Weekend Open Thread

Naturalizer Nuevo Cookie Dough Leather Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Zappos lists these nice wedge heels under their “bestsellers” section, and I must say, they look pretty great for casual summer weekends — love the strappy look, the 1.25″ platform (making the heel height only 1.75″), and the fact that the shoes feature N5 comfort. As always, I think a little “dip” in the straps across the vamp (rather than straps cutting straight across your ankle or pointing up your leg) are far more flattering. They’re available in “cookie dough leather” (pictured) and black for $59.99 (was $75); sister site 6pm.com has a few other colors for $35-$42. (It also has the beige and black versions for $52, but considering the very different return policies between the two sites, I’d rather pay the extra $7 at Zappos — but that’s me!)  Naturalizer Nuevo Wedge

(L-all)

Comments

  1. Meg Murry :

    So, has anyone seen people you know in real life on the “Find us on Facebook” block on the right side of this page? I used to use this site from a work computer that blocked Facebook, or my phone so it wasn’t an issue, but I logged into Facebook the other day from work and then when I came to this site I saw people I know. It was a bit bizarre. Luckily, they were all friends from outside work and not in my field, but I just wonder how many people see my picture on their sidebars?

    • No, but I also created a new email address when I opened my Facebook profile (that I use for nothing other than my facebook login) so that no one who currently has my real, in-use email would be prompted to friend me, look for me, etc.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      I’ve never seen anyone I know on it, and your question spurred me to go to thissite’s facebook page to see if I could see the list of “likes”

      Unfortunately, I can’t. I can see some of the page insights, but I can’t see who likes the page. I have no way of knowing if any of my friends like the page, but I am guessing that the social plugin on thispage would say “you, ellen barshevsky, godzilla, and 6480 others like corpor e t t e”

    • Anonymous :

      Several of my law school classmates always show up, and the other pictures are women I don’t know (though presumably friends of friends). I don’t worry about myself showing up because I haven’t liked thissite’s page – I do, in fact, like thissite, but I have a policy against liking company pages on Facebook.

    • I can see people I know, but I have made IRL friends from thissite whom I subsequently friended on fb. If you are worried, you could always ‘unlike’ the fb page and just check the site directly.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m not on Facebook and still see 10 pictures of random people on the right here. I don’t know any of those 10. KJ, good guess, it currently says 6,483.

  2. Any Harrisburg ‘rettes out there? I’ll be there for work in two weeks and would love to meet up with someone or even just get a dinner recommendation.

  3. quick dinner ideas TJ :

    So, I make a meal plan weeks in advance. Like, a whole month is generally planned out with discrete dinners, plus room for leftovers, and empty slots. I basically fill a dry-erase calendar with about 15-18 different dinners over the course of the 4 weeks on the calendar. With our meeting schedules, it’s always the case that there will be at least one night per week that one or both of us isn’t home for dinner.

    The vast majority of these dinners are things that are frozen: I will pack up a bunch of different meats/sauces for the crockpot or the grill, and just put them in the freezer. When that day comes, I just pull them out of the freezer to thaw and cook.

    There are some occasions when there is nothing planned on the calendar, and we’ve run out of leftovers. This is actually where the frozen stuff comes in very useful because I can always make adjustments to the calendar.

    But, here’s my question: what are some of your go-to quick dinner ideas? Things that don’t require much outside of standard pantry or fridge-stock items or a trip to the grocery store. I looked at the calendar this morning, knowing that neither I nor DH has a meeting, and we’ll all be under the same roof for dinner. I pulled out a frozen pizza dough. I usually keep mozzarella in the fridge (and the freezer) and have been making a point of keeping ricotta (I’m not a big fan of red sauce), as well as onions, mushrooms, canned artichokes & sundried tomatoes, breakfast sausage, etc. We have a few other dinners that don’t require much other than pantry staples (black beans & rice, spaghetti & meatballs, etc.) but I’m always on the lookout for trying to find new ideas.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Okay, this is ridiculous but my fave go-to is pan-fried ramen with whatever greens are in the fridge. I toss the greens in the pot when I boil the noodles, then drain and brown the whole mess in some olive oil, serve with sliced green onions on top. Yum yum yum. So addictive. I use the chili flavored ramen (green package, Maruchan brand) and mix the seasoning packet with the greens and noodles after they’re drained.

      Baked Potato Night is also a big favorite, as is Breakfast For Dinner.

    • Sometimes I make an omelette with tomatoes and mushrooms and have it with a salad or a roll if I’m really hungry. It also goes well with sweet potato fries, baked in the oven. The Alexia Brand is really good, I like the seasalt or chipotle seasoned versions. These options work well if you don’t mind breakfast food for dinner.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Cous-cous, peppers, pancetta cubes and feta cheese (ok, so these aren’t staples, but if you chop up and freeze the peppers, this is all stuff that lasts a long time).

      You could also make carbonara with the pancetta cubes, all you need then is eggs and pasta (and cream if that’s your thing – it is mine!)

      Ooh frittata with feta cheese, chorizo, peppers and broccoli (eggs, feta and peppers feature again – there is clearly a theme to what I like to eat…)

      Pasta with smoked salmon, garlic cream cheese and cream – takes about as long as the pasta takes to cook and then you just melt the cheese and mix the cream into it and chop up the salmon on top (you could also use boursin and add in broccoli).

    • Anonattorney :

      I always have some chicken stock on hand (usually store-bought, occasionally make my own), grains, greens, and eggs. My quickest dinner is simmering the grains (barley, quinoa, brown rice, polenta, or cous-cous) in the broth, sauteeing the greens a bit in a pan, and then frying an egg. You layer the egg on top of the greens on top of the grains.

      • Anonymous :

        One of our quickies is a Green-Eggs-No-Ham (Moosewood recipe) that I’ve doctored several different ways, that is basically sauted onion/garlic/sometimes ginger, sometimes sweet red peppers, then wilt spinach/arugula, add whisked eggs, let cook, add cheese (with grated parmesan I don’t add salt & pepper) and season to taste.

        Anonattorney has me thinking about leftover quinoa, yum!

    • How quick is quick? I make minestrone soup and it takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. Saute onions, garlic and some sliced carrots; add a few cups of marinara sauce OR a can of tomato paste; a can of kidney beans; and other vegetables if you like them. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 25-30 minutes, then add half a cup or so of small pasta and cook just a few minutes more.

      Lately I’ve stopped using the pasta and added some barley and/or quinoa at the beginning, after the first quick saute. It’s probably not minestrone anymore but it works.

    • breakfast for dinner (either omelettes, french toast, or bacon and fried eggs)
      tacos (almost always have some meat or fish that can be used and always have corn tortillas)
      quesadillas (with salsa for dipping or guacamole since we often have the 100 calorie wholly guacamole packets)
      beand and rice bowls (using microwave minute brown rice, canned black beans, frozen or canned corn, and salsa, guacamole. If we have any cooked chicken or frozen shrimp will throw that on top also.)
      Also, if I am not all that hungry I will do veggies with hummus, apple with peanut butter, or oatmeal. Usually with a container of blueberry greek yogurt for dessert :)

    • Meg Murry :

      Any variety of eggs is usually our go-to for a quick dinner. Our favorite is breakfast burritos – always with eggs and tortillas, then the rest is whatever we have on hand – potatoes, tomatoes, cheese, ham, bacon, peppers, onions, canned black beans – all are possibilities to end up in the burritos. For even easier/lazier we do quesadillas with cheese and leftover chicken or lunchmeat.

      • Second this. We always have eggs on hand, so any egg dish is a possible quick dinner. Frittatas, migas, egg scrambles, open face fried egg sandwiches…the possibilities are endless. I also always have refried beans in my pantry and tortillas and cheese, so quesadillas are always an option. Frozen hash browns with breakfast sausage and sauteed veggies with a fried egg on top is my husband’s favorite “hash” for dinner.

    • These are few quick dinner’s I’ve made.

      - Tacos: brown some ground beef or turkey and add some seasoning. I make a big batch of homemade seasoning and keep it in the pantry.
      - Salmon: cooks pretty quickly in the oven and can be customized with different sauces
      - Tilapia: I use a spice rub and pan fry it in my cast iron skillet
      - Pasta & Meat Sauce: I’ll brown Italian turkey sausage and add a jar of my favorite pasta sauce. I let it simmer while I make the pasta

      In the summer, I’ll make different marinades for chicken and then freeze the chicken directly in the freezer. Then I’ll move it to the fridge and the chicken defrosts right in the marinade and I’ll quickly grill them.

      For sides, I’ve found some frozen veggies from Green Giant that are pretty good and the right size for just me and my husband. I also keep salad fixings in the fridge for a quick side.

    • My go-to is pasta with chick peas. You can start with just the pasta, chick peas, and olive oil and build out from there. I like to sautee some onion and garlic in olive oil, then add the chick peas, and then veggies like red peppers, spinach, tomatoes, whatever, then dump in the pasta when it’s cooked, maybe with a little pasta water to tie it together. Then sprinkle with cheese.

    • 1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed, mixed with 1 can of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Yum.

    • Couscous and fish. I get the ready seasoned couscous and sling a portion of it into an enamelware bowl with boiling water, stir, and let it sits. While it sits I get a piece of frozen white fish out of the freezer, add a knob of butter and some herbs and spices and then that goes in the microwave for three minutes. While that’s in the microwave I make carrot sticks or get some salad leaves out and set the table. Then the fish and view go on top of the couscous – done, cupboard to plate in about six minutes. And really cheap.

  4. Senior Attorney :

    I kind of love those shoes, although I would love them more if they had a chunky (maybe conical?) heel rather than a wedge/flatform.

    Question: I am getting my hair cut tomorrow and I really want to change up my look a bit. I’m thinking of going (back) to an asymmetric bob, longer in front and quite short in back, maybe with some choppy/chunky layers. I like it on me but I’m concerned that look is So Over and I will look like I Don’t Know What’s What.

    Love this cut but the photos are from 2011, hence my concern:

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/331225747564833702/
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/331225747564833715/
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/331225747564833690/

    Thoughts?

    • I don’t think it’s So Over. I’m not super up to date on what haircuts are in, but it kind of just looks like a longer version of Claire Underwood’s hair. I could just be seeing that because of the color though.

    • MiddleCoast :

      I think you should go for it if you know it looks good on you and it feels good on you. I’m sure your stylist can update it a bit.

    • Time to relax :

      I have a very similar cut and get compliments all the time. My clothing style is very classic (not trendy at all), and I think the cut leans towards classic. I think the key is keeping it sleek. The only way this would scream outdated to me is if the back part was dramatically short or layered as compared to the smooth front.

    • I used to have that cut before I grew it out and I l-o-v-e-d it. I’d go back to it if I cut my hair again.

    • anon in tejas :

      I got something similar in Feb, and lots and tons and tons of compliments. I love it, and I used to wear my hair like this a few years ago. I say do it.

    • I think it looks lovely. Actually, this may sound weird, but of the posters here I’m always really curious what you actually look like, Senior Attorney. I imagine you as being quite glamorous.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I love it.

      FWIW, a very trend-focused friend recently cut her hair like that. So I say it’s not outdated.

    • I only clicked through to the first pic, but it looks a lot like the angled crops that you see all the time on celebrities (I think its there go to look when they are growing out their hair and they hit that problematic chin length hair.) But I especially like the tousled version of it. The ones that are flat-ironed to within an inch of their life are not so much for me (I’m looking at you hairdresser for Captain America 2 and your decision to straighten Natasha’s hair until it was probably a weapon in itself.)

      I think another way to avoid the 90s look is to make sure that if you *do* get highlights, that they aren’t super obvious. I think the two toned highlights would do way more to date the haircut than the length and angle itself.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Thanks, everybody. I have an appointment later this morning and I’m gonna go for it. TCFAG, good point on tousled vs straight – and laughed out loud at the Captain America reference because I thought the same thing!

      Will report back.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Okay, got the cut and super happy!

        Plus while I was there I had them do my makeup and then I went out and bought everything they used. It had been a while and it’s nice to feel like my face is in the 21st century! ;)

  5. FITBIT GROUP (lucy stone says sorry for the Ellen caps) :

    Based on this morning’s discussion, I created a FitBit group for fans of this site. Email me at fivetomatoes at gmail dot com if you would like to join! :)

  6. Weekend TJ :

    This is going to be controversial so I am going to post anonymously. It is a sincere inquiry though and I hope people respond to it thoughtfully and not just defensively or reflexively.

    I am a loooooooooong time regular reader and poster. I still enjoy the site and check it often. BUT – am I alone in feeling like the quality of the conversation, and not just on weekend threads, has gotten less interesting and, dare I say it, a bit dumbed down in recent months?

    I used to be amazed by the smart, thoughtful things ladies on this site would say on a near daily basis — not specifically intellectual things, by any means, but just insightful, clever, “I never thought to view it that way” sorts of things, solutions, etc. But not so much anymore. Now I just often find myself going, “seriously?” over and over when I read the comments. It’s hard to pinpoint and I don’t want anyone to think I am trying to say we should all talk about Proust here; but I feel like conversations about even silly topics were just more interesting in the past. I can’t believe that it’s just because we’ve run out of things to talk about.

    I also can’t help but notice that many of the “old timers” have left or are just not making frequent appearances anymore. I really miss Mamabear, EC MD, K Padi, SF Bay, Kanye East, Ru, Divalicious, Frump and Grump and so many others… I didn’t always agree with them but they provided a reliably interesting and/or intelligent perspective. Nothing against the newbies, I’m sure I sound like a cranky old man, but I’m thinking maybe something about the recent environment is making these people and others stay away from the site and I am wondering if it’s also why I am feeling like the tone and tenor of our conversations has declined for the worse, i.e., maybe I’m not the only one feeling this way, you know?

    I really look forward to reading others’ thoughts on this issue. I seriously treasure this community and I hope it continues to be the wonderful virtual water cooler it has been for the last few years. I just feel like it’s maybe time that we have a “talk”.

    • Yes, definitely some of the people you mention (if not all) have left the site largely owing to the increased snarkiness.

      • not ‘snarkiness’ downright rudeness and name-calling.

      • Weekend TJ :

        I know there have been hurt feelings. I recall some snafu with K in Transition and a few others. But I think snarkiness is a separate issue, albeit maybe a related one.

        I also think maybe some of those folks are just posting under different names, which I wish wasn’t the case but I suspect it feels easier to them.

        My question is really about the quality of the conversation though. I guess, having a thick skin myself, I am not sure snark is necessarily the cause for the drop in quality unless it is snark driving people away who made quality better. I hope that makes sense.

        • I agree re: quality of conversation. I’ve had a few financial questions lately, but instead of posing them, I’ve gone back through the archives to re-read some of the financial posts. Not because I knew with confidence that my specific questions had already been addressed, but because I felt (generally) that the quality of the commentary would be better.

    • I’ve thought about this too, but I don’t know that it’s the quality of conversations vs the types of questions that are being asked. I personally skip all the mommy posts but am interested in work/life balance, workout, travel, shopping, relationships et al.

      Maybe different questions and topics pop up at different types of year, and it’s not a question of newbies vs oldies, but just what people are going through at any particular moment.

      • Orangerie :

        Yup.

        There’s a lot more pregnancy/breastfeeding/childcare related posts than there were before. I remember reading way back in the day when Kat was still anonymous and not seeing nearly as many threads on these topics.

        • I think that a lot of that is because people just became more used to using this for personal questions – I recall I first started reading, threadjacks in general were not the norm, and it was only occasionally that someone might start something like “I know that this has nothing to do with what we talk about here, but you guys are really smart so I was wondering if you have advice for this . . . .” Now, asking about relationships, family, food, exercise, etc is the norm, so people are open to asking about whatever is on their minds.

          I don’t know that it’s worse (I say, as someone completely addicted to advice columns), but it is different.

          • Anonymous :

            This is a good point.

          • Yes, I remember when “Coffee Breaks” kind of became the open threads, but the daily posts were more on-topic about the clothing suggestion and maybe work style more generally. I don’t know that I care, but it has definitely moved into all-threads-are-open-threads model.

          • hoola hoopa :

            So true, Lyssa and Nellie.

            I already had kids (well, a kid) when I started reading, and I remember when mothering topics began showing up and thinking “whoa – these women have kids, too!” It was jaw dropping and so amazing to see people talking about pumping and presenting to the board all in the same breath. It may be unbelievable to people without kids, but that really is something special. But it also distracts from questions about other work related topics.

            I’m hopeful that corporette mom will give those discussions a place to exist while not overwhelming other discussions here. While I love that the discussions are happening, one of the reasons I came to corporette was to find a refuge from parenting discussions and focus on my professional development.

        • There are a lot more pregnancy/new baby-related conversations than there were when I first started reading, back in like…2011? I probably started commenting in spring 2012 (under a different name)?

          It’s definitely a different environment. I can honestly say, I don’t think I would have gotten sucked in as much, if I was just starting to read now. This is nothing against all the pregnant ladies or new moms, but I just scroll past alllll of those posts, that are not directly related to work/life balance. I feel like there used to be a bit more diversity in terms of topics–more dating, more relationships. I don’t know if it’s just that I’ve seen all of the 800,000 iterations of “I’m having trouble breast-feeding” or “TTC!” cycle around, but…IDK. I’m glad people have a place to post those questions. But I don’t really care about them. I definitely comment less than I used to, just because I don’t have a single damned thing to add to the vast majority of the threads.

    • Anonattorney :

      Can you explain a bit more about the “recent environment”? Do you think that it’s too snarky or too PC? People who are too closed-minded, or posters who are too judgmental of opposing viewpoints?

      • Weekend TJ :

        Hmmm. I guess it’s a combination of things. As concerns “snark”, I just feel like there is both an unnecessary harshness and, separately, way too many hurt feelings. Re: the former, there are anonymous comments that are just incredibly rude and pointless like the one to the woman who was worried about her ultrasound earlier this week, and was told to stop posting all the time by some “anon”. Re: the latter, there are totally unwarranted “hurt feelings” where someone says something like “I think colorful trench coats just look cheap” and then someone else melts down and says, “How can you call me cheap? That is so rude.” That last one may be an exaggeration, but there’s definitely a trend toward taking comments way too personally lately.

        I think what I really mean by “recent environment” is a combination of that and the fact the conversations just feel a bit duller. I used to feel like this was a really “smart” place, on the whole, even if the conversation was just about Kate Middleton’s hair. I don’t have a lot of women in my company and this was a big release for me to feel like I have other professional women to talk to during the day. Now, I just don’t get that same feeling that often. I guess that’s my chief complaint.

        • Anonattorney :

          Yep, I pretty much agree with everything you just wrote.

        • Yep. I agree that it’s gotten less interesting here. As to the snark issue, sometimes I’m glad it’s said, because there are some flat out dumb questions on here sometimes. It seems like there are more women on here who can’t think for themselves.

          I’m also one who gets sick of the regular pregnancy/kids threadjacking, but I don’t complain about it – though I am hoping that it moves over to the Moms site.

        • What do you think can or should be done about these concerns? It seems you’re interested in trying to start a dialogue (totally valid). Do you also have any suggestions/ ideas, or is that a different conversation?

          • Weekend TJ :

            I think at a minimum I am trying to gauge if there are others who feel similarly and I am primarily trying to start a dialogue, even if that is just a bunch of people telling me it’s not happening as far as they can see, or that, in their mind, the site has only changed for the better.

            But I would also love it if something productive came from this discussion like maybe we put to rest the hurt feelings over the fact that some people meet up IRL, etc. I would LOVE to hear ideas! Hell, maybe Kat will see this and try to come up with some topics to use as a jump off point to spark more interesting discussions among the commentariat. It can’t be good for her bottom line to be losing readers, right?

        • Anonattorney :

          The hurt feelings thing drives me insane. This is a site where women are supposed to get and give advice about how to succeed professionally (at least, that’s what I use it for). I think there are too many people who take personal offense when certain clothes or behavior are called out as unprofessional. Attitudes vary across the country and depending on the workplace, but even if my office is super-casual, I still want to know if my poly-blend Macy’s suit that I got on sale for $80 is going to make me look ridiculous if I have depositions in DC. Should someone judge me and think I’m a bad lawyer if I’m wearing a cheap suit? In a perfect world, no. But, should I be aware of the risk that I will be judged by other lawyers if I wear certain clothes? YES. That’s what I want to know from this site (apply that rationale to other office etiquette and career advice). That’s what people should be able to post without constantly being labeled “classist.”

      • Anonymous :

        It definitely isn’t too PC. Not even close.

    • I have read for a while and haven’t really noticed the concern you raised. I do however, take a burn everytime someone mentions how much they love one of the “regulars”. It happens so often, and just seems demeaning to the other people who take the time to comment and weigh in. Basically, it makes me feel like a sorority pledge who has not yet been accepted.

      The best part of this site for me is reading about all the trials and tribulations that people experience in real life, and the generous, warm, helpful comments that are posted in reply. The media (and Facebook!) can make it seem like everyone lives a Hallmark life. It’s refreshing to realize that most people struggle with some aspect of their life, and that internet strangers (and likely your friends) do care and want to help. It’s not always longtime reader X or Y, it’s all the thoughtful and caring readers who offer their guidance and compassion.

      • +1000

        • I agree with this. And the inside jokes, and I’ll see you this weekend!, and those shoes looked great on so and so, and etc. It just seems like bragging that y’all are BFF cool girls. Sorry, but it does.

          • Anon123456 :

            Honest question for those who are bothered by the BFF, cool girls, regulars hang out perception –

            Have you made any attempt to get to know other readers of this site IRL?

            I am not at all bothered by regular posters, by people commenting on the absence of regular posters, by people commenting that they hang out together IRL. I also make zero attempt to do so, because part of what appeals to me is the anonymity of this site. I don’t have a regular handle because I don’t want anyone to be able to piece together who I am from tidbits of information. I am sure there are awesome women here who live in my city (um, in fact, I know there are…because of the aforementioned tidbits being pieced together thing) but I am very happy flying under the radar. And I see no problem with other people preferring to take the anon commenting thing to a different, IRL place.

            So I guess what I’m saying (longwindedly) is that, if it bothers you, is it because you feel like you aren’t a part of it? And why aren’t you trying to be?

          • No, I haven’t made an attempt, and I don’t wanto. I just think so and so already knows that you are going to see her this weekend. So why are you announcing it on thissite? IT just seems like bragging.

          • Yeah this.

            Thank you for saying that. In fact it was someone posting almost the exact same thing (If you value this community you should contribute to it by commenting, not just lurking) that made me post my very first comment after a year of lurking.

            Every single person who posts on here was new at some point. But I really needed friends when I was going through a tough period in my life, and I made some from getting really personal on here, making myself very vulnerable by opening myself up to people telling me to “stop whining” or “suck it up” or something. And I have gotten nasty comments from some people. But you know what? Other awesome women reached out to me and supported me, and we became pen pals and then friends in real life. And I started helping organize meetups, which is a lot of work. And it’s fun. No one is stopping you from trying it.

            In fact it was people being real friends and talking about each other’s IRL selves that made this place seem like a lot of fun and made me want to be part of it. So I put myself out there. I think it’s really strange to blame the people who are trying to form a real community for being the problem if you aren’t making an effort to participate. I would like to be friends with you if you want to. Feel free to start your own inside joke. And get some Fondue. It will make you feel better.

          • Weekend TJ :

            Two things:
            1. I only mentioned people by name because these were distinct voices on this site that used to comment a lot and have left. That’s it. Not because they’re cool and you’re not, or I like them and find you boring and beneath notice.
            2. I appreciate that people can be sensitive about this sort of thing, so I want to respond to anon @2:59′s comment sincerely, but anon @ 3:14 — this is exactly the kind of over-sensitivity I am talking about. I read this site almost daily and there are no “those shoes looked great on you” comments I can recall. Maybe you’re taking this stuff too much to heart?

          • Weekend TJ :

            PS: Sorry to single your comment out, anon @3:14, but I wanted to respond to it in this context. I hope you disregard anything I or anyone else ever says that makes you feel less than a cool girl or as if you’re unwelcome.

          • Oh whatever. I’m sure that was directed at me (the shoes comment). Because zora visited me last week. And it was fun. I got to know her because she was having a rough time and I jumped in and commented. We started emailing then chatting. We had met people from here in common (like eek, who no longer comments). I’ve met a bunch of people from here because I often travel alone and it’s fun. Go ahead and hate me.

          • Anonymous :

            I dont think anyone thinks its bad that you guys hang out. But if you hang out and know each others numbers/emails, than your only posting on this site to tell everyone else you are hanging out. to answer zora, yeah I did used to try to get to know people on this site. No one responded to me, which is fine people click with different people. But its absurd that you guys who know each other in real life feel like you need to come on here and be like yay see you tomorrow you are the best we are the coolest club

          • Orangerie :

            @Weekend TJ: for the sake of objectivity, I can recall several comments of that nature over the past couple weeks.

            That being said, I personally don’t get a “cool girl” or “cliquey” vibe from it. And I agree that there’s been an uptick in unwarranted hurt feelings.

          • Well it makes me happy when I hear that other people on here (many of whom I don’t know personally) are having meetups or doing things IRL. And therefore I post about my meetups to return the favor and build the feeling of community. It never occurred to me to be offended or feel badly about myself when all the Boston folks became friends, for instance and started doing fun things together. It instead motivated me to help start bay area meetups so that other people (some of whom actually only lurk and never comment on here) could also make new friends. But if you don’t want new friends, that’s cool.

          • Weekend TJ :

            Orangerie — you are right. Now that I think about it, I vaguely recall that NOLA made that comment. And, NOLA, you also went shopping with Susan — you b*tch!

            I have to say though that I really don’t get that cliquey vibe from these … I like not knowing people on this site IRL! Great for those that want to meet up, but I appreciate a little anonymity in my life. I can’t ask about embarrassing question here is y’all know who I really am! If anything the only thing I find annoying about meet-ups is that I don’t want to go to them, but I just scroll past all that.

          • Orangerie :

            Zora, I think it’s great you organize meetups and try to build a sense of community.

            But please recognize there are people who read and comment here who just aren’t looking for that, and that’s perfectly fine as well. It’s ok to want to remain anonymous. (caveat obviously being don’t remain anonymous and then get upset when people are hanging out IRL)

          • Orangerie: no, I agree with you completely. It’s fine if people don’t want that or to participate in it. But then I don’t get why they are getting upset at the people who do want it and then do it. You do you.

          • Yes, Weekend TJ, I did shop with Susedna in NYC as well. Or more, we wandered around Madison Ave and I finally tried on the LK Bennett pumps I was dying over. Since then, we’ve gotten to know each other a lot better, which is great! She was someone I felt a kinship with on here and we just felt like we should be friends IRL. We’ve helped each other through a lot of emotional junk that we would never post here.

        • This!

      • “a sorority pledge that has not been accepted’. totally. also I am an occasional poster and have been a reader for years but seriously I’m wondering how all these ‘high achieving chicks’ have boatloads of hours to comment on thissite.

        • MiddleCoast :

          This – I often wonder how people get their hours in if they are constantly posting here (not snarkily, just wonder how they do it).

          Also, the threads seem to be more dating/wedding/mommie centric. I am currently more interested in retirement – not in terms of how much to save, rather when to retire and what to do next in live. Not so many posts on that aspect of life, so I find myself less invested.

          • Weekend TJ :

            Everyone has their own way of working. I know I take a ten minute break every hour or so and I scroll through the comments about half that time. Is your theory that this site has gotten dumbed down because true “high achieving chicks” don’t have time to yammer away on these boards?

          • MiddleCoast, I’m nowhere near retirement stage, but I can say I’d be really interested in reading about others’ plans! I know it’s been recommended in the past to go ahead and TJ yourself, to start comment threads you’re interested in, if you’re not down with the 57th post about breast-feeding of the week.

            With that said…I feel like I’ve tried to do that a few times (not recently), and gotten crickets. So. Yeah. I understand if that wouldn’t work for you.

        • Anonattorney :

          I’m a lawyer with a billable hour requirement. When I’m in trial or trying to get work our the door, I can easily bill 14 hours a day, every day, for many days in a row. I don’t read this site or comment on it when I’m working like that. But, that also means that there are other days when I’m not as busy.

        • It takes almost no time to read a post and make a comment. A comment takes 30 seconds. This is not Moby Dick. Personally, I check this site *more* when I’m busy, because breaks are more important to my sanity during those times.

          But, I don’t think you were really asking; it sounds like you were more interested in passing judgment on how others use their time (and whether they “deserve” to call themselves high-achieving). Is that a good use you your high-achieving time?

          • +1 I recall that some time ago, somebody from GOMI wondered how such “high-powered overachieving” women could post so much. It made me wonder if it came from the perspective of a person who worked an hourly-wage job where s/he was watched like a hawk and forced to keep timesheets.

            There are all different types of job hells and job perks. The hourly-wage jobs are hellish for all sorts of reasons: my father, who worked in such jobs for many years and ultimately left to start his own business said that he hated being on his feet all day in order to avoid getting yelled at by the manager. His perk, though, when he had his crappy timesheet hourly wage jobs, was that he never brought work home when his shift ended. EVER. Because that just wasn’t done.

            The “high-powered” salaried jobs are hellish because they cut so much into personal life that posters talk about how there’s no time to go doctor’s appointments, and they have to go into the office on the weekend or be labeled a slacker. The “perk” is that there are periods of slack time that you can build into the very long day to preserve sanity.

        • guess we are all anon for this.... :

          +1000 “hours to burn”

        • Remember some of us aren’t in the same time zone. The first post of the day appears at about 3.30pm my time. And it’ll be 4.30pm when I’m on my year abroad next year – so for lots of us it’s actually a chilled out evening thing. (Get home at 8.30pm, say, and spend fifteen minutes scrolling while dinner is cooking)

        • This has crossed my mind a lot. I post when I have time. Sometimes that is later in the day, sometimes when I get at home.

          I also noticed that I don’t get a lot of feedback to my posts. I attribute it to what I say not being of interest (I am not one of the cool kids) and/or I am not posting first thing in the morning from work. That is usually when my desk is the busiest.

          • Ashley, I don’t honestly think that getting feedback or not on your posts has anything to do with not being one of the “cool kids” (and I really don’t even know what that means or who that would be). I would say that it’s either a) nobody can answer your question, or b) it’s the time of day. I think it’s mostly time of day. I know, for me, by the time the Coffee Break post is up on some days, I am on my way to my last meeting of the day. I will sometimes post late then I go to the gym and I’ll read the comments on my phone when I’m on the elliptical or on leg machines. It’s not impossible to post comments back but it’s rare for me. I mean, I know I’m only one person, but just using myself as an example.

      • I’m not super bothered by the cliquey-ness of certain regulars (though I agree it exists) but I definitely agree with your second paragraph. While I certainly don’t wish that any regular poster feels attacked and therefore leaves or changes her username, I do think that a lot of great insights come from occasional posters, including anons, and the community is much richer for it.

        Personally, I’ve been reading here regularly for 5 years or more (since I was a law student, now a midlevel associate) and don’t really feel like the quality of the commentary has declined, although I do agree that the topics have expanded to cover way more personal stuff (travel, pregnancy, babies, food, etc) and originally the comments used to be much more focused on work. I really enjoy the new discussions, have gotten some great travel recommendations and meal ideas, have learned a lot about pregnancy and babies (which will hopefully be useful some day) and skip over threads that really don’t interest me. However, I do somewhat miss having a community that was very focused on work and women giving advice and helping women succeed and get ahead (I think this community was a ‘lean-in circle’ years before anyone had heard of Sheryl Sandberg). So I guess what I’m trying to say is I like both the old and the new communities here, but I do see some differences.

        • AnonaFriday :

          I’m getting the “posting too quickly” page so I lost my original comment here. If it returns, forgive me for posting twice.

          I agree here with your thoughts on occasional commenters. I think occasional and new commenters add more to this site than “super commenters” do and we need to do more as a community to draw them in. The “super commenters” are part of the reason that I feel conversation has dulled. Not only do we know their thoughts on everything by now, but the cliquishness drives potential new people away. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find a bit more “group think” that has evolved here because of it. We need to do more to encourage the lurkers and the new readers to comment with fresh perspectives. I think a hashtag is in order. #getyo’selfahandleandcomment

      • I’m Anon at 2:59. I haven’t tried to meet people from this site IRL because I live in a very small town which is unlikely to have other readers. If I were close to Boston or SF (or even there for a weekend!) I would definitely try to participate in a meet-up. I really enjoyed NOLA and zora’s story of their weekend, and I think it’s great that folks have made real friends here. But that’s beside my point-I’ve commented frequently under the same handle, and (assuming my posts are helpful/informative/smart), I don’t need anyone to pat my back for doing so. However, it is annoying when the same 5 current posters get singled out as if they are the only reason for reading this blog, and everyone bemoans the fact that 5 people left. It just doesn’t feel welcoming to all the other folks who post. That’s my point, not that y’all can’t hang out IRL.

        • Weekend TJ :

          See, I completely disagree with that. I think that is a “you” feeling and you’re certainly entitled to feel that way, but that does not make it some kind of objective reality. I would liken it to when you walk alone into a party and you feel like everyone is staring at you because you’re just standing there but in reality everyone is paying attention to themselves, no one is looking at you for more than maybe 5 seconds. I certainly can’t name any 5 people that I read for, and I am not bemoaning that anyone specific left, just noting that people are leaving. I’ll even go on to say that I am happy certain people seem to have left on a personal level because I found them to be annoying and I used to sigh when I saw them comment on every single topic. But my larger point is that I am sad if they felt unwelcome because I think it’s part of a larger trend.

          • You are very YOU centric, WTJ. She is entitled to her own opinions.

          • Weekend TJ :

            What part of my saying “you’re entitled to feel that way” feels to you like I am saying she is NOT entitled to her own opinions? I probably am very ME centric but your comment is exactly my point – people seem to read things to get insulted, not to reflect reality.

          • Anonymous :

            Sorry, WTJ, I agree with guess. Your response was so patronizing. “You” feeling. Uh, everyone’s opinion ever is their “you” feeling, and you are certainly not entitled to make any declarations on what is or is not an objective reality. Because again, your idea of what is the objective reality would be a “YOU” feeling.

            You might call this “getting insulted” – but really, it’s just calling out bad behaviour. There is a difference.

          • Anonymous :

            I’d just like to add that I find it frankly hilarious that you call out another person’s opinion as their “YOU” feeling, but think that your opinion is the objective reality. WOW! That says a lot about you.

          • Weekend TJ :

            To the two anonymous posters @1:19 and 1:21 — Totally happy to have disagreement, but just to clarify: I didn’t say, and certainly didn’t mean, that my opinion was any sort of “objective reality”. In a way, your comments are exactly what I am referencing here though. You read my comment which is me saying “I think that’s subjective, just because you feel that way doesn’t mean it’s objective” and you take it to mean that I am suggesting that instead my “reality” is what I consider objective fact. Totally missing my point! I am just saying that I choose to view my own feelings as inherently subjective and therefore I don’t take certain things that personally. Perhaps I could have spelled it out more explicitly but it’s sort of exactly the sort of thing I am talking about. Perhaps I am wrong to think that I shouldn’t have to make things so painstakingly clear because people will just understand what I mean without taking everything as a personal indictment.

            It’s hard for me to know about you when you only post as ‘anonymous’ but if you take the time to read some of my other comments, I am actually very open to the notion that my sense about what has changed is entirely subjective.

            PS: Totally legit to post as “anonymous” but is it really any more anonymous than just posting as Sally, Mildred or Dr. Who? It certainly makes it harder to respond back in a meaningful way though.

    • I’ve been a longtime reader, and I do miss the posters you list. The conversation ebbs and flows. Not always better or worse…just different. I believe that some of the wise sages have left, and for that, I am sad–having some older women to tell us, “Listen hun….back in the day…” or “over the course of my career” was helpful. Maybe they’re still here anonymously though?

      I agree that there has been more mommy-stuff in recent years. It doesn’t bother me though. I just skip it or read if I have time.

      The blog has more “cross-promoting” bloggers too…that used to be shouted down, and now I don’t see anyone ranting if someone’s name is linked. That’s different too.

      • what about . . . :

        re: wise sages, I think Senior Attorney posts gold almost every time she writes. And yes, I think many others are here anonymously, because I have written a few anonymous questions and gotten excellent, worldwise answers in response.

        • I do agree on this point – she is wise on both work and life things…

        • Senior Attorney :

          Oh, pshaw.

          Although I have to admit I appreciate it. Swear to God I was reading this thread and thinking “Gah. I have been posting too much lately and I am plainly part of the problem…”

        • Anonymous :

          Senior Attorney cries if any one disagrees with her though. I cant take you seriously as a wise sage if you say you are going to go home because someone gently disagreed with you. online. and its someone you dont even know.

          • what about . . . :

            Is this a joke?! I’m not even one of the regular posters or “defenders,” but this is just plain mean. She is clearly going through hard times with her divorce and her ill mother. Yeah, I’d be crying all the time, but instead she has channeled her positive energy into providing good advice, and apparently wearing really snappy outfits as well (you do you, as others have neatly put it). Yeesh, and my having to typing out “Anonymous” for your name really says the rest.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Waaaaaa!!! That was mean!!!!!!

            *sniff*

            Heh.

          • Anonymous :

            I am not talking about any comments related to her divorce at all. She said the weather was nice, someone said it was actually rainy, and she said she had to take her ball and go home. And it wasn’t the first time. I have posted many comments supporting her with the particular issues, it sounds super rough. I really didn’t find my comment mean and didn’t mean it to be- I just find her to be one of the most sensitive posters to any disagreement or difference of opinion. Did not mean to connect it to any personal issues.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, I totally cop to being more sensitive than I’d like to be. I hate it but there it is anyway.

            I don’t think I am a pick-up-my-ball-and-go-home girl in general, though. I do recall this one time a while back when somebody said something late in the day that hurt my feelers, and then the next day I said something that I felt was misunderstood and I said I felt like I was having a bad Thissite day and was going to go do something else for a while. Somebody, whom I presume to have been this Anonymous, took exception to that. Not my finest moment but not the worst thing anybody’s ever posted here by a long shot.

            Whatevs, man. I do my best, I almost always have fun here, and if I ever claimed to be perfect (or a “wise sage,” for that matter), that was obviously inaccurate.

    • Anonymous :

      Though I rarely comment myself, I’ve read this site and the comments almost every day since I discovered it in 2009. It seems that there’s always been some wistfulness for the “good old days” – years ago people voiced the same concerns you are now (STFU thissite has been around for almost three years at this point). That being said, I think the comments as a whole have gradually trended to focus less on work and more on S3x/relationships/pregnancy, which maybe inspires a different tenor of conversation. I love this community – it’s gotten me through 3L year, the bar exam, my clerkship, and my first two years as an associate – but at no point in the past five years have I benefited from every comment or been interested in every conversation.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. The readership has gotten less smart, and less overachieving. I’ve also become smarter (and also less overachieving ha) Everyone is kind of from the same pot now. Its not the snarkiness that is the problem. The majority of posters now are just midlevel 30 something lawyers and many have no sense of etiquette, business skills, etc. I used to learn alot from those above me, but now I kind of feel like Ive outpaced the readership in the 5 years. Part of that is that I know a lot more now too. And I’m talking about the general readership not particular readers. I think 5 years in, its just a lot less aspirational. 5 years ago everyone was smarter than me and had a cooler job. There were also less comments, so I think people who were swamped could still contribute. Now with 200 comments almost every post, people with very little time probably aren’t wading into the waters.

      • Weekend TJ :

        That’s an interesting point. I started reading when I was just recently out of law school so perhaps the conversation and insights just seemed smarter. But even so, the tone has also changed, I think.

      • This is harsh but I agree entirely.

        Also, I’m one who gets sick of the pregnancy/kids threadjacks, but my hope is that they start moving over to the Moms site. I’m here for business fashion.

      • I wouldn’t put it quite so harshly due to my extreme southern aversion to conflict, but in general, my feeling is similar – I feel the conversation has shifted away from a heavy interest on work and career, and more into relationships and parenting. On the one hand, this community has been enormously supportive to me personally and I’m so grateful for that. On the other hand, I miss feeling like this was the place where there were a lot of other super-career-oriented women that understood the challenges and concerns I faced and have similar goals. I don’t know where to go to have those conversations.

        And it is true that one can just scroll past all of the mothering/relationship posts, but I’m starting to feel like I scroll more than I read.

        • +1
          I read this site because I want to discuss workplace issues with other smart women and it seems like that is less and less of the conversation. I’ve tried to start a few conversations on points that I am interested in but they’ve gotten few responses.

          But yes, I do think that I’ve somewhat “out grown” the conversation here as my professional career has outpaced the basic discussions.

        • Anon for this.

          I agree. I scroll through far more content than I bother to read. I don’t know when people got the idea that this is a pregnancy or parenting forum, but that is clearly not how the site bills itself or how it ever has in its history.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Yes, I wonder if this is a sort of self-selection type thing–the cohort of this site may have changed the same, but to someone in law school (I was a 1L when I first started reading this site), the advice of women already in the work force may seem much more “wise.” But I still find that there are posters who know much more about particular topics — e.g., finances, esp. retirement, how to negotiate the workforce, that I still gain helpful knowledge from the web site.

      • new york associate :

        I agree that it’s a cohort thing. I’ve been reading and commenting under various usernames since this was a baby blog, but I’m beginning to feel like I’ve aged out of the professional advice. I am really yearning for advice from young partners and got some great advice a few weeks ago from someone (RR, I think? and a few others? it was really helpful) – but I want more of that. I feel like the content of the blog has not grown up with its readership and I suspect some readers have stopped commenting and participating as a result. (Not thinking of the regular commenters of yore, but the anonymous, once-in-a-while commenters.)

        • YES. Man, where can we go to get awesome honest advice from female partners? I would love that…

          • Not a partner (or at a firm), but as in-house counsel, I really miss the posts from Divalicious for exactly this reason. Hearing from someone who is where I hope to be in 10-15 years is invaluable.

          • I might be over at the mom’s site. I started reading this while pumping for baby #2, so at that point I needed it mainly as a fashion blog (back-to-back babies meant I hadn’t bought serious work clothes in a long time and was resorting to a lot of mail order, so it helped to know that Theory was for straight up-and-down people, etc.). I have the law thing down though, so most of what I’m interested in is clothes- or kid- or juggle-related. I can respond to BigLaw partner stuff though :)

        • Anonymous :

          To offer a counterpoint…I consider myself a career-oriented, overachieving chick, but I don’t want to make partner because I (a) don’t work at a law firm and (b) am not a lawyer (we do exist). I read these comments and worry WE ARE ONLY GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT LAW FIRMS FROM HERE ON OUT.

          Just saying.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Agreed. I was really excited Kat did a rainmaking post and really disappointed that it got few hits. It made me wonder if I was more senior than most readers.

          • AnonInfinity :

            Same here. I’m very interested in reading the career development posts and threadjacks, and those often get so few responses.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Agreed. I was really excited Kat did a rainmaking post and really disappointed that it got few hits. It made me wonder if I was more senior than most readers. ( I keep getting a weird duplicate post error though I don’t see any posts. Sorry if this comes up twice or more.)

        • The irony of aging out is that I was too old for this site when I found it.

          I did find the younger perspective invaluable. It is far to easy to be perceived as old and out of touch. Getting a broader (national/international) take on a variety of WORK related topics was gold.

          Sadly, I see a strong trend away from career and toward personal(s) and drama. It can be entertaining, but there are so many other places I can go for that.

          (I also skip right by the parenting threads. I have no interest and nothing to offer.)

      • @3:40-this resonates with me on so many levels. I am certainly less overachieving now than I was 3+ years ago when I was a regular at this site! But more to the point of this conversation, I’ve felt that I can no longer keep up with what’s going on here. It used to be that you could come here every third day and still be completely on top of everything but now not only do I feel that I cant’ keep up with the conversations, by the time I have a free moment to comment, it is usually too late, the conversation has died and I’m unlikely to get any responses.

        I am not bothered by the snark or anything else but I do feel less a part of the community than I did a few years ago. But that’s okay. My life has changed and while I continue to like this site, it doesn’t have to play the same role that it did when I was first starting out.

      • I’m probably contributing to this, sorry :( I’m a second year in university (though in the UK, so I guess I’m in the same place as a 1 L in terms of time until I enter the workforce). I started reading this site because neither of my parents do corporate jobs and I was worried that what I was hearing about clothing and so on wasn’t right. Also, selfishly, I’ve always enjoyed interacting with those older than me.

        But it is odd to think that where most of you live I’m not even old enough to drink, and I’m probably the least qualified commenter on most threads

    • Anon for This :

      Yes, I agree, the conversations have changed over the past few years. There is a lot less discussions about clothes, either what is displayed that day or other options, and I miss that. It was the primary reason I came to this site, but I rarely find anything useful any more. We’ve also seemed to move away from some of the more serious topics and spend more time on what to pack for lunch, what to make for dinner, what to buy someone graduating from college. Back in the day, we also used to refer the people posting about pregnancy and kids to other blogs, but now the site seems to welcome the conversation.

      I come here less frequently, and tend to scroll through comments, and to be honest, inwardly snicker at a few. I read the posts on clothes, shoes, bags and work and skip the rest. I’ve been looking around for a different forum for executive women who want to discuss professional wear or the right thing for that kind of work event, as this blog doesn’t do that anymore.

      And yes, I can scroll past the never ending recipe threads (no offense to today’s version) or the I had sex last night, when do I tell my boss I might be pregnant? posts, but I would prefer to find a place where more of what is posted aligns with the stated objective of the blog.

      • I suspect you might be me. Creepy.

      • I find that I don’t really typically like the fashion picks anymore, so I’m less inclined to post/comment about that, but I agree, generally. If you find another forum, let me know…

      • I totally hear your point, but I have to say, I come here for all of those other conversations and couldn’t care less about the fashion conversations. I’ve been reading this blog for that sort of thing, though, since 2009 or so. It’s changed a bit, but I still come here for that.

        I like that this site is sort of like the Magic 8 ball of smart, professional women–you put a question in and you’ll get a bunch of answers, hopefully one of which is useful! Still, I can see how that’s frustrating.

        • amberwitch :

          I don’t read the site for the fashion – my taste is not very aligned with the fashion that is displayed here, the clothes are rarely of a quality/cut that I want and shipping issues gets in the way on the occasion I see something I like.
          What I like is the discussions. Most are not very relevant to me, as they are very US centric, relates to different lifestyles and different careers than me. Dosn’t matter. They are a lovely addition to my daily downtime.
          I rarely comment since the time difference means that when I am reading, most of the discussions have petered out.

    • I’ve been reading and commenting since 2010, and I don’t notice any difference in overall tone or content since that time. There have always been helpful threads, snark, wedding and pregnancy posts that some people don’t find interesting, offensive comments and people quick to take offense, and so on. I truly think it’s a wash.

      I also don’t feel that there’s a critical class of commenters whom we’ve lost (nor that we’ve gained). Yes, many people probably just switch handles, but again here I find that the natural turnover as time passes simply results in…about the same experience year after year, at least for me as a reader. There’s a lot of variation in what people like, at any rate.

      • +1… I think it’s the nature of Internet communities that people come and go (or come, go, change their handles, and come back again). Also, sometimes your interests may change. When I was studying for the bar or looking for a job, posts about that were high on my list… now they’re less so.

      • espresso bean :

        I agree with this. Also, it seems that there’s natural evolution for every online forum I’ve ever read/participated in. The forum reaches a point of critical mass where people start bemoaning the current state of the forum and getting nostalgic for the old days or posters who have left.

        I’m sad to see that some posters are contemplating leaving, though — I would hate to see that happen. Sometimes I wonder if part of the problem is that some of the people who would contribute a great deal to the conversation are staying quiet and lurking (and I’m totally guilty as charged on this).

        I don’t want to say that things are dumbed down here, exactly, but I do miss some of the mature voices of wisdom. I do think talking about the problem is a good start. I still love coming here and reading all the conversations, even though things can get heated and repetitive at times.

        I’m interested to hear what others have to say about all this.

    • I wish you had posted this under your usual user name. It’s a valid thing to say— I’m still mulling over whether I agree, although I definitely also miss some former regulars—but if you wanted to bring this up as someone who values the community and, it seems, the history, I think it would have been more effective to do it as “yourself.” If you got flamed for being “controversial,” then your point would have just been proven.
      But I digress.

      • Weekend TJ :

        You’re probably right but I also wanted to be more honest than I would be comfortable being under my “regular” name. Perhaps, I also bought into my own feelings a bit too much and I assumed this would quickly devolve into a hurt feelings/if you don’t like it, leave sort of discussion.

        • I’ve been reading for a couple years now (I guess three, because I started law school and now I’m finishing). I do think there are more personal and fewer professional posts. It doesn’t really bother me, though, because the fashion-type professional posts still get answered, and frankly, if you have a question about interviews or negotiating a raise, something like ask a manager is probably where that belongs anyway. This is, first and foremost, a fashion blog. So I don’t really expect epic financial or promotion/career advice in the first place.

          That said, I do see a serious uptick in the knee-jerk hurt feelings. People seem instantly hurt by things that aren’t remotely personal, and offended by things that are not objectively offensive (which leads into the hurt feelings because people think they’re entitled to an apology because someone offended or upset them. You’re not. You’re entitled to feel how you feel, but that doesn’t mean everyone must modify perfectly reasonable behavior to suit you personally.)

          Long story short, sometimes the comment threads are indistinguishable from Jezebel comment threads. I read Jezebel too, and like here, I like some posters and dislike others. But, overall, the expected “tone” of that site is more in line with that type of comment. I expect a little more professionalism here, even if we’re talking about babies.

          • This is very much how I feel, right down to the Jezebel clone issue.

          • +1 its the Jezebel tone that bothers me the most. I’ve been reading since 2010 and that tone is more prevalent than it was before.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            I think it’s still better than Jezebel, which I only hate read at this point.

          • As someone who has posted frequently for longer than I like to admit, I agree with this about knee-jerk reactions. I think no matter what you say on here lately, you risk offending someone, no matter what. So I think that a lot of older school commenters have become lurkers because they were a bit tired of it (plus, the older school commenters were more frequently targeted for this treatment – le sigh.) I hate being distanced from this community which has been with me for so long and which I’ve genuinely loved many times – but it was no longer serving the purpose of cheering me up.

    • I’ve been around under one user name or another since I think not too long after this site got started, and I agree the commentary has changed. I don’t know if it’s gotten “worse,” per se, but changed, which I think is a function of a couple of things: 1) there are a lot more readers now than there were initially, so you’re going to get a wider variety of comments 2) people have aged, which I think is why there has been an uptick in pregnancy/kid questions–I know a lot of people who started reading this in law school, and now we’re out and starting to have kids and dealing with that and 3) a lot of questions have been discussed enough before that at this point that long-time readers probably don’t feel the need to ask them (or respond) again. Also, possibly 4) This site was started back when the economy was terrible, work was slow (or, again, we were in law school), and a lot of us had more free time. I suspect for a lot of people, they’re much busier than they used to be and don’t have the same amount of time to read/comment thoughtfully.

      • I agree as to point #3. I’ve lurked for maybe 5 years and posted sporadically (maybe 1/3 or 1/4 of the time under this handle, and other times anonymously). Because I’ve only been out of law school 2 years, a lot of my actual questions/concerns about job searching, office etiquette, office-appropriate clothing, etc., have been answered on older threads. If I have a specific question I often google “thissite + question”) and don’t post the question at all. So a lot of the questions I tend to post are about relationships and general life stuff that hasn’t been covered, to my knowledge.

    • Hey guys. First, I’m still here, though less than before. Since I had my second kid, between job and kids and the fact that we are building a house, I don’t have the free time I did before (boo!) But I also have to say that the kid/relationship focused threads feel overwhelming at times, and that’s from someone who should be a good audience for them. I’m hopeful that when the moms site gets launched, we can filter that content and leave it over there a bit more.

      I personally snicker at all the hurt feelings and then defense of hurt feelings followed by explanations about why/why not feelings should or should not have been hurt. And you can call me a b!tch for that. But in my male dominated career that kind of discussion is so foreign to me, that I find it amusing.

      I think this place ebbs and flows. I feel like maybe 2 years ago there was a similar feeling that “things have changed.” Maybe they have and maybe they haven’t. For the real old-timers, there was a commenter named Shayna who had a big dust up with feelings and left in a semi-public huff, and it was all the same issues that people are saying are “new.” I still love this place, and compared to any other site, this is a group of women who are aspiring to negotiate a complex set of relationships — work, home, family.

      I’ll stay til it doesn’t seem relevant. But it still does for me, even if I’m not commenting.

      • Love this: “I still love this place, and compared to any other site, this is a group of women who are aspiring to negotiate a complex set of relationships — work, home, family.”

        I love that this site has smart, professional women talking about the full picture of their lives. As someone who couldn’t care less about fashion, I had to be convinced to read this blog BECAUSE of the other stuff on here. And that’s what I love about it. Sure, I sometimes click on the links to bags, etc, but it’s not why I come here.

        I also think that it’s a little demeaning to suggest that pregnancy, babies, and relationships are somehow dumb, boring, or taboo as professional women (not that anyone really said that outright). I think they’re a valid part of our lives and if we can talk shoes, why can’t we talk family? I know I’ll get the “but this is a fashion blog!” response, but come on, is it? I don’t think it’s been just that for quite some time now.

        • I guess I feel like there are so many places to talk pregnancy, boys and babies, but so few places for professional women to have honest conversations about their goals and aspirations. I appreciate that this is a place where it’s okay for me to be really focused on making partner; I wish that there was more conversation around that, just because I can’t get that other places.

          • I think the moms version of this site will hopefully transition a lot of that conversation away from here. But, there really isn’t a great place to talk pregnancy, boys, and babies with similarly career-minded women. At least that I’ve found. So we all defaulted here because the advice and counsel has generally been trustworthy and helpful on other topics.

          • Yes. Exactly. There are just so many other forums for talking about pregnancy and sex and relationships of all kinds. So, so many. Do a Google search. What set this site apart was that it was different from them and offered a unique focus. Now that focus has all but disappeared.

          • Anonymous :

            Seconding JJ (but understanding your valid frustration, cbackson). I have found no (zero. zilch.) helpful forums for those sorts of things! Really. I would LOVE a site talking about pregnancy and babies that was primarily working women (i.e., women who NEED TO FIND GOOD CHILDCARE) with a basic grasp of grammar and generally thoughtful, articulate opinions.

            Honestly, if you’ve done a google search and found one, please let me know. Because I would love one but I can’t find one.

          • hoola hoopa :

            I posted something similar above, but it’s in moderation so I’ll repost here, where it’s more relevant.

            It may be unbelievable to people without kids, but it really is something special to find a community of professional moms. On most parenting discussion boards, if you talk about not being able to maintain a pumping schedule or trying to find a nanny while you work 50+ hours, you will most certainly be told that if you loved your baby you would make them the priority. So not helpful. Not because they are mean or insensitive or dumb, but because most of the mothers there simply don’t have the personal experience.

            I’m hopeful that the mom site will give those discussions a place to exist while not overwhelming other discussions here. While I love that the discussions are happening, one of the reasons I came to thissite 4-5 years ago was to find a refuge from parenting discussions and focus on my professional development.

          • hoola hoopla – I agree. I’m excited that we’ll have the moms site because I’d like a place to just focus on career (or fashion! or dating! or investing!) talk with career-minded women. Basically a place to escape family talk…even though I do love my sons more than I can imagine. But I’m more than just a mother, and I’m glad these sites reflect people like that. And when I want to discuss working mother issues? Now there’s a site for that, as well. Very excited.

        • “I also think that it’s a little demeaning to suggest that pregnancy, babies, and relationships are somehow dumb, boring, or taboo as professional women (not that anyone really said that outright).”

          Very valid point. That said, when I have lunch with other women at work, that’s ALL that comes up . It’s “my kid this”, “my kid that”, “when I was pregnant”. I’ll politely listen and participate, but why can’t we talk about war stories, work advice, finance and promotions sometimes too? Because these topics seem boring, not fulfilling or taboo to most women.

          • This!

            I don’t have kids. I don’t want kids. I don’t want to hear about kids ad nauseum. It has nothing to do with judging, demeaning, or condescending. It is just an incompatibility.

          • Haha, I have to say, that everybody has their “kid”–it could be cats, dogs, their art hobby, their sport, their sportsteam… but maybe the women you work with ARE dealing mainly with their kids right now. The women at my workplace are not (which I find strangely concerning), but there it is.

        • I think one of the issues that makes this difficult to navigate is the nature of the site. Running commentary on a huge variety of topics and no definitive means of sifting through it or searching prior posts limits the functionality in some ways. I’d like to see more of a forum/bulletin board set up. Some days I want to talk about how to mentor the young ‘uns in my firm, some days I want to talk about current events, some days I need working parent advice and some days I really just want to re-vamp my closet.
          I also agree that this site is really unique and I love that I can cover a lot of those topics in one place.

          • Agreed – I think a forum would address a lot of the issues under discussion here.

      • Good to see you, EC MD!

        I’m glad I’m not the only one that snickers at the hurt feelings. I can’t imagine getting my feelings hurt based on the snark of an anonymous person on the internet. There is also definitely a language police contingent present on these threads that can be a little over-the-top at times.

        I haven’t thought about Shayna in a long time. But I think a lot of the professional discussion here also ebbs and flows because we’ve addressed a lot of issues already. When people are writing to Kat now with questions like “When is it appropriate to wear pearls?” or whether certain types of coffee mugs are unprofessional, it feels like the “big stuff” has been covered.

        • Slightly annoyed :

          I’ve felt that the quality of workplace discussion has declined and, being of the “if you don’t like something, try to fix it” mindset, have tried to spark conversation that I find more relevant to career issues. I posted several questions on threads which got minimal response and even went so far as to send Kat several questions, none of which she has posted, which is really disappointing when I see the right coffee mug posts getting answered.

          That said, I think that there is a need for basic workplace and parenting/family conversations for smart women, it’s just not what I hoped this blog would be.

          • Kat has never responded to any of the questions I have sent either. So I second seeing responses to rather frivolous questions is disappointing.

            But on the other hand, this is Kat’s blog to do with and steer as she sees fit.

            Unless a huge number of people stop clicking, buying, and commenting, I highly doubt anything will change.

          • Weekend TJ :

            I hate to say this but I think part of this might be the result of Kat being out of a traditional workplace for so long now. As much as you can try to keep current through articles and conferences, you just can’t have the same insight or awareness of issues if you’re not down in the trenches on a weekly basis. It’s like being a trial lawyer; you lose those skills if you don’t stay on it. I love this community but maybe this is partly contributing to the more parenting/personal tone.

        • what about . . . :

          What if Kat took a readership poll? And aybe just devoted “days” to the top topics? E.g. Money Mondays, Food Fridays, etc. She needn’t write out a whole post for it, being a busy mother, but m

          Apologies if this is being done already — I just haven’t picked up on that pattern for non-fashion posts.

          (I’d bet financial planning would be a winner!)

          • what about . . . :

            Argh it’s Friday, y’all. Sorry for typos.

          • espresso bean :

            Yes! Or themed professional posts, like an open thread for aspiring partners or something…

          • what about . . . :

            espresso bean, love the idea! Would love to see something specific to my industry and career aspiration.

          • hoola hoopa :

            I also think there’s potential there.

      • wolverine :

        For everyone commenting about seeing an uptick in hurt feelings, have you considered that a portion of those hurt feelings might simply be because this community has gotten more diverse? Not all, but a portion. When this community started, it seemed to be mostly US based women lawyers in larger urban areas. Since then the community has expanded along geography, age, race, profession and other factors. Which means that back in good old days, it may have been okay to say something like “professional hair is straight and sleek” but now someone will take offense at it (and IMHO, rightly so). I hope people are not snickering at these specific instances of hurt feelings.

        • No, I’m thinking more along the lines of the threads where people ask about Louboutins and someone always chimes in with “I judge people who buy those shoes because you chose to spend so much money on a material good!” and then someone is offended by that. So you have the person that feels so strongly about someone spending money on something that they have to condemn them, and then the person that spends that money feeling offended.

        • Orangerie :

          That’s not what I was talking about re: hurt feelings. More like someone disagrees with Kat’s assessment of a leopard blazer as a basic, and then other people are all “omg that’s so harsh I would totally wear this.”

        • Anonymous :

          No, I’m thinking more along the lines of the threads where people don’t like Kat’s pick and someone says, be easy, it’s rough to be a blogger.

          (FWIW, I actually really love and value the contributions of the named posters who have done this, but I did find these specific instances funny).

        • Just to clarify — I think sometimes people have been called on stuff that is classist, racist, elitist, ethnocentric, xenophobic and I think that is right. on. It was indeed the multipart parsing of whether leopard is a basic that made me snicker. I think people need to be called out when their viewpoint is inappropriately narrow. And if that makes you uncomfortable, then you need to examine your assumptions. It’s the dissection of the leopard blazer that makes me snicker. I am not laughing at people calling people out when they are saying something that’s narrow-minded.

          • Orangerie :

            +1

          • Also agree, so much :)

          • I really wanted the leopard blazer and the pink / rose colored one to merge into a pinky leopard blazer, but I thought it wouldn’t set right if I said that. But still, a pink leopard blazer would be so cool.

          • Oh my goodness, I would buy a pink leopard blazer all day long.

        • I agree with Wolverine that the commenters have introduced and at times emphasized —rightly— that we need to check our assumptions, examine our privilege, and straight-up confront the class and race issues that inform the discussions here. This is a good thing.

          What has made me uncomfortable is the existence of a parallel blog that is done from the perspective of people who are reading out comments and seeking out the most tone-deaf, off-base ones, and instead of engaging here with the possibility of effecting positive change, posting them on another site and mocking them. It’s not any commenter’s job to “educate” others about race and class, but flat-out mocking people is not any less mean online than it is IRL.

          So, for me, anyway, one of the things that has negatively affected the way I interact with this site is the knowledge that someone is reading not out of interest or a desire to participate, but out of a critical, mocking perspective, waiting to pounce and make an example out of people. People say dumb sh*t all the time, everywhere, but I think everyone here is basically well-intentioned. Why not engage with them over the dumb sh*t—call it out!— instead of painting all of us with the same brush by having an entire site directed at the R*tte commentariat, as if all of us are racist, classist b*tches.

      • Anonymous :

        So good to see you, EC MD. Hope you are loving having baby #2. I know you were a rock star mom the first time around (even if you alone had some unfounded concerns about wearing yoga pants to work in the middle of the night), but I hope you’ve found, as I did, that number 2 is so much fun! I know this is off topic but I have always loved your posts and admired you from afar. I hope we hear from you more if you can spare us the time.

        • You are too sweet. I have found #2 to be so much fun — all of the neurotic worrying from the first went away, we are planning to be done with procreation, so I just have tried to savor all the moments. Watching my older interact with the younger, oh it’s been awesome. I love the community so much, but morning is my craziest time of day and by the time I check in mid day, being on the West coast, I feel as many of the conversations have passed me by. But it’s all good.

      • EC MD, I still remember how you helped me out with a medical issue a couple years ago (by telling me yes, that is something you should be worried about and see a doctor right away). I took your advice, turned out to be something that could have become serious if it wasn’t attended to right away, so I am grateful and if I forgot to thiank you then (what with the three days of really high fever and all) I want to thank you now!

    • hoola hoopa :

      I agree and have been doing a lot of head nodding. Here are a couple of points I haven’t seen mentioned yet:

      – I suspect many readers are now commenting via their smartphone or tablet, which frankly is not conducive to highbrow writing styles. I have attributed the more casual (less smart) language to the mode rather than the readers themselves.

      – In my region, professional attire has truly changed in the last 5-10 years. When I entered my professional career, everyone at my current job level had at least two suits and wore traditional suiting separates everyday… then it became business casual and suits just for meetings… then jeans and maybe separates (but not a suit) for only the really important meetings. Even our diehard power-suit-wearing CEO has transitions to softer separates. It’s been surreal to live through, actually. My starter work wardrobe is more “professional” than my current.

      – I’ve posted under a couple of names since 2009 or 2010. I’ve had many of the same feelings about how the blog has changed. I do completely believe that it has changed – Kat has done surveys in the past and could do one again for comparison – but I also recently dug though some older threads and realized that they weren’t always so smart and professional as I remember. It may be partially memory failure/nostalgia and partially my own development. If some of you haven’t done that yet, it’s worth a review.

    • Silvercurls :

      Thanks for raising the subject. I’m not sure how to respond aside from saying that I also miss some of the posters who were regulars in the past. Mamabear and TCFKAG come to mind; you listed several others; apologies to anyone I’m overlooking. (EC MD–good to see you earlier this afternoon. Glad that things are going well for you, even if you’re currently crazy busy.) On the other hand we still have a steady crop of regulars although right now my memory is handing me only the names of NOLA and Godzilla. Again, apologies for anyone I’ve overlooked!

      Others have already commented that online communities seem to ebb and flow. This seems normal to me, because communities in real life do the same thing. So at one time this site had a lot of understood-by-most-regular-readers jokes about LGP (lady garden parties, a euphemism for intimate activity) and at another time this site features a lot of hurt feelings bestowed or received. I’m encouraged by the fact that requests–explicit or implicit–for moral support still elicit strong responses along the lines of “we may seem to be merely a collection of internet strangers, but we really care about you and your well-being” along with practical information such as crisis hotline phone numbers and resources for finding a therapist.

      Short version: Some regulars have faded away, others are still here, and we’re getting new ones as well (some of whom won’t be revealed as Regulars until some time in the future because, hey, that’s how life is). Subjects of discussion ebb and flow. The recent rise in hurt feelings is a shame, but the fundamentally caring nature of this site still seems to be here even if it’s expressed less frequently.

      • Sometimes I think I’ve been around too long – maybe 3 years? I don’t know. I’ve found a great community here and have made RL friends here, so it’s been great. I’ve been in a transition in my life where my friends have moved away or all of us are so busy or on different schedules so we hardly see one another, which is sad.

        I ignore a lot of the stuff that goes on here and I try not to take any of it personally or get upset if people are being harsh or whatever. Honestly, I am often really busy with meetings in the mornings so I’ll jump in and comment early then look at comments on my phone or at lunch. That may mean my comments don’t have a lot of substance, but I’m not trying to be this wise sage (even at my *advanced* age). I try to find a minute to comment when something comes up where I could be helpful. In the afternoons, I comment then read the rest on my phone at the gym. There have been times recently when there’s nothing much to comment on so I’ll wait. But yeah, I do remember when the Coffee Break was more open thread and people would wait to post threadjacks there. I didn’t think much about it.

    • I miss some of the discussions we used to have, especially those about fashion that influenced what I wore. I also wish we spent less time on babies and sexual lives, but feel that this is still a very caring community. I have also enjoyed meeting ‘rettes IRL because of this site. That being said, I don’t look forward to the posts like I used to.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I have been a semi regular poster on this site for 5 years. I don’t fit the typical ‘ette demographic. I work in healthcare. I’m almost 50. I live in a very small city and have never seen another poster from there on thissite. I stumbled onto this blog looking for some help navigating the fashion world in an industry where 80% of the workforce wears scrubs and I was the only female c-suite executive. I found much more than just fashion advice. I found a community of women that I found fascinating, smart and interesting. You all introduced me to worlds into which I had never ventured: law school, partnership tracks, life in NYC and DC and so much more. You broadened my world by becoming a part of mine. That was the beauty of the site when I first started posting.

      I’m not sure if the site has changed or if it is me that has changed. I find that now I frequently feel like the elder statesmen of the group. I’m not looking for style recommendations as I seem to have found my niche. I’m not talking about nannies or child care. I’m looking at college brochures with my teenagers. But, I’m still here. This site has been a daily indulgence with my cup of coffee for far too long to give it up now. You ladies have give me many smiles over the years.

      • new york associate :

        Please stay! As someone in the trenches with babies and young children and childcare issues etc., I love the perspective of people a few years ahead of me. I really, really value it.

    • Anonynonynony :

      Yes. You basically have hit the nail on the head. And as a user who has been driven away, I also felt that discourse has become much too contentious on this site for me to enjoy it as an everyday distraction. We used to be able to have polite, two-sided discussions of things like politics without anyone getting offended – but that time seems to have passed.

      • Agreed. I saw it happening for a while, but then when K in Transition got called a catfish shortly after she happened to have commented on something in a way that really helped me, I started to really notice how snarky people were getting for no real reason. Maybe it kept getting worse or maybe I just started to notice more but over and over I saw people asking real questions and others commenting with unnecessarily mean things. It made me leave for a long time and now I probably scroll through comments once or twice a month, but I prefer some other websites where people are kinder and I wonder if the dating people are just hanging out in their fb group instead of subjecting themselves to ridicule here too.

        TL;DR: Sometimes the smartest and most insightful people are the first ones to leave a rude environment and I think that has happened here, unfortunately for everyone.

    • I think the site is fine. And I also really like that people are humble. And the best is Ellen Barshevsky, who always says things with a smile, even though she has issues with her boss, men and living in NY City.

      We all need to take a step back and not get so stuck on ourselves. It probably would be a good thing if we all carry ourselves with the dignity of Ellen Barshevsky. Where is she when we need her views on this thread?

      • I love Ellen. She is very down to earth and not afraid to share her feelings. I hope she finds a husband soon. She probably will be a great mom. I’d set her up with my brother but he’s too much of a player for her.

      • It’s funny, but in a weird way I truly do feel like Ellen is the soul of this site. For all of her…Ellen-ness, in the end, she’s just a young woman trying to find career success and a guy who loves her for her (even with her ample tuchus!). Ellen doesn’t take disrespect from men, she cares about her community, and she has real, meaningful friendships with her female friends. IDK, I kind of feel like I know her…even though she isn’t real.

        Here’s to you, Ellen Barshevsky.

      • I second the motion. Ellen is clearly a gem, and she is our gem. As far as I can tell, she is not posting on the ABA bulletin board any more — instead, she has grown up from a brash law student into a young lady who is achieving fame and fortune in her own small world of workers compensation, and keeping us up to speed with her personal life here, rather than with the ABA. I agree she should find a man, have children and return to the life of her childhood, being like her own mom baking cookies and cakes, and slipping them to her own issue much like her mom does for her. Go Ellen!

        • Pandoraphile :

          I third the motion! Ellen is a great distraction from work because many of us have the same kind of jerks in our office. Personally, I also have a manager who is quirky, and a co-worker with digestive issues that results in a host of excess gas within the office (though no bathroom/toilet in the center of the office that he sits in all day). And needless to say, we all have had issues with our admin assistants (a/k/a secretaries) who can be very helpful at times and very useless at others.

          So I look forward to Ellen’s daily posts, even if Corporette does not have a spell-check function for her! Keep up the great work, Ellen!!!!!!!!!

    • I’ve been posting less lately since I’ve been much busier with work, but I just don’t find thissite very useful anymore. I’ve gotten some great responses on questions regarding work or finance or travel, but it’s gotten frustrating to see the same posts over and over (TTC, FLEECE LINED TIGHTS, what to give as a gift, etc.). Honestly, I think Kat is letting the commenters take over the site a bit too much. Almost every post is just a massive open thread and most of the clothing posts are so short or all splurge items that I just don’t see as being super relevant to most posters here. I’m now getting career info from Ask a Manager and clothing advice from Capitol Hill Style. The former has amazing comment threads that honestly put thissite to shame in terms of variety of topics, diversity of opinions, etc. It’s been great in the past, but just not so much anymore.

      • Former Reader :

        I read the OP’s original comments on Friday and resisted the urge to immediately post a reply. Instead I read all of the comments and kept saying I’ll reply later. Well, it’s later and your post really resonated with me. I have felt for a long time that this site has deteriorated into something I wasn’t interested in at best, saddened by at times, and annoyed by most of the time. It used to be a great place for advice on all types of topics from fashion to dealing with subordinates and crazy bosses.

        Someone up thread suggested that Kat do a readers poll – I’ve been reading and commenting here long enough to have participated in more than one poll — I don’t think a poll will do any good. This may sound harsh but I feel like Kat is phoning it in — there seems to be little thought behind the fashion selections, the content of the posts is recycled at best and silly at its worst, the comments aren’t moderated and rarely have anything to do with the posts and are so repetitive that I can go days without reading and nothing changes. Every readers poll, I’ve suggested guest writers and posting outfits because posting a single garment is useless. I basically hate read the site at this point and feel like it has become a parody of itself. It used to be a site with relevant workplace advice for women and now it feels full of whiny commenters, disagreeable contrarians, know-it-alls, and overly sensitive people. I deal with enough of those people at work.

        At any rate, I second your shout out to Ask a Manager. Great topics, on point advice and a good community of commenters. I love Capitol Hill Style for clothing recommendations and her weekly reading list. She puts WAY more thought into her content and outfit postings than the average blog and certainly more than this one has of late.

        Sorry if this sounds harsh but I’m no longer going to waste my time reading this site.

        • Weekend TJ :

          Thanks for posting your thoughts. I don’t know if I am quite there — I still find value in this site, but I do think that something has changed. I don’t think that Kat is phoning it in, but maybe it’s just part of her not being in the corporate workplace day to day that has made this site feel less than essential. I realized this for myself the other day when I realized I was giving my single friend dating advice and she called me out on coming from the perspective of a married lady because my advice was basically, “just tell him exactly how you feel” and she was, basically, like “I can’t do that this early on, he’s going to freak out”…

        • Yeah, I have wondered if both with respect to fashion advice and career advice, the fact that Kat no longer works in a corporate environment has been a contributing factor to my declining interest. I love AAM for career advice – especially on managing people – and I’ve bought at least five things in the last year that CHS featured.

        • I completely agree with this. I’ve never found one-item “splurge Monday” or “here’s a jacket, coffee break!” posts helpful. They don’t feature items Kat owns or has seen in person, they don’t help put together outfits, and they frankly seem like a lazy way to get the commenters going on yet another massive open thread. It also bothers me that I NEVER see Kat contribute in the comments and it makes me wonder how invested she is in the purpose of this site.

      • Thanks Weekend TJ! :

        Agreed. As someone who has read and commented (under a few different names) since 2010, I do feel like the quality has changed. It’s been very interesting to see other’s responses as well, so I appreciate you starting the conversation. I read the comments religiously for about two years and now read them a few times a month. To be honest, when I do come back and read the comments, I usually don’t feel like I’ve missed much. It seems like the posts that could lead to the best conversations tend to have the fewest comments.

        That said, I have also wondered if it’s because there is a typical “life cycle” for posters here – reading enthusiastically for a few months, dipping one toe into commenting then jumping in consistently for awhile, then finally the feeling that you’ve heard most of these questions and conversations before and slowly dropping off of reading and commenting.

    • Speaking as someone who lurked since about 2008 and then started posting just about a year(?) ago, I am in complete agreement.

      I strongly miss the days when conversations were more professional and less personal. I fully admit that I have been drawn into some personal topics, but whereas in the past, I would share topics from Corporette with my co-workers and even management, that is no longer the case. I get nearly nothing from this site that helps my career. It is now purely entertainment.

      • I’m a long time lurker myself; I rarely comment and I’ve been reading this blog since 2009. I agree with some of the points you mentioned (not only in this comment but others you’ve written in the same topic).

        I’m a bit late to the party, sorry for this, but I felt I had to leave some words as a long time lurker.

        I started to love this site because in the earlier days it was one of the rare sites that talks about women, work and career. It was centered around workwear and fashion, but in a work-centered way, meaning it wasn’t about fashion for the sake of fashion and beauty and good-looking, but telling you how fashion matters to help you succeed in your job. There were many places – forums, blogs, and other communities that talked about fashion, no doubt, but not in this context.

        I also loved that this site assembled a community of women who went here to talk about those topics – women, work and success and the difficulties women face in a male-dominant environment. I remember many comments that I do not necessarily agree with, but that were very insightful and I learned a lot from other ladies posting here and opening up my perspectives. I’ve found the advice regarding work, coworkers, dealing with difficult office situations truly helpful.

        I think topically this site has definitively changed. I don’t think the community as a whole is a different one, it’s just natural that new topics arise, and that the “told” topics grow tired. There are less work and career specific postings on the blog itself, and more coffee breaks and TPS posts, seemingly only opening an opportunity for open threads. I read less career and work oriented discussions in the comments, but more marriage and parenting issues. I used to read all the comments in the early days, but nowadays, I don’t even bother to open a coffee break post because chances are that 90% of the discussions are of no interest to me. So yeah I definitively agree, this blog doesn’t offer me advice any more, but I visit it for entertainment.

        This is not something I criticize. It’s alright that way. It’s fine that the moms have found a place to talk about their issues, and if I can’t participate, it’s not a problem. It’s the same reason I avoid lunches with our paralegals and secretaries – 90% of their talks are about their husbands and their children and me being unmarried and childless, I just can’t join and as a result, I stay away from lunches. I find it a bit sad that this blog has shifted from professional women at work and workplace environment issues to professional women at work and their family issues, because I had difficulties finding a community where you could talk women and career issues, whereas I knew tons of places to talk about maternity and pregnancies, but as one commenter has mentioned, there is a need and if other ladies have fun participating, it’s all fine. I’ll have to look elsewhere.

        I’ll also have to agree that Ask A Manager and Capitol Hill Style have been more useful to me.

    • I think the issue with this site is that it has become one giant threadjack, no apologies, the minute a new post hits. It seems to me that it used to be much more topically centered. But I feel like Kat’s posts are lost in the shuffle- like a high school kid with a nice house invites a few friends over and quickly loses control when the whole school finds out. Party at Kat’s. I guess now I’m writing this TO Kat- please moderate more! I think this site fills an important niche but will quickly lose out since it’s lost its focus. Create a forum on this site, and relegate chats and conversation to that section, and reserve your blog to related content. And don’t be afraid to moderate. I know it’s the elephant in the room in the blogging world, but any successful site has at least minimally moderated comments.

      • And one other thing- respond to readers in the comments at least once in awhile! I certainly understand you’re busy with family obligations, but it seems overly ambitious to be starting up a new site when you aren’t able to respond to comments on this one.

        • Agree 100%. I always like to hear from the blogowner, at least occasionally.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. At least step in to keep the topical posts on point. I hate seeing an interesting post about networking, or the like, get swamped by questions about what to wear to a wedding.

        • AttiredAttorney :

          yes, yes, yes to this. The “meat” of this site is the comments, not the posts. The editor/author participating even a little bit would add so much.

  7. Dating Heavy :

    I’ve struggled with romantic relationships for the past four years, and gone through therapy to the point where I’m comfortable with myself. However, I’ve noticed that I have a hard time, for whatever reason, getting dates, (or if online) making it past the first date. I used to make excuses for myself, but I think the reality is that a lot of guys aren’t attracted to me because of my weight. I’m 90 pounds overweight but still proportional, and dress carefully and (I think) well, but it’s noticeable that I am quite heavy.

    I guess I just suck it up and accept that men are shallow and lose the weight, right? Is it awful that I want to lose weight so I’ll be a better prospect in the dating pool? I’m also in my mid 20’s, where the dating pool is suddenly starting to shrink. I also want to be healthier, but the fact that it would help me in relationships is an overriding factor.

    • Senior Attorney :

      There is no question that the dating pool gets smaller the bigger you are. It sucks, but there it is. And certainly the path of least resistance is to lose the weight if you can, although it is ridiculously difficult as I’m sure you know.

      I had weight loss surgery a few years ago and it has been a total game-changer for me. So there are options besides the traditional diet-and-exercise yo-yo cycle. If you’re interested in details, you can drop me an email at SeniorAttorney1 at the gmail.

      Although I am still super pissed about all the men out there who expect women to look like models…

      • SENIOR ATTORNEY, I LOVE YOU BUT DAMN. I AM HAPPY YOUR PATH WORKED FOR YOU, TRULY.

        IF WE’RE ALL SHARING ANECDATA AS ABSOLUTE PROOF OF OUR POINT, I WAS MUCH MORE ATTRACTIVE TO MEN AT MY HEAVIEST THAN AT MY THINNEST SVELTE FORM.

        AND YOU KNOW WHAT OP? I’M BETTING THAT THOSE GUYS LIKED WHAT THEY SAW IN YOUR PHOTOS OR WHATEVER IN ORDER TO GO OUT WITH YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST. WOULD YOU WANNA DATE YOURSELF? DO YOU DATE YOURSELF? DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF ? FIGURE OUT HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED BEFORE YOU HAVE OTHERS DEFINING YOUR SELF WORTH.

        NGL, A DUDE WHO CAN’T BE WITH CHUNKY GODZILLA CAN GTFO BECAUSE THOSE BUILDINGS AND BRIDGES ARE MIGHTY TASTY.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I don’t disagree with any of that. Self-hate = bad. Confidence = good. And you know I love you, Godzilla.

          But I do think that all other things being equal (which I get that they rarely are), women will have an easier time finding men to date if they are slimmer. Just look at all the dating profiles and see what body types the men are specifying. It’s just the math.

          I hate it but the fact that I hate it (and that there are obviously many, many large women in awesome relationships) doesn’t change the math. And I tend to think the “stop hating yourself” advice, when given to large women who dare to acknowledge the existence of that math, borders on blaming the victim.

          I’m absolutely not telling anybody to lose weight or not. Just sharing what worked for me, for those who are interested in doing so.

          • I agree with this. I kept wanting to respond to her post but couldn’t quite put it in words, and you did it perfectly.

            Also, my bf is a doctor, and being physically fit is really important to him. I know there are exceptions, but generally speaking, bigger people are less healthy. It’s just a fact. Yes, there are skinny people with eating disorders, and heavier people who work out and can’t lose weight because of other issues, etc., but if we are speaking in generalizations (which is what online dating is all about because you only know so much about people) it definitely makes a diff.

          • diverse dating :

            I would get more dates if I were white. At least you can (theoretically) lose weight.

        • Dating Heavy :

          Thanks so much, Godzilla. I totally agree that I need to figure out how I treat myself before I expect someone else to define my self worth. Maybe I just haven’t overcome my confidence issues as much as I thought I had.

      • Hey Senior Attorney – you know I love you TONS but sometimes I worry a little bit about how frequently you recommend weight loss surgery so frequently on this blog. Weight loss surgery is a major surgery resulting in lifetime changes to the ability of the person to eat and in some ways, their quality of life. Am I saying that weight loss surgery *isn’t* a really viable weight loss option for obese people who have not been successful on exercise and diet alone, no. But it should not be the first line of weight loss and frequently recommending it to people whose medical state and history you know little about is kind of dangerous.

        Anyway – that’s just my two bits. Feel free to ignore. :-)

        • Senior Attorney :

          I dunno. I give people here credit for being smart enough to not run off and get their stomachs removed just because somebody on a message board said it was awesome. And for me, I didn’t know my kind of surgery even existed, or that they would do it on people of my size, until somebody told me about it. And I will forever be grateful to the person who did tell me about it.

          By my count I’ve mentioned it a handful of times here, and always in the context of “this is what I did and it turned out great.” But certainly it wouldn’t hurt to add “YMMV/consult with a physician/I totally get that I don’t know anything about you” explicitly if it comes up in the future.

          • Thanks Senior Attorney – its just an area that I know a lot of people have issues with (weight loss in general that is.)

            But I am super psyched that it worked for you. :-)

    • DUDE, STOP. STOP HATING YOURSELF. YOU NEED TO BE HAPPY WITH YOU. WHEN YOU’RE HAPPY AND CONFIDENT, PEOPLE WANT TO BE WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU MAKE THEM FEEL HAPPY AND CONFIDENT, TOO.

      NOW, I DON’T KNOW YOU BUT MAYBE YOUR INSECURITY IS PALPABLY VISIBLE. MAYBE IT MAKES OTHER PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE, I DON’T KNOW.

      DO WHATEVER IS HEALTHY THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. CONFIDENCE IS SUCH AN ATTRACTIVE FEATURE. GO FORTH, BE CONFIDENT, AND REEL IN WHOEVER YOU WANT.

      • So, at first, I was like, whoa, caps, but then I realized it was Godzilla and it was all cool.

        But, to the OP, I totally get what you’re saying. I just got out of a LTR and I’m about 80-90 pounds over too and it felt like for a while I was just spinning my wheels throughout the whole process. No advice, but definitely sympathy and a big “I hear ya sista.”

      • GODZILLA SPEAKS TRUTH. GODZILLA STOMP SELF-HATING AND BREATHE FIRE OF LOVE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE.

        • Now I really want Godzilla and Kanye (West) to have a talk show now where they just shout at everyone about extreme, awesome self-confidence. (Kanye East can be a jewelry guest star.)

      • Thank you Godzilla for this–>>

        GO FORTH, BE CONFIDENT, AND REEL IN WHOEVER YOU WANT.

        It could become a mantra for so many things in life. Not just dating. And Senior Attorney is right, some men have unrealistic expectations about what a woman should look like.

        • Senior Attorney :

          And I realize that living in L.A., I may have a skewed perspective on what men expect elsewhere.

        • Dating Heavy :

          This may be true. Even still, though, why would they pick me when they could have their pick of beautiful, smart, successful women who are also – of a normal size? (Indicating that the only difference between me and these other women is the size, ha).

          I think I get frustrated because my weight makes me friend – zoned easily.

          • Oh honey, please don’t hate yourself. I am truly truly with you. I have been every size from 6 to 24 and it’s a sad cycle of self-loathing started when I was very young. Even now, when I am a healthy, toned size 12 or so, I look in the mirror and see overweight, extra skin on my stomach, crappy hair, every flaw. But then there are days when I feel great and I could take on the world. It took me awhile to decide to respond to you because I’ve kind of been in a bad place myself – but wanted to send along encouragement.

            I have never dated in the traditional sense and sometimes I think that has scarred me. I think it would have been healthier! If you want to lose weight, do it. When I was 90 lbs overweight, when I made that decision, it happened quickly. But it had to be about me, figuring things out for myself.

            If you don’t want to lose the weight, be happy with who you are. Be the best you that you can be. Dress in ways that flatter the shape you have now. Wear your hair in a way that makes you feel pretty. Present yourself with confidence. I can’t guarantee that it’ll make dating easier. But that sucks anyway, right?

      • Hey, Imposter Godzilla, please stop posting long shouty posts. “Real” Godzilla had zingy one liners.

      • Anonymous :

        But don’t feel guilty because you aren’t able to be totally over-the-moon about everything about you 100% of the time. Most of us aren’t, and that’s OK, too.

        http://theweek.com/article/index/260126/why-mindy-kaling-mdash-not-lena-dunham-mdash-is-the-body-positive-icon-of-the-moment

    • I would say trying to lose weight couldn’t hurt. But not for dating mainly, for your health. I have been going through something somewhat similar. I started working out more regularly and have lost some weight. IMO I felt better not so much because I was more attractive in others’ eyes but because it gave me a confidence boost. I.E. overcoming a personal challenge and feeling better physically, feeling lighter and fitter and less tired.

      Guys can still be jerks even when you are svelte or skinny. And yes I also know a few guys who have stated that they prefer women who are on the smaller side. As an aside I met someone who was interested when I was feeling unattractive and “fat”. He said he liked my confidence. That said, keep dating eventually you will meet someone worth your time. One who will want accept you as you are. And keep working on overcoming whatever challenges you face. Nothing beats being comfortable in your own skin.

    • If you’re actually getting dates with people and your profile pictures are recent/accurate, it may not be because of your weight but because of something else (though who knows, honestly) – lack of chemistry, personality they don’t think you seem interested, they have some kind of other issue etc. If you’re interested, are you calling/texting them and letting them know that you are? That was my biggest hurdle.

      But anyway, your reasons for losing weight are your reasons. If it makes you happy, who are we to critique you for it? I lost a little weight in my 20′s (maybe about 30 lbs) and it didn’t make much of a difference that I could tell. It did make me more confident and I was more into going out and doing things – they didn’t necessarily translate into romantic relationships, but I did a bunch of other awesome things with my life that I think made me a more interesting person, which probably helped people become more attracted to me later on down the road, if that makes sense.

      • Dating Heavy :

        You asked “If you’re interested, are you calling/texting them and letting them know that you are?”

        This is an interesting point. I usually assume they’re not interested if they don’t follow-up, because I usually don’t feel that THEY are interested. Maybe it’s a vicious cycle and I need to put myself out there and get rejected more to be okay with the idea of becoming rejected. Who knows.

        • Total anecdata but of my serious relationships, all started by me being the one to follow up. Love no. 1 – gave my number, he never called after we hung out, I called him randomly and we talked till 5 am. Love no. 2 – same story. Love no. 3 – almost same story except I just showed up at his apartment. We are now married. The trick to all of these, I think, is that I was not attached to the outcome. Easy breezy and self confident tends to work. Easier said than done, I know, but try it.

          As for the weight – that is such a loaded topic. I will say that for me, losing some weight was like a light got turned on. I felt better, it took me less time to get dressed for work in the morning because everything looked better, i could wear heels more because somehow shoes were more comfortable, my s*x drive improved…. It’s hard and not for everyone and I gained some back, but it was a tangible difference.

    • Dating, your comment struck me and I really feel for you. Online dating seems like such a strange lottery system (I have never tried it). Have you tried other ways to meet people? It makes sense to me that online dating/first dates from online dating would be much more about ‘browsing’ and you might also be encountering more people looking for standard size/standard sense of humor/standard work/life/ standard hopes + dreams.

      That said I do not think it is shallow to want to lose weight just to make it easier on yourself dating. I think this is pretty much rational response. However I would say – does it really matter to you to appeal to the people you’re meeting? If you are healthy and pleased with your looks, wouldn’t you rather wait and find someone who is too?

    • prof on a bike :

      If it’s possible, I’d try to separate out your decision about whether or not you want to attempt to lose weight from the dating question, because it’s going to solve some problems but introduce others. If you meet someone great after weight loss, will you always feel suspicious that he’s only attracted to you because you lost the weight? If you regain at some point, would your SO be supportive? I met my now partner when I was at the high end of my weight range, and on some level it is comforting to know that he still found me attractive even when I was heavier than usual. If I were in your position, I’d post a recent, full body picture on my dating profile to weed out the guys for whom the weight would be a dealbreaker (to save myself the unpleasantness of being rejected over and over), and then deal with the question of whether you want to attempt weight loss on its own.

    • Where do you live? I have lived on both coasts and in the Midwest, and it seems like there is somewhat less pressure on women to be as thin as possible. If you live in a major city, it may be easier to find nearby small-town men who appreciate your build.

    • lawsuited :

      You can’t lose weight by hating yourself. If your motivation for losing weight is a faceless stranger that may or may not coming along to ask you on a date, I expect it won’t be sustainable.

      It sounds like you are comfortable (even happy? You describe yourself as proportional and well-dressed – that positive self-image!) with yourself the way you are, so just continue to be comfortable you. Seems way better than being sucking-it-up, filled-with-self-loathing, on-a-diet you.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Personally, I don’t know that it would help you in the dating arena. I have a ton of friends of various shapes and sizes all doing online dating and no one is having much luck. Not to say that online dating doesn’t or won’t work but losing weight won’t necessarily help you get more dates.

      I think it’s a chemistry/personality thing – much more than a physical attractiveness thing. Especially if you are getting a first date.

      I agree with the comments above that suggest if losing weight will make you feel more confident, than go for it. Because I think the secret in dating is confidence, not a specific weight.

      I will say this though: (and I might be particularly negative this week so take this with a grain of salt) sometimes dating (whether online or not) just really sucks. People are jerks. Please don’t take it personally (easier said than done I kn0w).

      • Just chiming in to agree with this. I’m at a healthy weight, work out a lot and am in good shape. And my online dating is going just about as well as yours. Everyone is right–don’t beat yourself up. It’s not you.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with this. I’m “skinny” and while I do get a fair amount of online dating hits, it’s pretty obvious they are solely because of my appearance. The messages I get from these guys make it clear that they did not read my profile, have no idea what kind of person I am, and are basically just looking for a hot blonde to nail. If anything, it arguably makes online dating harder because there is so much “noise” to filter out, and you start to assume every guy is a perverted jerk and possibly miss a good one. I don’t say that as a sort of online-dating-is-hard p!ssing contest entry, but just to say that I don’t think making dating easier should be the primary motivator (if that’s what it would be). It would be really deflating for me personally to be in your situation, work very hard to lose weight, and not see the dating situation change, or change but still suck just in a different way.

    • Your weight may or may not have anything to do with it — I’ve always been thin (just luck of the genetic draw), but I’ve still struggled with dating/romantic relationships. And online dating is kind of strange– I think it’s very normal to go on one or two dates with someone and then never hear from them again. As to your point that the dating pool is starting to “shrink” now that you’ve hit your mid-twenties… I know it can seem that way, but wait another five years and some of those people will be getting divorced. Things change.

      I don’t want to opine on whether or not you should lose weight, but I do think you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself about dating, one way or another. It’s tough for a lot of us.

      • lawsuited :

        I’m just quickly weighing in to point out that I’m not thin and I also think I got the luck of the genetic draw.

        I’m not pointing that out because I have any problem with anything you said in your post, only to try and change the trap so many of us fall into of thinking that thin=better by default.

        • Haha, good point. :) All I really meant by that was that I haven’t put any particular effort into being thin, I was just born that way.

    • So, for me as someone who has struggled with my weight my whole life (well, from the time I was 11 til, um, today), I personally found that my negative self talk was so so so much worse for my dating life than my weight.

      Do I like the weight I am now? Not really. But I’ve decided I am done. DONE. with negative talk. I don’t say things to myself that I wouldn’t say to my best friend. And that helps me.

      My weight came with low self esteem. Or my low self esteem led to the weight — I don’t know. But the self image is way way more important, for your health and happiness, then the number on the scale. Treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated and the right man will treat you the same.

      • +1 to all of this!

        Dating Heavy, I was (and still am) overweight by *cough* a lot when I started online dating. One thing that helped was I decided I was going to try to lose a little bit of weight (I think I only lost 10 pounds) but that put me in a better mindset at the time. I found guys who had a mutual attraction and several successful dates. I eventually met my husband on one of those dates (and never, ever at any point has he made mention of my weight, that I should try to lose some, or that I’m anything less than attractive in his eyes).

        Putting forth confidence is a major factor. If you don’t feel confident, then fake it till you make it. While I was online dating, my only requirements on those first dates were to ensure that the guy didn’t have any unadvertised 3 heads growing out of his neck and that I had a good time (whether he did was not my concern).

      • And as someone who has never struggled with her weight, but has always struggled with her self image, I’d gladly gain 50 pounds if I thought it would make me a happier, more confident person on the inside. The grass isn’t always greener.

    • Slightly annoyed :

      Also, I would add that dating just sucks. It sucks for you at this weight and it will likely keep sucking, maybe in different ways, if you weighed 90 lbs less. Unless you are Kate Upton, I don’t think anyone has it easy.

      • +1 all of this. And I’m not even sure Kate Upton-esque people have it easier–look at all of the very public issues that stunning, totally-adhere-to-societal-standards, women like Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift have had with dating.

        • Funny- I actually read an interview with Kate Upton in which she talked about feeling constantly objectified and patronized by guys, none of whom bother to learn anything about her as a person. It’s easy to write this off, but when I think about the kinds of guys I want in my life, it’s true that none of them would pursue someone like her. So even her experience has real limits. And I actually would not want to trade places.

          I haven’t been single in a while, but I echo others who say that dating can suck at any size, and so any weight change should be for you rather than them.

        • Anon for awkwardness :

          I’m anon-ing this because I feel super-awkward saying this, but I’m generally considered to be very pretty. And when I’m dating? The number of men who absolutely do not give one sh*t about who I am as a person and just really, really want to scr*w me as quickly as possible is extremely high. I’ve gotten to the point at which I dread the second or third date, because I know that the pressure will come and when it becomes apparent that I’m not ready for that, men get aggressive or just drop me.

          I’m not Kate Upton-pretty, but even at my end of the scale, so, so many guys just don’t seem to care at all about anything other than my body. I end up going home and crying. It’s awful.

          • Silvercurls :

            YUCK and RAWR to the men who do not see you as a person. I wonder whether some guys (the sort that used to be called cads, or lounge lizards, or lotharios) are so FULL of themselves, or so addled by viewing p*rn, that they mistake ordinary social courtesy as encouragement to leap into bed RIGHT NOW? Or maybe they just think that all women are panting and drooling just like the p*rn actresses? (?? Disclosure: I haven’t seen enough p*rn to discuss it intelligently.)

            I would love to find a way for you to identify and discourage these jerks in advance. Would it help to ask a friend for advice re magic words to add to your online profile to filter out these turkeys (if you’re dating online)? Or, if you’re meeting people by attending specific events or activities, could you vary these? Would it help to limit yourself to people of a certain civic, political, or religious orientation…or would it just bring a different kind of craziness out of the woodwork? Finally, is there any way to add your basic level of courtesy the underlying tones of “by the way, I may be polite but I also have an active bullsh*t detector” and “if you think you can get me into bed on the second date, you have another think coming ( and you can think that thought in a subterranean location which is hot all year round)!”

            When I was single I had very few small-talk skills and didn’t try to moderate my strong opinions with any diplomacy. In retrospect I didn’t attract much attention from your basic Handsome Cad. Maybe I presented “too much trouble” to the leap-into-bed-immediately guys? On the one hand it’s hard to compare different decades (yes, decades). On the other hand, some things (such as guys impersonating tomcats), alas, do not change.

            Good luck. I hope your dating gets happier. Please excuse any foot in mouth from me. I’m not trying to cause offense.

    • Whenever I get down that rabbit hole of if only I was prettier/thinner/taller/smarter…etc I remind myself that it wouldn’t change a thing – I haven’t met one guy in 1.5 years that interests me in any way. I could change a million things about myself, but if the dating pool isn’t changing what’s the point? I’ll just be a hotter single person ranting about the lack of eligible men in my town :)

    • I join the chorus of those who say you shouldn’t lose weight to “improve your odds” on these dating sites, even if it’s at the mnost, a tertiary reason. Now, I say this not because I’m a rah-rah pollyanna type. I say this for a number of pragmatic and somewhat cynical reasons.

      (1) At your current weight, you are weeding out guys who don’t like your body type. As un-fun as that is, it means the process is working. You deserve to be sought after by someone who really loves you as you, as you are. So if they’re not into you, then, NEXT!

      (2) Let’s say, you lost 90 lbs. I am a firm believer that our bodies are generally the size they want to be. There’s a lot of research about genetic pre-sets. See this older article from the NYT about how many human bodies are just set up to hold onto weight, or regain weight that is lost. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      Statistically speaking, it will not be easy for you to keep all 90lbs off. IF you met a guy at your lowest weight, and he thought that was the body type he liked, if you gain some or all of it back, would he lose interest? If that happened, I’d see that as you wasting your time on him and wasting time losing weight when you could have been out there conquering the world and developing things (interests, new friends, skills) for yourself.

      3)Finally, take good care of your health — both physical and emotional. It’s ok to take a dating hiatus if it’s getting you down. Work to preserve your confidence and good will towards yourself whatever your size. I have always believed that the nastiest men, the ones with tendencies towards emotional and physical abuse, purposely seek out women who are unhappy and not confident. I see taking care of your emotional health, no matter what size you are, as a way to repel these types. Think of it as OFF! for human parasites, not mosquitos.

      Hang in there!

      • +a million to all of this

      • I really agree.

        This is kind of tangential, but something about this post struck a chord with me. You do want to weed out the people who will be with you only if/because of some weight. My parents divorced when I was really young and I was able to hear, over the years, all about my dad’s trials and tribulations in dating. You know what? He was the kind of guy who would never date someone who was 90 lbs. overweight. He would only date people who were slim! athletic! fit! gorgeous! looked great dressed up! but didn’t try to hard! they had to be naturally beautiful! comfortable wearing heels! also comfortable in the mountains! in the mountains they can’t wear heels or makeup! they just have to be naturally gorgeous!

        Obviously, this was great for my self-esteem as a teenager.

        But what it really taught me is that, for my dad at least, the need for a potential girlfriend/wife/partner to fit some specific mold (thin, conventionally pretty, whatever), was really a reflection of his own insecurities and lack of self-worth. He wanted someone to reflect all the things he wanted to be but deep down, was afraid he wasn’t.

        My point being–those people who will not date you because of your weight–it may be more about them than you. And you don’t want to date someone like that, anyway.

      • I agree with this, particularly the part about being careful about someone who meets you at your lowest weight.

        Look I am 5’2″. My highest weight was 220. My ‘normal’ weight is about 150. (the weight my body settles at if I’m reasonably active and eat reasonably well).

        I met my now husband when I weighed 135. I know from his friends who have become my friends that he’s always dated thin/athletic women, often skewing quite thin.It takes a TON of work and time to get from 150 to 135. I started a very time intensive schooling program shortly after we got married. I weigh 150 again. I pretty much think I look fine. I wear a size 8. (I’m muscular. 135 on me was a size 4). Size 8 isn’t fat. I like myself fine.

        My husband has never said ONE WORD to me about my weight. However, he never, ever initiates s*x anymore. Never. So he doesn’t really have to say a word. He’s not cheating and I know he would never say a hurtful word, but people are attracted to what they’re attracted to.

        i really don’t know what we’re going to do about it. We’re great friends and a great team but honestly, I’ve pretty much been friend-zoned by my husband. And I don’t have the time or frankly the inclination to spend 2 hrs a day exercising and tracking calories to make sure I never pass 1000, which is what it takes for this body to lose that 15 lbs.

        So instead of feeling GREAT about the SEVENTY POUNDS I am down from my highest weight, I just feel bad about the 15 pounds I’ve gained back over my lowest.

        Don’t do that to yourself.

        • Dude you’re not doing anything to yourself. Your shallow Hal of a husband apparently hasn’t realized that you’re attracted to people you love. Guess he’s figuring on never getting laid once he’s old and gray and wrinkly huh?

        • Senior Attorney :

          He may not be saying any hurtful words, but he is behaving in a hurtful manner. Not sure that’s the behavior of a great friend.

          Mr. S.A. was the same way. And you know what? When I lost the weight he found other things about me to which which to be dissatisfied.

          But yes, regardless of who is doing what to whom, if you have to fight to be at a certain weight, it’s hazardous to marry somebody for whom you not being at that weight is going to be a huge problem.

          • Seriously! My SO never comments on my weight. In fact, if I am bothered by my weight, he will say that I’m perfect and he doesn’t know what I’m talking about. He loves the fact that I am fit and muscular and comments on that pretty often (in the positive). He also encourages me to keep at it because he knows it makes me feel good. But honestly, he wouldn’t notice weight gain until long after it bothered me.

  8. TJ - Brazil :

    My husband and I are going to Rio for a friend’s wedding this August. We plan to stay for an extra 5 days or so. Neither of us has ever been to Brazil before. Any suggestions on what to do/where to stay? We’ll be in a hotel near Copacabana Beach for the wedding weekend, but open to staying elsewhere the rest of the time if it would be more convenient.

    Relevant considerations:
    1. We have a young child who is not coming with us, so we’d love to indulge in some of the stuff we can’t do with a baby.
    2. We are more on the hiking/museums end of things (as opposed to the clubs/nightlife end of things).
    3. We are foodies and love nice restaurants, but are also both vegetarian, so maybe that won’t be the thing to emphasize in Brazil?
    4. I’m assuming it’s best to just stay in Rio so as not to spend our vacation on trains or planes, but we’d be open to fun daytrips.

    TIA!

    • Living in Rio :

      First, English is not my first languange, so excuse me for typos.
      There are a lot of things to do in Rio. You must visit the sightseeins like Corcovado and Pao de Açucar, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.
      The city offers a lot of trails for hiking, especially in Parque da Tijuca. You can take a taxi to the entrance of the park and then walk around and go on the trails. You can also go on Pedra da Gávea trail and watch people jumping on paraglinding.
      Regards on museum, I suggest you visit the city’s dowtown, where ther are a lot of museums nearby, like Modern Art Museum, the National Library, Museu of Fine Arts, Municipal Theatre, Candelaria Church, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Paço Municipal. I suggest that you visit there during weekdays if you want to lunch there (there is a lacto-vegetarian restaurant called Govinda, that is real good). On the other hand, if you visit there on weekends it will be less crowded, but there will not have many options where to eat.
      There are a lot of fine restaurants, wich usually offers vegetarian options. i suggest one in Ipanema called Zaza Bistro, it is a bit casual but the food is delicious.
      If you want to do a day trip you can go to Buzios or Cabo Frio, the beachs are splendidous there.
      August can be a rainy here, but usually it won’t last longer than 2 days.

      • TJ - Brazil :

        Awesome, thanks so much for the local insight! Hopefully with a week there, we’ll get at least one or two good beach days.

      • I used to live in Brazil (São Paulo) and there are great ideas above for Rio.
        I do think you will have time to get out of the city for an overnight trip. Búzios is lovely, but it rained five days straight when I was there. There’s not much to do in the rain. If you are into history, Paraty is another great option. It’s one of the oldest cities in Brazil and is charming.
        In Rio, Copacabana has the majority of the hotels (so probably not worth moving unless you have the budget for something like the Fasano) , but Ipanema and Leblon are better for beaches and strolling. Be prepared to overpay for almost any hotel, although August is off season so you may have better luck.
        Nearly all of my restaurant recommendations revolve aaround steak and sushi so not much help on that front. However, it is worth going dancing at Rio Scenarium in Lapa one night. You can check with the concierge to see what days it is open but weekdays are less crowded than Friday or Saturday. It’s a really historic place and gives you a taste of the real Brazil (so think more live music and less clubbing).
        There are so many fun outdoor adventures in Brazil-Bonito, Amazon, Pantanal, etc – but all are too far to do in this one trip. So you will just have to make the best use of your ten year visa and come back!

  9. Debt: legal options? :

    I asked this question before on this site and already went through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Many thanks to Senior Attorney for the link. I’m still unemployed and was wondering whether there is any use in picking calls from collection agency, usually they want to discuss a settlement or payment plan. With no income, it’s impossible, same conversation every time. Usually it just feels pointless. At this point I would prefer to just call them whenever I get a job. Should I send a letter saying so? I’m trying as much as possible to be proactive but not sure what to do?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Me personally, I would sent a no-contact/cease and desist letter. You can find forms for such letters if your google around and the FDCPA requires that they honor it.

      • Philanthropy Girl :

        +1 – most of the people at call centers have zero care for whatever life issues you are facing. They have one job – get the money. They are often rude and hurtful. If you answer once they will just keep calling, usually at more and more objectionable hours of the day. They generally are not able to help you in your type of situation, and will simply harass.

        Send your no-contact letter, deal with them only by postal mail, and start paying again when you’re able.

    • I am a banana. :

      The CFPB has form letters for this.

  10. Any Harrisburg gals out there? I’ll be there for work in two weeks and would love to meet up with someone or even just get a dinner recommendation.

    Sorry if this double posts, but I think I got stuck in moderation.

    • You mean PA? Wow! I think a few people have mentioned being in that area. I went to college in that area and have family there, but haven’t lived there since after the big nasty hurricane.

      • Yep, good ol’ PA. I know there’s a few of us hanging around in Pittsburgh, but I didn’t know if there were any Harrisburg peeps out there.

        Are you a Western PA or Eastern PA gal?

    • Pa Gov Atty :

      I live in Harrisburg! If you’ll be working downtown and need a lunch spot I recommend Cafe Fresco on Second Street. I also like the Federal Taphouse if you’re looking for a place to get a drink or dinner (also on Second Street). However, I will warn you the happy hour scene has really gone downhill the last few months after they started making people feed the meter until 7pm!

      • Pa Gov Atty :

        Thought of a few more: if you’re looking for a great place for pizza or lasagna, check out the Subway Cafe on Herr Street. It’s a total dive, but they have delicious food. Also, if you’re in the mood for Mexican try El Sol on Third Street. If you’re looking for something more upscale and trendy, try Bricco on Third Street. And if you want the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever had go to Bricco’s Bakery (Ciao) on Chestnut Street.

        • I think I was at El Sol one of the other times I was in town. My co-worker and I got hit on by a fairly drunk business man there that was kind of hilarious – she ran into him at our hotel bar and the bartender thought they were together so he unwittingly paid for her bet. I won’t be driving so feeding the meter doesn’t matter – thanks for the recommendations!

  11. lawsuited :

    Is it appropriate for me to get a gift or some other token to thank my 2 references who apparently spoke very highly of me and helped me get the great new job I’ll start in a few weeks? I am particularly grateful to one of my references who kept my secret job search confidential. If a gift is appropriate, any ideas for what I should get?

    • Meg Murry :

      My references were also mentors to me and went above and beyond just boss-employee relationships, so this may not apply, but I simply sent long handwritten thank you cards detailing how much their support and mentoring has meant to me over the years, and I was told through a mutual friend that it really meant a lot to my mentors that were references for me. I think a very heartfelt, honest, detailed thank you means more to a lot of people than a gift of a physical thing.

      • lawsuited :

        Thanks for the responses. I am not extremely close with either of my references, but that probably weighs in favour of not getting a gift as it will seem out of left field. I’ll stick with hand-written notes thanking them, telling them u got the job, and suggesting lunch sometime soon.

      • I was the reference recently for a former employee (he promoted to another dept in our corporate office while working for me several years ago). He contacted me outside of work for the reference and also asked that I keep his job search confidential, since he was looking outside of our company. The fact that he trusted me to respect his privacy was a great compliment to me. I think that your references will be thrilled just to have helped you achieve your goal, and they will probably take a small amount of pride in having helped with your development. That’s what’s most important, I think.

        But if you really want to do something other than say “thank you,” I would suggest inviting each of them for lunch or dinner once you’ve had a few weeks to get established at your new job.

    • I would probably just stick to a thoughtful thank you card that expresses your gratitude. You could potentially follow up after you’ve been at the job awhile and ask to take them out for dinner or drinks so you can maintain a good relationship, let them know how the new job is going, and find out what is new with them.

    • Are you in the U.S. or Canada? If so, I’d go with a thank you note.

      In some countries, a token gift is more the norm, but in parts where it *isn’t* the norm, a gift can make the recipient feel uncomfortable, like they were being “bribed” to help when they helped you with no strings attached. Customs vary, so it’s less of a “know your office” answer, but a “know the culture” answer.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Another vote for thank you note letting them know you’ve gotten the job. I genuinely appreciate knowing that mentees or others for whom I’ve provided references landed on their feet.

      I also like Anon’s suggestion to meet up with them after you’ve settled in, if possible. I’d probably do a lunch, but perhaps that’s simply more standard in my industry.

    • I took my recent references out for drinks, but we are friends as well as having a business relationship so that may not work for you. Maybe meet for coffee?

  12. After the feature of Austin Reed outfit earlier this week, I checked out their site and love their suit dresses! Does any one have any experience with their sizing? It looks like for UK sizing you size up 2 sizes from your US size. I wear a 12p in dresses from BR, JCrew, and Talbots. Since Austin Reed doesn’t do petites, it looks like I may need alterations, but does anyone have any general thoughts on their sizing – was going up 2 sizes from your US size the right choice?

    • A US 4 is a UK 8 etc.
      In normal shops I’m slightly between sizes but I go to the bigger one for Austin Reed suits but not for their shirtd, oddly enough. They sometimes do petite versions of their suit (I’ve seen then in their shops) so keep on looking at their website. Rubbish website, great suits…

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Yes, correct, you go up two sizes so a US 4 is UK 8, US 10 is UK 14 etc. I can’t speak specifically for Austin Reed sizing but the US/UK conversion you are proposing is right.

    • Thanks to both of you. I ordered a dress and a blazer on sale with free shipping – if these work out, there are several other items I would love to try. I love how many dress suits they have.

  13. Sandal shopping help! I am seriously hopeless at buying shoes, but I’ve gotten to the point where I have a set of work shoes I love (~5 pairs of Varda pumps) and some good boots. My problem now is that I have no nice open-toed shoes for summer. I have some Paul Meyer flats that are summery but not for super hot days or sundresses. So I have two questions:
    1) How do I start building a nice sandal collection (I already have flip flop type slides)? What are the “basics” I should have (kind of like pumps are basics for work shoes)? I generally <1" heel.

    2) What are good brands I should look at for very high quality, well-made sandals? I was thinking Stuart Weitzman, but no idea if there's others out there other than the super fashion-y ones like Manolos.

    • You don’t need to spend that much on sandals–even SW ones are overpriced, and I am a huge fan of SW. Check out Nordstrom’s site and filter for sandals–they usually have a nicely curated section this time of year. Also, Marni has some cute Van Eli sandals each year, but their website is lacking.

      For me, when I shop for sandals, I like to figure out what color shorts I will be wearing them with, whether the sole is going to be “slippery” under my foot if I am sweaty, what type of ankle straps I like and whether I can tolerate a “thingy” between my toes or not. I also like to consider whether they are casual sandals, dressy sandals or walking around a lot sandals. Last–arch support…know whether you need it or want it or don’t care.

    • I agree you don’t need to spend too much but I tend to be pretty hard on my sandals so that colors my opinion.

      I like Cole Haans and I usually buy them on sale or when the website is having some kind of promo. at $100 or less, they’re worth it, but I wouldn’t pay more. I also like Naturalizer and Naya brand summer shoes. As for what types, my essentials are a flat or low chunky heel I can wear all day for walking around, shopping, so on, and a higher heel wedge I can wear for going out/”looking good” and still being comfortable. I find a black, med. warm brown and a metallic are all pretty useful colors. I also once had a pair of sparkly bright orange Sam Edelman flat slides that I wore to death – shoes like that can be surprisingly versatile!

      • hoola hoopa :

        This.

        I find sandals are different that “real” shoes in that you can mainly just pick out a couple that you like and not worry too much about filling this type and that type. My standards are a pair that’s super comfortable and sporty, a pair that looks hot and s*xy, and a pair that’s pure fun. Criteria for all: Must look good with shorts and skirts and be comfortable for walking for at least a stroll.

        Agree that Nordstroms curates a good selection.

    • I am a banana. :

      Before you go drop a ton of money on cute sandals (more power to you if that’s what you want to do), I’d just like to observe that no matter how much money I spend on summer sandals, they all seem to be trashed before long. This is probably because I wear them during gloriously messy times like going to beaches, standing on lawns, chasing a kid at the playground, eating BBQ and watermelon, and squirt gun fights. YMMV, but Target has really cute summer sandals which usually use the same style elements of the in style, much more expensive ones, and I truly believe they both wear out at the same rate.

      • mintberrycrunch :

        +1 to all of this. I buy all my summer footwear at Target or the like and plan for it to only last a season. Always works for me!

      • I, too, have trouble getting any kind of longevity out of sandals, even expensive ones. In my case, it’s mostly just walking around (though I walk a lot)–they just don’t hold up as well as real shoes, perhaps because there’s less structure to them. The problem with cheapies for me, however, is the lack of shock absorption and arch support. So my strategy is to look for sales on Zappos. One brand that has been consistently good is Naya. I also recommend Ecco.

        I generally look for: some kind of strap(s) ensuring they won’t easily fall off, a flattering toe shape, and mostly neutral/versatile colors.

    • Am I the only person that can’t tolerate having anyone see my toes? They aren’t that ugly, but I really don’t like to have colored polish on my toe nails, it’s one of those weird things that really makes me squeamish.

      The shoes Kat posted today looks suspiciously like something I would have worn in high school back when I didn’t worry falling off the platform sole!

      I would love something like this shoe, but in a slide or mule to keep my toes hidden.

  14. wintergreen126 :

    Question for you ladies: I was contacted about a specific job, and I am meeting with a recruiter next week. Hopefully, will get an interview with their client. The problem, though, is that the following week I am leaving town for 3 weeks due a family issue that has arisen.; I’m needed at home.

    Is this something I should bring up? And if so, how? It’s not necessarily the most exciting opportunity, but it’s a good one. I don’t want to miss out if I don’t have to.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Absolutely bring it up! Call the recruiter now and let them know. The more notice you give them the better the chance they’ll be able to work with your schedule.

  15. I know this has been discussed before, but how did you ladies cope with imposter syndrome, specifically when it came to academics? I’m starting to look at grad schools, and did a GRE test for the first time today to gauge where I’m at and devise a study plan…and scored above the average/median for all the schools I was looking to (beginner’s luck?). And so I’m coming to realise that perhaps I’m a competitive applicant to the schools I think of as long shots. But I’m scared that this lack of confidence will penalise me when it comes to my personal statement and application as a whole. So any tips to actually convincing yourself ‘you can do this!’? And any general application tips would also be appreciated :) (looking at IR/MPA programmes if that helps)

    • Clementine :

      MPA’s are the coolest!

      You’re smart and you’re awesome. Trust me. Also, read this article on The Confidence Gap. It talks about the major confidence gap between men and women. This article really hit me, specifically when it cited that women won’t apply for a job unless they feel they meet 100% of the qualifications while men will apply when they feel they meet 60% of the qualifications.

      Here’s the article: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/04/the-confidence-gap/359815/

      • Aw you’re too sweet! You’re 100% correct – I always tend to think that the grades/experience/skills I don’t have somehow negate the ones I do, and I envy those confident men/women who just shrug off their weaknesses. Now the trouble is just internalising all these lessons ha

    • For the personal statement i would suggest writing a draft and having multiple people look it over. They should be people who are your biggest supporters, and a plus if they’re in your field. You can Ask them to specifically look for places where you aren’t fully playing up your strengths. Sometimes it takes someone else to remind us how awesome we are! P.S. You’re awesome! Congrats on the great GRE score!

      • I didn’t go to grad school (I’m in law) but I’ve had to write personal statements and its hard for me too, particularly after my undergraduate experience destroyed my academic self-confidence. This is good advice. I’ve also heard to write the first draft in the third person and pretend you’re talking about someone else (a BFF or someone else you think is really awesome perhaps?). Then you can go in and edit it to make it all first person, but it might easier to get all the braggy stuff on paper that way. I think its also good to really just sit there and think about every single thing you’ve accomplished relevant to your field (good grades in relevant classes, relevant research projects, good feedback you’ve received from professors or peers, etc) and write it all down. It doesn’t all have to go in the personal statement, but its helpful to boost your confidence and can be a starting point.
        Congrats on the great practice GRE & good luck with apps!

        • Thanks Anon and LH for the kind words. I also feel like since high school, when I was on a ‘I’ll show you how valuable Elle Woods can be’ kick, my self-confidence has plummeted (and for no real reason, I haven’t had any major setbacks or failures). Small fish, big pond I guess! And the thought of going to America (the biggest pond of all) is daunting. But fake it until you make it right?

    • Mountain Girl :

      Google and watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk about imposter syndrome. And then watch it over and over again. And then do what she says. And then watch it again. And then do what she says. And the go out and make things happen!!

  16. NYC Club Attire :

    I have some work dinners in NYC that may bleed over into going out afterwards. What does one wear to clubs in NYC these days? I’m assuming that guys (i-bankers) go in whatever they have on. What about their 40-somthing attorney who drives a minivan? I am twice as old as the junior people (I’m assuming that the MD-level clients will leave). If I were in Vegas and not with work people, I’d wear something like a DVF Reina with heels. Sheath dress with jacket for the win? We’ll likely be out early enough that the velvet rope won’t be the barrier, but I don’t want to see very country come to town, either.

    • option 1: sheath dress with jacket, add a statement necklace or big earrings for going out
      option 2: sleeveless slightly dressier top (silk? wrap?) with jacket for day, remove jacket for night with pencil skirt.
      option 3: skinnier pants (e.g. cigarette pants?), blouse. i would add a shiny long necklace or big earrings

    • Black sheath dress is exactly what you want for that situation.

  17. The Friendship Thread :

    Hey lawyers/overachievers: do you talk about money with your friends who are non-lawyers/overachievers? Has money ever caused a rift in where you meet your friends, visiting houses, etc? Curious to know.

    • No, never, because I was raised not to talk about this topic with anyone. However, I have one friend who is extremely…frugal, and constantly makes comments about things I have or places I go to indicate her disapproval. She is kind of a reverse snob, and seems to believe that people who work in big law are somehow morally inferior simply because they have a certain income. This has strained the friendship to the point that I now actively avoid her. It’s condescending and obnoxious, IMHO.

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      I’m not a lawyer and have nothing resembling a lawyer’s salary – but I have a very strict rule to never talk money with anyone but my spouse. As in, never. Not my mother. Not my sister. Not my best friend.

      This seems like one of those topics that should be private. I’m interested to hear what others might think, but in general I wouldn’t touch this topic with a ten foot pole. With one great exception – if I had a friend who was trying to make better financial choices and wanted advice. Even then, I don’t want to know specifics and I would prefer to stay with generalities and good practices.

      In terms of visiting each other’s homes, sharing rides, going on vacation together, etc… Much of it will come back to how you handle it. As long as you’re gracious about your things, express gratitude for what you have, and share when it’s appropriate, it’s unlikely there will be discomfort or a rift.

      • + 100

        My husband and I make more than my childhood friends and we all know it. However,they live in a much lower COLA area and I think it all works out. But nothing would ever be gained discussing our incomes. Everyone’s goals ans spending habits are different and personal.

    • I don’t. All my friends know that my husband and I are both doctors, so while no one knows specifics, they all have a general idea. Other than my friends from residency, we earn way more than our friends. So it’s sort of “known” but never discussed. I try to be really aware that my friends don’t live in the same economic bracket as I do, and I try to be really careful to be generous without being show-offy. For instance, my best friend and I were going to a wedding of a third friend in my hometown. She’s a school teacher who was paying for a cross country ticket. I invited her to stay at my folks house (free lodging) and then rented a car and made sure she felt like we were in it together, rather than her having to ask me for a ride. I won’t invite people to meals they may not be able to afford, I’m happy to hang on the cheap, hike for an activity. But I don’t think we need to discuss it. I’d feel like I was bragging. I’m just grateful for my good fortune.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I don’t. It’s never seemed like any good could come of it, so I don’t really see the point. (I’m also lucky enough to have lawyer-friends in my same income bracket to talk to about money stuff, so to the extent that I’d want to talk about it for advice-seeking purposes, I turn to the lawyer-friends.)

      I don’t avoid it to the point of being a weirdo about it – if, for example, there’s a conversation about raises or something (commonish year-end convo), I may in passing confirm that I got a raise or something, but I tend to preface with “I’m really lucky, my firm did well this year” and to completely omit any reference at all to amount.

      With things like choosing activities/places to meet/etc., I tend to either defer to the other person’s selection (so they get to pick something they’re financially comfortable with) or to choose something in the cool-but-cheap category, like my favorite dive-y clam bar or something. I can’t speak to the housing thing – I don’t own yet, and our apartment is modest by choice – but I don’t see how living somewhere that happens to cost more than where your friend lives would be a problem, unless one or both of the friends is a snot about it.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the only time its acceptable to talk money is when you are dealing with someone in the same profession. Like if my close friend who is a firm lawyer wanted to ask me what I make because she is thinking about switching. But generally dont talk money! Keep that rule.

    • First of all, I don’t think ‘overacheiver’ translates to high-earning or vice versa – some of my smartest, hardest working friends are in academia and are paid comparatively little. Likewise I know some very wealthy people who inherited family businesses and did very little to get themselves where they are. (Not trying to pick on you, its just a big pet peeve of mine).

      As for me, I make more than most of my friends currently, but I don’t think it really causes a rift, because they all make a good enough salary to go out plenty and do activities that cost money like meals out in normal restaurants. My husband and I do occasionally like to go to really expensive restaurants and we take really nice vacations, but we do that alone and I don’t brag about it – and its not like my friends couldn’t afford to do that stuff once in awhile too. We live in the bay area so none of us can afford to buy houses and our apartments, cars, etc aren’t that different (I actually have the oldest car of anyone I know, but I love it and its very reliable). We do have some friends of friends who have really “made it” in tech and have made millions and bought huge, beautiful houses worth $2 million or more and I expect those people probably have some awkwardness with their close friends who are still working to pay their rent. But in my close circle, the income range is not that big and doesn’t really create problems for social functions.

      It was a lot harder for me when I was in law school. I went straight through to law school and most of my friends graduated from undergrad and immediately started working in fairly high paying jobs (tech, consulting, etc). Many of them were suddenly making 6 figures or close while I had no income and was taking on big loans every year. Many people in law school were also fully funded by parents and had spending money to go out and do stuff, whereas I really wanted to spend as little money as possible, and not go out much at all, even to moderately priced places. It was hard and I definitely had some friendships grow quite a bit more distant for that reason. Even with my closest friends things got pretty awkward at times. In my experience, there’s a much greater difference between $0 (or negative) and $40K than there is between $40K and $200K. Someone who is earning $40K can go out to a moderately priced dinner once a week without feeling horribly guilty about it and that makes it much easier to maintain friendships.

      And no, I don’t discuss money with friends because its tacky. Although my friends and I all complain about how none of us will ever be able to buy a nice single family home in the bay area, because that’s true (unless one of us wins the lottery or the start-up lottery).

    • I discuss money only with my husband, and with the members of my family that are in my will (they need to know what to do if I die!). With friends, I try to be sensitive to their comfort level of spending. Some friends and family members love for me to treat somewhere extravagant, while others are more comfortable with something less expensive and more casual, so that’s what we do.

      We pretty much live below our means, so there is no house or vacation envy for sure. My penchant for expensive hotels is well known, and now everyone just views that as one of my little quirks. To me, I don’t hide or it flaunt it and that should be OK, if anyone still has an issue, it’s their issue not mine.

    • I guess I’ve always been on the opposite side. I studied abroad (and was funding my own way) so have always been the ‘poor’ one compared my friends. Currently I’m working in the public sector in a developing country so still can’t compete with my friends overseas. It never caused any friction though – they all understood my position and I never tried to pretend my situation was any different. There were times when I had to decline offers to go to Domino’s ($5!) and my friends either understood or offered to pay for me. I think the problem comes in when either side is judgy/inconsiderate.

    • I’ll chime in with a different answer. DH and I talk about money with our parents. My FIL is an investment adviser and handles a lot of DH’s accounts. He also gives us general advice when we ask for it. And for family obligations, we often have to discuss whether something is within our budget (it’s a large family, and there are a lot of obligations).

      DH and I sometimes talk generally about money with our good friends. We don’t discuss salary, but I think most of us have a general idea anyway. We do talk in general terms about big-picture financial stuff. For example, last night, a friend of ours whose property value has increased dramatically (common knowledge for that neighborhood) was talking about either moving or refinancing so that he and his wife could pay off student loans. We’ve also talked with another couple about their upcoming move because one of them is going back to school and they won’t be able to afford their current house.

      I don’t think money has caused any rifts in any of my friendships. I try to be thoughtful about the activities we plan with any friends who have less money, but it’s just one factor to consider, along with convenient location, dietary restrictions, etc. We’re happy to do inexpensive activities, and my DH loves having people over.

    • Senior Attorney :

      No money talk here, either. Mr. S.A. and I used to discuss it endlessly (although given the volume of discovery he has served on me in the disso, he wasn’t listening very closely), but other than that I keep it to myself.

      Even though everybody in my workplace is paid the same, we’ve all made such different decisions by this time in our lives that our financial pictures are very different and no good can come from talking about finances. I learned my lesson on that one some years ago when I happened to be doing a big house project at the same time I was going on a big trip (and foolishly mentioned them over lunch), and one of my colleagues said “Did you win the lottery or something?”

      With friends I do what others have said — plan activities that will be comfortably doable for everyone involved.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I don’t volunteer it or bring it up, but I have no problem telling someone my salary if they ask (but most of the time people don’t). With my friends who earn less than I do, I try to avoid making statements that suggest I am complaining about my financial situation (sure, I have student loans, but I’m also single and making good money versus my married friends with small child who make less put together than I do) or implying how much money I spent on something or how I have done something that may be considered objectively expensive.

      I’ve not experienced issues in relation to friends who earn less but then we don’t really talk about money generally and when we do, I tend to keep quiet. With other friends who make similar amounts, it’s a more likely topic of conversation and sometimes very helpful in relation to figuring out whether you are making market salary etc.

    • I normally don’t, but I am starting to a bit now with my friends. I’m looking for another job and I know I’m underpaid in my current one, but I’m not sure how much I’m underpaid. So I’ve been asking if they would mind telling me, for example, how much they think they would make if they were to lateral, how much first-year associates make at their firm, etc. I hung out with one of my friends who is a solo last night and asked what her profit was for the previous year. Otherwise, nope.

      SO and I talk about it, especially in how it relates to our long-term goals and plans.

    • While I agree with everyone who’s already said it’s poor form to talk about money with your friends (especially if there’s a large disparity)… I sometimes wonder whether this social taboo holds people back a bit, financially speaking. Yeah you can do research to find out industry or regional salary averages and peruse real estate listings, etc, but _I_ learn better from stories of people’s personal experience (probably why I like thissite). I just feel like personal finance literacy is important, and not talking about money is shooting everyone in the collective foot.

      More to the point of your question, though: Everyone talks about money all the time, they just do it in the context of what’s going on in the rest of their life. One of my good friends went through a really rough time financially recently…she didn’t tell me she was broke, but she took in a roommate following some major medical expenses. I could read between the lines. I do talk about money a little more directly with good friends who are within one standard deviation of my financial situation, so to speak. But still obliquely, like, “I really want to switch to a less-demanding job, but golden handcuffs.”

      I have more disposable income than many of my friends. After thoughtlessly inviting some old friends who had just moved to the area to meet us for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants that is about $35/plate (which is not extravagant in my high cost of living city) only to have them politely decline because it was too expensive, I’ve made a big effort to keep people’s financial situation in mind, have a mental list of cheap/free things to do, and not put them in that position.

      On the flip side, my husband has a lot of friends who make significantly more money than we do. A few of them are very generous, and treat us occasionally to things that would otherwise be out of our financial comfort zone. I don’t think for a second they’re trying to show off; they’re lovely people and upfront that they’ve been very lucky and want to share the fruits of their luck with their friends. But their good intentions make me feel a little like a charity case. (That probably says more about my own insecurities than anything.)

      It’s a tricky balance.

      • I’m surprised (or probably more accurately, disappointed) by how many commentators say they don’t talk about money. It’s pretty common knowledge that one of the primary drivers behind pay inequity is the fact that we (“Americans”) as a culture don’t talk about pay. Of course, I’m very guilty of this as I was having a conversation with someone last week in which for reasons related to my own salary negotations I really wanted to know how much he makes (within a reasonable range) and just couldn’t bring myself to ask the question.

        Going to online sources really doesn’t help, at least for me. Recently I had one site say that the average salary for someone in my field with my experience was $50,000, while another one said it was $170,000. I have reason to believe that the actual number (taking out the solo practitioners and those in super-small offices that aren’t “boutiques”) is probably around $130,000, but I would love to test that belief with more specific information about people with my credentials. So if anyone has tips on how to broach that subject with people who aren’t your “friends” (i.e., you don’t hang out socially) but with whom you are very friendly, I am all ears.

        As far as friends go, my friends from before law school all make considerably less than I do. I get quite self-conscious–if someone mentions the designer of my shoes or purse, for example, I will make a big deal of the fact that the purse was a gift (or that I wear the shoes 4 days a week). At the same time, I won’t get rid of those material items and anyone who knows my address has a pretty good idea how much my husband and I make–if anything, they probably think we make (a lot) more than we do.

        So for the most part, I don’t talk about it, but I don’t hide it either. We became friends because we had something in common that had nothing to do with money and so we stay friends despite differences in our finances. But having some interests that don’t involve spending much money definitely help. For me, that means cheap but tasty Asian food. I save wine bars for when I am going out with people of my income bracket or higher and there are only a select few that I invite to dessert at expensive restaurants because I don’t want to ‘fess up to how often I go to those places for dinner.

        • I think people are answering the question “do you talk about money with your friends who are not in law/your chosen profession?” I don’t see how that affects pay inequity. Seems like separate issues, although the issue you are brining up at the beginning of your post certainly seems important and worthwhile. And it seems like only going out to dessert at an expensive restaurant with a select few because you don’t want it to come out that you actually eat a full meal there is hiding it. Just saying.

          • The question asked about whether people talk about money with people who aren’t “overachievers”, which appears to be used as a euphamism for “high-earners.” The responses, by and large, have said that people don’t talk about money with anyone–that’s where pay equity comes in.

      • layered bob :

        agree that not talking about money can be damaging too. Talking about money is on my mother’s long list of “that is vulgar” items, but I go right ahead and do it – especially, as Wendy said, in the context of everything else that is going on, and especially with close friends.

        In my current friend group, my husband and I are not the highest earners (I’m in school), but we are the most financially stable/on top of our finances. So we recommend budget software (YNAB!), give referrals to our accountant, and on two occasions have talked friends out of disastrous financial decisions (buying a house when they really didn’t have the money, going to graduate school – no scholarship – when they already had $140k of undergrad student loans). Maybe it wasn’t our place to say anything but they are people we care about and didn’t want to let them destroy their finances, so… we talked about it.

        We role-play raise negotiations, and go out for drinks to celebrate when the raise is given. We commiserate when low-paying jobs stay that way, and started a casual Sunday-night dinner at our apartment that we invite lots of different friends to so that the cost of a restaurant is not a barrier to socialization. I think that it is important that friends and family DO have a sense of everybody’s financial situation – when it is transparent it is less of a big deal than when things are simmering under the surface, and allows help to be given when appropriate.

      • Wildkitten :

        I’ll talk about money with almost anyone. I think when we don’t talk about money, women lose.

    • amberwitch :

      It seems the majority here won’t talk about money outside of family/relationship, and I can see why it might not be a good idea if the difference is too great. On the other hand, I really appreciate knowing what my contemporaries earn, to better determine if I am being compensated satisfactory. And to be fair I thus also need to disclose my own earnings.

      Jen Dzuira wrote an interesting article about it at huffington: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-dziura/talking-openly-about-money_b_4675295.html

    • Olivia Pope :

      Only my very close friends know how much I make. But we are all happy with our life choices and talk about everything. The ones who make less (e.g. public interest lawyers) or can afford less (because they live in NYC and I live in the Midwest) proactively chose that life style.

      With people who make less involuntarily (they couldn’t afford college, they had a kid in high school and have been working retail/call centers/fast food jobs ever since, they are underemployed), I do not get into details. Knowing those details would not help them out of their situation.

      My interests haven’t changed since I started making more and I live in a low COL city, so the activity side hasn’t changed. As far as visiting each other’s houses, it is what it is. I have visited the houses of people with much more wealth than I have and it doesn’t make me feel bad. I just like being there! When people with less than me come to my house, they just enjoy being there.

      If someone is bitter about their material situation and you aren’t rubbing your money in their face (even by complaining about your financial situation), there’s nothing you can change about that.

  18. Anonymous :

    Any suggestions for a fitness retreat within a 3-hour drive of DC? I usually just find a mountain to go hiking/walking on, but I’m thinking of trying out a yoga retreat or something else new. Nothing crazy–no skydiving, bungee jumping, etc.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I think The Farmhouse at Veritas Winery outside Charlottesville is doing yoga/hiking/wellness retreats now. I have not been to one of those, but I highly recommend the Inn generally. Amazing food, warm atmosphere, very comfortable and beautiful accommodations, and, you know, wine. It’s heaven on earth.

      • Anonymous :

        Wow, that looks fabulous, but out of my price range for a four-night stay. Other than the price, it was exactly what I was looking for, so thanks!

        • mintberrycrunch :

          Definitely out of my price range too! Hence why I had no first hand experience :) We can dream though, right… ?

    • Locations that might have what you are looking for: Berkeley Springs, WV, (also Bath, WV) and I’m thinking about the eastern shore of MD for bike riding, like Berlin

      Tai Sophia may be a good resource for people who know more about yoga retreats in the region, as they have many talented alumni.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks for the tips. Berkeley Springs is my usual haunt, so I was trying to expand my horizons a little. I’ll check out Tai Sophia.

  19. TGIF

  20. Malibu/Pepperdine conference :

    I signed on for a conference at Pepperdine, and would like to bring my mom and two school-age kids along, mostly so they can enjoy the beach and the sites. All was well-planned, as colleagues recommended an amazing sounding hotel that was right.on.the.beach for ~300/night. My mom would be a beach bum/walk around with the kids for the 3 days, I’d drive over to Pepperdine, have dinner and the evenings with them with a quick commute, then head on to 2-3 days of more CA fun, then fly home to the East Coast.

    So, it’s closed for renovations. No biggie right?

    The travel person suggested the Malibu Motel for proximity. I’m not wild about that option, as the reviews recommend it if you are in a pinch. My mom gets really nervous about driving other people’s cars, so there is that, too. Otherwise, she loves the beach, the outdoors, birds, and my kids (who can be active, though are well-behaved)

    Anyone familiar with the area…anything better in the area for travelling with active kids that like science and the outdoors (6&8, the 8 year old wants to be a marine biologist)at this price point?

    The other back story is when I’ve had conferences in the past, I get at least one call from my husband that he is overwhelmed. He is in a new job, has no leave yet, so I want this to go smoothly. I want some fun & relaxation, and not to be calling him with problems…

    • DTLA R e t t e :

      Welcome (back?) to SoCal! If you are not limited to hotels for reimbursement purposes, etc., I would suggest airbnb. That way, you can find a (way cheaper!) place with a kitchen and living room, with a TV to entertain anyone who gets sick or wants to spend the day in, and plenty of room and amenities to enjoy some quality time together over meals.

      The area is great, as you can go hiking (Los Liones and Solstice Canyon are some of my favorite trails) or just relax at the beach; head up to the Getty Villa; or just ogle the interesting characters down in Venice or Santa Monica. Your mother could take the kids for a day to the Expo Park area, which houses the lovely Natural History museum and the Space Shuttle Endeavour. And/or spend a day at the aquarium in Long Beach. When you’re free to join them, drive north to Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands — the islands might be great for your bird-loving mother.

      Enjoy!

      • Malibu/Pepperdine conference :

        Thanks! This is a first for CA, so this helps on a lot of levels. We love a good hike, but know that late June will keep us to mornings and evenings.

        Getty Villa
        Expo Park with Natural History Museum and Space Shuttle Endeavor (!)
        Long Beach Aquarium (!!)

        I’ve looked at a few places on AirBnB, but found that entering “family friendly” reduces selection considerably. I’m also dealing with my mom’s anxiety about other people’s cars (the rental) can see the question marks/anxiety about others’ places…we may do this for non-conference days, when I’m the primary child-behavior monitor ;)

        Is Pacific Coast Highway as loud as some reviews make it out to be?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have stayed at the Georgian in Santa Monica (across the street from the beach) and loved it. Not super kid-oriented but right across from the beach and pier.

      If your family is into art and/or history at all, the Getty Villa in Malibu is amazing.

      And I always feel like the very best place for kids in So Cal is San Diego — beach, zoo, Balboa Park, Legoland just up the freeway, Sea World (although they are kind of on my bad list with the Orca stuff coming out but your budding marie biologist would love it), Old Town, Padres, you name it.

      • Kids can be surprisingly aware of that stuff. At least, I know a 10-year-old who refuses to go to Sea World because of Blackfish.

      • Malibu/Pepperdine conference :

        What lovely Art Deco design!

        We read a kids’ non-fiction picture book “The Tree Lady” that makes San Diego REALLY enticing, and will explore the area sooner or later – we are oblivious to Orca news at the moment, maybe due to other East Coast news, and I agree kids are sensitive to all kinds of things of this nature.

        Me-Too, thanks for the update on the traffic flow, bike path, and proximity. Simplicity helps, and the pier, Heal the Bay aquarium is interesting, and the Farmer’s Market would make Saturday morning/breakfast more fun.

        Colleagues have gorgeous photos of the historic Santa Barbara Courthouse, which could be a hard sell with the kids, but my mom and I will navigate that as time allows with the Channel Islands.

    • I grew up in Malibu, so I have not had any occasion to stay at the hotels there but am quite familiar with the area. I am guessing the hotel that you originally booked was the Malibu Beach Inn? As far as I know, that’s the only nice hotel in the area. The other “hotels” in the area (at least from the outside) all look like dingy motels for surfers to crash in. If your mom is going to be uncomfortable driving, I think the best bet would be for you to get someplace in Santa Monica (and again, being local, sorry I don’t have recommendations, but there are many hotels around). Santa Monica is very walkable/bikeable and should have plenty of things to keep them occupied while you are at the conference. Your drive shouldn’t be too bad (probably about 20 minutes up PCH)– I think you will be going against traffic, since everyone is trying to get to downtown L.A. in the morning and then returning to the San Fernando Valley in the evening. Some of the things to do in Santa Monica– hang out at the beach, bikes on the beach bike path (my favorite!), Santa Monica pier which has rides and games (there is a small aquarium under the pier that is run by Heal the Bay), there is shopping/walking around 3rd Street (fun on the weekends because of the various performers), farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they can bike down to Venice and see the street performers and Muscle Beach, get some ice cream…. wait, can I come too? j/k =)

      Also, I am very into marine life and agree with the Long Beach Aquarium suggestion.

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