Thursday’s TPS Report: Woven Pleated Seam Detail Sheath Dress

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

Tahari ASL smoke stretch woven pleated seam detail sheath dress Reader S wrote in to recommend this dress, noting “The vertical seams are elongating (is that a word?) and I like how the vent in the back looks like a vent but is actually a pleat (there’s fabric sewn into it so you don’t show any extra skin). The dress is surprisingly warm, and works well with jackets and cardigan sweaters.” Cute — very cute.  I like the smokey gray color, as well, and can see it working well for all the reasons S described.  It was $129, but is currently $71 at Bluefly.  Tahari ASL smoke stretch woven pleated seam detail sheath dress

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Comments

  1. I love this, gorgeous lines!

    • Yes! And smokey gray always works for me.

      Btw, I used to like the other spelling of “grey” but ever since that annoying p*rny book and psycho male character in that, I don’t want to use “grey” anymore. Maybe I need to reclaim it with different, mundane associations:

      Grey cardigans
      Grey fluffy clouds
      Greyhound puppies
      Grey bunnies, also, grey dustbunnies
      Grey gunk from my bathtub drain
      Grey ear-hair

      • I never know whether I should spell it gray or grey. I guess both are technically correct. Haven’t read the book.

        But thanks for giving me a smile on an otherwise really rough morning.

        • I always thought “gray” was the American spelling and “grey” was British (like theater/theatre, humor/humour, practice/practise, etc.)

          • This is my understanding as well.

            Funny story: in high school someone told me using grey was indicative of a gloomier outlook on life… no idea what that even meant.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I have realized I prefer British spelling almost unilaterally. There’s just no way for me to adopt it without coming off as crazy pretentious. So I only do it with particular words here and there (“grey”).

          • Diana Barry :

            Yes! I prefer British spellings as well but not the “ou” ones for whatever reason, except “glamour”, that just looks weird the other way.

          • Given all these differences http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences it’s no wonder I so often get confused about spelling (one L or two?). I’ve always read probably an equal number of British and American authors and so I can never remember what’s the “right” way to write something for American readers.

          • I was in British schools for my first few years of primary school. I still write the British spellings for things when I’m on automatic pilot, especially the ‘our’ words. I used to get so annoyed when my US teachers would use that red pencil and take points off my assignments if I used British spellings, rawr.

          • Equity's Darling :

            momentsofabsurdity- you should move to Canada, we not only offer sweet healthcare, it’s also a spelling free for all up here. Sometimes British, sometimes American, and half the time people don’t know either way, because we have lots of American media and reading material.

            We seem to agree on cheque and defence and a bunch of other words, which is good stuff, but I’ve definitely had one partner review a document and change the word to organisation, and another go and change it back to organization.

            Also, we use judgement with the e, except when discussing legal issues, where we use judgment (which I learned not during law school, but when making my first application for summary judgment, and my application was for judg”e”ment, leaving the Master unimpressed, though the application was granted).

          • @ ED – thumbs up to “spelling free-for-all”. Hilarious, and so, so true.

            PS I veer towards the British spellings myself. Long habits die hard.

          • I’m trying to transition to British spelling as I work and publish in the UK and it is so hard. I’ve got the big stuff but some of the smaller things as well as the different vocab makes it difficult.

        • I was taught that it is grAy in America and grEy in England. Works for me.

    • I love this too. Does anyone know about Tahari sizing? I’m usually a 12 but sometimes a 14 in dresses.

  2. momentsofabsurdity :

    Okay guys, update and advice. I brought Dude With No Furniture’s gift over yesterday but he didn’t have mine (which I wasn’t surprised by/didn’t expect him too – I was traveling on my birthday and he gave me my present the next time he saw me, not beforehand, so I figured Christmas would be the same). I said I knew he probably wouldn’t have my present, but I wanted to bring his over beforehand.

    He said he didn’t want to open it until he had mine, even though I don’t care – I didn’t buy him a present to get one for myself. But he made this argument about how its not actually Christmas yet, we should wait, he wants to see my reaction, he’s sure I wanted him to see his reaction, it’d be nice to open presents together, etc etc, which was fair. But he’s just gotten word from his boss that he’ll be expected to work next week, so he now can’t travel home (I’ll be traveling home for a week or so to see family, so we won’t see each other until after the New Year). He said he was going to try and go home some time in mid January instead.

    The conundrum – his present is tickets to see a comedy show in early/mid January. I wouldn’t have picked that time frame if I knew he was considering traveling but it is what it is. I know he wants to wait until Christmas/savor the anticipation/open presents together/etc. And it’s okay if he ends up traveling on the date of the show – I know the tickets are exchangeable for another show at another time. So should I say something and spoil the gift? Or keep it to myself and assume we’ll figure it out when we figure it out.

    • Sounds like he’s more into presents than he’s willing to admit–wants to see your reaction, build a little suspense by waiting til the day, etc. As a lover of surprises, I think that’s great.

      If they’re exchangeable, why spoil the surprise?

    • If there’s no problem exchanging the tickets, I think it’s fine to surprise him. Plus, it’ll make for a good joke later :)

    • If you won’t be able to exhange the tickets after a certain date or the show won’t be available, I would tell him it’s a time-sensitive gift that you want him to open now. I think as the gift-giver, it’s reasonable to request that your gift is opened when you give it as opposed to some later date. If there’s no urgency and you’ll be able to exchange them easily, then just wait.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Yeah they’re very easily exchanged – they told me when I bought them they’re exchangeable up until 24 hrs before the show and they run this show every week. So I am not at all worried that I won’t be able to exchange them, but I don’t want him to feel bad when he does open it (though I guess he’d only have himself to blame, in that case).

    • Could you just tell him that the gift is a somewhat time-sensitive nature and, while you think it’s really sweet that he’d rather open your gifts together, this particular gift may be better if he opened sooner rather than later? Sounds like he’s the kind of person who would probably feel like a jerk if he realized he messed up the gift because he wanted to wait til the “right” time to open it.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Could you just tell him you had something special planned on [date of the show], but it can be rescheduled for another time, so please let you know if you need to change it for his travel plans? That way he can schedule around it if it’s convenient to do so, and if he can’t then he’ll know when he opens the gift that it can be rescheduled. I don’t think telling him you’ve planned something spoils the surprise; you don’t have to tell him what you’ve planned or that it’s his Christmas gift.

      • I like this, but I also like the idea of just telling him that his gift is somewhat time sensitive, then letting him decide if he still wants to wait.

    • Can you open gifts together via Skype? Otherwise, tell him it’s time-sensitive and he should open it.

  3. Do summer associates who work part-time through the school year typically get bonuses? Background: mid-sized firm in the Midwest; $125k starting salary; first year bonuses were about $5k-$7k (prorated down from that for the stub year).

  4. Sydney Bristow :

    Yesterday’s financial post and discussion were helpful, if only for the fact that its clear how far behind I am. Aside from retirement accounts, can someone suggest any resources for learning how to invest in general? I’ll probably make an appointment to talk to a financial planner, but I’d like to learn myself as well. I can’t contribute to a 401k, so my understanding is that I’m limited to $10,000/year ($5 to a traditional IRA and $5 to a Roth), which will never lead to enough money for retirement. I’ll have to do investments outside of retirement accounts, so I’d like to at least learn the basics of how to do that.

    • +1 on all this–I’m behind & need to learn too. Plus my 10-yr old is very interested in investing. I’m thinking of opening a penny stock acct for him, but don’t know enough to teach him anything or come up with guidelines/rules for him.

    • Diana Barry :

      I like this book, which my dad got for me when I graduated from college:

      http://www.amazon.com/Only-Investment-Guide-Youll-Ever/dp/0156029634

      Also, for low-cost investing, I’d go with Vanguard or Schwab. Both have low fees.

    • FedTaxAtty :

      This is my investing Bible: http://secondgraderportfolio.com/

      It’s clear, concise, and sets forth an investing strategy that requires little to no upkeep, which is perfect for busy professionals.

      Also, your IRA contribution limit is $5k (or $6k if you are age 50+) TOTAL, not $10k. http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/Retirement-Topics-IRA-Contribution-Limits. You only get to $10k if you are married (your limit is $5k and your spouse’s limit is $5k, again if you are less than 50 years of age).

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oh wow, thank you! I somehow missed the part about it being the total limit. Thanks for the recommendation too!

    • Patent Pending :

      Q: are these books still relevant post-recession? I heard you should try to find investment books that have been updating since the mortgage fall out. A lot of those older ones tell you to invest in rental properties and say the expected rate of return is like 8% or something.

      • FedTaxAtty :

        “How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street” is still relevant. Case-in-point, I read it last year. It advocates a conservative portfolio consisting entirely of index funds. The balance is such that if one sector of the economy is not performing, your entire portfolio shouldn’t tank. Also, does not advocate investments du-jure (i.e., mortgage backed securities or whatever else the quants dream up).

        • Anastasia :

          I haven’t read that book (on my list), though I have heard of the 2nd grader’s portfolio that inspired it. Along those lines, I think it was a Peter Lynch book where I read, “never invest in anything you can’t draw a picture of.” Basically, an extreme version of “don’t invest in what you don’t understand.”

          I love the Motley Fool books and website. Basic investment and saving fundamentals haven’t changed much… ever, so I don’t think it’s super important to find something that has been published in the last couple of years. Suze Orman has a post-recession book, “The Money Class,” which was alright. She has good advice, but her brand annoys me a little.

  5. Goosebumpy :

    Okay. I have had ENOUGH: I am nearly thirty years old, and I’m tired of feeling a pimple “coming on” and dutifully plying it with spot treatment over the course of several days…only to have it explode into a full-on zit despite my very best efforts.

    I have a great skincare routine that usually does the trick, so I’m just looking for a recommendation as to what I can use to treat the pimples that occasionally break through. I’ve used various drugstore brands without success. Suggestions??

    • I have actually found that putting a bit of bacitracin or neosporin helps keep nascent pimples from getting worse and helps heal full-on ones a bit more quickly. After all, zits have bacteria in them so why not treat them with something anti-bacterial?

      As I got older (mid to late 30s) I found that using gentler products helped (no more Neutrogene acne soap!). Also, exfoliation – right now I use Clinique’s Even Better lotion in the morning and the Turnaround Lotion at night. The Turnaround Lotion has salicylic acid which is a gentle but (for me) effective exfoliant.

      Retin-A also is a possibility, it helps with zits and wrinkles, but I am finding that my Clinique combo is working pretty well.

    • springtime :

      The Mario B- something? pink drying lotion seems to work for me.

      • I keep meaning to pick this up — my sister swears it’s a miracle. Mario Badesceau (or something like that).

      • Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17.00 / bottle) and well worth the money- it’s exactly what I was going to recommend! It really does dry up/shrink white heads and other little eruptions without upsetting the skin’s balance.

        • CrimsonClover :

          I posted the comment above- no clue why it tagged it Anonymous!

        • I have had good results with the Mario Badescu drying lotion as well. To speed things up, I some dab on some diluted tea tree oil in the morning and then use the drying lotion at night. It works well for the cystic/homonal blemishes I get.

    • I use triple antibiotic lotion on zits and potential zits, and I think it works pretty well. Sometimes I still get full zits, but I think it makes them go away faster.

    • lucy stone :

      Benefit Boo Boo Zap! or Clinique Anti-Acne Spot Healing Gel.

    • Dabbing on tea tree oil will help too.

    • Same boat– I’ve even done accutane TWICE!
      It is incredibly frustrating… even when I find something, it seems to work for a few months & then stops. Right now I’m using 10% benzyl peroxide when I wake up & before I got bed…although I was using differin (I think it’s 5% benzol w/ an anti bacterial) before this & I think it worked even better. Also, I really like cetaphil or the aveeno acne line for face washes.

  6. WorkingMom :

    I LOVE that dress. I need it.

    Wanted to share some exciting news -I got a promotion! I will now be supervising a team! I’ve never had direct reports before. Of course I asked my VP for any company training I can use, and there is none. So I am looking into books, websites, any resources I can to get some tips/tricks to help me learn how to manage. Suggestions?

    Also, on a related note… I’m getting a fancy-schmancy new office! Complete with a window :) Very exciting. However, there is always a little “backlash” when of the of “people” becomes one of the “managers” – any advice on how to handle that socially in the office? Right now I pretty much just ignore any gossip, so I’ll just continue to do so. Curious more if you have any personal stories to share!

  7. Blonde Lawyer - calling e-p :

    Hey e-p,

    I sent you an email a couple days ago to your regular email account, not the one you post on here. I didn’t get a response which is TOTALLY fine, I know you are swamped. I just got worried that maybe that account isn’t secure and someone intercepted my email and deleted it. I know, I know, I’m paranoid. So here is the heads up it was sent. If you didn’t get it, now you know. No need to otherwise respond. I sent it 12/18.

    • e_pontellier :

      I didn’t get it. Thanks for checking. Could you resend, either to the address you have or to e.pontellier.r et te at gmail?

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Which suggests email interception and deletion, as Blonde Lawyer suspected. Wow. e_p, I am so sorry. I can only imagine how hurt and angry email interception would make me.

        • e_pontellier :

          DH doesn’t have my passwords, don’t worry. Honestly, it’s wonderful receiving emails from everyone but I’m having a hard time remembering who’s who between real names and thissite handles.

      • e_pontellier :

        OH I found it!

  8. TJ: A close friend’s mother died earlier this week. I can’t go to the funeral, but have been invited to a ceremony at the Hindu Center in Queens (NYC) in about a week. I have never been to a Hindu ceremony of any kind before and I believe that I am supposed to wear white, simple clothes and no makeup, but I am at a loss as to where I should actually buy such clothes. I am very pale and look terrible in white, so I literally have not one white item in my wardrobe. Suggestions would be very much appreciated!

  9. espresso bean :

    How do you decide how much to spend on holiday gifts? I don’t mean a dollar amount, necessarily, but just what seems appropriate for you and for each person. I always set a limit for all gifts and have an idea of how much to spend per person, but my problem is that I cannot stop. I mean, I can; I don’t mean to imply that I have a shopping addiction or anything, but I just keep finding more things that are perfect for my uncle or my sister or whoever. And I can always justify buying gifts in a way I can’t justify buying for myself. Now I’m at my budget. Tell me to stop!

    • Stop! Make a list of the things that are perfect for the recipient, and keep that list for future holidays/birthdays/graduations/etc.

    • Or share that list with those folks who can never figure out anything decent to give.

      • Please do this! We need all the help we can get! (And I speak as someone who loves her father dearly, but whose actual Christmas gifts for her father have been picked by her sister for three years running.)

    • KansasAnalyst :

      STOP! Your relatives already feel loved :) You are probably awesome at picking out the perfect gift but they won’t know that you didn’t buy them something you wanted to get them. It will be ok if they don’t get two things.

    • espresso bean :

      Ha! Thanks, ladies. That’s just what I needed. I’ll file away these ideas for future occasions.

      Thanks for the tough love! :)

      • Yes: STOP! haha.
        What I do is if I’m in a store, I take a picture of the gift and save it for later gift occasions. If I’m online, I save the links in a list called “Gifts”. One present at a time is plenty! ;o)

      • This year I let my type-A tendencies run wild and made a giant spreadsheet for gifts. The columns left to right are:

        -Status (Done, Partially Complete, Not Started)
        -Name
        -Budget
        -Gift Description
        -Total Spent
        -Ideas (either to purchase for X-mas or save for later)
        -Links to Products

        Then I set it to sum the budget and total spent columns, so I could see how much I’ve spent so far and what’s left to cover the rest of the presents. Seeing the total spent column grow really quickly was a good wake-up call. And it helps knowing I have all these potential ideas saved for future gift giving occasions :)

  10. Greensleeves :

    Love it and one is now on the way to me!

  11. I just got back from the doc. I have an enlarged thyroid. They’re testing for other stuff, but starting me on T4 now. I’m hoping that this explains why I’ve been so tired and haven’t gotten anything done. It’s a huge relief to know that there may be an explanation and something we can do about it.

    • Sorry to hear about the thyroid, but glad you’re getting more info on why you’re feeling so tired. Good luck and keep us posted.

      I’ll use my usual *hugs* and *tea & sympathy*. (Not sure how wine & cookies will interact with T4, ditto on the tea, for that matter…)

    • Yay for some answers! I hope the treatment gives you some relief, and that nothing else is wrong. When I was diagnosed with hypothyroid (after complaining about extreme fatigue), I was so surprised at how many things I thought were “normal” for me (including being tired all the time!) were actually symptoms. The treatment hasn’t changed my life, but it’s definitely reset my “normal,” which is amazing. Good luck!

    • ’tis the season, I’m getting my thyroid checked out today too!

      Going through the symptoms with Dr. Google, it’s amazing what I’ve come to accept as “normal”. I hope your treatment goes well!

      • How bout the Zombie Craft valanced @ think geek? I don’t usually like Zombies, but I got it for my niece.
        But I just saw your price limit. Guess my idea would just be a part.
        I know you said Amazon Prime, but the fairy bowers at Hearthsong are really cool

      • Yep, I had a thyroid ultrasound this morning because mine is enlarged. (I have hyperthyroidism.)

  12. procrastinator :

    Today’s the last day for Amazon Prime shipping to arrive in time for Christmas. What to get a 9 year old girl (my (half)sister)? Her reading skills are still developing slowly, and I think she likes math and arts and crafts. I’d like to get something like a book (I don’t think she’s at chapter books yet) or an arts & crafts kit or a science kit or something. Suggestions???

  13. Diana Barry :

    Ladies, I bought this top:

    http://www.theory.com/silk-blouse/C0802508,default,pd.html?dwvar_C0802508_color=M00&start=12&cgid=sale-womens-shop-all

    on the theory sale. I had a gift card, so spent $75 (my max on tops) rather than the sticker. It is very nice! Has bits of yellow and blue through the print but mostly reads black and white. Fit is slim through b**b area but quite loose on the waist (for me). I got a M, usually wear a size 8 or 10 in theory.

  14. Last week, I was working with my junior person on a project. I’ll call my junior person “Waylon Smithers.” Waylon made a mistake that falls under the “attention to detail” type lapse. It happened during a really stressful day, but I was supportive about it rather than harsh and pointed out strategies to avoid those types of errors.

    And I am so glad I wasn’t harsh, because…
    Flash forward to yesterday, when I realize that in my Christmas planning, I screwed up a bit. I’m hosting this year, and will have my family and DH’s family over. DH and I are doing the bulk of the cooking, but we’ve asked each family to bring a few items. I was going through my email and realized that I mistakenly told my mother-in-law and father-in-law to bring the same thing that I told my parents to bring. We really don’t need that many green beans!! It was straightened out, with good humor (and me being called senile by my chuckling parents). Thankfully, nobody had bought anything yet or cooked anything yet.

    But yeah, attention to detail, with the caveat that nobody’s perfect. I think if I’d been harsh to Waylon, I’d feel like an awful hypocrite.

    • oh my God, you’re human!!!!! This incident shall henceforth be known as the Green Bean Scandal.

      • *giggle* Yup. Outed as a human (always). Also, a hypocrite (sometimes), but at least, not last week when dealing with Waylon. Christmas preparations make me crazy (1x/year thankfully).

        • Love the Great Green Bean Scandal! We will remind you of it regularly. Hee hee.

          I just threatened to cancel everything for Christmas. I’m just tired of pushing to try to do everything. $2200 in dental work in the past month doesn’t help my mood either. I just want to cancel it all and stay home and stop worrying about cooking and shopping. I have a hair appointment and realized that I didn’t buy either my stylist or her assistant gifts as I always have. And no time to do anything about it. I’ll just apologize profusely, I guess.

          • Nola, can you order food for dinner from a restaurant you like? I’ve done that before for Thanksgiving and Christmas and am doing it again for Christmas dinner this year because I just don’t have the time to deal this year. Not only is the food delicious, it’s awesome not having to scrub pots and pans after spending all day (or several days) cooking.

          • I don’t think that would be possible. I’m doing brunch so it’s all make ahead. I’ll be fne. Just having one of those mornings.

    • Yay! I love when supervisors are reminded they are human. I’ve had supervisors who call me out for “attention to detail” type mistakes all.the.time who are actually quite sloppy in their own written work and it drives me a little mad (though I realize this is the COB of being a junior employee).

      • little advice :

        sigh. ditto.

        • SoCalAtty :

          Second that ditto. I get brained for any typo (the last one, in a 15 page motion, I had 1 location with an “its” instead of “his” and the comment in red was “REALLY??!! That was the only mistake in all 15 pages and that was my first draft”) but I find them all. the. time. in said corrector’s work. Super frustrating.

          • This. Once, a partner was like, there are 3 spaces between these two words. You should have caught that.

            In my head: It was either that or the major citation flaws in the rest of the 15 page brief you gave me 70 minutes to citecheck/line proof. * shakes head *

          • Clobbering over a typo is so overrated. ;-) I say this not because I’m a great manager, but because I don’t want to be a sh!tty one, plus I think it ultimately gets in the way of results.

            I think I’ll get better results if I don’t demoralize my junior person. It’s already all too easy to be demoralized as a junior person– we hire these smart kids, who’ve been told all their lives (mostly spent in school) that they should focus on the analysis, and the high-level stuff.

            And then they land in a corporate work-place where some of these conceptual, analytical, and other skills are utilized only half the time (maybe less), while lots of menial, bureaucratic, but necessary tasks are dumped on them. I could easily see being clobbered over a typo as being the “last straw.”

    • Not sure if I understand the analogy. For some kinds of work, the consequences of a typo may well be significantly more material than too many green beans at Christmas dinner.

  15. So I have a weird question – does anyone have tips for wearing socks/tights with boots? I find that by the time I get my foot into the boot, it pulls my socks so tight that my toes feel pinched all day. I’ve tried fiddling with the toes, but that doesn’t seem to do the trick. Anyone have a magical way of getting boots and socks on in a comfy way?

    • Hmmm. I usually just bunch my socks a little up at the toes before putting on my boots (if they are tight), then if it still pulls, I take them off, bunch more up, and try again. I’ll be interested to hear if someone has a better solution!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I’m usually pretty obsessive about my socks being tight in my shoes…I pull up my socks before putting shoes on, and will take my shoes off to pull up my socks or tights. I must be a weirdo though, because your concern makes more sense than mine…

    • What kind of socks are you wearing? I put on really thin dress socks over my tights and it works.

      • So I’ve tried all kinds of socks — trouser, woolier (is that a word?), thick, thin, etc. My middle toes are longer than my big toe & it always feels like they’re getting pulled under & I am at a complete loss as to how to make it work. (& it’s getting cold in SF where I need to wear them stupid socks).

    • SF Bay Atty :

      Not weird! That happens to me, too. Nordstrom suggests that you use a thin plastic bag to help you slip your foot into the boot, then you rip the bag once your foot is in. This works. However, bags now cost 10 cents at stores in many cities in the bay area, so I had to find another way.

      I found that the fabric of the sock matters. I used to wear athletic socks in my zip up boots, but they don’t work for pull-on boots. A sock with a slightly slippery texture works well. I got some Teko Ultralight Mini Crew socks from REI (no longer available; they were on clearance), and was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t stick to the sides of my boots as I slid my feet in. I’m going to need to find more socks like that.

      • SF Bay — If you find some magical socks, please post!! (I am a convert to your Jockey Skimmies & Shimera tanks). I am so desperate, I may just try the plastic bag method (.10/per wear could be worth it at this point).

        • SF Bay Atty :

          I think I must be using the same handle as someone else–I rarely post now. You could use produce bags, which are “free”, but that still wastes plastic.

          Maybe posting the content of the socks will help you in your search. This is from the Teko Socks website. Content: 57% tekoMERINO Organic Wool, 27% EVAPOR8 Recycled Polyester, 14% Nylon, 2% Lycra

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I have a fraternal twin! Hello, SF Bay Atty!

    • Mountain Girl :

      Am I supposed to wear socks AND tights with my boots?

  16. SoCal Gator :

    Since J Cr*w has a 30% off sale, I am thinking about buying a suit. Which do you all prefer– the Super 120 or the Stretch wool? I live in SoCal so don’t want something too heavy but I like the idea of some stretch so I am leaning towards the Stretch Wool.

  17. Anyone ever have a positive pregnancy test, and then the next morning a negative test, and still been pregnant? The first one was digital and the second one just regular if that makes a difference. Trying to concentrate on a huge brief due tomorrow, but this is driving me crazy!

    • I had the opposite happen – I got a positive result on a “pink lines” test and then a negative result on a digital the next morning. Different tests have different sensitivities, so it might take a day or two to get consistent results. I’d go buy some First Response Early Result tests today — they are very, very sensitive — and take one tonight and another tomorrow morning. (Or take one at lunch if you have no patience like me…) Good luck!

      • Hmm…that is the brand I used this morning so it seems like the one last night was a fluke.

      • If you can, consider waiting until the morning to retake the test. The tests are supposed to be more accurate in the morning (something about higher concentration in your p** after the night of sleeping?), or I guess the tests have more to work with in the morning.

  18. 30somethings :

    I’m wondering if anyone else has this problem. My husband and I are early/mid-thirties. No children (yet — we’re working on it). We’re finding our social life to be lacking. In our 20s, we were either in school (lots of friends! and we all lived together!) or in workplaces where there were lots of other 20somethings and it was easy to just head out after work for a drink, or make weekend plans on the fly. Now he’s self-employed and works alone or in an office with a 58 yo woman and her 23 yo nephew. I work in a larger office but with few people in my age group (almost all in early 20s or 40+). We have plenty of friends from school and our other jobs, but those people all either have babies (and therefore scheduling any kind of get-together requires tons of planning and the expense of babysitters), have moved away to other cities, or are nearby but without regular informal contact (e.g., sitting in offices down the hall from each other) it just requires a lot of extra effort to keep in contact and make plans (and we often feel like we’re the ones reaching out). We’ve heard that once you have kids, you’re thrown into this whole kid-world where suddenly you’re friends with the other parents from your childbirth class (hey, our babies are all exactly the same age!) and then the other parents in your kid’s school (hey, we’re all exhausted from baking cupcakes for this %&#*!& bake sale for our kids’ class trip!). But we seem to be in this dark period and, frankly, we’re lonely. We have each other and that’s great, but too many weekends seem to go by with us just hanging out with each other. For some people, that would be fine, but my husband and I are both extremely social people and our favorite thing in the world is a big happy hour or house party with friends. We even just would like to feel like we’re part of some kind of a community. If we were religious, we’d join a church, but we’re both struggling with our faith and feeling deeply agnostic, and neither feels right going to church. We take a boxing class a few nights a week, but no one there seems interested in making friends. Add to that the fact that it feels a little pathetic to say “I want more friends,” but I feel like there are a lot of people these days who feel disconnected. Any thoughts?

    • goldribbons :

      Ditto! Interested to hear what other people say.

    • My solution for this is always joining something — as you mentioned, a church would have been my first suggestion. What about a professional organization? A local bar association if one of you is an attorney, or even a group like Rotary or the United Way? Or is there some other hobby you have that you can join a group for? E.g., a community choir or knitting circle? If there are causes that matter to you, maybe try volunteering? Join the local political party group, if that interests you? The important thing is to find something you enjoy– then you will meet other people who also enjoy it!

      • I just joined Junior League, which is big where I live. There are women of all ages in my provisional class (the newbies). In my small group in particular there are a few women in their 30′s without children. It’s not for everyone, but might be worth checking out!

    • kerrycontrary :

      Are there any intramural sports teams in your city/town? Try using Meetup to find people with similar interests. You can find book clubs, cooking classes, etc… I did a kickball group and everyone was interested in making friends.

    • College alumni events in your area? Book clubs (even if same-sex, you could each go and double your chance of meeting people)? Athletic stuff like running groups sponsored by a local shoe store, or something sponsored by your local park district? Political organizations?

    • Speaking as someone who deliberately made a bunch of new friends this year… I get that it feels pathetic to be like, “I want more friends!” But everybody thinks it when they hit that stage where everybody’s getting married and having kids. Even my married/kid-having friends are interested in making new friends; they just don’t have the kind of time I do to dedicate to it. So I’m pretty vocal about telling people I’m in the market to make new friends and meet new people. It works. When my friends make plans, they keep me in mind. I say yes to just about everything and have met a lot of new people through my existing network. I also joke about being a friend-stealer. If I meet one of your friends and like her, I’ll get her contact info, suggest that we get lunch/drinks sometime, and then follow up. Some people take me up on it, some don’t. And it’s a lot like dating… not everybody you like will like you and vice versa. I think you also have to be deliberate/purposeful about it. Transitioning from “we’re in book club together” to “we’re in book club and we socialize / get drinks / get dinner on the weekends” doesn’t just happen at this point in life without some planning and follow up.

      Other people have made some good suggestions about how to get yourself in the presence of new people. I’d also suggest going through your Facebook contacts and looking at who’s in your city, even if they’re one of those people from high school you haven’t seen in 10+ years. Shoot them a message and say it’d be great to catch up – do they want to get lunch/drinks/etc. The worst they can do is turn you down. If they think you’re a weirdo for it, who cares? You haven’t seen them in 10 years anyway. (And yes, I’ve done this, and it’s been pretty successful for me.)

      And finally, have you been to a [the site name that shall not be spoken] meet-up in your city? That’s a great starting point.

      • DC Kolchitongi :

        I love everything about this comment. That is a great way to approach things. Thanks!

      • Totally–I had a “friend” from college who just moved to my city–we were in some activities together but never hung out one on one or anything, but we were on Facebook and she looked me up, and now we’ve hung out several times. We’re not besties or anything, but she’s definitely someone on my list of fun people to do something with, now!

    • And I’ll chime in again to say that I don’t think the issue is meeting new people. In theory, everybody knows how to get in the same room as people they don’t know: take a class, join a book club, volunteer, etc. The issue is what happens once you get in that room. You have to take the lead, put yourself out there, and ask someone who 100% might turn you down whether they want to grab drinks. If that person says no, then you have to keep asking until someone says yes. You can’t put the onus of taking the lead on other people because plenty of them are just as scared of getting rejected as you are, and you’ll just maintain the no-new-friend status quo that way.

      I’m curious why you think nobody in your boxing class is interested in meeting new people?

      • big dipper :

        I second this. This is what has always stood in my way of making friends once I was out of school. But making friends is kind of like dating. Once I started “making the first move” I was far more successful!

      • Seconded. I’ve asked several women to get lunch with me or go do something with me this year and all have said yes— people want to do things! They just don’t want to be the one to ask! If you put yourself out there and go out on a ledge, things will happen.

      • Midwest Transplant :

        I’m terrible about taking the initiative about scheduling something, even sometimes with established friends. However, whenever someone suggests getting drinks, or seeing a movie, etc, I’m eager to participate. My friends probably feel like they reaching out all the time too. Noted.

    • Very similar situation for me – can definitely commiserate. All my great friends are from my law school days, and although we keep in touch, we all live in different cities scattered across the country. I like many of the people I work with and could see us developing friendships, but being in a big law firm, most people want to get in, get their work done, and leave, so there is not much chit chat or socializing b/c that is seen as wasting otherwise billable time. Do you have family in the area? We have filled the void a bit by spending more time with my sisters and our parents. Btw, we now have a 20 month old son, and so far that hasn’t made it any better. He is not school-aged yet, so we have not met other parents through school (where do you meet other parents when your kids aren’t in school or day care?). Also, our schedules are much more limited now, so it is way harder to make plans with any childless friends of ours (dinner at 5:30 anyone?). Add to that being super busy working FT and wanting to spend as much time as possible with our son when we’re not working, and any hobbies/activities we may have otherwise pursued have disappeared. For now, we’re just biding our time until our son goes to pre-school, and hoping we’ll meet some friends then.

      • Yeah, I have to agree that kids aren’t an automatic friend-maker. We have a two year old and even though he’s in daycare, we really haven’t connected with the other parents. We’ve come to realize that your friend circle naturally shrinks as you age. We sometimes miss those years of school based or early 20s friendships where everyone had similar schedules/interests/commitments.

        • Actually, I’ve wondered about this, since I don’t have kids.

          Doesn’t having kids mean that you’re guaranteed to have to pretend to be friends with/or at least surface-friendly with some parents you just don’t like merely because your kids are friends?

          I could see doing that for the sake of my (hypothetical) kid(s), but gaah, at times, it’d be grating. I do enough enforced socialization with people I don’t truly like because of work events, it’d truly suck to have to do that outside of work, too, just so I don’t cause my kid to get freezed out socially.

      • Though as a single childless person, I am a lot more happy to bend around my friends-with-kids schedules than I think they realize. I’d be happy to come over at 4pm on a Sunday, afternoon, help cook/play with the kids, and eat dinner at 5:30pm – it is not cramping my style or anything – I promise!

    • Maybe hold an open house and invite everyone you know (specify kids included if they can come) and see who comes? If you make it low commitment like just a dessert reception, then I bet lots will try to drop by if they can. You can use that opportunity to connect.

      What about intentionally asking a group who might want to go to an upcoming concert/show? If you lead the group in setting the date and getting tickets, I bet you’ll have interest. The same thing might work for a girls weekend/guys weekend or a short couples trip somewhere.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      You really need to do the same thing I tell my friends who are single: Do things you love (or find things to do that you love) and the people you’ll love will find you.

      Basically, you need more hobbies and activities outside your home and to do things that nurture those hobbies. If you like exercising, join a runner’s group. If you have any interest in cooking, take a cooking class. If you just like hanging out, use meetup.com to find others in your area who like to hang out.

      I like seeing live music, and joined a forum online for people to discuss music. And I organized a few meetups of those on the forum. 10 years later, I have double the number of friends I did before and many of those relationships have been amazing. Last fall, I performed the wedding ceremony for someone I met on the forum.

      Making new friends does involve you really “putting yourself out there.” Which means that you are also risking rejection, the same way you do dating. But I would submit that you will both be happier long-term if you make this effort.

      Good luck!

    • SF Bay Atty :

      Start CrossFit! It’s really hard for me to make new friends without putting on pounds from lunch/brunch/dinner dates. I’m now actively trying to spend more time with people who like to exercise as a social activity (not just CrossFitters).

    • Thanks for writing this, I definitely feel this way sometimes. I’m a little younger than you, but similar situation. Most of my college friends are married with babies and live far away, we haven’t lived in this area very long, husband works at home, etc. We have slowly been building up a group of friends but it seems like it does take forever. I often wonder if this is not just a 30 something problem, but a problem for everyone in this country- or maybe just everyone everywhere. So many people seem to have complaints that boil down to the fact that they don’t have community, whether because of moving for schools/jobs/long commutes/moving away from family, etc. I have often wished i was religious so that I could join in a ready-made community. I’m envious of people who have siblings and cousins close in age that are at similar stages in their lives and live in close geographic proximity. I don’t know what to tell you except that child-free adults exist out there and we want to meet you! Maybe try inviting everyone you know to a casual party at your house? I feel like I become more intimate with people that way (as opposed to hanging out in bars). Good luck! Keep us posted if anything changes. :)

    • I’m 30, married, no kids. I still live in the area where I grew up, most of my high school friends are also married with no kids, but are not here any longer but we get together when they come to visit their parents. Most of my attorney friends from law school and that I met in private practice have young children so I don’t see them much. But I now work in house at a large corporation so have been meeting a lot of people both in legal and in other functions I see outside work. My husband works in a small CPA firm, most of his colleagues are younger and unmarried, he doesn’t feel like he has much in common with them but has met many people through Toastmasters. Our church demographics are slightly older, and the church is affiliated with a school so most people there have kids. My husband and I are both pursuing online degrees so spend most evenings at home doing our studies.

    • I read MWF Seeking BFF which is the story of a woman who embarks on a plan to “friend-date” making one new friend per week in search of potential BFFs in her new(ish) city.

      The advice was similar to Herbie’s above: don’t be afraid to take the first step and advertise that you’re in the market for friends. People hesistate to do these things for fear of looking like someone “with no friends”, but are often willing to reciprocate if you make the first move.

      • I second this book, it was both gratifying to learn that there were others in the same situation as me and it’s really well written.

        I just need to remember to say yes to things more often. Easier said than done but maybe if I remind myself, I’ll do it?

    • 30somethings :

      Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions! We’ve done several of these things (we entertain a LOT and definitely get plenty of guests — but parties are expensive), and some we just don’t have time for (which I’m sure is part of the problem — we work 60+ hrs/wk and live in DC where everyone works 60+ hr/wks; after work, commute, gym, more work, errands, work, couple time, it’s hard to find time for clubs or certainly for anything as involved as Junior League). And we’re both lawyers and go to lots of bar events, but lawyers are the most socially awkward people on earth. Another issue is that a lot of group activities tend to draw more women than men. I already have many, many more friends than my husband and he often gets tired of hanging out with my friends and their husbands all the time. Does anyone know of any good groups/activities that tend to attract men? He often says he wishes there were a [this site] for men.

      • Does he like sports? DC is a city of transplants, so I’d suggest either a rec sport (softball, kickball, etc. – especially in the summer, these are huge and very social) or finding the local game watch for his team (college or Pro).

      • I’m also a 30something lawyer in DC with a group of friends that is pretty big on happy hours, casual dinners at people’s homes, outings like ice-skating, etc. Email me at nofrosting at gmail if you’re interested in an invite out. Always fun to meet new people.

      • anon for sports... :

        …because it would completely out me if anyone who knows me reads this, but for your husband: DC has a huge club-level men’s hockey scene (some women play, but they are a tiny minority). I’m so thankful that DH and I have met a great group of friends through his teams, one of which has a core group that’s stuck together for years and is practically a second family at this point. Most of the rinks in the area have house leagues, and he could also check out Hockey North America.

        Many of the leagues will put together newbie teams in the lowest-level league every season and give them a couple fundamentals and skating clinics, so no prior experience or athletic ability is necessary (plus it instantly introduces you to a group of people who also don’t know anyone in the sport). It’s kind of an expensive hobby, and therefore attracts a significant number of lawyers and other professionals, which also makes it great for networking.

        • 30somethings :

          No, my husband is (I hope he’ll forgive me for saying this) one of the least athletic people I know. He wants to be more in shape and enjoys the boxing class, but I think a sports league would be intimidating for him. He’s more of a policy wonk/history buff/computer guy type. (As in, the boy who spent summers holed up in his room with books and not out playing ball or riding bikes in the street.)

          • As I mentioned above, my husband really enjoys Toastmasters. Different groups have slightly different vibes – my husband belongs to two, one that he says is mainly professionals, the other is more varied. No hand-eye coordination required!

      • Posting late but just to say that hospitality at home doesn’t have to be large-scale, expensive or so complicated that it isn’t compatible with a demanding job, and that it can be a good way to reach out and create your own community.

        For years, Saturday night is our night for my husband and I to have friends and family pop round to share a couple of bottles of wine and whatever we may be having for dinner. I enjoy cooking so it’s usually a home-cooked meal but there have definitely been times when it’s been take-out because I’ve been working all day or someone’s travel schedule has snarled up.

        The important thing is that it is a standing date, so both of us are ready for it and are comfortable issuing spontaneous invitations without checking in. We often end up with a very mixed group – yes, we have friends who come specifically to see us and catch up, but we may also have a client who’s in town over the weekend, an interesting professional contact, a gym buddy, a sibling who’s popping in to eat and run, and so on.

    • If you are of liberal sensibilities, try a Unitarian church. Many like-minded people who are very socially engaged but not committed to any specific dogma, including the actual existence of god.

    • saacnmama :

      Parents remember and long for social lives! DS (10 yrs old) and I just got back from dinner at a classy tapas bar. There were grown ups sipping drinks! Cloth napkins! I had a conversation with a stranger! We don’t do that often. Even though he behaved well and got smiles from other guests, I know it is not a space for kids, and not everyone welcomes them there.

      I didn’t ask anyone to come with us, because it was very last minute–sometimes one of us just isn’t up to it, sometimes (like tonight), we have to walk to a nearby park to let him get his wiggles out first. If you go out with a family, you have to be ready for that sort of thing. I haven’t figured out how to get 2-parent families to come along with us, or even to come to our house. If daddy’s out of town, mom and kiddo might want to get together. Don’t know if that’d work for the 2 of you, since there are two of you, but you could try asking your friends to let you know if there’s an evening when it looks like things would go well on an evening out, even if that means just a little warning.

      Or if you have a great backyard or deck, you could invite them over. I think lots of times parents are worried that their little kids’ behavior will be a big turn off to people who don’t have kids, so if food is spit out (maybe into parent’s hand) or dumped on the floor or little one toddles into the tulips, you just have to deal with it. We are torn between being embarrassed at the actions of our offspring and defensive, even incredulous that you would take offense. (And if our big kid tries any of that, there will be a discipline scene–probably also uncomfortable for us all)

      You could also find other places to go or ways to have fun together–skating, doing a workout on the playground equipment, a picnic in the park, (slowly) walking a (short) trail, going for a ride on a ferry & back, playing frisbee golf. Would that count for you as socializing?

      I guess what I’m saying is that we don’t forget about socializing once we become parents (well, maybe for a little while). We can’t get out to do the things we used to do, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to get together. We are constrained by pragmatic reality and by our worries because we know what we thought about kids before having them. If you want to get together with your parent friends, you have to supply the flexibility, as unfair as that seems, in terms of changes of plans, ability to turn a blind eye, and venue/activity. We know that’s pathetic and try to laugh at ourselves, but many of us would love the chance to feel like we’re still young and hip, at least in the eyes of one forgiving friend.

  19. Ladies, I need some help. My lips are really dry and flaky and it’s driving me crazy. Wearing my usual lipstick is only making it more apparent. Anyone have any recommendations for lip products or other tricks to help my lips go back to normal?

    • This happened to me last winter. I swore off lipstick and just used Burt’s Bees lip balm for a few weeks. Sometimes, I’d put on a bit of lip gloss if I was going out for the night, but not much more than that. And then my lips recovered. YMMV.

      • You can also get the tinted Burt’s Bees, which looks like you have just a hint of color. The color wears off pretty quickly (since it’s just lip balm), but your lips could probably use repeated applications anyway.

    • kerrycontrary :

      Use a lip scrub to get all of the dead skin off. I just purchased a sugar scrub from Lush that I like, but you can just try mixing sugar/olive oil and rubbing your lips together. Then put on a good lip balm or just straight Vaseline.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I love the Sugar line of lip treatment to from Fresh. They really moisturizer your lips.

    • Miz Bizcuit :

      I have that problem frequently. It’s usually a combo of an irritating lip product and licking my lips absentmindedly.

      To get rid of lip flakies, I swear by applying Nivea “A Kiss of Rejuvenation” at night. For prevention, I use “A Kiss of Moisture,” alone or under lipstick. And avoid any product with mint, camphor, or pineapple.

    • I have problems with this too. I use a sugar scrub (usually make it myself with sugar and honey, but they’re available in the stores as well), and then follow up with Murad Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector. I really like Fresh Sugar lip products as well for throughout the day use.

      I also find that when I don’t drink my regular 64 oz of water a day, it gets worse, but YMMV.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      Aquaphor. Also, I second the recommendation to exfoliate. I put on Aquaphor and then put a warm washcloth on my lips for a couple minutes, and then rub off the Aquaphor. The flakes will get rubbed off as well.

      If you have hayfever, avoid products containing beeswax, as they can cause a mild reaction and redness.

    • CrimsonClover :

      I’d also strongly suggest Carmex. I’ve used DOZENS of lip products over the years and often found that certain ingredients/brands irritated my lips further than just being dry and flaky the more I used them, but I’ve used Carmex (in a chapstick-like tube during the day and from a tube-tube at night) for the past 3 years and have NEVER had a recurrence of irritation/dryness during that time. There’s something about the texture that really makes the product stay, not stray, and it works extremely well with more lipsticks/glosses (long-wear products being the exception, though I’d stay away from them entirely if your lips are already dry/irritated). It also comes in different scents/flavors (vanilla or lime) if you’re not a fan of the slightly sweet taste the original has.

  20. pregnant anon :

    I went back and re-read Kat’s post about when to tell your firm you’re expecting… but I feel like that doesn’t apply in my firm. Here’s why: it’s tiny. Waiting “as long as possible” seems like a bad idea for this reason. I feel like I just want to tell the few partners, the single other associate and the handful of support staff right after I pass the first trimester mark and act like it was to be expected at some point (I’m in my third year at the firm, so it’s not like I just got hired). I will get the same amount of work I always do – I am not worried about that. Anything I might be missing? I admit I am probably seeking some validation for this stance, but I also would like to hear from any other ‘r e t t e s that navigated these waters within a small firm. Thanks in advance!

    • Not a parent, but I always got the impression from reading these types of threads that there was also a heavy dose of the “know your firm and your manager(s)” caveat to the advice. So your decision may be just right for you and your situation.

      Back when I was working in investment banking, I would have echoed Kat’s advice to the letter (wait as long as possible), because it was a huge, impersonal, tough place with a lot of people jostling for any advantage over you (forced curve ranking at the end of the year, too), so lots of land-grabs, project-grabs happening. Biglaw sounds similar, too, but that’s not your situation.

    • Diana Barry :

      Not a problem – I told @13 weeks.

    • not pregnant anon :

      I anticipate having an almost identical situation eventually – I work in an office with an identical makeup. Any advice on how to tell? Do I tell the main partner first and then let the other partners know? There are only 4 partners so this wouldn’t be a huge amount of work to tell them individually but it will be a e awkward. And we have an office in another state where I work with some partners – do I call? Email? Hope the info makes it through the grapevine?

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I think this will be fine. I work in a slightly larger place, but generally, I manage and work my own cases. I told my two supervisors first, then brought in a “treat” and sent out an email to everyone announcing the joyous news.

      I just recommend being 100% prepared with a plan for how you want to deal with everything before you tell a soul.

    • Not at a firm, but a small legal group within a small(ish) government office.

      I told my boss very early, at about 8 weeks. I am high-risk, so I had a few extra appointments, plus I was going to physical therapy for an unrelated issue. Having worked at a firm, I was worried about rumors starting when I was out of the office. Telling this early isn’t for everyone, and my usual advice would always be to wait. However, in my situation, it worked. He kept it quiet, and when we were at a conference and I would take naps at lunch and skipped out on the social aspects, he already knew. It helped that my group has a reputation for being kid-friendly and my boss has two small children and a professional wife. So my point is that when to tell is a know your office thing. I’m glad I told early, but in other offices there is NO WAY I would have told even at 12 weeks.

      Once I was ready to announce my pregnancy, I told the rest of my small group and news filtered out from there.

    • pregnant anon :

      Thanks for the advice, all. I plan to tell perhaps right after the new year. I am not sure how I am going to share the news, but I think that I ought to do it as early as practical so I don’t ruffle any feathers. I already have a plan for what needs to be covered (amount of time off of work, when to return and at what pace, etc.) but I think that conversation is going to be difficult since I will be the first female associate to be pregnant in firm history…

      • lucy stone :

        My bff went through this and I would encourage you to try and get everything in writing if you can. She was made some promises that didn’t happen with her first maternity leave.

        • pregnant anon :

          I think this is a good idea, so I will try to make sure that whatever agreement is memorialized, at least via email, so that I have something written down. This is really the only part that I am nervous about.

    • Personally, I never understood the wait as long as possible rationale. I definitely understand waiting until after the first trimester, but beyond that, what do you gain waiting an extra 2 or 3 weeks to tell? How much can change in the interim if you tell at week 13 rather than week 15? Plus, I would rather tell and get it out in the open than have people speculating about a belly that is getting harder to hide and making up excuses for going to doctor appointments.

      Regarding having the conversation, be careful what you promise. You don’t know how you will feel through the end of your pregnancy, whether there may be any complications, etc. I unexpectedly ended up on bed rest for the last 7 weeks of my pregnancy despite an otherwise totally healthy and fit pregnancy. Also, I would advise not promising to return from maternity leave early, or committing to come back full time, or anything else. I would encourage you to wait to see how you feel after the baby arrives. Unexpected things happen – c-sections, baby in NICU, colicky baby, etc. – and it is usually helpful to leave some room for yourself to deal with the unexpected.

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