Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Teri Jon V-Neck Brooch GownSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah, ladies! Stay tuned for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals; otherwise we’ll be taking it slow until Tuesday. (If the open thread gets out of control I’ll open another one.) As for the gorgeous dress at left: if anyone still buys (rather than rents) dresses for major galas and events, this black Teri Jon one looks amazing for a professional event: it’s flattering and feminine, yet you can wear a normal bra and don’t have to feel like too much is exposed. It isn’t too blingy, and with a basic color like black you can have fun with accessories like wraps, jewelry, shoes, and more. The dress was $710, then marked to $495, but with the sale it comes down to $297. Teri Jon V-Neck Brooch Gown, Black

(L-3)

Comments

  1. Anon for This :

    I hate my job, but for personal & financial reasons I’m stuck here until the summer. BUT, a dream job opening came up in another city, so I’m flinging caution to the wind and applying.

    Here’s the dilemma: The hiring company wants me to provide a list of references. Do I need to include my current boss? I’d rather he didn’t know I was applying for this job, but I don’t want the employer to think I think he’d say bad things about me. Also, this is my first job since passing the bar. So I feel like I need someone who can evaluate my work as a lawyer, not a clerk or a student or what-have-you.

    Thoughts? How bad is it to leave off your current employer as a reference?

    • Anon, I would leave the guy off as a reference, and if they ask, just tell them that he was a jerk. It would NOT be the first time peeople switched job’s b/c their boss was a jerk. God know’s I have had plenty of jerk’s as my boss, not knoweing anything, or wanting to sleep with me. FOOEY on them. Good luck with your job search! YAY!!!!

    • I’ve often seen (on here) or heard that the best way to deal with this is to request that your current employer not be contacted until after you receive a job offer. That way, you’re not suggesting that your current job would give you an unfavorable review, but you’re also protecting your current job if the new company doesn’t end up offering you anything.

      • +1. Most people who are hiring will be sensitive to the fact that you don’t want your current boss notified.

        Also, if you haven’t already, check out ask a manager; she gives great advice on interviews, references, and the “dream job.”

    • Do you have a trusted co-worker that can serve as a reference? I think most companies understand the request not to contact your current employer. I wouldn’t necessarily make that request in my cover letter or online submission. If you are fairly junior, it seems reasonable that you’d have to get references from people you worked with in school.

  2. Yay! This is an Open Thread Wednesday! I love Open thread’s!

    I love this dress, Cat, but need a guy to take me out to the type of places where I could wear this. Most guys just want to go to basketball games, or worse yet, back to my place and they do NOT focus on clotheing at all. FOOEY on them!

    I just got home and am boileing my YAM’s for tomorrow. I was NOT sure if I had to peel the YAM’s first or wait until they are Boiled, and mom is out somewhere not pickeing up on her Cell phone. I could NOT wait and ask the hive so I am just goieng forward and Boileing the Yam’s first. They were dirty any way, so I figure I will boil away all the dirt. FOOEY on Dirt. They should realy clean them before selling them in Fairway’s. Doubel Fooey!

    Myrna called to say that Vikram told his freind that he REALY liked me. I think he is OK, but he already has me pregneant with many of his kid’s and I onley went out on ONE date with him. We will have to see. I also wondered why he was doing so much sniffeing around me. He said he was testing to determine PHEREMONE compatebility (which he said the answer was “YES”, but I think that mabye he had a cold or worse yet, has some sort of probelem with snorting bad stuff, b/c they do alot of that in his industry for fun. FOOEY on that. That is a definite deal breaker. Drinkeing is bad enough, but NO WAY HOZE am I goieng to marry a drug addiect. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    Roberta STILL want’s me to swing by her place to meet her son, but it can’t be Tomorrow b/c I am NOT goieng to be at Grandma Leyeh’s. But she said her son will be there all weekend, so I told her I would call her after I got back to the CITY on Friday. Myrna said she probabley will NOT want to drive on Thank’sgiving after eateing alot of turkey because of TRIPTOPANE. I have learned SO much from Myrna. I hope that I can teach her thing’s from time to time. YAY!

    Dad said that mabye he would come back in the car with Myrna and me and we could walk in the City. He has to meet a guy on Friday about some project he is workeing on and that guy is goeing to be on the WEST SIDE somewhere. I told him I realy do NOT know much about the west side other then you have to take a bus to get there and the peeople are usueally very freindly over there. I went to Zebar’s once, and the guy in the coffee department wanted to date me just b/c I drink Colomian Coffee. Anyway, HAPPY TURKEY DAY TO THE HIVE. YAY!!!!

    • Can anyone answer WHY is there an Ellen here? Why does the person or people who do this bother? Why is there an Ellenwatch? Why are people entertained by this? Honestly, I don’t understand it.

      • Pest, Ellen represents a little bit of the non-conformist, high energy professional in all of us that we can smile at and appreciate. She’s young, vivacious and outspoken. Moreover, she can be really funny at times, because she is serious about each of the subject matters she addresses in her own attempt to help others in the hive. Ellen, in her own mind, knows everything, and in her microcosmic life, Ellen has truly been able to flourish. The managing partner loves her (i.e., she is a billing black belt), the judge loves her (possibly as an unrequited sex toy), and her clients love her (Roberta, Jim and a few others who accept her billings willingly). She struggles with her weight, and her father pushes her hard to look good so she can get married and off his hands. There is always a good story about a guy who tries to get the best of her sexually, but inevitably they’ve nearly all wound up empty-handed holding their own while Ellen casually moves on to the next guy who will not likely be worthy in the mind of her all consuming dad and her long-suffering mom. I think that if you read Ellen religiously, not only will you learn to appreciate what she has to say, but you will also look forward to her posts. I think this is why Ellenwatch has come on the scene and become a valuable place to find her posts, so if you don’t catch her posts here, Ellenwatch will be there to collect her posts for all of us, and add her own magical interpretations, most of which are on point! Yay, Ellenwatch! In this connection, I think Ellen has given us more than a few sayings we’ve incorporated into our own vernacular, such as JSFAMO, No way, Hoze! FOOEY! and a few other sayings that do not immediately come to mind.

        So sit back, relax and enjoy Ellen while we have her, because once she finds a real “Boyfreind”, I am sure he will keep her busy enough so that she will not have the same time and energy to post on her daily life as she’s done here for the past year or so.

      • I’m with Pest. I must not have the right sense of humor to find Ellen worth reading.

      • Im with Marina. Ellen is like unconventional sex. Before you’ve done it, you can’t fathom the concept. But once you do it, you can’t wait to do it again (and again)! LOL

  3. DC Legal Recruiter? :

    Reposting my late post from this morning’s thread, and also editing for subject-verb agreement (my vacation has already started in more ways than one, apparently):

    I know we’ve discussed about it before, but I can’t seem to find the exact thread when I search for it. Do any attorney hive-members in DC/NoVa have a recommendation for a recruiter? Specifically one who calls/writes you back, even if you didn’t go to one of five schools? I’m looking to move from in-house to a law firm, if it matters.

    • I was a recruiter in DC for a while. Depending on where you went to school, using a recruiter might not be the best option for you. Law firms only want to see the absolute best candidates from recruiters because of the fees they pay. And to a large law firm, that means top, top schools. Law firms also do not want to pay for candidates who are changing practice groups or who they need to train. Most small firms don’t use recruiters. It’s not common for mid-sized firms to use recruiters either IME.

      It will be challenging I think for you to move from in-house to a law firm but not impossible. I am not sure you are going to find many recruiters interested in helping you unfortunately.

      • DC Legal Recruiter? :

        Thanks for this – truly. The voices in the back of my mind have been telling me this for a while – I don’t pay for recruiters for my staff that I need to train, why would it be different for someone else? I’ve been talking to a couple recruiters who have said that they could help because of my experience and responsibilities, which made me optimistic. But then, nothing. Networking is exhausting after being emotionally exhausted from work, and I haven’t really come up with decent relationships, much less leads. It’s frustrating to feel like something else that could work is slipping away, but it seems like it is what it is. Le sigh…

        • Wildkitten :

          Email me at Wildcatrette if you want to network in dc – like women’s bar assoc. I need to network more.

        • I am not super active in the DC lawyer scene, but can reach out to a friend who is a recruiter at a large law firm to see what her advice would be about breaking in to the law firm in your situation.

          • DC Legal Recruiter? :

            Wildkitten – Absolutely! Networking buddies would definitely help! I’ll send you an email.

            CountC – That would be really super – Thank you! You can email me at lulukittycat26 at gmail dot com.

  4. Divorcing anon :

    To the lawyers: Can I just say thank you? You are amazing. I’m so appreciative that you are so smart that you can (in a short consultation) answer a blizzard of questions with authority, tell me what I need to do, and lay out a path for me to get through this. Thank you for showing me its not up to my soon to be ex what I will walk away with. Thank you for telling me how to protect the only thing I have left – my future!
    As an “overachieving chick” but not a lawyer, I thought I knew alot about your working life until today. You lawyers are life savers. The lawyer I spoke with today told me she loved her job because in family law, everything in negotiable and she was good at negotiating : )
    Thank you also to the many kind people in helped me last week with divorce attorney and life advice. I re-read that thread often. I am thankful for you – have a wonderful holiday! xoxo

    • Anonymous :

      This really brought a tear to my eye! Hope you find comfort in the fact that so many people (even internet strangers) want to help protect you, guide you, assist you and want what’s best for you. Here is to a brand new, exciting chapter in your life to come!

    • Glad to hear you found a good attorney! Divorce is a long and tedious process and I wish you the best.

    • SoCalAtty :

      It is SO nice to hear that you found an attorney that loves her job and is doing a great job for the client. Makes me have a little more faith in the profession!

    • Domestic Relations :

      What a great message. I am a divorce attorney and it’s often a really tough process. I recently had a client who I had to convince to give up custody of his kids because his ex would win in court and it wasn’t worth the money to fight. (And he was a great dad, just missing one important factor courts in my state find extremely persuasive.) It can be a very rough job.

      Messages like yours keep me going. :)

      I try to keep my eye on the goal – that helping people through a personal crisis is really important work. But sometimes it’s tough.

  5. My boss scheduled a meeting for our team next week, calling it a “team huddle” to remind us we’re all on the same team and have the same goals, even though it doesn’t always seem that way. She’s implying there’s been some drama on the team, and it’s possible I’m just so removed from the drama I don’t know what’s going on (we don’t all work in the same office), but I’m also worried I’ve done something wrong and people have been complaining about me. Is there a way I can ask a co-worker if I’m the problem without sounding paranoid or self-centered?

  6. Please help! I need ideas for a graduation gift. She’s early twenties, getting ready to move out on her own (well with bf) for the first time and starting on her BA at a large university in FL.

  7. How much do you budget per month (or annually) for clothing? Now that I’m out of law school and my DH and I are establishing a detailed budget, I’m not sure how much I should be spending on clothing. I am an attorney, but we have student loans to pay off and are in savings mode — setting up our emergency fund and trying to hit other savings goals. For now, all clothing purchases are on an as-needed basis until we get our emergency savings set up, so I don’t have any kind of monthly budget for clothes. But I hope to soon. Would love to get some input on how you approach this line item in your budget. Thanks!

    • I remember similar threads with wildly different numbers. It depends on your means and your needs. I am not comfortable spending more than $200 per month (or $2500 per year); and I don’t see how an attorney could spend much less than that. I assume you want to include shoes in your totals, but maybe not handbags. And don’t forget the cost of dry cleaning. Washable items, or darker suits made of a good material that can be brushed off, will cost you less over time.

      • Thanks. Happy to read older threads on this if someone passes them along. But fresh input also welcome!

      • I spend way less than that, probably <$1000 a year including shoes & handbags. But I never need to wear a suit & have pretty cheap tastes (Old Navy, Target and The Limited are my staples). I spent more than that when I was building a professional wardrobe but now that I have one I only buy new items occasionally, usually if something wears out or if there's a new trendy item I want. I used to splurge on handbags (for me, $200+ is a splurge) but now I have a nice collection and I feel like I'd rather put that money in the bank/towards a vacation. I feel like my interest in shopping ebbs and flows though – I was way more interested in buying clothes when I was younger and had more time (albeit less money). I feel like now I'm so busy shopping for clothes is just another item on my "to-do" list that I don't really enjoy doing. I can see myself getting more interested in it again if I had more time.

    • One point of reference :

      Context: Not having to be fashionable, only presentable (and working in a very casual office) I usually go shopping once a year (sometimes 1 1/2 year if the sales aren’t compatible with my schedule).
      Not counting shoes or accessories, I probably spend less than 100$ a month or about 1000$ a year. Last ime I went shopping I spent 1300$ on clothes. But the time before was more than 20 months earlier.
      And my after tax income is about 70.000$

    • Wildkitten :

      I invested a lot (like $2k) when I got my first post-law-school job so I would look like a professional adult. I’ve been holding off since then and making purchases as needed.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I’m also in save mode. So I budget $125/mo., and look for deals.

  8. Ladies, please can we talk about depression and anti-depressants? Some of you might remember me as “Sad Anon” from about 18 months ago, dealing with depression after a fairly abusive (emotionally/psychologically) 4 year relationship and horrendous break-up. Well, I’m still depressed, and now I’ve come to the realization that what I thought was some progress over the last year was only chemical and due to the antidepressants.

    Long story short, I had to come off the one kind of antidepressants I had been on, due to side effects. I knew this type of a-d can have a difficult withdrawal (and I tapered very slowly for this reason, on my doctor’s orders), but boy I did not expect how sick I would get. I had about 6 weeks of nausea, extreme dizziness, “brain zaps” (very scary) and fatigue. All I was able to do was to drag myself to work and home every day, and curl up on the floor and cry as soon as I stepped through my front door.

    The withdrawal symptoms are getting more under control, but I am still feeling so soul-crushingly depressed. I’m trying a different kind of antidepressant and it doesn’t seem to do much. I feel so extremely lonely and scared in this process, and I don’t really have family I can talk to. I don’t want to talk to my friends either – it just doesn’t help me at all to do so. I’ve been going to therapy for a year and still continue to do so.

    I’m falling behind at my demanding job, I’ve isolated myself from my friends, I no longer do stuff I used to enjoy doing.

    What do you do when nothing seems to be working? I am at my wits’ end – just don’t know what more I can do.

    • Wellbutrin was my saving grace – it’s very low on the side-effects (no weight gain, still had a libido), and I found tapering off to be very easy (starting them gave me terrible insomnia, but that wore off after 3 weeks or so). It took about 6 weeks to feel better on Wellbutrin, so if you just started them, give it time.

      Until you feel better, be gentle with yourself, I would always spiral down and feel bad about feeling bad and I had a lot of negative thoughts in my head, and it just made it worse and worse.

      Practice good self-care, sleeping, eating well (lots of good fats, omega 3s have been shown to help, as has Vitamin D), restful activites like baths, gentle exercise like walking and yoga, and positive self-talk. I’m not on a-ds anymore, and I still rely heavily on the self-care and positive self-talk, I frequently tell myself “it’s okay, you can do it”, out loud in the morning facing the mirror. It’s stupid, I know, but it helps.

      All the little blocks will fit together to help you feel better, sometimes it just takes a little while. Until then, your only job is doing the bare minimum needed to keep your life from falling apart, and if that means only going to work and crying, well, then that’s what you do.

      • Thank you. Wellbutrin (generic) is the one I’m trying now. Been on it about 5 weeks but can’t see any effects (or side effects) yet, but who knows how bad I would be I weren’t on it.

        • I felt nothing on Wellbutrin until I woke up one morning and I didn’t feel numb and sad anymore. It was really just a matter of it kicking in, and it’s cliched, but, the cloud lifted and I could get out of bed again and not spend my showers crying, and smell flowers and smile.

          I did two rounds with it, the first time for 2 years, a 9 month break, then back on for 3 years, and it was the exact same both times. My doctor told me it could take longer, but it was 6 weeks for me. The self-care really helps in the interim and maintenance after coming off.

    • Please don’t give up on looking for an antidepressant that works for you. Some people do need to take antidepressants for their whole lives, just like some people need to wear glasses in order to see properly. I don’t know what meds you’re on, but you should talk to your medical doctor/psych or find another one who is willing to try other alternatives. Continuing therapy is good, but don’t feel that “progress” doesn’t count if it’s due to medication.

      • Silvercurls :

        + a gazillion:
        “Some people do need to take antidepressants for their whole lives, just like some people need to wear glasses in order to see properly.”

    • So sorry you are going through this and good on you for continuing to problem-solve after all you’ve been through. Have you looked into acupuncture and herbal medicine? I found it really helpful without any of the downsides that come with antidepressants.

      While you are working this out, please consider that your friends are probably still there for you and love you even if you feel isolated and don’t want to talk. If I were your friend, I would want to know how I could be there for you, even if that means giving you space right now.

      Some great advice I heard for combatting depression is to volunteer for people or a cause you care about, though it is hard to work up the energy to do things.

    • I feel your pain! I tried and tried to get off Paxil by doing it the right way and the side effects were so bad that I eventually stopped trying. It works really well for me, but the side effects of being on it suck (i.e. weight gain, loss of libido, etc.). I tried switching to Wellbutrin, but had a bad reaction.

      For me, I have to force myself to not isolate. Otherwise, I would just get more depressed. Sometimes, it’s really uncomfortable to do it, but it’s necessary. Maybe try a support group? Personally (for other issues), I’m in a 12-step group and it has saved my life, because I found people that really understood me that I could be honest with (and not feel like I had to put on a happy face). I have to say my life is great now (not perfect by any means, but getting through the day is no longer a struggle). A few years ago, I never thought that would be the case. I still wish I could get off Paxil, but hopefully some day….

      • Same experience with Paxil – awful withdrawal. But wellbutrin has been amazing for me, although I had to increase the dosage to higher than the “equivalent” of what worked for me in Paxil.

    • Christmas Help :

      It can take a long time to find an AD that works. Turns out regular ol’ prozac works for me, but after a year it was working less and less. I doubled the dose and now it’s back to being good, but don’t forget that your body’s needs can change. Sometimes you need to take a couple different meds at the same time. Just part of dealing with depression, so don’t feel bad about it!

    • Hi! I remember.

      You are already doing so much, despite the depression; well done.
      +1 million to what Tesyaa said further upstream.
      Don’t discount improvements while on medications. You don’t have to be able to do it without, just like no one would expect you to recover from a physical illness without medication.
      I recommend keeping in close touch with your attending psychiatrist. Is that possible? Worrying is just so much worse when you are depressed. Perhaps you could hand over the worries regarding choosing medication to her (or him) and just keep her well informed of how well or poorly you are feeling and he side effects.
      I’ve been through something similar and second the recs for taking one day at a time and doing your best to look after yourself and actively scheduling exercise, yoga, little outings etc.
      It all feels so mechanical and useless at the time but then it starts to improve and it will for you too. Truly it will.
      Would engaging in something that is deeply meaningful to you; helping at a shelter, prayer, spending more time with family, or similar help? Or is that asking too much right now?
      Depression is nasty. But THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
      We’re all here for you!

    • Former Sad Anon :

      Oh lady, I’m sorry. Keep at it!! You mentioned it’s getting worse; have you noticed it getting worse as it gets colder/darker? You might be also dealing with seasonal depression too. You can do something non-pharma that can help – vitamin d (though check with your pharmacist/doctor) and a lightbox. I use a verilox light box 30-45 minutes a day in the morning and I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I also recently splurged on a light up alarm clock and that was life changing.

      In the mean time, ditto to everything everyone else said. Also, don’t get sucked into the TV hole. There is something about numbing your mind even further that can make everything seem worse). Make sure you automate everything you can and when you’re having an especially crappy moment, say to yourself out loud “this is just a crappy moment. It will pass” maybe close your door if you’re at work :)

      I’ve struggled my whole life with some form of depression (physical self-harm, punishing myself mentally, isolation, you name it). If I can make it through it, you definitely can too.

    • Joanna Toews :

      I’m on both Cipralex and Wellbutrin at the moment, and have tried different dosages in the past. Weaning off SUCKS. Sucks, sucks, sucks. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

      Nothing wrong with doing accupuncture in addition to therapy and anti-depressants. Throw the lightbox in too (as recommended by Former Sad Anon) and exercize (if you can). Every little bit helps, especially when you’re waiting for the Wellbutrin to kick in.

    • I know exactly what you are talking about with those “brain zaps” – they are terrifying and sooo the last thing you need while battling depression. Also, I too didn’t want to see friends because I felt like I’d just be a burden to them, but something my therapist used to tell me was, if you had a friend going through a tough time, wouldn’t you want to be there for them and do whatever you could (even if it was just sitting there in silence)?

      My advice is no different than what others have posted, but what helps me the most is taking everything day-by-day (or sometimes minute-by-minute). I often will say things to myself like “deep breaths,” “the sooner I get out of bed, the sooner I can get back in,” “one/two/etc. days down, four/three/etc. to go until the weekend” at the end of the day, etc. I realize these statements are kind of bleak, but it is the best I can do sometimes. I am also extremely diligent about my own health and self-care and “spoiling” myself. I have identified the things I feel even the slightest joy from, and make sure to do them as often as possible – a satisfying & sweaty run after work, a hot shower, getting really into a tv show, or reading a trashy magazine all work for me. Also, I don’t know if this is a problem for you, but I am a big ruminator, and will go over scenes/conversations/events again and again in my head, making myself crazy (and often very sleep deprived!). Writing things down really helps me a lot with this. I like to tell myself that one day I will use it all to publish a book that will hopefully help those who are struggling as well :) Thinking of you! xo

  9. Thankfulness Thread! :

    I’m hoping to spend the weekend focusing on the good things happening rather than stressing. What are you ladies feeling great about/thankful for? For me: home reno, finishing a professional certification May, things going better than ever w partner, managing family stress better than last year, intl travel plans this summer.

    • great idea. I’m most thankful for my family, husband, health, home, and recent job development. things are stressful sometimes but my worst problems are jokes compared to 99% of the world’s population. so i’m trying to remember that. Happy thanksgiving to you!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Though we don’t have Thanksgiving here, I’ve been having a crazy time at work and it’s no bad thing to think positive so, for me, it’s got to be my family and friends, getting a good review today, generally enjoying my job (hours aside), my lovely new-ish flat, wine and the fact that Hart of Dixie is on TV.

    • Maybe hokey, but I’ll be spending the weekend (tonight, Friday, and probably Saturday depending on how much I get my rear in gear the other times) working on my super-deserving pro bono client’s submission. So I’m thankful that (a) I’m not in his shoes, (b) I have the ability and know-how to help him, and (c) that I have the inclination to do so because I get a lot out of it. I’m also thankful for my boyfriend, who has listened to countless hours of my complaining and theorizing about my day job.

    • Lady Tetra :

      I have so much to be thankful for this year! New job, new cat, everyone in my family in good health and good spirits… Happy thanksgiving!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am thankful because I had an unexpectedly terrific Thanksgiving! I had been dreading it because I am used to hosting a crowd in my lovely home, but since I am mid-divorce I am exiled from said lovely home and have no crowd with which to celebrate. But I had a nice day anyway — got up early and went to a sweaty class at the gym, then went to my parents’ house and thence out to a lovely dinner at a nice restaurant. Then while we were sitting around their house watching football, my Marine son called with the news that he will be coming home from Japan a month earlier than we had expected, so we will be seeing him in less than three months!!

      In other news, I am feeling optimistic that the actual divorce will be resolved on acceptable terms in the first half of next year, which will be great.

      And I have an, uh, date with a guy from the gym for Happy Hour this evening. Huh.

      Thankfulness all around!! :)

  10. Nancy Blackett :

    Dress help! I have this beautiful wine-coloured ruched long-sleeved jersey dress that I am looking to wear to a work holiday party this weekend. The only problem with it is that no matter what I do, you can clearly see the outline of my bra at the back. I’m planning on wearing my hair down which should help cover it. I have tried putting on a camisole underneath, it just then shows the outline of the camisole and a fainter bra outline. Is this an absolute no to wear? Any suggestions? I really love this dress!

    • I’ve given up on this fight personally. I wear undergarments, I can’t always hide that fact. You may be able to find those vanishing edge bras and camisoles if it really bothers you.

      • ExcelNinja :

        +1, sorry, I wear undergarments and others can deal. If you’re very self-conscious about it, what about a beautiful shawl?

      • Do you judge other women when you can see the outline of their undergarments? If not, then extend the same courtesy to yourself. If I think about it, I see outlines of bras all the time – even on television where they have professional dressers.

        Actually, it’s not just women’s underthings that show through clothes. I notice when a man is wearing an undershirt when he takes off his jacket. I assume that since the shirt is sheer enough to show the outline of the undershirt, he probably made a solid choice to put something underneath.

        Wear the dress, put your hair up if you want, and remind yourself that you look fabulous!

    • A span-xy type slip would probably solve that problem. They have some that are just like longer camisoles. I love mine for wearing under jersey dresses. I got mine at nordys which as a good selection in person.

    • Hold. the. phone. Is this Nancy Blackett, the “ruthless” pirate from Swallows and Amazons? Well done!

      I agree with the spanx slip idea. But that is not nearly as important as your handle :)

  11. A follow-up to Anon who wrote about budgeting for clothes above: does anyone just NOT shop? Like, you have a timeless closet that meets all of your needs? I keep telling myself that once my wardrobe is complete I will stop shopping, but I don’t know… some items draw me in every season. I’m trying to be more intentional about it but my willpower varies from month to month.

    • define NOT shop? i know women (my sister, notably) who never shop unless they absolutely have to … e.g. an upcoming wedding for which nothing is appropriate; replacing an item which is lost or irreparably damaged/stained/unwearable; or say, going on a beach trip but can’t find the old swimsuit. FWIW the sister is utterly uninterested in fashion, works in an extremely casual office, and would wear the exact same thing every day (a la Steve Jobs) if she could pull it off.

      If you care in the least bit about fashion, are sensitive to sartorial details, tend to gain/lose weight, switch jobs, or ever experience changes in lifestyle – moving, motherhood, new hobbies, etc – it’s hard to just stop shopping altogether. I think the best you can do is stitch together a core collection of high-quality basics (including shoes) take take you from day/office to night/social activity plus weekend, gym, and formal events. Your shopping is then limited to maintaining the core collection, replacing worn/old/unwearable items, and maybe adding an accessory here and there for fun. This is very hard to do, in my opinion – it takes a lot of planning and the willingness to really shell out $$ for the one right piece when you see it. For a lot of people it’s just easier to buy as you go … which of course often leads to overstuffed closets and a bunch of stuff you never wear.

      There are professional closet organizers who can help you with this kind of planned clothing strategy if you’re interested. I think a number of people on this thread have used them.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I find that I very rarely shop, but then I’ll spend a lot in one fell swoop. I’ll go for months without buying work or casual clothes. I find that I can always spend money on workout clothes (because it’s a reward for working out!), so I really have to exercise discipline there.

    • Honestly, not sure if it’s good to stop shopping altogether because it’s too easy to start looking like a museum piece. Every now and then I’ll see a women wearing something very out of fashion, say a puffy-sleeved dress from the mid-1980s (to chose a recent example). The owner probably dresses up infrequently and I’m sure the dress is in great condition. Unfortunately, it created the initial impression that she wasn’t engaged in the modern world.

    • Need to rant :

      I stopped shopping for 4 years while paying off law school loans and pregnant (ok, I spent $200 on a second-hand pregnancy wardrobe that I resold for what I paid). Now I shop about once a year and spend about $500. We are saving for a house in an area where $1mm homes are at the low end of the market so I need to limit my spending. I started with a good wardrobe of classic pieces (wool pencil skirts, sheath dresses, etc.) which made not shopping easier. I dont necessarily agree that not shopping will make you look dated–people often tell me I am the best dressed woman in my office.

    • I am pretty close to that mythic wardrobe of everything required for life, along with an excellent tailor who can be relied on to refresh and replace many core items, and as a result do in fact shop far less than I used to, and buy even less.

      But I do still enjoy the business of occasionally rifling through racks and heading to a dressing room, and have gravitated to vintage/ consignment/ secondhand shops for this. The limited odds on finding a terrific design, in good condition, in good fabric, and fits well, imposes a lot of discipline on any actual buying, and it’s been quite an education to handle some of the older couture styles. Also, a lot of my favourite shops tend to be in gentrifying/ transitional neighbourhoods, so it’s an excuse to go explore.

    • Anonymous :

      This reminds me of my father… He was a lawyer, always wore brooks brothers suits that were fairly timeless. For leisure he wore khakis and solid color tee shirts. If an item wore out he went an found an exact replacement e.g. if a navy wool sweater got a hole he went and found the closest possible thing to that navy wool sweater.

      I think it is much harder for ladies because fashions really do change a lot more. I could never do this!

      • Wannabe Runner :

        Exactly – fashion is always changing. It’s more important for me to be at least somewhat up-to-date than to give up shopping.

    • I’m trying not to shop now. I’m a newlywed working full time while my husband is in grad school. We are living in an expensive city and have basically no spending money in our budget, yet our family is expecting us to fly home for weddings and trips over the holidays, so our budget is strained to the max. It’s sad, especially because I work in a fashion forward office and am constantly tempted by things I see online. So I am not shopping because I have the perfect wardrobe, but out of necessity, which is probably a more common situation for people to be in.

  12. Flying Squirrel - Pottery Barn TJ :

    Kind of random TJ re: Pottery Barn:

    Anyone have PB furniture that is in the Espresso and Mahogany colors? We have a couple years old coffee table in espresso, and end/side tables that look like they would go with it are on sale right now. It’s a different collection, though, and the color is mahogany. How similar are these colors? It’s hard to tell from the website, the Espresso finish looks almost black…even though I know it’s now.

    • I have a piece in espresso. It’s a very dark brown — like a blackened brown. I don’t know about the mahogany, though.

    • I have PB mahogany coffee tables, TV stand and a glass-front cabinet. The stain is dark but definitely has a reddish/warm ness to it that the espresso stain does not.

    • I have both, a PB coffee table in espresso and some stools in mahogany (I use the stools in lieu of traditional side tables, they make a great resting spot for my handbag – or, during winter months, somewhere to set down my gloves/scarf/etc between trips out of the house). It’s an informal room and I actually prefer that the furniture doesn’t all match. I use an old, refinished buffet as an alternative to an entertainment center and that’s a third different wood finish in the room. I think that if your design style is more casual, it will look great! But if you have 10 piece of furniture in the mahogany finish, and one which happens to be espresso – it will definitely be noticeable.

  13. Christmas Help :

    My sister is 35 and goes to a lot of work semi-professional cocktail parties. She loves to wear sleeveless dresses and I was thinking of getting her a nice armlet for Christmas. Does that sound like something good, or are they tacky? My taste can skew that way sometimes :)

    • Equity's Darling :

      That sounds like something my sister would get me and I would never ever wear. Well, I’d consider wearing one that wraps around my forearm (though I think that’s more a longish bracelet than an armlet?) but I would not wear an upper arm one.

    • Anonymous :

      I think if she skews a bit adventurous this could be a great gift that she wouldn’t have gotten for herself! I’d just make sure it’s tasteful, quality and will go with lots of different things–I’m thinking just metallic and/or crystals. Cool idea!

    • Unless she: (a) works in a gallery or similar artsy/quirky field, AND (b) you have seen her wear one before, I vote no. I’ve only seen them at desi weddings.

  14. Since law school, I’ve been excited to take a job, and then 1-3 years later, I become really unhappy with some aspect about it (people, type of work, lack of upward mobility) and I have moved on to a new job. After going through this experience about 4 times, I’m wondering if I should just settle for a job that’s not perfect but okay? My current job has co-workers who are nice but keep to themselves, a nice environment, and a great commute, but my pay could be better and I’m not sure where I stand with my partners or if/when I will ever be up for partner and I’m feeling antsy about finding something “better.” Has anyone else experienced this? Did you eventually find a place of peace?

    • Have you taken any steps to get to your ‘better’ in the current environment? Maybe you could arrange an outside of work party w your colleagues, have them over to your home, work toward a raise, bbe clear about being interested in how other people got to partner, etc. I don’t tink any job is perfect but ‘fine’ isnt awful if you have room to tweak.

    • ExcelNinja :

      I get bored every 2 to 3-ish years. I find it takes me about a year to feel like I’m really good at my job, and about another year or two to feel bored by solving the same problems year after year. I think it’s fine to move on to find something better/more challenging. I would be really unhappy if I wasn’t challenged every day at work. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your group or company – I’ve been at the same company for over 8 years and they’ve always been happy to help me find a new challenge within their walls!

      In short, I really think what you go through is totally OK! Why do you think you need to be OK with a job for longer than 4 years?

    • I feel the same way and I’m in the first couple months of my 3rd year at my first job. Don’t know where I stand w partners, like my coworkers, like the work, none of the crazy hours, but most of the biglaw pay; but wondering if this is it, or if I need to move my butt to something else…

    • Coach Laura :

      Hollis, instead of switching every 3-4 years (not bad by it self but perhaps upsetting if you *have* to switch) or “settling” why not do some exploration and find out why. Do you need more of a challenge after that time period? Do you get bored with the work, the people or the setting? Is it the area of law, or the type of practice or the lack of variety? Do you get bored with your house/apartment, neighborhood, friends/SO, family – in other words are you someone who needs constant change? Does a lofty goal motivate you or demoralize you?

      There’s a saying “Anywhere you go, there you are.” I’m not saying you’re the problem but if you just accept the status quo, you may never find out what truly makes you happy. And it’s hard not to be bored if you’re not happy.

      If it’s more stimulation you need, what about doing things outside of work that draw on your skills -perhaps pro bono work? An engrossing charity/BOD that you can throw yourself into? Or perhaps taking classes toward an LLM or MBA or CPA designation would invigorate you? What about training for a 5K, marathon or taking up a new sport or engrossing hobby like skydiving, mountain climbing or skiing?

      You could take steps to switch to a different area of law, become a self-employed mediator, consultant or professor. The book/blog Life After Law lizbrownjd [dot] com has some things to think about, even if you don’t actually plan to leave law.

      You may be able to make some tweaks and end up with a career/job that is perfect for you. I’m the same in that I need to have a new challenge every 2-3 years or I get bored, so I take that into account when I’m in a job and start planning for new work challenges or personal challenges after two years.

  15. saving and spending :

    How do you fight lifestyle inflation? I find that the more I make, the more I spend, even when I try not to. I always bump my 401(k) up a few percentage points when I get a raise, and I live below my means, but it always feels like I could be saving more.

    On a related note, what percentage of your take-home do you save, including 401(k), Roth, and liquid savings? I aim for 25%, but it’s hard.

    • I live in a HCOL area. 43% goes to rent. 10% to 401k which gets a full match, 10% to liquid savings. Also aiming for more but finding it really hard, basically unmanageable.

    • How old are you ? For pretty much everyone I know, the hardest times for saving are the first few years out of school, and then the child-raising years. With any luck, your earning capacity climbs steadily through the first 20 years or so of your working life, while your spending needs are likely to plateau in between school/ kids and after kids, and this is the time when your nest egg can grow rapidly without your feeling too deprived day-to-day.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      I’m aiming for a 50% savings rate (would love for it to be 65% after looking at Mr Money Mustache’s retirement calculations). High COL area; very expensive hobby that eats up whatever doesn’t go to rent/groceries/gas/utilities.

      • saving and spending :

        Whoa! That’s really impressive. How do you do it?

        • Mary Ann Singleton :

          Hmm, let’s see. 8% goes directly into my 401(k) so I never see that. My rent is 22% of my take-home (minus the 410(k) deduction). I think bare bones living necessities (including rent) take up 40% of my take-home. In living necessities I count groceries; internet; gas; utilities (super cheap here as I never have the heating on); insurance.

          With fancier foods (organic, wine, etc.), some very limited eating out, clothing, and my moneypit of a horse (SoCalAtty knows what I mean), it all comes to around or just over 50% of my take home. Some months are much worse when there’s an unforeseen cost – car repair, vet bills, equipment for the horse, etc.., so some months I don’t save much at all. And vacation would eat into my savings rate too . I just try to consistently aim for 50% savings each month, but over the course of a year it probably works out to a little less.

          Good habits that help me: I have no cable, no subscriptions (gym/magazines/netflix), my cellphone is paid for by work, and I try to limit take-out food to once a month. (This is hard when you love sushi.) I take a packed lunch to work almost every day (I buy lunch perhaps 1-2 times per month). I usually make coffee at home instead of buying it (this is a habit I’ve had to change – needed to quit my daily Peets habit). I like to cook from scratch with lots of vegetables, not much meat. I’m pretty meticulous about not paying installment fees for anything when I can avoid it. I pay my insurance annually to avoid 100+ dollars just in installment fees over the year. I have everything on auto pay and pay back my credit cards in full every month so I never pay interest. I have no debt other than student loans (at a very low interest). I avoid taking cabs, and I prefer public transport when available.

          Bad habits that don’t help me: I wish I could cut some silly costs (commuting is SO expensive – my car costs and gas probably cost at least $600 per month counting everything (gas; repairs; maintenance; registration; tolls, etc.) and I currently pay quite a lot for a garage for my car (will give this up…any day now…it’s just so convenient and so nice not to have to look for parking after a long day at work.). I simple wish I could drive a lot less. And I like to have a glass of wine at home most nights (but I never finish a bottle before it goes bad so I waste a lot of wine). And some fancy cheese (I love cheese). And catch up with friends over drinks/food, although I try to suggest meeting for drinks (after dinner) rather than eating out now when I’m trying to save. I also like to cook dinners for friends and that can be pretty expensive. Oh and the horse is the worst habit of all…but it gives me so much joy that I’m willing to retire later just to have it.

          • Mary Ann Singleton :

            Oh and for clothing, I’ve had to seriously back off from my lifestyle inflation that happened the first years out of law school, when I somehow thought I “deserved” more expensive clothes. I’m back to Old Navy / Target / H&M all the way now (although it helps that I bought a few better quality basics, like suits and skirts back then), and occasionally BR when I have a voucher. It helps that I don’t have to be particularly dressed up at work (and therefore my dry cleaning bills have gone way down when I can now wear almost only machine washable stuff). I want to avoid the “golden handcuffs” of lifestyle inflation as much as ever possible.

            I also track everything on Mint. I actually enjoy doing that and seeing my savings grow (and my spending decrease each month, if all goes to plan), so I try to think of it as another hobby.

        • Mary Ann Singleton :

          Hmmm, I wrote a long response but I’m in moderation. Will try to look for any bad words in there and repost!

      • Wildkitten :

        Uh. That’s not reasonable for normal people.

        • Wildkitten :

          I don’t mean that as a negative to MAS. I do everything she does good and more and I could never get to that number. I share a studio. I walk to work. I don’t have a car. I pack my lunch, and my coffee. I rent cheap and don’t have kids. Saving 50% is not do-able for most people, so don’t feel bad. Aiming for 25% is aiming pretty high/reasonable for most folks.

          • Wildkitten :

            Does well. I’m not losing savings on grammar.

          • Mary Ann Singleton :

            Yeah I completely get that. I’m on a biglaw salary now but I know that’s not sustainable forever, so I’m likely to have a much lower salary (and much lower savings rate in the future). That realization gave me a real kick in the b*tt to not waste money on stuff I didn’t really need/want. The main thing is to resist the lifestyle inflation – I wish I had spent more time figuring that out earlier.

        • I make good but not great salary (no big law here) in a high cost-of living area, and with employee matching on my retirement contributions, I’m up to 33-40 percent savings/month. I agree that a higher savings rate is harder the less money you make. I do a lot of what MAS does, but it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice because it just fits me. I don’t have spendy habits. If it’s going to be too painful, people just won’t want to do it. Not everyone will have a very high savings rate, and it’s ok. Just do what you can.

          I do want to reiterate that the earlier you start with saving, the better. You don’t see it at first, but it really does add up. Whether its from high salary or diligent frugality or both, the effort is worth it.

      • Mary Ann Singleton :

        And one more comment (while all my previous ones are in moderation) – I haven’t been doing this for more than a year or so. I made lots of stupid decisions connected to lifestyle inflation in the first few years of my career, and it was only when I really got down to the details in Mint and asked myself where all the money was going that I started making some changes in habits.

        • It’s funny how Mint helps with that realization, isn’t it? I had exactly the same experience when I started using it a couple of years ago. I’ve improved on some things and gotten a lot stricter with myself on others, but wow, I was wasting SO much money for a while there….When I think what I could have been saving for years, and didn’t because of silly decisions, it boggles my mind.

          • ExcelNinja :

            Mint really helped us too! Though, I don’t regret my stupid early/mid 20′s decisions – I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them ;-)

    • ExcelNinja :

      HCOL area. I save 8% plus a 4% company match (so total 12%) to a 401(k) and have done so since I was 22 (I’m 29 now). I will have about 10k liquid in a savings account by February (first time in my life I’ve ever had liquid savings!). My DH is looking for work right now so we just can’t afford to save any more than what we’re doing. Once he’s working we will max out both of our 401(k)s and save a healthy cash cushion for a rainy day, but we’ll also start eating out more and going on weekend trips a lot more, I’ll be honest.

      The ways we keep costs down are (YMMV of course – we’re very lucky to live in an area where there’s lots of delivery services like Google Shopping Express and eBay Now):
      - We only need to own one car. We chose a bit of a gas guzzler, so I commute by bike and once he’s working he’ll take the train.
      - We never, ever go to stores. I know some people enjoy it but it’s so much easier to avoid temptation by just making lists of what we need and ordering online. The only store we go to is Whole Foods for groceries, and I’m super excited for the day when they start delivering perishables and we don’t even have to do that anymore.
      - We only ever buy clothes/gadgets on sale. With Apple products, which never go on sale, we sell an old gadget before buying a new one to help offset the cost. This also helps cut down on clutter.
      - I always bring my lunch to work and we eat meals at home most of the time (out to dinner probably once a week, and then mostly at cheaper options like happy hour, the local Mexican joint, or food trucks).
      - We bought an espresso machine on sale last Black Friday and now almost never buy $5 lattes, so it’s already paid for itself.
      - We try to suggest activities with friends that don’t cost a lot – ice skating or pizza & board games or wine & cheese parties or hikes or bike rides are all much cheaper than going out for dinner and drinks.
      - We don’t pay for cable and just have a Netflix and HBO subscription, plus networks like CBS and ABC offer their content for free on their sites.

      • Excel Ninja: how do you get an HBO subscription without cable? I’ve also thought about eliminating cable and just watching Netflix (probably 80-90% of my media consumption in the first place) – but I can’t bear to part with my favorite HBO shows. I would **LOVE** to find a way to pay for HBO on its own without buying all of the other channels too. If I cut back to just internet, my AT&T bill would be down by at least $75/month!!

        • ExcelNinja :

          We have Comcast, and they offer the “Internet Plus” package with internet and HBO plus HBOGO (we only ever use HBOGO) for $40 for the first 12 months (in my experience at renewal time if you just call them up and say you’re going to cancel since your price went up, they’ll give you that price again for another 12 months). Link to follow so I don’t get stuck in moderation!

        • ExcelNinja :

          http://www.comcast.com/internet-service.html

          Sorry, didn’t realize it was such a useless link – you’ll just have to put in your zip code and you can see the packages available in your area :-)

    • DC Realist :

      I “save” about 65% of my take home, but I work in big law so take that with a grain of salt. I figure I need to take advantage of this time since I make more now than I likely will at any other point in my career. When I started work, I figured out a budget that would provide a lot of the little things I missed during law school but still had limits. I also looked for ways to keep my fixed expenses low – as opposed to many co-workers who live in big new buildings, I rent in a small older building without all the amenities but my rent is also over $1,000 cheaper a month. I still keep track of my expenses and don’t let myself go crazy. For example, if I’m busy at work and end up getting take out a lot, it means I can’t do any shopping or spend in other areas that month.

      In term of advice, I have the savings deposited into a different account at a different bank than my spending money. For me, I would have a harder time saving if it meant moving from the account I use to cover living expenses. By having it directly deposited into a different account, I never think of it as money I can spend – it’s money for my future self. I use the savings account to make extra payments on my student loans, invest, and have started to save for a house down payment.

      • DC Realist :

        Also, I meant to say that when I get a raise or bonus it goes directly to the savings account. That helps to stop any lifestyle inflation, as the amount to cover my living expenses doesn’t increase. (But, I will admit that I’ve dipped into this money to cover a vacation and used last year’s bonus to buy a car.)

      • Mary Ann Singleton :

        Exactly re: your second sentence. When I started in biglaw, I was spending like I would always make this kind of money. Lately, I’ve realized that I don’t want to keep working like this and I will likely never make this kind of money again. That’s why it was time to put a screeching halt to any unnecessary spending.

    • Anonymous :

      I max out my 401k every year, save $600/month for my kid’s college and save $6k per month in our house fund, and some money gets saved in our checking account too but I’ve never done the math as to how much, I just know that a few times a year we transfer money to the house fund. We make $240k pretax in a HCOL area, are in our early 30s and have a toddler.

      • Wow! People on this blog are super wealthy. I will probably never in my life even make anywhere near that, even on two incomes. I feel like I missed the boat somewhere, even though I’ve been a smart, hardworking, high achiever my whole life.

        • Don’t feel bad. Yes, some people on this blog make a lot of money. But a lot of wealth is about saving and living below your means. You don’t need to make a six-figure salary to do that.

      • We make 215 pretax and have an infant. 29 & 30. Own a house in a HCOL Boston suburb. We save 28k (plus 4k in company match) into 401ks pretax and 10k into IRAs. We are saving $2k/ month into our “next house” fund. It would be double that if we didn’t have to pay for daycare, which is $1900/Month. We also pay $1k a month toward DH’s student loans (on track to pay off in 5 years)

        Before the baby and before DH got his MBA, we saved well over 50% of our post tax income. Once baby is out of daycare, our loans should be paid off and we’ll be able to save abut more aggressively again.

        FWIW we designed out lifestyle such that we could live off either one of our two salaries. Which came in handy when DH got laid off for six months- we didn’t touch our emergency fund but we’re not able to save as aggressively.

  16. Does anyone own a nook?

    I have an ipad, but it’s too large to bust out during my crowded train commute…I think the $39 simple touch nook (it’s on sale for Black Friday) would fit the bill…thoughts? Good/bad experiences? This is way cheaper than a kindle, and while I consider e-readers luxuries, I think I’d love it.

    Any insight appreciated! Happy Thanksgivukah!

    • Wildkitten :

      My sister loves her nook but apparently their market share is dropping quickly, so they might be out of business in a bit. If you consider e-readers luxuries you might not be in the boat to buy a new one shortly? The kindle with advertisements is just as good as the kindle without, if you ever consider those. Either way I appreciate borrowing ebooks from the library, and you should investigate that when you get your ereader.

      • No–me considering it a luxury is not a money thing…it’s an “I have a stack of books two feet high by my nightstand and probably should get to those first,” but said books are heavy and bulky, so harder to whip out on the train. When I say luxury, I guess I am saying it’s a want, not a need.

        I actually heard that nook was going to be spun out of B&N soon. I’ll def investigate re the market share. Glad your sister likes hers though. Thanks!

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I own a Nook SinpleTouch Glowlight, and adore it. It’s perfect for reading on a plane, during a commute, or on the elliptical. My library lets me check out ebooks, and that comprises most of my reading.

    • I don’t have a Nook, but I do have a mini e-reader (Kobo mini, I believe only available in Canada) and I really like it. I can read any epub or pdf books on it, not just the ones published by Kobo, the battery lasts forever, and I love the small size. It easily fits in my purse, and is great for travel. I can also download ebooks from the library to read.

      Downsides are it is not backlit, and as the earliest riser in the family, this can be a downside when we are travelling & I’m awake before everyone else and I don’t want to turn on a light. Also, the touch screen isn’t as responsive as my ipad, so I have to learn to be patient. This may not be an issue with the Nook.

      Overall I love my e-reader, and the thing I would look at and think about most is if you can read other ebooks on it besides ones published by the maker of the e-reader. I don’t like being tied to one format.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You probably know this already, but if you have an iPhone you can read your ebooks on your phone with the Kindle app. And it will even remember your place so you can switch back and forth between your phone and your iPad.

      • Boston 2L :

        This works on android phones as well. As a note, the Kindle app is free for your computer and phone. I don’t have an e-reader but I do use the app.

    • FedTaxAtty :

      I love my Nook simple touch. No complaints other than the operating system freezes occasionally, but that is more of an annoyance than anything else. I got Mr. FedTaxAtty a Kindle for Christmas, so we’ll see.

  17. Equity's Darling :

    I find the sales between now and January to be so overwhelming, and I always end up buying things because they seem like such a great deal, even though I don’t necessarily need the items in question. The “shopping” folder of my email inbox is out of control with sales emails.

    Regardless! What things do you think are *actually* a good deal during Black Friday sales? What things are not actually that good a deal but just retailers raising prices before the holidays then offering discounts?

    • Honestly? I think it’s all a big conspiracy to get us to buy things we don’t need. I avoid it like the plague.

      That being said, I read somewhere that some of the consumer electronics deals are actually worth it.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I always end up buying more for myself this time of year than for others.

    • Lady Harriet :

      I do a big portion of my shoe shopping for the year online in black Friday/cyber Monday sales. (By a big portion, I mean two pairs. My taste is fancier than my budget is!) However, I only buy shoes that I’ve been considering for several months. This way I know what the regular price is and can make sure that it’s really a good deal, plus I don’t get caught up in shopping madness and buy things I don’t need. Between sales and Ebates, I paid about half the retail price for shoes from this season. I can sometimes get a little better deal if I wait a couple of years for things to go on clearance, which I also do at times, but that’s more of a gamble.

      My brother and I also bought our mom a Kindle Fire on Cyber Monday last year for $30 off the regular price. A year later she still frequently tells us it’s the best present we’ve ever bought her, so I think it worked out well. In general, I never buy anything on sale unless I wanted it before it went on sale too. Conversely, I try to wait for everything to go on sale before I buy it.

  18. Goodness - advice or something like that, please :

    This is terrible timing and i see this thread is not really busy, but I have a terrible/serious question.

    Do any of you have any experience/stories about not ending a relationship after cheating has occurred? I am not looking for the “I’ll-leave-immediately-bright-line” types of responses, because that makes sense to me and I am pretty much right there, too. I have been dating for 10-11 years and I have never had something like this happen to me. I am an “optimistic” or “trusting” person (not naive or an to the point of idiocy, though) and – funny – never even considered that something like this might happen to me. But just please consider this situation: together for 5 years and pretty much very happy. Never would have asked for anything different, felt loved, respected, intellectually satisfied and constantly happy/nicely humorous. Some time ago, we went through a long distance period where I promised I would follow and move, but I basically dawdled and finally moved 9-10 months after I was going to (depression? maybe. anticipating reply questions, it was not because I felt doubts or anything like that). Anyway, fast forward and life is going along really nicely – very happy. Then, out of nowhere: boom. He had sex with someone else during the long distance time. It was “killing him and he couldn’t stand living with it and etc.” I swear, I though he was joking. Seriously, never in a million years would have I believed he would do something like that. Mostly in shock, I then asked a million questions because for some reason I wanted to know everything. He cried and sobbed and answered them all and repeatedly stated that he was so ashamed, never thought of himself as someone who’d do something so immoral, it was a horrible mistake, it was emotionless (like that’s make me feel any better), he thought I was checked out and never coming (he takes full responsibility, this was only when I prodded about the why and how could he do something like that), and we talked in this way for a long time.

    Well. I am out now, of course. It’s just so shocking to go so suddenly from a normal, happy life to something like this. I am hurt and furious. It’s just weird how pathetic and sad this whole situation is. I know he loves me and feels genuine shame and remorse and, weirdly, I don’t even feel disrespected, just a broken trust and very furious. I feel pathetic that thoughts keep coming to me about how this may not be worth me ending something that straight-up made me fulfilled and happy for years. But, then again, cheating is pretty much the worst thing a partner can do to the other, right?

    Can anyone offer any thoughts, please? Thanks so much.

    • Silvercurls :

      Argh…my comment appeared as a separate post below. Wonder if this is really operator error or a site glitch?

    • I don’t know how much I have to offer – but I couldn’t read and not respond, especially knowing how slow the thread is likely to be today and how devastated you must be.

      I have never been in your situation, so take this for what it’s worth in light of that, but I do NOT think you are pathetic for considering not ending it. People can, and do, stay together after infidelity, and I do believe it is possible to move past it and have a long and happy relationship together. I think the chance of that is significantly higher if you have outside help (therapy) but I do think it’s possible. I think it will largely depend on whether you are both able to put this behind you, mentally and emotionally (in time, of course – it will take time and hard work).

      If it helps, if I was in your situation, as you’ve described it, I would absolutely be considering whether we could make the relationship work and I would be getting into counselling asap – together and separately – to try and see if salvaging the relationship was possible. Maybe it won’t be, but throwing away a long, satisfying relationship over something that sounds like it was a one-time mistake (a very, very big one, to be sure)? That’s a big decision and not one that I would make lightly. Please, PLEASE don’t beat yourself up over wanting to at least explore whether you can move past this together. It’s totally understandable.

      I will say that my gut reaction would be different if this was a long term affair, or if other circumstances were different, but if he is being honest with you about what happened then it wouldn’t be the “leave immediately” bright line for me that it might otherwise be.

      Most importantly: I’m so sorry you are going through this. I am sure you are shell-shocked. Take care of yourself.

      • Silvercurls :

        Pam, you said everything that I was trying to say. Thank goodness for the hive.

      • This is great advice.

        Actually, a friend & I were just discussing this type of situation last night. We were discussing how the grandma on ‘Duck Dynasty’ has dealt with a lot in her marriage (including infidelity), and how she says that there was a time where she had to fight & fight hard for her relationship.

        Anyway, we both decided that it would depend alot on the attitude of the cheater. If it was a one time type thing, if they were truly sorry & repentant, if they were willing to do whatever it took to regain trust, and if their partner was willing to try and make it work, then we felt that the relationship could survive. My friend’s brother cheated on his wife, and willingly did whatever it took for months, if not years, to rebuild their marriage, which is now very strong.

        My bil was cheated on by his wife (she cheated, lied, stole from a children’s organization, and a few other things). He is doing his best to make their marriage work, and so far it seems to be working (almost 2 years into the whole debacle).

        I always try not to say blanket statements like “I would leave if he did that” or “I would never ever do that” because we honestly do not know what we would do in the situation until we find ourselves there.

        This is a decision that you have to make yourself, perhaps with the aid of a counselor. Try not to let what other people think influence you. Only you know what you can survive and what you can work through.

        Good luck, and I’m sorry you are going through this!

    • I thought I should reply since I have been through this, although not in quite the same way. After Hurricane Katrina, I felt like my husband and I had walked through fire together but it turned out we were not in the same place when we returned. He was very unhappy to be back here and got involved with another woman, a friend of a friend who was visiting. It is not clear to me if it was immediately s#xual, and I don’t think it was. But he started a relationship with her. He lied to me in many ways to cover it up although it was apparent that something was going on. That said, given everything we had been through together and because I thought I should try to stay married (I couldn’t see what my life could be out of the marriage), I would have gone to counseling with him to try and work things out. There were things he was telling other people that he wasn’t telling me about how he felt about our marriage and it might have been good to talk those things through. In the end, he said that he didn’t want to go to counseling (funny since he is a clinical psychologist) and that he was “just done.” Friends he was staying with told him that it was perfectly okay to feel that way. In retrospect, I know that I am much better off out of that marriage. There was a lot going on (mainly with him – he was unemployed, got himself fired, etc.) that I couldn’t have fixed. He is now married to the woman he got involved with and I’ve heard that he has cheated on her, too. But that’s his pattern, not your husband’s.

      So I guess what I am trying to say is, your situation is very different. Your husband thought, somehow, that you were checked out and maybe you were. If you want to work on the relationship and try to save it, do it. But you need to set up better communication so he wouldn’t get to that point again without talking to you about it because, as I’m sure he knows now, having an affair isn’t the answer. He had a one-time fling, not a relationship with another person. If you’re both committed to working things out, I wish you all the best. If you decide not to, things do get better. I am happier now (7 years later) than I ever was in my marriage. I went to therapy for a year or so after we split just so I could work out my own issues.

      I hope you have plans for the holiday that will make you happy for the day.

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this. There are lot of reasons why people cheat, so take some time (maybe with a therapist) to figure out why the cheating happened. Often it’s a conflict avoidance issue. Your BF felt his needs weren’t being met in the relationship, but instead of addressing it with you, he selfishly went outside the relationship for a connection he should’ve been working on with you. He felt that he was entitled to take care of Team Him at the expense of Team Us. Regardless of how that attitude manifests – sexual infidelity or otherwise – it’s incompatible with being in a relationship.

      That’s not to say it can’t be fixed though. It will take a lot of time and patience, but you can rebuild the trust. Don’t begrudge yourself the emotional ups and downs that are going to come with this; it is a process and you are allowed to be human. And please stop calling yourself pathetic. It is not pathetic to want to work on a relationship that is loving and fulfilling; it is mature and responsible and the much, much more difficult choice.

      As an aside, I’ve never really understood why so many people seem to think sexual infidelity is beyond the pale, but other really serious betrayals are bad-but-not-dealbreakers. I don’t mean to minimize how bad sexual infidelity is – it’s a terrible betrayal and no one should ever have to go through that – but don’t blindly buy into the hype that it should be an automatic dealbreaker.

    • Answering this as someone who has never been cheated on (to my knowledge), so I recognize that I may be in a very different emotional place than having the gut punch you just did (and no idea if my answer would change if I suddenly found myself in your shoes). I am so deeply sorry this happened to you. But from the way you describe everything about your situation, it does not seem worth ending a relationship over, especially one that has made you happy and fulfilled for so long. I don’t necessarily agree that cheating is the worst thing a partner can do – very bad, but people can do a lot of bad things to each other, and this was not done out of malicious intent in your situation.

      He made a terrible mistake and will have to live with the guilt for the rest of his life, but it’s a testament to your partnership that he felt comfortable telling you (and so much better than you discovering he lied). Not that it even remotely makes it okay, but a situation like that where it was a one time meaningless fling when he thought you were checked out of the relationship sounds like it will be much more possible to repair than an ongoing emotional affair.

      And PLEASE don’t feel pathetic! I just want to give you a hug. You did nothing wrong. At all. This is not on you. There is nothing pathetic about wanting to stay and work this out – in fact, it would take quite a lot of strength. Furious fine, but don’t ever feel like you should be ashamed. Either choice you make you shouldn’t have to feel bad about, whether you decide to stay and repair or whether you realize you can’t forgive this. My thoughts are with you – I hope you find a resolution that gives you peace.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I have also not been through this, but having said that, I agree with this 100%. Things happen, people make mistakes, people do awful things and are sorry.

        Honestly, in your shoes I would be angrier at him for telling me about it than for actually doing it. My rule has always been “If you ever cheat on me, you are not permitted to confess and shift the burden from yourself to me. Your punishment is going to be having to carry the secret to your grave.” I know that’s a minority view, but if my partner cheated once, regretted it, and resolved not to do it again, I would not want to know about it ever.

      • Senior Attorney :

        In moderation for “regre*t*t*e*d” — trying again:

        I have also not been through this, but having said that, I agree with this 100%. Things happen, people make mistakes, people do awful things and are sorry.

        Honestly, in your shoes I would be angrier at him for telling me about it than for actually doing it. My rule has always been “If you ever cheat on me, you are not permitted to confess and shift the burden from yourself to me. Your punishment is going to be having to carry the secret to your grave.” I know that’s a minority view, but if my partner cheated once, regre*t*t*e*d it, and resolved not to do it again, I would not want to know about it ever.

    • FWIW, I don’t think cheating is the worst thing someone can do. Everyone makes dumb mistakes and it sounds like he regrets it a great deal. Yes, it was a horrible thing to do, but he probably didn’t do it purposely to be mean. Sometimes when people are in pain, they deal with it in immature ways. If you want to recover from it, you absolutely can.

      • What could be worse in a relationship? Cheating is not a mistake, and it is always done to be mean. There is always a part of the person trying to punish the other person. I am not saying relationships can’t recover from it, it sounds like OP’s situation is one where there is a lot potential to heal, since he is showing great remorse, one time thing, complicating long distance factor. But cheating is not about the physical act, its about the cover up, lying, and dishonesty that come with it. That’s why its so devasting. It is never a dumb mistake.

        • Abuse can be worse

          • Yes, you should forgive someone who cheats because hey at least its not abuse

        • anonforthis :

          Not proud to admit it but I cheated once and it had nothing to do with trying to punish the other person. I cheated for the same reason some people use booze/drugs: to escape.

          • I’ve had a similar experience. I didn’t do it to be mean. I learned a lot from it and wouldn’t do it again, but there was no element of wanting to punish the other person. In fact, the other person never knew about it. I was too ashamed to even tell them.

          • Of course it did. Just because you don’t want to know about doesn’t mean you weren’t trying to hurt them. Actually its more hurtful if you say you just wanted to escape. You cared more about your escape and were completely indifferent to them.

          • Joanna Toews :

            Anonymous at 12:52…

            Indifference =/= trying to hurt. I don’t buy indifference either. People are complicated, yo.

          • Anonymous :

            People are complicated but not cheating is not complicated. People treat cheating differently for some reason. Would you rob a bank? No right? It’s wrong, there are terrible consequences if you get caught. Why is cheating different than robbing a bank? Its not. There are people who cheat and there are people that don’t. It doesn’t mean once a cheater always a cheater, but there is a very bright line on what is appropriate, and cheaters chose to go over that line because they feel they are more important than their partner and the relationship. It is not a dumb mistake, there are many times leading up to it that you could turn back. It is always a purposeful crossing of a line, and you know that it means heartache and broken trust but you do it anyway.

          • Joanna Toews :

            Anonymous, you clearly feel very strongly about this topic. I hope that you never have the occasion to eat crow.

          • Joanna Toews :
        • Checking out of a relationship in terms of sex, social life, and emotional availability. This is a form of infidelity to the relationship and even though it’s not “cheating” it is still pretty damn devastating. Is it “worse” than hearing? Maybe not. But cheating is not the only way to betray your spouse.

          • It is not the only way to betray your spouse. It is however, a very bright line. Pulling back, checking out, etc can be completely devastating, but there is way more gray area there. Cheating is saying I know this is wrong, I know its going to hurt you a ton, but I am going to do it anyway. You are saying you don’t care at all about your partner compared to your own need to do something selfish. That’s one of the many reasons its so bad. Its not just the betrayal, its what you are saying with the betrayayl

    • Dan Savage has written some columns on this. Complicated feelings in response to a complicated situation are normal.

    • Regular but anon for this :

      I’ve been in a situation very similar to yours. There is no bright line and there are many, many shades of grey.

      I was already in individual therapy for another issue; we started couples therapy later. Funny enough, by the time we’d started counseling, I was leaning toward ending the marriage, even though we had kids. But I didn’t…and we are in a much better place. We’re not perfect, but things are better.

      TBH, there are still things through which I’m working, more than a year later. But all is not lost. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok to just table some thoughts / decisions and just focus on getting through the usual parts of your routine. There is no timetable and no right or wrong way to feel. Sending you Internet hugs.

    • Just to say, I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I don’t know what I’d do in your situation, but I don’t think I’d find it easy to go one way or another. I used to think that cheating was a bright line, but now – two years married, one of them long-distance – I don’t think I think that any more. If I found out my husband had cheated on me in the long-distance time I’m not sure what I’d do, but when I had got over the feeling of betrayal (the one person I trust absolutely, apart from family) – I might well work on strengthening the relationship (because there is so much that is good in it). Which is just to say, don’t feel like you have to, or should, end a relationship just because your partner cheated. People are so flawed and fallible in different ways. You know your situation best, and if you think the relationship is worth working on, there’s no shame in working on it.

    • Joanna Toews :

      I feel for you, girl. I haven’t been cheated on myself, but I’m very close with a couple that has recently worked through a particularly nasty infidelity. They say their marriage will never be the same, but in some ways it’s stronger now.

      Some thoughts:

      - There is no way to force yourself to stop being angry or to forgive. It will come when it comes.
      - Long distance relationships are THE DEVIL, IMHHHHHO, in terms of inviting infidelity. Human contact is an important psycological need and people get stupid when their needs aren’t being met. (Making sure their needs get met is THEIR responsibility, though. No excuses for him… just a reason.)
      - I cannot recommend this book highly enough: Not Just Friends (link to follow) by Shirley Glass, Ira Glass’ mom.
      -Couples’ therapy was an absolute must for my friends.

      Good luck. All the best to you.

    • I am posting this late, but I hope you see it. My LD boyfriend cheated on me. He called me the morning after and told me. I broke my phone, and broke up with him. I was devastated. We had had an open-ish relationship because we were living on different continents with no end in sight (at least not for a few years), and had recently decided we were done experimenting with others and we were going to monogamous and serious. And then he cheated. He said told me it meant nothing to him (my response: it means something to ME), it was because he was living in a different place and traveling a lot and nothing “felt real” (my response: you have issues), and he was drunk and it was an accident (my response: ha! that’s a *very* specific accident, it’s amazing no one got hurt). I couldn’t get over it. We had a very vague end-game that was 2-ish years down the road for us to be together, and I could just tell that every time he didn’t answer my calls I would tailspin into “where is he? getting drunk and hooking up?” I believed (and sadly, still do, if I let myself think about it) that if we had been in the same city and could talk about it a lot and spend a lot of time together and go to therapy that we could get over it. But we weren’t even on the same continent. And I being physically apart was hard enough, I just couldn’t hang in there for all the other drama. I was in my mid-20s, and still believe it was the best decision I could have made at the time. If 100 other things were different, I think we would have gotten over it, gotten married, and been happy together. But they’re not, and I’ve moved on.

      In short, you’re not crazy, do what is best for you. Hugs.

  19. Silvercurls :

    Wow and ouch. I hope that whatever you’re doing today will not bring you additional pain. In my opinion you’re entitled to feel any way that you happen to feel, without any obligation to follow a specific sequence of emotions.* Your experience reminded me of a semi-recent (November 2012) “Modern Love” column in the New York Times: “After the Affair,” by Judy Wachs. Link to follow. Bottom line: Her husband strayed but they stayed together and shared genuine happiness for many years afterwards.

    You’re not the only person who has a complicated reaction to complicated circumstances. The human heart is amazingly good at simultaneously entertaining contradictory emotions. FWIW, I’m glad to read that your SO is troubled by remorse and regret. At least you’re not dealing with someone who has no concern for the way that his actions have affected you.

    A good therapist may be very helpful as you sort out your emotions, reactions, and future possibilities. Some relationships survive infidelity; others do not. I am NOT in the camp that says “never split up” or “don’t split up until you’ve tried everything else.” As painful as it is to be in the middle of this situation, at least we live in an age when womens’ choices are not limited by lack of education, earning ability, and/or the real possibility of being exiled from so-called “good” society if we choose not to marry a SO (or to divorce a spouse).

    * If the situation involves abuse, it’s best that the abuse NOT continue, whether this means honestly rebalancing or just ending the relationship. (Yes, I know, easy to say when I’ve never personally experienced this.)

    Where I am (mid-Atlantic region) it’s cold but sunny out–good weather for a walk, or for just snoozing quietly in a sunny indoor corner. I would wish you the same. Again, I hope you are somewhere where you can take care of yourself without having to fend off either loneliness or the well-meaning but intrusive reactions of others.

    • Wildkitten :

      If I were in that situation I’d want both couple’s therapy and individual therapy, so I could sort through my own thoughts and also sort through the relationship.

      • I’ll just add , if you do decide to keep working on it, PLEASE get therapy.

        My parents stayed together after a similar event. They’ve been married 45 years now, the affair was 30 years ago and my mother has made my dad pay every.single.day. for the last 30 years. It’s not fair. If you forgive, you have to actually FORGIVE.

  20. YAY i love open threads!

    I work as a first year lawyer and my clothes are mainly neutral color… lots of monochrome stuff. Have been thinking of getting a bag that will add a pop of color to my outfit. I have found the bag I want – it is a document bag with a short and long handle, smooth calf leather with minimum embellishments and a sleek outline. It’s available in black (yawn-dont need another black bag), dark blue and red. Im wondering if I can get away with carrying a red bag (cos red is my favourite color)? Do you think it is too loud for the more conservative work environment?

    • If it is otherwise a conservative bag, I think the red is fine and so is the dark blue.

    • Team red, all the way!

    • I also love orange bags (particularly if you wear a lot of beige), royal blue, or maroon/oxblood bags.

      For cheap ones that will still hold a lot of documents/laptop, try Target.

      • Thank you ladies for giving me the courage to embrace my fav color red at the work place!! Cos im quite junior i was worried if Red will look too vain or attract too much attention.
        Would have gone for navy in order to not stand out too much, but now i think im ready to embrace red!

        For men, red is a power color rite? What are your thoughts on red for women in the work place? :D
        Are there any colors you feel is not appropriate in a conservative work environment?
        Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Add a comment.

Questions? Check out our commenting policy. Tech problems? Please report it to the tech team.