Thursday’s Workwear Report: Tweed Jacket

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

Uniqlo has a very interesting collaboration with French designer Inès de la Fressange — the collection just arrived in stores on September 1. This tweed jacket looks really lovely — I like the sort of nipped-in, schoolboy look and the dark gray of the tweed, and the fact that it’s only $99. It used to also be available in a wine color that is now sold out online, but check your local stores if you’re dying for a wine tweed jacket. The navy is still available, and there are matching navy pants. Sizes are XXS–XXL. IDLF Tweed Jacket

Here is a plus-size jacket with two color options (also comes in petites, woman, and woman petites).

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Comments

  1. A coworker unexpectedly gave notice, and will be clearing out her windowed cubicle next week. Aside from the glorious light, sitting me there would solve the thermostat wars.

    When and how do I bring it up with my boss?

    • As long as nothing is on fire, bring it up today.

    • S in Chicago :

      Sooner is better. Lead with something like “Don’t want to sound like a buzzard, but ….” That will help soften it a bit so it doesn’t look like you are unaware of the stress of the leave on everyone. But you want to get in fast before someone else does.

    • Bring it up before someone else claims it.

  2. Fashion Recommendations :

    What are some good stores/brands for good quality well fitting basics (jeans, pinstripe buttondowns, white dress shirts, etc). ? I’m trying to make my wardrobe more versatile and minimalist (I love me some patterns though). I adore Claire Underwood’s style in HOC if that helps with the style im going for.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      Everlane is my go-to for this sort of thing. Cuyana might also fit your aesthetic, but you’re not going to find much by way of pattern either place. Maybe mix in the occasional DvF piece or Boden to get some pattern.

    • Vince

      • Vince is not quality. Most of their sweaters are mixed with nylon and most of their structured basics contain polyester. Plus the construction is pretty sub par with messy seaming and poor finishes (aka they don’t use french seams or Hong Kong finishing)

      • Anonymous :

        I love Vince. If Vince is not quality then what is?

    • I like woolovers for knits, Karen Scott for cotton sheath dresses, Everlane for structured things (like coats, totes and collared shirts), Judith & Charles and Talbot also has lots of simple well made gems. I am a fairly minimal shopper, I don’t wear synthetics and I stick to a black/grey/navy colour scheme and those stores seem to work best for me. I also like high end consignment.

    • Brooks Brothers
      Hobbs

    • I’ll be the vote against Everlane in terms of “well-fitting.” Maybe the jackets and totes are better, but most of the T-shirts vary wildly in quality and look so sloppy and baggy on. I’m trying Uniqlo instead for basics.

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        Absolutely the cotton knits do not fit into this category. But the ponte is fantastic, as is their cashmere, and I love their poplin and linen shirts.

        • Has anyone tried Everlane’s jeans? They seem reasonably priced but im curious about the quality.

          • BabyAssociate :

            Yes, quality is great. I did end up returning both pairs, but that was solely because they were too big. I legitimately haven’t bought jeans in 5 years, so that was my mistake.

    • I think the key to looking like Claire Underwood is getting everything tailored incredibly well. It’s less about specific brands than about making sure everything fits you impeccably.

      I’d also say a good haircut and color are key.

      • This site is killing my computer :

        She also understands what works well with her figure….. The right necklines, a below the knee hem on a skirt that is impeccably tailored. Perfect haircut for her face.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        This was a very interesting article on this topic about tailoring clothes: https://www.racked.com/2017/9/15/16227002/tv-clothes-dont-fit-tailor

  3. Litigation :

    Do litigators here ever get tired of the unpredictable and adversarial nature of litigation? I’m a recent law school grad and sometimes I find the emotional drain of constant battles with opposing counsel over every little thing to be too much. Am I just not cut out for this?

    • No answers, but commiseration. I have been asking myself the same lately.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      Occasionally I tire of it, mostly when I have particularly toxic opposing counsel. Often, though, I *like* the adversarial nature of it.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve found with time that litigation is not really unpredictable. Sure things happen you don’t anticipate but it’s usually not out of the blue. Ditto fighting with opposing counsel. I’m not emotionally invested in those battles any more. You win some you lose some.

    • Litigation :

      OP here – just want to clarify I don’t mean fights over the merits of the case, but rather over scheduling, minor discovery issues, etc.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think that varies a lot by state. Some have notoriously adversarial bars. Some have notoriously friendly bars. I’m lucky to be in a friendly bar state. I don’t think I would want to practice in the most adversarial bars. We still of course have fights but they are justified fights over real issues, not ones that are blown up technical violations to give lawyers something to do. You could consider practicing in a state with a “nicer” reputation if it really gets to you.

        • Can you give us examples of states that are friendly?

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            All of northern New England – NH, VT, ME, even Mass has been fairly collaborative. I’ve found NY and PA to be much more adversarial when we are dealing with out of state counsel. Generally, states with a smaller bar tend to be nicer. You run into the same people over and over again. Many firms handle both plaintiff and defense work so you have people familiar with both sides of the arguments. States that require mediation before trial also tend to have a more collaborative approach.

          • Regional example: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont are known as friendly. Massachusetts is not.

          • I have practiced in NC, FL, and NY. NC is generally much friendlier (repeat players, general southern niceness, and I think clients tend to be smaller/more cost conscious). NY and FL attorneys seem to live for petty discovery disputes and being unreasonable.

          • Smaller states and practice areas are almost always more civil. I do federal criminal defense in a smaller city. I know all the prosecutors and defense attorneys in my area and we will have many cases together. We don’t fight over the small stuff and we don’t hold grudges about cases.

      • I just fight less about those things than I used to (former litigator, now in-house litigation manager who stays pretty involved in my cases). You have to think both tactically and strategically: how does fighting over this scheduling/discovery issue further my client’s desired outcome in this case? If it doesn’t contribute to your goals, I’d just give on it, and then when you need something, bring it up and ask for the favor in return.

      • I used to litigate. For various reasons, most of the cases I worked on weren’t like this (federal court where the judges have less tolerance for that, mostly professional bar, working for partners who were courteous themselves and also well respected and powerful in our area). I had one case with opposing counsel from another state who fought over every minor thing in discovery. I drafted memos, argued and won four or five separate discovery motions on completely different issues in that case. Honestly, it got tiresome at the time, but it was excellent experience, and I got to know one of the federal magistrate judges.

        Just detach yourself from any personal nature of it. Be professional because any email you send could be read by the judge. Other than that, it’s good billable hours, and it’s good experience.

      • The key is to find your own style and don’t be that person. I found that if I was reasonable, opposing counsel was too. Somewhere lawyers get this idea that it’s helping their client to be argumentative about everything and it just backfires. At a firm, I just refused to act that way and made it my practice to be reasonable. Now in-house I instruct my outside counsel to be reasonable and if I catch wind they aren’t, they never get another case from me. you absolutely can be a civil advocate.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          This!

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          And this as well. Although it sucks when I can tell a more junior, otherwise reasonable-seeming person is being forced to take unreasonable positions they are uncomfortable with. And there isn’t much you can do about that.

          Also I generally don’t engage on petty arguments. If there is a meet and confer requirement, and I can tell we will get no where, I just accept there is a dispute and move us on to another topic. If the rules permit, I’ll often just email about things where I know there will be a dispute.

          • Here’s the thing too, junior associates often think they have to run to the partner on everything. You just need to know when you have to have something (i.e. What the motion to compel deadline is, when the depot is, etc.) and then you are allowed to be reasonable with the other side. If he partner asks “when is the discovery coming from the other side?” the answer is “date”; not “I gave them an extension because xyz, blah blah blah”. You have a lot more control than you think you do.

    • Delta Dawn :

      The key is not to take it personally. It’s not about me; they’re just trying to do their job. That helps prevent emotional investment, which prevents burnout. That said, I don’t know if a completely conflict-averse person would be happy long term in litigation. I don’t take it personally and don’t want to “fight,” but if the other side goes too far, I am more than happy to dial it up. If they create a conflict, I enjoy dismantling them. Importantly, that’s not everyone’s reaction– some people just don’t want to fight. I think there are people who enjoy the occasional spar and people who dread it. Do you know which kind you are?

      • So i like the occasional fight but I hate unnecessary inefficiencies – I felt like fights over scheduling, minor discovery issues, etc. just really slowed the process down and cost people time and money. And then I realized I should switch to corporate work! But that was me. I think I would probably have adjusted over time.

    • I always joke that my husband missed his calling as a litigator. He could argue/debate all day about pretty much anything.

      • So could my sixteen year old daughter. She could argue the North Pole is south of here into the ground, to the point that you just give up.

      • I don’t know, IANAL, but I always roll my eyes at the people who say “I love to argue so I’d be a good lawyer!” As if that’s the only skill required. But I also think being argumentative is usually a sign a person is a jerk, and isn’t a trait one should be proud of.

        • #same (and i am a lawyer). Most people who “like to argue” also are unwilling to reconsider their position and see the other side of an argument, which I think is necessary to be a decent lawyer (at least the second point so that you can acknowledge the weaknesses in your own argument.)

        • I think there’s a big difference between arguing and persuading. Arguing gets you nowhere. It’s persuasion that counts in the practice of law. And there is a lot of knowledge, hard work, and letting go of ego, focusing on others instead of self, behind effective persuasion.

    • Yes. I’m also a fairly recent grad and have discovered that the fact I liked debate in school does not make me cut out for bickering over stupid crap with opposing counsel.

      I doubt I’m going to make it more than a couple years longer doing this, or even law generally. But to be fair, I also find it boring and unrewarding beyond the conflict aspect.

    • I’m a transactional lawyer and I feel this way about the endless contract negotiations, fighting over stupid stuff, and saying the same thing over and over again. All the arguing is so draining. I asked my boss, who’s been doing this for 30 years, if he doesn’t get tired of it, and he said YES this is why he no longer does these calls unless absolutely necessary (he has his associates do them).

      • +1. Transactional lawyer here – my job is incredibly high-conflict and if I ever decide to leave this kind of practice, that will be why.

      • So…for the conflict adverse lawyers on this board who have fairly high career satisfaction, what is your practice area? If it involves conflict and arguing, how do you manage it? I have been seriously considering leaving litigation after almost 10 years due to these concerns.

    • Personality test? :

      I, too, felt emotionally drained and constantly off balance as a litigator and eventually left practice. In my next career I underwent a Meyer’s Briggs personality inventory and learned that I require harmony to be able to function in the workplace. That was a real eye opener for me, and I felt like while I had found a fitting career, that would have been great information to know as I planned my next move or contemplated whether I was really cut out for law practice. There are similar evaluations online, and you might want to try one to try to suss out the kind of environment that would energize, rather than sap you.

    • SA-litagor :

      Yeah, I’m sick of it and I actually like being a litigator. Day dreaming of being a wills trusts and estates lawyer….

    • shamlet96 :

      I’ve been a litigator my whole career (11 years), and for the most part the adversarial nature hasn’t gotten to me, though recently I’ve begun to tire of it and am thinking about something new. For the most part, though, I’ve only litigated in federal court and on the criminal side, where things seem markedly more civil than on the civil side. it was one of the reasons i had no interest in civil practice.

    • lawsuited :

      I don’t find the unpredictability or adversarial nature “exciting” or anything, but it doesn’t bother me either. I think this is largely because I have the most predictable, calm and stable home life possible.

  4. What exactly do compliance attorneys do? I’m seeing postings for in-house legal positions that involve compliance work, but have no idea what tasks/responsibilities are involved and whether I would even enjoy that work. Any insights are appreciated.

    • Anonymous :

      I imagine monitoring/advising/educating on the particular agency rules/laws for the industry the company is in. Like for banking – SEC, Dodd-Frank (?), or medical device – FDA, Sunshine (Dr interactions), etc.

      I’m not in that role myself, but I’m in an industry (med device) that has a lot of regulatory/compliance requirements, on several different fronts.

    • It depends (typical attorney answer). Part of my job duties as in-house counsel are compliance counsel. I sit in meetings with the respective business units and provide on-the-spot guidance or issue spot compliance issues while they discuss strategy/acquisitions/comp/etc. I review, write, and edit policies and company documents. For major company initiatives with a compliance area, I work with outside counsel to assist. I run any regulatory investigations or audits and the responses to those. I keep track of any prospective legislation or regs that might have an effect on us and make sure to keep the business updated on those possibilities and how we might need to change things. I provide risk analysis to executives when they’re considering new projects and provide guardrails on how we can approach things and remain compliant.

    • Anonymous :

      Not a lawyer, but finance person who works with in-house lawyers with compliance-related duties. Make sure you get a feel for how you’d be viewed in a particular company – in some, your role is not well-liked by a lot of people because you’re the one “taking away the punch bowl”. In others, you’ll be more strategic and respected.

    • I imagine it varies with the industry and the company, but it’s regulatory work at its core- what laws/regulations govern the business and how do they need to be implemented. Bigger organizations, especially in highly regulated industries, often have separate compliance officers/departments separate from the legal dept that are responsible for actually implementing and maintaing the company’s compliance program. Smaller organizations or less regulated industries may not have that split.

    • How on earth do you do this job?

      I feel that my friends have gone in-house have really struggled with learning their company’s business. And they aren’t always welcome to observe, learn, and get embedded. It seems like a LOT to put on your sholders. And you’d be the first person thrown under the bus if you make a mistake.

      • The business POCs are not always that resistant. While I am not serving in an legal capacity, most of the business can’t distinguish between the contracts department and the legal department (we do work closely together). I need to know the business and the products and I need to have good working relationships with the internal stakeholders in order to do my job well. I have the power to tell the business that we cannot agree to certain things or do things a certain way and also to suggest ways forward which will be agreeable to both the business and the customer. I have had no trouble getting the business to provide information on products or industry practice and, while there are budgetary constraints currently, all of the manufacturing facilities I work with have asked me to come on site repeatedly. The one site I have been able to visit has given me multiple tours of the plant floor, given me product samples, had me sit in on meetings, met the employees, etc.

        IMO, it’s a combination of company culture, how your predecessor treated them, and how you treat them and how you approach problems. Certainly, there are companies where anyone in legal is viewed as the bad guy, but that has not been my personal experience. I have wonderful relationships with my business POCs and I mostly enjoy my job.

    • At least in the case of massive financial institutions, I find compliance to be more process and policy oriented, while Legal advises on the actual content of the laws and regulations. At least in my business area, we tend to work closely together on some matters but there are unique aspects to both. Compliance doesn’t negotiate agreements, for instance.

      Instead, Compliance tends to be in charge of developing controls and policies, monitoring adherence to those controls, and dealing with violations/breaches. Reporting and data sourcing is an increasing focus. In a bank, issues of focus seem to include cross-border issues, AML, information barriers, conflicts of interest, regulatory reporting, etc.

    • JinSeattle :

      Compliance roles for attorneys can vary a lot depending on the company and it’s resources as well, and here I really mean staffing. I have found that for the compliance work I handle most of it is administrative and it would make a huge different for me if there was adequate support staff (paralegal, compliance officer, etc.) to support the work.

  5. Does anyone here wear pajamas to bed? Or do you just wear a tshirt, shorts, nothing? I realized I dont really have a nice pajama set and was thinking of getting some – any recommendations?

    • Anonymous :

      I wear nothing.

    • Cotton cami and the lady equivalent of boxer shorts (JCrew or JCrew factory usually has something cute and patterned).

    • I sometimes wear nothing, sometimes like nighties, and got into wearing pajamas after I had a baby and was nursing and up at odd hours of the night in the middle of winter. For pajamas, the most comfortable ones I’ve found are cosabella. You may want to size up as they run smaller than typical US brands. They’re pricey but often on sale at amazon/6pm/ruelala, etc.

      As for nightgowns, I am a big fan of the little prairie style cottons ones from Eileen West and Carole Hochman. Some are overly floral and mumsy but the plain white ones feel very chic and timeless and are great for sleeping/lounging around with a morning coffee. I tend to buy them on sale at the above retailers or at L&T. They also tend to wear like iron – I’ve had many for years and they still look great.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 to nothing, unless its really cold. Then, I wear Cuddle Duds long underwear.

    • I wear these in black – i have multiple sets.

      http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/nordstrom-lingerie-moonlight-pajamas/3757610?origin=category-personalizedsort

    • Anonymous :

      I got rid of my giant ratty collection of tshirts and 10 year old pants, and bought 4 pairs of JCrew matching PJ sets. I look forward to putting them on every night now and feel much more proper “adult”. I even thought about a monogram but didn’t pull the trigger.

      • Flats Only :

        Those JCrew ones are so nice. I bought one because it was on sale and I was charmed that it came in petite, and then bought a second one once I saw how nice they are. So soft and comfy, and if there’s ever a fire in the middle of the night I’ll be the best dressed person out on the street!

    • Anonymous :

      I tried this, and realized I HATE the fancy buttons down the front of “nice pajama sets.” I just wear a tank top and cotton shorts.

      • Same. I wear Soffe shorts – those cotton short-shorts that I remember high school cheerleaders wearing during practice. They are very comfortable and cost like $7 a pair.

    • I wear a black cami and long black pants, both from soma intimates. I throw on a long cardigan and birkenstocks or clogs and it’s a good enough loungewear outfit to wear half of Sunday – ask me how I know. I don’t have any problems answering the door in this or eeivingmy kids to school.

      I have several sets of basically the same with slight variations in trim. It’s my sleepwear uniform.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Carole Hochmann from Costco – in a dark solid colour they are quite cute and so soft.

    • I was an RA in college and had to make sure that everyone got out when we had fire alarms go off. And then I lived in apartments where the alarms went out periodically. I always go to sleep in something I’d go outside in without causing a scandal.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      I am always cold, so I wear short-sleeve button down PJs in the summer and long-sleeve button down PJs in the winter. Sometimes the winter PJs are flannel. I generally get them from somewhere like TJ Maxx or Target.

      I once asked my spouse if he would prefer something less covering and he noted that shivering is not sexy.

    • Nothing 98% of the time, but I do wear Gilligan & O’Malley for lounge clothes. Target has a lot of cute and comfy pjs.

    • I received a set of the Soma “cool nights” pajamas as a gift and liked them so much I bought more. They have different styles, the fabric is nice and soft, not heavy but not flimsy either. I like having actual pajamas, though my husband’s old cotton v-neck undershirts are still in the rotation.

      • +1 to the Soma “cool nights”! I have four of the nightshirts in this material and love them!

      • +1 to Soma cool nights! The tank has a small touch of support (less than a build in bra tank, but more than a regular tank) and then I use the button down on top when I want to feel more covered up.

    • I wear yoga pants and T shirts. Then when I wake up and get dressed, I throw the pajamas I wore into my gym bag and workout in them the next day. It’s comfortable, I’m covered if I need to run an errand/outside quickly before bed, and it cuts my laundry in half.

      • Same here. I’ve never been able to sleep with nothing on, and having a kid who likes to crawl in bed with us would have put a stop to that anyway. The t-shirt/yoga pants thing is great because if I need to get up in the night,or go outside first thing in the morning, I don’t even look like I’m in pajamas. Sometimes I’ll even run to the corner store in what I wore to bed. Plus it facilitates me actually working out or doing yoga in the mornings.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I have two sets of PJs, and then a few pairs of fleece PJ pants. I love wearing the actual PJs if it’s cold and/or I’m spending a lot of time in them (like if I’m sick or hospitalized). Usually, though, I just wear sweatpants or joggers or old yoga pants or men’s boxer shorts in small and a random tee. I do have one dress I consider a “nightgown” although it was absolutely not designed as such. It might be a bathing suit coverup? Unsure. My aunt gave it to me, I wouldn’t wear it in public, but it’s grrat for hot nights.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      I have the Lunya silk sleep set, which is dreamy but $$. I like the Everlane silk sleep set too, but be warned it runs small.

    • I always wear pajamas. My current favorite pair are from Muji.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I love pajamas (weird, I know). I almost exclusively wear the PJ Salvage brand. They can be found at Nordstrom (or Nordstrom Rack).

    • Baconpancakes :

      Sometimes if I get home late I’ll change out of work clothes directly into a pj set. I have a longsleeve lightweight flannel one from Target, a heavy flannel set, two cotton shorts and short sleeve sets from various places, a heavy flannel sleep shirt, and a thin striped chemise. If we end up gardening the pjs come off and stay off. Otherwise I’ll sleep in them. Most of the time, though, I just undress to go to sleep and sleep in nothing.

    • Underwear and an old T-shirt or tank, but I’m trying to wear cuter tanks that I buy specifically for sleeping so I don’t feel sloppy. I walk around in my underwear most of the time when lounging around the house but will throw on a pair of shorts or sweats if I need to answer the door for a package or something.

      • +1 boyshorts and a loose tank. I have gotten several that I like from Target, cheap!

        The CountC house is a pants-free zone most of the time!

      • Ditto to undies and a t-shirt (though I don’t use old ones, I like them to be very loose, so I have a bunch of the Everlane “U-neck” t’s for sleeping in. I have some Alternative Apparel light-weight lounge pants I put on when I’m somewhere the neighbors might see me, but I can’t stand to sleep with pants on.

    • I revamped my pjs a few years ago and love having items that go together. I’m always cold and I’ve learned that skinnier fit pants keep me warmer as opposed to wider legged pj pants that ride halfway up my leg. I bought a couple of nice pairs from nordstrom last year and some soft t-shirts from Gap. Everything goes together and I don’t feel like a total slob.

      • I have been a t-shirt and yoga pants person forever, but have been wanting to switch to PJs. I have not found any I like yet at a price I want to pay (I’m hard to fit), so I have just settled on some solid loose fitting tunic dress things (like Piko) with leggings for the time being. More chic than t-shirts and yoga pants, presentable for taking the dog out and for answering the door for Girl Scout Cookies on Saturday mornings.

    • KI love the LLBean ones. they are soft, wash really well, and wear like iron. I always pack these for travelling (even in the summers) as I am perpetually cold in hotels.

    • I am most comfortable in t-shirt style nightgowns – no buttons but a little stretch. Lake Pajamas makes my favorite. I also have a few from Jockey, but they shrink up a bit.

  6. Paging DC r3**3s :

    I posted the following late in the afternoon thread, and I wanted to repost for more opinions and to provide more context.

    Yesterday’s post: For the DC crowd: any thoughts on Navy Yard as a place to live? I’m single, mid-20s, currently living in VA but considering moving to Navy Yard when my lease is up in 6 months. Anyone have any input (or even buildings to recommend, though it’s early)? Price is a factor – I’d prefer <$1500/mo for a studio but could go up to perhaps $1700-$1800 if needed.

    Additional context: I'm looking at Navy Yard because I work near Capitol Hill and could theoretically walk to work from there. I'm not interested in nightlife, but do enjoy baseball and good restaurants. I'm open to other neighborhoods though if you have suggestions for a better fit.

    • Anonymous :

      There are places in DC for $1500/mo?? I’ve visited DC three times for work in the last year, and I really enjoyed each trip. I’ve been very, very casually considering a move, but I assumed the rent is as expensive as Boston, where I currently live, and I don’t want to give up my sweet relatively cheap apartment.

    • Flats Only :

      I replied yesterday, but your last paragraph really seals it – go for it!

      • Flats Only :

        I also wonder whether your lease timing could help you. I think this time of year is huge for new folks coming to town and needing apartments, which means rents go up a bit. And that neighborhood is in full swing, making it very attractive = more expensive. But in February the neighborhood is quieter and there is less moving in/out of town then.

    • I really like Navy Yard, have several friends there, and am thinking of moving there myself! I will say that all the people I know in the area are married and most are having babies, but that is probably just my 30-yr-old perspective at work. The Wharf/Waterfront looks like it’s about to open a ton of new restaurants, so it might be perfect for you!

    • I think Navy Yard is a fine place to live – there is more and more to do, and no more crime than other well-trafficked neighborhoods in the city (more than Arlington, though, so you need to be comfortable with that). It’s all brand-new so the big building apartments are very nice, if a little lacking in character. Might be hard to find a place with that budget, though.

    • Paging DC r3**3s :

      Thank you all for your input!

      Anon, not really, which is why I might have to go up a few hundred dollars. But if you get lucky in certain neighborhoods and in off-peak seasons, you might find something. Navy Yard is exploding right now and I’m hoping to get in before it catches up to pricier neighborhoods.

      Just Flats, that winter slowdown is definitely what I’m hoping for. Thanks for your encouragement – I know yesterday’s responses were mixed (which I also appreciated for the different perspectives, but it helps to get a thumbs up with the additional context).

      Tetra, if you move to Navy Yard too, we should meet up at The Wharf or someplace – I’d love to have a neighbor I know (unlike where I live now; I recognize but don’t really know any of my neighbors). Speaking of which, when was the last DC r3**3 meetup? I’d love to attend one someday!

      • Why all the talk here about DC real estate being soooo expensive?? Unless it is just in that particular neighborhood, rentals right now are HURTING everywhere – DC; Arlington etc. There was a lot of inventory in the pipeline 2-3 yrs ago and now it’s all come online — which means supply > demand. Add to that the gov’t hiring freeze (which in turn slows down hiring at big gov’t contractors) — there wasn’t an explosion of new grads moving in in June as there always is. DC apartment rentals are always priceiest around June-July and then prices fall thru the fall and winter. This yr they didn’t even peak in June-July — ask anyone who got huge concessions for a summer move in or who had a lease come up in that timeframe and instead of seeing a jump and being told ‘sorry there’s a lot of demand – we need rent to be market price,’ they saw no increase or an increase of $10.

        • I’m a DC resident who just renewed and my lease increased about $150, which they claim was a market increase. I live on H street in a newish building. I do think supply has increased exponentially, but I think big buildings are looking at other rental types instead of slowing the rising rental rates. My building has done more student housing for college students spending a semester in DC, and they’ve also gotten into short-term rentals (monthly, weekly AND hotel-style nightly rentals). Not defending these practices at ALL; I’m a big critic and feel strongly that it’s illegal. Just trying to explain how, at least for me, the increase of available housing hasn’t influenced my rental rates.

          • Might have something to do with the fact that you’re on H Street. I think the supply > demand issue is true across the board, but you have to have some flexibility with it in order to reap the benefits — if you only want to be located in the 1-2 hottest up and coming areas, then yeah you’ll pay bc buildings don’t need to compromise in those areas.

      • BabyAssociate :

        Navy Yard may not have caught to to the pricier neighborhoods in terms of cost, but it’s definitely no longer a new “cheap” place to live. However, you cannot beat being able to walk to work. If you work near Capitol Hill, I’d look at Eastern Market, or maybe even H St depending exactly where your office is, over Navy Yard

      • I’m in SW, so would love to do a meet up at the Wharf

      • Paging DC r3**3s :

        Thanks again to all who replied since my last comment. I don’t have a car, so parking in Navy Yard isn’t an issue, thankfully.

        I don’t know a lot about H St as a place to live – what’s the vibe there? I’d consider Eastern Market more heavily except a) I figured it’d be more expensive than Navy Yard – am I wrong about that? And b) I don’t know of any grocery stores around there, unlike the Harris Teeter in Navy Yard, Safeway near the Waterfront, and Giant on H St. I really prioritize being able to walk to the grocery store as well, which I realize I haven’t mentioned up to this point.

        • Anonymous :

          If you go to the eastern end of Eastern Market (I used to live at Kentucky and C SE), there is a HT above the Potomac Ave metro and a Safeway at 14th & D. I loved living there, although it’s homes, not large apartment buildings if that’s what you’re after.

          • Yeah… that’s tech. not eastern market. It’s Hill East!

            No hate though, I live at 16th st se and love it. If she’s single though, might not enjoy hill east.

    • Due in December :

      I used to have the opposite commute (lived in Capitol Hill but worked in Navy Yard) and loved loved loved my morning walk. I miss it.

    • Navy Yard has been built up a lot and there’s a Whole Foods opening soon. Walking to work is a huge plus for me. The main negatives of the area are noise and parking. On game days, DC jacks up meter prices.

  7. Anonymous :

    I loaned a former close friend about $4K total while she was facing a crisis. She had a messy divorce and was losing her home, so I paid $1500 to her attorney and the balance to catch up on her mortgage. She kept the house out of foreclosure and recently sold it, so I assume she has money to pay me back.

    Since then, however, we had a falling out. She was drinking heavily and lost her job, and I had to step away because I felt I was enabling her. I know her family, and they all respected this choice. Should I just consider it a loss and move on? I definitely learned my lesson and won’t do this again!

    • Anonymous :

      OP here. Pressed reply too soon. I’ve thought about small claims court or reaching out to her family or her directly as alternatives to doing nothing.

      • I would reach out to her directly before small claims court or going to her family. Although I agree that you should be prepared to write this off as a loss.

    • Anonymous :

      Yep. Anytime you loan family or friends’ money, your expectation should be that it’s a gift that will not be repaid.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here: Very true, I wouldn’t loan any amount I can’t live without.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

      • +1 I am willing to give family money if they need it, but would not consider loaning them money even if they said they were going to pay it back. I know myself too well that I would be so uncomfortable with the arrangement and become resentful. I can give them money and preserve the relationship but loaning money would tank it.

    • Anonymous :

      I would reach out to her directly – “hi, hope you are doing well. as you may recall, i loaned you XX and XX on DATE(S) with the expectation that you would be able to pay me back at some point. please let me know if this is something we can resolve together.” – if you’re absolutely definitely going to try to collect this.

      Frankly, I think you should be prepared to write it off.

    • I would reach out once noting that the home recently sold and you would appreciate it if she is able to now repay you.

      It’s unlikely she will repay you but you did a good thing by helping her when she needed it. I’m sure that good karma will circle back to you at some point in the future.

      • For anyone doing this in the future that is expecting to be paid back from the sale of a home, you can file a lien that will ensure you are paid at the closing.

        • What? No you can’t just randomly file a lien on someone’s property without their participation or a judgment. Not in my state, anyway.

        • That usually requires paperwork documenting the loan.

        • Anon from above. That was poorly written. You can make your agreement in such a way that you will have the right to secure a lien. That doesn’t require court approval here. Just paperwork like Torin wrote.

    • I recently loaned a friend $3000 as she is in a major health crisis and not able to work.

      In my mind it’s a gift. In her mind she’s going to pay me back.

      I think you always have to approach lending friends money this way. If they were good credit risks, the banking industry would have lent them money through one mechanism or another.

    • The real question is do you see yourself being friends again? You have every right to ask for the money back, but if you take friend to Court, that likely will forever end the friendship. You also mention that she lost her job–does she have a job now? Even though she sold her house and has the money–she may need it to weather not having a job. I will loan friends/ float them on a transaction once. If they repay without me asking, then they are “loan worthy” friends. If I have to ask more than once, then I never loan/ float them for anything again.

      It’s also important to recognize that some people cannot lend money. No matter the circumstances, they sweat the amount and pay back. If you are this kind of person, you should not lend money to anyone ever because you are just creating your own anxiety and making your friend more anxious. Loaning money (and receiving loaned money) are important know thyself situations.

      • Non-lawyer here. Question: if there’s no documentation distinguishing this between a loan vs. gift, what legal standing do you have? In this day and age, hopefully there’s a text message or email record that uses phrases like “pay me back” or “loan”. But, in the absence of that, would heading to small claims have a remote chance of success? You’re not friends today, but you were at the time – couldn’t it be reasonably argued that, again in the absence of any other kind of documentation, that it was a gift and there’s no expectation of repayment?

        • In my state, you’d try to enforce it like an oral contract, but it’s much harder, as you have to prove the existence of the contract through testimony and/or actions of the parties. It’s usually easier if they’ve started repaying and stop, for that reason.

          But in essence: this is a fact-finder determination, and totally up to the judge as to who he believes.

    • My grandfather used to say that money loaned to friends is never a loan, it’s always a gift. Because only rarely will you get paid back. I’ve kept that in mind over the years and this never gave out more money than I could afford to lose.

  8. Baconpancakes :

    Are the Rockport Total Motion flats insert-friendly?

  9. Anon for this :

    Looking for advice, experience maybe? BF has indicated he is not interested in marriage, but still seems interested in LTR. It’s made me question a bit why I felt marriage/wedding was necessary next step. I’m heavily leaning towards I’d rather be with him in a partnership than without him and married to someone else. Anyone else been through this and any specific thoughts that helped? I know it’s a little vague, but I’m still trying to sort through my own thoughts as well and don’t want to pen a novel here.

    • I think it depends entirely on why he’s not interested in marriage. A couple reasons seem defensible in this context of wanting to continue in an LTR (causing issues with prior marriage financial arrangement? 70 years old and not remarrying?); most wouldn’t.

    • I personally see marriage as an important step before children, but not necessarily an important step for long-term couples without children. Do you want kids? If I didn’t want kids, I think I’d be ok being with a guy who didn’t want to get married, so long as we kept our finances pretty separate. I can’t imagine having kids – which is a permanent thing and will forever entwine your life with this man’s life – with someone who wasn’t willing to make a legal commitment.

    • If his message is “I want to be with you forever, but I don’t believe in state marriage” he should be super clear about that. I notice you said he “seems” interested in an LTR, rather than anything more definitive. If that’s where things stand, it sounds like you want a lifetime commitment and aren’t totally sure that he does. To me, that’s more the issue than married vs. not.

    • Why not marriage?

      For me, marriage means financial security, that we can share finances, that we are legally each other’s next of kin, etc. to my mind if we aren’t legally bound it isn’t a full partnership. For example, i wouldn’t buy a house with a boyfriend

    • In my experience and the experience of many of my friends, every man who told us he was not interested in marriage is now married. To someone else. I typically interpret “not interested in marriage” to mean “not interested in marrying you.” See: When Harry Met Sally.

      • +1 While I hold out hope for OP that she can clarify what her BF really means, this is normally the case. And something similar recently happened to me. BF of two years told me he was madly in love with me, but I’m not “the one”. Sure, it felt like I was kicked in the gut, but I realized I’m not going to settle for that type of love.

      • +1 – this. People try to downplay it, but there’s a reason marriage has been at the center of social justice fights for a long time. It’s more than a piece of paper, it’s a real commitment. Most people know that deep down, and if they don’t want to get married to you, they really just don’t want to commit to you. Signed, someone who used that line and is now married to someone else.

        • Read Goodridge v. Department of Public Health for why marriage is important. Here are some relevant passages with citations omitted:

          Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations.

          In a real sense, there are three partners to every civil marriage: two willing spouses and an approving State. While only the parties can mutually assent to marriage, the terms of the marriage – who may marry and what obligations, benefits, and liabilities attach to civil marriage – are set by the Commonwealth. Conversely, while only the parties can agree to end the marriage (absent the death of one of them or a marriage void ab initio), the Commonwealth defines the exit terms.

          Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.” Civil marriage anchors an ordered society by encouraging stable relationships over transient ones. It is central to the way the Commonwealth identifies individuals, provides for the orderly distribution of property, ensures that children and adults are cared for and supported whenever possible from private rather than public funds, and tracks important epidemiological and demographic data.

          Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. “It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.” Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

          Tangible as well as intangible benefits flow from marriage. The marriage license grants valuable property rights to those who meet the entry requirements, and who agree to what might otherwise be a burdensome degree of government regulation of their activities.

          The benefits accessible only by way of a marriage license are enormous, touching nearly every aspect of life and death. The department states that “hundreds of statutes” are related to marriage and to marital benefits. With no attempt to be comprehensive, we note that some of the statutory benefits conferred by the Legislature on those who enter into civil marriage include, as to property: joint Massachusetts income tax filing; tenancy by the entirety (a form of ownership that provides certain protections against creditors and allows for the automatic descent of property to the surviving spouse without probate); extension of the benefit of the homestead protection (securing up to $300,000 in equity from creditors) to one’s spouse and children; automatic rights to inherit the property of a deceased spouse who does not leave a will; the rights of elective share and of dower (which allow surviving spouses certain property rights where the decedent spouse has not made adequate provision for the survivor in a will); entitlement to wages owed to a deceased employee; eligibility to continue certain businesses of a deceased spouse; the right to share the medical policy of one’s spouse; thirty-nine week continuation of health coverage for the spouse of a person who is laid off or dies; preferential options under the Commonwealth’s pension system; preferential benefits in the Commonwealth’s medical program, MassHealth; access to veterans’ spousal benefits and preferences; financial protections for spouses of certain Commonwealth employees (fire fighters, police officers, and prosecutors, among others) killed in the performance of duty; the equitable division of marital property on divorce ; temporary and permanent alimony rights ; the right to separate support on separation of the parties that does not result in divorce ; and the right to bring claims for wrongful death and loss of consortium, and for funeral and burial expenses and punitive damages resulting from tort actions.

          Exclusive marital benefits that are not directly tied to property rights include the presumptions of legitimacy and parentage of children born to a married couple; and evidentiary rights, such as the prohibition against spouses testifying against one another about their private conversations, applicable in both civil and criminal cases . Other statutory benefits of a personal nature available only to married individuals include qualification forbereavement or medical leave to care for individuals related by blood or marriage; an automatic “family member” preference to make medical decisions for an incompetent or disabled spouse who does not have a contrary health care proxy; the application of predictable rules of child custody, visitation, support, and removal out-of-State when married parents divorce; priority rights to administer the estate of a deceased spouse who dies without a will, and the requirement that a surviving spouse must consent to the appointment of any other person as administrator; and the right to interment in the lot or tomb owned by one’s deceased spouse.

          Where a married couple has children, their children are also directly or indirectly, but no less auspiciously, the recipients of the special legal and economic protections obtained by civil marriage. Notwithstanding the Commonwealth’s strong public policy to abolish legal distinctions between marital and nonmarital children in providing for the support and care of minors, the fact remains that marital children reap a measure of family stability and economic security based on their parents’ legally privileged status that is largely inaccessible, or not as readily accessible, to nonmarital children. Some of these benefits are social, such as the enhanced approval that still attends the status of being a marital child. Others are material, such as the greater ease of access to family-based State and Federal benefits that attend the presumptions of one’s parentage.

          • Wildkitten :

            One of my favorite things about Goodridge is that it also leaves open the option of not marrying (I found Kennedy’s decision a bit too cloying): The decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

          • new job who dis :

            yay!

            used both Goodridge AND Obergefell as readings at my wedding!

            <3 yes, a lawyer

          • Also used Goodridge as a reading at my pre-Obergefell wedding. :)

      • +1

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        I agree with this. In any event, OP, if you are interested in marriage, do not settle for a LTR just to be with this one man.

      • Oh yes. Every single time, with many friends and women I know. “I don’t believe in marriage” just meant “I don’t want to marry you.” They always eventually met someone they had no problem marrying. My own husband had told a girlfriend that he didn’t believe in marriage, before he met me. Nope, no marriage for me! Marriage is a dying institution! We were married within 2 years of our first date and have been married 20 years.

        I do know one couple who, like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, have been together for decades and have kids together and have never been married, but they also have a an open relationship (one of the few I’ve seen that works).

        Be really clear with yourself about what you want. I knew from the jump I wanted kids, and that I would either have kids by myself or if I was going to have them with a partner, I would want to be married first. If you want kids, being married makes things a lot easier from a legal and societal perspective (that’s been my experience). Everyone had different priorities, and you should not compromise on yours to be with this guy.

      • +1

    • I’ve been there. I did a lot of soul searching and figured i and leaned the other way. I packed my bags and walked. He proposed. We’re married and happy. I think this experience is the exception. I was prepared to be alone until I found someone interested in marriage.

      The modern world is full of people in happy committed long term relationships who aren’t married. That wasn’t for me.

      This is highly personal, but for me, marriage was an official “all in” commitment and anything less than that was unacceptable. Is that entirely rational? Nope. But it’s how I felt and I’m really grateful that I was willing to walk away.

      • That happened to me. It was the worst experience of my life. He said he didn’t want to get married, so I said good bye and backed my stuff, he proposed like 3 days before I was supposed to move out and start my new lease.

        • Wow! It’s cool that we have that in common but I’m sorry you also went through it. Hardest time of my life.

          • I’m so glad you understand. I was so embarrassed about the whole situation I haven’t told anyone IRL. It was hard to not only go through but go through alone. I had mentally already started grieving when he proposed and was really difficult mentally. I cried, but not happy tears, I was so frustrated by the whole experience.

          • Aww I wish I could hug you.

    • Depends on why he doesn’t want to get married. For years SO and I just kind of assumed we wouldn’t bother getting married because we didn’t really care, it would be a tax hit for us, we didn’t want kids, and could mostly contract for a lot of the benefits of marriage. We did finally decide to get married, because if I die in some horrible accident, it seemed totally unfair he couldn’t sue for wrongful death just because we weren’t married, and because we still hadn’t gotten around to things like wills, health proxy, etc, so might as well get some default benefits here. (Yea, we’re both lawyers and super unromantic…)

    • I’m ambivalent about this.

      SO has been married before and his divorce was somewhat ugly. He was clearly traumatized by it and is now very anti-marriage, but has told me he wants to grow old with me. Personally, I’m not religious and I don’t really care that much about following social convention just for the sake of following it so I don’t really have a strong emotional tie to the idea of being married. Plus the idea of planning a wedding makes me want to run away screaming.

      But, I do think being married makes combining finances simpler and it makes you each other’s family in the eyes of any doctors who might want someone to make decisions in the event of the other’s incapacity, etc. There are legal rights associated with being married that I think it would be nice to have. I’ve explained these points to SO, but he doesn’t really want to acknowledge the truth of any of it. Since I don’t have any strong emotional tie to taking that particular relationship step, I haven’t pushed and I doubt I ever will.

      Has your SO said why he doesn’t want to get married?

    • Marriage was really important to me, separately from having children within a marriage. I’m Episcopalian so it was important in a religious sense. Beyond that, it was about the symbolism of committing to a relationship that we both envisage not only as ‘long term’, but as ‘lifelong’. That we approach our decision together as a shared life, with the intention of being together and supporting each other through all of life’s challenges, be they children, infertility, job changes, geographic changes, health challenges or old age. It is the commitment to consciously build a life together for as long as you live, not just a commitment to ‘not break up anytime soon’.

      And honestly, to some extent, marriage has become inverted to be a feminist institution. The lower earning partner is often the woman, the person taking a career hit to have kids is often the woman, as a result protections provided through spousal support, pension splitting, and the matrimonial home can be important financial protections for women who often sacrifice more in many long term relationships (married or unmarried).

      Yes, most of these rights can be achieved through co-habitation agreements or other vehicles, but many couple do not go that route, and then are surprised at their situation in life when their partner walks away after 15 years and they have few if any legal rights to the life they have built together.

      A wedding is an entirely different thing from a marriage. I did the big church wedding and hotel reception because that’s what was right for DH and I and our families. If DH hadn’t wanted that, I would have been fine with getting married just us and the minister/judge. But marriage itself was important to me, regardless of how we celebrated it in a wedding.

      • “And honestly, to some extent, marriage has become inverted to be a feminist institution. The lower earning partner is often the woman, the person taking a career hit to have kids is often the woman, as a result protections provided through spousal support, pension splitting, and the matrimonial home can be important financial protections for women who often sacrifice more in many long term relationships (married or unmarried).”

        It’s not coming from a place of feminism. The legal “protections” for a woman who doesn’t work have been part of the legal landscape of marriage since long before feminism. A widow was (in some states still is? this isn’t the law in Texas where I practice but I think it is in other places) entitled to a 1/3 life estate in her husband’s property if he died intestate for centuries.

        • Death and divorce are two different things. For a long time, on divorce a woman got very little if anything.

        • I see what she’s saying about marriage as feminist. My SIL’s child’s father refuses to marry her and it makes me nuts that my MIL couches the situation in feminist modernity. She stays home with their kid, and she’ll be in a tougher spot if they split than she would if they were married.

          • Exactly. This is what I was trying to say.

          • Right. Stereotypically, it’s men who want to avoid marriage, and traditionally it’s women who stay home or earn less. A married woman gets way more in the event of a split than an unmarried woman. Of course there are lots of exceptions, there are gay couples and women who earn way more than their partners and women who honestly don’t want to get married. But generally, women are financially hurt by men who don’t want to get married.

      • I’m not religious, but +1 to your first paragraph.

    • Are his parents still married? Did he have a tumultuous upbringing?

      My childhood was so awful I decided I would never marry. My brother did the same and is the classic serial monogymist. Many of his girlfriends wanted to get married, none were willing to continue a LTR indefinitely.

    • I still struggle with this even though I am happily married. We dated for 7 years before tying the knot. I struggle with the fact that marriage is a governmental, legal transaction. If two people want to be together, just be together! A piece of paper doesn’t make someone more committed and loving.

      However, we live in a world where there is real benefit to being married: social stigma (this was huge for my family), tax implications, PoA designations, next of kin, etc. If you truly are committed and love each other, it might be worth looking into, but don’t let others make you feel you are in a “bad” relationship because you aren’t married. No one knows more about your relationship than you do.

      • lawsuited :

        Agree that a piece of paper does not make someone more loving. Disagree that a piece of paper does not make someone more committed. A slew of signed mortgage paperwork definitely makes me more committed to honouring my legal obligation to pay it back than if it had been loaned to me on a handshake like the OP earlier in this thread. The legal obligations signified by my marriage certificate have given me pause on more than one occasion when I was thinking it would be nice to pack it in.

    • OP Anon for this :

      Thanks all. Neither of us in interested in children, so that not a factor. His parents aren’t married and never were; mine were married/divorced twice plus once more for mom, though both are now in 10+ year relationships (unmarried for moms). We’re going to talk tonight about this and this has given me some food for thought in the meantime.

      • Anon 10:43 :

        So I think this info changes my view of your situation a bit. Neither of you has experience with strong, stable, long term marriages so I can see how that colors your respective views on marriage.

        For your conversation, discuss things like does he mean LTR as in ‘no plans to break up, things are going great’? Or as in, let’s start planning our lives together because I plan to be with your forever I just don’t want a marriage certificate and here’s who I think we should integrate our lives and planning our future? Like combining bank accounts and insurance policy beneficiary info.

        How have his parents handled the various issues with being non-married like combining finances or inheritances or health decisions?

        Finally, just because marriage wasn’t what his parents chose, or something that worked well for your parents, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find it to be important.

        • “let’s start planning our lives together because I plan to be with your forever I just don’t want a marriage certificate and here’s who I think we should integrate our lives and planning our future? Like combining bank accounts and insurance policy beneficiary info.”

          This is so, so important. I know two women who were with partners long-term and didn’t push for any of this to be done, and deeply regretted it later. In one case, her SO died unexpectedly with no will. He had children from a previous marriage that she did not know well. They showed up and insisted she leave the house – not taking anything but her personal effects with her – because she was not legally entitled to anything. She had to move in with friends while she fought for “palimony” and to at least get her own furniture back.

          Other case: after 10 years of living with him, her SO came home and said, I met someone else, you have to move out. She had quit a pretty great job to go to work in his business a few years prior. She at least had her own money, but got nothing from the house she had helped renovate, or the business she had helped build.

          If anyone out there wants to go the long-term live-in route, I would strongly suggest seeing an attorney about a partnership agreement (and wills) sooner rather than later. And don’t let a man put it off as being “too much like getting married.”

          • I saw this happen for two friends also.

            In one case, they presumed that they were in a ‘common law marriage’ because they’d been together for so long. Turns out that doesn’t exist in our state. Woman supported the man through his ‘tortured artist’ phase and helped pay off lots of debt. Eventually, he hit it big in a tech company – like employee #8 in one of the big, big tech companies – and is now worth tens or hundreds of millions. He decided at that point to turn his back on his past. The woman has no legal claim on any portion of his fortune, even though he could not have achieved it without her support.

            If you want to plan your lives together, do so, and consider how you will handle extreme consequences, either negative (severe injury or illness) or positive (becoming rich & famous).

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’m your boyfriend in this situation. To me, marriage is an outdated social construct that I really have no need for, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in a long-term relationship. If marriage was something that was REALLY important for someone I cared about, I might consider it. That being said, I’m skeptical about how much I could have in common with that person. If marriage is something that’s important to you though and you’re not interested in compromising on that, that’s fine too!

      • How do you plan for retirement with someone you have no legal relationship with?

      • Anonshmanon :

        +1. My then-boyfriend and I also felt that our relationship is a very personal agreement between the two of us, and the government has no place in it. Also, since we both didn’t have a religious upbringing, that factor doesn’t play a role. We know that we are fully committed to each other, but many people make it clear that they don’t count our relationship as a fully serious one. Drives me nuts.
        We ended up getting married for practical reasons and one aquaintance congratulated us by saying “Now that you are a real couple…”. Thanks man, we’ve actually been together longer than your first marriage lasted, but I’m so glad to have your approval.

        OP, make sure you find out why your boyfriend is opposed to the idea of marriage. If his explanations seem a bit wishy-washy, he might just not want to be married to YOU, but on the other hand, he might have good (in my opinion) reasons for his stance.

        • If I marry, I will have kid’s with him. If he is just a boyfreind, he is good for $-x, but not for kid’s, b/c he would not support the kid’s, even if he did have s-x with me to get the kids in the first place. I used to think my ex, Sheketovits, would marry me after haveing s-x with me 2x a day for weeks at a time, but he was to preoccupied with drinking to think about me as anything other then a vassal to handel his s-xueal urges. FOOEY on men like him!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in my late 40’s and had many close friends/acquaintences in similar situations. Some eventually took the stance of as hard as this is, I want marriage in my future and must end this relationship. I’d say 80% ended up married to the I-only-want-a-LTR man and are still married 15+ years later. Others remained with the status quo to preserve the relationship, and I can only think of two friends who ended up eventually married to the LTR partner. One of those involved a serious health diagnosis for the man. None of the remaining LTR relationships are still ongoing in an unmarried state. Sadly, most of the breakups resulted in the man marrying someone else rather quickly. I think your situation is EXTREMELY common, and I would definitely found myself in it if my husband of 20+ years was not six years older than I am. If it’s any consolation, he told me that the only thing worse than getting married would be breaking up prior to the marriage (so romantic!). Good luck. Men are so commitment phobic that it almost seems odd to me when a man is eager to marry.

  10. School and "Success" :

    I recently came across a youtube video claiming that because ‘the average gpa of millionaires is 2.9″ most people who do well in/focus on school end up not leading companies and being the real “mover in shakers/rule breakers” in industries. I could see where they are coming from in the sense that getting good grades doesnt always mean you’re thinking outside the box and therefore being an innovator but idk…it also seemed like male privilege bull sh** to me. I also don’t believe women are often afforded that luxury of being the college drop out/ not caring about school then becaming a leader in her field. The only example I can think of is Elizabeth Holmes and we know how that ended.

    Also a lot of people who they were referring to were somewhat wealthy and well connected beforehand (Zuckerberg, Gates, etc)…In one clip they included an interview with some billionaire and he said “the A students work for the B students and C students are the CEOS” – that whole statement seemed like a sweeping generalization but I guess it’s an interesting perspective.
    I feel like im reaching rambling territory now, what are your thoughts on this perspective?

    • Zuckerberg and Gates were college drop-outs, but they dropped out of Harvard meaning that they did spectacularly well in high school. I don’t know how their college careers went, but if their grades weren’t good it was probably because they were neglecting school to follow their passions.

    • Most C students and college drop outs are not Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. This is a good example of very faulty logic that a good education can teach you to identify and avoid.

      • Ha, exactly. Assuming it’s even true that the average GPA of millionaires is 2.9, it does not follow that the average net worth of people with a 2.9 GPA is $1 million.

      • Yeah – maybe most CEOs are former C students, but most C students are not CEOs (or millionaries).

    • I tend to agree, but can you even be a C student at HYS anymore? They probalby don’t mean the C students at Randon State U (BUT, Vince McMahon went to ECU — not a big McMahon fan, but GO PIRATES!!!). It’s the ones who grind away who do the work but those people just get rewarded with more work.

      See, also, bees. The queen does nothing and the other females do all of the work.

    • I’m pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates did very well in college, at least in classes they had any interest in. Maybe they blew off a Russian literature class they had no interest in, but they were clearly capable of getting top grades in CS classes. C students are not generally CEOs/billionaire founders.

    • I think there is something to the fact that being a CEO requires a different skill set then doing well academically, and I say that as an A student who thinks she would be a horrible CEO at any mid/big company.

      However, I still believe you have to be smart (or have a huge leg up in life based on family connections). Most CEOs are what, in their 50’s or 60’s. There has been huge grade inflation over the past few decades. The C students in the 60s and 70s would probably be B or A students today. And I can’t think of many CEOs who didn’t go to top schools, suggesting that they were at least good students in high school

      • I really disagree with your grade inflation statement. If anything, I think school is MORE competitive now. Plus, HYS aren’t admitting only legacy students with lower grades. We see that standardized test scores of incoming students has gone up, not down.

        I think a C student of 40 years ago might be a D or F student now.

        Grades are high at HYS because the kids coming in have all consistently achieved at a high level. They were the top of their classes in high school, so you wouldn’t expect their GPAs to be on a bell curve in college. If you’ve always gotten As, why would you suddenly do C work in college?

        • It’s definitely more competitive to get INTO Harvard or a similar school than it was a generation ago and as a result the incoming freshmen are continually getting smarter and more academically impressive, but I’m pretty sure there are empirical studies that show that grade inflation has continued rising. There were very few C students at Harvard a generation ago, and even fewer now. I don’t really buy the “well they were all smart enough to get into Harvard so they should all get As.” Someone has to be at the bottom of the bell curve, even if the bell curve is filled with geniuses.

        • Grade inflation is real. C used to mean “average” and the majority of students got C’s on a grade curve. Now everyone’s mom calls the college if baby gets a B and it had led to grade inflation

          https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/12/26/why-college-grade-inflation-is-a-real-problem-and-how-to-fix-it

        • B/c it’s like anything else: among that population, you have standouts and people who did adequately and people who did not. Otherwise, why give out grades at all? IMO, math and the hard sciences are where the cookie crumbles (or anything where there is a thorough and objective assessment, like solving for X and showing your work).

          For hiring, I like a well-rounded sparkling B+/A- student vs an A+ one who is an obvious badge collector / gunner.

        • But are there really C students at HYS anymore (putting aside the sciences, which I have no experience with), so long as you show up and do your work. It used to be that a significant portion of a class got Cs, that is no long the case at any school I’m aware of.

          • Dunno. I went to State U and took sciences and got many a 4-credit 3.0. I could see getting a C in those.

            I think that bad grades are a law school thing where at least in the first year there is a curve so bad grades are actually handed out.

          • There are still schools that give plenty of Cs. I graduated from MIT less than 10 years ago. My classes were curved to a C+/B-, meaning that the average student in the class got at best a B-. Getting As in science and engineering was difficult and generally required being in the top 25% of the class. I knew plenty of people that got Cs, Ds and Fs. I have no patience for people who say it’s fine that Harvard gives 90% As because the students are all so smart. MIT students are just as smart and we have to work for our grades :P

    • I’m Harvard c/o ’06 (Zuckerberg’s class). He didn’t drop out due to poor grades. He dropped out because Facebook took off.

      • I get it this way:

        The A students are good at academics. They may or may not be good at other things.
        The C students may have been able to be A students (C student at Harvard still got in there) but maybe was a C student b/c s/he was busy doing something of substance that is a satisfactory explanation (or possibly not).

        Not all C students would make great CEOs. But it’s a different skill set than the worker bees have and I’d not be surprised that the GPA was lower. And 2.9 is just shy of a B, so these aren’t people who are failing out.

        Frankly, people seem so risk adverse that I’d be surprised to see anyone have a 2.9 GPA. They’d switch to where the easy As are and be done with it. The 2.9 person (or the 3.2 person) isn’t afraid to do things that they aren’t perfect at — that alone is telling. Sometimes all a 4.0 says is that you never challenged yourself (to fail is to learn).

        • I think your interpretation of GPA really depends on the major. I was a science major, and graduated with a 3.3 – frankly, the only reason it was that high is because I took a lot of political science classes I was interested in. But I also knew that I was above the curve for most of my classes, so I was fine with my lower GPA. I think most of my friends would describe me as an “A student” even if it is not technically true.

          Funny fact, my law school GPA at a top five school was higher than my undergrad GPA

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Jeff Bezos graduated and did spectacularly well at Princeton.

    • Frozen Peach :

      I think there is some truth to this. I observed in my HYS law school that it was not the academic superstars who were always landing the prime WS jobs, or meeting with rocket-like success in business after graduation.

      I work in an industry that is very dominated by males of a certain ethnicity, and I can confirm that the dynamic of anti-intellectuals supervising (and often mocking) people who are way more knowledgeable and work way harder is alive and well. You have to be one of the boys, who finds the same pastimes entertaining and the same jokes funny, in order to advance or be on the inside track about what’s happening in the business. I think this does not occur in the C-suite, but way more frequently in middle management. Lots of women, minorities, and geeks of all genders/races working late nights, early mornings, etc. for broswho make 4X as much as they do and walk out the door at 5:01 every day. Makes me livid. Lord give me the confidence of a mediocre white male.

      OTOH, do I think there is anything I can do about this? Nope. I’d rather be less privileged but aware than enjoy privilege for which the price is generally ignorance or pretending to think it’s cool.

  11. Constant Tardiness - ignore it? :

    A few months ago I started coming into work earlier, and my (otherwise great) assistant is always at least 8-10 minutes late. If it’s more than 15 minutes, she’ll usually mention traffic or something delaying her, and she calls if it’s going to be more than a half hour. Our schedules are flexible and I’m sure she’s staying late to make up the time (though I’m normally gone by then), but it just bugs me. Generally it’s not an issue but she was late to a meeting yesterday. Before the next meeting I plan to ask her to make sure she’s in on time to get the room set up, but do I just ignore the larger pattern? If it was a couple times a week it wouldn’t bother me at all, but it’s literally every day – just leave 8-10 minutes earlier.

    • Could her lateness be tied to a train or bus schedule? For some routes, there are big delays between pick-ups and taking an earlier train might make her really early.

      • Ditto. I live in DC and take a bus and metro (and my own two feet) to get to work. I take the exact same bus every morning (X line at Y time) from my house, and my arrival time at the office can vary by as much as 20 minutes.

    • I’d ignore.

      Your schedules are flexible, right? Then she has every right to do what she’s doing. She is staying after you leave, right?

      And it’s just…. 10 minutes. If she is a good employee, this is not a boat you should rock.

      Maybe she has a day care drop off/ride share/bus schedule/favorite work out class/who knows…. that makes her come in at this time.

      Look at Ask A Manager…. there was a question like this within the last week.

      You should relax.

      I agree that it is appropriate to mention she must be there on time for a meeting of course, especially if she is supposed to have it set up.

    • Thisperson1 :

      Speaking as an assistant, talk to her. If the schedules are flexible, perhaps she thinks her timing is fine. (Obviously being late for a meeting is not OK, hopefully that was a one-off?) If you need her to be less flexible with morning arrival, let her know. I would absolutely want to know if I’m doing something I think is OK, when my boss feels differently.

      • Linda from HR :

        +1

        Right now I’m coming in on the early side, and leaving about 10 mins before the office “officially” closes. This is due to the train schedule, either I leave 10 mins early or I have to spend half an hour either working late or chilling in the train station surrounded by grumpy commuters. If I have a lot to do, I stay, if I feel like I’ve done what needed to be done that day and there’s no need to stay later, I’m out. I’d like to think my boss would talk to me about it if she had a problem with it, but I don’t even think she notices or cares.

    • Flats Only :

      I am an assistant, and our schedules have some flexibility. Sometimes my commute is not good. But I make darned sure to be here in time to set up for early meetings when that’s necessary. Even if I have to leave my house an hour early to ensure it. A few minutes here and there should not be made into an issue, but not getting there to set up for a meeting she knew about the day before should get a mention. On the flip side, make sure she gets overtime or comp time if she has to come in early or stay late.

    • If your schedules are truly flexible, it shouldn’t matter/be addressed because it’s permitted. How is there such thing as being 10-15 mins late if schedules are flexible? However, when she is late to previously scheduled meetings that is a problem and that’s what you should be talking to her about in my opinion.

      • +100! You can’t have flexible schedules, and be late (putting aside the meeting thing, which I agree is an issue)

        • This! Either your schedules are flexible or they aren’t. If the policy is flexible, she is within the bounds of the policy.

          If this was a one-time thing for the meeting, I wouldn’t bother addressing it, but if it’s a pattern, you should talk to her in re: to being on time/setting up for meetings.

    • Ignore the larger pattern, but make it clear that when there’s a meeting scheduled you expect her to be on time.

    • It sounds like this is an issue to you, but you’re trying to talk yourself out of it to avoid the conversation. I would bring it up with her in a clear, but non-confrontational way. “I’ve noticed that you come in about 10 minutes past (scheduled start time) every day. It doesn’t usually matter to the work, but yesterday you were late for the meeting, which was a problem because your responsibility is to be here beforehand to set up. Do you have a conflict that’s causing you to be late every day? Should we switch your hours to (current start time + 30 minutes)?”

      Best to present it as trying to find a solution that meets your needs while working with her constraints, and not as a prelude to punishment.

    • anon for this because backlash :

      I know non-chronically-late people can’t understand this, but some people just run late. I am one of those people. However, I know myself after 37 years and make necessary adjustments for meetings, interviews, doctor’s appointments, etc., so it’s rare that I am late for anything of true importance. I would definitely let the daily lateness go if it has zero impact on her work performance, but bring up instances like being late for the meeting, especially if it happens more than once.

      If this is the least of your problems with an otherwise great assistant, consider it the cost of admission.

      • If this is the case, why couldn’t “work” be added to the list, along with “meetings”?

        • anon for this because backlash :

          See “non-chronically-late people can’t understand this”

          Believe me.

          • Totally. It’s like this weird deep-seated psychological thing where your body just won’t. let. you. be. early. I find it easier to lose weight, exercise regularly, control my spending, and work long hours than I do being on time.

        • Not the original commenter, but because it just doesn’t usually matter. I get my work done and I’m there all day and into the evening. To stress about getting to work at some exact time is stress I don’t need when it does not matter. Co-sign leave her alone about the daily issue. If it was one meeting, I’d let it go, too.

        • Because work is a daily thing, not a one off special event that requires special effort.

        • lawsuited :

          Because she’s been told she has a flexible schedule so arriving at 9:15 is not being late for “work” assuming she plans to leave at 5:15. I have a flexible schedule and it brings me a huge amount of happiness to be able to continue playing peek-a-boo with my son if he’s in the mood or have a second cup of coffee if I need it and be at work 10 minutes later rather than running out of the door to meet an arbitrary deadline.

          • Anonymous :

            +1. Essentially, the OP has a good employee who is taking advantage of one of the perks of the job (a flexible schedule). Good for her! Perks help to keep good employees happy.

      • Anonymous :

        Exactly this. If I don’t have a set time when I’m supposed to be somewhere, I always end up arriving later than I initially planned. If I have to be somewhere by a certain time, I’m there. Don’t ask me why, I think I’m time illiterate (if that’s a thing). It takes me a lot of effort to figure out when I need to start and finish things in order to be on time, so I just don’t make that much effort if it isn’t critical.

        Also, I’m in no way a morning person and make terrible decisions in the morning (e.g. washing dishes before I leave, suddenly noticing my dog’s water dish is low and refilling it right before I leave). If I absolutely have to be somewhere, I can stop myself from getting distracted, but it’s difficult for me to do on a daily basis.

    • Linda from HR :

      When she was late for a meeting, that was an issue. Make it clear she needs to be on time for meetings. That said, does her general lateness have an impact on your workflow, or does it just bother you because you manage to get there early and it seems she can’t be bothered to do the same? Is this really a coverage issue or just bad optics?

    • It sounds like the issue is more that you switched your own schedule, and would like her schedule to better mirror your new schedule. I think that’s something you can talk to her about, given that she’s supporting you. But I agree with the other posters that it sounds like she’s probably not doing anything wrong, so I would frame it in terms of discrete issues (e.g., I need you hear X minutes before any meetings start to set up; now that I’m working earlier, would you mind coming in 15 minutes earlier and leaving 15 minutes earlier).

    • I see this more as an issue with expectation. If you are her boss and you have the expectation that she’ll be there by a certain time, tell her. If that particular time isn’t working, maybe her official start time should begin 15 minutes later and there should be an expectation that she’ll let you know if she’s going to be in after that time. And of course she should be expected to be on time for meetings.

      • But then you also need to acknowledge that while *your* schedule might be flexible, *hers* is not anymore.

    • say something about being late for the meeting she needed to be there for. Let the day to day issue go if it isn’t impacting her work which is otherwise great.

    • HR Consultant :

      Is her work getting done?
      Does she stay late when it’s necessary to complete work? Does she come in early if she needs to?
      Are you the only person who has complained (or noticed)?
      Is she otherwise a good, reliable, adequately-performing employee?

      If you answered “yes” to all these questions, her tardiness is not a problem. Believe me, I have clients who would love to have an employee who’s only issue is that she was 10 minutes late. I always ask people – are you managing someone’s time, or are you managing someone’s results? Hint: in most cases, it should be the second thing.

    • Are you only bugged because you think it’s somehow unfair/unjust and it’s just the principle of the thing? If so, let it go. If it’s causing actual problems, then you can say something.

    • Constant Tardiness - ignore it? :

      Thanks all, I appreciate the thoughts. The schedule is flexible as far as you can choose the hours you work (within reason), but you’re expected to work those hours. I think it mainly irritates me because I think punctuality is important, but I realize that’s not the bigger issue here so I’ll let it go (except for the meeting thing).

      • This site is killing my computer :

        So, I think you need to stop using the word tardy. She isn’t constantly tardy. She just has a minutely different schedule than you do. And that is her right. If you want to change the job requirements, think carefully if you have a good reason, as it won’t come off as being an unreasonable manager.

        I would even be gentle on her one time(?) lateness to a meeting, as it sounds like this is not a recurrent issue.

  12. Is anyone familiar with the brand The Reset? Quality? Favorite pieces? Looks like good basics but I haven’t really heard anything about it. Link to follow!

  13. Big thanks to whomever recommend Seraphine maternity clothes the other day! I bought a dress (on sale for $40 from Macy’s!) and it fits so well. I’m wearing it today and it’s the first time I’ve felt cute in ~3 months.

    • What dress is it?? I have been wearing the same five maternity dresses for a month. I’m so puffy and so bored.

      • The dress I bought is sold out now. It was this one: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/seraphine-maternity-printed-twist-front-dress?ID=2520232
        But they have a lot of similar styles. I think this one might be the exact same dress in a different fabric: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/seraphine-maternity-printed-twist-front-dress?ID=2520231

  14. I passed the bar and started practicing in November 2015. I had a baby in July 2016 and went back to work after a 3 month maternity leave. Do I have 2 years work experience as attorney in November this year? Or February next year?

    Will a recruiter work with me once I reach my two years? I like my job but had no raise/review since I started. Do I look for a new job or ask for a raise? It is a very small firm that clearly does not follow the normal procedures of review etc. Thanks!

    • Absolutely do not under any circumstances subtract your maternity leave from your work experience. You have 2 years experience in November.

    • I think you have 1-2 years of experience now, and in November you can say 2 for sure.
      small firms are their own beast and i would not consider the lack of a raise or review a bad sign or an indication that you’re not doing well. Can you ask another attorney about the performance review process – including whether there is a formal process? Then talk to your boss about how you’re doing and when compensation decisions are made?

  15. Sorry for the novel in advance. A friend, X, that I’ve known since we were kids and I had a falling out about 6 or 7 years ago. To make a very long story shorter, she’s always had a lot of problems in her life, some self inflicted and some just horrible luck/circumstance, but we’ve always been able to stay friendly even when our paths diverged quite a bit. The falling out was over something extremely stupid and to be honest I didn’t even realize that she was really mad at me until a mutual friend told me and then I couldn’t even believe it. She also said some really nasty things about me to our mutual friend like how I always judged her, and was super critical, and didn’t want her to succeed or I don’t even remember. That’s certainly not how I perceived our friendship but maybe that’s how it seemed to her. Clearly there were a lot of issues there that I had no idea about. I was so thrown by it that I just said F it, I’ll talk to her when she grows up.

    Anyway, since then we haven’t really spoken, she moved to another state to start a new life, and I just kind of haven’t thought of her too much. I did sort of try to reach out through the mutual friend, e.g., “tell X I said hi,” whenever X would text our friend when friend and I were together, to which X friend would just text back “lol” or something equally immature. At one point, when the pet I had since 7th grade died, I got a text from a number I didn’t know that said, “I’m sorry about Fluffy” … I think I wrote something like, “who is this,” got no response, but then a few days later mutual friend confirmed that this was X’s new phone number.

    Getting to the point now: I found out recently that X may have had a baby. It doesn’t sound like it was under good circumstances or that she is still with the dad of this baby. Our mutual friend and X have now also had a falling out but before that happened mutual friend told me there was a lot of drama, inc. violence, with the pregnancy/relationship that produced it/etc. Mutual friend said she wasn’t sure if X was going to keep the baby or not when they last spoke and since then they’ve had no contact and she blocked her on social media. The reason that I’m now thinking about this is I ran into a guy who we all went to school with and he asked me if I still kept in touch with X and said he saw her very pregnant back in our old neighborhood a bunch, but then never saw her with the baby and the last time he saw her she was just out and about, flat stomach, no kid and he felt weird asking in case something happened. This has been haunting me ever since. Part of me does feel a bit judgmental, tbh, thinking that she had this kid in potentially horrible circumstances and I feel bad for the kid and all the drama he will grow up in. But more than that I just feel like I should reach out because having a baby alone is so hard and esp. when you don’t have a support system of friends and family in place, or a job, and everything else that I know she’s gone through and I want to help or offer support or something. But I’m also not sure how to approach this given that no one seems to know what happened here. If I knew she actually had a child with her right now I would probably just send her a text congratulating her and leave it in her court. I suppose I can always just text that I heard she was back in the old neighborhood and hope she’s doing well? FWIW, there is little chance that we will just run into each other because I have not lived or visited where we grew up in years. I’m also not sure she wants to hear from me because it seems like she’s built me up into some horrible person in these last years we haven’t spoken.

    I don’t know what my question is, I guess. But any thoughts or advice welcome. Thanks for reading.

    • Say nothing. Leave her alone. She likely doesn’t want to hear from you.

      You have no idea if she still has the baby, if the baby was adopted by family/friends in an open adoption or if the baby was adopted in a closed adoption. Or if the baby was stillborn.

    • Not your circus any more. Definitely not your monkeys. Don’t go near this. Whatever you’re feeling you need to process on your own and without reaching out to her. Mourn the friendship, if that’s what you feel compelled to do, but this is NOT something you should insert yourself in.

    • Don’t do anything. You aren’t friends. You don’t know her anymore. None of this is any of your business.

    • She doesn’t want to be your friend. I feel like your impulses are more related to rubber-necking and trying to get the tea than genuinely wanting to help your former friend, so let it go. Let her figure this out on her own. Lots of people have bad relationships and babies and it’s not your job or your business.

      • I’m not sure what ‘trying to get the tea’ means, and I’m fine with hearing the advice to stay out of it, but just to clarify my impulse is motivated by the fact that I feel guilty not reaching out. We were friends for over 20 years. We’ve gone in very different directions as we’ve gotten older but I don’t feel like that means I should only be friends with well adjusted lawyers and other career professionals in stable long term relationships now. That said, I’m not sure what I can really do to help other than lend some emotional support. But none of this is motivated by my desire to know what’s going on or gossip. I don’t hang out with anyone who even knows her anymore, save for our one (ex) mutual friend, and I haven’t even spoken to her about this because I want to figure out what I’d like to do, if anything, before I have her tell me what she thinks about all this.

        • It’s not that you can only be friends with people just like you it’s that you actually aren’t friends with her, haven’t been in years, and have nothing to offer.

          • What about emotional support? Does that not count as something one can offer another person?
            Just curious why that seems to be uniformly ruled out here. I feel like if I had written that a friend and I had a falling out but I found she has cancer and was thinking of reaching out, people would be like, “do it.” But if I think she may be dealing with a big emotional event that isn’t a tragedy but may still be difficult, it’s like “nope, stay away.”

          • Anonymous :

            You. Aren’t. Friends. You have nothing to offer her. Sure, someone could offer her emotional support. But not you, because she doesn’t want to be your friend.

      • +1

    • Agree with the other comments – I would let this go. If you were going to reach out it wouldn’t be a ‘pop in and see whats going on then pop out’ situation – you’d be inserting yourself into a LOT. You don’t need this in your life – and she doesn’t sound like a particularly great person at the end of the day. This is a lot of heavy stuff that honestly sounds really draining – on top of your already strained friendship.

    • Joining the chorus: leave her alone. Y’all aren’t friends. That happens sometimes.

    • Yes, you can reach out with a general text. But honestly….. I don’t think you should.

      She feels you judge her already, and she has made her preferences clear. I worry you are judging her now, and are dying for details If she did have a baby, I worry you will not be able to manage this well. Judgement… wanting to ?step in and save her/them…. just…. ouch.

      Sometimes friendships… especially childhood friendships… end.

      • One of my most valuable life lessons thus far has been that sometimes, you have to leave the past in the past and move on. Some things just end, and usually they end for a good reason, even if that’s not immediately obvious. OP – let this go.

    • Neither of you sound like very good friends and you sound an awful lot like you just want to know the gossip so you can judge. Stay out of it.

      • Genuinely curious why this is your take on my question. As I wrote above, nothing about this is motivated by gossip. I have exactly one friend who even knows this person and I haven’t spoken to her about this. I’m asking a bunch of internet strangers and keeping details vague precisely to avoid just “gossiping.”

        I actually don’t want to know the gossip. My preference would be to not know any of this so I wouldn’t feel bad about the fact that I am not reaching out to someone who was a very close friend for many years. Yes, we aren’t friends now and she may have some bad feelings toward me, but I genuinely don’t share these feelings.

        • Not the above Anon, but that was my impression too. You don’t seem to like her, and she doesn’t seem to like you. Great that you don’t wish her ill, but you don’t live near her and haven’t kept in touch, so what kind of help could you realistically offer? You don’t mention being a single parent, so your support will likely be superficial since you don’t have that direct experience (nor years of solid friendship to make up for that lack). It takes work to create a friendship, and you’re wanting to ask her to do that work right in the middle of a stressful time for her. Basically it’s coming across that you’re not thinking about her at all, just about your need for reconciliation or closure or to be the “good one” who reaches out.

          I know that seems harsh, but that’s likely how she would interpret your reaching out at this point. Let it go. You aren’t likely to see her anytime soon, you can let this go without any guilt. Use it as motivation to reach out to your current friends and strengthen those relationships or offer support to them.

          • Thanks. I am not a single parent but I am a parent so I can offer some help. I personally found that helpful when dealing with a newborn.
            I also do like her. We grew apart in some ways but I always found her to be supportive and I always thought that I was supportive of her and certainly intended to be. In truth, one of the reasons we lost touch is that I was really shocked by how she reacted to our fight. It was so out of left field that I felt like this is just crazy and I should leave it alone until it blows over and she calms down and then it never did. But I appreciate the outside perspective.

        • If someone you aren’t friends with today and you have ill feelings toward reached out about something highly sensitive and personal, how would you feel?

          Me? I’d suspect the reaching out was self-serving and gossip-grubbing. Or, it would be superficial and full of pity, and I wouldn’t want the pity of someone I didn’t know well any more or, frankly, don’t like.

          Stay.Out.Of.It. Reaching out only satisfies your guilt and does nothing to benefit your ex-friend.

  16. I used to wear contacts 100% of the time outside the house and recently got a pair of glasses I actually like and have been wearing them to work more. I tend to wear contacts on more important days, like for presentations, although I’ve noticed they’ve been bothering my eyes more, and I’m not in a field where appearance matters to the extent that glasses are stigmatized (if that exists). I also just received a promotion and really need to get a professional headshot taken. If I’m planning to continue only wearing them part of the time, should I wear glasses in the headshot, or no?

    Also, could someone give me a pep talk about scheduling the damn headshot already? I’m anxious about looking weird overall.

    • I would have the photo taken with and without the glasses and then choose the one I liked better. I tend to like my photo better with glasses on because they give me more personality and make me look more intense, but in my field those are both advantages.

    • Why on earth would wearing glasses make you look weird??

      Schedule the appointment already.

    • I wear glasses daily, and I’m wearing glasses in the headshot that I use. I took photos with and without glasses, and I looked weird without.

      I also felt awkward going into the photoshoot, but the photographer made me very comfortable. Just go for it! They photograph people every single day, and they’re pros at angles, lighting, etc.

    • I need a new headshot with my glasses because I do wear them all the time now and my old headshot doesn’t look like me anymore. Is this you? Then you also need a new headshot with glasses.

      Remember, the point of a headshot is so that people can identify you when they see you IRL. You headshot does not need to be glamorous. It needs to look like you.

    • I just had mine done without the glasses, even though I wear them to work 90% of the time. Honestly, no one notices when I switch back and forth between the two, so you may be overthinking it a bit. Can you have the photos taken both ways, then pick which one you like better? Glasses can be hard to photograph because they reflect the light from the flash and/or any lights used in the studio.

    • Thanks for the advice, folks!
      I am not worried about looking weird because glasses, just weird in general! The photos of myself I usually like the most are taken outside, in casual clothing, with hair messed from hiking or something–none of which will apply here. I know I need to get over myself and just do it. It’s true that I’m probably overthinking.

  17. I want to comment on some of the financial advice that’s regularly given here. Some of the advice here sounds like the unbridled optimism of the late 1920s when people were buying on margin to invest the stock market because it could only go up up up. Same with the housing market in pre-2008.

    I wonder how many of you investment gurus have actually invested through a major stock market correction?

    The thing is, when the market crashes, that’s when you usually need your savings. That’s when jobs go bust too. You should NOT have your emergency fund invested in the stock market (and yes, low fee index funds are the stock market – if the market crashes, they do too), you should not take out debt or avoid paying off loans in order to be invested in the stock market, and you should absolutely never ever base any kind of short term plans on anticipated returns from the market.

    • How many people are really putting their emergency funds in the market? I have my emergency fund in an FDIC-insured savings account and only very long-term savings (right now, retirement) in index funds. I have lived through two stock market corrections and don’t do anything differently during one. Although during the next correction I might try to put even more towards retirement while stocks are cheap.

      I don’t think the advice to compare effective rates of return when deciding between paying off student loans or mortgages off early vs. investing for retirement is off base, as long as there is an adequate emergency fund built up first.

      • +100! I have my emergency fund (which could easily last a year) in a FDIC-insured savings account making 1.2% interest. It would be stupid to not invest my additional savings in the stock market. If the worst happens (I lose my job and can’t find another for a year), then I would have to take out some of my invests and could potentially lose money. But I have made huge returns over the last few years, so I’m willing to take that risk.

    • No one here has ever suggested investing your emergency fund.

      • It is suggested all the time. That’s why I made the post.

        • I disagree.

          I have been reading here for many many years, and that is NOT encouraged widely. In fact, over the past years many people have been opining “where do I put my emergency fund when interest rates are so crazy low…..”. And the responses are…. not much choice… keep it safe.

          I opened my first IRA in 1990.

        • It isn’t. It really isn’t.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Maybe the disconnect is what one considers an emergency fund. Is it 3 months of expenses? 6 months? 1 year? 3 years? I think that is where individual risk tolerance comes into play. Each person needs to objectively evaluate their job security, their partner (if they have one’s) job security, what type of emergencies they are likely to face, etc.

        • It has never been suggested.

    • I don’t think anyone here has ever suggested putting an emergency fund in the market. The advice is all about investing in the market for long term gains (generally retirement) at the expense of paying down loan or mortgage debt. Whether or not that’s good advice probably depends on the term of your loan, how long until retirement and your personality (i.e., when the loan is gone are you going to upgrade your lifestyle or throw all that money in the market?) but it’s certainly way less crazy than suggesting you invest an emergency fund.

    • Does 2008 count? That was only 9 years ago so many of us were working then.

    • If you’re talking about the advice yesterday where someone was asking whether to pay 2k extra on a car note every month or save it, yes some of us did advise her to invest it in the stock market. I assumed that someone with 2k extra per month already had a fully funded emergency fund.

      If it makes you feel better, I’ll revise my advice to delete the (I think reasonable) assumption I made: take the 2k extra and put it towards an emergency fund in a high yield FDIC insured savings account. Once that’s fully funded, invest in the stock market over paying so much extra on such a low interest rate loan.

    • Corrections happen when everyone thinks that the market will go up forever. That’s basically what leads to them.

    • I can’t recall someone ever saying that you should invest *all* your money. Maybe someone said that once, but I’m sure others chimed in with why that’s not a good idea. The standard consensus advice here is to keep 6-12 months of expenses in savings or a CD, and put everything else in index funds.

    • I’m guessing this post is for me since I consistently say here that ppl should invest. So – thanks? But you’re wrong. I don’t think – nor do market indicators show that anyone is thinking this market will go up forever. Everyone is waiting for a correction. Do you realize that historically the highest returns one makes are at the very end of a bull market? So by sitting around waiting for a correction, you’re missing those returns. Also a correction is defined as a 10% pullback. People have been expecting a correction for over a yr — S&P is up 16% in a yr — even if a 15% correction hits, if you’ve been in since this time last yr, aren’t you up 1%? If it’s more than that, you go negative for a while, throw more money into the market and reduce your cost basis across the board; are you really worried that it’ll NEVER recover?

      As for whether I’ve ever invested in a bear market – started investing in Sept 08 and didn’t flinch, so yes. Show me how the above logic is wrong.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Chiming in just to say get a real financial advisor, one who knows your circumstances and risk tolerance. (Anonymous advice on the internet won’t help anybody when the market eventually corrects.)

      • This. Risk tolerance is the real crux of any financial plan.
        Do some people put their emergency savings in the stock market? Probably.

        Is that less safe than a CD or money market account? Sure. But perhaps they want the returns in the meantime.

        Bucking conventional wisdom can be correct if that’s what you want from a risk perspective. Is the conventional wisdom safer? Sure.

        I mean, honestly, if you are 24 and your emergency savings is $1000, and you’re gonna live on credit cards in a real emergency either way, I don’t see a terrible lot of harm in putting your emergency savings in the stock market, for instance. (Commence pearl clutching!). That sort of thing.

    • Cornellian :

      I have never seen that suggested here. Maybe it depends on what you define as “emergency fund”?

      I keep about 4 months in cash and think of that as my “job loss” money. I should maybe push it to 6 months (and that’s on my list of things to do when daycare gets cheaper next year). Does emergency fund mean something different to you?

      I’ve been investing since 2006, FWIW, although I didn’t have real money until the last two or three years.

    • “I wonder how many of you investment gurus have actually invested through a major stock market correction?”

      What’s with the snark? And as many have said above, people are not generally recommending that emergency funds are invested.

  18. I’m a big fan of fun shoes in general, but I’m not sure if these are too out there for work. I’d want them in the “soft silver shiny mirror” aka the super shiny ones. I’m picturing it with all black or a black skirt and a white or grey blouse. Link in comments!

    • https://www.zappos.com/p/sam-edelman-hazel-soft-silver-shiny-mirror/product/8787889/color/653183?ef_id=V9mbfwAABc3zcmgL%3A20170921015721%3As

      • I think maybe a bit too fun. I can see it possibly ok with pants because you’d see less of them, but all in all I think the combo of shiny + high is too much.

        • +1 They’re cool, but they look like nightclub shoes to me. Too distracting/flashy for work. Maaaaybe if they were the only flashy piece semi-hidden under a pair of conservative pants. But definitely not with a skirt.

      • I am normally a fan of shiny shoes, but the light silver color makes them look a bit costume-y. I think if the color was closer to pewter, a darker silver, but still shiny, that would be better.

    • I love those! But not for work.

      • Thanks everybody for reigning me in. The other day I saw this older woman crossing the street in a fabulous black and white polka dot coat with a black dress and tall, gold, bloc- heel pumps, and I was feeling inspired by her awesome fashion. One day I’ll be able to emulate her swag!! But not in biglaw :)

        • reining** aah!

        • That sounds like an amazing look! FWIW, I think a block heel would change things a little bit. And maybe this is just me, but also gold vs. this very shiny, mirror-like silver.

    • I actually have a pair of bright silver heels but mine are quite lower.

  19. I need some help from you wise women. A dear friend who is like a younger brother to me and his partner (who has also become a dear friend and another brother) decided to marry two weeks ago because my friend’s terminal illness is progressing rapidly. The ceremony will be this Saturday in the backyard of their home with less than 20 people in attendance. Suggestions for a gift? They are very successful and want for nothing. My only idea thus far is for a beautiful shrub or tree for their yard to symbolize their union (we would take care of the planting). Is this crazy?

    Also, even though it’s been quickly put together, I expect it will be an elegant and lovely affair – and the best clothing option in my closet is a cream colored crepe dress. I know usual wedding etiquette would say this is all wrong, but since there is no bride, the very intimate nature of the event, and my desire to stay away from black (there is enough sadness to go around with the nature of my friend’s condition) – can I wear this dress with a gold pashmina and not look silly?

    • I think the tree idea is a lovely and thoughtful gift. I also love the dress you suggested, especially with the gold accent, but I am less confident in that recommendation.

    • Love the shrub or tree idea. If you are concerned that even scheduling/planting it might be too much for a couple dealing with a terminal illness, you could also consider sponsoring a tree at a local park/nature conservancy if there is something like that in your area.

      I think the cream would be fine. If you are worried about it, maybe a less “bridal” accessory than gold – like a jewel or pastel toned scarf.

    • I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s illness. I love the idea of a tree/ planting with the caveat that you know your friends. It could be personal on the level of art for some folks. My dad bought us a blueberry bush when our baby was born and a yellow peoney when we got married and they are my favorite gifts ever.

      Your outfit sounds lovely.

    • Do you know their favorite restaurant? I’d go for something lovely and consumable – a restaurant gift card, gift certificate for a couples massage, lovely basket of specialty food + cozy blanket or slippers + amazon gift card for a movie night in.
      Good male family friends that got married had both of their mothers and their nieces all wear white to symbolize they were part of the wedding party – perhaps just make sure they aren’t planning something similar?

      • I wouldn’t do a restaurant GC unless you know they are still eating out – people with terminal illnesses often have very specific diets or can’t eat normal food anymore.

    • Since you are close with the couple, can you ask them if they would be offended if you wore the cream-colored dress? I think under the circumstances, your dress would be lovely, but you might want to check in case one or both of them wanted to wear white suits and thought they should be the only people wearing white or something.

    • The only caveat to the plant idea- which is lovely and what I did for my Moms bday not long after my grandmother passed- is that you think twice if you’re in a hot climate where this plant would require a lot of watering this fall to stay alive! Here is SE US we are watering shrubs we planted last fall on a twice/wk schedule due to heat and no rain. If you’re in a climate where this would be low maintenance it’s a lovely idea.

    • I’ve worn white to a wedding where there was no bride, and no one batted an eyelash. I only did it because one of the grooms, my cousin, was asking what people were planning to bring/wear because it was going to be weird weather, and I said I hadn’t decided, listed some options, and he was excited about the white one. So. Obviously your grooms may vary.

    • I love the plant idea but if you want to avoid giving them a thing to take care of you could have a tree planted in their honor at a nearby park, or do something similar and lasting – name a brick, park bench, theater seat, etc – in conjunction with some kind of local nonprofit that offers naming opportunities.

      • +1 I would want the plant/tree to be somewhere that I would not ever feel guilty about if I moved or sold my house.

    • Another gift idea is a generous donation in honor of their marriage to an organization they support. I did this once for a couple that didn’t register and insisted they didn’t want gifts. I knew they had done a lot of volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity so I made a donation in their honor, and they were very pleased.

      • This, or sponsor something tangible. Like a Little Free Library or buy a playset at a camp for kids or donate a new couch for a nursing home, whatever their favorite cause is.

    • I’ll be the voice of dissent for the tree idea. You know your friend well, so should be able to judge this, but I’ve carefully chosen all of the major plants in my yard and would not be pleased at all to receive a tree as a gift. Unless it’s something that can remain in a pot, I’d find another gift.

  20. I’m looking for a knee length, water proof/water resistant rain coat. Preferably with some kind of waist (trench coat or otherwise). Any recommendations? I would prefer something under $100, but could do $150 if it was on the more stylish side.

    • I got a really nice rain coat at Eddie Bauer that is surprisingly stylish. I don’t see that exact style on their website right now, but they have a lot of choices that are truly functional, durable, and come in some interesting colors. For a rain coat, I was focused more on function than style, but they hit a perfect sweet spot for me, and well within your budget.

      • I have the Girl on the Go (horrible name) rain coat and it’s been great. It’s not a trench, but it’s also not completely straight down. I am small and I don’t like boxy or baggy clothing/outerwear and I find that it is sufficiently fitted without being constricting/not allowing layers.

    • I got a relatively-stylish one from Zara last year within that budget. It’s a trench coat with nice details. It hasn’t held up that well though, so take this with a grain of salt.

    • I had a nice one from Calvin Klein that I got at Macy’s and wore to pieces.

    • Anonymous :

      I asked a similar question a couple of days ago and recommendations were the Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go trench and the LL Bean H2OFF insulated raincoat. I’ve ordered both and am waiting with baited breath for them to arrive! Both a bit over your budget though.

      • Anonymous :

        Eddie Bauer has some on clearance I think (double check, may be sold out, lucky sizes), and there is an extra 50% off clearance code

    • I tried the Girl on the Go coat and it didn’t have enough shape for me. I ended up buying this Via Spiga coat, which looks fabulous and was so waterproof it stood up to torrential downpours in Edinburgh: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YX2Z8DU/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I HIGHLY recommend it.

  21. We recently moved to a house with very small bathrooms with no bathroom closets. Our old bathroom had a huge linen closet, so I was very used to keeping makeup, towels, cleaning supplies, everything in there. Now we have a medicine cabinet behind the mirror and two drawers in the bathroom and a large linen closet in the hallway outside. I have not mastered how this will work. I’ve been keeping makeup in the hall closet (do not wear it every day), but it’s really dark in there and was hard to see what I needed. Was thinking of putting just mascara/eyeliner/one lip color in a drawer?

    Any hot tips for small bathroom storage?

    • I’m not sure why you can’t use the storage you have. Do you have too many things to fit into the cabinet and two drawers? That seems like a lot of space.

      • The cabinet has our daily stuff and, to be honest, the drawers are a little gross. I lined them but I think I just feel weird about putting makeup in them. It’s probably fine, though. We also have two kids using the bathroom so there’s some baby/tween stuff in there too.

        • I keep my makeup in a makeup bag (easier to grab if I want to apply it at the office and/or if I’m traveling), and would just throw the bag in the drawer.

          • Also, we have a storage unit in the bathroom (you can google “Storage Tower for Bathroom” for some ideas). Super helpful.

        • I use various sizes of trays in my drawer to hold things. It prevents the drawers from getting messy and keeps the items off the drawer bottom. Mine are clear plastic and I think I got them at Bed Bath & Beyond.

    • We have an old house with no built in bathroom storage so I feel your pain. Luckily we have enough space for an armoire int he hall for towels, and a bathroom storage cabinet – Restoration Hardware has some gorgeous ones that look like real furniture. If that isn’t an option, I’d transform your bedside table or table to a defacto vanity. A nice vanity mirror (with or without lights) and a smallish makeup storage container should do it.

    • I’ve lived in two 100 year old houses where the bathrooms were tiny or randomly carved-out afterthoughts (my current bathroom was added to the house in 1929, carved out of a sleeping porch)

      We have always had to add some kind of storage to the bathroom. I have a tall narrow cabinet that sits at the foot of the tub that has a tray of my most used cosmetics and a stand mirror on top. In the kids bedroom we added a very small chest of drawers, basically a nightstand but smaller. Neither of these things can fit towels, those have to go in the hall closet, but they can fit the odd bottles of cleanser, backup cosmetics and shampoo, and nail polish.

      My daughter is wearing makeup now and she does it in her bedroom because the mirror situation in the hall bathroom is terrible. Would that work for you?

      If nothing else, put your makeup in a caddy like a college student and just pull it out when you need it.

      • *in the kids bathroom

      • The bedroom is a good idea. There’s also no “shelf space” in the bathroom (our old house had a radiator, so I used the cover as my makeup table), so that’s part of my makeup problem. I’m using the ridged windowsill, which is not flat and like a few inches wide, and the corners of the sink, which are small. Maybe just leaving the bathroom out of the equation is the answer.

        And yes, this is a 100 year old house – so the second full bath is on the first floor. It’s larger (I think it was formerly the ice/cold storage room?) but doesn’t even have a vanity cabinet. Plus I don’t feel motivated to haul myself down to the first floor to get ready then go back upstairs.

        • What about putting up spice racks on the walls in the bathroom to create shelf space? Like these

          https://i.pinimg.com/originals/df/24/6a/df246a0ae54bad8eab46aa79c0764b8e.jpg

    • Is there space above the toilet to add a cabinet up there? That’s what I did.

    • Stop being so weird about drawers!

      • Haha. Fair enough. The bottoms of the drawers have weird, acid-stain looking things on them where the wood/fake wood is all bubbled and weird. I’m by no means a clean freak but they look like they’ve been mutilated by chemicals.

        • This is where drawer liner paper comes in. Or liner paper plus trays.

          • Silverware trays are great for organizing makeup in a drawer even if it’s a new, non-stained drawer!

        • Drawer liner paper + acrylic tray.

        • All great ideas! I should have thought of a tray.

        • Just paint the gross drawers. Or use contact paper if you don’t have time.

          I keep makeup and hair stuff in my bedroom and use them there instead of the bathroom – holdover habit from sharing a bathroom with roomates that I never stopped.

          We keep extra towels in drawers under our bed – that is our linen closet – and overflow toilet paper sometimes goes in the hall closet. Cleaning supplies are in the hall closet and in the kitchen.

          If you do have a vanity see about adding extra shelves to it, or buy some plastic stacking drawers to subdivide the space and use all of it top to bottom.

    • Small bathrooms :

      We have pedestal sinks in both bathrooms – I miss counter space!

      I keep a small bag of “everyday” makeup in the medicine cabinet above the sink, it’s quite pared down. Then we have a small standalone cabinet (from home decorators) with one drawer where I keep the rest of my makeup and less commonly used face creams, etc., organized in a tray from home goods. my hair products are nestled in a pretty basket on top of the cabinet and inside the cabinet are things like the Tylenol, random other OTC meds, first aid kit, hair dryer, qtips and cotton balls, etc. I dream of a linen closet!

    • My solution for limited bathroom storage was to buy the kind of kitchen strainer with handles that pull out to sit on top of the sink. All of my daily/weekly stuff was in the strainer. In one bathroom it lived on top of the small cabinet, with the handles pushed back in, when not in use. In my current bathroom, it lives in a drawer under the sink. Since it is a strainer, I can even run the water gently when getting ready if needed.

    • Linda from HR :

      Oh I remember this transition! It’s not fun, but there are solutions. Get a shelving unit that goes over your toilet, that’ll give you a little extra space for toiletries. In addition, if there’s wallspace next to the mirror, you could mount some shelves to the wall or some of those Command bath caddies. Get a basket to store extra toilet paper and put that next to the toilet, and just get in the habit of refilling it often.

      Do you have any sort of linen closet outside the bathroom? Keep towels there. If you don’t, get one of those shelving towers with square cubbies to put somewhere outside the bathroom, and canvas totes that fit those cubbies – you can keep towels in those, as well as any other bathroom-related thing you can’t store in the bathroom, like extra soap. The totes are just to keep things looking tidy.

    • Do you live near an IKEA? The Alexa 9 drawer would be perfect for makeup/ toiletry storage. (wont fit towels/cleaning supplies) It is insanely popular for beauty bloggers and I am getting one to put in my room. We just moved and also have a small bathroom like yours. Maybe it would even fit in your bathroom somewhere. Also… we did over the toilet shelves which is helpful!

      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50192822/

  22. Frivolous post of the morning: engagement rings!

    I posted last week about vintage rings, and several of you gave me recs in DC – thanks! I’ve been to 7 stores in the last week and have an appt at Brilliant Earth this weekend. I’ve discovered that I’m torn between two completely different styles: a classic emerald-cut solitaire and an Art Deco halo.

    This is a second marriage for both of us. I picked out my ring last time, as well, and while it’s pretty, it’s nothing I’d choose today. How do I choose something I’ll still want to wear 50 years from now? Solitaires can be a little ho-hum, but I worry the Art Deco might not be my style in the future. So how about you – do you love what you have? Would you change it? Any regrets? Discuss!

    • Granted i’ve only been married for 1.5 years/engaged for 1.5 before that, but I wouldn’t do anything differently.

      I have a round solitaire on a very thin yellow gold band. I love it. My husband and i designed it together (after we were engaged) – we chose the diamond, designed the setting, prong height etc – so although very simple in design, it is custom and “us”. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

    • My husband chose the ring by himself without ANY input from me – I had fantasized about a fancier, more elaborate ring but he got me a simple round bezel-set solitaire. I’ve grown to love it’s simplicity over time and can see how I would have grown tired of something more dazzly (especially when I read that many women don’t even wear their engagement rings after marriage and opt for just a band). As a sidenote, I don’t wear much jewelry anyway so simple fits.

    • I had that same question. I think the halo rings are so pretty, but ultimately I worried they would start to look dated – the same way you can tell when somebody got engaged in the 80’s or something. For that reason, I went with a solitaire and I’m glad I did. To add a bit of my own style to it, the band on my engagement ring is white gold and my wedding band is yellow gold – I like to mix metals.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I don’t know if you can assume you’ll still love even “classic” styles in 50 years. After all, even solitaires have cycled through trends–emerald cut vs. round, for example, have gone in and out of fashion depending on the decade. I say go with what you really love (and if it turns out in 40 years you don’t love it, you can get a new one for an anniversary present:-) )

    • My wedding ring is from the 1920s and I love it. It’s a low setting so nothing snags on it and I really don’t care if it’s in style or not – it’s pretty. Rather than one big diamond it has three medium sized diamonds across the top with small and tiny diamonds set around the three main stones. I’ve worn it for twenty years without tiring of it.

      I sometimes want to wear a band so I bought a wedding band a few years ago and sometimes wear that. I’m wedded to my husband, not a ring, so I don’t feel like I absolutely must wear it every day.

    • you do you :

      I don’t if this is valid – just a thought I had – but is it worth examining the idea that you don’t love your old ring the same way (or perceive that you don’t like the style today) because that relationship didn’t last?

      for instance: while yes, I think my mother’s marquise diamond was so hilariously 80s and “dated”, but she never gave it a second thought because it came from my dad, etc. I got a beautiful minorly-art-deco-ish ring (honestly, I don’t even know how to characterize it) but the point is that it’s totally me, in my relationship with my husband. I just can’t personally imagine thinking that my beloved token of marriage is “dated”

      all this to say: I’m sure you’ll love anything you pick out and it will look beautiful and make you smile with your spouse! :)

  23. texting spending tracking? :

    Is there an app or other interface where I can text expenditures as they happen?

    • I’m not sure what “text expenditures as they happen” means? Are you looking for a budgeting app or a way to split expenses?

    • YNAB’s app lets you do that and since you can set up your own budget lines in it, you can determine on the spot if it’s something that work will reimburse for or that you need to keep separate for tax time.

    • texting spending tracking? :

      I’m awful at writing them down as they happen so I was wondering if I could just text as I spend and it tracks them on a sheet. We have something like this for work and it’s so convenient! I’ll try YNAB. Thanks!

  24. Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday, it was super helpful!

  25. Do you know any (or are you one) any white middle class/raised in a similar environment women who have committed their professional life to serving an underserved population? So a dr who could work at any health system working in a clinic serving a non English speaking/often illegal population? Or a lawyer at a non profit rehabilitating ex cons etc? When people grow up with exposure to those populations, it makes sense. But what are the drivers to do this say if you grew up in a UMC white family in suburban NJ with parents who had regular corporate jobs who weren’t encouraging (or discouraging) their kids on that path? Is it just seeing the need and wanting to help or something more?

    • Friend of mine did this. Went to Central America for a study abroad and then I think for a yr btwn college and med school and fell in love with it. Came back went to a top med school, residency etc and became intent on working with that population in the US and has done that for 7 yrs now. So in her case – study abroad took her beyond she was used to in our UMC Pennsylvania community.

    • My MIL grew up financially secure (upper working class/lower middle class), not in the US. She went to medical school and trained as an anesthesiologist. She then decided that wasnt her calling and spent the next ~ 10 years working in the shantytowns surrounding Capetown, providing medical care to those with no means. She only stopped because they left South Africa.

    • I think there are a lot of barriers to white middle-class women working with disadvantaged populations, except maybe in the civil legal aid/DV arena. Case in point: My SIL is a white, upper-middle-class teacher who would dearly love to work in a Title 1 school. She wants to feel that she is making a difference in the world and is annoyed with the privilege and sense of entitlement in the upper-middle-class, predominantly white school where she works. Sadly, she has not gotten an offer from any of the Title 1 schools where she’s interviewed, and the word on the street is that it’s because the principals don’t want white teachers, especially middle-aged female ones, because they think they aren’t good role models for the students. She is a really great teacher who’s been very successful and won all sorts of awards, and it’s heartbreaking to see her be rejected just because she has the wrong color skin.

      • Anon for this :

        So, this is my field, and I am white from a middle-class background, and I would caution you against assuming that she is not getting offers based on “the color of her skin.” I obviously don’t know your SIL but I can tell you a few mistakes privileged white people make when interviewing for teaching jobs in low income communities and/or communities of color. Some people exude “white savior complex.” Some white people use othering language, like “these kids.” Some people make unfair assumptions about low income parents – like they do not care or are not invested in their children’s education because they are hard to reach or do not attend school meetings (maybe bc they are working 3 jobs). I hear things like – “I want to be that role model who inspires students to strive for more.” How do you know they don’t have 50 role models? Some people have honest to goodness never previously faced a challenge on par with teaching in low income communities and truly have no sense of how they will be tested, nor are they able to articulate how they have succeeded in the face of such challenges in the past. I’ve been in this sector for 15 years and have learned so, so much about how privileged white people show up in low income spaces and/or communities of color. I marvel every day at the patience of some of my colleagues of color who have taught me these lessons and I cannot believe the grace they have shown when I was personally making these mistakes. I would suggest your SIL do a lot of reading on white privilege. I’d start with Waking Up White by Debby Irving. She may not realize that she is using language or harboring underlying beliefs that are putting people off.

        • +100. I work in K-12 education in the Chicago area, and this is so true. What I really question is that the schools your SIL is interviewing at are mostly only hiring minority teachers– that would be statistically very difficult considering the teaching population is overwhelmingly white, even in schools with large minority populations, and even in Title 1 schools. And students of color DO need to see adults in professional positions of authority who look like them.

          I grew up in an upper middle class, professional community, and while I don’t think I’ve had to sacrifice *that* much (my salary is probably about 20% less than it would be in a cushier district, and I actually left a very white, high-performing district intentionally to work at one with greater ethnic and economic diversity). I’m a specialist with an advanced degree from the top program in my field, so it wasn’t for lack of choice. I do feel the need to help in the small ways I’m able with inequalities in our country. I’ve never experienced what my students have, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize and care.

    • I know several lawyers and one social worker who have chosen to do this. I think they all grew up in families where social responsibility was highly prioritized. So they grew up doing a lot of volunteer work, etc., even if their parents had fairly corporate jobs themselves. I also know one state court judge who specifically opted to stay in a lower court vs. running for election to a higher level, more general jurisdiction level court as is the norm, because she didn’t agree with that court being basically only a place for either new judges or judges who couldn’t qualify to get out for other reasons.

    • I do indigent defense. Almost everyone in my office grew up middle class and white, so no direct exposure to crime or poverty. None of us had parents who encouraged community service in underserved communities or anything similar. We got here through different routes, but basically each of us was exposed to this area of the law, took an interest and found it incredibly rewarding. We deal with a huge variety of people, including immigrants, addicts, mentally and/or physically ill or disabled. Many of my clients have been through things I can’t even begin to imagine and it makes me very aware of how privileged I am. I love working with my clients and their families.

      • I did indigent defense for five years after law school. I also went to Jewish day schools pre-school-12 and didn’t sit in an integrated classroom until college. I became a public defender because it was where I could contribute the most to the most pressing societal problems of our day. It was just a question of ethics. (Now it’s a question of burnout, but that’s for another day.)

        FWIW, my dad is an editor and does PR; my mom used to teach music (after SAHMing for a while) and now works for a non-profit. They were both non-money/”success”-focused when I was growing up, but neither of them were actively “do-gooders” in their professional lives when I was growing up.

        I kind of don’t get this question, to be honest? Some people choose to prioritize what they see as public service in their professional lives. (Another route I see a lot as an alternative is doing the “extracurricular” philanthropic stuff, like fundraising 5ks and happy hours or whatever.) It’s a personal choice.

    • My mother is very good friends with someone who has chosen to do this as a nurse. She is a white woman who grew up in an upper middle class family. In her case, the driver is primarily religion; she is very devoutly Catholic and feels very strongly the obligation/need to serve. She worked for years abroad, basically in exchange for room and board. She then came back to the US to care for an elderly parent. Once the parent died, she stayed in the US, but is still basically working for minimum wage helping under-served communities (although I think the church provides her room and board).

      One thing that I think made a difference in her case is that she had a lot of family support for her decision. The whole family is very religious and there is definitely support for the whole “build up your treasure in heaven” idea.

      • PatsyStone :

        This is a lot like my mom. Very devout Catholic, has worked as a nurse and then as a lawyer serving undeserved populations her whole life. I think it’s in the DNA- her family goes back to Irish home-rule reformers during the potato famine and some wild mid-west abolitionists. She can’t *not* do it. “Another jewel for your crown in heaven,” is a kind of weird but oft-quoted sentiment.

    • Anon for this :

      Maybe it’s the same set of reasons that compel children of wealthy white Republicans to become Democrats? I developed my own worldview and decided that I didn’t need to feel pain personally to empathize with the pain of others. My healthcare is not in jeopardy. My children are not likely to be profiled by police. But that doesn’t mean I ignore the problem. Also, people satisfy different needs with their work. For me, work must have a social mission (I work for a nonprofit) to be rewarding. For my brother, work needs to pay the bills to be rewarding (he’s in sales). Different strokes, different folks.

  26. Hi everyone,

    Now that it’s nearing lunchtime for many of us, this is a friendly reminder to call your senators about the healthcare bill. Tell them you won’t vote for them if they support it, tell a personal story, tell them you expect them to keep fighting (if they are fighting the bill and you agree with that), etc. This is democracy in action; they work for you, represent you, and are paid by you, so tell them what you think!

    For those in states with two democratic senators (or even Americans living abroad), in addition to calling and telling your Senators to keep up the fight, you can also sign up to call folks in red states that marched in the Women’s March, etc. and encourage them to call their senators. Will link below.

    • https://www.trumpcareten.org/calls-to-kill-trumpcare/

      Also a friend of mine does faxes through resistbot to send messages to Sen. Toomey because other methods of getting through have been unsuccessful.

      • I’ll never stop saying that Toomey is a $hit sandwich.

        • Cookbooks :

          +1000000! He’s awful. Even though I left, my parents are still in PA, and I’m constantly after them to get on Toomey’s case. Not that he listens to his constituents…

    • Thanks. Just called.

  27. AnonAssociate :

    Does anyone have any advice on how to handle what is am imminent termination? I have had some really negative performance reviews and I know the “talk” is coming soon. Yes, without going into detail, I have evidence this is coming
    1. Should I be proactive with my bosses and let them know that I have decided to start looking for another job?
    2. I have a few resumes out there and a few recruiters that I’ve been talking to. I know I need to start networking with actual attorneys. Does anyone have any specific advice on what I should be doing?

    • If you know it’s coming, yes, I’d go ahead and talk to them. And don’t hide the ball – let them know that you’re aware this is on the horizon, and that have decided the best approach is for you to look for a better fit elsewhere. Ask them to help. If you’re in biglaw, typically, this is part of what partners do when an associate is let go for performance reasons.

      FYI, the way you handle this makes a big difference; I’ve definitely seen partners go the extra mile for associates who managed to mute their (real and understandable) disappointment, stress, and even anger about a termination in favor of maintaining a positive relationship with the group and positive attitude on the way out the door. If their impression of how you handle this is favorable, they’re going to feel better making calls to their colleagues to help you find another place, and they’re going to be more positive when they get those informal reference calls.

      • Thanks, CB. not the original anon but this is very applicable to me and a good reminder to keep a lid on personal feelings for now.

    • Anonymous :

      Negotiate for as long of an extension to remain “with” the firm as you can so that you appear employed while you are looking.

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