Tuesday’s TPS Report: Jada Color Block Dress

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

Theory Dress - Jada Color BlockI first noticed this dress in the navy/black combo pictured here — it looks clean, smart, and I always think it’s chic when designers mix black and navy like this. However, a lot of other places are stocking the dress in green and white (Saks, Nordstrom, Barneys). I still prefer the black/navy — I think it’s more subtle, and more versatile for work also. It’s $275 at Bloomingdale’s. Theory Dress – Jada Color Block

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Comments

  1. Pretty! I prefer the black and navy also.

    Anybody have a brilliant idea for Valentine’s Day gifts? My hubs and I don’t really celebrate as in go out to eat or send red roses or anything, but I always like excuses to buy him something special. Any ideas?

    • Hmm…I’m pretty anti-Valentine’s day (which apparently translates into putting me in charge of a Valentine’s Day party) but what about old fashioned candy? A game you could play together? Or booze, booze is always good.

    • I usually get my hubby a treat that he normally doesn’t buy himself, or that he doesn’t get as often as he’d like. Not sure what it will be this year yet, though.

    • Spendy fancy shave cream? And a brush if he doesn’t have one. IMO, fancy shaving cream makes a huge difference in face softness and smoothness.

    • I personally don’t think you can go wrong with a heart shaped box of chocolates. Then you get some too. :)

      I love old-school traditions & my dad used to do this for my mom every year (even if it was only Brachs from the grocery store.) I like the idea of modernizing traditions and having the wife buy the chocolate for the husband. Last year I bought my husband a heart shaped box of only his favorite kind of See’s candy – butterscotch squares – and he hoarded that thing for months. He was psyched.

  2. Sorry for the early TJ but since I’ll be getting busy later — looking for Morocco travel advice!

    Planning a 10-day trip for late April / early May. Tentative plan is 5 (or 6 depending on how our flights work out) nights based in a riad in Marrakesh (1 night and a good portion of 2 days of that time will be a trip through the Atlas / an overnight on the edge of the Sahara) and then 4 nights in one of the coastal towns (leaning toward Essaouira rather than Agadir because we’re not big-resort travelers, preferring small independent hotels and less of a “scene.”)

    We are not “pack in all the sites” type travelers — more like picking 2 main activities per day and leaving plenty of time to meander and eat / drink / people watch. Some may think that 4 days is too much for a quiet beach town, but we love to have oceanfront downtime as part of any trip.

    Advice? Nothing’s booked yet, so all recommendations welcome :)

    • No advice, but that sounds lovely.

    • Amazingness! I had a trip to Morocco in mind for the spring but realised I can’t swing 3 weeks* at my parents + another trip timewise.

      *What was I thinking? I am going to be climbing the walls!

      • You’re in the UK, right? So break up 3 weeks at your parents with visits to old friends and places you remember from growing up. Heck, that’s how I got through an 8 day visit at Christmas time.

    • I think your plan sounds perfect. I spent a week in Marrakech in a hostel right off the main market square, and a trip to the Atlas Mountains was by far my favorite part of the trip. The city is as you would expect – loud, dusty, dirty, and the mountains were beautiful and quiet. Do take every chance you get to enjoy the fresh squeezed orange juice that seems to be everywhere. We also visited an olive grove in Marrakech – can’t remember the name but that was also a welcome calm break from the market. Go check out dinner at the market just to see the brains and other crazy animal parts they are cooking up, even if you don’t want to eat them! My travel mates headed to Essaouira (without me, unfortunately!) and described it as you said – less tourists, very laid back. Have a great trip!

    • Paging Houda! Houda to the board please!

      • Yay! first time a TJ on Morocco!
        Ok so Marrakech is a lovely city but can tend to become too touristy. When picking a Riyad please make sure to read reviews especially about the comfort level and shower conditions. A Riyad in Moroccan means old house and that’s exactly what you’ll get: an old house, some of them are in better shape than others so you would want to research that.
        Marrakech is very touristy but worth visiting at least once.
        For things to do in Marrakech, definitely go to Jamaa Elfna square but also if you are into cultural tourism, youhave to check the Medersa (arabic for school) which are centuries old, there is an interesting Jewish quarter called Mellah with beautiful synagogues.
        Traffic in Marrakech is crazy CRAZY, think many motorcycles coming from everywhere, and cars that do U-turns like it’s nobody’s business. Also people have no notion of proxemics so the personal space distance is very short (that irritates me).
        If you like calm places, the Jardins Majorelles is a must see, it’s a botanical garden made by Yves Saint Laurent’s boyfriend of long and the color of the pottery is a magnificent blue (just google it and you will be amazed)!
        There a lot of circuits to see in Marrakech depending on your interests.

        Essaouira is small and calm (except when there is a festival). It has amazing historical sites especially the portugese old city and you will find many cafés and interesting places that are of a human size. There are also surfers and kite surfers as the sea is perfect for that

    • I highly recommend Riad L’orangerie in Marrakesh. The tripadvisor reviews and photos are accurate. Tobsil, Cafe Arabe and most especially the nighttime food vendors in Dja El Fnaa (sp?). On the end of the vendor “array” that is away from Cafe Argana, there is an end stall with sausages, bread and sauces that was truly excellent. We enjoyed the Marjorelle Gardens, seeing the palaces, and just wandering the souks. The riad arranged a day trip to Imlil and the Kasbah du Toubkal there. Email me at [email protected] if you would like more details.

    • If you like nature, Morocco has lots of Dams. There is one nearby Marrakech called Lalla Takerkoust (just had lunch there 2 days ago), the scenery is beautiful and it’s never full because people are not too outdoorsy. You will find restaurants where everything is sourced locally by the village people in there.
      You have to eat Tajines in Marrakech and drink as much Mint Tea as you can handle.
      Let me know if you have any specific questions :)

    • There are also snake charmers and people who do acrobatics and storytellers.
      Fresh orange juice, olives of different kinds and verbena are a must-try in Marrakech.
      You can find all kinds of exotic food, I tried snails once. But still don’t think I will dare to taste a sheep’s head.. but it’s up to you :)
      Beware of souvenir sellers, you are expected to haggle down the price which can be amusing if you are into this cultural experience so if you’re like me and do not discuss prices then you might want to avoid them.

    • Wow – thank you for all the advice so far! And special thanks to resident Houda :) I am bookmarking for reference as we make our plans and may have some shout-out follow-ups in coming weeks!

  3. I LOVE that dress…. I must convince myself not to buy it. I am trying to save for my honeymoon and I can’t do that if I keep spending money :-(

  4. My mom is in a project in Raleigh for the month and I’d love to send her some recommendations. Casual restaurants, shops, anything that sounds fun?

    • CB, I now split my time between Durham and Chapel Hill, so I can’t provide many good recs for Raleigh. However, I’ve been dying to go to the Videri Chocolate Factory. It’s a pretty unique local chocolatier in Raleigh (Google it). Poole’s Diner is also fun. And the State Farmer’s Market Restaurant is so good. All these places have websites.

      If she wants to get out and walk around, Umstead State Park is fun–although it’s winter right now, so it won’t be as nice as spring/summer. I’ll post some websites after this to avoid moderation…

      • State Farmer’s Market Restaurant: http://www.realbiscuits.com/
        Videri Chocolate http://viderichocolatefactory.com/
        Poole’s http://www.poolesdowntowndiner.com
        And the NYT just did a write-up on Durham. It’s close enough that, if she has a month, she’ll easily be able to come over this way: http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/travel/36-hours-in-durham-nc.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Shanghai, are you (or anyone else responding who lives there) by chance a lawyer, and if so, any sense of how the legal market is down in the triangle area? I really want to move back there (went to Duke for undergrad), but BF is reluctant as it involves taking the bar again and isn’t certain we could find jobs.

        • Nope, not a lawyer, but have some friends in local law schools who know a bit about the area. Relatively new resident here, so take that for what it’s worth. Unemployment here is high, but part of that is (1) factories & mills moving overseas and (2) people from other states moving here looking for work (like I did!). For educated professionals, the market seems a little slow but recovering more quickly than other areas like Atlanta. I think if you or your BF are involved in anything that would touch the tech sector–contracts, etc.–you’d be in a good position. Other areas…sorry, not really my area of expertise!

          I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the area. It feels like it’s growing, probably even more so since you graduated. It’s probably worth a trip down to network with any contacts you may have had from your Duke days.

    • Raleigh is awesome! For food, I would recommend getting bbq from The Pit and going to The Rockford Restaurant for drinks and/or their delicious Apple Bacon Cheddar sandwich. For shopping, there are fun boutiques at Cameron Village and North Hills. And I would highly recommend an afternoon trip to Durham – it’s only 30 minutes away, there are great restaurants like Guglhupf and Nana’s, and you can visit Duke’s campus and gardens (which, in the admittedly biased view of this Blue Devil, are really beautiful).

    • The Pit (BBQ) and mellow mushroom (pizza) were both delicious and casual.

    • Third recommendation for the Pit. She can also visit other cities like Durham and Chapel Hill which are both close by. Both of those campuses are really pretty. Durham has some lovely brunch places (Piedmont and Watts Grocery) and Chapel Hill has great restaurants also (take a look at Lantern). Lots of great nature / outdoorsy stuff to do also.

    • There is a fantastic Peruvian Restaurant that just opened up. I’ll go search for it, and see if I can find it.

      Where in Raleigh is she staying? There are also some great things to see and do in Durham and in Chapel Hill (about a 20-30 minute drive).

      I LOVE The Old Havana Sandwich Shop in Durham, and Sandwhich (spelled incorrectly on purpose) in Chapel Hill.

      PS – I didn’t know there were this many people in my neck of the woods. Maybe we should plan a meet up.

      • Yes! Come to Chapel Hill. Echoing the recs for Guglhupf, Watts, the Pit, Lantern, and Sandwhich — and Duke Gardens, even though I’m a Tar Heel. Elaine’s on Franklin St (Chapel Hill) is also good. Duke Forest is also really nice — many different entrances, basically trails through the woods. The Raleigh Flea Market (weekends, at the State Fairgrounds) is fun to check out. The NC Museum of Art in Raleigh and the Nasher in Durham are both good (and have good restaurants), though I tend to like their temporary exhibits better than the permanent collections.

      • Didn’t realize there were so many people around here, I’d love to do a meetup too! Contact chinar e t t e at gmail (no spaces in the dreaded [thissite] ending) if anyone wants to contact me…

    • We spent a night in Raleigh 2-3 years ago while on a road trip south. Dined at J. Betski’s and were very, very impressed. German/Eastern European food, extensive beer list, incredible bread that they bake in-house and do not sell outside of the dining room.

  5. I need some motivation to come to work in the morning. Right now I am just completely defeated. I am looking for something new but obviously that never happens as quickly as we would like.

    I am also wearing a JCrew sweater I got final sale that I should have bought one size smaller. It is making me feel a little dumpy. It’s not HUGE just clearly needs to be smaller. I have never taken a sweater to a tailor…how easy is it to take in a sweater? Is it too delicate? This particular sweater is a pretty thin merino wool.

    • Diana Barry :

      Wash it, but don’t stretch it?

    • Can you try to sell the sweater on eBay? What kind of sweater is it? Can you turn it into a purposely slouchy sweater? I like to wear bigger sweaters with tight jeans (jegging-ish, but mine are not really stretchy), boots or booties, a loose casual scarf and some layered long necklaces for a casual, weekend outfit.

    • Can you wear a collared shirt under the sweater?

    • Yes, it’s probably something you can take to a tailor. I’d just be sure to ask how much experience they have altering knit goods vs woven items, and that if they don’t/won’t do it, do they have any recommendations.

      Is it big through the shoulders, or through the body? If it’s an issue with the fit through the shoulders, you might be better off just selling it, b/c that’s going to probably involves resetting the sleeves (depending on how they are attached) and could get to be a lot of work and money if you don’t really love the sweater otherwise.

    • No advice about the sweater, but wanted to send you good vibes since it sounds like you are feeling down. I know it can be hard to get motivated! I spent 2012 in a job that did not inspire me to get out of bed in the morning, but now I’m in a new position that I enjoy so much more. Hang in there – I’m sure good things will come to you!

  6. Love the dress! Navy and black is so chic when done right.

  7. Quincy Riley Cobalt Blazer and Pants :

    I have decided that as much as I love cobalt, it doesn’t look good on me. I’m selling my Riley blazer and pants. The blazer is regular 40 C/D and the pants are regular length 33 waist. I purchased both pieces for $90 and just want to recoop my costs. Email [email protected] if interested.

  8. Women in Leadership :

    I found an article this morning that discusses why there aren’t more women in leadership positions. It focuses on Sheryl Sandberg’s ideas that she expands in her book that’s coming out in March.

    Thoughts? I agree, even though I can’t decide if it makes me a bad feminist.

    I’m pasting a couple of paragraphs below and the link in the reply.

    A provocative answer [to why there aren't more women in leadership positions] comes from Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, who has written a smart book due out in March that attributes the gender gap, in part, to chauvinism and corporate obstacles — but also, in part, to women who don’t aggressively pursue opportunities.

    “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in,” Sandberg writes in the book, called “Lean In.”

    “We internalize the negative messages we get throughout our lives, the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve. We continue to do the majority of the housework and child care. We compromise our career goals to make room for partners and children who may not even exist yet.”

    • Women in Leadership :
    • Divaliscious11 :

      Why would you think it makes you a bad feminist?

      • Women in Leadership :

        It almost feels like blaming the victim? But I know it’s a much more nuanced argument than just that women should speak up more and it’s all our fault.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          I didn’t hear blaming the victim. I hear own up to the part you may play in your space.

          I don’t see this as any different from analyze the harsh criticism for the kernel of truth etc… but admittedly, I tend to have a tough time with lack of responsibility in the guise of not blaming the victim.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I don’t find this idea particularly new or provocative, just packaged better. We discussed why women don’t raise their hands as much as men back in middle school. I think the part Sandberg glosses over is that there are consequences for women who act as assertively as men, and they’re not all positive. For me that part I mull over most is not leaning back in anticipation of wanting time for children- I agree with her premise, but struggle with it.

      • Yeah, I think that’s the problem. Women generally want to do more of the child care. Who knows why that is, but it’s a genuine difference between men and women (obviously with exceptions). So yes, it leads to there being fewer women in leadership, but is that so bad when women are actually choosing what they want?

        (I’m not one of those who says women can choose whatever they want and still be feminists, like choosing to be subservient to your husband, etc. There obviously has to be a balance. But I know so so many women who have quit big law or whatever to be home with the kids and waaaay fewer men who have done so or even expressed a desire to do so.)

        • I agree with this. Let’s face it, there are many more women who make the conscious choice to scale back when they have children. And at least in my experience, it’s usually because they WANT TO, not because their husbands expect them to. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen; it definitely does in some marriages. I just know for myself and most of my friends, we’ve decided that time with our kids is more important that climbing the ladder, especially while they’re young.

          Now, I realize it’s a bit of a catch 22 situation. Maybe more women would continue forging ahead in their careers if certain jobs weren’t so unrealistically demanding of people who want a family life. But until that reality changes, many, many women are going to say ‘nope, not for me.’

          I agree with *most* of Sandberg’s premise, but I do think she tends to overlook the fact that not every woman wants to end up where she did, and it’s not because we’re timid. It’s because we want a different kind of life.

          • SVTechLawyer :

            I thought this article at Sociological Images was interesting. Perhaps women don’t want to be at the top but apparently most of us don’t want to be housewives either and when children come along and our egalitarian marriages are stressed trying to do it all men are happy to fall back to a traditional marriage.

            http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/01/28/mens-and-womens-gender-ideologies-ideals-and-fallbacks/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SociologicalImagesSeeingIsBelieving+%28Sociological+Images%3A+Seeing+Is+Believing%29

            As long as its your choice, freely made, it’s a good thing but there is still a lot of pressure in society for women to take on the all the child rearing and for men to be the primary breadwinners which makes it very difficult for anyone, man or woman, to make a true choice in the matter.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Actually, some women, a great deal of them DO, want to be housewives etc… and have never had the luxury of that being even an option.

            Historically, most women of color have had to work for sociology-economic reasons and having the privilege of not having to work is feminism, too.

            For a more detailed discussion, see some of the backlash to the article claiming that Michelle Obama’s declaration of Mom-in-chief was somehow a negative for feminism….

          • Lady Enginerd :

            To SV tech lawyer: that’s totally a dynamic I’ve run into. I’m almost relieved there’s data backing it up… I always just thought I had exceptionally bad taste in men.

      • I agree, Anne Shirley. When I was younger (high school, college) I was much more aggressive and assertive–and it came back to bite me when I was often perceived as an overly aggressive b****. As a result, I softened my personality substantially and got much better reactions from classmates and coworkers.

        However, now that I’m moving forward in my career, I know I need to be more assertive in taking on work, getting facetime with my boss and trying to land bigger projects. But it’s hard to re-learn how to be aggressive when I’m still a little gun-shy from my past experience. It’s true women need to be assertive…but we face a lot more pitfalls than men do when we are.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I would agree with this – I think Sandberg doesn’t really recognize/comment on the fact that women who are as assertive as men are more likely to be perceived in the workplace as b*tches, fewer people want to work with them, etc. Women who negotiate a salary are much more likely to be subtly penalized than men who do so. Etc.

        So it’s not at all as simple as “just change your actions and we will be just as successful as men!” – IMO of course there ARE things we can be doing better, but the real problem is systemic, and isn’t going to be solved until we fix the system itself.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Amen to this!

        • HOLLERLUJAH.

          Trufax: I just had a contractor complain to some very high level people at my company about my “tone”. And I quote, “I appreciate Ru’s passion for the work that we do but I was taken aback at her tone.” My boss and clients in other departments shrugged and said, “Where’s the work you promised her?” This business would NEVER have happened if I weren’t female. JUST GIMME THE BLASTED THING YOU WERE PAID FOR, MORON.

        • Yeah, I posted on a work situation below, I’ve been in some completely male-dominated work environments, but this man takes the cake. Hey, it’s 2013, we can vote and drive and have babies and work!

        • Preach it, MOA.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      But to the point – I agree. women take themselves out of the game all the time. We see it on this board all the time -”I have a job interview, but I am TTC, want to have a baby in 3-5 years, want to do X in 7 years, husband may get a job in X other city after he graduates in 2 years etc…., should i interview, try for the promotion etc…”

      Not to see that planning is not important, but we often create and stumble on obstacles that don’t even exist yet, if ever….

      • I think this is a good point. I try to remind myself of one of Sheryl Sandberg’s key pieces of advice “don’t leave before you leave” BUT even though I’m naturally very career-oriented and ambitious, I find myself trying to plan for a future with my SO much more than he ever does. We’re long distance so I’m trying to find a way for us to be together, and maybe that means I’ve checked out of my own career a little bit.

        I don’t know if this is a personality thing or a gender thing but I feel like all the women I know try to plan around their SOs’ careers much more than the men do.

        • I was in a 3.5 year relationship (but not married) that turned long distance. So agree with all above points on how men aggressively do pursue the best career opportunities for them. My SO did not even consider the possibility of moving for the sake of our relationship.
          I refused to take 2-3x pay cut and move to be near my SO. I had paid my dues in the current job and was finally reaping benefits of experience and seniority, wasn’t ready to chuck it out the door for a guy and move to new industry and start out almost at the bottom (at new location, few/zero opportunities in my current industry). So we finally broke up. Well I did “Lean In” at least for now. We will see how life turns out and if I would ever regret some day this guy was the one who “got away”.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            If he was “the one” he would have at least considered moving to you.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Or you manage being in two places. My husband and I have been together for 13 years and only one of those years were we in the same place, because that is where our jobs had us. Neither of us would ask the other to give up their professional aspirations, instead we make it work within our chosen fields…..

          • Diva – I really admire you for being able to make this work. After over a year of long distance with my SO, I’m truly struggling and for the first time in my life, considering making potentially significant career sacrifices to make the long distance end. I don’t know how you do it!

          • Diva – I’d actually really love to hear more about how you and your husband make the separation work. We are potentially facing a 1-2 year separation for a post-doc and I’d love any suggestions/words of wisdow!

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Rule number one: TRUST

            Rule number all the rest: Its evolved – the first 10 years in – he was in Europe for 8-9 months a year, now he is in the states but its all year, so its much easier. Anytime you don’t have to clear customs in Heathrow and change terminals with small kids at 3 am bodyclock time is easy…..

            We see each other every month (used to be every 6-8 weeks when he was in Europe) – This takes some sacrifice, but he is worth it, and I am certain I am to him. Sometimes with the kids, sometimes without (adults can handle a red eye to Europe and come home 2 days later, kids not so much). Its so much easier (cheaper) to talk etc.. now with Facetime, Skype, text and unlimited mobil etc… but before, it was just in our budget…. (our kids 9 & 10 also have iPads so they talk to dad whenever- he always has access at work unless actually in meetings etc..). We have things we like to do together, but we also each have our own interests, and use our time apart to do the things the other is less interested in. The real key is communicate, communicate, communicate, but not like the you must text me every day or I will worry or your don’t love me communicate. We DO talk every day, but its no different than if we worked in the same city – after work, after the kids are in bed etc… I am certain we probably talk more than quite a few married couples who live in the same house.

            Little things – there is no his house and my house, its our X house and our Y house, both places feel like home. Our kids have their things in both houses etc… He has a barber in both cities etc… and we have friends in both places…

            When our little people came along, we got help (we have an au pair), although my husband is very hands on from breakfast to bedtime stories so while on occasion it can be tiring being primary caregiver, I do have the ability to carve out time for myself (which I still need to do better/more). It helps that we are both relatively successful in our chosen fields, so neither of us feels like we are stuck doing something we don’t want to do or are not happy with what we do etc….

            Do we get lonely sometime? Sure, but I’d much rather be lonely because we are in two different places than be lonely with the wrong guy who is in the same room.

            In the end, we love each other deeply, can’t imagine being without the other and have a life plan that makes us individually happy and happy as a marital unit. That works for me!

            Oh, and very little falling into the toilet because the seat was left up on a 2 am trip to the bathroom! ;-)

          • Diva – really admire how you guys made this work, very good advice up there
            I know we could have managed if the bond was indeed strong enough. He just felt it was too much work, even though I was the one travelling most of the time. As we were not married, it seemed like the easier choice to go separate ways. I guess he was not truly “the one”.
            I have a co-worker and another friend who are also doing long distance marriage for last 2-3 years. They visit each other alternatively every weekend, so far neither of them have any solid plans to relocate so it does work in the real world.

          • Diva, thanks for sharing! I especially love your point about loneliness – I agree 100%. Glad to hear you’ve made the LDR work :)

          • Diva, thanks for sharing! My husband and I have been together for 14 years. We have lived apart for two years (including a year on different continents) early in our relationship because my husband’s career required a temporary move. We are now in teh middle of another two-year period — potentially more open-ended — of LDR because of my career. We don’t have kids but are NTNTTC so who knows what will happen. We both find it hard to be apart and it’s not what we want to do in the longer term, but we handle it fine. My career requires a bit of moving around right now but at some point in the next 2-3 years I will either settle down somewhere and he will follow or maybe I’ll change careers and move back to where he lives.

            In terms of how we make it work, I would add the following to diva’s points:

            - We schedule our weekends and vacations long in advance. So we always know when and where we see each other next. It makes the goodbyes a bit sweeter when you can start counting down to the next time you see each other.

            - When we are together, I make couple-time a big priority. This may sound obvious but it’s not always easy because I still have a lot of friends and professional contacts in the city where he lives and that I still consider home. My solution is to block off time with just my husband, then reach out to a limited number of people and not give them a lot of flexibility. I also don’t announce my visits on FB.

            - Skype, calls, texts help a lot. What also helps is to keep doing things (even if I’m doing them alone) that I’d normally do with my husband. While I always look forward to my next trip “home” I also try to build up a fulfilling life in my second city.

            I think whether a couple can make LDR work really depends on the individuals and their relationship. Our relationship itself has not suffered, but the LDR has still consequences (e.g., getting pregnant is less realistic and, since I’m in my late thirties, this may well mean we won’t have our own biological children). There are tradeoffs and I totally understand that others make different decisions.

      • East Coast Anon :

        See also: I have the downpayment to purchase a house, but I want to wait to buy with my husband (whom I haven’t met).

      • I did this recently actually. There was an oportunity that opened up that would have meant more money but less flexibility and I didn’t even try for it even though I think I had a good chance of getting it because I just thought maybe I would want to have a kid in a year or two. There were other reasons, too – mainly that it would have meant losing a lot of the autonomy that I have now and working with a different team that I don’t enjoy as much, but the kid was certainly part of my decision process, even if not the ultimate reason I didn’t choose to pursue it. What’s funny is if it was my SO who was faced with this choice, I would have definitely said, “are you crazy – that’s a lot more money and kids are expensive, go apply!”

    • Diana Barry :

      I am of two minds. On the one hand, I agree with SS that women need to be more aggressive in negotiating. Fine.

      BUT on the other hand, I think that we need to change the socialization of boys and girls, men and women so that women are *encouraged* to go for things, speak up, be aggressive, without being perceived as b*tchy. There was another study recently that said that women need to be “nice” when they ask for raises, bc otherwise they are perceived as being too hard-edged, b*tchy, etc.

      In addition, I think that top-down structural changes are needed before we will see progress toward gender parity. A big one would be paid parental leave for both men and women, a la the Scandinavian countries. This will never happen in the US, of course; I predict that we will get single payer healthcare before paid maternity leave, and only in 25-50 years or so.

      • Also in Academia :

        I agree. The argument is often made that because women choose to have children we give up the ability to ascend the job ladder, or that male bosses just assume we are going to be frequently out of the office to have babies or want to go part-time or whatever. But what if both women and men were expected to take parental leave and that just became the norm? How great would that be?

        I also think these arguments portray maternity leave as a huge inconvenience to everyone, but mine seem like such short blips in my career now that they are past. I’ve never supervised anyone who took maternity leave, though, so it may seem different if you are the people left behind as opposed to the one on leave!

        • Diana Barry :

          Agreed. I think that when you add in the recruiting, ramp-up, etc. costs, it is far better to retain a good employee through a few parental leaves than to get a new employee.

          I think it needs to be mandatory, though, because otherwise the men just won’t take the leaves (as happens now in biglaw with paternity leave) and the desired effect is lost.

        • You must’ve gone straight from PhD to TT position. Moving for a 1-yr and then for TT as a single mom with a preschooler really showed me my limits. I’m not superwoman, getting the 2 of us settled in took way longer and required more time daily than I expected, and I couldn’t get the pubs out to get the non teaching-intensive job I wanted and could really shine at. Kiddo absolutely came first, teaching is an incessant hammer, and summers were consumed with moving. Just over half of all faculty don’t have kids, I’ve heard, and single patents are exceedingly rare in academia.

          • I’d love to know the proportions of women to men among academics who don’t have kids. My assumption (and experience) is that it’s almost all women.

          • Monday, for years, very few of my colleagues had kids. In fact, for many years, only one of the guys had a child, then we hired someone with two school-age kids. We now have two tenured women faculty with toddlers and they seems to be managing really well. Their kids are in on-campus daycare, which helps, I think, but it’s a struggle when the kids are sick, out of school, etc. Post-Katrina, we have much younger faculty, many women who are having children. I think our two have shown a great example to our younger faculty that it can happen. When I was coming up through the ranks, there were no role models at all.

          • Also in Academia :

            Staff, actually, and I worked for about 6 years before my PhD. So faculty experiences may be different. However, many of my faculty colleagues have children. I work at a non-research institution. I know for TT faculty at major research institutions, having children and working with parental leave issues is a big challenge, and I don’t mean to minimize that, but again — if we never start expecting our younger colleagues to want families, and never stop acting like wanting to procreate or take maternal AND paternal leave is some sort of bad choice, things will never change!

          • Lady Harriet :

            Monday, the university I work at is a total anomaly compared to almost every other one, but most of the female professors here have children. The school is super-Catholic, so families with many children are more common here than most places and the school is much more accommodating. Most of the female professors with children have husbands who are also professors here, which I think makes it easier, since both parents have fairly flexible schedules. Also, this is a small school and not a major research university.

            I’m a research assistant and not married, but my boss, who is absolutely amazing, has seven children and six stepchildren (she married a widower with six kids). Her husband is also a professor here. Her youngest is six months old and during the fall semester she brought the baby to class and wore her in a sling while she taught. The baby is older now, so she stays at home while my boss teaches this semester. My boss got her PhD while she had kids, but I know that at least some of the other female professors here got their degrees before having kids.

            My own mother got a PhD before my parents met, but was unable to find a job in her field after her 1-year postdoc ended. She stayed home with me and my brother when we were little and then worked part-time at other jobs when we were in school. She now works for the same university I do (which is also my alma mater). She’s not a professor, but she runs the academic support program here.

            I don’t have much firsthand experience with other universities, but I’m under the impression that where I work is not the norm in this (or in anything else, either!)

        • I have to say that the stress and inconvenience associated with planning for a 3-week leave (for bar study) makes me afraid to even contemplate the possibility of maternity leave. Honestly, I don’t see how I could do it as a Biglaw transactional lawyer, at least not in the “completely not working sense”, without running a serious risk of losing my clients to others.

          • harriet the spy :

            It’s a lot easier to leave for maternity leave than for bar leave. Maternity leave is 5 months. You ramp down in advance, transfer your cases to others, and then are really gone for that five months. Bar study leave is so short-term that you don’t transfer your cases or even really tell your clients that you’re leaving. I continued to work through my bar leave (I even took a conference call on the day of the bar exam between the two sessions.)

            Trust me – as someone who has done both, maternity leave is just much easier. Plus, my experience is that clients are generally happy for you to have a baby and will be there when you get back, especially if you started with a good relationship.

          • I’m not a litigator, so I think it’s a bit different. My relationships with my clients typically relate to long-term strategic initiatives, and once passed off to someone else, they couldn’t really be transitioned back. Plus, I’m in a niche practice area, and so a client passed off to someone else might never come back, which would be problematic given the limited number of clients in the space. I can’t imagine – really can’t – what would happen were I gone for five months (although 3 is standard at my firm, in any case).

          • harriet the spy :

            Do you work with a team, such that you could pass clients to the team (under your supervision) and then collect them back? So much of what we do in BigLaw is jointly staffed that I guess it’s hard for me to imagine that you would lose control entirely. I do think that we generally all believe that we are indispensable at work, and it’s a nice surprise to discover that we usually are not. But as you pointed out, I’m not a corporate lawyer. I think that in the circumstances you describe, you just have to decide if the potential risk of losing those clients is worth taking the time off to be with your baby. For me, it would be — but I’m also ambivalent about partnership at best.

    • To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to be in leadership. I work in IT and the leadership in my organization involves managing people, administrative tasks, budgets, etc. basically things I’m not interested in doing. I guess I’m holding myself back on purpose. My personality is not suited for leadership positions.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think she is leaving out one key point. What do we all actually want out of life? I know plenty of men who have stayed on the fast-track because they thought they had to. Their wife was going to stay home for a couple years so they had to suck it up and be the bread winner. There are tons of people that leave big law for less money to have more of a life. Many, but certainly not all are women. There was a woman here just the other day writing about how she wasn’t sure if she actually wants to be a partner.

      I don’t have kids and I’m not sure if I am going to. If I do, I plan to work. I still, however, have only applied for jobs where I can leave by 7 pm. I want to have a life. I think it is more socially acceptable for women to take a “lesser” career by choice than it is for men. I think the fact that we are historically the caregivers allows us that out. Otherwise, we are what? Lazy, not-motivated, entitled?

      I think we just need a cultural shift that it is okay to want a break, to want a life, to want to take your vacation. I still spin my vacations as “ugh, got to take time off to go see the in-laws. I’ll try to work remotely as much as I can.” Why can’t our attitude be, “I work my butt off and I’m taking a one week vacation because I want to and I don’t want to be disturbed while I’m there.”

      I think in a small part we have less women at the top because we are smart enough to realize it isn’t all that great up there.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’ll add that I think this is also a generational shift and not just gender based. My husband is in government, has flex-time, and works so that he is out by 4:30 most days. He could make more money doing the same thing in the private sector but at least for right now, he’d rather be done with work at 4:30. He is of the “I work to live not live to work” mindset.

        • Turtle Wexler :

          I have a similar job and mindset to your husband, but sometimes I get a little annoyed with myself that I’m not in some important, high-paying job making a big name for myself. I really just have no interest in putting in the hours that would take. I love that I’m only expected to put in my 40 hours and when I leave the office, my work stays there. I love that I can, within reason, set my own schedule. I can plan to hang out with friends or catch a yoga class after work and not worry about someone dumping a last-minute emergency on me and making me cancel plans. But I often feel like I’ve sold out somehow by not pursuing the fast track.

        • goirishkj :

          It took me a long time to get where your husband is, but I have the same mindset now. I always wondered how much was gender base since my personal shift happened about the time I thought I might want a baby. That said, even before I got pregnant, I could see a major quality of life improvement once I switched to government work. The attorneys on the other side may very well make multiples of my salary, but they work late, weekends and holidays. I don’t want that life anymore, even though the money would be nice as I’m the primary earner.

      • This x1000000000 zillion. Goes to the weekend discussion of just because you can doesn’t mean you want to or should.

      • I agree with this. I work at a smaller firm, make less money, and have shorter hours than I could if I pursued a job at a bigger (more prestigious) firm (assuming I could get one, I realize). I choose this, though, because I work reasonable hours during the week, I only occasionally do work on the weekend other than respond to e-mail, and in general I have time to have hobbies, be involved in things, read, and hang out with my friends. These things are more important to me than working all the time. I often feel lazy or guilty about this, but when I focus on what I want, and not what I feel like I should want, I know that I just don’t care about having the most high-pressure, high-salary, high-prestige career possible.

        I wish we could have a cultural shift of the type Blonde Lawyer describes, but until that happens I’m going to stick with my lower-pressure career, even though I don’t have kids, just because I like it better.

        • Thank you for sharing your perspective. I also appreciate working for the government with a reasonable schedule. Work-life balance can include the lives of those of us who do not have caregiver responsibilities. Despite the large number of politicians who campaign on family values, it seems to go out the window regarding employment policy when it interferes with the goals of capitalism.

          I secretly fantasize about finding work in the EU or marrying an EU citizen in order to take advantage of more generous maternal leave and vacation time.

        • Turtle Wexler :

          Eleanor, I just posted a similar comment before I read yours. You’re not alone, I feel the same way.

      • This also speaks to the concept that you’re only allowed to talk about “work-life balance” if you’re “balancing” duties as a caregiver. There’s no virtue in acknowledging that you might just want the slow track for your own well-being.

        • This. As a single gal without kids, I have realized that I want a life, too. But I feel that many bosses – okay, people in general – can’t/won’t/don’t know how to identify with someone wanting a life less focused on work unless it involves children.

        • Aaaaaaa-men x1000. This actually came up in my review. I was taking a 12-week class that didn’t interfere at all with work hours, but left me unavailable for a few hours on the weekend (not for scheduled work, but for “can you send me X?” e-mails). I was told I was too unavailable, and then that if I was caring for kids (which I don’t have), that may be OK, but …

          • Isn’t that somehow discriminatory? Is it allowed to say to someone that s/he is too unavailable because s/he has kids?

            I’m lucky. I’ve worked for people who have embraced a good work/life balance whether they’ve had kids or not. Sure, I could probably be further ahead if I put in a ton more time, but I’m happy where I am now (government agency – ask me again in March if I get sequestered).

          • I’d be really upset by that too. You know what else might conflict with your taking that class? Being a mother! You might even enjoy not having kids because it allows you this kind of opportunity! But since you don’t have kids, you’re supposed to be responsive by email at all times to your job. The message seems to be that the only acceptable use of our time is for someone else.

      • This, 1000%, and that cultural shift will not only benefit us as women, but will also benefit men. I am the main (sometimes sole) breadwinner of our family. Dh is the main caregiver. We were just talking the other day about how he is going to start describing himself as a stay at home dad who occasionally works instead of an out of work teacher. He’s hoping it will limit the negative comments he receives by framing his situation in a more positive light. However, society, at least where we live, is much less accepting of families who make the choices we have made. Why can’t we all just be supportive of each others choices, whatever they are, and whatever the motivation, and leave the judging behind? Wishful thinking, I know.

        • I love your husband’s description of himself. I am going to pass it on to my DH who is also a stay at home dad and occasional teacher.

          • goirishkj :

            Our plan is for DH to be the same. I may pass it on as well :)

          • Yes, when he told me that the other day I was so proud of him, not only because it’s a great way to frame what he does, but it also shows a real change in mindset for him. He used to be really disappointed about his career fizzled. I’m hoping he is starting to realize what a benefit having him around & flexible is for our family, and who cares what others think?

      • Divaliscious11 :

        These are the points that made me wonder why the OP thought it would make her a”bad feminist.” I think what is key is each woman having the freedom to make the choices they want to make, but make them based upon reality, not speculation….

      • Also in Academia :

        +1. or +1000.

    • “We internalize the negative messages we get throughout our lives, the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men.”

      So it’s our fault for internalizing the negative messages–not the fault of the people actually communicating the messages? Victim-blaming much?

      Seriously–women can change all they want. But men have to change too. There should be just as many men at Women in Leadership conferences/discussions as there are women. They need to hear this just as much as we do.

      • Why should men change when we women keep making it easy for them not to?

        If women, even the smart women on this iste, keep dating, marrying and having kids with semi-supportive or outright unsupportive, inconsiderate a-holes and quitting or dialing back hours, why should the guys ever change?

        People respond to positive and negative feedback, and some combo of both. When women en masse quit jobs or dial it back when they have kids, they’re providing positive feedback to men to never change. Why should they? They have the kids and never hurt their careers because all the care is offloaded onto the wife. And hey, she gets the mail during the day and goes to the bank before it’s closed, so he’s also offloaded all the scutwork of daily living onto her. His life is pretty good! Again, what in this would motivate him to change?

        Additionally, if a critical mass of women quit or scale down work when they have kids, it takes the onus off the employers to have onsite daycare. Why take on that responsibility when you can offload it onto this group of women who’ll all quit to take on the role of childcare provider? Only a few enlightened companies care about the cost of hiring/training/transitions, but most don’t give a rip and that’s most of our companies. Again, quitting takes the onus off the employers, too.

        Finally, I think one of the reasons why women do choose to be with their kids is not so clearly delineated as “i’m in love with my kids and want to be glued to them 24-7.” It’s usually because it looks less bad than being in a crap workplace with subtle (or overt) sexism everywhere plus getting slagged off for being a bad mom. Much easier to conform to the traditional gender roles, and not fight an unfair fight with low odds of success.

        • Anonforthis :

          THIS. Of the three junior faculty who are in my department, I am the only one who doesn’t have kids. The other two are very smart women and very good at their jobs, and both are not taken seriously in our workplace because they spend so much time doing child-oriented stuff at work. Incidentally, both unfortunately tolerate husbands whose only contribution to child-rearing has been insemination.

        • Agreed 100% , men have no need to change as you described. They will always find women who are willing dial back, take over most of child care and daily living chores while he gets to focus exclusively on building his career and reach the top level jobs. This is truly disheartening. Sometimes wish I was a man, would be so much easier to wholeheartedly pursue professional goals, have the whole world cheering you up and believing that you actually deserve every bit of it (e.g old boys club, mentoring, aggressive is good not b**chy, etc etc). The man also gets ready made family life with wife+kids without juggling a gazillion work/home responsibilities.

      • ChristinaMD :

        You can say that men have to change, but not one male boss has had any problem with my assertive, driven, career-minded skill set. Everytime I received that feedback it’s been from another woman, who I suspect think they are ‘watching out for me’.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      I don’t have anything to add other than that I so appreciate having this virtual Parisian salon where so many women contribute thoughtful answers on this topic.

  9. a passion for fashion :

    I just received the navy tweed T Tahari suit Kat featured last week and I love it. Its super cute as a suit, but also works well as seperates. And for less than $150 bucks total, you really cant beat it.

    • Did you get the long, more traditional blazer or the one that zips? I went for the latter and am now regretting it, but also still waffling over whether to send it back… I’m worried it makes me look a little bit like a character on star trek (which I LOVE, btw, but maybe not for personal style).

      • a passion for fashion :

        zippy one. i thought the other one seemed a little long for my short-ish self, particularly with a skirt. I’m also rather impressed with TTahari’s quality. I have lots from regular old Tahari, and this is much more like that line than i thought it would be (I was thinking more of the ASL Tahari)

        • you’re absolutely right on the quality– I was really impressed when it arrived, since my last tahari (ASL) experience was a sheath dress which acquired an 8-inch rip in the lining the second time I wore it. This suit is much more nicely tailored, and I love the look of the tweed.

          Now I think I’ve talked myself into keeping it… part of my hesitation is probably that I rarely wear jackets when I can get away with sweaters, so they tend to look odd to me. I’m trying to up the business formal attire a little bit, so I’ll give it a go. thanks!

    • I ordered it too, with the zippy blazer. Hope hope hope it fits! I’m sure I will wear the pieces separately for the most part.

    • Me too! I love COLOR BLOCK thank’s to the HIVE.

      But I first need a boyfreind. FOOEY! I am busy planing my weding in my head at least. My dad told me to read this articel in the NY TIMES about a woman who did this b/c he thought this was a GREAT idea. She was 34 year’s old, lived in Albany NY and planed it all out and then finished by getting a BOYFREIND to marry her! YAY! I think that was very romantic.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/fashion/weddings/planning-a-wedding-while-still-looking-for-a-groom-field-notes.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      I need a GROOM, but not a looser! I want a guy who is a PRINCE to sweep me off my feet and take me to his castel and we can live hapily ever after. I do NOT want a guy like Prince Charles tho. I want a guy who look’s like Brad PIT! Yay!

  10. I just realized I completely forgot to start the Crockpot this morning! Bah. It’s for the Thai stew that’s been mentioned on here a few times. The recipe calls for 8 hours on low. Think I could do more like 3 or 4 hours on high?

  11. T/J: New Project Runway – has anyone been watching? Teams? No Duchess? Surprisingly, I like the team idea in practice. And I really like that the “older lady fodder” wasn’t the first to leave.

    I was also really sad that Michael Kors left BUT BUT is it me or is Zac Posen just ridiculously gorgeous and sweet? Like so easy on the eyes and adorable? I would watch a weekly show just about his cheekbones.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have been watching. I do like the team idea (but it is now early enough in the season that they are still eliminating bad people, not just blatantly favoring someone, so we’ll see how it goes) but I could see how it would be annoying if there was one person who was awful consistently, but their team was good so they kept getting a pass.

      • hellskitchen :

        That’s what’s been happening on Top Chef Seattle. It’s not strictly teams but they do a lot more team-based challenges than PR. Josie (for those of you are following) stayed on because she managed to be part of winning teams or let someone else take the blame. I am so glad Tom Colicchio finally saw through her

        • Omg, I despise Josie. Especially after Kristen got sent home… I was really (surprisingly so) upset about that. I hope Kristen comes back at the end and wins it all, her or Sheldon.

    • I’m watching! I miss Michael Kors … Zac Posen is indeed adorable, but too nice. The guest judge usually takes care of moderating the scathing criticism; I don’t need it from one of the regulars!

      I’m withholding judgement on the teams thing. I don’t hate it, but I guess I don’t really see the point — I’m anticipating a season full of “I was going to do XYZ, but changed it on the advice of my team” followed by a judge saying, “you need to know when to remain true to your vision,” which could get old very quickly.

    • downstream :

      I miss Michael Kors as well but Zac Posen is SUCH a pretty boy. He reminds me of the actor who plays Lucky Luciano on Boardwalk Empire, but with less murder and more fashion.

    • Diana Barry :

      I miss Michael Kors. Zac Posen is very cute but he looks like Edward Cullen when we are so used to miss perma-tan Kors. ;)

    • Sweet as Soda Pop :

      I love Project Runway! I can’t decide how I feel about the teams; I’m afraid it is going to get old, quickly. I’m sad Michael Kors is gone, but Zac Posen REALLY impressed me. He gave honest feedback, was sweet, and had a couple of witty comments. I think he’s a great addition.

    • OH! I don’t have cable so I missed that it started! I’ll have to watch online…though did lifetime recently change how far back you can watch, I couldn’t watch some of the all star episodes. (Although, IMO, allstar seasons just aren’t as good…)

    • I’m withholding judgment on Zac Posen. So far, he’s too nice, but maybe he just needs more time to get his feet wet. I’m so glad they kept Nina Garcia, though, I love her commentary. So far, the team thing was actually sort of a gimmick, because they didn’t really have to work together or collaborate. I assume that more true “team” challenges will come once they whittle the numbers down some. But I like the fact that the judges and Tim Gunn have all been emphasizing with the contestants that the reason they are doing this team thing is that this is how it fashion works in real life, you have to be able to collaborate and work with a team. So they need to get over the prima donna, my way or the highway attitude sooner rather than later.

  12. We’ve talked about tred desks here before—seems many of us would like to have one. Does anyone actually have one? I’m seriously considering buying one so I can stop sitting on my a$$ for eight hours a day. I’m in good shape and workout a lot. I’m interested in the transition from being a seated worker to a walking worker.

    • I’m wondering the same about standing desks. My non-profit has a few old ones lying around and I’ve pulled one into the office to get used to the idea, but I haven’t actually started standing/working yet. Trying to get more info on how to transition slowly and comfortably.

      • My transition to a standing desk was quite simple:

        1. Assemble standing desk.
        2. Use standing desk instead of seated desk.

        I still have both in my office, but I rarely sit.

        • Thanks! Glad to know it was easy for you. My old one will definitely stay, but I hope the new one works out. I’ll give it a try this week.

    • There was a really interesting article in the Atlantic yesterday about this: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/my-day-on-a-treadmill-desk/272579/

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      My spin instructor has one (day job as a lawyer). I asked her about them – she said she really likes it, she does move a good amount, but everyone in her office thinks she’s incredibly weird. She said she wouldn’t recommend it for me (early in my career) but she doesn’t regret getting one at all.

      Maybe as a first step, consider getting an exercise ball or ergonomic stool to sit on? That’s less “visible” than a tread desk, but might be a first step to a more active work desk environment.

      • Fortunately, I’m the least weird person at my office, which is quite a comment. But a very good consideration. Thanks.

      • People are probably going to think you’re weird anyway, so forget them. I used lots of different ball chairs & stools for years before I got a standing desk. Granted, it’s not a tread-desk, but I get far fewer stupid comments from coworkers and visitors about my desk than I did about all my weird ergo chairs.

    • Diana Barry :

      I have a standing desk, so I vary my positions (seated/standing) and people seem to look funny at it less than they would at a tread desk.

  13. The green version of this dress makes it look like the model is a nurse or wearing an apron. The black/navy combo is so much better!

    • Agree, I also felt the color block is a little off with the bib-like top. I get that it’s supposed to create a slimming effect, but I think it would be better if the colors are just straight horizontal blocks.

  14. MaggieLizer :

    Inspired by a thread from yesterday – How long does it take you to do your chores, start to finish? And by that I mean not just the time you’re actually doing stuff but also the time you’re tied to your home because you have to babysit the laundry, etc. Any time saving tips? I was shocked, SHOCKED, when I tracked how much time all this cr!p actually takes me:

    Drive to and from grocery store, 15 mins each way = 30 mins
    TJ’s trip = 1 hour (sometimes more with the lines on the weekends, ugh)
    Incidental grocery/shopping (e.g. pet store, pharmacy, regular grocery) = 30 mins
    Unload car, clean out fridge, put away groceries, take out trash = 30 mins
    Start crock pot for week’s lunches = 15 mins
    Laundry: minimum 2 loads @ 30 mins per wash, 1-1.5 hrs per dry = 3-4 hours
    Portion out crock pot meal and clean up = 15 mins

    Stuff I do at the same time: crock pot, laundry, fold/iron/put away clothes, pick up house, and, most importantly, clean out DVR and love on kitteh.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It doesn’t take me that long at all. 30-45 minutes round trip for the grocery store. I usually can stop by the drugstore and pick up other things I might need and that adds maybe 15 minutes. I do the dishes a few times throughout the week and that always takes 15-30 minutes. Things like sweeping, vacuuming my 1 rug, and a quick scrub of the toilet and sink take less than an hour on the weekend. I’d say the max I spend doing chores on a weekend is 2.5 hours, but that is rare and I typically only do all of it in 1 day if we have company coming over.

      I do tidy things up throughout the week, which only takes a few minutes and have the laundromat do my laundry for me, which saves a ton of time. Even better, it is in between my house and the subway stop so I can drop off and pick up on my way out or home.

      I’m sure if I wanted to come up with other things to deep clean, I could add hours to this, but I just don’t do it that often. It’s also just me and my boyfriend in a 1-bedroom apartment so we don’t have a lot of the additional stuff to deal with that people with kids do.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Make trader joes a once a month treat.

      Get all of your “incidental” puchases delivered. Soap.com sells all of that stuff, and has free one day shipping for $50 and over.

      I’ve started doing laundry on weekends, and making Monday night ironing time. I know I’m going to be spending an hour watching TV, so I iron then too.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Ordering online define katy saves time. I order cat supplies from wag.com and anything I can’t find easily near my house on Amazon. My prime account has paid for itself a few times over already.

    • Diana Barry :

      If I have to take the kids with me, that is a whole other ball of wax. Getting them from in the house to dressed and in the car takes 30 minutes and adds about 10 or 15 minutes to the time at the store.

      To/from grocery – 10 minutes each way
      To/from Costco – 20 minutes each way
      Total time – 45 minutes to 1 hr, or 1 hr to 2 hrs with the kids (2 hrs if we go to both stores)

      Dishes – 10-15 minutes to empty dishwasher, put dirty dishes in, start dishwasher
      Another 5 to wash pots/pans
      Another 5-10 to actually clean the table, switch tablecloths, clean the high chair

      Cooking – unknown – I am too busy to look at the clock!

      Laundry – FOREVER.

    • I’m shockingly inefficient at chores and errands, I think it takes me at least 30 min every night to make lunch for the next day, so…I don’t want to track how long it takes, though I think it would explain where all my downtime goes. And I’m single without kids, I cannot imagine how much crazier I’d be if I had to add in children responsibilities.

    • I need to start figuring out ways to maximize my lunch throughout the week. I’d love to hear from you ladies who prep all your lunches at once. Do you typically eat the same thing? same components (chicken breast) or mix it up? I’m trying to be better about bringing lunch, but during the week I barely have enough time to deal with dinner and workout.

      • I bring salad for lunch. I chop veggies and drain cans, and put each item in separate containers on Sunday. Usually I will prepare two salads (I have two containers that I like to use) on Sunday, and then wash as much lettuce as will fit in the salad spinner. I can usually assemble a lunch salad at night while I/my SO prepares dinner.

      • Agree with rosie that bringing salads for lunch is super quick and easy. Just make sure you have enough of whatever ingredients you like best for 3-4 lunches, then throw ‘em in a Tupperware the night before or morning of. Some of my favorite combos to throw on top of a bed of lettuce include: carrots, peppers, and chickpeas; beets, corn, and tuna; beets, avocado, and roasted salmon; avocado, tomato, and black beans; tomato, black beans, and goat cheese crumbles; and, actually, anything else in the fridge with goat cheese crumbles. I don’t eat a ton of meat, but it would be easy enough to roast some chicken breasts over the weekend, if you’d prefer that to all of the beans and fish.

        Other than salads, I often used the time-honored principle of making one big dish Sunday and having it for lunch for the rest of the week. Some of my favorites for this were quiches (usually crustless, with spinach, tomato, and cheese, occasionally potato); pasta bakes (with whole wheat pasta, spinach, and mushrooms); hearty soups; and curries (normally with lentils and whatever veggies I had lying around, but obviously you could swap in meat).

        • To answer “do you typically eat the same thing?”: usually for a week, yes. But for me at least, the convenience of only having one intense-ish thing to prep per week outweighed the monotony of eating pasta bake five days in a row. Plus I almost always had enough salad fixins on hand to have that instead, if I was really struggling.

          And since I noticed it does seem like you cook dinner most nights, I’d consider just making an extra portion of that and bringing it to eat the next day.

          • Thanks ladies. This is very helpful. I feel like trying to juggle creative dinners and lunches just gets too out of control. I’m going to try some combo of salad/bakes for lunch next week and see how that goes.

          • Good luck!

      • I buy fancy soup and bring it to work. That plus a granola bar is plenty for me.

        I’d never have thought it, but the new Campbell’s Bisques (on sale for $2-3) taste like Au Bon Pain soups, which is what I buy when I eat out ($5-6 plus whatever else I grab). An entire carton (2 servings, technically) is about 350-400 calories and super filling.

        Trader Joes also makes a decent Tomato. Whole Foods has a couple I like, too, but can’t recommend off the top of my head.

        Plus, when DH isn’t home, I have them for dinner, too.

        When I’m not Ultra Lazy, I bring salad. I do arugula (no prep!), crasins, goat cheese and walnuts. I keep dressing at work and just throw the rest in a container on my way out the door. I also try and grab some fruit, too.

        • The corn with roasted red pepper soup at trader joes is my favorite, there’s a similar soup by the pacifica and imagine brands at most other grocery stores.

        • I love Campbell’s Thai Tomato Coconut bisque. It’s already on my list to pick for tonight’s dinner.

      • Yep, typically eat the same thing for lunch every day during the week. I generally try to do a little protein and a lot of green veggies. Usually, for my protein, I roast or rotisserie a chicken because that’s super easy. I like to make my own veggies (tomato-braised swiss chard, oven-roasted butternut squash), but I always keep loads of frozen brussel sprouts, asparagus, spinach, and broccoli on hand so I can just dump some in my individual tupperwares if I don’t feel like getting all fancy-fancy with my veggies. Add salt or sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and call it a day. Load it all up in the freezer, and then I just pull out a lunch every morning.

        Also, buying a countertop rotisserie? One of the best purchases I’ve ever made. SO EASY to rotisserie a chicken. Or scallops. Or shrimp. Or quail (so tiny yet so delicious). Or potatoes. Or… I could go on. I’ve never had something come out less than delicious.

      • Bean salads! I don’t do this often enough, but it’s so successful when I do.

        You can throw all the ingredients together on Sunday. I usually can get enough for 3 days’ worth of lunch (for me and DH) and the salad gets yummier as it sits in the fridge — any combo of the following: black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, corn, diced onions, carrots, peppers, feta cheese, some salt, pepper, herbs, and olive oil, maybe even a tiny splash of dressing. Sometimes to mix it up, I will add an extra ingredient to the top of my bowl for the day, like hummus, some sliced chicken, argula, avocado

      • Thanks for all the great ideas. This is really helpful and hopefully will help keep me on track. I’d been doing so well with losing weight and one crazy/hectic week has pretty much zapped it. I’m going to try these ideas and see if this helps me avoid the lazy “grab something” from the deli next door.

    • If your TJs is anything like mine (hour plus wait on weeknights and weekends), try going early Sunday morning. If I can get to the store before 9:30, it’s empty and I can be in and out in less than 20 minutes.

      Chores wise, I tend to do most of it on the weekends, except for cooking which I enjoy doing a few times a week in the evening.
      -Grocery shopping (15 minutes travel time, 20-25 minutes in the store)
      -Cooking (2-3 hours per weekend day, 3-5 hours during the week)
      -Dishes (I try to do most dishes while things are cooking, so this probably totals another 1-2 hours a week)
      -Laundry (45 minutes “active” time per week, usually running while doing other cleaning)
      -Cleaning (2-3 hours a week covers the bathrooms, kitchen, living area, etc.)
      -Misc. (2 hours a week – taking out trash, cleaning fridge, packing lunch, etc.)

      Crazy how fast it adds up!

      • MaggieLizer :

        Good tip, thanks! I’ve definitely been trying to figure out the best time to get there. Every time I think I’ve got it down, everyone else’s schedules seem to change too.

        • espresso bean :

          I also really like to go on weeknight evenings. The only risk is that they may be out of your favorite items! But otherwise, it’s far more pleasant going during the week.

          • Merabella :

            For me Tuesdays or Thursdays are good nights to go, they have gotten shipments in to replace the stuff that everyone bought up over the weekend (or in the case of Thursday, have shipped in to prep for the coming swarms of people), and I often have the place to myself.

            You should ask your grocer which nights are good to come in/when they get the bulk of their shipments in. Pick a night that is low key but also has a good amount of produce in recently.

    • At what point is it weird that you’ve been single for quite a while? I dated a guy seriously while I was in college, but I’m now getting close to 30, and I’ve been single for 7 or 8 years at this point. I think my friends are starting to judge me for being single. I don’t enjoy dating, and I simply don’t feel a connection with a lot of men, but I don’t want to be alone forever. I don’t know how to fix this, since I’ve just been out of it for so long.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I was single for 10 years, and for much of that time I felt very similar to you. It sounds weird, but one day I just sort of knew that I was ready to date. It was odd to jump back into it, but I felt like it went better than I expected since I had developed a pretty clear sense of what I was looking for and was up front and honest about it with the people I went out with. I met my current boyfriend on Ok Cupid and we were kindred spirits in the honesty and up front department and discussed politics, religion, and our desire not to have children on our first date. He hadn’t been single for very long, but did know what he was looking for in another person so the connection was easy to recognize for both of us. I also went on some awful first dates, but those were totally worth it.

        If you don’t want to date right now though, then don’t! Seriously, you don’t have to and even if you don’t date now, you won’t be alone forever if you don’t want to be. People may have thought it was weird, even I did for awhile, but looking back now I realize that I wasn’t ready and there wasn’t anything wrong with that.

      • Do you mean weird as in unusual, not the norm – or like “hmm, must be something wrong with her?”

        In my experience, it’s not the norm for people my age (33) to be single (which I am). I often think that people must be judging me, but then my rational brain kicks in and tells me that I’m over-reacting and that no one else really cares that much about my life.

      • springtime :

        The only people who will think it’s ‘weird’ that you’re single are probably the ones who feel like they ‘have’ to be in a relationship, otherwise they don’t feel complete.

        I’ve been single for awhile too (had some 2-3 month relationships in there), and honestly? I have gone on so many dates, tried very hard to find a connection, and just haven’t found it yet. I refuse to let anyone make me feel bad about that.

      • Anon in Midwest :

        I’m in the same boat. We can trade off rowing duties!

      • espresso bean :

        I feel exactly like this, and I struggle with it (sometimes more than others). I rarely feel a connection with men, so even when I’ve made a serious effort to date more often, it usually feels forced. At times, I feel like putting energy into dating is wasted energy, since nothing has come of it in awhile. But I don’t want to give up hope, so I keep trying. I figure eventually I’ll meet someone great, but whether it’s this week or in five years is out of my control. I just don’t want to close myself off entirely to the prospect of finding love and a relationship because it hasn’t happened much so far.

      • You know, for whatever it’s worth, I was basically single from 23 to 33, with a series of 3-4 month relationships (maybe one a year? so I was often dating, but not usually in a relationship). Now I’ve been with the same guy for about 10 months and, while we’re not at the super serious point yet (which I define as moving in together/getting engaged), we are very much a solid couple. It made me realize that I wasn’t weird or defective all that time–I just hadn’t met the right person at the right time. Whether it works out or not with Mr. Batgirl (ha), it’s nice to know that I’m not the problem!

      • espresso bean :

        Meant to add that while you can’t control meeting someone you’re going to fall in love with, you can control how often you date and how much energy you want to put into it. Sometimes putting energy into that area of my life makes me feel hopeful and excited. Sometimes it drains me. Only you know how much energy/time you want to put into it. Going on a few dates can help you feel like you’re “out there” (wherever “there” is) and get you back in the swing of things, even if they don’t go anywhere. But I totally know where you’re coming from. I know some people love it, but I don’t enjoy dating for the sake of dating at all.

      • Same here, late twenties and haven’t dated someone seriously enough to call him my boyfriend since college. I think most of my friends think it’s odd and push me to date more, but I just haven’t met the right guy. I honestly believe that one day I will, but until then I’m mostly happy being single.

    • I love having a meal service for this reason. My chore time is almost nothing.

      Pick up meals 2x/week: lengthens my commute by about 10 minutes: 20 mins.
      Weekly pick-up of the house (housekeeper comes every other) (includes changing sheets/towels, dishes, unpacking): 45-90 mins
      Daily Cat Care: 1 hr per week
      Bills and financial management: varies but ~30 minutes each week
      Target run: 1 hour
      Laundry: 2-4 loads/week but done during “pick-up of house”, bills, eating dinner, and Target run so maybe 45 minutes actually dedicated to laundry

    • I pay someone to do my chores.

      Seriously, with the exception of laundry, taking out the trash, and loading the dishwasher, I outsource everything.

      • Me too. Except for dinner. I don’t have that one figured out yet. We tried one meal service (Tony Horton’s kitchen), hated it, and haven’t found another one. I’m trying to get it together and use the slow cooker, but it’s hard.

        • I have been subsisting on a diet of Amy’s microwave burritos and frozen vegetables, but that’s getting a bit grim. Although I have rediscovered a love for lima beans.

    • I’ve started making monthly trips to CostCo, TJs, Target, and the Asian market because they’re all places I tend to make impulse buys so the fewer times I go, the better. I try to run laundry or the dishwasher right before I leave the house so it can do it’s thing while I’m gone and then I’m not sitting around waiting for the machines to finish.

    • Kontraktor :

      Daily the chores total about 2-2.5 hours. We are usually home around 5.15 and done with evening chores by 7.15 to 7.30. This includes cooking/eating/clean up, prepping breakfast (coffee + smoothie fruit) for the next day, 2 lunch prep, trash take out, mail collection, cat litter, setting out clothes/work things for both of us. So, I guess that gives us about 2-3 hours of ‘free’ time on weekdays, but it still feels crunched sometimes.

    • I need to get back into a crockpot/dinners routine.. it’s been thrown off a little lately and dinners have been more ad hoc/what’s in the freezer and can be heated up with a side starch and something vegetable-related. But I guess typically..

      Daily tidying (usually includes that day’s dishes, and picking up for cleaning lady on the weeks she comes in): 30 minutes,
      Laundry, usually 2 loads in one evening and then my own clothes on delicate in a separate load another night: Active time is maybe 30 minutes a week folding laundry in front of the tv (this is my watching Nashville/Hart of Dixie/etc time usually), 10 minutes hanging up clothes to dry weekly, plus 10-15 minutes up and down stairs putting laundry in machines.
      Cooking: 5-10 minutes in the morning making lunches (husband makes his own lunch the night before), 20-30 minutes in the evening making dinner (if crockpot, then it’s 10 minutes the night before and 10 minutes in the morning).
      Weekly big cooking/baking, Thursday nights for Friday night dinner (usually with guests): 3 hours.
      Grocery shopping: about an hour weekly on my way home from work, plus occasional popping in to grocery stores at work for little things here and there.

      I’m pretty speedy once I get started and try to combine active/passive things, like watching tv while I do dishes or fold laundry. If I keep on top of it day to day, that plus the cleaning lady 3 hours every two weeks keeps me sane and keeps the apartment organized.

    • Anastasia :

      FlyLady has been a godsend for helping me break housework into tiny bits that keep my house looking presentable and me on top of things at almost all times without ever having to devote a big chunk of time to housework. It’s way easier for me to find 10 minutes here and there than several hours on a weekend when I’d rather be doing something else! Waiting to see how this all goes to h3ll when the baby comes…

      I do laundry throughout the week: start wash in the morning, move to the dryer when I get home, and fold/iron while watching TV. Maybe 10 more minutes to put things away.

      Big grocery shopping trip a couple of times per month, and walk to the grocery store if I need a couple things in between. I plan the big trip around days that I need to drive to work anyway, and go on the way home to avoid weekend crowds. Maybe 1.5 hours. I keep a running list and put off errands that can’t be accomplished in a 15 minute detour until I have several things to do… so maybe ~3 hours on a weekend once or twice a month

      DH and/or I enjoy cooking “real” dinner 3-4 times per week, which might an hour+ depending on the recipe. My kitchen is tiny, which forces me to clean as I go, plus maybe 15 minutes at the end to wash the last pots and pans, load the dishwasher, and wipe down the table, counters and stove. I pack up single portions of leftovers while I put away dinner, otherwise I throw together a salad for lunch while my breakfast cooks in the morning. I run the dishwasher at night, and empty in the morning while my breakfast cooks, too.

      I have hardwood floors and cats, so I sweep/dust mop a few times per week if I notice dirt or dust bunnies. -10 minutes

      FlyLady’s “swish and swipe” bathroom routine alternating bathroom every other day, which takes less than 5 minutes, and seriously clean both bathrooms once a month. 30-45 minutes

      Vacuum, dust, wet mop, anything else as needed — usually no more than an hour on Saturday morning (I have a weird love for getting up early and bustling around doing housework on Saturday morning while DH sleeps in).

      All told, about 5-6 hours per week (including cooking dinner) plus another 6-8 hours per month.

  15. Today’s the day. As soon as one of the partners get in, I’m giving my notice. I’m irrationally terrified. So that tells you what kind of work environment it’s been! I start at the new place Feb. 11, so I can’t chicken out.

  16. the office :

    Last week a woman from my team and I met with the client, a man. The woman and I work for different companies and after the meeting we each complained to our managers about this man’s behavior. Our complaints were independent of one another and I did not know she’d done the same until 2 days later. The comments to me were disrespectful and intrusive and the comments to her were much more personal in nature (her appearance., asking personal questions). My managers noted my “complaint”, said I would not have to be alone with him and that if he acted like that again, I needed to tell him he was out of line (to get on record?).

    So, I have to meet with this man today, but there will be 2 other people present. The woman from last week’s meeting has been moved off the project. Does anyone have any tips of what to say if I start feeling uncomfortable? I doubt he’ll do anything today since one of the other participants is a male. I hesitate to give more information because I don’t want to out anyone, but his behavior is appalling. Thank you.

    • I’m sorry you have to see this guy again. hugs.

      Honestly, if he’s a jerk, there is nothing you can say to him. He’s decided that he can treat women like non-humans. I hope that the 2 other people know about this guy’s behavior.

      If he says something inappropriate, you have two choices: ignore it and keep talking or respond by looking him in the eye, giving him your best b*tch-face, and not saying anything. Let the others directly address his behavior.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Hmmm, probably a “know your office thing” but I’d say you have a third choice which is address it yourself w/ these two witnesses. So if he says something like “sweetums, pull your chair over here.” You could say “client, we appreciate your business, but you can’t speak to me or any other woman in this office that way. Now, back to this agreement, term A says . . . “

      • the office :

        Thanks, Karen. The other 2 people do not, they work for yet another company (I work in consulting, hence all the different players). The man is an employee of a gov’t agency.

        • If the behavior is as blatant as you imply, you should document and someone, either you or your employer should talk to the EEOC officer for his agency. Govt. agencies usually have strong policies regarding inappropriate behavior.

      • I recently gave someone the death stare after he scoffed at the women-in-combat thing and he recognized it (and called me on it) instantly. You have more power than you think.

        • the office :

          I did death stare and also the redirect the conversation move last week. I’m sorry for being so vague, I just don’t want to out my colleague – she was really embarrassed by the whole thing.

        • I started giving a TSA-guy the death stare on Saturday when he said to “you aren’t going to talk to me?” after I handed him my passport and boarding pass (he hadn’t said a word to the similarly-silent guys who just went through). I quickly changed it to a confused look and said “good morning?”. Good-bye feminist card but the guy had my passport and could order a search…

          • Also in Academia :

            My seatmate on an airplane did this to me once. No, random guy, I am tired and want to read my book.

    • I can’t see why you should be required to confront him in the moment if he behaves inappropriately. That seems like a lot of pressure on you. It shouldn’t be your job to educate him about inappropriate behavior or make a record. I would focus on keeping your cool and steering the conversation back to the topics at hand if it starts to stray. And if there are any problems, document them afterward. And if you want to say something in the moment, it could be as simple as “Okay, why don’t we get back to the topic at hand.” Would it be appropriate for you (or someone else) to prepare a written agenda, so that you have something to focus on when trying to get back on topic? Good luck to you – please post an update if you feel comfortable doing so.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think offices that have these policies, rightly or wrongly, do so to protect against complaints from the “egg shell” plaintiff. This way the person can’t say they didn’t know the comment was unwanted/inappropriate. They were told to stop and they still didn’t stop so their behavior is thus fireable. I think such a response is appropriate for gray area harassment not blatant inappropriate behavior. Like, a coworker that calls all the women “dear” or “sweetheart.” While it is something he shouldn’t do, he may not realize he is offending people unless the offended ask him to stop.

      • the office :

        I did document last week’s meeting as directed. If I was in my 20s, I probably would’ve ignored his behavior and not said anything, but I’m older & wiser and know I don’t have to put up with this. I was also told that the next step was to say something to him directly (I don’t know if this is SOP or if this is my company’s SOP – I guess I should clarify). Gah.

      • East Coast Anon :

        It is absolutely my job to educate others on how to speak to me when they approach me in a manner I find inappropriate. Otherwise, they’ll continue with the bad behavior.

        • But it should be up to OP to decide whether and when she wants to do that kind of education. Her employer shouldn’t require her to do it to make a record. She can make a record afterward, by documenting what happened, and hopefully the other two people will be good witnesses and corroborate her story. Asking an employee to take a stand against a client on a sensitive issue, in a meeting, in front of two other people, while simultaneously courting and providing service to the client on behalf of the company is too much to ask, in my opinion.

          • Chilled Coyote :

            At least in my state, I think it’s about establishing sexual harassment / hostile work environment. Overtly sexual behavior / language is not “illegal” unless it’s unwanted, so you have to make clear to the offending party that they’re offending you. I’m not sure how explicit it has to be, but with all the sexual harassment training they make me do, I think the “rules” are that the first time it happens, you make it clear that the behavior is unwanted, then you have “standing” if it happens again?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Not sure if this meets the “confront him” rule (I agree with the other commenters that I don’t see why you have to do that) but if someone says something inappropriate in a work context, I usually respond with widened eyes and a “Why in the world would you say something like that?” type statement. Sometimes, that’s enough to shame them into behaving. I think you could follow it up with a “I’d prefer if you didn’t speak to me that way. Now, back onto slide 7…”

    • Senior Attorney :

      How about just looking him in the eye and saying “Wow, that’s inappropriate. Let’s get back to the subject at hand.” Or if you want to be more diplomatic, leave out the first part and just go right to “Let’s get back to business.”

      It sounds awful. Good luck!

  17. Wedding-related TJ. I enlisted the services of Nordstrom’s personal stylist to pull dresses for my plus-sized Maid of Honor and she has been awesome. My MOH is flying in for the weekend, and we’ll have 7 dresses in her size, ready and waiting!

    My MOH is somewhat afraid of “not looking like a bridesmaid”. While I think walking up the aisle holding flowers will be a dead give-away, but I am trying to be sensitive. Thoughts on this dress for her? http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/adrianna-papell-ruffled-sheath-dress-plus/3423140?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=60140243&fashionColor=&resultback=0

    I love it, and think it will look awesome on. Adrianna Papell has a few other dresses in the same color, and I’ve ordered swatches from J. Crew to see if we can match or coordinate colors.

    • Every time I’ve been a bridesmaid, it was my dream not to look like one (a dream that has never been realized). I like this dress—and it actually is a dress she could wear again (probably because it’s not a bridesmaid’s dress). And I agree that walking up the aisle holding flowers with other women in the same/nearly the same colored dresses will make it obvious she’s a bridesmaid.

      Hope you guys have a successful shopping expedition!

      • Meg Murry :

        I like this dress too, and I agree that it is totally re-wearable. Does “not look like a bridesmaid” mean not “fancy” enough? Most bridesmaids dresses are “fancy” by being long, shiny, poofy, frilly, lacy or some combination of all of those – kind of prom dress looking. But that is also what makes most bridesmaids dresses un-re-wearable – because unless you get a simple dark colored “typical” bridesmaids dress, where would you rewear it? You wouldn’t wear it to someone else’s wedding, out to dinner, etc?
        Could she also mean “not fitting in with the rest of the wedding party”? If your dress is very formal and the groom and his attendants are wearing tuxes and the other bridesmaids are wearing more bridesmaid-y dresses (especially if they match each other), I could see this dress as looking too casual. So maybe that is her concern?

      • ExcelNinja :

        It’s actually hilarious, isn’t it?? Every time I’ve been a bridesmaid, the bride has sworn I’ll be able to wear the dress again. Never have I ever worn the dress again. They’ve really all been more “gowns” and I don’t typically attend gown-worthy events. Oh well, it’s been fun anyway :)

    • I just want to say how amazing you are for being this flexible about it. There’s a commenter on the Hairpin who had to drop out of her brother’s wedding because her future sister in law insisted that she have a dress custom made for the wedding (at a cost of $600) because the bridesmaid dress didn’t come in the commenter’s size.

      As for the dress, I think it’s great. Does Adrianna Papell come in Misses, too? Maybe all the bridesmaids could get their dresses through Nordstrom instead.

    • I think this dress is lovely!

      I think I understand your MOH’s concerns. I was my sister’s MOH a few years ago and was adamantly opposed to “same color/fabric, different style” because I was convinced that every single wedding guest would look at us (bridesmaids) and think “Oh, I see they had to get non-matching dresses to accomodate the fat girl.” (Of course I realize that this is ridiculous and that the guests were looking at the bride, not me!)

      Whatever dress(es) you end up choosing, I think it’s wonderful that you are being so mindful of your MOH’s feelings and working together to make her look her best – even though it’s your special day.

      • I’m actually more exciting about finding an awesome dress for her than I was about finding my own dress (I mean, it’s white, and fluffy, but I’m only going to wear it once).

        The stylist is also pulling matching and coordinating dresses for another bridesmaid to try on, too, so we can see how everything will look together. Am I being too optimistic in thinking that we could get this all done in 2 hours, and spend the afternoon getting pampered and drinking champagne?!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think it’s actually not that uncommon for the Maid of Honor to have a slightly different dress than the rest of the bridesmaids. Maybe you can frame it that way (ie, I’d love it if you stood out at the wedding! You *aren’t* just a bridesmaid – you’re my maid of honor!) she’ll feel more comfortable about having a slightly different dress.

    • Sorry- is she afraid of not looking like a bridesmaid, or afraid of looking like a bridesmaid?

    • Virtually all the plus-sized women I know would rather be caught dead than wearing a dress that exposes that much of their arms. If she feels self-conscious about that and wants to have a wrap or a little jacket to cover up, that’s going to ruin the look of that dress. I’d be looking for something with a little more sleeve to it.

      • Good to note. I think 3 of the other dresses have sleeves or lace overlays…

      • Anon with less than perfect arms :

        If someone hates body part X on herself, I wouldn’t go so far as to say she shouldn’t hate that body part but…your comment about almost all plus-size women hating to bare that much of their arms makes me think that a lot of it just comes from mean, judgy people who can’t leave plus-size women alone.

        If arms are covered, then it’s, “oh, plus-size women dress so frumpy,” and if arms are covered, then it’s “how dare someone as big as she is show so much skin!” The amount of body judging (on all sized women) that goes on is ridiculous. I can’t help but think that it’s this judginess that informs the decision of an individual to hate body part X. No man or woman is an island, and like it or not, we do get influenced by the atmosphere of judging around us.

        • PREACH SISTER

        • ExcelNinja :

          +1

        • Ugh. What patronizing nonsense? Are you trying to outline the already well documented fact that patriarchy and fatphobia create or exacerbate womens’ insecurities? Well, no sh*t! How can this possibly be news to anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock for 20 years.

          This woman is not required to show her arms to stick it to the man. I don’t like showing my arms and I don’t need some patronizing pro women BS to try and guilt me into it.

          Here’s an idea: why can’t people MAKE SLEEVED DRESSES instead of forcing women to expose themselves when they don’t want to?

      • Yeah, this is . . . not true of me or most of my plus-sized friends. Honestly, if someone assumed I should only be looking at MoH dresses with sleeves, that would be kind of devastating. Giving options with sleeves is fine, but definitely I do not think those should be the only options; that implies you are ashamed of the friend’s arms.

        • (This is especially true if all the other bridesmaids are wearing dresses without sleeves, which I assume they are. How awful to have everyone walking down the aisle in sleeveless dresses except you, because obviously you have to be covered up.)

        • I’m just saying I have — at three separate weddings — seen larger bridesmaids who, when faced with a sleeveless dress, insisted on wearing a wrap or jacket to cover up their arms. It ruined the look of the dress, and the bride would have been much better off letting the bridesmaid wear a dress that had sleeves (or having ALL the bridesmaids wear a dress with sleeves), rather than coming up with a compromise (wear the sleeveless dress but cover it up) that really suits no one. And to be clear, I certainly wasn’t saying that the plus-sized friend should ONLY be given dresses with sleeves to pick between, I was just reacting to the fact that HM seemed particularly enthusiastic about this one dress. I just meant to suggest that HM might not want to go whole hog over this dress, lest she unwittingly make MOH feel pressured into agreeing to a dress that she wasn’t really comfortable with.

          • Yeah, this is a fashion-blog and we all care about pretty dresses but your comments are in the fat-shaming realm. I don’t think you intended your comments to be so but they are. Anecdata does not equal universal truth.

            HM, you seem like a pretty awesome friend and bride. I hope you and your party people find the dress that makes them all rawr with joy.

          • How on earth is it fat-shaming to say that a bridesmaid should have been allowed to wear a dress that she felt comfortable in, instead of forcing her to wear a sleeveless dress that made her self-conscious so that she insisted on covering it up with a jacket? Speaking as someone who herself spent quite a number of years in plus-sizes, I was trying to caution against skinny people assuming that just because a dress comes in plus sizes, that a plus-sized person would necessarily be happy wearing the dress. I don’t think you intended your comments to be insulting, but they are.

      • kerrycontrary :

        I also think that it depends on the plus-sized woman’s arms. Some plus-sized women are very strong and there arms are perfectly fine being exposed. It depends on muscle mass, where they hold their weight, shoulder structure, body shape…oh and personal preference!

        • Regardless of what a woman’s arms look like (toned and muscular of not), if she’s comfortable with baring her arms and that’s the style agreed upon between the bride and bridesmaids, she should go for it! Confidence can be any size and shape! (I feel a bizarre synchronicity here– earlier this morning, I blogged about Emme, as one of my style icons. She’s been known to rock strapless and sleeveless dresses and to cheer folks on for loving their shapes, whatever they may be.)

          Typing on this stupid phone will blind me, but I couldn’t not wish Kat a belated birthday and SoCalAtty a congrats on giving notice!

      • I disagree with Gus. I know her comment is about the plus size women she knows, but this is one of those generalizations that is just not true.

        Some plus size women may dislike a body part, but it happens to everyone, and not just to plus sizes. The suggestion for a wrap is a good, but the whole sleeve thing doesn’t work. Anything other than a cap sleeve will actually cut off the arm, making it look bigger, with the added benefit of screaming “look at my arms! look at my arms! I tried to find something to cover them up!”.

        The dress is pretty, and I was looking at it earlier this week so hopefully she likes it.

        • Looking at Nordie’s – if you search for Encore (plus size), dresses, occassion – guest of the wedding there are a couple of options by Adriana Pappell and Rachel Pally that have that more bridesmaid-sy look if that is what she would prefer

      • I have big fat upper arms, and I don’t care who sees ‘em. I rock sleeveless all the time. If I do wear sleeves, I want them at least to the elbow, though, for the same reason as I mostly want my skirts to the knee.

        A wrap is nice to have if it gets cold, though.

    • Chilled Coyote :

      Beautiful color! One of my favorites! The style is cute but not overdone, too. Good choice!

  18. Charlotte, NC :

    Charlotte is big enough to have NFL and NBA teams. But what about a sizeable Corpor**** presence? Is there anyone else out there? Everyone else gets to have a meet-up.

    • I’m in California but will be attending a conference in Charlotte in May

      • Praxidike :

        I am not from Charlotte, but this reminds me that I wish there was a way for people to identify themselves by location on this site. I know there are a couple Wisconsin ladies on here and I’d love to meet them, but it doesn’t seem like we’ve got a big enough presence (sadly).

        • Lady Harriet :

          I’m from Madison, but I just moved out of state this past summer. I should be back sometime in early August for my college roommate’s wedding, though!

          • Yep, I am also from Madison. We’ve got lots of lawyers here; I find it hard to believe that there aren’t more MKE/MSN attorneys on this site!

    • Hmm… I wish I did! But one of my best girlfriends just moved there recently and would probably love to meet up with other intelligent, fun professional women. If you all get a meet up together, I may have to let her in on the Corpor*tte secret :) Unless you are her… in which case, HI!

    • Durham, here…seems like there are a few who either are or were based in the Triangle area. Would love to meet up!

      • Merabella :

        This. I’m in the triangle, but a meet up in Charlotte is much easier than trekking to Boston, DC or NYC, haha – I’m always so jealous of y’all city gals.

  19. Paging Emily Post :

    My husband and I have been invited to a birthday party for one of his grad school friends. It’s at a nice restaurant and from the invite it sounds like the bill will be taken care of. Assuming that’s the case, what’s the protocol on gifts in this situation? Usually with his friends, everyone just chips in for the tab to cover the birthday gal/guy, but if this is all paid for shouldn’t we get something? We’re not so close that I can think of what to get and he’s clueless, but it seems odd to show up without a gift or with just money also. It’s going to be in NY if location matters.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Booze.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      IMO booze is good, unless it’s likely there will be a “night out” after the dinner and people will be taking public transit, etc. In that case, I’d just go with a generous gift card in a card.

      • Paging Emily Post :

        How generous?

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Well, I don’t usually subscribe to the “cover your plate” theory, but if you would have otherwise chipped in X for two of you to the dinner at that level of restaurant, I think that’s probably a good baseline to move up from depending how generous you feel.

        • It doesn’t even have to be that much. Movie theater giftcard is a pretty universally appreciated gift.

          Also, WHY ARE MOVIE THEATERS SO EXPENSIVE???????

  20. Just got out from a tough meeting where I was barked at by several people questioning my action plan as a way of protecting themselves to preemptively justify failure on a project they know is doomed.
    I knew this was going to happen, I held tight, was strong and it was a learning for more meetings to come.
    When the meeting organizer came to me at the end and said sorry they meeting was very tough, I said: “no I am used to it, it’s part of the job”… fake it till you make it right?
    I need a big cyber hug

    • Oh, Houda, big hugs from someone who has been there. Sorry you’re having to go through this but you have a great attitude about it.

    • :( you poor thing. Cyber hugs, cyber whiskeys, and cyber punching bags. I hate that this a reality of your situation – that totally bites. Can you get out and recalibrate for an hour or anything?

    • Solidarity! Remember, you are awesome, no matter what happens at work.

    • Aw, Houda. I’m sorry. You’re one of my favorite people here and I love hearing from you. I honestly admire you so much for kicking a$$ and taking names over the past few years despite less than supportive bosses and companies. Watching you begin to stand up for yourself, make intentional moves to progress your career, and be strong in the face of adversity has been so great. Hang in there. You have come so far. Don’t let these haters stop you now. You can do it!!!

    • Hugs for you!! I agree with SFBayA – I admire you a lot and think you’re fabulous for standing up for yourself and taking charge of your education and career. Definitely fake it til you make it, be strong, and then go home at the end of the day and treat yourself for making it through the tough meeting!

    • Thank you all. My work day is over so I will re-read a chapter from NGDGTCO for inspiration :)

    • ExcelNinja :

      HUG, and a big glass of wine (or bevvy of choice) :)

  21. Fundraiser, Maybe :

    Re-posting from yesterday’s Coffee Break in hopes of getting a few more insights. Many thanks to hellskitchen for chiming in yesterday! And to ANP: my email is [email protected] if you want to shoot me a message.

    Taking the plunge, friends: does anyone here have any experience working in development or fundraising? I’ve been doing a lot of volunteer fundraising lately for some organizations I’m part of (mostly arts and community stuff), but it’s gotten to the point where I’m running and branding whole campaigns, and I find that I really like what I’m doing. I’d be interested in learning more about what it’s like to do this professionally.

    If you do this–or if you know someone who does this–for what kind of organization do you work? How did you get into it? Do you have to work your way up to get a lot of responsibility or is it the kind of thing that someone can come into with skills (writing, branding, leadership) as opposed to professional experience? Do you ever feel burnt out? I work for a university now and really like being on campus, so if anyone has experience working for a college or university development office, I’d be especially keen on hearing your story.

    I may re-post over the next few days to get more responses, so apologies in advance if you see this multiple times. And thanks, too, for taking the time to help out.

  22. Dealing with the Ex :

    Last week DH’s ex girlfriend was in our state, and we attended an event that her and her husband also attended. She approached me and said, “When you have a moment, I would like to speak with you.” Immediately, I thought: “Here comes the Jr. High School Drama!” And unfortunately, I was right. She has done several things in the course of my marriage to make me dislike her immensely. While I don’t really have anything against her, I have absolutely no desire to speak with her or be her friend. She’s a very manipulative attention monger.

    In this case, she wanted to know why I was ‘cold’ to her, and proceeded to tell me several lies to tell me that she has done nothing wrong. I knew they were lies, and called her on several of them. She was surprised that I knew as much as I did. In my opinion, she was seeking an emotional response from me (fake cried, mentioned my dad’s death, etc.), and I didn’t give it. I told her I have nothing against her, and she responded “See, but you’re still cold and closed off to me.” (WTH?! You want to be best buddies or something?) So I thought that was the end of it. Except she went to my best friend and told her that my DH lied to me, and she was in the right in everything, it was just that DH was hiding things from me (I know this is not the case).

    Unfortunately, I know this isn’t going to end here. She’s a huge gossip, and constantly needs attention and drama. What would you ladies do? Should I ignore it, or engage the ex to try and get it over with?

    • Perhaps I don’t understand because I’m a monster but why are you giving her any time or attention at all? Are there children involved or something? The next time she starts something like this, why can’t you say, “You and I are not friends. I don’t understand why you’re talking to me. Please leave me alone. Thank you and goodbye.”

      The person who should really be dealing with this mess is your husband. Tell him to monster up and tell his ex to GO AWAY.

      • Right, absent some common tie like shared custody or property, there is no need to engage her or let her engage you.

      • No children, property ties, etc. We have no connection with her in that area. Ex and DH grew up together, and were good friends prior to dating and afterwards (to him it was only friends, she has indicated that their entire friendship was dating to her). His family lives near her, and for convoluted reasons, deal with her on a semi regular basis. So this could potentially effect our time visiting his family if she doesn’t drop it.

        But I think I will just continue to ignore it as that seems to be the best approach. Is it bad that I enjoy ignoring her because she hates being ignored? Ah, the small perverse pleasures of life sometimes. (And yes, I do realize that this is slightly childish.)

      • Praxidike :

        “Perhaps I don’t understand because I’m a monster …” – Godzilla

        I just died. +1000 points.

    • Take the high road and IGNORE. Ignore the lies, if people come to you with her stories, tell them why they’re not true. I bet she’s already frustrated by your refusal to sink to her level and get all caught up in emotion, so is escalating, but engaging wouldn’t solve it either.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      It sounds like she isn’t in your state, so I would definitely disengage x 1,000,000. If she asks to speak with you privately, say, “I’m sorry, I don’t have time” and refuse to engage in any drama type conversations. If mutual friends mention something, just say something like “Jane and I have an unhealthy relationship, so I’d prefer it if we didn’t discuss what she did/didn’t say. I trust you to make up your own mind on the subject” and change the subject.

      IMO with people like this, there’s not “getting it over with.” Whatever they’re mad about now, they’ll find something else once that is resolved and the relationship will always be rocky. When it’s someone there’s no reason for you to have a relationship with, like DH’s ex, I think just removing yourself from the situation is the best course of action.

    • Yikes, if ever there were a time to ignore someone, this sounds like it.

  23. Do you “believe” in chiropractors?

    I’ve had some back pain recently and have been going to a chiro, and I’m not sure if that or Advil/rest has been making it better. I feel like every time I mention a spot that hurts, the chiro just says “oh, yes, that feels/looks tight” without actually finding it himself…

    • I have sort-of serious back issues. Disc herniation and bulges. I go to a physical therapist and a chiropractor. I think I’m very lucky that I happened to find a very good chiropractor and a very good physical therapist because I usually mention one thing and each of them will poke at another place and say, “Why are you so tight/tense here?” It seems amazing me to me because I’m fully clothed and they poke through and find the connecting or not-obviously-connecting ligament/muscle.

      That doesn’t really answer your question. I definitely feel worse when I skip a visit to either the physical therapist or chiropractor – the muscles go back to their screwy ways to support my neck. They adjust different things and I make sure to fill them in on the other’s work. But pain is slow-go. Have you been to an orthopedist regarding your back pain?

    • Doctors that I’ve spoken to (as friends/socially, not asking as a patient) typically are very cautious about chiropractors. If they screw up, they can really fudge up your back or spine. From what I understand, they don’t have anywhere near the same amount of training.

      On the other hand I have a number of friends and co-workers who get a lot of back pain relief from their chiropractors. It may be a placebo effect, but it seems to have helped, not harmed. If your chiropractor isn’t really helping you. have you talked to your doctor about what they might recommend?

      • (former) Clueless Summer :

        Chiropractors have 7 years of school (undergrad then 3 years chiropractic school) and then have to take boards, similar (I think?) to doctors. So they do have quite a bit of training, if that’s your concern.

        • Um, “undergrad” does not count as training for a chiropractor. Sorry.

          • (former) Clueless Summer :

            Sorry but just saying that’s how much education they have in general. That undergrad is required for admission to chiropractic college.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Ever doc I have spoken to feels the same way.

        I will wholeheartedly endorse finding a really great physical therapist. A lot of back pain can be traced back to either being too flexible or not flexible enough. For me, my I’m hyper flexible in certain areas and really tight in others, which pulls my pelvis out of alignment.

        Sure, a chiro can align your bones, but they’re not going to stay that way unless you figure out the cause. Then again, when I went to the ER with a friend who they thought may have been having a stroke, one of the questions they asked was “have you seen a chiro recently.” That scared me.

    • I get shoulder and neck pain and killer headaches, and my chiropractor makes me so much better. Complete believer.

      That said, not all chiropractors are created equal, and I’ve been to a couple who I thought were quacky (just barely laying on hands and practically chanting) and didn’t really work for me. My current chiropractor is pretty physical and really makes things “crack,” but her method works for me.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      One option is to consider seeing a doctor of osteopathy (DO) as opposed to an MD. They learn similar muscle manipulation tactics to chiropractors, but also get a medical education and (generally) have to pass the same medical boards as MDs.

    • Sorry to hear you’re having back pain and that your chiro has been less than helpful. If you’re in DC, I would highly recommend Dr. Bronat. I went to him after almost two years of mystery pain and endless medical tests that gave no answers. He determined that my shoulder was too high and my hip was too low, which stretched everything in between, including pulling my ribs out of place. Who knew that could happen! It took several months of consistant appointments, but he completely fixed the pain and the problem. Now I go about once a month for maintenence. He’s extremely thorough and patient. He answers questions and explains things, even if it’s just to satisfy my own curiosity. If at the end of an appointment I’m still feeling like something is off, he’ll spend additional time with me to try to find the cause and a remedy. And yet, he is somehow always on time with appointments! (I can’t even describe how much I appreciate this!)

      That’s a long way of saying that I definitely “believe” in chiro, but that belief comes from finding a quality chiro to work with. Finding a good doc has been a life saver, as I was in a lot of pain for a couple of years with no real answers…and he was able to take the time and help me eliminate the pain.

      Maybe you should find another chiro to try, even just to evaluate you and get a second opinion as to whether chiro is the right answer for you. Again, I’d recommend Bronat in DC. If you’re in another city, maybe check out Yelp (that’s how I found him).

    • RosieAims :

      I don’t — and the medical doctors that I have asked about it (my brother and my sister-in-law) have urged me with wide and worried eyes to never get “adjusted”, telling me it can be somewhere between useless and dangerous, depending on the situation. They recommend either a doctor, or a massage. I know a lot of people seem to benefit from it, but it makes me too uneasy.

      • (former) Clueless Summer :

        Yes, because they are essentially in competition. Chiropractors essentially operate with a totally different philosophy than MDs…and many chiropractors would give totally different treatment recommendations (doctor says surgery, chiro says adjustments and other lifestyle changes).

        • Bewitched :

          I disagree with this comment. I’ve had the same experience as RosieAims, and all of the individuals I’ve spoken to are in primary care, so they are not in the business of recommending surgeries. Most PCP’s definitely do not consider themselves in competition with chiropractors. Some surgeons and physical therapists might, but it’s not correct to lump all physicians together and to say they are in competition with chiropractors.

        • RosieAims :

          I completely disagree. I doubt that any doctor, regardless of their area of practice, feels like they’re in competition with chiropractors. I also don’t think that it’s correct to assume that a doctor would automatically recommend surgery over pt or other measures. When my brother was doing his rotation in the ER, someone came in with neurological symptoms that were the result of an adjustment. I think it’s about avoiding risk, and that is a very personal decision. I am risk-adverse in lots of ways when it comes to my health — I would never take Advil on an empty stomach, or drink while on antibiotics, for example. Many people would, and some have no problems. I certainly would not let someone manipulate my skeleton if he or she did not know all there is to know about possible risks, and how to identify and deal with events gone badly. In my mind, that requires a MD.

      • Personally, I think stand-alone massages are useless in terms of effective therapy – unless you’re getting a massage once or twice a week. Treating the root cause of muscle spasms makes more sense to me, in addition to whatever pain relief you can get from massages, or heat or ice or exercise or whatever.

    • Praxidike :

      Well, it’s not a religion, but I think chiropractors serve a valuable purpose. I am a former insurance defense attorney, so I know there are charlatans out there. However my mother was a chiropractor and I know she did a good job and actually diagnosed several serious medical conditions in her patients before their PCPs. I go to a chiropractor and find it gives me a lot of relief from headaches and backaches.

      Ultimately, I think that you need to find the right one … just like with a PCP or other medical professional.

    • My dad’s a chiropractor and I grew up getting adjusted. Now that I no longer live at home, I’m having a hard time finding a new one. It’s scary to think about putting that kind of trust in someone to realign your bones. I totally get that. I will also say that not all chiros are created equal and there are some who are needlessly rough. I remember after I got rear-ended I asked the ER doc if I could see a chiro (it was a worker’s comp thing) and his response was “Sure, if you don’t mind getting your neck broken” which is a pretty ignorant thing to say, in my mind. I swear I feel taller and more relaxed after getting adjusted so if you can find a good chiro and leave feeling that refreshed, it’s totally worth it.

      • I had a doctor tell me that a chiropractor will eventually give me a stroke. I calmly nodded. She did just tell me to learn how to meditate and learn how to de-stress, after all.

    • When I have back pain, a chiropractor is awesome. I really feel like a good one can make a difference.

      I’d be leery of going to one I didn’t trust, though.

      I don’t feel like I have to tell the chiro more about symptoms than I would at a corresponding doctor (MD) appointment.

    • Just like orthopedits and PTs, some are great and some are not.

      The trick is finding the right one.

  24. mintberrycrunch :

    Beauty TJ: Piggybacking on the discussion of skincare habits yesterday – what do you ladies do for your hands? I am 29, and I feel like the backs of my hands are starting to look a little worn, especially the skin around my knuckles. Any suggestions?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I use Mary Kay Satin Hands and I really like it. I buy it on eBay or Amazon, where it’s always wayyyy cheaper since so many people get into the MK business, realize it’s kind of a pyramid scheme, and have a ton of product to unload which they often do at/close to cost.

    • I do a lot of pullups, so that the calluses on the back of my hands distracts people from the wrinkles on the front :)

    • Regular moisturizing and paraffin dips keep my hands nice and soft. Sunscreen is a good idea too.

      • Oh, I love love love parafin baths. It’s the most random but wonderful thing you can do for your hands. I also constantly use hand cream.

    • ExcelNinja :

      I have a regime of OPI Avoplex cuticle treatment, followed by cuticle oil, followed by the high-intensity hand & nail cream, followed by trying to not wash my hands for as long as possible (sucks if I forget to visit the restroom beforehand, then it becomes a “how long can I hold it” exercise). Eczema runs in my family and this is the only thing that works to keep mine in check. Plus, my nails are super strong now :)

  25. ExcelNinja :

    I just need a take a moment to brag – feel free to ignore if this sort of thing bugs you :)

    I started this job in July and at the time I negotiated a higher starting salary than they had initially offered (which I was darn proud of myself for, having never even tried to negotiate any offers before – thanks C o r p o r e t t e!!) and a 10% signing bonus.

    Well, it’s January, and I just got a raise, a performance bonus, AND a bunch of equity.

    Feelin’ pretty bada** right now…I foresee a fancy dinner in my near future!

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