Weekend Open Thread

  Marcia Moran "Midnight" 18k Gold-Plated Dark Blue Druzy Organic Stone RingSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

While photographing my own work jewelry collection this past week, I started thinking about some of my favorite pieces that I probably wouldn’t wear to work — and one of them is definitely the druzy ring that my husband got me for my birthday this year. It’s sparkly but subdued, it wasn’t too expensive so I feel comfortable wearing it in a variety of situations, and I always get comments. This large cocktail ring looks even better than mine — it’s $270 at Endless. (Incidentally, Endless will soon be shuttered and become part of Amazon — so I’m hoping for some great closing sales!) Marcia Moran “Midnight” 18k Gold-Plated Dark Blue Druzy Organic Stone Ring, Size 6

(L-3)

Comments

  1. Project 333 :

    Hi ladies. I wanted to discuss Project 333. In the last few months, I’ve been forced to live out my own version of Project 333. I moved to a new city with a suitcase, intending to find permanent housing. Months later, I am still in furnished short term housing. I wear the same few shirts to work week after week. I feel like a caged animal. I ache to be reunited with the contents of my closet.

    Has anybody else tried Project 333 and felt this way?

    • Merabella :

      How long have you been doing this? I would think that after more than 3 months I’d be getting bored too. You may just need a boost in what you have. Get yourself a few new tops or cardigans, or even new accessories to spice it up, but not take up too much space.

    • I’m also curious about this. Is anyone doing this who works in a formal-dress office? Is it do-able?

      • Doable. But if by “formal-dress” you mean “business formal,” count each suit (regardless of its number of pieces) as one item — otherwise, you actually might go nuts.

      • I am doing this and in fact have written about it in several threads this week, including one yesterday where I listed the items I have been wearing for the past two months. It is perfectly doable, though I haven’t been strictly following the rules but have just been doing a version of it.

  2. Ano For This :

    Has anyone ever done VISTA? I am at something of a career crossroads and considering applying to some of the programs as a way to refocus and relaunch my career, and get the hell away from corporate America. I have been working a lucrative but meaningless (to me) career for quite a while now, but the thought of continuing down this path until retirement makes me want to hurl. I also have decent cash savings, so the financial hit of VISTA isn’t really concerning to me. The programs posted as “looking for applicants” are things I’m passionate about, located in areas I would like to live (understand that rural America doesn’t scare me in the least, having grown up in it), and my skills from my current job should transfer pretty well.

    If anyone has done VISTA in the past, I would appreciate some feedback on the experience and the application process, especially timing, which is very vague on the site. Thanks in advance!

    • @ Ano For This: I have been in my career of choice for almost 13 years, and it started with my one-year apprenticeship with Americorps Public Allies, a program of the Corporation for National and Community service, like VISTA. I can’t sing the praises high enough–I had planned on a career in business but the calling wasn’t there. Public Allies (PA) allowed me to work directly in communities (I was in PA Delaware, 1998-1999) in partnership with the University of DE Extension Service. I learned invaluable lessons in public servanthood, conflict “engagement” AND resolution, the importance of “team,” and the concept that waiting on someone else to make positive change is irresponsible, when we have the capacity to do it ourselves. And best of all for me, it prepared me for my career as an Extension agent in Florida, where I now serve in community development and administration. As far as the application process, if you have a location in mind you may want to consider contacting the local VISTA office. But I also highly recommend Public Allies, which you can Google for more info. PA was for ages 18-30 when I participated, and that may have changed by now. Hope this is helpful.

    • I didn’t but my parents met as VISTA volunteers in the 70s. So I’m a product of VISTA literally. :-)

      • a passion for fashion :

        my parents didnt meet, but my mom followed my dad while he did VISTA. I didnt even know it stills existed. this makes me smile.

    • layered bob :

      I had a terrible experience with AmeriCorps, and many of my AmeriCorps friends did too.

      I know that many people have amazing experiences, and I think my site’s issues were mainly site-specific. So go into the interviews with eyes wide open, looking for any sign of mismanagement or disorganization or lack of a clear mission/vision, and you’ll probably be ok.

      • I also had a not-so-great experience. I agree, definitely investigate the agency/organization you’re thinking about working for. Not all VISTAs are created equal.

      • I did the VISTA program right out of college and had a great experience at my organization. Americorps was pretty hands off after the initial weekend training, but there were many VISTAs at my organization, and we had a lot of fun together. Even 6 years out, the people I worked with continue to be some of my best friends and the experience set me on a career path in the non profit world. That being said, a mid-career change is a different experience and I agree with the commenter above that you should choose your organization wisely. Look closely at the management and structure of the organization, pay close attention to the director’s leadership style. Does they have a clear mission and vision, do they have some sort of a strategic plan, how is their financial situation? What do their clients and the community think about them? How do they communicate internally and externally? Many non profits have communication issues and inefficiencies and this is definitely the number one frustration from employees/consultants/volunteers that I’ve worked with coming from a corporate perspective. You need to consider before committing to the role how you will approach change and how you might deal with setbacks, refusal to make changes.
        Americorps seems good about checking out their organizational partners but you should do your own homework. If you have specific skills (ie communications, marketing, fundraising, finance) you might also consider volunteering or serving on a board in your area first. I definitely recommend the VISTA route, but be certain you understand everything involved before you make the move.

    • I was an americorps VISTA and loved it!
      But i agree that the site makes all the difference. For me, I wanted to work with a particular non profit and they happened to take VISTAs, and that was the sole reason i applied to the program. So I was very focused in where I wanted to go. Other people I know that did the program and just applied to Americorps and were placed somewhere didn’t have as good of an experience.
      My experience is that Americorps/VISTA does not provide much, if any support. I had a supervisor in NYC (I was on the west coast) who contacted me about 4 times a year, asked one or two questions and that’s it. That was fine with me, but just know that going in. I think we had a weekend regional training where I met a bunch of other Vistas and had fun, but can’t say I learned a ton.
      I did, however, learn tons and gain great, great, experience at my non profit. At my site, vistas were treated like full members of the staff and I had the opportunity to work at an exciting, well-known organization in a “staff” position straight out of college. It was a great decision.
      Also, one of my supervisors at the organization was a former VISTA who had a mid-career change. She had been a biglaw attorney, done VISTA for a year, and was ultimately hired at the organization. From what I remember, she said it was a huge change in lifestyle, but that she didn’t regret it. She ultimately left the organization to go to a prestigious NGO where she utilized her attorney skills and the connections she made at the non profit, so I think it worked out very well for her.

      If you do it, please report back, I’d love to hear!

    • I did AmeriCorps State, not VISTA, so I can’t comment on the specifics of the application–but I just wanted to encourage you to go for it! It might not be the most well-compensated or prestigious path in the world, but I grew immensely from my two-year stint, and it provided me with both marketable skills and career focus.

      Good luck!

  3. Anne Shirley :

    @HoneyPillows. Everytime I read your name, I think of one of those push-up bras filled with water but with honey. From this day forward my b00b$ shall be known as honey pillows :)

    • Unfortunately, all I think of is HoneyBooBoo. Which is really unfortunate.

      • a dolla make me holla!

      • Actually, I am embarrassed to admit I’ve watched a couple of those shows. Despite the more unfortunate aspects of the show, that little girl is very smart and I think is going to go pretty far in life.

        • Shamefaced :

          Me too, Nonny. I want to laugh and cry at the same time, because I think even the mom is pretty smart, but that lifestyle and lack of hygine and manners…. yeesh. You can see the cycle repeating itself with the unhealthy eating habits, teen pregnancy, etc. But they look so happy!, and then I think maybe I’m the one doing it wrong with my vegetables and teeth brushing and rat race of a white collar job.

          • aesthetic intelligence :

            Oh gosh, you mean maybe the joke is on us?!

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I haven’t watched the show but my husband and I were driving through a fairly poor town on a weekday. We saw all these people having bbq’s and drinking beers with friends on their lawns. We sat at a red light, watched them laugh, and wondered how much happier they are with their day to day life then “us.” Money can’t buy happiness.

        • I have cousins that live in the same small southern town as the Honey Boo Boo family. They swear they are not “putting on” and are like that in real life.

          One particular incident they described was her in a grocery store parking lot, yelling to passersby that NOBODY ever told her that Ding Dongs make you fat, and how unfair that was, and passing them out/throwing them at people because she was ridding her car of these snacks that she had just discovered were unhealthy.

      • I think of Honey Badger, but I’m concerned that now I’ll think of Honey Boo-Boo instead.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Hmm… Might have to get a new moniker…

        Honey Pillows are fried dough covered in honey and cinnamon sugar sold at a local pizzeria. Naturally, I thought of b00bs, and sn1ggered a little, and decided that would be my handle.

        Honey BooBoo is not an acceptable substitution.

    • a passion for fashion :

      this just made me think of an adorable encounter i had with my son, who is 5, earlier this week. I was in my room cleaning up my clothes that were strewn everywhere and he was helping me put stuff back in drawers. He opened my top drawer and said “oh mom, this is where you keep all of your n!pple covers!” (meaning my br@s)

      • a passion for fashion :

        and the moral, which it was clearly to late in the day for me to recall, is that my br@s will forever be known in our household as n!pple covers.

  4. Anon for this :

    I just want to whine a bit, and hopefully feel better :)

    So far, I’ve spent over $1K on my sister’s wedding up until this point, am not the maid of honor, but got stuck planning the shower. It’s tonight, I feel horrible (infection) and I just want to sleep. I am so not in the state of mind to be nice to people at a bridal shower tonight. Especially since very few people RSVP’d and someone who did is bringing an 8 YEAR OLD to a l1ngere! shower.

    Love my sister, but I’m not even convinced these two should get married, so I suspect all my money and time is going to something that won’t last. (I do realize though, that she’ll {hopefully} remember my efforts and be thankful at least…and do hope for the absolute best for them both)

    I want to go home and sleep, but I can’t take off work, and then have to go straight to shower preparations after work. :/

    • Shower Blues :

      Hang in there! I hope you’re on antibiotics and that they kick in soon and you feel better.

      • Thanks! I am on antibiotics, so I’m hoping they kick in soon too! Started yesterday, so maybe today? (Might be wishful thinking :)

    • Every hour is an hour closer to getting to go home and go to bed!!!

      • That’s so true! (Even though I’m not going home, staying at my sister’s house) But even so…every hour gets me closer to bed and sleep! :)

    • Treat yourself to your favorite coffee/cupcake/snack/shop on your way to the shower tonight.

      • Merabella :

        I second this suggestion. Feel free to give yourself ALL THE TREATS! Just remember that you don’t have to be front and center at this thing. Get all the stuff put out and then just kind of recede into the background during the shower.

        Can you get someone to clean up for you instead of having to do it yourself? Or find someone who can help you out so you aren’t stuck there longer than you need to be?

        • Merabella, That’s very true, and it probably wouldn’t be happy if I was front and center. I will keep that in mind! Hopefully my family pitches in to clean (they usually do), but I plan to ask if they don’t help!

        • x3 on ALL THE TREATS!

          Hoping everything goes as smoothly as possible so, as others have said, you can make your appearance and sort of fade into the background until you can get some well deserved rest. Feel better!

      • I just may do that. Can’t shop because I’m on a shopping ban, but Starbucks may get another customer this afternoon to keep me happy on the hour long drive up to my Mom’s house! :)

        • I think you need some scones and liquid deliciousness to help the antibiotics fight the infection. I am currently finishing off a blackberry scone and blended chai as some preventative medicine.

    • Ugh, that sucks! I hate showers in general, and it’s even worse when you have to plan one. Why do only the women get stuck having to endure these cutesy themes and games and the expense of an additional present? (I do say this as someone who is being forced by in-laws to have a shower, so take it for what it’s worth :) )

      • I hate showers in general too (and mostly weddings for what it’s worth.) I sympathize with you on the in-laws…I was forced to have a wedding and TWO showers by my in-laws. I was not a happy camper.

        I also have a baby shower this weekend…both showers are an hour away from home, so I don’t get to go home! I’m staying with family to save gas rather than driving up three times this weekend (my husband’s request :/) .

        I think men should be forced to attend, so they understand our pain. :) haha.

        • Merabella :

          Can you bail on the baby shower and just go home? Sometimes you just have to say “Sorry dude, I care about your baby and all, but I love me, and I need to take care of myself.”

          • I wish I could. The baby belongs to my other sister…so I’m pretty much expected to be there. I may not stay the entire time though.

        • You’re sick. You get to bail on the baby shower. You wouldn’t want to get the soon to be mommy ill (all about spinning it). Send your regrets and take the nyquil nap :)

          • True – mention it to your mom and other sister this evening about how you’re coming down with something.

          • True story. I had to stay in a hotel when my pregnant sister-in-law came to stay with us during the swine flu thing because they were worried I’d give it to her (there were like give of them and only one of me). Of course I didn’t have swine flu…but I did have a fever and fevers can be bad for pregnant ladies and babies no matter what…so…

          • Yeah, I think you have a good excuse for the baby shower. I definitely would not go. Maybe your other sister can set up a video chat for you, at least for the present opening.

          • If you have a diagnosed infection please don’t go to the baby shower. My adorable nephew gave me a cold when I was 6.5 months pregnant that then turned into a sinus infection b/c pregnant women are really limited in terms of the drugs they can take. I finally got a doctor to prescribe me something to kick the sinus infection but I was totally miserable for a good month.
            Oh – and now they’ve linked fevers/infections in the mom during pregnancy to an increased rise in autism. Not trying to start a firestorm over that – but a casual mention of that news on top of the infection should be more than enough to get you out of the shower!

          • I may take the “I’m sick and need to rest” route, though my infection isn’t contageous at all (wisdom tooth that is growing in is infected, makes it hard to eat, and the infection is in my lymph nodes in my throat, so I’m just feeling icky.). It sounds lame, but it really is miserable.

          • You should DEFINITELY talk to your family at the beginning of the shower tonight, not the end, tell them your tooth infection is making you feel horrible, and ask someone else to take responsibility ahead of time for the clean up, so you can go straight to bed as soon as everyone leaves. SERIOUSLY. You need to do a little bit of advocating for yourself. And once you’ve done all the planning and spent money and the setup, and you are SICK, it is perfectly reasonable for you to ask someone else to clean up, and let you go to bed and get rest, *For The Baby Shower Tomorrow*. You need to ask for things for yourself sometimes, sweetie, please please please don’t clean up and get yourself to bed as soon as possible. Huggs!!

  5. Need recommendations on books for career/lifestyle

    Earlier this week, Kat recommended “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” to the Dazed and Confused Co-worker. I love this book and recommend it to all early career women (and certain sections to a few men that I’m close with that were getting walked on at work because they are too “nice”).

    What other career/lifestyle books does the hive recommend as must reads? My list is NGDCTCO, GTD and Suze Orman’s “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke”. I am also loving the Ask A Manager blog (not a manager now but considering the idea for future career goals), and a big thanks to whoever it was who recommended the Pomodoro technique sometime recently – this is one of my long breaks on that technique right now! Any other books/blogs/websites/techniques I should know about?

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I know you asked for books, but I really like the career tools podcasts that someone here rec’ed a while back.

    • AnonInfinity :

      What is your career? If you’re a new(ish) lawyer, there are some good career books out there.

      • Not a lawyer – I’m a scientist in R&D, out of school for 10 years, in industry for the past 7. Not too new to my career, but I am always willing to learn more and take advice. I work in a lab so my coworker mainly wear jeans/khakis and steel toed shoes are a daily requirement. I read this blog to drool over possibilities and to keep in touch with what the trends are, as well as for the comments, since most of the clothes wouldn’t make sense to me. I do occasionally have a need to dress up when meeting with clients or suppliers, so I like to keep an eye on suggestions for classics that I can wear for years. I’m starting to try to balance “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” with “don’t spend too much money on clothes that are regularly ruined”.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Oh awesome… That sounds like a fun job.

          • Sometimes its fun. Sometimes its just a job. The parts that you see on tv/movies involving scientists are actually about 10% of what we actually do all day, on a good day, and there usually aren’t very many “EUREKA!” moments – lots more “well that didn’t work, now what?” moments. And plenty of office politics and drama, often involving people with limited people/social skills. Fun times. But hey, if it was that fun, they wouldn’t have to pay us to do it.

            Thanks for the suggestions everyone, keep them coming!

        • LadyEnginerd :

          What color is your parachute was written by a guy whose degree is in the sciences, I believe. While nominally a book about job hunting, the advice about your career trajectory and finding a good fit for you is invaluable.

    • Mountain Girl :

      We could be twins! I love GTD and I also took the recommendation for the pomodoro technique from this website. I have found that it totally focuses my attention and makes me absolutely more productive. I found a great little download for the PC that times it for me. Thanks ‘rettes for the recommendations.

    • I like Crucial Conversations, about how to communicate difficult news to coworkers and bosses without getting defensive or inviting others to get defensive. Hard to implement, but awesome to think about.

    • There’s a list on the “Fans of the website ” group on GoodReads.

      Here are some of the books on the list:
      * Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
      * Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson
      * Pitch Like a Girl: Get Respect, Get Noticed, Get What You Want by Ronna Lichtenberg
      * The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert I. Sutton
      * Good Enough Is the New Perfect by Becky Beaupre Gillespie

  6. Wedding wear help? :

    What would you wear to a wedding under these conditions? I need suggestions!

    - Held at a midwestern winery (Midwest relevant because weddings are less dressy than some other regions)
    - Afternoon outdoor ceremony, evening indoor dinner/dance
    - October, could still be pretty warm
    - I’m 5’10″ and prefer something at the knee
    - I’m relatively slim but out of shape post-baby (waist/belly area = blech)

    I’ve been doing a lot of online browsing, and am stumped. Help!

  7. Anyone ever have to deal with being given admin type work at the office, when you’re not an admin?

    I’m JD/admitted…but only working a “JD preferred” corporate position right now. Most of my work product is substantive writing on tax, corporate law/issues. I have two supervisors, one immediate, one I work with maybe 1/3 of the time. The one I work with less tends to ask me to do things that, while harmless, make me actually wonder why he’s asking ME to do them (we have admins in the office). It ranges from making copies to making lunch reservations…today I got back from grabbing lunch, and there’s a note on my desk asking to make ONE power point slide, he just needed a title. It would literally take a tenth of the time to just make it himself as it does to walk all the way to my cubicle and write up the note about he wanted.

    I hope to not be in this job too much longer, I want to get out and practice…so I’m inclined to just let it roll off my shoulder…but it still makes me want to yell “I have degrees! I’m supposed to be writing reports, not making your copies!”

    Anyone else ever go through this? If nothing else, at least I got to vent : )

    • As a first year associate working late, I once had to show a senior partner how to attach files to emails, as his secretary had left for the day and he had no idea how to do it himself. No idea if this is the case with your one supervisor, but just suggesting that making a power point slide with a title is actually extremely challenging to many people who didn’t grow up with MS Office.

      • Many of the people in my office ask me to help them with MS Office, particularly power point. (Might be as a result of being 15-20 years younger than everyone in this part of the building, but they know I’m good with it.) I totally don’t mind when it’s something they don’t know how to do, but I know this guy knows how to work the basics of powerpoint. Even colleagues in the office point out that the stuff he asks me to do is a little ridiculous.

        But to everyone who replied, it feels so good to know I’m not the only one out there who feels this way sometimes!

    • One of the partners I occasionally work for does stuff like this. After a while in meetings when he would ask me to put something on his calendar or find someone’s phone number I just started saying things like, “Ok, I’ll probably just have [paralegal] do that,” or “Do you mind if I ask [admin person] to do that?” He’s always been fine with it. I hope it shows him that I can do higher-level things (he does give me these as well), and that I know how to delegate, but even if he doesn’t notice those things about me, at least I’m not stuck doing the boring admin stuff. Can you just staff these tasks out to someone who is an admin?

    • I once had a boss that assumed that in addition to my job responsibilities I was also his admin. Seriously. He had no understanding of what my job was. So I feel you. My advice is that you delegate to the admins. If he asks for lunch or travel, ask the admins, etc.

    • As a first year BigLaw associate, I had to wait around for several late nights (like into 3:00 or 4:00am territory) in case the mid-level needed anything. Where “anything” might mean a snack from the vending machine. Or making a copy (“a” copy as in one sheet of paper), or putting a stamp on an envelope (not finding one, but taking a stamp on her desk and putting it on an evelope on her desk). Ugh, thank you for this. Sometimes I get nostalgic for BigLaw (the high profile cases! the sleek car service cars! the glass and steel office buildings!) but I am really thankful right now that I’m not sitting around waiting for some fourth year to ask for a paper clip.

    • Uh, been there. Years ago. Turned out that I was far more effecient than the admin, so someone got wise and started bypassing the admin and asking me to do stuff.

      In my job, I confronted them (my job was NOT admin!) and suggested I spend time training the admin. If you are annoyed enough to say something, you might try a conversation about needing them to tell you where your admin’s job ends and yours begins. Of course, if this is a small org with an “all hands on deck” mentality, you may be stuck.

    • lawsuited :

      I’m a first year associate in a law firm, but because of my age and relative tech savvy, senior lawyers often ask me to help out with mundane computer-related tasks and problems. It doesn’t bother me.

    • This is the storey of my LIFE! I am admitted to the BAR in NY and have alot of expierence, but I still have to do alot of word proecesssing of my cases MYSELF, and ONLEY when I am done do I give it to the secretary for formatteing and finalizing! Can you imagine? I do the typeing work on all of the document’s FIRST, then give it to the SECRETARY! OMG! FOOEY on that!!!

      If it make’s you feel any better, I also do all of the copeying, and collateing of document’s, and I even prepare the FEDEX lables while she sit’s back and attend’s to the other partner all the time. FOOEY on that also.

      So when there was an Assistant’s day in April, guess what? I took MYSELF out for DELLI! Yay!!!!

      In re DELLI, I had it again today! My tuchus is getting so big now just thinkeing about the corn beef I got when Jim brought it over. It was NOT from Pastrami Queen however. He did NOT want to go uptown even though it is MY fave. He got it from some place I do not know on 46th Street. It was NOT that great. The corn beef was dry and they did NOT have good pickels. FOOEY! Anyway, we went over some of the diliegience material and he gave me a checklist he wanted me to follow when we go on site. I told him I was developeing my OWN checklist, but he did NOT like what I showed him. I spent 3 hour’s developeing that checklist, and the manageing partner told me that I could NOT bill for it. FOOEY. I do not know why I am workeing for nothing.

      Jim said that he knows of a place near the hotel we will be staying at that has Southern Barbaquuue. I do NOT like that, but he said we should try it. We shall see. I may wind up eateing COBB salad now that I am 11 lbs overweight. FOOEY!

    • Do you have an admin asst for your department? Because we have no admin assts where I work, and I do everything from make photocopies to go to CVS to buy bottled water for a meeting, and so does my boss and every other lawyer at my office.

    • gov't attorney :

      This was very common at my old job. I would say about 1/3 of my time was spent doing something a legal assistant could have been doing. The managing attorney really didn’t feel comfortable having assistants do certain tasks, and there were logistical issues that also resulted in attorneys doing a lot of administrative work.

      Now I’m sort of in the opposite situation. My assistant prefers to do some things herself that attorneys typically do in my group. There were benefits to the former system, as I felt like I really knew more about the organization’s processes than I do in the new system. Now everything just goes over my head and I feel like I am never going to be able to figure it out.

      • I am ad admin at an asset management firm, and I support two Sr. VP’s. This is not biglaw (although I don’t think many of you work in biglaw, but anyway…). Sometimes my bosses will delegate things to analysts when admins are already busy doing something.

        Also, I have been told *very* specifically that the more sr person gets priority over the analyst (no matter what). So maybe that affects it somehow?

        This is a long way of me saying that your bosses are well-aware. They just don’t care.

        —patiently awaits flames—

  8. tattoo reminder :

    I’m going through a life-altering family crisis that will probably last for quite a while, and I had the out-of-character thought that I kind of want to get a tattoo related to it. I’ve never wanted a tattoo, largely because I’ve always felt that there’s been nothing in my life so far that’s worth etching onto my body permanently. Well, now there is. But, I’m not sure that I actually want a reminder of this time in my life, or that I’d want to explain to strangers the meaning of a tattoo if they asked about it. I also feel odd about it because if I were to get a tattoo related to this time, I’d want it in a highly visible place, like my wrist or the top of my foot (ie: when I’m getting riled up about stuff I can quickly look at the tattoo and remember that I’m not defined by this situation). Thoughts on this? I’m not against tattoos per se, but I’ve never considered getting one, and I worry about permanently marking my body with something directly related to a tumultuous time.

    • If it were me, I’d wait until the tumultuous time had passed before doing anything permanent to my body. Because I think only with a little perspective would I have enough of an idea about how I felt about it all to know what I really wanted to say or feel about it for the rest of my life.

      And if you’re going to get a tattoo, I understand the urge to put it somewhere visible…but maybe put it somewhere not so visible but easily accessible? Like, where you could just pull your shirt up and peek at it or something? Because depending on what profession your in visible tattoos can be a real issue. And do you really, really want to have to explain whatever is going on right now to people for the rest of your life whenever they notice the tattoo?

      Anyway, these are all just my thoughts. And obviously others will disagree. But I would wait.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’d wait until either the crisis has passed or you are a little less emotional about it before making the decision. Not on the same level as it was not life altering but still very emotional, I considered getting a tattoo when my family dog died. I actually like tattoos even thiugh I din’t have any myself and many of my family members have them, but I’m glad that I didn’t decide to get one in that moment. Now that some time has passed and I went through the grieving process, I don’t feel the same way about getting a tattoo related to that anymore. It’s hard to see that when you are in the middle of the emotional turmoil. I’m not saying don’t get one, just try to decide when all the emotions aren’t completely fresh.

    • The standard advice is not to make large, unchangable decisions (selling a house, giving away money, getting married/divorced) when grieving or going through a crisis like when you mourn a death, a divorce, etc. I think that applies to tattoos too, especially ones that aren’t normally hidden to the public/strangers. Not to be flip, but maybe you do something less permenant (like paint one fingernail blue or wear an elastic on your wrist)while you think about it? Or get a meaninful necklace with a cameo or locket to wear? An engraved watch?

      Best of luck to you as you go through this difficult time.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Have you thought about doing something less permanent, like writing your phrase on a slip of paper in your wallet so you can get it out and look at it if you’d like?

      I am not against tattoos, generally, but if you’re having a lot of hesitation, I think you should try less permanent options first. A few months from now, get the tattoo if you still want it.

      Another thing to think about is that people will ask you about it if it’s somewhere visible. It’s a pretty common topic of conversation to ask someone what a visible tattoo means or why a person chose that particular tattoo. Of course you don’t owe an explanation to anyone, but consider whether you’ll start getting annoyed when people ask about it.

    • Would you consider commissioning a bracelet or anklet with the symbol/word you wanted to tattoo? It’s very easy to do, thanks to etsy, and is less permanent than a tattoo, even though you could wear this item every day.

      • You can actually get a custom silicone wristband a-la LiveStrong. You could wear it with the writing turned in if it is something that you don’t want visible all the time.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would say this as someone who has a tattoo – a great thing for you to do now, while you’ve got the tattoo “bug” is to do some research on local artists, find one you like and pay them their flat hourly rate for them to draw up a tattoo for you. This will help you feel like you’re doing something toward this “want” of a tattoo.

      Then take that design home. Put it up on your mirror, so that you see it every day. And sit with it for a while (I sat with mine for a little over a year). It’s going to be on your body, you want to have some time with it to be comfortable before you put it there. Every time you make a change to it, mentally add a bit of time to the “sit with it” timing. If at the end of that time frame, you still want it? Go for it!

      • This sounds silly, but I had a friend ‘draw’ my tattoo on me in permanent ink about a year before I truly got it done. It was a simple design, but it helped me get used to the idea of the tattoo’s size and placement and it made me much more sure about getting it. Is something like that feasible for you?

        • tattoo reminder :

          That’s a thought. I’m also in the midst of transitioning to a new position with a new company, so I feel like it would be better to wait until I’ve been there for a few months before I come in with a tattoo-like design. It’s a creative agency, and many people there have huge visible tattoos (one guy has designs that cover half of both forearms), so it wouldn’t be a huge issue, but I would feel a little weird showing up my first day with a visible semi-permanent design.

          • If you’re thinking of putting it in a spot where you wouldn’t want to show up to a new job with it, I’d advise you not to get it at all. Ever. I do get that the semi-permanent thing is a bit weirder than permanent, but still. You never know what the culture at another agency might be like, or if you’ll want to go in-house somewhere, or switch fields entirely. Also: tattoos tend not to age nicely. When you’re 65, you are not going to want to be seeing this tattoo all the time.

            I would strongly recommend finding another way to carry the message around with you.

        • I was going to suggest this. A friend of mine was big on tattoos, and would have gotten one every weekend if that was feasible. Instead, she took to “planning” them by drawing them with permanent marker wherever she wanted them to go. This ended up working out well for her, because there were several designs that she got tired of, wanted small, didn’t like the placement of, that were nixed before she got the tattoo itself. After the “newness” of the tattoo idea wore off it just didn’t seem good to her anymore.

    • My sister and I had a really bad two years where our mom died (unexpectedly), our grandma died, and I ended up in the hospital for a month with a serious illness. She got a tattoo on her wrist of the letter my mom and my name starts with, stenciled in my mom’s handwriting. She waited about a year and a half after my mom passed to do this and I know she does not regret it at all. Of course, your situation may be different in such a way that it may bring both positive and negative associations. I would give yourself some time to sit on it. I do think your concern about having to explain the meaning behind it is valid because people ask my sister about her tattoos often.

    • tattoo reminder :

      OP here – these are all great suggestions and pretty much confirm my hesitation for doing it in the first place. I’ll think about some kind of alternative and maybe go with the design-on-the-mirror for a while.

      • health care anon :

        White tattoos are lovely and are difficult to see (and don’t really stay on well for long) that might be an option. Find a good artist that you feel comfortable with, explain your situation, what you want, pay the artist to stencil it on you for a while, and think of color schemes that will work. White is always good and low key/ low visibility

    • big dipper :

      Best advice I ever got about tattoos – Sketch out the design you want, tack it to your mirror, and look at it every day for a year. If you still want it after a year, get it!

  9. Sad looking undies :

    Hi ladies – underwear threadjack. A few years ago, Gap made my most perfect underwear. Full coverage in the back, low rise, with a v-shaped lace panel at the waist, so shaped like the Hanky Panky V-kini from the front. Gap has changed the fit, and now the lace panel is higher up and goes straight across, and something in the seat just doesn’t fit right anymore. I really love the low rise, v-shape front, but every other brand I have tried (Honeydew, the V-kini itself, countless others) just does not have enough seat coverage. My rear is sort of wide and flat, so my issue is coverage from side to side. Every pair of undies cuts my cheeks in half and creates VPL (even ones labeled full coverage). When I size up, I just get more material as though I had more booty, not more material width-wise. I also loathe thongs and refuse to wear them. Anyone have suggestions for the wide of butt?

    • Jacqueline :

      I loved those, too! I mention this to the salesperson every time I go to Gap Body. They were the perfect fit for me (similar body type to yours), and for probably a year or two now, I wasn’t able to find anything else in that price range that compares.*

      But I have good news! I did find some comparable ones at Gap Body within the last month. The fit is slightly different, but they still had ample seat coverage and the V-shaped lace panel. They came in a dark grey, black, nude, and a few other fun colors like coral and neon yellow. I bought these and can attest to their great fit! They were the closest thing I’ve found to the Hanky-Panky-esque ones from a few years ago. Have you been there recently?

      *I know this sounds overly dramatic, but a good fit is hard to find! And when they don’t fit quite right, they bother you all day.

    • Sad looking undies :

      Meant to add, though I have babied by beloved Gap undies, they are getting gross – worn, overwashed, waistband separating fr0m the main body, etc. – so hence the handle. I desperately need to replace them. Desperately.

    • Have you tried the hanky panky v-kinis (not thongs)?
      Also, if it’s more vpl issue – try boy shorts.

    • I have the exact same problem, and I swear by the stretchy cotton boxer briefs they sell in 3 packs by the register at H & M. I’ve recommended them several times before. They are not particularly low-rise, but I roll the waistband down a couple notches and find that solves the problem without creating any bulging or discomfort. Be careful to get the right ones, though, because they also sell another kind that has seams in the back. The ones I am talking about are always by the register, they come in a 3pack with no plastic wrapping, the other kind is in the mens’ section.

  10. Hey, all—

    I seem to recall that some of the ladies tried Jag pull-on jeans. I’m petite but banapple shaped (prob like 34, 30-31, 36). It’s easy to look good in jeans while standing, but as soon as I sit—ugh, forget it. Have the Jag pull-ons held up? Do they minimize muffin-top syndrome? Have they stretched out (in the legs, waist, whatever)?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I ordered them during the NAS and haven’t worn them yet in public (it’s still too hot here for regular denim), but the ones I got were fitted a bit more for a pear shape, I think. I got that little gap thing at the top of my thighs because they are a bit big there. I have fairly straight hips and narrow but muscular thighs and a tummy.

    • Okay…not to be all over this thread early on. I have two pairs of the Jag jeans and I think they’ve held up well. I joke that they’re like really high quality pajama jeans — so the legs and such hold up like “real jeans” but the waistband is stretchy enough to avoid the discomfort that comes with sitting in many types of regular jeans.

      Also, I’ve never heard the phrase banapple shaped before, and it makes me giggle.

    • I’ve had mine for over a year, and they’ve held up great. I love wearing them with a top layer that I’m belting over them – like a belted sweater or tunic. No funny lumps or bumps, standing or sitting.

    • I’m a plus size and bought mine on super sale from Eloquii. I have a fat, flabby tummy. I LOVE THEM. Several reasons: they do minimize muffin top (I think). They also look better when you are wearing a closer fitting long shirt- no fly bumb, smooth all around etc. Incredibly comfortable- no little pinches or zipper issues or whatever.

      Mine have not stretched out. They hold up better through the day and last month than my gap jeans. I want more. I now want all my jeans to be Jag Pull ons. Where can I get more in a 16 or 18W???!!

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        CJ – Have you ordered anything else from Eloquii? I keep putting things in my cart and then deciding oh, I’ll wait/oh, I’m not sure. Anything you ordered you love?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I’ve ordered a bunch of stuff from Eloquii that I really like. Actually, most of it doesn’t fit so if you are a size 18 or 20 and interested I’m going to try and out things up on rehash this weekend (I keep saying that, but I’m going to really really try!). I’d post links, but it looks like everything was from a season or two ago so they aren’t available anymore. Anyway, I really loved a ponte (“divine knit” I think) faux wrap dress with a belt, a green sheath dress that also came with a belt, and the signature pencil skirt that looks like its still available. The quality was nice for all of those. I also got some basic cardigans that have been great. The fabric is fairly thick. I’ve been kind of indifferent on their suits, but I thinks it’s just because they didn’t fit me well.

          I’d definitely recommend buying from them. Be aware that the return window is only 30 days though (only 7 if you want free return shipping) so try things in right away when they arrive!

        • I love Eloquii! I have a closet full of their skirts, plus a few tops, sweaters, and a dress. I’ve only gotten a couple of things that I didn’t love, and mostly that was because I didn’t read carefully enough on the website (I really don’t love shopping online). I started with them when I tried on a dress at the Limited that just didn’t quite fit in the biggest size they had in stock. The same dress from Eloquii fit beautifully, and I was hooked. Plus, free returns!

        • I’ll bite. I’m borderline plus sized and can’t always wear regular plus because it’s too boxy on me. I ordered the Eloquii “curvy fit” jacket and skirt and am overjoyed. It’s such a good idea I don’t know why more plus manufacturers don’t offer different shapes in their sizing.

          • AnotherLadyLawyer :

            Thanks!!! The jacket/skirt suit combos are what keep going into my cart (love separates!), but jackets are so tricky since I’m short and roundish. Maybe I’ll give them a whirl.

        • Yes. I have a grey suit and a navy suit in different fabrics. No skirts, I mostly wear pants. I also have a tweed jacket with a belt and 2 tops. I think it is not any lower or higher quality than the Limited. (It seems like some brands cut quality when they go plus size). Their site is not well designed. The Jag jeans I bought were called Jeggings. They are totally straight leg. narrow jeans, and not in any way jeggings. It is hard to find the pants that go with a suit jacket. In my first order, I ordered the wrong pants (apparently) and had to return and re-order. That was kind of a mess. They don’t really have their customer service together. But when the right stuff finally came it included a garment bag.

          They keep having sales, but I havent’ found anythign to buy since July. Maybe I just don’t like this season. They do have a blazer that is similar to the much discussed Gap Academy Blazer.

          Definitly don’t pay full price right now. There’s a B1G1 50%, or a 40% off total order, or 30% off all new items or whatever almost every week.

          • AnotherLadyLawyer :

            Thanks!!! BTW, there are three pairs of JAG jeans in women’s sizes on Zappos, two of which are on sale. Not sure if they’re the same cut, but maybe?

          • Anne Bronte :

            Do the Jag jeans run big? It’s so hard to know with plus sizes. And do they stretch out?

          • I ordered 1 size down. I don’t think they run big, but in the pull ons you want them a little tighter. However, I saw a review on some saying that maybe they’ve resized.

    • I’m wearing them today and love them! I am similarly shaped, and love these. I will say that they’re a bit high-rise for me, but I’m 5’3″. Still, not terrible. I would go down a size–though this is apparently not true if you get black (black doesn’t stretch as well for some reason).

    • I have them too but am pear shaped. I have two pairs in the same size. One was bought at Nordstrom and one was bought through 6pm. One of the pairs has stretched out, but I don’t know which pair.

      • Thanks, everyone for your feedback. I went to Nordstrom and am sorry to report that these jeans were crazy unflattering on me. Holy cow, were they unflattering. I tried the petite cut and the regular (I’m 5′ 2″). Then I tried a boatload of premium cut jeans (I’ve had luck with Joe’s before—alas, not this time). Finally, I found this wonderful woman about my mother’s age who pointed me to the (horribly named) Wit & Wisdom Denim Leggings and my day suddenly became so much better. They would be baggy-waisted on pear types, I think, but for banapples like me, they are a godsend. And $64! Of course I also bought a couple of tops. Anywho, here’s the link to what I got, for those of you who want an alternative to Jag (these are not pull-on, btw): http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/wit-wisdom-denim-leggings-indigo-wash-nordstrom-exclusive/3313837?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=657#BVRRWidgetID

        • Oh! And I’m 5’2″, about 128 right now, and both the 4 and 6 fit fine. I went with the larger size because I wanted them to look casual and skinny but not legging-y. I usually wear a small top and 4-6 on bottom, depending on how flagrant the vanity sizing.

  11. I found a pair of pink ones at a discount store – the material is somewhere between khaki and denim. I love the wide waistband and the fit (I am petite and curvy) but they stretch out a LOT. the denim ones might not be as bad. I debated between a 6 (hard to pull over my hips, had to wiggle out of them in the dressing room) and 8 (easy pull on but baggy in the rear when I tried them) and I am glad I went with the 6 because they get baggy by mid-day. They are super comfy, though. The straight-up denim might not be as bad with the stretching.

    • Sorry meant for Jennifer above

    • I tried on a couple pairs of the non-denim ones and they weren’t nearly as flattering as the denim JAGs in my opinion. The denim is more substantial and doesn’t stretch much (in case you’re interested Me Me).

  12. I mentioned yesterday that I had ordered a ring to make myself feel better. Here it is: http://www.ross-simons.com/products/781237.html
    It looks big on the mannequin but I have fairly large hands with long, tapered fingers, so I’m hoping it’s not too enormous!

    Feeling better. I got some sleep and finished the last of my classes for the week at 1:00 today. My boss called in sick for two days so that took a little pressure off and I was able to finish writing an article proposal that is due tomorrow. I hope it gets accepted!

  13. I’ve had mine for over a year, and they’ve held up great. I love wearing them with a top layer that I’m belting over them – like a belted sweater or tunic. No funny lumps or bumps, standing or sitting.

  14. Ugh. Two job rejections today. One was pretty much my dream job and I was qualified (at least on paper) to do it. Didn’t even get beyond the HR review in the online system. I feel like wine and cookies may be in order this evening.

    • The worst. I’ve been there. Wine and cookies (and an escape-y movie) are great solutions.

    • So sorry to hear, but its possible that the system is screwed up and you still have a chance. When I in the process of applying for my current job, I got a “we like your resume, please fill out this info online by the end of the week” email from HR. It was really basic stuff, but at the end of filling it all out it basically told me “thanks but no thanks”. I bawled my eyes out, thinking I had been ruled out of the company for something stupid like my undergrad GPA 8 years after I had graduated and that I was never going to get a job there. A week later I got a call from HR asking me to come in for an interview – it turns out that they had gone with someone internal for the job that gave me the initial rejection, and the system didn’t have a way to tell me “the position isn’t open anymore” as opposed to “you suck, we don’t want you”. They interviewed me for the newly vacated position, which I got. So do some wine and cookie-ing, but be aware that online HR systems are dumb and buggy so you might not really be ruled out for your dream job. And if a company does rule out an “on paper” perfect candidate with their online system, you probably don’t want to work there anyway as they probably have even bigger problems.

    • I’m sorry! Just remember this isn’t the end of the road. I was rejected from my dream job twice (and I also felt qualified each time I applied and interviewed), but the third time I got the position. Some things take time. It doesn’t mean you won’t get there eventually. I know that may not help you feel better now, but it’s true. It might just work out!

  15. Work with someone who makes me want to bang my head on my desk. Just had a meeting with him that makes me want to bang my head on five desks. Very happy it’s Friday.

  16. Supporting Seattleite :

    This posting is an update on Seattleite, who is being treated for breast cancer.

    She had a single mastectomy last week, which went well.

    Based on what the doctors found during surgery and the subsequent pathology, they have concluded she has an aggressive form of cancer, which will require 8 rounds of chemotherapy (once every three weeks) and radiation (for about another seven weeks). She still has to have a PET scan to determine whether the cancer metastisized, but the odds are good that it has not.

    The doctors are optimistic about her prognosis because she is young and healthy and should be able to handle aggressive therapy.

    If you’d like to email her (well wishes, funny emails to entertain her, etc.), her email address is: [email protected].

    If you’d like to join the C*rp*rette snail mail Operation Support Seattleite, I’ve been losely organizing it so that she regularly receives mail. Please feel free to email me at [email protected].

    I know she appreciates all thoughts and prayers that come her way.

    –SunnyD

  17. Even though this probably leads to over-shopping (and the 333 mentioned here is probably something I should try), I love the thrill of finding a great deal. What are some of the best deals that you’ve gotten? Last Friday I found a pair of black exotic embossed leather heels at AT for $5.54!

    • I raided CB2′s dining sale. I will probably regret not getting a bunch of Humble Pie plates for gifts.

    • AT must do these crazy markdowns a lot. I once hemmed and hawed over a gray blazer there only to find out at a register that it was $6.

      Other steals: DKNY leather riding boots for $20; the most gorgeous long-sleeved Jcrew suiting dress for $25; silk Armani dress pants for $20; flouncy Cacherel skirt for $15; and La Prairie moisturizer/eye cream/serum gift box set for $5.

      • What is your secret?!!

        • I shop at really random places and get lucky. Almost all of these were very unexpected purchases. Not like I went looking for boots and found a $20 pair. I just keep an open mind and a rotating mental list of things I may need. But what I have noticed: a) going out of business sales at the very end usually have nothing salvageable but can occasionally yield treasures (like the armani pants I got when Filene’s Basement was shutting down); b) shopping at major retailers in places that don’t have a need for some of what they sell helps (I’ve found great wool blazers, a cashmere poncho and suede shoes in Arizona on huge markdown; likewise, I love the upstate NY Marshall’s because it often has designer items, esp. formal shoes/clothes, no one wanted and that got marked down to 10% of their original cost); and c) don’t forget thrift stores (I have a Housing Works on my way home and often pop in there just to see what they have – usually it’s nothing but occasionally it’s a brand new tags-on Cacherel skirt or a pretty old painting, so you never know.)

          • hellskitchen :

            “shopping at major retailers in places that don’t have a need for some of what they sell” This is genius. I am inspired to attempt it on my next trip away from home

          • I’ve had incredible luck in this category, especially in retiree-strong areas of FL – got some Versace jeans for $30.

    • A month ago, I tried on some cobalt cigarette pants at AT and loved them, but I didn’t love them $80. Last week, they had been marked down to $39, it was the 30% off day, AND I had my birthday reward $15 off coupon with me, so my pants were …. $13.88!

    • hellskitchen :

      A Magaschoni tweed jacket for 90% off retail… about $50
      Stuart Weitzman fabric-covered heels for $25
      Gap suiting dress for $8
      BR silk, fully-lined dress for $14
      All of this was new – haven’t yet mastered how to shop at thrift stores so I am sure I am missing out on great deals

    • Ferragamo riding boots for $125 and a random dress $4 Goodwill that I was street-style photographed in!

    • CPA to be :

      A pair of worn once ferragamo loafers for $3.99 at goodwill.
      Cole Haan black slingbacks for $30 at marshall’s
      Routinely get suiting pieces at BR for under $20.

    • academicsocialite :

      Four-inch gucci ivory peep-toe pumps at DSW for $30 and teal satin kate spade pumps for $60 from Daffys (RIP). I have a weakness for shoes that does not at all correlate to my non-profit salary. :(

  18. superanon :

    I posted awhile ago about getting back out there, dating-wise, and many of you responded with really helpful comments — so thanks! The good news is that I’ve met several guys who all seem great, so I have a few dates set up next week. However… I get so stressed out before and after the dates. During I’m always fine. But before and after, I tend to think way too far ahead (what happens if I get sick of him or there’s a dealbreaker I need to find out about NOW or he breaks my heart six months down the road or… etc.). How do I avoid this? Anyone else a chronic overthinker when it comes to dating?

    • Hi. Me. I do that.
      How do you STOP?!?! It’s hard :(

      • superanon :

        I don’t know! I can’t just enjoy the moment because all I do is think about potentially terrible outcomes in the future. I also get stressed about physical stuff (whether it happens or not!).

        And then I make it ten times worse because I think, “Everyone else does this, and has done this, and you are the only one with these ridiculous worries,” even though I know that’s not the case.

        I should add that I’m in my early 30s, so I feel like dating is even harder — less time to waste, and more significant impact if things go wrong with someone who seems great.

        • karenpadi :

          Second that dating in my early 30s is way more difficult than in my twenties. I have given up for now–I was too bitter dealing with peter-pans and momma’s-boys. I’m taking an extended break (3 months) and revisiting online dating Nov. 1.

          I think also, that, in my twenties, I had much less baggage and it was easier to go on a date thinking “something could come out of this”. By now, I feel like I’ve just been let down so many times and in so many ways that dating is just that much harder. In a slate article, the blogger says (in reference to Michelle Obama’s first date with Barack): “We (single childless women), too, have gone on dates with funny, smart men who are strivers, who drive beat-up cars where you can see the road through the hole in the floor. It’s just that we got dumped on that date. We will always hate that movie.”

          http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/09/07/republicans_and_democrats_appeal_to_women_where_are_all_the_single_childless_female_speakers_.html

        • I’m creeping up on my thirties, and I feel you. I actually just had a rough summer dating wise…met a great guy (well, I thought I had) and the dates when FANTASTIC. And of course it was all I could think about non stop! Then things went sort of bad, and it became a very casual dating sitch. Ended yesterday. The tought of going back out there is so daunting. Dating is fun during the actual date, but it’s SO stressful the rest of the time!!!

          Don’t make yourself worse for feeling what you feel. Plenty of us overanalyze and agonize about text messages, etc. If nothing else, I’m there with you, so you’re not alone :)

    • karenpadi :

      I think it’s normal to stress about dates. I tend to have sky-high expectation (“This could be THE ONE!”–in Ellen-caps) and over analyze the ones that went bad.

      Before a date, I try to stick to a ritual. I wear one of 2 or 3 “first date” outfits I have and put on my make-up. I remind myself that I am a very special person who deserves only the best. I double-check his profile so I remember his name and what he looks like.

      After a date, I write a thank-you text when I get home and try to decompress. I am really bad at letting bad dates go and not getting over-excited when a date goes well.

      I don’t think there’s a way to avoid getting heartbroken 6 months down the road. I like to think that, if there is a delayed disclosure of a dealbreaker, I would be strong enough to break it off at that time. Overall, I remind myself “it’s better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all.” Plus, a good break-up keeps my mother quiet about me not dating for a few weeks (blessed relief!).

    • TO lawyer :

      Maybe you can just go into first dates with a different mind-frame? When I was dating a lot, I stopped putting too much pressure on myself for first dates. So I wouldn’t get dressed especially for that date, I wouldn’t schedule it for prime-time (so usually weekdays after work, where I’d show up in my work outfit), and in my mind, the first date was just to meet someone and see from there. And this is really dorky so I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I started thinking of first dates as networking practice. So even if the date sucked, at the very least, I would be getting practice meeting new people and making conversation when you don’t know someone very well? I also tried to make sure first dates were at a place I felt comfortable at and could be cut short if it was a disaster.

      I also found that it got easier the more I dated. I realized how easy it was to meet people and at least go on one date, so I stopped putting so much pressure on a first date.

      Although I’m still in my mid-20s, so YMMV. I had this same mindframe on my first date with my SO (who I didn’t know at all when we went out) and it ended up being 7 hours because we had so much to talk about. (Although I did have some stinker first dates too – those are stories for another time though, as I seem to have drifted onto a tangent…)

    • OR, if you want to join our ‘Dating Support Group’ on Facebook, you can decompress with us! ;o) since it’s on FB it’s unfortunately not anonymous amongst ourselves, we’ve had to ‘out’ ourselves, but it’s a ‘private’ group, so no one else on Fb can see it. And it’s a pretty awesome group IMHO.

      I think you can ask to join by searching for “Dipping Toes Into The Dating Pool” but if you can’t get it, ask again here and I’ll post a link. We rant and decompress and support each other about a lot of these kinds of things.

      Also, I just saw this the other day when I was totally overthinking something and freaking out, and normally I hate platitudes, but for some reason this really calmed me down immediately: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9mixvhI7N1qckauuo1_400.jpg

      Huggs!!!

    • OMG, me too!! I think this is a big part of the reason I mostly avoid dating. It helps me a little to think about any given date as an opportunity to gather information. Like it’s a research project. :). Good luck!!

    • Chronic over thinker here who has had the fairy tale ending. Somehow I managed to completely transform my perspective when I started dating my DH. I had always looked into the future. I was very afraid of playing the fool. I basically sabatoged most relationships before they really got started. I had come off a string of bad outcomes in dating and did a lot of soul searching before I met DH. The conclusion I came to was that I was more damaging to my self esteem than any of these guys were. I got hurt by them, but I got over it. I was strong enough to put myself out there, love, trust, and have my heart broken and then get back up and move on. On the other hand, the constant doubt, holding back, and second-guessing were staying with me all the time and slowly eating away at my self esteem and ability to connect with people.

      DH entered the scene at the right time. When we started dating, I just went with it. Any time I wanted to over think or hold back or second-guess, I asked myself two questions: does this feel right right now and if he left tomorrow could you pick yourself up and move on with good memories of everything that happened until he left?

      I think if you focus on and have faith in your own strength then it becomes easier to manage the over thinking. In my experience it is easier to write off some guy who turns out to be a jerk than it is to live with the constant cycle of holding back and second guessing.

      • Merabella :

        I was uncharacteristically super cool when I met my husband. To be honest I wasn’t looking for anything serious at the time, and was just in it to have fun. I think that took the pressure off and I wasn’t so focused on being perfect.

        I think working on things that make you feel good outside of dating helps with this. If you are happy with yourself then you aren’t as nervous because everything isn’t riding on this one date. YMMV.

  19. locomotive :

    Ladies – am I the only person who gets the following problem?? The back slit of many of my pencil skirts ends up ‘ripping’ further up, beyond where the slit starts. This has happened on skirts with a wide range of quality from Theory to Jcrew no.2 cotton to the Limited! Funnily enough, the only one it has not happened to is a doubleweave Target pencil skirt I bought one day because I spilled coffee on myself on the way to work because that skirt has horizontal stitching that stops the slit from being able to rip up further.

    What is going on!? Has anyone else had this problem? I buy skirts that are usually loose-ish fitting and not too tight, and I try to take reasonable steps. My guesses are it’s from stretching out the slit to get into my car or going up and down stairs, and somehow the stress is too much and rips the slit further. How do I stop this!

    • Can you put in some stitches to reinforce the slit–maybe you (or a tailor/seamstress) can add some horizontal stitching?

    • I have this problem and manage by reinforcing the stitching by hand – just the bottom half-inch or so.

    • I’ve done this myself but if you don’t sew, you can take it to a dry cleaner or tailor. Should be pretty cheap.

      On the reverse side, a piece of color-matching fabric, should be tacked on. It can match existing topstitching or be a slash or even a triangle. Only the stitching will show on the right side.

    • I have this problem, probably due to my non-ladylike striding when I walk in pencil skirts.

      • I did this to a fairly pricey skirt last week (literally brand new, 2 hours in). I took it back to Nordstrom when I went to pick up some other alterations I had done. Not only did their seamstress fix it beautifully, she did it immediately so I didn’t have to make another trip back. Awesome. She did pass along the caveat that I need to “sit like a lady” to prevent such issues in the future. That made me laugh.

        I think I probably did it getting into my truck, which sits kind of high. I have started hopping onto the seat sideways, like sidesaddle on a horse, then swiveling around to face forward. I’m sure I look ridiculous but its worked so far!

    • I’ve done this several times. I think it just happens because I’m always running late and end up taking huge steps. My dry cleaner fixes the slits for $5.

  20. Anon in PNW :

    Update for the lovely ladies who inquired about an update… for new readers, my offer on a home in Seattle was verbally accepted, but retracted the next day. The sellers elected to take a lower bid because they wanted to sell to a young family instead of a single woman/unmarried couple.

    I sent a detailed account of what happened to the president of the selling agency. I just got a message back from them saying that the selling agent essentially denies every part of my account and they wish me luck in the homebuying process. The selling agent states that she never accepted my bid. Her sellers simply elected to sell to the lower-bidding party for “sentimental reasons” (which I maintain is a euphemism for discrimination based on marital status). It outrages me that the agency is taking her wholesale re-write of my version of events at face value. They did not contact my own agent to verify. Instead they insinuate that my agent lied to me in telling me there was verbal acceptance. My agent (who is far more experienced than the selling agent) would have everything to lose by making such a grave mistake. The selling agent now has everything to gain by lying.

    At this point I don’t think I can do much. I’ve called the Seattle Fair Housing Commission and cold-called discrimination attorneys, but nobody gets back to me. I will wait until the house closes, and then I will send the selling record along with my higher bid and a formal complaint to the Washington State Department of Licensing. In the meantime, I am honestly thinking of giving up my dream job and moving back home.

    Now I’m waiting to see the selling record of other houses I’ve bid on…who knows if I lost those too because I wasn’t married. I feel like the real estate buying equivalent of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

    • That sucks, but take a deep breath, treat yourself to something fabulous this weekend, and focus on moving forward – there are other houses and other opportunities out there. Don’t let this bad experience sour you on your dream job!

    • How did they originally ‘accept’ your bid? Orally or on paper? Even an e-mail should be incontrovertible proof of your account. Otherwise it would be their word against yours unfortunately.

    • Awful, shameful. I hope you’re able to get someone to help you with this. People make me so angry sometimes.

    • I am still shocked that this even happened.

      I’ve noticed that your own agent doesn’t appear much in this account. What has your agent said about all this and are they providing support for you? It seems to me that they should be fighting for you here, especially if they are more experienced than the selling agent.

    • e_pontellier :

      This just makes me so angry. Don’t give up on your dream job – I try to tell myself that everything happens for a reason (sorry for the lame cliche).

      • Agreed, don’t give up on your dream job!

        I realize that what I am about to suggest is time-consuming and will probably fuel your anger but the last thing that the selling agency wants is for this to become an Issue.. their first line of defense is denial.. so if you become a thorn in their side, they might be more willing to do something (though I’m not sure what that is exactly.. if the new buyers close, you may have some recourse though not necessarily the house itself..) so in addition to replying to them (along with all the proof you have of what actually happened) to the seller, the agent, the head of the selling agency, whoever oversees that agency, the fair housing authorities, the Better Business Bureau, press, the city officials etc. I’d mention that you are considering a legal challenge as well.

    • Anon in PNW :

      Thank you so much ladies. I don’t have many people in my life right now who can appreciate how painful this situation is for a single woman in her 30s. Anyway, regarding your comments:

      1 – The acceptance was oral, via phone, to my agent, who notified me via email immediately of what the selling agent said.

      2 – My agent is sticking by her story, which I trust because it hasn’t wavered at all since the blow-by-blow of Sunday night. As for “fighting for me,” this goes to the heart of my reluctance to engage an agent at all – as expected, she doesn’t want to be persona non grata in this city. Hard for me to blame her. I think she is hoping that another listing comes along to divert my attention from this (as, frankly, am I – it goes against every fiber in my being to be a troublemaker).

      3 – Great suggestion regarding cc’ing all those parties above. My concern would be retaliation from the agency. I know that truth is a defense to libel, but wonder how that works with these “he said she said” circumstances. On this point, I do feel that the circumstances (sellers took lower offer – why?) weigh in my favor. Pressing the issue would put my agent in the very uncomfortable position of publicly calling out the other agent/agency.

      • I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles. I can’t offer any advice on the legality of the situation, but I can suggest that you insist that your agent get anything from the sellers agent in writing, as quickly as possible, even if it means driving to the sellers agent’s office or emailing them with a “as we discussed the sellers have agreed to accept PNWs offer, please respond to this email ASAP to confirm”. We almost lost out on our current house due to “playing telephone” with offer acceptances and it wasn’t until we went to close that we found out that somewhere along the chain of communication a date was given wrong and we missed a deadline the bank had set and almost had to start short-sale renegotiating all over again. Get everything you can in writing, as quickly as you can, and make sure you get a copy, don’t let it go straight from the agent to the bank and assume its jives with what you were verbally told. If your agent isn’t willing to do that for you, that’s grounds to break any contract you have signed with them.
        Good luck and I hope the house of your dreams works out soon!

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I’d get a new agent. I don’t play well with those who discriminate or those who sit by and passively watch it occur…..

    • Anon for borderline legal advice :

      Even if you can’t find an attorney, you can try the case yourself. I know this is easier said then done but there is a ton of info out there to help pro-se litigants. For starters, I would consider filing for a restraining order to prevent the sale of the home until you have had time to assert your claim. Google is your friend. There are a ton of public documents out there to copy. Your court may also have form pleadings on their website.

      Also, it is huge that their agent admitted that their client accepted a lower offer. If this turns into a case, they will have to divulge what those “sentimental reasons” are. No matter what euphemisms they use they will likely be synonymous for discrimination.

    • Just a thought, but maybe take a page out of their book when you bid on your next place & have your realtor write a letter about your “hopes and dreams” for the home. I recall your original story being pretty compelling. I don’t know about the legality of what happened to you, but I’ve heard stories like this a lot & for a while in SF “telling the compelling story” about why you wanted the house was the deal maker. Maybe you just need to play the game too?

      • Agreed. For the most popular and high demand neighborhoods in my city, the conpelling story or sentimental value factor can be huge (for better or for worse…). Write a nice letter, say you don’t want to tear down the house and call it a day.

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