Coffee Break – Soho Ostrich-Embossed Hobo Bag

Furla Soho Ostrich-Embossed Hobo Bag, Onyx Even though I love my collection of colorful purses, a good black hobo is something even I consider a basic. I have two Furla bags that I love, and so this black ostrich-embossed hobo caught my eye — it’s simple but a bit interesting, too. It was $448, but is now marked to $315 at Last Call by Neiman Marcus — and today only, you can take an extra 30% off the entire site, bringing the price to around $220. Hooray! Furla Soho Ostrich-Embossed Hobo Bag, Onyx
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Comments

  1. Does anyone else find it interesting that Ann Romney is getting absolutely no mention for her fashion taste, whereas at this point in the last election cycle, people were literally drooling over Michelle Obama’s wardrobe? I honestly think Ms. Romney has seriously outdressed Ms. Obama (particularly in the second debate, but also last night – mostly because the First Lady’s dress didn’t really fit her).

    I also read that People Magazine or US Weekly or one of those had a headline about the high cost of Ms. Romney’s dress for the second debate but didn’t mention that Ms. Obama’s cost twice as much.

    What are your thoughts? And, separate from this issue, who do you think has been dressing better? I *loved* Romney’s dress last night and liked Obama’s, but she needed to get it tailored big time. The cropped jacket in the second debate was very unflattering, in my opinion.

    • I think Michelle Obama wears her clothes better although I agree that there are sometimes poor choices or fit issues. She just looks much more dynamic to me so I tend to respond better to her wardrobe choices. However, this is likely evidence of my political bias rather than an objective assessment of style.

      • Well, my political bias couldn’t lean further away from Ann Romney and I would agree with the OP’s general comment. I loved AR’s dress last night! I also thought she looked great at the 2nd debate – that pink dress and blue-green necklace combo really suited her.

        But I don’t think it’s so much a bias in the press against AR or pro-MO. I think part of this is just that MO is younger and tends to dress in more interesting ways – less like a traditional first lady – so it’s more fun to cover. AR often wears great stuff but it’s much more typical political wife attire (even if very well done p.w. attire). I am sure the fact that a script has sort of developed (i.e., that MO is a fashion plate) plays a role, too. We all like to stick to our narratives.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I agree that I think MO’s style is just more novel and exciting than the traditional first lady or washington look. I have thought that AR has looked lovely but less remarkable.

          • But how was Obama’s pink cropped jacket suit more novel and exciting than Romney’s textured, shiny sheath dress with the contrasting necklace? I actually think it is quite the opposite. Hot pink and turquoise are quite trendy, and Romney was rocking it. I just don’t think that’s it.

            Obviously, we’re all entitled to our opinions, and you might still disagree with me, but I just wanted to throw out a specific example to see what you think about it.

          • I think the difference in coverage is more to do with the women themselves; MO’s image is younger/hipper, while AR’s is more subdued. Confirmation bias does the rest, even when Ann may be dressed more fashionably.

          • I’m not really feeling Ann Romney’s look. I feel like she really veers between extremes. The leather outfit she wore on Leno was not exactly something I thought was age appropriate or attractive. Her outfit last night seemed really Stepford to me and dated (especially with her hair), even though it incorporated trends (ombre, floral). But I don’t love that MO dress either. She’s done a lot better in the past. I wasn’t feeling Ann’s white suite either and think that, she looks best and most relaxed when wearing comfy weekend clothes-belted long cardigans, ankle pants, and a simple top. Sort of what I imagine her wearing in her real life playing with her grand kids in La Jolla.

    • I do agree, but like BOTH people’s clotheing. I realy like Michele’s dresses’. I met Roberta in Court and she saw me in Action! Yay! I got one of her case’s dismissed b/c the plaintiff did NOT show up and his counsel did not show up either. Also, she met Brian, and he had just eaten some kind of spinach keeche and it was in his teeth. Yuk!

      Roberta told him he had better settel or we would take our offer off the table and he would have to work for a continegency of 33% of NOTHEING! So we agreed to pay $1000, and he will sign our RELEASE. YAY!

      With the $400 or so we “saved” on the case, Roberta bought us LUNCH and we each had chocolate muffin’s for desert at CRUMB’s! Roberta says I am a great litiegiator, and I told her she is a great cleint. I did NOT tell her about JIM and what a doosh he was, b/c they are old freind’s. I have to balenece the good with the not-so-good, as long as they keep payeing me as cleint’s! Yay!

    • I think one aspect of this is that going from well-dressed to well-dressed is not that big of a story, whereas going from blah attire (Laura Bush) to stylish attire was a news-worthy change. Also, I can’t see any reason People magazine didn’t mention Michelle Obama’s more expensive outfit other than political bias.

    • I think the First Lady really turned heads by wearing J Crew or other off-the-rack things, which she alternates into a rotation containing Alexander McQueen. I think AR looks great, but (a) her stuff is EXPENSIVE, so the average shopper can’t relate to her as a fashion role model like we can to MO or Duchess Kate who could be wearing a $100 dress on a given day and (b) she’s generally cautious — I doubt we’ll see bare arms from her at a State of Union. No problems with AR, just not the same level of interest.

    • Why does it have to be one or the other. There have been times I’ve thought both looked great. There have been times I’ve thought one or the other looked meh. There have been many, many, many times I wished both of their fashion senses got a lot less media attention (though its find on this blog obviously, since that’s how we do.)

      I think Ms. Romney is more traditional — she tends to more suits or dresses with jackets — which is fine and she often looks lovely. I enjoyed the pink dress from the second debate a great deal. I really did not like the suit she wore at the Convention (I think the night she spoke or the night Mitt spoke, can’t remember which).

      I think generally the First Lady dresses in a younger, slightly more fashion forward manner, which makes sense given their respective ages. I think she also does a nice job mixing her fashion trends — some are expensive and some are cheaper — including dresses from J-Crew, Asos, etc. I also like that she wears colors mostly that flatter her (jewel tones etc.) and has mostly resisted the pressure to wear “political” colors (blue, red, white) all the time. I think she also has a good sense of shapes and proportion and if I had her arms you know I’d be showing them off to everyone AND their mothers. But not everythings awesome, I personally didn’t love the dress from last nights debate — the bow brooch was only meh. So…shrug.

      All that being said. I think the First Lady’s wardrobe get’s more attention because she’s been in the public eye longer. Not everything is a left wing conspiracy. But whatevs.

      • I didn’t say it was a left wing conspiracy; saying that in your answer was a bit dismissive of my point. You don’t know my politics. It’s okay to acknowledge bias in the media, regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on.

        • Sorry if my response seemed flippant. But I thought the tone of your question seemed to imply that something nefarious was going on with the media coverage of the respective wardrobes. That was all I was responding to. And I think I responded — I think both women have dressed nicely. And I really don’t see anything wildly unfair in the limited media coverage that I’ve seen of their respective wardrobes. But of course, other opinions may vary.

        • I don’t think TCFKAG’s comment was (or was intended to be) dismissive, so you’ll probably find my comment to be dismissive regardless of my intentions (but I hope not):

          There’s editorial bias in the publishing world that sometimes has much, and sometimes has nothing to do with political bias. Shocker.

          I haven’t followed the coverage of their clothing, which I mention to emphasize the statistically insignificant size of my sampling, but lately I’ve seen a lot more (and more glowing reviews) attention paid to Ms. Romney’s sartorial choices than Ms. Obama’s.

      • I don’t think its fair to accuse her of suspecting a left wing conspiracy. Sometimes different people catch the media’s eye, and I think its fair to ask why. As for the point that she has been in the public eye longer, I think OP is talking about 2008. everyone was talking about MO and her outfits in 2008. I think a lot of commentators have said what I think it is- she reads younger and hipper, and I think that means she gets more coverage even when she has some missteps.

        Really, there has been so much politically snarking lately. I get enough of it on FB and twitter. Let’s keep priding ourselves on being respectful of other opinions.

    • Anne Shirley :

      In the last couple weeks I’ve read several articles about her fashion in the NY Times, so I’m not sure she isn’t getting attention. I also think Michelle gets more in large part because her price points are more accessible more frequently- JCrew cardigan v. $700 t-shirt. I also think Ann is a more traditional dresser- I like her style, but I can see how it doesn’t attract as much interest.

    • Lefty Lucy :

      Ugh, bring on the conservative persecution complex…again. Is it worth even worth pointing out that the premise (“absolutely no mention”) is completely wrong?

      • Seriously? This blog is so unwelcoming to some perspectives. By the way, you do not know my politics. My post said nothing about who I support in this election or generally.

        • Anonymuse :

          By “some perspectives” do you mean the false premise in your first post? Then, yes, this blog can be very unwelcoming to assertions of fact that are not actually true.

          • So you police this blog, and any time someone makes a false premise, you bully them? Say they are not welcome here?

            And I notice no one has come to my defense here. Clearly I didn’t mean absolutely no mention. Good thing I am the only one who makes incorrect statements of fact on this blog – otherwise no one could comment because of Anonymuse (aka Lefty Lucy).

            God forbid someone bring up an opinion that could in any way be read as supporting Romney or not supporting Obama, even when it is about something as inconsequential as fashion.

      • springtime :

        Okay- don’t want to get into a long discussion, but I can see why anon feels a bit upset here.

        By the way- I don’t even think MO dresses well a lot of the time- sometimes it just seems way off to me. Just my taste, even though I ADORE her as a person.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I don’t think this comment was necessary. Why couldn’t you just point the OP to sme of the media coverage that Romney has been getting? OP didn’t mention anything political. She pointed out the People Magazine thing, but you were the one who read her political leaning into that.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Oh and also, I hadn’t thought about a difference in media coverage of Romney’s fashion choices. It’s an interesting topic to me. I think I do agree with others that Obama’s choices stand out more to me at least because they seem less stereotypical politician’s wife-like. Now I want to go back and look at Romney’s outfits because I don’t think I really remember them offhand (although I also don’t remember any of Obama’s recent outfits either). I just remember they both wore pink at the last debate.

      • alright, we know there has been more than “no” mention, but I think most people would agree that MO gets more fashion coverage than AR. You don’t have to be rude about it, this isn’t really a politics question. I know that a lot of people on this site like to think the conservatives are being sensitive, but comments like this are why. I think there is a little political bias probably, but also i think the democratic party skews younger, and MO seems younger. And the media loves younger women vs old women more than any pol;tical bias.

        • I try to stay out of comment exchanges like this, but I do agree that there was likely a better way to word the disagreement re: coverage (and perhaps the jump to conclusions re: political leanings was premature).

          I think it’s perfectly reasonable to post, “I diagree because of ___.” I would draw the line at telling anyone they were unwelcome to post their opinion/perception/understanding.

        • I would say she gets more fashion press because she is the First Lady. She’s been getting the attention longer and probably has relationships with the reporters.

          • There’s definitely a difference in status between actual First Lady and wannabe. That will be reflected in coverage, it’s just the way it is. Also, one is beautiful and the other is blah. And one has a personality and actually lets it show through, while the other does her best to dress as if she had none. Clothes are not everything to appearance, even setting aside the wisdom of obsessing about women’s appearance to the detriment of everything else.

          • I was comparing it to this point in the 2008 campaign, when she wasn’t First Lady.

            M-C, I just can’t even. “One is beautiful and the other is blah.” “One has a personality and actually lets it show through, while the other does her best to dress as if she had none.” It appears to me that you can’t discuss anything relating to politics without letting your politics color it.

          • Not to mention the fact that you are saying it’s unwise to obsess about a woman’s appearance, all the while calling one of them beautiful and one blah. Pot, meet kettle.

    • I think Mrs. Romney has been lucky not get any mention of the work she’s obviously had done on her face. No one fails to refer to Nancy Pelosi’s Botox every time she gets mentioned. But the press has been silent about Mrs. Romney. I think that’s a very good thing for women, and it’s none of anyone’s business, but if you feel like complaining about how Mrs Romney’s appearance is addressed or not addressed, it’s something to consider.

      • How do you know she’s had work done? (Not being snarky – just really asking.)

        • Can’t say I “know” other than observation, but she has reverse-aged in a major way since the 2008 campaign. My( injection-happy) stepmother is the person who first pointed it out to me, but her skin is much smoother and her eyes are elongated in a fairly telling way. Fillers, I’d say.

          • I think that so many people have work done that I can’t even tell now. I have been watching Nashville, and the most amazing thing is Connie Britton’s face. She’s totally gorgeous and clearly hasn’t had work done – it made me realize how much Botox and fillers have become the “default” for the way I think about women’s faces.

          • I’m a democrat, but I think it’s worth considering Ann Romney’s MS. She’s stated in interviews that, as the disease has progressed, she has become much more zealous about getting a lot of sleep even with the rigors of campaign life. Couldn’t that have a similar effect? I know that my skin looks way smoother and healthier when I get 8+ hours.

      • Excellent point :-). Nothing contributes more to blandness.

    • This comment reminds me of yesterday’s Daily Beast article on the fashion in The Good Wife. I know I’ve seen the show mentioned here as some ‘r e t t e s style icons. Link to follow :)

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I think we can all agree that the Duchess is putting them both to shame. Sometimes American politics makes me want some royalty.

      • Nope. I honestly do not understand people’s preoccupation with Kate Middleton. I find her clothing really uninspiring. Maybe if she were 30 years older, but man, she is dull from a fashion perspective, even considering her audience and the expectations for someone of her station.

        • I agree that Kate Middleton isn’t groundbreaking, but I do think she carries off what she wears well – I can’t think of a serious misstep from her – and the fact is that for her position, she can’t really be *too* fashion-forward. The royals are supposed to be a little timeless, and not really reactionary. (Obviously this doesn’t always happen in practice, HARRY.)

          My favourite outfits of hers are the slightly goofy costume-y ones, like the tennis style dress at Wimbledon and the maple leaf hat in Canada.

    • Not really. Ann Romney dresses more “first lady-ish”, much like McCain’s wife. I don’t think we’ve heard about Jill Biden or Mrs. Ryan (I don’t know her first name) and their choices either. They dress appropriately, but nothing noteworthy.

    • Litagatrix :

      Daily Beast ran a piece yesterday exclusively on Mrs. Romney’s wardrobe. Well, not a piece exactly, but a series of photos. So, the media is not ignoring Ann Romney.

  2. So pretty! I love the texture on ostrich bags.

    Early TJ: Ever have one of those days where the little things set you off? I stopped by to buy milk after work and they were out. The poor employee had to hear me mutter about, ‘just want a little milk, so I can have a little bowl of cereal, and go to my little bed and all the stupid people had to come and ask stupid questions about their stupid macs and their stupid printers’. No more evening shifts for me apparently.

  3. Immediate TJ, as I’ve been waiting for the new thread :)

    I’m pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but I thought I’d ask for feedback anyways.

    My partner and I are having a Halloween party this weekend. Pretty much all the people coming are law people (we went to law school together, one year apart, and are only 1-2 years out, plus I’m not from here, so all the people I know are law people).

    There is a woman who works in my office who I guess is nice enough (though, there have been a few indications to the contrary, that she’s kind of a witch, but it’s not for certain), but she’s really a social dud. Nobody likes to talk to her because she is just.so.awkward. If I don’t invite her, I know she will hear about it and feel really really bad. I sure would in her position. But gawd, she is AWKWARD. I don’t want to be stuck talking to her, and, frankly, I don’t really want to sic her on my guests.

    Oh wise Hive, do we have to invite her??

    • You’re right, you know the answer is yes. If she does come maybe you can give her a task to do like helping you with something in the kitchen, like, “Oh Gertrude, I’m so happy you made it! I was just about to whip up another batch of my famous Death by Pineapple Punch. Can you give me a hand with the flaming sugarcubes?” People who aren’t great at small talk are often relieved to have a project.

      • I agree with DC Jenny, but mostly because I’m enthralled by Death by Pineapple Punch with Flaming Sugar Cubes!

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Yes, especially now that Google told me flaming sugar cubes are real! I was previously unaware this was a thing. I agree that it’s the right thing to invite her, encourage her to bring a friend, and be gracious.

      • I agree with DC Jenny. A task can be a good way to occupy a guest/help them talk to whoever they’re helping. Alternatively, can you suggest she brings a friend/roommate/SO? That way she has a buddy.

        All of this assumes, of course, that she comes. She might be too intimidated by the social situation to actually attend, but will appreciate the invite anyway. Of course, she’s your coworker, so you would know best if this is a possibility.

        • Yeah, I don’t know if she’s ever been invited to a non-law-school-organized-but attended-by-law-people social event. I think she will feel good about being invited even if she doesn’t actually come. Will definitely suggest she brings a friend if she wants.

    • Sounds like there will be lots of others from your office attending ? If yes, invite her.

      • Agreed. If you’re not inviting anyone from the office, then no need to invite her. If you are, then she should get an invite, too.

        • At least 5 people from the office will be coming. POssibly more like 10. And there was an event this weekend that was similar, and she was *not* invited, and it was discussed at lunch today and I felt super bad for her. Even though I have no desire whatsoever to be stuck talking to her. Clearly the compassionate thing to do is invite her…and if Zumba fan is right, she can totally just skip out. Though given her efforts to join hallway convos etc, I don’t think she’s very ok with being odd one out.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      I’m sometimes awkward and would be relieved that I wasn’t invited. I’m comfortable being odd one out though.

    • :( Please invite her. Since you’re the hostess, you’ll always have a reason to break away from a conversation (“Oh! I was just on my way to refill the ice!”) and your guests are big boys and girls who can fend for themselves. Anyway, you never know. I’ve had a great time with another guest at a party and later been thanked profusely by the hosts for spending so much time with Awkward Guest. Maybe everyone doesn’t find her as difficult as you do.

      • I will be super happy if that’s the case, lol. I know with my co-workers, they definitely find her awkward. But you’re all totally right, and I will definitely invite her. Even if it’s for the selfish reason of not wanting to hate mysef for leaving her out, ol.

    • This is why I don’t throw parties.

    • I invited her. She responded *right away* and is clearly pretty happy to have been invited. Well, I feel good about that part :)

  4. TO Lawyer :

    I recently got an iPad (and love it), and now I’m looking for accessory suggestions. Anyone have a case they particularly love? Do I need a screen protector? Any must have apps?

    Thanks ladies!

    • I have a padded case from the fossil outlet that’s made of oilcloth so it is water resistant as well as provides good padding.

      Have fun! I love my ipad.

    • I have a Zaggfolio keyboard case, which I LOVE.

    • I have one of those clear film screen protectors (peel and stick kind) because I’m the type that gets paranoid about scratches.

      I will say it doesn’t seem to be that necessary, as my boyfriend has had his iPad for much longer and hasn’t had an issue with screen protection. The film also somewhat distorts the clarity, which doesn’t bother me, but might be a bigger deal if you plan to watch lots of TV/movies on your iPad.

    • Maine Associate :

      I have the Zagg screen protector on my iPad (the kind that is applied at a cart in the mall). My cat plays games on the iPad and the screen protector does a great job.

    • I have a case with a physical keyboard! It’s bigger than more traditional cases, but can be very, very nice.

    • The Fossil cases are so darn cute and practical. Hmm … an item for my Christmas list?

    • anon in tejas :

      I have a belkin case (really plain jane) and a silicon screen protector (no sticky stuff). the belkin was purchased at costco for like $15 and the screen protector was 5 for $3 on amazon (couldn’t get a smaller package).

      also, my partner got me a lovely sleeve case that I use from time to time that has my initals burned into the leather.

  5. I have no experience with Furla bags myself, but have always heard good things. My issue seems to be the strap – it always seems too short to be comfortable and yet the bags aren’t always designed to be carried on the crook of the arm. Is this a problem for anyone else?

    • My Kate Spade tote is described as if it can be worn on the shoulder, but it’s really too short. That’s why I’ve only bought the ones with tubular handles. I think the thinner ones would dig into my arm.

      By the way, Furla bags are beautiful. There was a Furla store around the corner from our hotel in Milan. I had never heard of Furla at the time and practically pressed my nose against the glass every time we walked by.

      • That’s always my worry. Like, the featured bag could technically go over the shoulder but I worry that with a winter coat it would just be too uncomfortable.

        Also, now I really just want to go hang out in Milan… ;)

  6. Pretty sure my husband bought my birthday present at Kanye’s shop – I can’t wait to see what it is!!! :-)

  7. I just came up with the BEST Christmas gift idea for the husband IN THE WORLD. And now comes the hard part. Not giving it to him before Christmas. Because I have this problem where when I get someone a present I want to just, you know, GIVE it to them so I just fork it over. Right away. Or tell them about it.

    Does anyone else do this? How do I resist? This is how I ended up with no actual present to give him the last two years (because I bought his present in his presence or gave it to him before or it was a trip or something….seriously I’m the WORST at this). I almost did it with our anniversary present this year too. Tell me how to stop.

    • I do it too and have no plans to make myself stop. However, you could buy yourself something you really want and you can’t have it until you give your husband his gift on xmas. If you give it to him before then OR tell him about it, you have to take your thing back. Post about it here for accoutability

    • Almost There :

      Can you give it to someone else to hold onto for you (your mom, coworker, best friend)? That way you can’t give it. Don’t know so much about keeping you from telling about it …. maybe since someone else has it, if you told him about it, it might be weird because you don’t have it handy to give him, so that might stop you?

      I personally *love* surprises including presents, so I never want to know mine ahead of time – so when I want to tell someone else about their gift, I just think how disappointed I’d be if I were told.

    • I do this too. Case in point, I found my boyfriend a surprise present this weekend. Later that night we were talking on the phone and somehow I managed to slip both the details of the present and the fact that I was baking him cookies. *face palm*

      This should really come as no surprise. My dad once got me to divulge his Christmas present in 3 questions (to be fair, I was in middle school at the time, and he’s a lawyer).

      So, yeah, I commiserate. And hopefully can steal some of the forthcoming advice.

      • Oh gosh, you’re like my Dad. He cannot keep a secret. He will just flat out tell you what he bought you for Christmas unless someone stops him. My brother once had him ship my birthday present to me. My Dad told me I must already know what it was because I picked it out. I told him I had no idea! My brother wanted to kill him.

        I bought my SO’s birthday present last week and just threw it in a pile of stuff in my spare room so he won’t see it and I won’t think about it until closer to his birthday. He has only guessed once what I got him for Christmas. He kept trying to guess what I got him and I said that it was something he wanted but wouldn’t buy for himself. He was, at that time, on the phone with me and he looked out the window and saw the sign for a boot store and said “It’s boots!” I still made him wait until Christmas.

        • Haha. I try not to be the killer of surprises, but I’m bad at covering or coming up with a quick excuse!

          My boyfriend, “What are you up to?” “Baking cookies… oh.” “For me?” “Well, yeah… surprise?”

          Likewise with gifts. “What did you get me for Christmas?” “Can’t tell you. It’s a surprise!” “You got me that book I wanted didn’t you?” “No… well yeah. Alright. Merry Christmas?”

          Maybe I just need to get better at fibbing to those who I regularly give gifts ;)

    • Research, Not Law :

      Oh, man, I’m terrible about this. I try to buy it as late as possible, but then I end up telling him what I’m going to buy. He loves a surprise, so he hates that I do it!

      I’m actually shipping everything to a relative’s house because he’s home during the day and receives the packages, so maybe it will be easier when I don’t have it.

    • Hide it. I, too, am terrible about this. DH’s birthday is in a couple weeks and I’ve had his gift since the summer. I kept it in a drawer in my office at work so I couldn’t be sipping on glass #3 of wine and decide he MUST HAVE IT.

      Knock on wood I haven’t spilled the beans…but there are still a few weeks!

    • No help, only commiseration. DH and I totally suck at this — we always spill the beans too early :(

    • No advice, but my husband is like this. I got my Modula Pippa bag a week earlier than my birthday because he couldn’t wait. I’m also very snoopy about finding out what my presents are before the actual date, so this probably contributes to it.

      Just remember that it’s going to be a way better surprise if you wait. And then you can tell him how hard it was and he’ll feel wonderful that you’ve been planning this surprise for him for so long.

      Also, if you divulge it now, it runs the risk of becoming an awesome-random-gift and in two months you’ll feel like you’ve got to get him something else to surprise him then.

      • Left Coaster :

        Another one whose husband is like this. In fact, our proposal story centers on the fact that he can’t keep a secret! He had an elaborate proposal planned, but once he had the ring he couldn’t help himself — he was so excited he couldn’t keep from giving it to me at home. Haha! So no advice for you on this one :)

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Can you drill down to what the joy or benefit is that you get from giving the gift is? Is it the excitement the other person has for it? Would he be more excited to get it on Christmas Day? Can you find joy in keeping the secret? If so, then that joy lasts longer and you get to experience more of it by waiting until Christmas. I’m probably grasping at straws here though because I’m the same way!

    • Jenna Rink :

      I’m the worst about this, but on the flip side. I hate waiting for surprises and always try to tease out what my presents are ahead of time. Particularly for holidays or other times where giving is a two way street, I just want to know!!! It’s like that episode of Friends where Phoebe and Rachel are searching for Monica’s presents and convince Chandler to join them by telling him he needs to see them so he can make sure his presents are as good as hers.

    • Any chance you’d share what the gift is? I’m already fretting about what to get my dear man, who surely deserves something awesome…..

      I can be of zero help in terms of how to hold your tongue but you could post here periodically and we’ll cheer you on in your efforts!

    • Is it really necessary to hold your tongue? To hang on to the present till Christmas? I’m excited when I find a good present, I just hand it over. Presents on the actual date are symbolic. A good surprise is a plus, in my book, so I don’t see why we need to be so stuck with actual dates.

  8. Blonde Lawyer :

    I totally forgot about the website passive aggressive notes, remembered it out of the blue today, and spent over an hour on it at work. Oops. This fat cat one cracks me up:
    http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2011/10/26/scat-fat-cat/

  9. chubby middle :

    Skinny belt problem.

    I like to wear a skinny belt around my waist with dresses or longer tops to give the illusion that I have an actual waist (I’m basically square). But, after lunch the belt starts to feel super tight and uncomfortable. I briefly tried looking for skinny belts with a little elastic for stretch, but to no avail. Any advice (besides stop eating so darn much at lunch time!)? I’ve tried loosening the belt a notch, but then I think it doesn’t look right–too loose and sloppy.

  10. Another gift-giving TJ . . . What would you get an older second-marriage couple who isn’t registering anywhere? They married in a private ceremony and the bride’s parents are hosting a night at a local restaurant. The couple has a very distinct aesthetic so I hesitate to get anything for their home. The bride is vegetarian but the groom is not, so I feel any restaurant gift card will be slighting one or the other of them. They are older than me so I feel cash is particularly strange in this situation. Right now I’m waffling between a high quality, neutral-colored cashmere/wool throw blanket, or a donation to a charity the couple works with.

  11. Motherhood threadjack-

    My husband and I are discussing when to have kids. I have a lot of anxiety and fear around it, which he is taking to mean that I don’t want kids after all, which is very, very upsetting to him, since he very much does. Intellectually, I think I want kids, or having kids is a good idea, but I feel terrified. It’s just so easy for me to see/imagine all the challenges – the baby will grow in my body, change my body, and interact with my body, not unlike a parasite. One friend says it’s really disturbing to be kicked from the inside of your body. Several friends were throwing up multiple times a day for months of their pregnancies. I’ve heard so many times how awkward, uncomfortable, and exhausting it is. On the way out, my ladygarden will be torn up or I’ll go through major surgery which slices my muscles. Friends say even years later, their bodies are not the same as they were before, that they miss their old bodies even as they love their children. Once born, God willing healthy, I will have to bfeed and pump and never get to sleep and deal with endless diapers and laundry. When I go back to work, I’ll have to pump at work, which the women here have discussed the challenges of. How can anyone not be scared of these things? And he won’t suffer any of it because I have the uterus and the boobs. On the plus side, I am told, will be this new person which I will love more than anything else in the world, outweighing any and all downsides. But I can’t imagine how that will feel, so I can’t imagine how that will outweigh all the biological facts about what a physical and psychological burden pregnancy is. Doesn’t everyone say they never knew they could love someone so much as they love their new child? Then how are we supposed to imagine it? I know women are “supposed to” “love” being pregnant… never felt so beautiful, never felt so one with the universe, or such. I really hope I will feel that way, but I’m terrified that I won’t. It just feels so horribly unfair that despite the fact that we are both hard working attorneys with excellent careers, I am the one who will have to bear this burden both during pregnancy and after, while nothing has to change for him if he doesn’t want it to. I will be the one that has to find a new job because now I bill 2300+ a year, while he bills 1800. His body won’t change, and he gets to choose what career changes he wants to make, if any. Meanwhile I can imagine that I’ll be pumping at some new job and feeling guilty for being at work but knowing that I don’t want to be a SAHM, and feeling guilty about that too. Once I am pregnant, I lose control of everything… my body, my career, my life. It just feels so damn unfair, how much more impact this will have on me than on him. I know I don’t want to look back on my life in twenty years and only see a successful career, but it seems like having a child completely changes everything, changes far more for me than it does for him, and it scares me terribly. Reading this over, I know it sounds awful. I guess what I am asking is, has anyone else felt this way? Especially those who went on to have kids?

    • I’m feeling everything you’re feeling right now. I have no advice to give–I’m very interested to hear what advice the ‘rette moms have to give.

    • HOW DID YOU GET INSIDE MY HEAD? I CAN’T FEEL YOU IN THERE.

      I just visited a friend with a new baby this weekend, and watching her dealing with the pumping, in particular, just sort of gave me the horrors. But when I suggested that maybe if I have kids, I won’t breastfeed (my practice is too unpredictable to be able to count on being at my desk every four hours to pump), I got serious side-eye. From my friend! Who then told me the whole “you’ll never love anything or anyone the way you’ll love your child, so then you’ll feel totally okay about the impact on your ability to do the job that you love.”

      Which only resulted in my sort of advance-resenting my presently nonexistent child and feeling like a bad person.

      • ughhhhhhh. Major side-eye to your friend.

      • Ditto to both of you. We are TTC right now, even as I have all of these fears / thoughts. My best friend — truly like a sister to me — has a baby and has managed to b-feed for several months . . . the whole thing squicks me out. I am coming around to the idea that these fears/thoughts, and the unpredictability of TTC, are practice for the rest of my life not being about just me anymore / being bigger than me, and not being able to control my life as much (which is a good lesson in my case). I think all of those happenings will make me a better person, as they are all traits I try to embrace anyway.

      • downstream :

        people need to chill the f out about breastfeeding. From the reaction you get from telling people you’re not going to breastfeed, you’d think you’re telling them that you’re going to chain your baby to the radiator while you inject heroin and throw knives at the wall. I just don’t get the judgmentalism. It’s YOUR kid and as long as you are not abusing your kid, you can treat and raise your kid however you want. When someone expels a baby from THEIR ladyparts, they can do whatever they want with the ensuing child (short of abuse, obviously), and I hope they give me the same respect. This goes 1000000% for men who have opinions about these things.

        • RAWRRRRRRRRR

        • Screw the breastfeeding debate; as long as you’re not taking your kid to your blind date’s apartment for an overnighter, you’re winning in the parenting department.

        • Seriously. I never understood all the hulabaloo about b-feeding until recently when my friends started having kids and I started reading the internet. I was f-fed 100% and had always planned to f-feed my kids since it was all we ever knew in my family growing up (as in, the Similac went into our mouths from moment 1). I just assumed everyone thought like that and the people who wanted to b-feed just did that. Guess I am wrong (if only people were so matter of fact). But, I don’t care! I know what is right for me and don’t give a hoot about what the mommy blogs say I should do to assuage my non-existent guilt about my choices.

        • SpaceMountain :

          You just have to wait & see how it works for you. I wasn’t dead-set one way or the other, but found breasfeeding came easily, was a quick & rewarding way to feed my kids, and wasn’t a big deal. I was surprised at how good my body was at it — I know it doesn’t happen for everyone, but I was prepared for failure and it turned out to be one of the best parts of parenting an infant. So, you never know. I know I could make some people upset by sharing how easy it was for me, but maybe that’ll be you too.

        • With my first kid I was determined to bf and it was really really hard on us. I was under the assumption that I needed to. 5 years later I had my son and gave him formula from the get go and then when my milk came in started nursing. So much more relaxed doing it on our own timeframe.

    • APW has had some great posts in this vein recently. Here’s one about sharing the burden of pregnancy with your partner:
      http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/09/pregnant-while-feminist/

    • I’ve shared some of your concerns (don’t have kids, not pregnant). But, three things to consider:

      1) not everyone loves pregnancy. I can’t imagine that I will *love* it for similar reasons. My cousin hated being pregnant but she wanted kids more. My BFF loved it. There is no right or wrong (although you’ll have to face questions of ‘aren’t you just SO excited?’);

      2) yes, there are studies that b-feeding is better for the child, but there is absolutely nothing preventing you from formula feeding the kid from Day 1. I have a friend who b-fed for 2 weeks before switching to formula;

      3) your DH works fewer hours, meaning he has to be on-board with being an active parent (i.e., depending on your work schedule, daycare drop off and pick up, etc.), and stepping up on the home front (making dinners, etc.).

    • I used to feel like this (although I’m not horrified by the thought of the changes to my body – that fascinates me). What REALLY pi$$ed me off was that I am just as intellectually capable as my peers and a male hired the same time as me will be further ahead in his career in about 10 years or so if I decide to have children. I thought about it A LOT. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that if I have kids, I’d have them closely spaced together and it’ll push back my proposed career path for ~10 years. Which isn’t so terrible. Women tend to live longer. And I’ll be around when all the men are taking time off for their heart attacks (as heartless [no pun intended] as that sounds, I’ve run into this issue too often for it not to be mentioned).

      There are so many known unknown variables as well. Who knows if I’ll wind up hating my company, my city or even my profession in general? What if I decide that delivering papers as a monster is my true life goal? I don’t know if I’ll ever have kids. But I’ve made peace with impact to my current career.

      For the OP specifically, if this is causing you anxiety and/or problems in your marriage, therapy on your own may help work out what’s going on in your head. You need to be okay with whatever you decide.

    • Oh man, are you me? Seriously, I have no advice. I know I want kids but I have all the same fears and frustrations you do.

    • I feel this way. I know people feel pregnancy is a miracle and having your own child is a gift and everything. But do to reasons that won’t be elaborated, pregnancy would be especially trying on my body. And I know, in advance, that it would be hard on my career. So my DH and I decided to adopt, when we do decide to have children.

      Does it solve all the problems of career changes? No. But it does mean that I don’t have to risk my health and body to have a family. So that’s a big plus to me.

    • Adoption?

    • Meg Murry :

      I think you are suffering from overwhelmed with too-much-information syndrome. I was the first of my friends and cousins to have a baby and I had never heard of a breastpump until I took a breastfeeding class at 6 months pregnant. Being induced, episiotomy, the idea that a c-section is cutting apart your stomach muscles to get the baby out? Never really occurred to me. And even though they tried to explain all of this and more in my childbirth classes, it never really “stuck” until I was there, giving birth. So its possible that your husband doesn’t really know all this stuff, and thats why he’s just “what are you freaking out about? Women have been having babies for centuries just fine”

      I am a bit concerned about the “nothing has to change for him if he doesn’t want it to”. While he may not have the physical changes, he needs to be your partner in this for parenting to work. He doesn’t get to just “have kids” in the abstract. Talk to him about what sacrifices he is willing to make, and what sacrifices you are and are NOT willing to make (ie – will you be a SAHM? If the kid gets sick, which of you will take time off work to take it to the doctor? Will you move to the suburbs? Who will cook dinner/buy groceries/buy diapers/change diapers? etc etc etc)

      Honestly, like I said above, I didn’t really know much about childbirth, breastfeeding etc when I was pregnant with my first, but I was scared of all that you have listed going from 1 to 2, since I KNEW what I was getting into that time. Also, I had kids because as someone said in another post, I look forward to enjoying them as they get older, not because I was crazy for a baby (not that I don’t love babies – I just like kids more and more as they get older and more able to talk and interact with you).

      The control questions make me wonder though – do you have issues when things are out of control in other parts of your life? Any tendancy toward OCD, eating disorders, etc? If so, you probably want to talk to a therapist now, because pregnancy hormones could make those type of feelings go crazy. Or they could calm them down – my ADD is actually way better when I am pregnant, for whatever reason. But probably best to address any out of control feelings you have before you actually become pregnant, if thats what you want to do.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      My feelings exactly. SO can’t see why I find it scary, and gets offended like I’m going back on my word that I want kids. In addition to your work hours worries, I add on another layer of worries about my job – I work with chemicals I can’t be exposed to during either pregnancy or b-feeding. So I’ll have to significantly interrupt my job for almost two years per child, or feel guilty for whatever ways in which I don’t do so. And he won’t have to do any of that. It’s clearly an easy decision for him to have a child when he doesn’t have to give up control over his body for multiple years, nor put up with everyone else’s guilt-inducing opinions about he eats and how he acts. Also, as of right now he acts like paternity leave is a weird foreign concept, which concerns me greatly. Speaking of judgy and competitive I’m also afraid that if his mom has been hard to work with during wedding planning, she’ll be a real witch when there’s a grandchild in the picture.

      I’d like the stork to deliver me a healthy and happy potty trained five year old. Also, the APW post didn’t resonate with me at all. She didn’t mention any strategies or concrete advice. How am I supposed to replicate her one-ness with the liberated universe and have a mythical egalitarian pregnancy? I had enough problems giving up agency of my body after a surgery, so how am I supposed to recover from childbirth and take care of a kid too while home alone (or worse, with his mother coming to “help”) during maternity leave?

      I think I’m a candidate for an “oops”, because I’m clearly overthinking this.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Oh, and yes we’re planning on going to premarital couples counseling, so we can get the therapy recommendation out of the way :) On it. Also, am considering him some books to educate him about all the scary biology that freaks me out (boys don’t tend to learn these things by osmosis).

        Also, pregnancy doesn’t automatically make me the designated driver. Nope, not funny, even in a playfully pushing my buttons kind of way.

      • I agree on the APW posts — I get that the author doesn’t want to get too personal about the topic, but without examples it seems like aimless complaining. Which is totally fine, just less helpful.

    • You should read Why Have Kids. I think it’s a good read for anyone interested in exploring some of the motherhood sacred cows and it might help you think through why you would/wouldn’t want to go for it now or even ever. Part of the thesis is that what actually makes women miserable are all the myths that you’re supposed to feel like mother earth, or love b-feeding, or look gorgeous and glowing pregnant, etc. I think I agree (though I haven’ read the whole thing so reserving judgment on the book as a whole).

      I struggle with this too. In addition to all your concerns, I am also completely freaked out about it financially and I can’t help but focus on the fact that I am finally “comfortable” and if we decide to have a baby, it will totally ruin that, even assuming that all goes well and everyone is healthy. NYC is not a cheap place to have a kid, never mind multiples, and I really don’t want to move to the ‘burbs to be able to procreate, either. Coupled with the body concerns, this all makes me feel just a wee bit resentful, which then makes me panic and then makes me feel bad. And then I read an op-ed in the Times about how we should all be freezing our eggs and I panic even more.

      Anyway, no real solution but just commiseration. My mother says that my problem is I overthink these things and that I should just jump in head first and life will sort it all out. Who knows – maybe she’s actually right.

      • Yes, that too, AIMS. We live in a high COLA with dubious public schools. Without kids, we’ll be able to pay off our loans, buy a modest home, travel, and save for retirement. With them, that all goes to heck. The idea paying for very expensive private school or moving to the burbs for a decent public school, plus college tuition, definitely adds to all of my anxiety.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I just had this exact same discussion with my husband. I stumbled upon some book about “before you are pregnant” and bought it thinking it would help me figure out if I want kids or not. Some nights I’m reading the book excited about the idea. Other times I am HUGELY resentful, giving my husband a strong side eye, and pissed that I have to go through everything you mentioned and then some. The part I am the most angry about is having to stop or change medications and changing my diet. I can do without alcohol and cigarettes and cocaine. But, I have an already medically limited diet and live on sushi and other fish dishes. We both thought “never ever” for kids and then “maybe someday” and now “maybe in a year or so” but I just can’t wrap my head around everything you wrote. Also, I work in a small firm and didn’t discuss maternity leave when I was hired b/c I was in the “never ever” phase. My husband, god bless him, thinks I should just tell my boss I’m “thinking of starting a family” and “asking what the leave policy is.” I practically ripped his head off with the 100’s of reasons why I will NOT be having that conversation. His response “well, it seems I’ve touched a nerve here so I’m just going to let that one go.” The one thing pushing me forward though is that he has a very flexible job, makes less than me, and is more than willing to be the “primary parent” making the sacrifices after the kid is born. Yet, I am still miserable that biology has put the burden of cooking that child on women.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I wrote you a response saying I feel 100% the way you do yet I ended up in moderation. It will be there eventually.

    • I think what you’re feeling is completely normal, but maybe to a little bit of an unusual degree. I’ve said all of this here before, but it took me a while to work up to the idea – I certainly felt unsure of it in most of my 20’s. If it helps, most women just have some morning sickness, and some (25%, they say) don’t have any. I’m 7 months along, and haven’t even felt nauseous once. As for the kicking from inside you, IMO, it’s not nearly as weird as it sounds like it should be. When I think about it, yeah, really strange, but when I feel it, I don’t know, it really feels pretty good, very natural. I don’t, BTW, feel, like, exceptionally beautiful or one with nature or anything – I feel pretty much the same as far as that stuff goes.

      I would totally give you permission to not b-feed. I know about the studies, but, personally, I’m not convinced that they’re all that valid (people who b-feed exclusively are also going to have a lot of other advantages available to the kid, and, while you can try to control for things like health and money, it’s impossible to completely control). Personally, my plan is to give it a shot and see how it goes, but I probably intend to wean before I go back to work, which will be after 8 weeks, unless I can swing just doing morning and evenings. (The idea of pumping, with my similarly completely unpredictable schedule combined with a small office where everyone will know sounds dreadful.) My 3 sibs and I all were formula-fed, and we’re super-duper, freak of nature healthy. Some people will give you grief or judge you about it, but so what? Aren’t you a strong, independant woman who can decide for herself? (I know you are. :)

      I’m afraid of delivery, too. But I guess I’m hardly the first to go through it, and, even if I need surgery, heck, I’ll probably need surgery at some point in my life anyway, right?

      Regarding the unfairness of it, I get that. But, at the same time, well, nature’s a B. Since this is really important to your husband, have you considered asking him to change jobs instead of you? By which I mean, to either consider staying home or working only part-time, so that you can continue your schedule? My personal feelings are that the best thing for kids is to have one parent at home, anyway, but I see absolutely no reason why that parent should be the mom. If you work more, particularly if you make more, too, you both would probably benefit if he was taking over the domestic duties. If he’s not willing to do that, then I wouldn’t feel bad at all about putting this off until he is.

      I wouldn’t rule out adoption, either, though. Maybe it’s possible, maybe it’s not, but it might be worth a discussion.

      • anon for this :

        Thanks for this post. I felt reassured a bit after reading it. I struggle with the same issues as the OP. Because of my age, I basically have very little time to make up my mind. I like the IDEA of children, and I really do like little kids. I enjoy playing with friends kids and I like the idea of having a family with children. However, I’m not so much a fan of babies. I am bad with medical stuff (although knock on wood I have no serious health issues, just an overactive imagination and a tendency to dr. google everything). My SO is starting to initiated discussions (he wants kids), and we’ve had discussions about roles in caring for the kids – I have the high earner job. I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about the physical part of it (including the breastfeeding). And yes as another poster picked up I tend to be OCD about things, including my weight, and while I don’t think I have had an eating disorder, I don’t have the best history of taking care of myself. I.e. I am the girl who eats a cupcake and calls it lunch. In the last few years I have gotten better, not skipping meals and eating healthy foods. I have always had a tendency to have nausea/gag reflex so I can only imagine how I’d be pregnant, but that is not a given I realize. We are not TTC, I want to get enough folic acid in me and solidify my better eating habits. But this stuff weighs on me.

        • Maddie Ross :

          For what it’s worth, do not assume that you will have morning sickness if you have a “weak stomach” issue normally. I have an extremely weak stomach (i.e., get motion sickness just looking at moving cars or boat and tend to throw up if the smallest thing is wrong with my food). That said, I am in my second trimester and have only thrown up once and it was due to a migraine from the weather change, not morning sickness. I had a couple queasy weeks and definitely had the extreme fatigue, but my weak stomach did not equal weeks with my head in the toilet all the time. You just never know.

          • anon for this :

            Thanks this is also helpful. I tend to get nauseous from bad smells, motion sickness, etc. I almost never actually throw up, its just that horrible sick feeling where I need Ginger Ale stat. I hate this feeling and it basically incapacitates me. Yes, I am a wimp. I also poorly handled even the tiniest hangover in my wilder youth.

          • I had morning sickness with #2 but not at all with #1. For some reason it doesn’t just depend on the person. Weird I know.

    • I struggle with these same issues too. Especially with the physical changes to my body. Not like I’m some supermodel right now, but I like my body just the way it is, thankyouverymuch, and I hate that my husband would get to keep all his parts intact while my body is blown out like an old tire.

      All that said, for the non-body issues, two books that helped me:

      — Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman — see the two chapters on why to have kids, and why to not have kids (recommended by cbackson a few weeks ago – thanks, cbackson!)

      — Elizabeth Badinter’s The Conflict, which is a feminist take on how this modern emphasis on Total Motherhood is making more and more women of our generation very conflicted about having children at all.

    • I feel exactly the same way. Most of all though, I’m freaking out that I’ll just have to do everything that needs to get done. My DH is wonderful, but he’s not the proactive type and I’m afraid I’ll become my mother and literally spend my every waking minute taking care of things (baby, laundy, homework, cooking) and never have any time for myself. I just don’t want to be eaten up by mommy-hood while my DH gets to enjoy the ride and make little to no sacrifices. My only advice is to talk to your partner about this honestly, as you have here. I think most of all it’s important to know you’ll have a true partner in this process – explain to him what you expect from him once you have kids, and see if he’s up to the task. This has been my approach, and so far it’s worked for us. Plus now DH is helping out more around the house to prove to me he’s ready for daddy-hood.

    • Diana Barry :

      That is a lot of anxiety! You sound particularly concerned about how pregnancy/kids will affect you as compared to your husband, and resentful of him before anything has happened. Yes, you will need to be pregnant and he will not (or you could adopt, if this is a huge huge fear for you), but when you have a baby, BOTH of you will lose sleep and deal with endless diapers and laundry. Your husband can quit his job and be a SAHD. You can choose not to nurse and thus not pump at work. And if your firm fires you while pregnant or after having a baby, sue those b*stards! :)

      Maybe I’m being flip, and I don’t mean to dismiss your fears, but it seems like catastrophic thinking (I do this too, but with different things), and you might want to think about trying to change the catastrophic thinking patterns (and maybe also your anticipated resentment of your husband) before TTC.

      For me personally, being pregnant was kind of eh – I felt sick for a while – but feeling baby move was COOL, not freaky, and my ladygarden is just fine (after 3 kids). And my husband was just as tired as I was! :) I don’t feel like I’ve lost control of everything, at all.

      • Agree 100%. You lose some of the control over your body and your life, but not to a catastrophic extent. Total control is not necessarily a good thing IMO. Statistically, things have a way of working out, and you will most likely be part of that trend.

        Try to let go of the pregnancy fears. If you want to have a baby, you’ll need to go through pregnancy, that’s all there is to it. You don’t need to enjoy it. I mean people, you wanted law degrees and went to law school – I’ll bet that was a total fun ride. But you survived, right?

        Lastly, I don’t think it is just me, but when I was pg, the lady garden parties were notably merrier than non-pg. There is a physiological explanation to this, so trust me – there just may be something that will make up for all that doom and gloom.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Thank you for saying this (and thank you to everyone who admitted they feel the same). While I’m a few years away (at least) from having to make this decision, I’m terrified by the exact same things you are… changes to my body, sacrifices to my career etc. – and even though I’m sure my SO will be a supportive husband and father, he can’t change biology and the fact that having kids is a bigger sacrifice/toll on me, at least initially.

      So this isn’t really helpful but I guess I just appreciate how honest we can be about these issues.

    • lucy stone :

      I feel this way. We’re pulling the goalie and his backup friend in January and I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that my life is going to change forever. My mom had cancer when I was a toddler so in my head having a baby also equates to breast cancer. No advice, but I’m right there with you.

    • downstream :

      I agree with all your fears, and have many of them myself. But if you’re going to have kids, you’re going to have to do this. And no amount of complaining or whining will make it better, and short of surrogacy, medical science has not progressed to the point where you have other options. It’s unfair and it sucks but that’s how it is so let’s move on.

      When I complain about it to my spouse, he says, You think this will be easy for me? You’re not even pregnant yet and you’re complaining. Imagine what it’s going to be like when you’re actually pregnant! He’s right. This will not be easy for him either.

      • K...in transition :

        adoption and/or foster parenting don’t require medical science and they also mean raising kids :)

        and although I’m sure it’ll be tough on an SO to deal with mood swings and cravings, those are much easier than full body and hormonal changes and the like, so any SO who thinks those are equal is obviously wearing crazy pants!

    • Having children is a life-altering event. Being pregnant is a huge change in your body. It is uncomfortable and painful. But it is also magical and beautiful. There is really nothing like it! But, thanks to hormones and probably evolution, you really will love that little baby more than you ever thought possible, so much that it physically hurts, but in a wonderful way. It is a ton of work but it is so worth it, but not for any logical reason. And your body will heal from childbirth, it may be different than before, but as we age our bodies change regardless of whether we have given birth. And of course, you don’t have to breastfeed, but again hormones might make it so that it becomes incredibly important to you to try and make it work. There is really no way to predict exactly how you will feel, but it is worth it to talk about these things with your husband and maybe your doctor too.

    • anon for this :

      I did not particularly want children for all the reasons you’ve raised. Then one morning I had a weird sensory event where my sense of smell was really heightened – kind of like an early pregnancy syndrome. It got me thinking about how I would feel if I actually were pregnant. And it turned out I felt mostly happy about it. Then I read an article in the NY Times about how women might look youthful on the outside, but their insides are not getting any younger. I was 36, and it really hit home. So, about a year ago, we started trying to conceive. Once we started, my goal-orientated personality kicked in, and every month I didn’t get pregnant felt like a failure.

      Well, I had a positive home pregnancy test last week (!!). That would have been my contribution to the secrets thread if I had time to comment that day. My initial feeling was “yes! success at last!” quickly followed by terror. I am still pretty freaked out about the major lifestyle changes in my near future (I am a senior Biglaw litigation associate and primary breadwinner). My current thinking (less than a week into this) is: one thing at a time. I will figure out pregnancy and motherhood just like I figured out how to be a lawyer (and a pretty darn good one). My husband and I will figure out parenthood just like we figured out how to have a great marriage together. Yes, it’s really unfair that I have to bear the burden of pregnancy, childbirth and career consequences. But there’s nothing I can do about that, so I’ve decided not to fret about it. Big life changes are scary, but exciting. I’m trying to embrace the excitement.

      • K...in transition :

        CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Congratulations on your positive test!!! We tried for a year (and found out I have PCOS) before getting a surprise positive result — currently 5 1/2 months along with a boy due in February.

        For the OP… I also just wanted to chime in that it is just as possible that you will have one of those radiant, glowing, ecstatic pregnancies as one of the difficult, barfy, debilitating ones. Don’t just assume you will have one of the hard ones. I have depression and anxiety and a sensitive stomach and a lot of body-hate issues and I was really worried I was going to have a hard pregnancy like my sister in law and cousin, but it is so true that every pregnancy is different. I have been really lucky with no morning sickness and I love, love, love watching and feeling my body change and feeling my baby kicking and somersaulting inside me. Yes, my body will be different afterward. There are stretch marks and sebhorreic keratoses. Yes, heartburn sucks. Yes, I would like more sleep (and so would my DH). I’m not looking forward to perineal tearing or labor hemorrhoids or having my nipples bitten. But those are such minor discomforts compared to the awesomeness of what we are doing, which is having a child we want together.

        I think if you are clear that you WANT to have a child, the discomforts and pains of the process will fade in the face of the larger goal. It’s just like you accept sprains, pulled muscles, bruises, and maybe worse injuries from taking up a new sport. You want to do it, you just expect and accept that it may hurt and may really change your body and your free time and may cost you a lot of money, but you get a lot out of it. If you’re not clear that you want to have a child, therapy (alone or with your partner) is really important, especially if you feel like he’s pushing it on you. I can see that would be easy to resent a partner who I felt was “making” me do this, and could magnify all the discomforts and pains.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      What you said is part of why I don’t have kids and why I enjoy being an Auntie.

      What is being asked of you (if you do decide to gestate a biological child instead of adopting) is a kind of self-abnegation. If someone chooses that, that’s fine. What I find appalling is how there’s such a strong societal expectation for female self-abnegation and martyrdom.

      That your merely acknowledging that yes, there are hella scary things that happen during even a normal pregnancy and saying that they are off-putting is OK. Your husband shouldn’t flip out so easily.

      And, tune out all the societal crap that says you’re not supposed to be scared/worried and that you should be this blissed out earth-mother happy to risk your life and health and way of life for somebody else (that you don’t know yet.) Better to acknowledge your fears and overcome them, whatever your choice ultimately is, than to be an anesthetized Stepford mindlessly going through life.

    • Loving being pregnant has nothing to do with being a good parent. Nor is pregnancy is permanent condition (unless you have 20 kids and it probably seems that way). Delivery? Well, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. At the end, you get a baby. And guess what, plenty of loving parents, didn’t really like being a parent to a child at x age. We love our son fiercely, but we didn’t like the early baby survival stage and the toddler tantrum stage. As with the weather though, those things pass and then they aren’t so scary anymore. I think there is too much information out there and certainly plenty of opinions on every tiny detail. If you can block out the noise and figure out what works for your family, you’ve got it. I’m not trying to trivialize it. I went through a lot of the same anxiety. Could this have a negative impact on your abs, your career and/or your marriage? Sure. But it may have awesome wonderful future impact that you just haven’t seen yet.

    • I didn’t feel that way exactly, but I had a lot of questions and concerns. I say this with the background of always knowing I wanted kids. So, even people you think might 100% know they want children (like I did and do-love ‘em more than anything) still have doubts. Frankly, I think you should have doubts and work through them. Having children, however you decide to have them, is a major deal. Your life is different and better and different and strange and different and stressed and you get the idea. I don’t think that there is ever a perfect time to have kids. I don’t think you’ll ever have all your questions answered. It is scary. It requires a leap of faith. For me, it has been 100% worth it in ways I could have never imagined.

      But, yes, my body is different. I think it is better. Yes, my body did s0me weird things and will never recover from some of them -hello, random hair loss. Nursing and pumping at work wasn’t fun, but I did it. I was not a fun and glowing pregnant lady. I loved feeling my kids kick inside of me-until about the 8th month when both decided to stick their bones up into my ribs. Man, that hurt. I also FREAKED the freak out when it got down to it and I realized that “Holy Sh*t, I’m going to have to get this baby OUT of me and it is going to hurt.” I’m not going to lie, it HURT. But, it hurt much worse the first time. The second was like a walk in the park. These were all trade-offs that I was OK with. You have to decide what trade-offs you are OKwith, if any. Good luck.

    • I feel exactly the same way.
      My husband told me this weekend he’s ready to have kids. I’m not, for all the reasons you describe. Like someone else said, i’d be far more okay with this if the stork could deliver me a fully potty trained 5 year old. Basically, i’m scared sh*tless. But at the same time, I don’t want to end up in my late 40s with no kids- so i guess that means I want them? Anyway, you’re not alone!

    • I hear you and all of your concerns. I was nervous too before biting the bullet and having kids (although I always knew that I wanted to have kids, I was worried about the sacrifice and giving up the freedom of my childless life). I agree with the previous poster who said that you might be suffering from too much information from your friends and family members with kids. Everybody has a different experience of pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing, so why are you assuming the worst will happen in each stage? I think many women like to tell their war stories, which may freak out people who don’t have kids.

      In my case, I had a wonderful pregnancy and absolutely loved being pregnant. I had zero morning sickness, felt great, and thought it was pretty amazing that my body was capable of growing another human being. In fact, my DH was actually very jealous that I got to enjoy the experience of being pregnant and he would never know what it felt like to feel baby kicks, etc. And btw, my sister had the exact opposite pregnancy (morning sickness, fatigue, hated every moment of it), but she still is TTC for number 2 because having the baby at the end of the day was totally worth it for her.

      Also, I had a c-section, but recovery really was not bad. After about a week or so of taking ibuprofen, I was pretty much pain free. Regarding BF-ing, everyone may offer opinions, but you get to decide whether it is best for your family to BF or not, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. In my case, BF-ing was actually much better and easier than formula feeding, but again, everyone’s experience may be different. I got to bond with my baby, had no bottles to clean/sterilize, no lugging around formula every time we went out, no needing to worry about warming up bottles, and could feed my baby on a moment’s notice when he was hungry with no worries. When I went back to work, I pumped in my office. I hated pumping, but managed to do just fine in biglaw by getting it done as efficiently as possible. After I was done pumping, I actually missed the few 20 minute breaks I used to take to catch up on email, read this site, etc. Just want you to see that all the things that you are worried about could actually turn out to be very positive experiences.

      And to your point about your husband not having to change anything – well, if you have an equal partnership in your marriage, that is just not true. Yes, you will bear all of the physical changes, and that is just the reality of nature. But, after the baby is born, its up to the two of you to determine how to deal with the parenting responsibilities. My DH was up with our son in the middle of the night almost as much as I was, changed tons of dirty diapers, etc. He has scaled back at work because he wants to spend more time with our son, he’s at every doctor appointment, and relieves our nanny every evening. It does not have to be one-sided.

    • I’ll reiterate what many of the moms on this thread have already said: You don’t have to love being pregnant to be a good mom. I felt pretty “meh” about pregnancy for pretty much the whole time. You’re generally excited (and terrified) that you’ll have a baby, but being pregnant is just a means to an end.

      I went through labor and ended up with a c-section. The recovery was substantially easier than I was led to believe. I don’t know if that’s just me or what, but I like the idea of not “blowing out the whole region” and just healing from an incision. (Yes, I know it’s major surgery with associated risks…but after 6 hours of back labor, I’m very pro c-sections).

      Re bfeeding, your friend deserves side-eye. I bf’d exclusively until the baby was six months (and pumped during the day at work from the time I went back at 3 months). It’s a CHORE, and you have to committed to it. And it was my choice and I would never judge someone for 1) not having a compatible schedule or 2) simply not having the time or desire to bf and pump. You have to sacrifice a lot to do it, and it’s only your individual decision whether that is right for you.

      Finally, your husband may not have to physically deal with having a baby, but he won’t (or shouldn’t) get off scott-free. If he only bills 1800 hours, then he gets to be in charge of dropping off/picking up day care. Or he can prepare dinners, clean the house, get things ready each night , etc. He’ll also be up at night (especially if you’re not bf’ing, he can help with feedings from the get go) and changing innumerable diapers.

      Have you told your husband your fears? It sounds like talking it out might help calm you down, and would help your husband realize what he can do now to assist you in planning and preparing.

    • Would you consider adoption (or using a surrogate if you are wedded to the idea of a biological baby)? Sounds like your main concern is being pregnant and going through delivery. And I agree with others that you have to talk to your husband beforehand and make sure he is on board with 50% of the parenting responsibilites. Yes, you have to be the one who undergoes the physical things but thats less than a year (probably only around 6 months of your life when you take into account that there are usually at least 3 months in the middle of pregnancy where you feel pretty good) and once the baby is here there’s no reason your husband shouldn’t do an equal amount (or more, since he works less) of parenting and household duties. Is he ok with doing more than half of the dirty diapers? Same with middle of the night feedings, daycare drop-offs, doctors appointments, household chores like cooking and cleaning (or agreeing to hire that stuff out). It sounds like he wants a kid more than you to so you need to make sure its clear that since you’re doing 100% of the baby-growing he needs to do more than his share of baby-raising. If he’s willing to really take on this share of the parenting, then his life will definitely change.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      If my hubby were an attorney and if I worked in private practice, I could have written your post word-for-word. Several times over the past 18 months or so, I’ve thought I came to terms with all this and was “ready” (hah) to go for it, and then had sort of a meltdown about it and beat a quick retreat. I really do want to raise a child, but the thought of producing said child is completely and totally unappealing from (almost) beginning to end. My current job is actually very conducive to motherhood, but maternity leave and the timing of it all could be an issue, and I’m not exactly sure how to figure things out without broadcasting that we’re thinking about this. Also, my job isn’t always that intellectually fulfilling, but I already feel sort of stuck here for the next few years, assuming things actually work out with the leave issues. The schedule wasn’t the reason I took the job initially, but it would be difficult to lose now…so I feel like I’m already sacrificing for this hypothetical child. Also, while I know my hubby will be a great dad, I am worried about him not pulling his weight with household duties, as opposed to kid-specific duties. I.e. he doesn’t cook, cleans mainly under duress, needs specific instructions on how to do pretty much anything domestic, and believes “it will work out” when we have kids, even when there is SO MUCH MORE of all of it to do. He really wants kids like yesterday, but I’m not totally comfortable with having kids until he shows some initiative in the less-fun aspects of home life. Anyway, I don’t have answers, just commiseration.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Um, probably right up until the point where the doctor said “he’s here, meet your son”, minus the puking – only did that once!

    • Praxidike :

      I agree with and have felt everything you are feeling. Thankfully my husband is on the same “I don’t know if I want kids” page as I am, so I don’t feel any pressure from him on that issue.

      The other thing I worry about more or less constantly is whether I will be a good mother, and whether I will love my child. My parents were not very good parents and I had terrible examples of parenting. I just feel like I need to set up an immediate fund for therapy upon the child’s birth.

    • Woah, woah, woah.

      Why do you have to breastfeed?
      Why do you have to change jobs?
      Why do you think that your husband’s life an career remain unaffected?

      Either you are putting a lot of expectations on yourself, or you and your husband should have some serious discussions about division of labor.

      If your husband is feeling ready to be a parent, he should be stepping up and making plans of how he is going to shoulder the responsibilities that come with parenting. He should be mapping out ways he can juggle his career and fatherhood. If he’s not doing that, then he’s not really ready. There is nothing “out there” that would prevent you and your husband deciding to adopt and have him have primary childcare duties, while you continue to focus on your career.

      Now, there is nothing saying that you won’t decide that you want to scale back your hours or switch jobs, or even quit jobs. You could decide that you love pregnancy, or breastfeeding. You and your husband might end up having to really discuss which of you “gets” to stay home with your child/ren. And those decisions are fine too — but they aren’t required.

      And I say all of this as someone who had terrible pregnancies, wonderful labors, breastfed, took primary care giving responsibilities, and wish I could still be spending more time with kids. But these are my choices, and my choices don’t need to be universalized to make them right for me and my family.

      • “If your husband is feeling ready to be a parent, he should be stepping up and making plans of how he is going to shoulder the responsibilities that come with parenting. He should be mapping out ways he can juggle his career and fatherhood. If he’s not doing that, then he’s not really ready.”

        +1000

    • Oh my. I was you 15 months ago before I accidentally got pregnant and had a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Yes it’s unfair on the woman and motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve worked late nights and weekends for my consulting job so I thought I was prepared but I wasn’t. My pregnancy was exhausting and painful. And the last 10 minutes of labor was sheer h*ll…despite the mess. And pumping is incredibly boring.

      Yet there are days when I touch my daughter’s fine hair and I’m in awe. I see her videos at work to make me smile. She just learned to hug me and it feels so soft. My husband and I are her everything and it is so humbling. Watching her master a new task is inspiring.

      All this to say is that there are pros and cons and you learn to go with the flow. Somehow you will adapt and evolve and you won’t feel bad about how much life has changed. The highs are really high and the lows are really low and you’ll never know if you’re ready unless you go through with it. Take your time if you need it…don’t rush and make sure you’re on the same page with your dh before getting pg. Know what is core to you outside of being a mom and commit to it. In addition to being a mom I wanted to continue my running and my biweekly Sunday brunch with my besties. My dh knows that’s important to me so he takes care of our daughter while I do my thing. Helps me keep sane and ensures I still feel like my “old self” time to time.

      • Everything you wrote about your life changing and your husband’s just getting better is exactly why we don’t have 3 (or 4 or 5) kids like my husband wants.

        Motherhood is wonderful. Pregnancy was a pain but looking back on it I miss having my baby with me all the time. Now they are 9 and 5 and very independent individuals. Babyhood is also hard. Your body is wonky, nursing is HARD but you lose weight very quickly nursing and for most people it only lasts a year. If you plan accordingly, can afford it and find a good person, a good nanny is worth her weight in gold. Our baby nanny cleaned our house, started meals and took care of the kids.

    • I don’t know if you’re still reading this, but I also felt exactly as you do, every one of your concerns, before I was ready to TTC a couple of years ago (now have a 1.5 year old and another on the way). N I felt like no one else must have all of these concerns. As the other responses show, you’re clearly not alone in your feelings. I think it’s just a conflict that modern career-women feel. No matter how high-achieving we are, biology means that pregnancy and usually early motherhood are simply “unfair” to women in terms of distribution of labor (pun intended), burden, damage to your body, time and disruption to career. But for the most part, there is no getting around biology, so if you know you want kids ultimately, and otherwise have all your ducks in order, I would just take the jump. Yes, there are parts that suck – pregnancy discomforts, work conflicts, pain, a changed body, etc. And I’ve found that post-baby, there are new challenges in working with the husband in taking care of everything. There is so much more to do that it’s stressful and overwhelming at times and you can resent each other. But, there are all of the positives of motherhood too. Like you and others have said, it’s impossible to know what it’s like and experience the joys of motherhood until you become a mother. So I think you just have to take the leap and do it. Challenges will come, and you’ll deal with them as they happen. Now that you have done all the ruminating over the bad stuff (I’m exactly the same way), there’s really not much you can do to prevent any of it. For me, once I made the decision to go for it, it became another goal/task with planning and things to do and things to look forward to. Kind of like planning a vacation, although maternity leave is nothing like a vacation. In summary, you’re not alone, and you can do it (if kids is ultimately what you want). Good luck!

    • It sounds like you’re suffering from knowing that any child you have with this man will be considered entirely Your Problem. You may have the uterus and the boobs, but that’s immaterial to getting up at night and changing diapers, not to mention nursing a cold or helping with homework. So if you’re getting the idea that it’ll all fall on you, and your career will suffer even though it sounds like you’re doing better than him at the moment, it’s no wonder you’d hesitate. Anybody would. In fact, anybody should. If I were, I’d stall till I’m certain I’d be getting the cooperation needed to have this come out as anything but damage for you.

      • My husband is a great parent and an equal partner. In his defense, I don’t think he really knew how life-changing a child would be until we actually had one. Women have the added burden/benefit of being pregnant and therefore learn earlier than men what it means to have your body and your life revolve around another human. So I wouldn’t say that his not fully comprehending all the ins and outs of pregnancy doesn’t mean he won’t be an excellent parent and partner when he has a real live baby in his life.

    • Anonforthis :

      I’m a semiregular poster but going anon for this one for obvious reasons…

      I’m basically in your spot from a career standpoint. I’ve come to terms with the biology of being a mom.

      Right now, I work for a privately held organization. Our board is on the verge of selling the company, and I am seriously hoping my job will be eliminated in the process. If that happens, it is a perfect transition (+ severance!) to a few years having children. If my job *doesn’t* get eliminated, it will be a living h3ll until the dust clears. Blech.

  12. Vegan Sausages :

    Hi, does anybody know where I can find some good vegan sausage in the Bay Area? Bonus points if you can vouch for it’s tastiness. Thanks in advance!

  13. Former MidLevel :

    Hi ladies – So I recently joined Twitter (gosh, writing that makes me feel old). Any tips for not sounding like a tool?

    • Anonforthis :

      I am all over Twitter this week, because someone tweeted about a paper a colleague and I just posted (which was SO SO exciting!). I have decided that my Twitter is a professional networking tool, like LinkedIn, and so I restrict myself to following and tweeting things that interest me professionally (mostly). And the account has my real name on it. I actually have a second anonymous account for the fun stuff I don’t want to associate with professionally (think ultra-nerd hobbies, etc.). Most of my tweets are blog posts that I find interesting and retweets from sources I follow.

  14. Second TJ, this time for shopping help.

    After several watchless years, I think I want to buy myself one for Hannukah. I’d like to buy something decent, in the $200-$250 range. I’d like it to be silver and kind of vintagey/art deco coolness. I had an example saved and now it’s sold out and the link won’t even show it (but it was lower quaity than I wanted to buy anyways). So this is the best example I’ve found now;

    http://www.princetonwatches.com/shop/PPH549.asp

    It can be a bit more intricate than that, but it shoudn’t be too too blingy. Also, I have tiny little hands and pretty small wrists, so while I could go a bit bigger, I cannot wear a Brandon Walsh-style Big Honking Watch (or even the female equivalent, lol). I prefer a non-bracelet band.

    Suggestions would be much appreciated!

  15. incognito :

    Can I just vent for just one second?

    I can’t -stand- phone slammers! A girl a few cubes down from me absolutely slams the phone down every time she uses it. It makes me secretly dislike her! Thank god I’m not on the other end of the phone!

    That is all.

  16. Anon for this--baby vs. husband :

    I have a six month old baby. My question is this: is it weird that I think I love my baby more than I love my husband? I mean, I love my husband and I’m so glad and lucky to have him. But I was totally unprepared for the depths of my love for this kid. Should I be reframing this, like I love them equally, but in different ways? How does this work? Anyone care to pipe in?

    • Diana Barry :

      Totally normal, don’t worry about it. But make sure you’re cultivating your relationship with your husband as well as with baby.

    • umm…. definitely do not tell your husband this. why would you even need to? if he asks you directly (which would be weird and a little off-putting), then yes, tell him you love them equally but in different ways.

      if i misunderstood you and you’re just concerned about your own feelings and not about telling your husband, then i wouldn’t worry too much about it; i’m sure it’s normal. it’s not like you don’t love your husband anymore, right? you have a unique bond with your child that is probably especially strong while you’re still breastfeeding, etc.

      just make sure you don’t neglect your marriage and it’ll be fine.

      • Anon for this--baby vs. husband :

        I definitely wouldn’t tell my husband this and I can’t imagine him asking me to tell him who I love more! I was just more-or-less wondering if this is a normal thing for new moms or if I’m out in the woods…I definitely think you’re on to something with the breastfeeding/bonding aspect of being a new mom.

      • Honestly, he probably feels the same way.

        • Anon for this--baby vs. husband :

          You know what’s funny about that? I’d probably feel relieved if that were the case.

        • This. Look at how men treat their ex-wives vs their children by their ex-wives.

          The kids at worse are ignored, most often, they are still loved. The ex-wife is often vilified or seen as a pest. His love for you is just as conditional, if not more so.

    • DC Association :

      Nope it isn’t weird. I think it is totally normal. I think most people are not prepared for how much they love their kids. You probably can just tear up thinking about your baby, right? But your husband, probably not (well, maybe sometimes but not instinctively). I think it is all part of biology (?) – desire to keep your offspring alive, and so forth. That and babies are so unbelievably adorbs!!

    • I think that, at least for me, my love for my husband is more intellectual (I chose to love him) and to be honest, conditional. My love for my children is more natural and unconditional. This does not mean that I don’t love my husband, because I do very much and I want to maintain our strong relationship for ourselves and our children. But it is different with the kids.

    • So normal. I consider myself about as level-headed as they come, and I was shocked at how much love I could have for this baby. But to echo Diana Barry, be sure and still cultivate your relationship with your husband. I think we’re closer and better now than before we had our son, but that’s because we work on making our relationship better.

    • Anon for this--baby vs. husband :

      Thanks everyone. I feel better knowing that this is in the realm of normal.

    • Oh, how sweet! Pre-kids I had someone describe having a baby son as “the best love affair you ever had.” I didn’t get the concept until I had my own. I will say that after 13 years the feeling abates somewhat (teenagers!), and I thank heaven every day I have my husband as my backup. Don’t worry – you’re a totally normal, wonderful mother. I’m sure your baby is delightful!

    • 100% feel the same way, and so does my husband. We’ve discussed it. For us, that’s just how we feel and neither of us resent the other for feeling that way. Maybe it’s biology or maybe our marriage is not as strong as others, but that is the truth. We love our son so much that nothing can compare.

    • Totally normal. Just don’t tell him. Especially if you want more babies <3

  17. If you have just one scarf or one sweater that you keep in the office to cover up when it is a little chilly during the work day, what color or pattern is it?

  18. Don't call me "Dear" :

    Can I just vent for a second? There’s this guy in my office who is relatively young. His current project involves calling other people in our field, using my company’s name (he’s in an intern/fellow-type role). I /know/ he doesn’t know these people. And yet, he frequently calls them (women, I assume) “dear.” As in “Could you ask him to call me? Thanks, dear.”

    At first, I found it mildly jarring. Now that I hear it more and more, it’s becoming downright irritating that he would condescend to these (professional!) women this way. I know I’m just letting it get under my skin, but I really want to take him aside and say, “You know, a lot of women don’t appreciate being called things like ‘dear’ by people they don’t know.” I’m not going to, for a variety of reasons including that I know it would not be well-received, and I am not his supervisor, but… RAWR!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Ew, why would he think that was okay?

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      The next time he calls you ‘Dear,’ say, “No, my name is X.” Repeat as needed.

    • If he is an intern, and you know these people, I would def say something! I would just say “oh hey x, I overheard you calling professional contacts dear. please don’t call them that, use names only. thanks!” Is he protected by someone important that would keep you from saying something? He is learning the ropes so this is a good thing for him to learn. dont mention that some people dont like it, just frame it as a thing. like you need to wear a tie everyday, arrive at 9, and dont call people dear.

      • Don't Call me "Dear" :

        So, I’m intentionally being pretty vague to keep from identifying anyone (okay, mostly me), but I don’t have the authority (pecking-order-wise or personality-wise — I’m closer to his level than I am to his supervisor’s) to pull this off, unfortunately. If the issue were a tie or an arrival time, I couldn’t really correct that, either. I may try the incredulous approach Godzilla suggests, if I can get up the nerve…

    • Next time you hear him doing that while you’re walking by, call him out on it (I wouldn’t be able to resist). “Did you really just call that lawyer ‘Dear’? I hope she’s your aunt or something….” Jerks need to know that they’re jerks.

    • I don’t find the term dear to be inherently condescending — I know many people, from different ages groupds/regions/job descriptions/ethnic backgrounds, who use similar salutations. However, I have been around long enough to know that it would be poorly received in a whole bunch of contexts.

      Even if you aren’t his supervisor, you can say something. “Dude, I overheard you, and a lot of people find “dear” to be offensive. Just FYI.” Let him think about his word choice and his own narrow world view, and then he can come to whatever decision he comes to.

  19. In The Pink - for Godzilla :

    I know this is late in the thread. I just got off an airplane.

    Dear Godzilla:

    While banned from Kindle use in the descent phase of my flight, I located a potential uniform for your new employees. Seems this might convey your business model/motto of serving papers on ne’er do well SO….

    http://www.thewirelesscatalog.com/wireless/Apparel_1AA/Item_ADULT-ANIMATED-RAPTOR-HOODIE_VJ2112H.html

    Alternatively, a nice halloween costume for you and yours.

    So that means I need ideas for a costume for myself,

    Yours, In the Pink, aka Sargent At Legs

  20. Jenna Rink :

    My husband and I’s anniversary is coming up. We’ve been having low grade marriage problems and I’m having such a hard time getting excited about it. Feeling so blah about our anniversary seems symbolic. Neither one of us has really planned anything and I’m not really sure what to do. How do you deal with an anniversary when things aren’t going well?

    • I’ve worked late on at least 5 out of my 6 wedding anniversaries so far, but I think you should do something together that is fun and adventurous. Think: concert, ropes course, hike, cooking class, trapeze lesson, etc. It will be good for you and it will save you from one of those dinners where it’s supposed to be romantic but you actually just talk about your marriage problems all night. Plus it gives you something to look forward to other than just the celebration aspect.

      Good luck!

    • e_pontellier :

      As everyone here well knows, my DH and I have had a rough patch lately (to put it mildly). We recently celebrated our first anniversary, and so I spent some time looking through wedding pictures and thinking, where did I want to be a year after my wedding? And I tried to act on that. We ended up having a pretty relaxed anniversary and it all went well. That being said, I know how you feel.

    • When my now ex-H and I were in PA after Katrina, we had our 9th anniversary right before we left there. We were out shopping at King of Prussia mall one day before then and he was saying how he wanted to buy me a necklace we saw and we really couldn’t afford it at the time, but he would have bought it. I said no because things were so uncertain then and I’m so glad I did. We had a quiet anniversary dinner in PA before returning and we split up two months after we got back. I’m so glad I wasn’t left with a big expensive reminder of that last anniversary. He had apparently saved up for a 10th anniversary ring for his first wife right before they split up.

      So while I’m not saying you’re going to split up, I’d say keep it low-key. Every anniversary doesn’t have to be a big deal.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      This may be completely off base since I’m not even married, but I’ve been reading the Happiness Project and a lot of what she talks about is approaching things in a positive way and even faking it at first if necessary. I’m not sure what you mean by low grade problems, but can you just decide to approach it with excitement and fake the excitement to yourself. You could get yourself caught up in it that it becomes true excitement and then maybe you’d have a much better time than you are expecting.

    • How do I deal with an anniversary when things aren’t doing well? Break up BEFORE :-)! Rather than have an awful time, give and receive half-hearted presents, feel lonely, and usually break up later. Anniversary blues is definitely a symptom that some change is needed, for me.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Can you celebrate the things that are going well, at least? Maybe give yourself a boost to want to work thru the low-grade problems?

    • Are low grade problems basically just a rough patch? How about a fun, stress free activity like a weekend away, a spa day, a hike, whatever it is that y’all like. It doesn’t have to be about celebrating or fixing the issues, just have some fun together time. I mean, you could mention your anniversary to get the free dessert at dinner, but it doesn’t have to be the focus. In my marriage, some low-key “us” time helps heal and strengthen much more than hours of discussion where we go round and round until exhausted.

    • (I’m not sure what you mean about low grade.) I agree that you shouldn’t make a huge deal out of it, but maybe you can do something you both have really enjoyed in the past. Something that was fun/exciting/brought you too closer together. Maybe the memory of that and doing it again will help provide some spark to get momentum out of the blah phase. I hope you have a good anniversary and you both get out of this funk – I think many relationships go through this phase, but it does take a focused effort and willingness of both people to get back to good.

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