Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Drape Sleeveless Blouse

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

This is your basic shell sleeveless blouse, but I like that it’s only $20 (huzzah!), and I like the little button at the back — it gives it a bit of a nicer look. Reviewers at Uniqlo’s site love it and say it doesn’t wrinkle, is good for layering, and keeps you cool in hot weather. We’re featuring it in olive but it also comes in mustard yellow and off-white and navy in sizes XS-XL. Drape Sleeveless Blouse

Here’s a plus-size option for $23.

(If you’re a fan of jumpsuits, whether for work or play, this $29 jumpsuit has tons of great reviews and has an interesting half-tuck look I haven’t seen too many other places.)

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Comments

  1. Anony-mouse :

    What color pants or skirt would you recommend with the olive blouse? I love the color but am not crazy about the monochromatic look in the picture.

    • I think pinks look great with olive. Black also works, as does brown and khaki (this is a good way to do beige if you are like me and look awful with beige next to your face but still want that quasi safari feel).

    • Clementine :

      Navy and plum are really nice with Olive.

    • I consider olive a neutral, it goes with so many colors. Turquoise, citrine, deep true red, burgandies and pinks, browns, tans, and creams, russet. Light gray, navy.

    • I love leopard print accessories with olive. I wear my olive blouse with black cropped pants & fun leopard print heels.

    • I like olive with light blue.

  2. Traveling to Austin next week and looking for recommendations – restaurants you love, things to see …. It’s for vacation and generally my favorite things to do on vacation are just to walk around all over, people watch, drink coffee, and eat in fun restaurants (no strong food preferences). Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • Have a drink at the Driscoll Hotel bar. Also check out Rainey Street at night (there’s a great Indian restaurant there but I can’t remember the name). A bar/lounge in a former garage called Garage had seriously amazing c*cktails. There’s amazing BBQ. If you kayak, do that. Also check out the bat bridge at sunset.

      • +1,000 for Rainey Street. I loved Banger’s

      • The indian restaurant is Graj Mahal. Headed there tonight!

        Check out Salt Lick, about a 45 minute drive.
        La Condesa for Mexican
        Driskill hotel bar is my FAVORITE place for a cocktail

    • Anonymous :

      Guerros for tacos and margaritas!

    • Anonymous :

      Last time I was there, I had an awesome meal at Launderette.

    • Anonymous :

      Last time I was there, I had an awesome meal at Launder e t t e

    • The bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge in the evening. I like standing under the bridge best. Voodoo Donuts. Moonshine – highly recommend their cocktails and chipotle chicken fried steak.

    • I spent two days in Austin for work, so YMMV on this suggestion. We found ourselves at the San Jac Saloon, and it was fun. Good live music, good drinks. But again, I’ve only been once, so…

    • Perla’s oyster bar on South Congress has a great shaded patio, so you can combine people watching with good food & drinks.

    • GirlFriday :

      All of the above are great suggestions. Trudy’s is the local favorite for tex-mex but it gets crowded (drinks are strong). If you’re outdoorsy, bring your running shoes and hit the Town Lake trail (I assume you’ll stay downtown). You can also rent a bike. There’s a great tapas place called Malaga – I think it’s on 2nd street. I really like Cafe Medici for coffee/people watching (again downtown). I also like going to the Broken Spoke for $2 beers and watching people two step but that is a bit of a weekend activity. Black Sheep lodge is good for beer/burgers/fried food. I also really like the food at the Highball – a bowling alley slash dance hall. It’s not what you think! Yelp is actually super helpful in Austin and the locals are friendly so step out and enjoy!

    • Do you like wine? There are several wineries just outside of Austin that do tastings. For coffee, try the Texas Pecan flavor (if you like nutty coffee) at Austin Java, which is also a good place for breakfast. Ruta Maya also has good coffee, but the only brick and mortar left is in the airport so you could grab a cup on your way in or out. Chuy’s has great tex mex food as well; locals love the jalapeno ranch dressing.

    • Re. the bat bridge, I actually went below the bridge (there’s some parking) to see the bats overhead, and I thought that was cool too.

      The restaurant that stands out most in my memory from my last trip is Hopfields; you should be able to tell from their website whether it’s a place you would like as well. I didn’t know I could be so excited about ratatouille.

      I had a good experience with Fasten if you need a ride sharing app while you are there.

      The best BBQ I had was Black’s.

      There is a LOT of fun stuff to do and good food; you will have fun!

    • another anon :

      Austin-ite here. Assuming you’re downtown, Second and La Condessa have great food and great outdoor seating for people watching. The Corner Bar at the JW and the upstairs patio at the Stephen F. Austin also have good outdoor bars with people watching. For more local flavor bars, check out Handlebar or the Shiner Saloon. The Roosevelt Room is also a good spot. I like Houndstooth and Cafe Medici for coffee. I never eaten there, but Dine is a pretty spot with a great view of the lake. Favorite restaurants (not necessarily in downtown itself) are Clarks and Perlas (these two are related), Uchiko and Uchi (also related to each other). Definitely plan on taking advantage of Lake Lady Bird (fka Town Lake)–as someone mentioned, there’s a great running/walking trail along it, plus kayaking, canoeing, and the uber popular stand up paddle boarding. The Capitol Grounds are worth a stroll. We don’t have Uber or Lyft–my favorite ride share app is Ride Austin. It’s a non-profit and part of your fare benefits the local non-profit of your choice.

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      Rainey Street, and Gourdough’s doughnuts!

    • Thanks so much everyone!

  3. This is probably a dumb question, but what colors or types of colors are considered “conservative” for women’s work clothes besides like black, navy, and charcoal? Does “conservative” just mean no bright colors or loud prints? or does it really mean only neutrals as defined above? If it varies by industry, can you comment on what’s normal for yours?

    • I think conservative/business formal everyday wear is a bit different than conservative for an interview. So, for an interview, yes, I’d probably only wear a suit in navy, charcoal, or black. Once I had the job, I’d be more likely to chose different colors/patterns in a conservative or formal print.
      I’ve been in big finance and consulting, and would say that aubergine/deep purple, light grey, tan, red, prints (think pinstripes, houndstooth, etc.), deep green, and lighter shades of blue were all relatively common for suits/blazers/pants. Bright pink? Pastels? Bright yellow? I didn’t see much of those, but you could definitely get away with more colorful blouses and loud prints under a more conservative suit. And super bright/loud scarves were absolutely common (think Hermes), especially with more senior women.

      • This is generally my sense too, although I wouldn’t say I see much in the way of full on suits in the less conservative colors you describe. (Separates is a different story — e.g., black pants with an aubergine blazer or something). I work in biglaw. You don’t see much of what I think of as “congresswoman suits” — structured/bright colored kind of things — except maybe on the older (50+) and more senior women. I also think once you work in a place, people don’t spend much energy judging you by what you wear to the office so long as you are professional and a good worker, but I prefer my clothes not to speak for me, so I veer conservative and boring.

        • I mostly prefer dresses with a blazer. Is a dress a suit equivalent here? All of my blazers are neutral colors (Black, navy, gray, tan), and my dresses tend to be deep colors (dark red, aubergine, dark green, or otherwise muted colors like a powder blue or pinkish brown. A little “off” from a true neutral, but not loud.

          I guess I’m wondering if this qualifies as “conservative” or just something that I can probably get away with. I share your sentiment about not wanting my clothes to speak for me, but I like colors.

    • It’s a know your market kind of thing. I am in MediumLaw in the Midwest, and conservative office wear generally means almost any dark color (including plum, burgundy, forest, brown, olive) . . . right up until summer, when the khaki, seersucker and conservative prints (think darker florals, paisleys, or animal prints) come out. That said, conservative can vary by office or location . . . I go to some “outstate” (i.e. rural) courts and wearing something more colorful helps you blend in, so I will bust out something cream, or bottle green, or even one of my pink suits because the all black that always works in my home courts reads as “big city” when you are in the smaller counties.

      To some degree, though, I am starting to think that “conservative” for women’s work clothes also is a matter of cut. I am seeing a lot of younger women wearing cropped pants to court (often not even as part of a suit) and I think that is pushing the dress code, especially for federal court where going without hose in the summer only became acceptable in the last few years (and still is not the way to go for appeals or jury trials).

      • Cut yes, but I think age also plays a role. I can see an older woman (50s+) wearing a bright red dress and seeming serious whereas someone younger may look like the equivalent of a flashy sports car.

        • Do you think being very conventionally attractive ( or unattractive, I guess) limits options regarding color? Like does being a bombshell add to the flashy sports car effect?

    • I’m an attorney and work in an office with a “suit or suit equivalent” dress code, where the men regularly remove their jackets in the office. From what I’ve seen, there’s “interview” formal or “court” formal, then everyday formal. The everyday formal varies a lot by status, personality, and season. But I don’t think any colors are off limits, and most prints are OK.

      Younger women in my office tend to stick with neutral colored suits (black, navy, charcoal) with patterns or colors in their blouses or accessories; worn sheath dresses with blazer with either (or neither, but not both) in a brighter color or pattern. The older women with status have more suits in different colors and patterns and textures. I imagine some of this is style and taste among different generations, and some of this is financial. I don’t think I could pull off a “congresswoman” suit (love that term). Even if I could, my work wardrobe consists of 4 suits, 15 tops, 4 dresses, 1 pair of gray pants, 1 black skirt, and 4 blazers, so it wouldn’t make much sense for one of my 4 suits to be purple, or “aubergine.” And, honestly, suits in non-neutral colors usually need to be high-quality (usually expensive) to avoid the frump factor.

    • conservative colors :

      Take this with a grain of salt, since I’m in marketing in Silicon Valley… but I think jewel tones also fall into “conservative” colors for the office. Royal blue, emerald green, eggplant/royal/plum purple, burgundy, etc. are all perfectly fine for presentations, client meetings, and daily wear. For interviews, I normally wear a sheath dress in either black, navy, grey, or burgundy, and a cardigan in a contrasting or complimentary color if it’s chilly out (a full suit would be really weird in my industry). I have a lovely royal blue dress with a conservative print, 3/4 sleeves, knee-length hem, and neckline at the collarbone and I get tons of compliments when I wear it. I think the cut and fabric are more important if the color is “bright”, but again, I wouldn’t put jewel tones in that category. Even in the super conservative situations, like presenting to bankers or lawyers, a jewel-tone top with a pencil skirt and jacket or pant suit would be fine (one of my favorite combos on our CEO is a navy pantsuit with a deep purple shell).

  4. Hi ladies! I made a MM LaFleur B/S/T on facebook if you’re interested! Please add your friends https://www.facebook.com/groups/376188836108962

  5. I’m trying to find a suit that is breathable for summer. (I work downtown in a southern city, so I often have to walk several blocks in the heat.) In looking for suits at Talbots, everything seems to have a polyester lining! Is the polyester used in linings in nicer suits more breathable than what is in cheaper department store suits or is it the same thing? If so, then does anyone have any recommendations for summer suits? I need something generally pretty conservative (no bright colors). Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      No – polyester is going to be the same kind of non-breathable. Rayon linings can be better (if you find them, but i think unlikely), and sometimes you’ll find a cotton lining, but that’s going to be for more casual jackets.

      my recommendation for summer suits is to take the jacket off when its warm outside. If it’s warm inside, only wear the jacket when absolutely necessary.

    • I’d say your best bet is to find breathable layers under your suit (cotton or silk blouses) and just carry your suit jacket while you’re walking. I’d also stick to skirts or dresses for your own comfort. In NYC summers (ah the joys of the subway in August) everyone basically carries as many layers as they can and gets properly dressed in the office. Commuting in a camisole with your blouse and jacket in a bag/over your arm was not uncommon, and I definitely saw guys in suit pants with an undershirt on carrying their button downs/suit jackets.

      • +1 – Although silk is tricky, because I think sweat shows more. Also, I don’t know why this wasn’t obvious to me before, but after reading Kat’s thoughts on the topic, I’ve tried to wear shirts with sleeves of some sort when I wear a suit jacket, resulting in less stinky suit jackets. The downside is that you are more likely to sweat into your shirt, which shows when you don’t have the jacket on…

    • I live in the deep South and just changed my life significantly by purchasing three inexpensive suits by Anne Klein and Calvin Klein that are thin and breathable. All purchased as suit separates. Jackets are lined and pants are not. I remove the jackets when walking a few blocks. My label today reads 76% polyester, 19% viscose, 5% elastane but these separates feel so much cooler than the more expensive suits I have. Not sure how durable they will be but they look nice enough and feel SO MUCH better. I really like an Anne Klein color called “indigo twill” that looks like a cross between a traditional gray and navy suit color.

  6. Anonymous :

    Hi ladies –

    We are going to Annapolis next weekend for the Naval Academy graduation for a close relative. It’ll be my husband and I and our 2 year old. We will have a few days in the area – any suggestions for toddler friendly things to do?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Anonymous :

      Are you interested into going into DC at all?

    • punctuates :

      To do:
      Kinder Farm Park – playground, farmhouse museum, duck pond, trails, farm animals

      To eat:
      Iron Rooster
      Sandy Pony Donuts
      Sofi’s Crepes

      • Agree with these. Also there is a pirate boat for kids that’s really fun and a good way to see the city from the water. There is a nice playground downtown. You could rent kayaks. Kilwins has the best ice cream

      • Iron Rooster is delicious. Also a tour of the Naval Academy, which I’m sure you are already doing because of graduation, but had to mention it.

      • givemyregards :

        +1000 for Sandy Pony Donuts. They’re not really in downtown Annapolis proper, so maybe grab on your way in/out.

    • We had a great meal at the Point and it’s really casual, perfect for kids.

  7. Living with a depressed partner :

    I’m struggling to stay patient with DH and not get sucked into the negativity myself. May I vent here? I’m hoping for support, advice how I can take care of myself, and advice on how to handle the relationship. It’s been going on for months, with a crisis this week especially.

    Work is his main source of stress, an underpaid job requiring 50-60hrs a week. He criticizes himself so harshly that I have no idea how his performance is objectively, but his self-esteem is sub-zero. And we’re from completely different socioeconomic backgrounds, so we have a big communication barrier on this topic.

    At home he just wants to zone out on a screen to “relax”, although it seems to wind him up. He won’t prioritize sleep, or ear anything but sandwiches. He’s still holding up his end of the chores (more than I would be if I were so depressed!) but also just carelessly creating sooooo much more chaos and work by crashing around in a brainfog.

    I’m not as angry as I sound from this long whine. I love him, and I’ve been through this kind of episode myself. My background tells me to solve the problem by cleaning all the things, but I don’t really think that would work. How can I get through this, or help him get out of it?

    • Anonymous :

      Insist he seek treatment for his depression, and that the two of you attend marriage counseling, because you refuse to be in a marriage like this.

      • Living with a depressed partner :

        I know it’s hard to believe, but we live in a rural area so under-served that none of the therapists in town have time for new patients. We’ve been calling for months.
        Not to mention he encounters them all professionally in court.

        • Anonymous :

          What about starting with his primary care physician? Therapy is not the only treatment for depression.

          • +1

            He needs medication now. If/when you can add therapy…. fantastic, as he clearly needs better coping skills.

            But this is when you add medication right away. See primary care doctor.

        • Oh, internet hugs to you.

          I was your husband a year and a half ago. We also live in a rural area. With what I did for a living as a lawyer, I know most of the therapists in the judicial circuit. I didn’t feel comfortable seeking therapy from them, for that reason.

          I made do with a social worker friend who I trusted, and frank and candid conversations with my PCP (and Lexapro). I now work in another relatively small community about 40 minutes from my community, and while I’m in a good place (new job helped IMMENSELY) I’ve considered reaching out to a therapist here, since I don’t know any of them, and I don’t work in the same capacity in my new town.

          If you’re interested in more, post an email –I’d be glad to talk to you.

        • Anon for Now :

          Try looking for a therapist who will do therapy via Skype.

          • Any recs? I think that might be a very good tool.

          • OP, please give a contact email (even if it’s a throwaway or something), I can offer a recommendation for skype therapy but don’t want to post it here!

          • just created: anon r e t t e 84@ g mail
            Thanks so much!

        • Yes, primary care doctor. Also you might need to leave town for treatment then. If he’s a lawyer also check if the state bar has an attorney mental health hotline.

    • I’m in a similar boat (right down to the no work self-esteem) and it is really hard. It sounds like you are doing all the right things by being supportive; have you tried reiterating specifically that you love him? I have sometimes gotten the impression that my husband thinks I’m fed up with him for being depressed and I have recently made an effort to emphasize that I love him, I’m in it for the long haul, and I’m going to work through it with him together. Otherwise, I would do whatever concrete steps you can to encourage counseling or a doctor’s appointment to explore antidepressants – sometimes the first step can be the hardest.

      As for taking are of yourself, which is also the tough area for me, I will be interested to hear what others say. I tend to get too sucked into my husband’s moods and I’m actively trying to protect myself. One thing that I am working on is carving out more time for hobbies and planning the hobbies in advance (so I have something to think about and look forward to that is separate from him). Even though it is not strictly necessary to plan a 2 hour hike a week in advance, I find that making plans for things that are just for me is helpful to convince myself that I have other things to look forward to. At the same time, engaging my husband in my hobbies (outdoor stuff mostly) has been helpful for his depression, but I’m working on making sure that I don’t cancel the hike or the outing even if I’m the only one who wants to go.

      Good luck. If it gets to be really bad, I would recommend counseling for yourself as well.

      • Just getting support here today has really helped me through a rough morning. If you are interested, a couple of things that I’ve clung to for self-care:
        ~eating nutritious food, even if your partner isn’t on board with it. Last night I literally nuked plain veggies.
        ~Letting myself spend a little more time away from home than I normally would. I love my job, and I’ve decided it’s okay to hide out here for an extra 30-60 min at night. I’ve refused to miss a meeting for the women’s club I’m in, even when he guilt-trips me.

        • I also have a spouse who deals with depression (bipolar 2). He’s in a down swing right now. I remind him that he is awesome and more than his job. I’ve also recently started saying things like “your brain is lying to you” when he says he sucks. He appreciates this, and has started sometimes checking in with me by saying “I feel like I’m failing you and the boys. Is that right, or is my brain being stupid” and I can reinforce it’s his brain and not him. These are strategies that came out of therapy, so may not work for your dh.

          I also try to talk to dh about how I can best support him, and check in with how I’m doing. I’ve also used the “I’m really worried about you. It would make me feel much better if you talked to the dr/therapist” and lots of times doing it for me and the kids gets a better response/more action than doing it for him.

          I try to always prioritize my own health because if I get in a bad way the whole family falls apart. It’s a lot of pressure, but it is what it is. I make sure I’m exercising, eating as nutritiously as I can, and i do the dinner meal plan, so I try to plan healthy things as well.

          Now my 17yo son is depressed and that’s a whole new ballgame for me, but not relevant to this post.

          Good luck! Being the strong one can be really tough. You are not alone!

    • Anonymous :

      Is it situational depression or clinical depression (or a combination)? If the latter two, you’ll want to find coping techniques because this is a chronic illness like any other with exacerbations. . . so you may be able to help “get him out of it” but it will come back.

      • Living with a depressed partner :

        Probably some of both. He has a history of depression, and I know from my own experience that yes, it come and goes.

        Partly I struggle to understand how he could have situational depression from a steady job that pays the bills, in the field he always wanted, working with people he likes. But he says it is, so I try to take his word for that.

        • Posted above, too.

          I had this. I liked my coworkers. I was working my “dream job” that paid the bills and was fairly prestigious for the rural area. Nothing was abjectly horrible. But I was so depressed and anxious (something I am also prone to generally).

          Just because it’s a job he likes on the surface does NOT mean it’s a good job for his mental health. Especially if he’s a litigator (criminal, family, or civil), there can be a lot of emotional burden with the job. My dream job was prosecution. I loved it, in theory. And then I stopped sleeping. I was walking around like a zombie because it the weight of it paralyzed me.

          • That sounds like exactly it–he’s a prosecutor. I’m not dismissive, I just don’t have a comparable frame of reference, and he can’t really communicate clearly.

            If you don’t mind–could you tell me what helped you? It sounds like you transitioned–what did you move on to next? Thanks.

          • Really, it’s not that I’m saying he should be happy with his job–it’s that when he says it’s just the job, I still wonder, “is that possible? Isn’t it really me, or home life, or…or…or…”

          • Been there :

            If you are starting to go down the path of blaming yourself or home life, you need to recognize and shut down that line of thinking. Especially if he’s blaming you, but even if he is not. You did not cause this and you are not responsible for fixing it.

          • OP, I didn’t take it that you were being dismissive at all, and I’m sorry if my comment made it seem that way. I was just trying to shed some light, because prosecution can be an interesting little bubble of awesome and terrible all at the same time. I would echo Been There above, and NOT NOT NOT blame yourself. It is not you. It is not the home life. And it’s not, technically, the job. It’s brain chemistry.

            I’m glad to share a little bit of my story. I’m now working as a local government attorney about 40 minutes away from where I was working as a prosecutor (I was doing abuse and neglect, felony work, and juvenile delinquency, so I was VERY burned out and emotionally drained by the time I left).

            My current job is kind of a weird mix of things. I’m kind of in-house for the locality I work for, providing advice, reviewing contracts, sitting in on meetings, etc. I also do some local level prosecution under our ordinances, so I get some of the courtroom bug out that way (this is what made my boss ultimately hire me — he’s always been a civil litigator and wasn’t super jazzed about going to court all the time).

            I wanted to find a job where I was still practicing law, and still giving back to my community. I don’t want to give away too much about my location (which influenced my job search) on here, but if you have specific questions (or anyone else does) I’ll set up an anon email and post it below.

          • Email: [email protected]

          • Thanks ELS. I get it about locality–giving away location would totally out us too. But it’s nice to know there are options to follow prosecution. I was starting to wonder if it was possible to ever move out of it.

          • Well. I forgot that I needed to leave spaces to avoid moderation.

            Email: Anon R e t t e Prosecutor @ gmail dot com

          • Definitely it’s possible. But it can be a hard slog, especially when you’re kind of in panic mode. Prosecutors also seem to have the same kind of competition among themselves that LEOs and other lawyers do: my cases are the most heinous! I’m working the most! I’m the most stressed! Add in that those lawyers tend to also be super type A and dealing with emotional situations (that a lot of us are not terribly equipped to deal with — that’s not taught in law school at all), and it can become hard to imagine that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

        • joan wilder :

          Not sure if you will see this but NY Mag’s Science of Us Blog just had a piece about the science of empathy wrong which sounds like it might be relevant to your husband’s work and impact on his mental health. It’s a short read but I found it really enlightening for me. I don’t want to get moderated out with a link but you can find it if you use the famous search company and right way and wrong way to do empathy.

    • Anon for Now :

      First, hugs to you for going through this. Being the supportive spouse of a depressed partner is incredibly tough. It is ok to acknowledge that and to realize that while you are not on the “depression train,” you are riding a parallel track that follows the ups and downs of your partner.

      You cannot make your partner do anything. You can set boundaries for yourself and take care of yourself. I insisted that my husband receive treatment for me to stay by his side. I made room for him to exercise (we have two little kids, so I would say that it was ok if he wanted to run after work and I would take the kids and start dinner). When dealing with depression, remember that depression is a jerk and, in my opinion, completely evil. Educate yourself about depression, but know that you cannot make your partner better. You cannot love him/her enough to get them out of it. Your world is about you, but their depression is not about you (even if they say it is) bad is not your fault.

      Most importantly, take care of yourself. Make room for whatever fills your bucket. Exercise in whatever way is fun for you. Try to get outside everyday. If you don’t already, find a therapist for yourself. I found marital counseling with a depressed spouse not very helpful because the marital counselors would try to treat my husband’s depression, which just further aggravated my feelings that our world revolved around him. Checkout the book “Depression Fallout”. Codependent no more may not be exactly on point but could be helpful too. Hugs again.

      • Living with a depressed partner :

        Thanks for the pep talk and thanks for the reading recs.

      • I can completely understand this situation- my husband has a chronic and very rare illness that he lives with every day. No cure for it, it’s painful and he will only get worse, yet he does not take care of himself as well as he could (avoids dr visits, meds, etc). He is depressed and I’ve suggested psych help to the point of finding a dr, making the appointment, and offering to go with him. He cancelled at the last minute. The situation and how he is handling it is maddening to me– every. single. day.

        I came to realize that he is an adult (and a very well educated one at that) and capable of making his own life choices. I can’t do that for him. I have stopped ‘suggesting’ things like taking walks, etc in an effort to ‘help’ him which I now realize was my own way of trying to manage him. I am supportive when he reaches out to me, I ask how he’s doing when he’s having a hard day and I do whatever HE ASKS me to do. But I try to leave it at that and let go of the guilt I feel about not doing more. Therapy for myself helped me a lot.
        I strongly suggest you seek counselling for your own sake, then try to let go of the rest. (Unless he’s suicidal and then you have to act, which I have also had to do.) Insisting he go to therapy, suggesting different diets, etc will have no effect unless he’s personally ready for change.

    • venti LulaRoe and a Pandora bracelet :

      Check out the book “Unstuck.” It made some really interesting points re: treating depression (with/without meds)/getting unstuck. (exercise, diet, meditation, some other stuff). It was interesting.

    • I haven’t been there exactly, but what about asking him to take a walk with you, to get him some endorphins and some sun/Vitamin D? Not a long term solution obvs but maybe that will help him get in a happier mood that evening?

    • Another book recommendation (for you, not your SO): “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of being Kind to Yourself” by Kristen Neff (she also has a TED talk about this). You mention self esteem, and that’s something that I’ve struggled with, but this book helped me to see it in a new light. It will help you in your self care and making space between what your SO is experiencing, what you’re experiencing & reality. You can give yourself as much love & patience as you’re giving your SO without hurting anything. Hugs

  8. Random Suggestions :

    A week or so ago someone on here recommended The Broadsheet newsletter from Fortune Magazine and I’ve been loving it thusfar (sooo much better than The Skimm…)!! Does anyone else have random websites, brands, articles, etc they’ve been loving lately and want to recommend?

  9. This is going to be my first DC summer and I can already tell my frizz is going to be out of control! Any products or other tips to tame the beast? Hair is naturally wavy so even a little bit of frizz makes it look unkempt and sloppy.

    • I love Ouidad products personally. They have a great heat and humidity gel that I use all summer long

    • If you find one, let me know. I put my hair in a sock bun starting in late May, and there it stays until September.

      • givemyregards :

        Same! I put mine up when it’s wet but you can’t tell w/ the sock bun – just leaving the house with it still damp feels great in the heat.

    • After 20+ years in central VA/northern VA, I have given up the fight. I let my wavy hair air dry (starting in a high ballerina bun when I get out of the shower to give it some body and then letting it down in the A/C in my car and then again in my office). I have heard good things about Living Proof, but unless there is a meeting/other professional thing (as opposed to laboring away in my office) I just don’t fight it. In my experience, being completely dry with a bit of a “hold” product before going into the humid air is key.

      • Yay Anon — this COULD have been me, had I decided to take a job in DC, rather then return to work in NYC. I went to college AND law school in DC (a total of 7 years), and I had the frizzies all summer. It got to the point that peeople thought I was some kind of albino wolfhound, as my hair was out at a 45 degree angle from my shoulder’s! Of course it did NOT stop the frat guys from trying to “date” me (meaning trying to bet me to do other stuff with them) b/c they attributed my sweatey look and messy hair as meaning that I was willing to be busy romping with them and other frat guys (?). But I was to dignified to let them do anything, other then take me out to 1776 house for dinners, etc.

        I did leave for NYC, where my hair is alot more managable b/c I go to the stylist once every 2 weeks for a trim and conditioning, and my hair is now shorter b/c I am a partner, and do NOT want men to see me as a s-x object anymore. FOOEY on men that do not respect me for my mind, Dad says. And he knows b/c he sees I am a partner and an attorney in good standing here in NYC.

        But OP, do NOT worry, b/c so many women like us just have to deal with the humididty. If you cut your hair shorter, like I did, it will NOT be as noticeable, but you MUST apply conditioner liberaly, and you should be in better shape. YAY!!!!!

      • +1 to hold product.

        I love love love Ecostyler gel, the clear crystal . I dollop about 2 half dollar sized amounts into my (thick, just below shoulder length) hair when it’s damp, after towel drying. If I’ve got something important, I’ll diffuse, otherwise, I just let it air dry and don’t touch it until it’s dry. I then scrunch out all the crunchy gel bits.

        This keeps it mostly frizz free, even in the dead of summer for me. I do not even attempt to straighten in the summer anymore.

    • Cookbooks :

      Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper Styling Cream (or Gel, if that’s your preference), Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity, or Bumble and bumble Defrizz. These have ingredients that don’t play well with my hair (protein, silicone), but for the days where I mean business one of these does the trick!

    • Tresemme Climate Control Mousse. Only the climate control one. It’s harder to find. I get mine on Amazon. I have ringlet curls, and it tames the beast for sure.

      • I use a combination of Tresemme’s curl mousse (can’t remember the name right now, has green on the can) on my roots and thenTresemme Extra Hold mousse (gold on the can) for the rest of my hair. Used in quantity (like, two lemons’ worth), it more or less keeps my ringlets presentable on workdays in my all-hot, all-humid city. My stylist agrees that it is the only thing that gets the job done (although I do use Ouidad products otherwise to keep my hair at least somewhat healthy). On weekends I give up and wear all the ponytails.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I use mousse as well (not Tresemme, some other brand). I put some oil on my hair as a first layer (like moroccan oil), and then mouse. It’s not perfect, but it works well enough.

    • Bookmarking this thread for the fast-approaching summer heat and humidity in Atlanta!

    • John Frieda Frizz Ease line – Recommended as someone who’s lived in MD her whole life.

    • It sounds like we have similar hair texture. I swear by Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave In Conditioning Spray. It makes my waves look so much smoother.

    • Also in DC, and I’ve sort of just embraced the frizz. Anything effective at controlling frizz seems to make my hair too greasy. I just get a shoulder-length cut with sufficient layers that the frizz means nice volume — like I meant for it to be that way.

    • anon a mouse :

      A friend recently recommended Carol’s Daughter hair milk products so I just bought some. Day one was okay — I used too much so things were a little greasier than I’d like.

      I’ve had good luck with Living Proof and Deva products as well. I know some people really like Moroccan Oil but it does nothing for me.

    • Silk pillowcase, hooded hair-dryer or air dry but under no circumstances hand-held hair dryer, and a gel or some other kind of curl-holding product.

      Also, embrace the frizz. There is no such thing as perfectly smooth hair in a humid climate for those of us with any kind of wave or curl. You can control it only so much.

      • Can you recommend a specific hooded hair dryer? I’ve recently thought about getting one as I can’t seem to shower earlier enough for my hair to air dry before bed and it’s hard to have it down and air drying in the mornings with 3 kids to wrangle.

        • https://jet.com/product/detail/3204ff4849fc4a8cb5246d1f9dcb976e?jcmp=pla:ggl:NJ_dur_Gen_Health_Beauty_a1:Health_Beauty_Hair_Tools_Accessories_Dryers_Irons_Diffusers_a1:na:PLA_786070200_37816622861_pla-306516085829:na:na:na:2&code=PLA15&pid=kenshoo_int&c=786070200&is_retargeting=true&gclid=CjwKEAjwr_rIBRDJzq-Z-LC_2HgSJADoL57HBYDzcxpU7E4lA8yvoLayeRZU8jRfuSdZ6kqeoe25TBoC_ZPw_wcB

    • S in Chicago :

      I like dry bar’s clear frizz tamer on dry hair–can’t think of the name. I’ll also work in their dry shampoo on top. Kind of gives it weight to keep the flyaway stuff down.

  10. Clementine :

    Because I can’t tell anyone IRL, YOU GUYS. I just paid off almost half of our remaining student loans (thank you, unexpected tax return!)

    We will probably be able to pay off the remaining balance by October.

    It is SO HARD to not raid our emergency fund right now and pay off ALL OF THE LOANS. Like… I can see the money… it’s right there… I just know that I need to keep it in case of emergencies.

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      I know exactly how you feel about the emergency fund! But I found that because I had the emergency fund, I could keep making those steady extra payments…it’ll happen someday!

    • Anonymous :

      Congratulations! Great job!

    • Blow the horn! Celebrate! That is awesome!

    • gala dinner anon :

      Do you have 2 stable jobs, no kids or other dependents, good health insurance, and no other debt? Then I’d probably pay off the loans today in that situation :) I’m not giving advice or saying it’s the wisest choice, just that I have enough tolerance for risk and hatred of loans that I’d do it regardless.

      • +1. I’m not saying it’s a non-risky proposition, but if it didn’t present another cash flow problem, if I had the balance just sitting in an account — I’d do it.

      • Clementine :

        We have a kid, a car with 130,000 miles on it, and a mortgage.

        That’s what’s holding me back. I always want to have enough so that if we had to go out and do a major home repair or if we had to go buy a new car tomorrow, I wouldn’t be totally up to my eyeballs in debt.

        • I have a kid, a car with 150k miles and another with 250K miles, and a 24-year-old house with a mortgage, and I decided to keep the $$$ in the emergency fund for the same reasons as you did. October is not far away and you are in a great position. You will be so happy when October comes and you have paid it all off. I’m envious–you are two years ahead of me!

        • Ah, yes. In that situation, I’d do exactly what you’re doing (but also be so tempted).

          Congratulations, btw! A cause for celebration indeed!

    • Yay! That’s great!

    • Awesome! Keep the emergency fund and keep paying on the loans as much as you can. The day I paid off my student loans was the day I considered myself free and able to make choices based on what I wanted to do, not what the student loan payments dictated.

    • Anon in NYC :

      That’s awesome! Congrats!

    • Great job! By the way, YOU CAN TELL PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE! I do it all the time because we need to talk about money MORE and not less. I am almost in the $20K range on my loans (started at $155K.) The end is near, and I tell everyone who is relatively close to me who asks me how I’m doing.

      Talk about money!

  11. Paging: Mystery Water Bottle :

    My daughter saw the Contigo water bottle commercial you were talking about and loved it, started planning getting it, etc. It made me wonder if your daughter was able to get you the perfect water bottle for Mother’s Day? And if you got your cake? We all deserve perfect water bottles and cake, so I hope so!

    • Yes, please update us on the Mother’s Day exploits of your wonderfully “assertive” young lady!

    • I did! There were apparently many models to choose from at Target, but she had to find The One from the commercial. Cake was delicious, too. Best part was shopping + cake making took up all of Saturday so I got the house to myself!!! And breakfast in bed on sunday with these crazy rainbow bagels my daughter found and thought were perfect “party breakfast.”

      We have a stomach bug running through the house this week though so it’s back to buajenss as usual :-)

      • Clementine :

        … This kid is awesome.

        (Also… this kid cooler than me!)

      • Party breakfast! That’s amazing! And I’m glad to hear the cake was yummy; my poor mom suffered through a lot of interesting Mother’s Day breakfasts.

      • Thank you for the delightful update! Sounds like your day was the perfect toddler ode to her mother. :-) Sorry to hear about the stomach bug, though… ick.

  12. Looking for advice. I’m a mid-level, biglaw associate and I decided a year ago that biglaw isn’t for me and that I wanted to switch to public interest, government, nonprofit, etc. within my specialty area of law (think immigration, food law, a niche like that). I’ve been seriously looking for a job for a year but the election has basically eliminated the ability to go into government and I haven’t gotten any of the other public interest jobs I’ve applied for. I’m finding it really difficult to stay engaged and motivated at my current job and really just want to quit. It’s getting to the point that I think I might be damaging the relatively good reputation that I’ve built for myself at my current firm (not staying late as often, not being as driven, etc). I know the advice is usually to not quit unless you have another job lined up, but I’ve done that for a year and just don’t want to anymore. When is it okay to quit without another job lined up? Any suggestions on things I could do for a year or two that would look respectable on a resume and not close the door to going back to biglaw at some point? I really feel like I need a change but also don’t want to permanently give up the objectively good career path that I’m on. I’d really appreciate any thoughts or advice!

    • Clementine :

      Would you ever consider state-level politics? I recognize that the national election had some major implications, but there are still lots of states that are doing progressive things.

    • Take the weekend off and try to remember the things you like about your current job. And then get back to looking for a new one. It can take a long time to find a new one. Over a year is not unusual for getting out of biglaw. That’s one of the many many reasons that biglaw is so terrible. You’ll be a stronger candidate if you’re employed.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I’m in the same boat! Just not BigLaw. I’m in “tinylaw”. If you have been job searching for a year with no results, I think that tells you not to quit with nothing lined up! I’m considering the same thing, but I would then have to pay my own health insurance, rent, car payments, etc. I’m sure you have also heard that it is easier to fine a new job while you’re still employed. Believe me, I know how much it sucks!! I hate my job everyday. If possible, take a short vacation to refocus and relax. You probably just need a break. Come back refreshed and ready to work at both your actual job and your job search. Try to stick with it for a little longer and good luck!!

    • I quit without a job (didn’t have a choice really – I was going to be forced out). I was not employed for 18 yrs (got an offer 15 months in – but it takes time for gov’t background checks etc.). So I ended up going to the gov’t where in my financial agency there isn’t a huge stigma re unemployment IF you have an otherwise strong resume. That being said — gov’t isn’t really an option right now bc no one is hiring. And a gov’t financial agency won’t get you the things you’re saying you want — immigration; food law etc.; the gov’t financial law jobs feedback into biglaw, midlaw etc. — the same stuff you’re trying to leave.

      You also mention leaving the door open to going back to biglaw — that is REALLY hard unless you do one of a few things (AUSA; SEC/CTFC; in house and a biglaw firm thinks you can bring that company’s business to them) etc. You need to work out whether you are wanting to leave biglaw forever or whether you just want a “break.” Bc if you jump into immigration law or whatever, you need to be aware that a return to biglaw is never going to be viable bc they don’t hire people with that background. So in your case — don’t quit until you figure out the next next step for yourself — i.e. what do you want long term? Is it immigration or food law or a return to biglaw or what?

    • This is me. I am so checked out.

      Adjunct teaching positions are a good resume filler but they don’t pay very much. It probably wouldn’t start until fall, but you could try local law schools. I’m considering teaching corporate finance as an adjunct just to fill in some time.

    • Many government agencies, especially prosecution offices, are still hiring but may not be advertising. Good luck.

  13. New York Restaurants :

    I am meeting my parents in New York for Memorial Day weekend. I wondered if the hive had restaurant recommendations. My parents aren’t in to anything fancy but we all like all kinds of food.

    We’re staying at an Air BnB in Park Slope. The first night I’ll be getting into Penn Station around dinner time. And one night we’ll be at Lincoln Center. So anything in the vicinity of those places would be great.

    • I’ve lived near Park Slope for 6 years. In the vicinity (including Prospect Heights and Ft. Greene),my favorites are Talde, Morgan’s, Al Di La, Olmsted, Faun, Barboncino, Emily, Stone Park (brunch), and Chuko. For a fun and different place to get a drink or do something during the day if the weather isn’t great, I’d recommend Royal Palms (has shuffleboard). I’d definitely stay away from the Penn Station area for food–just wait until you get to Brooklyn!

      • I used to live in Park Slope and the vicinity and these restaurants are spot on. Emily is a personal favorite!

      • +1 to all of this, especially Stone Park! My husband and I went there for every special occasion. Now we’re in the ‘burbs and I miss it so much. There’s also a delicious frozen yogurt place (the real kind, not the crazy sugar kind) across the street called Culture.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        Oh, Al di La! I miss that restaurant. Signed, former New Yorker.

        • I think the expresion is La Di Da! At least that is what Annie Hall said in the Woody Allen movie when she ate there!

    • Stone Park Cafe in Park Slope is great, as is al di la (get there early, it is INSANE to get a table). Blue Ribbon is great if you like fish. Penn Station/Lincoln center are kind of dead zones for food, if you must, I’d try to find a decent looking Irish pub and go with a burger/sandwich.

    • Penn station around dinner –> head east to Ktown along 32nd street. There are ton of great places (Wonjo; Miss Korea, etc etc)

    • PJ Clarkes is a solid standard by Lincoln Center. Excellent burgers.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’ll echo the recommendations of others but also add in Gristmill (Park Slope) and James (Prospect Heights). For sweets, I’d recommend Ample Hills (crazy ice creams) and Little Cupcake Bakeshop (both in Prospect Heights).

      For in and around Penn Station, you might want to check out Pennsy (I haven’t been, but it’s a food hall), but I would personally wait until you got into Brooklyn. It’s only about a 30 minute subway ride from Penn.

    • It sounds like you’re asking for a restaurant near Penn Station. There are not many good ones. Your best bet in that area is either Keen’s Steakhouse (pricey but good) or as someone else suggested Korean over on 32nd.
      I’d just go straight to park slope and eat at Al Di La.

      For Lincoln Center dinner, the Smith is going to have something for everyone. Shun Lee Next Door is also good for some “fancy” Chinese (their black and white checkered floor is reason enough for me to go, but that can be just my nostalgia), and Bar Balloud is also good.

      • I work near Penn Station, and agree that there aren’t a lot of great places. Casa Nonna is a good Italian place on 38th street between 8th & 9th Avenues. Lazzara’s is good sit-down pizza on 38th street and 7th Ave, although it is on the second floor, so if your parents have an issue with stairs, it isn’t for them.

        Near Lincoln Center, I like Rosa Mexicano a lot.

    • Near Lincoln Center, I would recommend PJ Clarke’s, the Smith, or Bar Boulud. (Listed in order of most casual to “nicest” both price wise and ambiance wise.)

    • Also NYCer :

      If you wanted something not as pricey/fancy around Lincoln Center, my favorite spot is the wine bar in the movie theater that’s part of Lincoln Center. They have small plates, salads, sandwiches, pasta. Called Indie food & wine.

  14. Pet Insurance? :

    Ladies, I recently adopted a small terrier and am trying to decide if I need to get pet insurance for him. I have a solid emergency fund and could definitely pay for any sort of healthcare emergency, but I’m not sure how much I’d be willing to spend before I’d wish I’ had just gotten insurance. I know the peace of mind would be great, but paying $5k+ over his lifetime for something he may not ever need feels like a waste. I know this is a very personal decision and dependent on my financial security and risk tolerance, but do you all have any advice for me or personal anecdotes to help me make this decision?

    • I do not have pet insurance, in part because of the expense vs. the $$ returned.

      When I had pet insurance for my first dog (years ago now) it was a reimbursement policy, and the one time she needed treatment that was covered, it was such a hassle to try to get my money back from the company.

      Generally, I put the amount of money I would pay for a policy for each of my animals into my budget under “pets” every month. When one of them needs something, the money comes out of there, and not my e-fund. (This is separate from my usual monthly costs for the beasties, btw)

      • +1

      • I researched pet insurance when I adopted my old dog, and the numbers just didn’t make sense for me for a young, healthy dog that was from a breed not known for having health problems. I did exactly what ELS does and had a separate budget line for pet medical care that I funded up to $X. It worked out to be about the same as the monthly premium. If my dog had ever had medical costs above that, I would have pulled from my regular emergency fund, but it gave me a lot of peace of mind to know that I could spend $X without even thinking about it and wasn’t throwing money into the black hole of an insurance policy that I wasn’t sure I’d ever even use. She was extremely healthy (maybe 3 non-routine exam vet visits over five years) until she died; even her final costs were only a hundred bucks or so above the $X. I would have lost a ton of money on an insurance policy.

      • +1 – I have a serious dog person in my office and this is what she does. The money wasn’t need when they were young, but as they got older and things that weren’t reimbursable by the insurance company came up, she was grateful to have the “pet insurance” money fund set up.

    • I have had four dogs so far, and even including care in old age we didn’t really spend that much. I recognize that it’s a personal decision, but unless he seems to be unusually accident prone, I’d say it’s not worth it. One poster on here had a puppy who ate random things and needed like 3 surgeries in as many months or something crazy. Unless you have a high maintenance situation like that, I’d forgo it.

    • In the past 8 mo. I’ve spent 7000+ on surgeries for my young purebred dog, and we’re still just doing preventative measures on his cataracts and hip dysplasia. People keep asking me: Don’t you have pet insurance? How are you paying for this? (um…with all the money!).

      That being said, I think health risks vary hugely based on genetics. I don’t know anything about terriers, but if he has any hybrid vigor, that should help. If you can, maybe talk to the breeder.

      I’ve never crunched the numbers on pet insurance. Pretty sure they wouldn’t sell it to me now :). But I’m highly suspicious of these things, because how could they stay in business if they weren’t receiving more than they paid out in most cases? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for ACA. But pet insurance is not subject to the same level of scrutiny.

      • this is a solid point as well for you – if you adopted a mixed breed, there’s a really good chance that your overall medical care costs will be lower than someone like above ^^^ with a pure-bred dog (lots of whom have terrible genetic health problems) obviously, this is super individualized and not a blanket truth.

        I adopted a small-breed, mixed terrier; I’ve had him for 7 years now with not one medical disaster or issue that would really blow a budget out of the water…

        (but one time he had an allergic reaction: some supercharged benadryl at the ER Vet brought him up to speed, but omg his little blown up, puffy face was so hilarious)

    • I never have. I thought about it when I adopted my current cats a few years ago. But they had pre-existing conditions (a bent leg and a heart murmur) that would have been excluded, and I figured most problems would either result from those or the insurance company would claim they did.

    • Pet Insurance? :

      It’s late, but thanks all! This confirms that I should just add an additional $50 per month to his medical line in my budget that I already set up for his yearly shots, checkup, and flea/tick/heartguard. He doesn’t seem to be purebred so that should bode well for his health. Thanks!

    • I’m very grateful we got pet insurance for our dog as she has had two injuries, one requiring surgery, within the past 2 years. We pay $28/month through Healthy Paws which reimburses claims very quickly and covers almost everything. We got $6,000 back from just the surgery. I think a lot depends on your dog’s activity level. Our dog is very active so it was more likely that she would be injured.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t insure my house pets, just keep some money available and a realistic assessment of what I will or won’t do for an animal at various stages in its life.

      But do check out Care Credit – many vets these days take it. It is low or no interest credit for veterinary treatment, so if you run into an unexpected expense, you have options.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Less fancy than a line item on a budget, we have a separate savings account called “Cat Insurance” and every time I “feel rich” I kick some money into it.

    • No vets take the insurance in my city. Be sure to check if vets in your area (that don’t suck) take it.

  15. GirlFriday :

    Have any of you tried Elizabeth Suzann? I would love to support this brand, but I’m not sure the silhouettes are right for me. Looking for any anecdata you might have.

    • I love the look of her clothes but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I bought an all linen jumpsuit (for weekends of course) from a similar company on Etsy, Not Perfect Linen. (Lower price point, still handmade, small company.) I would not say it’s the most flattering silhouette for me (tall slender pear) but I do get compliments from women every time I wear it. It makes me feel fashion forward, but baggy shapes like this are never going to be the most flattering look on anyone, I’m convinced.

  16. I have two big weekends in my personal relationship coming up – meeting all of my boyfriend’s coworkers at a cookout at the big boss’ house tomorrow night and meeting his entire family (second cousins and all) the weekend after that. We’ve been together 6 months.

    While I’m outgoing and confident 95% of the time, when I’m in situations where I’m unsure of myself (e.g., meeting Very Significant People For My Future), I can get uncomfortable. If something (like a friendly new person) doesn’t break me out of my discomfort, I’ll get reserved…then tight-lipped…and if things really go poorly, I end up at Emily Gilmore East Coast Frosty. Eek.

    I’m nervous and obsessing over things. (What do I wear tomorrow? Is a sundress too dressy? What do I wear to meet his family? Should I get my nails done? Does his grandmother have opinions on nail polish? Nude or coral? Should I wear my hair curly or straight?) I just really, really want to avoid being uncomfortable (and the less than endearing uncomfortable personalities), but I have little idea of what I’m walking into…and I just want it to go well! Advice? Help? Talk me down, ladies.

    • These people are not very significant. His coworkers! Do not matter to your life. You do not need to impress them.

      His grandma? Who cares if she doesn’t like your nail polish. Srsly.

      • Ha. You should meet my grandmother. She’s a matriarch with opinions and I highly suggest not pissing her off. If your s/o isn’t walking around introducing you to everyone, ask him to do so. Dress conservatively and comfortably, be ready for usual questions like “How did you two meet” as well as “Where are you from/what is your occupation” and that sort of thing.

        I have a large family that asks tons of questions and loves to talk politics and religion. This was a challenge for my husband early on, but I did my best to navigate him toward family members who weren’t quite as intrusive. If you’re nervous, let your SO know and hopefully he will run interference or make sure you sit next to such and such aunt or cousin.

    • You can do this! And actually, channeling Emily Gilmore isn’t such a bad thing — not the frosty version, the “I know how to make small talk, greet people, and keep a room circulating” version. You know, the one she pulled out at all the Events and Lunches for her social circle.

      Identify what your body feels like when you hit the reserved stage, and interrupt yourself before you get to tight-lipped. Give yourself at least two ways to break out of your discomfort. Here’s one: physical relaxing. Big breath in, big breath out. Then relax your shoulders and let them drop. Then tell your face to smile.

      • +1 to “tell your face to smile.” I have bad RBF in general, and it’s worse in situations like this so I’ve found that if I feel like I’m fake smiling like an idiot the whole time, I typically just look pleasant to everyone else.

    • Ask your boyfriend if there’s one person that’s going to be at each event that he knows will be open and friendly and can help to break the ice with others. I get the same way around large groups of new people, but luckily when I started meeting people in BF’s life, they were all engaging and friendly and set me at ease.

      I do agree with both Anons at 10:27a that co-workers aren’t as important as family, but I understand that you want to make a good impression as well and channeling the society Emily Gilmore (but not Life in the Year Emily Gilmore, as awesome as she was :-D)

    • Social Stress :

      Can your BF give you more info? I’m an introvert so I prep with a few questions I can ask to get conversations started. Once started all you have to do is remember to smile.

    • Is there anyway to meet some of the family first (his siblings, cousins his age), so you’ll know someone other than your bf there?

    • Will there be kids there (and do you like kids)? I find it is often easier to talk to kids, and by entertaining them and keeping them out of their parents’ hair you will ingratiate yourself with the rest of the family.

  17. Negotiating Advice :

    I need advice on salary negotiations. Listed salary is $50K and I currently make $58K. New job would be a 10 minute commute rather that 1 hour and 30 min commute and I’d defiantely take it for $55K. Is it reasonable to counter $60K in hopes that they’ll go up to at least 55?

    • I personally haven’t haggled for salary. I’ve always just asked for a reasonable amount more ($5-10k in my salary range) and had them say yes.

    • I would try to understand the company/industry first. These things are so tricky! You want to advocate for yourself without looking greedy/entitled. Check out glassdoor and other sites to see if you can get any salary info then start to formulate your argument around why you would like your current salary matched/exceeded. I see no reason to ask for 60

      Several things I usually raise are:
      – other related benefits that may not be included in the potential firms offer (401k matching etc)
      – take home income

    • Totally. You have a pretty strong argument given your current salary. They want you, and they don’t know what your walk-away number is. My one piece of data on this from experience is asking for a $10k signing bonus, and having it accepted almost immediately — which signaled to me that I should totally have asked for more!

    • Hiring manager :

      What’s the market for the role? If you are being offered $50k for a job where most people make $45, then you can negotiate but do it delicately.

      If your new gig is more like a range of $45-65 depending on experience, then absolutely.

      Also, are they aware you make $58? Or will this be news to them?

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I would definitely try that. Be sure you know what you WON’T take, too. The greatest power you have in negotiation is walking away.

    • When you say “listed”, is this is the job posting or is this an actual offer they’ve given you?

      If it’s just in the job posting and they’re asking you what you’re looking for in terms of salary, I think you should be fine to say 60K. I think most companies tend to low-ball the salary in the job listing.

      If it’s an actual offer, 60K might be a little high – 20% over what they’re offering. I would ask if there’s any flexibility in the compensation. Point out that you are currently at 58K and you’d really like to work at the company but have to make it work financially. Don’t mention your commute – you don’t need to justify not wanting to take a pay cut.

    • You should always at least try to negotiate :

      Yes! Although you should wait until you get the job offer to discuss salary. Just put them off by saying that you’d like to wait until the process is further along to discuss salary. If they push you, just say that you’re expecting to be paid market compensation for your experience and skills, that you’re sure you’d be able to come to agreement on a fair salary, and then reiterate that you’d like to wait until further in the process to negotiate salary. There are lots of good scripts for this online.

      Once you have the job offer in hand, I’d start a little higher — give a range of $60-65k and justify it based on your current salary, your skills/experience, market level. That makes it more likely that they’ll offer you $60k. If they’re genuinely unable to go that high, they’ll tell you that and ask if you’d be willing to accept a lower salary. At that point you can figure out whether you’re ok with $55k or wherever.

      Bottom line, if they list $50k as the salary, that means that is the very least they are willing to offer you. You likely have significant wiggle room upwards and you should wait until you have a job offer because that will give you way more leverage to negotiate.

  18. Hi guys, I’m having foot surgery early next week (got scheduled pretty quickly as I was able to get booked into a cancellation spot, so I’m not really prepared for it). I’ve never had surgery but this one should be pretty minor, although it is under general. The surgery center asked if I have a will and advanced directive, and I have neither. I’m single but I do have some assets. Of course there isn’t going to be enough time to work with a lawyer and put together a good set of documents before Tuesday, but is there anything I really should do? My main concern is who takes care of my dog if I don’t wake up from the surgery, and I have someone lined up for that. I know I need a lawyer for the will, but is there an easy way to do an advanced directive?

    • Actually, you don’t need a lawyer for the will, though you’ll need a notary and a witness(es, as determined by state). Some states even allow you to handwrite your will.

    • Check to see if the bar association for your state has a form on-line. While not perfect, those forms generally at least comply with the requirements for your state.

      Alternatively, call a small firm that does estate planning in your area and tell them that you just need some basic documents for this purpose. My firm keeps forms like this on hand for exactly these situations; we do everything via phone and web to get things covered through the procedure and then do more extensive work afterwards.

      Under no circumstances should you just pull a form from a generic website (e.g. like “powerofattorney.com”). I deal with financial clients who get given those documents on a regular basis and the documents often fail to do what the users want or need them to do.

    • American Bar Association has a toolkit and links for state specifc forms for advance directives. http://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_aging/resources/health_care_decision_making/consumer_s_toolkit_for_health_care_advance_planning.html

    • In moderation for link, but the ABA has a toolkit for health care advance directives with state forms.

    • Often, insurance companies have forms you can use. I know the AARP has some as well. I would try to find a state specific one to make sure you’ve got exactly what you need. You’ll likely need it witnessed and might need it notarized, but you don’t need a lawyer to prepare it for you.

    • You can google will and advanced directive + the name of your state, and you should find good templates. The forms suggested above sound like good options too. This should be good enough for now, since you sound like you have a simple situation in terms of family and assets. As noted above, make sure you figure out what is required by the law of your state in terms of witnesses and/or notary (which is why I suggest looking for forms for your own state) — that may be the hardest part on short notice.

  19. DC small firm :

    I really like the jumpsuit Kat posted… I’d be interested in opinions as to whether it would be appropriate for a small DC firm where the dress code is business casual.

  20. I finally caved and veered towards the more casual end of workwear today. We have casual Fridays and everyone wears jeans and some people wear t-shirts and tennis shoes. I have always worn jeans as well, but usually keep it dressier with a blazer and heels or dressy flats. Today, I am wearing my new Converse because I think they are so cute. The rest of my outfit is a gingham sleeveless blouse and white ankle-length skinny jeans, so I am not totally slumming it in an old t-shirt like some of my co-workers, but there you have it. I feel no shame!

    What’s everyone else wearing today? We haven’t done that in a while.

    • My closet barfed up a rather preppy look: Halogen jeans skirt with sailor styling, silk tank with a flag print and a white cardigan. Cognac ballet flats.

    • We have casual Fridays and I am wearing a Wilt t-shirt dress and Birkenstock Mayaris (not out of place here) with a Chan Luu wrap bracelet. I started the day with a white denim jacket, but I already took that off because it is so hot.

      I love wearing my Converse on Fridays when it’s not sandal weather or boot weather.

    • An old sleeveless cotton grey JCrew dress and Birkenstocks. Because it’s Friday and the A/C is *still* MIA.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Our offices are hot, too. Sleeveless LE ponte dress + 3/4 sleeve cardigan and my nicer heels. All black. Blue glass earrings.

      • Also on Team Birks today, with a blue and white printed sundress that’s kind of Marimekko-looking. Navy cardigan because I’m cold…or at least I will be until I walk to lunch in the 93 degree weather.

    • Clementine :

      Dark wash jeans, fitted black scoop neck top, white cardigan, statement necklace, black flats.

      Outfit planned based on, ‘Oh man. I should wear this awesome necklace more.’

    • Ay, I’m frump city in a skirt too big for me in most proportions and a shell and cardigan. 12 weeks pregnant is the frumpiest time.

    • Jeans that used to be a darker wash (oops), black asymmetrical shell, green cardigan. Black sandals. Obsessed with this cardigan and have to convince myself not to wear it every day since it’s just this side of lime green. At the last minute added delicate pearl jewelry and a funky silver hair clip.

    • Marshmallow :

      It’s 90 degrees in NYC today so I did something I almost NEVER do and wore something that isn’t a suit for a very minor court hearing. Black sleeveless dress with tiny white polka dots, black blazer, black heels. The jacket came off immediately after the hearing.

    • It’s cold and raining here and we have casual Fridays so just jeans, a plain gray v-neck sweater and cognac ballet flats. Not my most inspired look but it’s comfy.

    • The Skirt in black, navy blue Pleonie split neck short sleeve top that is already making my pits stinky (polyester tops always make me stinky. I am not a stinky person!). Blue patent flats. Graduated silver bead necklace.

    • Black and white printed pencil skirt, black silk tee, black wedges, blush jacket, mixed metal statement necklace.

    • Mid wash jeans, a new striped linen tee from Gap and running shoes (yay recovering from a broken ankle). I work in construction and we’re pretty casual. My running shoes are in ALL my outfits these days. Can’t WAIT until I’m recovered enough to wear other shoes!!

    • SlummingInAnOldTshirt :

      Converse, black acid wash jeans and a loud neon coral t-shirt that I bought at Goodwill for $1. It’s my 12 week old son’s favorite shirt of mine. Happy Friday!

      • Ha! This sounds far more stylish than the dad jeans, old grease stained metal band t-shirt I see on the engineers here. Rock on!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Black and white print “car wash” skirt from Target’s WhoWhatWear line that looks cool when I stand or walk and bizarre when I sit, a black Theory tee I want to like but makes my pits gross even though it’s cotton (?!?!) and pink patent ballet flats from Target. And a grey blazer that’s been shed already because the office I’m borrowing today while offsite is a million and a half degrees. No makeup. No jewelry. The headache that’s developed post-Barre this morning made that laughable.

      • I am obsessed with the WhoWhatWear line. So good. Just bought a polka dot blouse yesterday that I’m so excited to wear.

    • Dark wash skinny jeans and ponte blazer (both from uniqlo), v-neck striped t-shirt, red Tieks, and black Ray-Bans for glasses (normal work glasses are navy Tory Burch cat eye, so different look.)

      I actually feel very chic for a casual day. My boss complimented me on my outfit.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have the day off (going to Palm Springs for the weekend! Yay!) so I’m casual: white cropped jeans, black and white sleeveless top, black sandals, blue toenails!

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Jeans, a blue and white paisley cotton top, and a long “boyfriend” cardigan because someone confused the office for a meat locker again. Oh, and blue Converse.

    • Coach Laura :

      We’re a no-jeans business formal/casual so I’m wearing a Classiques 3/4 sleeve jacket in blue with tiny black threads, silk mock wrap shell in abstract blue and black, black trousers and black cole haan peep toe sandals. First sunny day in Seattle so perfect for Friday.

    • Conference wear. All Eileen Fisher (the best for travel) black crepe ankle pants, black and gray silk tunic, ivory linen/cotton shaped cardigan, big cream and white patterned Etro scarf/pashmina due to freezing conference facility.

    • Casual day at my office; I gave into the lure of jeans a couple times last year and have caved again. Dark wash skinnies, embellished black top from Ann Taylor, some Nordstrom house brand ballet flats, my fave David Yurman stacking ring, and medium silver wavy hoops from the Saks house line. I had a variegated black/grey/white waterfall sweater on this morning, but took it off as my office has started to edge into uncomfortable warm territory as the sun has moved.

    • Anonymous :

      Karen Kane blue pattern wrap dress, navy blazer with the sleeves rolled up, and cognac driving mocs (my concession to casual Friday).

  21. Therapist in Los Angeles :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a therapist in Los Angeles? I’ve never seen a therapist before and don’t know where to start to find one. Looking to focus on issues dealing with family, if it matters.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Psychology Today’s web site has a good therapist-referral function that gives a good amount of information about the therapists listed. Also if you know anybody who practices family law, they are usually pretty tuned in to who’s good and who’s not in the therapy biz.

      • Therapist in Los Angeles :

        Thank you, I’ll check out Psychology Today. And thank you for the suggestion about family lawyers, I wouldn’t have thought of that!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Are you in LA proper? I have someone great but she’s way out near the IE.

      • Therapist in Los Angeles :

        Yes, and I’m in West LA, even, so that’s a big hike. I don’t mind commuting a bit, but IE is probably too far to be sustainable. Thank you, though! I appreciate it!

  22. Work too recommendatjons? I have a lot of tops that are long and drapey – straight up and down, basically. But not I’m realizing that they’re not the most flattering look for me. I have a large-ish bust and it creates a straight line down from there – as if my whole body is the size of my bust.

    I do have a waist and the smallest part of my body is just below the bust. I think I should be emphasizing this area more.

    I’m a 1x plus. Any great work tops with shape meant to be worn under a blazer or structured cardigan that you recommend?

    • Joan Holliway :

      Try More Front Room, a Canadian company for large-chested women that also skews larger in general.

  23. Brigantine, NJ :

    Hi Hive!

    Spending Memorial Day weekend in Brigantine with my husband. We are mid-20’s, no kids. Looking for recs for good food & stuff to do.

    TIA!

    • Oyster Creek Inn (in Leeds Point – it’s a drive, but take the back roads). You have to drive on a dusty back road for a while to find it, but it’s a neat place! Spend a couple of hours picking crabs and enjoying the marshyness.

  24. Seeking more vacation recommendations! Partner and I are going to the Poconos for Memorial Day and I’ve never been. Looks like it’s going to be 67 and raining all weekend, but we’re going anyway. What clothing should I bring? TIA!

  25. Does anyone have recommendations of where to buy short boxy tees? most drapey tees are too long for me (I’m not short but short-torso’d). I’d prefer a bit of structure but it’s not necessary — looking for something just longer than a crop top (so it hits at the waist/high hip). Thanks!

  26. I loved the silk scarf posted yesterday, and love scarves in general. But I sometimes wonder if this look is still at all stylish, or conversely makes me look closer to 70 than to 40. What do you all think about this?

    • I think a square scarf is difficult to style in a youthful way. Oblongs are easier.

    • I like tying them in a cowboy knot. I’m mid thirties and get a lot of compliments.

    • I really love silk scarves, but agree they can be a bit awkward to style – I follow mai tai collection on pinterest (and on her site) for some unusual ways of tying them. I personally tend to go with a long loose menswear style knot and I think it looks a bit fresher.

  27. weirdinterviewexp :

    I interviewed with a small litigation boutique in NYC and one of the partners’ first question to me was where was I born, which I found really uncomfortable because I’m Asian, and often times, racist men will ask me this type of question to figure out my ethnicity. It always makes me feel very uncomfortable. But I decided to hide my discomfort and just said I was born in China but that my family immigrated here when I was little. He then asked me if there was a story behind our immigration. After I told him the reason (my grandmother went mad after she was sent to a labor camp), he then started questioning the credibility of what happened to us. I felt really offended, so I politely suggested that his line of questions were rather odd and very personal. He then said that he was asking these questions to see how potential employees may handle themselves in different situations and questioned my collegiality.

    He continued to make various subtle insults, including snickering as I was answering questions. I just acted calmly and pretended to be interested and upbeat, even though inside, I was angry as hell. At one point, he suggested that the reason I went straight through was because I couldn’t find a job out of college. I went to a top Ivy and graduated magna cum laude, whereas he only graduated cum laude and took 2 years off. I didn’t say anything in response to that, though in hindsight, I wish I had pushed back in a more subtle way.

    The only parts where I pushed back was- when he said “do you have any questions for me,” I said, “No, I think I have learned enough information from talking to you. A part of this interview process is also for me to learn about the personalities at your firm to assess a cultural fit.” He then said, “And what is that?” I said, “Well, clearly you are very down-to-earth and willing to share your experiences” (basically everything that he was not) and gave him a fake smile. When he said, “Well, it was nice meeting you.” I didn’t say anything and just walked straight toward the door. At that point, I had decided that I did not want to work at a place like that.

    Thinking about what happened in this interview, I wish I had pushed back a little more to every offensive thing that he said. For one, I should have pointed out that it’s actually easier to get into a top law school these days with work experience than going straight through when he suggested that it was because I couldn’t find a job coming out of college. And when he questioned my collegiality, I should have responded with something along the line of, “A part of this interview process is also for me to assess what kind of people I will be working with. I find it interesting that you seem to question my family’s history and decisions as immigrants in a job interview. You’re right-that is clearly an indicator of the collegiality of one of us.”

    When he said that he was not someone who didn’t know what to do with his career (I lateraled from a biglaw firm to another biglaw firm) and that was why he chose to start at a small litigation boutique, I should have pointed out that as a first generation immigrant with no attorneys in my family or circle of friends, it would have been very hard for me to have a good sense of whether biglaw or a smaller firm would be a better environment coming out of law school.

    What would you have done in this scenario? I’m glad I pushed back a little bit, but I also feel like I could have politely pushed back even more. I’m also surprised because I’ve heard great things about this firm being a top litigation boutique. The only good thing is that I’ve learned that there is no correlation between personality and firm size. Smaller firms do not necessarily have better partners. What do you think?

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Honestly, I think you handled it perfectly. This type of person is unlikely to have changed even with harder push back. Good for you for pushing back and walking away.

    • I think you did a great job. You remained professional and pushed back to certain extent. Hindsight is 20/20 so it’s so easy to think I wish I said or did this or that afterwards. You did great. Don’t doubt yourself.

      You should be very proud of how you handled an awful situation and at least he was at the interview because while it was an awful experience at the interview, it would have been even worse if you met him only after you accepted a job there and had to work with him.

    • I wouldn’t have pushed back any more. IMO, the only thing pushing back hard would have gotten you this attorney talking poorly about once you left. You don’t want to get a reputation as someone who is combative or disrespectful, especially when you aren’t, which is likely how this person would have spun it. Sometimes being right isn’t the most important thing. Now you know that is somewhere you don’t want to work.

      • Agreed. He was an as s that doesn’t deserve any more time/energy from you. He also sounds like my old dept head (in litigation, in a NYC, in a “boutique”). I work more now in biglaw, but I love my group/partners/colleagues because while bosses can always drive us nuts with their idiosyncracies, they’re all good people with good hearts, smart and thus not insecure little nits who feel the need to be jerks like the guy you met with.

        Sounds like a, thank you for showing me your crazy now so I can pursue better opportunities kind of moment.

        TGIF!

      • +1 I don’t think pushing back harder would’ve gotten you anywhere. You definitely made it clear 1) that he was being inappropriate and 2) that as a result you had no desire to work for his firm. Those are the two things you wanted to communicate so that’s the best outcome you can expect. Pushing back harder might be more emotionally satisfying but wouldn’t achieve a better outcome I don’t think.

        I’m sorry this guy was such a jerkface, and wish you luck finding someplace with a better fit!

    • He sounds terrible. I actually think you handled this incredibly well. Your polite pushback was totally appropriate, and given how over-the-top he was, my guess is he’s not about to change. So it’s not like the bonus pushback you’re regretting would have actually changed him for the future (and might have given him just enough ammo to bad mouth you to other folks). Don’t second-guess yourself.

    • Wow, that is most insane interview I have ever heard of. What an enormous a$$hole. Agreed with the others that I wouldn’t have pushed back any more. You clearly dodged a bullet by finding out about this person before having to work with them.

      • + 1

        I’m also wildly curious – though I’m sure you don’t want to share and out yourself – where and who this person was, if only so the rest of us women can forever give him stink eyes and know he’s a piece of garbage

      • Yeah, sounds like you handled this as well as could be expected. Just be glad you dodged that bullet.

    • Why second guess this? You said what you said. Own it and move on. You don’t want to work there anyway if this is how they are. This was their “I’m testing to see if the Asian is strong on her feet or will she get flustered” and when you work there it’ll turn into — “I need that brief that I just assigned you in 4 hrs bc that’s how we do things around here.”

      FWIW I had a similar litigation interview in NYC though at a Texas firm. I will name the firm (don’t know if this site will delete it) — Bickel & Brewer — and I hope you will name yours too as there are others (including me) going through the same process. The guy asked personal questions about my family, my best friends, what drives me — but all in the same rude condescending demanding way that you’re suggesting; it wasn’t like — so where did you grow up, kind of way. As awful as the guy was, what sealed the deal for me was the midlevel associate who interviewed me who CRIED during the interview as she talked about her work hours, face time requirements etc. and the awfulness of the place was very clear.

      • And as I’m thinking about it — I vividly remember leaving that interview and taking Tylenol in the building lobby bc I had such a headache.

    • What a terrible experience. I hope you won’t spend too much time worrying about what you could’ve, should’ve said to this total you know what. You were there prepared to make a great impression, not execute a smackdown, and doing the latter probably would’ve done more harm than good (to you). Good thing you interviewed with this guy, really. You dodged a bullet!!!

    • I think you handled it well and so sorry about what happened to you. Years ago I interviewed at a small litigation boutique in NY (I would think it was the same one, except the firm I interviewed at no longer exists) and the male partner I was interviewing with asked me if I went to my prestigious, engineering-focused undergraduate alma mater (think MIT/Caltech) to find a husband (I was single and wearing no rings, fwiw). My jaw just kind of dropped but I didn’t really say anything except “Um…no.” In hindsight I could have handled it better, but I don’t blame myself. I blame the s*xist a-hole interviewing me. Nobody should have to be prepared for those kind of questions.

    • I agree with the others that you handled it perfectly. He sounds like a jerk and it’s good this came out now rather than after you started working there. Pushing back more would not have accomplished anything.

    • I am so so sorry that POS people like this exist. If he wanted to test your mettle, there were so many other ways. Honestly! What a rotten experience. Please do not lose faith in humanity. Please feel free to shame this guy publicly.

      And…if it makes you feel better, I would send an email to the firm asking them to “please remove you from consideration for the X role.” I would cc anyone else you spoke with there (including other partners), saying that “one of my interviewers asked a series of increasingly personal and hostile questions, many of which were directed around my race and nationality, purportedly to test my grace under pressure. While I maintained my grace under pressure, I could not help but leave your interview process feeling as if I had been racially profiled, my qualifications minimized, and my family’s history belittled. ” I would thank them for the opportunity to get to know the firm, and then say that you hope that another candidate does not need to endure questions along those lines in the future.

      Being realistic, in my experience, a lot of people end up founding boutiques because they are not good getter-alongers. This guy sounds like a real winner. You did dodge a bullet, but, as others mentioned above, I would not expect a horrid guy like this to change his stripes.

      I sincerely hope that no one else has to go through what you did. Hugs.

      • HR Consultant :

        “‘I would send an email to the firm asking them to “please remove you from consideration for the X role.” I would cc anyone else you spoke with there (including other partners), saying that “one of my interviewers asked a series of increasingly personal and hostile questions, many of which were directed around my race and nationality, purportedly to test my grace under pressure. While I maintained my grace under pressure, I could not help but leave your interview process feeling as if I had been racially profiled, my qualifications minimized, and my family’s history belittled. ‘”

        Sorry, just want to give another perspective. I don’t think the OP should put this in writing, because it’s hard to know where that will end up or how it will get used later. She can say “please remove me from consideration from X position” but rather than going into what happened in the interview, she can say “I would be happy to discuss why I am withdrawing myself from consideration if anyone would care to contact me, my phone number is XXX-XXXX.” 10 to 1 odds, they won’t call. But they might, and if they do, she can give them the story about what happened.

        Bottom line, it’s not that the other people in the firm don’t know that this guy is a jerk and he’s doing things like this to interview candidates. They know. They just don’t care. The firm has a bad culture and it’s so pervasive that they’ll allow employees to exhibit the bad culture in interviews, and no one thinks it’s a problem. They probably pride themselves on having “a tough environment” where only the strong survive. That’s how they justify it, in their eyes. I’ve worked with too many of this type of client (and ultimately fired them) not to know the deal here. There is no fix for this until a senior leader decides things have to change, and gets rid of the people perpetrating and perpetuating the problem.

        OP, I wrote out another response to you that’s in moderation.

      • OMG do NOT send that email. It’s fine to say “take me out of consideration” — though even that I’d tell my recruiter, not the firm directly. Do not put in writing that he asked offensive questions but you maintained grace under pressure. As far as he/they are concerned — you didn’t maintain it bc you’re offended. At best, they forward your email around the office and LOL. At worst, it ends up on some law blog making you look like a sensitive snowflake (which you are NOT – they were wrong – but you never know how someone will portray something).

      • Do not send an email as suggested at 11:57.

        Fine to send an email asking to be removed from consideration. If they follow up, you can say that as a result of the interview, you don’t feel it would be a good fit with the firm. They work with this guy and they still let him interview people.

        Alternative is to do nothing and just turn them down if they offer (which I’m sure would be immensely satisfying).

    • HR Consultant :

      I’m sorry this happened.

      I agree you handled things very well. You stayed professional, which is what he was trying to get you not to do. If you had lost it, or gotten argumentative, he would have “won” the conversation, which is what he wanted. There is no defeating a person like this other than refusing to engage with them.

      I am sure most folks here know this already, but just for those who might not: an interview question about “where were you born” is straight-up illegal. The only thing that matters about your background in regards to employment is your authorization to work in the United States. Discrimination on the basis of national origin is illegal by law. The only response anyone ever needs to give to a question like “where were you born” is “I am authorized to work in the United States.” Period, do not keep talking. If they persist in trying to get information on your national origin, ethnicity, or immigration status, you can keep repeating that you are authorized to work in the United States, or try to change the subject.

      If they were a larger company, I would say you should post your interview experience on Glassdoor (using a burner email account, of course) but if they’re very small they’ll probably trace the review back to you and it may cause problems. It burns me up, because terrible companies rely on secrecy to continue luring in unsuspecting candidates, and then treating them like this. I think outing the firm here on Corporette would help a lot of people not have similar bad experiences, if you’re willing, especially because I think a lot of folks here are from NYC.

      • Anonymous :

        I thought that nationality question wasn’t illegal to ask, just illegal to make a decision on. But since it’s illegal to make a decision, companies don’t ask it.

        • HR Consultant :

          That’s too fine a point for most people to understand – most of my clients are not lawyers. Standard HR best-practice is to not ask questions about nationality or ask questions that could be perceived as inquiring into a person’s nationality. I actually advise my clients not to even ask a candidate “Where are you from?” because that can be perceived as an inquiry into national origin. “Tell me about yourself” is a much better open-ended question and allows the candidate to self-select what they say about their personal history. Just to be clear – if a person volunteers in an interview that they were born outside the U.S., it’s not the interviewer’s problem. But it is a problem for the interviewer to ask questions that could be perceived as investigating a candidate’s national origin. The candidate doesn’t know whether the person is asking casually or asking on-purpose, and I’ve seen discrimination complaints arise from seemingly-innocuous questions.

          • That’s all fine and good. But your statement that “an interview question about “where were you born” is straight-up illegal” is false. It’s not illegal to ask. It is only illegal to make a decision based on that.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Not illegal to ask that question, only illegal to make an employment decision based on the answer. This is not too fine a point for people on this board to understand. You can counsel your clients this way but I think it’s likely they understand nuance as well.

      • Definitely not illegal to ask where someone was born. I get that question frequently but in a good way. Certainly not right to question OP’s story.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think that he sounds horrible. OP, if you worked with a recruiter, I would definitely inform him or her about the interview.

    • Greenberg Traurig is anti-woman :

      Also had a horrible interview experience at Greenberg Traurig. Immediately pulled out of candidacy, and later found information about the firm elevating male partners to senior leadership roles in the wake of multiple harassment claims by its female attorneys.

      Now I’m in house with a multi-million dollar outside counsel budget and I make damn sure none of it goes to that firm. My group was actually using GT frequently until I got here.

      • +1 to this.

        Women in house have our hands on the purse-strings of the outside counsel budgets. Sexist firms that treat us badly because of our gender do so at their peril. We remember. And we fire or decline to hire.

      • Anonymous :

        I always find GT’s name hilarious because it literally means Sad Green Mountain in German. The visual that comes to mind is a group of depressing looking male lawyers tottering on a pile of cash. Dwindling cash I’m sure thanks to a legion of ex-employees who will fastidiously avoid sending any outside counsel budget their way.

      • Anonymous :

        Isn’t that Giuliani’s firm? Kind of tells you everything you need to know about it…

      • +1 THIS. I am pretty low on the totem pole in house but still have several opportunities to direct who we hire as outside counsel and will never send business to anyone from my previous firm.

    • I’m so sorry that happened. I’m in medicine, not law, but have experienced similar “we want to see how you scrap”-type questions in interviews, ostensibly to assess how someone will act under pressure. I hate this approach, because I can’t help but notice that the sort of people who ask these questions tend to do so sadistically–they want to break your professionalism, not to evaluate grace under pressure but rather because they’re racist or sex!st or just plain jerks. I think you handled it beautifully, and probably ruined his day by maintaining your professionalism.

    • I’m so sorry that happened. I’m in medicine, not law, but have experienced similar “we want to see how you scrap”-type questions in interviews, ostensibly to assess how someone will act under pressure. I hate this approach, because I can’t help but notice that the sort of people who ask these questions tend to do so sadistically–they want to break your professionalism, not to evaluate grace under pressure but rather because they’re rac!st or sex!st or just plain jerks. I think you handled it beautifully, and probably ruined his day by maintaining your professionalism.

    • weirdinterviewexp :

      Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and encouragement. I ended up getting an offer for the second round of interviews. My recruiter also said that they really liked like me, which surprised me. Now I’m having second thoughts about whether to withdraw my application. The associates were all quite nice, and it was only that one partner who was quite unpleasant. If I were to go there, I would avoid working with him at all costs. Though the firm has about 20 litigation partners, so it might not be possible.

      What do you all think I should do?

  28. Shopaholic :

    My friends have been trying to talk me into Birkenstocks because they’re so comfy (I would probably wear them on my commutes in the summer) but I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger because of look/style. Can someone convince me that they’re stylish enough for a summer commute or in the alternative, point me towards something that’s more stylish?

    I have a bad habit of compromising comfort for style (see my inability to carry a backpack on a long walking commute) but I’m trying!

    • I’m similar. I’ve never been willing to wear sneakers with dress clothing, for instance. I do have Birks, the Mayari model, which I think is more feminine but I don’t think it’s a great work look, even for just commuting. I wear them on the weekends.

      Have you checked out the flats made by athletic shoes companies? I have the Puma flats and really like them.

      • If commuting shoes are supposed to look good with work clothes, the only viable option I can think of is wedges. I don’t think Birkenstocks with work clothes rise to the same level of outdated commuter frumpiness as athletic shoes. If you don’t wear hose, the Mayari or Gizeh (try both as different styles work better on different types of feet) should be fine. The Gizeh is dressier but more ubiquitous.

    • I think there are better options than Birks for commuting, but I love mine (on my 2nd pair of Gizehs after the first pair mysteriously disappeared — probably stolen by another Birkenstock afficionada). They are so comfortable and all I ever wear in the daytime on summer weekends, and I think they have been in style for a few years now. This may not be exactly what you are going for, but they are very much in with the (relatively) chic mommy crowd in my NY neighborhood… This is all you ever see on the playgrounds in the summertime.

      • They aren’t attractive, but they’re trendy enough that no one is going to side-eye you for wearing them. (I say, wearing my Gizehs.)

    • I bought Birkenstocks recently because they’re supposedly so comfortable, but didn’t find them comfortable at all. Mine are a thong style — the thong rubs my toes, and the molding of the footbed feels like its not in the right place and hasn’t conformed to my foot as I thought it would. Not good at all.

    • Clementine :

      I just got the Birkenstock Yaras (like the Mayari with an ankle strap) as my ‘let’s chase a kid around the playground’ shoes. They’re amazing. I actually am secretly wearing them in my office today (everyone is out, no meetings, nobody will see me) but I have worn them as a commuting shoe recently and can only say good things about them.

      I also recently purchased a pair of Merrell flats for commuting. They’re decent looking with enough support to not make my back hurt!

      Honestly, 10 years ago me would probably be cringing that I’m wearing such sensible shoes to walk in, but I also no longer have the random back and foot pain I used to have when I commuted in too-flat flats, straight up heels, or flip flops.

    • I’ve been having a similar struggle. I’m very fair and have narrow feet, and I found that the classic dark brown / black Arizona Birks were too big/clunky/contrasting on me. The eye was drawn to the shoes in a bad way. After making several orders and returns trying to make them work, I found that the lighter-hued suede Birks are more palatable for my skin tone since they blend better and do not appear so clunky on me. If you dislike them for similar reasons, perhaps this is something you could try?

      Plus the “sand” color (link below) matches basically everything.

      FWIW, I’m in Brooklyn and can confirm that Birks are back.

      • I’m referring to the “sand” color here: http://www.birkenstock.com/us/arizona-suede-leather-soft-footbed-sand/1003734-1003735-0000000.html

    • Omg get over it. Wear comfortable shoes and a back pack. It’s a commute. There is no lovely rom com montage music playing.

    • Just pull the trigger. If you walk to work, wearing comfortable shoes is one of the best ways to take care of yourself! I have a 25 minute walking commute in DC and wear my Birks all summer long. I have the Gizeh in a golden brown color and while they obviously don’t go with my professional clothes, neither do the sneakers that everyone else is wearing on their way to work.

    • I don’t think it matters that much what you wear on your commute as long as you look professional once you get to work. I don’t have a walking commute but if I did, I wouldn’t think twice about putting comfort first. For me that’s a pair of sneakers that I would change out of as soon as I got to work.

    • I really like my Birkenstock Gizeh sandals and don’t think they’re ugly. Though I got really bad plantar fasciitis after wearing them every day last summer. I’ve been wearing Dansko wedge flip flops this year and they’re much more comfortable for me.

    • I think the trick is a fun color – metallic or shiny red or the like.

      If you want an alternative, I commute in Saludos espadrilles (the flat closed shoe style). To me they don’t look too weird with a suit & they’re comfy for walking. Also my feet aren’t filthy from NYC sidewalks when I get to work, which is a nice bonus.

    • Joan Holliway :

      Look into this new brand, Idoniveneto. I’m between sizes so they sadly don’t fit me, but they are exactly what I’m looking for when they begin to offer half sizes. If you’re in NYC, they’re having a popup at 310 West Broadway until May 27.

  29. Shopaholic :

    My friends have been trying to talk me into Birkenstocks because they’re so comfy (I would probably wear them on my commutes in the summer) but I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger because of look/style. Can someone convince me that they’re stylish enough for a summer commute or in the alternative, point me towards something that’s more stylish?

    I have a bad habit of compromising comfort for style (see my inability to carry a backpack on a long walking commute) but I’m trying!

    TIA!

  30. I posted back in March about the “mountain casual” dress code for a wedding next weekend. (Link to original will follow)
    The father of the groom just announced the dress code, on the wedding website, was a joke of the groom’s and stated “normal” wedding attire is what we should wear. I’m wondering where the bride, MIL, or MOB is… first to fend off the joke, then to really clarify what they see as “normal.” It’s clear there’s a vision here, and as extended family we really tried to fulfill that. A few other guests and I have already figured out what we were going to wear under the “joke” dress code, and it’s more casual than what we’d consider “normal” wear. But I’m not changing it now. Ugh.

    • http://corporette.com/calvin-klein-on-my-corner-saffiano/#comment-3649064

    • This doesn’t sound like a joke to me, it sounds like the parents making a rather hamhanded attempt to walk back the insane dress code.

      • Agreed that it wasn’t a joke originally – there’s been a change of heart. I’d reach out to the bride or groom (whichever one I’m related to) and be like “What should I do?” Normally I wouldn’t both a bride with something like this, but they’re putting you (and all their other guests) in a tough spot here. And, to be perfectly honest, I’d also kinda want to know the scoop about why it got changed :)

    • Yikes. Let us know how it plays out post wedding!

    • I’m usually against calling the bride or groom about something trivial like dress code, but here, I would elect one member of the extended family to call them up (or whichever one you’re closer to) and ask for clarification/ what the vision is. Then I would do what the couple asks, even if that means adapting, or totally changing, your outfit.

      I’m wondering if there’s some conflict in the background–either between the bride and groom or between the couple and their parents/families. It’s not really your business, but I feel like competing visions may be causing the confusion.

    • Ummm what?! I’d be very annoyed. The original dress code was irritating, but someone who isn’t the bride or groom now claiming it was a joke and everyone should wear “normal” wedding attire is infuriating. I absolutely wouldn’t change what I planned to wear.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I assumed you should wear this a dress with a plaid shirt tied over it. (link to follow)

  31. Pro Bono Best Practices :

    I’m somewhat new in my position, which involves both handling cases on my own and training pro bono attorneys to jointly take cases with me. I’m collaborating on cases with everyone from paralegals to partners. They’re from a local firm and a local corporation.

    The area of law is unfamiliar to nearly all of the pro bono attorneys, although some do have additional context based on life experiences (think: immigration law, military law, working with DV survivors). Attorneys volunteer to be part of this work, and attend an in-depth training I give. I’m always available for support by email, phone, or cell as they work through their cases. No one took a case that didn’t want to- they chose their cases. There’s no court appearances. These cases are working with individual, low-income clients- no class actions or transactional work. Attorneys take the cases in teams of 1-3. The cases can take a long time to work up and get a decision back, and I tried to make clear the time commitment necessary. The attorneys will, in large part, be responsible for the cases. I’ll be there as backup.

    I’m certain some members of the Hive have participated in pro bono work similar to this. I really want this to be a positive experience for my pro bono volunteers and make it as easy on them as possible, because I realize they’re very busy and that this work can be confusing or frustrating at times.

    What do you wish your nonprofit organization had done differently? What do you consider best practices when doing pro bono? What did you like? What did you hate? Is there anything you see done a lot by nonprofits that completely baffles you or shows a misunderstanding of how or when you work? Do you prefer that your nonprofit partners are more hands on or hands off?

    Thank you!

    • GovtAttny :

      I work with someone who used to have a job similar to your job. While she was in that position the two things she said her volunteers found the most helpful were: 1) Recording the mandatory training presentation. All volunteers were required to attend an in-person training, but once trained they got a link to a recording of a training (not necessarily the one they attended). That way they could go back and watch any portion they had questions on; and 2) Creating a handbook that contained not only a general overview of the area of law the work focused on, but also links to helpful to attorneys working in the area – law review articles, significant cases, old briefs available online. A lot of the items in the handbook were items she referenced often, or were used to develop the training.

      She also said connecting volunteers who happened to work in the same area of law outside of the volunteering position was helpful. With permission of the volunteers, she would introduce similar lawyers over email and encourage them to talk about their pro bono experiences with the organization. The lawyers that made connections this way tended to have a stronger tie to the organization and saw their experience as a community building experience, and not just a one-off volunteer experience. It sounds like you are already partly there since your volunteer attorneys work in groups (her volunteer attorneys worked solo on cases).

  32. Executive Director transition :

    Hi all, I need some internal promotion advice. I work for a small, young mission-driven LLC. I have been here since 2014.

    The company is doing a reorg and I’ve been told they want to make me Executive Director of one of our two divisions (the one I work in currently, in a less senior role). The role will be new. Obviously I’m flattered an excited, but this is new for me and I need some pointers.

    First of all, I have not been privy at all to our financials thus far. In this role I am going to be responsible for budget for my division. Is it normal to go from having no knowledge of the finances to being in charge of them? What if I find some unpleasant surprises after I start?

    Second, I had already asked for a raise but did not know the promotion was going to be this big. What should I be thinking about salary?

    What else would you want to know in my shoes? TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Okay, maybe not helpful but my first point is: would a man be asking some of these questions (re finances)? Channel that cocky guy you know who always gets away with stuff. Women too, but am-i-qualified-to-do-x is something my husband often points out tends to be a question women are more likely to ask.

      If you find some unpleasant surprises, it will be a great opportunity to flex those new ED muscles and fix them! You’ll be adding value! You can only look good.

      No idea on salary, sorry!

  33. Week-long Seattle and Vancouver trip in September of this year. Neither spouse nor I have been there before. We’re pretty outdoorsy and happy to do hikes, nature walks, etc. – though want to stay at nice hotels and have nice dinners in the evening! Suggestions for the agenda, including best way to get from Seattle to Vancouver (ferry, rent car, etc.). Also is it worth fitting Victoria in there and if so, how would you structure the days? Thanks in advance!

    • There are a lot of posts about this if you search thissite and Seattle on google

    • Anonymous :

      I would recommend against adding Victoria (even though it is lovely). The ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria is 2 hours, and that doesn’t including the driving time and the time you spend waiting to board after purchasing your ticket. If you still want to go, I highly recommend staying at Abigail’s Hotel – it is one of my favorite hotels.

      In Vancouver, I’d recommend biking in Stanley Park. DH and I did that on our honeymoon and it was lovely.

    • Vanocuver :

      There is no direct ferry from Seattle to Vancouver. You can fly, drive, take a bus or train. You might be able to ferry to Victoria and then ferry to Vancouver, but the regular BC ferry doesn’t actually leave from Victoria and doesn’t actually arrive in downtown Vancouver, there’s at least an hour bus ride on each end. Alternatively you can take a seaplane from Victoria to Vancouver (more expensive) or take a high speed luxury ferry between the two. Really it depends on your budget. If you’re willing to splurge getting between Victoria and Vancouver gets a lot easier and more convenient.

      What you do in Vancouver depends on how many days you have. Rent bikes and ride the seawall, go to the museum of anthropology at UBC. Some hikes are accessible by public transit but others require a car. Hang out at beaches, go to breweries if that’s your thing.

  34. Unlined wool or tweed. I have some in my closet from Jcrew, brooks brothers and Classiques

  35. quick anniversary gift or card :

    Just realized my parents’ anniversary is tomorrow. I forgot to send a card and even if I get it out today, it’ll be too late. What can I send quickly?

    Do you guys send your parents stuff for their anniversaries, or is a call or text enough?

    • I never sent my parents a card or a gift for their anniversary when they were married (which they were until recently and for 30ish years).

    • I just call them — never cards and flowers. Maybe take them out to dinner if you’ll see them soon.

    • I have no idea when my parents’ anniversary even is! We are not an anniversary/birthday/special dates family, clearly. Hahaha

    • Before I got married I never did anything. Now that I’ve been married about ten years I usually get them a card or card + flowers because I realize what an accomplishment it is to be able to be happily married for so long.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t even know when my parent’s anniversary is. I think it is often not celebrated by anyone but the couple.

      • Anonymous :

        But there’s a whole section of anniversary cards and gifts at most card stores and at least cards at drugstores. Even for non-milestone anniversaries, someone must be buying it or they wouldn’t sell it.

        • Anonymous :

          My parents get their kids an anniversary card every year. I feel like that might be more common than kids getting their parents one, since the parents were at the kids’ weddings but not vice versa.

    • Anonymous :

      For their 25th, which was when I was in high school, I got them a card and an engraved frame with one of their wedding photos in it. I will obviously do something for their 50th if they’re both alive then. But for an ordinary anniversary, I don’t do anything for except maybe an email/Facebook post. They’ve started a tradition of going on vacation out of the country during the anniversary, so I couldn’t call them even if I wanted to.

    • I send my parents an email or text on their anniversary. They are usually traveling out of the country.

      I’ve been with them on their anniversary a few times in my adult life (it’s near a national holiday), and I’ve celebrated with them on those occasions. Otherwise, no gift, no card.

  36. Just saw pictures from an event last night and I’m appalled at the weight I’ve gained. I knew it was happening but the battery in my scale died just after Christmas so it was easy to ignore. 12 POUNDS! And I had 20 to lose before this!

    This morning I signed up for Weight Watchers with coaching, but I also recall the conversation this week about the super fast weight loss techniques some people are using (I realize unhealthy but I’m desperate!) Has anyone done something quick to “stop the bleeding”?

    • Quit drinking. Completely.

      Also accept that there is no such thing as a super fast weight loss technique and just commit to better habits.

      • Yep, cutting booze and other simple carbs will go a long way to stop the bleeding.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yep.

          And more specifically, my husband and I did a Whole 30 challenge in February and it was great. He lost 20 pounds and I lost 7 and we are keeping it off. It’s very restrictive — no alcohol, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, no soy, no grains. But it absolutely re-set our relationship with food (as somebody here said it had done for them — Scarlett, is that you?”). We’re still mostly off the grains, dairy, and sugar.

          My weight had been creeping up for a year or two and I was feeling a little hopeless and the Whole 30 has been a godsend.

        • +1 to this. Dropping all the booze, even for just a week or two, helps jump start things.

      • Dangit. You’re all so right. But WINE! This could be the root of the problem…

    • Super fast weight loss: http://calorielab.com/news/2015/06/12/penn-jillette-diet/

    • WW is really good. Drink only water (no juice, smoothies etc) or wine (because life). Calories you drink don’t fill you up in the same way as solid food. Focus on filling half your plate with fruits and veggies which are zero points. Snack on fruits/veggies and other low points options. I avoid artificial sweeteners even though that is not a requirement of the program because I find it messes with my body and my sense of sweetness.

      I also really like their portion control wine glasses which have a thin line etched at 5,6, and 8 oz (no numbers etc, just three lines) so you can keep track of how much you are drinking.

    • I lost a significant amount of weight with WW last year. Honestly, if you follow the plan strictly, it’s pretty drastic, and you can likely lose weight very quickly in the beginning. After getting started with WW, I tracked calories along with points for a few weeks (to see if my hunger was physical or psychological), and I was averaging about 1200 calories per day. I actually modified my plan a little bit, increased servings of fruits and veggies, and allowed myself a few “cheats” (mostly squares of dark chocolate) that I didn’t count, and I still lost 1-2 lbs per week. So, my advice is to give it a few weeks and see how it goes. You very likely don’t need something more restrictive than WW to “stop the bleeding.”

    • Anonymous :

      Fast weight loss techniques are not necessarily unhealthy. Yeah, drinking only juice and not eating is not going to meet most people’s nutritional needs, but most people realize that. You basically have two options – calorie restriction or keto/low carb. Most diets are some variation of calorie restriction, you eat healthily, yadda yadda, even if you’re not counting. If you are counting, don’t go below net 1200 calories a day. Keto is noted for fast weight loss. I’ve never tried it because I’m a vegetarian, but that will probably get you results more quickly.

      There’s nothing wrong with dieting to lose weight and then switching from your more strict diet to a healthy lifestyle (obviously, you know this, you don’t yoyo back to your previous eating pattern). You’re not more likely to gain it all back and it’s not bad for you.

  37. SF in House :

    Need to share my score somewhere! I went consignment store shopping with a friend and found brand new, unworn snake print Manolos for $130!

  38. We’re hosting a Memorial Day picnic at our house next weekend and keeping it simple with hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats. I need some ideas for side dishes that aren’t the usual potato salad/baked beans/cold pasta salad. I’m thinking a fruit salad, some kind of dip, and dessert for sure, but would like to have other options, too.

    • Caprese salad and grilled corn.

      • Anonymous :

        Costco has the mini mozzarella balls, just toss those with some halved cherry tomatoes. And it’s already seasoned (the mozzarella comes in a seasoned oil). Delicious!

    • Grilled asparagus. Salad with sugar snap peas, radishes, and maybe cucumbers. Salad with a whole-grain base like farro. Salad with a legume base–anything from butter beans to chickpeas to black beans.

    • Anon in NYC :

      This is delicious. https://smittenkitchen.com/2011/05/ribboned-asparagus-salad-with-lemon/

    • A colorful bean salad would be a nice, light addition. Or maybe a Mediterranean farro salad

      There is a watermelon, cilantro, feta salad that make for parties like this too.

      There’s no one recipe I use. I tend to improvise based on what I have in the pantry or whatever first hit I get on Google while I am at the grocery store.

      • Yep, three bean salad — three kinds of canned beans, chopped green pepper and red onion (maybe some cherry tomatos, too), mixed with olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro.

        Bobby Flay also has a orzo + feta salad that is a great twist on pasta salad. He adds grilled shrimp but you can easily leave out.

    • I’ve been making bacon ranch dip lately for casual events. Super easy and people go completely nuts for it.

    • I’d go with a nice israeli salad – tomatoes, feta, cucumber, red onion, lots of parsley with oil/vinegar/salt/pepper and sumac if you have it handy. I eat TONS of that every summer, and it goes great with grilled meats.

    • Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook has a great cauliflower spinach orzo salad that works hot or cold. It’s google-able.

  39. About three years ago, I moved away from a major US city that people commonly visit for vacation to a rural region that no one would ever go to unless they had someone to visit. Since then I’ve gone back to the major city several times and my best friend has never come to visit me, and I’m just feeling kind of blue about it. Granted, my visits were all for major life milestones (BFF’s wedding and baby shower, and another good friend’s wedding) but those milestones are not applicable for me (I’ve been married a long time and not planning to have kids). I’m just feeling sad thinking about how excited my BFF was to show me her new house on my most recent visit for her baby shower and that I’ll probably never get to be the one showing off my beautiful house and new life. It feels objectively reasonable that she didn’t fly to visit me in the first three years since we were reuniting so much in her city and of course I don’t expect her to travel with a new baby/young kid (and she wants lots of kids, so the period when she can’t reasonably be expected to travel is likely to last for a long time), but at the same time it also feels unfair and one-sided. I’ll be going back in about six months to meet her kid, and I can’t help but think “four visits to zero.” I know I shouldn’t be keeping score like that, but it’s bumming me out.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you explicitly invited her to come and visit you? Or have you just been waiting for her to bring it up?

      • I’ve definitely invited her. If anything I think I’m on the opposite end and probably being too pushy about asking her to visit. For most of the first three years she said she really wanted to visit and see my house, etc. and she would try to come before she had kids…and now she’s very pregnant and I feel like I can’t pressure a new mom – or any kind of mom with a baby – to travel anywhere.
        We actually discussed planning a girls trip with a couple other friends (all in her city) last year and I floated the idea of them visiting me instead (my town is boring, but it’s driving distance to a cool city, so it was like ‘you guys could fly here, spend a night at my place and then a long weekend in the city’). But that trip fell through.

    • Anonymous :

      I would explicitly invite her but don’t be surprised if she doesn’t come. I’m assuming that you lived in the same location and you left. In that situation I don’t think it’s fair comparison to say 4 visits to zero. If she has little kids she probably doesn’t have very much if any extra vacation time. Hoarding vacation days to deal with kids being too sick to go to daycare is pretty common for working parents. Plus, traveling with young kids is exhausting and expensive. I wouldn’t do it for a location I didn’t love.

      My sister moved to a city that I really don’t like. I visited once after the birth of each of her kids. I will probably visit once every 5 years or so. It costs minimum $5000 per trip between flights, car rental and accommodations/meals. She comes ‘home’ every year. I think she views it as unfair but she chose to leave and I don’t feel obliged to burn my vacation time visiting a city I dislike. My Dad feels the same way so Mom often goes to visit on her own.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        Oof, that’s brutal. You’re not burning vacation time visiting a city you dislike; you are using vacation time to see your sister and her kids.

      • God, I can’t think of where would cost $5,000 to visit. I’ve done many week-long nice international trips for that amount.

    • anon a mouse :

      If she’s really your bestie, I think you should tell her that it’s bumming you out that she hasn’t come to visit you. She may not be thinking of your visits the same way — that she gets to see you x times a year, rather than you are traveling all of those times. Plant the seed. Not in a guilt-inducing way but in a way that makes it clear that you would like her to come visit so you can show her your life there. It may take her many months to be able to plan for such a visit, especially if she has small kids.

      But I also think that you should be prepared that even if she comes to see you, your visits will probably be lopsided for a long time. I’m sorry.

    • Several months ago I got blasted as a terrible friend on here for saying that my friend who moved to a midsize Southern city doesn’t get visitors because no one wants to go to her city.

      It’s not the only reason, and we all had the best of intentions when she moved. I have visited her exactly once. She has come back to our city (SF) a number of times.

      I’m not saying it’s fair or right, but it’s just how it works out. It’s a choice you made, moving away from the city and your friends, and you should not be surprised that you are the one who has to put in the effort to see them.

      I’m much more likely to see friends who have moved to other large cities (NYC, Chicago, DC) because I end up there on business and two birds with one stone. Friends who have moved to more out of the way locations – rural Vermont, the friend in the south – I just don’t see as often.

      Blast away, I’m a terrible friend, but that’s just how it ends up working out.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Is your BFF going to have a maternity leave? If so, why don’t you invite her to come to your house for a few days? Offer to take care of her, hold the baby. I did that a little during my maternity leave and loved every minute of it – once you cope with the travel, it’s wonderful to be in a new place with new people to coo over your baby. Even better if you take off some vacation time so your friend isn’t left alone.

    • Meh. This born-East Coaster lived in St Louis for a time and it was the same for me. Your friends are being logical and rational, so I’d just get over it and enjoy your great cost of living. Make friends in your city and get a dog if you need to.

  40. I’m sorry it’s working out like that, and it is objectively unfair. As an introvert and very much a homebody (with a husband and young children), I HATE spending my weekends visiting anyone other than family, with my immediate family. I went to my BFF’s bachelorette party recently and I was dreading it, and was so glad when it was over. That probably makes me not a great friend, but it is the truth and how I feel. It’s trite, but there are seasons in life, and your friend is in an intense I-have-responsibilities-at-home season (plus a disposible-income-and-time are limited season). Can you think of other ways to connect in the meantime? Snail mail greeting cards, voxer, some inside joke that you can keep running in a text message?

  41. I’m sorry it’s working out like that, and it is objectively unfair. As an introvert and very much a homebody (with a husband and young children), I HATE spending my weekends visiting anyone other than family, with my immediate family. I went to my BFF’s bachelor e t t e party recently and I was dreading it, and was so glad when it was over. That probably makes me not a great friend, but it is the truth and how I feel. It’s trite, but there are seasons in life, and your friend is in an intense I-have-responsibilities-at-home season (plus a disposible-income-and-time are limited season). Can you think of other ways to connect in the meantime? Snail mail greeting cards, voxer, some inside joke that you can keep running in a text message?

    (sorry if this double posts — in moderation for e t t e)

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