Favorite Suits of 2016

2016 was a great year for women’s suits — these are some of my favorites from our weekly roundup. (Each picture links back to the original post… and of course, don’t forget to check out The Corporette Guide to Basic Women’s Suiting (recently updated!).)

Here are links to our favorite women’s suits from 201520142013, 2012 and 2010.

Readers, which were your favorite suits we featured this year? Did you buy any great ones you loved? 

Above: Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr

-------Sponsored Links--------

Above: May / June / July / Aug

Above:  Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec

Comments

  1. Marshmallow :

    Two husband-related topics today:

    1) He has been with a new company for about nine months (fairly junior level). He just had his first annual review yesterday and it was really positive! I’m extra proud of him because the review was only with his direct supervisor, and he asked specifically to set up a follow-up with the VP so he can talk about additional training and positioning himself for a supervisor role in the next year or so. He’s normally very soft-spoken and shy so even asking for a follow-up is a Big Deal. I’m so proud of him!

    2) He has expressed interest in losing weight (he’s on the line between overweight and obese for his height and very inactive). The problem is that he basically wants me to be his personal diet coach– pack his lunch every day, tell him what to order at restaurants, do all the shopping. I just lost a significant amount of weight myself so I generally know what works for me, but I can’t micromanage him. He needs to learn how to make good decisions himself. I always cook a healthy dinner with enough leftovers for two lunches the next day, but he tends to raid the vending machine at work or snack a lot once he gets home. Has anybody had success with helping a loved one lose weight without damaging the loved one’s self esteem or their own sanity? He WANTS to lose weight, but he tends to complain when it gets down to the hard work of actually doing it.

    • I hate being a mom, but my husband has 0 good life skills in the kitchen and has a serious 4th Meal and junk snacking problem. So, the kitchen is in my jurisdiction and so is the grocery store. No [email protected] goes in grocery cart, no [email protected] in the house. [email protected] for him is cheap carbs, grease, and salt (so: no Fritos, no leftover chili unless it’s frozen and not easy to get at). Dude won’t touch yogurt, luckily. Lots of fruit.

      The good for him: I buy more steak.
      But if he wants mashed potatoes, I’m not going to make them and we probably don’t have them in the house.

      He wants to craze on awful stuff, but is generally not motivated enough to cook / leave the house to shop when the urge hits. With 6 months of this, who knows, he might acquire a good set of habits.

      • Marshmallow :

        I thought that what you’re describing would have some results at least (it’s been around four months), but so far no go. I think he’s resorting to the vending machine at work, and he sometimes does the shopping so he buys occasional junk. :(

    • For 2, can you work together?

      Lunches- if you’re already making enough dinner for 2 healthy leftover meals, when you’re finished eating dinner make “pack lunches” part of your clean up routine.

      Snacks- don’t have any snacks in the house? I never do.

      Shopping- talk about it. Make a list together.

      And I’d encourage him to do weight watchers. Say that you are fully on board and ready to support him, but that you’re his wife, not his weight loss coach and he needs more than just you, and you need to no be totally responsible.

      • This is great advice – I think he needs a designated/professional help for this but studies show when the environment is supportive, too, weight loss is more effective, which is where you come in, keeping your diet and home free of junk.

      • If his tendency is to raid the vending machines or eat unhealthy snacks, might it help to specifically buy healthy snacks that he can keep at work (and at home)? It might take some work to find ones that he would like to eat, but once you do, that might help a lot.

      • Marshmallow :

        Thanks, and these are all great ideas. I’ve brought up the thought of doing a professional weight loss program and he seems hesitant to have an outside person judge what he’s eating. Maybe the new year will be the push he needs to pursue that idea.

        We are slowly working on the healthy snack thing. It’s finding stuff he likes that so far has been the problem. Getting him to snack on fruit is really hard. He switched over to baked veggie straws instead of fried potato chips recently (and we have started buying those for him to bring to work), but they aren’t really *healthy.* Just less terrible.

        • Also remind him that they really aren’t judging! WW in particular is all about not judging food choices- anything you want is fine in moderation and they’ll help you figure out how to make choices that satisfy you.

          For the snacking thing have you pointed out that sometimes you just have to be an adult and eat the darn fruit because if you want to be healthy, you don’t always get the tastiest (to you) option? Changing my mindset from eating what I felt like all the time to eating what my body needs really helped me.

          • Marshmallow :

            Yeah, that was a big shift for me mentally with my own weight loss– eating the healthy thing means that I’ve just made an adult decision. It started to feel like a little “win” when I thought of it that way. I have mentioned that to him but will try to reinforce more.

        • Have you tried air popped popcorn? I drizzle a little olive oil and some salt over it when I need to satisfy that crunchy, salty, greasy craving. It’s easier to control the portion size and tastes much better than microwaved popcorn. Still pretty low calorie as long as you don’t douse it in oil.

          • Marshmallow :

            He loves this! He actually doesn’t even like butter on it, oddly enough. Maybe we can keep the air popper out so it is easier to reach for…

          • Yeah, mine lives on my counter. If I’m having a legit craving it really scratches that itch, but if I’m just munching because I’m bored then I won’t go to the trouble of making it. It’s helped me to recognize my snacking needs that way.

          • JuniorMinion :

            Seconding this – there are some great pre-popped versions that lean heavy on the spice and light on the sugar. Biggest thing you have to be careful of with snack food is “healthy” foods which when you get down to brass tacks have quite a bit of sugar. Some suggestions (based heavily on my office drawers )

            Nuts – either plain or spicy (sometimes these have almost no added sugar)
            Larabars (has some sugar but made from dates so not quite as bad of a blood sugar spike)
            Low sugar fruits – ie bananas, berries (if fridge capacity)
            Low sugar protein bars (Kirkland / Costco actually has some tasty ones and I am pretty picky)
            Fun / flavored tea bags- I have a huge TJ’s selection which helps me not end up on a sugary soda run
            Chips – I like the beanitos brand to get my fix, they are $$ but way better macros than fried chips given they are baked and bean based (great source of complex carbs)

            Also just want to add I am a person who considers the french fry a food group so I get that this is not easy. My personal rule is that if it didn’t come from my house during the day I don’t eat it. Putting a blanket rule for work days allows me to have the fries sometimes on the weekends (80/20 amirite?)

        • When I was cutting back on snacks I totally went the “less terrible” route. I swapped snickers bars for oatmeal and dark chocolate cookies (Kashi and Back to Nature make them) then cookies for almonds. Then almonds and dry fruit. They travel better than fruit.

          2 things:
          I was actually hungry when I was snacking. People can have other snack triggers. Have your husband read “The Power of Habit” and identify why he snacks (hungry, bored, to get up to walk to the vending machine, because an activity seems to call for it).

          It sounds like your husband is in to crunchy / salty snacks. He’ll never replace those with fruit. Try popcorn (super high in fiber! Add spices and seasoning. Skinny Pop makes lunch box size bags.), sweet potato chips, carrots/celery and hummus, olives, seaweed snacks, spicy crunchy peas or chickpeas. Make sure that they are easy to get to (unless he snacks to walk to the vending machine — then maybe have him keep them in his car?)

          Stepping down to healthier food can work for some people! Just encourage him not to stop on the first step. (Also, in no way should you be responsible for him, just offer support and advice.)

    • I’d recommend being his cheerleader, not necessarily his coach. Telling people what to eat and what not to eat can really put a weird pressure on a relationship. Would he be open to getting a meal plan/advice/direction from a dietitian or his physician? Would an app that allows him to track his calories or joining some online/in-person program like WW be an option? I think you can continue to support him by cooking healthy meals, not buying a lot of junk for the house, etc. But, you don’t want to be the food police and you should tell him that.

    • He needs to make a decision that he’s going to lose weight. You can (and should) support him until then, but it really needs to ‘click.’ For me and my partner, usually lifestyle choices like that involve a series of conversations and a lot of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ sort of moments until the click. For him it was getting a new job; for me it’s been staying organized (cleaning up after myself, paying bills on time, etc); for both of us it’s getting back to the gym. When we’ve seen success it’s been through a combination of the other person being very supportive, and then putting their foot down and lovingly drawing a hard line. Like it’s fine that I leave my clothes on the floor until it isn’t, I see from his reaction that it’s not fine anymore, and I get my s h * t together REALLY fast. Suddenly I’m fully capable of putting it away, and feel so much better when I do! I thank him for drawing the line.

      How is your husband’s grooming, clothing, house keeping, and overall self-care? If he’s treating his body this way and avoiding dealing with it, it’s probably a broader issue than just food, like maybe a little bit of depression or self esteem issues. Look up ‘no more zero days.’ The original post made me cry, and I’ve developed much better habits since. It’s kind of magical.

      • Marshmallow :

        I will look that up, thanks! I think he does have a touch of depression, but that’s just an armchair diagnosis. His self-care is otherwise pretty good and he is a decent housekeeper, but he avoids financial problems and his self-talk around his weight/ financial situation can be a downer. He’s disgusting, he’s irresponsible, I must be crazy to be attracted to him, etc. It makes me sad because he’s the best man I know. Literally. He’s a little chubby, sure, but he’s handsome and works hard at his job and he’s a kind, supportive partner.

        • Oh, then yes, also therapy. If he won’t go make him go to couples therapy. Because sorry bro, for 25 years I’ve lived with you fought with you starved with you 25 years my bed is yours- and if I have to ALSO convince you all the time that you’re good enough for me AFTER MAKING A SOLEMN VOW we will not make it to 25.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, yes, therapy for sure.

            And a million points for Fiddler on the Roof references, especially during Hanukkah!

        • Anonymous :

          Oh that sounds so familiar! He does sound depressed. I think deep down, everyone wants a partner who’s willing to call them on their s h * t and doesn’t let them get away with being a less self actualized version of themselves. That might mean having a few fights about it or going to couple’s counseling. If I were you I’d be his cheerleader, but I’d also stop indulging him as if he’s incapable. Sometimes we all need a kick in the butt (in the form of our loving partner getting a bit fed up and putting their foot down) in order to level up. Good choices with food and exercise (you didn’t even mention exercise! Can you join a gym together?) will help with his depression, and dealing with his depression will make it easier for him to make good choices with food and exercise. It’s a virtuous cycle.

          In addition to No More Zero Days, I’d recommend reading up on mindfulness. I used to have profoundly negative self talk like that (I’d get stuck in a mental loop of calling myself a dumb b* tch over and over, sometimes several times a day) and I’ve had success tremendously decreasing the frequency, intensity, and duration of these thoughts through a combination of what I mentioned (Non-Zero Days, consistent therapy, and mindfulness techniques – which was essentially just recognizing the negative loop while it was happening and firmly telling myself to cut it out. I read a book that referred to this technique as ‘training your brain to be more user-friendly’).

          • Marshmallow :

            Thanks! Helpful thoughts.

            He is sporadically interested in exercise. But he has the same problem as with diet– he won’t do it by himself, he’s intimidated, and he wants me to go with him. That’s fine on the occasional weekend. But I go to barre fitness several times a week, which is a) expensive and b) overwhelmingly female, so he doesn’t want to do that with me. There is a simulated rock-climbing cardio gym opening up down the street from us next week, which appeals to him, so I’m going with him to the grand opening for a free class. Hopefully he’ll enjoy it and the proximity to our home will mean he actually goes.

          • Anonymous :

            Starting a fitness routine when you’ve never done it before IS intimidating; tremendously so. And I’ve found it takes a while to get over the hump where working out starts to feel good and flood you with oxytocin. Until that point, it just feels like death. If I were in your shoes, I’d adjust where I’m making allowances and where I’m drawing a line: I’d probably put my barre classes on pause for a little bit (or bring them down to once a week) and find a fitness routine we could do together for the indefinite future, until he gets over that hump and folds exercise into his lifestyle. But in exchange, I’d be waaaay more insistent on him doing his part and putting the work in. Going to the gym together is really fun bonding time! Maybe put that barre class money towards a few joint personal training sessions to get you started? I personally love powerlifting style work outs (I wish more women did this! No, it won’t make you look ‘manly,’ it’ll just make you powerful and shapely, and you’ll burn more calories at rest from having more muscle).

            Oh, and one more thing. Looking at it as losing weight is super demotivating. If you can shift the mindset to getting strong and being able to go out and DO fun things (like going hiking, or doing a 5k together) it’s a more positive frame of reference.

            I don’t know if all of these suggestions will work for you and the dynamics of your relationship, but it’s what works for me.

          • Marshmallow :

            These are some good suggestions. I’m not willing to cut back on barre because I’m very fresh off my own weight loss and barre was a huge reason for that– I don’t want to mess with my routine when I’m only starting the maintenance phase and maybe want to lose more down the road.

            But I am certainly willing to ADD to my barre routine. We have a small gym in our building and it would be good for both of us to learn to lift. We aren’t supposed to have personal trainers in that gym per our lease but I have to wonder whether anybody would notice or care… might be nice to do a few sessions together. And maybe we will both love that rock climbing thing and can do that together sometimes, too. I am hoping if I go with him the first few times it will click as you said, and he’ll start looking forward to it on his own.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t know your husband. It could be that he’ll ask you to go with him and still not get invested, and it will all be for naught. Or it could be that approaching this as a team, and finding a healthy hobby you can both enjoy together and fold into your lifestyle, is the solution. In which case you’re banging your head against the wall looking for a solution, he’s handing you a very reasonable one on a platter, and you’re turning it down. Also, weight lifting is way more effective for fat loss than barre so you might be shooting yourself in the foot in more ways than one…

            I have to warn you that it will definitely not click after ‘the first few times.’ Weight lifting, rock climbing, etc., are skills that take practice and time to acquire, and even more time to start to be fun.

            I could see it going both ways. You could sign up as a team, and maybe neither of you would get into the new routine and it might set you back. OR you could discover a whole new skill set that you love, you get into rocking shape because it’s more effective than what you’re doing now, and you have a wonderful healthy past time to bond with your husband over. I don’t know either of you so it’s impossible for me to say which is more likely! If you want to at least try out the latter, I’d highly recommend finding a nice gym (it sounds like your apartment gym may not have all the equipment or be very inspiring, and you might have to be furtive with personal trainers), seek out a trainer with a background/degree in physical therapy or equivalent, and tell them your goal is to learn to lift (as opposed to saying your goal is weight loss. I know it’s counterintuitive, and I’m happy to elaborate on my reasoning).

      • I don’t think it’s a fair comparison to say that resolving to lose weight is just like resolving to pick up your clothes. My closet staying clean is a matter of me keeping it picked up; it’s not as if the hangers are actively shedding clothes on the floor to counteract my cleaning. Weight loss and each individual’s body are far more complex. Yes, there is a fair amount of self discipline that goes along with accomplishing any goal, but that’s not the only factor at play here.

        • I struggle with both equally and for the same reasons! They are both about paying attention, planning, leaving enough time for things, choosing to take care of myself instead of doing what feels good in the moment.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m the anon who made that comparison, and I’d argue it’s a pretty 1 to 1 comparison in terms of making small, good decisions on a very regular basis, and also in terms of respecting yourself. To me, it FEELS like my clothes are shedding from their hangers and piling up all around me; for that not to happen, there are dozens of tiny choices every single day (do I hang these shirts up after I decide not to wear them today, or do I lay them on the bed because it’s ever so slightly easier? Later that day, do I put away the clothes laying on the bed or slide them to the floor? Do I unpack my suitcase when I get home, or leave it full of clothes to rifle through the next day (again throwing the discarded ones on the floor?) When I’m feeling good about myself and my life, each good choice feels obvious and easy (it’s barely any effort to hang up a shirt!) but when I’m depressed every little bit is overwhelming and it all feels pointless anyway. Before i know it, my home is a mess, I’m beating myself up for being a pathetic slob, and I’m so behind in what needs to be done that it feels insurmountable.

          I suspect OP’s husband is in a similar sort of spiral. How hard is it to eat a meal pre-packed by your wife and abstain from the tasteless garbage in the vending machine? How hard is it to take a slightly smaller portion? How hard is it to read a couple of articles about basic nutrition just to be informed? How hard is it to choose the healthier option on a menu more often than not? Each is a small choice, but collectively he’s probably overwhelmed and hopeless. It needs to click for him so the little victories accumulate. That’s what No Zero Days is about! It’s building a staircase out of depression brick by brick, good choice by good choice.

          Long story short, I stand by my comparison!

          • I struggle with BOTH things, and honestly, I stand by your comparison, too.

            I think weight, has some additional things that are outside your control if you’re making good choices and still not losing weight (i.e. do you have a hormone imbalance? Is your metabolism naturally slower than someone else’s, making it more difficult?).

            But then again, my anxiety/depression make having both things hard when they’re flaring up.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, there are definitely things outside your control with weight! Metabolism, hormones, family history (did you know that if your parents or grandparents were malnourished at any point in their life, there’s a good chance you’ll be predisposed to retaining fat because starvation changed them on a heritable GENETIC level? It’s fascinating. Similarly, if they were at any point traumatized, you’re more likely to have high cortisol levels and poorer stress response).

            But when you have someone like OP describes her husband, there’s a whole lot of choice there. It’s not like he’s living a healthy lifestyle and is still overweight- there’s so so so much room for improved choices and results. He may never be skinny, but I guarantee he can be significantly less fat. I may never have a consistently spotless apartment, but I guarantee I don’t have to live in filth.

      • Marshmallow :

        Just read No More Zero days! It is great! I sent it to Husband. I think it will really appeal to him and sometimes that kind of framework can be so helpful.

    • 1) I find having a Fitbit (or any sort of wearable tracker) can be a great source of motivation. It has goals for me to achieve each day, vibrates each hour I’ve been inactive to remind me to move around for a bit, and just having it on my wrist serves as a reminder of my goals sometimes. Shame he didn’t make this resolution back in November, it would have been a good holiday gift. Maybe they’re on sale now?

      2) If you can, avoid having junk in the kitchen. If he wants to eat junk he’ll have to go out and get it, or order it. If you’re packing a lunch, send him to work with snacks, or get him one of those snack box subscriptions. Then, if he hits the vending machine anyway, you can give him a hard time for not eating the healthy stuff you bought him.

      3) Assure him you can support him, or help him decide what to order when out to eat if he’s really not sure what to get, but if he needs a nutritionist or a trainer, you’re not that, he needs to hire someone to do that.

      • Marshmallow :

        He has a Fitbit! It is helping him get up and move throughout the day– although that doesn’t burn a ton of calories, I think it just is good for him to move around.

        I am leaning toward trying to convince him to just hire someone. I had good results with the Rise nutrition app. Part of the issue is he says he can’t afford it out of his personal budget, and I feel fairly strongly about not paying for it for him out of my own fun money. He has to do this himself.

        • Dude WHAT. Since when is taking care of his health “fun money” that’s completely absurd. You’re putting your budget categories above your husband not dieing an early death? Are you listening to yourself?!?

          Reallocate your budget. Pay for this out of family funds. Get a grip on your true values and priorities.

          • Marshmallow :

            I stand by wanting him to allocate for this on his own. He makes a solid living and could find the money if he wanted to (ahem, by cutting out sugary coffee drinks, snacks, and lunches at work he’d probably be there already). He has no actual health problems. He’s not going to die or get diabetes if he doesn’t lose the weight. I can’t force him to want to lose weight, and I think this is something he should feel some personal responsibility for.

          • Anonymous :

            He’s on the verge of obesity. He wants help. And you’re being sanctimonious about budget? That’s mean and shallow.

        • If he wants it enough, he can find the money in his personal fun money.

          • Marshmallow :

            Yup. We need to do a little financial spring cleaning for the new year anyway. If he wants to do this I think he needs to be the one paying for it.

          • Anonymous :

            Being overweight and struggling isn’t morally reprehensible for which he should be punished with the loss of any other fun. This is health. It should be a family expense.

          • Marshmallow :

            This isn’t about morality or “punishing” him. I’m making a conscious effort not to mom him or babysit him. That means not paying for something I know he could afford himself.

          • Anonymous :

            Are you married or roommates? What part of in sickness and health means do it yourself loser.

          • Marshmallow :

            Well, I can figure out from the nasty tone and temporal proximity of the comments that “Anonymous” on both threads is the same poster. Obvious troll is obvious.

          • Anonymous :

            They are married. That means she is not his mother. The quickest way to kill a marriage is to have one person responsible for the other. Anonymous has her own issues, obviously.

    • Anonymous :

      hook the hubs up with an app to count calories. He can track his own food and enter it in.

  2. I know there are people on this board who have said they struggle with impostor syndrome. Looking for some advice. My husband has been diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. He takes meds for these but has been extremely spotty in going for counseling. He also deals with impostor syndrome. We have similar careers. Yesterday I got a neat job opportunity (not a new job, or even an award, but sort of a “hey this is a cool thing to get to do”). My view is that it was sort of fortuitous. Based on some stuff I’d done in the past and connections my employer has, I wound up on the right person’s radar at the right time. My husband has decided that this is a clear indication that he is a failure at his job, that he will always exist in my shadow, and that he’s a cowardly, worthless person for poisoning my experience of this opportunity through his feeling bad about this. When I gently pointed out that things like saying he felt “broken” that he was “worthless” that he “deserved” this that it will “always” be like this are verbatim the list of “lies depression tells you”, he brushed it off as “I know I’m depressed, but this is the truth!” Uh, no buddy. This is the pair of f—ked up goggles depression gives you and tells you is the truth.

    He’s promised to go to therapy regularly in the new year (although he said “like at least twice a month” when I think he needs to go weekly, at least to build up his arsenal of coping strategies) but he is in so much pain right now I don’t know what to do. Last night, I had to ask him if he was a danger to himself. He promised he isn’t.

    What can I do? He has a therapist, but I don’t know who he is and my husband hasn’t gone in months. Also since I do believe he’s not actually going to hurt himself (or anyone else) I don’t know if this is a crisis. (Although it feels like it. If he were in this much physical pain, we’d be in the ER.) Anything I do or say, he takes as pity. As in that I feel bad he s—ks at his career so much that I feel bad. And I feel like “no, doofus, I love you and you’re hurting. I feel bad like if you broke your leg and were screaming in pain.” (FWIW, his career is actually going really well by any non-depressed fun-house mirror measure. I’m continually so impressed by him and his work. But if I say these things he thinks either (1) I’m saying them out of pity to make him feel better or (2) I’m too biased to be a fair judge. Again, no, and thanks for impugning my professional judgment.)

    We’re in couples counseling right now (I’m not blameless. I had a kind of dysfunctional family and am bad at family dynamics. But his rampant self-loathing does us no favors.) Our next session is Tuesday and I can bring this up with the counselor then, but is there anything I can do between now and then? It’s awful to feel like the source of this pain, too. I mean, I realize (and he realizes) it’s not anything I’m doing. But my existence seems to be like salt in the wound right now.

    Any advice?

    • You aren’t the source of his pain. When you go to counselling say that you feel you are in an absolute crisis and you cannot continue to live like this. That you are scared he might harm himself because you got good news. That he needs individual therapy immediately and weekly because nothing is okay.

    • I don’t think there’s anything you can do right this second except communicate what’s important to you. You said you want him to go at least weekly to therapy, right? So why not push back on him when he says he’ll go less frequently and communicate what you want? Stop feeling guilty about your opportunity, he will get over it. You’re not the source of his pain.

    • Yuck. This behavior sounds really weak and immature. I think these issues are for the professionals, not random internet strangers.

      • Yuck. You sound horrible.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Whoah, hey. Depression and anxiety don’t make someone weak. I agree it’s for professionals, but this is not (at all) a helpful way to phrase this.

        • He may be depressed and anxiety-ridden but if he can’t do what he needs to do (despite this already being a diagnosed, medicated issue), he is weak or immature. I would have a very hard time dealing with a husband who acted like a victim/child.

          • Marshmallow :

            He’s not acting like a victim or child, he’s struggling with a mental illness. It IS for professionals but not because he is “weak.”

          • Have you ever struggled with a mental illness?

            Because your judgmental tone suggests you haven’t. I’m with Anon at 11:13. You sound horrible.

          • Anonymous :

            Maybe being this horrible IS a form of mental illness…

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Okay, I’m no longer going to try to be nice: You’re awful. You obviously don’t have an understanding of how mental illness manifests.

          OP, ignore her.

    • I think you are wise to try to leave this to professionals, and in the meantime, I would try not to address it with him and encourage him to stop ruminating about it – literally just distract himself. I also have a history of depression and anxiety, and I know when I am in that place I want to keep thinking about how I am feeling – like your mind thinks you can solve this problem if you work hard enough thinking about it. But it really doesn’t help solve anything when you are feeling that bad, it just makes you feel worse. Focus on something else – anything else. Get out, go see a funny movie, try to be mindful of the present (like I feel the carpet under my feet – very basic physical sensations rather than thinking), take a walk to look at Christmas lights. The goal is not to have fun or cheer up or accomplish anything other than pass the time without ruminating about his problems as much as possible. Don’t try to talk it through with him. Don’t try to fix it. You have your couples therapy appointment, so leave it for then. And at the couples therapy appointment, I would insist he go to solo therapy weekly. The therapist should back you up on this – someone who is borderline suicidal needs more than 2x/month. Good luck to you!

      • Thanks, this is helpful. We’re both lawyers and so over-rely on analysis, so the advice to not fix and just be present is really useful. One of the couples counselor’s biggest challenges has been to help us relate to each other through emotion and not pure rationality. The ruminating is definitely a problem, too.

        • Glad it is helpful. You might find some of John Kabat-Zinn’s work on the value of meditation in coping with depression useful/helpful. I personally didn’t feel helped a lot by meditation, but the theory at least was helpful in helping me see how “problem solving” thinking wasn’t working for me. This book was good:

          http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mindful-way-through-depression-mark-g-williams/1101708711?ean=9781593851286&pcta=n&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Textbooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP109&k_clickid=3×109

          1 caution though – in my experience (which I think was echoed by the book’s author’s) – trying to take up meditation when you are really depressed is probably not a good idea; it’s too hard not to spiral down in your thoughts. It’s probably more useful when slightly depressed, or to prevent recurrence of depression. But you might find reading some of the theory about the “thinking brain” helpful.

        • Anonymous :

          This may sound a little ‘woo’ and out there (and I’m generally someone who HATES new agey alternative medicine stuff) but you may want to look into something called somatic therapy. If you both have a tendency to be in your heads, this would probably be a good approach! Use it in addition to regular psychotherapy to help him get used to being present in his body.

          Did he by any chance have a neglectful or otherwise dysfunctional/traumatic childhood? Are his parents narcissistic or emotionally volatile?

          • I have similar tendencies to the OP’s husband, thought not as dramatic, from what she is describing.

            My parents were absolutely emotionally abusive. My mother, especially. I just got back from a trip seeing her, and I’m having a really hard time not hating myself and everything around me, after our interactions. I finally had the realization that I’m going to have to remove her from my life for a while (maybe forever). I’ve done it in the past (and rarely speak to her now), but been guilted back in for family trips, random phone calls, etc. After how I felt over the holiday, and how I’m still feeling now in the hangover stage, it’s not worth it.

            OP, the answer is yes — please, please talk with the marriage counselor about that aspect, too.

          • Strangely his childhood seems to have been idyllic. His mother is a wonderful, warm, and loving person. His father died before I met my husband, when my husband was about 27, but they were very close and everyone speaks extremely well of him. Many of his close friends are like uncles to my husband and they are all extremely kind and thoughtful people (which suggests their friend was also kind and thoughtful). My BIL started showing signs of mental illness in his teens and so I also know that my in-laws’ attention was very much directed at my BIL during those years, which led my husband (the older brother) to be the “good kid” and not cause any extra trouble for his parents.

            Oh good news — he just emailed to say he’s going to his mom’s to help her with some things. He will almost certainly talk with her about some of this. She will certainly have good things to say to him. He won’t trust all of it (thinking she’s his mom and is biased) but talking with her will certainly help.

      • Also, encourage him to call his therapist to discuss how he is feeling and get some advice.

        • Right now the challenge is getting him to see that this is depression talking, not “truth.” “The therapist isn’t going to make me not s—k at my job.” (eye roll) But I think the couples counselor can get through to him in a way I can’t. Ugh. No. 1 goal: line up tool-kit and agreed strategy for dealing with this so that I can, for example, signal to him that he’s going off the rails and needs to call his therapist, and that he agrees to do it.

          FWIW I’ve only ever seen him this bad once before. Usually it’s just low-grade “I’m worried I’m not good at my job.” Somehow this thing just lodged in his head as the proof that my career is going to shoot ahead of his.

          • “No, but the therapist might help save this marriage, because I struggle enough with doing my emotional work without taking on yours too. It isn’t negotiable.”

          • You might point out that therapists can totally help people not s–k at their jobs. But that may not be worth your effort. I have been there – it is soooo hard to deal with a depressed spouse who won’t get help. Take care of yourself as best you can.

    • Is he on medication? If so, maybe it means a change in dose or change in medication.

      If you feel you have to ask someone if they are safe/thinking of hurting themselves… it is time for meds changes.

      Sometimes, you just can’t make people accept the treatment they need. I have found that some folks (usually men) will never adapt well to or accept individual therapy/counseling. At often when they are at their worst, they will be most resistant to it.

      Sounds like he needs a pharmacological jump start. Maybe then he will be more willing to consider it.

      Also, people who are depression prone often plummet this time of year. Get through this week, buy a Happy Light from Costco and see if it can become part of morning routine while he drinks coffee/eats.

      Can I just say, you are really amazing. This is brutally hard on you, and I am very impressed with how you are dealing with the situation. Congratulations on your new work opportunity. You are awesome.

      • Thanks. Good point on the meds. I don’t think he’s had his dosage/combination adjusted in a long time. He put more money in the HSA just for therapy in the new year, so hopefully he’ll go and the doctor will adjust the meds, and he’ll actually go to therapy regularly for a good period of time. I think in the past he’s gone a few times said “well I’m fine with just the meds” and stopped. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be not-depressed and so thinks he feels “normal.” I’m a bit of an optimist so when I say “I don’t ever feel the way you feel” he decides I’m the weird one and he’s normal. Mental illness is such a b—ch.

    • Remember that line about how many therapists it takes to change a light bulb – one, but the light bulb has to want to change?

      That’s your husband’s problem. He is not treating mental illness like a physical illness: something that requires diagnosis, treatment, and sometimes lifelong work to overcome.

      • Meh he does, intellectually. But, as I said above, he doesn’t see what’s possible and feels so normal being depressed that he doesn’t realize how sick he is. His brother was severely mentally ill and wound up committing suicide. I think sometimes he thinks “well I’m not like my brother so I must be okay.” It’s a f–ked up view of normal.

    • I just want to say that it’s sad that you got a cool opportunity and it turned into a thing about your husband’s struggles. I am willing to believe it wasn’t his intent, but it’s just sad that you didn’t get to enjoy it and high five one another.

    • + 1 million to all the other comments that you are doing such a good job of taking care of yourself, and your career, and your husband–and that mental health can be a horrible ingredient in life. As bad as it can be, however, at least _some_ people are talking about it. There’s a lot of information and support out there.

      Have you checked out your local branch of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness; w w w(dot)nami(dot)org )? They have a lot of state/county/city/metro area affiliates who offer family-to-family and peer-to-peer support plus other information. There may be other support organizations also. If one resource doesn’t work out, try another. You and your husband are worth the struggle. I hope things begin to improve sooner, not later.

      Hugs (if you want them).

    • New Tampanian :

      It sounds as though your husband would benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy and a therapist who specializes in shame with men. Men align much of their self worth to their careers. There is a lot of research being done on shame and men. Brene Brown is currently working through some of this research.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you help with the non-medical aspects of this? Healthy food, light exercise, exposure to nature, etc.?

    • Anonymous :

      Get him in to see a psychiatrist (his psychiatrist?) ASAP. It could be that his medication is not working correctly and needs to be adjusted – if that’s the case, that will solve a lot of the problem and he will feel better in short order. He needs to be seen and his doctor needs to intervene to ensure that the problem is not medical in nature. He is probably so used to feeling terrible that this is what “feeling OK” feels like to him! All three of the people in our family (husband and teen daughter) suffer from depression, and meds that are tuned appropriately is the difference between all being well and a lot of unnecessary suffering in our house. Hang in there, this must be very difficult for you.

    • One thing that may help motivating him is to point out that by not addressing these issues, he is making you feel bad about your career successes. That’s really not fair – you shouldn’t have to worry about telling him how your work is going, or tamp down your celebrations or accomplishments because of his illness. How would he respond if you asked him to go for you, instead of himself?

  3. Has anybody ever contested a towing charge with their credit card company? I was towed by one of the several predatory companies in Arlington, VA and obviously just swiped my card to get my car back, but it is sketchy and suspect as heck so I am debating this route.

    • Is the cc company the appropriate way to deal with this? I mean, the “service” was actually provided, it’s not as if you gave them your card and they didn’t tow you or give you your car back. Contacting the BBB or your local AG’s office seems like the better approach.

    • Was your car actually in a tow-able area? I live in NoVA and know what you mean about the towing companies, but I think your best bet is to chalk it up to a lesson learned. I was towed from a spot where the signage was really ambiguous and was still stuck with the bill. Blame the companies who allow the tow companies to patrol their lots.

    • I don’t know what you mean – if you allowed your card to be charged, you can’t really dispute the transaction. Disputing the transaction is for when your card was charged without your authorization or when you didn’t receive the product or received a defective product. Even if the tow company is sleazy, you authorized them to charge your card and they gave you your car back. I don’t see how this is the kind of thing that’s disputable with a credit card company, since there was no credit card fraud.

    • Investigate the rules for towing. Take pictures of the obscure signage. Jurisdictions have distance limits as to the maximum number of miles your car can be towed; use google maps (or equivalent) to ensure that the mile limit was followed according to ROAD miles, not distance miles. Go to the government department that oversees the towing contract and ask to see if it is current. Read the contract and see if the company followed it. There are others but these are the things I can think of off the top of my head. If any of these guidelines were not followed, you probably have a case with your credit card company, if not all the other entities involved.

    • Just in case you’re still reading, I’d recommend searching for lawyers who deal with illegal towing in your area. My husband handles a significant number of such cases in another state and has found that rarely do the towing companies and companies that contract with them have their ducks in a row. For you, this charge may be no big deal. However, many of these instances of illegal towing happen to indigent persons, creating significant financial and logistical stress (e.g., traveling farther than the statute allows to pick up the car, having to take time from work or find caregivers for dependents, payments of fees, etc.). It may be no big deal to you, but sending a wake up call to the towing company or owner of the premises from which you were towed may help someone in another situation.

  4. New Trench Coat :

    My post-partum $99 Lands End Canvas Trench Coat is great, but now just really too large all around (and too expensive to alter, so it will get donated).

    Since I’m at a stable size, I’d like to replace it and don’t have an official budget (plus, lots of things are on sale). Worth it to try Burberry? Or just go with a London Fog? I’d like something with a zip-out lining and that goes closer to the knee than my butt. If Burberry, go to a store or somewhere else (or wait for something like the NAS)?

    • Stay with Lands End! Mine is 7 years old and still going strong. Why throw money away on branding?

      • New Trench Coat :

        The one I have now is a Burberry knock-off and a really good one at that (no lining though).

        The one I had before was [email protected] and didn’t have a belt and was good but not fantastic. I will check for faux-Burberry since they (perpetually) have a sale on.

        • link? I am desperate for a professional looking knee length single breasted trench with a button out lining.

          • New Trench Coat :

            This is the closest thing I see. I’d prefer the color to be a bit darker.

            http://www.londonfog.com/women/outerwear/trench-coats/audrey-classic-double-breasted-trench-coat-detachable-hood-liner.html

    • I have a Burberry coat I bought in 2009 and have worn it every winter since, and it still looks brand new and stylish. I look beautiful and professional in it. And the wool is very soft and very warm. Definitely worth it! Burberry styles are classic and if you can afford it you should go for it. I have dreams about handing it down to my children one day.

  5. DVF wrap rant :

    I had a mammogram recently. My deal with myself is if I ever need reconstructive surgery in this dept, I can go up to whatever size will fill up a DVF wrap dress. [half-kidding — a lump turned out to be a cyst; weird to get an ultrasound when not pregnant.]

    But, seriously, DVF, can you design a wrap dress that works if you are a flat-chested pear?

    • I mean this kindly, but wrap dresses work best on women who are busty and evenly proportioned. As a flat-chested pear myself, no wrap style every looks good on me (this includes bathrobes and trenches too). I think you should focus on what flatters what you got, not getting frustrated with styles that you wish would work but don’t work. I promise, you will be happier!

      • DVF wrap rant :

        I hear you and lesson learned.

        I had a DVF wrap in my “when you meet Goal X, you can go shopping for whichever one you want.” I met the Goal. Now I’m just feeling grumpy. And sales people saying “it’s adjustable,” just stop. It needs to be adjustable on some weird diagonal (to make it into a cone) and not just on the perpendicular to the floor.

        Feeling spacially challenged and grumpy. I guess it’s time for Accessory Therapy.

        • I’m a flat chested pear and faux wrap styles work well on me. I had one that had a surplice top with a set-in waist-band at the narrowest part of my waist (so low rib cage) and then an a-line skirt. It looked great on me. I think the DVF dresses are probably just too straight up and down, and clingy.

        • You could take it up at the shoulders, but there are so many other wrap dresses out there. Don’t get stuck on a particular brand.

      • Busty but not *too* busty – they look ridiculous on me because you’re seeing a lot of cami in the V. (Some wrap dresses look good, but never the DVF ones.)

        • +1 – if it makes you feel any better I’m busty and wraps always gape terribly. I really look best in a sheath.

        • Relatively busty (D cup) hourglass here, and wrap dresses look terrible on me. I’m convinced they flatter nobody.

        • Senior Attorney :

          +1

          I scored a DVF wrap dress for a song at the consignment store, and finally ended up giving it away because it just showed way too much cami in front and I never felt as fab as I wanted to.

          • Nordstroms will add a snap to the front of the dress to keep it laying flat and properly closed. (I’d do it myself but cannot manage a needle, sigh.) In any event, that is how you get it to work. That and learning the correct knot…it has to be a type of square flat knot, they look best.

    • Wrap dresses aren’t for us. Another flat chested pear here.

      • I’m a flat chested pair too. As an alternative, I bought a DVF button up silk shirt dress that I LOVE and get a ton of compliments on. Fun pattern and drapes beautifully!

    • It’s so disappointing when your treat-yourself thing doesn’t end up being as great as you wanted it!

      I have a fantasy where I get my b**bs done (smaller, in my case, and infinitely perky) and I wear nothing but backless dresses for the rest of my days.

  6. Getting Over A Breakup :

    Doesnt seem to be many ‘rettes on here today due to the holiday but want some advice on how to get over a break up. I dont want to get into the details but long story short – we werent on the same page and I didnt want to waste time and in retrospect the writing was kind of on the wall. Its only been a few days since it ended and we thankfully werent together super long (less than a year). Its just discouraging and I just hate dating but do want a long term relationship (also sick on online dating – maybe its not for me?). Idk any advice on how to move forward/personal stories would be helpful :)

    • Senior Attorney :

      Aw, I’m so sorry!

      I left my husband not quite four years ago, and unfortunately in my experience it just sucks until it doesn’t. I spent months just gritting my teeth and saying “the only way out is through…” Hopefully it will be weeks rather than months for you, but be kind and patient with yourself. And you are doing the right thing by letting go of the wrong relationship so that the right one can find you!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Although I don’t put it in those terms, “the only way out is through” is a super good philosophy for cr*ppy situations. I also like “It just sucks until it doesn’t,” and then even so, sometimes it comes back and sucks again for just a little while and then it doesn’t suck again.

      • My mantra was “the only way over it is under it” and I was quite the h o for a while. Worked for me!

    • I’m sorry – that’s not fun ever, and especially this time of year. I’ve been in your shoes a ton & my best advice is to just give it some time and do things for yourself before you even think about dating again. Go do all the things you like to do, do a little retail therapy, see your most fun and positive girlfriends. When you get to a better place, try to reframe how you look at dating. If you go into it hating it, it’s never going to be fun. Try to see it as a way to try a new bar or restaurant & worst case scenario is that you have an opinion on a new spot and best case is you met someone amazing. I’d also say not to write off online dating and to reframe that too – look at it as a source of people to meet, not an end in itself. Stay open to meeting people in real life but recognize that’s the place most people looking for a relationship are likely to be. For the personal story part – I dated for years and years and years. Online, offline, etc. Had a number of long term relationships, shorter-term relationships etc. Someone told me “dating sucks until it doesn’t.” Shortly after I turned 40 I went on yet another online date, and miracle of miracles, met my darling, lovely husband. We married 6 months to the day after meeting him that night and lived happily ever after (couldn’t resist). Anyway, hang in there & take care of you right now.

    • I was in your sitch ~6 months ago, and I feel for you. It does get better eventually. Buy yourself some presents and enjoy the sadness weight loss (the only good thing about being so miserable). I found that exercising every day really helped me through the miserable parts.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry! Getting over a breakup is just as hard at 40 as it was at 16! I dated a guy for a month and cried over him for a week. How many breakups did I suffer in 8 years of dating? Too many to count! My best advice is this: distract yourself while you are feeling torn up over it. Go out with friends, call girlfriends and make plans, throw yourself into your work – whatever you have to do to take your mind off of it even for a little while. If you are home alone with nothing to do it will be much worse. In about two weeks, after you get a little distance, you should start feeling better each day. Don’t completely write off on-line dating, but take a break now and then if it starts to get depressing. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I just told me friend today that online dating is like going to a public pool – they let everyone in there! It’s a numbers game. You have to kiss a lot of frogs until you find your prince, but I eventually found mine (online!)

  7. I’m looking for some kind of unicorn boot/bootie that is good for New England winters, comfy for walking/commuting to work, and feels like an Ugg but looks semi-professional. I work in a very casual office, but I’m hoping to look more professional in the new year. It’s just so cold, and I’m finding it hard to resist the comfort/coziness of the Uggs. Any recommendations? TIA!

    • http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/ugg-bonham-chelsea-boot-women/4367418?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK%20LEATHER

      Or these underneath pants
      http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/ugg-cedric-water-resistant-boot-women/4350578?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=CHESTNUT%20SUEDE

      But generally I don’t think there is any reason for your walking in NE winter shoes to be the same as your wearing in the office shoes.

    • I would look at Merrells. They make several waterproof booties and low boots. I can vouch for both New England appropriateness (wear with wool socks for the coldest days) and comfort. Alternatively, Ugg do make a few more professional-looking boots, like the Aliso and LaVelle, that have the wool lining.

    • I just purchased the Blondo Via boots for commuting to work in the snow, and I love them so far. They’re pricey and were a huge purchase for me (although note you can get 20% off by signing up for the mailing list) but I’ve been searching for the unicorn for years and decided it was worth it for good winter boots. They look semi-professional but they’re so so warm. They’re new and we still haven’t had a seriously bad snowstorm so I’m not positive about longevity yet, but they have awesome reviews so I’m hoping they will be a good investment.

    • These are great! Thank you all. Time to do some slow workweek shopping :)

      • I am in Boston, bought the Blondo Vias on Amaz_n for ~$200 in September (unicorn Size 12 FTW!) and have been wearing them regularly. They are, in a word, amazing. They’re my second pair of Blondos (other pair lasted 2 years and is going strong after new insert and new heel sole). Blondos are totally worth it.

        I would also check out Aquatalia. A lot of their stuff is on sale at Nordstrom and also, they have a sale on their own website. You can add to the sale on their website with a GiltCity coupon for a specific 50% off amount and double the discount. This has now brought Aquatalia within “pricy but not insane” territory for me lately. May just pull the trigger. The GiltCity coupon is only available for a day or so more though.

    • La Canadienne is great for comfortable boots and booties, and many of their styles are waterproof.

      • +1

        All of mine are La Canadienne. I have three pairs of their booties, all bought at after Christmas sales. All weatherproof black suede. The booties with the slightly higher rise work the best. I love them with my ankle pants and with skirts.

        I live in Chicago.

        Aquatalia is also fabulous, but pricey.

        Now is a great time to find things on sale.

  8. Fashion advice, please – I just bought these pants: https://mmlafleur.com/shop/nakamura-sahara. Already owned them in black and love the fit, so went ahead and bought this color on sale. What colors would you pair with them? Is it possible to make these work for winter, or should I just wait and make them fall/spring pants?

  9. Favorite Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday present that you got? Favorite that you gave?

    Got: I’m loving my new Boden pajamas. Probably the best pajamas I’ve ever had, and I love pajamas. Highly recommend the woven ones (and they’re on sale!). I got them in ivory/gold polka dot and they’re cute and so comfortable.

    Gave: My mom’s favorite TV show was Mad Men, and I bought her an authentic prop from the show (A mid century modern tray that was in Don’s apartment). She loved it!

    • Got: Moroccan embroiled scarf

      Gave: Tiffany necklace

    • Got: I got an ice cream dish that’s shaped like an ice cream cone. It makes me giggle every time I think about it. the sweater I’m wearing today is pretty great too.

      Gave: I got my husband and my brother each a drone. My mm has ruled that my brother can’t use his in the house, but I suspect he’s been flying it in his room.

      • I gave drones this year too! Got one for my husband, an uncle, an aunt, and a brother in law. Big hit! The first two I got while on a killer sale ($30 each for amazing drone with video camera). When I realized later that they’d also be great for the second two people, they weren’t on the same great sale, but they averaged out among the four to a totally reasonable price.

        The four gifts went to different families and were opened at different times….otherwise we def. would have had drone races. :)

    • Got: walking stick from here: http://www.kingfisherwoodworks.com

      Gave: Henkel knife to my BIL. His eyes lit up.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Got: a waffle maker from my new-ish bf. It is never something I would have bought for myself, but I have been finding delicious looking waffle recipes for the last couple of months, and apparently talking about them a lot. For me, it was the perfectly frivolous yet useful and incredibly thoughtful present.

      Gave: a soft boiled egg top cutter/cracker to my mom. Since she’s German, soft boiled eggs served in the shells with the tops cut off are a regular breakfast thing. I found this German gadget for less than ten bucks that cuts the tops off the shells perfectly.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve had a waffle maker for years and it absolutely slays like nothing else when I host a brunch. My favorite way to serve them is to make a bunch and put out different fruits and toppings for people to select from.

      • Anonymous :

        If it happens to be a belgian waffle maker and you are feeling particularly ambitious, I cannot recommend these liege waffles enough. They are a lot of work but oh so worth it! I make a batch and then throw them in the freezer to be reheated in the toaster later. https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/05/liege-waffles/

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      I’m not sure the new furnace counts, but I did just get one of those. Ways to know you’re an adult: Being happy about replacing a furnace that is 20ish years old, even when that furnace replacement accidentally coincides with Christmas.

      Got: A slate “cheese board” in the shape of a state. The slate is etched with cities and regions, including all the ones that are important to me or my extended family.

      Gave: A cross-stitch I made for my aunt’s new home.

    • Got:

      A lovely little ceramic blue rose my 11 year old niece made for me.
      And a box of See’s milk chocolate buttercreams that I bought myself.

      Gave:

      A set of 100 gel pens that I bought at Costco that my niece loved and started using right away.

    • Got: an online advent calendar. I had such a nice time with it, relaxing in the morning.

      Gave: custom coasters made with family pictures. Fun sweatshirts from Buy Me Brunch and Blue Q socks. Also, a painting of a N.O. door that was customized with my friends’ address.

    • That Mad Men prop is amazing!

    • KateMiddletown :

      Got: Fitbit Flex 2 and Withings scale
      Gave: Phillips wakeup light to my SO (I also get to benefit from this) and Urban Decay Naked pallets and Hamilton tix to my stepdaughters

    • Got: My mom made me a cookbook with all of our family recipes. I’ve been asking her to document them for years (she’s one of those amazing home cooks that keeps everything in her head), and I’m so excited to start making family staples “the way she does”.

      Gave: I gave my sister the Madewell fleet jacket she’s been lusting after for months. She was so excited about it.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Got: Wine booties from Nordstrom or my new long winter coat- Tahari, SO warm, and not unattractive. I’ll post a link to both in a follow up comment. Love them.
      Gave: Oddly enough, a fruitcake. My dad loves them from a place in Texas and I surprised him with an overnight delivery on the 23rd of a fruitcake. He was so touched.

      Things I bought or got after recommendations here: The NYTimes obits book, which my dad ALSO loves. The microwaveable owl, which I ADORE, more than any adult probably should. Hamilton soundtrack, which my dad said he liked but I’m not sure if he was just saying that because I was so excited.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/tahari-quinn-down-feather-coat/4411237?cm_mmc=google-_-productads-_-Women%3AOuterwear%3A3_4orLongCoat-_-5209015&rkg_id=h-30aa5265273033f65c51e540a82ecd98_t-1482946505&adpos=1o1&creative=145518920869&device=m&network=g&gclid=Cj0KEQiA4o3DBRCJsZqh8vWqt_8BEiQA2Fw0eU0GQlAnllK5_gaW1Gf3WEiG_f8uGO9GHp5NfXutCCMaAo6w8P8HAQ

        http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/bp-trolley-bootie-women/4548895?origin=related-4548895-60167688-6-MOBI_FTR-Data_Lab_Recommendo_V2-recently_viewed_hybrid_v3&recs_type=related&recs_productId=4548895&recs_categoryId=60167688&recs_productOrder=6&recs_placementId=MOBI_FTR&recs_source=Data_Lab_Recommendo_V2&recs_strategy=recently_viewed_hybrid_v3&recs_referringPageType=category_page

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Collin Street Bakery? :)

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Yup. My dad just sat in his coat and hat and ate fruitcake (too much time to take them off!) and then posted a selfie on Facebook.

      • When you said “wine booties” I was totally envisioning little shoe coozies for wine bottles.

    • Favorite I gave: money to Donor’s Choose
      Favorite I received: pearl bracelet from kojima pearl. I can’t stop looking at it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Got: Christmas tree ornament that looks just like me, complete with leopard print skirt and sparkly gold shoes!

      Gave: Amazon Echo for my son. I thought he might be grumpy about it because he makes fun of me and my “robot friend,” but turns out he was thrilled.

      • I knew there was (yet another) reason I liked you! Leopard and gold are pretty much my everything! What a great gift- was it custom?

        • Senior Attorney :

          It wasn’t — my friend walked into Home Goods and there it was, so of course she had to get it for me! So fun!!

    • Gave: a play kitchen to my kiddo — it is ALL she has wanted to play with since it appeared on xmas morning.

      Got: slippers! i am loving having toasty feet in the house all the time.

    • Gave: custom beer tote to my dad and a handmade bowl to my mom that was made by a friend and which my mom immediately put out on the counter.

      Got: running mittens and a cool trail running coffee table book.

    • Jitterbug :

      Gave: my boyfriend Boss Monster, which is a super fun game we played together at a board game cafe recently. It’s also a gift for me because now he can bring it to came nights. And I kept beating him when we played it at the cafe!

      Got: A brie baker with the words “let it brie” on the lid, from my sister.

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      Got: Tag Heuer Aquaracer

      Gave: Ani and Alex “Grandmother” bracelet to my mom, from my daughter

    • Anonymous :

      got: wool socks from my brother -they were a tiny piece of my gift, but they are SO COMFY and fit perfectly and my chronically cold feet have sent him 3 thank-you texts.

      gave: dorky car diagnostic tool to my BIL that he swooned over AND acrylic magnets with pics of my kids to my grandmother and grandmother-in-law. There were tears.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Got: I got the wallet that I’ve been in love with for awhile, but the surprise hit was the Sprinkles baking book. Making red velvet cupcakes for NYE!

      Gave: My sister and I gave my dad a drone and I gave my nephew stomp rockets and saw the cutest video of him playing with them for the first time.

  10. I have to work closely with an outside contractor who throws hostile sexist comments my way on a regular basis (3x/month, maybe). He’s done this in front of clients and c-suite level people in my company, and did the same to the woman who held my role before me (he is the reason she left). Everyone involved agrees that he is a nightmare, but no one will stand up to him, and he brings in good business for the firm.

    I am working on leaving, but think it will take quite a while. In the meantime, I’ve started to document his comments, because that seems like the smart thing to do, but I’m not sure what to do with my little spreadsheet now that I have it. Share it with HR? Keep it quiet and sit on it until I need it? Is documenting this supposed to be a CYA thing, or is it meant to be a more proactive tool? Advice would be so appreciated!

    • If everyone agrees he’s a nightmare and doesn’t do anything, leaving is probably your best bet (including HR, I’m assuming? Although sometimes HR doesn’t know what to do with contractors, they should be willing to say something to whoever owns that contractual relationship…) You’re really just documenting in case something really really bad happens (like an assault or something) and you need to document that the company may have put you at risk. I guess if you wanted to sue based on a hostile work environment or something this would also help you but it’s probably just better to move on.

    • Meet with HR on a regular basis (once a month or every other month). Document, discuss, and discuss strategies for handling this.

      Yes, HR can be the very definition of useless, but they can’t fix what they don’t know about.

      Follow up the HR meetings with a written summary to them, cc-ing your personal email.

    • A company shouldn’t tolerate this kind of behavior directed at its workers. You’d be doing a favor to whomever comes after you if you use the company’s process for reporting sexual harassment.

  11. Texas next week :

    Going to TX next week for a training course at A&M. Likely to be very casual, but I’m planning to pack blouses and jeans.
    To me, the predicted 50-70 degree weather sounds downright warm. Will I look unseasonable or odd in short sleeves or semi-sheer fabric?

    • I live in Atlanta, and it is unseasonably warm here too. Honestly, I see locals wearing the full gamut of potential clothing, including winter coats and flip flops. Whatever you choose will be fine. I would suggest lots of layers. It can feel colder than you expect if it is breezy outside, or warmer than you expect with high humidity and still air. Additionally, no one really knows how to regulate building temperatures right now so they run from overwhelmingly warm to teeth-chattering cold.

    • Short sleeves and lightweight fabrics are fine- just try to keep them in fall/winter colors and prints. I’d suggest layers too. You won’t know if the buildings will be running A/C or heat and it can change during the day.

      • Texas next week :

        Color pallette, that’s a point I hadn’t thought of. Thanks.
        I know I’m over thinking this, but it’s my first work travel ever, and I just want to avoid having anything except work on my mind while I’m actually there. No one focuses well while feelings self-concious.

      • anon anon armani :

        It was 66-68 in my building today. Had on a Snow Angel brand zip up and then a sweater over it. Hot in both on the way outdoors. Layers indeed!

    • That’s about normal for winters here. If it’s closer to 50, you’ll see heavy coats! We have to wear or winter gear sometime.

  12. Styling an Hermes scarf :

    Anyone have any ideas on how to style an Hermes scarf without looking to matronly? I have seen some women use the metal knot thing but it just seems to look a little off on me. Any suggestions?

    • Good question. I couldn’t pull it off. So I finally framed it and it hangs on my wall. Love it.

    • I wear them about 2-3 times a week. They come with “playing cards” that show you different styles, so some of this is adapted from those or other ideas. For work, I will do: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/trends/how-to/a11566/7-cool-ways-to-style-a-scarf/ “cold shoulder” “cowboy” and “bow tie”. I will also fold it ‘narrow’ (step 1 of the cold shoulder) and drape it over the shoulder or do a simple knot or do a half bow (g00gle this). Or styles 1, 5, and 13 of this http://www.whowhatwear.com/tie-a-scarf/slide13
      On weekends, I will wear one in my hair sometimes, sometimes I will knot two together as a giant scarf, sometimes worn narrow around the waist and have yes, even worn it as a top!

      I obviously wear it more ‘fun’ on weekends than at work. I think the key to not looking matronly at work is the colorway/pattern and what else you wear it with (check out your hemlines, sleeve length, jewelry, hair style, etc.) Sometimes it is good to look more grown up at work of course!

    • If you have an iOS device, try the Hermes Silk Knots app (on the App Store). I also have had luck with the books that have come with my scarves (they usually have freebies that they will toss in the scarf box if you ask).

    • Anonymous :

      I love to wear silk scarves to work. My favorites are 1) the cowboy, as depicted in the link from nutella, 2) fold into a triangle, knot the ends together behind your neck, and then let hang – I play with the length sometimes knotting six inches up and then letting the tails hang down my back, 3) roll into a three inch-ish wide sash, knot the ends together and then double over around my neck like an infinity scarf.

  13. holiday blues :

    Host gift advice

    What to bring to a intimate “New Year’s Eve” gathering at an old friend’s house? It will only be her close family and two other friends.

    I have seen her once in 30 years (high school friend), and now she is the quintessential perfect doctor (part-time)/mother of 2/multi-million dollar house in suburbia driving a Mercedes SUV/successful doctor husband/perfect makeup dyed locks perfect clothes. And I have none of those things, and am in tight financial straights and feeling really…. insecure.

    I’m just hoping I can make it through an hour or two and sneak out…

    • Bottle of prosecco? It doesn’t have to be expensive, people go through bubbly on NYE like it’s water. If she invited you to such a small gathering, then she obviously cherishes you and enjoys your company. A friend of 30+ years is way more valuable than the fanciest of fancy houses.

    • A cold champagne or a bottle of bubbly is the perfect gift for NYE.

      Don’t feel so insecure – you are awesome in your own way and having “perfect things” does not make you “perfect.” And if she makes you feel lousy, don’t go! Insecure is no way to usher in a new year.

    • Oh come on. She’s an old friend, including you on a special occasion, at a special party, that is entirely focused around getting to midnight, and you’re “hoping” you can “duck out” after an hour or two?!? That is absurd and rude. Stop being so insecure and realize that even someone with all the “stuff” would still be hurt if her old friend left her intimate party after an hour.

      Bring a bottle of champagne, a smile, and a good attitude.

    • Flowers — they are always appreciated, but don’t last long, so a good gift for the person who has “everything”. You might have more fun than you expect, so try to keep a positive outlook and remind yourself that appearances can be deceiving, and money is not happiness.

    • No, you cannot duck out of a small New Years Eve party well before midnight. That is so rude and you shouldn’t go if you can’t handle being there the whole night. Nobody’s lives are as perfect as they look on social media, trust me. You have no idea what problems she is dealing with. Just because she has a good career and an expensive house does not mean she doesn’t have any tough stuff in her life, and even if she really is super happy and successful, as a close friend you should be happy for her, not jealous (assuming she is a kind person – if she is not nice then just decline the invitation!)

    • So, I’m your friend with the perfect life. Guess what? I’m a person too, and I have my own challenges/disappointments. And even if I didn’t (which I don’t really right now since things are pretty good), I’m still a real person who loves my friends and reconnecting with old ones. Please don’t feel insecure about this. Try to let it go and have a good time. No one is paying attention to these things but you, and she invited you presumably to spend some time with you. The perfect life stuff doesn’t really matter. Friendship does.

    • Marshmallow :

      If you go, you should stay until midnight. Bring a bottle of prosecco or some nice chocolates.

      And stop comparing! Acquaintances often make similar assumptions about me as you’re making about your friend, but they don’t see the student loan debt, medical issues, or who knows what else behind the scenes. Your friend wants to rekindle a 30-year friendship. She’s interested in you, not what kind of car you drive.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Or if you bake, bring some homemade cookies. I made these last night and they were easy and delicious and pretty: https://smittenkitchen.com/2016/05/confetti-cookies/ (I used a mixture of sprinkles as shown and round nonpareils and mine are even prettier than the originals!)

    • I understand those insecurities, but don’t let them ruin your night! When I worry I can’t bring something up to snuff (even if that worry is ridiculous) I tend to go artsy/weird/unique — is there a funky chocolatier in your neighborhood, or a cheese place with funky stuff, or a place you could get an artsy vase, etc. etc?

    • Anonymous :

      Echoing everyone else. This is an old friend that wants to spend time with you. Bring a bottle of champagne/prosecco or a box of chocolates or flowers. Stay til midnight or don’t go, unless you have a really valid reason (kids at home or whatever–but this should be true).

      I have a big nice house and car and am part time home with the kids. I miss my old friends and would like nothing else to have them all over for an intimate NYE party, regardless of their states in life!

    • I’m late to the party here, but hope you will report back after the party with your old friends.

      Besides the prosecco and good attitude everyone else suggested, you might want to take some memorabilia from back then, if you have any. I don’t think it needs to be packaged in any special way, just “hey, remember this?” If you don’t’ have anything readily available, you can bring something that was a favorite back then. If I were to get together with my HS boyfriend, I’d bring him Skittles. If you went through the Genny Lite like it was nothing, take a 6-pack. If you did the Jane Fonda workout, then find it on YouTube to play on your phone. You get the idea–memories, not money.

  14. Fancy jam, honey or soap. Small plant.

  15. Where is the August suit? The link doesn’t seem to match the picture…

  16. Anonymous :

    After talking about it for ~6 months with friends, we pulled the trigger yesterday and bought a package deal to Iceland in April. Yay! I know several posters have mentioned Icelandic travels…any suggested must see/dos? We’ll be there 6 days.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I would love to go to Iceland- not sure why, but it’s always been somewhere I would love to visit. My current salary does not exactly support such a trip, but it might be something to save for for the next few years.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m going in April too! Doing a northern lights tour, and then hoping to drive the golden circle one day, and currently researching companies for a glaciar hike

    • Just make sure your boyfriend’s on board first!

      (totally kidding, just read this letter this morning and couldn’t help myself)

      http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/12/ask-polly-my-boyfriend-dumped-me-for-a-crazy-reason.html

  17. Sloan Sabbith :

    What messages do you send to get responses in online dating? I match with people, I message them, I hear nothing back. I usually just say something in the arena of “Hey :)” and then either a specific question about something they mentioned in their profile, a shared interest we have (“Saw you’re into Aaron Sorkin- I’m rewatching West Wing right now, it just gets better every time! Have you seen The Newsroom?” or something like that), or ask about a cool photo they have. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I do not actively hit on people….and I know myself well enough to know that’s just not going to happen. I sometimes say “You seem pretty cool” or something, but that’s as close as I get to anything complimentary- I don’t know this person, I’m not going to be like “Wow, you’re so attractive, let’s get coffee!”

    Tell me your secrets, please….Preferably with language I can copy and paste. I know, I know. But dating is NOT MY THING.

    • I mostly do what you do, which is say some variety of hello and then ask about something in their profile. However, the quickest responses I have gotten are when I ask a totally off the wall/possibly weird question without even saying hello. Now, this approach will turn some people off immediately, but it will make others curious. It matches my personality and is something I do IRL, so I don’t care if some people are turned off by it and don’t write back. I just looked up some weird facts so here are a couple that I think are funny:

      (1) Did you know that handshakes were originally used to make sure the person you were meeting wasn’t carrying a concealed weapon?
      (2) Did you know that rubbing a banana peel on a mosquito bite helps it stop itching?
      (3) Did you know forest fires move faster uphill than downhill?

      Or you could make it a game and only write to people in song lyrics to see who catches on.

    • My responses were always pretty similar and it worked, so I don’t think it’s you. Perhaps you should consider different dating apps (some just aren’t very active) or even switching up the guys you are matching with. Also, keep in mind that it’s a numbers game – have to throw out a lot of attempts to get any success.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s the right approach – say hi, add couple sentences that mentions something in their profile, give them something specific to respond to. Not everyone’s going to respond, and that’s fine – but if someone does like you, that is what they will respond to. It takes time. Make sure your profile is set up to be friendly (no negative statements!) and approachable, make sure your pictures are nice, and have at it.

    • Everyone is different but this worked for me (marrying him next year, this was match). I made my profile true-to-my personality and interesting (but not too long or deeply personal) and pretty much only responded to guys who (1) reached out first (not because I’m traditionalist but because it was too much effort for me to do the first message), then (2) asked a question (no responses to “hey”) or (3) mentioned something in my profile (so as to weed out the generic ones) and about my personality (so regarding photos, I might respond if you said, “hey, I’ve been to Australia too!” but would not respond to “I like your smile” or ones that were just about my looks) and then (4) seemed normal. I would first read through the messages and if the photo seemed attractive enough and the profile seemed normal, I would then message back something short and sweet to keep the conversation going. (If a guy only commented on my looks, I didn’t respond because that’s the whole point of making the profile– granted this was Match which has that function. Also, because I was receiving so many messages a day, I was only responding to maybe 2-3 a day with just a few sentences to keep the conversation going, which made life easier on me. Some wouldn’t respond back or would let the conversation die – like by responding with just “haha” which further weeded people out.)

      I had seen my now fiance’s photo in my matches and thought he was cute, but didn’t message first. He did the next day asking for help with that day’s crossword puzzle (I LOVE crossword puzzles and mentioned it in my profile) and mentioned something about the freak storm we had just had. I answered the crossword clues and said something about the storm and an upcoming weekend trip to get away from the weather. He said something like “I’d be interested in meeting you in person. Would you like to get drinks sometime after work?” I deemed him normal enough to say yes and gave him my number. Instead of texting, he called me and we had light conversation for about 10 minutes as we arranged a good time/day/place for drinks. During that call he seemed like an old friend, just easy to talk to, even though he was a total stranger! I had other dates already lined up but was looking forward to meeting him and indeed our drinks extended into dinner and a 3-hr first date. The rest is history.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        This inspires me that maybe there’s a possibility of success! I’m not getting messages, either, though. A guy friend told me my profile is giving off a “go die” vibe, which is likely not untrue. I tried to make it less-so but….see below.

        I’m also kind of….not into the whole first date thing. The last one I went on (about 16 months ago) ended up with a sexual assault protection order and a police report from me. So, that’s not helping matters. In the least. Therapy is happening and helpful, but I’m hyper-hyper sensitive to whether a guy seems creepy and probably turning people off through my profile.

        Ehhhh. I don’t want to be single forever, but da**it, I don’t want to date!

        • Anonymous :

          Then don’t date. You don’t have to. If you don’t want your profile to attract men it won’t. You’ll feel like it at some point or you won’t.

          • +1 I am so sorry that happened to you. If you don’t want to date right now, don’t! Don’t force it if it makes you uncomfortable. That’s not conducive to forming bonds with people, you know? If your profile is giving off bad vibes, even if you send friendly messages (or weird messages – see above), then people won’t respond.

          • Yes, agreed. Take your time to take care of you. I did not want to date for a long time, either, until one day I did and decided to put myself out there. I was very stranger danger worried, too, but had been assaulted by someone I knew, so it wasn’t like men IRL were all that much safer either to me. I certainly did some things that made me feel ‘safer’ (met after work, never said exactly where I worked or lived, met in popular areas it was easy to catch a cab so as to not take the same public transit home or have him walk me home, told friends where I was going, etc.) But of course these aren’t foolproof and I am so sorry that happened to you. And it sucks for women to have to bear the burden of not being attacked as opposed to men not attacking or being major creeps.

            If you are not comfortable or don’t feel safe dating, that’s ok. Just don’t. You will do what is comfortable to you when it is. If you are not having fun, don’t date. It’s ok. If you do feel comfortable with it some day, I would encourage you to ask a friend to help review your profile so that you come off as the likeable person that you are! Because you are, Sloan! Hugs!

            (By the way, I believe the online dating pool ‘refreshes’ at times, so basically dead from the Thanksgiving until now, refreshes in the new year, goes quiet again in summer, revives again in fall, etc. so don’t worry that you aren’t getting a ton of messages at the moment)

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I want to be with someone. Badly. It’s just….ugh. Maybe I’m not ready. I’m not really sure. I only recently re-made the profile.

            Maybe I’ll just try to not have expectations here- if I click with someone, cool, but also try to be okay with just thinking it’ll happen when it happens without pushing it/pushing myself.

        • Anonymous for this :

          ‘s late so I don’t know whether you will see this, Sloan. I am SO there with you.

          The not wanting to date, yet wanting to hang out with (spend time with) someone, the sensitivity to creepiness/control issues because of experiences I’ve had, the hatred of first dates…I don’t want someone to be putting their best foot forward–I want someone who’s being real. No, I don’t need you to let me know about all of your dirty laundry the first time we meet for coffee, but be yourself and be freaking honest. I don’t really trust anyone to do that.

          Therapy is great…I really do think some of it is time, and some of it is the right person/people. I’ve not been on one date since the breakup of my most recent relationship (and it was long-term), though I’ve asked one person out.

          No advice, really…just company.

    • Anonymous :

      First, lose the smiley face.

      I was very successful getting responses and dates on dating sites (not successful about them turning into relationships, but that’s another story). It kind of sounds like your outreach is too cookie cutter and guarded; people can pick up on the fact that you write basically the same formula to every person, and that you did a cursory scan of their profile in order to find a single reference to make. Let’s say you’re hiring for a job, and most cover letters you get are very generic but go to the effort to drop in a couple of lines about your company, and you know exactly how much effort it took to research and write those basic lines (hint: not much). Then you get one cover letter in the pile where the person is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about your company and the whole thing is custom-tailored for the position; it’s clear their expertise and interest went beyond skimming your website. Wouldn’t you want to at least talk to that person?

      Send messages to people you’re excited about, and let that show through. That doesn’t mean complimenting or flattering them. It means writing more than a couple of lines, and writing it all genuinely because you really want to talk more about [whatever it was that excited you about their profile]. This will come through and truly flatter them more than a line about seeming cool.

      How are your pictures? Can you ask some guy friends for constructive criticism about which pictures to go with?

  18. Any thoughts on the air fryer? Have a gift card to spend at Williams Sonoma.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve never used one, but my understanding is that it’s a mini convection oven. If you have a full size convection oven it may be redundant, but if not I bet it would come in handy.

    • Wild Chicken :

      Read the reviews on Amazon — I was going to get one but people really panned them (no pun intended).

    • We’ve got one – my husband loves it, and makes fries in it regularly. Personally, I am not a fan… it’s huge, so a pain to store. It’s also super noisy when operating. And I think the oven does just as good a job. A convection oven would be even better. It’s also a lot harder to clean than a cookie sheet.
      But, my husband is a gadget nut. It keeps him happy :)

  19. anonymous :

    I’m considering this skirt. Any ideas on how to style it other than as pictured?

    https://mmlafleur.com/shop/waverly-boysenberry

    • AttiredAttorney :

      I tried this on at an MMLaFleur Pop Up. A warning: for me it ran very big. Their size 16 dresses sometimes were too tight, but in this skirt a large was perfect.

      For styling, they had me try it on with a different top but also in the same color. I was thinking about wearing it with an “Audrey” cashmere sweater from Talbots in black, or a cream silk button up blouse. It’s a beautiful piece, and the jersey is so comfortable!

  20. Any recommendations on a training session or class for paralegals/secretaries who need to get up to speed on basic computer skills? I’m frustrated by the amount of time I spend showing people [who theoretically should know] how to compare documents, convert from PDF or do basic word/excel stuff. I want to go to personnel with a plan for improvement and not just complaints so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks :)

    • Anonymous :

      my thought is to exercise caution unless you know this sort of mass improvement plan is going to be welcomed, particular if you are junior. Workplaces are full of incompetent people but I would be reluctant to be the self-proclaimed improver of them.

      • I sort of agree. I think you can suggest to HR or whomever that the staff might benefit from a refresher course in certain software. I’ve certainly done that in the past; HR coordinated with IT to put together a little training course and things improved some. I don’t think you should look up training courses, though. If you’re an attorney at anything but a very very small firm, that’s not your job, but it probably is SOMEONE’s job, and you’re stepping on their toes by presuming to take over software training.

      • Thanks. I am at a small firm and I am junior. Attempting to be proactive because it would be nice to do more billable work and less PDF converting. Point taken though.

  21. Could use some advice about a sticky family situation. My mom is a habitual overspender. She’s also been retired for years so she’s living on a fixed income. My sister is concerned that one day she and I will have to support mom because she’s blowing through her retirement. Sister knows a lot more about mom’s financial situation than I do.

    My sister instructed mom to stop buying gifts for sister’s family and was shocked to learn that I hadn’t done the same. She’s basically demanded that I tell mom to stop giving me gifts. I think that’s sort of dumb. First, giving me something small twice a year (Christmas and bday) is not the problem with mom’s budget. Mom’s wasteful spending at, say, the grocery store, or on a big house she doesn’t need, or renovations that don’t need to be done to the house – those are the issue. Second, mom is very much a gifts love languages person and I know she’s been very hurt that sister won’t accept gifts anymore. Sister’s decision is hers to make, but I really don’t want to hurt mom like I know sister has. I know that sister is concerned and that her concerns are valid, but I don’t think banning gifts is all that constructive. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m kind of with your sister here.

      I went to the Greenbrier this year. Spendy? Absolutely. But when I lose my house, it won’t be b/c of this vacation. It will be b/c the otther 99.9% of my life was done wrong.

      Maybe do what my husband and I do? Since it’s a common pot of $, we have crazy rules for presents. One year, it was that our v-day presents couldn’t cost >$25 and had to come from the Rite Aid near our house. Or it has to come from etsy. The first point is to have a low dollar limit. The second is to make it a fun challenge. Maybe something like that?

      • Yeah I’m totally on board with a dollar limit. My mom has a dollar limit anyway but I can focus on enforcing it better. I like your idea of limiting which store she should shop in.

    • How about you draw names for Christmas or otherwise set some parameters on giving? That way mom still gets the thrill of the hunt and the love language , but she doesn’t feel the pressure to buy for everyone. It’s just her gift to you. It’s her gift to you, to your sister, your sister’s family, etc that adds up. I get where your sister is coming from. I’ve got a family member where money seems tight and its caused by bad decisions and bad circumstances. I can’t control those, but I can try to not contribute to the spend by letting this family member out of the gift-giving obligation.
      Also, it sounds like you and your sister need to have some bigger conversations with your mom about finances and everyone’s expectations for the future.

    • Anonymous :

      Assuming her total gift spending on you is minor relative to her income, then I agree with you that your sister can do what she wants for her family but there’s no reason to tell your mom to stop buying you gifts if you don’t want to.

      That said, it would probably be good for you and sister to get on the same page about what you’re going to cover once your mom runs out of money – which seems like a very real possibility – and then sit down and explain it to your mom in no uncertain terms, i.e., we will put a roof over your head and food on the table, but it will be $X for the house, which will buy you a __ bedroom apartment and $Y per week in grocery store giftcards, but you won’t have any spending money for this and that thing that you buy now and you won’t be living in your current home. I suspect the real problem here may be that you and your sister have differing ideas about you’ll support your mom once her bank account is drained, and that’s something that you need to figure out ASAP.

    • Anonymous :

      Offer to keep track of the value of the gifts and deduct them from your sister’s share of the future expenses? It might seem silly to many people to keep track of something so small, but my mom and her sister did something like that in a similar situation and it worked for them.

      • This is an interesting idea, I’m going to mull this over. I think part of my feelings about this come from the fact that it seems so sudden from sister. Sister has been complaining about mom’s finances for years but she’s never really sat mom down, afaik. Now that sister’s kids are grown and out of the house (in part with help from mom), sister is putting the kibosh on all handouts from mom. I’m not married and don’t have kids (yet?). I sort of feel like, OK you and your kids bled the well dry/didn’t intervene in mom’s overspending and now you’re turning it around on me like the $50/year I get from her is the problem? But it might be better to just say, what’s done is done, if you want me to tally this up going forward then so be it.

        • Anonymous :

          Ooh yeah, that’s very annoying. I was kind of on your sister’s team in the abstract, but the additional details that she took advantage of your mom for years and is now cutting it off when her kids are grown and it’s convenient for her makes this a very different question. That would make me ragey.

        • I don’t know if you’re still reading, but a way to do this without seeming like you’re looking for a fight could be to say “yes, I agree on limiting the handouts from her; how old were your kids when she stopped paying for x?” I do this with my sisters and cousins, because my child is so much younger than theirs so, for example, I said I’d stop buying presents when they finished college. I didn’t go into fairness of my kid getting cut off in middle school because they’re older, just said “how ’bout end of college as the time we stop?” but they seem to have gotten the message.

  22. Any feedback on how long I need to take antibiotics and phenazopyridine before I start feeling some relief from UTI symptoms? I started noticing symptoms this morning and went to urgent care over lunch, but I just feel like I need to go constantly. I’ve gone 4x in less than an hour and am getting on a plane tomorrow morning. Please tell me I will feeling somewhat better by then?

    • Anonymous :

      You should get relief from the phenazopyridine soon. Drink lots and lots of water.

    • Anonymous :

      You should be feeling better by then. Antibiotics normally start kicking in after about 12 hours and usually you feel significant relief within 24 hours.

    • Thank you! I’m already feeling a bit better – I’ve stayed out of the bathroom for a full hour, which feels like a victory. Fingers crossed for continued progress.

    • Just dealt with this where the antibiotics they gave me didn’t work. If you don’t feel significantly better after 24 hours, I’d call your provider. It would have saved me an ER visit.

  23. Ugh! I’m so sorry. I know what a bummer that is. I usually feel relief from the phenazopyridine (I take AZO – otc) within the hour. Although it’s painful, try to drink as much as you can … it helps flush things out. Hugs.

  24. Anonymous :

    VENT. My husband and I are separated and plan to divorce. A year and a half ago, he was in a very minor car accident (not his fault) and claimed he was dying of pain. Even when 2 pain management doctors and all the specialists in the world said there was basically nothing wrong with him. He didn’t work for 7 months, during which time he had no income and was even terminated from his job, and I took care of everything. I assumed all our bills and paid his copays and medications. To top it off, he also cheating on me with one of the secretaries at his health provider’s offices….yeah.

    Today, he calls to say he’s getting his settlement check in 3-4 weeks. Its tens of thousands, and he’s offering to gift me a couple thousand. My divorce lawyer says per our state, its his money. He doesn’t have to give me anything, even though I paid all the bills and suffered the loss of his income.

    UGHHHH, what a way to end a bad year. It seems so unfair.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG that is horrible. I can’t imagine how that could be the law! Sending big hugs to you!!

      • Anonymous :

        Apparently only community property states split settlements. Ours isn’t community property, and furthermore because the settlement doesn’t break down lost income, pain and suffering, etc, its all assumed to be his. Even though I paid every single bill for 7 months, including his personal credit card spending and loans.

        • Is it still tens of thousands of dollars after then insurance companies get through with their claims for medical bills? Even if he doesn’t have to split it with you, does it still count as part of his assets for support purposes?

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, that’s after all bills and lines are paid. It doesn’t count as income or martial property for our divorce. Ughhhh

        • I am dredging this up from my memory of something I may not have had a great understanding of in the first place, but…

          …aren’t there tax implications to the settlement? If you receive money for lost income, that’s taxable (as your income would be taxable if you earned it), but pain and suffering is not. Medical bill money may also be owed to medical providers if it’s meant to compensate for that.

          So even if the insurance company didn’t break it down, your husband has to – at least for some tax purposes, right?

          Would a family law court follow that breakdown and allocate accordingly (as in, if $40k is for lost income and taxed accordingly, it could also be partly yours because income earned during that time would be spousal property)?

          Just a thought.

          • OP from yesterday. If anyone is checking, through car accident lawyer communicated the settlement is all non-taxable. This may vary by state.

    • You’re getting your freedom. Look at it that way. It’s worth more than the tens of thousands of dollars he’s cheating you out of, because you don’t have to spend the rest of your life with his cheap, petty, freeloading as s.

  25. Anonymous :

    Does Cuyana ever go on sale?

    • givemyregards :

      I don’t think so – I went to their showroom in SF the day after thanksgiving and everything was full price. I imagine if they don’t discount then, they probably don’t at other times of the year. Although, sometimes retailers like that have overstock sales or sample sale – I wouldn’t count on it from them, though.

  26. Threadjack: I have just visited a friend of mine who’s expecting her third baby (we’re both 30 years old). I am about to complete my PhD in IT and have no sound job option I can land afterwards, while my partner has a temporary position as a researcher. This visit has really got me thinking that I may be really “lagging behind”: I do not own a house, I do not envision getting married or having kids anytime soon since I do not feel I am financially secure enough. My partner tells me that I should accept this is just a transitional period, and that I’ll be able to sort things out once my PhD is over, but sometimes I think he does not really feel time ticking as much as I do. I was wondering if others feel or have felt the same way and how you got over this.

Add a Comment

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

work fashion blog press mentions