Coffee Break – Tegan Tote

Tegan Tote, RedI keep seeing Oryany bags listed among some of my usual favorites (Botkier, Treesje, Kooba, etc) and so I’m officially intrigued. I like the look of this tote — and I love the lime green printed lining. At 13″Hx15″Wx3.5″D it should be plenty big enough for most things, even the occasional legal pad. It was $450, but is now marked to $325 at Last Call by Neiman Marcus. Tegan Tote, Red

(L-2)

Comments

  1. Anyone have suggestions for a stylish, smallish, still-functional crossbody purse? I have a ton of oversized work bags but very few cute and unobtrusive ones for weekend errands. Bonus points if it’s dressy enough to use for dinner or a bar.

  2. cornellian :

    The questionable guest post earlier got me thinking about my subway commute.

    When I lived in Moscow I thought I’d use my 1.5 hours of subway time to listen to language mp3s. This dream was crushed by the 90 dB background noise on the Moscow subway. Now that I live in New York, though, this could work. Does anyone have any intermediate Russian language classes, books on tape, etc that they would recommend?

    Or high-level German texts? or intermediate Scandinavian language ones? I’m losing all of my foreign languages!

    • cornellian :

      writing that out has made me wonder if I should be adding MORE noise to my ears, as even the NYC subway is not exactly silent…

    • SugarMagnolia :

      I am impressed that you speak 4 languages already! Wow!

    • Double Hoo :

      My tip is more for maintaining your existing grammar abilities and expanding your vocab, but locate a Russian translation of Harry Potter (or any book you know the story of already in English where the plot and characters, rather than the beauty of the prose, are the attraction). I took Russian in college and that’s the easiest way of keeping it in my head that I have yet found. If I try to read native Russian texts, I tend to get overwhelmed with unknown words after a paragraph, but translations work much better. I am not sure if there are audiobooks anywhere, but that could work too.

      • cornellian :

        great minds! I actually bought a harry potter book before i left Russia, as that is how I learned to read German, more or leses. Unfortunately it’s apparently the only English book I don’t own. Maybe I need to get the English version of this one, and THEN the Russian….

        I did read the first few pages (SLOWLY) in Russian, and it turns out that Snape is “Snegg” (a play on snow, right?). I love when translators do things like that.

        • Double Hoo :

          I would definitely suggest getting the English version before you tackle the Russian version properly, because at least in my experience, you get so bogged down that it’s just not worth the effort of constant dictionary-flipping — especially with Russian where you really have to think about the declensions if you aren’t totally fluent. It takes me forever to read anything in Russian.

          Yep, Snape = Snegg = Snow. The other one I like is that Voldemort is “Volan-de-mort,” which is a shout-out to Woland in “The Master and Margarita.”

  3. Has anyone ever ordered a custom tie for a guy? I’m looking for a bright pink/navy striped tie to match a shirt of my SO’s but all the ones I see are too light and I’m wondering about having one made…

  4. Would appreciate advice from this group. Last year, my boyfriend moved from Texas to New York to be with me. We are about 6 months into cohabitation, and it’s going great. Marriage is on the radar (we are both early thirties). He shared with me that he is saving for a ring, and wants more time so he can get something special. ( I should also add he is still adjusting to city life, new job, and a host of other changes that came along with his move.) Now, I have only moderate interest in engagement rings. I’d love anything that he got for me, of course. There is also a family ring (on my side) that I would be more than happy with. Do I tell him about the family ring in hopes of speeding things along/taking off the financial pressure? Or do I muster my patience and let him carry out his plan, even if it takes him awhile to execute? Better yet, any advice on how to kick this internal timeline altogether and just enjoy enjoy things as they come?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I would tell him about the family ring, just once. Let him know how he can get his paws on it if he wants it, and then let it go. He might jump at it, he might prefer to save himself, but it seems like information that he should have.

      On how to be patient, I have no idea. ;)

      • Research, Not Law :

        This.

        I also agree that you should discuss timetable to make sure you’re on the same page. It’s not the same as forcing him to speed up.

    • The only way I was able to kick my internal timetable was by being honest and saying “I’m really excited and eager to take the next step. I completely understand if you weren’t planning on doing that right away, but I was hoping we could have a discussion about expectations and make sure we’re both on the same page.” He ended up admitting he saw us getting married the following fall which allowed me to both speak up a little about the ring and also give him a heads up that I wanted a year to plan our wedding so if he was thinking of a fall wedding, I would appreciate if he took that into account. It ended up working out great and gave me a timetable to work with. And I was still surprised by the actual “official” engagement although I admit he took some pains to throw me off.

    • You’re marrying this person; you can have a frank discussion with him :). Next time it comes up in conversation, mention the family ring, and that any ring he gets doesn’t need to be huge or fancy, and (if this is true) that you’d really be happy with just a wedding band (or whatever). Now, that is all if you actually want the ring or want to make sure he knows your preferences.

      Reading your post again… if your goal is just to speed things up, perhaps just keep being patient. Something that helped me get a handle on the timing of things so at least I knew the general timeframe: my SO and I ended up talking about this in terms of when we wanted to have kids, how long we wanted to be married before we have them, and then naturally kinda backed into the “timeline”.

    • Internal Timeline :

      I may be in the minority here, but I don’t think you can make him decide any sooner than he will left to his own defenses.

      I am 6 years into an embarrassingly good, strong, happy, positive relationship. We have been engaged for 3 years. We probably won’t marry for another 4 years because of some lingering financial and legal issues with his former wife. And you know what? That is A OK with me.

      If those issues magically resolved themselves today and we could get married now (or as soon as one could find a rabbi and a nice restaurant), it would make me anxious.

      Maybe your BF feels the same way. If so, I would not recommend trying to make him speed things up. It could backfire.

    • Since it sounds like you two are pretty open about talking about these things, I say just mention the family ring to him. Maybe something like – “Remember a little while back when you mentioned that you were starting to save for a ring? Well, I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but there’s this ring that Family Member has that’s been in the family for a while. I’m sure this really important to you too, and I’m sure I’ll love whatever you get me, but I’m just really excited at the idea of us being married someday.”

      • I think I’d phrase it differently, more along the lines of

        “I just wanted to let you know that my XX’s ring is passed down in our family, and that’s another ring option if you decide you want to go that way, just let me or (my dad/grandma/whatever) know.

        I do think you should have a timeline convo with him, but I think that should be a separate conversation from the ring conversation.

        Just another idea, but you do what feels right to you!

    • Of course tell him about the ring!

      If you are destined to be together, then you should already be thinking of budgeting accordingly. Even tho your BF is from Texas, it does not sound like he has the bankroll of an H. Ross Perot, so why have him spend his limited monies on a ring for you when you already have one, and he can get the two of you something else you both need for the household, like linens, silverware or even a nice honeymoon!

    • Do you want to wear the family ring? If so, definitely tell him before he spends money on a new ring.

    • lawsuited :

      In terms of your timeline, I got married 3 years ago and almost immediately after the wedding wished DH and I had waited longer. We are very happy together, so it’s not that we regret getting married, but we have had many conversations about the fact that it would have been nice to be together longer without the internal and external pressure of being a married couple, integrating our families, starting a family of our own, etc. The moral: Enjoy what you have now – it sounds awesome!

      In terms of the ring, if there’s a family ring you’d like, tell him (it’s the only way for him to know about it!). I think family rings are very special, and spending a ton of money on a ring is not as special as some people think. Just be aware that knowledge of the family ring may speed things up, but it also may not.

      Like my mum says, “All a green banana needs is time!”

    • I guess I am in the minority here, but I don’t think you should tell him about the family ring. Engagements (including the ring) are a man’s opportunity for romantic planning. Let him carry it out. Don’t rob him of his moment. You have the option to have a short engagement after he pops the question.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      You could have a family member mention the ring to him in a sweet non-pressuring way. Like “Joe, I just want to let you know, that if you and waiting decide to get married someday, we have a family ring that you are welcome to have. Anytime you are ready to have it, just ask. If you would rather buy her your own ring, that is fine too, no hard feelings.”

  5. Anon for sure :

    I am the anon from this morning who posted about bed bugs. I just wanted to thank everyone who responded with advice. I will definitely be using all these tips and really appreicate the responses!

  6. Just figured out the fact that a guy who sent me a message on an online dating site — who I was getting a kind of weird vibe from but still was giving the benefit of the doubt — seems to have been “negging” me.

    Gross. I now want to (plan to) cancel our in person date tonight after a slightly rude text from him. Sigh.

    • good for you for canceling! those guys have serious mental problems

    • +1 for the reference to The League. Although I’m sorry he was negging you. :(

    • I had to google negging. Now that I have — may I be utterly disgusted on your behalf as well. Cancel the date, tell him to f*ck off — and don’t give people the benefit of the doubt if they’re mean to you before you even meet them!

      • The text (after I had texted him confirming our date tonight, for which a date, time and place had been arranged Monday) read : “Wow, you seem more like the type to stand me up. But sure, we’re still on if you want.” (and now looking back, a lot of the things I found slightly “off” in his messages were negging-esque as well)

        I texted him back and said, “Sorry, my boss just asked me to work tonight so I can’t.” Maybe mean but you’re right – I don’t have any time for people who purposely try to make me feel bad to get my attention.

        • If someone had texted me that, I probably would have said “I’m not the type to stand “guys” up, but I’m going to stand YOU up. So have a nice life. Bye.”

          Seriously, this guy is what a “have a nice life” text is made for — don’t leave doors open, don’t make up excuses — say bye, delete his number from your phone, and block his texts.

    • Excellent decision to cancel, although I probably would have said, “Did you just try to NEG me? Hahahaha! Date’s off, loser!” But then it has already been established that I am a total B.

      • Hahahahaha. A+ for anyone to actually do this.

        I think the whole negging/”art of seduction” thing is just deeply repulsive. The whole strategy seems to be to prey on a woman’s insecurities by insulting her, so that you can make her feel that she now has to gain your approval so that you will validate her existence and attractiveness and personality by sleeping with her. It creeps me out anytime I think about it.

        • cornellian :

          I think I have male friends who platonically do this… some of whom aren’t even interested in women. Weird.

          • They are probably practicing on you. I have a friend who is very into evolutionary psychology, which is what a lot of the PUA (Pick up artist) “instructionals” claim to be based on.
            He TOTALLY used to try to practice on me, but I called him out on it and he was sheepish. LOL.

            I’ve also had potential dates (in the past) do this, and I will absolutely call them out. “Oh my. Did you just try to give me a backhanded compliment thinking you’d make me feel badly about myself? That’s amusing. I’m so sorry, though, it didn’t work.”

            But I, too, am firmly established as a B. My husband seems to like it ok, so I’m not worried.

        • YES!!! Every unmarried woman should read “The Game:Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists “! I’ve read about so many games men (esp in NYC!) play, wish I read it before learning the hard way in my early 20’s….

          In fact, my cousin and I walked into a full-on pickup class at a club once and my cousin called out the ‘teacher’ who sent one of his minions to practice on us. He was shocked but still tried to get her number. These are all losers who have no personality or confidence, and feel the need to learn other men’s manipulative tactics to pick up women. I know I sound paranoid, but you should always have your guard up. Good on you, aft!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      If its any consolation my last online date turned out to be lying about his name and married with a kid…. I figured thought out halfway through coffee when he slipped

      He’s a 5th grade teacher – gross

  7. Imelda Marcos :

    I just counted under my desk and I have 7 pairs of shoes there! Is this normal? I’m not even sure how that happened. No wonder I can’t ever find the shoes that I’m looking for when I get dressed in the morning.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Only 7? That sounds totally reasonable to me. I have at least 14 pairs in the office currently, not including my toms (for commuting), and rainboots (also commuting, obviously).

      I got a shoe rack from ikea and put it under my desk so they at least look somewhat reasonable when IT has to come do things to my computer and for the cleaning people.

      • cornellian :

        I think I own 14 pairs of shoes… including two pairs of road running, one trail running, and one pair of hiking boots….

        I do need some rainboots and a pair of Toms, though.

      • Imelda Marcos :

        That’s a good idea. I only counted because there was a jumble of shoes and I figured that I should at least pair them up in case someone looks under there it’s not a total diaster! I’m not sure I’ve ever looked under someone else’s desk, so I didn’t know if this was a thing or not.

      • MissJackson :

        I also have a shoe rack under my desk :-)

    • phillygirlruns :

      7 sounds quite reasonable. i have an ikea “expedit” bookcase in my office with three of the square basket/drawers dedicated to shoes. i commute in flats (flip-flops during the summer) and change into heels when i get here, so i have at least 7-10 pairs – black and brown boots, nude, black and brown heels, couple pairs of other flats, and couple other random, more fun pairs.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’ve posted this before but it seems appropriate to post again. At my former job my assistant’s precocious daughter, I think then 7, was visiting the office and came around my desk to give me a hug. She looked underneath and said “wow, you really need to clean it up under there. Why do you keep so many shoes at the office!” (I drive and have no commute so I didn’t have a very good excuse lol.) We laughed but then I later ended up taking the shoes home. Next time she visited she checked and said “glad you cleaned up. Doesn’t it look so much better now?” Out of the mouths’ of babes.

      • Imelda Marcos :

        I also drive and have a very short commute, which is why I was a little stunned to see so many shoes. I’m afraid I can’t take them all home though, because I don’t think I have room in my closet!

    • I have 13 pairs in my office…and an unknown number at home. Since I walk to work though, all my work heels are in my office.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I just can’t get into the idea of storing shoes in the office! I wear my commute shoes, and put my heels for the day in a shoe bag, which I tuck into my purse. I swap out my commute shoes on the train. I would be mortified to go up my office elevator in flip flops or sneakers, much less walk through the office that way. I spend so much time establishing a professional image. The last thing I want to do is undo all that effort by running into a head honcho rocking my Havaianas and hot pink pedicure. Am I the only one?

      • MissJackson :

        Depends on what your commute shoes are, right? I have a few pair of very comfortable wedges that I commute in. They are perfectly office appropriate, and it is fine if the big boss or a client saw me in them. I also have high heels that are comfortable — but not for my mile plus commute. Then I have a few best-for-days-when-I-mostly-sit shoes. The latter two categories live in my office on a mostly permanent basis.

      • I’d feel better about it than I would my boss seeing me in heels and thinking I was stupid enough to go on DC public transportation in them.

      • lawsuited :

        I wear the MK fulton moccasin to drive and walk to the office from the parking lot. They are comfortable, but read as nice black flats.

      • My commute shoes are the nautralizer maude flats, so Im fine with people seeing them

      • eastbaybanker :

        Hmm. Most people drive to my suburban office so the “commute shoe” isn’t normal around here. I think that’s the difference. And yes, my (reverse) commute shoes are not as office shoe-like as they could be!

      • Our head honcho has seen me drunk (and been drunk with me) at the holiday party and seen me in sweatpants coming straight to the office after 30 hours traveling, so… no, I don’t care if he sees me in my flipflops at 8:30am.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I had at least that many in my BigLaw office.

    • MissJackson :

      I have 28. You’re fine. I may have an issue, but you are fine :)

      • I am going to show this to my SO later to prove to him that I don’t have as many shoes as plenty of other wonderful professional women.

        And then go buy more :)

    • lucy stone :

      Normal. I only have two in here right now, but that’s because our custodian made me take them home when they sprayed for spiders. In winter I usually wear boots in every day and have about 10 pairs in the office.

    • I own at least 80 pairs of shoes but only the shoes I’m wearing and my gym shoes are currently in my office. Other than that, my rainboots might travel to the office, but I just don’t leave shoes at the office. Then again, I don’t really have a commute (10 minutes door to door on a bad day).

    • lawsuited :

      Tres reasonable. I have 10 pairs of work heels at the office because I commute to work and can only drive in flat shoes. They’re neatly stored in matching shoe boxes so don’t clutter up the place.

    • I have only 4, but a coworker keeps a drawer full of Pradas, Louboutins, etc. (the low-heeled kind) so that she doesn’t have to wear them on her commute.

      It raises a whole other Q for me similar to “should an intern wear a birkin to the office”…since she is 25-6 and not in a high-level role, but I learned from this site not to judge.

    • a passion for fashion :

      I just counted. I have 6 under my desk and 6 in my work closet.

      I also just bought 4 new pairs — though 3 were flats. And one was a pair of hunter rain ballet flat! Has anyone seen these before? They are fabulous. The look like adorable ballet flats and are totally comfortable but are made of the hunter boot material. They also come with a little shoe bag that is heavy and waterproof so if you wear them in the rain, you can just stash your wet shoes in the bag and go on about your day.

    • SoCalAtty :

      I just realized I don’t even OWN 7 pairs of office shoes. I think I have a nude, 3 black, a brown…all 3′ heels or so and they are nice brands. I guess I need to go shoe shopping!

      I do have 4 sets of flip flops, a custom pair of tall boots for riding, and at least 5 different kinds of hiking shoes. Even so, my collection seems to be far behind! Naturalizer needs to have another sale…or Zappos…

      (None of this is to say you ladies aren’t normal. I’m pretty sure I’m the weird one.)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        If you’re weird SoCalAtty, I am, too. I have only a 4 office pairs, all nice brands (Kate Spade, Ferragamo) – 3 black, and 1 gray, and I’m on a months-long hunt for nude heels. However, it does sound like *I* need custom boots to catch up with you ;).

  8. SugarMagnolia :

    TJ….

    My feet have been incredibly swollen throughout this pregnancy, and it is really nearly ridiculous now. My size 9 black flats have been my go to shoe, but are so stretched out and scuffed up that I am going to have to replace them. I have exactly 8 weeks to go.

    Any suggestions for finding a really cheap, really wide shoe to get me through the next 2 months?

    • Research, Not Law :

      Payless usually has a good selection of wides. I recently got a pair of flats at H&M that are kind of stretchy.

      You could also check consignment stores to try to find something nicer.

      Food for thought: It may be worth paying for a real pair. Your feet may not bounce back. Depends on how long you are willing to wear cheap shoes.

    • When I was at that point with my first, I kept black satin ballet-style slippers under my desk and wore them when I was sitting down. Real shoes only when standing up.

    • How cheap are we talking?
      You can search for wide shoes on Zappos, 6pm and most other shoe websites. Assuming you want a black flat in size 9 W (and inc. 9.5 in case you want to size up), here’s what 6pm turned up: http://tinyurl.com/ch4o3dx

      Personally, I’d go with the Naya Begonia for $40 (make sure you change the width to W[C] or it will come up as unavailable in black). Naya is a Naturalizer brand so it’s very comfortable but a little bit more interesting and higher quality than regular Naturalizer (better materials, construction, etc.).

  9. TJ- my friend is going to a party tonight where they will be required to take off their shoes (it’s at someone’s house, but I get the impression it’s still very formal). She’s five feet tall. Any suggestions? Aside from wearing tights, obviously, so she doesn’t have to walk around barefoot!

    tempted to tell her to snooki-poof her hair for more height….

    • Always a NYer :

      My mind immediately went to that S*x and the City episode where Carrie’s shoes are stolen =)

      I’d wear tights, or even slip on socks when I take my shoes off because I hate being barefoot.

    • Sometimes you just gotta be short. There’s no helping it. If she gets drunk enough, she can dance on the coffee table…that’ll add a good foot. :-) (I say this as a shortie who gave up worrying about it years ago).

      (I don’t think snookie-poofing her hair will add gravitas, even if it gives an impression of height).

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Have good posture, a great attitude, a fabulous pedicure, and own her height. If it’s an Asian home, sometimes the host gives everyone new house slippers so the floor stays clean but folks aren’t barefoot.

    • hahaha, I totally thought of that SATC episode too! It’s at some guy’s house in Palo Alto, he’s the founder of Farmville or something equally lame that has made him a millionaire. But I can understand not wanting people tramping around your house in their shoes.

      • you can? I cannot understand that. (in American culture, anyway) I mean if you want to leave your shoes at your door in your own house on a regular basis – I get that. But to invite people over and then not let them wear shoes? Seems reasonable to pull out the ole broom and dust pan after a party.

        • cornellian :

          I don’t think it’s rare at all. I always just look at hte front door to see if the homeowners have a line of shoes there. If so, mine come off, too. At home mine come off 95% of the time, but I’ve stopped expecting guests to do the same since I have a big furry dirt magnet of a dog.

          The older i get the more wearing shoes on carpet feels like putting my shoes on someone’s kitchen table.

        • I hate, hate, hate to wear shoes, so I don’t mind at all personally, but I know a lot of people who hate to take off their shoes in other people’s homes. I’ve been to a few houses that have that rule, and , even though it doesn’t bother me, I find it a little bit obnoxious just out of sheer fussiness. Floors are there to get walked on; lighten up!

          (Of course, I’m always barefoot, and sometimes when I have guests and they see that I’m not wearing shoes, they immediately take theirs off, too, and I have to reassure them that that’s not a rule in our home, just my own little quirk!)

          • SoCalAtty :

            Me too! I hate shoes. If I could go barefoot all the time I would. I get the same reaction from guests…”should we take off our shoes?” I always say “only if you want to!” I have all wood so it is easy to clean. If I had carpet….I think I would consider a shoe ban.

        • I would say pretty much any party I’ve been to at someone’s house I’ve had to take off my shoes…..but usually they’re someone I know, and it’s not a situation where I’m wearing a fancy cocktail dress and trying to network with people and look hot (my friend’s goals at this party, apparently). She said shes going to wear tights and a bright blazer to help her feel confident without her heels.

          was just curious what others would do!

        • eastbaybanker :

          A guest at my NYE party this year wore heels that were in need of being redone. The exposed metal stem of the heel pounded indentations all over our beautifully refinished wood dining room floor which is original to a 100+ year old house. I was HORRIFIED! I am a renter and am praying to god this doesn’t get noticed when I move out.

          Ever since that event, I have had shoe free parties and provide new or almost new ankle socks to guests who want them. I don’t think not wanting your floors to get trashed is fussy.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Yup, my friend dealt with the exact same thing. NYE party, though owned home, not rented and someone’s heel made indentations all over her refinished 100+ year old wood dining room floor.

        • OC Lawyer :

          It is completely normal here in Orange County, even among the I-was-born-in-the-US-and-so-were-my-parents-and-grandparents crowd and the non-Asian crowd.

          I feel the same way about shoes as I do about dogs: those things (shoes, dogs’ feet) are running around all day in the street picking up goodness knows what from the gutter. The last thing I want is for them to track it all on my floor.

      • I have hardwood floors that can be damaged by heels, and I prefer to ask everyone to take shoes off rather than singling out one person. If it’s a big gathering I’ll probably have my cleaning lady make an extra visit the day after, so I don’t really mind if the floors get dirty.

      • I get the no-shoes preference. But I really hate it. I’ve had one too many foot injuries/cuts that meant I couldn’t comfortably wear shoes for a long time. I’d rather just keep my shoes on.

        That said, “house” shoes are a good thing. I get the benefit of shoes without all the dirt and germs.

    • Research, Not Law :

      This whole post confuses me. Taking shoes off seems pretty normal. I’m 5’1″ and it doesn’t bother me. I mean, she’s been 5″ her entire adult life. What’s wrong with it?

    • Am I the only one not seeing a problem here?

      Signed,
      5’2″ and Takes Off Her Shoes Every Chance She Gets

      • No.

        Signed,
        Fellow Barefoot Warrior.

        • Third. Shoes never make it past the entryway in my house. In my own home, it’s just a matter of preference for bare feet, but in other’s homes is just a matter of respect–I think it’s gross to track in mud, dead bugs, and who knows what else you picked up off the sidewalk and grind it into someone’s carpet. Most people I know don’t drop down and sit in the middle of Times Square, so I doubt they’d appreciate you bringing Times Square’s sidewalk filth onto their carpet for them to sit on.

        • I find it so uncomfortable when I’m somewhere where shoes have to remain on all the time!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I figure we all have insecurities about our bodies, and we use clothes/shoes to help us feel less insecure about whatever it is. I’m not insecure about my height, but am insecure about other things, so I try to be constructive about anonahol’s question – what to do when we can’t wear the clothes/shoes that help us feel less insecure?

        Violet- no-shoes homes are really common over here, not just among Asian households, but folks who have adopted that practice. Several of my coworkers have no-shoes homes. When I someday own real estate, it will be a no shoes home, too.

        • I did not realize it was so common. I have not run into that.

          I just feel like as a hostess, I would want my guests to feel as comfortable as possible, and I think that being barefoot at a party would be uncomfortable.

          • I agree with this – want my guests to feel as comfortable as possible. If they want to take off their shoes, great, if not, I’m not going to tell them to because I would feel like a bad hostess. Fortunately my guests have tended to take off their shoes on their own if it’s muddy or snowy, so that’s not a problem

            I wouldn’t mind so much if I were wearing socks, but if I wasn’t because it’s summer, I’d feel very uncomfortable being barefoot in someone else’s house. Plus, if I wear tall shoes and wear accordingly long pants, I’d be tripping on my pants! And look like a toddler wearing too-long pants.

            But I also know that this exact discussion has brought out a great deal of strong feelings on another site I read, so this is all I’ll say. I’ll be in the corner with some popcorn.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I guess I don’t get the discomfort about being barefoot – for me it’s no different than taking off a pair of gloves in someone’s house in winter and keeping my hands bare. Your skin protects you from germs (unless you have a cut on your foot) and presumably, people aren’t that dirty. If people do observe a barefoot/no shoes house, then there’s not even dirt tracked in from outside.

            But then again, I run around barefoot, inside or outside, every chance I get. So maybe I’m not totally normal myself.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I have a no-shoes apartment that I rent. I hate shoes.

        • Anonymous :

          I so wish I could enforce the no shoes rule at my house. It just seems like a much cleaner way of living. But the one time I tried asking guessts to do this (we had just had a huge ice storm and I didn’t want people tracking water and mud all over the place), I definitely got some push back from certain of my inlaws. (For one of them, she objected because she wasn’t wearing socks. In January. In an ice storm. Who does that?)

          But I think the no shoes inside rule is super common in Canada as well as in Asian households.

          • cornellian :

            Yeah. My German hostparents’ jaws would literally drop open and stay there if I wore my shoes further than 2 feet in to the house. They also kept a stack of indoor slippers for guests, though, which helps.

          • What? My house, my rules. Anybody who doesn’t like it can turn around, get in their cars, and drive themselves to hell. This applies to all.

            Tell your in-laws to suck it up. Sheesh.

          • SoCalAtty :

            Susan: my new motto is now “get in your car and drive yourself to hell.” I think I love it.

          • My answer to this one is a growing collection of exotic but inexpensive slippers/ babouches from various markets in the middle east and Asia. I keep them in a canvas hanger with pouches inside a hall cupboard and haven’t had a visitor decline the offer to put on a pair while in the house. They go out in the sun between uses which seems to keep them clean and fresh enough.

            I sometimes buy kid-sized ones too but often end up giving these away if kid visitors want to keep them.

          • Double Hoo :

            They do the guest slipper thing in Russian households too. My old Russian teacher said it was mostly because Russians hate to clean their floors, but I can’t confirm that.

      • I also don’t get the issue. I love being barefoot. I wish it was more acceptable more places. My only suggestion is to make sure she has a nice pedicure/her feet look neat.

      • I’m also 5’2″ and don’t have a problem taking off my shoes because I’ll be shorter than most people, but honestly walking around barefoot in someone else’s house is never something that has really appealed to me. A lot of friends have a no shoes policy and unless it’s a nice dinner or something, I always make sure to wear sneakers to their places so I can at least wear socks.

        • Couldn’t you just bring a pair in your purse? I guess since I do Pure Barre, I have no weird feelings about having a pair of grippy socks in a bag in my purse.

          No-shoes parties are a fun excuse to break out the crazy socks. Christmas socks with jingle bells attached, argyle, Disney princesses, etc. The host could even suggest a theme.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I also bring socks. I actually have specific pairs of ‘shoe-off house’ socks that are cute and cozy. For something more formal, like this party is described, I’d pack a small pair of black ballet slippers.

        • Mousekeeper :

          We have a no-shoes house, but it’s easy because everyone comes in through the laundry room, and that’s where everyone takes off their shoes, unless they’re a stranger or businessperson or tradesperson (plumber, etc.). It keeps the level of dirt and mud on the rugs and carpet down to a minimum. I put a cushioned bench from Pottery Barn in the laundry room that has cubbyholes for baskets that shoes can go into, so we have a place to sit and tie shoes without dragging them into the kitchen. Very handy

    • I really dislike no-shoe houses. I have plantar fasciitis that flares up with too much barefoot time. Although I have asked to leave my shoes on at times, it makes me feel self-conscious.

  10. Thanks for all who chimed in on editing down text the other day. Ended up 100 words under. I think it’s a bit crap but hopefully passable.

  11. Shoe theadjack:

    I have a pair of purple suede pumps which seem to have a spot fading issue. And ideas on how that could have happened and how to treat them?

  12. Dating Anon :

    I’ve gone on a couple of dates with a guy and am having a really amazing time with him, but he has mentioned that he definitely doesn’t want children. I’m not sure if I want children, but I lean towards yes (I’ve told him this). Obviously this is not very serious yet, but I’m wondering if I should even continue dating him, because the idea of that completely being off the table makes me a little sad. I’m in my late twenties, so theoretically I have awhile, but then again what if this turns into something serious and then I realize that I really do want children and I will never be able to have them with him? I guess I am just looking for advice whether I should end it before I get more involved or wait and see what happens.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I do firmly believe that if someone wants a family, they shouldn’t date someone who doesn’t. Any way you look at it, it’s just wasting your time.

      • I would agree with this in general. However, there are a few exceptions. If you aren’t looking for anything serious (for example a rebound or something) or you know that there is an expiration date on any possible relationship, then go for it. If not, stay away-there are plenty of people out there who do want kids and who you will develop the same good rapport with.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I respectively disagree with this thinking. I don’t see a ‘just for fun’ relationship, even a short one, being a productive use of time *if the goal is to have a family*. Someone is better off continuing to find a good partner.

          The OP stated they were in their late 20’s. I would have different advice for someone who was younger. But if you figure one year to meet the right person, one year to engagement, one year to marriage, then one year to first child’s birth, it’s 4 years. And that’s in a fairly speedy scenario.

    • Merabella :

      It seems like he is a great guy, but you two aren’t compatible. Send him off to find a lady who also doesn’t want kids. It seems like this is something you want, even if you aren’t sure you want it right now. Don’t spend time investing in the relationship because you will be mad at yourself later when you’ve developed deeper feelings and you two aren’t on the same page.

    • Depends. Would you be up for just having a fun, non-long term relationship with him? Or are you looking only for serious relationships? You know yourself — are you capable of doing short and fun, or do you know you’ll just wind up hurt? I had lots of relationships with men I’d never consider marrying and was perfectly happy. When they fizzled, I just thought “okay, that’s all for that” and moved on. But I realize not everyone is like that. If you are, then go have fun. If not, then you can either go forward knowing you might break your own heart (either by breaking up with him down the road because no kids is a deal-breaker for you, or by marrying him and not having kids even though you do want them), or decide it’s not worth that risk and stop seeing him now.

    • phillygirlruns :

      as someone firmly in the no-kids camp, i agree with Research, Not Law. i don’t know what you mean by “wait and see,” though. if you mean continuing to casually date and see if it fizzles off for other reasons, then sure. if you mean “wait and see if one of us changes our mind about wanting to have children,” then no. i don’t see any issue with casually dating someone you know you’re not going to have a future with, but don’t forgo other opportunities because of this.

    • You shouldn’t get into a serious relationship with someone who doesn’t want the same thing long range as you do, its gotta be a deal-breaker (unless what you really want broken is your heart). But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with this guy (lady-garden fun or otherwise) IF you’re the type who can also go out and look for something serious while doing so and both parties understand what’s going on.

      If not, well…I think you kind of know the answer already.

    • I agree with the others that, unless you’re really not looking for a serious relationship now, it’s not a good idea to get too deeply involved with him, so better to break it off before you do. Going into a relationship with a potential dealbreaker like that just opens the door to resentment and bad feelings down the line.

      Also, I know that this isn’t what you asked, so apologies if this is overstepping, but be careful about fooling yourself about how much time you have. I’m not at all saying to go, get married and get knocked up right now before your eggs dry up! or anything like that, but if you are in your late 20’s now (let’s say 27), by the time you actually do meet the right guy, get married, get settled, and have a little bit of “the two of you” time, you’re going to be in your 30’s, and, assuming that you want to have more than one and would like to be done before 35 (I know that people do have kids later than 35, but it gets harder and harder.), you’re going to feel like you’re running out of time really quickly. It all goes by in a flash.

      (I married at 21. People said “Kids?” We said, “Oh, maybe in around 5 years.” Then we looked back and realized that we were still saying that and had been married over 5 years. Then life and moving and law school and money, and now, finally, at 32, I’m knocked up, and it still seems like it happened so quickly and maybe we really could have waited another couple of years. (just sort of!) But then I think, well, I’ll be almost 33 when this fellow’s born, and if I want to have another (which I do – not a fan of the onlies), I’ll be at least 34 by the time that happens, and what if I want a 3rd? You run out of time fast!)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        And suddenly the volume of the clock ticking in my head just got a lot louder. I’m already married to the right guy and still not ready yet. Maybe in a couple years… except then I’ll be pushing the border of a geriatric pregnancy (medical term for pregnancies 35+) by the time the hypothetical second kid shows up.

        I need a drink.

        • I’ve been there, sweetie, believe me! And I’ve been married (happily!) for ages. I have no idea how the “I’m not even going to think about marriage until I’m 28/have a master’s degree/whatever” gals do it! You’ll work it out.

          • Or us “divorced at 30, still single at almost 32″ girls…I just have to plug my ears when conversations like this come up, because there’s nothing I can do about it. I try not to nurse resentment that my ex-husband “stole” years of my fertile life from me, although I often feel that way.

        • lawsuited :

          I think my biological clock is broken. It seems like the older I get the longer I want to wait to have children.

          Also, when I was younger I was firmly in the must-have-kids camp, now I’m not so sure, so people can change their minds about these things!

          • e_pontellier :

            “the older I get the longer I want to wait to have children.”

            +1.

          • Brooklyn, Esq. :

            Co-sign. Wonder why this happened? Reality setting in?

          • e_pontellier :

            Yeah, I’m not sure. I used to get really angry that I had to get my life together (that is, pay off student loans) before having babies, and now, I’m so glad I don’t have any kids and I don’t mind my loans. What’s wrong with me?!

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I don’t have a biological clock and have never wanted children. Nothing wrong with that!

        • It’s OK. I just had #2 at 38. No problems (and they call Advanced Maternal Age – sexy, huh?)

          Have that drink anyway – drink up and sleep in for me!

        • TurtleWexler :

          Ugh, I’m right with you…time is ticking on and I’m more than content to put off the kid thing “for awhile longer” except for the fact that my birthdays just keep on coming. It’s funny because 5 years ago, an oops would have been devastating, but now I would kind of welcome one because it would mean DH and I wouldn’t actually have to make a conscious decision to go for it. But for now, I will just stick my fingers in my ears and yell “la la la, I can’t HEEEAR you!” at my biological clock…

          • “an oops would have been devastating” Isn’t it funny how you spend your teens/20s desperately trying NOT to get pregnant, and then when you hit your 30s you’re suddenly like…why was I so worried all those years, I’m having all kinds of unprotected s*x and nothing’s happening!

      • I know I should just let it pass, but I feel the need to stick up for only children – my parents intended to have more than one child, but some other unfortunate things happened after I was born that made that impossible. It’s not always something you can control for. I also think good parenting can prevent or at least mitigate the infamous “only child syndrome.”

        • I wasn’t going to say anything but glad you did. I loved being an only child and the only thing about it that’s annoying is when people find out and then say, “wow, but you don’t seem like an only child!” It always makes me laugh. Obviously, it’s not being an only child that makes you an a**hole.

        • I think it’s good to remind people of this. I also think that Lyssa doesn’t even have one kid yet (well, not outside of the womb anyway), so she may not really know what she thinks until she gets there. I always thought I wanted two kids, mainly because I worried about the only child stigma. Then we had a lot of trouble having #2 (kept losing pregnancies), and I realized that I would be totally happy with “just one” perfect, well-adjusted, daughter, and she would ultimately be fine with that too (and, by the way, I felt super lucky to have her, because having her wasn’t too easy either, and all the trouble we had later really drove home how much the stars had aligned with her). As it happened, once I threatened the universe I ended up having a second child, and I can’t imagine life without him, but if things had taken a different turn that would have been fine too, just different.

        • Seriously. My SO is an only child, and he is easily the most likable, socially adept person in our circle of friends and colleagues.

          I know tons of only children, and frankly, the stereotypes are totally unfounded. For every only child with Only Child Syndrome, I’m willing to bet there’s a siblinged(?) person with the same exact personality.

    • I don’t want kids and I try not to date guys who definitely want kids because there’s too much at risk. However, I would date the male version of you — someone who “leans” towards kids but isn’t sure right now. The way I figure, maybe we fall so madly in love with each other that someone changes their mind since only “leaning” tells me that that person might still be able to have a fulfilling life without kids. Or maybe we date for a few months and it doesn’t last, but in the meantime I had new experiences and learned something new about myself or another person. But the moment I meet a guy that gushes about how he can’t wait to be a dad, or how he wants a bunch of kids, I know there’s no point in dating.

    • Dating Anon :

      Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Just to clarify, by wait and see what happens I meant see if it’s just casual and fizzles out, maybe it will get serious and I will decide that a life with this guy is enough for me and I’m fine not having children, or it will get serious and I realize that I really do want kids and then I’m older and heartbroken and have no children and have to find someone to have them with. I would never try to change anyone’s mind about children or assume that he is going to change his mind. But, if I don’t have children I would want it to be my decision and not made for me (to whatever extent that is possible).

      My mother had me at 35 (and I have a younger sibling), so growing up I never pictured myself having children before 35, however now that I’m older I understand that doesn’t necessarily work for everyone (although, for all I know it wouldn’t work now). I think a large part of me just wants to make it work since I have been single for a long time and can’t remember the last time that I went on a date and was actually excited about the guy, but maybe this will also be the push to remind me that there are actually guys out there that I am interested in!

      Thanks again for all of the comments. You woman are all amazing and I love hearing your different perspectives.

    • I think you don’t need to make this decision after a couple of dates. When you’re up to a couple of dates every week, then it’s time to have a Serious Talk about it.

  13. Research, Not Law :

    I would love this bag if it weren’t for the bottom zippers. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

    Arg, why do bags always have so many pointless zippers? I keep running into this and refuse to believe that *I* am the problem ;)

  14. Help with a wedding invite... :

    TJ… help me decide whether or not to attend my ex boyfriend’s wedding. Ugh.

    So, I’m happily married, he’s getting happily married, I love the fiance. I dated this guy pretty seriously in high school/college, then we broke up. I dumped him and it was really messy for a couple months.

    Over the years (we broke up in 2004), we’ve stayed in loosely touch (he’s in a relatively public profession so it’s hard not to) and we see each other at all events that require you to re-connect with your high school friends when you’re in your late 20s (babies, weddings, reunions, the night before Thanksgiving because you don’t want to deal with your own family). He and his fiance (then girlfriend) were invited and attended my wedding in 2009. My husband and I got invited to their wedding and it’s time to return the RSVP card.

    Reasons I want to go (in this order):
    1. It’s going to be super swanky, in an awesome location and have awesome food
    2. I am excited for them
    3. I want to hang out with all my old friends; we have a ton of mutual friends that are going, and my best friend is his best man.
    4. I can also visit family while in town

    Reasons I haven’t returned the card yet:
    1. his family still hates me (I think) and it could be really awkward should I happen upon his mom, his extended family, or anyone that at one point thought we were going to get married. You’d think the old “well he went to your wedding, it will be fine!” would apply, but his family doesn’t (never really did) like me, whereas my parents were always neutral-to-positive on him. Plus, he didn’t dump me.

    So….thoughts? Is this silly? Should I just go and enjoy myself? If so, I’ve already told my husband that he’s going to be fetching drinks so I don’t have any run-ins at the bar ;)

    • Merabella :

      I would go and just avoid the family. You have reasons to go, and you don’t really have to interact with his family outside the appropriate “Hi, congrats” type thing, and that might not even happen if they don’t have a receiving line.

    • cornellian :

      I would go, just make sure you leave at a reasonable hour reasonably sober to avoid family drama, and give them a wide berth.

    • I don’t think you are being silly. I think it is nice of you to consider the feelings of his family. This is a special day for them, too.

      • I think if they were that opposed though, they wouldve said somethign to the groom right? like please don’t invite her I don’t want to see her there. If its a big wedding I would go and just mostly avoid them (but be really polite and civil obviously)

        • that is a good point!

        • Help with a wedding invite... :

          You’d think that if they were opposed they’d veto the invite…but really, they had zero say on the guest list. We probably got invited because it would be weird to include everyone else in our “old crowd” (which has become known as “the wedding crowd” adn then “the baby shower crowd”) but me. And also, because we invited them to ours for the very same reason.

    • lucy stone :

      One of my high school boyfriends attended my wedding and I think he had a good time. We’d been broken up for over 10 years and hung out socially when we lived in the same city when I was in law school. I’d attend his wedding in a heartbeat.

    • If his mother choses to focus on the ex-girlfriend from almost 10 years ago of her son as he marries a (presumably) lovely person, that is his mother’s issue and not yours. I would go, be a model guest, not go overboard in interacting with his mother if possible, and enjoy it.

    • Go and don’t seek out the family. If they dislike you, it’s unlikely they’ll seek out you. If you run into them, be courteous and move on quickly.

    • Go. If they really didn’t like you, they’ll have a chance to be so happy he’s marrying someone else!

  15. Sick of hurting wrists :

    Question: have any of the hive had carpal tunnel surgery on one or both wrists? If so — is it something you would recommend?

    Background: I’ve had CT since I was 15. I initially incurred the injury as a repetitive stress injury from practicing several hours a day as a competitive musician. Surgery was recommended to me by one doctor at the time, but I was afraid of being cut into and I wasn’t willing to go through the necessary downtime for recovery while I was preparing for conservatory auditions. I was young, the injury was new, and it seemed like a drastic overreaction to something that might go away on its own. Fast forward to now: I’m in my early/mid-20s, and CT has continued to be a problem on and off since I was initially diagnosed. Though I no longer play music regularly, I now have a full time desk job (which I love) and it seems to be worsening again. Writing is the primary component of my job, so there is really no way for me to avoid typing. I am still wary of surgery, but I’m getting sick of the symptoms and the thought of having pain and numbness in my wrists and hands for the rest of my life is exhausting. Part of me thinks that if I am ever going to have surgery, I might as well just do it now, while I have decent health insurance, access to major metro area surgeons, and job benefits that would allow me to take paid time off for recovery. Obviously, consultation with a doctor is the next step and anonymous internet comments are no substitute for that — but I’ve never been able to talk directly with anyone who had the surgery, and I’ve always wondered if it is as much of a miracle cure as some of the doctors make it out to be.

    • Don’t have CT but wishing you the best!

    • I have not had CT surgery, but there are some things you can do before you get to that point that might help. First, get a “natural” keyboard — that made a life-changing difference for me. Second, sleep in a really stiff (as close to immobilizing as you can find) wrist brace. Third, don’t be afraid of pain relievers (advil, etc.).

      You can start doing those things while you’re tracking down a good doctor and waiting to get an appointment.

    • An older guy I work with had it and found it relatively easy to recover from (as it a day or so). Of course, he had broken his arm that year, so anything else was minor in comparison….

      Are you wearing braces at night? I’m not diagnosed, but I have some symptoms and just making sure that I sleep with my wrists straight helps a lot.

    • lucy stone :

      My mom has had it twice on one wrist. It worked the first time until she injured her wrist boogie-boarding, and then they needed to go in again. She’s been very happy with it. I don’t think her CT is cured, but it is much better.

    • My mom had surgery for it on both hands at the same time. I had to care for her for about a week after the surgery. It has helped a lot but she still has some pain.

    • My mom had CT surgery on both wrists about 6 months apart. She used to have trouble sleeping through the night because the pain in her wrist would wake her up. After getting the surgery, she’s miles better. I believe the surgery isn’t super invasive. She doesn’t have the pain any more, and just notices sometimes that her grip strength isn’t as great. As long as my dad is around to open jars, she’s just fine.

    • Please make sure you have a full ergo set up and try it for a while before getting surgery. I suggest having a professional evaluation, as a lot of “off-the-shelf” ergo products aren’t really.

      I think the surgery is getting more common, but there is still risk of nerve damage. And it’s often not a cure all. An ergo set up that allows you to keep good posture and good risk position can do wonders.

    • I was also once diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Different doctors gave me different opinions on whether I should get surgery. The rationale against surgery was that there are so many tiny bones in the wrist and its so complex that the chances something else gets slightly damaged while going in there are pretty high and that therefore surgery may correct one problem but not actually make my hands better. I decided against having it, which was a good thing, too since it turned out I didn’t actually have carpal tunnel. It was the same sort of strain injury, just in a different place in my wrist, from a tendon/nerve sliding over a rough piece of cartilege – a remnant from an old car accident – for years. While figuring out whether to have surgery or not, they tried several treatments to help me through lengthy written exams and one of the most effective forms for me was physical therapy. After working on my hand for an hour and still being in pain and my hand being numb, the therapist worked on my shoulders and back. Apparently blockages in my shoulders and back had severely worsened the pain in my wrists, so since a back massage is usually pleasant, maybe that is an avenue you could explore?

    • SoCalAtty :

      I had the same problem, and it was progressing until I quit music at 18. I’m now 31 and at a desk all the time, and it hasn’t seemed to reappear.

      Both my mom and my grandfather had CT surgery, my mom maybe 15 years ago and my grandpa right about the same time. My mom had both done, grandpa only one. Both of them seemed to only have partial success. Probably neither one of them gave themselves enough time to recover. My grandpa decided against doing the other one because it really didn’t help all that much, for him. That is totally anecdotal though, and this was also 15 years ago so there is no telling what advances have been made.

    • I am in my early 30s and have been threatened with surgery for CT. Instead, I sleep in wrist braces, use an ambidextrous mouse and ergo keyboard, get physical therapy, work with an expert personal trainer who knows how to carefully and safely strengthen my upper body in order to develop muscles which better support my wrists and elbows, see a chiropractor (as Parker said below, misaligned spine/elbow/wrist press on arm nerves), and get deep tissue massages regularly. The wrist braces and personal training especially have really, really helped. I also hear acupuncture can work wonders. I encourage you to exhaust all other options before volunteering for surgery so you can be confident that surgery is the right choice for you.

    • Before doing carpal tunnel surgery (or any surgery) it’s always best to explore alternative options.

      Have you tried yoga? I’ve read studies (can’t find them now) that state yoga can be as affective as surgery.

      Have you tried going on a gluten-free diet? Gluten causes widespread inflamation to some individuals (not all of course), which could mimic carpal tunnel. See glutenfreeforum dot com for help.

      What about accupuncture or accupressure?

      Good luck!

  16. I think you should go, particularly since they came to yours. I doubt his family still hates you eight years after the fact, and even if they do, it sounds like it’ll be a big enough party (swanky weddings are usually big, right?) that you can avoid them after saying hello. Just hole up in the corner with your HS friends and have a good time!

    • Help with a wedding invite... :

      that was my exact plan. I’ll just avoid a dress with excessive sparkles and send the hubs to the bar in my stead. Last I talked to the ex, they’re over 400 attendees.

  17. Any ideas on nice baby shower game prizes (besides lotion and candles)? Hosting a shower in a few weeks, any recs appreciated. Are Starbucks gift cards tacky? Thanks.

    • I would prefer a starbucks giftcard to lotion or candles!

    • A Ninny Mouse :

      What about a resuable clear tumbler with candy and a small giftcard inside?

    • Research, Not Law :

      Starbucks gift cards are common in my circle. So are chocolate truffles, etc.

      I went to one where the hostess had a basket of various items (seed packets, coffee gift cards, cookie cutters, nail polish, etc) and the person got to choose. It was great.

    • I would love a Starbucks gift card as a shower game prize, much more than lotion or candles. I don’t think that’s tacky.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      I won a Barnes & Noble gift card at a shower last spring ($10). Loved it, much better than Starbucks for my preferences. What about iTunes gift cards? Even $5 gets you 5 songs.

    • onehsancare :

      Starbucks gift cards, Amazon gift cards, iTunes gift cards are all great!

      I know I sound like a broken record because of my extreme sensitivity to fragrances, but I’d stay away from lotions and candles because other people have the same issue. Even if the fragrance-sensitive person were to win the iTunes card, the presence of the lotion and candles in the room could be a real problem for her.

    • For a recent bridal shower, I did Anne Trainor magnets. There are a lot that refer to children and motherhood that are pretty f-ing funny.

  18. Anon in Canada :

    Hi all.

    I posted a few months back around a very sticky friendship/relationship situation. In essence, my closest girlfriend slept with a married friend. They both still have very strong feelings for each other but have ceased all communication with him and his wife. His wife knows about her husband’s feelings, not about the s*x or our girlfriend’s feelings, so she’s upset and confused about why she’s lost a friend.

    My husband and I are following the hive’s consensus, i.e. butting the f*** out. We spend time with the couple and our single friend seperately.

    I’m still having trouble navigating my feelings around this. I still love all of these people. I’m mourning the friendships lost, angry about the betrayals, and guilty because I’m keeping information from the wronged party. I miss my friends, our self-made family. We all do. We’ve had Christmas and Thanksgiving together, all five of us, for the past four years… so those times will be particularly sad.

    The part I’m having the most trouble with is supporting my girlfriend. I don’t know how to help her deal with her (well-justified) feelings of guilt. I keep assuring her that she still has my unconditional friendship, that we all have lapses of judgement, etc, but I can tell she’s just waiting for me to change my mind.

    Is this what adulthood is like? Because it sucks.

    Any advice/real world perspective would be greatly appreciated.

    • Honestly, no its not what adulthood is like. What your girlfriend did is horrible. Its way worse than sleeping with a married man. She slept with her friend’s husband. It is the ultimate betrayal, and I would not be able to give her unconditional love as a bystander. I admire that you are able to do that. But no, most people do not break up a great group of friends like that, you just happen to be in a particularly hard situation.

      Honestly its disgusting to me that your girlfriend misses the “family.” I feel so bad for the wife. But I understand how upset you must be and I am sorry you are in the middle of it.

      • Anon in Canada :

        In her defense, right beforehand he’d told her he and his wife had an “arrangement” where sleeping with other people was okay as long as there “weren’t feelings involved”. And they’d had enough to drink that she just went with it instead of checking with his wife. (SPOILER ALERT: There was never any such “arrangement”.)

        But yeah… that’s not much of an excuse. I’m having trouble forgiving even though I’m not directly affected. And reconciling the friends I thought I knew with the people who are capable of doing such things.

        Thank you for your perspective. Good to know I’m not crazy in taking this so hard.

        • Wow, he did? And the person you’re having the hardest time supporting is your girlfriend and not the husband? No, she shouldn’t have bought that without having a mature conversation with his wife, her friend, about it. And she also should have been honest about her own feelings and stepped back at that point. But he sounds like a liar who’s willing to manipulate multiple women to get what he wants.

          Sorry, I hope this doesn’t sound too judgmental because I know this must be an absolutely wrenching situation for you and really painful to deal with. I’m just tired of our cultural narrative where the woman is always considered more at fault for infidelity even when the man lied, schemed, and manipulated his way into it (and, in fact, is the one actually violating his vows).

          • See also: the Kristen Stewart mess. (Yeah, she screwed up big time, but she’s also 22 while her partner was a married man in his 40s in a position of power over her.)

          • Anon in Canada :

            Since I found out about the “arrangement” conversation, and confirmed it wasn’t true (easy: “Hey, have you guys ever had an open relationship?” “Nope.”), I haven’t seen him. I don’t know what my reaction’s going to be when I do.

            Your point is very well taken. I hate that narrative too. I’m finding it hardest to support my girlfirend because she’s my best friend who’s seen me through a lot and she’s in pain.

            I’m not his best friend; I feel no obligation to support him… just hang out with him and his wife as a couple so she doesn’t lose more friends out of this. If I were younger and felt more of a need to fix the world, I’d do somthing like… tell him to come clean to his wife within a week or I would do it for him. But it’s not my marriage.

            God, it’s such a mess.

        • I’d say that’s actually something of an excuse. Certainly changes things a bit, if his statement was plausible (and that sort of arrangement is more and more common these days). He sounds like a real d*ck — no offense. But man, he really screwed her, figuratively.

        • Why would you need to forgive though? I mean, in the cosmic sense sure, but in the on the ground reconciliation, why? And you are directly affected- you are lying by omission to the wife, also a friend. There’s no way to reconcile thinking you were friends with good honest grown-ups with this behavior. Why does she have your unconditional friendship? Why are you helping her with her guilt? She needs a support system that isn’t the friendship group she just did a pretty decent job ruining.

          And why are you friends with a man idiotic enough to cheat on his wife, with her friend, and then not come clean to her about what is going on? What part of that is okay with you?

          I’m all for butting-out, but I think you need to butt out further. Tell the girlfriend you’re not writing her off for good, but you can’t handle being her support at this time. Tell the husband you think it is disgusting that he expects you to maintain a lie, that you won’t be doing it anymore, and that if he isn’t going to tell, you won’t be seeing him. And I’d tell the wife, so at least she isn’t left wondering what she did wrong.

          • Anon in Canada :

            None of that is okay with me. Nothing about what he did is okay.

            I do know people have had successful open relationships, and couples where one party has cheated but they’ve worked it out, which is why I don’t see this entirely as black-and-white.

            Thank you for the advice. It’s really good advice. I’m going to take it into consideration.

          • orchidlady :

            You sound like the same anon from the “help” thread this morning. Life isn’t always so black and white. People we love can do terrible things, and we can still love them.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I kind of agree with this.

        I think you are betraying the innocent wife by keeping the secret and continuing to see your girlfriend behind her back. If/when she finds out, I would expect that she would never want to see or speak to you again. I know I would feel like I’d been made the biggest fool in the world if I were in her shoes and the truth came out.

        I’m not sure I admire you for giving your other friend your unconditional friendship under these circumstances. But if you choose to do that, I think you should stop the charade with the wife.

        Bottom line is I think you need some new friends.

        • If I were the wife in this scenario, I’d want to hear it from one of the three people in this story. Ideally the husband or the friend, but if neither of them tell her, you should. I can’t imagine finding out my husband cheated on me with a good friend and another good friend hid it from me that my as*hole husband was going around lying about our marriage so he could sleep with other people. Maybe you frame it as you two tell her by X day or I will.

        • TO lawyer :

          I agree with this. I’ve always felt that if my SO were to cheat on me, other people knowing about it would make it so much worse. I guess I just feel that the humilation of other people knowing + possibly pitying me would make the betrayal so much worse. (please take this with a grain of salt as (fortunately) I’ve never been cheated on by a serious SO)

    • Ok, the husband in this incestuous little circle you have sounds like a DOOSH. Your friends are acting like teenagers, not like adults. Adults honor their commitments and respect each other’s boundaries, none of which sounds like it is happening here. I understand that you are shocked and saddened by the break-up of your circle of friends, and that you want to support all of your friends, but that may not be possible here. You didn’t break it, you don’t have to buy it. Good luck – you do sound like a caring friend.

      • One other thought: you might encourage your female friend to see a therapist. I’m not sure how old you all are, but the fact that your friend is allowing herself to be put into a position where she can be easily seduced by her friend’s husband (!), and then continuing to pine for him after realizing that he manipulated her (if I am reading you correctly) suggests she might have some serious issues.

    • uhh its nothing like what adult hood is like. Your friends are acting awful and immature and like horrible people. the poor wife! btw you are going to lose her as a friend when she finds out the EVERYONE else knows but her. you sound like a good friend, im sorry this is a hard situation for you.

    • MissJackson :

      This is not exactly what adulthood is like. But as an adult you are not shielded from the fact that good people (even great people) make horrifically terrible decisions. And this was an especially horrifically terrible decision for both your girlfriend and the husband, obviously.

      It sounds like you are doing the best that you can do, for the most part.

      First, I commend you for not immediately disowning your girlfriend. If she’s the one who made the decision to cut all ties to the husband and wife, I’m guessing that she feels an immense amount of remorse, and has correctly identified this as a horrifically terrible decision. Not that this hindsight makes what she did acceptable, of course. But I think that she probably needs a friend, and I’m glad that she has you. As someone who has made some terrible decisions in the past (not this particular terrible decision, thank goodness), I can’t agree with those who suggest that you stop providing her with support.

      Second, I agree to a certain extent with the ‘r e t t e s who express concern about how the wife will feel when she finds out that everyone else knew. Because of that concern, and because I think that the wife really ought to know about all of this and that nothing will really get better until she does and the healing starts — if I were in your situation, I would suggest to your girlfriend (and the husband, if you can talk to him separately) that they need to fess up to the wife. Let me be clear — I do not think that you should tell the wife. But I do think that you can encourage the guilty parties to tell her. Two reasons: (1) the wife needs to know, especially because there are lingering feelings involved, (2) if they do not fess up, when and if she finds out by some other manner, you will be able to at least tell her that you begged them to fess up.

      • Anon in Canada :

        Bless you, Miss Jackson. This sounds very wise and exactly the type of guidance I was looking for. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      • This is good advice. My only nitpick is that I don’t think good people cheat. I haven’t known a good person who cheated. I’ve known people who have some good qualities that cheat. But I think cheating puts you squarely in the bad camp. (I realize people disagree with this, but its only based on my personal knowledge)

        • Ouch. Even good people suffer from horrific lapses in judgment.

          • How can that be a lapse in judgment tho? I guess thats what I cant understand. Everyone knows its wrong. Its always wrong. So its not a lapse in judgment. Its like stealing when you know its against the law. I get that people rationalize stuff but I don’t think its ever just a lapse in judgment. Its like choosing to break the law. You choose to break your vows

    • Thanks for the update. No advice, just a terrible situation.

  19. Trying to find a skirt!

    I’m looking for a tan or beige wool pencil skirt. I tried the J.Crew No. 2 on, and while I love the fit, every outline of my tucked-in shirt was visible through the skirt. Any suggestions?

  20. eastbaybanker :

    If you liked the fit and are willing to wait, the fall and winter weight No. 2s are less likely to pose this issue. I hate summer weight suiting for this very reason; especially as shirt and sweater hems have gotten longer and waistlines have gotten a bit higher. That’s a whole lot of tucking in.

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