Coffee Break – Jitney Electronic Wristlet

Cole Haan - Jitney Electronic WristletI’ve talked before about how I like to keep a separate wallet for the office with all of my lunch-spot punch-cards, cash, and so forth — and this looks perfect because you can fit your phone or Blackberry inside as well. I like the bright, happy colors, the patent leather, and the positive reviews online. It’s $78 at Zappos. Cole Haan – Jitney Electronic Wristlet (Dark Teal Patent) – Bags and Luggage

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Comments

  1. fiatlux408 :

    Ha ha, oh my, that mannequin does *not* know how to hold a wristlet. Loving the bright cobalt color.

  2. I have the Jitney medium pouch if you’re looking for something a little roomier. The leather is good quality.

  3. Winter Boots :

    Someone posted earlier about winter boots, and 6pm has some on sale. I’m new to DC and have no experience with snowy winters or the type of clothing that I’ll need out here but I’d like to buy some boots on sale. How are snow boots different from rain boots? What kind of footwear would you recommend to keep me warm and safe on my way to work? Any brands that won’t break the bank? Thank you!

    • Two of the last three winters were major outliers for DC. We hadn’t really had a snow like that since the 90’s. We typically don’t get that many days of snow and they are typically only an inch or two. For this reason, I think rainboots with warm boot liners are a better bet for DC than snow boots are.

      • Sorry that wasn’t very clear… It’s just as likely (and in fact, often MORE likely) to pour rain here during the winter than it is to snow so I feel like I get much more use out of rain boots. But YMMV.

      • DC native here and I must disagree. Winters here are usually brutally cold because of the humidity (though not exceedingly snowy). Sometimes my trusty tall UGGs aren’t enough to keep the toes warm. That said, if you live DIRECTLY in the city, I concur with KLG. If, however, you live in the burbs, heed my warning!

        • Umm…while I can appreciate that the damp is awful in combination with cold (it’s not fun, I’ll give you that), and that if that’s the only winter you’ve experienced it can seem pretty bad, please remember that unless your temps are actually falling below 0 degrees Farenheit, there are those of us that will laugh at your use of “brutal” to describe the cold of a D.C. winter.

          • Haha, cosign! (As a Mpls native and now DC dweller.) As to the original question — since you won’t really need the traction that a snow boot offers for snow and ice, I’d recommend fuzzy-lined rain boots as well. Cheaper and won’t overheat your feet if it’s only 40-50 degrees out. I have a Tretorn pair (skarry vinter, I think) that were $60 or $70, full priced, and have lasted me a couple of years with no noticeable wear and tear. They’re perfect for the DC climate.

          • Agreed! I love Merrell boots. I have a pair of taller suede boots that are super warm and a pair of winter hiking boots that I used to use for snowshoeing when I lived somewhere that got snow. I haven’t used either since I’ve been in DC. I like the Merrell furry clogs to throw on to do errands, walk the dog, etc., and I do where those down here.

    • I agree. Rain boots are much more important than snow boots here. You can get waterproof snow boots, but they’ll be too warm on a lot of rainy days. So I’d suggest getting Hunters or similar rain boots, and then getting a warm lining for them that you can wear on snowy or cold days.

    • Snow boots are insulated and rain boots are not. I’m from New England so I don’t consider DC winters to be “snowy.” I pretty much just wear the same shoes I wear in the fall/spring throughout the winter (summer = flipflops for my commute). Mostly DC winters are full of freezing rain, sleet, and ice so getting something waterproof with a good tread will probably be more useful that full on snow boots (assuming we don’t have another snowmageddon/snowpocalypse winter).

      Unsolicited PSA: If you are from a warm climate, remember that if it’s cold out, wet = ice. I had a college friend from LA who spent half of freshman year on her backside because she’d see darker pavement and her brain would say “wet, safe to walk” while all us northern girls’ brains would say “wet + cold = ice, walk slow.”

      • Winter Boots :

        Thanks for the PSA! I hadn’t thought about ice. So are rain boots OK for ice, and do I just need to make sure that they are not smooth on the bottom? These questions probably sound really basic, but I have zero winter apparel so thanks for the comments!

        • Turtle Wexler :

          Hunters are NOT good on ice, even though they seem to have tread on the bottom. Says the girl who once ended up with a compression fracture in her left arm after the combination of Hunters and black ice turned ugly.

          • Ouch! Different take…I wore my Hunters for two weeks straight during snowpocalypse. To work, to dinner, on a date…they were the only boot that I could walk in without slipping on icy bridges.

          • Oh dear, that sounds awful.

            Like Lavender, I wore rainboots throughout snowpocalypse. Though this was before any sidewalks were plowed, so there was little ice (just a few feet of snow to wade through).

          • Turtle Wexler :

            Snow is fine, I had been wearing them prior to the incident with no problem. When there’s nothing for them to grip, though, they get really slippery. I think the rubber is just slightly too rigid for walking on slick ice, and the way the tall boots make you walk makes it difficult to compensate the way you normally would in other shoes. I still love my Hunters but am very cautious about when and where I wear them now.

        • Michael Kors makes a pair of rain boots with really good traction
          http://www.zappos.com/kors-michael-kors-stormy-black-rubber

        • I wiped out wearing rainboots on ice so would definitely suggest learning from my mistake. It doesn’t snow much in DC but does ice over frequently. I bought a cheap pair of boots like these: http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-commuter-pull-on-boots~227800_-1.html?sku_0=::BLA that I wear a couple times a year. They’re ugly but keep me on my feet.

        • Make sure that the sole is 100% rubber – composites and plastics tend to lose their grip when it gets below freezing because they get less elastic.

          (Random side note rant: Once encountered a car engine heater cable with plastic coating. I think you can guess how safe that one was in -20 C.)

      • co-signing.

        Yes, rain boots are OK for ice as long as they have some tread on them – in any event, shorter, more marching-type strides (so you’re not putting a lot of weight on one foot when it’s far away from “center”) are your friend on icy days. (To be honest, you’ll probably only see isolated patches anyway, like where a downspout shoots across a sidewalk on a rainy day that turns icy overnight).

        • Penguin shuffle for icy days.

          Yes, makes sure there is some tread on your rain boot – although I had tread on my Doc Martin boots (college) and they were crap in the cold. Somehow the lug sole (I think the particular plastic they used caused this) became more slippery when cold out, so they basically turned into skates.

        • Depends on what neighborhood you live in. In my largely residential neighborhood, nobody can be bothered to salt and the entire area is like a giant ice skating ring. It’s really dangerous.

          Completely agree about making sure your rain boots have tread. Hiking boots usually work, too.

        • Your best bet is probably winter hiking boots/sneakers from LL Bean. That is, you will be warm, dry, and not flat on your b*tt with those. You won’t be particularly stylish, though. For stylish, I’d go with Hunters and boot socks (Hunters makes some that line the boots and go over the top — I think they’re cute).

          • Lands End will have similar snowboot/shoe items as well.

          • I got LL Bean rain boots with liners (lifetime guarantee made them seem infinitely more practical than Hunters) which are also good for the winter.

          • Uggs only work like the couple of days when it’s actually snowing, really fluffy and powdery on the ground. Go for LL Bean or Lands End for something that works better when the snow is melting and freezing and/or all grey and packed and gross.

            Rain boots are inadequate on the really cold days. (And if it’s snowing, it’s not one of the REALLY cold days.)

            From a native Chicagoan; not sure if D.C. ever gets THAT bad…?

          • Gotta say that the Bean duck boots aren’t great for ice — they’re made for mucking about in mud during mud season, not walking around on icy sidewalks.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’m going to be the outlier here, and say YES to winter boots in DC, not just rain boots with thick socks.

      But then, I do have perpetually freezing feet. If your feet aren’t regularly 15 degrees colder than the rest of your body, you’re probably fine.

      • I'm Just Me :

        +1

        I have snow boots for the snowy days and rain boots for the rainy days. I don’t consider them to be interchangeable.

        My snow books are Columbia brand and were not that expensive. My rain boots are Sperry and were not that expensive. My feet are happy.

  4. Has anyone seen K in transition lately? I know she got some rougher kinds of comments or mentions a couple of weeks ago and I have not seen her around here since then. I hope she didn’t leave us, I know there are many opinions here but I, for one, really liked her voice in our Hive.

    (To be honest, K and Godzilla and the one with all of the letters -tgqefaefbalf or something- are my favorites and the reason I come here for advice so much.)

    • The Commenter Formerly Known As Guest = TCFKAG. Thanks, whoever told me this, or I’d never remember her name either.

    • I think there are two factors about K in transition. One was the rough comments (she thought she might need to take a break) and the other is that she now has a job where she can’t participate here during the day so she’ll occasionally jump on in the late afternoon, but by then, things here are winding down.

      • If I remember that y’all are friends IRL, I never got a chance to share with K a comment I think is relevant – maybe she’ll read this? I *want* to hear about my therapists’ struggles. It makes me feel less alone. I know I’m not the only one. And I wish her the best – I hope she comes back soon.

        • Well, if emailing on occasion and never having met in person is “friends IRL” then, yes. I had a really difficult situation at work last week with a staff person going through a crisis and she emailed me a lot of really useful info. I’ve just tried to be her fairy godmother on occasion.

      • I hope K changes her username but stays part of the community on this site. I like her comments, but I wish her well and it has concerned me that she has shared her real name and posts so many personal details about her life.

    • As far as I know, K has started a new job and been pretty busy with it. But she’s still been posting periodically.

      And yes, SF Bay Associate guessed the meaning of my moniker on the first post so gets points forever.

      • NOLA is also right about the rough comments on the weekend thread.

        • anonymous :

          I recall those comments and yes, they were very over the line. I fear that the couple of people who did not seem to understand that she offers her services when it comes up here organically but she comes here as a person have caused her to leave us. I don’t know about anyone else here but I have personally benefited many times from her being here and I hope she comes back soon.

    • She’s been posting in our dating group on FB, but I suspect (although I don’t know) that the weekend thread a few weeks ago has put her off commenting for awhile. Can’t blame her; I would have felt the same way.

    • Hive Mind :

      K, the Hive has spoken. We want you back!!

    • Seattleite :

      K posting about her struggles gave me courage to post about mine. ‘Nuff said about that.

    • What, what? :

      These comments seem a bit passive aggressive. Why not just call people out if you want to critique them? Btw, I saw only six critical comments plus tons of supportive ones. I’ve gone back to the thread three times because I feel like I’m missing something. Every time this is brought up, all of K’s “supporters” act like the entire weekend thread was a swirly cauldron of hatred. I feel like it’s so hypocritical because the Established Commentators will often jump on random/anon posts quite viciously and really pile on, whereas one comment against them provokes tons of passive aggressive pearl clutching.

  5. anonymous :

    Coupon code for Lands End?

  6. What do you do with the cloth bags your (real leather, expensive) shoes come with? Use for travel?

    • I keep them for when my shoes are in storage, e.g., shoes that I only wear in fall and winter are stored away in a closet during spring and summer.

    • Travel laundry bag. I throw them in my suitcase and fill them with undies etc. as the trip goes along.

    • I have recently bought my first pair of really pretty, leather shoes that I didn’t buy at a consignment store ;o) So, I kept the dust bag in easy reach, and used it for packing the pretty shoes in my suitcase. I want to be careful to not get these shoes scuffed up and squished when traveling.

      But I like the ideas of other uses for them, too.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I use them to put my shoes in to throw into my tote bag during the commute, and then to throw my commuting shoes in once I change out of them. Otherwise, The Street would get on the inside of my bag.

    • TO lawyer :

      I use them as “shoe bags” when I travel… (I also tend to take too many pairs of shoes with me when I travel…)

      • Ha, I frequently have the opposite problem. The last trip I went on I took a pair of nice flats and sneakers. When the group decided to go swimming I had a “Whoops… now what?” moment.

    • I use them to carry my shoes in – to work, in my gym bag, on travel, etc. I don’t necessarily use the bag with the shoes that came in it, but it’s always convenient to have shoe bags around.

  7. I am running my first 5K this Sunday- any tips for what to expect? Should I try to not bring anything to leave with the gear check or is that not a big deal? I think there are just under 10 000 running the 5K so anticipate it being busy.
    I have gotten most of the way through the C25K program, will be trying to run for as long as I can tonight, but anticipate doing SOME walking and am going to be OK with that, am doing another run in a few weeks so will aim to improve at that point.

    • You shouldn’t need to bring anything, but you’ll probably get a race packet when you check in with some freebies in it and you’ll want to stow that somewhere. I usually throw it all in my car instead of using gear check, so I don’t have any advice there. Have fun. :)

    • You shouldn’t need to check anything–even if you don’t have a car to base yourself out of, there should be bottles of water and stuff available at the finish (probably at the start, too).

      My two cents on the running: I really wouldn’t try to push yourself time-wise on your run tonight. Like, really, really, wouldn’t. You want your legs to be as fresh as possible for the 5k. I would also try to go into the 5k with a specific plan, as far as walk breaks go; having a plan (run 5 walk 1? run 10 walk 2? whatever you feel comfortable with, based on your training) will almost certainly get you through 5k more comfortably than “Well, I’ll just run as far as possible before I walk.” And finally, whatever you do, do not start out too fast! Tons of eejits will book it out of the start like demented gazelles. You are smarter than them, so stick to your pace and enjoy passing them at the two-mile mark.

      Good luck, and welcome to the wonderful sport of running :)

    • goirishkj :

      Have fun and welcome to running! Try to stay calm at the start as it is really easy to get caught up in the excitement and go too fast. I don’t know that you need to deal with gear check for a 5k as they should have everything you need at the finish. If you can get your packet the day before that is one less thing to worry about the day of.

    • With a race of that size there will be signs suggesting where you line up based on your pace. Please line up where you belong so that you are not blocking the faster runners. If you are driving there then you should not need to have a bag but there is no reason not to check one if you want to bring gear or are commuting by bike or subway.

      • Cornellian :

        Agreed on both counts! I’m a relatively slow runner, but placing myself honestly in the 9:30 corral seems to put me with groups of leisurely walkers (who are apparently going to balance their 22 minute first mile with a series of world record pace miles in order to live up to their estimate of their pace). Argh. I would probably try to avoid checking gear, because it can be a pain to pick up, and it’s very easy to get your stuff stolen.

        Have fun at your first race!

    • I would definitely suggest not bringing anything to check with you – huge pain! I usually just have a key in my pocket (just one, so it doesn’t make noise), iPod shuffle clip thing(can never remember what the official name for it is – iclip?), credit card and ID. They have water and snacks and you don’t need much else for 5K. 5K goes by pretty quick if you’re planning on jogging, so I would say be steady but don’t worry too much about overdoing it especially since it sounds like you’ve been training quite a bit. You’ll get a 2nd wind at the end once you realize you’re close to the finish line – it’s awesome!!! Have fun!

  8. Honeymooning in Canada! :

    We’re planning our honeymoon for early June 2013, and we were thinking the Canadian Rockies: flying into Calgary and seeing some of the city as well as heading out to Lake Louise and/or Banff. We live among beaches with palm trees, so we want to escape to mountains and evergreens!

    Any suggestions as to what we should do/avoid? Any particularly romantic places we should be sure to visit on our honeymoon? Everyone on here seems to have such knowledgeable travel suggestions, so I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I live in there, so if you’d like to contact me for suggestions, I will have tons of tips when it comes to planning: cdn (this site) at gmail (no spaces/dots).

      Broadly speaking, I’d highly recommend Lake Louise and Jasper, if you’re already driving out to Banff, it’s not like those two places are SO out of the way that it wouldn’t be worth it. Also, the Columbia Ice Fields, and whitewater rafting in Golden (only a couple hours from Banff), are great. There’s a lot of great hiking and golf. Stay at the Fairmont in Banff/Japser/Lake Louise, if you can afford it, they’re amazing hotels.

      • I stayed at the Banff springs hotel (the fairmont) on my honeymoon, but it was like 12 years ago. :)
        It was amazing though, the hotel is so cool, even if you don’t stay there you should go see it.
        We went to lake louise for a day, it was really pretty too. I went in December so I probably don’t have any activity ideas because it would be all different stuff, but it was just beautiful, excellent choice, I think.

    • TO lawyer :

      have brunch at the Fairmont in Banff! I would also stay there if you’re spending a couple days out there – it’s beautiful!

    • I’ve lived near the Canadian Rockies my whole life. It really is beautiful country. My best advice is to dress in layers. Early June in the mountains can still be pretty chilly at night, and even during the day, especially if you’re used to palm tree weather. Depending on the winter & spring, you might even still see some snow in shady areas in early June.

      I’d actually recommend driving south to Waterton. Banff is really commercialized. Waterton is like an untouched jewel (ack that sounds cheesy). The townsite is on the shores of a lake with a waterfall at the other edge of town (village, really). There are lots of beautiful hikes, you can take a boat ride to Glacier park in Montana (but only walk around on the lakeshore there), go golfing, watch for wildlife, eat ice cream, play in the (freezing) stream in Red Rock Canyon…. I grew up near Waterton and just have a hard time with Banff because it is so busy, so commercial, and things are relatively far (Lake Louise is almost an hour from Banff). But I’m one that likes to go to the mountains to get away from things. Banff often has way too many tourists for my taste. Jasper is also nice, more rustic, less touristy than Banff. I’ve only been there once, though.

  9. Two cents :

    Ladies, I must sing the praises of Isabella Oliver and her amazing maternity line. I bought one top from her so far and the fabric quality is excellent, the draping is amazingly flattering, and I got loads of compliments the day that I wore it (including the highest compliment that it was so cute that I could/should wear it post-pregnancy as well). For anyone who is pregnant and looking for nicer, higher end, work appropriate clothing, I can’t recommend her enough. Yes, it’s pricey, but you’ll be wearing these staples over and over again so they’re totally worth it IMO.

    http://www.isabellaoliver.com/maternity-clothes

    • Research, Not Law :

      I so wanted some of her stuff! I’ve heard nothing but good things. I instead got some tops from the similar-but-cheaper Lilac brand and was *extremely* disappointed by the quality.

  10. How much cle@vage is appropriate for work? I’m sure the correct answer is “none,” but I’m a 32F and don’t want to be limited to turtlenecks and crewnecks.

    Is it okay if there’s no cle@vage looking straight on, but that there is when you bend over (as you do when you wash your hands)? I don’t do much bending over at work. I spend nearly all my time sitting at my computer or sitting in meetings. There’s very little to none collaborative work where I’d be leaning over paperwork, etc. I caught myself in the office bathroom mirror while washing my hands and realized there was more showing than I’d like, even though my cami-under-everything looked quite respectable when I was standing up.

    • A nice rule of thumb I’ve heard is that if you put your hand horizontally on your chest so that your thumb touches your collar bone on one side and your index finger touches the other, there should not be skin visible between your hand and neckline. Obviously there are going to be deviations from that based on certain body types, etc., but hopefully it’s a decent guideline!

      • Usually I have decent spatial reasoning, but I cannot figure out how to place my hand in the position described. Can anyone help me out? I can tell this will keep me up all night if I can’t get it! :)

        • Ha! Me too. If I understood it correctly, you’re making a v with two fingers. I have paws instead of hands so it isn’t a lot of leeway.

          • new york associate :

            I’ve been groping my collarbone for the last five minutes and cannot figure out how this works at all.

          • Research, Not Law :

            I’m thinking that the hand goes horizontal, with the top (index) aligned with the collar bones, so that the shirt should start at the bottom (pinky) side of the hand?

          • ha – I’m picturing us all at our desks trying to do this. I think your hand is placed pledge of allegiance style, but higher and to the center, such that the bottom, outer corner of your palm makes the end-point of the “acceptable” zone?

      • I think it’s like if you were an old-fashioned lady and were saying “oh my!” that’s where your hand is. Or do like you’re saying the Pledge of Allegience, then pull your wrist toward your opposite shoulder just a little until your thumb is in line with your chin.

        • Clutch your pearls to determine where the appropriate cleavage line is? I like it. :)

          • aesthetic intelligence :

            SMB*

            * snorting my beverage

          • +1

          • OH my goodness. This is hilarious. I’m so sorry I didn’t return sooner to add clarity! Yes, clutch pearls, by all means. [Embarrassingly, I’m actually wearing mine today, too.] But this is the right idea — your palm ends up flat on your sternum, with the V of your forefinger and thumb facing toward your chin. Definitely is just a guideline!

          • now that is a sartorial rule I can get behind.

    • Fellow 32F here: I think this is a use your judgment kind of thing. For example, I’m making more allowances for myself right now on the cleavage baring front because being pregnant, overly busty and too petite for most maternity tops means I’m kinda stuck.

      On the topic of being a 32F — did you see the article in Slate about bra-shopping for the full-busted (rather than the full-figured)? Finally, someone acknowledges my pain! :)

      • It is pretty ridiculous, I’m only a 34DD or 34DDD depending on the brand, and I have a hard time if I don’t want to order online. (I prefer to try on in-store). SO many places, once it’s a DD they don’t carry smaller band size than 38. It’s really obnoxious. I imagine it gets worse and worse the bigger the discrepancy.

        • I think this just goes to show that bra shopping is a pain, no matter what your size. I wear an F cup but in a band larger than a 38. I have resigned myself to a life of online shopping, at least at this size, since I can never, ever find them in stores.

          • Even at Nordie’s? Mine usually has a few 34Hs in stock – I’m sure they have 40s and 42s, probably in a range of cup sizes. Usually nothing over an F cup or so is on the shelf, but if you ask they have them in back.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Link: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/09/large_breasts_small_waist_and_looking_for_a_bra_good_luck_.html

        I would also like to see an expose on finding clothes that fit. While watching Modern Family, I’ve often thought “Where does Gloria shop?” It’s hard to even find a basic cardigan or tshirt that fits at the shoulders and bust simultaneously.

    • i recommend NO CLEVEAGE AT All. After all we are at work to work, NOT to have men stare at us, whether or not we lean forward! FOOEY on men that stare at my boobies. I do not stare at there crotches.

      We have to be careful showeing anything to men. Jim and Frank both have suggested that I dress to formal in the summer. I know they want to see much more then I am showeing but I will not just do that for work.

      Jim also wants to see me in a batheing suit but that is NOT happeneing! FOOEY if he thinkes I am going to model for him! FOOEY!

    • The blogger at You Look Fab always says that she’s a proponent of the cami-under-everything look for that reason; even if something occasionally shows when you move wrong, it shows you’re trying.

      (And I expect there’ll be pushback to this, but honestly: some of us are built such that if we don’t wear turtlenecks and very high crewnecks, there will be occasional cleavage. And those same of us generally don’t look good in turtlenecks and very high crewnecks. So you do what you can and occasionally, there’ll be a bit of cleavage.)

      • I have *more* cleavage in the average camisole, because if the bra is lifting the girls nicely (not even push-up, but in minimizer bras), the camisole’s neckline sits higher up too and cuts straight across the chasm. Higher-neck cami’s are tough to find. Cleavage is here to stay.

        • I’m full figured and plus sized and I can’t find camis that are high enough to actually be much help either. I always hear the advice to wear a cami, but I can’t find any that help by more than 1/4 inch. Does anyone have a recommendation for camis that are high enough to actually be of use? One of my co-workers uses the fake cami piece of lace that snaps onto your bra, but that isn’t really a good look for me, IMO.

          • hellskitchen :

            I like H&M’s adjustable strap camis for this – you can adjust the neckline to be higher or lower depending on your shirt. They are a bit long so I use them mostly with skirts and dresses. You could tuck them into pants if you wanted. I haven’t yet been able to find similar camis that are shorter but I may not have looked hard enough at H&M

    • I’m a similar size. My boobs actually look bigger in high-necked shirts, for whatever reason (too much fabric? I dunno) but I have cleavage up the wazoo. I usually end up showing a bit of cleavage, because I think it’s actually less risque than the “oh look my chest is huge” look I get in a turtleneck. There’s no cleavage if you look at me straight on, but I’m sure anyone taller than me who looks down gets a glimpse. I also try not to spend too much time adjusting my clothing to cover it up, because I think that actually draws more attention.

    • goirishkj :

      I’m a bit of a prude with cleavage, but honestly there’s a point where there’s no hiding it. I’m a 34DDD and pregnant so I look busty in everything right now. My thought is there’s a different between looking as though my goal is to show cleavage and just having a large chest. The latter is OK in my world, the former is not. I realize this is not very helpful as it is not a bright line rule.

      • I bought one of the Soma smooth camisole bras and I’m loving it. It has made many of my previous “not appropriate for work” dresses wearable for work.

    • Whew, it’s not just me. I’ve been in the professional world for over a decade, so I’m not new at it and had been feeling like I’ve been doing a decent job.

      The hand trick, if I’m doing it right, seems very conservative? Like, crewneck conservative? Maybe I have small hands.

      Wow to the Slate article. Glad to have it all aired out, but it also got me all riled up. Missed opportunity to say how the larger retailers (cough – VS – cough) will intentionally size women into an incorrect size they do carry. So frustrating! Thank goodness for Nordstroms. I can always try on a few options without attitude. Blows my mind that people would assume they are p0rn star fakes.

      Coincidentally, I have often wondered what tops Sofia Vergara wears on Modern Family! Obviously most aren’t office appropriate, but they do actually fit. I had assumed she was much larger than me, but apparently the rest of her is just skinnier ;)

      “Even if something occasionally shows when you move wrong, it shows you’re trying.” Love this. It’s the approach I fell into, too, so I feel some vindication.

      Turtlenecks are dangerous, particularly rib knits. It looks like I stuck two basketballs down my shirt. Maybe not inappropriate, but definitely not flattering and likely just as distracting. I’m very relieved that I may not need to limit myself to them.

      • Re: Sofia Vergara, I’ve read from costume designers that, generally speaking, *every* item of clothing that actors wear on TV is tailored to fit perfectly, even in shows where you don’t think of the clothing as “costume” (i.e., modern characters who wear basically regular clothing). I’m sure that that’s doubly so for a character who is pretty much based on being a s@x bomb like Gloria.

        (I like SV, and I think she’s really funny, but for some reason I can’t put my finger on, that sounds like I’m saying something negative about her. Please don’t read it that way!)

      • Anonymous Poser :

        Also 32f. My work clothes do not include turtlenecks or crew necks, because they make the girls look bigger/ draw more attention to them, too.

        If I’m not showing cleavage when I’m standing or sitting, that’s enough effort in my book. Just the very top of my cleavage, I’ve stopped worrying about, as well, particularly when I am moving around. It can be a challenge to keep clothing from shifting, and I think it’s apparent from what I’m wearing (a camisole under certain shirts + fairly conservative clothing overall) that I’m not attempting to flash anyone.

        The tough thing about bra fitting, for me, is that *shape* matters so much. I can try on all the Freya brand bras I want, but the majority of them won’t fit quite right because the brand is made for someone with (ahem) more fullness on top.

        • Interesting. I have a 28D Freya bra, and once I got over the insanity of myself in a D cup, I realized it’s perfect.

          The Slate article doesn’t really mention people like me, but I’m a totally unremarkable bust that just needs a small band size. It’s incredibly hard to find, and expensive when you do find it.

          • Anonymous Poser :

            32F is perfect for me in PrimaDonna in many cases, but in some styles as with most Freya bras, the band and bottpm of the cup fit but there’s extra fabric at the top of the cups. I know this about Freya only because I’ve found Freya bras I liked well enough to try on.

            NSFW (but it’s drawings: outlines, actually), but this page in a sequence of questions to assist with bra sizing has info on shape:
            http://www.bratabase.com/pages/shapes/

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Someone gave me an old issue of Cosmo on a plane. I have no idea what month it was or if it was even this years. My head almost exploded when I read their tip to go up in band size and down a cup size if you want your bra to feel “more comfortable.” Rawr.

      • I think I’ve told this story here before, but that reminds me of something a Victoria Secret bra fitter once told me: “Most women like to think they’re a bigger cupsize and a smaller band size than they are because they don’t want to think they’re fat.” Yeah; talk about a company I have no desire to give money to.

        • aesthetic intelligence :

          My experience has been that going down a band size and up a cup size eliminated ‘quadra b 0 0 b’ syndrome.

        • FOOEY on Victoria’s Secret! Of course they don’t want to tell you your correct size if it means you’re leaving empty-handed! I wore the totally wrong size for years and years due to their misleading size guiding, and now I am preaching to my mom and sister on the same issue.

          • karenpadi :

            This. Besides, how does a lingerie-specialty store not stock a 36A? I know it’s not as common a size as 34B but c’mon even department stores carry 36A! I think VS carries half the sizes they should and feeds everyone else the BS line that you can” go up a cup size and down a band size and be fine” (and vice-versa).

            I refuse to shop at VS because they lied to me. For years.

    • I just feel like you all should know that, even at 26 weeks pregnant, I’ve only managed to hit a barely B-cup and still have not a hint of cle@vage, no matter how low cut I go.

      Grrr. I thought pregnancy would at least let me try out that whole b@@b thing folks are always going on about. :)

      • Breastfeeding might! Also, some women never go back to their original bra size, so maybe you’ll be a B cup for good?

        Anyway, grass is always greener. Think of us big-busted girls the next time you’re doing jumping jacks, and gloat a little.

      • Lucky you!! I’m a 32g and can only shop at Bravissimo. I wish b- feeding would deflate me and I could go buy every pretty, delicate br@ in the shops…..

  11. new york associate :

    Laundry question. When I wash colored cotton-knit t-shirts (especially the high-quality ones), they sometimes come out of the laundry with darker splotches on them. They’re not oil or grease stains, but they look like it. They will often come out of the shirts in the next wash, but then will reappear. It is so weird. Does this happen to anyone else, and any ideas for how to get rid of it? It’s especially annoying when it happens to my daughter’s not-cheap Hanna Anderssons, which are otherwise indestructible, or my good tops.

    • Yes, I have had this forever and I FINALLY figured out, it’s from fabric softener. They can ALL do it, whether it be liquid in the wash, dryer sheets, or a dryer bar. (if you look on the package, it even says so.) You put bar soap directly on the spot and rewash and it will usually come out.

      I have noticed this much less since switching to a dryer bar instead of the dryer sheets, though.

    • Do you add your laundry detergent as the water is filling and before you add the clothes, or do you add the clothes first and pour laundry detergent on top? This would apply to a top loading washing machine with liquid detergent, and not a front loading machine or (likely) powder detergent.

      • new york associate :

        Hmm. I usually add the clothes and throw the detergent on top. When I’m feeling fancy, I pour the detergent into the water that’s also pouring into the machine so they get mixed up before they hit the clothes. Maybe I should actually follow directions and fill the machine with water and soap before I stick the clothes in there. I’ve been sending my laundry out for many years and just moved into a place with a washer, so I’ve kind of forgotten how to do laundry!

    • It could be sweat/interaction with deodorant. I was seeing this mostly on white tops, so I stopped throwing really sweaty clothes (like workout clothes) into the pile with the rest of the laundry until the sweat had dried. Hasn’t been a problem, but then I don’t wear white tops as much either. Also, if you use liquid detergent, it can leave marks if it directly contacts the clothes. I let the machine run a bit, pour the detergent into the water, let a bit more water run in to dilute it, then add my clothes.

    • This has happened to me if the washer is too full with clothes (so stuff doesn’t move around freely) and/or there’s too much detergent. Really, you don’t need to add as much as the detergent box/bottle says.

    • I had a similar problem a few years ago, and could not figure out what it was – changed detergents, tried to make sure that the washer was not too full, etc. I never did figure it out (and the staining was permanant on a few tops), but it stopped when I got a new washer (the old one was a really old hand-me-down – that problem wasn’t the reason we replaced it). Not that that’s a great solution, but it might be something to consider.

    • Washing Machine PSA :

      PSA sort of related to this thread. If you have a washer that works, do not, and I mean do not, replace it with one of those new machines. After moving into a place with a new washing machine, I found out that the new washers are terrible and don’t wash clothes. We were going to replace ours, but couldn’t find any better options on the market. Right now I would trade my pretty 2 year old front loader for an ugly 1970s machine that would actually wash my clothes in less than 2 hours.

      • I hate front loaders. I had one of really high end ones, and I sold it with the house I hated so much. Bought a basic sears model to replace it, works great.

        Sometimes I’d wash the load of clothes in the front loader (and I always kept the loads really small because it was worse if I didn’t.) and I’d take things out and parts of them weren’t even wet. Can’t be clean if it never even got wet.

  12. Research, Not Law :

    Books that can be read in short intervals? I’m looking for reading material while I pump, so ~15 minutes twice a day. I usually read science non-fiction and memoirs/biographies, but I’m looking for something lighter, like Eat Pray Love or Bossypants. Something similar to Freakonomics could work. Open to other suggestions, too.

    Thanks!

    • Is Everyone Having Fun Without Me (or some version of that title) by Mindy Kaling or one of the earlier Jen Lancasters?

    • Equity's Darling :

      The Book of Awesome (and it’s sequels), are pretty short, and make me think more positively, so that’s a bonus. I also really like the Best American Nonrequired Reading- usually each story/essay is readable in 10-30min.

    • I am a nerd, but Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything. He mixes in a good sense of humor with actual science/history.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      For a blast from the past, try Sherlock Holmes. Worked perfectly for my train commute, and much of it was originally written to be read in short bursts as much of it was published in a magazine as short stories/serial novels.

    • Tim Gunn’s Golden Rules is a fun read

    • Brain Rules is fun/interesting, along the lines of Freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell.

    • It’s been a while since David Sedaris came out with a new one (except for the strange animal foray), but if you haven’t read his stuff yet, you should take a look :)

      And kudos to you for reading fun stuff instead of feeling you have to double up on the mommy duty and read parenting earnestness while pumping!

    • Diana Barry :

      I looooooooove the Shopaholic series for cotton candy books. Funny – important to relax while pumping! :)

    • Second David Sedaris and Mindy Kaling.

      Also: The Know It All by AJ Jacobs – written by a guy who read the Encyclopedia Brittanica, cover to cover, and wrote about the process. Very funny and oddly informative.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Sloane Crossley’s books are really funny (she’s like a female David Sedaris) and each chapter is self-contained. Start with “I was told there’d be cake.”

    • How to be a Woman!

    • new york associate :

      Cooking for Mr. Latte is great – short essays + recipes. Dinner a Love Story is a cookbook with a lot of text, and is good for short bursts.

      • And similarly, Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. She used to write for Gourmet, I think (she died young). Her novels are somewhat odd but entertaining, but her food writing was fabulous.

    • SoCal Gal :

      Jeeves & Wooster short stories are very diverting, and easy to put down and pick up.

    • I’m ashamed of myself for admitting this, but I loved Andy Cohen’s memoir, Most Talkative. Also recommend Mindy Kaling’s book, Jen Lancaster, and Dave Sedaris. Also, Jenny Lawson’s (she’s The Bloggess online) book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is entertaining.

    • Research, Not Law :

      These are all such great suggestions!! Thank you. Literally every single one sounds perfect.

    • I’m reading Game of Thrones right now on my subway trips, which are similar in length to your pumping. While it might not be a traditional “quick read”, I find that the page turning style of writing helps me quickly jump back into the story each time I pick it back up.

  13. I need something bigger to put my iPad in. Blackberry is soooo 2011!!!

  14. Help. I don’t know how to be a wife. We are newlyweds and we feel like we are being pulled apart by heavy workloads, lots of stress, and little overlapping free time. There doesn’t seem to be much pulling us together right now and it’s really depressing me and him, just work and stress and frustration pulling us apart. I find myself acting in the (stupid) ways my mother did, staying out of his way when he’s stressed, trying to make myself as small as possible so I don’t put additional demands on his time. He sees that as not supportive, he wants togetherness, he wants a partner, not me withdrawing. I want that too, but I don’t know what to do to make that happen. I have had no role models in my life for how to have a healthy relationship and am destroying our marriage. Is there a book on how to be a good wife/partner?

    • Also Anon :

      I may get roasted for saying this, but I actually found *some* of the tips in Dr. Laura’s book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” helpful. Please note that I said some, because not all of it is helpful, and some of it is antiquated. It’s been a while since I read it, so I can’t give specifics.

      Outside of that, I can’t think of any books I’ve read specifically on how to be a better wife. Maybe other commenters have something for you there.

      If it helps, I’m in a similar situation, and it blew up over the weekend a bit, so I’m commiserating with you.

      Can you schedule time together? I find that if something is scheduled, we’re both more likely to put everything else aside and enjoy each other’s company. We also make it a point to eat dinner together every night (if that’s possible for you two even a few nights a week, it’s a good way to catch up on each other’s day/week.) We’ve even done this with breakfast, since that can be a little more manageable before the day gets out of control.

    • Anonymous :

      Get to a therapist now. It’s not a you (singular) problem, it’s a you (plural) problem. A therapist (solo or couples) can help you identify what you’re doing that’s not working and put together a plan to work on not doing it anymore. Go like yesterday.

      • Really? I’m one of the people who advocates therapy earlier than most people think they need it (because people tend to think they need a “real” problem) but this sounds like they’re still just starting to figure out how to work through things. I think there’s value in a couple floundering around a little. My husband and I have only been married a few years and we’ve had communication issues, but for us part of the process has been learning how to recognize what’s going on, how to bring it up with the other person, and how to work through the issues as a team. I’m all for therapy to make marriages work, but the way OP puts it, it sounds like she and her husband are still feeling their way and I think it can be valuable for a couple to do a little of this on their own at first. If time goes by and they’re still having the same problems and have run out of things to try, then by all means, therapy is the way to go. I’m just not sure everyone needs to go right away.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, really. I think it’s really helpful to have a roadmap to keep thinks from becoming a problem. This is why most people suggest premarital counseling – so that you have set systems to deal with problems as they come up instead of feeling lost/failing/etc. The best thing you can do is talk to each other and work through problems together, and obviously they’re having some trouble doing that. She thinks the issue is hers and she’s beating herself up for it. She shouldn’t. The longer she does that, the worse off they are. Why wait until your car throws a rod when you can plan do tune-ups every 30,000 miles?

          The thing that got me most is the comment about repeating what her mother did. We are trained by our parents, and it is an uphill battle for the rest of our lives not to live as we saw them live. This goes from small problems (my mother never gave enough positive reinforcement) to large ones (the physical/mental abuse cycles you hear so much about). Having a game plan to address when she sees she’s starting to act like her mother in a way that is not working for their relationship can save a lot of headaches.

    • book recommendation :

      I would recommend two great books for both of you to read together. This isn’t just “your” issue, it’s a partnership issue. Both books come from a Christian-ish perspective, but even if that’s not your thing, the advice is still very practical and they’re both easy reads. I’ve recommended both books to several less or non-religious friends, and all have had positive comments. The first is “The Five Love Languages” by Paul White. The second is “His Needs, Her Needs” by William Harley. Both books open up some conversations about why you’re angry/feeling disconnected, and some practical ways to find a solution together.

      Re: your own behavior, my husband mentioned that I wasn’t “present” during grad school+full-time job, and I asked him what I could do to be more present at home. He said that it wasn’t anything specific, but just little things, like banging the kitchen cabinet doors or freaking out when I couldn’t find my keys, that made me different. So, you might think about what areas you wouldn’t normally get angry/frustrated/yell about (like inanimate objects that haven’t done anything to be difficult, in my case), and see if you’re manifesting your stress in that way. Again, it may not be that you’re doing anything noticeable, but just that you’re stressed.

      The communication issues should be discussed. My husband tends to want to take a break if we get in a fight, and re-visit the issue later. I tend to want to fight it out on the spot. At the beginning of our marriage, he’d try to leave, I’d try to keep fighting, so he’d just walk away, which made me even more angry. Finally, we sat down and discussed the communication issues, and we worked it out. Now, if we’re fighting, he’ll say that he needs a break and he’s going to read a chapter in a book or drink a cup of coffee, and we can pick it back up when he calms down. Since I know that he needs a break before he can communicate effectively, and he’s given me a timetable for discussing the issue, I’m ok with letting him go cool off before we talk. So, maybe you and your new husband need to sit down at a time when you aren’t frustrated and figure out those kinds of issues. What would make him feel that you’re a partner? Ask him to give you 3 things that would help, and then try to do those things. Similarly, what would make you feel that you aren’t stressing him out? Give him 3 things, and ask him to try to do those things.

    • I found some parts of the book with a title like How to Make your Marriage Better Without Talking About It (butchered title, but it’s something like that) to be somewhat helpful. I do just what you do, too re trying to make myself invisible when my husband is in a bad mood. Completely shocking because it’s behavior that’s totally unlike my normal persona (and my husband points out that he married the strong, loud, confident woman and not the invisible mouse-like one).

      • Anonymous for this response :

        Anon @ 3:47

        Wow! I’m relieved (though a little sad) to see that I’m not alone, re: the strong, loud, confident woman vs. the invisible mouse-like one.

    • I’m afraid I can’t help with advice on specific books, but I send what the other posters have said about this being a two-person problem. There is no way you are singlehandedly destroying your marriage; a marriage takes two people to live or die. Your husband should be wondering how to be a good husband, just like you are trying to be a good wife. It does sound like a therapist could help you and him talk about ways to communicate more effectively, which sounds like the main problem.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Ugh, how well I remember the angst of Learning To Be A Wife. To be honest, three years in I’m still learning, though things have settled down a bit. I really don’t have much advice, since I’m sure pretty much everything I did was wrong…but I will say that you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself. After I got married, there was something about Being A Wife that really sat wrong with me, in a way I can’t even really describe. I felt really rebellious, as though there was something about my new role that had thrust me kicking and screaming back into the 1950s and I had to escape at any cost. And it seemed like everything that happened in our relationship or home was suddenly so much more important, even though on the surface things were pretty much the same as they had been for the preceding 3.5 years. To be clear, this wasn’t anything coming from my hubby, it was just me trying to wrap my head around the shift from girlfriend/fiancée to wife, and the social constructs, and how to balance all that with the reality of our lives separately (i.e. work and school) and our life together. It was a slow process and we had some rough patches, so please don’t feel like it has to happen overnight. One book I saw and was sort of intrigued by, but never ended up reading, is called The Superior Wife Syndrome and is aimed at us Type A, fix-it-right-or-don’t-bother, use-common-sense-for-heaven’s-sake ladies. I’m not sure it would exactly address your issues, but it could be worth a glance.

    • A couple of things that we do that I think helps our marriage:
      1) We ask about each other’s day and then really listen to the response. My husband’s job is boring to me, but I listen anyways. Same goes for anything else he or I want to talk about. I really don’t care about last night’s football game but I listen anyways. I’m sure he doesn’t care about what I read on this site, but he listens anyways!
      2) Find time to do things you enjoy together. This can be simply going for a walk or out to dinner or going on vacation together when time and money permit. Especially now that we have kids we really value and prioritize this alone time.
      3) We try to do something nice for the other person every day. Sometimes this is something small–he will unload this dishes the nights he has to work late (he goes in later) so that when I am doing dinner by myself with the kids clean up is easier for me. I will pick him up his favorite kind of pastry when I walk past that bakery.
      4) Have sex regularly. Seriously. Make it a priority.

      • Very much agree with all of these. I can relate very much to the OP about not having a healthy relationship growing up to relate to and know how to “be a wife.” One small thing I do that is along the lines that Anon suggests is that I make sure I always thank my husband for doing things around the house, even if it is small or something he regularly does. Everyone is busy and stressed and tired when they come home from work, so a simple thank you can go SO far. Honestly!

        • book recommendation :

          YES, this, show appreciation! My husband cooks breakfast for us most days, but I always thank him for cooking. I generally cook dinner, and he thanks me for cooking. It helps to remember that we often take for granted small things that make us love our partners.

    • My husband and I had a really rough first year of marriage. And we’d been dating for years and years, so it came as a total shock. I agree that therapy is a great idea, and I wish I’d done it for myself, but I did not. Mostly I just want to commiserate with you, because I know how wretched it is to feel like you’ve just married the love of your life and then the whole thing is a massive failure. It’s not a failure. Newlywed years are just truly hard. The world doesn’t acknowledge it, but it is true.

      Anyway, here’s what’s helped us:
      *Articulating our needs. When I come home from work, I need some downtime – twenty minutes of silence. My husband wanted me to be present and chat. (He works alone; I work in a busy office.) Once we figured this out, it helped him to give me time at the end of the day to decompress and me to reassure him that I’d talk to him — just not right when I walked in the door. You might think about how to articulate your needs — for example, by saying, “I can see that you’re very stressed out, and it makes me want to withdraw. I’m trying not to do that, but I need you to help me by telling me one thing that I can do to help you.” Or whatever it is. Sometimes I feel like marriage requires stupid levels of communication — we talk constantly and try to get it right.
      *Finding rhythms that work. We really try to eat breakfast together – a real breakfast, seated at the table. It’s good for us, even if it makes it take longer for us to get out the door. We also have a Saturday morning rhythm – diner breakfast, farmer’s market – that is restorative. Even when we are insanely busy, these rhythms kick in and give us moments with each other that ground us.
      *Being kind and gentle. I give this advice to people all the time and they look at me like I’m crazy – because of course you’d be kind and gentle to your spouse, right? But actually, it can be very hard to be kind and gentle to your spouse if you’re under a lot of stress. You let all that tension spill over into your spouse, and forget to be kind. We are often kinder to strangers than we are to our loved ones. This is really a mantra for us, and has helped us to be easier on each other, to fight with more love and less rancor, and to be more supportive.
      *Understanding our own personalities. The Myers-Briggs has been a helpful tool for us, because I can just say, “Honey, I know you want to go out tonight because you are an ESTP. But I am an INFJ and need to spend tonight at home. Why don’t you go out with your friends without me, or we could go to a movie where I don’t have to talk to people?” YMMV, but Myers-Briggs gives us some language for framing our temperamental differences.

      Much love to you.

    • Did you live together before marriage? How long have you been together? Been married? There’s not a lot in your question to go on.

      I am not sure if this is a book issue. You may benefit from talking to a therapist. But if it’s just a matter of you withdrawing under stress and him wanting support, can you try to be more present, for lack of a better word? So some examples: when my SO and I are busy we still make time to send a text or call and it can literally take 3 seconds (how’s your day going? or Love you or Miss you… whatever). If possible, we try to eat dinner together – even if it means eating a little later or doing work afterwards. When you are home, show your support by asking about his day, if he seems upset ask him what happened, if he wants to talk, if there’s anything you can do to help. Try to remember any big events in his day. One thing I really appreciate about my SO is he always texts me “good luck” before important meetings or asks me after how something went. I try to do the same (sometimes I have to remind myself to do it via help from Siri, but I find it’s important to make people feel like you are thinking of them). Sometimes just a hug/kiss helps.

      I would also say, and I mean this nicely, that you should, perhaps, try not to be so dramatic. I have no idea what is going on in your relationship but it sounds a little hyperbolic to say that you are “destroying” your marriage. First, it takes 2 people to make any relationship work and you’re not the only one responsible for your marriage. Second, I doubt you are destroying it (based on what info is here, at least) so much as you are still figuring out how to live your new life together. Many couples go through this. You can fix it. But you’ve got to be calm and collected to do it.

      • Yes, lived together for 3 years. Together for 5 years. Neither of us married before. We’re in our early 30s. It really does feel like our marriage is falling apart, AIMS, but you’re right that I need to be calm and collected. This is just so upsetting and overwhelming, and the hamster wheel in my mind sees this inevitably leading towards the ugly divorce my parents had, which is paralyzing for me.

        Thank you all so much. Please keep sharing. I will be saving this thread so I can think about all this wonderful insight.

        • Seattleite :

          Second the earlier suggestion about therapy. Also, John M. Gottman has written several research-based books on what makes marriages thrive. Perhaps one of them will be helpful. I’ve heard excellent things about his weekend seminars, too.

          Your history is not your destiny. You are already noticing and thinking about negative patterns, and are willing to change them. Please do not discount how important that is!

          Maybe, while you’re tracking down a therapist, you and your husband could each identify a five-minute “thing” each day that would help you each feel loved, respected, and valued. It wouldn’t make the bigger stuff go away, but would be a smaller reminder that you care, and are trying.

          • +1000 on your history is not your destiny

            Talk to your husband about your respective parents marriages – if his was healthy, what was good, if your parents’ was not, what was bad. Are you projecting traits from your father onto him – did your dad get angry/lose his temper when stressed and you are afraid your husband will do the same, maybe subconsciously? What is his definition of what a “normal” wife should do when the husband is stressed? Talk to him? Stay out of the way? Our definition of “normal” is highly defined by what we grew up with, both our parents and our peers parents, and its hard to put yourself in the mind of someone who grew up with a different parental relationship than yours.

            I agree with others that normally “go to therapy” is not the best answer, but it sounds like you possibly have unresolved issues from your parents marriage that should be talked out in therapy, so you can understand that just because it happened that way in their marriage doesn’t mean it has to happen that way in yours. Maybe see a therapist that is willing to do a his, hers and ours therapy?

            Either way, keep the lines of communication open with your husband. Have you told him your fear that the marriage is falling apart, and that you don’t WANT it to fall apart? Just sharing this with him may help you realize that you are both scared but you both want to put in the effort to make the marriage work.

    • Communicate with each other, without judging and without fear. The care and feeding of a marriage doesn’t just happen on its own and at times it is really hard work, even if you have fantastic role models. It takes time and commitment from both parties so you can’t see it as a burden.

      • This. Communication & consideration are super important. Probably two of the most important things that have helped my marriage last 18 years despite marrying at 19 & 20. We like to say we’re the exception that proves the rule that you shouldn’t marry young.

      • Anonymous for this :

        +1
        This. Counseling can be helpful. It can help you know where or how to start, or both. The main thing is to share. It’s not about you, i.e., one person.

        Share with him how you feel, the challenge you are facing. If he’s not receptive, or puts you down, or brushes you off, then wait. At a later time, when you are both calm, you could try another stab at it or suggest counseling.

        I’m still trying to figure out how to be married, and the comments here are helpful.

    • For what it’s worth, I find that the couples I know who are strongest are those who pull together when things get tough, not pull apart. Maybe you could find some things that would be de-stressing that you could do together. Could you hike or take walks together? Or work out together? That way you could be together and be de-stressing. Also, when I felt like I was falling into patterns of behavior that I didn’t like, it helped me to go to therapy by myself to figure out how to respond differently.

    • e_pontellier :

      I found For Women Only and its companion, For Men Only, very helpful in understanding and supporting my new hubby.

      • Anonymous Poser :

        Heads up re: For Women Only and For Men Only
        You should be aware of the author(s)’ particular Christian perspective (which is fine if you agree with them: you may be appreciative of the heads-up if you do not).

        This is from a book review of “For Young Women Only”, by Shaunti Feldhahn (who also wrote or co-authored the books listed above) and Lisa A. Rice:

        The Bible teaches that women must respect their husbands unconditionally (p. 39).
        God ordained that men have a desire to be “completed” by a woman (p. 55).
        God designed women with a unique power to build up the guys in their lives (p. 83).
        God created guys to be visual and to have a more assertive sex drive (p. 98).
        Because God designed men to be visually-natured, guys cannot be attracted solely to a girl’s heart (p. 118).
        “God designed guys to be attracted to inner and outer beauty” (p. 129).

        Link to follow so that this will not be caught in moderation.

  15. Diana Barry :

    Hey ladies,

    I am changing sizes postpartum and now have a few suits, suit tops, etc., that I would love to send to a good home. I can’t really spare time to go to another clothing swap site, etc., so maybe anyone who would like a suit in a size 12, or tops in a size L (mostly BR), could email me?

    Email is dianabarryr*tte at gmail (replace * with e).

    :)

  16. In-House Salaries? :

    Need a quick bit of advice from the in-house r e t t e s out there:

    I have two years of litigation experience and am applying for 2 in-house counsel positions in a small midwestern city. The cost of living here is on the low end. I currently make 53K per year with so-so benefits that amount to about 6K in benefits each year. I will be (99% sure) receiving a 5K raise, putting me at 58K salary probably within the next month. The in-house positions are both companies that have corporate HQs in the same city, but their business is far reaching. One company’s business is regional (covers a few states) and the other company’s business is on a national level.

    The application I am filling out asks for a desired salary range. I really don’t know what to put. Same goes with being asked about such at thing at an interview or by HR. Advice would be much appreciated.

    • e_pontellier :

      I think over the weekend, there was some discussion of how to deal with HR requesting a salary range. I think the context was how to deal with changing it after you put something down, but I think it would be helpful. I unfortunately don’t have any advice (as I’m in law school still).

  17. Another relationship question:

    My husband and I have been married for a little over a year, and it’s been rough. Since we’ve been together, I’ve earned my JD, (hopefully!) passed the bar, and have a great job that I love, but it’s transitional, so I need to keep job-hunting and focus on my new career.

    When I first met husband, he was just returning to college following a few years in the work world. Four years later, he’s still barely a college sophomore! He drops classes, forgets to register, and waffles about majors and career paths. The latest news that really set me reeling was that he failed to pay an old debt and now his school won’t let him register. Because he waited until the absolute last minute to register, the time it took to iron out this problem has meant he’s missed the first four weeks of the semester! I want to be supportive of his career and educational goals, but the reality is we cannot afford for him to be a permanent student.

    I don’t know what to do to motivate him. Every time I talk to him about setting and meeting goals and deadlines I feel like a nag. But, I’m afraid if things continue like this we’ll be drowing in student debt. I honestly can’t afford to support us both on my salary. I’ve been telling him for weeks he needs to find at least a part-time job while he’s going to school, but every time I ask him about it he says he hasn’t applied for any jobs yet. I’m freaking out!

    • Can you present it as a joint problem, or as a problem you’re asking for his help in solving? Also, where does he see you guys in the next five years? Ten years? Thirty years? If his vision doesn’t line up with yours, that’s the first conversation to have. If it does, then you say “I want that, too, but I’m just not sure what the path there is. How do you see us getting there?” Does the path he lays out make sense? Does it have milestones you each have to reach? If so, can you get him to elaborate on how he plans to reach his milestones? Also, does he really want to be in school, or is he going to college because he can’t figure out what else to do, or because he thinks he has to do it for you to love him? Is he looking for a parttime job because you said he had to (and so maybe he’s being passive-aggressive)? Finally, what about telling him how all this makes you feel — that you feel like he takes you for granted, that you need his help in dealing with the stress of being the only source of income (being clear that you respect his desire to go to school, but that any sole breadwinner has a certain burden), that you worry about how the two of you will make a future together.

      By the way, none of this is to excuse his behavior. He’s not behaving like an adult. But telling him that will do nothing for your marriage and it sounds like what you want is to have a better marriage.

      • I think this is excellent advice. You can’t make him do anything. But you can start at the end: What is your shared goal for your life together? How are you going to get there? What do you need to do tomorrow to have the life you want in a year? This isn’t just a brainstorming exercise — it’s a financial conversation too.

        For me, my DH didn’t finish up in grad school and get a job until we started talking about the life we wanted to live. When we did that — when we took a step back from the “why won’t you finish the dissertation” to “how do we want our lives to look” — he got in gear.

        And also, I think that it’s easier to figure out if the marriage is working when you take a step back. It’s hard to talk about divorce for little things. But if your husband is not a partner in moving towards the goals you have for your life as a family, then that’s a much clearer reason to stay or go. Again for us, when we figured out that we shared the same goals, it gave us new energy to make them happen. (For me, that meant working less; for him, working more.)

        And finally, you should think about whether it could be depression, adult ADD, or something else.

    • Has he always been like this? As in, is he always an irresponsible flake who exhibits self-defeating behaviors?

      Or has he only become like this very recently? If this is a recent change, I wonder if he’s depressed. Depression is serious and can throw everything off kilter. My best pal in the world, who had once been so super-together, suddenly couldn’t manage to cash his paychecks for *months* when he had a bad relapse of depression.

      If the former, as TBK says, you have to present this as a joint problem, for your shared future, and show that you care about his future. If the latter, perhaps a good therapist can help (and prevent you from falling into the role of the ‘nag’.)

    • Senior Attorney :

      Honestly, this would be a deal-breaker for me. If I were in your shoes I would tell him in no uncertain terms that I will be out. the. door. if he isn’t employed in the next four weeks, and doesn’t stay employed for the duration. And then I would follow through.

      • Do ultimatums work?

        I feel like I’ve tried everything else, but I’m afraid to really lay down the law. I’ve sent him job postings I think he should follow up on, and I’ve set him up with people in job fields he’s interested in to do informational interviews. He never follows through with any of it. Recently, I went to an info interview WITH HIM just to make sure he’d do it! I feel like a helicopter wife! But, will he just shut down if I give him an ultimatum?

        • Ultimatums will be meaningless unless you follow through. You have to figure out what you’re trying to accomplish vs. what you are willing to accept as a consequence.

        • Senior Attorney :

          The sad truth is that you can’t make him do what you want him to do. So no, ultimatimus (ultimata?) probably don’t “work” in that sense. But from my point of view, the situation you describe is so completely unacceptable that I would be gone, gone, gone, and what you are characterizing as an ultimatium is in my mind more of a fair warning. He may well shut down if you set a deadline and lay out the consequences of his continued failure to be a man. But then you will have your answer, and you will be able to leave with a clear conscience.

          I know you’re afraid, because if you do this and he doesn’t rise to the occasion, you will have to leave. And it doesn’t sound like you are ready to do that. In which case my advice is exactly the opposite. If you know you are going to stay with him no matter what, then perhaps the most peaceful course of action is to separate your financial lives (maybe via a post-nuptial agreement whereby) and then let him do as he pleases.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oops… Make that “maybe via a post-nuptial agreement whereby you opt out of any community property/spousal support laws that may apply in your state.”

      • I kind of agree with this. It doesn’t sound like you’re talking about a husband, it sounds like you’re talking about a child. It’s one thing to expect your SO to be supportive while you’re in school and another to just have no plan and expect your SO to provide for you without ever making that decision together. Not to mention that when he is forgetting to pay debts, etc., he is likely affecting your credit history and finances, not just his.

        Excepting depression, I just don’t see how he can rationalize acting this way and making your life so much harder than it needs to be. Have you tried talking to him? I get that you don’t want to be a nag, but I think a heart to heart is in order. I would be very blunt and explain to him that you really need him to come up with a plan for his future and to take on responsibilities (part time job, home help, etc.) to make your life easier. Come up with a plan that’s realistic and be firm about deadlines.

        • I kind of agree with this. It doesn’t sound like you’re talking about a husband, it sounds like you’re talking about a child.

          To the point where I was just skimming this thread and thought the post was about her son not her husband until I went back to re-read more carefully.

    • e_pontellier :

      Based on your brief follow-up comment, it sounds like he may be resentful of what you called being a “helicopter wife.” Have you tried letting him know how this makes you feel? It also sounds like you could go either way as far as staying married. If you were coming here with a story about your bf or even your fiance, my advice would be turn and run! If you’re open to the possibility of separating, it sounds like you absolutely should give him an ultimatum. However, if you’re committed to working your marriage out, it sounds like you should (1) separate your finances so that he doesn’t leech (and to protect yourself), but (2) read For Women Only, or some of the books recommended above, to try to help him in a way that he can understand/appreciate. With my husband, ultimatums would be a guaranteed way to fail, and I’ve learned other ways of helping motivate him. I’ve also learned lots of patience. Now, I’m not subsidizing his life the way it sounds you’re subsidizing your husband’s life, so perhaps an ultimatum would work. Good luck, and as always, keep us posted!

    • You can’t motivate someone else. You can be supportive of them, but you can’t *make* anyone do anything.

      Short of depression or another mental health issue, you should calmly lay out your thoughts. 1. I support you going back to school, but I can’t be the sole income to support us. 2. You need to pull your weight in our marriage and right now that means getting a job. This needs to happen by X.

      Then you back off completely. Fight the urge to speak up, nag, or help. Let him flounder on his own, so he can find his way to deal with it. If he doesn’t meet those two things, by the time it needs to happen (and hasn’t made a serious effort) you should go to counseling because it’s more than a motivation issue, it is a lack of respect for your partnership and marriage.

      Also, this would drive me completely bonkers. I’ve dealt with a smaller issue with my SO and until I gave up the “help” he didn’t even try to do anything. He’s still not doing as much as I want (that’s his choice) but is doing something so it no longer impacts me.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      It seems to me like he’s always been like this, yet after 2-3 years together, you decided that he/your relationship was worth it to get married. Let’s turn back the clock a bit: what did you love about him when you were dating? Why did you decide to get married – what made you feel that he was the Right Life Partner for you? Were you hoping the lack of motivation would change when you got married? Was he financially dependent on you when you were dating, or did he support you during law school (and might feel like it’s his turn to be supported)? Can you start to see things from his perspective as an adult instead of seeing him as a wayward child you need to helicopter?

      To add another data point, I’d have found his behavior to be a dealbreaker far before it reached the point that you described. I think you should go to therapy alone or together ASAP (can you take advantage of resources at his school?). In the meantime, I think you should treat him like a rational adult and accept the current situation as it is: own the fact that you are the only breadwinner and set a realistic budget and financial plan based on your current salary and joint debts that will be sustainable, whatever it takes (no cable, no internet at home, moving to a less expensive place, selling a car, etc.). It is not fair to you to subsidize whatever it is he’s doing all day if he’s not contributing to your team by either working at home on your household (i.e. actual homemaking or stay at home parenting) or by furthering his career (by making concrete progress towards his degree or earning money). I think you should express a clear expectation he will contribute to your partnership as the adult he is, that you cannot see the situation continuing beyond X date, and then back off and expect he will either make progress towards changing the situation (personally, I’d count going to therapy regularly as an attempt to make progress) or you’ll have your answer as to whether he’s a team player to whom you want to be married.

      • I agree with the idea that ultimatums don’t ‘work’ per se, but since you should only say it if you’re prepared to follow through, it should be considered more fair warning.

        anyway. I would figure out first if he might be depressed (I think the best initial indicator of that is answering whether this is ‘new’ behavior from him. If so, this is something that needs to be looked at.)
        If he’s always been a flake, then you guys have to figure out how to get on track together. You’ve gotten some great suggestions about that.The other thing, though, is if he’s always been a flake, you need to figure out why you picked a flake. That’s the thing, if he has *always* been this way, you at some point decided, as LadyEnginerd noted, that the relationship was worth making permanent. So #1, she’s got great suggestions about looking back at why that was, and what has or hasn’t changed since then.

        Is it possible, also, that he really doesn’t want to go to college at all? There are plenty of trades out there that can lead to really good income, have you ever talked to him about whether college is even what he wants to do? He may not really want to, but feel pressured that he has to go get a degree because of your education level, when he’d really like to be an electrician (or whatever).

    • Anonymous Poser :

      I agree with folks who’ve mentioned there may be a mental health issue or maybe something else–
      Depression?
      unidentified ADD/ADHD?

      I hear you when you say you feel like a nag. You are just *reasonable*.
      Congrats on your JD, and I’ll have my fingers crossed re: the bar.

    • One thing that stood out to me in this was his forgetting to pay an old debt and procrastinating registering. Is it possible that he didn’t really “forget” about the old debt but that he didn’t want to ask you for the money for it, since you are the one bringing in the income that would have to pay the debt? Is he frustrated that you are holding all the purse strings and he has to ask you when he needs money to pay for school, etc? Not saying its correct, but many guys have a hard time not being the “breadwinner” and he may be having a hard time dealing emotionally with you being so successful right now while he’s floundering, especially if he comes from a background where men are supposed to be macho and “take care of their little woman”.

      I think you need to have a “all debts on the table” meeting where you both agree to lay out all your debts – student loans, credit cards, mortgage, etc, and then discuss where you stand money-wise and what the 2 of you are giving up so that he can be in school right now and what kind of difference it would make if he got a part-time job. And if he’s really waffling, maybe he needs to go back into the working world (an internship perhaps?) until he has more of a clue what he wants to get a degree in. Or he could still take 1-2 general courses in the evenings while working full time until he irons out more of what he wants to actually do career-wise and what degree he needs to get there.

      Good luck to the two of you!

    • Stepmom re driving and ACT preparing :

      You have described my 21 1/2 year old stepson perfectly. I have no idea how to encourage any change; everything we have tried, his mother has tried and his various therapists and friends have tried has failed. And this is a kid who has a perfect SAT score.

      I am very surprised you married him. I have often wondered about my stepson’s romantic prospects for exactly these reasons.

      Based on my utter inability to help you make any progress with your husband, I would suggest you focus entirely on yourself. In that regard, I second all recommendations that you:

      1. immediately separate all your finances
      2. talk to an attorney to see how you can get yourself off all his debts, existing and soon-t0-come
      2 1/2. eliminate his ability to run up your debts (get him off your credit cards, get him off any store accounts etc.)
      3. execute a post-nuptial agreement ASAP
      4. agree with yourself what progress has to happen by which date before you file for divorce.

      Your life can be a lot better than this. Don’t let this bury your future.

    • I see someone else has asked about depression. I wonder if he might be ADD or the like. If he has always been like this, I would think about testing. If this is a new thing, I would also think about the possibility of something else physical or mental going on.

  18. Hello ladies, I need a bit of career advice. I am currently a young associate at a small firm, which I have, up until recently, loved. I have gained an exceptional amount of experience in a short time, but I’m ready to move on. I’ve come across a staff attorney opening at a regional firm – I fit the criteria (the position would be within my current practice area) and the pay increase would be substantial. I’m hesitating, perhaps prematurely here, because I’ve heard some not-so-great things about staff attorney positions. On one hand, I would be getting paid more, working at a larger firm with a bigger name, and perhaps eventually be able to transition into an associate position (I know this isn’t true everywhere, but I have info that says it could happen at this place). On the other hand, it’s a non partnership track position, and I’ve heard that staff attorneys aren’t always treated well. Bearing in mind that I eventually want to move into the corporate realm (as GC or otherwise) or biglaw, is this a smart career move? Thanks, as always, for your replies!

    • I’m surprised to hear that they say that moving into an associate position is possible. I’d ask: 1) Is “associate” the same as “partner track”? There’s been a proliferation of “career associate” positions that rank above staff attorney but below full partner track associate. 2) What percentage of your staff attorneys have moved into associate positions? 3) What is the typical career path for your staff attorneys? (Hint: At most firms, there is none. Except maybe to Senior Staff Attorney.) Overall, the staff attorney position is not typically the path to much besides a pretty good paycheck and benefits. But that’s also a pre-crash viewpoint. In the post-Lehman legal world, there aren’t as many options. Finally, if you do take the position, realize: 1) you will rank below associates, even associates with less experience than you, and partners will hardly know who you are (they will often confuse you with paralegals); 2) you will not be likely to get any more “exceptional” experience, unless you count managing doc reviews “exceptional;” 3) unless they move a fair number of staff attorneys into associate positions, you will likely keep a certain stigma even if/when you become an associate there (most likely your best bet will be to use the title as leverage to get hired by another firm as a full partner-track associate).

      • Former MidLevel :

        This. And like Cornellian, I’m curious why you’ve decided it’s time to move on from your current firm. If you’re getting a lot of experience as a junior associate, that is a huge upside.

      • Thanks for your honest feedback. The “associate” position = partner track. My contact said that so far, it’s only been a small number of staff attorneys to move into these associate positions, but that could be because the firm is growing and these staff attorney positions are rather new to the firm. I asked about the type of work I’d be doing and she said it would be substantive things, no doc review, phew, so I’d be doing motions, appearances, depositions, etc. That’s comforting, I guess. Also, she said, once I’m assigned to a group, I’d be working solely with that group – no floating – and it’d be a full time, permanent position. It is rather disconcerting to hear that I’d be below the lowest of the low associates (though, being confused for a paralegal or a court reporter is nothing new to me, unfortunately), but, as you said, it’s a paycheck and benefits. And right now, my pay is not great and I have no benefits. I definitely think that I would try to use this job to break into a normal associate position elsewhere, but will the phrase “staff attorney” on my resume hinder that? Thanks again for your input

        • Yes, the phrase “staff attorney” will (possibly significantly) hinder your ability to move into an associate position elsewhere.

          • Also, if the work is substantive, why are they hiring staff attorneys to do it? Motions, appearances, and depositions are typically the kinds of things associates climb all over each other to do. My experience with staff attorneys in private practice is that they’re there to take over the mind-numbing stuff so the associates can get work that appropriately develops their professional skills to make them partner material within eight years or so.

    • Cornellian :

      What made you stop loving your current position? staff attorney positions have been hellish for my friends with them (class of 2009, 10, 11), with little job security, little respect, and not that much pay for the hours. If your current position is workable, I’d stick around there and keep looking for opportunities.

      • The partners here are very smart, very capable lawyers… but not so great business people. There have been some poor business decisions that have put a huge financial strain on the firm and I, and every other associate here, including one non equity partner, agree that things aren’t looking so good for us within the next year. This ship be sinking!

        So, the above, and some other more personal reasons.

        • Cornellian :

          Ah, that may change the picture. No harm in applying to this new position, but I don’t know anyone who has gone from staff attorney to associate, and I’d be skeptical of claims that you might if they can’t point to people who have. Good luck in your job search!

    • I’ve worked as a staff attorney and it was absolutely dreadful. I made the switch to regular associate only through personal connections at another firm. I’d stick it out at the place where you are working now, network like crazy, and keep looking.

      • thanks – can you speak to why it was so horrible? What sort of work were you doing?

        • Don’t do it. Please. Don’t go into a staff attorney position–it’s a career kiss of death from which you may never recover. Once in, you can’t get out. I wish I were exaggerating. I’m an associate in BigLaw, and there are dozens of staff attorneys at my firm. Many of them are 2008 layoffs that my firm scooped up on the cheap. They have been promised associate positions for years now; so far my firm has yet to deliver. Worse, recruiters won’t work with them, because the title “staff attorney” means that other firms won’t even look at their resumes. If you have a good job, stay in it.

          • This. Seriously. It’s not quite career suicide, but it’s not good. If you don’t have creditors banging on your door, and if you really want to have a career and not just a job (and maybe even then), don’t do it.

        • Anon- dreadful :

          Pretty much non-stop doc review, with an occasional research assignment. I can’t understand why a legit firm would have staff attorneys doing motion practice. That alone would make ms suspicious. But the dreadful part was really the lack of respect. I was pretty much invisible to the other associates. I took the job because it was my only option, and I don’t regret it, but it wasn’t good. I’d be asking myself why, if they want you doing substantive work, they aren’t willing to call you an associate- I suspect strongly it’s to get people cheap, and that doesn’t doing worth it when you have a job.

          • ” I can’t understand why a legit firm would have staff attorneys doing motion practice. That alone would make ms suspicious.”

            I agree, it is very suspect. I don’t know what to think anymore. On one hand, believe it or not, I think this move could actually be good for my career (larger firm, more diverse clients, possibility to work on bigger projects, etc) but then on the other, if it’s really as bad as everyone says it is, can I stick it out long enough to get any benefit out of it?

    • If you don’t end up becoming an associate at the prospective firm, you will have a really hard time transitioning from staff attorney to anything else. If you want to work as a GC or in biglaw, be very cautious about branding yourself with that type of title, especially with the glut of lawyers right now.

  19. 2/3 attorney :

    UGH I need to vent. Today I sent out a cover letter for a job I’d really like with an error in the first paragaph. A small word, missing entirely. In the sentence in which I referred to my “exellent research and writing skills.” Oof. I’m ashamed of myself. I hope it doesn’t eliminate me completely from consideration but… I know it will. I hate that I did this, feels like throwing opportunity right down the drain.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Uh, yeah, “excellent.” Clearly not my day for writing.

    • I got a summer clerkship with a federal job after a mistake like that. The judge brought it up during the interview, and I thought I was going to die. Worked there all summer, he never brought it up again. Deep breath, what’s done is done, and wine and cookies.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        OMG, what did he ask and what did you say?!

        Wine and cookies…. yep.

        • I don’t remember exactly. I think he held my cover letter up, and it had the missing/offending word circled. I was mortified. I think I just said something like, “I apologize, I’m usually not like that. There was a really quick turnaround on this position, and I was rushing to get my materials in.” Which was true. I like to think that I showed appropriate mortification that what I did was Not Okay, instead of copping a “eh, $hit happens” attitude. But I have no idea.

    • Cornellian :

      Ugh, I hate those days. Maybe it will help you figure out a system to avoid having this happen in the future?

    • At least it was a word omission and not the wrong company/hiring manager name? In my experience the latter is much more damaging. A single mispelling isn’t enough to knock out a candidate, from what I’ve seen.

      I second the wine and cookies. And good luck with the search!

    • I got a job offer as a lateral at a large law firm when I had the wrong dates listed for a job (so it looked like I had two previous jobs at once). It came up in one of my interviews, I was mortified and apologized profusely and we moved on. All is not lost!

    • Been there. It feels awful. It will pass.

    • I applied once for a job with a religiously-affiliated group that required a statement of religious faith (let’s call this Job A). Later the same month, I applied for Job B with a totally secular, liberal employer. Job B did the same type of work as Job A, so I just tweaked the cover letter I used for Job A and sent it off with an application for Job B… with the statement of faith following the cover letter on page 2 of the document. Whoops!

      I did not get so much as an acknowledgment of receipt from Job B. Happily, I ended up with an offer from Job A, and then ended up turning that offer down for Job C, so all was well that ended well. But in my current job I come into contact with people who work for Job B, and I always wonder if they may have seen that cover letter and thought I was a total nutter.

    • Yeah, when hiring legal assistants, I force myself to put in the “no” pile on the resumes and cover letters with typos. It’s painful sometimes. One time after a law firm interview in law school, I sent a thank-you email and said the firm name wrong (it had the same first name as this park near my house). But if they can’t get it right in their own resume, how are they going to do in my letters/pleadings.

  20. SoCalAtty :

    We made it back from our Colorado hiking weekend last night, and I am really, really sore! We attempted to hike Quandary Peak Saturday, but I only made it to 13,500′ before running out of time and gas. It is mostly rock steps and scree up there, so I didn’t really want to be coming down in the dark…but…we did hike for almost 9 hours and go up about 3000′ and back down over about 6 miles. No elevation sickness, so I know I’ll be able to do it next year! I just need to get out from behind my desk.

    In episode 246 of trying to deal with the brother, even after I had told him everything is going into his name (car, phone) and no more cash was going to be flowing into his bank account unless he either 1) finds a job on his own or 2) takes a job with one of our relatives on a construction site, and after a few weeks of normal “hey how was your day” conversation, he asked me for gas money on Friday. I said no, but let him know of a few of our relatives in the area that were working on projects that weekend that could use the help and would make sure he got paid the same day. He refused and proceeded to tell me what a horrible person I am and that I have no sympathy at all for him and that I never tell him the truth. Ok…so that went well…but I stuck to my guns and gave him no money. I’m still offering to pay for his GED test, but that is going to go in a money order made out to the adult school that offers it who can hold it for him until he shows up. One of the ways he tried to convince me to give him money Friday was to say, “fine, I’ll go take the GED test right now, I need the $150.” So I asked him for the number, called them, and they weren’t even offering it until Oct. 3. I don’t know if he thought I would take his word for it or not check or what? But he refused the side jobs and I haven’t heard from him since. So of course I’m totally worried about him (I know, I didn’t birth him and he is 20 years old, but still…), but I’m sticking to the logic that he is only in school part time and I have offered him 3 different ways to make money he has turned down.

    Other than that I’m just really busy at the office! I’m getting tired of dealing with discovery, but I guess that’s litigation.

    I saw the weekend thread with the pilings-on of K…in Transition, and I just want to add my voice to the “hey, come back!” pile. I’m of the theory that you should never post anything online that you wouldn’t be ok with all of your co-workers and bosses and clients reading, but everyone has things they need to vent about and that makes us…people! I sure find the support here invaluable! Probably a little late in the day for anyone to see this, but I appreciate everyone’s past support and still love reading even though work keeps me too busy to even read at lunch sometimes.

    • FWIW, I think you’re doing a great job with your brother, SoCalAtty. You’re not his parent, but you’re helping him learn some important lessons (with a lot of love and support) and he’ll be grateful in retrospect.

    • just Karen :

      Good job on sticking to your word – I cannot imagine any possible better way for you to have dealt with that situation. I know it’s hard, but keep it up, you’re doing what is best for him in the long run.

    • Congrats on the hike – it is such a great feeling to get above tree line. And you’re doing great with your brother. Not to be trite, but he can’t learn to fly unless you push him out of the nest.

    • Stepmom re driving and ACT preparing :

      As I wrote to you on August 10:

      “He will say he hates you. Let him. You will feel guilty and wonder if you are doing the right thing. You are. And let everyone else remind you that you are doing the right thing.”

      It must be really hard, but you are doing the right thing. Keep slogging through it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      • Been There :

        I missed the original post, but THIS, x1000. I say this as someone who had a brother in a very similar position. My brother struggled (and I mean struggled) to finish high school- it took our ENTIRE extended family, plus the entire staff of the high school to get that kid graduated. He was fighting drug addiction, depression, general teenage apathy/hoodulmism, all kinds of grief/rage from a death in the family, you name it. He got caught stealing painkillers from our relatives. He got caught selling drugs. He “stole” his inheritance [he stood to inherit a very valuable collection…which he stole and sold].

        He got tough love from all sides.He had to spend a couple nights in the police station, a couple nights sleeping on a park bench, a few months kicked out of the house and SLEEPING UNDER THE BACK PORCH of our neighbors. He lived in a hotel with my dad for 3 months when my mom refused to live with him. He got into a fist fight with my dad, more than once. He hated everyone in our family for no fewer than 3 years. It was the worst thing we have ever been through as a family, and we really thought we’d never see him again.

        That was almost 7 years ago. My parents have since divorced (partially related, partially not), but my brother has come completely around. He has a steady job, has a roof over his head, and has mended his family fences like I would never have believed (inc. but not limited to spending most weekends running errands for my mom, working for my dad, visiting my grandmother). He still has a lot of growing up to do, but he has made so much progress.

        Hang in there. You are doing the right thing. He will hate you. It might be for a long time. He’ll come around.

    • ColoradoGirl :

      Just wanted to say: yay Colorado :) Congrats on nearly finishing the 14er! 13,500ft is still really impressive :)

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