Suit of the Week: Brooks Brothers

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

This Brooks Brothers suit seems gorgeous (although I might leave out the scarf if I were the one to style it). I love how the skirt has a pieced-together look, as well as the blazer. I also like the high collarless style with the two buttons, and I think it just looks like a great suit. It’s interesting that it has welt pockets, too. I don’t like sandals with suits — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — but add a basic pump and now we’re talkin’. I would wear this mostly as separates because I think a little cropped blazer like this can be used in a lot of different ways, and I think the skirt is lovely too. The jacket (Jacquard Cropped Jacket) is $498, and the skirt (Jacquard A-Line Skirt) is $268 (and, well, if you buy 2, you get the 3rd free).

Two lower-priced options are here and here, and here’s a plus-size option.

(L-all)

Comments

  1. I’m trying to mail a letter to someone and the address I have didn’t seem right, so I looked up the property on Maryland’s property search website: sdat.dat.maryland.gov. The property’s owners are listed as the guy’s parents, who died several years ago.

    Just out of curiosity, is there a time limit as to how long you have to transfer real estate over to either an estate or the heirs? In all my years of researching, I have never seen this, but then, I am not an attorney.

    • Not sure, but sometimes those public databases don’t catch up to reality as quickly as the actual records. Weird!

    • Not weird, happens all the time.

    • Ok, but this is the official database that the state uses for the property tax bills. If this still lists his parents then that means that the deed hasn’t been transferred. Isn’t that odd?

      • Nope. At least not in Texas. If someone is paying the property taxes they don’t really care that much about updating the database. This doesn’t happen with sales between non-family members, but with inheritances it’s common.

        • Come to think of it, it took about four or five months for my house sale to show up in our official database. Everything was in order so why bother updating? Interesting.

      • I had this issue with an Internet guy who wanted to date me seriusly. I did go out with him a few times and he said he owned a place in Brooklin, but when Dad checked him out, the property was owned by his sister. When I went there, I saw a lot of things that would NOT have belonged to a man, and there was alot of women thing’s in the bathroom. He said that it belonged to his EX. I did NOT believe him b/c he never talked about an EX, and it would be wierd if he kept her old stuff in the medicine cabinet AFTER they broke up. So just watch out b/c the guy could be trying to make you think he has money/property that realy belong to someone else. FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      Sometimes estates can take years to settle.

  2. Senior Attorney :

    Oh, man! I really love the scarf but — oof! It’s $298! More than the skirt. Go figure.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m confused by recommending this as the suit of the week only to say it should mostly be worn as separates? I thought the point of this category was to recommend a suit to be worn as a suit?

      • Eh – the recommendation sounded like wearing it as separates in addition to wearing it as a suit, but probably getting more use as a seperates. I saw a “would”, but not a “should”.

  3. I am annoyed. I politely responded on Twitter to a legal journalist’s article, pointing out that the court’s public rules explained a procedural situation that his article characterized as somehow mysterious / unknowable. He replied “Well do YOU know the answer?” and something to the effect that “from what [he] hear[s]” courts just make it up as they go along (nice attitude for a major-paper journalist on the federal courts beat!). So I replied “yes,” with a link to the court rule that directly addresses the situation. And now, crickets. I don’t expect a correction to the article because that’s so rare unless it’s something like a misspelling, but it’s so annoying that he engaged in a semi-hostile way on Twitter, I responded with the information, and now he is just ignoring it, even in that forum. Also as a lawyer it really bugs me that he doesn’t care enough to know about court procedure when he’s writing about it his AS HIS JOB. (Also, to the extent it matters, my Twitter bio makes it clear I’m a lawyer and a woman, and I can’t help feeling the latter is relevant somehow.)

    • Really weird question, but is this the legal journalist for the NYT? I’ve had similar run-ins with him before.

      • Not weird – but no. It never ceases to amaze me how badly legal journalists (and “regular” reporters too) err in their reporting about legal matters sometimes. Just on the facts of what occurred inside a courtroom or about what stage a case is in, or whatever. Easily knowable things. I once had a rage-stroke over a report about a grand jury “verdict,” though, so I might just be overly sensitive.

      • And I want to hear about your run-in!

    • Anonymous :

      I think there’s an idea out there where people think they’re SUPPOSED to be hostile/mean on Twitter. Like that’s just what you do with that platform?

    • I’d write to the paper and let them know about this. In detail.

      • In addition (assuming this is NYT), you can submit corrections directly to the paper by following the instructions here: https://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/corrections/

    • Anonymous :

      We deal with the press a lot and have an agreement with some journalists that do off the record fact checking conversations. It shocks me how often the journalists get major facts wrong.

    • Tell the editor.

    • The line between good journalism and real news has been so blurred it must be frustrating to be in that field at this time. Like you try hard to get it all right because that’s the right thing to do and another story with juicier fake facts gets way more readership. Just a comment. Definitely not an excuse. But this change is making way for jerks like that to get ahead. He should have handled it better. I mean he is a frickin writer by trade. Even if he had said “do you KNOW the right answer?” it wouldn’t have been as ad hominem.

  4. NationalAnthem :

    Has anyone ever tried the ketogenic diet? I went down a reddit rabbit hole yesterday and am just curious if anyone has any real life experience with it. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      So many reddit crazies love their keto. I have no advice but yikes.

    • Prepare yourself for bad breath. I’m talking can-smell-you-from-the-other-end-of-the-conference-table bad breath.

      • So interesting. Is this why people who do Paleo have bad breath? I have noticed it in a few people.

        • It’s a side effect of ketosis.

          My husband does a low- or no-carb thing for a few weeks when he wants to drop a few pounds and I basically want him to get his own bedroom during those times.

        • BeenThatGuy :

          I eat Paleo (80/20) and I not have issues with bad breath

      • I had this issue with an Internet guy who wanted to date me seriusly. I did go out with him a few times and he said he owned a place in Brooklin, but when Dad checked him out, the property was owned by his sister. When I went there, I saw a lot of things that would NOT have belonged to a man, and there was alot of women thing’s in the bathroom. He said that it belonged to his EX. I did NOT believe him b/c he never talked about an EX, and it would be wierd if he kept her old stuff in the medicine cabinet AFTER they broke up. So just watch out b/c the guy could be trying to make you think he has money/property that realy belong to someone else. FOOEY!

    • Yes! With modifications for things like leg day at the gym (more carbs to prep for this). It’s made a huge difference in just changing the way I eat. The carb and sugar cravings are real for the first week, but if you power through I’ve found its one of the quickest way to break the habit or inclination to eat lots of refined carbs and sugar. Also, grocery shopping for it seems to take double the time, because of all the carbs in seemingly everything, but its real eye-opener into what you’ve been eating.

    • Anonymous :

      My cousin has been doing it for more than a year. Not sure about the negative side effects, but he did tell me his energy levels have been really great since he started — he was able to totally give up caffeine after a several-cup-a-day habit.

      • WorkingMom :

        Ketosis is not a state that you want to be in for an extended period of time. I’m sure it varies by individual – but do you know if your cousin is doing this on his own or under the supervision of a doctor? Depending on whether or not a person has any other conditions – a prolonged state of ketosis could (in some individuals) lead to organ damage. I know it’s used widely for short-term diets and can be very effective in the short term, but I would be cautious about being in a state of ketosis long term.

        • Do you mean ketoacidosis? I think there are a lot of studies showing that, especially in obese people, prolonged ketosis does not have side effects.

    • I thought this diet was used to treat intractable seizures… do people do this on their own? For what reason? I’m finding it hard to believe but…

      • Anonymous :

        Of course. Atkins, South Beach, etc included phases of ketosis. The reason would be for weight loss.

      • You are correct, it has been effective in treating seizures. It is used by non-epileptics for weight loss as another low/no-carb diet.

    • Anonymous :

      I am 3 weeks in and still skeptical but seeing results, down 13 pounds and 6 inches. The Reddits and Facebook pages are rabbit holes and contradict one another. I found Keto-Adaptation on Facebook and have been following their way only.

      I lost all sugar and carb cravings mostly, but man, I miss fruit so much! Small amounts of berries are allowed, but what I would give for an orange right now. And keto breath is real. My poor SO is struggling with that more than I.

      • Has your calorie intake changed at all or is it purely the ketosis?

        • Anonymous :

          For the most part yes. I have been tracking what I eat in My Fitness Pal on and off for years trying to stay in between 1,200-1,600 cal. Since starting Keto, I have been closer to 1,000, some days fewer. I am eating more fat and being more satiated from it. I have all but dropped eating breakfast, switched to heavy cream in my coffee that’s it.

          • Anonymous :

            If you’re cutting 200-600 calories a day wouldn’t you have lost weight with any diet?

          • Thanks! I use MFP too (I think we even have a group here?) and have noticed that the higher my protein/fat to carb ratio, then fewer calories I eat overall. I may give keto a shot after I do some more reading on it.

    • It’s the only thing that’s ever worked for me. I eat fewer calories overall, and while some would say “yeah, no shit you’re losing weight”, the difference is that *I’m not hungry*. More importantly, to me, I have zero cravings for carbs/sugar. Passing up that office cake involves no denial – I’m simply not interested.

      It’s not right for everyone, hormonally. Assuming you give it a fair shake, truly paying attention to make sure you’re​ consuming enough fat and calories, you’ll know in the first few weeks whether it’s for you. You’ll either feel like shit or feel amazing.

  5. Banana Republic? :

    I don’t typically shop at banana republic these days but I found a pair of pants there that actually fit and look pretty good. Now I want to buy them in a few other colors but they are a BR Pick which seems to be excluded from most sales…does anyone know if the BR picks ever go on sale? I am trying to decide whether it’s worth waiting… TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      There are some cardholder sale/discounts that do not have exclusions, and occasionally other sales, but a lot of the promotions will exclude BR Picks. I think at some point it transitions out of being a Pick though – just don’t know what the timeframe is.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes! BR Picks won’t stay BR picks forever – give it a week or two. And sometimes they do have sales with no exclusions, but not as often as their regular sales.

      Also, look for the pants in store because the stores will have similar sales but no exclusions IIRC.

  6. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have experience with a Career Coach? I had an intake with one this morning, and while I like the idea, I’m not sure I want to spend the money. Thoughts?

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I’m working with one now, and I think it’s worth the money (which is significant, but not sacrificing my retirement savings or anything) – I’m finding that it’s helping me identify what I really want to do. Not a job title, but the actual work itself– what energizes me, what should I be looking for, how can I leverage my network. It’s giving me more focus, which is what I need.

      • Anonymous :

        That makes sense, and is something I would also benefit from. Do you think you could have achieved the same results by putting hyper focus on your goal for a month vs. paying someone else to focus for you?

    • I’m actually using one now and I think she’s great. It depends on your goals and how the fee is structured. Mine is pretty much pay as you go. It is an hourly fee so I can always stop. It doesn’t hurt to try it out as long as there is no outrageous upfront cost.

    • I’m working with one now for business development, and it has been worth it. She helps me figure out what I need to be thinking about, work through what I’m doing, set definable goals, celebrate wins, etc. I’ve been working with her a month and have already scored some work, some key meetings, and demonstrated to my male partners that I can sell us in proposals.

  7. Again with this angry model who forgot to wash her hair. And this time she forgot her pumps and came to the office in her house slippers. Another bad day I guess. Hungover?

    • Anonymous :

      That is the magic of a suit:

      Angry + hungover + glaring at the world + unshowered + flip flops + dirty hair + suit = open for business

    • She’s p1ssed off because she’s wearing a hideous suit.

    • Maybe she’s a very tired CPA who had a fun night last night?

      • Anonymous :

        It’s the perfect CPA walk of shame look: last night’s suit, you lost your shoes somewhere so you put on your walk-to-the-metro shoes you found in your purse, bed head, hangover. All she needs is a rumpled 1040.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      She looks like a lady-who-lunches. Haaaaaaaate this pick. It looks like something Laura Bush would wear. I’m sure Laura is a lovely lady, but I find her style so dated and this suit falls into that category for me.

    • What makes her hair looked unwashed? This is what my hair naturally looks like. Darker roots than the rest of the hair, kind of wavy.

      • Anonymous :

        For me, I have baby fine hair. And really oily skin, so my hair looks like this after about 8 hours, post-wash. Second day hair sticks to my scalp. It is nasty. To me (from New Jersey), when I see this little volume, it reminds me of my own oily limp hair and I see “dirty.” Plus, that glare!

  8. Anonymous :

    Needed to file a POA document with the relevent county for a mortgage refinance. Is that typical? It feels a little weird to have that much personal information out there, even if it’s just boilerplate.

    • My state’s law requires recordation of a POA for any recordable real estate transaction where a POA is used. If the durable POA you have is more than you want to make of record, consider creating a single use or limited POA for a singular transaction or group of transactions.

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      Yes, it is typical to record the POA, even for a refinance rather than a purchase. As pp mentioned, consider getting a specific POA for the transaction. In my firm, when we do closings involving a POA, we prefer to only use a specific POA that details property address, lender, etc.

  9. Anonymous :

    Following up on this morning’s wedding registry discussion, how do people feel about requests for donations to charity in lieu of gifts? I plan on asking for no gifts, as I’m in my 30s and really don’t need stuff and my wedding is somewhere most people will have to travel for, but I am also Southern, and not having a registry is just asking to end up with 6 ice tea pitchers, because people will feel the need to get you something, even if you say not to. So I was considering a “No gifts, please, but if you insist, a donation to X charity would be appreciated,” where X charity is not political, not religious, and associated with the location of the wedding (think historical/environmental preservation). (and I come up with wording more polite than “if you insist”)

    • I’ve heard of this and don’t think it’s tacky at all. But I also don’t think it’s tacky to ask for cash so I don’t know how popular that opinion is.

    • We had very casual invitations that had tiny print saying “no gifts please” and then when people followed up with us, we requested donations to Children’s Hospital. It mostly worked, though we did get a couple of gifts we didn’t ask for (even from people who also donated.) Fortunately, we really liked those gifts and didn’t need to return them.

    • How southern is southern? Are we talking country club set in the deep south? Tongues will wag for years over “No gifts, please, but do this instead.” Technically, the etiquette book-approved way to address this is to have your families/MOH/etc spread the word that you’re not registering and don’t need anything but would appreciate money given to the Brown Bayou Foundation if someone would like to give in your honor.

      • Anonymous :

        Some of parents’ friends are the country club set, but it’s well known that I’m the rebellious child that dared to live up north for a decade before moving back south (but you know, to the big city, not my hometown), and most of my friends are not deep south, so some of the traditional southern expectations are already out of whack anyway.

    • Anonymous :

      I think this is fine, but make sure it’s on a “registry” section of your website, or by word of mouth– definitely not on your invitation suite or displayed prominently on the website.

    • I was a guest at a wedding for a financially secure couple in their mid/late 30s in the South who did this exactly — choice between an animal charity and one related to the historical wedding site — and I thought it was not just appropriate, but super classy.

      • Anonymous :

        In hindsight, I really wish we’d done this. I was a greedy 25 year old when we got married, the first of all my close friends to tie the knot, and I was SO excited to register and get all. the. gifts. But our wedding was in a remote location and almost everyone had to fly + rent a car + stay in an upscale hotel to attend. Most of my friends were in grad school at the time and many of my parents’ friends are lower middle class. I wish I’d been more sensitive to the great expense they went to in order to attend the wedding and requested no gifts. 10 years later, all our wedding gifts have pretty much worn out anyway and I really wish we a) had made people feel less obligated to give us anything and b) been able to make a nice donation to the foundation for the National Park we got married right near. It sounds melodramatic but it is honestly one of the biggest regrets of my life.

        • Anonymous :

          Something similar happened with our wedding which was out of town for about 1/3 of guests including close friends and immediate family and I didn’t insist on ‘no gifts’. It’s our 10th anniversary in July and I’m planning to make a point of writing our out of town guests and thanking them for coming and helping us make wonderful memories. Your post is a good reminder to make up the list and track down addresses.

    • Anonymous :

      Personally, I wouldn’t be offended by this (and I do find a request for cash tacky and a honeymoon registry somewhat tacky too). I see a big distinction between asking for money for yourself and asking for money for a cause you care about. But I believe it is not technically proper etiqu*tte to suggest donations to a charity. I would personally probably just say no gifts and when your friends say “Can’t we get you something?” then you can informally steer them toward the charity. And just deal with the fact that you’ll get some iced tea pitchers from the older family friends that your parents want to invite.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d be relieved I didn’t have to spend money on yet another toaster tbh.

    • How about — but if gifts are your custom? Or but if you wish?

      I’ve definitely been invited to weddings where a particular donation recipient was identified. I can think of one where my parents got the couple a gift anyway. And you won’t be able to stop the kooks (like my parents and other random older relatives) that get you really weird gifts even when you do have a registry.

    • Anonymous :

      My cousins did this and it was very successful. It’s probably the only way to make it clear that no registry doesn’t mean you are asking for cash for yourselves. My cousin and his wife chose two organizations that were personally meaningful for them (volunteered there) but not political/religious. Their website had a short paragraph on each and why it was meaningful to them. Unfortunately their wedding was a few years ago so I can’t find the exact wording for you but it was quite gracious.

    • Anonymous :

      I would word it very carefully so you don’t sound tacky or unappreciative. “Please consider making a gift to X Foundation in honor of our wedding.”

    • Anonymous :

      I think the least controversial way to do what you want is to say ‘no gifts’ officially and let people who ask you about it know about the charity.

    • Senior Attorney :

      We registered on Amazon and included donations for our favorite charities as gift options. It provided a link right to the contribution page on the organizations’ web page. If you really wanted to be sneaky, you could say “we’re registered at Amazon” (if people ask) and have contribution links and nothing else.

      • I love this idea, partially because I have often given donations to the happy couples’s favorite charities as wedding gifts, and then I end up on the mailing lists and get solicitations and cheap address labels and have to call (often multiple times) to be taken off the lists. Ugh. I want to give and then be done and not have someone else’s favorite charity spam me.

    • Marshmallow :

      Any mention of gifts on the actual invitation is inappropriate and tacky, even if it’s to say “no gifts.” I would roll my eyes HARD at a charity solicitation on the invitation itself.

      On your wedding website instead of having a registry link, you could try some of the wording that has been suggested here. I like, “We do not have a gift registry. If you would like to give a gift in honor of our wedding, we suggest a donation to any of the following charities.”

      OR! Or. The least tacky approach. Say nothing about gifts on the invitation or website. When people ask you, say you aren’t registered but suggest XYZ charity. The majority of people will give you cash since you aren’t registered anywhere. Then you can just quietly donate the cash.

      Unpopular opinion: I think it’s sweet that couples want to donate in honor of their wedding, BUT BUT BUT why mention it at all except for feel-good attention? This is the same reason I snark on “charity favors.” You don’t need to leave a note on the table patting yourself on the back for donating instead of giving your guests candy. Just quietly make whatever donation you think is appropriate, end of story.

      And a practical tip: still have a card box/ gift table at the wedding or at least a plan for where to securely stow cards. If I saw that on your website, I’d make the donation but still give you a card. Other people will probably not check the website and bring cash/checks, and still others will insist on giving you a toaster. Just be ready.

    • anonymous :

      I’m from the south and we registered for three entire sets of dishes plus all coordinating serving pieces, a silver flatware pattern, a stainless flatware pattern, linens, vases, probably 6 types of glasses, crystal stemware… it was insanity. We were gifted all of it and then some. There are huge cultural differences that make it completely normal back home versus “money grabby” somewhere else. It would have been taboo to register at Amazon, Target, etc. This topic is always so interesting to me.

      We have 10% of it in our small city apartment. The rest is in my parents attic.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here. Yep. This is why just putting nothing will not solve this problem. People of my parents generation will insist on a present of some sort and will not give cash. My mother would die at the very thought. Honestly, even I can’t give cash without cringing a little, because that’s how much my mother ingrained in me that “it’s tacky.” If we tell people we are not registered and do not want gifts, we will end up with random items, not nothing, and not cash. I like the amazon registry with only donation links idea (on the wedding website, of course, not the invitation! I know better than that). Thanks, everyone!

      • Anonymous :

        We did the same. And we would have received gifts along the same line whether we’d registered or not.

        • We registered for china, silver, crystal and linens at the insistence of my Southern grandmothers, who claimed that their friends and our extended family members “wouldn’t know what to get us” if we didn’t. We got every last bit of what we registered for, and the amazing thing is, DH’s family bought more of this stuff than my family. His aunt bought us our entire china set, with serving pieces, which had to have cost her over $750 (and my grandma thought that china was “too cheap” when I registered for it, and tried to get me to go for the stuff that was $300 per place setting).

          What is it with this stuff and Southern families? So few people do formal entertaining any more, I’m surprised this is a continuing tradition. I have to say, I have gotten use out of the things we got but we would have been happier being able to register for power tools, as after we got married we moved into a fixer-upper house. But I wouldn’t have gotten the power tools, even if we had registered for them.

    • I would just say no gifts please

  10. Help Writing Birthday Tribute? :

    My mom’s 75th birthday is coming up. She doesn’t want any gifts. My dad has suggested that I write down and share some of my memories of her as a little birthday tribute instead. I’m really struggling to write something. My mom’s great but is introverted and a “quietly working in the background to make sure everything is taken care of” type — so I don’t really have a lot of episodic memories of her or stories about things that she’s done or said. Any suggestions/inspiration?

    • Anonymous :

      I would write about how much you appreciate her background support and how it didn’t go unnoticed and all of that good stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      Why don’t you find some nice photos of special times together and frame them and put a little note with each one?

    • Is your Mom religious at all? We used the “Love is patient” verses from Corinthians as the introduction to my grandmother’s eulogy and used some of the words to prompt memories. It seemed really appropriate for my deeply cherished grandmother who did most of her work in the background.

    • what about naming a success that each member of the immediate family earned and explaining how mom’s support got them there?

      ex: Sally’s completion of her engineering degree was certainly celebrated as we knew how many sleepless nights Sally had put in studying and how many books she had to read and memorize to earn her 3.9 GPA. While most of you know that she now has an amazing career as XYZ’s mechanical engineering supervisor, most don’t know that, while Sally was studying, Mom was taking care of Sally’s laundry, making her meals to make sure she ate, and tucking a blanket around her when she fell asleep at the kitchen table.

      Then you can use the time to talk not about me, me, me, but about my name is on the diploma but we both worked hard for it. This could be college based or relationship based if mom was a sounding board for a marriage that is working well or home based in that everyone sees the beautiful decor but they don’t see how much effort she puts in to make it feel so welcoming, etc.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I bought one of those books that’s the “I Love You, Mom” tiny books and filled it out for my mom’s birthday last year. She absolutely positively loved it, and it’s got prompts- “You might be surprised to know one of my favorite memories with you is….,” “I always want to hear what you’ll say about…”

      I wrote a note on the inside cover saying how much I love and appreciate her. She told me it was one of the best gifts she’s ever gotten.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you go through old photos and maybe write down memories to go with the photos? Or maybe do something similar for old pictures of extended family and the generations that came before her?

    • Anonymous :

      Two thoughts:

      I did something similar for my father. It was hard for me at first, too, but once I got the ball rolling it was easy to think of things to say. He wasn’t around much (worked two jobs, etc), so I usually think of him as being absent – but I realized that he had taught me a lot of things. Everything from big profound things to silly little things. So I structured it around individual lessons, then talked (anywhere from 2 sentences to 2 pages) about the event that led to the lesson, how I’ve used it in my life, funny times that make me recall it, etc.

      My mother is the same with working in the background and feeling unappreciated for it. My kids and I once brainstormed a list of things we love about her (printed on pretty paper and framed it). Her favorite was the one that says something like “because she works hard to get us ready to do fun things” (a 7 year old worded it…) Just simply the recognition meant so much to her! You may think about special times or opportunities that you know she worked hard to arrange and simply thank her for each one.

      All were really, really well received, so I encourage you to stick with it!

      • I love this idea. Especially because it sounds like you’re having a hard time coming up with memories focused on her. Things you learned might work better and would be a lovely gift.

    • What about writing out 75 things you love about her and having it framed? Doesn’t need to say her birthday but she could appreciate it and share it without the fanfare. Or split the 75 between family members? They all get a different color or something?

  11. Deep Conditioner? :

    Can anyone recommend a good and not too expensive (less than $20 would be great) deep conditioner? I have a ton of long, naturally curly, frequently blown dry hair. The bottom half of it was color treated several times, and eventually dyed back to match my roots. That section is obviously more damaged than the top half, which is pretty healthy.

    • L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm – it’s like $6 at the drugstore. AMAZING.

      http://www.ulta.com/total-repair-5-damage-erasing-balm?productId=xlsImpprod4950049

    • Devachan Heaven in Hair. Really awesome for curls.

      • I use this one and like it a lot

        https://www.amazon.com/Arvazallia-Hydrating-Argan-Conditioner-Damaged/dp/B00I32AN4K/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1492629452&sr=1-2&keywords=deep+conditioner

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been test driving drugstore deep conditioners for similar hair for the last several years, and my 2 favorites are the Suave Professionals Moroccan Deep Conditioning Shine Mask, and the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle in the “Smooth” line. Both are under $10 (usually go on sale for under $5 at my local drugstore).

      • It’s closer to $30, but f Olaplex #3 supposedly repairs broken bonds in your hair. Shower, towel dry, and leave it in for an hour or overnight, then shampoo and condition as usual. Has made a huge difference in the condition of my chemically-treated hair. There is a whole salon-level 3-step treatment that exists, but the “step 3” which is done at home, has been more than sufficient for me.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Coconut oil for a few hours (I wrap it in a bun or in saran wrap) –> wash as usual –> rinse with watered down apple cider vinegar –> pantene commercial hair!

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        I rub it in at night, braid it, and wash it in the morning. It makes a word of difference! (I also recommend baking soda paste ‘shampoo’ + vinegar rinse ‘conditioner). I have full, long, curly, Caucasian hair.

        • Not the OP :

          Baking soda + vinegar is what I use to clean my sink drain. That sounds awful harsh (in combination) for hair/scalp. Fizzy, sure, but a huge pH difference that seems unnecessarily harsh for body parts.

          • You don’t mix the baking soda and vinegar on your scalp. You wash with a diluted baking soda solution, rinse thoroughly with water, then do a vinegar rinse, then rinse with water again.

  12. Anonymous :

    What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in her career? I’m moving up in my department, but I feel like there is more I could be doing – career/network groups, coaching, counselling, finding a mentor, extra training or courses? Is it enough to just put your head down and work hard, or should I be pursuing more opportunities outside of work? It’s really overwhelming to think about how to succeed.

    I’m in an NGO if that matters.

    • Listen more than you talk. When you meet someone new, ask them about themselves. Work hard. Don’t complain. Ask questions about your assignments to learn more about them (but keep the level of questioning reasonable, of course.) Don’t be too concerned about the next career move/promotion for around two years.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        And observe the positions (and their tasks/responsibilities) and opportunities above you. When you encounter one that’s interesting to you, listen/ask how they got where they did. So much about personal success isn’t just about achievements, but achievements in the right direction for you.

        Agree to not expect a move up for a couple of years. IDK if it’s the adjustment from school, where you advance to a new ‘position’ every year, or what – but it’s seriously annoying when fresh employees expect a promotion right off the bat. I do not like when I promote someone and their first question is what they need to do for the next promotion. It’s fine to want to know the process of the next promotion, but don’t appear impatient. It makes it appear that you’re in it for the advancement, not the actual work.

    • TBH I think you have to figure out what success means to you more than anything. A mentor can help with that and might be a good first step regardless of the goal.

    • Learn what everyone does in your office. Don’t consider anyone below you. Volunteer for committees. Be willing to lend a hand or offer to help if at all possible.

  13. Personal Milestone! :

    Paid off my last credit card yesterday. It’s freeing in some ways (though I still have 140k in student loans) but it was the last of the credit taken out to support myself through medical crises, unemployment, moving, etc. over several years, so it feels emotionally freeing more than anything. can’t share with IRL friends as most are financially struggling right now and it seems weird to say but I wanted to tell someone!

    • Way to go!!

    • Cookbooks :

      Congrats!

    • Congratulations!! That’s awesome!!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Doesn’t that feel AWESOME? I did the same thing. It was very little debt objectively (not even $1K all added up), but it just felt like this constant weight on my shoulders for the last few months (it went up a looooot around Christmas). Even just paying off the last bit of it with some $ I didn’t expect to have was great.

    • Congrats!! I just did the same in the past month or so and it’s very freeing. Mine was from debt incurred after a divorce. Same situation with student loans (over 100K) but it’s amazing what paying off the last credit card feels like and what resources it can free up. I’m finally starting a savings account, for instance!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats!

      My now-husband had similar cc debit (including for an engagement ring for someone else), and it was so emotional for him that we paid it off before getting married. It was so freeing for him.

    • Congrats!

  14. Money successes :

    Do you share these with friends/relatives? Is it strange to discuss or celebrate (as in does it come off as bragging)? It is odd to hide good news from those you love, in my opinion, but money talk seems like a tricky discussion ever since so many people are often stressed about finances.

    • Only with my sister. She makes more money than I do so she doesn’t judge me, and then she can tell me about her successes.

      I would never, ever tell anyone exact amounts but I usually buy a piece of jewelry when I get a large bonus (save most of the bonus, but buy a bauble with some of it) and I might say it was a congratulations to me gift. Even then, that’s only with good friends.

    • I try not to talk about money with my friends. Even when my friends ask me what I bought my condo for, I try to be vague. Part of it is because I know I’m doing better than a lot of my friends (combination of family support, a relatively high salary and saving a portion of every paycheck from the day I started working), and I don’t want to draw attention to that, especially because I know how lucky I am to have a family that has helped me out through school.

    • Depends on the friends. More typical to share vaguely: e.g., “Just got a raise!” but not say how much or if how much, not what from.

    • In vague terms, yes. I think it’s fine to say, for example, “Do you want to come to happy hour? I got a raise today and I’m in a celebratory mood!” I wouldn’t say how much the raise was though. Same with a bonus. I wouldn’t specify how much though.

    • Short answer: no

      Long answer: not really. I’ll tell my parents if I get a raise/awesome bonus/promotion, but I won’t give them the $ amounts. I do tell my mom when I hit exciting financial milestones (ex: when I first was able to max out my 401K contributions, when I hit 6 months emergency savings, etc), but that’s about it. My parents earn significantly more than I do (250K vs probably 600-700K), so it’s not that I’m hiding anything from them – it’s just that they’ve always made it clear to me that they consider my finances to be none of their business unless I WANT to share something in particular.

      My brothers don’t know what I make (both military) because I can’t think of a reason why that would be a relevant topic of conversation between us. My feeling is that if you’re asking me about my personal finances b/c of intelligence gathering (ex: job seeking in my industry and level), then that’s one thing – otherwise, it just seems irrelevant.

      My husband’s family has no idea what I earn, and it’s more than all of them combined, and no good could come of them learning that. Seriously.

    • Very close friends, yes. Anybody outside that circle? I think it’s super weird. I have a Facebook friend who is always posting about money and debts she’s paid off and the house she bought in the name of transparency and making money less weird to talk about. But it does not make it less weird and it totally comes across as bragging. Don’t make Facebook posts about your financial successes. Do share them with your close friends who will be happy for you.

    • I am one of the few people in my close friend group whose salary is not publicly available. We all know how much we all make generally, if not specifically. I’m the only one who works for a private entity at the moment, but I don’t care if my friends know how much money I make. When I got a raise, I told my close girlfriends how much it was because I was super proud of it. When my close girlfriends get raises, they tell me how much it is and I am super proud of them. We have talked about car purchase prices and house prices. We talk about student loan payments. We talk about health insurance premiums and child care costs. It’s NBD for us.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I share with my parents, but other than that, not really. If it comes up in conversation, I’m not opposed to talking about it (and I’ve had some very honest conversations with supervisors and mentors about the realities of nonprofit life that really, really helped me and I appreciated a lot), but I don’t bring it up.

      Unless it’s how much meds cost. That I’ll scream from the rooftops because it’s BS.

    • We do with a few very close friends who are in our income bracket. We recently paid off our mortgage (whoo hoo!) and they were as excited as we were! It is nice to have at least a few people you can talk to about money.

    • talking dollars :

      Interestingly, I’ve shared more about my salary bump with new-ish acquaintances in the last few months than I’ve shared with close friends or family. I got a nearly 40% raise when I took my new job, and I’ve had a few career discussions with people in my industry/adjacent to my skillset asking about what they should be looking at for salary levels. It’s been really freeing to have these discussions about bonus percentages, raises, salary at specific levels, etc., and I think it’s helpful from a career standpoint to know how much people are making so you don’t end up underpaid.

      I don’t generally share milestones with friends or family. I don’t know why, it just seems weird to say I got a small raise or we hit a net worth milestone. My DH and I make videos to remember certain milestones (ie: hit X net worth, bought/sold property, the job offer that came with the huge raise, etc.), and that’s fun.

    • Anonymous :

      Sometimes it comes up with my parents, because they are perpetually concerned about my finances. (I’m a mid-career professional… I’m doing fine).

      With some friends I’ll say “I got a raise! yeah!” and leave it at that. We don’t ask about %, etc. With others, we talk about promotions only as it comes up under “what I’m doing at work these days”. As in, they may notice that my role changes a bit but I never explicitly say “I was promoted in to management.”

    • anonymous :

      I don’t. My mother died when I was small and I found out on my 18th birthday that I had a trust fund because of this. This did not change my college or career plans and I am now an attorney, so I have been very lucky to be able to save for retirement and – I hope – grow it such that it can be passed onto our children someday. The only people that know about our finances are my sister (she had one, too, received it on her 18th two years before), my dad, and my husband. They are the only people I talk about money with. Even my husband’s family doesn’t know, although they know I am a lawyer. My husband’s family isn’t one that talks about money (or other intimate issues anyway), so I don’t anticipate this coming up.

    • It’s not everyone’s business, but many people who promote personal finance discuss their wins. However, not everyone is honest as to how they reached their goals. Maybe it’s because an article’s headline is not always written by the same author as the article.

      As a person of moderate income, it helps to have an idea of what is possible and what is not. So when people discuss an individual success despite receiving help from others (half of a $$ couple, free college due to a scholarship or family, random award such as an unexpected inheritance, help from family with a down payment), it skews perception of what is possible for a person who thinks they are in the same situation as the author. It’s easy to downplay these factors if they have helped you (general you), but they, along with an absence of setbacks (unemployment, underemployoment, serious illness (self or someone close to you), or following family expectations of providing financial help to others) can make a huge difference in the circumstances of two people with identical jobs and resumes.

  15. Should I join a fancy club/group? :

    Reading a lot about fancy (often women’s only) membership based groups or clubs, everything from Junior League to The Wing. Is anyone a member of such? Are there networking (or dating) benefits or is this just a bunch of stereotypically wealthy white women choosing to only socialize amongst themselves and use the membership fee to keep the rest of the world out? Not sure if it’s a great thing or if it’s something Emily Gilmore would have insisted upon for the already-too-celebrated Rory.

    • Depending on your city, Junior League may not count as fancy. There are some leagues where you can only get in if you know someone (like Houston) and others that have open application processes (a sponsor might typically be required but the league finds one for you). The Junior League in my city is extremely diverse along both racial and socioeconomic lines and its big public campaigns are on ending s*x trafficking and addressing generational poverty, so it is definitely not a ladies-in-hats type thing. I mean, the ladies may wear hats while they’re dumping petitions for better care for trafficked teens on the governor’s doorstep, because looking fabulous while working for justice never hurts, but you know what I mean.

    • Depends on the group and your city. As far as JLs go, the women who I know in it (in various chapters in the south) are very successful, family-oriented women who are the type to take their young daughters to sorority reunion weekends. I’m a lawyer and most of my friends are lawyers, and these women are all very professional and well-connected, but they’re still the sorority type. I’m not saying that’s good or bad, just who I know. I was never the sorority type, and I looked into JL briefly, but it was just too girly for me. I’m on the board at church instead.

    • Junior League has a strong charitable/service focus with some socializing as a benefit. I’d say its comparable to Rotary/Lions/Jaycees, but women only. It can vary a bit by chapter and has been pretty extensively discussed previously so might want to look at some of those comments. I’ve never heard of The Wing (I’m not NYC) but it sounds completely different in purpose and structure than JL.

    • I’m a girly type. I was in a sorority in college. (Not a cool one, though.) I love having women friends. I would not call myself “fancy” though. I joined JL in my midsized southern city several years ago. At least here, it’s not at all exclusive. There is both racial diversity and socioeconomic diversity. In my town the membership fee is around $300, and you can do a payment plan, so that is really not a barrier to discourage folks. There are absolutely networking benefits to it. I’m pretty sure I could get a job with a lot of different places in town by reaching out to some of the women I’ve met in my league. There are a lot of lawyers, accountants, amd bankers as well as folks in real estate, marketing, and the like. We even have an undertaker by day roller derby girl by night. It’s a really good mix of people and I’ve met a ton of women I would not have otherwise. Are there diamond coated housewives who roll up in their BMWs and lululemon whose grandfather founded [prestigious local company that is now worth millions]? Of course. But some of them are awesome too. I’ve really enjoyed it and have definitely been able to find “my” people.

    • I don’t think it’s a way to keep people out – to me it is just a grown up version of a sorority. A clique and external validation that you have friends and a club.

  16. super anon for this one :

    I’m thrilled to be about two years in at a position I love, at a company that has signed the equal pay pledge (woop woop!) but, it has come to my attention that a coworker may be making about about 15% more than me- I know he has similar qualifications and the same role, but that he made more at a previous job. When I was being recruited, the recruiter mentioned in salary negotiations that they wouldn’t pay me more than 30% more than my previous salary.

    I just had my annual review with my boss, where I learned that I’m doing a stellar job and I’m on track to a more senior role. We’re supposed to have salary conversation next week. Would it be reasonable to ask if my salary can be reviewed, based on the recent signing of the equal pay pledge, and to make sure that I’m being compensated in a way that’s on track with my peers?

    • Why would that be unreasonable? My advice? Discuss the promotion first, then find out if you’re getting it and what the pay rate is for it, then discuss how glad you are that the company signed the pledge and inquire as to whether HR is going to review every employee’s wage to ensure this is being followed or if an employee needs to request that this be done.

      • super anon for this one :

        Whoops! Let me clarify- promotion wouldn’t be until this time next year. My conversation next week will just be about salary increases base on this year’s performance.

        I’m not sure that I want to wait a year and lose out on $30k before having the equal pay convo.

        • H3LL TO THE NOPE. Have that discussion ASAP. Get you your money!!!

        • So then skip the first part of the sentence and focus on the rest of it!

        • So then… let me delete the n/a part of that advice and just go with:

          go into the meeting, discuss how glad you are that the company signed the pledge and inquire as to whether HR is going to review every employee’s wage to ensure this is being followed or if an employee needs to request that this be done.

    • You found out your boss thinks you’ve been doing a stellar job and you’ve got salary negotiations for next week? It’s great that your company has signed an equal pay pledge, but why not independently ask for a raise based on your excellent performance?

  17. I need a new straightening iron. I looked up previous discussions on this s*te, and I am considering buying one the Babybliss Pro or the Rusk from Ulta. Budget is $100 max. Any thoughts between the two or alternative recs? Also, I haven’t shopped much with Ulta — is it worth waiting for a sale or coupon? I left mine in a hotel and need it before another business trip next week though.

    • cat socks :

      I have a Babybliss Pro. I’ve had it for years and use it almost daily. I really like it. My hair is thin in texture, but has a slightly wavy texture. I use the first or second setting and it does a great job of straightening my hair.

    • My stylist recommended Babyliss for both straightening irons and hair dryers. That will be the brand I purchase when mine dies.

  18. Brow Shaping in Chicago? :

    Where should I go to get my brows shaped in Chicago? Preferably in the Loop or River North. Do all of the Benefit counters do this– consult and shape? I’m a mess, but have been deliberately *not* plucking for a couple of weeks.

  19. Car insurance :

    Can we talk about full-coverage car insurance? I have an older car that I use to commute. I currently carry full-coverage insurance. Do you carry full-coverage insurance on your vehicle? At what point would you drop it and carry only liability? Is there a formula out there (that I’m missing on google)? Should you always have collision and comprehensive insurance?

    • My car is 15 yrs old, I used kbb to check its value for trade in and for private sale and then compared that number with the cost per year in full coverage minus liability.

      Not-My-Real-Numbers Example: My car is worth 2k, full coverage is $300/mo., liability insurance is $100/mo. This means that, over 12 months, I am paying $2200/mo. more for full coverage, which is more than my car is worth.

      I carry good insurance for injury and I carry uninsured motorist insurance, but nothing more than liability on my older car. It doesn’t make sense for me to pay what my car is worth in insurance every year! That said, I put the difference in cost between liability and full coverage (in the above example, that’s $200/mo.) into a savings account every month so that if something happened to my older car that wasn’t covered, I’d be able to replace the car or afford a rental car in that emergency situation.

    • You should ask yourself whether you could afford to replace your car in cash if it were totaled in an accident caused by you, or if it were stolen.

      Ask the same questions to yourself about repairs from things like fender benders, break-ins, cracked windshields. Could you easily afford repairs in cash?

      If yes to both, drop the collision and comprehensive.

      If no, examine the premiums you pay for these coverages and see whether you’re better off saving the premiums for eventual damages.

      In my case (and I’m an actuary so this is my field) I do carry high deductible comp and collision on my older car because they are cheap!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have liability only. My car is so old (20 years) that a lot of companies wouldn’t even sell me full coverage, and it is so old/worth so little that if it ever has significant damage, what I would get from insurance is barely more than the premium I’d be paying over time (I ran the numbers, I don’t remember what the exact time frame was, but I’m planning to get at least another 3 years out of my car most likely. Toyotas just don’t die).

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you for this discussion! I’d never even considered dropping this and just did it for one car, saving $160 a year.

    • Anonymous :

      We only have liability insurance on our old car (13 years I think? 16? whatever). We live in NYC and park on the street. Insurance is very expensive here, and we already spend a large chunk of what the car is worth in a year on insurance. The savings is worth it to us – it’s almost enough to make me not want a newer car that I have to fully insure.

    • Are you a runner or cyclist? If so, the answer is never, especially if you’re a cyclist. If you’re hit by a car, your uninsured motorist coverage is going to be what takes care of your medical bills, not your health insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is only available as part of full insurance. Tl;dr, I don’t keep full insurance because of the car.

      • What? I realize this is late and no one may ever read this, but uninsured motorist coverage is usually (always?) available regardless of whether you get comprehensive/collision coverage. In my state it’s actually required along with your liability if you have liability over the state required minimum. So I have lots of uninsured coverage and still no comprehensive coverage.

        • Maybe it varies by state? I’ve never had the option of choosing here. It’s either everything or liability only.

    • Figure out what the total out value would be. If that number is lower than what you pay per year, then increase all deductibles as high as they can go (lowering ins cost to you), go liability only, keep the rental part in case someone does total it out, increase UM/UIM as high as it can go (because you always should – our state mins are $25K per accident so if someone seriously injures you and has the state min you have no fall back for serious injuries to you body). Then save the extra cash for a new car. Oh, and try not to hit anything :)

      You can get the total out number from carmax or kbb dot com.

  20. Getting Married :

    Do environmental organizations count as political? Getting married and would rather do donations than gifts. Thinking an environmental organization but you know… Some people don’t believe in climate change.

    • Anonymous :

      I would probably avoid an org that has climate change in its name/literally doesn’t do anything else, but I think something like the NRDC that cares about climate change but also other environmental issues would be fine.

    • Seems like a know your people kind of thing.

    • It’s your wedding, do what you want. I’m not sure I’d go with something called “Meat Is Murder” or “People Who Abort Are Murders” but animal welfare groups or charities that support low income pregnant women in raising their babies are still the same message for you and method for donating, without a divisive charity name. That said, most charities that aren’t westboro baptist or new [email protected] or something probably don’t have divisive names.

      Or you could ask for donations through kiva or through donorschoose, which would allow them or you to make donations but make individual charity choices.

    • There are lots of different types of groups- picking an advocacy group like Sierra Club or NRDC could come off as more political, but a conservation group definitely would not. I have a friend who insisted on no gifts but suggested donations to a popular local non-profit dedicated to planting trees. Who could be upset about that!? Answer: no one.

    • Anonymous :

      I would go with two options – preferably local or a local aspect as that makes it more meaningful for people. E.g. there are some orgs that support land conservation in a particular area, usually for the purpose of protecting endangered species. You’ll see the most contributions if you make it local to your area and personal to you. Asking people to donate to a charity of their choice won’t result in as many donations or maybe donations to causes that are unpalatable to you.

  21. How have you dealt with your parents’ mortality? I’m fairly young (28) but I have old parents (mom is 70 and dad is 76). My dad had a heart attack about 5 years ago that scared the crap out of me but he’s actually in pretty great health for his age now. My mom however seems to be at the start of a decline in health and she doesn’t seem particularly concerned about it. She won’t stop smoking or eating junk food (even though she’s borderline diabetic). I know that I can’t make her change if she doesn’t want to. And I know that my parents’ deaths are inevitable and there’s nothing I can do to stop them, whenever they may happen. I just get waves of anxiety about it and also usually feel guilty. It just sucks. I love my parents a lot.

    • Wait why do you feel guilty?

      • I don’t know. That I’m not doing enough to do . . . something? Keep my parents alive forever? I know it’s not rational.

    • My dad died when I was 23. He had cancer, which they said he had “beaten,” but then it came back. Unfortunately he lingered for 18 awful months in a semi-comatose and then comatose state. I was very close to him and it shook me up badly, but those 18 months made his actual death kind of a blessing.

      My mom is still alive and is not well. She has copd and requires round the clock care so she is in a nursing home. However, her brain is very much still all there. So, because of what happened to my dad when I was so young, I just regard every day as a gift. I don’t get to see her in person often because every time one of us is around her, she gets sick. But I will see her for Mother’s Day and I text or talk to her every day. She is all over Facebook!

      You can’t really prepare yourself for the fact that, if all goes according to plan, your parents will predecease you. My only advice is to live in the now with them and not obsess too much about the eventuality. When they die, you will get through it. It will not be fun but you will.

    • Where is the guilt coming from?

      My dad died when I was 22, I had just graduated college. I feel guilt for not spending more time with him before he passed. I was working several states away and I know he was proud of my job. I now feel guilty not seeing my Mom as much as I live further away now. I try to be present on the phone, send lots of pictures and always have a visit planned {even if it is 4 months out}.

      • Yeah, I think the guilt is that I’m not utilizing the time I have with my parents to the fullest. I mean, I know I can’t spend every single bit of my free time with them and none of us would want that anyway, but it’s not rational.

    • I’m also 28 and my dad is 72. He had a heart attack when I was 19 and studying abroad, and I got a call that he was on life support, had basically no chance of recovery and I had to come home and decide whether to pull the plug. Well, I went home and he had just woken up, and within a couple of days made a full recovery. Ever since then I think about him dying a lot, and we’re really close so it can make me really anxious. He’s actually in great shape and isn’t expected to have more heart attacks or other problems, but I can’t un-experience those days I guess. I go to great lengths to spend as much time with him as I can, and I find myself asking him all sorts of questions about things I maybe wouldn’t have thought of otherwise because when he’s gone I probably won’t have the opportunity to. I also find myself trying to fix a lot of flaws that I may have been less aware of otherwise. For example, my dad is the person I vent to when I’m having a terrible day or if I’m mad about something. He doesn’t mind listening, but I feel like I do it too much. Because when he’s gone, I don’t want to feel like I spent so much of my time with him being upset about things when we could have been talking or otherwise enjoying each other’s company. Maybe that’s weird, I don’t know.

      Not sure where you’re coming from about feeling guilty, but I do think about this a lot. And you’re right, it really does suck.

    • Exhaust all questions about lineage and ancestry now. Ask stories and write them down. Make sure they know what they want in their plans (I did this by saying work made us submit a plan and it got me thinkin…). Nice to know my dad wants no obit but cremated. My mom has already written her obit! It’s morbid but better to know now than when you are grief stricken and we all die so it’s not like discussing what to do if the house burns down. ask them how they dealt with their parents passing, their best decision of their lives, etc.

  22. My over an hour each way commute is killing me. Even with a 40 hour week, I am out of the house 10 1/2 hours a day and I really have to work more than that which leaves little time for groceries, the gym, or anything else during the week. How do you all do it? I am getting so tired!

    • I did that for 3 months a few years ago and it was EXHAUSTING. I feel like that’s something that’s only doable with an end in mind (for me, it was a summer internship, so I could tell myself that it was just 2 more weeks before my commute went back to simply walking across campus). I have a family friend who has a 2 hr commute each way, but she takes a bus so can sleep/do work during her commute, so those hours aren’t “dead time.” AND she’s tenured enough at her company to be able to work 1-3 days from home each week, so it’s very rarely 5 days of 4 hours/day on the bus. Maybe you could work out such an arrangement with your job?

      Hugs! It’s hard but I hope the logistics gods smile on you soon.

    • Anonymous :

      I did a two hour each way commute for a year. Then I moved. I couldn’t take it anymore.

    • I just got off a 1.5 hour commute and much of it was just sitting in traffic. No public transit options available. It sucked and ate up way too much of my life. I finally worked it out that I could work a couple of hours from home in the morning and wait out rush hour but the commute home still sucked.

      Fortunately my office moved so my commute is now about 30 minutes reverse commute direction.

    • I have over an hour commute each way and three (big) kids. I also cook dinner and exercise. I handle it by leaving work by 4:30 every day…

  23. Tips? Going to a multiple day conference in an area of law that I used to practice and would like to return to (still working as a lawyer but in a different financial services space). Thing is – it’s a BIG conference and no one from my current or prior organization/firm is going – so it’s all up to me to use the networking sessions to shake some hands, get some business cards etc. so that I can reach out to people later. Tips on how to do this well – so that people want to talk to me and not just run away bc there’s some partner from some firm they’re trying to impress (I know there will be some of this – I’m not/never was a partner). Only thought I have is to attend as many of the seminars as I can but to focus a LOT more on the ~2 networking breaks/day bc you aren’t meeting people in the classroom the way you are when you’re getting coffee. I assume some of the hive does this a lot – so help me out.

    • Not a lawyer but a conference attendee often enough, so YMMV but here’s what I have found:

      If you want formal discussions, stick with going to events early and having polite chats/exchanging cards with those seated around you. If you want informal but maybe more of a connection, strike up conversations around the food being served or go to places where attendees go afterward for meals/drinks, trade cards with presenters by expressing interest in learning more about some specific thing they mentioned in their talk, and making a point to sit with different people every time there’s a meal opportunity. Even if you walk into a place where many attendees grab coffee, grab yours and ask if you can sit next to someone and strike up a conversation.

      When not knowing how to start a chat, compliment the person on something they have on them (interesting jewelry or a watch, nice shoes, etc.) or ask them a question about something with no right/wrong answer (which presentation that day was most interesting to them, whether they had to travel far to attend this conference, etc.). You’re probably one of many who doesn’t have a group there, so many others would likely be happy to chat it up with someone without them having to seek someone to chat with!

      Maybe I’m way off for your field but I hope this helps even a little!

  24. Horrible Sounding Question :

    Had a really awful childhood and an NPD mother (not armchair diagnosis, legit diagnosis, though she never believed it or did anything to try to treat it) who has gotten close to behavior that would have granted me restraining orders on a regular basis, had an absentee father who sends me random social media messages through new/different channels once every few years with no follow up, which emotionally feels like being gut punched every time. Have zero relationship with either for many years.

    I have found that when each of them dies, I genuinely think I will feel relief. I feel really alone in this since I know it’s not socially acceptable to say and since my friends all have awesome parents. Is anyone else here in a similar boat with someone in their lives/families?

    • Anonymous :

      <3

    • Anon for this :

      Big hugs to you.

      After spending 4 horrific days last week with my parents, I actually uttered the words to several close friends for the first time, that I look forward to the day they are gone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yup. Slightly different in that my dad just enables my mom. No diagnoses or anything like that – she’s just terrible. Materialistic, lazy, obsessed with the way things look, obsessed with her status as a “mom” (I had one of those stay at home moms who used to tell me that she could tell the kids who were “raised by someone else” which was awesome as I was beggin for more financial aid and scholarship to attend high school and then college). I haven’t spoken to her in three years – ever since she told me to go f*ck myself and that she hoped my life blew up over Christmas plans that didn’t make her perfectly happy.

      I don’t tell people unless I really trust them / they are really a good friend. You aren’t alone and I have been surprised how many people have confided in me their own troubling family situations when they hear about mine. I also share your thoughts on death – sometimes its easier for the book to just be irrevocably closed. At least at that point the fear that my mother will say or do something that will just shatter me again will hopefully go away.

      Sending you hugs over the internet.

    • Anon for this :

      Yes. Unfortunately I am caring for my parents but I will be relieved when they are gone. I wish I had zero relationship with them.

    • I’m in a similar situation regarding me my mom. We don’t know her exact mental disorder/condition bc she absolutely refuses to go to any therapy or counseling but she’s got major issues.

      For a long time, I felt incredibly guilty, for thinking the same as you. It seemed like all my classmates had normal parents and my friends had issues with their parents but not in the same way I had with my mom. I never discussed how I felt bc I thought I’d be judged.

      From the sounds of your post, I think what your saying is you’ll get relief bc the drama, the hurt, the pain, will finally be over. I don’t consider that a terrible feeling or you a terrible person for wanting that.

      I may be biased bc like I said, I feel the same way about my mom. When she dies, I will be sad for the mother I wished I could’ve had but relieved at the same time that I no longer have to deal with her toxicity. (It’s true that I still need therapy for what she’s already done but at least there won’t be new things…)

      Don’t feel alone. You’d be surprised at the number of people who have/had terrible parents and feel the way you do.

    • I honestly believe that growing up in a reasonably healthy home with well-adjusted parents is a world apart from the childhoods of people who did not experience that. It’s like the 2 groups are on different planets, and it is hard for healthy people to conceive of your feelings.

      Congratulations on making it through your childhood. Not everyone can understand why you feel the way you do, but it is justified, in my opinion.

    • WriterKate :

      I may be late, but my husband and I experienced this with his mother. He barely spoke to her the last 6-7 years she was alive. There are many horrible examples that could out me to some, but she was basically a very toxic person. My husband also really does not have a relationship with his 3 siblings — because they all have issues related to their mother and upbringing. She tried to push the siblings apart and, well, it worked. For my husband, one of the harder things has been a perceived fear that people will think he is antisocial or not a good person because there is no family relationship. Before his mother died he would just say they weren’t close when people would ask. After her death he was worried people would judge him for not being “sad enough.” Therapy helped. Hugs to you. It is a very hard situation.

    • Nothing but hugs and understanding from me. I had to explain this to my husband, and he was horrified, but has slowly come around to understanding what a life of her has done to me. Forget socially acceptable. Immerse yourself in the raisedbynarcissists subreddit and feel understood.

    • I feel similarly about my mother. One thing that helped me was to reframe her struggle. It is a mental illness. A disease or disorder. If she were suffering from cancer or some other more traditional disease, it would be socially acceptable for you to express your feeling that her death would be a relief. Mental disease is a disease, just like cancer or organ failure. The symptoms and pain felt by the patient and close family members is a different type of pain, but still a pain that is only alleviated in death.

  25. Rainbow Hair :

    Feeling down and would just love some encouragement if y’all have any to spare.

    I have historically been bad at advocating for myself (more of a ‘make do with what you’ll give me’ type than an ‘ask for what I need’ type), and I’m in therapy and really working on it…

    Well, in one social instance I asked for what I needed and it backfired pretty horribly, so I was like, “at least it’s working out professionally.” But today the opportunity I really fought for, to convince my boss I should have it — it just got taken away. I’m feeling very, “Silly girl, why did you think you should advocate for yourself, or ask for things?! That doesn’t work for people like you.”

    • eff this. Everybody knows that rainbow hair equals awesomeness, which means you absolutely deserve good things and you absolutely deserve the right to ask for them. Not sure the details to know why that thing didn’t happen for you, but maybe this is something you can find out from a superior? “I heard you gave the promotion I was interested in to John. I’d love to find out what I can do so that I’m your first choice for the next promotion.” Maybe it’s a sign that something better is coming for you that the ting you wanted wouldn’t have allowed you to enjoy?

      I don’t want to repeat your therapist or try to step on his/her toes, however, I do hope you feel your feelings and then tell yourself why some of those negative beliefs aren’t helpful and why they’re likely not accurate. When I get in this head space, I just try to think about whether my best friend would have advocated for me for the promotion (or whatever it was) and I find that it either indicates that no (she’d tell me I need to improve x, y, and z skills first, so I should start doing that now) or that yes (she’d tell me I am a rockstar and point out facts of why I deserved it), but either way, it reminds me that, even when I don’t get everything I want, I still deserve good things and I should be proud of myself for asking for what I want and letting others know about my goals.

      *hug*

    • Many good things- first, congrats on advocating for yourself twice! Second, practice is good and it will be easier next time. Third- you never know. Your boss may have been impressed and unable to act on your wishes this time but may remember favorably next time. Or you may have been a positive influence on others in either of these situations, giving them a nudge or good example. Good for you! There’s no guarantees except likely if you don’t ask, you won’t get what you need. Persist!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Thanks. That’s likely what my therapist will tell me, it would just be nice to have some positive feedback on this stuff eventually, y’know?

      The work thing was attendance at an important meeting (not exactly, but close enough) but then a more senior person was added to the attendee list, so I was bumped out. The reasons for me to go — that I pitched to my boss — were that I’m very active on the project this meeting is about, so I could contribute at the meeting and take info from the meeting back to continue my work, and that I want to expand my skills so that I can do stuff like this on my own eventually. The reason for Senior Guy to go is that he is senior already knows everything. But how will I ever get to know everything if I don’t get to go!?

      • Anon at 4:36 :

        I feel this! I had a similar mtg/ travel instance with one my direct reports this year- he should have been allowed to go, but it was not my call. I advocated also for him! Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. But really- you have to try or it will hardly ever work out! And to my upper management, I sure highlighted his importance and value when advocating on his behalf- so you may have generated positive impressions for yourself too in the future.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Thanks! My boss is a mensch and told me that if it were up to him alone, he would much rather have me there than Senior Guy (even if it’s not entirely true, I appreciated the sentiment), so I guess I will try not to think of it as a complete failure… but man, Project Putting Myself Out There has NOT been very pleasant so far.

          • Anonymous :

            What is ‘mensch’ – is that good or bad?

          • Rainbow Hair :

            It’s good. It’s like… “a good dude” I guess?

          • Anonymous :

            Mensch is a Yiddish word that means a person of integrity and good character. Basically someone who always strives to do the right thing.

        • good

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        I read this as a total victory. You put yourself in line for going! You were ready to go, and then got bumped! Everyone understands that you just got bumped because of Seniority. But you’ve now defined yourself as the Person Who Should Go To The Meeting. Great work. Give yourself a pat on the back!

  26. Has anyone stopped taking Allegra after taking it a long time? I’ve been off of it two days with no replacement (just looking to see if something is a side effect or not) and I’m now super tired and have headaches. It’s the regular one, not the D. It could be my now untreated allergies are making me tired and have a headache or it could be some type of withdrawal. I researched and didn’t come up with much. If you’ve been in my shoes and got the headache/tiredness, how long did it last? This sucks!

    • Baconpancakes :

      If you’re in the northern hemisphere, it’s spring, and if you’re on the east coast, allergies this year are pretty bad, so I’d assume it’s that. When I don’t take my allergy meds for one day I feel pretty bleh.

  27. What do I wear to a private dinner being held after the first day of a national industry conference? It’s hosted by what appears to be a rather select group of organizations. My industry is male-dominated, and the only people going from my company are men. It starts at 7 pm, so a couple hours after the conference ends for the day, and it’s in a ballroom at our hotel (think Ritz or equivalent).

    My new job has come with lots of these exclusive invitations to things I never even knew existed before now!

    • This I think is industry and region specific but coming from the NE and being in real estate, I would say jewel toned sheath, necklace, seriously comfortable heels and jacket that you can take off if needed.

      Have fun and don’t hesitate to order the good scotch!

    • I would wear all black because that’s me. Black fairly comfortable dress plus a black cashmere cardigan and a cool necklace

  28. Aliso Canyon Gas Leak :

    Reading about this today and about how many people are being diagnosed with cancers, skin issues, nose bleeds, migraines, depression, etc. etc. No clue how long class action suits take or how long before science proves the cause of these symptoms was the gas leak, but what a nightmare. Between this and the issues with lead in the water in so so many US cities, it really reminds me to be so grateful for clean air and safe water!

  29. Not that Anne, the other Anne :

    My best friend is at the hospital in labor with her first child. I think I should just be able to go home, since I can’t concentrate on anything except checking my phone for updates. Right??

    • TorontoNewbie :

      Absolutely.

    • Totally! But don’t go to the hospital (I know you know this, but still)

      Congratulations, Auntie!!

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        She lives 14 hours away, so I couldn’t even if I didn’t know better than to do it. I think that’s contributing to the lack of focus.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Totally. Pretty sure that’s in the labor code somewhere.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally!

    • Anonymous :

      I agree. When my niece was being born on the other side of the country I sat on my couch staring at my phone all day. And periodically buying way more things than a newborn needs.

      • Buy food for the newborn’s parents instead. The parents are charged with taking care of the newborn; having people rally around to take care of the parents is so, so appreciated.

    • I was a nervous wreck both times my best friend went to the hospital to have her babies. I don’t think I was that nervous when I gave birth! It should totally be an allowable use of leave to go home on days when your BFF is in labor :-)

  30. lawyercake1975 :

    Longtime lurker, first time poster.

    A former co-worker of mine now works in-house for an international company. We recently reconnected after not seeing one another for several years. Earlier this week she posted that her company, and more specifically, her department, is hiring. I’ve been struggling in my current position for several months. My co-workers are nice enough, but the day-to-day work is far from challenging and I’m losing interest. Fast. I’m intrigued by one of the open positions. In fact, it sounds like the perfect fit for me.

    Should I reach out to her directly to let her know that I am interested in the position before submitting my resume? If so, any suggestions what I should say? I’m horrible at this stuff. If it helps, we are definitely more than “acquaintances,” but I wouldn’t go so far as calling us “friends.” Thank you.

    • Yes, why not? You can always say that you don’t want to put any pressure on her and are not asking for special treatment, but that you saw her post and are interested in learning more.

    • Absolutely! Just say you saw the post and are very interested and plan to apply. Hope all is going well, etc., etc.

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