Weekend Open Thread

 Black Halo Vamp Scuba Dress Something on your mind?  Chat about it here.

I have no idea where I’d wear this dress — a wedding, perhaps? — but I love it. (In fact, engaged ladies, do note: it is available in white, and wouldn’t it be a pretty rehearsal dinner dress?) Anyway: I like the sculptural draping, the simplicity, and the lovely “limonata” color — it’s $390 at ShopBop. Black Halo Vamp Scuba Dress

(Do note: Rent the Runway does carry Black Halo dresses, mostly for rental of around $50 — this particular dress isn’t among their current offerings, though.  Click here if you need an invite!)





  1. Gorgeous.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I wish I could wear this every day.

      • Agreed. So pretty. And it’s yellow!

      • Yay! Open thread’s!!!! I love OPEN thread’s. This dress is far to revealing for me tho. Frank would be STAREING at my body since it is so tight fitting. FOOEY on him. He should not stare at my boobies when he has his own wife to stare at!

        I like the way this model’s hair is combed. I was happy for the response I got yesterday from Ann on my SCRUNCHIE quandrie and her twistband sugestion, but still would hope the HIVE could way in.


        Have others in the hive used the twistband and what do their managing partners say? As a young urban professioneal, I want to be professioneal, but also a little styleish if I can, and mabye the twistband is the way to go. Any advise is much apreciated.

        Myrna got a call from Esteban, but I am NOT ready to meet his freind yet, b/c I have to meet Henry with Myrna tomorrow. I am haveing alot of reservation’s about Henry b/c I pulled my HS yearbook out and he WAS on the math team. They were 4 guy’s on the team and all of them were GEEKEY! Henry looked just as strange as the rest of them and I think he was the one who’s underwear they took out of his gym lockerf and hoyisted up the flagpole b/c it had petrified poopie in it. If I ask him about it, I do NOT think he will admit it was his underwear, but now that I think more about it, I am almost sure they took his underwear b/c he had his name in the underwear and there was a reference to it next to his name that said “Petrified Rock up the flagpole.” If I married this guy, everyone at the wedding would know I am married to a guy who hid his soiled underwear in his gym locker until it petrified, then it was hung on the flagpole. DOUBEL FOOEY!

        So we will see. If I have to esxcape from him, I will at least have Myrna with me. YAY!!!!!!!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Agreed, love it!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I love this dress. My bank account is happy that I heard the brand runs small, so it wouldn’t come in my size.

    • TO Lawyer :

      So pretty! Wish my work wardrobe would allow for this type of outfit on a regular basis…

    • Le Sigh

    • ……I WANT THAT SO BAD. And that color yellow looks so. flippin. good. on me. Dear universe, why did you not have me born into money.

  2. Have you guys had any luck selling clothing/shoes on eBay? Any advice for an eBay newbie? I have some shoes and dresses that I’ve never worn and I’d like to see if I could get something for them rather than having them collect dust in my closet. Is it worth the time?

    • I think some of the keys are descriptive titles and listings and good photos of the items.

      About 12+ years ago, I remember selling and buying a lot of things on eBay and the message boards there were really great — full of helpful people and tips. Now, that was a long time ago when the internet was relatively novel, so it may not be as helpful now, but its worth checking out.

    • Bewitched :

      I’ve sold some stuff-generally kids clothing, not my own. I would say that really hot, popular brands sell best. For example, Dansko clogs in black patent leather will sell, even if used. Frye boots would probably sell quickly. I wouldn’t even bother to try to sell little known brands, even store brands like the Lord & Taylor brand etc. Best way to see if your item will sell is to search it in Ebay, and then look at “completed listings”. If similar items have sold, you are likely to be able to sell yours (and you will get a sense of the price to list your item at). Consignment shops may be a better option.

      • Maddie Ross :

        This. I’ve had great luck on eBay selling Frye boots, Tory Burch shoes, Coach bags, J.crew everything, designer jeans, etc. — even if they were well used. The less known the designer or brand, the less well it seems to sell. For some items, I’ve actually made a profit on them, even after wearing them (old TB Reva flats, I’m looking at you). Take lots of pictures and be thorough and accurate in your descriptions. Include info on whether they run big or small in your opinion. For pants, include the inseam. For purses, include information on size, handle drop, etc. And even better, show the purse in relation to something (like a cell phone or tablet) to give an idea of scale. Set the initial price as low as you would reasonably take. But know if something doesn’t sell the first time, you can re-list it for free.

    • LackingLuster :

      I’ve sold some stuff. The best way to avoid a hassle is to be completely honest in your description of the merchandise, include lots of pictures, and be clear about the terms of sale (who pays for shipping, whether you will take something back, etc.). The biggest problem with eBay that I’ve found is buyer’s remorse. Also, I think for new clothing, unless it is current season and designer, even if it is new with tags, you should probably expect to take at least 40% off the purchase price.

    • I am in the process right now of trying to sell some designer items (Manolo Blahnik shoes, a Chloe jacket) that I just don’t wear anymore, and to be honest, I find it all a bit frustrating. Maybe it’s just that there are so many options out there? I’m starting to get a few nibbles, but it’s definitely not the whiz-off-the-shelves opportunity that eBay makes it seem.

      Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on this thread in case someone has some magical tips.

      • OHC, a lot of times my listings didn’t get a lot of activity until the very end of the auction. I think a lot of buyers use bidding software to try and keep prices low. It worked out, some items sold for a much higher price than I expected, but most were <$50 for things that retailed anywhere from $250-500. It definitely didn't help me come close to recouping my costs…just helped me make a little space and gave me back a little cash for stuff I wasn't wearing anymore.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Shoot, I heard about a service that you sign up with that caters specifically to designer clothing. I can’t remember the name right now, but I’ll post it if I figure it out. I think the way it works is that you post your item on the site, when it is sold the company sends you prepaid packaging, and the company takes a percentage of the sale like eBay.

      • There’s a website called TheRealReal dot com that specializes in designer wear if you’re interested in going that route. Full disclosure, I haven’t used it, I know someone who works there so I’m not sure of all the details but it may be worth checking out if you’re not interested in going the eBay route.

    • I sold some high-end designer items I was no longer using 4 years ago. The tips here are good–take honest pictures of the entire item as well as a few close-ups (like the tags). Don’t be afraid to show off wear and tear. Someone will buy if the price is right–just be honest about wear & tear, worn down areas, etc.

      If it’s a nice brand, add anything you can to prove authenticity such as the authenticity cards, original dustcover, box (if you have it), etc. Once again, someone will probably buy it if you don’t have it, but you’ll get a better price if you do. Give a detailed description of the item, including size, color, possibly original price as well. I would often add notes to help guide the sellers like “I normally wear a size 8 but I felt this shoe runs slightly large.” I also made sure to provide a little information about myself (i.e., “I’m not a professional seller, just a girl who loves clothes and is trying to make some more space”). It kept buyers’ expectations realistic since I didn’t have an enormous selling history.

      • Oh also, one of the big keys is *keywords*! Find other listings of items similar to yours. Look at keywords they have in common. Get in the mindset of an eBay shopper. If you were looking for that item, what would you be searching for? Sure, “brown pumps barely worn” is correct…but “Light Brown Kate Spade Size 9 three inch pumps” is much more descriptive. I also looked through previous successful auctions to find keywords for the item descriptions that would attract buyers. That’s how I figured out to start adding information on the dustbags, authenticity cards and boxes.

        • Add to that the specific model name and/or number, if applicable. I regularly search for specific Wacoal bras by model number, new with tags, and if I am looking to replace a favorite pair of shoes, I search by the specific name, not just the brand.

    • I’ve sold a few things. It really depends on the brand, from what I can tell. For example, JCrew and Zara are incredibly popular, and sell very well (even past season, worn items). On the other hand, a dress from a lesser known label will have a hard time garnering attention even if it’s high quality, just because of the sheer number of options available.

      Like others have said, it’s worthwhile to search for similar items to see how well they’ve sold. You can set a “reserve price” for an item you’re worried might sell for too little, which is nice for testing the waters. Otherwise, the general advice of be descriptive, take lots of pictures, and communicate quickly applies. Good luck!

    • Brands sell the best. Handbags and Accessoires (things you don’t have to try on) also fare better than clothes.

      Generally, I’d look towards Buffalo Exchange (www.buffaloexchange.com) for clothes if there is a store in your area – for the price you get for these items, 1 hour in line and going through all your clothes at once at Buffalo might give you more value for your time then photographing, listing and answering on Ebay individually.

      NEVER sell sets or piles on Ebay – they are guaranteed to get a bad price.

    • Thanks all, great suggestions in this thread!

      • frustrated - need advice :

        …to jump on this, I have a question about using trading assistants on ebay. I would like to do that but I just found out my favorite cousin (who I am very close to) used one last year and this person basically sold all her stuff and never gave her a check for the proceeds. We are talking a few pairs of Danskos -newlike- and quite a few handbags (coach, vera) as well as some tiffany jewelry. ebay does not endorse their trading assistants, even though they list them on their website, and there is apparently little recourse except the criminal justice system? Hilariously enough, this dishonest trading assistant is apparently a (failed) lawyer, so my cousin is thinking about filing a grievance with the state bar after she goes to the police. Any other ideas? Or is small claims court better? There is an email trail where the trading assistant admits to having sold the items and promises to send a check.

    • So I haven’t sold on eBay but I do buy on there quite often so I can speak to what I look for. I see eBay as the functional equivalent of a final sale from a store that’s gone out of business so I have virtually no recourse if I don’t like what I get. Because of this, I’ll only buy things at a substantial discount – e.g. 20% off of Kate Spade’s Karolina’s won’t get a look from me because I can get that from Zappos w/ a year to return. 50-70% off? I’ll take a flier and buy. I usually search by the item name and brand (see e.g. Kate Spade Karolina). Anything more generic and there’s too much to sift through. I’m usually looking for a good deal on things I know I like and wished I’d bought more of when they were originally in the stores. Hope that helps.

    • I just sold some boots–auctions ended last night. I’d agree that it’s all about brand names. I sold two pairs of Danskos and one pair of Dan Post cowboy boots. I’ve tried selling lesser brands in the past and for the $5-8 you get, completely not worth the hassle. Definitely search completed listings and see what similar items are going for.

      Use the brand name and size in the auction title, fully disclose and photograph any damage (there was a small scratch on one of the boots, I took a closeup photo of it), use up all 12 of your allotted photo slots, and disclose shipping.

      Shipping is a perpetual issue. I probably could have gotten my auctions higher if I’d charged less for shipping, but I’ve been burned in the past by underestimating shipping costs and selling some items that ended up affirmatively costing me money. I figured out which size USPS Flat Rate box the items would fit in and charged that for shipping. My auctions ended a bit lower than auctions for the same items, but I’m not going to lose money on shipping so for me it’s worth it.

      I ended up getting about half what I paid for each item (well, less than half after you deduct all the eBay and PayPal fees), which is pretty good.

  3. Cute dress, but with my (larger than average) chest, I think it would look like an envelope slowly peeling open.

  4. Black Hair :

    Just wondering if any other black women (or others with similar texture!) have stopped relaxing their hair and gone natural? Or if they’ve tried methods other than relaxing to manage their hair (keratin? japanese straightening?)? Do any of you have extensions? Any product recommendations for relaxed hair?

    I’ve been struggling with my hair recently, I feel like I’m in a rut, and I don’t know what to do. I want smoother, thicker, longer hair that’s easier to manage. Going natural is only in there because I’m sick of so many chemicals, I don’t know if I could take the plunge.

    • I have been wondering the same thing re: natural hair.Would be considered professional in an office setting? I think the women I see with natural hair look beautiful, but I don’t encounter many women of color in my profession with natural hair. I currently have short relaxed hair, but have considered going natural to avoid some of the chemicals and see if I can let it grow longer. Currently my hair is pretty healthy. I use a lot of Jane Carter products in between trips to see my stylist and they are wonderful (and natural).

      Do you know anyone who has pulled off natural hair in an office setting?

      • Black Hair :

        No, I actually don’t know anyone at all with natural black hair, though my city (and friend group) isn’t exactly diverse.

      • Veronique :

        I currently work in house at a tech company and have previously summered at a law firm and an insurance company. Never had any problems with my hair and have only had positive attention. I had a twa and mid-length fro when I summered and shoulder-plus length hair at my current job, which I usually wear in buns or braidouts (similar to this http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WZz5AIT2Vmc/TLCb499Ym1I/AAAAAAAAADU/Ghuli0D2CP0/s1600/braidout.jpg). Most of my friends from college have subsequently gone natural and work in a variety of fields (legal, healthcare, education administration, consulting) with no problem.

        • Ooh I love the braidout hair! I wish my super fine hair could do that.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          I wish I had the patience to do that! My hair is that length, but I’d braid or twist and then be done……

          • Veronique :

            I only do 6-8 braids, so it really doesn’t take that long.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Hmmm. I mostly do Curly girl method (totally lazy with my hair) but I found a picture with KCCC, so I may try that tomorrow – I am a bit of a product junkie so I have all sorts of stuff for when the rare mood strikes…. Maybe I’ll try that next. Do you use any particular product with your braid out?

          • To Divalicious11 :

            The products I use vary, but it’s generally some type of hair lotion or milk to moisturize and some type of coconut oil (summer) or shea butter (winter) to seal. I only use gel in the summer to combat humidity (ouidad climate control is excellent). Shea Moisture products are a great place to start since they’re cheap, good ingredients, and available everywhere.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Thanks. Maybe I’ll try soon….

    • Veronique :

      I went natural in 2008, while I was in law school, after relaxing for close to 15 years. I highly recommend it! My hair is longer, thicker and healthier than it’s ever been. There are so many options out there right now in terms of products, advice, salons, etc. Some of my favorite blogs are afrobella, bglh, curlynikki, newly natural, and the natural haven. I rarely straighten my hair (1-2 times/year), but I have natural friends who straighten more often or only straighten and they agree that their hair is so much healthier. I don’t have an incognito email address, but if you leave your email here I can send you a message if you have more questions.

    • ChandraNH :

      Black with natural hair here. I work for a financial services (insurance) firm headquartered in Boston, which is very conservative and I’ve never had any problems. My hair has been natural for going on 14 years, so even when I lived in New Hampshire (I’m now in Kansas City) and I never had any problems. Either I cut it short and wear a TWA or let it grow out and keep it pulled back into a low bun to protect the ends.

      Occasionally during the summer I’ll let it loose on jean Fridays, but frankly, that’s such a hassle and it tends to knot up, so I limit having it loose and down.

      I’ve never received any negative feedback (well, I actually have, but it has come from other black women giving me the side eye) and it looks professional at all times.

      I think weaves can look very un-professional if exceedingly long and of poor quality, so I’d prefer to see more women rocking their natural hair (and saving their edges).

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Yaaaassss, a prayer for the edges….lol!

      • Saacnmama :

        Laughing at black women giving you the side eye–I get all kinds of comments from black women, especially older black women about my son’s (I’m white, his dad is African) curly hair.

        To the OP–I think lots of white people have no clue about all the relaxers and chemicals involved in straightening curly hair or how much time it can take to style it to be straight or in braids. As long as you keep it well groomed, I don’t think they’re going to care if you wear yours curly or straight. But if you’re worried about reactions, you could mention the time and chemicals a couple times–just don’t turn into your office curly girl poster child. As for why black women hold each other to this standard and what you should say to them, I have no idea.

    • A woman in my office went natural. After a somewhat awkward transition period, it looks professional and gorgeous.

    • Giraffe with curls :

      I am not Black, so apologies if this is unwelcome, but I thought it might help – there is a woman in my office with short natural hair, and it is beautiful. I think she looks absolutely professional. I feel like I am seeing more and more women with natural hair, although most seem to keep it fairly short. I am in Biglaw on the West Coast.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Natural since 2009. Best decision I’ve ever made w/r/t hair. Once you get past thinking smooth/straight = beautiful, or even professional, its fine. I slowly transitioned, cutting my below shoulder length into a bob, and then a bit more, and finally big chopped when I had about 2 inches of hair. Now, if I blow dry, its well past where I started, but really I love the freedom, I love my curls, and I really can’t imagine ever straightening again, at least not permanently. I’ve worn it blown straight once, and couldn’t wait to put some water back in and get my curls back. I work in corporate America and have been promoted twice. Oh, and I have big hair. I tend to wash & go, as I don’t have the patience for twist outs and the like…. I am contemplating cutting,, but not twa short – just something a little shorter.

      • this is both the beauty and the danger of going natural, having itchy fingers. I big chop about every 2 years because I see someone’s beautiful twa and run in and cut mine and then grow it out for two years so i can do a twist out or something and then start all over again.

        Like Diva, I love my curls and so does my husband. I asked not long ago if I should straighten and you’d think I’d threatened to grow a beard, he was horrified, even though he teases me about my big hair when I do a wash and go.

    • After ten years of relaxing, I went natural in college. I think I relaxed for a year or so a few years after graduating from law school, but otherwise have been natural the last fifteen years. The professionalism of it depends on how you wear it — I wouldn’t go for a haphazard asymmetrical blowout for court, but twa, or wearing it up, or braid outs, or dreds … as long as your hair is neat and groomed, you will be fine. And lord knows it is better than some of these ragged weaves women seem to think they can get away with because the hair is long and straight.

      The biggest issue, I think, in the workplace will be a desire of your (white) co-workers to discuss your hair with you. God forbid you switch things up every now and again, there will be comments and discussions about how your hair managed to do whatever, how random co-workers wished their hair could [stand up like that, lay down like that, look that cute curly], how someone wants to touch your hair, and it will get tiresome. At this point, I just smile, don’t engage in conversation, and move on. My hair is barely that interesting to me, so I certainly don’t want to talk about it when I should be writing a brief.

      • You do know that happens to most people when they change their hair up, right?

        I don’t know, maybe it feels like it’s something more pointed to you, but I think that might just be because you’ve never been in any position but your own (understandably), but I change my hair with some frequency, and I get those kind of comments as well. And people have wanted to touch it. And say they wish their hair would do X. And I’m white. And they were white. Maybe white people are just nosier about hair in general?

        I have heard this complaint/discussion a number of times, and the white women are always confused about why this is a problem, and I think it’s because you think they are just doing it to YOU, and they aren’t. They do it to everyone.

        • Veronique :

          The difference between your experience and mine (as well as many other black women) is that you admit that you change your hair often, whereas I don’t. I have about 3 standard hairstyles, in addition to straightening it once a year. And yet every time I change it, I get comments and my boss has even said “You have so many hairstyles.” Except that I don’t. And whole the attention has always been positive, it is also somewhat othering. For many people, lots of hairstyles that they can’t do or that would look different on their hair is the same as lots of styles.

          • I think you misunderstood my saying I change it frequently. I don’t mean I come to work with blonde hair one day and brown two weeks later, or long then short then long.

            I mean, Sometimes I wear it in a ponytail. It’s naturally curly so sometimes I wear it curly. Sometimes I flat iron it straight.

            I get comments all the time, even when I wore it curly 2 weeks ago, if I wear it curly tomorrow, someone will say something about it. I can wear it curly one day and straight another time, and they can’t without a perm. They comment on that.

            But I can see that you don’t want to accept that it is even possible people aren’t ‘othering’ you, that that feeling is something you’re creating within yourself, so I will quit trying to say anything otherwise.

    • I am African (from Morocco) and one day – maybe 2 years ago – with much support from the hive, I decided to go natural. I did it slowly, transitioning off the relaxer.
      Great decision as my hair texture is bouncy and so curly, I didn’t even know my hair had a curl pattern!
      But you have to be ready because it is not all rosy, there are bad hair days where all you can do is pop your head under the shower and put gel to control the craziness.
      You can have natural hair and still look very professional, it is all about looking polished.

  5. TO Lawyer :

    This seems like a cruel joke post-breakup but somehow all the ads on this site (and on other sites) for me are for engagement rings and wedding dresses…

  6. LOVE!!!

  7. Do you ever feel like you need to stop and think about all the reasons you have to be grateful? I’m finishing up a brutal week and I stopped for a second and thought of many reasons my life is great, even when I have weeks that completely kick my @$$.

    So, participate if you’d like, but here are my happy thoughts:

    I have a job I truly love
    We can afford health insurance so when DH gets sick, it’s not a huge burden
    I have a wonderful support system both near and far
    There is coffee in the world

    Happy weekend!

    • Oh, honey, you said it! Your post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I haven’t worn my “grateful” necklace in awhile and I need to remind myself.

      I have a job that I love and great colleagues and I’m impressed with them every day
      I make enough to be able to treat myself with things that make me feel better
      I am strong and healthy
      I have a wonderful community of people whom I love and who love me
      There is chocolate in the world

      • Shoot! KC made me realize that I didn’t mention that I have a sweet SO who loves me. He was supposed to come today then had to cancel because his car was still in the shop but he was so sweet and attentive, knowing that I was tired and stressed and disappointed. Tomorrow, I hope!

    • Thank you for this reminder :)

      To chime in:
      I have a job that is interesting and challenges me daily.
      I am healthy and general happy.
      I have a thoughful boyfriend who makes me smile.
      There are baked goods in the world.

    • Veronique :

      I have a family that I love, genuinely like, and can count on no matter what.
      I have friends who help me to be a better, more thoughtful person.
      I have a job that I enjoy and coworkers who are nice and interesting.
      I have an apartment that suits me and is all mine!
      I have triple chocolate chip cookies!

    • I have an amazing DH who does whatever he can to make me happy
      I have friends and family that love and care for me
      By “luck of the draw” I had another Dr. (rather than MY doctor) operate for my interstitial ectopic- who saved my life, both ovaries, and kept me from having a hysterectomy
      Lastly, I don’t want to punch my Managing Partner in the face…today

    • I have a great family–hubby, 3 kids, plus parents and sibs who are pretty great.
      I have a (lawyer) job I love and do work I honestly believe in.
      I have enough money to pay the mortgage, student loans, and buy fresh, healthy food for our family–and enough money left over after paying everything to take the kids out to the movies tonight. Yay!–also thankful for a dollar movie near our house :)

    • I also have a great family – 3 awesome kids and a wonderfully supportive dh

      I have a job I really enjoy and pays all our bills, and then some, so dh doesn’t have to work

      I’m healthy, and the rest of my family is too

      We live in a beautiful part of the world and get to enjoy the mountains almost whenever we want

    • - job I love and believe in
      – enough money to pay my bills
      – great boyfriend who cooks dinner
      – awesome roommate who pays bills on time, is never obnoxious about being messy or having weird guests, and is good company
      – amazing family
      – cutest dog ever

    • Hollis Doyle :

      This is very timely because I’m stressed after being home all day due to the snow with my toddler while my husband was out running around to meetings, etc. I don’t know how stay at home moms do it every day! But I am grateful for my happy, healthy, rambunctious child and a husband who works very hard every day to achieve his dreams and provide for our family. I am also thankful for a flexible job that allows me to work from home at times like this. Even if the only time I can get anything done is nap time and after bed time…

    • I love it when people post things like this :) I love reading the responses. For me, I’m grateful for: having the chance to live in Spain; having great, supportive friends and family, both here and back home; having my parents be in reasonably good health; not having student loans; my amazingly wonderful dog; running; and getting home two seconds before it started raining.

    • We’ve had my elderly father-in-law on our hands a bit more than usual this month as a result of a blip in his domestic arrangements. It’s been a little black cloud on my horizon but now that it’s coming to an end, I’m so grateful that (1) I’ve been able to sustain a cheerful face (2) my hubby is hugely appreciative of the back-up he’s getting and keeps telling me so (3) we are in a position to throw money at the situation to ensure this blip is just a short one (4) I have great siblings who share the responsibility with me for our own parents.

  8. Long time lurker and first time commenter! I am taking the bar exam for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday and I am starting to feel panicky. Any last minute words of wisdom? (Other than, “get off the internet and get back to practicing MBEs and essays, slacker.”) Thanks in advance!

    • AnonInfinity :

      My advice is the opposite of what you said. Take a little time for yourself every day where you don’t have to think about MBEs and essays. Especially the day before the exam. I know it sounds completely crazy, but all the work is done by the day before. You are probably not going to cram an appreciable amount of info into your brain by that point. I studied for about 2 hours that morning (after sleeping in) and took the rest of the day completely off. Best decision I made during bar prep.

      The weekend before, I realized that I wasn’t going to have time to write as many essays as I wanted, and I had the writing form down (CRAC), so I just read sample answers. In a coffee shop while enjoying sunshine and delicious treats.

      • +infinity

      • Agree with AnonInfinity re: studying. Here’s what I would do: Plan out your bar exam. Figure out all the logistics, visit where you’ll be staying if you can, figure out how early you’ll need to leave each morning, perhaps pack some healthy snacks for lunch during the bar exam, get some sleep. Having all of this under control will let you just focus on the bar exam. Also, I found that I was very nervous and had no appetite, but protein smoothies were tolerable and kept me full, so I packed a cooler with those and kept in my car.

        • And a prescription for Ambien or Lunesta. A half pill of Ambien each night for the week before the CA bar left me much better rested than some of my friends who could hardly sleep from stress. Note that you should drink a full glass of water with the pill and another full glass or two when you get up. And no, you won’t get addicted from only a week of use.

          Agreed with the others that the key thing now is mental sanity. You know what you know, and it’s enough to pass. The last few days of cramming are just going to stress you out. Go to the gym, go to yoga, go for a walk outside. You can much better access all that information you know when your mind is calm and your body is rested and fed.

          • AnonInfinity :

            I would say don’t take the Lunesta or Ambien for the first time before the bar if you’ve never taken it before. I had a friend who took half an Ambien for the first time the night before the first day, and it did not go well. She had a horrible time waking up and barely made it to the exam and she was groggy for the beginning of it. The stress the whole experience caused was worse than just not sleeping well the night before.

          • Yes, I 100% agree that a person should not take an Ambien for the first time the night before the bar exam. I find that drinking a ton of water helps tremendously with the groggy.

          • AnonInfinity :

            Phew. I have to say when my friend did this, I was like, “Wait. Wait. Wait. You did what? Why would you take that for the first time ever in that circumstance?!?!?!”

            But she passed!

          • Def would not go with ambien. But I did take a tylenol pm before. I was also staying at my parents house too though, so I had a backup human alarm too.

      • Yes, this exactly. Take time to relax, to recharge and do something else without thinking about the bar. (And definitely don’t study or practice just before bed — I still remember from when I took the bar 23 years ago (eek!) waking up in the middle of the night and finding that I’d been dreaming multi-state questions.)

        I also found that it helped me to remember that I didn’t need to get an A or be in the top whatever percentage (there is no summa cum laude result for the bar exam but I only had to pass.

        You will be FINE, really.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Totally agree. I reviewed flash cards for 1 hour the morning before, then took the rest of the day off, went to see a movie, checked into a hotel near the testing site, had a nice dinner, watched a bunch of cable TV at the hotel, and went to bed as early as I knew I had a chance of falling asleep.

        Also, test run the route you are taking to get to the test site, get there a little earlier than you think you should, pack your clear plastic bag and lay out your clothes the night before, and eat a good breakfast both mornings. Good luck!

      • And another +1 on relaxing.

        I took the California Bar last summer, and key for me were:

        1. Not studying the night(s) in between days of testing. Not expecting to study. Honestly, I stayed with my family, watched trashy TV, ate comfort food, and had a glass of wine each night. And I passed.

        2. Figure out what you are doing for lunch–some way to distract yourself. We had incredibly long lunch breaks. I was able to meet up with my Mom, go chat, she took me out to lunch so I didn’t have to think about it. But if I were you, I’d find a nice sit down restaurant within walking distance of the exam if possible (or have a lunch prepared in your hotel room or whatever), set a timer, and sit down and distract yourself with a TV show or two, a magazine, whatever. Just don’t think about the bar.

        Good luck! You WILL be fine, although I know that is really obnoxious to hear.

    • BorderLawyer :

      It’s really not as bad as you expect. I didn’t crack a bar review book until two weeks before the exam and never studied for more than 4-5 hours a day until the last couple days of cramming (I hope this doesn’t sound like a humblebrag–I was really just a very bad procrastinator!). I left the exam feeling broadsided by questions on subjects I wasn’t prepared for, and still managed to scrape out a pass. Try to get some solid nights of sleep over the next few days and you will be fine!

    • I stopped studying the day before the exam, and the evening before, I took a nice bath, played jazz music and just relaxed. I slept like a baby awoke ready to do battle!

    • +1 on relaxing. Also, if you’re lucky enough to do MBE first then state, ignore the state exceptions for now and focus on just the answers for MBE. The night between the exam days, run through the state exceptions quickly. My study partner proposed we do this and I thought he was crazy at the time, but it really helped me not get confused on exam day.

    • Thanks, all. I vacillate between: (i) feeling like I’m prepared and I should just do a reasonable amount of review while taking care of myself over the next few days; and (ii) thinking ohmygod what if I get an essay on this one issue that I don’t quite grasp every tiny nuance of I’d better memorize more! Or THAT issue! ALL THE ISSUES. It’s hard to stay big picture as I get more nervous, but this feedback is helping. Thanks again.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Well, if you get an essay on an issue you don’t know anything about, take comfort in the fact that you can make up a rule that seems reasonable and apply that. You will still get points. Everyone I know did this.

        If you think you’re prepared even some of the time, you are prepared. Go for a walk and just refresh yourself a few hours a day.

        AND GOOD LUCk!!!!

        • Yep, I did that – made up a rule and applied it for one of the essays.

          • Me too. I passed last year in a jurisdiction that tested UCC Article 7 and short-form corporate mergers, and lord knows I didn’t know a lick about the two subjects come test day. Accept that you won’t know everything on the test, and stay calm. As long as you write something, you will get some credit.

        • FWIW, I “made up” a rule on a crim law question that actually was a real rule (for a much worse crime), and therefore completely wrong, and wrote the essay accordingly. I passed with a really decent score. You’ll be fine :)

      • Also, I have done something close to fifty practice essays at this point (yes, really – because I didn’t go to actual classes, as I’m working), and I can tell you that about 30% of the time, there’s an essay on something Bar/Bri just didn’t teach you. The good thing? No one else will know it either. Keep reminding yourself of that!

      • You will get one (or two) like that. I did on both bar exams I took. I did what the other commenters have stated and made up a law. I passed both bar exams just fine :)

      • You have to convince yourself you will do great. Don’t think about what you could have done and didn’t. Think about how this is (probably) the most you have ever studied for anything.

        Day of test, use the adrenaline to own it and don’t let it go the wrong way and psych yourself out.

        As far as tests go, there were WAY more challenging tests in law school. And you did that.

      • What helped me is keeping in mind that I didn’t need an A, just a C. Also, if you don’t know something, make it up. I took several states, didn’t even study for one, and just said, “in NJ, ….” – and I passed!
        Oh, and take a break the day before. You know what you know at that point. Good luck!

    • I lateraled and I’m taking my new state’s exam Tuesday. At this point, I figure the ship has sailed. I’m outlining a few essays and reading model answers, but I’m mostly trying to make sure I’m in my best physical shape (rested, well-fed, etc.) for the exam.

    • Veronique :

      +a million on relaxing. The only studying I did in the days leading up to the exam were to review my flash cards a few times. The day before I went to the mall and had an early night. After the first day I had a massage, then dinner, then an early night. I did NOT talk about the bar at all, which did wonders for my sanity.

    • lucy stone :

      Good luck! Is your exam at a hotel? Mine was and I ordered room service lunch each day. It was nice to get back to my room and decompress. I also had dinner with friends from law school after the first day and we had a beer with dinner, which everyone was shocked at but helped me relax and get to sleep that night.

    • Ditto to what everyone is saying about relaxing at this point and doing what you can to prepare for the morning of, like figuring out what you will eat lunch, what you will wear, and, if you are staying in a hotel, what to pack. I would also recommend going to the testing site the day before. I’m in FL and they allowed us to view the room (set-up already) the day before. You couldn’t go in, but something about taking as much of the “surprise” out of what to expect helps with the stress tremendously. FL also has a powerpoint on the Bar site (which you really have to search for) that gives photos and tells you what to expect- like the metal detectors, what you can bring in with you, etc.
      Lastly, bring a fleece jacket. I was cold, then hot, and then used it to put under my elbows which got sore from leaning on the splintery table. Good luck and try to relax!

    • Frou Frou :

      The weekend before my bar exam, my DH and I went away for the weekend and spent it with and friends at a house on a lake (summer bar). Best decision ever. Relax, sleep, and good luck!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Remember that the bar exam, as I was once told, is really an exercise in malpractice. If you ever tried to practice multiple areas of law, from memory, you would soon be in trouble. So don’t think of it as a competence test, but an endurance test.
      So if you keep that in mind, and you know the material, just relax, and you’ll be fine.

    • Do whatever you did during law school to get you through final exams. Now is not the time to start trying out new study/focus/relaxation techniques. Whatever you did then got you this far, so keep it up (unless that was totally procrastinating til the last minute!). Try to relax, breathe, and remind yourself that your self worth and future are NOT reliant on this test. You can do it.

  9. Anon For This :

    For clerks and others in similar positions – I am working for a year in a high profile clerkship. Since I’m new to the area, I’ve been trying to network and meet other people around my age. There have been a number of times when someone finds out where I clerk and they say “Oh I applied for that last year and didn’t get it”, or just “Oh… I applied for that too”. Awkward silence usually follows. What would you say in my place?

    • Anon For This :

      To clarify – when it’s someone more experienced saying something nice “Wow, that’s amazing” I usually say thank you, or I’m happy to be here and move on, like we discussed a couple of days ago. It’s only when my peers let me know that they applied for that position also that it gets awkward

    • This seems odd. Are you only meeting lawyers? I don’t think you have to say anything beyond “oh”.

    • “Yeah, I feel really lucky to have gotten it since it’s so competitive” maybe?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I would probably nod and say something like, “Ahhhh… Well, I’m glad to be in this city now. I ate at X the other day and thought it was great. Have you been there? What’s your favorite place to grab coffee?” In other words, change the subject to something neutral.

      In these situations I try to assume the person just said it without really thinking and the person feels awkward for saying it. Not that everyone feels that way, just that it’s more charitable than thinking that the person is intentionally trying to make me feel awkward or weird about my job.

    • I would say, “so what are you doing?” or “tell me about what you do.” Ask questions— people like to talk about themselves. If these folks were viable candidates to be scotus (or wherever) clerks, then they’re probably not working the drive-through somewhere— there’s no need to walk on eggshells for them.

      • This. OP, it sounds like maybe you are the one making it awkward. Don’t feel sorry for them. If they’re willing to talk openly about being interested in the job you landed, they probably are not feeling awkward. You are— it sounds like you feel sheepish about being chosen, but be careful not to come off as condescending.

        For every “high profile” clerkship, there are 100 qualified candidates. You getting it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily better than these other people; you just had the right package at the right time. That’s something most mature folks can handle without feeling awkward.

        • Anon For This :

          OP here – I 100% agree with what you said about there being many more qualified candidates for each position (and many way more qualified than me). Now that I have seen how the selection process is on the other side, I can honestly say that me being here is a lot of luck (yes, hard work, blah blah blah), but also just luck. Of course, I don’t want to say that to others, but it’s true.

    • So you’ve posted about your “prestigious” (last time) and “high profile” (this time) clerkship twice. If you’re at the Supreme Court… be careful. It really won’t be hard to figure out who you are. (Not that you’ve said anything scandalous, but it’s clear you want to be “Anon.”

      • Anon For This :

        This is the first time I posted about this. Whoever posted earlier this week is in a different position, and I only referenced her post to clarify that I was asking about something slightly different. Thanks for the concern though.

      • Honestly, if your not at the supreme court, enough with the “prestigious” “high profile” clerking posts. For both today and the other post, just say thanks or change the subject. I feel like both OPs are the ones making it akward

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      If you’re a SCOTUS clerk, how did you get it? I am clerking for a semi-feeder judge next year, and am interested in applying.

  10. Wearing jeans and running shoes today to work feels so weird – even though i’m the only one here in the office and i’m packing my desk to move to a new office.

  11. The post from this morning got me thinking, because I am pretty sure I have a crush on one of my managers. I would never do anything about it, since he’s my manager and he has a girlfriend. But I definitely find that I am a little more excited to come in to work because of him. We don’t flirt or act inappropriately and I have no reason to think he feels the same about me, but due to some reshuffling of work I am working with him on almost everything I do now, so I do spend a lot of time with him every day. Should I just wait this crush out? I feel a little ridiculous, like I’m back in high school again. Any advice? I certainly don’t think I can ask anyone I know in real life!

    • My advice is to be extremely careful. Make sure you don’t put yourself in a situation that could be viewed as inappropriate. Ask yourself: Does this behavior open me up to gossip? Does this behavior intensify rather than help me get rid of my crush? Just a few examples,: working on the same project and then getting ALL your meals together, working late nights together and getting drinks afterwards, sharing and repeating lots of inside jokes.

      As for what to do with your feelings while you are being careful: try to convert them into positive energy for the things you are working on (you already seem to be doing that, so that’s great) and maybe it gives you the energy to pick up a new hobby outside of work (where you meet someone safe to have a crush on).

    • Wait it out, and try not to dwell on your feelings. During my 18+ years of marriage I’ve had a handful of inappropriate crushes. I tried to ignore the feelings, and eventually they went away.

    • Anonymous :

      Try to sympathize with and respect the guy’s girlfriend here. If you were dating someone, how would you want your boyfriend’s attractive coworker to act around him? That should guide you. Definitely avoid spending any excess time with your manager until your crush blows over.

  12. All Fridays should be halfdays. I’m so ready to be done for the week.

  13. seattle help :

    Hi Hive, I live in the east coast and would like to send some relatives in seattle some Maine lobsters. My original plan was to buy them and ship them over but I found out the shipping cost was ridiculous. So does anyone know any seafood market in the Seattle area that would deliver fresh Maine lobsters? I think delivery fees would.be more reasonable. Thanks!

  14. Has anyone given up traditional flour (white/wheat) and seen any benefits? I read articles that say the way these products are grown now is insanely different and has all sorts of negative health effects. The research skeptic in me says Dr. Oz (and company) is full of it, but I’m also hearing more success stories. The thought of giving up baked goods makes me want to weep, but if it makes you feel massively better or has some other amazing effects I would honestly be open.

    What say the Hive?

    • I did the Paleo diet for a month or so and I felt so much better (that also involved giving up sugar and dairy, so it may not have been just the wheat). I had more energy, my headaches went away, and so did all of my stomach problems. The cynical part of me says that Paleo is just another fad diet, but I honestly felt so much better on it (and also lost several pounds). I fell off the wagon after a month or so of doing it, but I’m trying to get started again.

      So…I would give it a shot for a couple weeks (it took me a few days to start feeling better). Worst case is that you crave cookies for a week.

      • Thanks! I’ve been thinking of doing paelo, but think I’d probably have to ease into it. Plus all the meat kind of freaks me out.

        • It was actually easier than I thought it would be (although I wasn’t 100% hardcore about it). I just tried to eat a ton of fresh fruits and veggies and then meat at least once a day for protein. I don’t eat pork and I’m not a huge red meat person, so I ended up eating a ton of chicken breasts (which I know are boring, but I love) and some fish. Also a lot of eggs. Granted, I only did it for a month or so, so I can’t promise that it’s sustainable for the rest of your life, but that month was honestly not as hard as you would think.

        • Do it! I did it for 6 months & with no exercise lost 25 lbs & went down 2 pants sizes. I need to get back to it.

      • It might be because Paleo diets are low-GI (glycemic index) and you don’t have all the blood sugar spikes you’d get from eating high-GI carbs. I have to eat like that because I’m hypoglycemic, but I’ve heard that a lot of people feel better when their blood sugar is well-managed. Less headaches, less acne, easier to lose weight (for people with PCOS, but I think it might help all people who are apple-shaped).

    • I don’t know. I haven’t given them up completely, but generally, I can say that I feel better when I don’t eat crackers, white bread and pasta, baked goods, etc. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really started to pay attention to how I feel when I eat certain foods and have generally tried to avoid them. This is not to say that I won’t eat a delicious piece of cake or cookie from time to time, but I notice that I don’t feel great after I do. Being mindful of this feeling has allowed me to make better decisions as to whether the “splurge” is worth it. Some things are simply not worth feeling blah and some things are!

      I try to think ahead to the future (20 minutes into the future) and decide whether I want to eat whatever it is. I think this is easier than an across the board “I’m never going to have X ever, ever, ever again.”

      To be clear, the only health effects I’ve seen from this willy nilly policy are feeling better. I’m generally thin and have decent skin, so there’s been no huge improvement in those areas. Although, I am prone to gaining weight and I maintain my weight pretty easily just by generally avoiding things that make me feel gross.

      • Thanks MB. I think I’ve been overindulging a lot lately, so I don’t have a good handle on what foods make me feel blah. Mindful of the effects of certain foods is exactly what I’m looking for!

      • Yes, this. I’ve also been trying to be a lot more conscious about how I feel after I eat something and that’s how I started realizing that I feel a little icky after I eat a lot of grains. It’s not a big horrible sickness, but I just feel headachey and blah. Totally worth it once in a while for a slice of birthday cake or something, but it helps me talk myself out of it when it’s just like “Do I really want this muffin for breakfast instead of having a nice piece of fruit?”

    • Try it but don’t force yourself to stick with it. I tried it, got horrible headaches and went up two dress sizes in two months.

      That said, it works for some people. Just be ready for night sweats and drink plenty of water–ketosis is really hard on kidneys.

      • Anonymous :

        I just don’t see how you could go up two dress sizes in two months unless you were eating so much more food than you were before. You must have gone off the rails eating steak and chicken to gain that much in that short amount of time.

        • This is not a productive comment. Everyone is different.

          • East Coaster :


          • Anonymous :

            How is it not productive? That experience of gaining 2 dress sizes in 2 months cannot be related solely to the Paleo diet or cutting out flour. Everyone might be different, but unless she’s an alien, basic metabolic science would suggest that it was not cutting out flour that made her gain that amount of weight in that time frame.

          • Complicated metabolic science could explain it, tho.

        • If I recall k-padi has said that she also went on paleo while doing crossfit. So it could be a combination of muscle gain and a diet that made her gain other weight too.

          • Thanks for backing me up everyone!

            I was doing crossfit 5-6x/week, running 5k-10k on weekends, and I started trying to go Paleo. I was eating breakfast for the first time, eating a lot of meat (against everything I know about my body), and adding a lot more fat (albeit “healthy” fats ala olive oil, avocado, eggs, etc).

            The headaches were the kicker for me–the only way to continue working was to have a mid-afternoon cookie. It was bad choice, yes, but it’s what was available but I don’t think that was most significant reason I gained weight because a 200 calorie cookie 3 times per week when working out like I was shouldn’t make a huge difference.

            I think the kicker was that I was in a relationship at the time with another Paleo Crossfitter so my portion sizes were based on what men should eat, not women. My “cheat meals” were guy-meals which are so much bigger and fattier than my normal cheats. Plus, without the insulin response, I never felt full and would just keep eating.

          • Cookies. The truth comes out.

          • Saacnmama :

            We do all have different metabolisms–it’s not like we’re cars with one type of engine that always runs a certain way or can be hooked up to a diagnostic computer to find out what’s wrong (though that would be nice! *sigh*) K-Padi sounds like her body really reacts to whatever changes she makes–gains weight fast, loses it fast, gets bored & goes into stasis fast. No need to accuse her of lying because if this.

      • I know a ton of people who have cut out gluten/wheat. All have felt better and lost weight (nothing dramatic but most about 10lbs, up to about 20) Out of about 30 people I have never heard of people not feeling good, so I think it works for the majority of people. (Most did not do it 100% wheat free, but around 80-95%)

      • Regarding ketosis being hard on your kidneys:

        I just wanted to point out to the original poster that going gluten-free, paleo, and/or eating ketogenic (where you put your body in ketosis) are three rather different things. Your question asked about cutting out wheat, which would be similar to a gluten free diet. If you have a sensitivity to gluten, you might start feeling a lot better (less inflammation, better digestion) on a gluten-free diet. However, gluten free does not mean low-carb, paleo, or ketogenic. You can eat gluten-free and get plenty of carbs from potatoes, corn, cornbread, corn chips, sweet potatoes, rice, beans, fruits, other starchy vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, etc.

        Paleo diets are gluten-free because they cut out wheat, but they also cut out other things- often grains like corn, oatmeal, and other foods like nuts, beans, and dairy. However, Paleo is not necessarily low carb either. You can eat paleo and be high carb with potatoes, fruits, etc.

        Finally, ketogenic often means gluten-free in practice because you have to eat such high amounts of fat to keep your body in ketosis that you don’t have room for many carbs, so you don’t eat things like wheat. But gluten-free does not equal ketogenic.

        I just want to point out that you can fairly easily cut out gluten by itself and still enjoy foods like corn tortillas, mashed potatoes, rice and beans, even baked goods made with tapioca, rice, or almond flour, and that kind of diet would allow you to assess the benefits of a gluten free diet but would never put you into ketosis.

      • From giving up just wheat that happened??

    • I have given up most products with wheat in them and feel a lot better. My stomach issues have gotten better and I have lost weight. The other night I decided to “cheat” and had some delicious french bread–and paid for it later. I have found I can have a little bit and still feel ok, but when I eat too much wheat it is not good.

    • Going low carb for us helped immensely with weight loss.

      We’re not totally no flour, but it’s certainly very rare. We switched from flour tortillas to corn, don’t do muffins/pancakes/biscuits anymore, try not to eat places with complimentary rolls, etc.

      • Not being snarky, I swear,but isn’t the weight loss just due to less calories being consumed? If you don’t have dinner rolls you had about 200 fewer calories, right? I honestly don’t get the low carb thing. It seems like people are cutting out high calorie things like pancakes and attributing the weight loss to cutting out carbs.

        • East Coaster :

          Less calories than what you need does equal weight loss. But there has been research over the years that not all calories are created equal. Much as we’d like to believe that the 100 calories from the fun size twix or whatever make the same difference as the 100 calories from an apple, some argue they do not.

          I realize not everyone believes this, so plenty of room to disagree on this one

        • The other thing that could be happening is that people could be substituting the (less filling) carbs like bread, with more filling, more protein packed foods. So you feel like you are consuming the same amount of food (after all you are not going hungry), but really it’s food with less calories that keeps you just as fool

        • This was a medical thing, so the low carb was actually important.

          And, we were big pasta eaters. We could eat vegetarian several days a week just based on us having pasta with no meat, but we weren’t necessarily eating a lot of vegetables (I don’t think red sauce or pesto sauce actually counts as having much of a vegetable).

          You’re right, there were lots of things we probably weren’t doing right. The two of us lost 100 pounds (combined) in about 6 months, without a significant increase in exercise, so there was obviously room for improvement.

          We’re not radical low carb. We eat some fruit, brown rice, and cereal. We use smaller plates. We’re more careful about what we eat when we snack.

          But the thing that got us doing all that was thinking about low carb choices.

    • hoola hoopa :

      My husband felt much better and was noticeably thinner after just a week or so – I think he’d been puffy due to a potential wheat allergy. He has other food allergies and sensitivities.

      I noticed absolutely nothing. I have no other food issues, allergies, intolerances. I didn’t notice anything when I started eating wheat again, either.

    • After watching all these great food documentaries (Food Inc, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dying, Forks over Knives) over the last years, I drastically changed the way I eat. And by drastic, I mean I changed drastically from my prior behavior but I’m not following any one really drastic diet.

      Reading up on several different diets, I came up with my own happy medium:
      – Try to avoid meat during the work week and treat myself to one or two nice, high quality pieces of meat on the weekends (jokesters, stay away!). Mostly I try to stay away from “cheap lunch meat” and “cheap chicken”
      – Cut back on produced/packaged foods, though I allow myself guilty pleasures in small doses- and on a daily basis actually (chocolate, the occasional spoon of nutella, pecans, a diet soda here and there)
      – I throw in the occasional green juice (whenever I feel I haven’t been good enough and could use the extra nutrients – yeah Joe Cross and Breville, you guys got to me!)
      – Because I can’t stay away from chocolate, but am convinced that as a society we are consuming more simple carbs than we need to I severely cut back on wheat, potatoes, noodles, bread (but not beans or rice, since I’ve never overeaten on those to begin with)
      – I try to make my lunch vegetables only, but because it’s “only” vegatables I try to make those super delicious and resemble a full dinner plate: for example grilled and smothered in garlic portobello mushrooms can pass as a meat replacement, I have a nice salad with cranberries and walnuts and raspberry dressing as my fruit and veggie portion on the plate and my favorite beans or something as my starch
      – I drink more water
      – Doing this allows me to almost never be hungry and for my two cents, I think staying away from sugars and simple carbs is a huge part of helping me not to have cravings all the time;

      – It also means that when I fall off the wagon (and I do that at least 1-2x during the work weeks) I don’t have to beat myself up over it at all; on the weekends I give myself leeway to eat whatever I want, though since I’ve started all of this I tend to eat healthier then, too just out of habit
      – As a side effect so to speak, because I stay away from carbs I almost never have cheese anymore and very little dairy and I think it’s part of the reason my skin has been behaving slightly better
      – Since doing this (approx. 1 year now), I’ve actually lost only a little bit of weight, but my skin is different and I feel significantly more energized and even though my weight is almost the same, I just feel really good in my own body
      – Sometimes I fall off the wagon for weeks at a time because life just gets in the way but I try to stay relaxed about it and eventually return to better habits a few weeks later (mostly I think, because I refuse to pressure myself too much)

      Most probably an overshare, but hey, it’s Friday…

      • If you’re not eating meat, dairy, carbs, or much in the way of beans (or maybe you just meant not in a rice-and-beans combo), what do you eat? Just vegetables and nuts?

        • TBK, for a weekday lunch that’s true enough – I try to stick to only vegetables (though they are grilled in lots of oil and garlic usually) and nuts. But like I said above I eat meat, just much less than I used to. On weekends I have whatever food I want and though I have much less dairy than I used to, I still get about about a cup of milk with my daily coffee intake. It’s not like I never eat any dairy, meat or carbs anymore, I just attempt to not make them my primary food groups – and rather have that be nutrient rich foods like vegetables and plant oils. Since vegetables have truly become my main food focus, I don’t beat myself up so easily anymore for falling off the wagon occasionally (and quite regularly, to be honest). I think by focusing on veggies and allowing myself quite a few “missteps” I’ve arrived at a more balanced diet than most of these diets propagate. Mostly, I am more relaxed and healthier.

          I only mentioned the beans because Paleo considers them as too starchy to have often and that’s too extreme of a definition for me personally. I believe when I restrict potatoes, noodles etc. restricting beans, too is overkill.

    • I did the Whole30 challenge for a month (basically hard core version of Paleo- no nuts, beans, artificial sweeteners, minimal fruit, etc.). It was really tough and I missed chocolate, alcohol and carbs a lot. I did not end up sticking with it and I didn’t lose any weight but I felt like it was a net positive: I kicked my artificial sweetener habit completely. Don’t even miss it. Same with peanutbutter- I was eating two jars a week before and after Whole30 I went months without it. I no longer craved chocolate every night. My skin looked absolutely amazing- “glowing.” And, my libido was through the roof! Super random, but it happened. FWIW, no night night sweats, no headaches, no bad breath, no fatigue or headaches or anything like that. Give it a try! You can always quit if you don’t like it.

    • I don’t think it’s that these foods are actually bad for you – it’s that people eat too much of it and aren’t getting enough veggies, fruits, whole grains and the like. Not getting enough fruits and veggies can lead to vitamin deficiencies, which can cause health problems (including headaches) and eating refined carbs instead of whole grains can spike your blood sugar and give you energy highs and lows, which is why I think so many people say that their headaches went away and they had more energy after giving up flour or gluten or refined sugars. It’s not those foods itself were causing problems (unless you actually have an allergy or sensitivity to them), it’s that you weren’t getting enough good stuff!

      • interesting, I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective either. Very helpful!

      • Anonymous :

        Cutting gluten forced me to make healthier decisions when I removed things like bread as options. I have felt less bloated and overall less gross, so I stick with it. I have recently noticed that “cheap grains” like rice and corn also make me feel gross, so also be mindful of gluten-free options that are still cheap grains.

      • In one of the documentaries someone made a point I found very helpful that goes along with what you said. Rather than focusing on cutting out the bad foods (which is what diets do) try to focus in on adding in the good stuff (vegetable juices, veggies, plant oils). Eventually you’ll probably kick the bad stuff because your body will receive more nutrients and have less cravings for them.

    • I gave up wheat for lent. It’s been a little over a week, I don’t feel any better or worst. I probably have been eating more white rice, and I’m not limiting sugar or anything else so probably no net health benefit for me.

    • Kontraktor :

      Honestly I think a general whole/natural foods with as little processed food as possible is a better and more holistic goal than blindly cutting out food groups. I agree with a lot of commentary that wonders when people go on these very restrictive diets, are they benefitting from cutting out food group X or benefitting from cutting out bad processed foods? I would say to try to eliminate chemicals, additives, salt, corn syrup, etc. and other similar things from your diet first without worrying about specific food groups like dairy or carbs being the culprits. Once you start reading labels of even ‘healthy’ things, you realize how much bad stuff is in food (corn syrup/artificial sweeteners in everything, so much salt, chemicals you can’t pronounce, etc). Maybe start there.

      Also, this means you don’t have to eliminate things like baked goods… why not just make them all yourself? I simply don’t believe that a muffin you make yourself with whole wheat flour, milk, fresh fruit, etc. = Sara Lee oily muffin with radioactive colored “blue berries” that could be shelf stable for years.

      Concentrate on adding more whole foods to your life, making more things, buying less that is traditionally processed… then maybe go from there on being more restrictive.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. I think WHAT you eat matters far less than that you eat it as close to its natural state as possible. Brown rice, whole wheat, organic meats, fresh fruits and veggies raw or cooked simply, no “fake food.”

      • Word up. This is my guiding principle when eating food. I try to make as much from scratch as I can (although I’m not much of a baker, so I buy stuff like bread pre-made); eat lots of differently-colored fruits and veggies; and consume minimal meat. It works for me.

      • Kontractor, I know quite a bit about gluten intolerance, celiac and wheat/gluten and -not to be argumentative – you’re not seeing the whole picture. A portion of the US population (perhaps 5-10%) IS gluten-sensitive and would be better off cutting it out entirely, and most of those people won’t know unless they eliminate gluten on a trial (because there are currently no medical tests for gluten intolerance – the science hasn’t caught up yet). Before I went gluten-free (at my MD’s suggestion) I can promise you I never ate a Sara Lee muffin, plus I cooked almost entirely from scratch, made my own whole-wheat bread, cookies etc. Giving up processed foods would not have helped me and will not help those with gluten intolerance/sensitivity. Yes, it’s probably not good to willy-nilly give up food groups but in the case of gluten, it is a good thing to give up on a trial basis. Eating a no-wheat diet isn’t unhealthy if you get sufficient nutrients from other grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat, teff, sorghum etc) and eat a mainly whole-foods diet (minimally processed).

        • There’s obviously a difference if you are gluten-intolerant here. But, shockingly enough, *every single person in the world* does not have a gluten sensitivity, and every single person in the world will not necessarily benefit by jumping on the gluten-free train.

          • To a: Did you not read my comment? Or you just had reading failure. I said 5-10% MIGHT have gluten sensitivity, and that applies only to Northern Americans and Europeans, the main readers of this site. No way did I say every single person.

            About 1.5% of the population has celiac, according to the latest research and that percentage is increasing, and incidence is higher now than in the 1950s. Additionally 97-99% of people with celiac are undiagnosed. Non-celiac gluten intolerance is a medically recognized condition, for which there currently are no medical tests (except excluding other diseases). FWIW, IBS and fibromylagia are also diseases that are medically recognized that also have no defined tests and are diseases of exclusion.

          • Hit reply too soon.

            So if there is no medical test available to determine gluten-intolerance, the only test is to give up gluten (called an elimination diet) and see if the person feels better. This is a good reason to “jump on the gluten-free train” and you shouldn’t discourage people from trying it.

      • This is pretty much what I try to do. I don’t eat a lot of things that I don’t make myself.

        • Yea, sort of. I’ve been transitioning into paleo for about 3 weeks now. It’s not for everyone but personally I’ve noticed such improvement in the way I feel. Don’t know if it’s because of no more flour in my diet but I’m noticing little to no bloating. As an aside, I’m also becoming more aware of what chemicals are added to food and, like you say, it’s not pretty. I’m a baked goods lover, too but it was surprisingly easy to give up in the short term. Longterm, we’ll see. What is it that you want to accomplish by eliminating flour? You might try phasing it out for a week or two and see if it does anything for you. Let us know how it goes.

      • Thanks for this. I do try to make a lot of stuff from scratch (something I enjoy doing/consuming) so it seems impossible to do it forever. I guess bottom line, I don’t feel great and am trying to get to the root of the problem. Given my diet, I’m inclined to think it’s wheat related and/or dairy. Or something medical, but given my other issues there it gets complicated really quick to test for ‘maybes.’

        I do really appreciate all the thoughtful comments. With so many options it seems overwhelming to start somewhere!

        • To L or anyone else thinking about giving up wheat: Before you give up wheat, you should be tested for celiac, which is a tricky disease to diagnose. You must be eating wheat for the blood test to be accurate, but the blood test is somewhat unreliable (false negatives). Some doctors are hesitant to test for celiac in adults especially if the patient isn’t rail thin and sickly. There are many potential signs of gluten intolerance/sensitivity and/or celiac and they are bloating, intestinal symptoms, headaches/migranes, mouth ulcers, depression and infertility. Keep pressing if your doc refuses.

    • Anonymous :

      Y’know I’ve had friends lose a weight on paleo/gluten free and I’ve had friends lose weight on sugar free and I’ve had friends lose weight being vegan. My guess is, it doesn’t matter at all (regarding weight loss — the other benefits strike me as placebo effect, which can last up to 2 years, which seems to be about the time people start saying their bodies have “adjusted” to whatever and start looking for another fad), EXCEPT that all of these people have to give up candy bars and (most) baked goods and pretty much have to eat at home. I suspect that if people with pretty regular metabolisms did those three things, they’d lose weight.

      There’s also some evidence that whatever you eat first thing in the morning “preps” your body for eating that the rest of the day. Limiting your diet may improve your body’s function in that way, but again it’s scant evidence.

      (Note that almost all weight loss and exercise “studies” are conducted on white males in their early 20s who have no other health problems. Yay science!)

    • I’ve been off gluten for about a year. I had a lifelong rash (periodic outbreaks, of varying severity) that finally got annoying enough to get a real diagnosis from a doctor, rather than just another steroid cream. The doctor had me do a rotation diet and I could tell after a few days without gluten that was what had been causing me trouble (test confirmed this). On the one hand, I sometimes get annoyed by people who go “gluten-free” for fun or 80-95% gluten-free, because a lot of restaurants assume that is what I mean when I say I have a wheat allergy, and they don’t take it seriously. However, I suspect more people could benefit from limiting or abstaining from wheat than those who have a reactive allergy or celiac spru. Not only did my rash go away, and other symptoms that would accompany it, but my stomach is a lot flatter. I weigh the same thing now as I did before I was diagnosed (I did lose a few pounds on the rotation diet because it was so limited, but went back to my normal weight after a month or so), but my stomach never feels distended or bloated. I always thought my body type was such that I carried a lot of fat in my stomach, but I think I must have always been a little distended/inflamed. And it’s not like my diet is perfect- one thing about being 100% gluten-free is that when I am away from home, I sometimes rely on gluten-free packaged foods, so I’ve had plenty of gluten-free cookies, breads, etc. My husband, who eats wheat at lunch at work but not at home with me or when we go out together (usually) has also remarked how he has fewer instances of tummy troubles when he eats gluten-free, although it’s not like they were severe before, just what I expect most people experience when eating too much of any one thing.

  15. Has anyone here dealt with PCOS? It was recently suggested that I may have it based on some symptoms. I’m going in for tests next week, and maybe I don’t even have it. But it would explain some things. I’m getting a little worried already…

    • I have it, and my symptoms are well-controlled with medication, but it took finding the right endocrinologist to get to this point.

      • I have it (was diagnosed in college). It’s not a big deal in my life. I control my blood sugar/weight issues with diet (mainly) and exercise (secondary). I control the hormone issues with birth control pills. I control the thin hair issue by cutting my hair really short. And after about 12 years of really bad skin, it’s finally cleared up and looks okay (no one will ever claim I have beautiful skin, but it’s good enough). However, I’ve never TTC so I can’t comment on that.

        I’d suggest finding a good endocrinologist and a diabetic dietician (only takes a few sessions, but he/she can be very helpful).

      • Ditto. I was diagnosed in 2004 and have been on Metformin since then. I got on spironolactone 3 years ago and it has been a Godsend. It totally eliminated most of my secondary symptoms, including the hair loss, weird hair growth, and a lot of my migraines and mood swings. You cannot be on it if you are trying to conceive or you might get pregnant – my doc only gave it to me because I have an IUD – but it really made a big, positive difference in my life. I also eat a low-carb diet and exercise but I had been doing that for years before the spirono.

        PCOS isn’t the end of the world but different people experience symptoms at different levels of severity. I was a mess before I got diagnosed and had been for a couple of years. A Mirena IUD, nutrition, medication, exercise and some lifestyle changes have made my PCOS something that is present in my life, but that doesn’t control my life. PCOS does predispose you to long-term problems with your cardiac health and to diabetes if it’s not controlled, so it’s important to see a good endocrinologist who knows what he/she is talking about when it comes to PCOS, and get good treatment. Good luck.

    • Check out the forum section of this site: http://www.tcoyf.com/
      There are often discussions about PCOS

    • This may be more a long term thing, but there is a blog called Prevention RD and I believe the blogger has PCOS. The recipes she posts are generally healthy and would be good for someone dealing with PCOS.

    • I have it as well. I’ve had different difficulties, but the severe pain is (mostly) helped by medicine. I haven’t seriously altered my life – I know it would be better in some areas if I did, but I’m not currently in a position to do this due to other matters.

  16. I’ve been a bit out of pocket this week, so just wanted to post this in case it hadn’t made its way here yet.

    I’m interested to read Sandberg’s book and see how much I agree/disagree.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Yes! Me too. I posted the link on the Weekly News Roundup, but I’m glad you posted it here because more people read the comments here.

      One thing I’ve noticed is that the early articles about her book seem to imply that the book will talk about women needing to “lean in” but ALSO about structural or societal changes that are needed to help women gain equality in the business world. The more recent articles focus more on the first prong. If that’s all the book talks about, then I don’t think it’s as useful.

      Another thing this makes me contemplate is almost an idea of “trickle down equality.” (Not that this is a real term…) I started thinking about it because a lot of critiques of Sandberg focus on the fact that she is privileged and her advice isn’t applicable. However, if more women get positiosn of power, they can hopefully help other women who are qualified also make it to positions of power and that effect will help all women make gains. I think this idea has some traction. Without things changing at the top, things at the bottom will never change. Maybe? Is this idealistic or misguided? Thoughts?

      • Hey–I did see your response to the link I posted on the last thread. I haven’t read the book either, so fair enough.

        I think whenever someone prominent outlines an issue of inequality as being part systemic and part Your Problem, their argument about it being Your Problem always gains more traction. That approach is more palatable, more actionable, and makes better material for talk show appearances. So if the bias you outline is in fact going on, it’s entirely to be expected (though of course unfortunate).

        As for trickle-down equality, I’m just too much the cynic. Obviously it’s no powerful insight to point out that Sandberg has clout and resources beyond the wildest dreams of most working women, but that is the case. Personally I think the disparity is so severe that if I were her I would not feel it was my place to be giving professional advice in the first place. I’d probably stick to advocacy for women’s work opportunities on the systemic scale, if that really is her passion, and acknowledge every time I took the podium that I was the extremely rare exception.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I admittedly don’t follow this all closely enough to have an opinion. I am always inherently skeptical of anyone to says: “I always thought I would run a social movement.”

      However, “Lean In Circle” aside, I do agree with everything from the book synopsis provided in the article:
      “In her book, she urges them to absorb the social science showing they are judged more harshly and paid less than men; resist slowing down in mere anticipation of having children; insist that their husbands split housework equally; draft short- and long-term career plans; and join a “Lean In Circle,” which is half business school and half book club.”

      • I rolled my eyes at that quote as well.

        I will most likely hate read this book. I didn’t 100% agree with Ann-Marie Slaughter either but appreciate the fact that she is so publicly calling out Sheryl Sandberg for being rather blind to her own privileged.

    • I think I will read this also. Professioneal women like us have to do ALL we can to ensure we MAINTAIN equality as WELL as equity in the work place. Sheryl Sandberg is a great roll model for all of us.

      There is also the OTHER woman I look up to also, I forgot her name, from Google and NOW at YAHOO. She is VERY pretty and very smart and she just had a BABY! She prooves we can do it all if we want to. Work, Home LIfe and Leadership. YAY!!!!! I hope one day to meet both of them, mabye on a panel I can speak at when I am a judge or a manageing partner (after the manageing partner retires, that is).

      Right now, the manageing partner is happy with me, and he still wants to make me a partner, but I have to assigne over my 401K to the partnership to make my capital contribution, and DAD has to put up the diference in $$CASH. Dad is NOT happy about this, but he said he would pay unless I was abel to get MARRIED this year and then he would make my HUSBAND pay the money in. FOOEY, b/c a guy might not marry me if my dad is goeing to force him to pay for my partnership fee’s.

      Considering I do NOT even have a boyfreind, I do NOT see this hapening any time soon. FOOEY! So I will need for DAD to put up the money, but I will pay him back with all of the profit’s I will get as a PARTNER in the firm! YAY!!!!!!!

      I wish the HIVE a great weekend, and I hope to have a good time with Myrna and will report back if it is interesting enough for the HIVE!

    • East Coaster :

      I’m curious about her book and will probably end up reading it. As others have pointed out, she has resources that 10x exceed what is available for most women, and I wish she would be more up front about it in her public appearances.

      The lean-in circle sounds like something that I would want to participate in, mostly because I crave that interaction with other professional women outside of my office / my field.

      Also, I hope some of the conversation is geared towards women examining what they personally want. As the typical over-achiever who grew up wanting to have a high-powered executive position, I sometimes feel guilty that I’m not sure I want that anymore (even if that’s the track that I am on). I am in my late 20’s, and can totally imagine being content with a position where I can go home at 5 and not think about work for the evening and spend time with my family instead (granted I have no family now, so maybe that is what Sandberg is talking about). Unfortunately it seems like I can’t have that and be professionally challenged at the same time (vs. just staying in the same job for 20 yrs and eventually being bored out of my mind). I’m not sure how me “leaning in” will change that.

    • Young, married but childless so far. I have mixed feelings. I don’t begrudge her the success she’s had–I definitely see a lot of criticisms that are really just judgments of her and her luck+success. On the one hand, I don’t like the “blame the victim” mentality that her views sometimes represent. Of course women are going to mentally pull back when it looks like they have (1) no broad protections for their job during the course of pregnancy, especially in small businesses or during difficult pregnancies (see the recent Slate article on the trouble with existing maternity leave/disability policies related to pregnancy) (2) limited options for affordable, high-quality childcare and (3) major institutional barriers to career advancement. I don’t feel like I am “pulling back” from work right now, but thinking about some of these possible issues is a big headache. Plus, it makes me worry that some men will just say “of course, see! Even women agree it’s that other women aren’t ambitious enough!” and be done with it.

      On the other hand, it is bringing up the level of discourse above the previous “mommy wars”/work vs stay at home standard. We’re moving beyond the “I work”/”I stay at home” mentality and moving towards a more flexible idea of what work could be. I think most employers, though, haven’t caught up to this ideal of flexibility quite yet though. And I would hope that all of this-parental leave, more flexwork possibilities, less stigma to parenting–would be applicable to the men in my life as well as the women.

    • I’m unlikely to read the book, because I’ve read enough interviews with her, seen enough talks, etc., to get the gist. And the truth is, I agree with a lot of it. I feel like Sandberg often gets criticized unfairly – her message is targeted to women with certain types of goals and certain types of jobs. I often see comments in response to stories about her that are all, “but what about people who want lower key jobs? what about people who choose to stay home? what about people who want to to work part time?”

      But Sandberg’s not writing for them. She writing for women who want to make the C-suite or be managing partner. She’s writing for people who have made a decision that professional success is one of the msot important, if not the most important drivers in their lives. It’s highly taboo for women to say that – our families are supposed to always be priority one – but we exist.

      I also think that her advice on self-defeating behaviors is worth taking. Yes, structural change is necessary. But if you listen to her, she says that she focuses on internal change because structural change gets more attention. I see women all around me making the kinds of mistakes that she writes about, and I see them in myself. Is it enough to remove the barriers we all face? No. But is it necessary to doing so? Yes.

    • I “leaned back” after I had my son. I have exactly zero regrets about it. I would never presume to tell anyone else what the “right” choice for them might be. The decision whether or not to “lean in” or “lean back” is incredibly personal and has a lot to do with family finances, the state of your marriage/relationship, your own personal desires related to your career and motherhood, etc. Anyone – whether it’s Sheryl Sandberg or Phyllis Schlafly – claiming that there is one right or wrong solution for working moms is delusional. Myself personally, climbing “the ladder” was not as important to me as making sure I could be at my son’s soccer games and Parents’ Nights and all the rest of it. My husband is very involved but I did not want to dump all the parenting on him so I could pursue my career. I honestly do not have very lofty career ambitions for myself and feel fine with not being Ms. Super-High-Achiever so that I can be with my family more. Everyone else’s mileage may vary, and no one should be judged for feeling like I do, totally opposite from the way I do, or somewhere in the middle.

      Sheryl is one of those folks who was “born on third base, and thinks she hit a triple.” Wealthy privileged educated family, double Harvard, protege of Larry Summers, stellar career opportunities all the way through her life, mega-rich. No offense, but I doubt she has very much understanding of the life of a working mom middle-class middle manager toiling in corporate America and trying to balance career and family. “Lean in” is a great strategy for women who have enough financial resources to cover nearly any eventuality, including outsourcing of all household work, hiring full-time nannies, covering for loss of partner’s income if partner bails, etc. Sheryl’s advice worked for her in her situation. It’s not applicable to very many more folks out there outside of the 1%, that I can see.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I think you are the person cbackson means when she says “she is not talking to you” ….

        • This. Sheryl Sandberg isn’t saying everyone has to make her choices. She’s saying that if you want to make her choices, here’s how you do it successfully (or at least, here’s how you can try to remove the barriers to success that you do control).

          • And yet…in all of that news coverage the NYT says she’s going to be generating for her book, I don’t see anything where Sheryl is saying, “oh, sorry, folks! This is really only meant for .0001 percent of women who may at some point want to be a c-suite executive AND a mom someday. My bad if anyone was under another impression.” I saw in the NYT article where Cosmopolitan Magazine is going to do some kind of huge supplement (40 pages?) talking about “leaning in” in April. I wasn’t aware that Cosmo is the go-to magazine of choice for future c-suite executives? But maybe I’m out of the loop.

            And honestly – “Lean In circles?” Most working mothers I know are so busy that the last thing they want to do with a free hour that isn’t devoted to kids, spouse, work, household chores or exercise is sit around with other women and talk about Sheryl’s brilliant ideas. I’m headed to the spa, thanks anyway.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            But that isn’t really her place. Her place is to say here is what worked/works for me. It is for the reader to decide if the message applies to them. And while not everyone aspires to the c-suite, not everyone to languish in middle management either. Rather than malign Sandberg, take from it what works for you, what can apply to where you want to be in your life, and leave the rest behind. I don’t think you have to have the same experiences to find value in what she says.

            You, know, one could characterize this board as a “Lean In Circle” of sorts. People ask for advice, seek and give encouragement, comfort etc… for other women, and sometimes way to frequently, working moms/mom-to-bes. So while the title may be off-putting, the concept is already in practice. I’d personally love a group where professional aspiration, while balancing motherhood, is not judged, but instead managed. One of the big consulting companies in DC used to do these quarterly events specifically for professional moms. They were great, and being with other women who were succeeding professionally, while raising their kids was empowering and encouraging….

          • AnonInfinity :

            Yes! cbackson and Divalicious articulated my feelings much better than I could.

            I also agree that the “Lean In” circle might have a weird name, but I would also love a real-life circle of women who are succeeding to bounce ideas off of and commiserate with. I think some people call these arrangements “mentoring circles.”

          • Divaliscious11 :

            The group was called Big Jobs, Little Kids. Some of the organizers have moved on to other roles, but I thnk this was exactly what she meant….

  17. lawsuited :

    Shoe TJ – What shoes to wear with this dress (link to follow) to a formal non-work-related event?

    Apparently most women at the event will be wearing long dresses, but younger women frequently wear c*cktail dresses so I’m not in technical breach of the dress code. I decided the colour and beading make the dress more formal, but I need to add to that formal feeling with the shoe….

    Any ideas? I’d like to keep the cost around or under $150.

  18. I need to vent – online job applications are incredibly frustrating. I discovered a job that I am interested in and qualified for today. It closes tomorrow at midnight. I have spent the last three hours on the website trying to input information. The website keeps freezing. I’ve tried different browsers, no luck. It also keeps erasing the information I have entered even though I hit save every time I input new information. The number for employment services on the website goes straight to voicemail.


    • hoola hoopa :

      I hate online application systems. I miss the good ol’ days of mailing an application and calling (a real person!) to verify receipt.

      :: glass of wine :: Good luck today. May it be worth it!

      • Wow I didn’t think I was that young, but I got my first job post-college off craigslist.

      • It kept timing me out. I gave up. Sigh.

        • Anonymous :

          Not sure if it well help since it’s already really late on a Friday, but can you find a main number you can call, explain the situation, and ask to be transeferred to someone in HR? Even if you can’t do it today, I would try on Monday if you are really interested in the job. Chance are that if you are having problems with the online application, other people are too and they might be willing to extend the deadline.

          • I called the number listed for Employment Matters and it went straight to voicemail. Hitting buttons didn’t get me anywhere. Plus at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday in a gov’t contractors office? No one will be there anyway.

            I will definitely look and see if it is still up on Monday and try to reach out to someone at the office again.

  19. Anonymous :

    I have a suspicion that my bank holds pending debit card charges and deposits/transfers for when my checking account balance gets low in order to maximize overdraft fees. Several times in the last year, I’ve had charges and deposits be pending for several days (3-5) and then finally go through in a manner – out of the order they were charged and deposited – that causes overdrafts.

    I recognize that maintaining my checking account balance is my own responsibility – but has anyone noticed this happen to them? Or can anyone in banking confirm that it’s at least possible? I bank with a major, national bank.

    • Gone Anon :

      At the beginning of this fall I had two or three weeks’ worth of small transactions (lunch and/or coffee from the office building’s cafeteria, about 2-6 dollars each) hit all at once. (Yes it was my responsibility to keep track of my expesnes, but come on, we know so many of us don’t– I had to expense something for work that was about $600, and got caught up in red tape with the reimbursement check. So when all those transactions hit, I was slammed with I like 5 overdraft fees.)

      Your theory didn’t occur to me, I hope it’s not the case, but it does suck and seems very odd for those things to happen. Try giving them a call, the guy I chatted with agreed that it was reasonable that I wouldn’t notice a 4 dollar debit charge not being posted when I was checking my account on a weekly basis, and they waived a bunch of the charges, I think I had to pay one or two.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      This *is* possible – but my understanding was, back in 2010ish when the Federal Reserve required you to “opt-in” to overdraft protection (rather than just having your card declined when you are overdrawn which is, um, much more logical than having you pay $28 for that cup of coffee), some states also enacted laws (or potentially some banks voluntarily did this — I know I got a letter to this effect) that they would process the transactions in the order they were made, not by “largest transaction first.”

      But yes, banks can and do do that, very often, unless it is either illegal in your state or they’ve said they won’t. It means more money for them.

    • I realize you can’t do this when purchasing online, but one of the things I’ve done is always use my card as debit when I’m doing a transaction in person. These come out immediately and all me to track my account better.

      I have noticed that transactions can sometimes take a very long time to actually hit, and sometimes will even show up as processing for a few days and then “fall off” for a day or two only to hit as an actual charge. The period where they “fall off” is obviously the most difficult to track.

      I wouldn’t put it past banks to hold charges as processing until the account is low. Banks are notoriously terrible to ordinary customers and have been caught in the past using unfair (and unlawful) tactics to collect more fees / revenue.

    • Banker's wife :

      Yes, banks absolutely do that. It’s happened to me more than once (when Mr. Banker got upset with me because his wife came up on the Overdraft Report he explained this practice to me.)

      Evil, but common.

    • Yes, banks do this. Obama tried to propose a bill to prevent them from rigging the system to get more overdraft fees.

      Because I’ve been hit by this in the past, I’ve switched to charging everything to a credit card (CC’s also have much better consumer protections than debit cards). I’ve also switched to a smallish bank where I get some pretty cool perks if I maintain an average balance that is roughly equal to what I’d keep in a savings account for emergency expenses anyway. With interest rates so low, the perks are worth more than the interest I’m “losing” by not maintaining a separate savings account.

      • Yes, this. Always use your credit card, people. It’s strongly to your benefit to do so.

        • Yup. I almost never pay for anything with my debit card. Always use credit. I get points from my card, which I can use as a credit to my account; build my credit history; and don’t have to deal with my scheisty bank (looking at you, Wells Fargo, and looking forward to moving back to the US and kicking you to the curb for a credit union).

          • goldribbons :

            “Always use your credit card” AND pay it off in full every month!! But I agree, always use a credit card.

          • Also, if you have a problem with a transaction and need to dispute it, the money hasn’t come out of your account yet. That’s key, particularly if you’re buying something very expensive (plane tickets, vacations, etc.). While debit cards often offer dispute protection like credit cards now, the money is still out of your account until you get the dispute process rolling and they re-credit you.

    • Banks do this, as others have mentioned. I extremely rarely used to overdraft (pre Dodd-Frank) and I notices this pattern immediately–they process the big charges quickly to push you to overdraft, then tack on fees for all of the smaller purchases that should have posted sooner, so they get tons of fees.

      First, I would elect to turn off overdraft (I am fine with the shame of being denied in person) or using another card/cash if there’s no money in my account. I would also call up and b_tch and tell them that this is a silly practice, you won’t stand for it, and you’ll take your business elsewhere if they don’t reverse some of the fees and process the transactions in a better, more logical order. If the operator you’re speaking with is not helpful, talk to a manager. Any time I get hit with a fee (not overdraft) and I do this with my bank (WF) they balk and at least halve the fees, if not eliminate entirely. Time to be “firm customer” on the phone and see where it gets you.

    • BofA use to do this to me as well. Really caused a lot of heartache in college, when I was barely eeking by, and thought I had everything planned down to the dollar. The solution? Switch banks.

    • I’m sure that they do this. They generally explain it as assuming that the bigger transactions are more important and that you thus would want them to go through first. I’m sure that the terms and conditions of your account allow it. It’s frustrating. I’ve totally been there–as the customer who that happened to and as the attorney defending a bank against a claim for doing this. Generally, they will waive them once, then that’s it. What helped me was to set up an automatic text message notice if my account gets below a certain point.

  20. What do you think is a reasonable price to pay for a cocktail dress to wear to weddings? I love J. Crew and Ann Taylor’s, but $230-250 seems to be the going rate. Is that standard? I haven’t bought a semiformal dress in years, and it seems steep to me.

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