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Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Belted Scuba Sheath Dress

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

I like a lot of things about this really cute dress from Ellen Tracy: The neckline is nice and high while still a flattering V-neck, the very slight cap sleeves won’t be bulky under a cardigan or blazer but will still provide a little bit of coverage, and it has some lovely diamond-shaped seaming in the middle of the dress to suggest a hourglass type of shape. It also has a non-exposed back zipper, huzzah! We’re featuring the dress in black, but it also comes in cobalt (and as with most belts, if you don’t like the belt you can take it out and swap it with something that’s not shiny). It’s $108 at Nordstrom in sizes 2-16 (and runs large). Belted Scuba Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

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Comments

  1. Sloan Sabbith :

    Horrified and sickened about what happened in Alexandria this morning. Enough is enough.

    • Yes.

    • It’s horrible and shows you the difference in casualties that easy access to guns provides but I don’t think that it will change anything unless there’s a terror connection in which case the change will be to our civil liberties and not our gun laws.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Yep, hate to agree with this but I do.

      • it’s horrifying. more senseless and devastating gun violence.

        and worse, this is going to be politicized.(probably by the prez.) like jamming thru the Senate healthcare bill because republicans risked their lives for it, or something.

      • I’m confused by the first part of your comment. What do you mean by the difference in casualties? He was a shooter, not like a knife wielder. Am I missing something?

        • I think she’s saying fewer people would have been injured if he had a knife rather than a gun

        • I think that’s the point she’s making. A knife wielder couldn’t have actually carried out this attack (which was from a distance).

          • Not just that. You couldn’t have carried out this attack with a regular handgun because you wouldn’t be able to shoot as many people this many times. He had a rifle and lots of ammo. Even putting aside guns vs knives, high capacity rifles allow you to shoot more people without reloading.

          • I see. It just seemed like he didn’t hit that many people (still too many obviously), so I was wondering what you meant.

          • @Anonymous @ 10:28 – according to news reports at least 50 shots were fired. Contrary to movies, most people (including police) do not have great aim. Fewer people would have been hit if he had fired less shots.

    • Very scary. This combined with images from the West London fire has me queasy.

      • Just looked it up.

        “Eyewitnesses described people trapped in the burning Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington, screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved.”

        Oh god . . . Oh god . . .

        I’m flying to England tomorrow night! I’m excited, but all this news of terrorist attacks and disasters is making me really nervous.

        • I had to stop reading the NYT account because I just can’t handle all of the tragedy in the world sometimes.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        When I read that one person was woken up by people many stories below screaming “Don’t jump” I wanted to vomit.

      • Marshmallow :

        I also feel physically sick. Horrified, just horrified. Having a hard time concentrating at work because of both tragedies.

      • I overheard some NYC firefighters on vacay where there are highrise resort hotels and none of them stayed higher than the 4th floor (within the limit of many ladder trucks). I had no idea that buildings that tall could go up like that absent a 9/11-type attack. It is beyond chilling.

        • There are also some reports that this building was non-sprinkled and had questionable alarm/notification systems. That significantly increases the damage and loss of life.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Huffpost did a wonderful article about how Muslims up for Ramadan were saviors in London and responsible for getting their neighbors awake and to safety. “Look for the helpers.”

      • Yes! This warmed my heart on an otherwise cold sad day for the world. We’ve had a lot of those lately. I’m trying so hard to not become used to this, or to say “oh, well, that’s not as bad as the terrorist attack last week, so I’ll skip caring about it.” I have to tune out a lot for my own sanity, but all of this just makes me so sad and angry.

      • Marshmallow :

        Thank you, that was a great article.

    • I worked from home this morning partly so I could meet a friend for coffee before she went out of town. We met at a small place only a few blocks from where this happened. She walked there and we were there while this happened. I am so grateful her and her child weren’t running a little later this morning, or taking the long way around, or………..

  2. Anonymous :

    Do you make estimated quarterly payments if you are partner/independent contractor/otherwise supposed to? In talking to other partners at my firm it turns out the vast majority of them do NOT pay estimated quarterly taxes. They feel it is easier to just pay the penalty. As an extreme rule follower I find this mind blowing. But maybe this is common practice and I just need to get over it?

    • Mr. AIMS does this (pay the penalty). It’s mostly a result of the fact that the first quarterly taxes are due very shortly after we pay our annual taxes. Initially, he just thought it was optional to pay them quarterly vs. end of year but now that we pay them end of year and it’s usually a hefty sum because there are no withholdings throughout the year for him, it just feels like too much to hand over more money right away. It’s basically a bad cycle and having done the math, I think it’s stupid to pay the penalty (I think of it as throwing away a weekend trip or nice handbag or whatever else you could do with the money) but I don’t think the gov’t cares. Ideally, we will get up to speed at some point this year but I don’t think it’s that big a deal from a legal standpoint. Certainly, our accountant doesn’t seem to care and he’s usually pretty strict about everything else he tells us.

    • Baconpancakes :

      My SO pays quarterly, although once or twice he’s filed for extensions to the end of the year when he was buying a house or making big career changes. He thinks it’s a huge PIA but he also thinks it’s dumb to pay unnecessary penalties.

    • Anonymous :

      @ my firm, we back-load comp, so in the first 2 quarters, our draws are very low, so no extra $ to pay in a quarter of my taxes each quarter. BUT this is also b/c the firm doesn’t have income net of expenses until 3rd quarter, so we get tax draws then, 4th quarter, and after the year end. It feels like a bonus, but the $ goes straight to the IRS.

      When I was a K-1 partner at a firm that paid level comp, I paid quarterly at least enough to avoid the penalty. I’m just cheap and it’s easier and interest rates are so low if I kept it.

    • My DH is a solo contractor and we pay as he earns. He is paid every 2-3 months and when he gets paid, we slice 20% off the top and send it to the IRS. It’s not perfect but it usually gets us to within 10% of the prior year, which is enough to avoid the penalty.

      I can see how, if your pay was uneven in any way, it would be easier to just take the penalty. It’s not a huge penalty and gives you more control over the cash (and any earnings on the cash) for the year.

    • I also am a rule follower and I always paid my quarterly estimated when I was self-employed.

    • I increased the withholding on my own salary to compensate for DH’s contractor earnings.

      • Edna Mazur :

        This is what we do, with our accountant looking over it occasionally.

      • This is what we do. I’m the contractor and DH has the W2. I also dump a ton of my earnings into a solo 401k so that helps minimize the tax burden.

    • Yup, its not fun but I do it, and I don’t see why you wouldn’t. I just pay 1/4 of whatever I owed the year before, and then I usually have to round up a bit at the end of the year. I find it easier to budget it out this way instead of paying a huge lump sum at the end of the year, which is what I did my first year as an independent contractor. I have mine automatically withdrawn, it doesn’t have to be that complicated – as long as you pay 90% of what you owed last year you don’t get fined.

    • If you’ll otherwise have a penalty, then it makes sense to pay throughout the year – unless you have the money is some great investment that will earn more than the penalty during the year. You don’t get in “trouble” for not paying, but it is silly in most cases not to pay in and avoid the penalty.

      It is easy to set up automatic payments though the EFTPS web site, so that you don’t even have to think about it. I set up all mine at the beginning of the year since my income is reasonably distributed, but you can change them easily (or just set up 1-2) if you income is less even.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You are following the rules if you either pay quarterly or pay the penalty, right? I mean, it seems dumb to me that people would choose to pay extra money but I don’t see it as particularly rule-breaky.

      • The interest penalty is set each quarter. Currently it is 4% as it was for the last three quarters of 2016. It can make sense financially to pay when you file your return, depending on what you are doing with your money before you hand it over to the IRS.

    • I’m an independent contractor now, so we pay quarterly (which we both hate and is probably going to push me back towards W2 employment soon). DH is a W2 employee. When we were both W2 employees, we earned enough that we technically should have paid quarterly, but the penalty literally worked out to be less than $300 each year. It was worth more to us to keep our money invested over the 12 months than to pull chunks out quarterly to pay the estimated taxes (and I’m a by-the-book rule follower).

  3. Just an update…
    I posted in a panic about a month ago about finding out I was newly pregnant with twins after losing a set of twins at 20 weeks in 2014. I was looking for someone who might have had a similar experience.

    Since then, we have experienced a “vanishing twin”, which is the nice way of saying we lost one baby, and have a remaining healthy baby. Into the second trimester now and all is well. We are still sorting out lots of complicated emotions and thoughts; it’s the ultimate definition of bittersweet.

    I have seen occasional comments here about frustrations and struggles with fertility. I don’t have anything profound to offer. What I can say is that for me it has been a lesson in what it feels like to have absolutely no control of anything – my body, fate, outcomes — yet also in gratitude. When I am in the waiting room of the fertility clinic, my heart silently reaches out to every woman and couple I see – the stories I don’t know, the struggles they’ve had, the moments of joy and happiness (I hope) they have had along the way. When I read others’ comments here, I feel a similar way.

    Thank you for those who offered me similar support last month.

    • anon a mouse :

      Hugs to you. I grew up with a girl who was a surviving twin and her family did a lovely job of honoring the one who died in utero in their lives. Her memory was never far.

      • Me too! She often wanted to play twins, so she made up a twin name for me that rhymed with hers. I wonder it that was a way of dealing with the loss.

    • Infertile Myrtle :

      As someone in the thick of infertility right now, it’s actually really nice to hear someone say it may or may not be ok, but it’s just simply out of your control. A really timely reminder for me.

      Thank you. I wish you lots and lots of luck.

    • Hugs. I hope the rest of your pregnancy is uneventful. I never went through anything as hard during my pregnancy but I remember fearing every doctor’s appointment for days in advance. It’s a strange feeling to love something that isn’t a person yet so immensely.

    • I wish I could give you an IRL hug. Internet hugs to you.

    • Lots of hugs to you. During my second pregnancy, I was pregnant with twins until we had a “vanishing twin” at 10 weeks. The surviving baby is now a perfect little two year old. Hope the rest of your pregnancy is completely boring and uneventful.

    • Marshmallow :

      Hugs!

      I am a surviving twin and I think my family always did a pretty good job of observing the loss without making me feel overly weird about it. My mom always said she was just thrilled to still be having a baby and that was helpful for me as a kid– I never felt like I was a consolation prize. It is something that’s always been present in my life in some interesting (though not negative or particularly important) ways.

    • More hugs. My first pregnancy ended in a stillbirth, and your words mirror some of my thoughts on the heartbreaking experience and pregnancy/infertility in general. Wishing you the easiest final two trimesters and as much peace as possible.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Aw, thanks for the update! Wishing you a smooth pregnancy and delivery and a wonderful motherhood!

  4. Makeup novice looking for help! :

    Perhaps better suited for yesterday’s thread but looking for help: I’m doing my own makeup in an upcoming formal event. I don’t wear makeup ever and do not own any. I was thinking of going to a department store makeup counter or sephora for a lesson and to buy the essentials I need – is this the right route? How much does this cost? In an effort to not spend a fortune on something I won’t use much, are there any particular products that I should definitely buy from the consultation or others that I can get by with drugstore brand?

    I’ve also heard people mention YouTube tutorials, are there any you like for easy nice looks for fancy events? I feel like all I’ve seen assume a level of knowledge and skill about how to use the products that I don’t have!

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • layered bob :

      If you really never wear makeup, I would just get your makeup done for the event – probably cheaper than buying all the products you’d need to even do “basic” makeup.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. I would go to Sephora and get them to do your face before the event – I think it is $50 and it would cost that to buy a bunch of stuff even at drugstore prices (like 5 products @ $10 each). Wear a loose fitting top so you can take it off easily and change into your dress/outfit.

        • Clementine :

          It’s called a Custom Makeup Application (CME) and you can set an appointment and everything. It works great!

          They do ask that you buy $50 worth of product which isn’t hard- if you’re not a makeup person, definitely look at Sugar lip treatment.

          • +1 for Sugar lip treatment. You could also get cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, shampoo, etc.

    • I’d just book a makeup application at Sephora or with a makeup artist. It will cost a lot less than buying all the products you’ll need and probably won’t use after. I think Sephora may even waive the cost with a purchase of one item.

    • If you aren’t going to use it often, I would stick to as many drugstore brands as possible. You may want to buy your foundation and lipstick from the department store or sephora because it will be difficult to match the foundation to your skin color without opening them and trying them out. I also find it difficult to pick lipsticks without trying them on. That said, some drugstores will let you return opened makeup so you’d just have to research their policy. You should be able to easily pick neutral eyeshadow colors and a basic black mascara from the drug store. A peachy pink blush can also be found at the drug store easily and looks good on most people. If I were to be creating a make up bag from scratch, this is what I would have as a starting point- foundation, bronzer, blush, neutral eyeshadow palette, eyeliner, eyelash curler, mascara, neutral everyday lipstick.

    • Not sure if you’re located near a Nordstrom with a Bobbi Brown counter, but that’s my go-to for makeup application, especially since you don’t wear much makeup. The BB counter near me takes appointments and will apply makeup for “free” with a $50 purchase, so you could get a nice lotion or lip gloss or something to take with you and touch up. BB is the most natural looking makeup application IMO.

      • Seconded. I never wore makeup, went to a BB counter at a Saks, and got an entire regimen that is fool-proof. I’ve never looked back. I’m sure others will share their own good experiences but Bobbi Brown works for a variety of skin tones.

      • I also think BB artists do a fantastic job of making people look like themselves. Sephora sometimes can be hit or miss (and I’m a Sephora fan!), but people always look great with BB.

    • This is not what you asked, but consider getting your brows shaped if there’s any chance they could use it. I like natural brows, so I ask for very conservative shaping. It’s a subtle difference without makeup, but when I fill them in, I can just fill in exactly what’s there without making a lot of decisions, and it makes a big difference.

    • I’d add my voice to those suggesting you just have somebody do it for you. If you really want to do it yourself, I feel like Lisa Eldridge has some nice tutorials that are fairly novice-friendly. If you scroll through her youtube channel, you might find something that sounds do-able.

      • Seconding this. Your best option is to get your makeup done. If you really want to do it yourself, Lisa Eldridge is fantastic and has a variety of looks. But you’ll have to practice, practice, practice before the event if you want it to look okay.

    • Adding to the chorus. I wear makeup now, but didn’t 5 years ago. I think the idea that you’re going to do a good job applying makeup for a formal event without any practice isn’t realistic. Like most things, you get better at it with practice. Seconding the Bobbi Brown recommendation.

    • You could also just wear a WnW red lipstick and call it good. Nothing else really photographs unless you’re wearing KimK levels of makeup.

    • I usually wear no makeup and along the lines of Godzilla, I would just wear a tiny bit of drugstore mascara (I like the classic Maybelline in the pink tube with the green cap) and a little slightly-red lipstick / lipgloss. I don’t like to wear more than that because I think it makes me look like not-myself.

      (If you *want* to splurge a little, I really like Laura Mercier Stickgloss in Rosewater for a very sheer moisturizing color. Otherwise I would do a Wet and Wild lipstick.)

  5. I’m having an ongoing disagreement with my husband that I could use some external perspective about. My husband meets up with friends twice a week every week for about 3-4 hours at a time to do an organized activity (think pick-up basketball). It’s one weeknight (including missing dinner) and one weekend afternoon. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with how it interferes with things I want to do together, particularly the weekend session. We basically can’t ever take a weekend getaway or go to a festival in town that conflicts with his activity, or if we do he whines the whole time about how I’m making him miss the activity (annoyingly, it also switches between Saturday and Sunday depending on season so I can never remember when it is and frequently mess up scheduling – but I know that’s not his fault).

    We’re talking about having a child and I’m concerned that this will become an even bigger issue then. We’ve talked about it and he sees no reason to decrease his involvement in this hobby after a baby. He says he does a lot around the house (true) and he will do a lot with the baby (which I expect is also true). But even if he’s a very engaged parent when he’s home, spending ~eight hours a week outside the home with friends seems like… a lot? When I talk to him about it, he says I frequently have time to myself when we’re both home and I go into a separate room to read. That’s true, but it seems totally different to me because I’m way more available since I’m in the house (and he also has a lot of time to himself besides this activity – he goes to the gym and plays video games every day, which I think is much more analogous to my reading). He said he’d support me going out with friends (or to the nail salon or whatever) for ~eight hours per week too, but a) I don’t want to do that and b) I don’t think it would be good for our marriage if we were basically doing separate activities four days per week.

    I guess it just feels unfair to leave me home alone with a baby that much and his only solution seems to be that he’ll give me a comparable amount of “time off.” But I don’t want time off, I want to be a family. Of course we have separate interests and friends and we’re not going to do everything together all the time but it just feels like a really excessive amount of time to spend with non-couple friends, especially once we have a kid. But maybe I’m really off-base. I’m obviously an introvert and although I love my friends, spending eight hours a week with them every week would have been overwhelming even when I was single. So maybe I just don’t get it and these are normal extrovert needs. Would appreciate thoughts. Sorry this turned into such a novel!

    • Cornellian :

      Speaking mostly to the baby part: That he’s willing to make sure you have an analogous amount of “time off” is great, but I think he will need to vastly adjust his expectations with a baby. In the beginning my husband and I were taking turns making sure each other could shower at least every other day. At five months we’re both sleeping at least five hour chunks, but we are a long way from an eight-hour a week hobby.

      It got easier once we put the baby in daycare, but of course now I don’t really want to spend the tiny amount of time I have when the baby is awake and we are not at work doing anything but interacting with them. I think your concerns are spot on.

    • Anonymous :

      my comment got eaten. basically I think your husband is a man child. when I got to the part about videogames, that only confirmed it.

      • Hey now, I agree he’s being an overgrown child, but let’s not trash video games here. Plenty of grown, mature adults play video games, and manage to do it in a way that doesn’t interfere with family life and responsibilities.

    • Anonymous :

      my husband coaches a lacrosse team in the summer, and also plays on a summer league lacrosse team. so that’s 1-2 nights a week he’s gone, or sometimes one night a week plus one weekend afternoon (4-5 hours), in the summer only. But if we had weekend plans I really cared about, he would absolutely cancel, and if he’s gone for two nights in one week, you can bet he’s making sure to be with me and *present* for the rest of the evenings that week.

      • I coached a sports team pre baby. Even though I really miss it (and just miss having an extracurricular activity) I just can’t justify doing that now since I have a full time job and that would be 2 evenings plus a game on the weekend that I’d be away from my toddler.

        It seems easier for men to spend time away…

        • Never too many shoes... :

          This is not really aimed at you Anon, but this comment and attitude makes me see red with rage. It is easier for men because they do it. No other reason. Women have absorbed this idea that *wanting* to be away from your child means you are selfish and a less than stellar parent whereas men are not expected to give up literally everything when they have a child.

          The way to change this is for women to stop doing it. Seriously. Anon, of course you can justify being away from your toddler for two evening and a weekend game if you want to, but you have let go of the baggage that has been foisted onto your shoulders about it.

          • +1

          • I Acutally Like My Kids :

            I disagree. I have not “absorbed” the idea that I shouldn’t be away from my children. I simply DON’T want to be away from my children. I work FT and I enjoy (and feel like it is good for them) prioritizing my children in my non-work time. Why did I have children if I didn’t want to spend time with them/raise them?

            I’m tired of reading that women with children don’t go to happy hours, don’t socialize, don’t network, etc but men do because women feel in some way obligated to go home. I’d rather spend time with my children/family than drink or play sports or whatever. Sorry-not-sorry if that makes me a bad woman or whatever.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I don’t think it makes you a bad woman to *want* to go home. You do you, for reals.

            But I do think there is some inherent judgment in your tone and your choice of phrasing, particularly the oft-levied at working women “Why did I have children if I didn’t want to spend time with them/raise them?”. If you would rather go home, great, but please let’s not pretend that women feel more obligated to go home (rather than do whatever) in large part because society tells them to feel bad about it.

            And before it becomes a thing, yes, I am a mother.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            I am also in the “sorry-not-sorry” camp on wanting to spend time with my husbands and kids, with the caveat that I do have interests outside of work (fitness, cooking, and gardening) that I want to spend time on as well. I don’t have any desire to go to most work social things, so I don’t. I’ll go when I want or if there is a celebration (i.e., winning a trial)/other good reason to attend. Otherwise, I go home and do my thing. I know this gets gendered, but there are men that are the same way. I am married to one.

    • Anonymous :

      I dated a runner who was like this. It was a very jealous mistress. Sorry you’re dealing with it.

      He will never vary plans? Like what if you had an out of town wedding? What about your wedding? Do you never take a vacation?

      Eventually, the other guys will age out of this as they have kids. It might be good in that way for him to see if that’s already starting to happen. But if they are just perma-bro guys, maybe not.

      • We do take vacations, but he grumbles about it especially if it’s a “just because” vacation versus going to see family or something like that. He doesn’t like vacationing though, separate and apart from this activity.

        Unfortunately it’s really an attachment to the activity not the people and thanks to the nearby college, there are new grad students who join the group every year so I dont think he will run out of people to do this with.

        • Anonymous :

          Did you know he doesn’t like vacationing prior to getting married? Seems like a pretty important detail. Sounds like he doesn’t like anything outside of a rigid routine, including travel.

        • …this is ultimate frisbee, isn’t it?

          • I have an acquaintance who at 45 yeras old STILL participates in multiple nights/weekend hours of kickball and UF, and other assorted social sports. This includes hanging out at the bar until 2 in the morning with the 20 somethings. He is married and has a kid. I guess it works for his wife, but it would NOT work for me.

          • I had the same thought

          • As someone who actually quit playing UF because of the all-consuming UF culture, it sounded familiar to me…

          • I was thinking soccer…

        • It sounds to me like he isn’t grumbling generally because he is missing the activity. He’s grumbling because he doesn’t want to travel/vacation, and not only that, he’s had to give up something he enjoys for something he doesn’t enjoy. I’m not saying that this doesn’t make him selfish for not sacrificing to do something you enjoy, but you are both being selfish and inflexible. As I see it, you have two options: (1) find another activity you can do together that you both enjoy–which it seems that he is willing to cancel for– or (2) find someone else to travel/vacation with. My best friend’s husband really dislikes travel, so she goes with her girlfriends. It isn’t necessarily the solution she wanted, but that’s what it takes to make her marriage and hobbies work.

          • I think part of it is general resistance to travel and giving up something he enjoys for something he doesn’t enjoy, but he is resistant to canceling the activity for anything that’s not an external conflict. So I see there’s a food festival in town in a few weeks and I say “oh, that looks fun! Want to go?” Him: “Only if it’s Sunday and I don’t have to miss my activity.” He’s been resistant to skipping the activity when my parents are in town so we can go show them around or go hiking at a state park or something (and he doesn’t have any problems with my parents). Etc etc.
            He’s happy to spend as much time with me as I want, going out to restaurants, movies, hiking etc. as long as it’s scheduled on the non-activity day.

          • ponte python's flying circus :

            Oh, hmm. That’s different. Sounds like he’s able to spend time with you if it’s scheduled in advance. (Husband and I are like this – in college we had a standing Monday lunch date, now we have a family Google calendar – so I personally have no problem with this.) If it’s the spur-of-the-moment things he doesn’t want to do, can you go by yourself or with friends instead?

            Also like others have said, I would not worry about a theoretical baby in this context. There will be other negotiations before and after a baby arrives. Such as default parenting and emotional labour.

          • A food festival is something I go to for a few hours. Not all weekend.

            I teach Sunday School and it’s not every weekend that it’s my turn, but even if it were, I’d still have most of my weekend free. Some people do that AND sing in the choir (practice on Wednesday night and then you sing before Sunday School on Sunday, plus they have quarterly potlucks).

            I think you can still get your food festival / music festival / etc. in. The only all day all weekend festivals I know are things like sxsw or jazz fest, so not sure why you’re making thing endurance events that you’d enjoy when you know he wouldn’t.

            Moderation can be a learned skill that you can both learn :) Why does it have to be all or nothing?

          • Why can’t you go to the food festival on the same day but not at the same time? Those things are usually all day events, yes? Go at lunch if it’s a mid-late afternoon activity or go for dinner if the activity is earlier. I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to schedule weekend activities around his set activity, although I think he absolutely needs to cut out the whining when he agrees to go to something with you. I do also agree that he should be willing to opt out once in a while if it’s impossible to do the activity you want to outside of the exact date/time his activity is.

      • ponte python's flying circus :

        Yeah, and it’s not even the specific hobby, it’s the inflexibility – and the apparent unwillingness to dedicate time to spend *with you*. I’m a runner, too; engaging in that hobby in a sensible, grown-up way, to me means considering the demands of my training and racing on my husband and son’s time.

        And regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, a healthy relationship surely means prioritising some time to spend *with* your partner/ family. Is he doing that now? Will he do that when you do have children?

      • He will HAVE to grow up, particulearly AFTER you have a baby. I worried about this with my ex, since he never wanted to do anything with me other then lay around my apartement drinkeing and reading magazines. He was completely non-atheletic, so that was NOT an issue. But whenever I suggested we do something interesting, he said he would perfer to watch Sports on TV. I learned to like some sports, but it was kind of dull, as I am an outdoors kind of person, and do NOT like to sit on my (more then ample) tuchus watching TV. So in your case, if you are haveing s-x and a baby, he better figure it out now, b/f you get pregenent. Otherwise, you will have TWO babies on your hands. FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m gathering from your brief mention of extrovert, that he is one? Then, yes, he absolutely is going to want to be out of the house and around people.

      My take: Solve the resentment you have now, and don’t borrow from the future scenario with a baby. Just deal with what is, here. For a childless couple, one evening a week apart and one weekend afternoon doesn’t seem outrageous. What, exactly, do you want him to do now, before you have a baby? Do you want him to willingly give up that afternoon activity when it conflicts with what you want? Do you want his whole attention after he gets home from that activity?

      Or better yet, pull back and ask him, “when we have a stalemate like this — I want X and you want Y — how are we going to solve the stalemate? Because what we’re doing now isn’t working, and it’s only going to get worse when we have kids and life gets more complicated.”

      • Anonymous :

        This.

        If I had time to join a tennis league, I might do this (one night and one weekend) b/c there aren’t a lot of leagues for women who work. I would resent my husband for wanting me to just sit home with him.

        I have two kids and work FT and now that the youngest in school I yearn for some me / friend time back. I have missed that terribly (along with civic activities I used to do and just seeing my friends) and would probably doubly resent a husband who wanted to deny it to me after feeling that I earned it.

        You need to work this out now, not based on theoretical kids. If you are both this rigid towards each other, this doesn’t bode well even if you never have children.

      • anonshmanon :

        Couldn’t agree more. His behavior doesn’t sound outrageous for now. Your trepidation is understandable when it comes to having a baby. If he won’t budge from his two nights out then, that will increase your family stress. But you can figure out communicating and compromising now.

      • Anon (OP) :

        Yes, he’s an extrovert.
        Right now my resentment comes mostly from the inflexibility. I agree that the time commitment is not a problem at the moment, although I see it becoming one in the future. But I want to be able to occasionally go out of town or do things on that weekend afternoon without having to twist his arm and then listen to him complain. I’ve tried talking to him about the inflexibility (leaving the eight hours/hypothetical baby out of it) and his response is basically just that this activity is a small amount of time and there’s no reason we can’t work our schedules around it 98% of the time. He’ll skip it without grumbling if we had an out of town wedding and for the two-three times/year we go to visit either of our families. He won’t skip it (at least not without serious arm-twisting) if I want to take a ‘normal’ vacation or when my parents are in town visiting, which has been a point of contention in the past.

        • I’m kind of your husband in this situation. Allow me to explain.

          DH and I are in our mid-30s (me) and early 40s (him). We are childless by choice, and I’m more extroverted than he is (his favorite downtime activities are video games, reading, news watching, etc). I have a side hustle that keeps me busy one or two nights a week (depending) and Saturday mornings. Right now, I’m routinely booked Friday evening until about 7:30, and Saturday morning until about noon.

          I do not object to cancelling side-hustle activity (especially Saturday, where it’s easier for me to get coverage) when my husband gives me advance warning of his desire for us to do something on those days. We’re taking a “normal” vacation in August, a long weekend earlier in the summer, etc.

          What makes me upset is when he tells me with short notice that he wants me to cancel said activity because he forgot to tell me he wants to go to this party on Friday evening (when it’s Wednesday) or similar.

          I offer this to say: are you giving him adequate notice for times you want him to cancel the activity? How often do you ask him to cancel?

          I agree with above posters that you both appear to be taking a relatively rigid stance on this issue, which is really the bigger issue, to me.

          • We typically take three or four 1 week vacations/year, at least one of those is to visit family. It’s pretty rare that I ask him to miss the activity except for when we’re on those vacations. I give him lots and lots of notice.

            Something that has recently caused a fight, although it has only happened once, is that he commits to doing something on the weekend and then wants to back out because of the activity. I had a work trip to an exciting destination and I had a free hotel in the destination for the following weekend. I asked him if he wanted to come for the weekend. I would have been ok with a “no” because it was primarily a work trip (and we had just gotten back from one of our major vacations together). But he said yes, even though I said “Are you sure? It’s all weekend. You’ll miss your activity.” Yes, yes, I’m sure, I want to go. Then the week of the trip rolls around and it’s “Oh, I want to cancel. I don’t want to miss my activity.” Um, no, you can’t cancel at this point. My work has made arrangements for two people (they were providing meals, etc. so the # of people is relevant), it would be incredibly rude for just me to show up. So he went but whined a lot about missing the activity. That was infuriating. But like I said, it only happened once.

          • Yeah, OK, he’s being unreasonable in the circumstances you’ve laid out. I think it’s fair to ask for 4 weekends a year (I typically take at least that number away from my activity, and I’m getting paid to be there, though I’ve got a flexible arrangement with the owner).

        • The wise advice comes to mind – “when someone shows you who they are, believe them”.

          • So true. I need to tattoo this on my forehead or something. It’s something I seem to be forgetting a lot lately.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Your husband enjoys his hobby and I understand him not wanting to skip it as a general rule. Really, 8 hours is not that much time apart for a childfree couple. It’s not clear to me how frequently you want him to give up his weekend time. If it’s weekly or even 2x a month, I’d say that is a lot. But the part that is annoying (to me) is the whining. Assuming that you are not asking him to skip his hobby on a consistent basis, he should be more accommodating.

    • Hmmm, I’m more of the school of thought that having separate interests and the freedom to pursue them makes for a very strong partnership, but that’s because it’s what I need and my spouse does too. That said, the weekend inflexibility would drive me nuts. That’s the battle I’d personally fight.

    • Baconpancakes :

      We have a similar setup, down to the videogames vs. reading, but the expectations are different. My SO has a team hobby with the exact same requirements (1 night a week and 4-5 hours per weekend), but it’s more like 2-3 weekends per month, and if there’s a weekend activity we want to do, he will absolutely cancel. I don’t think 1 night/week on your own is even a little bit unreasonable, and I take those nights to do things with other friends or binge-watch shows he’s not into, but the inflexibility is an issue. Having a hobby separate from your spouse is really healthy because it keeps you more independent and well-rounded, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of spending time with your spouse.

      Re the introvert issue, those 8 hours a week don’t have to be with friends! I sometimes just take my time alone to wander the downtown area and browse shops, get a coffee and read in a store by myself, and just do all the things I enjoy by myself. It’s different from just reading or watching netflix, but is definitely quality alone time.

      When it comes to kids, though, he will absolutely need to accept that for the first few years, at least, everything changes, and 2 nights a week out of the house is not going to fly, unless you can get grandma to babysit occasionally or something.

      • Agree with this. I’m in a community choir and attend practice for around 6 hours a week, once on a weeknight and once on Saturday. I am flexible about missing the Saturday rehearsal if we have something come up, unless it’s within a few weeks of a performance. Our choir has seen several people drop out after having a baby, but also some who have stayed on and make it work. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have hobbies with regular practice times, but you guys need to work out how to prioritize family time together, since the current situation doesn’t work for you.

        • Diana Barry :

          +1. I was your husband in this situation. I solved it by getting our nanny to work late on practice nights, so he didn’t feel like he had to be tied to the kids when I had my activity.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband is involved in an activity like this, and while it is important to him, he will miss it for things like weekend trips or if we have something going on on the weekend evening he usually goes to the activity. Because it’s an activity, not a job, and there’s a difference between a recreational activity and an obligation. He has moved up to coaching/instructing from participating, but even then, he worked out a schedule where if we want to go out of town for the weekend, we can.

      Family time is the priority, always, for us. If you have a kid, while the kid is small it won’t be an issue. But it absolutely will be an issue once the child reaches school age and has parent-teacher night, recitals, their own activities that have practices and games, etc. If he’s already saying he won’t accommodate that and miss his own activity to participate in family activities – that’s a red flag.

      An acquaintance of mine was married to a guy who did amateur car-racing and got so into it that he actually *quit his full-time job* so he could work part-time and race cars the rest of the time. He was literally never around. They ended up divorcing, and she told me “I was scared, but my life didn’t change all that much.” You don’t say.

      Please proceed with caution before having kids with this guy. Stuff that seems like not that big of a deal can become a total deal-breaker once you have kids, and especially once those kids start being cognizant of the fact that Mom or Dad has this thing going on that they prioritize over the family.

      • I believe he would skip this without complaint for things that are not within our control like recitals and parent-teacher night and stuff like that. He just won’t let *me* schedule anything during these times.

        • You’re making ultimatums when you don’t have to. If you have either Friday or Saturday night free, that is great. Schedule when you’re free and don’t make him choose. I’d resent that, too.

          If a weekend is all Saturday and all Sunday, I can’t see why having 75% of that time free to do stuff together is a problem.

    • Anonymous :

      Do any of his friends in the hobby have kids yet? If they don’t but are planning to, keep in mind that their involvement may change as well.

    • You have described a situation I’m watching play out with good friends. On one hand, I think it’s really important for parents to have hobbies or interests outside the house. On the other hand, it’s not fair for one parent to be so inflexible and have such serious demands on their time.

      You have to figure out what your baseline is and start there. Is it that you have 1 weekend day as non-negotiable family time? Is it that he is present and doing child care 50% of the time the kid is at home? I’d be livid if my partner expected me to just pick up the slack while he went to the gym every day and played with his friends a couple times a week. But if he went to the gym while the kid is sleeping, or otherwise figured out how to alter his schedule to accommodate what the family needs, that’s a different story.

    • I understand the anxiety about the future, but I think you’re borrowing trouble by worrying now about how this will work when you have a baby. Focus on your biggest issue now – is it the impact on your weekends together as a couple? Is there a way to negotiate a schedule so that he’ll commit to one weekend a month to couple time (or whatever is reasonable), and the other weekends you make sure to have an activity on the free day? And put him in charge of adding his activity days to a synced Google calendar for the two of you (this is also good prep for when you have a baby!).

      You may also want to start carving out some out of the house activity time for yourself , or turn his activity time into refreshing introvert time for yourself. (I love when my husband goes out with friends – I can watch shows he hates or go to bed early or whatever else I want.)

      He may also be thinking that if you’re both at home but not spending time together he may as well go out to an activity. (This could be an introvert/extrovert thing :) )

    • cat socks :

      I agree that you need to deal with the situation now before having kids.

      I don’t see the amount of time apart to be extreme, but the problem is that he grumbles and complains if he’s asked to participate in something else that takes him away from his activity. That’s incredibly annoying and childish. He has to learn some compromise in that area, especially if there are kids involved.

    • Sassyfras :

      My husband spends a similar time out of the house each week. Growing up, my parents didn’t really have outside hobbies and everything was family-focused. It was hard for me to adjust to but it’s not right or wrong, just a different way of living. Like everything else in a relationship, there needs to be some give and take. So maybe he gets that time out of the house on a regular basis but stops complaining when you do take a weekend getaway somewhere. You both deserve to have your needs met.

      We do have a child and his time out of the house is mostly non-negotiable (he is in recovery for addiction and uses this time to go to meetings and hang out with his friends in recovery) so it really sucked when the kid was young. But now that our child is 2.5, I like that she sees that her parents have a life and role outside of mother/father and spouse. Dad has his own interests and spends time pursuing them, so does mom, and we all spend Sunday together as a family and eat dinner together nearly every night.

      The bottom line: communicate and compromise. Don’t be afraid to revisit things if it is not working for one or the other.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I like your perspective.

        In case anecdotes about how people deal with these things are helpful, I’ll add mine: I am more extroverted than my husband, and for scheduling reasons, he can do his hobbies and socializing largely while Kiddo is at daycare, while mine necessarily cut into ‘family time’ (or happen after she’s in bed). But now that’s she’s a bit over two, I enjoy telling her what I’m doing, and helping her see me as a complete person. “Mommy is going to go to the gym to get her big muscles!” “Mommy is going to go visit with her friends because Mommy loves her friends.” (Explaining protesty and feministy stuff is a little trickier, but now that she understands that the Joker is mean to people and Batman tells him “no!” I am hoping she’ll understand better “some people are making sad choices and hurting people’s feelings, so Mommy and Friend have to tell them to stop.”) I want her to know I do these things.

        • I really admire your approach to that. Your little girl is lucky to have a mom that sets a good example and talks to her about it.

    • I agree you need to deal with this now before you have kids. A friend of mine is currently going through this because her man child husband spends all his free time golfing and doesn’t see why he should have to give it up. Free time is important but it’s also necessary to make sacrifices in a marriage and a family and your husband’s hostility to that is juvenile.

    • I don’t think one weeknight and one weekend afternoon is excessive. My husband has been in a variety of bands throughout our marriage and the schedule was similar. We have kids, they are fine, the marriage survived. I ended up traveling for work a lot for a few years and he either skipped the weekday practice or got a babysitter, or when the kids were older, left them by themselves.

      You said a weird thing that kind of hit me – you don’t like him hanging out with non-couple friends for this. Is it really that you’re worried about him hanging out with single people?

      People in marriages are individuals with individual interests. You don’t have to be locked at the hip.

      • “Is it really that you’re worried about him hanging out with single people?”

        No, not at all. 95% (maybe 100%?) of the people that participate in this activity are men or married to men who also go. And he has a couple of female friends (through work) that have nothing to do with this activity and I have no problems with those friendships. Maybe I phrased it badly, but I was just trying to say that I didn’t think most couples spend that amount of time with their own friends, as opposed to couple or joint friends where both members of the couple are participating in the socialization. But as others have clarified above, the problem at this point is the inflexibility rather than the total time commitment.

        • Do you have any interest in participating in this activity yourself, even if you were to go less frequently?

        • In your shoes, and I have been in them, I’d drop it.

          I think you are insecurely attached to him so you need him to prove over and over that you are #1.

          I think because this comes across as an ultimatum, it gets extra resistance from him.

          Both of you are being a little childish to be honest.

          Honestly your best course of action is to stop talking about the band or the ultimate frisbee or soccer or whatever the activity is. Do not bring it up one more time. Do not listen when your husband wants to talk about it. Accept that he’lp be gone one weeknight and one weekend afternoon and move on with your life. You’re giving this thing too much power in your relationship, even making up a theoretical baby to give your side of the argument more weight.

          If it becomes no big deal to you, then I suspect your husband will stop clinging to it so fiercely.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I don’t think eight hours a week with your own friends is too much. At all. I think that in your particular situation, because you are more of an introvert, it seems like more because, by your own words, you are mostly not doing something on your own during these hours. But that is not his issue, it is yours.

          The whining, on the other hand, is bad. But I agree with trying the approach of the poster below and just not engaging on the issue for a while and see how it goes. But he might be digging in because you are bugging him about it – it is not clear from your posts as to how often you want him to skip the weekend portion and this may impact how he us handling it. Although I do think asking him to skip his weekend afternoon activity to be with your parents when they come for the entire weekend is a bit much honestly.

        • I don’t think it’s a fair assessment that “most couples” don’t spend this amount of time with their friends.

          I do, and my husband does. As others have noted, having an identity and interests outside the relationship is a good thing, and healthy. 8 hours a week isn’t a ton of time. I spend that amount of time on things that I enjoy or with friends that my husband doesn’t enjoy as much. I’d let go of the idea that you have to do what’s “normal” and focus on whether what about the arrangement is actually bothering you.

          If what you want is for him to spend all of his free time with you, or to be open to dropping this activity before you have kids because you don’t like that he has it, I think that’s patently unreasonable.

          Now, when small kids enter the scene, yeah, everyone’s schedule is gonna change. But for now, it sounds like you’re focusing on what’s “normal.” Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let that be you.

          • +1 to this: I don’t think it’s a fair assessment that “most couples” don’t spend this amount of time with their friends.

            Also, I don’t think what most couples do or don’t do should be your reason for doing or not doing anything at all.

    • Lots of good advice. A family calendar is key. Have him write down when his activities are on the calendar – not your job to keep track of Saturday vs. Sunday. Discuss whether or not he will skip the weekend activity at a set interval (e.g. every 6th weekend) in order to give you more family time.

      As an introvert- if you need alone time, talk to time about taking the baby out of the house when you’re ‘off’. Like he has his activity on Saturday afternoon and he takes baby grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon so you get some time to yourself.

    • I think two nights doing an activity with friends is generally fine, but the part where you can’t ever go away for a weekend, or do anything that overlaps without him whining about missing it, is definitely not good. Hobbies are awesome, even hobbies commonly associated with children and teens like video games, comics, tabletop gaming, etc., as long as you can balance them appropriately. It sounds like he’s prioritizing his hobby over you, and you’re concerned he’d also prioritize it over the baby if/when you have one, so that needs to be addressed. Make sure he understands you want him to have friends and have his own hobby, but you need him to be a little flexible and willing to skip a gathering every now and then.

      I’m wondering if all the other dudes are single, and there’s no one there who has to occasionally miss gatherings because of relationship/marriage/family-related stuff, and since he’s the only one who does have to do it he thinks it’s unfair. If there was at least one other guy who occasionally said “I can’t this Saturday, wife and I are going ____” or “sorry guys, wife’s out of town, I’m in charge of the kids this week” your husband wouldn’t complain so much.

    • Can I trade problems with you? My husband quit his hobby a few years ago and now hangs around the house complaining that he is bored and lonely. I would be thrilled to have him out of the house doing something with other people one evening a week and a few hours on the weekend so he would be happier and I’d have some time to myself!

      • Buy him a boat that needs a little TLC. That should take up plenty of his time. Ask me how I know.

      • My husband took a break from his activity for a couple of years and this is how I felt. I actually begged him at one point to go back or find something new because he was so bored and mopey. Too much involvement isn’t good, but not enough wasn’t good for us either.

      • Get him a beer brewing kit. Did this for my dad a few years ago and for his birthday and he is completely obsessed now. I think I’m getting him a mini fridge for the overflow stock next year. Sorry mom!

        • My mom loves that my father is obsessed with brewing beer – it keeps him out of her way!!

          • Haha yes she is mostly happy with it but thinks all of the beer takes up way too much fridge space (he now brews with his beer friends and they all trade bottles).

          • Ah yes, my father has the whole basement for his brewing operation, which includes a wet bar, mini fridge, and spare bedroom where the kegs and many, many bottles live.

    • My husband had a similar inter-mural like event, but it was one day/night per week, typically ~3-4 hours total including transportation, and time varied (sometimes it’d start at 1pm, sometimes at 8 pm) on Sunday. He lasted 1 season post baby, and most of his (now former) teammates also dropped out around the time they had babies.

      It sounds like your husband is more committed to his sport, and the whining about not taking a trip away/etc. would annoy the cr@p out of me, but I’m kind of tempted to say, “yeah honey, we’ll see” and assume that once you actually have a baby he’ll smarten up.

      And all that being said, I do think it’s important to have ones own interests and hobbies, but those should come at most a distant third to family and spouse.

    • I’m your husband. I am obsessed with rock climbing and spent at least 2 days a week doing it. If my SO wasn’t cool with that, that would not be cool with me. I find it bizarre that people think having a hobby makes your husband a man child.

      That said, though climbing is extremely important to me and though I spend a lot of time doing it, I can miss a weekend to hang out with SO if we make plans. And I don’t whine about it if I do. He needs to cut that out, immediately. The hobby will be there when he gets back.

      But OTOH, you need to not be so jealous of his time. This sentence: “I don’t think it would be good for our marriage if we were basically doing separate activities four days per week.” struck me as odd. First of all, you can coordinate your days on separate activities. I climb mostly on nights SO is out with his running club for this exact reason. That wasn’t originally my schedule, but he asked me to change it so we could spend more time together and I did. Why would this be bad for your marriage? People who love each other don’t have to have 100% the same interests to continue loving each other, supporting each other, and raising a kid. Just ask all the climbers I know with kids and partners who don’t climb (there are a lot).

      • Points taken. Just to clarify the four days/week thing: that was thinking ahead to when we have a kid, so I would need to be home with the baby the two nights he’s out and vice versa. We aren’t wealthy and plan to send our kids to daycare while we work 9-5, so we won’t have night nannies and we don’t have any nearby family who could babysit. Pre-kid, I agree it totally makes sense to coordinate so we’re out at the same time.

        • Anonymama :

          I have 2 kids and my husband and I do separate activities 4 nights a week, and it has been really good for us individually and for our individual relationships with our kids. We still spend some time together almost every day, and most of the weekend, but having that extracurricular time to look forward to really takes some of the pressure off our family time, and makes it something we all really look forward to.

      • And even if you are doing separate activities four days a week… I just don’t find that objectively weird or problematic. The issue is that the OP is resentful of even what seems to me to be a small amount of separate time.

    • I do think it’s a legitimate problem because you have a problem with it. That is fair. I also don’t think 8 hours per week is that much time to spend on one’s hobby, at least before bringing a baby into the equation. I’m not a parent, so I have no idea how that changes the equation. It just sounds like you two have very different preferences here, and to be honest, I don’t have any advice about how to compromise. Maybe professional help?

    • Lawyer in-house :

      I know that everyone has different ideas of how much time they want to spend together in a marriage, but I am totally flabbergasted that you find 6-8 hours a week away from your spouse to be unreasonable. My husband and I probably spend more like 15-20 hours apart per week, and it works great because we both find value in maintaining some separate interests and friends. It sounds like he finds value in separate interests and you do not? Could you resolve this by viewing the time alone as a bonus that gives you the flexibility to pursue something else you enjoy doing, rather than sitting at home being resentful?

      I get that the lack of flexibility around weekend trips is irritating, but can you look at it from the perspective of that this is obviously something that makes him really happy? If he doesn’t really enjoy traveling, can you take weekend trips instead with friends/family or to visit friends/family? It sounds like you have a set idea of how your marriage should look like and it’s at odds with what makes your husband happy. Maybe it’s time to try reevaluating that set idea and seeing if you can find some more joy in separateness. Or go see a therapist with the goal of figuring out jointly how to better meet each others’ needs (rather than just trying to impose your view of how your marriage should work).

      And I agree with others that it doesn’t make sense to extrapolate your current schedule to how things will look when you have a child. I think that’s a total red herring from the actual issues here.

      • Anon (OP) :

        Just to clarify, we’re apart much more than 6-8 hours total, that’s just the time for this set activity. I would say we probably also spend 15-20 hours per week separate (not counting work and commuting). He goes to the gym and plays video games and occasionally hangs out with friends independent of this activity. I see girlfriends occasionally, I read a lot and I’m taking an online coding class. I definitely would describe myself as someone who has my own friends and interests. I just feel like this one hobby is taking over our lives in a way that his exercise, video games and hangouts with other friends do not. I’ve realized in response to other comments that the problem is really the rigid schedule and the total # of hours is not the real issue.

        • Lawyer in-house :

          Ah okay that makes a lot more sense now. I absolutely get the frustration with the rigid schedule.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I don’t think the amount of time he spends out of the house doing this activity is necessarily problematic, even with kids. My husband and I have our own interests, albeit they tend to be solo activities like going on a run, bike ride, etc. that can be done whenever. But his inability to be flexible is a big problem. That would drive me nuts.

      That being said, I do think you may be married to a man child like others suggested. I find it totally bizarre that he would rather be doing something like playing ultimate frisbee etc. with some guys rather than doing something like being on vacation with his wife. Totally bizarre. I am sorry you are dealing with this.

    • Would it help if you negotiated a certain number of times per year that you need him to skip the activity? I find that such “quotas” usually work well – you get to schedule x number of activities on weekends and he knows that there is a limit to the number of times he has to skip his activity.

  6. Professional dress in the summer :

    I’m moving south in July. My new position is “executive causal” dress according to Business Insider dress code. Not full on suits but dresses and blazers with pants. What are your tips for dressing professionally in 90+ degree heat and high humidity? I experience some heat where I currently live but not as consistently hot as my new location.

    • Anonymous :

      The same thing, maybe with an office lap blanket.

      Everyone in the SEUS drives, so you’re in a car with A/C going to an office that is likely arctic (my office seems to be sub-70 degrees usually and it’s bitingly cold for me).

      Layers are mandatory, b/c it’s often 20-30 degrees warmer when I go out for lunch.

      • Professional dress in the summer :

        I’m administrator on a college campus. I will need to walk between buildings for meetings and will probably not have close parking.

        • Sleeveless things when you’re outside, blazer/cardi inside. Monistat antichafe (or antiperspirant, or Jockey’s Skimmies) for thigh rub. Don’t be afraid of commuting or walking to meetings in sandals.

        • Anonymous :

          College A/C can vary wildly.

          Sleeveless dress/top with jacket/cardi are practically mandatory.

          I am wearing sleeved top / long pants / fleece (!) and look crazy. When I go outside of my building, it will be 90+ with 90% humidity, so the pants are wicking and the top is white eyelet so I look cool and not sweaty when I get back inside.

          Car shades are a must if you park outside. Mine is in a garage, so protected from the sun at work (it parks on the street at home where there is no shade, so I keep a towel over the steering wheel and my seat). Classy, yo.

        • Anonymous :

          I worked on a southern campus and agree with the layers and just getting used to feeling gross. You’ll go from 90 with 100% humidity to AC and back again between shuttles and cars and buildings. I used to wear shorts/skirts and then keep sweats in my office to pull over it because I was so cold.

        • Professor :

          Ugh, this is why I hate living in the South. As a faculty member I can mostly just hide inside in the summer, I have no idea how admin people who are in and out all the time do it. I spend most of my day miserably cold, despite copious layering, and still want to die the second I walk outside. There’s just no way to adjust to the heat when you’re constantly switching between freezing and sweltering. It’s much too cold for me to to be able to wear dresses/skirts in my office (plus I need to wear real shoes for lab work), but the dress/blazer/cardigan combo is pretty common here for administrators. Good luck!

        • PatsyStone :

          Get to know whoever has access to a golf cart for important stuff. Otherwise it’s mostly getting used to it.

      • Anonymous :

        This presupposes that you run cold. I, however, run hot and have rarely experienced AC that is too cold for me.

        I would, however, agree with the need for layers. You’re going to be in AC’d offices, but the outdoors will be boiling hot and you’ll need to be able to take off your cardigan or jacket or scarf or whatever.

    • Machine washable everything. I have a rule that anything that sits immediately on my skin (so like a shell or cami) must be machine washable.

      • This is a great point! If you have dry clean only items, don’t try to get more than one or two wears out of them when it is hot (…one is plenty). Just get them to the dry cleaner post haste so stink can’t set in.

      • Unlined knit blazers would be great for this reason. If you’re tall the Nic + Zoe riding jacket is an excellent choice and you can usually find it in a handful of colors.

        • Unlined knit blazers would be great for this reason. If you’re tall the Nic + Zoe riding jacket is an great choice and you can usually find it in a handful of colors.

      • Spot on. Machine washable.

    • Ditto. You’re never actually outside in the weather because you’re just going from house to car to office to car to house. Just change your colors for the seasons and your same formula (pants + top, whatever) will work.

    • givemyregards :

      +1 to what everyone has said about layers. Sleeveless sheath dresses or sleeveless tops and skirts with a cardigan/jacket in hand from car to office. But if you’re someone who runs cold, I would invest in some summer weight unlined wool suiting pants because when I wear skirts in the summer I absolutely freeze in the AC. If you’re walking from a distant parking lot, I also think it’s generally acceptable to wear sandals into the building and then change at your desk so you’re not sweating in your pumps on the way in, but that’s a know-your-office thing.

    • If your office allows, put a mini heater under your desk. It makes a huge difference when you’re wearing a dress or a skirt and your bare legs are turning into popsicles! If they don’t allow, put a heating pad in your seat. With these you’ll be able to dress more for the outside weather and avoid most of the AC chill.

    • I live in the south. Aside from adding a warmer sweater on colder days during the winter months and wearing more white in the summer, my wardrobe is the same between winter and summer. Offices are freezing.

      • I don’t get this whole air-condition-the-heck-out-of-everything-in-the-South. Everybody complains about how cold the offices and other indoor spots are (which is true) – and it wastes tons of electricity / energy. It gets hot in the North in the summertime, but we don’t respond by freezing everyone to death in public places. So Southerners, why do you do this?

        • So that men can wear suits comfortably? In some cases it might also be to control humidity- someone please correct me if I’m wrong about this, but I think that if you don’t drop the temperature enough you may not be able to reduce humidity enough for comfort/health/optimal performance of electronics and instrumentation, at least not without a separate dehumidifying system.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Humidity.

          • Yep. Otherwise we’d all suffocate in the moisture. I run a portable dehumidifier in my house. It’s astonishing how much water it pulls from the air this time of year.

          • Third the humidity comment. The high humidity levels without the AC being cranked way up is not only uncomfortable, it can damage things and allow for mildew. (Speaks the daughter of a man who turned his AC down (not off) while he was on vacation and came back to find all of his wood floors had buckled.)

        • Southerner :

          Because all the thermostats are controlled by overweight old dudes who are always hot.

          • Or by perfect fit men who need to wear pants, socks, dress shoes, dress shirts and ties and don’t want to roast.

            If someone said her thermostat was controlled by her fat menopausal female boss, she would get flamed. No need to be unnecessarily unpleasant.

          • Except it’s true, OfCounsel.

        • But dehumidifiers exist. You can reduce humidity without running the A/C.

          Thank god my office (in the South) has individual climate control. I assume it’s mostly to save money, because I’m also a professor and 90% of the people in my building don’t come into the office in the summer. But I’m here, and I have the A/C set to 77 degrees, and I am working comfortably in my tee shirt and shorts.

          • Anonymous :

            They exist for me, in my basement. For my giant “green” building where I freeze in winter and really freeze in the summer and nothing is fixable or individually modified, nope.

            Office fleece for the win. If it gets any colder, I’m getting a snuggie.

          • KS IT Chick :

            Yes, but most dehumidifiers work by warming up the air, at least somewhat. My DH’s office is currently 87 degrees, because someone insists that they need multiple dehumidifiers running and they’re all putting out heat. The A/C can’t keep up.

  7. I don’t see a big problem in eight hours a week, but I do see a problem in terms of timing being very rigid and non-negotiable.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 (assume this is re: husband with rigid activity schedule)

    • agree on this. I posted above about my husband’s former activity that was a set schedule and didn’t last post baby. He also participates in triathlon that requires significant training every fall, so summer he probably spends about 10 hrs per week training for that (throughout the school year it’s a lot less due to when the competition is). Over the summer, those 10 hrs are stacked so that’s 1 weekend morning each week from ~5-9 a.m. (so I’m home with kids for about 3-4 hrs of awake time), and then typically the other 6-7 hours are “very early morning gym time”, “heading to pool/race track/etc. after kids are in bed” or “midday gym workout”. It sometimes expands to one evening workout a week, too, but that’s not every week. his flexibility and willingness to make his schedule as easy on me make all the difference in the world — and it’s a bummer that OP’s husband didn’t have the same priorities.

  8. Anonymous :

    Your concerns are not unreasonable. My husband and I probably hang out with friends, separately, once every other week or so (occasionally more often), but I would get really frustrated if it was twice a week, every week. Plus, it’s complete BS that he won’t miss a game (or whatever it is) in order to go out of town on the weekends. Frankly, he sounds like a child.

    Why is it that almost every time a ‘r e t t e has an issue like this, the partner plays videogames in addition to whatever other troubling behavior? If an adult is playing videogames for hours every week, especially if they are married or have a child, it just seems extremely selfish and immature.

    • anonshmanon :

      Why is it that video games don’t count as an acceptable way to spend you free time?

    • I agree about video games. My thought process is that anything that’s taking you to another world to the point that you’re totally tuned out to your surroundings and then kind of come-to and realize you’re hungry/haven’t gone to the bathroom/haven’t moved from that spot for HOURS is bad.

      That same “binge” can happen with Nextflix, or a movie marathon, or one of those books you can’t put down and make yourself sick reading nonstop. Usually, the book or movie or series comes to an end and the binge only lasts a couple days. Video games never end. The gamer can keep going back to that world in new ways again and again, and the binge can extend over months or years.

      If you try to pull me out of a really good book binge, I’m going to be surly and mean about it. If I try to pull my husband out of a video game binge, he’s the same way. The difference is I’ll find an amazing book once every 6 months, while he can dive into his game every night.

    • My partner plays video games with a large portion of his free time. I watch documentaries and spend hours browsing shopping sites. Sometimes I watch him play or we play a two person game if we want time together. It works because we are both introverts who value our own space.

      Personally, I don’t see video games as a problem in themselves. It is a problem if he gets cranky when we want to do something else instead, or if he’s slacking on other responsibilities. Otherwise it is as valid a relaxation method as any other. Video games are not inherently childish, irresponsible, or a sign of a problem.

    • I probably shouldn’t bother, but I’ll write my defense of video games. They are not a morally inferior way to find entertainment. Playing video games does not mean you’re selfish or immature. You get a lot of people posting about their husbands playing video games because it’s a very, very common thing for men in their 30s and early 40s to do. That’s the generation that grew up with the first consoles and the first computers that ran decent games, and around the mid 90s, video game producers made a concerted effort to market the games to boys instead of both genders. This is no different than the stereotype of men in my parents’ generation sitting in their easy chairs watching sports, but that doesn’t mean sports are inherently bad. There are lots of ways to be selfish and immature and unhelpful.

      It’s possible to play video games in a way that’s mature and unselfish. My husband and I play video games together 2-3 evenings a week. When we play, we start after we put Kiddo to bed, and we stop when we get tired. We typically play strategy games that can easily be paused if our son needs us or if one of us wants to stop. For us, they’re entertaining and require problem-solving together and can be semi-educational (along the lines of a historical TV drama or historical fiction). I tend to read and watch TV as well, but my husband has dyslexia, which makes reading more work than fun for him, and he doesn’t enjoy TV. That doesn’t make him a selfish or immature person.

      Admittedly, some games make it harder. MMOs, for example, tend to be much more immersive than other games, the player lacks the ability to pause the game, and playing often involves teams or groups, so you cannot pause or leave the game without screwing it up for other players. There are probably ways to play those games in a non-selfish and mature way (limiting it to certain blocks of time, for example), but my husband has given up those games for now.

      • +1 You just described my house. We gave up MMOs after the kids were born for exactly the reasons you describe – no pausing ability. So we’ve switched the type we play (alone or together) for now.

      • Anonymous :

        My husband plays these types of games, and I go through phases where it really bothers me. But he only does it after the kids are in bed, and he usually asks what my plans are for the evening before he sits down, or warns me when he’s about to start something that he “needs” to stick with for an hour or two. I have come to understand that it’s his way of unwinding and something that he does for mental health as much as for entertainment. I prefer other stuff, but it’s really not so different. Flexibility and willingness to prioritize family over the game is key.

  9. Seattle Info needed :

    Hi

    My family and I are going to be in Seattle and Olympic national park in late July/ early Aug.

    1. What’s the weather like then? If I wear cotton/linen dresses, would I look out of place?

    2. Where should we eat ? We’re vegetarian

    3. Any sightseeing tips?

    4. Shopping? I plan to go to Nordstrom of course, and hit up old staples like Brooks Bros, Ann Taylor etc. But I’d love to get advice on where to shop for decent bras, especially strapless. I’m slim but 28G cup size.

    5. Any other advice. We will be there for 7-8 days (3-4 in Seattle, 3-4 in ONP)

    Thanks in advance.

    • Seattle Info needed :

      Also, I wouldn’t wear dresses in ONP. I meant that for Seattle!

      • I went to Seattle in late July/early August and it was gorgeous. Not too hot, warm with a nice breeze most days/nights. Loved it (especially when people complained about it being humid — they were clearly not from the DC/MD area!). Cotton/linen dresses would be fine but I found most people were pretty casual. I wore rompers, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops. Dresses occasionally.

        Sightseeing: we went to Pike Place Market and hiked Snow Lake Trail.

        Have fun! Such a great area!

        • Yeah, I stuck out like a sore thumb in a dress the times I’ve wore them in Seattle. Shorts/jeans. Bring a light jacket for evenings (light waterproof jacket with a hood is even better for drizzle).

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Not out of place at all, but bring an outfit that won’t be miserable if it’s raining. So far (and obviously things could change), we’re having a very mild summer with lots of rain.
      Skip the original Starbucks and go to Storyville Coffee. It’s also in Pike Place and it’s got a great view. There was recently a thread with good suggestions- try searching?
      Seattle has a lot of vegetarian options. You will have no problem. Don’t know any specifics but I bet others here do.
      Buy an Orca card and put money on it and then use it like crazy.

      • Anonymous :

        Vegetarian or vegan restaurants off the top of my head:

        – Plum Bistro (good for brunch, not as good for dinner)
        – Cafe Flora
        – In the Bowl (cheap tasty dinner)

        Plus there will be vegetarian options at 90% of restaurants (even sports bar type places that look like they should only serve burgers and fries).

    • In terms of weather, that’s usually a nice time of year (like mid-70s during the day), but you can get super-hot weather or chilly weather. Honestly, you’re going to need to check the week before and pack based on that.

      I will tell you that when I lived there, even when it was warm, cotton/linen dresses would have looked out of place if they were brightly colored or floral. Seattle is more of an Athleta than a Lilly Pulitzer kind of town, from a fashion perspective.

      If you’re a vegetarian you’ll have tons of options basically everywhere. Seattle is highly veg-friendly. You will not get stuck eating side dishes or with the “seasonal vegetable plate” as your only option.

      Unless you live in a small town and don’t have brick and mortar shopping options, the Ann Taylor and the Brooks Brothers in Seattle are the same as the Ann Taylor and the Brooks Brothers everywhere else. But the Nordstrom is great. If you ARE in a small town and this is a rare opportunity for in-person shopping for you, then I’d advise parking at Pacific Place, which is a mall in Seattle’s walkable downtown shopping core, and checking out the stores there and those in the surrounding area. It’s a block or two from the flagship Nordstrom. University Village is another nice mall (it’s the outdoor kind, which is pleasant).

      • Eeertmeert :

        Seattlite here- totally agree re: lululemon v. Lily Pulitzer. Style here is very relaxed.
        July/Aug is our warmest time, but how warm varies year over year. Layers are typically necessary.
        Also, if it is hot, be prepared for a dearth of air conditioning. We just don’t need it so it’s not everywhere. Malls, sure. Local restaurants/bars, likely no.
        There’s lots of vegetarian options all over. A quick yelp search will point you in a good direction.
        Downtown Seattle (beyond the Pike/Pine corridor) is mostly office buildings. Hit up the communities around town for a taste of the city, i.e. Ballard, Fremont, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Greenwood, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, Belltown, West Seattle.
        Have fun!!

    • There is a huge difference between Seattle and ONP in terms of weather, because there is a mountain range in between the two. ONP is in a rainforest; it will pour buckets on you even in August. It is literally stealing the rain that would otherwise fall on Seattle, so the city will likely be much less rainy than it’s reputed to be. G o o g l e Cliff Maas and rainshadow.

    • Bensonrabble :

      I wear skirts/dresses all the time but then I am usually overdressed and don’t care. I would say linen won’t be warm enough. It’s been a cold summer so far especially in the mornings. Seattle is very hilly so good walking shoes are a must.

      Like others said nearly all restaurants are vegetarian friendly. Local 360 in Belltown is tasty and obvi from the name source locally. We have lots of good Inidan restaurants as well.

      What does your family like to do? Main sites are Pike Place, Space Needle, and Snoqualmie Falls if you have a car. I like Columbia Tower, Underground Toue, and Central Library. If you want specific recs let me know and I can send you an email.

  10. Green Hat :

    Looking for a bag that is 1) professional-looking, 2) nylon or a material that is similarly durable and easy to clean, and 3) big enough to hold a Spectra breast pump and a small (11-inch) laptop). Willing to spend up to $400. I know lots of people love Lo and Sons but I’m not a huge fan of the look of the nylon bags. Does this magical bag exist?

    • anon a mouse :

      Check out some of the MZ Wallace Bags – the Belle or the Kate will accommodate your needs, I think.

    • Tumi.

    • Charmed Girl :

      I’m so glad someone else brought up the bag convo. I know we talk about it a lot, but it’s an always fresh topic. I was actually going to post a question this morning, but I’ll loop it into this thread.

      I’ll start with I’m short (5’2″) and have an OMG, but after several years it’s looking tired. Last year I got a Tumi Camila in a gorgeous cranberry color. What I’ve realized is that it’s heavy and too small to really travel with (need my laptop, a lot of paper, plus wallet, makeup, bottle of water, etc)

      So I then bought a Knomo (Mayfair maybe) and it’s not quite big enough.

      So now I’m looking at the Tumi Mansion and the OG. What I want from the bag is to not overwhelm me, but to carry all my junk without me looking like a bag lady. I travel by plane and train, so it needs to fit under the airplane seat-internationally as well.

      What’s the hive thought on the Tumi Mansion and the OG. Others to consider?

      Green Hat, I get it, you don’t like the look of the nylon and want to upgrade, but it really is the lightest and with all you’re carrying you might appreciate a lighter bag.

      • I’m actually totally in favor of nylon! I’ve tried leather in the past and it just never seems to last as long as I’d like – I’m pretty rough on bags. There’s just something about the structure of the OG that doesn’t read stylish to me, though I totally get why so many people like it!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        OG doesn’t fit under the seat. Ask me how I know.

        • Charmed Girl :

          That’s good to know. Not great news, but good to know.

          Was it full and just not possible to stuff under there? It looks like it’s just a few inches bigger than the OMG and I was always able to get that under seats.

        • It fits if you lay it down. It doesn’t if it’s upright.

        • Mine does. With a computer and redweld in it. If I stuffed up to the crown with a fleece, it would still fit sideways.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I’ve been on seats in Alaska and Southwest planes where it only fit if I crunched down the top and kicked it quite a bit to jam it under there. Another Alaska flight I went on (tiny plane) I had to put it up above. So, maybe I should say: It barely fits on some plane seats, with no room at all, and not on particularly small planes.

        • Yeah, it’s my go-to travel bag and I’ve never had trouble fitting it under any airplane seat. I zip it and lay it flat.

        • anon in SV :

          I have flown with a stuffed-to-the-gills OG on dozens of Southwest flights and it fits fine under the seat, though certainly with no extra space for my feet under the seat, so my feet stay on the floor not covered by the seat . I have not been on an Alaska flight with it.

      • The classic Tumi q-tote or voyager.

      • Sounds like you need whatever kind of bag Mary Poppins had.

    • Vicrtorinox Divinity. ebags usually has a good selection of colors. It’s a workhorse, very well organized, polished but not super-trendy bag. And it fits _perfectly_ upright under an airplane seat, and has a side pocket to slip over a luggage handle too!

    • Look at Sarah Wells pump bags. They are designed with a side pocket to hold your pump, and some of the styles also have a laptop sleeve. I used the Kelly-the pattern is not my favorite but it was organized the best for what I need. I thought you might like the Abby-it looks sort of like Longchamp, but it looks like it is currently out of stock and they only have it in navy stripe now. They used to have it in solid.

      Before I got my Sarah Wells bag, I had a nylon Nicole Miller work bag. At the time my work laptop was a 17 inch monster so it was really annoying and required a huge bag; add the pump in there and it was awful. I got it at Burlingoton Coat Factory. You might also check Marshall’s/TJ Maxx for Big Buddha brand bags.

    • I had the unfortunate experience of a baggie of breast milk leaking all over the inside of an expensive messenger bag while traveling. I realize it until a few days later when things started to get funky. The leaked milk also got into my phone microphone and ruined it. I would invest top dollar in a bag you’ll use for years, and (while annoying), use something separate for the breast pump. Make sure everything fits in both bags. That way, you’ve always got a backup and you’ve got separation.

      • anon in SV :

        When I was pumping, I always put my Lanisoh bags in a gallon ziploc bag, and then another gallon ziploc, and then in my briefcase.

    • Knomo bags. I have their Grosvenor and will wear it till the rest of my life. It is the most practical bag I own. Laptop, notes, yoga clothes and even a small handbag (also by Knomo) – they all fit inside.

      • This one?

        https://www.knomobags.com/usa/grosvenor-square-top-zip-tote-navy.html?utm_source=google-shopping&gclid=CjwKEAjwvYPKBRCYr5GLgNCJ_jsSJABqwfw7ekoHe_JLjTqfPZ2pBNZwLSpquER99H8f2eyREHHpGhoCiLvw_wcB

        Seems to be a great price, and navy could work for me.

    • Anonymous :

      The longchamp stiffer nylon style, with bag inserts. That way you can customize for your need at the time.

      I dislike how the padding in the OMG and the partitions are such that they’re actually really hard to use.

  11. Any color experts out there? I need some advice.

    I’m thinking about the colour discussion earlier. I was reading the Australian colour blog that someone recommended and found my result was low colour contrast (natural blonde hair, gray-green eyes and neutral very fair skin) and low value contrast (all colours quite light and within a narrow range). So the recommendation was to wear light coloured neutrals and 1 light colour. That sounds kind of bland? Like camouflage for Scandinavians? Because my colouring is so boring, l’ve usually done the opposite of what was recommended and worn outfits mixing light and dark colours so that l don’t drown in my blandness.

    But I do admit that I am here reading corporette because my wardrobe isn’t working. I tend to buy the colour l’m drawn to and not consider if it goes with other stuff I already have.

    And another thing.The analysis only talks about hair, skin and eyes but my lips are actually my dominant and most noticeable feature: a strong rosy colour that is usually assumed to be lipstick, very defined boarders + kind of large for my face. Do I not take that into account?

    • So I’m the person who posted the question yesterday. I still feel like I don’t get my skin tone but I do understand low contrast.

      Look at photos of people with your coloring, like Charlize Theron and Naomi Wattand ask yourself whether you think they look better in high contrast or low contrast colors. I think you will find objectively that the low contrast colors look better. I think of Charlize in those dior perfume ads wearing all gold and how gorgeous she looks. I’m a high contrast and could never in a million years pull off a look like that.

      • And I don’t think it looks bland on someone with the right coloring at all. It looks elegant. Another example is what Donna Karan did with all of that fawn colored cashmere early in her career. So gorgeous. Not for me, but for you!!

      • Look at House of Card’s Claire Underwood (post from earlier in the week).

        • Claire Underwood wears lots of dark or black/white high contrast outfits. That’s the opposite of what insideoutstyleblog is recommending. The blogger would say that the outfit is wearing Claire ie the focus is on the outfit and not the person because the coloring is off.

      • New thought. l think I’m associating light neutrals with older people e.g. my mother. She is a bit warmer and more medium colored but low contrast and she wears muted earthy colors. To a recent wedding she wore an assortment of non-matching beige colors. She’s an artist and I trust her eye for colour (looked awesome) but I’d rather not dress like her.

      • About the skin tone – don’t look at your face only. Your facial skin is thinner and if you’re using any rejuvenating products it’s going to be lighter and maybe ruddier and differently toned than your throat (throat is probably light but not ruddy – it’s not getting as much sun) or chest (maybe a bit sun, so probably darker or warmer toned) (makeup and cosmetics nut here). Look at your overall average colouring to find the right tone.

        If you’re not finding obvious all over yellow (warm) or pink (cool) tones, you are probably in between (neutral-in practical terms: a bit gray). There is also something called olive undertones (green). And peach. And when you tan, your colouring may become warmer/ more neutral than usual. So skin tone is definitely not on a cool-warm only scale.

    • Color isn’t the only way to combat bland – you work in texture or interesting seaming or architectural details. A fabulous (light colored) print.

      I mean – you don’t have to. If you like color, keep wearing color! Or compromise and keep the clothes low contrast and have an awesome collection of shoes in a rainbow of colors.

      • It’s more about the concept of not wearing high contrast outfits (e.g. Black and white) when you’re light coloured. It’s an interesting point of view.

    • What’s the blog? I’d like to check that out.

  12. Super Anon :

    I’ve had the same best friend for nearly half my life but its getting to the point where her personal life has so much drama (while professional life is thriving so well that no one would ever guess) that I cant really listen to it anymore. She is a great friend, loyal, etc but the conversation always goes back to the same (avoidable) dramas and the last straw was when she started to project her own issues onto me. I think I need to step back for a bit and keep our conversations lighter until she figures herself out.

    Have any of you experienced taking a step back from a friend? I feel guilty but i cant really play therapist anymore.

    • givemyregards :

      I have – I basically took a summer off from hanging out/phone calls with them, which honestly was a little passive aggressive but much needed, and then we started slowly talking again the following fall. I was just getting so frustrated that I wasn’t being a particularly good friend, and I think the space did us both good. I will also say, however, that I’ve also been this friend (just could not get out of a shi**y dating cycle, nor shut up about it, but my career was thriving) and eventually (with therapy) was able to make some changes and now my personal life is delightfully drama-free. Hopefully your friend will be able to get past this as well.

    • You must be friends with my sister.

      And I have no advice except to take care of yourself and be clear with your boundaries.

      • Yeah its probably time to set some clear boundaries. Otherwise our friendship is fine so hopefully it wont come across as too harsh but either way, like you said I need to take care of myself (hearing this stuff over and over again is just draining and I cant believe ive been doing it for the past few years). Thanks for the other feedback guys!

    • I was sort of in a similar boat. I’m not sure what your friend’s drama involves but mine basically revolved around a very toxic relationship/pattern of behavior. So after a while, I would basically repeat the same two line advice and preface it with the fact that it was the same as it was the last time this happened. During this time, there were some other related incidents but really the advice applied equally there. I think my friend got the hint or maybe it just wasn’t fun to talk about it with me because I never engaged in dissecting the drama and just said the same thing: “Of course that happened. It happened before and it will happen again so long as you continue to do X and Y.” I did feel bad about it, especially because my friend ended up doing something really dumb at the urging of another friend who did engage in (and fan the flames of) all the drama but that blew over quickly.

    • We have the same friend! The only thing that worked was changing our friendship to an occasional friendly hi by text. The path there was hard, she was guilt tripping me a lot. And I felt guilty and responsible for adding to her misery. Eventually she found another friend to dump her drama on.

      Before distancing myself tried a lot of other things recommended here. I still care sbout her, but she drains me.

    • AnonForThis :

      I had a close friend who went through some hard times that became all-consuming. I started distancing myself from her, she confronted me about it and we had a hard conversation about boundaries. Since then our friendship has gotten a lot stronger. I guess my advice is: be honest, even if it feels brutal. You owe that to your friendship and if it’s going to die or implode, you will feel better for having said your piece. Also, understand what you want before you have that conversation. Do you want to continue the friendship, or do you genuinely need to take a step back? Both are ok. If you genuintely want to take a step back or you feel like she wouldn’t receive an honest critique: I have also been successful in saying “I don’t want to hear about this topic any more. Please change the subject.” And then make sure the subject actually changes or end the conversation/hangout all together. But that really only works for me with casual friends, not my ride-or-dies.
      Good luck! I’m sorry – this is not a fun place to be.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Maybe this is a question for therapy but… how do you know the difference between “this isn’t someone i want to remain friends with” and “this is someone i want to be friends with if she changes this behavior/approach/attitude”? (In my case it isn’t drama, but her kind of “tough love” approach and trouble validating/empathizing instead of just jumping into advice/solutions.)

        • How does she respond when you tell her you don’t want advice /solutions?

          If she can be reasoned with and you enjoy her company, you could try turning around your dynamic.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          That’s a good question. I’ve only told her that once (about a week ago) and she apologized … and we haven’t talked since. It tends to come up in instances where I’m already v. fragile or whatever, so it’s hard to stand up for myself.

          • I hope your friend is receptive to a discussion. It’s really tough to lose a freind, but it doesn’t make sense to keep being friends with someone you don’t enjoy the company of.

    • I’ve done this (tried to take a step back in what sounds like a very similar but maybe more acute scenario than you’re describing), and it didn’t work well. She was too used to leaning on me, albeit in a way that was unhealthy for both of us, and she felt my stepping back as a betrayal. We’re no longer friends, although who knows we may end up renewing the friendship again at some point in the future if she ever gets a handle on her mental health problems. I felt terribly sad and somewhat guiltily relieved after years of dealing with her constant drama.

    • Eeertmeert :

      This sounds like a visit to the Captain Awkward archives woukd help provide scripts/support you in your boundary implementation without you ending up feeling guilty. You deserve a bit of a break, or more if you end up wanting that.
      Google Captain Awkward and search the archived letters, there are plenty that could apply to your situation :)
      Good luck!

  13. I’m looking to sell my old ipad and buy a new one. I don’t expect to get too much for it, but any insight on where is easiest and has the best deals to do this? I haven’t used ebay in forever and imagine my rating isn’t good enough to sell it there. Gazelle? the apple store?

    • givemyregards :

      If you’re really going for ease and not as concerned about getting a big return on it, it’s super simple to trade in electronics on Amazon. You just stick it in an envelope, they confirm that it’s in decent shape, and give you an Amazon gift card, which you could then put towards the purchase of a new one.

      • +1 to Amazon. Super easy! You might get more money elsewhere, but the prices seem fairly reasonable.

    • I like Glyde for this kind of thing. I’ve sold a few old iphones that way and always had good experiences.

    • Sell the old one on Facebook market or craigslist. Buy a new one from apple refurbished for a big discount.

  14. Riviera Maya :

    Looking for suggestions for a Riviera Maya resort for three couples going on a child free vacation. Looking for something all-inclusive with a great pool. We picked that location because of its proximity to Tulum, so we could do a little bit of off-resort sightseeing without having to travel too far. I’m struggling because they all look the same on the internet.

    • I liked El Dorado Seaside Suites – couples only, not a huge resort, a la carte dining only and room service at no extra charge (at least in 2010)

      It’s wasn’t ‘amazing’ and limited nightlife but I’d definitely go back.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I also liked the Seaside Suites – the wifi coverage was excellent and you could always find a private cabana. People I know have also stayed at the Eldorado Casitas and raved about them.

    • 12 year old info but we loved our stay at Excellence Riviera Cancun. The beaches aren’t great there but the pools were lovely.

    • Went to a wedding at Dreams Riviera Maya. Pool was nice

      • We did Secrets Capri Riviera Maya and had a great time. Adults-only, and a laid back vibe. Not too far from Tulum and other excursions. Not a great beach, but the pool and the resort itself was great. We LOVED the spa, if that’s your thing.

    • Friends of ours went to the Excellence resort near there, and they loved it. The entire brand of resorts is child free, and the food is supposed to be fantastic.

    • Valentin Imperial Maya. It’s probably a step or half step down from Excellence, but there are two awesome pools, the food is good, no wristband, 24/7 room service, adult only. TripAdvisor reviews are accurate, both as to pros and cons. My other choice would be Secrets Akumal. I haven’t been to it, but it looks interesting.

    • Wanderlust :

      Valentin Imperial Maya is excellent. Giant pool with a swim up bar, adults only, several restaurants to choose from, and not super far from Tulum.

  15. Lunch Lady :

    One woman in my office is very insistent on arranging group lunches. At least 3x/week she tries to coordinate people going to out to lunch, and she has a standing group lunch (open to anyone) every Thursday. Sometimes I appreciate her effort, but she gets pretty pushy about trying to get everyone to go to lunch together. I can’t afford to eat lunch out more than about once a week, but I’m the lowest level person in the office and she pesters me about the lunches constantly, insisting that this is the only way I’ll ever get to know people here to network with. How do I avoid going out to lunch without offending the organizer or hurting my relationships with coworkers? There aren’t typically large groups of people at lunch so it’s not like I’m the only one not going, but that somehow makes it more awkward when I decline the invite. I just want to stay on everyone’s good side while keeping my fragile budget intact!

    • Could you go once a week (maybe Thursday) and the other times she bugs you, just say you brought your lunch and don’t want it to go bad?

      • Lunch Lady :

        Yeah, I guess I could say something like “I packed a lunch for today, but plan on me joining you on Thursday!”

    • Pack a lunch to eat with people? Or have them bring food back and eat together in a conference room?

      • Lunch Lady :

        Sadly, no one eats together in the office since there’s not really a space for it. So it’s Sad Desk Lunch for the brown bag-ers.

        • Is there anywhere nearby but outside the office that brown-baggers can go together? Maybe your co-worker would be open to you joining the group out once a week and a picnic lunch another day (or less often — once a month). Someone in my previous office also used to organize potluck lunches, and people who wanted to participate could either sign up to bring something or chip in $5 toward the entree.

    • anonshmanon :

      I would be honest. “Belinda, Thanks for the invitation, but eating out that much isn’t in my budget.”
      But then, I have no shame talking about money.

      • Off topic, but is this a pots and pans company? Belinda? Haha! (…my dad wrote a p…reference)

    • I’d commit to a standing day each week so she knows you’re always in for Thursday ( or whatever). Then I’d cheerfully remind her that I only go on Thursday and I’m looking forward to it. I’m not sure if you’re comfortable sharing your budget concerns but you could say something like ” it’s my once a week treat -see you then.”

    • “Delores, I love when I can join lunches out and I really appreciate you organizing them, but for now, they are a special treat and not something I can do all the time. I’m trying to be disciplined about sticking to my budget; I hope you can understand.”

      Depending on how much of a gossip she is, you might repeat this same speech to a few other people just to prevent it from getting skewed to, “I invited her, but apparently she’s having financial troubles and is too broke to come!”

      In my opinion, stating that you have a budget and are committing to sticking to it is not sharing TMI around financial information, and shouldn’t offend or upset anyone, especially if you are able to join once per week or every other week. You might even suggest to Delores that it would be great to have a “budget” day where everyone brings their own lunches and you all eat together in a common area, or she chooses somewhere relatively cheap.

      • You know, if the OP said just the first part of this, I think that might be explanation enough: “Delores, I love when I can join lunches out and I really appreciate you organizing them, but for now, they are a special treat and not something I can do all the time.” She can think they’re diet or money or whatever she wants to think,

        I’m also the lowest woman on the totem pole at my office and no one understands why I bring my lunch every day.

        • Lunch Lady :

          Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone!

          RE: “I’m also the lowest woman on the totem pole at my office and no one understands why I bring my lunch every day.”

          Isn’t that the worst? Everyone knows I make the least money, but that doesn’t seem to translate into understanding why I make certain lifestyle choices. A little tact, or something, would go a long way.

        • These are nice, but I don’t even think you need that much explanation. “Hey Delores, thanks so much for the invitation! I can’t join you as often as I’d like but I’ll definitely do every other Thursday. What’s the plan for this week?”

  16. Hi! I just graduated from law school and am starting with a firm in October. It’s biglaw in terms of pay and culture but it’s in a secondary market and has some unique practices that you wouldn’t normally find in biglaw. One of them is a small business/start up practice. One of my close friends from undergrad just quit her job and is in the process of starting her own company with her father. Her dad did this about 20 years ago and was successful enough to make it his primary source of income and live comfortably. The deal is that he’s like a mentor providing insight but not doing the “work” with her. But if all goes well, she’ll ultimately take over both businesses (his original and their new joint venture) when he retires. She has to do all of the formation stuff herself (LLC, trademark, contracts, etc) and wants to run it by lawyers. Because of the long-term successorship thing, she’s also interested in advice as to how to set that up for a smooth transition down the road. She came to me asking for recommendations and I told her my firm had a practice that worked on that, kind of crossing all the t’s/dotting the i’s for new businesses. She asked me if I could send her info on their rates or put her in touch with someone she could contact.

    Ok so now my question: HOW??? I was a summer associate at the firm but did not do work with this practice so I don’t know anyone personally to check in with first. Also, is it even appropriate for me to do this? I looked at the website to confirm everything I initially told my friend and everything I told her originally is right; they use the term “small business” but I am not sure whether her business would be substantial enough. I don’t know anything about the size of her father’s business other than the details I provided above. I also think she’s at the comparing rates stage, not necessarily the hiring stage, so I’m not sure if it’s too early for me to put her in contact with someone at the firm (I wouldn’t want to waste their time if it ends up not working). If anyone has any advice I’d be immensely appreciative.

    • Before you start this process, I’d confirm with her that she’s interested in paying hundreds of dollars an hour for this service, otherwise you risk looking a little silly to your new firm. If you are charging biglaw rates, she’s not going to be paying any less than a few hundred bucks an hour at a minimum. Assuming she’s at that level, maybe just email a partner you worked with over the summer in that practice area to see what to do from there?

      • +1 I agree that it is a really good idea to understand what her expectations/budget are before reaching out to anyone at your firm. I would also make sure she knows that you won’t be involved in working with her were she to become a client.

        I’m going to guess that it’s unlikely as a first year associate that your firm will give you origination credit if she ends up becoming a client of your firm, but that’s a good thing for you to know regardless. As the above posted said, a partner you know from being a summer associate should know who to put your friend in touch with. If you have the chance to get origination credit, I suggest you do the introducing over email so that there is a paper trail that she came from you. But again, make sure her expectations align with the firm’s rates or it’s going to make you look a little clueless.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Exactly this. Knowing my former firm, it would not be unreasonable for her matter to be staffed with 1-2 junior associates, 1 midlevel, and 1 partner (of course, it could be 1 junior and 1 partner too). That could be a lot of money in the end.

      • Anonattorney :

        Don’t do this. You don’t know what your firm charges. A lot of firms in secondary markets are offering flat rate packages to start-ups to try and get them in the door as clients for relatively low cost, and then hoping that they will generate more business over time.

        You should reach out to a lawyer you worked with at the firm and ask them who would be the right person to talk to about putting together a start-up package. Then get some more information about your firm rates and options, and make an introduction between your friend and the right contact at your firm. If your friend doesn’t want to pay the rates, she doesn’t have to — but don’t screen her out on that basis.

    • If the practice group works with small businesses, then they probably have some experience with budget constraints and client’s DIYing certain tasks. I’d reach out to the practice group head for the corporate group at your firm, ask which lawyers do this work, and pass this along to them. They will let you know what they need/if they are interested in this type of client. If they don’t want to take it on, ask if there is another firm that they recommend.
      We get regular emails from attorneys within our firm asking if any of us do x work and if not, who can we recommend. This is completely normal business development and cross- selling so don’t worry about the ask.

    • Yes, to everyone’s responses so far.
      1.) Talk to your friend, find out her budget for this. A retainer at your biglaw firm will probably be at least $25,000. Rates will be at least $300 per hour for associates, at least $700 per hour for partners, but likely more. (Some biglaw firms charge over $1k/hour for partners.)
      2a.) If your friend wants your new firm to do this, reach out to someone and begin the process similar to how you did here: “hi, i was a summer associate, i have a good friend who wants more info on retaining us on behalf of her company, to do XYZ work. who should i speak with?” Try to keep yourself involved in these intro meetings (this might mean suiting up and attending a meeting this summer while you’re studying for the bar).
      2b.) If your friend does NOT want your new firm to do this, reach out to someone and say, “hi, i was a summer associate, i have a good friend who needs a lawyer on behalf of her company, to do XYZ work, but she has a somewhat limited budget. can you recommend anyone?”
      This is normal and should be fine. Good luck on the Bar!

  17. Super Mario :

    So grown men (women too?) playing video games, even when married with children or living with a SO, is a thing?

    • Yep, grown up women with spouses and children play video games.

      • This is anon from above- married and in Biglaw. Over the years, I’ve variously played Skyrim, Portal 1 & 2, Flower, Guild Wars 1& 2, Animal Crossing, Assassin’s Creed, etc. I kind of want to give Fallout a try. I don’t get in as much time as I would like, but a few hours a week is a nice break.

        Your question is like asking “so grown women read books/watch TV/play boardgames even when married with children…” Games are a valid form of entertainment.

        • Agree. I’m married and have kids and my husband and I both enjoy videogames, together and separately.

          • +1. I like Civilization (like Sim City on steroids). My husband plays various video games and recently has gotten us both playing World of Warships – a game in which I have developed moderate competence (most of his games require too much skill for me). It’s nice to play together, since it’s a collaborative type game. He plays more than me, but I’m also a reader and he is not, so it’s not uncommon for me to read (or work from home nights/weekends – BigLaw) while he is logged on (or watching his stock shows on TV). It’s just another form of entertainment.

          • I’ve played Civ, SimCity and the Sierra historical city-building games for years, since they were released. When GOG re-released the Sierra games (Pharaoh and Zeus), I was thrilled.

            I don’t play all the time but I definitely play more when I’m stressed or feel like things in my life are out of control. Like, I can’t control what’s going to happen with my company’s merger, but I can definitely grow more wheat to trade with another city in my city-building game. I know the games so well I can play them in an almost-automatic flow state. It’s not that different from how some people knit (which I tried, and was no good at).

        • Hi, my husband has been sending me excited texts about new games news from E3! There’s going to be a new Uncharted game where you play as Chloe!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I’ve played Skyrim and Portal 1 and 2 and my husband plays Fallout. We even watch youtube videos of other people gaming. The horrors!

      • Yup. DH claims it helps him relax, which I get as people have different ways of relaxing. But he’s really good about doing when we don’t have plans and LO is in bed. I like my documentaries, he likes his video games.

    • lost academic :

      Yep.

    • I don’t get it, but I am tied to a screen 10-12 hours a day, so I could not do more voluntarily. I need to get out and move (but I was like that pre-spouse, pre-kids).

      I’ve seen grownups go away for Dungeons and Dragons weekends.

      Different people are wired differently, I guess. Sometimes wildly so.

      • I also play D&D and other RPGs. It’s really not that weird. It’s a hobby. Like a lot of other hobbies.

      • I love my weekly DnD games! BF and I are part of the same group as are several other couples and it’s a really fun social activity that keeps everyone from just talking about work or the same old tired topics. That said, our group isn’t super intense and we all know that other stuff in our lives takes priority when necessary.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Nice handle. ;)

        • Same! We get together once or twice a month and usually play RPGs, though we recently did one of those 1980s murder mystery dinners and it was a riot. Sometimes we play fancy eurogames. Basically it’s really fun, creative, and social. We laugh a ton. I love that it helps us all get together way, way more than we would otherwise, especially since we have a baby and that cramps our social scene.

        • It warms my Dragonborn heart to know I’m not the only one playing D&D. My SO DMed for years before we starting dating, and some of the joys of us getting together were both that we had a fun hobby to do together AND that I’d have a regular game again.

      • I really don’t get video games or D&D (esp. as a grownup), but to each her own.

        I like to knit while watching either detective shows on ID or trash TV and then feed my reading addiction curled up in bed. [If I had free time and a spare friend and good weather, I’d prefer to add in some tennis or drunk knitting in bad weather.]

    • I’m the poster above who mentioned it and I have no problem with the video games. He does it for a little bit each evening as a way to unwind/relax. I don’t see it any differently from watching TV.

      • I don’t think the issue was you — it was the other poster who said that those activities, after marriage and/or kids were “selfish.”

        I’m not a video games person anymore, but hubs loves them. We do play games as a group together occasionally. I don’t view it as any different than me reading or watching netflix. If he likes it, I’m down.

        • I see it slightly differently than reading, which is educational. But I don’t see a distinction between video games, watching TV (especially trashy TV like reality shows) and goofing around on your phone/Internet. My husband plays his games on mute without headphones so we can be in the same room and if I say something to him, he pauses the game and responds to me. In addition to my husband, I know a bunch of other guys (his friends and my friends’ husbands) who also play video games, and I don’t recognize the “sitting around yelling racial slurs” culture described below AT ALL. To me, video games are like any other hobby – someone can become obsessed with it and do it at the expense of work and family, and that’s a problem, but in moderation it’s perfectly fine.

          • Saying that reading is educational is a little misleading – some reading is educational, some is not.

    • Yes. It’s the same as any other leisure entertainment activity – reading a book, watching TV, doing a crossword, knitting, spending time on internet forums.

      Personally, I don’t play, but my husband does — and I don’t begrudge him that time. Many video games these days have complex narratives. emotional resonance, and require critical thought to play (and some include social interaction). They are painstakingly designed and can easily be considered art.

      Like any leisure activity, you can take it too far — but it’s obviously a valid use of time by adults. Don’t be silly.

      • Admittedly, I had to change my own judgment about video games. I now look at them as the same sort of escape that reading is for me. Both activities allow you to escape your reality for a little bit, engage your mind, etc. 100% agree that it’s not the hobby itself, it’s how you fit it into your life.

    • I’m always surprised by this too. I was never into video games and one of my favorite things about DH when we started dating was that he had zero interest in video games. We’ve been together 15 years and have never owned a video game system. It seems to be one of those things that people are super into or they have zero interest.

      • I’m the same way – never had any interest in video games. Some of my friends’ husbands/partners like them, but I just don’t get it.

      • Same. I actually don’t know anybody who regularly plays games.

      • I remember one of the gunner associates at my biglaw office confessed one day that if her husband didn’t take the video games away from her, she would just play for an entire straight weekend (or more). It surprised me, simply because she’s the first female that I know personally who expressed a passion for video games. And, like a poster above mentioned, I just don’t really want any more screen time than I already have from work.

        Then I also learned, separately, that some people are youtube sensations (is that the right word?) because they film themselves playing video games. that was a whole new thing to me that I did not know existed.

      • Anonymama :

        Huh, I think there are a lot of people who play video games or computer games sort of casually. My husband can get into it for a few months at a time and then not play again for a year. But some games seem to be a more immersive experience than others.

        • This is my DH. He’ll get into a game for a few weeks and then literally not touch it for a year.

          I also like playing with him occasionally, and if we’re both into a game, the playing “streak” lasts a bit longer. But we rarely play without each other, and we probably haven’t touched our console in at least a year? It’s fun to do together in the winter, or when you’re both super tired and stressed out, but it’s not a regular hobby for us.

    • Yes, absolutely! What’s wrong with it? You can play video games, play board/card games, read comics, go to nerdy conventions, cosplay, and watch anime at any age and in any relationship/living/family situation, so long as you’re properly balancing your time and priorities, and you’re not neglecting your household/family responsibilities or overspending on these hobbies.

      Going back to the issue of sharing the mental load that’s popped up on the internet recently, if someone’s mind is 100% on eating and playing when they get home, and they depend on someone else to delegate household tasks to them, then yeah, that’s a problem.

      Although I wouldn’t date, let alone move in with or marry, a guy who thought such hobbies were childish and stupid.

    • My ex used to play video games. They were his way of relaxing. Like I like to stay hone, watch the bachelor/bachelor3tte and drink a glass of wine. It never got in the way of doing other things or spending time together – if it’s controlled, it’s just another way to relax, like reading or watching tv.

    • This is probably a generation thing, right? I’m mid-20s and wouldn’t think twice about a SO who played video games. And I know lots of 30-somethings who play games with their kids, if nothing else.

    • Sure. People have all sorts of hobbies – idly browsing the internet (ahem), watching tv, reading, etc. What do you find so confusing?

    • Remember that Candy Crush is technically a video game too. I have a friend that complains about her DH spending an hour on Sat morning playing video games, but then she spends hours playing dumb games on her phone. (She’s literally at the highest level you can be in Candy Crush, she waits each week for them to release new levels.) They’re basically the same thing, and to everyone’s point, as long as it stays a hobby in moderation, who cares?

    • Baconpancakes :

      I think part of the backlash against videogames is the format – my ex played games on the TV with the sound up loud, effectively using the entire living room, and he was one of those “can’t talk have to play through” people. My SO plays games on his computer, often with headphones or the sound low, so that I can actually sit in the same room and read, and even when he’s playing live co-op games, will still respond if I ask him a question, and will even quit a game if I really need him. I try not to interrupt but his behavior tells me I’m more important than the game, which is really all that matters.

      • +1. My husband is the same. He tries not to interrupt me when I’m reading; I try not to interrupt his games (both interruptions permitted as necessary).

    • Yes. It’s a thing. People grow up playing games, get jobs have disposable income and buy gaming consoles (or gaming computers) and games because they still think it’s fun. Some people even play games professionally. Like for money. And you can watch them on YouTube or other on-line sites. It’s a huge industry full of adults creating, building and buying video games.

    • Yeah my issue is how misogynistic and violent video games and the culture of the group games tend to be. I have no problem with the games in concept but I don’t understand why play acting war/screaming insults at each other over a microphone is fun, and I expect the men in my life to not consume media thats degrading to women. I also wouldn’t want to be partnered with someone who amused himself exclusively with Philip Roth novels or war reenactments. Spending similar time (and quietly!) to how much time I spend reading/watching tv doesn’t bother me in the slightest depending on the came, content matters a lot to me. I’m in my late 20s and know plenty of guys who don’t play video games much or at all.

      • I mean I get this, and I also roll my eyes at it, because you could basically replace the phrase “video games” with “TV”. The men behind Gamergate are evil. But like television, movies, and all other media, there are options that are not violent and not misogynistic. Like television, movies, and all other media, most things produced are misogynistic. Content matters, period. Not just in video games.

        • Well games are participatory. Watching someone kill a sex worker on tv is very different from play acting it (watching it is pretty bad too, but not the same). But didn’t I just say that I would not want to be partnered with someone who exclusively or mostly consumes violent or sexist media of other kinds? I don’t think video games are evil but its pretty mainstream to sit in a chair, yell racist/sexist slurs, and pretend to shoot things. There are lots people besides the gamer gate folks who do that. I am not ok with being around that behavior (partially because I lived through a real live war and have to live with the psychological consequences of it, which includes being very sensitive to shooting and explosion sounds). I am ok with being around someone steering a virtual car around a track or playing fake football or whatever.

          • Fwiw, I know probably 20 or 30 guys who play video games and I’ve never seen anyone yell s*xist/racist slurs (or insults of any kind for that matter) and don’t believe anyone I know does that. My husband mostly plays them on mute, by himself, and doesn’t say anything while he’s playing. He also doesn’t use headphones so if I say something to him, he pauses the game and responds.

          • Who do you know who acts like that?

          • People? I obviously can’t name names but I’ve seen it and I don’t spend time with those people anymore.

          • Thisperson1 :

            My husband plays video games, which doesn’t bother me. What KILLS me are the (from the sound of their voices) little kids playing late at night, saying incredibly awful and foul things while playing games that involve killing people.

          • Anonymous :

            Time zones are a thing. Late at night for you is not late at night for everybody.

        • +1000000

        • Baconpancakes :

          Specific content is super important, and the point that people who would be into violent movies that celebrate misogyny is also unacceptable is crucial, but there’s a LOT of violent, misogynistic games, and when people say “plays videogames” that’s what they often think of.

          I was never really into video games growing up, but my SO plays games like Rocket League, Minecraft, Heroes of the Storm, which are all nerdy and cute and fun, and I’ve even started playing some since I’ve seen him play it. We play Overcooked together, and I’ve commandeered his computer for Stardew Valley. I have the best farm!

      • Not all video games are misogynistic. My husband plays mostly sports ones like NCAA football. I don’t see how that’s worse that watching football on TV and in some ways it’s better because nobody is suffering traumatic head injuries.

      • AnonymousLadyGamer :

        I’m rolling my eyes so hard at this, and you.

        You’ve obviously never played video games, and you’re just regurgitating things you’ve read about then on feminist blogs. All video games are not misogynistic, any more than all movies are violent. I like feminist blogs too, but I don’t use them as my only source of information. Try some self-education before shooting your mouth off. You’ll be less likely to embarrass yourself.

        • I play some video (well computer/phone) games. My critique come from being around them being played, trying out a few myself that I found really disturbing, and playing some currently/in the past that I have enjoyed. I didn’t say anywhere that all video games are sexist just that a lot of them are, and that I find it particularly concerning because of the participatory nature of the media (more like a war reenactment hobby than a reading a book/watching tv). You’re responding to something I didn’t write. I would love to have a productive conversation about video games, like the kind people often have about music, tv/movies, or sports, but every time I have something less than enthusiastic to say about them I get this reaction.

      • Anonymous :

        There are lots of genres of games. My partner prefers adventure games and puzzle games. I like turn based strategy games such as Civilization. There is a huge variety, just as in books or movies.

      • a millenial :

        but do you realize that you are generalizing sooooo much? there are tons of video games. there are fighting/shooting/whatever ones, there’s zelda where you literally battle like skeleton monsters, there are sports games, there are fantastical ones, there’s mario kart, there’s my new favorite switch game that involves stacking pieces of paper to solve puzzles. i love video games and also loved playing sports growing up and am a perfectly happy adult with a good job and loving family. stop it with the generalizations.

    • We’ve had consoles in the house at various times and we both also enjoy the random computer game as well. It’s only been an issue when the games have been used to avoid other tasks, commitments, etc. I really don’t see it as any different than cell phone games.

    • I went to a tech school, so almost all my friends and their partners are in STEM fields. I don’t think I know any guys who don’t play video games at all, and many of the girls do too. Most don’t play in leagues or anything like that, it’s just something they do at home to relax, like reading, watching TV, or wasting time on the Internet.

    • Yep. I posted above, but DH plays video games 4-5 times a week, and I play with him 2-3 times per week. It’s no worse than any other form of entertainment. We tend to play city builders, strategy games like Civilization, and survival games. None of those are misogynist or particularly violent. There may be some fighting, but it’s not graphic, and it’s WAY less violent than reading or watching GoT (which I enjoy but DH can’t handle).

    • It’s strange that no one would say this about binge-watching Netflix or otherwise watching TV shows, sports, movies, playing around on the internet, etc.

      I don’t play video games but I don’t get why people think they’re so much worse than other screen entertainment.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I find video games boring, but I don’t understand why they’re so stigmatized, especially now that most of us spend lots of time in front of screens even when we’re not working. I understood it a bit more in the 80s, when the idea was that kids should be playing outside or reading or doing sports and video games were basically the only form of what is now the infamous “screen time.” But now we’re all pretty much big on screen time, so what’s the difference?

  18. My ruthlessly cheap boss just went on a rant about how gross everyone being sick is, how germy things are and how she wants us to stay home. A coworker quipped back that we can’t afford to take time off and then boss just slinked into her office. It was so glorious. This is what you get when you don’t give your people paid sick days.

  19. Henley first-timer :

    Has anyone here been to the Henley Women’s Regatta in England before? I’m going for the first time this weekend, my dad’s a rowing coach and his team is racing which is really exciting. I have some outfits picked out, I know the dress code isn’t as strict as the Royal Regatta (but I’m wearing a hat anyway, because I won’t be joining my family at the Royal Regatta in two weeks), but if anyone here has some insight as to what’s standard, and what’s considered under-dressed or vulgar for the event, I’d love to hear (er, read) it!

    • I have not, but as a former rower I was happy to do some digging, and maybe you could check out their Facebook Photos here? https://www.facebook.com/pg/HenleyWRegatta/photos/?ref=page_internal

    • Anonymous :

      No advice, but I hope you have a blast! My friends are going to watch their sons compete. Go Elis!

  20. Cold sores :

    I have one, and despite starting Valtrex, Abreva and lysine as soon as I realized what was happening, it’s huge and painful. The problem is that I don’t get the tingling other people have with cold sores – mine feels more like my lip is chapped just in one place – and so I am rarely able to start meds before the blisters emerge. Anyone got any tips for making this heal faster, or at least be less noticeable? I look like I have a fat lower lip, like someone popped me in the face.

    • This is probably totally placebo effect, but I’ve had good luck taking zinc supplements.

    • I never feel mine coming either, and I take double the dose of recommended valtrex when I get one. My doc once told me it was like getting cold – you’re more likely to get one when you’re coming off a high stress period.

    • get the lysine+ topical as well.

  21. Toronto law ladies – looking for advice/basic info on the call to the bar ceremony. My BIL is being caled to the bar in a couple of weeks and he would like us (me, his brother, and his mom) to attend. He totally adores my daughter (18ish months) and she’s basically the only thing that breaks him out of being a grouch, so my plan was to bring her down for the ceremony and just sit near an exit if I need to take her out. Would that be totally inappropriate? (I’ll have to think of a back-up plan if so since it’s not going to be feasible for us to shuttle her north to daycare and make it downtown on time.) How long is the ceremony typically?

    And is the nicer side of business casual (what I would wear on a non exhausted day as opposed to today’s frumpy comfy outfit :)) appropriate?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The June Calls are packed and long and tickets are at a premium. Unless you were to arrive super early, there is no guarantee that you could get a seat near the end of a row and/or near the exit. I would not bring a toddler except under duress, in all honesty. It is hard to remember but the whole thing is 2+ hours long by the time you get through the speeches, the oath and calling all the individuals across the stage.

      As for clothing, nice business casual is perfectly fine. My own Call was January, but people have said it is hot during the summer one, so you may want to have some layers you can remove as needed. Roy Thomson Hall, right?

    • Yes and Yes! (a Toronto lawyer here)

      It’s boring IMO. I think a couple of hours? I believe they tell you how long it is, because there is a morning and afternoon session.

    • Thanks ladies – I’ll be sorry to disappoint BIL but it sounds like a miserable setting for a toddler. Maybe I’ll bring her to work with me in the morning and meet up with everyone else after the ceremony so she can give him a hug. Or maybe I’ll just send her to daycare and let him be a grown-up who can manage his own disappointed feelings.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I was going to suggest (knowing nothing about the bar but something about toddlers) having her outside the ceremony for a hug afterward, and maybe bringing her to lunch?

        • Clementine :

          And a photo! I have pictures of me at about the same age with a family member who got an advanced degree in their regalia. They’re freakishly adorable.

          I’m pretty sure I just met them outside the ceremony and then we had brunch.

  22. Is it terrible if I miss my husband’s naturalization ceremony for an important meeting with clients? I was going to miss an important internal meeting to be there, but now I’ve got this client meeting that can’t be moved… He’d like me to be there, but it’s not something he’ll resent me for if I don’t attend. I want to throw a little family celebration the following weekend with bbq, red white and blue everything and silly American paraphernalia. I’m not being a terrible wife, am I?

    • I didn’t go for my husband, but that’s because neither of us cared. It was a formality to ensure that we can continue to live together without visa/green card hassles, not some big patriotic to-do.

      • Yeah, he’s not particularly excited about it. It’s more like he figured he needed to finally do this what with all the craziness in this country right now. I just remember it being a bigger deal for my family when my dad became a citizen, but that’s maybe not the right comparison. I think I’m good, just wanted a little reassurance :)

    • I don’t know, a naturalization ceremony seems like a pretty big deal. I think it would be hurtful to not have a spouse attend.

      • Maybe this is different by region, but it’s not really a ceremony. From what I remember, they make you sign a bunch of paperwork, give you a certificate, then you sit in a room with everyone else getting naturalized and watch a pre-taped video of the president welcoming you. It had about as much ceremony as getting my driver’s license.

        • I went to one for my friend and there was a point where she stood up and did an oath. I would say it was much more like a bar swearing-in ceremony than going to the DMV.

    • Total formality. I went alone to mine – didn’t even think of inviting anyone to join me.

    • I think if he’d like you to be there, then you should go, and I think work will understand. My family has been in this country for generations, so maybe I don’t understand the immigrant perspective, but a naturalization ceremony seems like a pretty big deal. I’m in BigLaw and I don’t think anyone would balk at an attorney missing a meeting for their spouse’s ceremony.

      • Yeah, biglaw too. I should have mentioned that I have to travel for a couple days of negotiations, so attending would mean missing about half a day, which would be a big deal.

    • I think what your spouse wants is worth considering more than how important people here think it is.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Yeah, this. I would go if he wants you to be there. As others have said, most people will have supporters with them. I have gone to naturalization ceremonies and I disagree that it is a formality for everyone. It can be an emotional experience for some.

        Fwiw, whenever I become naturalized, my whole family will come. But I have been stateless for almost 20 years. I am very excited to become a citizen. But of course, not everyone feels that way. Only way to find out what your husband thinks is to talk to him.

    • Go. It’s a big deal. Nearly everyone else will have supporters there.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      For whatever it’s worth: I attended several naturalization ceremonies while I was clerking in New York and it was always a really big deal – lots of family, really nice speeches by the judges. I think this is one of those things that your clients will understand.

  23. Wear Everything Challenge :

    Hello all,

    I have challenged myself to wear everything in my closet at least once this summer.

    I have my winter clothing stored away so everything in my closet should be wearable this season.

    I’m doing this because I get in a rut and wear the same things over and over

    I’m willing to buy additional pieces to make some of the pieces I already have work, but my personal rule is that I’m willing to buy a new top, not a new expensive piece like a jacket or a nice skirt.

    My other rule is that if I can’t find a way to wear something or I just don’t feel good in it, it goes into the Goodwill bag on the floor of my closet.

    Today im wearing a gray-blue open jacket that I have only worn once before a couple of years ago. I wore it with black today. It would be better with another color but that’s why I never wear it. I figure it’s better to wear it with black than never wear it and you know, it doesn’t look bad.

    Care to join me? We can post daily on the morning thread.

    • I will! This is a great idea, although my work wardrobe doesn’t change much winter to summer -I just remove the tights/socks, change shoes, or add a layer (sweaters go away in the summer of course).

      Today I am wearing watermelon pink Boden Richmond pants (which I turn under 1 cuff length to make ankle length – the material is substantial enough that it stays put), a black, boatneck 3/4 sleeve T from Target, elephant gray flats, and a white chain necklace from Talbots.

      I honestly had no idea this top was in my closet until I was digging in there looking for something else.

      I’ve been doing the open-shopping-bag-next-to-the-closet thing too, and have gotten rid of so much crap. It feels great to like most of what I see in the closet.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m IN!

      OK I have a few questions though. I have two sides of my closet, casual and work… is it OK if I just play on the work side? Ugh maybe that means I *need* to play on the casual side? OK just talked myself into playing on both sides!

      This is gonna be fun!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Today I’m wearing a bright blue dress that makes me think of my MIL (she wore this color to our wedding) with the same black wedges I wear every day, and a pale striped scarf.

      • Wear Everything Challenge :

        Totally up to you how you implement!! Perfect is the enemy of good.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Ha, I’ve already worn all of my work clothes (except a skirt I just bought yesterday and a top at the tailors) once this summer. I guess my capsule wardrobe/limited closet space method to having fewer clothes is working! I have some casual clothes I haven’t touched yet though.

      Today is boring because it’s a meeting day: navy suit, thin-stripe navy and white short sleeve sweater, nude heels, gold pearls, small gold pendant necklace.

    • YES I am 100% in! Great timing because I just wore a dress today that I never wore, but feel like I should wear more, because it’s great quality and very, very comfortable, but I just don’t _like_ it. I even get compliments when I wear it. But I don’t like it. So I need to get rid of it! Ack! Right? Yes!

      • Wear Everything Challenge :

        If you don’t feel good in it pass it along to someone who will – onward!

    • Nice idea! I realized Monday that although I have several different colors in my small capsule wardrobe, so my closet lots reasonable, the only items I’m actually wearing are all blue or white. That’s a little too capsule unless I commit to an absolute uniform! Today I’m wearing navy ankle pants and… a navy and white sweater.

    • Wear Everything Challenge :

      I’m on the West Coast so if you’re on earlier please feel free to start the daily thread using this handle.

  24. I am about to sign a form contract for my kid’s swimming lessons. The contract says I release the lesson provider/facility from “all liability… on account of injury… or death… whether caused by the negligence of the Released Parties or otherwise…”

    Can a contract release someone from liability for negligence? I didn’t think they could do that. Do I sign it and then later argue it’s unenforceable if I need to? Do I tell them I can’t sign it (and then probably not get to send the kid to swimming lessons)? Thoughts?

    • Mark through it and make your own changes and see if they say anything. I edit form contracts a fair amount and usually the other party says nothing.

    • It’s probably unenforceable, but I agree with the advice to mark it up.

    • Probably unenforceable, but if you look at all the contracts you sign for this kind of thing, they pretty much all say this, I believe.

    • In most states, for ordinary negligence yes, gross negligence, no.

    • I’m just going to throw this out there — if you say anything your kid is probably not going to get to go to swimming lessons because I’m guessing they won’t deal well with being told they’re wrong and it might make you seem to them like you’ll sue them if your kid stubs her toe or something. If you know it’s unenforceable, I’d just sign it and then hopefully you’ll never, ever have to deal with that.

    • in my state, you can waive negligenxe, bit not gross negligence, claims

  25. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement re: pregnancy.

    …. and now, on to a completely different topic….

    Does anyone have a good way of storing and organizing Tupperware/Pyrex/throw away but never get thrown away plastic containers? I’m tired of always searching for matching pairs.

    • Yes! I use an undershelf basket from the Container Store to hold all of the lids. I stack the empty containers underneath the shelf. It works really well for me.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Chuck them and get the Rubbermaid easy find lid storage sets. 3 lid sizes. Many container sizes, and the lids snap to the bottom of the containers. The only exception to this is that I keep to-go soup containers from takeout (2 sizes, same size lids) for freezing and transporting soups.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Get rid of any mishmash you have, buy two or three sets where the lids all match, and just use those. Oh … and pare way down so you don’t have 2 0r 3 times the amount of containers that you actually use.

    • I try to stick to one brand of plastic (rubbermaid) and one brand of glass(pyrex). All of the lids go into a drawer and the containers get stacked on shelves. Also, get rid of anything that doesn’t have a match.

    • Decide what brand you want to go with and recycle the ones that aren’t it. I only use one brand in two sizes and the little ones fit inside the big ones. The little lids go inside the little ones and the big lids sit under the big ones. That’s it. I have like 20 of the things, but I only buy two sizes from the same brand, so storing is easier.

    • I’ve pared down my resuables pretty dramatically, but I simply stack them into one another neatly, and then put the alike lids together. I store the lids upright in one of those magazine files you probably have in your office.

    • Trash them all and buy Joseph Joseph nesting containers.

  26. Anonymous :

    Any recommendations for a gastroenterologist in DC? I have diagnosed myself via Google with fructose malabsorption (I get a bad stomachache after eating fruits high in fructose like apples and pears) but I figure it can’t hurt to get a second opinion from a professional :)

    • Not DC but about an hour/hour and a half away, John Hopkins has a gastro dept at their Green Spring location. I went there for my hydrogen breath test and was impressed. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gastroenterology_hepatology/patient_information/appointments_locations/green_spring_station_services.html

    • I had a good experience with Kathy Bull-Henry at Georgetown.

  27. Anonymous :

    There is a Digestive Center for Wellness, but I have never been to it.

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