Tuesday’s TPS Report: ‘Klamp Yara’ Wool Cardigan

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

Theyskens' Theory 'Klamp Yara' Wool CardiganBoring, yes, but:  sometimes you just need a nice black wool cardigan, and this one is 40% off at Nordstrom.  There are actually a ton of great deals going on at Nordstrom right now — on Theory, Boss, Classiques Entier, and Kate Spade jewelry (and, oh yes, some colors of The Skirt are marked down from $69 down to $25-$35). This sweater, by Theyskens’ Theory, was $345, but is now marked down to $204.  Theyskens’ Theory ‘Klamp Yara’ Wool Cardigan

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Comments

  1. Love that. I got a long merino wool cardigan in September and cringed when I paid full price ($200) but it has been such a workhorse this fall and winter. Nothing wrong with boring!

    • Richmond TJ :

      Thinking about visiting Richmond this spring for a long weekend. Is this doable without a car?

      Any recommendations are appreciated!

      • mintberrycrunch :

        Richmond, VA? It is a fairly car-friendly city, but you could probably enjoy a weekend in the downtown/Shockoe Bottom area without a car! Lots of good restaurants, and you could do a canal tour, etc. There is a bus system, too, if you want to get up to the Museum District (VMFA has a great Chihuly exhibit right now!), but I’ve never taken the bus (see car-friendly comment above), so I can’t be of much help there. A taxi between the Fan/Museum District and downtown is also very affordable (less than $15)

        • Yes, Virginia, should have specified. Thanks for the input! I’m not opposed to buses/public transportation and can take the occasional taxi if necessary.

          • mintberrycrunch :

            No problem! My DH takes the bus to/from work regularly, so it’s definitely a viable option – I just don’t work in a part of the city where it makes much sense, and there’s usually plenty of parking whereever we go, and we’re lazy… etc.

            Let me know if you want suggestions for things to do/restaurants/etc. I am biased but I love Richmond and think it’s a completely underrated hidden gem :)

          • Thanks mintberrycrunch! I might have to take you up on the offer once I work out all the details. Is there a good way to get in touch?

          • I think that you could enjoy downtown or the fan without a car. I am not sure, but I would imagine that there is a bus to go between the fan and downtown. Plenty of walkable things to do downtown (Belle Isle, Brown’s Island, VA State Capitol, Shockoe Slip/Bottom) and the fan (museums, restaurants, shops in Cary Town, and Byrd Park/Dogwood Dell/Maymont). The fan is not small, so it would be some significant walking, but I think it’s doable. Taxis might be less easy in the fan than in downtown, although I’ve never noticed taxis to be plentiful in RIC in general. I totally agree that Richmond is awesome. Don’t miss Black Sheep for brunch in the VCU area. Yummm…

          • mintberrycrunch :

            It’s true that you would have to call a taxi (not usually around to hail, unless in Shockoe Bottom at night), but I’ve never had any problems with calling and getting one quickly.

            You can e-mail me at mintberry51 at google!

    • I snagged an LK Bennett cardigan from a charity shop and it’s amazing how much nicer they hold up. However, I have a AT Loft one that has been going strong for 4-5 years so it’s really the luck of the draw.

  2. 2 early pregnancy questions:

    1. How early did y’all start to show? And when did you start having to wear maternity clothes? I’m 12 weeks, and my pants are starting to get tight but still fit, but I definitely feel like I have a little pooch.

    2. I have gained more weight in the first trimester than I wanted to (about 4 pounds). I think it was probably the holidays and a few trips really, so I would have gained the weight anyway, but then I would just come home and diet and exercise extra and lose it. But that plan doesn’t really work now because I’m tired all the time and really hungry. Any tips for slowing down the weight gain or somehow losing weight safely when pregnant?

    • Diana Barry :

      1. With my first, 11 weeks. I got larger sizes in pants (2 sizes up) and wore those until 14 weeks. I told work at 13 weeks – could not hide it beyond that. With my second and third, it was more like 8 weeks.

      2. Dude, STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF. Do NOT try to restrict your eating or lose weight while pregnant!!! I found it most helpful to not weigh myself, AND to stand on the scale backward at the OB’s office and ask them not to tell me how much I weighed. Then I lost it all after the babies were born. Knowing the number would make me crazy, so I found that I was much more relaxed and took better care of myself if I wasn’t worrying about my weight.

      • Thanks, guys. I appreciate the encouragement. My ob said 0-5 pounds in the first trimester, and I was hoping to be on the lower end. I’ve also been disappointed that people (who know I’m pregnant) have been telling me I’m showing. I was really hoping to make it longer. Oh well.

    • Have you talked to your doctor about expected weight gain, and what to expect at this point and future points in the pregnancy?

    • 2) Unless your doctor directs you to lose weight, don’t diet. Just focus on eating healthy and getting moderate exercise. This isn’t the time to worry about vanity pounds. Your body likely has its own idea about how much weight it will gain. Eating for two doesn’t mean you have to double your calories (really, the baby is the size of plum, it doesn’t need that many calories). But, it’s a good idea to eat your fruits and veggies, cut down on processed junk, drink lots of water, that sort of thing. If you used to enjoy an adult beverage, you’ve likely cut that out so that’s automatic calories saved right there (my OB always joked about that added benefit).

    • PharmaGirl :

      I started to show at about 20 weeks and that was when I started wearing maternity pants. I was able to hold off on maternity tops for much longer and just wore my stretchier tops untucked with a maternity camisole underneath.

      What’s wrong with gaining 4 pounds in the first trimester? I steadily gained 1 pound per week throughout the entire pregnancy which was more than I wanted but that’s just how my body reacted. I would strongly caution against actively trying to lose weight while pregnant unless you are extremely overweight to start. Maybe you should have a chat with your OB about weight gain and what s/he feels is an acceptable range for your body.

    • EVERY WOMAN IS DIFFERENT. Seriously, that’s all I’ve learned from pregnancy. You really can’t lose the weight, you can slow it down by basically eating only really healthy foods in moderation. Also, weight gain really doesn’t have a lot to do with the initial showing, unless you gain 25 pounds in the first trimester. I actually was 2 pounds lighter on the day my belly became unhideable than I was the day I had the positive pregnancy test (thanks, morning-noon-night sickness!).

      When I was at your stage, I would bloat for a few days then not bloat for a few days. But I seriously woke up one day around 14 weeks and my stomach was irrefutably bigger and rounder and I showed and could not hide it even in a hoodie and sweats. It happened overnight for me.

      Also, it happened again last night (at 20 weeks). Shirts that fit me great on Friday now barely hit my belly button as of this morning, so this is something that’s on my mind right now, since this means I have 3 shirts I can wear to work.

      So don’t worry! It’s not noticeable to anyone else the way it is to you. Just be healthy.

      • This. And actually, in my experience, you’re going to gain the weight you’re going to gain. I remember with my 2nd pregnancy being super careful for a whole month at the end of my 2nd tri about what I ate – didn’t eat too much, ate really healthy things, etc. and it didn’t make a difference in the weight I gained that month at all. In fact I gained MORE that month (I’m sure the baby did too). So I just went with it. Especially since I tended to have annoying nausea for the majority of my pregnancies, I did my best to eat healthy and be as active as I could, but didn’t stress about the weight because I knew I could work to get it off after the baby was here. And I did.

    • What does your doctor say about how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy?

      I believe the doctor will have some ranges depending on whether you were over/normal/underweight for your height & build when you started out your pregnancy.

      • Please don’t starve your baby.

        Follow your doctor’s advice. Most doctors will not advise trying to lose weight while pregnant, even if you started out overweight.

        You’re hungry because you’re MAKING A HUMAN. It’s kind of a lot. Please be kind to yourself.

    • KansasAnalyst :

      The bella band is what I wore to get a bit more use out of my pants, but it looks silly after a while because your pants get um bunchy? Buy dresses… wrap dresses don’t necessarily have to be maternity dresses, especially in the beginning. Pants are much less forgiving. I wore a lot of scarves to hid the bump because I waited a while to tell my office that I was expecting. Just a heads up- the earlier you tell people, the longer you have to endure well meaning really annoying comments. Also, people will think that you’ve been pregnant, like forever (see Jessica Simpson). Good luck and congrats!

      Also, on the weight gaining thing- try to eat well and avoid processed foods, and eat when you are hungry. I know that it is really hard to stay away from the sugar when you are so tired, but it makes it worse. Also, walking is good for you, your weight, and your little one.

    • I’m 16 weeks, and my pants were definitely not fitting by 12 weeks. I did some belly bands, and wore dresses with some give, and bought Gap maternity pants. I also just bought some really cheap non-maternity dresses from Target that have plenty of room in the belly which I think I can wear for the next 2 months.

      I’m hungry all the time because I just can’t eat as much at meals! I just try to eat healthy stuff when I’m hungry, like fruit, yogurt, granola bars with fiber, string cheese, and almonds. The key is (1) foods that are low in calories and good for you (i.e. fruit) or (2) foods that will fill you up for at least a few hours (i.e. almonds).

  3. threadjack :

    Okay, this is sort of a controversial question, but I’ve seen how well we’ve handled this topic in the past, so here goes. Do y’all think you can be pro-life and a feminist? I’ve seen comments recently that imply that if you don’t fully support reproductive rights, then you don’t respect women.

    • Depends on how you define being a feminist.

      If you, like me, define being a feminist as saying that women should have the same (full) rights as men, then it is objectionable to me to say that the needs of the fetus should override the needs of a fully fledged (non-fetal) woman.

      The one that gets me all the time is knowing that Me Dead has more rights over my organs than Me Alive in some places. If I don’t check that box on my driver’s license and opt to not donate my organs, you can’t take organs from Dead Me to save another person’s life. But in certain places (and there is a time limit on abortions in all states, for the most part), Live Me doesn’t get a say in whether an organ (my uterus, and other organs that ultimately feed the fetus) gets to be used to benefit the fetus.

      It’s not about respecting, but about the real effect of being pro-life. Whether or not you respect women, you’re de facto saying that the woman’s health has to be set aside for a fetus. That automatically slates women as second-class citizens with lesser, curtailed rights. The type of feminist I am has a problem with that.

      • This is pretty much exactly what I planned to say, but worded so much better.

        I certainly think that if a woman feels that – for herself – abortion is never the right answer, she can believe that and still be feminist. But if she thinks every other woman in every other circumstance should make the same decision as she, and shouldn’t even have the option to make another one? I have a problem with that.

      • I think that its always a false analogy when people talk about the fetus using the organs, when you put that fetus there (most of the time)

        I’m pro-life for me personally, but do not want legislation to put that position on all other woman. to be honest, I try not to think about it that much. I think abortion is killing the fetus. I know there’s arguments about when it becomes a person, but I think that no matter when it “becomes a person” the fact is that if you did nothing, it would become a person. It requires action to stop life from happening. I think we need legalized abortions. But I feel very confused about the issue, and I do feel like I get hammered if I were to ever be pro life. So mostly I just keep my mouth shut about it.

        • Choosing to have sex is not the same as choosing to be pregnant. Birth control can fail.
          You are basically blaming the woman for having sex, because you focus on the ‘you put that fetus there’ part.

          But for the sake of the thought experiment, let’s take that fully on board, but there’s still a problem, because, you’re still forcing someone to compromise her health to save another. If you want a fully socialized world where people are forced to donate kidneys, livers, blood, then fine. But if you have any libertarian beliefs, then it’s contradictory.

          Look at this way:
          1. If a woman had a kid by choice, and this kid grew up to be someone who later needed a bone marrow transplant and the mother was the only match,

          2. There is no law that would force the woman to donate bone marrow to her kid.
          She could choose to let her kid (the one she brought into the world) die because she didn’t want to donate bone marrow.

          So, she chose to birth this kid, and raise him/her. She can, by current laws, let him, a fully fledged human being that she knows and loves, die because she doesn’t want to donate bone marrow.

          And yet, we force women to use their uterus to give a fetus life? Do you see how contradictory this is?

          • threadjack :

            Just FYI, I don’t think it’s inconsistent with libertarianism to be pro-life. Libertarians do not support murder, and if you think abortion is murder, then that is not inconsistent.

          • that is the opposite of what I mentioned though. In abortion, she has to take action to remove the uterous support from the fetus. In your example, she has to take action to give the bone marrow to her child. I think taking action to end the life, and just not taking action to extend the life are totally different concepts.

          • I believe that a person has the right to use deadly force to protect themselves from physical harm. I extend that to fetuses– they cause physical harm to a woman.

            I believe that in certain limited respects, one should have the right to take action to end a life.

            Of course, these are just my personal beliefs. But I do not whitewash– I do think abortion is taking a (potential) life. It’s just that I think it is a justifiable taking of a (potential) life.

          • Actually you only have the right to use deadly force when your life or someone else’s is threatened. So under that argument, you could only get an abortion when your life is threatened. (Which I don’t think is morally wrong)

            Or are you saying you belive in the right to deadly force no matter what the physical harm is? Ie, if someone is about to punch you, do you think you can shoot them? In that case your argument would be consistent, but there are laws against that. you can’t kill someone because they might push or shove you. Your life has to be threatened.

          • @ anon 11:20

            I say the former (deadly force acceptable only when your life is threatened):

            Giving birth has a non-trivial risk of death even in the cases of perfectly healthy mothers, so yes, I think that any time a woman gives birth, her life is threatened, and that is, by my views, grounds for an abortion.

          • But deadly force is only permissible when there is a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm. In the US, I believe the maternal death rate is .009% The deadly force/abortion analogy is just not even close Susedna.

          • @ anon 11:50am

            That’s just the death rate. There’s also serious bodily harm, although one can get fuzzy with what constitutes serious bodily harm.

        • This. I’ve had this conversation with my bf (we’re both conservatives and Republicans, but he’s a bit more conservative on some social issues than I am). I think elective abortion is wrong. Pregnancy is always a potential consequence of s3x, even the most effective forms of contraception have failure rates. I kind of look at it like being an athelete – you can have the best training and the best protective gear, but everytime you get on that field you are risking a life-altering injury. If you’re going to engage in the activity, that’s just a risk you’re going to have to take. I know it’s not fair, and I agree that biology has pretty much screwed the female gender over in that regard (though I think we need to be having more of discussion about how our society often lets men off the hook in the role they play in all this).
          All that being said, I won’t support legislation that significantly limits a woman’s right to get an abortion. While I don’t agree with it, I think it’s between a woman and her conscience. It’s up to her to make that choice. And to me that’s what feminism is about – not having a specific set of beliefs about that issue or that, but women being free to decisions that affect their lives for themselves.

          • Abortion = failure to support women :

            to this.

            Years ago, there was a campaign on the DC metro to the effect that abortion = we have failed the needs of women.

            I believe that it is a baby and that the baby has done nothing wrong and that it is wrong to kill babies who are inconvenient or unwanted. I believe that carrying a baby is a noble thing and that the bravest thing in the world to do is to give up a baby for adoption. I try to do whatever I can via donations to support organizations that take care of women in this situation so that we can all care for the weakest and neediest among us.

            I believe that abortion post-viability is always wrong. The baby can be delivered and can live. I believe that partial-birth abortion is no different than infanticide.

            That said, I believe that this is always, ultimately, a decision that is made between a woman and her conscience. I would not support changing the current legality of pre-viability abortions and believe that Bill Clinton was correct when he said that abortions should be safe, legal, and rare.

          • anon in tejas :

            but because I never want to have kids, I shouldn’t have sex? that’s something that I can’t agree with.

          • to anon in tejas:
            And that’s exactly why I say that biologically our gender got screwed.
            To me it’s all about actions and consequences. And because I don’t personally believe elective abortion is an option, pregnancy is always a (remote) possible consequence to s3x. I want to have kids some day – if it happened now, it would be far from ideal but I’d make it work.
            But I also know I’m not every woman. I’m in a relationship with a man who I know would be there for me and our child and if I had to go it alone, I have the finances and support system to make it work. I know that’s not everyone, which is why I would never impose those views on the general public.
            I actually really like the above commenter’s point about abortion meaning that we failed the needs of women. I think education and access are the most important.

        • This is me – exactly.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1000!

      • hellskitchen :

        +10000! You said it better than I could.

        I also wonder and ask this with full respect to the pro-life movement – does being pro-life also mean one is automatically opposed to things like death penalty? Or is the pro-life stance and movement focused only on birth? I ask out of genuine curiosity

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I have heard people espouse both views, but most pro-life people I know are for the death penalty (not sure if this is true for the movement as a whole) under the principle that “murderers/criminals committed a crime and are being punished by society/deserve death, while fetuses are innocent and deserve protection.”

          • There are some (not all) in the pro-life movement that get very hung up in the “innocence” distinction and it’s why some of them veer into this type of thinking:

            “By their definition, the fetus is innocent, and the fully fledged woman (who *gasp* has had s#x, is not innocent, so therefore let’s punish her by forcing her to carry the fetus to term. She’s ‘tarnished’ anyways.”

            It’s also a lot easier to project all these holy, saintly traits onto something not fully formed yet, and much harder to accept a fully grown adult (here, a woman), with all the flaws and good points mixed up.

          • Okay, I’m sorry, but when you’re characterizing another side’s views, at least do it fairly. It’s not about punishing a not-innocent woman. It’s about thinking a fetus is a life and that snuffing out that life is murder.

          • Anon1, I said “some” pro-lifers. And yes, that is part of the rhetoric of *some* pro-lifers– they bring out the sl*tshaming nonsense, and they quite openly talk about punishing women for having s#x. Don’t whitewash.

          • A fetus may be a life and an abortion may be the equivalent of killing a child. But, as a woman, I get to decide what to do with the baby. No one else. And any “libertarian” who thinks differently is not a libertarian. I give Dr. Paul a pass because, well, he is baby doctor so his thinking is clouded by emotion.

        • I’m pro-life and anti-death penalty. This is the Catholic Church’s position as well.

          • Catholic anon :

            Not true. The CCC allows for the administration of the death penalty if there is no other way to preserve the safety of innocent human lives (Part 3, Section 2, 2267). In the US, the USCCB advocates against the dealth penalty, presumably because America has a robust prison system that can generally be expected to keep prisoners at bay. My understanding is that in countries where there may not be prisons that can be expected to keep the population safe, that the church would not necessarily object to the death penalty there. Anyway, just FYI, the official position of the Catholic Church is not anti-death penalty, despite Catholic leaders advocating for its restraint.

          • Sorry, it was rather simplistic of me to state that as such. I’m in the US, and thus was speaking about my opinion as it relates to US policy. Of course, the Church’s stance is different for other countries. I apologize for any confusion. Really, that was simple minded of me to limit the debate to one government!

          • Catholic anon :

            Well, it’s not only an issue of governments… it’s in the Catechism. Granted, the Catechism also says that the dealth penalty should be exceptionally rare, but it does not outright forbid it. The Catechism is the official doctrine of the global Catholic Church, so officially the Church as an institution does not prohibit the death penalty. It says that the discretion may be left up to the state, and presumably Catholic leaders in various countries can choose to advocate for its abolition more strongly based on their countries’ situations. You’re right in that the USCCB advocates openly against the death penalty.

        • hellskitchen :

          moa, susedna – thanks for explaining this. The protect babies v/s punish criminals distinction does not make sense to me… esp when the former is sometimes accompanied by a punish-women-for-having-sex outlook

    • LeChouette :

      In my view I think you can — though I think there’s a difference in being pro life in the sense of believing abortion is wrong and working toward encouraging ways to prevent it / promote alternatives v. working toward making it illegal, for everyone, in every situation. I am strongly pro choice in the legal sense and think its important for women to have the right to choose to terminate their pregnancy safely, but I am an even stronger advocate for access to contraception and sex ed., because I don’t think abortion should be used as a method of birth control.

      there’s also a difference between an individual and the rhetoric of the pro-life movement (much of which I find to be sexist / anti-feminist). a good book about how the pro life movement in the 70s involved a lot of reactionary views toward feminism in general that you might want to take a look at if you are interested. I think it’s abortion and the politics of motherhood.

      • mintberrycrunch :

        Cosigned to your first paragraph. Completely.

      • +1 to your first paragraph. I think contraception and sex ed should absolutely be promoted, since that will reduce the number of women who have to seek out abortions…but at the same time, I don’t feel comfortable with a state or national government dictating what any woman is or is not allowed to do with her body, or what reproductive rights she may or may not have access to.

      • Also cosigning re the first paragraph.

    • Lady Harriet :

      Absolutely! I would consider myself a pro-life feminist. I believe that abortion is harmful towards women so the two positions are absolutely compatible for me. There’s even an organization called Feminists For Life that espouses this position.

      • Reposting to avoid moderation:
        Can you explain more about why you believe abortion is harmful towards women?

        Medically, an abortion does less physical damage to a woman’s body than a v*****l birth or a C-section.

        Psychologically, we can’t measure that.

        I do believe that there are tons of women who regret their abortions, but there are also tons of women who regret having the children they had (except it’s more taboo to say that, but there was that infamous Dear Abby (or was it Ann Landers) poll that found that 70% of the people who answered the poll regretted having the children they had).

        There can be a lot of psychological damage to have your body co-opted to do something you don’t want it to do, to produce a child you don’t want (or worse, that you do want, but are forced to give up for financial reasons). I don’t believe we have a good way of measuring psychological trauma, but I think that just as there can be psychological trauma from abortion, there can be from being forced to carry a child to term that you have very mixed feelings about.

        • whoa. The poll had the exact opposite results. 78% said they would have children again.

        • Wait… An abortion causes less harm to a woman physically than a vaginal birth? Do you have anything that backs that up? I’d be interested in reading that…

          • Ugh, stupid IT blockers won’t let me google for the medical studies on this. You’ll have to rely on your own googling (and hope your IT dept/HR depts) haven’t blocked sites that discuss this stuff.

          • You could probably find some stats on the CDC’s website.

            Why would it be surprising that abortion causes fewer deaths than pregnancy? Up until, say, 1900 or so, childbirth was one of, if not the leading cause of death for women. Read up on fistulas, too, if you want to know what kind of damage childbirth can do. Or amniotic fluid embolisms.

        • Susedna, just wanted to say that you’re right – the psychological effects of abortion are complicated for a woman, even if she doesn’t regret it. I became pregnant accidentally even though both of us are well-educated about s3x and its consequences. I was older, not married, never wanted children. It was a really hard decision, even after I made it, because it was essentially my last chance to have a child. Having it would have had a huge unwanted impact on both of our lives so I chose to terminate. At first, I agonized over it and always wondered what my life would have been like or what that child would have been like and I guess I still have those moments. It was also pretty awful because I could only tell a couple of close friends. Now, 6 years later, I have to say that I feel like I made the right decision for me and for my partner. Long-term, I don’t regret it, but I will always wonder how my life would have been different with a child.

    • I want to say this with complete respect for pro-life views (which I think often misunderstand the real impact pro-life policies have on women’s health and families but are typically rooted in a real desire to reduce abortions and harm to human life). I think that you it’s very possible to think that you are both pro-life and feminist, but if you take a closer look at how women’s lives, health, independence, and autonomy are impacted by restrictions on abortion and still believe that the rights of the fetus trump those of the woman’s right to decide, then I don’t think you can truly call yourself a feminist. I know people will say that feminism is what you make it, but I don’t think that’s really true. I think feminism is believing in full equality for women and given how much our lives and health are dictated by our ability to control our reproduction and the means by which we are able to do so, I don’t think you can be an advocate for full equality and pro-life. I understand the impulse to want to reduce or ban abortion, but I think that the means that the pro-life movement use or advocate for undermine that goal and undermine women’s health.

      • I completely agree. It took me a very long time to understand that I am pro-choice, even though I would probably never have an abortion. There is nothing acceptable to me about legislating restrictions on woman’s healthcare. Ever.

      • This.

        I think one problem with the way the pro-life movement has positioned itself is that vocal pro-life political folks are often also opposed to comprehensive sex education and access to birth control.

        I am pro-choice and believe (because I’ve read the research) that the best way to prevent abortion is comprehensive sex education. Restricting women’s access to reproductive care increases unintended pregnancies and thus increases the number of abortions.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am pro-choice, but I object to framing the debate of being against reproductive rights as “disrespecting women,” just like I would be against the idea of being for reproductive rights being categorizing as “disrespecting babies” or “disrespecting life.” The issue is more complicated than that.

      I think you can be pro-life and a feminist, yes. But I would say many of the values the pro-life movement promotes are incompatible with feminism.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Apologies if this posts multiple times, getting a lot of “posting too quickly” errors. With a caveat that I’m firmly pro-choice and probably can’t articulate a pro-life argument very well, I don’t think it’s anti-feminist or disrespectful to women to say that a human life (if you believe life begins at conception) outweighs the physical suffering, emotional turmoil, and inconvenience that a woman endures during a pregnancy, provided the woman’s life is not in danger; or to put it another way, that the unborn baby’s right to not be interfered with outweighs the woman’s right to choose whether her body is to be used as a means to support a baby. I do think it’s anti-feminist to say that a woman should not be able to obtain an abortion if the pregnancy endangers her life.

      • amelia bedelia :

        cosigned.
        I am pro-choice. I believe that the fetus is a baby and a human life when it, at the very least, has a heartbeat. That is 22 days. I believe that baby, male or female, deserves protection at least to the extent a woman walking around deserves protection. We are in a completely different protection when carrying that child endangers the life of a woman. And no, I do not classify pregnancy with a .009% chance of death an actual “endangerment”.
        I consider myself a feminist.

        • amelia bedelia :

          goodness – this should have said “NOT” pro-choice. thought you probably could have figured that by my explanation . . .

    • Woods-comma-elle :

      I totally agree with Susan, FWIW, and wanted to pick on another comment. “The woman’s health has to be set aside for a fetus”.

      I’m not sure how much it was publicised in the US, but Ireland recently adopted legislation to legalise abortion following a really sad case where a married woman was refused an abortion when she was having serious complications and she died as a result. An abortion would have saved her life. The hospital’s response to her begging for an abortion was “this is a Catholic country”. The couple in question was of Indian descent.

      Now I was personally appalled by that and I do recognise that many people who are pro-life do make the exception for the health of the mother. I can respect someone wanting to be pro-life, although I personally am not and it offends me to think that someone could regulate what happens to my body on a generalised basis. However, I cannot comprehend absolute pro-lifeism, where no exceptions are made whatsoever. That is cruel and results in extremely sad situation such as the one above.

      On a wholly different note, I actually kind of object to the term ‘pro-life’ as being somewhat propaganda-esque. I am pro-choice. I am not pro-death, as the term pro-life would imply since my view is the opposite. If we follow this logic, then that makes ‘pro-life’, anti-choice.

      • Woods-comma-elle :

        I should check my typing – Susedna, not Susan.

        • Susan, when did you become Susedna? I’d like to think this was my doing ;)

          • It was definitely your doing. There were a couple of other Susans posting, and it was getting confusing. I was too lazy to type in the Edna Mode blahbity blah, so I thought I’d adopt the nickname you gave me.

            Also — very late to this, but so glad you got a diagnosis. And here’s hoping it gets better soon! Chronic pain sucks.

      • Silvercurls :

        +1 re your statement (third paragraph) that you disagree with “absolute pro-lifeism, where no exceptions are made whatsoever.” I have long defined this position as mandatory pregnancy–with which I simply cannot agree. Life has too many complicated possibilities involving physical, mental, and economic well-being. It is a very noble act to go through with an unwanted pregnancy in order to give the child up for adoption into a family with stable circumstances…but not every unwillingly or unexpectedly pregnant woman is able to make this choice. Sometimes a woman’s best choice will be to end her pregnancy.

        Re your first paragraph about the woman’s health being reason enough to decide to end a pregnancy: I include mental as well as physical well-being under “health.” I cannot justify making pregnancy mandatory in situations in which the woman avoids physical harm but experiences mental anguish.

        I’m willing to agree that an abortion ends a life that would have become a human being. (That’s why the unwanted developing child is called an “embryo” or “fetus” instead of “baby” or “child”–although this also depends upon how far along the pregnancy is at the point of the discussion. It’s hard to seriously describe as a “baby” a microscopic-sized clump of largely undifferentiated cells.) However, I’m not prepared to always place the interests of the potential human above the well-being of the already-here-now human, the pregnant woman.

        In a perfect world, both men and women would always be super careful to prevent pregnancy by avoiding iron-clad birth control methods and avoiding emotional or logistical messes (e.g., being too young, too poor, and/or still in school; having a casual affair; cheating on a third party). In a closer-to-perfect world, the popular culture (music, fashion, film, magazine articles…) would promote being careful as much as it promotes being s#xually active.

        But we don’t have, and aren’t going to have, a perfect world. In our present and imperfect world, we have to be able to trust people–especially women and in particular pregnant women–to make reasonable and responsible choices. Some people don’t want to live in a society that doesn’t value babies and children (guess what? we’re there right now) and so they become pro-life/anti-choice activists. I come at this from the other side: abortion is sad, serious, and not something to take lightly, but I don’t want to live in a society in which women’s choices are predetermined because society thinks that the predetermined option is (or options are) superior to anything that an individual woman would decide on her own initiative.

        • Ditto. And because I can’t help myself, I will tack on that in Islam, the mother’s health is valued above a fetus’/developing baby’s health. I know many women would make the choice to forgo chemo to carry a fetus to term but Islamically speaking, having an abortion so that the mother can receive life-saving treatment is an accepted standpoint.

          This isn’t an easy topic but I really enjoy our dicussions here. Carry on, ladies.

          • SoCalAtty :

            Judaism is this way as well. We spent a good amount of time on this in my Jewish Law course. If the pregnancy is threatening the mother’s life, or if the mother needs life saving treatment that will, as a consequence, likely terminate the pregnancy the mother’s life takes precedence over the fetus / developing baby. In that case the fetus is considered “rodef,” or “a pursuer” against which the mother may defend herself.

            I agree with Ru, I enjoy the discussion even though this is a tough subject.

      • hellskitchen :

        I remember reading this story and was equally appalled. I didn’t know Ireland had taken action following this case… good for them. Thanks for sharing

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I agree. I mostly think pro-life is misnomer. It should, in many instances, be pro-birth, because too many of the people who advocate for these births support little to none of the programs etc… that are needed to give these unwanted children a full and healthy life……..

      • Actually, Ireland at the time had an exception for “life of the mother,” which I think shows why such exceptions aren’t effective. No doctor wants to make the call between the mother’s health being in danger (no abortion) and her life being in danger (abortion technically ok) and risk prosecution/persecution. So they refused to perform the abortion and she died.

    • I think it’s possible, but it depends both on how you define “feminist” and how you define “pro-life”. For example, if you define feminism as believing in the full political equality of men and women, then I think you can hold that position and still oppose most legalized abortions, relying on an argument around real biological difference. I don’t think it’s possible to hold that position and oppose legal abortion in the case of a threat to a mother’s health or life, because you’re limiting the right to self-defense, essentially.

      I do think that it’s difficult to argue that one can be feminist and part of the pro-life *movement*, in its current form, simply because the pro-life movement brings a lot of baggage along with it regarding female s*xuality and gender roles and public policy on those points, and much of that baggage is incompatible with even the most reductionist definition of feminism.

      I’d add that I think it’s possible to be pro-choice and to believe that abortion is wrong, or to be pro-choice and to believe that abortion constitutes the taking of a human life.

      • amelia bedelia :

        I completely agree with this.
        unfortunately, the prolife movement has caused more harm than good — It has gone the way of so many other movements in that it devolved into a movement to caters to the most extreme members.

        • And it’s a pity, because they have some very committed members who have very good intentions. I wish that energy would be channeled towards improving access to good quality s#x education, contraceptives, and to highlighting the plight of unwanted children.

          On the last matter – unwanted children who are given up for adoption, have very bad odds to be adopted, especially if they are not white male babies. And those who are left “in the system,” their odds of a healthy life free from abuse and crime are very very low. I see the plight of these children as a point where pro-lifers and pro-choicers could potentially build an alliance (in addition to the s#x ed stuff), but it doesn’t seem to be happening.

          • I agree – I think there could be a lot of common ground between concerned people on both sides of the debate around (i) removing barriers for women who *do* want to continue their pregnancies (National Advocates for Pregnant Women has done great work on making sure pregnant women aren’t forced to leave school, for example – something that happens all-too-often to young mothers) and (ii) improving foster care and adoption.

            I know people all over the spectrum on the issue of abortion who are very committed to those two issues, and have quietly focused their energy there instead of on the all-too-polarized politics of the current debate.

          • amelia bedelia :

            100%. this is where I devote my energy.

          • I have adopted a child myself, have 2 adopted siblings, several other adopted family members, numerous adopted friends, and numerous friends who have adopted. The statement that “unwanted children…have very bad odds to be adopted, especially if they are not white male babies” is simply not true.

            Where on earth did you come up with this idea?

          • Mary, you live in a bubble if you think that your friends and your family constitute the reality for unwanted children on this world.

            Where on earth, Mary? This earth, that we live on, where many children who are given up for adoption or abandoned are treated horrifically.

            I only wish more people would do as you and your family have done– adopt. But that’s not the reality. The sooner we all face that, the sooner we can improve the lot of those who are in this plight.

          • I wasn’t saying that because lots of people I know have adopted, everyone adopts. I was saying that because I am surrounded by adoption, I am very aware of the statistics and facts regarding adoption.

            I realize that there are many children around the world that are abandoned and treated horrifically. There are a lot of factors that go into that, and in many of the countries outside of the US where there are a large number of children in that circumstance, abortion wouldn’t have been considered to begin with.

            In the US, there is something like 3-4 families wanting to adopt babies for every baby being placed for adoption. The numbers do go down as children get older, but only a small percentage of those children are being willingly placed for adoption. Almost all older child adoptions in the US are due to children being removed from the home due to unsafe conditions for the child. Arguing for or against abortion in that case is a moot point. For the record, the adoption of my own child and a number of my family members are older child adoptions.

            Statistically, males are less likely to be adopted than females, which is one reason I took exception to your comment.

          • Susan your statements about adoption are really untrue, and your tone to Mary very condescending. It is very hard to get a domestic child, and I was not looking for a white male. I don’t know where you got that information from, but I have 1 adopted child and my sister works in the adoption field, and none of what you have stated about adoption is true.

          • I posted before I saw Mary’s second comment, and second it completely.

          • @ Kiley

            You and Mary are right that in the U.S., boys have a harder time getting adopted than girls, but even if you are different with regard to nonpreference for white babies, that’s not how it lines up in the U.S. Anecdata is not the reality for many non-white babies.

            http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/black-babies-boys-less-likely-to-be-adopted/

          • Susan, no where in that blog does it say that non white babies have trouble being adopted. Except for the misleading headline. The study shows that there is a preference for white babies when given the choice. You threw out a “fact” that you cannot backup. There is a huge difference between having a preference for a white baby, and not adopting nonwhite babies.

          • Worldwide, not just in the US, boys have a harder time being adopted than girls.

            I didn’t comment at all regarding race, although it is true that white and Hispanic babies are considered easier to place in the US. I have found it funny that people who get up in arms about some people’s preference for adopting a white child have usually not attempted or pursued or actively supported any adoption.

      • Totally agree. Totally.

      • anonypotamus :

        Agreed – I am staunchly pro-choice (though not pro-abortion) and I think that in an ideal world, the pro-life movement would offer some valuable perspective and help work towards a society where the decision to have an abortion is rare, and used only in extreme circumstances. To me, this position could be compatible with a feminist perspective. In my view, the pro-life movement has unfortunately become more “anti-choice” rather than pro life, (along with all the other baggage cbackson mentioned) and I am uncomfortable with the idea that laws/big government/old men dictate or control hat should be my personal decision. So I personally could not identify as pro-life based on the movement’s current ideology (generally) and also identify as a feminist.

    • I don’t know the answer to this, but all of the comments make me want to go home and hug my baby/smell his head.

      • Silvercurls :

        Fortunate baby! Your reaction is one of the reasons I’m so strongly pro-choice (not the same as pro-abortion). To quote a long-ago slogan of Planned Parenthood, every child should be a wanted child.

        Enjoy your baby. Those times of cuddling are special.

        Maybe if we had our legislators cuddle small children or play with their toys while they debated these policies, and also hear from people who have made hard choices (be it “drop out of college to raise a child” or “terminate a pregancy instead of losing my life…or my mind”) we’d have more humane policies?

        Hmm…hand the legislators a couple of babies crying in dirty diapers, and perhaps we’d also get a better set of child care options for parents who choose–or have no other choice–to work outside the home?

        • Let’s do this. RAWRING BABIES EVERYWHERE.

        • Sometimes, I think that pro-lifers love for their own children, and lack of real exposure to the nastier side of things, limits the ability to really have a full view. Not always the case, by any means, of course. But I work in criminal law. Everyone doesn’t love their babies like you love your baby. Some unwanted children will be given for adoption and find loving homes, which is what everyone imagines happens to all unwanted babies.

          It isn’t.

          The things people will do to children…even infants…horrific. People abuse children they had on purpose…the picture isn’t prettier for children that were never wanted to begin with. People imagine all these pregnant women as middle class, healthy women who will have healthy babies that can go to loving homes.

          They aren’t.

          Have you seen a meth-addicted baby? Have you seen what drug addicts will let people do to their children in exchange for drugs?

          The thing that offends me about many (again, NOT all) pro lifers is they spend an awful lot of time protecting the potential for life, and very little time protecting any lives once they’re here. Spend half as much time, money, and energy protesting on the street with signs to end child abuse as to end abortion, maybe I’ll have respect for the position. If I start seeing people holding up pictures of all the children abused and murdered by their parents, maybe then I’ll have respect for the position. But what I see currently is a whole lot of very loud protest about how all life is precious, but a very cursory “gee, that’s really sad” about the actual lives of children in this country.

          • anonypotamus :

            This, particularly the third paragraph is a good articulation of something that has always struck a raw nerve with me.

          • anonypotamus :

            Sigh. *Sixth paragraph.

          • I cannot thumbs up this comment enough. This, this, and THIS. Well said.

          • Catholic anon :

            anon, the problem with this is that you are the one presuming what life is worth living. In some of our eyes, all life is worth living, or at the very least, life itself is so worthy of existence that we wish to fight to protect it in all forms. Is it true that some people might wish to not live, due to illness or their situation, etc.? Yes. It is very true. The world is filled with evil. But is it for us to decide, especially as a society en masse, what situations are worth living through and what are not? Of course there are situations where gaurdians must make medical decisions for dependents, but these are individualized circumstances, not blanket policies that apply to all people in all circumstances.

            I have read many powerful testimonies of disabled, mentally challenged, etc. people, or even abortion survivors, who resent the fact that people call their lives unworth living. It is so sad. Perhaps you might not feel the life of the Down’s child is worth it, but what about that living Down’s person who sees their life as very worth it? What gives you the right to decide on their behalf that their life is unworthy of existence? Perhaps it is better to err on the side of fighting for those people’s lives so they might decide for themselves. Yes, perhaps 1 out of 10 of such people might resent the fact they lived rather than died. But is it not like the justice system? Some people say the death penalty should not exist because of that 1 innocent person who dies even if 1 million guilty people die. Why not the same here? Even if 1 person who has regrets about living is born, is it not worth “making” them be born in the fight for those other 9 people to be born who ultimately are glad for it?

            It is a hard and sad area. I sympathize with those who feel the sadness from both sides of the argument. What makes me upset is the pro-choice people who see the situation as so utilitarian and refuse to see that whether they like it or not, a human life (and soul for some of us) is at stake here. How can the issue not make you sad? How can it be so easy for people to write off potential human life so easily? If there is no compassion, even in the most theoretical sense, for truly the most innocent among us, what hope is there for true compassion in society at large?

          • The repeated accusations in the comments that many pro-lifers do nothing to protect the lives once the children are born into less than ideal situations is offensive to me.

          • I didn’t take anon’s point to be that it is better to never have existed than to live a certain kind of life. I understood her to be saying that the fight for that existence isn’t over when a baby is born. The fact that the pro-life movement fights so hard to get a child into the world (as you describe) but then fails to devote any passion, advocacy, or resources to how that child survives and exists is the problem (and her point, as I understood it).

          • SoCalAtty :

            Makes me want to hug babies AND my grandparents. If they hadn’t taken me from my parents…well, not pretty.

            I think traditionally “pro-life” groups do a lot for children in tough situations – think Salvation Army, Catholic Church, lots of charities. It’s a tough line to walk, but ultimately your beliefs are just that…yours…and legislators should tread very lightly on this one.

          • anon from above :

            Rosie, yes, that was my point.
            Catholic anon chose to miss my point, but that is not surprising to me.

            The mere fact that you would think that the life of a disabled or mentally challenged person is akin to the life of a three year old sexually abused by multiple adult men tells me that as much time as you may have spent with the first category, you haven’t spent much time with the second.

            Does that mean I’m deciding whose life is worth living? Of course not, you’re setting up a straw man to avoid dealing with my actual point, which is that these are not THEORETICAL LIVES. As much as some people talk about the sanctity of life, how is abandoning the fight once those children become living breathing humans honoring the sanctity of their lives?

            And Mary, I said repeatedly NOT ALL pro life persons, but again, you chose to hear what you wanted to avoid dealing with the hard reality of what I said. Well I don’t get to avoid it. I have to talk to these children. I have to see the PICTURES of what is done to them. I don’t get to avoid it. And if you think for a minute that the same amount of passion and power goes into protecting already-here kids as is spent trying to make sure they all get here, you live in a lovely protected world. Sadly, it isn’t the world that I, or the millions of viscously abused children in this country, live in.

          • I know you said NOT ALL. I posted it because your NOT ALL is still part of several comments making that claim that are in the comments on this thread, by several people.

            I understand that you see really awful things working in criminal law. I was a licensed foster parent, my parents were foster parents for many, many years, and social work, while not my field of employment, is my primary area of interest. I don’t see the PICTURES, I see the PEOPLE these things have happened to. I don’t live in a lovely protected world. I am a sister to some of these children. I am an aunt to some of these children. I live WITH one of these children. The things that have happened to them are horrific and incomprehensible. But to say that their lives are condemned because of things done to them early in their life is a gross underestimation of the human spirit. Is what happened okay? Not at all. Will my child be okay? I’m doing everything possible to make sure he will be, and if you met him today, you would have no idea what his early childhood had been like, so I would say he will be.

          • anon from above :

            Good Lord. Show me where I said their lives are condemned? No, really, show me.

            I didn’t. I also said I deal with the children, not just pictures. But yeah, I have to see it. I have to see the pictures, the videos, listen to the sick conversations the abusers have with each other. I have to talk to the children. Not a few children. Not ten children. Not twenty or thirty children. HUNDREDS. I have to ask them questions. I have to make them describe to me, in detail, what was done to them, because often if they don’t, I have no evidence. I’m the one they look to to put the monster in jail. Sometimes I can. sometimes I can’t. Sometimes the monsters are so numerous it’s impossible to even find them all.

            I’m glad you, personally, have been able to help a small number of kids who were victims of abuse.

            As I said, my point was, and remains, that I will respect the pro-life position the day a majority of those who hold the point of view spend as much time helping kids who are here and suffering as they do protesting abortion, and not a minute before. And you know what? I wish they would. If even half the money pro lifers spent on anti-abortion activities were spent on abuse prevention and counseling for survivors, we’d have so much more to work with.
            If you’re paying attention, you read constant stories of prosecutors and social workers who miss stuff, kids who fall through the cracks, because the caseloads are so massive. The average large-city prosecutor has well over a hundred cases at any given time. Social workers even more. You know why? Because there’s no money. Because it isn’t anyone’s priority.

            I know you don’t think you live in a protected world, but you do, because you still think that what you have experienced is representative. It just isn’t. The point is, most abused kids don’t have that aunt to take care of them. One of the highest rates of abuse is for kids IN foster care. You and your parents foster kids are lucky. I wish, so sincerely, that were the case for most kids. But it just isn’t.

            Am I saying those kids are condemned or don’t ‘deserve to live’? No. I never said that, though I get that’s an easier point to argue against. What I said is that “pro life” advocates all too often completely miss the point that regardless of where life BEGINS, it doesn’t END AT BIRTH, and if you’re going to advocate that all babies be brought into the world, then I think each and every one of you have a responsibility, an utter duty, to continue to put the SAME time and the SAME money into advocating for kids once they are here. And if you can sincerely look around this country and tell me that, your own personal actions aside, you think that as a GROUP, pro lifers do that? Well…I don’t even know what to say to that.

    • Anonymous :

      I consider myself both a feminist and a pro-life advocate. To me, this all boils down to whether you believe the fetus is a human being. If, as I do, you believe that a human fetus with a heart beat (after 22 days) and nerve activity (i.e., can feel pain) is a living person, then I don’t see how believing that a baby’s life outweighs her mother’s inconvenience is incompatible with feminism–especially in the vast majority of cases where the mother’s life is not at risk. I do believe that our society should improve access to adoption and care for pregnant mothers so that it is easier for a woman to have a child, but I do not believe in promoting elective abortion. And I honestly don’t think this means I somehow hate women. It means I put a very high value on the life of the unborn child.

      • Silvercurls :

        I respect your position but am not able to adopt it myself (and thus will continue to vote pro-choice). I will also continue to hope that somehow we can bridge the gap between the so-called positions of pro-life and pro-choice. Maybe I’m naive, but there seem to be a lot of solid people with good intentions on both sides. Perhaps we could collaborate on making life better for children who are already in the world and just agree to disagree about each other’s opinions re terminating or not terminating pregnancies.

        There are precedents for such strange alliances. During the elections last fall the cause of one interest group in my state was supported by two other, completely different interest groups even though the two supporters would almost certainly never support each other’s own causes. (I think the first group was promoting the Dream Act and the second two groups were Marriage Equality and a coalition of Catholic Bishops; my memory may be foggy.) It was both startling and reassuring to see two such disparate groups coming together to support a third. Like seeing peace in Northern Ireland or hopefully someday in the Middle East–seeing this is a reminder that it’s still possible for people to overcome their differences enough to get along with each other.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        This is how I feel as well. And I do think that most pro-life commenters are very disingenuous when they do not support contraception and care for mothers and children.

    • Yes, absolutely. I don’t believe that my(or anyone else’s) interests trump a child’s right to life, and I believe that the state has a compelling interest in enacting policies that ensure the protection of the defenseless, including unborn children. In case it matters, I am neither a Christian nor a conservative.

      • The logical conclusion of enacting such policies and their enforcement (if it’s not enforced, then the policies don’t have much weight) would result in:

        mandatory pregnancy tests on all women regularly to make sure they’re not lying about being pregnant

        restrictions on women’s travel in case they’re going to go somewhere where they can abort (including another country)

        That would not only create a police state, but it would effectively reduce women to second-class citizens who have severely curtailed rights.

        • Gosh, Susedna, I usually really like what you have to say, but I think you’ve been very argumentative, condescending, and superlative on this topic. I get how you feel. This statement is so extreme as to be not helpful. And your response to Mary above was likewise very condescending. It just feels like you have an agenda that gets in the way of a good discussion.

          • I don’t think Susedna’s comments are that extreme at all. Look to China’s one-child policy, if you want to know what happens when the state decides to regulate women’s reproductive lives. Also communist Romania, where abortion was illegal and women were in fact subject to checks to make sure they weren’t pregnant and trying to get an abortion.

            If you believe that life should be protected from the moment of conception and that the state has an over-riding interest in this, I don’t see how you don’t eventually get to the situation Susedna describes.

          • Agree- and I say that as a big time Susan fan. I think you’ve been throwing out crazy hypotheticals, and your tone has been drastically different from what it normally is. Ireland is not a police state.

            I am pro choice, but rather uncomfortable with articulating my views, and have found most of this discussion very informative and interesting.

          • I’m debating points that I either disagree with, or am uncomfortable with being taken to their logical conclusion. If that makes me argumentative, so be it.

            My statement is not extreme– it’s an example of what it could be to actually enforce a “no abortions policy” to protect the unborn. It’s a thought experiment, like many others, and a challenge for Bluejay to explain clearly what she means when she says she’d like the state to enact policies to protect the unborn.

            It’s also not so unheard of — did you know that under Franco’s Spain, a fascist-police state that co-opted Catholicism because it was deemed useful for the fascist government, women needed the permission of their husbands to travel? It’s not so farfetched that similar restrictions (except, replace husband with doctor possibly) could come in place if there were enforcement on abortion.

          • @Susedna – primarily, I’d like to see significantly increased access to contraception and reproductive healthcare, including through a national healthcare system. The countries with the lowest abortion rates are those with the greatest access to pregnancy prevention and healthcare services. I’d also like to see legally required paid maternity leave for all mothers, and paternity leave as well, and state-supported childcare, in order to eliminate financial motivations for abortion. Basically, what Sweden or Norway does. I also support significant increases in poverty reduction programs.

            I’m not a doctor, but in general, I’d prefer to see the medical profession self-regulate abortion services to make them as rare as possible. I haven’t seen any evidence that stricter abortion laws in themselves have any affect on reducing abortion.

          • I don’t think Susedna has been condescending— from my reading up top, she simply pointed out that the view that most adopted kids can live happy lives is a narrow point of view if someone’s basing that view on their own specific experiences. As was the case up top.
            As for argumentative, I suppose one could feel that way if their view is different from Susedna’s. But then, couldn’t we say the same about Mary?
            As for Susedna “having an agenda that gets in the way of good discussion” I find this statement to be disingenuous. 1) Is having an agenda the same as supporting one’s views because one is passionate about the subject? Is that a bad thing now? Because it seems she’s just been supporting her views along. 2) Different viewpoints do add to a discussion.

    • Not if your personal beliefs infringe on my body.

  4. Diana Barry :

    Dude, I am getting spontaneous Nordie’s popup ads for Merrell shoes, even if I don’t click on the ad! (not just this site, either.) Very weird.

    Can I just vent for a second that our nanny is sick and has appointments all afternoon today, AND that I am the parent that has to leave work and cover for the kids all afternoon, despite also being the parent that works in an office and needs face time? Grr. Argh!

    • Why do you have to leave work?

      Why can’t your husband pick up the slack today?

      • Diana Barry :

        Bc he is never awake in the mornings, so I am the one to make the plan with the nanny automatically. Plus, I make less than he makes so I am always the more flexible parent. Perhaps we should discuss this at some point, eh?

        • What does what you make have to do with being the more flexible parent? I make twice what my husband makes. My job is also more flexible. The flexibility of the parent depends on the job, not the amount you make. It sounds like you have the less flexible job, but you allow your husband to hold his paycheck over your head.

          • Diana Barry :

            Oh, it doesn’t. The $$ difference just means that my job is less important to the household to lose, so my face-time commitment can be compromised more than my husband’s work-time commitment.

        • e_pontellier :

          Yeah, sounds like you might want to discuss this. If it’s causing the slightest twinge of resentment, it’s only going to push you and your husband apart, and surely that’s not your goal.

        • I was thinking that his job prevented him from being available in the mornings.

          But I see that’s not necessarily so.

          Just because you make less, doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your performance for this. If it’s just him getting up a bit earlier, then he should suck it up.

          “You have to sacrifice your job performance because I’m the breadwinner and have an unbreakable morning commitment” would hold some water with me.

          “You have to sacrifice your job performance because I can’t be arsed to wake up early in the morning,” sounds like he’s being obnoxiously entitled here.

    • I feel for you. Try homemade playdough (link to follow). Only takes about five minutes to make and once it’s done, it should occupy kids for at least an hour (maybe even two). Especially if you have food coloring.

  5. Rave Review- I took an Uber car this morning to get from my friend’s apartment to Logan because I decided changing buses and trains with a suitcase was not my cup of tea. I used the app for iphone which was totally accurate as to my location, it said a driver would be there in 6 minutes and gave me his name phone number, license plate number, and the rating the driver had out of 5 stars. The driver was friendly and cheerful, car was clean and he brought me straight to my terminal. The reciept was in my inbox when I opened up my email inside the airport and had a breakdown of the costs, distance etc. for the trip. It was a little pricy but totally worthwhile and I will definitely take them again. (I had a promotional code for $10 off which was nice too!)

    • love uber. If you know the general cab fare, I think that it works out to be a $13 cab ride (including tip) works out to be a 15 dollar uber ride. Ive overpaid once on uber for a ride that should have been a 5 dollar cab ride. Since uber has a 15 minimum, it hurt! but that was my own fault. lately, there text service has been a little off though. (double texts, etc)

    • Seconding the Uber-love!

      I needed to get somewhere in DC at 6am, and the car was pulling up in front in 10 minutes! It was safe, quiet, the driver was nice. It was definitely pricey, but at that hour it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a cab to show up in DC and I would have been in the cold on a street corner trying to wave one down. I am the HUGEST fan, and I will definitely use them again. The iphone app is AWESOME.

    • +1 million to everything Uber. Saved my arse for work about a month ago. iPhone app is wonderful.

    • LOVE!! The drivers are friendly and don’t act like you interrupted their phone call by wanting to use their service (what did cabbies do all day before cell phones?). It’s so easy to use. The cars are so nice. Huge love for Uber!

    • I love Uber, and I’ve found that regular (non-surge) Uber prices roughly equal cab prices if the cab ride would have cost over $20.

  6. Well, this morning I was laid off from my (biglaw) job. It’s not a complete shock, but it still stings. I’ve been looking for a while, so my resume is in pretty good shape and I have a decent recruiter, but–any advice on things I should be doing–job search or otherwise? I’ve been focusing my search on large firm and government jobs so far, but will expand to smaller firms and in-house opportunities (if I can find any in my non corporate field).

    Anything I might not be thinking about that I should do financially? I have the standard three months at the firm, does it make sense to try to adjust my withholding or reduce my 401K contribution to maximize those paychecks. I’m married but am certainly the breadwinner, and loans and a high COL area will likely eat up our emergency fund before the end of the year.

    Would also appreciate on advice on how to cope emotionally once the dust settles and I’m not in traige mode…

    • I’m so sorry. I’m not in Law, but I’ve been laid off twice. If you’re in Boston, I’d take you out for a drink and let you vent.

    • *hugs* *tea & sympathy*

      Coping emotionally: don’t beat yourself up, just focus on your energies on searching.

      Your job is a part of who you are, but it is not ALL you are. Remind yourself of the many good qualities you have, that your husband, friends, and family appreciate. These are good traits that are inherent in your character, and not part of being affiliated with Company X. So don’t let it bruise or sting more than it needs to.

      See being laid off as merely as a problem on a worksheet to solve. A financial (monthly budget and future savings) problem that needs to be solved.

    • Very sorry to hear this. We’re in the midst of reviews and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is happening quietly at a lot of places right now. When I went through this with DH’s layoff last year, we immediately stopped the 401(k) contributions and put that money into our savings. We also took a hard look at upcoming discretionary purchases and where we could cut things out of the budget immediately (rather than waiting for severance to run out).

      Please be kind to yourself today.

    • No offense, but biglaw and emergency funds being eaten up in a year doesn’t sound like you are good at saving. I’d start cutting back on expenses now.

      • Okay, judger, you don’t know how long she’s been at big law or whether she’s been aggressively paying off student loans or if she’s been paying her mom’s medical bills or what. Bills for a year are a lot of money. I don’t know many people who have a whole year’s worth of money saved up.

      • MaggieLizer :

        A year sounds pretty awesome to me; I think you’ve done a great job at saving, OP! I’m in biglaw and aggressively paying off my student loans (many are still at 8.5 and 6.8%), and definitely do NOT have a year of expenses saved up.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I guess it is all relative. I’d love to have a one year emergency fund and I think the fact that she does is super impressive.

        • SoCalAtty :

          Me too. That’s amazing. If my husband and I both lost our work we’d be toast in about…oh…two months. My goal is a year, but we’re not there yet. Caring for family members and getting a little too aggressive with paying off debt.

          I was laid off in Jan. 2009, and it really shattered my confidence. I still get a mini-panic when any partner calls me in an office and asks me to close the door! Be nice to yourself and go out there and find your dream position, or at least one that you will enjoy at least as much or more as the one you had. And big high fives for having that much savings! That’s a tough thing to do and you are one of the disciplined!

      • This is not a helpful comment.

    • I’m so sorry. I was laid off in June and it was a harrowing experience. I’m not in Law either, but I want to echo Bunkster: if you’re in Chicago, let me know and we’ll go for drinks.

    • I think reducing or eliminating your 401K contributions is actually smart so you can be more liquid. Also, if you’ve put flex dollars aside for medical expenses, you’re still entitled to use them for a certain number of months after you leave your job even if you don’t end up contributing the full amount before you leave–so get new glasses or what have you?

      So sorry you lost your job, but this might be a good thing for you in the long run? I was dying to get laid off from my big law job. I really love having more free time and you don’t need as much money as you probably think you do. Good luck!

    • Ugh, so sorry to hear that Anon. I went through the same thing some months ago and the ladies here were an amazing support. I second everyone’s advice not to beat yourself up: this is not about you, it’s about your firm not having enough work. Also, do cast as wide a net in your job search as possible. Before I got laid off (wasn’t a suprise for me either) I didn’t look at non-profits, mainly because of some silly idea that those jobs were too competitive anyway. Don’t succumb to this attitude – don’t reject an option till it’s actually an option! I can say that now I have an great job at an organization that I believe in, and that getting laid off, and being forced to really be much more proactive about my job search was ultimately the best thing ever. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but there is life after BigLaw, and it is good! Good luck!

      • Oh, also: work with more than one recruiter. Some recruiters have special connections to particular places, etc. and there’s no reason not to. I did, and was open with them that I was doing so.

        • +1 As long as you are open with each recruiter and tell each of them where you already have been submitted, definitely work with more than one.

    • anon in tejas :

      I’m sorry.

      I would suggest jumping right out there with the networking. Send an email tomorrow to your personal contacts. Go to professional events (i.e. happy hours, women’s ABA events, etc.), go to Alumni events. Get yourself out there.

      Nonprofit jobs (albeit pay poorly) are weirdly competitive. A lot of nonprofit employers take big law candidates seriously because of the huge decrease in stature, benefits, pay, and staff. You would have a lot of hurdles to overcome in a cover letter to get an interview at my old office.

    • I am not a lawyer so I can’t help you with job searching advice but in terms of coping, see if you can speak to a therapist or a doctor if anxiety or depression is a real consideration for you. You’re going through a lot of stress, SO WHAT if it was expected. Take care of yourself, enjoy the hobbies or tasks you’ve been putting off forever and give yourself a due date to start hitting the streets hard. You can relax for a week or two, really. Hugs and rawrs.

    • Boo. Being laid off is never fun, even if you weren’t into the job.

      Google “What to do when you’ve been laid off” for a few articles.

      Cut back your expenses to the bare minimum NOW. If you find a new job soon, it will be a good exercise in frugality. If you are unlucky and the job search takes longer than expected, you will have done the right thing and won’t be backed into a corner by running out of funds sooner than you should have. (I can’t find the article, but I once read that people who lose their jobs often don’t cut back on their expenses as drastically and as quickly as they should have to prevent financial trouble down the road.)

      Hugs and good luck.

    • Make a list of all the things you wished you could do while in BigLaw but didn’t have time and take it out in between job searches. Job hunting sucks but at least you can get your (exercise & diet/cooking/reading/button sew repairing/movie watching/wardrobe purge/journal writing/scrapbooking/catch up with friends & family/home repair/learn a language/dating/volunteering) goals completed. This will help with the mental side. It’s also important to have a routine when you do not have obligations. Make those obligations to yourself by scheduling coffee dates (even with yourself to read the paper), mealtimes, exercise classes, whatever. This will help all the spare time from becoming an overwhelming internet search of jobs and prevent the down feelings that follow. Good Luck!

    • Put the loans on deferment/forbearance ASAP. You can always go back to a repayment plan once you find another job, but if it takes you a long time to find one, you’ll really regret the months you made loan payments when you need the money later on.

      And I’m so sorry to hear you got laid off. As others have mentioned, if you’re in DC, I’ll totally buy you a drink.

    • If you rely on your firm’s health insurance, go ahead and make an appointment with every doctor you have before you leave (hey, it’s not like you have to worry about your hours now…). I was so grateful to have new prescriptions for everything, up to date shots, pap smear, etc. that carried me through a long bout of unemployment. Plus when I told most of my doctors I was going to be unemployed, many of them wrote me refills for 15 months instead of a year, etc. and gave me free samples of my birth control, etc. It seemed weird at the time (I was in midlaw and making decent money) but I did not have the savings you did and when that bank account kept shrinking I was grateful for the freebies. Plus once I was employed again it took awhile to bank sick leave.

      As for coping, this is happening/has happened to thousands and thousands of lawyers. It is not a reflection on your abilities as a lawyer or a person and instead reflects a prolonged recession which has capsized a number of venerable firms and ruined the careers of a generation of lawyers. You are not alone.

    • If you haven’t been published yet, I’d suggest working on an article. Each county has a public law library where you can use Westlaw/Lexis. Even if you don’t manage to finish it/get it published before you find a new job, employers find it *very* impressive if, when they ask what you’ve been doing with your time, you say you’ve been doing some research in x, y, z area with the goal of writing an article, and can then speak intelligently about the topic. It also keeps your brain in law mode and helps to maintain your identity and self-esteem. (It’s true you are not your job, but geez, I really am mine. I was completely adrift when I was unemployed.) If you do finish it, it’s nice to be able to add a “publications” section to your resume, and it gets your name out there in front of people in your field.

    • I am so sorry. I was laid-off from BigLaw about 4 years ago. It gets better, I promise.

      Honestly, I spent the first night drinking my pain away with some friends. Then I got really, really sick and spent the next two weeks in bed. Then a formal job offer came through and I was working again within the month.

      Start cutting back on expenses now–except for what you need to job hunt (Internet, cell phone). I would redirect money from my 401k to maximize your liquidity. Call people up in your network and start scheduling lunches, dinners, etc. If you can, refinance your mortgage to a lower payment or open a line of credit before you technically lose your job (my severance was structured so I was still technically employed for 3 months but not expected to work).

      I am so sorry.

  7. Definitely Anon For This :

    So this is kinda embarassing but does anyone else find that they tend to want LGPs more than their partners? Also humiliating… being rejected by your partner when you try to initiate a LGP…

    My SO is slightly under the weather and is leaving for a long business trip. I know it’s not his fault he hasn’t been in the mood the last couple days but I feel seriously rejected and am starting to get a little frustrated…

    • Oh so Anon :

      I am in a similar boat. Do not be embarrassed! Your desire for LGPs is just part of your body chemistry, and it is not wrong or humiliating to want them more often/less often/whatever! Do your best not to feel humiliated. It is not a rejection of YOU, your partner is just not feeling up to it (no pun intended). I’ve had to work on this with my hubby as well, because he didn’t realize I was sensitive about it, and we’ve found ways to communicate it better. Think about if the roles were reversed – if you turned him down for a LGP, would you want him to feel embarrassed? Would it have anything to do with him? Probably not. Work with your SO on developing gentle ways to express not being into an LGP at that moment, and maybe try letting him initiate for a while. Sure, it may be fewer LGPs, but your ego will be soothed a bit, and you’ll get a better sense of his, um, appetite cycle?

    • anon regular poster :

      I am with you. My SO is happy with LGPs only 1-2 times per week, sometimes much less. Perfectly content. I didn’t believe him for a long time and thought something was wrong, but after several years, I now actually believe him! He is also majorly affected by stress at work, illness, family issues, basically anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes I’m fine with our LGP number, sometimes I want more. He will sometimes “man up” (his term) and enjoy a party even though he doesn’t necessarily want it, sometimes I get rejected. I think it’s more typical than our macho culture would have us believe. Although he’s totally honest about it with me, I think he would be mortified if his buddies knew that his sex drive was “low” (by stereotypical standards, at least)

      • wow, do we have the same SO?? I could have written everything you said word-for-word. It used to worry me, but now I am pretty used to it (though, like you, there are some times when I feel like we should have more). I definitely think the social commentary around the issue makes it worse because it feels like there’s something ‘wrong’. I think people are just different.

    • phillygirlruns :

      you’re definitely not alone. this was a major factor in my decision to leave my husband. we had very different sex drives and he was struggling with some other things that made it difficult for him to “perform” (i hate the connotation here, like i was demanding a performance, but can’t come up with a better word right this second). no matter how many times he assured me that it wasn’t me, i always felt rejected, ugly, unattractive, etc. beyond that, there was an emotional connection that i was missing. it’s hard – the stereotype is that men are supposed to be aroused by a warm breeze and constantly hounding their SOs for it, and when that’s not reality there was a tendency, at least for me, to wonder what was so wrong with ME.

      • I would say also this was a huge issue in my marriage. My ex had problems which led him to not want to try. I had a stronger drive and nothing I said or did could fix it.

        • Just got back to the office and wanted to add that, at first, I thought my ex’s problems were physical. He insisted that they were not, that they were psychological. So, to me, that meant that there was some psychological barrier to his wanting to have s3x with me. He insisted that he hadn’t had this problem with others. I suggested therapy and he took that as an insult, despite the fact that he was a therapist. Yeah. I don’t know why I married him. I guess I thought it would get better.

      • This really worries me… I have been in a serious relationship with my SO for 2 years. My sex drive is deffinately higher and I have always thought it would even out over time. These comments that it contributed to the ending of their marriages makes me think I should get out while it’s easy..

        • phillygirlruns :

          you shouldn’t automatically assume that everything is doomed, but you should figure out how important it is to you, and take a hard, honest look at things as they are. if nothing changed and the next ten or twenty years were exactly the same, would you be satisfied or fulfilled? do not assume things will even out – maybe they will, but probably they won’t, at least not without some work on one or both ends.

        • Anonymous :

          Monogamy is not the only option. So long as everyone is open and honest, having other partners is a good way to keep a relationship strong when you have different levels of sex drive.

        • It will not likely even out. It will probably drop even further. Check out http://www.experienceproject.com “I am in a sexless marriage”. It’s terrifying stuff.

      • This was a big issue in a previous long-term relationship. My ex had problems in the gardening department for which he refused to seek help. This really affected our relationship (not to mention both of our self-esteems) and was one important factor (of several) that led me to break up with him.

      • SAME! Now have equal attraction, passion, and it.is.wonderful.

    • I second what everyone else has said if this is an ongoing problem, but if it’s only since he’s been sick and preparing for a trip, leave the poor man alone and, um, have your own party. You don’t say what he’s complaining of, but when I’m congested or have an upset stomach I can’t feel sexy at all. Add stress about something else, and it’s a recipe for not being in the mood. Unless he rejected you in a mean way focused on something wrong with YOU, rather than him, don’t take it personally.

    • Definitely Anon For This :

      OP here. I’m trying not to feel rejected but because my SO travels for work constantly (he’s a management consultant), I feel like we should capitalize on opportunities when we’re actually in the same city and bed.

      I think you ladies are right – it’s probably more common that I realize. I always bought into the stereotype that men were pretty much always good to go so it’s a little disheartening when I get rejected.

      I’m also trying not to be upset at him – it would be awful and there would be major outcry if a man was upset at his SO for not wanting a LGP. I think I’m just disappointed that I’m likely not going to have a LGP for a while.

      • MaggieLizer :

        I hear you that you don’t want to pressure him into having LGPs when he doesn’t really want them, but you also deserve to have a fulfilling s3x life with your partner. Which is actually a lot easier for a man to provide because of the wide assortment of toys available for women – relatively minimal effort for him and a really good time for you. Have you talked to him about incorporating toys?

        • Yep, I’m with you — before we had kids my DH was good to go once a week, maybe twice… but after the baby it’s like once a month. (She’s about 18 months old now.) We’re actually the definition of a “sexless marriage,” only doing it 10-12 times per year. He swears it isn’t me but in my mind I have totally chalked it up to “lose 20 pounds and we’ll get back to business.” (I am significantly overweight right now.)

          What’s sad is that I don’t even mind that much. My sex drive is pretty low also, but I hate that we fit the definition of “sexless marriage.” One of the big ways to increase testosterone is through Brazil nuts, apparently, so I’ve been thinking about trying to make him eat more Brazil nuts (he loves nuts), or surrepetiously adding them to mixes.

          • MaggieLizer :

            I’m totally keeping a container of Brazil nuts on hand now.

          • Whose definition is that? Obviously it’s less than ideal (and who is ideal?), but if you say that neither of you mind, then there’s nothing about once a month that is inherently insufficient. If you want to up the frequency, more power to you, but I think you’re being too hard on yourself.

    • saac n mama :

      Ha! Yes! One of the first and only things agreed to when we went to a therapist was that he had to agree to do it at least once per month. He kept track of that, fulfilled his duty and no more. I wouldn’t say it contributed to the end of the marriage, but it was one of many signs that things weren’t right.

    • AnonAsWell :

      I don’t have any advice but do agree that you are not alone. My SO and I have not had an LGP for over 3 months, and probably only 5 total in the last 6 months or so. He has no interest at all. He says its not me, but I honestly can’t help but take it that way. I have never cried myself to sleep so many nights in my life. He recognizes that its an issue and says it will get better, but I just don’t know. All of these comments about divorce over this don’t give me a lot of hope.

    • I definitely want more LGPs than the relatively new bf of under a year. Worse than getting rejected, is when I initiate the LGP and then he can’t complete the task or worse, half completes the task. Not that this is a common occurence but of the times where it has happened, all of them are LGP’s that I have initiated. This has led me to the routine where when he wants to, I always say yes, even though I might be bloated or gassy or of the personal belief I could use a shower first, whereas he would merely say he doesn’t feel good and that is the end of it. This isn’t that common of an occurrence that I am too worried about but it definitely reminds me of your issue. I definitely feel insecure telling a man that I need more LGPs than he is giving me.

    • Yes. And I’ve ended multiple relationships because of my higher drive. I go solo to try to make up the difference but it doesn’t fill the intimacy hole that not partying causes in the relationship. It’s very tough to address with a guy because they get so sensitive about it and most boyfriends have denied that it’s even an issue.

      I’m negotiating a relationship now with a guy who wants to be open because none of his previous girlfriends could match his drive. I am hesitant because, well, I match his drive and I don’t see why being open is necessary.

      No help, just commiseration.

  8. no more LG parties :

    TJ:

    For the past several months, my husband and I have been having pretty significant relationship problems. We’re both trying to work on it, and H has made some significant changes. Although I’m impressed and pleased by the changes he’s made, I still do not want to have lady garden parties with him. At all. The idea repulses me. The fact is, he lied to me for a long time about career and money problems he was having, and I feel like I can’t really trust him any more. And, I still feel hurt. He’s mad because he feels like he’s trying really hard to make this relationship work, and because I refuse to have lady garden parties with him, that means I’m not trying at all. For him, lady garden parties are the most significant thing that’s missing in our relationship. But, for me, until I can get over feeling hurt and begin to trust him again, I just don’t see it happening. We’re at a deadlock. I don’t know what to do. Do I just try to get over my reluctance and just do it to show that I’m serious about making our relationship work? Or, am I entitled to wait until I feel ready? I feel like my body is telling me, “don’t do it! You’re just going to get hurt all over again!” But, he’s my husband and I really want to make our marriage work. What should I do?

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think if after several months the thought of LGPs with your husband repulsed you, you need to insist on getting marriage counseling to work through this stat. And if you’re already in counseling, bring this up at the next appointment.

    • anon for this :

      I’m so sorry. I went through marriage problems (not as serious as yours) and I definitely claimed I had Aunt Flo when I didn’t to ward DH off for another week. I think you’re entitled to wait as long as you freaking want, it’s your body and you don’t get to be used by anyone. If you *want* to, then yes he’s your husband, you could go for it. I don’t have any advice, just hugs.

    • Do you love him? Are you still his friend and he – yours?

    • I don’t think I will ever understand why men measure the relationship by the number of LGPs that are occurring.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think you are absolutely entitled to wait until you feel ready and you should not force yourself to have an LGP. That said, I think your husband isn’t wrong to say that LGPs are an important part of a healthy relationship and your relationship isn’t healthy if the thought of them repulses you.

      I agree with the poster above that marital counseling is important.

    • Definitely a *wine & cookies* issue.

      As others have said, try marital counseling. I applaud and commend both your and your husband’s to keep fighting for the marriage. Good luck, my dear.

    • HI there…I had the exact same problems as you. I mean, I could have written what you did. It’s the catch-22 – he wants LGPs to feel intimate, i needed inimacy to have LGPs…and i couldn’t feel intimacy without him owning up to his own problems (work, money, responsibility, etc).

      Anyway, we went to counseling etc but it just didn’t work out and we are in process of getting divorced. I am sorry to say. but…also, I’m not sorry because I see a light at the end of the tunnel. The sad thing is, he is still not living up to his potential. The divorce has not been a wake up call AT ALL, his money problems are out of control. We have a child. I’m just glad that it won’t really be my problem any more.

      sigh.

      • MaggieLizer :

        “It’s the catch-22 – he wants LGPs to feel intimate, i needed inimacy to have LGPs.”

        What a great way to explain the problem. OP, have you said this to your husband? Could you try to ease back into physical intimacy by starting to hold hands or accept a neck rub from him, with the understanding that he will not pressure you for more?

        • “he wants LGPs to feel intimate, I needed intimacy to have LGPs.”

          I have heard this before with respect to how men and women view these matters, and to be honest I use it in my own relationship, but I state it slightly differently:

          “men need LGPs to build a relationship; women need the relationship in order to want LGPs”

          This being the case, maybe it is worth a try if you really do want to work things out with your husband. I don’t know, fantasize about Idris Elba or something (or dude of choice) if you need to. But I agree with MaggieLizer that maybe you need to start with simple touch and go from there. It is pretty hard to leap from 0 to 60.

      • I’m in this position now. We’re in counseling, but we definitely need to make some progress before the LGP invitations are sent out.

  9. Ladies, just wanted to tell you that boston.com listed my specific job as one of the 6 most in demand jobs in 2013! After a couple of layoffs and numerous job changes, it’s kind of exciting.

    • Awesome. Although, not every person who works in your field gets to have as …..interesting a boss as you have. I will never not think of him as the “Basement Boss.”

  10. TJ: Are there any other ND fans in deep mourning here today?

  11. Advice for 14-year old boys needed!

    To make a long, complicated story short, it’s come to my attention that my 14 year old nephew is not being properly cared for, including that my mother went to visit him and found him without a proper winter coat (a problem she fixed, but she’s of limited means herself).

    It’s also been my concern for awhile that he’s not receiving the adult guidance he needs because he is left alone to play on his computer most days. To be clear, he’s bipolar and can be difficult to deal with (in my completely unqualified opinion, this is partially to do with him not having the proper coaching and care), and a family friend has stepped in by allowing him to stay with her family some days to get some practice interacting. I plan to try and reach out to the kid more often myself (he lives in a different state), but that’s neither here nore there.

    I’ve decided to try and provide some of the necessities he may be lacking (clothing, etc), but I’d prefer to buy the items myself because it seems that the money being given by my sister to his deadbeat father for his care is not being used for the boy’s care. Problem is, I know NOTHING about what 14 year old boys wear– do any parents here have suggestions for clothing brands/styles, and other things teen boys like?

    • I realize this is not your main point, but my little brother (who just started at an Ivy) refused to wear a proper winter coat throughout HS – b/c his entire existence was scooting from heated vehicle to heated building, he saw it as “useless” (in only the way that a teenage boy can). So guess what, my parents didn’t buy him a coat since he wasn’t really in harm’s way. Just a different viewpoint in case that was some sort of “tipping point” in your concern.

      that said, if there is a real issue with clothing, it seems that the hoodie / zip neck sweater + tee underneath remains popular. I’m from a relatively preppy area so Jcrew, Lacoste, etc are popular, but that can definitely vary by geography.

      • Agree with full-zip hoodie over tee shirts. My nephews don’t like pullover hoodies or swatshirts because they get warm and want to take them off and don’t want to mess up their hair.

    • saac n mama :

      That sounds so hard! He’s lucky his extended family is there for him.
      How often do you see him? Can you ask him what he likes? Many tweens and teens like jeans; my 10 yr old can’t stand them because they’re too constricting.
      Short socks seem to still be in, from what I can tell. Make sure he knows his shoes will stink if he doesn’t wear socks.
      On all the computer time–maybe you could ease him away from it with a splurge on a toy that is guided by computer program or ipod.
      Good luck!

    • Thanks-

      Cat may be right about the coat issue (I vaguely remember being a teen), but my impressively low opinion of my sister’s ex husband does cloud my opinion there. My mother also said he was really happy about the coat she bought him, but I wasn’t with her at the time, so it’s all second-hand info. She also bought him some jeans because his no longer fit well.

      He’s in a different state and I avoid that particular branch of the family (outside my mother) to save my own sanity, so I see him rarely. However, I don’t believe in punishing a child in need because of ill-behaved adults.

      In fact, I’m kicking myself for not working harder to build a relationship with him, since his lack of parental guidance (and my complaints about such) are nothing new. In the few times he has been in my care (those occasions now limited by my out of state job), I have made it a point to get him out of the house to do something.

      I’m thinking of sponsoring a hobby for him once I identify more of his interests (covering his equipment costs for a sports team or helping him learn about car mechanics, for example).

      • K...in transition :

        Maybe you can call the house when he’s home and others aren’t or find out whether he has a cell # and he can set up an amazon wishlist for you to buy from? This prevents him or others from spending your money on random junk but allows him to choose the things he wants. Also, if you think he is being neglected emotionally or not getting his basic needs met, contact children’s services and let them intervene. It could save his sanity or his life, depending how bad it can be.

        • I think the Amazon wish list is a good idea- will probably discuss that with him.

          As far as the home life, I’d prefer not to intervene on that level. He doesn’t live with his mother because his condition has caused him to act out and affect others in the household (and I have my own opinions about why that is, I digress), so he went to his father’s.

          I have spoken with my sister about other options, and apparently the next step would be for the state to place him in a group home with other severely bipolar children, which she (a psychiatric nurse) is staunchly against because of the frequency of violence and poor lifestyle choices of the other patients he’d be living with. I respect her decision on that aspect, especially since her field of work has allowed her to become familiar with the state of those group homes in a way that most parents wouldn’t.

          My gameplan here is to try be a supportive adult for him and try to fill in the gaps as far as things he may need. Perhaps if other adults in his life (my mother, the previously-mentioned family friend, hopefully others) also continue to show care and support, then he’ll still have some of the guidance and role models he needs.

      • Since he seems to like computers and you want to reach out, maybe you could Skype him sometime? If his computer doesn’t have a camera, there are many options that work with any computer with a USB drive, so you could send him one of those.

        The teenage boys I know all seem to love RC stuff (helicopters, planes, cars, etc.). Clothing wise, my brothers really disliked longsleeve shirts at that age. They wore the same t-shirts year round and layered with a hoodie (often a zip up) or a fleece.

      • saac n mama :

        I like the idea of sponsoring the hobby. Sounds like you’d have to figure out transportation for him too.
        Any chance that he could come visit you during school vacation?

      • Maybe ask the family friend that is letting him spend some time with them for specifics on what they think he needs most right now or send them a gift card for them to purchase some clothing, etc.. for him.

      • My 14-year old hates zip up hoodies. He will only wear a pullover. Kids can be pretty picky about things like that, so finding out his preferences is a good idea. The Amazon wish list mentioned is a great idea.

        In the midwest, my kid and most of his friends wear Aeropostale, American Eagle, Hollister, Under Armour, North Face.

        If you want to build your relationship with him, communicate with him via one of his preferred modes – skype, facebook, text, etc. Does he play online games? Is there one he plays that you can tolerate? Play that with him. I know it seems really surface-y, but relating on the surface level is absolutely essential for relationship building in that age group.

        • Thanks for the advice- anything helps. I recently killed a plant– that says all you need to know about my experience with being nurturing.

          I’m also going to extend my trips to the area in the future so I can spend some time taking him out to places. I realize there’s only so much I can do from afar, but I’ve become increasingly distressed over his circumstances over the years and feel that more has to be done for him in terms of support.

  12. Everyone else is talking about LGPs... :

    …so I feel OK doing so too. You guys. I’m nervous. I have a appt this afternoon with my gyno after a messy LGP with a gentleman friend this weekend. It’s making me nervous. I don’t *think* anything is wrong with me, but now that the appt is today I’m having a hard time focusing.

    • Deep breaths! Comfort yourself with the fact that you’re doing everything you can to protect your health. I hope it all goes well!

    • what kind of ‘messy’ are we talking about here? That may be tmi, lol, but in any case you are probably fine, try not to stress out!

      • Everyone else is talking about LGPs... :

        It is probably tmi…so I hope no one is offended. “Messy” as in bleeding, not a ton, and it’s only happened with this particular gardner, but, now I’m nervous. I am trying to remind myself that I’m being smart in going to talk to my doc, who’s wonderful, but I’m getting anxious.

        • Oh so Anon (again) :

          Not going to say “totally normal,” and you’re right to get it checked out. But, it definitely happens sometimes. All that cervix-bumping. I’ve had it happen with one or two partners, and found it was generally after slightly more rough s3x, but not always. You’re probably fine :).

        • Hey, don’t worry about it – this has happened to me (but only with some people), but it’s good that you’re getting it checked up. There’s probably just some tissue tearing or abrasion. I don’t know why it happens for me with some people but not others. Don’t stress!

          • Thanks to all the anons. That’s what I am thinking it is, and what I told my partner. We will see, hopefully it will be the same answer form my doc. It definitely helps to hear some reassuring echos to what I’m hoping it is!

          • Same thing here- it has happened to me several times and with different people. Generally both size of my partner and having slightly rougher s3x are the culprits. Always good to see the doc though. My GYN just told me that I happened to be a bit more sensitive than others and as long as it stops after a few days there was really nothing to worry about.

        • I’ve had this happen too, particularly after more ahem, enthusiastic partying. You’re right to see you OB though, if you’re worried.

        • anon for this :

          Also, had this. I bled heavy period style for two weeks. Gyno even seemed freaked out. Nothing was wrong and it was just over enthusiastic gardening with the extra long hose that triggered it.

          • As long as there are no rose thorns stuck in my flower bed! (Was that too much with the analogy?)

    • …and now I really feel like I know nothing. I’ve only ever been with the husband…but, we’re happy and I guess that’s ok then.

  13. And because I’m procrastinating – I need to write a reporting standards document – did anyone else watch Deception last night? I’m hooked. Since Gossip Girl is gone and Revenge has gone downhill, this should fill the gap nicely.

    • hellskitchen :

      I caught the second half and then wished I had seen the full pilot. It promises to fill in Monday evenings quite well!

    • I watched it. Wasn’t feeling the pilot, but I’ll give it another 2-3 episodes. I blame Shonda Rhimes (sp?) because the Scandal pilot set the bar waaaaay to high. :-) But I wish they had not telegraphed the “twist” so much. I had it figured out 10 minutes after she met the family.

      Also, check out this week’s episode of Revenge, there’s some horrible stuff (mainly the Stowaway plot), but the red Sharpie marker came back out!

      And if you’re looking for something really out of control, you should check out Catfish on MTV. If you can, start with the movie.

  14. Really random question: do you use toner? If you do, do you think it does anything for you?

    I have been on a skin improvement kick the last year or so and my skin has definitely gotten much better (I started randomly breaking out in my late 20s after having pretty great skin all through the teens and early 20s), but while it’s clear and fine, it just doesn’t look great somehow. I am trying to figure out what I’m missing. Obviously more sleep and fresh air, but that’s harder to fix. So my thoughts have turned to toner. I remember reading it’s an unnecessary step but maybe it does something?

    • I don’t. Partially because it seems hard to find and partially because my mom used to use it (so I guess it seems dated to me). I am 27 and recently started with the Ole Henricksen line at Sephora. It is amazing! I got a skin care sampler and my face is nearly glowing. I am trying to figure out which of the 7 items in the sampler is responsible for my gorgeous skin, because I cannot possibly purchase all of the items in full-size. Luckily their samples are VERY generous. I highly recommend trying some of their line.

    • hellskitchen :

      I was using Aveda toner for a few months – last summer it seemed like all beauty mags and websites were touting toner so I got sucked into buying some. It didn’t do anything for me. I still have half a bottle left

    • Maddie Ross :

      I do, and I love it. I just use the neutrogena toner (blue bottle, white cap) and I feel much more refreshed than I used to. My pores look smaller and I do think my skin just looks fresher. I don’t know that it does anything for acne or wrinkles, but it does just make me “feel” better. I don’t usually travel with it (for fear of a mess since I would have to re-bottle it) and I can tell the difference in my skin while I’m away from home.

    • I do, but it’s because I have really oily/acneprone skin, and I use a toner designed for that. It helps me, but YMMV.

    • I used toner for years and years and finally quit sometime last year. I’ve seen zero difference in the way my skin looks.

    • Are you exfoliating? I purchased the Paula’s Choice skin balancing line, based on so many recommendations on this site. It comes with a cleanser, toner, an AHA gel, and two moisturizers. At first I used all of the products together, but have realized that the things that make the biggest difference for me are the cleanser, toner, and AHA gel (and then my own moisturizers/sunblock). I do think the toner helps, but I think the biggest things that have helped keep my skin clear(er) and “not dull” has been the exfoliating gel and moisturizer.

    • I use toner. I feel like I sweep the dead skin flakes off my nose when I use a little toner pad. I like toner that adds something extra- I either use Trish McEvoy Beta Hydroxy pads or a Rodan+ Fields toner with salycilic acid. I don’t like to use toners that are astringent, meaning made with alcohol or witch hazel. Those sting and turn my skin red.

      • I have some rose water toner, very gentle, but maybe I will try it out and see if it makes a difference. I’m just always reluctant to add products because I feel like my skin does best when left largely alone.

    • I use a clindamycin wipe in the morning and evenings (it’s prescription and the copay comes out to like $3, it’s $40 full price, I think). It’s really been helping my skin since I only use a sulfur wash twice a week (due to laziness). I have combination skin, acne-prone and it does better when I do very little to it. Whenever I remember, I smear the Ziana gel at night.

    • I am a banana. :

      I use witch hazel. I went off hormonal BC several months ago and had a nasty time with teenager style breakout skin. The witch hazel was the only change I made to my skincare routine and it has really made a difference – my skin looks bright and glowing and even and I don’t have breakouts anymore. I don’t like how it smells but the smell goes away when it dries.

      I used the Neutrogena toner for years but I felt like it was too hard on my skin. I wanted to get away from salycilic acid because it was drying my face out.

    • I use a witch hazel toner. I like it because I feel like it removes any leftover soap or makeup residue that I may have missed when I washed my face. Agree that it can be hard to find, but my skin never feels as nice when I skip it. (The appearance is the same though–I don’t know that toner actually does much for the skin.) L’oreal use to have a hydrating toner that I liked, but I haven’t seen it in awhile. Alcohol based toners for oily skin are easy to find, Neutrogena is one that works well.

    • Yes. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing toner. It’s amazing. It makes my skin super soft and perfectly moisturized but not shiny. I love it.

  15. Anonymous for this :

    Hoping it’s not too late on this thread to get some good advice from you wise women re: marriage and divorce.

    1. How often is it normal/healthy to contemplate divorcing your spouse? As in, to go so far as to think about what your action plan would be, if not to take any steps to implement it? I’m sure this varies based on life stages, so I’ll posit that we have a young child and are going through some career transitions associated with that.

    2. How does one go about thinking about whether divorce is a good idea when the reason for the divorce is that your spouse is not dedicating enough time to your house and your children/family? On the one hand, it seems very IR-rational to divorce someone for not making enough time for the children (moving out means inevitably less time for them) or being completely, aggressively unwilling to help around the house (it’s not like the chores will magically get done by someone else if I’m a single parent!). On the other hand, I guess the resentment over these things might build enough to damage the goodwill and love in a relationship. I’m reaching the point where I’m so tired of fighting over his lack of (non-financial) commitment to the family that I’d rather leave him and stop expecting any. I feel like my day-to-day life would change only that I’d have less money and more financial strain.

    3. Has anyone here accepted essentially a marriage of convenience? As in, you’ve given up having a meaningful relationship with your spouse, and given up asking/expecting anything from him — other than the finances and economics of the shared home? Do you think it’s really possible to “let go” of expectations this way and reach some type of happiness/contentment? These types of relationships seem to be portrayed on TV a lot — where the husband makes gobs of money, and the wife lives off his money while turning a blind eye to the problems in the relationship and his huge character flaws — but I’m wondering whether/how they exist in real life.

    4. How much would you be willing to “hire out” to preserve a marriage? Common wisdom in our social group indicates that having regular housekeeping and childcare even when one spouse is working only part-time is a smart way to manage your time and lessen strain on a relationship. Assuming for now that we have the means to hire out almost everything if we wanted, am I ridiculous to think that there is still value in both parties contributing time/labor to the family? (I.e., I could add an extra four hours a week of childcare to buy myself spare time, but what I really want is for my husband to spend four fewer hours a week playing video games so that he can watch our child and take out the trash).

    • This sounds all too familiar to me–even down to the obsession with video games!

      I decided to work on our relationship rather than leave. I felt like I needed to at least give my husband a chance to improve his behaviors and our relationship before splitting up. And, so far it has worked. We both read “The Five Love Languages” together, which made my husband realize that doing his fair share of chores was not about housework but about making me feel loved. Now, he does more than his fair share of the housework–last night, I came home from a late meeting to find the floors mopped, the kitchen cleaned, the carpets vacuumed, and the clutter put away throughout most of the house. He still does annoying things like shaving in the sink and not wiping it out, or leaving his dirty underwear and socks on the floor, but the fact that he’s really pitching in has made a huge difference for me.

      I think if you talk to your husband and he is not willing to modify his behaviors or work on your relationship, then divorce may be the best option for you. You deserve to be happy!

    • In your first question, I feel like what you are really asking is it normal for happy people to think about divorce. There is nothing unhealthy about thinking about divorce, but I will tell you that in 11 years of my happy marriage, I have never once thought about divorce or an action plan. So I think it is obviously a sign that something is wrong to think about it, but there is nothing unhealthy about doing so.

      2. I think you should immediately go to therapy. I think it is totally reasonable to divorce someone because of their lack of committment, and my jaw dropped when I saw that he is playing video games. I thought maybe he was working all the time. I think you need to be in therapy yourself, and the next step is to go marriage counseling.

      3. I don’t think this will bring you fufillment.

      4. I would hire out, but I think your problems run deeper than that. Because its not just the work, its the desire thats lacking from your husband.

      Have you communicated any of this with your husband? I think you should tell him you are extremely unhappy, and you need to go to marriage counseling. Sorry you are going through this.

      • I think it might be useful to separate out the family time issues (not spending time with you and your child in favor of shutting himself away playing video games) and the household chore issue. I don’t think it’s fair to make them the same level of problem.
        As someone who has A LOT to do, and spends way more time at work than my husband does, I don’t think it’s remotely fair to think I should spend X number of hours cleaning the house when we have ample means to hire it out. He would RATHER not hire it out, and he is definitely the ‘cleaner/neater’ one. I am quite sure that if I did it, it would make him feel good, but it would make me feel like crap. I think hiring cleaning out is a fair compromise, particularly if it’s my (ie, your husband’s) income that is mostly paying for it. It is totally fair not to expect you to do *everything* with regard to housekeeping, but I don’t necessarily think it’s fair then for you to dictate the manner of his contribution in that respect. It’s fair to ask him to do *something*, but if that something is to hire a maid, I think that’s totally valid.

        Spending time with your child is another issue altogether, and if he’s unwilling to do that, you’ve got big issues. Would he go to counseling? How old is your child? Some people (parent or not) are uncomfortable around small children. That’s no excuse, it’s his child, he’s got to put in the effort and figure out ways to interact, but he may need help knowing how to do so. Or, he may be a selfish jerk and simply doesn’t care, in which case you’ve got a different question, and divorce may be in order.
        I wouldn’t focus on WHAT he does with his time (ie, he plays video games, oh, the horror. If you’re mad about the time, focus on the time, NOT the activity. Otherwise it becomes a game of “my interests are more valid than your interests” or “your choice of relaxing activity is stupid and mine are better” instead of “HEY, JERKOFF, GUESS WHAT? YOU HAVE A KID HERE.”

        I don’t favor staying for the kids sake in such situations. They will see how the two of you interact (or, don’t) and how he treats you, and the child will learn this is what love looks like. Is that what you want for your child?

      • S in Chicago :

        1. It really varies and don’t be too hard on yourself for thinking “what-ifs.” I’ve been married eight years and feel really good about our relationship. I probably haven’t thought about it in any real way for the past four or five years or so. That first and second year of marriage though, I can honestly say I thought about it almost weekly at times and at least every few months. A couple of times so seriously that I began putting in place a secret exit strategy to make me feel less pressured to stay.

        I think marriage has a lot of ups and downs, and there will be times when you will feel more connected than others and that”s OK. No one likes to share that ugly secret.

        Don’t get me wrong–most times should be “ups” and only you can determine what feels like an acceptable standard. Several of my close friends (married longer than me by 5-15 years) have talked pretty frankly to me about wanting out every now and then, although I know they are really happy and committed most of the time. I’m very glad I stayed, and they have expressed similar sentiments to me about their situations.

        It may sound cold, but it might help to equate it like a job: There will likely come a time when you would like to quit or feel like grass is greener elsewhere. When the tough kicks in, you need to think long term about whether a little bad outweighs the good, or if the bad really and truly doesn’t balance enough to be worth it. For me, it helped to examine what my nonnegotiables were, and what I would be willing to put up with and for how long.

        Things can change, but you can’t truly expect it. So if nothing changes about his values, character, and way of dealing with the world, are you OK with it? Is the underlying base strong and this is merely temporary life pressures (as soon as the kid is off to school this will be better, etc.)?

        I would never advocate staying in a relationship without mutual respect or that threatens your long-term happiness But I guess what I’m getting at is that I do think there is a lot of value in being willing to ride out a bad time or two (or six or eight…) and that you are by no means different than a lot of couples for doing so. If you have some growing pains every now and then, it doesn’t mean the foundation is bad.

        Perhaps talking to a counselor (with or without him) might help a bit in sorting out and prioritizing the pros and cons and identifying a path forward that makes you ultimately happy?

    • I am sorry you’re going thru this. I’ve am there. See my other comment above as well.

      1. Not sure the answer to this, but if you keep thinking of it regularly then I think it is time to seriously consider it. If it’s once in a while that it comes up, that’s different from it being a recurring thought.

      2. I think your point about the resentment building and building is a good one. It will just continue to get worse if things do not change. It is not fair to you or our spouse to live in resentment all the time. You should definitely talk with him about it – maybe with an objective 3rd party. I also felt like a single parent so much of the time that I ended up thinking – I might as well REALLY be a single parent and then I don’t have to be annoyed and resentful all the time.

      3. I am sure a lot of people to this…I thought of it b/c I am Catholic and of course, divorce is a no-no…but in the end the best thing anyone said to me was, “God does not want you to be a martyr for the rest of your life.” That really hit home. It’s unfair to EVERYONE to go thru life not being happy. You might not exactly be UNhappy, but you’ll never really be happy, and that’s not good. Especially for your child. You want your child to have happy and fulfilled parents so s/he knows what that is like and can be the same. If there is not a better reason than that, I don’t know what there is.

      4. I’d try to hire out while you can and see if that makes a difference in your relationship. You’ve got to try everything you can. And if your feelings don’t change after the hiring, it is time to move on (obviously that’s simplifying things, but in the end…it is what it is).

      I could have written much much more but well i don’t want to dwell on this all that much at work! The very, very best to you. Good luck.

    • 1. In the almost 8 years I’ve been married, I have never contemplated divorcing my husband.

      In contrast, I think of my college bf — I dated him for almost a year, and after the first month, I constantly thought about dumping him. Due to my naivetee and inexperience, I didn’t dump him right away, which made it much harder to dump him after 12 months. But it was a sign that this relationship had major problems. If you’re happy, you’re not always thinking about escape.

      2. It’s not a “little” thing to want to divorce over. Your husband, in his repeated refusal to help with the work of building/keeping the house, is in effect saying that he refuses to be a partner in the relationship. What is a marriage if it is not a partnership? This is a serious problem, and not a little thing. Don’t think that you are petty for being upset over this. Also, he doesn’t want to spend more time with the children so he can play video games? Wow, your husband sucks. Seriously, why bring children into the world if he just wants to not spend time with them? It’s seriously @ssholish to bring children into the world just so you can have bragging rights, or naming rights and then dump all the real work and care onto your wife. People do what they really want, no matter what bull they spin. We seek out the people we want to spend time with. Now, maybe your husband doesn’t realize this.

      Therapy can help him reach out to the kids, or reveal that he doesn’t actually care about them that much. You don’t know which yet, and for all your sakes, I hope it’s the former, not the latter. If he doesn’t actually care about your kids that much as people vs. bragging-rights-placeholders, divorce him already.

      3. A marriage in name only sounds like a serious, dark lie. Not a “little white lie.” It sounds oppressive to me, but that’s just my view.

      4. Offloading/outsourcing relieves the symptoms, but doesn’t cure the underlying ailment. Your husband is just not that invested in the marriage or the family. Therapy can help him learn how to be. But all that is predicated on his actually wanting to invest. He may just, once he looks into his own heart, realize he doesn’t love you or the kids that much. I hope that is not the case. But that is often the case. Give him a chance to figure out what it is he wants. If he cares, do work to try to help him along and encourage him. If he doesn’t care, cut him loose.

    • I think I can best answer #4. My grandparents raised me, and now that I’m an adult I realize that my grandfather is nothing short of amazing. He’s a contractor, and used to leave the house between 5:30-6am and get home around 3:30-4pm. He would go immediately out into our 4 acres and do chores until dinner. My grandma and I would make dinner, we would eat, and then we would all hang out in the living room while I did homework or whatever. Weekends my grandpa and I worked around the house / garden, and the inside and outside of our property was always spotless. Granted, my grandmother didn’t work, but my grandfather did a TON of work even though he was a busy business owner.

      Because of that, for the first several years of living with my husband, I was just totally offended at the idea of hiring anything out. Finally, once we were making plenty of money, I hired gardeners because I got tired of looking at my long grass and having to be a nag about it. That was amazing. When things got even busier, I re-hired my cleaning people. My husband will never be a cleaner. He grew up in a cluttered house and was never made to clean anything, and it just isn’t worth the energy for me to fight over it. So…although I think there is value in taking care of things yourself, in a way you ARE taking care of things yourself by hiring it out. No one has time to work full time, do all the house / yardwork, and do all the childcare and not burn out. This way the things you have time for can be more quality and less rushed.

      I finally came to the realization that a clean house / neat yard is not worth my marriage or the small percentage of our income it eats up to hire out.

      The weird thing? Now that we have cleaners, my husband is MUCH more willing to do things like picking up the floor and putting things away pre-clean. It’s strange, but good. Maybe because he isn’t so overwhelmed and doesn’t have to do the thing he hates most…deal with laundry!

      • Your grandfather sounds amazing.

        • SoCalAtty :

          He is. He turned 88 last October, and he pretty much worked full time into his 70s. He still does odd jobs but his vision is getting bad (macular degeneration), so mostly he helps my Uncle out at his shop (also a contractor, found a niche market building wine cellars) and does projects where he lives. He bought a mobile home after my grandmother passed away, and since he had a tiny bit of cash put away, he got a 3 bed / 2 bath place on a great lot for $22k. His SS income is more than enough to cover site rent, but when he moved in the community wanted new mailboxes – so he builds 2 per month and that makes his site rent free! They need at least 150, so that will last a while! The last big thing he did was about 12 years ago – he built a huge 2 story barn/garage for a friend of ours that has a mandarin orchard. Drive through bays, cold storage…so cool.

          He was also a Marine during WWII, but never left California – when he was in basic they discovered he could cook, so they kept him here at Mare Island!

          He is up in Nor-Cal, but I try to get up there as often as I can and I talk to him on the phone at least every other day, if not every day. When I’m there he still tries to buy lunch/dinner and gets all cranky when I won’t let him.

          The only drawback is that I find myself holding my husband to that standard – which is totally not fair for any husband! He gets close, though :)

          • Bewitched :

            +1 on not holding Hubby to same standard, especially if he comes close! I sometimes think it’s sad that we’ve lost some of the standards of “yester-year”. You know, treat others as you would like to be treated, always extend a hand to others in need, money doesn’t bring happiness but hard work and decent living do…Your grandpa’s story inspires me to be a better person, and more importantly, to keep harping on my kids about why certain things are important in life. He’s a treasure…

          • He sounds wonderful– you are so lucky to have such a wonderful and great role model in your life!

      • Socalatty, this really tugged at my heartstrings – my grandad was like this also. He was a busy business-owner but lived in a house filled with his own ingenious little projects and adaptations. He was also a terrific cook and his kitchen was such a special place, always spotless, high-grade knives thriftily sharpened over many years to skinny blades, his own special design for larders and drying racks, a huge industrial fridge long before it became fashionable to use these things at home.

        So glad to hear that yours sounds thoroughly appreciated by his family and community !

    • 4. Do both of you get some free time in the week to spend as you like? Hiring some help may be worth a try. Say you outsource a half day of childcare or the cleaning. That, in turn, allows you and your husband to spend 4 hours on spouse or self time. I would be concerned though if even if you freed up more time, he continues to only spend this newly found time on himself.

    • How old is your child? I have a 2 year old and feel like just in the last 6 months or so my relationship with my DH has gotten back on track. For both of us, but especially for him, after having a child it was a big adjustment to figure out how to handle work + husband/wife relationship + parenting + all the random life crap everyone has to deal with. I also think it brought up some issues that hadn’t been fully resolved from his own childhood/family of origin.

      During the rough period (which probably lasted close to a year) I definitely contemplated divorce if things didn’t improve. I went to counseling on my own and managed to drag DH to one joint session (his desire not to to any further sessions acted as part of his incentive to work on our issues).

      And you don’t say directly, but how is your husband as a dad? Not helping out around the house is one (albeit majorly annoying thing) but if he isn’t willing to put down the video games to interact with your child that’s quite another. For me, that my husband was a good dad to our child made it a lot easier to commit to working on the other stuff.

      On the hiring out, I would do as much as you can afford – we have a housekeeper/cleaner who comes twice a week and does dishes, laundry and occasional meal prep in addition to cleaning. When I come home for work, I view spending time as a familyas my top priority time-wise and so am willing to pay to facilitate it.

      Long story short, I would recommend finding a counselor to talk this through with and help formulate an action plan. I would also pick a time when you and your huband are both calm and lay out how much his actions are hurting you, what you would like to see change, and what he can expect to happen if he doesn’t work towards making those changes. Please keep us posted – I’ll be rooting for you.

    • KansasAnalyst :

      I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Internet Hugs! I don’t know if any of my advice will work for you, but it’s worth a shot. Besides agreeing with the advice that all of these other smart people gave, especially going to counseling, I would recommend you try this:

      Spend 5 min everyday thinking of all of the reasons why you married your husband/why you love him. Make a list (it’s ok if it seems very short right now). It can be as simple as 1. He is a good provider for our family. You are still allowed to be mad, hang with me on this. Next, make an effort to give him a sincere compliment about what you wrote on your list. For example, “Thank you for working so hard for our family”. Resist the urge to say “but” with these compliments. I know its hard because you are feeling unappreciated and angry, but just try the experiment and see if it improves things.

      I wish I had a ton more time to give you some (what I hope is helpful) advice but work has me a little slammed so I have to get back to it.

      • Anon for this thread :

        Good luck and hugs! It can be very helpful to talk things over with a skilled and compatible therapist. If the first (or second, or even third) therapist doesn’t feel like a good fit to you, keep looking.
        My experience is below in case it’s helpful. If you search this blog’s archives you’ll find a past discussion in which several people recommended good books to read. Try searching for “John Gottman.”

        Several years ago things got really rough between myself and DH (rough emotionally, not physically). When I shared my consideration of divorce two people asked me very helpful questions:
        “You were happy with him before; could you be happy with him again?”
        “If there’s any way to work things out, do so, because that’s better than getting divorced.” (Speaker was divorced. Story of that now-ended marriage: both spouses finally accepted that they were not a good match and not going to get better together. No drama, affairs, secret events involving money or careers, horrible custody battles, etc.)

        In my/our case, we were able to find mutual happiness again. We also got better at having LGPs. (Never expected this, but it was a nice benefit.) We each still have our faults but I think we’re more skilled at tolerating each other’s faults and at expressing our own unhappiness before it gets to be a Huge Deal. It also helped that in our case although we were both unhappy neither one of us really wanted to deal with the hassles of being divorced, sharing custody, etc.

        I’m not preaching that Divorce is Immoral or Stay. Together. No. Matter. What. But if you can adjust your present situation until you are both honestly happy, you’ll avoid the wear and tear of splitting up, recovering, and going forward.

        • Anony for this :

          This. I think the 2 questions raised above are really good ones. Could you be happy again with hubby? And, is there a way to work things out with hubby (realizing that both of you have to commit to a solution)? Divorce is so painful that it is really important to identify the absolute-marriage-ending problems from the difficult-but-can-be-solved problems. For many people–not all people and not necessarily you–people are happier repairing the marriage than getting a divorce, assuming that the marriage is repairable.

          For your questions, I think #3 and #4 are easy. For #3, yes, many people accept a marriage of convenience–almost all marriages are going to go through rough patches where they aren’t passionate or perfect and are kept as a “convenience” The problem is a permanent marriage of convenience and one that isn’t, over the long term, a source of happiness. For #4, if you can afford to outsource things and that removes a stressor from your marriage, then by all means, OUTSOURCE all that you can. If it puts you and hubby in a better mood, you may find him doing the things that you want him to do (positive feedback and all that).

    • Anonymous for this :

      Thanks to everyone for your (as usual) very insightful and helpful thoughts here. To expand a bit on the above:

      It’s the childcare situation that’s killing me. When my husband focuses on our daughter, he is good with her — doesn’t lose his temper with her, plays fun games, etc. But he spends very little time actually doing this. His day is as follows: Wake up, spend 5-10 min with child, take leisurely 45 min in bathroom to get ready, head to work ~9:00, come home around 8:00 pm when child is already asleep, play many hours of video games until he’s tired, go to bed. He also has regular guys’ nights. On the weekends, he has football he wants to watch and more video games to play. When he took vacation over the holidays, we were with family, and he did basically no childcare the whole time. He slept and read and watched tv. When I nagged him to help, he said he needed a vacation and that since our family wanted to help with the baby, I should let them and leave him alone.

      I am doing my best to find some extra childcare so that I get downtime, but that doesn’t fix what I see as his excessive need for “downtime” at the expense of spending time with our daughter. His choice to stay up late playing video games means that he sleeps in later than necessary in the morning instead of spending time with her. When I point this out (sometimes rationally, often times angrily), he defends his need to relax after a stressful day at work. (He likes video games so much that he will cut into his sleeping time even when he is really busy at work.)

      I get everyone’s point about the household chores. I have to pick my battles.

      We’ve currently set up an extra 10 hours of childcare per month with a babysitter to give me down time (the most we can do at prevailing rates without having to withhold, info report, etc.). And I feel pretty refreshed with that. But I’m sick of having it thrown in my face. When I ask him to take boxes to storage or clean out the dryer vent, because I can’t physically do it with a toddler underfoot, he tells me I should do it when the babysitter is here. When I tell him I want to read a book while he watches our daughter, he tells me to do it while the babysitter is here bc he’s busy with video games. When I tell him his vacation from work is not a vacation from our daughter, he insists it is and that I get “vacation” when the babysitter is here. I’m at wits’ end.

      • I am at a loss for words after reading this. It sounds like your husband is being very selfish and has a lot of growing up to do.

      • Frankly, it sounds like he does have a bit of a video game addiction, you might look into ideas on dealing with that. His behavior is addict behavior, not just downtime. Look at a checklist of addictive behavior; his fits. Video games aren’t inherently bad, just like having a drink of alcohol isn’t inherently bad. But if you replace all the ‘playing video games’ above with “drinking alcohol”, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s excessive and interfering with his ability to manage his life.
        I will say 9am to 8pm is a pretty long workday, so I have to agree he is entitled to some downtime however he wants to spend it, but what he’s doing is way beyond that.

        His attitude towards your daughter is concerning. I’d be tempted to hire the babysitter to come every day for 2 weeks, and take a vacation by myself and let him figure out how much of a vacation just having a babysitter really is.

      • This is really sad, particularly for your daughter.

      • SoCalAtty :

        That would have me at my wits end too. My husband does this in phases – he’ll get a new game or get on a kick and want to play more than he should. My reaction is to generally institute a video game ban, or at least put time limits on it. Or if there are really deadlines on things we need to get done, mysteriously the power cord on the xbox will vanish…maybe not the most adult thing to do, but it gets the message across and it works for us.

        I would suggest finding some time to sit down and list your schedule for him, just like you did his for us. Put them both down on a piece of paper, and make him look at how much more you are doing. Just tell him that if you don’t get some breaks, you are going to burn out, get sick, and he will end up with a mess in his lap. Because it’s true! Then make one big list of all the things that have to get done and when, and let him choose some things. Try to divide it up. Even have it in time blocks if you can. “I’m busy because I’m playing video games” is never a good answer when there are things to do. That’s something for when there is truly down time.

      • I am in the exact situation as you, except that I’ve been dealing with it for the past 8 years (married 20). Divorce is a no-go for me until my kids are grown (this is my personal choice, I’m choosing my unhappiness over the potential of destabilizing my children’s lives). But I think in my heart I already know that I’ll be gone once the kids are.

        My only mote of advice is – you need to figure out the psychology underlying your husband’s behavior. There are two possibilities: he is either simply clueless and not fully understanding the demands of a household with children (as well as what his refusal to participate in sharing the burdens demonstrates w/r his esteem of you) OR he is one of those neanderthal men who genuinely believes that it is a woman’s place to take care of home and family. I learned too late that my H is the latter. The problem with men believing the latter is that no amount of counseling will help – for example, my H fundamentally believes that all of the US is suffering from a long-term and persistent c@stration of its men, and that all forms of counseling/ compromise/ discussion are merely extensions of such trend.

        • No offense, but your husband is gross. I hope when you divorce him you get EVERYTHING!

        • You didn’t ask so forgive me for butting in, but I wonder whether the home environment you describe is really better for your children than the potentially destabilizing (and the de-stabilization itself is temporary — once you establish new households things re-stabilize) of divorce. Also, I have friends whose parents stayed together until the kids left then immediately got divorced. The friends felt duped and betrayed by their parents who’d essentially lied to them about having a “happy” family. Just a few thoughts. And, again, sorry for sticking my nose in.

        • I’m sorry but I hope you think about what kind of role models you’re setting for your children. My parents stayed together in a loveless but functional marriage, which has led to completely f’d up views and absurdly low expectations for my own relationships.

        • Anonymous for this :

          Thank you for your comment. I worry that my husband might be the latter, too. When we were dating/engaged, he used to make jokes regularly about “a woman’s place,” etc., but I really didn’t think he meant them. When I engaged him on the topic seriously, he would say that of course that sounded nice for him, but of course he didn’t really think it had to be that way. Nonetheless, before we got engaged, we had really explicit conversations about how I was not willing to do all the childcare/household work, and he made explicit promises about what he understood that meant he would be doing around the house. And then we got married, and he promptly backtracked on EVERYTHING.

          I am on an extended maternity leave right now (daughter is 13 mos.), so temporarily SAHM, and trying to figure out what to do about my work situation. My previous job involved lots of travel. My former boss is influential in my field and has offered to help find me in a more regular 9-to-5 job, but I’m very hesitant to take her up on it and add a full time job to the needs of my daughter given my husband’s current stance. Part-time work doesn’t really exist in my field, so I’d need to retrain to go that route.

          My current plan is to leave my husband and take one of the 40 hr/wk jobs, which would be enough to support my daughter, just not as comfortably as my husband does. I’m just so very sad to be contemplating this, and I’m not sure how to get out of this mindset and make things work. I just want him to turn into a different person than he’s become so I can have a happy marriage. :(

        • I know you didn’t ask, but your choosing your unhappiness AND the pain of your children over temporarily destabilizing them. Divorce is obviously a very tough decision. But as someone who’s mom left as soon as I was in college, it has hit me much harder than if she had left him when I was 10. I’ve had to deal with 1) growing up with no respect for my mom even though I loved her. But she was working 40 hours, she was waiting on my dad, she took care of the house. I was always think why won’t she just leave, after seeing what a great supportive dad my uncle was, and realizing my dad was… the opposite. 2) you have no idea what its like for an 18 year old to realize their mother spent YEARS swallowing her own needs until you to get to college. And its not fair, honestly, that I have to deal with this guilt. I would have rather she left! It was around age 10-11 that I started picking up on the underlying resentment and power imbalace. Kids are so perceptive.

      • Wait, so you have to get your child ready in the morning and do the whole bedtime routine by yourself, every night? Not cool. Please tell me he at leasts handles that on the weekend. I can’t quite tell from your post, but are you responsible for providing childcare during the week, either as a WAH/SAH parent? Because caring for child is pretty much a full-time job. Sure you may be able to toss in a load of laundry or run a quick errand as a bonus, but its a full time job. Perhaps a day or two having to exist as the sole caretaker may open his eyes? I do think the video games are an issue too…

        • Anonymous for this :

          I’m temporarily SAH right now (see my note above), mostly because I don’t feel my husband is supportive enough for me to return to work from maternity leave. I didn’t want to go into the WOH/SAH battle here unnecessarily. But to the extent that adds color to the situation, there it is.

      • Whoa. That is seriously not okay. He has got to support you more, whether that means spending less time at work or less time with video games. If you confront him and he denies the problem or refuses to make changes, I would definitely insist he go with you to counseling. And, if he refuses to do that, you are definitely justified in breaking up, imho.

        I can only imagine how hurtful this behavior must be for you. I’m sending you hugs and positive vibes!

  16. Ladies, how do you make couple friends? My husband and I moved to the NYC area in September. He grew up about an hour away so has a couple of friends there, but I’d like to meet people who live in our neighborhood. We have a dog which is a great conversation starter, but I want to start making actual friends rather than “dog park” friends.

    • hellskitchen :

      I am following this thread to see what ideas other commenters have. My husband and I have been in NYC for a few years now and it’s been really hard to make couple friends. We both have our individual friends and hang out with them sometimes but no strong couple friends. It’s harder here in NYC than it was in other places

      • How did you make individual friends? I need girl time and have zero girlfriends within 1000 miles of here.

        • Been in SF/bay area a year and totally feel the same way. I miss my law school girlfriends.

        • hellskitchen :

          I have looked up people from school and college who are in the area and made an effort to hang out with them. I also ask friends to let me know if friends of their move to the city and want to meet other people. Joining activities to make friends has never quite worked for me but going to happy hours and networking events and such has. Perhaps we should do a meetup of everyone on this chain who wants to make new friends!

      • Ummm…. I’m in NYC and could be your friend.

        • Me too! I think making friends in NYC is just hard. Doesn’t matter if it is couples or individuals. I was born and raised in the area and have been back for nine years after college and law school and I think have managed to make 3 truly “new friends.”

      • I really hope that what I am about to say doesn’t come off as obnoxious because that’s not how I mean for it to sound at all, just thought I would share my experience.

        I am also at a point in my life when it seems like lots of people I know/meet want to be “couple friends” and it almost never works out because it just seems like no one wants to be actual friends, what they want is just another couple in their relative life stage to go to dinner with and it just feels a little silly and fake, almost like we’re playing make-belief friends rather than actual being friends. My SO and I generally like these people just fine, but it’s disconcerting to feel like you’re being groomed to fulfill some sort of quota in their life and then the conversation always becomes “men love sports and are slobs, women just want to shop and are silly” or, worse, it will be three couples and the women all talk to each other and the men to each other and it’s like what is even the point?

        Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it just feels so planned sometimes that Mr. AIMS and I have started to joke about it. So my advice is to just find people who share your hobbies and let friendship develop more naturally, without an eye on making this couple be your double date buddies. Maybe the people at the dogpark like the same sports team as you and you can ask them if they want to go watch the game one afternoon, etc. Or if you have a single friend, invite him to dinner, too – he will probably start dating someone eventually and then you can get to know her, too. Maybe just try to leave off the goal of “couple friends” off as an actual goal. If you just work on developing meaningful friendships with people, you will find couples to go to dinner with naturally. Or not – based on my circle of friends and acquaintances, there are tons of people who just want to double date, so just give it time :)

        • I’ve always been a little confused by the couple friends concept. I remember when I was single and found out about dinner parties or outings that a my coupled friends had all done together I couldn’t help but feel dissed. Was I automatically awkward or somehow dead weight because I’d make us an odd number? Or would tip the gender ratio? I’ve now been coupled for a long time but still don’t really get it. The 2×2 dynamic is fine when I really enjoy both members of the other couple, but often (as has been said) it’s really more that I’m friends with one of them and it would be rude not to invite the other. I also crave individual time with my separate friends, and Mr. Monday stands up for his ability to hang out solo as well. I’m not attacking couples hangouts, I’ve just never really pursued them and sometimes feel uncomfortable being automatically included (now) and the memory of being automatically excluded (before).

          • See my post below. The odds of 4 people really making a good friendship connection are just way lower.

            I am married, but have never understood why there’s a need for couple-friends.

            Like AIMS, I know that for some, it’s because some men have never bothered to learn to talk to women like real people and some women have never bothered to learn to talk to men like real people, so they want a same-gender person to make small-talk with over dinner.

            The other thing is, I think the cliche of the “third wheel” is harmful. Some singletons won’t want to socialize with couples b.c. they are fearful of getting in the way, and being the third wheel. Whereas some couples are jealous/fearful of the single friend of X gender for whatever insecurity reasons.

          • I think you hit on what it is that bothers me about “couple friends” as a concept – it’s the whole idea that I would have my friends and he would have his friends, and then “we” would have “our” friends. And what happens to those friends if we break up or they do at some point? Do they find a new couple to go to dinner with? It just feels too much like a grown up version of a play date.

            And I do totally get the single thing. I am always so sad when my single friends just assume that we would rather go out to dinner alone with just the two of us or that they are somehow imposing unless we hang out with other single friends. I always go out of my way to stress that it’s not the case and yet it’s so often a presumption.

            All too bad!

            But – on to really important things! – how did the gloves work out?? The pendelton dude sweater was a tremendous hit. Thanks for steering me the right way!

          • Eh, I don’t know. I was single for years and years and all my friends were also single. Now that I’m married, it seems like almost all my friends are also in serious relationships. We mostly just hang out with couple friends. We do invite single friends to parties or hang out, but if, for example, I want to hang out with one of my single girlfriends, it really works best if she and I just hang out without my husband. This means that making plans with her means making plans without my husband. That’s fine, but it does mean that making plans with couples is easier. Also, not so sure about that meaning that neither of us learned to be friends with the opposite sex. I still have tons of close male friends. We just now hang out with their wives, too, now that we’re all married. (Fwiw, my single friends pretty much dropped me once I started dating my husband, so it can go both ways. I’d find out about girls’ nights I hadn’t been invited to, even after I said I’d like to still go out.)

        • hellskitchen :

          I agree with you that the couple date thing does often seem forced and fake. And that’s precisely the problem. In my situation, DH had a good single friend he hung out with all the time. When that friend got engaged, DH begged me to join them because his friend’s fiancee felt we should hang out together. I really didn’t enjoy hanging out with either of them and it caused friction between my DH and me because his friend and the fiancee mostly wanted to hang out as couples. Thankfully they moved away after they married. I have a set of friends of grad school who are married couples and although DH will join me once or twice a year, he doesn’t hang out with them every couple of months like I do. I am fine with being the married-but-single person when we hang out and my friends are okay with that, but I do sense that they wonder DH doesn’t tag along with me every time. I guess what I am saying is that both DH and I have felt peer pressure to hang out with couples as a couple ourselves, rather than solo and I wish that weren’t the case

    • Do you like any of the dog park friends to transition them to actual friends? You could walk the dogs together (rather than go to the dog park), and then invite them over for hot chocolate/wine/cookies/etc. and get to know them a bit better to see if they’re actual friend material.

    • Have you joined any groups? I found that joining some groups – like a charitable run organization and/or the Junior League was a good way to make friends. And frankly that most “couple friends” are really just people either I or my husband are friends with who we just then hang out with their bf/gf or spouse as well. If that makes sense.

      • Did anyone ever see that How I Met Your Mother where Lily and Marshall are looking for a “couple” and keep striking out?

        I agree that the concept of “couple friends” is strange, but same as TCFKAG, most of my couple friends have happened organically where I or DH was friends with someone, and we/they got along well enough that it seemed natural to suggest drinks or dinner as a couple. And then the test became whether we could have fun for 3-4 hours. If it was a success, we’d just continue to plan events.

        If the problem is more that all of your friends are single so there’s no natural segue, try going out for drinks with a coworker that you get along with.

    • Any particular reason it has to be a couple?

      The odds of connecting with 1 person may be 1/X but if you require it to be a couple, then you’re trying to have 1/x^4.

      4 people have to connect and like each other– so the odds are harder.

      It’d be nice for you and your husband to make friends with a nice singleton, and fight the cliche and stereotype that couples only want to be friends with other couples (why? I am part of a couple and I totally do not get this.)

      • Lady Enginerd :

        Love the equation, and so very very true. Too often “couple friends” means that two-three of the people get along and the fourth is dragged along and plays nice.

    • DH and I have been together in NYC for 10 years now, and we have exactly 2 couples as “couple friends.” And one of the couples just broke up, so our number may be dropping soon…

      We became friends with the still-together couple in a very organic way. They were neighbors in our building, and we would chat when we ran into each other. We discovered similar backgrounds and interests, and started going out or inviting each other over. We do things all together, but also in pairs and threes fairly often.

      My story gives you zero advice on how to make it happen, I realize. For us, it just happened.

  17. Question for the hive. I have a minimalist clothing philoshophy, and if something isn’t in high rotation and fitting perfectly, it doesn’t earn a spot in my closet. I recently purchsed a final sale, nonreturnable suit for $200. While I like the style, it doesn’t fit well, and would require tailoring to make it wearable. Even then, it probably wouldn’t be something I’d feel comfortable in. Would you consign the suit and cut your losses, try to have it tailored, or hang onto it in storage in case your size fluctuates at some point in the future?

    • I would get rid of it. No sense having to look at it every day. If it were me, my dislike of it would just grow and grow every time I saw it orphaned in the closet.

    • I’d spend the money to tailor and wear. If you hang it in storage, you are taking the chance you will never wear it ($200 loss). If you consign it, you’ll get a fraction of the price (even if new). Since you said you liked the style, it is probably worth the tailoring investment to get a suit which will actually fit perfectly and which you will wear.

      Another option is to see how rigid the store’s “final sale” philosophy is. With J Crew and Talbot’s, especially around this time of year (post holiday), they will sometimes accept “final sale” items back under the theory it may have been a gift which did not fit. You may be relegated to store credit, but that may be acceptable. I have kept some final sale items which I have never worn, but I have also occasionally found a pleasant store clerk who was willing to help me with a final sale item.

    • How much would the tailoring cost?

      • The issue with tailoring is that the skirt is too narrow in the hips, which is usually the kiss of death. The waist is huge, but I can get that taken in. Still, if the hips are too narrow, it will ride up which we can all agree is not a look to strive for.

    • Kontraktor :

      Do you like one piece of the suit? Like the bottom of jacket? If you do, you could always tailor one piece and get rid of the other. At least you’d end up with a skirt or jacket you could wear and like.

    • consign it, unless you’ll like it if you have it tailored – if after it fits perfectly it would be something you’re not comfortable in, then don’t bother.

      • Thanks guys. Planning to keep the jacket, give the skirt away, and consign the pants. Nothing’s going to goof up my minimalist closet in 2013! (It’s a work in progress…)

        • little advice :

          i hope i’m not too late, but–you can have the skirt taken out in the hips! There is probably 1/4″ at least of fabric along each of the side seams. That might be enough to save it!

  18. My promotion has been officially announced and as part of the deal, I get to move from a cubicle to an office! I’m super excited to have an office but struggling with how to decorate it. I’ve been perusing some of the posts about decorating but want to know the hive’s opinion. Keeping in mind that I work in academia…

    What’s the single worst decoration/personal item I could put in my office?

    • Worst decoration, if you work in academia? A big NRA poster.

    • My supervisor makes me sit on a short chair and look up at her which is surprisingly effective as a hazing ritual.

      But really, I see all kinds of things in offices: paintings, political posters (UK based so maybe more acceptable?), cartoons, family photos. I always think it is nice for students, it makes them seem a bit more acceptable and helps makes awkward chats slightly less so.

      • Bring a phone book or some old crappy books you don’t want to sit on so that you’re taller than her and then grin at her insouciantly? ;-)

        • Ha, that’d be amazing! I may start sitting on my legs so at least I can see her over her desk (it is extreme) but I think that’d make me look even more like a child.

    • I knew a woman who had those “Because I’m a Princess and that’s why!” decals all over her cube. It kind of made me want to strangle her.

    • Worst? A confederate flag probably. Or a giant poster of you naked (this one is scarily something I saw in a art teachers apartment once, super creepy.)

    • anon prof :

      I think these responses are the hardest I’ve laughed in weeks, and now I’m gonna go looking for a low chair! If you were a man, the worst thing you could put in your office would probably be a couch.

      The best thing I’ve done is put bulletin boards on an entire wall of my office.

      • It’s totally effective, I’m going to remember it for when I finish my degree. I had a student rock up to a meeting after 3 drinks so I need all the authority I can muster.

  19. Has anyone tried on this JCrew navy polka-dot sweater in person?

  20. I ordered one of the $34 “the skirts” last week! It’s in this gorgeous (at least it looks that way from the photos) dark grayish-blue color. I can’t wait to try it! I had to get it shipped to the store because someone steals packages from my apartment :( (am moving soon though, so yay) and I won’t be picking it up until this weekend.

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