Coffee Break: Ainsley Jenna Shoulder Bag

Cole Haan Ainsley Jenna Shoulder has a pretty decent sale on Cole Haan (clothes, bags, shoes, everything). I’m liking this Jenna Shoulder Bag, which I have in a slightly different version — it’s one of my favorite purses. Like mine, this one looks like it has supple leather and great interior organization (as well as a few extra pockets that mine does not have). It’s 48% off today — was $348, now marked to $182 in “cinnabar” (pictured), a light brown, and a light gray. Cole Haan Ainsley Jenna Shoulder Bag



  1. prof on a bike :

    Coffee break styling challenge! I just bought the BR bird print trousers last week during the 40% sale (link to follow). I love them, but they’re undeniably loud in person. Thoughts on how to style them? All I can come up with so far is with a bright solid colored top (as pictured), or with a basic black top.

    Also, can I wear these to lecture in, or do you think I’ll get a reputation as professor crazypants?

    • prof on a bike :
    • DC Wonkette :

      I’d do black blazer, dark red shell, dark red shoes…

    • Merabella :

      You could do a sweater in any color, colored blazer with a black shell, chambray shirt if you want to dress it down.

      And you wear them crazy pants girl!

    • I would think you should be able to treat them the same way you would houndstooth. You could have a more muted outfit with a simple grey sweater or wear just about any other color with them. I think burgandy could work well to make them more winter appropriate.

    • These say “resort” to me.

      • prof on a bike :

        Yeah, I think the wide legged-ness doesn’t help with that vibe. I’ll probably get them tailored down to a more slim/straight leg.

    • Those are so cool! Own those crazy pants! Seriously, if I didn’t have way too many pants and was a Martin fit person instead of a Sloan fit, I’d consider a pair myself.

      I think these could look good with almost any color, but I would veer towards the more saturated color. I bet they’d look great with emerald green, teal, or mustard yellow. I don’t know if I would wear a print on top, but I might try a medium-sized black and white print, with lots of white space, with a colored cardigan or jacket over it.

      Eh, maybe I should give them a try and be Program Director Crazy Pants. Actually, last summer I bought from the Gap a pair of ankle pants that are black with small white squares and didn’t find them particularly difficult to style, or all that atttention-getting. I’m happy I bought them.

    • prof on a bike :

      Thanks ladies! I especially like the suggestion to think of them as houndstooth (which somehow seems much less intimidating) and to try a chambray shirt (a trend that I fear I will warm to just as it’s on the way out). I have a burgundy sweater with brown elbow patches that I’ll try with a black shell and see if I can create an epic crazypants professor look.

      Now, back to the paper that I should be finishing….

  2. After this morning’s thread, I thought I’d share a body-positive video clip I saw this morning that made me really happy (slightly NSFW – woman in lingerie):

    Thought it was very creative and moving.

  3. Flying Squirrel :

    I want to like this bag, but I think the red is a bit too orange for my taste.

    EArly TJ:

    How do you deal with a coworker who is very subtly trying to undermine you. So subtly, in fact, that I wasn’t sure that it was happening until recently. She’s very nice to my face, but others have told me that she’s threatened by me. And finally a couple things happened last week to make it clear that there is something very odd going on. To be clear, there’s no way I could actually be a threat to her. Our team is divided into two functions, and she’s the leader of the other function. My function is managed directly by our team’s overall boss (no one on our side has direct reports), while everyone in other co-workers reports directly to her, not our mutual boss. I am the most knowledgeable person within my function about the other function, but I don’t have specific expertise in it…so I couldn’t really ever take over her job…it’s just not a possibility.

    Nonetheless, though, she is now openly saying things that challenge my credibility in meetings, including with outsiders. To clarify, our team needs to get “customers” from other parts of our company. I have been working hard to get a few customers that would be great for our team. If successful, I would intend to brief my team and divvy up the work, but she’s now telling people not to talk to me at all about her part of the team’s function. This causes delays, since she’s really busy, and makes it confusing for potential customers since they don’t know who to talk to.

    I’ve tried to address this with my boss, but so far have not gotten much feedback. I think the best would be to propose a solution to him (or the coworker) for working with new “customers”, any suggestions on what to propose?

    • Hmmm, weird. I’m curious what others say but is there a reason why the two of you don’t have a friendly relationship? Maybe you two can have occasional lunch or coffee dates. Be prepared with “personal” information you share with her so she feels like you two are close and not competition.

      • Anon (former victim of work bully) :

        This will only work if the co-worker is conducting business in good faith. If she is not, it could backfire brilliantly.

      • I agree with both of you! I’d do the coffee/lunch route first. Have a mental list of “safe” topics to discuss. If she tries to steer it in a nasty or negative direction- do not hesitate to change the subject. The weather, Thanksgiving plans, favorite restaurant, sports, best lentil soup near the office, whatever.

        If she is nasty again, then you start documenting everything. Only talk to her on the phone or in person when another person is within earshot. If it continues make a list of how this has negatively impacted your work and go to your boss w/ the list.

    • Hmm, I’m confused why anyone would suggest going to coffee or lunch with this co-worker. I think the best approach is to be direct and ask her why she is attempting to undermine you. It’s not your job to be nice and befriend her — you don’t need to try to make this woman like you by having a few fake topics to chat with her. I would take the direct approach, ask her what her issue is and then tell her the two of you need to find a way to have a cordial work/professional relationship.

      • While I agree some people are an absolute lost cause, it appears that her coworker is severely intimidated by her. Just showing a more-than-coworker persona can go a long way towards breaking the ice and diffusing the situation. I am totally in the friendly-to-coworkers and not the coworkers-are-friends camp but soft skills can ease a lot of awkward situations.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      Well here’s the thing. On the surface our relationship is friendly (and until recently, I didn’t really think there were any major issues). Only a couple of weeks ago she was talking about hosting a baby shower for me at work, and at least when I came on board a few months ago we did do things like lunch and coffee. The issue seems to be entirely on the professional front…and like I said, it’s been pretty subtle. Enough that I just assumed it was different working styles until the much more aggressive tactic last week of essentially telling potential customers that they can’t rely on me as a point of contact for our full team. And just to make it clear, that means I can’t hold a meeting with a potential customer to get more work for us (which is my job), unless she is also at the meeting. Since she is really busy, with 6 direct reports, this could take weeks to set up…and as far as I know, she has done this to no one else.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Is this project high profile / likely to earn you a lot of praise and recognition? Maybe she’s feeling jealous or like she would like a piece of the pie. Or, maybe she feels like she is the “only” person who truly knows what her function is about, and that since you don’t have the same level of knowledge she wants to be able to control what is said about her function. Not saying that any of her behavior is okay, just two other possible reasons why she’s acting like this.

        I do think telling potential customers not to rely on you as a point of contact is a major issue that you should tell your boss about. I would outline the situation and then frame it as “I would like your advice on how to handle this issue.” It sounds like your boss doesn’t want to have to speak to your coworker about this, which is his job. But if you say something like, “Having to involve coworker in every communication or meeting is undermining the timeliness of the deliverable” or some other corporate speak, he may be more responsive. I also think your suggestion to him on a solution should be: 1) coworker does not need to be involved in every stage of the process unless she’s needed, and 2) coworker needs to stop actively hindering your ability to do your job. In terms of action items from him, you need his sign off and you need him to communicate this to your coworker.

    • Call a meeting with your boss and the coworker and discuss the outreach protocol for potential customers. This protocol should be put in writing as an SOP, with time expectations and backup procedures: that is, if the coworker is not available to present her function, the task falls to you and you will use the materials prepared by the coworker so she can be confident of the message.
      This meeting will give the coworker an opportunity to explain her actions and you – a chance to rebut.

  4. Anonymous :

    Any tips for “networking” sessions during a conference? I don’t know anyone going, and I’m terrified I’ll be the awkward woman in the corner drowning myself in coffee for the whole week every coffee, lunch and dinner.

    • Everybody feels that way. Just smile, introduce yourself and they’ll likely respond in kind.

    • AnonInfinity :

      The most important thing I tell myself when I’m at a conference alone is that I don’t have to do everything, but I do have to do most things. So, if I feel really drained, I give myself permission to skip a coffee break and recharge.

      You will not be the only one there alone. Approach other people who are alone, and they are almost always glad to have someone to talk to. Also visiting in the food line, drink line, or with the people seated around you is a good way to find people to talk to. Good conversation starters are asking whether the person has been to the conference before, what the person thought of a certain presenter, what the person is working on now. Last year I was at a conference while trying to figure out a vacation spot, so I asked everyone I met where their favorite trip was.

      For meals, looks for tables with just one person or a lot of empty seats and ask if you can join. If the seats are saved, remember it’s not personal and try another table. Sometimes you can spot a table full of people who obviously don’t know each other. IME, groups that don’t already know each other are the most welcoming.

      If you’re looking for an escape, say you want to go get another shrimp pastry or drink and exit.

      Some people recommend setting a goal for yourself about how many people to meet while at a function. I haven’t tried that one because I’ve found that once I meet one or two people, the group usually ends up expanding and feeling less and less awkward.

      I might be a freak, but I actually really enjoy going to conferences alone (and I’m an introvert). It’s a great opportunity to practice meeting new people in an environment where it really doesn’t matter if I screw up because no one knows me.

    • Took me forever to find it but there was a whole post on this a while back. Some great still relevant tips in there: [thissite].com/2012/09/18/how-to-network-at-a-conference/

      It’s not easy, but it’s true, most other people are nervous, too! You can do it, I believe in you.

    • I made myself network during lunch, and for a quick drink before dinner. Coffee breaks/dinners were time for me to relax/recharge/and get my ‘real’ work done. Plus it made it that much easier to force myself to network at lunch and cocktail hour, I didn’t get overwhelmed or as scared knowing I had an out.

      And if you’re a woman by yourself feel free to ditch any weird/creepy guys that may attach to you. I’ve had married men many years my senior follow me around at conferences/offer to take me shopping/out to dinner/etc. after perfectly innocuous lunch time chatter (during which one of them told me all about his daughter, eww). I also now religiously bring a book/work papers to a bar if I’m having a drink at a hotel by myself. Helps dissuade the creeps.

    • I was alone at a conference in San Diego not too long ago and thought I would have a horrible time. I managed to come up to my room during the lunch and dinner hours but wasn’t able to sneak away fast enough during the evening drinks. I was just taking a few bites of the snacks (cheese and honey, yum) when a nice lady asked to share my table. We started talking about our work and next thing we knew, a few other “loners” joined us. One guy was really animated about this work and we all ended up staying there for long time. I learned so much about everyone’s work and was even able to use some of their materials. The big lesson: Give yourself and everyone a chance. You don’t need to work too hard. Just be yourself and spend a few minutes with people. Its a good start.

  5. Nice bag! Cole Haan bags are usually great quality for the money, even not on sale.

  6. Bachelorette TJ – Somebody posted about how their MOH planned the perfect bachelorette — could you describe what made it perfect?

    I’m trying to figure out a bachelorette party for NYC for spring 2014 that would be low-key, not that pricey but fun anyway, since most people have to travel to get to NYC (other than myself) but NYC was chosen since the bride to be’s friends live all over the US.

    • You could also consider Atlantic City. I went there for a bachelorette party last year that ended up being pretty fun. It was a nice combo of fun night out and low-key/not TOO expensive.

    • lucy stone :

      Not the OP, but I loved mine. We went to a paint your own pottery place, had dinner at Maggianos, then went to Dave and Busters to play games. It was awesome and exactly what I wanted. I’m not a huge go out and get drunk person and my SIL was pregnant at the time, so it was a great evening for all of us!

    • We did dinner and a pub crawl. The best part was that at each stop during the evening, the ladies did a performance of a poem/limerick/story/rap about their friendship with me. My bridesmaids were all college friends, but they also contacted friends from other times in my life to get submissions. It was really sweet.

    • Anon in NYC :

      My friend planned a NYC bachelorette party for me in NYC. We had dinner and then went out for drinks. It was nice and low-key, and the choice of restaurant will definitely affect pricing.

      If the bride/others are into fitness-y things, there’s a recent trend about doing healthier bachelorette parties (like a barre or spin class, etc.). I bet you could call up a number of fitness studios and ask them about a group booking. There are also things like cooking classes (the Institute of Culinary Education comes to mind), which provides an evening activity plus dinner in one. There’s a few “fancy” bowling places (dark, loud music, good for groups, drinks). And of course, there’s just a ton of bars if the bride wants to do a bar crawl.

    • Anne Shirley :

      In my experience, perfect bachelorettes are those that a) fit everyone’s budget, b) involve some sort of activity particularly well suited to the bride, and c) are flexible. I’ve seen planning go particularly well when the person organizing has sent out an email fairly early on laying out a basic plan including different options (ie Sat afternoon: walk on highline, free, matinee, $$, pedis, $30). And then asking for input. Followed by another round suggesting a consensus plan.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I’m not the OP but I’ll add mine.

      We took a party bus around to different monuments/locations around our city. The party bus had drinks and music. At each stop, we got off the bus and did ridiculous poses. We ended at a bar for the night and danced to traditional Irish music like idiots until it closed.

      SO MUCH FUN.

    • Famouscait :

      I have very fond memories (and fun photos!) from my own and one I threw as a MOH:

      For mine, the MOH sent me on a treasure-hunt type of search with these tasks to cross off the giant sign I had hanging around my neck. Things such as “Take a photo with a guy who looks like your fiance” and such. It was funny and the other ladies each helped me with a task. We did this at a restaurant/bar/nightclub establishment.

      The party I planned was a family-style dinner at a swanky restaurant. We had a semi-private table, dress code was LBDs and I had planned ahead and asked the restaurant to do pitchers of a mixed drink (like sangria) to help keep the costs bearable (we split the bill evenly but treated the bride). I put together a very basic game where I printed slightly risque questions that everyone took turns drawing from a hat. It was the right amount of blush-inducing without being embarrassing or raunchy. We sat at that table nibbling, drinking and laughing for a good long time.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Not OP or married, but the best bachelorette party I’ve been to was when we went bowling (after dinner and drinks).

    • Oops, the brunch was not on Satudray night, it started late morning and the party continued throughout the day and into the night!

      • Looks like my first post was moderated….

        I’m the OP from teh earlier thread. We did low key drinks that were not “officially” part of the bachelorette party on friday night at a c*c*tail bar. On Saturday night, my MOH hosted a brunch at her house. I am really glad we did it at her house and not out at a restaurant, because we ate and drank at our own pace. We also spent this time playing a silly (and awesome) bachelorette game. My MOH gave everyone little baggies with glow sticks and funky sunglasses and we played the card game which involved people doing dares and answering questions about me and my fiance and our relationship. We then made our way to bars that also had some low key activities. We went to a reasonably priced place for dinner where there were a wide range of food options and then went dancing. It was a long day, but the pacing was really perfect, and everyone lasted until the end of the night!

    • Thank you all for sharing your experiences! Bride admitted she wants to go dancing so I think we’re going to do dinner w/games and dancing (if we’re bringing 12+ hot ladies, they can’t possibly charge cover, right?).

      I think I’ll host a bridal shower to keep other costs low

  7. Just a vent this afternoon (which totally outs me if anyone here knows me in real life).

    Today is my first day back from maternity leave. I miss my sons. I’m already sick of pumping at work. I don’t fit into any of my work clothes yet. My annual self-evaluation is due tonight at midnight. Wah.

    • This will be me in two weeks. I’m so sorry. Chin up. I hear it gets easier.

    • OCAssociate :

      That’s rough, but it will get easier. Maybe use your self-eval as an opportunity to remind yourself how awesome you are. Good luck!

    • hellskitchen :

      I am back at work for a bit over 2 months and pumping still sucks. But I have become efficient at it and can do the whole set up/pump/clean up in 15 min… hang in there. Do buy new work clothes – I didn’t do so for a while and every morning was an ordeal to figure out what to wear. I posted here last week about and someone helpfully advised that I should buy clothes that fit my body *now* and get thing taken in later, if needed. Great advice! (thank you). If you can, head home early today and try to ease back into working – missing my son was hard to deal with it but it gets easier.

    • Thanks, everyone! I like the idea to buy at least a few things that fit now. I hate feeling uncomfortable in my clothes all day. The worst part of n*rsing and pumping is how nothing fits my ch*st.

    • I’ve been back for a month and I still had a big cry this morning. It’s tough. I agree with getting new work clothes though. I’m also having a terrible time fitting my chest, but I ordered some button downs from Brooks Brothers in a larger size (the Fitted cut fits well without beeing too va-va-voom) and some tops from Loft. It definitely helps.

      I also started bringing my iPad in from home, and I goof around on the internet or read kindle books while I pump. I’m starting to look forward to the little break.

    • Buy new (nursing) br*s as you slowly return to your normal cup size. It will make you feel better about how your clothes fit.

    • Hang in there. It will get better.

  8. Miss Behaved :

    Boston meet-up Thursday night at 7 pm. If you’re interested in joining us and are not already included in the email thread, please email me at bostoncorpor3tt3 at gmail. Please replace the 3′s with e’s.

    We’re still determining the venue. I’ll post it when a decision has been made.

  9. Just back from my follow-up with the allergist. My allergy tests all came back negative (grass, mold, cat, dog, latex). I asked him about perfume and he said that’s an irritant, not an allergy. Interestingly enough, my brother and I had a conversation over the weekend where I found out that we both get asthmatic bronchitis when we get a cold. Anyway, the sinus CT shows that I still have a sinus infection so he wants to to continue on the same antibiotic. But I can still taste!

    • Yay! Hug’s to you, NOLA. I am glad you are NOT allergic to thing’s. I went to an ALLERGIST after I started sneezeing when I moved into my first apartement in NYC, and he told me it was b/c there were mice and other vermine around. I also told him the naighbor’s were cookeing useing CURREY POWDER, and he said that alot of peeople are allergic to CURREY, even if they do NOT eat the food. I think I already told the hive that I do NOT like men to wear perfume or colone, b/c it is ONLEY a coverup for their B.O., and that is NOT good. I met a guy in college that DRENCHED himself with ARMAIS, and underneath it was a smelley guy that did NOT like to shower. Needless to say, when he wanted to date me, I said I could not date a guy who smelled. When he said that I should LOVE ARMAIS, b/c so many girls did, I told him that whatever it was, I could still smell alot of B.O. on him, and that was a deal breaker! WHAT A TRUE FOOEY he was! He told my room mate that I wanted to have sex with him! Nothing could be further from the truth I said b/c I would NOT be abel to be in the same room, let alone haveing him drip his smelley B.O. on me. DISSSGUSSTING!

  10. 2 questions :

    1) Does anyone have intel or a hunch about when Victoria’s Secret might have a sitewide sale in the near future?

    2) Do any other pale-skinned readers feel the urge to join in the burgundy lip trend? If so, how do you do it without looking too washed out? (I’ve thought of a sheer burgundy color, is this a good idea? If so, any specific recommendations?)

  11. Anonymous :

    What does one wear to an internal interview on a Friday in a business casual/jeans Friday workplace? I know the interviews, and my boss knows I applied so I don’t need to hide, but I don’t want to be over dressed since everyone wears jeans on Fridays.

    • I would rather overdress for an internal interview, even on a Friday. Perhaps not a matching suit, but a non-matching blazer and pants or pencil skirt. If it’s a very, very casual environment, substitute a good cardigan.

      • Merabella :


      • hoola hoopa :

        This. I also like A Nonny Moose’s suggestion.

        FWIW, I’m in such a casual office that I’m wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and a fleece pullover on a Monday. But our external candidates wear suits or suit separates, and I would expect an internal candidate to dress business casual at minimum. Absolutely no jeans, even though you know everyone else in the room will be wearing them.

    • Dress up the jeans with a blazer? If you know the interviewer already I think you have a bit more leeway as you’re not creating a first impression.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      Nice ponte dress and non-matching, maybe tweed jacket that you can take off for your workday?

  12. Merabella :

    My husband’s raise conversation was less than stellar. I am getting so frustrated with this whole situation. So question for the hive: How do you convince your husband it is time to cut ties with a job that is OK, but he could do so much better?

    • I went through this with my spouse for years, without success. Similar situation, bad raises/bonuses for a number of years He was eventually laid off in a long series of layoffs, and I found it frustrating that he was not putting himself out there. (He landed a new job within a few months of being laid off, so competence was not an issue).

      What are your husband’s specific reasons for not putting himself in the job market? Lack of confidence, lack of time and energy, misplaced loyalty to his employer? I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’m sympathetic, having been there.

      • Merabella :

        I think it was originally misplaced loyalty to his employer and now it is lack of time and energy since he is the only one who does anything in his office. And I think he genuinely loves his job, but is severely under paid. But it is nice to know there could be light at the end of the tunnel.

        I think the worst part is that everyone above his boss thinks he’s awesome and wants all these things for him, but his boss is a lazy ass who doesn’t want to be bothered to do anything.

    • I am in a similar boat with my DH. You can’t do anything except remind him how awesome he is and let him run his career the way he sees fit. You can talk about 5-year plans (sometimes this makes him think, “oh I should get a job with REAL potential!”) but it’s tough. It’s similar to weight loss — you can’t make him want to do it, you can just encourage him whenever he takes a step in the right direction. Also, I find it’s important to be as neutral as possible about his current job situation — rather like a toddler, he will do what he wants whenever he wants. If you’re pressuring him one way, it’s likely he’ll go the opposite direction (for whatever reason). Good luck!

      • I was going to say something similar. I’m not sure about the “opposite direction” part above, but otherwise I really agree that trying to push these kinds of decisions on your partner, even when it makes all the sense in the world to you, isn’t fair and doesn’t work. You can state your opinion and all your reasons, but unless you’re about to go hungry or lose the house or something, it’s up to him.

        My husband decided not to go up for an offered raise 2 years ago because he felt he was “already making enough” and that others deserved it more (he works his a__ off and carries a ton of dead weight in his department, so no). He has also talked about not going for the promotion he’s eligible for next year, on principle. It took some deep breaths on my part, but I realize that when it’s so obvious what my stake is in these decisions, past a point I just have to let him make them. I trust that he’s weighing my needs and his appropriately. Likewise I seek his input on my professional moves, but don’t expect him to push very hard in any direction and would be annoyed if he did.

    • Ugh. I don’t know. I take the approach that each partner’s job is entirely his or her own domain. I don’t expect my husband to give me anything beyond asked-for advice on my job, so I won’t do the same with his job (even though sometimes I really want to). I care more about whether he’s happy in his job, whether he feels fulfilled, and whether he is satisfied with how much he is making compared to the time he’s putting in/quality of work/comparison to coworkers/etc.

      I think the last point is the most important, and probably speaks to what you’re talking about. I don’t care how much he makes as an abstract number, but I do care if he is frustrated that he’s not making as much as he could elsewhere. So, I guess I would do nothing if he wasn’t frustrated.

      Why do you want him to leave?

    • Anne Shirley :

      You don’t. Sticking with a job that is OK is a perfectly rational reasonable decision. You do not convince him otherwise. You perhaps encourage his exploration and tell him how confident you are in him, but you are not in his job, so you really can’t know.

      • +1. Also, my DH really pushes me to apply for “better” jobs/internships and he just doesn’t understand hiring in law (er, the lack of hiring in law). It’s really frustrating for me because it makes me feel like he doesn’t appreciate the jobs/internships I have been able to have, or that they’re not “good enough” for him somehow.

        • That reminds me – whatever happened with the clerkship that you applied to (that would have required temporarily relocating to a city where DH is not). Is that off the table now b/c baby?

          • I haven’t heard back from any of my clerkship applications, so I’m assuming I’ve been rejected.

      • hoola hoopa :


    • If only I knew…I have the same problem with my DH.

  13. Flying Squirrel :

    PSA for those of you getting married. Saks Off Fifth is having an online sample sale for bridal gowns. Link to follow

  14. Silly question, is it considered plagiarism to use the wording from a job posting (same position, same company) on your resume? I’m assuming yes….

    • I’m confused, do you mean a job posting says “Requires strong collaboration skills” and you put as a bullet on your resume: “Built strong collaboration skills with XX team”? That’s not plagiarizing. I borrow phrases from job posting to use in cover letters/resumes all the time to correctly tailor them to the position.

  15. Looking for experience with Jones NY. I just got their Syndey pants from Nordstrom (I’ll post link below), and while I like them, I’ve been trying to draw a firmer line on things like natural fibers and lined pants, and the JNY are unlined poly viscose. Still, they fit me nicely. At $90, I guess it’s not worth that much energy, but thought I’d check in case anyone here could tell me something like “I’ve had them three years and they’re going strong” or “they didn’t hold up at all.”

  16. I am looking for this dark brown heather button sweater with a collar not a hood my brother is describing he saw someone wear. Any idea where to start? I see only zippers…

  17. On the whole, would you ladies say that any time you’re attracted to someone outside of your marriage that makes you consider exploring that attraction further that (a) you’re just still alive, and noticing other people, or that (b) there’s an issue in the marriage that needs to be addressed before a divorce or affair is probable?

    • I think it can be very easy to get caught up in a crush and the butterflies and warm feelings that go along with flirting and feeling desired even if there are no issues in your marriage, but the strong marriage can help you with impulse control and thinking clearly through the possible outcomes of pursuing the path of an affair. If there are issues in your marriage, it’s harder to control your impulses.

      I have been in this situation twice. The first time, the powerful and longtime (2 years) crush/infatuation I was experiencing, and my unwillingness to break ties with the crush, finally made me realize that my partner at the time was not the right person for me. I did not pursue or end up with the crush (who I’m pretty sure was interested, but who had a wife & kids), but I did leave my fiance.

      The second time, I felt infatuated and really enjoyed spending time with and talking to my (new) crush, but my current partner is the one for me and I was not willing to risk my marriage even a little bit. I stopped speaking to the crush-object and stopped putting myself in situations where I would spend time with that person. It was like breaking an addiction or going on a diet, and nothing even had happened between us other than some long, totally innocent phone conversations (except that there was no reason to be talking to each other that much). It was hard to control myself because I was really enjoying the attention and the feelings I was having, but the long-term success of my marriage was and is more important to me. Thankfully my marriage is currently healthy and I was able to think clearly about it all. I have a friend whose marriage is not healthy who has gone through similar crush lifecycles as I have, but has acted on them and cheated on her partner. It does not seem to help make her happier or help her marriage at all (I’ve heard that sometimes cheating can spice up your marriage, but I haven’t seen it happen).

      • …to summarize my gigantic post, I think crushes are normal and just mean you’re alive & warm-blooded. The way you would prefer to deal with the crush signals whether there is an issue in your marriage or not.

    • Anonymous :

      that makes you consider exploring that attraction further

      Thats the HUGE red flag. Ive thought people were cute and enjoyed attention, but you are firmly in red flag zone.

      • Yeah, I agree with this. Idle fantasies are fine. Taking affirmative steps towards further interaction, that’s the danger zone.

  18. I realize it may be too late for this today, and I’ll try tomorrow if so. Will someone please post a link to the cranberry pie everyone on here is always raving about? I’d like to try it for thanksgiving this year. Thanks!

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