Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Surplice Top

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

Vince Camuto Surplice TopI know this is a basic top (and a very green one), but I can’t get over thinking how pretty it would look under a blazer. I love that wrapped look, the high V, the bit of ruching at the shoulders… sigh. I’d wear it with navy if I wanted to be preppy… a dark purple blazer if I wanted to be wild… and perhaps a gray pencil skirt to be safe. It was $59, but is now marked to $39 at Nordstrom. Vince Camuto Surplice Top

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  1. Gorgeous!

    • seriously! And now i am obsessed with putting this top under that purple blazer from earlier in the week. Gah!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Thanks, Kat. This is perfect for me. Bought.

  2. Just wanted to say thank you to DC Jenny for organizing last night’s happy hour. It was so nice to meet several other Corporette readers :) Hope to make it to the next one, whenever that one may be.

    • Ditto! Nice to meet you Valerie and all with whom I spoke. When I stopped by the florist to get the red rose, I guess I mentioned what it was for and the lady said “Have a good time with your girlfriend” to which I replied “Oh, there are lots of them!”.

      • OMG you actually took a red rose to your meetup?! I love it!!!

        • Yes, I did indeed!!! Someone joked about a year ago about having one to identify the group at a meetup and it always struck me as amusing.

      • I didn’t make it last night. Is someone still keeping a list at dc[thissite] at I hope to make it next time…

      • Cornellian :

        Haha. Last week I was fighting my way to the back of a bar where a group of friends including two brothers was waiting, and a guy was hitting on me. When I kept trying to resist/evade, he said, “Oh, going to find your boyfriend, are you?” and I replied “Brothers, actually.” His eyes got very big.

        • Totally OT but thank you for bringing up your cousins. You’ve reminded me that I also have local gremlins I need to be training for life.

      • Great to meet you too eek!!

    • Honey Pillows :

      Yes, thanks DC Jenny! I hope I can make it earlier and meet even more ladies next time! Everyone was very nice, and I’m so glad to meet y’all in person!

    • You’re welcome! It was great to meet you and everyone else that came out. Thanks to everyone who came, and I’m sorry I missed some people, including eek, from the early crowd. Next time!

      For those wondering about the list, if someone wants to organize the next meet-up, I will hand the list off to her, so, yes, it will stay in use.

    • DC Association :

      Another thank you here! I was on the early shift so sorry i didn’t meet everyone. And, eek, if you hadn’t gotten there so early, we definitely wouldn’t have had a table, so double thanks for that.

    • It was great to see folks again and to meet the new ones who came to the meetup.

  3. In the Pink - Balto Inner Harbour :

    Will be at the Inner Harbour area of Baltimore next week. Any good shopping around there? Favorite places to eat – to get out of the hotel and conference center – close by? Will not have a car.

    • CharmCity :

      There are some good stores in the Gallery (connected to the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel) on Pratt Street. It has Ann Taylor, LOFT, Gap, Talbots, VS, Coach, Brooks Brothers. There is also good shopping in Harbor East (Aliceanna and President Streets) there is an Anthropologie, J. Crew, WhiteHouse/BlackMarket and a few boutiques. Lululemon is supposed to be opening there soon, also. It may be already.

      As for restaurants, the B&O Brasserie located in the Hotel Monaco (on Charles Street) is a standard downtown favorite of mine. How long will you be there? Any particular type of cuisine you prefer? There were several of us on this site from Baltimore when someone asked a few weeks ago so you will probably get several more suggestions.

      • In the Pink - Balto Inner Harbour :

        I will be at the Marriott @ Camden Yards, without the World Series, thank goodness!

        T through F…love Italian, and sadly I can’t partake of the crustaceans and seafood. Used to live in Frederick for a few years, but never made it to “town.”

    • Little Italy is touristy, but I’m fond of La Tavola there. I also really like Pazo, which is on Aliceanna Street, I believe. I think it’s between Inner Harbor and Fells Point, so probably walkable.

    • Sotto Sopra 405 N Charles St p.410 625 0534. We ate there a few months ago. It’s up from Inner Harbor closer to Mt Vernon Square. Worth the walk!

    • The Four Seasons has great coffee and it’s cheaper or the same price as Starbucks and you can sit outside and look at the harbor. They also have a good happy hour with cheap wine. It’s in Harbor East.

  4. I like that top a lot.

    Ladies, I could use some support for today. I obviously can’t go into details, but basically, I have to work with a parent, who has had full custody with very little involvement from the other parent for most of the life of her children, and advise her that she must give up fighting and give custody to the other parent on another side of the country. You’ll have to trust me in saying that this is, IMO, a very unfair and detrimental result for the kids and parent, who has patterned her life around motherhood, and there are even some, I believe, legitimate concerns for the kids’ well-being, but circumstances out of our control have become such that there is nothing left that I can reasonably do but to give in. It really, really stinks.

    • Even without knowing the situation, it sounds heartbreaking. But if that’s what you think the only option is…Chin up, at least she has you there for her.

    • AnonInfinity :

      That sounds awful. Good luck to you and the parent.

    • These days are the worst. I know you and I are due on the same day, so a big glass of wine is out, but take care of yourself tonight. Breaking bad news to people is a very difficult experience, and you need to care for yourself after you’ve done what you have to do for her.

      In my experience, at least when I talk to patients, they rarely dislike it when you show true emotion. As much as this moment is about her, and her pain, and her needs, you don’t have to be a robot through it.

      Also, be prepared for anger from your client as I’m sure you know.

      Anyways, hang in there. It’s hard. After its done, take a moment to process and decompress, and then decompress tonight. It’s okay for this to take a bit to get over, on your part.

    • This demonstrates why it takes a special type of person to practice family law and to withstand it, and how I am not strong enough to do so. Good luck to you and your client.

      • I’m not sure that I am, either, to tell you the truth. :)

      • I agree. All through law school (and before) I thought I wanted to practice family law. The clinic I did was half family law and half criminal defense. I learned that I would much rather deal with criminals than family law clients…and have been practicing criminal defense happily for 4 years.

    • I serve as a GAL in custody cases, and it is hard, hard stuff. Can you request a GAL be appointed (at no cost to your client) to evaluate what will be in the child’s best interests? Obviously you can’t try to influence the GAL, but if the GAL found that it was in the child’s best interests to stay with your client, 9 times out of 10 the judge will agree with the GAL.

      And if that’s not an option or if you’ve exhausted all options, that’s rough. I hope you can work out a good visitation program for her.

    • *hugs*

      I’m so sorry. Best of luck with helping your client cope with this outcome, and my heart goes out to your client and her kids.

  5. Shoutout to mamabear :

    Mamabear – thanks for mentioning other great Amazon reviews, in particular the steering wheel desk. I spent far too much time reading/laughing at those last night.


  6. Rain Boots :

    Perfect day to talk about rain boots for work

    Any recs for rain boots for a formal investment bank setting? I don’t mind going up to $150. Oh, and wide calf.

    P.S. It’s raining here in NYC right now and here I am with a semi-wet skirt

    • SF Bay Associate :

      The Hunter boot’s Huntress is wide calf. Love mine.

      • I SO want a pair of those. They are on my list. After yesterday’s massive downpour (a river going down the street), I’ve decided that my rubber duckies just aren’t going to cut it for work commutes this winter.

    • anon for this :

      depending on how big your feet are, it’s worth a shot to try on the regular hunter boots. i sized up one, from 9 to 10, and they fit my 16.5″ calves with enough room to wear them over leggings/spandex or tall socks. i prefer them to the huntress because of the height.

    • I have the $30 Crocs rain boots which are completely nondescript (I have them in black), work perfectly, and have 17″ calves.

  7. e_pontellier :

    One of my favorite questions that came up at the NYC meet up was what on earth 1L / 2L means! I never really thought about it, but in case any other non-lawyers on this site are wondering, here goes: when you’re in your first year of law school, you’re called a 1L (e.g., instead of “freshman”). Likewise, second year is called 2L and third year is 3L — and law school takes 3 glorious (ha) years.
    To all the non-lawyers who came out earlier this week, thanks for the reality check. =) To all the lawyers who came out, thanks for the hope that someday I’ll get a job!

    • Sometimes I think there should be a ‘R3tte Guide to Acronyms. It took me the longest time to figure out what DH, SO, DS, etc. meant :)

      • And for inside jokes. (Still not sure what fondue means. I mean, beyond a delicious cheesy or chocolatey dish.)

        • e_pontellier :

          I would love to know what YMMV means…. and yes, there should definitely be a ‘r3ttes guide to acronyms!

        • I know that one! :

          It’s an inside joke referencing to Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” in which he says something like “Sitting by the fire while we’re eating fondue” except it sounds like “Sitting by the fire. Why we eating fondue?,” which is a funny way of asking what is going on here.

          • phillygirlruns :

            i am so glad someone explained the fondue thing. i got the gist of it but had no idea where it came from.

          • Today is the perfect day to listen to the Biebster and ponder about eatin’ fondue.

      • Two words, people – Urban Dictionary. It has all of these acronyms. Or Google. It’s not hard.

        • Um, don’t think it has lady garden parties, or new gardener. Some things just can’t be found elsewhere.

        • I rely on Urban Dictionary to an unhealthy degree… how does internet lingo evolve so quickly? I do agree with TBK though, some stuff is pretty specific to this site.

        • Sorry, did not see the follow-up comments about the different euphemisms (lady garden party, fondue, etc) – was just referring to the original post re: acronyms such as 1L, DS, DH, YMMV, etc.

          • A co-worker of mine thought LOL meant “living out loud” – still cracks me up – I like that idea even better than the real lol.

          • My favorite was when Phil, the clueless dad on Modern Family, thought he was soo cool because he knew that WTF means “why the face?”

          • 312: that’s shameful. LOL has been around since the early 90s! I hope you made your coworker feel appropriately ashamed.

          • I’ve heard a few stories of people who thought LOL meant “lots of love” and used it in places like condolence letters for a loved one’s death or something. Which is sad, but still makes me LOL

          • I had a friend who also thought LOL meant “lots of love.” He couldn’t figure out why his girlfriend kept getting pissed when he replied “LOL” to her sweet texts. Too funny.

  8. Ms. BEF, just wondering how you’re doing?

  9. Has anyone ever had to be separated from a new baby? I would be able to spend maternity leave with him/her (our leave is generous – 4 months) but then might need to move away from my husband and it would make more sense for my husband to keep her full time and me to visit as often as possible. Is that possible? I guess I could ship b* milk overnight maybe? Would it just kill me to leave my new baby?

    • Why would you be separated? And what is the distance of the separation (across town v. across the country)?

      I think that the milk shipping is trickier (I think you need think how perishable bodily fluids get transported, and it’s not as simple as FedEx), but perhaps consider this: new babies eat every few hours. As in sometimes starting feedings every 3 hours, but sometimes every 2; maybe 4 if you push it. That is a lot of pumping (and pumping = pumping, cleaning, storing, etc., and by that time, it may be almost time to pump again), around the clock. It might not be that much harder to have the actual baby with you (and, IMHO, easier on the feeding front, which is much of what maternity leave is spent doing).

      • I don’t want to out myself, but it’s a job situation where my hubs would live across the country for one year. So really it would be about 8 months minus the maternity leave. I think our moms/parents would come live with him for a while which would help.

        I don’t know if I’m crazy for thinking this might work.

        • For me, this would not have worked. I would have found it very, very difficult to be separated from my newborn. You should check with your local LLL re: the breastfeeding, but I think it would be really tough to pump and mail breastmilk for months and months.

          I know people have all *sorts* of healthy family arrangements that are non-standard, but this strikes me as a really miserable situation that I would do everything possible to avoid. I wish you and your spouse the best of luck figuring out a plan that works well for your family – it sounds like you have lots of time to plan, which is good!

          • Plenty of women exclusively pump, due to feeding issues. And you don’t have to exclusively breast feed. Supplement a bit with formula, start cereals a little early, and pump enough to maintain your supply for the weekends you’re able to be home. The first couple of months will be the hardest. It will get easier as you introduce more solids. 8 months just isn’t that long, in the great scheme of things.

          • Exclusively pumping doesn’t work for all women. If you want to try, you should try, but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out. Its a lot of time and effort to exclusively pump, don’t write it off as easy or “plenty of women do it”. Its not impossible, but its difficult. For me it took 20 minutes x 6 times a day, plus washing up time. so 2.5-3 hours a day, and that still didn’t produce 100% of the milk I needed in a day.

            But I think b-milk vs formula is only a tiny part of your worries. If you have to be separated, you can make it work. But think very hard on what your definition of “have to” is. Twenty years down the line – are you going to resent your child from keeping you from your opportunity if you pass it up (or your husband, if this is his opportunity)? Or will you resent your/his company for missing that time from your baby’s life?

            Also, what are the repercussions (career, financial, etc) if you and your husband agree to the separation and then a few months out you decide you just can’t take it anymore? Would it be career suicide? Or just set you back a little?

        • I could think of something like a deployment, where you have to go when you have to go. And if you have to go, you go.

          This would be complicated without a baby and the grandmothers will be a great help (my father is of a vintage where is not a man of great skills, but even an extra lap for holding a new baby is nice to have).

          The pumping may just be too much to add into the mix (new baby, new job, new travel schedule, new location). If I were you, I would not feel bad for a minute if it were a casualty here. Short-term (a work trip that you’ll be right back from is one thing, and on a pump-and-dump basis so you don’t dry up if it goes beyond a few days) long-distance pumping is one thing and real life doesn’t reward martyrdom.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            +1 to “real life doesn’t reward martyrdom.” I think that formula is your only solution to bicoastal parenting of an infant. You can’t do everything.

            I’ll add that the shipping milk idea is a little hair brained (from someone who ships weird delicate stuff for work). That makes me think that you’re in the stage where you want everything to be perfect – to have your cake (awesome job) and eat it too (b feed for 6 mo – 1 yr like you’re supposed to). This is a hugely non-ideal scenario you’re describing, so some things are going to have to give. I think it’s bicoastal OR b feeding. Not both. There is no wrong choice.

          • I agree. And remember, formula is not evil (I say this as a former bf’ing mom). You have to make the decisions that are right for you & your baby and accept them without beating yourself up over them. This will be a difficult situation all around. It doesn’t make sense to make it even harder by pumping & shipping milk. And 4 months EBF is awesome, anyway! I also think pumping constantly will make you miss your baby more. It will be hard enough being away for those months without the constant reminder of pumping.

            Personally I couldn’t have done this type of arrangement and would have done everything in my power to avoid it. But if you choose to, good luck to you!! I hope it all works out.

          • For what it’s worth, shipping milk does not seem “hairbrained” to me at all. Freeze after pumping and ship a cooler once a week. Not for everyone, and there’s no shame in formula. But I dot get the negativity. Of course you CAN do this. Depends whether it’s worth it to you.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Ok maybe not hair brained in principle but for eight months? I can only imagine how devastated I’d be if a shipment were lost or ruined (happens all the time) and I felt like a bad mommy who had let down my child on top of the long-distance parenting guilt. I think her talking about shippingis a symptom of her trying to “do it all” and be perfect despite these far from perfect circumstances. I think it is most important that the OP be kind to herself and this seems like she’d be biting off more than she can chew.

          • Y’all make some really good points. I’m going to show this to the hubs. Lots to think about. Thanks, ladies. I knew I could count on y’all.

    • e_pontellier :

      No advice, but my heart goes out to you. This must be incredibly difficult to try to figure out. I have separation anxiety as it is, and I can’t imagine having to move away from a new baby.

    • It might affect your ability to b-feed as long as you might otherwise like depending on how good your supply is and it will probably be hard to be be away from the family. Children need someone to love them, feed them and keep them warm and dry. That doesn’t have to be mom. You can do this if you want to. Will it be hard? Yes Will it kill you? No.

    • WorkingMom :

      Anon, How long would you be living way from your husband and baby for? That would be the deciding factor for me. You can ship BM in dry ice pretty easily, but the emotional toll might be too much. It comes down to weighing the opportunity vs. missing time with your little one. There’s always facetime, skype, etc, but not quite the same as holding your baby! It’s a touch decision, sorry that you are in that position. Best of luck with whatever you decide!

    • Another thing to consider is that you may not be medically cleared for some 4-6 weeks postpartum. That should give you plenty of time to nurse in person and when it is most beneficial. Might a prolonged long-distance trip not be worth the added hassle of pumping (FWIW, some thawed milk smells nasty)?

      If someone loves and feeds your baby (whatever, however), your baby will be fine.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      When I was ~1 mo old, my mother, who only got 4 weeks maternity leave (at the time, working for a major bank), came back and was immediately assigned a 2 month trip to Europe. She thought she would be okay with it, I was formula fed, my grandmother lived right nearby and was going to take care of me while my dad was working etc.

      She spent one week there before having my dad buy tickets to visit and bring me every single weekend. Literally 100% of her salary for those two months went to travel.

      Now one month is a lot younger than four, but I think this would be *really* hard for me personally – but it honestly won’t be that tough on the baby. Babies just need someone to love them and hold them and feed them and change them – it doesn’t have to be you. So if *you* feel like you can deal with the emotion of it, go for it because the baby will probably be fine — it’s yourself I’d be more worried about!

      • Wow, your dad’s a trooper — multiple almost back-to-back transAtlantic flights…with an infant. Go dad!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          The flight attendants got to know him by the end and helped (he said it also helped that all these (at the time) female flight attendants saw a young man struggling with an infant and were always rushing to make things easier for him) — my mom said whenever she traveled with me, she got no help, just glares from the other passengers when I cried!

    • Francie Nolan :

      We did it when my middle daughter was small. I cried every time I left her, but we survived. I bottle fed so I can’t help with the Breast feeding aspect.

      We just planned help for the times my husband would need it, we talked on the phone a lot, I sang to the baby every night, we emailed pictures, now you could skpe, and I made the most of the time I was home.

      Good Luck!

    • If there is any way at all that you can be with the new baby, even if it is just for a few weeks, please take the opportunity. I don’t just refer to the logistics, feeding etc but for the whole mum-baby thing. You will also presumably be hormonal and it will suck big time being parted from the baby.

      I personally couldn’t do it, it takes sterner stuff than I am made of…..

    • Anon for this :

      I haven’t done this, but I know someone who has. She was a surgical intern when her first kid was born and after 6 weeks (a LOT less than 4 months), she left the baby with her mother and flew back to the city where she worked, to finish out the year.

      Is this an ideal situation? No, of course not. But you absolutely can do it if you need to. At 4 months, babies can stretch longer between feelings. Many infants start rice cereals, etc at 4.5 or 5 months. You could pump an extra feeding during the last month you’re home and store it in the freezer so there’s a buffer supply. Spending on how far away you’ll be, you could look into periodic weekend visits, or you could sign up for a milk bank in which women provide donated breast milk. (Many locations have screening processes in place to enhance safety.) You could supplement with formula or wean early.

      There will absolutely be trade-offs. You won’t be there in person the first time your baby sits up unassisted, or pulls herself to standing. But the trade-offs may be worth it. As precious as those moments are, other things may be more important than any particular one of them, in the grand scheme of things.

    • I feel like I’m missing something here. This seems to me to be a can v. should issue. The “can” issue is easy — yes, with BF seeming to take up too much room.

      What about the “should” part of this equation? I feel that my career took me away from my life for too much of my life and a good part of thinking about things is setting boundaries on how much of my life I will give to my job. I would worry about any job that gets you to leave an infant (for either parent) — once that is done, how much else will you miss? You’ve already left your baby and left a spouse alone with a baby, now they may think they’ve got you. If it’s being sold to you as an 8-month stint, unless you’re shooting a movie or something else that has an endpoint, do you want to commit to a life like this? Does your spouse? Will your parents or child(ren)? Infants are simpler as children go — an older one will have friends, school, hobbies, etc. and those are tough to work in with jobs in your own city if both parents work. If this is something you can revisit over time, it might serve you all well to do so.

      [This is different if you have to — e.g., military deployment.]


      • Research, Not Law :

        I agree. I could have done it. A baby needs care and food – your husband can provide that. I personally would probably formula feed, but either way, the kiddo will eat. But I never would have done it voluntarily. I had to travel for 4 days for work when my first was 10 months old, and I made my husband (who was SAH) travel with me so that I could be with my baby. It’s hard being away. Not insurmountable, people do it, but hard. Very hard.

      • One thing I’ve found for myself is as my job asks more and more and as I’ve gone from being single to married to married with two children is:

        1. a lot of people in my field get divorced; I don’t taking it for granted that being married = staying married
        2. children are a lot of work even when everyone is local, no one travels much, and everyone is well
        3. throw in a sick child, older parents, job becoming more demanding, spouse’s boss changes, parents are older, and all bets are off

        The things that were fun in my 20s and exciting / challenging in my 30s now better have a clear payoff that justifies the nonsense in my 40s. Admitedly, I have a choice. But I don’t complicate my life without a damn good reason (jackpot job, short-term travel). If a job really wants me to give up my sanity, it had better give me a boost enough to get a nanny and a night nanny or let my husband quit working. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it. [Or, save the roof over my head if the economy keeps tanking.]

        I think you get the picture. I used to do things b/c I thought they were good for me on the long-term work front. And maybe they were. But now, there are more stakeholders and I give them a say because I value our hapiness. And I don’t reflexively jump just because someone asks. Maybe later, when folks are less needy of me, but I am choosing to sit out the heroics for now.

    • I don’t have personal experience with this, but separation of a parent and infant child happens all. the. time. I have coworkers who have to travel extensively leaving their babies behind, and family members in the military who were deployed with infants at home. It will be fine. Your husband will have a unique opportunity to bond with the baby, and the baby will be loved and adored by his/her grandparents. Of course it will be difficult for you – and it would be just as difficult for a father – but you will be a great mom and it will be all right.

      • Tears. Thanks for this.

      • This.

        And separations happen not just because of “our modern lifestyles” or military deployments. Don’t let some of the more hyperbolic media convince you that this is part of the “evils of working women/feminism/breakdown of the family” thing. That stuff is horsesh!t.

        My grandmother — who lived all her life in a formerly “third-world” country as a traditional homemaker, had to go to this nearby creek to fetch water and wash clothing. She would also have to go to the nearby hills to collect sticks and kindling. She also had several babies who were left with friendly, helpful neighborhood women, when she was on these errands.

        There was a neighbor who developed tuberculosis shortly after giving birth to one of her sons, and she was sent to a sanitorium to recuperate and was away for months. My grandmother helped take care of her baby son during the recuperation period, and that son has an excellent, loving relationship with his mother (now well into her 80s!) as well as a wonderful relationship with my (now late) grandmother.

        You’ll be a great mom, and it’ll work out alright. :-)

        • Anon-ette :

          I agree re separations happening, but these don’t seem to be truly voluntary and or that lengthy. I understand parents leaving their children behind where that is driven by poverty or where it is otherwise not the freest of choices. But I’ve seen lots of single and divorced parents and the tremendous burdens they bear, either by having the brunt of the work with no good respite options, or by missing their child terribly. Some people have to make choices where there is no ideal answer.

    • SpaceMountain :

      I think that would be so hard. My husband was deployed overseas for 6 months, and left when baby #2 was just 10 days old. He missed so much, and it was really hard for me as well. (He’s a reservist and we were not expecting this — it was post 9/11 when our world turned upside down; I’d never lived a “military life” before.) You might want to see if there’s away to delay it. It’s really hard to leave a baby, in terms of how you feel emotionally.

    • Diana Barry :

      YMMV, but I wouldn’t want to leave any of my kids for that long. Baby may not remember you, you will miss him/her…I just wouldn’t do it. Personally (and this may be controversial) I would be able to live away from my husband for a year, but not away from my baby.

    • Breast milk is not the most important thing in the world. Formula will do just fine. I am, however, concerned about possible maternal abandonment issues. Babies really do need to see mommy’s face coo at them and they need the snuggle. Maybe daddy will cuddle and coo but dads tend to do different but essential activities such as throw baby up in the air over and over and over and over again. This sound really hard.

  10. Today was the Women’s LEAF (Legal Education and Action Fund) Person’s Day breakfast, which celebrates the day that women legally became “Persons” under Canadian law. It was a great and inspiring event for several reasons.

    1) The speakers: Mary Eberts (founding mother of LEAF) talking about the continued need for activism here in Canada and Fiona Sampson (works with the Equality Effect, a group fighting to have Kenyan rape laws actually enforced). Amazing. I cried.

    2) All the amazing and inspirational women who attended. I was at a table with the top three people in Prosecutions after the Assistant Deputy MInister (who is a political appointee). All three of them are women and two of them are women of colour. They are all kick-ass amazing and fantastic role models. (Plus they are pretty fabulous fashionistas.)

    I know there is still lots (LOTS) of work to be done, but that all made me feel great. In my office, certainly, there are many high ranking women (heck, the head of the Gang unit is a woman!) and good maternity policies and while there’s a social old boys club, it doesn’t control access to positions of power. Plus, the provincial government made a commitment some years ago to equality on the benches, and they are pretty much there (17/35 judges on the Provincial bench are women).

    So, while I did have to get up in the dark at a god-awful hour to get there, it was totally worth it and a great start to my Friday.

    • Wow this sounds amazing! I’ve always wanted to get involved with LEAF. It sounds like a really unique and worthwhile experience.

      • It was awesome. And the Toronto breakfasts tend to have pretty high-profile speakers (they had Michaelle Jean this year!). LEAF does great work; I don’t actually volunteer for them , but if you’re looking for somewhere to get invovled, I would highly recommend them. It’s probably also an *amazing* networking opportunity!

  11. SAlit-a-gator :

    Love this top! The rouching is perfect for hinding post-Thanksgiving pudginess, and the neckline would look almost like a scarf underneath a blazer. Swoon!

    P.S. Thank you hive for your words of wisdom earlier in the week! Spoke with DH and turns up he’s in favor of more upfront disclaimers when I need him to just listen and not offer up solutions. I had been doing this the past couple of times, but it had not become a habit yet.

  12. Toronto meetup? If you’re interested, email toronto [dot] [name of this site] @ gmail dot com

    I’ll start an email thread at some point later today or this weekend and we can start to canvass dates and potential locations.

  13. this seems like the elusive perfect work top. if i weren’t on a shopping moratorium i would be ordering ASAP.

  14. Post Secret Thread :

    Aw man! I’m so sorry I missed that!

    I’m going to add my (fairly benign) secret:

    My husband works at night. When I’m at home alone in our house, I hate standing in front of anything reflective (our giant picture windows, the microwave, mirrors, etc.), and put all the blinds down, because I always think of horror movie trailers where all of a sudden the woman sees in the reflection of something a psycho killer/possessed child/murderous ghost standing behind her. It makes me feel like I’m crazy how much better I feel once I put the blinds down, but oh well.

    • I also have a secret :

      Sometimes poster. I have an abusive ex-husband, who I moved a thousand miles away from after our divorce. I have also been in therapy about all of the issues surrounding it. Recently, I started dating a great guy, which my therapist and I think I am ready to do. I keep having nightmares/fearful daytime thoughts that I am really still married, cheating on my husband, and he is going to find out and kill me. I worry this will never stop.

      • The nightmare thing is so awful! I was having horrible mindgame recurring nightmares last week where I would startle awake then fall back asleep into the same nightmare. The problem is that then you are wrung out the next day and if it lasts more than one night you end up feeding into the stress from lack of sleep. Try to eat right and work out to wear yourself out and maybe you’ll sleep better. Sorry you’re going through this.

      • I was raped 15 years ago and dreamed about my rapist 3 nights ago, out of the blue (hadn’t thought about him in months). It lessens, but it never stops. You probably have PTSD and will need to be vigilant for the symptoms, and it sounds like you’re absolutely on the right track by continuing with therapy and easing back into the dating world with help from your counselor.

        Rape and abuse are “gifts” that just keep on giving.

        • I can’t even imagine how hard this would be.

          This is why part of me wants to take all rapists and abusers and throw them in jail and throw away the key. What’s a 7yr term for someone like that (if they even get convicted) to the lifetime of crap that they deal to those they’ve targeted?

          • I don’t want to get into a debate, but I couldn’t leave this entirely alone and needed to say that despite having been a victim, I don’t agree with you. But some victims would agree with you.

          • I say “part of me.” There’s another part of me that says it’s not the right answer for all offenders, nor is it the humane, socially beneficial thing to do.

    • My husband travels a lot and I stupidly decided to watch Zodiac the other night while he was out of town. I literally watched 15 minutes of it and had to turn it off because the Zodiac threatens to throw a baby out the window. I spent the rest of the night quickly moving from room to room and constantly looking behind me.

      Lesson learned: Don’t do that again.

      • I watched Dexter the other night when my husband was away. NOT a good idea!

      • Before my husband leaves on business trips the last thing he says to me is frequently “don’t watch any Criminal Minds while I’m gone.” :-) That and I love you.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          I recently drove from Chicago to NC and when it started getting late and I needed to stop for a hotel, I kept looking around…. I realized I was looking for Morgan and Rossi, because every town looked like a Criminal Minds episode…. finally stopped on the W Va border but I was happy until I left the next morning…. I love that show but I have gotten up many a night to double check locks etc…

    • I was just about to post to thank K for the idea. I related to so many of yesterday’s posted secrets. I hope everyone who participated realizes they’re not alone and have the Hive’s support :)

      • Always a NYer :

        Me too! It was wonderful reading everyone’s secrets and being able to share mine. And the best part was how thoughtful the responses were. Thanks K for starting the thread!!!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I agree. I could relate to SO many of those secrets.

        And I think for me, it was interesting to see the theme emerge that so many of them are things that *lots* of professional women struggle with, like “Am I good enough? Do I work hard enough? Do I even want this enough?” and a lot of them surrounded trying to reconcile an outwardly rational and feminist self with internal impulses that felt antithetical to our own beliefs (eg, I should want a fancy job, but I want to stay home with my kids for peanuts, I want my husband to make more than me and I want to do more of the housework, etc). I don’t know how all you wonderful ladies balance these things, and quell these inner voices, but I have to say, I’m so impressed by you all and am comforted to know that you struggle with many of the same questions.

        • I was really surprised by how many women resented being the breadwinner, and how many people wanted to marry rich so their husband would make more than them.

          I was not comforted by that thread. I don’t like hearing about cheating, and I am still deciding how I feel about the not being the breadwinner comments.

          • Well, that’s why they’re called secrets and not OPINIONS WE PUBLICIZE ALL THE TIME. Feelings are feelings, yo. They don’t have to be right or wrong. Also, that thread really humanizes these RAWRING WOMEN – we’re not always awesome all the time.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I was not comforted by that thread but also in a lot of ways not surprised. I think the reason it was posted in a “secrets” thread under anonymous handles is that people were inwardly ashamed that they had these feelings – but also didn’t know how to train themselves to *feel* any other way.

            My mom is a really accomplished professional woman, and my dad is absolutely a feminist that never told me *anything* was outside of my reach because I am a woman. He always taught me to reach for the stars and try for everything I want in my career. But also, growing up, I *saw* how their marriage improved when the shift to “primary breadwinner” went to him. I saw how they were both happier, even though I don’t think my dad would have ever said he resented my mom in my early childhood (or vice versa), both were happier later on, when my mom took a break in her career to raise us and my dad was the one bringing home the money/making career moves that moved the family/etc. I don’t know why that was, and it feels antifeminist even to admit that it happened, but it did.

            I don’t know how I’m going to reconcile these things in my professional and personal life going forward – I’m still young and don’t have a family/husband, so my life can be all about my career and my wants right now. But I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who wonders about it.

          • Godzilla – humanizes is exactly the right word for it. It’s nice to know that my moments of “Am I enough? Am I doing this right?” are perfectly normal.

            Though apologies if as a monster you’re, you know, offended by the term “humanize” ;)

          • I may not always be awesome all the time. But I am always honest and live with integrity. I totally felt for some of the posters, but others felt almost betrayed. Its like finding out those secrets about friends. People did it anon but I know they are posters here, part of the community, and I feel like the community is different than I thought. I totally felt for posters who felt scared, or axiety. But did not for those who were cheating and wanted to marry for money. It just not people i want to associate with.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Anon –

            I don’t know, I disagree. Do you really have nothing in your life you are ashamed of feeling? Everyone has something someone else could or would judge them for. I try to be honest and live with integrity, but I could never make a blanket statement that I “always” am.

            Sometimes I find out secrets about friends, or find out they are doing something I wouldn’t do. In those situations, I don’t think, “Well you aren’t a person I want to associate any more because you have those feelings/take those actions.” Posting in a “secrets” thread under an anonymous handle means that people know it isn’t *right* to feel that way. I don’t like to decide who deserves my support, and who deserves my derision. I’d rather err on the side of support.

            Secrets about fear or anxiety ARE different than secrets about shame, but that doesn’t mean one is necessarily better than the other. I applaud you if you’ve never had a feeling or taken an action you are ashamed of. But I know I have, and I think many of the posters on that thread have as well.

          • I’ll out myself and say I’m one of the breadwinners who sometimes resents my husband. For me it’s not an everyday, all day thing, but there are times when he complains about something household/kids related and I say “Fine, you go deal with my job and co-workers and I’ll deal with that household thing”. I say it as a joke, but sometimes I really do mean it inside – it’s rough having the financial responsibility all on my shoulders and sometimes I just want him to acknowlege that.

          • I guess I judge too much. There’s def stuff in high school, like lies I told. But honestly, yeah I do always live with integrity. I have some weird fears I’d rather people not know. But if they know its wrong to act that way, why should i support them? they know its wrong, I know its wrong, so why should they get support? I am not trying to be mean, I think its clear that I am the outsider here. I just don’t get that warm fuzzy feeling everyone else seems to get about this community. Somettimes I do, Ive cried seeing how nice people are to some posters here. But not most of the time.

            If I knew them in real life I would support them in certain ways, but I would be clear that I think they should come clean.

            the breadwinning comments I am not judging because that is not hurting anyone, I am just surprised and feel that they are very different from me. that’s not something I judge for or deride, its just like “oh, we are very different.” like if they said “i am obsessed with heavy metal.” my reaction is I am surprised by that, I thought we both liked coldplay.

          • Anon –

            I think everyone has things that we are ashamed of letting see the light of day. Personally, I think that wanting to marry rich isn’t something so horrible that it would ever change my opinion of someone. I also understand that in real life, with real people, cheating happens. It’s unfortunate, but I know some really, really amazing people who let their guard down at a hard time and ended up cheating on their spouse. Those people, and those who want to marry rich, are not defined by those decisions or desires. It just means it’s one piece of a whole person who isn’t perfect.

          • I just dont agree Leigh. Amazing people don’t cheat. You don’t “end up” cheating on your spouse. You make a decision to forsake everything you promised, lie to them, and act on it selfishly with no regard for the other person. You don’t trip and fall and land cheating on them. I’ve never known an amazing person who cheated. And I know I will never cheat. Cheating is something that you have total control over.

            Its not that the marrying rich is so horrible, just so different from how I feel. I don’t care about it, and don’t care that I am the breadwinner. So that was just suprising to me, I kind of thought overachieving chicks would not resent being the breadwinner. and I am not talking about feelings like Meg. I understand the pressure and how that can be hard. I mean the ones that said they resent it and lost respect for their husband because they don’t want to make as much as their husband. Its just different than how I feel.

          • VeryAnonForThis :

            I cheated on my spouse. Even worse, I cheated with someone married, we left our spouses, and now we are together. Both of us *know* that we we did was shameful and disgusting. We are not proud of it, and we both carry huge guilt burdens about it. We are also both happier than we ever thought possible.

            That being said, my ex betrayed me in many ways despite the fact that he didn’t cheat on me. We were not having lady garden parties and hadn’t shared a bed for almost seven yaars (with very few exceptions), he had social anxiety that he refused to get help for which meant that we never did *anything* fun together, plus he was belittling and controlling and generally not-very-nice to me. He knew all of these things made me really really sad, but would not make any changes. My current partner’s marriage was not quite so awful, but had some similar issues.

            I know I should have just left, rather than having the affair which led to my leaving, but I just wasn’t strong enough.

            So, while I won’t defend the cheating, I will say that good people can cheat.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            I think that the world is more complicated than you make it out to be, and you come across as young and naive. For a long time I judged people for making “stupid” decisions (like staying in an abusive relationship) but then I found myself in one. And man, it is so much easier to be “stupid” or do things of which you are ashamed when you feel bad about yourself and feel unworthy of love.

            People are complicated and if you think you and everyone you associate with is perfect .., probably they’re just not willing to come to you with their deep shameful secrets because they know you’ll judge them.

          • anon, you are entitled to your feelings on this, of course. But the point of Post Secret, and the secrets thread by extension, is to allow people to express their secret thoughts without judgment, partly because just getting these things out even anonymously, can be healing for people.

            So, I get how you felt about the thread, and how you feel about yourself and integrity in life, and that is fine. But can we now lay this discussion to rest, rather than saying it over and over and possibly making people feel even worse for the secrets they confessed? I just don’t think this conversation needs to continue all day. I feel like it’s a little bit betraying the people who posted their secrets expecting to not be judged for them. (100% genuinely no snark intended here at all)

          • I agree with most of what you said regarding cheating being a decision, etc. With that said though, I really do know some great people who have made bad decisions. None of us are exempt from a bad decison, and some of them are worse than others. I’m a big proponent of not judging someone else’s situation until I’ve walked that road myself, and even then, I just understand it more and still can’t judge. I’m also a big fan of trying to extend grace because I know I want to recieve grace when I screw up royally.

            That said, I used to be a very judgemental person, and life took me down a few notches. (I’m not accusing you of being judgemental, just sharing my experiences.) I now realize that I’m nowhere near the person that I want to be, and I’ve got a future of change in front of me to become that person.

          • I don’t think there was any reason to make this personal ladyEnginerd. I realize that some things are complicated, but somethings are not. Cheating is always wrong, and everyone knows it. Nothing about that makes me naive. And I stated that in real life, I support my friends. I also try to help my friends and offer them guidance. I was expressing an opinion, something I thought that it was ok to do here. But I guess its only if you agree with the majority, and if you don’t you are attacked and called names. People are complicated, except for some who are just cruel I suppose.

          • Well personally, I’d resent being the breadwinner because I’d feel like I’d be obligated to stay in a high-powered and lucrative career, even though it might conflict with other personal goals I might have. It’s not that I resent making more, it’s that I wish that it was easier to make decisions on tough questions like whether or not to take time off or switch careers to stay at home with a baby. I feel the need to do it all and it would take some of the pressure off.

          • I posted before I read zora’s comment but I agree with her that this should be over. I was not meaning to drag it out further, but was very upset by LEs comment.

          • Anon, you said that certain confessions in the thread made you feel like you didn’t want to associate with people in this community after learning more about them. When you express an extremely judgemental opinion like that, of course people are going to react.

            Also, “Cheating is always wrong, and everyone knows it.”
            I don’t know it. If someone cheats on their spouse, you know what, I’m not in that relationship, I don’t know what’s going on with them. It is absolutely none of my business.

          • ok my last comment, but how can cheating not be wrong?? I am talking about cheating, not open relationships. cheating is always, always wrong. I don’t understand how people can’t think that. There are things in life that are wrong. Murder, rape, cheating, racism, robbing. These things are wrong. of course it is none of my business with cheating but it is still wrong. but anyway you have all made your point that you think i am wrong. I get that, and I will think that over. If you haven’t been able to tell I was cheated on, so that is what is shaping my world opinion. but i will consider the fact that the majority here apparently does not share my thinking. Maybe I will reconsider or maybe I just don’t belong here.

          • mostly, its grey :

            Anon, I used to have very black and white feelings like you did about how if a person acted a certain way they were a good or bad person. But as I’ve had more experiences and watched my friends (and not friends) have experiences, I have realized that life is mostly just full of shades of grey. Good people have bad moments. A mistake can be inexcusable and yet not reflective of a person as a whole. Life gets complicated sometimes…you can’t neatly sort people into good/bad, black/white…

          • VeryAnonForThis :

            Anon: I don’t think anyone is saying that cheating is right/isn’t wrong. Just that otherwise good people can do bad things. Also, nobody in my life knew quite how bad my marriage was, so from the outside it looked like I was the only one to blame. I think the ultimate point is that you can never really know what goes on in people’s lives, and how they end up where they are. People make mistakes, and bad decisions, but that doesn’t mean that their friends should abandon them.

          • I never said I would abandon my friends. I said I was upset by people, including one on this thread and one on the saks thread, who were just like tee hee I am cheating on my spouse. It made me feel upset.

          • anon, i am really trying to leave you to your opinions, but i can’t let this go .You are assuming a lot about intention that you cannot know about these from one sentence on a website. the thread explicitly was for secrets, as Godzilla said, things we don’t own up to in public. you cannot assume that anyone said they were cheating flippantly. they were just stating it. I understand you have some personal history with this and why it would be upsetting. But when people are encouraged to post anonymously, please don’t assign bad intentions or flippant behavior to people you do not know. I almost feel like this conversation is ruining the whole secrets thread from yesterday and for the future. Some people have painful things in their lives and assuming they are not painful when you don’t know them is upsetting to me.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            I am sorry you were offended. That was not my intention I meant the second part more as “one” or “a person” instead of you specifically. If one is vulnerable and nonjudgmental, people will trust you with shameful secrets.

            But if “one” judges them, they can pick up on it no matter how well one might try to hide it and be supportive. I have never cheated, but that doesn’t mean that I am not deeply ashamed of some things I have done. Piling on and telling people they’re wrong for cheating is like telling someone obese that they’re fat – they already know and feel bad about it, but that doesn’t change or fix it. Please think about how you can help people move forward because they can’t change the past.

          • Well I don’t understand why I am the only one who cannot have an opinion on this site. This is my anonymous confession, but everyone has commented on it. No one judged the other confessions. Mine does happen to deal with other confessions, but this is my anonymous secret. I don’t like people who cheat. Someone on the other thread admitted being RACIST and they get no flak, but mine is that I don’t like cheaters, and I don’t understand them and everyone is like oh you are awful. If someone is doing something that causes them pain, just stop doing it!! Just stop cheating if it is painful! ok? I am done. I get that no one else agrees with me and that everyone thinks my secret is apparently the worst of them.

          • anon, I do not think you are awful. I don’t think you can’t have your opinion. You have as much right to post your feelings as anyone. I apologize if i made you feel like i thought you were awful. Your post was phrased as aimed AT the posted secrets, not admitting your own secret. So, I think people were responding because of that phrasing, feeling a need to defend the thread and the original posters from judgment. But I am sorry I said anything, and I do not think you are awful, your secret is not the worst, and I am not judging you or what you said, i was just feeling protective of others who revealed secrets. So, now i will be protective of you and your secret. Thank you for being here, and for sharing something personal, and {internet hugs}.

          • VeryAnonForThis :

            Agree with Zora. Hugs to everyone with ALL the secrets.

          • Anon, there’s pretty solid evidence that MLK was a womanizer. I’d venture to say that he still counted as an “amazing person”. We are none of us perfect.

          • thank you zora. I was extra defensive. and I will take all these thoughts into consideration. I see this completely black and white, and maybe that is not because I am right but because I am not taking enough gray into consideration. I will think about your comments on this issue.

          • well, you’re welcome, and thank *you*, and yes to hugs all around. And i’m going to step away from the computer now and take a break ;o) but i hope we can continue to support each other and challenge each other, cuz that’s what we’re all here for. moar hugs!!

          • another anon :

            I’ll go anon since I’ll probably get crucified by the self-righteous commenters, but you know, monogamy (or serial monogamy) is not the only option for relationships. Many, many people believe that lifetime monogamy is unrealistic and that open or polyamorous relationships are a healthy expression of human sexuality and the human capacity for romantic love.

          • regular commenter under new handle. I want to chime in here to agree with anon. Cheating is wrong, period. I am happily married, never been cheated on, and I don’t have respect for people who cheat. Just want to say I agree with anon that cheating is something you should have total control over (unlike being overweight, or of a certain race.) IMO it’s ok to judge someone for cheating. Good people may do it but let’s not forget that it’s a lapse of judgment and control, and dishonest.

      • I agree! It was such an incredible outpouring and then so much support. I read the thread about sleeping with stuffed animals and thought “the animal I sleep with is real!” My little black cat would tear the stuffing out of anything not real on my bed. She is a beautiful little princess who turns into a vicious killer cat when faced with a squeaky stuffed mouse.

        • LOL!

          I will out myself as one of the “anon” posters who posted about sleeping with a stuffed animal. It’s one of the many things that’s given me pause (aside from my crazy hours) about getting a dog. I wouldn’t want the (live) doggie to rip apart my ancient, beloved stuffed animal.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I’ve been posting regularly here for years and am certain that K’s Secrets thread was the best thread we have ever had. I love you all so much.

        • transition :

          This brought tears… I’ve been feeling really down lately and feeling unimpactful (not a real word, I know, but fitting) in the world and this really means a lot.

          I think, for some, this was like finding out your parents are real people too. There’s something lovely about imagining a person as being up high and always perfect. Finding out there are flaws in everyone can shock some but ultimately leads to a deeper bond.

          I really do love you guys and am so glad you were open enough to share your secrets with me and with all of us.

        • I agree *so much*. That was the best thread ever. Thank you so much, K, for starting it.

          It took a lot of courage for people to post what they did. Thank you everyone for sharing. And there is no judging of anyone’s secrets on my end. We are all different and we are all imperfect people. That is part of the glory of life.

        • I agree. I felt supported and felt lik I was able to give support as well. It was a great, great thread.

      • I loved the secret thread not just because I empathized with so many of the secrets but because I didn’t necessarily empathize with all of them. But that’s how we grow as people. By understanding that there is this whole world of human experience that lots of other people are feeling and living with that we aren’t. It helps you see a breadth of humanity to understand what people are feeling when they aren’t putting on their “public” face.

        That’s what makes Post Secret a beautiful thing and what frequently makes this website a beautiful thing. That is all.

      • I realized yesterday–after listening to Brene Brown’s TED talks that were recommended here–that I might not be 100% female-gendered. I’m not male-gendered, either. I love having my body, so I’m not transs#xual. The gender labels for “in between” are too confusing.

        • You might be genderqueer. :)

          • yeah. or bigender or genderfluid or non-gendered or mixed gender or … There was one site last night that had at least two dozen labels for “not quite either gender”.

            Google is too powerful sometimes. Thanks for the smiley face–I feel encouraged!

        • Sending *lots* of encouragment and support for you as you figure it out. Even more important than finding the right nomenclature is your own comfort with your body and your identity. BigInternetHugs.

    • I’m such a baby about this! And yet, when I lived in a flat, I had a terrible habit of forgetting to lock my doors!

    • I fell in love with this community a little more after the secrets thread.

      For those of you struggling with some very painful secrets — I just want you to know that none of them would make me turn my back on you. If you posted it under your real name (or as real as it gets on an internet board) I would support you and offer you advice and internet hugs.

      • Ditto. Hugs and rawrs to everyone, whether you shared a secret or not.

        • Yes, it was an amazing thread, and there is something so powerful about our secrets and being able to share them even anonymously. Thanks again to K for starting it. And, I think it would be awesome to reprise it every few months. Hugs and Rawrs to all! ;o)

      • I actually was talking with Mr. TBK about some of this a few weeks ago — how helpful having a fairly anonymous place to talk/vent/ask for advice is. He asked my handle and when he saw me hesitate, he said he was just curious what I used but that he would never come on the site and read what I posted. That got us talking about online anonymity and the concept of confession. We’ve talked before about how it’s kind of a problem that the government recognizes priest/penitent privilege and spousal privilege, but that many states don’t recognize therapist/patient privilege. That means if you’re single and not religious (or not part of a religion that has clerics) you might not have anywhere to go to get things off your chest. (Um, yeah, we’re nerdy like that. We seriously have these kinds of conversations.) Not that anyone posted anything about illegal activity, but just that general concept of how our public policy views it as a positive if people have a safe place to go to confess their secrets. I didn’t go to the DC meet-up last night in part because I cherish this site working exactly how it works. I kind of like knowing all of you just as your thoughts and words, without piling on assumptions based on appearance or dress or whatever. Also, I kind of like having a place where I’m just TBK. (This is really rambly. Wow. Sorry.)

        • transition :

          FYI, any licensed social worker has a professional code we are required to follow, which is hugely based in confidentiality. Although not all states have title protection (meaning in some places, anyone can call themselves a “social worker”), only someone with training and education may become licensed, so always seek a licensed social worker when you want to guarantee privacy and confidentiality. Hope this helps :)

        • This is exactly how I feel about this site. I think that there are things you could never say to your spouse/friends, but anonymity give you the chance to bare it all and get really sound advice. Even if you post under your assumed name, you are still able to get objective advice from people and I really love that.

          I also have nerdy conversations with my husband. This morning we were comparing notes on historical events we remembered on the way to work. Nerds.

        • TBK, as far as I know, no one gave their handle and I didn’t ask. It was obvious who I was, but I think there was respect for anonymity. First names only :D

      • I missed this thread yesterday, but I went back and read it… and I love everyone here and it made me not-happy-but-a-word-that-kind-of-means-that that so many of the things I might have posted are more universal than I thought.

        Also, I kind of agree with you, TBK. I couldn’t make it to the DC meetup anyway, but I can’t quite decide how I feel about removing some of the anonymity.

      • Amen, sister. I would, too.

    • Having read the secrets thread, I want to say something to the person who has feelings for her close male friend but doesn’t dare to say it. Tell him! This is my advice as someone who did it and who did *not* succeed, and as such I think it’s more useful than a “happily ever after” love story.

      In grad school I had a very close male friend, and everyone assumed something was going on with us (or would). When I finally spoke up to him I expected it to be the beginning of a relationship, but nope. He said he wanted to stay friends. The happily ever after story is that we both acted like adults and if anything we became closer as a result. It was one of the most impressive tests of mutual respect and maturity I have ever gone through with anyone. We agreed on the spot to just put it behind us, and we did. A few other people found out about it, and I didn’t resent him for telling a few of his friends–it was an important event in his life. Neither of us pulled any BS, and never have since. We are still very close friends, are both in happy relationships with others (having dated a few more since then), and it’s 100% fine. Bottom line: I know this feels like a huge risk, but if he’s really your friend, it is not. Good luck…but also know that you don’t actually need luck if you know and love yourself and have a true friendship.

      • Oops. I just went back and saw that someone had posted a love story. I didn’t mean to say this wasn’t a great outcome and encouragement, just to say that while you know that is the ideal, and that it happens sometimes, I’m here to say that it’s also just peachy in the end if it doesn’t turn you into a couple.

      • When I walk by Secret Service squad cars in front of the White House, I have an uncontrollable urge to grab the door handle, jump in, and take off, sirens blazing.

    • Anon, for realz :

      I’ve been married for seven years, and I slept with another man recently. It was great. I want to do it again. But I’m worried that I will fall in love with this other guy, so I won’t.

    • When I have nightmares, they are sometimes accompanied by the AT&T teleconference hold music.

    • anon terrible wife :

      here’s my belated secret:

      I fantasize about leaving my husband and living alone, and having my apartment exactly the way that I want it: clean, organized, and without all his crap in it. I want a Woody Allen-style marriage where we basically just date, and we don’t live together and we have separate finances.

      I think my husband can’t find a job because he is lazy. I don’t care that I make more money than he does, I care that he doesn’t make any money, and we can’t afford to live this way. This makes me not want to have lady garden parties with him; and, we don’t. No lady garden parties in months.

      I told my husband I want three children, but I secretly think that I might like to remain childless.

      • You sound exactly like me in 2006 with one crucial difference. I had all of those problems but wouldn’t have ever initiated a divorce if my ex hadn’t. I guess I just didn’t realize how miserable I was. But I have to tell you that I am SO HAPPY single. I decide how to spend my money (I can spend all of my disposable income on clothes and shoes if I want) and I don’t have the albatross of his debt or his unemployment or his unhappiness or his laziness. It’s very freeing and I can keep my house exactly how I want. I’m not going to say what you should do – nobody can. But I can tell you from the other side that I am a much happier person on my own.

      • to echo NOLA, I think we are all much more afraid of what our lives will be like post-divorce than we need to be. I am divorced (and remarried) as are many of my friends and though the circumstances that led to my divorce were different from yours and NOLA’s, I can relate to NOLA’s feeling of freedom and relief. It was incredibly liberating. You don’t have kids. You don’t have s3x. What on earth is keeping you there? Guilt? Obligation?

        It helped me to realize I have only one life and this is it. I am so glad I chose to live my life rather than spending more time wallowing in a hateful relationship and fearing the unknown.

    • Very Secret :

      I’m married to the most wonderful, loving, caring man. I have feelings for a priest who I suspect is gay. Oh, and I’m an atheist. I guess the good thing is, it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever act on my feelings.

  15. Career question…
    Have (or are) any of the lawyers out there started their careers in “non-practicing/non-traditional” positions? I’ve been in my position for about a year now, and while I’m admitted, it’s not a practicing position (think more like a corporate setting.) It’s a great job, great team, lots of room for growth…but I’m not being a lawyer, and it’s not where I want to be. Looking back I’m concerned I made the wrong choice by taking this job. When I graduated (2011) there were very few jobs in our area, even some of my friends from school are still no where near a full-time or legal position. I’ve had a few interviews over the past year, and still keeping an eye out for positions better suited for my goals, but it’s hard to think that I’m going to be able to find something the longer I’m in the wrong setting.
    Has anyone successfully transitioned back into their desired career areas? Any advice?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I personally have not but when my husband and I were in law enforcement it was very common for someone to go to law school part time while working full time, graduate, stay in law enforcement long enough after to not have to pay back the tuition reimbursements, and then go practice law. Many went to law school as they were nearing retirement (20 years of service in some departments) and would then have a second career in law, but work back in law enforcement in between the two. This was back when the economy was better but none of them had issues finding jobs. They also weren’t pigeon-holed into prosecution or criminal defense. Many went and worked for civil firms or corporations. One has a thriving trusts and estates practice. I think the difference between your situation and theirs though is waiting out retirement or working the mandatory years to avoid losing the reimbursement explains why they didn’t go right into law. In other situations an employer might just think you couldn’t get a job or didn’t really want to practice law. I’m not sure how that would change the scenario. I’m sure with this economy it is going to be much more common.

      • Luckily I still do use the law somewhat in my current job, so hopefully potential employers don’t get that impression. And I’m hoping that you’re right in that it isn’t uncommon. I went on an interview at one of the public defense offices in my state and it seemed like the interviewer understood exactly why I had the job I currently do, said she respected it. I guess we’ll see!

    • No real advice, but wanted to chime in to say that my husband is in the same boat as you. In a non-traditional job, graduated in 2011, took the job because he couldn’t find a full-time legal job and was sick of being unemployed. He is going to see where this job takes him and wants to try and turn it into a compliance/in-house position, but if that doesn’t work out he is also nervous about his ability to work in a traditionally legal setting. You’re not alone!!

      • Sometimes even just hearing that someone else knows what I feel helps :) Good luck to your husband!!

    • Does your company have in-house attorneys? Would it be possible for you to transition into a legal role at some point?

  16. In-House Europe :

    Hi ladies, I haven’t commented in a while but for those that might remember that I had a M/C* last March, I got a BFP* last week! Hoping this one sticks…

    *Acronymed to save those who don’t care about such things. :)

    • congrats!

    • phillygirlruns :


    • This is great news! I’m in a similar boat (PAL*) and am thrilled and terrified all at the same time! I’m trying to stay positive, I hope you’re able to do the same.

      * Acronymed for the same reason :)

    • Congrats! Great healthy wonderful vibes to you.

    • Westsidebee :

      Congrats to you and to Another S! Sticky vibes all around :)

    • Congratulations! Honey & sweetness & stickiness vibes to you!

    • I assume this has to do with babies and if so YAYAYAYAY!!!!! I hope your uterine lining is nice and thick or whatever its supposed to be. :-)

      • I don’t know what the acronyms mean but I also assumed babies, so yay, congrats!

        TCFKAG, “I hope your uterine lining is nice and thick” is the best well-wish for a good pregnancy I’ve ever heard.

      • I figured out what MC is, I think, but I got to BFP and all I came up with was “bona fide purchaser.”

        Which can’t be right.

      • Yeah, everyone who is in the know seems excited, which usually means babies, so congratulations! Yay! Sending positive (if vague!) thoughts your way!

        But, um, how do I know if I care about such things if I have no idea what such things we’re talking about? :)

    • Congratulations!

  17. Miss Cellaneous :

    Bought a similar top a Banana Republic and LOVE it. It’s super soft and very flattering tucked into a pencil skirt. Here’s the link to the solid version. They also have a printed one.

    • I was just going to add this BR one too! I have it too and like it very much.

    • Miss Cellaneous :

      Sizing FYI on the top:
      I bought a small.
      BR’s vanity sizing is out of control this season. I would normally expect to buy a medium in a stretchy shirt like this sice I like tops fitted but not tight.

      This top hides a little around the middle but won’t hide a lot. I’m a pear shape. The structure of my waist is much smaller than my hips, but a do have a little pooch. This top hides the pooch very well as long as I wear it with a skirt or pants that fit well.

      I find BR’s sizing really inconsistent, so here are my usual sizes in J Crew and Ann Taylor.
      Jackets- 4 or 6 J crew; 4 Ann Taylor
      Silk tops- 4 or Small in JC and AT (sometimes a 2 in AT)
      JC painters Tees- I find them too tight and low cut, but a medium does fit.
      Skirts- 6 in JC’s super 120s; can’t wear AT’s bc they’re cut for people who are much much much straighter through the hip area than I am

      Also, I’m fairly small-chested. This top would probably show cleavage w/o a camisole if you have a lot up top. I’m usually not a fan of the camisole-under-v-neck look ( reminds me of middle school), but I’d like it with this top since the V is so narrow.

      • I don’t know why you’d be surprised to need a small or find that inconsistent…you say you wear a 2/4 in tops in other brands…that is a small. It’s certainly not a medium, which is often an 8/10.
        I mean, I can understand you like stretchy tops not tight, but a small is usually a 4/6, so I’d expect that to fit the bill.

        I do understand vanity sizing is obnoxious, but I don’t see how a size 4 wearing a small is out of line.

        • Miss Cellaneous :

          I’m a medium-sized woman. I think it’s stupid and insulting that stores try to get more of my money by telling me that I’m smaller than I actually am.

          Want a reality check? Go to H&M. I wear a 10 or 12 in jackets there.

        • Miss Cellaneous :

          Also, you misunderstood my comment about inconsistency. Over the last few years, Banana Republic has had less consistency within their store than J.Crew and Ann Taylor. That’s why I didn’t report Banana Republic sizes. They’re all over the place.

      • Yeah, I don’t know where Kat got the “high” v-neck on this. Definitely not high.

        • I think it’s not that the “V” is high, but that the shirt comes up higher on your neck, which it does.

  18. San Francisco Meetup!

    Sun Nov 4
    Rosamunde, 2832 Mission Street, SF
    Near 24th & Mission BART

    Beer and Sausages and Bad-Ass Chicks! (Vegetarian sausage options available)

    • Kontraktor :

      I’m SO bummed I cannot make this one. I am going to Phoenix to help with some family issues that weekend. I love saussage too. :-( Super big fat frown.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Nice, zora. Way to be on it!

  19. Name change?? :

    I think I want to take my fiance’s last name when we get married. I was thinking of changing my middle name to my current last name because dropping it entirely seems sad. The problem is that I’m really attached to my current middle name. My family affectionately refers to me by my middle name and in a lot of ways I’m more attached to it than my first name.

    I was thinking of having TWO middle names, my current middle name and my family name, so that my name would be: First Middle MyLast HisLast.

    Is this a dumb idea? For what it’s worth, none of the names are particularly long. But it still seems sufficiently unwieldy that I would never go by all of those names in practice, and if that’s the case, then perhaps what’s the point in keeping them at all?

    If anyone has two middle names, has it been a burden? I can imagine this being problematic on forms where there is only space for one middle initial.

    • No first hand experience. It might be a hassle w/r/t paperwork and people knowing what to call you (all the people I know with 2 middle names are somewhat resigned to the hassle at this point).

      Ultimately, though, do what you want. FWIW, I’m currently First Middle MyLast and will become First Middle HisLast when we marry. It’s my choice, and I’m very happy with it. If you think about it, my parents gave me three names, but only really “chose” two of them. The MyLast was a given. So I’m keeping the names that they handpicked for me, which I think is lovely, and I’ll always feel like I’m part of the MyLast family regardless of which Last name I have.

      Also my middle name is too pretty to give up :)

      TL;DR – do what works for you, and f*** the haters. This advice also holds true when deciding if/when to have kids, childbirth choices, how to parent, etc. etc. Your life.

      • I like your “names they picked” strategy. I love the combination of my first and middle names though, so I might just be biased…

    • I have struggled with almost the same issue. I go by my middle name, and have pretty much all my life. I would like to take my fiance’s last name and be [Middle Name] + [Maiden Name] + [His Last Name]. But I don’t want to break my mom’s heart and get rid of my first name all together, it has a special meaning for her (but really only when paired with my middle name). I have considered if I should just do [Middle] [First] [Maiden] [His] so my first name will remain in there somewhere but it seems clunky. So, I guess, no advice, just commiseration.

      • Would it be weird if your first name is two names? So [Middle First] [Maiden] [His]? Or [First Middle] [Maiden] [His]?

      • I also go by my middle name, and I couldn’t just drop the first name legally. I don’t know if this is a state thing, or if it’s across the board. I would have had to go through the legal paperwork and pay the fee to get my name changed to MiddleName MaidenName MarriedName (which is how I refer to myself professionally/socially). Legally, I am FirstName MiddleName MarriedName because it wasn’t worth the hassle to me.

      • As having been given a hyphenated name at birth I have struggled with every possible iteration of the last name consideration. Have you considered hyphenating? If not, I know plenty of women who have done what you are considering. In Hispanic cultures its downright normal to have two middle names, so bright side. :-) (If you’re wondering what I’m going to do…well I’m still working on it.)

    • Well, do you have to keep your maiden name? I know people who hated their maiden name so they dropped that and kept their middle. It’s your name change. You may get a bit of a hassle at the intial changing from DMV, but after that, it’s done.

    • I had two middle names until I got married. It was a pain sometimes. Forms don’t always have places for all of them, but really, not a big deal day to day. It sounds like it would be a good solution for you.

    • Have had two middle names my whole life. Only annoying when a form will let you use only one initial. In fact, for all purposes I just use one of them, except official ID documents and my bar memberships (which required full name). It’s not uncommon to have two.

    • I have two middle names plus my last name as do all of my siblings. My mom gave us her maiden name as a middle name but wanted everyone to have their own middle name as well.
      It’s mildly irritating on forms but I got over that in about kindergarten since that’s how long it’s been happening. The things that matter (ie. my diploma) have my full name complete with two middle names. I don’t get worked up over credit cards and my license because it’s wayyy to much of a hassle. I think my passport has my full name though I would have to check. Also consider the fact that aside from your license and passport does your full name (or full with middle initial) appear anywhere? My credit cards are just first name last name though that may have been a personal choice, I can’t remember.
      The only thing I find irritating is that it’s a nightmare to get things monogrammed- and for some of us with big families who travel in circles that all have the same stuff- monogramming can be nice. But for the few things I have monogrammed I just picked the middle name that I thought looked nicer in the pattern of letters so it worked out.
      Plus- it’s kind of a fun thing, not a lot of people have it and people always ask about it which I like.. but YMMV

    • In the Pink :

      Yes. I put my maiden name as my middle name. Used new last name. Sign it that way…

      Jane Doe Married

      No problem. Over time, people referred to me as Jane Married, personally and professionally.

      Can’t stop signing Doe though, as it’s part of my legal, corporate, and business name.

      All of this happened in the 1980s so YMMV now.

    • I did the 2 middle name route. It hasn’t been a problem, but it’s been a decent way to retain my maiden name since my husband is somewhat traditionalist and didn’t like the idea of hyphenation. I originally tried to do two first names, but the social security administration said that would require me to go through court but changing to two middle names wouldn’t – you legal types can probably explain why.

      I’ve never had any problem using two middle names with banks, TSA, or any other place. If there is only 1 letter allowed on a form or ID, they’ll just show “Jane A. Doe” instead of “Jane Alpha Beta Doe” or “Jane A. B. Doe”.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Hey, my parents gave me two middle names at birth, and now I’m struggling with the same issue but with even more pre-existing names. Never any prior problems with paperwork for me. I’ll either keep tacking on and end up with a double barrel last name to match my double barrel middle name or I’ll drop one middle name so I can have a double-barrel first name maiden hislast.

      It’s m

      • How about keep tacking on more names? :-) It’s not uncommon for nobility to have many names and I notice you’re a “Lady”Enginerd, not just Enginerd. ;-)

        The current Lady Annabel Goldsmith was born: Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart
        (to which she later added Birley and then Goldsmith.)

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Indeed. That would be more noble of me, wouldn’t it. I’m actually leaning toward that option but myself need to discuss deeply with my fiancé. I think he wants a Mrs. Hislast and instead of a Mrs. DoubleBarrel (or, the horror, Mrs. maiden) so I need to make sure he’ll back up Mrs. DoubleBarrel instead of waging a lifelong campaign for me to drop down to being Mrs. Hislast. It’s my name, so I choose, but I need him to actually come to a place where he’s fully supportive of my decision instead of having lingering doubts about whether we’re a “real family”.

          For the record, I blame his parents for his sometimes surprisingly rigid views on how the world “should” work despite otherwise fairly liberated views.

          • I kept my last name, but I never know what to fill out on those forms for Miss, Ms. or Mrs. I feel like Mrs. makes me look like I’m married to my dad, and I’m fairly young, so I feel weird being called Mrs. anything, so I usually go with Ms., but that doesn’t quite feel right either. Sorry for the ramble.

          • BTW my husband has no issues with me keeping my name. He is in sports, so I think he felt like names have a big place in who you are.

          • I told my DH that I wasn’t changing my name because to me, it’d feel like he was branding me like a cow, or, buying stadium naming rights. He knows I hate “surface things.”

            It’s weird how people think that a name means something’s a “real family.” It’s the feeling that matters to me, but I guess others need to have a symbol.

            Plenty of people walking around with the same family name, and bitter grievances and huge unbridgeable gaps.

          • “Branding me like a cow” made me laugh out loud, Susan! I changed my name when I got married but regretted it when I had to change it back. I would get married again but I would never change my name ever again.

          • In moderation for the dreaded e t t e

            “Branding me like a cow” made me laugh out loud, Susan! I changed my name when I got married but regr3tted it when I had to change it back. I would get married again but I would never change my name ever again.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Yeah, I know, right? My mom kept hers and we were a family. Mom was just … Mom. I need for him to be on board with my choice, though (he’s cool with me staying maiden name professionally, so legally I’d have the same name either way.) I just don’t want the death stare if I introduce myself as Mrs DoubleBarrel socially because he finds it disrespectful (or some such nonsense). We’re not quite at a place yet where that’s an implausible scenario, so we’re working thru it.

          • But…if taking his name makes you feel “branded,” aren’t you just as worked up about the “symbols” as someone who feels more like a unified family by taking her husband’s name??

            I think you’re definitely entitled to your opinion, but maybe dial back the judge-y tone about women who take the other view?

    • Name change?? :

      Thanks for the insight! This is really helpful.

      The other option would be to keep my current name at work and legally (as a lawyer, my legal name has to match the name I use at work), but “go by” First Middle HisLast in all other settings. My issue here is that I feel like it would stress people out who are trying to be PC and want a hard answer about what my name is and how to address me. I like the idea of having a simple answer to the very basic question, “what is your name?” :)

      • LadyEnginerd :

        If you plan to have kids, you might want to have their last name on your legal ID- sometimes they’ll give you trouble (I’ve heard of issues at immigration) if kids name doesn’t match lastname of person traveling with them (or travel with copies of the birth certificate).

        I plan to go by “hey you” if too many names become too confusing :)

        • lucy stone :

          I didn’t change my name. Our hypothetical future children will be named exactly like Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell named their daughter – Alice Stone Blackwell, or First MomsLastasMiddle DadsLast. I figure this way our kids will have both our names on their passports which should help us out, and we’ll carry a copy of our marriage license and their birth certificates too.

        • Yeah, one of my friends was driving through Canada (as an American) with her young, cranky children, and the customs officers gave them a lot of trouble because her name is different than theirs (they wanted her to show permission from her husband, whose name matched). Dumb, definitely, but not an unwarranted concern.

      • I tried that for a while – too crazy for me to remember who I was. Finally just changed it once and for all. (Coincided with a career change which made it easier.)

    • My kids have two middle names. It’s not a problem. Anywhere you need to list your middle name you just list both with a space in between them. Your middle initial is the the first of the two names.

      My sister considered combining her first and middle names into one – she ended up not doing this but it’s a possibility if your names work that way.


      Sally Ann Jones


      Sallyann Jones Smith

    • Many Latinos have a first name, middle name, and two last names. It’s becoming increasingly common in the US to have four names, so I don’t see why it would be a problem for you.

      • Italians, too. I’ll be [first] [middle] [maiden] [his last] when the time comes, and probably will be First M. M. Hislast when signing things.

        • Meg Murry :

          The signing thing reminded me of one PITA thing about not being consistant with your name – when we got our most recent mortgage, the last page the title office gave us was a page with all the ways our names were listed on various accounts on our credit report, and we had to sign it. My husband just had First Last, First Middle Last and First M. Last, but I had a full page of of combinations – First Middle Maiden, First Middle Last, First Maiden Last, First M. Last, etc etc – it took up the entire page and my husband just sat there making faces at me while I signed all these variations on my name over and over. And I took the “traditional” route of going from First Middle Maiden to First Middle HisLast – I can’t imagine how many more combos would have been on that page if I’d hyphenated or took 2 middles.

          Not a reason to deter you, just some amusing anecdata.

    • SpaceMountain :

      I did exactly this, and it has not been a problem. I use different variations of my name for different purposes (kids’ school, professionally, on my tax forms). Just make sure your airline tickets match the ID you use to check in — the TSA is the only entity that seems really concerned with my “official” name.

    • Anon just in case :

      My middle name happens to be the name of my mother’s family (who raised me), while my maiden last name was my fathers (who I love, but did not raise me). I kept my middle name and dropped my maiden name altogether, so I went from First Middle MyLast to First Middle HisLast. Of course, I also partly kept my middle name because it’s the same as my husband’s middle name, which amuses me. :)

      FWIW, remember that you can call yourself anything you want most of the time. So you could change your legal name to First Middle HisLast to make filling out official forms easier, but call yourself First Middle Last HisLast in any other circumstances. Most banks and stuff will even let you vary your name slightly if you work it out with them (I know a few people who go by their middle names, and have that on a LOT of documentation as a first name, even though they are still legally First Middle, for example).

      When I got married, I had a short conversation with my (temporary, summer) job’s payroll office, about changing my name on the paychecks. The payroll lady said she just wouldn’t worry about it for the few weeks of the job I had left, and I was like, “but…I changed my name.” She said, “You’re still First Maiden, no matter what you change your name to.” She was right. It was a useful thought-adjusting moment for me! :)