Thursday’s Workwear Report: Piping Detail Blouse

This Halogen top comes in the pictured burgundy as well as ivory. I like the piping, the pleated details at the shoulders, the extra wide cuffs, and the button at the top with the covered placket. This would look great under a suiting blazer or a cardigan, or you could tuck it into a skirt — there are a lot of different ways to wear this blouse. It’s machine washable, too! The top is $69 at Nordstrom in sizes XS-XL. Halogen® Piping Detail Blouse

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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



  1. MargaretO :

    Ugh, woke up to a super harassing insult filled text from a guy I went on a second date with last night (had to bail pretty suddenly because something we ate majorly upset my stomach) filled with horrible insults, including about my weight. Because I didn’t immediately answer his text late at night. The harassing one was sent at 1:30 AM. I blocked and deleted the text but I feel like crap. Please tell me it gets better than this? I could really use some encouraging words.

    • Anonymous :

      He’s a jerk and thankfully you found out now instead of wasting a third date on him. There are much better men out there.

      • FOOEY on men like him. My ex was ALWAYS hounding me about my weight, but he could NOT wait to grab my tuchus in public. I told him if he kept grabbing my tuchus, I would stop dateing him, and I did, but mainley b/c he was a drunk. I have NEVER regreted dumping that jerk. DOUBEL FOOEY on Sheketovits!

    • That is crappy and unsettling and I’m sorry you had to go through that. Can you take a quick walk / coffee run with a work friend?

    • I’m sorry. He sounds like a complete *sshole and I hope he never finds anyone else to date. Men who treat women like that deserve to be alone. You’ll find someone else who is actually a decent human being.

    • espresso bean :

      Ugh. You definitely dodged a bullet. Be glad he gave you enough information about himself so you don’t waste another minute on him. He sounds like a terrible person.

      Treat yourself to something today, block him, and move on to bigger and better things!

      • That’s really appalling. I’m sorry that happened to you. Yes, definitely block him, and if you’re feeling better, go treat yourself.

        (For what it’s worth, in my various online dating adventures, I’ve only encountered a few guys like this. There are much better ones out there!)

    • Good riddance to him! A man like that is not deserving of your time or energy! *hugs*

    • Thank you all for your kind words, reading them has really helped perk me up on such a crappy morning. Absolutely dodged such a huge bullet! I’m going to grab myself some nice food for lunch and get out of the office a bit.

    • I pity him. Insecure enough to viciously lash out over one missed text. How low in life must you be to get to that point?

      • I was thinking something similar. His lashing out was about him not you OP. He assumed that you ignoring his text was in some way a negative judgment on him and instead of brushing that off he lashed out like an angry child because he’s insecure.

        He’s an @ss, and there are many, many better men out there.

    • Did you screenshot it? Send it to Bye Felipe on Instagram.

      What a DOOSH.

  2. I have to give myself daily injections in the stomach for the next 7 months (heparin during pregnancy and immediately after the birth). It’s week 2 and my tummy is feeling a bit bruised and battered and my tights are irritating the injection site. Any recommendations for protecting it a bit more? I’m 13 weeks along so a tiny bit bloated but no sign of a bump – maybe a belly band or something similar? Could I wear this under my tights (exclusively dress/skirts wardrobe)?

    • No specific experience, but I think trying to wear a belly band under tights would probably just end up rolling down from the top. Is it possible to just cover the injection area with a large bandaid? Or go ahead and size up/go for maternity tights now?

      • Try low-rise tights:

        If that doesn’t work, thigh-highs + garters.

      • I second maternity tights. You are going to have to get them soon anyway, might as well get them now. They are very comfortable because the band is right under the bra, and belly area is just smooth and soft.
        I bruise easily and bruising takes forever to go away. What helps ease the bruising is massaging it, even if it hurts then. Unless you’ve been told by your doctor not to, you should maybe start massaging the injection site with some heavy cream now, that should make bruising go away faster each time.

    • Diana Barry :

      Is it lovenox or heparin proper? If heparin, I think the volume of injection is a lot more than lovenox so that may be part of it – ask your dr if they can switch the rx?

      I had to do the same thing and just varied the injection site, move it up, down, side to side, even in your side is OK as long as you can pinch a small roll. I would ask your dr also about the sites. IIRC upper arm and thigh may also be OK for injection sites.

      • Lovenox equivalent so not a huge volume (much less then when I had an actual DVT). I’ve been working my way across my tummy but good call on my side. For some reason, the idea of injecting in my thigh creeps me out more than my belly so I’m saving that for when I have a proper bump.

        • I found the upper arm much more painful than the stomach for lovenox injections, for some reason. Second the idea to cover with a small bandaid (plus, that helps you remember which area you used last!)

          • You should vary the place of injections (there’s plenty of different spots on your belly alone) and pinch the skin while injecting (so you inject it into the fat fold. If you’re skinny, sit down and bend so that you maximize the folds). It’s much easier on big belly, then you don’t need to pinch and fold anything.

            I know it sucks, but it’ll work!

        • When I had to take heparin a few minutes with a ice pack on the spot before and after the injection helped cut down on the bruising.

    • Either a bandaid or switching to maternity pants. I had Isabel Oliver ones that were super soft up top (I know that negates the fact you wear skirts/dresses). Or thigh highs rather than tights, although I feel that might be less comfortable. For inexpensive tights, I cut slits in the waistband to relieve pressure. But maternity ponte pants were my favorite

      • Anon in NYC :

        Second the recommendation for Isabella Oliver and also add in Seraphine as my favorite maternity dress brands.

        Cb, you might want to consider using a bandaid and switching to maternity tights if you haven’t already – I found them more supportive generally and they didn’t dig in as much as regular tights. Also, I am pretty much an exclusive skirts/dress wearer, and I *loved* maternity pants and found them much more comfortable during my pregnancy.

        • Thanks, I’ll stop by M&S and get some maternity tights at the weekend. I might wear leggings tomorrow to pad things out a bit. It’s just been irritating me all day. Hopefully that’ll let me eek a few more months out of my current wardrobe before resorting to maternity clothes.

          I hate pants but will try on some maternity pants in case I can be converted.

        • Frozen Peach :

          maternity tights are amazing! Target’s store brand are actually pretty great.

          Also, before I was ready to switch to maternity tights, I just cut the top elastic band of some of my older non-maternity tights, and that got me about another month of wear before I switched. Was nice to have them as an intermediate step after childbirth too!

    • Is there any way you could tuck a longer camisole or soft t-shirt into the top of your tights? I know it is not the most stylish solution, but it would put a soft layer between your skin and the band of your tights.

    • I’ve given myself lovanox for over a year – and no end in sight for various reasons. It just gets better. Try moving around the injection sites – I often go love handles. As you get more pregnant there’s actually less feeling.

      Post-pregnancy injections suck. I have no idea why but it hurts way more.

      I’ve also heard of icing down the site before you inject yourself but since it’s a daily thing for me I have just sucked it up. Good luck!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Lots of blood thinner experience.
      1. Do not have stuff rub on the sites- it makes the bruising a thousand times worse. I had a skirt that the waistband hit right on the site and the bruise was fist sized by lunch. And do not rub the site yourself. It also makes it worse.
      2. You can ice it right before and right after. I literally just held an ice cube to the site for about 30 seconds.
      3. Put a dot bandaid over it. Sometimes they bleed. I stained a white shirt because I didn’t realize it was bleeding. Really fun to explain at work.
      4. Switch sides daily, and move from as far back on your hips as you can go to the front. I went to about a fist away from my belly button on both sides. Pinch the skin.
      5. Don’t use heat on the sites.
      6. I found it less painful to just push it quickly. It stung more, but for less time, and it didn’t seem to hurt as much after.
      I never used my thighs or upper arms, and I’ve been on lovenox off and on for 3.5 of the past 5 years.

      • The ice advice is excellent. It helps numb/desensitize the site so the injection is less painful, and then afterwards, it causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels afterwards so less bleeding/bruising.

    • Could you put one of those donut-shaped (foot) corn protectors over the injection site?

    • No advice as I was working from home when in your situation (daily heparin – actually fragmin – injections while pregnant). Just wanted to say good luck, and I know how it feels to have a polkadotted belly from the bruises from the injections. Oh the looks the ultrasound techs gave me until they heard my history! Lol.

  3. eye makeup for commuting :

    Any recs for waterproof black liner and mascara (drugstore brands preferred) that will stay on when I commute outdoors in my cold, damp city? My eyes water in the wind and
    I can’t even put makeup on before work anymore because it runs all over.

    • Anonymous :

      I tightline with a very specific liner from Physicians Formula – one of the ones in their brown eyes’ three packs with a gold ring on the pencil. It does a good job staying in place and I’m a crier.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Not a drugstore brand, unfortunately, but Blinc sounds like what you’re looking for. They make a mascara and liquid liner that both stay on no matter what, but it comes off easily with water and a little pressure.

      • Marshmallow :

        +1 Blinc mascara (haven’t tried the liner). It goes nowhere until you want it to, and I also commute outside.

    • Not drugstore but on the less expensive side – Sephora’s waterproof eyeliner with the sharpener on the end. Can’t remember the exact name but its around $12 and it stays on all day. I walk 45 minutes to work.

      Also, to be honest, when it’s really hot/rainy/windy I just put my makeup on when I get to work.

    • I’ve been on the hunt for this my whole life. Wet n Wild has really good liquid eyeliners but Idon’t remember if they smear. I’m not a fan of many of the others but the Rimmel automatic pencil is very good. If you don’t wear eyeshadow and/or primer, it may transfer to the top lid. It’s very black. My new personal favorites are Marc Jacob’s automatic pencils and Tarte’s clay liners. They’re VERY GOOD. Especially MJ in the water line – it literally lasts all day.

    • mac liquidlast liner – DOES NOT move. and literally every other fancy to non fancy eyeliner i’ve tried, pencil + liquid + gel, smudges.

    • Have you tried eyelid primer? Too Faced Candlelight helps me keep everything in place.

    • I like Revlon Colorstay creme gel.


    I figured some here would be interested…

    Personally, I don’t think working for the ABA should qualify for loan forgiveness, but the plaintiffs are right that the statute is incredibly vague. People cannot count on this.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      We’re just beginning to get people reaching their 10 years, so I expect there will be a lot of similar cases coming. I also fear for my friends that the program will go away entirely before they reach their forgiveness point.

    • Selfishly, I’m hoping they keep local government under the program (which does not seem to be an issue in this article).

      But I’m still going to re-certify. Yikes.

      That said — I understand why jobs at say, the ABA wouldn’t necessarily count. But the regulation should be clearer, as should the literature the DOE puts out on the program. They have exclusions already built in for unions, etc. Why not tell us what’s expected? I hope I won’t have a problem because all my jobs have been directly for government agencies. (I was a prosecutor for three years and now am an attorney employed by a county for general legal representation). But man, do I feel for these people who were told one thing by the DOE, and then the DOE changed courses and made their rulings retroactive.

      • lucy stone :

        Ditto. I’ve got 8 years of local government repayment under my belt. I, too, understand why the ABA wouldn’t qualify, but it needs to be clear from the get go and it seems wholly unfair to pull previously qualified payments.

    • I haven’t read the article yet, but just chiming in to say that I moved to a government job several years ago for the PSLF benefit and consolidated my loans with USDOE (giving up a lower interest rate on some loans). I made payments for several years, only to be told later that I was in the wrong repayment plan and my payments did not qualify. The intent of the program is good, but the service I received from the USDOE servicer (FedLoan) is unacceptable.

      • Can I ask what payment program you were on?

        • Standard 30 year. I don’t remember the details of how my specific repayment plan was selected at the time I consolidated. However, I do remember reading all of the paperwork related to consolidation and PSLF carefully at the time I applied. I may have misunderstood or missed the details about qualifying payments, but I was totally shocked when Fedloan popped up 2+ years later to inform me that I was in the wrong plan. When I discussed my options for moving to a qualifying repayment plan, my montly payment was going to double and I could not afford that. I did not qualify for the income-based options because my husband’s salary had to be included. I ended up cutting my losses (on PSLF and other issues with the job) and going back to private practice.

          • Ah. I got pretty decent loan counseling through FedLoan, but I called and talked to an actual person re: my options. I think it’s much harder (it was for me, at least) to read the paperwork and understand what the heck was going on. I switched from 20 year standard to PAYE about a year into my time as a prosecutor for this reason.

            Just FYI, if you ever end up in the public sector again (not saying you should or shouldn’t): the PAYE and REPAYE (revised) plans have changed slightly re: the % of your income that your loan payment can’t exceed. For us, it works out well (two public servants) because even though we make decent salaries for public servants, we also both have loans. The Revised PAYE plan doesn’t require a “partial financial hardship” determination that kept many people out of income-based repayment.

            YMMV if your income to debt ratio is different, but I thought I’d pass it along, because I just recertified my income for the upcoming year of payments, and noticed the change on the application.

  5. Looking to help :

    I wasn’t goin to post this but in light of the harassment thread above, thought I’d give it a shot. A friend of mine is being harassed by a guy she had a falling out with. Everything from posting nasty things about her on the internet to him contacting her friends and family to say really horrible things. Most of the people in her life know to block him, but he has the ear of her ex husband who is using what this guy is saying to take her to court over custody since this guy is claiming she’s an alcoholic and is endangering her kids. None of it is true, obviously. What resources are there to stop this? She’s already blocked him in every way possible but he is taking it way beyond text messages and FB posts. Hiring a lawyer to deal with this would be a last resort b/c she doesn’t have a lot of extra money right now at all. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    • Call the police.

    • Anonymous :

      Is the ex-husband taking her to court currently or threatening to do so? If he has filed papers, she should have at least an initial consult with a lawyer. Write out of a timeline of events before going to see the lawyer so she can efficiently explain what has occurred.

      Volunteer to be a character witness for her if that assists.

      Keep copies of everything the harassing guy has sent her. Ask friends/family for copies of whatever he has sent them. The fact that he has engaged in a campaign of harassment should reduce his credibility as a witness with the court. If the ex-husband doesn’t have any other evidence of problems, other than this guy’s allegations, she should be okay.

      • Looking to help :

        He filed the papers. The divorce was very bitter. My friend is a great mom and the ex has never been involved with the kids so I don’t think she’s in actual danger of losing them based on things that are so easily refuted. Thanks.

        • This is still “last resort, hire a lawyer” time.

          • Looking to help :

            In matters of custody, she is eligible to ask for a free lawyer here. But not before the next court date. So I think she is reluctant to hire one before she can see about getting a lawyer to represent her appointed.

          • check with the local bar association. Our association has a program where you can pay a low fee for a half hour of legal advice. There may be something similar. This might be enough to help her present herself well at the initial hearing if she chooses to go without a lawyer.

            If she doesn’t get the free lawyer, she needs to pay for one.

          • Who cares if she is reluctant? If she asks you for advice, the only thing you should be telling her is “this is over my head, you need to hire a lawyer.”

          • @Looking for Help: that makes total sense. In my state, court-appointed counsel doesn’t get appointed for custody matters (though they may appoint a “neutral” GAL. That changes my calculus a little.

            I’d still encourage her to set up a consult with someone. I think the bar association is a good place to start. Both states where I am licensed have programs like the one Anon at 10:16 was referencing.

          • @Looking for help – if she insists on waiting for the court date to ask for appointed counsel, she should also be able to move to have the hearing continued at that time until she has had a chance to consult with appointed counsel. She can just appear on the record, request counsel and then request a continuance. Note – this *may* not work if the court believes there is an issue of child endangerment and won’t continue the hearing. The safest thing to do would be to consult an attorney now, but this is an alternative, though riskier.

    • Anonymous :

      She should hire a lawyer.

    • She needs a lawyer. There are just some situations in life where you have to pay and you can’t cut corners and if her ex is trying to take her kids away from her, this is one of them.

      • And also you’re def the poster who complained last week about feeling overwhelmed by this friend right? Stop trying to figure this out when the only obvious answer is that when your ex sues for sole custody, you hire a lawyer.

    • Frozen Peach :

      It’s time for a restraining order to the harasser too.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. That will help her in the custody hearing as well.

        • +1

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Yup. No contact/domestic violence protection order or an anti-harassment order, depending on the state law and the circumstances.

          She may be able to get that filed without a lawyer. They’re often made as easy as possible for pro se litigants.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’m late on this, but I strongly recommend that your friend read Gavin De Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear. Focus on the what to do and how to keep it from escalating chapters. His stuff on why marriages become abusive are rather dated and icky, though.

  6. NYT article about elite colleges :

    Thoughts on this article? I was shocked to see just how disproportionately the richest students were represented at my alma mater. I always knew it had a lot of wealthy students, but seeing the percentages written out and the charts made it shockingly clear.

    Where’s the incentive for these schools to expand their reach when they can populate their student bodies with a majority of students whose families can pay their obscenely high tuition without taking out a single loan?

    • Anonymous :

      I was pleasantly surprised! My seven sisters school could do better, but does a lot better than most at admitting lower income students. It also reaffirmed my belief that schools like Bucknell and Fairfield all function in part as finishing schools- if you are rich and an average student they’ll gladly take your money.

      • I’ve never even heard of those schools.

        • Dowager Countess :

          I wouldn’t expect that you would have.

        • Me either.

        • I only have because my rich boss’s son went to Bucknell. Then spent a year in Thailand going to, according to my boss, “late night electronic dance parties.” I.e., taking drugs and going to raves. Must be nice to be rich.

      • Bucknell is in the same conference as my alma mater. But based on my Alma Mater’s score, I can happily say we’re aren’t in the same league.

        Also, I really should be more surprised about Wash U’s ranking. But, I’m not.

    • Anonymous :

      This is snobby, but whatever. The schools at the top of that list aren’t really “elite” colleges. There are a couple of good schools in the top 10, but there are also a lot of private schools that don’t really have a sterling academic reputation. It makes sense that they’re populated with rich kids who couldn’t get into Harvard or Yale or Wash U. My family was by no means poor, but also very far from the 1%, and I know my parents wouldn’t have paid for me to go to Bucknell. If it had been a choice between Bucknell and my State U, they would have told me to go to State U – and my parents placed a huge emphasis on going to a good school. Harvard is #62. Cornell is #86. UChicago is #114. MIT is #173. The really elite schools do better at getting students from all socioeconomic tiers than these expensive-but-not-that-great-academically schools, although I don’t disagree that most of the Ivies, etc. could do even more.

      • This plus 10000.

      • Elite schools do a better job enrolling poor students because they’re able to offer excellent financial aid.

        • Yep. This is much more about size of endowment/ability to offer truly need blind admission than anything!

      • Yup. Super snobby but true. My parents stretched a ton to send me to an academically good school, and they just would not have done the same for Bucknell/Syracuse/etc. Ivies and other elite schools need to do sooooo much better, their statistics are still sad, but it doesn’t surprise me that these schools are the worst offenders.

    • I am not surprised at all.

      State U is very democratic. That is in part b/c its tuition is very low (but it needs to rely on tuition, often doesn’t have any significant endowment, and may not be able to provide the best aid that Elite Us can to some students (limited ability to cross-subsidize).

      Elite U is the opposite — it needs a lot of students who can pay the full ticket and they cross-subsidize the poorest and my guess is that there’s not a lot in the middle.

      I think that the tuition, the lovely facilities, the student services, the A/C and wiring to support technology, all add up and compel these results.

      There was a sobering article in the WSJ after the crash about how the biggest growth in community college enrollment was from students with HHI above $100,000/year. I think that says that it’s all too expensive, especially if you have a rather aimless 18 year old who may or may not be cut out for college just yet (my spouse was one of them — 6 years and 4 schools later, he finished and I’m rather impressed that he stuck with it).

      • This depends on what you mean by Elite U. If Ivies/similiar – then no. Harvard/Yale/Stanford/Swarthmore could afford to take only working class students and fully subsidize their tuition. They might have to scale down building plans a bit, but honestly, it would barely make a dent in the budget.

        If by Elite U you mean Wash U, NYU, and other institutions that have been frantically trying to climb the ratings in recent years, but that don’t have endowments to match, then yes. Tuition is what pays the bills.

        • +100

          I was solidly middle class (though in a HCOL area) and it was actually a little cheaper for me to go to an Ivy than state school because of the financial aid that was offered. And while there’s certainly a “donut hole” in aid at the elite schools that many fall into, when it’s offered, it’s real, no-strings-attached $$$ off your bill. Unlike the $20k in *loans* a friend (lower SES than I) was offered at NYU as “aid” – he went elsewhere.

        • I think NYU’s endowment is massive. No? Or did they spend it all on villas in Tuscany and campuses in places with dodgy human rights records.

          If Osama bin Laden had gone to NYU, their fundraising people would have tracked him down long before Seal Team 6 did.

          • True statement on NYU’s fundraising people.

          • a f adfsad sf :

            NYU’s endowment is not massive due to low donations

            The money for the Abu Dhabi is not really from the endowments

          • Really? The law school’s annual thing to me gives check boxes that start at 5,000 and go up in 5K increments.

            My state u undergrad would be happy if everyone gave $100 (or any amount with a comma)

          • Doehwlhsoen :

            Law school has the largest endowment. Undergrad arts and sciences is a different story

          • My State U undergrad alma mater pesters me for money almost never. NYU though? Multiple times a year.

            NYU’s endowment may not be huge but aren’t they the second or third largest real estate owner in NYC?

          • numbersmouse :

            A little late to reply here, but I’m a current grad student at NYU. The endowment is tiny compared to the number of students and the school’s academic and real estate aspirations. They snag academic superstars from Ivies and do construction over half of the Greenwich Village, and they have about 40k students, yet NYU’s endowment is about 1/10th of Harvard’s. Torin, I believe they are the second largest real estate owner in NYC, but keep in mind that Columbia is #1.

      • It is too expensive. And it’s not a great financial decision unless you’re rich enough to think that just getting a great education is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or unless you go to a place with such amazing connections (Harvard?) that it pays for itself by getting you some kind of amazingly lucrative job.

        My husband and I went to a stupidly expensive private liberal arts college. After we graduated and flailed around a bit, we both went to community college. I took a few classes there and went on to State U for additional classes. He stayed and got a 2 year degree. The job he got straight out of CC got him a job where he is now making 3-4x as much as he did at his job after fancy expensive college. CC trains you for a specific, often technical job that has a pipeline directly into community businesses (so, Harvard or wherever is to Wall Street as Community College is to engineering tech department of local large manufacturer or distributor). And his classes were about $300 each. So for an investment of a few thousand dollars, he got a degree that gave him an $80,000 raise. Pretty good ROI.

        I used to be a huge snob about education and where to go to college and all that. But I’ve really had my eyes opened by our experiences and would not give my child the same advice as my parents gave me.

        • I agree with this so much. I got an excellent and academically rigorous education at a prestigious liberal arts college. It was a great experience, and I learned things I couldn’t have anywhere else. I would be making more money if I spent 2 years in a trade program at the local CC and learned basically anything useful. I loved my college experience but I wish someone had told me about the other options (not that my academically snobby family would have been ok with it) and that I had been mature enough to think about these kinds of issues. A lot of people I went to college with are going back to school just like you did.

        • Completely agree. My parents urged me to reach for the stars (despite their limited means), and I ended up going to a school in the top 30 of this list., grad school at two ivy leagues. Hubs flailed for a while and went to technical school. We make the same salary. He has no student loans. Me, not so much.

        • +1, one of my parents was a career public educator. The advice my parents gave me was basically: go get a bachelor’s degree, it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is. If that was ever true, I must have been going to college on the tail end of that era b/c that was not my experience when once I graduated. Looking back over my college and law school education and personal life/career path, I know I could be doing much better financially if I had focused more on career-planning post-high school. I also will not give my children the same advice my parents gave me.

        • I totally, totally agree. My experience at a small liberal arts school is that it is really prepping you for graduate school and not the real world of working/having a career. I flailed around a bit too until I got lucky. I won’t deny, though, that I did get a good education and I have better than average analytical skills.

          I’m not surprised by this article at all. Wealthier families can either a) send their kids to good private schools (Bucknell is not as highly ranked but likely academically rigorous. I’m not familiar with Bucknell, but don’t understand the hate.) or b) be well connected enough so their (probably bright) child gets into an elite school.

          • The hate for Bucknell is presumably because it’s grossly overpriced for its “value” (however you quantify that) relative to elites and state schools.

    • I see NYU on there for both: lots of 1%ers and lots of low-income people. As someone who was middle class, I felt very out my my league and like the tuition was set so high so that you basically paid for your schooling plus half of the tuition for someone else. [But it was NYU and you buy the brand, right???] If they had had a more level playing field, I think it would be much more accessible (or the debt more manageable) to all.

      I think that Duke may be similar — if you are can generate endowment special interest (like your parents have a bunch of McDonalds or a couple of car dealerships), you are definitely in. Then there’s the you can pay tuition and make general donations — there are probably so many of those, that it may not be so special the way it might be at a smaller school.

      But for private schools to keep everything and offer a lot of need-based scholarships, they have to do this, right?

      • Duke is about ten times as wealthy as NYU on an endowment-per-student basis. Their student body is rich mostly by choice, not necessity.

        • I think NYU’s numbers maybe skew high b/c there are so many part-timers and people to take a class here and there.

          For FT undergrads, I think NYU isn’t far behind. And if you take out professional schools, it maybe is way different just at the graduate levels? Plus, it’s real estate portfolio is massive.

    • My school had about equal number of >1% versus <60%. Feel a little smug that I was from that <60%.

      • What feels not-great is that if you’re, say, at top 20%er in a HCOL area, with two parents working, you probably struggle to pay for housing, child care, summer care, and there’s no way to save at all for anything beyond bare-bones State U.

        If I moved to my rural flyover hometown, I’d probably be in the bottom 25% (on a national scale) income-wise, but that would be OK b/c it is an LOCL area. And they we’d add geographic diversity AND be poor-ish enough to get in and aid at Private U. [And State U would still probably be do-able.] I’m leaning towards this as our kids get older.

      • anon from 11:10 here. Same. I mean, I definitely “made it” (from 5%). But with 2 kids living in a HCOL area, two parents working… it sometimes doesn’t feel like it. I will definitely encourage my children to look at college differently and will encourage them to either work for a bit or start at a community or state college if they don’t have a solid direction.

      • My undergrad also had an equal number from each (around 13%). I’m not entirely surprised, but it is an expensive school. The university where I work is way down the list (not surprising, being Jesuit and having many students who are first generation college – 5.6% in the top and 36.8% in the bottom.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I was very pleased at the showing by the public universities here in California.

      • I am guessing that’s because of Cal Grants. Cal Grant + Pell Grant paid for nearly everything when I went to UCLA with $0 EFC.

    • Malcolm Gladwell had a miniseries on higher education within his Revisionist History podcast that was really enlightening. In one of them, he discusses the Catch-22 about using endowment money on “extras” like excellent food or facilities to attract the full-tuition/cash-pay students vs using that money to fund education for low-income students.

      He also discusses how the rich universities get richer as well as how difficult it can be to find/recruit low-income students at the high school level.

    • Thanks for this. I put in my alma mater, University of the Pacific, and they do pretty well with the bottom 20%. Which is why I went there (full financial aid), so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising.

    • I like this article. I went to a college that’s in the top 10 that enroll the highest percentage of low and middle income students, but I work for one that’s in the top 10 that enroll more from the 1% than 60%. Not surprising when I look around campus and at the student body…

  7. Anonymous :

    Hoping to get some advice from the hive. I work with another manager and we do not like each other at all. I try to keep a tight lid on it but he has become quite explosive, yelling at me as well as sending emails with false accusations. I spoke to one of my senior executive mentors about this and he suggested that I start keeping documentation (which I have) and make a formal complaint once a project has been completed. The other manager does have a reputation for being a jerk and difficult to work with. I’m reluctant to make a formal complaint as I do not want to gain a reputation for being difficult or face any sort of retaliation (he is likely to become a senior exec. before I do). Has anyone experienced something similar? Any advice? I do work for a very large company if that changes things. TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Is your senior executive mentor also your boss? I would try to engage others so it doesn’t turn into ‘he said, she said’ and him misrepresenting what happened after the project is done and a complaint filed. Try to have a third party present at meetings in the interim.

      e.g. receive email with false accusation – reply and cc boss with specific information as to why allegation is false (like he complains you didn’t send him info. You reply attaching a copy of the email in which you sent the info)

      Ideally the formal complaint should come from your boss vs you, that should help keep you clear of repercussions.

  8. Eating all meals at work :( :

    Have any of you taken breakfast, lunch, and dinner to work every day during a particularly busy period? I’m at work from 9am-9pm every day, I don’t want to keep buying food, and around 8pm I start getting reallllly hangry. That’s a big incentive to do this actually – when I leave work at 9pm starving I get home in a bad mood, partly because I’m famished, and eating at work would help prevent that.

    • I carry a giant bag full of meals and snacks to work for this reason. The bag is a little smaller than an OMG

    • Of course! I always eat breakfast and lunch at work and if I’m still here at 8 I eat!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Same. I almost always bring breakfast and lunch with me and keep snacks in my desk. If I know I’ll have to stay at the office late, I bring dinner too. Not my favorite thing to do, but necessary.

    • jar of peanut butter in the cupboard and a bag of bagels in the freezer has gotten me through to a late dinner many times. Sometimes a half bagel and couple tablespoons of peanut butter is sanity saving. I try to eat ‘dinner’ at home no matter how late because I hate the idea of three meals at work.

      • Eating all meals at work :( :

        Yeah I hate the idea too. But better than starving. I’ve been eating something at work and then eating yogurt or at least drinking milk at home. Good way to diet maybe?

      • Shopaholic :

        I do this. I don’t usually snack between breakfast and lunch but I’ll space my afternoon snacks out so I can get through the evening without eating dinner at work. That said, if I’m going to be at the office past 9, all bets are off and I would probably either bring or buy dinner. If you’re just in a busy phase, can you order dinner and charge it to your office/client?

        • Eating all meals at work :( :

          Yeah I’m not sure why my team isn’t ordering dinner. Maybe because half the team is leaving at 8/9pm, which is on the border to order dinner and not everyone is staying super late?

      • I keep a loaf of bread in my company freezer for this too, but don’t always use peanut butter. This week I brought several avocados, a block of cheese, and some fig butter to use with the bread. I’ve been alternating between eating smashed avocado on toast and toast with fig butter and cheese slices. I usually also bring a stock of fruit. Apples, bananas, peaches, whatever.

        If I were also eating breakfast at work I’d add a large jar of yogurt, some honey, and some chia seeds to the grocery bag.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Yes, I have. I’ve also done the whole “wait until I get home at 11pm because I’d rather eat dinner with my husband than eat another meal at my desk.” But, honestly, if this is a busy period for you, just eat at work. It’s better than being hangry.

    • lost academic :

      Yes. I try to keep a week’s worth of healthy frozen food just in case, as well as breakfasts (which for me is yogurt usually) and dried fruit and nuts for the afternoon.

    • Yes, I do this – I think its pretty common in BigLaw. I do sometimes go out for lunch and eat my brought from home lunch for dinner if it looks like I will be working late and either didn’t know or didn’t have enough food at home to bring. I like this because you get a break in the middle of a day to go out when hopefully the sun is out. I can generally buy a healthier lunch than I would dinner and where I work there are more options for lunch than dinner. This might be especially relevant if work is not paying for your dinner.

    • I would definitely have to eat if I stayed that late. Maybe make a couple casseroles/chili/soup that will last all week for lunch and dinner?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have a small fridge in my office and if it’s going to be a long day I bring a frozen lunch/dinner from Trader Joe’s. It keeps fine for the day in the fridge without completely thawing out. Cheaper and healthier than eating out or getting takeout.

    • Did this for the entire 6 years of residency and fellowship. At least if the food is there you can choose whether to eat at 8 or wait until you get home.

  9. Has anyone had fraxel laser resurfacing for acne scars? How did it turn out? Would you recommend it? I’m seriously considering this.

    • Yes. I found it incredibly painful and not at all worth it.

      I was only about 19 at the time and my mother insisted I have it done. AdultTorin would refuse.

    • Have you talked to your derm about it? There are tons of options, with different ones bring optimal for the types of scars, skin color, etc. I had a combo of other lasers for my acne scars among other complaints and was very happy with the results.

  10. I’m looking for a dress to wear with my mother in law to a fancy dinner (old school french restaurant), then an opera performance, and the opera afterparty with the performers. It’s cold here, and we’ll likely be walking between the restaurant and the opera. My husband has said he’ll be wearing a suit, and my mother in law is likely to be wearing a short embellished shift dress, with tights. Anyone feel like virtual shopping?


      • I love that shoulder detail! If I were not on a shopping ban, this would be mine.

      • Not really an opera dress, and too trendy.

        Honestly, I would not go to the trouble to buy something special unless you have a lot of $$ to throw around. Wear a little black dress, or a long black dress, with nice shoes and some great (real looking) jewelry.

        That’s it.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I agree with lifer above – that dress does not say “night at the opera” to me at all.

      • I disagree with lifer and Never too many shoes. That dress, with nice shoes and jewelry, is totally fine.

        Check this out for proof that “night at the opera” no longer means a long gown and gloves:

      • Baconpancakes :

        Have you guys been to the opera lately? There’s more people in jeans than there are in gowns.

    • I was just looking at this dress from BB and thinking I love it but have nowhere to wear it to… seems like it would be perfect for this sort of thing.,default,pd.html?dwvar_SX00074_Color=BLUM&contentpos=52&cgid=0317

      • No. Not for the opera at all. Even if you were 11, not for the opera.

        • Idk what opera you are going to! I go to the Met, and for anything except an opening night gala in good seats you see all kinds of clothes. Lots of women in black pants and a dressy top, lots of dresses like these two, a handful cocktail and one of two gowns that look out of place.

          • Senior Attorney :


            I think either of these two dresses would be just fine. Love the plaid chiffon!

          • Agree! I go to opera fairly frequently and I would wear that chiffon plaid in a second. If not, I’d wear one of my work dresses.

        • I agree with Anonymous – I go to the Kennedy Center in DC all the time for opera/ballet/symphony performances, and that dress would be perfect. I usually go straight from work in a sheath dress and try to add some fancier jewelry/shoes. Even c*cktail dresses tend to look out of place.

          • Sheath dress with fancier jewelry shoes is ok. Work appropriate dress is still not quite right for this evening though…

            Remember – this is also dinner with MIL, and also party after the performance.

            I often wear simple clothing to the Opera, as I am an academic musician type and this is what we wear. But the OP is going to the Opera and dinner and party with MIL so this sounds like old money. Simple black dress with good jewelry and good shoes is the way to go.

          • Anon at 11:30 :

            *shrug* My philosophy is that if a man can wear the same thing to an event as he wears to work (a suit), I can do the same thing. Even if that event is dinner with MIL/opera/after party.

        • Opera season ticket holder here. Either of these would be suitable in my large Midwest town, including for the opening night and cast party. I personally tend to wear dressy but simple cocktail attire, but neither of these would be outside of the norm.

          For what it’s worth, the cast party here is at a low key restaurant, and the singers often change into cocktail attire, but the orchestra members will usually be dressed fairly casually.

          • Hi All, thanks for all the thoughts! This is not my first time at the opera, so I agree that long gowns are usually overkill. Normally, I’d be comfortable in a snazzier work-ish dress, with snazzy shoes. However, this is a special event for the opera- so I’m going with a rental: with black heels. Now that I’ve outed myself, if you see me (tall, blonde, with a man in a suit and an older woman), give me a batsignal and come say hi!

          • Senior Attorney :

            That is a fab, fab dress!! Well done!!

          • If the opera you are seeing is Dianna’s Garden by any chance, I will indeed say hi! Corporette meet up!

          • Perfect choice. Add a little bling to the ears.




      bring a stylish coat.

      • These would be on the fancier end of the spectrum for the Opera, but 1) the dinner and afterparty gives you more leeway and 2) I enjoy dressing up, and I suspect you do too based on your presence on this website. That said, I absolutely would not wear floor length.

    • Before kids I was an opera/symphony/ballet regular. You could always spot the non-regulars because they dressed like they were going to the prom. You do not have to get really dressed up unless it’s opening night. Wear nice work clothes. The cutout dress linked first would also be fine.

  11. Ugh, just have to vent. I made the mistake of telling a busybody friend when DH and I plan to start TTC (after returning home from a last farewell Euro vacation) and now she won’t shut up about how I shouldn’t have even a sip of wine Europe. I plan to ignore her “advice” (my doctor completely approved moderate drinking and because of the timing of my cycle, we won’t even try the same month that we’re in Europe), but she’s driving me crazy and telling me “alcohol stays in your body for so much longer than you might think!” The irony is that I barely drink to begin with, but all of her nagging is making me REALLY want a glass of wine.

    • “Stop it. I didn’t ask you for advice, and I don’t want to hear it.”

      Stand up for yourself now, or crazy girl will think she can keep this up.

      There is absolutely no reason not to drink before you start trying to get pregnant. I wouldn’t be friends with someone this stupid, tbh, and I don’t let people tell me what to do with my health unless they are my doctor. It’s really quite pleasant!

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. And don’t even get into the merits with her. The issue is not even the propriety of drinking — it’s the complete inappropriateness of her inserting herself into your life in this ridiculous way!

      • +1

        Also might add “I don’t take medical advice from non-doctors and I suggest you don’t either.”

        Also “alcohol stays in your body for so much longer than you might think!” strikes me as exactly wrong. Isn’t this what your liver is for??

      • +1

    • What? She sounds really annoying and misinformed. Is she going on the trip with you? If not, I’d just say “I TOTALLY agree with you! I won’t have a sip – wouldn’t dream of it!” And then ignore her completely and do whatever you want. (And also, read Expecting Better if you want a more realistic take on alcohol and TTC/pregnancy.)

      • This is a decent strategy for a lot of things, but I would hesitate to use it for something like this. I’m going to post vacation pictures on social media (some of which will almost certainly include alcohol or be in alcohol-centric environments) and I’m going to talk about the awesome wineries/breweries I visited. I do not want some crazy woman (a) posting all over social media about how I am TTC and shouldn’t be drinking; or (b) confronting me about my alcoholism because I intended to not drink but just couldn’t help myself. Ymmv of course.

        • Disagree about the photos. I have had, since college, a policy of never being photographed with alcohol. I drink socially as much as the next person, but it is very easy to make sure it’s not in photos.

          • I have a policy of living my life, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone seeing me with a glass of wine in my hand a dinner or toasting with champagne etc. I’m not in the habit of hiding things I’m not ashamed of.

          • Why? I totally understand when you are under 21 and it’s illegal and I certainly understand why people wouldn’t want photos where they’re holding 4 shots and look wasted, but as an adult, why you would worry about being photographed with a glass of wine on the table in front of you? Why on earth would that be a problem? I don’t even drink, but this seems extreme.

          • I’m anon @10:48. There’s zero difference, in my mind, between posting a picture of you in a bar vs. posting a picture of you in a bar with a beer in your hand.

        • Yeah, we have plans to do a pasta-making class at a winery (!!) and I’m sure there will be wine in some of the photos, so I don’t want to lie. Lying also isn’t my style in general. I just told her point blank that my doctor said it was perfectly fine and unless she got a medical degree without my knowledge I’m not interested in hearing her opinion about it. And I have learned my lesson not to share as much with this friend…

    • I have three kids. I made the mistake of babymooning in Italy during two of the pregnancies. I’ve worked with FASD kids and called FASD experts to testify at child protection hearings. My advice? DRINK ALL THE WINE!

      You’re not TTC until you get back, drinking (even getting drunk) will not harm any non-existent baby. The chances that this affects your ability to conceive are nil. If you were a chronic heavy drinker or borderline alcoholic, it would be advisable to stop drinking before TTC but that is not you.

    • I enjoyed a quantity of Texas sized maragaritas and wine-coped with the stressful election before realizing I was pregnant this go around. I have zero guilt.

    • It’s my understanding that the embryo doesn’t even attach to your bloodstream until you are 4-5 weeks pregnant (2-3 weeks past fertilization). Before then, it is living off the yolk sac. So you can’t really hurt it before it shares a blood stream with you. Let alone before you even start trying!!! Good grief.

    • This is when the expression S T F U comes in handy.

    • And here I’m in the opposite situation: my still-very-early pregnant friend and I had lunch at a place that serves food and specialty beers. She had a bottle of pink lemonade that I am 90% sure is a hard lemonade with some alcohol content (I realized when she was halfway through the bottle). If she realized it, she didn’t say anything. So I didn’t say anything.

      She’s had a miscarriage before. When she told me, she was concerned about the safety of drinking any herbal (no caffeine) tea and I don’t want her to worry over something that is likely inconsequential.

      Sorry for the TJ. It’s been hard keeping this to myself.

      • Don’t worry. Lots and lots of perfectly normal babies were born to mothers who didn’t know they were pregnant for a good long time. And don’t tell her.

    • Last year the CDC put out a recommendation that all women not on birth control should avoid alcohol. The goal was to reduce alcohol consumption in women who did not know they were pregnant, but it was presented in a really insulting manner. Both the CDC and your friend should realize that intelligent women can make informed choices, and don’t need blanket statements to protect them.

  12. I wish my youthful mistake at 22 would have been a lower level drug felony.

    Instead, I went to law school, which, ironically, seems much harder to get out from underneath. In my state, the felony would have been eligible for a form of expungement two years ago. Fifteen more years to finish crushnig law school loans.

    what a world.

    feeling kinda hopeless today. sorry.

    • Srsly? This is absurd. You’d rather have been in jail? Released with no employment prospects? Be denied access to public support?

      • Splitting hairs, but you don’t really serve time here for low level felonies. Standard sentence is a year suspended.

        Like a cocaine possession or something.

        • lucy stone :

          Yeah, I feel like a lot of the lawyers on this site are not involved with the criminal justice system. Nobody goes to jail for a first offense low level felony here, especially drugs, unless they massively screw up probation!

    • Sorry you’re feeling hopeless but I really don’t think you’d be better off if you’d been convicted of a felony. You will get out from under those loans and you will feel so much pride and accomplishment when you do. Hugs.

    • You chose to go to law school. And it sucks you have crushing loans but to say youd rather be in jail is extremely insensitive and ignorant. You should know better, come on.

    • I get it — if you had been super greedy and been flipping houses with liar loans, you could have had those all discharged in bankruptcy even though you were probably committing fraud.

      Your law school loans, not dischargeable at all.

      • Yeah, an unsuccessful attempt at house flipping would also have been a less expensive mistake (but I’m in the Midwest).

      • I think this is a better comparison.

        I’m also a person who went to law school at 22 (and graduated in 2011, ouch). I have crushing debt, and it sucks. I know I made the choice to go to law school, and it was a bad investment financially. I realize that and take responsibility for that.

        But it does make me angry that I have been responsible since, paid my balance every month (I’m hoping for PSLF, because I am a government lawyer), and been generally a good financial and social citizen since, but if something terrible happens to me, I’m still on the hook. My mortgage? I can walk away from that and have debt discharged in bankruptcy.

        I understand why it’s that way. I do. But I also understand feeling overwhelmed and upset at the bad investment in the degree.

        • But, I mean, you also have a mortgage? So you’re not doing all that bad.

          • Oh, you are absolutely correct. Which is part of the reason I’m able and totally willing to take my lumps on the investment being a bad one to start with.

            FWIW: the fact that my husband qualifies for a VA loan and that we live in a LCOL area are to thank for my being able to afford the house/mortgage. But you are 100% correct that really, I don’t have it bad. Most of us on this site don’t, really.

          • I just mean that if you’re not even really paying it off, and waiting for forgiveness, and you’re able to take on even more debt, how exactly is it crushing?

            I graduated with $130,000 in debt. It sucks, but it’s what I signed up for. So I don’t have a house, because I’m paying it. I completely understand that the debt is really crushing for some people, but for those of us who are okay, we should acknowledge that too. Without those loans I wouldn’t have been able to become a lawyer at all.

          • Oh, my payment is still substantial. I still feel it. And some days it does feel crushing. I have very little room in my budget for things that are not essential because of it. Especially since both my husband and I have significant graduate school loans. In my situation, it made sense to buy because rentals really aren’t available in my area (again, low COL, not near a major city). We have to live here or near here because of my husband’s job.

            I also take issue with the idea that i’m “not paying it off.” I am — and even though I am hoping for forgiveness, I made extra payments in case I don’t get forgiveness. The implication that I’m twiddling my thumbs and waiting is absolutely false.

            And yes — without those loans we wouldn’t be lawyers. I do often wish I wasn’t a lawyer, and the second that I can stop being one, I will.

            But thanks for the judgment.

          • I didn’t mean to imply you’re doing nothing to pay them off, just that it’s hard to justify saying you are crushed by debt while also using a repayment benefit to bail yourself out of it. I’m not judging your decision to buy a house either. I’m just saying you’re doing fine, and debt isn’t crushing because you have to do without extras to pay it off.

          • It’s not always doing without extras. I’m currently driving around in a car that won’t pass inspection in a month because I can’t afford to get it fixed or buy a new one right now, due to unforseen medical issues last year. I’m not able to have kids because I can’t afford daycare (and couldn’t even without the mortgage, which is way less than rent in my area).

            I am doing fine, but should something bad happen, I’m pretty well screwed. I realize that puts me in a boat with a lot of people. That doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to occasionally freak out, wish I hadn’t gone to law school, etc. I’m paying my debt, I’m trying to be a productive member of society. I budget, I throw extra money at my obligations. I don’t spend lavishly, and in real life I don’t complain.

            This all started because I was trying to show some support and solidarity for someone else who was feeling a little hopeless currently. I’m sorry I used a word you find inaccurate for my situation.

          • And, I’ll add: A word I backed away from immediately after your first comment. Why you feel the need to keep harping when I have agreed with you is beyond me.

        • Frozen Peach :

          I understand these feelings, and I think that everyone isn’t really seeing that you are clearly struggling, or you wouldn’t make such an outlandish comparison. Those of us who are of this particular generation of lawyers ELS speaks of had a true bill of goods sold to us as naïve 22-year-olds RIGHT before the recession hit. I don’t know anyone who didn’t come into law school with their tuition paid by family from my class at a T-5 law school who isn’t struggling financially, or has until very recently.

          d, do you have support about this pain you’re feeling? I’ve been there with the feelings of being trapped, wishing I could just be a dog walker and escape my job and life. Working at a firm can be particularly brutal this way. Are you getting some help with these feelings? Everyone here loves to recommend therapy, but there are a lot of different ways to address them. What is important is that you don’t continue to let these feelings of desperation and being trapped build, because they don’t take you to good places. Please reach out if you’d like to talk, because plenty of us have been where you are. Hugs.

          • Servicing those law school loans and paying for daycare means very…VERY few options to change course, either by paycut in other industry, and I obviously am not interested in one more cent of tuition to retrain.

            Just constant feeling of being trapped, and no way out. like: this was a bad idea. Plz repossess this degree.

            (I know, I know, “you chose to have kids!” but, I couldn’t really put it off until I was done paying them off).

          • Thanks, Frozen Peach. That’s basically what I was trying to say — I signed up for this mess at a time when I was young and impressionable (but still very much an adult who can be held accountable). The market was just starting to turn.

            I graduated in a very different economy than I entered into. I’m as happy as I can be being a lawyer right now, and I’m glad to be a public servant, even if I don’t get forgiveness of my loans.

            The idea that those of us who have made the best of it and tried to have a normal/stable life and take advantage of some programs are basically not hurting at all is ridiculous. I’m getting really sick of the moral/money superiority of some posters (who often refuse to use an identifiable name!), frankly.

          • You have a house and a husband and kids and a job and help repaying your loans. Yes it is still hard. No it is not crushing.

          • Who said I have kids? You assume I have kids. I don’t. Know why? I can’t afford them.

            I will retract “crushing.” But I also hope you will retract your judgment at how I’m choosing to manage the hefty obligations that came with a stupid decision I made at 22.

          • Also, I’m going to stop responding to people who don’t have the fortitude to put a name on their comments. “Anonymous” is getting really old.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I get it. It sucks!

            The good news is that believe it or not, as hopeless as it looks now, life is long and the fifteen years will pass and eventually you will be on the other side. You have good times ahead of you — I promise!

          • You are also anonymous!!

          • I feel you D, ELS, and Frozen Peach. I am able to pay my loans, my mortgage, and double daycare because I make a good salary for my MCOL area and my husband has an excellent government job that provides benefits for our family. But we don’t have any flexibility and I feel locked in. My loans won’t be repaid until I’m in my 60s, we started our family late in life, I don’t have any retirement. If I had not gone to law school, I would not be making as much money, but I would be making good money without having 6 figure student loan debt, would have had my children in my 20s, and probably would have been in a managing role in my pre-law school career by now.

          • Thanks, Senior Attorney. I know the future is brighter ahead.

            I should really stop reading the comments, though I always enjoy yours. I don’t enjoy the money judgment that happens around these parts. It seems it’s ok to complain about your cleaning service, ask for advice on your european vacation, or how to budget for savings when you make more than 10x most Americans make. But when someone complains about feeling trapped, there’s usually a swarm telling that person how they’re wrong/exaggerating, etc.

          • Frozen Peach :

            Seconding that sentiment for sure, ELS. This has never been a particularly warm and fuzzy bunch, but if you can’t recognize that d is clearly asking for some support, you may be lacking some basic humanity.

            d, how can we help you? I can sure tell you that I’ve been where you are, and that things will absolutely get brighter. Do you want some offline support? Come over to the moms site and you’ll find many of us who have been where you are and will tell you our stories of how we’ve made changes to be happier. There is always something that can give or shift to make things better.

          • I put a moniker on my account, and it makes me identifiable. It allows you to see that I am the same person posting each time. You’re one of 100 “anonymous” people who posts.

          • ELS, d, I just wanted to +1 Frozen Peach and say that I have been there and while it could be worse, of course, and we’re all very fortunate to have roofs and food and shoes, feeling trapped–even if your job isn’t the worst EVER–is still hard and emotionally/mentally exhausting. On some days it’s even, dare I say it, crushing. The job doesn’t need to be the most terrible job in the world and the debt doesn’t need to be 5x your salary for your feelings and experiences to be real, true, and valid.

            D and ELS, I have been where you are and things do get better. Let us know how we can support you. It helped me to have a friend who could listen (on occasion, not every day) without judgment. Maybe call up SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS for a night. Part of my issue was my then-current job, so I also looked at job postings and figured out what skills I could work on now to make myself a competitive candidate in 6 months or a year. And I got a side hustle–as a biglaw lawyer, I didn’t have time to drive uber or sew baby onesies on etsy, so I started renting my second bedroom on airbnb. Not saying that’s your solution, of course, but it helped me feel like I was getting OUT faster.

        • +1. I feel prevented from truly going after my “dream career” because of the crushing weight of loan debt.

    • Rory? Is that you?

    • I understand. Hang in there.

      Tomorrow will be better.

  13. What’s your go-to outfit for a headshot? My firm is doing headshots AT a networking event, I think it will be difficult to dress for both…

  14. Veronica Mars :

    Shopping help? What’s your go-to date night dress or top? Looking for something $150 and under, $100 and under would be awesome.

    • Which part of you do you like to show off? Are you a waifish woman who likes a low cut strappy shift? Legs for days under a short but loose shift? Curves with a 50’s style hourglass-ing dress? Fashion forward, or classic?

      • Veronica Mars :

        I’m an hourglass so I’m looking for something that’s flattering but not too va-va-voom. Legs would be OK but I usually opt for something that’s more fitted at the chest but doesn’t have too much obvious cleavage.

        • Love this lace dress (the white one) and its only $65 (

  15. Anyone have a rec for a good legal recruiter in NYC or New Jersey? TIA.

  16. Thoughts on working for an organization with whose politics you disagree? I work for an agency that just changed administration (and political party). My job is not particularly political, but you never know when it could be. My agency recently took a position on an issue that is 100% against my personal beliefs, but I did not work on the issue and it doesn’t have my name on it. How do you reconcile this if you have experienced it? Suck it up, do your (mostly non-political) work and not worry about it? Look for a new job? My main problem is my field is pretty small and I can only do what I do at this one place. Thanks for your insights.

    • I’m a lawyer, and I represent clients on issues where I personally disagree all the time. It doesn’t bother me- I like the work, and I’m good at it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you are not personally expected to work on the issue or support it, I think it’s reasonable to stay and do your work and wait for the political winds to shift.

    • I’m an order of magnitude more liberal than both my company (oil and gas company that hires lobbyists to lobby for positions I don’t agree with all the time) and most of my coworkers. I actually appreciate the window outside my own social media news bubble.

  17. What kind of doctor do I call to talk about freezing my eggs? Fertility clinic or someone else?

    • Yes, reproductive endocrinologist, usually within a fertility clinic.

    • Fertility clinic

      • Thanks. My mom just offered to pay for it. Idk if I’m too late at 33 but I’m not ready to be a single mom just yet. At 37 though husband or not I want a baby.

    • Fertility clinic – generally, a reproductive endocrinologist.

      I would do a lot of research on the clinics in your area, however — you should be very clear-eyed about the success rates. By which I mean, what are the odds of an actual live birth resulting from a frozen egg? The rates are surprisingly low, and much better if you fertilize immediately after retrieval and freeze an embryo instead. Which may or may not work for you. Depending on your age, you might be shown a success rate of 30-60% for IVF (which is what you’d ultimately do with the frozen eggs), but it can take a LOT to even get to that transfer point. It would not be surprising to retrieve 10-20 eggs and only get 1 good embryo out of it, and that’s without first freezing the eggs and having to thaw them.

      Obviously there are situations where it’s the best or only option for preserving fertility (pre-chemo, for instance) or you have the resources available that it’s worth spending a large amount of money (usually more than 10k) for a bit of peace of mind.

      • Yeah that’s the kind of thing I want to discuss. My mother has the money and won’t miss it, but I don’t know if I want to go through the physical process if it’s not a real increase in my odds of getting pregnant.

        • From my perspective, doing egg freezing wasn’t that big of a deal from a physical perspective. Emotionally, it was hard, but physically it was ok. Not my favorite experience, but not that bad. If you’re lucky, it’s a two week deal. I think at 33, you should be fine in terms of egg quality, but you dont’ know how your overall “reserve” of eggs will be (i.e. you may not get as many as you’d like). I think it’s smart to do but I wouldn’t treat it as a surefire way to ensure you can have kids at a later date. I would freeze them and set a deadline (based on info from doc) about when you need to get serious about trying on your own. Good luck!

    • As everyone has already provided the right answers and disclaimers, just wanted to say good luck!

  18. cheerleader :

    Wanted to grab a few different opinions on this.

    I currently work in HR and I am also an NFL Cheerleader. I am in the process of updating my resume in preparation for a move and was wondering what opinions were on including my NFL job on my resume? I know the stereotypes that come with it, but I also know how much work is involved with that role as well as some of the intangible skills.

    Not really looking to debate the merits of cheerleading, just your opinions if you were to see that on a resume. Thanks in advance!

    • Tbh, it would get you an interview at my firm.

    • I would leave it off. If it represents a significant time commitment, employers may wonder if you will be distracted from your primary job.

      • +1

      • BigLaw anon :

        I thought about cheering for my hockey team and ultimately decided against it. It would have been so cool. But it would have been so easy to scapegoat (BigLaw anon is not dedicated, she is always leaving, she cares more about that than her real job). And I need my main job (law school ain’t going to pay for itself).

        I think it’s like having kids (which I now have). It makes me need a very flexible schedule and be out of the office more than my male peers. But I wouldn’t highlight my children b/c it might suggest that I am overly not attentive to / serious about my primary work job.

        It is not the best answer, no, but you want the hobby job not to get in the way of finding your next job, right?

    • Put it on.

    • I wouldn’t put it on your resume. I know there’s dedication and hard work involved, but I think it distracts from your application more than it adds to it. Find a way to show those qualities in your full-time work experience. There’s no way to escape the stereotypes, and there’s no way to know the personality quirks of the people reviewing your resume. FWIW, in last week’s discussion on “interests” on resumes, I said candidates should only put them when it’s expected (summer associate positions), and that law firms should stop expecting it.

    • is it in any way relevant to what you want to do? Does it require special accomodations or is it purely weekends only?

      How many years experience do you have (or- how far out of school are you?). And- is the team you cheer for one that the new location supports? Eg. I wouldn’t think a Patriots cheerleader would get much benefit putting that on applications to NYC firms.

    • Unfortunately, I have to agree with keeping it off.

      Because it will alienate some women, and it will attract some men, and the type of male attraction is not the kind you really want to be fostering in your non-cheerleading job.

      I’m kind of bummed I’m saying this, because I am impressed myself!

      I would save it. And if someone during an interview (close to the end….) casually asks you what you do for fun etc.., then I might bring it up then, after I have already given a solid interview. And I would have a very solid planned few sentences about it. Then they will certainly never forget you…

    • Anony Miss State :

      This is an interesting question. I competed in pageants and was Miss (State), and I put it on or leave it off my resume on a case by case basis. For example, I once applied in an office where I knew the big boss was married to a former Miss (State), so I knew he would know it was a real job where I served as a spokesperson and worked on issues important to me. If I thought the employer might not be familiar with it, I usually left it off to avoid any negative stereotypes.

      This is all moot if you are in Dallas because I think everyone in the state of Texas adores you.

      • Agree 100% with the last sentence.

        This was my dream job when I was 8. Whoops — married a Redskins superfan.

    • Include it. It will get you interviews — for the obvious reason that guys will be interested in having you come into the office but also bc many people incl women think any involvement in pro sports is cool and want to meet people with such involvements.

      I’d be prepared to discuss how this won’t impact your regular job though. And be ready to tell 1-2 stories about being an NFL cheerleader bc they will ask.

      • I think it might get you interviews, but not get you the job. And it may cost you interviews.

        It’s like saying you do alumni activities and saying you’re on the national board of your sorority. I’d do the former but hold off on the second.

    • There’s a law firm in town where one of the partners is a former NFL cheerleader, and I know other former cheerleaders have also worked there. I think it could appeal to a subset of companies/people, but I think there’s a bigger risk in other taking you less seriously.

    • Leave it on. Would definitely help get you an interview at my big law firm.

    • cheerleader :

      Thank you all for your insight! Definitely all very valid points. Just for clarification, I did not tell my current employer that I cheered until after I started working and had proven my work ethic. When they found out, they were all very impressed with my ability to balance both (we normally practice 7-10pm Tues.-Thurs.). Surprisingly, both women and men have been very supportive-I do believe this is because I was able to prove myself prior to them finding out. However, I will be moving to a city that has a team that I plan to cheer for, and now that I know the flexibility that is needed, I wasn’t sure if it was best to put it on my resume from the start to weed out any companies who may not be able to provide that flexibility, or if I should bring it up in the interview (as one poster mentioned). Thank you all for your responses, it gives me something to think about!

      • This is a late reply, but I wanted to offer the idea of a compromise. I am an attorney, and at the bottom of my resume I have a list of activities that takes up about 2 lines of text, with an em-dash or something in between. Some are pretty standard–Junior League, committees, and so on. But I also ALWAYS put that was/am a snowboard instructor/racer. It’s in there kind of casually, you know, so it comes of as just a really fun thing I do that maybe someone wants to ask me about but maybe they don’t. My thinking is that this may get me a few extra interviews, and those who aren’t particularly impressed (or think it’s unprofessional) won’t make too much of a big deal because it’s listed at the bottom along with my general community involvement/ties.

    • I’d leave it off. Many higher level HR types are women, and there’s a decent chance someone reviewing your resume will have a negative reaction. You can spring it on them later.

    • all about eevee :

      I currently work with a former NFL football player. Both teams he played for were on his resume when I interviewed him.

  19. How old are you, what’s your life/family situation and what’s in your savings account? Will this number grow?

    OR, just advise me!

    What I’m trying to figure out is the pint at which we can stop squirreling away cash and start spending. We have always and will continue to fully fund retirement. We are 32/33, $350k in retirement, $500k left on a house worth about $800k. $200k in non retirement savings, spread around between index funds and pure cash.

    2 kids, pay for preschool and intermittent babysitters but not daycare or nanny. Income has ranged between $280 and $400k for the past few years; we’re around $300 this year because I went part time (230k from DH, who carries our benefits, $50-100k from me doing consulting- previously made more like $200 and DH was making $180). We have $15k left on student loans which are at a very very low rate and no car payments.

    Our “bare bones” monthly expenses are something like $4500. I could ramp up my consulting if DH lost his job, and/or I’m pretty confident I could go FT in 5-6 months. We both have a lot of life/disability insurance. Our extra-padded feel-good 6 month emergency fund goal was $75k-100k, which would mean both of us were unemployed for a year with no income, which, given our backgrounds/industry, company severance packages and ability to consult, is pretty unlikely.

    We saved the cash so we could feel good if/when one of us went part time, and made the call for me to do it after our 2nd was born. I’m not interested in going back FT for a few years if I can help it.

    With that as a long winded background- we are still saving $2000++/month into our cash savings. I don’t want to go nuts and blow $50k because it’s burning a hole in my pocket, but I want a new kitchen. And/or a nice vacation. And/or to do some serious (30k) landscaping. But I can’t seem to spend it.

    Am I/are we (the collective ‘we’) supposed to keep shoving money into savings? At what point do you feel comfortable making a big purchase?

    • I think you’d benefit from sitting down with a financial planner and discussing your big picture goals. Obviously you have enough money for a new kitchen (and it’s prob a sensible investment in your house). I think yes, you always keep saving, but you should understand why.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. How much of the 200K is cash and how much is index funds? Where are you keeping it?

        IMO a new kitchen is almost always worthwhile, just in the enjoyment you will get out of it. :)

    • DH and I are 30/31. We have six months of our current expenses in an emergency fund. This is money we don’t touch and is capped. If our lifestyle grows, we’ll increase the amount, but I don’t have any desire to continue to save additional cash in that account. We max out our retirement vehicles and most conservative calculators indicate we should have enough when retirement comes.

      The rest of our excess cash gets dumped in a “savings to spend” account. We use this as a renovation slush fund, mortgage paydown account, out of the ordinary vacations, etc. We don’t feel guilty about using this cash, because we feel the rest of our savings is in line with our current priorities. If those priorities change, we will adjust accordingly. Your plan for today doesn’t have to be the same plan you have in a decade.

    • You guys are very rich, but I think you know that. It is good you are being smart, nonetheless. I also agree that you and your husband should sit down one day and talk about your long term goals.

      Are you going to pay for the kids colleges and/or possibly contribute to graduate schools since you will not likely get much financial aid at those salaires (and realize it could cost 1/3 million to go to Harvard etc..)? If so, are you saving for that too, after maxing out your retirement vehicles?

      Are you going to return to working full time after the kids are older? What are you and your husband’s retirement goals, as you could retire very very early, if you want? But maybe you love your jobs and will keep working a long time…

      But yes, you can afford to start funding some things that will make life better for you. But be careful, as you pretty easily threw out 100k in things you want to spend $$ on and it is a slippery slope. Be thoughtful, think about what will really make you happy and improve quality of life. And only do one thing at a time.

      • Good point about college. We plan to pay for most of the kids college-or at least save to do so should they go. I am a firm believer that a little bit of debt is healthy and helps kids understand that doing well in school is important, but don’t want to cripple them afterward. I graduated with about 20k in loans, which my parents had me take out because I chose the most expensive of all my options (good state school for free, top 30 liberal arts school for half price on merit &, top 20 liberal arts college for full freight). I got my company to pay for grad school and went part time. DH got a 50% merit scholarship to grad school (MBA) and worked part time for the first year.

        We have a side pot of money (combo 529/index funds) going for this with about 20k in it. Kids are going to public school (or we are moving!) until college and the oldest won’t be in college until 2031 and the youngest won’t be finishing until 2038. while we are not counting on it, we know the kids (and DH) will inherit money when DH’s grandmother dies which will go into the college pot as well which is why we are not as aggressive as we could be this early but will eventually ratchet that up.

    • Super impressive job saving for retirement! This might give you some perspective and comfort spending some money on the house, thought I probably wouldn’t recommend doing all the projects in the same year.

      DH and I are 34/38. Annual income is 600K plus bonus potential. Student loans finally paid off last year — all $410K of them between the two of us. We have about $500k left on our mortgage of a $800k house. $140K in 401Ks (we’ve never been eligible for a match), $150K in other retirement savings. $50K in an emergency fund which is about a year of bare budget expenses, but we will keep growing this until it is a year of cushy living expenses ($100k). with neither of us employed which seems unlikely. We also have a dedicated savings account for a new car (no rush our current car is only 6 years old and very low miles), a dedicated savings account for travel, and a few other dedicated savings accounts like home renovations, pets.

      We don’t expect our incomes to stay this high forever, so we are using the next few years to aggressively save for retirement (since we are behind). That said we are still taking nice vacations (anywhere from $10-20k a year) because that is our thing and will likely do a couple smaller ($5k or less) home renovation projects. But beyond those two areas we don’t spend lavishly. I think you’ll feel better about spending the money on a renovation or trip if you specifically save it for that purpose. Maybe that means you save a bit less for retirement but that seems fine given your current well funded retirement accounts and the fact that as your kids get older it seems like your income potential will go up rather than down.

      • We have had more of the slow-and-steady approach vs school then big $$ approach- so well paying jobs out of college, socking away retirement money then, and working our way (full or part time) through grad school. DH turned town a top 10 MBA program for half merit to a top 40 program that meant we didn’t have to move and I could work FT. In doing so, I ended up being promoted 2x while he was in school, and the company he was leaving hired him part time as a consultant for the first year of grad school. Long term, he might end up worse off without the very brand name MBA/connections that go with it, but we approached it as a couple. I’d be far less employable if we had moved and I had to start something new.

    • Do you have any long term goals? Do you want to save for your kids college, pay the mortgage down a little faster, anything else? In your position I would probably choose one big project to spend some of the cash on now, and then divide up monthly savings into a couple of different goals on different timelines – 500 to extra mortgage payment, 500 to college fund, 1,000 to vacation/landscaping/other medium term goal, for example. Figure out what the vacation or landscaping will cost ahead of time and then don’t feel bad about spending it when you hit your savings goal. (the different goals are just ideas, obviously sub your own). You’re in such a good position! Definitely let yourself spend/save for some fun stuff like a vacation or a kitchen reno while still paying attention to more boring things like mortgage paydown.

    • This is us. And we just put $10K into our yard and I am so excited.

    • Yes to the kitchen, to the vacation, to the landscaping. That’s what you’re saving for. Live your life and enjoy. Do not put off all of life’s joys until some theoretical retirement age.

    • We are similarly situated, but older– 44 and 45, house is worth more- $1.6M, and about $1M in retirement funds, total income $400K. We did a kitchen and exterior remodel a couple years ago for about $100K, and did a HELOC for it. So our payments for that are another $400 a month, but I pay an extra $1000 towards it every month. It made me so much happier to do the kitchen, but it was terrible before– super 90s, low grade, mostly done by the former owner himself. And this is on a house that we paid little for but is worth a ton due to location. So I think it was a smart decision for us. I didn’t want to pay cash and wipe out so much savings. So this worked for us.

      We also take major vacations and a lot of them. Plus we send our kids to summer camp for two weeks for a total of $6K a year. This year, we will spend a total of over $20K on vacations and camp combined– we’ll go to Vietnam and Cambodia while the kids are at camp, plus Maui over Thanksgiving and Grand Canyon over Spring Break. There are some who would argue we have no business doing this unless we have a zillion dollars in savings or whatever. I just don’t care. I don’t buy $2000 purses or $700 shoes. I don’t bargain shop either, but we’re not extravagant. We cook at home and bring lunches 5 days a week. My kids won’t be at home all that much longer, so the trips together are amazing time for us. They’ll only be “camp” aged for another couple years at most.

      So I dunno, I’m not saying squander all your money. But I think you have to live your life.

  20. I think you are being very flippant about the devastating effect of felonies on people’s lives. Sounds like a lot of self indulgent whining.

    • You can get a felony expunged.

      I had a law school dean chew me out when he heard that I worked on mortgage-backed securities. I listened to him just unlead for a while.

      Then I said: at least these loans are dischargeable.

      He shut up and walked away.

    • frog prince :

      Peripheral group of friends partied a lot after undergrad. Got busted at a party, and the girls picked up possession felonies. Did their suspended sentence, paid the fine.

      Most have careers in sales, expunge at 7 years (learned from first time offense) or alternate misdemeanor sentencing after probation. They’re doing VERY well, categorically.

      Not trying to be weird, but non-violent felonies that don’t involve theft or property damage are much more standard than you think.

  21. Networking Contact Info :

    Which email address would you give out to professional contacts you meet outside of work?

    FirstInitial.LastName at my alma mater’s alumni address

    FirstName.Middle(Maiden)Name at generic email provider

    FirstName.LastName at my employer’s email

    The reason I ask is because I’m relatively young and don’t want to compound that while holding on to my alumni address, but I’m not sure if an email address that doesn’t have my new last name is ok (I do use the maiden name as my middle name and sign all correspondence as First Maiden Married). I would prefer not to use my work email for networking outside of work because I’ll likely leave in another year.

    • I do #2…I might do #1 for my grad school alma mater if there is a direct connection (but it just forwards to my personal one anyway). Definitely don’t do #3 in your case.

    • Get a new generic email with your married name and link it to your maiden name acct? All the benefit of a new email w/out the hassle. You could link your alma Mater email too.

      • Agree with this. Gmail is super easy to link up so that you only have to manage one inbox even with multiple email addresses.

        I think people who use their college’s alumni account are… kind of weirdly obsessed with their school.

    • Get a new personal account with your new last name. They are free.

    • Anonymous :

      If you use gmail, you can easily forward FirstName.Middle(Maiden)Name to a new account of FirstName.LastName (or create another generic FirstName.something) email so all of your emails funnel into one account. If your maiden name account isn’t on gmail, but you’re okay with switching, you can also have it forward there as soon as you set up an account. I have 3 gmail addresses that all funnel into one inbox, because I’ve had 2-going-on-3 last names and now use FirstName.Word as my email. It’s simple. You can also reply to emails as any of those accounts, once you link them.

  22. School donations :

    For those of you who are still paying off your student loans, do you donate to your school(s)? Why or why not?

    It seems like most of my colleagues give. I’ve never been able to get behind that. I will give once I’m finished paying off the overpriced degree that I already have, but until then you’re not getting a dime. At the same time, though, I know I’m much better off than I would’ve been if I hadn’t attended my school. I’m willing to be convinced that I’ve been taking the wrong approach.

    • I did, in very small amounts. That way they can cute high alum participation and hit donor matching targets. As soon as I was making enough to contribute more, they made decisions I don’t agree with so I stopped donating all together.

    • I give a little bit each year. Contribution percentage factors into the ratings and attending a highly ranked school helps me.

    • I donate to my undergrad, from where I was very lucky to have graduated with no loans because of generous financial aid. I make a salary lower than what the high achievers in my graduating class likely command, but much higher than the national average for someone of my age, so I give what I consider to be a nominal amount each year and specify that it go to certain offices that I felt made my undergrad experience more welcoming for me as student from a lower class background. In my case, that means direct donations for Financial Aid and the office that deals with Sexual Assault/Harassment.

      I share this to say that you may find it rewarding to donate towards the upkeep of resources that you benefited from while you were a student there even if you’re still paying off the overpriced degree.

      (I haven’t yet gone to grad school so my decision may change after depending on the amount of loans and other factors.)

      • Peach Pye :

        I employ similar reasoning
        I donate not at all to undergrad because they did not care a darn about me or my success while I was there.
        I do donate regularly to grad school because I want to pay forward some of the resources and support I got from them when I attended.

    • This is perhaps too cold-hearted, but DH and I both give a little bit to our alma maters every year because a long-term pattern of alumni giving is taken into account for legacy when our kid(s) apply for college. But it is a small portion of our annual giving – I think there are many worthy causes (refugee relief is my personal one) that need our donations much more than our universities.

      • +1 to this. As soon as our first child was born, we started giving a tiny amount to each of our undergrad and grad school alma maters just to help our kid get in some day. But I’d much rather give my serious dollars (serious for me, which is still a trivial amount to many) to wildlife and environmental causes.

        • Lol. If you went to an ivy or top 10 school — good luck with that. You realize you don’t get a bump for “tiny amounts” right? You get a bump when you name a building on campus.

          If you went to a regular school — why bother.

          • You don’t get guaranteed admission unless you buy a building on campus, but having parents who are considered “regular donors” does help slightly. I have a lot of friends who work in admissions at H/Y/S etc.

        • all about eevee :

          This is not quite the truth. You are going to need to make sure that you are doing something beyond mere leadership annual giving if you want your donations to help your kid get into school at any of your alma maters. This is because of the high volume of alumni in your situation that we deal with. A lot of them give regularly, and most of them have kids who they may later like to see admitted. In order for someone on the fundraising staff to make Admissions aware of your giving and actually help your child be admitted, we have to NOTICE you first. If you or your husband have high paying jobs and a child who might end up seeking admissions in the future, you are probably already flagged for your capacity to give within the Advancement office, but your name is probably one of 10,000+ on our list. It is a rare group that actually makes it over to Admissions.

      • all about eevee :

        I’m sorry, but as a fundraiser, I can say your kids don’t get a “bump” till your last name is on a building.

    • I have a personal policy that I will not give money to undergrad/law school until I am done paying off my loans.

    • No. I don’t intend to give to my law school, ever (Penn). Yet I think I will give to my undergrad at some point though not now (also Penn — Wharton undergrad).

    • I was lucky enough not to have loans, but I was still annoyed that my Ivy alma mater (undergrad) hit both my parents and I up for donations while I was still in attendance and we were paying tuition. It made me not want to donate at all in the future.

    • I’m done paying off my law school loans (parents paid for undergrad), but don’t plan on giving, ever*. I paid for my education and that is enough.

      *My law school did a particularly irritating fundraiser in 2009 or so where they enlisted alumni partners at law firms to “encourage” associate alumni to donate and make it a competition amongst law firms. Except it was totally NOT anonymous so it’s not like the partner in charge only knew “75% of associate alumni donated” – they knew names and amounts. So I think I gave like $25. Nothing like adding pressure from your boss to pay ON TOP OF YOUR STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS in a recession. HORRENDOUS idea and really put me off from donating ever.

    • My husband likes to give to his undergrad and b-school. I think in part in hopes that it would help if our kids want to go there. I give to my law school bc it’s a state school, but I give specifically to the center that gave me the most opportunities and good experiences. I have no fond feelings for my undergrad or grad school (nonlaw) so I do not give. My undergrad spent tons of money on new buildings when I was there. I didn’t see a lot spent on education. And my grad school has a huge endowment. Why should I give them my hard earned $ when I can give it to environmental organizations or planned parenthood.

      • Yep. Bloomberg has donated about a billion dollars to Hopkins by now so my comparative pennies are better donated to Planned Parenthood.

    • The boss of my university is paid far too much for what she does, so I won’t give any money until she leaves/ gets annual pay rises less than my yearly salary (her pay rise is about £44k this year)

    • We give. Have every year. Because I would not have been able to have the wonderful, meaningful experiences that I did without someone who came before me giving. I’m big on philanthropy though, and used to work at a NFP. I think paying it forward is so meaningful and generosity is beautiful.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t give. I work as a patent attorney of software companies. My law school has developed their patent program to include professors who are very anti-software patent and who are actively trying to render these patents invalid. In short, the professors at my alma mater are trying to put me out of a job.

      The nice part about this whole thing is that one call to the Dean has permanently taken my name off of all donor lists. I get no email, letters, or phone calls asking me to donate. I still get invitations to reunions and IP-related CLE courses.

    • all about eevee :

      The fundraisers at your undergrad need to convince you. If you’re not buying what they’re selling, there’s no point in responding to their appeals. Put your philanthropic contributions towards causes you actually care about.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that if you don’t donate because you want to be debt free before you give charitably that’s not a terrible idea. But if it’s specifically because you have student loan debt but would otherwise give to other charity organizations, that seems petty. Your school didn’t force you to take out those loans– I’m sure 99% of us with student loans could have gone to different schools at lower prices, but we chose the schools we chose, price tags and all. No, you may not be able to buy a building, but thousands of smaller donations help schools just as much as one or two big ones. I’ve never even thought about it as a way to help my future children get into school– to me it is a responsibility to help make your alma mater a better, stronger place than when you arrived for the next generation.

  23. in-house salary :

    As a follow-up to recent discussions about in-house salary, I’d like any advice that people have on negotiating. I’m applying for a position where I have significantly more experience than they are asking for and my target salary is above what I believe their desired range is. These positions don’t come open very often in my industry and market. I know approx. what they have been paying in fees to outside counsel. Has anyone been able to negotiate their in-house salary based on ability to cut legal costs by moving the work in-house? There are not equity options as part of the comp package.

    • What makes you think they will stop using outside counsel if they hire you? I don’t know any companies that have in-house counsel but do not use any outside counsel. I work for a $12bn company that has all kinds of in-house counsel and we regularly hire outside counsel.

      I mean, by all means, negotiate, but I wouldn’t do it by making it an argument based on them saving money on outside counsel. You should argue you are worth it because of what you are bringing to the table.

      • +1 why would they stop hiring outside counsel?

      • Oh, they’d still use outside counsel for certain matters. I’ve got a lot of industry specific and regulatory experience that would be valuable. But, maybe I am over-estimating how much of that gets outsourced. I appreciate your advice.

        • Not just how much, but also why. My areas of expertise allow me to hire the right people for the job, understand what their fee structures should be, and effectively direct them to do what they need to do.

          If you go in house your responsibilities will include a lot of things that have nothing to do with your subject area expertise too, fwiw.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I’m in-house. This is not a good argument or approach in negotiating in-house salary. Do it based on the skills and experience and the market value of your skills and experience, do NOT say you’re not going to be able to cut their legal costs by moving the work in-house. This is pretty presumptuous on a candidate’s part. Even giving you the benefit of the doubt that you actually know how much they pay in fees in outside counsel, I would NOT bring this up in salary negotiations.

      Do you have an interview yet? I ask because applying for an in-house position where you have “significantly more experience” is not at all necessarily a plus. I’m in-house at an F50 telecomm/media company. When we say 3-5 years or 5-7 or 7-9, we mean it. It’s not a plus to be way overqualified because of the dynamics of the management structure and our goals with the role as listed.

      • in-house salary :

        Yes, I’ve interviewed. I’m glad I asked the question here first. It’s given me some things to think about.

        • Triangle Pose :

          That’s great. If you get the offer and you still feel the salary is too low, I would focus on your experience and what skills you bring to the table that might fulfill an expertise gap, or look to salary ranges for commensurate titles/level at similar companies. I think both of those will be more effectively than nidicating that you will save them outside cost counsel costs or you’ll bring inside work that was originally outsourced. Good luck!

      • +1 spot on

    • Agreeing with everyone else. The purpose of outside counsel isn’t solely “handle excess volume” — for complicated or expensive deals/litigation, the company wants outside experts doing it even if it’s technically something that in-house has experience with.

      Trying to convince the employer that they really want a more-sophisticated, higher-priced employee than they’re asking for… will likely not go over well.

    • I went from biglaw litigation to in-house. This is not the best tactic. You can frame it as you being able to work well with outside counsel because you have worked closely on the other side. I would also focus on being able to work in a lot of different areas, unless you are applying to a huge company where the in-house team is as big as a law firm and you are hired for your niche… but even then… I got an offer from one such company and it wasn’t because I had some unique specialty niche practice area. I did general commercial litigation for all sorts of industries and sizes and that was a good fit for that in-house environment that had essentially a law firm’s worth of lawyers. Focus more on your skills that makes sense to them.

    • I’m not an attorney but my spouse is. He got hired in-house because they had too much work for the existing in-house attorneys, not because they wanted to take work back from outside counsel. Generally, at his company the outside counsel works on litigation issues. They are willing to pay big bucks for law firms with expertise in the required area who can put in all the time needed during a major lawsuit. That is just the perspective from one corporation, so take it with a grain of salt. I’m sure many of the attorneys here could provide additional perspective.

      He was able to negotiate his salary to a degree, but he did have to take a pay cut from the law firm he was at previously. In addition to his own research, the recruiter he worked with gave some good advice on salary ranges and negotiations.

  24. Jean-Luc Picard :

    I approve of this blouse.

  25. Not my law school, and I probably never will, because I felt like I was just a number to them and they did some things I found shady to inflate employment statistics during the recession (Hi, NYU!). My undergrad I give a very small amount to occasionally and will eventually increase when loans are paid, because I just feel way more loyalty to my undergrad than law school for a variety of reasons (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed law school and thought the students/professors were great, but got the overall impression the university saw the law school primarily as a profit generator).

  26. Anyone have advice on planning a honeymoon to South Africa? We are thinking Cape Town, Kruger, and Seychelles for a 2 week trip. Is this doable? Any recommended sites to help plan this type of trip?

    • I think it depends on what your travel style is and how much time you want in each place. With travel time, especially to the Seychelles, you probably won’t have more than 4 days at each stop. Personally for a honeymoon I’d only do 2 of those three destinations (probably omit the Seychelles – it is not that close to South Africa and I believe you’d have to layover in Johannesburg, which makes getting there and back a pretty long travel day). But if you enjoy a really packed itinerary it could work. If you’re traveling right after your wedding, don’t underestimate how exhausted you’ll be. I’m normally a pretty active traveler and was glad I planned a very relaxing honeymoon.

      • And see I don’t think you need more than 2 days in Cape Town so I find it a very doable itinerary!

      • Thanks! We actually got married in December and are planning a belated honeymoon. You’re right about being exhausted after the wedding. We do very much enjoy a packed itinerary so i’m glad to hear this could work!

    • The Seychelles are not in South Africa and not very close to it, either. I would do either SA (Cape Town + Kruger) or a week of safari in Tanzania or Kenya and a week in the Seychelles.

    • SF in House :

      Mary at the Memorandum blog went to both SA and the Seychelles and has written about them. She stays at such nice places . . . .

    • Mauritius is a bit closer than the Seychelles from SA. There are also beautiful beaches on the KZN coast. Or up the west coast and into Namibia, although the water on that side is colder.

    • I’m probably too late in the day, but check out Londolozi near Kruger–South Africa is my 44th country visited, and this was the most magical travel experience of my life. I can’t say enough about the experience, the guides, the food…just amazing.

    • I’m posting late but hopefully you see this. I used to live in Johannesburg and you can easily fill up 2 weeks in SA alone. I agree that there’s no need to go to the Seychelles if you want some beach action – you can get that in Cape Town (although water is super cold) or along the Eastern Cape/Garden Route. My go-to itinerary for visitors was pretty much as below, adapted for age, desired activity level, personal preference etc.
      – 3-4 nights in Cape Town (Go to Boulders Beach for the penguins, drive to Chapmans Peak, have lunch or dinner at the Grand beach cafe plus Table Mountain, Robben Island etc and a beach day or two at Clifton)
      – 2-3 nights in the wine country for wine/food lovers or at the very least a day trip from Cape Town
      – 1 night in Hermanus (whale watching if in season, or more wine or sandboarding at nearby De Hoop nature reserve)
      – 1-2 nights along the Garden Route if you are up for a road trip and like the idea of small beach towns
      – 3 nights at a Safari lodge in Kruger, Sabi or Madikwe (a smaller park on the border with Botswana and a closer drive from Johannesburg than Kruger). If this is the main focus of your trip, rather than a longer period of time in one place I would recommend splitting your time between two different lodges.
      Once you factor in travel time between the different places and a couple of the more time consuming activities such as shark cage diving or an elephant sanctuary (if these are things you want to do), this pretty much fills up 2 weeks. Although I love the city, I wouldn’t recommend spending time in Johannesburg as the lack of transport or walking can make it difficult for visitors. Check out the company andBeyond for some ideas, they are on the more luxurious/expensive side which may not fit your budget but they can suggest some itineraries that you can adapt, including other countries if you want to fit more in. Apologies for the rambling message but I’m just super excited for you – it’s such a great country and you will have an amazing honeymoon!

  27. Any advice on how to balance my desire for minimalism/to not hold onto stuff with my husband’s pack rat tendencies? He has a hard time letting go of things, even if he doesn’t really use them anymore, whereas I can easily toss or donate things I haven’t touched or needed over the last year or two. He’s definitely not a hoarder and he will eventually part with things once we talk it over and he sees that he doesn’t need said items anymore, but it’s an exhausting process. I’ll admit that it would probably serve me well to be a bit more sentimental about things, but it’s driving me crazy that getting him to throw things away or donate them is such a process. We are gearing up for a move and the thought of lugging unnecessary stuff around drives me crazy.

    • Recognize that his desires are every bit as valid as yours, carve out spaces in your home where you get to be minimal and spaces where he gets to be maximal, stop investing so much in getting him to change and instead ask him to respect that, for example, the living room is a zen zone so his biking helmet cannot live there, and hire movers.

      Recognize that your way is not better, just different.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This times a million. It is not your job to “get him” to divest himself of his stuff. Agree on a space for his stuff to live and then get on with your life.

      • Anon in NYC :

        When you are a family of four living in a 2 bedroom apt, sometimes it IS the non-packrat’s responsibility to curb the packrat’s accumulation of stuff. Bc otherwise you will break your neck tripping over garbage (I mean treasures) in the middle of the night.

    • This is a good question, and a hard one.

      This is part of your husband’s personality. It likely is the result of his psyche/values/childhood, and is unlikely to change. Can you look into what he has told you about himself/his childhood, and figure out why he is like this? And if he is unable to change this, can you live with it (I hope)?

      You guys are opposites unfortunately. Can you imagine what it might look like for him, with your behavior? He may be worried you are wasteful, careless with money, not valuing things the way he does, and even… that you are a bit cruel and controlling for obsessing over these items etc… I’m not saying you are these things, but things are not always so simple.

      I have a family member like this, and it drives me crazy at times. I hear you.

      Since you say he is not a hoarder, I think you need to compromise. If it is HIS personal stuff, let him decide and choose your battles carefully. He should be able to have a space that is his alone to keep stuff without you pushing to much on getting rid of it. Is there such a (hidden) space you can give him?

    • This is exactly the dynamic between me and my husband. He has designated spaces (an office and a couple closets) where he has to fit all of his stuff. As long as his stuff stays in those spaces and out of the shared spaces, I make peace with the fact that he just has a more complicated relationship with stuff than I do.

      What’s frustrating is when his stuff starts to stress him out (like when his family gives him crystal that we will never use). He feels like he has to hang on to it, and that stresses him out. My solution is of course to just take it to a consignment shop and let it go, but that often doesn’t work for him.

      We’ve moved a lot, and I am entirely hands-off about his stuff. We had one move where he didn’t adequately plan and a lot of his things were kind of banged around haphazardly. After that, he got much more serious about making sure he was top of it.

    • I feel you. My husband likes to hold onto things too and also thinks I’m less sentimental than he is. However, his idea of sentimental means he holds onto his “grass cutting sneakers” in case he needs them one day. We haven’t had a lawn in 6 years.

      We came to an agreement that we each have certain spaces and we can do what we want with them. These spaces are all behind closed doors. We also have a policy that applies to both of us: one thing in, one thing out. It really keeps our place from getting overstuffed with All The Things and forces us to think about purchases in a new way. Personally (and this works for us but not for everyone) we also don’t get each other gifts for holidays or occasions.

      Additionally, we do “winter clean-outs” of all our closet and storage spaces. We do it together because like your husband, mine could use a little encouragement in getting rid of things. He has good intentions but needs someone to help with the follow-through (or he rationalizes keeping the grass cutting sneakers another year)

    • I think managing this during a move is different than managing it on a day to day. It’s one thing to be sort of lax about cleaning out your closet, it’s quite another to pack and move things that you won’t use. You know what happens to boxes full of stuff you don’t need, right? They stay in boxes until the next time you move.

      I’m a pack rat but I purge when I move because I don’t want to suffer the hassle and expense of moving useless junk. When my BF, also a pack rat, moved in with me, we had a couple of big fights about him getting rid of stuff. No, you are not moving that dresser full of clothes that haven’t fit you since high school, or that stack of magazines from 2005 that you never quite got around to looking at, or your grandfather’s table saw that hasn’t worked since the 50s. I think it was helpful for him to see that I was getting rid of stuff too; it felt like more of a team effort for him.

      • Oh and corollary – it helped to go through a thought experiment of how a particular item would be used. The table saw, for example. We do not have space for a table saw, period, certainly not a non-functional table saw. So how do you want to use it? Can we convert it into a bench or a bookshelf or something else useful? Who are you going to contact to do the conversion? How much will it cost? What is the timeline for that to be complete? Once BF thought about these things rather than just, I want to keep this, he realized that it really wasn’t practical to keep the table saw indefinitely and he ended up parting with it without too much hassle from me.

  28. Help with HR call — I am currently in a job I really don’t like. Yet I’m stuck for options and it’s only been a yr, so I’m hanging on for now. A recruiter (meaning one who works for a company, not a search firm) reached out to me for an in house position after seeing my LinkedIn and we have a call scheduled. Problem is — the position they are hiring for has little to do with my background. For example — it’s like they have a Tax role and say in my profile that I’m a Tax attorney — except the job is in personal/individual tax and I’ve never done any of that and my biglaw and gov’t experience is all in corporate tax. (It’s not a tax job — but that’s how the discrepancy in the job vs. background). And truth is — I’m not super interested in moving to individual tax, nor in the city where the job is located. Yet I felt like I had to say yes to the call and need to make a decent impression — in case they have something more up my alley and in my city (only 100 miles away and they do have a sizeable office here) in the future.

    So how do I handle this call? It’ll become apparent really quick that I’m not the best fit, and unlike for jobs I really want — I cant really say — here’s all the reasons I’m a perfect fit for this transition bc what if that leads to them agreeing and me having to interview? WWYD?

    • Don’t overthink it. It’s always nice to make new recruiter contacts, particularly since you know you’d like to make a move at some point. Be honest about what you really want to do. Recruiters move around as much if not more than those of us in other professions and this contact may serve you well someday.

      At the very least, the recruiter will pick your brain for referrals. That’s how I got my current job. A former colleague referred a recruiter to me and I am eternally grateful.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I got my first in-house job through a recruiter who had reached out to me a year earlier for a lateral firm position that I had no interest in. I always take recruiter calls, even though 85% of them are for positions that don’t interest me. Let them explain the position they are trying to fill, then tell them “gee, it sounds like that is a great position in x, but based on my experience and awesomeness in y I’m more interested in y+ positions. If I think of anyone who would be a good fit for x I’ll be sure to give them your contact info, and please do reach out to me if you hear of any great opportunities in y.”

  29. Cluess and Casual :

    I need serious wodrobe help. I switched offices recently to a large company with no dress code. Apparently once a few years ago they sent out a warning telling people to stop wearing flip flops or they’d put a dress code in place. I work on the sales side of things, but on the back end supporting the sales people. Obviously the sales people wear suits and business clothes when going on a sale, but the rest of the time they are in jeans My boss (also backend) wears jeans and fitted t-shirts, and other people under her have worn t-shirt, converse, etc. I fairly regularly see people wearing workout clothes to work with a cardigan thrown over. I wear dark wash bootcut jeans that fit nicely, and usually shirts that I get in the business area of department stores. I really want to step up my game though. Does anyone have suggestions for looking professional in otherwise casual clothing? Store/brand recommendations for a plus size gal? I frankly miss my business clothes, but wearing them more often then for the meeting I run ever other week seems to miss the mark. I generally I feel like I have no “city chic girl who looks put together even though she’s just at the grocery store” clothes, and cant seem to figure out that look.

    • casual dresses with a fun blazer and boots!

      or some of of your business casual dresses with bigger jewelry that you might not risk wearing in a business casual environment

    • I am plus sized. I am sort of the opposite – I have a gorgeous work wardrobe but my casual clothing was not very current. (I used to say I only have suits and sweats – not literally true, but it’s along those lines.)

      I used the services of Trunk Club, which is part of Nordstrom. I used a stylist named Jade, who is not plus sized, but I have to say she really hit it out of the park. I described the issue but not specifically what I was looking for (because I didn’t know!) and she gave me suggestions I really liked. I’ve had three trunks from her so far. Most often I keep half and send back half. I’ve even integrated some of the items in to my work wardrobe to make it a little more casual.

      Hope this helps. Sometimes we just need someone else’s eye.

    • Coach Laura :

      You might check out the blogger outfitposts who posts outfits from jeans to corporate. She has a lot of categories like capsules or packing for Travel. She’s not plus sized but looking at her posts over time should give you some ideas. (She seems to be on hiatus now-hope she returns.)

    • Read up about the “rule of three” or “third piece” in fashion or styling. It can be a jacket, a scarf, a necklace, a sweater layered over a shirt, etc. That helps pull together a look that might otherwise be a little boring.

      • The blog Putting Me Together has a lot of information on the “third piece.” I have a decent work wardrobe, but on the weekends I struggle to get beyond leggings and an old t-shirt. I’m currently trying to improve my casual wardrobe, too.

    • Have you looked at Mango Violetta? They have a lot of gorgeous, very stylish size 10+ (up to the low 20s, I think) pieces that are often a bit too casual for my office.

      My go to casual Friday look is dark or black legging jeans and a long drape-y blouse layered with a tank to ensure coverage. I often throw a scarf on top too.

    • I think you might really like/find inspiration in the You Look Fab blog. She’s a professional stylist and has clients of all sizes and shapes. She also seems to focus mostly on “smart casual” dress — which sounds like it would work well for your workplace and how you’d like to come across.

  30. Any recommendations or strategies for updating a wardrobe after a moderate weight loss? I have lost about 20-25 lbs., which has translated to a difference of a size or two . A lot of my clothes were getting tight before I went on the diet, so I was able to skate by for a time wearing the same stuff, but recently things are just starting to look a little baggy or sloppy. I don’t plan to lose much more, maybe 5 lbs., and my shopping budget is somewhat limited right now. Pessimistically, I’m also paranoid about buying lots of new stuff and then gaining back some of the weight. I’ve purchased new jeans and a few less expensive pieces, but so far I have held off on buying anything pricier (I work in a professional office). Anyone have experience with this or ideas? I was thinking something like a capsule wardrobe might tide me over for a few months while I see how things settle?

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve just had this happen, and because the weight loss is from stress, I’m likely to gain it back. I bought a skirt, one pair of pants, and a dress or two, and then wearing my existing tops (I’m an hourglass – just a smaller one – so these look OK). I was able to pull out some clothes that used to fit a few years back – two pairs of jeans that now are trendy cuts again. Not planning to buy much more. Holding on to the larger clothes just in case.

      So no advice, but commiseration.

Add a Comment

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

work fashion blog press mentions