Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Asymmetrical Neck Sheath Dress

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

This sheath dress looks really great and comes in plus sizes as well as straight and petite sizes. I love the asymmetrical neckline, which is really flattering but still wearable with a bra. The regular-size version actually has a longer, below-the-knee hem, but I think it looks better as pictured, with the slightly shorter hemline. (Note that it has an exposed back zipper.) It comes in plus sizes 14W–24W in burgundy and in regular & petite sizes in burgundy, blue, and black in sizes 2–16 and 0P–14P. (It also comes in a floral in straight sizes only.) It’s $118–$138 at Nordstrom. Asymmetrical Neck Sheath Dress

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Comments

  1. This is a cute sheath dress!

    I want to thank those who responded yesterday to my inquiry about my work situation and potential promotion. My third line manager to be informed me that I have the position, and that it would be “a challenge”. By that, I think he might be signaling to me that he knows about my new boss; or on the other hand, that the position itself will be difficult for me. I have decided to try it out– my thinking is that I have to get good bosses and bad bosses over my career, so if this one turns out to be a jerk, the next one will have to be better. My big brother went through the same type of situation at a big company. He was able to transfer out of a terrible job after 6 months, and now he is at a high level (at age 33). If I flop now, I have plenty of time to recover. Thanks again!

    • Two Cents :

      That sounds like a great plan. I would also encourage you to develop allies at your boss’ level whom you can reach out to for mentoring and advice, and who have your back in the event your boss becomes challenging.

  2. Shananana :

    I had my first intern this summer, and she will be joining our company in a full time role once her internship wraps up next month. Wondering if it is weird to give her an end of internship gift? She has been absolutely fantastic, I will be writing a glowing end of internship letter for her advisor and pushed really hard to get this job offer for her to stay. Just wondering on the norm of doing something more (although probably still work related)? I am new to managing in general so am still feeling out all the norms.

    • Awesome that you are so helpful. Instead of a gift, I’d take her to lunch to celebrate her new job. I’d take time to share with her what she did that was “absolutely fantastic”. Tell her what’s different about her new role, where she can improve, and how things work in your office (is every meeting request mandatory, how to make time for a doctor’s appointment, how to schedule PTO, etc).

      • new job who dis :

        +1 as a former intern/mentee/etc I really appreciate quality time and the experience of spending time with a mentor (or someone who has helped in the company) so that you feel like a successful adult :)

      • +1 This is a great idea.

      • Yes, agree that the mentoring is much more valuable than a physical gift!

      • I always take our intern out to lunch at the end of their term, along with the manager I supervise (who directly supervises the intern). It’s a thank you to both of them and fun.

    • I don’t know anything about managing either. But if I were her, what would mean the most to me is if you just told me what you said here. like, a card expressing your appreciation and letting her know that you really pushed for her and think she’s awesome.

      I would have LOVED something like that, and an actual gift doesn’t really compare to how good I would have felt just knowing that I did a good job and someone cared about it.

    • Anonymous :

      We always give our interns a gift when they finish (usually a card signed by everyone, some company swag, and maybe a gift card to a place they like).

    • A nice note and continued mentoring (plus helping her connect with others) is the best gift! You sound like a great colleague.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      When my supervisor at the time found out I got a job at the organization, she wrote me a very heartfelt card, got me a coffee cup that said “Adventures Await,” and a $2 photo from a local place that she knew I loved to hang on my new office wall. All in all it probably cost her $10, but I was and am so grateful. Plus she was so excited for me- announced it to our unit at the next meeting, talked me up to our admin team, etc. And she is still a great resource. If at all possible, try to immediately begin treating her like a colleague, not an intern. That shift made it so real for me that I was about to be there for real.
      Also, she made sure I had an office on day one after they forgot to make sure she had one her first day.

    • Wildkitten :

      A business card holder is a good gift, if her new job will entail her having cards. Cute coffee mugs are also useful when you first start out.

  3. Good morning, Hive – what kind of professional would help me make good decisions about insurance – do I need to sign up for my company’s Long Term Care, short term disability, long term disability, cancer insurance, AFLAC, etc? Is there any one professional who can look at my income, mortgage, taxes, and investments to give me good advice? I asked my CPA tax preparer for his suggestions, but he steered me to a high price stockbroker who knew how to sell her product but not give wholistic advice. Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      Not really. Everyone just wants to sell you stuff.

    • Cornellian :

      I’d try: https://www.napfa.org/

    • I suppose the answer might be a fee-only financial advisor but those are hard to come by in my experience unless you’ve got a bit of money to manage in the first place. My own experience with insurance brokers is they will generally try to upsell you on everything. That said, some are probably good and if you keep a skeptical eye out it probably doesn’t hurt to find out what your options are and then take it from there.

      This is something that is highly dependent on your individual needs.

    • Talk to your HR/benefits specialist- they’re good at walking you through the company benefit part (and aren’t motivated by sales).

    • Well, as someone who has had multiple family members hit with unexpected illness/disability, and later in life long term care needs….. I am absolutely envious of anyone who has these benefit options at their workplace, and I think many of these are very valuable. If I could afford them, I would absolutely have short and long term disability and long term care insurance, if the price wasn’t exorbitant. Not even sure what AFLAC is and ?cancer insurance…. why? If you have a known history of cancer at a young age in your family or have had it yourself, I might check out what cancer insurance is….. But if you have decent health insurance, that should be sufficient.

      After a family member was almost killed by an underinsured driver, I realize how important it is to be well insured. Good car insurance, renter’s/home owners, and umbrella policy if you have high net worth.

      I would not trust insurance ?agents to advise you appropriately. Anyone trying to sell you anything will give you skewed advice. Financial advisors are also questionable and certainly don’t have appropriate training in the health care/disability/insurance areas.

      I would talk with a senior co-worker or two you respect, your benefits office, and do a bit of reading.

      • Agreed. At minimum, you’ll want ST and LT disability, life insurance if anyone is dependent on your income, and general health insurance. Then car, homeowners/renters insurance, and an umbrella policy if you have significant assets and/or earning potential.

      • What is an umbella policy? And what is considered to be earning potential that would justify having an umbrella policy?

    • In House Lobbyist :

      If you want advice on the actual types of insurance/products you could look at your state insurance department’s website. They will all have some type of consumer information out there. You could probably find information on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website too. As for prices, I think you will likely find the best price offered through your work but then if you lose you job, you may lose the coverage too. Personally, I have LT and ST disability as a benefit; life insurance for myself, husband and children as a benefit (with all the optional amounts purchased), maximum limits on my auto, homeowners and an umbrella. The umbrella is a company benefit but one I think you generally need if you own multiple properties or have $1million plus in assets.

  4. Ugh. I am finding that with ponte dresses in the $100 range, I am getting fuzz, particularly in the seatbelt area. I’ve tried a shaver, but it doesn’t look sharp anymore, and is is more sweatshirty than I’d like (and who needs a sweatshirt sheath???). Actually, I’ll still wear it, but not when I need to look sharp.

    #accidentalathleisure

    • This is why I don’t buy ponte. Too much of a gamble and looking nice twice before I have to relegate something to “work pajama” days just isn’t worth it.

    • lawsuited :

      To answer your question, I definitely need a sweatshirt sheath.

    • For $155, I’d rather go with an MM Lafleur Etsuko dress. Although they’re 150% of the price, I find I get 3 times the wear out of the material- which has more polyester in it- it’s still machine washable, doesnt wrinkle, doesnt pill, and it’s super comfortable.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      What if you spread something over your lap under your seatbelt? Or got one of those soft seatbelt covers?

      • It’s more in the chest area (which is totally surprising, as I don’t have much of a chest and wear clothes every day and this has never happened except on ponte items).

        I get some pills on sweaters from my giant stuffed work bag that I carry on my left shoulder, but that’s abusive wear and tear. The seatbelt is new WTF territory.

        • I often keep a sacrificial scarf in my car for this reason. Doesn’t matter what color, just as long as it doesn’t shed and it’s not too precious. Just tuck it along the seatbelt, and the seatbelt will rub it instead of your clothing. Leave it in the car so that it’ll be there next time you need it.

  5. Anonymous :

    Hope you ladies can help. I drive a 11 year old car that won’t pass inspection unless I spend $2000 in repairs. The car is a Toyota Camry with a relative low mileage (90k) valued at $2000-$3000. I live walking distance from work, sometimes walk to work , work from home 2 days, and my partner owns a reliable car. Should I repair my car, buy a new car, buy a used car, or just go without? I’m honestly thinking of going without at this point, but I fear that I might have to coordinate/be wholly dependent with my partner for rides and other errands.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you live near public transportation? I share a car with my husband and take Uber without much guilt whenever I don’t use public transportation, because I know I’m saving on the expense of owning a car.

      • +1. We are in Boston metro, I work from home and husband takes the T a few stops. We have one car. If he’s running late, he takes an Uber.

      • Agreed. I’d bank the $2,000 and try going car-free. It sounds like you use your car primarily for errands and socializing, not for daily needs like getting yourself to work safely. Can you bike? Uber? Transit? Carpool? I would also do a formal cost analysis of how much e.g. Uber and ZipCar would cost you for occasional errands, versus all of the costs of maintaining a vehicle.

        If you try it for a month or two and it’s not working for whatever reason, you still have the $2,000 to put towards a new-to-you car. You could also just park your own Camry (preferably in a garage or other off-street situation) for said month or two, and decide what to do with it after you’ve given car-free life a trial run. FWIW, in my first job out of college, I knew a couple who decided to go to one car after a similar repair bill. We weren’t in a transit-friendly location at all, but the husband could walk/bike to work and a convenience store, and they just made an effort to thoughtfully coordinate other commitments with each other. They were pretty nervous going in, but it worked out fine for them and they saved a ton of money.

        • +1 I think this sounds reasonable. Try going without a car and see if it’s doable. Cars are expensive to own.

      • I live in NOVA, so I can bike, Uber, and take public transportation.

        Yes, I think I really just need to do a cost analysis and try going without a car.

        Per month, it costs $75 to garage the car, insurance is $60, and gas is around $30-50 a month.

        I figure that money could probably go to Uber, Amazon Fresh, or some combination of those things.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m usually not a fan of spending more than the car is worth to get it back into working condition. However, in your case, you probably could get another 30,000 miles out of that car before you have to retire it permanently – Toyotas are tanks and most people can drive them to at least 125k miles. Is the problem that needs fixing related to the engine/transmission, or is it mostly about the emissions system? If it’s a major engine or transmission problem, this $2k may not be the end of the repairs. If it’s an emissions problem, $2k might fix it. One thing is for sure – you’ll have to spend a lot more than $2k to replace the car. My husband’s car just died after 150k miles (and I mean died – we would have had to replace the transmission) and it’s difficult to find a quality, low-miles used car with a warranty for less than $10k (we tried valiantly).

      If you have the $2,000 and wouldn’t have to drain your emergency savings or raid a retirement account to come up with it, I would err on the side of fixing it so you do have a car – even in your situation, it might be hard not to have one – but I would probably not spend a lot to fix it again if something else breaks. If you don’t have the $2k readily available – I would give up on the car and live without for awhile. If that proves to be untenable, you can get another car.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Agree, it depends on what the repairs are. If it’s something you repair and it will keep running for a while, I say repair. But I’m driving a 20-year old Toyota with 225k miles with every intention of driving it into the ground, so I may be a little biased:-)

      • Anonymous :

        The car needs a new steering rack and tires. It is currently leaking out power steering fluid(which is necessary for turning) and the tires have rotted and the treads have worn down.

        I do have the $2000 in my savings right now and I agree that Toyotas are tanks. Engine/transmission is good at this moment.

        I like the idea of spending the $2k and just having a threshold of if anything major breaks like the engine/transmission, I will just try going without a car for awhile to test the waters.

        • I’d for sure get a second opinion on the power steering fluid. I was told the exact same thing by the dealership when my Camry was the exact same age yours is now. I opted not to repair it and got a second opinion. The non-dealership mechanic told me it was really minor and not something that needed to be repaired. That was over 10 years ago and I’ve had no issues with the car since. No noticeable issues with steering and I regularly drive in winter weather.

          New tires is very standard – any car will need those periodically so I wouldn’t try to weigh the cost of those against the value of the car. If the car breaks again and you decide to junk it, you can probably also salvage the new-ish tires and sell or use them.

          • Oh my opinion on get a new car/figure out the math changes dramatically when the issue is half tires – that’s not a car repair, that’s just basic maintenance (and please don’t drive on rotted tires! So dangerous.) I’d repair on those facts.

          • Agreed, and I was also part of the initial car-free chorus. New tires are routine maintenance. I mean, you can still try going car-free if you want to save the $ and don’t think you actually need a car, but replacing tires is part of car ownership. It sucks that they’re getting stacked with another repair bill, but that happens occasionally.

          • Unfortunately this is the repair recommendation after the second opinion.

            Yes, I do need to do better maintenance. :)

        • I had the same issue with my now 20 year old Camry a few years ago and being a broke college student, I had someone teach me how to refill the power steering fluid as it ran out and paid like $10 every 2-3 months for a new bottle. Eventually I got it fixed permanently, but I’d suggest that as a short term fix so you can also test-drive a car-free life, but still have the car for dire circumstances.

          • They will also top it off every top you have an oil change, which should be enough unless the leak is really bad. I had a very minor leak that I chose not to fix and it’s been fine just getting it replaced at oil changes (which I do every 3 months).

        • If it’s just the power steering, I would definitely lean toward repair. That’s a pretty discrete issue and is not an indication that the car is going to have other serious problems in the next decade. My answer would be different if it were already having engine problems, but I really believe this is something you can fix for $1500 and then get 10+ more years out of the car without spending anything on it other than routine maintenance. If you see yourself driving the car for many more years, I think the math works out.

      • A solid car like this should be able to get twice that in miles. Potentially well over 300,000 provided it is properly maintained (although the OP’s comments about driving on rotted tires makes me suspect she isn’t really big on maintenance).

    • Anonymous :

      I say repair. I put $2000 into my then-12 year old Toyota Camry 8 years ago now and it’s still running great with little maintenance required since then. The blue book value of the car is not always the right metric to use when determining the car’s value to you. A car that runs well and likely will for years to come is normally worth more than $2k to you, even if you could only sell it for $2k.

      • Agree. I’ve made similar repair decisions with my now 12 year old Volvo. Also, i work from home and my husband takes public transit to work, so i’d rather spend 2K to fix my own car (knowing its history and condition and that it will get many more years in all likelihood) rather than trying to find a comparable used car or buying a new car that will be driven less than 10 miles/week.

    • Anonymous :

      There’s a word to describe the status of a car that is worth less than the cost of repairs. Totaled. Do not spend $2k to fix a car that’s worth $2k. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there will be more problems. Put your money where it’ll last longer – in a new-to-you car.

      I expect a lot of the NYC-ers on this board will tell you to just get rid of a car. But it sounds like you don’t live in NYC. Think about what you really need a car for – commute when the weather’s bad? groceries? socializing? How will you do all those things if you don’t have a car? And, no, “I’ll just use my partner’s car” is not a great option for day to day stuff. If you’re going to impose upon your partner like that, they need to be on board with the decision and have an out if it gets to be too much.

      • Anonymous :

        A 11-year old Toyota Camry can be sold for more than $3000 on the private market, especially at such low mileage. I agree with everyone else who said make the repairs if it doesn’t wipe out your emergency fund or savings.

      • Anonymous :

        Eh, not necessarily. As others said above, the replacement cost to purchase a reliable, working (used) car is probably close to $10k, certainly well above $5k. It’s an oversimplification to say “the car is only worth $2k” because it would cost her a lot more than that to replace it. A good mechanic can probably tell her if this is the first in a long line of expensive repairs or if this one big fix will likely get the car working for years to come. If it’s the latter I’d definitely be inclined to repair. I put a comparable amount of money into a similarly old car and got another 10 years out of it without ever doing another major repair. My car was definitely not “totaled” even though the repairs cost more than the KBB value, and the money spent repairing it was a very good investment.

      • Counterpoint:

        I lived in NoVa and my car was “totalled” because a car worth $2K needed $2K worth of work to it. But $2K was < one year of car payments. And the car tax on a car worth $2k was zero (just the decal fee). Spending the $ to fix the car kept me out of car payments for 3 more years (until my next new-to-me car), so a win.

      • HOWEVER, as noted above, about 50% (probably more like $700) is the cost of new tires. New tires are maintenance, not repairs. So it’s really more like a $1000-$1200 repair job.

      • HOWEVER, as noted above, about 50% (probably more like $700) is the cost of new tires. New tires are maintenance, not repairs. So it’s really more like a $1000-$1200 repair job.

        Selling a car with rotted tires is going to be tricky because someone is going to have to immediately dump $700 into it.

    • It’s just a math problem – figure out how often you’d realistically use Lyft or Uber and whether that’s more or substantially less than a car payment. When we were in your shoes, turned out ride sharing was going to be the cost of 2 new cars given our schedules and needs so it made sense to just buy another car. But everyone’s circumstances are different.

    • Your comment that the car needs $2k in repairs isn’t accurate. Buying tires is regular car maintenance. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the car. Your actual repair cost is whatever you are paying for the steering column issue.

      Full disclosure, my family’s second car is a 1999 Camry with over 100,000 miles on it. No plans to get rid of it and it is the primary vehicle for my son (who was an infant when we bought it) and will be for my daughter who is expecting to get her license in the next six months.

      • You’re right. The steering rack repair will be $1500. I included it because in my mind, I’m still spending money on the car that could be used for potentially another car or alternative.

    • I personally would never want to have to rely on anyone else for rides (even my spouse). I would buy a new (used?) car. It sounds like your car is at the point where it’s $2000 now, then maybe another $1500 the next time, etc. However, if public transportation is good in your area, it might be worth trying to go without for a little bit and see how it goes. Bikes can also be an option if it makes sense where you live.

    • I am surprised you have 2 cars in Boston, as I would go with one. But I agree that Camrys are tanks. I have one too. And I would absolutely put 2K in it to keep it going. My Camry is a 1997, and I would STILL put 2K in it to keep it going.

      If you have a place to park it anyway, I would probably go for a month and see if you can do without, and fix it if it seems like you need it.

      It is rare you really need two cars, right? And the rare times you think you do, you could take taxi/Uber etc.. for much cheaper than owning a 2nd car.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I am extremely pro 1-car/household, but you have to really make sure it works for your life. We were planning to go down to 1 car when my SO’s Saturn (lol) eventually died since he always walks to work, but when it was in the shop for a week, suddenly we realized that we both have hobbies and social lives that require us to travel to different places multiple times during the week, and his work and hobby obligations often take him out of town for multiple days in a row, leaving me 100% reliant on the poor taxi and Uber service available in our area (laughably terrible bus service, like 1x/hour, stops running after 8pm, doesn’t run at all on Sundays).

      Try pretending you don’t have a car for two weeks, and see how it goes for you.

    • The other week, a poster here talked about her old VW that needed substantial repairs to pass inspection. The problem she had was that it would also take substantial repairs after that, and from the sounds of it, the car was rusted out.

      The question is never “How much should I spend to get the car to pass inspection?” The question is “What happens to this car after I put the money into it?” If you put $2k into the car and drive it for another three years without a big repair bill, then you are paying $700 per year – which is basically the lowest amount of money possible to own a car.

      Also, $1,500 to repair the power steering rack is a lot. Call up a few places and ask them what they charge. If you are in Boston, I can give suggestions.

    • I’d get rid of the car if you’re on a metro line. We live in D.C. and went to one car from two. It was a bit of an adjustment at first but normal now.

    • Repair. It’s worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the advice everyone! I have lots to think about.

  6. Anonymous :

    Any place in DC or NoVa to get a reasonably priced haircut – I’m talking $20-30? Not looking for any kind of style – just straight cutting 4 inches off the back. Grew up some place where people go to Hair Cuttery for this type of thing yet HC reviews in the area are awful enough that I don’t want to go – for $30 I’d at least want a clean place. Am I missing something or does everyone in DC actually spend $75 on simple haircuts after waiting weeks for an appt?

    • I go to hair cuttery in NOVA. My styling/cut needs are pretty simple and I’ve always been happy with them. I would just go there. Not sure what you mean by “clean place” but I’ve never found the hair cuttery I go to not clean. It’s the one on Columbia Pike in Arlington if that’s helpful. I get a shampoo and cut for $19 + tip.

      • Same here. I’ve done snobby haircuts and Hair Cuttery and Supercuts – for basic cuts, I don’t find a significant difference.

    • A little more than you want to spend, but Bang Salon starts around $40 for a women’s haircut (depending on the experience level of the stylist). They have several locations around DC and you can make an appointment online without much advance notice. I see Elsa at U Street and she always does a great job on my hair.

    • Anonymous :

      If you want to go to a salon, you’re going to pay that much.

      • I don’t understand paying $75 to have someone chop off 5 inches. It’s not like OP is looking for an updo or something.

    • I went to Le Touche on Columbia Pike a few times and loved it.

      • Maybe try Bubbles – they’re a half step above Hair Cuttery and should be generally in your price range.

    • Try VSL in Dupont.

    • I think your desires are a little …. unrealistic.

      You don’t want a hairwash/dry/style, right? Just a cut?

      Do you really think a good, reliable, trained stylist should be paid so low? Remember what you pay has to cover at least a 30-45 minute slot, and cover her salary/benefits/rental cost for chair etc…. and keeping that salon “clean” up to your high standards.

      • I don’t think it’s unrealistic and plenty of people have pointed out places for haircuts in the $25-35 range which I think is reasonable for a straight wash and cut, no blow drying. Of course I’d pay more for something like highlights or other styling. This board will hate it but I’m not worried about the stylists salary or benefits . . . And yes I do expect clean for $30. I’ve gotten in this price range lots of places around the country including the east coast cities so don’t see why DC is such a big deal.

    • Someone who's afraid of haircuts :

      Try Cam at Shear Rock n Roll (shearrocknrollstudio.com). He’s absolutely awesome. I first saw him at the U Street Bang salon and he’s gone off on his own.

  7. Wit's end :

    I am trying protect my dad’s accounts from theft, but he doesn’t understand how to important the passwords are, no matter how many times I explain. He wants me to set up his computer with saved passwords to bypass all security, and since I won’t do that, he tapes the passwords to the keyboard. His assisted living situation is not very private or secure.
    Any suggestions how to protect my dad without being a horribly interfering busybody, or breaking the law? I can’t deprive him of access to his bank records, but I can’t risk being accused if his accounts are wiped out by someone with password access. Really don’t know what to do…

    • Anonymous :

      Agree to let him save his passwords on the computer if he protects the computer with a password no one knows? That might not be ideal but is pretty secure and definitely better than having the passwords written down.
      I think if his passwords are written on the computer, it will be obvious to anyone that a million people could have stolen them. I wouldn’t worry about being accused of anything improper, though I understand the desire to protect your dad.

    • Puddlejumper :

      What about lastpass?

      That way he only has to remember one password and the computer does the rest of the work for him.

      • Wit's end :

        Is it more secure than a computer sign-in?

        • Puddlejumper :

          Its very secure. The families account might be a smart option for you so you can manage some of his stuff from away too: https://www.lastpass.com/families

          • Puddlejumper :

            Another thought – could his “not realizing how important it is” simply be because his memory doesn’t allow him to remember passwords anymore, so he needs those taped passwords to remember them? It might be an age thing.

          • Oh, it absolutely is an age thing- but that also means he doesn’t remember the numerous discussions we’ve had about the issue.

          • If he has memory issues, is he competent to make financial decisions and have unfettered access anymore? Does he really need access if he’s in assisted living? (I have a family member in assisted living; they don’t need to pay for anything)

          • No there’s really no need–he has his wallet with the usual means for spending money. He just wants/demands I help him see it all on the computer.

          • What about setting him up with a Mint account? This way he could see all of his transactions and balances, but not do anything with the money. So if he taped that password and someone got into it, they’d know what he has and see an opportunity, but wouldn’t have just straight access at the money like they would on the online bank site.

            You could also set up two factor authentication on Mint so he has to also type in the code he gets in a text/e-mail–that way even if someone wrote down his password that they saw while visiting him, they shouldn’t be able to log in.

        • Anonymous :

          It can be, if he has to enter the LastPass password every time one of the saved passwords is needed.

          It’s not secure to re-use the same password for multiple accounts. But hardly anyone can memorize as many passwords as they have accounts. He needs to save the passwords somewhere. A password manager is more secure than just saving them in Chrome (or writing them on paper!).

      • +1 lastpass.

      • +1, but try Dashlane.

    • Not a perfect solution but can you compromise by saving the passwords but insisting he has a strong password to access the computer? Don’t let him write it down anywhere obvious and maybe offer to have him call you for it if he forgets?

      Option 2 – can you compromise by letting him write them down but somewhere that isn’t obvious like the back of a novel, notebook or whatever?

      • Anonymous :

        This. Does he have a passport? Can he put a post-it in the back of the passport? That might help him understand the importance of keeping passwords safe. In a pinch, he can slide the passport under the laptop/keyboard.

    • If he has a hard time remembering a bunch of different passwords, this tip may help. Come up with default password key using, for example, the year dad was born and your initials. So if your dad was born in 1950 and your initials are WE (for “Wits End”) the key would be 1950____WE. Then insert whatever account the password is for in the blank. So his Wells Fargo password is 1950wellsfargoWE and his Yahoo password is 1950yahooWE. Then he only has to remember the key and he will know all his passwords. Even if he writes the key someplace it is less likely someone would realize it is a password or be able to figure out the entire password from the key.

      • Putting the name of the bank or institution in the password is not a good idea. It’s one of the first things hackers try, along with common names/dates/initials.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I know this is terrible. Trust me, it’s the last resort. But my grandma has Alzheimer’s and when her memory was fading but not as bad as it is now (she doesn’t use her computer any more at all), we wrote them in an unlabeled, tiny notebook and stored it separately from the computer somewhere she knew to look (it was in her bathroom cabinet behind her hair dryer). We stressed to her the importance of 1) Re-hiding it and 2) Not changing her f-ing passwords without writing them down. Hiding it was successful. Not changing them, not so much. Her passwords had to be reset almost every time someone had to help her with somerhing because she would change it to, like, “DogDogLuckyToHave7GrandkidsHusbandsMiddleName616338” but her memory was iffy enough she never ever remembered it.

      • Sounds like virtually the same situation (including the constant changes, which I’m somehow supposed to…guess?). Can I ask, if it’s not too upsetting, how did the transition happen from using her computer to not? Did other factors determine it, or did your family intervene?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        As far as I know, it just kind of happened- she tries to use it sometimes (she’ll show up on Facebook once a year or so and comment something adorable but as her status directed at one of the grandkids, like “Sloan, I just love you so much, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, love, (what I call her, which would super out me if anyone I know is reading this….)” but it’s the same with her phone. She never knows where her phone is (they finally got her an easy-touch phone with only a few numbers in it) and the computer is just too much for her to remember how to use a lot of the time. She mostly watches Downton Abbey and reads on her Kindle (which my grandpa ‘helps’ her with).

        She also had to have her credit cards taken away after she kept losing them. Whhich is an ongoing problem.

        The 36 Hour Day may have some ideas for you- it’s a book about caregivers for people with memory loss. I only glanced over it, but it seems approachable and has modern advice.

    • If he can’t remember passwords, he can’t remember passwords. Period. My father is the same way.

      Try going back to paper account statements for him and using your access to his accounts to show him things on screen when you’re there only. Dad gets paper statements, and when he needs to see something immediate in his accounts Mom logs in and shows him.

    • Anonymous :

      Ensure that his financial accounts have 2-factor authentication turned on. Even if his password is disclosed, then he’ll still be protected. Most banks should have it now.

      • Anonymous :

        +100000 to this. Everyone should do this, not just people with weak passwords.
        Love,
        Your friendly cyber security professional.

  8. help me shop :

    This is gorgeous and I love that color!

    In related color news, I am looking for a pair of pants either red or burgundy. If they are ankle pants, they need to have a tall option. If they are full length, a minimum 33″ inseam. Bonus if they are not dry clean only! Ideas??

    • help me shop :

      Oops, size 12 or 14 US!

    • Anonymous :

      I love Gap’s stretch skinny pants and I’m almost positive they come in a great red option this season. They’re ankle pants technically (I’m 5’4 and they’re full length on me) but I know Gap stuff comes in tall as well.

    • Anonymous :

      These may be a good choice. I find Loft sometimes hit or miss but their pant quality has been pretty ok recently, especially for the price point.

      https://www.loft.com/skinny-bi-stretch-ankle-pants-in-julie-fit/450567

    • The Beta Brand Yoga pants have two different red versions available and come in long lengths.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I have last year’s Marsala bootcuts – love them.

        • help me shop :

          I have been intrigued by these, but are they truly work-appropriate? Are there photos of people wearing them in real life I can look at?

          • My office is a sort of in between business/business casual, but I wear them all the time.

          • help me shop :

            Ours is the same (wearing the Eileen Fisher crepe crop pants today, which are definitely more casual), but I am worried about it being too s3xy with how tight they are around the bum and thighs.

          • Baconpancakes :

            The fabric is pretty thick, and I bought the largest size and had the waist taken way in and had them hemmed to make them fit, but they’re fine for a casual office (in a dark color – wouldn’t wear them in stone). I wouldn’t wear them for a meeting day, and I always wear them with no-vpl under pinnings, but for a normal day I think they’re formal enough.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I bought a pair of Rekkuci “barely bootcut” pants on Amazon- the shorts fit 5’3″ me, the regulars are about five inches too long. They have them in a ton of colors. They’re not too tight for me- definitely fitted, but not at all inappropriate.

    • I bet the Old Navy pixie pants come in a red or burgundy color.

    • Old Navy Pixie Long pants come in burgundy and they are so Tall that I have to get the Talls SHORTENED. It’s the Holy Grail of Tall pants!

  9. Lease takeover :

    My boyfriend and I broke up and are moving out of our shared apartment. We can either pay $16k to break the lease, or we can find someone to take over our lease. It’s a 2bed/2bath in DC in a fancy bells-and-whistles building. I’ve posted on crai*gslist, padmappers, apartments.com, etc, and I haven’t gotten any responses. I’m offering $2500 off at movein and several other incentives. I know this is the slow season so I may just be out of luck, but does anyone have suggestions for what else I could be doing? Would it be worth hiring a realtor to help find new tenants?

    • So the landlord wont help at all?

      Then yes, I’d hire someone. That’s a lot of $$.

      • Lease takeover :

        The landlord is the leasing office. We have three options: A) break the lease with 60 day notice and a two month penalty fee, so four months of rent; B) vacate and return control to the leasing office to clean/repaint and retain rent responsibility until new tenants move in; C) find someone to take over the lease. Option B has the least amount of control because we don’t know what they’ll set the price as when they put it on market and we could be rent responsible for the remaining 11 months without the ability to live in the unit.

        • I broke my lease in NoVA when I bought a condo. I ended up only having to pay for the days that my apartment went unrented, which was something like 9 days, which sounds like your option B. I was friendly with the leasing office and it was a popular building, so maybe that’s a factor, but I was plenty happy just to pay for 9 days. I’d clarify.

    • No Problem :

      $16k? Geez.

      Definitely worth hiring someone to reach your target clientele (people looking for fancy bells-and-whistles buildings are probably more likely to hire a realtor than browse CL, and the realtors all run in the same circles…). FWIW, I found my current apartment on Zillow.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Is it possible for one person to stay and maybe find a roommate?

      • That’s what I was thinking, or one stays and you both split the cost of the other half (so you’re both out 4K total rather than 8K) until the lease expires?

    • Maroon / Wine colored top :

      Oh man, those are SO PRETTY. Under $100 preferably.

    • This is obviously not great advice, but here’s what I did in the same situation, also when I was living in DC: The ex and I just moved out. I put a serious good faith effort into finding new tenants, but couldn’t, and when I moved into my new apartment and he moved back to his home town, I just dropped the keys off in the rent slot and never looked back. I avoided the property management company’s infrequent calls for a few months and then they stopped and I never heard from them again.

      But, since it’s a 2 BR I think one of you should stay and get a roommate.

      • damn, you a boss. I’m impressed!

      • You’re lucky it didn’t go into collections – assuming you had the same lease breaking etc. fees as OP.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Have you rented somewhere new since? This is the kind of thing that worries me about them filing some sort of collections on you years later.

        • I did. Just one more place in D.C. before I moved back to my home state, though. And the property management company had a lot of buildings in D.C., so if I’d stayed there longer it certainly would have limited my available apartments. This was about 5 years ago and there hasn’t been a peep from them since a few months after I moved out.

          • Also, I’ll add that I’ve been renting in my current city since I moved here, also with no problems.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I’m really glad- my legal aid housing experience kicked in there for a sec, sorry. :)

      • Anonymous :

        respek. I stayed for a month (worst month of my life) but let him figure out the replacement and found a new place.

    • That’s a lot and it might be worth checking with a LL/Tenant attorney, even just a short call on your rights. Many jurisdictions require land lords to put in a good faith effort to mitigate any losses, including renting as quickly as possible, and you may not be responsible for the gap in rental amounts, again, depending on the law.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. DC is suppose to be very tenant-friendly, so I would actually be really surprised if that is legal.

  10. How much do you spend on hair? :

    Inspired by the commenter above who wants a haircut for $20, how much do you spend on cuts and where do you live? Do you think it’s worth it?

    I have extremely thick, curly, difficult hair and I’ve had a lifetime of bad haircuts by stylists who don’t know how to cut curly hair. Now I pay $90 a few times a year for a stylist who is worth her weight in gold. Totally worth it to me. I live in a HCOL Canadian city and this is standard price for a good quality salon.

    • Is that $90 Canadian?

      I pay $55 + tip in a MCOL major American urban area. I need a haircut once every 4-6 weeks. Short pixie.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Same! Except I’d say we’re a LCOL area. Every 4 weeks like clockwork.

      • I have a very shot pixie and always cut it a bit too short to get two extra weeks out of my cut. I pay $70 every 8-10 weeks. Live in Texas.

    • I spend $60-$90, depending on the experience level of the stylist, at an Aveda salon in DC. I only get 4 or 5 cuts a year, so it’s important to me to have a cut that will grow out well. That’s the standard pricing here, and it was similar in Boston, and I’ve had enough bad cheap cuts that if money is tighter I will just push the haircut off by a month rather than go to a cheap salon. My hair is actually super easy to deal with, usually, but it’s thick, so a bad cut will lead to triangle-head and lots of frizz. I also like the Aveda products–I’m allergic to the chemical that’s in most hair dyes, but not Aveda stuff.

    • I have a similar hair situation and I pay about $70 I’m in a LCOL city. A good curly stylist is worth their weight in gold.

    • No Problem :

      $80, NOVA, tip included. My stylist knows how to cut curly hair, so frankly I’d pay just about whatever she asks. About to get balayage for the first time and hoping that doesn’t break the bank.

      • Alexandria Anon :

        I am in NOVA and looking for a new stylist for my curly hair…care to share the name/location?

    • I live in a relatively LCOL city… there is one stylist here who specializes in curly hair and she recently raised her prices from $90-$120, but my curly-haired friends still see her.

    • Anonattorney :

      $80 without tip for a cut twice a year (long, curly hair that grows out well). If I get any highlights/balyage, which I often do, it’s usually around $200. MCOL.

    • I spend $60 for a cut every 8 weeks. I do my own hair color at home, that costs me $15 per box of color (John Frieda foam).

      I used to do cut, base color and foil highlights. Then one day I realized my every-8-weeks hair cost was exceeding the cost of a domestic airline ticket (topped out at $325) and it didn’t improve my life all that much. Definitely not more than being able to take a vacation with the money I was otherwise spending on hair. So I switched hairstylists and stopped getting color done. I am happy with how I look and what I spend, which is what matters.

    • about $25 every 3 months. Very long curly hair, simple hair cut.

    • I get my roots touched up and my hair cut about every 6 weeks and pay $130 for the 2 services combined. I live in Nashville.

    • MCOL city. My old place was $35-40 and the new one is $50 pre tip. I like the stylist at the new place, but the shampooing at the old place is wayyy better. And now I’m conflicted.

    • I pay $85 a cut in DC, but my stylist has moved up since I started with her (was actually paying less then, moved up with her to the “associate” rate, now she’s a master cutter or something but I still pay the old rate?) and I think charges $115-125 now. I have shoulder-ish length hair and get it cut every 3-4 months. She dry finishes and it grows out beautifully. Worth every penny (from somebody who’d never paid more than $30 in her life for a cut before moving to DC)

    • I pay $60 + tip. Tip is usually $20-$25, broken up between the woman who washes my hair, the stylist who cuts it, and (usually) the assistant who does the blow out. I’m in Manhattan, and I consider this cheap, particularly because I only get my hair cut 2-3 times a year. I have also been going to this stylist for nearly 10 years, and I believe he offers me a slight discount because of my loyalty (and probably because I’m fairly flexible on scheduling and otherwise low maintenance). On the other hand, I have straight, super low maintenance hair that doesn’t require a lot of expertise; I understand why people who have more challenging hair concerns often pay much more.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I pay a fortune for my hair. $80 for color every three weeks, $65 for cut every six weeks or so, $250 for Brazilian blow-out every 2-3 months, $175 for highlights a couple times a year. Plus tips. My hair is curly-in-a-bad-way and gray and it’s worth it to me to keep it blonde and straight and shiny.

    • Away Game :

      About $25 plus tip every 4-5 months at the Hair Cuttery in the Harrison-Lee shopping center in Arlington, VA. Shampoo, cut, blowdry. I have long, fairly straight hair and do a very simple cut that grows out nicely. I’ve paid 4x that amount in a fancier salon for what was really the same haircut (although it also took a lot longer). OH, and I got a lovely mug of tea at the fancy place.

    • $30 every 3-5 weeks: $24 cut, $6 tip. I have a short pixie and go to an amazing feminist punk salon that’s a 10-minute walk from my house in Philadelphia. (My husband goes to the same salon, though a different stylist, and pays the same price.)

      Yes, I am aware that this is an amazing deal.

      When I first pixie’d I was going to very hip salon across town for $56 haircuts that I didn’t like as much, but it was my first time getting professional cuts as an adult (had previously had very long hair that I trimmed myself) and I didn’t know what my options were. The costs bugged me for the first few months, but I finally decided I needed a new place when the stylist, who kept stacks of Vonnegut novels on his station and liked to talk with me about books, started reading “Atlas Shrugged” in earnest.

      • Ahh this sounds like my salon in Philadelphia – I loved it so much! Definitely no place like it in DC.

    • OMG which HCOL Canadian city are you in? If you’re in Toronto or Ottawa, could you share your stylist’s name? Your hair sounds like mine.

    • Anonymous :

      $16, Aveda institute in Chicago! I get it cut twice a year. No color.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      $70, pixie cut, every 4-6 weeks, HCOL city. I was getting it for more like $50 elsewhere, but it was never consistent.

    • $130 every 4 weeks for a pixie cut in DC. It’s more than I’d like to pay, but I’ve had so many mediocre to bad cuts and it’s not like I can just pull my hair back in a ponytail if I don’t like the cut… I do my own color to try to make up for how much I spend on cuts.

  11. Update on the twist-up eyeliner search from the other day… I bought the ELF one recommended and I don’t think I like it. It doesn’t go on smoothly and seems dry if that makes sense. It is the double-sided kind. Maybe I got the wrong one?

    Next to arrive is the Revlon Color Stay. Hopefully it fits the bill.

    Thank you again for the recs!

    • Almay is much creamier than the Elf – I know the feeling when the eyeliner feels dry, and I hate that! I’ve tested a bunch and my two favorites are Almay and Clinique- the clinique ones are a bolder color and they’re about $18 (not cheap, but consistently awesome). When my eyes are particularly sensitive in winter or during allergy season, the Almay is the gentlest one I’ve found.
      The Maybelline version is fine, but the plastic of the pencil twist up didnt consistently work- I wasn’t comfortable spending $9 to gamble that it wouldnt twist up.

      • I have the Almay in my cart. That will be next!

      • Delta Dawn :

        +1 for the Almay– I have sensitive eyes and have never had any trouble with it. It goes on easily and come off easily, too.

      • Another +1 for Almay. Doesn’t make my sensitive eyes tear and goes on smoothly. I also like their mascara which is the best for volume I have found so far.

    • I like the sephora store brand one for this — the waterproof version.

    • The ELF twist on isn’t the best, but the elf liquid (but with a velvet tip, so no messiness) is amazing!

  12. Cognac leather jacket - shoes? :

    I’m nearly ready to pull the trigger on a beautiful cognac color leather jacket… BUT I have no clues what shoes to wear with it. I have black ankle booties with a brown stacked heel and chocolate brown knee high boots and that’s about it for fall/winter shoes. I’m not one to take many fashion risks, so I feel like black is the safer choice to ensure I’ll know what to wear with it. But the cognac is so much prettier. Help out a fashion-challenged frump? I’d rather not buy more shoes when this jacket is my splurge for hitting my financial goals this year.

    • Cognac is a neutral, so you can wear whatever color shoes you like!

      • Cognac leather jacket - shoes? :

        I feel like the black booties are fine, but chocolate brown knee high boots with a cognac jacket seems off to me. Am I just too timid when it comes to fashion?

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I agree that might look odd unless the rest of the outfit coordinates flawlessly. I don’t do brown very often so I don’t know what that coordination would look like.

          I wear my cognac leather jacket with: wine-colored flats or booties, black Toms wedges, black booties that sound similar to yours, pink flats, nude patent leather flats, or simple black flats with a black base for the outfit.

          I guess I could see chocolate brown working with a brown-toned red/brick pair of pants or tights or a cream/ivory or a corally pink.

          • Cognac leather jacket - shoes? :

            ohh that sounds lovely! I rarely branch out fashion wise, but maybe this will be fun excuse to do so

        • I did a quick google image search for “brown boots and cognac leather jacket” and found plenty of combos that look nice. Maybe it’s time for you to Pinterest a bit :)

    • Link please, just for vicarious thrills?

      • Cognac leather jacket - shoes? :

        https://www.macys.com/shop/product/guess-asymmetrical-leather-moto-jacket?ID=4652786&CategoryID=120#fn=COLOR%3DBlack%26FABRIC%3DFaux%20Leather%3B%3BLeather%26SIZE%3D%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D1690%26ruleId%3D78%7CBOOST%20SAVED%20SET%7CBOOST%20ATTRIBUTE%26searchPass%3DmatchNone%26slotId%3D3

    • MightAsWellBeColorBlind :

      I’ve found this color calculator great for helping me think of good color combinations. (I’m terrible at matching and would wear head to toe navy every day if not for the internet.)
      https://www.sessions.edu/color-calculator/

  13. Cardigans for long-waisted people :

    I’m 5’8″, slim, and have a long torso. I’d like to find some nice, polished looking cardigans that are long enough (hit closer to my hips than the top of my waist) but aren’t too loose — no slouchy boyfriend cardigans with pockets. I really like the Halogen 3/4 sleeve cardigan, but I want it several inches longer. Any recommendations? Budget could be pretty high for the right thing.

    Target’s Merona cardigans from last year fit me well, but I’m looking for something that looks nicer.

    • I recently bought two cardigans from J.Crew Factory that are on the longer side – I sized down one size and it’s still a bit big but I like the fit. If you want something more slim, I would maybe size down 2 sizes. I really like them though – they’re warm and I think they look nice.

      • Can you link or do you know the name?

        • TO Lawyer :

          I bought this one: https://factory.jcrew.com/ca/p/womens-clothing/sweaters/cardigans/vneck-cardigan-sweater/F4721?color_name=navy

          And also the wrap one that AIMS (I think) recommended last week but I haven’t worn it yet so I can’t comment.

    • I’m your height and the Ann Taylor Ann cardigans work really well for me. I am slim-ish and find that they are not overly loose but also not skin tight, which is what I like for work. https://www.anntaylor.com/ann-cardigan/443146?skuId=23528642&defaultColor=4220&colorExplode=false&catid=cata000011

  14. Anonymous :

    You can wear cognac with anything.

  15. Everyday Makeup Holy Grails? :

    I hate, hate, hate my outfit today so naturally it’s the day a high ranking city official popped in for a quick one on one with me.

    *headdesk*

    • what parts do you hate? I would set it aside as soon as you get home and donate it. I’m trying to do more of that myself.

      • I wore a bad outfit :

        Absolutely every piece is fine on its own, but together its odd and my top half is super summery.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      If it makes you feel better I once got blood all over the front of my pants (NOT from my period. I was on blood thinners and the shaving nick on my ankle bled through the bandage without me realizing while my leg was resting on my knee/thigh and it dripped down both sides of my leg…) and had to go to a meeting with our ED in a pair of borrowed kind of but not really work appropriate leggings and, thank god, a very long popover. Oh and (fancy) sneakers because my emergency flats highlighted the gigantic bandage on my ankle I had to put on to staunch the bleeding. I looked stupid.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I once had a sudden nosebleed all over my khaki work pants (uniform I wore part of the time). The manager of our ES staff helped me out – I think it was a hydrogen peroxide based cleaner – and my pants looked like it had never happened. Just in time for an offsite event!

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Yeah, I tried to stain stick it, but then I looked like I peed my pants. There were 2 assistants and another attorney in the bathroom trying to figure out what in the world to do (and also being the Mom in the situation with the bandages and Neosporin). The borrowed leggings were….workout leggings? Kind of? From someone who was about two sizes bigger than me. They were luckily pretty stretchy and might have been one size fits all, but it was /not a cute look/.

      • Marshmallow :

        OMG I remember this story!

        This morning I said hi to a partner in the hallway, got back to my office, and realized my hair had somehow gotten in my mouth and dragged my lipstick all across the side of my face. I probably looked like a crazy person. Oh well.

    • I am positive nobody is noticing the outfit except you, if that makes you feel any better.

    • Calibrachoa :

      I feel you. I ended up in a meeting sitting next to my boss’s boss who did an all hands video presentation without a jacket and my hair looking like i got dragged through a hedge today.

    • I wore a bad outfit :

      I appreciate all the commiseration, guys!

  16. Low-key Caribbean spot? :

    Favorite Caribbean destination for a winter getaway? Sadly Vieques, our favorite place, is still dealing with recovery from the hurricane so we think it’s best to send them support through Vieques Love this year instead. But we would like to get away for a week in January or February somewhere warm. Our wishlist is someplace fairly easy to fly to from the DC-area, not devastated from the hurricanes, not a mega resort, and nice beaches. Thanks!

    • Negril, Jamaica!

    • Aruba!

    • Turks and Caicos or Grand Cayman.

      • Thanks! Any particular places to stay that you all recommend?

        • We’ve stayed at the Marriott 7 Mile Beach in GC and Windsong in T&C. Neither is all inclusive, Windsong especially is quite spendy, but they had exactly what we were looking for (quiet, beautiful beaches, good snorkeling, family friendly, good food on site) and we loved both. We had our toddler with us for both trips, but if you want to get away from kids, there are lots of romantic, adults-only resorts on T&C (not sure about GC but probably there too).

        • if your budget allows – the palms in turks and caicos is where we did our honeymoon – it was amazing

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to Grand Cayman. We airbnb’d while we were there and it was lovely (got a rental car, drove ourselves around). Rental car was pretty expensive (looks cheap online; then they tagged on “required” insurance before we were allowed to take the car), and food is expensive, too. Really enjoyed our high tea at the Ritz Carlton. Great beaches!

      • My family did GC last January and it was perfect. We rented a condo next door to the Marriott (that someone else in this thread recommended). We had two bedrooms and a kitchen, so we could keep snacks on hand and make coffee in house. And being next door to a nice hotel, we were able to use that for massages, booking excursions (stingray city), and morning muffins.

    • It’s been a long time but St. Kitts was about as low key as it gets.

    • Loved Runaway Bay, Jamaica!

    • Barbados! Unaffected. There are direct flights and connecting flights from Miami.

    • We also love Vieques and will be going back as soon as they recover a bit!

  17. networking :

    I met a woman a few months ago whom I really admire, who works in my relatively specialized field. I reached out to her for lunch and we are meeting up tomorrow.

    I’m not looking to move jobs or anything, just looking to get to know others in my field. What are the sorts of questions I should ask her? I was thinking of framing it as “I’m relatively new to this field but really love it so far, do you have any advice on what organizations to join or other ways to gain a better understanding of this field?”.

    Thoughts? Other ideas?

    • What was your path to getting to where you are?
      What are some lessons you have learned along the way?
      What advice to you have to people new to this field?

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      That’s a great start. I’d also add something like “is there anything you wish you’d known early in your work in this field?”

  18. skincare advice :

    Do y’all have any skincare recs for my husband? I discovered he’s been using Irish Spring on his face all this time when he asked me if I can suggest something better. We have different skin care issues, so I really can’t. Can y’all?
    He has some redness and is acne-prone, and he’s unlikely to go for anything 1) involving more than one step and 2) unavailable at a drug store. TIA!

    • Cetaphil + Neutrogena Oil‑Free Facial Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15

    • Cetaphil and a moisturizer with spf. Maybe a retinoid cream at night.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Cetaphil. So gentle and really universally effective.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I also have redness! I’ve been using the Aveeno Calming moisturizer, and it’s helped a lot. (I don’t have the cleanser yet because I’m still using up my other cleanser.) For a while I was using it with CVS’s Aveeno-knockoff cleanser for clear skin, and that was nice too, but it would be too drying without a moisturizer.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I have been using gentle/sensitive Aveeno bodywash on my face since I started on a retinoid/spiro regimen. It has helped SO MUCH with irritation and redness.

    • The best things I was able to get my boyfriend to do was use sunscreen, he just asked it be not sticky and have a pump. I got him the cerave daytime moisturizer with spf. He for some reason loves any creamy bodyshop face cleanser, so he rotates those in the shower (always in the shower, he just won’t wash his facea at the sink), and a hydrating spray for some moisture because it is so easy. He likes the Clinique moisture surge spray, which is available at Ulta so you could trick him into thinking that’s from the drugstore :)

    • Lady Bluth :

      Aveno – that’s what my SO uses. Just make sure you get either the “creamy” or “foaming” clear skin versions – no scrubs if that’s what he’ll be using daily. I also got mine to start using a daily moisturizer (also aveno) with SPF in it.

    • I bought my husband a set of Jack Black face wash/moisturizer/sunscreen from Nordstrom after a recommendation from a friend, and he likes it! I know it’s not available at a drugstore, but just throwing it out there.

    • Harry’s or Every Man Jack from Target

    • I have similar skin to your husband and swear by plain old Dial bar soap – the gold one plus the unscented original formula of Oil of Olay.

    • Old school Noxema cream cleanser in the blue tub.

    • Anonymous :

      I do NOT recommend Cetaphil cleanser. The pH is too high which makes it quite drying, and can disrupt the skin’s acid mantle. I’d recommend Cerave hydrating + Cerave AM in the morning (for the easy SPF), Cerave PM at night.

    • Irish Spring may actually be good for his acne bc of its antibac properties. I would add in a gentle cleanser like cetaphil or purpose so he washes only once a day with Irish Spring. And consider adding lotion, but some acne-prone folks do not do well with any kind of lotion, non-comedogenic or not.

  19. Looking for a creative gift or two for my boyfriend’s birthday: 50 year old tech and science nerd who likes computer programming, smart home stuff and learning about the brain, for instance. Previous successful gifts include a build-a-robot kit and the Hue light bulbs you can control from your phone. Price flexible from a small treat to 150 or so.

    • 23andMe kit to analyze his genome?

    • I got a box made of old keyboard keys for my programmer boyfriend and that went over really well – he actually took it to work to store things on his desk. Link to follow for something similar.

    • I have always had a lot of success with geeky socks, of which there are many. I’ve also bought a soundwave print for my music-loving geeky husband. If you guys have a song or he has a favorite song or band, it’s a good romantic/geeky choice. If he cooks, a molecular gastronomy or molecular mixology kit is fun. Anything Nest makes is completely wonderful, imo. If he’s fitness-minded, the QardioBase Smart Scale would be cool.

    • At-home weather monitoring station? I’ve seen them at Costco and linked here.

      • Senior Attorney :

        My husband has this and loves it.

        • Anonymous :

          You were the original inspiration! I wish my BF didn’t live in an apartment so I could get this for him; we saw it at Costco a few weeks ago and he seemed really interested.

    • Check out Uncommon Goods.

    • gift help :

      These suggestions are awesome! Thanks! He will love the weather station (ordered!), and I’m still taking notes for future gift-giving occasions.

    • Hidden Brain book by Shankar Vedantam

    • Check out the ThinkGeek catalog/website. Sounds right up his alley.

    • Anonymous :

      A drone

  20. LTD Question :

    My husband and I are TTC and applied for supplemental long term disability to his work insurance, which only covers 60%. My husband suffers from anxiety and has seen therapists/taken medication, so I was not surprised when the insurance company came back and said they would not insure us for mental health issues, but does it also make sense that they put a two year limit on the policy? and refuse to consider reevaluating the amount when his income goes up? This doesn’t really make any sense to me – if he somehow g-d forbid ends up a quadriplegic or with a brain injury or some other terrible physical illness rendering him disabled, why should the fact that he has received mental health treatment factor in to covering disability based on physical health?

    • This reflects my ignorance (and terrible benefits I have always received at work), but I am surprised that you can be denied like this on a work-based plan. I thought the whole benefit of being able to sign up for long term disability at work is that you were automatically accepted….. So this is a bummer to hear.

      With regard to your question, the insurance companies may have determined that people with certain psychiatric diagnoses have a greater incidence of other medical problems (sometimes related to or stemming from psychiatric disease) and/or suicide attempts (which could cause quadriplegia, brain injury etc…) so they are just being very conservative. Absolutely stinks. That’s business….

      • My work-based plans have a basic option, which is guaranteed to everyone, and supplemental options which require a health screening.

      • LTD Question :

        OP here. This is for supplemental. We had no issues signing up for his work based plan. I’d assume anything caused by suicide attempts would fall into that mental health exception and be excluded, which while not ideal we are fine with.

        But like what if he gets cancer? Which to me has nothing to do with suffering from anxiety. Should we try to apply with another company or do they usually all reach the same decision? Has anyone ever appealed a decision like this?

        I work, but my husband is the breadwinner and this just makes me very nervous. Any ideas?

        • There are actually a lot of illnesses that can be linked to stress, and the physicological stress response is elevated in those with anxiety. It causes increased production of the hormone/neurotransmitter epinephrine in the body which increases blood pressure, sleep difficulties (which can cause a ton of negative health affects including increased risk of heart disease/stroke etc..) and yes… increased risk of cancer/survival after a cancer diagnosis. Anxiety is a rough thing. I know…. from experience….

          Unfortunately, the insurance companies have the right to set the rules. You could talk with your benefits office though.

          Many people do not think about the long term effects of anxiety/depression on their overall health. But they are very significant. I have had people who are very depressed tell me they don’t want to take anti-depressants because of the possible effects that they might have on their brain. But I told them….. you don’t realize the negative effects that untreated depression has on the brain! Cognitive decline, attention difficulties, sleep dysfunction, increased incidence of Alzheimer’s and early death, and more…..

    • That seems absurd. The majority of people experience some form of anxiety and a huge percentage of people have been treated by therapy and/or meds at some point for an anxiety-related issue. Feeling frustrated for you!

    • 60% coverage of salary for LTD is pretty typical in my experience. The other stuff…not so much. The LTD we had through work, as long as you signed up during your first benefits enrollment, you didn’t have to have a physical/health evaluation, so I don’t know of many that actually had to go through the evaluation process.

    • I can’t answer your actual question, but what does your life insurance policy look like? Mine has a long-term disability and a terminal illness clause were you can collect a % of the insurance under specific circumstances. I don’t recall the exact specifics, and it may be limited to long-term disability + terminal illness but just worth a check.

  21. I just bought a pair of black suede Sam Edelman booties to wear with skirts and black tights, and I am not loving the way they look. Can booties be worn with pencil skirts? Maybe these are the wrong style. I know there are booties fans here (maybe just not the word!) What are your favorite booties, or other non-ballet flats, to wear with pencil skirts?

    • Yes, but I think the key is they should be on the pointy side and have a bit of a dip in the front to not make your legs look cut off.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Uh, be careful that they don’t have a dip in the front and then a slightly pointed up toe. Every single time I wear my Lucky booties I notice partway through the day that I look like Zooey Deschanel in Elf. One time I wore them with a red jacket and took it off I was so convinced I looked like an elf.

    • How tall is the shaft of the booties, and do they have a heel? To me, the the taller booties that are starting to become trendy look odd with skirts. Shorter booties, especially those with a notch in the top of the shaft at the side, look much better. A heel also helps–flat booties look weird with skirts.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I kind of disagree. I have the BP Trolley booties (stacked heel, but a definite heel) and they are the booties that I have that look best with skirts. They’ve got a narrow shaft.

        I also like the Toms wedge booties with tights, they elongate my leg like crazy.

    • I wear the Ted Baker Hainns Bootie (from Nordstrom but on Amazon also) with pencil skirts and dresses all the time. They’re both suede and leather. Tons of compliments every time I wear them and they’re super comfy!

    • Anonymous op :

      Thanks for suggestions! I definitely think these make me look stumpy and cut off, and I have long legs, so not an easy task. I’m going to look around woth your ideas in mind.

  22. Calling all dog owners :

    I have two dogs and a toddler. One of the dogs is becoming increasingly needy and seems a little bit unbalanced – if I’m sitting on the floor with the baby, he’ll come and stand in between me and the baby, if I move him aside he’ll try to sit in my lap or will circle back around into the same spot and stick his face right in my face. He’ll sit and look at me and just kinda cry this uh uh uh and nothing seems to satisfy him – petting him, letting him out to go to the bathroom, giving him a toy. He also now follows me all over the house- if I get up off the couch to go to the bathroom, he gets up and follows me. He’s getting plenty of exercise (hikes, time off leash at the beach), has our other dog for company and our nanny Home all day, and has a lot of toys. I don’t know what to do. He seems unhappy and dissatisfied.

    Any tips for getting some personal space back? I don’t mind him coming right up to me, but I know it makes some babysitters nervous and I don’t want to encourage it. I don’t know if it’s doggie anxiety or jealousy or what.

    Any suggestions for dog toys that are also baby safe? We’ve had to take away all the stuffed animals because they shred them so fast and they leave stuffing everywhere and I’m afraid the baby will put it in her mouth.

    I have a call into our vet for recs on local behaviorists, but thought I’d crowdsource too

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      That is definitely a stress reaction. Toddler movements are often very hard for dogs to deal with, because they are so unpredictable. We’ve had good luck with a pheromone collar on our rescue dog. I recommend the Adaptil brand, available on Amazon. You just put the collar on the dog along with their regular collar. Their body warmth releases the pheromones and it calms the dog. They need to be replaced every 30 days.

      • +1 that it’s a stress reaction. My dog is terrified of toddlers. Never seen her tail go so far between her legs as it does when my niece stands up and toddles after her.

        • Calling all dog owners :

          It’s weird because he actually loves the baby. We always monitor them very carefully, but he loves licking her feet, lets her pet him, has realized that she throws delicious food from her high chair, and he actually goes to sleep outside her bedroom leaving me and DH and our other dog in our room!

          I’ll try this collar and see if it helps at all.

          • My dog has no reaction at all to babies in strollers or sitting on the ground or otherwise stationary. It’s the toddling she’s terrified of. Who knows why.

            I haven’t tried one of those collars but good luck!!

      • They sell stuffing-less dog toys. FWIW, my dog also shreds his toys but toddler has never attempted to put them or the stuffing in her mouth. Both she and the dog seem to really understand which toys are hers and which are his.

        Bones are also great, as are rubber toys and the rope kind that you can play tug of war with. We also try to take our dog for a couple of longer walks every week, sometimes without the baby, just to make him happy (I don’t think he cares whether our kid comes, but logistically this is sometimes easier to do later in the evening when she’s gone to bed).

    • Check out Bark’s Destroyer’s Club toys (either bark dot com or you can also get them at Target I believe). Some are stuffed toys intended to be ripped apart to reveal a surprise toy inside, but most of them are just heavy duty rubber style toys. It at least gives you a little more variety than a dozen Kong balls.

      • Thank you for this link! My dad has a young pit mix who shreds everything we have given her :-)

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Chew Guard toys also rock. My parents’ dog is a destroyer (5 minutes and he can get a toy open, and he’s a terrier) and it took him literally months to tear the Chew Guard dinosaur I got him, and it wasn’t destroyed, just a little bit deformed.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry, it’s bark shop dot com! I thought they had just Bark but looks like that goes somewhere else.

    • I don’t know much about dogs+children but I have a high maintenance terrier and I learned very quickly that mental exercise is just as important as physical.

      If it’s a dog vs. kid issue in the pecking order (who does my Alpha like better? let me get her attention) then can you work on some new tricks with the dogs to get their brain working? Everyone says it’s important for dogs to know that you are the boss and won’t tolerate interruption: that he’s not allowed to be in your face until he performs a trick, or behaves properly, or until you invite him.

    • Anonymous :

      West Paw makes (nearly) indestructible rubber toys that also float if that’s his thing.

    • Coach Laura :

      I swear by melatonin for dog anxiety. It doesn’t make mine sleepy just relaxed. I have a geriatric terrier who whines and wonders around and can’t get comfortable. She was keeping us awake at night and couldn’t be alone. It is a miracle drug.

      Dosing is on the internet but I give my 18lb jack Russell terrier 1 milligram before dinner and it relaxes her for 12 hours.

  23. I’m looking for a pair of classic chelsea boots to wear as a staple piece this fall/winter- mostly with jeans to walk around on the weekends. I’d like them to be stylish and comfortable- maybe a 1 inch heel, elastic at the sides, the pull tab in the back, maybe a pointy toe. I do not want a ‘bootie’ style like the Sam Edelman Petty. Have any of you found a similar pair that you really like?

    • asos always has a bunch of variations. I just thrifted a pair of very glossy maroon dr. martens Chelsea boots but their styling is a little different than the classic look

    • Just bought a pair of Cole Hann Ferri boots and love how comfortable they are. Heel is maybe 1.25″?

    • I really recommend Sam Edelman’s “Reesa” bootie, available on Amazon. They are super comfy.

  24. Maroon / Wine colored top :

    Care to do some styling for me? I am looking for a maroon or “wine” colored top that would look good under a collarless suit jacket. Suit is black. Thanks!!

    • How much do you want to spend?

      https://mmlafleur.com/shop/dani-pomegranate

      https://mmlafleur.com/shop/deneuve-3-0-blackberry

      • Maroon / Wine colored top :

        Oh man, those are SO PRETTY. Under $100 preferably.

        • https://www.anntaylor.com/faux-wrap-knit-top/448273?skuId=23800335&defaultColor=0560&colorExplode=false&catid=cata000010

          https://www.anntaylor.com/sleeveless-mock-neck-top/437371?skuId=23795440&defaultColor=8115&colorExplode=false&catid=cata000010

    • Everlane has a lot of wine colored shirts now
      https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-double-lined-silk-v-neck-tank-wine?collection=womens-tops

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Nine West Women’s Solid Ity Criss Cross Blouse in Bordeaux, $49, Amazon
      Calvin Klein Floral-Print Pleated Shell, $33, Macys. It is floral, but it’s definitely in the same color scheme and may look nice.

      I also tried one on at Ross the other day that was a Nine West top that looked great with a collarless blazer- high neckline, buttoned on the back. But alas, I can’t find it now.

  25. Birthday headaches :

    One minute vent – my dad’s birthday is on Friday. I have two sisters, one who is married and has two kids and the other just finished college and is living at home. As the oldest, most Type A family member, I’m ALWAYS the one who makes the birthday plans – wrangles everyone, makes sure I get them a nice gift, etc. Basically I do all of the emotional labor in recognizing birthdays. After my family essentially ignore my birthday last month and my husbands birthday the month before (again, because I’m the one who always does all the emotional labor – so I didn’t do it for our birthdays, so it didn’t get done), I was pretty hurt and decided I was done doing all the organizing.

    Cue my mother just sending a FB message reminding us that it’s my dad’s birthday on Friday – no plan. My sister asks if we’re going to get together and she says that she’s open to suggestions from the group. AKA wants me to jump in and plan it. Why can’t she just come up with a plan? I responded with my availability and now I’m really going to try and be done. But my itchy Type A fingers half just want to make the plan, go on amazon, find the perfect gift for my dad….all things none of my family does for me.

    Meanwhile, feelings from my birthday getting ignored are now surfacing. Look I get it, I turned 30, I’m an adult, I do not require any special hoopla or celebration or anything. But we were all together the day after my birthday (family event which I organized after my mom whined about wanting one all summer but never did anything about it) and it was barely even acknowledged. Like, barely a “Happy birthday” from one of them. No gift – we normally give gifts. Although my mom is notoriously always late with our gifts, but usually at least tells me about it. This year, just nothing. Same with my sister. My niece (age 5) and nephew (3) both love us and are always way happy to see DH and me (we’re the cool aunt/uncle who play with them all the time and buy them awesome gifts), but didn’t say anything – so I conclude that my sister just didn’t even tell them that it was our birthdays. I would have been so happy to just get a call or a Marco Polo message from my niece and nephew wishing me happy birthday – as would my husband. But absolutely nothing. I just feel sad at being ignored and stupid/petty that I care.

    Oh, and also – generally my family is great. Very functional and happy. That’s why I just don’t get why they can’t get it together to call me up and wish me happy birthday.

    Ugh, none of that probably makes sense. Please scroll by and ignore. I know i’m being ridiculous, but have to put this out there and hopefully get over it somehow.

    • Buy your father a gift and give it to him. Tell your sister you’re not organizing a group thing.

      • I agree.

        I think you might feel bad about it later if you don’t get your father something, and I wouldn’t not get him something out of any potential feelings of possibly getting back at him and the rest of your family for ignoring your bday, which was sh*tty of them.

        But don’t plan a thing. Just don’t.

    • Triangle Pose :

      You’re not stupid and petty. I would stand firm and let them plan it this year. If you feel ignored on your own birthday, redirect it and plan something for yourself or do something with your friends. Your family is great in other ways but you clearly can’t rely on them for birthday celebrations. Don’t do all the emotional labor for their birthdays but also recognize that you shouldn’t place those expectations on them for your own birthday, just do your own thing with your friends, SO or people in your life who actually enjoy that kind of stuff.

    • My Family is like yours.

      What helps me…..

      Stop being the organizer. Or keep it simple. Every year, we take Dad/family member out to dinner. That’s it. Each year, rotate who is responsible to plan the place/day/time, and accept it might get messed up. Buy a gift yourself. No group gift/card.

      And on your birthday, give yourself a gift every year. I do this, and it helps tremendously. I start thinking about it 1 month ahead, buy it, don’t open it until my birthday. I’m ok!

      A lot of people are not good organizers, or good gift givers. It isn’t important to them. You can’t change them

    • So we don’t have quite the same dynamics but I am similar to you in many ways. What I do is reframe it as something that I like to do and that I do better than other people. I give myself permission to not do it if I don’t feel like it but if I know the perfect thing to solve the issue I just do it. So, e.g., in this situation – if you know that everyone going out to X restaurant would be easy and solve the issue and it’s something you want to do, by all means suggest it (my thinking is I would rather pick a place I like than go to a crappy place I don’t that someone else picked). If you know what your dad would like and it wouldn’t take much time out of your day to get it, by all means do it if it would make you happy to do it; if not, don’t (or bring your dad an individual gift/card from you and your husband). Again – do only what makes you happy.
      As for your hurt feelings – that’s hard. I think some of this is recognizing that your otherwise lovely family sucks at this sort of thing. Again, if it matters, you can always invite them out to celebrate with you. Do it early before you have any hurt feelings because they didn’t plan anything. I just frame it as something you’re doing for you (because you want to celebrate with your family) vs. something you’re doing because they won’t.

    • It sounds like your family kinda sucks at birthdays and that isn’t going to change. Let your mom be the organizer and buy your own gift for your dad, if you’d like. Hold strong and do not jump in to organize!

      As for your own birthday, I completely get why the lack of acknowledgement is hurtful. But, again, it sounds like it isn’t personal and your family is just not good at this kind of stuff. Plan something with your DH and friends, and let the family expectations go.

    • Birthday headaches :

      Thanks all. I did buy my dad a birthday gift – thank you amazon prime for providing a hammer that says “thanks for helping me build my life.” :) He’ll get a kick out of it and will actually use it, so perfect for him.

      The funny thing is that I actually did plan fun things with my friends and spent my actual birthday (Friday evening) out with my friends and husband and had a great time. So that was good!

      I just had assumed that my family would give some acknowledgement to my birthday at the family outing that i planned that was the very next day (Saturday). When I sent the text message planning it, I literally wrote “we can do it xxx, the day after my birthday”. Granted, I didn’t show up to the outing with a birthday sash or announce it or anything.

      Oh well, they suck at it. I normally love birthdays but am just bitter towards the whole thing right now. Will work on letting that go.

      I’ll refrain from planning; we’ll see if Dad’s birthday dinner actually happens. DH and I can always just take our gift over on Friday. The sucky thing is that it’s a milestone one of sorts – he’s turning 65. Mine was a milestone though as well – turned 30.

      • I’d be hurt/frustrated too, especially since it was your 30th! happy belated birthday! I have this issue with my husband and his family. Growing up birthdays were a huge deal in my family, which he still doesn’t totally get. Despite my many attempts at explaining to him what I’d want or expect or hope for etc. he just still doesn’t seem to be as thoughtful/creative as I am, though he does try, which I appreciate so I have to give him credit for at least trying! One year my MIL forgot my birthday and she also forgot our first anniversary.

        with regards to your family – i’m also usually the planner in mine. i split gifts with my sister and every time have to reminder her a thousand times to pay me back! I’m like if i’m ordering the gift shouldn’t she at least take the initiative to verify how much she owes me? i personally hate owing people money/feel like a bad friend if I don’t pay someone back right away and it drives me nuts and i just think it’s rude.

        maybe not this week since it is actually your dad’s birthday, but you might want to say something to your family. while not always, i’ve found that sometimes people just don’t realize things. like they might have thought you like being the organizer, but maybe didn’t realize that you would also hope that they would organize something for you. i’m like you – Type A, like to plan in advance, etc. so sometimes it is hard for me to get that these things are not important to or don’t occur to other people. not excusing their behavior, but just a suggestion for the future

        • Birthday headaches :

          Your entire second paragraph is why DH insists that we don’t do joint gifts anymore. I totally feel you on all of that!

          I do kind of want to say something to my family. In particular my mom. She’s such a dramatic person, though, it would probably result in a huge blow out with many tears that I’ve managed to avoid for many years. But she really sets the tone for the whole family on gifts. She does this thing of how she asks people what they would like, then doesn’t like the items on the list (example – my little sister is into the gaming world, so she asks for weird game-related stuff that I don’t even understand – but the gift is for her, not me!), then procrastinates getting anything seemingly agonizing over what to get the person. Many times (like this time) the birthday passes, nothing is purchased, and the gift ends up coming much later. Usually her MO is that she tells you all the things that she almost bought on the birthday, but this year she just didn’t say anything at all to DH or I. Meanwhile, if she would have just got a dang gift card (which she despises) and put it in a card, she would have spent way less time on it and the person would have been happy to get the gift and not hurt that she essentially didn’t care enough to follow the list that she asked for in the first place.

          DH’s birthday is about three weeks before mine, so maybe the day before his birthday birthday she actually asked me for a list for both him and me. I promptly replied, happy that she actually asked BEFORE DH’s birthday (which doesn’t normally happen). Well, here we are exactly two months later. Last week she texted both of us asking if we played cribbage (no) because she saw a cribbage board that relates to one of our hobbies and would be small enough to move with us when we move in two months (??). So, ya know, she’s in the phase where she’s looking for gifts that we don’t want that SHE thinks are cool. 1.5-2 months after our birthdays.

      • Anonymous :

        If you end up planning a birthday event for your father, please consider making it a joint celebration for your 30th and his 65th! I suggested this below, too. “since it made me a little sad that we never celebrated my 30th and I’d love to celebrate with Dad!”

    • I’m (almost) your mom’s age. I work full time and I have three kids and one aging parent for whom I’m responsible. plus I’m managing the estate of another parent plus I’m on two volunteer boards. I sometimes fall short on my kid’s birthdays but am there all year round to help them with their moves, with their applications to grad schools, and hundreds of other tasks. All I can say is, assume good intentions. It sounds like your family loves you. Maybe they are busy and distracted too, but that doesn’t take away from point #1 (your family loves you). Happy Birthday!

    • Anonshmanon :

      I feel you, it sucks being ignored like this. Hold steady and allow the ‘failure’ of no organized event for dad to happen.
      I am wondering whether you felt the emotional labour as strongly before they forgot your birthday. No judging either way, but just trying to identify which factor of the two is more important here. If soemone in your family brings up your sudden lack of effort, you can communicate clearly why you will pull back for a while.
      One thing to be prepared for is that maybe some of your family members are absolutely fine with fewer family get-togethers. Sure, they took advantage of you planning them (you are so good at these things!), but if they stop happening, they will not miss them enough to make an effort themselves.

      • Birthday headaches :

        I was feeling it before in regards to planning family gatherings. My mom had been talking about wanting to get the whole family together (we all live within one hour of each other right now, only get together all together a maybe 4-6 times a year) basically this entire year. I was like sure, sounds like fun – but didn’t plan it – so it never happened. DH and I are moving across the country at the end of the year, so I finally broke down in September and said let’s do this thing all together for my birthday. We were suppose to go on a pizza cruise (Dad heard about it and wanted to) but that fell through because Mom didn’t buy the tickets on time. So then I pick up the slack and find/suggest/set up times for everyone to go to a corn maze/pumpkin patch the day after my birthday.

        The last/only time we have went on a family trip (as adults), I planned the whole thing. Where, when, booked the cabins, etc. That’s basically what people wanted to do again this year, but they didn’t plan it. So it evolved into a one day event that I tried not to plan until I couldn’t stand it anymore and planned it anyway.

        The not recognizing my or DH’s birthday is just the real hurtful part. So I guess probably equal importance – tired of planning all the things, hurt that they can’t at least put a little effort in to recognize our birthdays.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, as the older sister, I fall in to this trap too — even in the past, my brother being willing to “help” meant me delegating and following up and basically project managing gifts/events/holidays to him (or shaking him down for his share of money for months after). When we did joint gifts for our mother/father/father’s wife for mothers/fathers day — mother’s day was “mine”, gifts arrived on time, cards, wrapped, all of it. Father’s Day, the gift arrived to dad in the Amazon box it was shipped in and that was that. I finally decided going ofrward I am doing gifts on my own, even if that means smaller/less $$ gifts because the agonizing isn’t worth it.

      Feel free to buy your dad a gift! Do it! And resist the urge to pick up the slack from your family. Are you close to your family, physically? Could you stop over to take your dad out for lunch or something, just you?

      • Birthday headaches :

        Project managing gifts/events/holidays and shaking down people for their share – that’s EXACTLY how I feel! I never thought of it as project management – I do that for work – but that’s why it’s just so draining to constantly be the one. This actually made me laugh because this morning after I got upset about the family situation, people at work were emailing me legit project management things and I wanted to scream WHY CAN”T YOU JUST FIGURE IT OUT AND LEAVE ME ALONE!

        DH hates joint gifts (all the arranging/money hassle/etc), so we stopped doing those a few years ago. Agree that solo gifts are much better. I think we are just going to take Dad (and probably Mom, since she’ll be home) out for dinner on Friday night and the other sisters can do whatever. I feel a little bad for my Dad as I know he’d like everyone to be together, especially as DH and I are moving across the country in two months. And at that point, won’t be around for birthday dinners. Typing that out makes me think I should just plan the dang thing. Ughhhh.

        • Anonymous :

          If you do, simply initiate, don’t plan. You do not have to create An Event. You might simply initiate a dinner at a restaurant: “Dad/Mom and Hubs and I will be at ____ [restaurant] on Friday for our birthdays. Love to have you there, too.”

        • Anonshmanon :

          When you move across the country, you won’t not be around for the birthday dinners, since nobody will plan any, so they won’t happen, and therefore you can’t miss them either.

          On a less snarky note, you can come up with a new tradition, like shipping a present to dad/niece&nephew, but they open it while you are “there” via skype.

    • This is the worst. I recently flew across the country for a birthday (10 hours round trip) and that person didn’t even bother sending me a birthday card. I want to bad to mail a passive aggressive “Thank you for acknowledging my Birthday” card. So no advice just commiseration

    • Anonymous :

      We are the same person. And it can be a lot of work. My sister is the one who brings paper napkins if she shows up at all. After years of delivering joint presents timely to parents – and not being reimbursed for her part (no financial problems on her end) – I stopped the joint gift giving and went to solo presents for parents.

      If you do plan an event for your father’s birthday, I suggest making it a joint celebration of his, yours and your husband’s birthdays “since we have not celebrated ours yet either and honestly, that made me a little sad.”

      I’m in my late 40’s, a huge people pleaser and feel much happier with my life now that I politely let the slackers know what I expect. Good luck. I could write a book and COMPLETELY understand how you feel.

    • Sounds like you figured out what to do about your dad.

      As for your birthday, I think your best bet is to organize that yourself. So next year (if you want to spend time with family) arrange it and make it known that you want to celebrate your birthday. Saying you will hang out the day after your birthday makes it sound like maybe you didn’t want to do birthday stuff with them. You do, though! So just say it: “I’d like to do dinner at Il Cantinori for my birthday this year. Are you guys all available Saturday night?” or your husband can organize. I just don’t think they are ever going to be as proactive and birthday-celebratory as you’d like so just tell them what you want and focus on the fact that you love your family otherwise.

    • This is exactly my family dynamic also. If there is any hope of getting together, I have to plan it. My siblings will at least show up willing to split the check or with whatever food I have assigned them to bring. But if I don’t organize it, nothing will get done. For a while, I got mad about it and refused to plan things, but then felt bad that events went uncelebrated, my parents didn’t get to see everyone together, and I didn’t get to see my nieces and nephews and my kids didn’t get to see their cousins. So I made peace with the fact that I am the planner and so I plan things. I don’t let my siblings complain about what I planned and I also started having them make more of the decisions so that is off my plate (like I will say, “Dad’s birthday dinner at my house on Sunday. I am making chicken tacos, sis you bring a side, brother, you bring dessert and then they can figure out the rest.) I have also made peace with the fact that my siblings won’t plan stuff for my birthday, but I don’t really like celebrating my birthday outside of my own little family (husband and kids) so I just don’t let that bother me.

      What I have not found a way to get over though is that no one appreciates the fact that I plan everything and my siblings get a lot more recognition for smaller things because everyone just expects me to plan stuff.

      • Birthday headaches :

        “What I have not found a way to get over though is that no one appreciates the fact that I plan everything and my siblings get a lot more recognition for smaller things because everyone just expects me to plan stuff.”

        Annnnd this is the crux of it! If you do figure this way to get over it, please share. :)

        • Anonshmanon :

          still working on this one as well. Things that help to some extent:
          -grace in accepting and loving people with their shortcomings
          -the love languages concept that I learnt about here. Your family surely shows their affection in another way which you can identify.
          -being lucky enough to have a partner that I can verbalize this issue to (‘one of my love languages for receiving is praise and I sometimes feel my efforts organizing familiy events go unappreciated’) and he will actually take the lead in saying “thanks for making this happen, honey” when we are all together. Often, others will chime in.

  26. Do you have any sort of checklist of requirements (such as interests, character traits, close to their family, etc) for guys you date, in contemplating long-term potential? Or do you go entirely by feel, or how happy you are day-to-day?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I had a checklist:

      Kind
      Smart
      Funny
      Makes things happen
      Reasonably financially appropriate
      Reasonably age-appropriate
      Reasonably fit and active
      Physically attractive to me

      Lovely Husband blew right past all of these and also checked a whole bunch of boxes I didn’t even know I had.

      • If you don’t mind, what are some of the checkboxes you didn’t know you had? Obviously I know this can vary widely person-to-person. :)

        • Senior Attorney :

          Well, as below, obviously “feminist.”

          Also:

          Has great friends (“no friends” is a giant red flag)
          Doesn’t want to make an improvement project out of me (This is huge. So huge. OMG I never realized how wonderful it would be to have a partner who loves me just as I am!)
          Cooks!! (I always thought it would be great to have somebody plan and cook a meal and set it down in front of me, but I was wrong. It’s way better than great!)
          Enjoys fashion (mine and his)
          Is service-minded (contributes to charity and does volunteer work)
          Is handy around the house
          Gets along great with my son (I knew I had that one but I guess it went without saying)
          Is a gigantic fun-haver (we have joint personal calling cards that say “professional fun-havers”)
          Is super chill and doesn’t stress

          • Thanks so much for this! I’m very much in the “casually dating while keeping long-term potential in the back of my mind” stage of life, and I often wonder what things I should be looking out for that don’t necessarily show up at the top of the list. :)

        • Senior Attorney :

          Replied but it’s in mod for some reason so check back!

    • My musts are: (1) is kind (2) has a sense of humor (3) doesn’t take himself too seriously (4) is feminist. The rest can come by feeling it out.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh, yeah. Feminist, of course! Funny that wasn’t on my list! It ended up being one of those boxes I didn’t know I had, which is ridiculous. Why on earth wasn’t it on my list????

        • It’s probably better that it wasn’t. SNL had a funny skit about “feminist” guys not too long ago.

    • Anonymous :

      No required interests or hobbies. I don’t think I would want to date someone who wasn’t kind to me and others, but I think that falls more under overall feel and day-to-day happiness than a specific character trait I require because I wouldn’t be happy with someone unkind. For me, it was important to marry someone who had the same religion (or was open to raising children in my religion) and had similar values about money (and what our lifestyle would look like), child raising (both parents being equal partners assuming both are working outside the home, etc.) and the extent to which we plan to support aging parents (both financially and also will they live with us or near us, etc.). But I had several long-term relationships in my 20s with people I wasn’t compatible with on this stuff, so it was something that I really didn’t consider until engagement/marriage was on the horizon.

    • Value check. Deal breaker potential includes (for me) their position/thoughts on: religion, monogamy, children, education, communication, addiction. The rest is the vibe and day to day–hobbies, energy level, lifestyle. I’m still waiting to get the values & the vibe to line up!

    • Anonymous :

      When I was single I was generally looking for: has career (vs a job), not a student, lives in City, doesn’t live with parents, college educated, compatible values/lifestyle, attractive to me, preferably Jewish background although actually atheist (I have dealt with antisemitic families)…

    • Smart, makes me laugh, geographically close enough to make dating actually feasible (e.g., not living in a suburb 30+ miles away from me), feminist.

      The box I didn’t know I had isn’t a one word box, but current SO and I are capable of disagreeing without yelling and ad hominem attacks, which, let’s just say has not always previously been the case with other men. I now regret that this wasn’t a non-negotiable item much earlier in my life.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Must be financially solvent
      Must be trustworthy (including financially – i don’t want to wonder if you are draining my 401k)
      Must believe in partnership
      Must be a person of good character
      Must be a good communicator
      I don’t have a good relationship with my family largely because I grew up with Mommy dearest reincarnate – I would hate to think that someone judges me for this. You can’t pick your family. I think for this for me it would much more be do you have tons of combustible fights with others which ties into the communication aspect

  27. You’re gonna have to plan your own awesome birthday if you want to spend it with your family

  28. West Hartford therapist :

    Any recommendations for a therapist in West Hartford, CT? I’m posting this for a friend (really!) who is having difficult relationship issues and is looking for an individual and possibly couples therapist. She’s lesbian; the therapist does not need to be. Someone who takes insurance is ideal. Thanks.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Jen Ryan Schaefer is a dear friend of mine and I’m sure she is the best therapist ever. And she just moved to West Hartford so your friend is in luck!

      https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Jen_Schaefer_MA,LMFT_Newington_Connecticut_272646

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