Coffee Break – Ivanka Trump Linear

Ivanka Trump LinearOoh: I love a good purple pump. I like this wedge from Ivanka Trump — the darker patent leather strip down the back is a great detail. The purple shoes are $140 at Zappos, but do note: 6pm has them in red for $41 and black for $84, and Endless has them in gray and brown for $67.50.  Ivanka Trump – Linear (Purple Suede) – Footwear

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Comments

  1. LOVE these wedges.

  2. Beautiful!!

  3. The Kate Spade sale has a lovely pair of 3″ plum snakeskin slingbacks as well. I was sorely tempted but the final sale / not knowing if the plum would be true-to-color upon receipt gave me pause, and now my size is sold out!

    • I am partial to the VC Signature purple pumps with the metallic captoe. I was lusting after half of the fall shoes at Nordstrom’s.

  4. Matches the bag you posted about today at board room.

  5. I put on the big girl pants and asked the partners for a 27% raise (I am so underpaid for the awesomeness I bring in). I got 18% immediately and the remaining 9% will phase in on 1/1, plus I will be made an offer to become partner. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Time to celebrate!!!!!!!!

  6. I’m normally a fan of wedges but the wedge on these is too chunky and t/f not particularly attractive, at least in my very humble opinion. I saw these in person and there’s just something slightly cartoonish about the back of this shoe.

    • They look like something Cartoon Daphne would have worn in the 1970s Hanna-Barbera Scooby-Doo cartoon series.

    • I was thinkeing the SAME thing exactely!!!!!

      The manageing partner says that I should NOT wear any kind of wedge’s because he says they make me look shorter, and I am only 5’5″ to BEGIN with and I have to loose at least 8 more pounds, so the LAST thing I need to do is look SHORTER! FOOEY!!!!!

      Instead, he perfers 3-4″ pump’s, and he LOVES the Anne Klein pumps I bought a few month’s ago! Yay! He said I could get them in 3 other colors and he will still reimburse me the 20%, but they should all be closed toe’s.

      Jim dropped by the office today to deliver some of the fineanceial statements for his company and for the “target”, but he excised out the name of the target, b/c it is VERY confidenteial and he does NOT want to have any LEEKS.

      The manageing partner sat in on our review of the “HSR” form (Hart Scott Radino) and he did not really say to much. I do NOT think I am going to get any help from him; just the accounteant. The accounteant really likes to stare at me. FOOEY!

      • Just want to say that this spelling is awesomely hilarious: “fineanceial.”

        And, no LEEKS? They’re very good for one. I think Mireille Guiliano of the _French Women Don’t Get Fat_ books recommends them very highly. They may help you with those last 8lbs…

    • I love the color, and I also normally love a wedge, but I agree with you. These seem a bit too clunky. The heel needs to be sleeker and/or the toe needs to have a bit more point (more of an almond shape). They will likely visually shorten the leg-line, especially on already shorter people. Close, but they just miss the mark!

      Natalie
      ourstylefile.blogspot.com

  7. Pleading the 5th :

    I use a lot of free software downloads. I read an article recently that many “free software downloads” are for free personal use only and that if you use them at work you are supposed to buy the full version. I guess I’ve never read the terms and conditions carefully. Does anyone else use freeware at work?

    Some examples of free things I use (and now wonder if I’m breaking the rules)
    - File type converters
    - time tracking software
    - mind mapping -> outline program
    - pdf editor

    • I believe that this depends on the specific software.

    • I always assumed there was a difference between using “at work” and using for business. If everyone in your company is using the time tracking software, that does seem fishy. But if you personally, are using it to improve your personal tracking of your work, I think that’s fine. Though, I’m sure read the T&C. I think the file converters and pdf editor type things you list are probably limited functionality. If you want the better features then you’ll have to pay. That’s a different business model than free for personal use, charging for business.

    • Talk to your IT department or whoever negotiates software agreements. I was using the free version of Google Earth Pro only to realize this violated my company’s enterprise agreement with Google.

  8. Does anyone else encounter situations where you get concrete assignments from a partner, with whom you interact regularly and have a good relationship with, but the more senior associate, I guess to assert his superiority, inserts himself as an intermediary?

    I’ve had situations where we have a meeting, and a partner clearly assigns me something and asks me to get back to him. Then after the meeting, the senior associate will shoot me an email basically re-giving me the partner’s instructions (sometimes getting them wrong), and telling me to check in with him (the associate)/consult him on my findings. This is an extra step that does not seem to be contemplated by the partner, with whom I regularly discuss things and who clearly trusts my judgment. Another time, the partner assigned me X task not in the presence of the senior associate, and I guess because he knew it was an outstanding task, senior associate just took it up himself to do it, emailing me to assign me some research to help him complete it. This is so frustrating! I realize he’s two years more senior than me, but that really doesn’t bear on the fact-specific things we’re working on. My familiarity is the same, if not greater, than his. I hate being babied, particularly if it’s not coming from the head honcho.

    • This sounded so familiar to me because my husband is the senior associate in this scenario, and he’s been pulling his hair out trying to balance between the partner and the junior associate. He knows the junior is really frustrated but he doesn’t appreciate how she’s been expressing it, and doesn’t know how to make it better. He is also getting flak from the partner for not managing the junior’s work better, because when she does something without oversight, it’s not good enough. He has also been burned when he does not put instructions to the junior in writing— then there is later room for her to debate about what she was assigned or how much time she was given, etc.
      I just wanted to comment because although it seems like you are justifiably frustrated, please try to address things directly and professionally with the associate—- because he is probably miserable and stressed about the tension too and won’t stop talking about it to his wife…incessantly…

      *end projecting*

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Thanks for sharing this perspective. Food for thought.

      • This certainly makes sense, and I’ve thought about it as a possible reason. But I’ve literally gotten no bad feedback, the partner has staffed me on new matters without the senior associate (or any other associate), and he has never once suggested that I go to the senior associate first/instead. That said, I’m not going to bring this up as an issue because, apart from the fact that I can simply live with it and there’s no need to cause trouble, I do wonder whether there’s something I’m missing.

    • hellskitchen :

      Could you clarify with the partner when you get instructions? Ask him if he wants the research to go through senior associate first or directly sent to him? Your assessment that the senior associate is just inserting himself into the process may be right but perhaps he and the partner have a tacit understanding that all work going to the partner is reviewed by SA and the partner never made this clear to you. If the partner asks you to send work directly to him, then when you email it, copy the SA and in your email say “Partner, as per your instructions, I am sending this to you, but SA may have additional comments to add so I am cc-ing him.” This way, you have made it clear to the SA that you and head honcho are on the same page

      • Second this. I’ve been a senior associate in this situation where despite not explicitly saying so, the partner has asked me why I haven’t reviewed or fixed small error’s in the junior associate’s work (which was sent directly to partner). So yes, even if partner hasn’t told you that SA will review, this may have been partner’s expectation (and communicated to SA).

      • Yeah, per my comment above, I don’t *think* this is the case, but I can’t be entirely sure. There’s just no diplomatic way of checking this. I feel like a fool outright bringing it up in a meeting (partly because, after working for the partner for 9 months, the regular course is that I communicate with him and send him work product directly), and partly because it’s just an insignificant issue that I don’t want to make a big deal about it. I also don’t have a good enough relationship with the senior associate (clearly) to bring it up with him.

        But one reason it’s frustrating is because I feel as though the senior associate gets it wrong sometimes. He’ll give me instructions that seem wrong, and then because I don’t want to risk doing the project wrong I’ll simply ask the partner who will confirm that my sense was right. Of course, I’m not throwing the senior associate under the bus when I ask; I just discreetly ask.

        • Some of the best work-advice I ever got was that clarifying your role will help things run better and avoid conflict. If you address it like it’s a communication issue (and not a power issue) it may feel awkward but will be well within professional standards. I would go to the senior partner and say ‘I’m looking for a reality check. I think I’m supposed to send work directly to you. SA thinks he should be correcting it first.’

          • FWIW, I’ve done something very similar. I was in the wrong, but my supervisor thought the conversation was completely appropriate and seems to have forgotten it within 2 days of our chat.

        • I’d start a habit of sending follow up emails after meetings when you’re assigned work. Send them to the person who assigned them and cc the other one. So if you meet with Partner and he says do X, email Partner and cc Sr. Assoc. and say “just wanted to follow up on our meeting and loop in Sr. Assoc. As we discussed I will do X [add details re: deadlines etc.]” If Sr. Assoc. says to do it differently, send an email to him and cc Partner. If you do this as a matter of course, the Sr. Assoc. can’t feel you’re calling him out or circumventing him by talking to the partner. I agree with what everyone else said about the Sr. Assoc. just CYAing. Get him in the loop and he’ll give you more leeway. (And, yes, it’s infuriating. I’ve been there. It is not fun.)

    • anon atty :

      i have been the sr. associate in this position before and i was doing it becasue, unknown to the jr associates on the case, the partners wanted me to be supervising everything and making sure everything was being done correctly.

  9. Ivanka’s line is owned by Marc Fisher. This recent NYT piece does not paint a flattering picture of his brands…or him.
    http://tinyurl.com/9fzvtle

    • eastbaybanker :

      That article made me so sad for the founders of Sigerson Morrison, who are heros to tall ladies everywhere for bringing low heels into the world of high fashion. And yes, I also noted the ownership of Ivanka Trump and sort of bristled. That Marc Fisher guy is shady.

    • Wow, what an awful story. I too was a fan of Siegerson Morrison, but willno longer stalk that brand. I took a look at the Pied Juste line they’ve done for Anthro, and i may stalk those.

  10. Legal Fashion :

    Anyone see this Wall Street Journal series that recently highlighted workwear at Proskauer’s NYC office? Nothing too unusual for a buttoned-up law firm, but I was pretty surprised that the partner in #14 seems to be wearing a pantsuit with white hose / knee-highs and…sandals?
    For a national profile, I think she could have donned some cute flats, no?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/runway/2012/04/04/work-wear-office-style-at-law-firm-proskauer/tab/interactive/

    • Honey Pillows :

      Without the weird 90′s sandals, that would be a really nice outfit. Good looking suit, great colors on her. But white hose? Why… ever?

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        I actually wonder whether those are compression stockings to treat varicose veins or something? Otherwise, it really does make you go hmmm…..

      • Yeah, so cute but for the shoes (and the shoes aren’t even that bad, just not with that outfit & never with those stockings).

    • It seems like they could be nude, her skin is extremely pale. A weird choice regardless.

    • hellskitchen :

      Those sandals are cute but not with that suit and def not with white hose. But I love, love #9′s outfit! And I also like #5′s affordable style.

    • Agreed. And her pants are too short.

      This brings up an interesting delimma I have. I mostly wear pant suits. The other women in my office mostly do not. I’m working on getting out of my suit rut, but it seems weird to me that so many women don’t wear suits in firms where all or almost all the men do. Even with a definition of suit for women to include skirts and dresses with matching jacket, only 2 of these women are in suits while only one of the men is NOT in a suit.

      When I wear something non-suity (without a jacket) I realize that I feel non-lawyery. Yet, I look like a stick in the mud/uptight person. Any tips?

      • None. I also noticed that and thought it was kinda off. Especially because the first guy says, “you can wear what you want. I wear suits.” I get that at a certain point in your career you can wear what you like, but I find that it’s very useful to be dressed up. You get to go to all the impromptu meetings/events.

        That aside, my solution is button down shirts and blouses plus pants/pencil skirt. I still feel polished and like I am at work but without being “overdressed” if everyone is more casual. If you notice there was one woman in a vest like that, and I thought she looked very nice – as if she had a jacket hanging on her door, but also more relaxed.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I almost never wear suits any more, but I have an almost pathological need to wear a jacket every day. It’s kind of hilarious because I have lunch with the men almost every day, and they always leave their suit coats in the office, so I end up being the only bejacketed member of the party. In the office, my jacket is almost always hanging on a hanger on my coat rack.

        • Thanks Senior Attorney. I often have my jacket on the back of my chair (unless it’s freezing). One aspect is I’m sure you are more Senior than I. I feel like if you’ve proven yourself, you can wear jeans on a Monday for all anyone cares!

  11. anon for this :

    I have a serious thread jack, and I don’t know where to turn. It’s a relationship issue and it’s a trust issue:

    I’ve been with my guy for three years (living together for 1.5). Today, I stumbled across his email, which was left open, and like a total idiot, I looked. There’s some things he has not been truthful about — namely meeting his ex-wife for lunches without their kids, and some other questionable communication with her. It’s nothing awful, but it’s not things he would say in front of me, for sure. The lunches are verboten. We’ve discussed that he’s supposed to let me know when he sees her — he has not been doing that. So, other than that (other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?) our relationship is great. He’s kind and friendly and we take care of each other. We love spending time together and do all sorts of lovely things together. I’m not an ogre by any stretch about his ex-wife, and I feel as though I’m quite understanding. But, we’ve had fights in the past, and there’s what I thought were a set of guidelines. He’s broken those guidelines for sure.

    My question is: what do I do?

    If I confront him / ask him, there’ll surely be a huge fight. Do I leave and tell him why? Do I pretend nothing happened. If I do that, do I close / log out of the email, or leave it open so he can wonder if I saw anything? I know, ultimately, I have to decide if I trust him. I love him, and thought we’d be together forever. But, I don’t know if I trust him. To be clear, nothing in the emails suggests that anything happened, there’s just a level of dishonesty that I’m not sure I’m comfortable with.

    • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

      I took a big, big breath and let it out slowly after reading your post.

      My fiance (we won’t marry until my stepkids reach maturity and their mom stops eyeing my income and assets — yes, it happened again yesterday) and I have been together for 6 years. We have lived together for 3 years, and my SD spends half her time at our house and half her time with her mom. SS is 21 and lives on his own, but visits often.

      I think I have commented here before about how fabulous our marriage therapist is. (I believe that I have; I seem to want to tell everyone I meet how she saved our marriage!) I strongly believe that there can be no repartnering with a parent whose former spouse is still alive unless the two of you have explicit and continuing discussions about your expectations, preferably facilitated by a therapist whose expertise is in blended families.

      I could write a novel (non-fiction book?) about all my other recommendations. Actually, I already did, on this site, on March 20th. I will copy and paste in the next comment.

      But I cannot stress enough that none of this will work unless you utterly trust your husband and have good, and continuing, reason to do so. Get thee (plural) to re-marriage counseling.

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        My previous post:

        Your Sister March 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

        If your sister already knows that her fiance’s ex-ing wife is vindictive, I think she should take that very seriously. I have read that one can expect divorcing people to act out for about two years because it is a period of high stress in one’s life, but that if the acting out lasts longer than that it will likely last forever because it is a personality trait and not a reaction to a difficult situation. That certainly has been our experience.

        If that seems to be the case in your sister’s constellation, and if there are step-kids involved, your sister could be in a for a long hard ride. She should not take this lightly. I would recommend that she be active about addressing this with her fiance, read books about it, talk to him with a counselor about their expectations concerning her role in parenting and talk to him with a lawyer about their expectations concerning finances and estate planning.

        Here are the things that helped us:

        1. We took an “Active Parenting” class. Michael Popkin developed the theory of active parenting and has written numerous books about it. Classes based on his books are offered all over the place. My fiance and I took “Active Parenting of Teens” when his kids were 13 and 18 through the local recreation department. I might have preferred “Active Parenting of Stepkids,” but it wasn’t being offered.

        2. We read and discussed Wednesday Martin’s, “Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do.”

        3. We read and discussed Susan Wisdom’s, “Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today’s Blended Family.”

        4. We found an exceptionally good therapist with a lot of experience with blended family issues.

        4. I read (and sometimes share with my fiance) Stepmom Magazine online. www DOT stepmommag DOT com.

        6. My fiance and I make sure that he and his kids get enough time alone without me AND that we all get enough time together to bond as a family.

        7. We read and discussed Louise Oxhorn and Lynne Oxhorn-Ringwood, “Stepwives: Ten Steps to Help Ex-Wives and Step-Mothers End the Struggle and Put the Kids First.”

        Good luck to your sister.

        • Stepmom, I just wanted to say I have your March 20th post saved to my computer at home to refer to often. I found it super helpful. My fiance ran across it on our computer and it prompted a long, healthy discussion about my expected role in future stepson’s life after we get married. Thanks so much for the original post and know that it has been helpful!

          • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

            I am so glad. I wish the very best for you and your DH-to-be and your SS-to-be :)

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        PS: If you don’t want to cop (yet) to the email reading, maybe you can tell him that you think, in the grand scheme of the developing seriousness of your relationship with him, you would like to go to pre-marriage counseling? It will all come out in the wash there.

    • Merabella :

      I get the real issue here is that you feel betrayed because you set up guidelines with him about the ex-wife. My question is, are these guidelines too strict, therefore he feels the need to go behind your back because he has to meet with her but doesn’t want to deal with the confrontation with you?

      Is it possible he is meeting the ex-wife to talk about the kids while they aren’t there? This is a woman he has children with, so he has to have some kind of communication with him. Why are their guidelines to meeting with the ex-wife? Are you concerned that they still have feelings for one another? It just seems like it may be a fact of his life, and if it is, is it one you can live with?

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Agree

      • anon for this :

        I don’t think my guidelines are too strict. It’s not like I say “no.” It is simply a situation where I’d like to know if he has lunch with her. If its to discuss the kids, he can certainly tell me and does not need to hide it. It’s not like I’m a screamer or irrational. It’s more based out of previous miscommunications, arguments, mutual agreements etc. I don’t believe it’s irrational to ask for that level of information.

        I can live with their relationship, but I don’t want to live with being lied to.

        To the poster below, no, I looked. I mean, there were some emails on the first page, but I definitely clicked around. That’s how I saw that lunch was a quasi regular thing. That’s where I am in the wrong, and why I am weighing whether I should say or do anything.

        • I don’t think those guidelines are too strict. I think it’s fine to want to know when he is meeting with her.

          One of the biggest things that made my SO’s ex a total non-issue for me (even though he shares custody and therefore sees/talks to her a lot) is that I’m always either included in, or kept apprised of, their meetings/discussions.

          It sucks that you’ll have to come to the conversation with a mea culpa about reading his email but perhaps it’s a good opener. “I want to apologize. You left your email open today and I glanced and saw an email from Ex and then went and looked for more. I shouldn’t have done that and I’m so sorry I did. Unfortunately though, I saw you guys have been meeting for lunches I didn’t know about. I thought we had discussed that you would let me know when you met up with her. Any reason I didn’t know about these?” He’s going to be pissed you snooped but it is what it is. All you can do is promise not to do it again and make good on that promise.

          If he refuses to forgive you for it or can’t get over it enough to talk about the meetings with the ex wife, that right there gives you a lot of info…

        • It doesn’t matter whether the rule was unreasonable or not. I presume that OP’s guy is a grownup and can have a mature conversation with the OP like, “you know those rule we set….I am not comfortable with this rule and I’d like to change it and this is why.” If he just thought sneaking around was a good idea, even if it doesn’t brand him as an untrustworthy liar, it does say that he lacks maturity. As well as a lack of faith that the OP won’t have a sh!tfit. Does he think that the OP can’t handle this renegotiation maturely? That’s damning, if he really does think that.

          In that vein (lack of maturity on the guy’s part), do you think he “accidentally on-purpose” left his email open long enough for you to look?

          I wonder if on some level, he wants to get caught to provoke something– a conversation he doesn ‘t want to be the one to initiate (e.g. “I’d like to see my ex more often on friendly social terms to help with the co-parenting, but am afraid you’ll flip out if I say so, so I just went ahead and….I guess now you know….”), a breakup, or who knows what.

          Separately, I think snooping is bad, really bad. As is lying.

          • This. Whether or not the guidelines are reasonable, it’s not good that he’s lying to the OP. I’d ask him about it first without saying how you know and take it from there. If he admits, talk about why he hid it from you. If he denies, then you’ll have to admit that you know. This isn’t something that you can just ignore.

        • Don’t think you need to feel bad about poking around. He left the email open, he lied and it was in plain site. I recently saw my bf received a text while his phone was in the bedroom and he was in the living room with a friend. I called him in once I realized it was from an ex he had been talking to for a while and dealt with the seriousness pronto (I have a short patience when it comes to oh no he didn’t behavior). I didn’t hide the fact I saw the initial piece of evidence then read on. It’s human nature. And he had it coming.

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        Very few divorced couples can handle that kind of IRL interaction. That is why so many divorce professionals (lawyers, mediators, therapists, etc) recommend the “low contact” method: you communicate only about the kids and only in writing (these days, that’s basically email) unless there is an emergency. An emergency means that one of the kids is in an ambulance or a hospital. If you must speak live (either in person or on the phone), make sure there is a third party present, both to prevent bullying and name-calling in the moment and to call the other party on lies about what was said later.

        I appreciate that if you have not had the pleasure (hah!) of being involved in this kind of dynamic, this sounds extreme. I assure you that it is not.

        • I don’t think that this is true for most divorced couples. I say this as a divorce professional. Most people can be adults. I appreciate that your experience has colored your view, but please keep in mind that not everyone has your experience.

          To the OP, it’s hard to say what to do without more information, but I would probably come clean about this. I’d say, “listen, curiosity got the better of me and I snooped when I saw your open email. I am sorry. There’s no excuse. But here’s what I saw, and we need to talk about it. I promise to listen without judgment but you need to explain to me why you feel like you have to hide these lunches.” I would make it a point to not cry or yell, to be calm, and to really listen with an open mind. Maybe the answer is just that every time he makes plans/talks to the EX, you act hostile about it or give him to cold shoulder. Not saying lying is right, but I’ve seen that scenario play out more than once.

        • One Stepmom to another :

          I beg to differ. I don’t know many exes who regularly do lunch by any means, but I think you’re projecting a lot on what is the norm. From what I’ve seen among my friends, family, children’s friends’ families, etc. I don’t think it is “very few” that cannot coexist live without a third-party present. Obviously anecodtal evidence isn’t really evidence though anyway.

          If exes are able to be civil, I’m not clear on why that should try to be stopped? (Assuming that’s just a meeting about the kids and not any sort of weird getting back together thing. It makes total sense why you would have conversations without the kids around, particularly if you are trying to figure out how to approach some issue with a unifired front (when is the right time for drivers ed, how much freedom is safe with the car soon afterward, etc.) My husband can’t stand a lot of things about his ex, but they do come together around issues regarding my SS. I wouldn’t even dream of trying to step between that or put any limitations around their conversations.

          Yes, the writer clearly need to address the secrecy. But something sounds kind of off here. I’m not sure how anything should have to be hidden in the first place since those conversations have every right to occur.

          • anon for this :

            This last part is what I don’t understand. The fact that it’s sneaky makes it weird. Why not tell me. He’s an adult. He may see who he chooses. So why not tell me? I don’t know. To me, it’s a lie, and if I feel like I’m being lied to, it’s an unsettling and awful feeling.

          • Most of the divorced people I know limit their contact with the ex, regardless of the civility of the relationship. In their collective wisdom, they think that too much contact with the ex either leads to:

            (1) Ex-S#x, because, well, the pattern is there; there was obviously an attraction once, and um, there’s a well-worn groove. Sort of like FWB.

            (2) Conflict because the personality issues that cause the marriage to crackup are still there. Too much contact just gives more opportunity for these inevitable and unsolved personality conflicts and issues to flare up.

            Neither (1) nor (2) is good for the relationships these people are currently in. I could see a scenario where the OP’s guy is falling into (1) because, well, it’s there (the way people in the office never turn down free leftoever meeting food, and knowing that it is not acceptable within the acceptable rules of his current relationship, he hides it from the OP.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Anon for this, he might be hiding it from you because you said those lunches are “verbotten” in your initial post. You made it sound like you prohibited him from seeing her so it’s not really true that “he may see who he chooses.” He is still immature for not working out with you a way to see her and keep you happy. But if he was afraid seeing her would ruin your relationship and he has to see her to raise his kids then maybe sneaking around seemed the best option. I have no way of knowing but the tone of your later posts is different from the tone of your initial posts regarding how much freedom and leeway he has as to her.

            I have a friend in a great relationship but she flips her sh!t anytime her bf mentions his ex-wife. They didn’t have kids so they don’t really need to stay in touch but she was a part of history and part of his stories and sometimes it comes up. Each time, a sh!t storm ensues and it just doesn’t seem fair to him. I guarantee if his ex needed to get in touch with him for some tax document or something he would absolutely find a way to get it to her without telling his current g/f to avoid yet another unnecessary sh!tstorm.

          • anon for this :

            I guess I used the term incorrectly. I meant, these lunches without telling me. He also doesn’t have to ask, just tell. Even if it’s afterwards.

          • My read is that I agree with Blond Lawyer; it sounds like he may feel (reasonably or not) like you will flip out about him meeting with her, and that’s the reason for the secrecy. I would also say that most men are pretty resistant to the idea of having “rules” or “guidelines” for their behavior set by a girlfriend, and even if it’s just a rule that he has to tell you after the fact, it still can have the feel of having to get permission. That doesn’t neccessarily excuse him, but I think that you need a new dynamic when it comes to this sort of thing.

            Fact is, and I say this as absolutely gently as possible and with no intention to sound harsh, but she is his children’s mother, and you are just the new girlfriend. His connection to her is greater than it is to you, and he has more responsibilities to her because of that, at least while the kids are still kids. It shouldn’t be a secret that he’s talking to her, but, at least barring any past cheating-like behavior, it shouldn’t be something that he has to clear with you, either.

            Good luck figuring this all out. These things are hard, and it is certainly possible that he’s not the right guy for you.

          • anon for this :

            Actually, Lyssa, I am not a “new” girlfriend. As I stated above, we’ve been together for three years. For all you know, that’s longer than they were married. And as far as her being the mother of his children, yes that is true, but (as I’m sure you are aware), biology allows many, many people to have children together. That doesn’t mean that there’s a greater connection. It may be a reason to tether them together for 21+ years, but she’s not more connected to he than I. His loyalties and connection are with me, as his current partner.

    • I unfortunately think this is very situation dependent on the specifics (which you understandably are not sharing and I’m not asking for them).

      Did reading the email require looking through his email or was it just up on the screen (ie, you did not touch the mouse or keyboard at all)? If it was, then I would mention that you stumbled across it unintentionally (putting away his computer, or if you share a computer, flipping through screens, whatever it was) and were just wondering what was up, given your past conversations.

      Here’s what I think is important: if you avoid the topic, it will fester with you, he’ll be oblivious, and you’ll question everything. If you just leave him and don’t tell him why, you’ll question your choice. If you leave and tell him why, you may be overreacting. Even if it leads to a fight to be upfront about it, I think that the other options will definitely lead to a fight, lack of trust, and potential regret. At least if you are upfront about it (in the right way), the facts are out there and then you can decide reasonably about it.

      I’m sure that others here will have better advice, but those are my thoughts. Best of luck – it’s a touch situation.

      • Anon in Canada :

        I agree with this. Definitely better to pull off the bandaid and have the tough conversation with your husband sooner rather than later, for all the reasons anon states.

    • First, I’m sorry that really sucks. No one likes to find out their SO is hiding important stuff. So my tough love advice is….
      1. Cop to seeing his email on accident. If it really was on accident, it should be relatively easy to explain how that happened.
      2. The guidelines, checking in, etc. I’m sure there is a good reason for all of this, but holy cow. This guy is an adult and either you trust him (or not) to make good decisions regarding his ex wife. She’s not going anywhere if they have kids together and all the rules you put into place aren’t going to change that. It is entirely possible that I am reading much harsher than it actually is. I’m not trying to blame you for the clear betrayal of the agreement, I’m just saying look at the agreement and figure out if that is actually reasonable and practical for both of you.
      3. He’s hiding things from you. Not cool on his part (regardless of the above) so call him on it. Ask him why and hear him out. Work out the balance between need to know so you feel informed and gory details perhaps with a good therapist who can help you all figure out how to move forward.

      I’m sorry again if this seems harsh, I do mean well. Good luck.

      • anon for this :

        I guess I’m not sure why it’s harsh to want to know when he’s seeing her. I pretty much know everyone he has lunch with because he tells me when we talk about our days. Just like he knows about my day. The fact that these lunches were omitted, to me, is problematic.

        He’s also invited himself over to the house several times in the last few days. I don’t know why. If he wants to go back, he could do that. There’s no obligation to me. I’m just a girlfriend. So, to me, it’s something other than that. So, what is it? Why the sneaking and sneaky emails? I should reiterate that I am not an unkind girlfriend. I’m very understanding and not demanding or angry. I’m very understanding of his difficult situation.

        • Sorry, I guess I misread it as a “check in” system. I think the fact that he didn’t tell you is a huge problem. You’re not “just” a girlfriend! If he’s choosing to be with you then he should be honest with you. Just tell him how you saw the emails and ask him why he felt he needed to hide all of this from you and see what he has to say. It would be really hard for me to trust someone after finding hidden stuff, so I would stand by my suggestion of working with a therapist as a couple.

          • anon for this :

            I just mean, “just a girlfriend” in the sense that if he wants to end it with me, there are no financial obligations, no separation of joint-owned property, no kids, etc. If he’d rather be with ex-wife and kids, he can easily do it.

            I firmly believe that if we are in a serious relationship, I have a right to have the truth about things when I ask for it.

        • Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a bit much that he tells you every person he has lunch with and vice versa. It may be that there are some issues going on with the kids and he doesn’t want to bring you into it just yet. Perhaps he’s not comfortable asking you for permission to change the rule and leaving the email up was his immature and passive-aggressive way of getting you to bring it up instead?

          I agree with others who think that couple’s counseling may be a good idea. The ex is not going away. The kids may have intermittent issues that may need Dad’s intervention when they are at Mom’s house, or that may require the parents to have some quiet time at lunch to discuss the issues in peace.

          • Are we reading the same post? Nowhere does the OP say that she has made him “tell her every single person he has lunch with.” She only mentions that she knows who he has lunch with because it comes up in their chitchat.

            It doesn’t sound like it’s an interrogation where she demands the name, rank, serial number of every person he eats with. But he’s omitting to mention that he’s been lunching with a Meaningful Person (TM). I define a Meaningful Person as someone for whom there have to be specific boundaries.

            The problem here is both the omission and identity of the lunch partner. If it were Joe Blow from Accounting, I’m pretty sure that if he were to omit mentioning the lunch, it’d not be a problem.

          • I am not OP, but every day at dinner (or if one of us is working late and we miss dinner, later in the evening), significant other and I ask each other how our days were. Funny stories, newly planned business travel, and lunch outside the office always come up. We don’t have a specific agreement to disclose social lunches, but if my significant other were regularly meeting up with someone outside the office during the work day and I didn’t know about it, I would find it VERY suspicious in the context of our relationship. I don’t think this degree of sharing is “a bit much” at all.

    • Think of these as not rules but expectations —

      An ex is a former intimate partner and it’s likely there was some backsliding with on the way to finaly splitting (and this person may be a frequent bringer of drama). Any time one part of a couple meets with someone like this, it’s good to get it out into the sunlight in advance or quickly thereafter. Hiding meetings is generally not a good sign (and for me, hiding includings omitting).

      If they need to discuss children, recurring lunches seem a bit off — that’s what phone / e-mail / talking in person during pick up / drop off is for. How would any of you have felt to walk into a restaurant and see your Other with an Ex that was planned and wasn’t mentioned to you previously?

    • Keep in mind that the trust issues goes both ways, as in, I should assume that you won’t go poking around my email without asking first…

      or that you don’t feel like he can be trusted to have lunch with his ex-wife? Would he have to clear it with you first or just let you know it was on the calendar? I don’t know what the backstory is on that, but that jumped out at me.

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        Here is one possible backstory that happened to us:

        SK’s mom calls fiance and yells at him about custodial schedule. To get her to stop yelling (I’ve heard it, and it is not pretty, so I understand why someone would do almost anything to make it stop*), he agrees to a schedule change without looking at a calendar. The kids and I find out about the schedule change later. The schedule change does not work for our household. Now we have to interact with an irrational person to fix it.

        A better method: let mom email her proposal for the schedule change. We can check our household’s calendar and respond yes or no.

        * Fiance and I both now know, from having seen fabulous couples therapist mentioned above and from an Al-Anon meeting we went to when this issue was really bad, that another option to avoid the yelling is to not pick up the phone in the first place. Or to calmly say, when yelling starts, “I am going to hang up now because this conversation is no longer productive.” But I digress into territory know as “how to deal with someone who has mental health challenges that you just realized, after 2 decades of marriage, are not normal.”

        And, to Adele above, of course our experience represents the extreme end of the spectrum. At least, I sure hope it does :) But there are irrational people out there, and their behavior calls for specific measures.

    • My guess is that you had some sort of nagging feeling that something isn’t right, otherwise you wouldn’t have been poking around in his email. “He’s also invited himself over to the house several times in the last few days. I don’t know why.”
      Have you asked and he’s being cagey about it? If he’s unhappy that you read his emails, you can always tell him honestly it’s because he’s not upfront with you and you need to know what kind of involvement he’s having with another woman, mother of his children or not.
      Good luck.

      • anon for this :

        Put it this way, when I clicked on the Internet icon on our shared computer this morning and the screen with his email account came up, I KNEW I should not have looked because I did have a feeling I was going to see something I didn’t like. And I did. I should have simply x-ed out or logged out or whatever. But I didn’t and now I’m in a bit of a pickle.

        • How long have they been divorced? I didn’t see that info in any of the prior posts, I apologize if I missed it.

          I’ve been on both sides of this (When I married my ex, I was his second wife, and there were stepkids. We then had a child together. We later divorced, and are now both remarried, and are coparenting our son).

          I have thoughts, but I’m not sure I know enough about you and your situation to give them.

          You were wrong to snoop (since you said it wasn’t just open and you read what was open, you clicked around LOOKING for more emails after you saw his inbox was open). He was wrong to lie (regardless of if there was nothing untoward in the lunches, he should have been honest).

          So good, you were both wrong. Now what? If this relationship is serious, counseling is probably a really, really good idea. Having been on both sides of this, I’d say likely neither of you is handling this in an ideal manner. I know now, being on ‘this’ side of things, there are things I should have done differently when I was on the other side. But having only ever been on the stepmom/new wife side of things, I didn’t understand what it looked like from over here.

          I was also unwilling, then, to see the ways in which my husband contributed to the issues between me and his first wife. (She and I are now friends, though neither of us is married to him anymore).

          • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

            Sadie,

            I’m really interested in your comment that you didn’t understand what it looks like from the mom/former wife side when you were the stepmom/wife.

            If it’s not too intrusive, and if you think there is anything that could be valuable to a stranger, I’d love to hear more.

            What I am imagining (not a good idea, I know) is something along the lines of “they’re together, in his new-to-him house, cooking up ways to mess with me, and so every time something comes up, even something as banal as a request for a schedule change, I have to be on my guard and suspect the worst.” Is that close?

            Thanks.

    • Leigh Ann :

      I don’t really know if anything I say will be helpful, but here goes.

      Neither DH nor I have any significant exes (no kids, no prior marriages, etc.), but because he’s a pastor, we have the same rule. He instituted it actually. If he is with a woman in a one-on-one setting, he tells me about it. The logic is, he’s seen too many men think “I would never cheat on my wife. I can eat lunch with my attractive secretary every day, because nothing’s going to happen.” Then, six months later, it’s “How did *that* happen?!” So I think you should say something, not in accusation, but as a preventative measure.

      That said, you’re going to have to admit to reading his email. You may even want to start by apologizing for invading his privacy. That way, instead of saying “you did something bad,” it’s more “I broke the rules, am admitting my mistake, and apologize–now will you do the same?”

      • Stepmom re: driving:

        I can’t seem to get a reply to post under your post so it’s ending up down here. :)

        In short, your imagining is not even close.

        See, you’re assuming (as, I know, does my ex’s new wife) that I am somehow angry/bitter/upset that they are in a ‘new to him house’ and think they’re ‘plotting’. The truth is, I really couldn’t care less. I divorced him for reasons, which are the same reasons his first wife divorced him for, though of course when I was in the midst of being wife #2, I didn’t see any of that as a possibility. I am very happily remarried and have zero interest in anything except him doing what he is supposed to based on our dissolution agreement where our son is concerned.

        When I was wife #2, I, of course, only had *his* version of events, which seemed reasonable, and she (the first ex) seemed so unreasonable based on his representations of the interactions, and I couldn’t stand her and I knew the feeling was mutual. I always thought, you’d think that you’d be nicer to someone who was alone with your child, right? I mean, she was nice to my FACE, but behind my back, well, I heard from him the awful comments she made about me.
        AND, she still had feelings for him, I was also sure of. (in hindsight, mostly based on things he said, or that he said she did, as opposed to things she actually did). Now, she had several telephone freak outs which seemed completely out of line at the time, that much I will say.

        Now that I’m on this side of things, I can see that he misrepresents reality to the current spouse to make himself look better, and less like anything is his fault.
        I doubt she said even half the things he said she did. The fact that I’m constantly aware of how things look in court prevents me from having telephone freak outs, but I can see how one would have one after the 500th bald-faced lie.

        Wife #3 behaves towards me JUST like I behaved towards wife #1. Based on things she says in front of my son, it’s clear that she believes #1, that he gives me a ton of money outside child support (he doesn’t. Not a DIME, but he used to tell me this about wife #1, too. It’s a really easy way to blow money on his own bad habits without ever having to take the rap for it), #2, that there are still feelings there (not even a little bit. We are cordial and friendly, but not friends, but if he gives her this impression she is jealous and insecure, and there’s no danger she’ll ever actually communicate with me). She is sure, like you seem to be, that I have an ulterior motive for EVERYTHING. If I say I can’t meet until 6pm instead of 5pm, it can’t possibly be that I’m in the middle of a project and can’t leave early. NO. I’m CONTROLLING him. This is partly because he can’t be punctual to save his life, so when he’s late, he tells her *I* was late, so that I take the blame and he’s not in trouble. He used to tell me the same about wife #1, who seemed to me to be the least on-time person who ever lived.

        Now, your husband’s ex may really be crazy, controlling, etc etc. I certainly don’t know her! And, there are definitely some crazypants women out there. I’m just saying, in my situation being on the other side of things, I learned otherwise.
        I just avoid confrontation with wife #3 entirely, because I recognize with my unique perspective having been on both sides with the same man, that most of her insecurity/anger/jealousy/irritation is based on things HE does and says to place blame for his own shortcomings on the convenient scapegoat. Wife #1 and I are currently convenient.

        In other words, what I realize is that she *thinks* something similar to what you do about your husband’s ex. Which is EXACTLY what I thought about the first wife back when she and I were on opposite sides of him and didn’t talk. He got REALLY upset when she and I made friends (our sons are brothers, so really it is a good thing), which wasn’t until about five years after he and I got divorced, and we figured out pretty quickly it was because now we could compare the stories he told, which did not hold up to scrutiny.

        The situation between wife #3 and I is not nearly as vitriolic as it was between wife #1 and I, because I’m the only one who’s been in both situations, so I can see what he does, and I just try to diffuse it for the sake of my child. Wife #3 still thinks what she thinks, but because I know how much of it is really him, I don’t react the way wife #1 did when she was the ex and I was the stepmom.

        Anyway. Like I said, yours might really be a crazypants. All I’m saying is…you might also not “know” everything you think you know. I’m sure there’s a thousand reasons why this isn’t the case for you, and maybe it isn’t. But you asked what I meant, and there it is.

        What I learned is that it’s always good to remember that while it’s really easy for us to see why we think our significant other divorced the previous spouse…at some point, he picked her to make babies with. It’s likely we don’t know as much as we’d like to think about what really went on in their lives and their marriage. The old ‘three sides to every story, yours, mine and the truth’ is true even of our loved ones divorce story. His side is his side, not the whole truth.

        • I wish I could edit, anyway, if I sounded at all accusatory I didn’t mean to. There are definitely crazy, jealous, bitter exes out there. I worked in a family law firm, believe me, I know there are!!

          So when I said, she assumes as you do, what I meant was, she assumes I’m somehow trying to ‘counter’ them , when in fact I’m being perfectly normal. That doesn’t mean, by any means, that I think your husband’s ex is normal! I do hope it didn’t come out that way, I didn’t mean for it to. :)

          • Oh, and a good note for those who have grown really attached to their stepkids and wonder what will happen if they and their ex get divorced?
            My stepson is 19 now, I’ve been split from his dad for 8 years, and we still have a great relationship. We talk about school, he tells me he loves me and I him.

          • Thanks sadie, for the long post. Much food for thought here.

        • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

          Dear Sadie,

          Thanks for the thoughtful response(s). I didn’t get home until very late last night and so am just writing now.

          I see what you mean about not having/being given accurate information by your husband about what he and his former wife were doing and saying. That would be a problem, certainly. And, in your case, it seems to be his MO. I wonder if that is why our marriage counselor spent so much time making my fiance and me a team and working with us to find ways to cooperate in forming and executing our household’s response to the chaos his former wife creates? Because when you are working as a team, and both have the same information, then no one can manipulate the knowledge the way your former husband did to you and to No. 1 and, currently, to No. 3.

          I also agree about not knowing what went on in their house while they were married. I wasn’t there, so by definition I can’t have any first hand knowledge. I know only what my fiance, my SS and my SD tell me. And each of them has his or her own memories.

          PS: You didn’t sound accusatory :)

    • Thanks to all for all of the advice.

      He is still at work (one of the reasons why I didn’t call him first thing this morning is that he’s in the middle of a very busy week at work AND we’re scheduled to go on vacation this weekend). The computer is still open, but I haven’t looked at the email again. I am leaning towards closing the window so he won’t be the wiser, going on vacation, and when we get back, initiating a conversation about counseling, truthfulness, etc. By then, I think I’ll have a better idea of whether I’m willing to stay knowing what I know and knowing that he’s willing to / okay with lying to me (as I said, we’ve had similar arguments in the past and I thought we reached an agreement – that agreement doesn’t seem to mean much to him, which feels disrespectful to me).

      The situation is quite complicated. more than I’d really like to get into, but the ex really, really dislikes me, and as yet, does not allow me to be involved in the children’s lives. This makes me feel like an outsider AND makes me feel like my boyfriend is not sticking up for me when it comes to her. Having them meet in “secret” adds another layer of yuckiness to the whole thing. I don’t know if it is what I want in a relationship.

      • anon for this :

        Having been in a similar situation – have the conversation, sooner rather than later. Vacation is a good time as you’ll be free to focus on each other. Try to have a sense of what you need from him to get back to a place where you can trust him again and not have that horrible feeling you won’t like what you see. There is a reason he hasn’t told you he’s meeting her – you need to understand why. And he needs to understand why you feel betrayed that he hasn’t told you.

        The fact that you betrayed his trust by reading his email is also an issue – be warned that he may be upset. However, the main focus should be on the fact that he is lying/omitting to tell you things – you made a mistake, but he has a demonstrated pattern of behaviour. Also be careful you don’t just accept what you want to hear.

        Good luck, and trust your instinct.

      • Offhand, as someone who was in this situation for longer than I care to remember.. he doesn’t sound like he’s ready to move on yet.

        My husband only texts back and forth with his ex and they see each other at pickup/drop off of stepdaughter. I am also invited to go along, I just choose not to for sake of awkwardness. My husband considers me when he thinks about dealing with his ex and always puts me first. It doesn’t sound like your bf is ready to do that yet.

        If you are okay with being stuck in limbo like that (looking back on my own situation, I’m not sure it was worth it.. if you’ve already been in this 3 years and don’t spend time with the kids yet, then it sounds like you’ve been in limbo for quite a while), that’s one thing. If you find that you get sick of limbo, however, you might consider giving him some space to figure out what he really wants.

        My 2 cents.

      • anon also :

        Ugh. Before I came along, my husband would do whatever his ex wanted, regardless of how inappropriate it was, because he HATES conflict and always walks on egg shells around her (she is crazy, as in getting arrested for assaulting someone at a PTA meeting crazy ). I wish I knew that there was stepfamily counselling before getting married because DH needs a lot of help re boundary issues. [That there was a history of backsliding (maybe we will get back together so child wil have an intact family) doesn't help, either.] If DH had kept his ex as the priority relationship, ours would have been over fast. The issues still percolate and his prior habits are thing he struggles with (he will discuss schedule changes before committing since we both work and have other children). His ex has gone from ranty-crazy woman to person who we merely fear will be that again (doesn’t sound like it, but that’s quite an improvement).

  12. BU Law To Be :

    To all those former (or current) law students in Boston (because I doubt many others know the answer):

    Where did you get your books unbound? I’ve heard of many people doing this and, while I was unable to buy any unbound, I want to get them unbound to bring only the necessary pages to class. I’ve had binder books in the past and liked them, so I imagine it would be the same. On the other hand, if anyone has suggestions or reasons not to do this, please let me know. (Does it make sense to do this immediately or after a week or two of classes?)

    I’ve seen postings online that any copy center will do it, but I’ve asked at Staples, Kinkos, etc and usually have been told that they haven’t heard of it (though one told me that some locations might offer it and another told me that they can with some but not all books). I wasn’t sure if there was a place in the area that definitely did it (and cheaply, ideally).

    Sorry for all of the questions, but thanks in advance!

    • Not from BU, but you can unbind a book yourself pretty easily with a box cutter and one of those guillotine paper cutters they have in the library. However, as for why you should not do it– resale value. Textbooks are expensive, I re-sold most of mine after each semester, which is not something you can really do with an unbound book. Plus, I just can’t cut up books. It feels wrong. For really heavy books, I didn’t want to carry, I would scan in pages on the copier and read on my laptop or print doublesided copies (you can even do this with the library reserve books).

    • LegallyRed :

      Not from BU either, but my law school had its own copy shop that was willing to do this–does BU have a copy shop? I never had my books, but a couple of my classmates did. Some of my classmates scanned all of their books instead of having them unbound, which might be something to think about.

    • Not BU, but the Gnomon Copy right near our school did this for people all the time. I think the key is to find a copy-shop near the school.

      • BU Law To Be :

        Thanks all!

        I know the resale value changes, but I figure there are plenty of people who do this, so it shouldn’t change it significantly more than those that are basically unable to be read from highlighting and writing. In any case, I’m willing to lose a little money to have the benefits of this. That is definitely the biggest downside I see to it, though.

        I debated doing it myself, but I feel badly doing that to a book – and don’t want to mess it up! I’d never have thought of doing this before, but so many law students I’ve spoken with say that they did and it helped a lot. Plus, I’ve used the binder books before and it made life so much easier (and lighter).

        I think I’ll wait for a week or two to decide if I really need to, but based on the stack of books I have right now, I probably will. I’ll check out if BU has a copy center and otherwise go to the stores around and ask them.

        Thanks again! I’m probably overthinking this in the whole starting so soon craziness, so I really appreciate your suggestions. :)

      • Ahh…..Gnomon Copy. Nostalgia! I used to go there to make photocopies of (music) scores that were foreign and out of print for this class I was auditing. (I was a frustrated Econ major who liked all of her non-Econ classes better than her Econ courses.)

    • The copy place right across the street from the law tower/chapel does this. I think it’s a FedEx, but am not 100% certain.

      • BU Law To Be :

        I know the store – it is a FedEx. Thanks!! I wasn’t sure if they would, since FedEx told me they weren’t sure.

    • I went to BU Law — I never saw anyone with unbound books there. I think your best option is DIY, probably.

      • agreed – I also went to BU Law. Didn’t know unbound books were a thing. That being said, I did all my work at the library so I didn’t have to lug my books home every night.

        Good luck!

  13. The promised report on verbal tics: I found that taking a breath worked the best for me. I tried doing the foot tap, but somehow it felt difficult to turn my attention to my foot whereas taking a breath is just a natural part of speaking. I did relapse when I got on a roll with the questions and was trying to follow up on things the witness said in his previous answer. This was just a practice, so I have time to work on this before trial, but I must say that I was surprised at how difficult direct was. I have done cross before and found it much easier. Also, one of the other attorneys broke in with an objection at one point, and I was so shocked I just sat there in stunned silence for what felt like 6 hours. Definitely not the impression I am trying to make on the trial team, and something I need to work on before trial.

    • Not in law, but when I have to speak in public and I hit stunned silence, I very quickly press my fingernail on my pointer finger into my thumb. Just that little bit of slight discomfort helps me snap out of it quicker. When you practice try to find something that works for you – counting to 5 in your head and refocusing – something that is quick and helps you speed up your reaction time.

    • Direct exams are difficult especially since most counsel don’t seem to understand what is a leading question. It does get easier with practice.

  14. Praxidike :

    Hi everyone!

    I am running a 10k or a half-marathon in October (haven’t decided) and one of the fun things about the race is that they encourage you to wear a costume. I’ve seen plenty of Disney princesses and I’m not interested in going that route. But I thought that since we’ve got a bunch of runners on here, maybe they would have some ideas.

    The two I’ve come up with independently are: 1) Elvis (gold sequin skirt, white rhinestone tank top, white rhinestone arm warmers, rhinestone cape, and gold sunglasses); and 2) Jem from “Jem and the Holograms” (gold glitter tights, glittery/shiny pink tunic, gold belt, use a pink spray to do my hair for the occasion). So, what do we think? I bet you guys have better ideas than those!

  15. Anyone started exercising again after a long illness? After >1 year of not really being able to exercise, I’m starting again, loving it, trying to be optimistic without getting my hopes too high re: speed of recovery, and would like to hear some success stories!

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve gotten back into it after a four year hiatus of child bearing. I was in excellent shape before first pregnancy, exercised through it, but then never got back to it. I had a few failed attempts when I tried to just go back to my previous level of activity. I finally accepted that I needed to start from scratch and did C25K. It eased me in well. I’ve been adding in more and more of the other activities I enjoyed before. My core muscles are shot after two pregnancies, so I’ve had to accept that I’m behind even beginners and focus on improving them. I also had to accept that I’m four years older, so there’s more achiness than I remember.

    • goirishkj :

      Here’s my story. I’ve posted here about having ulcerative colitis. A few years back I had a flare that put me in the hospital where I received four units of blood as my hemoglobin was 6.3 (normal is at least 12). I was so weak that I couldn’t even walk from one end to a tiny apartment to the other without stopping to rest. The blood transfusions and iron infusions made me feel immediately better but it still took a year to get back to 100%. Before that point, I would get worn out really easily. So just be reeaaaaaaaaally patient with yourself. I know I know, easier said than done, but you will get back to your old self, it will just take time. A year and half after my hospitalization I was in better shape than when I started. It is possible but it takes time–be kind to yourself during this recovery time and listen to your doctors and your body. If you push it too much, you’ll end up setting yourself back but if you take it easy you will make steady progress. It just takes time. Several years later I’m doing well and have run several half marathons. I would have finished my first marathon in April but I had an injury that sidelined me at mile 21 (grrrr). Good luck!

      • THANK YOU!

      • goirishkj :

        Also, if you are still reading this, one more thought I had. Although my flare was less than 6 months from very beginning to hospitalization, I think there was a mental component to getting fully back to 100%. I had gotten so used to feeling bad all the time that it took time to retrain my mind that my body was better, at least for me. I don’t think my slow recovery was entirely psychological, but I think there was that component. Regardless, you were sick for a year. That’s a long time and it takes a toll on mind and body. It will take time to rebuild all your reserves back to where they were before you got sick. Exercise is really great and I think it really makes a difference–but remember that it will take time. As I said before, that’s easier said than done, but try to be kind to yourself.

  16. Charlotte :

    So…. thanks to NOLA, earlier, for alerting me to the kate spade sale. I’m interested in the Victoria Falls Maryanne. Does anyone have it? If so, do you like it? Why?

    Also….. I’m really wavering between the sidewalk color (timeless! practical!) and the goldenrod (so pretty! pop of color!) Anyone have any argument either way about color? Is goldenrod too bright for heading into winter? Thanks!

  17. emcsquared :

    So…my grandpa is in the last stages of heart failure and entered the hospital Sunday. They say he’ll be released tomorrow or Thursday, but…he is so sick and weak and out of it that I can’t believe it. I’ve been visiting as much as I can. In the meantime, I’m trying to hold it together at work, but I just seem to be inviting chaos this week.

    I’d been able to shrug it off and just roll until about an hour ago. The head of my department berated me (in a department meeting!) for being in a “silo” and not drawing in other department members to compile a binder of research on a law change (despite the fact that he knew about it for months and I had consulted several other members of the department in putting it together).

    And now I’m just sitting in my office with tears pouring down my face cuz it’s all just too much. And it’s only Tuesday. WTF.

    • I am so so sorry. If you can, go home and relax for a bit and then go see your grandpa. Also, if you feel comfortable maybe tell your boss that you may need some time this week to deal with a family health emergency. Maybe ask a work friend to help you out if you need some extra coverage if that’s an option. Remember to try to take care of yourself (eat relatively healthy, try to get some sleep) and that it is okay to let some things slide. I’m sorry about your grandpa. Hugs.

    • I’m so, so sorry. If you can take a day off, or a sick day (I think being heartsick qualifies), please do. Or even if you can step out of your office and go somewhere peaceful for an hour. Virtual hugs.

    • I’m sorry you are going through this, and even sorrier that this is happening to your grandfather. In a way, it’s harder when you can visit….you see the decline. And the rest of the world seems to expect you to keep truckin’ on the same.

      Mine died in another country more than halfway around the world, and while it hurt, it didn’t seem real (and therefore, it didn’t hit me until I got off the airplane and saw all the grieving relatives at the airport waiting for me.) Easier to keep it together before, but really strange and awful afterwards.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am so sorry emcsquared. I’ve been there (I was there two weeks ago). I second the advice above about taking a day off, if you can.

      If not, try and schedule at least 3 breaks in your day where you can go outside or to a quiet place in your office and just take a moment for yourself. If you’re able to tell your boss that this is a hard week personally for you (or however much it is appropriate and comfortable for you to elaborate) I would. Most bosses are human and will take it easy on you.

      Try and make sure you take care of yourself. Try and eat healthy foods, get enough rest and get some exercise. And spend as much time with your grandfather as you can.

      I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

    • I am so, so sorry, emcsquared. My grandpa had a similar terminal illness hit suddenly about six weeks ago, and he lingered and lingered, and finally went into a coma yesterday which he isn’t expected to wake from. I visited a lot, too. I had to make peace with the weeks and weeks of “it could be any day now” because I couldn’t take six weeks off of work, you know? And it’s not like it would have done him a lot of good for me to be sitting vigil all the time. So I visited as often as I could, and told him each time that I loved him and how important he was to me, figuring that if it was the last time I saw him alive, I had already told him what I needed to tell him. Turns out that this past weekend when I visited was in fact the last time, and I am not as sad as I expected to be. He knew he had my love, which was all I wanted to say.

      Does your dept head know about your family’s ongoing emergency? The partners in my firm were surprisingly and remarkably warm and supportive once I finally told them what why I was so distracted and stressed out. The whole group stepped up to help. I was rather blown away and incredibly touched. Hang in there emc, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is a completely legitimate reason to need it.

      • Agree on telling your boss, if possible. When my grandpa died, the meanest, nastiest, iciest partner in my department arranged to send an enormous bouquet from our case team and made sure I felt comfortable turning off the blackberry or whatever else I needed to get through it. Many employers won’t respect your vacation, your SO’s birthday, your BFF’s wedding day, but almost everyone will cut you slack when a close relative is dying.

    • Maine Associate :

      Hugs.

    • emcsquared :

      Thanks everyone. I’ve been telling some people – I work with a couple oddballs who bring up personal information about other people in uncomfortable situations, so I’ve been keeping it a little close to the vest at work. My firm is very understanding, so I’m sure I’ll have help when I need it (I love the people at this firm).

      I’m struggling with how painful and uncertain the process is – he’s so sick, and everyone knows he isn’t going to get significantly better, but nobody knows how long he has left. In the meantime, you can see he’s scared and hurting and lonely…and I can’t do anything about it except visit every couple days.

      • Seattleite :

        If you can afford it, consider taking him a soft fuzzy blanket or little bear to hold. Tell him it is you wrapping him in love by proxy. I was just given something tangible like that, and it is more helpful than I could have thought possible.

  18. JobOffer Maybe :

    After months of coping with my stressful job (and stress-inducing, irrational boss) and searching for a job after hours, I got turned down for a dream job that I thought I was getting for sure (based on hints), and had the recruiter not respond to me at all for another sort-of dream job.
    So. Yet another reminder that a sort-of offer, or a hint that you will get an offer, is not an offer.
    I’m lucky enough that I have one sort-of offer though. It’s a position very similar to my current job, which industry I’d hoped to get away from due to the long hours, unpredictable deadlines (crazy people/boss issues at my company aside). The new job also is a huge commute (1 hr in no traffic, more like 1.5 hours with traffic, one way) which is a big negative for me.
    Despite these things, my desperation to quit my job is leading me to rethink this position, that I had planned to turn down. I’m going in for a meeting with the hiring manager to discuss the terms of my offer (no, I haven’t got an offer, but was told that they want to make me an offer). I want to ask for 2 things:
    - flexibility to work from home two or even one day(s) a week (to avoid the commute)
    - permission to work at a reduced FTE and take a pay cut so that I can leave for home by 4:30 or 5pm everyday, and maybe work from home at night. (Because I have a very small child who I need to pick up from daycare near my home – a long drive away, feed dinner and put to bed).

    Any advice about how to phrase this? Anything I should keep in mind while asking? Advice on how to mention child/daycare/work-life balance without being viewed negatively? (New boss and employees are almost all men with SAHM wives so I’m pretty sure they don’t have a precedent for this.)

    • I am sorry that you did not get the dream job. I have been in the same boat multiple times and no, one should never assume they got the job until they have the offer in hand.

      I don’t think you should take the remaining offer. The new job most likely be similar to current job from h3ll with added stress from commute. I don’t know what climate you live in, but do not assume the commute time. It gets worse when the school opens, and worse yet when it starts to rain/snow often.
      If you ask for flexible work arrangements, the new firm may well refuse and even withdraw the putative offer. It is one thing to grant them to an existing employee with a positive track record, and quite another – to a new gal on the block. Especially on this particular block.
      I think you should hold off for the real dream job and let this one become the dream job for someone else.

    • As someone who hates long commutes, do you think the new gig is really worth considering? You don’t sound that excited about it. I’d be worried that I’m jumping from one bad situation to another. You know your industry and options best, though, so maybe the old job is so bad that you just have to do something even if new job is not ideal. Still, it really sounds like most of the negatives of your old job would follow you to new job plus a new stressful commute.

      Anyway, if the new job is not feasible without the flexibility and pay cut, then you have no choice but to ask for those options. Just be honest and tell them “Is the company open to flexible work schedules? I would love to work with you, but to do so I would like to request to work from home 1 to 2 days a week and leave at 4:30 each day. With reduced hours, I think a fair salary would be X. The benefits of this arrangement to you are [you have to list out how this will benefit them, e.g. why you are a unique candidate that would be able to accomplish so much with reduced time, etc.]” You may not get what you ask for–given the facts here it could be extremely unlikely–but you have to ask if that is the only way the job will work.

      From what you describe, though, it really sounds like you should refortify, be patient, and keep looking for something else.

    • JobOffer Maybe :

      Thanks for your comments. I should add that I am a “opportunistic hire” for them, so they weren’t really looking for a person but I came along, and they liked me. And they may be willing to flex a bit to get me? Our work is clearly measurable e.g. think billable hours, so I can specify both how much I will work, and how much of a pay cut I’m willing to take. Finally, there is a possibility that we can move closer to new job (rethink childcare, but DH will have a shorter commute if we move, than I will if we don’t). I’d hate to do it, but I could.
      Regarding not taking this job, I know y’all are talking sense but (a) I like the people there, (b) I like the work, except for the crazy hours and the commute. So if I can figure out a way to swing it and reduce the negatives, that’s not so bad, is it?
      If they absolutely refuse to give me any flexibility then I’m okay with not taking this position. But I’ve been looking for a year now and a change of career (to a less demanding industry) is hard to do, so at some point I may have to settle.

      • Clearly I am avoiding work since I am all over this thread.

        I say you might as well ask for what you want, if you are comfortable with them turning it down and then you turn down the job. If it were me, I would wait until you get an offer from them and then counter based on their initial. I think asking to work from home is great, particularly if you can come up with examples of projects you know you can do from outside the office. You could also ask for a compressed schedule, so maybe on Tuesdays you go in at 7 and work until 7 and then the rest of the week you come in later/leave earlier or have a whole day off. Also, flexible start and stop times to help with commuting when traffic isn’t so terrible. Start with full-time options and then you can always see what sticks or counter again with the reduced pay/hours.

        You can’t get what you don’t ask for, as someone said earlier!

  19. I might have treated myself to a new Kate Spade bag from the secret sale due to the fact that I have bad heart burn and my office is converting from one electronic medical record to another, which is a painful, painful process.

  20. FML. I tripped while carrying my lunch and got soup ALL OVER the fabric-y panel thing on the wall in between my desk and the overhead shelves. And of course, it’s tomato, so the stains are red. How the heck do I clean this?

    • Clorox wipes or at least paper towels and bathroom soap.

    • The Facilities people (or Office Manager) may have stronger cleaning agents.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Aww no, don’t worry, I’ve done this, too. Mine was thai green curry all over the carpet – all we had in the office was kitchen paper so it basically ended up looking like someone puked all over the floor.

      Facilities is the answer.

    • Seattleite :

      Resolve spot cleaner for carpets and upholstery.

    • Was in a store carrying a cup of coffee when I managed to trip and dump the whole cup of coffee on the carpeted floor. Panic stations but then I looked down and the coffee had quickly absorbed into the dark carpet and disappeared. I was going to tell one of the clerks but there seemed to be no point.

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