Wednesday’s TPS Report: Daxon CREPE DAY DRESS INK

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

 Daxon CREPE DAY DRESS INK There are so many good sales going on today, y’all. I’ve been Tweeting about them (they’re also on the Corporette Bargains page) but — tons of markdowns. For today’s TPS Report, I’m liking this crepe day dress from Reiss — it’s a bit more minimalist than I normally like, but something about the round shoulders, patch pockets, fabric belt, and elbow-length sleeves all looks perfect to me. I love the mixing of the ink gray dress and the dark green accessories, too (but I hate those boots). The dress was $300, now marked to $150 at Reiss. Daxon CREPE DAY DRESS INK

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]
(L-2)

 

Comments

  1. My goodness, this is cute.

    Also, the sales are killing me. I finished my shopping last week, so I have no good excuse to be browsing, but still, so many deals! I’m worried I have a little bit of a shopaholic gene…

    • I know. I’m finished with Christmas shopping and now can’t stop looking at things for me!

    • Ya this is me. I thought I was making really good progress by returning the overpriced dress I had bought for NYE but then I bought another one (sequins are my weakness).

      Everything is on sale now and apparently I want everything!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      The only thing saving me is that I’m going out of town for 10 days, so nobody will be around to sign for my packages. Luckily I don’t have time to walk into an actual store!

      • That was my plan… until the camera I wanted went on sale and they were having free 2 day shipping… now it will be arriving at my parents house just in time for family photos over the weekend

    • Raided JCrew today. Fantastic deals.

  2. Diana Barry :

    This would look like a frumpy sack mess on me, but I like the idea!!

    For your entertainment…remember our discussion yesterday about b**bs as presents?

    http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Dresses/Above-Knee-Dresses/WH410-BLK/Womens-Black-Bow-Dress.html?NavGroupID=4

    • To be fair, the common advice to women with small chests is “Look for embellishments! Ruffles, pleats, more volume!” This takes that to a whole new level.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        As a member of the itty-bitty-*itty club, I don’t love the idea that I have to pretend I have a bigger chest to be closer to the so-called ideal.

        I’ve said before that fashion & media keep trying to cram down on everyone a single “ideal female body shape” that gets everybody who’s not that shape scrambling to buy products that will allegedly get them there. The common advice comes from these fashion industry dictators, and their advice usually sucks.

    • Man, I love this dress. Wish I was small of chest.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I really wanted to like Johnnie Boden, a former City guy who owns up to (and enjoys) traditionally feminine pursuits like picking out patterns for dresses, and a successful entrepreneur, but this makes me think he’s just another lucky-to-be-rich prat:

      http://www.consortluxury.com/article-details.aspx?artID=1762
      (Crap site, I know, but this article is old and I can’t get the original source of the article to load anymore)

      His comments are really dismissive of women and mothers:
      “Johnnie hums, thinking carefully. “Our customers like our brand ­because it’s quite real, but, equally, there’s a fine line between real and frumpy.” Frumpy is a word Johnnie goes on to use rather a lot, and I suspect it’s the monster under the bed, but if you go too far in the other direction then you end up — horror — in sexy territory, and “sexy is a word that is banned”.

      Turns out Johnnie lives in fear of his customers “looking a bit tarty, a bit mutton dressed as lamb. Sexy is such a tacky word. We don’t do cleavage. And that extra 2in can make a lot of difference on a skirt length”

      And then this:
      “It’s interesting the sex thing. Given that most of his customers are mothers, is there a correlation here? Is Boden the safe, go-to brand for that awful moment when you realise you’re not the glamourpuss you once were, when your independence took a leap out the window and your confidence just left the building? If there’s one thing a loss of confidence is going to home in on, it’s your wardrobe. “They lose it, mothers, don’t they?” says Johnnie quietly. “And that is why we try and speak to them quite directly. Because they just completely lose it.””

      Depressing that someone in as progressive a nation as the UK in this day and age still subscribes to the Madonna-Wh*re dichotomy.

      • Ugh, I hare this. I like Boden for a few things but definitely feel that it trends yummy mummy.

      • Diana Barry :

        Oh dear. Can’t I just like the clothes and leave the politics out of it? I do like Boden bc it fits me well and they have nice prints that I can still wear to the office. :-0

      • Boden keeps me from going overboard on Lilly as how I avoid the extremes (Office Goth v. gym attire) in my off hours (e.g., when baptizing a child, it seemed way to harsh for me to show up in a black skirt suit, black shoes, black bag).

        And they use Helena Christiansen as a model.

      • I’ve noticed that I feel drawn to Boden whenever I feel like I’m receiving too much male attention. Now I know why.

      • S in Chicago :

        I’ve completely misread Boden. I’ve always seen all the whimsical prints and thought much of their stuff was way too juvenile for most folks out of their 20s or seemed like too far down the “look at me, I’m different” path. But now that I think on it, most of the time I pass on the few dresses I have liked because the necklines have been funky or their hemlines are a somewhat dowdy-looking length. It some ways, this explains it all. You’ve got someone leading it who really knows absolutely nothing about women.

        • Ditto. I cannot wear the same colors and prints as my toddler!

        • I really like Boden b/c I think they soften my look. I usually wear gray or black suits and dresses with a solid-colored blouse. It is nice to throw in a whimsical print blouse or scarf sometimes.

    • Hmm. I’d like the bow better if it were at the waist.

  3. I love the shape of the dress, but hate the fabric belt and patch pockets. I’m trying so hard to avoid buying new clothes right now, but I want all the things!

  4. Saacnmama posted this at the tail end of yesterday. Reposting because I think it’s sweet.

    I’m slowly making the change from schlumpy professor to having enough fashion sense to work in an office. For the first time in my 40+ years, I have been looking for a dress for a specific occasion this week. I’ve probably tried on about 60 dresses, and have narrowed myself down to 6. I’ll choose when I can see what my sisters are wearing. The best part is that, even though I’m not happy with my body right now, I really do like the way these look on me! Top 2 contenders are
    http://www.dealgenius.ca/items/11801580/Patra-Tiered-Chiffon-Sheath-12033
    and a dress that has a black taffeta skirt and a black lace over nude bodice.
    For either one, I would need a wrap of some sort (to cover the flabby triceps)

    Because I’ve seen so many positive comments here on Nordstrom’s personal shoppers, that they can save money and help pull together looks you wouldn’t think of on your own, I made an appointment. It was a disaster. Most of the dresses were far above my knees, even though I said that might be OK but I was more likely to want tea length or at the knee. She totally ignored my preference for natural fibers, and everything she pulled out was around twice the price I specified.

    Stops 2 & 3 were Black Market, White House and Dillard’s. Salesclerk at Dillard’s was wonderful, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to pay the full retail prices.

    Also because of comments on here, I checked out Nordstrom’s rack. It was *amazing*. That’s where most of these dresses came from. I couldn’t believe that in a discount place like that, they were so willing to help out with getting another size or whatever. I also saw that when I am ready to get an office wardrobe, there will be lots to choose from there.

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you all thanks for doing your thing, letting me eavesdrop, and responding to my questions!

    • I sympathize with the dress hunt. After my last formal dress shopping disaster, I decided that I am just going to buy a tux and wear it to everything.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      +1 Anonymous for reposting. Saacnmama sounds like a complete sweetheart, and I bet she wasn’t all that schlumpy while professoring! But I’m glad she’s having fun and success with a style-change.

      • Aw, thanks guys! I didn’t mean to sound too negative on the dress hunt. I’m seriously psyched at how good these two “finalists” make me look. As for how schlumpy my discipline is, picture Indianna Jones meets Bill Gates. I’ll never spend oodles of time on my look daily, but am figuring out that it can make a real difference to have the things I pull on in the morning just be nicer-looking, and more flattering.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Indiana Jones + Bill Gates —-> ” Classic casuals, not flashy, and functional enough to escape collapsing temples” Do you sport a jaunty hat? :-)

  5. Everyone, I just had to post a shout out for this AT dress (http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/AT-Lookbook/AT-MHL-DEC-COLOR/Side-Tie-Jersey-Dress/294576?colorExplode=false&skuId=12561070&catid=cata000012&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=5124). After reading all the positive online reviews I stopped over a few days ago to try it on, and it is absolutely deserving. The red is perfect for the holidays, though they have other basic colors as well, and it’s 40% off today!

    • I like the color name for the red, valiant rouge. Very heroic sounding. (Nice looking dress too.)

    • Love it! Would you say it’s work-appropriate jersey? (For an office where non-clingy jersey is appropriate, of course…)

      • Definitely work appropriate. My office trends toward more formal, but I would absolutely feel comfortable wearing this on a Friday or a low-key day with no meetings. The “valiant rouge” is a very bright, true red though, so if you feel comfortable in bold colors, I say go for it!

        Sorry to enable! :)

    • Definitely an enabler! :)

      I made a special trip to AT at lunch. I love the forest green that is only available in larger sizes online…that would have been my first choice but the red is great. I got the dress, some grey rib-knit tights, and a belt on clearance for about $75.

  6. TJ to respond to JadeMoon from yesterday – this morning I couldn’tt even get my posts to show up as in moderation on yesterday’s thread, so I thought I’d try here.

    I think 23andme is probably decent for getting a rough idea of ancestry. Interestingly, at a meeting I was at in which the utility of genetic information for informing yourself about your health was discussed, a similar situation was brought up – for someone who was adopted and has no information about their birth parents, this could be the only way to get an idea about certain health issues.

    I mostly deal with cancer, and aside from BRCA1/2 and a few well-known familial syndromes (Li-Fraumeni, hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Lynch syndrome), the data just isn’t very strong. The genetic markers that have been “linked” to increased cancer risk increase that risk so incrementally and we don’t fully understand how they interact with environmental or other genetic factors. Similar situation for cardiac disease markers, although since 1 in 2 women suffer from (or die of, I forget the statistic) a cardiovascular condition, every woman should probably behave in ways to lower risk for that anyway.

    As far as opting out, some people just don’t want to know. Especially for something that’s sort of variable in its heritability – you can’t always be sure that just because your parent has a certain condition, you’ll get it too, or maybe it will be more or less severe for you. Also, for some conditions there’s nothing you can really do about it. That’s something that’s the subject of lots of discussion in genomic medicine – what do we do with non-actionable results? Alzheimer’s is a decent example – there’s really not much you can do to prevent it. The ability to make plans for care if you do develop it can be one reason to find out, but not everyone wants to think that way. Or maybe some people will make plans assuming that they’ll develop AD, but don’t really want to know for sure.

    So, I think 23andme and other similar companies are kind of gimmicky – if I had it done, I’d probably think, oh, how interesting, but I don’t know that I’d take the results that seriously. If you are truly concerned about some condition that seems to run in your family, you’d be much better off seeing a genetic counselor or clinical geneticist (a GP should be able to help refer you, or check at a nearby academic institution).

    • Also, wanted to add as the spouse of someone likely to develop early onset Alzheimers, there are other implications to finding definitive negative genetic results. We’ve opted out of testing husband for EOAD (my understanding is that it’s the only form of the disease that can be clearly identified in genetic testing) largely because it would make life insurance and long term care insurance, both of which are necessities in our family, basically impossible for us to attain. We either couldn’t get insured – most likely – or it would simply be cost-prohibitive.

      I honestly don’t know what the disclosure policies are associated with this particular testing company, but I would hate to receive truly negative information that could have serious implications. Time magazine recently had a very interesting article on this exact issue, and I’d caution anyone to do research before undergoing genetic testing on a whim.

      • That’s a good point – the Genetic Insurance Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) makes it illegal to use genetic information to discriminate for health insurance, but not for life or long-term care insurance (I think).

        Also, I’m pretty sure that for 23andme you could use a fake name. I’m not sure if they will ship to a PO box, but if so, that might be one way to try it out and mitigate privacy concerns. They SHOULDN’T release your results to anyone (that would be a serious, serious HIPAA/IRB/ethical violation) but I can understand being concerned.

        But really, I don’t think any of this is terribly useful health information (with the caveat that if you have no idea about your family history – if you were adopted and have no information on your birth parents, for example – it might provide some clues. But again, you really should talk to a professional.

        My mother did the National Geographic ancestry thing, which only looks at ancestry markers. I found it pretty uninformative – we know our family history back on her side to the 1500s, so it really didn’t provide any new information. Unlike the dog genomic stuff, which someone mentioned yesterday and I would totally do if I had a mutt and wanted to know what breeds were represented! That would be cool!

  7. To me, this looks like what a modern Jane Eyre would wear at her nasty boarding school — it has something of the Dickensian poorhouse about it.

  8. Should I leave a larger-than-usual tip for my hairdresser, given that it’s the holiday season? If so, how much? I’ve been going to her regularly for about 2 years.

    • I’ve heard you double the tip at the holidays for regular service providers.

    • I used to manage a hair salon, and holiday tips ranged wildly. Some did their normal tip + a personal note in a holiday card, some brought consumable gifts, and others tipped either double their usual tip or the price of their service (so if service was $120, they tipped $120).

      • What if it is your first time using that salon? I need a new do, but am not willing to pay extra for it just because it is the holiday season.

    • I know the etiquette suggestion is “the value of a typical service” but it seems insane to tip $200ish just because I like highlights rather than a single cut. I tipped mine an extra $40 on top of the usual tip and she seemed happy enough last week.

      • I think the ‘value of a service’ rule is really old, from when a typical service was a shampoo & set.
        double your regular tip is the usual now, and as a former hairdresser, I’ll admit I liked it when I got actual gifts too, be they consumables or gift cards to starbucks or whatever. Money always ended up spent on my kids but that starbucks gift card was for meeee! ;)

    • Good question about the tipping!

      I’ve had a hard time finding someone to do my hair the way I want here, so I went back to the salon where I went through high school, college and grad school whenever I visited family. Mom booked the appointments, and always used her stylist (the owner) instead of the person who I know and like. The cuts were fine, but I felt like I was cheating whenever I’d see the other person working. Now I’ve booked her to cut and style my hair for my parents’ anniversary party. She didn’t think she’d have enough time, so she’s staying later than she usually does.

      What should I tip her?

    • Kontraktor :

      Ugh, glad I am finally in the stage of hair grow out where I think I am beyond taming the mullet back every 4-6 weeks and probably don’t need to go to a salon for awhile. These amounts for a tip seem insane to me. I would probably never think to tip 2x-3x+ as much just because it is December. Yikes. I don’t know, I feel it has become in vogue for everybody and their mother to expect a tip/gift/something somewhat over the top just because it is the holidays. I barely spend the suggested tip amount (for some services) on gifts for my friends, much less the newspaper guy/the door person/the random whatever service I happen to use in December. I guess I am gauche? :-(

      • A friend got a holiday notice from her management company that listed all the employees (person at the door, maintenance, etc.) in the building. Legal names for check-writing purposes?

  9. Thank you to the posters that recommended Immortal Beloved salon. I had an appointment with Nate last Friday and I am very very pleased with the results.

    Also, Top Reads of 2012 by Bill Gates, for those of you looking for presents.

    And finally, it took me 3 passes on the same level of my parking garage last night to realize I was going in circles. D’oh.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I love the name of the salon. I’d be so tempted to ask for “Beethoven hair because he had the big hair before Farrah Fawcett did.” :-)

    • Yay! I missed this discussion but I would have recommended them too. I made a point of getting my haircut last time I was in DC just so I could go back to my old person there. And you have to love the whole tree in a bathtub thing.

  10. Ladies – Biglaw mid-level associate here. Had a baby this year and am hating being back. Part time is a joke. Had some medical issues last week and couldn’t even take a day off to recover. I’m leaving in March, whether I have something lined up or not, because.I.just.can’t.do.it. I am tired all the time, I am missing my baby, and my husband and I have sex and sleep next to each other and I miss him. I am able to do this because he has a “big job” that he likes, and we’ve been pretty frugal – and I know how lucky I am. But I am having trouble motivating to stay until March. Any words of advice to help me stick it out? I need to for both professional responsibility and financial reasons.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I would say just focus on the paycheck. Each dollar you make is a dollar towards your personal goals. There will be times when your career is a meaningful part of your life, and there will be times when it jut isn’t. Now you just have to stick it out.

    • Diana Barry :

      If you are quitting in March, how much work do you *have* to do between now and then? What is essential? What can you let go? If your review cycle is done, can you slack on hours between now and then?

      Things I would make sure to do:
      - get your contact list from work in order and accessible at home
      - ditto with all of “your” documents — memos etc on issues of law that you might want to keep for next job, good form letters, etc.

      Things you can outsource before then? Trader joe’s (or sim.) for meals? Baby food in jars? More frequent cleaners at your house?

      Hang in there, you can make it!

    • I’m so sorry.

      Maybe use your remaining time as time to invest in your future? Maybe you will want to practice again, maybe in a different area, maybe in a different way, or maybe do something else.

      1. Take all of the CLE you can so that your license stays intact for the rest of 2013. Many firms offer them in-house or will pay for that. We’re often too busy to take advantage of that.

      2. Network, have lunches, etc. Once you quit, it will be hard to go back, so make sure there isn’t a middle ground somewhere that you’ve overlooked.

      3. Say no to the craziness. Since you’re pretty sure you’re leaving, stay busy, but start turning down things like the emergency diligence trip, etc. And as you do this, maybe try to formalize it (we have a program where you can go down to, say, a 75% schedule, largely b/c of the flood of new mothers leaving). There is management support for it, but many attorneys are the first to tell their specific partner (who may be a knuckle-dragger) that they want to use it. Perhaps find an ally and have a talk? I think it’s better to be pro-active than to outright quit — you may need someone at this firm as a reference in the future. [Or have you tried it already and that's why you're saying it's a joke?]

      Good luck!

      • Thank you — for the concrete suggestions and for reminding me not to quit in panic and to lay the groundwork for what comes next over the next few months. I’ll be taking these comments (and the unvoiced one, to breath!) to heart.

    • Saacnmama :

      No real advice to offer, just want to empathize that you’re in a lousy situation. Fwiw, the learning and cuteness last a long time, and if you’re quitting work before the first birthday, you’ll be home for all kinds of excellent milestones. You probably know this already, but you have got to keep up the show at work in case you need the references later.
      Wishing you a sparkly, happy holiday season.

  11. I just need to vent. A former LGP friend (few dates, turned into just gardening)works in my building. We didn’t end on the best of terms, not terrible but still, and I have no desire to let him tiptoe through my tulips ever again. But he’s working on my floor right now for whatever reason. Running into him at work is just…I just hate it.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Ugh, I’m sorry. That is always tough. Buy yourself a cupcake at lunch – you deserve a treat.

    • Ugh. Can you treat yourself to lunch out of the office?

      • I actually have to go across town and run errands over lunch. I like moments’ suggestion…maybe I’ll find a cupcake or a smoothie or something on my journey.

        Lesson learned, I’m not the type who can handle inhouse, haha.

        • springtime :

          Haha in-house.

          A cupcake is an excellent suggestion!

          • There is never a bad time for a cupcake, is there?

            But seriously, to the OP, that’s got to be tough. Is his working on your floor temporary? I hope so!

          • Not exactly. He works on the floor below mine, normally. I don’t know why he’s working where he is right now, it’s kind of odd, but I see him in there every now and then.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      *tea & sympathy* That’s got to be awkward and annoying.

      Is it a large building with a lot of different companies? I’m hoping that the odds of you crossing paths with him (or worse, being in the elevator with him & the looming awkwardness) are low.

      • It’s not that large of a building, a few companies on a decent number of floors. We work for separate companies, that are part of the same overall company, and without getting too specific, our floors are connected and often times they have meetings on my floor, vice versa. Usually separate, but there’s alot of potential for run-ins. It’s happened before, and it’s never really comfortable. It’s not like I harbor ill feelings toward him, I harbor no feelings either way toward him. But it still throws me off.

      • Susan, love you, but the tea & sympathy is driving me nuts. You give the best advice but I used to think you were more a peer and lately I am legit picturing my great grandmother. this is clearly a wine and cookies situation.

        • COOOOOOKIEEESSSS. Yes. This.

          • Just want to that add my “yes, this” was in reference to the mental image of myself of going Cookie Monster on a bag of chips ahoy. If Susan wants to say tea and sympathy, or ketchup and hive fives, doesn’t bother me :)

          • oh I meant it with tons of love. I was being a bit cheeky

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            @anon 11:56am

            I’ve only been here since about late (Nov 2011). So anything earlier than that was someone else. I think I should just change my handle to Edna Mode already.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I am no longer young, but not old either. And yet, I would not be offended if someone thought I were much, much older. Age isn’t a bad thing. I can definitely be crusty and cranky, too, like a prickly great-grandmama, so I’m ok with that connotation, too. :-)

          But you are probably right– wine and cookies would be more helpful here.

          • hey, sometimes i want tea when i feel grumpy…. I’ll take all the tea and sympathy if no one else wants it! ;o)

          • You guys have made me laugh just enough that I definitely feel better now!

            Though I’m still TOTALLY getting a cupcake!

          • Susan (edna), are you the same Susan who used to post here? I thought you were different, but now I’m having a hard time remembering what happened. If you are different, what happened to Original Susan?

          • As someone with a low tolerance, sometimes I think “Wine and Cookies!!!” and then realize all that sugar and alcohol is going to make for a killer hangover. Tea it is :)

          • Just saw that my reply went to the wrong part of this thread.

            This is in reply to Anon @ 11:56
            I’m going by Susedna now, was formerly known as Susan (edna mode blahbity blah)

            There have been other Susans before me, and there will be other Susans after me. But edna… is a lot of typing.

            “Susedna” is a funny compromise, a real delightful orthographic trainwreck. Special thanks to Ru for suggesting this one.

    • Anon for obvious reason :

      Ugg. I broke up with a guy once because he cheated on me. A couple months later, he started calling in the middle of the night, did not want to get it through his head that it wasn’t going to happen. Then one time he called an hour or two before I had to get up anyway, so I told him to come over. I thought we could talk. He had other ideas, felt around (without permission) & tried to scold me for neglecting the trimming. I didn’t bother to be offended, just told him it was a pain in the a**. With the painstaking detail of one who is drunk as a skunk, he shaved it all off, then took me back to bed to admire his handicraft. It was excellent, better than anything I got the whole relationship. When he (I) was done, he flopped on his back & said “now me”. I told him no way, I had to get to work, cheerfully got ready, & never got a booty call from him again.

  12. So, my mom is still in hospital and I hope to talk to the doctors who did the psych assessment today. For those who didn’t see my Sunday night post, she set a fire in her apartment, saying she wanted to kill herself, and was taken to the hospital by the police and placed on a 72 hour psych assessment hold. She sounded alright when I talked to her yesterday, but she is clearly still manic and overly impulsive. We have not heard anything from the police about whether or not they are going to charge her with anything.

    On the bright side, my mom does seem to get that she will not be able to go back to living alone, without any medical help. Right now she thinks we can just set up 24-hr paid care but a) that is more expensive than getting her in assisted living, and 2) even if she can go back to the condo, it’s a pretty tiny space for two unrelated adutlts (though it does have 2bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, so it’s not *impossible*).

    Plans for today:
    1) Talk to the psych team leader and hope to get some kind of answer as to what made her act out in that way. She has had issues with impulsivity before (she’s on steroids for MS), as well as with depression, but never anything like this. Also hope to find out how long they are going to keep her in hospital/whether they will release her to a rehab centre (which would be set up internally – I wouldn’t have to do that).
    2) Talk to the hospital social worker and get her working on the issue of figuring out long-term housing and supports.
    3) Call the management company for the condo she lived in and find out whether they will even let her go back to her house (assuming she was otherwise able, which I am doubtful about given her mental state).
    Possibly 4) Contact the Community Care Access centre to start figuring out what other living options are available (depending on what doctor and social worker say).

    I still haven’t bought plane tickets, because I want to coordinate my time in TO with open offices (i.e. not next week, when everything is shut down) and also, frankly, for the selfish reason that I’ve been looking forward to holidays with the inlaws for weeks if not months (it’s really fun and welcoming and cozy and relaxing there). Does this make me a total jerk? I will be spending at least a week in TO after the holidays trying to get things set up, and I really feel like I need a break as it’s been a pretty busy fall at work, and I haven’t had more than 2 days off at Christmas in a few years.

    Other questions:
    1) To corp*r*ttes with insurance backgrounds: If someone purposely lights a fire in their home but they were having a mental health crisis (e.g., ruled psychotic and sedated on arrival to hospital), is there any chance of having the insurance company pay for the repairs?
    2) Can the condo company refuse to allow her back in/force her to sell her condo? It sounds like there was not much damage to the unit, and no damage to common areas.

    Ugh, I am having a really hard time with this, waking up in a panic every day (and in the middle of the night). I asked my aunts for help in looking for assisted living facilities and the aunt who doesn’t work sent me a page of links, saying I should contact them. It would be really nice if she offered to make some calls for me to at least get price ranges, availability, services available, etc, given I work full time and I’m trying to get stuff done so my court commitments can be covered when I’m gone. I’m clearly going to have to ask which just feels like one.more.thing. on my plate that is already very very heavy.

    • I am so sorry. That is awful. First, don’t feel guilty for not going out right away. Being methodical is more help to the whole process.

      In terms of finding a quality facility, you could look for an assisted living facility that will feed into a nursing home that way the transition will be easier when the time comes. I recommend looking at nursing home compare’s website to find information on the quality of facilities. When you’re looking at places, you should ask them how the staff are trained to deal with residents with mental illness; if there are places she can be transitioned to and from if she has an episode and can’t be on her own; find out what type of secure units they have (if any) and what the qualifications are to ‘need’ a secure unit – depending on your mom’s condition, you may or may not want her in one of these.

      For resources on facilities (they lean more towards nursing home) but you can look at leadingage or AHCA as broad associations to help narrow them down. If I can help in anyway just post an email address and I can message you offline.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      *extrabighugs* *tea & sympathy*

      This just sounds so hard, so don’t beat yourself up about how you’re handling it. Here’s hoping you don’t have more panic attacks, as they’re just awful, but I think you’re doing really well considering how difficult the situation is.

      And agree with L. who says not to feel guilty about not flying out there right away. Better to make a good, measured decision than throw yourself (and your mother) into something right away that might not be the best option.

    • So you know how they tell you in the event of a flight emergency to put your own oxygen mask on first and then assist your fellow travelers? There’s a reason for that. You can’t help anyone else if you aren’t taking care of you. Please don’t feel guilty about enjoying the time with your inlaws. Don’t be afraid to ask your aunt directly for the help you need and give her specific instructions.
      We went through some significant mental health emergencies with a family member. It was our experience that the police truly wanted to connect the person with proper services much more than they wanted to press criminal charges. Hopefully this will be your experience as well. I also don’t know what kind of anti-discrimination protections there are for people with medical conditions, but that might be an avenue to explore if the condo board starts to give you grief. I am sorry you are having to deal with this. It sounds like you are doing a great job navigating the maze. Hugs, tea, cookies, etc.

      • I hope you’re right about the police. Practicing criminal law, I see too many files where the accused clearly has mental health issues, and charges are pressed anyways. And since Arson is no longer eligible for a conditional sentence (house arrest) in Canada, I am rather concerned about what will happen if they decide to charge her and she ends up with the wrong Crown and/or in front of the wrong judge. But frankly, my concerns about the criminal charges are way down the line right now.

      • When I lived in Seattle, there were two (or three) full time positions in the police force for officers managing the mentally ill who had a lot of interaction with the police. We lived across the street from a mentally ill man who didn’t always take his meds and got very paranoid and while never did anything overtly dangerous, was very unnerving. We had a lot of interaction with the police officers (we’d call after he’d be out on his porch for 24 or 48 hours, shouting about shooting police, getting guns, etc) and found them to be incredibly compassionate and focused on getting him the help he needed. I think I read a statistic that 1/3 of interactions police have with people in major urban areas are related to mental illness or drug addiction. For the most part, I do think they try to avoid criminalizing the clearly mentally ill, but as we all know, there are limited avenues for help for people if their behavior is merely profoundly ill rather than dangerous

    • I am so sorry that you’re dealing with all of this; you have a lot on your plate. Is there any chance you can take some FMLA-type leave for a week or two (or more) until you get everything squared away with your mom?

      **I know nothing about leave policies, but it seems like someone at my old firm took leave, which I thought was FMLA, to care for her sick mother.**

      • I get five days of compassionate leave in my contract. My supervisor has confirmed I can use those. I’m not sure about anything longer term – I will have to look into that, though it might be unpaid.

    • I don’t have much practical advice, but I do have {{{hugs}} — this is an incredibly tough situation, and it sounds like you’re handling it beautifully given the difficult circumstances. I don’t think it’s selfish AT ALL to want to spend the holidays with your in-laws as planned — you have to take care of yourself, too, and rushing around to try to fix everything immediately will be more stressful for you and everyone else. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with all of this.

    • Please ask your aunts (I assume your mother’s sisters) explicitly for help, without any guilt. I realize it can feel like a pain to ask, and like you shouldn’t have to, but they really might not know what you need. They’re probably a little freaked out themselves. If you ask them “Auntie, I have so much on my plate right now, and it’s hard for me to make phone calls during business hours, it would be such a weight off if you could make the calls. I’ll email you a list of the questions I’d need you to ask. This would be such a huge help to mom and me.” Unless your aunts are generally unhelpful people, I can’t imagine them saying no.

      • This. Given that your aunt apparently spent time doing research online and compiling links, it sounds like she’s happy to help– don’t be afraid to tell her exactly what kind of help you need.

    • springtime :

      I don’t think it makes you selfish to want to enjoy some fun time with your relatives. You are dealing with A LOT. You’re being a good daughter. You’re doing your best. You obviously care a lot!

      I am also in TO- if you need someone to vent too, feel free to msg me.

    • So sorry to hear this!

      I don’t have an insurance background at all, but do have a kid who was suicidal when he was in first grade. He destroyed several things in the apt, so I had to pay a couple thousand Euros when we moved out. The way our insurance worked, they would pay up to a certain limit per incident, and I did not file enough separate incidents to cover all the costs because they probably would have cancelled the policy (I’ve had that happen before–when he destroyed too many Mac laptops they cut off that rider). I don’t know how you can find out where that line is, but you do need to be careful of it.

      Maybe your aunts are trying to be considerate, thinking that they’d be taking over too much if they made the calls? Even if that’s not the reason, it could be a good way to approach it: look quickly at the websites, then write a quick email asking which they like, what they think of B, D, and E, and if they could please call them and get X, Y, Z pieces of info, that you’d really like their help. You might even throw in something about them knowing her as sibling.

      Sounds like cocooning with the inlaws will be good for you. Nice that you get along with them so well that that’s a good option!

      Take care of yourself!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Former corrections and probation here. One issue you might run into is many group homes exclude individuals with a background of arson or sex offense. The reason is part insurance part for the safety of the others in the building. In response to that, several sex offender friendly group homes have cropped up with their own strict requirements. I’m guessing there might be something similar on the arson side. You can try calling your local parole office. Check their websites to find a sympathetic looking officer and call them directly. Tell them that you have a relative with mental illness that involves fire starting, that they are not yet criminally involved, but you are having trouble accessing resources. Ask if they are aware of any fire starter friendly facilities. In order to get out on Parole the offender usually has to have housing lined up. Accordingly, parole officers are very familiar with what housing situations allow what kind of individual.

      I’m so sorry you are dealing with all of this. Please take care of yourself.

    • Extra big hugs for you! I was the primary caretaker for my mom for years, and she had serious issues but that had an addiction component. Get to know and love your healthcare providers, they can be really amazing and helpful.

      I second the sentiment of taking care of yourself! It’s important, and if you get sick or run down it will be really tough. Good luck and keep us updated.

    • Anon for this :

      Jo March – I went through a similar experience with my mom and would be happy to email if you’d like anyone to vent to. Just post an anon email address and I’ll check back this afternoon/evening. Lots of hugs to you.

    • So I just spoke to my mom. She claims the psych team says she can just go home. I have still not talked to a doctor. Freaking out is increasing. I am waiting for the doctor’s call now. UGH.

      • Also, apparently they will let her back in the apartment – for now at least, since she hasn’t been charged with anything.

      • Blonde lawyer :

        Does she want to go home or does she think she needs more care? I’ll be away from this site for awhile today but I think the answer to that is very important. If she thinks she needs more care someone can advocate for her to get it. If she doesn’t think so and wants to go home, you have a real uphill battle to keep her in.

        • She wants to go home and have full-time/live-in help. I suppose that’s better than nothing, but her condo is pretty small, and I’m not sure how much help we can afford. Especially as we will have to pay to have the place cleaned/made habitable again.

          • I should add: SHe’s willing to go to rehab in the short term, but wants to go back home after that.

    • Spoke to the cops. Looks like they are leaning against laying any charges. So that’s some relief.

  13. little advice :

    Ladies,

    Am I crazy for wanting to wear this dress to a formal law firm event? Is it too boring? I kind of love how simple it is–I feel like its simplicity makes a statement. Also, does anyone know how Hugo Boss sizing runs? Link to follow.

  14. I posted this late in yesterday’s Coffee Break thread and am, as suggested, reposting to say a bigger thanks and get even more fantastic advice: You guys: I’m moving to NYC!! My husband formally accepted his job offer yesterday afternoon. I am alternating between being completely over-the-moon excited and, frankly, terrified. He’ll be working in the Financial District and I’ll be working from home four days a week and commuting by train back to DC on Tuesdays (thank God for teleworking). I’m not a frequent poster here but I read all your generous wisdom and so, if any of you have any suggestions for 1) calming down and 2) actually, you know, moving to NYC, I’m all ears. You are all fantastic women, by the way — every time I’ve asked for advice in the past you’ve come through, and even though mine is a very small voice around here, I’m grateful for all of you being awesome.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Congratulations!! I hope you enjoy it. I have no relevant advice except for good luck on this next great adventure =)

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Congrats! Will you be able to spend some time in the City? We have a lot of NYC-area folks on this site, and I’m sure we can think up activities that are both fun and useful for your scoping out where you two might want to live.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Congrats! My only advice is hire movers, because moving yourself is even more stressful than normal in NYC. And before you move, realistically assess what will fit in your new apartment, as it will probably be smaller than what you have now.

      • Absolutely second this. My movers made my move infinitely easier– and on a related note, check with your building to see if they have any restrictions on when you can move in (i.e., only on weekdays, between 9-5, etc.) and to give them a head’s up that you’ll need an elevator reserved for you.

        And, welcome to the city! I just moved here a few months ago for work and absolutely love it so far– good luck with your move!

  15. Need advice stat :

    Small law firm. Mid level. Started at new firm just before Christmas last year. Got a $300 check from the firm at the holiday party that year. At my review that June negotiated a raise and was assured I’d get a bigger bonus at Christmas this year and then in June again, June depending on hours. I couldn’t lock them in on numbers but it seemed to be “market” whatever that means. At my last job I got a $3000 Christmas bonus my stump year (30 attorney firm at the time). Today, I received a $750 check in a card from the firm. Our holiday party is this afternoon. Do I pretend to be happy and discuss this with my boss later? Do I go meet with him now and ask if this was my bonus? Boss is super busy with case stuff right now. I was expecting something in the 3000-5000 range.

    Whoever decided companies should do holiday bonuses and reviews is crazy. At least our reviews are mid-year instead of holiday. Bah humbug. Part of me feels like a bonus is a gift and I should be happy I got something. The other part of me feels bonus is compensation that was negotiated at review and I just got screwed. What do I do????

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Before you go to talk to your boss, if you decide to:

      For your city, and foir a small law firm, what DO mid-levels get for year-end bonuses?

      Don’t go raring in there half-coc*ed. Do your research and be able to point to a number so when they wave their hands, do their clowndance and say “market,” you can disprove them. Or else, you’re right back where you started when they did that the last time you talked with them.

      • Ditto. If other people got nothing or got $15 gift cards to Starbucks, you’ll want to know that before you go in.

      • Need advice stat :

        Agreed but that data is hard to come by. Seeking “anecdata” please! I’m thinking of sending an email that says “do you have time to talk before the party about the check I just got? Is that my bonus? If so, I thought we had discussed something different in July.”

        • GirlMeetsWorld :

          At a minimum, I’d at least wait to have this conversation at a point in the future when you feel more in control of your anger and frustration. Also, whenever you do speak (and I think you should), you may want to get more specifics about their standards for whatever a bonus is, so that when June rolls around, at least you can meet the stds for getting the bonus at that time. If there was a good faith misunderstanding about what constitutes a bonus, you want to come off as seeking more information so that you can earn more.. you don’t want to look angry and ticked off. Of course, if they were not acting in good faith, then you have a right to be angry and should try to negotiate another bonus, if possible.

        • Post your city/region if you want anecdata here. How big is your current firm compared to your old firm?

          • Need advice stat :

            8 attorneys instead of 30. New England. Biggest city in the state. Federal positions consider this Boston market. Our hourly rates are not Boston but “New England.” Think Portland, Burlington, Manchester, Providence.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            and what type of law?

        • Don’t try to talk before the party. You say your boss is super busy. This is the last thing he wants to deal with. He wants to get his work out of the way then go relax. Go to the party, have fun, be friendly. Go home tonight and do some digging online for total comp ranges for your city/practice area/firm size. If your total comp (salary + bonus + 401k contribution) puts you in line with others in your market, you want to know that. Tomorrow morning, ask the boss if he has a few minutes to talk sometime during the day. Present it as a miscommunication issue and as you looking to get on the same page so that everyone has the same expectations going forward. Be prepared to hear whatever you might hear. This might include that your work wasn’t top quality or that you need more hours (maybe you agree or maybe you don’t, but be prepared for this). It might be that the firm had more financial trouble than it expected (maybe year end collections aren’t going so well) and had a smaller bonus pool to draw on. Maybe they think of a bonus as a little present, not like regular law firm bonuses. But I just don’t see anything to be gained by dropping this on him just before the holiday party.

      • I interviewed for a smaller market position, and wound up having to pull out due to the comp difference (too much student loan debt to take that pay cut now). In the convo about pay, they asked what I made and what my bonus was now and explained very politely that the salary would be just above half what I currently make and that the bonus in that market would usually be more like 8% of my current year end bonus in a good year.

  16. So my SO and I are taking a 9-hour roundtrip road trip in early January and so I thought I’d ask the hive if they have any suggestions for how to pass the time?

    I was thinking about audio books but he won’t listen to anything fiction and I’m afraid that anything non-fiction that he would like would cause me to fall asleep. (And I’d like to stay awake to give him some company while he’s driving).

    Any audio books that he’d listen to but won’t make me pass out? Or do I just have to load my ipod up with music and hope that I can make conversation for 9 hours?

    • how about funny nonfiction? david sedaris, dave barry, or similar?

    • Fun podcasts

    • Kontraktor :

      We recently drove cross country (5 days) and weren’t nearly as bored as we thought. We listened to a few audio books- we liked more academic ones where we felt like we were learning something. We liked Freakanomics (we found we could talk about the subjects after we listened to them) and then we listened to a book called something like, ‘A Brief History of Absolutely Everything’ or something like that, which was essentially a history of science/history of the physical world. We also played a game that occupied us for a couple hours at a time. You pick a type of person (ex, literary character, famous person, etc.), the first person says a name, and then the other person has to think of a person with a first name beginning with the same letter of the last name of the person you said. So, for example, if your theme is ‘authors,’ I go first and Michael Chriton, and then the second person has to think of an author whose first name begins with C, like Charles Dickens. Then I would have to think of an author with first name beginning with D, like Daniel Defoe, and so on and so forth. It’s actually harder (and more fun) than you might think. You can do any theme you like or just overall general famous people.

      Also, if you break the time up by lunch/a rest stop (like into 2, 4 hour chunks) the day seems more approachable.

    • Kontraktor :

      Ugh my comment is in moderation for some reason. Check back later. I wrote about a fun game idea.

    • Podcasts like Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me or other comedy podcasts are fun, and will keep you in a good mood.

    • I love all the comedy suggestions. There are fun non-fiction podcasts, like the guys from How Stuff Works, that you might like. Lots of NPR and CBC shows (including Q and Marketplace, my favorites) are available as podcasts. Would he go for short stories?

    • Maddie Ross :

      While I don’t think you have to make conversation for 9 hours, I have to admit that I love time alone on long car trips with my husband as a time to really make plans and discuss the state of our union. I find it to be the perfect opportunity to discuss finances, financial planning, life planning, house repairs/improvements, and give each other career advice/commiseration. Obviously, this may not work if convos like this get heated between you and your significant other, but I personally cherish that time together without distraction.

      • This. My husband and I drove across country when we were dating, and we didn’t talk the whole time, but we had great conversations during that trip and a lot of funny memories.

        As for audio books things by Mary Roach or my always favorite The Disappearing Spoon are science/non-fiction, but they are humorous and interesting (to me at least).

      • We also have had some great talks while in the car. How about bringing a box of trivia-type cards? They can be fun and can spark plenty of random conversation topics.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I get motion sickness sometimes in the car OR I fall asleep really easily and I feel guilty about making him drive all that way by himself (plus this is happening because of and for me) so I just wanted some ideas to keep us both entertained. We generally don’t have a problem making conversation so I’m sure we’ll actually have some really interesting talks.

        Just wanted a back-up plan if there’s a lull so the book/podcast suggestions and car games are great to keep in my back pocket.

        I am looking forward to all that quality time where neither of us can really be distracted or anything!

  17. Help! I work at a mid-sized law firm with a 2000 billable hours requirement. Traditionally, 2100 billable hours are required for bonus consideration. Every year the bonus committee sends an e-mail inviting associates to submit a memo for consideration in awarding bonuses – those associates with less than 2100 hours are permitted to submit a memo outlining anything they’ve done that isn’t reflected in their hours.

    I’ve been very involved in recruiting efforts, pro bono work, et cetera, and obviously feel those hours should be considered in awarding my bonus, despite the fact that I barely have 2000 hours.

    Should I submit a memo requesting a bonus, even though I’m 100 hours short of the bonus-eligible requirement? If so, any thoughts on what I should say?

    • I think you should, all those things you mentioned are a value-added to the firm as a whole. I can’t really tell you what to say because I don’t know exactly what you did, but obviously you need to be able to tell them that although these hours were not billable, you spent X hours doing ABC which added Y value to the firm.

    • Why wouldn’t you submit a memo if you’re specifically invited to, and if you’re already close to 2,000?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Yes. Make sure you really explain how each thing you did benefited the firm too. Attended marketing events where I met xyz and have begun cultivating relationship with xyz that may lead to firm business. High profile pro bono case led to press for firm. The press generated by case was worth x amount of advertising money. Recruiting event led to two quality hires. With these hours included, my actual hours are xxxx.

    • Yes, you MUST speak up for yourselves! I have found that it NEVER pay’s to be basheful. If I was basheful I would NOT have gotten my job, and more importantely, would not have progresed as far as I have, b/c I am literaly the right hand person to the manageing partner! Yay!

      I did NOT have a clotheing allowance until I told him my clothe’s needed a refresh, and by giveing the manageing partner aprooval authority, he feel’s like he is dresseing me, but I am geting a rebate on my clothe’s, which is now back to 30%. DOUBEL YAY!

      I am being fruegel, tho, b/c I still do NOT want to buy clothe’s that I do not need, but I am doeing it for the firm, and it is beginning to pay divedind’s b/c I have gotten new cleint’s useing the clothe’s that the manageing partner aproved!

      So stand up for what you beleive in, becasuse we ONLEY get what we ask for. Being a pretty wall flower did NOT get me to where I am, and if I become a partner, my name will be FIRST, at the top of the door! Tripel YAY!!!!!

      But the party tomorrow has GOT to be a sucess, otherwise it’s my HEAD on the line! FOOEY!

  18. petitesq paging e_p :

    Hi lady. How’d the first night back go? I hope you have some uber-relaxing post-exam activities planned today. We’re thinking about you.

  19. Ugg. Waiting for my dr’s office to call me back – we’re playing telephone tag. I had a pap done a week & a half ago & had a message that they had something to talk to me about that wasn’t urgent.

    I’ve never had a call back about a pap before, and now I’m feeling worried. Just because it’s not something urgent doesn’t mean it’s not something important, right? And abnormal paps happen all the time & turn out to be nothing, right? I’m trying not to freak myself out, especially since I have a lot to get done today before taking a week off for the holidays, but I wish the darn phone would just ring so I know what’s going on.

    Deep breath and move on to the next thing on my to do list.

    Oh, and I’m feeling like a bad boss because I had something dumped on my last night just before i had to leave to make it to a family obligation & I forgot to wish one of my direct reports happy holidays before he left on vacation for a couple of weeks. And then this morning I saw that he had left a box of chocolates on my chair. He’s new & doesn’t realize we don’t do gifts for each other in this office so I hadn’t done anything for him. Ugg.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I had an “insufficient collection” pap before that had to be redone. They are pretty common. I too freaked out from the voicemail. I have also heard of lab errors such that it has to be redone. Usually they don’t charge for the redo.

    • Don’t.
      Freak.
      Out.

      Breathe.
      Really, it could be a whole range of things, it could be the most tiny thing ever that is really no big deal. Paps are not the most sophisticated test ever, and often get weird results that turn out to be nothing. TRY to assume it’s nothing for now, no point worrying until you have to. And this from someone who is prone to completely freaking out, so I know it’s not easy. But try.

      And we’re here to send you hugs and deep breaths whenever you need a reminder! ;o) {{HUGGSS}}

    • Going anon for this but:

      I am really prone to abnormal paps. They are not usually urgent. They are not usually cancer. They are not even necessarily HPV. It could be something as simple as you having a low grade yeast infection (this happens to me a LOT). I have never tested positive for the high risk HPV strains (not sure if they test for the other strains – they’ve never told me, if they do) and never had to have so much as a colposcopy. Usually, they just say “we’ll test you again this time next year” but it is NOT something you need to worry about (especially if they told you it wasn’t urgent). So take deep breaths – it’ll be fine! It could even be something as simple as “we didn’t get enough samples to test, we need you to come back in.”

      I hope the doc’s office calls back soon. As for the direct report, maybe send out a message to the whole team before you leave, wishing everyone happy holidays?

    • Right. Abnormal pap can be nothing, or it can be “displaysia”–an area of funny-looking cells that they can burn, freeze, or cut off in a lunchtime office appt (though I felt crampy and wanted to spend the afternoon in bed both times I had it done). Best wishes!

    • Anon for this :

      Oh, man, I just had my annual last week, and I totally forgot that I still had to wait to hear about the “results.” I feel your pain!

      OTOH, I know it is totally normal to have weird things happen with these tests, and it definitely doesn’t mean that anything is even wrong. Hope you get some peace of mind!

    • Hey, I’ve had that before and played frantic phone tag for several hours — turned out to be a yeast infection I didn’t realize I had. Hopefully the same — or just a bad collection — for you!

      When I went in this year, I told them to just leave that info on my voicemail because I couldn’t take that much stress again!

      • Thanks everyone! I do occasionally have yeast infections, so maybe that’s it.

        I know it’s not an insufficient collection because the one I had last week was my second in a couple of months because the first was insufficient, and they notified me that it needed to be redone by letter. And I’m not worried about HPV. I’ve been married 18 years, dh is the only gardener I’ve ever had, and he only gardened in one other garden before me. I totally trust dh and have no reason whatsoever to believe he’s visiting anyone else’s gardens. Did that get too convoluted? lol.

        I’m calmer now but still hoping they call soon just to end the suspense.

    • Anonforthis :

      Agreed- I had an abnormal pap about 8 years ago. There were indicators of HPV and I had to get a colposcopy. I was switched to a 6-month PAP regimen for a few years, but haven’t had anything abnormal since.

      So–even if the news isn’t great, there’s a lot more steps before going into full out worry.

      The worst part about all of this is finding out you can/should take pain meds before the colposcopy *after* it was done. Ugh.

      • Totally anon for this :

        Fun fact! The stain they use for a colposcopy is acetic acid, better known as vinegar. In the moment, I was way more weirded out by the idea that *I* was being pickled than the potential long-term implications of what they might find. There are some things that just shouldn’t be pickled. In my opinion, okra. And ladyparts.

  20. Mountain Girl :

    Extreme gratitude and thanks to whoever first recommended “the skirt” to the hive. I have never been a pencil skirt person but absolutely love this one. Thanks a ton.

  21. I am being totally nonproductive today because I am waiting for some news. I don’t want to be too specific (yet), but it is professional related and it is something that could be really great for me. It’s supposed to come this afternoon and all I can do is stare at the phone!

    • Good luck!! Maybe take yourself out to a nice lunch/coffee break depending on how much time you have to kill.

      • SoCalAtty :

        That is a good idea! Maybe a snack and wandering around the mall for a minute will take my mind off of waiting. It doesn’t help that the ONLY thing on my desk right now is a pile of discovery to finish drafting and get out.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Good luck! Here’s hoping the news arrives soon!

  22. Hi ladies! This is my first time posting but I’m a regular lurker and appreciate all the wonderful advice you all dispense so I’m hoping you can offer some pearls of wisdom on a personal situation that has just cropped up.

    My SO and I were all set to go back to our home state for the holidays and were planning on leaving tomorrow. Unfortunately, he became ill last night (frequent cough, fever, aches, etc) and now doesn’t want to travel (it’s about a seven hour drive from our place to our home city). Obviously, he needs to rest and shouldn’t go since he doesn’t feel well. However, this puts me in the awkward position of having to choose to either: 1) cancel on my family holiday plans to stay home and take care of him or 2) make the trip by myself, leaving him alone here for the holiday (which would make me feel incredibly guilty). We could theoretically wait until Friday and see how he feels then (holiday party for my dad’s family is Saturday) but I’m worried he’s coming down with that three-day flu that’s been going around here and won’t be sufficiently improved in time. What should I do?

    For background purposes, I’m a non-trad 3L student who did not get to see family over Thanksgiving because SO did not want to make the trip. Holidays are very important in my family and my mom will flip if I cancel on her since I did not attend Thanksgiving. SO and I have been together for seven years and our parents live in the same city, however his family is not as big on holiday stuff. Additionally, my first trial (under the state student practice act) is scheduled for shortly after the new year and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time preparing for that (in addition to exams) – I need a break! I was very much looking forward to that break being spending time with my sister at home and feel like I won’t get any such relaxation if I stay here because I’ll be caring for SO and will just end up doing more trial prep. Help!

    • What about going through with the original plan? If SO is just uncomfortable and achy but not at risk of throwing up in the car, it’s not going to be a huge difference being miserable in a car seat vs. on the sofa. Let him stretch out in the back seat and nap or watch DVDs for the drive, and take it easy / recover on Friday?

      • oo I would hate this if I were sick. I think there is a huge difference between backseat and the sofa.

        My suggestion is- Wait until Sunday, see how he is feeling. (im guessing, much better even if not 100%) Miss your dad’s side holiday party, but see if you can arrive with him Sunday night (and let his parents baby him a bit) and stay through the holidays.

        • haha I thought someone might respond that way. I will add that I was raised in a very “power through any ailment” household (attended high school for a week with pneumonia and thought I just had a particularly annoying cold) so this would be NBD for me.

          • Diana Barry :

            Ditto, I would definitely still go.

          • I get carsick even when I am feeling good at the start! So I would be a baby and stay home but there is no reason to miss the whole trip.

      • Oh please don’t encourage sick people to travel. This is how germs spread and other people get sick. I hate hate hate the power through it mentality.

    • Merabella :

      I would personally cancel on the holiday plans and take care of my husband in this situation – that being said my family isn’t huge on holidays.

      Would your mom really be mad that you are staying to take care of your husband? It isn’t like you aren’t going because you have decided to stay home and have the holidays with your friends, or taking a trip to Bermuda or something – you are taking care of your sick husband.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would go tomorrow as planned, or Friday at the latest – if I were dating DH there is no way I wouldn’t go to his family’s for holidays bc I was sick. Could he take a bus/train at a later date if he refuses to get in the car tomorrow?

    • Kontraktor :

      Maybe I’m harsh (or my relationship is weird), but I don’t see how a basic flu would make your husband want to cancel all travel plans, especially when they are important to you. It’s not like he is dying, needs actual care that only you could provide (if he is well enough to stay home by himself, I think he is well enough to travel), or you are going somewhere active/exotic (you are going home where he could rest/shut himself in anyway). I can’t imagine either me or my husband canceling holiday travel plans for a minor illness. We’d just soup up on Dayquill/Tylenol/whatever, rest where possible, and hope for the best. I guess we might cancel if one of us had a virulently contageous illness and a severely immuno-compromised relative (or we were literally so sick we could not move, but we’d probably be at the doctor then), but that is a pretty extenuating circumstance. If his fever has broken (presumably it should have by now, a multi day fever that won’t come down is probably a cause to go to the doc/ER), he’s probably on the way to being better in a few days, so I think you guys should just go. But, as I said, I guess I am mean/what we would do in my relationship is weird.

      • Ditto, from someone who once flew to Vegas souped up on 4 different kinds of medication, convinced she was about to die from a bad cold and throat infection. I survived and had a great time despite having to go to sleep at 8 every night. :-)

      • This.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Not harsh, Kontraktor.

        Is the cold/flu a red herring here? Is the real issue that the OP’s significant other just doesn’t want to spend time with her family? And is the underlying issue to that that he really doesn’t like them?

        They’re in the same city but he caused her to not see her family during Thanksgiving already. This would look annoying to the parents, and frankly, it’s not like she’d be abandoning him for 7 days to have Christmas with her parents. He can recuperate at home.

        • springtime :

          Was thinking the same thing.

        • They aren’t in the same city they are 7 hours away I think. But each set is in the same city (City A). OP and DH were in city B for thankgiving, seven hours awway.

          And it actually does look like the trip would be about 7 days. But I agree that there seems to be some underlying tension. OP seems a bit annoyed with the DH which makes me think this may have come up before

          • set of parents that should say

          • oof. Sorry bout that. So much for my reading comprehension skills.

            Yeah, it’s a longish trip, and yes, it would suck to have a 7hr drive while sick. He wasn’t sick for Thanksgiving, though, so I stand by my question as to whether there’s something else (in addition to being sick) that makes the SO so reluctant to go see her folks.

      • Totally depends on the person. I come from a family where we deal with sick people by giving them what they need (medicine, tissues, juice, snacks, TV remote, magazines, pillows) and then leaving them the EFF alone. Mr. TBK comes from a family where everyone drops everything to take care of a sick person. I once tried my family approach on Mr., before I knew his family’s approach. Whoa! Big mistake. Now I know he needs to be babied when he’s sick (and he knows to leave me the eff alone).

      • Yes, my family is definitely from the “suck it up” school of medicine. Growing up we actually went on vacation thousands and thousands of miles away to visit family two weeks my then-teen-aged sister had cancer surgery. (This is totally crazy in retrospect, but ended up being a great family trip which my sister really enjoyed.)

        I really cannot imagine staying home from a major trip to see family because of a cold. My family would not see minor illness as a valid reason not to travel (particularly by car when you can better regulate pace, etc.) and be offended that we missed the holidays for such a reason.

      • HalfnHalf :

        Efm is correct in that SO and I live in City B and our parents all live in City A. City B is a seven hour drive from City A. SO generally gets along fine with my family and they with him (however his relationship with his family is another story) and we generally spend most of the holidays with my family and then do dinner with his parents one evening.

        If I sound annoyed with SO, it is due to the fact that I’m someone who tends to just power my way through sickness to fulfill my commitments (unless I’m seriously ill and can’t function). However, SO feels that his mental and physical health take priority over absolutely anything else, no matter how slight the inconvenience to him and how major the “anything else” may be, and will drop everything the second he feels like he’s not mentally or physically 100%. (His father is the same way). This is not a new issue in our relationship and it drives me nuts. I suggested to him that I could drive and he could just rest in the backseat until we got home, at which point he could stay with his parents and not have to attend any events. He insisted that the car ride would be too uncomfortable for him (in fairness, we have a small car and he’s a tall guy) and dug his heels in about staying here unless he’s fully recovered. I want to tell him to suck it up and get in the car but I know that wouldn’t go over well and I’m not sure this is the battle I really want to fight (at least not right now).

        • In practicalities, maybe it would be worth trying to rent a bigger/more comfortable car for the trip? Would he be more willing (and maybe feel more taken-care-of as well) if you rented something with reclining bucket seats so that he could actually sleep most of the way?

        • Anon for obvious reason :

          So let him stay. Unless he wants your company. The most I would do is stay until Friday and pack a little kit that he can either use at home or in the car. (Then again, I’ve never had a relationship last half as long as yours)
          This isn’t meant in a snarky way, even though its totally unsolicited, but parenting isn’t comfortable. Just something to think about if you plan on kids.

        • Saacnmama :

          The flu I got this fall had me out of commission for several days, felling lousy for a week, and vaguely yucky for a couple weeks later. If he’s got that, there will be plenty of opportunity for pampering later on. When it was at its worst, I wanted to drive 2.5 hrs to let my mom take care of me (totally ridiculous, but 10 yr old DS had been eating frozen or canned food for a couple of days already) He might be able to drive, but even if you have to, I don’t see what he’s got to complain about. You could wait til Fri to let him get through the worst of it, then you are transporting him to family Xmas. What’s not to love?

          As a single mom, I second the impoliticly (is that a word) stated, unsolicited advice above.

    • Is your SO telling you to go or stay? If he doesn’t seem to mind you going, then you should go, guilt-free. To assuage any guilt you may feel, buy him lots of canned soup, water, and maybe some soda (I always like soda when my throad is sore). I’m not sure how long you planned to be away for, but if it is for a long time, perhaps cut your trip short or go a day later (as you mentioned).

      • Anon in ATX :

        I agre with this, if he is okay with you going without him, you should go and not feel bad about it. Although this is coming from the person who guilted her DH into going to an outdoor concert when he was ill b/c I did not want to miss the show. Let’s just say I still haven’t heard the end of it. I too grew up with the mentality that if you are not in danger of bleeding out immediately, its NBD.

      • HalfnHalf :

        He hasn’t told me to go or stay, although I think he wants me to stay with him but doesn’t want to say it because then he would sound like the “bad guy” keeping me from enjoying the holidays. We were planning on leaving tomorrow and returning on the 27th, so could potentially leave a few days later even if that means missing the party for my dad’s side of the family on Saturday. (FWIW, my parents are divorced). When SO wakes up, I’ll float the idea of me going alone and see how he responds.

    • As someone who is recovering from the flu (felt really lousy for 4 full days with low-grade fever necessitating Advil around the clock, plus severe chills and all kinds of aches), I greatly sympathize with your SO. When it first hit I crawled into bed and didn’t emerge for an entire day, then was able to do very little for the rest of the days, so I understand why the thought of a 7-hour car ride is out of the question for him right now. I would let him rest and recover (and take care of him!) and see if he feels better by the weekend. Maybe by the weekend you can go ahead and make the party on Sat and he can join you in time for Christmas, which is still almost 1 week away. Also, apparently if you can get him Tamiflu within 24-48 hours of the flu’s onset, that may help shorten the duration of his illness (I didn’t take it and now wish I had). Hope everything works out!

      • HalfnHalf :

        Sorry to hear you’ve been sick but thanks for the Tamiflu recommendation! I’ll get some and see if that works for him. Unfortunately, we only have one car and don’t live anywhere near a train station. I’ve been checking Megabus schedules to see if there’s a bus he could take later in the week, so that might be an viable option. Hope you’re fully recovered soon.

        • Tamiflu is a prescription thing. Let’s see, your SO started feeling sick last night, so if his flu goes the way mine did, by Friday he might be feeling well enough to ride with you. 3 days after I first got sick, I would have been OK (not great, but OK) in a car with plenty of TLC. Maybe if you lavish him with TLC between now and Fri, he will feel well enough to make the trip with you. Also, I didn’t go to the doctor b/c I thought I knew how to take care of myself, but I didn’t think I’d be sick as long as I have been (today is the first day I’m starting to feel somewhat normal, although I sound terrible), and now I wish I’d gone at the beginning.

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