Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Essential Silk Blouse

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

Equipment’s silk shirts are always highly rated, they’re reader favorites, and they’ve been around forever. Personally, I like the essential silk blouse (pictured), which doesn’t have pockets, much better than the “signature” blouse, which does have pockets and comes in a zillion different colors and shapes and sizes. (Note that Equipment also has a lovely popover right now called the Liana.) I don’t think we’ve ever featured this in a Workwear Report, so I thought we would today because it’s a great basic for work and layers nicely under cardigans and blazers and sweaters. Readers: What is your favorite silk blouse and your favorite no-button popover? This one is $228 at Nordstrom and comes in sizes XS–L in white and “Eden green.” Essential Silk Blouse

Here’s a plus-sized option for a similar price as well as a more affordable cotton/silk option in petite, regular, and plus sizes.

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Comments

  1. Thanks to a, who recommended “How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids” last week. I listened to it over the weekend and it is fantastic! I found myself laughing in complete understanding and also cringing when the author’s description of her behavior matched exactly some of my own behavior.

    It made me feel less alone in my own emotions and also provides excellent, practical solutions for building a better foundation for my family.

    • Edna Mazur :

      Half way through and I’m right there with you. The part about not being a victim really resonated with me.

    • That was me!

      It has been really great for me. The “get off the cross,” and “don’t p!ss on the gift” lessons and the “you can’t force intimacy but you can create an environment where it is more welcome” ideas are super helpful.

      Also, the organization bit kind of blew my mind “you can have a house or a toy museum” made me happy.

      It’s been a really eye opening book, in terms of realizing that my marital issues are not that special/extreme (it feels worse when you feel like you’re the *only* one this stuff affects).

    • We’re expecting our first baby later this year and I just finished reading it. I thought it was great, though it did scare me a little (my marriage now is pretty great). I highlighted lots of passages for future reference once our little one arrives.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Is there a corollary for not hating your wife, aimed at husbands?

      • Anonymous :

        It’s called “be a good person because your wife just CREATED A NEW HUMAN.” (can you tell I’m divorced?)

  2. This blouse looks beautiful. Does anyone know if it is sheer?

    • I love it too. It does look sheer to me from the picture – I think I can see the outline of the pant waistline.

  3. paging Private Equity from yesterday's comments :

    Just read in WSJ about Blackstone’s efforts to reach out to women earlier in their college career. Search “Blackstone Future Women Leaders” program – may be relevant for your mentoree interested in learning more about PE.

    • OP from yesterday :

      Thanks — I will check it out and save it for our next meeting.

    • I really echo JuniorMinion’s comments about ibanking being the feeder path to PE typically. You need to have extremely solid financial and modeling skills to work in PE as an analyst, and generally those are learned in banking. I don’t think understanding what PE is, is a bad thing. But I also was a super-young idealistic finance type once upon a time, and…in some cases, putting a young woman into these environments is like feeding a hen to foxes. Not all of these places are ready for women to be there. I wish it weren’t that way…but it is.

  4. Anony Mouse :

    I dislike popovers, as they tend to look baggy/sloppy on my straight figure.

    • Anonymous :

      Some people like them!

    • +1. I don’t have a straight figure, but I’m small busted relative to the rest of my frame. This style of top is the worrrst on me. I know many women who rock this look and I love how easy yet polished it looks, but they’re a lot more busty than I am.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I think this could work if you wear a slimmer pant and do the front tuck/half tuck thing. At least, that’s what I tend to do with my straight/athletic build.

      • Agreed. I’m pretty straight up and down with a small bust, and I loooove popovers with a straight pant or tucked into a skirt. If I had unlimited money I’d replace every work shirt I own with silk popovers in a rainbow of colors (or let’s be real: black, white, gray, and grayscale prints). They’re just so easy and unfussy.

      • +1 This is what I do 90% of the time, the rest of the time I have accepted that in a professional office I could appear sloppy, but in my office I look dressed up.

        FWIW, I am slim and of no bust.

      • +1 also very straight figured and I love them. I work in a business casual office, emphasis on the casual, though. In a more formal office the might not work.

    • Very small of bust but a cusp sized hourglass, and I LOVE popovers.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Makes sense. I’m extremely busty, with huge shoulders, and I love them. If they’re too long I tend to do a front tuck though.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      I know what everyone means when they talk about popovers in this context, but my first thought is always of the food version of a popover and then there’s a moment of cognitive dissonance (and occasionally some interesting mental images).

      • Financial Industry Anon :

        I have this exact same issue.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Wow see I still think they’re like a crop top over a longer thing? (which is what I get when i search ‘popover dress’?) Why is this not just called… a shirt?

        • I think because the placket with the buttons doesn’t go all the way down the front, so to put it on (or take it off), you have to pop it over your head. (IMHO, still a shirt but in the “popover” subcategory vs. the “button-front” or “button-down” subcategory….)

    • I love them because they pop open! If they’re really baggy, I have had them taken in on the sides.

  5. +1. I don’t have a straight figure, but I’m small busted relative to the rest of my frame. This style of top is the worrrst on me. I know many women who rock this look and I love how easy yet polished it looks, but they’re a lot more busty than I am.

  6. Tailor woes :

    Looking for guidance for how to handle a bad tailoring issue. I have been going to a tailor in DC for about three years now and I’ve always been happy with the results. I had downtime between jobs so I revamped my closet a bit and took a huge load (10 dresses) to the tailor for alterations, paying $350 upfront for all of the alterations. The tailor said they would be ready in two weeks, but it was over 2 months before I finally got them all back. The excessive delay is unusual because my tailor has never been more than a day or two late. When I finally got the dresses back, six of them are unwearable due to incorrect tailoring. It’s various issues–two are really lumpy down the sides of the seam, another is too tight in the waist but too loose in the hips, one I don’t think was touched at all, and another solid grey sheath has water marks all over it, like the top half was sitting in water for an extended period of time.

    I’m not sure how to handle this. All six of the damaged dresses were brand new so if they are indeed unwearable, I’m out a lot more than the tailoring costs. I had a friendly relationship with the tailor before the six-week delay, but now not so much. I don’t think he would give me a refund for the six dresses with issues without an argument. I’m not sure if I should go the refund route (which doesn’t make me whole here) or if I should ask him to fix them (but I don’t have much confidence in his work anymore). Or can I ask that he cover the cost of additional tailoring elsewhere to fix his mistakes? I’m not sure what’s reasonable here.

    And lastly, if you have recommendations of a good tailor in DC, I’m now looking…

    • Anonymous :

      I think you should find out what happened before moving forward. It’s entirely possible someone else in the shop did the work, and your original tailor would be able to fix the problem to your satisfaction. That’s kind of a best case scenario, right? If the dude did the work himself, I think you work on getting him to cover the cost of replacement.

    • I’d contact him about the 2 most grievous issues — sounds like the water plus one of the “clearly tailored but poorly” items? Either go in or send pictures and explain that while you’ve had good results before, you’re surprised to see that one of the dresses was damaged and the other shows work that wasn’t up to past performance. Agree with above, maybe he can explain what happened. If he is willing to work with you, I’d also mention that some of the other dresses had similar issues.

      I think in all likelihood you’ll be cutting your losses and moving on, but maybe he’ll at least refund the tailor work (even if that doesn’t make you whole) before you move on. For what it’s worth, I have a seamstress/tailor I LOVE and I did have one alteration recently where she just missed the mark entirely, but I’ll keep her because of the other ~15 items she’s done well for me. Here, the guy’s success rate based on this new batch seems wayyyyy off.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Curious, why did you pay upfront? Is that normal at your tailor? I’ve been getting my clothing tailored for 10 years in a few different cities I’ve lived and it’s ALWAYS pay at pickup after alterations are completed and you’ve tried all the piece on again.

      • Tailor woes :

        He’s always required payment upfront.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Well then even if you get this fixed I would tell your tailor that you will pay upon pick-up from now on given this incident. That is if you continue to use this same tailor.

          • +1. My tailor lets me pay on pick-up, and I always try on garments before I leave. Maybe 1/3 of the time, she makes an additional adjustment–I’ve always viewed that as a normal part of the process.

    • I would start with taking the dresses to him, pointing out the issues, and asking him what he is willing to do about it. He might offer you a refund, or he might offer to fix them, or both. I don’t think you need to specifically demand something, you can leave it up to him to make you an offer for how to re-earn your trust.

      If he’s a jerk about it, did you pay cash? If you paid with a CC, you can call and contest the charges. And leave him a negative review.

    • That sucks. I really like Moussa at the Nordstrom Rack in Friendship Heights (I take all of my tailoring to him, not just things I bought at Nordstrom).

    • I like Lam Couture at 14th and L NW. They do a lot of custom stuff but alterations pricing is similar to a dry cleaner’s.

    • Have you already spoken to him? I would just bring all of the garments back and let him know the issues. If you had a good relationship with him before, I would not be afraid of going back. As you mentioned they are unwearable now. Who knows what was going on in his life during that time. Maybe he had a family crisis he was dealing with and someone was helping him out who didn’t do as good a job as he thought they could.

  7. "gifted" middle and high schools :

    I am so grateful for the younger readers on here . . .

    We live in a big city. There are some city-wide middle and high schools that you have to test into based on test scores (I think you need to be 90+% on some standardized tests). [There are also schools like that for elementary school, but we passed on them in favor of our neighborhood school, largely for logistics and b/c we thought our elementary school would be adequate and didn’t want any sort of pressure-cooker environment at such an early age.][The middle schools are seen as sometimes being good, but they have daily fights in the halls (this is even at the good ones) and all have school resource officers. “Smart” boys who are also on the small side get beat up on the bus but we’ve not heard that it’s a similar issue for girls.]

    We are approaching middle school for an older child who is a girl that is but for her gender straight out of a Big Bang Theory episode and with scores that would qualify her. A year behind, is another girl who is (perhaps just as bring, but more of the sort content to float along with doing the minimum and being sweet and pleasant and generally ignorable in a district that sometimes has Big Problems). We need to be signing up for lottery spots if we try for the gifted magnet.

    As a working parent, bell schedules and proximity to home and work are big decision drivers, perhaps more than they ought to be. I want my girls to be well-educated and challenged. I want them to be happy. I worry that the older one might do better socially at the magnet vs a regular one, I worry that the younger one would coast along. Logistically, I want them both at the same school. I don’t really want a pressure-cooker, but a strong supportive environment that supports academics but also balance in their lives.

    If you have had these options and made deliberate choices to go / avoid, how did it work out? Are there any good take-aways?

    I think for high school, I would defer more to their reasoned opinions on where to go, but for middle school, I think it’s a parent call.

    • There is something very powerful about being good at something when you’re a tween/teen. For me it was school, especially math. It gave me a powerful sense that I had value, that I was good at something important. That sense of worth inoculated me against a lot of poor decisions. I think putting your daughter in the magnet school would be very valuable to her.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Being a smart, awkward kid in a regular school is pretty miserable. Being a smart, awkward kid in an environment full of other smart, awkward kids is like being at Hogwarts. Very few public magnet schools are pressure cookers, in my experience, and being in an environment that values academics makes it easier for academically-minded kids to feel comfortable exploring things like sports and other hobbies.

      I’d agree that for middle school, if you can get them both into the magnet school, do that. Then if that doesn’t work, listen to what they want and find the right place for them for high school. Sometimes, the only want to know what’s right for you is to try something that’s wrong, so I’d say go for it.

      • Going to second this completely – I was a smart awkward kid in a normal school, and it sucked, plain and simple. I was nerdy and didn’t fit in, but when I spent time with friends who went to that kind of magnet school, I was much happier.

      • Completely thirded. I was a smart, awkward kid who attended magnet schools for middle and high school, and being in an environment with people who were on the same wavelength at the same age*, PLUS all of the enrichment-type opportunities that were afforded to me through the school and that I didn’t have to seek out independently (competitive debate team, math olympiad, creative writing summer camp, Odyssey of the Mind) was incredibly valuable. So just like Hogwarts. I also found that I was able to coast less in a magnet school, which lit a bit of a fire under me.

        * I don’t mean to say that I wouldn’t have connected with anyone at regular public schools; I’ve found that as we’ve all grown into adulthood, I’ve actually connected with loads of people from home. But being at the same developmental stage at the same age as others made my adolescence a whole lot happier, IMO.

        • I had this exact same experience — magnet schools for middle and high school — and it was absolutely the best thing for me. I wouldn’t describe it as a pressure cooker environment, but rather being surrounded by other kids who were more like me. The positive social pressure also ended up naturally pushing me to achieve at the level of my potential rather than just coasting along as #1 in my class. It was also a very valuable lesson that there are other very smart people out there and that defining myself as the smartest person in the room was not going to be a good strategy long-term. I learned how to study and how to apply myself, which I don’t think I would have if I’d stayed in a more “normal” environment where I had always been the “smart” kid without even trying.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1
        I was uncomfortable K-4 in a normal school, comfortable 5-8 in a magnet school, uncomfortable 8-10 in normal high school and comfortable-ish 11-12 taking college classes for high school and college credit.

      • Agreed. I went to school out of state just to get the better environment. It sounds like the regular middle school will not be challenging academically for your daughter and will not be a good fit for her socially. The commute may not be as bad as you think. The magnet schools may have more after school programs that will interest your daughter. You can also try to set up a carpool with another student.

      • This, a million. I went to a Nerd High school (public magnet) and it was an excellent experience. I had reasonable social skills, but was very bookish and science oriented and much preferred to talk about academic concepts than the “normal” social topics. The best part about my school was being in an environment where it was *cool* to care about stuff, cool to make good grades, cool to do theater, cool to be in the orchestra, cool to be on the science team. Positive social pressure both helps prevent kids from making bad decisions and also helps instill a lifelong enthusiasm for learning. It was always so exciting to look around at my peers and see the stuff that they were doing and watch them explore their talents. I also second BBT’s statement that it’s a powerful thing for a teen to know she’s good at something, and to value that. Being in a place where academic curiosity is valued will only contribute to that.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. It was so, SO important for me to be in a school environment where it was normal and expected to do all the readings and homework, and participate in class. I was nerdy even among my peers, but I wasn’t a freak the way I would have been at the regular public school. (I went to regular public school for 1st and 5th grade, gifted program at public school for 2-4, private middle school, and public magnet high school.)

      • Just another person who had this experience and would have killed to be in a gifted environment. It wasn’t about being challenged – I actually had a very good academic experience, largely because the school administration was very flexible about letting me accelerate in specific subjects – but rather about having a peer group that I did (or, as it happened, did not) fit in with.

    • I went to an all gifted public school for part of elementary and all of middle and high school – entrance was based on scores on an IQ exam, and my answer is predicated on that definition of a gifted school. I think social environment is huge, especially for middle school. I was considered a nerd at gifted school and shudder to think of my social position at the regular high school. Do you have evidence that it is a pressure cooker? Gifted schools aren’t necessarily; it just depends on the character of the school and the families that go there. I had tons of classmates that were smart slackers. If you daughters have the scores to qualify I think they really might do well there. If your younger daughter is content to coast she may need to coast at a higher level but I doubt she’ll do a lot worse at a gifted school if she is gifted. My brother and I always tried to do minimum effort for maximum grade – why kill yourself? – but I think we really enjoyed the few classes that truly challenged us.

    • I was always a coaster and my parents didn’t think I was as smart as my older sister until I reached 7th grade and suddenly started testing exceptionally well. Once I was placed in a more challenging environment (same school, just more pre-AP classes), even coasting by required working/learning at a different level. My grades weren’t ever as good as my older sister’s were because I didn’t care as much. Still, I think being surrounded by bright students and expected to learn at a different level served me very well. I would keep pushing your younger daughter – don’t let her think you expect less of her or aren’t giving her the same opportunities because she’s not her sister.

    • I think that by middle school age, they should have a good idea of what would be good for them. I’m so, so glad I went to a gifted and talented magnet school for 1st-8th grade. I think that mattered a lot more than high school, where most of the high schools had honors/IB/AP options. That said, my high school did have really excellent options for those types of classes (but also fights in the hallways most days). One important consideration is how the middle school options track into the high school options- will they be able to take the right math/science classes to take calculus/physics as a junior (or whatever the equivalent would be in your area)? Pressure cooker-ness probably depends on where you live. I grew up in the Midwest and never really felt that, but in talking to my Ivy League classmates, I got the sense it’s much worse on the East Coast or California (or a really wealthy area anywhere).

    • Take your daughters on a tour of the middle school and judge their reactions to it. As the kid in this scenario, I had pretty strong reactions to some schools over others that actually turned out to be correct when I talked to friends that went to those schools. I ended up not going to “gifted” school but a mainstream school with a strong gifted program meaning I was challenged in core subjects but got to hang out with everyone at lunch, athletics, etc. This worked fine for me as a pretty, generally socially adjusted girl with a super high IQ who mostly just intimidated the boys. Looking back, learning to interact with non-gifted kids was probably the most important lesson compared to anything else that I was taught at school.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      As a 5th grader, my parents decided to send me to a local magnet school with Project-based learning and strong academics. The local schools were fine, but I was bored and unhappy. I would ask my fourth grade teacher for harder spelling tests and less boring books I was so bored.

      It was an excellent decision. While the social aspect was rough at first, I found friends that were similarly motivated and enjoyed that immensely. My teachers pushed me for the first time without me or my parents having to ask. I learned a ton in 5th-8th grade and many of the lessons were on things I never would have been exposed to in normal middle school. The transition to high school was tough- I didn’t have the relationships formed in middle school because my middle school scattered to a few different high schools. But it worked out- I hated high school except for debate, but ended up taking college classes my last two years as part of a state program.

      I’d say do it. My brother and I both went to the magnet school and are a lot like your kids it sounds like- both smart. I was motivated, he was perfectly happy to coast. Both of us got a great education from the school because the teachers got to know us and our learning styles and we were allowed to pursue interests we had that weren’t typical school interests- my brother became incredibly interested in how things worked and the teachers let him hang out with the maintenance guy when he was fixing stuff around the school during down time so he could see how the boiler or the radiator or the refrigerator worked. I wanted to be a teacher at that time and my teachers encouraged me to spend time in the kindergarten classroom during reading time in the afternoon (knowing I read enough at home) to see what it was like being a teacher. These are both experiences we wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere.

      I’d say do it.

    • I was the older, gifted kid and my sister was the coaster. Except, it’s just because nobody’s ever pushed her. I somehow stumbled onto the honors/gifted track, and she was there too just coasting until she slowly coasted off.

      Test-wise, her IQ is way higher, her standardized test scores in elementary school were way higher, and when we were younger we took the PSATs cold and scored exactly the same. I studied and prepped and got a 200 point higher SAT score than she did (1250ish vs 1450), but she went out drinking the night before and did no prep.

      If my sister were pushed into a higher-achieving school with high achieving friends, she would have been a high achiever.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m in mod because I included a synonym for amazing with e l l e n in it. But I forgot to add in my first post- the school might have been worth it ONLY for the library and librarian. For the first time I had books that were my reading level available at the school library and was encouraged to read them. The libriarian would recommend books that weren’t in the “see spot run” category I felt like my classmates read (sorry, that’s mean, but I hated how I was never allowed to check out the books I wanted at my elementary school’s library because they were “above my grade level”). My teacher read us Animal Farm (in the 8th grade!), 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and so much Shakespeare. We performed Shakespeare as our school plays- Taming of the Shrew in 6th grade, Midsummer’s Night’s Dream in 7th, and Macbeth in 8th. The cultural exposure I got was amazing.

    • Middle school is a risky time for girls to start dropping off the academic track, due to those horrible social pressures of middle school. I’ve posted here before about my daughter, who is now a senior in high school and I kind of wish I had done more, but I kept her at our suburban public school. She’s aced every academic challenge, might be #1 in her class, but now in comparing her to the national field of students attempting to get into, say, MIT or Stanford in math/computer science, she seems to have missed various opportunities, competitions, internships, etc. that just were not in-the-know at a regular school. My friend’s daughter is at the public math & science magnet, so I hear a bit about what we missed. It may have been the right decision for us anyway, and the grass is greener, but still — hindsight.

      • Anonymous :

        I realize things are more competitive now than they were even 10 years ago when I applied, but I got into MIT and Stanford and several other top schools coming from a fairly average public high school (where I was #1 in my class but shared the valedictorian title with a lot of other people – my school didn’t have weighted grades and an A- was considered a 4.0 so there were a *lot* of people with a 4.0 by the end) and with very good but not perfect test scores. I had some interesting summer experiences (internships related to academic subjects and local summer camps for gifted kids), but never went to the nationally competitive (and expensive) summer camps like EPGY or did serious academic competitions like Math Olympiad.
        Top colleges look for many forms of diversity, including diversity of educational background, and that means they have to accept a large number of non-magnet, public school students. I think she’ll be fine!

        • Anonymous :

          And just to add to that — there was another really smart girl in my high school class. She didn’t get into MIT or Stanford, probably because they weren’t going to take two students from our small and not-that-competitive high school and they picked me. She was devastated but ended up going to UC Berkeley, doing incredibly well, going to Harvard for her PhD and she is now a tenure-track professor in a STEM field and is objectively *way* more successful than me. It’s worth reminding your daughter that life is long and not going to Harvard or Stanford or MIT for undergrad doesn’t mean she won’t eventually reach the top of whatever field she chooses, including a STEM field. In a lot of fields, where you go for graduate or professional school is way more important anyway.

    • I don’t understand how this is even a question. On the one hand you have an excellent school where your daughter will thrive and you other daughter will be fine. On the other you hand violence.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        Eh. I went to a magnet middle school for very bright kids and we had a handful of fights during my three years there.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t worry about the “pressure cooker” aspect that much. I went to a notorious “pressure cooker” HS but was pretty relaxed, relatively speaking, and did fine. Meanwhile, some of my friends from middle school who went to more middle of the road HS were freaking out constantly. Focus on your actual kid and giving her to skills she needs to handle stress.

      This also sounds like a non-question to me, perhaps because of my background. Send her to the best school you can, and make the logistics work.

  8. Higher Ed - Title IX Coord :

    Can anyone provide me salary data on higher ed (private college) Title IX coordinator positions? There is a position open near me and while I am not under an illusions that it would be an easy position to get, I won’t apply if the salary range isn’t manageable for me.

    TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      What is the background for these jobs?

      Is it the sort of thing that is JD-preferred?

      • Yes, jd holders have a distinct advantage, and they typically are looking for someone with investigatory background, bonus for education and higher ed experience. A lot of folks come from da offices, DOE, and student conduct type roles. Pay and requirements would really depend also on how the role is structured: is there a separate investigatory staff? What’s their process? How strictly do they adhere to the guidance of 60 days? Are they sharing the load with an athletics person, dividing the work? Lots to go on.

        The salary data would really really depend on school size and metro location. I know a private mid-sized campus in the central DMV requires a JD and pays about 75k (which is actually under market–you’d expect about 85k at least), while a smaller private school in a further flung DMV location might offer 65k and would be at market there. Totally dependent.
        Check out ATIXA and ASCA, their prof assocs, to see if they have salary surveys.

        Signed, NOT a Title IX coord, but related higher ed admin person (with a lot of title ix friends!)

      • in mod with a long response.

    • The Chronicle of Higher Education tracks salaries and positions nationwide. A range of salaries (search for title in the chart) is posted here:
      http://www.chronicle.com/article/What-Higher-Education/236012

      I live in an area with a HCOL so the ranges are not that helpful to me.

    • What do you consider “manageable”? Where are you located?

      HigherEdJobs published the results of a self-reported higher ed salary survey here: https://www.higheredjobs.com/salary/salaryDisplay.cfm?SurveyID=23

      I don’t know anything about Title IX salaries specifically, but their results look right to me in areas where I do know, so I’d guess that the Title IX data is a place to start.

    • Any public university makes salary information publicly available, so you could look up the salary for people in that position at the closest public universities. If the university you’re looking at is large/prestigious, the salary is probably higher, if it’s smaller or religious, it’s probably lower.

      • Generally, this is true, and will be the case with most of the public universities. A note of caution, though, if you are trying to benchmark with posted vacancies at public universities: with these roles, because they have developed and changed rapidly (evolved from what they used to be really quickly, and demanding a higher experience level/more defined skill set), you may even still find that local public universities are posting vacancies (as opposed to filled current positions with a defined salary) without salary ranges, even though they have a budget that tops out at X dollars. They are really looking to the market and candidates for the right fit and skill set and turning to a more private-sector way of initial salary negotiation on these positions.

    • Sorry I’m late to the game, but you can find that data on the Chronicle of Higher Education site. CUPA does the surveys. For 15-16, median salary was $71,428. For research institutions, $79.400, for other doctoral, $80,000, for master’s institutions, $69,430, for baccalaureate, $78,200. So it varies by type of institution but it’s within about $10K.

      • My answer is in moderation, but you can find the info here: http://www.chronicle.com/article/What-Higher-Education/236012

  9. Finance conflict :

    My husband is really into financial independence and early retirement. We are both lawyers and he wants us to put off buying a house in favor of buying rental properties or investing in other ways. We live in a Midwest city and all friends/colleagues have nices homes and I’m feeling down about continuing to live in a small rental. We were lucky enough to finish off our large student loans a little bit ago and I think my husband was scarred by the experience of having so much debt and does not want to take on a mortgage for a home. My question is has anyone done this and what advice do you have, and has anyone had this tension with a partner who is into financial independce when you aren’t really 100% on board. I like the idea of financial independence obviously but I don’t know if I’m ready to make all the sacrifices necessary to make that happen.

    • Diana Barry :

      Have you talked to him about it? Would he want to buy a duplex and live in half and rent out the other half? How does he see a rental property as “different” than a regular single family? Would he want to pay cash for the rental?

      Congrats on paying off the loans! How are your finances otherwise? Are you fully maximizing retirement contributions? What other savings do you have? Your comfort level with saving (liquid assets) vs buying a house vs investing in other assets might be different from your husband’s, but it is hard to know if you haven’t talked about it in depth.

      • Finance conflict :

        Yes we’ve talked about it a lot. We are maxing retirement and typically save about 6-7k a month after taxes. We have about 130k in savings and 25k in efund. Housing is pretty affordable where we live. A niceish 4 bedroom house that I would be happy with in a good school district is about 400-500k.

        He feels a mortgage on a house will force him to stay at his job as a lawyer for life and he doesn’t want to do that. He views an investment property as something that will be a passive source of income that we can use to reinvest and over time build to an amount we can live off of. I don’t know how realistic this is.

        I think I’m getting a little frustrated because I feel like he could live in a box and not care. He does not seem to like or care about material things at all. This interest in early retireement is a new development since we got married – basically he started at big law (still there now but not market salary in smaller city) and hated it and started dreaming about retiring. I kind of feel like suck it up, we are adults and have a kid to provide for and i want to give her a good life. But maybe I’m lacking empathy.

        • What about a compromise option of a niceish 3 bedroom or other starter house? A duplex? 400-500k is not cheap for a house in an otherwise affordable area. Would he be okay with a house that’s more in the 300k range? 250? What about a good-not-great school district?

          FWIW, I’m financially more like your husband, although I don’t necessarily have early retirement as a goal. I just want to have freedom, options, and flexibility, which do not come with $2,000 a month mortgages and 50% of your marriage partnership feeling trapped in a job they loathe. I would spend some time interrogating what giving your daughter a “good life” means to you–that doesn’t necessarily have to mean a giant house in a fancy school district with all of the consumerist trappings, but could mean instead a SAHD who is able to be an active, engaged part of her childhood, and lots of room in the budget for enriching travel. Or buckets of college savings. Etc.

        • Maybe a discussion about financial goals and a discussion with financial planner is in order? This is more than rent v. buy. Also, if he’s really unhappy in his job, then could he find something else instead of counting down the days until early retirement? While I love our house and lifestyle, I will admit that we have some light golden handcuffs going on with respect to my job.

        • I don’t think you’re lacking empathy; you both have perfectly valid perspectives about money management. They’re just really, really different. I think y’all need to figure out how to get on the same page.

          You say you don’t know how realistic his idea about rental properties is. I don’t either. But I also sense that you have maybe a little bit decided it’s a dumb idea already. I suggest you both look into the idea thoroughly with open minds about how realistic it is to think of rental income as “passive”. Then set up a time to sit down and discuss what you’ve found about how running a rental business (because that’s what “owning rental properties” is, it’s owning your own business).

          Then maybe also talk about other options for where to live. Is your issue with your rental just that it’s small? Is it possible to upgrade to a larger rental space for a reasonable cost without buying a home? Or if you really want to buy something, is it possible to buy something for more like $300,000 instead of $400-500?

          • Rental properties are work. I own several, and while in theory they are usually a passive investment by workload, when they are active, they are REALLY, REALLY active. Managing contractors and repair people, working with legal people on problem tenants (going to court. . . ), setting aside a lot of time to meet new potential tenants and do diligence on them, time on taxes. . . That’s before the financial impact (even if you pay cash, you still have an obligation to cover – if your tenant’s heating system goes out, you have to fix/replace it within 24 hours, say). If there are issues with our rentals, work isn’t my priority – the rentals are. How does he propose all of that will be done?

          • Another anon :

            I chuckled at the passive income stream thing. Clearly said by someone who has never owned rental properties!

            I find it interesting that he doesn’t view a rental property mortgage as being more risky than a primary residence mortgage. As someone has already mentioned, the rental property mortgage interest rates are generally higher than primary residence rates.

          • Anon at 10:59 has a good point. My dad is a mostly commercial landlord and always stears me away from the idea of buying residential rentals for these reasons. But darn it if all those FI websites don’t make it look crazy easy to just cash rent checks.

          • not always a great idea :

            My dad owns a rental property and the only reason it’s manageable is because it’s a triple-decker and he lives in it. One unit he rents to my brother, who does work around the place in exchange for reduced rent, and the other is a tenant. His mortgage + takes is about $3500/month, and he gets $2000/mo in rent.

            If he had to physically go to another place to take care of the property, it would never happen. He also does not need the money, so if the units are vacant, he just waits out a good tenant, or has a lot of visitors over (eg family) and invites them to crash in the empty units.

        • espresso bean :

          Saving 6-7K a month is AMAZING. I am in awe of you and your husband!

        • Flats Only :

          It sounds like he has read a lot of Mr. Money Mustache (the properties, independence, “retiring” early, living in a box, etc.). Not sure what advice to give you, but it might be helpful to know the source of his plans.

    • Look into financing a house if you say up front that it’s a rental property — rates can be horrible.

      I have a rental property, but it was my house that I rented when I moved out. Maybe try that — a starter home that you could easily rent when you move on to a next home? It is very hard to have a cash-flow positive rental unless you have put a ton of $ down or it’s not a recent purchase.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. What is the 130K in, is it cash or equities or something else?

        Rental properties are tough financially, as above. Plus you have to maintain it and tenants may call you at 2 am if the toilet is clogged/leaking, etc. If you have a management company to run it then they take a cut, so it is hard to break even.

        I would run the numbers. What would your monthly mortgage payment look like if you put 100K down on a 400K property? More or less than your rental? Then figure in maintenance and taxes, etc., and see how it comes out. Maybe you could compromise on a 3-BR house in the good school district that’s only $325K, for example, if that would make you happier than a ‘box’. :)

      • This exactly. I will say that it sounds like you and your husband are smart people, so I am sure that you have researched all of the possibilities. However, I looked into this briefly a little while a go in my medium cost of living SEUS city and it seems like the only way that you really end up having the rental as income (again, in my city) is to either be very handy yourself so that you don’t need to hire a property management company to fix anything and/or own several properties.

        Also – a purely rhetorical question – but what is the living plan long term? Are you going to rent forever?

      • I have two rentals that I have a ton of equity in. Like 100s of thousands of dollars of equity. If I didn’t, they wouldn’t be cash positive. And by cash-positive, I mean maybe makek 10K a year after taxes, maintenance (easily 1% of their FMV a year), and other expenses (I manage them myself). I keep that as a reserve for new roof, new furnace, etc. You really can’t borrow for those expenses if you’re honest that it’s a rental — you use either merchant financing or your credit card or write a check.

        Your husband isn’t being realistic about being debt-adverse and thinking that rentals are the way to go. They are good retirement assets (and for me, it is nothing more than that). It’s not a cushy life even if goes well (which it might not).

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not sure I understand your husband’s logic. If you are making money on a rental unit, it is because rents are higher than mortgages + maintenance in your area. If that is the case, then why, if you have the $$, would you continue to pay high rent for your own dwelling rather than owning your own home and paying a mortgage and getting some equity in that property, over which you have much more control and can probably more quickly sell if needed?
        Please correct me if my logic is wrong here.

    • Rental properties are the biggest PITA ever imaginable. Having owned them for 10 years, I can truly and honestly tell you I never made a profit after you accounted for maintenance. At various times, we worked with management companies and DIY’d the management – it didn’t matter. Just a few of the things we faced over the years:

      A mgmt company (at least when we were doing this) takes 10% of rent. Do your fixed costs (mortgage + taxes + insurance) minus 10% leave room for a comfortable profit?

      A tenant may present themselves well, and their references check out, but then you discover they’ve smoked in your home or let their cats pee all over. The one month’s rent deposit won’t cover that kind of damage, so are you going to go to small claims court?

      A 10 year old fridge just up and dies for no reason.

      The AC quits in the middle of a heatwave.

      The toilet won’t stop leaking.

      A tree falls in a big storm.

      The idiot tenants keep leaving the garage door open, which blows out the pilot light on the gas water heater, then call out maintenance for $80 per trip to relight it. (When that happened the third time, I told them they were SOL.)

      A single family home needs lawn care to look respectable and many tenants won’t take care of that. Will your local market support adding the cost of a lawn service into the rental price?

      Or your mgmt company can be personal friends with the tenants and the tenants utterly destroy your home, causing $7,000 worth of damage, and the mgmt company calls it “normal wear and tear.”

      And these were all nice houses in nice neighborhoods with white collar professionals. (Is being a slumlord more profitable? Perhaps!) Owning rental property is something I emphatically discourage people from doing as an investment.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Seconding all of this. My mum had a house left to her and her sister when their parents died and for awhile they maintained it as a rental property for the income (and as a maybe-someday retirement home), but eventually they sold it because it was just too much hassle and the income wasn’t worth it.

    • Is the underlying issue here that your husband would like to change jobs? Is there a dollar threshold of cash in the bank that would give him a comfort level in switching? In the meantime, are there any rental properties available in your ideal size/neighborhood? I sometimes daydream about renting a house in my neighborhood and letting someone else be on the hook for all the expensive maintenance items!

    • Not a real property manager (I rent my primary residence in a college town on football weekends) but have a friend who bought a twin home and lived in part and rented part. That might be an option or at least a place to start. Even renting my home on weekends has been eye opening from a management perspective. Maybe look for houses with MIL suites that can be rented, twin or double homes, or homes with a rental cottage on the property?

    • There are early retirement forums whose members would be happy to give advice/recommendations for your husband’s plans on how to get to early retirement. The more details you give them on the $ numbers in the plan, the more specific they can be. Many of the members did early retirement so they speak from experience. I suspect they would disagree with the delay home buying part. I like the forum http://early-retirement.org though I just lurk there.
      also there is an early retirement calculator- hopefully the forums have the link.

      • Anonymous :

        That place seems terrible and toxic. I read like five threads and in all five of them, some commenter suggested that all women are gold diggers looking to spend a hardworking man’s money.

        • Anonymous :

          I have read a bunch of threads and didn’t see anything like what you mention. Also there are other early retirement forums out there including on mr money mustache’s website ( mentioned upthread)

    • I feel like this has nothing to do with financial independence and everything to do with respecting each other’s values.

    • well THAT was awkward :

      We are into FI/early retirement, and we went the rental property route, and it was a ton of work with little to no return. We have since sold the rental property and invested in REITs to get a real estate position. As noted throughout the thread, rental properties are not “passive” income, and even if you do the work yourself, it’s hard to make a better return than a REIT will give you. Some examples:

      – city mandated that all parking lots on our street be re-paved, so we had to fork over $10k to have that done

      – water heater went out and had to be replaced for $1k

      – spending 10 hours on a Saturday doing a make-ready because tenant abandoned the place and left it filthy (seriously, do you want to be spending hours on your hands and knees scrubbing hair dye out of a shower?)

      – spending money on cleaning service/handyman/lawn care because we got tired of spending days doing the work ourselves

      – moved out of state and had to pay a management company 7% each month plus the first month of rent if they did the work to get a new tenant

      My husband went through a very obsessive period about FI… have you heard of Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fiskar? Yeah, husband wanted to be that guy. He went so far as hang drying all of our clothes to save money on electricity by not using the dryer that we owned in our apartment. It was ridiculous. It took about a year for him to get that insanity out of his system, which included some stubborn talks with me in which I said that no, in fact, I wasn’t willing to live in a trailer in the middle of nowhere so that we could be “retired”. I will say that I got much more on board when MMM took the lead in the community, and I was genuinely shocked at our food bill and made significant efforts to reduce that. Now, he realizes that he got so obsessed with early retirement because he was pretty miserable about our life at that point. His job wasn’t particularly fulfilling, he didn’t have hobbies that he felt invested in, and he didn’t like the city we were living in. So, his “solution” was to just retire early and then he wouldn’t have to deal with the things he didn’t like.

      We’ve now settled into a pretty comfortable frugal mindset, which wasn’t a huge shift from our default patterns (once husband got over the really extreme parts of the FI habits). We now have over $1M in net worth, our passive income from dividends is estimated to be around ~$40k/year, and we feel like we have a good framework for evaluating big choices. We’re at a place now where we both love our jobs and our lifestyle, so we don’t foresee bailing out any time soon, which means that we’re able to loosen up a lot on fun things like hobbies, eating out, travel, etc.

      I would really encourage you and your husband to talk in depth about what your ideal life looks like, and WHY it’s ideal. I would love to buy a house, but I honestly think it’s the fantasy that if we had a house, we’d host BBQs with friends, have family holidays with amazing food, and just generally be more social. If your husband just hates his job, you shouldn’t upend your entire life and trajectory when finding a new job could be the solution.

      • Mineallmine :

        That’s such a good point about the obsession with very early retirement being more about being dissatisfied with your life currently. Maybe focus on that first, before blowing up your (and your partner’s) life doing things that make you more miserable/uncomfortable in the pursuit of some dream that even if achieved, wouldn’t necessarily make you happy.

        Sure, not having to work would be nice. But most reasonably healthy people want to be productive or they feel at loose ends. So if you want to cut back, switch jobs, focus on non-work activities, whatever – do it now. Don’t wait. But retirement won’t make your problems go away – you still have to fix them.

    • My husband and I bought a rental property and live in one of the apartments in the rental property. One thing that makes this work for us is that we renovated our unit far above what you typically do for a rental or a flip. We’re planning to live there for at least 10 years, if not 20, and almost all of that will follow the renovations, so we did what makes us happy (dramatic colors we like, higher-end appliances, custom cabinets, etc.).

      Financially, it makes sense for us. The rental units generate enough income to cover property taxes, insurance, interest on the loan, and maintenance, including lawn service and landscaping services twice a year (we maintain in between). There are also some tax advantages, although I don’t know the exact amount. We pay ourselves “rent” equal to the principal on the mortgage, but after our renovations and the rising rent prices in our neighborhood, we could charge roughly 1.4-1.5 times what we pay ourselves. Based on sale prices I’m seeing around the neighborhood, the property has probably increased in value about 20-25% in 5 years, but of course that’s true for the single-family homes as well, maybe even more so in my neighborhood.

      We typically have good and friendly relationships with our tenants/neighbors, and they typically pay on time. We also have a good, large network of reliable, affordable plumbers, electricians, AC guys, etc. Admittedly, my husband does a fair amount of work managing the property, but I don’t think it’s that much more than if we owned a house of the same square footage.

      When we first bought the property, our peers were still renting apartments. Now that they are buying houses, I’ll admit to pangs of envy when we tour their 3- and 4-bedroom houses. We also have a toddler now, and more space would be nice (a guest room, a table we could all eat at together, a second bathroom). On the other hand, our extremely low housing costs have seen us through some rough times, including my stint of unemployment. If we stay (or move and hold–which financially isn’t possible right now) and pay it off, we’ll have a place to live that pays for itself through the income of the other units.

    • My husband and I are fall halfway in between you and your husband. What we did was live for 4 years on our dual income high salaries. When we bought our “forever” house, we bought it on the income we expected ONE of us to make long-term (if you want data, we made about $350-$375 between us at peak. We decided long term, one of us could easily find work making about $150-175 as a sole earner, or we could do 2 part time jobs, or whatever). For 3 years after that, we continued to sock money away.

      Then, I got laid off. I was also 8 months pregnant (another story for another day). I ended up taking an 18 month “maternity leave” to be with the kids, and did some consulting in the mean time. I eventually went back to work at a job that paid about 80% the job I was laid off from, but with good work-life balance.

      Then DH got laid off. It took him 14 months to find a new gig, and his new gig was at 40-50% his old salary (by choice) and he is able to get home to meet the bus every day. He renovated our basement and was a part time SAHD during that time.

      We had no financial heartburn. We had no blip in our lifestyle. We continued to max all retirement vehicles. In fact, during both periods of unemployment, we were still actively saving (just much, much less).

      The point of this novel is that I think you could come to a lifestyle you’re both comfortable with. Something permanent and a fixed budget for you to spend on “things,” but that lifestyle falls within a budget that allows DH to save at a pace he’s comfortable with.

    • our approach :

      What does your husband want to *do* when he retires? Or does he simply want to work at a lower stress job? Those are very, very different things.

      I for one am not counting down days to retirement. I like my job. I will one day step down and consult, but really enjoy the work and will do it as long as I still enjoy it.

      DH on the other hand wants to retire at 50 and build sailboats in a beach town. He’d also like to do some travel but we’ve decided after a few years of marriage that we’ll work the travel into our pre-retirement life while we are young and spry. We have lots of older friends and relatives that put off traveling until they retire and then…they can’t.

      We’ve talked about this and agree that we can make both happen, if we plan carefully.

      • Finance conflict :

        Wow thank you so much for all the replies! Husband definitely doesn’t want to sit around and do nothing when he “retires” and I like my job so ideally I’d just have more flexibility. I think as some people pointed out the issue may be just that DH hasn’t found the right job, so I think a goal will be for him to figure out what he’d like to do and how much that job pays. we’ve also decided that if we do get a mortgage for a house it will be based entirely on my income, which is less than his. I feel like we spent so much time and energy just getting through the loans it’s now kind of scary and exciting to think about what could be next, and it’s causing us to have a lot of discussions about what to do and what we want.

  10. I recently inherited a coin collection. I have no idea what to do with it. I have no interest in spending a ton of time on this, and assume that very little (if any) of the collection is valuable. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to find a reputable dealer to evaluate and/or buy this stuff?

    • My dad collects coins and subscribes to Coin World newspaper. Maybe take a look at their classified listings? They have a large auction company section, for example. http://directory.coinworld.com/listing/guide/auction-companies

    • Anonattorney :

      Talk to the estate lawyer who told you about your inheritance.

      • We don’t have a lawyer who is that involved in the process: legally, my mom inherited everything and was also the executor of my grandparents’ will. So when I say “I inherited,” I mean “my mom shoved two boxes into my car and said ‘these are yours now.'” ;)

        • LOL – this basically exactly describes how SO much of my grandmas stuff ended up at my place.

          • I’m actually really happy about everything I’ve ended up with, other than the coins. She had upgraded, comprehensive kitchenware! Some beautiful mid-century modern furniture! Swaggy items for the bar like brandy snifters! This giant mirror that will make our living room look less like college, and more like two middle-class working professionals!

            So two boxes of random sh*t aren’t bad. But they are just…the most random.

        • Anonattorney :

          Can you check with estate lawyers in your area? I have a few friends who do estate planning and they are on these magical listserves that have amazing recommendations for appraisers of all sorts of things.

    • I also inherited about 3 boxes of coins. This was back in ~2002 and at that time I was in college. I used eBay and did it in my free time (which was plentiful) in college.

      I’d go the coin collector route but perhaps do a quick scan of ebay for the items, assuming there are a few dozen vs thousands. You’ll want to see if you have any bigger ones– I had a few that were worth $300-700 and the rest were worth a few dollars over face value.

  11. Hive, I need some recommendations/help!

    1) I have a few pairs of pants that are too long to wear with flats because they drag on the ground. I wear flats as I commute. What does everyone do to keep their pants from getting ruined in that situation??

    2) I typically use the Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer but I am starting to need a little bit more moisture but don’t want my skin to become a total oil spill. Anyone have any recommendations?

    TIA!

    • 1) comfy wedges, check out AK sport
      2) stila tinted moisturizer

    • Re the second question I use the Laura Mercier in summer and a Trish McEvoy one in winter. I haven’t switched yet since it is still hot where I live and I have a tiny tan.

    • 2) Add in an actual moisturizer or hydrating serum under your makeup. If your skin is too dry it will actually overproduce oil to compensate, so you should actually focus on properly hydrating to keep oil at bay. Clinique moisture surge is a great option without SPF, Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM is a good option with SPF

    • http://www.qvc.com/Hem-Helpers-Set-of-2-Magnetic-Pant-Clips.product.L40651.html

      • Oop, sorry, they’re out of stock! I can’t find anything similar in-stock anywhere else, sorry.

        • OP here- these look perfect! Thanks for the link. I guess I will bookmark it and keep my fingers crossed that they are back in stock soon :)

          • been there done that :

            Kat posted similar ones years ago, maybe check the archives. I bought them but couldn’t bring myself to use them (they look supremely dorky, IMO).

          • so “been there done that,” do you just not wear your long pants anymore?

          • been there done that :

            To be honest, 80% of my wardrobe is dresses and skirts. When I wear long pants, I wear wedges as another poster suggested.

    • Diorskin bb cream

      And they sell hem clips specifically for your pants situation. They’ve been featured here before

    • I wear Dansko clogs with my longer pants on my subway commute. It’s not the most elegant but my feet are comfy, my pants hems are clean and I change into heels as soon as I get into the office. This of course does not work so well on the rare occasion that I have an offsite meeting first thing…

    • I’ve “solved” this problem by not wearing heels above an inch or so, and buying nicer flats (different from commute flats) to wear with pants.

    • Not trying to be a jerk. But maybe consider whether you should pay money to fashion designers and companies for styles that are so incompatible with the basics of life, be that high heels or cheap trendy flats with no substantial tread.

      • Right, because there are so many other choices out there. I get where you’re coming from, but you’re not being realistic.

    • My (now longtime) solution — I wear yoga pants or hiking pants/sports pants and running shoes to commute to work and change into work trousers and shoes in my office. I keep multiple pairs of work shoes at the office and bring one pair of work trousers (or dress or skirt, but that’s rare) each day.

  12. Dress/Jacket Combo pls :

    A few years ago I bought this AWESOME pinstripe dress and jacket suit set at talbots. I still wear it four years later. Anyone seen any similar dress and jacket combos?

    I saw the camel and olive versions from Talbots yesterday but those colours aren’t flattering for me. Anyone seen anything similar is navy, black, grey, or even burgundy?

    Thanks!!!

    • Check out Talbots seasonless wool. Has a dress and a couple of blazers. Comes in grey, navy and black. I wear these suits (pants and blazer) all year long and they are great.

      • Oh. They have a burgundy suit with a dress this year as well. Not seasonless wool though, but it feels very nice.

    • I think I saw some dress/jacket combos in the Red Fleece Line at Brooks Brothers fairly recently.

  13. Cat Lady In Training :

    More about Weinsten.

    One of the things that has frustrated me the most is the “it was different when he started working defense!” Jesus, the guy is my DAD’S AGE. He’s not some dinosaur that came up in the Mad Men era! He was born in 1953, and started his professional career around 1975-ie, after Second Wave feminism hit. And, okay, maybe things were different pre-Anita Hill-but the Clarence Hill confirmation hearing was in what, 1991? Every. Single. Thing. he’s been accused was after that! This is the same thing that infuriated me with Donald Trump. He was doing this shit RECENTLY.

    When do women count? I remember when I started my first job another lady let me know not to be alone with a certain manager. It goes on and on and on and I’m sick of it.

    • Anon for this :

      Please don’t hate on the women too much for not doing more. I know you are not doing this but others have. I was late to yesterday’s discussion but people were saying hush money should be illegal. I have represented female clients in these situations and I 100% disagree. You have no idea what you would want to do until and unless it actually happens to you. Doing the work I have done, I can almost guarantee you, short of a stranger attacking me in a dark alley, I wouldn’t bother reporting it. The prosecutors here majorly drop the ball on any he said/she said case. The defense will always be “it was consensual.” “She likes it rough” that’s why she is bruised.

      I have taken on more than one case for a victim hoping to do the “right thing.” After her name is dragged through the mud, and she can’t find a job in her field anymore, and she’s afraid of going back to work with her assaulter, and she is getting more depressed by the day, the only way out is money. If she gets enough money, she can’t take a year off. If she gets enough money, she can move across the country. She can change her name even. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It is survival. And I will tell you, these guys do not want to pay the money. We have to drag every last cent out of them. And it comes with a lot of strings. But it allows the woman to move on.

      In one case, the prosecution declined to prosecute, we kept moving forward with the civil case, and eventually got a C- settlement but the client was just DONE at that point and wanted to accept it and run.

      • Super anon :

        THIS. I have accepted money in a similar situation (r a p e FWIW). There would have been no successful criminal prosecution, trust me. It was college-aged me in a he said, she said situation against someone much richer and more powerful than me. This was the late 90s / early 2000s. It was not a winning combination for me and, frankly, at that point in time I wasn’t in a position where I needed to ruin my career chances in an industry that is hard enough for women to get into. I had to look out for myself, not take one for the bigger team.

      • Super anon :

        My post is in moderation, but as a woman who took money in a situation like this where there was no chance of a successful criminal prosecution and it would have caused me incredible hardship and pain to come forward, THIS.

      • Thank you for posting this. I wish people would be less judgmental about others’ decision in situations that they have not been in.

      • As a prosecutor, I just have to jump in and say that it might not be a case of “dropping the ball,” but rather just being given unwinnable cases. Sometimes there’s not a whole lot you can do to make a “he said/she said” case into a winner. I understand your frustration, but I find that type of criticism really, well, frustrating. And baseless.

        I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to explain to people that no, we can’t introduce evidence that 5 other people have made similar allegations against the defendant, or that the defendant did something weird/off-putting on xyz other occasions.

    • On your point about the lady who warned you – Lainey Gossip had a really interesting post about how often women reply on these informal ‘gossip’m networks to protect ourselves and each other especially when dealing with powerful men when the perception is that direct confrontation is not an option.

  14. I’ve started on hbc in order to take accutane. Y’all – I feel horrific and haven’t even started accutane. I’m single with no gardening parties on the horizon. Has anyone been able to take accutane without hbc by pledging abstinence? I’m worried I won’t be able to take accutane based on how I currently feel.

    • I have never taken acutane, but could you switch pills? I’ve had an IUD for some time now and I can’t remember what all different brands/types of HBC I took before I had it, but I do remember that different ones affected me pretty differently.

    • I took Accutane 8 years ago without bc. Your derm will make you jump through some hoops: I think two months of negative pregnancy tests (one blood), and you have to sign an abstinence pledge like you’re at a Baptist church camp, but you can do it. Their reasons for taking it seriously are absolutely valid, so make sure you are a million percent sure you will be abstinent or that you (and your partner) are totally committed to using protection. I was in your shoes: I had just broken up with my loser boyfriend and needed a break – zero gardening parties on my horizon. I swear by Accutane: I really think it changed my skin and I’m extremely happy with the results. Stock up on vaseline, moisturizer and lip protection. Do NOT allow yourself to get sunburned (ie be out in the sun for more than 30 minutes without a physical barrier). Good luck! I hope you love the results.

      • Thanks for the hope. I feel awful and my psychiatrist said I’m already on “the best” hbc. I’m just very frustrated that a mid-30 something who knows about how babies are made has to jump through all of these ridiculous hoops. Yes. I know it can/will cause horrible birth defects. But my spiro also causes birth defects and it’s not subject to the the same restrictions.

        • interesting... :

          Psychiatrist?

          Do not rely upon a psychiatrist, that knows zero medicine outside of psych drugs, to give you advice on this issue.

        • Also +1 to an IUD, which I had after accutane (tbh I would have been open to getting one for accutane but it wasn’t presented as a bc option…sigh)

        • Anonymous :

          There is no such thing as “the best” hbc. I would consult another doctor about it.

          • + a million.

            Lots of women have to try multiple types of hbc before they find one that works well for them. Most people I know tried 2-3. I had a gyno tell me what your psychiatrist is telling you, when I was having bad side effects and feeling terrible from the first hbc I tried. I got a new gyno and she had me try a couple more types before I found one that worked really well. Definitely time for a new doctor. They should NOT be dismissing your concerns with hbc side effects or telling you to wait it out and see if it gets better.

          • +1. “The best” is whatever works for you with as few side effects as possible.

    • No no no no. Your dermatologist will not let you do this. Everyone must be on birth control based on the major birth defects associated with pregnancy during Accutane.

      However – I have failed with 100% of hormonal birth control pills I’ve tried. Depression and severe suicidal ideation.

      I got the copper IUD in December. Cramping but no hormones. Only birth control I’ll ever use again. Fits the Accutane criteria and might make you feel better than the pills.

      Good luvk. Acne is awful, Accutane did wonders for me.

      • AtlAccutane :

        I also took accutane without being on birth control in 2015. I got some raised eyebrows from my derm, but yes, by signing an abstinence pledge and saying male BC was my back up, you can do it. If your current derm won’t, find another one. And if you’re in the Atlanta area, happy to give you a rec for mine, who is fantastic.

    • I just did a course of accutane last year. I had to pledge/register to use condoms with my copper IUD. I don’t think abstinence was an option, but I’m married so no abstinence for me. I’d defer to anon at 10:46am as it sounds like she has the most applicable experience.

      If your derm makes you use birth control, I’d really think about doing a copper IUD and condoms. I went totally non-hormonal, because I wanted to see what my skin was like without any hormonal interference.

      Total aside, but it really really p!$$ed me off that I had to register my birth control use with a government run website once a month along with answering competency questions each time. I understand that there are significant birth defects, but there are significant side affects with a lot of medications that doctors prescribe. I just found the whole thing really patronizing and invasive of my privacy and ranted a little to my DH every month about it.

      Stepping off my soapbox, it was worth it. I broke out A LOT for the first three months – like worse then ever before – but I thought of it as getting all the terrible acne out of my face for the next ten years. Somehow that helped. I completed the whole course and now six months later I still have fading scarring/redness but that lessens every month and I’m looking forward to what a year out looks like.

      Get really good moisturizer, vaseline for your lips (I got the little travel tub for my purse/car and kept some by my bed), and sunblock.

    • No Problem :

      How long have you been on the pill? When I started it years ago, the first month was AWFUL (mostly feeling extremely hormonal, which was unusual for me). The second month was about half as bad and by the third I was fine.

    • My doc let me do it. I had to certify two forms of birth control, and I put abstinence and condoms. That’s actually what the doctor told me to put, in fact. Good luck– and get a lot of aquaphor.

      • That should have excluded you. It’s supposed to be two methods that you use at the same time so that if one method fails, the other hopefully doesn’t.

        Also OP – replying on abstinence presumes that sexual activity is always consensual. You wouldn’t want to have to be in the situation of worrying about an Accutane pregnancy in the face of having to deal with a non-consensual encounter.

        • Abstinence is a primary form of birth control for the iPledge program for Accutane, and you still have to pick a “backup” method (condoms, spermicide, etc).

        • This is not true. Abstinence is a recognized method for iPledge.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            I knew doctors told you to be on birth control to take accutane. I did not know about iPledge. I am not a little ragey given the number of medications with serious side effects who don’t have anything similar.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            *now not not

      • Anon for this :

        I wonder if one could put abstinence and abortion (for the non-consensual situation).

    • Anonattorney :

      What do they do for teens on accutane these days? I went on it when I was in high school, and I definitely wasn’t on any sort of birth control at the time. Is this a new development?

      • I took it in high school nearly 20 years ago, and was required to be on birth control pills at that time. I would think it is still the same.

        • Anonattorney :

          Huh, maybe I was on birth control and I just don’t remember . . .

        • +1. I took it in high school about 20 years ago and had to be on birth control. iPledge was not a thing at the time though.

      • Yes, iPledge is a new thing implemented in in 2006. To get the medicine, women of childbearing age must EACH MONTH:

        -take a pregnancy test in the doctors office
        -confirm verbally to their doctor their two forms of birth control – doctor then registers this on the iPledge website
        -patient then must register their two forms of birth control on the iPledge (.gov) website
        -answer 3 competency questions on the iPledge (.gov) website (majorly eye-rolling here)
        -pharmacists checks the iPledge website and confirms with patient again the two forms of birth control

        So on the day that I needed to pick up my Accutane, I had to take a pregnancy test, confirm with my doctor, the iPledge website, and my pharmacist what forms of birth control I was using. Every.single.month. Because of the hours of my doctors office and pharmacy and when each one would check iPledge, it would usually take me about three hours to pick it up. And of course you can only get one month at a time because you have to go through the whole thing each month.

        Because white men in Washington decided I couldn’t be trusted to manage my reproductive system.

    • I took Accutane when I was 15 and definitely no plans on having sex, and they required me to use birth control pills and abstinence. You can talk to your doctor, but I think the government is really involved in the prescribing of Accutane, and have a lot of requirements that are hard to get out of.

    • I did but 15 years ago.

    • Anonymous :

      I took it when I was maybe 14 with no BC or pregnancy test. They didn’t care, probably because I was in middle school. If you are not liking your HBC and they insist, ask for another formula (tri-phasic vs mono or vice versa).

    • I have a friend in your position – no garden parties on the horizon and no interest in starting them. She said she will use condoms and has a birth control prescription. She will neither confirm nor deny that she takes the pills. Pretty sure they won’t be testing your hormone levels to tell if you took them – she just has to fill a prescription and the do an online thing saying yes, I am using birth control.

      BUT – Accutane is a pretty strong teratogen. If you did get pregnant while on it, it could very strongly and dangerously affect the fetus. So, if you want to keep taking the Accutane (and believe me, I understand from bad acne) and can’t tolerate BCPs, be sure you are not going to be having any sex, or be very sure you’d be willing to have an abortion if you did get pregnant.

    • Have you looked into IUDs? The Mirena is hormonal but it’s very low dose that stays ‘localized’ due to placement. I suffered really bad side effects on depo and nuvaring, but none at all (except almost no periods! Yay!!!) on Mirena.

  15. Career Change? :

    I’m a 37 year old project manager (it’s an inflated title–my work is on par with an office manager) in a manufacturing industry. I make $40K and I don’t have a degree. I kind of fell into this job and my training is all specific to one industry/employer. I don’t like my job and I want to move on, but I can’t find another office job that will pay as much. This industry is also small and I can’t find another job like it in my state.

    I’m one year short of a BA in History (not the most marketable degree) and I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life trying to figure out how to make those credits do something for me. Wrapping it up in anything other than Liberal Arts requires practically starting over and a lot of money. I’ve told myself that it doesn’t make financial sense to finish a degree to make slightly more when I could just put my head down and continue to work at this job. The problem is…I really hate this job. I’m feeling a lot of “is this all there is to life?”

    I’d like to go into nursing. The programs are hard, and expensive, but the thought of actually HELPING people and making a difference gets me way more excited than sitting at this factory shuffling the paperwork for the same stupid widgets day after day. I feel like I’ve put my career off for long enough–through my husbands sputtering career starts, through two children, and now that my kids are old enough I’d like to give my life a shot. Get up from this [email protected] desk and do something that excites me instead of just helps to pay the bills.

    I don’t know. What would you do?

    • go talk to someone at a nearby school that has an adult learner late entry program for an RN. my local state U has such a program. they can advise you re admissions hurdles, requirements, time, financial aid, etc.

      I’d do it — start with asking and talking to people actually doing it — what do you have to lose, esp. if you don’t have to relocate

      • That’s a great idea. My understanding of nursing is that you can get many of the credits at a local community college, which would be the most inexpensive route. 37 is so young! I would absolutely do it. I feel that there are several folks on this board who have switched from law to nursing, and are much happier for it.

        • Yes, my wife did a second degree nursing program. I would check to see if it would be better to finish your current degree and then do a second degree or to just switch majors.

          Her first degree was in the humanities and she had to do a few science classes at the community college and then did a full time program.

          She then went on to do an advanced practice degree and now makes $150k+

          It’s an amazing career.

          40 hours a week doing interesting high level medicine but if you work a minute over your 40 hours a week you get paid overtime. Also, absolutely no work outside your scheduled shifts.

          I strongly endorse nursing as a career choice and is absolutely a profession where you have good ROI for your student loan dollars.

          Good luck!

        • Career Change? :

          Thank you both for this! I’m looking into the community college RN associates program. They partner with a state college so I’d have the option of continuing on for a bachelors, or I could take the associates and go to work. The community college is 5 minutes from my house, and 10 minutes from my current job, so I can easily swing over and take evening courses before diving fully into the program.

          I’m signing up for an evening biology lab next semester!!! I figure if I can’t grasp what’s going on in biology, or if the dissecting makes me queasy, then it won’t be a good fit for me. I’ll only be out a couple hundred dollars. But if I love it, I can continue to take the pre-reqs in the evening and have my application ready for the full time program in fall, 2019.

          I’m excited! I’M DOING THIS!!!!

    • Veronica Mars :

      If I were you, I’d look for an office manager position in a private provider’s office (psychiatrist, dermatologist, orthodontist, etc)–something that’s healthcare allied. That would solve the immediate problem of hating your job, and some healthcare providers see the value in having a competent office staff and pay well accordingly. I’d stay there for at least 6 months to see if the healthcare world is really what you want to be in. Then look at doing as much as you can part time so you’re not racking up debt. It may be a case of “grass is greener” because you hate your current job so much. Then if you still want to be a nurse, go for it.

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 If there’s a med school in your area, you might also look at support staff positions at the school and their associated clincs. Also, sometimes if you’re university staff you can get a partial or full tuition waiver.

        • +2

          Make sure you have some sense of what nursing actually involves. I was a nurse for 7 years and think if I had known what I was getting into, I would’ve picked something different.

          • interesting... :

            Really? I was always a bit envious of nurses, who could work in such different areas and could switch it up any time. I knew a nurse that worked in the ICU, then in an outpatient cancer infusion clinic, then for an orthopedic surgery department, then in administration/case management, then in teaching, then in hospice…. Just crazy!

            All so different.

            Sorry it didn’t work out for you. I do appreciate your point re: learning what a field is like before going into it. Most people who became doctors didn’t know what they were getting into either.

        • Career Change? :

          I had to chuckle at the tuition waiver because I’ve spent the last 4 years spinning my wheels interviewing to be an admin at 3 different local colleges. I seriously just wanted to work there, not use it as a stepping stone, and I can’t break in. I’ve been on ELEVEN interviews with ZERO offers.

          This is definitely a path that is easier said than done!

      • office input :

        Yes. Then you could go the admin route or clinical (nursing). You can do admin without a degree– you may eventually need to do a coding course/exam i fyou want to get into the billing etc. but there is a lot you can do without it. You can make $90k+ as an office manger for a small-ish provider (about 5 docs) office. You certainly can’t start there but to give you a sense.

        In my HCOL area (Boston), the front desk staff is an entry level position. You check patients in. You might load and run eligibility checks. You do scheduling. It can pay over $35k/year + benefits.

        Coders (not managers) in large hospital systems can make over $70k/year, but there is a real threat of outsourcing so I always advice people to either work in hospitals to get experience then go to industry (ie work for a vendor) or diversify so you can do a variety of things if your hospital or practice decides to outsource.

    • Have you thought about working at an administrative job at a nonprofit where you believe in the cause – helping people in that way? I’m an artist by training, fell into fundraising to make a living, and found I like it because I believe in the work I am raising money for. If you are an office manager you have transferrable skills. But if you think office work itself is the problem, then maybe you should just go for it.. I agree that it doesn’t sound like you have much to loose.

    • What’s the worse that could happen? You start the program, hate it and quit and are out some cash. You find another office job.

      If you are not going to go to nursing school, I think it is worth it to finish your degree, even if it is in history. My company typically wants applicants to have a bachelor’s degree even for entry level positions. Since you have working experience, it probably wouldn’t matter too much that your degree is in history. Also, some bosses are education snobs and won’t promote you if you don’t have a degree, even if you can do the work.

      • Career Change? :

        I love this. “You start, hate it, quit. You find another office job.”

        When you put it like that, a little light bulb went off. The worse that happens is I end up answering phones at another office for $10K per year less. Or I luck out and find a comparable job. Or a better job. I owe it to myself to at least venture down this road and take an evening class.

    • My sister is 50 and she’s midway through a nursing program at the local community college. She’s switching careers. It’s not too late for you!

      You may have to get on a wait list for the nursing program, so get your general ed (chemistry, bio) out of the way first. Just do it one course at a time.

    • Can you try out EMT training? It’s faster than nursing I believe, and you’ll be helping people from day one. Not in the field, so others can probably advise better.

      • My DH did this and IT WAS AWESOME. He is a volunteer EMT and FF while he does his day job, and aside from realizing that he would have loved going to med school and being an ER doc, he feels service-fulfilled and connected to an interesting world.

        Our old location–a county adjacent to DC–paid for every last cent of his training, which was really time intensive, but really awesome.

        • I’m guessing FFx Co. :) Good for him! It’s one of the best volunteer programs around IMO/IME.

          • Moco in MD!

            And to the comment below about EMTs making awful money, yes. Try volunteering if your day job will allow you the space and $.

      • in mod, again, with a “yes, do this!” plus deets

      • interesting... :

        But EMTs make awful money. Really awful.

        Don’t become an EMT.

    • What credits do you need to get the History degree? If you don’t need that many history/liberal arts credits, I’d finish that degree but take the classes that you’ll need as nursing prereqs. You’ll get the degree (which is a useful credential in its own right) and you’ll also make progress towards nursing if that’s the route you decide to take.

      • Career Change? :

        When I last investigated just finishing up in history, I needed 30 credits. I didn’t even need history credits, I could pick anything I wanted to cobble together a minor.

        The draw back is that I need 101/102 and 201/202 of a foreign language. I have the credits from 101/102 French, but I don’t remember a word of it and would have to retake the classes to have even a hope of passing the 200’s.

        It boils down to 4 semesters to complete my BA, because of the language requirement. Whatever path I take, either finishing a BA or starting over in something new, I’m looking at a 2-3 year time line.

    • Anonymous :

      A friend of mine is currently in her 2nd year of a community college nursing program, and she’s 43. She was working in adminstration at a mental health facility and decided she wanted to do patient care as a 2nd career. Its not that expensive because its a community college, but it did have a waiting list. This is for an RN. Its not too late for you. I wouldn’t finish your BA if its not something you want to pursue because it will be more money and time away from the workforce without a real dividend.

      • Career Change? :

        It sounds exactly like what I’m looking into. 2 year program, 70 slots, and there are rumors that it’s really hard for high school seniors to get into it. They have an “early acceptance” track but it’s for college students with a 3.25 GPA and 6 hours of nursing required courses already completed–that alone would make it hard for high school kids. All the slots go to people already in college.

        They only accept biology and chemistry credits from courses taken *within the past 5 years* so I have to start there to even apply. Night school here I come!

    • I would delve deeper into Project Management, honestly. You have the title and the ‘experience,’ so I’d probably finish up my degree (just to have a degree!) and simultaneously pursue some sort of certification in project management. PMs have broadly applicable skills and can really make bank if they’re good at it! You can do it! I see job postings for PMs in the tech sector all the time.

  16. Interesting Article about Amazon's Family Leave Policy :

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/better_life_lab/2017/10/10/amazon_s_paid_leave_it_all_started_with_wine_and_chocolate_in_one_mom_s.html

    Has anyone had a similar experience advocating for better leave policies at your job?

    • My company actually has an amazing paid leave policy that includes maternity, paternity and adoptive parental leave (we’re hq’d in Europe, naturally) but I really appreciate that Amazon acknowledges that dads need leave too! My husband has a very flexible schedule, and I truly believe I would not be working right now if he hadn’t shouldered half of the early infant care. I hope more companies realize that paternity leave is important too.

    • Thank you for sharing! I am fighting this fight. I would love to hear from others if they have successfully argued for this and how! I love my coworkers but the benefits (combined with slightly lower pay) have me ready to leave. My husband has fantastic leave to the point that he would be paid when we have a child and I wouldn’t. (We are a F500 and yet have just the 12 FMLA weeks, none of it paid.) Would love advice for HOW to argue this.

      • I work for a medium size company (150-ish employees). I wasn’t involved in this, but I know our HR department was successfully able to make the case to senior management for better paid leave, vacation, and sick policies by comparing our current policies to those of our direct competitors, as well as to other related local companies where we compete for the same talent pool.

        Also, my company had a horrible track record of hiring and retaining women, especially after they become parents. This probably only works at smaller companies where senior management is familiar with key employees, but they also put a bit of a spotlight on key female employees who weren’t yet moms but would likely have kids in the next few years that they didn’t want to lose.

      • I did. I work for a large multinational manufacturing company that plays big in the benefits space (you put in 5%, they put in 10% for your 401(k), $10k in fertility benefits, flex schedules, etc). When I started here, they had 6-8 weeks leave for birth mothers only. I emailed HR, mentioned one of our main competitors’ way better new parental leave program and followed up (nicely, because HR) in person whenever I saw them.

        I framed it as we need a strong gender-neutral parental leave policy, especially since our competitor was already doing it. They changed it within 6 months of me emailing them. I don’t think it was done because I contacted them, but if people aren’t asking benefits changes won’t be made. FWIW, they rolled this out as part of a larger package that also included expanded adoption, fostering, and eldercare benefits.

    • I did this at my firm. Ibanking (nearly all men), publicly traded, ~750 employees nationwide, and two woman in leadership (including head of HR) who didn’t believe in paid leave. Uphill battle to the extreme. I was approached by someone in the firm for my thoughts on retaining women in the ‘associate’ role, very randomly actually. I think he was trying to strike up a well-intentioned conversation, and didn’t realize he was opening a flood gate by asking me. I saw it as an opportunity to strike. All told, it took 19 months from first conversation to policy change.

      I started here, actually. I queried the field for anecdata about their leave policies. I also accessed my peers – professional and social – specifically seeking out data about pay and time off at firms that were either competitors of mine or where we were most likely to lose talent to (ie: not another ibank, but some softer financial services employer). In total, I had about 2-3 dozen samples of ‘anecdata’ that I presented. I also had the benefit of some financial services firms well-timed PR announcements about updates to their own leave policies that were WAY better than the minimum I was asking for (Fidelity was one of them).

      In the end, the change was done quietly, but it was done. The male exec who struck up the initial conversation was naturally credited for the efforts and thanked (albeit only by a few, and only by women). He did forward inbound emails that went to him on to me. Our policy was originally 1 week full paid leave per full calendar year worked at the firm up to 6 weeks. Outside of support staff, given our hiring cycle/typical candidates, most come in at 27-28 and have kids within 2-4 years, so next to no one was qualifying for the full six weeks.

      Data on this topic was really hard to come by. However, that was the most powerful thing I could point to. I also was really annoyed to find out that having a male advocate was one of the most powerful levers in getting this considered with any seriousness.

    • I did it. Longer response in mod. Stay tuned.

  17. Did anyone read this article Kat posted on [social media] the other day? (Link in reply). I’m 33, so I don’t really consider myself part of GenX or at midlife yet (hopefully), and yet I could relate to this and it makes me sad/worried for the future. I checked on the page where the article was originally posted and people were saying how great it was and how validated it made them feel.

    • http://www.oprah.com/sp/new-midlife-crisis.html

    • I did; Minnie Beebe posted at the end of the weekend thread, so thanks for sharing it again. I am GenX and relate to all of it, even though I don’t have kids. I’ve been through a layoff a few years ago and was afraid, being middle aged, so took a lower paying job with no advancement. I still feel young and want to find another career job and wonder if age is why I haven’t found it yet.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Nothing new about it. I’m a Baby Boomer and we all felt that way when we were that age. It makes me sad that things haven’t gotten any better.

      • Except there’s a lot of evidence that Boomers have had substantially more financial opportunity/gain, so we are where you were (according to you) but substantially poorer. But thanks

        • Senior Attorney :

          That may well be. Although I will say we felt like we were totally screwed compared to our parents. And again, I’m sorry things haven’t gotten any better.

          • This is a very gracious response. I’m a millennial too but the finger pointing isn’t going to make anything better.

    • Yes–I’m 34 (almost 35) and I do consider myself part of Gen X (or gen Y? whatever they’re calling us now, but I do not consider myself a proper millennial despite some commentary placing me in that category). The section on ambiguous loss is right on. The waiting, the hoping–feeling like I cannot ever figure out how to move forward with major life decisions because I have been struggling to find a life partner–it leaves me with an ever-increasing feeling of loss, anxiety, sadness, and being adrift without direction despite being very much in control of the aspects of life I can actually control. Even though I have a great career and am doing all I can to be financially stable on my own and have great family. It’s a feeling of pervasive rudderless-ness despite being/perhaps exacerbated by being a type A planner person.

      (and so help me, if anyone replies to this and tells me I’m young and “it only takes one” or I have to be happy with myself first, I will lose it, and then the rage section of the article will well up…)

      • The “ambiguous loss” part was the one that hit me in the feels, as the millennials say. But I’m also having some career issues, so basically everything is going really, really well for me right now. Ha. :/

    • Nudibranch :

      I just did. And, yes, I relate to it.

  18. Unemployed :( :

    I got laid off in December from my boutique law firm (2013 grad, I law clerked there my 2L summer and 3L year, so had been there nearly five years), and have been struggling to find a position since. While I’m ultimately glad to be out of that situation, the experience of job hunting while already unemployed has been demoralizing and depressing. I made it through multiple rounds of interviews at both an in-house and an ideal firm position in the spring, only to have those positions be put on hold and not filled. From that, I’m assuming that there are no glaring errors with my cover letters or resume, but from there, I’m not sure what more I can do.

    I did take a break from job hunting, as I found out in the spring my mother was terminally ill. She died in August, and now I’m back at it, but am having a similarly frustrating experience. I’ve started bartending a few days a week, and while it gets me out of the house, it’s not particularly fulfilling. I’m also starting to interview again, speak to recruiters, etc. Of course, when I do get a phone screen, one of the initial questions is what I’ve been doing the past 10(!) months. What’s the best way to spin this? Caretaking for a terminally ill parent? Be more vague and just say something about needing to take care of family? Is this something to mention in a cover letter, or wait and hope I get a phone screener?

    This has just been an outrageously shitty year for me, all of it things that I can’t control, and I’d really like to get my life back on track. Any advice for job hunting after a long period of unemployment would be greatly appreciated. I’m looking to do transactional/regulatory healthcare law in NYC/NJ, if that makes any difference.

    • I think caretaking for a terminally ill parent is a great, valid, succinct answer, and I’d include it in my cover letters and when asked.

      • Yes, I’d say you took time off to care for a terminally ill family member who has since passed. Now you are looking for a position.

        I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • Anonattorney :

        Yep, I’m on a hiring committee and wouldn’t bat an eye at this explanation. I would try to tastefully mention it in your cover letter in a way that doesn’t look like you are an oversharer.

    • OMG, not in NYC (but in NY) and I feel that healthcare lawyers are so employable! We have an open position right now and can’t get anyone to relocate to take it! Are you looking at AHLA’s career center? If you don’t mind moving, there are a ton of jobs out there at very good places! PS: I’d say caretaking for a terminally ill parent.

      • NY healthcare attorney :

        Where in NY? I’m a healthcare attorney who is contemplating a move.

        • Bewitched :

          Upstate. I think ours is the only non-metro NY posting on AHLA, please check out our ad!

      • Unemployed :( :

        I’d really prefer to stay in the greater NYC area – all my friends and family are here, and this really does not seem to be a great time in my life to totally uproot and move to somewhere I don’t know anyone. I’ve been checking AHLA’s career center, and applying to basically anything that fits my criteria (as well as checking LinkedIn, Indeed, etc.), but I have sent out a lot of applications that get no response, or that just get the auto-reject email. Also, a lot of the positions, especially the in-house ones, are looking for someone with more experience than I have.

        • Not a lawyer, no experience in this specific market, etc., and I want to honor that you have been in an incredibly difficult situation with unemployment and a terminally ill parent. But it seems like this is not a great time for you to be job-searching in the NYC area, if you’ve been at it this long with so few strong leads. Hopefully adjusting the way that you discuss your time off will get your some better results, but if not, you might have to make some choices between location, and getting back into the career that you want. You lose nothing by at least exploring your options outside of NYC, and applying for a few jobs to see if you have more traction in different markets. Applying for a job does not mean that you’d take it if offered; it just means that you get some more data points for your job search.

          • I agree with this. It sucks to be unemployed, it’s stressful and not fun. Meanwhile, if you apply elsewhere and get interviews (and offers!) it helps with your self esteem and self worth which are probably hurting since you’ve had such a tough year. Your skills are valuable and I’m sure you have a ton to offer to a firm or company-NYC is a tough market though and I think it would help to expand your horizons a bit.

    • This is a terrible situation, I feel for you, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

      I would mention it in a phone screen, because it’s the truth, but maybe leave it at “taking care of family.”

      For what it’s worth, I do transactional/regulatory healthcare law in DC, and I think there are a number of firm openings floating around here in DC. Other than that, have you kept an eye on AHLA’s career page? They post openings regularly.

      • I definitely would be more specific than “taking care of family”. Employers will be trying to answer whether you’re in for the long haul from these initial contacts with a gap, and sad to say, being able to convey that because this was a death, that gap is behind you, will probably go a long way to addressing it. “Taking care of family” sounds ongoing.

        • Agreed. This sounds to me like taking time off to care for small children, which (sadly) would be a concern to many interviewers

        • Annoy Mouse :

          Something like: I took time off to help with a family member’s medical issues. The situation has been resolved, and I am ready to get back to work.

          Not the best wording, but you want something that conveys a) you took time off to deal with a family member’s illness and b) you won’t be needing to do that again and c) you really are ready to get back to work.

          This worked for me. I was laid off and two weeks later my father broke his hip, so I went home to help him. Then there were complications, and more complications due to the treatments for the complications–long story short, I didn’t work full-time for the next three years, until Dad passed. Just a few temp jobs here and there and some free-lancing. Interviewers seemed to understand.

      • Unemployed :( :

        I have been keeping an eye on the AHLA board. And there are positions floating around in NYC/NJ as well – I just can’t seem to get any traction.

      • Yup. I’d second “caretaking for terminally ill parent” because (1) it’s specific to parent whereas if you say family it seems like an excuse (2) I know it’s oversharing but sadly this is the need of the day to avoid looking like you’ll take time off every time with some flimsy excuse.

    • trailing spouse unemployed :

      I’m sure it feels crappy (and maybe I’m a crappy person for saying this) but I would absolutely lead with ‘taking care of your mother’ as part of your delay back into the workforce.

      My problem was long moves and getting a new state license, but you HAVE to have something to talk up your interim time or interviewers look at you cross-eyed like, “why is this woman such a slacker?”

      I was out of “real work” for 17 months and it was awful. you’re doing great by keeping yourself afloat with the bartending. Don’t give up – apply to everything – and don’t get down on yourself when you feel like a big huge failure. You can do this!

    • Nashville :

      Tons of HC law jobs in Nashville. Great place to live and a quick flight to most cities on the East Coast.

    • Chiming in to agree that I’d be specific about terminally ill parent/mom. That’s an understandable reason for a gap. Taking 18 months “off” to apply to law school while being taken care of by your parents not so much–I do a lot of oci interviews.

  19. appellate jobs in the Bay Area :

    Can anyone provide insight on the appellate legal market in the SF Bay Area? What kind of appellate jobs exist in the area? My family and I are considering relocating to SF (I’m from there originally) and I’m an appellate attorney, love it, and would love to try and get a similar job out there. Do such unicorn jobs exist? Objectively, I have all of the “right” credentials (top law school, great grades, regularly argue in federal appeals court, etc.). Thanks for any insights.

    • Do you currently practice at a biglaw firm? Did you do an appellate clerkship? I know there are biglaw firms in the Bay Area that have appellate practices. My firm does, but I think we generally hire people to that practice area straight out of their clerkship.

      • Yes, I did a federal appeals clerkship and used to work in big law, now at a well regarded fed agency. Having done Big Law myself, it seems very hard to do solely appeals work at a firm since it’s not a revenue generating business. If things are different in California though I would love to know of firms that have well regarded appellate shops.

        • Anonymous :

          Before law school, I was the paralegal for Morrison Foerster’s appellate group. Most of the attorneys were in DC, but there was one guy in San Diego and a few people in San Francisco, who were maybe 60-40 or 70-30 appellate-other litigation. I think maybe the group has grown a bit since I left, so that might be worth a shot.

    • Yes, they exist. I’m an appellate lawyer in California (not SF). Take a look at Boies Schiller (not my firm, but they have a huge appellate presence and are in the bay). What year would you be?

  20. MOH Gift Help :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a maid of honor gift for a best friend that has gone above and beyond for the wedding, but also in life in general? She’s early 30s, not married, no kids, teacher, and doesn’t really have distinct hobbies beyond working out (but not intensely) and standard social events. I truly have no idea. This gift will be in addition to the regular bridesmaids gifts.

    Also, any suggestions for mother of the bride gifts, since I’m here?

    • gift shopping :

      I had good luck on wedding party gifts by perusing a variety of holiday gift guides. In one, a set of gold pig bookends (one was the front half of the pig, one was the back) just leapt off the page at me for one friend, which led me to (I think) Uncommon Goods, which had a bunch of interesting things that folks ended up liking. I also wrote a personal note to each bridesmaid and my MoH, which helped me take the pressure off myself on finding OMG THE PERFECT GIFT–if I was going to tell each of them how much they meant to me, the gift needed to be a nice thing they’d like, but it didn’t need to carry the entire emotionally loaded message.

    • Not sure of budget, but the first thing that popped into my mind is a really nice gym bag, like one from lululemon. I would love one, but don’t feel justified buying one myself.

      Or, a tiny gold pendent with her initial on it from Etsy. But I like layering all the tiny delicate necklaces.

      Mother of the bride – really nice picture frame with a nice picture of both of you.

      • +1 to a nice gym bag. Other ideas include a Lululemon jacket, Kendra Scott jewelry (would also work for MOB), a nice (designer) wallet. Is your friend on pinterest? Can you peruse some of the things she’s pinning?

        • No pinterest or really any social media to speak of. I think a nice gym bag, maybe along with some good feminine lifting gloves could really work!

    • Spa massage gift card? Think along the lines of something you would give her for a birthday or holiday, not for being in your wedding. Because if you are going to spend more on it than a normal bridesmaid gift, make sure it’s something she would really like. I have thrown out so many robes, makeup bags, necklaces, etc. bc they were all $10 bridesmaids gifts that added clutter (I would have been happy with nothing at all!) and I didn’t really need or want so if you do spend more on whatever material item, make sure it’s something she would really love apart from a wedding, just like a gift you would give her for a birthday.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Your mom doesn’t want a gift, beyond a lovely framed photo (maybe of you and her?). But she would love a heartfelt note or card telling her what a great mom she’s been.

  21. Dave Ramsey :

    What do you all think about the Dave Ramsey baby steps? I am in a considerable amount of debt – $35k in student loans (which I just refinanced for half the rate) and about $12k in credit card debt. I make $65k per year and realize I have made some huge mistakes. Credit card is no longer in use. I’m trying to stay positive and move past all of this. My question is this – is it really wise to wait until all debt is paid off before starting an emergency fund? I worry that leaving only $1,000 in my emergency fund to help pay the debt is unwise, not to mention not saving at all until the debt is paid off, which will likely mean years of not saving. I’m single, no kids.

    • I’d pay off the credit card debt first, then start an emergency fund. The point of an emergency fund is to make it possible not to use credit cards in such a situation. Since you already have the debt (which is probably high interest) I’d concentrate on paying it off aggressively. I don’t know what your student loan rate is but it often doesn’t make sense to pay it off early. Student loans payments can be put on hold in the most common financial emergency, job loss. Also, the interest rates are often really low. Assume your rate is 3% – does it make sense to buy a 3% bond (equivalent to paying off student debt) or to cushion yourself against paying 20% interest on a credit card? Good luck! This is hard stuff and kudos to you for tackling it head on.

    • I would personally want a slightly larger emergency fund than that, maybe more like $5k. Instead of saving nothing after hitting $1k, you can start paying extra on the cc once you hit that number but continue saving cash until you hit $5k? I would also look into a card that might let you do a balance transfer at no interest for awhile: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/top-credit-cards/nerdwallets-best-balance-transfer-credit-cards/. That will help you make a larger dent more quickly.

      Best of luck! You can do this! You’ve already lowered the rate on your student loans, which is great!

    • If it’s going to take longer than a year to pay off the credit card debt, I would be inclined to put half of my extra cash to the payment and the other half to my emergency fund. If under a year, I would just dig my heels in and pay off the credit card debt ASAP.

    • Do you have any foreseen emergencies that can’t be put on a card? Will $1,000 cover your rent for a month? I don’t think a $1k emergency fund is bad, necessarily, and if you DO have an emergency, you could just put it back on your card, which wouldn’t cost you any more than if you hadn’t paid it off in the first place.

    • anon a mouse :

      I’d think about what a realistic emergency looks like for you and fund to that level. Is it a car accident? Job loss? Suddenly having to come up with a deposit for a new apartment? Maybe your number is 3K, maybe 5K. But part of the point of the 1K is to make you aware of how the debt is impacting your overall picture, and to help goose your motivation to slay all the extra debt.

    • Currently working through the debt snowball step. I highly recommend buying a debt snowball calculator spreadsheet, which helps track and point when you should be totally debt free (so exciting). As well as checking out the debt free community on Instagram and other social media.

      I think your First Step emergency fund should be around what he suggests, but consider anything that might require you to have more (for ex. your car is really old, your house might need some repairs if X,Y,Z, etc.).

    • The 1k emergency fund is the baby emergency fund. It is only to dissuade you from using credit again when an unexpected expense comes ( which it will). Fully funded emergency fund is 3-6 mos. The purpose of the baby steps is to change your mindset about money. You can pay off all of your debts in less than 3 years by living frugally and purposefully. You are single without kids. Every decision regarding spending is based upon you. You have choices.

  22. Shopaholic :

    Where do you buy PJs? I am always cold so I like wearing PJ pants with a t-shirt but I realized over the weekend that everything I own is horribly pilled and I need some new stuff. I’d like to spend under $30 per set but I’ll pay more if it’s amazing. Any suggestions?

    Maybe this is unnecessary but I like to look cute even though I’m home alone in my jammies and have had a hard time finding something reasonably priced and cute!

    • Target. Lots of options and in that price range.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Check out PJ Salvage at Nordstrom. It’s more than I would want to spend but the pj tops are very flattering and well made.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I had a PJ Salvage thermal sleep shirt I adored, but accidentally set on fire (long story). Now they don’t seem to make those sleep shirts anymore. Hopefully they’ll come back at some point!

        • I want to hear the story!

          • Baconpancakes :

            Ha, ok, it’s actually kinda funny, but sad because I really loved that shirt. I brought it with me on a Valentine’s Day weekend at a cabin with a boyfriend, and hung it next to the woodstove to warm up before I put it on. Getting ready for bed, we, er, ended up not putting on pjs, and were interrupted in the middle of “getting ready for bed” by the smell of burning fabric.

            It had adorable little deer and fair isle patterns all over it, and thumbholes, and was the perfect length. RIP, sleep shirt. Your death wasn’t worth it.

    • No Problem :

      Gap has the most comfortable modal jammies. Like, all of my future PJ purchases will be from there. I wish I could wear the pants to work, they’re so comfy. They’re more than $30 for a shirt and pants together, but also frequently go on sale.

    • Oddly, JCPenney’s and Kohl’s often have really cute jammies. I’d try there, but know that if you can wait a month or so, jammies always go on super-sale before the holidays. It’s a thing.

      Brooks Brothers also has gorgeous PJs and they are also on super-sale if you stalk their clearance section.

    • SillyValley :

      Target or Kohl’s.

    • I have these pants and LOVE them: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/honeydew-intimates-french-terry-lounge-pants-2-for-60/4295627?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=TUSCANY

      I’m also always cold when I sleep and I find that tapered pants keep me so much warmer since wide leg pants can ride up and expose your legs.

      • I love the Honeydew sleep shirts and PJs. I find they run small, so size up, but I always find it on sale and my pieces have held up really well.

    • Costco has a nice variety of pajamas and pajama pants. They had PJ Salvage last Christmas.

  23. Can anyone tell me comforting stories about having your wisdom teeth removed as an adult? It looks like that will be happening to me. I also work full time and have two toddlers at home so I am very concerned about recovery time!

    • I had mine removed as an adult, although no kids. Have another adult stay with you for a couple days but for the most part just stay on top of your pain medicine and don’t wait too long to take the next dose. Take the doses on time and that will be much more efficient at keeping the pain level low (as opposed to the pain level spiking up and having to wait for the medicine to bring it back down). Have the other adult wake you up to take your next dose if you’re sleeping – you’ll thank them later. My nurse sister took care of me and everything went smoothly.

    • I had mine out and it was horrible because I got dry socket. If that hadn’t happened it would have been much better. I had a toddler at home and needed help the first day home because I was out of it from the pain meds. After that, I was ok until the dry socket. So do everything they say to do to prevent that!

    • Are they impacted or will it just be a basic extraction?

      I had mine taken out two at a time as an adult and had no issues. Mine were not impacted and it was as simple an extraction as you can get, though. I was put under with laughing gas, so someone had to drive me to and from. I sat on the couch for the rest of the day and drank Slim Fast, but otherwise had no issues. My pain wasn’t too bad and I didn’t end up taking pain killers.

      • This is the dream! They are still under the gums and haven’t run into other teeth yet- getting them out in advance of another surgery because of risks of infection down the line, if that makes sense? I am quite nervous! Thanks for the replies all!

      • Anonattorney :

        Same thing for me – I think I took one vicodin and that was it. I was pretty much fine the next day.

      • This was my experience as well. Slept for the rest of the day after, stayed home the day after that on the couch, then was good to go. Did not end up needing to take the prescription pain meds.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Mine were extremely straightforward, not impacted, and while they had to put me under general to keep me from freaking out (I don’t do well with nitrous), the actual extraction was fine, and recovery was quick. I think I took two Vicodin. The anesthesia recovery was the bigger deal for me. Was groggy and out of it for 24 hours, while taking Vicodin and sleeping off the anesthesia, was fine the next day.

      • Mine were taken out 2 at a time under local anesthesia. They came out really quickly and the pain was tolerable. Take the meds and listen to the instructions for preventing complications. Have some prepared soft foods for yourself and get a couple gel ice packs.

    • Triangle Pose :

      You’ll be okay! I just did all 4, went under, the whole thing, earlier this year, as a working adult. TAKE THE MEDS, take them on time and if you still feel or have stomach issues, ASK FOR MORE/DIFFERENT MEDS. Strap the ice thing around your face and don’t go anywhere without it. Cuddle up with netflix queue.

      Hire help or get family to come stay with the kiddos. You are not going to be in shape to chase after them or clean or anything.

    • My SO had them taken out at 35 with no issues! Another story saying it’s possible!

    • I had two wisdom teeth removed as an adult. I will say if you can stage it out – rather than having them all removed at once – the trauma to the body will be much less and you will heal more quickly. I had mine done under local, and was on pain meds the first day or two but then was ok. The most helpful things for me was a liquid diet for the first 3 days, sleeping elevated, rinsing with salt water/drinking tea (tea encourages clotting), and nearly constant cold compresses (15 min per hr). Dry socket happens in 15-20% of cases and is painful but is fixable (did not happen to me). You want to be as still and as elevated as possible for the first 24-36 hrs because this is when the blood clot forms and the intensive healing happens.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I would plan to take off at least one day after the removal, possibly two. This is gross– but I remember feeling really sick to my stomach, and apparently I had swallowed a lot of blood, and once I threw up I felt much better. That’s my worst memory of it, and the rest was not so bad. The recovery is a couple of days. With toddlers, definitely have reinforcements.

    • It was one of the most traumatic things I’ve done. But! That was because I was awake and the traumatic part was hearing them extract my teeth and feeling the vibrations through my jaw. I think it would have been totally fine if I were not awake.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. The recovery was fine, but the noise and pressure and all was just horrible. I wish I had been put under.

    • Honestly, it was not a big deal for me. I don’t think I even needed the prescription Rx, just 600 mg of ibuprofen. One bit of advice – take the pain killer right before the procedure so it kicks in by the time your novocaine wears off. Lots of cold compresses help. I think I scheduled mine for a Friday so I would have the weekend to recover.

    • I had mine out as an adult, first one side with an amazing dentist then the second side with a crappy dentist (the first guy had moved cities and the other was his dental partner). There is something in pineapples (bromelain) that helps heal dental pain so before I ate pineapple and through out the recovery process I drank pineapple juice (which was surprisingly tasty). I had local anesthetic both times and it was fine. I had my earphones on and rocked out to some good music to distract from the drilling. I was woozy the day of and need someone to drive me home and I rested for a couple of days–it was a lot of drugs for my system to handle. The first time I had pain killers which I didn’t need beyond a simple Tylenol and antibiotics. Everything was great. The second time the bad dentist didn’t prescribe me the antibiotics and within a day or so I was in incredible pain which the super harsh pain killers (codeine) made worse. I went to another dentist (I had gone to a different city) who got me on antibiotics and within a couple of hours I felt normal again. The bad dentist also left a chunk of tooth in there which if anyone else tries to move now could give me facial paralysis because it’s shifted to rest on a nerve. (I currently have a great dentist.)

      It took me a long time to get this done since I was afraid for a number of reasons but my oral health has been a million times better since. I recommend: pineapple, antibiotics, a cold back, and rest. Also, if you don’t really like the dentist or have an odd feeling about them, wait until you find someone amazing.

    • Anonymous :

      I had mine removed last year, at 33. I only had the two upper (impacted) ones and it was fine. I left the lower ones alone because I was nervous, but I should have had them out because it wasn’t such a big deal after all. I didn’t even end up taking the pain killers, just the ibuprofen as directed. I think I drank some protein shakes after and ate a lot of ice cream, but I didn’t really need to take it that easy and I started eating solid food pretty quickly. I ate all the ice cream right away though, in the spirit of getting well. :)

    • I got mine removed in my early thirties. They were partially erupted, though – at least halfway through the gums – so it was no big deal.

      The first set, I got nitrous and novocaine. I drove myself home. Actually, I stopped at the grocery store first to get my prescriptions and soft food. Pudding has basically the same nutrition profile as yogurt, just sayin’. Also, mashed potatoes and refried beans are nice when you want something that isn’t sweet. I took one codeine pain pill, it made me totally sick to my stomach, so I made do nicely with some OTC ibuprofen or something. I went back to work the next day.

      For the second set: I was a poor postdoc with no dental insurance, so I signed up to participate in a study on pain to get my wisdom teeth pulled for free. The pain study consisted of giving a few tubes of blood, and testing my hot and cold tolerance by holding a small heated probe on my forearm until it got uncomfortable (not a big deal) and seeing how long I could keep my hand in a bucket of icy, slushy water (not long – YEOUCH!!).

      I got my wisdom teeth removed by an oral surgeon who gave me conscious sedation for it, and it was fab. Best nap I ever had. I did have to have someone drive me home, but I was pretty much good to go the next day.

      May you be as lucky.

    • Anonymous :

      Be very careful about your dental insurance (if you have it). SO had his out at 28, no medical issues besides me laughing at him as I took care of him :)

      The issue came after we got the bill from the dentist–the charges for being put to sleep were not accurately represented by the dentist, and he ended up exceeding his maximum benefit for dental insurance, and had to pay $500 out of pocket. In the grand scheme of things, not a big deal, but it was an unwelcome surprise.

    • New to NoVA :

      I’m late, but wanted to chime in — I had all four out as an adult, and still look back on that weekend fondly. It was great! Took Friday off for the removal, which was early in the morning, then spent the rest of the weekend with Netflix, pain meds, and smoothies/pudding/apple sauce. I was nervous before the procedure, but I wasn’t awake for it and so once that was taken care of (no issues whatsoever), I was just so relieved that I actually *couldn’t* answer emails or provide comments on X agreement or Y research memo (airtight excuse!) that it felt like a mini vacation, just with some swelling. I was pretty unhappy as an associate at that firm, to the extent it’s not obvious :)

    • Not sure if you’ll see this as it’s getting late in the day, but I just had all 4 of mine out last winter (I’m 33) with zero complications. Mine weren’t impacted, but like you, needed to come out in advance of some other things going on. The first 24 hours weren’t much fun, but also weren’t excruciating either once I got started on my pain meds. Take the meds, and take them on schedule! After the first 48 hours or so, I just used OTC pain meds, except before bed. I had some swelling, but nothing major.

      Mashed potatoes were the best. I got very tired of pudding and ice cream, and mashed potatoes actually made me feel full.

    • Anonymous :

      I only had 2, not impacted, taken out separately at 19 and 21. I was awake with a local, so I heard everything. One of the teeth cracked, and I wasn’t mentally prepared for the sound of it. So be aware if you’re awake you’ll hear the noise and feel the vibrations, although it won’t be painful. I took a few Vicodin each time and was back at school/work in a couple days.

      My sister, on the other hand, had all 4, all of which were impacted. Her dentist put her under, also as a young adult, and she was sick for a week after due to a bad reaction to the anesthetic. I think it really depends on whether you’ll be under anesthesia.

      Best of luck. You’ll be happy you did it once you have more space in your mouth!

  24. Hot Rollers :

    There was some discussion about hot rollers last week. Thanks again to those who shared their tips and tricks.

    For those who use them, can you recommend a set of hot rollers to buy? There are so many and I have no idea which are good. TIA!

    • The technology hasn’t changed since the ’50s. Truly, go buy whatever set at Target/the drugstore you think is attractive. No need to spend more than $40. Look for a set that has the more of the size rollers you’ll use.

    • interested in trying hot rollers too. Post-baby hair is not working with my straightener. What day was the discussion? Any recommendations on what styling products to use with hot rollers?

      • Hot Rollers :

        The original discussion was on 10/6 – Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report. Search “rollers” because it’s buried in a thread.

    • I have one of the Conair sets. I think I bought it at Ulta. I think all the rollers in my set are 1.5 inch. The big distinction will be whether you want a set that is all large rollers or some multi-sized rollers. I don’t think you need the smaller rollers for a modern look, but that may depend on your hair type.

      Bloggers will have you believe you need to spend $100+ on the T3 sets, but I am not convinced that this is necessary.

    • Maddie Ross :

      My absolute favs are the Conair instant heat travel set of 5 rollers. I’m on my second set with about 23 years of constant use.

    • well THAT was awkward :

      I also bought a cheap set from Target, I think the Conair brand. I bought a set of multi-size rollers. One thing to keep in mind is that if you have long/heavy hair, the bigger curls won’t stay as well unless you do really thin layers of hair per roller. What look are you wanting? If it’s the bigger/looser curls that a lot of fancy hair-dos use for weddings/parties, you might want a set of bigger rollers that are all the same size. Agree with the poster above who said that the smaller size is probably less useful for a more modern look, as brushing out those curls will make your hair look like it was permed.

      • Hot Rollers :

        My hair is about 1″ above my shoulders and naturally pin straight, and “normal” thickness. I’m looking for volume and some curl/wave. Will post a few links in another reply to avoid m o d e r a t i o n.

      • Hot Rollers :

        http://hairstylesweekly.com/images/2013/08/Julia-Stiles.jpg

        http://hairstylesweekly.com/images/2012/06/Wavy-Bob-Hairstyles.jpg

        This is a little too Glamour Shots, so I’d tone it down, but it’s in the right direction:
        https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d7/b6/6f/d7b66ffad994043c21288fdf4c64665b–medium-long-hairstyles-medium-haircuts.jpg

    • anotherDCatty :

      T3 volumizing rollers – great for fine straight hair.

    • Remington travel hot rollers.

    • Hot Rollers :

      Thank you for all the responses!

  25. well THAT was awkward :

    I would say this is a funny story, but I would assume it’s definitely not humorous to most people. My br3a$ts have been really sore and swollen over the last week, and I got the idea into my head that maybe it was early signs of [email protected] I have an IUD, so it’s HIGHLY unlikely that I’m preg, but in the .1% chance that’s the case, it’s very serious, and a test is cheap. (spoiler: I’m not preg)

    Anyways, I go to my grocery store and all the tests, c0nd0ms, fertility monitoring, and yeast infection treatment items are in a locked case in the aisle with the feminine hygiene products. I ask the pharmacist if she has a key, and she says she has to call someone. This poor ~18 year old dude comes walking up with the key, completely red and trying very hard to be Super Professional. He opens the case and turns his back to me so that I can “get whatever I need” privately. I was able to use the self-checkout, but it was just so awkward. AWKWARD.

    Why are these things in a locked case? I told my husband about it and he was like, “Well clearly those things get stolen a lot bc people are embarrassed to get them at checkout/put them in their cart/etc.!” I feel like that’s easily solved by just keeping them behind the pharmacy counter if theft due to embarrassment is a huge problem. Then you get a discrete little white bag instead of carrying around this sensitive item while you walk to the counter. IDK, for me it was just a little awkward. But seriously… if someone needs those items, I feel like they should be REALLY accessible, with minimal barriers on the emotional/financial/logistical front.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Ahh, sorry. That’s so awkward. Poor kid.

    • That’s weird. At all my local grocery and drug stores, cond*ms, ovulation kits and pregnancy tests are just out in the open. I’ve never seen them locked up like that and I would wonder if the owner or franchisee of the store had some religious objection.

    • They’re probably not behind the pharmacy counter so they can be accessed even when the pharmacy is closed.

    • The other day I had to ask someone at my drug store to “unlock” the Tide Free & Clear because apparently that gets stolen a lot. Razors are another one that’s usually locked up (but makes more sense since it’s a small, relatively expensive item; I can’t imagine someone easily sneaking out a big bottle of tide). What I never understood is why pregnancy tests and cond*ms are always next to each other. I guess it makes sense you might need both but in all the drugstores I’ve been t0 it’s always cond*ms, tests and then diapers in one aisle. I guess that’s sort of a natural sequence of things but still. Anyway, glad for your good news.

      • It is “the aisle of embarassing stuff”. If you need diapers (non adult at least) that does not qualify as embarassing and can be in a different aisle.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      If it makes you feel better, I’ve experienced mega breast tenderness almost every month since I got my IUD (I’m on Mirena #2). Freaked me out a bunch at first. And yeah, those are high-theft items so people tend to keep them locked up.

      • well THAT was awkward :

        Re: tenderness, I’m quite perplexed about it. I’m on Mirena #3, had it put in a couple of months ago and had zero issues other than the usual couple of days of spotting and sensitivity. To be fair, I’ve been eating pretty poorly lately and drinking more alcohol than normal, so I’m generally feeling bloated all over and sluggish. I’m cleaning up my diet this week and trying to up my water intake, so hopefully that will help. I have my annual exam in November, so if all else fails, I can get some extra tests done for hormone balance, etc.

        My other thought is that I haven’t been wearing a tight and supportive enough [email protected] during active hobby, and so maybe they’re just sore from bouncing around too much? I’m busty already, so if I don’t strap ’em down enough, things can get a little out of control. Sturdier undergarments + diet cleanup should do the trick (and hopefully fast because this is just not a fun way to live life!).

    • Anonymous :

      I bought a pregnancy test last year, and the cashier (a middle-aged woman) said in a voice loud enough for people in other lines to hear, “Wow, that’s embarrassing!” Wish I’d had a good comeback, but I was stunned speechless.

      • well THAT was awkward :

        WTF!?! Why is it embarrassing to need a pregnancy test such that some lady needs to yell it out at the checkout? I mean good GRIEF, you’re a grown woman! This is 2017, it’s not like we’re in the dark ages where pregnancy is some sort of blight on your character. Which, this never made sense to me… if a woman’s “highest purpose” is to bear and raise the children, then why shame being pregnant by your husband for so many centuries? I thought that was the whole point of marriage and s3x! #logicfail

        So sorry that woman made that comment, that’s just nuts. I was worried someone would try to congratulate me, when in reality I would be very upset if the test was positive. I feel like buying and taking a test is fraught whether you’re trying, not trying, excited, scared, whatever. No matter how you feel about having a kid, it’s a huge, life-changing thing, and confirming whether you’re about to face this huge thing is always a nerve-wracking situation.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Might’ve lied and said you and your husband had been trying for years and you really hoped she would pray your test was positive. Then tear up a little bit.

        Or the classic, “Did you just loudly comment on my purchases?” with a look of disapproving disbelief on your face.

        • Anon 1:55 :

          Baconpancakes, that’s exactly the kind of reaction I would have attempted if I hadn’t been completely thrown off guard!

      • I’d call the manager. Is it this witch’s first day working at a drug store? What’s her problem ?

      • Anonymous :

        I remember buying a test one time and the young male clerk said “good luck- Hope you get the result you want” It struck me as the perfect comment if you just had to make one. But yeah, drugstores are not a place for shopping list commentary.

        • Before our local supermarket invested in self-checkout, I definitely had a young-ish female cashier hold it up and say (loudly enough so that at least two customers behind me heard) “good news or bad news?” And then when I said, “Excuse me?” she held it up higher, shook it in a cutesy way, and repeated herself, even louder.

          I was so shocked I didn’t even have a snappy comeback. And even though I was 30 and wearing my wedding ring, I was mortified at the thought of all these strangers knowing that at some point in the prior four weeks I had gardened with my husband. I know, I know… need therapy.

      • Anonymous :

        Yikes. I never got why pregnancy tests, condoms, and all that are embarrassing. It’s more embarrassing not to be getting any, right?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      My theory (not really based on anything) is that some things — the Tide, the razors — are likely to get stolen for resale/trade/ease reasons, and some things are stolen for embarrassment reasons. A teenager who is afraid she might be pregnant, or who wants to buy condoms… I could see her stealing them.

  26. Sloan Sabbith :

    You know Hooty the Microwaveable Owl? Pro tip- don’t put it in the microwave for longer than recommended to get it hotter. The buckwheat burns. Burned buckwheat smells like burned popcorn and doesn’t dissipate overnight.
    Ask me how I know.

    • Anonymous :

      That happened with my rice-filled foot warmer too! But I hope Hooty is still in decent shape?

    • I am so sorry to hear this! I am always trying to push the envelope and get my owl (I call him Hottie) a bit hotter. I hope a nice fall breeze takes care of the odor problem for you.

    • Anonymous :

      Hahahaha thanks for the heads up

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Hooty smells like burned buckwheat. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye, I’m hoping the burned smell will go away. But neither the dog nor I would go near it last night it smelled so bad.

    • Hooty hoo :

      The smell fades over time. I did the same thing to ours. Now I am wondering how to get the lavender scent back.

  27. Winter Slob :

    I feel so frumpy during the winter because of warm thick baggy clothes. I don’t like feeling frumpy but don’t know how i can be warm and look put together when I am at home. What types of home clothes do you wear that don’t make you look like a total slob??

    • Layers!! Sweaters, blazers, scarves, tights under my pants when it’s really cold.

    • Anonymous :

      At home: cords, cashmere sweaters, sometimes long underwear underneath, and definitely Uggs.

    • I live in Athleta’s polar fleece tights. They look like regular leggings, but no, they are FLEECE TIGHTS. The best. They are pricy but wear really well. They don’t go on sale. I stalk them every year.

    • Anonymous :

      Go for warm and thick, but NOT baggy. I wear stretchy cords and pullover sweaters with a layer underneath. Always warm socks, and shoes to keep my feet warm. Not schlubby slippers that flap and slap as I walk, but actual comfortable shoes that I reserve for house wear.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Normal clothes with heattech stuff underneath. So this weekend, for example, it was a bit chilly and I wore jeans, a Uniqlo heattech tanktop, and a sweater. I was warm enough. To work it’ll be a solid Costco heattech (don’t remember the brand name- something degrees) scoopneck or crewneck tee with a topper or a sweater over it. If it’s REALLY cold I wear leggings or tights underneath my pants. Also, FLEECE TIGHTS.

      • +10000 to Heattech. I buy Uniqlo’s Heattech base layer scoopneck tops (no Costco nearby) and wear them under everything in the winter. If it’s frigid, I’ll wear the Heattech base layer pants too, but I usually rely on fleece-lined tights or the Heattech opaque tights.

    • Anonymous :

      That is why Athleisure is so popular! You can get warm, stretchy stuff.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Long underwear. Seriously, I wear them almost non-stop Nov-March. Land’s End sells ankle-length ones that I can wear under my ankle-length pants and they’re so thin no one can tell you’re wearing them.

  28. Help me get up the courage to quit my job! Background check came through today and I need to quit tomorrow or Thursday. An amazing opportunity just dropped in my lap (I wasn’t looking) and I feel bad because I like my boss and I’m leaving her in a hard spot. Any words of encouragement?

    • Anonymous :

      Are you by any chance the one who has been posting about this and asking for scripts? The one who has planned an event that others will need to cover for? If so, go back and read what those previous threads and remind yourself of how people told you to do this, and then go to a private place and practice saying those words aloud. Then go to your boss and do it.

      • Actually, no! But it’s really helpful because the comparison reminds of how true your words are. I’m just conflict averse. I will go forth – thanks, hive!

        • Anonymous :

          This isn’t conflict. It’s just a normal adult conversation that will put stress on someone you care about and admire. But learning how to do normal (difficult) adult conversations will be good practice.

    • YOU CAN DO IT!

      Your boss will survive. Even if she’s disappointed in the moment, this is not a personal rejection of her, and if she is a rational person, she will understand that.

    • People quit all the time. Life will go on without you. Just do it.

  29. Party Pooper :

    Question for the hive. How do you balance spending time with people if they are doing an activity you are not interested in? Example: My husband and inlaws love playing games. For various reasons that I won’t go into here, I just do not enjoy playing games. But a lot of times when we are all together, that’s what everyone wants to do. Admittedly, this isn’t too often, but what am I supposed to do? Sit them out and stay glued to my phone? Suck it up and play? Sometimes I can use my toddler as an excuse, but last weekend game night was purposefully scheduled at my house so DH and I could participate after LO went to bed. How do I not come off as a party pooper?

    • Anonymous :

      The answer is your husband should be considerate enough to suggest another activity. Talk to him about it since they’re his family.

    • Can you still sit around the area where the game is being played and join in on the conversation but just not play? I have an aunt that does that– she and everyone else still has a great time. I do think you’d seem like a party pooper if you refused to even be around the game/stayed glued to your phone as you put it.

    • How often does it happen? If it’s infrequent (like, a couple times a year) I’d say suck it up and play. If it’s more like monthly, I think you get a pass most of the time.

    • Anonymous :

      Why not sit at the table with everyone, but just not play? Stay engaged and interested in the people, even if you don’t play the game. Or be in the kitchen cooking something for all of them and adding comments here and there. Do NOT glue yourself to your phone.

    • Anonymous :

      Play the game – you don’t have to be super interested in everything you do. Make snacks and snack on stuff, have conversations while playing, turn the tv or music on in the background to make it less boring.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. This is a strange comment to me–don’t we all have to do things that we don’t 100% want to do, some of the time? The OP sounds a bit like a spoiled brat. Play the game. They are your in-laws. Learn how to enjoy things that other people want to do. It doesn’t have to be ALL ABOUT YOU, all of the time. Have fun. I can’t imagine that these games go on for 16 hours at a time. Just participate and try to make the best of it. They are your in-laws. They are your family.

        • Baconpancakes :

          You’ve clearly never played with real gamers. Games can, and do, last for 4+ hours. And then another game starts up, immediately after the first. And having played with seriously competitive people, sometimes the best situation really is to just not play.

          • OP didn’t give us enough information to know what she doesn’t like about the games, or what made them difficult for her. We can only guess. And there is certainly no reason to accuse her of being a spoiled brat or thinking it’s all about her, all the time. That’s way out of line.

            Additionally, I would find it odd if a family game evening scheduled to begin after a toddler went to bed was designed for a 4+ hour game, followed immediately by another game. But I guess it’s possible.

            Perhaps we can be more helpful if OP comes back and fills in some details.

          • I mean, if games are going on for 12+ hours then they’re obviously interfering with sleep or work or (nuclear) family time or something else important and the problem is not really the game but the amount of time the in-laws are at their house. But if the in-laws are coming over for dinner, playing games for several hours and going home at a reasonable time, I don’t really see the problem. OP can play the game or not the play game, but I don’t really think it’s so terrible for her in-laws to want to do a family activity she’s not into.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If it’s a frequent occurrence, can you find something to do at the table to keep busy but stay in the conversation? Knitting, or putting together a puzzle? That way you’re not awkwardly sitting there, but not on your phone.

    • Is it the competitive aspect that bugs you? I get it – I enjoy playing games with friends but probably wouldn’t like it with family. One option would be to try a more cooperative game where players work together instead of competing. Some examples are Mansions of Madness (solve a mystery guided by an app that acts as the story teller) and Mysterium (find the murderer by helping each other match cards). Paperback is sort of like attack scrabble, but usually ends up being cooperative.

      If games just aren’t you’re thing than +1 on socializing at the table.

    • What kind of games? Is there something else you can do, like be the bank in Monopoly? Can you steer it to games you don’t mind playing?

  30. OfCounsel :

    I represent a lot of stores and usually when something that is not subject to legal controls is locked up it is because it is a high theft item. That can vary enormously from location to location.

  31. It’s day 2 of my Lena cup experiment (another version of a divacup). It works fine, but I can feel the darn thing and I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to be the case. Any tips for getting a better, higher placement? I’m not sold on this thing yet. Seems like it requires a lot of trial and error to get it into a good position.

    • Anon for this :

      I am also on day two (different brand, but same product). I think there’s a learning curve, but I might also try a shorter style. And I’m going to cut the handle off of mine, because it pokes out and feels super weird.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Yeah definitely cut the handle shorter. As far as feeling it, I put it back as far as it can possibly go, which works for me. But your body might need a less-tall cup?

  32. new black pants :

    I need to replace my worn out black ponte pants for the winter and I’m starting to fall for the high-waisted trend. Any recommendations? Preferably skinny or straight and appropriate for business casual office. potential contender in link below

    • new black pants :

      https://www.macys.com/shop/product/inc-international-concepts-high-waist-skinny-pants-created-for-macys?ID=4754714&CategoryID=157

  33. Need some advice about transitions- DH has been in a brutal job for a year. Easily 75 hrs per week, unreasonable boss, toxic environment. He’s been in survival mode the entire time but it was really important to him to make it to 1 year.

    Meanwhile, we had a baby (I was pregnant before he took the job and we realized how crazy his job would be). DH is very loving with the baby when he’s present, but has been basically MIA all year because of work. I became the default person for everything – baby, house, dog, etc. even though I also work in a fairly intense job at a big bank. The 18 weeks maternity leave is really the only reason it was doable. Baby is now 8 months old, I’ve been back at work for a few months and it’s become abundantly clear that I can’t manage everything by myself. Things are slipping through the cracks and I’m dropping balls and I’m having to lean way out to make stuff work.

    I’ve outsourced as much as I can- live in nanny, meals delivered, dog walker etc. DH had some totally unreasonable ideas about how much stuff he could help with and is weirdly territorial about work around the house. He wanted to mow his own lawn, install his own baby gates, etc. Then he’d go weeks where it wouldn’t get done, it would be on my mental to do list, and then when he’d realize that it was (obviously) overwhelming him because of his insane work schedule, he’d basically dump it back at my feet being like ok fine someone can cut the grass JUST this once. So then I’d have to call to arrange, negotiate, etc.

    I am so so so over this. I don’t think he even realizes how much more work there is with a baby or how much I’ve been just handling. He’s given her approx 5 baths in her life, hasn’t gone to pediatrician appts, was so shocked when we went away for the weekend that I had to pump every four hours for about 20 min (“omg so much time over the course of the day?”), and hasn’t had to be involved in any of the paperwork or logistics of our lives for the past 12 months.

    I didn’t feel right having a convo about it while he was drowning in work and didn’t feel like it would be productive. Any advice for now having the come to Jesus conversation in a way that doesn’t blame him for being busy over the past year but really explains that I need help and need him to handle some things differently?

    • Anonymous :

      Print out what you just wrote here, give it to him to read, and say, I really need to talk with you about this. That introduces all the stuff you want to say without blaming him for any of it.

    • I’m in a similar situation — think a yearlong deal that just closed. I’m about to have the same conversation. I plan to frame it along the lines of, look, we agreed that while you dealt with this, I would take on more of the baby tasks and house management, but I need to shift that balance back. Let’s talk about how we can best accomplish that, especially so you can spend more time with your child, and I’m fine with continuing to outsource some of the easier things (like lawn mowing) until we are on more solid footing.

      Good luck to you!

    • Sounds like he’s always going to be drowning in work. Just have the conversation.

    • Here’s how I approached it with my Hubs (less stressful situation so YMMV): “Hey, I can’t do all the housework and parenting by myself and continue to work full time. We can either do X or Y, which do you prefer? Or if you have a different solution, I’m happy to hear it.” He was actually very receptive and took one of my solutions and we’ve been running with that since. Everything is not immediately fixed but at least we’re moving in the right direction. Hugs to you. This is hard.

    • Just wanted to say that it sounds like you’ve been through a whole lot – both you and your husband. Here’s to hoping that it gets a lot easier after you guys get through this time in your lives. (For me, finishing nursing was a huge relief and I legit feel like having a toddler is waaaay easier than an 8 month old.)

  34. Carter Desaouza :

    TO GET LOAN @ 2% INTEREST RATE with [email protected] outlook. com

    IF you are looking for a loan amount, contact Victoria Financier Trust Company ( [email protected] outlook. com ). She help me with loan amount of $68,000.0USD urgently when i was desperate in need of money to payoff my debt, medical expenses and more funds assistance to pay our mortgage and refinance my business. I read about Victoria Financier on how she helped people. When i contacted and explain my situation to her, she respond within a short time and help my family. She is great. her good work is visible. We should all appreciate her. Contact her now with VIA EMAIL: [email protected] outlook. com

    • Seems legit.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s cool her last name coincided with the profession she chose.

      • Isn’t it a type of cookie, too? I’m pretty sure they’ve made them on GBBO . . .

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Mmmm….
          A financier is a small French almond cake, flavoured with beurre noisette, usually baked in a small mold. Light and moist with a crisp, eggshell-like exterior, the traditional financier also contains egg whites, flour, and powdered sugar.
          (Thanks, Wikipedia)

          • aaaaaand now I am hungry.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Oh man, our local French bakery makes these, with seasonal fruits in them. They changed my life. Also canelé. OMG amazing.

      • Anonymous :

        That makes me trust people more. I use Debbie Tailor, Susie Shopclerk, and Dan DogWalker for other services.

    • I like how regular posters get moderated all the time and this gets through

    • Kat, seriously, how are my posts in moderation and this garbage gets through?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I got put into mod for using the word e x c e l l e n t this morning. But let’s all email Victoria Financier.

  35. Knomo bag :

    Does anyone have the nylon version of the Knomo laptop bag? It’s not the satin but nylon.. I am having trouble visualizing what the material would look like. It’s super cheap on ebay so I am wondering if I should just take the chance?

    • I have the Grosvner Place and love it. I was always a colourful leather bag person but for carrying a laptop I wanted lightweight and the Knomo only came in black nylon (they have just launched grey and a beautifully red but not in my bag). But I’ve loved it from the second I got it. It does remind me me a little of a satin finish and has a very slight sheen. Surprised it’s super cheap as they are around £180 in the UK.

  36. Anonymous :

    I need to move, and I’m not sure how to break it to my landlord, who’s also been a friend for half my life. He owns a 2 family. I live in the top apt, and him and his boyfriend are in the bottom. I want to move because I’m recently divorced, and I feel like I need a fresh start in my own place. But the larger issue relates to our pets.

    Over the summer, friend/landlord and his long-time live in bf adopted a dog spur of the moment, when they already had a dog and a couple cats. By spur of the moment, I mean he gave a ride to an elderly friend to the animal shelter for her to get a dog, and they came home with a dog of their own. It was totally unplanned.

    Their new dog is dog-aggressive and had been returned to the shelter for this issue. The shelter said she cannot live with other dogs. Nonetheless, they thought it was a good idea to lie to the shelter, saying they didn’t have their old dog, and they didn’t mention another dog (mine) lives upstairs.

    My dog and their old dog get along well, and as expected of a dog-reactive dog, their new dog is aggressive and snaps at them as well as barks for hours on end. All of us share a backyard. We used to let our dogs all play outside together. Now, the landlord’s bf gets angry if I let my dog out “without telling them”. I never used to tell them…we have common, shared access to the yard. But because his new dog is dog-aggressive, I understand he wants to minimize her interaction with my dog.

    I’ve offered to let my dog and their old dog play together and supervise the 2 of them, but his bf is unhappy with that arrangement. He then incredibly told me that I should get rid of my dog, which I’ve had for 3 years. My dog hasn’t caused any damage or had any big fights. The “new” dog just barks incessantly at my dog even when they are separated: meaning, when I walk down the stairs with my dog to take her outside, the new dog senses through the door and barks. She will bark literally for over an hour. Neighbors in neighboring houses have complained.

    Anyway, this situation is very uncomfortable for me because I am a long time friend of landlord. His bf and I used to get along very well. The 3 of us, plus 2 other friends, even travelled internationally last year. Landlord + bf have been together 5 years, longer than the 4 I’ve been there.

    I don’t have a lease. Its an informal arrangement, and I do think that me moving out will cause financial hardship to my landlord until he gets a new tenant, but I am pretty much fed up. I’ve told friend/landlord that I’m uncomfortable his bf suggested I get rid of my dog just because their new dog barks at her. I’ve stated that I do not see a reason to “notify them” every time I’m taking my dog outside because I can merely look out the back window to ensure their dogs aren’t out.

    Basically I feel landlord and bf are unhappy they adopted a barky dog spur of the moment, and they may be misplacing their anger or frustration, but I just want out. Its stressful on my dog, too. Every time I take her out to pee, the new dog starts barking nonstop, and we can hear her barking from our upstairs apartment.

    Suggestions on what to say to landlord? I’m actively looking for a place, but I haven’t told him. Should I? Once I secure a place, how much notice should I give? I didn’t pay a deposit or last month’s rent. I realize it may ruin our friendship, but I value my peace of mind more.

    • Once you have a place, say “I think it’s time Dog and I found a backyard of our own. I’ve got a new place and will be there starting X date. Although we don’t have a contract, I plan to pay for my rent until Y date (if you’re feeling generous and can afford it, give them a month after you move to your new place – like you start new lease on Nov 1, you pay rent until Dec 1), let me know if you have any questions or need anything in the meantime. I’ll definitely plan a housewarming party soon! Thanks again for a great 4 years.”

    • “I want to move because I’m recently divorced, and I feel like I need a fresh start in my own place.” There you go. Don’t mention the dog thing. You know it’s the reason for the move, and they probably know it’s the reason for the move, but it’s best if that just goes unsaid. They’ll probably be privately relieved, honestly, at a resolution for the dog situation. I’d give him a month’s notice.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. None of the rest of it matters. Just give notice and go.

        Good luck finding a place!

      • Yup. Easy and true, what could better??

      • Agree. 30 days notice is plenty, and if you want to salvage the friendship past this whole thing, just don’t mention all of the nonsense with their new dog.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know anything about the dog aspects, but in terms of notice, google your city/state to see if you can find a form lease to give you a sense of what’s standard. Otherwise, since you don’t have a lease, I would say at least 30 days, and 60 if you want to but it’s probably not necessary.

    • Anonymous :

      I would find a new place. Don’t give notice until the day before you move. Pay last month’s rent. So basically one month’s notice but you move out immediately and just eat the last month’s rent. I would not want to be around that guy and his aggressive dog.

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