Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Riva Jacquard Dress

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

Boden has a bunch of new ponte dresses out now. Some look a little more weekend-y or are too va-va-voom for work (you do you, though), but I think we can all agree that this really cute dress has a lot of workwear appeal. It has that rare combination of sleeves and pockets and it’s machine washable, too. It doesn’t have a lot of reviews, but the one it does have is very positive. The dress is available in the color pictured as well as red and yellow, in sizes 2-18 regular and long. Riva Jacquard Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Objections :

    I really like this dress. Maybe I’ll wear it on the other side of pumping.

    QUESTION: Is it better to call or write my senators, representatives, etc? I plan to make it a habit but I want to know the most effective method. Journalists are being charged facing up to 10 years for covering the inauguration, Trump is saying crazy things about millions of fake votes as a precursor for changing voting laws, federal employees are being prohibited from talking about things the administration does not want them to discuss…this is so fast and unacceptable. I want to know that at least I tried to stop it.

    I’m in the Midwest, so this blog is the most access I have to people who have actually worked for the feds. Thanks!

    • BabyAssociate :

      I believe there was an article about this yesterday (trying to find it) that said calling was the best.

      • BabyAssociate :

        Ok, it didn’t come out yesterday, but was reposted yesterday. Call!

    • I am writing (per suggestions from folks on this blog) but I think either / both are important.

      Please don’t forget your States’ legislative bodies. Here in Minnesota (and North Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia and Washington state ) there are bills being introduced to discourage / penalize protesting. Minnesota’s version would make protesters pay for the cost of police protection.

    • Calling is best. They’re more likely to actually have to listen, even if only for a second.

    • Call or write, just don’t email. Email can be ignored easily and not logged into the system, but picking up the phone or following the security procedures to open an envelope takes time and physical attention. I encourage calling as much as humanly possible.

    • Hill staffer :

      I think that it depends. If it’s something time-sensitive or explosive, like when Republicans tried to kill the Office of Congressional Ethics earlier this month, calling is best because it makes it impossible for legislators to ignore how many people disagree with them.

      On the other hand, if it’s a long-term issue and you want to lay out a well-articulated position, then an email can be helpful. When our interns or staff assistant (basically receptionist/front desk person) take down a message from a constituent, they don’t have time to take down all of the nitty gritty details of what the caller just said; often, the message will just say something like “so-and-so, a public school teacher, called to ask Rep xyz to oppose Bill abc on education because it would harm students.”

      I would also add that I highly recommend finding out when your legislators are going to be having public events in their district (town hall-style meetings, forums, etc), going to those, and asking questions or sharing stories. It’s harder for legislators to skirt an issue when a constituent of theirs is confronting them to their face.

      (Also, I’m definitely not trying to assume the mantle of all-knowing Hill staffer here; would love for others with Hill experience to chime in, because every office is different, and House vs. Senate is also different.)

    • Is it ok if I just leave a voicemail? I generally don’t have the ability to call during the workday. I’m also super introverted and hate talking on the phone. Due to the new administration, I have sucked it up and made some calls lately, and 3 of the 4 times I went straight to voice mail.

      • Blue in Texas :

        I’m also wondering if voicemails are logged. It’s hard to get through — which is good! That means the phone lines are jammed!

        • Hill staffer :

          In our office, voicemails do get logged. I can’t speak for other offices, but I imagine that most of them do the same.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          When I was on the Hill, we would log them. Except for our regular who left long rambling voicemails about nothing every week, of course.

    • Objections, also check out They’ll text you at 7:30 am each week day with the day’s action. You can call a # to hear what they’re having people call in about, and then they connect you to the #. It helps me to have just listened to a script. There’s an artists’ PAC behind it. I don’t know if it’s the most effective organizing group, but they’ve been really helpful to help me build the habit.

  2. For all the in-house lawyers on here– how accurate do you find the Robert Half legal salary guide? Do you fall close to or in-line with the stated salary ranges?

    • In-House in Houston :

      The range is pretty accurate for where I am now.

    • In-House Europe :

      I’d say it runs high – they tend to look at companies that are using headhunters…

    • Triangle Pose :

      Runs low for me. I think they underestimate how much more junior counsel roles pay. Calibrated for my city, F50 company, and size of legal department, it was low.

    • Anon for this :

      It’s stated range before and after calibrating to my region are higher than the internally posted range of a job I applied for so I’m interested in this too. The job would still be a big raise so I’m interested either way but to respond to your request for “anecdata” the guides high or the job I applied for his under market. Either could be true.

    • Anon for This :

      I’m paid quit a bit below their range.

    • After calibrating for my city, I am about $50k under. Junior level at large company.

    • It runs high in my opinion. I’ve been in-house at 2 companies (both F50, MCOL cities, and both known as great places to work ) and I’m paid below the suggested levels. I have a friend who’s a GC at a small company, and when she was hiring a Deputy GC, one of the candidates suggested a salary based on the RH guidelines that was more than she was making. She really considered whether to even continue the interview process with that candidate because her salary request was so out of line. So YMMV but I would assume they’re high.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Runs high if we’re talking base salary, pretty accurate for me (Jr inhouse ) if you include bonus.

    • Runs high for me, but I work at a not-for-profit. Once you add in my benefits, I’m at the bottom of the range.

    • It runs high for me. MCOL, big company by RH definition, entertainment industry so known to pay somewhat lower.

    • In House Counsel :

      Runs high for me also at my MNC

  3. First firing :

    I’m firing an employee for the first time this week. Any advice? I feel guilty, even though I shouldn’t. It’s not a good fit and there have been official warnings.

    • Keep it professional. Don’t apologize. Stick to the facts. Own your responsibility – don’t try to put it off on anyone above you regarding the decision to fire. I feel for you – it’s really, really hard. The first person I fired was mentally ill and I did a lot of things wrong and the person harassed me for ten years. This has never happened since then, but it was a rough thing to happen the first time. Since then, I’ve been more relieved because managing a person who isn’t doing his or her job is draining and time-consuming. Stay tough!

    • In-House in Houston :

      As his/her manager, you should be there at the beginning of the meeting to let him/her know that the decision has been made and go over anything work-related you need to know. But then you should walk out of the room and let HR handle the details. Don’t go over why, or let him/her go over the reasons. The decision has been made and it’s final.

    • Absolutely NO apologizing. This is partly because you’re not doing anything wrong, and partly because occasionally people have sued and used the apology against the employer. Keep it brief, do not get pulled in to an argument. And be kind.

    • Be straightforward–right at the start of the conversation state why you are meeting. BRIEFLY explain why sticking to facts and not bringing into it how it made you or others feel. Then focus primarily on next steps–how long until he or she will have last day, when will last paycheck occur, how will future reference be handled, what will transition in healthcare be handled (explained again by HR at a cooler moment). Do not be overly friendly or sympathetic. The two close friends I have who have gone through unexpected firings have both commented on appreciated it being short and fast and any friendliness/levity from someone present was seen as false and grossly inappropriate. Keep it short, factual and future focused.

    • Anonymous :

      The first few people I had to fire weren’t at professional jobs and were for really terrible things like stealing but I still felt awful. My best advice is don’t be nice. This is awful for them so just make it quick. They don’t need your sympathy they just need the information from you.

    • Keep it professional. Have HR online/in the room/on standby.

      Ideally, do it so they can maximize dignity- end of day or right before lunch when the office clears out. Give them the option to clear out their desk end of day, or box their things up on their behalf and send them (vs having them pack up midday with all colleagues around).

      Let the team know a by about what happened. Not details, but something like “not a RIF” or “you have nothing to worry about.”

    • For practical nuts and bolts: either do it in their office, or in a conference room or other neutral, private place. You want to be able to get up and leave once you’ve said your piece, rather than wait for him/her to leave your office.

    • I would also add that you should coordinate with HR/IT to ensure that the person has no further access to his or her computer, blackberry/PDA or webmail/remote access, immediately upon the meeting. If the person has specific personal documents saved to the computer, he or she can request them (or their contacts). Make sure that Security is available if necessary. I have seen this get very ugly in law firm and investment banking situations, and you want to ensure that you protect the firm and your clients from any damaging actions or communications.

      I know this is hard, but as you said, there have been official warnings. Something is not getting through. Your organization will be better off without this person’s non-complicance with policy and procedures.

      Good luck.

      • This seems a little harsh no? I’d imagine it’s reasonable to give the person until the end of the day to clean up their desk or save any specific personal documents (with appropriate oversight to ensure they’re not taking confidential company/client information).

        • Seems harsh until you’ve seen it backfire. At my job several years ago, someone got fired and immediately sent out an email to the entire company (~300 people) AND several clients that started out as “I am leaving and please stay in touch” and quickly morphed into a rant against the company, the leadership of the company, a threat to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, etc.

          It was pretty embarrassing but could have been worse – I’ve heard about people deleting data / software, stealing customer lists, etc. Usually things that can be repaired but takes up time that could have been saved if you just turned off their access.

          • Good point – perhaps it’s a case by case thing. If the person is generally nice and easygoing, but simply not performing up to standards, I could see my suggestion as appropriate. However, if the person to be fired is like what you just described, better safe than sorry.

          • Anonymous :

            The problem is you don’t know what kind of person you have until after you fire them. Someone might be caught by surprise and just go off.

        • I advise companies on security issues and always recommend that, as a matter of policy, credentials to computer systems and email be terminated immediately after (and preferably, right before) firing. This prevents not only the situation AnonZ described, but also IP theft.

          • First firing :

            Our company has a policy where we lock the person’s email/computer as soon as the termination meeting begins. It sounds harsh, but they have access to way too much information.

    • Do NOT feel guilty. I had to go through this last year with my associate, Mason, who’s father was a big cleint. He was functionaly useless, so even tho we kept him on, he NEVER passed the NY Bar, and did NOT show any signs of GRAVITAS in the office. We could NOT keep him on, and as a result, the cleint left for another firm, but this is just part of the job. We were NOT big enough a firm to be abel to keep him on, unlike big firms who often keep dead wood on the payroll if they have connection’s.

      Once all of this is considered, you will have no probelem getting the fortitude up to get rid of your non-performing employee.

    • Check out the “firing” tag over at Ask a Manager (link to follow). Alison has some great tips and scripts to keep level and stay on message.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I agree with all the comments above (except, perhaps, the sudden death option of no computer access and escorting out of the building).

      Just remember that your job is to convey the information that the person’s employment is being terminated. It is not to get the person’s agreement that this is a good idea.

    • I’ve done it. My situation was related to a companywide layoff but there had been performance issues with the individual as well.

      I was in the room with HR. I discussed what I would say with HR ahead of time. They really want you to stick to a script. Your position with the company is terminated as of today. I said some stuff about the layoff and how long the severance period would be, but then I said, it has been nice working with you and I wish you the best (off script!) and said, now HR will be going over the details of your severance.

      The employee was not surprised because we had been documenting performance issues, so it went pretty smoothly. He was upset but he had been expecting it.

    • SF in House :

      I have been on both sides of the desk due to company-wide RIFs. What I learned: the employee doesn’t care how you feel about it. Be clear and concise, but get it over quickly. Explain where they can get follow up information.

      FYI, my company had the manager do the firing on their own — no HR presence. Especially if you are on your own, rehearse. In contrast to the advice above, the companies I have worked for have required the meetings to be in the morning, usually at the beginning of the week. The idea is that they have more of an opportunity to connect with their support network, as opposed to going home despondent on a Friday afternoon.

  4. Frivolous question!

    I just got a short haircut that I want to take in a slightly punk direction outside work. What hair products are good for making short hair look piecy or edgy?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I have a pixie with a shaved side – here’s what I use when I want to amp it up:

      -volumizer (currently using an Aussie version)
      -Aveda Pure Abundance hair potion, applied to dry hair. Sprinkle on roots and rub through with fingers – gives you some grit along with your volume.
      -Aveda men’s grooming clay – warm up a pea-sized dab in your hands and run through.
      I am not an Aveda shill, I just like their stuff.

      With these products, I can smooth is down (super “profesh”), do a semi-pompadour (still polished), or curl with a flatiron (a little wild). Have fun!

    • My SIL has a modified mohawk, and she uses EVO cassius styling clay. It has hold, but doesn’t make hair crunchy. And it has a hilarious name.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Some sort of thick pomade. My hairstylist used it and it looked great; I have a thinner pomade from Aveda (too lazy to look up which one, but in a blue container) and it’s not thick enough to make it look piecy.

  5. My boyfriend of 6 months told me last night that he doesn’t always feel happy to be in the relationship, and though he has always seemed happy and engaged, sometimes it’s an act. He didn’t say he wanted to break up, just that he wanted to talk about these feelings more. I said yes, we could/should talk more about it, even if it was painful. But I feel confused and sad and not sure how to proceed from here. I really love him.

    • Break up with him.

      • Really? Why?

        • Because this isn’t going good places. You shouldn’t have major relationship problems in 6 months. Something is amiss, and he probably doesn’t know exactly what it is. Maybe nothing is wrong and he’s just displacing other feelings onto the relationship, but that still doesn’t bode well for you. He prob

          • WorkingMom :

            I would have to agree. If he isn’t 100% happy now, he is not going to suddenly get happier. It just isn’t the right fit. As hard as it must be, consider that there is someone out there for you that is a better match. You don’t need to call him names and make it awful, but I think it’s fair to say that if he isn’t 100% happy with the relationship, maybe its time to call it quits, or at the very least take a break. The early years of a relationship (my opinion) should be mostly easy and carefree. If your relationship becomes long term and/or marriage, there is plenty of time down the line for stressful situations, job losses, children, loss of loved ones, tough times financially, etc. If you imagine that right now, when the relationship should be at it’s easiest/best/most exciting phase, that one of you is not completely fulfilled in the relationship, how will it feel 10 years down the line when life happens and it gets really hard? It’s hard enough to make it through those times when everything was perfect at the start! At the very least, keep dating but don’t move toward a serious path. I’m sorry, this is not easy.

        • Shananana :

          Not Lynn, but I would give the same advice. For the reason that right now, you are in the honeymoon phase of the relationship. If he’s not happy being in a relationship now, before you go through some more of the trials of life, he’s not going to magically get happier.

          Did he give you any reasons for why he was feeling unhappy? If not, that’s probably why you are feeling so lost.

          • Shananana: he sort of gave a reason, which was that he felt like I wasn’t asking him enough about his feelings. He asked me to ask him more about how he’s feeling and to try to pay more attention to it.

            anon: yes his communication sucks. I think he’s been trying to get to the point of saying something and then just blurted it out in this uncool way.

          • Anonymous :

            #boybye. How often does he ask you about your feelings?

          • ALX emily :

            Yeesh. I was about to second everything anon just below said, but this makes it even worse imo. He is just going to try to make you more and more responsible for his feelings and blame you for his unhappiness since, obviously, he wouldn’t be unhappy if you had just asked the right questions and responded in the right way.

          • I’m anon @ 9:28. So he’s not just hinting that you should be responsible for his feelings, he’s flat out telling you that you’re responsible for his feelings. No. Just no. If he has something to discuss with you then he is responsible for bringing it up in a constructive way. It is not your job to check in with him periodically (how often? it’s only been 6 months ffs) to make sure you’re adequately meeting his needs.

          • Wow, starting to feel like I am a relationship idiot or something. I didn’t think it was that bad an ask. Though I did think I was already trying to pay attention to his feelings.

            And anon 9:39: he actually does ask about my feelings often enough for me.

          • WorkingMom :

            Olive, you’re not a relationship idiot! I think what you need to consider is if he is simply just trying express to you that he needs more affirmation from you? Or is he really expecting you to make him happy? It can be hard to express emotions at times and you know him and your relationship better than we all do. If it really seems like he is just trying to communicate to you that he needs more of X from you, and it’s reasonable to you – that’s fair. It’s actually really good that he’s expressing what he needs from you. However, if you feel like it’s an unreasonable ask, or if you get the impression that he is looking for you, to literally “make him happy” then I would definitely say it’s time to move on. The only person that you can make happy is yourself.

        • I’m not the person you’re responding to but I agree with her. 1) The first 6 months should be happy and easy. If it’s not, it’s because there’s a deeper incompatibility that isn’t going to improve with time. 2) He didn’t give you a concrete thing to fix, like, I’d like to see each other one extra night a week, or I’d like to spend more time chilling on the couch instead of constantly going on dates. He said he’s not happy. There really isn’t anything you can do about that. 3) His communication sucks and he sounds immature. He decided to broach this issue with you knowing that it would throw you for a loop but he didn’t come to the table with concrete thoughts about why he feels this way or what to do about it. He wants to drag this out into a long drawn out listen-to-be-whine fest whereby he makes you responsible for his happiness. That’s self-centered and immature. Better to be single than to be with someone like this.

          • I agree with this, sadly. My husband left me without any real explanation, and these kinds of comments were the first sign of what was to come. Because we were married, i don’t regret giving it time, but in a dating situation forget it. Nobody needs to live under this kind of vague but nagging message of not being enough.

          • Monday: yikes. I’m sorry that happened. :( Feels similar though…

          • Sending hugs and support to you, Monday.

            Also this right here – “Nobody needs to live under this kind of vague but nagging message of not being enough.” – I’m legit going to write on a post-it and stick on my mirror the next time I have an I’m-sad-about-my-ex day.

          • Agreed. Get out. You can’t make him happy. It’s not your responsibility.

            In what was a particularly sh*tty period of my life (trying to get out of a relationship with an abusive ex; was unsuccessful then, finally managed to last winter, no regrets) I wrote “I am ENOUGH,” along with a bunch of other positive self-talk, on one side of an index card, a few choice incidents on the other, folded it up, and stuck it in my wallet. I still have it, somewhere, but I kept it in my wallet for about 4 months and would pull it out when I was having a bad day.

        • Anecdata: I have never been able to “fix” a relationship in which I have been unhappy early on.

          I would cut my losses here too.

          • +1

            I have several times felt unhappy around the 6 month mark but not ended it because I wanted to “give it a chance” and it was always a mistake.

          • +1 – don’t get into a sunk cost situation. I’ve done it too and regretted it.

      • Anonymous :

        Whut? No.

        Just be open to what he has to say but remember that it’s okay for you to disagree that something is a problem. You don’t need to change who you are to make him happy if certain things are important to you.

      • AnonLondon :

        6 months in is pretty early to already be faking that you’re happy in a relationship, and I would be very confused/hurt in your shoes as well. I don’t have any particular advice other than to be kind to and honest with yourself.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to breakup. He’s not happy and he’s faking it. Way too early in the relationship for problems.

        Furthermore: you’re in for a world of hurt here. Some guys like to play House and they pretend like everything is fine but there’s no emotional attachment — you think you’re in love and you’re going somewhere and he’ll cut it off suddenly without a second thought. Be wary if you decide to continue.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to Lynn. When I wanted to break up with my college bf and didn’t have the guts to do it, I said hurtful things to him like this in hopes that he would make the decision for me (I regret this, but I was 22 and have matured a lot since then). He’s not invested in the relationship.

        • This X 1000. He is too chicken to break up with you and so this is his method. End it, stop the bleeding, and move on. Unless you want to drag it out…then by all means indulge. It’s your life–live it your style–but this is as clear a sign of him wanting to break up and being too chicken to do it as there is. Classic.

      • I agree. If he feels queezy, but he still want’s to have s-x, that is NOT the way to have a relationship. He must also care about you when you are NOT in bed doeing things with/for him. ANY guy who onley thinks of you as a s-xueal object is NOT worthy of a relationship, that is unless all you want is for him to jump your bones. FOOEY! I say to that! DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • I have not been in this situation, but I would be concerned that a) he’s not happy and b) he was apparently being dishonest about being happy. I don’t think he gets any points now for admitting that he was lying to you/putting on an act, which is pretty emotionally manipulative.

      You know your relationship better than internet strangers do, but if this were happening to a close friend of mine, I’d gently recommend breaking up. You deserve better than someone who only likes your relationship some of the time.

    • I disagree with everyone who says to just dump him. I would hear what he has to say first. Then decide whether or not to dump him. If this is something that can be fixed easily, then great. If not, then out he goes. I would certainly be concerned that he said he was pretending to be happy, but I think it’s good that he was honest with you. Maybe I’m just an unhappy person (I don’t think I am), but six months is a long time, and there have been things with every relationship I’ve been in that have made me unhappy within the first six months. The vast majority of them were not deal-breaker things. And working through small problems with someone at the beginning of a relationship can be very enlightening. Now, if he has serious issues, then I agree with everyone and think you should dump him.

      • Anonymous :


        Six months is not early for lots of people. Many end up engaged at a year. Especially in 30s.

        He didn’t whine. He said he wasn’t always happy and wanted to talk about it. In the reverse situation, if OP had come here for advice, we’d all be telling her to tell her BF she isn’t happy and wants to talk about it. Which is exactly what he did.

        The model of complete blissfulness in the first year sets up totally unrealistic expectations for relationships.

      • Thanks for the slightly cheerier outlook…

      • Yea, but he is putting the responsibility for his feelings on her. That’s not her responsibility and that’s not going to end well.

      • I definitely don’t think everything has to be all sunshine and roses for the first six months. I had a couple of major arguments with my husband within the first six months of dating, and as you pointed out many people are engaged within a year, meaning you have to be pretty serious by six months. But I think this is different than having an argument or telling her he’s not happy with some specific, fixable aspect of the relationship. A generic “I’m not happy and I’ve often been faking my happiness in the relationship” with no real specifics and no inquiries about her feelings indicates a pretty significant level of emotional detachment, which is a sign the relationship is on its last legs. It’s – in my opinion anyway – totally different than “I’m not happy that you go out with your friends every Friday because I would like to see you more” (or some specific issue like that, which all couples work through). You can certainly have arguments and moments of tension, even in the first six months, and overall be a very happy couple, but this kind of blanket statement about unhappiness is a huge red flag.

        • Anon at 9:28 :

          “no inquiries about her feelings indicates a pretty significant level of emotional detachment,”

          Where did you get this? OP said above that he asks about her feelings about the right amount for her.

          • Were there two anons that posted at 9:28 a.m.? I posted on this thread at that time (and at 9:44) and I didn’t post this comment. Serves me right for not using a handle. Didn’t want the conversation to seem confusing since this comment isn’t exactly in line with other things I said.

          • I meant more in the context of this big “This is what I’m feeling” declaration – it was all focused on him. But anyway I think that’s a secondary point. The real red flag is that he’s just generically unhappy with no specifics. Couples argue about stuff but if you tell your partner you’re just generally unhappy, I think it’s a pretty clear sign you have emotionally checked out or will soon.

          • Anon at 9:28 :

            Sorry – I posted at 9:28 in the thread below and replied as Anon 9:28 in that thread to make it more clear. Didn’t delete the time reference for this thread and hadn’t noticed that someone else posted at that time.

          • The big “this is what I’m feeling” declaration was definitely all focused on him. (Bleh)

      • I’m surprised that I agree with this, but I do – I think this is a yellow flag, for sure, but I wouldn’t break it off solely on account of that conversation. No, it’s not your job to make him happy, but based on what you’ve said, he sounds like he might not have that much self-awareness?

        This might not be someone you want to be partnered with for the long haul, especially if he thinks it’s your job to make/keep him happy. But at least he opened the door to having a conversation about your relationship and its possible future (or lack thereof).

        What do you want? It’s okay to take some space, if that’s what you need. But I don’t think you have to go straight to breaking up with him (yet) (unless you want to).

        • I want to find a way to work things out. But I don’t want to end up breaking up 6 months from now and feel like “uggh, I was an idiot for wasting my time and falling even further in love with him.”

          I do appreciate having a conversation about it as opposed to it just being over.

          He’s a weird mix of quite self aware in some ways and quite not self-aware in others.

          • Oof, that describes my college bf to a T. He was incredibly self-aware on some points and incredibly not on other points. Resulting in him being self-aware enough to say “I don’t think I’m happy” and as we tried to figure that out (was it me? was it stress of graduating in the recession? was it all of our friends scattering across the country?) to then decide to dump me the day before graduation… and then not at all self-aware that he then *years later* needed to inform me he was still in love with me and made a mistake and blah blah blah. (Naaaah, I’m pretty sure you just wanted to consider *all* your options and then settle on me. No thanks, nobody should be someone’s second choice.) Wish I hadn’t wasted so much energy on him.

            BUT – then I found someone awesome and we both knew pretty quickly this was something special. How? It was just *easy.* There was no emotional drama of Am I happy? Do I text too much? Why hasn’t he made plans with me yet? Do we see each other too much? or too little? Does he think I’m clingy? Am I just going through the motions because I work too much? Instead, exactly as we were was just right for each other. It’s just easy to be happy together.

          • Self-awareness only improves when people are willing to be challenged and do the work for themselves.

            I say this as a person who is married to an otherwise lovely man who is often not terribly self-aware about the way that things he says can be perceived. We’ve worked through it, but it was hard, and there are still days that I have to stop him, repeat what he said, and ask if that was the message he was intending to send. It can be exhausting, even though our relationship is otherwise good and he’s genuinely working on the issue.

            When he asks about how you’re feeling, does he also offer his feelings? Because asking you to be responsible for checking in with him re: potential problems takes the responsibility off him to be a grownup and talk to you about areas that he’s unhappy with, as other posters have said. That is not a relationship you will want to be in long term, if that’s his MO, love or not.

            I don’t think that a problem at 6 months is necessarily a deal breaker, but if I were in your shoes, this one would be. From what you’ve related (which I realize is only part of your relationship) this guy doesn’t think much about how what he’s doing or saying affects you, and isn’t communicating because it’s not in his skill set.

            That’s a really tough burden to overcome. It takes time and oh so much effort, and at 6 months, I don’t think I’d be willing to do the work, personally, to make him into more of a grown up in the relationship.

          • In all honesty, I think what you fear – in six months it will still be over, and you’ll feel [dumb] for having given it more time – is a big risk, and you’re smart to be aware of that. Pre-emptively breaking up with him because he said he isn’t happy just seems a little reactionary and maybe a little rigid, so I want to encourage you to think through your options before you make a decision. You may have regrets either way.

          • Thanks to nutella and ELS. These things you are mentioning sound similar. I agree it can be exhausting and not easy at times, but if I am willing to do the work if it will actually…work.

            I think he has had a hard time offering his feelings if he thought they weren’t what I wanted to hear. (And apparently they weren’t what I wanted to hear!) Remains to be seen whether now that we’ve had this first conversation, it will be easier to talk in the future.

          • Thanks January. I have a tendency to panic and do reactionary things also so I think I want to sit with it and see how things progress. I think you’re right that I would have regrets either way…unless I stick with it and it does work out.

          • I totally understand, and think that doing the work is a valid option. I just wanted to share my experience, and a look back from where I am now.

            I hope that you find some peace about it, and find a solution that works for you. <3

        • But Olive, he’s the one that needs to do the work to figure out what makes him happy and how to make himself happy, not you. If you take that on, you’ll never win and then you will become resentful when it makes YOU unhappy. You can’t make a relationship work if only one person is willing to do the work.

    • I wouldnt flat out break up with him but tbh that is likely where this is headed. You want to be with someone who wants to/can be with you.

      I’d talk about it then give him space to figure himself out, you dont want to be waiting around for him to be ready to be with you. Trust me, I’ve done it and its not worth it in the end. =(

    • I would talk a little more to unpack whether his unhappiness is because he is unhappy about his life in general or because of specific aspects of your relationship. It could be that he has moments where he’s like “Wow, I thought I’d be traveling the world in a private jet at this stage in life, not working 9-5 and watching TV with my girlfriend.” In which case you can go over what his goals are, how he can find fulfillment, etc. But if the issue is “YOU don’t make me happy sometimes,” especially because of things that are inherent in your personality/behavior rather than just how you two spend your time together, then I would strongly advise you break up, as that’s a sign you just aren’t compatible.

      • But really, I wouldn’t want to be with the person who says “WOW, I thought I’d be travelling the world in a private jet at this stage of like, not working 9-5 and watching TV with my girlfriend” either!! I mean, HELLO. Working 9-5 and watching TV with my girlfriend is the life most people lead. If you can’t be happy with that then it’s not my job to make you happy and I don’t want to deal with your life crisis either.

        • +1000. It’s OK to have goals and dreams beyond the normal lives that people lead. But if you’re not happy coming home to me because it’s average and expect me to fix that, I’m out.

      • Thanks. I think he has some general unhappiness and to an extent (though probably not consciously) he’s like, “what, being in a relationship didn’t magically fix all my other problems?”

        But maybe I’m being cynical.

        • Listen to your gut. If it feels like he’s expecting you to be responsible for his happiness, and given that he said something that pretty much expressly says that, I’d listen to what your gut is telling you.

    • I have a theory that oftentimes people aren’t happy at the six month period because it’s the end of the honeymoon period! And you power through that and are good. So I would say don’t break up! This sounds healthy and fine! My husband said basically this to me at six months (9 years ago). He was thinking of whether we should break up. I told him no, we were great together. And we didn’t break up, stuck it out, and we are very happy.

      I agree with the person who said he may be unhappy with other things. When my husband was suggesting he wasn’t happy around the six month mark it was because he was stressed at work and generally unhappy all around.

      • Yeah but the fact that he appears to be displacing his unhappy with life feelings onto her is a problem.

      • And how did that work? Did you point out to him that it seemed like he was unhappy about other stuff, and he was like “hmm, you might be right”?

    • I am four months in and it was four months hard and fast. We’ve already met family, done holidays blah blah blah.

      So, I don’t think I like him anymore. Or did I ever? I am having a really hard time because he didn’t do anything wrong to just be like “I dont like you”. It sucks. I know he adores me. I don’t hate him. I just … cringe when he tries to touch me or force myself and he annoys the shit out of me when he really shouldn’t.

      I am in the camp of try to work things out, but not for much longer. I’ve been thinking that it’s hormonal or situational on my end for a couple of weeks but I am starting to think that yeah, I just don’t like him. Haven’t said that to anyone or really thought about it until I just typed it above after reading your post.

      • Been there, done that, rip that band aid off, it doesn’t get better. If you are cringing when he tries to touch you and he hasn’t done something terrible like cheat or whatever, it’s not getting better.

      • I had a relationship like this (got serious quickly) and just had to end it. It really hurt him but had to be done.

    • Anonymous :

      I think most people telling you to rip the band aid off are probably right, but your boyfriend’s behavior actually reminds me of my own at a similar stage in my current relationship, and I am happy now. I actually did talk through my feelings, like your bf wants to do, and I got over it. I’m so happy my bf gave me a chance to be withdrawn and uncertain.
      I have a ‘disorganized’ attachment style, which means I really really want to be close with someone, until closeness happens, and then it’s terrifying and I want to shut down and run away. It comes from having an unstable childhood where getting your needs met is unpredictable. We talked it through A LOT, my bf learned to give me space when I was feeling overwhelmed by closeness, and I also went to therapy to deal with the underlying issues. Most importantly, I did everything in my power to untangle the morass of my emotions, and I held myself accountable for my behavior. Also important, my bf is an incredibly stable, secure person; I don’t think he would have been able to handle me otherwise.
      Even if your boyfriend is like me, and even fi he is ready to work through it, is that something you want to put yourself through? I honestly have no idea how my SO did it.

      • Thanks for this. It does sound kind of similar to him. I would be willing to put in the work if he is…I am very stable and relatively secure, but this does sound super hard. I’m glad it worked out for you.

    • Anonymous :

      +1,000 get out now. Your future husband is out there somewhere waiting for you. A man who will make you feel cherished and consider your feelings before his own. Don’t waste any more time on this guy.

  6. Anonymous :

    Eddie Bauer Girl on the go trench is on clearance – plus 20% off. I bought one earlier this year at the recommendation of someone here and I absolutely love it. Only in navy and grey right now. But if you are looking for a warm trench with a removable insert, check it out.

  7. Boot storage? :

    I definitely have a boot problem.

    And I now have a boot storage problem. I have been using the boxes they come in, but are there any better options? I have a small older house closet (so not a lot of space) and this family of 8 pairs boots (which I may expand by 1-2 if I get lucky in the winter sales). They are various heights, so unlike pumps, the boxes don’t all neatly stack together (and I’ve put shoes in a cloth holder on the back of the closet door and ditched the boxes).

    I know Marie Kondo says that buying storage items isn’t the solution, but these are boots that I’ve had sometimes for close to 20 years (it’s an investment, y’all, unlike pumps, which last 2 years max before getting ratty). 75% of them are worn only 50% of the year, so for summer, I can move them elsewhere (but usually just leave where they are).

    We’re maxed out now for volume/density in a small closet.

    • I store mine under the bed. I also have storage boxes under the couch, although those are not boots.

    • I like this. Might not work in a crammed closet.

      I disagree that buying storage items isn’t a solution. If you have things you love, then you need an organized place to put them. Marie Kondo’s only solution is to get rid of it, but that’s not the point here.

      • Boot storage? :


        The Container Store is a place I avoid b/c I want all the things! But we have one and maybe I need to visit soon.

    • Do you have wall space? I would get one of those fancy free standing closets/wardrobes.

      • Boot storage? :

        Sadly, it is a weird old house with no wall space. It’s pre-A/C, so all rooms have lots of windows and all connect so you could cool with fans and cross-breezes. Some boots deserve to be displayed on a pillar (Frey Deborah). But in my next lifetime, I have a Real Housewives of Tyler Texas walk-in closet with velvet-lined boot cubbies.

    • I think Marie Kondo’s point is that buying tons of bins and boxes to store stuff you don’t love and don’t need. And that you should consider the storage options you have first before you go shopping. I think in your situation, you are free to buy some boxes. I like the container store boot boxes, personally, but I only have two pairs of tall boots.

    • Old house, small closets here too.

      I store my 4 pairs of boots worn most often on a high shelf in my closet, with boot shapers in them.

      Boots worn less often are in a sterile box, also with boot shapers, in the attic (really just sitting on the rafters in my upper crawl space)

  8. For anyone who is following, I broke up with my significant other on Monday night. In the end, there was one big deal breaker along with the fact that things had been slowly eroding between us for some time. I came to realize that, even if he moved back here, I wouldn’t want to spend my life with him. I spent 10 years with him, so it’s weird, but I don’t really even miss him because I was so fed up with his drama and the person he had become. I told him over and over what I needed from him and all he could tell me was why he couldn’t (wouldn’t) change anything. Unlike in the past, I have cut him out of my life, blocked him on chat, changed every password, removed everything of his from my home. So here I am, at this age, feeling like I’m starting over. But that’s okay, since we were long distance for the past few years, I have been alone a lot. This allows me to explore the possibility of finding someone who can actually be here for me and be support. My friends have been amazing and supportive and are surprised that I’m so okay with it.

    • Anonymous :

      Awww. Congratulations on making a big step towards a happier life.

    • Welcome to your new life! I hope you have a fabulous time. My only suggestion is don’t spend a lot of time looking back. I ended a marriage of 10 years, which was probably 7 or 8 years past when I should have. Don’t get sucked in the hole of “if only” or regrets. Just move forward and embrace the time you have now.

    • Anonymous4 :

      I am sorry. Even when you’re at peace with how things are, a major relationship change after 10 years is hard.

      Sending you wishes for a healthy new start, one that brings you joy and fulfillment.

    • In-House Europe :

      Sorry to hear you’ve had to go through this but it sounds like the right decision! You know where to find me for a shots shots shots – or just a beer. :)

      • Thanks… I’m guessing this will also mean that I will be ready for more travel. My friends and I have been discussing some possibilities for next year.

    • Good for you! Sounds like you have a great attitude about it and know it was the right decision. :)

    • Anonymous :

      Oh Im so sorry to hear this. I’ve been reading for years and remember so many of your posts. Remember to give yourself grace- if you feel okay, feel okay. If at some point you don’t, also okay.

      • Thanks. I told a friend that I feel like the relationship has been dying (at least for me) for a while, so I’m doing pretty well. Mostly relieved and I don’t miss him.

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs. I’m the anon who ended an engagement over the weekend so I really feel you. It sucks right now but life with be so much better in the long run.

    • I took a hiatus and missed the drama, but I’m sorry you went through all this. It sounds like you made the right decision for you. Take care of yourself. It also sounds like you have friends, but if you want to meet up with an internet stranger, I’m nearby irl.

      • Thanks, SC, there wasn’t a lot of drama until the last month, and more in the past week. The actual drama is all his. His life is a mess. A friend of mine (formerly a part of this group) often says that there can only be one dramatic person in a relationship and, clearly, I was not that person in this relationship. I appreciate the offer – I’m doing pretty well and I have incredibly supportive friends. I know you’re here.

    • Oh I’m sorry you’re going through a painful time, and ending a long relationship is so hard, be kind to yourself right now. I’ve read your story for ages and I think you’re making the right call based on what you’ve said here. Welcome to happiness – nothing is lonelier than a bad relationship.

    • Good for you! Hugs and RAWRS!

      • I agree wiht GODZILLA! As women we remain empowered to take control of our bodie’s and our lives, with or without a guy. Having been on both sides of the fence, now that I too am without a guy, I fulfill myself in other ways. I am still hopful that a decent guy will materialize, but I simpley can NOT wait forever for the right guy to come along. RAWR!!!!!!

    • So sorry to hear about your split but it sounds like a great decision. Glad you have supportive friends! love, former e_pontellier

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m sorry NOLA. Glad your friends are being great. Be kind to yourself and I hope you enjoy your fresh start.

    • formerly regular :

      I think I’m supposed to say I’m sorry, but I’m feeling much more “You go, NOLA!” about this. I too have been here (off and on and off and off and on) for years and it did seem like your relationship was increasingly not giving you the kind of support and friendship I would want for you. Best wishes to you. Love, SFBayA.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m so happy you’re still reading, SFBayA! I’ve always valued your point of view.

        • formerly regular :

          Wow, thanks! How unexpected. That’s very kind of you. I don’t really comment anymore due to the drama I got wrapped up in here, but I do stop by sometimes to see how people are doing. Thank you so much.

      • Awwwww, thanks! I feel like my close friends are all saying the same thing. Happy that I finally gave up on him. I hardly *ever* go on tumblr anymore, but I was on the other night (mainly to block porn) and saw some of your recent posts. I’ve missed you!

        • formerly regular :

          <3. Tumblr is definitely my spot these days, though playing blocckamole with the porn bots is tiresome. Come visit sometime :).

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, my! I’m sorry to hear this!!

      But not really because he wasn’t right for you. So I’m proud of you!!

      Yup, when you tell somebody what you need and they can’t/won’t provide it, it’s time to say “bye bye!”

      Come on out to California and we’ll have drinks on the patio!!

      • Thanks so much! You’re an awesome role model. I am terrible at breaking up, so I’m proud of myself for sticking to my guns. It was a long time coming and the deal breaker was what kicked me in the butt. I’m actually relieved.

        A couple I adore is moving out your way (L.A.) for a new academic admin position (his). I might have to come see them and fit in a visit with you!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yay!! That would be fab!

          Yes, I am the poster child for Starting Over At An Advanced Age! Come on in, the water’s fine! ;)

          • anon anon armani :

            It’s a growing pool of self confident and far happier folk. You’ve got guts, NOLA. Seems they are guts that are all yours, 100%. Happiness is already around you. Internet hugs. Wishing you great adventures, excitement, and being loved as much as your heart can hold. It’s for you, girl!

    • Ah, I’m sorry NOLA. I remember when things were much better between you two and I’m sorry it deteriorated. You’re doing the right thing, though it will suck for a while.

    • Shenandoah :

      I’m sorry you’re going through this, but it sounds like it was the right decision and was a long time coming. I similarly came out of a LTR confident in the decision and feeling remarkably okay. There have certainly been moments where I questioned everything and felt a little bit of panic. But it subsides. So I guess I’m just offering a fair warning that you will likely encounter at least a few emotional “dips” over the next several months (or longer) and that’s normal and okay.

    • OCAssociate :

      I’m sorry about this, but glad that you can feel confident you made the right decision! I’ll be sending good wishes your way, and look forward to hearing about your new adventures.

    • You ladies are all so awesome. Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. In-House Europe :

    Love Boden, not in love with this dress. The cut I don’t think would be horribly flattering…and there is an EXPOSED ZIPPER (insert gasp of horror here). I’d go for the Iris Ottoman instead I think.

    • Anonymous :

      I feel stupid asking this, but…what exactly is an Ottoman dress? They get featured here frequently, but google gets me nowhere. They come in different shapes, so I can’t really reconcile them with the Wikipedia article on “clothes related to the Ottoman empire”

      • I’d imagine it’s referring to ottoman ribbed fabric… do a google image search and you’ll recognize it when you see it.

      • haha I thought the same thing about the Ottoman Empire…I’ve never understood the name.

      • Ottoman is just their style name for it, like naming it the Suzanne dress. There’s no such thing as “an Ottoman dress,” :)

        • Nope, it’s the fabric.

  10. Unexpected Reaction :

    Over the weekend I was eating a meal I’ve eaten before and had an unexpected allergic reaction. I thought food was caught in my throat and after lots of coughing and throat clearing, finally realized that was not the case and my throat was swelling shut, I had hives, felt faint, etc. I ended up in the ER and got treated with the standard protocol and it stopped. I have reason to believe that it’s an allergy to something I’ve not eaten before rather than a new allergy but won’t bore anyone with the details. I have an appointment for testing set up but just wondering if anyone else has gone through something similar as an adult?

    • Bore us with the details – what did you eat that you haven’t eaten before?

    • Anonymous :

      This happens to me too. I’m allergic to a lot of things and keep benadryl and my epi pen around at all times. Most recently I was half way through a tube of toothpaste when my body decided it didn’t like that kind anymore and my mouth swelled up with hives and some sores. I find the benadryl strips that dissolve on your tongue the most useful as well as having a good relationship with a doctor who can help rather than the ER

      • Another person with allergies :

        Thank you for making feel not crazy!! I developed a toothpaste allergy too and can only use Tom’s now. I get weird bumps all around my mouth if I use anything with a whitener. My primary figured out the cause. When I tell other docs about the toothpaste allergy (particularly my dentist) I get looked at like I have 10 heads.

        For OP – our bodies change every 7 years. Most of my new allergies have appeared on a 7 year interval. 21, 28, 35.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. Allergies can change. I outgrew certain childhood allergies and developed Oral Allergy Syndrome later in life. I also suspect I’ve developed a peanut allergy but my kids are allergic so we avoid anyway so I haven’t bothered to get tested.

    • If it was a meal you’ve eaten before (per first sentence) why do you have reason to believe it’s an allergy to something you haven’t eaten before?

      My husband developed an odd, specific allergy as an adult (not naming the real thing but think of it as like, carrots) – fortunately it’s not a difficult food to avoid and the allergy test verified that he actually did have a reaction, so not as mysterious as some people’s experiences.

      • My first fish allergy reaction came from a ham sandwich that had been cross contaminated. It was strange. But no other foods have a reaction other than fish during the allergy testing.

    • I developed an allergy to something I had always eaten with no issue in my 20s. Then another to something else I’d never had a problem with. Fortunately, so far, mine have been of the lip and eye swelling variety and not throat but don’t discount the fact that it could be something you’ve eaten before without issue. It’s scary. For a while I was having a lot of food anxiety and imagining a reaction to everything. But that is a terrible way to live your life. You’re doing the right thing getting tested (FYI – get the skin testing done, not just the blood, which isn’t as accurate). Get an epi-pen Rx. Carry it with you. In the worst of my anxiety I found just having it very comforting.

      • Hmm, my doctor said to get blood testing rather than skin testing because blood tests are more accurate.

        • Anon at 9:28 :

          That’s contrary to everything I’ve heard. Blood will often test positive even when there is no allergy. My daughter has a dairy/egg/fish/peanut allergy. She also blood tests positive to soy and wheat but she doesn’t skin prick test positive for those and can eat them with no problem.

          Only blood test for anything that you have already skin pricked positive for as it will give you a bit of an indication as to the likely severity if you have a reaction.

          Make sure your doctor is a registered allergist/immunologist – not just someone with an interest in the area. –

          • Yep. My blood test came back with all sorts of results that are not at all reflective of my actual allergies. It’s a scale and some of the stuff that came in off the charts I am still a little nervous eating now but I’ve never had a problem with before. Something that I did have a problem with came back as barely there.

            The skin test though was very quick and accurate. I’m allergic to something that isn’t a common allergen so I actually had to bring it with me for them to include it in the test and the reaction was instant and obvious.

          • Definitely a registered allergist — on and websites. Oh well.

        • Anon for This :

          My nephew had a positive blood test for wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts and dogs. After a trip to the ER and an overnight hospitalization after eating an cashew he had the skin test done. Cashew’s and dogs were positive, he’s had eggs, wheat, dairy and peanuts since with no issues.

      • Unexpected Reaction :

        Thanks for sharing. The food anxiety is definitely a problem. It has only been a few days so I’m hoping it will go away with time and/or the knowledge that I have an epi pen (assuming they give me one). I feel like I’m being a drama queen but it was really one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.

    • Yes on allergies changing. I outgrew horrible seasonal allergies in the last few years, but have gained some new mystery allergy to something that gives me widespread, fast-growing rashes. I have no idea what the new one is, but I guess I’m happy that I don’t have to stock up on claritin any more.

    • Anonymous :

      My mom had this happen out of the blue at her Mother’s Day dinner several years ago. Scary as hell to watch. We think it was shellfish. Unfortunate since she loves/loved shrimp.

      • Anonymous :

        Would an allergy test be able to tell if she’s actually allergic to shrimp?

        • We thought she should get it done – what if it wasn’t shellfish? – but she just avoids it. Her life.

    • Yup. It happens.

      And I’ve seen people develop multiple new allergies to medications, adhesives, latex, CT scan contrast dye and more with aging.

      Glad you are ok. Thanks for the reminder.

      • Omg, yes adhesives. I was so allergic to the adhesive in the white surgical tape that for a while I had worse scarring from the tape they used on me after my c-section than I did from the actual c-section incision.

        Also ~5 years ago I had a couple of scary incidents over the course of a few months where I broke out in horrible hives after eating foods I’d eaten before and had awful and immediate gastric effects as well. They tested me for everything under the sun, couldn’t figure out what it was, gave me an epi pen and sent me on my way. It hasn’t happened since. Very random. I chalked it up to stress/anxiety. I don’t know if that’s a thing that can really happen, but it was so out of the blue.

        • Unexpected Reaction :

          That’s interesting. I’ve been under a lot of physical and emotional stress lately so maybe that makes things worse? I was definitely sleep deprived. Ironically I had been taking benadryl all week trying to sleep but not the night before this.

          • Anonymous :

            Take Claritin instead of Benedryl. Benedryl can make you drowsy but it can have a negative effect on the quality of sleep – something about disrupting REM.

        • I developed a host of new allergies when I was 27. I am convinced that stress in my life brought these on. I was hoping that once the stress subsided I’d go back to normal. But no such luck and now I carry an epi pen everywhere

    • Another person with allergies :

      Did you have poison ivy in the last year or two? I developed a mango allergy after having bad poison ivy. They are supposedly connected.

      • How interesting. I have had a couple of severe poison ivy reactions and I have a mild mango allergy. I wasn’t aware of the connection.

        • The substance that causes the reason to poison ivy is present in the skin and sap of mango. My mom has life threatening allergies to both but it’s actually an allergy to that substance, urushiol.

          • Anonymous :

            Also, cashew nuts. Same allergen. I was fine for decades with mango and cashew, but several years after poison oak exposure, mango allergy manifested, and most recently alos cashew. And internal/systemic, ugh.

    • Actually, if you only ate the food/meal once before the allergy attack, it is normal.
      Your body only starts producing antigens for specific triggers after your first encounter with a new allergen (say seafood you had week ago). The antigens are being produced so that your body can unleash a perfect allergy reaction the next time you encounter the critical food/meal. Upon the second encounter with the allergen, your body recognizes the allergen and triggers allergic cascade (release of histamine, prostaglandines, cytokines etc) and you feel allergy symptoms. Sometimes, you need to encounter the allergen several times to start the reaction. You can google it. And yes, there are also crossed allergies (examples below from other OPs).
      Visit your allergologist or immunologist and ask them for tests to identify your triggers/allergens and be sure to mention your last food problem.
      I myself use fexofenadine (outside of pollen season) and Flonase (during pollen season and when visiting homes with cats) and am happy.

    • Unexpected Reaction :

      Thank you all for the comments, it makes me feel much better knowing I’m not the only one. Everyone in my immediate circle has acted like I have two heads.

      The food in question was a rice bowl with eggs, sausage, and vegetables. I’ve had it many times but the seasonal vegetables change based on what’s in their garden. This time it has turnips (which I’ve never had before) so I’m thinking and hoping it was that. I don’t care for the smell of turnips, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc., so haven’t really eaten anything similar except cabbage. After this experience, I remembered that I also get a tingling sensation in my mouth on the rare occasions I have a bite of slaw on my tacos. I realize I may be wrong but I’m not ready to come to terms with the fact it could be rice, eggs, or cheese, all of which would be hard to give up. A turnip allergy seems less daunting.

      • Anonymous :

        Egg is a super common allergen but it is one that is heat sensitive (unlike peanut) so often you can be allergic to raw or undercooked egg but tolerate baked goods that contain egg.

        The rice could have also been cooked in something new that was triggering – e.g. fish broth.

      • Anonymous :

        I have the exact egg allergy that anonymous at 1:28 described.

        For this and my other food allergies I know right away that I’m allergic to something because of the tingling in my mouth and lips. If I stop eating right away I can usually either wait out the hives or take Benadryl and not have to worry about the epipen.

        • anon again :

          I have a Shellfish allergy. I loved lobster and ate it a fair bit. After my 2nd kid, I wound up with an anaphalyatic allergy to it. Scary but at the same time, I am glad we caught it . I do miss eating shellfish however, I value my life :O)

  11. Paging Columbus, OH :

    There was someone who posted a couple of days ago about moving to Columbus. I’m from the area, so if you have any questions you can reach me at deejaycee88 at gmail.

  12. Completely frivolous post ahead . . .

    I teach a class on Wednesday nights and I have made an effort to wear an outfit to work that makes me feel confident and bada$$. Today, I am wearing a leopard print pencil skirt, a sleeveless tiered flowy black top, a cream cardigan, with tan suede heels. I worked out this morning and I feel like a bada$$ and that tonight’s class is going to be awesome. It’s a good feeling!

    Hope everyone has a great day.

  13. I am looking for a chair/loveseat that opens up into a guest bed. I don’t mind paying a bit more for something that is actually well made and has a comfortable bed but would rather not pay for just a Pottery Barn brand name or whatever. Land of Nod has a nice one, PB and Crate & Barrel have versions, too. Anyone have one of these and can let me know if you like it? Any other suggestions that you’ve been happy with? Thank you!

    • Veronica Mars :

      I didn’t end up buying it, but the Land of Nod seemed to have the best price and reviews when I was searching.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      American Leather is the most comfortable sleeper sofa brand ever. Spendy, but so wonderful.

    • American Leather makes a sleeper loveseat with a queen-sized Tempur-Pedic mattress that’s surprisingly comfortable. Expensive, but worth it.

    • Costco had some nice looking ones last weekend!

  14. Second Opinions :

    Does anyone have advice on getting a second opinion on a medical diagnosis? Where to start?

    Extended family member lives in a secondary/tertiary city in the south. He has a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. He’s seeing a doctor/treatment team at a major university medical center in the region. Do we need to look outside the region, maybe to the closest major city? How do we do this without completely slowing down/stalling on the treatment that he otherwise needs immediately?

    • Anonymous :

      Probably not- he’s likely getting good care at a major university hospital. But I wouldn’t discourage him from doing it if he wants. Talk to his doctors. Tell them he wants a second opinion. Ask what they recommend, how to time it, if they have a referral. It’s a totally normal thing to do, no need to go into stealth mode.

    • AnonMidwest :

      If you are just looking at different treatment options and it isn’t a reaction to a problematic relationship with the doctor, then I would ask the physician about who they can recommend for a second opinion.

      If it is about the relationship with the physician, then I’d call the next closest cancer center and let them know what’s going on.

    • Also, several major hospitals have telehealth second opinion options, so there may be a way to get a second opinion without traveling. The telehealth option may not be covered by insurance, so make sure you understand the costs going in.

    • Mayo can usually get people in super quickly. See if one of their regional centers is close to your relative. I have heard only phenomenal things from anyone who has ever been, and cost is usually less than one would anticipate.

      • Anonymous :

        I have a condition that is being treated at a Mayo Clinic. It is far from my house but so worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      I have been through cancer twice and my trusted oncologist (who is the Director of my city’s very highly recommended University cancer center) always ALWAYS recommends getting a second opinion. His doctor should be able to help arrange it, or should at least have names of other oncologists who can provide one fairly quickly. In the past, my records/films have always just been forwarded to the second oncologist for use in providing the second opinion.

      Second opinions can be very critical. In my most recent case, getting a third opinion actually completely altered my course of treatment and resulted in a remission that otherwise would not have been reached. Please do not skip this step.

    • anon anon armani :

      M.D. Anderson in Houston. They can get you in and out quickly. It’s been rated the best for years and years and years. I’ve been there. Very nice, attentive to patients and families. There’s a Rotary House across the street and many hotels at varying price ranges in the area that provide shuttle transportation. Wishing the best.

  15. Veronica Mars :

    Just wanted to share a little victory this morning–I’ve posted briefly about having a reactive dog and working on training him out of it. I’ve had him for about 3 months now and have been working with a trainer to teach him the “look at me” command and basic obedience. Well, he’s finally started listening to me on walks. He’s still not perfect, but I can get his attention now and have him sit/obey/look at me. Really hopeful this trend continues and I can now start desensitizing him to other dogs!

    • Ohhh, this is great! This gives me hope for my nutty little boxer/lab mix. We adore her dearly and she’s insanely cuddly/sweet/cute off leash, but man she hates other dogs when she’s on a leash!! I think she thinks she’s protecting us…. we are using the ‘look at me’ technique, too, and have seen a little progress. We’ll keep at it!

      • Veronica Mars :

        What a sweetheart! If it’s not working on walks, maybe try re-enforcing inside as much as possible and then trying again in a couple weeks outside.

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats! I have a lab that is very reactive and it’s a slow process (and I’ve been inconsistent in training) but she now looks at me when she sees another dog approaching and stands near me instead of lunging. She still gets upset when an off leash dog charges her, but she mainly barks a few times and raises her hackles.

  16. Weird law question :

    When I first started practicing, I was very into being good at being a first year lawyer in my specialty and really wanted to be into the law in my area (so lots of CLEs, reviewing pending law and regulations, regularly reading cases, etc.).

    Now, many years later, my practice is more “manage client relationships,” so I work in my area of law and 3-4 adjacent areas (and spillover litigation). Maybe this is more common if you are in-house?

    I’m a bit petrified though — I don’t think I could get hired as a junior associate in my area b/c as my focus has broadened, my depth in my specific department has probably suffered. It’s a bit humbling / terrifying. But it’s not like I can say “hey, I’m becoming a dull blade,” either.

    • IME, that’s the normal progression of practice. When you are a junior associate, your job is to know the law/research the law. As you gain experience, you need to understand how the law works in that industry, how to issue spot, how to advise on the risk, etc. You aren’t expected to be an encyclopedia and give on the spot answers; you’re expected to help people solve problems.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Totally agree. It’s a different and additional skillset. No one is expecting you to do first year lawyer things once you’ve advanced and manage clients/other lawyers. You are valued for your experience, counsel and ability to do that managing. If you need to look something up, you to look it up, it doesn’t say anything bad about your lawyering skills.

  17. Anonymous :

    Another question about contacting your representatives. I live in a deep blue state. Does it make sense for me to call/write my representatives? I’m fortunate that they’re already working as hard as they can for the issues I support. Should I call representatives from other states? Will they care what I have to say when they don’t represent me?

    • Anonymous :

      Call your own reps and thank them for their efforts. They are probably getting calls from the few red residents in their districts and you can let them (and their staffers) know that you appreciate their efforts during this difficult time. Since you’re just basically saying thanks – maybe an email instead would be easier? I don’t think they are missing out on logging the positive emails.

    • Other state reps will not care if you are not a constituent. Yes–call and write even if you agree with what your representative is doing. Offices track support and comment and massive support helps justify everything from “support” to “sponsor”

      • What about calling Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell? Would they care insofar as their leadership roles are concerned?
        Also – I never hear this get mentioned but why not call the white house? Yes it might do nothing but then again our dear leader seems very susceptible to market feedback.

    • Same position. All three reps are Ds. From what I’ve read, calling reps of districts where you are not a constituents is ineffective – they only want to hear from their voters. I’ll make the requisite calls to thank my reps on the big issues I care about because in the end, it can’t hurt and it only takes a few minutes, but I’ve also been trying to learn more about state and county level issues. The NYTimes story linked to in the other thread explains that they are more responsive and even though I’m in a blue state, there are plenty of actions on a state level to take. NPR had a whole piece this morning from ProPublica on how upstate rural state senators had a big impact on NYC rent regulations.

      • I called all my reps (all blue, too) and said thank you and to tell them I supported them and share my story about why. (They were really grateful for the support and appreciated the stories.) I also wanted to encourage them to keep fighting for these issues, to know that we support them at home, and to push them to encourage their colleagues, too.

        ALSO, it is a big point of pride for me to lend my support because I come from a rich, old, white man zip code!

    • Hill staffer :

      Yes, please let them know that you support their efforts! Calling/emailing/whatever is fine. If you’re ok being public with it, you can also comment on/like their Facebook posts.

      I don’t personally think that it’s helpful to call people that don’t represent you.

    • I would say don’t call since they’re already working hard and you’re not trying to change their minds about anything, but maybe send an email that they can use to support their arguments. I know some Dems were collecting stories about how the ACA saved people’s lives that they could read on the floor.

    • I don’t have hill experience so I don’t know for sure, but I would think it helps to express what you care most about so they can focus their efforts there. They don’t have infinite time, so, for instance, if they get the most calls about opposing X nominee, they might spend more time speaking out against him/her than Y nominee.

    • Just check to be sure that they are actually doing what you would like them to do. I live in NY and my senators are doing some puzzling things.

  18. After the election, a lot of people were baffled and wanted to understand. This is an interesting read:

    • I know people are circulating this article with the suggestion that it gives a more nuanced view of Trump supporters and rural America, but honestly it just reaffirmed my belief that they’re all just racist, sexist, terrible people…”‘The black bomb’ is how one rancher describes Trump’s predecessor. ‘This guy came out of the sewers of Chicago. How could he be good?'” Sorry, but I can’t really bring myself to care about people who could talk like that.

      • Leaving for Grad School :

        Exactly how I feel about these articles

      • As someone who lives in one of the reddest states in the nation and votes blue, I resent that other liberal folks are just writing off entire states based on a handful of people. In my experience, the crazies with the worst opinions are the loudest, and the moderates are the most quiet, because their opinions are less extreme or they care less to speak out. Who decides what is worse, thinking rednecks are awful and need to rot, or liberals/blacks/etc. are awful and need to rot? I don’t see much of a difference. There are good and bad people in all of our communities and what’s helped me to not move out of my home state as fast as I can is working on encouraging the moderates to speak out, push back and tell other members of their party that its OK to not like policies, not OK to want to run anyone with brown skin/different ethnicity out of town.

        • I agree anon @ 12, and I think this attitude has led to the democratic party really not representing the working class, and a main reason why they didn’t vote dem this election. I do empathize that it’s hard to see your own privilege when you’ve worked hard your whole life, and your industry and whole livelihood basically goes away. I understand how they were swayed by someone who gave them something to put the blame on and said he could fix it. This is definitely something the democratic party needs to figure out, and I think overall liberals feel bad for and want to help those who get left behind, but that just hasn’t translated to that group.

          • Just pointing out….dems did represent the working class this election, they didn’t represent the * white working class *

            people of color are also working class.

          • PrettyPrimadonna :

            Standing ovation for DC Anon. So tired of this rural, working class narrative.

        • Anon at 10:13 :

          fwiw, I didn’t mean I’m writing off red states, I meant I’m writing off Trump voters. I live in a deep red state too. I know there are good and bad people everywhere. One of my best friends lives in San Francisco – one of the bluest parts of America – and she works with some horrifically racist and misogynistic men who love Trump.

        • Because being a “redneck” is a choice (or at least something that can be changed) while race and ethnicity cannot be changed.

          I am from the South and most of my family is in the South. Some of them are rednecks, some were never, and some were born into very redneck nuclear families and chose to educate themselves and try to be better (and frightening vice-versa; my Grandmother would roll over in her grave if they could hear some of the things my uncle has posted on FaceBook.)

          Feeling economically disenfranchised and powerless is one thing; being a racist, homophobic, misogynistic bigot who ignores verifiable facts because they are inconvenient and inconsistent with a preferred world view is something else.

    • I agree that the individuals making comments about Obama’s race are definitely racist. No question about it, but I wouldn’t paint everyone in the article as racist. The criticisms of skyrocking premiums a couple years into Obamacare is legitimate.

      On a bright side, the smarmy NE legislator making nasty comments after the women’s march resigned this morning after the rest of the legislature issued a “resign or be expelled” ultimatum.

      We win some, we lose time.

      • Oh that’s good news! I’m glad the rest of the legislature stood up to him! Sounds like they’ve got more guts than the US Congress.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        I’m glad he’s gone, but I was sort of looking forward to whatever poem Ernie would write if he didn’t agree to resign. :)

    • I read that article, too. It didn’t really help me ‘understand.’ I certainly understood *why* they voted for him but still believe it was irrational for them to do so. People do irrational things, though, sometimes. There were a lot of complaints about premiums being high, and I think everyone (including me and President Obama) that want to fix that. But the assumption that was never mentioned is that they had insurance to begin with. Before ACA, many of them would not have qualified for insurance at all. Meaning that even if they had millions to spend on out-of-pocket treatment, many hospitals wouldn’t even accept them without an insurance card. Add to it the issue that if they qualified, they could hit lifetime caps. Basically, they would have been sentenced to die in poverty from something that could have been treated.

      Want someone to blame? Blame your state, which (along with 17 other poor and red states) rejected medicaid expansion under ACA.

      • hoola hoopa :

        “I certainly understood *why* they voted for him but still believe it was irrational for them to do so. People do irrational things, though, sometimes.”

        I agree.

  19. Arlington or Falls Church tailor? :

    Hi! I’m gonna bite the bullet and start getting my hemlines tailored to the right spot. Can anyone recommend a talented tailor in Arlington or Falls Church, VA? Many thanks in advance.

    • I use Spectrum Cleaners on W. Broad St in Falls Church. They do a nice job. I also use them for dry cleaning. Not cheap but great service.

    • I liked Fashion Dream on Wilson between clarendon and courthouse, when I lived nearby. She doesnt speak a lot of english, but she’s timely, has appropriate pricing, and is a wizard at making things flattering.

  20. Which would you choose? :

    I’m choosing between two jobs- one that I think I’d enjoy my day-to-day life more and the other where I think I’d feel like I had a better impact on the world. Which would you choose?

    Job A: responsibilities more interesting, dream city near family with potential for boyfriend to relocate there, company mission does not align with life philosophies/values (though not diametrically opposed)

    Job B: love the company and the mission, city I like but that is a flight away from family and boyfriend, more boring responsibilities.

    Hours, compensation, benefits are similar. The companies are competitors.

    • A, hands down. The day-to-day work, the city you live in and the proximity to family and friends are so much important to me than the mission of the organization, especially since you said it’s not diametrically opposed (I couldn’t work for the NRA no matter how wonderful the job was otherwise, but I could definitely work for an org whose mission I don’t really care about, if everything else about the job was good).

    • Choice A. Sounds like a better life on whole. I don’t think you have to agree with all parts of your job.

    • Obviously A. It’s a dramatically better job and I wouldn’t move away from my family and boyfriend for option b. I’m surprised it’s even a question

    • Anonymous4 :

      Honestly – I’d go with Job A. There are many different ways to have an impact on the world – not just by working for a company with a great mission. The benefits of more interesting responsibilities and being in a dream city, particularly near family and potentially BF would be more important to me. I would look for ways outside the office to have impact – volunteerism and philanthropy for starters.

    • I’ll be the voice of dissent and say that I think this is a very personal choice. I have chosen my career path (policy advocacy with stints of federal service) because I used to work for a company whose mission I didn’t care about, and I hated it. I had to move far away from where I’m from, including my family, in order to pursue this career, but to me, it has been worth it to contribute to causes that I care about very deeply.

      I’ll also say that I definitely feel like my approach is not common (not saying that I”m better than anyone else, just different), so it would be totally understandable if you decided to prioritize staying near your family and bf. It just depends on your priorities and how much your satisfaction with your life is derived from things you do outside of work vs feeling like you’re contributing to a cause.

      • and to add – as others have said, working for a company with a great mission is not the only way to have an impact/contribute to a cause.

    • Are there long-term career benefits to one or the other? In my last job, I enjoyed the people and the work, but was frustrated that I wasn’t having more “impact on the world.” Now, my job definitely has better impact, which I really enjoy, but I don’t like the day-to-day life very much, and have very little interaction with coworkers. I dream about my old job and miss it frequently. However, my current job is much better for my career, especially as I will be leaving this fall for graduate school, so it’s not worth it to try to change jobs and I’m just trying to stick it out for the next 6 months.

      So my vote would be A if there is no long-term career benefits to job B.

      • Although, I will say, post-grad school, I will be looking for a job that combines best of both my jobs, and making an impact is not something I’m totally willing to give up. Like Anon at 10:32 said, this is a very personal choice, and I’m not sure there’s a right one.

    • A.

      You said “dream city”, so follow that dream. You’ll make connections when you get there, and maybe move on to a job you like better. It’s a job, not a marriage.

  21. Any journalism-types here? I’d like to support investigative journalism efforts during this terrible Trump presidency. How is the best way to do it? Just subscribing (which I’d prefer not to do as I won’t be able to read the papers)? Digital subscriptions? Specific organizations that are good/better at this?

    • Subscribe. What do you mean you won’t be able to read? Paper or online just do it.

    • I am so torn about this. I believe most media outlets completely abdicated responsibility during the campaign, both in coverage of Trump all along and of Clinton after winning the primaries. They didn’t see it coming that he would continue a full-frontal assault on the media and their First Amendment rights (and everyone else’s)?!

      It’s true we need credible, through investigative reporting and questioning of the leaders and accurate, straightforward reporting of facts… and real judgment about what is “news.”

      We didn’t get that during the whole campaign (of course, with some exceptions). So I am not sure I am inclined to support the efforts. I am so mad at them!

      • I feel the same way!

        I did pay for wapo / nytimes out of this…begrudgingly. I have major major issues with how nytimes covered the emails fiasco.

    • I bought an NYTimes online subscription after he went on the attack against them. I don’t really have time to read much either, but I just look at it as a monthly donation to a cause I care about (freedom of the press).

    • ProPublica.

    • A former classmate of mine won a Pulitzer for investigative journalism in 2014 (at the ripe age of, like, 29). Maybe look at past winners and at their organizations? Looks like he’s now at BuzzFeed, but won it while at the Center for Public Integrity.

    • J School Grad :

      Donate to NPR and your local public radio station.

    • We subscribe to the daily NYT in PAPER and it is awesome. Yes it creates a lot of extra paper around the house, but I read way more in general and way more varied articles than I would on the digital version, so think it’s worth it. You can browse and peruse sections, pop a section in my bag and read it at work, etc, and there are some incredibly in depth background articles on major topics that I wouldn’t have found if I just went to the homepage and clicked around.

      We also have a kiddo and I love that he sees us reading an actual paper instead of tablets when we’re around him, and a side bonus is that extra newspaper can be a very fun toy.

      • Animal shelters use old newspapers to line cat cages and litterboxes. You can save up all your papers and make an even bigger difference donating them. Just call first because sometimes they have a ton all donated at once and will want you to wait a bit before dropping them off. My work subscribes to at least 3 papers and I donate them all monthly.

      • Thank you for your second paragraph. I subscribe to online NYT and WSJ, but have considered getting a WaPo (my local paper) delivery subscription. This just tipped the scale. I read a lot on my phone/tablet/kindle, but my son only uses the tablet to play games, so I think he’s missing the “reading is good, reading is fun, look at mom reading all the time” message that I’d like to send.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        My parents subscribed to and continue to subscribe to the local paper, as do my grandparents (my mom is the second in command at the paper, but they’ve done it since I was born, even before she took the job). I grew up with my parents reading the paper every morning with NPR on in the background, and I think it really influenced how I feel about news in general and the importance of reading. Tablets just aren’t the same.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Center for Public Integrity
      Center for Investigative Reporting
      The Marshall Project


      Also, subscriptions:
      The Nation
      Mother Jones
      The New Yorker
      GOOD Magazine
      Yale Environment 360

      • Thanks, all. I’ll check out ProPublica – seems to be what I want. Already a Post subscriber online and an NPR supporter.

  22. I’m feeling particularly insecure lately.

    I’m a bit older than most in my field because of more degrees, and have done very well academically/professionally. But I have had a challenging time finding men to date. My work hours are very long, and most men I meet at work. And most of my colleagues pair with less…. ambitious women. It is what it is, and part of me understands.

    Recently I wondered about someone I used to work with. Kind, quiet/shy, so-so attractive, good person, a bit anxious at work and much less ambitious, but… Had shown a little ?Guarded interest in the past. I looked him up online. He just got married…. To a successful woman in our field, who is also a world class artist, and was a beauty pageant winner (think…Miss California, Miss America finalist). And she’s 10 years younger than me.


    • So you didn’t pursue him, wrote him off because he was so so attractive and not the most ambitious and now you’re sad? Recalibrate what you are looking for so you don’t miss out on gems like him going firsts!

      • Hmmmmmmm....... :

        Thanks for your input.

        I was working with him before, so couldn’t have dated even if he was interested. He never reached out to me.

        I mentioned so-so attractive because I am not conventionally attractive, although I try my best, and I have tried to be realistic when looking for men.

        It made me realize how out of my league the men I work with are for me. And it kind of stings.

        As I get older, I don’t feel older…. My internal picture of myself is me as a ?30 year old. But I’m far from that.

        • Keep in mind that it’s a two-way street. People may not reach out to you, but you’re also not reaching out to them either. It sounds like you might be looking around at people you work with and it also sounds like you’re not going to date people you work with at the same time, so you’re putting yourself in a stalemate situation which sounds discouraging. Dating is tough. If you really want to make finding someone a priority, most people do it online these days.

        • They are not out of your league–they just don’t know you. Cultivate friendships and then see what happens. Without knowing what field you are in, I would hazard a guess that there is broad spectrum of folks–don’t evaluate your coupling capability on a single sample (which you quite honestly were ambivalent about). Reading this, it seems like you are scoreboarding–comparing your compatibility with someone else’s. It also sounds like you are somewhat defensive–meaning you state that you want a relationship–but offer a lot of excuses for why it can’t happen. It’s your hedge and perfectly normal–but if you want a relationship, you have to let the guard down and take some risk.

          • They are only out of your league if you allow them to be! At least that’s always been my attitude.

    • It sounds like you weren’t really that interested in that guy in the first place if you never reciprocated his interest. People look better to you when they’re no longer options.

      • +1. He might or might not have been a gem for you – sounds like you’re just experiencing some regret at what might (or might not) have been.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Just wanted to say that dating and relationships are really tough. I have seen what you’re talking about and it rubs me the wrong way too. For me the answer was to pair with someone in a TOTALLY different industry– my husband is a professional artist– rockstar at what he does but very much not a status or $$ choice of spouse.

  23. Leaving for Grad School :

    If you have quit a job to go to grad school, when did you tell them? 2 weeks notice? When you got in and decided to go?

    If they had talked about things you would do “next year” how did you handle that?

    I’m asking because if you are applying etc to grad school that takes a while, so you know for several months that you probably won’t be at the company next year but don’t know details

    • It’s probably pretty industry-specific and also depends on how employer has treated similarly situated people. I’m cynical but I definitely would not say anything until I’ve been accepted to graduate school and decided to go, since not getting in is always a possibility. Until you’ve gotten into grad school, just go along with it when they talk about “next year” since you don’t know what your plans for next year are. Once you have been accepted and decided to go, then I think when you tell them depends on your financial situation and how much you would enjoy a break. If you wouldn’t mind some time off and can afford it, I think it is common to give a couple months notice in a situation like this. But if you are strapped for cash and don’t want to risk having to go without salary, I also think two weeks notice is perfectly appropriate.

      • Leaving for Grad School :

        Someone told his team today that he is leaving for his MBA in July. Most people are fine with it, but he’s is more experienced and has been here longer than me. His manager was not happy and worried about coverage

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I told my boss several months in advance, after I’d been accepted and decided to go.

      I felt completely comfortable doing that because I was his right hand woman and he’d really fought for me at work. He actually went to the head honcho of our region to get permission for me to go part time so I could attend a different school I’d been accepted to in the city where we worked.

      I worked somewhere else when I first started thinking about applying to schools and several coworkers knew about it. I didn’t wind up applying that year and wound up in the first round of layoffs from that place. I don’t know for sure, but I think that knowing I was considering leaving contributed to me being in that first layoff.

      So I’d say it totally depends on your office and relationship with your boss.

    • Edna Mazur :

      I gave about three months’ notice, but I knew there was no way this company would kick me out the door early. It was a pretty low level job so they were able to hire my replacement and I had about three weeks to train them, which was pretty sufficient for that position.

      If them hastening your departure is a possibility, and you need the money, two weeks is fine.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’ve actually started a job and shortly thereafter deferred grad school. So, I knew I was going, but didn’t say anything.

      In my position, I needed to train my replacement, so 2 weeks would not have been enough. I believe I gave 6-8 weeks notice.

    • I told quite early (told in January, left in late May) as I had a new boss starting and didn’t want to leave her in a lurch. I was fairly confident they wouldn’t get rid of me.

      Funny story though – I asked my director’s assistant to put some time on my bosses’ calendar. For some reason, she asked my boss if that was okay which triggered suspicion. My boss followed me into the bathroom, ducked her head under the door of stalls (to make sure no one was there) and said “Are you leaving?” Stammered ‘Umm…it’s Friday, I leave a few minutes early to get to yoga….?” until I twigged to what she was asking about.

  24. Seeking recs for a good day spa in Philly. Ideally in the Society Hill/Rittenhouse areas, but can get to other parts of the city fairly easily.

  25. Another relationship question :

    For those who have moved cities for an SO…

    How much have you relied on your SO to help make you happy in that new city / what do you think an SO’s responsibility is to help make you happy in that type of situation? I have (really really) tried for over a year and I’m still not happy (and he knows). We’re both pretty independent people and I don’t think he’s really gone out of his way to help me (even though he knows I’m not happy and I’ve asked for more support). How bad is this?

    • He should definitely make efforts. When SO moved to my hometown for me, I asked around to find info on the team sport he loves to help him find a team to join. I regularly organized going out for dinner with girl friends where I thought he might click with their DH – that lead to a few friendships. I made an extra effort to attend events that he’d like that I had minimal interest in – e.g. film festival on mountaineering.

      Generally this sort of stuff is emotional labor stuff and women are often better at it but your SO should at least be making an effort.

    • In what ways are you not happy? What are you asking him to do? I have followed my husband three times (he’s in academia) and each time the hardest thing has been my career, which he can’t really do anything about beyond lending emotional support (which he definitely does). I’m an introvert so I have never been super bothered by not immediately having a bunch of friends, but if it’s the social side of things that’s bothering you, then I think he has more obligation to make an effort, since that’s an area where he might actually be able to help you out.

      • This. I was married to the military for a decade. It’s not his job to make you happy. You ultimately made your decision, as an adult, without coercion, to move. If you’re still not happy, either the relationship ends or he agrees to move back to where you were both happy.

        FWIW, I chose to get a divorce and my ex was completely supportive about it. Trying to maintain a professional career while living in the rural backwaters of U.S. Army posts is quite literally impossible. He loved his career, so him leaving the military wasn’t an option, and I wanted even just a fair shot at one, which you can’t get as a military spouse.

        • I’m certainly no relationship expert, but IMO, it’s not anyone else’s job to make you happy. Should your SO do things that will help you get to know the area, learn about it, make it easier for you? Sure, but your SO is not responsible for making you find happiness in your new place.

          As someone asked above, what is it about the new location that makes you unhappy? There may be things that you can’t change and that’s something you’ll have to deal with. On the other hand, I think it’s important to really examine whether you have an open mind and are doing all that you can to foster your own happiness.

          I swore I was MISERABLE in a location once and moved. Then I was miserable there. Turns out it wasn’t the location that was making me miserable, it was my own prejudices and other issues I needed to work out on my own. Now that I have worked those things out on my own, I love the location and have no desire to leave. Just my $0.02.

    • This is tough to answer in the abstract. He’s not responsible for your happiness – it’s not his job to find you new hobbies or friends or a job – but he should include you in his life, introduce you to his network, and make inquiries on your behalf about things that you’d be interested in.

      My friend moved for her husband when they got engaged and at first he was always going out with the guys and not including her. which meant she just sat at home by herself. When someone first moves for you, you need to make an effort to do social things that include him/her – introduce them to your friends’ SOs and if you’re going to have a night with just your friends then ask what their SOs are doing and if your SO can join. Or, you know, maybe cut back on your solo excursions for a while until your SO can get acclimated.

    • My husband has followed me three times (also academia). Our deal is that he gets a lot of say into how we set up our life in the new city – what neighborhood we live in, etc. I’ve also let him be the deciding vote when I’ve had two job offers that were both good for my career. And I commit to making time for him to explore the new city and build his social network (we have kids, so if he’s doing evening activities, I have to commit to being home with them). Beyond that, though, it’s on him. I can’t make his friends for him, and if I try to build a joint social network for us, it will end up being lots of other academics, which actually alienates him. Over time, we do embrace each others’ friends, but it’s important that he not just get added to my social circle, because he just ends up feeling like a third wheel while my friends and I talk about our professional interests.

      As a separate issue, we do both commit to making our relationship with each other a priority. So we go on dates and explore the city together. But he does also need his own social life beyond that.

    • Hunting in Boston :

      if there’s any chance you’re in Boston, hang out with me! I’m also a *slightly* miserable, underemployed trailing spouse :)

  26. The pro bono coordinator at my law firm just circulated an email looking for volunteers to rush to some of our nation’s major airports to help legal refugees who may be in the air right now or will be over the next few days and who, when their flights land, may be prohibited from resettling in the US under Trump’s new policy. I find this really frightening — echoes of Jewish (and other) refugees being turned away from the US and other nations on the eve of the Holocaust and WWII. Refugees/immigration wasn’t even on my shortlist of political passions, but here I am, tearing up and horrified. Thanks for listening. Trolls, I expect you will stir the pot now.

    • It’s so scary to me. I signed up in the fall (immediately post-election) to volunteer with a refugee organization in my city. I’m attending my first training next week. I’m ashamed that I didn’t do anything sooner. This new policy makes me sick. I wish I knew how to stand up to this – my representatives don’t care and these are executive orders anyway.

    • Omg. That’s horrifying. One side of my family came to this country as refugees about 50 years ago, and I am so disheartened by what is happening.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Swear to God, I thought this presidency would be bad but it’s so much worse than I ever dreamed.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Yeah this. I tried to not be extremely negative and adopted a “wait and see” mentality, despite all evidence that this administration would be nuts. Well, I waited and I have seen enough. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

    • Marshmallow :

      I’m utterly horrified. HORRIFIED. And it’s beyond frustrating that I cannot practice and do pro bono for another… (mental math time) eight months or so. I was so excited to clerk and now I just feel like my hands are tied behind my back.

    • Anonymous :

      Horrifying are all the “refugees” that are actually radical Islamic terrorists who are trying to get in our country, radicalize others, and install a base of terror, crime, and assault of women (see Germany, Sweden, and France)

      Thank God for Trump winning. This is the first step to keeping the USA safer.

      • Please read about how hard it is to get into the USA as a refugee and how many levels of screening the refugees go through. Please also reflect back on the picture of the young boy who was dead on the beach and remember that these are the people who are fleeing.

        Here’s a link:

        And another one if you don’t trust the Obama White House:

      • Anonymous :

        F you.

        I’m a Canadian who has worked with Syrian refugees accepted into Canada. They are exclusively families with small children. They are terrified for their families back home.

        They are families with small children who have lived through horrific bombing and wake screaming at night. I have held those toddlers when they woke from their nap screaming in terror.

        F you.

        • Anonymous :

          + 1 million.

          Just can’t anymore with these types of comments. A distant relative by marriage who is a Trump supporter recently met an ESL teacher and said to her, “so are most of your students Syrians then?” Prior to the election, these people lived in a paranoid alternate reality where everything was a threat. And now they’ve dragged us all into it and it’s the actual reality.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know the specifics but for refugees in danger of being sent back at the airport, see if you can get them diverted to Canada instead.

      Canada has generally not accepted refugees that have come via a safe third country (e.g. USA, UK etc) but if the USA has refused to accept, try to get them sent to Canada instead. They can claim refugee status on landing and will likely not be denied on the basis of safe third country if the USA refused to accept.

      Any Canadians reading – reach out to your reps that let them know that we want to pick up the people who get stuck because of this change in policy in the USA.

  27. It would also depend on if anyone at your current workplace wrote a letter of recommendation for you because then someone at your work does know and may (with the best of intentions) congratulate you in front of others or ask how the process is going.

  28. Trump Question :

    Serious question. The vast majority of my friends are democrats, as are most of the people on my facebook feed. I do have many republican family members and coworkers, but I hesitate to start this conversation with them as I fear it will negatively affect our relationships. My question is: For those of you who voted for Trump, how do you feel about the things he has done his first week in office? During his campaign, I heard a lot of people say they didn’t think he would actually do many of the things he was proposing. It turns out that isn’t true. Are you regretful? Happy? I just want to know how republicans (the ones who voted for Trump, at least) are feeling right now.

    • I didn’t vote for him but I know a lot of people who did. The people I know who voted for him are very happy with how things are going so far, although some did roll their eyes a bit at the press conference where he insisted the inauguration had the best attendance ever. I think when people said “he doesn’t mean that” they were referring more to the racist/sexist statements and the comments about making Muslims sign up on a registry. Most people I know who voted for him wanted him to repeal Obamacare, defund the EPA, build the pipelines, build a border wall and impose tariffs on foreign-made goods and are very happy he is taking steps to do all of these things.

    • The people I know I think are really happy, but when they talk about it they don’t really talk in specifics. They’re also not the kind of people who really ever keep up with specific details or current events, so I think it’s more that they have a really good feeling about him than approving of what he’s done thus far.

    • My mom and an aunt are ardent Trump supporters. The rest of my family is more of the Bush variety (oh, to go back to Bush Republicanism…). My mom’s super excited about what he’s done. Believes the whole America first stuff. Isn’t sure about climate change but largely thinks it’s exaggerated. Thinks our country actually is in the toilet and that things were better when she was growing up in the ’50s. Believes illegals really are stealing jobs and votes.

      My grandmother, of the Bush variety, reluctantly voted for Trump. She believes he’s undignified and crass and unqualified, but is satisfied so far with his policies.

    • cake batter :

      I didn’t vote for Trump, so I’ll only chime in to say that I’m a very sad Republican these days.

      • I completely understand why you find him personally repugnant, but isn’t what he’s doing policy-wise mostly in line with the mainstream Republican agenda? Not trying to snark, just trying to understand if there are Republicans who are very different from him on policy.

        • not ready to make nice, not ready to back down :

          Um, no.

          I’m a lifelong Republican (but more of a libertarian than a Pat Buchanan nativist) and support the TPP. The good blue-collar jobs we used to have are gone, not to Mexico, but to a machine or advances in technology. They are not coming back. TPP and NAFTA recognize that that ship has sailed and try to keep good trade jobs (and shipping jobs and logistics jobs) here. It is all so stupid.

          Alienating our allies: also bad.

          Appeasing Russia and China, which have attrocious human rights records: again, horrifying.

          I hope re reinstates wet-foot/dry-foot at least — that last-minute change seemed to mean-spirited to refugees who are so close to us. What if Europe did this — found people on tiny boats and returned them to where they came from???

          • Why is Cuba special though? Do you really believe refugees fleeing Cuba need asylum more than refugees fleeing Syria? Because I sure don’t. I really think the only way this policy got put in place is just because of the strength of the Cuban-American lobby and I would like to see refugees all treated equally or prioritized based on the conditions of the country they’re fleeing or their ability to contribute to US society.

          • Cubanologist :

            Wet foot/dry foot is so complicated. The argument against wet foot/dry foot is that almost all of the Cubans that are coming to the United States now are coming for economic reasons, not political ones. But they still get special privileges and an accelerated pathway to citizenship under the Cuban Adjustment Act, which was passed in 1966 in order to give Cubans who had fled communism a way to gain legal status in the United States. As Anonymous at 12:21 noted, it’s basically stayed in place because of the strength of Cuban Americans in Congress and the importance of Florida in presidential elections.

            I think that removing wet foot/dry foot is a good idea insofar as it removes the incentive for Cubans to undertake very dangerous journeys across the Florida Straits (or, increasingly, by paying human smugglers to get them to the US-Mexico border). But I also agree that it’s inhumane to deprive people of a chance to get out of what is essentially a horrible environment where you have no freedom. And I also happen to think that if we’re going to equalize the treatment of economic migrants from Cuba and economic migrants from the rest of the world, then it should be in the direction of allowing more of them to come here, not fewer.

          • In Europe, they don’t return migrants to where they came from if they are on leaky boats in the ocean.

            Is that what the U.S. is doing? What if someone wanted to defect (like people did in the 80s and 90s)?

        • I was a Republican until Newt shut down the government in the 90s. That is not my idea of leadership.

          I believe that the federal gov’t should stay out of people’s business, keep the military strong, and be conservative with respect to assets. This means that they should NOT be outlawing abortion or defunding access to medical care, and certainly NOT defunding the EPA. Most of the more social policies I believe are best served at the local level. So I generally voted Republican at the national level and Democrat at the local.

          There is no place for me in today’s current political parties. Although, in my Blue state, the Dems are far more moderate and open to people with differing viewpoints. +1 for them.

          I told my Rep. congressman this, and he just shrugged.

      • I hope you’re letting any Republican representatives who represent you know that you’re not happy!

      • Please, please, please call your Republican representatives! Everyone who represents me is a Democrat. I’m still calling them, but I’m envious of those who have the opportunity to influence those who are in a better position to put up some resistance here.

    • Not a trump voter — happy about the pipelines though.

      • Can you explain your position further?

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not AnonNYC and definitely not a Trump voter, but I’m on the fence on the Keystone pipeline. From what I’ve read (I’ll try to locate the source), the oil produced in Canada can still be transported to the states via tanker trucks in the absence of building the pipeline. By some analysis, the cumulative impact of the tanker trucks could be more harmful to the environment than a pipeline. The counterpoint, of course, is that a single accident from the pipeline could be catastrophically bad. I haven’t been able to locate a complete environmental side-by-side analysis of the two options, which is why I’m undecided on this one yet. The Dakota pipeline is a whole other ballgame because of the potential harm to tribal lands. I’m firmly against that one.

          • I agree w/ you and your analysis of Keystone is my understanding also. I can see the anti-viewpoint, because the pipeline will bisect the one and only clean watersource to the state, and so of course, any problem will absolutely be catastrophic. Still, I think the overall pipeline is worth pursuing here, if the water supply can be properly protected.

          • DifferentAnon :

            A single accident with those trains would be catastrophically bad too and is a whole lot more likely considering the lack of security with train tracks.

          • As an environmental scientist, I’m definitely not anti-pipeline, assuming stringent safety controls are in place (this could be a big if in the Trump administration, but would have been quite reasonable under Obama). Moving oil on trains is much worse and there have already been a number of accidents. I’d rather that tar sands oil not be produced at all, but if it is, a pipeline is almost certainly better than trains. As the anon above noted, though, the DAPL is slightly different since it involves issues of tribal sovereignty that are much more problematic.

          • Anonymous :

            The difference between trains or trucks and pipelines is that when a train crashes – it gets noticed immediately, pipelines traveling through remote areas can leak for weeks or months before it is noticed.

            See Saskatchewan Indian Reserve where 200 000 liters (50 000 + gallons) of oil just leaked from a pipeline. – the same thing (200 000 + liters leaking) happened seven months ago.


          • This is the concern with pipelines, but there’s lots of technology that can minimize this issue, if companies are forced to use it. Monitoring can be especially stringent in the most sensitive areas. The use of fossil fuels is an inherently messy business and can never be 100% risk free, but as long as we continue to depend on them (which we will for at least the next 10-15 years at the very least), strong precautions and good response plans are critical.

          • There is a ton of oil being transported via rail and semi right now. The explosions have been horrible and as a driver in the area, I would prefer the pipeline.

          • There have been massive leakages on existing pipelines in MT and ND already – with no monitoring in place. The argument is that these are older pipelines, so are less sophisticated, but what guarantees are there that the new pipelines will continued to be maintained/monitoring to prevent leakage.


        • Written by the ND governor:

  29. We are on the hunt for our next sofa/couch/sectional and I’m trying to get a handle on some retailers beyond my usual frame of reference. Does anyone has experience with Article, Joybird, or Interior Define? Or another company you particularly loved?

  30. Just want to put these here:

    Visit this! Share this! I know so many fantastic people that should be heard by a few more people in this country. I don’t want to hear in 2018 or the election after that or the one after that, that the candidates are “uninspiring.” I’m tired of it. Let’s build a deeper bench that reflects our communities and our people and not the old boys clubs our grandmothers and minority friends have been shut out of … for centuries. There’s no time to waste; it’s already 2017. Let’s show ’em what we got!


  31. Looking at M.Gemi flats as a replacement for my beloved Nordstrom BP Moveover flats that are falling apart. I love the BP flats but I’m tired of having to buy a new pair every year. Any feedback on the M.Gemi Fortuna or others to try? Pointed toe, low to no heel and black patent.

    • I would love to hear feedback on this too, especially wrt sizing.

    • I had the stellato but they didn’t quite last a year (took it to a new to me cobbler to get re-soled and they screwed it up). I have the flats with the contrasting material stripe on the front which are my indoor at work shoes and they’ve been holding up.

      Honestly, not sure any flat would last more than a year of daily wear in NYC.

      • FWIW, I am not in NYC and drive to work. I do walk frequently during the day to other buildings but not a full walking/subway commute.

  32. Dow 20k. Happy camper!

    Cue the Debbie downers who’ll tell me it won’t last (it may not – so what – take profit) and TRUMP and climate change and whatever else.

    • Bless your heart.

    • The Dow doesn’t really mean anything.

    • I wish I could be so privileged that I could only care about the market and not the humans around me who are suffering and will continue to do so.

      • Okay what is with these comments?! No one who’s posting about the market has ever suggested that’s *all* they care about. I’m happy I’m making money today. Doesn’t mean I’m not heartbroken by basically everything else that’s going on these days. Jesus.

        • Wildkitten :

          AnonNYC was posting specifically to be a jerk.

        • Anonymous :

          This one comment itself isn’t too bad, but I think the OP routinely makes comments like this. There was a similar thread yesterday about aren’t you all so happy about the market going up? And people said no for various reasons which OP was pretty dismissive about. I do think it’s an odd thing to repeatedly post about though. Seems like bragging about having a lot of money. Which, hey, that’s great and all, but why the need to post about it multiple times a week.

          • Yeah okay maybe this commenter is a jerk, but I’ve seen multiple commenters lambasting people for having any sliver of hope for the future or positive outlook, because “must be nice to be so privileged.” Also, if we recognize someone is trolling, shouldn’t we just ignore them?

      • Not only that, but rubbing it in people’s faces. See, OP’s comment about debbie downers/climate change.

        Why post this anyways? Who cares? Publicly available and easily accessible info about the Dow is not interesting or much of a conversation starter, except for negativity.

    • a millenial :

      the dow is the least scientifically based index. be more basic pls

  33. First Baby :

    Would love advice/stories about what’s worked for people in the past or things they definitely wouldn’t recommend.

    I’m expecting my first baby in a few weeks. The hospital is 10 minutes from our house. My parents live 5 minutes from my house. My parents are helpful workhorses when DH and I are stressed (dropping off groceries/dinner, taking our dog for walks, unloading the dishwasher etc) and are sensitive to giving me and DH our space to establish our own family even though they’re so close. My mom is almost more protective of the time DH and I will have with a newborn than I would think to be- saying she thinks they should wait at home not in the hospital waiting room, telling my siblings that a 15 minute visit is a lot for a new mom, telling DH she’ll help with household chores/send over her cleaning lady if it would be helpful so he can spend his time off with the baby, not dealing with logistical stuff like laundry etc.

    My MIL is the complete opposite. She is somehow simultaneously very passive and very high maintenance. Like won’t really communicate what she’s looking for, but gets passive aggressive when it isn’t what she wants. She’s the opposite of helpful when she comes to visit- does things like prepare a huge, complicated dinner on a Wednesday night using every single one of our dishes… and then doesn’t clean up. She’ll take our dog to the beach (so fun!) but not clean him off before letting him back in the house (sand everywhere- huge clean up for me!). I try to assume good intentions and appreciate the meal/puppy exercise/etc but I’m happy with scrambled eggs and toast for dinner or a simple walk around the block if it means I don’t have a big midweek clean up! I just don’t think she thinks about the impact of things on other people.

    MIL wants to come to visit when the baby is born. She lives about 4 hours away and I think is envisioning basically getting a text that we’re going to the hospital and hopping in her car (she’s retired and has nothing to do all day). I’ll be in the hospital for 2 days with a regular birth or up to 4 with a c-section. All rooms are private and have a cot for the partner, so my husband will stay in the hospital with me. Right now I think the plan is for MIL to stay at our house while we’re in the hospital and come to visit us as we feel up to it. I like the idea of being able to say, “baby needs to nurse/I need to nap, so we have to wrap up this visit and you can come back later in the day.” I feel strongly that I do not want houseguests when we bring the baby home from the hospital. So at that point, MIL will go stay at my parents for a day or two. For some reason the idea of a hotel makes MIL have a meltdown over being “excluded.”

    What was your situation when you had kids? Are there things DH and I should anticipate being issues with MIL that we should talk about/get on the same page about? He totally agrees no overnight houseguests once we’re home with baby. I think MIL wants to come back when baby is about 6 weeks- how long a visit will feel too long/overwhelming? Will having her stay at our house then still feel intrusive and stress me out? I’m usually pretty low key, but I keep hearing about how your hormones go crazy and breastfeeding is hard and I don’t want to overly complicate things!

    • I can’t wait to hear responses on this.

      My parents live a long and very expensive flight away but spoil us rotten when they are here (seriously, my dad runs all our neglected errands, my mom doesn’t even let us make our own cups of tea, the cupboards are stocked when they leave, and we just genuinely miss them when they go home). My in-laws (1 hour flight), while lovely, are more passive, slightly more demanding, and definitely less helpful.

      I’m hoping to have 2 weeks with just me, husband, and BBS then have my parents here for two weeks when he goes back to work. My husband’s cousin (who we both feel super comfortable with) is an hour away and would be up like a shot if we got ourselves in a jam and his aunt and uncle are nearby for emergencies / food deliveries.

      My in-laws are welcome to come up during that period for a short visit (staying in a hotel) and then as often as they want afterwards but they have busy lives and we’re pretty far down their list of priorities. Hoping for long weekend versus prolonged stay. I feel a bit bad but my husband agrees that he’d feel more comfortable with my parents there looking after me and BBS when he goes back to work.

    • I would disinvite MIL for the time immediately surrounding the birth. My mother and in-laws were lovely and helpful and not at all intrusive, and I was still incredibly stressed out by their brief visits to the hospital the day after the baby was born. I was exhausted and sweaty and starving and hadn’t even had a chance to shower. I can’t stand any of the pictures that include me. If I could do it all over again, I would have banned all hospital visitors or gone to the cafeteria to get something to eat while my husband entertained them in the room.

      If MIL lives within driving distance and has scheduling freedom, just tell her you’ll play it by ear and invite her when you are ready. Then keep the visit to around 4 days and insist that she stay with your parents or at a hotel. 6 weeks is probably reasonable, but you won’t know how you’ll feel until you’re living it.

    • I suggest having her stay at your parents the whole time but that they come visit you in shifts so you are not overwhelmed. I’ve never had a baby though so grain of salt and all.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes – I agree that your MIL should spend the entire visit at your parents. If the rationale to have her stay at your place was to take care of the dog/house, can your parents take the dog?

        Having had a baby, I can absolutely guarantee that you will not want houseguests immediately upon getting home from the hospital (visitors – yes, houseguests, no). And I think you should play it a little by ear in terms of the 6 week visit, especially with an unhelpful houseguest. At 6 weeks your kiddo will likely be going through a growth spurt and will be fussier and hungrier than normal. I remember days at around that age where I just didn’t leave the house and nursed almost hourly. I never felt comfortable nursing in front of people, so I always had to leave the room with the baby. Plus your kiddo is likely not going to be anywhere close to sleeping through the night, so you’ll be dealing with a fair bit of sleep deprivation.

        All that said, can your MIL stay with your parents both times? I know that she gets upset about staying in a hotel, but this might be one of those areas where you need to enforce some temporary boundaries.

        • OfCounsel :

          I am going to disagree slightly. My mother stayed with me for three weeks right after I came home from the hospital and my sister came to stay for three week after that, so I was basically not alone for six weeks. However, they were both make food, do dishes, do laundry, run errands, change diapers, let me hold her for 15 minutes while you take a shower kind of guests and I loved having them (particularly when I got mastitis and could not get out of bed for 48 hours). This is very mom/baby/guest specific.

    • I wouldn’t have MIL come and stay at your house when you’re gone at the hospital — based on what you’ve described, seems like you may come home to a dirty house, she’ll be a prima donna when visiting you at the hospital, etc. It also sounds like you run the risk that she’ll be in your hometown (or could come to the hospital?) when you’re laboring and you don’t need that in the hospital.

      Is letting her know that she’s welcome to come visit in the hospital once the baby arrives (and stay with your parents for a night or two), then asking her to come back again in a week or so an option?

      We have good relationships with my MIL (local/retired/widow with my DH being her only son) and my parents (when kids were born, a little younger/semi-retired/living out of town). MIL came to the hospital but mostly stayed in the waiting room for birth #1, and stayed with #1 while we were at the hospital with #2. It was OK to have her at the hospital for #1, but labor ended up being REALLY LONG so she was there for 30 hrs or so, and there were a few points where distance would have been appreciated (e.g., I got over it quickly, but no one really wants to have your MIL in the room when your battered lady parts are being cleaned off post delivery). For birth #2, she was focused on caring for my older kid, which was incredibly helpful, and she and kid came to see us in the hospital.

      My parents were living out of town (a flight away) when kids were born, so they traveled to see us when babies were about a week old, which coincided with the end of my husband’s paternity leave. My mom stayed for 2 weeks (it worked for us because she’s a helper and doesn’t annoy me, and I was still on pain meds that prevented me from driving after one of the births). My dad, who was working, came for a long weekend – also worked for us because while he’s helpful he’s also someone who will plop on the coach and watch football cluelessly.

      Good luck. My TLDR is that your husband should be focusing entirely on you and the baby when you’re in labor and for the first few weeks, and if his mom will distract from that, or if she’ll create stress for either or both of you, then limit her time. It’s hard enough!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Your plan for birth visiting sounds good. You will need to play it by ear afterward. Perhaps plan for MIL to stay 2 nights at some point, to see how it goes.
      FWIW, all 3 grandparents stayed at our house for about 4 nights after our baby was born (so 2 nights while I was in the hospital and 2 nights after coming home). It was fine. My MIL is helpful but a bit needy.

    • Set boundaries now. Don’t make them specific to her – hold everyone to them. And make your spouse in charge of this conversation. Here’s what worked for me:
      (1) No visitors for 24 hours after birth. Just me and Hubs and Baby. It was lovely.
      (2) Call before visits. I didn’t (and still don’t) want my in laws to see my b**bs. Nursing is beautiful and natural, blah blah blah, but I still didn’t want people just barging in on an intimate moment.
      (3) Visits should last no more than 30 minutes.
      (4) Hotels. Tell them it’s because of germs. Have all visitors wash hands before holding baby.
      (5) Keep a running list of things people can do to help. They will offer – take them up on it.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Also: bf’ing can be VERY hard. Do NOT kill yourself trying to do it if it’s just not working for you and your baby. Formula is not the devil.

    • Every baby and parent is different. I didn’t want anyone to be in the hospital. Both sets of parents cam after baby was born for a brief visit. Both were definitely dressed and ready to go b/c they made record time to the hospital but at least I didn’t feel like I had someone waiting while I was trying to give birth to a human.

      Maybe you can put your MIL to use taking care of the dog while you’re in the hospital. I would agree that for me not having anyone there when we brought baby home was good. But I have friends who totally panicked being alone with an infant and they appreciated an extra set of experienced hands. I’m not sure your MIL would be that, but something to consider.

      By 6 weeks I think you settle into a good routine with feeding and the rest so I would think you should be good for a visit.

    • Oof. I definitely support no houseguests when you bring home baby (and I was on team no-guests while we were in the hospital and don’t regret it). I think if she wants to come visit in the hospital that’s fine. She comes, visits you 1-2x a day for two days, then goes home, to her home. Then comes back 4-8 weeks later. Personally I wouldn’t plan anything more than a long weekend, unless you have a gigantic house and have a wing she can stay in. We had our first guests at two months and I still lost my ish, so proceed with caution.

      If you think it’s going to be an issue then it probably is, and best to nip it in the bud before your hormones are crazy, you have a tiny being dependent on you, and a more damaging exchange occurs.

    • My MIL is awful with boundaries and super high maintenance. She lives a plane flight away. I pushed back hard and say no house guests for 6 weeks after the birth. She booked a flight for exactly the last day of the sixth week. She was super mad and barely spoke to DH for two weeks after he told her. I told DH that if she showed up at my house before the six week mark, I’d take the baby to a hotel by myself. Establishing BF, bonding with baby and physical recovery was my priority, I had zero energy for MIL’s usual drama.

      My mental health is important to protecting my baby’s health and I went mama bear on this one. YMMV.

      Do not text her when you go to the hospital. Text her after the baby arrives and you are willing to have her visit.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have time to write a long post, but I will say this: I just had a baby and those first few weeks with you and DH and baby are SO SO precious, and you should do everything to protect them. Even if this means pissing off family – which I ended up doing. I’m a total people pleaser (as is DH) but I put my foot down on this issue and I’m glad I did – and if your family can’t understand that, it’s their problem. Add to this that you are a ball of crazy hormones and dealing with sleep deprivation and BF’ing and a whole host of other things post-delivery, and it’s very difficult to keep it together to be polite when you don’t want to be, so consider that and try to set expectations in advance. People will get over it eventually, and if they don’t, then that’s their problem.

      • This completely. I had to tell my MIL three different times that we did not want visitors for the first two-three weeks after our first kid was born, because we needed to figure out what we were doing. You can’t do that competently, and have any kind of marriage, with an audience. BF’ing is hard (and doesn’t always take), you’re up at all hours, the kid’s readjusting to day time, etc. Our pediatrician said “the first week is one long day,” and he is right. Hold the line now (and my MIL was cranky too), but it’s worth it later.

        I also slightly disagree with others’ advice that you have your MIL stay with your mom. I think that puts a lot of pressure on your mom, who already sounds like she’s knocking herself out for you and your DH (lucky you). I think MIL can get over herself and stay in a hotel, like millions of other people do after their kids give birth.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Agree with this and ArenKay. You are going to be getting into a new rhythm and you don’t want to have to worry about anyone except your baby, your husband, and you if you can help it. You aren’t obligated to meet the demands of your MIL.

        And there is no reason to have your MIL stay at your parents’ house, unless they are friends with her and want her there. She can get a hotel nearby.

    • I’ll offer an alternative experience – I thought I wouldn’t want hospital visitors prior to, during, or after the birth, but it ended up being very different. My water broke well in advance of any contractions. We hung out at home for 15 hours before calling my doc who was not thrilled that so much time had already gone by. We went to the hospital, got hooked up to monitors and…nothing. It was boring.

      We ended up calling a couple close friends over to keep us company. My parents are a three hour drive away and hadn’t planned to come visit until after the baby was born, but as the night progressed and the scenario deteriorated, they came down early. My parents arrived 15 minutes before I was off to an emergency c-section and I just bawled when they came in the room. They were so supportive, loving, helpful, and respectful. Around 3AM they went back to our house, took care of our dog, visited quick in the morning and then headed home (busy season for their business).

      My MIL ended up booking a next day flight to come see us and arrived at 7AM. She was so helpful in assisting my husband on all of the random errands we weren’t prepared for because baby came a couple weeks early. She was helpful in picking up a breastpump, finding preemie diapers, and clothes, etc. Coming home to a fully stocked fridge and cooked meals was wonderful. She stayed for five days and I can’t imagine having done it without her.

    • I would strongly suggest not letting her stay at your house at all. She won’t leave.

      We had no visitors for the first ~14 days (4 at hospital, then at home) and it was glorious. I mean, it wasn’t glorious, it was sort of hell, but it was also such a sweet, snuggly time of learning how to be this new family. I really treasure the memory of those days.

      My MIL, like yours, is both passive and high maintenance. I’ll never forget her getting extremely frustrated that I didn’t have a particular kind of pan for some dish she wanted to cook — not exactly the errand I needed to add to my to-do list with a newborn.

      Anyway, I would recommend telling her no one stays at your house, she can stay with your parents (it sounds like they might even help corral her). I would also recommend pushing back on all the intended visits. I was so, so exhausted by the work of keeping my baby alive and safe (and recovering from emergency surgery) that the very minor stuff of “come on in. thank you for the thing. i’ll help you find a cup for water.” was overwhelming.

    • lawsuited :

      Does your DH have family living in the same city as you? If so, have MIL stay with his family when she visits at the birth and 6 weeks later. Or, if your parents are agreeable, have her stay with them both times. At 6 weeks you will be getting into a rhythm, but will not yet have everything so under control that having an inconsiderate house guest is NBD.

      FWIW, my sister recently had her first baby and my parents (who live 3 hours away) drove down just to visit for the day on the day of the birth because they were really excited but didn’t want to impose. Maybe the extra hour really makes a difference in your situation though.

    • My MIL is also a prima donna. She was a better house guest once the baby showed up. I didn’t want her visiting for the first week, but she came the second week and was unexpectedly very helpful.

      I will dissent a little bit and say I think you should try to bend over backwards a little bit here. She is going to be the grandmother of your child for the rest of your life. Don’t give her reasons to feel resentful — make her earn those reasons. Also, sometimes another set of arms to hold the baby is more helpful than you expect right now. She could just sit on the couch all day and you’d still be grateful for being able to take a long bath or get some sleep.

      I would say it’s reasonable to ask for no houseguests the first week. I wouldn’t make strict rules about the first two months — that sounds excluding to me. She can visit you in the hospital after the baby is born, not before. She will have to make her own accommodations. Do not offer your parents’ place….if you are like me, your mom will be over all the time holding your hand while you sob during breastfeeding, and if your MIL knows that, she will feel jealous and excluded. She doesn’t need to know how often your mom visits.

      Make some rules in advance — especially yourselves. Decide that you will not play hostess. Your husband should tell her that it’s going to be a crazy time for you all and that you’d love to have her as long as she can appreciate that she will not be your focus. Your husband will be in charge of maintaining the message during the visit. Your mom can hold the baby / etc but your husband will nicely and politely ask her to help with dishes, let you sleep, etc as needed and will quickly shut down any unwanted parenting advice. And if you decide to cut short her stay for any reason — or more likely if you have to delay her visit because something comes up, like jaundice or whatever that is stressing you out — he will deliver the bad news.

      Basically I think that based on your post, you should give your MIL a chance to prove herself as a better houseguest. Trust me, it’s worth it to put up with some amount of MIL annoyances…..she is going to be in your lives more now than ever, so do your part to make that smooth. But clearly communicate your expectations both before and during her visit — Worst case scenario, she can just hop back in her car if the visit goes south!

      • In case it’s not clear, I think no houseguests the first week or two, then let her stay with you. Do not offer your moms place though.

        Also I read back on others posts and forgot to mention that my husband had no paternity leave. Maybe that made my MIL more helpful than she otherwise would have been. Seriously though the woman who always makes my husband cook for her when we visit her house, turned out to be an angel when there was a baby to take care of. Now that we have a toddler she is back to her helpless self.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m due in 3 weeks, so haven’t been through it yet myself, but here’s how we’re handling: we were firm about no visitors for the first 2-3 days at home. My mom, who is a plane ride away but otherwise sounds like your parents (extremely helpful and non-intrusive), wants very badly to be around to help, and I think would jump at the chance to come even before the baby is born, but we strongly want a few days to learn to be a family of 3.

      I would never never agree to a houseguest in first month who I thought would result in more mess than assistance – so I agree with above posters who say don’t let your MIL stay at your place at all. Some hurt feelings are worth reducing your stress at an already stressful time! It might be helpful to phrase your expectations as “We know you really want to help us, and what we really need from you is ______”, even is ____ is “short visits to drop of groceries and then leave ASAP until we call you”

      Whatever you decide on, be very clear about expectations, including on when/how you plan to provide news of the birth and when visitors are ok. My generally excellent MIL (who for other scheduling reasons will be coming when baby is about 8 weeks old) had the idea that we would be texting her with updates all throughout labor, until DH and I swiftly shut than down. We’ll be a little busy.

    • I am South Asian and though having inlaws over is a part of our culture, I did not hesitate to tell DH firmly that inlaws could only visit after baby was 3 months with baby #2. With baby #1, they came to help with good intentions at the 8 week mark – but my MIL and I have opposite ideas on everything so utter disaster.

      Be firm. This is not the time to make nice with inlaws.

  34. Can any one recommend pro bono services to get involved with in the face of the current administration? I’m a first year attorney at a small firm, so my firm doesn’t really provide any opportunities. I could possibly do pro bono work on nights and weekends. I’d be happy to volunteer in other ways, I just would guess free legal services could be much needed

  35. anonnynonny :

    How do you tell your manager you’re taking a day off in the next week and a half but you’re not sure which day yet? I’m retrieving my eggs for IVF so I likely won’t be going back to work (also: anyone have experience with this? Can I work from home or am I going to be woozy?). I rarely ask for sick days and when I am sick I just work from home, but my manager is quite new to the company so doesn’t know that. Plus, I had surgery last month and had to take one day off for that so I’m particularly worried about how this will look/sound.

    • Dude, stop stressing. When you find out, just say, “I’m not feeling well and am going to the doctor now. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the office tomorrow.” And then you’ll come back and say that you’ll be fine, not contagious. Leave it vague.

      Also, you only took ONE DAY off for surgery? Gurl, puhleez. Don’t do that next time. Take however long you need to recover. People respect surgery. Good grief.

    • Wildkitten :

      Actually I think the surgery makes it less sketchy. Say you have a follow up medical procedure and will have to take a day off in the next week and a half but your doctor is going to tell you which day. I also always say that I’ll be working if I can but not to count on it when I am in situations where I don’t know if I’ll be able.

    • Anonymous :

      I just had my retrieval yesterday. I told my manager the day before. I said I was having a medical procedure. Usually they don’t inquire or ask for more information once you mention medical procedure. I was woozy for about an hour or two after and was able to work afterwards.

    • anonnynonny :

      Thanks to all of you for responses!

      And Anonymous, thanks particularly for sharing your experience–and good luck.

      • Anonymous :

        I felt pretty awful after my retrieval — they gave me lots of pain meds. I was down for the count the rest of the day. The next day I took it easy and was back to normal the day after that.

        Wishing you the very best of luck!

  36. Anonymous :

    How do you deal with an incredibly undermining, criticial-for-the-sake-of-being-critical, frenemy Queen Bee boss? I thought I was a problem before, even though multiple other people have pointed it out and asked if I’m doing ok, but I’m starting to realize that it doesn’t matter what I do. I’ll be reporting to her for the next 5 months or so. I need to develop a thicker skin and not hate my job.

    • You describe my previous supervisor perfectly. FYI that in the end I had to switch supervisors, but I still work with her, just don’t report to her. My strategy while I was reporting to Queen Bee was to try to manage her moods so she stayed in the happy, friendly box instead of annoyed, undermining, critical side. Looking back…. it had its pros and cons. It helped some days, but obviously didn’t solve the problem and I think made her feel betrayed when I eventually switched. The way I approach it now is to only deal with her when she’s happy, and if she starts to get critical I steel myself and remind myself that it’s her opinion and if she really has an issue she can take it up with my new boss.

      You mentioned that others have been asking if you’re doing OK – I had a similar experience, and one thing I didn’t do but should have considered is to ask someone at a similar level to my manager to informally intervene. My Queen Bee had other, higher-up frenemies who might have been willing to express concerns to her. If you have a good relationship with any of these people, and they also have a good relationship with Queen Bee, you could ask for their advice/assistance.

      Also, as always, talk to HR. Even if they can’t help (my Queen Bee had done similarly terrible things to previous people in my position but only gotten slaps on the wrist for it), they can at least document it and hopefully provide you with some guidance.

      • Anonymous :

        I was going to just try to suck it up and not bring anyone else into it, but she JUST called me into her office and told me a couple of other things that will majorly impede my career growth AND make my life more miserable for the next 5 months. That’s it, time to go over her head and get someone to intervene. Wish me luck.

    • Been there done that! The only thing that you can do in this situation is to disengage! Do not discuss anything outside of the tasks assigned to you. Make sure that you guys speak face to face as little as possible, and us email to communicate with her as much as possible.

    • Anonymous :

      How did I deal? Not well and she fired me :(

  37. What was the hardest part about getting your first promotion, or the first time you switched career fields? Was it the fear and anxiety? Environment? Taking on more leadership?

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