Weekend Open Thread

 J Brand 901 Waxed Legging Jeans Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I can’t help it — I have always wanted a pair of leather pants. Did I watch too many ’80s music videos or something? Sigh, who knows. Sadly I know by now that actual leather isn’t the best — you swelter in it, it can squeak funny, and it’s super expensive. So I’ll be dreaming about some “waxed” legging/jeans like these cute ones from J Brand instead. They’re $194 at ShopBop. J Brand 901 Waxed Legging Jeans

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Comments

  1. Moving On :

    Amidst competing priorities, is it ok to let some friendships go? I have some guy friends from grad school I am ambivalent about keeping in touch with. We have a lot of shared history, they can be fun, but they also can be kind of mean. I rarely see them as most have moved away from NYC. A few of them are visiting this weekend and I’ve found myself not wanting to make the (minimal) effort to meet them for a beer when I’d rather be cooking dinner at home and hanging out with my boyfriend. So I guess I have my answer, but conflicted feelings remain.

    • springtime :

      I think it’s okay -we only get so much free time, I think you should spend it with people you enjoy. I’ve let similar friendships die (fun, but can be mean to people) and it made me feel slightly better that I’m no longer validating their bad behavior.

      • S in Chicago :

        I don’t think it has to be all or nothing. I’m usually a “life is short” type who doesn’t believe in spending time on things that don’t make you happy. But you may find that keeping a minimal connection with them ultimately brings you happiness in the long term. I wouldn’t feel obligated to meet up if you’re not in the mood. However, I would still do minimal to keep in touch: Christmas card, occasional Facebook post, etc. People can really change and grow through the years. The mean bar boys often grow up to become loving fathers and husbands. Those shared memories or histories can sometimes be more pleasurable to look back on together after a few years go by and everyone has kind of settled a bit more into the people they’re becoming. You don’t say how old you are. But I’m now approaching 40, and I definitely hold more sentiment around some of my college and high school pals than I would have in my mid- to late 20s. They’re still not the friends I turn to with important stuff or meet for breakfast each month, etc. But the occasional update I read online or the once-every-few-years meeting always leaves me a little happier. (And yes, I have cut bait over the years with a few that seem on a track to dooshdom. You don’t sound like you generally dislike them though, which is why I’m encouraging giving some more time.)

        • allierose :

          S in Chicago, well said.

          • Moving On :

            This is nice to hear. You’re right, I don’t dislike them. They are interesting and funny and adventurous and I love to hear their travel stories. But I guess I’ve grown out of enjoying the “verbal sparring” that accompanies these meet-ups. My boyfriend is saint about coming along with me to all the family and friend events that are important to me (even when they are not enjoyable), and it feels wrong to subject him to the company of people who are only marginally important and can be at times unpleasant to be around. Context, boyfriend recently moved to NYC so part of this is just growning pains at merging our lives/friend groups.

        • Agree with this 100%. I sort of think of some of my guy friends as my “silver” friends. You know, my good female friends got a personal phone call when I got engaged, my guy friends got a mass e-mail. I e-mail my guy friends once every few months maybe when their sport team does well (or when they post something on facebook that’s funny) — that sort of thing. Its not that I don’t love them too, but its okay to keep degrees of friendships without completely abandoning them.

    • Moving On, I had similar feelings after finishing a managment training program. When you’re just out of a program, it feels like going “back to school” to keep in contact. However, we are 25 years out and just had a reunion. During those 25 years, the people from my group were the most helpful contacts when I needed help with a job search, and vice versa. So, if you can keep them for networking, you might get some benefit out of it in the years to come.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Don’t worry about it. People grow at different paces, and your life in just in a different place right now.

  2. Ladies, I’m anon for this sex related question. I am a lapsed Catholic, and have for most of my life dealt with sexual repression. Essentially, I think sex is shameful, and when I do indulge I have to pretend I’m someone else, or engage in fantasies that I’m being forced into it in order to be aroused. It’s starting to have a huge negative impact on my relationship, as I never really want to have sex, and only do it out of obligation. Of course that makes my husband feel fabulous. I think I’ve repressed my sexual desires so much that I have no interest in sex when I’m awake, but I have lots of sexual dreams so I know that it’s not an issue of no desire, just repressed desire.

    I find my husband attractive, I love him dearly, and I want to work on this issue. At the moment, I don’t have access to therapy, but I hope to at some point in the near future (and would welcome recommendations for virtual therapists or therapists in the SF bay area). In the meantime, can anyone recommend self-help resources for dealing with sexual shame, or tell me about how they were able to overcome their personal issues so that I can feel less hopeless that this will ever be resolved? I just feel that after 30 years of having these issues, the chances are I’m broken for life and will never find happiness around this.

    • I can’t give you a specific recommendation for a therapist in SF bay area (though it being SF and all, there must be one!) but have you read Dan Savage at all? He has dealt with issues like this in some of his columns and I think given some really solid advice. You can search his archives or honestly just start reading — it might just help you to see the full range of s&xual expression out there to start feeling more normal about your own s&xual expressions.

      Also — have you actually talked to your husband about this? I mean really honestly talked about it?

      • karenpadi :

        Second Dan Savage. I was raised Catholic; he was raised Catholic; he taught me everything I know about s#x. Dan isn’t great on female-specific issues but he is still very helpful.

        • Though he is good, when he gets a question about the ladygarden area that scares him (he is feint of heart in that area) to ask an expert. So there’s that.

      • I just had a big talk with him about it last night. I had complained to him that we weren’t having sex much, and he said “finally, you noticed.” Apparently I want to have sex only when I start to feel bad about not having enough sex, and he had stopped initiating because he felt that I wasn’t attracted to him, so basically we haven’t had sex in a month. I finally told him the nitty gritty details, and explained that I find him attractive I just feel so much shame about sex, and he told me that I have to commit to working on it but that he will fully support me in working on it. He also asked me to start masturbating so I can learn what I like. But I don’t masturbate, and the thought of it scares me. I feel like I owe it to him to at least try it….but….ewwwww. (And there goes my childhood fears again…)

        • Oh, sweetie. Get yourself a vibrator. You’ll enjoy it, I promise. Lie back with an erotic story and the vibe and it will be all right. And he can use it on you, too. Fun for everyone.

          • Oh, and you know what might be a good idea? They make c–k rings that have a vibrating bit on top that will hit you on your most sensitive area. That might make sex a lot more fun for you…

            (I am kind of wishing I’d gone anon for this. Hi, Corpor—e meetup ladies!)

          • We have a date night appointment to visit the local ladygarden toy store and buy one tonight. I will report back on whether I survived it! I have used one before in the past, and it “did the trick” if you know what I mean, but I always felt so bad after that I never really kept using it.

          • You felt BAD after using it!!! Don’t feel bad…feeeellll glorious (oh…and hi my meet-up ladies.) I’m not even ashamed.

          • Oh, Bluejay, we don’t think any less of you. I love it that you posted this.

          • No Sex Hangups Here :

            Please be careful of giving yourself party favors only with a v-i-b-r-a-t-o-r and not manually. You may “train” your body not to respond unless a battery is involved, and that could make things difficult for you later.

          • Oh, I know you don’t think less of me. I just usually don’t talk c–k rings with people I’ve exchanged business cards with.

            anonn- speaking as someone who used to go to Confession if I mast–bated, the whole s-x/self-pleasure/using toys/etc thing gets easier and less embarrassing the more you do it. And the rewards of a great s-x life are, well, great.

        • layered bob :

          I disagree with the posters suggesting you get a vibrator watch p0 rn or whatever – if you don’t want to and it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t.

          I also came from a sex-negative background (conservative evangelical) and when I tried to do things that I thought a liberated, sex-positive woman should do (m as tur bate, read erotica, etc.) I felt guilty. I knew I *shouldn’t* feel guilty, but I did. You can’t just stop feeling bad/uncomfortable by telling yourself, “And now I will do this very uncomfortable thing and feel good about it.”

          I read a lot about s3xual ethics from different theologians, and basically tried to re-set my brain/theology by thinking about s3x from a different angle. And then baby steps, pushing my comfort zone with things didn’t make me feel guilty… processing feelings along the way with a counselor who gets my religious background.

          I still don’t feel comfortable with toys or erotica or p 0rn, but I don’t think I have to be.

          • But how will she know if she doesn’t feel good if she doesn’t try it? I don’t think you have to feel comfortable either, but it’s good that you got to know what you do like by trying different things and discarding the things that didn’t work for you. I felt uncomfortable just like you did, but if I’d never tried those things, well, I’d still have a miserable sex life.

        • You know what? There are some really good resources that are both religion-positive and sex-positive. If you’re a practicing Christian and you think that would be useful, I’d suggest starting with “Sacramental Sex” by Matthew Boulten. It’s not erotica or anything, but argues that good sex has an important place in a long-term committed relationship.

          Good luck and good job for facing this issue and working on it.

          • Yep, that might be the place to start. Every religion says sex is part of marriage, and it’s not hard to find Christian ministers, even Catholic priests, who will say that enjoying it is a vital part of marriage. Heck, you might even want to start by talking with a priest if you are actually lapsed (as in, just stopped going to Mass) and not someone who made a clear decision to leave.

            I realized just as I finished college that I wanted sex to be about more than making babies, made an effort to be with more guys. A few years later I decided that hurt and I stopped it. But what I learned in that was to pay attention to how I feel about it. Now, I don’t know if your feelings and logic are so ridiculously tied together as mine are, but if so, you might want to do some slow and serious thinking about this, alone and with your husband, perhaps wearing something fetching but not so racy you feel guilty before the conversation even starts, and I do mean conversation. It might end in a wild romp, but maybe not. Just seems to me that the trust and connection you’d build that way would be the best place to start.

    • I’m also Catholic, not lapsed, but not in agreement with the magisterium on issues of human sexuality. It’s surprising that you feel this way even though you’re married. I don’t think that comes from Catholicism – Catholicism is all about married sex (and the resulting babies). If you had access to therapy, I think you’d benefit from exploring other possible sources of your sexual repression and finding a long-term solution. So maybe you should try to find a way to go to therapy. You aren’t broken for life.

      Having said that, I understand you don’t have access to therapy. My suggestion would be to try to find ways to make sex fun, and I don’t just mean the fun of having orga$ms. Get some toys. Act out some fantasies. Watch some woman-frendly p-rn with your husband. Get some lingerie that makes you feel hot. If you’re embarrassed by these things, do them anyway. You won’t die, and you’ll probably like them, and then it will be easier to keep doing them.

      Think of it this way: say you have body image issues, and you think eating cake is so, so bad that you only let yourself have low-fat, sugar-free cake. It doesn’t taste good! You don’t ever want to have it and it makes celebrating birthdays less fun! And so even though you’re terrified of getting fat from it, you finally go to a bakery and order a slice of genuine chocolate cake with a ganache topping, strawberries, the works. It’s amazing! And you like it! And you don’t get fat overnight! And suddenly you want to try it again next week! You get the point.

      • to Bluejay and Anonn :

        I had/have the same Catholicism problem, and have to say that getting married didn’t help. For two reasons, i think. First is that i married my husband after “living in sin” with him. And second, even if i hadn’t married him, i had to live with the 10+ years of having an active ladygarden-party lifestyle without being married and all the grief my mother gave me. So it has a long-lasting impact, even though i’m now married.

        • I just wanted to chime in and say that I think the Catholicism started my woes but I’m allowing them to continue. My misguided family taught me to be ashamed of my desires, and I lived in fear of them for so long, that now that I’m having married sex I can’t let go of the shame. Also I use birth control, so I am technically not having the kind of sex that is allowable under my former faith.

          However, I’ve known amazing Catholics who have found no conflict between their faith and ability to get it on. This is why I think that it’s not just my (past) faith, but something wrong with me that makes me feel afraid of my sexual desires.

          • There is nothing wrong with you – this is what you were taught.

          • I came across a website which could be of interest to you – google “Christian Nymphos”. It’s a tongue-in-cheek title but they do aim to address this myth that nice Christian ladies cannot be too keen on sex, and there are frank and open articles and discussions about what Christian women from all sorts of backgrounds do, in fact, very much enjoy with their husbands.

        • But you enjoy it, right? Because I had to think long and hard about whether it was ok to have ladygarden parties outside of marriage, but I’ve always enjoyed them. Feeling guilty isn’t the same as not wanting it at all.

          My mother, from whom I am mostly estranged, recently put on her judgy pants when I got an IUD and asked me if I really wanted to have a way to make it easier to have sex. Um, yes, mom, that was the point. And I’m in my 30s. She’d been married twice already by the time she was my age.

          • Bluejay, I’m curious how you have reconciled catholicism and sex outside of marriage. Care to elaborate?

      • e_pontellier :

        I find this really helpful. Thank you Bluejay.

    • I am so sorry. You are not alone. I am also in the Bay Area with serious, ongoing disinterest in ladygarden parties which is destroying my marriage, even though I deeply love my DH. He is supportive, but it’s really, really hard. Anonn, we are very, very fortunate to live where we do because there’s actually a medical practice at Stanford and another at UCSF that specialize in womens’ mental and physical challenges regarding ladygarden parties. Most doctors and therapists know *nothing* about this issue and will hurt more than they help, because general advice (just relax! drink some wine! have you tried the tub?) are entirely unhelpful. There are also a number of books published by licensed s3x therapists – see amazon. But honestly, books didn’t help me – reading case studies about other patients didn’t help because they weren’t ME. I needed a therapist to deal with my specific damages which are the root of this problem. And a regular therapist won’t cut it – you need one that’s licensed by the medical org that focuses on these issues (use Google – I can’t Google that at work) or vouched for by the Stanford or UCSF clinics.

      • Wow, anon, I had no idea! See this is why I come to this website! I’m going to look into this for the future when I have a bit more money and can afford therapy. In the mean time, I’ll check out books on Amazon. Would you be able to recommend some in particular…even though I know you mentioned they weren’t particularly helpful to you, maybe one that was closest to helpfulness?

        • I can’t Google this topic at work. There’s a medical org called Society for s3x therapy and research. Its members have written books which are available on Amazon. I imagine the org also has a website which lists its members publications and resources.

          Bluejay, I really enjoy your contributions here, but honestly, you don’t know what you’re talking about right now. It’s not a physical issue. Toys won’t help, and suggesting them as the solution will be especially upsetting if she musters up the courage to try the toy, it still doesn’t solve her mental issues, and she feels even more hopeless than before. I’ve been through this. It’s a deep-seated mental disorder. It’s not like cake for heaven’s sake. Blithe comments like yours, however well meaning, are actually very hurtful and insensitive. Anonn, be careful who you talk to about this – a lot of people’s advice is actually quite damaging.

          • You know, I’m speaking from personal experience, and based on the advice of my former therapist. So maybe you’re the one who doesn’t know what you’re talking about?

    • Anon with no xxx :

      Also going anon for this.

      While I am not Catholic, I also struggle with (not having) the desire to have sex. This is obviously impacting my relationship. Unlike the OP however, I do not feel any attraction to my partner. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as well, find a new partner you are attracted to, because I have gotten to a point in all of my relationships where I just shut sex down and have no desire. I am content to not have sex and will never push the issue. It has been about seven months now in my current relationship.

      I don’t think it is shame for me. I definitely think it is that I am incredibly uncomfortable with many aspects of the whole thing. Being naked, the pressure of doing it correctly, the pressure of making my partner happy, being naked, etc. The idea of sex sets my anxiety into high gear and literally paralyzes me. I will pretend to be asleep, go to bed before my SO, etc., in order to avoid it. Additionally, I do not think in the 16 years I have been sexually active I have ever had an orgasm. I attempted to masturbate at one point but just wasn’t into it and was kind of embarrassed about doing it at all.

      I have been to therapy in the past and was told I need to seek out a therapist that specializes in this area. I want to, and plan to soon in the future when I have better insurance.

      • anon from above :

        I could have written your post word for word, except that I have o’d in the past. Everything else exactly, especially the anxiety and embarrassment. The specialist clinic expects therapy will take a long time to fix it (she said a year, heaven help me), but it is fixable with medical assistance.

        • Anon with no xxx :

          Would you be willing to go offline and share where you are located, in the event we are near each other and that clinic might be helpful to me? anonwithnoxxx at gmail dot com

          • anon from above :

            I’m in the Bay Area. My doctors are at one of the two hospitals in the area that specialize in this issue (UCSF or Stanford). There is a sub-practice at each hospital that specializes, so calling that specific department will connect you to the right doctors. I understand there are specialists at a few of the other U.S. teaching hospitals connected to prominent medical schools as well. I hope one of them is convenient to you. Your friend, anon from above.

          • Anon with no xxx :

            Anon with no xxx – thanks! I looked into the university hospitals around me and it looks like Johns Hopkins has a similar program.

          • Anon with no xxx :

            I meant thank you anon from above – I did not mean to thank myself. Durr.

    • anon as well :

      On a separate but related topic, I stopped having interest in s*x drive for nearly a year and in my second week of couples therapy I learned that it was mild depression, or dysthymia. I started taking medication a few weeks ago and I’m finally starting to be interested again. I would encourage everyone to not settle for a relationship without s*x, and work on getting to the bottom of the problem.

      Kudos to you, anonn, for starting that journey.

    • K...in transition :

      PS if you’d be interested in online or phone therapy, email me and we’ll discuss making that work in a way that fits your schedule and gives you the privacy you need to talk about these feelings :) munchkin 1616 at juno dot com

    • Honey Pillows :

      Everyone has issues with s3x. Many, many, many women (and men!) avoid or dislike s3x for as many different reasons as there are positions. You are not alone! Even people who enjoy and willingly participate in the act have their hangups -am I too into it? Is my lady garden too dark? Too long? What if I don’t make it all the way? What if I want something different from my partner? Is it weird to want lady garden parties only in cars? What if I can’t enjoy myself unless my partner calls me Millie?

      Even more people feel uncomfortable with parties (lady garden or otherwise), and don’t try to fix it, because they just don’t believe it can be fixed, or they don’t believe they deserve to enjoy it.

      People gots issues.

      But people do deserve to enjoy their lady garden parties, and you’re working towards that, so yay! I’m really glad someone in San Fran sent you towards some medical help, and while therapy seems like the best route for you, trying to enjoy it on your own with toys, etc is a great start.

      I wish you the best of luck!

    • Another anon :

      Hi. I have very similar problems, which have resulted in my remaining a virgin well into my twenties. I did see a sex therapist briefly, about a year ago. She recommended that I read Great Sex, by Michael Castleman. It’s actually written for heterosexual men, but about half of the book addresses female sexuality, and there is a chapter on negotiating desire differences within a relationship. There is also a chapter about when sex is a challenge for the woman, which might be useful for you and your husband to read. My time with the therapist didn’t exactly solve my problem – I’m still mostly resigned to a party-free existence – but it did demystify some of it for me, as well as provide me with some helpful info about the many facets of human sexuality in a nonjudgmental way. Best of luck to you, and good for you for seeking help – I know this is a reeeeallly tough thing to talk about.

    • I am sympathetic to this, but am coming late to the post. I have a slightly different probelem. I will NOT have sex again until I am in a relationship where I have a RING, meaning at least engaged.

      To many men just want sex with no string’s and that is NOT good. I got burned in my last relationship b/c I NEVER got a ring or a promise for a ring and I felt USED when I broke up b/c he got alot more benefit then I did.

      I wish you all the best with your issue tho, as there are alot of peeple in the HIVE that have already given you good advise.

    • Anonnnnymous :

      OK, I’m just going to throw this out there because no one else has yet. Maybe, just maybe, your husband could indulge some of your nonconsent fantasies? If he’s got a dominant streak in him at all, perhaps letting him use it would help. You might enjoy the s*x more, and then could transition into more evenly balanced power scenarios, and ultimately get to where you’re up for initiating and taking control without shame.

    • This is such a hard thing to bring up (for a lot of us) but I’m glad you did and I hope the suggestions from other posters have been helpful. I’m a lapsed Catholic, when I was in college I left the church for feminist reasons, and had a handful of relationships that were fulfilling, hot, and multi-o in bed. And I was okay, delighted with this, no shame.

      Then I met my now-husband, and I knew right away I was going to marry him. Knowing that this was my husband-to-be (who was also Catholic), for me brought back all the guilt and shame and shyness that I’d shed earlier, and with that, my ladybits would shut down. Because now this is Serious. Playtime is over. It’s hard to go with the flow and pay attention to sensation if you’re all caught up in your head worrying about this that and the other. I feel like I’ve had to relearn how to communicate about my desires and be playful in sex with my husband. It’s taken several years but now we’re at a place where we’re a lot more playful and I’m much more relaxed. Good luck to you!

  3. Chicago meetup! :
    • allierose :

      Whatever will I WEAR????

    • allierose :

      If we want to go west a little bit, there is a great new place at Grand (1123 West) and May called TWO. Comfortable space, huge selection of craft beer and wine. Also Townhouse on Wacker, I think at Madison or Monroe.

      • Backgrounder :

        Soo many good places in Chicago! Townhouse is at Monroe and Wacker literally steps from my office :) Also would recommend rooftop at III Forks which is a little further east.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      As a suburb worker, who lives in the city – can we schedule for 6 or 6:30, and do we have any dates yet?

      • I’m going to post a few date options and time options on Monday and we can vote. I can’t speak for others, but I plan to be there for a few hours. When we settle on a location I’ll look into parking options. (Actually, I’m a reverse commuter too. !$#@! the Stevenson.)

    • yay!

  4. Hi ladies,

    Does anyone have a recipe for homemade granola (or muesli) that isn’t full of sugar? I’m so tired of the oversweetened store bought granola and muesli, and I figured I should be able to make a healthier version myself.

    Thanks!

    • Motoko Kusanagi :

      This is super easy to DIY. Mix together oats and whatever other ingredients you enjoy in your granola (spices, nuts, dried fruits, etc). Add a small amount of honey. Spread out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake at 350 until “done”.

      With the honey – start small, and work up. You’ll figure out what ratios work for you.

    • Or, if you want something store-bought that isn’t full of crap, look for Dorset Cereals. I am a big fan and often have a small bowl for breakfast mixed with yoghurt and a little honey.

    • Anastasia :

      Oooh, I love homemade granola! You can modify things however you like with your favorite nuts/seeds as long as you basically keep the wet:dry proportions fairly consistent. Dried fruit and chocolate chips can be added to anything, too. This is the recipe I make most often, which makes cruchy bars/ crumbly granola. (I refrigerate it in a ziplock bag, it always lasts until it’s gone. Never heard about the oil spoilage thing before.)

      3 1/2 cups regular oats, uncooked
      1/2 cup each: flaked coconut, sliced almonds, wheat germ
      1/4 cup each: chopped cashews, chopped pecans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
      1/2 cup honey
      1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      1/4 cup vegetable oil
      1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl; stir well, and set aside.

      Combine honey, brown sugar and oil in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; add peanut butter and vanilla extract, stirring until peanut butter melts. Pour honey mixture over oats mixture; stir well. Mixture will be dry at first; continue stirring until moist.

      Press mixture into a greased 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan. Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into bars while warm. Let cool completely in pan.

      Here’s one that’s a little bit different and chewier, but also delicious. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/easy-granola-bars/detail.aspx

      • It might just be my taste, I don’t like the “old oil” taste it can get. Keeping in the fridge would probably eliminate the risk of that, though.

    • Praxidike :

      Try the SmittenKitchen granola bars/chewy granola bars recipes. I will link them in the next comment to address the moderation issue.

    • The simple answer to replacing oil and sugar/ honey/ liquid sweeteners is pureed fruit. I like mashed bananas myself (easy) but google David Lebovitz for an actual recipe. I’ve actually adapted from this one and find it works fine with my bananas plus a tablespoon of oil plus a tablespoon of honey.

    • Thank you so much for the recommendations everyone!

  5. Family Drama :

    I’m a semi-regular poster, but I felt like I needed an anon for this.

    I wrote back in March about contemplating cutting off all contact with my sister, who has been emotionally and physically abusive.

    I cut her off, but not 100.000%. That meant answering trivial questions if she needed me too, trying to be courteous when I had to associate with her, and just civil behavior (well, my best attempt to be civil- I did get angry with her a couple of times). She lashed out when I wasn’t engaging with her as much anymore, told nasty lies about me to people (whatever), and continued on with her life.

    As of sometime in the spring, she got a job offer in a city that’s a flight/quite far away (not related- but I feel like someone was looking out for me when that happened!). She spent the summer being as emotionally destructive as possible at my parents house, through texting, you name it. It all came to a head when she had a going away party which resulted in work colleagues finding out about her true nature, cops being called, drugs being found, and every other piece of drama you can think of. I stupidly went to this party out of guilt but had the good sense to catch a cab before a lot of this happened. I was, though, informed about the aftermath by her and other people I am friends with.

    Long story short, she’s lashed out at everyone- think wishing people dead, calling people sl*ts, jealous, ugly, threats, etc. I revived my position that I am not willing to speak with her on any level until things change, which I don’t expect for months, if not years, to come. She has now threatened to call and/or email people at my workplace to say I said nasty things about them. She also throws out general emotional threats, and some threats of physical behavior (but not now since she’s left my city).

    Is this at the point where I need more intervention than ignoring? At first I was really upset- it felt like she had died, that my sister was lost and gone forever. I “mourned” her “death” for a few weeks. Recent messages make me even more concerned it’s more than just jerky behavior- it’s a sign of mental health issues, or even drug issues- and I feel like wallowing isn’t going to protect me. Do you ignore? Take action? Cry? Any help would be wonderful.

    Also- I love those pants :).

    • Therapy. With a counselor who is qualified in drug issues. You can’t know (and maybe won’t ever know) but they may be able to give you guidance on how to cope with this under those circumstances. Also, please PLEASE consider the possibility of needing a restraining order. People who are addicted to drugs/alcohol can go from 0 to dangerous pretty quick. the fact she’s already threatening you via your workplace is concerning. Same goes for your parents. Seriously.

      Not a therapist, but it could be some combo of drugs and mental health issues as well. You and your family need to figure out what the goal is for her (rehab, inpatient therapy, whatever) and work out a plan with the help of a qualified individual. Best case, she’s being an overdramatic brat and will cut the sh*t pretty quick once she realizes you all are serious about cutting her out. Worse case scenario it’s something major, but you uncover it and start dealing with it.

    • I wonder if going to an al-anon or the equivalent for N.A. might help. If there are drug-related issues, these groups could help you with how to navigate your relationship.

    • K...in transition :

      Contact the local police and file a restraining order for harassment. This means that, if she contacts you or your job, you will have legal options AND you will be able to save face by simply telling those contacted that this is a person from whom you have a restraining order. (Preventing them from thinking you’re inviting the drama into the work place.)

      As for you, choose a therapist and go! You are in a mentally abusive relationship and you deserve better.

    • You said drugs were found at the party – what sort of drugs? And then why do you note at the end “or even drug issues,” as though you’re not sure she’s using drugs?

      • springtime :

        E, coke, you name it (i wasn’t there, but was verified by two people and my sister). It’s her bf that uses them and deal them, so that’s why I’m not sure SHE is using them too.

        • She is using. Sorry, but no one who isn’t using drugs is dating someone who deals and uses coke and “you name it.” You need to start protecting yourself and your family and work with a qualified therapist ASAP. I’m sorry to be so blunt.

          • Anon for this :

            She probably is using, but it’s definitely too broad a brush to say that if someone’s SO is using/dealing, they must be too.

            I had an ex boyfriend who used, and eventually dealt, meth. I didn’t know it until we’d been dating awhile, and by then I was ‘in love’ with him, and thought I could fix it all. I’m sure I made some bad choices in prioritizing ‘fixing him’ over other things, but I never touched drugs.

  6. momentsofabsurdity :

    I can’t be the only one who thought of this when I saw Kat’s pick for the weekend…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBrCZQO6-o4

  7. Someone posted yesterday about shoes for ladies with larger feet. PSA: I ordered these Women’s Ashby heels from lands end (link to follow) and they arrived today. I normally wear a size 11 shoe and have relatively wide feet, but the 11s were TOO BIG. So if you are an 11/12, you may want to check these puppies out. 25% off and free shipping makes them $75. AND THEY COME IN PURPLE!

    I happen to love Lands End, since everything is forever returnable AND you can return in-store at a Sears.

  8. Ladies, I could use some wedding gift help. One of my very best friends is getting married and has no registry, just a honeymoon fund. I’d like to get her something personal/sentimental (along with a contribution for the honeymoon). She’s not really huge into cooking/domestic stuff, but her & her fiancé like food, traveling, going out. I’d prefer to get them a “thing” rather than an experience… Any ideas?

    • This is sort of on the thing/experience line but what about a gift certificate for a service that will make them a nice album of their honeymoon photos? Or, since they like travel, they could use it for a different trip.

    • Luggage? Travel guides to wherever they’re going on their honeymoon? Something they can use on the honeymoon (totally depends where they are going)? Photo frame for pictures?

      Could you do something for/at the wedding? One of my favorite wedding gifts was DH’s uncle, who offered to be our videographer during the event. His wife couldn’t attend so he was solo anyway and made a GREAT video. Plus, he had a blast doing it.

    • allierose :

      Are they wine people? A really special bottle with a note to drink it on their tenth or twentieth anniversary? I think it is what you say with the gift that counts. I am looking around my house right now and although I recognize a number of items as wedding gifts, I am ashamed to say I don’t remember, for the most part, who bought them for me. I do, however, still have the note my best friend sent me on the occasion.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Giant hideous tacky vase from a tag sale, with A collection of Louis Vuitton city guides inscribed with thoughtful messages about their future.

      Passport holders with their initials intertwined on them

    • I love giving the Love print from Jones Design Company- “The Greatest of these is Love.” It’s beautiful, but subtle. I’ve also given nice albums- the one I like is an “Anniversary album” it has space for a picture and a few lines of what the couple did/was important to them that year. It’s honestly the only scrapbook type of thing I’ve ever been able to maintain! Or, a nice set of champagne flute and a bottle of Schramsberg.

    • This isn’t really a “thing,” but what about writing her a letter (on fancy stationary!) telling her how much she means to you, how much you love her spouse-to-be, why you think they make a great couple, and your hope that you stay close as you grow older. I think if you give specific examples/memories of your times together and of her spouse, it will be a really meaningful gift. (And I wish I had thought of doing this for my BFF when she got married!)

    • Do you know where they are going for their honeymoon? I know you would rather get something, but arranging for a service like a dinner on the beach or couples massage beforehand might be just as good if they would not do that for themselves.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Not sure what your friend’s style is, but a unique and beautiful wedding portrait might fit the bill.

      If she would like it, think outside the box: papercut portraits, graphic maps, their initials and date burned into a tree sculpture. My personal favorite is the handcut fingerprints. (Links to follow to avoid moderation)

      Also creative, definitely a “thing,” and flexible, would be something small and luxurious but necessary.

      If they’re “into” coffee, a Chemex carafe with a year’s coffee subscription would fulfill both the “thing” requirement and give them something to enjoy together. I’d recommend Intelligentsia coffee -they are amazing, if pricey.

      Alternately, a set of gorgeous, luxurious, embroidered towels with their initials would be an amazing gift (provided they haven’t just bought themselves a set of their own luxurious towels). (Sorry for the length -hope this helps!)

    • There are some classic albums with great titles which are perfect for this kind of gift-giving – Frank Sinatra’s Songs for Young Lovers, Dinah Washington’s For Those in Love and a couple of others. The tunes are wonderful and easily enjoyable regardless of musical preferences, and the price will usually be right if you’re already giving $$ in some other form.

  9. 2/3 attorney :

    Anyone feel like doing some fashion hunting as this Friday afternoon d r a g g g s on? I like the tie-neck blouses I have been seeing everywhere for fall, but why are they all 100?! This jcrew version is beautiful, but something more like $40 would be my price range. I am thinking ivory-ish, with short sleeves (long sleeves are always too short for me). Anyone have a suggestion?

    http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/shirtsandtops/blouses/PRDOVR~97971/97971.jsp?srcCode=AFFI00001&siteId=J84DHJLQkR4-PcvZhIPcQsjBhAtJ%2A2H02w

    • This is not helpful to your request at all, but my eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw the price tag on that J. Crew blouse. $110?! For rayon?! J. Crew’s always been on the pricey side, but I feel like they’ve gotten totally out of control lately with crazed, inconsistent sizing, constantly diminishing quality, and seriously inflated prices. Oh, J. Crew, you hurt my closet’s heart because I can barely justify even shopping you on sale these days.

      • Ditto to everything you said. I love the JCrew style, but find it increasingly frustrating to shop there. I leave the store empty handed more and more these days.

        • Likewise. I try to treat looking at their stuff as more like magazine thumbing now, because I’m so consistently disappointed these days with the quality. Fooey on J. Crew.

      • MissJackson :

        The really weird this is that the polka dot version is exactly the same…. except it’s silk instead of rayon… and it only costs $8 extra dollars.

        I <3 J Crew to the point of absurdity, but I won't buy anything there unless it's on sale + an extra percentage off because those kind of prices for rayon are insane (as is pretty much their entire pricing strategy).

        • MissJackson :

          thing, not “this” — sorry for the late Friday afternoon typos!

          here’s the link to the polka dot version: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/shirtsandtops/blouses/PRDOVR~16313/16313.jsp

        • Honey Pillows :

          Speaking of polka dots… cashmere polka dot crewneck sweater? LOVE.

          Any other suggestions for cashmere/merino polka dot sweaters if indeed The Crew’s quality has fallen so pronouncedly?

          • Dead Quote Olympics :

            Just to add to what others have said — I love my older j crew cashmere sweaters but send two back last winter because of the quality (and they were on sale, too — there was no way I would have paid full price for them). I’ve gotten better quality cashmere from TJ Maxx! I have no recs for polka dots, but I’ve been mulling ordering from Pure Cashmere http://www.us.purecollection.com. I believe they are somehow connected to Boden. I have yet to meet cashmere that lives up to my ancient Lord and Taylor label cashmere that I wash in the washing machine (delicate, in a new front loader, in a lingerie bag, but still). Those t-necks are soft, thick, and indestructible!

            Polka dots– maybe this Nordies one? http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-dot-print-cardigan/3308194?origin=category&cm_ven=Linkshare&cm_cat=partner&cm_pla=10&cm_ite=1&siteId=J84DHJLQkR4-vyYiZeHniPgXbaxDPfL.rw

          • MissJackson :

            I love it, too, but I won’t pay that price for something that isn’t really a classic. However, apparently there is a “secret sale” on cashmere in b&m j crew stores through Monday. “Secret sale” meaning there aren’t any signs up, but if you ask a sales associate they should know about it. All full price cashmere is 25% off.

            I think a “secret sale” is crazy weird, but there you have it.

            To satisfy my polka dot sweater craving, I just bought the Old Navy cotton version. It’s ON, so obviously “higher quality” was not my aim, but since it was $20 with a promo, I’m not terribly worried about it. And, I bought the polka dot Tippi — for what it’s worth, I think that J Crew’s 100% merino sweaters hold up nicely. It’s the cashmere/nylon/merino blend sweaters that really suck. I haven’t actually bought J Crew cashmere in quite awhile so I can’t speak to quality there.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Totally agree. I bought the Super 120′s suit online recently, and the skirt arrived with a fallen hem! Are you kidding me? Not so super, j crew. I took it straight to the store to have their tailor fix it. Very disappointing. For the price of that suit, it would seem to be better quality!

      • J. Crew is counting on its consumers having strong associations with the brand that we won’t notice inferior quality. I recently recommended the Sophia dress to a friend – I wore it in a wedding just 3 years ago. Mine was 100% silk and cost about $200. The same dress is now the same price but 100% polyester. Shenanigans!

        • Honey Pillows :

          WHOA. That is really dismaying. I have a silk cardigan from The Crew from… oh jeeze, 10 years ago, that’s still going strong.

          I’ve bought some suits in the past few years that seemed to be of the same good quality, but I’m saddened to hear how the quality has fallen.

        • Seriously? I used those dresses for my bridesmaids a few years back and they were lovely heavy silk that was well priced for the quality. So annoyed to hear they’ve changed to polyester – esp. since I’ve recommended that dress to loads of people!

    • i was just on the limited’s website investigating my comment below, it looks like they have lots of tie-neck blouses with short sleeves that are similar to your j.crew pick, but i don’t see any in ivory-ish

    • Forever 21 has a few cute blouses last time I checked but not ivory or short sleeved. This appears to fit the bill though it is sleeveless. http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/charter-club-top-sleeveless-bow-blouse?ID=696185&CategoryID=255&LinkType=PDPZ1

    • Receiving one from BR this afternoon! They have 30% of everything right now, which should put it in your price range, I’ll see if I can find the link.

    • I have ordered things from eshakti before and while their quality is somewhat inconsistant I usually like what I get. They have an ivory tie neck blouse for $44, and if you sign up, you get a $20 coupon off your first order (it used to be no minimum purchase, but I can’t swear to that now since I haven’t checked). All of their clothes are customizable, so while this one is longer sleeves, you canorder it with a variety of sleeve lengths. Returns are easy too.

      http://www.eshakti.com/Product/CL0024470/Side-tie-neck-top

    • New York and Company has some available for less than $50. I prefer the sleeveless version because of the odd way the sleeves end on the other version.

      Link to follow.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I saw one in Lands End’s newest catalog, available in “sand bar” for $60. They frequently have sales/codes. http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-short-sleeve-bow-front-blouse~242213_59.html

      It looked much cuter in the catalog than it does online…

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        Ha! I bought this Lands’ End shirt a couple of weeks ago and have received tons of compliments on it. And it’s machine washable!!!

      • I just saw in a Lands End Canvas email, they have jumped on the polka dot train as well! So, if you’re lookin for “the dots” check em out!

    • So expensive!

    • Legally Red :

      Thanks for reading my mind and asking this! I am on a similar hunt. :)

  10. DC ladies,

    I’m hoping you can help me identify a good make-up consultant in the area – I’m thinking a specific person at Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdale’s, etc that I could go to and get some new product. I wear very little make-up generally, but am almost out of what little I do have and could use some professional help moving forward. In short, I’m in my early 30s and it would be nice to start looking like an adult.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    • No specific person in mind, but I have had luck at Bluemercury in Georgetown

    • Seconding Bluemercury, but I go to the one in Dupont.

      • Thirding Bluemercury, but the salespeople at the Dupont one were completely rude to me on more than one occasion. The people at the Farrugut one are much nicer.

    • locomotive :

      I love the NARS counter salespeople at Nordstroms at tysons.

    • This is going to sound so creepy, but I can’t remember this woman’s name. I went to the NARS counter in Nordies @ Pentagon City and there was a young woman (tallish, white/paler complexion, dark hair) with great makeup. Very helpful, took her time, and showed me every step of how to achieve the look I was going for. She wasn’t pushy about products and wasn’t only pushing nars products. She was a big fan of smashbox primer. If I think of it I will repost, but she was SO helpful

  11. has anyone sen the foulard-print dress at the limited in person? is it awesome or tacky? link to follow.

  12. (former) Clueless Summer :

    Ladies…if your firm/workplace had a social/cocktail hour with booze and snacks provided, what sort of snacks would you like to eat? (examples of what we’ve had before include sushi platters, pizza, spring rolls/asian appies, etc.) Just looking for creative ideas!

  13. T. McGill :

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a post-pregnancy support band/girdle? Do they actually work at permanently sucking in the stomach/waist/hips? Thanks in advance!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Are you looking for figure enhancement or abdominal support?

      I had diastasis recti so badly after my second pregnancy that I needed something just to keep me upright. I got a post-surgical band from the hospital pharmacy – essentially the same thing as a belly bandit, but white and only $8.50. It saved me. While it kept everything in, it added bulk, so it wasn’t a figure-flattering option. I definitely believe that it helped get my abs somewhat back in line (I went from being able to put my entire hand into my abdomen to “only” a two-finger gap from rib to pelvis). I only wore it for maybe two weeks immediately post-partum. After that, I was in a place where I could approach the issue using exercises.

      If you’re just looking for belly skin trimming, I’d look at normal shapewear. I’ve hear of “Lunbarwear” brand that are supposedly oriented towards post-partum, but have no experience.

    • I have a friend who said the belly bandit worked great for her. She’s also a runner and swimmer and was in fabulous shape pre-pregnancy. I think that had a lot more to do with it.

      I bought one, but it was so hot in August and September after my baby was born that I couldn’t stand to wear it. So, maybe a better option if you have a baby in cooler weather.

      • T. McGill :

        I’m looking for figure slimming and abdominal support. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m just lazy, or the weight of my chest (I’m nursing), or weak abdominal muscles, but I feel like I’m slouching and hunching my shoulders all the time. I’ve been hearing good things about the belly bandit, so maybe I will give it a try.

        • Miss Rumphius :

          No personal experience, but a friend of mine really liked her Bellefit and said it made an immediate difference from both a posture and figure slimming perspective.

    • I wore one for about two weeks after my c section. It is called a dale abdominal binder and you get it at the pharmacy. That is to support muscles post surgery.

      For slimming the tummy, in asia, we use massage and also the traditional belly binding.

  14. K...in transition :

    So frustrated with the job… don’t get me wrong, it’s a job and it’s at a school so the hours/vacation are great. But it pays the same as unemployment (once you account for gas spent commuting) and, after spending 9 mos telling myself to just hold on financially until a job came, every minor thing at work now feels bigger because I’m no better off now in my bank account while I’m up at 6 and dealing with work stress than I was when I was on my couch job hunting in my sweats. I guess there isn’t really a point to this except to vent but man, I hope a VA job comes someday so I’m making solid money and feel like going to work is financially worth it!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Hang in there, K! Always good to have more experience on your resume, and to get back into the rhythm of working before VA comes along. Maybe run “experiments” on how you like to manage yourself, organize yourself, etc – basically, what is the very best way for K to work at her best? Then, when VA comes along, you’ve already been “training” to be the very best K at the VA you can be and you can hit the ground at full sprint of awesomeness. Also, yoga?

      • K...in transition :

        It’s certainly an exercise in restraint and in learning to accept the mediocre around me when I’m not in a position to change those things. I guess my biggest frustration is that I’d been planning to live off the same unemployment income amount and use the rest to pay off the debt from my pup’s vet bills earlier this year and maybe even be able to save enough to buy myself small diamond earrings (something I’ve wanted since I was about 15) for my upcoming 30th birthday. Knowing that I now have to probably take in a roommate and can’t afford to run through McD’s without crunching numbers and certainly won’t be paying down the debt any time soon AND being surrounded by some mediocre work just makes me a little batty.

        (disclaimer: Not calling anyone mediocre as a person, but the pay rate being so low means the boss knows hiring is tough, so being fired is all but impossible, leading some/many to slack a whole lot, doing mediocre work.)

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Ugh, sorry to hear about this, hugs and hang in there. It is usually easier to get a job if you already have a job although I appreciate being at work severely limits time spent hunting. But, it may be a good thing in the long run even though it sucks financially!

    • Wasn’t it you that posted an article about yourself on here recently? Be careful what you link to…

      • While Hmm’s comment below was far too harsh, I agree with other-anon: be careful, K!

        • agreed. my cousin works in the same field and area as you now and reads this site (hello!). She would never be in a position to fire you, but if you were my coworker and I read that, I would definitely have a different/negative opinion of you. For every 100 people that comment, there’s 400 that read and don’t comment.

    • I’ve gone back and forth about whether this is constructive and worth sharing with you, and I’m still not entirely sure. But this is about the 50th time I’ve had this thought, so here goes nothing.

      So much of what you post about yourself suggests that your life isn’t really in a very good place. None of it is necessarily your “fault,” but I do have the feeling you have a lot of growing and maturing to do. This is true for many people here. But when you then offer out your services as a remote therapist/counselor, I just can’t see you being the right person for the job.

      • I agree with this. And I say it out of a place of love which is why I’ve never said it before, I didn’t want to come out wrong. But you seem unable to handle small things that go wrong, and it becomes this big mountain. I have a friend like you (who I love) but she does the same thing, its a bit of a persecution complex almost.

        • K...in transition :

          Wanna know a secret? Therapists and social workers are people too. We have marital issues and fights with our kids and annoying parents and the whole bit. Another secret? This site is meant to be a supportive community, a place to share and to vent and to celebrate and everything in between. I’m sorry to spoil whatever amazing image you have of the perfect lives a person should have in order to be qualified to help others, but man, do I wish the diplomas and licenses came with some magic wand making me immune to the whole deal! ;)

          • That’s all true, but at the same time, there are a lot of things that shouldn’t be shared with people with whom you are seeking to develop a professional relationship. I am an investment management professional, and there is simply no way I’d share messy details about my personal life (e.g., relationship problems and icky health issues) like I do here and then ask people to trust me with their money. It shows a lack of professionalism and good sense.

            There’s something honest and admirable about posting everything under your same handle, but for me, I just shake my head every time I see you soliciting clients on here. You’ve probably drummed up some business from people who feel differently – more power to you – but to the extent you ever want to focus more seriously on private practice, my advice would be to maintain an online presence that first and foremost conveys your qualifications and professionalism.

          • K, I agree its a place to vent and a supportive community. No one has perfect lives. I think hmm was saying its different complaining as much as you do and the way you do it when people know your identity is different. Like if I do it 5 times under different names, no one realizes its the same person. when you do it, its starting to be like, ok K we get it, everything is awful. And its always like “just when I thought I would catch a break, this happens” Its your attitude about the bad things, like the universe is conspiring against you. So in summary, its the way you complain about it, and then offer your services. Hmm isnt saying (i dont think) that you can’t be a good social worker if bad things happens. Its that you personally dont seem to be able to handle the bad things that happen to you in a productive normal way, which I would not share if you want to do therapy work with clients from here.

            You seem like a lovely friend and sweet person, but I totally see the point hmm was making here. Theres another poster who I really, really like whose resume I saw a few months ago. But she admits she spends all her time at her job on here and doing her blog and stuff. I really think people forget that if you reveal your identity, you have to assume some of your colleagues are in the crowd and plan accordingly.

          • Okay, ladies, time to stop piling on. She has stopped reading and this is getting out of hand. Despite the fact that she has absorbed three major hits in the past year (job, relationship, pet with attending financial disaster), K has, until recently, remained positive and has continued to offer helpful advice here no matter what was going on with her. Unfortunately, her recent move, which seemed like the best choice at the time, has been a pretty souls*cking experience. To go from great job and great life in NYC to what she’s dealing with now would throw anyone. She has never set herself up to have a private practice. It’s something she has done on the side and only offers where it seems appropriate. In fact, this time, I suggested it to her. So go ahead, attack me.

          • Nola, I know your real life friends with her but I think both comments were meant in a loving way. K has posted many comments where she gets a hundred “hugs” and best wishes comments. I think people are giving some constructive criticism, and that is valuable too. When you post so much of your life, I think u need to take the critisim and the positive together

          • I get what you’re saying, cc, but there is such a thing as kicking a person when she’s down and it’s not called for.

      • Tired Squared :

        Poster Hmm, I think you’re right — that some of K’s posts do sound like her life isn’t really in a very good place. But I feel like that’s part of the reason we all comment — to ask for advice, to vent, etc.

        I also disagree on the “right person for the job” part of your comment. First, I think that choosing someone for therapy is a very personal choice, since we all have different personalities and preferences. Second, K seems to be a rather positive person, and she seems very willing to help the people that she reaches out to. She might not be the right person for you, and since I haven’t used her services, I don’t know if she would be the right person for me — but she could certainly be the right person for someone else.

    • Blue state :

      Man, this is the kind of comment that is like red meat for Republicans. I am glad you feel safe enough to share that thought–it is a testament to this online community.

      I can see lots of positives to your current situation. Let me offer five possible ones:

      1. Unemployment insurance eventually runs out.
      2. It is easier to find a new job when you are already working.
      3. Your being in this job now will pay dividends down the road, in the medium and likely long term, because your resume will not be blank for this time.
      4. Besides filling a blank on your resume, you are keeping skills sharp, maybe learning new skills, creating a network with your new colleagues (who I realize you may not think highly of, but you never know who they know or have worked with in the past), and you are getting out of the house and seeing people face to face each day.
      5. Presumably you are helping people — this is worth a lot of karma and hopefully the importance and value of your work provides additional motivation and sense of accomplishment.

      As for the diamonds earrings, I hear you. I have read on this board that it is easy to tell fakes from real. I can’t, and I am happy with my Ann Taylor CZs, which I probably wear 3 times a week. Good luck!

      • K...in transition :

        agreeing with everything and was venting, not at all saying I’d rather be on unemployment than work, simply that the income difference isn’t as high as I’d have hoped! :)

  15. Looking for some shopping help/suggestions if anyone is bored and wants to kill some time before kicking off their Friday night. I’d like to buy a piece of jewelry — preferably a necklace but earrings might do the trick as well — in the $500-1000 range. This is WAY more than I normally spend, but I’d like to buy something really nice that I will get a lot of use out of for a long time.

    With that in mind, it cannot be something that is a huge statement or very trendy. At the same time, a standard “classic” piece (e.g., pearls, diamond solitaire earrings, etc.) is not really my style. Think ladylike, but with a twist. I also gravitate towards vintage pieces but am open to more modern items as well. Any ideas for something fun but still wearable?

  16. Potentially silly questions, for lawyer Corporettes with long hair (in my case, below shoulders; above brastrap): do you wear it up or down for court appearances, and if up, how do you style it?

    • Up, in a sort of bun. I feel it’s less distracting. But I’ve seen lawyers who look fine with their hair down – as in, they seem comfortable enough with it that they don’t play with it or adjust it unconsciously, and they look better with hair down than up.

  17. Trying this again because I forgot an asterick.

    Potentially silly questions, for lawyer Corporettes with long hair (in my case, below shoulders; above br* strap): do you wear it up or down for court appearances, and if up, how do you style it?

    • Usually up, in a bun (the spiral bobby pins are amazing), hairsprayed a little to tame the flyaways. I don’t think down is a problem, though, as long as you don’t play with it and it stays neat and out of your face.

    • Occasionally I wear it down, but more often I wear it in a sleek low pony tail, which I think looks the most professional on me.

    • Tired Squared :

      I generally wear it down, parted on one side — it’s super easy to brush it out in the morning, part it, and leave. My hair is probably at/past bra strap level at the moment, so it stays behind my shoulders without needing to adjust it all the time.

      If I’m feeling fancy, then I pin the top part back (is the right term for that half-up half down?) with a nice pin.

  18. Does anyone have the Cartier love bracelet? worth the money or no one will even recognize it? I like what it symbolizes but the price tag is pretty hefty. I can afford it but feel guilty about spending so much for a material item.

    • If you like that it symbolizes love, then I say get it if you can afford it. But if it’s important for people to “recognize” it and that it’s expensive… that seems like less of a reason, but to each her own.

    • every married or engaged girl in mid-town seems to have one, people will recognize it. i actually like the aesthetic of it alot but will never get one because its too recognizable.

      • I’m the same way as you. I love what it symbolizes and think the design aesthetic is great, but its popularity significantly diminishes those two characteristics.

      • This. Depending on where you are in the country, it will either be totally recognized but also seemingly on every 3rd person’s wrist OR no one will think it’s special. Personally, I would go with a really nice gold bangle. Symbolism is personal, the cartier bracelet is just marketing.

  19. eastbaybanker :

    I was working until 3 AM(!) last night, and didn’t make it to any Fashion Night Out events. Such a bummer. Did anyone hit up any fun events or get any good swag online?

    • i was also working til 3am and didn’t make it to any FNO events (and i write for a fashion blog as a hobby and was scheduled to cover some events). sigh, total commiseration.

  20. Can anyone suggest a good template for a conflicts waiver?

    We have several clients that want us to represent all of them on a single estate matter, and my boss wants me to prepare (1) A notice of conflict letter and (2) a conflict waiver. So far I am not finding anything on Westlaw, but we don’t have any of the forms databases. If I knew a specific one to look for I could go over to the law library and get it.

    Thanks very much in advance!

  21. (former) Clueless Summer :

    Moderation…bah.

    Ladies…if your firm/workplace had a social/c***tail hour with booze and snacks provided, what sort of snacks would you like to eat? (examples of what we’ve had before include sushi platters, pizza, spring rolls/asian appies, etc.) Just looking for creative ideas!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Bacon wrapped figs with goat cheese. Mini crab cakes. Prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Mini quiche. Mac and cheese bites. God I’m hungry.

      • These all sound great. I would think things that don’t require a lot in the way of cutting or utensils would be great. I always find cheese platters messy and unsanitary looking.

    • BACON WRAPPED SCALLOPS

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Anything that can fit in my hand and be swallowed in 1-2 bites is ideal, I think. Crostinis tend to go over pretty well, as do bacon wrapped scallops, mini crab cakes, etc.

      I love when there is some kind of bread (like flatbread or make your own bruschetta) or something there, since I’m usually drinking at these things and having something to soak up the booze in my tummy seems to prevent too many “omg I accidentally got drunk” moments.

    • anon in tejas :

      love love love greek/Mediterranean (hummus, veggies, rolled grape leaves, pita bread, feta, kebabs) and italian (salamis, cheese, garlic bread, brusetta, etc.)

    • Vegetarian options are appreciated, but from a vegetarians like to eat perspective and vegetarians like to not drink on an empty stomach perspective.

      You said you’ve had pizza, have you had breadsticks (both sweet and savory dipping sauces)? Quesadillas, chips, and a salsa bar. Indian food (mini samosas, pakoras, etc.).

    • Not sure it goes with c***tails, but I summered at a firm that had an ice cream happy hour maybe every other Friday. Big tubs (a gallon? the kind they dip out of in the ice cream store) of fancy ice cream with toppings in the conference room. When I accepted the summer job offer, they invited me to that week’s ice cream party to celebrate and I knew I’d chosen the right firm!

      • Now THAT’s my kind of happy hour.

      • Anne Shirley :

        oh god I would love an adult ice cream float bar. gin, tonic, and lime sorbet? coke, rum, and coconut ice cream.

        sadly, i know of no law firm cool enough for this

        • Ooh, love this idea.

        • The Herbie, Esq. Law Firm PLLC will have an adult ice cream float bar during the summer. And a full bar year round, obviously.

          • And if your law firm would like to hire an Event Planner to help with the planning of the adult ice cream float bar and any other events, esp those involving fondue, please call me. I’ll work cheap, I promise ;o)

    • FONDUE.

    • Beligan beer + belgian waffles.

  22. Okay, having a hard time getting out of moderation on this one for some reason. I have a somewhat silly question for lawyer Corporettes with long/medium-long hair (mine is below my shoulders but above the clothing item that gets me sent to moderation).

    What do you do with your hair for court appearances? Blow it out and wear it down? Put it up? And if you put it up, how do you style it?

    • Em, the name of this site will put you in moderation every time. Even the letters e t t e at the end of a word will do it. Your post (3-4 versions) came through this morning.

      • Thank you – I didn’t realize that, though of course I’ve seen people space it out or avoid the name of the site so I should have twigged. Apologies to everyone for the spam.

  23. Anonforthis :

    Friday afternoon vent. My boss has had my 7 day vacation request for my wedding/honeymoon on his desk FOREVER. I have reminded him about it multiple times over the last three weeks (when I realized it hadn’t been signed and started to panic). So far this year he has made me take all of my vacation (6 days so far this year) unpaid. 4 of those days were negotiated before I ever started working here. This afternoon when I brought him my vacation request he told me how I’ve taken more vacation than anyone else this year and said he’d take a look at my request on Monday. REALLY hoping one of the 4 jobs I’ve interviewed for in the past week pans out.

    • Do you have a set number of vacation days? If so, what’s with giving you a hard time about taking them? Also, how many other people in your office got married this year? If the answer is zero, I think you get extra slack for what (presumably) will be a one-time event in your life.

      • Anonforthis :

        Exactly. I have 12 vacation days per year, NONE OF WHICH I HAVE USED (because he made me take other stuff unpaid). Not to mention the accrued sick time I could use as well… No one else is getting married. He gave another associate a rough time about taking three days off the week between xmas and new years. The guy is just a Grade A jerk and I’m so over it.

        • How can he force you to take unpaid leave?

          • Anonforthis :

            “If you want those days off, you’ll have to take them unpaid.” I could have argued with him but I’ve seen enough to know it’s a losing battle (hence the interviews).

        • Ok fine, unpaid vacation days. But do you at least get to have your vacation days cashed out at the end of the year? Because if not, we’re gonna have to start laying the smackdown….

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Ew. Your boss sucks. That said, if it’s your first year there and it’s September, you’ve taken 6 days already, you are taking 7 more for wedding/honeymoon (totally understandable) and will probably also take some time at Christmas and Thanksgiving, that seems like a lot of vacation time for your first year of work (I think 2 weeks is standard for the first year?). I understand your wedding/honeymoon is a one time event, but I guess I could see how that would raise eyebrows at a place with a strict vacation policy.

      If you already negotiated certain days off before you started, and he is now making you take them unpaid, I think you need to remind him of your original agreement.

      • Interesting. Is that the convention for places that don’t have a fixed number of vacation days, or is that true for associates anywhere? If you have a set number of vacation days (say, 3 weeks), is it still standard to take only two weeks off anyway during the first year?

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          To me, this doesn’t make any sense? I will have four weeks of vacation next year, and while I’m not sure I’ll take all of it–I don’t see the point of limiting it to only two weeks. I get four weeks!

          • Yeah, me neither. I just didn’t understand why momentsofabsurdity said that a first year should limit her vacation to two weeks…

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            No I didn’t mean a first year should limit their vacation – I didn’t even know you were an attorney (I am not and have no idea how that should work). I just mean everywhere I’ve seen it’s standard to be allowed somewhere around 2 weeks vacation the first year (in a relatively entry-level position), with a gradual increase with longevity at the company.

            I missed that you were taking it unpaid (although I would assume there’s some reasonable limit to unpaid days as well). Obviously if you are given more vacation time as a standard, then you should use all or most of it, unless you can bank it.

    • Are you not entitled to those days? Time to talk to HR!

  24. Anonymous :

    Am curious – how much do you guys spend on clothes/shoes/makeup/bags each month on an avg?

    • eastbaybanker :

      This question has generated some…uh…lively discussion in the past. See the 11/10/2009 post.

      • This question is more relevant if asked as a % of total income or % of total expendable income.

        (someone spending $300/month making $25k/year vs someone making $150k)

    • I spend around 5-10% of my net income
      For larger investment pieces, I save monthly until I feel comfortable shelling a relatively large amount on a single piece.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m about the same. About 5% of my take home pay. I’m trying to aggressively pay down my student loan debt, so it’s typically close to that but sometimes less.

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