Thursday’s Workwear Report: GoWeave Crop Trouser

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

These pants remind me of a woman I saw recently who was wearing a really classic, beautiful outfit that was also stylish and work appropriate. She had a navy silk shell with a little bit of an eyelash fringe, navy cropped pants with pockets and a trouser/pleated element (probably these very pants!), a beige/tan/caramel-colored sweater, and beige/tan/caramel-colored shoes. I thought it was super-easy but also very flattering and chic and cool — and I would try it if you want something that looks good without being overly matchy. The pictured pants come in navy and black in sizes 00–12 at Everlane for $115, and the GoWeave™ yarn makes them wrinkle-resistant. The GoWeave Crop Trouser

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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Comments

  1. These pants -- hem length :

    For these pants, I think that I could wear this hem length with flats or heels (I don’t think that block heels work — I see them with usual-length boot cut pants or dresses, but skinny heels). I’m thinking of hemming some of my pants to this length.

    Yes? No? I can never figure this out but this picture helps tremendously.

    • I think sometimes this really depends on cut so some pants would look better at this length than others. I also think that block heels could look nice with this style.

    • I have them and they required no hemming for me, but don’t exactly look cropped either. I’m 5’3″ and often wear petite sizes. These pants run large. I’m normally an 8 or 10 depending on the brand, but I had to get these in a 6. Also, they are wrinkle resistant but not wrinkle free – they crease quite a bit at the lap for me. The fabric is great, though – comfy and looks polished.

      • These pants -- hem length :

        Thanks!

        I’m 5-4 and have some BR Sloanes that are probably hitting me where the shoe starts on this model, which I don’t think is a good look. Slightly shorter *should* be a lot better. But if I’m wrong or go too short, I think it will be a hot mess / verging on capri-pants-in-Boca territory.

        • I can’t imagine that these would look like capris on you if you’re 5’4″. They basically look like ankle pants on me.

          • These pants -- hem length :

            I think that it’s sometimes I think I’m hemming things long and then (through laundry / gaining a couple of pounds / not studying the mirror close enough when actually at the tailors) they can wind up too short.

            It’s like getting your hair cut — “take an inch off” can wind up with different results / interpretations even though it seems so straightforward.

      • Marshmallow :

        I was just going to comment that I thought these pants run small! I bought them in my usual size and they fit like snug trousers/ how I would want jeans to fit, not loose and draped like the picture. Returned them but would consider in a size up. YMMV I guess. But the fabric was beautiful.

    • As a petite, all my pants are this length and I wear them with: oxfords, penny loafers, ballet flats, court shoes (2 inch) and today with block heel shoes.
      They look great with anything except sandals which I never wear.

  2. Laptop bag AND purse -- yes or no? :

    For those of you who carry a laptop bag like an OG or an MZ Wallace Kate, do you also carry a purse? Keep the little items in the big bag? What do you do when you run out for lunch — bring the whole bag or just a wallet (or wallet or phone)? IDK what is the best solution where I only need a phone, a wallet, a pen, and maybe a lipstick and I don’t need to lug the whole giant bag o’ stuff with me.

    And bonus Q: what do you switch to on the weekend? Not sure I need to take my OG to the grocery store.

    • When I had to carry a laptop, I carried a smaller, squishy purse that I just pushed down on the top of the laptop bag.

      On the weekends, I carry a super casual bag (linen-look with leather straps right now) and just move my billfold and cell phone. My metro card, building access card, power lipsticks, and hand cream all live in my work bag and never come out.

    • I have an OMG that I carry to work. My wallet is a small wristlet, so I use that for small errands/lunch during the day (it fits my phone plus chapstick). On the weekend, I move the wristlet, keys, and phone to a small crossbody bag for errands. I’m in the habit of moving those three items back and forth, so I’m not too worried about forgetting a key item.

    • I have a small wristlet that I pull out. I don’t carry my full wallet- just a few cards and a few bills. I’m a purse minimalist and don’t like having to constantly transfer stuff back and forth between bags.
      Also, my phone case opens in the back and fits license, credit card and folded up $20 (Incipio Stowaway). It’s been a game changer.

    • Co-signing on all the wristlet advice. On weekends, I can just transfer the wristlet to my casual bag and know I have the essentials.

    • No purse – I have a big wallet that can fit my phone, and that’s what I use To go out and grab food. I usually lug my tote (without computer in it if I’m going to a sit down lunch with a friend.

    • I carry a Tumi tote which includes my laptop. During the work week this is my only purse. When I’m at work the laptop isn’t in it so if we go out to lunch or I go to a meeting, I don’t feel weird bringing a tote bag. It’s not huge.

      If I really want to lighten up I can just bring my zip around wallet. It can hold my iPhone and a lipstick, but I wouldn’t have my glasses case and I wear prescription sunglasses so it could be a problem for me, depending on what’s up.

      I used to use the same bag on weekends but recently on vacation I found a cute shoulder bag at a boutique and I’ve been switching to it for the weekends. I just move over my wallet, lipstick, sunglasses and keys. It’s nice to carry around so little on weekends.

    • anon a mouse :

      I have the OMG. When I travel, I put a zipper clutch inside it that holds wallet, a small makeup pouch, keys and phone. It’s bigger than a wristlet but still pretty compact.

      On the weekends, I use a cross-body bag.

    • I keep a clutch at my office for this purpose.

    • I have a Dagne Dover laptop tote and put a wristlet inside of it. I used to carry a purse, but it was too bag lady.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Nope. I keep a small purse at work and just toss the essentials in there.

  3. Let’s talk about hobbies! I’m interested to hear:
    – What do you consider you main hobby(ies)?
    – How did you start/stumble into it?
    – How important is being good at your hobby vs. doing it for fun?
    – Do you consider your hobby social or solitary? Have you purposefully sought out one over the other?
    – Do you see your current hobby as something you’ll do for a long time/forever?

    • Triathlete :

      -My main hobby right now is triathlons
      -I needed something to push myself to get and stay active again after joining the corporate world
      -I started out just wanting to do it for fun, but I’m inherently competitive so that didn’t last long. I now train with the goal of placing in every race. But I’m considering adding in long course races occasionally so that it will be more about the journey than winning
      -Can be social or solitary. I enjoy going for a long run or swim after work to clear my head, but I also really enjoy going on group bike rides on the weekend
      -I hope to do it for a very long time, as long as my body lets me at least

      • Same here but started with marathons and moved to Ironman. I suck at fast-twitch because I don’t like the high level of pain. No idea why I prefer long drawn out dull pain, but there you have it! I’m so impressed with your goal. Keep on tri-ing!

    • Baking. I feel bereft on Monday morning if I didn’t have a chance to make something for someone – my SO, church, a neighbor – over the weekend.

      I started baking as a child because my mother was completely incapable of cooking anything more advanced than frozen fish sticks. Same with my grandmother. But my aunt had learned my great-grandmother’s cookie recipe and showed me. It took off from that recipe. I still make those cookies for holidays.

      Baking is fun for me and I’m good at it. In contrast to the modern blogs and trends, I don’t pore over the science behind baking and the latest tools – I take a very homey approach. My favorite recipes come from vintage community cookbooks, and without a doubt, those old fashioned recipes are the most popular ones I make.

      I’ll always do it. People know to give me vintage cookbooks for Christmas and pretty vintage cake plates they see at antique stores. One friend is encouraging me to make a business of it… I’ve looked into my state’s home baking business regulations, just something small making special order pies for people. I’d never want to open a shop, but making a few extra pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving would be enjoyable.

    • Anonymous :

      I knit b/c it’s easy and I don’t have to get a sitter for it and if I get 15 minutes in, consider it to be a schedule victory.

      I used to cross-stitch pithy sayings but knitting is just so much easier (and I only knit square items, no sweaters or anything hard).

    • treble clef :

      Music. I play violin, piano, guitar.

      Mom started all us kids on violin when we were around ?7 or 8. Free weekly lessons at the public school.

      Music has had the most profound effect on my life of any activity/hobby/interest. I met good kids growing up who also played music, and they became my closest friends. Learned discipline. Experienced great joy and excitement playing music in orchestras, string orchestras, string quartets, piano quartets, trios, and solo Bach. Double majored in music, and my primary field. I have traveled Europe and Asia multiple times performing as a high schooler and college/graduate school performer. And I still play chamber music.

      My favorite activity is inviting all of my musical friends over…. ideally, to a great location, as we all live scattered around the world…… And we spend the weekend reminiscing, eating, drinking and playing music.

      I will do it forever. I enjoy playing music more with others, than alone.

    • My hobby is quilting. My mom introduced me/ taught me during childhood. I am not a perfectionist quilter and often do more hand stitching, as i find it more relaxing. I have taught my friends how to help me quilt and it is a nice activity to talk/ work on a quilt/ drink wine. Its especially been fun as my friends have babies and I can use my hobby to make baby quilts as gifts. I also go to a local quilt shop for meetings and have made many multi-generational friends in the community, which I appreciate because I am very far from family. Its both social and solitary depending on what i want.

      I like to think I will always do it and pass it on to my family. I admit, it does fall to the wayside when I have a trial or similar busy times at work. I try to make myself quilt instead of just blindly watching TV because I feel better afterwards and I think its healthier for my mental health.

      • I’ve just started getting into quilting. Both of my grandmothers quilt and I realized I don’t want the art to die out with them. I’m working on hand stitching my very first one – a doll quilt for my daughter – and I love it. It’s too early to call it a hobby, but I am starting to really get into it. I hope I get good enough to make quilts for family and friends, and I hope I get to pass it on one day.

        What does it mean for a friend to help you quilt? I feel like I could convince a lot of my friends to try it, but I don’t know how I use the baby step of helping me.

        And yes I think those “older” crafts like knitting and cross stitching and sewing and quilting are perfect hobbies for Type A people. It’s a way to be productive (and social), but in a very tangible physical way. I’m a little sad they’re seen as so gendered though.

        • quilter OP :

          I have friends help me with english paper piecing. It is really simple hand stitching and hard to (permanently) mess up. Also its considered a for of lap quilting and you can see results very quickly. It is easy to use scraps too instead of a coordinated fabric. The most common is grandma’s flower garden quilt (made with hexagons).

          English paper piecing is a really old way of quilting, but i think it makes the most logical sense. It can be done is several small parts instead of blocking all at once. Its a tessellation which you make first by cutting the pieces into paper, and basting the fabric piece onto the paper. Then, it is simply stitching the two sides together. Once the piece is stitched on all sides to another fabric piece, you remove the paper and it magically holds the shape. Google for videos, etc because I’m not doing a great job explaining, but we had alot of fun in law school hand stitching an English paper piece quilt. (note that specific “english” paper piecing is different than mere paper piecing in the quilting world).

      • I also primarily quilt, though lately I’ve also been making a lot of doll clothes for a couple of friends kids. (So cute!, so much less time than a quilt)

        Both my grandmothers were excellent sewists and I learned to sew early. My mom also sewed a lot. She’d been quilting for a couple of years when I decided to take a class and got hooked.

        I’m far from a perfectionist. I’ll rip out a mistake once or twice, but after that it stays. I do try to keep improving though and am starting to be rewarded for it.

        One of the reasons I love it is because it can be both social and solitary. I belong to a quilt group and enjoy classes, shows, and retreats. But a lot of time it is just me in my room.

        I probably will do this forever or at least as long as I have the eyesight for it.

      • Another quilter here. I learned to sew early (age 8 or 9?), but got into quilting when my sister’s mother in law introduced me to it 10 years ago or so. I am largely self-taught; I’ve taken classes but frankly I do those for the social aspect; I don’t think I’ve ever learned anything in a class that I couldn’t pick on my own or from a book. As the others say, it can be both social and solitary. I like quilting with the older ladies, and there are a couple of younger ladies in my guild as well.

        I’d never want to do it as a primary source of income. I enjoy it because I don’t HAVE to do it. I recently invested in a long arm quilting machine, and may someday do that for money, but because I want to; I shouldn’t have to financially.

    • Anonymous :

      Does reading count? Heh. I’m always impressed by the cool hobbies people on this s!te have. I barely have the energy to do more than work and sleep.

    • My main hobby right now is cross stitching. I started this years and years ago when my mother and grandmother taught me how to do it. I didn’t stitch at all through school, but after law school I needed something crafty to do after work and on the weekends so I came back to it. It gives me something to do to de-stress and I usually stitch during the times when I would be otherwise mindlessly watching TV. I think I’m pretty good at it and that is important to me since I’m usually making something that I want to hang on the walls of my house or give as a gift to someone. I’ve tried crocheting, but I don’t seem to be very good at it, so I stopped that fairly quickly. It’s a fairly solitary hobby, but one of the court administrators during my first clerkship also stitched. It gave me something in common with someone who had been there for 20+ years and had the power to make my clerkship go very smoothly or not. I’m hoping to continue to stitch in the future as it seems to help keep me sane, but I just started TTC so, if we are successful at that, I’m sure my time for this hobby is going to be limited.

    • Liquid Crystal :

      -Running including off-and-on marathon training according to what else I have going on in life
      – cooking/ baking/ meal planning- this is hobby level for me because I spend more time and energy on it than just the basics require, and it is a creative outlet for me
      – running/ growing my side business which is maintaining and managing local rental properties
      -gardening with emphasis on herbs and some years vegetables
      – volunteering with local non profit and arts organizations

      These all sound so boring compared to some of yours!

    • Anonymous :

      Drinking.

      • I believe the socially acceptable way to express this is to describe yourself as a craft beer snob or wine lover. ;)

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yeah, come join my feminist beer club!

          • Yessss, please!

            I need to not hate running so much, because all the breweries and bottle shops in my area have running clubs, after which much beer is consumed. I’m usually just drinking and commenting on how I don’t run.

    • I cosplay. It’s fun but also important for me to look incredible. I practice makeup A LOT.

      • I assume not always as Godzilla (although that’d be awesome) – care to share some of your characters?
        Sounds like an awesome hobby!

        • My most popular (and first) cosplay was Darth Maul. My characters have to be [email protected]@ss. I prefer characters with lots of makeup, it’s not real to me if I don’t get to completely change my skin color.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I love hearing about this!

        BTW, Kesha’s newest album has a cute song about you, Godzilla.

      • MarriedToCosplayer :

        Um… Not sure where you’re based, but any chance you’ll be at WizardWorld in Chicago this weekend?

        • I’m in NYC. I want to get involved in other conventions but so far, it’s only been NYCC for me.

    • Triangle Pose :

      For real hobbies
      – Yoga. The yoga studio a block from my house is great. It’s hot yoga but it’s still vinyasa yoga. No mirrors and no music until savasana. Goal is 4x a week at an hour and 15 minutes per class.
      – HBO/Netflix/Hulu. Prestige TV YESSSS. Also my industry is cable/telecomm so it helps to always know what’s going on.
      – Reading. I’m in 2 book clubs that meet regularly – both meet once a month . One is with a group of women my age and sometimes devolves to just brunch club/wine club. Other book club is more serious, women that are my mom/grandma ages so we always read the book and discuss. It’s great! Gets me out of my comfort zone for books and lets me spend time with women in a different age group, which I don’t otherwise get to do.
      – Spending time with my dog. One of the most enjoyable things in my life if I’m honest with myself.
      – Airbnb. This is a side hustle but I also go to Airbnb meetup events which is fun, meet people doing airbnb from all over the city.

      “Almost” hobbies
      – Trying to get into cycling on the river trail. I’m not super confident on my bike but I’m out there!
      – Running. Ugh, come on body!

      Wishlist hobbies
      – I wish I found any joy in cooking or baking as a hobby. I just have none. I like eating! Everything always tastes better to me when prepared by someone else. I don’t get any joy from making something and having someone else enjoy it…

      • +1 on the dog.

        Every weekend I think of something he would enjoy whether it’s the dog park, long walk on the trail, playing with his “uncle” (a dog).

        • Triangle Pose :

          Yep, I literally plan my days and weekends around this. I sound crazy but I’m fine with it! My SO and I are the same so that helps.

        • Me too on the dog. Even just playing fetch with her is such a joy because she just. loves. it. so. much. Watching a creature take so much joy in being alive just makes me smile.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Any chance you’re referring to the San Gabriel River Trail? I’ve started a very low-key ladies’ cycling group and we’d love to have you join us. Shoot me an email at seniorattorney1 at gmail if you’re interested.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Thanks! Nope, I’m in Philly so Schuylkill River trail. But that’s awesome!

        • I’m just getting into cycling and totally wish I lived in CA so I could come join this, because it sounds great – I’m totally scared to go to “real” group rides because I don’t know how to ride in a pace line (I ride with my triathlon club but since triathlons require a 3 bike length space between riders, we don’t tend to bunch up).

          • Even training for tris, you should ride pace lines from time to time. Just get out of the drops and tighten up the distances. You need these skills. And drafting is one of the joys of cycling. If you’re having a lousy ride, or you’re tired, drafting will get you home. Pace lines are great for pushing yourself. Stay close to the rider in front of you, try to match cadence so that any increase/decrease can be duplicated, stay off the brakes, and when the rider in front of you is in the front and flicks her elbow out that means its time for you to take over. Just stay where you are, she’ll peel off and drop to the back. The key is NOT to speed up. We all want to impress in the front, and you’re not drafting anymore so it’s immediately harder, but no one behind you wants a surge of power off the front. When you’re time is up, or you’re not holding pace anymore, flick out your elbow and peel off. Don’t stop pedaling, just decrease your cadence because once you get to the back you want to get up to speed as quickly as possible. And never cross wheels because it’s a sure recipe for disaster. Sorry for the novel!

    • Hiking and paddleboarding! And I love that I can do both with my dog. I recently got into indoor rock-climbing too. Skiing in the winter. Being active is a huge priority for me, and I love challenging my body. Trying new fitness classes is how I make friends and learn about my city.

      • Oh and book club and wine club. I also do advanced dog training with my golden retriever. He does dock diving and scent work, it’s great bonding for us.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Do you have a rec for a beginner paddleboard? I’ve gone out a few times and LOVE it.

          • ATL paralegal :

            The REI site has a really great intro to choosing a paddle board: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/how-to-choose-a-stand-up-paddleboard.html

            Any outdoor store can help fit you to one too. They are pricey, but some shops have used ones that are about half the cost.

            I have this paddleboard: https://www.rei.com/product/116059/bic-sport-ace-tec-cross-adventure-stand-up-paddle-board-11

            The one I have is good for touring calm lakes, but it is really geared for non-traditional use: yoga, short races, etc. If you are using it recreationally, it’s a great board.

          • The REI site has a really great intro to choosing a paddle board: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/how-to-choose-a-stand-up-paddleboard.html

            Any outdoor store can help fit you to one too. They are pricey, but some shops have used ones that are about half the cost.

            I have this paddleboard: https://www.rei.com/product/116059/bic-sport-ace-tec-cross-adventure-stand-up-paddle-board-11

            The one I have is good for touring calm lakes, but it is really geared for non-traditional use: yoga, short races, etc. If you are using it recreationally, it’s a great board.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            Thank you!

        • Do you have a rec on how to find a book club? I’m also in the SEUS and having a hard time connecting with one since I’m not involved in a church and the clubs on Meetup don’t seem to be active anymore…

          • Anonymous :

            Does your undergrad or grad school have an alumni group in your town? A lot of times those groups will also have a book club.

          • Anonymous :

            Just a stab in the dark- what city in the SEUS?

      • Mary Ann Singleton :

        Tell me, does your dog ride on the paddleboard and if so was it hard to train it to be comfortable with that? My water-loving dog tried it once and didn’t quite see the point (she wants to be IN the water) but I’d love to be able to do it with her as she becomes less and less mobile with age. We’re on small lakes so no waves.

        • He does! It was hard at first (he loves water – he’d rather drown that get out of it when we leave). I trained him to hold a “down” command on the board on dry land, then in shallow water, then moving, then going my regular speed. I had him on it with me and solo for each step too. Of course I used a lot of treats which helped. Tiring him out with water play first really helps too. Now, we use it as his breaks from water play and he loves the wind in his ears.

    • Anon for this :

      – Wheel thrown ceramics; fostering cats; volunteering with a cat / dog rescue
      – I’d done ceramics previously a couple times but it never stuck. My husband had also done it previously, so it seemed like a good activity for us to do together (which we needed) and I was in desperate need of a way to disconnect from my BigLaw job for at least a few hours every week.
      – I like being good at things, and I am getting better, but sometimes it is still hard to be not so good at ceramics
      – Its both social and solitary. Its solitary in the sense you do it on your own, but I’m part of a studio so there are other people doing the same thing.
      – I don’t know if I’ll do ceramics forever but I don’t have plans to stop and its been 18 months so far.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      -My main hobby (defined by me by the thing I spend the most time and money on) is classical ballet.
      -I started because I’d never tried it and decided I was interested. My parents were willing to pay for lessons and drive me to classes in the next town over twice a week, so I kept doing it. I quit for several years to focus on school, but picked it up again as a stress-relieving hobby.
      – I’ll keep dancing until my body says I can’t anymore. It is important to me to improve over time, but I don’t get frustrated if I can’t do something a 16 year old can do. I’m not 16, and my body just doesn’t move like that anymore. I’m still the only adult dancer in my studio who takes pointe classes.

      Secondary hobbies are reading, cross-stitching, and gardening.

      • My ballet teacher is so good at reminding us that our bodies are all mechanically different to each other and not to stress about what we can’t change but instead to focus on what we can. I love my classes!

        • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

          That’s so important, and I’m glad your teacher does that. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to take my own class (and its corollary of “don’t take anyone else’s class”). Focus on your efforts and your body, not what others are doing better or worse than you are.

          • Senior Attorney :

            And on a somewhat related note,when I got discouraged my karate teacher used to say “if it were easy, everybody would do it!”

      • This is so wonderful! I miss ballet, but haven’t yet found time to fit it in. Good for you!!

      • Gardening, or garrrrdddennning?

        • ROFLOLMAO

        • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

          I realized as soon as I posted that I probably hadn’t been specific enough on that detail. XD In answer, I will refer to one of my other hobbies — I have a cross-stitch on the wall that reads, “Gardening: Cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes”.

    • My main hobbey is sewing and I took a class years ago when I was 19 (I never took sewing I highschool, as it didn’t work out with my schedule). My aunt taught me some hand stitching when I was little, and I always liked to make clothes for my dolls– eventually, it morphed into making clothes for me. Over the years, I have learned so much more, especially about finishing garments using a variety of neat techniques. Youtube and independent pattern designers have been a game changer for me in terms of learning new things, and inspiration. Once I am making something I feel creative, energized and relaxed. For example, I made a copy of the ravello top from a new look pattern using a silk Cotten blend fabric– it fits well ( though I’m not sure I would make this style again…it’s a bit boxy on me!)

      This hobby can be extremely frustrating for many reasons, and I do go through boughts of not sewing because I am very hourglass shaped, and the number of adjustments I have to make, can be extremely daunting– I go from being excited an relaxed when I am starting out, and then realize I should have re drafted the bust or cut a smaller/ bigger size. (Skirts are the easiest to make, and as a result I have way too many). I am not always sure how something will ‘hang’ on me, and have been known to abandon projects that don’t work. Another frustration with sewing is that when I go shopping I see a cheaply made garment, and say to myself ” I could totally make this in a higher quality fabric” and I do, but then it can take the fun out of shopping. When I try things on I can reject buying them without guilt, but after I sew a garment I don’t like, I feel as though despite the learning that took place, I could have just purchased the item and been done with it.I know that my version would be lined and finished more meticulously than many store bought garments, but sometimes the fabric of the cheaper store bought garment just looks better on my body.

      Despite all this, I have maintained this hobby on and off for over 23 years, and I usually sew alone, or while my husband and I are hanging out in the evening. My favorite part is when the dress or skirt is almost done, and I am hand hemming, or working on the finishing touches.

    • I love these threads!

      – What do you consider you main hobby(ies)? Horseback riding, trail running, and reading. I am enjoying cycling, but I wouldn’t consider it a main hobby at this point.
      – How did you start/stumble into it? I started riding when I was 7. Part of that was typical little girl I want a pony stuff, but my mom had also ridden as a kid so it was something we did together. I stumbled into trail running 2 years ago. I picked up running on a whim when I got angry one day and needed the release. Tweaked my form so it was more pleasant than it had been in the past, and then shifted over to trail running at the suggestion of an ultra running friend. I have been reading for a long as I can remember. It’s a release for me – very calming and rejuvenating.
      – How important is being good at your hobby vs. doing it for fun? It’s very important to me to be good at riding, and I am. However, I don’t have the money to show more than once or twice a year, which gets frustrating because my horse is a super star. In re: trail running, it’s more important for me to see improvement vs. be good compared to my fellow races. However, I do like that I have seen movement from mid-pack to top third and some movement within my age group. I will never win, but it’s important for me to improve year over year.
      – Do you consider your hobby social or solitary? Have you purposefully sought out one over the other? I like that I can do riding and running alone. I prefer to do both alone truth be told, although having group riding lessons once a week is fun. I also greatly enjoy the trail running community at races, although I prefer to train alone.
      – Do you see your current hobby as something you’ll do for a long time/forever? Yes, for all three!

      • CountC, can I ask you a personal question? It’s not something that I can ask in real life, but since it’s an anonymous blog, I figure I’d give it a shot. How much money to you spend on riding (including horse ownership), and how much money do you make? I ask because I also ride and love it, want to ride more, but it is a fantastically expensive hobby and I feel like I should be putting that money toward retirement, down payment, etc. I have no debt, am in my early 30s, make 160k, and have done an *ok* job of saving money. I’m certainly not one of those people who will save 7 figures by 35, like half of the readers on this blog.

        I’m always curious about the financial situation of people who I know who ride a lot and own horses, but it’s not something I can ask in real life. Thanks so much.

        • HorseyTime :

          Not CountC, but another rider here. I’m currently horseless but play a big part in family’s and friend’s riding and showing so can attest that there is quite a spectrum of spend. A family member stepping up in the ranks just purchased a competitive QH at the state and regional breed show level for about $4k and does a few lessons a week for about $35 each. That trainer isn’t charging trainer fees for shows and keeps things low key, despite having a regionally well-known name and plenty of success. Her single mom is a nurse. Another friend of mine, also single, rides competitively at the hunter C circuit level with about the same income, but is spending out the nose for training fees, boarding, and more. Keeping a horse at home is a big luxury but also was a huge savings for my family when we did own one. I think the key to enjoyment is knowing where to draw your line about spending and being content with “how you horse” at that level.

        • I’m happy to provide you with my expenses, but I will be totally upfront that I inherited my horse so I do not pay for most of his expenses out of my own pocket. If I had to, there is no way I could afford him.

          – Monthly board – $650 (this is a BARGAIN for the show barn where I am, LCOL)
          – Farrier/shoes – $150 every 5 weeks (he has great feet, so this is four standard steels)
          – Lessons – $240/mo (we have to be in the lesson program to board at my barn – this one I pay out of my own pocket)
          – Routine vet care – $300 – 400/yr (vaccinations and such)
          – Meds – $300/yr (Cushings meds)
          – Supplements – $150/mo (basic all encompassing supplement from SmartPak)
          – Random sfuff – $200/yr (fly spray, replacing a halter, etc.)
          – Horse shows – $2500 – 5000/yr, depending on if I go to one or two – I only go to the one AA that is local to us so he doesn’t have to be there all 5 days)
          – Blanket cleaning and repair – $150 – 200/yr

          I clip myself, so “I” don’t pay for that.

          I bought a new saddle a year ago with my own cash – used CWD $3500. My half chaps will need repaired soon and my paddock boots have been on death’s door for a while. All of my own stuff comes out of my own pocket.

          Like I said, if there wasn’t money from the inheriting part, there is NO CHANCE this would be possible. I make $87k/yr and have student loans to the tune of about $700/mo. My mortgage is under $700/mo if that helps in your head calculations.

          • For frame of reference, there are several six figure horses at my barn, one was just bought without a trial by a Middle Eastern royal for his kid, and the others are generally imported in the five figures and then sold in the sixes. Luckily, everyone is super nice, but they are all MUCH MUCH more wealthy than I will ever be.

          • Depending on the cost of living in your area, I think you can swing a horse on $160k a year with no debt and still save for retirement. I know people who do it on less, for sure. You don’t need to import a horse, you don’t need to board at a show barn, and you don’t need expensive gear (relative of course). If your goal isn’t to horse show and win, then you can do this without spending a ridiculous amount of money. There are actually sane (and sound!) off the track thoroughbreds out there than you can get for under $3k. You can find a barn that does decent care, but isn’t fancy. You can find equipment that isn’t out of control expensive. :)

        • While the costs of riding vary largely depending upon how hands on you can/are willing to be, how competitive you want to be (i.e., how nice of a horse you want), and where you live and work, you can probably maintain a fun, moderately competitive horse on a debt-free $160k income in most markets. I live in a major city, earn $130k (HHI $210k), am ridiculously frugal in all other aspects of life, and budget $2k/month for horse expenses ($900 board, $500 lessons, $250 farrier, and a cushion for vet/equipment replacement/etc. throughout the year) plus $750/show for A/AA shows. My show budget is tiny compared to your usual A/AA competitor because I only show locally and DIY everything (shipping, day care, braiding, grooming, schooling classes, etc.) so my expenses are limited to class/office/stall or haul-in fees, a daily training rate, and my gas. I’m also able to save money because my horse was a greenie that I developed through lessons and my husband already had a truck so I didn’t need to purchase my own hauling vehicle. When my horse is ready to retire (which I hope won’t happen for several more years), I expect his expenses to be about $700/month and I’ll probably buy another youngster for $10k or so.

          When I look at the aggregate of my spending, I feel a little sick (especially because I remember being a teenager 15 years ago stressing over what odd jobs I could pick up to make up the difference when my barn raised board to $275/month and hemming and hawing over whether I could afford a new saddle pad). But I spent years riding untalented/unwilling/unwanted and sadly probably unsound horses in sketchy barns with iffy footing (and some darker years where I couldn’t even scrape together the time and money to ride at all), and I am SO happy that I’ve decided to invest in my happiness. I would suggest that you give yourself three months to lease a horse and go “all in” with lessons, showing, etc. Three months will give you a good idea of whether the cost is worth it to you. If you find that it’s not, you won’t have spent too much in the grand scheme of things and you’ll never look back and wonder whether you should have given it a chance.

      • Mary Ann Singleton :

        For me, to keep a performance horse in full training, including board, lessons, vet, shows, farrier (MCOL) etc is about $25-28k per year. I’m only able to do this because of a good salary and bonus, and I realize how fortunate I am. I spent many years as a teenager and in my early twenties riding other people’s rejects (unreliable or difficult horses) and now I’m really grateful for being able to afford my own horse that I can enjoy every moment with.

        Decent riders who want to take up riding again may want to look into doing a part time lease. At my barn those run at around $200-250 a month for 2 or 3 days of riding a week. Having a fixed cost (and not being responsible for contingencies) is HUGE.

    • Linda from HR :

      Swing dancing. Lindy, balboa, shag, charleston, solo jazz, stuff like that.

      Started a few years ago – I liked vintage clothing and old music, and I’d been dancing on and off since I was a kid, so it seemed like the logical thing to get into.

      I value being good at it, and I compete a few times a year even though I rarely win or even make finals. I started leading shortly after I started, and eventually started identifying as a lead (as opposed to an ambidancer) which still isn’t exactly normal for women in the community, so I feel a lot of pressure to be good at it. But having fun is important too, especially since this is a social hobby by its very nature! I wouldn’t be a great partner if I didn’t value having fun, but part of getting good at this is learning how to have fun on the dance floor.

      I see myself doing this for a long time, sure! I want to keep competing, going to events out of state, and I started DJing the social dances last year, although I have zero interest in teaching. I’m pretty invested in this hobby.

      (before anyone asks, no, I’m not into west coast swing or anything in the ballroom family of dances – they just don’t jive with me, y’know? I might try blues at some point though)

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I lift weights and work out. Got started when my husband and I joined a crossfit gym right after moving to a new state. Switched gyms a couple times and now we have a nice setup at home (barbell, squat rack, lifting platform)I have made lots of progress, but am nowhere close to a competitive level, and that’s fine. I get the biggest kick out of picking things up after being warned how heavy they are! I met some of my closest friends through working out. I really hope I can keep it up indefinitely – you can always add more weight!

      I also watch TV, read and drink bourbon.

      • Marshmallow :

        Working out is my only hobby right now (unless you count reading on the subway and before bed). It’s all I have time for and I enjoy it!

    • givemyregards :

      My main hobby right now is running – I have a few others, including sewing and playing the guitar, but they’ve all sort of taken a backseat to running for the past year or so.

      I started because I moved to a new city for work where I knew absolutely no one and decided to use my newfound free time to exercise. I started with barre classes and then found myself for the first time in my life craving some cardio, so I decided to try running even though I’d tried it in the past and *hated* it. After a month or so I decided to start training for a half marathon, and it kind of took off from there.

      Even though I like to do races, it’s more about fun than competition for me. I’m a pretty slow runner, and it’s more about having a training goal than getting a specific time.

      It’s mostly a solitary hobby, although I do like to run with friends/my SO when I get a chance, and I’ve ran with running clubs on and off. Not sure how long the hobby will last – it’s been going strong for about three years now, so we’ll see! Barring any health complications, my guess is I’ll keep going unless I get bored or a new preferred form of exercise takes over.

    • My main hobby is dog rescuing which includes fostering dogs (both short and long term), doing home visits for adopters/volunteers, processing adoption and volunteer applications, working a table at events on behalf of the rescue, and occasionally transporting a dog(s). My husband and I adopted our first two dogs from rescues and one of them had a particularly horrible back story and the more I learned about what the rescues did the more I wanted to get involved. I also LOVE dogs and always wanted a ton of dogs. It is important to me that I do a good job at anything I do (thanks type A personality), but I also won’t do a hobby if I don’t enjoy it. I tried to volunteer with other organizations before this and they never stuck because I felt like they were a chore. Recuing dogs is fairly social, as you are constantly communicating with the public/adopters/other rescuers. I don’t see us ever getting out of dog rescuing – it is addicting.

      • I’ve always been interested in doing something like this, but I worry it would be too emotionally draining. I’m the kind of person who bursts into tears after walking through the Humane Society. It’s just a real tender spot for me. How do you do it?

        • We approach our fosters differently than our own dogs. We learned this after our first foster, who we treated like our own dog (slept in our bed, etc.) and we ended up foster failing (adopting) that dog. Now we treat our fosters as temporary guests, rather than our own dogs. Our fosters don’t come upstairs/in our bedroom generally and sleep in a kennel or downstairs. We have a toddler and two dogs of our own, so the third dog is usually a significant increase in work/stress (particularly since our last few had high maintenance medical conditions), so it is easy to remember that adding a third dog long-term is not an option for us. We get to meet and screen all the families ourselves, and our rescue gives veto power to foster homes, so I am never sending a foster to a family I don’t think will be a good home. Short term fostering is also a good option if you think you would get too attached, as it is easier to let go of a dog you’ve only had for a couple days vs. a couple months.

          • Also, it is hard to let a foster go, but for me it is easier to send them to a great family than to know that dog would have died or endured horrific suffering if I hadn’t fostered it, which has been the case with several of our fosters.

    • – What do you consider you main hobby(ies)? Reading, hiking, skiing, and really anything in the mountains
      – How did you start/stumble into it? I’ve been doing all of them forever – since age 4 or so. Even younger for hiking in a backpack!
      – How important is being good at your hobby vs. doing it for fun? Hiking and reading are for fun, but I value being an accomplished reader with a big vocabulary and the desire to seek out new literature on topics of interest. It’s more important to be good at skiing for safety purposes. I do skiing-specific exercises at the gym and am seeking out courses in backcountry skiing and avalanche safety.
      – Do you consider your hobby social or solitary? Have you purposefully sought out one over the other? Reading is solitary, but hiking and skiing are more social. I am an introvert, but hiking and skiing with great friends are two real pleasures in life.
      – Do you see your current hobby as something you’ll do for a long time/forever? Yes! I will do all of them as long as I can. I imagine I’ll slow down quite a bit skiing (I used to race and love to go fast), but I know people who skied into their 80s and 90s.

    • KS IT Chick :

      Cooking: I love to go to the farmers’ market on a Saturday morning and pick up tomatoes and other vegetables and then take them home and toss everything in a slow cooker or pressure cooker and make sauce. This gets frozen for the winter in pint containers, so we can get a taste of summer in the depths of winter cold.

      Trivia: My husband & I are part of a team in a trivia league that meets every other Wednesday. I’ve described my brain as essentially being Wikipedia, so I can come up with the answers to some really oddball questions. Last night’s “how did you know that???” What 1979 movie included the debut of the rock band Electric Mayhem?*

      Reading: I read almost anything. It is a running joke that in college I once read & memorized the auto repair section of the Yellow Pages. This actually paid off when the car broke down and I could remember who in town offered discounts to college students on their repair rates. The “almost”? I don’t do zombies, rape-as-a-plot-device or killing animals.

      *The Muppet Movie. When asked how I knew it, I said “Picture Animal. He wears a t-shirt. It says Electric Mayhem, so that is the band from the Muppets. What was their first movie?” My DH & the other member of the team still didn’t get it.

    • I don’t know if #1 counts, but:

      1/ traveling/going on vacation – I enjoy everything from coordinating everyone’s schedule to planning itineraries to booking deals to being at the destination. Sometimes it sucks that everyone depends on me but the joy outweighs the annoyance.

      2/ translating chic lits from an Asian language to English, both of which aren’t my native language. The translation part is completely “me” time. But I guess there’s a social aspect in that I have readers who interact with me on the blog (I’m an introvert so I will count this as human interactions). I’ve always enjoyed languages and writing even if I was never good at it. As a kid, I used to translate shorter works such as poetry and I guess it continues til now.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        #2 is fascinating! I love language but wow, that sounds so intense! Are there a bunch of people who do this, or is it just you?

        • I translate my projects solo, but there are translation groups out there who work on projects together. If you’ve ever read Japanese light novels like Juni Kokuki, those began as fan translations before eventually getting picked up by real publishers.

    • Cooking. I always liked baking when younger but then took home ec on a whim in high school. So when many friends in college and law school were just learning to boil water I already pretty proficient at many things.

      It can be very solitary but also social. I love cooking for groups of people or cooking with my husband sitting at the counter because we talk and catch up without being distracted by the tv or our phones.

      I hope I’ll do it forever. It’s changed over the years since we have a kid – I spend less time on it than I used to but I still may spend more time making meals than other people who have really streamlined things because I enjoy it.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Main hobbies:
      – I’m in a newish club, an expressly feminist beer drinking ladies society. I help them with some logistical stuff, but mostly it’s delightful to sit around on Thursday nights and sip a beer and talk to likeminded women.
      – Crafty stuff. My favorite favorite thing is making costumes (holla, Godzilla!) but I also make all kinds of hats, fascinators, crowns, diadems, bridal head-thingies, etc. I love hats. Lately I’ve also been getting back into straightforward, 2D stuff, like working on drawing/sketching and painting and making wall art. I’m currently pouring my energy into this dumb “make a cardboard box into a car” thing for my daughter’s school. It’s actually gonna be pretty great, not gonna lie.

      Started:
      I come from an artsy family. Mom is a musician, dad is not artistic himself but loveslovesloves art. I really got into making stuff in high school art class, and I guess I just never quit. I’m the only one of my siblings without a creative profession, and “making stuff” is just something everyone in our family has always done.

      Being “Good” vs. Having Fun:
      Nothing makes me feel better than doing a good job on a creative project. But also, creating stuff like this is the only area in which I am wildly self confident. In the abstract, I doubt I’m ‘good’ (have yet to win (or enter) a hat contest?) but to my mind, doing a good job on my projects is what makes it fun.
      Oh wait actually! The costumes I have made get good reviews! Like one was in this AP report about a halloween event in NYC that went around the world – that was a trip. And a costume I made my husband won him a contest at the bar. And we are not infrequently in the paper or on the event’s website in our costumes. Huh, maybe I *am* good at it.

      Solitary or Social:
      Drinking beer is social.
      I make my stuff alone, but I like people to see it when it’s done.

      Do Forever:
      The beer club will fizzle out as all things do.
      I sincerely hope I’ll be making things as long as I can. My mom is currently making a life-sized board game for my daughter, and my grandma is still crocheting scarves, so I’m optimistic! I hope I have many years of making my daughter’s halloween costumes ahead of me.

      • Yo, I’m trying to figure out how to make a metallic robot arm without using metal and plastic seems unwieldy. I’m considering spray-painting pleather. Any other ideas I should try?

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I’ve had success spray painting fabric — the more non-porous the better it’ll keep that metallic vibe when you hit it with your rustoleum. So yeah, pleather or oil cloth might be a good call. I guess the question is how stiff vs. flexible do you want it to be? I wonder if there’s a way that pleather-y fabric and plastic could work together: plastic for the straights and pleather for the joints, and prime it and paint it so it all reads like bending metal… Or if it doesn’t have to be super stiff you could just make ribs inside the pleather to hold it in shape.

    • Reading, knitting, cooking, gardening, playing the piano and guitar. And I have exactly zero time for any of them, unfortunately. So I would say my hobbies are working, business travel, taking kids to appointments/sporting events/school functions, and working some more.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I guess my main “hobby” right now is doing house stuff. Lovely Husband and I are doing a few projects with the goal of getting the house 100% shipshape for the cocktail party we will host about a year from now when I take office as president of our Rotary Club. (It’s good to have a deadline for this kind of thing!)

      Also:

      Cycling. LH is super serious about it and I’m definitely more of a dabbler (got into it because of him), but we’re training for a trip to Crete next month so that’s more on the front burner. I recently organized the Ladies’ Cycling Auxiliary with the wives of his hardcore cycling buddies and we’re having a good time. Our motto is “It’s a ride, not a race!” So yeah, definitely more about having fun than being good, and it’s definitely social. I plan to do it as long as I can. LH is 69 and going strong.

      Other hobbies include travel, cooking, fashion, winemaking. Most of them are done with my husband and many of them with others as well. We like to say we are professional fun-havers!

    • I like watching Korean Dramas, reading non-fiction, and hanging out with my dog.

    • Rock climbing.

      I had a friend I would go with occasionally to start (like less than once a month), and then started dating a climber, by sheer coincidence, who ran a local MeetUp group at the time for climbing. When he and I broke up I kept going to the MeetUp activities, and made more climbing friends. I’ve invested quite a bit of money in gear at this point, more than I should!

      I don’t know about being “good” — I am never going to be Adam Ondra. But I do work on my technique and my headgame to try to be _better_, because I love it so much and I want to excel as much as I can.

      Can be either social or solitary, but it’s generally more social than solitary. Even if I have no specific plans to meet up with someone to climb at the gym, I almost always see someone I know when I go (which gives you some indication of how obsessed I am…).

      Yes, I sure hope so.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Horse riding. My mom was a horse enthusiast and I got it from her. Have been riding for my whole life with a break during college and grad school. I have two horses and ride competitively. Being good at it is important because I get so much out of learning and improving and fine tuning, all in cooperation with my horses. It is also a complete break from work and life stresses when I go to the barn. It is social – some of my best friends are at the barn. Hoping to do it for as long as I live! My mom is 75 and still rides. I’m planning to get safer and smaller horses as I age – no more wild European warmbloods once I hit 70 probably. :)

    • Ancient History :

      I like history. I am really into genealogy and have been working on my tree for several years. It’s something that people just don’t understand but it brings me great joy knowing how my 4g grandfather died. Unsurprisingly it’s a very solitary hobby.

      I also study ancient history, mainly Egyptology but with a little of other areas like Mesopotamia thrown in as well. This includes the ancient Egyptian languages. If the genealogy doesn’t scare people off, the learning a dead and unpronounceable language definately does…

    • So interesting to see how many ladies are into the same hobbies!

      For me, current hobbies are tennis and golf. I like improving at them, but the main point is to have fun. I also like that you can practice on your own or I can play with my husband or it can be a more social thing when I want. I did purposefully devote more time to these *so that* they could be hobbies I do for the long term as my other sporty hobbies (running and volleyball) are not as sustainable. Other hobbies and interests that I pick up on occasion that are long-term as well: music, stand-up, watercolor painting, interior decorating, crosswords, being extremely up-to-date on current events, and investments.

    • – Cooking, I absolutely love to cook. Blogging, I blog for fun not for money or popularity. Asian Dramas, working out, watching Victorian movies, going to the beach, dancing, trying new foods/restaurants
      – I have always loved to cook since I was young, I like to workout/dance because its a self improvement thing for me and helps me to learn disciple by being consistent, the shows I watch I just gravitated to.
      – Just for fun is good enough for me.
      – Have you purposefully sought out one over the other? I do them alone mostly but it can be social like going to restaurants or the beach. I seek out cooking and working out as a “me” time.
      – Yep!

    • Green Hat :

      I brew kombucha. Got into drinking it a few years ago, then looked into home brewing because it’s expensive at the store and it seemed easy. Got really into perfecting recipes when I was pregnant and it became my “fun” drink when everyone else was having alcohol. I don’t have enough room in my house to brew so much that I could sell the excess, but I have toyed with the idea of offering brewing lessons to people, as I’ve shown a number of friends how to do it and provided them with their first SCOBY.

    • Marillenbaum :

      My main hobby is knitting–I got into it about two years ago when my mom taught me. I mostly make scarves for friends or baby sweaters (Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket is a godsend for an inexperienced knitter!) It’s largely solitary, but I appreciate that it can be social–knitting with my mother when I’m home in Utah, or going to my local yarn shop.

    • Lindy hop! :

      I haven’t had time for this hobby in about a year, but…swing dancing.

      I started to learn around the age of 31, right as I was starting a corporate job with international travel. I’ve been able to dance in so many places around the world while I am on the road. I have danced in Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Sweden…multiple locations in each country. I even got to TEACH a class for a while in one EU country where I was stationed for multiple months!!! I am an extreme introvert and dancing makes me get out in the world, interacting with people and checking in with my own humanity…in London, I danced with a gentleman who was almost 90 – and he was good! We had a fun time on the dance floor and then I bought him a drink while he told me about being an adolescent in London during WWII, so many terrific stories!

      Without dancing, that many-month EU assignment in particular would have been dreary and depressing. But I went to a local dance in my second week and someone actually recognized me from another event in a different country, and BOOM I was asked to teach the beginners! Suddenly I had a tribe…one time I took a local work colleague to a dance and he was blown away “Holy &^%$, you have more friends than I do here, and I have lived here for 3 years!”

      I’ll get back to it again… <3

      • I would love to do swing dancing! Hubby and I have always loved to dance, I’m hoping it’s something we can pick up when the kids are older and our jobs are less stressful. Not a lot of opportunities in my rural area, unfortunately…

  4. Anyone with experience with these pants or other Everlane pants for the office? I love their t shirts but haven’t branched…

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. I have a pair of their wool trousers and I love them. I’m 6 feet tall though and the middle schooler in me can’t quite get behind the cropped pants. I suppose the 40 year old me who can’t wear heels anymore needs to try harder…

      • Any other pants recs for tall ladies?

        • I’m tall and I like the Eileen Fisher crepe pants everyone loves. They are definitely a cropped length on me but that’s a thing anyway so I feel normal. I have them in most of the dark colors. (Black, navy, dk grey, etc)

    • See my comment above. I have them and love them.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the ponte pants and like. Note my office has gone casual.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      I am a serious Everlane devotee, but I found their wool pants (unlined) insufferably itchy. I gave them away because they were so uncomfortable. The ponte pants, however, are great. I haven’t tried these, but that’s only because I generally prefer dresses to pants. I find that Everlane’s bottoms run small, while their tops do not.

    • Marshmallow :

      I commented above– beautiful quality but unlike Alexis, I thought they ran on the snug side.

    • I have their chinos, and like them. I did find the rise a bit long compared to my other pants, but otherwise thought they were TTS.

  5. What to do in Dallas on Labor Day? I have the entire day and have never been before.

    • Anonymous :

      The George W. Bush Presidential Library is definitely worth a visit.

    • Anon in Dallas :

      Sixth Floor (JFK) Museum, dinner in Trinity Groves (hip area with lots of cool restaurants, go to Kate Weiser Chocolates or Cake Bar for dessert), Dallas Museum of Art (all general exhibit areas are free), the Perot Museum, food truck lunch in Klyde Warren Park.

      • Anon in Dallas :

        Forgot to mention that Trinity Groves has great views of the skyline at night. There is a suspension bridge with a walking path that makes for a nice post-dinner stroll.

      • Pen and Pencil :

        I would actually recommend the Nasher Sculpture Center over the DMA if you are into more modern art. It’s probably my favorite museum in Dallas, although I haven’t been to the Perot Museum which everyone has been raving about. The arboretum is AMAZING, but maybe not that early in September. If you wake up and the weather is cool, then it’s a must for me!

    • The Perot is a great museum. The botanical gardens are nice if it’s not too hot. Bishop Arts is a super cute area for shopping or brunch. The SODA bar on the rooftop of NYLO has great views of Dallas for a drink before dinner. I would do Deep Ellum for dinner and drinks after.

      • Anon in Dallas :

        Yes, I also love Bishop Arts! Great restaurants and some fun shops. Knew I was forgetting something. Just did a staycation at that NYLO and I personally wouldn’t go over there just for a drink. The view was nice but nothing amazing IMO. But if you are going to Deep Ellum anyway, it’s nearby. There is also a cool wine bar across the street from the NYLO called Checkered Past.

        Agree re: Arboretum, it’s awesome but it will likely be quite hot!

    • Downtown! McKinney Ave there is SO much to do. The food there is amazing and there is a great bar scene which all have good drinks and food. Northpark Mall is a MUST – the shopping there is unbeatable. The botanical gardens in Garland – close to Dallas is good too. Dallas has alot of shows so I would check out event brite too for what may interest you. Honestly, the food and shopping is everything there! Mainly downtown!

  6. Anonymous :

    My husband and I are going to invite a few of his colleagues and their spouses over for dinner soon. Thoughts on things we can make ahead of time and stick in the oven right before guests get here? (Husband will probably do the actual cooking but I’ve offered to come up with the menu). I have a great spinach-pesto-lasagna recipe but is that an appropriate thing to serve non-vegetarians? We’re not veg but we eat meatless meals more often than not so I’m not sure if that would be off-putting to normal people who eat more meat. If we do the lasagna, would it be too carb-y to have baked brie and crackers as an appetizer, and salad as a side? No pork, and I’m pregnant so no recipes with alcohol (although I love chicken marsala/penne alla vodka etc.)

    • treble clef :

      The lasagna sounds perfect.

      A big salad on the side sounds perfect.

      Baked brie would be a little bit heavy and redundant if you are having a cheesy lasagna, but it would still be enjoyed. However, I would probably have drinks/wine etc… and simple cold appetitizers. Nuts, charcuterie, maybe a dry cheese, dates/raisins etc… and let people nibble.

      I hate having a lot of kitchen work when I have guests.

      I would have a desert.

      • +1. I think you need something a little sweet and light on the side of a lasagna and salad – some kind of fruit or date platter, or maybe an interesting sweet potato dish or a sweet & spicy broccoli or something with honey? Or even just have fruit on your salad – like strawberries and mandarin oranges?

        And yes to a dessert. Something small, because that’s a heavier main dish. Macaroons or a parfait or strawberries with cream or a blond trifle?

    • That sounds lovely. What about dessert?

      • Also, fun drinks/mocktails (I hate that word) that you can also enjoy. Presumably your guests will be driving so they really shouldn’t be loading up on alcoholic drinks.

    • Anonymous :

      lasagna + salad sounds great. Veggie lasagna is totally fine.

      I would do caprese skewers overs baked brie – you can make ahead. Maybe caprese skewers + cheese/nuts/dried fruit platter?

      • I wouldn’t do caprese skewers with lasagna as it repeats the same flavors (basil, tomato, mozzarella). How about prosciutto & melon and a bowl of Lay’s or other thin, crispy potato chips? My MIL serves potato chips as an appetizer and they always make a surprisingly great contrast with other appetizers and with drinks. Plus that, nobody really eats potato chips at lunch or keeps them in the pantry for daily snacks anymore so they are a treat.

      • The bocconcini on caprese skewers gets kind of oozy if you make them ahead. Maybe introduce meat or fish in your appetizer? Either meatballs or shrimp bakes with roasted tomatoes, olives and feta would be a good compliment to the lasagna.

    • Oh yes dessert is a given :) Just didn’t mention because I have a million ideas and don’t need help with that course.

    • I am vegetarian and have run out of interesting dinner party recipes so can you share that great spinach-pesto-lasagna recipe with us if you have a moment?!

      • Sure! It’s this one: https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/easy-spinach-lasagna-30277 except I use fresh (lightly sauteed and strained) spinach instead of frozen and I add a few spoonfuls of pesto sauce to the ricotta/egg mixture. I also use shredded mozzarella cheese because that’s what I normally have on hand. It’s yummy and also freezes really well so it would be a great meal to take to new parents or make before having a baby.

      • Not OP, but I highly recommend the Ina Garten Portobello Mushroom Lasagna (google). Also Ina Garten’s roasted veggie lasagna from her Make it Ahead book. Not sure if that one is google-able, and it’s a bit more time consuming to put together, but so yummy.

      • treble clef :

        And does anyone have a favorite veggie butternut squash and goat cheese lasagna?

        Our local prepared food place used to make an amazing version. They went out of business and I haven’t been able to reproduce it….

    • Isn’t not cooking with alcohol a little extreme? I thought the point of avoiding that was related to fetal alcohol syndrome and all the alcohol will burn off if you cook with it. Just pointing it out since you have a few recipes you love and don’t need to avoid.

      • Anonymous :

        I read something through Weight Watchers years ago that not as much of the alcohol cooks off as you think. Ymmv with the source. In any event, I agree with the general sentiment that not cooking with alcohol seems extreme. Even if 0% cooks off, you’re not using enough alcohol for it to be harmful. OP should of course make the decision she’s most comfortable with, though.

      • My doctor told me alcohol actually takes a really long time to fully cook off and the research I’ve done supports that (https://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/AlcoholEvap.htm). Wine is much less of an issue, since you don’t use much and it’s not very alcoholic to begin with, but my penne alla vodka recipe has a cup of vodka in 4 servings, so you’re getting at least a shot or so in each serving. I don’t want to cook those particular recipes at the dinner party anyway, since they’re both pretty labor-intensive, I was just using them as examples. Not judging anyone who doesn’t worry about alcohol in food, but it’s something I’ve decided I want to avoid since it’s easy enough to do.

    • Puddlejumper :

      So its fall time for this meal?

      I would make a huge pot of chili or another soup ahead of time. Have a bar of all the topping so people can personalize it – chips, guac, sour cream, cheese, hot peppers, bacon, red onions etc Serve it with a green salad and make a apple cobbler for dessert that you pop the oven to re warm up in with ice cream.

      As for apps 101 cookbook blog has a great beet spread. I would do crackers/pita bread with a bunch of spreads cheese and spreads. If you are feeling ambitious do a salsa with apples.

    • If you think meat-eaters might find veggie lasagna not satisfying enough (I would love it! But I do recognize that some people aren’t satisfied if there’s no meat) what about a fruit, nut, and prosciutto/salami/whatever cured meat you fancy platter to start instead of the baked brie? Bonus, that would also be a little lighter feeling, pre-lasagna, which is a fairly heavy dish.

  7. I just accepted a job offer after being unemployed since last October. It’s in my field but a new skill. It’s not an increase in salary. I think it is an increase in responsibility. I am having very mixed feelings about it, so if anyone here could chime in with cheers or excitement, or remind me that it is unlikely to be too bad, that would be helpful.

    I really appreciate the camaraderie here. Even at low points in my career, when I’m feeling the opposite of “over-achieving,” I have always felt very comfortable and supported here in my avatar and going anon. Thank you.

    • YAY! A new job, a new challenge, and a new responsibility! All good things.

      Is there anything in particular that has you feeling kind of “meh” about it?

    • Anonymous :

      Great to be employed again after a long period of unemployment and the increased responsibility may be a resume builder that allows you to apply for higher level positions in the future.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      It’s easier to find a job when you have a job. This gets you back working in your field. If it’s not great, you can use the first year to network and find something better.

      • anon a mouse :

        THIS! Give yourself at least six months to really learn the job and decide whether you want to stay in it for a few years, or start looking for something new. Don’t make assumptions about it based on the interview process alone — there are always surprises at a new job. I hope yours are the good variety.

    • I was very meh about my current job, for similar reasons (initially even took a pay cut) and it turned out to be the best thing I ever did. I’ve ended up promoted a few times, working with great people, and I can’t believe I ever didn’t really want it. So you never know. Hard to really tell from the interview process. Dream jobs turn into nightmares sometimes and vice versa.

    • You will be GREAT! We’re rooting for you, and want to hear how you’re doing!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      After being out that long, having mixed feelings is very common. Go you for your persistence and finding this job!

      The comments of others that this can be a springboard to bigger things is another good thing to keep in mind. I consulted/contracted for 5 years. That taught me to treat every job as a springboard to the next. Now that I am in an FTE role, that attitude still helps me.

      I’d also be interested to hear about what seems “meh” with this job. Learning to judge opportunities is HARD and I’d love to hear your experience.

    • I know your pain. I also had mixed feelings about the job I got after being laid off. I spotted several red flags during the interview process but figured it was the best option I had. The job turned out to be fairly good – much better than my last one in many ways. I definitely had a feeling of dread going to work the first few weeks, and there were a few bumps in the road, but overall it smoothed out. I share this story to say that maybe your situation will be better than you think! I know it’s harder to have confidence and enthusiasm when you’ve been through the ringer, but maybe you’re on the downhill side now. And congrats on the new job!

    • I firmly believe that work begets more work – being out there working will lead to more opportunities than not working, regardless of what you’re doing – so look at this not as a permanent situation, but as a stepping-stone to your next opportunity. I went through a period of prolonged unemployment about 10 years ago and ended up taking a low-paying, part-time job just to pay some of my bills. It turned into a full-time job, and that’s the job where I met a lot of people I now work with or network with in my profession. There are no permanent jobs any more – one of my mentors likes to remind people that these days, we’re all just temps. So figure out how to make this opportunity work for you. Congratulations and I’m thrilled for you.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Congrats!

      I am going to be bossy and tell you: you MUST do something to celebrate yourself on a set day coming up. After your first day of work, after you get your first paycheck, some imminent milestone. OK? It doesn’t have to be anything excessive, but take yourself to the pricey ice cream place you like, or get your nails done, meet a friend to toast to your new job, or buy yourself flowers, because this IS something you should celebrate!

      (Echoing everyone else about how if you don’t like it, it’s a springboard, and it’s easier to find work while you’re working.)

      ~pompom shaking!~

    • Ancient History :

      I started a new job a couple of months ago after being out of work for 5 months. Same profession but a completely different industry. An industry with a reputation of being closed to outsiders and difficult. I was expecting it to be awful but the contract was only for a year (standard in this profession). Can’t say I’ve loved it all and it’s been slow quite a bit BUT it’s not been as hard an adjustment as I’d expected. Once I work out the technical language they speak, I think it will be survivable. And I’m hoping for more. It was so scary when I started but once I was over the threshold I realised that I had transferable skills I hadn’t known about. A lot of what they wanted wasn’t experience but potential. I’m sure it will be the same for you.

  8. Cookbooks :

    One more moving related question: since we’re moving in two stages, everything going out of current residence on Sunday and then moving everything in next Friday, how do tip the movers? Half and half or full tip on the last day?

    Thanks for all the great tips about moving clothes! I appreciate it!

    • Personally, I’d tip on the first day to make sure you get good service for the second day, and tip then too.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1

        Also it’s not inconceivable there could be a partly or wholly different crew on each day.

    • anon a mouse :

      Is it the same crew for both? If so, I’d do a full tip on the last day. Otherwise, half tip on each day.

    • Anonshmanon :

      I’m leaning towards half and half. The company might send a different set of people the second time around.

  9. What are the billable hour requirements at your firm? Are you at a big/med/small firm? Do you regularly exceed the requirement or is it a struggle for you to reach?

    • Anonymous :

      2100, and it’s sometimes a struggle if I have a slow month or two, but I’ve never not met it. Big firm. That said, I think 2100 is too much and inhumane to keep up for many more years. 100 of the hours can come from pro bono and another 100 can come from firm service.

      • Anonymous :

        I should say, this is the requirement for a bonus. I don’t think we technically have a billable hour requirement for being in good standing

        • Anonymous :

          Huge difference between minimum required period and bonus eligibility. Plus, it strikes me as super generous that the firm allows you to count 200 non-billable hours toward bonus eligibility. A bonus is generally because you made a ton of money for the firm that isn’t accounted for in your salary. A firm that’s paying you a bonus even though you only had 1900 billable hours but were a really good citizen of the firm/community demonstrates a commitment to service that you don’t see at a lot of firms (ime).

          • Triangle Pose :

            Wait, then what does minimum mean to you? Do you get fired if you don’t meet it that year? I always thought minimum meant minimum to be eligible for a bonus. But we don’t have a concept of good standing or bad standing.

          • Well, I don’t know about 9:32 anonymous’s firm, but it’s really common for big firms to set a minimum requirement on paper that seems pretty reasonable (1800 or 1900), but have an unspoken required floor. Based on what I’ve observed, bonus and minimum (on paper) thresholds are the same- you don’t have a minimum at 1800, then a bonus only if you hit 1900. In my market, they’re referred to as ‘targets’ much of the time. I don’t think many firms have a hard cut off- ie, bill 1600 or you’re automatically out. But if you’ve got an associate consistently billing way below the bonus threshold, and there’s no reason for it, they will eventually be pushed out.

            My old biglaw firm (secondary market) had a 1900 hour requirement, which was also where the bonus kicked in, and you could contribute 100 hours or so from marketing/pro bono. That firm absolutely was not committed to service or its associates. It was all lip service. You’d still get harassed if you were perceived as not billing 2000+ and would never make partner if you were billing the requirement every year.

          • Different firms have different approaches. Some firms reserve the right to reduce your salary for next year if you fall below your minimum, though I’ve never heard of it actually happening. I think it’s more common to use the numbers to justify layoffs or not promoting someone to partner.

      • Anonymous :

        does the 100 “firm service” hours include training, recruiting, etc? If so, that’s kind of in-line with my firm’s 2000 hour requirement because I end up doing about 60-70 hours a year of non-billable stuff. During OCI season I do a ton of lunches/cocktails with candidates.

        • Yep, business development, (giving) trainings, and recruiting, and a few other things. I had assumed this is pretty typical for biglaw but may be corrected.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Medium firm, 1800, plus 50 pro bono and 150 firm investment hours. I probably won’t get to 1800 this year, but have a ton of firm investment hours (e.g. writing articles, giving webinars).

    • Small Firm :

      Small firm, mix of contingent fee cases and hourly cases. We don’t really have a set target. At one point it was 1700 billable but no one was meeting that because of the type of work we do. Our potential client time was not counted as billable and we do tons of free consultations and phone screens. Just the nature of the kind of practice we are in. It was lowered to 1550 pure billable and there was still a lot of issues with people hitting it. For 2016, I just missed the 1550 but had over 1900 in total tracked hours. That doesn’t include time in the office not doing work – online, chatting with coworkers, etc. It includes my potential clients, lien wrap ups after a contingent fee case has been closed out and more. At this point, the firm cares much more about revenue. We get bonuses if our receivables triple our salary. If we don’t hit that goal, then someone starts looking at our hours. If we hit that goal, it’s not much of an issue.

    • ATL paralegal :

      Paralegal – 1600 strictly billable hours at a large firm, with strict 37.5 hour weeks. I love having a short workday, but it’s nose to the grindstone while I’m in.

    • Anon for this :

      DC Biglaw. 1800 billable to be in good standing. Once you have 1800 billable 200 hours pro bono can count toward 2000 hours for bonus eligibility.

    • DC Biglaw as well. 1950 for bonus eligibility, unlimited pro bono can count toward that. Our non-billable business development stuff does not get counted at all toward the 1950.

    • NYC Biglaw. 1950 for bonus with no pro bono cap. I’ve never heard of a good standing requirement. So far I’ve exceeded it (a lot) every year but haven’t seen generous bonus bumps. I’ve also heard that some people who don’t quite make hours still get class bonus. Must be nice.

    • No billable hour requirement at my small firm. I shoot for 4 billable hours a day, but often come up short (despite working 10-11 hour days). But, this is what happens when you literally do not have any support staff.

    • So I’m realizing my billable requirements (to meet bonus) are way out of line with everyone else and not in a good way. Small firm in medium size city. We have to meet 2000 for the year to get a bonus and I have NEVER met it in the 4 1/2 years I’ve been here. That being said, I have taken maternity leave twice during that time and wasn’t comped any time of billable time (or had the months not count) when I was on leave.
      Biglaw was 1950 minimum to be in good standing and 2000 to make bonus. I hit minimum always and typically made bonus there every year.

    • Philly Biglaw. 1950 for bonus eligibility, 150 pro bono can count toward that. No credit for non-billable business development/firm citizenship/etc.

      • Also, if you fall below 80% for more than one year in a row, you are risking layoff (informal policy, not official).

      • Triangle Pose :

        Formerly Philly Biglaw. Same 1950. I think pro bono counting toward it was technically unlimited so probably not the same firm. Don’t know about any informal 80% rule. Interesting!

    • Medium sized firm, southwest. 1850. 2000 for a bonus (though it is widely acknowledged the bonus doesn’t work out to be a good deal financially and really isn’t something to aspire to).

    • Mid-sized firm. 1900 to be in good standing, no bonuses for working over that. Pro bono hours count, if the pro bono project is approved in advance by a committee of shareholders as being beneficial for the firm (so work for the local innocence project might be approved, because it’s good press, but work for your sister or neighbor would not be). I am very involved in recruiting, mentor with the local law school, am on some boards, serve on local bar committees but none of that time counts towards anything. Making my target is always a huge struggle, probably because I spend so much time on those extracurriculars, but that’s where I get my job satisfaction.

    • Regional BigLaw. 1900 hour goal. Very small percentage of associates meet it. Average is around 1700. Bonus eligibility differs by year, but we don’t have the big east coast bonuses. As an associate, I generally met it or was close. Now, as a partner, I have a lower billable hour goal.

    • I am not a lawyer so excuse my ignorance but I can’t see realistically meeting these numbers.Does anyone pad a bit or round up? Can you have a billable hour if you are at home thinking about a case and you have an insight? I’m thinking in general women are probably scrupulously honest down to the minute (to a fault) and the men kind of divide up their 40 hours per week between the existing cases they are working on and calling it a day.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ll admit to being less careful on firm service type hours, but I err on the side of underbilling for client billable hours — it strikes me as super unethical to pad your hours that a client is paying dearly for. It’s only realistic (in my case – 2100 hours poster above) if you work very hard.

      • Anonattorney :

        Sadly, these numbers are very doable. I averaged about 15o/month last year except for the three months cramming for (and being in) trial. Those trial months were averaging around 250. Trial is just insane. Working 10-12 hour days and 6-8 hours on the weekend gets you there pretty quickly.

      • Very doable when you work weekends regularly. No padding personally.

    • West Coast BigLaw – 1950 to reach bonus eligibility, includes all pro bono and 100 hours of citizenship hours. No hard minimum. Partners don’t have a fixed number, which I find hard to deal with it.

    • Anonymous :

      BigLaw, believe it’s standard 2000, but you can’t turn down work, and I hit 2000 in August two years ago.

    • Anonymous :

      DC Biglaw, you need 1900 client hours to hit the minimum, and then it’s 1950 before you’re eligible for a bonus. 50 hours of pro bono count towards the 1950, but not towards the 1900, and all pro bono hours above 50 don’t count at all. They’re going to raise the targets next year, but already almost no one meets them. In my group, that’s in part because people do hundreds of hours of pro bono and almost none of it counts, so everyone is cynical about the hours hike.

    • DC BigLaw. You need 2,000 to advance with your class (i.e. get a raise). You need 2,100 to get a bonus, of which 200 can be pro bono.

  10. Hilton Head :

    Anyone have favorite restaurants on Hilton Head? Preference to not chains and not in hotels, any price and probably seafood preferred. Just places you love – just want to see how the crowd here matches up against what Trip Advisor is recommending.

    • The blog Eat It and Like it is a food critic based out of Savannah, but he covers new and notable spots around HHI. Might want to look there. Also, Yelp.

    • Anonymous :

      YES! – the Sage Room, Low Country Backyard, Frankie Bones, Santa Fe Cafe, and there’s a great little diner that does awesome, what I call Mexican-style breakfast (delicious black beans come standard as a side, and they have house made chorizo). I think it’s by the airport? My in laws live there, so we are there often

  11. Baconpancakes :

    Wow! I went back to read the comments on yesterday’s post after I left work. Fascinating!

    • YOU DID? DID YOU REALLY?

      • Baconpancakes :

        Um, in reference to the freckled fox thing? Married a guy 84 days after her husband dies of cancer, new husband accidentally shoots her in the knee with her children in the room? Yes? It was a fascinating story and completely unexpected in response to my post. But thanks for the snark, always appreciated.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Is that necessary? No. Please be nice.

        • It’s a reference to yesterdays ALL CAPS crazytown.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Ok I was actually talking about the Freckled Fox blogger gossip, but the ALL CAPS poster was also entertaining to go back and read. I thought you were being rude until this comment- sorry for the assumption.

          • I may or may not have read that entire blog last night.

          • GOOD LESSONS ABOUT ASSUMING GOOD INTENTIONS, EVERYONE.

      • I LOL’D

    • Wait, I just went back and looked – what was the crazy yesterday? I missed it! (Now I feel like the kid who’s been out of school with the flu for a week and missed the big breakup in the lunch room :-()

      • Baconpancakes :

        http://corporette.com/suit-week-mixed-tweed-suit/#comment-3711888

        and http://corporette.com/suit-week-mixed-tweed-suit/#comment-3711839

      • Baconpancakes :

        In moderation for links back here, but Ctrl-F “freckled fox” and “before having kids.”

        • Baconpancakes :

          I should note, I think the ALL CAPS poster probably just had a little too much caffeine yesterday afternoon. I think she meant well, but ALL CAPS just escalates things pretty quickly online.

  12. Anonymous :

    Wedding etiquette question. I ended a serious relationship several months ago. Before the breakup, ex and I attended an engagement party and received a save the date for a couple that he’s friends with but I’m not close to. They’re nice enough people, schedules just never really matched up.

    Then ex and I broke up. I was surprised to receive an invitation to the bridal shower. I declined with regrets and didn’t send a gift, not sure if I should have but I’m pretty against multiple gift-giving parties for one event and I already gave them an engagement gift. Now I received an invitation to the wedding. I’m not really sure why I’m invited, maybe because I was named on the save the date? I’m definitely not going, but do I have to send a gift? It’s possible that I’ll never see these people again but I live in a somewhat small community and don’t want to burn bridges over like $50.

    • treble clef :

      Then I would probably decline, and send a modest gift.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah that’s weird but I agree the bride probably feels weirdly obligated to invite you. If you’re not friends, just decline and maybe send a card.

      • +1 – if we assume good intentions here, the couple probably thought it would appear rude to invite you to the engagement party and then just cut you off of the rest of the festivities. I think it is a bigger faux pas to be invited to pre-celebrations, and then not invited to the main event. That reads as more of a gift grab to me – like, you were okay to give me gifts, but you cant come to the actual celebration. This sounds like she wants to make it clear that there are no hard feelings, and you are welcome with them. I would politely decline, send something modest on their registry, and give it no further thoughts.

    • You do not have to give a gift. If you want, you could send a card wishing them a happy marriage or something.

    • Anonymous :

      You had rsvp’d yes to the STD so the couple probably felt it would be rude to revoke the invite as you were a named guest and not your BF’s plus one. If you didn’t want an invite, you should have told them you couldn’t attend. Agree with advice to decline and send a modest gift.

      In future, I would contact post-break up and prior to invites going out to say that while you RSVP’d yes to the STD, you cannot attend.

      • Eh, that’s a lot of work. I think RSVPing no when the official invite is received is fine. Life happens.

        • Anonymous :

          How is it a lot of work to send an email/text that says “I replied yes to your save the date but I can no longer attend.”? Once she got the bridal shower invite, she shouldn’t have been surprised to receive a wedding invite and could have let them know so they could invite someone else.

          • I never replied to the save the date. I’m not sure I’ve even seen them since the save the date went out, so there was never even an informal, so excited for your day!, type of “response”.

          • Oh and I also don’t have the couple’s contact information so I couldn’t call/text/email. I have their address from the return address on the save the date but it seems kind of… rude? presumptuous? dramatic?… to write someone a note to tell them that you will no longer be attending their wedding due to your break up when you haven’t even received an invitation yet (and may never). I RSVP’d no the day I received both the shower and the wedding invitation so they would know right away that they had an open spot.

          • If she’s not close to the couple, I doubt she has their contact info programmed into her phone so it’s probably not as easy as a “quick email/text”. And really, it’s not like her ex-boyfriend’s friends’ wedding would have been her first thought after they broke up. RSVPing, whether yes or no, to the wedding invitation is a normal way to let someone know you can/can’t attend their wedding.

          • OP, you have it exactly right in my opinion. It would have been weird to reach out to say “sorry, broke up with SO, not coming to the wedding you haven’t invited me to yet.”

      • Baconpancakes :

        I don’t think you RSVP to a STD. If there is an RSVP, it’s an invitation. A save the date is for the guests’ convenience, not the host’s.

        • Anonymous :

          This must vary then. In my area, it’s standard to let the couple know if you cannot attend after receiving a STD so they can adjust their guest list accordingly.

          • Marshmallow :

            I have never heard of this and it sounds an awful lot like B-listing to me. Your guest list is your guest list, period.

          • I’ve never heard of this either. I’ve always waited until the actual invitation to say yes or no.

          • Linda from HR :

            I think it’s technically only B-listing if you do it after the formal invites were sent out and people said no. If someone mentions getting what seemed like a second-round save the date card, you can just say “yes, and we are so glad we could include you in our special day, we hope you can make it.”

            Whittling down the initial guest list can be tough, you often have to make hard decisions and exclude people you were hoping to invite, so if a space opens up for one of those people, why not try to get them in there? It’s not like you’re inviting people you don’t like to fill seats when the cool people send regrets.

          • You area is stupid. STDs do not require RSVPs.

          • Marshmallow :

            Yeah I wouldn’t call this ACTUAL B-listing. I certainly would have no issue with someone choosing to expand their guest list after sending STDs to close family/friends. What strikes me as weird about it is the expectation that folks would reply to the STD for the express purpose of the hosts being able to fill that seat.

        • Linda from HR :

          Yeah, I recently heard of people responding to save the date cards and I panicked because I got one for my friend’s wedding and never thought to contact her and let her know I planned on attending. I’m sorta new at this. Do you need to respond either way, or do you only contact someone if you know you can’t make it?

        • Only one of my friends has got married so far and I RSVP’d to her save the date, to express my excitement and let her know I could come – the second part being key because I moved to the other end of the UK after college so I think she wasn’t expecting me to be able to make it

      • Wait, what? People RSVP to save the dates? I’ve never done that or seen an ask for that on one. I thought they were just for planning purposes and not the actual invite. Have I been super rude?

        • It’s certainly not required, but many people do send an informal RSVP to a save-the-date. I usually RSVP “no” if I have firm plans that conflict with the wedding, like plane tickets to go somewhere else on those dates, so the couple can take me off the invite list and potentially invite someone else (I’m of the opinion that two rounds of invitations is tacky, but you can invite people who didn’t receive the save-the-date). You’re not being rude if you don’t respond though.

        • Anon in NYC :

          No, generally people don’t RSVP to save the dates. But if you receive one and know at that time that you can’t make the wedding, why not just let the couple know then? That’s what I’ve done in those situations.

          • So I haven’t because most weddings are around the same time, and between my husband and I we get a lot of invites and need to have all the possibilities on the table before saying yes or no. I do see the “definitely no/let them know” point, but it’s usually more “maybe/hopefully/let’s see when the date gets closer”.

          • Anon in NYC :

            I think that’s totally fine too! If you don’t know, you don’t know. You definitely do not need to rsvp to a save the date. I’m just thinking of my friend’s Caribbean destination wedding in the middle of my law school finals – definitely knew I wasn’t going to be able to make that one, so I told her immediately.

        • Same…! It’s literally a “heads up, having a party on this date! save it if you can!”

          No response needed after an FYI like this, though I’m sure circumstances could certainly warrant a non-required but polite “can’t make it!” if you want.

        • No, rsvping to save the dates is not a thing. People may mention if they’re busy or not in passing conversation .

      • Linda from HR :

        The breakup might not have even entered the couple’s mind when they were sending out the formal invitations. Wedding planning is busy, someone could have gone on autopilot when sending out invites to people on a guest list and may not have realized or remembered that OP was so-and-so’s ex now, especially if they had a long list of people.

      • You don’t RSVP to a save the date.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that someone just went down a spreadsheet and that no more thought went into it than that.

      I’d just decline politely (and cite “schedule” if you need to).

      • +1 to the spreadsheet theory. I went to a wedding where I was invited under my “married” name except I hadn’t changed it, so I RSVP’d under my actual name and had 2 place cards at the wedding under each name. It was a pretty classic moment, but I think I just confused the wedding planner w/ my RSVP & they were operating off a spreadsheet.

    • If you’re never going to hang out with these people again, rsvp no and don’t sweat it. They’re probably thinking they have to invite you because of the STD.

    • They are just being polite to you. You don’t have to send a gift.

    • I was in this situation as a bride. I sent the ex-gf an invitation because my mom was incredibly adamant that anyone who had been named on a save-the-date HAD to be invited. I felt gift grabby about it, but my mom swore up and down it was proper etiquette. Fwiw, the woman RSVPed no and did not send a gift, and I was not offended in the least. Ironically, the couple ended up getting back together and are now engaged, and we’re invited to the wedding.

    • I try to stay away from ALL wedding’s these days when I have any issues with the wedding party. As I am NOT married, and have limited prospects, given my age and my desire for children, the last thing I need is to go to a place where I could be embarassed. Dad told me that men come to weddings to pick up peeople like me, who are percieved as desparate, since I am single and lookeing for a spouse. Unfortunately, men who troll weddings are NOT serius about marrying us, and I am NOT about to have s-x with some schlub and have him walk away leaveing me with ruffled clotheing and a sloppy mess. FOOEY on men like this!

  13. camp schedules close-in moms who work :

    Yay — I now have two in school so we did camps this summer. BUT in my city, I live close-in (think Arlington for DC / Hoboken for NYC). There are a lot of city camps near my work place (but scheduled to start at 9 or have weird drop-offs where we go to my office and hang out to beat the traffic and then I walk them several blocks and then reverse in the afternoon and then beat the traffic or eat pizza near my office). And far-out camps that are inconvenient to both me and my husband. No camps near husband’s work.

    I hate this — I probably lost 1-1.5 hours a day this summer with driving to/from camps. What do people do? I feel like I am doing something wrong to be so time-starved (and then plugging in when I get home until 10 or 11 or so). I haven’t been to the gym all summer.

    Kids are too young for sleep-away camp just yet, but may be in a few years (but wouldn’t do that all summer anyway, maybe just for a week or two, but the drives for those can be crazy with pickups taking me out of work all day on a Friday to get/retrieve; at least drop-offs are Sunday nights usually).

    Daycare (now former daycare) and elementary school are something like .5 miles from our house and had work-friendly dropoff / pickup / aftercare hours, so it’s just a summer problem for us (for the next 5-10 years).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Hire someone to handle transportation? I’ve had clients that had transportation nannies for after school activities.

    • Anonymous :

      Hire a high school or college student for part-time care. Then you only have to do drop off or pick up and they handle the other part. Lots of camps have a half day option.

      • Or can you find an older high school or college student to just watch your kids all summer at home? They probably don’t need a ton of supervision if they’re school-aged. Just have the student come hang out at your house, maybe walk them to a nearby park or pool, and make sure they eat some kind of lunch. A very low-key summer with lots of playtime and downtime sounds incredibly lovely to my entire household right now, maybe your kids would love this. (And I bet a 17 or 18 year old would love to make even half of what you’re paying for all of those camps, just to hang around a different house all day.)

        • +1 I did this one summer as a high school student. My tasks essentially involved preparing craft activities, walking the kids to and from the park and library, cooking Kraft dinner, and making the ice cream truck money last all week.

        • Linda from HR :

          I second this plan, it’s what my parents did one year. I didn’t like day camp, I was not an athletically inclined kid and hated being forced to play soccer and dodge ball and stuff, so having a babysitter for the day meant more flexibility on what I could do to occupy myself.

        • I did this – found a wonderful high school senior and paid her to hang out with the kids half the time, and drive my kids around the other half. All the camps around here run from 9-3 (seriously?!?) and double the cost for extended care. The kids loved her, she had a blast and I paid for her first semester of college, but still less than other options, and the kids got to do some stuff, at least. It does help that my sister is a teacher at the local high school, so I had a good “in” for finding someone.

    • Can you look for more working parent friendly camps? My kid went to one run out of a daycare (his little sister’s) so we got the better schedule in addition a single drop off.
      Alternatively, can you find. A sitter for the sole purpose of doing morning/afternoon transportation to camp? Or buddy up with another family and carpool?

      • Our elementary school aftercare also had a full day camp that had relatively good hours (7-6) and was near home, so maybe look for something affiliated with your school district, former daycare, etc ?

      • Agree — both of the daycares that my kids attended had “summer camp” programs for older elementary aged kids. So, basically, the kids who had gone to daycare came back during the summer when they were in elementary school. The camps look fun – and you have the benefit of working parent friendly hours.

        If you are in Arlington, I know lots of daycares that do this. DCURbanmom has a lot of names. Just ignore the insanity.

      • camp schedules close-in moms who work :

        Ha — these are actually the working-parent friendly camps. I think they think that Dad works downtown or Mom is at home or works PT in the further-out suburbs, neither of which is the case for me (but is often the case here for many). They are some variety of 8:30-5 (which is much better than the 9-3 camps or the paired half-day camps where you have to get your kids for lunch), but that means my at-the-desk time shrinks to something like 9:30-4 many days (not bad, not what a FT expectation is for my job, so no conference calls after 3 or before 10, etc., etc.).

        Sadly, not actually in DC (used to be, my smaller-but-still-has-an-NFL-team city wouldn’t have been a good point of reference). And the school-run summer care aren’t at their actual school but elsewhere across the city and no one else we know has ever used it and their friends parents, potential carpool partners, we couldn’t convince to try it. Our city Y camps were good, but the ones close to us are geared to sports and my kids hated their time there (extraverted and sporty kids loved it though, so YMMV by kid and by camp).

        Summer driving nanny looks to be the winner for next summer. Like so many other things, easier to throw $ at a problem and make it go away.

        • Excel Geek :

          Do they have busing? Our kids came home via bus and had a sitter waiting there until we got home.

    • I think that this is a pretty common complaint. We do a hard pass on a lot of otherwise cool camps because we just can’t swing a part-day schedule or driving to the other end of town. Other options are to find a part time siiter/nanny (responsible h.s. student?) to handle the transportation and hours that you need care or figure out a carpool with other parents.
      In my area, full-ish day camps are offered by the Y, Jewish center, and some private/parochial schools (you don’t have to be a student). I believe some daycares offer summer camps if your kids are on the younger side. Maybe ask around to friends at school and mom groups for ideas on camps that may not advertise as much.

      • This. Enrichment camps are designed for rich, single-income households that can afford both the tuition and the stay-home mom to do transportation. Full-day camps for kids with actual working parents are at the Y, the JCC, the private schools, and the day care centers.

        • +1 – I’m fascinated that there’s apparently enough people in this demographic in my area to support as many camps as there are at $200-500/week
          Probably supplemented by families with a teacher-parent, parent working part-time/flex schedule, and those with grandparents/other family in the area that can assist on top of the “enrichment camp”

          • camp schedules close-in moms who work :

            FWIW, I’m paying $1000/week to send 2 elementary school campers to a very good camp run by a science museum where I can drop off at 8 and pick up by 5; that’s including the extended day pricing ($150/child/week). I have to pack lunch + 2 snacks. Not NYC / DC, MCOL area. Not sleep-away. This is high for us — it is convenience, but I think I don’t want this for more than a week or two each year. They love it and begged to get to go.

            Camps that they hated were <$200/camper/week. I'm not sure if it was the type of camp vs the cost, but I would have loved for them the love the less expensive ones.

            The worst weeks (for me; best for them) were the ones where they swam every day, so went laundry to do / repack each night (or we just have many sets of everything for the inevitable laundry fails / lost items).

          • I would LOVE to have access to a science camp that ran 8 – 5 for $500/week, even if I could only afford it for a week or two each year.

            I actually liked the camps with swim lessons every day. It was a pain, but it was the only way my kid got swim lessons.

        • Anonymous :

          Look at universities. My local state university offers educational day camps for gifted kids as young as kindergarten for $250/week. They meet from 8:30-5:30 and you can drop off as early as 7:30 for no additional fee. There are also lots of residential camps available once your child has completed third grade and they don’t cost much more than the day camp (I guess sticking kids in college dorms when the college students are gone is super cheap).

      • Cosign this. We have explained to our son that we just can’t make camps that run from 10a-3p work (ditto with 9-12 or 1-4). We have to have a full day camp, ideally with before- or aftercare provided. That’s just the reality of our life, and the life of all dual-income couples we know. The only families I know who can make half-day camps work are ones where there’s a SAH parent, or a grandparent who is willing to do pick up and drop off and provide care before and after camp. My parents will do that – for one week max, and then they tap out. Fortunately, we’ve found good options for all-day camps in our city. This summer my son got into one that was 5 minutes from where I work and I could drop off at 8:30 and pick up at 5. It was like finding the Holy Grail (although it was not cheap). A lot of good,ib-demand camps fly under the radar because they don’t need to advertise; you may have to do reconnaissance with other parents rather than relying on Internet searches or advertising.

    • I hate this about camps. I feel like they’re all made for stay at home parents. All the best camps were 9-3 when my kids were camp age. It drove me crazy.

      I was so happy when my kids got to be old enough to stay home during the summer (the youngest starts HS next week)

    • It is tough, I agree. For me I lost the fewest hours at work taking the lad to a camp about 5 minutes from my work that ran 830-430. This week he is at a film camp that runs 9-4 and is a good 20 minutes from my office. Next week is the week with no camps so we are going away (even though I just got back from vacation a couple of weeks ago).

    • I deal with all the crazy drop off pick up stuff. Daycares around us generally have summer camp that runs on a normal daycare schedule all summer, so that’s an option for us. But, I like the enrichment camps, so we run them all over and deal with weird hours.

  14. Gift Etiquette :

    I’m taking smaller “baskets” of local consumables on a trip from the US to the UK to meet DH’s extended family for the first time. I have never given hostess/travel gifts to family before, and I’m struggling with the etiquette.

    Question is, what kind of parity or proportion should I bring in gifts between the A&U who are housing us for several days, vs the A&U we have no specific plans with but will probably see? All live in the same general area, so we may or may not see them all together at one big reunion. To phrase it another way, are these going to be seen as hostessential gifts or family gifts?

    • I might match the gifts so both sets of aunt/uncle get the same mini-basket (as it’s kind of awkward otherwise), and consider a separate gift for your hosts, e.g., take them out to dinner at a local place, bring a larger, separate box of a different consumable. I think giving them different sized baskets (4 things in first and 8 things is second) could be problematic.

      • Agreed. The special host gift doesn’t even have to be a consumable.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I like Case’s read. Everyone gets the same, “hi from the USA!” gift basket, and then people who go even more out of their way for you can get something else; bottle of wine, dinner tab(s), etc.

    • Thanks! Very helpful perspective.
      Any alternative ideas for an “extra” for the hosts, since I doubt we’ll be allowed to pick up the whole tab for a meal (although we were already planning to attempt). Local wine was already part of the basket.

      • Could you give them each the same little basket when you arrive, then when you get home, send a thank you basket? The thank you basket can incorporate whatever you learned on the trip – she loves bubble baths, or they really loved the local jam you included in your first basket, etc.

      • I love when people bring me fresh flowers while they’re staying with me. It’s not the same high-pressure to find a vase while throwing a dinner party scenario & they’re always lovely.

        • Also a great idea, because it seems so spontaneous that there is no implication I should have “brought enough for everyone”. Thanks!

        • Love that. I’m totally going to start making that my thing.

  15. My cousin is starting college next week, and it’s crazy to me how much the job market has changed since I was in school. What advice would you give to someone starting college today about picking a major that will be relevant when they graduate?

    • Study programming. Make lots of money, even working from home. Minor in subject of interest. The end.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think you should major in computer science if it’s not your interest (studying something you hate and don’t have much aptitude for never ends well, and computer science is a challenging subject that is much more than just programming), but I agree all college students today should take an Intro Programming class.

      • Sorry, but as someone who works in tech, I have to say: please don’t encourage people to blindly go into coding because the market is good for coders right now.

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s good knowledge to have and if it’s someone you’re interested in, definitely go for it. But I don’t anticipate that the current state of “make $150K working from home with adequate engineering skills” is going to last more than another 10 years.

        A global talent pool is going to drive wages down. Kids are getting taught the basics of programming from a very young age. There will always be a need for high quality/very talented engineers, but we’re in a software engineering bubble at present. The visa restrictions that are being introduced will probably just accelerate this, as companies realize that they don’t even have to bring the engineers to the US, it’s cheaper to just establish a presence in India or Romania or Vietnam and hire engineers directly.

        60 years ago, young women got told that if they learned to type, they would always have a job because companies would always need typists and secretaries.

        • Studying programming does not necessarily mean being a programmer. There is also very high demand for people to manage all of those coders from all over the world. Understanding their language (pun intended) will go a long way to helping any youngun excel in their career. Every single industry is hiring programmers to build products for their field – it’s true that programmers may not be making $150k right out of college but the US is never going to see an over-saturation of STEM majors.

        • A programmer at my company once commented that his career outlook is waning as software becomes more sophisticated and artificial intelligence and automation makes programmers less needed for many tasks. There’s a lot more DIY create-your-own-website platforms now and this will only increase over time. A lot of people shout “coding” from the rooftops, but over decades, the skillset may not always be in high demand as it is now.

    • Whatever your major, get good grades and build your resume!

      Trying to pick a major based on future employment opportunities is useful if you know you want to work in a very specific field. If your cousin doesn’t have a specific career in mind, leaving college with a good GPA and some internships and part time work will open a lot more doors than struggling with a major he or she doesn’t like just because it will theoretically lead to a good job.

      Related to that, I would also suggest choosing the most rigorous major he or she feels they can do well in, all other things being equal. Does your cousin have to declare a major up front, or do they have a year or two to take classes?

    • I agree with the advice to pick a practical major. Also – take advantage of the many internship opportunities available to students because it’s a great way to make contacts and build a resume. If it’s feasible, do a semester abroad. Don’t take on more debt than you absolutely have to. Also be realistic. I’m not sure how to say this without sounding harsh but studying “business” at a crappy school is probably not going to make you a titan of industry. So if that’s a goal and that’s where you are, take all your pre-requisites now, do really well, and try to transfer somewhere with a well-regarded program. .

    • Linda from HR :

      Find a major that teaches a lot of on-the-job skills, rather than something that just teaches knowledge, theory, research techniques and writing courses. All that is important, but the reason why so many programmers are getting jobs is because they are taught how to do the job in school, they can hit the ground running, whereas history majors can’t do that.

      OR, if one really must major in humanities, internships are imperative, as they will teach important office skills. Even if the school has a formal co-op program, an unpaid internship or volunteer gig before that program starts will really help. And your cousin should get an idea of what they wanna do in their field, and really build the skills needed to do that thing. A good thing to think about is “do I want to be client-facing, or do I want to focus on behind-the-scenes work?”

    • Hopefully they don’t incur a lot of debt to attend college! That’s the advice I’d give. May be too late for this year but if it’s a consideration, transferring may be an option. (I’m the buzzkill from earlier this wee who said kids need to consider this stuff when selecting colleges)

      • Also, have them look at salaries for the career they plan, look at cost of living, learn how to budget for real life.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Honestly, my advice is not to worry that much about what you choose for a major. Learn to think, learn to work. I’m in my mid 40’s. I do not know a single person who is still working in their undergraduate degree field. Even the Ph. D. physicist is actually working on supercomputers.

      Look for internships and temp jobs every summer to get an idea of what working in various fields and cultures is like.

      • Anonymous :

        +1, to an extent. Don’t do a humanities major if you want to be particularly employable coming out of school. In addition to learning how to think and work, learn how to WRITE! Take courses where the professor will edit your work. It’s so much harder than you would think to get good coaching on writing, but being a good, clear writer will take you far, regardless of the field.

    • Honestly, I would look into the healthcare industry. This is one of the most stable career paths over time where you have skills that truly help solve serious problems in the world. As baby boomers age, the demand for healthcare professionals will only grow. You don’t have to become a doctor either. Physical therapists have a great career path with only three years of grad school and can work 9-5 and have work-life balance.

    • For undergraduate I would say take a wide range of courses your freshman year and you will find what you love. If you love English lit and calculus equally I’d lean toward the calculus in today’s job market, but really the point of a four year degree is to be an educated person, not a job specialist.

    • I just graduated last year and went straight into a job. I got the advice that I should make sure either my degree or my university were really employable. If you can get into a fantastic college, study whatever you want. If you’re going to one without a good name, study a STEM subject. I did political science at a top 10 uni (UK) and now work in a different field that I really enjoy.

      That’s the other aspect of my advice – she should bear in mind that her major may not be her field after college and should choose extra curricular in an employable direction (eg I did debating, language classes, and an internship with my now firm)

    • +a million for internships! I graduated 2 years ago and ended up in a field mostly unrelated to my degree because of a random internship I stumbled into and ended up falling in love with the industry. Especially for humanities majors (me) nothing matters more than practical experience

  16. Anon for this :

    I have just accepted a new job (in house with my favorite client!) and will be giving notice to my firm soon (waiting on the proper partner to get back to the office from a trip). I would like to take a week or so in between when I have family visiting from out of town. Avoids the odd vacation days immediately into a new job or in the middle of trying to close out cases. However, how does this work with health insurance? Do i need to suck it up and pay COBRA or do people just usually risk it? Or am I missing another third option?

    • Do you have PTO at your existing job? Give 3 weeks notice with your last week as vacation?

    • Baconpancakes :

      Two things – your health insurance will sometimes carry until the end of the month. I.e. if your last day is the 15th, you may have insurance until the 30th. Also, COBRA can be retroactive for a couple of months – at least 60 days, maybe more (I think). So you wouldn’t need to “activate” COBRA and pay for it unless you use it.

    • Usually your health insurance from the old job will remain in place until the end of the month in which you stop work. It may take a couple of weeks (until the start of the next month) for the new job’s health insurance to start. I would talk to HR at the firm after you give notice to see what the policy is, and look at what the dates are for leaving/starting the new job. If it’s just a week or two, I wouldn’t worry too much about it (unless you were going skydiving or traveling in a dangerous part of the world).

    • You can opt into Cobra retroactively. While I’m usually risk adverse, I’ve done that when switching jobs before. Depending on how happy your firm is (if its a client they may actually be thrilled!), vacation during notice period may not be possible (I’m an employment lawyer and some if my clients specifically forbid it). If you can give 3 weeks notice and week 1 is the time you want off, it may be worth bringing it up. In my experience at law firms, its super common to give notice immediately upon your return from vacation for that reason.

      If you need to rest and relax, definitely take time in between!

    • Time it. Typically insurance lasts through the end of the month, and you become eligible on the first of the month following the month you start in. So I used to quit on the 1st officially as my last day, and start new job around the 28-31th depending on the month. Then you have no gap on coverage or COBRA to worry about. That said, check your employer plans to make sure it lines up.

      • +1 to look at your firm’s policy. My last firm terminated your health coverage as of the last day you worked. You can retroactively elect COBRA but my understanding is that you have to pay the premium from the date of eligibility. That’s probably not a big deal if you need COBRA on day 7, but a much more expensive proposition if you suddenly need COBRA election on day 30.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Not sure I understand – if you had 30 days uncovered, and you elected COBRA on day 7, you’d pay the premium for that month, and continue coverage until day 31, when your new coverage would start. If you elected COBRA on day 30, you’d pay the premium for that month, and have coverage until your new coverage would start on day 31. Same cost.

    • OMG – don’t risk it. You’re a lawyer you can pony up for 1 month’s COBRA if the dates don’t otherwise align — i.e. you leave on the 1st and be covered by your law firm for the rest of the month etc.

      • Anonymous :

        What? COBRA can be elected retroactively. If you’re otherwise healthy and low-risk, I think most of us could go a week or two without health insurance rather than literally pi$$ing money away?

    • I personally have never worked at a place where health coverage ended the last day of employment, unless your last day of employment was the last day of the month. I’d check to see if you’ll really be uncovered. Otherwise I’d probably just risk it.

  17. These are my favorite type of pants because they’re easy; but they can be style in a very chic and sophisticated manner still. I love these for fall. The idea of a light sweater, a pretty skinny scarf, and a pair of statement flats really tickle my fancy!

    • +1 I like the look of thes, even though I don’t own many pants. The Hampton fit pant, now called Avery fit at the banana republic factory store end up fitting me like this, though they look different on the hanger. ( I’m a size 12/14).

  18. More please :

    I’m gearing up to ask for a promotion in the next few months. If anyone has tales of negotiating for a higher salary and it going really well for them, would love to hear it!

    Also, I know that it’s bad form to make the case that other people who do similar quality, type, and quantity of work make X and therefore you should too, but how do people not factor that into their negotiations if they get low balled on raises? I’m curious as to how others have handled this.

    • I have nothing useful to add, except to agree! This would be super helpful! Also any specific advice on asking for a BigLaw raise when your BigLaw firm doesn’t match the Cravath scale exactly but you’re killing it and want to make market salary…

    • I think you can talk about market rate, so long as you have research to back it up and you can fit your accomplishments/work product in so that it’s clear you are being paid under market. What you shouldn’t do is talk about specific people.

      All companies really care about is how you add value and how much money you make them. Figure out how to quantify what you do and turn it into either saving them or making them money.

      I may be a little jaded about this right now . . .

  19. Anon for this :

    This is probably a tmi question, but here goes: I have never been able to [email protected]$m from sex alone. [email protected], yes. But p-in-v, no. I know that’s not uncommon for women, but is that something that can be learned? Is it physical or mental? This is something DH and I would really like to happen, and I know it could with [email protected] stimulation during sex, but I want the p-in-v kind of [email protected]$m, which I’ve heard feels different. Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Following … I never have either, and tried with many people.

    • Anonymous :

      My understanding is it’s a physical issue — depending on the distance of the c from the v, if those initials are meaningful. I think I read on Cup of Jo about this the other day, and it was enlightening. (Strangely, perhaps, I’ve never been able to the other way around…)

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      It’s entirely physical, and from what I’ve read it’s relatively rare for women to be able to [email protected] from p-in-v. The g spot doesn’t actually exist, so for most women it’s kind of like wishing for an [email protected] to happen by stimulating your knee. It’s probably not gonna happen :-)

    • Oh, this was me for the first few years of gardening, and then I was with a partner who used a gardening technique (google “coital alignment technique”) that also gave me the clit stimulation I apparently needed to [email protected] It feels completely different than just straight clit stimulation without p-in-v. Once you get used to [email protected] that way, it then becomes easier to [email protected] in other positions with p-in-v and simultaneous manual clit stimulation (e.g., doggy style and other positions that give you room to use your hand or a vibrator).

      Also check out the website OMGYES dot com. It’s a research-driven website on women’s pleasure, created by women. You can check out some of the materials without paying the fee, although the fee is totally worth it if you want more ideas for things to try with DH.

    • Ugh my comment is in moderation. Short version is google “coital alignment technique” — that’s what worked for me. Also check out omgyes dot com for further fun.

  20. Anon for this :

    I just had to run to a bathroom on another floor to cry for the first time in YEARS. I haven’t done that since my big law days. (I’m a stress crier.) I think that’s a sign that it’s time to find a new job.

  21. Has anyone tried both M.Gemi shoes and Everlane shoes that can compare? I’m torn between M.Gemi stellato flats and Everlane modern points loafers! TYA

    • I have not tried the M. Gemi stellato flats, but I’m on my third pair of Everlane loafers, and I wear. them. everywhere.

  22. Blonde Lawyer :

    Would an airline allow a person in coach and a person in business class to swap seats mid flight? I have a RT US –> Singapore flight coming up with my husband and a couple of friends. These are 18 hour flights. We half jokingly talked about all splitting the cost for two upgrades to business (we definitely couldn’t afford four) and swapping seats halfway through the flight. No idea if this would be allowed though. While we are unlikely to do it even if it is allowed, I’m curious now whether it would be.

    • Puddlejumper :

      In my experience with a husband who is flying for work so its paid for by work and is in business and I am flying in economy by a ticket bought by us…they don’t let us switch. Which sucks. I usually can get into the lounge with him though as a guest.

    • I somehow feel like the air host/hostesses wouldn’t care if it was a couple who was swapping but I don’t know.

    • I work with a partner who regularly does this with his wife. I think in many years of doing this they have never been stopped, but I believe technically the airline has the right to require each person to sit in their ticketed cabin. But in reality, airlines never want to piss off a business class flyer so unless you’re being disruptive or doing something that is obviously illegal (like trying to squeeze two people into a first class seat), they will leave you alone.
      You could also upgrade one person for the way there and one person on the way back.

    • I think so, I’ve sat next to people who did that – a couple with a kid, they split sitting in first w the kid and coach without. I think it’s fine since no one complains, my husband and I routinely just figure out what seat we feel like in the moment and switch so I don’t think airlines care.

      • I think they are understanding of parents with babies and the need to switch off, but when you don’t have a baby they think you are just abusing the system.

    • No, not usually.

    • This would be a no go. I think you could switch seats for the entire flight, but I doubt they would allow you to swap halfway through.

      • Yeah I saw a couple doing this in order to get double drinks (husband would get a scotch, retire to coach, wife would swap to business and get a wine…) and the flight attendants put a stop to it. They were NOT amused.

        • The drinks are free and unlimited in first class (and in coach on international flights) so I really doubt flight attends would care about someone getting “extra” drinks. Believe me, there are plenty of people in first class who are ordering drinks every half hour, so getting one to give to a spouse in coach is hardly taking advantage.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          That’s funny. I’d be doing it to get some sleep, not to drink!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not sure about switching halfway through, but my husband gets free first class upgrades all the time and regularly gives them to me and it’s never been a problem. A few times I’ve taken the snack or meal back to my husband in coach and when I got back to first, the flight attendant offered me a second snack or meal unprompted. Flight attendants really, really kiss up to first class flyers and try to keep you happy, even if you’re just there on a free upgrade (yes, they know who paid for their ticket and who was upgraded for free).

    • I have been stopped trying to do this, but I think a lot of it depends on the flight attendants on your particular flight (i.e., how rigidly they follow the rules).

  23. wanna be your friend :

    At what point do you call someone who is local to you but you mostly socialize with online a friend? Does meeting them socially with other people present count?

    This person introduced me to this site so I have to be pretty vague, but she has being posting publicly about going through some stuff lately and I kind of feel like checking in on her, seeing if she wants to meet up. I care about how she is doing and want to share some updates on my end too. I’m not a big social media poster/over-sharer.

    Sometimes I think people post on social media as a way of being like, “I’m sharing this now so you will leave me alone” and I feel weird reaching out unless they are a really close friend. I also was bullied really bad for the first 16 years of my life and have troubles gauging others’ interests in becoming friends.

    • I say reach out. I was listening to the Happier with Gretchin Rubin Podcast the other day and one of the topics of discussion was how “life is high school”. The idea is that everybody feels awkward and is unsure how to act or whether to reach out, invite somebody for coffee, etc. but that you should just go for it. It’s a good reminder that you really don’t have anything to lose. If she says no, she says no. If she says yes, then it sounds like it’d be great for both of you.

      • wanna be your friend :

        It does feel like high school when sometimes a popular girl would deign to have a civil conversation with me but then if I approach her under a different circumstance she snubs me like “ewww I only talked to you in typing class because I had to, we’re not really friends!”

        I have a colleague who posts over-shares all the time but when try to make a well meaning comment she either ignores me or acts creeped out about it. It would be much easier if people who want to be private kept their accounts as such but that doesn’t seem to be how social media works?

    • You should totally reach out! Maybe with a low-pressure invite for coffee or drinks or something. Let her guide the conversation, at least around her recent struggles, if/when you do meet up.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Do it, do it, do it!

      I’ve mentioned this recently, but I will never forget how the only person who reached out to have drinks with me the day I settled my divorce was somebody from here. It meant the world to me. I say err on the side of human connection.

  24. Question for the dog owners (triggered by the Hobby/dog fostering discussion above)

    I keep finding myself wanting to have a dog again. I used to have a dog but he has been dead for more than 10 years. We loved him to pieces and he kind of broke our hearts and our bank account at the same time (a series of expensive illnesses culminating in the one that killed him)

    We had two cats then but they were indoor/outdoor with a pet door and the dog and the cats just kind of ignored each other, though the cats pretty much only came inside to eat.

    Now we have two cats who are kind of the perfect cats. They are indoor outdoor (former feral kittens, no way to keep them inside) but they use their litter box when they are inside perfectly, never anywhere else, they come in when called at night (we no longer have a pet door), they don’t shred the furniture. In short they have no terrible habits.

    So my concern is that getting a dog would upset this delicate balance. Would the cats stop coming home? How would I keep the dog out of the litter box? How would I keep the dog out of the cat food?

    I really would like to give a rescue dog a home but I’m not sure how to get past these obstacles. Maybe I can’t? Just looking for thoughts.

    • I think this is more of a cat question than a dog one… from what I have heard cats are most unpredictable when introducing new family members. You could probably reduce the risk by adopting a dog that has been fostered with cats, quite a few of them are. Then you might get a dog that has learned its manners and won’t bother them. You can also look at adopting an older dog. An older dog is really just like a cat. Though as a dog person myself I don’t think a cat could ever replace having a dog for a pet.

      • Um, strongly disagree on the cat can’t replace dog for a pet notion. But different strokes for different folks.
        I think it’s dog and cat specific. Some dogs don’t like cats. Getting an older one is not going to solve this issue. Looking for a dog that is comfortable with cats is a good idea, but you still have your cats to worry about. I would talk to some rescue organizations and look at resources for how to introduce animals to each other. I think it can be done, it just takes a lot of work and patience.

    • Feeling duped :

      I recently moved from NYC big law to a midsize regional firm in a different city. I got the job by applying to a job posting that was specifically for a senior associate in my specialty practice group. I’ve been here 4 months and there has been little to no work in my actual practice group and I’ve been given a lot of cases and work to do in another practice area which I really do not like and do not want to work in. I’d really rather not be a lawyer at all than work in this practice group. No one has mentioned anything recognizing that this is not my area or what I was hired to do. Should I say something or just start looking for a new job? Also why would they post a position for a group in which they clearly don’t have enough work to support an associate?

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely a dog that has been fostered around cats, and maybe a more submissive personality. The cats will most likely come around when they see the dog is respectful and not going to chase or approach them. We have kept the litter box in the bathtub but that’s not a deterrent for big dogs! They enjoy it so let them have a treat! :) Also, feed the cats on a countertop or table. The concessions we make!

  25. Feeling duped :

    I recently moved to a new job. I got the job by applying to a job posting that was specifically for a senior associate in my specialty practice group. I’ve been here 4 months and there has been little to no work in my actual practice group and I’ve been given a lot of cases and work to do in another practice area which I really do not like and do not want to work in. I’d really rather not be a lawyer at all than work in this practice group. No one has mentioned anything recognizing that this is not my area or what I was hired to do. Should I say something or just start looking for a new job? Also why would they post a position for a group in which they clearly don’t have enough work to support an associate?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would do both – say something and start looking!

    • Do you work in government? Because in government this happens all the time when they only have approval to fill X vacant position by Y is the work that really needs to get done. The benefit is you get to exposure to other areas, the negative is you if you don’t really get credit for being the go-to on Y area when your position title says X. And it sucks when you don’t like doing Y and X is your passion.

    • Anonymous :

      IDK if you’ll say your practice group but in some of the more economically cyclical practice groups (bankruptcy; real estate come to mind), I have seen firms hire bc “oh we’re about to get sooo busy, we need to staff up” and then they hire like a yr or 2 before there’s an actual need and have to figure out what to do with these people. Actually I’ve seen it in lit/IP as well bc they fully expected to get some huge litigation they needed a senior to run and then the business fell thru.

      Of course you say something. Go to someone you know/feel comfortable with — as comfortable as you can be in 4 months. Maybe someone you interviewed with or more likely the practice chair of your chosen area. You can be direct but do NOT give ultimatums. Don’t say — well I’d rather not be a lawyer at all if you guys expect me to litigate, all I want to do is bankruptcy — bc at certain firms they’d say “well sorry to hear that” and commence pushing you out the door. You can say directly — I have x yrs of bankr/RE/whatever experience, it’s what I am best at and enjoy the most and my understanding was I’d be a senior associate in that area here, has that understanding changed from your view? Then you’ll either get an explanation re (I) we don’t have enough work that we can bill a senior out on, but first case we get, you’re on it; or (ii) well we’re a firm that helps each other out, no big deal if you’re doing lit now etc. (that I see more cause for concern – as if some decision has been made that they don’t want to work with you, so let some other dept have you). THEN based on that convo, you start looking for a job or not.

      How big is your city? Are there other options or would you have to return to NYC? Do you know people in your city? Can you put out feelers to see if your practice area is busier at other firms in your area – bc then it really could be a lack of business issue.

    • Anonymous :

      Just posted and it got caught in mod – so look out for it later this afternoon.

    • You should bring it up but also be fully prepared for nothing to change, so also start looking. I think if you did find something new quickly you’d have a good explanation of why it was such a short stint: You were hired to do work in X area and all of the work was in Z area instead.

  26. Feeling duped :

    It’s not government – it’s a midsize regional firm. at my old firm I was sometimes put on matters in other areas if my group was slow or the other cases were really busy and I considered it a way to meet new people at the firm and learn about other areas of the law but this area is just not something I ever ever want to do and I can’t get myself motivated to do the work they are giving me well, which I know is not a good look at a new job. Its also an area with a lot of copy pasting and not a lot of ability to learn My heart really is not in it.

    • Ok, first of all if you haven’t brought it up you need to do that. Because how are they going to know you’re unhappy if you don’t tell them? But I think you need to be prepared for this to not change. Best case scenario is that you bring it up and they do start having you work in the area you love. But if it’s working for your employer the way it is now, they don’t have much incentive to change things.

  27. Feeling duped :

    I agree. I’ve been struggling with a way to bring it up because I am so new and I don’t want to seem like I’m entitled or complaining or offend anyone who does this work. Also one of the heads of my specialty group is also really involved in the other practice area so I’m getting the cases in the other area from him. When we have our practice group meetings he will give me tons of work on his other cases, so it almost seems like I was hired specifically to work with him, rather than in my practice group.

  28. Child Care?? :

    What child care arrangement works for you (in terms of finances and convenience)? Our beloved nanny had to quit and we’ve had no luck with replacements so far so I am reevaluating our arrangement/trying to thing outside the box as to what we actually need.

    I have 3 children: K, 7th and 11th. They are in school from 8am-2pm. My husband and I leave early for work so it’s been challenging to get littlest ready (she still needs help), breakfast made and lunches packed (nanny used to drop off fresh lunches around lunch time and we are [email protected] and figuring out what can sit in a lunch box for 4 hours and not taste terrible – pb is forbidden, kids don’t like lunchmeat enough to eat it every day, etc) and not have anyone be late for anything.

    After school, all kids have local activities that require being driven and dropped off.

    DH suggested finding someone (or 2 someones) to come morning, go home and come back but that plus housekeeper ends up being almost as much as just paying one person full time who also tidies up while kids are in school. I did 6 loads of laundry while working from home to try to catch up so I don’t think we can get by without cleaning help.

    I’m overwhelmed and feel like a failure at juggling this on my own. I’d love to know what others do so I can consider different/better/other options.

    • Anonymous :

      why are you making a lunch for your 11th grader? have the 11th grader and 7th grader be responsible for making their own lunches and their little sibling’s lunch the night before. get a “mother’s helper” for the post-school driving. The 11th grader and 7th grader can also do their own laundry.

      Stop spoiling your kids – you are not their maid or cook.

      • I kind of agree with this. My school district happens to have an excellent school lunch program so from day one I told my kids, “I am not the kind of mom who packs lunches. I am the kind of mom who pays for lunches.” So they always had money on their hot lunch account, but if they wanted to pack a lunch they (not me) were free to do it. They mostly always did pack their lunches. I didn’t police what they packed but I also didn’t have a lot of junk in the house so it was mostly sandwiches or soup and crackers.

        Your kids can do this. They can all do it, even the kindergartener.

      • I kind of agree with this. My school district happens to have a great school lunch program so from day one I told my kids, “I am not the kind of mom who packs lunches. I am the kind of mom who pays for lunches.” So they always had money on their hot lunch account, but if they wanted to pack a lunch they (not me) were free to do it. They mostly always did pack their lunches. I didn’t police what they packed but I also didn’t have a lot of junk in the house so it was mostly sandwiches or soup and crackers.

        Your kids can do this. They can all do it, even the kindergartener.

        • Marillenbaum :

          I was raised Mormon, which meant I was baptized into the church when I was eight. My mother then told me that if I was old enough to be accountable for my sins before God, I was old enough to be accountable for making my own lunches! At first, I was miffed, and ate nothing but cheese sandwiches for a year out of spite, until I realized I was only hurting myself.

    • Marillenbaum :

      Seconding the recommendation to have the older kids make their own lunches–they are old enough to handle it. Alternatively, have them buy lunch at school; what you gain in the convenience of not having to figure out lunches may well be worth it. If oldest drives, you can press them into chauffeur duty for the other two; also, carpools were a godsend for my mother when my sister and I were younger.

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