Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Glassa Sheath Dress

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

Happy Cyber Monday! Have you guys seen any good deals yet? I’m just starting to poke around, but the  Nordstrom sale continues to be one of the best deals out there, particularly for spluge-worthy brands like Max Mara, Akris Punto, and more. (Saks and Neiman Marcus are both worth looking at as well this morning for this kind of purchase, where both have a tiered gift card offer up to $750 for regular-price purchases) This dress may look simple and like a dress you could get at $80 at one of the mall stores — but the difference in fabrics and tailoring is apparent as soon as you touch it.  It was $795, but is now marked to $476. Glassa Sheath Dress

This $69 plus-size dress has a similar color and vibe, and this $128 dress in regular sizes is a classic.

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  1. What to do with otherwise work-appropriate sweaters that have developed a tiny but obvious hole in the knit so that they are no longer work-appropriate? I hate to toss them because they are warm and have lots of wear left, but I am running out of space for a pile of sweaters with a tiny but visible hole and/or mending job.

    “Work-appropriate” is not a concern this morning. I tripped on the steps carrying the baby (didn’t drop the baby, that’s what counts!) ripped my pants and had to change into the nearest, fastest thing, which was jeans. And now they are rolled up so that my knees don’t bleed all over them. :(

    • You can fix these sweaters at a french reweaver. They will have lots of types of thread to do this, but if you have the little packet that came with the sweater, bring it. IME, if a sweater was expensive (cashmere etc.) it is well worth fixing with a reweaver first.

    • I put them in a pile and tell myself I’ll take them in to be mended one day. But then I never do and the pile grows and I stare at it every day for months kicking myself for failing to do “just this one thing” that is one of many “just this one things” until one day in a fit of rage I take the whole pile to Goodwill. So my recommendation is take the pile to Goodwill and save yourself the angst.

      • Wanderlust :

        you are me

      • And i shop at Goodwill and come across your sweaters and take them and wear them if they are cashmere. I am also this year into making crazy quilt lap blankets out of Goodwill-sourced cashmere/silk/velvet.

    • I believe in reweaving, but I am a busy person who lives near a Michael’s. I have a stash of grosgrain ribbons in various colors and something called stitchwitchery (or fusable lining). You can use an iron to melt the ribbon as sort of an interior patch that disguises/closes the hole (I have some tiny ones from moths) and keeps it from raveling further.

      It’s not perfect, but I’ve never found someone who could correctly reweave a sweater. It is fast and cheap.

      It works for me on flat cashmere sweaters. I’ve never tried with chunky knits or obvious patterns. I’ve kept one sweater on life support for a couple of years while I look for a non-hole-y replacement.

      • This is genius! I’m now kicking myself for tossing an otherwise fine sweater that had a moth hole in the sleeve. (It was uniqlo, so not a huge cash waste, but still.) Will definitely try this next time.

    • they become loungewear

    • Get rid of them and get them out of your closet. There are likely still moth eggs or larvae on the garments and you don’t want them hitting your other woolen items.

    • Thanks all. I did not know about any of these better fixing options. I think it’s too late for many of my sweaters but I will try them next time before I have a sweater that’s too far gone.

      • Panda Bear :

        I have had luck sending sweaters and scarves to AlterKnit in New York. You pack up and ship your stuff; they fix it and ship it back. They repaired two beautiful cashmere scarves that I snagged on jewelry. I forget how much it cost, but it wasn’t exorbitant – worth it to keep my scarves going.

  2. Job hopping :

    How soon is too soon to leave a job? My husband and I moved to California so I could attend grad school and he got a job at a company that contracts to the government (in tech). We were planning to stay for at least several years here, but the high COL and quality of life issues are making us consider leaving when I graduate this year or next. Would it look bad for him to leave his job after 2 years (slightly less) to the point where it could hurt the reference? Should we try to stick it out for one more year at least?

    • Professional Gifter :

      As long as your husband is an at-
      will employee (i.e. not a contract employee), he can be fired at any time and he can leave at any time, those are the terms of the at-will employment arrangement. So he should not feel obligated to stay at the job longer than he wants to.

    • +1 to not feeling obligated to staying at a job longer than he wants.

      In addition, he has an easy answer if a future employer asks about leaving after ~2 years – he moved with you while you attended grad school, you graduated, so both of you moved on.

    • I think if you’re moving that’s a pretty good explanation for a shorter stint. As long as he’s got longer jobs on his resume.

      • anonshmanon :

        and as long as this isn’t a pattern. For a career in academia for example, you would be expected to move around a couple of times and if he is your trailing spouse that might not be all that attractive for employers.

  3. Law Firm Recruiter? Lateralling? :

    Query —

    I am a junior associate who wants to lateral. Does anyone here have experience in legal recruiting? I am not sure whether applying to positions I see now would “signal” that I didn’t have a good year or am not expecting a bonus. (I’m not, because my firm is CHEAPCHEAPCHEAP. Last year, only three associates in my office got bonuses, despite many more making hours.)

    So–should I apply now? Should I wait until January? What is best?

    Part of me says, “Apply now, no one will turn down a good candidate.” And then another part of me realizes how busy people are around the holidays in firms, so they’ll probably ignore recruiting and just deal with what they need to deal with client-wise and collections-wise. What to do?

    Advice? Tales from the trenches?

    Also, should I try to apply directly or do recruiters add value? Part of me thinks that recruiters add nothing!

  4. Hi – I applied for a job that I’m really interested in in a government agency in another city (we’d like to move there). My only contact at that agency is a woman who I’m on regular conference call with regarding a matter we both work on. We have no reason to interact directly on that matter and we are on the calls mostly to listen, and so don’t build any real relationship participating. Is there a way to use this connection to try to advance my application? If I reach out to her what would I say? It’s not clear from the posting whether she’d be involved in hiring, but there’s a chance based on the agency’s org. chart that the position might report to her.

    • Definitely reach out. A connection is a connection, no matter how tenuous. You could ask whether she knows what the position is like or what the company is looking for.

  5. What would you do :

    I am a mid-level associate at a small firm who works closely with two senior lawyers. On Friday, during a break at a deposition, I overheard a very offensive conversation directed by one of the senior lawyers with the court reporter (the other one was not there). It was extremely racist. I didn’t say anything because 1) I wasn’t in the conversation; 2) I am not white; 3) I already challenge this lawyer on many of his offensive views and he dismisses me by telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about. And in this case, I didn’t know enough specific facts to challenge him.

    I feel terrible about this – what would you have done?

    On another note, I am sickened by this man’s views and it’s really motivating my job search. I am sure that there are lots of partners at law firms with offensive views but I’d prefer for them to stay quiet about it, he is becoming louder and more offensive as the days go on.

    • I have had a similar experience. I don’t think that confronting the other lawyer, in this circumstance, would be the way to go. You were not meant to hear the conversation, and although the views were repugnant, you were not meant to hear them.

      In my experience, even confronting those views is not going to do more than hurt you professionally, if the person making the remarks is your boss or senior to you in some ways My grand father used to use the expression ” Don’t try to teach a pig to dance; you just get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”. In this case, you could damage your work relationship/status, and you don’t really have a chance of changing this guy’s mind.

    • Oof.

      Find a new job.

      And on your way out the door, write a letter to HR and/or the partners detailing the various situations where Sr. Lawyer was offensive and racist and how that determined your decision to leave.

      Law is a business. Smart partners will realize it’s only a matter of time before this kind of behavior will catch up via lawsuit and/or bad press. Clients don’t want to deal with this kind of nonsense either.

      I’m sorry you’ve had to work for such a jerk.

  6. In the spirit of Cyber Monday sales, does anyone have a good nightgown recommendation?
    My hard to buy for mother said specifically she wants a nightgown for Christmas but I don’t wear them so I don’t know where to start looking. Her current favorite came from somewhere like Macy/Dillards about 15 years ago and has long since lost any tag or label indicating brand. She prefers short sleeves or sleeveless and her only other requirement is “really really soft.” I’m really hoping to find one under $50, hence Cyber Monday. TIA!

    • Veronica Mars :

      I think your best bet is to go in store to TJ Maxx–I see nightgowns there all the time. You can then pick the softest one. Or, go to LLBean, they have nice stuff.

      • I second TJ Maxx if you have time. If you do not, Vermont Country Store has a decent selection of old style nightgowns including Eileen West which rarely go on sale. Free shipping coupon code: Free Shipping
        Orders of $65 or more – Use Promo Code 464781

    • Lands End is 50% off today. This one might work:

    • Try Eileen West or Carole Hochman. Both have nightgowns that fit this criteria and are always on sale. I know Lord and Taylor had a bunch for well under $50.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Carole Hochman is so soft and the dark colours do not fade even after years of washing.

        • Costco regularly has Carol Hochman for sale—although I’m not sure if they have nightgowns by her. They do have a Felina nightgown that my friend has been raving about. It has a wrap with it.

    • I really like Natori “zen” pajamas. They are pricey, but I’ve gotten some as cheap as $40 on Amazon. It’s kind of random by size and color.

    • Anonymous :

      No specific recommendations but go with a woven cotton night gown instead of knit. Far more comfortable!

    • lawsuited :

      DKNY 7 Easy Pieces has a nightshirt that would fit the bill. It comes in sleeveless or short-sleeve and is really, really soft and flattering.

    • SC Lawyer :

      Eileen West, Carol Hochman, Lands End….all tried and true!

  7. What is the appropriate response when asked why you left your previous employment if you were terminated? There was no wrong doing on my part was just told I wasn’t a good fit for the position. I’m not sure that’s a good answer if this comes up in an interview. FWIW this was a contract position and I was there less than a year. Advice needed.

    • If it was less than a year and you have had a job since, I would just leave it off your resume. That is what I do.

    • That is exactley what you say. I had alot of summer jobs where I did NOT get an offer, and all they told me was that it “would not be a good fit”, which I agreed with. Now that I am a partner in a law firm, I continue to beleive that this is the right answer. When we fired Mason, we told him “it was not a good fit”, even though we could have told him “we do not want our associates haveing s-x with our assistants on the conference room table”. I am sure it is best we say this when he asks for references, but I understand he is NOT workeing now, and is still dateing Lynn.

      I hope everyone has a great Cyber-Monday! YAY!!!!!

    • In your situation I think I’d just say that it was a contract position/wasn’t permanent. I wouldn’t go into the “it wasn’t a good fit” part of it.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think something along the lines of “It was a contract position. In the end, it wasn’t a good fit” is fine and not misleading.

      • That’s fine but I would ask why it was not a good fit, so she should have a response prepared for that.

    • My favorite woman-owned small business jeweler had a fab sale – I got my mom a pair of amethyst studs at 75% off and got a pair of fancy stacker rings that I had been lusting after for almost a year at 75% off. This jeweler also gives her custom clients a scratch off for the holidays and I won a $100 gift card, which I used on a necklace and earrings.

      I got my dad an Ancestry.com DNA kit and I am going to get him a new meat thermometer as well.

      I still need to get my mom gloves (thanks for the r e t t e recs), but did get her a new crockpot.

  8. Fun shopping challenge for today. A dear friend recently got a new kitten. She’s crazy obsessed with this cat, and to be fair, the kitten is stinkin’ adorable. I already picked out friend’s Christmas gift and I’ve maxed out my budget for her, but I’d like to get her something small to gently poke fun at her for being a crazy cat lady. Looking to spend around $10 total including shipping.

    I was thinking about getting a toy for kitten too. Friend also has an older cat but older cat doesn’t interact with anyone so I’ve never gotten her anything. if I buy something for kitten do I have to buy something for older cat?

    • Oh my god no you dont have to make sure to include all the cats in a gift. You maxed out your budget. She’ll still be a crazy cat lady at her birthday.

      • Ha thanks for the sanity check. The birthday idea is a good one; her birthday’s not too far away. I usually get her booze plus something fun under ~$50. Suggestions welcome!

        • Bottle of wine for her plus this:


        • Anonymous :


          If you’re in NYC, they’re also at the Union Square holiday market with more selection.

    • I’d probably go with a cat-themed coffee mug. This one is cute and expresses my general life philosophy, but Amazon also has some other good ones for <$10. https://www.amazon.com/Work-Hard-Have-Better-Life/dp/B06XTB4JXS/ref=sr_1_11?s=kitchen&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1511796044&sr=1-11&keywords=cat+mug&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011

      I don't think it's necessary to buy something for both cats, but I think it's amazing that you thought of older cat too! I like to buy multipacks of cat toys since different cats prefer different types of things, so that might be a good option so Older Cat and Kitten can both have something fun to enjoy.

      I've also given gifts to my older cat addressed as being "from" the younger cat, and vice versa. Christmas themed catnip toys would be cute for that purpose! But I'm also the crazy cat lady everyone warns you about, so this is probably more for my amusements than the cats' enjoyment :)

    • Veronica Mars :

      What I got for the crazy cat lover in my life: Anthropologie has the cutest cat-themed things right now. If you search “Leah Goren” the cat apron and cat potholders come right up (she loves baking too). There’s also a matching mug. They also have a couple cat things that aren’t from that artist too–some cat trinket dishes and a “cat person” mug which would be perfect and I think close to $10. If they’re a bit more edgy than that– I also got this person a “pyro pet” candle, which is a cat candle but it has the coolest metal skeleton inside that when you burn the candle, is revealed. That one was a huge hit.

      • Panda Bear :

        Thanks for the tip! Just got my cat-lover sister the cat sketch apron and pot holders. She’s going to love them.

    • How about some Christmas cat socks? https://www.amazon.com/Socksmith-Womens-Santa-Heather-Medium/dp/B017MOIG3Y/ref=sr_1_19?s=apparel&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1511796386&sr=1-19&nodeID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=cat+socks&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011%2Cp_36%3A-1000

    • Modcloth has some “one cat shy of a crazy cat lady” socks right now.

    • Honestly, the best cat toy I’ve ever come across is the long stick with feathers and a bell attached to one end. Seriously.

    • As a cat lover, I think it’s really sweet of you to think of getting gifts for her cats, but don’t feel like you have to get anything if you’ve already maxed out your budget. There is always next year too!

      Da Bird would be a great gift for a kitten or older cat. Make sure to get the feather refills.

      A few of my favorite cat lady things. Yes, I own all of these.

      This mug:

      These socks:

      And this hand sanitizer:

    • Anything on this site: https://mcphee.com/collections/cats?page=1

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Christmas ornament with a picture of the cat on it!!! (Or cats if necessary.) I did this for my brother, who is def. a crazy cat person, and he was delighted.

    • Second the Blue Q socks: https://www.blueq.com/shop/item/229-productId.125847979.html

      My kitten’s favorite toys are:
      1. A plastic rod with a mouse and feathers on a string. Of course, the feathers are now gone
      2. A ball that is basically a small yarn puff. She dug this out of my former cat’s toy basket and carries is around. She will also fetch it. It’s hilarious.
      3. A caterpillar toy that rattles and has feathers on the end. I bought extras because she kept losing the first one under the bed. It’s called a snake but it has antennae and looks like a caterpillar.

    • I have a really cute picture frame that I found on Amazon last year that says “You had me at meow”.

    • my husband is a crazy cat lady and I am getting him a custom pillow with a picture of our cat’s face. From LiLiPi – slightly more than your budget but they have a 50% off sale today (code “Cyber50”). Of course, you would need a digital picture of the cat/cats.

  9. I have an event on Friday and I’ll be wearing shoes that are a bit higher than I normally wear. They’re the Stuart Weitzman Nudist which has a 4.5 inch heel, and I normally wear 3-3.5 inch heels during the day. Does anyone have recommendations for inserts or other high heels hacks that will make these more comfortable?

    • 4.5 inches? Do what ever you want in terms of inserts, but only shots of vodka will numb that pain.

    • Buy new shoes, get rid of the 4.5 inch pair.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Caveat – I pretty much wear heels at all times, so those shoes are not overly daunting. Stuart W’s are, on the whole, very well made and comfortable but the Nudist is very little “shoe” (hence the name). You could try the Dr. Scholl’s ball of foot cushions but they are pretty big so you might need to trim them to prevent them showing.

      I love Godzilla as much an any other person here, but ignore that advise – those shoes are super hot. Just make sure your heels are well-moisturized and you have a fierce pedicure to show off those babies.

    • If your feet slide a little when you walk, tape the bottom of your feet to the shoes with fashion tape.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Or get some Foot Petals for the ball of your feet to keep them from sliding. They have them on Amazon so they can be here by Friday.

    • I bookmarked an ad that keeps popping up in my Facebook for Vivian Lou insoles that are supposed to make heels comfortable. They’re $30 though, so I haven’t pulled the trigger.

    • I recently heard of and tried, medical taping the third and fourth toes together to take pressure off the ball. It does help a bit.

    • That’s a really normal heel heel height, especially with an ankle strap, so you should be fine for a few hours. I would just bring fast flats for any commute.

  10. $700 Difference? :

    The way this dress looks, I can’t imagine that one can feel a $700 difference in quality. I can’t with these overpriced plain dresses; you can get a discounted wedding dress for that amount.

    Does anyone have experience of the price points where you can really feel the difference in fit and quality? I’ve only felt the difference at the 50, 100, 250 and above price points, and you’ll have to get any decent dress tailored anyway.

    • I have an Akris suit I got on ebay from a consignment shop that is amazing in that I just want to caress the fabric AND it fits perfectly.

      My usual suits are BR. W/w BR and something 2x as much, I haven’t noticed a good difference (and the bad difference is that BR lines its wool suiting pants and gives more choices in length/cut). B/w BR and Akris, there hasn’t been much that has worked on my semi-petite slight-pear-shaped self.

      And I tried on another Akris suit and either it had been altered or I just had a lucky find on my first one, so even Akris is not really seeming to be an option for me.

    • agreed. especially when it is sleeveless with a crew neck.

    • I have a D&G dress that I bought at a consignment shop. I can’t say that the quality is per se something you feel immediately compared to, say, my Brooks Brothers dresses but I have had it for years and years, wear it all fall – march, once a week, and it still looks perfect. I can’t say the same for other dresses. So maybe that’s a factor?
      On this dress in particular, I dislike the tight crewneck; I think it would be more flattering on 90% of people if it was a cm. wider on either side.

    • Anonymama :

      Huh, I always feel like I’d rather pay a ton for a plain dress that will hold up really well than one that’s too frou-frou, as you could really wear it all the time and get your money’s worth, but a real statement dress would be tougher to wear a lot.

  11. Excuse me how are we not already talking Royal Wedding News?!? So excited!! She’s older, divorced, Catholic, biracial, American, and everyone looks thrilled.

    • OMG so yes on this

      I seem to go to the grocery store daily and see that I will have good cover-glancing material heading through the summer.

      I have read somewhere that Kate Middleton is really not OK with sharing the spotlight (but does it matter? won’t she be great with child then anyway???). Drama!

      And I will be a horrible parent later, but I am already on Little Ginger Babywatch mode and I’m not even going to be the grandparent here. When are the babies coming? When???

      • I’m sure that is not true. They will likely schedule the wedding for after Kate delivers, like any considerate brother would do, and I’m sure Kate is totally fine with it.

        Idk if Meghan is having ginger babies though . . .

        • You’d be surprised, ginger hair in babies with 1/4 African lineage are extremely common (almost expected). Genetics are a funny thing, those babies could look like Harry’s twin or Meghan’s mom, it’s up in the air. Will be cute as buttons either way.

          • ? red hair is a recessive trait isn’t it? That would make it unusual to Harry to have any kids with red hair regardless of who he married.

          • Mineallmine :

            A friend of mine looks like a red-headed Filipino courtesy of a Filipino paternal grandfather and a ginger mom. His red hair even has the thick straight texture and Asian swirl. It’s pretty cool looking.

        • Meghan’s father has ginger hair, so it’s a possibility.

      • If Kate is unhappy I can only imagine that it’s because if they have a Spring/Summer wedding then Kate will either be super late in her pregnancy or have to attend the wedding with two small children and a newborn. Neither is very easy.

        • Or leave her newborn home with a nanny and bring a nanny for the other two. Girl is going to be totally fine and I can’t imagine she’s complaining about this.

          • I thought they only have one nanny. I’ve never seen her present at public events.

          • I’m sure they can get another for the wedding if they need to.

        • Per NPR, they will be having a spring wedding

          [I think that this will make an awesome AbFab sort of comedy pitting the new money daughter of an air hostess against an American divorce with a dreadlocked yoga teacher mother as battling married-in members of the royal household. Will be much better than the Dynasty reboot.]

          • But spring is three months long. They could get married in early June and the baby would be at least a month old. Wasn’t Kate out playing volleyball at, like, three weeks post-partum from George?

          • Yeah, Kate makes those teens on 15 and Pregnant look like slackers for getting back into shape quickly.

            IDK about the third though — that would be my waistline’s Waterloo

          • Anonymous :

            While I’m not aware of any plans for a sit-com based on the family dynamics across the pond, Markle’s ex-husband has developed a show based on his own position as the ex of a woman who marries a Royal. He added children to the mix, though, to make it a show.

        • This was from earlier, pre-baby and pre-engagement announcement.

          TBH, when the world revolves around you, it would be hard to share the spotlight.

          • TBH, she works pretty hard to have that not be the case. If she wanted more attention she’s have it.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah, I can’t honestly imagine wanting more attention than she already gets.

            I remember a quote from Princess Diana, way back in the day, about all the attention. She said something like “Imagine having to go to a wedding every single day of your life. And imagine that you are always the bride.” I think it would be super exhausting and one would welcome somebody to share some of the glare of the spotlight.

          • I seriously doubt that Kate is anything other than thrilled for her brother-in-law.

    • I’m thrilled that, like Kate, she is talented and smart. They both appear to be good role models for girls.

      Not thrilled that she does not follow the Church’s teachings on marriage. Get an annulment or find another denomination.

      • Wow. The Church of England doesn’t seem to have any issue marrying people who have previously been divorced, and no one thinks they are planning a catholic wedding.

        A paper annulment is stupid any way, and one more way the Catholic Church says f you to people who want to be involved. Good luck with that.

        • My parents got an annulment after 27+ years of marriage in the Catholic church. They’re dumb and just blank check$ to the diocese.

          • Yup. So dumb. And to get all huffy about it? Ridiculous.

          • Anonymous :

            Annulments are a cash grab and meant to re-enforce the power of the church in the participants’ psyches.

            I think the annulment process between my parents was all about dumping blame on my mother for deciding to finally stand up to my father’s manipulations after 25+ years. And somehow my father came out lily-white in his innocence and understanding towards her. I don’t understand why my mother is still Catholic after how the bishop treated her.

          • Anonymous :

            The best part of all of this was that my dad’s SIL wouldn’t add his new wife on ~*~social media until they had the annulment and rewed in the Catholic church (they had been legally married for maybe a year?) — so +100 to the power move on the church’s part.

            Then again, this is the same aunt who had five “surprise children” so….

      • Frozen Peach :

        Um, pretty sure they will be married in the Church of England, which does not share the Catholic Church’s views on divorce…

        • Right? Oh sorry gran, I know it’s Your church and all, but we’ve decided to go a different direction.

      • I’m SO happy that Meghan has made a name for herself apart from “Royal Fiance.” Like you said, she seems like a good role model! I love that it looks like she has strong values and a commitment to philanthropic causes on her own, not just because she’ll be part of the royal family and a certain amount of philanthropy comes with the role.

      • The point is that if she wants to be Anglican, she can be Anglican. If she wants to be a remarried, not annulled Christian, she can find a denomination that fits her beliefs.

        Sorry that you do not respect my religion, but that is your problem and you all need to grow up.

        • . . . doesn’t the Anglican church only exist because Henry VIII wanted to remarry?

          I am not sure what fight you’re trying to pick here, Anonymous. Sometimes people (gasp) aren’t Catholic, or people who were raised Catholic (maybe Markle–I have no idea) leave the church later in life. I sincerely hope that doesn’t impede your connection to the faith.

          • Why the hate, ladies?

            I am stating a fact about the RCC. If you don’t like it, don’t be Catholic, but you don’t get to hate on people who follow it and ask that other self professed Catholics do the same.

            Seriously, enough of the bigotry towards religions you don’t like. Yes, you’re BIGOTS.

          • You’re an idiot. She’s allowed to do what she wants. Which is apparently be a person who doesn’t care about this. What you going to do next? Start booting everyone who has premarital s3x or uses birth control?

          • Cute that the devout Catholic is calling other people bigots :)

        • Lol girl she’s Christian if she wants to be, regardless of what the Catholic Church says about her standing. She’s not demanding a Catholic wedding and you’re being weird and hostile.

        • Few Catholics respect those rules, to be honest. Even my friends who are super hardcore Catholics – case in point, my one friend is divorced and didn’t get her marriage annulled by the church because she didn’t want her abusive ex to be able to track her down. The annulment was a debatably immoral way for the church to make money and provided absolutely no real benefit. Sure, she could change her religion, but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you have to quit. It’s not like you’re going to move out of your country if you don’t like what the president is doing, right? Things change. Lots of things in the Catholic church have changed over the years. We’re not still speaking Latin and paying indulgences.

        • Girl, you just stepped in it.

          My husband and his family are Anglican Catholic and the church is, and has always been, much more lenient about annulments than the Roman Catholics. My MIL was able to become an uncloistered NUN, having been married before, without getting an annulment. I don’t know whether you belong to some radical splinter faction of the Anglicans or something, but you’re way off base. And need to get over yourself. Be ashamed for being such a judgmental B. If the Archbishop doesn’t have a problem with it, you shouldn’t either.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Hang on, I thought her first marriage was not Catholic but Jewish. In which case, the Catholic Church would not even recognize that marriage. So nothing to see here.

      • Get an annulment from who? I thought her first marriage was not even in a church? And I was always confused about why divorce was such a scandal for English royalty, considering Henry VIII.

      • As an American Episcopalian (who was raised Presbyterian), I thought the whole point of the Anglican Church was so that the British royalty could marry without following the teachings of the Catholic Church.

        • And sometimes, I wonder if the point of the Episcopal church is to take in all the former American Catholics who like incense and classical choirs during services but don’t believe that priests have to be male and celibate.

      • Anonymous :

        Most likely she will join the Church of England. Peter Phillips’s wife was raised Catholic but converted before their wedding because he would have lost his place in the line of succession, which is much lower than Harry’s.

      • She’s not Catholic.

    • So excited! She has a degree from Northwestern in international relations and did philanthropic work prior to meeting Harry so she will be a good fit for the work and as an actress she will have the experience of crowds and public life.

      The whole Catholic/divorced/older/American thing matters a lot less now that Harry is 5th (soon to be 6th) in line for the throne. I’ve always said that Harry wouldn’t marry until after his brother had at least a couple kids – he knows he has a lot more leeway on the traditional stuff now that he’s not the spare to the heir.

      I wouldn’t be surprised in they keep the wedding small for the terrorism risk alone. Given the number of attacks in recent years, plus his military service in Afghanistan, it would likely be a target.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      My fellow Brits, or at least the ones in my circle, never get excited about news relating to the Royal Family, so there’s not much chatter about it here! I’m really happy for them though.

      • London Junior Associate :

        I wasn’t in London for William’s wedding but wasn’t there an extra public holiday or something? I’m hoping for that

        • Aquae Sulis :

          We did get an extra day off for William and Catherine, which was definitely greatly appreciated, but Downing Street has already confirmed that we won’t get one this time!

      • My poor husband is a closeted monarchist – he was born into a hardcore republican (in the uk sense) family and we live in Scotland where people are pretty meh on the monarchy. He shares your pain.

    • This was the first thing I talked about at work this morning!! So thrilled for them, and excited for such a progressive addition to the royal family.

    • Someone on Twitter made this point: Prince Harry’s future M-I-L is a Black woman with dreadlocks who is a professional yoga teacher. Think about how present Carole Middleton has been in the Duke and Duchess’s marriage and parenting, then be excited at how the face of the monarchy is literally changing.

      • Cat Lady In Training :

        This is such a great point! Also, I love that Markle has done a lot of work publicizing the need for menstrual hygiene in developing nations, where menarche to often coincides with girls dropping out of school. I hope she continues working on that, and doesn’t pick something “safer.”

        • I didn’t know this! How awesome. Good for her!

          Given that the other young royals are so focused on mental health, including for children and parents, I’d guess that a lot of these previously taboo topics are now considered more appropriate.

      • I doubt Meghan’s mom will be nearly as involved as Carole Middleton. For one thing she lives half a world away. Plus the Middleton family has always seemed a little wealth and status-obsessed to me and I think Carole hangs around the royals so much because she likes having the fame rub off on her. Meghan’s mom seems much more low key and will probably be less involved or at least more behind the scenes.

        • I think Carole “hangs around” so much because her daughter and son in law love her, and she and her husband gave Kate a happy stable childhood, which is something Will missed out on

          Agreed though, also they live nearby.

          • agree. They are super important family support in a crazy life. William did not have a normal childhood but he saw how much is mom tried to provide it as much as she could – he and Harry were the first heirs to attend a normal school and not have private tutors. They don’t have a cadre of private nannies. They have one nanny and they rely on her parents. They are wealthy but it’s clear they are careful and thoughtful about their choices regarding their children. The Middletons wouldn’t be so involved if that wasn’t what Kate and William wanted.

      • I think it’s interesting in that the Middletons have made new money look oldish (kids went to fancy private schools and colleges; grandfather was a coal miner) while the Markles seem to be no-money (not dirt poor, but boring like the way my family is (some lawyers, some in trailers, definitely enough for the Daily Mail to find some fodder in).

        I am wondering if the mix of those families will be oil and water or more like a big sorority of the uppwardly-mobiles. Maybe they will binge-watch the Tudors and chuckle about not being beheaded? Henry VIII didn’t always marry royals (but his non-royal wives were still people with titles and not true commoners).

    • I know you mean well with the “where are the babies” excitement… but no. Maybe they’ll have them, maybe they won’t.

      ALL the squee for the engagement, though. They’re such a charismatic couple and seem far more engaging and warm to the public than Wills and Kate do.

      • Harry’s talked openly about being excited about being a Dad. Would be pretty surprised if they don’t have kids.

        • I could see them adopting. She’s older – although plenty of 36 year olds have biological children, it’s less likely than it is for a younger woman – and I know he at least has a strong connection to Botswana, so I could see them adopting from an orphanage there.

          • Omg stop stop stop. Stop speculating and stop implying 36 is too old and just stop.

          • Rubbish! I was her age when I got engaged and had my first at 38.

          • Doesn’t adopting raise major succession issues? Or is that less an issue for someone who is now several steps removed from the throne?

            I agree that it is in poor taste to speculate on this particular couple’s parenting plans, but the succession-planning machinations of the Royal Family are really interesting to me.

          • He’s so far from the throne that I can’t imagine adoption would be an issue. All of William’s kids and their kids get priority first, even if they are still minors.

            But adoption assumes a lot – she’s not even 40 yet so adoption would likely be a choice vs. necessity.

    • They are cute together but she needs to work on her posture. She’s doing a weird back-arching thing in all the photos I saw today.

      • Cut your tongue out. She doesn’t owe you or the world this and you should be ashamed of yourself to be nitpicking her body.

        • I’m not nitpicking her body. Her body is terrific (way better than mine) and even if it weren’t, I wouldn’t comment. Posture is a learned behavior, not a physical characteristic.

          • You are totally nitpicking her physical appearance and you should probably find a better hobby.

    • Feeling compelled to re-read ‘Royal We’ !! I don’t know how to articulate exactly why, but I really appreciate that BOTH brothers married outside of the royal/socialite-by-birth crowd.

    • Just wanted to add that she’s not Cathlolic, she just went to a Catholic high school.

  12. Kohls has their Apt 9 cashmere sweaters on sale right now for an insanely good price. I can’t get to a store to look at them – any idea on how they hold up/what the quality is like? I’m obviously not expecting something amazing here, but looking for something soft and warm that’ll last me a year or two.

    • Anony Mouse :

      I’ve had one and worn it fairly regularly (3-4 times a month) for 2 winters. I’ve had some moderate pilling, but have controlled it with a sweater shaver. It does seem to stretch out between washes.

  13. middle management help :

    I am in the process of taking on a supervising role as well as other new responsibilities, and my previously amazing relationship with my direct boss seems to be suffering. Help!

    I’ve been here four years and was hired in an entry-level capacity, originally taking on a lot of work that my boss had previously handled herself. Since then, my role has grown significantly and I’m able to be a lot more autonomous, though I still like to keep my boss in the loop and consult her regularly. Boss has been tremendously supportive and encouraging throughout my time here, and we also have a really strong personal relationship.

    We’re currently hiring for a new entry-level person who will report directly to me, which will be my first experience as a supervisor. I am really excited about this, both for my own professional growth and for the organizational implications, and I know it would not have been feasible without my boss’s dedicated lobbying: both that we needed another person on our team and that I was ready to step into a supervisor role.

    Against that backdrop, twice in recent weeks my boss has expressed to me that she currently feels less sure in our relationship than she’d like to, and it’s clear that her concern is directly tied to how my role is evolving. She cited a feeling of “push and pull” that is making her uneasy; she also mentioned that she felt I had been “snarky” to her. I don’t remember being snarky, but it’s a conversational habit I’m aware of in myself, so I think her experience is valid.

    I don’t want to minimize myself in this new leadership opportunity (nor would she want that for me), but I’m not sure how best to be a good “partner” for her (her word). I suppose I could just ask her about this directly–and I probably will!–but I’d be grateful in advance for the Hive’s insight on managing this transition.

    • You neeed to take a big big step back. Snarky to your boss? Just stop it. Stop it quickly.

      • Well, yes, obviously! How do I stop it if I didn’t know it happened, though?

        • You do know. You know it’s your “personality” to be snarky (which is a total cop out). You need a o stop it.

          • middle management help :

            Oh, gosh. I guess this is tough love. (I didn’t even use the word “personality,” so thanks for the scare quotes.)

            I don’t think admitting a pretty major communications challenge is a cop-out. I want to nip this–whatever “this”–is in the bud asap. I was hoping for strategies from others who have navigated similar transitions.

        • Ask her directly for examples of when you have been snarky. Make sure this question comes across as not at all confrontational, but out of genuine curiosity and a desire to improve.

          For what it’s worth, it’s entirely possible that you have not actually been snarky and your boss is just acting like a jerk because she is threatened by your professional growth. I have a senior colleague who sometimes accuses me of acting confrontational when no reasonable observer would agree (e.g., he once accused me of using a “hostile” tone of voice when I had a terrible cold and could barely speak; another time he accused me of hiding information that I had previously discussed with him and that had been publicly announced numerous times in ways he should have noticed). This typically happens when he feels threatened by my professional success and advancement.

          • middle management help :

            Ugh, I really hope that isn’t at play here. What a stressful situation for you.

            That said, I need my boss to feel happy and supported by me regardless of how she’s personally navigating the situation, so I think I just need to amp up the thoughtfulness and thoroughness.

          • You do seem really thoughtful, so I just want to say that the weird comments you got up above seem totally out of place to me. Those folks are the ones with the snarky personalities.

    • Anonymous :

      I would make it a point being overly communicative and cordial during this time. You’re moving into a management role, which, while not equal to your boss is now in the same category as her. You’re moving from being a direct contributor to one who manages the work of others. Your boss is probably feeling some emotional shifts herself about your changing roles. She’s very proud having brought you up, but may also feel threatened. Rightly so, I have seen several times in companies where a lower level person is promoted and then the higher level person who is at a higher pay grade/perhaps more set in their ways is let go. Make sure she knows you are her ally and have her back.

  14. Does anyone have suggestions on where to find an apron for my boyfriend? He’s requested one for grilling, but wants one “with personality,” and I’m having a hard time finding one that is fun, but not clearly meant for a woman.

    • https://www.thinkgeek.com/product/11cd/?srp=1

    • The Hubs has a Guiness apron that he likes for grilling. Bonus because it is mostly black and does not get completely filthy from the charcoal/ashes every time he wears it. Add on grilling gloves for that extra “something”.

    • Amazon has a lot of options. What do you think he means by “with personality?” Just something that’s not super plain or something cheeky?

      This one’s pretty basic but comes in multiple colors: https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Crafters-Artisan-Supply-Company/dp/B01M8OXC1H/ref=sr_1_48?ie=UTF8&qid=1511797997&sr=8-48&keywords=grilling+apron

      This one’s fun if he’s a Breaking Bad fan: https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Bad-Pollos-Hermanos-Yellow/dp/B00FQS9CF0/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1511798094&sr=8-19&keywords=men%27s+apron

      Or if he’s a bacon fan: https://www.amazon.com/present-grilling-menswear-housewarming-kitchen/dp/B016V8D1QY/ref=sr_1_45?ie=UTF8&qid=1511798221&sr=8-45&keywords=men%27s+apron

      And Etsy has options you can personalize, like: https://www.etsy.com/listing/189914058/bbq-apron-personalized-gift-for-men?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=mens%20grilling%20apron&ref=sc_gallery_9&plkey=1106ee0555a5209a62091552405ef0008f80bf89:189914058

    • https://www.amazon.com/Hense-Kitchen-Waitress-Cooking-Grilling/dp/B01MYZZ373/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1511800122&sr=8-2&keywords=batman+apron

    • Thank you all!! Great options.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      I got this one for my husband and he loves it! https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/490605988/indigo-denim-apron-with-leather-straps

      There’s also this one which I quite like: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/573410103/deluxe-bull-demin-and-leather-pocket

  15. What has everyone bought? I got a Nespresso for my mom and stepdad’s holiday present and ordered an Instant Pot as a gift for myself from her (she’s not computer savvy and basically makes me buy my own presents). Will probably order a sweater from Jcrew’s big sale for the mister and some campy, holiday pajamas for my kid from somewhere TBD.
    I’d also like to decorate for the holidays this year but not seeing any great deals w/r/t that. Might order a bunch of maternity tanks for myself as I feel like a marshmallow puff and would like cute loungewear. Also, debating whether I should buy a new crib for baby-to-be (on sale now) or try transitioning my toddler to a big bed early. Typing all this out now makes me feel like I am getting too much!

    • Back away from the stores. Do not buy a new crib.

      • Haha, it’s more a bassinet type thing. So I don’t have to rush the transition and to address some logistical issues that will be upcoming. It’s been on my “to get” list for a while and is the only new thing this baby-to-be is getting.

    • Cradle or bassinet for newbie on arrival, then transition toddler to Ikea toddler bed when newbie is ready for full size crib.

      PBK has a decent sale today lots of cute PJs (I luuuurrve the Grinch set).

    • Do not buy a new crib. If you do, the older one is likely to start launching himself out of his crib and require a transition to a toddler bed/big kid bed/mattress on the floor as soon as the return window on the new crib has expired.

      • That is a distinct possibility. The new crib isn’t a full size. I will just transition current crib to toddler bed if that happens and rearrange sleeping arrangements as needed down the line.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I haven’t gotten much–the sales were dissapointing this year. I may do a world market order, but I need to sift through my cart. I was planning on getting another art print at Skyline, but they don’t like they’re doing a sale today.

    • My 2nd will be 22 months when my 3rd arrives. My plans are to put newborn in mini pack and play For a few months. I’m on the lookout for a free/cheap 2nd hand crib whoch I’ll pick up just in case. Either 2nd will be already out of the crib and into a bed, or she won’t. But with kid #3 I am buying ZERO new baby gear. We’ll make it work.

    • Lush stuff for my daughter (no sale), glossier stuff for same daughter (20% off), voluspa candles for ladyfriends (sale at Nordstrom), pajamas for me at soma (bogo 50% off plus free slippers)

      • KateMiddletown :

        Your girl sounds like my stepdaughters. I’m thinking of just doing Lush GCs since we always try to shop their boxing day sale.

    • My favorite woman-owned small business jeweler had a fab sale – I got my mom a pair of amethyst studs at 75% off and got a pair of fancy stacker rings that I had been lusting after for almost a year at 75% off. This jeweler also gives her custom clients a scratch off for the holidays and I won a $100 gift card, which I used on a necklace and earrings.

      I got my dad an Ancestry.com DNA kit and I am going to get him a new meat thermometer as well.

      I still need to get my mom gloves (thanks for the r e t t e recs), but did get her a new crockpot.

    • I bought boring but necessary things – a garden bench, Medela pump, and more cloth nappies. My husband also got sent the link to the lo & sons pearl on sale and I’m about to order some clothes from gap for husband and baby.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I know I’m way on one end of the spectrum, but my kid is turning three in January and we are just starting to discuss moving her to a big-girl bed. I like that she’s contained in the crib; a toddler bed isn’t any bigger than a crib and she’s not about to grow out of either; and so far, no launching. So just throwing out a data point that some kids will stay in a crib forever if you let ’em.

      • Thanks! When I first found out I was pregnant I just assumed that we would switch older kiddo to big bed and give new baby her crib but, like your little one, she doesn’t seem interested in climbing out yet and is generally pretty happy to stay put, which is why I started thinking that another small crib/bassinet might be a better idea. Her crib came with a toddler bed conversion kit so my thinking is if she all of a sudden changes her mind, I can just convert her crib for a bit and then switch back when new kiddo grows out of his mini crib. But containment is a plus at this age and for logistical/space reasons, her crib would be a pain to move into our room when new baby arrives.

    • While the opinions on this site seem to be pretty strong against buying a new crib, I just finished reading a discussion on a lawyer moms site I”m a member of where the opinion was strongly the opposite. So take it all with a grain of salt and do what’s best for your kiddos. My first will be 20 months when #2 is born and I’m buying a new (but inexpensive) crib, if only to keep #1 contained for a few extra months!

      • Thanks! No one size fits all answer for everyone (unless the question is do you fly to DC from NY or take Acela).

      • I agree. My kids are 21 months apart and when they were babies we lived in a 2 br house. We had two cribs for a while. I bought the second on Craigslist (after making sure it complied with current safety standards) and then re-sold it on Craigslist for exactly the amount I paid for it when my older kid moved to a toddler bed. We used the crib mattress for the toddler bed anyway so no waste.

        It was just much much easier to leave my older child in the crib until she was good and ready for a toddler bed.

        I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

        Now let me tell you all about double strollers. I could write a dissertation on them. :)

  16. Fitbit Question :

    I have a Fitbit Charge HR that I’ve had since my 3L year (so, roughly 3 years ago?) and that I received as a gift. I’ve used it on and off, mostly for sleep tracking, though sometimes to make sure I am moving enough during the work day. I like wearing it a lot more than a watch, so I’ve started using it a lot more lately for that purpose. It’s still updating and working well. It appears Fitbit is still selling the model, though they’ve since come out with a Charge HR 2.

    Anyway, my question is when did/do you update your Fitbit? Is it when it’s no longer working or do you update for more functional features? I don’t use the Fitbit while I workout as much because my workouts don’t log well with activity trackers or the sport’s gear actually prevents me from using it while doing the workout (think lifting/boxing/etc.). I think because the Fitbit was a gift, I’ve considered getting a new tracker (maybe a different brand), but then I remember trackers seldom work well with my workouts, so it seems like sticking with this one until it dies is a good (and frugal!) idea.

    Basically, feeling wasteful looking at new/fancier trackers and wondering when it actually makes sense to update.

    • I upgraded when the band on my Charge started falling off. Now I have the Alta, which I like much better.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the alta, which I love. My first fitbit was lost at the gym, then I received the garmin, which was fine, but I love the texts from my phone being pushed and the fitbit app better than the garmin app. my first band snapped off after 8 months so I recently switched to the second band that came in my costco pack.

  17. Cat Lady In Training :

    Prepping for a big project/trial?

    When you know you have a huge project (or trial) coming up, what do you do in your personal life to prepare for it?

    • Get as much laundry done as you possibly can. I suppose I would also suggest looking into laundry services if you would consider that. Make sure you have all your bills on auto-pay or set up to be paid so you don’t miss anything while you’re consumed by work.

      In my experience, all-consuming projects or trials involve a lot of eating at the office, so I wouldn’t bother trying to meal-prep. But I live alone and would rather eat the takeout than try to prep meals to bring in, even if it’s healthier.

    • Fitbit Question :

      Might not apply, but I talk with my SO first. I let him know what’s going on, the estimated timeline, mention that a partner said I will be super covered up for X amount of time, and I work on being extra gracious to him (b/c he’s like that to me when I’m swamped).

      I make it a priority to have some self-care time (for me, it’s working out and hanging w/ my dog, so I just block off time to do that) and I outsource as much as I can–grocery shopping, meal prepping, housekeeping, etc.

      Most importantly, I give myself room to feel my feels and to not be totally on point at other things that aren’t work.

      Good luck!!

    • Lots of experience with this.
      – Buy extra underwear now so you don’t run out.
      – Get all your suits cleaned if they aren’t already.
      – Polish shoes.
      – Buy extra of anything that running out of would cause stress — toilet paper, makeup, detergent, favorite beverage.
      – Order gifts now for any holidays/birthdays during that time. Have gifts scheduled. (You can do this easily with flowers, fruit, etc.)
      – Plan a flexible, refundable getaway weekend for afterwards.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Get caught up on laundry/dry cleaning. Meal prep and freeze ahead of time. Make sure I’ve got medications on auto-refill and auto-ship.

    • anonshmanon :

      get non-urgent personal appointments out of the way: check-ups at the doctor, hair cut, other grooming.
      Has there been a post about this? If not, sounds like a good midday topic.

    • Tell myself it’s ok to be a gremlin after 6pm – this is more of a know your office/client kind of thing, but I have no shame about walking around in hoodies, yoga pants and fully reverting to my studying for finals self (aka living off questionable food choices).

  18. Bridal Shower Help :

    Ladies-I need some help planning my future SIL’s bridal shower. She lives in a different city from me and the rest of our family so we don’t know her very well. How do we make her feel welcome to our family?

    • Ask her what she would like, and then do that!

      • +1000

        Is she a huge extrovert that loves games? Or quieter and might prefer a “display” shower (where all gifts are brought unwrapped and displayed rather than the bride having to sit there and open everything as the center of attention)? Maybe she’d rather do a couples’ shower than ladies only? ASK HER!

        • anonshmanon :

          Even if you plan to invite mostly family (to get to know one another), I would ask brother to put you in touch with a close friend of future SIL. She can point you in the right direction.

    • If your name is William, you are expecting your third child, and are in the UK, then the answer is INVITE ME

    • Most people will feel lucky to have any effort made for them, but you could also try to coordinate it with her wedding plans (if applicable) or make some of favorite foods. Probably the most important thing is to talk to her and be interested in her rather than talking about stuff around her. Signed, my mother in law still can’t pronounce my last name.

  19. Just another rant about a husband who is terrible with gifts… DH and I agreed long ago not to exchange birthday or Christmas gifts and to put the money toward shared fun experiences like travel. I’m fine with that, but the motivation for it was definitely DH’s terrible gift-giving abilities. Well, he was out of town visiting his family last weekend and came home with a rare surprise gift… for the dog. Nothing for me (who was stuck at home alone, too pregnant to travel) or our baby due next month. It’s probably just pregnancy hormones but I wanted to smack him.

    • Girl stop. You just said no gifts. You do not get to be annoyed and your fetus doesn’t need a gift. I’m sure there some legitimate annoyance in your life, focus on that.

      • +1

      • +1 So you said no gifts, but what you really meant was no gifts unless no one else gets any gifts (jelly of the dog??? Srsly?) or only good gifts please (in which case just TELL him what you want – I don’t get why this is hard).

      • Disagree. She’s perfectly allowed to be annoyed at whatever she wants. I don’t get why people on this site can’t just respond to a rant with a kind word instead of “omg you’re so unreasonable.”

      • Get over yourself. OP’s feelings are perfectly valid and you’re a jerk.

      • Is the legitimate annoyance the fact that OP was alone for a family-centered holiday because her body is too tired from working to create a new member of her and DH’s family, while DH spent Thanksgiving out of town with “his family” – which apparently doesn’t include OP and baby?

    • Is your response totally and completely 100% rational? No. Is it understandable? Yes.
      It’s ok to be annoyed over something like this. People, even people you’re married to, will do things without thinking about how they’ll make you feel. They don’t meant to make you feel bad, but it happens. That doesn’t mean you write off the people, but you can roll your eyes and rant to internet strangers. That’s probably healthier than biting his head off.

      • KateMiddletown :

        +1 YES. I am not pregnant but I am pissed about this gift giving season already (remember how we said we were going to buy airline tickets for Christmas? no you can’t return the thing you bought already? ughhh.)

    • Baconpancakes :

      I think you don’t have a “right” to be upset, as you agreed no gifts, but I do think you have a reason to be upset. Gifts are clearly your love language! I get you decided to put the money towards travel to avoid expectations, and marriage is a compromise, but I think you compromised too far in one direction. Maybe time to renegotiate, although I’m sure hormones contribute to your reaction, so maybe wait for those to subside. My SO pays for my (admittedly lavish) birthday parties as his birthday gift to me, but when he goes on a solo trip for longer than a weekend, he brings back a small something, usually edible, because that’s one of my love languages, even though it’s definitely not his.

    • Think about it this way. How could your husband get something for the dog that *isn’t* a gift? It’s like, default. Literally everything purchased for the dog (except dog food and heart-worm medication) is a “gift”- something he’s not going to get for himself but wants because dog. The dog cannot purchase its own toys or treats. The dog cannot evaluate whether it wants a shiny blue ball or whether the shiny green ball would match its collar better and be better for Insta. The dog cannot say “oh, I really don’t need anything- how about a consumable like milk bones?”

      Most importantly, the dog does not recognize whatever your husband gave him as a gift. The dog cannot think, “oh, how kind that my human was thinking of me on this business trip, he saw something he thought I’d love. He knows me so well!”

    • I’d be annoyed in your shoes. Imo the “no gifts” agreement is a red herring. That applies to gift-giving occasions. It doesn’t mean, if you’re out and about and see something you think I like, you can’t ever get me anything for my entire life because we agreed NO GIFTS EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. I suppose some people just don’t think like that and you have to accept people as they are. But obviously he CAN think like that for the freaking DOG so why not his pregnant wife???

      You know your relationship best but I would need to voice my feelings. “I’m glad you were able to spend the holiday with your family but it really sucked for me to be home alone. I’m feeling pretty emotionally raw right now. It stung when you brought a gift home for the dog but not me. I need some extra TLC for the next couple of days.”

    • Linda from HR :

      It sounds like you don’t like it when he spends money on things you neither need nor want, but you’re also finding that you dislike feeling left out, and you’re learning that the hard way. You can’t make him go back and buy you something, but maybe you can say that while you’re sticking with your position on birthday and holiday gifts, you’d appreciate a souvenir when he travels, especially if he’s getting stuff for others.

    • Anonymama :

      Can you just tell him, “I know we said no gifts, but I realized it hurt my feelings a little that you got a gift for the dog and not for me, so I guess gifts mean more to me than I thought, especially since Ive been feeling so tired/pregnant.

  20. PSA: If you need a $8 stocking stuffer, look at snapi salad claws. They are ugly as sin but they do. not. drop. salad. while serving and they hold a whole serving at once. Cannot recommend enough. Only definitely search the phrase “snapi salad claw” and not just “snapi” on Amazon, if you wish to avoid strange images of cloth diapers.

  21. Posting for a few more thoughts on this: Can anyone share any success stories with overcoming (or at least minimizing effects of) allergies? I’m allergic to dogs, dust mites and grass and I’m surrounded by all of these. I’m wondering if daily allergy pills are going to work better than weekly shots, but don’t know anyone who has considered the shots. Any advice is appreciated. Of course I am going to discuss treatment options with my allergist MD, but thinking about life impact from another patient’s perspective is just as important to me.

    Thanks to the one person who previously responded – your post was extremely helpful and appreciated!

    • A friend of mine got shots for his cat allergy and he said they really helped!!

    • I don’t know that this is helpful: my husband has serious allergies to all the things you list (plus cats, mold, pollen, etc.), and my impression is that his allergies are maybe only about 80% under control. He takes Zyrtec every night and we run an air purifier in the bedroom, but he also likes to snuggle with our cats, and we live in an old house amidst lots of trees and grass.

      Most days, DH sneezes a few times when he first wakes up and then has no other allergic reaction. That said, about every eight weeks, he’ll have a really bad allergy day, during which he is basically trapped by endless sneezing and congestion. This happened again on Thanksgiving (his favorite holiday! poor guy) and a friend gave him some Claritin-D, which seemed to help. DH has tried and rejected a lot of other allergy remedies (nasal spray, neti pot), but sometimes off-label interventions (bourbon, s*x) can have an impact.

      He’s looked into allergy shots based on other people’s good recommendations; at present, his schedule doesn’t make them realistic, but I think he’s going to consider it again next year. I handle all the vacuuming and dusting while he’s out of the house, and we have an allergen cover on our mattress and our pillows. We also recently have been thinking about putting his off-season clothing in garment bags in his closet after discovering that his sweaters–cleaned and neatly stacked in the closet since last winter–were making him sneeze when he wore them after six months gathering dust.

      Good luck. Allergies are brutal, but it’s good to have a management strategy!

    • Allergy shots :

      I’m coming to the end of year 5′ of treatment with allergy shots, which have completely changed my life! Prior to shots, I took daily allergy pills, nasal sprays, and had constant sinus headaches and asthma issues (allergic to tree and grass pollen, dogs, cats, dust mites). Allergy symptoms have almost disappeared except for the days when the pollen count peaks in my area and I will stop shots this month!

      The process of getting the shots is no picnic and you have to be diligent, but I am so glad I stuck with it. I now sound like a commercial for immunotherapy but I do not care!

    • I have cat allergies and live with a cat, and I take daily allergy pills. I am considering the shots but haven’t felt like getting around to it yet. The daily allergy pills generally keep things under control, with occasional bouts of symptoms brought on by changes in weather/growing seasons (I’m also allergic to many pollens). It’s being managed, but it’s not perfect. I’ve had no symptoms attributable to the daily allergy pills though.

      • I would be interested to know whether the shots will work for cat allergy. I have brutal allergy to cats (I am suffocating whenever I am with a cat for 4hrs) and would love to get it under control.
        Anyway, I have pollen allergy, for which a daily dose of Allegra during season is just fine and I add Flonase during strong allergy season. I had desensitizing shots for pollen 20years ago and I was covered for 15 years. My allergies returned/got worse during the past 5 years as I moved to a different country and discovered new allergy triggers (different types of grass and trees vs my hoke country).
        As for cat allergy, I take both, Allegra and Flonase when visiting my parents.
        I also have an air purifier running throughout the year and I can feel real difference.
        In case I have a feeling of extra stuffed nose or swelling during allergy season, I add pseudoephedrine in pill form to help relieve sinus problems.
        Also, I add my allergy treatment whenever I have cold&flu since this combo helps to get me through c&f much faster.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      To quote my allergist “Nature is trying to kill you.” I’m currently juggling a regimen of multiple allergy medications trying to get my symptoms under control enough to safely begin allergy shots. My allergist says we’ll work to reduce the allergy medications once the shots are under way.

    • Anonymous :

      I have cat, dust, and various pollen allergies (which only became apparent in my late 20s). I did five years of shots and they dramatically improved.

      Two things to keep in mind, though – first, they generally don’t get rid of 100% of symptoms, more like 80-85%; second, they generally will lose effectiveness over time. My allergist suggested that I’d probably be good for 15 years or so, and potentially wouldn’t ever need them again, but it’s only been about 10 and I’m going in next week for another round of allergy testing to see if it’s feasible to do them again.

    • Dog Allergy :

      Basically I have two dog allergy settings: Small hives from licking OR massive stuffed-up nose, eyes crying, can’t breathe very well. So, because my husband wanted a dog, we worked hard to find a dog that I didn’t have a stuffy-nosed reaction to. It was not a “hypo-allergenic” breed (didn’t seem to make a difference in a positive way), but a short haired/non-floofy medium size hound. I had little bumps here and there (and red skin) anywhere she licked me.

      It took about a year, but my reactions are almost entirely gone. I also have very minimal reactions to dogs that used to clog my airways (like my MIL’s tiny floofs). All to say, I think exposure via shots could have helped build me up to this, but I just didn’t really want to deal with the shots and was fine/safe enough sort of playing it by ear. I am now a dog person as well. :)

    • I have horrible allergies to many things (mainly cats and some other random animals, but also dustmites and tree pollen). I use a nasal spray and take a daily medication. I even had to go to new meds as my old meds stopped working. I did shots for about 2 years. They really helped my allergies, BUT they also gave me really bad fatigue and joint pain. I went to the doctor and we ran all these tests for things like lupus or other severe autoimmune disorders. Finally, I just stopped going for the shots in an act of desperation to try to figure out what was wrong with me and then the joint pain and fatigue stopped. So, the shots helped my allergies, but I also had some weird side effects.

  22. Anon for this :

    Hoping the Hive can help me with some holiday gifting questions:

    1) Hubs wants a replacement for his wedding band. Need to keep it to around $200 and would like to be able to engrave it. Can someone point me to reliable quality gold bands I can buy and have engraved online?

    2) What’s your favorite etsy source of snarky mugs/accessories?

  23. Did the person who posted about having an 8 month relationship with a guy and still not knowing where he works or his address ever post an update? I am dying to know what happened there.

    • Yes, they broke up.

    • She updated like the next week and had D(ed)TMFA, as she should have, when he wouldn’t give her any more details about his life. Swift decisive action, it was very inspiring! Not sure how you can search for her update but it happened within not very many days of the original post.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And there was some hilarious detail like, “You never told me where you live!” and his reply was “What are you talking about? I told you I live in [city]!”

        If you’re out there, OP, I hope you’re doing well and feeling fierce!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      She did! Spoiler alert – she broke up with him.

    • Yep. She dumped him. And he didn’t get it.

    • Oh man I’m so glad you asked because I’d forgotten about it. That was insane. I’m sad I missed the update and can’t remember enough details to search effectively.

    • This makes me laugh and feel supported even though I’m not the original OP

  24. So I usually buy 1 suit in the post Black Friday time since the sales are great. Just realized this yr that my suits are falling apart -old and dry cleaned a lot so I need 3 ideally. Perfect fit for me is a Banana size 0, lightweight wool with the old Martin pant. Picked up 1 of those yesterday – $350 suit for half price. Where else can I buy? I prefer wool, dark colors and very conservative. Sadly BR only had 1 suit like this this yr. I can’t find too many seasonal wool options and those I find are either not made in my size or sold out.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Thanks for reminding me to suit up – my basic black is getting dingy and I’m all about BR suiting.

    • Oh my god a window pane jumpsuit.

      Banana. Please. This has got to stop.

    • Did you buy the Long and Lean Lightweight wool suit? I bought it online over the weekend and it looks promising, hoping it works out!

    • Anonymous :

      I was doing a similar search and found Ann Taylor and J Crew had good sales but poor selection – mostly sold out in the sizes I wanted. Land’s End washable wool also was nicely priced but has very iffy reviews.

  25. Is Banana Republic Factory much lower quality than Banana Republic or is it basically fine like department store quality?

    • It varies a lot by item. I’ve gotten some decent pieces at BR Factory, but overall I’d say the quality is noticeably lower than standard BR.

    • It’s very hit or miss. I got one suit and one blazer there that was great (although had to try in store because sizing was way off from my usual) and everything else has been terrible, including some things that didn’t survive one wash.

    • Same for me. Bought 1 suit there that I really like — it’s not like standard BR in that it isn’t wool, but I think the material is still good. Bought 1 sweater that literally didn’t survive one wash — cotton sweater, nothing fancy and despite washing it like all cotton sweaters, it was not wearable after.

    • It’s terrible quality. I avoid.

    • I haven’t really tried to buy anything too nice from the factory store, mostly just cotton tees and dresses, with a pair of denim shorts thrown in, so nothing nice for work like blouses or slacks. Those types of things have been great for me and have lasted for a few years.

  26. Favorite Holiday Traditions? :

    So we’ve done this before, but I enjoy it so. What are your favorite holiday traditions? Conversely, what are the holiday traditions or supposed must-dos that you’ve said “screw it” to?

    My favorite holiday tradition is making a gingerbread house together. We do it every year– even before we had kids– and it’s so fun.

    I have never gotten my act together to send holiday cards. Every year I feel guilty about it and every year I don’t do it again. I am tempted to order some with all the sales going, but I’m afraid I’d never send any of them.

    • Professional Gifter :

      My friends and I get together for a cookie swap every year.

    • I love looking at Christmas lights. We go on Christmas light walks, take detours when we are out driving, and go to the giant light display at our local botanical garden.

    • I’ve never made one but this is so on my list for this year! I think my daughter is old enough to participate (almost 2) and either way, I just really want to do it. Any favorite pre fab resources for a house?

      For holiday cards, I usually send but I rarely do it ahead of time. What works for me is to have a box or two ready and then send one when I get one – so if I come home to two in the mail, I’ll send those two out that evening. It’s an imperfect system but it works. The only ones I send ahead of time, so to speak, are to older relatives that I know really like getting them but that’s quick work for the day I get the cards.

      Other “traditions” I like – Chinese food and a movie on either xmas or xmas eve, depending on schedule; mulled wine as often as possible; going to see as many xmas trees as I can (two musts in NYC for me are the Met Museum tree and the Rockefeller Centre one, but I’ll usually only go see the RC one in the week btwn Xmas and New Year b/c it’s so much better without crowds).

      • She’s not yet two? Graham crackers and store bought icing.

        • Is that better than the kits? I have a vision of a HOUSE. And she’s a December bday so she will be 2 by the time we get around to it, prob. between xmas and new year’s.

          • Knock yourself out! If this is about doing something fun with her, you need to get over the Grand vision.

          • I tried to do this with Little TK when he was 2 and he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t eat all of the candy *immediately* and it ended in a major meltdown. So I suggest either:
            1) Decorate with something other than candy, or
            2) Have a child with better self-control than mine.

          • Anonymous :

            The kits are great if you assemble the house yourself ahead of time and let it dry before decorating. It is easiest if you open the package and read the directions without kids around.

      • I would buy the kits that you can get at Michaels or wherever (Wilton brand?) with their coupon. For icing, those clear condiment bottles with a pointed tip work really well for sugar icing. I usually have about 4 with different colored icing and the kids can squeeze them onto cookies or whatever they’re decorating and go crazy with sprinkles.

      • We did a teeny kit from Target with my 2 year old this weekend – the problem with actual gingerbread is it’s pretty heavy, so you either need to make the structure ahead of time to let it dry before decorating, or else the roof is sliding off while the kid is trying to decorate. We’re doing it again with friends soon, and we’ll be going the graham cracker route. Also, you can just buy a few separate decorations instead of being stuck with the ones in the kit.

      • Anonymous :

        Costco sells prefab gingerbread houses. I bought one this year for the first time, so I can’t tell you if they’re good.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Cookie Day!! I’ve been baking cookies with my son at holiday time since he was three months old (only missed a year or two when he was in the Marines). I divorced his dad when he was 6 and he was often with his dad on actual Christmas, so I feel like if I’ve had Cookie Day, I’ve had Christmas! Over the years we’ve had various of his friends join us and it’s always the thing I look forward to the most!

      Everything else? I consider it optional. Last year LH and I put up a 12-foot tree and this year we are skipping it and just plugged in his 12-inch ceramic light-up tree and called it a day. We are doing cards because I like doing that but most of the rest of it is going by the wayside.

    • I celebrate Christmas with my parents and sister. We live in different countries, so it is very important for us to get together.
      Ladies bake traditional Christmas cookies. Dad is doing all the other cooking. I am in charge of setring up the Christmass tree. In the afternoon, we go for a walk around the city ( we live close to a wood and vineyards) and then go for a Christmas service to a church (which is a tradition from when we were kids, as by now we are all atheists). We like to meet and greet our friends and hang out for a while after church service is over. Then we walk back home, eat traditional dinner (fish soup or tangy cabbage soup, roasted fish with potato salad) and then unpack our Christmas gift. All this accompanied by traditional kids movies playing on TV (note that I am from Europe and our kids movies are very different from US kids movies).
      We eat, drink, talk and try to enjoy that special moment of being together.

    • anon for this :

      A New Year’s newsletter recapping the key events in our lives over the last year, with pictures. Trips we went on, professional milestones achieved, children born, losses in our lives…. I can’t begin to tell you how many people LOVE that newsletter — been doing it for 10 years now. Used to print it hard copy and send but now we just send it via email (nicely formatted PDF).

      We also do holiday cards and get professional photos done for it every year. Getting professional photos taken is literally the ONLY time in the whole year we get a good picture with all 5 of us (I have three kids). So I look forward to those cards because it’s nice to have a family picture where everyone is in it! And I’m super pleased with how the photos turned out this year in particular.

    • Last year I started making “reindeer food” (oats and sparkly red sprinkles) for my toddler to throw on the lawn on Christmas Eve. We also like driving around and looking at lights in the various neighborhoods near us. We always make pancakes on Christmas morning.

      Christmas cards are a sore subject for me. I sent out close to 100 last year (with the professional photo and everything) and received about 15. I’m not doing cards this year. It made it clear to me that I was trying to hold on to some friendships that aren’t there anymore and it’s time to move on. I still got photos taken though, because I want nice photos of my family.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’d urge you to re-think the Christmas card thing. I bet you almost anything that the almost all the people who didn’t reciprocate didn’t get their act together enough to send out cards at all. It’s much more likely to be about their stage of life than it is about their friendship with you. I lost the plot for quite a few years, Christmas card-wise, and I am so grateful to the people who never crossed me off their list. And now I’m back at in the game. So if it’s meaningful to you, keep it up and enjoy it.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 – it seems like a really big leap to go from “no holiday cards” to “not friends”. People are really divided on sending cards out now and I agree that Facebook makes them way less relevant – especially for the ones that are just professional photos, without a personal greeting.

      • Anonymous :

        We only send out about 20. I think they’re sort of redundant in the Facebook era, where everyone sees copious kid and pet and vacation photos on a regular basis, but like you I want nice photos of our family each fall and I like getting it made into a cute card (we save one of our own cards every year and it’s a nice little flipbook of our growing family – from just a couple to having a dog to one kid to two kids and eventually someday hopefully to kids-in-law and grandkids). Plus it makes my parents and grandparents happy to receive one. So our list is basically just family and BFFs. I used to send some to more distant friends, but felt a lot of pressure to write a long note asking them how they’re doing and updating them on our news, which I really came to dread. So I stopped that, and now just send them to our closest friends who know what’s going on in our lives, and for whom I can just write “Happy Holidays! Best wishes for a great 2018!” and sign our names without feeling any guilt.

      • I would rethink your position. I am now the person who sends 200 holiday cards, but years ago (when I sent no holiday cards) I received many cards and frankly it never even occurred to me to reciprocate with a card in turn. I would usually email the recipient to thank them for the card, but I never sent a card in the mail on my own.

        Also, as mentioned, I send a ton of cards now but it would have never occurred to me to expect 200 cards in return or even half that amount.

    • My work does a really nice, not-crowded Santa photo event, so I take my son to that. I also host a girls night holiday party every year with cocktails, snacks, Christmas cookies, and a white elephant gift exchange. I do holiday cards every year because it forces me to make sure we get a decent family photo each year. Those are the only things I do every year, other than decorating the house, but I think we are going to add in driving around to look at Christmas lights because my toddler son really likes them.

    • Linda from HR :

      I’m gonna answer the second and talk about a tradition I did not like as a kid, as I want to implore people not to subject your kids to it.

      When we were kids, we were forbidden from going into the living room on Christmas morning until everyone in the house was not only awake, but dressed in their Christmas Best and ready for pictures. Then they lined the kids up on the steps – oldest in back, youngest in front – adults would take all the pictures they could possibly want, and then we were allowed into the living room.

      As an adult, I can see how sweet it is to set that scene. The pictures, I’m sure, were precious, as was the video of the kids seeing the presents for the first time and getting excited. But I always found it unnecessary to make kids get all dressed up that early just for presents, and as I got older and more and more cousins were born, the time it took to get everyone ready got ridiculous, and when I was in middle school, I was too old for that stuff. So parents, if you must put your kids through this dog and pony show, only do it when they’re young, and don’t make them wait hours after getting up.

    • lawsuited :

      Lol, I am the exact opposite! I love writing Christmas cards and send about 50-80 every year. I love picking out or designing our cards, I get custom stamps made, and I’ve never missed a year since I was 18.

      I don’t like making gingerbread houses at all. I’ve just can’t see the point of a bunch of decorative cookie, icing and candy that you can’t eat!

  27. I was just diagnosed with allergic rhinitis based on my nasal congestion, infrequent sneezing and coughing, mild head pressure, and brain fog. Can’t be sure what’s causing it, but she thought based on a sudden onset in September, that it’s fall allergies. I didn’t have any terrible symptoms, just a bunch that left me not feeling great. I’ve had this off and on for years now, I think, but never bad enough to see a doctor about it.

    I’m on day 4 of RhinoCort sprays. Doctor wanted to hold off on systemic pills until we see if the spray works.

    What should my expectations be? I still feel stuffy. Will the spray make me feel totally uncongested? Could the brain fog lift? Should I try the local honey approach? Is the neti pot as awful as it looks?

    • You definitely should do an allergy test. One of the most effective ways to treat allergies is to avoid the things you’re allergic to, though this is obviously going to be easier for some things (pets, dust mites, etc.) than others (pollen). Your PCP can order a blood test or you can go to an allergist for a skin test, which is more reliable but more of a pain. There’s also the possibility that you have nonallergic rhinitis, in which case most of the allergy drugs won’t help at all (but there are a few that might help a little bit, including rhinocort). If you’re really miserably congested, sudafed (the real stuff you get from behind the counter) is pretty effective, though you probably don’t want to take it long term.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      The neti pot is kind of miraculous. I vastly prefer the squeeze bottle style to the teapot style. Do the neti pot at least 1 hour before your sprays, so you aren’t washing the medication away.

    • I usually start feeling a reduction in symptoms pretty quickly with the nasal spray and within a day or two for OTC medications.

      I have never seen any proof that local honey works but it is delicious and fun to eat a spoonful every morning!

      I have had the best success in managing my seasonal allergies using a combination of neti pot + nasal spray. Agree with the recommendation from Anna above that you may need some “real” sudafed to get you over the congestion hump. The thing I would stay away from (unless you’re really desperate) is Afrin nasal spray – it works amazingly well and quickly but almost always results in “bounce back” congestion later on.

    • This reply is quite late, but hopefully might still reach you! Just wanted to add that corticosteroid sprays (Rhinocort, Flonase, Nasocort, Nasonex) aren’t magical decongestants like Afrin, but with continued use you should find yourself feeling less “stuffy.” Afrin can be a godsend but as another poster pointed out, needs to be used with caution due to rebound effects.

      I second the recommendations for allergy testing and Sudafed (or other pseudoephedrine products) from behind the pharmacy counter. I personally didn’t have much luck with the neti pot, but my sister and BIL swear by it.

      Good luck!

  28. If I Didn't Have Children :

    If I didn’t have children (9 and 3), I’d get a divorce. We have been together for close to 15 years and married for 10. My H and I are completely different people with completely different goals, beliefs, communication styles. We don’t agree about how to spend money, where to vacation, how to parent, how to talk to each other, how to allocate the holidays. There is no compromise; one of us just gives into the other one. He would stay at home all day and play video games; I want to leave the house.

    He’s not physically abusive; I’m not looking for someone else. He would pick his parents or any one else in his family over me every time (I don’t think he even cleaved to me). I work more, make more money, but take care of 90% of all things related to the children (and right now I feel like allocating him 10% is generous but I bet in his brain he thinks he does so much more).

    But I love my children and the thought of spending 50% less time with them simply because I want to escape their dad devastates my very core. I would have said a year ago that 90% of the time I could just ignore him and the 10% when he calls me a name or hurts my feelings and doesn’t acknowledge it or care was the price I was willing to pay to be with my children. Today I just don’t know if that is true anymore.

    You guys always give the most honest advice. What say you?

    • Have you tried counseling? I think that could be a productive first step. If that doesn’t help things, I would not stick with the marriage just because you have kids. I grew up with a mother/step-father who clearly should have gotten a divorce. It would have been much better on everyone if they had. But this is coming from someone who’s only been on the kid’s side of things. I understand where you’re coming from on not wanting to spend less time with your kids. Do consider whether the time spent with them would be better quality if you were not in an unhappy relationship, though.

      • Senior Attorney :


        I’ve been where you are, twice. And both times I stayed in the marriage way too long. Divorce is no picnic for kids but all the research shows that it’s the conflict that harms the kids, not whether or not the parents live in the same house. So if you two will be able to co-parent reasonably well after a divorce, I think it’s a no-brainer to get a divorce if you try counseling and it doesn’t help.

        • +1 My parents stayed together for the kids. They never had screaming matches or anything but my sibling and I could always tell when they weren’t getting along. They were both miserable and it just made my sibling and me want to stay away, which I did by spending as much time at friends houses as possible. Looking back it wasn’t a conscious decision due to my parents not getting along, but it just wasn’t a fun environment at my own house that I always found a reason to leave. So my parents didn’t get to see me much anyway.

    • Sounds like you know what you want, which is to get a divorce, and you’re coming here for permission. You don’t need permission to do what you feel is best for you and your kids. Speaking as a child of divorce–it’s not easy, but it’s also not easy to see your parents trapped in an abusive or dead marriage.

    • This may not directly address your question, and I’m not a parent so I’m sure there are things I’m missing here. But. My parents got divorced when I was very young, and I think in retrospect one of the concerns that I think they should have had about staying together is about what kind of message you’re sending to your children about what marriage is/should be. The fact that my dad left my mom I think indicated to me that the situation was not what I should shoot for in my life/marriage, and it wasn’t acceptable. While I recognize that there are a lot of challenges that children of divorce face in building healthy relationships, I think that my experience gave me some ideas of what marriage should not be, and I had to think about what I did want it to be for myself. I think if my dad had stayed in the marriage, it would have been an implicit endorsement that model of marriage. So if I were you, I’d consider how this will impact your kids’ views of marriage & what they should settle for and tolerate in a relationship.

      Sorry you’re going through this.

      • Anonymous :

        This. My parents had a highly dysfunctional relationship, yet divorce was never an option because “God says divorce is a sin.” As if all the abuse and turmoil that followed wasn’t.

        Going through a box of old books, I came across my first journal, which I started at age 6. In it, I wrote that I hated my life and wished my parents would get a divorce.

        I’m happily married now, but after many years of relationship avoidance, a few unhealthy relationships, and a whole lot of therapy.

        • Legally Brunette :

          Your journal entry is so sad. :( If I had written a journal at that age I am sure I would have said something similar. It’s terrible for children to grow up in a home with parents who fight/don’t get along/don’t love each other. I felt like a huge burden was lifted from me after my parents divorced.

    • Do you love him? Do you want your marriage to be better? Is he willing to put in some work? Are you ready to absorb some time that will be teary and difficult?

      If so, tell him everything you said above, and then say “we are going to therapy, I have made the appointment and arranged for childcare. I love you and want our marriage to be better and our current status is not sustainable.”

      I did this. (Together for 9 years, married for 7, kids are 4 and 2). It was several months of wondering during every daily commute whether I should find a divorce lawyer but now things are 10000% better.

    • Get a divorce. Everyone loves their kids! You might get more than 50/50 custody but even if not you are teaching them that they don’t deserve happiness every day you choose to stay miserable.

    • Anonymous :

      I will give the opposite advice of everyone else. Of course you can get a divorce if that’s what you want, and you and your kids will survive. But I just saw a good friend go through this and being with his kids only 50% of the time has been absolutely brutal for him. He is an incredibly devoted dad whose wife left him because she was bored in the marriage (no abuse, infidelity, screaming, etc.) He went through normal break-up sadness but is now largely recovered from the end of his marriage, but he feels like he’s lost two of his limbs now that he doesn’t have his kids half the time. He’s such an amazing father and it’s heartbreaking to see his time with his kids cut so dramatically when he didn’t do anything objectively wrong.
      His situation has made me decide that absent abuse or a situation that’s clearly impacting the kids (like loud screaming matches all the time), I will do my absolute best to stay married until my youngest child is out of the house. If you can peacefully co-parent in the same house, I think it’s worth it to not lose your kids, even if the romantic/sexual love is gone.

      • lost academic :

        There’s nothing in what you describe that has any real applicability to the situation described by the OP and quite frankly as an outsider to that marriage with only your friend’s perspective to go on, there’s simply no way at all for you know the truth about the home dynamic and the relationship with his ex-wife. Many abusive and/or intolerable situations look perfectly happy on the outside and it’s a terrible dynamic to raise children in. You don’t want to ‘lose’ your kids? Well, they aren’t possessions that are somehow ‘lost’ if your ex-spouse has joint custody.

    • anon for this :

      If you don’t believe that marital counseling would help, please please please get a divorce. As the child of divorced parents, I can assure you that life will become 100% better for EVERYONE involved. I was so unhappy with parents yelling all the time. And even if you and your husband don’t fight in front of the kids, don’t think for a minute they don’t know what’s going on (even the 3 year old). They know. You don’t want them to grow up thinking this is what a healthy partnership looks like.

      My parents went from almost being enemies to post-divorce, becoming friends. Even good friends, I would say. I never thought that could ever happen.

      In terms of custody, there are a lot of different arrangements. If you’re doing 90% of childcare right now, your husband might not even want a 50/50 split (or he might say he wants it but doesn’t realize what he has signed up for). After the divorce, I lived with my mom full-time but would visit my dad on most weekends. I liked that arrangement.

      You have the right to be happy. And so do your kids. Please, please don’t stay in a terrible marriage for the sake of your kids. In the end, no one is happy. I wish you the best of luck.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am a product of a marriage where my parents had nothing in common and barely interacted. I knew they should get divorced when I was around 8 years old. The eventually did when I was 21 and it was so much worse than if they had split when I was young. They both loved me but I had no model of what a health adult relationship could or should look like and it took me multiple bad experiences to figure it out.

      If change is not a possibility, and it sounds like it is not, please consider a divorce. Your children will be better off seeing two parents more happy and fulfilled apart. As for the being apart from them, you may come to really enjoy being fully present when you are with them (because you have time without them to get all your other stuff done) not to mention losing the resentment of having to do everything when your partner does very little.

      Best of luck, internet friend, no matter what you decide to do. No easy road here.

    • Even in your worst case of only 50% time with your kids, I bet you could think of a ton of stuff you would enjoy doing in that newly found free time. If you are doing all the paid work and the parenting/housework you must have no you time. Maybe you want to try a yoga class, join a choir, get a dog, volunteer at a soup kitchen. I bet you could find really enjoyable ways to spend your nights off. I’m sure this doesn’t work for everyone but I have a friend that was really worried about the half on half off thing (they do alternating weeks and live in the same town) but she has come to love it. She has two lives. One is the fun, single woman and the other is the devoted mom. She actually looks forward to her nights off now. At the time, she couldn’t imagine that.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Cosign this. I always say that the time away from the kids is the “hidden upside” of divorce. ;)

    • Don’t do that to your kids. Get a divorce.

    • To add a different story than my parents should have gotten divorced – what you are describing was my parents marriage through a good chunk of my teens years. After we left the house, they finally went to counselling, dealt with their own demons, and have oddly enough become the parents who get quoted in wedding vows. Their advice to me (and friends) is always, we may not always like each other but we always love each other. So, give counselling a go to figure out if you just don’t like each other right now, or if you don’t love each other. If nothing else, it will help the two of you plan for divorce with your children (if you decide you no longer love each other).

      • Senior Attorney :

        Certainly it’s always the best thing for couples to get therapy/counseling and come out stronger on the other side. But my observation (from working in family law and also going through half of a master’s program in marriage and family therapy, as well as being twice-divorced myself) is that it takes two good-intentioned and reasonably healthy people to make that happen, and that scenario is unfortunately pretty rare. If somebody is already thinking about divorce, it’s pretty unlikely that the relationship is salvageable.

    • Oh so anon :

      My parents have been married for over 40 years. Their relationship has always been dysfunctional, and my father is verbally and emotionally abusive toward my mother. I wish she had left him. We would have had less money and less advantages, but it was terrifying to start adulthood with no concept of a healthy adult relationship and to be used to seeing women (i.e., my mother) treated with disrespect. You and your children will both be happier if you leave,

    • I’d recommend reading the book Getting the Love You Want. It may give you some insight into the relationship – whether you leave or stay.

    • I did everything and made all the money. I got divorced this year. Learned afterwards that he’d also been cheating on me. I had to give him a ton of money and I have to pay him every month (but only for 5 years per our agreement.) Im super happy with the decision. I ended up with the kids full time which was lovely. My son is fine with it (15) but my 13 year old daughter is having a hard time. Honestly I wish I had done it earlier. But the effect on her is awful. However I think it was also awful to show her an example of such an unequal relationship and to show her that I thought it was okay to be treated like that. I was reluctant for a while (I posted on here about divorcing without a lawyer — we did end up using one but mostly to just do paperwork, I basically bought him out and surprisingly he agreed the kids would be better with me. I thought he would see them more — which is okay by me but probably bad for them.
      Even with all the bad its still totally worth it. I sleep better, I feel better, no one is putting me down.

    • Super anon for this :

      I’ll chime in with a slightly different perspective.

      I could have written your post a few months ago. My husband was emotionally abusive and really floundering in his life and blaming me for his problems. I knew something had to change. I was so tired of being called names/ having my feelings hurt and being met with complete lack of affect when I expressed my hurt or wishes to be treated differently.

      What you are describing sounds like the face of depression. Or a big jerk. But I wanted to chime in to say that if your husband has not always been this way, if his personality has changed a lot, consider encouraging him to get counseling on his own. I basically went home one day and said, either things change or we separate. It took a few incredibly hard months, but my husband sought a lot of mental health help and is returning to the person I knew before depression took him way, way under.

      That said, if your husband has always just wanted to stay home and play video games, and he will not seek help with you or on his own, leave him. I had to get to the place emotionally where I was ready to do that– I talked to a lawyer before I had that boundary-setting conversation with my DH. And many hugs and love to you. You are worthy of peace, and a home that you feel emotionally safe in.

  29. Baconpancakes :

    What’s everyone wearing for holiday parties? Any suggestions for a velvet top with sleeves under $100? Or other versatile, cute, winter party outfit suggestions?

    • Frozen Peach :

      Ooh, I’ll play. I’m looking for a wine-colored velvet skirt, preferably one with a flare/ that is kind of kicky. Planning to pair with a festive sweater I already have.

      The last few years I’ve hit up the MUXXN brand on Amazon for cheap, slightly retro dresses for holiday parties, since holidays are almost the only time of year I can get away with a bit more retro than usual…

    • I have a sheer black elbow sleeved woven silk top that has scattered sequins on it and I wear (with any black skirt) it to anything holidayish. I got it when shopping with a Nordstrom personal shopper a few years ago and even though it was $300 it has paid for itself by being the only thing I need for office-y holiday stuff, and I’ve worn it to non-office xmas parties too.

    • Anonymous :

      Ann Taylor has some pretty, velvety shirts. I bought the burgundy one, although I struggle to figure out how to layer over it.

  30. Cross posting with Moms S*te for input.

    My Shark sweeper (not my choice, MIL bought it and it could not be returned) died over the holiday weekend.

    I want to replace it with something (1) cordless, (2) bagless, (3) freestanding, (4) not cr*ppy, and (5) $100 or less. Bonus points if it has a handheld component that I could use to clean up the cars.

    Primary jobs for it would be cleaning up what The Kid drops on tile while eating, what The Husband drops on said tile while cooking, and quick brush-ups of hardwoods/marble/berber between housekeeper days. (We have a Hoover canister that still does great work on carpeting, but it lives upstairs in our house).

    There are several interesting Deik models on Amazon, today, but I am hesitant to pull the trigger on a brand I have never heard of.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m surprised that you didn’t like your Shark. I just bought a new sweeper and EVERYONE recommended buying a Shark. Sorry, no helpful suggestions other than everyone recommended a Shark. There were lots on sale for $99 to $129 on Black Friday.

    • lawsuited :

      I hated our Shark sweeper so much. I replaced it with the Dyson V6 cordless stick and it has improved my life more than I could have imagined.

  31. KateMiddletown :

    Madewell’s tote bag – is this something that grown up women could use for work or is it more college-girl/young professional-y?

    I work in a client facing financial position and carry a big Dagne Dover right now. I’m drooling over the Dagne Dover Allyn tote but worried about the weight of it. Anyone own?

    • Dagne has free shipping both ways so you could always get it and evaluate?

      I have a cuyana bag similar to the Madewell tote which I love but I just don’t think it’s office-y. If I carry it to work, I leave it under my desk. I feel like work bags need to stand on their own? So anything slouchy isn’t meeting-y.

    • The Madewell totes are nice, and there’s nothing about them that screams young. But I don’t know anyone over 25 who carries one.

    • Anonymous :

      I carry a very similar one from Mark and Graham, as a client-facing lawyer. I like it and it feels professional enough to me.

      And several of the higher-up women I work with who have comments about such things have never commented on my bag.

  32. Can someone vicariously shop for me? All I want for Christmas is a blush pink sweater. Something super soft that I can live in and wear with jeans for a family holiday party. TIA!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Everlane has a couple of options right now.




    • I saw this one in stores and it is soooo soft. Obviously not the best quality, but cute for the holidays. https://www.target.com/p/women-s-cropped-chenille-pullover-mossimo-supply-co-153/-/A-52928953#lnk=newtab

    • Shopaholic :

      there’s on at loft and everything is 50% off now.

      • Thanks to all of you! I tried Everlane at their SF Pop-Up and sadly it didn’t work for my body type at all – but I will check the others out

  33. I need some smarter TV suggestions. All this 90 day fiancé and real housewife crap is rotting my brain. We liked house of cards, curb your enthusiasm, and veep. What do you recommend that’s available on Netflix, Amazon prime or HBO go?

    • I like Outlander – not sure what it’s on the US. I didn’t read the books but I like the show. Start with season one if you can and the story will make more sense. I started with season three (currently on) and went back to watch the other seasons. Strong female protagonist. Nice mix of adventure/romance/history stuff without making me think too hard.

      Also, The Crown is supposed to be good and there’s a new season starting soonish?

      • Baconpancakes :

        Also, Outlander has a ton of female-pleasure-centric LGP scenes, which is a bit shocking -first, because you almost never see them, and second, because you realize how ridiculous it is that you never see them.

        Also Stranger Things. Creepy and scary but not too much for this scary-movie-wimp.

    • Madam Secretary!

    • I just discovered The Americans and love it.

    • Blacklist, Newsroom, Quantico

    • Anonymous :

      I love Scandal and Call the Midwife.

    • Master of None is really good, and I like that the episodes are a little shorter (30-ish minutes).

      Also, it’s super violent and I didn’t expect to like it so much, but DH and I got really into Sons of Anarchy a few months ago.

    • anonshmanon :

      Even though it’s really old, I’m watching The West Wing for the first time and it’s SO GOOD.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Short and quick on Netflix but both Dear White People and 13 Reasons Why are outstanding.

    • The Good Place (season 1 is on Netflix; season 2 is on NBC and I believe past episodes are on hulu)
      Master of None
      Parks and Recreation
      Veronica Mars

    • The Americans on Prime

  34. middle management help :

    Ugh, I really hope that isn’t at play here. What a stressful situation for you.

    That said, I need my boss to feel happy and supported by me regardless of how she’s personally navigating the situation, so I think I just need to amp up the thoughtfulness and thoroughness.

  35. Can any attorneys here weigh in on who is likelier to prevail re: the CFPB?

  36. Anonymous :

    What are your best tips for flying transcontinental? I’ve traveled abroad for personal but always have a hard time settling down to work on the plane.

    A friend of mine applied his premiere upgrades to my reservations and I am really hoping they clear, but given that they haven’t I’m not counting on it by any means.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve flown trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic a number of times, and these are the things I’ve found make a difference for me:
      –Stay hydrated. I bring an empty Nalgene bottle through security and fill it up before getting on the plane. Likewise, if you drink alcohol, limit it to 1 or 2 drinks for the flight.
      –Bring your own snacks, especially something with protein (e.g. nuts, trail mix, string cheese). You never know what the food will be like. (In general, I find non-American airlines have better food.)
      –Pack a pair of slippers or slipper socks in your carry-on.
      –Take a pillow for your neck. Mine is inflatable, making it easy to pack.
      –Take noise-cancelling headphones, or at least a pair of earplugs. Some people appreciate eye masks, too.
      –Be cautious with sleep aids. On a red eye from DC to London, I took Tylenol PM and never fell asleep. I arrived in London at 6 a.m., extremely groggy and with an entire day ahead of me.

      • anonshmanon :

        re: snacks – they often ask passengers not to open any peanut products on flights nowadays. Also, at the end of a long flight with crappy food, I often find myself craving an apple or a bunch of grapes.

      • Anonymous :

        Re: hydration, the rule of thumb is that you need 8 oz of fluid for every hour in the air. Alcohol counts negative. It’s a lot, but if you drink that much you’ll be glad you did.
        Food is usually pretty edible on international flights, even in economy on US-based carriers. I’ve never brought snacks with me for an international flight and have never gone hungry (caveat that I don’t have major dietary restrictions).

    • Anonymous :

      I strongly feel that if someone wants you to work on one of those flights, they need to fly you business class. Otherwise, if you really want to work, you need to be in a seat that will have enough room to be able to open your laptop (ideally a bulkhead, because if the person in front of you reclines, that ends your ability to use a laptop) and you need to have your mouse arm in the aisle.

    • Compression socks. Having swollen ankles your first day or two jn the destination is not fun. I just buy mine from the drugstore for about $15

  37. What are the best values out there for personalized flat/correspondence cards? Looking for simple ecru cards in a good weight paper, personalized with name at the top and no lines or borders, that come with envelopes. The ones I’ve been using were somewhere around 100# cover, but they were a gift and I’m almost out. Minted seems nice but was still over $1 per card after CM discount.

    • Anony Mouse :

      I love Crane Stationary, but those will probably run about the same as Minted, if not a little more.

      In the past, I’ve bought plain Crane cards and had my name added to them at a local print shop. Not as nice as letterpress, but a lot more cost-effective.

    • Lila Fowler :

      Did you check Merrimade?

    • note cards :

      Just bought some monogrammed (one initial only – no full name) at Paper Source – nice weight, gold monogram, envelopes sold separately.

  38. Moving a piano? :

    So, my grandparents are downsizing and have offered us their piano. They live 500 miles away from us (U.S.). Any recommendations on who to contact to arrange transportation? Should we only look at specialty piano moving companies or other options? Hoping to keep this as affordable as possible…

    • London Junior Associate :

      This isn’t a helpful answer to your actual question but unless it is an incredibly nice piano or a really special family piece I would encourage you to look on your local craiglist/facebook neighborhood sale sites. Mine have pianos listed constantly for free, you just have to figure out the pickup. That’ll be way cheaper than shipping it a distance.

    • What kind of piano is it? If it is an upright that is not an heirloom, I would think any moving company could handle it. I would be more inclined to hire a specialty piano mover for a grand piano, an antique, or something with sentimental value.

      Assuming it is just a nice, regular piano, you would probably be better off just to buy one. Moving it that far will not be cheap.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Honestly, unless it’s a really, really nice piano, it might be cheaper to donate it, get a tax write-off, and buy a new used piano where you live. Most moving companies do not offer piano moving services. Our quotes were around $500 to move it in-town, with only 3 porch stairs on either side of the move. And once you get it to your house, you will need to get it tuned, which is another nice piece of change.

    • I would do a specific piano mover or a reputable moving company with piano experience. Any of the big, super-regional moving company should have this experience, but definitely call and ask.

    • Do you have an idea of weight? My grandparent’s old classic upright (60″ or so) took most of the linemen from the local high school football team and two strong adults (my uncle was a coach) to move into my aunt and uncle’s house, and that was just to get it up 3 steps. If it’s not particularly valuable or rare, you could consider hiring a few strong/experienced people to do the lifting on both sides, and rent a trailer to do the transport yourself.

      • Anonymous :

        You do not want people lifting a piano without knowing what they are doing and having a piano dolly available. That is an injury waiting to happen.

    • Less than truckload moves :

      Sterling Vanlines out of California moves less than truckload hauls with great care. It will take a while to get it, but it should in great shape when it arrives.

      • Counterpoint–Sterling (who my mom, a realtor, had used religiously for her clients’ small moves for 15 years) put giant forklift holes into my less than a year old furniture when I moved from CO to CA, and didn’t wrap any of my wood furniture in blankets, and scratched the heck out of it. My mom had to threaten to sue them (and she did threaten to badmouth them to her office of 100+ realtors) to get them to repair the furniture. They were awful.

        They also were a day late with pickup and told me my move was going by truck, but sent it by air (hence the forklift, removing the pallet from the plane). Nightmare.

    • Moving a piano? :

      Thanks, all. It’s a relatively nice, 30-year old studio piano (an upright). My grandmother has kept it in good condition (she’s taught lessons on it until recently). I know the conventional wisdom is to buy local, but because she was a pianist and also worked selling pianos for years, I trust her judgment as to quality more than my own. I do not play but want one for kids’ lessons.

    • If you think the piano is worth something, have it appraised first before moving it. Then you’ll know if it’s worth moving when you start getting quotes. A piano appraisal will cost you about $100. The unfortunate truth is, as others have pointed out, pianos vary greatly in value with most not being worth much at all. Of course, if the piece is sentimental to you that’s a different story.

      I have 1926 Knabe baby grand that’s worth about $7k. You’ll easily pay over 1k to have a professional piano mover transport a piece 500+ miles — but it’s worth it if the piano is worth something. We’ve moved it three times, twice with professionals and once with just a regular professional (not piano specific) moving company. With the regular movers, we ended up with some minor scratching, legs put on in the wrong order, and it needed considerable tuning work due to moving from a cold climate to a warm, humid one.

      Depending on where you live, pianos do require maintenance to play/sound nicely. $200/year minimum to keep them tuned and sounding good.

  39. I may have to travel to Singapore for business meeting with clients (execs). What is the appropriate dress code there given that it will be summer.

    • Skirt suits with sleeveless shell under is fine. You’ll need to gauge the level of formality of your clients.

    • All the business formal women I saw wore sheath dresses in Singapore and usually had a blazer to throw on at the office. Jewel tones and light colors/patterns on the dresses seemed more common especially in spring/summer than in comparable offices in the eastern US (where I am). I saw a range of flats to heels, although tall heels (3 inches or more) seemed more for social occasions than for work.

      Try not to worry about the heat/humidity too much. Singapore is set up so that unless you want to, you don’t have to spend much time outside (comprehensive subway/bus coverage, etc). As an American, I found I had a much harder time with the inside temperature – I was not prepared for that level of air conditioning, so I’d suggest dressing for the indoors rather than the outdoors. I’d seriously consider bringing a wrap or one of the pashminas recommended often around here.

    • Anonymous :

      It is always summer in Singapore!
      Echo that skirt suits with sleeveless shell is fine. Hose not required unless very formal clients. Ok to remove jacket when going outside, but you will need it indoors–AC is strong.
      Also, wear shoes you can walk fast in–Singaporeans waste no time!

  40. Backpack for a Grad Student :

    My cousin is asking for a backpack for Christmas. What backpack brands are in style these days in college? He’s a 23 year old male in med school in a large Texas city. He will carry a laptop, binder, and maybe a book or two; he is not style conscious and said he is okay with “sporty” (versus, say, Herschel or Everlane) I was thinking something from The North Face, Columbia, or Timbuk2…aka what I carried in school back in the 2000’s. Are those brands still hip? Other suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Patagonia? Fjallraven?

    • Back pack :

      I have a teenager and recommend the largest North Face back pack you can find. They carry extremely heavy weights reliably and are virtually indestructible. Also wash well in the machine.

      • Anonymous :

        I also have a teenager and agree re. durability and washability of North Face backpacks, but LL Bean has even bigger ones that are also washable and indestructible.

        • https://www.timbuk2.com/command-backpack/392-3-5675.html?category=laptop-backpacks

          I would recommend Timbuk2. Great functional bags with separate compartment for laptops

    • Late to this thread, but my 23-y-o son – who is style-conscious – has a Chrome backpack with a fold-down top that he loves unreasonably. He has used it for maybe three years, stuffing it with school and now work stuff, and also uses it for a weekender. (Oh, and it has a waterproof lining, so it survived some drunken college friend actually throwing up in it. So there’s that.) I think it’s probably the Yalta, and Chrome has a big Cyber Monday sale going today.

      • https://www.chromeindustries.com/product/night-yalta-2.0-backpack/BG-188.html?dwvar_BG-188_color=NITE&cgid=backpacks

        • Sorry, linked to a color that’s out of stock. Here’s another, not as good a price:


          And looking more closely, I think my son has the Barrage model.


    • Anonymous :


    • I think Fjallraven is the coolest one these days.

  41. So hopefully I won’t seem totally out of touch with technology in this post… but…
    How do you make a modern-day equivalent of a mix tape?
    I have a friend who is going through a terrible bout of post-partum depression. I want to make a playlist for her, but don’t want her to have to go out and purchase the songs on iTunes in order to hear them. The junior high version of me would have just burned a CD or made a tape. I don’t know other alternatives. Ideas?
    Also would appreciate song ideas to include for a working/nursing/pumping/new mom to lift her spirits, if any come to mind. Thank you!

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