Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Felted Cashmere Wrap Coat

Cashmere Coat: Donna Karan Felted Cashmere Wrap CoatOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This cashmere felted wrap coat in blush looks Olivia Pope-worthy, and perfect for chilly spring weather for years to come. I love the wide belt, and — hello, sale! It was $3300, but is now on sale for $1700ish. Donna Karan Felted Cashmere Wrap Coat

Two lower-priced options for wrap coats are here and here, and here’s a plus-size alternative.

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

(L-5)

Comments

  1. Trench recommendations? :

    Does anyone have a navy trench they’d recommend (size 10-12)? My tan Caroll trench is showing its age (9 years!) and I thought blue might be nice. Looking for a fairly trim fit through the shoulders but happy to go slightly a-line over the hips. Not opposed to something slightly more interesting.

    • Anonymous :

      Look on the Brooks Brothers website. I have a trench from a few years back that is unusual, flattering, and machine washable. I got it on super sale, so it was not more expensive than London Fog and the usual suspects.
      If you are between sizes, size up.

    • Conflicted :$ :

      I JUST bought a great one from the Ralph Lauren for Macy’s line in Navy; I am a 16-18 and the XL is great so you may be a L or even M.

  2. I’m going to Memphis for Memorial Day weekend. It’ll be my first time. Any recommendations on things to do and see? I’m open to anything. Also, any restaurant recommendations?

    Thanks!

    • My closest friend lives in Memphis, and I’m headed there to visit her the weekend before you! The Civil Rights Museum is honestly can’t miss. I also loved the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, but YMMV if you don’t care for that musical style. We ate at the Trolley Stop Market on a previous visit and I loved it. For this trip, we’re going to a new restaurant that opened called Loflin Yard that is apparently terrific.

    • March of the Ducks at the Peabody Hotel, Gus’ Fried Chicken, Jerry’s Sno Cones, Brother Juniper’s for breakfast (there will be a wait, but it’s worth it).

    • GIBSONS DONUTS!

      Itta Bena is a really cute speak easy style restaurant above BB Kings on Beale.

    • Memphisbelle :

      Hog and Hominy out east. Deja Vu on Main St. I think Itta Bena is overrated, but Beale Street is worth seeing for sure. Actually really underwhelmed by Brother Juniper’s.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I’m from MEM. Hog & Hominy is fantastic. Muddy’s for cupcakes. For BBQ, Central BBQ or BBQ Shop instead of Rendezvous or Corky’s. Don’t miss the Civil Rights Museum. Obv Graceland if you’re a music fan.

  3. Dealing with conflict :

    I’m realizing that one of my weaknesses (in the workplace and in my personal life) is that I’m not good at shaking off setbacks, especially if it involves conflict with another person. I tend to stew for hours and beat myself up and think about how things went wrong, even if it’s related to some minor problem or issue. I think part of the problem is also that I’m terrible at conflict and tend to avoid it, so instead of calmly speaking up for myself or resolving an issue, I’m more likely to get flustered and then shut down later (or never bring up the issue with the other person at all, which inevitably leads to resentment). Does anyone have any tips for overcoming this? Are there any books or maybe therapy techniques that help to increase confidence and communication strategies that you can recommend? I would LOVE to become one of those people who can point out an issue and move on quickly without causing a huge fight or causing myself to dwell on it for hours.

    • Group therapy can be really helpful for this type of thing. Allows you to experiment with different ways of responding and dealing with conflict in a low-stakes environment. Also, know that soooo many people struggle with this (myself included). You’re not alone! Props to you for wanting to do something about it.

    • The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (6th Edition, or 5th, or 4th, they’re basically all the same) on Amazon. I pulled up some of the chapter titles that would be directly relevant: Self-Talk, Mistaken Beliefs, Dealing with Feelings, Being Assertive. Best $20 I ever spent.

    • I actually found that reading fiction (and not even anything high brow at that) helped me the most, because it helped me visualize how an imperfect female character that I identified with dealt with conflict in a usually imperfect manner. When I’m particularly stressed out, I re-read the same books to help me relax.

      • +1 Both to see how someone else makes decisions and to help defuse the lizard part of your brain that won’t stop spinning what you said/didn’t say/should’ve done/how to fix it.

        Every time I have a big trial coming, I comfort-re-read fiction (and as anonny said, not highbrow fiction. I can’t zone out in front of the tv, or absorb new materials when i’m that stressed, so it’s long baths and light novels.)

    • Minnie Beebe :

      This is 180-deg what others have said, but Improv lessons can help with this. I have no idea if this is available to you, depending on where you live, but it’s worth the money. It’s also unbelievably fun, so there’s that.

      Anyway, one of the key aspects of Improv is that it’s all about not dwelling on what’s happened, and instead focusing on moving (the scene) forward. This is so very useful in so many ways.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        I want to add to this that my type-A over-analyzing personality always thought that improv would be my own personal version of hell. And then I was dragged to a workshop for a team-building exercise and found that it was a lot of fun and really helped with the whole “I have to make sure I”m not doing/saying anything that will cause me to look foolish/stupid/whatever at all times.”

  4. anonymous :

    I got an email around noon on Thursday saying I had been selected for a phone interview for something I applied for. The email said that another email would be sent to me “shortly” with a scheduling link. I never received it. When is it okay to follow up and ask? Is this morning too early?

    • lawsuited :

      I think I’d wait until tomorrow morning so at least 2 business days have passed.

      • Meg Murry :

        Yes, I’d wait until tomorrow only because you didn’t get a specific date and Mondays are often crazy in many offices. Check your spam/clutter/other folders though first, because it’s possible the scheduling link came from Doodle or some other source that isn’t directly from the company email and could have been miscategorized.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t forget to check your spam filter.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d check my spam folder then call. It’s been a full business day, sender probably forgot. It isn’t so soon it’s unreasonable. And I’ve had this happen (on both sides) before.

  5. Hello, Obi Wan Kenobi.

    • Anonymous :

      Star Wars Day is this week after all…

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe I’m crazy, but I love this. It looks so put together!

      • Anonymous :

        I love it, but I would wear this as blazer substitute. My office is freesing and I would wear this at my desk (but it looks like it is sold as outerwear). The longish sleeves would stay white-ish for a hot minute, but it is lovely and I’m tired of So.Much.Black in the spring.

      • Yeah, I really like it. 100% Olivia Pope.

  6. The Girl Before :

    What does it mean to always be the person someone dates right before they settle down? I swear, 80% of the guys I’ve dated have settled down with the next person they date. Even back to the first couple guys I dated after college. Got dumped for someone else this weekend and no idea if that will last for him, but history says it will. Why???

    • Anonymous :

      I think it means that they guy are b/w 25-35.

      That said, you should recognize the upside of your powers: Date a guy you love, break up with him, and then date him again a week later :)

      I think you could also market this service to others.

      • The Girl Before :

        Hah. Well, I’m 38 and it’s been happening since I was 22 (I mean more power to those that have now been together for 15 years!). Most of them I wouldn’t want to date again, necessarily, but it’s still a bit painful seeing some of them around or on FB or whatever, with their happy wives and kids (I’m still friendly with most of them) when I don’t have that yet.

    • Anonymous :

      That you are successfully identifying and dating men who are ready to make a big commitment, and that you haven’t yet met the right one.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know, but the last guy I dated before I met my husband was this guy. I think he had 6 ex-girlfriends (including me. I was the second-to-last) marry the next person they dated before he got married, himself. It really bothered him…

    • Good luck chuck ;)

      I wonder about that myself as I seem to have the same effect on my ex boyfriends, from the age of 18 to 26. We’ll see what happens with my most recent ex. If it works again, I’m contemplating marketing my services.

      All joking aside, I don’t know what it means but hope that eventually it will wear off and I’ll date a guy who wants to marry me (and is right for me), not the next woman who comes along.

    • I have a similar question – what does it mean that none of my serious exes ever got married? And neither did I?

      • Marriage isn’t for everyone. And many of us had pretty toxic upbringings. As a result, I decided years ago I would never get married, and my brother is the same. For me, I like my life. For my brother…. not so much…

        • Anonymous :

          I think that is part of the explanation for me, but I do think it is interesting that my exes are all also unmarried, despite having vastly different experiences with marriage in their families and attitudes about it when we dated. We are all in our 40s.

      • A lot of mine have come out of the closet. Could be worse.

  7. San Francisco food recommendations?

    I’ll be in town Tues-Sat for a conference and am looking for dinner recommendations. Conference is at the Moscone Center and the hotel is near Union Square, so a walking distance or short cab ride in that vicinity is the preference. Willing to go further for strong recommendations :)

    • Neither area is great for food. Are you by yourself? If you don’t want to go too far afield, I’m loving Leo’s Oyster Bar – pretty 60s space (look it up on Instagram for the idea), good food and cocktails beyond oysters. You can eat at the counter and feel good. By myself, I also like Barbacco downtown – really good, modern Italian, also with a great dine-alone bar. Both are in FiDi, which is closer to your hotel area. If you’re with a group, Trou Normand is also downtown and really pretty space/ not too far from you.

    • PS – you’ll have a much easier time with uber or lyft here than with cabs

    • I was just there last week and had an excellent meal at The Slanted Door. I have no idea what neighborhood, it was next to a ferry and the Bay Bridge.

      • SoCalAtty :

        It’s in the Embarcadero, and is FANTASTIC. Love Slanted Door. Also many fun shops in the Embarcadero so you can take a nice walk before / after your meal.

        If you end up near North Beach, Mona Lisa is a great pasta / Italian place.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Belden Place is fun. They have several European restaurants. I love the French one — Cafe Bastille. Very close to Union Square.

      • SFAttorney :

        I second Belden Place especially if the weather in nice. Although I think the places with outdoor seating have heat lamps. Lots of places to choose from in one short block.

    • Had an unexpectedly good tapas meal at The Thirsty Bear which is across the street from the W and one block from the conference center. There are definitely amazing places in SF and this isn’t amazing, but good for being close to your locale. Places I’d recommend are a long Uber away.

    • Bluestem is close to moscone, and is FABULOUS. The Press Club is in the area, and is great for happy hours.

    • SFAttorney :

      Town Hall Restaurant. To clarify another comment, Slanted door is in the Ferry Building, along The Embarcadero. Not to be confused with Embarcadero Center, which is nearby.

    • Colibri Bistro for good (somewhat higher-end) Mexican is one block off Union Square, so should be walking distance from your hotel. Second Slanted Door (worth the Uber), Trou Normand and Barbacco. Mourad is right next to Trou Normand and I’ve heard it’s amazing, though spendy. (Moroccan food.). Those are both walking distance from Moscone Center. As is Wise Sons Deli in the Jewish Museum for lunch.

  8. Time limit for clothes? :

    Aiii! Weeks of delicious restaurant meals have caught up with me. My lighter color spring suit is too tight in the hips / tummy / thighs. I haven’t worn it since last . . . September? How long to I give myself to get it to fit until I donate it (a replacement suit is being hemmed at the tailors and it fits fine)? I think if it almost fits in a month (assuming any progress has been made), I give myself another month, but that is a hard stop. By that time, my warm weather wearing has begun and there’s not much point saving a suit that will be worn for only a few more months before being packed away until 2017.

    What is market for saving marginally-too-small clothes (everything else fits, I think, but I’m trying on more and more spring clothes as it warms up)? [My husband has a whole closet of too-small clothes that he’s been saving forever. I don’t know if that makes him an optimist at heart or just a hoarder.]

    • Anonymous :

      What is market?!?

      Market is calm down. Who cares what anyone else does? If your closet is overflowing, get rid of it whenever. If it isn’t and you like it, hold onto it.

    • I'm Just Me ... :

      If it’s really a matter of a few weeks worth of too many calories and too little exercise, and things will return to your normal eating and exercising so the inches will come off, then keep the clothing. If the few weeks of too many calories is going to continue into the future and the inches will become more inches, then ditch the suit and buy something that fits you now.

      I use my clothing and not the scale to measure my size, so if my pants are feeling a little snug, I know it’s time to cut back and step it up until those waistbands are back to a comfortable feeling.

      I’ve gone a little crazy in the past 2 weeks with several retirement parties (cake!) and lunches and some extravagant lunches due to a certain situation and the fact that it’s birthday season at my house (dh, dd, ds within a 2 week period). I won’t be surprised if one or two of my skirts are uncomfortable tight this week, but I also know that I’m reigning it in as far as food, and getting back to my normal lunch time workout.

      • Time limit for clothes? :

        I like to think that it’s a few weeks, but it may be damage over winter/fall. We’ll see where we are after Memorial Day since that wil be prime wear-or-donate time for someone else looking for a warm-weather suit.

        • I would never donate so quickly…. especially for something as hard to find as a suit that you like and that could be pricey.

          I’m actually a little surprised by your post. Have you never gained a few pounds before? It kind of doesn’t make sense….. Do you want to stay at your new weight for sure? Is there some stress/anxiety related issue that is making you want to purge?

          To put it in perspective, I actually keep clothing in two sizes (pants/dress wise) at all times. I have found with the vast variety of sizing systems and how just 5-10 lbs can push you cleanly out of one to two sizes. And size fluctuation becomes more common with age/stressful jobs/life.

          I learned carefully tailoring ALL MY CLOTHES to my one size of the moment didn’t work well for me.

          • Other than being pregnant, I’ve been static, size-wise since high school and I’m in my mid 40s (so I have to evict things periodically based on wear and OMG shoulder pads and who-wears-matchy-skirt-suits-anymore). I live in an old house with minimal closet space, so I’m not afraid to evict (and I’m on the board of a thrift shop with not a lot of storage space, so while they love donations, they prefer them to be in-season or a little bit pre-season so that they can be sold quickly and not sit around). It’s a suit that I like, but I don’t love it. It’s not wool and wasn’t too expensive. I wear it b/c I have it, but I wouldn’t rebuy it. It’s about 3 years old and last summer the pants were too large and I had them taken in at the waist (regretting that now). I wear it more when I am to lazy to think of an outfit and a suit is just easier to throw on (and maybe other things are dirty or not pressed).

          • Yes, I think you hit the other nail on the head here – even if it did fit, would you really wear it, or would it become a “once or twice a year when nothing else is clean” or “thing I put on, decide I don’t like and change again”?

            If it doesn’t fit now, and you don’t really like it that much, I’d lean more toward just donating it. If you think you’ll wear it if it fits in a couple of weeks, I’d lean toward keeping it. Did the tailor leave the seam allowance so the waist could be taken back out, and would you wear it if you did that?

    • Chillax, man.

      If you don’t get around to wearing it this year, donate it next year (2017). Keeping it for one year will not make you a hoarder. It’s seasonal, so it gets to live longer than things that can be worn year-round.

    • Depends on how serious you are about losing weight. But if you are willing to part with the suit this fast, I think you should just go ahead and do it because clearly getting back in shape is not your priority. Nothing wrong with that but there is no point in lying to yourself.

    • I say a few weeks if it really has just been too many calories. I bought 2 skirts that were a *tiny* bit tight because I hadn’t been exercising as much as normal due to life circumstances. After 4 weeks of my back-to-normal eating and exercising, they fit!

  9. Anon for This :

    I’m struggling with suits these days and need advice. I’m in my early 40s, fairly successful, and the thought of wearing a matchy dark grey or black suit just doesn’t do it for me–even for court. Many years ago, I heard a jury consultant opine that women look much more trustworthy in colors. And when I look at any of the female politicians on the national stage, I can’t recall seeing any in a dark suit even when at a debate where their male peers were very traditionally dressed. I have some gorgeous Blazers (Armani, St. John) that are conservative. I just prefer to wear them as separates, even for court. I have a big interview coming up for a GC role and I think I would look infinitely better in my “sepatates” than wearing a matching dark suit. FWIW, when I was a young litigator, I never would have dreamed of wearing anything other than a traditional, dark suit (with heels and hose) to court, so I’m not bucking convention for the sake of doing so. I sincerely wonder if the old advice of what is appropriate for women is either getting dated or irrelevant for women who aren’t fresh out of school? Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      No. A suit is still the most formal option and it is what is most appropriate for court and important fancy interviews. Why not buy a gorgeous Armani suit in navy and pair it with a beautiful silk blouse?

      • Anonymous :

        This is me: neutral suit, beautiful blouse; neutral suit and blouse, beautiful scarf; etc.

        One crazy or punchy thing per outfit.

        Or if not a suit, the other items tend to be black / neutral if one item isn’t.

    • Juries aren’t hiring committees. I do not mean to sound snobbish, but Aunt Elma who retired to take care of the kids at age 26 is going to have different opinions and experiences than the VP of a Fortune 500 company.

      Wear jury outfits for the jury and power outfits for the people who are used to seeing those on men and women.

      • Anon for This :

        This is sort of the point I’m making about politicians. Does Hilary not appear to be wearing a “power outfit” when she’s at a debate? But it’s never a plain navy blue or black suit. Same with Nancy Pelosi etc. etc.

        • I think likeability, approachability, honesty are some of the extra attributes a candidate has to show- like Mitt wearing jeans! Those are things you might need to transmit to a jury but not as much to a hiring committee. Authority suit is better for that i would think.

        • You’re 40? Why are you running to dress like women close to 70? You’ll age yourself.

        • And that is my point. The majority of the electorate is *not* head honchos at big companies or partners at law firms. Hillary can wear an outfit that may come off as less assertive to 1% of the population, but makes her seem more trustworthy to 75% of the population, and that’s a net win.

          You are not trying to appeal to random plumbers, middle managers, or executive assistants. You want a high-powered person to be impressed with you.

          • Anon for This :

            Appreciate all the feedback. I guess my own personal view (and I see a bit of this by posters below) is that a matchy suit is not a “power” suit in my view. Few senior female lawyers at the firms I work with wear matchy suits, although all their associates do. Hence, my view may be shaped by the fact that the women I see willing to give up the matchy suit have the authority to not worry about whether they are “out of uniform,” so to speak. The former Chair of our Board was never seen in a matchy suit; always a jacket with different slacks.

    • There is at least some risk in departing from the interview “uniform,” but personally I think the uniform is really for clerkship interviews and law firm associates; it’s a way of signaling that you know the code. For a more senior lawyer, in a GC capacity, I think formal separates are fine. What you’re talking about it is still formal and professional dress.

      FWIW, I’m a career clerk in a large city federal court, and the separates you are describing would not raise an eye here, even though the dark suit is still the default.

    • I hear you. I’m in my early 50s and gave up matching suits around your age. I wear very nice separates now and show a little more creativity. Full matchy suits scream Ingenue Trying Too Hard to me. I’m over it.

    • My view is that once you reach a certain point of professional maturity, separates are more standard. I can’t remember the last time I saw our (female) managing partner in a suit.

    • I don’t know the answer to this question, but will completely agree with you that most of the bada$$ female attorneys of a certain age that I emulate rarely wear matchy suits. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to find a visually interesting but matching jacket in the same fabric as the pants/skirt? I just ordered a cotton tweed suit from Jcrew that I hope will do this for me. Link to follow.

      • https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/suiting/Novelty/PRDOVR~F0680/F0680.jsp

        I haven’t tried it on in real life yet, so it may not actually work, but in my dreams this is a visually-interesting-yet-matchy jacket/suit that might fit your needs.

        • I must have that! Too bad it’s not included in today’s promo. I can’t stand buying anything from J. Crew at full price.

        • I love that jacket, but I’d never wear it with the matching skirt. It would be great with a navy sheath.

    • It drove me crazy in last year’s House of Cards season that the 40s-ish female Representative wore a plain navy suit and white blouse in every episode. To me, it made her look like an intern or unsophisticated. I’m not against wearing matching suit pieces in court or to an interview, but I do think if you are interviewing for a GC role, if you are wearing a navy/black/grey suit, there should be some power elements to that suit.

    • Senior inhouse lawyer :

      I am where you are career-wise, and I say: Nina McLemore. It’s what the power DC women wear. (Hillary, Elizabeth Warren). Colors but conservative. I wear matchy suits to court just because why not – I have them, why not wear them sometimes. But for internal company stuff, colored conservative separates, always.

      • After reading this whole thread, I still have no idea what colors I should wear. Or what matchy means. I am 50 and I buy suits at Banana or Ann Taylor. They match. They are blue, or gray or black. I like brown, too although for some reason, people hate it. It is simple and I think people are less likely to remember what I am wearing which is good when I only have a few suits. What about the Good Wife? She is 50 and she wears colors and she matches.

        • Anon for This :

          Hi Trish,

          What I mean by “matchy” is the suits sold to be an outfit, like the BR ones you’re talking about. The top and bottom are of the same fabric and color. The Good Wife is my fashion icon. While she occasionally wears suits that are the same fabric and color, they are usually IMHO very stylized and the opposite of a BR suit. Think leather trim details, color blocking in the jacket or skirt or both, etc. I find those interesting but would never buy them for myself, in part because they are so memorable and I don’t feel I could get enough wear out of them bWhat I find most interesting is when she’ll wear a deep red or green blazer with a neutral (eg black) skirt or pants. Frequently her court attire is in the latter category.

      • Anon for This :

        Thanks!! She has some beautiful stuff and I’d not heard of her before.

    • I’m in my 40s, trial attorney, and was pondering this same issue for an upcoming trial. I am tired of matching suits, but they’re the uniform for the federal courtroom . . .

  10. Oh no, I love that Ted Baker coat and it’s available in my size. Why, Kat, why???

  11. My mom, who watches our daughter, had a somewhat minor injury yesterday. She usually watches our daughter, who is 11 months and crawling and walking. Our backup caregiver is out on vacation for the next two weeks. My husband and I can swing a couple of days working from home on alternate days, but need to hire a babysitter or helper while working at home. My only concern is that our child is too attached to us and will literally scream and cry until one of us holds her. She has gotten comfortable with my mom, but if one of us is there she will want to be held by us. Are we crazy to think she will be okay with a stranger watching her? We could disappear into our home office, but not sure she would feel fine for being with a stranger for an extended period of time?

    • Anonymous :

      She is a baby and you need to work. She might not be okay with it, but there’s a reason babies aren’t in charge. She probably thinks eating dirt is A-ok.

      • Edna Mazur :

        My 11 month old LOVES eating dirt.

        Also agree, she isn’t going to like it, but if you trust the person to be a competent care giver, she will be fine and not permanently, emotionally scarred.

      • Dirt is pretty yummy!

    • Spirograph :

      You know your child best, but 99.5% of the time, babies get over a new person within an hour, tops. Would she prefer her own parents or her grandma? Of course. But you don’t let an 11 month old run your life! Hire a babysitter. Work from home for the first day or two if you feel like you need to for your own comfort with a new sitter (but STAY IN YOUR OFFICE. You reset the adjustment timer every time your baby sees that you’re actually around and not physically with her), then go to work. Your baby will be fine, I promise.

    • Back when my kids were little, even at daycare, I saw lots of babies who screamed when their parents were headed to the door. And within minutes of the parent being gone, they were playing happily. It got to the point where parents were sneaking out at dropoff time because saying goodbye would set off the attachment alarm. Kids are way more flexible than you think. Hire a babysitter and go to work. Your daughter will be fine.

    • Anon for This :

      You know your baby best. I would ordinarily agree with the other responders…until my son arrived. He’d cry nonstop to the point of vomiting when left with a caregiver he didn’t know well. I would plan on working at home so you can take over if need be.

      • Yes, this. Chances are your baby will cry a lot but be fine. But you know how bad her separation anxiety is or isn’t. Long term though, you aren’t permanently damaging your child by leaving her with a competent caretaker – but I don’t know how much work you’ll get done if she screams for a really long time – and any time you come out of your office you’ll be resetting that scream time.

        I think you don’t really have another choice besides either trying another sitter or blowing all your PTO over this incident though, so a sitter is worth a shot.

        How bad is Grandma’s injury? Could she come over and recuperate from the couch for at least part of the day so she could at least be there with the little one but the sitter would do the bulk of the heavy lifting (picking her up for diaper changes, etc?) Or would that just drag out her recovery, or do you know she would disobey doctors orders for her crying grandbaby? (We had to make a point to not leave my son with my in-laws when my MIL had a back injury, because she refused to just let my FIL do the heavy lifting and insisted on picking up the baby herself against doctors orders)

        Its a crummy situation, but no, you aren’t scarring your kid for life and it is at least worth a try to get a sitter.

    • She has to get used to it at some point or another. She has many years ahead of her being cared for by someone else (daycare, teachers, babysitters). She’ll cry, but she’ll survive. “Stranger danger” is a common phase at that age.

    • Yes, you are a little crazy. But also normal to have these feelings!

      But seriously…. do not use all your PTO over something so insignificant. REAL emergencies and illness happen all the time. This is not one.

      Sounds like the perfect time to start with a babysitter.

      Don’t be my brother/SIL who never left their child with a sitter. Not once. She is now 9. She has a lot of issues that may reflect her very anxious mother.

  12. Lady Stuff :

    Probably stupid woman stuff question – is there any way to control the timing of a period other than birth control pills?

    After having been on the pill basically all of my adult life other than TTC/pregnancies, I decided it’s probably not great for me to continue artificial hormones indefinitely and got my tubes tied. And I didn’t really think through how much I hated normal, non-medicated periods. Mine are actually not that bad; I hardly get any cramping or bloating, but I hate the hassle and lack of control. We’re trying to plan a vacation, just me and my husband, and I realized that I can’t say for sure that I won’t have a period then. Ugh. (My cycles are still pretty hard to predict a few months out.) Is there any way to avoid this other than going back on the pill? Any tips for making the most of our rare adult time if it does happen then?

    • My cycles are incredibly light and short with Mirena, but not completely predictable. Timing can vary by a few days. We aren’t ones to let it interfere though.

    • Anonymous :

      If it does happen while on vacation put a towel down and have sex anyway?

      • Anonymous :

        Not OP but I presumed that the issue was more swimming/beach/pools and leaks etc.

        • Lady Stuff :

          A little of both. While I’m OK with a little mess, when things get at their most, er, messy, it just seems too, well, messy to get the full experience. Plus it ruins the spontaneity.

          I’ve used a product called “Instead” in the past, which is a disposable cup that says that you can wear during LGP, and it works OK. I’m not sure whether there are more things like that out there that might be better, though.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly – i’d do the pill for the vacation for a few months and then go off it again when you get back.

      There’s a hippie thing where if you eat certain seeds at certain times it’s supposed to make your cycle more regular but that’s just about regularity I think. It doesn’t allow you to change the timing enough to go on vacation without getting your period. Google seed cycling.

    • Don’t use these words: Probably stupid woman stuff question…

    • There’s a minor medical procedure (NovaSure?) that will stop your periods for good. I don’t know anything about it other than that it exists, it’s not hormonal, and you can only do it if you are positive you won’t be TTC in the future. It sounds like it might be good for your situation.

    • Someone here recommended the book Women Code to me for regulating my hormones without pills. I haven’t finished it yet but it has been interesting so far.

  13. Does anyone have any advice on going from dark dyed hair to completely grey? My mother wants to stop dying her hair and go natural. She will look awesome once this happens. The problem is how to get there. Her stylist wants her to let the color fade out as much as possible and let her hair grow out. Right now her roots (very grey) are grown out about an inch which is not the greatest look. I feel like there has to be some other alternatives than this weird limbo stage. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • How long is your mother’s hair? If she wears it short and it grows fairly quickly, the stylist’s advice is the fastest way to get there, with a possible acceleration if your mom is willing to get it cut shorter than usual to get rid of more of the colored ends.

      Otherwise, she can add lowlights to bridge the gap between the grey and the color. This will make the whole process take longer, but may make her happier with her appearance in the meantime.

    • One year into this process :

      Not really. A lot of stylists will suggest highlights and lowlights to blend the demarcation line. But once the gray really starts coming in, they tend to look brassy (as does the old color as it fades).

      I let a white strip grow in underneath for 6 months, before I stopped dying the rest of my hair. Then I parted my hair differently, so that white streak would show. It made it look more deliberate. I am not completely gray, however. Mostly still dark with some streaks, and some salt and pepper.

      However, she might not want to wait 6 months, and she may not want to have to grow our highlights and low lights when she has already made this decision.

      For now, she can cover her roots with a temporary rinse from the drugstore (Roux is one brand name). Once she gets about 5 months in, it will look deliberate. That is often a hard stage for people, but if she hangs in there, most people seem to feel better around 7 months. Of course, she could always pixie her hair and get it over with faster (I cannot STAND growing out a pixie though).

      The best thing you can do is be supportive, and definitely don’t tell her you think it looks bad!

    • Anonymous :

      Go to a medium color with lots of variation so that the roots growing out are not so obvious. Stylist’s advice makes more sense if there’s less of a contrast. I can understand that your mom isn’t crazy about rocking a skunk look.

    • Wig?

    • I haven’t done this, but I thought I’d just bleach my hair a la Gwen Stefani rather than try to grow out dye.

    • My mom’s hair was more white than gray, but she had it dyed a very light blond and it definitely helped. Then as soon as her hair was grown in enough she got it chopped off. She is totally rocking the white hair now. She looks amazing.

      • My mom did this. Her hair was very, very, very dark brown where it wasn’t grey, and she went ashy blonde while it was growing out. This was also easier because she never colored all of it but, rather, did reverse foils to only cover some of the grey. Your mom, if she has the time, may want to do the same to get more grey woven in to make the transition more gradual.

  14. Anonymous :

    I moved in to a new apartment this weekend (older mid-rise) and it appears my neighbors like to smoke pot. I thought I noticed it in the hallway on my first day Saturday, but brushed it off as being an old building. Last night? Definitely, and it was coming through the vent in to my studio unit. Ughhhhhhhh.

    I sent an email to the building management last night, but I don’t see this going well. The smell is nasty and gives me a headache, and I have a security clearance so don’t want to be exposed to this anyway. Is it so hard for people to crack a window? Or, you know, vape? Or have more mature habits than getting high at 11 pm on a Sunday?

    • Anonymous :

      11 pm on a Sunday is a perfect time. You can buy vent covers. Or write your neighbors a note about minding the smell. Don’t complain to the management company as your first recourse.

      • Anonymous :

        Would you say the same thing if it was cigarette smoking? Who smokes inside in an apartment building in 2016?

        • Yeah, as someone with asthma who lived next to smokers (cigs not pot) for a while, it was awful and OP is totally justified in complaining to management. Their smoking is against the rules and her health should take priority.

          • It just smells bad. I’d be equally offended if it was cigarette smoke because it’s a gross and permeating smell.

            Then again, I did make Kraft easy mac for dinner last night, so maybe I could take the bribery approach?

          • Anonymous :

            Mmmm, I love Kraft easy mac!!!

        • Probably anyone who is addicted to cigarettes and lives in an apartment building.

        • To be fair, cigarettes are legal, so you can smoke them outside without getting in trouble, but weed is still illegal in most states and you can get arrested if you’re caught smoking it. I mean, it doesn’t stop my neighbors, who smoke weed on the balcony when it’s nice out (the smell AND the noise both bug me, but eh, kids will be kids), but I can see why people would want to be discrete.

          Also, some people probably don’t realize how much the smell travels outside their apartment.

      • Anonymous :

        Disagree. I’d complain to management especially because of the issues with your security clearance.

        • Anonymous :

          If her security clearance is such a problem that she can’t live near someone who smokes pot (spoiler alert: it isn’t) she shouldn’t be living in an apartment building.

          • Spirograph :

            It’s more of an issue that she is probably subject to “random” drug testing. I’m not sure how sensitive those tests are, but I would definitely be worried if a substantial amount of smoke were coming into my apartment on a regular basis. Lost clearance = lost career. Appealing is a PITA and often unsuccessful. It is really not something to mess around with.

          • You do not test positive because you can smell smoke in a neighbor’s apartment. That is not a thing.

          • I’m not worried about testing positive on a drug test from this, but I still don’t really want to have to deal with it. Your business is your business as long as it stays within your walls. When it’s in mine, then we have an issue.

            I have a good friend who has headaches caused by the smell too. So it’s not just me. It’s a gross smell to deal with, I personally find it more offensive than cigarette smoke, but that would also be gross. There is a no smoking clause in the lease.

            If they really want to do it, they could move across the state line where it’s decriminalized….

    • Anonymous :

      Please chill. You could not seem more crazily uptight. Your security clearance has nothing to do with this, don’t be silly. Buy a vent cover, crack your own window, and please chill. See how it goes for a few weeks and then nicely let you neighbor’s know it is drifting in and ask if they could open a window.

      • I’ve been in this situation before, and I also have a security clearance. It has a lot to do with it, so I get the frustration. That said, most likely you won’t test positive from neighbors smoking.

      • I’m not worried about testing positive from the smell, but it’s something I like to be aware of. I certainly don’t want the smell getting on my clothes, in my belongings, or really in my apartment where it lingers.

        I have never heard of somebody nicely suggesting their neighbors do something and having it go well? Though at my old apartment, our upstairs neighbor did come down and apologize for his 2 year old running around all day.

        • You could try putting on your most relaxed face, going to your neighbor, and saying that you don’t care if they smoke pot but it gets into the vent so is there maybe another room they could smoke it in? If someone did that to me I’d understand and try to adjust my habits accordingly.

        • I briefly lived in an apartment in which I shared a wall with a musician. He played all hours of the night. I went over on a Saturday afternoon, cookies in hand, and introduced myself, and explained that the music was disruptive after 10PM. He could nto have been more understanding, did not realize how loud it was, and adjusted accordingly. We had him and his wife over for wine a few times after.

          I think people usually want to do the right thing, and don’t always know they are being disruptive. If there’s an easy work around, the neighbors will hopefully find it.

          • As contrast, DH and I had a musician couple move in below us – she sang opera (badly) and he played acoustic bass. He would practice for a few hours, then she would practice for a few hours, then he would practice again… We tried be nice neighbors, asking them to limit the times they were loud, but they refused to stop. Turned out that they had zero furniture, rugs, or window coverings in their living room for acoustics. We complained to management several times, but finally broke our lease over it.

          • +1 When my husband was working 5am shifts and really needed to be asleep by 11pm, I left our neighbour some cookies and a note explaining the situation and asking if he could please stop playing music after 11pm and he did.

        • From personal experience, always just knock and talk first. I had a neighbor that complained to my landlord about loud music being played in our apartment too late on weekends. They obviously were frustrated by this for a while (super passive-aggressive email) but had never knocked on our door. We immediately stopped but thought they were crazy for not just knocking on our door to give us a heads up! I think they had emailed my landlord before but he never took it seriously, and it would have saved them a lot of headache if they had just knocked…

      • What a dismissive remark!

      • I had the same situation at my last apartment, but they were below me. 5 of them, in a 2 bedroom apartment chain smoking both cigarettes and pot all. day. long. It came through the vents and up the spaces between the walls / floors. Despite going down there, cookies in hand, and asking nicely to see if they wouldn’t mind opening a window / patio door / whatever, they continued – what felt like 24 hours a day. We didn’t have a no smoking clause in our lease, unfortunately, and even though management came in with spray foam and tried to seal up the cracks in the kitchen the smell was seeping through, it never worked. We could also never open our windows or go out on our patio, because they were right below us and there was pretty much a constant plume of smoke coming up from down there.

        We ended up breaking our lease and moving into a situation where our unit is 2 stories and we don’t have to deal with neighbors except on one wall.

        Having to smell something that gives you headaches in your personal space, where you just can’t get away from it, is horribly frustrating. Good luck!

    • Hah. I live in a large managed apartment building, but there’s one apartment on my floor where the occupants smoke pot all day long (I swear!). Occasionally, I see them shuffle out around 4 pm (to go get food, I assume). And sometimes I see one of them come out in a robe and boxer shorts. It’s weird. This even happens mid-week. I can’t figure out how they afford it, unless they’re dealing. I even joked about it with the maintenance guys when I saw them going in there to fix something…

      And, yes, oddly enough, you’d think the smell would help migraines, but it makes them worse…

      • I’m sure maybe actually smoking it would help with headaches. I’m also sure it’s a lot like cigarettes – a lot less offensive when you’re partaking than smelling it as a third party!

    • Ha, do you live in my building? (I noticed a bunch of new people moved in this weekend!) Open your windows, run a fan, and chill. Maybe go over to your neighbour’s and ask them to share. It would relax you.

      • This weekend was the end of the month, so I’m see lots of people were moving everywhere.

        Can’t my neighbors open a window and turn on a fan? I don’t care what people do in their places. But I shouldn’t have to smell or deal with it in mine.

        • In The Pink :

          Agreed. We have stopped using our backyard and patio because of neighbors behind us. Yeah they are outside and so.are.we.

        • Wildkitten :

          Your neighbors don’t know what your apartment smells like. Maybe they would open their windows and turn on a fan if you politely told them the odor was wafting into your unit. Maybe not. You won’t know until you try.

    • If it weren’t super illegal I would suggest buying them a vaporizer.

      • Right, I mean… I think it is reasonable to have the expectation of not having to deal with the consequences of illegal activities in my home. I’d still be bothered if it was cigarettes, but I feel like I’d have less of a leg to stand on besides being irritated and sick.

      • Anonymous at 9:51 :

        Buying them a vaporizer isn’t illegal – you can buy whatever you want, it’s what you put in it that makes it potentially illegal.
        That said, going to management as a first step is too much, imo. Be an adult, tell your neighbors – even if its by an anonymous note- that you are sensitive to the smell and would they mind trying to be a little more discreet. I guarantee you most people in their position would appreciate it and probably make an effort to do something about it. My advice would be the same if they played loud music or smoked cigar*ttes.

    • Does your lease say anything about smoking? Most of the apartments I’ve rented had an express “no smoking” clause in the lease. (This is in Boston). I hear your frustration – smoke is one of those things that penetrates apartment buildings, and it would drive me crazy to have my apartment smelling like smoke from the neighbors.

    • Would you call having a couple of glasses of wine on a sunday evening an “immature” habit? Come on. It’s 2016, pot is not a big deal. Ask your neighbor to tone it down in a friendly way, disparaging their habits is not going to get you anywhere (and its will show on your face/in your tone of voice if you go into the conversation with a condescending attitude).

      • Nobody else has to suffer when you have a few glasses of wine. Totally different.

      • Pot isn’t the issue and not one single poster has complained about that. It’s the gross smell/smoke that she shouldn’t have to live with. Unless the neighbor is pouring wine into the vent, it’s obviously not the same thing.

        • she actually is being pretty disparaging – calling their habit immature and joking about bribing them with Easy Mac. Not everyone who smokes pot is a character on Half Baked. I think her reaction (going to management as a first step, saying the smokers should move to a state where pot is decriminalized, complaining about the illegal activity that has invaded her vents) shows that the fact that it’s pot is absolutely the issue.

          • Well, whatever you think about the morality of it, the fact remains that pot is illegal and wine is not. If OP has a job where it’s important that she not partake of illegal substances, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for her to be more concerned about secondhand exposure to illegal substances than legal ones.
            I also think there’s a huge distinction between a behavior that is generally allowed but not necessarily considerate to your neighbors especially at certain times of day (such as loud music) and one that is banned by the apartment building (smoking – either kind). In the former case I’d go to the neighbors first and ask them to adjust their habits; for the latter I would (and did, for regular smokers) go straight to management. Separate and apart from any concerns about her job, it’s banned by the building and it’s a health risk to all the neighbors – why should she have to fix it?

          • It’s pot that’s the issue because it 1) smells awful and gives me headaches 2) is illegal.

            Wine is neither of these things so I don’t get the comparison. Cigarette smoke is only one of these things, but something I still think would be appropriate to be addressed through the building management – which is why they are there, I assume? Smoke of either kind gets in to the building, in to clothes, etc.

            I’m pretty laid back about most things (and I think recreational pot will be legal within 5 years or so, if not sooner, and then maybe I have less of a gripe), but really, when it exits your 4 walls and enters mine your rights get peeled back significantly.

    • If it’s illegal there, and you’re telling them that 1. you can obviously smell it and 2. thanks but no thanks I have to take a drug test, they will probably consider your heads up nice. I mean you aren’t trying to bust them but you can’t join. But say “sorry to complain it’s just really strong and it gives me a headache. I didn’t know if you knew that you can smell it outside of your place too and didn’t want you to get in trouble. If I didn’t get drug tested for work, I’d join you to alleviate my headache but I can’t. Thanks!”

      Then yeah if whatever they try doesn’t work a vent cover and maybe a heavy duty air filter. They are really good white noise and good for dust too. Those circular Honeywell ones saved the lady next to me in a cubicle farm from being murdered one summer long ago…

      Also, probably don’t go once you already smell it and are pissed because you won’t be as cordial and they’ll be less likely to do something about it if they are already baked and forget.

    • You come off as terribly judgmental. Could be medical marijuana required for sleeping. Get off your high (well, OK not high) horse and get an air filter

  15. anonymous :

    Can detergent or fabric softener stain your clothes if you pour it directly on them in the wash? My khaki pants are a little discolored and that’s the only thing I can think of that it could be.

    • Yes. I don’t know how to get it out other than a very long soak.

    • Yep! When I had a top-load washer, I always poured the detergent in first and ran the water for a little bit before putting my clothes in. I don’t know how to remove the discoloration though.

  16. child bride :

    A 39yr old posted here on Friday about dating a 25yr old guy. Thought I’d share a funny anecdote from my weekend…

    I am 26 and look really young for my age. My fiancé is 38 and he looks old for his age – mostly bald, gray hair, etc.

    This weekend we bought a children’s bed for our niece off of Craigslist. It was a twin-sized trundle, but meant for a kid and from a children’s furniture store.

    I guess I was looking especially young – no makeup, sloppy jeans, etc. – because once the bed was loaded into the car, the seller turned to me and said in a sweet, earnest way “So, are you excited for your new bed?”

    My guy was like “uhh that is my fiancé” and the seller was so embarassed. He thought my fiancé was my dad!

    For us this was just kind of a cute story that we laughed about. But man, if someone mistook my boyfriend for my son, I would be so mortified.

    • Enjoy it.

      My grey-haired elderly father in his 70’s is often presumed to be my husband. Even if it is true that men that old do marry women my age, I gotta say it still is a punch in the gut…. every time.

      • I always worry that this will happen to me – I don’t look all that much like my dad, so it could happen.

    • A cashier once thought my brother (who is less than 2 years younger than me) was my SON. He was horrified. I thought it was hilarious!

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I’m not the poster from Friday, but I’m 39 and my bf is 26. We both look our ages (I think I look a little younger thanks to Botox, ahem). A cashier once asked him if I was his Mother. As I gasped in horror, he responded “that’s my girlfriend and you are horribly rude”.

      We laugh about it now but in that moment, I was floored.

      • Younger Man dating future? :

        I’m the poster, thanks for sharing. I look super young, genetic joy of life thing… people usually think I’m in my mid-20s. @BeenThatGuy, or anyone else, what’s this process like? Conversations, compatibility… it’s totally out of my realm. Usually I’d be with the old dude. I also don’t buy into the he’s young, you’ll be old and ugly so he’ll cheat line. Men cheat when they want to cheat.

        • BeenThatGuy :

          Our conversations range from deep and meaningful (feelings and gun control) to ridiculous and absurd (South Park and Millennial garbage). Our physical compatibility is out of this world.

          We’ve both learned a ton from each other. I’m super-duper Type A and he me to relax and enjoy the moment. He’s super laid back and I have the ability to motivate him. The biggest thing for us is that I accept him for who he is. I don’t think girls his age have that ability yet. They “want, want, want” and all I really want is him. I can do everything else for myself.

          Many people don’t understand our relationship. But I’ve stopped explaining myself. I simply respond that we make each other very happy. In the end, that’s most important to us.

          Side note: I’m only 6 years younger than his mother and my father is older than his grandmother. Awkward. But not stopping us.

          • Younger Man dating future? :

            That’s really great. What about future talk? How long have you been together? How long did it take for you to get over the awkwardness of it? Thanks!

          • BeenThatGuy :

            We’ve been together 8 months. We don’t talk too much about the future. Kind of living in the moment. I’ve been married and I have a child, so I’m not chomping at the bit for those things. That takes a lot of pressure of a relationship, IMO.

            We joke about the age difference for a few months, then got over it. Our souls are the same age, so it just works (corny, I know).

      • Younger Man dating future? :

        great guy!

        • Younger Man dating future? :

          Nice! I hope you keep having fun. Souls are super important, so is corn … for oil, sugar, nachos, bbqs ;)

    • Since I was about 13/14 and especially once I got to 16/17 I was:
      (a) mistaken as the teenage single mom of my baby cousin
      (b) young girlfriend of my dad (who was early 40s then but looked pretty good)

  17. Looking for guidance on finding an apartment in DC. I’m moving from 500+ miles away, and I’m not sure how to go about finding a place to live. I’m thinking that my best bet is to come up with some best options listed on Craigslist and then take a weekend to go up and scout them out — is this the right call? Is something other than Craigslist better? And any guesses on how to time the scouting weekend vs. actually moving?

    And any advice on neighborhoods to seek out or particularly avoid would also be welcome. Moving with my husband, no kids, would prefer to be in the city itself. And I have no idea about what’s reasonable for rent… we’d be comfortable with around $2000. Is that realistic?

    Major thanks in advance for any help!

    • This is nearly 10 years ago now, but when we moved here from out of state we had the best luck coming down for two days mid-week about a month beforehand and just walking building to building seeing if they’d be having anything opening up the following month — we found that waiting for listings to appear was challenging because in many buildings they wouldn’t end up getting listed at all. it was a lot of walking and a lot of pressure but ended up with a great apartment we stayed in for 4 years until we eventually bought a house.

    • Honestly? I’d go with one of the bigger buildings that has an online presence where you can check out floor plans, photos, etc. When I first moved here I did the Craigslist thing because I wanted an apartment with “character.” I did get an apartment in a gorgeous 1912 townhouse with stained glass and carved wood. But honestly my landlord had most of the “character.” He was awful. I moved to a big corporate building on Connecticut when my lease was up and it was fantastic. In terms of neighborhoods, northwest along the Red Line tends to be a good option. If you want to be right in the thick of it (and either don’t have a car or are okay with paying a lot for parking), Dupont is always popular. If you want more leafy, quiet, with more space for less money (and good street parking) near Van Ness isn’t bad. If you want more character and more of a city neighborhood feel, then Capitol Hill, especially near Eastern Market, is nice. Are you sure you want to be in DC? There are great buildings in Arlington in the Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon areas, that are likely to be just as close to everything as some of the DC apartments. Plus income tax is much much lower in VA than in DC, so your money goes further.

      • TBK — we are considering moving to one of those big buildings on Connecticut, near the Van Ness metro. Specifically, the Avalon at Albemarle or the Brandywine Apts. Any chance you lived in one of these buildings and can comment on how you liked it (general cleanliness, responsiveness of maintenance, noise levels, etc.)?

        And anyone else in DC, please chime in too!

        • I lived in the Saratoga actually, which is I think owned by the same company as the Brandywine (right?). It was awhile ago, but I was perfectly happy with it. The management office wasn’t staffed with the sharpest people, but repairs were done on time and well, and there weren’t a lot of restrictions or stupid rules. I was very happy there and lived there about 3.5 yrs (until I got married.)

        • Brandywine advice :

          I lived at the Brandywine! I did find the walls to be a bit thin (my bedroom was adjacent to the next apt’s living room, so I heard parties at the end of the law school semester, etc), but the common areas were always well-maintained. I was not a fan of the basement laundry; Connecticut Heights (a few blocks north) has laundry on each floor, which I definitely preferred. The walk to the metro was no problem (and you can stop at Giant on the way home). It definitely isn’t the hippest area (there are like 2 restaurants nearby and NO bars to speak of), but it’s safe and a good commute downtown.

      • This is really good advice. Lot to be said for moving to a big building with maintenance, online floor plans, etc, particularly given that you’re new to the area.

      • Re Orange line: you are right about the taxes.

        But the newer giant buildings can be cardboard-like, so if you want to hear your neighbors’ answering machine pick up, you can! But I had an in-unit washer and dryer, which was lovely.

        Older units (Colonial Village) can be quieter b/c the construction is more solid, but the laundry may be in the basement / outbuilding.

        I had friends in Pentagon City in the complex where Woo Lae Oak is and it was huge and quiet and had laundry in-unit. It’s older and maybe made of cinder blocks, but you could not hear the neighbors (still bitterly remember the couple who lived next to me at the Meridian at Courthouse who would fight? have loud s*x? both? something? b/w 2 and 4 each night when I was a BigLaw first year. I saved like a fiend b/c of them and moved out as soon as the lease was up).

    • Legally Brunette :

      Craig’s List, Trulia, and Zillow are all good sites for rental properties. We found our DC apartment on Craig’s List.

      It would help to know where you and DH are going to work, in terms of suggesting locations for you to live.

      With that said, if I didn’t have kids and worked downtown, I would probably live in Dupont or Logan Circle. Right smack center in the city, lots of great restaurants and bars, etc.

      $2000 is probably not realistic in some neighborhoods but is certainly doable in others (I assume you’re looking at a 1 bedroom).

    • Look at apartments.com in addition to Craigslist. The reviews on there tend to skew negative but at least you can get a sense of whether there are major recurring issues that you should be aware of (persistent construction, roaches, etc.). You’re definitely not going to be able to afford any reasonably-sized apartment (i.e., not a studio) within walking distance of downtown, like in Dupont or Logan. But you can definitely get something within a reasonable metro commute. Van Ness is a good call; NoMa is the same distance but with newer buildings and is a little more up-and-coming. Columbia Heights is good if you work on the Green/Yellow lines; anywhere below Columbia Heights on 16th street is good too because the 16th street buses are very reliable to get you downtown.

      You probably need to sign a lease in a big apartment building at least 2 months out from move-in; much closer time frame for craigslist rentals.

    • Having just signed a new lease in the DC area, I can’t recommend Zillow enough!! Also, just googling terms like “van ness apartments” and looking through the apartment websites that pop up. It’s a bit of a slog for sure, but worth it in the end.

      FWIW, NoMa is incredibly overpriced in my view. I would highly encourage looking in the SW Waterfront area, as well as Navy Yard. It’s very safe and well-lit, and has a couple great grocery stores.

      • I’ll take your word re: NoMa – it had very nice, new and affordable apartments when I last looked for a rental, but I should have said that was 3 years ago, so it’s probably a much different market now! I can attest that the new apartments in Navy Yard look lovely, but you have to be prepared to navigate lots of crowds during baseball season.

        • I really liked using the Washington Post rental feature: http://www.washingtonpost.com/rentals/
          I also think it is good advice to go with a large building. They might be pricier, but the peace of mind is worth it. I lived in a Meridian building and felt very safe and comfortable. Welcome to the District!

        • NoMa resident :

          I live in NoMa and I like it. There’s not a ton going on, but it’s great if you work in the area or just need to hop on the red line to get places. It’s pretty quiet on the weekends, which is nice.

      • We just moved to Navy Yard, and the crowds haven’t been nearly as disruptive as I thought they would be. Another plug for the neighborhood – there is a lot of construction, but its got a good mix of retail and restaurants, is surprisingly close to lots of other neighborhoods, the green line seems to be the least screwed up metro line, and the value for money is high.

    • Anonymous :

      A word of warning: when I came here last spring looking for housing on a weekend, the salespeople in EVERY building copped a major attitude with me for not having an appointment. Um, I beg your pardon – I’m a potential paying customer – you can stand to be polite. And it’s not like they were busy – they were just hanging out! This was all the newer high rises in NoMa, Navy Yard, and SW Waterfront.

      I recommend using apartments.com to search (they have a handy “sort by commute time” filter too) and then making those appointments, unless you enjoy being talked down to.

    • DC resident :

      I’ve lived three different DC apartments within the last six years, and I’ve found all of my apartments on padmapper.com. It takes the listings from a bunch of other sites (including apartments.com and craigslist) and puts them on a map, so you can see how far they are from metro stations, etc. You can also easily search by rent and number of bedrooms or bathrooms.

      I can’t speak for the Avalon at Albemarle, but I did live in another Avalon-managed building in DC for a while. I thought the building was very nice and well-managed, and I had no trouble while I was actually living there. I would’ve renewed my lease, but Avalon corporate wanted a 10% rent increase (the building management agreed that was ridiculous but management refused to authorize a lower number when I tried to negotiate). It wasn’t until I found another place and gave my notice to vacate that they countered with a 5% increase. I’m not sure if this issue was specific to my building or not (it was in an area with a lot of new construction).

  18. I don’t live near my family, and I can’t visit for Mother’s Day- gift suggestions? I live far enough away that I’ve probably missed the mail date (unless I pay a LOT for priority shipping). I was thinking flowers from the local place, but maybe something else? My mom hates spas, and is not a clothes person

    • Sharie’s Berries? Take your pick of chocolate covered strawberries/cherries, cookies, gift baskets, etc.

      Is she into music or art? iTunes gift card or a print from Etsy (that she could frame). Museums or history? Pass to the local museum or a fun coffee table history book. Sports? Tickets to the baseball game or some other event she could enjoy with a SO or friend. Does she travel? Cosmetic bag or other travel accessory.

      Lots of places you can ship directly to her and still make it in time. Then mail a card with a nice message to keep it still personal.

      • What about books? I can think of lots of good Mothers’ Day ones, like Nora Ephron or Anna Quindlen’s nonfiction.

    • Something from Zingerman’s?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My go to items are candles (my stepmom is obsessed), flowers or something she can plant in her garden, or jewelry. I went with a dainty necklace this year that matches one my sisters and I all have.

      If you can order online and ship directly to her you are probably fine. Amazon Prime has saved me on many gifting occasions.

      • Yes to this. Just ordered my mom a Moscow Mule mug set. Should be there with plenty of time to spare.

    • Order the flowers. These other suggestions are good, but I really think we all need more flowers in our lives.

    • I’m surprising my mom for brunch (though I wonder if she’ll know – because no way will she believe my 20 year old brother got his shit together enough to schedule brunch…), but I sent my dad’s wife and my grandmother flowers. No issue getting them there this week.

      • Anonymous :

        As a step mom, I would give anything for anything on Mother’s Day, just once. Flowers would be perfect!

  19. I have an ant problem. We live in an apartment on the second floor. The roof for the first floor is directly outside our kitchen/bedroom windows. Since we moved into this place, we’ve periodically gotten ants. We’ve never had ants or pests in any of our previous apartments, but we chalked it up to the roof/windows, spoke with the landlord, bought some traps, and it cleared up. But now the ants are back and invading our cabinets and food. Yesterday I poured out some breadcrumbs and was about to use them and then noticed a ton of ants crawling around in the container. We haven’t changed our food storage habits, but I’m ready to throw everything out. The windows are our main source of ventilation, so I’m reluctant to keep them closed all/most of the time.

    Ugh, just writing this out makes me gag. Any tips on how to take care of this?

    • UGH I hate ants. We get a big invasion once a year in the springtime, no matter what. (Thanks, 100 year old house!) What’s worked for us is to clean out all cabinets, countertops, etc., then lay out liquid ant traps. They are the only ones I’ve found to be effective and I feel like I’ve tried everything. I only use Terro Liquid Ant Baits – the ones that are a plastic, see through rectangle where you clip off the one end. I put out 4-6 in the kitchen and that solves the problem. In the meantime, become a maniac about cleaning up every food crumb and spill that you have, and if you have bakery stuff like sugar, move that out of the kitchen or somewhere very secure so the ants can’t find it.

      One NB about the Terro baits – they have what is basically sticky sugar water in them, so put them out of the way enough that you aren’t kicking them and spilling them. And if you have a pet, make sure they aren’t sniffing around it. (My dog is very attracted to these when they first come out – she just sniffs them, but she can knock them around and spill them.)

      Good luck! There are few things I hate worse than ants.

      • +1 to the liquid ant traps. I used to work in an old building and those things were magic during the annual ant invasion. *shudder*

      • lucy stone :

        These are magic! We live next to a farm and have ants every summer and mice in our garden. The Terro traps put out as soon as we notice the invaders tend to assure us an ant-free summer. I put those annoying cards that fall out of magazines underneath them to make it easier to clean up if they spill.

      • About storing food, I’d add — freeze what you have room for (flour, bread crumbs, sugar even) and use a TON of ziplock bags (even double-bag) the rest.
        I mean, after you buy new stuff, of course.
        Sorry it sucks.
        Been there.

      • Anonymous :

        Those liquid ant baits are magic.

    • Ask your landlord you sprinkle ant powder along where the roofline meets the building. And I recommend the Terro liquid for indoor bait. Make sure your cabinets and drawers a crumb free. Store things in airtight containers and/or the fridge.

    • there is a clear gel you can buy to keep ants out – it’s very effective in my experience and hardens once dry (still not good if you have pets however). you just put a line along windows, corners, etc and it lasts for about a year.

    • So you said you live on the 2nd floor, and I’m not sure if you can put the trap outside the windows, like on a ledge or something, but I typically put traps on the other side of the walls (outside) where I see the ants trailing in from. This way, I’m drawing the ants back out and not into my house.
      The pest control company a few years ago put the traps everywhere inside our home and we ended up attracting and getting a lot of dead ants inside on our carpet which is just as gross as live ones.

    • In terms of food storage– get those OXO airtight containers. Put *everything* in containers from flour and sugar to cereal, goldfish, crackers, etc…..

      • Meg Murry :

        Yup, plastic storage containers are your best long term option to at least keep them out of your food. As others have mentioned, depending on where you are tightest for space you can also freeze sugar, flour, etc and only keep small containers in your cabinets.

        I went a little crazy a TJMaxx and an outlet store buying plastic containers after the second time I got rid of tons of food due to pantry moths. They definitely help, and last for a really long time.

        We also have the liquid traps at work and they have definitely helped, although they haven’t totally eliminated the ants (but we are down to less than one ant sighting per day in the rooms with traps, the ants keep moving on to other rooms until we add traps there though). I’ve also stopped keeping food and drink at my desk, which probably also helps, after walking away from a soda at the height of our infestation and coming back 2 minutes later to discover that no less than 5 ants had drowned themselves in it and multiple more were still trying to climb up it. Yuck!

        Honestly, in an older building even keeping the windows closed probably wouldn’t help all that much. Unless you are seeing an active trail coming in and out of the window, there are probably multiple ways they are getting in and out.

      • Wildkitten :

        Any container works as long as you seal it completely, from super cheap ziploc bags to super expensive oxo containers. Put everything in something.

    • Do you know where they are getting in? Usually there’s a really clear straight line of marching ants from the entry point. If you can find that, just shoot Raid right at the spot. One little shot should do it. You do not need to spray all the ants. The ants that are inside are also getting out the same way and will cross your line of Raid on the way out and die.

      I am in the minority but I can’t stand the liquid traps. I can smell ants (it’s genetic, you can look it up) and when they get all excited about the liquid bait, they exude their excited I found food pheromone and I find the smell nauseating, worse than a shot of Raid. The Raid method works faster anyway.

      I live on the giant continuous ant colony that is the East Bay of the SF area. You can also read about that but the condensed version is, it’s disgusting.

      • I had no idea that people could smell ants!

        Unfortunately, no one clear point of entry that we have found yet. When we first noticed ants (months go), we did find a specific entry point, but that was addressed (our landlord did something). So I think that this is more dispersed.

        Thanks, all, for the suggestions! I think sealing up all of our food and some thorough cleaning and some liquid traps are in order. I’ll see what can be done about ant powder or other outdoor measures.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m sure this is terrible, and I’m sorry you have to deal with it, but I am TOTALLY FASCINATED that you can smell ant pheromones! What does it smell like? I heard a story on RadioLab (I think? maybe it was Science Friday) about some ants smelling like blue cheese / rotten coconut to different people. I was temporarily excited to test with my ant infestation, but alas, I can’t smell them at all.

        I also have tiny little ants all over my house. And young children, and pets, so don’t use the liquid traps except in inaccessible places like the locked cupboards under the sink and stick with Raid, which I spray at night and clean up when I get home from work the next day before the kids are running amok. It helps, but it’s not a permanent solution. My ants are actually worse in the bathrooms than the kitchen, which I find really strange.

        • Haha! I’m glad you’re fascinated with my ant-smelling. In my view it’s a curse!

          It smells sickly sweet to me with a tinge of rotten. So rotten coconut is the closest description – maybe a rotting fruit left out in the sun. It’s gross.

        • Annony Hippo :

          Windex will kill those walking around and is fairly non-toxic. It doesn’t stop the trails though.

    • i just won the battle (temporarily, i’m sure) against ants in my own second-story apartment. i could never figure out their entry point either – they appeared in places by interior walls, so they probably had colonized all up and down the drywall. *gag*
      i used the terro liquid traps for a couple of weeks without success. they would die, sure, but more just kept coming and coming…
      finally i caved and called an exterminator. they came out and for $145, left some of the more toxic ant posion (the clear gel that another poster described above) in my problem spots. the ants persisted for a couple of weeks afterwards until their numbers finally dwindled and died.
      here’s my product recommendations: in addition to the terro traps mentioned above (the indoor or outdoor, depending – i put the outdoor in my yard now to keep them from getting too close to the house), i would get yourself some of the bright green eco-something bug spray from amazon. it’s pet-safe and the ants HAAATE it. it’s got a real strong peppermint smell, which unfortunately i’ve come to associate with ants now – yuck! – but it was super effective both to kill the ants i did see, and as a spray barrier to keep them from crossing my threshold in the future.

      also, diatomaceous earth. messy, but pet-safe, and fail-safe too. this powder is actually really tiny and sharp pieces of shells or something, and it will basically kill anything with an exoskeleton (slowly). i put this down over my carpets for a month while i was battling the infestation. again: very very messy, but it kept my ants from spreading into my kitchen, which was my worst fear.

      also, a deep clean with vinegar will make you feel better, even if its repellant effects are debatable!

      good luck!!! i felt like i went mildly crazy for a month while i dealt with this problem – like i seriously felt like it was messing with my mental health – but i conquered them, and i live on top of the east bay supercolony too, so you can definitely win this war :)

  20. Delivery tipping :

    We’re having a new dining set (table and 8 chairs) delivered tomorrow. We live in DC and they’ll be carrying them from the road up a few outdoor steps to our townhouse. How much to tip each guy?

    • Really depends on how long it takes them and how many workers arrive. If it’s only a couple minutes, I’d give $20 total. If they’re nice and take away all of the packaging, $40.

  21. How long did it take you to know that the guy your dating is “the One”? I have been dating a guy for almost 9 months now, and as much as I like spending time with him, I don’t think he is the one. This is by far the healthiest relationship I have been in, and he spoils me rotten with little things like picking up a stem of my favorite flower on a random Thursday. I feel like we are compatible in a lot of ways, but I don’t think he’s the one. We are both (young (mid 20’s) and I am in no rush to get married, so I just want to enjoy our happy times while it lasts, but everyone else in my life seems to think I am being cruel to him for just wanting to have fun at this stage of my life. I have told him how I feel. Is this normal and/or okay? Am I just being a total b!tch and am really just leading this guy on?

    • If you are both on the same page (as in you have communicated your feelings to each other about what you want out of the relationship), then you are not leading him on. He has as much agency to get out of the relationship as you do, if he didn’t like what was happening.

    • He knows how you feel, so why not assume that he feels the same way?

      I do think that you should end things if you’re aware that he is Truly Madly Deeply in Luuuuuuuuv with you and is just hanging on hoping you’ll change your mind. But otherwise, proceed, and tell everyone else it’s none of their business.

    • What do you mean by the “One”? I hate that word because it suggests that the heavens should open and a beam of light should come down while a voice says “this is the One you’ve been waiting for” and anything less, no matter how good, is not IT. I knew because I liked watching TV together in the evenings, going grocery shopping together was fun, when a fire alarm went off in my apartment he promptly grabbed the cat carrier and plopped my cat in to make sure he safely evacuated the building with us, and we generally had the same vision for our lives. There was never any moment when I knew he was the One. If we’d never met, or if we missed each other’s calls and the relationship never really took off, we probably would have married other people and been as happy (maybe happier, maybe less happy). I got married because I wanted to get married, not because I’d specifically met someone I wanted to marry. I know that goes contrary to most current advice, but really I started by choosing to get married, then found someone who was a good enough fit. And I’m extremely happy in my marriage. So this is a long way of saying that I’m skeptical of the whole One thing. I think people can get married to a lot of different people and a lot of times the success of the marriage depends more on the timing than on the people (my husband and I often say we wish we’d met when we were younger, but that we also think we might not have been a good fit when we were our younger selves, without everything that happened to us by the time we met.)

      • Wildkitten :

        Thank you. This is how I feel and a lot of people think it’s a problem.

      • LostInTranslation :

        +1. The whole idea of The One is flawed. If it were true, someone might marry The One and he dies before her so then what – she can’t ever remarry and find happiness with someone else? That said, OP if you’re in your twenties and don’t want to get married yet, it’s fine. I’m in my forties and happily married but when I look back on my life, I wish I had enjoyed dating more in my twenties instead of spending so much of my time trying to find The One.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I believe in multiple The Ones. You can be happy with multiple people and at some point The One is The One because you decide he is.

      • Anonymous :

        I definitely believe in multiple The Ones. Certainly there isn’t only one other person on this planet that we can fall head over heels in love for. But I’m not sure I buy the idea that the success of the marriage depends more on the timing than on the people in the marriage. Almost all my friends married in their mid-late 20s and I think for some of them it was because everyone was doing it and they wanted to be married too, not because they’d found a person they just HAD to marry. And many of those marriages are now failing. I’m very glad I waited for that thunderstruck feeling, cheesy though it might be, instead of settling for one of the “nice-but-not-the-One[s]” guy I dated before my husband.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I agree with this, too, now that you mention it.

          Before I met Lovely Fiance I didn’t believe in The One at all. But now that I’ve experienced it I totally do. Which is not to say that there aren’t multiple The Ones. Lovely Fiance is my first The One, but I fully believe his late wife was The One for him, too.

        • I think it depends on who you are. For me, I figured I’d be happier going through life with a partner than alone. So when I found someone whose company I preferred to being by myself, I married him.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Well, doesn’t that make him The One for you?

          • Wildkitten :

            I find that framing very stressful given all of the societal baggage and expectation of “The One.”

            I like something that said like, determining that someone is your one is a decision you make every day, to wake up and do it again, not a one time determination handed down from above.

            I think you can always wake up and realize that the person you married is NOT your one, but it’s up to you to decide, not up to fate.

  22. Wildkitten :

    The M.M. LaFleur 3 season sweater is another good dupe for this.

  23. I need some virtual shopping help. I am a normal height (5-6 or 5-7), not petite, and last year I bought this dress from Nordstrom in regular size M, and wore it all the time:
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/caslon-growover-jersey-t-shirt-dress-regular-petite/3899497

    It was great t-shirt dress that I could wear all the time on weekends or casual days. I’m looking for something similar for this summer, but in some colors (black in the heat of southern summer is a challenge).Maybe it’s just the styles this summer, but I’m having a hard time finding anything that isn’t boxy/without a waist. I’m an hourglass, so a waist of some sort (drawstring, wrap, whatever), usually with stretch, is really important so that I don’t look like a large box/bag. Can anyone suggest possible dresses? I normally am a M in Halogen or Caslon, if that helps. Thank you!!!

    • I am getting my popcorn and coke ready before you get attacked for saying that you are “a normal height”.

      • Anonymous :

        Isn’t under 5’4″ petites and 5’4″-5’8′ regular and 5’8″+ tall sizes (given or take an inch or two depending on the brand)?

        5’10” anon

      • +1!!!

        • Sorry, you are right, I should have been more careful with word choice — all I meant was “not petite height”, but I should have just said that.

          • I’m 5’1″ and I fully admit that my height is not “normal.” Nothing I can do about it though–heels aren’t particularly effective since everyone else wears them too…

    • Three Dots has a ton of knit wear, some of it dresses with waists. They’re pricey, but very high quality. This might fit the bill: http://www.zappos.com/product/7984276/color/157118

    • I should seriously work for Talbots. Anyway, I’m an hourglass and found a great t-shirt dress at Talbots last season. I never thought I could wear a t-shirt dress, but theirs are nipped in at the waist a bit, so they are flattering without being tight. It might be worth a look.

    • REI has great summer dresses, especially those from prAna, North Face and Patagonia. You can usually buy them at 6pm at a discount.

      • Thank you all for the the suggestions. I like the Three Dots dress! Talbots also looks like it has some possibilities. And I hadn’t thought of shopping for dresses at 6pm — usually just look at shoes. Thank you for the helpful suggestions!

  24. Need to briefly vent:

    I’m still relatively new (less than 1 year) and am working on something that I haven’t done before. An issue arose as my boss left for a hearing on the part of this that is new. I’m trying to hunt it down now, but it takes time. Now, nobody told me this was something that would be needed, the people who had this file previously never got the information, and none of the people who reviewed it (including said boss) mentioned it before or after reviewing. It’s something that is obviously missing from looking at the first page (now that I know we need it).

    Furthermore, as I’m hunting it down, it looks like it’s going to be a problem that everybody just ignored in the past. I’m waiting on confirmation of this, though.

    I just get so annoyed that this is my fault even though I couldn’t have known and all those who did know missed it. Hopefully the opposing side won’t bring it up, I guess?

    /rant

    • Document, document, document. Write up a quick memo for record about the issue or shoot off a quick email, even just to yourself, so you can show your lack of knowledge if the sh** really hits the fan.

      • anony lawyer :

        Noooo. don’t do this. if this really is a big problem, that email very well could be discoverable in a malpractice case.

        • Oh, I’m keeping notes for myself and my emails with my boss. It’s not a malpractice issue (at least not for this firm) – I’d explain but that would make it too obvious what I do.

          Honestly, as long as it doesn’t become a massive thing down the road, I’ll say yes, that should have been checked, now I’ll know for the future. But if it does become more of an issue, it’s very clear that nobody raised it until today.

        • OP, see if you can figure out if this is a curable defect (even if you take some heat from opposing counsel) or this is really a problem liked a missed filing deadline. If this is a significant enough issue to become a malpractice case, someone may need to call in the firm’s in-house counsel.

        • Even more reason to document. If there is a malpractice case, OP does not want to be stuck holding the bag.

          • anony lawyer :

            I’m assuming from OPs description that she is with a firm and thus “she” will not be stuck holding the bag. documenting mistakes is not a good idea. it is, however, a good idea to talk to firm counsel (as someone noted above)

      • Thanks. I definitely will.

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