Thursday’s Workwear Report: Pintucked Waist Ponte Fit & Flare Dress

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

We’ve featured this dress before, and it keeps coming back — and now it has 80 positive reviews at Nordstrom! It’s a great dress if you’re a fit-and-flare kind of girl — I like the details on the shoulder and the pintuck pleats at the waist. (They’re a bit easier to see online in the coral and pink versions.) The washing instructions say to dry clean, but it’s not labeled dry clean only, so you may be able to safely avoid that. The dress is available in sizes 4-16, but note that it runs small. It’s $98 at Nordstrom. Eliza J Pintucked Waist Seamed Ponte Knit Fit & Flare Dress

Here’s a plus-size option at Nordstrom from Ellen Tracy.

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

(L-all)

Comments

  1. Oil for wild grey hair? :

    I’m really struggling with my wild, ageing hair. I used to have straight brown hair. Now it’s def salt and pepper … the greys are pretty but so wild! The cold, dry air of winter seems to be making it worse. Am I right in thinking some kind of oil applied after washing/blow drying is the way to go? As it is, I just blow dry enough for it to not be dripping in the morning. Then, at the office, I pin both sides back with bobby pins just to contain it. I don’t have enough hair to do a pony or bun or updo.

    Specific brands and how to use greatly appreciated. TIA!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have ombre-dyed curly hair and have this issue with both my flyways and my bleached ends. I use something called OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Weightless Healing Oil and a few spritzes on semi-dry hair is really helpful. It is completely dry and not greasy or heavy at all.

    • I have thick sometimes coarse hair with a few grays, and I really like the Bumble & Bumble hairdressers invisible oil primer, which I spray on wet hair, and then the hairdressers invisible oil, which I put on 80% dry hair, finish blow drying, and then kind of give a final swipe of whatever small amount is left on my hands. My hair is so soft and shiny. You can get travel sizes at Sephora to try them out. I also use a straightener on a few particularly unruly patches of hair (but this requires it to be more dry than “not dripping”, so you may need to spend a couple of minutes drying your hair more).

    • Anonymous :

      You might like Ouai wave spray. For the first time ever, I’m so happy I have naturally wavy hair.

    • Anonymous :

      You need to use some sort of humectant (so deep conditioners and leave-in conditioners) and THEN an oil. The humectant will draw moisture into the hair shaft, the oil then coats the hair shaft so that moisture doesn’t escape.

      • Any ideas on brands for the humectant. I alternate between drugstore brand shampoos and rinse out conditioners – Loreal, Pantene – and none of the “smoothing” ones do a darned thing.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve been happy with the Suave Moroccan Infusion Deep Conditioning Shine Mask. It’s also a rinse out. I use it as a replacement for my normal conditioner a couple of days a week. Sometimes I put normal argan/Moroccan oil over it if I’m going to blowdry.

          Looks like it may not be available anymore though? I purchased it a couple of years ago but haven’t gotten through the tube yet.

        • I really liked nexxus humectress.

          I also use a primer in my hair that speeds up the drying process, so I require less time subjecting my hair to heat.

        • I buy glycerin on Amazon and dilute it with water in a spray bottle (1:3 ratio). After I take a shower and air dry for about 30 seconds to a minute, I spray that solution all over my body and hair. After about another 30 seconds, I rub coconut oil on. This works very well for me. While I don’t have gray hair, I do have pretty wild (often frizzy) curly hair. The combination of a humectant and then oil has really keep my skin soft and moisturized through this windy DC weather.

      • AnonMidwest :

        My highlighted and somewhat grey hair really likes the Argan Oil based conditioners, I don’t need to leave them in a super long time, just long enough to shave legs, etc. and my hair is far far less frizzy.

    • numbersmouse :

      I think the issue is that you’re trying to keep your straight hair routine when your hair is actually becoming drier. Oil would help (I like Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, but it’s expensive so google for dupes), but you might also want to use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner if you don’t already. The advantage with those is that they won’t dry your greys out, but also won’t make the rest of your hair greasy like oil can. L’Oreal makes a good affordable line–I believe it’s called Everpure, Everclear and similar names. I use them when I run out of my expensive shampoo and can’t afford to restock. :)

    • I think in addition to product you have to dry your hair enough to smooth the grays. I have the same issue. I have to dry my hair while brushing it to make the grays behave the same as the rest of my hair. Drying it just until not dripping and then relying on bobby pins would never work for my grays!!

    • Keratin keratin keratin :

      I get keratin treatments around the crown of my head (where I have a streak) to keep the texture more like the rest of my hair. Not too expensive, every other month (I have a lot of baby hairs, so the regrowth can be a bit wild). And even though I have very oily hair, lots of conditioner and things like Kiehl’s groom with silk.

      I am white and feel like I need something akin to a relaxer (which my friends who do that say do not do on my hair ever) on the grays and a lot of grease to help mold them and weight them down.

    • marketingchic :

      I’m gray at the temples and they stick straight up. I had to laugh the other morning because I realized I now have the bangs of my dreams from 1988.

  2. Anonymous :

    Rogue scientists are giving me life today – just joined twitter so I can follow them all.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Ditto, though I did already have an account I rarely used. Twitter must be loving this boost in Biz. Check out March for Science’s page too.

      • I was reading a bit on the March of Science FB page last night and it was hilarious how everyone was immediately concerned with what kind of hats they can knit to have good visibility like the Women’s March.

        I like it because it feels like people are using the knit hats/colors thing because they want to feel like they belong to a group that’s taking action together.

        • Did you see the brain hat?

          • Anonymous :

            The Brain Hat was awesome! Apparently it’s a complicated pattern though so I think they’ll end up going with asking everyone to wear blue or green hats. A sea of blue/green would look great.

    • This is awesome. Thanks for the tip.

    • List?

      • AltUSNatParkService
        RogueNASA (encourages you to follow the real NASA ones too as those have apparently not been repressed yet)
        AltUSDA
        altUSEPA

        ScienceMarchDC has gone from 300 followers to 156 000 followers in 24 hours. They are picking a date for the March this weekend.

        • Thank you! Following.

        • For an alternative perspective, my sister who is an NPS Park Ranger (as is my BIL), is pretty upset about these accounts. She believes they could do real damage to the employees of the NPS (and other federal agencies). The NPS is already doing more with less and do not have what they truly need. She is very worried about her job (as I am sure many federal employees are).

          Also, I believe that at least one of the accounts has been linked to a London IP. Trying to get the source on that tidbit. Will report back.

          • It wouldn’t surprised me if a couple of them were former colleagues/employees in contact with current ones and tweeting out on their behalf.

          • Anon for this :

            I have similar concerns. I think we have to balance activism with preserving the jobs of those on the sane side. It’s not going to do us any good to have all the reasonable employees fired and replaced with those that support Trump’s view of things.

            My favorite tweet so far though has been the Dept of Defense. I don’t think they meant it to be insulting to Trump and I think it was truly part of suicide awareness stuff but they posted:

            “Social media postings sometimes provide an important window into a person’s #mentalhealth. Know what to look for.”

          • lost academic :

            It wouldn’t surprise me if someone were using IP masking.

        • I see altDOJ, altFBI . . .

    • Hitting him where it hurts! You know our twitter-addicted Commander in Cheeto can’t resist reading those accounts.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I unfollowed the POTUS account I had followed during Obama’s administration. I still check the account to see what stuff he’s posting but I wanted him to have one less follower. You know he stalks those numbers.

        • Follow the account @UnfollowTrump! They repost the contents of all the official @POTUS tweets, so you can keep tabs on what he’s saying without giving him the satisfaction of a follow. They also have an @UnfollowVP account.

    • Also, today DOD’s main account tweeted a profile of a Marine who came to this country as a refugee. It made me so happy!

  3. Anonymous :

    Any good jobs/careers out there for millennials who don’t want to be tied down to an office for set hours everyday? (that’s not programming)

    • AnonLondon :

      If you provide some color on why you’re not interested in programming, that might be helpful? And are you open to set hours or an office, just not both? Or looking for something with neither aspect?

      • Anonymous :

        No set hours. No office. I would love to travel the world and work on a laptop during downtime like you see in the movies.

        I don’t think I would be very good at programming. It requires quite a bit of attention to detail.

        • I don’t think that that’s a thing that people do in real life…

          I do know someone who is a travel writer for various magazines and blogs. They send her to cool places around the world and she writes about them. That said, she’s had to hustle for years to gain enough credibility/experience.

          If traveling is important for you, you could also look into development or humanitarian work. But you need to have a strong commitment to the work, and maybe this is unfair, but it doesn’t sound like you feel strongly about what kind of work you end up doing.

          • Anonymous :

            And being a travel writer is not vacationing for a living. Yes, you get to go to cool places but you spend a lot of time while you’re there working. I have a travel writer friend who was sent to the Maldives, which sounds amazing but she spent 8-10 hours a day being led around on organized things by their tourism folks and then spent her evenings holed up in her room working. She’s big into scuba and didn’t get to go diving once the entire time she was there – in a country that is world-renowned for it’s snorkeling and diving. It’s definitely work and can be very frustrating.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            My friend is a travel writer too and at some point, traveling gets old and you just want to be home in your bed. It’s not all glamorous even though her social media profiles (which her company owns) make it look that way.

          • +1 to Blonde Lawyer. The travel writers, travel PR people and travel agents I know are so braggy on social media (“Waking up on the Amalfi Coast again! #lovemyjob #blessed” etc) but in person, all they do is whine about how they miss their families and their homes and they want to get off the road. Even glamorous travel gets old, and they get worn down like consultants and traveling sales people do.

          • Anonymous :

            Look into development or humanitarian work but don’t go in as in-house counsel; some NGOs seriously limit their in-house travel overseas (speaking from current experience). That said, it can also be difficult to get into development/humanitarian work where you do get to travel if you haven’t traveled a lot already (many have requirements like lived continuously for at least 2 years overseas).

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Something like that would be amazing, but I always think it’s too good to be true.

          The only people I’ve seen do it are bloggers with a serious following and affiliate marketing deals.

        • My good friend is a freelance writer and works from home/could work from anywhere on her laptop. Her husband is a freelance consultant who also works from home, and they travel all the time. My friend got her master’s in publishing. I don’t know that I would recommend freelancing as a guaranteed career for anyone, but it worked out for her so far.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve met professional chefs who get contracts with resorts, cruise ships, and wealthy people and travel that way.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 to cruises – I also know ice skaters, dancers, and marine biologists who have gotten long term work on cruises and that’s a great way to see the world. If you don’t have a specialty like dance, you can apply for a job babysitting kids or working for the cruise director. Most of the customer-facing staff is fairly recently out of high school or college though, so I’m not sure it would be as appealing if you’re in your late 20s or older.

          • But those jobs do have set hours and restrict your movement pretty heavily, which doesn’t sound like the job OP is looking for.

        • Anonymous :

          One of my friends does exactly that. She’s a freelance writer. It was hard to get established and she has no benefits or job security, but lots of adventure.

        • Freelance writer would probably be the closest, although based on the people I know who make a living that way, it requires every bit as much attention to detail as most programming jobs, and you wouldn’t be travelling in a very glamorous style based on the pay, given how pressed the industry is on costs.

        • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          I sure hope this is a troll

        • numbersmouse :

          The key to such arrangements is not only to pick a job you don’t need an office for, but also to have a marketable skill that makes you indispensable to your client. A good graphic designer, for instance, will have a solid client base, and since their job is entirely doable remotely, they can be a “digital nomad”. That is also why programmers can do that. What are you good at? If it’s writing, for instance, you’ll need to hustle hard because, believe me, there are millions of people with the same goal as you.

          The other possibility is to pick a profession where travel is part of the job, but those are usually highly-specialised fields. Like someone said below, environmental scientist. Or archaeologist. But those jobs will usually involve traveling repeatedly to the same countries or regions, not traveling the world per se.

        • anonshmanon :

          idk, I always assumed that thing exists only in those movies. Like wizards and stuff.

        • I think your best bet will be to marry rich. Nobody is going to pay you to be on vacation all the time.

        • Your third sentence made me laugh out loud. Growing up, I wanted to be an engineer because I wanted to build things, travel the world, and work on a laptop, and that is precisely what I saw my engineer father doing. Today, I certainly build things and work on a laptop, but have yet to travel on my company’s dime — although plenty of coworkers and peers at other companies have.

        • lost academic :

          I see people who do that but they don’t start that way – they establish themselves and their skills and hone everything and work into a position where they can then take the show on the road, so to speak. Contract work is a good ‘in’ for that but you need to build your relationships and reputation before you can expect to be financially independent at that game.

        • My brother (recent uni grad) got a sweet job as a systems admin/programmer for a not for profit that allows him a ton of flexibility. He has a computing science degree and wants to find ways of using apps and other technology in the mental health field to make people’s lives better. And he scored just that with his first job. I give a lot of kudos to his boss for taking a chance and hiring him, as well as giving him all the flexibility he has so my brother can really run with it. So far he’s been very successful.

    • Millenial here. The reality is that you need to start applying to whatever job you are qualified for and build some experience. Most jobs give you vacation days and you can combine these with weekends and holiday weekends to take some pretty awesome trips. Sure it won’t be endless weeks of wanderlust, but my hunch is that there’s a chance that will lose it’s appeal at some point as well.

      In the meantime, you’ll have to side hustle like crazy to build a freelance business and the corresponding savings account that will allow you to travel as you want and do what you please.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Also a snake person, but on the upper end of it. You know what gives you the most freedom to pursue a life you want? Money. Sorry if that’s not the answer you want, but the truth is that financial security is far more effective in getting you to far off destinations than any kind of flexible job.

        There are jobs that are less flexible and more demanding, of course; from just reading here, I’ve learned that most lawyers have little free time and are sometimes unable to even use their vacation days. But on the other hand, a friend of mine works for a firm with international clients, and just got sent to Germany for four months. She’s spending every weekend traveling Europe.

        Approach jobs with Maslow’s pyramid in mind. First, make sure you can support yourself. Put a roof over your head and food in your fridge. This usually comes from the skills and experience you already have. Then start thinking about jobs that provide freedom.

        • +1! I negotiated my pay at a new job to make the same money for 1/2 the work…win. Now I can work half the week and have 5 days weekends. But I worked me tail off for 10 years before I got to this point. That’s what’s wrong with millenials (and I am one)…you have to work really hard before you get a break…you are owed nothing. Gosh I’m annoyed by this questions.

          • No one is asking for things for free. We just want a better work structure.

            For example, I work in accounting in a different building than my boss. I don’t need to see my boss in person to get the work done but she still believes that I should work in the designated office at from 8 to 6 everyday. I see my team sometimes every other week for a few hours.

            With this kind of work, why shouldn’t I be able to work at home or work in a different country, travelling if I chose to?

          • I mean, so does everybody. We’d all like to be able to work how we want, when we want. This is not a new idea you have.

          • Anonymous…I do accounting too (i am person that said I negotiated for 1/2 time above). If you’re marketable then you find a new job that allows you to work remotely. Done deal.

        • “You know what gives you the most freedom to pursue a life you want? Money.”

          Yeah … this. Get a job, any job, and save like hell. Gain experience. In time, the experience and the money will open up more options for you to build a life with the freedom you want.

          This is my strategy anyway. It hasn’t paid off yet (in that I currently have a 9-5 desk job, which I don’t love) but I believe that it will.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Amen to this. Keep your overhead low and build your nest egg.

          • +1! We live in a cheap house, drive old vehicles, and save $100k a year. Money is FREEDOM!!!!

      • Another older-end millennial here (I’m 32); here’s how I’ve accomplished what you want to get to:

        My first job out of college, I was a project manager for a software company. It was competitive to even get hired, and it was somewhat intense – typically 55-60 hours/week, including set hours in the office as well as playing catch-up on nights and weekends.

        I stayed at that job for four years, and then quit and spent ten months doing a round-the-world trip. (Weeee!!)

        When I got back, I transitioned to taking on consulting gigs which I got due to my previous experience at that software company. These were more flexible – typically 6-8 month gigs that required I travel on-site to the customer 4 days per week. I traveled between gigs and also had a lot of fun 3-day weekends in the US because I didn’t work Fridays and was always traveling anyway.

        After a few years of that, I worked myself into a fairly niche consulting area. I’m still doing consulting gigs but I can do them 80% remotely and only go on site with clients a few times over the course of the project.

        So, I think that’s about as close as you’ll get to what you’re describing. It has taken a lot of hard work and strategizing to get here. Also, as appealing as it would be, I cannot just bum around the world and work a few hours a day on a laptop. I have tried it, and between time differences, a need for very reliable internet, and a need to intensely focus on my work, it is not that fun. (I spent two weeks working from an AirBnB in Hawaii, and pretty much spent the whole time wishing I were out having fun with my friends, or wishing my friends would leave the house so I could work, or being frustrated by slow internet, etc etc)

        It is also not as glamorous as it sounds. Sometimes I miss the human interaction of going to an office every day and getting to see people, and having work friends. Even when I’m on-site, I’m The Consultant and not someone anyone actually knows.

        This wound up being really long, but to sum up: it’s doable, it’s not always as great as it might sound in theory, and it requires a lot of hard work to maneuver into a position where it’s possible.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the best option if you really want to travel the world is finding a flexible well-paying job with a lot of vacation days. I have five weeks of vacation a year plus a bunch of holidays, and I travel just about as much as I want (and I really like to travel). Sure if I were freelance, I could work from anywhere, but I wouldn’t have the money to travel and I certainly wouldn’t have the money to travel to more expensive destinations. The people I know who have done the freelance thing (including some of the top travel bl0ggers) typically do a lot of backpacking in Southeast Asia and Central America. No disrespect to those destinations, but there’s a lot of the world that requires a lot more money to see.

      • +1

      • What kind of job gives you 5 weeks? Life goals…

        • I get almost 5 weeks (24 days PTO, and you can’t carry it over). We are encouraged to take our days.

          In-house attorney.

        • Non-academic staff for a university. I think even for a university five weeks right off the bat is generous but many universities give four weeks, and more once you’ve been there a while. It’s a dream job in many ways, not just the benefits, but the benefits are amazing. :)

          • I work for a public university in administration. We get only two weeks off and are not encouraged to use it. We do get 9 national holidays. The people I work with do work at home on these holidays.

        • Big 4 accounting. You earn 2 days per month. And 2 weeks off at Christmas that isn’t part of those vacation days (i.e., they’re “free” vacation days).

          • Wait, so you have SEVEN weeks? That’s amazing.

          • Yeah, but they work like a 100 hours a week. Not necessarily worth it.

          • Ha ha….NOT worth it…been there, done that. How many weeks did you actually take is the question?!? It doesn’t matter how much vacation you have if no one lets you actually take it.

          • baseballfan :

            True story. (I suspect we work for the same firm).

            Speaking for myself, I don’t work 100 hours a week, or even half that some weeks. (SOME).

            And I’m in my 40s and have taken every hour of vacation I’ve ever earned in my career. I’ve never seen a situation where someone wasn’t allowed to take their vacation; in fact there is pressure to take it (Much of this is driven by not wanting everyone to be out at the exact same time of the year). Now, there are people who don’t take their vacation and they brag about it as if it’s a badge of honor – but that’s on them. To me, vacation is part of my compensation and not to be squandered.

          • I’m the anon who posted. I work exactly 40 hours per week as an attorney. Now, I’ll admit my pay is less than fabulous, but work-life has maximum balance ha. And like baseballfan mentioned, they practically shove you out the door to take your vacation.

        • Fortune 500 company – I get five weeks PTO and can roll up to 12 weeks over. I’m in corporate, but it extends to company wide to field/on site employees also.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Government here. I get five weeks and the culture is “use it or lose it.” Also 10 or so holidays per year. Granted, I’ve got a decent amount of seniority but jobs with a good amount of vacation are out there.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Also in-house, also 5 weeks.

        • Giant software company here. I get six weeks PTO plus 10 paid holidays, so that’s 8 full weeks that I am being paid to not get to work. Sick time has to come out of that too, but so far I haven’t needed all that much of it.

    • Environmental scientist! Some do field work and travel all over. You need specialized education though. Also some types of engineers.

      • I’m an environmental scientist. I used to work for a provincial transmission utility in Canada. I travelled all over the province. One day I might be up north and the next day I might be down south with a plane ride in between. I worked remotely all the time and fit my screen time around meetings and travel and field studies. It was the best job ever and I’d still be there if it was permanent.

    • Academia. No set hours at all, beyond a few hours of teaching a week, and you can travel all over the world for conferences on someone else’s dime. In the summer, you can work from wherever you want. It does require attention to detail, but I think most careers (including freelance writer) do too. Maybe primary or secondary school teacher? You’d have less flexibility than a college prof during the academic year, but at least you’d have summers off to do whatever you want.

      • Are you being sarcastic? 50-60 hour workweeks are common for grad students and professors alike. In theory it’s true that you have “no set hours,” but it is essential to come up with your own schedule and stick to it, otherwise your work time and personal time bleed together, and even when you’re not working it can be difficult to “switch off”–which is essential when you’re engaged in heavily intellectual work. It’s true that conferences are held around the world, but academics are limited to conferences that are relevant to them and for which they can find funding. Most institutions have a limited amount of funding available to faculty each year for conference attendance (sometimes it’s as low as a few hundred dollars), and faculty are responsible for making up the difference out of pocket or with grants. If you’re in the hard sciences, you’re often tied to your lab and can’t travel much at all while in the middle of a project. Even if you’re in the humanities, the travel you do for work will likely be limited to archival visits–and the need to travel to archives is decreasing due to widespread digitization.
        By the way, anyone who is in the teaching profession hates when others claim that teachers “have summers off,” because it demonstrates gross ignorance of how the teaching life actually works. For many teachers, summer is when they get the most work done, prepping for the next year and attending teaching workshops and covering summer school courses for a little extra money.

        • I have a couple of friends who are professors (tenured mostly) and they work a TON.

        • No, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I know a lot of academics, although mostly in STEM fields so maybe the humanities is different. I didn’t say they don’t work hard – they definitely do – but they also have incredibly flexible hours, in a way that very few other jobs, especially decently-paying jobs, do. Many of my friends are living in the US but grew up in foreign countries and they spend the summers back at home with their families. Yes, they’re working while they’re there, not on a three-month vacation, but at least they’re with their families, which is not an option that an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer has. When you’re a grad student and postdoc, your adviser will sponsor conference travel and after that you get grants. Being a grad student in the lab sciences does involve a lot of being chained to the lab, but once you’re at the postdoc or certainly assistant professor level you’re writing papers and overseeing the big picture, which is easier to do from anywhere. You obviously don’t get to completely choose where you go for conferences, but you do get to travel a lot to places that most Americans would consider fairly glamorous – in the last few years friends have gone to Italy, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and Japan to name just a few cool places. Most of my friends tack on vacations when they go to conferences in desirable locations. My friends who have kids love that they can attend a “parent’s tea” or something like that at their kid’s school at 10 am on Tuesday without burning a vacation day or getting permission from a boss.

          I didn’t say it was an easy profession to get into or stay in, and it certainly involves hard work and attention to detail, but it has a lot of the characteristics OP wants, in terms of flexibility, ability to work remotely and travel.

        • I’m an academic in the humanities. This statement is probably a lot more true for humanities than for STEM, actually, because we don’t have labs to run. My scientist friends do get to travel for conferences, but they have to spend most of their time wherever their lab is.

          As a humanities prof at a research university, yes, I have the freedom to travel a lot. I don’t take as much advantage of it as I used to, because I also have young kids and my partner does not have an equally flexible job, so we can’t do the “go to Europe for the summer” thing. 90% of my travel is either to my research location (which is cool, but it’s not really “travel” at this point because I’ve spent years there), or to visit family who live internationally (again, in a lovely location, but not really “travel”).

          The broader issue is whether getting a tenure-track job in the humanities is a reasonable professional goal, and the answer to that is almost universally no. There are exceptions for people with very specific interests who are also very smart. But it’s not a job you can just decide to get.

      • I work at a university. Several of the professors work very few hours and travel for summer programs. It’s the life for a few.

        • AnonForThis :

          It’s also a dying life. Tenure is going the way of the dodo; only a few stars at R-1 or top-tier liberal arts schools will lead this life in 10 – 20 years, I’m convinced. Not a realistic aspiration. Career academic here.

    • Like you, I’m also searching (casually) for a flexible job – opposite of the “desk-sitting” administrative one I have now. I’ve used flexjobs.com for a few months – it’s around $10 per month and curates a decent range of jobs. I also include the terms “remote”, “virtual”, and “telecommute” along with fields that interest me in searches on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, etc. Most of these jobs are in IT or sales, but there are some rare companies that embrace remote work. I don’t hate an office environment, I just do much better work in my own “zone”. I need sunlight, an open window, and complete silence. I’ll find it one day!

    • I think one of the posters above hit the nail on the head — what provides freedom? Money. That’s just the reality of the world. There’s a reason the life you’re envisioning only exists in the movies — bc it isn’t financially sustainable in reality to travel to nice places, stay in nice flats, and work for a few hrs during your “downtime.” By your post, I can tell you don’t want to be living in hostels sharing bathrooms, but rather want to be sipping tea in London watching the world go by before heading back to your flat in the city.

      People always say — FREELANCE — but do you realize how many writers are out there and how hard it would be to chase business? You’re writing one article/piece while worrying where the next business would come from. And you need that business to come bc you aren’t getting a paycheck every 2 weeks like in a regular job. I think that stress will put a damper on you seeing the world . . . . The rare freelance writers/consultants that have this have built up a book of business over YEARS so yeah — they can go to Hawaii for 3 months and work from there.

      For now, why not look at jobs requiring travel? I tend to like that — I like being out of my office, even if it’s just random domestic cities — I like the change of scenery, the added “hecticness” of life on the road etc. How about sales esp. if there’s a sales + implementation piece? A friend got a job at one of the big research database companies — which is trying to expand it’s business internationally. She got staffed (and kind of asked/didn’t shy away from) being staffed on an engagement where the client is a university in South Africa that is switching to/learning that database and bc they’re implementing it in every dept in an entire university and want it to be seamless, they demanded sales/implementation people on site. That means my friend has been in South Africa for about 6 months in the last yr and is LOVING it. She is working 40-50 hrs/wk, but tons of time to hang out at night/weekends, go on adventures etc. And she doesn’t have specialized degrees — liberal arts undergrad; many yrs in sales in the US at a home developer; a liberal arts masters and then she got this job upon graduation from that.

      • Anonymous for this :

        Yes and no. I have a sort of unicorn job at a large, nationally-known non-profit where I get to work remotely (albeit at mostly traditional hours), travel for conferences, get 5 weeks paid vacation every year, 12 sick days, and 3 personal days. I’m a lawyer in a job that’s part law/part policy/part business strategy. I don’t make what I did at my firm, but I make about $130K a year and don’t tend to work more than 40 hours a week. I don’t think money has given me the freedom to have the lifestyle I want so much as finding a job that has a good work/life culture.

        • MollySolverson :

          This sounds amazing. Can you share how you found this job? I’m looking to transition from private firm (back) to public interest law.

        • Um, yes. Please tell us your entire career history. I’m at a firm having worked in the public sector previously and you just described my dream.

    • I saw this advice on another s!te: Get a work visa for another country. Go there and get a job waiting tables or teaching English or something and save up enough until you can travel to the next country. You only need the cost of the plane tickets, visas, and first month’s rent for an apartment.

      I have no idea how someone who lives that lifestyle saves for retirement or medical problems. You would have to live a very minimalist lifestyle. Also I think you’d have to do a lot of research on work visa eligibility.

      To be honest, such a lifestyle does have a little bit of appeal to it. If I were in my twenties, I might consider it. But I’m in my thirties, with a husband, a house, and a kid, so I work at my desk job and we take an international vacation every year.

      • Yes, true. The people I know who have done this don’t have enough money to visit family for holidays or other events and have to “crash” on people’s couches when they are in town for 20 hours. Some of them have trust funds and use the time to “experience” life… i.e. consume a great deal of drugs in foreign countries. I used to be jealous of the travel, but if I’m being honest, it gets really old when someone is pushing 30 and has no plan for what they want to do. They are all men and complain about the loneliness. I imagine it will be hard for them to ‘re-enter’ our world. After all, what would go on their resume? They have no insurance, no credit to their names, and absolutely no savings much less retirement. I saw one recently and he could hardly contain his disdain for my “ordinary” vacations. I just rolled my eyes.

        I come from family that lived a very simple life, and spent my summers living with grandparents, so I get the appeal. But there is a difference between living a simple life and being a nomad because “everyone else works like cattle.” I am glad I can afford a medical emergency and glad that I can travel to see my newborn nephew. I am glad that I have a healthy retirement fund and that my family knows how to reach me at all times. I am glad that I spend my free time with my loved ones, soaking up every moment with them, rather than finding a new set of strangers every two weeks that happen to speak English that I can’t keep in touch with because I don’t have a phone or laptop. Everyone chooses the right path for them, and this may be for you, but for me it isn’t as glamorous as it seems. To me, the happy medium is a better work-life balance where I can take vacations and still not live in fear that appendicitis would kill me.

      • Many countries, especially in Europe, make it difficult for US citizens to obtain work visas, mainly because the US makes it difficult for their citizens to obtain work visas here. A few, like Australia, offer working holiday visas, but there are restrictions on your age (currently 30 is max), how long you can stay in a particular location, what sort of work you can obtain. It might be easier to find work visas for Latin American or African countries, but I’m not sure.

    • Not really any good jobs like this, for a recent college graduate.

      You could work your butt off for the next 10-12 years to become a doctor. Then you do locum tenens (a way of picking up part time work, traveling around the country, working as a doctor where you are needed). You get paid a lot, sometimes for a short time of working. Then you could take off whatever time you want… but not more then 3 months at a chunk or locum will start refusing to pay for your malpractice insurance. Or you could be an ER doctor that works a week of night shifts, then takes off the rest of the month. And you could make ok money, but not great since it is part time.

      You could be a teacher, with summers off, several generous vacations during the year and holidays. But you will not have day to day job flexibility, salary will be low to start but often great benefits.

      Are you a talented writer? Then there are many freelance writing opportunities, but very hard to get since many, many experienced writers who are between jobs are competing with you, as well as many folks working part time by choice and have more experience.

      You could train in medical coding/medical insurance claim processing whatever that stuff is. I’ve known several folks who work from home 100% of the time.

      You could marry rich. Fast. But that could end anytime. And you might have to travel on his schedule.

    • I also want a job where I don’t have to be tied down, and can travel to exotic locales and call it work, and not be detail oriented and not have to put in the time or effort to build a career but just have it handed to me instantly!!! That sounds great!

      If you find it, please let me know if there’s another opening for me, because in my 30 years of working I’ve never found such a thing.

    • You could try enlisting in the Army. Erratic hours. But you can see the world.

      • Right. From bases located 1000s of miles from civilization and/or from the window of a tank.

        Much respect to our armed forces, but they really need to stop selling 18 yr olds on the idea that if they enlist they’ll see the world. Sure they may be located all over the world — but for every 1 person I’ve known who got a coveted tour in Germany, I know at least 3 whose only experience outside the country was in Iraq/Afghanistan or they didn’t leave the country at all and rather spent their time in the desert of New Mexico.

      • I think it was meant as a joke.

        No way is someone who doesn’t really want to work a real schedule going to get through basic. And a lot of my military friends actually drive . . . desks and face a computer all day long (and then have to do PT). Some are electricians. Some are on a ship for weeks or months at a time. One is a dentist. It totally varies.

        • anon anon armani :

          Thank your friends for me. Regardless of their “duty” and daily activities, they’re ensure my freedom of speech, liberty, and safety. They are The Brave. Thanks to them, from an Army Brat who lived in difficult postings in times of significant foreign wars and as a part of a religious minority there/in country. I have a totally different world view, philosophies, and perspectives than my sister who was not born at that time. Be all you can be. Be part of the American Military. Thanks to all who make that choice…and their families who make sacrifices as well.

        • Anonymous :

          I joined the military to see the world and was stationed in…. Georgia. The state, not the country. I did see a lot of the US in training though. And eventually got an assignment in England and traveled all over Europe in my ample time off. My sister has traveled all over Asia while stationed in Korea. Military is a great job for young single people. It gets hard when you’re leaving your family for deployments or forcing your kids to change schools constantly…Large part of why I got out. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, and it was a much more reliable path to a great career than college is, these days. I had a desk job, but was deployed several times (to relatively safe areas) and all that translates well to the private sector.

    • Sure, I have many friends who have lives like this- but it isn’t easy! Many jobs in the production side of the entertainment industry will have you traveling all over the world. My friends’ jobs range from crew positions, like DPs, gaffers, camera dept, or producers. You will need to be based out of NY or LA, start at the bottom and be willing to work grueling hours for low pay. Travel is the major upside, but of course, job instability is a major downside.

    • Rory? Is that you??

    • Annony Mousse :

      I know some translators who travel a lot. Or rather, they will move somewhere, like Hawaii or Australia for 6 months, and continue to work while they are there.

      This does mean you’d have to know two languages very well, though.

    • They say if you love your job, you don’t spend a day working.

      Whether that is really true or not is entirely up to your perception. If you know that working in an office isn’t for you, then get out of the office. If you want to work outside, there’s labor. There’s tourism. There’s consulting. Consulting can literally be anything you want it to be.

      You could start your own business. Set your own hours. Or maybe do the office 9-5 thing for a while and really pinpoint what isn’t working for you on it, while you’re saving money and paying down your debts, and then go find work that is meaningful and important to you.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Sales. I think it usually has a pretty bad reputation, but it can be a great way to get some excellent experience and develop your business acumen. Many sales people work out of their home, travel to clients all over the place, and might be just what you’re looking for. I think it’s pretty easy to get an entry level sales position in many industries, and might be worth a shot. It’s detail-oriented, but not in the sense that programming is– it’s more about people, and listening skills, IMO.

      (I’m not in sales, but I’ve worked with salespeople [in software], and the good ones are rare!)

    • Most milenials I know just do NOT want to work that hard. Mason was like that. If you want to work hard, there are places for you. But my experience with Milenials is negative. FOOEY!

    • “jobs/careers out there for millennials who don’t want to be tied down to an office for set hours everyday”

      Uber/Lyft/other app-based work-when-you-want-to jobs
      independent sex worker

      Actually my job in IT (which you’ve stated no interest in) is very flexible – WFH when I want, come and go when I want within reason (still got to be there generally regular-ish office hours for meetings) – but this attitude annoys the hell out of me to no end. It’s ridiculous how unproductive we are due to people with this attitude…. if that’s what you’re looking for, DO NOT get an office job, and be that annoying fucker the rest of us have to pick up the slack for.

      Kisses sugarplum!

  4. Anonymous :

    For those of you who have not watched Zondag met Lubach lampoon Trump, do so asap.
    You can Google it. Then die laughing.

    Obviously, not if you support him!

  5. Sydney Bristow :

    I’m not sure whether this has been posted here, but there was a great article about Obama’s White House mailroom recently. It’s really stuck with me. It’s a long read but well worth reading in my opinion. Link in reply.

    I’m inspired by the impact that words can make. It’s inspiration as I write letters to my senators and representative. My first letter is outlined and I’ve given myself until Saturday to finish writing it and send it. It’s about my health insurance experience. I also have a lot of thoughts for a letter about student loans that I’ll be sending next week.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Here it is: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/magazine/what-americans-wrote-to-obama.html?referer=

    • Anonymous :

      yay! great job!

    • That article is wonderful. Those letters literally brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing!

      • In-House in Houston :

        Thank you for sharing. I knew President Obama was a class-act from day-one. But the fact that he read 10 LAD’s just goes to show that he really cared about the American people. I wish I could say the same about the current president.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I loved the article and was so happy I sent Obama a letter in his last month in office.

  6. Anonymous :

    Reposting here because I was really late to the game yesterday. Please tell me your tales of Queen Bee/frenemy bosses. I’m in an industry full of mostly old white men, but my direct supervisor is a young, pretty woman who’s had a lot of success, and she gives me nice mentoring and pep talks while also actively sabotaging my career growth and confidence. I’m going to have a talk with someone senior at the company and tell them I need an intervention because I can’t get my work done. I’m tempted to tell them that I’m going to quit if it’s not resolved, but I don’t know.

    Any tips and anecdotes appreciated. Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      She will try to take you out as soon as she considers you a threat. The best thing to do is to try to find a male mentor / sponsor (ideally 2) to mentor you that is at a higher level in the org than her. He can go to bat for you if she tries to get you fired.

      You need to build a case to get yourself transferred out of her domain, so she is no longer your manager. You will never rise in the org until you do this.

      • I’ve tried to avoid doing this because I don’t want to go “behind her back,” but I think it’s time. I know who to turn to, as well, and I have a meeting with him on Monday. Maybe I can be explicit about wanting him to be my mentor, too.

        Wish me luck.

        • Don’t ask someone to be your mentor. Just build the relationship, don’t make an ask. It’s weird.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you be more specific about “actively sabotaging my career growth and confidence”? Hard to give tips if it’s not clear what she’s doing.

      Also, not sure why you’re referencing that she’s ‘pretty’.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I don’t want to gaslight but from the OP’s comment alone my initial instinct is to suggest talking to “pretty” supervisor directly about what her issues are if she hasn’t already. Best case, could be a misunderstanding all around. If you just don’t work well with her and you’ll always feel this way under her (no matter what she says), I agree with Elle’s advice below.

        • This is valuable feedback and I’ve hesitated a long time to bring it up with a supervisor because I was worried I was the problem. I shouldn’t have included anything about looks, I included it because there’s a certain Regina George archetype that feels relevant in my own head when I try to figure out what’s going on but is probably not relevant here. It’s hard to describe without going into too much detail, but:
          -I’m being forbidden from attending meetings that I set up and are the learning experiences I need to advance to the role I was hired to be developed into, which I have been told I will be moved into in the next several months. You’ll just have to take my word that this is bizarre and inappropriate in this particular role.
          -Forbidding me from having any internal meetings, even brief ones on my own time, in regards to projects that I’ve been encouraged to pursue by the owners of the company
          -At her request, I created a system that is finally, after putting much time and work into it (and company money, approved by people above her), generating real results I feel good about, but immediately upon figuring it out and seeing results she has unilaterally told me to scrap it and do the same work in a way that has not previously generated results for me and I am uncomfortable with
          -Going back and forth between telling me I’m going to be a great success at the company, and implying that I will fail and be fired
          -Citing metrics that are mathematically impossible (like there are not enough minutes in a day to complete it)

          It’s in her best interest to keep me in the current role for as long as possible, and we went through a reorg so there are power grabs happening all over the place.

          Have tried to address everything directly, and she changes the subject, stonewalls, and then lashes out at me later.

          I’ve agonized over this a great deal.

          • I hate to say it, but if it were me, I’d be looking for a new job, either within your company (under someone else) or a different company. I’ve worked for someone like this and even after moving to a different team she still tried to sabotage me. My new boss totally stood up for me though, so it wasn’t an issue. But I would try to not work for her anymore.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m trying to move to another supervisor, and I was told that will be 5 more months. I’m in a really tough spot right now.

      • Pretty is as pretty does :

        Yep, this was very off-putting. Why does it matter that she’s pretty (other than it obviously bothers you that she’s pretty)?

        • You’ll just have to trust me that it makes sense in my head as part of the overall dynamic and tension, but you’re right that it was irrelevant and off-putting to include in this post.

        • Or that she’s a woman at all. You’re playing right into those retrograde stereotypes about female bosses. There’s nothing about your question we couldn’t have answered just as easily with those details left out.

    • Anonymous :

      Why can’t you get your work done?

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Telling them you’re going to quit if it’s not resolved is only worth saying if (i) you’re actually prepared to quit and (ii) you are pretty confident they are not going to pick her over you. Factors to consider there would be which of you has been there longer and which of you, generally, has a better reputation in the company. If everyone knows this person is a pain, you have a better chance of getting somewhere than if she is the golden girl who can do no wrong. If she is very successful and profitable for the company, you are less likely to make any progress. I think you’re better bet is trying to get out of working for her and moving laterally to work for someone else (assuming that is possible).

    • I’ve had this twice, once it was a woman and once it was a man. In both instances, the person was stuck at a lower level than s/he wanted and took out that frustration on me. The only thing that helped was minimizing their control over my work life and, idk if this makes sense, distancing myself emotionally. They will tell you that your work is great, then turn around and take credit for your work while telling their superiors that the work product you turned in was awful and they had to completely redo it. But the truly hurtful, personal thing is that they make you feel like they’re your BFF. They’ll share personal details about their lives to build a false sense of intimacy with you. They might even flirt with you. It’s all a lie, but protecting yourself from those lies is so, so hard.

      I’ll never forget the call when the client gushed about how awesome my brief was, asked superior if I wrote it, and superior said it was a joint effort. Over beers that night, I asked him why he said that. He told me that it was a fair comment because he had inserted 1 paragraph and made some other minor edits (in a 50+ page brief), but assured me that I was awesome and hey I’ll buy you a shot or three to celebrate. I later found out he told the big partner on the case that even though I was supposed to have written it, what I turned in was awful and he had to completely rewrite it. I ended up moving firms because I was in a niche practice that made it hard to get away from him.

      • This is 100% it. Company experiencing reorgs, she feels shafted and below where she ought to be, she was supposed ot have many more people reporting to her and be in a different role and she got ‘stuck’ managing me so she’s overcompensating and trying to prevent me from moving to another role. Once I move up, the person who will replace me under her will have significantly less experience, so it’s in her best interest to keep me in this role and reliant on her for as long as possible.
        Multiple people have reached out to me and expressed the same conclusion; I know I’m not imagining it. She’s also sharing personal details and being super nice, and then turns around and undercuts. I have a really hard time compartmentalizing and not taking these things personally, and I wish I had an easier time keeping myself from being distracted but it’s just not my strong suit.

        Kind of hurtful to get the negative comments on here telling me I’m imagining it.

        • My advice would be to document as much as possible. Communicate over email whenever you can. Write requests for internal meetings. Write summaries of conversations with her. CC anyone and everyone who makes sense. It may help you cover your a*s if she tries to tell someone else something was your fault.

          Also, start looking for another job. That’s the easiest way to escape this person.

        • I think you are getting comments that are constructive but you’re interpreting them negatively because they’re not what you want to hear.

          You are the one who brought up that your supervisor was female and pretty and called her a mean girl and Regina George. This all sounds fairly sexist and yeah, you’re going to get called out on that.

          There is no need to perpetuate the stereotype that women can’t get along with women in the workplace. You have a bad supervisor. That can happen whether your supervisor is male or female. You’re the one making it gendered. Done be defensive. Read your words. You did that.

          Honestly I think you should leave the company. You’re not happy there, and even if you get promoted in a few months, it sounds extremely political.

          • +1 to all of this. Men play politics and sabotage each other sometimes too.

            Leave the company or change teams.

          • Anonymous :

            Hm, this is exactly why I post here- thank you for this. I thought it was just me and another female colleague she was doing this to, but I spoke to a male colleague and he echoed the exact same thing, that she tears him down too. I think I’m especially insecure since it’s such a male-dominated environment and I’ve already dealt with pretty blatant sexism, so I’m very conscious of being female here, and she also keeps referencing our gender when she talks to me (“You’re lucky you have me, I didn’t have a woman to look up to when I was in your position.”) But you’re right, it does not need to be gendered.

          • Anonymous :

            She also makes passive aggressive comments about my clothes, and got especially nasty with me right after I met her boyfriend for the first time (he was eager to talk to me because we shared an interest that she does not share with him), and also specifically compared me to someone who got fired in part by referencing her looks and how they ‘got her noticed, too’ but it ‘wasn’t enough’ to not get fired. So I don’t know, I get everyone’s points, but I don’t think I’m imagining the gendered thing or how looks/competition plays into it. I don’t have any problem getting along with other women or having female friends. Maybe I should have included this in my OP. Probably too late for anyone to see the clarification.

    • I love my packing cubes. I bought SUPER cheap amazon ones to give it a try… they kinda suck, honestly, but they’re still great. When they fall apart I’m going to upgrade. The reason I like them: if I need to open my suitcase and grab something while I’m at the airport, I don’t have to dig through my undies or whatever. I can grab the pouch that has the thing I need, and boom.

      When I travel with my husband and kid, they’re invaluable for emergency reshuffling, too. With all the accouterments of kid traveling, I’ve found a bag over the weight limit. A quick switch of this packing cube for that, and boom, problem solved.

    • Are you a star performer? Otherwise they’re probably not going to care if you threaten to quit. And you’d better make sure that you’re ready to follow through on that threat if you’re really going to tell anyone that.

  7. Has anyone used packing cubes to fit more clothes into a suitcase? If so any brand recommendations? My husband and I want to take two carry on sized suitcases to travel with us and our baby and I’m trying to figure out how best to make that work.

    • Oh, I love them! I use the eastpack (I think) ones which were pricey, I think Amazon basics has an equivalent. I get a week in a carry on (dresses in the envelope pack, socks undies and bras in a small pouch, and tights and pjs in another small pouch). I like to unpack at my destination and having everything nicely tidy makes it easier to do so.

    • Love mine! Not even sure what brand but I don’t think they’re wildly different. When I used to travel 80% time I kept the small cube bag packed at all times with an extra laptop and phone charging cord; pantyhose; lady supplies; hair dryer – all of the stuff that people tend to forget – and just kept it in my suitcase at all times. I packed an empty large-size packing cube to keep the dirty laundry separate from everything else.

      Now that I don’t travel for work but travel with husband and, everyone gets their own cube I can almost always fit 3 cubes (mine, hubs, and toddler) into a carryon. I also keep a cube with baby stuff (diapers, pacifier, wipes, snacks, toys … ) well stocked and at the top of a backpack for carry on, so I’m not rooting around in a cavernous bag mid-flight to distract a screaming baby.

      They’re fabulous. Totally worth the small investment.

    • I love packing cubes! Just search for them on Amazon and you’ll see which ones are highest rated. I got two sets in different colors so I can keep mine and my husband’s clothes separate. They keep everything organized and you can definitely fit more into a suitcase. Just make sure it doesn’t get too heavy to manage.

      • +1 to different colors for different family members. Also get the ones that have a top that unzips on three sides, so it opens fully. Those are easier to pack/unpack.

        I’m not sure you can get more in a suitcase with the cubes. If you’re the type of person who stuffs small things like socks in random corners, they won’t help. But they are wonderful for keeping everything organized.

    • Constant Reader :

      Love mine. I have Eagle Creek ones that are a thicker material, but I just bought my husband a set of the Eagle Creek compressible cubes that are made out of the Specter material, and they are lighter in weight than mine. I got both sets at the Container Store, but they are widely available.

    • Eagle creek have some that zip and provide some compression. For non-compression, I have a set from eBags. When I travel, I usually throw in a space bag (I think also Eagle Creek — got it in the camping section at EMS) that compresses much more tightly – the clear kind that you can roll up to press the air out of and then flatten back out. I put my dirty laundry in it and then I have extra room to add things I’ve bought or was given to bring back with me.

    • I don’t understand how putting more stuff (the cubes) into a suitcase helps you fit more other stuff in there.

      I traveled 50% for work for four years, a week at a time, and never checked a bag. I used a hard sided roller (Tumi tegra lite Continental carry on) so that I could really compress my stuff. I rolled everything. The key to making it work was not taking more than I needed. I had about 4 basic getups for work, and I tended to pack two for a week. Don’t clutch your pearls. No one notices repeats of basics. My basic getup was a top and skirt combo in either black, gray or navy. Then my third piece – soft jacket or structured cardigan – I would change up based on season, weather and my mood. I packed hosiery and underwear for every day, and one set of sleep/lounge wear. Whatever coat and scarf I planned to wear I wore on the plane. Toiletries were pared down to the minimums and I relied on hotel shampoo and lotion.

      I did not pack workout clothing. When you’re traveling that much days tend to be long and most of us quite honestly do not make it to the gym. It’s annoying to pack bulky gym shoes and never wear them.

      I don’t see how packing cubes would have helped with any of that. It’s really about being disciplined in what you pack.

      My husband and kids are the same now. We travel with rollers only (and my kids’ bags are quite small.) We can go two weeks with carry on only.

    • I use them, but more so for organization than space-saving. Got mine for cheap at TJ Maxx! I will usually pack my pants, skirts, and dresses into one cube, then my tops into another. I will keep the smallest cube in my carryon with a change of clothes in it. I find that this makes it easy to quickly grab an outfit out of my suitcase in the morning and it also makes it so that your clothes aren’t jumbled everywhere when you open your luggage. Another bonus is that you can easily pull out a cube and put it into your purse or carryon if you are over the weight limit.

    • We use Eagle Creek pack-it folders. I find them easier to use than cubes and it’s nice being able to take out all of your items without making a mess.

    • Thanks all!

    • Wildkitten :

      Don’t know if you’re still reading this, but I got a compression sack for travel and it’s so handy for clothes that can be squished. Check the Wirecutter reccs.

  8. Between Two Job Ferns :

    Hive, help! I’ve never had two active job offers at the same time. Which do I choose?

    Job A would be in the legal department of a Fortune 500. My role would be primarily working with contracts but my title would have “counsel” in it. Salary is X. Everyone who I met with has been there for years and they all say that they’re happy. My team, who i liked very much, would include some new parents and a cool boss. I am told there are opportunities to move around within the company after a few years.

    Job B is where I have been temping for the past 6 months. It’s a national, family-owned company. They’re now offering me a full-time role because they know I have an offer from Job A and don’t want to lose me. Salary is X + 14k, but there’s no “counsel” in the title and no possibility of it being added. My team is a cool boss and two other people in my role whom I like a lot. We work well together. There’s not as much room for growth as Job A, however.

    I also plan to have a baby in the next 2 years. I don’t plan to stop working, but I do plan to take maternity leave. Which do I choose?

    • B – a lot of unknowns are already hashed out. They like you. They’re giving you more money. Not much room for growth doesn’t mean no room for growth. Will job A or something similar be there in a few years if B ends up being stagnant? Not in law, so I’m not clear how important that title is. But, I’d pick B.

    • Could (Should) Job B have offered you a permanent position by now? If yes…definitely go with Job A. The circumstances around your temping and not being a permanent employee would factor heavily in my own decision, if this were me.

      • I was hired as temp-to-perm with a strong chance of perm after 3 months. 3 months turned into “lets wait 5 more months and see then.” I’m skeptical but it is more money.

    • You don’t have to disclose, but without knowing X, it’s hard to say if X+ $14k is a lot. If X > $100k, I’d take job A. If X = $30k, that’s a harder decision.

      Are maternity benefits (time, paid/unpaid) and insurance coverage the same at both places? The commute?

    • Is X a sufficient salary for you? Job A sounds like it has greater long-term potential, so I would be leaning that way if the salary was good. I also agree that why Job B waited to give an offer would impact my thinking – it seems like they were willing to string you out at a low salary until they feared you might leave, which (if accurate) doesn’t sound good for long term potential

    • Never too many shoes... :

      If X is a salary that you are happy with, I would definitely go with Job A. Better title and more room to grow also means that the salary has room to increase. The presence of new parents on the team would indicate to me that the environment is one in which you could also function as a parent. The counsel title will also create better opportunities for a lateral move down the road if you wanted.

      • +1 – also a Fortune 500 company is likely to have a more sophisticated view of maternity leave in general than a family owned business.

        • Run from the family business. Run fast. You do not want anything to with family politics, bad or more likely no maternity leave, and you will be the first cut in the case of lay offs. Plus the bad title doesn’t compensate for an extra 14k

          • Devil's Advocate :

            Just ask what the maternity leave policy is. It may be bad or nonexistent, but there’s no reason to assume that if you could just find out. I don’t think it matters if your title says “Counsel” or not, and I think $14K DOES matter. But if the title matters to you, negotiate it. What would it hurt them to add “counsel” to your title? What’s the big deal?

            You could tell Job B, look, I will accept your offer on the following conditions: I want 12 weeks paid maternity leave, and I want to be called ___ ___ Counsel. If you can do those for me, I’ll work for you. And if they don’t, take Job A.

          • “Titles are free”…. best advice I got a long time ago so I negotiate hard for them and usually win.

          • Interesting note about the title. Not currently job searching but will keep that in mind in the future.

            Also, yes, look at healthcare benefits, 401k, and vacation time.

        • Yup. Worked for a large international public company. Then for a mid sized national family owned company. THe bigger public company was way better. More benefits, more structure, more opportunities. I’d go with A if you can manage in the salary. There is a strong possibility that the value of the benefits for job A would balance out, and maybe tip the scales. My advice – never look at salary alone. Which company has a better pension including matching, if applicable? Medical benefits? Vacation policy? CPE policy? Profit sharing? Discount stock purchase?

      • +1. This is exactly what went through me head when I read OP’s post.

    • Is the title of Job B a non-law title? If you plan to leave at some point, I could see having a title that doesn’t evidence you are a lawyer affecting your mobility. I’ll also +1 to Never too many shoes.

    • A. Better title, better growth. You will make up for that 14k with raises in the next few yrs. If the people there have been there for yrs, it’s probably a fine place to work — and young parents suggests that it isn’t the kind of hours that runs young parents away.

      B – eh – I don’t think 14k compensates for a worse title and no growth.

    • In-House in Houston :

      I would pick job B. There’s a lot of value in already knowing and liking the people you work with. I work in a Fortune 100 company and it’s great, but honestly, you’re just another employee ..even in the legal department. Being in a smaller company seems like you’d be treated differently and not just another number. I think that the fact that your title won’t have “counsel” in it isn’t that big of an idea. You’d be doing legal work, right? You could easily explain this if/when you look for work later on down the road. And raises….ha! At my company, depending on your ranking, you get about a 2.5% raise. Just something to think about.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I would go with Job A, especially is Job B is titled “Contracts Manager” or some such title, it’s very hard to go from that to a counsel role. Why won’t Job B give you a counsel title? It’s free and if they really want to keep you that much that they want to pay you 14K you’d think they’d see the value in a better title. I’d also choose Job A because my experience with Fortune 100 and up companies has been much better than family owned, which sounds a bit like nightmare to me. Also in my area of law there is way higher level of sophistication of work at the Fortune 100 and up level than any family owned or privately held company.

  9. This morning I woke up and read the news and I am so distraught I don’t know what to do with myself. Our country’s ideals are literally crumbling before our eyes and I feel powerless. I feel like I have zero in common with ANYONE who voted for Trump. I don’t want to have anything to do with them. I want to run away and join a country where people care about liberal democracy. I feel like I’m in a nightmare that won’t end.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. But, greenpeace is resisting, the Mayor of NYC is resisting, millions of women just marched in resistance, scientists are going rogue. It’s not all bad.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m actually feeling more hopeful. The Women’s Marches had significantly better participation than expected, there is already a March for Science being planned and tons of people are writing their Senators and Representatives for the first time.

      Plus rogue scientists twitter accounts with a sense of humor. Many many more people are engaged and interested in our democracy than in a long time.

      And it will end if we say strong. November 6, 2018 is only 21.5 months away.

      • +1 I quit Facebook in November because I felt like the whole world had lost its mind and got worried that I was the crazy one. Got back on and am so happy to realize there are so many people who share my outrage. I can honestly see trump being impeached very soon. I’m not welcoming president pence either , but I feel like reasonable people are angry and that’s a good sign.

      • Anonymous :

        I hate to say this, but the odds of Democrats taking back Congress in 2018 are insanely small. Dems have way, way more seats to defend than Rs do. We’re going to lose even more ground, I fear.

        • Anonymous :

          Why are they small odds? Boston just had a march where they expected 25 000 and 100 000 plus showed up. People are motivated like I’ve never seen before.

          • Anonymous :

            Because by and large the people are marching in the most Democratic districts, e.g. Boston. All you people marching in Boston or California should move to Ohio or Iowa if you really want to turn things around ;)

          • Hill staffer :

            Yes to Anonymous at 9:56 – so much depends on where you live. For example, Democrats won the popular vote in the Senate, but it doesn’t matter because each state gets 2 senators regardless of population. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/11/10/democrats-won-popular-vote-senate-too/93598998/

            When it comes to the House, gerrymandered districts make it almost impossible nowadays for Democrats to win in many states. The USA Today article above notes that in the House, the total number of votes cast for Republicans was 56.3 million vs 53.2 million for Democrats. Sure, Republicans won the popular vote in the House, but their current majority is not at all commensurate with gap between Americans that support them and those that don’t. (There are currently 240 Republicans and 193 Democrats.)

            Two good articles on gerrymandering:

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/01/this-is-the-best-explanation-of-gerrymandering-you-will-ever-see/?utm_term=.569af8987b05

            https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/us/eric-holder-to-lead-democrats-attack-on-republican-gerrymandering.html?_r=0

          • Hill staffer :

            Ugh, got stuck in moderation, but basically, gerrymandering, and Anonymous at 9:56 is right – it has to do with the geographical distribution of Trump opponents.

          • Right. I get the gerrymandering etc but the choices are give up or fight back and I choose fight back. We may not be successful but we certainly won’t be if we give up in January 2017 for an election in November 2018.

            It’s not like the marches were on the coasts exclusively. Ohio had 10 citites/towns with sister marches and Iowa had 5.

          • Republicans have gerrymandered the h*ll out of Congress. Way more people vote for Democrats every year, but Democrats lose ground because of the way the Republicans have drawn the lines. It’s absolutely outrageous. Between this and the refusal to even vote on Merrick Garland, they have taken this country hostage long before Trump was involved.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Because gerrymandering’s a b*tch (and also leads to absolutely no incentive for the parties to ever compromise on anything, because why compromise if you’re in a totally safe district?). But here in my swing state you better believe I’ll do what I can to help swing the swing districts (state and national level, because especially state level because it will matter for the 2020 redistricting).

          • So what can we do about gerrymandering? Forgive my lack of political sophistication – I understand that the Repubs were in control and redrew the maps, but is there no legal or other process to challenge a nakedly political redrawing of districts?

          • Anon in NYC :

            Anon @ 10:55, legal efforts have had mixed results for overtly political gerrymandering. But there is some headway. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/wisconsin-legislative-map-ruled-illegally-partisan-case-will-go-to-supreme-court/2016/11/21/430d8fdc-b02d-11e6-840f-e3ebab6bcdd3_story.html?utm_term=.ca8cfb11e3b9

          • In 2018, you can organize to win back state-level legislatures. That is the most important thing now. States control redistricting.

      • Anonymous :

        Many people felt similarly in 2008 and 2012.

        And here we are.

        The world is not so dichotomous.

        • I don’t think this works the way you think it does.

        • Marshmallow :

          Yeah, it is not the same thing at all.

        • Anonymous at 9:57 is right– a lot of people have felt this way before. Just because you feel it now doesn’t make your feelings more valid than those who felt it before.

          • They felt it before about imaginary things that were neither promised nor happening.

            We are feeling it now based on actual things that have happened in the last week.

            And who is especially feeling it are the women in developing countries who will be denied AIDS or ZIKA medication because of the US aid cuts. Marie Stopes International estimates 14 women a day will die because of that decision.

        • In 2008 people were afraid Obama would come and take their guns. He didn’t run on that. They were afraid he was a “secret Muslim” who would usher in terrorism/sharia law (???). That’s not based on anything he said. But the fear was there.

          Contrast with… Here we are, with a president who *ran on* the promises to exclude immigrants/refugees based on their religion, and he’s doing it. He *ran on* undermining the ACA. He *promised* to appoint anti-choice judges, and here we are. Etc. etc. etc.

          The things we are scared of are the things he actually has every intention of acting on.

          They’re not parallel.

          • exactly: it’s like scared of imaginary thing candidate never promised to do vs. candidate quickly doing all the scary awful things he promised. In case you’re not clear – Trump is the later.

          • I was just thinking about how we (as a country) elected someone president who bragged that he could shoot someone on a crowded street and not lose support. Remarkable and scary.

        • My family are Muslim American citizens. Don’t you dare say it’s like 2008 or 2012.

          • +1

          • They are citizens. As such, they are afforded the rights and privileges of being here.

            Those here illegally are another matter.

            The distinction lies with legal status and not religious affiliation. I don’t see how
            Trump’s words regarding Muslims hold any weight because religious discrimination is not allowed. He may, however, choose to enforce our laws as to immigration/ refugee procedures.

          • Anonymous :

            “I don’t see how
            Trump’s words regarding Muslims hold any weight because religious discrimination is not allowed.”

            That doesn’t mean he won’t try an executive order that does exactly that and will trap already approved refugees in their present dangerous circumstances while it’s debated in the Courts.

            Sorry that caring about other people is so onerous for you. It’s very unAmerican of you. I’d suggest you become a bit more patriotic and join #resist.

          • Right- my point exactly. “That doesn’t mean he won’t try to…”. This is living in fear of what could be, the imaginary, and not what actually is.

            Actually, I do care about other people and think it would be heartless to turn away refugees who are already here. what on earth do you mean by saying caring for others is unAmerican of me? That sounds like you are painting with a really broad, prejudiced brush.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s not imaginary when there’s a draft executive order which has been leaked with a ban on Muslims PLUS a ban on all refugees for 120 days. Or are you still in the dream world will ‘Trump just said that to get elected, he won’t really try to do it’ because the stuff he said he would do is actually starting to happen.

            Did you miss the post yesterday from the poster who’s law firm pro bono committee who are looking for volunteers to go to the airports if the order comes down when refugees are in the air?

            It’s unAmerican to NOT care for others. Which is exactly what is happening with the repeal of ACA and denying entry to safe/screened refugees (decent healthcare and refugees admittance being hallmark policies of every other western democracy on the planet).

          • Anonymous :

            “Draft executive order which has been leaked”

            Have we learned nothing about how important it is to check the validity of our news sources?

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            His ban of refugees is aimed right at Muslims. He has an exception for minority religions (minority in the country they are escaping) facing persecutions. Since all of the countries listed in the ban are Muslim, he will allow Christians from those countries and not Muslims.

          • Hey Anonymous at 1:38, before you snark back, check out the facts. It was leaked because the man who drafted it the first go around (NSEERS) for the Bush Administration (Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach) accidentally leaked it himself : http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/kris-kobach-homeland-security-plan

            It is very tricky grounds because it IS based on religion, not geography, the classic case being Lebanon, which has a large population of Christians, and yet they were viewed differently from non-Christian Lebanese as well as their neighbors from nearby countries. NSEERS created a lot of uncertainty for refugees already here as well, putting them in a holding pattern where they had no idea if they were complying, despite even best efforts. Then, they would be ‘caught’ with noncompliance and deported back. This is real. We should all join Madeleine Albright and register as Muslim when the time comes.

            After all, the hate comes for us all.

    • Same – I can’t think of anything else, it all just seems too trivial. And even many of my more engaged friends who did attend the march haven’t made an actual phone call to their representatives (pick up the phone people!). I’m not hopeful – I feel like people are getting more and more polarized based on their news sources and friends and this will continue. I’ve been commenting like crazy (and very politely) on conservative friends facebook posts because I feel like people being unwilling to engage in political discussion with the other side lead us to this in part, but the irrationality is driving me insane (“If you don’t believe in ‘America First’ you should leave this country” “Climate change isn’t real” “You’re a puppet”).

      • Anonymous :

        For your friends who marched but haven’t called – maybe they might feel intimidated about calling and actually talking to someone. Women’s March website has an app that let’s you send a postcard to your senator. A phone call in addition is ideal but at least it would be something.

        And thank you for your hard work on engaging reasonably with friends on FB to try and change their minds. You’re doing the hard work on the front line of the resistance. Don’t give up. What you’re doing matters.

        • Thanks! Yeah – I’ve seen the postcard thing and it’s wonderful, and anything that makes activism easier is great, but we need people to inconvenience themselves and go beyond their comfort zones.

      • Yeah how do you even respond to those things? And how is spending $14 billion on a wall “fiscally conservative”? When supposedly there’s no money to fund anything else?

        • There is some Kellyanne Conway levels of evasion going on – I’ve been reading my online conversations to my husband as entertainment because it makes me feel better to laugh about. I’ll reply directly to someone’s question about healthcare, then they’ll claim that because nobody in my immediate family is in the military I clearly don’t respect our military and they will no longer continue this conversation with me. I seriously have no idea how we ended up here.

          • Anonymous :

            Nobody in Trump’s family is in the military either. Ask them why they trust him but won’t even talk to you.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            A friend of mine expressed interest on Facebook about a local post-march event to coordinate reaching out to Congress (literally no mention of a specific issue) and was immediately bombarded by 2 “friends” attacking her about abortion. She hadn’t even said anything.

          • Ahhh this matches my high school classmate who says that you can only be ‘strong’ if you’ve been in the military and everyone else is ‘weak’. Then I had to block him and his army buddy on FB because they kept making inappropriate comments.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          And do people who want a wall realize how much border land in Texas is privately owned? How much are all the eminent domain fights going to cost?

          • It goes through Big Bend National Park too! :( Presumably not the areas that are frequently visited, but the idea of putting up a giant wall in a Natl Park just breaks my heart. At least one GOP Congressman from Texas has come out against it for this reason though, which is good.

          • I’m also confused because, as a Texan, I thought we hated federal intervention, eminent domain, and any federal presence. We’re going to allow the feds here to build a wall on our border? I’m 99% sure that if this were coming from the other party, Texans would be lining up on the border to fight off the feds.

            (No this isn’t exactly logical, but it’s Texas and you just don’t mess with Texas)

          • I’m in Texas, too, but not on the border. I agree with Lana that if the wall was a Democrat’s idea, Texans would be fighting it. The last polls I saw on the wall (pre-election) still said that most Texans did not like it.

            Ted Cruz is up for re-election in 2018. I know it will be a HUGE undertaking to get him out, but that is my goal. He was elected with support of the Tea Party – at the time a very small but very vocal local group. So we’re using lessons learned from that to mobilize.

            Hillary lost Texas by less than 10%. I don’t expect Texas to go blue for several more years, but we’re not as solidly red as everyone thinks.

          • Not just that, but the border itself in Texas is a river. You can’t build a wall right next to a river. You have to move it _back_ from the river. There’s currently a fence along some parts of the border in Texas and in some places it’s half a mile from the border.

            I am somewhat encouraged though by the fact that we were here 10 years ago and Congress never funded the bulk of the fence so it just never got built. I hope that will stop much of this again.

            Sources:
            https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/01/unfinished-us-mexico-border-wall-texas-secure-fence-act
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Fence_Act_of_2006

      • Anonattorney :

        I’m in a very blue state with some of the most outspoken democratic reps. I marched, but I’m not going to call my reps because I already think they’re representing my interests.

    • Anonymous :

      Ideas for those of us who are prohibited by their employers’ ethical requirements from engaging in partisan politics? I’ve come up with “being a woman is not political” and I am allowed to engage in private correspondence (phone calls, letters) with my elected official as long as my name is not attached. I feel stuck, as do my colleagues. My reps are Ds, so I’m not sure more than saying thank you is helpful but I want to feel more engaged.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m in this position.

        I’ve upped my donations to Planned Parenthood, WWF etc. I’ve added a paper subscription to the NY Times – read mostly online but I want to show my kid that it’s important to support good journalism.

        Speaking with friends and family and encouraging them to take actions – e.g. bugging my mom or BFF to call their reps/send their postcard.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Same here. I’m donating, paying for journalism content, and supporting friends and family any way I can.

        It just killed me not to march…

    • I am seriously investigating how my family can move to New Zealand – and for the record I never said I was moving to Canada or anywhere else during either of the Bush presidencies. I disagreed with them about a lot, but I knew they loved America and were trying their best to build a better future. Can’t say the same of the current regime, and am terrified about the steps that have already taken place to restrict First Amendment rights and weaken the people’s faith in the democratic process.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, I’m looking at New Zealand, too. Not super serious at this point, but not not, if you know what I mean…

    • Honestly I feel like liberals are losing their minds. Some concerns – fine – we all have some concerns with every administration. But you all are fighting just to fight. The latest amongst my liberal crowd — people are apparently transferring their money out of Citibank and Wells Fargo bc those are the 2 biggest financiers for the Dakota Access pipeline. Give me a break and go live your lives . . . . These are the times where I wish I wasn’t an atty in DC/NYC bc my entire peer group is over the top liberal; I wish I was located in Ohio or someplace where people had something to do in their lives besides standing on their ideals.

      • Yeah, no.

        • Ok. Well you can disagree, but I think it’s entirely ludicrous to be SOOOO upset about a pipeline and the financiers to the pipeline, that you start moving your funds bc you couldn’t POSSIBLY do business with them anymore. And these are NYC and DC folks who live 1000s of miles from where the pipeline will be so they aren’t exactly fearful of their water supply. They just need to make a big deal about something, so that was it for last night. We’ll see what today brings. Good luck with your credit unions guys!!

          • so people having clean water is just not a big deal? because it doesn’t affect you personally? wow.

          • Yeah, the definition of privilege is “it doesn’t affect me so I don’t care about it.” Sounds like you’re pretty privileged.

          • a millenial :

            privileged and also an a**

      • so the new administration attacking the press, incapacitating federal agencies and potentially spending billions of dollars on a useless wall is all just in our heads? our liberal democracy (if you even know what that means) is being dismantled before our eyes. everything that makes American great- freedom of the press, of religion, welcoming immigrants and refugees– it’s all being trashed.

      • Ideals like not demonizing groups or religions?

        Not calling our intelligence services Nazis?

        Not being obsessed with womens’ choices?

      • Nope. Just nope. Not fighting just to fight, fighting because I am terrified for the future of my country. And if moving my $$ out of those banks helps even just a teeny little amount, then it’s worth it. Revolution starts small – just ask those students who sat at a lunch counter day after day.

        • Yeah but it won’t. You really think Citi is going to squash a deal worth billions bc 500 or 1000 people or even 100,000 RETAIL customers moved their money? You really think the bank makes its money on the retail side more than the investment side? You all are delusional.

          • So what if they don’t squash the deal? At least they will know how people feel about their business decisions. As opposed to, you know, sitting back and not doing anything and having the banks think we are all OK with it. It’s called a STATEMENT.

          • They quite literally don’t care and very likely won’t notice.

          • You’re a horrible person.

          • Yes, this (to Anon @ 11:57)

          • If switching banks makes you sleep better at night, by all means have at it – I support choices that make us all feel better about ourselves and lives. But to think that you’re making a difference/statement/they’ll “hear you” by doing so, (but for unique circumstances where you house gazillions of personal wealth with them), you’re very mistaken. Energy is far, far better expended elsewhere.

        • Small revolution is important, but you also have to pick your battles. I hope anyone who is moving their money to a different bank is also invested enough in making change happen that they aren’t only doing this (and then patting themselves on the back for doing something). Yes, money talks and money helps change happen, but it’s not enough, especially when it’s only on a small scale from a small group of customers.

      • ugh these boring liberals who keep trying to do the moral thing and stand up for what’s right, why can’t they just go do something fun instead

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Shopping spree with all the money they gained in the stock market yesterday! Let’s remember, that’s the important thing- more $$$ for rich people!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Honestly, I know Godwin’s law and all, but more and more I find myself thinking “OMG this must be what it was like in Germany in the 30s…”

        If Citibank and Wells Fargo are financing an evil pipeline, then why on earth wouldn’t I transfer my money away from them, whether or not it’s going to make any difference? Maybe it won’t but at least I don’t have to be part of it.

      • You wish you were in Ohio? I was one of more than 3,000 at the rally in the mid-size-to-small Ohio city where I work. And in the tiny college town where I live, 30 minutes away, 250 people came to a march. Which was organized by two seventh-grade girls. (And I know many, many people from our town who went to DC.)

        All those people obviously were not at these events just because they had nothing better to do.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        It must be nice to be so well-off (socially, economically, racially, etc) that you don’t have to worry about the new administration. I wish I knew what that was like. But if I did, I might be an as*hole like you, so OTOH, maybe not.

    • Follow-up question to yesterday’s thread about calling your representative. Is it worth calling if your representative already plans to vote the way you want? All my reps are Dems so I’m not clear what good it does to call them and encourage them to vote against the repeal of the ACA when presumably they’re already planning to vote against it. Is there something else I can do (contact other representatives?) or some way I can engage more effectively?

      • It’s still effective to call because it’s good for them to know that their positions are supported by their constituents. You can also just email (because your message is straight forward thanks) and spend your calling efforts on state or local issues.

    • Spirograph :

      I feel similarly. Just spent 15 minutes (including time to look up contact information and any public statements on immigration and refugees) to call my senators and congressmen to register my disgust for the recent executive orders and thank them – all Dems – for their efforts to oppose. It’s a small thing, but it made me feel better. I emailed about the environment earlier this week. I HATE talking on the phone, but it was easy. If you’re seething, just do it!

      • Yay! Good for you. I’m sure it’s an incredibly tense environment in DC right now and that they very much appreciate positive feedback.

    • You keep fighting, not because success is guaranteed (or even possible in the short term), but because it’s the right thing to do. You talk to your friends and family about what is important to you (approach people with love, not attacking them or trying to convince them they are wrong) and why you care about these issues. You call your members of congress and keep calling and writing and holding them responsible. You write letters to the editor. You become involved in local politics and grassroots organizations. You donate to causes that are important to you.

      It’s called resilience. And we aren’t going to survive a Trump presidency without it. So feel sad, cry, whatever, but pick yourself back up and keep fighting.

      • >You keep fighting, not because success is guaranteed (or even possible in the short term), but because it’s the right thing to do.

        So eloquent and so, so true. Thank you. Stay strong.

  10. NYC Recruiters :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a legal recruiter in NYC or SoCal? I looking to make a lateral move. Currently a litigator living abroad. Thanks!

  11. Emergency fund :

    What do you count as “emergency fund” expenditures vs. just “I’m saving up for this”? Specifically wondering if I should count the $ I need to buy a new car should my current one fail in the next year (it’s running great, but at the 11 year mark). It’s a big chunk of change to be holding on to, so not sure if I should have Car $ + 3 months expenditures.

    • Anonymous :

      Could you live your life (get to work, get groceries, etc.) without your car? If you could and it wouldn’t be totally crippling to your lifestyle (i.e. something like a 3-hour commute or not being able to get groceries except on weekends because of bus schedules) I would say it would be okay to leave the car $ out. But if the car is essential to your life it might be worth it to keep it around.

      • Emergency fund :

        Good point – the car is absolutely necessary. At the same time, the expenditures fund would cover the car, I would just end up going down to near 0 if I bought the car.

        • What if your car broke just as you were getting laid off/had a medical emergency that prevented you from working? Maybe it’s worth padding out the EF a little just in case. Or you can save the car money, but invest (in relatively steady funds) rather than high-yield savings, since chances are you’d be ok even if you lose a little value on it?

          (BTW, sorry for playing devil’s advocate – don’t want to make you feel like you haven’t thought it through. Good on you for taking the time to consider it at all!)

    • I consider a new car a planned expense. The emergency fund pot (in our case 6 months living expenses) is for job loss or unplanned catastrophe (medical emergency, disaster strikes and we need a new roof or car). I view replacing an aging car like saving for a downplaying- separate pot.

    • Anonymous :

      A new car isn’t an emergency, it’s something you expect will happen.

    • My emergency fund contains six months of my average monthly expenses. I own my car outright, so I do not have car payment or replacement included in my emergency fund. Should my car go kaput and I finance a new one, I would increase my emergency fund to account for the car payment at that time.

      Separate from this, I have a “savings to spend” account and it includes a line item for things like car replacement, vacations, home improvements, etc. I have a portion of my paycheck direct deposited into this account each pay period.

    • I’d do somewhat in between. Maybe keep a smaller-size emergency fund of 3 mos expenses + enough for a downpayment (assuming you are planning to finance).

      If you’re planning to pay cash outright for the car, that is a lot of money to have floating around! Could you do a shorter term CD or online savings account to keep it separate from E-Fund and somewhat untouchable?

    • Our emergency fund is strictly for job loss scenarios. At any given time, we have about $15-25k in cash savings that are earmarked for other things. I acknowledge that we are on the conservative side with this stuff. In you case, would you be comfortable financing the car? Or, if necessary, buying a super cheap used one? Because I do think you need to have some plan for the scenario in which you need to buy a car and you lose your job at roughly the same time.

      It also depends on tradeoffs – what else would you be doing with the money? If you aren’t meeting your retirement savings goals, I would consider moving some money there.

    • We keep our e-fund at $50k for this reason – $25k for a new car in cash in case one stops running and $25k for general emergencies/living expenses in the event of a layoff (LCOL area and we have two working people in our household). I drive an 8-year-old Camry and my husband drives an 18-year-old Camry for what it’s worth. Both still running great, knock on wood…

      • Anonattorney :

        But – if you had a true emergency, would you really shell out $25k for a new car? Or just buy a used one for much less?

        • Anonymous :

          I like buying new cars in cash and keeping them forever. I’m leery of buying used because you don’t really know how it was maintained or if the seller is honest.

    • I’d consider replacing an old car a planned expense, and I would save and keep money in a separate pot for it. On the other hand, if a newer car that I wasn’t planning to replace broke down, and I had 6 months of living expenses in my savings account, I might “borrow” up to half that amount to pay cash for the car, then contribute more to my emergency account until I was back up to 6 months. That decision would depend on several factors though–interest rates on the car loan, how secure I felt in my job, other possible emergencies (having a kid or even a pet and owning a home mean more emergencies), etc.

  12. Anonymous :

    Ideas for an adoption gift? Family has 10 year-old son and are adopting a fourteen year old boy. Hard to say what will interest the adoptee, but I am trying to think of activities or games that they could do together. Are escape rooms too much for the 10 year-old?

    • Anonymous :

      What about a membership to a zoo or recreational park?

      Escape room is probably a bit much for a 10 year old and possibly the 14 year old depending on their personal history.

    • This feels a bit pushy, like you’re forcing a particular vision of togetherness on them at a potentially fraught time. I don’t think that is your intention, but I’d send brownies.

      • Depends on the scenario here. I was assuming that this was finalizing the adoption of a kid who’s been living with them as a family member for awhile already. If that’s the case, I think something like a parks pass would be great (or maybe laser tag? That seems more 14 year-old to me).

    • If you really want an experience-type gift, I’d go with a family pass to your state’s park system or something like that. But I agree with Anonymous who said it feels a bit forceful. If the 14-year-old hasn’t lived with them before, maybe a gift card to a Bed, Bath & Beyond type place so he can decorate his new room?

    • Might be expensive, but how about tickets to a theme park or something? If that’s too much, movies?

    • Gift cert to local amusement park so they can go in the summer, in a few months, after everyone’s settled in?

    • An American Ninja Warrior place just opened up near us, the two boys would probably enjoy that. They might not be able to go together due to the age breakdown of the classes. Ours is called Pinnacle Parkour.

    • Hi, I have a 14 year old son. He would be insulted by a pass to a children’s museum. That stuff is geared toward the very young. Don’t do that.

      When his friends come over, they want to play video games. They are not interested in other things. This is how kids hang out together these days. But this is a difficult gift. You’d have to know what kind of gaming system the family has, if they have one, and whether they have the game already, and whether they have enough controllers for all to play at the same time.

      All that said, if you do know this stuff, Mario Kart is a great game for a group of people to play. It’s all my kids wanted to do over the holiday break – all four of us on the couch racing each other.

    • Experience gifts are great, but also, what about stuff for his new room? Are your friends having to start from scratch in decorating it?

    • A package from Omaha steaks.

    • FrankieCat :

      Gift Certificate to a local department store so he can pick out his own bedding or other items to make his own space in the new house. Alternatively wait a little bit to see what his interests are. It’s so much new at the beginning (at least it was for out family) than we felt it was a little too much in the beg.

    • What about a photography session commemorating their new family?

    • I adopted a 10 year old and a lot of people in my social circle also adopted older children. I hate to be a dissenter, but I am going to do it. Not all, but many kids who are adopted at older ages have significant trauma histories that make theme parks, ninja warrior outings, very overwhelming. Even if it’s enjoyable, it can make the overall adjustment harder for kiddos when everything is fun and games at the beginning (because of all the well-meaning gifts) and then have a hard time readjusting when life returns to normal.

      Older children especially need to have all of their basic needs met by their new parents because it helps build attachment.

      Gift cards for the parents to choose the gift would be fantastic. If you want to give something personally to the child, wait until the dust has settled a bit, so to speak, and also ask the parents for advice on what would be appropriate.

      • Macademia :

        That is very helpful, Mary. I am glad you said this.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree, I might do books for the kids (I always gift books and music) and then a game with recipt to the parents so they can either use it or return it

  13. Sydney Bristow :

    Thank you so much for all the advice on meal planning last night! We have a plan in place for a test run next week.

    Sunday: My husband almost always cooks steak for dinner, so we’ll have that like normal
    Monday: Sticking with our Fresh Direct prepared food and having wasabi crusted salmon and asparagus
    Tuesday: I’ll be making chicken soft tacos. I’m going to make a couple extra chicken breasts when I prep my lunches on Sunday and shred them then reheat the chicken on the stove. We already have the frozen chicken, cheese, salsa, and seasonings. Just adding tortillas, lettuce, and sour cream to the grocery list. I’ll take leftovers of this to work if there are any.
    Wednesday: I’m making the easy stir fry and rice that I used to make when I lived alone in law school. This is a dish that I’m already comfortable with.
    Thursday: Soup and frozen rolls. We have a can of butternut squash soup and some frozen rolls already so I won’t have to actually cook anything. Just need to heat it up.

    We’ll order takeout one night and eat a frozen pizza that we have on the other night. The Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night meals should be fine to move around if we are too busy and we can switch with the takeout or frozen pizza nights if necessary.

    The chicken tacos are really the only new meal attempt next week. Everything else was just a matter of planning out what we will eat and ordering the appropriate groceries.

    • Good job!

    • Constant Reader :

      I was too late to comment yesterday, but I’d also like to recommend if you don’t already have one, get at least one really good frying/saute pan of a reasonable size — All Clad or equivalent. It took me years to learn that some of the frustrations and problems in learning to cook are caused by terrible equipment. A good pan can be very forgiving to the inexperienced cook!

    • Sounds great! I didn’t get a chance to comment yesterday, sorry. Funny you should mention tacos–I was going to say that is one of my quickest meals. For fish tacos I use fish nuggets from trader joes or something similar and make a quick slaw while they are baking.

      I find prepping once, eating twice to be a big help. If I make a pot of soup or beans I freeze half for a future meal. Same with chicken meatballs. When we have leftover roasted chicken we might make a bunch of burritos to put in the freezer: http://www.thekitchn.com/freezer-burritos-194540 We tend to eat them for lunch since our boy is not big on burritos. Enjoy!

    • I’m a big fan of pesto pasta with veggies! I just use a store bought pesto so all you have to do is cook the pasta and saute veggies, which you could chop over the weekend. Super easy. Sometimes we’ll add chicken if it’s already cooked.

    • I saw your post too late last night to comment on it, but I’ll just say that it has helped me to not think about needing to plan for “meals.” I focus on having enough food in the house/my office that I can throw together something fairly balanced, even if it’s not what would traditionally be considered a meal. So for example, earlier this week I roasted a bunch of beets and chopped them up; I also roasted a spaghetti squash. Yesterday for lunch, I had leftover squash with a hard boiled egg, then mixed the beets with half an avocado and squeezed some lime juice/salt and pepper over them. Today, I put the other half of the avocado on toast with sriracha, then ate cheese cubes and spaghetti squash. Tomorrow, lunch is probably the rest of the squash, apple with almond butter, and more cheese. Does it all go together? No. Is it healthy/filling/easy? Yes.

  14. I have my first review (midyear) at my new job today! I know I am doing a good job, have good peer feedback/praise from senior staff/external partners, etc. but I am still a bit nervous? It’s not my formal annual review and I am a Fed so it’s not the same as going in with a mind towards a raise (there is promotion potential in my job but clearly it is not the climate for that now) like it was when I was in private sector. I also know I have maybe a year to grow at my current grade before I’d really deserve a promotion anyway.

    I pulled together some notes based on what I think I’m doing well/strengths and areas where I’d like to grow like I did when preparing for reviews in the past, but I think this will be a little different. My boss (and her boss, both kick-ass powerful women) is awesome but I know she’s busy right now so I want to be efficient with her time. Wish me luck!

  15. Babyweight :

    Darn you exposed back zipper!

    I was all excited about this dress. Great for Easter! Great for work! Forgiving over my mommy stomach. Then, I looked at the back view.

    Way to take a classic looking dress and pair it with a fading trend, rendering the dress neither classic nor trendy.

    • I had the same reaction!

    • New Tampanian :

      I had the dress in red and it was super cute. It runs a tad short though. Like borderline appropriate for work. The red dress had a gold zipper in the back which annoyed me but I still wore it.

      You can wash and hang dry these.

    • The exposed zipper has been around for years now. I think it might be time to accept this one…

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Maybe it is just me, but I honestly do not get the pearl-clutching over the exposed zippers. I check my back view to ensure everything is smooth and in place and literally never again. Is it that we think an exposed zipper is some kind of “come hither” think that people see it and then think about unzipping it?

      • I don’t know about pearl clutching, but I think they’re a little tacky, a little too casual for business formal, and a sign of lower quality. That said, I own a few non-work dresses that have an exposed zipper. Also, this dress is inexpensive and a little casual for my office anyways, so the exposed zipper doesn’t bother me here–and I’m tempted to buy the dress in pink but have already spent too much on clothes this year and in no way need a pink dress.

      • The exposed zipper is too trendy, which means that when it goes out of style the dress will look frumpy and be unwearable sooner than it otherwise would have.

      • I agree. I think it’s just a more “industrial” detail that provides some contrast to a feminine silhouette. I don’t find them to be particularly trendy, they’ve been around for quite a while and aren’t going away any time too soon. That said, I don’t think this particularly dress is very businesslike and I’d wear it to a party, not my office.

      • I once tried on a party dress with a large exposed zipper down the front. All the way down. When people started complaining about this trend, that’s what I thought of first!

      • I wouldn’t say pearl-clutching. I’ve never noticed a woman wearing a dress with an exposed zipper and thought negatively about her. But I personally don’t like the look of them and won’t buy a dress with one. I also hate leather trim. It’s just a style thing.

    • I hate the exposed zipper because if you wear a normal-length blazer with an exposed-zipper dress, it looks like you have a zipper tail.

  16. In-House in Houston :

    I have to go to Portland, Oregon and New Haven, CT, for depositions next month. Does anyone have any suggestions for some fun things to do that are not the typical touristy things? Thanks a bunch!!

    • New Haven is famous for its pizza: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Haven-style_pizza. I’m partial to Frank Pepe’s myself, but all are worth a try, including Bar. Wooster Square is a historic Italian Neighborhood with great restaurants and bakeries–be sure to stop at Lucibello’s Italian Pastry Shop. There’s Yale, of course. If you don’t take a guided tour, you can wander around on your own and enjoy the architecture. Several lovely and historic churches in the area as well, including Trinity on the Green, Center on the Green and Christ Church. East Rock Park is lovely, and Light House Point Park is fun especially if you’re from a landlocked region.
      One caveat: pay attention to the neighborhood around you, especially if you’re on foot. Don’t walk around by yourself alone at night. I used to live right near campus (close to the Apple store), but if you go two blocks to the west, you’re in an area with a high murder rate. Also, there’s a large population of homeless people, particularly around the Green, as there’s a large methadone clinic in New Haven. Day or night, don’t be surprised if someone stops you asking for money.

      • The Yale art museum on Chapel is free and close to Bar pizza. The museum has a great collection. Check out who is playing at Toads?

    • It is pretty touristy, but Franke Pepes in New Haven makes amazing coal oven pizza – the clam pizza is legendary, but the regular one is great too. There are also lots of great Italian bakeries right on the street, and some interesting new craft bars downtown. Try to get to Yale’s campus – they have some amazing exhibitions – always changing but the art is great. Not sure where you’re staying, but the study at yale is right by campus, has great views and the staff are great at getting you tickets to Yale events/lectures/etc. If you have some free time on the weekends I’d also try to drive to some of the shore towns, Essex CT is amazing (try the Griswold for Brunch), Old Saybrook is really lovely (and there are great outlets right nearby) and the Casino’s aren’t too far if you want to see if any big acts are swinging through (CT gets a lot of great shows b/c its smack dab in between Boston and NY and is really easy to play in for a night or two).

    • In Portland, check out the waterfalls in the Columbia River Valley.

      In New Haven, I echo everything that has been said but would also specifically recommend Modern for pizza. Also, the Yale Art Museum is wonderful.

    • Portland is amazing! Are you staying downtown? If you are, don’t need to rent a car, light rail will take you there and anywhere else you want to go, unless you want to hit up the ocean or mountains (1.5 hours west or east, respectively.) Portland isn’t really a touristy town so there’s no real places to avoid.

      Can’t go wrong, entire city is amazing. Here’s a 36-hour in Pdx from NY Times from a year ago:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/travel/what-to-do-in-36-hours-in-portland.html?_r=0

    • Portland is wonderful for short visits! Powell’s Books is a must see, I could spend all day just in the cookbook section. Blue Star Donuts are awesome, I prefer them to Voodoo. The riverside walk is beautiful.

      If you like beer, there are a billion breweries downtown. Laurelwood, Lompoc, and Breakside are my favorite that have taprooms with food in the city. I highly recommend getting out of the downtown/Pearl district and going to one of the neighborhoods, they are more interesting than the downtown area.

      The parks to the west of downtown are gigantic and stunning. I love the rose garden in Washington Park, and Forest Park goes for miles.

    • Anonattorney :

      Portland recs:

      If you’re there for depositions, you’re likely staying downtown. Go to the Multnomah Whiskey Library for drinks. Go to dinner at Tasty n Sons, Imperial, Departure, Little Bird, Le Pigeon, Superbite, Ox, Kachka, or any number of other amazing restaurants. Check out the Willamette Week restaurant guide for suggestions.

      Check out Powell’s Books. Go to the Pearl District if you want decent boutique shopping. Walk down NW 23rd Avenue. Go to N Mississippi Avenue. Go for a hike in Forest Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the country. Use the Biketown bike share program and bike along the river, over the Steel Bridge, and along the esplanade. Catch a movie at the Bagdad Theatre (full menu and bar with table service, beautiful movie theater).

      Get tickets to a Blazer game, or a show at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Smoke recreational marijuana.

      Everything is about a 15 minute uber ride from downtown, and the uber drivers come within 3 minutes.

  17. Baconpancakes :

    For everyone who is as upset about this presidency are as I am, how are you keeping sane/productive while still keeping engaged and informed? I’ve decided to stop reading the news/Facebook until my afternoon coffee break, when I am more emotionally able to handle it, but does anyone else have any strategies? I feel like I can’t listen to the radio without my blood pressure rising, and I’ve ended up crying at least once a day since the election.

    • I hate to hear that you’ve been crying because your posts here have been great and really inspiring to me.

      I’ve had to do the similar time divide of avoiding all media except for certain times of the day. It does help because I can go ‘all in’ at those times and get a break at other times. It’s going to be a long 4 years so pace yourself. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint.

    • espresso bean :

      I feel the same way. The only way to get through is to take care of yourself first. If that means 10 minutes of key news stories a day, so be it. We won’t be of any use to the resistance if we’re emotional wrecks. The whole “put on your oxygen mask first” thing applies here.

      Here are some things that have helped me:

      Daily guided meditation (I like the Insight Timer app)
      Creating an action plan for what I will do this week, this month, and this year
      Staying active in my community (I went to a refugee forum last night that was very informative and well-attended)
      Completelystaying off FB. Just not worth it.

      It is really terrifying, though. I feel like every day is a nightmare I can’t wake up from. How can people not see that trump is legit insane? Even if you were somehow able to overlook his hateful views and the fact that he is woefully ill-prepared for this job, it’s clear that something is not right in his head.

      What scares me the most is his constant pushing of “alternative facts,” making the truth ever harder to find and focus on. I could totally see him claiming fraud in 2018 or 2020 and just never stepping down no matter what the results are. And then what?

      I’m most angry at GOP people who certainly know better but sold the country out for a chance to pass their agenda, even if it meant putting a vile madmen at the helm.

      Well, now I’m all worked up again! Time to take my own advice. Good luck and knownthat there are millions of others who feel like you do. We won’t let democracy go without a fight.

    • This might be weird and/or controversial, but I have to say that I have really appreciated the Weight Watchers social app (“Connect”). It’s kind of like their Facebook but really positive and mostly politics free (although there was some tension last week with the marches and others posting pics of inaugural balls.) It’s one of the very few places where I have the opportunity to see into the worlds and have a little interaction with people outside my bubble (and you can guess by peoples’ locations and other info they share that they’re in very different circumstances and views). Of course it’s super limited exposure, but people (mostly women) have sent prayers for my kids when I was sick, comforted me when I was struggling, and celebrated my victories. And me vice versa. It’s not a substitute for more meaningful engagement for sure, but it reminds me that people that voted the other way have very human struggles too.

      • Hi, fellow WW-er! I completely agree! It’s SO REFRESHING to be on such a supportive and large network. I’m so over Facebook – the negativity, every post being political (whether I agree w/ you or not – I’m just at a saturation point!).

    • Shenandoah :

      I gets news alerts on my phone and have been trying to avoid reading them immediately. I think it’s better to intentionally block off increments of time to read the news and feel engaged without allowing it to dominate your day. I haven’t been listening to as many political podcasts. And basically I’ve been distracting myself more – fit in that extra run or extra gym session, go for a long walk, watch some junk food TV on Netflix, etc. And stick to reading the news a few times during the day. And don’t feel guilty if you want to take a day off from the media.

    • New Tampanian :

      So this has also been hard for me. I feel your pain. The last day or two in particular have been tough. My depression and anxiety levels have ticked up. Here is what I am doing:

      1) Download the countable app -> tells you about what congress is voting on, lets you interact with your reps, etc.
      2) If you have twitter/FB, follow @ActOneToday on FB it’s just “Act One” -> Gives one tangible action you can take each day to resist
      3) Again, if you have twitter, follow the hashtag #cuteanimaltweetoff -> zoos and sanctuaries are posting adorable animals and OMG squeeee
      4) Take a day (or two) away from the news/FB/twitter -> it can be super overwhelming with everything that’s going on. You need a break to bring yourself to “normal” instead of constantly being in “fight or flight” mode.

    • Also there. I have the NY Times, the WSJ, and Washington Post deliver their morning reports, and try to read them all during a morning walk with my dog. I’ve limited social media to once a day (I scroll to keep myself informed of political things I may have missed and friend things I like to see). After I go on social media and feel overwhelmed, I visit thesixtyfive . org and make at least one call. I never go online at night, and am watching shows via Netflix or like the ABC app (the commercials are all non political). I’m also running a lot.

    • Maybe get a grip? That might help.

      • a millenial :

        this is rude af. don’t you have better things to do?

        @op, also look up swing left dot org to find your closest swing district to help donate efforts to in the future (2018!) elections

      • New Tampanian :

        You need to learn some f**king compassion.

    • I deleted FB off my phone. I needed to stop obsessively clicking on it. The terrible rolls on, I’m doing what I can to fight it, but watching my friends attempt to out-self-righteous one another online just makes me feel worse.

    • I’m in a FB group for a fashion challenge, and I love looking at everyone’s daily outfits they post. We never agreed to not discuss politics, but everyone in that group just focuses on fashion, and its a nice break.

      I’ve started reading more novels and books for fun.

      I also made a spreadsheet of the issues I want to focus on fighting for. There is so, so much wrong in the Trump administration that you can get spread too thin trying to keep up with it all. I picked my top 2-3 issues, researched what my Congress people’s stances are, and ways I can donate/support/promote those issues. If you try to do everything, you’ll get so overwhelmed you’ll do nothing. The military has separate divisions for air defense, naval, cavalry, infantry, etc. I’m working in the Climate Change battalion. You can take up arms in the Health Care front, and someone else can focus on Immigration, and we’ll have a powerful force.

      That’s not say I ignore other issues. I do sign petitions and share news, but I can’t make dozens of phone calls every day and donate money to every group.

    • I feel the exact same way. Following for ideas. I can’t delete FB or not look because I really feel we need to stay informed.

  18. Just want to commend anyone who has ever worked full time and studied for a bar exam. I feel like I’m about to have a nervous breakdown, and I don’t even have a partner or children. Compartmentalizing work stress is hard enough.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I’m sorry. You can do it! What you are doing is very impressive. Way to go!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      As someone who has been there (working and husband and toddler), it is *so* hard but you can do it. And to quote Tom Hanks “the hard, is what makes it great.” Best of luck, ass-kicking internet friend.

    • Are you taking a bar study course that’s targeted specifically at night students? I worked full-time up through the bar (took the week off before the exam), and I found it hugely helpful to take an evening bar study course that focused on prioritizing the information. There was also a big focus on how to deal with questions where you don’t know the answer. I had 2 essays on the bar exam where I had literally no idea which areas of law were involved, and I managed to use the strategies I’d learned in the course to salvage enough points that I was able to pass without a problem.

      The nice thing is that passing the bar while working full-time makes you feel pretty much invincible. Best of luck!

    • NightSchool :

      I sort of worked full time while studying for the bar and passed! I saved up vacation days and took every Wednesday off from January- end of February, and one full week off before the exam itself. It ended up being about 12 days of leave total.

      I took barbri classes at night, and they let me take the day class on the Wednesdays I had off. On a friend’s advice, the only law I “learned” (or relearned or really studied hard) were the questions on the MBE. I did ever single practice MBE question Barbri offered. I did not crack essay strategies or additional essay topics until the week before the exam.

      I will also say that for my work scheduled, graduating in December and taking the February bar was ideal. If I had tried to do the summer one, I doubt I would have been able to take as much leave or disconnect on my days off.

  19. PP donations :

    The honoree of today’s Planned Parenthood donation: Elizabeth Poe of Joy of Knitting.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/knitting-store-owner-tells-womens-march-supporters-to-buy-their-yarn-elsewhere_us_58899d91e4b0737fd5cb920b?

    • I know I read that and immediately resolved to knit more pussy hats and buy the yarn ANYWHERE OTHER THAN HER STORE but the donation to PP in her name is great! Doing this today!!

  20. I think a lot of people are looking for strategies on “staying upset enough to act for change” but not “so upset I can’t function.” I have actually found it comforting to read books/podcasts on history. Right now I’m reading “No Ordinary Times” about the Roosevelts and thinking about how we take steps forwards and backwards. It doesn’t help the immediate craziness but it at least keeps me hopeful that over the long haul, we can keep advancing forward and that makes it doable for me to keep going.

    • I agree. Obama talked about this too – reading how people dealt with with horrible situations, and remember that they did in fact do so, can be very helpful.

      Also listened to a podcast about Abigail Adams called “History Chicks” – She was a nasty woman ahead of her time! People wondered if maybe she was the brains of the operation between Abigail and John Adams, and when John Adams was president, they thought she was too involved and derisively called her “Mrs. President”. Sound at all familiar?

      John Adams, for his part, thought she was brilliant and constantly asked for her input.

      • History Chicks podcast is awesome. Tons of other episodes available that chronicle the lives of famous- and not so famous women.

    • I live in DC and went to Mount Vernon the weekend before the inauguration. I had never heard that George Washington had had to quell a military coup in New York at one point. The world has always been crazy and always been a hot mess – it’s just piped into our living rooms now. (Ok, and admittedly Trump is extra crazy, but still.) History is an amazing teacher and calm-er. We can get through this.

      http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/newburgh-conspiracy/

    • My mom was involved in a lot of the Vietnam War protests, and was at a neighboring college during the Kent State Shootings. She wrote me a long email after Trump was elected where she walked through all the really hard political landscapes she’s experienced in her life. She reminded me of all the things my (immigrant) family experienced, and that many of them did not survive Nazi Germany — but that some did and I/my children are here as a result. The worst part is that a lot of people will suffer as we go into another period of upheaval. The hope is that some survive. My biggest anxieties revolve around my children, and whether the planet will be able to support their children.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m probably making a mistake, but I’m in the middle of Ken Follett’s Century trilogy. I’m part of the way into book 2 and the Nazis have taken control of Germany and fascists are attacking people in England. I think it’s freaking me out even more.

      • Oh god yeah don’t read that. Hits wayyyy too close to home because remotely close to home would be too close.

    • Speaking of history, I found this fresh air interview terrifying and comforting in about equal measures:

      http://www.npr.org/2017/01/24/511387528/the-history-of-u-s-intervention-and-the-birth-of-the-american-empire

      Terrifying because of the parallels, but comforting because if we survived it once hopefully we can again. Not that that should breed complacency, but it does soothe my panic.

  21. Sephora play :

    I’m not sure if this has been asked here before – has anyone been to a Sephora Play! Date? I was going to go with a friend tonight but it looks like she’s going to cancel. I don’t really want to go by myself if it’s going to be mostly teenagers. Is it worthwhile?

    • Marshmallow :

      I get the Play box but I didn’t think a Play Date was a real thing? I get that little “Play Date” card in my box every month, but since I’ve only subscribed for a few months I’ve never actually bought anything in store and had cause to use the card. I thought you just go in, buy what you want, show the card, and get 50 extra points.

      If this is an event organized around the products in the box, I would only go if there is a specific product that is interesting to you but you don’t know how to use. They will just be trying to sell you on the box stuff.

  22. Complaining :

    Ugh, my brother’s wedding is seriously annoying me, and I don’t want to air my (admittedly) petty complaints to my family/friends/spouse. The first complaint is totally on me-they’ve lived together for almost eight years and suddenly they are going for the big white princess wedding weekend. And I don’t think I’d even care all that much, but they don’t seem particularly into it! For example, the wedding is out of town for absolutely everyone, but they never reserved a block of hotel rooms even though we all asked multiple times. My parents finally did it, but as a result of the delay in planning meant the hotel rooms left were at a Scottish Inn that hasn’t been updated since the ’80s. My mom also kept asking them where they’d like to have the rehearsal dinner with no answer, finally gave them a list of restaurants to choose from with no answer, chose a restaurant and gave them menu choices with no response. Also, while I love a good destination wedding, I don’t love weddings held in super inconvenient places for no reason. They and my family live in a major metropolitan area with multiple good options. They are having their wedding in a college town a couple of hours away. Neither of them went to this college. Nor did our families. Neither of them are sports fans. It’s not a particularly attractive town (and we are ringed with pretty little towns if that’s their thing). And because it’s in a college town on a weekend the college is hosting a major event? It’s one of the reasons we all ended up staying in a Scottish Inn, and the town will be slammed with traffic all weekend. So basically for absolutely no good reason everyone has to take off Friday, spend the money on a (not great) hotel, spend money either boarding pets or on pet sitters. #rantover

    • Wtf? I’d be majorly irked too.

      I’m dying to know what their reason is for choosing that location! Have they said?

    • Their choice of destination and lack of planning sounds incredibly frustrating. But I think whining about how “they’ve lived together for almost eight years and suddenly they are going for the big white princess wedding weekend” makes you sound petty. They’re allowed to have a big wedding even if they’ve lived together for a long time!

      • +1 thank you. My partner and I have been together for almost 8 years and living together for 3, but we still want to have a big wedding eventually.

    • This does not sound like a petty complaint to me – that sounds absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense to me.

      I’d be annoyed too.

    • Seriously – ask them why they picked this college town? Now I’m totally curious. I LOVE college towns generally – even though I didn’t go to school in one. I just feel like they’re so pretty and inviting and serve as a self contained city. Yet I don’t know why you’d pick one that was unattractive and had a huge event that weekend that would make your wedding weekend more hectic.

    • Marshmallow :

      The non-responsiveness and location sound totally frustrating. But I started tuning out the minute you complained that they are having a big wedding after living together for eight years. So what? Lots of people date or live together for a long time before getting married, for one reason or another. It doesn’t make them less entitled to the wedding they want and can afford.

    • How far away is the wedding? A few months, it’s a problem. A year? Hold on there. I’m getting married in a year and a half and people keep asking me questions that don’t need to be figured out for quite a long time! It’s so frustrating.

    • The hotel thing is annoying and inconsiderate.

      The location is what it is. It’s really not up to you to judge whether their reason is good enough to justify the inconvenience to their guests.

      The rehearsal dinner issue isn’t any of your business and you only have half the story. What if the couple told your parents this is your deal just run with it whatever you decide is fine, your parents kept peppering them with questions, the couple kept telling them we don’t care until they eventually stopped answering?

    • Are you incapable of reserving your own hotel room? That one’s definitely on you.

      • +1 A block isn’t needed to book a hotel room..? If quality/niceness trumps cost in your list of concerns, that was on you. Also, people are welcome to plan a wedding in 6 months time. Hell, if I could do it again I’d do it in 3 months time and be done AND I would care way, way less about my guests – sorry, but completely true. I made so many choices to accommodate others and, you know what, I regret a lot of those decisions. Also, any chance this was the only venue available given their +/- 6-month planning window and evident desire to get married in ‘wedding season’?

        Sorry for harshness, but I think you need a giant does of “get over it” and figure out why you’re so PO-d at your family beyond said wedding.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe they picked an inconvenient location hoping it would discourage certain “have to invite for various family dynamic reasons but don’t really want them there” people from coming?

  23. Beach vacations :

    I know there have been a lot of threads in this vein lately, but I’m seeking beach vacation recommendations! Here are some requirements:

    –Direct flight from NYC
    –Either all-inclusive or large enough resort that we don’t really need to leave
    –Somewhat budget friendly but still nice (anything more than $400 a night is probably a deal-breaker)
    –Bonus points if there is snorkeling/other water activities at the resort or nearby

    I’m most interested in hearing about any specific resort recommendations, rather than “Puerto Rico!” or “Punta Cana!” – I feel like for this kind of trip, the particular resort matters more than the island/country since we are not looking to do a lot of exploring outside the resort. We’re a group of early 30s friends (mixed gender) who are just looking for an unstressful long weekend getaway! Not big partiers or anything – this is more about relaxation. Zika is not a concern. Thanks, hive!

    • We went to Live Aqua Cancun recently and loved it. Adults-only, upscale but still relatively affordable, GREAT food for an AI, beautiful beachfront, not a wild party crowd, and I’m sure you can fly non-stop NYC to Cancun. There’s no snorkeling at the hotel (or any other hotels in Cancun, really) but you can take excursions.

    • The best vaca I ever went one was with 5 couples to Puerto Vallarta. We rented a giant house on the beach and it wasn’t that expensive – $7,500 for the week…split between 5 couples it was reasonable. I highly recommend VRBO! The house had a chef and maids included in the cost.

      • Link please!!! Would love to go someplace where a chef was included in the price.

      • I’ll have to dig it up the name of the place in my email. Don’t have time at this moment but can do tonight. I will post in comments tonight/tomorrow.

    • I will recommend the JW Marriott in Cancun. It’s gorgeous, the beach is great, and if you want to go up or down in price there’s a regular Marriott next door and a Ritz on the other side. The restaurants are great but Cancun is developed enough where you can go across the street for nice dinners. Because it’s not an all inclusive, it didn’t seem to have the party atmospheres I’ve seen elsewhere. It’s a beautiful place to relax. Also: I feel strongly about supporting Mexico’s economy right now, even though Cancun is catered towards Americans. Anything to keep a dollar flowing into Mexico to help defend against Trump is good in my mind.

    • Turks and Caicos, though I am not entirely sure if there are all inclusive places there (I have never stayed at one).

      Beaches and water are amazing, extremely easy flight, extremely easy airport transfer, English speaking.

      • There are several all inclusives in Turks and Caicos, including a Beaches. I haven’t stayed at any of them though, so I can’t specifically recommend them.

    • Anonymous :

      I liked the Fairmont Southhampton in Bermuda but it will still be chilly in Bermuda for a few more months.

  24. I had to tackle a problem at work that was outside my training/skill set but I figured it out and I was successful! I’m really proud of myself today.

  25. No Problem :

    Car insurance doesn’t make any sense. My car is 2.5 years old, and my 6 month premium has been the same for the entire time I’ve owned the car. This seemed odd to me, since the car has obviously declined in value, and I’ve had no insurance claims and no traffic tickets in well over 10 years. It is up for renewal in a few days, so I started a new quote on my insurance company’s website just to see what they would quote me for a new policy with all the same coverage as my existing policy. Result: over 40% savings. Hundreds of dollars. So why didn’t the price of my existing policy decline to this amount, if this is what they’ll ask me to pay for a new policy? And not as a new customer, either. They knew I was an existing customer once I entered all of my information. I called them and they said I should just cancel the old one and buy the new one, which is exactly what I just did.

    Moral of the story: get a new quote for your insurance policy every year, even if insuring the same cars and drivers. You could save 40% or more on car insurance.

    • Just tried to take your advice, but my insurer (Geico) immediately recognized me as an existing customer and wouldn’t let me complete the quote. What insurer do you use that let you go through the process?

    • Anonymous :

      I have a friend who switches between Geico and Progressive every year or two for her car insurance, because she gets such great rates when they’re trying to woo her back.

    • Changing policies is super duper easy, too, so if you get a better quote elsewhere, just switch (or leverage it to get a reduced insurance premium from existing provider).

  26. “The State Department’s entire senior management team just resigned” – career officials who worked under Republican and Democratic administrations

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/01/26/the-state-departments-entire-senior-management-team-just-resigned/?utm_term=.c74e5a9b816a

    • Wow is right!

    • Could not believe it when I read your comment . .. no ambassadors, no management . . .so the US doesn’t have foreign policy right now.

      And to think the alternative was a Secretary of State as President . . .

    • So now one is minding the store? Just saw this on Hill.com also. We have no Sec of State and thus I assumed the undersecretary/2-3 top people were running things. Now they’re gone. So what — people ranked #5 and lower are running things? Until they up and quit? Tillerson apparently visited yesterday — I wonder if that had something to do with it where these people said, I can’t/won’t work for him.

    • I’m not really sure how to process this. Wouldn’t it have been better to stay and continue to do their work instead of give up and hand those spots over to any yahoo? Now I’m more worried.

      • I’m assuming that they hadn’t left before now because they thought like you but I’m wondering if Trump’s lies about torture working/being permissible were a bridge to far for them on moral grounds.

        • yep, I think you are right. And based on some additional reading I did it looks like Trump’s team was already looking to replace them, so this was inevitable, I’m assuming. Just a surprise that it’s all at once and not a gradual transition.

          • Anonymous :

            I wonder how much saying that they were going to be replaced is cover by Trump’s team. Many have been around pre Bush even. I can buy that they were looking to make some changes eventually , but this many or this quickly? no way. They have barely managed to fill higher level posts.

            These are really really hard positions to fill from the private sector because they involve a lot of corporate knowledge/memory which just walked out the door.

    • Anononope :

      Word is they were actually fired. Reminds me of Mao’s Great Leap Forward.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m pretty suspect of that. Especially as no replacements were immediately announced. Trump would totally be like “you can’t quit, I’m firing you”. He’s made a tv career of firing people.

        • Anononope :

          I mean, who even knows what news is “fake” any more, but I’m seeing that at least on CNN and WaPo.

          ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  27. SF in House :

    Has anyone been on an Alaska cruise? Recommendations? Party of 6 — in-laws (in their 70s), DH, me, 14 yo, 12 yo. I would prefer a small ship.

    • https://www.uncruise.com/cruisewest

    • anon anon armani :

      We really enjoy Regent Cruises. We haven’t been to Alaska yet, but we have gone on many long trips with them. All inclusive. No tipping. No charge for most alcohol, wine, etc. Not alot for kids onboard and not many kids, but there are some things and always a basic pool. Deck activities. Their shore excursions are mostly “free.” That’s where you can exhaust yourself all day, every day in port. Solid library, dvd library, etc. The all inclusive is nice with kids because meals and drinks won’t break your budget.

      We took Abercrombie and Kent to Antarctica … and were really disappointed with communication with passengers, organization, and careing. For example, we kept asking about arrangements once our charter plane landed and they proceeded to tell us they didn’t know anything and eventually handed out envelopes with information while the plane was in flight. No help with arrangements or difficulties pre and post stay locations, and simply staff of AK who were aboard wanted to have nothing to do with their “guests.” The rent icebreaker (La Boreal) was super, well kept, minimial yet “pretty.” So we chalk it up to A&K.

    • Anonymous :

      We did Princess in Alaska (Voyage of the Glaciers) and really enjoyed it. It was not a small ship, but big ship cruises in Alaska feel pretty different than big ship Caribbean cruises, with much more focus on scenery and wildlife, naturalists on board, etc. Whatever cruise you pick, I highly recommend picking one that visits glaciers on two separate days. Whether or not you’ll be able to see the glaciers on any given day is fairly unpredictable. We had terrible weather in Glacier Bay National Park and weren’t able to get very close. But we also went to Hubbard Glacier and our ship got right up to the face of that glacier. So I was super glad we hadn’t booked a cruise that just had Glacier Bay.

    • We went on a Holland America cruise to Alaska last summer with my entire family (3 generations – 24 people). It was my first cruise, and have decided I’m not a cruise person, but we had a good time. The ship was the smallest of the cruise ships in each port we went to. In fact, one night there was bad weather, and because of our ship’s size we were the only boat that made it to Ketchican. We had the town to ourselves. The local business owners weren’t too happy, though.

  28. This is fairly trivial, but I have a new cold, mostly nasal congestion at this point, and I feel like my face just looks awful. Puffy and about 10 years older. Any advice?

  29. Would you wear this dress to work? :

    Is this dress work appropriate? NOT for a workplace like a law firm or somewhere where suits are the norm, but in an office where I could probably wear anything I want. I just want to avoid looking younger than I already do. I like the cut of this dress, but I’m worried the bird prints are a little too juvenile for the office. Thoughts? http://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/womens-dresses/day-dresses/ww202-blu/womens-santorini-blue-swans-phoebe-jersey-dress

    • If you are trying to avoid looking young, then do not do bird prints.

    • I think it would depend how you style it, but yes, it’s definitely going to skew younger.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Assuming that you truly work in a ‘wear whatever you want’ office and are just concerned about looking juvenile, I definitely think you could wear the black one with nice shoes and a necklace and look working age. It’s really about the styling.

    • Meg March :

      I like it, although I would pair it with a structured completer piece (blazer rather than drapey cardigan).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I would wear it with a jacket over it.

  30. Anonymous :

    News source question: I am subscribing to a national newspaper, but can’t decide which one. Budget only allows for one. Do I go with the Washington Post, the NY Times, or the WSJ? Or some other source?

    • Anonymous :

      I went with NY Times because I’ve been impressed with their post election journalism.

      WSJ barely mentioned the Marches earlier in the week. I’d call them and let them know you went with NYT because of poor quality WSJ work on that issue.

      • agreed and I was unhappy with a “leading” story from wapo about how men were the most important at the march…it was an opinion piece.

      • I subscribe to the New York Times because I think they have the highest quality journalists. I also love the Cooking section of their website and I get the Sunday paper and look forward to drinking coffee and doing the puzzles.

    • Do you have a political slant? Then you might want to choose based on whether you want to pick one whose editorial board you agree or disagree with most.

      Also, if ownership matters, Washington Post . It is owned by essentially one individual, Jeff Bezos. NYT is owned by the NYT Company but has a board (and obviosuhas great national & investigative reporting but is basically controlled by Sultzgerger. And the Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News.

      As for content, Wall Street Journal has great financial reporting. I think NYT is best for investigative & policial; WaPo is very good too but is smaller and has a more pronounced focus on regional news. (In my opinion, of course).

      • Anonymous :

        But Bezos owns Amazon no? Which sells Trump products and has an awful labor practices record.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah Jeff Bezos is a pretty bad dude.

          • Ugh my first sentence was completely botched from typing and retyping it. Was trying to say that WaPo is owned by Bezos, not to recommend it for that!

    • I’m a long time NYT reader, but I actually think that the WaPo did a better job with election coverage this year. So WaPo might be better for DC politics but NYT for more general news? Also, WaPo is free for anyone with a .edu, .gov. or .mil email and NYT has an educational discount (half price, I think?).

      • Anonymous :

        I agree on election coverage, but I can’t bring myself to read WaPo more because their homepage and headlines are always so clickbait even on “serious” articles. (NYT does this too, but less so on major news items and things like that, I think – I don’t mind it on other articles.)

    • Check with your public library. It’s possible that your library card can get you access to online news sources (NYT, WaPo, WSJ) _free_.

      Libraries—where would we be without them?

  31. Poll for In-House Attorneys :

    As a percentage of base, what do in-house attorneys receive as an annual bonus?

    • Anononope :

      Three percent — but I’m at a not-for-profit.

    • I receive a cash bonus (25% of base) and a stock grant bonus (around 35-40% of base, I think).

    • You can’t look at bonus in a vacuum. Places with higher bonus potential usually have lower base numbers.

      Maybe that’s what you’re getting at but I’m not sure. At my last job, I was 50% base, 50% variable, but the variable usually paid out at close to 100%. For my new job, I negotiated a total compensation package at 80% of my old total compensation, but it’s all fixed. I think it was a fair deal.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Is your bonus based on company performance or your own? If your own, by what metric? I’m assuming you don’t have traditional billable hours. I never really understood comp packages with a guaranteed bonus. How is it a bonus then?

      • NYC Recruiters :

        Probably because it requires you to stay the full year to receive it.

      • In house, I don’t know how they can even figure a bonus based on your performance. In house legal departments are a cost center. Whereas the divisions of my company that actually manage the business we’re in can be compared based on how much money each division is making, in the legal department doing well means costing less than it hypothetically could have, with no objective way to measure what would have happened if you had f*cked up.

      • Anonymous :

        Ours is based partially on company performance, partially on our performance. And to answer Torin’s question, just because you’re a cost center doesn’t mean you can’t get a review. I was reviewed on how well i managed my cases and my team, just like any other employee.

        • Sure, I got a review. What I meant though was that you can objectively say one division of my company earns the company more money than the other. Their performance in terms of making money is better. You can’t say that about me because I cost them money. It’s just a question of whether I cost them more or less money than they would spend without me. And the amount that I save them is estimable but not with precision.

    • OP Pollster :

      On second thought, I would appreciate bonus info for anyone in a corporate setting, not just lawyers. I have only worked in law firms and am just curious how much an annual bonus might add to a median, market based salary for in-house corporate counsel. Non-lawyer comp in a corporate setting may also be relevant.

      • Other interested party :

        Sounds like we are both final contenders for an in-house position. How crazy would it be if we were gunning for the same one? I hope they are different and we both get them!

      • I work at an international company with 75,000 employees in a JD preferred role outside of the legal department. Our BU bonus is based on your negotiated/given percentage and then company performance. For instance, when I was hired, I was offered/negotiated a 4% of salary bonus. In FY16, our BU’s performance was not great, so our bonuses were calculated at 50% of our bonus percentage. For me, that meant a 2% bonus. My bonus percentage was raised to 6% next year based on performance.

        Hope that helps.

      • I work for a global company with around 30,000 employees. For employees that aren’t at a manager level, no bonus at all except 5% profit sharing if the company does well. For those at a manager level and above, its 18% base which can increase based on your/company’s performance. Mine was around 28% last year. A certain number of restricted stock units are provided with higher pay grades getting more.

        Husband is in-house counsel, and his was around 20% of base salary.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I get 20% of my base in cash and 20% of my base in equity (sellable in 12 month, I get the benefit of the lowest price of the month when it’s granted, so immediately realizable gain).

  32. zero here

  33. Hi ladies of Corporette,

    So I have some family/boyfriend issues that are causing me major amounts of stress, anxiety, you-name-it. Here’s the backstory: I am a young attorney and met my boyfriend when I started studying for the bar exam. He is 3 years older than me, serves his country in the Armed Forces, works full time, and is going for his Master’s degree. He has been nothing but incredibly loving, supportive, and honestly what I have been waiting for in a man. He currently is still living at home to help his dad who is still struggling from the loss of his wife, but he is applying for jobs to move in with me as I left the law firm I initially worked for to take a public interest job in the area of the law I am more interested in.

    When we first started dating (literally our first date), he asked if I would pick him up. I had no problem with this because backtrack to years prior and I knew him from my days as a waitress in our small town pizza place. A few minutes into our date he told me that the year prior he got a DUI and lost his license. Before his DUI, he lost his Mother to advanced breast cancer, and he said while it was no excuse, he turned to his friends who frequented the bars to have fun. In Pennsylvania, when you refuse to take a breathalyzer, you automatically lose your license through the department of transportation for a year, and as he told me this he apologized after the full story, and said repeatedly he understood if I didn’t want to give him a chance. Knowing that a DUI is often a mistake and not a reflection of character, I gave him a chance and I am so thankful he did. He completed his requirements months early, and it is behind him now. He understood the seriousness of a DUI, and frankly I am proud of him for his maturity in handling his punishment and how far he has come.

    Here comes the snag:
    Growing up I had ridiculously high expectations. Like, I went to one of the top prep schools in the state and anything less than an 85 landed me as being grounded. When my parents disliked my college boyfriend, they took away my car so I couldn’t drive to see him. I then had to buy a $700 car because that was all I could afford. When I was in a violent relationship, they blamed me and said that they thought they had raised me smarter than that. And while I know my parents love me so, so much much of my life has been me trying to reach a bar I never could. Grades, boyfriends, hair cuts, and my shade in bronzer landed me criticism. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t affect me.

    When I told my parents, specifically my Mom, about my boyfriend’s DUI (because they had to know- I was still living at home, and he wouldn’t be coming to pick me up for a few months), I treaded lightly. I told them all of the things about him that I thought were so impressive. They seemed to write it off as a mistake. Then, well hell showed its face. For the past 9 months, I have received endless emotional abuse from my parents, and mostly from my mother. While I had hoped to introduce and have him welcomed by my family, as a normal girlfriend would hope, this is seemingly impossible. So instead, he comes around for the required visits: holidays, birthdays, etc. Oh, and by the way he doesn’t know what my parents/mother say because it would crush him, and I can’t do that to him. And here’s why:

    My mother has questioned my character, said she expected more from me than to date “someone like him”, she’s followed me to see if I was actually at his house like I said, they’ve driven by his home repeatedly (his family is more of a blue collar family–my dad is a doctor, you get the point) and judged them because their homes doesn’t look like my parents’, she’s said he “looks like a loser”, he’s an “asshole” because he doesn’t come around to my family’s home, that he only wanted to “get in my pants”, and that he’s only with me because I’m a lawyer Fun fact: he currently makes more money than me. Oh and most recently, my mother drove to the arresting police station to pay for and get copies of his arrest record and used it against me to try to prove the case about everything she has said. I’ve been told to F off more times than I’d like to admit. They have taken away any financial support I received. You name it, it happened.

    While this is a long saga, and there are more details than what I can even begin to wrap my head around, this has been incredibly difficult to bare. And quite honestly, I don’t know what to do. Currently, my maternal grandmother is dealing with terminal cancer. In good faith, I try and try again to maintain a healthy relationship with my parents, but I fail repeatedly. I love my boyfriend incredibly much, and the only “resolution” I have been able to come with is to keep these sides of my life separate so that way he is not hurt by any of the things that they say about either him, or me, and that he cannot be judged. But somehow, the person who really loses out in all of this ends up being me. I lose sleep, I cry, I have panic attacks and heart palpitations that jolt me from my sleep. I cannot reconcile with my parents about where my future is going with my boyfriend, how they feel about my character, and I don’t know that it is ever possible.

    Any advice would be extremely appreciated.

    Xo.

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