Weekend Open Thread

Joie Devani Beaded Top Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I was at a small dinner party at a paella bar in NoLiTa last Saturday, and noticed, a few tables away, another diner wearing this awesome top. Like, really awesome and beautiful and unique but still, you know, laid back — the “this old thing?” kind of vibe. Loved it. Then, in our convo on Monday about personal style bloggers, one commenter linked to So Much to Smile About, which had posted a picture of Meg from MegBiram wearing the same top and I thought, a-HA! Now I don’t have to Google-stalk it. And so here is my excited report: It’s Joie — beaded silk chiffon.  It’s $288.  For once, I think it looks better in real life (both on Meg as well as the random girl I saw at dinner on Saturday) than it does on the model.  Le sigh.  Joie Devani Beaded Top

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Comments

  1. momentsofabsurdity :

    I like the top. But $288 seems like a LOT for a “this old thing?” kind of top.

  2. Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

    The scallop pattern falls unfortunately over her b**bs in such a bad way.

    From a distance, it looks like she’s wearing a drawing of droopy b**bs that have fringe dangling from them. I can’t unsee that now, either.

  3. I absolutely love this top but the price is absurd!

  4. Gift-giving question:

    My sister and I are very close in age, she is 27 and I am 25. She is graduating from law school in December and I want to get her a nice, classic gift to mark the occassion. I want to keep it under $500. For context, for my graduation she got me a burberry trenchcoat- I love this piece and wear it very frequently. I’d like to give her an equally nice staple piece. She is very much into designers and labels (quite the opposite of mysel), so I’m thinking a piece that a designer is known for- ex: an hermes belt (way out of my price range). Jewelry would be easier- but she already has a nice watch and staple jewelry pieces. I’m not too familiar with designer stuff, so if any of you fashionable ladies can offer some suggestions I’d really apreciate it! Thanks!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      A pair of RayBans maybe? Along with a Burberry scarf?

    • What about a nice work bag? (I’m actually more like you, not into designers/labels, so no specific suggestions.)

    • Not knowing what classic jewelry she has and doesn’t have — what about something from Tiffanys? People love that stuff and a lot of it (like say pearl studs or silver huggies) would be great as daily wear or interview wear for a new lawyer. Plus people just love those blue boxes.

      • My sister gave me a silver Tiffany pen for law school graduation and I use it daily.

        • Yes, my uncle gave me a silver Tiffany pen for my law school graduation too. It is gorgeous and it reminds me of him every time I use it.

          • Ooh or what about a Mont Blanc pen? My Dad gave me one for college graduation and I treasure it! Is a Mont Blanc pen still a “status” thing or is it an “old person” thing nowadays? Just curious!

    • I’d suggest a beautiful leather bag for work. Coach has a “classics” collection with some beautiful options in the 250-350 dollar range. That being said, I know some people who really like designers and labels think of Coach as being kind of a “lesser” label, so not sure if your sister is in that camp.

      • We literally just had the same comment. Ha!

      • She went through a coach phase in highschool (she had A LOT of “C” labeled bags) so I think this option wouldn’t work for her. But also, she recently bought a very nice, classic work bag. le sigh.

      • downstream :

        If she’s into labels I would steer clear of bags – she probably has her own likes and dislikes. I would go with a beautiful burberry scarf or, if her style is more alternative, an alexander mcqueen scarf.

    • What about a purse? I’m thinking something that is classic in shape (i.e., no hobos, etc.) and conservative in color choice (black, cognac, burgandy, a deep purple), that is long and deep enough (TWSS) to hold a file or two (for me that means, long enough that you can fit an 8.5×11 file comfortably). I know Coach isn’t quite so popular anymore (I think there was a discussion about this yesterday), but I think they’re getting back to their roots rather than being all-logo-all-the-time. From what I’ve seen online, I like the Candace carry-all, and I think some of the items in the Madison line would be nice.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Ferragamo Varina flats?

      • I was reading quickly and my brain interpreted “Varina” flats as…something else.

        I think I can safely say that I will never be able to buy those shoes now!

    • anon for this :

      My parents gave me a Waterford fountain pen for my law school graduation, and I still use it on a daily basis. It is my “signature” pen that I keep in my desk for signing pleadings and letters, since it looks much nicer than a felt-tip or ballpoint. I actually get quite a lot of compliments on it.

      • anon in-house :

        I read Waterford as “Wolford” and thought you meant the high-end hose/tights and thought that was quite an interesting idea. They’re supposed to be really long-lasting, but they’re so expensive I never bothered getting them for myself. But I’d love to receive some as a gift!

    • S in Chicago :

      Do you know what designers she favors? Tory Burch is very big in my circles, so I might purchase some classic black leather gloves and then maybe a lovely scarf. DVF makes some gorgeous scarves and is so well known for beautiful prints. I always think a scarf over a trench looks so classic and classy. Or what about a lovely cardigan? Or a cashmere wrap? Not sure how she feels about Brooks Brothers, but I’ve been lusting after this one: http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Cashmere-Ruana/WR00013,default,pd.html?dwvar_WR00013_Color=BLCK&contentpos=17&cgid=women . It seems like the sort of splurge item one would wear year after year and would work for office, travel, night out.

    • Hermes scarf? Real gold hoop earrings?

    • OK–not as fun as some of the other suggestions. But what about a nice piece of carry-on luggage, such as something by Tumi? (I believe there are some sales right now.) I know I would have really appreciated something like that post-grad school when taking my first business trip.

    • If she knows designers, I’d go for a Hermes scarf. It is classic, the quality is unreal, she can use it multiple ways for decades. You can get them around $400 from places like ruelala. Also, you are a nice sister.

    • Anonymous :

      A family member got me this Tiffany bracelet/earrings set when I graduated law school and it has been great for everyday wear at work, since it goes with pretty much everything:

      http://www.tiffany.com/shopping/Item.aspx?fromGrid=1&sku=GRP01690
      http://www.tiffany.com/Shopping/item.aspx?fromgrid=1&selectedsku=11408362&sku=GRP03142

      I believe there is also a matching necklace. Their pink pearl jewelry can also be great (pretty and feminine but still simple enough to go with a lot of workwear): e.g. http://www.tiffany.com/Shopping/Item.aspx?fromGrid=1&sku=25547896

    • From a different perspective, if she enjoys cooking, you could also give a piece of “designer” cookware. I’m thinking a Le Creuset dutch oven, a couple pieces of All Clad or something along those lines. I received my Le Creuset dutch oven as a grad school gift and was completely thrilled.

  5. Kitten Heeled :

    Hi Ladies! My husband is turning 30 in August and I want to do something nice for him and his friends to celebrate- like sending him on a fun and memorable boys-night-out. It would be him and 15 of his friends- they are all roughly the same age. Any suggestions?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Where are you located? There is a “James Bond Experience” type thing near me that a few guy friends had a TON of fun doing (even though it was aimed mostly at kids). Maybe there is something similar in your city?

      http://www.patriot-place.com/espionage.aspx

      Otherwise – paintballing followed by a bar crawl? Beer tasting at a local brewery? Trip to the shooting range? Tickets to a sporting event?

      • Kitten Heeled :

        We’re in NoVA/DC area. My husband is not much of a drinker, so the bar crawl and beer tasting wouldn’t be too fun for him. A shooting range might be fun— would there be a place for them to congregate? hmmm, never been before.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I have had friends that have gone in groups to a shooting range (I’ve never been to one though) and maybe a shooting range, followed by a hearty dinner at a local restaurant might be a fun boys’ night for non drinkers? I know after you leave they let you keep your target sheet, so they can all compare notes, even if they can’t chitchat while shooting.

          • If your husband has never been shooting before, maybe see if you can rent out an entire range for a few hours for the group. That way they could get a lesson first (everyone should know basic firearm safety and range protocol before stepping foot into the firing area anyway) and know how to load and shoot whatever firearms they’ll be renting (pistols, shotguns, ARs, etc). And the range staff can give them ongoing pointers during their active shooting time which is helpful for beginners (and makes it more fun).

            Check a few different places, as different ranges have different atmospheres.

        • If you’re in DC, I would monitor Living Social. They have some special outings that they run, and then deals on things like paintball and shooting. My husband just did Whirleyball at a bachelor party (I guess it’s like lacrosse while in bumper cars), and he said it was a lot of fun, so you could see if there’s anything like that around DC.

        • Go-karting. Wayyyy too much fun.

          • There is a place out by Dulles that does this. Gives out trophies and everything.

        • Does he like sports? Here in NY, you can rent a box to see a Mets game, with food and drinks and it ends up being something reasonable like $50/pp. Maybe look into something along those lines where you are?

    • I think it depends on what your husband and his friends consider to be “fun and memorable.” If they’re hard partiers, I know that in big cities there are companies that operate “party” buses and trolleys that have alcohol on board and take you on a longgg bar crawl. I know a lot of people who have had a blast on these, but they’re not exactly the classiest excursions. For something a little calmer, maybe you could arrange for a beer tasting at a nice pub or a brewery? Or you could avoid the alcohol route altogether and go for something extreme-sports-y: jet skiing, hang gliding, etc. Good luck!

      • Kitten Heeled :

        All great suggesstions but my husband is not much of a drinker and not into extreme sports, which makes planning any sort of “boys night” that much harder!

    • Be carful. When I was 30, I was with Alan, but his idea of a fun night out was to go drinkeing with his dumb accountent friends, and they would then think they were Big Men about Town and start approacheing women to see if they wanted to go out some where else for a drink (or something else).

      These were CPA’s! Not rif-raff, but educeated professioneals! So don’t think that your man is diferent. Once they have a few ounces of booze in them, they think they are big lady’s men, and they start preeneing as if the lady’s even care.

      It is importent to remember that if your guy does get lucky, he could be bringeing back a “gift” that you don’t want — STD’s, HERPES, AIDS or even WORSE. I could NEVER take that chance.

      So I had to wind up dumping Alan when all he did was caruose, drink, and lay around my apartement for day’s and even it was geting bad at work for him b/c he was not abel to do his job with a hangeover. FOOEY!

      If you wan’t to do something good for him that is NOT goeing to be bad for you. How about a Mexican apple bobing contest at your place with hot cider? They can’t complain, if the ladies are invited, particularley if the ladies dress in bikini’s! If I was smart a few year’s ago, I would have done this. Fooey, but I do NOT miss Alan. Yay!

      • I’m dying imagining the invitation for a mexican apple bobbing party with a bikini dress code. And I don’t even know what makes the apple bobbing mexican but I’m hoping it involves sombreros.

        • Someone, even if not the OP, needs to do this just to see what happens.

          Maybe the apples fall from a pinata into a barrel of tequila? Who knows.

          • I’m pretty sure that it means you are bobbing for apples that are floating in the brim of a sombrero (filled with tequila) instead of out of a bowl or cauldron.

          • Ah yes. So first you have to break the pinata. Then the apples that are in the pinata fall out, into the tequila-filled sombrero. Then, and only then, do you do the apple-bobbing.

    • Does he like food? In DC I think it would be a fun night out to say go to either Jaleo or Zaytinia or Dukem (or one of the other Ethiopian places) — something quirky and communal — and then maybe go out after and play pool somewhere (if they go out in Chinatown I think there’s a billiards bar across from the Verizon Center right?) Or if they wanted to do something more formal, they could go to a comedy club or an improv show — something like that.

      • I second this. Zaytinya is amazing! (Jaleo is also good, but I thought Zaytinya was much better.)

        The Spy Museum is also nearby and they do after hours scavenger hunts. I did one a few years ago with a large group (probably 35-40), and it was a blast. I’m not sure if there’s a minimum party size and what the cost is, but everyone in our group loved it.

        • Zaytinya has gone way downhill. If you like that genre of food, Ezme (21st and P NW) is about 100 times better and also a better date place. Spy museum at night is a great idea.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I don’t know about billards, but I could spend hours playing shuffle board at Rocket Bar in Chinatown. (classy, however, it is not. I went to a “nicer” shuffle board/billards bar I think near dupont one time, but I can’t remember the name. I don’t live in DC anymore).

      • I would not recommend Jaleo, Zaytinya, or similar — I don’t know too many men (actually, any) that would choose tapas/small plates of their own accord. I would guess that a steakhouse might be more in line with a traditional boys night out.

  6. JC Penny makeover? The guy who designed the Apple stores took over the new JCP and stock is falling. Looks like he is rejecting basics that appeal to suburban shoppers including getting rid of Big and Tall for men, etc., in favor of cheap and trendy. I always counted on JCP for sheets, t-shirts, cheap costume jewelry, weekend clothes but not work clothes, bags, or shoes.

    What do you all think about the change?

    • I think the biggest focus was to get rid of the constant sales. People were trained not to buy something unless it was on sale.

      Now, JCP is making a big deal about their every day low prices to try to get it where people aren’t always waiting on a sale.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I *LOVE* the new pricing. I hate having to wait for huge sales before I can buy something.

        I don’t know about the content changes, but I would be very sad to see their home goods go downhill.

    • I think they’re missing a fundamental idea of shopping: women like to buy things on sale/clearance (and some also love love love coupons, although I’m not a big coupon-er). This may apply to men too, I don’t know. But I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t love buying what was originally marked as $50 for $20. And with JCP’s “fair and square” “we don’t put anything on sale” pricing, they’ve completely missed one of the psychological elements about shopping that women really like. From what I’ve read, the couple of times they’ve done sales or coupons since changing to “fair and square” pricing, their sales have gone up.

      I’m not and never have been a JCP shopper. No reason why I’m not; it just isn’t in my ball of stores. So I can’t comment on the new stores and merchandise.

      • They do have a deal where you use your JCP card or a registered credit card and get $10 back for every $100 you spend in a month….

        They also recently sent out coupons to people on their e-mail list.

        So, not all coupons are dead.

      • They do put things on sale still though. I’ve only been in there once, and it was post-redesign, and there were sale racks.

    • Bewitched :

      I love the new JCP. I literally NEVER shopped there before, but I have gone in pretty frequently since the new guy took over. I don’t find their things to be trendy/cheap. For example, I bought my boys tons of khaki shorts in cool colors like Nantucket Red this summer-they were really good quality material and the price was something amazing like $15! I was really impressed and have been back often. I hope they don’t go back to the old pricing/styles.

      • Word. It was SO ANNOYING how items were 40% off on Tuesdays/Wednesdays, 30% off on Thursdays and 20% off on Fridays (I would walk through JCP during my commute home so I noticed the pattern). I know they still run specials but it’s not “worth it” to pick up whatever I want whenever I need it.

    • Anonymous :

      Is this for real or a marketting survey? If the latter, I would like to be paid for my opinion, please.

      • It was for real. This is my free opinion Anon at 3:50: go home and have a drink cause you are sounding cranky and mean.

    • They’re getting rid of men’s big and tall??? Nnnooooooo, say it ain’t so.

  7. another gift ? - nola specific :

    New Orleans ladies, any ideas for recommended ballet, dance or theatre shows that are not too expensive (pref $75 or less for 2 tickets)? Looking to maybe get my SIL in nola some tickets for a holiday gift, but NOBA & NOBT are a bit out of my price range. I’m not familiar w/ nola, so I don’t know what non-mainstream stuff would be good or bad… TIA for any ideas!

    • Are you looking for something that they can do over the holidays? Looks like the CAC (Southern Rep) is doing A Christmas Carol with Spud McConnell as Scrooge. Could be hilarious.

      Look at the Southern Rep season here http://www.southernrep.com/SEASON/season.HTM

      • another gift ? - nola specific :

        Thanks for the suggestion, NOLA. I want something for after the holidays – maybe I’ll do one of their 2013 shows.

  8. I would love some relationship advice from the hive. I’ve recently gone on a few dates with a really sweet guy. We seem to have great chemistry, he’s been very direct about his interest, and overall it seems like a nice start to something. However, my concern is communication. He recently moved to the US from Europe and while his English is surprisingly good, we have problems communicating about deeper subjects and also humor doesn’t really translate. We don’t seem to have a lot of common references to fall back on, something I’m really used to sharing with partners.

    My backstory is that I’m recently out of a five year relationship with a guy I thought was “the one,” but he finally admitted that he never wants to settle down. I’m of an age where I’d like to only date serious contenders. I really like this European guy but is the language barrier too much? Have any of you had experience bridging the gap?

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      If you’re looking for serious contenders, how will you the handle the logistics if things work out with your Euro guy?

      1. Are you prepared to move to his country of origin if he decides he doesn’t want to live in the U.S. permanently? If so, do you have the necessary skills (language and other) to work in that country and live comfortably?

      2. Conversely, has he even said whether he’d like to relocate to the U.S. permanently?

      3. What does his family think about his moving here and possibly living in the U.S. forever? How about their opinions about a daughter-in-law from a different culture (and possibly a different religion)? Other posters on here have talked about how this is a problem for some in-laws.

      Finally, onto the language issues.
      Is he unable to talk about abstract concepts and psychological stuff? As in, does he not know what it means to be: “passive-aggressive”? “emotionally withholding,” “codependent,” “needing affirmation”? Not to say that you or he might necessarily fit those descriptions, but I’m just throwing them out as an example for the abstract psychological /emotional landscape type terms he may not know.

      This is important stuff. Marriage is tough at some times, and being able to communicate effectively and solve (marriage, and other problems) together is one of the cornerstones of a successful relationship. So you’re right to be concerned.

      There are a few women on here who are married to guys who speak English perfectly, but refuse to do the introspective work necessary to understand themselves or their wives. Language nuances can be learned. Therapy-speak can be learned. More important is whether he wants to learn more and whether he’s introspective enough to discuss these concepts in any language.

      • Good thoughts. The language issues will work themselves out, as both parties learn more of each other’s linguistic quirks by the immersion method :-). But it’s really important to figure out whether relationship-maintenance concepts that are close to your heart are a linguistic problem or a language block. Talking should resolve that one.

    • If he just recently moved, I’m guessing things will get better as he is in America longer and becomes immersed enough in the culture to understand humor and nuances in language. Guess it depends how much of a hurry you’re in to get to a very serious level, as it might take a little longer to get on common enough ground to talk about serious things. As an aside, if things are starting to get serious, I’d also make sure you know of his plans for the future (is he planning to go back to his home country? is he a citizen? green card? visa that might expire?).

    • 1. Language will improve the longer he’s here.
      2. You’ll develop more recent common references as the relationship goes on. This can happen even in same-culture relationships — if one partner is even five years older than the other, they may have completely different references from childhood.
      3. Humor will be tough but some of it is learning to appreciate the humor from the other person’s culture. I dated a German guy and geez their humor is weird! But after awhile I started to get when he was making a joke and even started to see why the joke was funny.

      Also, +1000 on the point about intentions re staying in US or going back to Europe. If you’re looking at the very long term, one thing to consider is the fact that people often feel the urge to move back “home” once they have kids. If you think you’d be up for moving to his country someday, or feel confident that he really, really doesn’t want to go back for whatever reason, then, while not a 100% guarantee, that’s at least helpful.

    • Thank you all for your thoughtful comments! It’s really helpful to think through some of your points which I hadn’t considered! He does seem committed to staying here, he has both a business and property here, as well as a long term visa. That said, anything could still happen. I’m just so bad at casual dating. Ugh. Like you said, Susan, I don’t think he understands abstract concepts so well. That’s my biggest concern. I think I’m going to put “I need to take this slowly” into Google translate for him!

      • I’m an immigrant, also from Europe. Although my English was quite good when I moved to the U.S., there definitely were things I didn’t get until I lived here for a while. I would say it took me a good five years before I felt like I was “fluent” in terms of the culture, not just language. And when I recently moved to a different part of the country, I felt like a foreigner again (although the adjustment period was much shorter).

        One question: are you interested in his culture / background / language? While he may be making the biggest adjustment, you will probably also have to adjust a bit even if you stay here. Although my husband never learned more than a few words in my language, he has had to turn a switch to understand my family and friends and, most importantly, me.

      • I would also warn you about a definite cultural chasm. You may be delighted at first, after your previous experience, to find that Europeans in general are incredibly U-Haul, moving to commitment at breakneck speed by US standards. But make sure to take the time to find out whether you’re really happy to commit to THIS person. Just because you can doesn’t mean you must, or that the relationship would necessarily be happy.
        Also, this particular guy may be fleeing that cultural imperative, or not consider it really possible with a foreigner if he doesn’t think he could negotiate a future move back to Europe. So tread carefully..

        • PS: also be sure you aren’t confusing polite with sweet. These are really totally different concepts, and Americans can be fooled because they’re so unused to the former.

          • This.

            (As a side note, I’ve experienced the polite/sweet confusion when talking to Minnesotans, too. ;) )

          • M-C, thank you so much for writing this. That’s exactly what I have been experiencing. After my last BF being so unavailable, this guy is the opposite. I had never heard that about Europeans being quicker to commit than Americans, but that is exactly what is going on. It just feels like too much too soon. Now I’m also considering the polite angle versus “sweet.” I like, “just because you can doesn’t mean you must.” I think I need to apply that to all areas of my life.

          • Americans make jokes about lesbians and U-Hauls, but Europeans have even those beat by a mile :-). Horrifying, really, as there’s no room for any light-hearted fun. But don’t flog yourself Calico, it’s natural to move between extremes, especially about things you feel burned about in the last iteration of relationship. There is always a happy medium though, really, somewhere..

          • LOL, as a Minnesotan I understand where Anonymous 10:31 is coming from!

        • Definitely had an Austrian tell me he loved me within maybe two weeks of starting to see each other. He proposed marriage within three months.

          …in retrospect, shoulda jumped on that.

    • Make sure he baths regularlery and has good teeth. In college this europeean guy kept Askeing me out b/c he was in my history class. I did NOT show interest but he kept STAREING at me and always grinned withVERY dirty teeth that probabely needed alot of dental work. He also wore the Same argyle sweater that.was smelley. FOOEY! He said he wanted to move here, and I said to myself “not with me mister”. I think he wound up workeing for the parks department, but I am not sure. The key is to make sure he is not a male goldigger! FOOEY!

    • The nationality of European would really help out. I’m European, lived in the US for a long time and also lived in a few European countries and I can assure you, outside the individual’s preferences, there are vast differences between all of those nationalities dating habits. One thing I will say for Western European’s versus American’s is that the concept of “dating” (going on dressed up dinner dates) doesn’t really exist in Europeans under 30. Generally, you’re friends and eventually fall into a relationship. Compared to the U.S. the initial progression of the relationship is then rather fast (up until moving in together), but I think on average Western Europeans take longer to commit to marriage. Of course, these are some gross generalizations and situations vary very much individually, but it’s a general pattern I believe to have observed.
      You mentioned some downsides to moving too fast and I agree, but one upside to a relationship that is progressing fast: at least you find out quickly if this guy is not for you and can move on quickly.
      Best of luck!

  9. That capitalization for Nolita (North of Little Italy) makes no sense to me.

    • I thought it was NoLIta because North of Little Italy.

      But, then, I still spell it TriBeCa.

      • That makes sense. And of course these acronym names (nolita, tribeca, dumbo, bococa) were made up by real estate brokers anyway . . .

        • Dowisetrepla!

          (Down Wind from the Sewage Treatment Plant, for the non-How I Met Your Mother Fans)

          • Love.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Like.

            I always try to figure out if Lily and Marshall’s apartment location is based on an actual neighborhood. Anyone know? The only sewage treatment plant I know of is the one in Astoria, north of the park, and I doubt it’s supposed to be there because the inevitable “you live in Queens?!” comment would have appeared on the show at some point.

            (Not hating on Queens. I live in Queens. I’m constantly amazed by my Manhattan friends that seem to think the East River is a magical barrier that slows down all trains and expands distances. And think more people live in Manhattan than Queens)

          • I was thinking the EXACT SAME THING! HiveFive! ;o)

          • There’s a sewage treatment plant in west Harlem, under Riverbank State park. I used to watch the show, and it seemed like the crew lived on the UWS, so maybe Lily & Marshall moved a little uptown?

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            ahha! Yea, I think they do. Thanks for solving the mystery, NYNY.

  10. There is a paella bar in NoLIta?

    THERE IS A PAELLA BAR IN NOLITA!

    • I could be wrong, but I thought it was more “NoHo” — I think Soccarrat opened up another location around there awhile back.

    • Yep! Soccarrat has a locationthere on Mulberry between Houston and Prince… it’s awesome!

  11. I’ve got a “brief interview” on monday for my first attorney job post-clerkship. Any advice? Particularly from former clerks on how you handled the interview process while still clerking.

    Thanks!

    • I interviewed while clerking and didn’t find anything about those interviews different from the in-office interviews I’d had with firms during law school. We talked generally about the types of cases I’d worked on, what I’d learned while clerking, and then all the usual stuff about why I wanted to go to X firm. I never talked about any specific cases or gave enough detail so that someone could figure out which opinions I’d worked on.

      One guy I know interviewed with a large, national firm. When he was interviewing with one of the partners, the partner started talking about a case he had pending before the judge that guy worked for—and the partner seemed to be probing about when he could expect an opinion. I’ve never heard of another person having this issue, but I have to think it does. Be prepared to provide a “I can’t discuss that case” response.

      Otherwise, good luck!

      • Agree with all of this. Remember your confidentiality/ethics issues. If you feel you are being asked too provide too many details about the cases you work on, have a professional “I cannot discuss my work” ready to go and don’t let it rattle you. The interveiwer could be testing you or could just not be up in on her/his judicial ethics. I had to say something during an interview I had while I was clerking, and I totally wasn’t expecting it, so it just felt awkward. That’s the only clerkship-specific thing I can think of.

    • Good luck! Assuming “brief interview” means only a short interview, it shouldn’t be anything significantly different than the kinds of interviews you experienced as a law student. Interview styles vary widely from firm to firm — some will be interviewing largely for fit, others will be interviewing you more for a specific position. Be prepared to rave about your clerkship and why it has prepared you well to succeed as an associate.

      Logistically, interviewing while clerking should be easy — my judges knew I was looking for a job post-clerkship and did not mind that I was out of the office interviewing.

    • Thanks! I’m assuming that “brief interview” (their words) means a meeting with one or two partners before being brought in for a more formal interview when they’ve narrowed down the applicants. However, I am in a smaller market, so who knows?

  12. Bewitched :

    Threadjack! Since Kat is talking about a recent event where an attendee was wearing a sleeveless top, in November (perhaps appropriate for a warmer indoor venue), can I just ask if anyone else finds Savannah Guthrie and the Today show’s constant love of sleeveless sheath dresses to be annoying? Really, Matt Lauer is sitting next to her with a long sleeved shirt and suit jacket, and she’s going SLEEVELESS? In November? Ok, rant over. RAWR!

    • DUDE, THIS IS MY PEEVE. Why do female news anchors dress like they’re “going to lunch” or a party or whatever while male news anchors are wearing suits? WHY DO THEY DO THIS. EVERYBODY IN SUITS.

      • Me too!!! I hate the mismatch. The weather-inappropriateness is one thing, but what I really can’t stand is how the dude is dressed like he’s at work, and the lady is dressed either too casually (looking at you, anchors in moto jackets) or like she’s at a c*cktail party. Thank goodness for the women of PBS.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        This doesn’t only happen to news anchors! If any of you watch USA’s “Covert Affairs,” Joan Campbell is always wearing what looks like a sleeveless cocktail dress during work-hours in the CIA’s offices.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        (reposted to avoid moderation)

        This doesn’t only happen to news anchors! If any of you watch USA’s “Covert Affairs,” Joan Campbell is always wearing what looks like a sleeveless c*cktail dress during work-hours in the CIA’s offices.

      • Mine also. Hate this! I blame Fox News for starting the trend, but it really has taken over every channel. I literally sit on my couch sometimes and yell at the TV. “Put on a f*cking blazer (and get off my lawn)!”

      • Yes, and I hate this on police procedurals, too. Why do the male detectives wear button-ups and ties, while the women are in sexy jeans and low-cut Tees? Not that Elliot and Olivia don’t look great in their respective uniforms, but it makes no sense to me.

        • lol! Gotta love the pumps that Isles wears on Rizzoli and Isles! At least the Closer takes her pumps off and runs barefoot! And, she wears a blazer.

    • I hate that this trend is now moving to courtrooms. I haven’t seen women in sleeveless dresses without jackets but am seeing a ton of dresses with cap sleeves as court atire. Ugh. Throw on a jacket.

    • Count me in the minority. I actually like Savannah’s sleeveless dresses. And I’m one who thinks those type of dresses – sheath-style are actually business appropriate. Opposite on two counts.

      • I’m with you ADL! I love Savannah’s dresses! In fact, I wish I could get in touch with her stylist, so that I could find out where to buy them.

        I think she would look stuffy wearing a suit every day on the Today show.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Me too. I imagine its hot on the set under the lights, but I’ve also noticed it a few recent events – I was envious because I was hot and wished I had on less….

      • I was reading this thread while at a conference in a sleeveless DVF sheath dress, so…yeah. My colleagues were in suits and ties, but I felt absolutely fine.

      • Ditto. I much prefer a well fitting sheath dress to a suit and feel completely business appropriate in one. I am not at all bothered by seeing women presented in them.

  13. Anonymous :

    Okay, so I just went to check out the 6pm sale that someone recommended in the morning thread, and I found this: http://www.6pm.com/see-by-chloe-lc80401t6622-a30-cream?zfcTest=mat%3A1

    Can anyone explain to me why you might want to have those weird fan details right over the boob area? And why this was originally $295???

  14. Does anyone know if Kate Spade (online) does a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale? Their site is currently 20% off, and I’m hesitating to pounce on a watch I want in case it’s discounted further next week.

    • Not sure about Black Friday but Nordie’s will price match. You can buy from them and have easier shipping/returns.

    • I’m pretty sure it was 40% off on Black Friday last year. Not totally positive, though.

  15. Turtle Wexler :

    I haven’t seen Anon in PNW for awhile, but if you’re out there — what ever happened with your house situation? I was just thinking about it for some reason and wondered whether things worked out for you or you’re still looking (hopefully not!).

  16. Fey and sudden :

    Holiday secret santa ideas? My Junior League is doing a present exchange-cap at 25 dollars, and they strongly suggested not chocolates/cookies or ornaments. Other than that, all is fair game. I’d like to do something classy-not tacky or overtly quirky.

    • The Smitten Kitchen cookbook.

      • Great, great idea.

        You could also go for some combination of one or more of the following: candle, scarf, trio of nail polish, nice hand lotion, etc.

      • viclawstudent :

        I’d be so excited if I got that in a Secret Santa!

    • I always appreciate a nice candle from Anthropologie . I typically would never spend over $10-$15 on a candle, but they do have some amazing smelling ones there that are always nice to get as gifts.

    • L’Occitane hand lotion set

    • Champaign!

      • Is that what they call Champagne that costs less than $25?

        • that’s sham-pain.

          • Lady Harriet :

            My great-grandfather had a tradition of giving a “champagne toast” at family events. He’d hold up a glass and say “To our real friends, champagne. To our sham friends, real pain!” Years later my great uncle did a take of on this by toasting with a bottle of shampoo: “To our real friends, shampoo. To our sham friends, real poo!”

        • Oops! My time in the town of Champaign-Urbana is showing.

    • Booze and lottery tickets are my go-to. Just because the Junior League is classy doesn’t mean you can’t have a drink and scratch some tickets…

    • I’d like movie tickets. Gift cards (starbucks, itunes and amazon) are popular at my workplace. A cheap cordless drill?

    • Meg Murry :

      I got a Secret Santa gift once that I’ve been repeating – movie night basket. A couple of chic flick DVDs (Steel Magnolias, Dirty Dancing, etc – whatever is in the $5-$10 section at Target), microwave popcorn, a box of the “movie theater size” candy, etc. Some of my friends have added to the theme with things like pj pants or fuzzy socks also. The person who gave it to me put it in a striped popcorn box, which made it fun too.

    • Ceramic coffee cup and a cute crocheted coffee sleeve is my go to exchange gift this year.

  17. In advance of Black Friday sales, does anyone have recommendations for v neck cashmere sweaters (ideally in petites)? I loved by Ann Taylor double ply sweaters from a few years back, but I was not impressed with this year’s quality. Thanks!

    • Lord & Taylor house brand sweater are consistently great, and I think they do petites. I also like Uniqlo for inexpensive cashmere sweaters but not sure they do petites.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I’m petite and bought Uniqlo v-neck cashmere sweaters. It’s a little boxy on my frame, but it’s really comfy and I’m a convert. It’s not too long and the sleeves fit well too.

  18. Bangs: yay or nay? I haven’t had them since middle school. Much hairspray and curling iron handiwork involved.
    But I’m SO TIRED of my hair. I’ve already cycled through every color I’m comfortable with, and I can’t vary the length too much with my very straight, very fine hair (but lots of it). I am thinking of taking the plunge; anyone want to talk me into / out of it?

    • springtime :

      do side swept bangs. i have the same type of hair- doesnt take long to style with a round brush, looks good, and can be pinned back when feeling lazy.

      • Style advice needed.... :

        Can I ask what length/style you guys have settled on?

        My brown straight/fine hair is so flat and boring. I keep it long now, as short took so much maintenance (curling iron or it was so flat…). But I don’t think it is looking very sleek/professional looking.

        Thinking maybe I need to move to a bob variety, but dread the maintenance…

        • I have fine hair that was always flat and boring. So this past summer, I cut it really short (think Anne Hathaway short) and absolutely love it. And I get a ton of compliments on it. My hair finally has personality. It’s really low maintenence on a daily basis (90 seconds max per day); I just have to get it cut every 5 weeks, which is far more than I did before.

          • Style advice needed.... :

            I am very envious of women who can wear these short short haircuts, but I feel like you have to be so beautiful/perfect face/perfect skin to pull it off. I don’t think I can do it.

            When I was a young child and my mom cut my hair short when the “Dorothy Hamill” haircut was “in”…. I was totally scarred when another child stopped me on the street and asked… “Are you a boy or a girl?”. Ouch. I am embarrassed to say that this isolated experience stays with me to this day….

          • I had really short hair as a kid too (because it didn’t really grow in until I was about 5) and people thought I was a boy. I even pierced my ears so people would know I was a girl—no luck. When the hair finally grew in, I let it grow out and then spent the next 20-some years wearing it in a ponytail a lot because, let’s face it, it was pretty ugly when it was down. So I finally chopped it again and don’t feel anything like a boy now. Nothing a pink top, great jewlery, and some make-up can’t make look girlie.

        • For me the best length is grazing my shoulders or up to a couple inches below. Angled just a bit in the front. Any longer and it just hangs straight (it will NOT keep any sort of curl on the ends), and any shorter is really unflattering for my face shape (sort of a rounded square). I’ve been having luck keeping it looking neater with a touch of oil on the ends. I avoid layers because of the super straightness; they always look wonky an hour after blow-drying.

          I’m surprised by all the pro-bangs comments! I’m getting really tempted.

        • I have incredibly fine, straight hair and not a lot of it, so it’s been super flat my whole life. I cut it short about 7 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I don’t have it pixie-short — I have sort of a side part with long side-swept bangs in the front and then the sides have tufts that go down to about an inch past my ears. It looks like Keira Knightley circa 2005 (that was the original photo I brought to the stylist who first cut it short). It does mean though that I wear earrings and make-up, although the cut is feminine enough that I’ve only been mistaken for a man a couple times in 7 years. It really did change my life though. I went from having blah hair that never looked good to having hair that people constantly compliment me on. It’s somewhat funky, but very professional, and people definitely remember me because of my hair. You might as well try going short. You can always grow it back out! If you’re in the DC area, let me know and I’ll give you the info for my stylist. She’s amazing and the cut only costs $65.

          • Mouse in DC :

            L in DC – I’d love to get the name of your stylist. We’ve just moved from the PNW, and I miss my hairdresser so much!

          • Her name is Meghan Moody and she’s at Easel Hair Studio in Georgetown on Wisconsin Ave. I’ve had several different stylists in the past 7 years and she is by far the best. She’s also steered me to a couple hair products that makes my hair look AMAZING (google the Kevin Murphy Powder Puff) with zero effort/ability on my part. I now spend a grand total of about 30 minutes a week on my hair, and it looks better than ever. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out. I’m at nofrosting at gmail and am always happy to trade hair tips.

    • Lady Harriet :

      I’ve had bangs my whole life and love them, but my hair is very different from yours (curly, medium and lots of it.) If you don’t like the bangs, it’s relatively easy to grow them out, especially if the rest of your hair is short. I have shorter layers (nose-chin length) framing the sides of my face too, which I think helps the bangs fit in much better with the rest of my hair, which is long. Side layers also make grow-out easier if you decide you hate bangs. I say go for it!

      Also, don’t be dissuaded by the conventional wisdom that bangs only work if you have a long/oval face. I have a round one with a squarish chin, and I look much better with bangs than without.

      • How do you curly hair with bangs? Do you straighten them? I have long curly hair that is in need of a serious color and cut, and I’ve been pondering bangs but am terrified I will look ridiculous unless I straighten my hair every day… Or I will be a little face peering out of a mess of hair if my forehead is also covered.

        • Lady Harriet :

          Nope, I don’t straighten them. My haircut is a bit like Farrah Fawcett crossed with Jane Austen/regency. (It looks more Farrah when down, more Jane Austen when up. My mom joked that it was 1975 meets 1795, which is pretty true.) My bangs are curlier and not sideswept like hers are; they cover my forehead to my eyebrows, maybe a bit longer. My hair is definitely the most noticeable thing about me, but I think it’s my best feature so it doesn’t bother me. I think the side layers actually add more to the “hair everywhere” feel than the bangs do. My hair is waist-length other than the bangs/layers if that gives you a better idea. It would definitely be possible to do curly bangs in a more low-profile way than I do. I hope that helps!

        • I straighten just my bangs. Takes no time at all, and it doesn’t look weird to have curly hair and straight bangs. At least, not weird to me :p

          • Thanks ladies :) To clarify, I am intrigued by curly hair and bangs and did not mean to imply that you weren’t pulling it off fabulously!

          • AnotherLadyLawyer :

            Ditto! Curly hair with side-swept straightened bangs. Take 5 minutes!

    • I have similar hair, and went full-on across-the-forehead bangs about 9 months ago. I love them. My hairstylist taught me how to brush and dry them so that they naturally curl a little under and lay nicely. They add maybe 90 seconds to my morning routine.

      • Me too! I love bangs. My advice to keep them laying flat and straight it to blow dry them while brushing them down over your face. I do this immediately after showering to prevent them from air drying any other way but down. It really works and only takes a minute like Nancy wrote.

    • I have completely different hair than you do, but got bangs a few years ago for the first time since Jr High, and I love them.

      Anyways, they only take a few months at worst until you can easily pin them. If you’re looking for a big change that doesn’t take forever to change back, bangs are a great option.

    • I have lots of very fine/very straight hair and have heavy bangs. I have a really high forehead so I need something to break it up. My stylist taught me how to dry them first (brush to one side, dry, then the other side, keeps everything laying flat). I also swear by velcro rollers. I just put them in my hair after drying and finish getting dressed. You can leave them in as long as you like. It cuts down frizz and gives some volume. You can heat them up a little with the hair dryer and finish with hairspray for more bounce.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I vote yea. They’re great for hiding the occasional forehead pimple.

      My English colleague thought I was talking about “bangers” (sausages) incorrectly when I mentioned bangs. And then, she said, “oh, you mean, a ‘fringe’!!” I now prefer “fringe,” because it’s more descriptive.

      “Bangs” sounds like I’m contemplating whether to order a toy drum kit or not.

  19. The gift exchange post reminded me of a question I have about work gift exchanges. In a non-mandatory participation event (i.e., not everyone participates, no one would care if you did or didn’t), would you be put off if the organizer asked that you don’t give Christmas (or other religious holiday) items? It would be a random exchange, so you don’t know the recipient.

    • Nope. Sounds very thoughtful to me.

    • I wouldn’t be put off. Lots of people enjoy the gift exchange and they may not celebrate a holiday in the winter time. I’d also say it’s a know-your-office kinda deal.

    • No. Although in all honesty, I think that most work gift exchanges I have ever participated in have been overwhelmingly non-religious. I think this is because I’ve worked mostly in very diverse workplaces where each person’s December celebrations/customs are very different. Some things are seasonal (peppermint candy, mulled wine spices, etc.), but most of the presents are just presents. I think the most popular gift one year was a set of bodum tumblers. As a non Christian, I wouldn’t be offended at receiving a Christmas tree ornament, I would just have absolutely no use for it and would just regift.

    • Thank you! I feel I little silly, since some people bring gag gifts which are totally not useful, but it seems different to have a gift that’s not useful because it’s so silly versus a gift that’s not useful because I don’t have a tree to put it on.

  20. Ladyfriends, help. I need to go to a neurologist because I have about 3-4 types of headaches simultaneously. I don’t know their names and I’m afraid to google stuff because I don’t have time for hypochondria. For all of you headache/migraine sufferers, what was your first visit with a neurologist like? What should I do to prepare? What do you wish you’d known? I’m not pleased about the prospect of making time for another doctor but MY HEAD ACHES. I don’t want to go in as a clueless patient who doesn’t ask the right questions. Recs for a doc with evening hours in NYC are also appreciated.

    Quick rundown of me: I have sinus headaches which I’m discussing with an ENT. Sometimes, I feel like someone is holding my brains and squeezing them. Other times, I feel tight pressure around the base of my skull. And ear pain/weird ear pressure which I think is related to my sinus issues. Ibuprofen and Aleve help alleviate the pain but I’m becoming increasingly sensitive to them (my skin gets itchy when it’s exposed to the sun). Definite headache triggers are changes in barometric pressure, sudden temperature change and artificial scents.

    • I had a misfire but my reply is somewhere down below…

      • Ditto on the headache diary. After the initial visit, I had an MRI and an EEG. Followup with neuro for test results, diagnosis, and treatment plan.

      • And don’t forget “position in menstrual cycle” in your diary..

    • Merabella :

      I would keep a journal to keep track of symptoms and possible triggers which might help the neurologist get an idea of what they are working with. Also, any previous head injuries – concussions in the past, would help as well. You note sinus issues and artificial scents, you may also want them to test you for allergies.

    • I went to a neurologist to discuss two types of intertwining headaches and being able to distinguish between them was really important. In addition to the data you mentioned, my doctor wanted to know the frequency and times of day of the different types of pain, the location of the pain and the pain levels on a 1-10 scale. Basically, the more information you collect, the better. I found easiest to see the trends when I put each month’s data in a grid on one piece of paper.
      I’m not sure if he has evening hours, but I saw Vladimir Kramskiy at HSS and he was awesome. Very compassionate, great listener, didn’t mind my excessive questioning. Best of luck, hope you get some relief soon!

    • Style advice needed.... :

      It sounds like you have migraines. People commonly think they have sinus headaches, but they are really migraines. It is common to have several headache types at once. My mother had all the same headache triggers as you, and also got headaches if she didn’t eat/sleep on a regular schedule. Everyone in my family has migraines (commonly runs in families) and my mother recalls her father’s “sinus headaches”…. which we are now sure were migraines.

      I think it is great to see a neurologist. Ideally, go to someone who specializes in headache. Look to see if they are board certified in Headache medicine. They usually list that on their website/CV.

      There are several excellent Neurology programs in New York, that probably have multiple docs. Einstein has the most famous guy – Richard Lipton…. But Cornell and NYU and Columbia are excellent. Hopefully if someone here has a personal experience they will post. You can find good headache neurologists at smaller clinics too.

      It is helpful if you think back about when your headaches started, what they are like (location, quality, associated symptoms, duration, triggers), what makes them worse/better, and how they have changed over time. Buy a little pocket calendar at the drug store, and start keeping record of when you get headaches and what you take for them, and whether it helped. The doctor will be so happy if you bring in that information with you.

      In an initial appointment, the Neurologist should ask you about the history of your headaches and how they have changed over time (like I mention above), if you have any other symptoms/neurologic things going on, if you have any other medical problems or take medicines, and if you have any family history of headaches. If you have had any head/brain imaging (CT or MRI scan) with your ENT then bring in a copy of that report (or even better – the image on DVD). It is not critical to have any sort of imaging of the brain for headache, but neurologists like to see that sort of thing if you have it. The neurologist should examine you carefully from head to toe checking things like the nerves that control your face, your strength, your sensation, your balance, your thinking etc.. If they don’t – they are sloppy and not good.

      What is good to know ahead of time….. That migraines are INCREDIBLY common, and unfortunately most people don’t see the right doctor early enough and get misdiagnosed/mistreated. That headaches are almost NEVER indicative that something bad is actually going on in the brain. People worry a lot that they might have a brain tumor or something, and this is almost never the case. And…. it is good to know that things can definitely get better!

      • Great point about the low likelihood of brain tumors!

        Although I wasn’t formally diagnosed until around age 14, I started getting migraines at a really young age (around 9 or 10). I still remember after one of my frequent requests to go visit the nurse my 4th grade teacher told me that I should ask my mom to take me to the hospital for a CAT scan because I might have a brain tumor. (Who says that kind of thing to a child?!)

        • style advice needed... :

          What the hell? What an ignorant (and harmful…) nurse.

        • Absolutely true! The worst case of brain tumor I’ve ever met was spectacularly cured by.. removal of her impacted wisdom teeth :-).

      • Legally Red :

        I second that it’s probably migraines. I’ve gotten sinus headaches for awhile, but didn’t think too much of them because I was usually able to fend them off with OTC pain relievers. Then Hurricane Sandy came through, and it was the absolute worst. sinus. headache. ever, complete with nausea and light sensitivity. Turns out that hurricanes are a migraine trigger for me.

    • I will fourth (or fifth) or whatever everyone with the headache diary. And don’t just record when you have a headache — try to be as specific as possible about where the headache hurts, how it hurts, how it feels when it comes on, and what helps and what doesn’t help when you treat it. Seriously, the questionnaire I had to fill out at my first neurology appointment was so detailed and some of it I just looked at and was like…I have NO FREAKING idea. Because who thinks about whether headache pain is throbbing or pulsing or whatever.

      (That’s another thing, you can ask for their patient admission paperwork in advance — it will probably be extensive.)

    • Pretzel_Logic :

      Holy crap, are you me?! I had a minor freakout today because of similar ear pain which I chalked up to sinus issues. I know it’s ridiculous but it’s always comforting to hear it’s probably just a migraine and not a tumor or a blood vessel trying to explode. (Anxiety girl, jumping to the worst conclusion in a single bound!! haha)

      So…I can control my headaches with peppermint oil, stretching/exercise (getting my blood moving almost always helps), naps, and Excedrin…but would it still be helpful to make a headache diary to show to a doctor? Just in case there’s something that should be flagged?

    • KansasAnalyst :

      My mom gets wicked headaches when she eats anything with MSG. Try to keep track of foods you eat too just in case you are sensitive to something. I hope you feel better soon!

  21. Can I wear The Dress in a plum-ish color (with cap sleeves) to a c*cktail party this time of year? I really have no idea what I’m doing. Can my husband wear a suit? What does c*cktail dress mean for men anyway?

    • I would think that would be perfect. I’d add sparkly jewelry (maybe some chandelier earrings and and a large sparkly cuff bracelet, or smaller sparkly earrings and a larger sparkly pendant) and a wrap to make it feel more evening/festive. For guys, I take it to mean a suit either with or without a tie (tie is more traditional, but I’ve seen some guys pull off the suit, colored shirt, no tie look occasionally).

      • Thank you! That helps. I’ll dig something sparkly out of my limited collection to jazz it up.

    • I take c-tail to mean suit for guys. Is The Dress akin to The Skirt? I have not seen it!

    • Anon for this :

      I’m a chunky hourglass and I love The Dress. Sounds great for a c**ktail party.

  22. Maddie Ross :

    Is anyone on here familiar with the catalog/website “Uncommon Goods”? I somehow got on their mailing list and went through the catalog while eating breakfast this morning. I found a ton of great ideas for Christmas gifts, but I’ve never otherwise heard of this site. Any experiences? Endorsements? Criticisms? I do a ton of online shopping, but usually through bigger retailers only.

    • I look through their stuff a lot. I have never purchased anything, but I have received a gift that was purchased from them (the bicycle drinking glasses) and have no complaints. Sometimes with places like that, though, I like to check on Amazon to see if they have it, because then I might find more reviews of the particular item, a lower price, and prime/free shipping.

    • I’ve purchased quite a few times from them, mostly for gifts. Good customer service, reasonably fast shipping, so all in all, I’d say go for it.

    • I love UncommonGoods. The gifts ship fast and are always unique. I often buy wedding gifts through them. I just ordered the rowboat salad bowl for my sister-in-law.

      Plus, I have the duct tape clutch from years back. It’s awesome.

    • Their stuff is hilarious. My brother has bought some stuff from it and has always been fine with it. I’ve seen people recommend it on here for presents as well.

    • long time lurker :

      I ordered something from them a few years ago and do not recall any problems with shipping, etc.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I got a friend their picnic basket backpack last year and it was great. The shipping was fine. I also had it gift wrapped, which came out really cute in a blue box with a green silky ribbon.

  23. Oh, I feel for you. We have lots of chronic headache and migraine sufferers around here. Neurologist visits will typically include taking a history, doing vitals and a short physical exam (often including eye chart), and lots of talking. The very best thing you can provide is a headache diary. Say when it started, how long it lasted, what ALL the symptoms were, what type of pain, etc.
    Also, one thing to know up front is that the overwhelming majority of people who think they have “sinus” headaches have a form of migraine. See e.g. http://tinyurl.com/brp66t5

    • Gah, that was for Ru of course.

    • I always thought it was curious that I had no sniffles with my “sinus headaches”. Thank you for the article, it was very interesting.

      • Oh, that’s very telling..
        You may want to, in advance, question your relatives about their headaches too. Particularly your mother. Migraines have a very strong genetic component.
        Not trying to tele-diagnose you or anything :-)..

    • karenpadi :

      Great advice. Just to add, be very specific about the type of pain,duration, and location. For example, my migraines start with an ice pick stabbing pain over my right eye in an expanding area. After a few hours, the area above the back of my neck starts throbbing. Finally, my entire head feels like it’s in a tightening vice along a horizontal band around my head above my ears with dizziness and nausea. Then I wake up (maybe I pass out?) and feel groggy. Recently, I’ve woken up groggy a few times (maybe I passed out a few times?).

      • I didn’t even consider nausea/fatigue/grogginess/vertigo/general confusion as something connected to headaches. I thought it was all allergy related. And you’re reminding me of my exploding eyeball pain.

        • Yep! I get atypical migraines and it’s basically a minor headache + crippling nausea. The visit to the doctor was fun, they asked me three times if I was pregnant!

  24. This might come out as obnoxious and so I apologize in advance. I have a job that I could literally do in about an hour a day, except that it’s a full time job and so I need to be here 8 hrs. I have asked for more work, I have pestered all people who could give me work, I have re-organized my files, I have created projects, I have researched my industry. Still have less than 2 hrs of work to do each day. I’ve now been at this job for almost a year and have not had one full day’s work that whole time. (This is not an unusual problem for me. Besides when I worked in BigLaw, I have *never* had a job that took a full day’s work. And even in BigLaw, they got annoyed because I did my work too fast and so they couldn’t bill as much for it as they’d anticipated.) How do I avoid going entirely crazy? The days just crawl by. I don’t get that sense of satisfaction of having accomplished anything. I spend all my time trying to look like I’m actually doing work (I work on-site at the client site. The client knows I need more work and has been told I need more work, but I’m on a contract to be here 8 hrs/day so my firm wants me here 8 hrs/day so they get paid. The client already committed to needing me 8 hrs/day so here I am. Still, it would be bad if the client saw me actively not working, even though I have nothing to do). I have things I’m doing on my own to keep up my skill set, like doing speaking engagements and writing articles, but it’s not feasible for me to switch jobs for at least another year. How do I deal with SO MUCH DOWN TIME? I am bored out of my skull.

    • downstream :

      print out long-form articles from the New Yorker or the Atlantic and read those. Since they’re printed they look like work items.

      • Print?!? You need paper to do work? Even lawyers have moved a bit on that since the last ice age..

        • I am a lawyer who much prefers to read via paper than electronically. We do exist.

          • Me too. I work better when I can write notes on the papers while reading.

    • Merabella :

      Get a google reader on your desktop and read articles pertaining to your field. You can also do other mundane-but-needs-to-be-done tasks like paying your bills online, meal planning, to-do lists for your day.

    • Holy crap, are you me? I have been struggling with this same issue since I started my current position last January.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any useful suggestions for you.

      Here’s hoping it gets better for both of us!

      • This is one of the main reasons I’ve been self-employed since I was 19. (I’m pushing 40 now).

        If it only takes me 2 hours to do what needs to be done, then I’m done. I can either work on marketing/client building, or go do something I actually want to do for the rest of the day.

        Anytime I have picked up work for someone else, I have to be creative to look busy for the amount of time they want me there.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Online courses and software trainings/tutorials, for personal interest or career advancement.

    • So, presumably the client likes you and likes your work? If so, the other good news is that you’re full-time and those are two really good things to have, which I’m sure you know. And finally, not knowing your industry, having funding for the next 12 months is also huge.

      Are you solo or part of a team? Do you supervise anyone? Can you mentor anyone on your team or mentor anyone else in your company? Can you get any training or certifications that are related to your client work (presentation skills, software, language, industry)?

      I’d advise not getting too far out of the scope of your contract or SOW, which probably means reading or twiddling your thumbs.

    • Meg Murry :

      Do you have a hobby that you could write about? One of my friends had this issue so he started a blog – he takes his personal laptop to work and does the writing and photo editing there, so no “missuse of company resources” and uploads the files at home. He was specifically told something similar to you – we don’t have enough work for you, but we want to keep you on full time in case that changes, in order to pay you we need your butt in the seat for 8 hours a day – look busy but we don’t care what you do. It’s been pretty successful so far, he’s actually at the point where he’s considering asking his company to make him “officially” part time, so they don’t expect him to go back to full time work if the job picks up again.

    • So, maybe this isn’t what you are asking, but why are you staying at a job that’s not challenging you, or where your organization doesn’t care how you grow or develop? I feel like your question addresses a symptom without really dealing with the underlying cause, if that makes sense.

      I totally understand that people stay at jobs for benefits, location, fear of taking the next step, pay, seniority, family planning/convenenience…a million reasons, but it seems like you’ve been very patient with a situation that’s not improving. Why isn’t it improving? Why isn’t there a manager (or someone at the client) that wants to see you grow and develop? If you’ve spoken about this, why hasn’t anyone done anything?

      I feel like you have done everything you could do to expand your work. Is it completely true that both parties want to pay you to be present but unproductive (for them) 7/8ths of the time? Is telecommuting at least one day a week an option? If I were you, I’d spend my time searching for an applying for a different job, because, like you, the boredom would just kill me!

    • How about some pro-bono work to fill in the gaps? Something sustained and organized enough that you could actually publish about it, and put it on your resume later.

    • Coach Laura :

      To Anon/bored at work: How about working on a certification like PMP from the Project Managemen Institute? You can use self-paced online training via Skillport/Skillsoft or similar provider. Or study for the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) – which is similar to the CPA exam minus the heavy auditing component with more of an internal accounting focus. And finally, there is the Professional HR certificate. This might keep you working on a goal that will distract you from your boredom.

  25. Pretty Cool :

    Anyone looking for a gift for a young girl…

    http://www.upworthy.com/move-over-barbie-8212-youre-obsolete

    love this idea! i’m getting one for my niece.

    • I saw this a while ago. It looks like it is a set that you build with based off of what the book tells you to do. Do you think that that’s the best kind of toy? It seems like having a set that you can experiment and do your own stuff with would be better than one with so much structure. Or are the books just a jumping off point for using the set? Maybe this set is intended for younger kids than I have in mind? How old is your niece?

      • She said in the video that the books are what appeal to girls. The books are a way to get girls interested in building.

    • Meg Murry :

      I know this has been getting a lot of press, but as a woman who majored in engineering in school I have to tell you that I would NOT have enjoyed this gift as a young girl. I was never really that into dolls (I had Cabbage Patch dolls for the status symbol but hardly played with them) and I didn’t want “girly” toys – my favorite toy when I was in elementary school was my lego set that I liked to build houses out of (I thought I wanted to be an architect at the time), and I also asked for a chemistry set in middle school. I also refused to go to any “women in engineering” summer programs, etc because I didn’t want to be singled out as a girl who liked engineering – I wanted the same toys, activity sets and summer programs as the boys, not to be treated differently just because I was a girl. So if your niece is kind of girly and likes dolls and storylines, go ahead and get this for her. But if she’s already into science and math and chemistry sets, skip this one and go for something gender neutral like a building set (knex, lego, marble maze, etc), chemistry set or microscope (and not a pink one!).

      • I never played with dolls either – again, had the Barbie(s), had the Cabbage Patch doll, but never played with them (except for making complicated trapeze sets for my Barbies at the end of my bed). But I was never interested in science either. My favourite toy as a young child was my Brio train set. After that, all I wanted was books. Come to think of it, apart from Kate Spade purses, that is still all I want. Some things never change.

  26. I’m the person who posted about her officemate whistling and stamping her foot. The stamping continues and now she’s singing. Really? Singing? I asked about the stamping (is your foot asleep? are you frustrated with something? nope, just like to stamp sometimes). Grrr. I generally like sharing offices because it’s less lonely but GRRRR STAMPING!

    • We thinks you may need to create a bingo chart for your office-mate.

    • A guy who sat two offices down from me whistled. And it drove me insane. Every time I heard him start to whistle, I’d just yell “Joe! Stop!” And he would laugh and stop. Neither of us works at that place anymore, but we continue to be friends. Perhaps he was more good natured than most (or he saw all of my other sterling qualities and could overlook my hatred of his whistling).

      Anyway, I know how you feel. Good luck.

      • Could this be a person with with Asperger’s? Often people on the autism spectrum have comforting habits & they are clueless that they might annoy others (Joe!) If you are brave enough, you might just kindly state “You often (sing) (tap your foot). I can tell that you enjoy doing that. But, you may not know that it interrupts my ability to work. Do you think you could not do (that annoying thing) when we are in this office together? And, by the way, is there anything I do that interrupts you?” Kind confrontation is required. Subtlety does not work.

    • Just like to stamp sometimes?! Umm, what?

    • Maybe you need to fight fire with fire. If she stamps, you bang your desk. If she sings, you sing but a totally different song. Maybe you can rap. Both of you will not be able to continue this way and something will have to give. Perhaps you can even negotiate, “I will stop banging my desk, which I totally love to do, if you stop stomping your foot…”

      If it makes you feel any better, I once shared an office with someone who thought it was totally appropriate to clip her nails at her desk.

      • I have a nail clipper across the cubicle wall from me! I have to take an impromptu bathroom trip every time he starts just to get away from the sound

        • I used to work with one of those. He’d do it in front of me and it always made me feel so nauseous. Click, click, click….

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            I think I’d walk in there and ask him if I could get a free mani-pedi. :-)

        • That sound makes me gag!! Eeeew!

    • haha – i feel for you! In honor of your last post, a guy cut in front of me at a pop machine and I stamped my foot at him! Take that!

      • Lady Harriet :

        In kindergarten my teacher told my mom that she was concerned about me because when I got mad I “stamped my little foot” and she thought this was immature behavior for a five-year-old. My mom laughed at her because she thought this was such a funny attitude. I’m a lot older than five now, and I still stamp my foot when I get really mad!

      • Legally Red :

        Did he turn around and say, “Don’t stomp your little last season Prada shoes at me, honey.” ;)

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Learn flamenco and challenge her to a flamenco stamping duel? ;-)

    • Is she listening to the 1812 Overture? You’d think saying something would make her re-think; she’s sort of dense.

    • I shared an office with a girl for about 6 months last year who would speak in hushed tones on her cell phone with her boyfriend for about 20 minutes at a time. It was either really cutesy or they were in a fight. Drove me up the wall. So I asked her if she would mind going elsewhere when she was on the phone because it made it difficult for me to work. So she did. If she was annoyed, she never said anything about it.

  27. Triathlon question. I did my first sprint tri last spring and had a great time. The swim was in a pool and I kicked a$$. For next spring, I want to sign up for an Olympic distance. However, I am terrified (and I don’t use that word loosely) of getting kicked in the head/face. Has anyone else successfully dealt with this problem? I know many of you have done tris, but I don’t know if anyone else had a true phobia of the head/face kick and overcame it.

    • I didn’t have a phobia of being kicked, but can give more general advice:

      1. Getting kicked in the face really isn’t that likely to happen. If you’re sighting properly, you know when you’re catching up to people, and can decide how close you want to get. Much more likely to get kicked in the side or have someone accidentally grab your foot – not sure if this is helpful to you, but if your fear is kicked in the head specifically, I think it’s something you can probably avoid.

      2. Do a smaller, local tri in calm water. Start at the back/off to the side of the pack, where its not as crowded. The extra minute this adds to your race time is well worth it to have a swim where other people are not all over you. (Though if you are an average to fast swimmer and start in the back, keep in mind that you will be passing other people and have to decide how close you want to get, or how wide you want to go around them).

      3. Practice! Do open water swims. Do open water swims with a group of friends, and take turns swimming over each other. Practice drafting. You can do some of this in a pool too, but the best way to get comfortable with the OWS is to do it several times before race day.

      4. See if there’s a clinic. Not sure where you live, but many areas have groups that put on OWS clinics. Many races also often have clinics where you can swim the course, with lots of other folks, in advance.

      5. Just a comfort thing, but I was really surprised at how much buoyancy a wetsuit added. I basically could float without doing anything. Remember that at any point you can roll onto your back, take a rest, adjust your goggles, and generally pull yourself together.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Good luck Sunny D! I’ll mostly ditto Melissa’s advice

      I stick with smaller tris and stay at the side and find that I’ve never had someone kick me. A woman swam into me once, but that wasn’t so bad. I agree with the practice. I’ve never had someone intentionally kick me, but practicing starting with a group in open water helped calm my fears. I also spent some time learning to tread water or float on my back so I could adjust my goggles or take a break if I felt overwhelmed.

      You can do it!

    • I’ve done a number of tris and also open water swims. I have never been kicked in the face.

      Most triathletes are weak swimmers and strong runners. Unfortunately for me I am the opposite, but that’s another thread I suppose.

      If you are a slow swimmer and start at the back you can swim alone. If you are a fast swimmer and start at the front you can stay out of peoples’ way. The kicking stories I have heard have been in ironman-type races with very aggressive racers and swimmers more near the front. I’d recommend just waiting and getting in late (like even after the start of your wave) and then just swimming your own race, passing the people you need to, and trying to enjoy it.

      Good luck!

    • I don’t do tris, but have been a swimmer and waterpolo player forever. At things like state swim meets, warmup lanes are very crowded, and it’d be inevitable that you’d be kicked (usually by a br**st stroker). Less likely when someone is kicking freestyle, as that’s an up-down motion (so it’s really up to you not to get too close). I would imagine that most folks swim free when doing tris, from my experience watching my friends in tris.

      In waterpolo, not only is it likely you’ll get kicked on a counterattack, such kicks are often intentional, targeted and therefore, way more powerful than a normal swim stroke kick. The absolute worst thing that can happen when you get kicked is that it hurts a bit, you shake it off and keep swimming. I’ve never (in 15+ years of being in the waterpolo world) ever seen anyon get a broken bone, nose, or bleed from a kick. It results in a bruise, tops. In waterpolo, you can get kicked in the kidney, guts (or, if a guy, privates) and maybe need to “float around” for a teensy, but you will not be worse for wear a few minutes later. I tell you all this only to say that this would be much, much worse than anything that could possibly happen during a tri, because the intionality of such a kick would make it much harder than a normal stroke kick.

      Anyway, my point in telling you all of this is that most people kick up-down if they are swimming freestyle, so unless you get between their knee and their feet (e.g. you are following way too close or they stop while you plow ahead), you can absolutely control getting kicked. Another way to gauge where you are is to swim with your head in a more upward angle (which you should do anyway for distance swimming to “slash” through the water and angle your body properly) and also concentration on keeping your “eyes up.” I know that in open water there is not a ton of visibility, but if there is, swimming with your “eyes up” should help you see what’s ahead. Lastly, if water visibility will be an issue, I would practice lifting your head to breathe every 6th stroke or so (so every other or every third breath) so that you can spot the other swimmers around you. Google “Head’s up freestyle” or “waterpolo freestyle” to understand how to change your stroke to head’s up free (namely rounding your elbows off and increasing your kick rate).

      Last, I wanted to direct you to google Hillary Biscay–she’s an Ironman champion triathelete that I grew up with (and former DI swimmer), and she takes questions on her blog. She’d definitely field your question in a more expert way than me!

      Good luck!

  28. Mary Ann Singleton :

    Does anyone know how Seattleite is doing?

  29. Okay, gang, this one is just for fun–what are the top things you’re looking for in a long-term partner? The real ones, not the ones you just think you should say.

    This came up for me when my rail-thin boyfriend told me he was “being vigilant about carbs.” I got irrationally annoyed and told him that one my Top Ten Traits for a Mate is “don’t make me feel self-conscious about my eating habits or weight.” Which was largely a joke, but he (wisely) tried to deflect me by asking me what the other nine were.

    My other top 9 traits (in no particular order):
    1) I can be 100% myself with him (and he with me),
    2) I can picture him being supportive in the delivery room,
    3) incredibly smart, but never condescending or cocky,
    4) he is close to his family and loves that I’m close to mine,
    5) he is fairly funny but, more importantly, thinks I’m funny,
    6) he’s incredibly kind but has enough spice to make him fun,
    7) he gives his seats to people in need on the subway,
    8) he loves kids, and
    9) he tolerates all my guilty pleasures.

    Your turn!

    • I think it actually can work better if there is only one close family in a marriage. If you’re really close to your family I’d actually suggest that being with someone who isn’t that close to their family could be awesome and balance out well.

  30. Anonymous skin care question :

    I am ashamed to admit that I am 32 and have never had a routine skin care regimen. I need affordable ideas for what I should be using each day. Help!!

    • Are you asking because you’re dissatisfied with your skin, and think a regimen of some kind will make it better, or do you just feel like you should have a regimen? I don’t think it’s worth buying products just to buy them; only if you feel like you want/need them.

      • Anonymous skin care question :

        I am asking because I am dissatisfied with my skin. I break out frequently and need to start using a good exfoliant. I am looking for a good skin care routine as well as product recommendations.

        • Retin-a. Best decision I ever made.

        • I don’t have much of a regimen (wash with a bar of soap in the shower in the morning), but a number of commenters here have raved about the Paula’s Choice line. I gather there are four or five products, which you’re supposed to use with each other.

        • I am 28 and recently started using the Philosophy “Good Skin Is In” set for oily skin. Like the OP, I suffered from pretty regular break outs. I got my first-ever facial a few months ago and the esthetician told me I needed to step up my skin care (not affiliated with Philosophy products.)
          So far I really like this set – it includes the full size Purity cleanser, which I use after using a make up remover wipe, and a tube of the oil-free Hope in a Jar moisturizer. The best part of the kit, though, is Help Me, a retinol cream that’s supposed to be used in between the cleanser and moisturizer. I’ve noticed an impressive difference in my skin because of this cream – it has greatly reduced the amount of breakouts I get and made my skin very glow-y. It’s even reduced some fine lines I have on my forehead.
          I think retinol is the OTC version of Retin-A, which Calico suggested. The only thing with either retinol or Retin-A is you MUST use a sunscreen during the day…I use a different moisturizer by Eucerin that has SPF in the AM. I’ve had great results, but I also don’t mind 4 steps in my bedtime skincare routine, so YMMV.

        • Alpha Hydroxy products (you can buy online from Amazon). I wash my face in the shower in the am and once at night, and use the cream once a day or every 2-3 days. Recommended by my dermatologist bestie, and the best regimen (at age 42 and after much experimentation) for my sensitive combo skin with rosacea.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Substitute 29 for 32 and I could have written this myself. I recently started breaking out and commenters here recommended Paula’s Choice. I got a 2-week trial kit of the Clear line and a variety of moisturizer trials. Since I’ve never been in the habit of regularly washing my face, I haven’t been very good at doing it every day (let alone twice a day!) but I’ve been doing it every other or every three days and I have noticed a difference. My breakouts have mostly cleared up. Overall I like the line and just need to try using it more regularly to see what it can really do, but I recommend trying it out. I think the trial stuff cost $12.50.

    • microscience :

      Do you have a sephora near you? I’ve gotten really good skincare advice from them, and, most importantly, they will give you tons of samples. They have little cases about the size of a contact lens case, fill it with product and you take it home. Usually you can get enough product to try it for a week or two to see how it goes with your skin. On top of that, if you do buy something and hate it, they will take returns of used product. You’ll save money by not buying things that dont work. And, if you find products you like, but they’re too expensive, you can use those to search for cheaper alternatives.

  31. Oh man, I’m awaiting moderation b/c I forgot to self-censor–reposting here!

    Okay, gang, this one is just for fun–what are the top things you’re looking for in a long-term partner? The real ones, not the ones you just think you should say.
    This came up for me when my rail-thin boyfriend told me he was “being vigilant about carbs.” I got irrationally annoyed and told him that one my Top Ten Traits for a Mate is “don’t make me feel self-conscious about my eating habits or weight.” Which was largely a joke, but he (wisely) tried to deflect me by asking me what the other nine were.
    My other top 9 traits (in no particular order):
    1) I can be 100% myself with him (and he with me),
    2) I can picture him being supportive in the delivery room,
    3) incredibly smart, but never condescending or c*cky,
    4) he is close to his family and loves that I’m close to mine,
    5) he is fairly funny but, more importantly, thinks I’m funny,
    6) he’s incredibly kind but has enough spice to make him fun,
    7) he gives his seats to people in need on the subway,
    8) he loves kids, and
    9) he tolerates all my guilty pleasures.
    Your turn!

    • TO Lawyer :

      I like this!

      Ok here is my list
      1) smart but not condescending
      2) rational to the point where he can deal with my occasional bouts of irrationality and also engage in a potentially controversial discussion without it getting too heated
      3) supportive of my career goals and ambitions
      4) we can be ourselves 100% with each other
      5) ambitious in his career – I don’t necessarily need him to be a professional or have specific qualifications but I want him to want to advance/push himself
      6) realize that my friends and family are important to me and be supportive of that
      7) is nice to me but can also challenge me where/when it’s necessary (AKA is not a pushover)
      8) laughs at my stupid jokes and makes me laugh
      9) has his own life that is important to him but always makes me a priority
      10) tolerates (and more importantly) loves my idiosyncrasies, and finds them endearing

      Wow that took me a surprisingly long time and I’m not sure if I actually hit my top 10

      • Fun!

        (1) gives me my daily space and doesn’t get huffy about it;
        (2) knows that I will occasionally drink too much, but that I will then owe him a night of babysitting (and doesn’t get too huffy about it as long as it is not happening regularly);
        (3) indulges my need to host dinner parties and is helpful without huffiness;
        (4) is open-minded;
        (5) doesn’t mind that I am not super close with my family;
        (6) doesn’t feel the need to be involved in 100% of my activities, but supports me doing some things on my own;
        (7) notices the little things most of the time;
        (8) we can 100% be ourselves around each other, offensiveness and all;
        (9) has good etiquette and manners;
        (10) is genuinely caring and compassionate (towards people, animals, insects, etc).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I love this. Here’s my list:

      1) He has to be physically bigger than me (I know this makes me shallow. It’s totally my issue, not his. It’s not necessarily about height – I’ve been with short guys – just about not feeling like I’m completely going to crush someone/overwhelm them with my body is kind of important to me).

      2) Really supportive of my dreams and doesn’t expect me to automatically give them up for him.

      3) Good with animals (I think because this makes me think they’ll be good with kids).

      4) Legitimately thinks I’m funny and not in that “Aw, you’re a girl trying to make a joke and that’s just plain adorable” kind of way.

      5) Tends toward being a Conan the Barbarian type, but recognizes and tries to calm those tendencies because he understands I’m independent and can think for myself.

      6) Is ambitious and goal oriented in his profession. Doesn’t enjoy stagnating in something he doesn’t like.

      7) Sees the best in situations, rather than the worst.

      8) Intelligent in ways I’m not and willing to debate with me on conversation topics (rather than defaulting to “you have your beliefs, I have mine, let’s not speak of them because we disagree”)

      9) A “good” fighter. That is, someone who will argue with me but will not let his anger/the disagreement spill over into treating me passive aggressively or being cruel.

      10) (I know I’m going to sound so narcissistic but) Thinks he is incredibly lucky to have found me and to have me in his life (I mean, hopefully I would feel the same way about him!).

    • MaggieLizer :

      1) Makes me feel cherished
      2) Kind, considerate, and empathetic
      3) Highly enjoyable lady garden parties – often, with party toys sometimes
      4) Laid back, generally low stress, can roll with the punches and not be too married to a schedule or plan, but still respects my type A-ness and just kind of go with it
      5) Pulls his own weight in life and the relationship
      6) Is commitment-/marriage-/children-minded
      7) Has his own life, friends, and interests and respects that I do too
      8) A good fighter
      9) Appreciative of the little ways I show that I care, including complimenting my cooking (even if it’s bad)
      10) Geeky. If he doesn’t know who Zefram Cochrane is then I’m not sure we can be friends.

    • 1) someone who challenges me intellectually
      2) someone who shares my religion
      3) someone who loves dogs (or at least my dog)
      4) someone who wants to get married & have kids
      5) someone who is verbally expressive about his emotions
      6) someone who shares my sense of humor
      7) someone who is thoughtful, kind, and trustworthy
      8) someone who supports my career
      9) someone who respects me/my political views
      10) someone who feels lucky to be with me and whom I feel lucky to be with

  32. Anonymous :

    Um…embarrassing yet AWESOMENESS overshadows, so I will share…

    I’m the anonymous from this morning with the cramps that were making me cry with pain. Turns out, when you’re pregnant, you can actually become constipated (blush) SO BADLY that your large intestine can become completely, 100% blocked and must be cleared with medical assistance.

    So, I’m still pregnant! Yes! Nobody IRL must learn of today’s story. And, because I could not get my husband who left his phone at home and was in the field all day, the dinner is STILL ON.

    I AM SO HAPPY!

    • Okay, totally awful that that happened (although I can believe it) but that is awesome news!

      Now have fun and spread the love with your family tonight!

    • I don’t know you but I’ve been checking this site about every 10 minutes, waiting for you to come back with your update and hoping for the best. SO HAPPY for you.

    • This can happen? What?!?!?!? Oh dear.

      Lady, I’m happy you’re happy and healthy but boy does that sound not fun. And congrats on remaining pregnant!

    • YAY!!! What great news! Hope you have a wonderful dinner tonight with the dad-to-be and g-pas and g-mas to be!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Hooray!!!

      Pregnancy is full of wonders.

    • That’s amazing. Congratulations!! So glad to hear that.

    • Yay!!!! I know you are so relieved! Hope you have a super fun time tonight sharing your good news!

      • I am a banana. :

        “Relieved” is so hilariously appropriate here…I laughed.

        Happy baby growing, Anonymous!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am so glad you and baby are okay!

    • Mountain Girl :

      I’m so glad things turned out okay! Enjoy your dinner.

    • Major sigh of relief.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I’m so glad you reported back and all is well!!! And thanks for adding one more thing to my list of “sucky things that will happen to my body during a pregnancy.” The more you know…

    • lucy stone :

      That is terrible, but I am so happy that’s what it was! Congratulations and enjoy your dinner.

    • Yikes, but so happy for you that’s what it was. Congrats!!

    • This totally made me giggle. I am so glad you and baby are both ok :). Enjoy your dinner!

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I’m so happy and relieved for you.

      Don’t be embarrassed; pregnancy does weird things to bodies. I’m hoping that one day, when your little one is old enough to understand this stuff, you and s/he can have a good laugh about this together. :-)

    • Wooohoooo!!!!! I hope your tummy feels better and yayayayayayyyy good news. I think lots of us have been hitting refresh hoping to hear from you. Enjoy dinner tonight!!!

    • What a relief. Enjoy your dinner tonight!

    • So happy for you. And will definitely file that piece of information away for when I’m knocked up!

    • Meg Murry :

      Oh good! I was hoping they were digestive related cramps or other unpleasant but safe cramps, but I couldn’t find a polite way to wish a case of food poisoning on you. FYI, for some women the culprit is the prenatal vitamin, so talk to your OB, you may want to try switching brands (some contain a stool softener for this reason). Congrats!

      • Slow Fe is the key! I had this problem. Ditch the prenatals and take slow Fe, gummy vitamins, and extra folic acid and B12.

    • Hooray! Enjoy your announcement dinner!

    • I remember calling my doctor during first tri freaking out thanks to stabbing gut pains. Yeah, guess who spent the rest of pregnancy taking Colace daily. Glad to hear it turned out to be ok.

    • GREAT news! So relieved and happy for you!

    • Hooray! I feel a bit odd saying this about constipation, but I’m so happy for you! Enjoy your dinner.

    • laura holt :

      So so happy to hear that all is well with your pregnancy!!! What a relief that must be. Enjoy celebrating with your family and friends today.

    • This is great news! Enjoy your dinner!

    • YAY!!!! I am so glad everything is ok! Thanks for updating us, and have fun at your dinner!

    • Wow, what a relief!! I am so glad everything’s ok, and I hope your dinner is nice and fun. Yay!

    • anon prof :

      I’m so happy for you! Prenatal vitamins made me soooo constipated back in the day

    • Silvercurls :

      Everybody’s already said it for me….wishing you no more medical adventures, enjoy your dinner, and thanks for the update!

    • Oh, yay! So happy for you! Have fun telling the grandparents tonight!

    • I was so sad for you today and so happy to hear this update!

      Yes! I’m a general surgeon. Constipation is a disaster and can be incredibly painful.

      One word: miralax. An amazing powder that does amazing things.

    • Anastasia :

      I came back this morning specifically looking for your follow-up, and I’m so happy you have good news! I hope your dinner with the parents went well. :)

      Also, pregnancy constipation SUCKS. That is that is the one symptom I have not been able to avoid, but luckily I have not been afflicted to that extreme (knock on wood)… “good” to know it’s a possibility though. argh

  33. Does anyone else have problems with the language of goal setting? I want to make some improvements in a few areas, but keep getting hung up on what words to use (I fully recognize that this is a form of procrastination). It perplexes me that someone can say “It’s my goal to go to bed by 10pm tonight” and “It’s my goal to save enough to retire by age 50″ — why aren’t there different words for things of such vastly different scope?

    I have various [things] I want to figure out how to accomplish, but get stuck writing out plans because it really bothers me that the language I can think of doesn’t give any impression of difficulty, duration, etc.

    Besides getting over myself, is there any advice you can offer?

    • Short-term plan, life-long goal?
      Stalin used very famously used to make five year plans. He is a terrible figure in almost all ways, but the five year plan idea is one I always liked as a concept. You can also adapt it to longer and shorter time periods, as needed.

      • karenpadi :

        I love 5-year plans. But I hate deadlines. So my current 5-year plan is my “when the cats die” plan (they are 8 and 9). It’s kind of weird, yes.

        I don’t use the word “goal”. I tell myself, “I’m going to bed early tonight.” or “Until the cats die, I’m going to save some amount of money per month.” or “The kitchen will get remodeled in 3-5 years so I can enjoy it before the cats die.”

        • Karen, I hope your cats live long and healthy lives but your time planning structure just seriously gave me the giggles.

          • Leslie Knope :

            I also love how your way of avoiding deadlines is…well…a very literal dead line.

    • I think it may be helpful to focus on actions instead of outcomes. You don’t know what the future holds. For example, I’d love to have $50k in my bank account in 10 years. I don’t know if that’s possible but I can set a goal of depositing $400/month in a special bank account and never touch it every. Hopefully, it will become $50k one day.

  34. So my husband and I were just throwing our first ladygarden party last night for the first time after I had the Mirena put in last week. During some of the preparations, we both admitted that we were really nervous about the strings getting caught up and the IUD pulling out during the party, even though we rationally knew this wasn’t going to happen. Obviously the party went well and this didn’t happen last night, but please reassure me – that doesn’t happen, right? RIGHT?!

    Also, my doctor told me we needed to use backup birth control (hose covers) for 6 weeks until my followup appointment. I thought it was effective pretty fast – I had it inserted while I was on my period so I think (per the interwebs) it should be good to go now? Is he just being cautious? We’ll be following his advice, but it seems conservative to me.

    And for anyone whose interested, because I lapped all of your Mirena experiences for about a year with rapt attention before finally deciding to do it, I’m really happy with my experience so far (one week two days into it). I’ve never been pregnant, so insertion was holy-mother-of-god painful and I continued to have bad cramping for the next few days. Around 8 years ago I was on the Depo for a year and hardcore spotted the entire time, so I was prepared for all the bad side effects other people talked about. So far, I’m doing good. Very mild to no spotting, and I I feel it/mild twinges when I think about it so I think that’s just in my head. Except for the irrational ladygarden party fears, which make my whole body tense up when I think about them.

    • anon re: IUD :

      I’m glad your insertion went well! At this point, I am going to ask them to remove mine at my follow up appointment. I am still bleeding/spotting every single day (and have been for the past… 25?) and have been unable to throw a lady garden party. This makes me sad.

      However, my doc did say I could have s*x two weeks afterward with no condom so I think your doc is just been overcautious.

      • I was thinking of you when I posted and wondering how you were doing, so I’m glad you posted but not glad things are going better. I really feel for you – like I said above I bled for a year straight while on the Depo *waiting* for it to work. Can only offer commiseration. :( I seem to remember that some other people had this problem and they took a cycle of birth control (or something like that..??) and that helped. Maybe that’s an option?

      • Aw, anon, I am so sorry that it is still being a pain. :o( That is just so not fair. I hope you can figure something out that will work for you and get back to LGPs. Huggss

        And, KGB, no, that does not happen. ;o) The strings don’t ‘get caught’ on things, especially not on “that.” I have had plenty of LGPs in the 3 years since i had mine put in, and have never even noticed it. And I really don’t think it comes out that easily, it’s designed to stay in and do its job. ;o) So, try to stop worrying and just have Fun! But pretty soon you will start to even forget that it’s there, really.

        My dr also told me 2 weeks, not 6. That sounds pretty extreme.

    • Ten years of GYN clinic here, and never even heard of any IUD pulling out. I think you can lay that one to rest :-). Also, it should be effective immediately, but I could see wanting backup while you see whether you’re adjusting well. It doesn’t hurt to take some precautions if you’d be unhappy with a failure.

  35. Is anyone else waiting for the CA bar exam results? They come out at 6pm PST, 9pm EST.

    • laura holt :

      Good luck! I was in your shoes a couple years ago. For what its worth, my year they were posted promptly at 6 but not a minute before, so no need to sit there hitting refresh all afternoon (easier said than done, I know).

    • That was the longest wait of my life, after the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. I was VERY fortunate to have passed, and am VERY grateful. I know that incredibly smart and deserving people fail every year, and while I hope you passed, if you didn’t, stay strong!

  36. Brooklyn, Esq. :

    Has anyone else recently reached the stage of life where bad things start happening? Like parents having health problems, relatives dying, etc. I just turned 30 and the last year has been rough on my mom and dad (separately–they’re divorced). And my uncle just died. Not a particularly fun way to embark on the holiday season.

    How are you all coping?

    • I’m there. Last year 3 of my friends died, MIL died, FIL ended up in ICU twice, and more. Frankly, I really struggled, and ended up depressed. What I tried to do was recognize that first of all, this happens. And I’ve had great years (lots of friends getting married, babies, etc.) and on balance I’ve been very lucky and I have a pretty good life. And this year has been better — not a single funeral so far. And out of the bad came some good — I became closer friends with the partner of one of the friends who died, and that relationship definitely enhances my life. My advice to you is first, recognize that there are good times and there are bad times, and that both will come and go. Second, do what you need to take care of yourself — I didn’t ask for help when I needed it, and I could probably have had a less-serious depression if I had asked sooner. Third, specifically do some good stuff so the memories of this period aren’t all bad. DH and I took a wonderful, exceptional vacation at the end of last year. So, 2011 was a terrible year but it ended on a wonderful note, and that does make a difference to me. Fourth, honor your memories. Be sad that your uncle died, but be happy that you got to know him, and grateful for the love he added to your life. Are there any particular things he did as an uncle that you could replicate as an aunt (or aunt surrogate)? I have a few things that I do that remind me of people that have passed, and that make me smile every time they come up.

    • I hear you, but I’m not coping all that well. In the last 5 years I’ve lost my mother (heart), my stepson (car accident), my father in law (heart – was like a second dad to me), and my sister (cancer). Most of the time I just try not to think about it. Holidays are pretty awful. This will be the first holiday season since my sister died. Not looking forward to it.

    • style advice needed... :

      So sorry to hear this is an issue for you. It is awful… especially if you are unlucky that the “bad stuff” starts happening when you are so young. I think a divided family exponentially increases the stres…

      I have found that the vast majority of my friends do not understand, and really aren’t very supportive. I am trying to blame them less, as I think in general people do not show empathy if they haven’t had a personal experience that allows them to better relate to yours.

      It is extremely isolating, and it has changed the course of my life dramatically. Death, caring for disabled/severely ill family members is just not something that your already overworked/overstressed/friends having babies… can really deal with. So my world has become very small, and I’ve learned I have to do what I can to stay sane.

      Keep a careful eye on your own health. Sleep, exercise, and treat depression aggressively. Find outlets that allow you a complete escape, and let yourself cry when you need to.

      Hang in there.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. I’m sorry for all that you have gone through, too. I hope there is happiness for you all in the coming months.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, I am at that stage.
      I am not very emotional but just before the last loss, at the time when the illness was clearly terminal and only days left till the end, I was scared by my response to stress – loss of sleep, random aches, hypochondria… yeast infection. Also persistent ideas that there is no point in living long because one inevitably ends up horribly ill with some illness or other.
      Because we now are more attuned to sorrow, it seems that so many people around us are falling ill or coming to other misfortunes.

  37. Thanks for linking to me.
    It does look spectacular in person. I plan on wearing it for years to come. :)

  38. Hungry Hippo :

    There is leftover cake in my office. I had a piece and lunch and can’t focus on anything but that I want another piece. Must resist! Please send me willpower. I

    • LOL, I’m trying to stay out of the candy dish on my assistant’s desk, but it’s driving me nuts.

  39. a regular but anon for this :

    I’ve had two LGPs in the past few months, both with people I knew beforehand, who were respectful, no issues of worry or fear or stress or whatever, the moments just happened. Protection used and such and the testing talk previously had as friends and I are generally open with each other about that stuff.

    But with both, though the guys put forth solid effort, I felt nada. It’s as if my body just no longer reacts or enjoys if there isn’t an emotional connection. Don’t get me wrong, s3x with a loved one is always better on a different level, IMO, but what if I can no longer enjoy a simple LGP? I’m not even seeing anyone, so the odds of having a relationship any time soon is slim… am I just destined to go without until then?

    • Also anon right now :

      Maybe your body is telling you to wait until you find someone you really, really care about, rather than expending all that intimate energy on garden visitors who may be good people but aren’t all that compelling in a long-term way? NOT trying to moralize! Trying to work with your observation that “s3x with a loved one is always better on a different level.” It’s not much fun having a quiet garden with no visitors but …. at least you’re not wasting time entertaining a guest or guests (different guests at different times as per yr message) that you’re not thrilled to be hosting. It’s the same idea as taking a break from mass-market, bite-sized candy bars and saving your calories for an awesome gourmet chocolate truffle–even though you don’t know exactly when that wonderful truffle will appear in your life.

      If LGP doesn’t mean what I assumed it means (lady garden parties) please disregard this comment. Maybe I should have started off with this comment?

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, abbreviations of common phrases are obnoxious enough, but we’re doing this for “lady garden parties” now? Can’t you just type the damn thing out – at least once, to clue people in?

  40. Anon for this :

    My husband smokes pot. I don’t, and I think it is gross and it embarrasses me that he does it. I know rationally that there are lots of adults who do it, but to me it seems like a very juvenile habit. I sort of thought he would just stop once he got older, but it’s starting to seem like he won’t. We’ve talked about it several times and he’ll cut back but he always starts again. Is this really the big deal I feel like it is, or am I just being too uptight?

    • Anon for this 2 :

      I’m in the opposite situation. I smoke and spouse doesn’t. He tries not to judge but I can’t smoke around him. It’s frustrating. I don’t really like to drink and this is just how I like to unwind. The fact that I can’t just do that if he is home really sucks. Our compromise is that I can do what I want in my own time but not in front of him and not right before we’re spending time together. Most of the time it works, but sometimes it makes me resentful. Just because society deems that one vice is okay and another isn’t, I have to deal with this? Not to mention that if I smoke, the consequences might be I giggle, I maybe eat some extra food and I am just silly and in a good mood. Whereas if I am drinking, I might say something I regret, I could fall, I could lose stuff, I could black out, whatever. Not that I drink like that at all, btw, but just pointing out that if you smoke too much, you’ll most likely fall asleep and if you drink too much, god only knows. No one’s ever gotten high and hit their spouse or gotten into a fight. If you looked at alcohol and pot in a vacuum, you would be crazy to say alcohol should be legal and pot should be outlawed. Myself, I have been smoking for 15 years now and no one would ever know: I got a great education, went to law school, have always worked, currently have a fantastic career position, live a completely respectable and upstanding life… And I never even used to drink before. Until this relationship, I would have a drink maybe 5 times a year. Now, because I just want a break from the day and can’t do what I actually want, I probably have a glass of wine or beer almost every night. It’s more respectable, but I certainly don’t consider this an improvement! I would understand if you said his smoking interfered with his/your life, but if he is smoking the way others enjoy wine or a beer, I would let it go. It’ll be better for your sanity and your marriage.

    • “he says he’ll cut back but he always starts again.” – I think this is the problem. It bothers you, and he promises to stop and then doesn’t.

      I think the big-deal ness depends on your careers and the state you live in. It is still illegal most places, which is a risk he’s taking that could be bigger depending on what each of you do during the day. If you are a prosecutor and he is a school teacher, it seems like quite a risk. The illegality of it is what puts people at risk obtaining it (in those states where its not easy to get a prescription or whatever).

      Have you talked about why he likes it? Is it daily or weekends only? Does it interfere with other aspects of your life? (You want to go out with friends, he wants to stay home and smoke, or he fails to do necessary things in order to smoke etc.) In those ways it’s like alcohol- if it becomes a barrier to other things in life it is a problem or if it is a way to cope with things that should be otherwise solved.

    • Fast forward this scenario a bit…my best friend’s husband’s dad (e.g. her FIL) was a hippie type. Smoked every day in their garage when husband was growing up. Smoked WITH his kids after they figured it out and were preteens. Raised two pothead kids who can’t get their life together and one who did (the friend’s husband).

      Recently, the father died after a protracted and very painful bout of metastatic lung cancer. I am not wishing this on anyone. But I do encourage you think about the LT consequences of your (your spouse’s) choices for you and your (current or future family).

      Saying that “this is the way that I unwind/get off my back” really hits a nerve with me. And I say that as the daughter of a pretty serious alcoholic, who constantly reminds us that “it’s [his] life so it’s his choices.”

      • I think the every day thing is the problem in this scenario. Smoking pot is as hard on your lungs as cigarettes (the burning sensation I mean – I know it has less chemicals that are harmful on your lungs/body in other ways), but it doesn’t give most people problems because few people smoke pot as often as they would cigarettes, so their lungs have time to repair and not cause long-term damage.

        I’m not sure why saying “this is how I unwind” hits a nerve. That would make sense if we were talking about really intense binge drinking, or cocaine, or unprotected sex with strangers. Those are all behaviors that are exceedingly dangerous even once in a while. Smoking pot in your own home on occasion, on the other hand, is exceedingly safe. The OP didn’t mention kids, which I agree might raise other concerns, so I don’t get why it’s such a big deal.

        • I agree with this. There are people who are alcoholics. There are people who smoke too much pot in their garage and raise pot head kids. But most people who indulge in either one are not either of those. “Fast forward to this scenario” is not fast forward to a typical scenario. Let’s not confuse the outlier for the necessary outcome.

      • Lady Enginerd :

        I get why that hits a nerve. When you are married or have kids, the truth is that it isn’t “my” life or “my” choices. It’s our life and choices affect both parties. Not owning consequences of one’s substance use (even as simple as “disappointed spouse”) is a red flag. That combined with promising to quit and then not concerns me. Extrapolating, I would not be cool with my partner shirking kid duties because they were buzzed on something (especially because I can’t use any substances while carrying or b-feeding child). That stoned dad op ed in the New York Times a while back is exactly the kind of “fast forward” scenario that the two of you need to think thru together, not even the long term horror story of stoner kids who can’t get their life together. I think it is just a healthy adult life skill to learn to unwind sans substances.

        For context, my SO was a stoner. He then has been growing out of it over the last five years and hasn’t smoked in maybe a year or 18 months. Even when he did smoke somewhat regularly, he didn’t see it as compatible with adult responsibilities like kids. He also does not promise to quit and not, but we do check in about circumstances in which he would find it appropriate to smoke given our current life circumstances. I think the biggest concern is if your husband’s smoking starts with lying or sneaking around instead of being open with you, ideally in advance instead of admitting to it when caught.

        • All valid points, but if the OP is not being reasonable about this, that may also be what leads to lying. Let’s take the fact that it’s pot out of the equation. If this was alcohol and she took the stance that she did not want her SO to ever have a drink under any circumstances (and he’s not an alcoholic, thats just how she feels), and he had an occasional beer when out with friends… well, I would say that they both have to communicate about their needs but I would also consider the SO, not the OP, to be the more sympathetic one in that situation. Now, of course, it would be different if SO’s substance use actually interfered in their life, but I didn’t see any of that in her post. She just doesn’t like it. I think relationships need to compromise and compromise is not, “you become a different person from who you would like to be if I wasn’t in the picture.”

    • just a lurker :

      May or may not be an equivalent example, but I did once date a meat-and-potatoes guy, while I am vegetarian. As much as we liked each other, it just didn’t work because we had very differing views on health and lifestyle. I now kind of screen potential partners for this.

      So suspect that’s the problem with you and your husband – you just have different lifestyles.

    • Really? You want to change something about the man who you married when you knew it going in? Good luck.

  41. Shopping challenge! I don’t know why I’m having so much trouble finding a black cardigan that is a little longer than the basic, crew neck Jackie style (like JCrew has, but really everyone has something similar), but not as long as the basic boyfriend cardigan that hits below my behind. I want something straight across the bottom, not with the banded waist like the Jackie style, that hits about mid hip. That should be easy, right? Why can’t I find one? The shorter cardigans look good with skirts, but I don’t like them with pants (they seem too casual to me), and the longer cardigans seem too sloppy for work. You can tell I’m not in the mood to work. I also just ordered 5 different pairs of black pants, trying to find that perfect pair that actually fit me. I really should just hang it up and go home.

    • Talbots used to make this. They called it “boyfriend” but it was boyfriend only by Talbots standards. Maybe check them out? Although the longer styles are usually not crew neck.

    • I got the Banana Republic velvet-trim black cardigan which Kat included in her black cardigan roundup a couple of weeks ago and really like it. Hits mid-hip, straight across, very nice, substantial feel to the fabric (altho not bulky), looks quite polished. Despite the other six black cardigans in my closet, I have been wearing it at least once a week.

    • Uniqlo’s merino sweaters are great quality and reasonably priced. Their crewneck cardi is longer than the Jackie but does have the banding at the bottom. Mine hangs pretty straight, though; the banding isn’t really tight, if that makes sense.

  42. As between the talbots Ribbed Cashmere v-neck sweater and the Nordstrom Halogen Cashmere v-neck which would you prefer? I am worried the “ribs” make the Talbots more casual, but the Halogen seems kind of “fuzzy”. Any thoughts? Links to follow.

  43. Anne Bronte :

    Brooklyn, Esq., I hate to post this after the heartfelt thread above. I just wanted to say, on a shallow note, that I ordered The Dress in the 3/4 sleeve version and I love it very much. I got it in Storm, which looks black but is actually a weird but not unpleasant dark blue/gray. I am very short-waisted and super pear-shaped, as I believe I have mentioned here a million times!

    About the Narciso Rodriguez, the colorblock ponte dress wound up working for me, but I think for someone who is not quite as bulgey on the bottom as your author, it would be gorgeous and flattering. A sleeper hit was the cropped ponte jacket — most jackets hit me at the most unflattering spot possible, but this is the kind of thing you could put over a sheath dress and it would look as polished as a suit. I got the black and am thinking about the red. I’ll see if I can post the link.

  44. a regular but anonymous for this one :

    After a lifetime of strife, I decided to end my relationship with my mother when she moved out of town this past September. She has emailed me a few times but I’ve chosen not to respond. Past discussions with my siblings have made it clear that they won’t have a relationship with me without either trying to force me to let my mother back into my life and reporting anything they know about me to her, so they’re now out too (not that we were ever close).

    The holidays are coming and I don’t know what to do when it comes to gifts and such. Do I continue to say nothing and let them spend money when I know I have no desire to see them and I don’t want things being left at my house or mailed (no desire to reestablish contact)? Do I email them all and say something but essentially reestablish contact myself? How do I handle this?

    • Regular, i’m sorry you’re going through this. If you’ve decided to cut contact, then you have to do that on your end, but don’t try to control things on the other side. That means, to me, that you don’t send them gifts. Whether they send you gifts is up to them. Don’t engage once you’ve decided not to engage. (That said, I would be unable to not send an (impersonal) thank you note if they did send gifts.)

      If you’ve ended the relationship only by ignoring them, not by telling them, you probably have to brace yourself for gifts and questions abouts gifts received and gifts not sent. Decide now if you’ll respond or not.

      If you’ve ended the relationship by telling them, then IMO silence is an acceptable response — one they should, if they’re thinking, expect.

      For context, I have only minimal contact with my parents (and never anything substantial or important to me). I have chosen to continue giving gifts, but I don’t expect (nor do I usually receive) reciprocity. The key for me is that I honor my own choices, and I don’t expect anything from them. It has not always been easy, but time has helped.

      I hope you make peace with your situation. Please know that families of choice can be infinitely better than families of birth, and that the accidents of birth are not necessarily sufficient reason to sustain relationships.

      • a regular but anonymous for this one :

        Things have been very strained since I was very small, and there have been 2 other times I’ve gone a year or so without speaking to my mother, but that’s ended when we were about to be forced into a situation together and it seemed wiser to communicate than to allow her antics about not communicating to ruin someone’s graduation or wedding or something.

        So no, I didn’t have a long to do about being done, I just went silent. I thought a to do would just amp up my mother and set her off to stalker call/email or show up at my house sometime. Now though, knowing she’ll be in town next week, I worry she’ll show up at my door. As I work and I know she and her other kids can do online searches, I worry she’ll show up at my job. I wish she’d just move to a deserted island without internet or phone service… is that wrong of me?

        As for gifts, if they send them, do I sent them back or accept them? I don’t know that I could skip sending a thank you note but I don’t want that to come across as initiating contact. Hive?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I’ve talked about cutting off contact with my mother here a few times. The gift issue is a little difficult. I agree with Tuesday about it coming down to whether you informed them that you would be cutting off contact.

          I told my mother that I would no longer be speaking with her and instructed her not to contact me, an instruction that she ignored for awhile which resulted in me changing my phone. Umber and email address. She continued to buy me christmas presents and would give them to my sisters to give to me. She finally stopped a few years ago. I never responded at all. It would have given her what she wanted and would have opened up a can of worms. She never gave me anything that I particularly liked, which makes sense since she didn’t really know who I was after years of absolutely no communication, so I normally donated the stuff.

          You mention speaking to her when in situations when you were forced to be together. I’ve had to deal with this twice myself (a wedding and a baby shower). I did not approach her but I was civil with her for a couple of minutes when she approached me before excusing myself from the conversation. I don’t consider this to be reestablishing contact.

          I’m not sure what would be best in your situation. It seems like telling her you want to cut off communications maybe easier in the long run. If she shows up at your house after that, you don’t have to answer the door. I’ve done that. My mother knew I was home because my car was there, but I just did not go to the door. It took a few times before she realized that I wouldn’t give in to her antics. For what it’s worth, I personally think a thank you note would be reestablishing contact. Returning the gifts, as far as I am concerned, wouldn’t be and would provide a good opportunity for including a letter explaining your decision to cut off contact.

  45. I finally made an appointment to see my GP next week about going on antidepressants. I have been feeling depressed and pretty numb about life for months now. I have tried to make this appointment a few times and always end up canceling. How should I prepare for the appointment and what should I expect so I don’t wimp out?

    • Are you seeing a therapist? I was resistant to going on antidepressants, but my therapist urged me in that direction, and it was easier to get over my own resistance when I had her professional opinion that antidepressants would be a very good idea for me.

      Also realize that you’re not alone – a lot of women (including a lot of women in this community) have depression and anxiety issues and have treated them with medication and everything else under the sun. You deserve to try to find a happier life for yourself, and finding the right medication very well may put you on that path.

      Do you have a good relationship with your GP – i.e., does he/she know you and your history pretty well, does he/she listen to you and spend time with you during your appointments? If so, your GP might be a good source for an antidepressant rx. If not, you might have better luck with a psychiatrist, who will have specialized knowledge to enable him/her to choose the right antidepressant for you and monitor it.

      I wish you the best of luck.

    • Good for you for making another appointment. If canceling once again starts to seem like a good idea, remind yourself that getting help in this area is just as much taking care of yourself as eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, brushing your teeth, etc. — and keep the appointment. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help if you don’t know how to fix a problem. Like coco said, you deserve to look for a happier life!

      I have a lot to say about this because I’m a grateful veteran of a lot of therapy, almost all of which helped me enormously in improving my responses to a variety of distressing circumstances. If this is too much information, just scroll down and move on. (JSDAMO …. a variation of JSFAMO/ just say Fooey and move on :-D )

      You may or may not feel some sort of internal adjustment when you start your medication. I don’t mean anything dramatic like the room starts spinning or you keep blacking out–I just mean you can feel your body adapting to this new ingredient. The first few days of my taking SSRIs (SSRI = selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a type of anti-depressant although my first Rx was prescribed to treat OCD) reminded me of the experience of being in an airplane from takeoff through climbing to leveling off. After that, I hit my “new cruising altitude” and was fine. YMMV (your mileage may vary) because–to be very nontechnical–people vary as to their particular biopharmacological makeup.

      Another way that YMMV is whether you also see your psychiatrist for talk therapy, or whether you chat periodically at medicine checkups and see someone else (psychologist, social worker, or other counselor) for the talking part.

      Most important, remember that although you’ve decided to reach out for help, you are still in charge of your life. It’s fine to start out with Plan A but shift to Plan B, C, or D along the way. The idea is to feel better about yourself and your life, whether that means a brief course of medication, a long-term or lifetime prescription, a little bit of talk therapy, a period of intensive talk therapy that gradually tapers down to weekly, then monthly, then less frequent check-ins, or some combination of all of the above.

      I don’t know all of the current trends or philosophies that guide therapists. Many provide what they call “eclectic” therapy which means they use ideas from more than one tradition. I’ve personally done well with cognitive therapy (helping a person to understand why they have been doing things one way, and then helping the person to learn a different way of doing things) plus mindfulness (being aware of one’s reactions in the moment, so that one can anticipate or recognize a not-so-helpful reaction and learn to redirect oneself into a more effective response).

      Good luck and take good care of yourself along the way.

    • I went through this Exact. Same. Thing. a few months ago, when I finally made an appt with my dr to talk about my anxiety and probably ask for meds. AND, it is only because of the amazing women on this site talking about their experiences with anxiety and meds that I even thought about that step and I am feeling So Much Better now, so thank you to everyone here AGAIN.

      But I had the same freakout just before my appointment. What I did was sit down and write down the things i thought I should make sure to bring up, and then literally wrote out exactly what I would say word for word, in paragraph form. “I have been feeling __ and ___ since ___ happened.” I even wrote into that my own insecurities about this appointment: “I felt anxious even making this appointment, because I am not sure what is wrong with me and I don’t even know what to ask you for.”

      I didn’t end up reading from it, but i knew i had it in my hand, and my thought process also was that if I started uncontrollably bawling when she walked in (which was how i felt) i could just hand her the piece of paper.

      But then what Actually happened: as soon as my dr walked in the room she could see that i was barely holding back tears and she just asked me ‘what is going on’ and then of course i was crying and just talking and she knew EXACTLY what to say to make me feel better, and started asking me specific questions, and from then on I wasn’t anxious and i didn’t have to think, since she took over the appointment.

      So, all of that to say: You Can Do This. Write down exactly what you want to say, but go to the appointment, don’t cancel. This whole thing has probably gotten really big in your mind. But LITERALLY it is just one step: Get Your Butt In That Door. That is ALL you need to do right now. When you start to freak out, just focus on that. Trust me, it will start to work itself out from there. just Get In The Door.

      I am here pulling for you, and all of the women on this site are, too. Sending lots of Internet Huggssss and i will be thinking about you next week. Huuugggssssss!

      • AnotherAnon :

        I have an excellent GP who is both sympathetic and pragmatic, in the right balance for me. This makes an ENORMOUS difference. If you are not comfortable with your doctor, please realise you can change to another.

        After my first appointment I left with a prescription for an SSRI, starting on a low dose. I also had a follow-up appointment booked for 2 weeks later (best to make this appointment on the spot if like me you procrastinate excessively). It takes several weeks for the medication to have its full effect, so your GP may want to see you every 2-6 weeks until you are both happy it is the right drug and the right dose for you.

        My GP also informed me of different types of talking therapy available in my area, including online resources, and encouraged me to make use of them in the way that best suited me.

        I find a combination of antidepressants and talking therapy works best for me. Sometimes the elements need to be adjusted, and my GP is great at providing guidance on this as needed.

        At the first appointment your GP may ask you to complete a short form asking about your emotional and physical health (simple multiple choice or scale answers). These are used by some practices to track changes over time. You should fill it out without taking too much time to think about your answers – your first instinctive response is usually the most valuable.

        I fully agree on the advice above to write things down. I just write a list of words or bullet points of things I think might be useful for the doctor to know and things I want to mention. I’ll start this maybe a day or two before the appointment. I don’t sit down and write it all in one go; it’s more like making a shopping list, just jotting something down when I think of it. Like zora, I don’t always need the list when the time comes but knowing it’s there is reassuring.

        For your initial appointment this list *could* include things like:
        – Physical symptoms including sleep patterns and eating patterns (and especially changes from what is ‘normal’ for you)
        – Feelings/emotions, including suicidal feelings, or the impulse to indulge in behaviours you know are self-destructive.
        – Timescale – duration/frequency of the above.
        – History – previous diagnoses, family history of depression, any possible undiagnosed episodes in the past.
        – Anything you think may have triggered or contributed to your depression.
        – Ways it is affecting your daily life, work, and/or social activity.

        I find this a useful habit to continue for ongoing appointments as I can’t always remeber how I’ve been feeling or what side effects I’ve had if we’re trying a new dosage (side effects have never been severe and generally disappear after a couple of weeks).
        Even one-word entries like “blah” or “bad day” or “swimming 2x/week” help me tell my GP or therapist how I’ve been since my last appointment.

        Apologies for the looong essay! Well done for making this appointment, and I do encourage you to keep it. Now that you have told us about it, I hope that will help you to attend.

        You ONLY have to turn up – do not worry about ANYTHING beyond that one step.

        And our internet hugs are with you, along with our very best wishes.

  46. Would love to tap into the hive’s wisdom.

    An employee in my office is wonderful in many ways – great work ethic, smart, resourceful, good judgment, and a pleasure to be around. The only problem is that her grammar and spelling skills are really below par – so much so that it’s going to hold her back and keep her from advancing and reaching her goals. I want to help her, but of course want to avoid offending or insulting her.

    Does anyone know of a course or study materials that are geared toward this kind of person? Would really appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!

    • K...in transition :

      What about grammar/spelling books geared for ESL people? That way it’s not demeaning like giving a book meant for children to an adult, but it is written for someone who needs to start from lower level and move up.

      Honestly though, if you’re not in a position of power over her or aren’t someone who works directly enough with her that your feedback would be seen as helpful or necessary rather than butting in, I’d let her be. If you -are- in that position, a chat and giving her such a book and offering to help her would likely be very kind of you.

    • I had to address this issue with more than one person, but it was in a supervisor-to-employee interaction. I was direct in pointing out that the low quality of their writing would impede their career growth.
      The first advice was to use the software spell and grammar checkers. Really, if I see a document that has not been at least proofed by MS Word, I view it as lack of respect to the reader.
      The next step would be a short class that hopefully be paid by the employer. If the employee has time, they could enroll in Business Writing or a similar class from a local community college.
      If you do not supervise this person, I recommend talking to her manager. You both are interested in helping this person succeed and I don’t think you’ll be overstepping any boundaries if it’s a normal office.

      K.., with all due respect, it does not necessarily follow that English is not this person’s first language. I’ve seen appalling writing produced by college-educated people who were born and bred in America. There are textbooks for all proficiency levels and there is no need to veer into ESL territory; besides, ESL has its own goals and methods that might not be optimal for improving business communication.

      • K...in transition :

        I wasn’t at all presuming the person is ESL, I just thought that the person might need something that takes on spelling and grammar from the beginning and so many of those books are geared toward kids, which I think would likely feel demeaning to be given. I just thought maybe something geared toward adults would work and that made me think of ESL for basic grammar and spelling… glad you commented since you obviously know much more about this than I! :)

  47. definitely anon for this :

    had rough s3x on thursday night, in the middle, he said he couldn’t find the condom, we assumed it came off on the sheets or floor or something, put another one on and kept at it. I’m not worried about std/pregnancy issues (not an issue here) but have this total fear that it’s trapped inside me. I inserted a finger and felt nothing. I don’t have great insurance so going to a doctor would be very expensive and I’m hoping the condom has just fallen somewhere we haven’t found. help?

    also, if anyone else would like to share their embarrassing s3x stories/moments, that’s sure make me feel less awful!

    • I’m sure you’ll find it! I can’t imagine it could get trapped. I think you’d feel it.

      Okay, I’ll bite. I had laser surgery for precancerous cells. Met a new guy a couple months later. The first time we had s3x, we were going at it, and suddenly I started bleeding profusely. It was bad. He took me to the emergency room and I bled all night and had surgery to repair a torn artery. I think something weakened from the surgery. A friend of mine went to my apartment to clean up and she said it looked like someone had been murdered! Of course, everyone I knew figured out what happened so it was incredibly embarrassing. I lost so much blood I missed a week of work. But we did date for five years after that so I guess he wasn’t too traumatized!

    • Anonforthis :

      Um. I lost one like that once and it took more than a day to make its way down. It may still turn up :p

      • Anonforthistoo :

        This happened to me, and I had to go to the gynecologist to have it removed. Then it happened AGAIN and I had to go back to the gyno AGAIN. Later I noticed in my record they had noted “removed foreign object from v*gina.” It’s not like it was a wine bottle!

        Oddly, I thought I was the only one, but it happened to a friend of mine too, not long ago. She was able to do the extraction herself.

        So … it’s not just you!

    • Defanonforthis :

      I had pretty drunken sex one night and still had a tampon in. He was apparently drunk enough that he didn’t notice it either. It was fun trying to get that back out the next morning. Thankfully didn’t have to go to the doc/hospital.

      That is so much worse in writing that it was in my head.

    • I’ll share. Way back in the day when the Today contraceptive sponge was still on the market, I put one in, had sex and then couldn’t get it back out. The instructions were no help. They basically showed a photo of a woman putting her whole hand in there and grabbing it.

      I had to go to the student health center to have it removed (I was in college, obviously.) The staff doctor said not only was I not the first to have that issue, I wasn’t even the first THAT DAY.

      • PS through this experience I found out I have a “high cervix,” which basically means I have a long vaginal canal. I know this is true now, because when I was pregnant, my little tiny female ob had to basically ram her whole self against my girl parts in order to be able to feel my cervix. I could seriously store my keys and lipstick and loose change up in there.

        And now I’ve bragged on the internet about my giant vagina.

    • This has happened to me before and it was up there. If you haven’t found it in the sheets or around your bed, it’s probably still inside. You can probably get it yourself, just takes some maneuvering & you’ll need to hook your finger in a way to grab at it. Enlist your man’s help if you need to. Sorry, don’t mean to make you worry – but just saying. If it helps, this has happened to me more than once, and I always got it on my own.

      And as for embarrassing, how’s this: my ex bf had ventured south and we were having a lovely time until he looked up at me and I saw his chin was completely covered in blood. Yep. Cousin Flow had come to visit! To his credit, he reacted in the most awesome, mellow way about it. We laughed. He was a good guy :-)

    • Is there a planned parenthood in your area? If you are worried about cost, that might be an alternative to the gyn if this issue doesn’t resolve itself this weekend.

    • This happened to me the very first time I had s3x…..my bf helped me fish around ( I had to lay down and get in a position similar to what you do at the gyno..) and eventually we found it. However, I then had to take the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy. At that time, one of the side effects was serious nausea, and I spent all of the following night vomiting while working on a paper that was dues the next day.

      So…Good news, morning after pill doesn’t cause nausea anymore (unfortunately I have taken it since then) , and it can be effective up to 5 (7?) days after the slipped off condom. If you are not on some other form of birth control I would suggest you consider it, even if the guy didn’t ejaculate, because pre-ejaculate can make you pregnant.

      Also, other good news…I have heard of this happening to other women, and their bodies naturally push the c0ndom out eventually.

      Good luck and don’t feel embarrassed, this happens to a lot of people!

  48. Want to be a good friend :

    My best friend, who lives across the country, just found out her live-in SO cheated on her with one of his coworkers. What should I do? What do I say? If you were in this situation, what would you want? They might well try to work it out, so I don’t want to treat it like a breakup exactly.

    I already sent her chicken soup, because the internet and online delivery is a miraculous thing. I tried to build her up without asking too many questions about him or the other woman, and empathize instead of trying to learn what happened/how she found out. Is this the right approach? What do I do now?

    • Great approach. No tabloid-style info is needed–you want to know how she’s feeling and what she wants. If I were her I’d just want you to ask how you could be helpful, and offer to talk whenever you’re available. Even if she doesn’t contact you I might send a text here and there saying you’re thinking of her. It also sounds like you should be open to anything in terms of her attitude toward him and the relationship going forward. Just try to be a good sounding board, with as little of your own judgments and opinions as possible. And avoid dishing about the situation to mutual friends, even though they may want you to.

    • try not to say, omg that f&*^er, I never liked him, you’re better off, he’s a douche and I never told you this but I think he hit on me this one time when we were all together….

      because chances are better than 50% she’ll get back together with him.

      keep that in the back of your mind, please.

      ask me how I know.

  49. PSA: All dresses at Anthro are 25% off this weekend.

  50. Gail the Goldfish :