Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Elbow Sleeve Ponte Dress

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

Mossimo® Women's Elbow Sleeve Ponte DressOooh: I quite like this dress from Target. The pockets, the ruching, the elbow-length sleeves… lovely. I actually like this dark maroon color best, but they also have it in a lighter green, pink, blue, orange, and gold, as well as black and gray. It’s $29.99 at Target. Mossimo® Women’s Elbow Sleeve Ponte Dress

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Comments

  1. Solo in Paris says:

    I’m going to be in Paris for one day – arriving around 10am and leaving around 730pm. Not knowing French and this being my first visit to the city, I don’t know where to begin. Do you think I’ll enjoy myself even though I don’t know the language? I’ve always wanted to visit Paris and this seems like as good a time as any. 

    Now my questions. What area(s) should I focus on? Top five attractions to see? Places to have lunch and an early dinner for an extremely picky eater? And where to go shopping for clothes/makeup? Thanks, ladies!!!

    • Basics says:

      I’d be tempted to keep it simple and go first to the Louvre. You *could* spend the entire time there, but at least 3-4 hours, including lunch and a nice place to collect yourself, use the bathroom, look at a map and ask questions at the information booth in English. You could walk in the Tuileries gardens next door for an hour stroll on the way to a quick shopping and dinner.

    • Sasha says:

      There’s the Eiffel Tower (of course), the Musee d’Orsay (great museum if you love impressionists, it was more my taste than the Louvre), and for shopping if you’re not really sure what you’re looking for maybe check out some of the French department stores like Printemps. When you walk around on the street, especially while shopping, you’ll probably pass by a ton of restaurants and cafes. Get a pastry or a crepe from a stand on the street, yum.

      • LinLondon says:

        Agreed enthusiastically re: Musee d’Orsay. It’s absolutely gorgeous and about 1000 times better than the Louvre. I tend to actively recommend against going to the Louvre unless you are simply dying to see any of The Biggies.

    • Musee Rodin. Also, you’ll be fine speaking English. I speak French (fairly well, if I say so) and Parisians always just switch to English anyway (which I find a little annoying, but whatever). If you can say bonjour, merci, and pardon (like when you have to get by someone in a crowded area), you’ll be fine. I’m sure you’re smart enough to pick up on this, but fyi, when you go to an attraction, the guides and maps will have little flag pitcures on them to tell you what language they’re written in. There will be no American flags; you’re a Brit for this one — look for the Union Jack.

    • Michelle says:

      just spent a week in Paris but if you’re there for one day, I would recommend Musee D’Orsay over the Louvre; the Louvre is just too massive. Though the Tuilleries outside the Louvre was absolutely lovely, and we loved Notre Dame. I think no way are you going to get through 5 attractions plus two meals plus shopping between 10 and 7:30 – no one in paris actually eats dinner before 7:30! Either just spend the day wandering around or pick one attraction and eat/shop in that neighborhood. Plus it’s a bit of a drive to/from the airport, maybe 45 minutes? Regarding French, the best advice I got was to attempt to speak it and the natives will speak English back, but if you just speak English they may not respond. We got by with a phrase book and a few key phrases (“le addicion, s’il vous plais” to get the check when ignored by waiters, for example)

    • I recommend the Eiffel Tower (but don’t bother standing in line to go up), walk along the Seine, crossing through the courtyard of the Louvre and take a picture in front of the pyramids, walk along Champs Elysee and take a pic in front of the Arc De Triomphe, pick up some Macarons from Laduree and if you have time pop into the Longchamps store on Rue St Honore (all the high fashion shops) and buy yourself a Pliage as a souvenir. Go to La Pantruche in the 5th Arr for typical French fare.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Yes, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself whether or not you know French. If anything, you’ll just be left wanting more — one day is not enough! But you’ll be able to get a good taste of the city, at least.

      If you like art, don’t miss the Louvre (if for nothing else than to see the Mona Lisa and Venus), but I’d also recommend the Orangerie (gorgeous, enormous Monet paintings) and the Rodin museums. The Musee Carnavalet is a little off the beaten path, but it’s a really cool way to get acquainted with Paris because it’s a museum of Paris history — art, furniture, signage, fashion, even shop recreations from the early 20th century.

      I don’t think you need to go up the Eiffel Tower to appreciate it, especially if your time is so limited. A Seine river cruise is a nice way to get a taste of the city.

      From the Pompidou (only a must-see if you love extremely modern/abstract art), walk east down Rue de Rambuteau toward the Place de Vosges. It’s a charming little park, and the entire area is surrounded by cute independent boutiques and restaurants.

      • parisienne says:

        agree! don’t bother with the eiffel tower–you can see it from far away and it’s not any better up close, plus it’s not in a nice area. absolutely not worth it. neither is the champs-elysees. your time is better spent at the musee d’orsay, and wandering around st. germain and the latin quarter. also check out the art galleries around place de vosges!

    • I think my top 5 iconic attractions would be Eifel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, Basilique du Sacre Coeur, and the Arc de Triomphe. That said, Paris is really spread out so I would pick one or two things to focus on and not try to see it all.

      You could decide to go to Louvre, in which case I recommend going to have a hot chocolate and a pastry at Cafe Angelina, 226 Rue de Rivoli. The Louvre and surrounding gardens are beautiful, if you’re short on time, you could even skip going in to the museum itself. If you decide to go in, get tickets online in advance so you don’t waste time standing on line. The hot chocolate at Angelina might be the best in the world. That said, I think Musee d’Orsay or the Rodin Museum might be more my speed. The Louvre is great but all the people sort of ruin it, and it’s also very large and can be overwhelming if you’re pressed for time.

      In terms of lunch, I would just get a baguette and some delicious cheese and sit outside in a park, eating it and people watching.

      If you go by the Eiffel Tower, they have a nice little boat tour that goes along the Seine – if you have an hour to spare, it could be a fun way to see the city. I wouldn’t spend the time to climb up if you’re just there for a day. If you want to see the city from a high vantage point, I’d either climb up the Notre Dame (slightly less people) or, better yet, go to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Monmarte and hang out there, wander the windy streets and see the city from up on the hill.

      I would probably not focus on shopping unless you have something specific in mind. Save that for the airport – Charles de Gaule has fantastic duty free shopping (unless you’re flying American airlines).

      If you’re really determined to see as much of the city as humanely possible, I’d recommend getting familiar with the metro system ahead of time and getting a day pass. Alternatively, you could always do one of those Hop On, Hop Off tourist buses. I’ve never done one, but I know Paris has them and I’d imagine it’s an efficient way to get a lot of sights in (but I think you also lose out on some of the charm of just wandering the streets and enjoying the moment).

      I don’t think you have to worry about language, just learn a few phrases so you can make at least a little effort, even if it’s just politely asking someone if they speak English. It will be appreciated.

    • Merabella says:

      You’ll have a blast. I didn’t speak French and I was there for a week. Definitely get some good food while you are there and enjoy the parks. When you say picky eater what do you mean? I’m not saying you have to eat sweetbreads, but try things you might not otherwise because it is Paris.

      I love the Musee D’Orsay – it is my favorite. I would also check out the Louvre, you don’t have to do the whole thing, and in all honesty you couldn’t with your time constrictions. I would make sure to see the Mona Lisa and the Venus and the Nike just because they are there, and find some other painters/time periods that strike your fancy.

    • How picky of an eater is the eater? Personally, I’ve found that it’s a bit difficult for extremely picky eaters to really enjoy the food. The food usually comes how it comes – maybe you can get a sauce on the side, but I would expect the kitchen to refuse substitutions. You can always ask, and if they can then they will, but don’t be surprised if the waiter says that you can’t have a salad instead of fries with your steak (although steak-frites are awesome anyway!).

      If allergies are an issue, then I would write something like, “I have a very serious allergy to xxxxxx. This includes anything that touches xxxxxxxx. Could you please point out something on the menu that is not made with this at all?” But pack something transportable that the person can eat – the restaurant may not be able to accommodate the allergy at all.

      • This is a good point about food allergies- I imagine its quite scary to eat out abroad with such allergies.

        I was in Paris for about 10 days when I was about 17 or 18 and I remember being sorely disappointed in the food. I’m not sure if I would appreciate it more now, but I will say that french food is still not even one of my top 10 favorite types of cuisine. However, two things that were absolutely wonderful and made an impression were: the pastries and the ice cream sold by street vendors. (Obviously, the wine and cider also made an impression, but I was 17 and delighted to get served alochol w/o a fake ID. I don’t think it would be so exciting now.) If I had one day to eat in Paris, I would probably eat dessert and coffee all day.

        Recommended attractions: the only thing I can add that I don’t think has been mentioned is the Pere Lachaise cemetary. I went on a whim because another girl in my group really wanted to go (to see Jim Morrison’s grave) and everyone else was going to some modern art museum and I was so tired of art museums by that point in the trip. Otherwise, I would never have gone to a cemetery voluntarily. But I’m glad I did! It was actually very lovely- winding paths through these elaborate memorials and mausoleums. There are a ton of famous authors and other people buried there- Proust, Chopin, Moliere, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Gertrude Stein. You really feel like you are walking through the history of Paris.

    • personally, if I just have one day in a city, I like to skip attractions and just get a feel for the place. I usually take a cheesy bus tour (those double decker things are in every major city) when I first get there to get a sense of the place. In Paris, I’d do this & then I’d go back and walk around areas that appeal to you. Personally, I like walking in the 5th & 6th Arrondissements. I’d plan to stop at any of the sidewalk cafes that look appealing & have a glass of wine & a snack.

    • Musee d’orsay.

      Les invalides.

      Eiffel tower.

    • hellskitchen says:

      If you want to do some quick shopping, l’ Opera and Vendome are good neighborhoods for a range of stores – pricier designer ones as well as smaller hole-in-the-wall ones. Place de Vendome is a 5 minute walk from the Louvre and l’Opera is another 5 minutes from there. If you don’t want to wander around, I highly recommend going to Galeries Lafayette right behind l’Opera – it is a huge department store with lots of shopping at a range of price points. And then you can walk down Avenue de l’Opera and check out shops. If I were you, I would actually start with shopping and browsing around and then do museums and sightseeing.

      Depending on which day of the week you are there, some museums are open until later. For e.g. the Louvre is open till 9 pm on Wednesdays in the summer. I would check out which museums might be open and do those after lunch or early afternoon since ticket lines will be shorter and the museums themselves will be less crowded.

      For food, I am a very picky eater with dietary restrictions and I found finding good food to be a bit of a hassle. I stuck to crepes since those are pretty basic and easily customizable.

    • Just keep in mind that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays and Musee D’Orsay is closed on Mondays.
      I just came back from Paris a few weeks ago, and the Louvre tends to get very crowded in the areas where the most popular pieces are. In the Mona Lisa room, be prepared for massive crowds of sweaty people. If you just have one day and would like to stay away from the tourist crowds, I would recommend just walking around Paris as some other ladies suggested earlier. Maybe you can go and have a nice walk through the Louvre complex and then head to the south bank of the River Seine where the Latin Quarter is located. This is my favorite part of the city. Boulevard St. Germain is a lovely street with shops and nice cafes. In this area there a few lovely places to visit – Jardins du Luxembourg (my personal favorite), the church St. Sulpice, St. Germain-des-Pres. Have fun!

    • Miss Rumphius says:

      Will you be there on a lay over? If so (and you’re flying through CDG), there is a place called Baggage du Monde in one of the terminals where you can check bags for the day. Definitely worth it if you have a more sizeable carry on. I spent the day in Paris on a lay over and ended up walking around and enjoying the city (I had spent time there before, though). I don’t speak French and was just fine. If you do check out a museum, the Musee D’Orsay is lovely.

    • microscience says:

      Somewhat related quetion. I will be in Paris (and Norway) for 2 weeks in mid september. I will be walking a lot and need some comfortable and cute shoes. I will be wearing skinny jeans, so flats are good. I don’t want to be the typical american in white tennis shoes (not that I own any). Any recommendations? Also, is it going to be too warm for frye boots (thanks nordies)?

    • LLBMBA says:

      I don’t know if it will work for your timing, but this is a great tour: http://www.bikeabouttours.com and it would help you see a lot in not very much time. Biking around the City is very easy so nothing to be worried about.

  2. I just bought this dress and I’m super excited! Great buy! Also, if you spend $50 you get $5 off and free shipping. I bought two different sizes to try on and will return one to the store (even though it says its only sold online, the page notes that you can return to a target store).

    • Dang it – the two colors I like the most (bloodstone and painted desert) are sold out in my size!

    • violet says:

      how did you get that discount?

      • violet says:

        nevermind! It showed up. Thanks!

        • This is actually kinda cute. I am digging the pockets and the colors. How is sizing for Target items like this? I can’t find a size chart anywhere…

          • MissJackson says:

            I find that Target runs TTS-to-big. I’m an 8 or a 10 and I pretty much always take a medium in the dresses. With the pull-over styling, you get a little more leeway, I think.

    • I hope this runs big/ generous in the hips. I wanted to order two sizes, but the larger one was already out of stock. You guys are quicker buyers than me!

      Yay for dresses with defined waists and sleeves. I feel like good ones are too rare.

      • I also love dresses with defined waists, but having other target dresses, I am worried the waist on this is too low for my super-short-waisted self…. which is fine since you all bought ALL THE DRESSES already! :o)

    • This is super cute – it looks like JCrew for 1/5th of the price. I just ordered the color featured here in an XS & S.

    • Bonnie says:

      Looks like most of the dresses are now sold out.

      • svassociate says:

        I have a different Target ponte knit dress, and I actually found the sizing to be right on target (ha ha). Usually Target dresses run big on me, but I have an XS and it’s a perfect fit (I’m usually a 2P). There are a couple of these dresses that have a cross-over that are perfect for nursing/pumping, not cut too low and very flattering (doesn’t show too many lumps). I’m 5’4, and I was a little surprised at how short the dress was on me – XS was knee-length, so I’m not sure how short a petite would be.

  3. Anonforthis says:

    Any advice for dealing with an employee who worries excessively about things that are not a big deal and apologizes like crazy for things there is a no need to apologize for? I’m not at all concerned about any of the minor mistakes she’s presently beating herself up over, but I am becoming concerned about her lack of professionalism hurting her down the line. I’d like to explain to her that she’s only making herself look bad, but I’m afraid doing so would bring on a whole new round of “I’m so sorry I’m so horrible” drama.

    • Tuesday says:

      Please tell her exactly what you’ve said here — her career will be affected by the perception of how professional she is. Give her specific examples of what to say when she makes a mistake. You’ll probably have to repeat your message if she’s as nervous/insecure as you portray. If she responds as you think she will, stop her and tell her that’s exactly what you’re talking about.

    • Honey Pillows says:

      From someone who’s been on the other side of this conversation, also make sure to point out when she does things correctly. If this is her first job, she’s probably nervous as H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks. In school, there’s a clear set of expectations, and you’ve been training all your life to be successful at classes and coursework. In the Real World, you struggle to figure out how to interview and apply for jobs, and when you do land a position (especially in this economy), you’re sat at a desk and told, “Ok… Work!”

      It’s pretty nerve-wracking.

      She’s probably making more mistakes than she normally would because she’s worrying so much about making a mistake. Yes, it sucks to break in a new employee, but until she feels more secure in her job, it might help to hold her hand a bit and hover, give her easy tasks with a clear, measurable outcome, copy her on emails, tell her what she should be doing in a non-threatening manner, and assign someone at her level to show her the ropes.

      What? No, I’m not projecting at all! What on earth do you mean?

      • K...in transition says:

        this, This, THIS! I’ve been on both sides of this and the thing that’s worked best for both was to be very specific/clear on instructions in the beginning, to praise often, and to recognize that the person overstressed is that way because s/he cares and wants to do well and respects the boss’ opinion. Once the worker feels more secure and gets settled in, this will taper off.

      • Anonforthis says:

        I wish it were as simple as breaking in a newbie – this is someone with decades of work experience, although she is new to us. You’re right that she’s probably making more mistakes precisely because of her anxiety about making mistakes, but I’m skeptical about my ability to say anything that can change what seems to be a fairly well-entrenched personality trait. This is a temporary position so she won’t be with us much longer, and I’d like to give her advice that could help her in the future. But the last time I tried to do that (in the gentlest and friendliest and most nonconfrontational, no-pressure kind of way – just a “hey, this was an easy mistake to make and I’m totally unsurprised by it, it’s not a big deal at all, but it’s a great lesson in why you should be careful to do XYZ in the future”), she took it as me telling her she would be a massive failure in her chosen career. *facepalm

        • It may be that she worked in a high-stress environment where everything was a big deal. Hopefully once she has been there a bit longer, she will not stress as much.

        • Whenever she starts taking your corrections to mean you think she’s a failure, I would remind her that you are committed to being honest with her, which means she should take your compliments and criticisms at face value.

        • AmyRenee says:

          Get her a copy of “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” – either give it to her, or if that isn’t appropriate at your workplace, buy a copy for yourself and loan it to her. If you haven’t read it already, flip through it and find a few things that you either know you still need to work on or things that you struggled with earlier in your career. She’ll take the advice better if you present it as “this book helped me with issues A, B and C, I think you might learn something from it too”. I re-read it myself every few years when I find myself slipping from “professional” to “nice girl” mode.

          • I love that book too! I would frame it by telling her that you think she’s done a good job and you want to help her succeed in the future by giving her some advice. Also, keep in mind that even if in the moment she seems to be agitated by your advice, once she has had time to think about it, she will probably be grateful… whether it’s five minutes later or a year later when she realizes how valuable it is. (It’s like being a parent… even when you don’t think they’re listening, it is sinking in!)

    • lawsuited says:

      It seems like meeting expectations is important to her, so I reckon she’d be perceptive to something like, “I expect that you’ll make mistakes while you’re working here, like we all do from time to time, and what is really important is how you handle yourself once you’ve made a error. I expect you to bring the mistake to my attention immediately, apologize once if you feel you need to, and then go about fixing the problem quickly and quietly.”

    • SAlit-a-gator says:

      Be blunt, to the point, and tell her. You’re doing her a HUGE favor. So often people like this, who genuinely care about their work, don’t get feedback and get dinged for being unprofessional. She clearly cares and that matters a lot in my book. With some feedback, she could be a great employee. Tell her you’re only telling her this because you see such great potential in her. That should hopefully build her self confidence up a bit and help curb this in the future.

    • anonahol says:

      I agree, I’ve been on both sides of this, and the best thing for you to tell her (in the nicest way possible) that you don’t care if she’s sorry, she just needs to notice her mistakes and fix them. I agree it’s hard to phrase this, but it’s important to hear. Women particularly in the workplace say “I’m sorry” way too much and it does look unprofessional. It’s one thing to say, “That was my error. It is now corrected.” (how you should handle a mistake). Quite another to say, “OMG I am sosososo sorry I am a total moron!” (how it sounds like she’s handling it).

      As an manager, I cannot stand hearing “I’m sorry” (and I get it from young men employees, too). I don’t care that you’re sorry, your feelings of guilt are irrelevant to completing this project. We all make mistakes. Just fix it and move on. Tough to hear, but it’s true and will help her in the long run.

    • Anoooon says:

      Are you talking about me?

      Seriously though, my self-confidence is shot after working with people who never say anything good about my work, ever. I actually cried in someone’s office after he told me that I was intelligent and should feel confident enough to give my opinion.

      I think sitting down with her and saying that you get the sense that she’s really anxious about her work, but that her work product is good, mistakes are normal, and she should stop apologizing so much because it isn’t doing her any favors, would actually be really nice.

      • I hope you’re feeling better about yourself now! Because I’ve been there – I posted (maybe last week?) about how when I started at my new firm, I thought partners were being sarcastic when they told me I was doing a good job.

        And yes, agree completely with how you phrased talking to the temp employee.

    • Yay!!!!! FRUEGAL FRIDAY’s!!!!!!!!

      I love this dress. Price: Yay! Color: Yay! The onley Probelem I have is that the manageing partner will be stareing at my tuchus with this one, b/c it is very well fitting, and he is already doing way to much noticeing of my tuchus! FOOEY! Otherewize, I would RUN out NOW and buy it!

      As for the post, my advise would be to tell the woman NOT to get overeley stressed out, and thing’s will go alot better for both of you. That is the lesson I learned soon after I got this job, when I worried alot about being perfect about everything.

      I was a stressed out mess! FOOEY! So the manageing partner pulled me asside and he told me that I should ALWAYS do my best, but NOT to worry if every thing was not PERFECT 100% of the time the FIREST time thru. He said when he got his first job, his manageing partner said the same thing.

      Therefore when I am in charge, either here, as a General Council at CORPORATE job or as a NYS JUDGE, I will remember this and teach it to the young peeple who work for ME.

      I have to alway’s rememmember this, b/c I STILL get stressed with all of my workeload, my litiegeation, and the new transeactionel work I am now so very BUSY on! But busy is good and I am earning money for my 401K reteirment fund. Yay!

      I did NOT even get to take any vaceation this summer. FOOEY!

      • Be very circumspect. These older dudes are out for a quick roll in the hay, and are not about to make a commitment, emotional or otherwise to you. If you become a judge, you will not have to worry about politics, so that may be your best bet. Otherwise, stick in the law firm because you seem to have a good relationship with the managing partner.

    • I also have an employee who worries a lot and I’ve found what is best with her is that I stop by her desk about once a day, often in the morning as a ‘hey how you doing’ conversation. We touch base on what she’s up to/does she need any help/is there something I’ll be getting from her later on in the day (I give her a heads up if I am looking for something by a certain time OR if I’m going to be busy on something else so wouldn’t have time to read that report until tomorrow anyways)…. It creates what I hope is a helpful and positive exchange of info, she will often say “Oh I was wondering about X…” and I can address it without her stewing all day.

  4. Selia says:

    I like this – it seems like it would be a nice work dress.

    Every time I go into Target after seeing something highlighted on this site, I am never able to find it. And, the other items there never seem to be the work-appropriate kind others have talked about. Should I assume that people are ordering online, which may carry more business type items than the brick and mortar? Just curious.

    • Well, this dress says it’s not sold in stores, so there you go.

      Generally speaking, though, I feel the same way as you. I have been to a couple of Targets in my area looking for work-appropriate clothes. I’ve found very little, and what I have found is not super-special and often the sizing is weird (I need smaller than my usual size on top, but bottoms are way to tight), so I have been reluctant to do a big online order to try out some of these online-only items. I guess with free shipping over $50 and in-store returns, I should just try it.

    • SAlit-a-gator says:

      Same boat. I just order a bunch of stuff in a variety of sizing and then return what doesn’t fit right to a nearby Target store (which almost never carries this more business appropriate items you can find online). Free shipping if you spend over $50, which you’ll almost always do when buying two sizes.

  5. They had this dress last year. The fabric isn’t the greatest (takes on lint quickly) but the cut is flattering and lovely. One of those pull over your head and you’re done dresses. Gotta love those!

  6. Early threadjack: I have a question for all of you ladies who are experts in conducting interviews. This is my second recruiting season at my firm, and I worry that last year I didn’t give enough critical feedback on the interview evaluation forms. What are some examples of feedback that would be most helpful to the recruiting committee? Last year, I had a lot of “smart,” “hardworking,” “seems nice.” I want my evaluations, good or bad, to be useful. Any advice?

    • K...in transition says:

      what are the traits you’d want in someone you work closely with, in an ideal world? what traits have you loved in someone you’ve worked with in the past? make a list of those. -those- are what you should be evaluating in an interview. “smart” could mean anything, “well-versed in our company” or “able to think quickly on her feet” or “open to learning about new technology in the office” are all very different but any could qualify as “smart!”

    • anonahol says:

      I always report on how they answered my questions. For example, I always ask about their favorite course. “Her favorite course was Japanese, but she could not elaborate.” vs “She explained that her favorite course was the engineering capstone seminar, because she got to apply all her knowledge to a real-world project, and travel to present her results.”

      I also ask about anything intriguing on their resume- whether its a hobby or a previous job- and note their response to that as well. Inability to fully explain a previous position is good feedback to have: “Had a good understanding of the project and the theory behind it, but admitted his role was limited to collecting samples.” People love to resume pad and its important for your feedback to find these holes. I interviewed someone who listed hiking as a hobby, for example, but when he couldn’t name a favorite hike, he admitted he’d just joined the Outing Club, and actually he’d only climbed indoors. Why would you lie about something like that?! Not a good sign.

    • I try to give some evidence for my conclusions. “Student A seems very hard-working and capable of balancing responsibilities, which she demonstrates through her role on law review and her pro bono projects.” Or, on the flip side: “I have reservations about Student B’s potential client relations skills because she didn’t stop talking long enough for me to ask her any follow-up questions.”

    • Niktaw says:

      Yup. Examples, examples, examples, for every skill, behavior and area of expertise.
      My pet peeve is standard, pre-rehearsed answers delivered at a high level of speed.

  7. Merona tie front shirt says:

    Someone recently recommended the tie front Merona sleeveless shirt for work. I remember the poster said she had a good eye and the shirt did not look like it was from Target. Original poster, thanks so much. Love the shirt. Looks great under my suits.

  8. lawsuited says:

    Following yesterday’s discussion of business-appropriate notecards, I’m in the market for some personalized stationary. Can anyone recommend a good place (or warn against a bad place) to order personalized notecards and envelopes?

    • I’ve ordered from Crane – they have a number of feminine but professional fonts / motifs.

      • I adore Crane too, but I also really like Embossed Graphics at a lower price point. I wouldn’t recommend Crane for interview notes because you run out of them so quickly. I bought my first Crane stationary and then used it all on OCI, which I really regretted.

    • You can never go wrong with the quality of Crane & Co.

      http://www.crane.com/business/correspondence/personalized-note-cards

    • SF Bay Associate says:

      Crane. I’m such a fan of Crane. It’s ridiculously overpriced though. There are other high quality options for less on the interwebs, none of which I can remember right now.

    • Herbie says:

      Third for Crane.

    • Dempsey & Carroll if you’re looking for a step up from Crane. They have an annual sale in January on correspondence cards if you can wait until then.

    • SpaceMountain says:

      Not what you asked, but I have been greatly amused lately with the cards at Archelaus Cards (google it), especially their check-the-box ones. A particular favorite is the “Congratulations on your . . . Egyptian Mongoose, . . . .” Looks like they have a new “Felicitations” once since I last ordered.

    • There are a number of Etsy shops that will do custom stationery at a much, much lower cost than Crane’s. Many lean more toward the fun, social stationery, but you can find conservative options for business as well. Look at shops brownpapergoods or naomilynn to start.

    • anne-on says:

      I like Hello Lucky. They do have some more classic options and they’re cheaper than Crane (and allow more personalization). Plus, I think their paper is nicer and thicker.

    • LadyEnginerd says:

      Paper source is cheaper than crane, I believe, and you can pick fonts and colors to tone down the funky vibe.

    • In the Pink says:

      American Stationary …. dot com. Used them for over 25 years now.

    • Bonnie says:

      I bought some suprisingly nice cards and matching envelopes at vistaprint.

    • I would also add that embossed stationary strikes me as “classier” than printed, which is why I prefer Crane. I also think that Crane’s lined envelopes are gorgeous if you pick the right paper–I have a blue florentine paisley with teensy flecks of gold and I always get compliments on it! Picking out stationary is nerve-wracking, but it’s a longtime investment, so, fun too!

  9. Friend says:

    This is sort of a sensitive subject. My very good friend is significantly overweight – obese or morbidly obese – at least 100 pounds over a healthy weight. She’s tried for years to lose weight, every diet and method under the sun, but has never been able to stick with anything long enough to get long term results. She’s single and I don’t think she’s ever had a boyfriend, and she’s in her early 30s. I know she wants to find someone but I think it is very tough to find someone when you are that much overweight. Am I wrong that most guys are not attracted to morbidly obese women? I want to help her but truly don’t know how. I’ve always tried to support her weight loss endeavors but nothing sticks. She is highly educated and has worked some really demanding jobs do it’s not like she doesn’t have the willpower or stamina to tackle difficult things but this is just the one area that she has struggled with all her life and can’t get together. Any suggestions? I really want her to be happy and find someone; she is wonderful person but I think her weight is holding her back from a relationship. I hope this doesn’t come across as offensive because I care about and want to help her. Thanks in advance.

    • I can’t speak for men and whether or not some are attracted to obese women (other than to note I am a devoted watcher of “Say Yes to the Dress” and they have occasional episodes of very large women who are marrying guys who seem fairly nice, normal and decent!)

      That said, I know surgery is risky and a huge thing to consider, but your friend sounds like a good candidate for gastric bypass surgery or lap band surgery. There is a psychological evaluation prior to both surgeries to make sure the individual is ready for the lifestyle change/commitment which the surgery requires, but for some people, these surgeries literally transform their life (and body)! If your friend considers this option, please, please have her carefully scrutinize the surgeon and hospital to assess their quality, complication rates etc.

      • Going anon for this says:

        Second the suggetion re: surgery. I struggled with my weight for YEARS and I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy two years ago and it has changed my life in the most amazing way. I had never considered weight loss surgery until I heard of the “sleeve.”

        Your friend knows she is overweight and it is very very likely that she has given up trying to lose weight because it is just. that. hard. I am generally in the “stay the hell out of it unless she asks” camp, but my surgery has been so life-changing that it hurts me to think that there are people out there suffering because they haven’t heard about it. But only if it comes up reasonably naturally.

        And only once. That is super important. Give her the information, and then back the hell off.

        • You know, here’s what I will say. It is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful that that worked for you. But there are also people whose lives it has destroyed (I know some of them). I don’t see anything wrong with talking about your own personal experiences to a friend, but I think taking any kind of position beyond that is wrong and irresponsible. That’s for her and her doctor (and perhaps an SO), not for anyone else.

          • Going anon for this says:

            Don’t believe I said anything inconsistent with that, other than I don’t think it’s wrong to let people know about available options. Many people only know about the older, more problematic surgeries and I don’t see the harm in a friend — even a friend who hasn’t been through it herself — saying one sentence to the effect of “I hear there is a new weight loss surgery called the vertical sleeve gastrectomy.”

            And you know what? As I type this I realize that this stuff is so fraught that it is virtually impossible to ever have this kind of conversation. So I will leave the OP with this: “If the topic of weight loss surgery ever comes up in conversation with your friend, be sure to mention there is such a thing as the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which is not a lap band or a bypass but which has some darned happy customers.”

    • momentsofabsurdity says:

      I am sure you care about her and want to help her. It’s a tricky situation.

      But my guess is that your attitude that “most guys are not attracted to morbidly obese women [her]” or “it’s tough to find someone when you’re that overweight [like she is]” is unconsciously seeping through into your interactions with her and attitude toward her. In addition, while it might be tougher to find a man if you don’t meet any body attractiveness norm our society sets out, I have several overweight and very overweight friends that are in great relationships and have healthy sex lives.

      I think you should reframe the discussion from “you should lose weight so a guy can be attracted to you” to “how can I help you, my friend, feel better about yourself?” While in the end, you don’t control her and there’s nothing you can really do, you can do things like offer to take an exercise class together, to help her stick with it, go for a walk in the park rather than seeing a movie together and getting nachos, or ask her to be your running partner in a 5K you guys can train for together.

      In the end, it may not even be a “willpower” thing – she may have a thyroid problem or some other underlying health problem that’s making it difficult for her to lose weight. But I think offering to do more “active” things with her regularly, rather than sedentary or food-based, is the most you can do.

      • MissJackson says:

        +1 to all of this.

        I used to be substantially overweight, and the thing that held me back in relationships was *how I felt about myself* NOT how guys felt about me.

      • Anon for this also says:

        Framing things in the “looking for a mate” sense can actually be pretty detrimental to the process. I spent a lot of time when I was younger being hugely overweight and a large part of that was because on some level I just was monstrously insecure and not ready to be in a relationship and I kept self-sabotaging and hiding behind a big fat barrier to keep people away from me. Therapy helped me get to a point where I recognized this was what I was doing to myself and I was a lot better at sticking to my diet and exercise regimen once I stopped telling myself it was about sex.

        Not that I am telling you your friend is messed up in the head like I was, but it’s really healthier when you make it about yourself, not about what society (or men) expects from you.

    • has your friend actually asked you about this, or is it open ended whining about inability to meet someone? I frankly can’t imagine a way that unsolicited advice along the lines of “you really need to get in shape to find a man” would be received any other way than offense.

    • Herbie says:

      *ducks* *covers*

    • K...in transition says:

      If you watch a show like “extreme makeover: weight loss” (free on hulu), you’ll see the challenges a person with such weight issues faces. Some of those may be so crippling that an otherwise amazing person might be paralyzed. Not that I’d necessarily go right to surgery, but if she can’t afford a trainer/nutritionist/doctor for monitoring to lose the weight slowly and naturally, is it more dangerous for her to continue to be overweight to this extent or for the surgical risks?

      Also, please know that often, there are emotional components of weight gain to this extent. Whatever option she chooses for the weight loss, she ought to seek regular counseling, perhaps even by someone who specializes in this area of therapy.

    • lawsuited says:

      I am a size 16-18, but “obese” according the BMI calculation. I’ve been a similar size most of my adult life and have never been without a boyfriend, so I wouldn’t say my weight was an impediment to dating. I was a size 14-16 when my husband and I met and started dating.

      I have tried lots of diets and that kind of thing, but they don’t become a “lifestyle” because I prefer eating the things I love more than I love being thinner. Your friend might feel the same way or have other issues going on, so I think having a lovely, supportive, non-judgmental, open-ended chat with her would be a great first step.

    • Good lord, has she asked you for advice on this? If not, stay out. She knows she’s fat. She’s highly educated and successful; she is entirely capable of finding whatever resources she wants to find. They are not hidden. And she’s also capable of asking for any help or advice she might need. Treat her the way you’d treat any other friend and do not make it your mission to fix her.

      And is her weight holding her back from finding a relationship? Who knows. Plenty of fat people are married and in good relationships; you can go people watch at any mall in America and see that. Plenty of thin people aren’t. Being fat narrows your dating pool. A lack of self-confidence narrows your relationship-possibilities. But we all have challenges in life, and being single and having difficulty dating isn’t, frankly, the worst thing people face, and it’s something people learn to deal with. So we’re back to: treat her like your friend, not your pet project or an object of pity.

    • Walnut says:

      I have a friend that carries a likely similar amount of weight, but she has no problem meeting people. Does your friend put herself out there and make her personality show? My friend is confidant in her own skin and makes no apologies for it.

      That said, this isn’t a problem just for the morbidly obese. I’m “healthy” but still 25 lbs above where I would like to be. I could easily hide behind that weight and assume everything notices the extra weight…or I could own it, dress for it, and not make it an issue. Easy in theory, extremely difficult in practice. Best of luck.

    • Cornellian says:

      I have no clue, but I’m curious to see the responses. I don’t know what you can really offer her other than support in whatever she wants to do, because unless she’s lived under a rock for 30+ years, she knows exactly what society thinks of her for being that size.

      One of my older friends is 4’10 and about 240 lbs, and is always dating and having fun. I also have normal weight friends who obsess over the 5 lbs belly paunch so much it seems to sour them on dating and being confident in their body. I agree that being outside the “norm” might make dating different for her, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s impossible or even more difficult

    • Weight and being in a relationship are two completely separate things.

      At my skinniest, I was a hot mess and believe me guys ran for the hills. I hated myself and it showed. Now, despite being pleasantly plump I actually like myself as a person even with the extra 50 I have on me. Great SO, much better friends, etc. Weight doesn’t hold you back as much as your self worth does.

      If your friend wants help and has expressed it to you, she needs to work with a physician on her weight loss. I have at least 50+ lbs to go (if my dr were posting, she’d probably say 80) and it is daunting. Psychologically, physically, emotionally. Trust me, she knows she’s heavy and it probably pisses her off that she can excel at every other part of her life, but can’t get “one” thing under control.

      If she has complained to you about it openly, I would suggest you offer (if you are willing) to support her in meeting with a physician/nutritionist/psychologist, etc. If a friend framed it as, clearly you have your sh*t together and are capable of anything, but are still having a hard time, let’s talk to some professionals who can maybe help make it easier, I would be grateful. If a friend said let’s start going for walks because I think your weight is holding you back from a relationship, I’d probably hit the roof and then the honestly the oreos (emotional eater right here).

    • If she wants to date and is asking for your advice, suggest ways to meet men. Maybe she never made a push to get out and meet someone or was too busy with her demanding career. Don’t tell her to lose weight!

    • anonahol says:

      I have a similar issue with a friend, she is not overweight but has other emotional issues that I believe are preventing her from having a successful dating life. The difference is my friend complains all.the.time. about her trouble finding a guy, and I have a really, really hard time not saying, “Well, duh, it’s because _______.”

      The only response I feel comfortable giving- and they only one I think OP should give- is that a counselor or therapist could help her evaluate why nothing sticks in the dating department. My guess is it’s not her physical weight but emotional issues connected to/causing it. Working on those would be the best way for her to be physically healthy, and emotionally healthy enough for a relationship.

    • Sort of similar situation says:

      I have an in-law who is quite large and is always 1) talking badly about her size, 2) talking about how depressed / etc. she is, or 3) talking badly about herself. I am not sure how to handle (“I have always hated looking in the mirror at myself”). Most of the time I see her I am having to spend my time supervising my two young daughters, so I can’t quite have a serious convesation with her (I take it as perhaps a point of departure to discuss serious stuff) and yet it seems a weird thing to be dropping (and I am becoming a bit concerned how my daughters are taking what they overhear — they are still toddler/preschool, but have started repeating some things and girls have enough drama on this front). FWIW, I think that the in-law has some legitimate depression / other issues; maybe she just needs a friend? DH gets all worked up when I ask him what he things — too close to home for him.

      • SF Bay Associate says:

        Gawd, can you tell her that negative body talk is absolutely inappropriate around your daughters, just as is talk about s3x or murder or whatever? Surely, she can recognize that negative body talk is deeply affecting (maybe she heard the same things when she was a kid). When children are present, the topics must be appropriate for children. Negative body talk is an adults-only topic, IMO.

        • Sort of similar situation says:

          I’ve tried to blithely change the subject or say things like (well, that sounds tough), rather continue it as a discussion. But it’s a bit like walking away from someone who may be stumbling on the sidewalk and may need a hand. If the in-law’s mental health / weight issues were something like a drug habit, I probably wouldn’t want her around my daughters and someone probably would have had an intervention for her. This is just like watching a horribly unhappy person dying inside slowly. I know she will have to make any changes (when she is sick and tired of being sick and tired). I just don’t know what to do / say in the meantime when she throw out this stuff.

          • Jennifer says:

            When my husband or I start to get down on ourselves, the other will say: “Don’t say anything about yourself that you aren’t willing to say to your children.” (Ex. you got a parking ticket due to some carelessness—you wouldn’t call your kids stupid for making a mistake, so you’re not allowed to call yourself stupid, either.)

            This could be a nice way to correct her when she starts down the road of negative self-talk without calling it out as harmful to the girls. (We enforce this rule even when the kids are not in the room.) You can also try to make time for a phone conversation or private lunch where she can talk about her problems, if you think it’s a cry for help.

        • cbackson says:

          I was at the beach with some friends the other day and had to declare it “No Body Hatred Day.” Negative body talk is toxic – worse for kids but pretty awful for adults as well. Honestly, I think that keeping it away from one’s children is essential.

    • Sydney Bristow says:

      You basically just described me. At my heaviest, I was 100+ pounds overweight and single. I was very thin in high school and dated a lot, but started gaining weight in college and basically stopped dating. I went through a long period of severe depression, and even when I came out of it I was still very overweight. I was single for nearly 10 years.

      I wanted to be in a relationship and find someone to love who loved me back (I had never been in love before). I was lonely. Even more lonely as so many of my friends got married. However, I was not emotionally ready to find someone to be in a relationship with. Although I wasn’t depressed anymore, I still wasn’t happy with myself and that made it difficult to find anyone even though I thought that was what I wanted. I’d do something when I met a guy I was interested in to turn him into a friend instead of a potential romantic match. I didn’t realize that was what I was doing, but I’m sure that I was doing it because I wasn’t ready.

      Last December I reached a point where I was ready. I’m not sure what brought me to the point of change, but I was confident and happy with who I was. I was nervous to put myself out there, but ready to do it so I put up an online profile and got all my friends to help. Amazingly, I met someone almost right away who I fell in loce with and actually just moved in with. I was not at my heaviest weight (about 25-30 pounds below it) but still very overweight. He absolutely loves me for who I am and that includes my body. He is also very supportive of my attempts to lose weight and get in shape, but never brought it up until I started talking about it. I found inner happiness somehow and what followed was relationship happiness and some significant weight loss (a little over 60 pounds from my highest, but still a long way to go).

      My point is that if she has asked you for help, by all means help her by introducing her to guys she might be interested in (let them figure out if her weight is an issue), help her with an online dating portfolio, be there to hear the ups and downs of the process. But also realize that ultimately whatever happens is on her. Her weight may or may not change and she may or may not be ready to find someone. There are all sorts of people in the world. Some only like skinny people, some only like obese people, and many like people regardless of their weight. She will find her happiness eventually.

      • lawsuited says:

        I’m so happy you fell in loce! And happy for you generally – you seem awesome.

        • Sydney Bristow says:

          Aw, thank you so much! That is totally sweet of you. You seem awesome too and congrats again on the job!

      • Susan says:

        This is just so wise and true and good.

        OP, your friend doesn’t need “most men” to like her or be attracted to her. She just needs one good man who think she’s the cat’s pajamas, and for her to think the same of him. This can happen regardless of her size. Also, I think you mean well, but be very careful that she doesn’t think that you view her as a “problem to solve.” That can come across as condescending even when one has the very best of intentions.

    • East Coaster says:

      I have an entire book to write on this, but unfortunately my time is limited at the moment. My thoughts for now:
      1) If she has not asked you about this, please re-evaluate whether this is something you want to bring up. She already knows she is overweight and not in a relationship, and probably gets reminded of it on a daily basis. It’s incredibly frustrating to have others (friends, loved ones, etc) bring up the problem and some good ol’ logical solutions (eat less! move more!) like you hadn’t noticed you even had a problem.
      2) Her weight and her not being in a relationship are 2 separate issues. You could argue they are related, but in the end losing weight to find a relationship is IMO not a good idea because it’s unlikely the changes will stick, unless you do it for yourself (not your mom, your future bf, etc.)
      3) If she has tried so many diets, it may be a deeper issue and perhaps she could benefit from therapy. Also a touchy issue, so please be careful.

      It’s great that you worry about your friend and care so much (really!), but this is one of those instances where you have to be really conscious of what you say, because it could backfire for you and her.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Not much to add that hasn’t already been said, but I think the best thing you can do is be a supportive friend and let HER take the lead on how she wants to handle her life. I know plenty of overweight people in happy relationships and plenty of thin people who are single, so I really don’t think it’s about the weight. It may be that she’s not emotionally ready to look or doesn’t feel that she’s worth dating — or it could be as simple as that she hasn’t met the right person yet.

      If she wants dating advice, by all means offer suggestions on where to meet guys (online, activities, etc.). If she comes to you with specific questions about weight loss, then you can help her. But otherwise, I wouldn’t mention it at all. Like everyone else said, she already knows she’s overweight, and she surely knows that some will judge her for it. It’s hard to tell based on one post, but it sounds like you might think this is more of a problem than she does. Let her come to you and tell you what she thinks the problem is before you decide that it’s her weight that’s holding her back. It could be so many other things.

    • ChocCityB&R says:

      If she’s struggled with her weight her entire life and she’s morbidly obese, there’s likely an emotional issue that is causing her to over eat (unless she has a health problem that causes metabolism issues). She’ll find help in a doctor’s office, whether a therapist or endocrinologist. If you want to be a good friend to her, just be a good friend and don’t spend much time thinking about her size. I’m sure she thinks about it enough for the both of you.

      • I disagree. Maybe she once had such a problem. But your body wants to keep weight. So, maybe she’s fine and just hungry. Maybe her family is overweight and she’s eaten a certain way for the first 18 years, and has higher priorities than her weight (such as actual healthful behavior rather than weight loss targeted behavior).

        As a fat person, I hate this stereotype. Everyone copes with emotions in many different ways. Most humans celebrate with food. Most humans seek comfort in certain foods. Most people eat what their family eats. I am fat, and I do not think I have any emotional problems. Thin does not equal emotionally healthy and fat does not equally emotionally crippled. You simply cannot tell anything about my mental state or character by looking at my BMI.

    • VeryAnonForThis says:

      As everyone has said, this is a very difficult issue. I see where you are coming from and I don’t think you are anything other than a good, concerned friend that wants the best for someone they care about. The best meaning a happy, healthy, full life. A happy, healthy, full life can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people though. That’s the tough part to learn! I know a lot of what you’re feeling because my mother is obese. This has been a source of a lot of strife in my life. It sounds so petty to write it down, but her negative body image and clear emotional issues underlying or connected to her weight (she gained weight after having children) and growing up exposed to all that negativity contributed significantly to a LOT of body image issues for me. And a raging 10 year long battle with an eating disorder. After lots of therapy, hospitalizations, and, yes, support from my mom and others, I’m happy to say I’m healthy and have been for years now. However, my mom still can’t deal with her weight. And it honestly hurts me and frustrates me to no end that she just won’t deal. Which is why it’s all really underscored for me that so much of being overweight or honestly have ANY weight issue (underweight, body image, ED, etc.) is an emotional thing. You can’t just tell your smart, successful, capable friend to eat less and go to the gym (clearly she’s tried. or she knows. or whatever). But it should just be that easy! The question then becomes what CAN you do? Accept her. Unequivocally.

    • DC Jenny says:

      I highly suggest you read this series on relating to fat people before you undertake any conversations with your friend on this topic. http://www.shakesville.com/search/label/Fatsronauts%20101

      - Signed, Fatty with Super-Foxy Fiance

    • Playafashionista says:

      Folks, PLEASE don’t make assumptions about other peoples health and weight. If your friend does not bring up her weight herself, she is not ready to do something about it. When she does bring it up, suggest that she apply every resource in her arsenal to get the support she needs to make effective and lasting change; medical supervision & testing, a nutritionist, a gym membership and a trainer. Ask where she thinks she needs support, with her fuel intake, her energy output, or both, and be generous with your time and resources to accommodate her efforts. I am an obese person and am getting a bit sensitive to the numerous people who ask if I am diabetic (personal information, IMHO), with the assumption that I am type II diabetic. Fortunately, I am not and it is quite rude for you to ask. I have had my blood work done and impressed the heck out of my doctor who preemptively warned my that my obesity puts me at risk. I unfortunately had a compound of contributing factors leading to my weight gain including rehabilitating from a couple of injuries that set me back and a circle of people with unhealthy habits. My body prefers a Friday night workout to drinks and bar food and why can’t anyone make time to join me at a Salsa Club or on a hike (which I don’t feel safe to do alone) instead of choosing movies and pizza?

  10. Great dress! A few comments have been concerned about the Target fit. For a similar cuts, the Teddie Dress from J.Crew is great: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/dresses/Day/PRDOVR~47465/47465.jsp
    (Apologies if it’s already been featured, and I missed it.)

    Natalie
    ourstylefile.blogspot.com

    • Brooklyn, Esq. says:

      That’s lovely. Do you know what body types it suits?

      • I tried it, and so did a client of mine (I’m a personal stylist), and it worked for both of us. I am 5’8″ small busted with an hourglass shape. My client was also hourglass bordering pear shape, it it worked nicely over her hips. I would say it also works for athletic body types if they want to create the illusion of an hourglass shape. I’d imagine it might be harder for a large-busted woman who wants to deemphasize her chest. I just looked, and it also comes in petite.

        Hope that helps!
        Natalie

  11. Has she ever considered weight loss surgery? A woman at my work had it done recently. I know it’s obviously a serious surgery with risks and all, so it’s not for everyone and she may not even be a good candidate… but it might be an option.

    I’d maybe approach it by saying, you know this is not about how you look because I think you are a beautiful, wonderful person, but I’m concerned about your health. I don’t want you to have to endure medical problems that could be avoided, etc.

    • Oops this was for “Friend”

    • Do not do this. There is not a fat person in America who is unaware of either the health risks of obesity or the possibility of weight-loss surgery. Fat does not equal stupid, ignorant, or unaware.

      • lawsuited says:

        Agree. In the past, family members and friends have suggested I lose weight out of concern for my health. I guess it makes them feel better, but it’s bizarre that they think I’m overweight because I’ve never heard of or considered weight-loss before.

        • Cornellian says:

          If I were overweight, I think I’d be tempted to be like “wait, what? You mean… you’re telling me that having a BMI of 42 isn’t healthy? WHY HAS NO ONE EVER POINTED THIS OUT TO ME?!”

          That was my approach when people pointed out my height to my 4’11 high school self.

          • lawsuited says:

            Ha, I did that to someone last year. “Oh my god, mom, weight-loss is a “thing”?! I’ll get right on it!”

          • This is totally how I feel about it. I mean, okay you’re overweight and someone says “You’re fat.” NO WAY!! YOU’RE KIDDING! I HADN’T NOTICED. Not helpful. And if the friend didn’t ask for help, you don’t butt in.

            I have a friend who is morbidly obese and in her 50s and in terrible health. I worry so much for her. She can hardly walk, it was affecting her ability to get a job when hers got cut, and she has diabetes, on and on. I let her talk about it when she wants and offer advice only if she asks, because she knows I have battled my own weight demons.

      • Or more like +1000

    • momentsofabsurdity says:

      I sort of don’t like this kind of “health/concern trolling” way of approaching people. If you wouldn’t tell your skinny friend who just ate a pan of brownies or stopped by McDs after work or never goes to the gym “I think you’re a beautiful, wonderful person but I’m concerned about your health,” I don’t know that you should say it to your overweight friend.

      • I want to hug you. Seriously, can I borrow you and you say this to a few people I know?

      • anonahol says:

        Ha, we do say that to my skinny but unhealthy friend all the time. She totally knows she is unhealthy (eats snickers and McDonald’s instead of real food) but until her doctor pointed out she had some vitamin deficiencies (she literally never eats vegetables), she didn’t really take it seriously.

        It’s pretty messed up in our society that until you “look” unhealthy there’s this expectation that you can’t be unhealthy. On the flip side when I had a BMI of 19 and worked out four hours a day and was severely eating disordered, no one thought I was unhealthy because I was so fit! And athletic!

        • Cornellian says:

          Exactly.

        • Yeah, there’s nothing more soul-killing than being praised for how skinny and healthy you look when you know you’re starving and basically destroying yourself.

          • VeryAnonForThis says:

            Yes. And then dealing with the fallout of people noticing you’ve gained weight… when really you’re finally getting healthy and happy!

          • cbackson says:

            I can’t tell you how many compliments on my figure I got when I was anorexic. Fortunately, they were from strangers, but it’s awful that “have you lost weight?” is, by default, a compliment.

        • long time lurker says:

          Yes, I ran myself ragged with work and school and then developed pneumonia. I lost about 15 lbs as a result of being sick/not taking care of myslef and as I recovered I got all these comments about how great I looked. It was a little infuriating. I went from a normal weight for me to borderline underweight.

    • wow I really had no idea this would come off this way. I dealt with some pretty serious health problems a few years ago and feel like the best way for someone to get through to ME would be to approach it from a health POV because it’s one of the few things that would truly have an impact on me and make me want to make different lifestyle choices.

      • But the thing is, she knows it’s a health issue. There is no possible way she can’t know this unless she literally lives in a cave. If there was something she might not be aware was a health issue, by all means bring it up (e.g., “Hey, I had a rash like that and didn’t realize it, but it turned out to be flesh eating bacteria and it was really critical that I saw a doctor early”). This is not that situation.

      • PollyD says:

        You know, I wouldn’t assume that everyone knows all about the health risks of obesity (insert standard disclaimer about overweight people can also be healthy and thin people unhealthy). My sister, who is very overweight, well-educated, does not live under a rock, reads the paper, watches the news, really did not understand that being so overweight could increase her chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. I don’t know if she really didn’t understand or was in denial, but for whatever reason, she didn’t really think about it. I also think that people tend to underestimate just what a complicated and damaging condition Type 2 diabetes can be.

        I also want to say that I do not like being accused of “concern trolling” when I talk with my sister about her health and weight. I’m truly concerned about her health – her numbers are good (for now – these things tend to go haywire when women start menopause and yes I told her about that, but in the context of blood sugar, cholesterol, etc. can start to cause problems for all women at menopause, but particularly heavier women) but her weight is interfering with things she likes to do. Yes, it would be great if movie theaters and airplane manufacturers recognized that Americans are bigger now, but until then my sister is stuck finding movies and travel uncomfortable unless she loses some weight. I think she’s also having some difficulties walking, not too bad that she can’t walk, but she seems to get out of breath more easily these days.

        So no, it’s not concern-trolling – it’s genuine concern. I see it similar to someone who has an addict for a friend – the addict knows what they are doing is unhealthy, but would you never express concern that a friends drinking or drug habit is ruining their health? I don’t bring up weight-related things unless my sister does and we talk about things like what are some ways to make better-for-you food taste better (garlic and hot pepper flakes!), that it’s worth it to spend a little extra to get the really good produce, ways to get some physical activity in that’s actually sort of fun and not stressful, and how we need to start a company that makes good exercise clothes for bigger girls.

        Yes, it’s a tricky topic and people need to decide for themselves whether and how to lose weight, but I think there are ways to talk about it constructively and inoffensively.

        • Does your sister not know she has trouble fitting into movie theater and airplane seats and that walking is uncomfortable? Seriously? She needs you to explain these things to her?

          I’m not trying to be an unpleasant person, and I understand there are situations where people find benefit in having their relatives explain these things to them. And if you’re in a situation like that, great. But I still think the rule needs to be that you let your friends manage their own health unless they bring it up. The fact that they may not be super-educated about the specifics or gravity of a given condition isn’t particularly relevant. Such is life; people still get to make their own call on how much information they want to seek out and are entitled to have relationships with people who don’t lecture them on how they’re not taking something seriously enough.

          And the reason this is different from talking to a friend about addiction is because, much as our culture likes to frame it as such, obesity is not an addiction and the same psychological mechanism of denial does not attach. That said, binge eating and compulsive overeating is a psychological problem and, if you have a friend or family member who is suffering from that, it might make sense to bring it up in the same way you might bring it up with a friend or family member who is an alcoholic. (I.e., carefully, sensitively, and often after consulting a trained professional on the best way to approach it.)

          What you shouldn’t do is assume that everyone who is fat is also a compulsive overeater or binge eater (or that someone who is thin isn’t). There may be a correlation between the two conditions, but it’s not a one to one correspondence.

          • Good grief says:

            Em, SHUT UP. You’re so unbelievably rude.

          • 1st, there is no need to tell anyone to ‘shut up’ on this blog, no one is forcing you to read anything.

            secondly, I don’t see how anything Em said could be construed as ‘rude’… she is being very sincere and making a lot of serious points, none of them seem overtly ‘rude’ to the OP to me.

            thirdly, retroactive baby panda!!!!!!

        • I understand that your concern is genuine and you are worried because you love her. But in the end, it is her decision about her life, and your concern no matter how great it is, will not get her to be healthier unless she wants to and has the tools to change.

          From my experience (and I realize that this is only my experience and others have different ones), family concerns is a tough thing. For example, I have similar health issues and I know my family is concerned and worried and those feelings come from a good place. BUT, I already know I have a problem and their constantly telling me how worried about me they are does not help. If anything, it makes it worse because I get super stressed out which leads to emotional eating, which doesn’t help achieve anything. It’s a classic example of good intentions not ending well. Just wanted to bring up another perspective.

    • SoCalAtty says:

      I don’t doubt that weight loss surgery can be successful in some cases, but it is so, SO dangerous. I would suggest insisting it be done in a hospital. My cousin recently died while having this surgery done, granted, at one of those “1-800″ places that she should not have gone to, but that’s not a mistake someone deserves to die for.

      Just like any medical procedure, know the risks and minimize them as best you can by getting the best Dr. that specializes in exactly that.

  12. just Karen says:

    Dang it! I love this dress – so much so that I’d put it in my cart on Target.com, but hadn’t pulled the trigger – and now they’re out of my size in the color I wanted. Might be a sign I need to save every dime for upcoming house renovations. We are about to undertake some fairly major house projects – does anyone have advice for things to look for or to ask a prospective contractor? Meeting someone in a few hours for a second bid on a massive master bath/closet re-do, but also planning on trying to add an exterior window, remove part of a wall, refinish floors, etc…

    • emcsquared says:

      We did a kitchen facelift a while ago, and the GC was very good but the subs he hired were NOT. Ask about the subs before the project begins, ask for references for subs, and be direct about vetoing subs. If I had known to ask, I would not have approved the plumbing sub (flooded our kitchen twice in the same day and didn’t clean it up) or the tiling sub (used compound or grout that is not appropriate for high heats – right behind the stove *facepalm*).

      And if the GC has a designer who you’ll work with, make sure the designer gives his plans to you and that you compare them against the GC’s plans. Our designer left the GC shortly before work began, and we discovered that our GC had made several assumptions that were not consistent with our designer’s notes or our expectations.

      Inspect everything, every day and make sure you have a daily check-in session with your GC. Ours would leave the site at 4 pm, but didn’t arrive until after we left for work – so we’d have to call him at home if there were issues. It was just an icky way to work.

    • Maine Associate says:

      If you have access to Westlaw or Lexis, run the contractor’s name to make sure he/she has not been the subject of a lawsuit.

  13. bad idea says:

    Ugh I deserve to be scolded. I’m dating/sleeping with this guy and I looked through his phone while he was in the shower last night. I saw a text saying he got his ex souvenirs for her and her new roommates (wtf) from his recent trip. He didn’t bring me back anything. We had only been slightly dating before the trip, and talked about getting more serious when he got back. Anyway, I learned my lesson about looking through his phone. Now I just feel like he doesn’t care much about me.

    • K...in transition says:

      Maybe it seemed weird to him to get something for a girl he’s still getting to know and whom he’s not yet certain how she feels about him, but totally normal to get something for an ex who happens to still be a friend and her roommates who are also friends?

      I’m totally with you in feeling that way but maybe this is more logical than emotional for him; he didn’t -not- get something for the girl he was seeing… he didn’t get things for a lot of people. He -did- get things for people he considers friends he’s known for a long while. Plus, for all we know, those girls helped him to plan the trip or whatnot.

      All of that said, don’t go through the dude’s stuff… it’s a breach of trust that might end things if he ever finds out and it gets you into these situations. Don’t set yourself up to fail!

    • Herbie says:

      Dude, what are you doing trolling through your [semi-]guy’s phone??? Bad! If you think about doing this again, just think about your internet buddy Herbie shaking her finger at you and giving you the Amy Poehler “Really?!” and walk. away. from. the. phone.

      • SF Bay Associate says:

        +1. Ugh. That is just so dishonest and invasive. I can sorta kinda hypothetically maybe see why it might not be quite so bad that the OP from earlier this week read her multi-year relationship live-in SO’s email (though I absolutely do not condone it), but ugh to bad idea’s behavior. She has absolutely no standing whatsoever to be reading the private communications of a person she is only dating. If one of my girlfriends told me the guy she was dating trolled through her phone, I would tell her to strongly consider not seeing him anymore, since he obviously doesn’t respect her privacy.

        • eastbaybanker says:

          If you want this fling to turn into a relationship, the starting point needs to be a basic level of trust and respect. Maybe the fact that you feel then need to look through his phone is saying something. Have there been red flags of any kind? Do you not trust him? Or is it your own baggage? Do you have a history of dating people who cheated?

          • bad idea says:

            There are no red flags. He is great and a gentleman, always opening car doors, great cuddler, kisses me on the forehead. He is smart and has the same sense of humor as me, except I think he’s even more funny than me, which is saying something. I think I’m just insecure because I normally date “safer” guys who I know would never leave me and who like me a lot more than I like them.

    • Gah. Step away from the phone and any other device/means of peeking. You don’t know the whole story. And sometimes men.just.don’t.think. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you or anything.

      Lesson learned and soon you’ll know more about this guy, too.

      • bad idea says:

        You guys are so right that I should not have done that! I feel dirty and he certainly deserves better than someone who will look through his things. I think it just shows how insecure I am about our status. He’s a great guy and I would like to know if he wants to solidify the relationship. I should probably just calm down and take things slowly, but we are in law school together, and I don’t want to be perceived as s k a n k y to other people at school if things don’t work out and people find out.

  14. Emergency Threadjack :) says:

    Help!

    I’m wearing a newer pair of heels today and the heel must have stretched or something … but every step I take I basically step out of the shoes. Where I work I don’t have access to a CVS or anything where I can pick up some heel pads like I normally would (and which I will do before I wear these again) – but just wondered if any of the corporettes had an office-supplies based solution or something else I haven’t thought of to remedy the problem for today?

    Otherwise I will continue to clomp very slowly around the office like a cow in order to avoid walking out of my shoes :)

    • you can stick something in the toe of the shoe to push your foot back. I’m not sure i can think of an office-supply that can do that ;o) but i have used small socks, bits of fiber-fill from cushions, a cut-off piece of pantyhose, etc….. do you have a feud with anyone in your office whose clothes you could steal and cut up? … JUST KIDDING! :o)

    • Maybe you can recreate the gel pad things that go on the back heel? I’m thinking take a small piece of tissue, ball it up and tape on the inside back part of the shoe and maybe that will keep your foot pushed forward enough?

    • eastbaybanker says:

      In a similar moment of desperation, I have stuck Kleenex in the toe of my pumps. I think I was wearing shoes with tights for the first time and they were literally falling off me.

  15. It's Friday says:

    …brought to you by Target, yet again

  16. Cornellian says:

    Hoping everyone in NYC and Chicago (and everywhere else in the world, of course) is safe after today’s shootings. I know these things come in groups, but I am really not okay with living in such a violent world.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. says:

      Wow, I live in NYC and I had not heard about this. Thanks for posting.

    • roses says:

      Just want to point out that although last night was a particularly violent night in Chicago, the nature of the shootings was not out of the ordinary. I sincerely doubt any Corporettes would frequent at nighttime the neighborhoods where those shootings took place. Although innocent bystanders were among those killed, the gang violence that precipitated the shootings is unfortunately all too common.

      The shootings in New York, on the other hand, seem quite out of the ordinary, and I do hope there were no Corporettes affected.

      • I’m sorry, but what is this comment, exactly?

        Because it reads like this – I hope there were no women-of-a-certain-privileged-demographic affected by the tragedy in New York. Since the only people affected by the tragedy in Chicago were probably poor minorities, I think we’re all safe on that front, since that’s not “us”. WHEW!

        Is that about right?

        Just…wow.

        • roses says:

          Um, no. I really hate how some people are so quick to take things the wrong way. I was pointing out, for those that are unfamiliar with Chicago, that the two situations are not alike. I thought that the original poster was equating the two by stating that she hoped *c-rettes* were safe. I have worked in the exact community where the shooting in Chicago happened, and I can guarantee you that the residents of that neighborhood are not spending their free time surfing a site featuring $1000 handbags. They face this kind of violence every.single.day. No one posts when there’s just the 4-6 shootings that often happen on a warm summer night in these neighborhoods. There’s hardly ever news stories about it – in fact, right now the media is focused only on the Empire State building shooting. These killings are equally tragic to the ones that happen randomly in NY, and I wanted to point that out.

          I do apologize, however, for mistakenly implying that c-rettes might not be *affected* by shootings in areas like the ones in Chicago. I’m sure there are plenty that came from neighborhoods like these and could have family and friends there, even though I stand by my comment that I seriously, seriously doubt anyone lives there if they are reading this site.

      • hellskitchen says:

        I agree with the above posters. How is innocent bystanders, especially children, getting killed is considered “not-out-of-the-ordinary?” And how can you be sure that Corporettes would not be “frequenting” the neighborhoods where these shootings took place?? And the shootings in New York – are they out of the ordinary simply because it happened around Empire State, but wouldn’t have been if it happened in Harlem??

        • roses says:

          Because innocent bystanders get killed in gangfire all the time on the south side of Chicago (I’d post news links but I don’t want to get stuck in moderation again). I know that Corporettes would not be living in these neighborhoods because I’ve worked in them. Few homes have computers, and even if they do, many are working 2+ jobs to keep the electricity on and their kids fed. There’s a line every single day at the library to use the few computers they have, and people use them to apply for jobs, pay bills, etc. There’s no time to casually browse the internet. Public housing makes up a large percentage of the homes there. Read Barack Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” – the shootings last night happened in around the same place.

          I don’t live in NY, but as far as I know, shootings do not ordinarily take place around the Empire State building. I don’t know if shootings still ordinarily take place in Harlem, but I do know they once did.

          Violence is tragic no matter where or how often it happens, but it can’t possibly be politically incorrect to point out that it happens far more often yet is reported far less in poorer neighborhoods than around the Empire State building.

    • ChocCityB&R says:

      *sigh* something about the way this is described as “not out of the ordinary” and not impacting r’e’t’t’e’s really rubs me the wrong way, and I have too much work to do today to really get into why but let’s just say that the racial and economic undertones, the assumption that it’s is “ordinary” for 6 years olds to be shot in the street…it just makes my heart ache. Rather than try to articulate, I’ll just post this amazing interview that speaks to a lot of my frustrations, and hope that some of you wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent and kind women are open minded enough to listen and understand where I’m coming from. Maybe I’ll also post in the weekend open thread because it’s actually a really good interview.

      • ChocCityB&R says:
      • That comment also made my stomach turn, ChocCity, it is so sad that many still assume that it’s {shrug} ordinary when violence like this happens in one context, but is horrible and tragic in a different context. also, so much more I want to say, but don’t have time right now.

      • roses says:

        I wasn’t saying it’s any less tragic, just that it’s unlikely that any corporette would be at the scene in Chicago. You’re kidding yourself though if you think it’s out of the ordinary – in fact, that IS the tragic part. I had a feeling my comment would be taken the wrong way, and I regret now posting it.

        • “just that it’s unlikely that any corporette would be at the scene in Chicago”

          What if there’s a lawyer who’s involved in legal aid or does probono work and was visiting clients in the neighborhood? Or a teacher who teachers in low income schools and prefers to live close to her students’ families? Both examples are professional women and could likely be readers of this blog. I figured you didn’t actually mean “we shouldn’t care because we would never be in these neighborhoods” but it’s wrong to assume that women who live in lower income communities are not professional working women and/or readers of this blog. That’s what I take issue with

      • Susan says:

        I hear ya, but I want to be generous and not assume there’s any racist/class-ist undertone in this at all.

        I’m going to assume that roses’ comment is just making the distinction between:
        (A) there’s a level of horror when people in your city (or anywhere, really!) are being killed.

        and

        (B) there’s a more visceral level of horror when the people who might be killed are people you know or are affiliated with in some way. This horror ratchets up when it’s people we love.

      • Cornellian says:

        I assume you’re applying to Roses, and not me?

        I agree that it’s horrific that some guy opened fire in a tourist district, but was trying to balance that with “this is reality for other parts of the world.” So much of the news coverage of this (and 9/11 in my humble opinion) can come across so “but those people looked like me!”

        • Susan says:

          Hmm….did I reply in the wrong place? Anyways, my comment (as I say) refers to roses’ comment.

          The sad reality is– “but those people looked like me” is what works on our lizard-brain. Our frontal lobe, if it’s been socialized properly, can remind us, “yes, but the people who don’t live like me or look like me are every bit as worthy of having good, safe lives,” but our lizard-brain is what has the visceral power over us.

          I think the answer is not to heap opprobrium on those who’ve suddenly felt the grip of the lizard-brain, but to remind ourselves that we have a frontal lobe and we should all listen to it more often. But to get folks to do something to help folks who don’t look like them, it sometimes helps to say, “hey lizard-brain, this could happen to you, too, so why not work towards causes that make sure these bad things are less likely to happen to *anyone*”

        • Divaliscious11 says:

          Perhaps it would be helpful to remember that those folks may look like a lot more of us ‘rettes than one thinks…..

          South Side resident

  17. I just wanted to thank everyone who commented on the pros/cons of law school earlier this week. After much debate, meeting with friends who are practicing law, etc. I’ve decided being a practicing lawyer isn’t what I actually want to do with my life and law school is too expensive to add letters at the end of my name and not use them! In the end, I was able to identify what I like law and my current field, what’s lacking for me, and what my “ideal” career field would have. I’m in the process of doing some information interviews and tours to make sure I REALLY know what I’m getting myself into. Thank you so much for keeping me sane and not trying to take on $100k+ worth of debt to maybe break even!! You ladies are awesome!

    • lawsuited says:

      Hear! Hear! I wholeheartedly approve of your decision.

    • Thank you for being a logical human.

      I always get these Linked In messages from people who are “considering law school” or want my “best law school advice.” When I point out that my best advice is to either not go or to work in the field for a year before making the investment, the SIGNIFICANT amount of risk involved, that the ship is sinking, that “international law” (as they appear to understand it–everyone wants to be in ubiquitous “international law”) does not exist, how I consider the decision to be one of my worst life mistakes, and how lucky (but trapped! remember, trapped!) I am to be where I am (even in significant student debt, I have a job that pays the bills and allows me a few splurges), most say something like, “well, I need a change. I really hate my job.”

      Kid, how would you like to hate your job AND be six figures in debt? This could be you.

      off soapbox.

      • omfg, with the international law!! I can’t even.

      • Honestly my friend had me explain what I do on a day to day basis, what I hate, etc. turns out pretty much all the same. So I’d be taking out loans to do a job (if I’m lucky) that would likely be similar! Talk about eye opening.

      • I asked my 0L-at-the-time friend who wanted to “do international law” if she wanted to do private or public international law, since they are pretty different. She said, “yes.” I was like “I…can’t…even…no.”

        • emcsquared says:

          I once had a conversation with a 2L who wanted to do tax – he was hoping to do transactional tax structuring while working for the government, preferably federal because he thought he could get a low six figure starting salary. Career centers should really be staffed by practicing lawyers.

        • Susan says:

          I’m wondering if this is the corporate equivalent of when they ask a model who also happens to be an idiot what she wants to do after modeling and she says, “marine biology” because well, she had fun visiting Seaworld when she was 7, and knows how to swim and thinks it sounds fancier than just saying “biology.”

      • Senior Attorney says:

        Too funny about “international law.” I’m in So Cal and everybody wants to be in “entertainment law.” I try to explain it’s basically transactional law with super-high-maintenance clients, but they are largely undeterred!

        • SoCalAtty says:

          Isn’t that the truth! I actually wanted to do music law/licensing or legal for live theater (which I would really have to move to NY for) but when I graduated there were no jobs there, so litigation, here I am!

          Someone should have told me to go into A&R.

          I too give the, “please don’t go to law school” speech pretty frequently. One teenager I’ve been giving that advice to has decided on vet school. Go me!

          • I would have saved SO MUCH MONEY if I decided to be a vet. Or a farrier. Maybe I should pursue that instead.

          • I wish someone had given me this speech before I spent a year unemployed and over my head in student debt after law school . . . I give it a lot, every time it comes up, pretty much.

        • lawsuited says:

          I have a theatre background, so I have been told by every person not in my immediate family or circle of friends that I should go into “entertainment law”. I used to explain that it’s a tiny area, very hard to get into, that I live in TO not NY or LA, bla bla bla. Now I just smile and say “Yes.”

    • Herbie says:

      omfg I die. Someone who actually LISTENED to advice about what a colossally bad idea law school is? I’m feeling a little dizzy. Like I might need to sit down or something. What? Where am I?

      But seriously, best of luck to you and congrats on making a reasoned decision about your future!

    • I’m so happy to hear that you’re confident with your decision! While I love my job, I fully realize it isn’t for everyone and I have a practicing attorney job not without a significant amount of luck. Good luck in your future plans, and yay for not incurring a significant amount of debt!

    • Woohoo! Good for you! Part of every LSAT prep course should be a class titled “What Lawyers Really Do Everyday 12+ Hours a Day 6 to 7 Days a Week — and Paid $150,000 For the Privilege of Doing.” I’m happy to be a lawyer. I’m happiest when I’m doing work that’s the most lawyery. But I’m weird, and most people (e.g., Mr. TBK, a recovering lawyer) find it mind-numbing.

    • Wow, I so wish I had been you 9 years ago…congrats on a wise decision!

    • Jacqueline says:

      Interesting about the desire to be in certain areas of law that sound glamorous but actually aren’t. I feel like people act this way about many careers without really knowing what day-to-day life in a particular field entails. Good for you, L, for consulting with these knowledgeable ladies and making the decision that’s best for you!

      • Yep, as someone who works in an “aspirational” job — I wish I could explain to people that it is nowhere near as glamorous as they imagine. Most jobs (maybe all?) are tedious on a day-to-day basis, even if you like the broader things you’re working on. You should see my eyes bug out when people say they want to go pay 50k+ to get a (completely unnecessary) graduate degree to get a job in my field.

        • emcsquared says:

          Seriously, right? I unsuccessfully tried to get my business cards at fancy law firm reprinted with “Associate Attorney/Professional Cat Herder.” Can’t believe how many days I spend trying to track down a piece of paper, or trying to help a client find a piece of paper, or putting many pieces of paper into labeled folders…there should have been a law school class called “Boring Things Lawyers Do All the Time,” and it should have been a mandatory two-week class before my first tuition payment was due.

        • lawsuited says:

          Nah, I’m pretty sure Imagineers love their jobs. Do we have any Imagineers reading [this site]??

    • Gail the Goldfish says:

      Yay, we’ve saved one!

      An excellent decision, one I wish I had made.

    • I’m going to be a jerk and say that on Monday I am giving notice on my awful low pay 1L job and will be starting my awful super high pay 1L job in October. Yes, I still hate my job but at least I will now have a free iPad, paid vacation time, corporate retreats, free dinners and no student debt.

  18. Reposting from earlier in the week – thanks for the tip!

    Early parenting related TJ – sorry!

    I go back to work in two weeks after my maternity leave. A part of me is ready to return but another part is slowly starting to panic. The separation anxiety and guilt are starting to get to me. We have family helping out with babysitting so we don’t need to worry about daycare, but still I feel sad I won’t be at home to see my baby grow up. Any tips or advice in managing this transition would be most appreciated (both for dealing with the separation and preparing for returning to work after a 4-month hiatus – what should I do in my first week, what meetings did you find helpful to set up, etc.)!!

    • Hugs to you! I’ve been back at work for three months now and my baby is 6 months old. I won’t lie, the first month or so is hard. It was all I could to not watch the clock tick by until I could rocket out of the office and get my son. But, then I got into my routine and it’s not so bad…(although, I’ve already billed 170 hours this month so it could just be the exhaustion talking)

      We have a nanny take care of our son 3X a week and my mom takes care of him the other two days. When I can, I get to the office early on the nanny days so I can leave around 5. That way, I get to spend quality time with him when I get home from work. I also make it a point to put my phone down in another room, on silent, when I’m doing the “bedtime ritual” with him so that I’m fully engaged. It’s too easy to be distracted, otherwise.

      I’ve also found that I try and spend as much time as possible with my son on the weekends. Generally, that means that I’ll only plan on “going out” one night/meal per weekend (if at all) and the other night is family time.

      When you start work, do as much as you can to get everything ready for each day the night before. I make dinner and while I’m cleaning, my husband is making the next day’s bottles, or vice versa. Other than those bottles, I load my car the night before.

      Finally, you’ll learn to survive on much less sleep than you ever believed possible. People always told me that and I never realized how true it was. Now I just survive on all the caffeine!

    • Seattleite says:

      I can’t speak to being a working mom of tiny ones, because I stayed home at that point. But I would like to address the issue of guilt. As a mom, you are hard-wired to feel guilt, no matter what your choices. You can do all the right things, and you will still feel guilty for not doing more. You will look back on choices you made yesterday/six months/five years ago, and you will rethink them, and possibly believe you should have chosen differently.

      Let all of that go. Accept that you are going to feel guilty. Promise yourself that you will do the best you can *today* for your family. That you will never say, “X would be best for my family, but I don’t feel like doing X, so I’m going to do Y instead.” And then trust your intelligence to know X when you see it.

      One thing I did that was incredibly freeing: I accepted early on that I was going to make mistakes, and that my children would harbor resentment as they aged. So every time I made a difficult decision, I mentally added another $100 to the “therapy fund.” It really did help.

      I’m sure you’ll get great practical advice for the transition. But please, please, let go of the guilt. You love your child. You’re an intelligent, capable woman. You can do this, and it will be okay.

      • Midwest says:

        Seattleite, I think I love you. I really, really, really wish someone would’ve told me that when I went back to work and suddenly found myself in PPD hell because I couldn’t meet my own expectations, much less please anyone else who was laying on the guilt trips.

      • These words are so freeing – I think my own expectations were in danger of becoming my worst enemy. I’m trying to remind myself that with returning to work full-time, I can’t be “perfect” at home or at work and shouldn’t expect to be so. There’s no one right or perfect way or decision and I just need to focus on what feels right…right now.

    • anne-on says:

      Hugs to you! I’ve been back a month already and its still hard! Though hopefully your baby is a better sleeper than mine!
      First, cut yourself some slack, the first few months back are really hard. I try to dedicate my evening hours to the baby as much as possible. I get back on email once he’s down but otherwise my night belongs to him and my husband, period. Also – I’ve found prepping as much as possible the night before is a huge help. Make bottles, set out clothes for yourself, shower at night (if you want), get everything you need in your car, write down any instructions for the caregivers. Basically, anything that will allow you to wake up, dress, feed the baby, and leave with the minimum of stress is a good thing!
      Good luck :)

    • Jennifer says:

      I have no advice, because I was getting ready to post an almost identical comment. My daughter is 3 months old and I start back at work after Labor Day. My initial reaction to this dress was “hey, that looks worth trying” but was quickly followed by “eff, I’d have to take the whole dress off in order to pump.” I’m focusing all of my anxiety on my daughter’s aversion to bottles right now – I sure hope the daycare staff can get her to eat!

      How much have you been in touch with the office? I admit I haven’t checked in as much as I thought I would (and, I suspect, as I should have – same goes for work-related reading, etc.) though I am now talking with my boss every couple of days to get caught up, and the other manager in my group. (Though along with returning from leave I’m shifting to an individual contributor role, so I guess I shouldn’t say “other manager” since I’ll no longer be one!)

    • PharmaGirl says:

      Was someone covering your work during your leave? Meet with that person as soon as possible and set up a transition plan. Do not let them dump everything on your lap immediately upon your return because you will need some time to adjust. I ended up having to pretend the events that occurred during my leave just didn’t exist because it was too much to track while doing my actual job. Meet with your manager on your first day back as well, so you can understand his/her expectations and discuss the transition.

      Sleep deprivation is a powerful thing so make sure you are keeping yourself healthy. I ended up getting sick so many times thanks to the sleep deprivation combined with a child in daycare.

      Aside from that, stock up on coffee… lots and lots of coffee.

      And don’t worry about the guilt. It’s totally normal (in part due to the lingering hormones) and will eventually go away. I cried every single day for weeks.

    • I had family (my mom) as ‘daycare’ for my son when he was little. Well, really, until he was 10. There were periods where if you only count awake-hours, she had him far more than I did.

      I will just let you know, from several years down the road, that although my son has a very close relationship with gramma, there’s definitely no harm to my relationship with him. He doesn’t remember that he was there that much. He doesn’t remember “omg, mom, you were never around”.

      I always made a point to show up for events. You know, school christmas program, parent-teacher conferences, etc. When those things come up, when your little one gets older, make them a priority, because they WILL remember that. But your child is not going to remember or be damaged by the fact that you weren’t there to watch them sleep all day as an infant. I promise, it’s way harder for you than it is for them!!

      • I think this is exactly my concern – that my baby will be closer to his grandparents than to me. I know, it’s paranoid of me and I should be happy that we are lucky enough to have family close by, but still the irrational fear persists. I didn’t think of the fact that she’s too young to really know or remember that I’m not around that much…that’s definitely a bit reassuring!

    • If you spend your non-work time with your baby, you will be there plenty. With a new baby, mornings before work can be long, nights can be long, and overnights can be long. Weekends are never long enough somehow, but think of the wonderful things you can do.

      For the first week, it’s a big juggle, especially if you are pumping. Do the mandatory stuff in the first week. The second week, maybe you can add in a fun or morale-boosting lunch (work friends you haven’t seen, working parents you may have Qs for, etc.).

      Good luck!

    • Seattleite’s comments on guilt are spot-on. You may feel bad about missing milestones, but just consider the first time that you see your baby do something to be the first time that s/he did it. My daycare was very good about not mentioning achieving any milestones unless I brought it up. For example, I have crystal clear memories of his first word (ball) and in my mind, he saved that moment just for us. In reality, he may have saying it for a week before we saw it. It didn’t make my heart jump out of my chest at the cuteness any less that day.

    • Thank you all so much for your wisdom and advice. I’m saving this for later re-reading to remind myself to 1) go easy on myself and my emotions, 2) let go of the guilt (well, at least try to), and 3) make the most of the evenings and weekends. This is all so helpful!!

  19. Woods-comma-Elle says:

    You guise. I want to rant.

    Earlier today, I sent out something which the partner had drafted and asked me to finalise, insert names of parties, amounts etc. Doc was approved by partner and I sent it out. Now, the twist to the tale is that the partner had in fact misunderstood the instructions based on which the document was drafted and hadn’t forwarded to me an additional email which dealt with this point. So the document was wrong, but I had no way of knowing (how do you prove a negative?)

    Then partner forwards to me an e-mail from client, seething (the client, not partner, who acknowledged it wasn’t my fault), because the document was wrong and basically saying I was a moron and how crap the document was etc. etc. Partner’s response to client was basically ‘thanks and sorry’ (which, in fairness, was the only thing he could say since clearly he wasn’t going to tell the client it was actually his f*** up).

    So now (i) I have had to send the client the revised version like a chump, (ii) his impression that I am a moron has not been corrected and (iii) in future if work comes in from this client, he will continue to think I am a moron and this is going to affect our working relationship.

    This is really just a rant, but it has really annoyed me as I have never had a client be mad at me before (let alone where it wasn’t my fault) and I don’t like it!

    • Eleanor says:

      First, I am sorry; that really sucks. Second, I absolutely disagree that the partner had no other option than to respond as he did. Letting the client think the mistake was yours, when it was his? He should have owned up to the client in a matter-of-fact, straightfoward way: “Actually, that error was mine. Thank you for pointing it out, and we’ll send a revised draft shortly” or something like that. I hate when higher-ups let their supervisees take the blame.

    • I’m torn on this. On the one hand, I don’t think the partner should have thrown you under the bus. You have your own reputation to maintain and it’s not right for him to tarnish it with the firm’s clients. On the other hand, he needs to do what’s in the best interest of the firm, and clients typically hire firms based on the partners, not the associates. That is, if the client thinks an associate screwed up, that client might retain its trust in the firm but request that another associate be given its work. If the client distrusts the partner, it’s unlikely the client will just ask for another of the firm’s partners. I do think the partner should have said to the client something like “I believe this was due to an internal miscommunication. I apologize for the error and we will correct it immediately. Elle is an excellent associate and I’m sure she will have the revised version to you shortly.”

      • JessBee says:

        Yeah, this was my instinct as well. It would have been nice to have him mention that there was an internal miscommunication, especially since that seems to have actually been the problem. Very frustrating!!

      • MaggieLizer says:

        I would nicely ask the partner to send an email like this to the client clarifying the nature of the error to preserve your relationship and reputation with the client. All the partner can do is say no.

        • AnonInfinity says:

          Ohhh man. That would be a colossally horrible idea at my firm. I’m getting twitterpated just imagining the look of horror/shock if I walked into a partner’s office and asked for this. And then it would get around. And then you’d be mocked by your peers and disliked by the other partners.

          So, Woods-comma-Elle, if you are contemplating doing this, please know your office and proceed with extreme caution.

          • Woods-comma-Elle says:

            I think the partner would be ok with this, but (i) he has now gone on vacation for two weeks and (ii) already addressed the situation with the client, so I feel like anything further might just fuel the fire, so I think I just have to swallow this one (even though I HATE that).

            But also, your firm sounds scary…

          • AnonInfinity says:

            I don’t think my firm is scary at all. My description that everyone would mock and revile you was a big of a hyperbole, but it really would get around and no one would understand why you fixed a situation and then went to the partner and said, “By the way, can you send another email to the client blaming yourself instead of me?”

            One big reason that it would be a horrible idea is your #2. If someone has already sent an email apologizing for a mistake, then he or she is not going to send another email to the client saying, “oh, for the record, that mistake was actually my mistake.” To suggest that a partner (or anyone else) do that is just not something that would happen here and would be so far out of the norm that it would be very strange.

            It sucks that this happened to you, and I don’t know how you could have prevented it. The partner maybe could have blamed it on a miscommunication. I tend to agree with the above poster that the partner probably approached it in a way that was better for the firm as a whole. That doesn’t make it suck any less, though, and I would be just as disappointed and frustrated in your situation.

            I just wanted to come back and clarify that my firm is not scary!

        • Exagerrate says:

          HAHAHAHA. Are you kidding?!?!? You’re job is to make the partner’s job easier. That is the opposite and would be horrible at my firm as well.

          • AnonInfinity says:

            I’m glad you said this — I was starting to get a complex and wonder if I work at a terrible place.

          • a lawyer says:

            As a long-time lawyer, Mr. Senior Partner was a wuss for throwing you under the bus. At the very least, he should have gone the “miscommunication” route. The line about “what’s best for the firm” is complete bullhockey and just an excuse for not “manning up.”

            In his slight defense, if Mr. SP was about to go on vacation, he was probably stressed and doubly stressed at the thought of leaving client royalled ticked at him while he tries to de-stress away from the office on vacation.

    • Woods-comma-Elle says:

      Thanks, everyone, it is really frustrating, particularly as I now as a result am totally terrified of this client and the work we have from him is usually really interesting and I have enjoyed it until now.

      Bah.

      • AbbyA says:

        As a big law partner, I must weigh in. The partner should have taken the responsibility for the mistake, even if it had been your fault, which it wasn’t.

      • When you send the revised form, could you apologize for the internal miscommunication and say see corrected documents? This seems more subtle than having the partner do it and it doesn’t matter who’s miscommunication it was, you’re just sorry it happened?

  20. What’s the least worst shoe alternative to heels at an interview? I have foot problems and can’t wear heels or anything that’s unsupportive or has little toe coverage. This rules out ballet flats.

    I normally wear dressier loafers day to day (like http://www.zappos.com/trotters-allison-black-soft-kid) but I’m not sure they’re appropriate enough for interviewing.

    Help?

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