Weekend Open Thread

Gap Terry moto jacketSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Oooo: love this “moto” jacket in — hooray — terry. I like the bit of shape to it, the sure comfort of the sweatshirt material, and the warmth (assuming it ever gets, you know, cold outside, ever again). It’s available in black and gray, XS-XXL, talls and petites, at Gap.com. (And: take 25% off today with code GAPFALL25.) Gap Terry Moto Jacket

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Comments

  1. Way to go 312 from this morning’s post!

  2. Kate, we loved the fuchsia dress you posted earlier this week so much, we used it in our Desk 2 Dawn styling feature over at BRB
    http://boardroombelles.com/2012/08/17/from-desk-til-dawn-the-sapphire-in-the-sea/

  3. Diana Barry :

    Hey ladies,

    Embarrassing threadjack – I have athlete’s foot and feel like it’s getting worse over the summer since I went back to work (wearing ballet flats with no socks, I can’t wear heels w/ my bunions). I have been using the OTC stuff for it. Is there any way to combat the sweaty feet? Are there any insoles or anything that are wicking? I am sad that my feet are all yucky. :(

    • Have you tried sprinkling baking soda and/or baby powder into your shoes?

      • Kiehl’s makes a cream antiperspirant/deodorant (in a tube) that I apply to my feet when wearing shoes without socks. It has sort of a “dry lotion” feel to it, if that makes any sense, but my feet are much drier and I feel more confident if I kick off my shoes under my desk or to lay on my BF’s couch :)

      • Diana Barry :

        I haven’t tried that. Would that leave white footprints in my office when I go barefoot (I close my door!)? ;)

        • I have a Dr. Scholl’s shoe powder that I put in some shoes as soon as I take them off. I can tap out the extra powder before I put the shoes on. I’ve never had a white footprint problem.

        • Don’t think so – it absorbs fast and dries clear.

    • I second the deoderant on the foot thing! It works!

      I have another embarrassing foot related threadjack and wondering if you ladies can offer any help – anyone had to deal with toenail fungus before? I think I contracted a toenail fungus from a pedicure place (ugh, gross) that I discovered when I removed my toenail polish recently. Toenails are yellowed and kind of “crusty” looking – I know that’s disgusting and TMI, sorry (!!) – and I just don’t know what to do. Have googled but…. Anyone else had this issue? I have to keep polish on them to wear sandals or expose my toes at all right now! So gross :(

      • Anon for fungus :

        Go to the doctor and get a prescription for lamisil. It’s the only thing that works. Please do not ask me how I know this. As bonus for the OP, it totally clears up athlete’s foot.

        • anon for this too :

          Yes…Lamisil works but it’s really expensive, really a long course (like 6 months or so), and, according to my doctors, really hard on your liver. I was taking daily meds for another chronic condition (asthma) and so lamisil was out.

          Instead, my doctors put me on Diflucan, which is a med for yeast infections, and off-label, can be used to kill toenail fungus. It worked like a charm in a month.

          You should know that no OTC stuff works–no nail paints, soaks, etc…nail fungus is so far under your nail that nothing put on top will help at all.

          My doctor also made me (gross out alert) cut off my toenail as deep as I could, constantly, well into the nailbed, to allow the skin to breathe. This was painful and gross. But not nearly as gross as the fluorescent green toenail I had.

          I too contracted it from a pedicure at a really nice salon, and I absolutely WILL NOT get pedicures anymore unless I get my own bowl of water to put my foot in, and they use separate tools only for that nail. (Yes, you can spread it around to other nails yourself via contaminated tools). Be careful!!!!

          Last, just because the fungus “goes away” visibly, it does not ever go away completely. I live in fear that it will come back (although it’s now been a few years).

          • Thank you!!! This is scary but very good advice. Ugh. Will go to dr and ask about diflucan!! Thank you. And yes – I’m scared off of pedicure tools, basins, etc. forever.

          • Anon for fungus :

            Just as another data point, the generic version of Lamisil is $4 for a 30 month supply at my pharmacy under my insurance plan.

          • Second this, and have your doctor run a test/culture on your toenail BEFORE starting the lamisil. I was on lamisil, and everything was going great until the last couple weeks, when I contracted every.single.horrible.side.effect.listed (which peaked…ahem…during the bar exam). It culminated in a major, months-long detox while my insides sorted themselves out and all the blisters on my skin went away. After coming out of the woods, my doctor ran a test on a clipping, which ended up showing no fungus (it looks the same as it did before, so it’s not like I even got pretty toenails out of the deal). In retrospect, having one ugly toenail was no big deal compared to what actually happened.

      • anonanonanon :

        Speaking from experience, wearing polish will make the problem worse. You need to let the nail breath and treat it.

        I’ve used this in the past with great success. I don’t work for this company, and I can’t speak to the formula/ingredients, but it works for me and my mom – http://www.fungoff.com/

      • My husband is having a significant toenail fungus issue, and doesn’t want to do medications. He Googled up a DIY treatment (basically, putting vinegar on your toenail every morning and night), and it’s helped a lot.

      • karenpadi :

        I had toenail fungus for over a decade that would turn into moccasin-style athlete’s foot every 15-24 months. Awful.

        I wasn’t able to get on Lamisil because it has an adverse interaction with the Pill. So my doctors (like 5 or 6 of them during this time) each did the same thing, treated the athlete’s foot and ignored the fungus.

        Finally, after seeing yet another doctor for the latest outbreak, I went to a podiatrist and had 6/10 toenails removed and the nail matrix destroyed. I’m on a rx creme for the latest outbreak of athlete’s foot (OTC methods don’t work for moccasin-style).

        It was pretty drastic but I am so happy I did it. It’s not for everyone but I didn’t know it was an option until a few weeks ago so I’m just putting it out there.

      • Please don’t use Lamasil! I did two expensive courses of it and had to do the blood tests to make sure I wasn’t damaging my liver. Ridiculous! You know what ended up curing my nail fungus AND my athletes foot? Apple Cider Vinegar. I wish I had known about it years ago.

        Buy Braggs ACV or the Trader Joes version. It needs to be unfiltered. If you see brown stuff floating in it, all the better! Every day for a month I soaked my infected foot in a solution of ACV and water. I used a plastic red cup and just dipped my foot in it while I drank my coffee/read online. I did this for about 20-30minutes daily. A month was all I needed and I’ve been fungus free for 4 years now.

      • Run a drop or two of real tea tree oil into your toe nails once or twice a day, preferably after you shower. It will take a few months, but the fungus will go away.

        • Hey, I think tea tree oil is great too, and it’s fine for athlete’s foot. But a toenail all funged out needs internal treatment, you cannot put anything ON it that’ll penetrate enough. That’s why they’re there, to protect your toes. Even if too much, in this case.

    • SugarMagnolia :

      I swear by tea tree oil. I use just a little in my shoes, and it functions as a natural anti-fungal. I treat my flats with it when I come home from work. I learned about the magic of this essential oil when I got a terrible nail fungus thing 2 years ago. Since I was TTC, I couldn’t use any prescription stuff. Amazingly, tea tree oil cured that issue, and I have relied on it ever since to keep “foot yuckies” at bay.

    • Something I don’t understand about putting antiperspirant on your feet. Where do you apply it? All over? One spot?

  4. How much and in what way does your “off-duty” style differ from your workday style? This is something I have been thinking about as I’ve seen the Ann Taylor aesthetic creeping into my off-duty wardrobe. Is anyone a Corpor3tt3 by day and goth by night? Do you have secret sleeve tattoos that you cover on weekdays and show off on weekends? Do you try to incoporate your off-duty style into your work wear or do you keep them separate or are they the same?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m pretty similar, I think. Bright colors, lots of jackets, lots of high heels. I actually wear many of the same tops on and off duty, and change out the pencil skirts for jeans or shorts on the weekend.

    • Put together (sort-of) lawyer by day.

      Unwashed mess by night.

      She is Contradiction Girl!

      Coming to a theater near you, in Fall 2014.

    • I kind of feel that it’s a huge hassle to try to have two totally separate wardrobes, unless you have some really super awesome and distinctive personal style identity that you couldn’t get away with at work (like rockabilly or super vintage or so). I thought about this when I started working a couple years ago, because I also go to synagogue weekly which is basically a similar level of dressed-up as my business casual workplace (except a little more festive/colourful, I guess). Except for a few dresses (and a pink tweed skirt that I’m not sure I can pull off at work), I basically wear the same outfits to both. More casual weekend/evening stuff, I have a few t-shirts I wouldn’t wear to work, but I’ll just pair most of my regular tops with jeans or comfy skirts. (Casual Friday = not so different from casual dinner w/ mother-in-law on Saturday night.) The only exception is summer dresses which I live in after work and on Sundays during the summer but wouldn’t be appropriate or warm enough for work.

    • In my ideal world, it differs a lot. I’m working to get there (losing weight, so seems foolish to buy everything two to three times) but I like to think of my work style as “classic” and my off duty as having some classic pieces, but definitely a lot more funky pieces and maybe “edgier” accessories.

    • I used two have a work and freetime style that were light years apart. Very vintage hipster on the weekend and completely buttoned up (but totally boring) during the week. I got so tired of maintaining two completely separate wardrobes and wearing dark suits and buttons downs all the time Eventually, after I had built some confidence of what I could get away with in a conservative work environment, I started dressing more creatively at work (incorporating colors, accessories). Because dressing in that manner made me happier I was happy to invest more into my work wardrobe in turn and really came to love some of those pieces so much I wanted to wear them on the weekend, too. So by now, I use the same accessories and most of my jewelry and blazers for both wardrobes and only keep a few things that are strictly weekend or special occasion.

    • I think my personal style is roughly the same for both, and yet my work and casual wardrobes don’t meet very often. If you look in my closet, it’s pretty clear that I like clean and simple lines, I wear similar colors all the time, and I’m a fairly classic dresser overall. That said, other than basics like tees, I usually don’t integrate my work and weekend wardrobes. Part of it is a psychological thing. During my downtime, I just plain don’t want to wear work clothes because they remind me of, well, work. The other part is that casual clothes are just more appropriate for most of my weekend activities, which include hanging out with the family, taking DS to the park, working out, cooking and doing errands. Much as I’d like to be, I don’t think I’ll ever be that girl who dresses up to go to the grocery store.

    • FormerPhotog :

      I am an old school deathrocker off duty, and a slightly edgy creative professional on. When I’m on-site in physician’s offices training, I have a few twill pencil skirts and logo oxfords that I wear (install and trainings involve a lot of crawling on the floor, so it’s mostly look neat, don’t wrinkly, no plumbers’ crack!). In the office, we’re super casual – some people wear suits, some people wear jeans with holes. I fall in the middle with a retro inspired look – lots of pencil skirts and neat shells/blazers/cardigans, and pretty dresses, or leggings and long funky tunics and tall boots. I do have a love of funky shoes though.

      On the weekend, all bets are off, and you wouldn’t recognize me. I don’t find it too hard to have two wardrobes, because I started in clinical, so 5 sets of matching scrubs made it really easy to just have a really encapsulated work wardrobe (I love a wrok uniform, and then fun on the weekends. My job, though I love it, is not my identity. It just pays the bills)

    • I am a pretty classic, feminine dresser both at and outside the office, but my two wardrobes don’t mix very much. Off-duty, I wear a lot of casual skirts or dresses with a ’30s-’40s vintage style, except for activities that require jeans. While I have some vintage-style suits, most of my casual wardrobe doesn’t translate well to my work wardrobe (though it used to in my old job, which was a bit more casual).

    • This is a little embarrassing but I make it a point to keep my work clothes different from my weekend/evening wear. Although I’d love to wear my silk blouses on my jeans over the weekends, am always afraid that somebody from work may spot me outside of work(which ofcourse never happened), recognize my blouse and think I got no life. How messed up am I? LOL

    • PharmaGirl :

      My off-duty style was previously very similar to my workwear style except with dark wash jeans instead of dress pants. My current off duty style is now much frumpier since I spend weekedns chasing around a toddler and hate ruining my nice clothes!

    • SugarMagnolia :

      It used to differ a lot more, but these days, I think my work style is getting used more on my free time.

      I love going to jamband concerts and have always dressed the part of the wanna-be hippie: jeans, tie dye shirts, lots of embroidered tunic tops, flowy skirts and dresses and of course, Birkenstocks.

      My work style was much more structured…with lots of jackets or sweater jackets and suits, since I am a lawyer.

      I have noticed that (even when not pregnant) that I am “dressing up” more, and I don’t mind it. I still love anything with embroidery or lots of “artistic” details on it, but I am toning down the hippie fashion victim approach for a more happy medium.

    • TOTALLY different for me. Work = dark skirt or pants, white or black tee and jacket or cardigan, or professional looking knit top (I’m in a biz casual office, where suits are needed sometimes). Not work – crazy prints, sparkle, lots of flouncy or sexy skirts, ruffles, stripes, flirty dresses, flip flops, mucho cleavage. I even have my closet separated out between work and play. I love coming home on Fridays and sliding those closet doors over to expose my “fun” clothes!

      I spend a little less on non-work clothes unless for a special occasion. I’m hard on clothes, so I try to preserve the more expensive work pieces. I take them off as soon as I walk in the door, and don’t wear them for play ever. I’m more daring outside of work too – I’ll wear something trendy for fun (like the vince camuto batwing dress I just bought, which totally makes me look like lady Batman), where I am conservative at work. It’s a funny visual to see both sides of the closet beside each other.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Ever since a post on here I’ve been trying to change into my fun clothes when I get home and even if it is only for an hour or so it still helps my mood! Just for kicks, while my husband and I had dinner in our house last night, I wore this crazy back exposing, tight mini skirt, dress I bought for Vegas once and will probably never wear again outside of the house. I think he thinks I’m nuts, but it was fun.

        • That’s cute!

        • Love this idea! All too often, I end up in running shorts and T-shirts at home, and my husband ends up not seeing me in “real” clothes. Maybe tonight I’ll put on a dress for dinner at home!

        • My DH would love if I did stuff like that more often. I like the idea of wearing fun non-work clothes before changing into scrubby at home clothes even after work. I used to be more like that but lately am much more jeans and t-shirt when I get home (or actually, in the sweltering heat I’ve been wearing shorts most days again after years of almost never wearing them).

        • yay date night! :

          Haha, I do this sometimes because I feel bad that husband only sees me in PJs most of the time. Sometimes I’ll wear a cute sundress or something just to go for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s also fun to do home date nights in just l*ng*r*e… I would never look that exposed in public, but kinda fun to spice up a boring weeknight dinner!

        • I like this too. I’m always a little disappointed when I wear an awesome (to me) outfit to work and my SO never sees it.

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          My husband would be so happy if I did that. :)

        • Yes to all of this! We do home date night on Fridays now (cheaper than a restaurant and convenient for…garden parties) and I try to freshen up my make-up and put on something pretty/sexy so my husband doesn’t feel like I dress up for everyone in the world except him.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m finding my styles overlap a lot now. I used to enjoy wearing tight, cleavage showing going out clothes but now, since dressing buttoned up all day everyday, I find I am uncomfortable in that old style and prefer more modest cuts. I will still rock a mini skirt or a low cut top on occasional but never both together anymore. I’m also afraid to run into people I know in my “off time” since we all live and work in the same area. I ran into one supervisor hungover in sweats once at a breakfast place and that was a bit awkward. It would be 100 times more awkward if I ran into my boss in club clothes.

      I try to go a little more wild on vacation where nobody knows me.

      • Same here on more overlapping as I’ve gotten older and have a more dressed-up covered-up style even when off-duty. Clothes which go seamlessly between work and play for me -
        : Dresses as long as the waist isn’t constricted and the fabric isn’t some kind of suiting – as I type, I’m wearing the same midnight blue tank dress I wore to work yesterday. Worked fine with a belt and under a jacket yesterday, and has gone on the grocery run in flats and a ponytail today.
        : Navy or midnight blue jackets go to work and with jeans after work
        : Silk, cotton and wool tanks go under suits for work and with leggings and such after work
        : Flat shoes
        : Most cold-weather gear. I like the look of a tailored topcoat with a scarf in preference to anything sporty or puffy except when the weather really isn’t cooperating.

    • K...in transition :

      sort of… by day, it’s slacks and tops and scarves and by night (if I’m home) it’s pj pants, oversized tie dye tshirts, and I don’t mind if my tattoos show. When I’m out with friends, I rock my scarves sometimes (though typically the more casual ones) but otherwise, friends and roommates have always been surprised to see me in work clothes (or as I call them, “grownup clothes”) as I change the moment I get home.

    • I don’t do schleppy very well. I spend my weekends in sundresses and denim skirts in the summer and jeans, especially tucked into boots in the winter. I’ll wear the same shirts to work and off-work but otherwise my wardrobes are separate.

      • karenpadi :

        I am similar–sundresses after-hours whenever the weather permits (yay California!). When the weather doesn’t permit, it’s basically work-appropriate/business casual clothes (including jeans) 7 days/week but luckily that’s only a few months/year.

    • SoCalAtty :

      My “lawyer” wardrobe is lots of blacks and greys with some whites and reds thrown in. Some fun, but mostly standard law office stuff. My “not work” wardrobe is either riding clothes which consists of breeches and polo shirt, or my hiker/CA beach clothes…hiking pants, hoodie (or tank top if its hot) and flip flops or low trail runners. Yep. That about sums up my personal style – hiker trash/CA beach.

      They are starting to merge, though. I’ve started wearing some of my hiking skirts to work, paired with a cowl-neck long sleeved blouse, and some of my riding polo shirts (they are all really cute and usually white or black with colored piping in the barn colors – black and tan) on days I wear khakis or with jeans on casual fridays.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Here is they type of skirt I’m talking about – I picked this up in white and wore it with a 3/4 sleeve black top from BR yesterday, and black heels. It looked pretty good!

        http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=50006&vid=1&pid=739418

        • Huh. That is pretty good-looking. Is it bad, though, that I had no idea there was such a thing as a hiking skirt?

          As far as the actual question, I’d say my professional and real-life wardrobes contain many of the same pieces but have very different vibes. At work I’m very classic and buttoned-up–think pencil skirt + button-up, or trousers with shell and cardigan, or shirt-dress, including lots of pieces I inherited from my mother’s original working wardrobe in the ’60s. Outside of work, I’ll wear many of the same tops (I’d say there’s the most overlap with sweaters and cardigans), but with skinny jeans and more eye makeup. In the summer I live in brightly-printed sundresses. My favorite compliment that anyone has ever told me about my clothing is that I looked like a grunge-rock Audrey Hepburn. Work or play, I’d say I try to channel her or Jackie O most of the time.

          • SoCalAtty :

            Nah. It’s just a skirt made out of tech fabric that is really breathable you can hike in. I’m a big fan of them when I know it will be a long day in the office and I want to be somewhat comfortable.

    • phillygirlruns :

      ugh. i have work clothes and gym clothes and almost nothing in between.

      work is mostly suits and separates, with a good amount of bright colors. on more casual days i err on the side of preppy with j.crew chinos or cafe capris, navy blazer and sperry angelfish (loooooove these).

      i spend the vast majority of my free time working out, so that’s a lot of lululemon (i think i own about 10 pair of “speed” shorts and 6 pair of wunder under tights), nike (their “compression” shorts that are not at all compressive are great), and cheap t-shirts with the necklines cut out because i can’t stand crewnecks. it’s often 10pm by the time i get done training so it’s immediately time to shower and throw on PJs, so there’s no real need for in-between clothes during the week.

      this is all well and good until it’s time to go out to dinner over the weekend, and i inevitably stand in front of my closet lamenting the fact that i never buy “going out” stuff. i did pick up two pair of colored toothpick jeans from j.crew this weekend as a grand experiment, but have not worn them yet.

      • I have clothes in between, but never wear them. It’s either work clothes or work out clothes. So why, oh why, do I keep buying the clothes I never wear?

    • Research, Not Law :

      I used to have a funky, thrifted vibe. But it got dull once I started blending in work clothes and even more so after having kids. I’m working to bring back some creativity, but I’m struggling since I’m no longer a hip 22 year old. I’m worried I’ll just look batty.

    • Hah, I’m a ‘rette by day and a [sorta] goth by night! Or at least I like to say I’m a recovering goth. But then I moved somewhere really really hot (it’s been 108 most of the week!), which has sort of changed what I wear. At work I pretty much wear sheath dresses since it’s too hot for pants (but also makes me more dressed up and generally more professional than others around me, which throws people for a loop when they see me outside of work) and on weekends I’m usually in shorts and a tank top during the day and a sundress at night. While I’ve found that while there are still colors I won’t wear (pastels, khaki, beige) and that I still wear more black than the average person, my summertime wardrobe would never give you a hint that I’m an ex-goth. Or a lawyer, for that matter.

      My fall/winter outside-of-work wardrobe is a bit easier — dark skinny jeans tucked into black boots and generally a black or dark shirt with a black leather or velvet jacket. Sometimes a shirt may overlap between my work and home wardrobe, or I’ll wear black skinny jeans to work on casual Friday, but otherwise my wardrobes are pretty separate and are in different closets. Mostly because work doesn’t need to see my cleavage.

      It’s funny because I think wearing a lot of black doesn’t even register for most people and then they look confused when they hear I am/was goth or see my house permanently decorated for Halloween (in a classy way, no fake spiderwebs or anything) or notice that my shoes have zombies on them. My favorite is when I happen to mention to a friend that I’m going/been to a goth club and they say, “Oh, golf! I love golf, we should go some time.”

      • I nearly spat out my coffee laughing when I read your goth/golf comment! It’s like when people tell me how much they love The Nutcracker when I tell them I belly dance.

    • This is a fun thread. I keep mine about 99% separate, largely because they’re just different pieces. My work wardrobe is a lot of pencil skirts non-matching blazers or coordinating sweaters, and a lot of silk blouses tucked in, always wearing a watch, always high pumps. Outside of work is extremely sundress-dependent, usually with flip flops, or one very overused pair of nude peep toe wedges. No watches on the weekends. Also lots of belts. Post-work is yoga pants and a comfy but cute tank or t-shirt, usually, or a slip dress/nightgown that’s relatively cute and not lingerie (my SO is consistently in basketball shorts and maybe a t-shirt, and is still in the “I like you casual – I get to see the side no one else sees” phase, so I’m inclined to go with it!).

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I can’t afford to have two closets right now, and since my office is business casual, my office style and my off-duty style are pretty identical (more jeans and sneakers off duty). BUT, if and when I can afford it, I think that my off-duty style will be a cross between rocker-chick and bohemian. I know this combination makes no sense…

    • I would say mine’s mostly different. My office is casual, but I still would prefer to be pretty conservative at work. Plus, I tend to be really tuned into dressing for the weather in my casual life (so I can keep the electricity bill down at home, mainly!) In summer, casual, I prefer things like tank tops, sundresses, and casual skirts, and strappy sandals, which are obviously not work appropriate, and in the winter casual me prefers jeans and heavier sweaters than I would wear to work. Plus, I have a dog which sheds a lot (which is a beast to get off of, say, a black suit) and I hate wearing shoes with a firey passion, which makes it hard to not take off work pants (hemed for heels) right away.

      A few of my tops, some shoes, cardigans, maybe a blazer, and most jewelry does double duty, but that’s about it. Though it’s different if I’m, say, going to church (more likely to pull out work clothes, since they’re conservative).

    • Hippies, tie-dye lovers, rock chicks, and bohos could probably all join me in lusting after this way-too-expensive top: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/310413

    • Related topic: I see a lot of comments here about pajama time :-). But pjs don’t have to be boring or ugly, they just have to be comfy. I maintain a collection of bright cheerful and funny prints, so when I get home after a rough day I can at least feel cute. I have some extra-bright sweaters to wear with them, and I was inspired by a German mag to try boiled wool jackets indoors. Sweatshirt fabric can be made in more interesting shapes too. If you need significant time in pjs to unwind, nothing says you can’t treat them like a real wardrobe item.

    • This would be me, although more punk than goth on my off times. I’m in Biglaw so I can’t really incorporate my off-duty style into my work wardrobe, unfortunately. I have found that my non-work style has been creeping toward mainstream because of the monetary constraints of maintaining two wardrobes and having to have a “professional” haircut/only hideable tattoos, and I. HATE. IT. Plus, I feel like I’m wearing a costume every day when I go to work, and constantly feel like I have to hide who I am from my coworkers. But I draw the line at changing my non-work style to be more professional just in case I run into people from work. They own enough of my time as it is.

    • Hah, I actually recently had an interesting conversation with a coworker about this, so funny that it came up here too. The answer, for me, is yes — on the weekends, I still mostly wear my casual clothes acquired during my college years (for lack of a better word… slightly hipster-ish, at least by my city’s standards) while my work wardrobe is very conservative, lots of greys and blacks, no trendy cuts, nothing at all edgy. I like my work clothes in that they fit well, are made of nice materials, and help me to get into the right mindset for my work environment… but never in a million years would I buy just because I liked them. It feels a little bit strenuous (not to mention hard on my tiny closet) to have two completely separate wardrobes/personalities, so I hope that as I continue in my career and earn my stripes, I can move back toward having one unified style. (I should also probably get rid of some of the rattier things from my college days, now that I’ve been out for a couple of years, but it’s hard to say goodbye and I also don’t have money to invest in two wardrobes simultaneously… or at least I rationalize it that way.)

      The funny thing is that it feels to me like it would be the ideal to have one wardrobe, while my coworker who wears many of the same pieces for both work and weekends felt like it would be better to have two separate “work” and “fun time” personalities. I guess it’s one of those grass is always greener dichotomies.

    • Former goth turned lawyer here. Cracked up the day I found myself walking to lunch in a suit past a club I used frequent wearing vinyl pants and combat boots. Almost didn’t recognize it in the daylight. lol

      I try as best I can to incorporate my personal style into my work wardrobe but it’s hard. I spend as little as possible on work clothes because I don’t enjoy wearing them, and I live for the moment I get home and change into my “real” clothes. I feel most like myself in jeans, boots and a black tank these days – a toned down version of my undergrad wardrobe. I miss being able to dye my hair every color of the rainbow.

  5. Does anyone have good alternatives to either a cardigan or a jacket? I’m a lawyer and I feel like my in-office uniform is dress pants, heels, a blouse and a cardigan. A jacket isn’t appropriate in my office unless you’re in court or meeting with clients.

  6. For those of you who have kids age 2-4ish, what is your typical nighttime routine? I have upstairs neighbors who seem like they start to get their wee one ready for bed at 930, at which point he typically stomps and screams for an hour. I get the impression that they do not want to put him to bed until the parents are ready for bed. Is this typical?

    • Typical? Not sure. My 3-yo son goes to bed at 8:15 on the dot. Book read, covers up, lights off, doors closed. My 18-mo goes to bed at around 8:30 but she’s been a tougher nut to crack on bedtime routine. Lots of lullaby music and rocking, but rarely any screaming or stomping.

    • It varies pretty widely depending on family and culture.

      The number and length of daytime naps can also affect bedtime.

    • I think it’s common, though it’s not an approach I’d take. Because DS goes to daycare, we have to wake him up at 6:30-6:45 a.m. There would be h.e.l.l. to pay if we let him stay up until 9:30. We, and most of our friends who have kids in daycare, set an 8:00 or 8:30 bedtime. For some of my other friends, who are SAHMs or have more flexible schedules in general, a 9:30 bedtime isn’t unheard of.

    • Probably not typical but we do that. We all go to bed at the same time. As long as the little one gets about 11-12 hours of sleep, the bedtime doesn’t matter too much.

      • Little one never gets that much sleep. From what I can tell, he is usually up screaming and stomping shortly after 8. He usually is not down for bed until 11 or even 12 some nights.

    • The kids are in bed between 8:00 and 8:30. We go to bed around 9:30 or 10:00 – I like to have an hour or so to myself before bed, so we make sure to have that happen if at all possible! I get up early (5:30) for the same reason – I like to have my coffee and read the paper before the kids get up (which is usually around 7)

    • Seventh Sister :

      I have kids in that age bracket, and that seems pretty late and pretty loud. That said, my kids are in daycare (so have to be up at a particular time) and are pretty easygoing sleepers.

    • My son goes to bed between 7:30-8 and is up 6:30-7. He’s (generally) a rockstar sleeper and always has been. Some kids are lousy sleepers, no matter what you do. Your neighbors may have that kid.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Our three year old goes to bed at 9 pm. She’d easily be going down at 9:30 pm during the summer (later daylight hours) if we let bedtime creep up. She’s a nightowl. We go to bed about an hour or two later. I really like it, since I get to spend more time with her in the evenings after work. She is usually home during the day, so we don’t have to get her up for daycare, so she often sleeps until 8 am. I also really like that on the weekends.

      It’s definitely not typical, but certainly not uncommon. If that makes sense.

      Bedtime at that age can be rough at any time, although an hour seems a bit much.

    • 3 year old has a 7:00 bedtime – 2 stories, 2 songs, lights out. 6 year old has an 8:00 bedtime in the summer that gets pushed back to 7:30 during the school year – same routine of stories and songs. Everyone is up at 6:30. Our kids are wildly different about sleep. The 6 year old needs 11 hours or else he is a hot mess, and he regularly napped on the weekends until the middle of last year. 3 year old has already given up naps, and seems not to need as much sleep. She tends to talk or sing to herself for up to an hour after lights out.

    • Diana Barry :

      Definitely not. Our kids (2.5, 4.5) go upstairs no later than 730, then brush teeth, books, bedtime. They have been staying awake until 830 but we go up every 5 minutes or so to remind them to be quiet!!

    • Thanks all for the comments. I know a lot of kids are not good sleepers (certainly I have friends with those children), but I think these parents exacerbate things because Dad will yet at Wee Neighbor if he is watching boxing or playing video games at 10pm (usually on a weekend) and Wee Neighbor is cranky and bothering him. I think it’s just unrealistic to expect a little one to stay up to 11-12 and not be cranky!

      • Sounds like my downstairs neighbor, also 4 years old. Goes to bed around 10, which involves lots of screaming. Gets up around 7, which also involves lots of screaming. Several more hours of crying/screaming throughout the day. I don’t have kids, so I have no idea if it’s normal, but it seems like an awful lot of crying for a kid that can talk perfectly well (and I really wish I didn’t have to listen to it).

  7. Any advice for trying to build up a casual wardrobe for work? There are only 4 women in my office, and three of us are recent hires. I work in Seattle, and the men who work here pretty much wear what you would expect environmental consultants to wear (Birkenstocks with socks, plaid shirts, fleece vests, etc usually with jeans or khaki pants).

    My current collection of clothes includes lots of tee-shirts and sweatshirts, left over from college where that was pretty much all I wore. I’d like to add a little more style to what I normally wear, which is usually jeans and a nice shirt, usually with a cardigan over it because the office is always freezing. I feel like I could wear a lot more interesting clothes because of the very lax dress code, but I’m terrible at picking out clothes myself.

    Any suggestions? I usually shop at places like LOFT and The Limited, with some Nordstrom added in.

    • I think knit blazers and sweater jackets are great for this type of situation. Less formal than a suit jacket, but more polished than a cardigan. Look at the G.ap’s academy blazer.

      • Oooh, and The Limited also has some cute, colorful blazers right now.

      • SoCal Gator :

        Thanks all for the suggestion of the Academy blazer. So cute! I tried it on in the store today to make sure I knew my size and then ordered it online to get the 25% off. I got the navy one with black piping. Even cuter than the Banana Republic version that is in a wool blend and a bit more expensive.

    • I recently transition from a business/business casual office to a completely casual/jeans 98% of the time office. My new office is mostly men, so I haven’t had many women to model my new casual style after. I know how you feel!

      I live in a warm climate, so I’ve been investing in a lot of silk blouses, dark wash slim cut jeans, simple accessories, and heels – basically things I can wear all year round with the right accessories. A lot of my tops have been re-purposed from my old job; changing the bottom from a pencil skirt to slim cut jeans and leaving the blouse untucked changes the whole look to a more casual vibe. I’ve also bought a lot of daytime dresses that I’ll pair with blazers or cardigans if the sleeves aren’t office appropriate. I’ll post a link to one of my favorite new work dresses below.

      People do occasionally comment on me looking very “polished” or “dressed up”, but I’d rather have that reputation than the opposite one.

    • I work in a similarly casual office, and I wear a lot of sundresses with sandals in summer, and sweater dresses with tights and boots in winter. It takes SO much less time for me to get dressed in the morning with dresses, I look more put together than with jeans and a t-shirt but they are still definitely casual dresses worn with casual footwear, scarves (freezing office too), and accessories to match the office culture. I also induldge in trends I like more, such as cropped or colored pants (or whatever else the lawyers on this site wouldn’t be able to wear without raising eyebrows), because if you don’t have to look “professional”, “fashionable” gets easier. As long as it is still modest enough for an office (I wouldn’t wear a miniskirt), go for it.

    • Annie, we recently helped some other Corporettes with answering their questions and putting together some basic wardrobe advice for them. I’d be happy to do the same for you.

    • Maybe try Zara, they have fun blazers. I’m not sure if it is too dressy, but a tunic/blazer/lightweight sweater over skinny pants/jeans (which is the Zara) vibe seems like a good mix for you. To combat the temp, try a shirt, waterfall cardigan (I have one from Boden and two from Ann Taylor) and a belt.

  8. Gail the Goldfish :

    It is so clearly Friday. I packed a lunch for myself this morning. It is now lunch time. Guess where my lunch is? Yes, on the kitchen counter at home, a 45 minute commute away from work. And it had frozen stuff in it, too.

    Anyone else feel like this has been an exceptionally long week?

    • Oops. Bummer. I’m having an exceptionally long work week as I’m dealing with very mean and very unprofessional coworkers. Hopefully this project should be done soon and I don’t have meet with them anymore (or atleast as much as I’m meeting now)

    • Me! I’ve been totally overwhelmed with meetings getting the new boss up to speed and have hardly had any time to do things that I need to do to get ready for the start of school, which is a week from Monday. I’m dead.

    • orchidlady :

      Incredibly long. I hate when a lunch gets wasted like that — but on the bright side, you get to buy something fun for lunch!

    • Yes. I am wishing we had a nap room. I would take a nap at this point over pretty much anything else.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Yes! And I found a critical error that will push me to working over the weekend. Poop.

    • Me TOO! I now all of a sudden have to study up on ANTI-TRUST law. I never took this in law school b/c I figured that I would NOT have to learn this or do this. After all, I am a LITIEGATOR, so now I have to start doing this? All b/c the MANAGEING partner want’s to have me diversefy by getting Jim to give me more cases.

      What the MANAGEING partner does not realize, or does not care, is that it mean’s more work for ME! I have to work alot more hours, and bill more to Jim, but I do NOT get any more share of the EQUITY.

      My dad says since I am working more (10+ hours / week), I should get a 20% share of the profit’s. I am NOT sure if this make’s sense, but I just figured I would ask for the 20% or $50,000 more per year. I do NOT want to be worked to death like a plow horse. FOOEY!

      • Go for the money!

      • Ellen,

        Whatever else, do not let Jim trick you. All the Tiffany talk is a calculated ploy to break down your natural resistance to him. He does not want to marry you, just have you think he does long enough to have you sleep with him for a few months. Trust me I was in your shoes.

        I got hoodwinked by a jerk that talked “forever” long enough to fool me into bed and worse yet into lending him money. After 3 months and $6,000 lost, he found another woman to sleep with and “supplement” his unemployment. While your Jim has a job, the MO is otherwise the same.

        PLEASE take my advice and remember what the nuns taught me in high school (which I forgot)….”KEEP A DIME BETWEEN YOUR KNEES AT ALL TIMES YOU ARE OUT WITH THIS LOSER! ”

        You will not regret it. Trust me.

    • Yes! I can’t remember my internship on Monday. Submitted my dissertation this morning and just had rather a lot of champagne (full disclosure: cheap cava which is going to make me a very sad girl tomorrow morning).

  9. @Bluejay — I saw the Weight Watchers group name on the last post, but absolutely cannot find it by searching “Groups” on WW. Any advice?

  10. PSA: The Limited is offering 40% off total purchase, no exclusions, and free shipping over $100. I don’t really own any Limited clothing but I know some ladies here like the clothes, so I ordered a ton of pants and some other things to see if anything works for me.

  11. B-School Recs :

    Any advice on how to ask for recommendation letters for grad school? Should I ask my immediate supervisor or even my boss’s boss who also knows my work? I have breifly mentioned to them that I’m planning on going back to school and they seem supportive, but I don’t speak with them on a daily basis and have no idea how to bring this up without sounding like im burdening them with more work.

    • Will you be leaving your job to attend school full time? If so, before asking anyone at your current job for a rec., tell your boss about your plans. If s/he is supporting, ask for a rec right then and there, but make sure you ask how you can make it least burdensome on them.

      If you’re simply worried about burdening them, ask for a rec and once they agree, ask how you can support them. Make sure you leave PLENTY of time, incude a copy of your resume as well as your goals for b-school, and if they ask or if you’re comfortable, tell them what you’d like them to highlight.

      When I asked for a rec. from an employer, I was leaving. I let them know that I was going to school to improve on X, Y and Z and could they please write nice things about me and highlight that X, Y and Z are all areas in which I would benefit from b-school.

    • K...in transition :

      Assuming your boss(es) know your plans, why not send an email to each person (figure twice as many as you actually need so it won’t stress you if some don’t follow through)? Include a note that you’re excited for school and have really enjoyed working with the person on -name specific project here- and because of that close working relationship and the time spent -name the thing you hope the person highlights in your letter here-, you’re hoping the person feels s/he gained enough insight on you to write you a letter of recommendation. This tells reminds the person of your time spent together, gives an idea of what you want said, and then set a deadline when you will follow up so it’s not an indefinite back-burner thing.

    • I simply called up the people I wanted to write the rec letters and asked. I had worked for everyone in some capacity and they knew I was going to B-school (I went part-time and continued working, so it wasn’t a secret). I mentioned that since they had supervised me and knew my work ethic, they were probably the best people to recommend me for B-school. They agreed, letters were written, done. I also made it easy for one of my former managers (he’s the president of the company and travels constantly) by interviewing him and putting together a very rough draft that he then edited so he wasn’t starting from scratch and it didn’t take up too much of his time.

      Definitely aim for the direct supervisor and maybe pick their brain about whether the boss’s boss would be open to writing a rec.

      Good luck! I was stressed out pretty much every minute of B-school but I think it was worth it. ;)

    • The comments above give good advice. I will also give you advice that my mother gave me when I needed to ask for recommendations: remember that people like to help other people. I was very hesitant to bother my busy superiors for recommendations, but now I see what she meant. No matter how busy I am, I’m always happy to help out a good person with a recommendation. So if you have a good relationship with both and they are both familiar with your work, then by all means ask them both for a recommendation.

      One more thing . . . listen between the lines if they don’t want to give a recommendation. I recently had to advise someone on what to say to an intern that did not do a great job. He told the intern: “I’m flattered that you asked me, but I think you could get a stronger recommendation from [person X or someone involved with activity Y].” (The person was willing to give the recommendation, but they wanted intern to know that it would be an honest recommendation and not great.) So if they say something like that, you may want to politely decline the recommendation and seek one from another source. Hopefully that will not be the case, but just listen if they seem to be telling you that they could not write a good recommendation for you.

  12. San fran ‘rettes I remember a few months ago reading about a great Saturday farmers market. Which one is it, there are a ton listed when I google it. Thanks in advance!

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      The one at the Ferry Building is great when you have visitors – it’s a fun environment and lots of great vendors. However, it’s expensive and I wouldn’t rely on it for my regular produce needs (it’s more a fun outing). The Alemany Farmers Market is amazing – huge selection of produce, great prices. Not a pretty location, but that doesn’t matter to me. I love the guy who sells smoked fish, and the walnuts and raisins are cheap and really good.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Mary Ann is exactly right. Ferry Plaza for the ultimate glory in produce – the most perfect peach, the most beautiful melon, in a fabulous setting. You’re also going to pay for it. Alemany is less glamorous in setting and products, but the products are still great and the prices are much lower. I love both.

    • There is one on Sundays in the parking lot in Stonestown. Pretty good– not as beautiful as Ferry Building and not as much variety as Alemany but it does have the Belgian waffle truck!

  13. orchidlady :

    Minor rant — Friend A and I had an email chain going this week, and she suddenly included her friend, Friend B (someone I’ve met a few times but am not close with at all) in the chain to ask Friend B to comment on something I said — but Friend A kept all our old emails attached. Now Friend B is offering opinions on something I shared in the original chain with Friend A — something I never expected her, or anyone else, to see.

    Isn’t this bad email etiquette? The emails weren’t particularly personal, but I never expected them to be shared. Why wouldn’t Friend A just start a new chain?

    • SugarMagnolia :

      I think Friend A just wasn’t thinking. It is definitely bad email etiquette, but if this person is really a friend, I am sure she didn’t mean to break your confidence.

    • Yes, it’s bad etiquette. I’ve had this happen in a professional email chain where what I thought were internal deliberations with my office got forwarded outside our organization. It’s not polite and it’s very frustrating. Can you talk to A about this? It might be something that wouldn’t bother her and so it might not occur to her that you’d mind.

    • I second that you should definitely talk to A about this. It’s not just etiquette, it’s ethics – respecting confidentiality. She may have slipped in haste, she may just be unaware, she may be too low-tech to know how to remove the previous parts :-). In any case she needs to realize you don’t like it, and know not do it again.

      On the other hand, you can help prevent this sort of situation by not building up chains like this, especially in personal conversations. Simply remove the previous message when you answer (most mailers can be configured to do this by default..).

  14. Baby DC Attorney :

    I’m getting married in a few short weeks (September 22nd). Any great advice you ladies have for my wedding day? Also, I know there is another ‘rette with the same wedding day — if you are her, and you see this, how are you holding up?

    • My brother is getting married that day! But in Portland, OR.

      As a type A, super organized person, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders leading up to my wedding. The day before, as I realized I didn’t have refrigerator space to hold all the flowers, and my husband and his friends returned very dirty from their batchelor party camping trip, I had this epiphany in my kitchen. I could either freak out about every. little. thing and make myself miserable. Or I could let go, enjoy the amazing friends and family that had gathered to celebrate my husband and I, and just bask in the time. I chose option B and am so happy that I did. I highly recommend it. Your wedding won’t be perfect, but at the end of the day you’ll be married.

      Today is our anniversary, and I love him more than I did the day we were married. And that is way way more important than the fact that one of the groomsmen forgot to drive us to the reception (we just hopped in my husbands car and drove ourselves).

      • I love this. And yes – I agree. You will have some minor emergency on your wedding day. Mine was that we realized 3 hours before the wedding, somehow the back of my dress had a giant stain on the back of it (we still don’t know what happened). It seemed like the end of the world at the time. But, when you get to the reception – no matter what, take a minute to look around and take everything in. The flowers, decoration, food, all the people that want to celebrate with you. This will (or at least, should) be one of the happiest days of your life. (Oh, and my mom’s best friend took me dress to the shop where we bought it and they steam-cleaned whatever it was out. NBD).

        I’ll echo EC MD- I’ve been with my husband over 7 years now. I love him even more than when we got married and I still get excited when I think about spending the rest of my life with him. And I still look back at our reception and smile at how young we were and how much fun we had.

  15. E.B. White :

    Does anyone else have a boss (or former boss) who has some kind of grammar issue currently driving them bonkers?

    I have a new boss (new to me) and she loves her commas–particularly after the word “but.” For example, “I thought about giving you the afternoon off but, it’s Friday.” THIS DRIVES ME BONKERS!

    A previous boss said “antidote” when she meant “anecdote.” I worried for a while how to correct her, then made a medium-subtle attempt. It didn’t work, so I finally told her so she wouldn’t continue to do it in front of clients. It didn’t fix the problem.

    Someone assure me that I’m not overly critical?

    • E.B. White :

      I should clarify that the first example is in email; the second example is verbal only.

      • Please correct her when she uses the wrong word verbally. Its easy to gently do in person and may save her from making the same mistake. (Of course, use common sense and don’t correct her in front of clients, etc. You’ll know the right opportunity when you see it.)

        As someone who used to mispronounce many words, I really appreciate it when someone gives me the correct pronunciation. (Darn you, early childhood phonics education.)

    • S in Chicago :

      I’m often on calls with a colleague who talks about “flushing out” the details. Same person also once called a high-paying client “Boo” repeatedly during a call no matter how many times others on the call referenced his name (his name is Beau).

      And the comma thing would drive me bonkers, too. :)

      • E.B. White :

        Ahhh! “Flushing out” reminds me of another colleague who says “attained” when he means “obtained.” As in, “we attained this data from the client.” Which I correct every.single.time. in his powerpoints. If he weren’t a JD/MBA with an Ivy undergrad, I wouldn’t hold it against him.

      • I actually thought “flushing out” was okay — always assumed it was a hunting-related reference (don’t hunting dogs flush birds out of bushes so you can see them?). Come to think of it, though, I’m probably just wrong.

        And yes, the abuse of commas is a serious pet peeve.

        • You are right, but the two terms mean different things.

          From the net:

          To “flesh out” an idea is to give it substance, as a sculptor adds clay flesh to a skeletal armature. To “flush out” a criminal is to drive him or her out into the open. The latter term is derived from bird-hunting, in which one flushes out a covey of quail. If you are trying to develop something further, use “flesh”; but if you are trying to reveal something hitherto concealed, use “flush.”

        • You “flesh out” the details if you want to create more specifics about something. But you can also “flush” things out of hiding.

          And continually saying flush in my head has started to turn it into a weird sounding word.

    • It would drive me nuts, too. But then again it drives me nuts when my boss writes “thx. c u then” in emails.

      I think you let it go in any personal communications and correct it when it’s going out-of-office and you are involved.

    • Those things would annoy me too, but I wouldn’t correct my boss for it. As for the verbal antidote-anecdote issue, I suspect the clients probably didn’t notice or assumed that it was an accent or odd pronunciation of “anecdote” because they don’t hear her do it every day like you do.

      I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think it’s overly critical of you to notice and be annoyed by these things, but it would cross the line into overly critical if you took it upon yourself to correct all the grammatical errors you encounter.

      Out of curiosity, how did your old boss react when you told her? did she say she’d try to fix it and then couldn’t? Was she annoyed or embarrassed?

      • E.B. White :

        So…the reason I finally corrected her was that she was giving a big presentation. I sat through the run through. It wasn’t used once or twice during the 2 hour call- she said it ALL the time. It could have been me (it probably was)–but I found it super distracting.

        Since I was there to pay attention and critique the presentation, I just put “anECdote” in quotes at the top of the page– then when we rehashed the presentation I mentioned it offhandedly, along with my other critiques. (“This wasn’t as clear as it could have been…you spoke too softly here….it’s “anecdote” and not “antidote”…etc.”) She wasn’t annoyed at all. It just didn’t solve the problem (I think she thought I was wrong).

        I’m extra sensitive about this stuff because I went around mispronouncing “indicted” (inDIKted) for about a week in high school and NOBODY TOLD ME! I had never heard it pronounced before. I was MORTIFIED when someone finally told me (as in, thanked them profusely for telling me, fumed that it took two separate presentations before someone said anything!)

        For the record– I ALWAYS want to know!

        • I have a friend who always mispronounces metabolic (as in “metabolic rate”) with the emphasis on the second syllable, so meTABolic, instead of metaBOLic rate. It’s beyond me how to correct her without embarassing her. She teaches English at a community college but obviously did not learn this in science class.

          I’ve tried saying it correctly in normal conversation, but it does no good.

          Any suggestions for how to do this tactfully?

        • Mighty Mouse :

          In grade school, I was chosen to read some “news of the world” piece in class. I proceeded to read all about Thailand (which I pronounced “Thail-land”).

          The teacher corrected me at the end. I was mortified then; as an adult this makes me LOL and I wonder how she kept a straight face!

    • grammar police :

      You’re not the only one! I started a thread a while back about improper use of apostrophes. It’s not, “we invited the Smith’s to the meeting”. It’s not, “the 90′s today”. NO! They are the Smiths and it is in the 90s outside. ARRGGHHHH…. ok, sorry, I just see this all the time, and you brought it back up again :)

    • I have a friend (a professor!) who says “halfhazard.” I try to use the word “haphazard” in a sentence whenever she first says “halfhazard” (so if she says “I wish he hadn’t done such a halfhazard job” I’ll say “yeah, it’s so frustrating when it’s clear it was done haphazardly”). She also says would’ve instead of had, as in “I wish I would’ve known.” (Actually, that example sentence she probably would have said “I wish he wouldn’t’ve done such a halfhazard job.”)

      • E.B. White :

        I love your pluperfect snobbery.

      • “would’ve” is regional to the Deep South, as is “might could”: I “might could” go to Walmartz translated to “I might be able to go to Walmart.”

        I know the placement of that colon may be improper :)

        • AnonInfinity :

          I am from the South and did not know that would’ve isn’t proper. Fo’ realz?!

          Also guilty of “might could.”

          • Oh my god same, I can feel my world crumbling, and am now wondering how many Yanks I’ve bothered over the course of my life by saying “would’ve.”

            …but SERIOUSLY? Is that not a thing that people say other places?

          • I grew up in Connecticut, and we say would’ve here. Don’t say might could, but I might could start.

          • Not sure if you mean you use it in general or that you use as described in TBK’s example. “Would’ve” (or “would have”) is not incorrect across the board. For example, it’s perfectly fine to say something like, “I would’ve sent flowers if I’d known you were in the hospital.” However, “I wish I would’ve known” is just 100% wrong.

          • Definitely meant it in the “wish I would’ve known” sense. Eh. Oh well, so is saying y’all, and y’all–on reflect I am just not that bothered about it.

          • *reflection

          • AnonInfinity :

            Right there with you, a.

            Also, I think y’all is a fantastic word. It’s a gender-neutral way of referring to a group. “You guys” isn’t gender neutral and just “you” can be confusing (are you talking to the group or to just one person).

          • Even better is “all y’all,” which we, here in Louisiana, use to great effect, as in “F*ck all y’all [flounce],”

          • Leigh Ann :

            My San Francisco in-laws think it’s hilarious when I say “fixin’ to.” Of course, saying “we’re fixin’ to go to dinner” is different from saying “we’re fixin’ to go to trial.” :)

          • SoCalAtty :

            I’m guilty of “fixin to” do something! Raised by grandparents from OK, can’t help it! I also say “crick” (creek) and “ruff” (roof). It is funny because those words fight right along with “hella” “dude” and a fee other CAisms

        • Not specific to the South. I have heard this incorrect usage by people from all over (as in the example by TBK).

          When I was in high school the song “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter was popular and every time the lyric “I wish I would’ve met you” would come on, I would scream at the radio, “It’s ‘I wish I HAD met you,’ you a$$hole!”

          Just think of the example “If I HAD KNOWN you were coming, I WOULD HAVE BAKED a cake.”

          Sorry for Ellen caps. Bad grammar brings on my rage.

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          URG! I had a boyfriend who always said “I probably might.” Drove. Me. Crazy.

      • This use of would’ve drives me CRAZY.

    • Yep I always notice those type of mistakes and want to correct the person but in most situations you just have to ignore it. My boss pronounces nuclear as nuke-ular. Shouldn’t an engineer be able to pronounce that word correctly?

      On a related note, I love the Grammar Girl blog.

    • Yes, this drives me nuts as well. I have a colleague who is constantly reminding everyone how knowledgeable she is, yet uses “gleam” instead of “glean” on a regular basis – in writing, verbally, etc. I’m not sure if she heard it somewhere and thought it sounded smart or what. Drives me crazy! I have another colleague who writes business pieces with a ton of colloquialisms, like beginning a paragraph with the phrase, “For starters.” Really?

    • The partner in the office next to mine abuses punctuation without mercy. Her biggest offense? Semi-colon abuse. To make a compound sentence, she uses “semi-colon and comma”. Example: I walked to the store today; and, I bought milk.” Occasionally, she does this in simple sentences: “Plaintiff was out of work for six weeks; and, could not find other income.” She speaks into her dictaphone so loudly that I get to cringe while I hear her speak this mistake into her dictation and then cringe again when I have to review and revise the written product. It has become like nails on a chalk board to me.

    • I have a supervisor who regularly posts updates on Facebook and sends e-mails that are full of spelling mistakes of the fat fingers variety. None of them are so urgent that she couldn’t have taken 30 seconds of her time to check that she isn’t presenting herself as a total slob. The saddest part is that she (and I) are language professionals.

      I had a boss who uses exclamation marks where normal people use periods. And of course three to fifteen when one would have done for a normal person.

    • One of my colleagues gave a wonderful presentation this afternoon in front of a local forum (including new boss) and kept talking about “pitchers” when he meant “pictures.” I’m pretty sure it’s a regionalism that he has kept but it kind of drives me nuts.

    • I do not always think it is a good idea, even tho you may be right.

      When I was young and carefree, I tattooed my ex BF’s name on my left bum, but it said “I LUV xxxx”

      I intentionally had them write “luv” rather than “love” because it was 1 less letter (and every letter was painful). My ex BF saw it later and scolded me for not spewing out my “luv” for him properly. That was very hurtful to me, and I still have the tattoo, complete with the “misspelling” which I have had to explain to every guy that sees it.

      Maybe if I had cleared it FIRST I would still be with my EX, but in many other ways he was an ass, and I am glad he is gone from my life. In the best world, I need to find another guy named David who will appreciate this as a symbol of undying love, and marry me for branding his name so intimately on my body for him.

      • Thanks Frances, we need to keep this as reference for the many times people ask whether it’s OK to get a big tatoo for work..

    • My boss says “bodes the question” instead of “begs the question”. Drives me NUTS.

  16. I’m going to a Bar Mitzvah tomorrow. I haven’t been to one since I was a teenager and don’t remember what people wear. I’m invited to both the religious ceremony and the party afterwards. The thing is, I feel like what I want to wear to the party is not particularly appropriate for a synagogue. The invitation said that the party is Black and White themed, so I was planning on wearing my only black and white dress that I have… which is strapless. Would it be appropriate to wear a sweater over it at the synagogue? Should I pick something else to wear? Do people typically wear the same thing to both? The service is at a community Jewish center which does not seem to cater to one denomination.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a gap between the religious ceremony and the party? If so, I think a lot of people will change for the party, and I would wear something other than the strapless dress for the religous part, and just change later. If there’s not a long enough gap to change, and it’s reform, I think you will be fine wearing the strapless dress with a cardi over it. If it’s not reform, I have no idea.

      FWIW, the for the one bar mitzvah I’ve been to recently, a lot of people changed for the party, except for some of the young ladies who were there, who wore their extremely short skirts to both the religious ceremony and the party. This was a fairly liberal reform congregation.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’ve never heard of anyone changing from synagogue to the party, but I haven’t been to any weddings where you would do that either, and I know that’s a thing that happens.

      Unless it’s an Orthodox or a very conservative Conservative synagogue, you should be ok with a cardigan.

    • It’s hard to say without knowing more about the service and the denomination. Could the family be orthodox? If not, I would guess you would be fine with a sweater in the service, even in a more conservative shul (unless the dress is very short or low cut).

      I generally assume I’ll be wearing the same outfit to the party, but the timing and location could tell you more (is there a long break and location change?).

      • The service is at 4 and the party is at 7, so there is least some of a break. I won’t be very close to home though, so it’s not as though I could go home to change, but maybe others will? The party is at a hotel, so there is a location change. I know that the family is not orthodox. I would not say that my dress is very low cut or short, just a basic c*cktail dress, but definitely something that I normally wear at night.

    • Some teenagers might wear revealing outfits (and be tut-tutted over by everyone else), if it’s a reform or nondenominational congregation, but you should definitely wear a cardigan.

      • I am not sure of your status, but if you are looking to find an eligible guy with financial potential, lose the cardigan and wear a short black or red dress with black or red pumps. Men are more likely to approach you if you dress like this. I’ve never known anyone who has snared a guy with a cardigan. If that were the case, we would all be wearing them.

    • Is the party afterwards a lunch? Like, is this a morning service followed by lunch? (This is typical among Orthodox Jews but I have no idea how Conservative/Reform/etc would do it.) If yes, people typically wear the same thing. If it’s an evening thing, then I think your idea (dress plus cardigan for ceremony, dress minus cardigan for party) is perfect. And unless your dress is super low-cut, the same outfit should be fine for a morning service/lunch type of thing.

      I can definitely promise you that no matter what… you will not be the worst/weirdest dressed person there. Everyone understands that when there is a bar mitzvah or other festivity, people have guests who are not Jewish or not observant, and although it’s appreciated for those people to dress in keeping with the occasion (skirt to knee, no major cleavage, shoulders covered), no one bats an eye at the odd person that sticks out a bit.

  17. K...in transition :

    How about a game of fill in the blank? This can be professional or personal… or one of both even!

    The bravest thing I’ve ever done was ___________________. It taught me _________________.

    Mine? The bravest thing I’ve ever done was to move to another state for a new relationship. It taught me that, although the relationship didn’t work out, I not only got to experience a whole new place (and met amazing life-long friends), I also now know that I really -am- a person who would take the risk for love, just as I’d hoped I’d be!

    • Oooh I like it.

      Talk to my doctor about my anxiety levels. It taught me that I need to ask for help and accept help from the people that love me, I can’t be superwoman at all times and neither of those two facts are going to end my world as I know it. Sounds lame, but helped me see that the reason my life was a mess was because I was letting it be that way.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      The bravest thing I’ve ever done is get three cavities filled with no novocaine. It taught me I am hardcore.

      • Oh wow, that made me wince.

      • WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?! I am dying inside.

      • In my culture it’s actually fairly normal to opt out of anesthesia for a simple cavity filling. I don’t know if it’s because of the attitudes of the dentists or some collective trauma from the evil crap they used when I was a kid that hurt more going in than the procedure itself and left you looking like a drooling stroke victim for the rest of the day. I’m not going to say how many cavities I have had filled without anesthesia, because it’s embarrasing, haha!

        The bravest things I have done are going up on stage, speaking up in meetings or holding presentations. And if I had let the stage fear rule me, I´d never done as well in school, joined certain clubs or dared try some jobs. And I wouldn´t have learned a million things from double-entry bookkeeping to dancing the Pavane.

      • Another Zumba Fan :

        She convinced me they were shallow enough to fill without it.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Good idea!

      The bravest thing I’ve ever done was travel in Europe solo. It taught me that I could do it. I was in my early twenties, so the idea of getting off a plane and walking out of the airport not knowing anyone was really intimidating. It was also really freeing and exciting. It was a great experience. I gained a lot of confidence in myself beyond just sight-seeing.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done was go to West Africa for a summer to work with refugees, even though I had no housing lined up and had no knowledge of local culture or language. It taught me to trust other people, that it’s possible to hand-wash all my clothes, that I don’t need running water, that Americans aren’t the only ones who are squeamish about killing animals for food, that being different from everyone around you every single day is exhausting, and that if you saw your family hacked apart before your eyes and all the women in your family raped and you don’t know where half your children are, you may be walking around but anyone who looks in your eyes will see that you’re already dead.

      • :(

        • I know. I didn’t mean it to go that dark, but then it did. On the up side, there were some remarkable people who had done heroic things to save children who were complete strangers to them.

          • It’s so sad, but honestly people need to hear it (imo) more often because until you see the effects up close you can’t put yourself in their place and then do something about it.

      • holy sh*t tbk we are doing positive affirmations over here

    • The bravest (and possibly stupidest) thing I’ve ever done was leave my home state to attend law school in DC with about $50 to my name, when I had never visited the school, barely visited DC, never even met a lawyer before, and did not undersand anything about the practice of law. I was scared sh*tless and when I got off the plane at Reagan with my two suitcases of possessions, I really wanted to turn right back around and go home. Maybe if I’d had enough money for another plane ticket I would have. But lucky for me I love DC, loved law school, and love being a lawyer.

    • The bravest thing I have ever done was jumping off a bridge when I was fifteen into the river below. It taught me that even if something is very scary and I am shaking with fear, I am mentally strong enough to conquer it and let go and jump.

      I re-live this moment before every oral argument I have had in my state supreme court. I approach the podium shaking with fear, but I can conquer it, release my grip on my argument notebook/edge of the podium, etc. and jump into argument and do fine.

      • Interesting, anon–I did the same thing when I was 15! It was with a group of friends–I was the first girl to go. Perhaps we were in the same group?

      • Love this.

      • Double Hoo :

        This was going to be my answer too! I did it last year during a backpacking trip (aged older than 15). I could barely stand up from adrenaline afterwards, although weirdly it wasn’t that scary in the moment.

        And then I did it again in another place a couple of months later. So clearly I have the bug, which I am not sure is a good thing.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done was —-Move abroad at age 16—. It taught me —-everything and helped me become my own person.

    • Complete paratrooper school. It taught me that my body is capable of doing much more than I think it can.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done was admit I had hit rock bottom, was deeply depressed, and needed medical help. It taught me that I am not a failure for needing help, and that the stigma against mental illness is utter bullsh1t which prevents people from getting the help they need. I am open with everyone I know about my experience with depression and how important therapy and medication were for my recovery, in the hopes that I will help them be brave enough to get help if they need it, too.

    • SoCalAtty :

      I think the bravest thing I’ve ever done is what I’m going now – slowly divorcing myself from all of my relatives that I have been “lifeguarding” for my whole life. I’m tired of sitting in that tall chair and rescuing everyone when they start to drown, but having no one to rely on myself. Starting with my brother, I’m handing the reins, so to speak, over, and they can do what they will with it. I’m terrified. I have no idea what it will teach me.

      • Blonde lawyer :

        SoCal – I think you are awesome. Email me offline if you want to chat more ([email protected]). If I don’t respond quickly it is because I am doing some family rescuing myself this weekend and will be on the road for most of it. I’m also learning that just because I *can* do something, doesn’t mean I *should* do something.

        Also, I’d like to thank the poster who is a mom w/ cancer (Seatlelitte maybe??? Sorry if it wasn’t you) for posting about why she doesn’t tell her daughter certain things or let her go to appointments. It was very eye opening to read the “mom” perspective. My parents are in a situation where they need some help and I am in a position to give them some help but they are AWFUL about asking for it. I now see that maybe they would rather I be out having fun and living my life than at their house fixing their problem, yet again. I don’t mind helping but I think they mind taking the help. Maybe I shouldn’t force it on them. Food for thought.

        • A friend of mine summarized her situation well: ” it’s hard enough to get them the help they need, I’d do it cheerfully though. But having to shove it down their throat is what’s really difficult”.

        • Seattleite :

          Yes, that was me.

          And, as someone who has helped her parents in the past, and now may be needing help from others, sometimes asking for help is much harder than accepting it. When my parents needed help, I said, “I’m coming to see you Sunday, and while I’m there I’d like to [solve this problem].” Presenting it as a pseudo-fait accompli, and my idea, made it easier for them to accept.

          Of course, YMMV. Know your family. :)

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Yes, there are many things I just do. I was referring more to a couple things they deliberately didn’t tell me about because they were worried I would worry/try to fix it.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      The bravest thing I’ve ever done is move across the country to a city I’d never even visited to before. It taught me to rely on myself, trust my instincts, and pursue what I want.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done is move to a city halfway across the country after law school with everything I own in the car and no job and no apartment. It taught me that you don’t always need to know where you’re going to end up to move in the direction you want to go. Everyone is always like “ooh you’re so brave,” but it didn’t feel brave to me. I just new that I wanted to be in NYC and that I would work things out when I got there.

      • I am considering something similar, within the next six-ish weeks.

        Can I ask: do you have any advice in this situation? How much money saved would you say is necessary? Aaaaaaah, am possibly very excited! And thanks!

    • I guess the bravest thing I’ve ever done was to go on my junior year abroad by myself to a German-speaking country when I didn’t speak German (I took Italian in college). It was an incredible experience and I lived in a girls’ dorm rather than in an apartment and loved the people I met from all over the world. I had acute tonsilitis about a month in, so that was pretty harrowing, given the language barrier. I think it gave me the courage to pick up and move, also by myself, to Louisiana from Pennsylvania when I finished grad school.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done is quit my law firm job to work for myself. It taught me to stand up for myself, and that I was absolutely worthy of respect and dignity. It also taught me that I’m capable of doing things I never imagined I could.

    • I think I’m just lucky that I didn’t know the bravest things until after I’d done them !

  18. Any suggestions for creative 10 year anniversary gifts for my DH? I would like to stick with aluminum or tin, which is traditional for this anniversary. DH is sporty but not gadgety. Thanks for any ideas!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Does he like to bike? What about a cool bicycle (I think bike frames are made of aluminum…)

    • Honey Pillows :

      Sheriff’s badge! Because he’s the law in your heart!

    • Would he use a money clip or another type of minimalist wallet that might come in aluminum? Can you upgrade any of his sporting goods equipment to a nicer metal version? A fun clock or industrial lamp might also work.

    • How about an aluminum water bottle and a gift certificate for some sort of a sporty experience (tennis lessons, whitewater rafting, weekend hike, something like that)?

  19. going anon for this one for obvious reasons . . .

    do yall really wash your hands after you use the restroom everysingletime? i get that you should (and i do) after going number two (so mature) but really, after you just go number one?? that’s a lot of handwashing in a day. i drink a lot of water, and if i were to wash my hands every time i urinated i’d have really dry hands.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      At work, yes. I always keep hand lotion at my desk for this reason. At home, only if I’m about to eat something after. I live by myself and am comfortable with my own germs.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Yes.

      Carry some hand cream in your purse or keep some at your desk if you’re concerned about dry hands.

      • it just seems wasteful to me, fo both water and lotion. and I don’t see the point when i haven’t touched anything you know? usually i don’t pee on my hands.

        is this an american thing? people always say we’re obsessed with cleanliness.

        Of course, i do always wash before i eat.

        • You touch the handle on the stall/bathroom door, don’t you?

        • It’s not that you pee on your hands, it’s that you touch the stall, bathroom door, phone, printer, doorknobs at the office, elevator buttons, mail, and tons of other stuff that ends up on your hands. Which is gross. So you should wash them frequently, and when you use the restroom is a good time to do so.

    • wishy washy :

      At home: wash hands half the time after #1 every time after #2
      Anywhere else: wash hands every single time, always, no exceptions. Silently, harshly judge those who do not.

      P.S. Just use lotion.

      • oh, i always do wash when there’s someone else in the restroom so as to avoid judgment. :)

        • Extremely anon for this :

          I don’t wash every time at work, but if there is someone in another stall, I will run the water and take a paper towel to give the illusion that I am washing my hands. For all the trouble I am going through, I might as well wash my damn hands, but …

    • Yes. Also have dry hands– that’s what the hand cream in my desk drawer is for.

      • I always do. I avoid dry hands by using moisturizing hand soap. I buy nice hand soap for the work bathroom because I prefer it and I get to pick the scent (I’m very sensitive to florals and perfume-y scents). I found that some of the antibacterial soaps that weren’t moisturizing gave me dermatitis.

    • Maddie Ross :

      When I’m not at home, yes, every time. At home, yes during the day. No if it’s the middle of the night.

    • Yes. Every time. Use lotion for the dry hands.

    • At work? Yes. Our office is in a high rise, and the bathroom is a “floor” bathroom. I think the people in the other office suite are gross, so I often use hand sanitizer when I get back to my desk.

      At home? No. It is just me and my husband, and I’m not worried about my own germs! If I’m cooking, I always wash my hands before I start so no worries there.

    • At home, I rinse but at night, but soap the rest of the time.
      At work, always. I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer and lotion at my desk. Sorry, but you are in a shared environment and if you were/are my coworker I would be a little grossed out. It’s not so much that you pee on your hands, it’s that bathrooms are breeding grounds for all sorts of germs. I am not a germaphobe, but buy yourself some nice lotion and call it a day.

      • Also, beyond the pee issue, you should actually wash your hands at work frequently if you work in a large building to avoid sick germs. Sincerely, the girl who always gets sick.

        • karenpadi :

          This. It’s good to wash your hands frequently whenever in public.

          At home, I can get pretty lax but I always wash with soap after handling kitty litter and before touching any food or handling my contact lenses.

        • This is why I wash my hands after using the restroom at work. It has nothing to do with what I’m *doing* in the restroom so much as it’s a convenient time for me to always wash my hands. With sick coworkers (or coworkers with sick kids) and all the stuff I touch during the day, I just think it’s good to de-germ multiple times during the day. I’m less rigid about the hand-washing when I’m at home because presumably I’m dealing mostly with my own home team germs there.

      • I would think bathrooms would be among the least germy places because they get scrubbed and disinfected all the time, and people are always washing their hands in there. I’d guess your office kitchen is much grosser.

        • And your phone, and your keyboard, and your desk, and any door handles you encounter.

          It probably also depends where in the bathroom cleaning cycle you are. They are usually cleaned at night, rather than during the day.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Even if you don’t need the strong flush (is there any polite way to say that??), there are other people who did, and who touched the seat, the toilet handle, and the door with their hands. So regardless of what may or may not be on your hands when you stand up from the toilet, there’s a surprisingly strong probability that you’re touching someone else’s waste before you leave the bathroom.

      And yes, they’re your own germs, but they’re still not healthy to touch. There’s a reason your body is getting rid of things -your body doesn’t want those things inside of it. Not washing your hands is a great way to put those things back into you, where they have a chance to get you sick again.

      Also, regardless of how you feel about it, other people probably aren’t ok with it, and anytime you have ANY contact with other people (handing them a folder! opening the office fridge!) you’re passing on what you just didn’t wash off in the bathroom. I’m pretty sure your coworkers aren’t ok with that!

    • yes…everytime. well not in the middle of the night.

      sometimes I think to myself, “It’s okay if I don’t wash my hands this time.” Then I think what if I did get germs on me and do pass them on and someone gets sick, blah blah blah. And then I wash my hands.

      I think that is too much thinking for just going to the bathroom.

    • No, truthfully, I don’t. Even at work (unless someone is nearby). Yes, maybe there are germs, but it’s really unlikely that they’re going to make you sick. And I tend to think that it strengthens my immune system. For what it’s worth, I am generally in great health.

      • Ah ok I’ll play. At work, I almost always at least rinse with water and use a paper towel to open the door. I don’t always use soap, because my hands are also dry. If I don’t wash with soap and water, I use the hand sanitizer at my desk instead. At home, it depends when the last time I washed my hands was. I think you should wash them with soap and water periodically, so if I haven’t in a while, I’ll wash after I go to the bathroom. But, for instance, if I’ve just finished cooking and washed my hands 10 minutes ago then I go pee in my own house, I’m not washing my hands again. No logic for it.

        For the record, I think I am generally less concerned about germs than most people. I think germs are unavoidable, and the dirtiest places aren’t in the bathroom- its your average doorknob, elevator button, atm keypad etc. I’m more vigilant during cold & flu season and when I’m around small children- for my own sake not theirs (your average 5 yr old probably has more nasty germs on their skin than the doorknob of the busiest public restroom you can think of). I’m rarely sick, except for your odd cold maybe once or twice a year. I don’t even remember the last time I needed antibiotics, but it has been at least 5 years, probably more (knock on wood).

    • remind me never to touch your hands!!!

    • Anon for this :

      When my hands are very dry, I don’t after number 1. If I’m at work, where people can hear the flush and the water, I will still run the water so it sounds like I washed but I really didn’t. This is my secret.

      My other secret is I often wash with just water only because I’m allergic to the ingredients in so many soaps and I just don’t want to carry soap around with me. I still let the water get hot, scrub for a few seconds under the water and dry it off but if it is not my soap from home, I’m probably not using it.

    • This reminds me of an ER episode. There were a bunch of staph cases among people who had been patients in the ER and they formed a team to try to determine where the infection was coming from. It turned out that all the patients had in common was one desk clerk, who (it turned out) didn’t wash his hands after every bathroom trip.

      I believe it was episode 62, “Whose Appy Now?”

      Jerry Markovic: This is ridiculous. I do not need hand-washing lessons!
      Dr. Greg Fischer: Scrub hard Jerry, to scrape off the bacteria.
      Jeanie Boulet: But the most important thing is to wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.
      Jerry Markovic: What, every time?

      It also featured this bit of dialog that seems to apply to our knowledge of each other’s hand washing habits:
      Nurse Wendy Goldman: This pamphlet says that 40% of all doctors don’t wash their hands between patients.
      Dr. Doug Ross: No kidding.
      Nurse Wendy Goldman: Yeah. And medical personnel pick their noses on average of three times an hour. And many interns only bathe twice a week –
      Dr. Doug Ross: [interrupting] Wendy, there’s a limit on how well-informed I want to be.

      • love er!

      • Yeah. However, tv is not science..
        Bathroom doorknobs are not filthier than the one to your office for instance. What’s really disgusting on the microbiological level is a kitchen wiped down with a wet, grungy sponge. Much worse than the inside of toilets, never mind the doorknobs. If you want to stay healthy at work, you should mostly prevent sick people from using your phone or your keyboard. Working in a place that encourages contagious people to use their sick leave is wise too.
        I’ll confess to washing my hands during flu outbreaks when I get to work after taking public transportation. But that’s not nearly as effective as avoiding the characters who sneeze in your direction (50feet recorded range) without putting their hand in front of their mouth.

        • You mean, sneeze into their hand, and touch things with that hand? Sneeze/cough into your shoulder or the crook of your elbow, please. Much better than your hand.

          • Ex Mr. Herbie always sneezed into his hands and it gave me the freaking willies every time. Gross gross gross.

          • Quite right sneezy! I did mean that, totally.

    • I think hand washing is a lot like getting immunizations – it’s at least as much about herd immunity as it is about keeping yourself from getting sick. Taking 30 seconds to washing your hands with soap is going to help germs from spreading, even if they aren’t going to make you sick. It is a habit that will reduce your chances of getting sick – although skipping any one time probably won’t push you over.

      And its not even so much about the fact that you just went to the bathroom (although that’s part of it for me), but that you pick up so much stuff on your hands through out the day that it’s worth it to wash your hands periodically through out the day, and being in the bathroom happens to be a handy time, what with the soap and water and dryer. Frankly, I don’t really understand NOT washing your hands after going to the bathroom. Shrug.

    • I had no idea there were people who didn’t always wash after #1. You’re touching things in the bathroom, if nothing else — the door, the toilet paper dispenser, the toilet seat if you have to put it down. Think of how many other people touch the stall door!!

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Not to get too detailed, but do you ladies wipe after peeing? I do, and think that is reason enough to wash my hands.

      • I do, but my hands don’t even slightly touch anything – my hands are one side of the 4-5 pieces of TP, my v*g is on the other. I mean, I still wash my hands, but I question whether wiping after #1 is what actually makes them dirty.

      • oh so anon :

        I do, yes, but not with my hands- I mean, there is no skin on skin contact down there. Also, that’s more of an ickiness factor than an actual health risk. There are far more dangerous germs on the elevator buttons in the lobby than on probably anything in the bathroom stall, but certainly more than anything “down there” (barring STDs, which aren’t really transmitted from doorknobs, handshakes, and the like). To make this completely gross, you would be much more likely to get the flu or a cold (or any other respiratory infection) from shaking hands with someone than by “going down” on them. So I feel more compelled to wash my hands after I cough than I after I wipe.

        Similarly, I don’t get toilet seat covers. Well, I take that back. I get why people use them for sake of the general ickiness factor, but it is almost impossible to catch any sort of bug from sitting your bare butt on the same toilet seat someone else’s butt was just on. There’s just no real health benefit that I can conceive of.

        • still anon :

          Thanks for putting it so well oh-so-anon.
          As the old joke goes
          - our-group always washes their hands after peeing.
          - yes, but our-other-group doesn’t pee on their own hands.
          (I’ve heard it about different ivy-league schools, but really insert your own favorite groups here)

    • Always…but I know some people who think it’s not necessary after number one.

      I’m a complete germaphobe, though. Not to be TMI, but the only thing I let come in contact with me in a public restroom is the door handle. I flush with my foot.

      • Doesn’t everyone flush with their foot? (in a public restroom, I mean)

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I always flush with my foot, always wash my hands, mentally singing the “happy birthday” song at least one time through to ensure a full wash, and use a paper towel to open the door on the way out. I’m more glad of these habits after reading this thread.

        • People who can’t use their foot to flush (ex. people in wheelchairs) don’t, and they probably don’t appreciate that other people do.

    • Microbiologist :

      ALWAYS. As others have pointed out, even if you just did #1 you touched a lot of surfaces that may have been touched by someone that did #2. Get some hand sanitizer with aloe or hand lotion to combat dry hands.

      As someone who used to grow bacteria for a living, let me tell you that those little buggers get everywhere. I always wash my hands after using the restroom and I’m one of those people that will use a paper towel (or, in an emergency, a piece of my own clothing) to open the bathroom door. People that don’t wash their hands are the reason I do this. If I designed bathrooms, the main doors would always swing out on exit and would have no handle so that you can leave the bathroom without using your hands.

      • Microbiologist :

        For an interesting take on this issue, I think there is a Freakonomics podcast that reviews hospitals that drastically cut infections by instituting handwashing programs.

        For anyone getting grossed out reading this thread, the most important thing is to have clean hands when you eat or will otherwise put your hands near your face. This is why alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be a lifesaver.

        • Hey, washing your hands after touching sick people is essential! Let’s not confuse issues here. I hope I’m never so sick in a hospital that I can’t hobble out if some jerk doctor wants to touch me without washing their hands first..

        • How do you think they get sick? It doesn’t make any sense to say that if you’re healthy or not in a hospital, you don’t need to wash your hands.

          The hospital studies are important because they show how effective and important it is to wash your hands. Not just when you are in the hospital but everywhere.

      • Wash them! :

        Every time, with soap.
        I picked up a virus which is spread by contaminated faeces, so someone not washing their hands gave me an illness that put me in hospital and a post virus illness that put me off work for just over a year.
        Wash them, I beg of you!

    • Always a NYer :

      This thread makes me want to wash my hands even more now that I know there are people who don’t =/ I’m also that person who has a paper towel to open the bathroom door because you never know who touched the door before you. I’d rather moisturize my hands more than ever consider not washing my hands after going to the bathroom, just imagining the germs, ugh. Even at home, I wash my hands every single time I go. It’s something that’s been ingrained into me since I can remember, not washing my hands isn’t even an option for me.

      • Definitely wash every time. I’m a doc. It’s amusing (and a little disappointing…) to read some of your comments, but I enjoy your honesty.

        A recent study showed that 1 out of 6 cell phones had the bacteria E.coli on it. E. coli is from poo! So think about that the next time you ask to borrow someone’s cell phone.

        Wash your hands folks. Moisturizer at desk/home. Hand sanitizer at a minimum…

    • I do b/c I often go back to the fridge to “reload” and do not want any residue on my hands that could get on the glass and back into me when I drink. Besides, I always tell my friends to wash and do not want to be a hypocrite.

    • Omg, you ladies are grossing me out. Yes, wash your hands EVERY TIME at work. You may not have peed on your hands. You may have flushed the toilet with your foot. But did you have to unlatch the stall door? Yes. And i guarantee you there is fecal matter on that latch. Ditto for the bathroom door. Wash your freaking hands for gods sake.

  20. Baby DC Attorney :

    Posting again since my earlier comment is stuck in moderation…

    I’m getting married in a few short weeks (September 22nd). Any great advice you ladies have for my wedding day? Also, I know there is another c o r p o r e t t e with the same wedding day — if you are her, and you see this, how are you holding up?

    • Congratulations! At this point, what’s done is done. I kept telling myself in the last few days: “All that matters is we’ll be married, the food will be good and the drinks will be free!”

      For the day itself, enjoy time with your girlfriends before the ceremony – I had my two best friends stay with me the night before just like we were kids again. And at the ceremony, obviously chat with the folks from work/in-town, but make sure to spend time with your out of town guests. Have fun!

    • This is what I told my best friend right before she got married and was super stressed with planning:

      Of course you want your wedding to be perfect, but something likely will go wrong. Hopefully it will be something small, and as your maid of honor, I will take care of whatever it is. But no matter what, your wedding day will be beautiful, because it’s your day! And in the end, you will be married to your awesome guy, which is really the most important thing and the reason for the whole thing anyways (don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees or whatever that saying is haha). Remember this is just one day (although an important day) in what will be a life-long marriage!

    • Try to stay present during the ceremony. I have no memory of the ceremony, none. But as my dad and I were heading up the big staircase into the room where the wedding was, I thought “this is that day — this is my wedding day and here is my dad and I’m wearing my veil and my dress and all those people I love are out there in the next room waiting for me” and that moment is crystal clear for me. If you can focus on a moment of the ceremony to freeze for yourself to look back on, it will be a memory you love.

      • THIS!

        My memory was walking out the door with my Dad and down the aisle. One of my last clear memories before he died later that year.

    • DC Association :

      Hold your bouquet low when you’re walking down the aisle. A lot of brides (me included) are nervous/excited/anxious when walking down the aisle and they crunch up their shoulders and hold the bouquet up high. In photos then you see you’re covering your dress!

      Also – EAT!

    • Kontraktor :

      Enjoy and savor your day. My wedding day was perfect and pretty much the happiest day I have ever had. I felt like I drank up every single minute. Do that because it is such a happy and joyful occasion.

    • Anastasia :

      Congratulations!

      TBK’s advice about trying to stay present is a really good idea. My memories of my ceremony include: the minister was late, I was starving because I thought I would get to eat sooner, and I giggled through a lot of the vows because I was trying to keep from crying (which I failed at, anyway, and father-in-law later commented that “wedding vows are supposed to be serious”). The rest of the details are fuzzy, but my overall impression of the day is that it was great and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m glad my photos turned out well– the pictures are a good substitute for actual detailed memories.

      So I’ll echo the advice to eat! Also, wear waterproof mascara (obviously) and have make-up ready for touch-ups if you’re doing photos after the ceremony.

      Enjoy the day and don’t stress. Everything will be fine. I forgot my garter and the world didn’t end. The wind almost blew away the arch and the world didn’t end. As long as you, your fiance, the officiant and your nearest and dearest make it to the venue, nothing else is important. :)

    • Step back and enjoy the moment. Even better, if you and your husband can find 30 seconds in the ceremony/reception to revel in all the people there to see you.

      Don’t talk to each other the day of the wedding and don’t see each other. This seems old fashioned, yes. Have your family or ‘maids run messages during the day if needed. The first time I talked to my husband or even saw him that day was when I got to the end of the aisle. It added a fun level of excitement to the whole affair and both of us would say it was one of the best things that we did.

      • That’s funny — my advice would be to do as many pictures before the ceremony as you can. That meant we violated the “don’t see each other” advice. We did all the pictures but the big family ones ahead of time. So, after the ceremony we had the time to just be there with our family and friends.

        • But I still think you can do the pictures beforehand and make that the first time you have seen each other/ talked all day. The look on the couples faces as they see each other for the first time is magical and a great picture.

      • My husband and I went for a walk on the morning of our wedding – just the two of us, before we got fancied up. It was really grounding and restorative. The moment where we saw each other in our fancy clothes was still special and thrilling.

    • Don’t stress about the details once the big day has arrived! Even though I had a wedding planner, I am a type A perfectionist, and had a large hand in planning every little detail. I knew exactly how everything was supposed to be on the big day, and was watching the whole time to make sure it was perfect. This meant that I spent the whole wedding day as a stressed-out spaz, and I regret that.

      For instance, some guests arrived super early, and saw the whole wedding party (including the bride, pre-grand entrance) taking pictures. I didn’t like that. Stress! Some people didn’t want to sit outside for the ceremony, so they moved their chairs indoors to where they could see, but not hear. I saw this right before I walked down the aisle, and had by dad go ask them why they weren’t sitting in the set-up area. Stress! My musician did not play the right song for the recessional. Stress! After the ceremony, I spilled the first hors d’oeuvre I ate all down the front of my dress. Stress! During the cocktail hour, we were supposed to finish big group pictures, but everyone was so dispersed and I spent tons of time just trying to get everyone together. Stress! Hubby and I were supposed to make a grand entrance to the dinner, but people would not sit down, so we stood aimlessly in the hallway, waiting, while people wondered what we were doing. Stress! We got to our table and the seating arrangements had been set up incorrectly by the caterer. Stress! We had our first dance, and had no idea what we were doing. Stress! By the time we made it to the dessert table (we chose no cake), there were none left. Stress!

      With that said, my wedding day was the most emotional, overwhelming day of my life (in a good way). I am sorry that I focused so much on the less-than-perfect moments, instead of focusing on the joy of the day. I think I should have had a few drinks beforehand (I was trying to follow other brides’ advice to stay mostly-sober on your wedding day) to lighten up! My advice is cheesy, but “don’t sweat the small stuff–and it’s all small stuff.” The catch 22 of being super involved in planning your unique wedding that it is hard to let go and just enjoy the day. Try to do that, if you can!

    • One more piece of advice: your wedding is not a Broadway show. It’s a human experience, a ritual that crosses generations. Don’t worry so much about scripting the day that you lose sight of the actual experience and the emotion of it.

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