how to perform the job’s functions in a way that is consistent with your personality and values. For example, I don’t play golf, am not white, not male and glad-handling clients doesn’t come naturally to me. But I do come from a culture which prizes personal connections, hospitality and regard for elders. These things do come naturally to me and so they’ve become part of my natural style for initiating and then maintaining client relationships over many years and many banking jobs.

      Likewise pounding on tables and being a b***h don’t come naturally to me either, so I don’t do these things. However, negotiating in private and being strategic about how to address competing priorities do come naturally, and these are how I get things done instead.

      And in the event that banking isn’t right for you – and it is important that you are honest with yourself after your analyst programme is done – cheer up ! It will still have provided you with something which looks credible on your resume and much of your ‘rewiring’ will make for excellent life-time habits for any corporate job – I’ve seen that a lot too.

    • Thank you so much to everyone who chimed in and gave advice. It was a really good reminder for me that it’s ok to still be figuring out whether IB is a good fit for me or not. I’m going to focus on the tips everyone gave and on trying to perform while still being myself.

  19. Random question that i don’t know where else to ask.

    In December our nanny will switch from taking care of one 3 year old to one 4 year old and a newborn. By what percentage would you increase her pay, assuming we are paying her appopriately at this point. The four year old will be in preschool 2 days a week (830 to 1430) but she will be driving him back and forth. Any ideas? If you have a resource that would be great too.


    • Praxidike :

      I don’t think there’s an excellent way to answer this without knowing what she’s making and whether she’s live in or live out. For example, if you’re paying her $30k/year before taxes, and someone says 10% – well, now she’ll make $33k. Fine. If you’re paying her $30k/year and someone says 50% (after all, her charges are going up by 50%!), then it’s $45k/year, which is too high. Assuming that you’re paying somewhere between $20-30k/year before taxes and that you pay for her healthcare, then I think 10-15% is fair, given the fact that she’ll have to cart the four y/o to and from school and care for a newborn/infant.

    • Working Girl :

      I live in San Francisco, and here the market pay is 16-18 per hour post-tax for one kid and 20-24 for two. Almost everyone I know pays in this range. We pay 18 for one kid and 24 for two kids. If I were in your boat, I would increase the hourly pay by about a third for those hours when she is watching two kids, keep it the same for the hours when she is with one kid.

      • So the pre-tax salary for a full-time nanny with two charges in SF can be as high as $60-70K? That seems really high.

        • um, that is a reasonable living-wage salary for the high-cost of living San Francisco.

          • Interesting…I just moved from the Bay Area. Most people I know with PhDs don’t even earn that mech (I’m a scientist). Glad I dont have kids, I guess.

        • Yes, that’s the going rate here in Boston too.

        • Working Girl :

          Yes. It’s a lot of money, but most nannies have no health insurance. Also, it’s a really exhausting job with little down time. My nNny works harder than most of my friends with Ph.Ds.

          • Fair enough…though most scientists I know (incl. myself and DH) work 50-60 hrs/week. Even without health insurance, and even in the Bay Area, $60-70K is a lot of money. If that’s the going rate for a nanny, it basically means that if you don’t have an income in at least the low mid-six figures (e.g. $200-300K pre-tax) you shouldn’t think about having a kids and a job that can’t fit with standard day care hours.

            With my highly competitive job that helps keep the country safe and required 10 years of schooling after HS, I would be better off financially quitting than having a nanny. Like I said, not a concern for me (and I’m no longer in the Bay Area though in a place with similar cost-of-living), but it’s worth noting.

    • Thanks everyone; especially Working Girl — this is in line with what I was thinking so I really appreciate the confirmation. Our nanny earns every penny we pay her — I always walk in to a house that is cleaner than when I left, and she really takes fabulous care of the little guy. A brand new baby added to the mix (I’m not taking an extended maternity leave, so she’s going to be independent with two at least part time from an early age) certainly will change her routine.

  20. So I’ve sort of given up on the Gap lately b/c their quality has been more miss than hit lately, but found myself on their website and kinda really obsessed with this dress, http://tinyurl.com/czfkwlb

    Its 40% off in-store so am thinking of popping by after work but it’s not that on-my-way, so am wondering if anyone’s seen it and can comment on how it looks/feels in person. Also, do you guys think it could work for the office on a more informal day?

  21. Just had to make my first call to a client who hadn’t paid our bill. Scary! I had been putting it off all week, but I think it went well. Hopefully we will get the money… Things like this are the hardest part of the job!

  22. Blonde Lawyer :

    So along the lines of the Target marketing article that was on here once. I am not pregnant but received a pamphlet from my health insurance company that said “spring in your step?” On the inside it read – Having a bay? answers, support and rewards a just a phone call away. Join the Future Moms program at no extra charge by calling — along with a ton of other info.

    I asked a friend in the same exact health insurance plan if she received and she didn’t so it was specifically targeted at me for some reason. I tried to think, marketing wise, what I could have done that would make them think I was pregnant.

    Then I realized – I stopped running my birth control prescription through my insurance because it is cheaper out of pocket with a local “saver” plan at a local grocery store. I also just had a gyno appointment about three months after changing how I paid for my bc.

    So, insurer probably flagged that a long term birth control user of child bearing age, married, b/c she is on her husband’s plan, stopped taking bc for three months and now saw a gyno – must be pregnant!

    That is a dangerous campaign b/c if I was someone having fertility problems and seeing my gyno over ttc problems, I’d be devastated by an ad suggesting that by now I should be pregnant and having a spring in my step. Lucky for them I’m just cheap!

    • I find that really creepy.

    • karenpadi :

      Maybe it’s the B* in me but I’d call the health insurance company. I’d explain what you explained here and voice the concerns about their methods. If no one speaks up, this campaign won’t change. It might be the next woman who gets this pamphlet who is TTC and heartbroken by the callous nature of the way they do business.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Good call KP. I’m a constant thorn in my insurance company’s side and this gives me just another excuse to call and complain to them :)

      Also, I apologize for all the typos. I wrote this very fast and hit send w/o proof-reading. Glad you were able to figure it out. Bay obviously meant baby.

  23. Have you guys seen the new Boden fall collection? I’m usually excited to see their dresses, especially in the fall, but every single dress this season looks like it belongs on Little House on the Prairie! Is this what fall is going to look like this year? Yuck!

  24. Jobs and Applications and Temping Oh My :


    I’m applying for a job in a field I have 1.5 years of experience in, for an organization whose mission I’m incredibly passionate about.

    That said, I was fired from my last position and am currently doing a long-term temp assignment for a company with barely a shred of connection to my previous positions/goals.

    How do I address that on my resume? I should list it, obviously, but should I just keep it to a bare minimum of the description to allow my previous applicable experience to shine?

    That being said, assuming I do get an interview and they ask me about the short stay at my last position, how can I spin that? (You may remember my story from before -I was fired after my supervisor -who liked me- left and wasn’t replaced, and I made mistakes while being expected to fill her position without training.)

    • I would save that explanation for the interview and then stick pretty close to the truth. If I were hiring you, just by looking at your resume I’d assume you were fired from that position so there is no point in dancing around or even attempt to hide that. I would make sure however, that you are pointing out that after your supervisor left, your job was not the same job that you started in and moreover you were expected to fill more than one position without additional training. You thus were inundated with work that was not in your original job description and that situation left you with little room and time for further growth and not enough time to perfect the base skills for your job, which is why you made some mistakes. Say that you learned from this situation by developing XYZ skills on the side of your temp job and taking your time to find the right position so that will not happen again. Which is why you are now applying for a position that is perfectly suited to ur needs (aka job that you are applying to now) – a situation where you feel you can add value with your existing skill set but that will also allow you to grow personally.

    • Yes, I would keep the temp assignment description to a minimum if it is unrelated to what you plan to do next.

      With respect to the firing, I would explain that your supervisor left and without additional training, you were expected to do your job and hers. You did not have the necessary experience, and therefore were no longer a good fit for the role. Provided you realized it wasn’t working out, definitely paint it as such – though do acknowledge initially that you were asked to leave.

    • I’d just put on your resume like this:

      Employer, Position (Temporary Employee) Date — Present

      Temporary employee kind of explains it all.

  25. Advice time. I’m making a career change (humanities academia to finance). I have a graduate degree from a very good school in a field unrelated to the one I work in now. Currently, I temp. as an Exec. Asst. at a well-known investment management firm. I want to make a splash and do very well in the hopes of moving to another role in this company on a permanent basis.

    Thoughts or advice on how to best prove myself? How can I ask my current bosses for support in my permanent job search? How can I say, and show, that I want to do something other than be an asst. without belittling the hard work assistants do? I’d love to hear peoples’ thoughts and comments.

    • Great question. In one of my jobs we had an assistant who always helped us out when we were in a pinch. After doing so well at database entry, which is something our analysts usually did, she was incorporated in that role regularly. Now granted, she had no designs on improving her position because she wanted part time and short hours (which is not possible for analysts) due to her kids, but she would have been in a perfect position to make the move and EVERYONE would have backed her up. So I would try it this way: ask for projects that are more related to the position you want to move in to and jump at every opp to help out that team that you want to be a part of. Be social and make friends with an analyst in the position/team you wish to move into and in exchange for doing her some favors, have her talk you up to upper management or teach you some skills or teach you how one of the programs works that they use daily, but you don’t. After you have done that for a while, I would bring up your desire to move to a different position with your supervisors or better, the relevant (!) supervisors – those who have the ability to pull you on their team. But even if that doesn’t work out, by doing tasks related to the job you want and learning skills for it, you improve your craft and resume and can apply elsewhere as well as make friends for references.

    • Watch to make sure your firm is open to this kind of transition. How are assistants treated? Have others made the leap? My experience in finance (>10 years) is that it can be difficult to have others see support staff in other roles. Be ready to branch out to other firms where you might make that transition. Take classes to broaden your knowledge.

      • I also work at a major investment management firm, and I’ve observed zero mobility from an admin role to other roles. The vast majority of admins have resumes we would never consider for other roles (excluding other support roles like mail room). We also have no mobility from our operations staff to our investment teams – though I’ve seen several people attempt this unsucessfully.

        I don’t see much harm in being open with the executive(s) you’re assisting about your goals – they could be a great resource. And I wouldn’t worry about “belittling” assistant work as long as you’re not doing it in front of other assistants – people in other roles won’t wonder why you wouldn’t want to stay an assistant forever if that’s what you say. But it’s very unlikely there is a clear track for you, so don’t be too disappointed if the people you reach out to at your office have no specific advice in making that leap (or advise you to do something you were hoping to avoid, like going to business school).

  26. Hi Ladies, I am a lawyer who recently took a paralegal position to be closer to home. I am currently working for a one-man law firm and the boss has invested a lot in me, getting me into the local legal community. He’s paid my bar dues this year, added me to his malpractice insurance, bought me brand new furniture, paid for me to attend CLE’s and local bar events. He let me co-chair a trial before I went on maternity leave and has talked numerous times about training me up to take over his practice in about 5 years. But at this point in time he only needs me as a paralegal and primarily has me just doing paralegal tasks.

    Well, I got a job offer out of the blue from an old boss.. And it’s the law I like. It’s perfect for my situation. I think I’m going to take it. But how do I break it to my current employer? He’s been holding my job open for the past 4 months while I’ve been on maternity leave. I go back Aug 1st and I hate to show up and say, “hey, I’m leaving, bye!” I think I can push my new job start date to Sept 1 so I can give him a month to prep for a new hire, etc. But I feel guilty because he invested so much time and some money in me and he’s such a nice guy. I hate to screw him over.

    Should I offer to repay for the bar dues he paid? Anything else I should do? Repay his malpractice insurance?

    I feel so horrible about leaving especially after he’s been holding my position for four months and I had reassured him multiple times that I had no plans to leave. But obviously I’m going to go after the job that I really want.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Boss, I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, but I am a lawyer and would like to practice as one. I am leaving September 1, so lets work on finding my replacement as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition.

    • I totally understand you feeling guilty. It’s hard not to feel that repaying his thoughtfulness with quitting might drive him to distraction. Good boss behavior should be rewarded, because we want to see more of it. But I think that when he calms down he’ll see that a lawyer going back to lawyering can’t be really be held against her.
      Do give him the full month while he scares up a replacement. Bar dues would be a nice gesture too probably, at least to offer. Can you afford the malpractice??

  27. CP In Seattle :

    sorry if this accidetally posts twice…

    Hi Ladies, I am a lawyer who recently took a paralegal position to be closer to home. I am currently working for a one-man law firm and the boss has invested a lot in me, getting me into the local legal community. He’s paid my bar dues this year, added me to his malpractice insurance, bought me brand new furniture, paid for me to attend CLE’s and local bar events. He let me co-chair a trial before I went on maternity leave and has talked numerous times about training me up to take over his practice in about 5 years. But at this point in time he only needs me as a paralegal and primarily has me just doing paralegal tasks.

    Well, I got a job offer out of the blue from an old boss.. And it’s the law I like. It’s perfect for my situation. I think I’m going to take it. But how do I break it to my current employer? He’s been holding my job open for the past 4 months while I’ve been on maternity leave. I go back Aug 1st and I hate to show up and say, “hey, I’m leaving, bye!” I think I can push my new job start date to Sept 1 so I can give him a month to prep for a new hire, etc. But I feel guilty because he invested so much time and some money in me and he’s such a nice guy. I hate to screw him over.

    Should I offer to repay for the bar dues he paid? Anything else I should do? Repay his malpractice insurance?

    I feel so horrible about leaving especially after he’s been holding my position for four months and I had reassured him multiple times that I had no plans to leave. But obviously I’m going to go after the job that I really want.

    • Maddie Ross :

      IMO, you shouldn’t offer to pay any of those things. If he demands it, maybe consider it as a way to leave on a not-so-bad note, but do not offer. You were offered a job that it doesn’t even sound like you were looking for and that fits your skills better. It’s great that he thought you were such a good employee that he invested in you, but you’re not “screwing him over.” If you can give him a month of time to allow for a transition, great. But do not feel beholden.

    • I agree with Maddie, but be prepared for there to be bad feelings. It’s not your fault, it shoudn’t change how you live your life and plan your career, but you may be stung. Be emotionally prepared when you break the news to have it not go well. I wouldn’t offer to repay anything unless he brings it up, but it may be a tough conversation.

      Just to be clear, you have done nothing wrong and you have every right to pursue the job that fits you.

    • I’m guessing he was paying you as though you were a paralegal, not a lawyer. So although he did some things for you he didn’t need to, he also got a lawyer on the cheap for when he needed an additonal lawyer. I wouldn’t feel too bad about leaving.

    • I’d just be open and honest and say that you had no intention of leaving and you are incredibly grateful to him for being a mentor as well as a boss, but you received an unexpected and unsolicited offer for a job that you’ve always wanted and you couldn’t pass it up.

      And make SURE you have that job offer in writing and that the job is a sure thing before you tell your current boss a word.

    • Lots of sensible advice above. Just wanted to say to be prepared in case your current boss gets the impression that the attraction of the other job is that you’ll be a practicing lawyer not a paralegal, and offers to upgrade you to associate with some small change in compensation and duties. Best to be clear upfront that you’ve decided to go and are not looking for a counter-offer.

    • Agree with all, but be prepared that it may be a difficult conversation. After investing in you and keeping your position open through maternity leave, he may not be happy. However, it is doubtful that his malpractice premium increased with one paralegal, he was getting a lawyer’ s training and skills for the price of a paralegal even if he did not always use those skills, and he must understand that you cannot be expected to work for years as a paralegal when you are in fact a lawyer.

  28. Great question. In one of my jobs we had an assistant who always helped us out when we were in a pinch. After doing so well at database entry, which is something our analysts usually did, she was incorporated in that role regularly. Now granted, she had no designs on improving her position because she wanted part time and short hours (which is not possible for analysts) due to her kids, but she would have been in a perfect position to make the move and EVERYONE would have backed her up. So I would try it this way: ask for projects that are more related to the position you want to move in to and jump at every opp to help out that team that you want to be a part of. Be social and make friends with an analyst in the position/team you wish to move into and in exchange for doing her some favors, have her talk you up to upper management or teach you some skills or teach you how one of the programs works that they use daily, but you don’t. After you have done that for a while, I would bring up your desire to move to a different position with your supervisors or better, the relevant (!) supervisors – those who have the ability to pull you on their team. But even if that doesn’t work out, by doing tasks related to the job you want and learning skills for it, you improve your craft and resume and can apply elsewhere as well as make friends for references. ultimately doesn’t

  29. Rural Juror :

    Does anyone have advice on how to deal with family members and friends who don’t understand your job makes you busy? I’m swamped with work and will be for some time (i.e. years) and my fam/friends are very demanding with my time. Complaining I don’t see them enough, call them enough, etc. Sometimes it’s all I can muster to come home late from work, get supper together, say hi to the BF and go to bed. I routinely get calls from various family members saying they haven’t heard from me for a while, why haven’t I visited recently, will I be visiting this weekend, it’s been 3 weeks, and so on. I have the most time demanding job in my family so I also get the guilt trip of “your sister comes to see me three times a week!” When I get these voicemails it brings me great stress. Instead of looking forward to my weekend of some work, some laundry, and some alone time, I now have to go put in face time with someone so they don’t get upset with me. To make matters worse my family is very split, so I can’t try to see everyone at the same time like a family dinner (divorced parents, sisters who don’t get along, etc. )Help anyone?

    • it’s very troubling and i get this often. i have no solution but totally commiserate. my situation burns a bit different because i have a sibling with a biglaw job similar to mine in a much smaller city. i often hear, what do you mean you can’t come to dinner at your five-times removed aunt’s house on Saturday? your sister doesn’t have to work that day and she’s coming! ugh.

      • CP In Seattle :

        I also commiserate but don’t have much of a solution. For me, it’s not so much that work alone takes up most of my time, but between work and my kids, I have little free time left. I savor any little free time I have and am very picky about how I spend it! My childless friends with less time consuming jobs feel shunned or just don’t get it.

        • I am so in this boat with you, CP in Seattle. My younger, unmarried, no-kids sister has ZERO empathy for my job + kids schedule. I don’t mean this at all in a smug-married kind of way, but honestly some days I come home and it’s all I can do to engage with my toddler before passing out at 9pm (at the latest!). It doesn’t hurt that I’m 13 weeks pregnant, which is also pretty draining.

          Sorry to complain — not the intent. This is hard and I’m not sure there’s a good answer until the other person in your boat.

    • Do you commute? When I had a long commute, I used to use the time sitting in traffic to catch up on phone calls to my parents and siblings (bluetooth!).

    • Can you put something on the books with them? Schedule a weekend at least once a year, or something date that they can look forward to. And then when they ask, you can point to that date on the books already.

    • karenpadi :

      I had to train my family. It took about two years of saying “I’m working this weekend”, “planning to work this weekend”, and calling them at their bedtime “because I just got off of work.” They were more persuaded after visiting my barely-furnished apartment. I visited them for a week and worked “from ‘home'”. When they returned from their work, I worked an extra hour or two. I got a lot of “you work too hard” to which I responded “but that’s the way it is” and long and boring explanations of billable hours and how high rent is and what my student loan payments were.

      I think I trained them too well. I have a less demanding job now and they treat me like I’m still working those crazy hours. I love my family but I don’t feel inclined to correct it.

    • emcsquared :

      After I started working, my refrain to family and friends became, “You are welcome to stop by at 8 pm; I should be home from work by then. I’ll call you if work is going to run late.” This conveyed that I wanted to see them, but also demonstrated how busy I was.

    • Seventh Sister :

      My husband and I used to get this from relatives. Saying the same thing over and over for a few years seemed to make it sink in, but I just had to lose the guilt and keep repeating, “I am too busy to [insert time-consuming domestic task here], I am really busy with work.”

    • Don’t worry, when your family members pass away, they’ll be less demanding of your time. And when your friends give up on you, you’ll have all the time you need to work around the clock.

      • Remarkable :

        x 1000000

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        For a lot of these people, working these hours isn’t really a choice. The economy sucks. If you have a good paying job in your chosen field you often have to do what the culture dictates until you are senior enough to move on.

        • yea, but they don’t have to complain about having people who love them and miss them.

          To Op – instead of getting frustrated with the people who love you and want to spend time with you, tell them you love them and miss them. Tell them that you wish you could see them. Give them an invitation to come visit you – for pizza at your place at 8pm. They don’t need anything fancy if all they want is to hang out with you.

    • Maybe you could help matters some by having a regular email newsletter which you can send to the entire family? Just something that’ll take half an hour (pictures are good..) but let them know every Sunday afternoon that you’re in fact thinking about them, you just can’t do anything really concrete about it at the moment?
      I second the suggestion to set dates for holidays long ahead of time too, so as to be able to point to those when pressed. And if they start reproaching you too much, take the time to weep about how exhausted you feel and how you can’t even –insert basic life task here–. Be sure to also throw in something about how difficult it is because they can’t get along and you have to spend so much more time on the family than other people. If you’re being guilt-tripped, a little self-defense can’t hurt.

  30. Mommy gifts? :

    Hi Ladies,

    I was hoping for some gift-giving advice. A friend of mine is having her first baby in about a month, and I’ve been making some blankets for the kiddo. But I also wanted to do something for her, and I’m not sure what would be best…we live in different cities, and she and her husband both lost their jobs recently. She’s putting on a brave face, and is lucky enough to have good family support, but I wish I could do something special for them right now. Does anyone have any idea what would be appropriate/most appreciated under the circumstances?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Assuming they don’t have a huge safety net financially, I’d help them out with more “necessary” purchases rather than something they wouldn’t buy themselves. Send diapers, wipes, maybe a gift certificate to their preferred supermarket (maybe along with a little cookbook for quick meals) or credit for a service like Peapod or Fresh Direct (you could even offer to place a grocery order or two for them after the baby is born if she tells you what sort of stuff she likes to stock her fridge with).

      It might not be your place, but if you feel like they’d appreciate it and perhaps haven’t done all the research already themselves, you can see what sort of public assistance they might qualify for (e.g., food stamps). Definitely a know-your-friend suggestion though!

      (If they do have a meaningful safety net, then any of the ideas people have talked about previously like sending a cleaning service or nicer restaurant meals after the baby is born are nice.)

      • Mommy gifts? :

        Thanks for the suggestions! It’s easy to forget all the basics, especially as someone who doesn’t have kids. Now that I think about it, that sounds like the most sensible way to go.

      • I was laid off when my 1st was born, my husband waw laid off when my 2nd was born (add no-3rd-baby-joke here.) Target gift cards (or Amazon, Walmart, whatever) are very thoughtful.

    • I second this. MAKING blankets is awesome. And babies are expensive — even with a newborn, feel free to send over a case (amazon, etc. can even ship them for you) of size 1 or size 2 diapers. Or bring a giant bottle of whatever baby or free&clear type laundry detergent they use — there will always be another load and another diaper.

    • I would go with a Target gift card, since they have almost everything anyone could need (cute stuff, baby equipment, breast feeding supplies, groceries, clothes for mom, etc) . With the blanket, it would be a really nice balanced gift — something sweet that’s a momento, and then something that’s practical that they can use for whatever they need.

    • A friend of mine recently had a baby and her neighbor cooked and froze several weeks worth of meals so that she and her husband wouldn’t have to worry about food. Doesn’t work if you’re like me and are not confident cooking for others, but food and other necessities (like mentioned above) are always good gifts.

  31. Free at last :

    In follow up to my post yesterday re how to start dating against when your marriage is over, I haven’t dated in twenty years, and I forget how! Is there such a thing as an outline of the basics from those of you that have gone through this and share your wisdom? Much appreciated!

    • I don’t think there are any special rules to dating. But then, I’ve only taken 2-3 years “off” at various times.

      I try to follow the Golden Rule of “Doing unto others as you would have done unto you.” It’s not easy to follow but I want someone who also follows the Golden Rule.

      In dating, I think the common scenarios are:
      1. If you aren’t interested in someone, tell them you aren’t interested asap. But be tactful. Don’t be cruel.
      2. If you are interested in someone, return their calls or initiate a next date. It can hurt when they don’t return your feelings but see #1.
      3. Don’t monopolize conversation or make someone feel bad about themselves. Dating is hard enough.
      4. Don’t be late or stand people up without a sincere apology and honest explanation.
      5. Be honest in online profiles to the extent necessary. I am sadly google-able so I do fudge some things to protect my identity. But I “come clean” before meeting a guy in person.

    • Older Than Most :

      At 46, I may be one of the older women here. I met my first husband when I was 19 and in college, in 1985. Reagan was president, and we were investing in the Star Wars defense. We divorced when I was 29 (1996), and I didn’t start dating until I was 36 (2002). I had one horrifyingly bad one-year relationship, stopped dating for 2 1/2 years, and then met my husband. In other words, I started dating roughly 20 years after I had met my ex-husband and stopped dating. (For the record, I was apparently the only party to our marriage who stopped dating after the wedding, but I digress . . . ).

      Here are some of the things I experienced. YMMV:

      * Although I had been pretty interested in casual sex in high school and college, I was no longer into it this time.

      * Had I been into casual sex this time around, I would have judged myself for it. 7 years later, I wish that I would have cut myself a break and not judged myself, if I had been into it.

      * I looked at men MUCH, MUCH differently this time around. Some things that were important the first time around were still important (intelligent, I think he’s sexy). Many other things that were important the first time around were utterly unimportant this time around (is he “cool,” do we like the same music). I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that at 40 I made a better decision (my husband) than I did at 19 (my first husband), but I hadn’t realized how blatant the difference would be, to me. And I made one decision (the one-year relationship) that was worse, far worse, than my husband.

      * You really can get to know someone very well if you take the time to talk to him about every aspect of both of your lives — past, present and future — and observe what he says and how he behaves. I have also heard someone say that you should “walk through the calendar” with someone before committing because over the course of a year, you are likely to see how he behaves in good times and in bad.

      * The better I knew myself, the easier it was for me to decide how I felt about someone.

      Now, let me just say that I was looking for a partner (marriage or not was irrelevant, just a permanent commitment). I expect that some of these points would be different if had been out to have fun after a bunch of years in a bad marriage or to experiment or find myself or whatever. I had done that as a teen, and I had been alone for several years before I started dating, so I wasn’t doing that this time.

      I hope for you a fulfilling experience that satisfies whatever you are looking for.

    • Congratulations! First of all, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, take the time to enjoy life by yourself. Freedom is to be savored :-).
      I think you’ll find that the biggest difference with 20 years ago is that many people now initiate contact on the net, and that it’s become completely normal. So you may want to invest some time into finding a suitable site (there are several discussions on these on this site which you should look up). And do a bit of reading on how that goes, as for instance you need a cuter picture than you normally would in real life.

  32. Anyone know anywhere that I can get a few maternity suits other than Pea in the Pod (too $$$ for me)? I’m in court several days a week here lately, and I just hate the idea of not suiting up for it, but I have seen absolutely none at Gap, Motherhood, JC Penny’s, Loft, and Target (though I thought that they’d all had them in the past), nor in any B&M stores. Maybe it’s seasonal (I’ve noticed that some retailers don’t seem to stock suits in hot weather)?

    • You can look at rentals available from minefornine dot com

    • Depending on how far along you are, could you go with dressy maternity pants / work skirt or dress and a jacket you already have but unbuttoned? I had a ton of jackets that I just wore loose and the simple black knits didn’t clash with a lot of what I already had. I once did suit pants + belly band + maternity shirt over band + open jacket. Can you get creative and avoid the hassle? I recall a picture of a pregnant French or Spanish defense minister doing this and a picture of it in the WSJ about power maternity dressing back in 2008 or so.

    • Diana Barry :

      Honestly I couldn’t find any other than pea in the pod. Look on the website, they usually have some on sale. But the return policy s*cks so I would make sure you know what size you are first.

      Alternatively, if you are tall and could fit into a L, do you want to borrow mine? Let me know and I will set up an anon email and work out sending them to you. :)

      • Aw, thanks Diana! But I think we have very different body types.

        But that would be a great idea; I know that people have floated the idea before of some sort of a C-rett clothing exchange (though not particularly for maternity). Does anyone have any idea how we could set something like that up? Maybe a facebook page or something? (I’m only a VERY casual FB user.) That would be great for all of us maternity ‘retts who still want to look great!

        • It’s already out there. Someone set up a group on reh@ashclothes (I’m putting the @ in because something about the name has put me in moderation ever time).

    • There is not a lot out there unfortunately. I’ve been pairing gap pants with a long black non maternity jacket two sizes up. I hated every maternity suit I tried on and couldn’t make myself spend so much $$ on something I didn’t even like, so I made do.

      That said, try searching google for Olian or Jules & Jim suits. Diapers dot com has Olian . Also try Figure 8 maternity (online) and prelegant dot com. Amazon has a couple suits that are not pea in the pod that I didn’t love but may work for others.

  33. ChristinaMD :

    Suggestions please:

    I’ve recently come to find myself in a position where I’ll be getting a bit of unexpected money and after putting most into savings, I’m looking at probably having a couple hundred to do some shopping with.

    I’ve noticed that I have quite a hole in my wardrobe in summer appropriate tops. Exception – I have a ton of shells/sleeveless tanks for under suit jackets, etc. But I have essentially no short or 3/4 lengths items, and in the transitional seasons or even when I’m spending the entire day in the Arctic office A/C – I’m aware of this and tired of just grabbing the same schlubby black cardigan to layer.

    I think this is probably a great time of year to pick up some perfect pieces on discount – so what pieces would you recommend?
    FWIW, I’m busty, hourglass though fortunately quite proportional – currently a 12/14 but in the midst of losing weight. (I can’t decide if I’m an X or an 8) I look best in a single button suit. I’m not a fan of overly fringy, fussy, frilly things. I prefer a simple black top to the same with excessive ornate detail.

    Any basics that you would recommend that I should pick up?

    • Hi! My friend has worked tirelessly to design classic blouses for busty women. Sounds like something that you might be interested in. Currently she features a white blouse. Her website is Campbell & Kate. http://campbellandkate.com/

      Her other passion is her blog, Hourglassy, which has a directory of clothing resources you may find helpful. http://hourglassy.com/


  34. Alright ladies, I am actually Hunter no more – job hunter, that is! Now that I’m a few weeks into the new job, two things I’d love your thoughts on:

    First, I work in a small, entirely male office and their dress is really casual – shorts and t-shirt most days, jeans plus button down when clients are in the office. What do you think is the female equivalent? Any outfit ideas? Doing some shopping this weekend and finding it hard to walk that fine line between blending in and feeling sloppy.

    And second, my field is very relationship-based with mentorship being really important to gain skills and move up. I feel like I’m in constant competition with an equal level male colleague for projects and face time with the bosses. You know how it goes – it’s just easier for them to connect with him. Any advice for building relationships in and fitting into an all-male environment? I’m working hard, take part in the office banter… but can’t erase the fact that I’m unmistakably female.

    • Are you a patent attorney by any chance? Because you have just described my first firm.

      What worked for me:
      1. Gray, black or navy slacks. Now is not the tie to invest in skirts and dresses. Yes, you are dressing up a bit. But that’s OK.
      2. Heels (but keep them less than 2″ and walkable for the health of your feet–trust me on this). Choose shoes you can walk quickly in for long distances.
      3. Sweaters and knit tops. Button-downs are tempting but they gape.
      4. Most importantly, MODESTY (sorry about the Ellen caps) for the girls. Shirts should not reveal cleavage, bras should be supportive and padded. The three finger rule (neckline no more than 3 fingers below collarbone) is conservative but a good starting point. Wear conservative underwear–nothing sexy, no lace, silk or satin.
      5. Small, conservative jewelry. Be a woman, but don’t flaunt it. Small hoops, small diamond studs, smallish rings and pendants.
      6. Neat, simple hairstyle.

      Regarding building mentoring relationships with men:
      1. Be plain-spoken. Say what you think. If they say “Girls can’t do X”, call them on it.
      2. Be honest.
      3. Do good work, ahead of schedule.
      4. Do NOT blame yourself if a client or mentor hits on you. It happens. It happened to me (a few times). Just separate yourself from them as much as possible. Don’t meet in their office–meet in a conference room or your office. I found that using less eye contact than I normally would was helpful to discourage these attentions.
      5. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Uh, am I crazy? I don’t think it matters what kind of underwear she wears – if her coworkers are seeing it, she’s got way bigger problems.

        • haha omg agreed

        • That was my thought…I don’t understand why or how her coworkers would ever know if she had on lacy underwear. If they do…somebody has some ‘splainin to do.

      • karenpadi :

        I say conservative underwear for three reasons:
        1) accidents happen. It could be as simple as a loose zipper or a rushed trip to the bathroom. Zipper down, glimpse of undies. Happened to me Monday.

        2) New associates buy cheap pants (major generalization here and not all new associates make this mistake but when I see cheap pants, it’s a new associate). Cheap pants are see through and/or don’t hide the texture of lace or decorations on sexy underwear. Cheap pants are likely to rip. I worked with a woman who had her pants rip right down the butt along the seam on a business trip. We tied a sweater around her waist but not before the male associate we were with caught a glimpse.

        3) See #4 on relationships with men. A small minority of men will try to hit on the new female associate just because they think it’s alright. When it happened to me, I took comfort in my conservative choices–especially after one (a senior associate mentor) asked “Do women really like wearing granny panties? I bet you don’t wear granny panties.”

      • karenpadi :

        Three reasons:

        1. Accidents happen. Loose zippers open without warning. Better to flash solid black, white, or neutral than lace or leopard print.

        2. Clothes are cheap. New associates are the most likely to have cheap clothes. Cheap pants reveal colors and textures of underwear (along with vpl) and rip unexpectedly. Granny panties are less likely to be noticed or commented on.

        3. See #4 under “working with men”. I took comfort in my granny panties when a mentor was hitting on me. Especially when he said “Why do women wear granny panties? I bet you don’t wear granny panties.”

  35. Any tips for dealing with sea sickness while sailing? I’m prone to motion sickness, (like the metro makes me queasy),and going on a week long trip (150 passenger boat). I’m considering the patch, but the side effects look scary. Any experience?

    • Don’t do the patch! I’ve only had bad experiences with it and so have most of the women I know, typically extreme drowsiness and vision problems. Men seem to do okay with it, so it may be an issue of the dose being too high for a smaller person? Also, the vision problems seem to get worse over time, so you might be okay with it for the first few days, but not a full week. I take meclizine every 12 hours, starting the night before I get on a ship. It helps with the seasickness without making me too sleepy, but doesn’t entirely stop it if seas are rough.

    • There’s a drug that is not available in the US called Marzine (Cyclizine hydrochloride) that works amazingly well with no side effects at all. If you happen to be traveling to Europe, you should try to find it.

      Otherwise, I’ve heard those wristband things work well.

    • I get so motion sick. My thoughts:

      First, 150 pax is a big boat. Motion sickness is less likely on a big boat.

      Second, Bonine (generic is meclizine). Great OTC medication. No drowsiness and cheap. Ask the pharmacist for it–they usually have a bottle behind the counter with many pills for less than $10. I take meclizine when I go scuba diving (really don’t want to be drowsy or impaired when underwater).

      Third, ginger. It’s a holistic remedy but the mythbusters proved it works. I use ginger tea because it’s pretty cheap and easy to pack. Any form of ginger works–including gingersnaps (yum!).

      Fourth, ginger. I’m not kidding.

      Fifth, if you do get sick, throw up then look at a stationary point like the horizon. Throwing up will make you feel better, I promise. Plus, there a bio-mechanism that will pause the motion sickness for about 15-20 minutes. Don’t eat but start watching your stationary point (horizon or a star). It’s still miserable but you’ll feel better. Bonus points if you have a travel companion who will hold you and hug you during this.

      • Also, try not to get to warm. Stay as cool as you can, since I have found that heat aggravates the nausea.

      • I’m the opposite: I get more seasick on big ships than on small boats. (Might be related to the co-occurance of me travelling on big ships and gales.) The rocking is the least at midships on the lower decks, so try to stay there as much as possible.

        I get really drowsy and snappish on Meclozine unfortunately. But if you can, give it a test ride before your cruise to see how you react. Hopefully it works for you.

        Avoid alcohol, it only makes everything worse. Particularly seasickness.

        Don’t eat ’till you burst, but do eat. Food helps settle the tummy, and you don’t need low bloodsugar on top of seasickness. I second the ginger. It’s soothing and also yummy.

      • Definitely try meclizine before assuming it won’t make you drowsy. It makes me feel absolutely awful. Cyclizine is the only thing that works for me, so of course they banned it in the US. (It’s banned because some opiate addicts were mixing opiates with cyclizine for a better high or something, not because cyclizine is dangerous on its own. God forbid anyone get medicine that actually works if there’s the slightest chance anyone anywhere could abuse it.)

    • Ginger! I get motion sick on everything (metro, cars, planes, boats, sometimes when I walk too fast….) and take a lot of herbal ginger pills. You can get them in the drug store vitamin department. Or you can eat a lot of real ginger, which I do sometimes, too. Some people can eat it straight (like you might with sushi) but I honestly don’t like the taste, so I do the pills. It helps me a TON.

    • Spend as much time outside as you can. The fresh air and the stable horizon to look at will work wonders, plus there’s nothing like a 360-degree view of open ocean to make you feel small… it’s hypnotic and beautiful, plus you may see dolphins/whales/etc.

      Don’t eat much unless you’re hungry. You may not be. Don’t try and read or look at a screen, although I didn’t find headphones to be a problem.

      I recently did a multi-day trip across open ocean in a fairly small boat, and I found trying to sleep to be the hardest thing, because I was in a windowless cabin and it was hot (I eventually slept with the door open, FWIW). I suggest (again) going out as much as you can during the day and watching the sea, so your body “learns” the motion of the waves. That way, when you feel the boat dropping down suddenly or rocking but you can’t see the water, it’s not so freaky. Also, when you’re lying down, try leaning against a wall and press as much of your body against it as you can — this provides stability and makes you a lot less nauseous because your body isn’t trying to figure out which way is up all the time due to the rolling motion.

      I don’t take seasickness meds. I’m ambivalent on them, because I do think there’s a mental component to it… if you expect to be sick, you will be sick; if you don’t, you usually aren’t. I scuba dive, and whenever I go out on a boat and someone is worried they’ll get sick, they do. The rest are fine. That said, I am not prone to seasickness, so I can see how others would disagree on the meds’ effectiveness. I think it’s largely placebo effect — but if the end result is that you don’t throw up, take them anyway. Who cares why they work as long as they work?

      On my recent trip, we had 8 passengers. About half took pills, and one guy used a patch. He was a normal-sized man and used half the patch, and slept for about 36 hours solid. This may be a good thing if you are really sick, but I’d personally stay away from them unless you really feel strongly.

      Lastly, if you do need to throw up, make sure you aren’t facing into the wind. ;-)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      You may also feel motion sick when you get back on land if your body got too used to being on the water. This happened to me recently. If you have a travel companion, I found it really helpful to have someone touch me – like hand on my back or shoulder (not sexually lol) while I tried to fall asleep. The reason was my body felt like it was constantly moving even though I was no longer on the water. When my husband had his hand on my arm, I could feel still and trick my brain into focusing on the hand instead and feeling still. My mom has also done this for me on other trips and it worked. If you are alone, maybe you can place something solid behind you like your suitcase and press your body against that as you fall asleep.

    • Don’t do drugs if you can help it! Those anti-nausea armbands really work. A sailing friend of mine kept getting girlfriends with queasy stomachs and really swore by them. The trick is that you have to put them on right off, before you feel sick or even get on the boat, and never take them off the whole time. Too many people decide they don’t really work, remove them and end up tossing their lunch over the railing. I’ve also had several pregnant friends have really good experiences with them, as they’re totally free of side effects. But be sure you position them correctly, right in the middle of inside tendons, and 3 fingers (your fingers) up from the wrist crease.

  36. Back to school: wardrobe advice :

    I’d really appreciate some back-to-school fashion advice. I’m headed back to graduate school after working for a few years, and I’m trying to be efficient in transitioning my wardrobe. What are your go-to pieces? I’m thinking a couple pair of good jeans, some tanks and loose sweaters, but none of this sounds very interesting to be honest. Any tips?

    • Sadly no advice here, I’m the super corporate girl in my humanities PhD program, made worse by my aversion to jeans. I own and like pencil skirts and nice blouses and wedge heels and that’s what I tend to wear. However, I do embrace the opportunity to wear short (not super short) denim skirts, tights, and colorful chucks or wellies. I try to dress for what I’m doing, meetings, work, internship = dressed ‘smart casual,’ days in the library or on-site meetings, skirts and slouchy sweaters, jersey dresses, flats.

      It depends on how long you are going to be in grad school but if it is 2 years and you anticipate internships and going through recruiting, I wouldn’t embrace the college wardrobe too heartily. It’ll just make transitioning back miserable.

    • I went to grad school straight out of college, put there were a few people in my program who were taking a break from work. Everyone wore casual clothes unless we were teaching, and even then the clothes were pretty casual. I went to school in New England so I mostly wore wool sweaters, boots, and jeans on a daily basis, but casual is the name of the game.

  37. New job gift help :

    Ladies- A good friend just got a new HR job at and advertising firm and I’d like to get her a celebratory gift. Looking to spend ~$50. Any ideas?

    • Bottle of champagne?
      Gift card to lunch spot near the new office?

    • Rural Juror :

      Theres a Kate Spade business card holder that says “let’s do lunch.” I have given this to several friends, often with a gift card inside for a place where we can actually do lunch. It has always gone over really well!

  38. Any advice ladies? I had a bad week at work where my boss (mid-50s male) told me that I need to dress more professionally in order to be taken into meetings with clients. He told me to always be court-ready, even though we have a business casual office and no one ever wears suits (even him). He told me that I need to be 10% better than everyone else, that I’m young and should try harder, and that he always tells his son to wear a jacket even if everyone else is wearing jeans. 1) I’m not his son. 2) I have had a jacket on the back of my door since the day I started a year and a half ago (so I feel that what he really wants from me is a suit because as we know, it is much easier for men to just throw on a jacket and look instantly professional). 3) I basically left with the feeling that what he actually wants is for me to be in full makeup and blow dried straight hair every day of the week (which for me, takes two hours as I have naturally very curly hair). The few times I have had my hair straight, he has commented that it looks nice in an awkward manner.

    Thoughts on how to handle this going forward? I am underpaid for the legal profession in the SF Bay Area, and don’t have the funds to buy a bunch of suits and I wear heels, slacks and nice blouses every day.

    Maybe I’m just peeved and need some sound advice to calm me down? Any thoughts are appreciated.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t blame you for being peeved. It sounds like your boss is trying to give you longterm career advice but a) I’m not sure it’s good advice (dressing markedly different from *everyone* in your office, including your boss, isn’t really a good thing, in my book) and b) he obviously went about it in an awkward way.

      That being said, he *is* your boss and on some level, you need to take his advice and go with it, or look for a different job. I think a lot of men assume (at least, my older, 50+ boss assumes) that a jacket = suit, automatically, even if the other pieces don’t match. Since it sounds like you are set on everything but the jacket, could you buy some coordinating/non matching jackets?

      As for the makeup/hair, I’m at a loss. Do you wear any makeup at all? Could you start wearing just a little, not a full face of makeup, but just some quick concealer, mascara and lip gloss? Maybe that would be enough to pacify him. I definitely don’t think you should add 2hrs+ onto your morning because your boss has old world expectations about professional hair/face looks.

    • Is there something you can do to tame your hair short of straightening it? Maybe a low ponytail would strike a good balance?

      I wasn’t clear on your post – have you been putting on the jacket you keep in the office when clients are around? Does he know it is there? If not, you should definitely tell him you have a nice blazer that you keep in the office to throw on when necessary. (Maybe also keep a shell or white button down at the office that you can put on with nearly any bottom for those days you’re in a sweater or something that just won’t go with the jacket.)

    • Ignore the advice on straightening your hair. Speaking as a curly haired woman, I basically feel like that’s fascist BS (ok, fascist is a bit extreme, but I think the implication of straight hair being the norm is often a subtle form of prejudice against certain ethnicities).

      But as for the rest – honestly, it sounds like he wants to be your mentor and I think he’s giving pretty sound advice. Maybe he even wants to get you into court more, and wants to make sure you’re prepared. It isn’t a bad idea to always be court ready, especially if you are the most junior person in the office. So compromise, and bring a full suit to the office and hang it behind the door. Tell him you have a suit in the office and will always be ready to go to court, but you can’t afford a whole new wardrobe so that you can wear a suit every day (this probably hasn’t even occurred to him). Make sure you always slip your jacket on for any meeting, even if it’s just a meeting with colleagues. And make sure your slack/blouse combos look polished, not wrinkly or ill-fitting, and that your makeup (if you wear it) is touched up and your hair has an actual style and isn’t just frizzing all over the place (like mine does).

      • AnonInfinity :

        Cosign all of this.

      • Former Partner, Now In-House :

        I agree that he is trying to mentor you and just isn’t getting it quite right (maybe because it is an awkward subject and one that, as a man, he might not be totally informed about?). In any case, why not ask for his help?

        When you are sufficiently calmed down after his barrage, knock on his door, tell him you have thought a lot about what he said, that you recognize presentation is an important issue, and you want to try to follow his advice. Then tell him that you think it would be very helpful for you to work with a stylist or a personal shopper and ask if you could have a modest budget to do that.

        I have found that when people identify a problem, it is often extremely effective to ask for their help in solving it. First, it precludes them from complaining later about how you attempted to solve it. Second, maybe you actually get some help.

        I will say (as a thick curly head myself) that there has to be some professional hair option other than two hours with a blow dryer every morning. I don’t know what it is: a different cut, a different way of styling — but a stylist (not a hairdresser, but a personal stylist, you can find them online) should be able to help. Ditto with office appropriate but also you-appropriate makeup. And obviously on clothes. If he’s game to underwrite even some of this, I would take him up on it.

        • Anne Shirley :

          No. No no no no. Do not ask your male lawyer boss for a clothing budget. I see where this advice is coming from, but in a law firm setting, off base.

        • Agree with Anne Shirley. I don’t see the clothing budget request going well.

      • Second Bluejay in everything.
        Especially about the curly hair being fascist bullshit. Let me point out though that he didn’t say anything about the curly hair in his clumsy advice attempt, so you may safely ignore it. You could perhaps take this as a pretext to hunt for a better stylist, as I know it’s excruciatingly difficult to find one for curly hair? But without pressuring yourself about it, nor trying to do everything at once. I’m sure boss-guy doesn’t necessarily expect to see instant results, but I agree that knowing you have a suit and proper shoes in the office at all times should calm him down for now.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Sounds like he is clumsy in passing along advice, and usually this type of advice would come from a woman who has been there, and not sound as sexist. Sorry you are dealing with this. I’ll just note that when I was young and fresh out of law school, I worked for an older female judge who had a strict dress code and frequently commented on our outfits, and the outfits others (male and female) wore in court. At first I found it odd, then realized that she was trying to groom her clerks to uphold what she thought was the required level of professionalism to get ahead in the law. I’m pretty senior now and don’t have to follow her guidelines (like, pants were prohibited – we only wore them when she was out of the country and just hoped nobody would tell), but there have been a number of times I have been grateful for the advice and the encouragement to step it up a notch so that I would be taken seriously. Do you have any female mentors you can ask about what you are wearing on a typical day?

  39. SV in House :

    While watching the opening ceremonies last night, the camera focused on Kate and DH said “who’s that?” !!!! Clearly he does not monitor whatkatewore . . . .

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG, mine, too! I mentioned “The Duchess,” and he looked at me blankly. And then I said “you know, the former Kate Middleton!” Nothing. “Uh, the bride of Prince William?” To which he replied, “Oh, is she the one who was having an affair with him while he was married to Diana?”

      He’s so cute when he’s out of touch with royal gossip for an entire generation…

  40. Can anyone give me the rundown on seeing a chiropractor? I’m curious not just about what made you start going but also about how often you go, whether you have felt (or made) improvements in your spinal health over time, and whether this is a kind of indefinite process or if you are moving towards a particular goal.

    My boyfriend has a longstanding relationship with his chiropractor and has been urging me to make an appointment, owing to a combination of probably problematic things (I’m a book editor, so I sit all day; I have Parsonage-Turner Syndrome; I get migraines–according to the chiro, these are all good reasons to come in). My hesitation is because I have no experience with this kind of maintenance medicine–I recognize that I should be doing something more healthful for my back and neck, but I don’t want to just rely on regular spine adjustments and not be taught how to get into a more healthful routine on my own. Any thoughts?

    • This can be a controversial topic, and many people will call chiropractors “quacks” (and I’m sure some are, just like some lawyers are “charlatans”… but you can’t generalize about a whole profession), but I will tell you about my personal experience. I have both an old back injury and a congenital spinal aberration (not sure if that’s the right term, but you get the point), and sit at a desk more hours a week than is probably healthy — as most of us on this site do. I’ve been seeing chiropractors for years, and have almost always had very positive experiences. With regular maintenance visits (and visits if I do something clumsy like fall off my bike and dislocate a rib…), and yoga at least 1-2x a week, I am free from pain and discomfort and can live my life and do the things I want to do. Before I adopted a schedule of visits once every 6-8 weeks, my back would “go out” every year or so, and then it was a long series of visits to get it back to stability. I have moved around a lot, but I have always found an excellent chiropractor when I have chosen someone from the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. There are varying “schools” or theories, and I have had the most success with chiropractic neurology practitioners. That’s not to say others aren’t good too, but it’s really worked for me.

      In addition to helping my back, I sprained my ankle badly a few years ago. The next morning, I went to my chiropractor and although the adjustment was painful, I was walking by later that day, and made a full recovery, swelling and all, within a few days. That had not been my ankle sprain experience in the past, and as a counter-point, a friend sprained his ankle that same year and he went to the health center at school and ended up on crutches for over a week and was still complaining about ankle pain/weakness weeks and months later.

      If you’re open and interested, I think the best thing would be to go to your boyfriend’s chiropractor and talk to him about all this. What are your issues? What do you want to see improve? What does he recommend, and most importantly, why does he recommend that?

      Good luck.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I love my chiropractor. I started seeing one after injuring my neck in 2003 in a ski accident. My chiropractor also helped me heal a shoulder injury much better than “regular” medicine did. I originally saw a chiro for the ski injury only after I started getting awful headaches that the regular docs couldn’t heal nor could they identify the cause. I happened to mention the headaches to my dentist and he referred me to his chiropractor. He had been seeing him for chronic headaches as well. After several adjustments my headaches were gone.

      Currently, my chiro only has me come in when things are acting up. However, I’m planning on making “maintenance” appointments every 8 weeks or so to catch things before they flare.

    • I’ve found chiropractors extremely helpful for treating specific injuries, especially those that affect bone alignment. However, the ones who hawk homeopathic remedies and try to sell you stuff are best avoided.

      • Oh, and like Blonde Lawyer and AT, I had migraines and it turned out they were caused by a whiplash injury to my cervical vertebrae. The chiropractic treatments helped eliminate the migraines.

    • Chiropractors, to me, force your body to do what you should wheedle it to do by gentler methods. And alas they do tend to try to sell you questionable stuff as well. I haven’t had back pain since I took up yoga. And my sister has very significantly reduced her migraines since she started yoga too. We both have desk jobs.
      On the other hand, I think chiropractors can be nice because someone is doing something to you without you needing to make an effort :-). I’m happy to substitute regular massages, for better results imho.

  41. Muddy Buddy :

    Thoughts on committees for large industry organizations? Think the American Bar Association or DRI. Is it better to join the committee for women or the one for your current practice area or the one for your dream practice area? Or some combination?

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      I attended the conference for female general counsel last Spring co-hosted by the SF Bar and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. They said quite clearly that if you are in a law firm, you should try to be on business-y committees (intake, P&L, finance) and not sofe committees (summer associate, recruiting, diversity). They did not address the same issue re trade/professional organizations other than your firm.

      FYI, the SF Bar Glass Ceiling (No Glass Ceiling?) Initiative has all kids of terrific best practices resources. You might see if they have anything available that addresses this.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      Having trouble posting, so I will try again:

      I attended the conference for female general counsel last Spring co-hosted by the SF Bar and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. They said quite clearly that if you are in a law firm, you should try to be on business-y committees (intake, P&L, finance) and not sofe committees (summer associate, recruiting, diversity). They did not address the same issue re trade/professional organizations other than your firm.

      FYI, the SF Bar Glass Ceiling (No Glass Ceiling?) Initiative has all kids of terrific best practices resources. You might see if they have anything available that addresses this.

    • PTOOEY on the ABA!

      They dissed Ellen, and she is kinfolk!


  42. Went ahead and bought the Skirt in purple rosea (because I bought a sweater in blue ocean, and blue aster seemed too “blue” for me). Any fun color ideas other than basic black, white, etc. to pair it with? I doubt I wear the blue chambray shirt they style in the photos. In the store they had it paired with the sleeveless tie neck blouse in rainey geo purple combo and a dark red cardigan, but I’m not sure I can pull that off.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have it in purple magenta from last year, and I love it with yellow. It also looks great with navy, gray, and tan. (Basically any neutral.) Oh! And orange!

      • Former MidLevel :

        Yes – I love purple with yellow. Especially nice orangey-yellows. Or yellow-greens. I also like purple with bright blues.

  43. karenpadi :

    Reporting back from my personal stylist appointment at the NAS:

    For those near Palo Alto, my stylist is Melyssa Minamoto. She’s great! I had nothing that was inappropriate or unwearable. She was very helpful and made some changes to what she had initially picked out after meeting me. Really, she’s great. I highly highly recommend her.

    I went outside of my comfort zone but I really like my new clothes!

    I got (and I know these aren’t specific–I don’t know how you figure out what y’all bought):

    Shoes: (1) grey/metallic ballet flats and (2) grey velvety loafer things that look like slippers but are for daytime.
    Bottoms: black pair of ankle length pants (super-stretchy but with pockets!), navy pair of ankle length pants, grey ponte pair of ankle length pants, 2 pairs of straight-leg jeans with a nice, high waist (yay! hide the pouch), 1 green knee-length skirt.
    Dress: One, in a pretty floral that I would have never picked out for myself but will be perfect for my fancy brunch next week.
    Blouses: a navy blouse, a teal blouse with cowlneck and the same in red (I can’t wear the red with the green skirt), a daring hot pink assymetrical cowl-like blouse (OMG! my favorite and I would have never picked it for myself), a black and grey striped boatneck long sleeve tee (I feel so French wearing it); a grey and gold sparkles sweater with short sleeves.
    Outerwear: a grey boiled wool “swacket”–perfect for my cold office and a–get this–black leather blazer (super splurge! but so buttery and soft).
    Jewelry: a pretty teardrop gold pendant and a pretty pair of drop earrings.
    Bras and panties–I didn’t know personal stylists did this but I’m glad she did–I was wearing the wrong size bra.

    I spent way more than my budget (carpe diem!) but I am really happy with what Melyssa picked out. She definitely got me away from my habitual boring uniform-like style and into some clothes that I wouldn’t have expected to like.

    I really needed all this. I went through my closet and threw out everything that was no longer wearable and had 12 pieces–6 winter sweaters, 3 spaghetti-strap shirts, two sundresses, and one casual blazer. No pants, no skirts, and no work-appropriate summer shirts. It was bad.

    Now I need to work to earn a bonus that will pay for today. C’est la vie!

    • Thanks for following up! I’ve been thinking about doing that, and your post is definitely motivating me to actually call and set something up. AFTER I buckle down and clean out my closet (hopefully tomorrow!).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Glad it went well!

    • Well done ! Sounds like you’ll be having a lot of fun getting dressed in the mornings with so many goodies on hand.

    • karenpadi, I’m so glad you posted this, and I’m really glad the personal shopper idea worked out for you. I was enormously helpful for me 5 years ago.

      I feel like I just did some vicarious shopping through you!

      Please keep us updated about how these items work for you as you start to wear them for work.


    • Thanks for the feedback! And congratulations on the new wardrobe, it sounds like you did very well.
      Now if I may further suggest something, make sure you go back to her at least a couple times a year. You may only get a blouse, or replace a pair of worn pants, you don’t have to spend a lot. But a wardrobe needs maintenance, and a small expenditure more often will keep you in better shape (and happier) than a huge trip on a very occasional basis.

      • karenpadi :

        I plan to! Sales are in November, May, and July so I have it penciled in in my mind. Plus, she’s promised to let me know if there’s anything she thinks I’ll like in the meantime.

        Sometime this week, I think I’m going to head to the Gap for some more t-shirt-like tops. 5 tops isn’t going to cut it until November and the clothing budget is depleted.

  44. Sorry for the Ellen-esque caps. Can you tell I really need to get motivated and clean out my closet?

  45. Hi ladies. I’m applying to clerk for a federal magistrate judge. I’d like to use a writing sample from two years ago (still a law student then); it’s of a civil nature, but probably my most detailed/impressive legal analysis. In my current position, which I started last year, I never write briefs. I only use templates for short motions. Appropriate, or should I draft something new?

    • LeChouette :

      Totally appropriate — use your best piece of legal writing — I don’t even think it needs to be dated. If he/she asks about it you can explain that it was from law school — most first year associates / junior legal employees don’t do much writing in their jobs, so he/she will understand.

  46. You guys, I just had to tell you.

    My husband has continued to drink his nightly tea out of my JSFAMO mug. Seriously – every night. I used it for coffee this morning and he said, “Hey, no fair using my cup!”

    To this day, he has never asked what the saying means or where it came from or how this mug happened to appear in our home. He is 100% clueless.

    My husband is a stress monster (honestly, he can stress himself out for a week over what to bring to a work potluck) so I’m hoping JSFAMO is having some sort of subconscious calming effect on him. :)

    • Maybe you should ask him where he got it, just to see his explanation.

      • Lulu, I maybe should, but I don’t want to ruin the whole thing!

        It’s like when my kids were little. They thought Lake Temescal was “Lake Tennis Ball.” I wanted them to say that forever, so my husband and I started calling it Lake Tennis Ball. I was so mad when one of my daughter’s friends said, “It’s TEMESCAL, you dummy!” (though, I guess that is funny too.)

        Not to infantilize my husband….

        • Yeah, I understand wanting to preserve this for as long as possible. :) It’s too funny not to.

    • I giggled out loud reading this. Well done, Mr. Mamabear.

    • Being myself, of course, I’m brainstorming what other Ellen you might be abel to bring into his life. She is indeed salve for anxiety.

  47. Hey ladies, I know it’s late in the weekend, but I remember that several of you had asked about experiential gifts for guys. My SIL arranged for my nephew to have a flight lesson for his 16th birthday at a small airport in a Cessna. It got rained out when I was there last weekend but he went today and he pronounced it awesome. He said that he and the instructor simultaneously lifted up for take off then the instructor just handed it over to him by himself for awhile once they were in the air, then the instructor landed. They were in the air for about 30 minutes. So it sounds like it was a great gift! Of course, as soon as he stepped out, his younger brother yelled out “You’re still alive!” because we had been teasing him about dying in a fiery crash. Yeah, we’re a bit of a sick family.

  48. Boston Meet-up? :

    My best friend is moving to a distant city, and I’m worried that I no longer have local, smart, fun women friends. (The recent flurry of media coverage around how as one gets older, it’s more difficult to make friends hasn’t helped!)

    So, when is the next Boston meet-up for [this site]?

  49. money for now :

    I’m just going to nut up and ask this. Please be gentle. I noticed Chadwick f Boston has a killer price cut clearance sale right now. Specifically looking at the wool blend pant and jacket suiting separates. Would such purchases be as shameful as I believe?

  50. PTOOEY!

  51. Anonymous :

    That is such a great story! Men can be so funny when they are clueless. It’s best to let this play out! Make sure to report back on developments with HIS FOOEY mug!

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