Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Paperbag Belted Stretch Wool Pants

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

I think these stretch wool pants are lovely. This is a really classic look, and it reminds me of Katherine Hepburn. I think bodysuits’ popularity is waning, but if you happen to have any that are work appropriate, these pants are perfect to pair one with. Otherwise, just wear these with a regular blouse tucked in. The navy pinstripe is nice and will always be in fashion, and I like that there are no cuffs, as I’m not a fan of cuffs in general. These are 99% wool with 1% spandex, and they’re available in sizes 2-16. (Note that they’re labeled dry clean but not “dry clean only.”) The pants are $229 at Nordstrom. Classiques Entier® Paperbag Belted Stretch Wool Pants

Two lower-priced alternatives are here and here; here’s a plus-size alternative.

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(L-all)

Comments

  1. Sydney Bristow :

    These look like they’d be tough to pull off. They wouldn’t flatter me but my body is nothing like Katherine Hepburn’s.

    I’ve been craving roast for awhile, but I don’t know how to make it. My stepmom always cooks it in a slow cooker and my father in law puts it on the rotisserie of his barbecue. We don’t have either of these tools.

    What’s the best method for cooking it in the oven? The simpler the better because I’m not much of a cook. Also, what kind of cut should I look for? I feel like my parents always called it pot roast or roast beef, but I don’t know what cut that would have been. My inlaws get rib roast, which seems more expensive.

    • My favourite cut is a beef shoulder roast but more often than not I use brisket instead since it’s easier for me to get. The main thing is to brown it in a pan first (if you are up to then browning onions, carrots and whatever else you like as well it’s extra delicious – garlic is good too) and then cook over low heat for a long time either in the oven or on the stovetop tightly closed with a little liquid. Any nice wide pot will do although a heavy Dutch oven would be perfect. Find a recipe you like for flavourings – tomato paste, bay leaf, allspice are all in my home recipe.

      • This looks simple and right on: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pot_roast/

      • Anonymous :

        Brisket! This is one of the best recipes I ever made (and resting it overnight definitely made it): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/221044/alanes-hanukkah-brisket/

    • anon anon armani :

      You can get a shoulder roast piece of meat or chuck roast. We do it on the stovetop, just braising the meat for a few hours until it literally falls off the bone/into pieces. Sear the outside of the meat in the pan with some oil and onions. Then add some water or bullion/stock, and simmer away. Check on it. That’s it.

      If I recall, the roasting in the oven is about the same process.

      When we roast in the oven or use baking/cookie sheets in the oven, we use the Reynolds Wrap no-stick foil in the yellow boxes. Life-saving and time-saving for cleanup.

      You can add any root vegetables around the meat when you roast it in the oven.

    • Pot roast is a braise, where you slow-cook the meat and vegetables in liquid after browning. Roast beef is simpler; just season a hunk o’ beef and put it in the oven. Which one are you craving?

    • lawsuited :

      We use beef shoulder for pot roast, which is pretty inexpensive. Put some vegetables, beef stock and seasoning into a dutch oven or cast iron pot with a lid, and then bung it in the oven on medium heat (325-350) for 1.5-2 hours.

    • This recipe is easy, customizable, and delicious. With no slow cooker, you can make it in a heavy bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven.

      http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017937-mississippi-roast

    • Where's the Beef? :

      I do mine in the slow cooker, following Martha Stewart’s recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/313619/slow-cooker-pot-roast

      It could not be easier and it comes out so tender every time.

    • Where's the Beef? :

      I do mine in the slow cooker, following Martha Stewart’s recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/313619/slow-cooker-pot-roast

      It could not be easier and it comes out so tender every time.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thanks all! Sounds like braising shoulder roast in a Dutch oven is the way to go. I honk I can handle that. Looking forward to a yummy meal this weekend!

      • I’m late to the party, but this is my easy go-to for beef cravings: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/sunday-night-stew/

        Because it uses pieces of meat, it can be a lot cheaper.

    • This is my go-to pot roast recipe. I usually add parsnips and carrots. It’s from the “Not Your Mama’s ___” series, in which Paula Dean’s son lightened up all her recipes. I absolutely love this with crusty bread. It’s amazing and not too bad for you. I use chuck. It takes about thirty minutes of active prep and then it just simmers and makes your house smell absurdly delish.

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-deen/pot-roast-stew-recipe.html

    • Braising, as others have suggested, is the way to go for a fully cooked, falling-apart pot roast. Buy a chuck roast. Salt and pepper it all over. Brown all sides in a little fat in a Dutch oven on the stove. This takes a while. You want a good 5 minutes per side to get a nice browning. Then remove from pan and reduce the amount of fat left in the pan. Leave all the brown bits left behind (these are yummy) but pick out any obvious black bits. At this point I usually sauté some chopped up onions, carrots and celery in the pan but you don’t have to. these will be strained out later. They are just flavoring agents. Now add some liquid – an inch or so – and bring it to the simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan to get up all the yummy brown stuff. Then plop the roast back in and simmer covered on low heat for a few hours until it is as you like it. You can do this simmer on a low burner stovetop or at around 300 degrees in the oven. I like the oven because it’s less likely to burn.

      That’s a basic braise. You can mix it up with the liquid you use – wine, broth or just water (a bay leaf is nice here) and you can add some larger veggies near the end – baby carrots and small potatoes for about the last 30 minutes or so are nice. But you don’t have to do any of this.

      For real “roast beef” like you get in a roast beef sandwich, that’s a different approach. That’s actually roasting. You buy a better cut of meat -ask the butcher what’s good, but the tippy top for this is a rib roast – salt and pepper it , and cook it in a high oven on a roasting rack with no liquid. Use a meat thermometer to cook it to your desired level of doneness. I like somewhere around 135-140 degrees in the center. Lots of cookbooks and websites will have general guidelines on what temp you’re looking for and how long it will take per pound. Now let it rest for a good 15 minutes before cutting into it. This is a good time to make your side dishes or make a wine sauce in your roasting pan.

  2. Paging LondonLeisureYear :

    Hello, LLY! My comments got caught in moderation yesterday, but I would be grateful if you could send me your London/Paris information at ellengriswoldisonvacation at the mail with a g. Thanks so much for sharing it with me!

  3. cake batter :

    Not sure if anyone here shops at Carson’s (I don’t normally), but they’re having a $50 off $100+ sale that ends today. I just bought a couple Vince Camuto sleeveless blouses at Nordstrom for $69 each, then stumbled upon the same top at Carson’s on sale for $35. I bought 3 and used the $50 off coupon, which brought my grand total to $58 ($18/each + tax). Just FYI in case anyone else can score a deal!

  4. I think you just need a heavy pan. My mom uses a dutch oven. She uses very low heat over a long period of time. Sometimes she makes it the night before. This Alton Brown recipe looks pretty easy to follow though I’d skip the raisins and olives personally, and maybe add carrots instead (my mom always includes chunky carrots and that’s maybe my favorite part). http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pot-roast-recipe.html#!

    • This was meant to be a reply to Sydney Bristow.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thanks AIMS. That looks similar to the recipe I use for making short ribs, so I should be able to do it. I’d definitely switch in carrots for the olives and raisins. That’s how I grew up with it too.

    • Oh, I’ve made that recipe with the olives and raisins and it’s really yummy! Maybe not totally traditional, but I loved the flavor.

  5. lawsuited :

    What’s the name of a website or app that allows you to track price reductions for a particular item on a third party retailer’s website?

  6. Networking question –

    I’m awful at keeping in touch with friends, and am even worse with professional acquaintances. I thought of sending a batch of emails to colleagues I wanted to keep in touch with right before Christmas to say Happy Holidays/New Year, but then I felt awkward about it and thought that it would be too obvious and “networky” so I didn’t. I truly do admire the folks I want to keep in touch with and enjoyed getting to know them when we met, but just don’t know what to put in an email that won’t sound fake or over the top . Any advice would much appreciated! TIA

    • Find a reason to contact the person other than simply to contact the person. You saw an article that made you think of them. There’s an event you want to invite them to. You closed a deal that was similar to something you did with them, making you think of the person. Their name came up at X event/meeting/conversation. You read something that made you think of them. Did you hear about X trend in your similar industry…etc.

    • I’m trying to get better at this too, I’m interested in the responses. One networking trick I’m trying to implement this year – when I go to networking events, make a point to ask people for restaurant/book/movie/whatever-they’re-interested-in recommendations so I have something authentic to follow up with them about.

    • It’s probably too late now as we’re already 1/3 of the way thru the month but Christmas/New Years IS the ONE time where you can send a networky email just to be networky and people tend to like it. I only sent out a few this yr — very simple — wishing you a great holiday and a happy new year; I hope this year has gone well for you and I hope we get to reconnect soon.

      EVERY person I sent it to replied within a few min wishing me the same and 2 of them said it was so nice to be remembered. It’s that time of the year where people are in that kind of mood where they aren’t necessarily trying to read into your actions.

    • New Tampanian :

      I keep “notes” on people in my contacts portion of outlook. When I get a business card, I always write down (after the event) where I met the person and anything I remember from the meeting. I transcribe those notes into the notes of the contact details in outlook.

      If you can somehow get birthday info, that’s always a fun way to follow up with someone. Articles, awards, being named to top whatever lists are all good reasons to follow up. I send a lot of handwritten notes. “Congrats on being named one of TBBJ’s power 100!” Usually I’ll include a line about getting lunch or catching up soon. This will lead to a quick thank you email from the person and a natural follow up.

  7. Slippers? :

    Any recommendations for cozy slippers that will not make noise walking around my apartment (i.e. no hard bottom) but also aren’t slippery on my wood floors (i.e. have some sort of grip on the bottom)? Thanks!

    • I got these and couldn’t be more delighted. http://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/clearance/womens-nightwear/slippers/ar794/womens-velvet-bow-slipper

    • cake batter :

      LL Bean has fab slippers. FYI, my normal shoe size is initially a bit tight on me, but they stretch within a day or two.

    • Ugg house shoes :

      Ugg house shoes. They are a splurge but you’ll never go back. You can find them year round for less the cost at Nordstroms Rack – the store or the website.

    • Anonymous :

      Slipper socks! I must have 20 pair. The ones I’m wearing now are about a half inch thick, fleece lined and little rubber bits for grip. I wish I could wear them 24/7.

  8. Paging LondonLeisureYear :

    Moderation is killing me right now. I would be grateful for your info on London/Paris. You can email it to me at (all one word) ellen griswold is on vacation at the electronic mail that begins with G. I really appreciate it! Sorry if this results in multiple posts…I have used all the workarounds I can think of and my comments are still getting trapped.

  9. Legal Canuck :

    I can’t stand the look of those pants. They look like our court clothes (which we have to wear in SuPreme Court) and it not flattering on most body types.
    When I am not in court, I like wearing more casual items.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      What province forces you to wear those pants??? Ugh. I always wear a skirt with my robes (Ontario) because it makes the box-like outfit slightly less awful.

    • lawsuited :

      Yikes! In Ontario we just have to wear black or grey court-stripe pants or skirt, but there’s no prescribed pattern so you can buy or have them up by your tailor in any style you like.

    • Anonymous :

      East Coaster here and I’m also totally confused which province requires this awfulness. Just wear your black suit pants or have a tailor make your favorite skirt in the court stripe fabric.

    • Anon Lawyer :

      When I was in the SCC, I just wore a black skirt with my robes. I couldn’t fit back into my court skirt if I tried. (pro tip – don’t get your robes measured when you’re in the best shape of your life and it’s completely unsustainable.)

    • Prairies, and ditto–they are a little reminiscent of the blouson-y robe, but I never wear pants with my robes. Skirt + black tights + black shoes.

      On that note–what do you wear under your waistcoat? Wing-collared shirt from the robe company? Dickey + t-shirt? I bought a few men’s tuxedo shirts at Moores before my last long trial (limited options & time) but there must be a better source for shirts than Harcourts.

  10. Scarlett’s comment yesterday about prioritizing newer friends when creating her wedding invite list got me thinking. I do try to keep in touch with old friends, but distance and time make a lot of those friendships feel less real.

    I tend to connect more with those in my day-to-day circles, so that’s where I put most of my time. But as the years go by I realize that older friendships are drifting away or just preserved with one holiday card a year or something. Is there a point when you just accept that people are out of your life?

    If I got married today there are several people who I rarely talk to but had me as bridesmaids in their weddings. We were close at one time; now, not so much. Would I invite them? I honestly don’t know.

    Now I’m getting anxious about imaginary scenarios…

    • Anonymous :

      I guess I take a different approach in that I probably prioritize old friends more than new, not in terms of who I actually spend time with but in terms of who I consider my innermost circle. People who have known you for 20 or 30 or 40 years are just sort of irreplaceable in my mind, and I find it takes me a really long time to count someone new as a “best” friend – but I still think of my high school bestie as a best friend even though we talk only a couple times a year and see each other almost never. And if I had you as a bridesmaid in my wedding and then years later you didn’t even invite me to your wedding, I’d be very hurt and take it as a sign that you wanted to end the friendship. Unless these people have done something that hurt you, I can’t imagine not even inviting them.

      • +1

        This is totally me.

        I value the long term friends more, even if I don’t see them for years. These are the friends that when we do get together, we talk as if we were never apart. Special bonds. As you get older, you may talk to these friends less, but you probably know already which ones you will still want to see when you are 70….

        Definitely invite them to your wedding if you were bridesmaid in theirs. But you don’t have to ask them to be a bridesmaid in yours.

        Interestingly, I was a bridesmaid in many weddings in my 20’s. All of my friends that got married in their early 20’s are all divorced, and most are already into their 2nd marriage. Most of them did not invite me to their 2nd weddings, and some did not even tell me they were getting married. It really stung….. I suspect that there was some sadness/shame involved on their end, but it really damaged our long term friendships.

        • I’m in this camp, too. I’ve been friends with my core group since high school. We live in different places so we don’t see each other all that often, but they’re just my people, you know? Sure, I see my work buddy every day and hang out with her more frequently, but we don’t have 14 years of friendship to fall back on. It’s a bit more work to maintain those relationships since they’re not in front of my face all the time, sure, but sending a text every couple of weeks or adding something to our five-year-old book rec email thread is such a small thing to do for the women who have been my crying shoulders/hungover brunch buddies/cheerleaders/life coaches/relationship gurus/teachers/co-adventurers for half of my life.

        • I mean, really? How many weddings do you need to attend for a person? I wouldn’t let it affect the friendship.

    • Anonymous :

      I think this is normal. My parents are just about at retirement age and reconnecting with people they’ve only exchanged Christmas cards with for decades. It’s nice.

      If you want to be closer, put the effort in. If not, I think it’s really nice to maintain ties with birthday and Christmas cards!

    • Baconpancakes :

      I’m also mostly the opposite. I prioritize my best friend from childhood and a few of my college friends because at this point, they’re more like family than friends. So maybe I don’t see them as frequently, and it’s less convenient to schedule a Skype date than to grab a drink with my new friends, but it’s important to me to keep up with them. My prioritized friends list a very short list, though – only the people with whom I feel a truly close connection. There are a lot of friends from college, even those whose weddings I was in, that I wouldn’t invite to my wedding.

    • I should clarify that I haven’t dumped all my old friends! There are a few that go back 30+ years who were at my wedding dinner. I just also keep up tangentially now with people I was really close to once upon a time, and those are the people who didn’t make the cut on a very small guest list, even though I really still adore them. I think really, as you get older, there are just a lot more people you know and I was really speaking to wedding planning – it’s so hard to draw a line if you don’t have unlimited invites so that’s what I came up with.

  11. numbersmouse :

    Do paperbag fronts work on pears/hourglasses/wide hips in general? I’ve never had the courage to find out.

    • Paperbag can look great on curvy hips as long as the pleats aren’t being pulled open. I find that the paperbag style looks best on a fairly flat stomach, and that’s often the upside of having bigger hips.

    • So, is paperbag a euphemism for ugly pleats?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Nope, it’s a legit style of pants.

        I’d have a hard time pulling these off myself, but I bet if you do it right your legs would look a million miles long.

  12. Another Bride :

    I’m getting married in June, and we planned to take a 2-week honeymoon potentially to Kenya or India. I have an extra week of vacation specifically for a honeymoon (amazing!), that must be taken within 2 months of a wedding. We expect to TTC around 6 months after getting married, so this was kind of a last shebang, all-out, once-in-a-lifetime trip. The kind of vacation neither of us had ever had. We had been researching a variety of places, planning a (big) budget, and saving really aggressively. We even opened a new bank account just to save for this trip.

    Well, my fiancé lost his job, and his unemployment is lasting longer than expected. The extravagant honeymoon is starting to seem less and less likely. In part because we are dipping into savings, but more so because if he gets a job soon he likely can’t say “sorry I’m taking 2 weeks off in a few months.”

    It’s a first world problem, I know, but I’m starting to feel really sad and disappointed. He has so much anxiety around the job search that talking about the honeymoon has been tabled. He gets anxious planning for the future right now, especially something that impacts work time and money. And as the wedding is five months away, it’s time to start concrete planning if we are going to take a big trip.

    I guess I’m just looking for any advice here. Part of me wants to push for the honeymoon – negotiating pre-planned vacation days with a new employer isn’t unheard of, and I feel like a “honeymoon” is a special circumstance. But most of me knows it is time to start letting go. Maybe the best coping mechanism is to plan a new, much smaller honeymoon – like a long weekend to the beach or something?

    (And I know this is a really frivolous problem, so am looking for supportive or practical advice).

    • Anonymous :

      Figure out a reasonable budget, which might not be extravagent, and book a two week honeymoon. Employers will generally either just give him the vacation or let him take it unpaid. He does his part by bucking up and letting it happen, you do yours by realizing that you aren’t in a financial position to take the world’s best safari now, but life is long, kids can travel, also they eventually grow up, and getting to spend two weeks together in Nicaragua or in a cottage in Spain or road tripping to Yellowstone is actually amazing.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Maybe this is just me but I’d do it. You’ll always regret not going and 2 weeks is not that long in the scheme of things. An employer is likely to understand for honeymoons. Instead of staying at five-star resorts and eating caviar you downgrade a little, but you’ll still be in a fabulous place and have a great time.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Cut back the budget, but I would still take two weeks and go to one of your “dream destinations.” I’m not sure about Kenya, but your money will go really far in India, once you get over there. If he does get a job, an employer will understand about him taking two weeks off for a honeymoon. Honeymoons are kind of sacred in that way. You’re also getting closer to the point where his start date could be delayed until after the wedding/honeymoon – usually the interview and offer process takes several months anyway.

      • You will regret this forever if you don’t do it. Dial back the budget, maybe go for 1.5 weeks instead of the full two, but for the love of God, GO.

    • I started a new job three weeks before I got married. When I accepted the offer, I told them I had a two week honeymoon planned immediately after the wedding. They were totally fine about it and let me take 2.5 weeks off. If you can make the money work, take the time. When your fiance accepts an offer, he can negotiate the time off. Most employers are understanding when it comes to honeymoons.

    • I had a trip planned when I started my current job. Once I accepted the offer, I told them that I had planned trip two or so months into starting and that I understood this could be unpaid days off due to the timing of my start date. It ended up being NBD and I borrowed from soon-to-be accrued PTO. YMMV and this obviously differs based on employers, but

    • Woods-comma-Ellle :

      Go. Cut down on the really expensive stuff, sure, but still go.

      Most places will ask if you have any holidays booked and you say yes actually I have this already booked and then take it either unpaid or out of your allowance. Especially if it’s his honeymoon, it would have to be a really rubbish employer not to be ok with that!

    • I would take the two weeks for sure, and I would also keep the original destinations. Nicaragua and other places people suggested here are nice, but they’re so much easier to do in one week than Kenya or India (assuming you’re coming from the US). Just save money where you can (hotels and meals) and accept that you’ll need to live frugally when you return in order to quickly rebuild your savings.

    • I took two weeks off just about four weeks after starting my new job. My boss didn’t bat an eye and helped me figure out the best way to use the tiny bit of PTO I’d accrued. This was in June; I’m still here and doing well, so I wouldn’t sweat this at all as part of a job offer negotiation. (I was not getting married or honeymooning in any way/shape/form for this trip)

    • It would not be ridiculous for him to say he’s taking 2 weeks off because he’s getting married. People set aside already planned vacation dates all the time when they take a new job. Usually it’s unpaid time so the new employer has no issue with it.

    • Marshmallow :

      Agree with the others– your husband can negotiate this time off if he gets a job offer, and I think any employer would understand. FWIW, we did not have the budget for an extravagant honeymoon at all. I really wanted to go to Europe and it just wasn’t in the cards. We took two weeks anyway and did a cruise. It was not extravagant but just having the time away was a huge deal after the preceding wedding and work stress. Even if you no longer have the budget for your dream trip, you’ll be glad you made that time right after the wedding.

    • Here is what you need to do like, TODAY (because the offer is expiring ASAP – hopefully you’re still in time if this is something you’d like to d0). Apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card for the sign-up bonus, which is 100,000 points (equivalent to $1200 when used to book travel through their portal, $1000 in cold, hard cash). The card also gives you back $300 per year in travel expenses, 3 points per dollar spent on travel, covers the cost of Global Entry, and gives you deals on hotel partners and stuff. This way, you could get the absolute best travel sign-up bonus out there, put all the honeymoon travel on the card, and make back as much money as you can from the trip. Definitely take at least a 2.5 week trip, work it out with the new employer if there is one, but be smart about saving money where you can and utilizing the credit card rewards. Good luck to you!

      • Wildkitten :

        They give you $300 for travel expenses (which includes stuff like Uber) but they charge you $450. It’s still totally worth it but I find the $300 for travel to be a bit… insincere.

        • Well, it means the annual fee is actually $150 if you use the travel credit annually. It’s a huge value prop for a $150 annual fee card. What they’re counting on is you not using the credit, so make sure you use the credit and the other benefits and you’ll come out ahead. And there are a LOT of benefits. There’s a reason Chase took a huge charge on this last quarter – the value prop is very, very rich if you travel frequently. It’s probably the best I’ve ever seen.

          • That’s why they’re discontinuing the card. The benefits were too good to continue offering forever. I think the last day to sign up is tomorrow or something.

          • BabyAssociate :

            They’re not discontinuing the card, they’re discontinuing the 100,000 points and it’ll be 50,000 instead.

          • They’re not discontinuing it, but you will no longer get the 100,000 spend bonus – they’re cutting it to like 50,000 or something. Honestly, I think it’s actually still a very good value if you do a lot of travel based on the points earn rate, the quality of the Chase points program, and the other perks (lounge access, which will be a godsend in a few particular airports that have no Sky Club; hotel benefits, etc.).

            I swear, I don’t work for them (or represent them), but I’m already very happy about the card given that I do a lot of discretionary (i.e., not work-reimbursed ) travel and a lot of the hotel brands I favor are bookable through their portal (there are very good hotel benefits associated with booking through their portal and you still get loyalty points).

        • How is it insincere? They don’t try to hide the fact that there is an annual $450 fee. For me, it’s well worth it, especially for the first year when you come out over $1000 ahead of the fee.

          • Plus if you get a $300 travel credit for 2017 and for 2018 (if you time it exactly right) and then cancel the card without paying a second $450 fee, it’s amazing.

            We’ve taken loads of trips that could be considered extravagant, but they’ve been paid for mainly with points/miles. (Including to Africa, all over Europe, etc.) I think the issue of TTC is going to be another issue you’ll need to work through — whether you want to do that if he doesn’t have another job, etc. But for the honeymoon, invest a few hours into figuring out miles and points (the internet is full of websites on this) and you should be able to get the plane tickets and many hotel nights for free, even if you you just do one round of applications.

      • We signed up for this card a couple of weeks ago for this very purpose! We will pay for our last wedding installments with it and use the points and rewards for honeymoon travel.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I 100% agree with this. I’m a bit obsessive about miles and points and we were able to get our flights and most of our hotel nights covered for our Australian honeymoon. This particular card has the amazing signup bonus (through today, I think) but also has great regular earning potential because it is 3 points per dollar on eating out and travel expenses.

        You do need to spend $4000 in the first 3 months of having the card in order to get the bonus though. Put everything you can on that card for those 3 months. Hopefully with wedding stuff you’ll be able to meet the minimum without issue.

    • The timing does seem weird with him potentially starting a job and then having to take time off. What if you went now, before he finds/starts a new job? Depending on your new budget, it might not be the same dream trip you had in mind, but you should definitely do something or you will regret it.

    • I took a new job and told them I had a two-week honeymoon planned. It worked!

      I agree that you should take the time but maybe be conservative with the money. There’s a line where you’ll be sitting at an extravagant dinner and feeling anxious like, “we shouldn’t be doing this, there are bills to pay at home” and it’ll suck the fun right out of it. But esp. if you travel somewhere where your dollar will go far, so much fun can be had without spending a ton of money!

      When we were sitting in [scenic locale] watching the sun set, I snuggled up to my husband and told myself to remember how lovely this was, to save it up. It’s like a little treasure in my mind.

    • Anonattorney :

      Er, so I disagree with a lot of the other posters. You don’t know when your husband is going to find a new job. You are getting married and are planning on TTC. You are already dipping into savings. I would take a much less extravagant honeymoon and save the money.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree.

      • Have to agree with this.

        • Middle aged lawyer :

          Another agree. I think this is generational (I’m older than the main demographic on this site) but I would be cutting back until hubby has a job. If he gets a job before the wedding and all is well, I agree with earlier posters that honeymoon time off is usually NBD to negotiate.

    • As with all things YMMV, but for what it’s worth, my employer was fine with my 3-week vacation that I told them about during negotiation. I took unpaid time off, but they essentially paid me for it in the form of a sign on bonus. It’s very common and esp for a honeymoon. I would also keep the plans like others here say, and just downgrade on hotel or guided tours or whatever it was that made your trip expensive to match your current financial status.

      • Agree with many of the commenters that it would not be unusual to take vacation shortly after starting. I did this for a ‘regular’ (ie, non honey moon, non special occasion) vacation after lateraling (mid/big law), and my husband did it even at a semi-entry level job when he was changing industries. Not a big deal at all.

    • It’s not a frivolous problem. It’s your dream. You get to dream about your wedding and honeymoon. It’s the upside of a really gnarly logistical process that often requires making peace between at least two warring family factions. You might have to give up on the dream — we don’t know your full financial picture. But it is fine, fine, fine to be sad.

      That said: If you can possibly do it, do it! Go to India, not Kenya, and avoid Delhi and Mumbai. In Nairobi you will pay $200+/night for a clean, bare bones hotel (electricity, TV, very regular beds), or at least that was true for us 5 years ago. The infrastructure just isn’t as advanced and so you need to pay. Mumbai and Delhi hotels can also be expensive just because they are bustling 10-22M person cities with a good amount of wealth. Plus, the pollution and traffic in both are really not a lot of fun. But if you go to Jaipur, Rajasthan, etc. you’ll get away from the pollution and your money will go much further.

      Good luck :)

  13. cruelty free makeup? :

    I’m looking to make sure all my makeup/toiletries/etc are cruelty free. I have oily and acne prone skin, and right now I wear Clinique, so I’m looking to stay at that price point (or below if there’s equally good stuff). I’m also dark enough that not all drugstore brands work for me, but this isn’t a widespread problem.

    Any suggestions?

    • Do you have a Body Shop near you? Some of their cosmetics are pretty good and all cruelty free. Otherwise, I usually go to Sephora and use the Leaping Bunny app to check on brands.

    • I like Caudalie but there is some question as to whether they actually test on animals in China/to be able to sell in China.

      • If they are sold in China (which they are, per their website), they test on animals. This is not a cruelty-free brand.

    • All products sold at Whole Foods are cruelty-free, so I poke around there.
      Cerave is cruelty-free and not expensive, too.

    • Check out this list: http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ultimate-guide-to-cruelty-free-makeup/

      • In addition to this site, Leaping Bunny has an app you can load on your phone so you can look up brands while you are shopping.

        I also follow a bunch of CF beauty bloggers on IG and get a monthly CF beauty box (Petit Vour). I’ve found several products that I now purchase through the monthly box.

    • Juice Beauty Phytopigments Serum Makeup. I was able to successfully pick the correct shade using their description and pictures on a desktop computer for the full webs!te and large pics. There is a good range from dark to pale. The illuminating primer is excellent as well.

  14. Looking for some perspective advice on inequitable distribution of household responsibilities. Last night, my DH got home late, popped a bottle of wine, poured himself (only himself) a glass, got out cheese and crackers and I just lost it. Meanwhile I was waiting for him to get home to pull dinner together–about 10 minutes left to get it from stove to table. I get so frustrated that he gets to think of himself when I so rarely do (or here–that he poured himself wine, not offering me any, and started eating, ignoring the fact that I had a meal waiting on him). I am constantly thinking of meals, groceries, household responsibilities, etc. When I wake up in the morning, I evaluate my workload and prep dinner ahead of time if I think I’ll have to work late. When I get home, I rush to start cooking and try to tackle my home to-do list. I never come home and pour myself a glass of wine and chill.There’s just not time for that during the week. In my rant to him I classified it as “me” vs. “we” thinking in that I always think of what we need and accommodate him, and I’m envious that he often can think of himself.

    I feel horrible for snapping at him, but this is one of my soft spots. I am not sure if it’s coming from frustration of being under appreciated, or anger with the unshakable gendered expectations in our relationship. Either way, this nasty side of me rears its head every few months and I yell at him.

    We’ve tried sharing chores and household responsibilities, but it just doesn’t work. We assign different values to these responsibilities. A clean apartment means less to him, and he would rather pick up takeout during the week than spend time cooking and cleaning. And laundry–he only realizes he needs to do laundry once he has no clean clothes. All of this is to say I’m not looking to change our dynamic by asking him to do more. I need to change my perspective on it so I don’t blow up when it all falls on my shoulders. I want to be overjoyed and appreciative of him offering to do the dishes instead of saying “about time!” Anyone have any guidance on this? Apologize in advance for the rant interspersed with my request for advice. Unavoidable (but useful) catharsis.

    • Anonymous :

      I think part of this is on you. Don’t keep a meal waiting on him! Eat when you want. Ask him “oh if you’re getting wine Ill have some thanks”.

      You don’t mention kids so honestly why on earth can’t you come home, sit down, and pour a glass of wine? Why is dinner a daily struggle? Why aren’t you going grocery shopping for the week on Sunday, cooking a big batch so you have leftovers for Mon and Tuesday, make something new Wednesday, and eat pasta and sauce Thursday? I think it’s actually crazy to think you have time to be cooking dinner from scratch every night! What’s wrong with takeout and wine? Why is your way of living, that leaves you too stressed and resentful about cleaning to sit with your husband and drink wine, better? Is a clean apartment really your top life goal here?

      • Anonymous :

        Also what even is a home to do list? I do no chores during the week at all. Ain’t got time for that! Cleaning lady comes every other week- if both of you are working I see zero excuse not to have one. Laundry Saturday mornings, then errands. Simplify. You aren’t a housewife, don’t live like you have that kind of time.

      • Anonymous :

        This. You need to just start taking care of yourself. Cook yourself a nice dinner if you want one and let him fend for himself, or share his take-out if cooking stresses you out. Have a glass of wine if you want one instead of resenting him having one. Let go of the 1950s fantasy of the woman greeting the husband at the door with a hot dinner ready.

        • I so agree with this. This was my experience with my ex. He came in, went RIGHT to the refrigereator where the Chablis was, opened it and drank it w/o even ASKEING me if I wanted any. I also had to restock the wine (and everything else). He also made me do the laundry (I gave it to the cleaneing lady to do), and all he did was stain my Egypitian Cotton sheets. FOOEY on men like him!

          The OP is stuck, b/c she is MARRIED to that schmoe. I was NOT so I finaly DUMPED him and made him give back my key’s. Dad then changed the lock’s after Sheketovits snuck back in a few times. In your case, OP, do NOT hesitate to tell him that he is a schmoe that needs to step up and be an EQUAL PARTNER, as YOU define it. Otherwise, it’s SAYAONARA, Dad says. YAY!!!!!

      • anon anon armani :

        We make protein on the weekends so dinners are easier to create. Tons of leftovers of pasta, rice, pre-cooked veggies, bags of greens.

        Also, my philosophy is “the person who is bothered the most by ________ should get up and attend to it.”

        Similarly, if I like laundry folded a certain way, then I do it.

        I do find myself saying and thinking – I do a good job with this and you with that, so that’s how it’s divided up.

        Learned as a child that when I ask someone to do a chore for me, I have to shut up and not complain that it isn’t done precisely the way I want. Also in my marriage, when I’ve had serious illness, this also applied.

        Other than that, the list of household/outdoors activities, duties, and responsibilities are divvied up, knowing well that many of the outside ones take more time and physical resources.

        Be kind to yourself! Chores are still going to be there … dishes and laundry get dirty again. I have a day to do laundry. That’s it. So once a week it’s done. It ensures enough clothing and towels for the next week. Certain days I pay bills, file, shred papers. Everything can wait a week. Ditto for the day I clean the kitchen or dust and clean master/bathroom. Assigning days seems to feel less overwhelming to me.

        Be kind to yourself!

        • This is largely good advice, but I must express disappointment in the philosophy that “the person who is bothered the most by ___ should get up and attend to it,” because that’s how women end up doing all the things.

          • Yeah, thats part of the problem. Things just don’t bother him in the same way. It’s part gender roles (he also had a mother who took pride in doing all of this for her chickens) and part personality–he’s just not a planner. I think it’s better to distinguish between the things that make me happy to have taken care of rather than things that bother me. I get too wrapped up in the “this is not how adults live, I would be embarrassed if our dog walker saw the state of this kitchen” thinking and I need to stop caring about what others MIGHT think.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Yeah, I have a huge issue with this. My response to “the person who is bothered by it should do it” is to imagine a shared car – one person always tries to fill the tank when it gets to 1/2 full, the other person always tries to fill the tank when it’s 1/4 full. The 1/2 full person always fills the tank, spends a lot of money on gas, and it’s not fair.

            When you’re in a partnership, you have to care about what the other person cares about (to a degree, of course). So that means my SO has started to care more about getting the house clean and eating healthy, homemade dinners. I do the things my SO absolutely hates – so I do 90% of grocery shopping and 100% of meal planning. But I often hand him a recipe and hang out with wine while he cooks, or he cleans up everything after we’ve cooked together. He’s getting better at it the more we do it, too.

          • I think this can be remedied by “the person who is bothered most by X should arrange for it to be taken care of by a third party who will be paid with shared money”.

          • Marshmallow :

            lawsuited– that’s better, but still doesn’t fix the “emotional labor” point. Just thinking about and planning for common household chores to get done is itself work. Both partners need to be doing that work, not just the one with higher standards who is “taking care of” the other one. It’s a challenge.

          • This is so tough. I was very “the person who is bothered most by X should take care of it” before my boyfriend and I moved in together, and I still lean that way–it’s like, I can take one second and throw the undershirt he left on the bathroom floor in his hamper, or I can stew over the shirt on the floor for days. Easy choice.

            AND YET. It’s death by a thousand cuts. I love my boyfriend and he’s very good about doing his regular, assigned household tasks. But outside of those tasks, he just…doesn’t see things. One of his tasks is taking out the trash and recycling, which he does like clockwork…except that he had never in six months emptied the bathroom and living room trash cans, only the main kitchen trash. I’d done that every single time. And “is the trash can full” is a concrete yes/no question. Reasonable people can disagree over how clean floors should be, or whether it’s okay to leave a glass by the kitchen sink. But if the trash can is full, it’s full. It apparently bothers me more than it bothers him that I literally cannot fit a used toothpaste tube in the bathroom trash can, so by this logic I should empty it. But the trash is supposed to be his job! He has three jobs! Why can he not just empty the damned trash cans?? Why do I have to literally assign him chores like I’m his f**king mother if I don’t want to live in a bachelor pad with 12 beer bottles on the counter and power tools on the dining room table? Why can he not just apply his powerful intellect and problem solving skills to figuring out that the bathroom trash can is full?

            We had a fight about this pattern on Saturday, which is only our second fight ever. We’re one of those couples that Don’t Fight and we’re still struggling with this.

        • Also, nothing wrong with “hey, can you pour me a glass?” My husband does the same thing – it doesn’t occur to him to offer, but he’ll always oblige if I ask. I’ve gotten over it.

        • lawsuited :

          Marshmallow – I agree that it would be better if the emotional labour were shared as well, but you just can’t force another human being with free thought and agency to think exactly like you and care about the same things you do exactly the same amount as you do, so this is the imperfect compromise.

      • You’re right that it’s not his expectation. But we are both trying to eat healthier and we slide into an unhealthy routine with picking up food or ordering in. Cooking is what I think we need to do to stick with our preferred diets. He prefers cooked meals as well and appreciates it when I cook, but he generally only cooks on the weekend. I’ve tried cooking in bulk, and I do it to some degree with proteins and sauces, but cooking bulk meals on Sunday does not work for us–it actually makes him eat more and graze, even if I put it in separate containers in the fridge. I could try cooking in football team-sized portions, but we don’t really have storage space for those ingredients.

        We have someone who comes every other week to clean, but they don’t do laundry. Because we’re going to the gym a lot more, I have to do a load every few days. We’re stinky people!

        • Buy more gym clothes. Cook your food and eat it when it’s ready. Tape the leftovers shut and tell him he can’t have them because then there will be no food for Momday, and to get a snack if he is hungry.

        • You are mothering him waaaaay too much. Cook however much food you feel is appropriate for the week. If he eats his share all on Monday, he can fend for himself the rest of the week. Give him some menus from takeout places that have healthy options, but then stop overseeing what he eats. Stop doing his laundry.

          • Omg yes. Don’t do his laundry! If he has no clean clothes that is not your problem! Do not let your marriage become resentful over gym clothes!

          • No Laundry :

            I have been married four years and have never touched a stitch of my husband’s laundry. I do my own, once a week. Why are you making that your problem?

          • I do DH’s laundry because I do all the laundry. I usually fold it, but if not just leave his laying neatly where it won’t wrinkle. In either case it is put on his spot on the bed so he has to put it away before he goes to sleep. He changes my car’s oil and unclogs my hair from the bathroom drains. Also shovels snow.

            But he knows better than to complain. If he doesn’t like the way something is done, he does it. Same with me.

        • Just reading your response I think you use the word “we” too much. Don’t get me wrong, I think your husband sounds like a selfish ass, but you’ve got to stop it with the we stuff. Everything you do is couched in “we” and everything you describe him doing is “he”, just as you said. I’d give up the idea of a home cooked meal every night. That’s a prison sentence you’ve given yourself and he doesn’t seem to appreciate it anyway.

          • Thanks for calling me out on this. I just noticed it. You’re totally right!

        • Diana Barry :

          “Cooking is what I think we need to do”

          What does your husband think? Have you made a plan together to be healthier?

          Also, YES protect your time. And call him on his stuff like pouring himself a glass of wine. I will ALWAYS ask my DH if he wants a drink if I am getting one, even though 9/10 times he says no, I know he appreciates the ask.

          • We both prefer cooking at home for nutrition and taste, but he is more willing to make a tradeoff for convenience and pick up food instead on weeknights. I think that starts us down a slippery slope–finding the healthiest thing on the menu is not necessarily what I would ideally eat.

            One point where we differ considerably is the size of dinner. My go-to is a big salad, an egg and a sweet potato. Or sometimes just veggies and a protein. He needs something more substantial. It’s easy for me to whip up these smaller meals on a daily basis, but much harder to make a more complete meal. I need to shift the responsibility of making a meal more substantial on him–if he wants more for dinner, its on him. I don’t need to accommodate his preference for a bigger dinner when I derive no value from it and it stresses me out.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            You say “we both prefer cooking at home” but it seems like you prefer homecooked meals and he prefers homecooked meals as long as you are the one who makes them. I’d step back and prepare what you want and if he isn’t happy with it then he can order takeout or make something else. I’d also ask that he cook dinner for the both of you part of the week as well.

    • Honestly, I would try making dinner only for yourself one night and see how he reacts. Please tell me you don’t do his laundry- if so, that needs to stop. Pour yourself a glass of wine when you get home and kick your feet up for 30 minutes. Get a cleaning person (out of joint money). Your husband needs to grow up.

      • Anonymous :

        But so does she! She didn’t say he demanded dinner, and it doesn’t sound like he even wanted it!

        • Crackers + cheese + wine = perfect weeknight dinner tbh. I’d probably throw in some carrots with hummus, but ymmv.

          I disagree with the “grow up” narrative applied to either of them, though. Neither of them is really doing anything wrong, they’re just not getting it exactly right. That’s not immaturity, that’s just marriage.

          • It’s part immaturity, part marriage. We communicate very well and have tremendous mutual respect. I’m really proud of our relationship in almost all other aspects. He definitely needs to come to grips with some aspects of adulting, and will probably have a big reality check when we have kids, but I don’t think it’s my responsibility to bring him up to speed. Right now, he invests his time in his career, our relationship, and his relationships with family/friends. He just doesn’t view personal care/household stuff as a category to consume his time. Wish there was a podcast or book for men on this. Oh well, as more of our friends have kids he’ll have more examples to learn from. Until then, I’ll be more conscious of making sure my care for him is as a partner and not like a mother.

          • “He just doesn’t view personal care/household stuff as a category to consume his time.”

            Then how did he survive before he met/moved in with you? Did he move straight from his mother’s house to yours? I know I’m simplifying this a bit, but the only logical choices are a) he never took care of himself when he was by himself or that b) living with you–for some reason– allowed him to forget/stop viewing these items as things that consume his time.

            Notice that you said “category to consume his time.” To me, that doesn’t necessarily imply different standards of success in cleaning/personal care (separate whites v. wash together on cold; rinse dishes before loading or not, mop floor v. just sweep)– it implies doing it *at all.*

    • Chiming in to commiserate. DH and I had a similar fight yesterday. He’s currently “between jobs” and spent yesterday (a Monday) hanging with a buddy of his and reading a novel. Meanwhile I worked from home all day, cleaned the house top to bottom, cooked dinner, and did laundry, which for us is a big ordeal and involves schlepping to a laundromat in the snow. While he shot pool and went to lunch with his friend. Roar.

      This isn’t a regular problem for us, as we both have chores that we “own.” He tends to do the dirtier work – dealing with trash, cleaning out our chicken coop, wrangling our dogs. I tend to do the more traditionally female work – cooking dinner, vacuuming, etc. We don’t nag the other about our chores, and things generally get done. Could you work out a similar system?

      Also, just a thought – is he usually so inconsiderate when it comes to serving you, etc? If my husband came home and immediately opened a bottle of wine, I’d take that as a sign that he had a crappy day and maybe needed a little more comfort/slack than usual.

      • Anonymous :

        Ok but srsly what is the matter with you? If you’re working from home, do your work! You job is not cleaning the house!! Why didn’t you say “hey can you do the laundry today?”

        • Agreed. Stop expecting people to read your mind or anticipate your needs. Literally TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT.

        • I do agree with this but also struggle with it. Why do we have to delegate all the responsibility? He is a grown a** man. He knows the laundry needs washing and the house needs cleaning. I don’t think it’s equitable to expect the wife to make him a chore list. We are partly upset that they don’t do the task, but we are also upset that they have to be TOLD to do the task. The tasks don’t change. They are obvious and constant– why can’t they take initiative without being mothered?

          • They need to be told because no woman has ever let them fail and feel the consequences.

            If there is someone in your life who always takes care of some task for you, you stop thinking about it. It takes up no mental space. I never think “I need to take the trash to the curb” because my husband always does it. The only time it occurs to me is when he’s out of town. And it only occurs to me because he writes it on the calendar so I don’t forget to do it.

          • anonshmanon :

            If we’re being honest though, there isn’t really a consequence to having a bedroom floor full of hair and dust bunnies. So he can’t really feel the ‘consequences’ if I stop vacuuming regularly. And that robs me of my moral high ground and sheds light on the fact that I am personally bothered by the dusty floor. Whereas he isn’t, he honestly doesn’t care.

        • Anonononono :

          We’ve worked through this with a therapist, and the wording/tool I really like for this kind of thing is acknowledgement. It requires both recognizing that, yes, tasks and things you do for each other don’t take up the same mental space, so if you expect to be appreciated/thanked for vacuuming when he doesn’t care about dust bunnies, it will not happen. Instead, you ask each other what you would like to be acknowledged for. “I’d like to be acknowledged for vacuuming” or “I’d like to be acknowledged for cooking a healthy dinner” or “I’d like to be acknowledged for researching this new credit card.” And then your partner has to repeat back “I acknowledge you for X.” A few weeks of this has really helped us to see what the other person sees as the chores/things they are taking on, especially the mental and emotional labor. And it’s a nice, non-combative way to do it.

          • I like this. It becomes a habit. Dh & I have been married 22 years. We split the chores, cooking, etc based on who has the time to do it, and for the most part it has worked pretty well. He just started back working full time (he was working part time and was the main caregiver for our 3 kids, but the youngest is 11 and they are less needy means I get home first for the first time in several years, so weeknight cooking is my responsibility again.

            Anyway, regardless of who cooks, for 90% of our meals, the person who didn’t cook thanks the other for the meal. We always have done it this way. And it’s very nice to feel validated. We also thank each other for sweeping/mopping and cleaning the bathroom. And it’s rubbing off on our boys. Our oldest often thanks us for dinner as well, and the younger boys follow suit. It’s a little thing, but it lets your partner reLize you notice their contribution. And I am very careful to always thank our teens when they take a turn at cooking. Definitely want to make them feel appreciated so they are willing to do it again!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Sometimes I don’t want to wait 10 minutes to eat and will eat some chips or nuts while dinner finishes that last 10 minutes of cooking. Sometimes I have wine too. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my dinner. I frequently get home after my husband and he is frequently cooking. He would make himself a drink before I even got home if he wanted one. I’d probably ask if I was pouring myself wine but 99% of the time the answer would be, I already have my G&T. The cheese and crackers were likely to stave off some hangry not to replace your dinner.

      • Valid point. I only interpreted his actions last night as inconsiderate or self-serving. Thanks for pointing out a different perspective!

    • Do you text, email or chat with your husband at all during the work day? Toward the end of the day in the office, my husband and I usually connect briefly about supper, who’s working late, who has daycare pickup, evening obligations and anything on our particular task lists that needs to get done. It puts us on the same page and we’re ready to work as a team when we get in the door at night.

      It’s also a good opportunity for the person who’s stressing to get called out on their crazy. Really? Is washing a load of towels really key on a Wednesday night? Does vacuuming have to happen or can that be punted to the weekend? How about instead of a complicated evening meal tonight, we just eat wine and cheese?

    • Anon for this :

      I’ve struggled with this as well. It sounds like your husband is similar to mine. He’s just not a planner or organizer, so while he’s happy to help out when I give him a task, he didn’t used to understand why I resented being the one who had to orchestrate meals/cleaning/general household-related tasks. It took us some long talks (and a few stress-induced explosions on my part, which I’m not proud of) to meet in the middle. I had to get him to see that part of being my partner/loving me was appreciating how much brain space I’m using up to make sure that this stuff gets done. And he also knows that anticipating needs is something that makes me feel loved and happy, so he’s working on doing that.

      I also had to give a little, though. I’m a perfectionist, and I needed to learn to go with the flow and not worry so much about not sticking to my plan/not getting things done.

    • Outsource more of what has fallen to you. My housekeeping team visits even other week, we have a dry cleaner and grocery services that deliver, one night a week is take out night, ordered by my husband, and one night is salad night. That was enough outsourcing for me to be able to have a house that meets my hygiene standards without yelling at my husband. If he objects to the cost, suggest he do the work.

    • 1) I think you need to do a better job of protecting your time. If you want to spend 30 minutes sitting down with a book and chilling out, do it. I feel like I am always multi-tasking and my husband just doesn’t do that. It drives me nuts, but really it’s probably the healthier approach to fully focus on one task at a time. This is why my relaxation has to be reading or something. Watching TV it is too easy to play on my ipad, pay bills, etc.
      2) We try to promote a habit of being considerate. Getting yourself a cup of coffee in the morning? Bring him one too. Pulling out a snack to prevent the hangry while someone fixes dinner? Good for you bc now cooking spouse doesn’t have to hear you grumbling. Adults can probably self regulate food so as not to spoil their dinner

    • That sucks! Sometimes it’s the simplest things that break our backs after building up over time. My DH is like you – he will wait on me to come home to eat, so he’s hungry (and frustrated because he’s hungry), and then I will only want a snack because it’s so late, and then I feel guilty -plus- he is still hungry! I agree with other posters – consider your bodily needs first. It may sound a little selfish, but taking care of your hunger and thirst to be at homeostasis is far better than having frequent arguments about these types of issues. I hope this helps, and godspeed! (Agreed that it’s kinda selfish to pour oneself a glass of wine and not offer, but perhaps your DH assumed if you wanted a glass, you woulda gotten a glass already.)

    • +1 If you like having a cooked dinner every night then make yourself dinner but stop cooking with the expectation that he is going to eat it. Hire a cleaning service. Buy two hampers, do your own laundry, and let him do (or not do) his.

    • I’m sort of on the other side of this. DH cooks dinner every night while I lounge and sometimes snack. I cheerfully help if he asks me to do a specific task, like chop these veggies, but I don’t volunteer to do more.

      In my mind my weeknight laziness is justified. Before we lived together, Sunday was chore day – I made all my meals for the week and did all other chores so the only mid-week chore was occasionally doing dishes and taking out the trash. DH likes to have a freshly cooked meal every night and he likes to lounge on Sundays. I spend Sunday making our breakfasts and some lunches for the week, doing shared laundry and other chores while he lounges, and he spends weeknights making dinner while I lounge. It can feel uneven when one of us is diligently working away while the other is lounging. If I get that vibe from DH, I’ll take out the trash or do the dishes while he’s cooking. But for the most part we just have to remember that we have different preferences on when to do chores and we both have to respect that and trust that we’re each trying to pull more than our fair share.

    • This sounds like a division of emotional as well as physical labor issue. There was a discussion on the moms’ board a while back and a link to a reddit discussion about emotional labor that was amazing. The “I am constantly thinking about what needs to be done and he is not” is the emotional labor side of a relationship, and one person cannot bear all of that alone.

      Aside from that, and having been there, take care of yourself and let him take care of himself for a while. Do your laundry. Let him do his. My husband and I do this. Yes, it drives me crazy that his dirty laundry piles up and he does it once every three weeks when he has zero clean undergarments. BUT that is his issue, not mine. He is an adult. Similarly with eating. I eat healthily, but I cannot and will not force him to do so. I stick to my own exercise plan, and I make room for him to do so, but if he chooses not to, that’s on him. Its not easy taking a step back, but it is worth it for your sake and your relationship’s.

    • This has all been helpful, thanks for the reality check. I like having a meal schedule and living in a clean space, so I do some of these things to make myself happy. But I am going to cut back on the things I do for “us” and focus more on the things that make me happy. I also thinking having a weekly meal schedule (ex: mon, home cooked meal with leftovers, tues: takeout, wed: salad, thurs: he cooks, etc) might help in giving me nights “off” so I can have some chill time. Plus, I’m going to go the gym when I WANT to go, instead of checking in with his schedule first and making sure I have dinner through through. I’m still going to wash gym clothes every few days, but he can fold his own stuff or just pull from the dryer. (note: I was being nice when I said we stink. HE stinks. Kind of grosses me out. For the sake of our gardening life we just need frequent laundry.)

      I also think some of this may come from the fact that I’m the only female in his family working. His mom was always a SAHM (still tries to do his laundry on vacation) and his SIL stays at home and has a full-time nanny/housekeeper. I think I subconsciously compare how I take care of my husband with how they do it, and spending time with them over the holidays is probably making my frustrations stronger. I need to adopt Amy Poehler’s “good for you! not for me!” mentality and remember that they might have nightly home cooked meals and crisp, folded laundry for their husbands, but I don’t need to.

      • My husband and I have totally different meal schedules. I cook lunches for the week on the weekends, and I cook in the evenings only if I feel like it. He doesn’t get to touch stuff I cook unless I offer, because those meals are consigned for specific purposes, and if he eats it then I won’t have lunch on Thursday or whatever. He buys whatever groceries he needs and feeds himself what/when he wants. Even if we ate the same meals, we don’t like to eat at the same times.

        also, I do my laundry and he does his. We adult on our own, and we mutually agree to set aside a particular amount of time weekly or biweekly when we both clean the apartment at the same time. Just do your thing. Let him do his unless it’s really interfereing with your life/career. I think you have too many expectations about what he should be doing. As long as he handles his stuff and some mutually agreed upon part of the shared work that you can’t really separate, then let it go.

        • My SO and I are similar. I tend to make dinner and he either does or doesn’t eat it (I’m willing to batch cook and eat leftovers basically endlessly, and he like more variety, so probably about half the time he doesn’t eat what I cooked.). Last night we spent the evening together but I ate dinner at about 7 and he didn’t eat until 8:30. We each make our own lunches and don’t touch the other’s without express permission. (If I go to the fridge to grab my lunch container for the day and it’s not there, AngryTorin makes an appearance.)

          We communicate about what needs to get done that benefits both of us (Sunday morning cleaning), but for the most part, we just both adult on our own. I think this makes both of us way, way happier. OP, if you’ll forgive me for pointing this out, as it is gently meant, it sounds to me like a fair bit of this is about your need to control things: what is eaten, when it is eaten, and the precise degree of cleanliness of your living space. When two adults share a space, it’s not reasonable to expect to be able to control all of those things.

      • I’m glad you’re getting a handle on this, but ack, you do not have to “take care of” your husband. Why are you trying to compare yourself to his SAHM? Nobody marries their mom, that would be very creepy and disturbing. :) Also, if he smells, you can tell him that his stank is a mood killer. There is no reason to dance around that topic with a grown man.

        • yeah…..I’m starting to wonder why she married this person. at the very least, Grumps, I think you really need to work on expressing your needs and setting boundaries. I say this with love, but you come across as fairly anxious and eager to please.

          • Thanks for calling me out. Only showing the worst side of our relationship here, and I am happy with our relationship in all other aspects. I am definitely a people pleaser, so the expectation to take “care” of him in the ways that I do is self-imposed. In fact, if I sat him down and asked what he expected for me to do to take care of him, I bet he would say nothing or something like “spend time with me.” I might have that conversation with him tonight. It would be refreshing to hear from him that he doesn’t expect thus stuff. And then I can get rid of some of the tasks I don’t personally enjoy doing for us.

          • Good for you, Grumps! I hope it works out. We are all tools of the patriarchy in some way, despite our best efforts. I know I have had self-imposed ideas of how certain things should run, and sometimes I think that I am capable of doing certain things that will nudge everything into working the way I think they should ideally, but it turns out that no, that is impossible and communication is hard. I’ve really had to work on not getting frustrated when someone can’t read my mind, even when I think the things on my mind should be extremely obvious to all parties. Learning to be blunt and direct is a gift.

      • My eyes almost rolled out of my head when I read “how I take care of my husband.” That’s it. You’re his mommy. Good lord get a backbone, girl.

      • He is an adult. Stop “taking care of him” and have an adult conversation about how you want the household to be run. If he doesn’t step up stop doing anything for him and let him see how much work is done. Don’t sleep with him if he stinks and tell him why. The only way to stop doing emotional labor is to stop and let him cope on his own. Emotional labor is almost completely invisible to the person who isn’t doing it, even if they are super well intentioned and love you a lot. Show it to him. Let him see all the work you do.

    • A few tips (I’m in the same boat, but not quite at blow-up levels):
      – Some people cannot plan to save their life. My husband is one of them. I have learned that it is 100% never going to happen to have him plan meals, plan to do laundry in advance of a specific need, etc. I have accepted this and moved past it.
      – Ask your husband to do things directly. It’s annoying af that he can’t do it himself, but for your own sanity, it’s worth it. “Hey, can you wrap up the pasta while I finish something?” “Hey, can you take out the trash while I wrap up dinner?”
      – Do chores you tolerate and have him do chores you can’t tolerate. I do all the laundry because I don’t mind it, but I absolutely hate taking out the trash, compost, and recycling so he always does that (etc.)
      – Don’t do his laundry unless you have an agreement in place. If he shows up at work in dirty, stained clothes, that’s on him. Hopefully being disgusting will help him learn.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s extremely frustrating to always be the one handling all the emotional labor and making the household run, especially when it’s usually women.

      • Oh, also, I’d recommend not giving someone a huge to-do list the second they walk in the door. It doesn’t sound like that’s what you’re doing, but it works way better for us to have it either worked out in advance or have chores listed out a while after we’re both home and have had a minute to settle. Maybe on nights when you’ve started dinner, you can finish it off, but then he handles all after-dinner chores?

    • Meredith Grey :

      I do this to and for years prided myself on how caring and devoted I am to my husband. I felt really proud of how I didn’t let the ball drop for the two us, especially in making sure we had a good meal together at the end of the day. I really believed it was a contribution I was making to our life while he was busy worrying about other things. I.e. if he was working late, then I was basically helping him by planning, prepping, and making dinner. But then I’d have nights *exactly* like the one you just described- I’d be working my @ss off worrying about and making dinner and he’d either not communicate when he’d be home and I’d flip that I could’ve timed dinner better for both of us or he’d come home and eat a snack while I was ravenous… I’d get SO MAD. It took some work, but I realized that my feelings of anger was actually from a place of resentment and I wasn’t actually doing a dinner production because I genuinely wanted to for myself. Instead, it was coming from a place of feeling like I had to (that he wasn’t capable) or hoping that I was establishing patterns in our relationship that he would pick up when/if I couldn’t do those things for myself. Then I stopped working so hard at it. I stopped planning in advance what we would eat if we worked late, and I’d prep my own stuff if he wasn’t participating in worrying about it with me. Attitude is key, because it’s not a form of punishment like “if you don’t do this then I will punish you and you will starve.” It iss more in the sense of “oh, you’re not interested in thinking about dinner now? Ok, I’ll just make myself an omelette. No worries.” It was a little unsteady at first, but after about a month of this, I’ve noticed him stepping up and being muuuch more active now that I’m not doing the worrying and the work for both of us.

      • anonshmanon :

        I did the same with the opposite consequence. Stopped trying so hard to get dinner on the table at all cost and trained myself to ask ‘hey, could you take care of dinner tonight?’ more often. 100% of the time this results in takeout. I thought he might ‘step up’ aka doing it more my way as time passes (mainly because I am too cheap to spend money on takeout several nights a week). But it just never happened, so what? He does take care of dinner when I ask him, just in his way.

        • Meredith Grey :

          Oh, this too! This happens more for us also. Sorry that wasn’t meant to imply this is a perfect fix to getting husband to cook more. More along the lines of sharing responsibility for thinking about what’s for dinner and getting it through to food in my stomach. Take out meets that need too! For sure!

          • anonshmanon :

            yup, for me this is actually the cardinal rule of all relationshipping: there is more than one right way for everything.

    • This is why I have no urge to live with someone. I just don’t want to deal with this type of nonsense on a day to day basis. It is so much more peaceful to come home to a clean, quiet house, cook what I want, do what I want, and get 8 hours of sleep. I think in 20 years there will be a lot more women who are doing this….we have the socioeconomic power to live alone, we just need it to become the default position.

      • Or just find a dude who isn’t a problem man child and don’t assume mothering responsibilities. My life living with my husband is more or less exactly the same as it was living alone, except I get someone to hang out with when I want, plus gardening etc. You can totally do what you want when cohabitating- you just have to find someone with a similar orientation.

        • I wish I could :) My theory is that these types of quiet, well-adjusted guys are happily married at at 36 I have missed the boat on many of them. Here’s hoping….

          • Yeah, I’ll admit that this probably isn’t possible for everyone, what with the various complaints about man children I read on here.

            I don’t think they’re necessarily happily married by 36 though- I think it’s a different kind of person (and a different kind of relationship) who wants what you expressed above and what we want. I think there are fewer men and women who want that kind of balance between partnership and independence, so the guys who want that are probably having as much trouble finding a girl who wants what they want as you are.

          • Thanks anon…you have actually given me hope/inspiration. I am glad you found someone who adds to your life on balance.

          • Oh good, I’m glad! I hope you find someone or otherwise end up happy :)

          • I just turned 36. Last month I met a lovely 39 year old gentleman. He is an enthusiastic cook (worked in several high end restaurants in his youth) and super handy (owns a small construction business). The first night he spent at my house, he:

            (1) Picked up my clothes that were on the floor, laying them nicely on the bed that HE made;
            (2) Found my earrings on the nightstand, and dropped them gently next to me in the bathroom where I was washing my face; and
            (3) Took out the garbage, since he noticed from the neighbors that it must be garbage day.

            Who knows where things are going, but he is giving me hope:)

          • I think also some folks that have been unhappily married before age 36 may now be in a position where they have learned that they do not want to spend time and energy fighting about chores and be on board with your plan for good communication and household peace.

          • I think it’s actually easier to find an adult man the older you get. My husband and I met in our 40s and we’d both been handling our own households for years before we met. He remembers all the household things as much as I do (and takes care of his own laundry, grocery shops, meal plans, and buys toilet paper on the regular). Don’t give up hope, I think this is an area where it gets better with age.

          • +1 to Scarlett.

        • I’m not coupled but I was raised by a stay at home dad at a time when it was really and truly shocking – not a single nytimes trend piece had been written about it yet. He went back to work when my youngest sibling started school, and to this day he says that he loved staying home with us and would choose it again in a second. He still does way more housework than my mother even though he earns the same amount of money as her (which only shows how sexist the workforce is – he was out of the work place for the better part of a decade and his career bounced back in a way that it just would not have for my mom, which is part of why he did it). Yeah there are not a ton of men out there who are like this but omg why would would you settle for a man child when you can take care of yourself. There are men who are real adults and want to be in adult partnerships with women. I would much rather be single than in a relationship with someone who wants me to take care of him, but these men exist, they are out there, I’m friends with them and related to them and they are not all coupled up by 36, believe me (my dad is also a fair bit younger than my mom….the difference between 36 and 30 is not that big!)

          • numbersmouse :

            I was raised by my dad as well (working full-time, though, as he and my mother were divorced) and I think he set a high standard for the men in my life. I have no tolerance for a supposed grown-up who can’t feed himself or keep his clothes and home clean.

          • +1 to numbersmouse

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes, this. I am on my third marriage. The first two go-rounds I was exactly in the situation described by the OP and many others on this thread: I’d be stuck with all the emotional labor and most of the physical labor. If I stepped back from cooking, we’d eat takeout. If I didn’t do the laundry, he would be a wrinkled mess. And so on.

          This time around, I actually found somebody who values the things I value, like cooking a nice dinner and having a nice home. And he’s been on his own for lo, these 11 years so he knows how to make it all happen for himself, and is more than willing to pull his weight, or more than his weight, now that we’re married. I really feel like the only solutions to this particular conundrum are “give up your reasonable standards and live in whatever squalor results from an equal division of labor,” “do it yourself and consider it the price of admission to the relationship,” or “find somebody who shares your standards and is willing to participate equally.” I’ve tried the first two and I like the third one way better.

      • Not all cohabitation is like this. My eyes pop out of my head when I read some of these posts, because at my house, my chores are laundry and packing/unpacking the dishwasher and my husband’s are cooking and taking out the trash/recycling, and we outsource cleaning. We have no arguments about household chores ever.

    • I’ve had this exact problem. I felt this enormous pressure from the emotional labor – like it was my responsibility to plan meals, grocery shop, make dinner, make lunches, etc. I finally broke it down for my husband and it turns out that he had no idea that all that was going on in my head. He honestly thought I was doing everything because I liked doing it. Three things helped change the dynamic:

      1 – I make a weekly dinner plan on Sundays. It sits on the kitchen table and is very basic (e.g. Monday – Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Brussels). I don’t care how the food gets cooked, but that’s the allocation, so if H home earlier that night, he knows what he can start doing (again – had to let go of control – can’t care too much how the cooking gets done) 1 allows the lists to escape my head and be everyone’s problem.
      2 – New rule, dinner is eaten at 8 pm whether husband is home yet or not. We both know that if we get home after 8, we might be looking at reheating dinner (or eating scrambled eggs if dinner was not made by our partner). This is not a rule that dinner must be served by 8, rather, it gives the at-home person the freedom to start eating dinner alone without feeling guilty.
      3 – Weekend prep. All food is purchased on the weekend. Vegetables are prepped (washed, chopped, etc.), which makes for easier (healthy) weeknight dinners. It’s so much easier to eat healthily if all you have to do is throw everything on a cookie sheet and walk away from the oven for 40 minutes. While I wash and chop, H is usually cleaning the bathrooms.

    • A few things: 1. Don’t scoreboard; 2. Understand that you have some control issues that mean you can’t release certain responsibilities because they will not be done to your standards; 3. This means you need to feel appreciated because you are likely bearing a heavy load; 4. This aspect needs to be discussed with your spouse–most smart beings get the point of these discussions–but you have to have the discussion; 5. Identify the things that spouse can handle and do to your satisfaction–and it is likely that those (and only those) will be taken care of.

      • Great words of wisdom. I pasted these into a note on my phone to reflect on later. It helps distill a lot of the sources of my frustration and reframes it from my perspective instead of attacking him.

    • You don’t get to control your husband’s behaviour, only your own. Your husband is behaving in the way that makes him content, and you need to start doing the same. I suggest:

      – Outsource the portions of the home chores that are falling solely on you: 1) Decide that you are going to eat out/order in 3 times a week, and that you will prepare dinner twice a week and your husband will prepare dinner twice a week. On the days your husband is prepare dinner, focus on the fact that you’re not having to cook rather than wishing he would cook the way you do on your nights. 2) Get a cleaning service. If necessary, you and your husband can each sacrifice a luxury you usually spend money on in order to be able to afford the cleaning service and ordering in. (For me, it’s less Starbucks, for my husband, it’s fewer comic books.)

      – Take time for yourself: If you’re bummed out that he’s taking time to relax, and you don’t “get” to, take time to relax yourself. Screw dinner, and sit on the couch and drink some of that wine and eat some of those crackers and cheese. If your husband takes issue, explain to him that you are mirroring his behaviour, so you trust he doesn’t have a problem with it.

    • I agree in principle with people who are saying “let go of control and let him do the chores his own way,” but it’s infuriating when they aren’t done in an acceptable way. To me, “doing the laundry” doesn’t mean mixing the colors, leaving it all to wrinkle in a basket for three or four days, and forgetting to treat stains. “Cleaning the kitchen after dinner” doesn’t mean leaving 2-3 pots on the stove and a couple of forks in the sink. I had to have some serious talks with my husband about this because I don’t care HOW he gets it done – it just needs to be fully done, not half-ass*d. You don’t get credit for doing a really bad job.

      • Lol. Wash your clothes on cold and you never need to separate.

      • Marshmallow :

        My husband and I have had talks about this too. He listened and improved. He even sometimes does the grocery shopping and meal planning now. And I listened when he pointed out I have a habit of leaving my skincare and makeup allllll over the bathroom counter when I get ready in the morning. It doesn’t look like a mess to me (pretty makeup!) but it looks like a mess to him, so I’ve gotten more mindful of picking up after myself.

        One key to a good partnership is that you are willing to listen and change your behavior even when you don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, just because you care how it makes your partner feel. Sounds hokey but it’s a big deal mindset shift.

        • Thats a good idea. Having him help out with meal planning might ease the stress tremendously, especially if he sees how hard it is to say he’s craving something complicated Wednesday afternoon. We communicate well in other aspects of our relationship. The reason why the household issues are bubbling up is because I don’t really express that it stresses me out until I get upset about it. I need to get better at carving out my time and pointing out where we need to divide responsibilities when these issues arise instead of once I’m upset. I always thought it was nagging to make small asks, but I’d much prefer to nag slightly instead of ranting for 10 minutes every few months. Not my best look.

          • “Lol sorry bro, I’m not a line cook whipping up your cravings. I’m making chicken and potatoes. You’re welcome to join me.”

            Like, tell him now? Because you don’t want to make a complicated dish?

          • Senior Attorney :

            Good Lord. No, a grown-ass adult does not get to order his spouse to cater to his complicated cravings, out of the blue on a weeknight. The response above is perfect.

      • Yeah…this. He unloaded this dishwasher yesterday and I found a spatula in the drawer under our oven where we put our baking sheets. What?? I think I am going to pick one thing to teach him how to do it the way I need it done, probably dishes. We have this argument over whether you have to remove all the food on dishes pre-dishwasher. Surprise–he says no. But I find food on “clean” dishes all the time. If we can get past this (feels like a chicken v. egg debate at times) doing the dishes and unloading the dishwasher can become his wheelhouse. That would help me tremendously, and it would cut back on me feeling frustrated that he’s not doing anything.

        • What…the…f. Dude!!!! Get a grip! He is a grown man. You are not his mommy. You shouldn’t “teach” him how to put away dishes.

        • Or, you could chill. Srsly. What does if matter if a spatula is in the wrong place? Or a few dishes go through more than once? These aren’t problems that you need to spend time solving.

          • They also aren’t problems that need to happen. It’s not always on the woman to “let things go.” It would take her husband 0.3 seconds to put the spatula in the right drawer. It might take her 10-15 minutes to find the spatula in the oven drawer.

        • Marshmallow :

          Honestly the spatula thing would bother me, too, because I would never ever think to look in that drawer under the oven when I need the spatula. Things have homes for a reason. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal, just “Honey, the spatula goes in this drawer with all the other cooking utensils.”

        • My husband does 95% of our dishes. When he doesn’t know where something goes (usually serving dishes or the microplane) he just leaves it on the counter and I put it away. Easier for me to put away these items than to explain my rather fluid systems for what goes where.

          • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

            We have a similar arrangement. His perspective is that as long as it’s in a cabinet or drawer somewhere near where he thinks something normally goes, it’s fine. I do not feel this way. Thus, he does dishes and I put them away.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Dishes are technically my job since my husband cooks 95% of the time (and he’s in charge of trash and recycling too) but sometimes he does the dishes if I’ve been working a lot of hours and he does the same. He leaves it on the counter and it takes me 30 seconds to put it in the right place. We joke around about it because he helped organize the kitchen in the first place but can’t remember where some of the items go.

            OP, can you pinpoint which chores you hate doing that he could do (and vice versa)? I truly don’t mind doing the dishes, even if I’m the one who has cooked but my husband hates it. I absolutely hate dealing with the trash and recycling but he doesn’t mind, so that is how we split things up. I only have a couple of things that I can cook, but I bake and my husband loves sweets so I bake and he cooks. Everything else we either do together or do our own portion of. We also do our own laundry and have our own baskets for that. Grocery shopping and meal planning is also joint and sort of evolves throughout the week. We get our groceries delivered so we each add things to the account as we think of them and then before one of us schedules the delivery we make sure we have enough meals planned and talk about what to add if we don’t. This is the system that works for us and I don’t think we’ve had even one argument about it in the 5 years that we’ve been together.

        • Anonattorney :

          For newer dishwashers you shouldn’t remove all the food on the dishes. They have sensors that determine whether or not the dishes are clean. If some of the dishes are pre-washed by you, and others still have food bits on them, then they won’t all come out clean — the inconsistency is the problem. And pre-washing dishes wastes water, and time.

          • +1 my husband and I have this debate (I am in the camp that you shouldn’t need to wash dishes for the dishwasher). When we got a new dishwasher, the Bosch guy said the dishes should be “as dirty as possible” when loaded in.

        • Split the difference here: tell him that clean items must be put in the right place, but give up on pre-washing the dishes and accept that some might have to be washed twice is your dishwasher is older.

          • Senior Attorney :

            +1

            A friend of mine told me once that sending the occasional dish through twice was a price she was happy to pay in order to skip pre-washing the dishes. I thought that was a good philosophy and I have adhered to it ever since.

        • Meredith Grey :

          meh, the push back about this stuff from everyone is weird to me. you’re not alone. we have these issues too. tell him it’s important to you to live in a clean and organized space. ask if can he make an effort to tune in more to where things go and shouldering some of the organizational burden. i find that works better than a “teaching” mentality. Once he hears that it’s something he needs to make an effort to pay attention to, it usually sticks better.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      On ‘me’ vs ‘we’ thinking: this is a useful read. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-fray/she-divorced-me-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink_b_9055288.html For him, too. It can’t just be about comparative advantage (aka you doing all the things because you do them better/ to your satisfaction) – it has to feel like both parties are contributing equitably in a marriage. Otherwise you just turn into a simmering ball of resentment.

      You don’t mention kids, but if you do have children, it takes WAY more advance planning and teamwork – i.e. ‘we’ thinking – on the part of both parties!

    • Can you be more direct with him? My DH can be oblivious so I tell him that trash needs to be taken out, dishwasher unloaded, time for kiddo’s dinner, etc. I do all the laundry but hr folds and puts away his. When I’m feeling stressed, he’s also great at occupying kiddo and giving me time to just chill in our room.

    • Why did you get so mad? Other possible ways you could have reacted instead:

      Maybe I’ll join him and enjoy a glass of wine. I’d like to relax too.

      He’s home! Now we can catch up.

      “Hey honey, dinner’s actually almost ready.”

      “Do you mind helping me in the kitchen for a minute?”

      If you are already so wound up you get mad at your husband for opening a bottle of wine and sitting down when he gets home, you need to lighten up, and I say this as someone who is trying cognitive behavioral therapy and honestly trying to lighten up myself. You can suck all the joy out of your relationship, or you can find a better way. Life is not meant to be a constant battle. Enjoying the little moments is what it’s all about, right? Maybe you need to let go of having everything go exactly on your schedule, or communicate more so it’s not such a problem.

      • P.S. I also do most of the cooking. My husband is happy with a peanut butter sandwich every night, but I am not.

        Honestly, a great solution is to use this tactic of super-quick easy meals, but switch it so it’s healthier — make eggs on toast, load up a bunch of veggies and hummus into a wrap, or make a big salad when you don’t want to cook. Cook a frozen pizza. Heat up a can of Amy’s soup and have toast. Not the best dishes, but they’ll give you a break when you need it.

        We often look at men like they’re doing it wrong, but maybe they are doing it right. Why should we all be working so hard all the time. Is there a middle way?

        Also, I used to get annoyed at my husband because he doesn’t do much around the house compared to me. Turns out, if I ask him nicely to help with something specific, he’s really receptive. He’s so appreciative when I ask for help rather than getting mad at him. And he eventually does help. He might still need a reminder. But why should he care about everything the same way I do? We’re not the same person.

    • Tough one. My bloodpressure rose just by reading this. It seems that there are 2 issues, actually:
      1] Division of housework – and you feel you end up doing majority of it
      2] The dinner scene reads more like you miss the feeling that meeting at home after a long day, you would enjoy an hour of actually sitting together for a nice dinner, talk, share and … generally care about each other. What you get is someone rushing through the door, caring about himself only, not even bothering to ask whether you would enjoy a glass of wine as well. And this seems like the bigger problem, if I read your post correctly.
      I would focus on discussing with your DH that you would like to create and maintain this belongingness and mutual interest and one of the ways to do this is to have a sit-down home-cooked dinner. I haven’t met a man who would not want to comply.
      My mom insisted on family-dinner every workday and looking back, I understand why. You cannot replace this.

    • Hi Grumps,

      I am sorry that you are going through this, but I am not surprised. The culture in his family is that the women take care of the men. (your MIL and SIL lifestyles tell me a lot.) I married a man who grew up with hired help, so he was very unaccustomed as to what-to-do. I am 62 years old, married 30 years, and it got better over time. Here is my advice:

      1. First and foremost, monitor your resentment and anger–they are poison, and a clue to find a new solution. If you are pissed off, fix it for yourself.

      1.5 Ask him to set up the coffee at night, and bring you wine/seltzer at dinnertime–or your equivalents–as they will gladden your heart! (I am not kidding!) and make you feel cared for as this is always part of the problem.

      2. He does his own laundry for sure, 100%. Two hampers. Buy more clothes.

      3. You have to train him. (sorry, everyone. It is what it is–no “shouldn’t have to’s” here). To train him, you need to triage your high and low priorities.

      4. What tasks do you like to do? Hate to do? Think he is open to? What tasks are less finicky? Make a plan, discuss it with him.

      4. You food shop, or order on-line, and he puts away the food. (My husband meets the Peapod delivery each week, or goes food shopping after I make the list.)

      5. Make a template for meal plans–Friday night is take out, Saturday is eat out, Sunday is breakfast-for-dinner (eggs). Monday–pasta, Tuesday-chicken and veggies, etc. Wed-fish in a skillet, Thursday–ground turkey/beef. He cooks 1 x or 2 x a week. (My husband will cook if I leave a note as to what is for dinner–and I keep it simple)

      6. Do less cooking and more microwaving and re-heating. Buy frozen foods, semi-prepared foods, etc. Trader Joe’s is your friend!

      8. I always hated doing a big prep on Sunday–ruins my Sunday!–but I often double cook now and then and freeze a meatloaf, soup, brown rice, pasta, etc.

      9. Lower the bar–always lower the bar. This is not 1955. if there is something hot (tomato soup from a can) and a sandwich, it is dinner.

      7. If you cook, he cleans up, and vice-versa. If he doesn’t scrape the dishes and they come out dirty, put them out for him to wash. If he doesn’t wash them, put them in a bin on his desk/bureau (I am not a hostile person–sometimes they are slow to learn)

      If you can detach from the situation and make lists, and figure out who does what, you will figure this out. Do not go on babying him–he is a grown man and can cook, clean, launder, shop, etc like most adults do. But he needs training as he did not grow up learning to do this.

      He might be willing/able/open to a conversation breaking this all down, but if he is not, you will have to do it “organically” as you go along. My husband now checks the kitchen and family room trash cans before taking out the trash, but I had to train him to do this.

      It is annoying to train a husband, but most women have to do it. Some come with household skills, but many do not.

      My sons cook and do laundry, clear the table, do dishes, etc., but they never cleaned as we had house cleaners. I apologize in advance to their future wives, but it is what it is!

      Talk to your husband, make a plan with or without him, stick with it, and reinforce with positivity as much as possible and know that you will lose it now and then as you will–we all do!

  15. Not a Manager :

    What do you do when your boss tries to hand off disciplinary duties and managing/implementing performance improvement plans? He wants me to manage my peers. For the sake of argument there is zero chance of promotion or a raise. So this is really just a manager not wanting to manage.

    • You Say “do they report to me now? No? Then no, I’m not going to do this.”

      • BoughtTheTshirt :

        Having responsibility for others’ work without any authority over them is a horrible situation resented by everyone involved. #voiceofexperience

    • Since the first comment would probably get you fired, I will bite. I would set up a meeting with your boss to discuss this under the pretext that you need more information. Clarify that you are not actually being tasked with supervising these individuals and then state that, on that basis, you are uncomfortable managing them or implementing performance improvement plans. Follow up with how you would be happy to do this task, but you feel it would only be appropriate if you had the corresponding title and authority. Ask boss to let you know if anything changes regarding your title and authority.

      • Not a Manager :

        But can I really say no? Isn’t anyone’s job just whatever their boss asks them to do? I’ve repeatedly said something to the effect of “that’s a responsibility of their manager, and I’m their peer” and my boss’s rebuttal is always “but I asked you to do it”

        • Maybe the way to manage this would be to say with a surprise/genuine confusion, “Oh! … Are they reporting to me now?” And if she stumbles or says no, you can politely say “Oh, hmm… I’m not sure if I’m allowed to do that under my title then. Should we ask [her boss] to clarify?”

          That way you are trying to do what is asked of you but playing by the rules/doing right. Either option isn’t really a way I’d want to thrive at work, though, so you may want to look for a new job or manager… sorry

  16. Any recs for Salt Lake City in August? We are thinking of adding a stop there on our vacation next year – we’d fly into SLC, enjoy one night and one day, then drive on to our next stop.

    • Anonymous :

      IMO, Salt Lake is not a city worth sight-seeing (please don’t flame me – I live in flyover country too and think SLC would be a perfectly nice place to live, but like many smaller cities, it’s just kind of boring as a vacation destination). I’d just immediately head out to wherever you’re going. One caveat would be that if Park City isn’t on your itinerary, that’s a cute mountain town and might be worth staying over in SLC and doing a day trip to Park City (although it’s kind of dead in summer, since it’s a ski resort).

    • Park City is amazing in the summer. So much beautiful hiking. Check out the Sundance resort. You can take gondola rides over the ski slopes. I actually like it better in summer than winter, and there are way fewer people. It’s a 45 minute drive from SLC. As far as SLC, there are a few good restaurants (check out Red Iguana), and it’s worth walking around the Mormon temple complex. The state capitol building is kind of cool. But otherwise not much to do.

      • Hiking in City Creek Canyon is pretty nice. I wouldn’t make a special trip to SLC just to do that, but if you are already there and looking for something to do then it’s worth the time. For restaurants, I like the Copper Onion.

    • I was just there for work, and was really bored with only my evenings free. The Mormon temple takes 30 minutes to see and after that….there’s nothing to do. I didn’t find any restaurants that were anything to write home about. I would definitely not use a vacation day to visit Salt Lake.

    • What kinds of things do you like? The mountains are beautiful in August so if you like hiking, there are tons of great trails in the surrounding mountains.

      I would personally skip the Mormon temple grounds unless that is something you specifically want to see. I personally love the outdoorsy stuff so I would head to the mountains. Park City is nice, if you want a fun mountain town, but there are also lots of fun trails in Millcreek Canyon and the Cottonwood Canyons. City Creek and the Shoreline trail are fun too, but I prefer the canyons. A couple of the ski resorts (Park City, Snowbird, and Olympic Park) offer fun summer activities like ziplining. And during the summer, many ski resorts have good Sunday brunch spreads.

      Downtown does have restaurants, bars, and shopping if that is what you’re into.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      I’ll be the dissenting voice. I extended a business trip to SLC by two days and really enjoyed myself as a solo female traveler. Some things I did: toured the state capitol (it’s huge, and beautiful, and the views are stunning), hiked to the Ensign Peak Trail (the trail head is about a 1.5 mile walk from the Capitol, making it a nice five mile R/T total), ate a lot of disgustingly delicious food (there’s some local hole in the wall burger place that makes a pastrami topped burger -soooo good), did all the Mormon attractions (don’t miss the museums and schedule it so you can hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing and an organ recital), and saw an awesome play at the University of Utah’s amazing performing arts hall (accessible by train).

    • SLC seems like it’d be a nice place to live. It’s so clean and nobody smokes! But the town itself lacks tourist attractions. I’d use it as a base to explore the surrounding mountains. It’s a gorgeous area. Also there’s Spiral Jetty on the lake itself, which is a giant earthwork sculpture. I’d kinda like to see that.

  17. Our office’s heat is broken. Its 14 degrees outside. My little space heater can only do so much and I’m cooooooooooooooooooooooooold.

    Okay, done complaining. Gotta go defrost my fingers.

  18. What should I do with a free night in Houston?

    • Meredith Grey :

      eat some ribs!!!

    • JuniorMinion :

      Which night of the week? Houston has some great restaurants etc. If you are not as familiar could get some Tex Mex!

      My favorites:
      Teotihuacan (airline drive)
      Ninfa’s (on Navigation)
      El Tiempo (any location)

      • Thursday night. I actually already have dinner reservations (at Le Colonial), so I guess it’s better to say I’m looking for non-food activities of any sort!

        • You’re basically going to be in the heart of our shopping area, so I’d recommend shopping! Le Colonial is in the “River Oaks District”, a brand new giant shopping center filled with fancy shops, but somehow not that many people most nights. If the weather is good, there is fun window-shopping. There is a great gelato place in there – Amorino Gelato – that you should try (and it looks to be warm this week so you can eat ice cream in January!). If you go East on Westheimer, you’ll reach Highland Village, another fun shopping area. If you go West, you’ll be in the heart of the Galleria area.

    • Shop at the Galleria and then go for drinks at the Velvet Elvis (is that still around?)

    • anon anon armani :

      Your evening of the week dependent:

      Museum of Modern Art
      Fine Arts Museum
      National History museum (an amazing gem hall and IMAX and Planetarium)

      Yes! Galleria and River Oaks Shopping Centers, esp if you don’t have access to high end name stores.

      Yes! Velvet Elvis is still around.

      There are a few nice restaurants in the Galleria mall itself.

      Spas! One in Uptown Park. I don’t go to spas, but I think people like that one. There are also spas in the high end hotels: The Houstonian, Hotel ZaZa, Four Seasons. Oh, don’t know about evening hours…

      Might depend on the location in Houston – we have so many different areas, so where you will be saying may be the determining factor.

      Welcome to Houston!

      • I’m staying at the Four Seasons, so I’m thinking about that with my free next morning!

        Between the Fine Arts Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, which would you recommend? I am visiting the Menil as part of this trip.

        • I am partial to the Museum of Natural Science, which is free from 3-6 pm on Thursday. Bob Bakker is the curator of the paleontology department — it is awesome.

          Just curious, did you choose Le Colonial? It is not super convenient to your hotel (about a 15 minute drive). There are some amazing restaurants in Houston right now, many of which are much closer to your hotel. http://houston.eater.com/

      • I’ll add the Menil to the museum list.

        We just had a couple of good hard freezes so mosquitoes are at a low point and a walk along Buffalo Bayou would be a great way to spend your evening. It’s a really pretty park and the weather this week is really mild.

        • This trip is actually entirely happening because I’m going to the Menil for something :-)

          • Ha! That is one of my favorite museums in Houston. Since you’ll be over there, check out the Rothko Chapel. It’s right across the park (which is also a nice place to chill). I can, and have, spend half an hour there just absorbing the peace it exudes.

  19. Jealous Anon :

    Last night I was scrolling through social media (i know, i know) and saw a friend of mine in a picture meeting one of my personal heroes. I know she works hard but I couldnt help feeling overcome with jealousy because she has so much of what I want in life (more well off, devoted bf, amazing job, and ivy undergrad/grad degrees). I know everyone has their struggles in life and no ones life is perfect but it made me realize how inadequate I feel in my own life.

    I tried to redirect that jealous energy into focusing on how I can improve my own life and did/do feel better. But it can be hard not to constantly compare myself to my peers who are all pretty driven (myself included) – especially in my mid-20s when people are starting to figure out their lives and mine (while overall still good) is still up in the air/I have no idea where I’ll even be 9 months from now.

    How do you guys deal with jealousy?

    • i find that it’s actually not hard to not be jealous. So what? So what that she’s got some stuff now? Her having it means nothing to your life. If looking at social media gets you down, delete the apps for a while!

    • Congratulate your friend! Express your sincere sentiment that you are happy for her. Work those graciousness muscles and you will find the jealousy muscles will atrophy. And remind yourself that you are happy with your life!

    • Allow yourself to feel jealous for 5 min and then focus on you. Literally. Implement your workout routine or decor scheme or whatever. Be so absorbed in yourself that you actually don’t have time or f0cks to give about other people.

    • Part of the feeling of inadequacy is that social media tends to only show the positives of most people’s lives. If you were to see my social media feed over the last year, you would have seen many of those things: amazing in house gig! we started our farm! beautiful children! living a great life! What you didn’t see: Husband’s multiple hospitalizations, me taking care of the farm at 5:30 in the morning before the kids awoke when husband was hospitalized and after, my son’s chronic illness diagnosis, me barely keeping it together at amazing in house gig because of the things just listed. You simply cannot compare a curated view of someone’s life to your reality. It isn’t fair to you.

      • +1 million, especially: “You simply cannot compare a curated view of someone’s life to your reality. It isn’t fair to you.”

      • Yeah, this. You’re comparing their highlight reel to your behind the scenes. I get down about this stuff, too- not because other people have it (I would never begrudge a friend for having a great job/relationship), but because it reminds me that I’m sad that I don’t have whatever it is. But social media is all a story. I remember learning of a friend’s divorce a few months ago, out of the blue (seemingly). She was held up in our social circle as having the perfect instagram life/family… and now we know that there were years and years of unhappiness.

        Another friend who posts egregiously sappy pictures/ comments about her husband/baby regularly pulls me aside and desperately shares that she’s miserable, they’re in counseling, she is depressed and lonely…. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her family, but it does mean there’s more to the story. All you can do is remember that everyone deals with something and focus on you.

      • +2! That’s so well said. I’ve gone back through my own social media and look at the narrative I’ve created of my own life, and realize that it’d be easy to feel jealous of what it looks like I have. It does help to remember to be thankful for what I have (and we’ve instituted saying what we are thankful for with our kids each night, and it’s been good for us too), AND that’s it’s definitely not the full picture.

    • Everything will be different in 10 years, and then you still have 30 years left to work. Point being, you and your friends don’t have anything figured out yet. Also, as you implied, don’t expect anything other than delusionally positive versions of lives on social media. The same friends will have gone through rehab, or been disbarred, or have a relationship implode, or hate their kids. Trust me.

    • Hi, you are me. All my friends are buying houses/getting married/having babies/amazing careers and here I am just ticking along and feeling like every day is a struggle. I’m 31 but I still don’t have my sh!t figured out. No advice, just hugs.

      • +1 – if you’re inclined to struggle with jealousy, it is ALWAYS going to be a struggle for you. There will always be someone who has something you don’t – and by the same token, you always will have something someone else doesn’t. And know that most people are struggling to make it through the day, to some degree.

    • My mum always told me “there’s a lot to be said for being average”. On days when I feel like so many people are doing better than I am, I remember that there are so many people doing much worse than I am and would love to live the average life I’m living. So much of what each of us has in life is pure luck and not because of anything we’ve done/not done, so I think you just have to be grateful for the grace that did come your way.

    • Fellow Jelly :

      I feel ya. Just know that each person has a struggle they’re not sharing with the outside world. For me, it’s baby troubles. For someone else, it’s house troubles. For another, work troubles. I’ve adopted Amy Poehler’s message to avoid women-on-women shade (my phrasing, not hers) from ‘Yes Please’ – “Good for her! Not for me.” This helps with my jealousy pangs.

      • +1. What’s that old saying (“If everyone threw their problems in a pile, you’d take yours right back”)? Yup. Also, love the “Good for her – not for me!” mantra as well.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Really specifically to the particular thing that sparked your jealousy, but can you think of it as creating a better chance for you to meet this hero someday? Maybe she can introduce you or set something in motion that results in you meeting your hero.

    • numbersmouse :

      So the impulse to “redirect” that jealousy into working on you is not bad, but it’s still part of the problem. You’re still comparing yourself to others. You need to train yourself to let go of that reflex–just, you know, noticing when you do it and forcing yourself to think of something else. It’s hard at first, then you truly lose the habit (or at least the comparison becomes an idle “huh, this person got married at 26. I couldn’t do that. Interesting.”). Then, figure out what you want for your life REGARDLESS of what others have or don’t have. But that needs to be separate, not as a byproduct of jealousy.

      Also, what other people said: act gracious and it will come with time. You’re only in your mid-twenties; your life is going to change completely many times over before you’re done. Patience, young grasshopper, etc. :)

  20. I wanna go somewhere warm-ish in February. Not more than 3-4 hour flight from NYC. Not expensive. And no zika. Any ideas?

    • Sorry Gozilla, like you that place is fiction. I’d go to Palm Springs. More than 4 hours but the Carribean and south Florida are out because Zika.

      • South Florida is out, but there are parts of Florida that have no Zika. The Panhandle area (e.g. Destin) is fine.

    • West coast of Florida (Sarasota, St Petersburg).

    • I think a 3-4 hour flight puts you in the Southern US – Florida, Savannah, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Diego maybe. Dallas and Atlanta could still get snow and ice in February. Miami is the only place in the US that zika has been transmitted by mosquitoes, but the rest of the South has mosquitoes so there is always a small chance. Mexico and the Caribbean have zika transmission by mosquito.

      • There are no active mosquitoes in the vast majority of the south in February, but it’s going to be chillier than I think Godzilla would want in Feb.

        I’d go to Phoenix and stay at the Inn at Camelback or some place out that way. You can do awesome hiking and awesome spa-ing, which sounds pretty fabulous to me.

        • We are headed to Arizona in February! We were warned that it may be “cool” with highs in the 60s or 70s! Ha! That’s 60 degrees warmer than it is right now outside my window.

        • Oh yeah, I forgot that there are no mosquitoes in the winter!

      • I would go to Arizona but I went there last year. “Warm-ish” would be in the 70s for me.

      • Yeah, there won’t be mosquitos here in February, but it can be cold(ish) depending on where we are in the roller coaster. We tend to have nicer weather in February, but then there’s Mardi Gras. If you don’t actually want to come to Mardi Gras (i.e. want to see the city), I’d say come some other time.

    • There is no local transmission of Zika in Bermuda, I think.

      • I wouldn’t consider February in Bermuda to be warmish, but everyone’s warmish is different! The time I went in April was not really warm enough to do beachy and in-water activities, which is a good bit of the fun of Bermuda IMO.

    • I don’t know about Zika but you can get decent deals in Aruba and it’s not a long flight from the east coast. Very warm, totally gorgeous weather, not much to do except lay around and eat/drink.

  21. Meredith Grey :

    Since I can’t really scream this from the rooftops IRL, just taking a hot second right here to to pat myself on the back because today I am fully vested at my company (4 year requirement). I get 100% of my employer’s (sizable) profit share and match!! IT’S ALLLLL MIIIIINNNEEEEE!!! This has been my beacon on countless days I’ve contemplated quitting. I’ve put up with being undervalued, under paid, and all the goodies that come with being the “only girl” in a management position in my office in a company run by old white men. Oh baby, Mama’s gonna have some cheesecake tonight!!!

  22. Diana Barry :

    Can anyone help me find a cheap white button-up with stretch? Must have long sleeves and a regular collar and be tailored so I can wear it under dresses in the winter. I looked at the limited’s clearance but the only one they have is too long.

    Also, would you buy this dress at this price? I got it from the clearance and am not sure where I would wear it. https://www.reiss.com/us/p/bodycon-midi-dress-womens-rachel-in-black/

    • Not necessarily cheap, but if you wait for a sale you’ll be okay: http://www.anntaylor.com/perfect-shirt/387660?skuId=20368296&defaultColor=9000&colorExplode=false&catid=cata000010. I have this shirt in multiple colors and can recommend. Attention, though: the shoulders are a bit narrow.

    • The Long Sleeve Essential Shirt from Express 100% fits this bill. $60 full price but currently on a buy one/get one 50% off deal (and in my experience, always on some kind of deal).

    • Love the Ann T perfect shirt

  23. With the snow outside and the pot roast discussion at the top of the page, I am dreaming of being at home in the kitchen instead of here in my cube writing briefing notes! My current fixation is this new Smitten Kitchen recipe – https://smittenkitchen.com/2017/01/chicken-wonton-soup/ – it sounds like exactly what I want to eat today. Any other recipe ideas anyone is thinking about this morning?

    • I love soup in the winter. I’m making Martha Stewart’s Vegetable Bean soup for supper (substituting lentils for chickpeas).

    • Emeril’s potato leek soup is delicious and perfect on cold, winter days.

    • I made the chicken wonton soup (but with turkey, because that’s what i had) from SK this weekend! It was really, really good.

    • We are thinking alike! I bought everything to make SK’s recipe this weekend but went out for dinner instead, so it’s going to be dinner tonight. I’m super excited about it. I also made Alton Brown’s meatloaf last night, and it was delicious. I love comfort food in January.

    • http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016062-red-lentil-soup-with-lemon It’s happening, AND I CAN’T WAIT.

      • I love this one, and it was a big hit at a women’s dinner a few years ago. Now I want to make it . . .

    • I’m dying to get home and make a giant dish of baked mac & cheese.

    • anon anon armani :

      Shrimp and corn chowder … 12 months of monastery soups book (has a companion salad one) … all based on fresh items available each month of the year.

    • Meredith Grey :

      I am always dreaming about smittenkitchen brownie mosaic cheesecake. always. But, today especially (per post above!)
      https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/08/alexs-choice/

    • I had a ham bone left from Christmas so I made black bean soup. So yummy!

  24. I feel energized participating in our democracy!!!!

    Our calls are working! Without ANY ethics reports as of yesterday, so many people called their Senators that they have had to delay the hearings… you know because no disclosures were made in time for the hearings so that the nominees could be appropriately questioned under oath. One of my Senators I actually got a “all lines are busy, leave your name and zip code and number” and then the mailbox was full! Pretty cool! I called back 10 seconds later and got someone. I had a short script handy — I subscribe to the re:act newsletter, which is extremely helpful, but I already knew a lot about my Senators and what their pet issues are. All in all, I spent less than 5 minutes calling them. It was fun!

    • Yay! I’m finding your positivity and explaining short simple steps that we can take to be really inspiring!

      That and Chuck Schumer’s amazing reply to Mitch McConnell using his own words! Loved that!

    • I am energized too–have been calling my legislators, and going to a midday ACA-repeal protest at an R Senator’s office. Which is great, because 2017 is already shaping up to make us remember the dumpster fire that was 2016 fondly.

    • It didn’t change anything though, right? They went ahead with the hearings.

    • Yay! Both my senators and my rep are Democrats. Probably not worth calling, right?

      • It’s always worth calling. Then the staff can report how many people are calling to support what they are doing.

      • Always call. Even better, call Republicans. You don’t have to be in their district for them to pick up the phone. Trust me, when the phones are ringing NON-STOP, it becomes very hard to ignore the calls, which is exactly what you want. Imagine an office full of harried staffers who can never get any of their work done because the phones just don’t stop ringing – you can bet they’ll be talking to their boss about it.

        • Should I call republicans in the state where I grew up/my family lives/I plan to return, or other Republicans in my state? Does it matter?

        • Hill staffer :

          “Imagine an office full of harried staffers who can never get any of their work done because the phones just don’t stop ringing – you can bet they’ll be talking to their boss about it.”

          No. Please do not do this. Staffers are not answering the phones; interns are. Those interns are unpaid and do not have the ear of the Senator.

          Call your own representatives/Senators, even if they’re Democrats. As someone said above, they want to know how many people support what they’re doing. But calling the office of someone who does not represent you does not help.

          • Hill staffer :

            Just to clarify – what I meant was that Senators won’t change their positions just because their interns are overworked. The interns will tally up the number of calls that they got from constituents for/against a certain stance, so if you’re calling your own representatives, the calls do make a difference. But in our office, we tell interns not to include non-constituents in those numbers.

          • Staffers answered the phone in the office I worked in. Interns did too.

    • New Tampanian :

      Can you share your script? I am always a bit nervous about what to say exactly.

      • I was a bit nervous, too, but they were kind and listened. I believe they are mostly tallying numbers. As I said, the mailbox was full and when I called back a few seconds later and got someone, he was like “The phones have been ringing nonstop here! How can I help you?” I drew some analogies to my background as the reason for my concern about the nominations to things in the Senators’ backgrounds (not necessary, but I like to think of it as something I would feel comfortable saying to someone’s face, like “I know as a child of veterans, you must have the same concerns as me, so I hope you’ll…”). I subscribe to a wonderful newsletter re:act that states easy, actionable steps, gives you links (i.e. no convuluted g00gling how to call your senator, they give it to you there) and a few sample scripts. I liked their call to action, “Will the Senator promise to publicly oppose his/her nomination?” (Script for Senators already agreeing with me. Others include: When can we expect the Senator to release a statement? Why doesn’t the Senator share these concerns? And you can always end politely with: I find that unacceptable and will share this experience with friends and family [and my local newspaper].)

        NOTE THAT MY SENATORS ARE DEMOCRATS! You should absolutely call your representatives – that is literally their job … to represent you! If you don’t like what they say, say something!

      • Hi, I’m XX from XX calling to support your efforts to get a more reasonable schedule for the Senate confirmation hearings. I don’t want you to vote on anyone without all the background checks and financial disclosures submitted, and I want to have time to react to the confirmation hearings. Also, please, please vote down Jeff Sessions. Thank you so much!

  25. PSA Wolford is on rue la la today.

  26. ISO activities near Santa Clara, CA :

    Do any of the ‘rettes have a suggestion for a free day in the SF Bay Area? I’ll be in Santa Clara for work in about 2 weeks, don’t really want to head into SF (been there, done that many times). Prefer outdoor activities, but not sure weather will cooperate. :-(

    • Go check out one of the state parks off Highway 35. Castle Rock is fun if you’re into climbing.

    • If the weather doesn’t cooperate, there’s a great design exhibit at San Jose’s Museum of Modern Art going on. Downtown San Jose is developing a neat little art community in SOMA and Local Color on First should be open by then.

      There is always the Winchester House, the Rose Gardens, and the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.

      Otherwise, bring your hiking boots and head to the hills. My favorites are Calero, Canada del Oro, and, the best of all, Quick Silver. All are free. I think there is a small price of admission at Castle Rock but it has a great trail through the rocks if you are in good shape and it isn’t too wet.

      • Here’s the design exhibit:

        http://sjmusart.org/exhibition/beauty-cooper-hewitt-design-triennial

        And check out the events:

        http://sjdowntown.com/events/

        FWIW, Shen Yun is in town. It’s a Chinese dance performance. It’s interesting but…awkward. Near the end, it becomes political for Falun Gong against the current Chinese government.

      • Senior Attorney :

        The Winchester House is crazy and kitschy but I loved it. Also there’s a mission on the campus of the University.

    • Have you been to Pescadero state beach? It’s my favorite. Lots of cute places to eat around there too. In general, the drive down Highway 1 from around Hwy 92 all the way to Santa Cruz is gorgeous, no matter the weather. I’d do that in a heartbeat.

      • Sunflower :

        If you go to Pescadero State Park, I’d highly recommend eating at Duarte’s Tavern in the town of Pescadero.

    • I’d head into Saratoga for an afternoon- not a ton there, but it’s a cute little woodsy area. If you have a lot more time, head to Santa Cruz – there’s pretty beach walks, an old beach town, decent spots to eat.

  27. Not Cotton Breton shirt :

    Anyone see any non-cotton Breton shirts out there? Looking for something that will keep its shape.

  28. ISO activities near Santa Clara, CA :

    These are great suggestions–thanks, all!!!!!

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