Kat’s Favorite Suits of 2015

accessories to wear to work2015 was a great year for women’s suits — these are some of my favorites from our weekly roundup. (Each picture links back to the original post… and of course, don’t forget to check out The Corporette Guide to Basic Women’s Suiting.)

Here are links to our favorite women’s suits from 20142013, 2012 and 2010.

 

January / February / March / April / May / June / July* / August / September / October* / November* / December*

Comments

  1. anonymous :

    I’m studying for consulting case interviews. Any recommendations for resources, like a repository of practice cases? Obviously I’d prefer something free online, but I’m willing to pay for something that’s worth it. I can’t really tell which ones are “worth it” right now.

    • I tried few of the different books/sites and ended up mostly using Victor Chang, case in point, and David Ohrvall, crack the case.

      Both give you a pretty good start and it was helpful to have two perspectives, since case interviewing is more art than science.

      Other case interview advice:
      -Find someone who has already gone through recruiting and knows how to case and give feedback. If you are with another new person, you will spend time creating more bad habits than developing the right skills.
      -Plan on around 40-60 practice cases before you are ready to interview.
      -Spend time on the behavioral portion as well. Even if you kill the case, if your behavioral is not smooth as butter, than a great case won’t help.

      For context, I went through MBA on campus recruiting within the last few years and got into a top firm. I now pitch in with recruiting and often conduct case interviews.

    • Hi there, consultant here:

      Definitely get:
      – Case in Point (book)
      – Crack the Case System (good for raw material)

      potential supplement:
      – Case Interview Secrets (more theoretical. it’s not honestly very practical in my opinion but a good perspective on the case interview mindset)

      Google for MBA consulting club casebooks– fantastic source of info. They usually have a lot of realistic interviews. Some places to start:
      http://masterthecase.com/case-interview-casebooks/
      http://gtucc.com/r/2014/03/Wharton5.pdf
      https://community.bus.emory.edu/club/GCA/Shared%20Documents/Wharton%20Casebook%202007-2008.pdf (page 8, labeled page 6, is SUPER SUPER important!!)
      https://www.google.com/search?q=mba+consulting+club+case+book

      a few tips that helped me most.
      1) practice all cases in a single notebook. just keep one notebook with all your examples that you’ve used. you’ll be able to review and see patterns.
      2) the most important thing to learn beyond the basic content is how to structure your thinking. i cannot overemphasize this enough. use signaling words – first, second, third, most importantly, etc. and work to be comprehensive. at the same time try to prioritize.
      3) quiz yourself (again and again)! read a case prompt and BEFORE reading the answer, structure some areas of investigation. and then practice reviewing and speaking out loud.
      4) numbers are a means to an end so the more you get used to percentages, large numbers, etc. and feel like you are fluent in that, as a way to truly walk through and communicate your approach, it will serve you well!

      and last but not least…most people practice only to the point of competence. practice beyond that, to the point where you are excited to get a case and say, I’m going to eat this case for breakfast!

      good luck!

  2. Anonymous :

    I really have a bad attitude about work right now. I’m stuck here working on a time sensitive project while many of my colleagues are on vacation. What do you do when you have a bad attitude about work?

    • Clementine :

      I give myself rewards.

      ‘If I accomplish x, I get to go buy a nice bottle of wine. If I accomplish x and y by 5:30, I get to go get a massage.’

      I also set straight up timers and focus for a set period of time then give myself permission to fart around for a set period of time.

      Other suggestions: Dress up (or really down) for work, do extra special hair or makeup so you feel like a million bucks, get the fancy cappuccino you always really want but never get, play fabulous music all day.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks! Just reading this helped my mood.

      • Secret sale! :

        Plus! Though I have to do this every day, even when I’m into the task at hand. :/. ADHD management…

    • I usually opt to work the days everyone else takes off (Black Friday, Christmas Eve, etc.) and then, assuming all my work deadlines are met, I come in late, wear whatever I want, and leave early. If no one else in my area is in (often the case) I will listen to music at my desk without headphones.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        It’s so much easier to work when everyone else is out of the office. No distractions, it’s quiet, etc. I can just go in, get my work done, and leave.

    • Yay! Kat, I have a great Ralph Laueren suit from Sak’s Fifth Avenue that I picked out with a gift card from Dad last week. It is beautiful marroon with a black lapel, and the skirt is VERY short with a littel slit, so I will NOT be abel to wear this until the SPRING, when my tuchus will be smaller. Dad is worried about my tuchus being to big for this but I swore I would do 10,000 step’s a day until I was abel to fit into it. It is a size 2 so I realy better do it or I will have to give the suit to ROSA, but she realy does NOT even wear suit’s. FOOEY!

      Anyway, for the OP, do NOT get mad you are at work. I was at work early, and now am doeing some additional legal research here for the manageing partner. He is on vacation and the office is closed until January 4. I do NOT worry that I am workeing b/c I have a good job, and make decent money for what I do, tho I would prefer to be home watcheing TV and eateing. But if I did this, my tuchus would NEVER get smaller. I am hopeing that 2016 will be a good year for me, as you should be thinkeing, and that I will find a boyfreind that will love me in spite of my tuchus. Dad says that is NOT goeing to happen with all of the pretty women with tiny tuchuses in Manhattan. I told him that women are getting tuchus implant’s to have BIGGER tuchuses, but he said that is a myth.

      Does any one in the hive have a link to doctor’s doeing tuchus implant’s? If so, please p’ost and I will show dad. I want to be abel to convince him I have something that other girl’s crave! HELP!

    • Basically YAAAAS (that rhymes, right?) :

      Always look on the briiiiight side of life! For me, the office is quiet, the coworker who drives me crazy isn’t around to drive me crazy, and my commutes have been very smooth this week.

    • Wine

      • Well, for afterwork. And I agree I am much more efficient when no one else is around. Try not to look at Facebook on your breaks since their vacation photos won’t help.

    • Not Monica Lewinski :

      I tell myself, “I am earning x number of dollars for being here today. I am willing to spend my day this way in exchange for x number of dollars.” Alternately, when I feel I am in the midst of slackers, I think about the importance of not comparing myself to others. I find it rewarding to do my best and know that if I don’t I will not respect myself. It doesn’t matter if other people are more comfortable with performing to a lesser extent. Now shut your damn mouth and get your work done. You didn’t get into this job by being a crybaby sissy, now, did you?

  3. Mild Child :

    I remember the dissenting opinions about the December red suit. Haha.

    Now that we are in the throes of holiday season where time with family is prioritized and coming up to another year, I’m curious to hear from women who’ve decided not to have children. I’m in my early 30s and my husband and I are leaning towards no kids. I have very little desire to parent (verb) although I’m sure if I did have a kid I’ll be a decent enough mother.

    I know I can have a happy and fulfilling 30s and 40s without kids. However, not having kids in your 30s for most people means not having kids ever. Which means no grandchildren. Which means no the kind of nuclear family structure that is still where most people derive their social ties.

    If there are folks who are in their late 40s, 50s, or 60s who comment on this site, I’d love to hear your thoughts about aging without children. Or from personal experience / observations of older folks who age without children.

    • Anon for this :

      My brother and his wife are in their 50s with no kids (not by choice). About 5 years ago my SIL changed to a more fulfilling career in a helping profession, which seems to make her happy. They are very close to their siblings and nieces and nephews (especially on my SIL’s side, since they are close geographically). I know my SIL would have wanted to be a mom (and would have been a great mom), but I don’t see their lives as lonely or unconnected.

      • Not Monica Lewinski :

        The common thread, from what I have read of the comments so far, seems to be tied to family. So here is a different perspective. I am 38. I have 2 teenage children. I have cautioned them about the sacrificial nature of motherhood, as I love them and want them to do what they would like best. As a very independent person, I do not like to rely on anyone for anything. After the kids have moved away I imagine for myself a life of self-indulgences tempered by my demanding and self-sustaining career. I would not feel comfortable relying on anyone, including my children, for support, social or financial, in my elder years. I will have prepared to enter a thriving adult community possibly followed by a nursing home if necessary. But if I am so poorly off I might just take a taxi to the nearest ghetto so I can purchase and administer a lethal heroin dose. But that’s just me. I am a minuscule percentage of the population.

    • I had a great-aunt who never had any children and didn’t even get married until her 70s. She still had strong relationships with her sister, parents, and nieces/nephews, great-nieces/nephews. To me she was like a third grandmother and we were very close. She was also very close to her nieces and nephews and chose to be involved in their lives. She traveled extensively, had a career, a bunch of friends, and seemed to live a very full life. Once she began to decline, her extended family stepped in to help out.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m only in my 30s but I’ve known forever that I don’t want to have kids. In my situation, I have 5 brothers and sisters, all of which either have kids or plan to. I’ll have a ton of neices and nephews around. I’m extremely close with my entire family, which makes me not worry about losing a family structure as I age. That’s just never been a concern for me.

      I have an aunt on the side of the family that I no longer speak to who never had children. That family was always big on extended family gatherings so she was always included. I never asked her about it but I never got the impression that she wishes she’d had kids.

      Remember too that sometimes your family is what you make it and isn’t necessarily tied together by biology. I figure if I nurture my relationships with both friends and biological family that I’ll never really be alone as I age.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m never sure about this. As I see my parents aging, family wins every time. Their friends move away to where their own children are. People prioritize their siblings. Aunties by choice just aren’t as important as aunties by blood.

        Not at all an argument in favor of having kids, but I think the concept of family-by-choice is having Avery trendy moment and I don’t know that it pans out as often as people expect it too.

        • Anonymous :

          I agree with this. In DC, there are a lot of families by choice among the 30s/40s set that has to remake itself every few years as people move back home (so it accelerates in the early 50s and beyond). Even if people move from DC proper back out to Winchester or Fredericksburg, it’s not the same anymore.

          Family becomes very fluid, is maybe how it works out.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Hmm I don’t know. I’m saying it based on what I’ve seen of my parents and grandparents. My stepmom is very close with her best friend, my parents have a few close couples friends who they see and talk to regularly and vacation with at least once a year, my grandparents have several great friends through church who they see regularly, and my motger in law’s best friend is 100% closer to her than her actual sister is. As the child or grandchild, I know the vast majority of these people pretty well and most have come on what would otherwise be family vacations. I’d consider some of them to be part of my extended family.

          Granted it’s impossible to know what will happen in the future, but I hope to keep my friends as close as they have.

        • anonymous :

          I’m the “family-by-choice” poster below. I’m sure your statement is true for many people, but in my experience it’s not for everyone and some people are always going to view family in that traditional fashion. But that’s not everyone, and I’ve seen this work out very well for those I’m close to who are much older. I think it doesn’t often pan out for people who harbor some kind of more “normal” desires for family, but there are plenty of people who are wired differently.

        • Mild Child :

          That’s what I’m worried about and what I also see – friends are nice but blood is thicker than water. I know that my relatives will help me in a way that they would not help someone unrelated, even if they were very close them.

          My husband and I come from small families so if we don’t have kids, I don’t even know if we can count on being aunt and uncle.

        • Yes, it is trendy. And, honestly, strange to me in such big numbers. In the past, there were people who didn’t want kids and I got it based on their personality and lifestyle. Maybe they were very eccentric or maybe they were in show business or whatever. Now, the people I know at work who don’t want kids seem to think they can fill their lives with travel and books. They seem selfish to me. Having my son has been my single greatest joy in life and I am an attorney in a very fulfilling career.

          • anonymous :

            I’m glad you’re happy and fulfilled, but it seems awful to judge people who find happiness elsewhere as “selfish.”

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I’m very happily selfish then and fine with that.

          • Anonymous :

            I want kids, but I have never understood the argument that not having a child is selfish. Why do people have kids? The most common reasons I’ve heard are: 1) they want the experience of being a parent, 2) they want someone to take care of them in their old age and 3) they want to pass down their genes or leave a lasting legacy. All of those seem like fairly self-centered reasons to me – they are all based around the future parents’ wants and desires.
            Everyone should just do whatever makes them happy, but I honestly don’t think one is more selfish than the other.

          • Why on EARTH is NOT having a child selfish?

            Especially when you just went on to describe your child as the greatest joy in your life. Sounds pretty self-interested to me. Sounds like YOU WANTED to be a parent, because you thought it would fulfill you. Sounds selfish! I’m not judging you- you have the right to do whatever makes you happy- but don’t sit there and pretend that your desire for your chosen lifestyle is less selfish than mine.

            I’m so tired of judgmental mommies claiming that people who don’t want kids are selfish. It literally makes no gdamned sense. How is it selfish NOT to bear a child?

          • Senior Attorney :

            Seems to me that insisting on passing on one’s genes, and deriving great joy and personal fulfillment from doing so, is the very definition of selfish. Good lord. And I’m a mom, too.

        • shamlet96 :

          I agree with this. There is something about family ties that seems to render them stronger than others, especially when it comes to parts of life like aging. YMMV of course, but that’s IME.

        • I truly believed that you could rely on a friend over family if that friend was the right person, like the friendship between my mother and her best friend. They met during graduate school as roommates, stayed best friends, followed each other as they took jobs on different continents, and bought houses to retire in 30 minutes apart from each other. They were each other’s support systems and sounding boards through marriages, divorces, career changes, and children. She was my other mother, and I always knew I could count on her the same way I could my mom – until my mother’s best friend started getting really sick. When she found out she had a terminal illness, she drew away from us, and spent her time with her brothers and sisters, who had condemned her decision to pursue a demanding career, to not have children, and to marry a man not in their culture. She became cruel to my mother, and by the time she died, it was a relief.

          Blood is thicker than water.

    • Late 40’s never had children. Consider myself happy. Both DH and I come from fairly dysfunctional families so we don’t equate nuclear family with happiness and fulfillment. In fact, for many of us the idea that family is where most people get their social ties is untrue. DH is actually a teacher so although he enjoys kids, he is glad not to have that responsibility 24/7. Like others who post here, we are fulfilled by our jobs, our pets, hobbies, friends, each other.

    • anonymous :

      I’m a little younger than you, but I have thought about this a lot. We’ve decided definitely no kids. I’m okay with not having that family structure when I’m older because growing up and in my life thus far, I never really had anything approximating a “family structure,” so over the years I built my own. I really like the “family of choice” idea, and the upside is that visiting “family” is virtually always pleasant and drama free. There are many ways to have a family, I think.

    • espresso bean :

      I think about this a lot, too. I’m 35, and I’m noticing that a lot of coupled friends in my age range who seemed ambivalent about kids are jumping on the bandwagon now because there’s this sense of now or never.

      But to respond to your post, I definitely think you can have a happy and fulfilling life without kids. No question. And plenty of people who have kids and traditional family structures are not happy at all. When people would say happiness is a choice, I used to kind of roll my eyes at them, but I do think this is one situation where it applies. If you actively choose not to have kids, I think you can make deliberate choices to ensure your own happiness and fulfillment in the years to come. You would need to deliberately close the door on the “what if” possibilities of kids and focus on the future and what you CAN do to make your life a happy one.

      This makes me think of one of my favorite Cheryl Strayed columns from back when she was Dear Sugar. She said something about how your other life (in your case, a life with kids) was a ghost ship that you could only salute from the shore and watch as it sailed away (she said it much more eloquently than this, of course).

    • Not sure why not having kids would get harder as you age. I am early 40’s, married, and we are child free by choice. I can see that DH and I will need to be a little more proactive in planning for when we are very old and/or incapacitated, but I think people should do that anyway, regardless of children or no children. I do not expect to wake up at 55 and wish I had grandkids. If some friends my age (at any point) need to prioritize their families and drift off, I am sure I will find plenty of new friends who are not burdened with family obligations. On the other hand, I am a somewhat cold, reserved person and don’t really get what people on this blog are talking about when they advise each other to seek “support” from their friends and family, or lament that they are not getting the “support” they need.

      • Wildkitten :

        Because when you’re 22 you can go to the club and blackout with anyone but when you’re 90 you really want your family to come visit you in the home and make sure you aren’t being abused by the staff.

        I think that’s the logic.

        • But there is no guarantee they’ll do that. They could be distant, deadbeats or serial killers, or predecease you! So as a ticket to a comfortable and well cared for old age, kids are not worth the gamble if you don’t want them for other reasons.

          • No one is saying they are? But you asked what people who do want them are thinking and this is it. I can’t guarantee my kids will love me and care for me, but not having them is a guarantee they won’t.

      • “If some friends my age (at any point) need to prioritize their families and drift off”

        This^^ is why not having kids gets harder as you age. Because most people are prioritizing their family, and if you are not their family, they are not prioritizing you. Based on the rest of your post, though, it doesn’t sound like this would be an issue for you, personally, as you recognize that you don’t rely on your friends for support. Nothing wrong with that, but that’s uncommon.

        WK is right- when you’re 22 and there’s a billion other single, unattached folks around, its easy to make new friends. When you get older, those people aren’t there, and they’re certainly not there to do the hard stuff for you.

        • There are actually plenty of people out there without those kind of family ties. Make friends with them.

          • Right, I guess my experience is just *wrong* because anonymous on the internet says that there are “actually plenty of people out there.” I’m not saying that those people don’t exist, but I’m not wrong that all your friends having families of their own means they aren’t as able/likely to prioritize you.

          • anonymous :

            Dude, calm down. I’m not saying your experience is wrong. I’m just saying it’s still very possible for this to work. And plenty of people don’t have families and are in similar situations as me. It definitely takes more effort than a traditional family structure, but it’s possible. That’s all.

            It’s much more likely to work when the people you’re associating with also don’t have “families of their own.”

          • Brunette Elle Woods :

            It just means that as your friends have children, they have less free time to spend with their friends. Children take up almost all of your free time and unless you have enough extra money to pay someone to do everything else in your life, personal chef, personal trainer, housekeeper, personal assistant, etc, you have very little time to see friends. Most people do end up getting married and having children. So even though there are a lot of people who don’t, they are harder to find and become friends with. “Make friends with them” is much easier said than done.

          • anonymous :

            Yeah, it’s easier said than done. I said it’s a ton more work. All I’m saying is that it is *possible* to do this and lead a fulfilled life this way even though it’s not what most people do. It’s not like OP is forever doomed to have a family of some meaningful description just because she doesn’t have kids. I should think that the fact that there’s hope is a good thing, no? No one said it’s easy.

        • It actually gets easier again too as people’s kids get older. I have friends who had kids young, and now those kids have a life of their own, so their parents are social again. My life has also changed as I’ve gotten older – I have zero desire to hang out with large groups of people, all night at the club. I like to spend time with a small circle of close friends and my husband. Not having kids makes that lifestyle totally workable & actually easy even with friends with young children – my schedule is usually the more flexible one and I can more easily squeeze in a visit.

          And one more point that’s missing from this thread – like many people in couples without kids, I have a family, I have a husband, we’re a nuclear family of two, and that suits us just fine.

          • AlwaysANewUsername :

            Late to this, but I agree the time constraints ebb and flow. My parents had kids young, and once we were out of the house they made friends with couples through my dad’s firm who didn’t have kids until they were older. Now the younger couples have had kids and my parents have grandchildren around the same age, which seems to be nice for both parties.

            Super-specific situation, but the intense period of raising young children is comparatively short. Some parts may be harder than others, and you’ll lose touch with folks along the way, but that’s true for everyone. Motherhood is way too demanding if you are pretty sure you won’t enjoy it.

        • Not Monica Lewinski :

          You hire people to do the hard stuff, and if your friends aren’t enough emotional suport, make new friends

      • I think another reason it gets harder is that people begin to grapple with their own mortality more as they age. There is a sort of immortality in having kids because part of you and/or your spouse lives on in them. Of course there are other ways to leave a legacy, but it’s another factor to consider.

    • I’m early 40s, married and never wanted kids. I have nieces and nephews, but honestly until they get older I can’t say I’m all that interested in them either. Parenting never appealed to me. I prefer an adult life. To the concerns about family, I come from a very large one so perhaps that’s kept me from feeling the need to create a large one of my own. As for caring for our old age, my husband and I don’t have the expense of children so we can save for that ourselves and we have each other for emotional support. Like Sydney, we both have very close friendships and the time to nurture those (also many other child free friends). In short, the fear of old age has never been a driver for me to have kids as a mitigant, especially considering there are absolutely no guarantees there.

    • I have a “take them or leave them” attitude toward kids (I’m 30 FWIW). I hate babies (not just “don’t have baby fever”…I actively hate them. They’re gross and I don’t think they’re cute at all) but I do like toddlers and kids and can definitely see how being a parent would be fun, but I can also imagine a very happy, fulfilled life for myself without kids. It is really important to my husband to have kids, so we will try to have at least one (ideally, he would have two, but he is ok with compromising on one – of course if I decide I want more, he would be thrilled). I have no siblings so I won’t have nieces or nephews (except through my husband’s family) and my parents won’t have grandchildren unless I have a kid, which is also part of why I’m leaning towards at least one kid. If I could be an awesome Auntie to lots of kids that I could see regularly and I could know I wasn’t depriving my parents of being grandparents I would feel a stronger desire to be child-free, I think.

      I’ve never really understood the argument for having kids so you have someone to take care of you in your old age. Among Caucasians in the US at least, most elderly adults don’t move in with family – when grandma and grandpa can’t live alone anymore they move into a nursing home/assisted living. Of course having your kids visit you makes your day brighter, but friends and old neighbors can visit too. Whenever people say things like that I always think of what George Clooney said to Anna Kendrick in Up In the Air when she was trying to convince him why marriage and family are right for everyone and she eventually says “So you won’t die alone” and he says “Make no mistake, we all die alone.” Depressing, but true, I think.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        I am with you on the baby feelings, and so is my husband. We even feel the same way about toddlers. But we both wanted to raise kids. And we didn’t care about our kids being genetically ours and we also didn’t care what race/ethnicity our kids are. So the choice became really clear for us.

        I am always interested to hear people say that having kids fulfilled their lives or something like that. Our lives were completely fulfilled before our kids, and that is one of the reasons I wanted to bring kids into the picture-I felt we could provide a stable and happy home for them. That being said, we view our children as important additions to our family-not the center of it-and focus on having our sons become independent human beings. But then again, we never went through the experience of the all-consuming caring for an infant, and it seems like that is the perspective many posters are coming from.

    • PS – I forgot to answer the best part of the question, am I happy. Answer – absolutely. I’m not worried about whether to lean in or out of my career & I was able to “lean in” because I was never distracted by kids, and now I get the rewards of that; my husband and I aren’t financially stressed out because we are only saving for ourselves and we both make decent incomes; we travel and stay in nice hotels while we’re there; we eat out whenever we want; we live in a HCOL city without a ton of stress. Yes, these are all the things that make the child free people get labeled “selfish,”but I’ve never been convinced that choosing to have kids is somehow the opposite of that. There’s a lot to be said for living life the way you want to.

      • +1. Spouse and I are mid-40s in HCOL city and very, very happy not to have kids.

        • For these same reasons, I meant! For another data point — I’m 46 and never felt any strong desire to have kids.

    • I am going to remove the fact that if my bf and I get married there is a good chance his kids will have grandchildren for this exercise.

      I never wanted to have kids and now that I am 35, I still feel the same way. I have a very small family, one sister (we are not close), and three uncles (two of whom live in England, the third, my stateside uncle, having had three visits in 35 years). I fully expected to get old alone and as such, am trying my best to figure out a way to support myself without having to be a burden on my family. There is no way I would want my sister to have to be responsible for my care. We are not close, but even if we were, I wouldn’t want her quality of life or financial decisions to hinge on my care. I doubt, based on our relationship, she would feel obligated to regardless. Perhaps I am delusional, but I feel as though lots of people get old without family members to support them. Is it ideal with unicorns and rainbows? Maybe, maybe not. I feel confident that my ability to make and keep friends would be enough for me. Under no circumstances did I ever consider having children only to have blood family members around as I age. You cannot predict what familial relationships will look like and you could end up with children who want nothing to do with you – it’s really not something you can 100% guarantee.

    • My husband and I were no kids for many years after we got married. During our thirties it was great – we travelled, had great careers, etc. But we recently decided to try for kids, because our lives felt empty. It just all seemed a little purposeless. Of course now I’m in my forties, so we don’t know for sure if it will happen. So if you are thinking you want kids at all, go for it now as the desire to have kids will only grow and it will only get harder the longer you wait.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m in my 50s and although I do have one child, he’s 29 and there are no grandchildren in sight any time soon and maybe never. My siblings are spread out geographically and my parents recently moved to assisted living in my town. No extended family in the picture. Gentleman Friend is a childless widower. So I feel like I can comment on this even though I am not childless myself.

      Yes, it’s more than possible to have a happy and fulfilling life without children, even as you age. Honestly, from what I’ve seen it is far, far more important to have financial resources than to have family when you are talking about end-of-life care and living arrangements. Be smart, have a plan, somebody you trust to implement it, and the resources to make it happen.

      As for “family of choice,” this past Christmas my son was at his dad’s and my parents were not up to a big celebration, so Gentleman Friend and I and another friend went away to a nice hotel for Christmas and drank a toast to “family of choice.” It was fine. Would I have liked to have had a houseful of relatives including a longtime husband, children, and grandchildren? Well, sure, I guess. But as espresso bean noted above, that was another life on a ghost ship that sailed off without me. I love the life I have now. Gentleman Friend would have loved to have had children with his wife, he would have loved for her not to have died, but he loves the life he has now, too. We love one another, we love our friends, and at this point we wouldn’t change a thing.

      You have to work at it a little more if you don’t have children, I think. But that’s okay.

    • I’m in my mid-30s and just had my first child, but there were already plenty of cousins on both sides. I never had baby fever but always assumed kids would be part of the plan. I have a great aunt and uncle who never had children. They wanted children, and considered adopting, but his mother told him she’d never love an adopted child as much as if they had their own (she was a real winner, right?). So they didn’t have kids. My family is very close (both in distance and relationships), but their involvement with us kind of petered out a little as we got older. I think it gets harder to maintain the strong family relationships as new generations come along if you don’t have any. Not impossible, but harder.

      That said, if my husband hadn’t wanted a baby, I would have been fine with never having one. I would still have had a fulfilling life, it just would have been different. I’m not an extreme mom whose life meant nothing before she had children. I can still imagine life without her, and it would have been a good life.

    • Anonattorney :

      I am probably too young to answer this question (early 30s) and am the mother of a 6-month old, so I’m definitely not your target audience. But, one thing I’ve noticed since I had a baby is that, although it’s wonderful and so fulfilling to become a mother, I have also opened up a whole new part of me that is capable of feeling and experiencing deep deep pain, worry, frustration, sadness, and anger. If anything happens to my little boy — now or in the years to come — I’m going to feel that.

      I did NOT anticipate that part of the whole parenting thing. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. To be honest, it really freaks me out. Now I watch movies or read news stories where people lose a kid and my gut wrenches. I literally feel sick to my stomach.

      Anyway, that’s something to take into consideration when you decide whether or not to have kids. You may have all the joy of having a large family going into your old age, or you may have moments of intense fear and loss. Or both. If you don’t have kids, you don’t have to worry about those risks as much.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes! This is so true! Kids bring joy but they also bring heartache. I think if you want to be Happy With a Capital H, the safest course of action is probably to skip parenthood. I think there was a study a while back that said having kids may make your life richer and more meaningful (don’t shoot me, I’m just repeating what I remember reading), but not, overall, happier.

        I’d say parenthood brings higher highs and lower lows.

        • Brunette Elle Woods :

          Yes, I read a study that said the first year of having a child is worse than all these other life events, death of a loved one, divorce, etc. It’s really, really hard. No first time parents knows what they are doing and you usually don’t get a minute to yourself all day, everyday. My friends say they go from their day job to their night job, aka taking care of baby. Although it is a wonderful job, it is still a job!

        • Not Monica Lewinski :

          As Dana Carvey once put it, becoming a parent is the best thing that can happen to you, and also the worst thing that can happen to you.

      • Anonymous :

        I had that experience when I got a dog. I’m not saying dog = kid (of course not) but we had a big scare right after adopting her when we thought she might die (as a young adult dog). The thought of losing her so young and after only knowing her for a couple of months was the deepest, most gut-wrenching pain I’ve ever felt (admittedly, I’m fortunate to have never lost a parent or significant other). I told my mom the experience was making me rethink having a kid, because I’m sure the pain of losing a child is far greater and I didn’t think I could handle it. But my mom asked me “If the dog had died, would you have wished you never adopted her or would have been grateful that you got to know this wonderful dog for a few months?” and I knew immediately it was the latter.

      • Anonymous :

        Very well put.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Not really your question, but sort of a response to many of the other posters here and some general thoughts. People are really judgmental about many aspects of this decision, and fail to appreciate that it is a deeply personal decision. When my husband and I got married, we were in the child-free-forever camp. People judged us. Then when we decided to adopt instead of having our own children (no conception problems that we know of), people judged us. Then when we decided to adopt older children instead of an infant, people judged us. Then when those children ended up being a different race than either me or my husband, people judged us. Luckily, I don’t care what other people think.

      In sum, different things are better for different people. Stop the judging already. /rant

      • Anonattorney :

        Honest question – no snark: do you think people on this thread have been writing judgmental comments? I was pleasantly surprised because I thought it was so nonjudgmental. But maybe I missed something?

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          Interesting. I found a some of it pretty judgmental, but didn’t want to call out specific people for being that way. Maybe I should have. The selfish comments and how-can-life-be-fulfilling without children comments ooze with judging. (And this is coming from a mother…)

    • I’m in my mid-30s, single, and can’t have children (which has been a real relationship killer, in my experience, but that’s a separate issue). I’m finding it really hard at the moment, since a lot of people with kids seem to assume I can’t stand them and therefore don’t want to be around them, or that I won’t fit in at child-friendly gatherings – I miss out on a lot of invitations, and when I ask later hear something like ‘oh, we didn’t think you’d be interested’, despite me having expressed interest.

      Part of this is me being single, which is a problem the OP doesn’t have, but for all the talk about families of choice, I’ve found that a) even some ostensibly alternative people can turn around and dump you when biology comes calling; b) some childfree people are so anti-child as to be unpleasant to spend time around; and c) some people with children cannot comprehend that those without are still nice to spend time with and need friends too. Of course, there are also good people out there, but it takes a fair effort to find them, I fear.

      I hope it gets better, since while I may still find a partner, I can’t do much on the kid front. (Not in the US – adoption’s too expensive and surrogacy’s not legal.) We’ll see.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        If you are willing to consider adopting an older child through your county’s department of children/family services, the cost is basically nothing. I realize this is not for everyone, but throwing it out there.

        • I’d be willing to adopt an older child, but getting approval in the country I live in as a single person would require me to stay at home for long enough that I can’t manage it financially for the foreseeable future. (I also support my parents. See – us childless folks aren’t all selfish! /sarcasm off)

          I don’t know what the answer is, except that I’d be grateful if families-with-kids didn’t just forget about old friendships. I know there’s no time, but if you’re inviting hordes of people anyway, why not ask me too? (Same goes for couples – is it so hard to ask a single person to a dinner party? Odd numbers at the table aren’t terminal…)

        • @Anonymous BigLaw Associate, would you be willing to email offline about the experience of adopting older kids? My husband and I are pretty much in the same place it sounds like you and your husband were, and have been considering adoption for the same reasons. It’s been somewhat hard to find folks our age (40ish) who aren’t adopting b/c of fertility problems, and I’d love to hear more about what it was like for you.

      • Meet a divorced guy who already has kids but doesn’t want more! I turned down several of these types of relationships because I thought I would have kids and never did.

        • I’ve tried! But thus far none have been over wife 1 enough to make a relationship viable. Maybe in a few years there’ll be more options – people don’t tend to marry young where I am, and I’m not looking at the 50+ set yet.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, in a few more years your chances for a relationship will improve dramatically and your lack of children will be considered a plus! When was dating in my late 30s that’s when the divorced dads starting popping up, and I’ve been told that not having kids myself made the thought of a relationship with me even more appealing. My husband tells me all the time that his friends are jealous that he found a second wife with a successful career and no baby-daddy drama.

            While my husband has now adult children, I’ll answer the OP’s question anyway, as I certainly don’t expect them to shoulder any burdens of my aging process. We will have proper plans in place for our care, and have enough money saved to take care of ourselves. And, honestly, I have no interest in being a step-grandmother for the same reason I didn’t care to have children, I simply don’t find taking care of children that enjoyable. Like ITDS above, I don’t often turn to anyone other than my husband for any sort of support, so I suppose I am one of those wired a little differently, and tend to find tight family ties more restricting than supportive.

            But I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything, as I love my life. I find purpose and passion with my husband, my career, our dogs and my volunteer work with the animal shelter, and traveling. Life is good!

    • Here’s how I see it. I’m not sure I would make a good mom. I’d rather exceed at being a good crazy aunt to my friends’ kids and maybe someday to any nieces or nephews than be a sh*%#y mom. My parents had me at a really young age and then had kids in the house for 33 years (and counting). I’ve witnessed too much of their sacrifice. I guess I am single too so I don’t technically have a choice right now but I think if it’s something I REALLY wanted I’d buck up and get on Match and find a suitable mating person. Again, my parents are great. But I’ve also had so many non-parental mentors and coaches that I know I can still touch children’s lives if I want to and as it turns out, I give zero of my time to that priority.

      And…well…without kids, I’ll have money to get the care I need later? I also have 3 younger siblings whom I’m very close with.

      My friends started having kids right out of high school, then the college ones did, then the grad school ones did so I’ve always been a nomad of social groups, keeping some but making new friends always. idk just my two cents

    • I am gladder every single year that I don’t have children. I’m not very patient, and my particular genetic material is no great shakes. The world will be fine without my line continuing.

      Went out for dinner with a bunch of friends last night, some of whom brought their small children, and I felt even gladder with every shriek. I’m sure they will be fine upstanding members of society someday, but it’s better for everyone if I’m not the person who has to train them to be.

    • Lefty lawyer :

      I’m 61 years old, have been with my husband (also a lawyer) for 34 years, and childless by choice. I have never regretted it and am very happy. I do not consider myself selfish. I have been able to dedicate myself to working for social and economic justice, without the need to worry about supporting dependents. I would never expect children to support me in my old age, either financially or physically.

    • heatherskib :

      We’re in the wanted them, but not meant to be boat. I just turned 35, hubs is a couple years younger. Major fertility issues were on both sides, and I insisted on getting spayed a couple years ago after waking up in bed covered in blood and screaming in pain. We’d been trying to conceive for 7 years before that. We decided against the fertility treatment route after watching a few other couples bankrupt themselves and destroy their marriages over getting pregnant. Private adoptions are crazy expensive, and we’re relatively private people, so we haven’t gone the foster route. We do talk about it on occasion.

      Life without children can be lonely. We’ve had friends break up with us so they had more time to spend with other parents. Not having kids seems to be everyone’s invitation to pry into why, which gets awkward. This thread kinda indicates the judginess some people have over it. You get strange looks if you are at a park just enjoying watching kids play or are kind to a stragners child. But I think that’s more the world we live in now.

      Honestly at this age so much of people’s social lives is spent on child based interaction that I make it a point to have more social hobbies (tennis, book club, knitting at an LYS, etc.) to make friends. You’ll find that you have a lot of older friends or younger friends instead of friends your own age. We’ve also been blessed that one of my husbands sisters had infertility issues and was way more inclusive than most other people have been, which helped. My nieces and nephews friend’s parents all know me, we volunteer at the kids schools and are always there for parties so we have nice acquaintance friendships with these other families.

      Time passes a little strangely for us since we don’t have the living measuring sticks in our lives to acquaint different grades and years to. Sometimes we forget how old kids are and have to mentally think back. I still have a hard time with the fact the oldest niece turns 16 next week.

      Outside of that, it’s just life. You can travel with or without kids. You can read books by yourself or to/with kids. It’s just up to you to decide how you want to live your life. We know that we are going to be responsible for our own well being after retirement and plan accordingly, but we don’t have to worry about putting kids through college in the meanwhile, so it evens out fiscally. We don’t travel often, but we get to enjoy our time together, sleep late, eat desert before dinner, etc.

  4. Leaning steady? :

    I am in BigLaw (bottom of the top of BigLaw, which I lateraled to from a much bigger firm). I have two small children and because I’m somewhere that is reasonably happy with my output, I have a pretty flexible life (which is still miserable at times — I leave at 4 every day, but am busy with children and homework and swimming lessons and then when I’m bone tired get to work all night starting again at 8:30 or so). I like what I do and want to make sure I can keep doing it at a high level (which is going to be tricky to continue to pull off).

    I have been approached with some lateral offers at higher-ranked firms (so the work is there), largely b/c at my seniority, they have to recruit laterally (thanks to sacking their midlevels and juniors during the downturn and not rehiring). I think that were I single / childless / a guy, these would be good to great opportunities, work-wise. But I think that moving as a non-junior person can be a nightmare (moving clients, conflicts, new opinion committees), not to mention a ton of more work and potential travel and a work culture that has no record of Mommies (much less Mommies at high levels).

    The old me would have jumped at this. The new me only worries that by turning them down, I somehow couldn’t keep my status quo going long enough to avoid having to dive back in at some point to the crazy BigLaw hours I used to do. I worry that what I do is like brain surgery, and you can’t be good for long if you don’t do a lot of it (and I wouldn’t really want a PT brain surgeon working on my head unless it was a recent change). I’m not sure how to put off the oppportunities (I would not say it’s b/c I have kids (which is the main driver), more like some business reason of not disrupting established relationships / client concerns / something nebulous maybe).

    Has anyone else worked through something similar?

    • Anonymous :

      Just say no? You have a good job at a quality firm that you’re reasonably happy with that is happy with you. Just because a few recruiters call doesn’t mean you need to start rethinking your life.

      If, in the future, your job is no longer working for you, look then.

      • Leaning steady? :

        The recruiters I can just give a “no thank you” to, but these are coming from people I know who are senior to me at other firms. They know a bit of what my firm’s issues are (which are that I have a low ceiling here, future-wise, due to some bad apples up the food chain from me) and while they know I have children, they haven’t seen inside the sausage factory that is my life.

        • Anonymous :

          “I’m happy where I am for now. Let’s do lunch in the New Year.” And then keep in touch.

          Unless you want to move, knowing that it will mean adding childcare for the 4:30-8:30 shift you currently have now. Which sounds like madness to me, since you have a good that is good now and sounds like it will be good for another couple of years.

    • I’d rather have a brain surgeon who was well rested and not burnt out working on my head, thanks. I get what you are saying about skills getting rusty and law changing. But, you are working what sounds like a pretty full-time schedule so I don’t see the argument that this is somehow practicing law as a hobby because you aren’t working in the top 10 of AmLaw or whatever.

      • Yes. Agreed. I think one of the myths that biglaw sells is that unless you are going 100 miles per hour every hour of every day, you are not really “practicing,” are not “good enough” and not at the top of your profession/career. And, I think it is just that, a myth. You can still be a great lawyer, who is at the top of her game, going a touch slower. In fact, I think the really great lawyers do pace themselves because they have perspective, the ability to reason, having gotten sleep and a have dose of life outside of the tower.

        One other thought: you mention having two small kids. I’m in the same boat, only my kids are getting just a touch older and I can begin to see the light of sleep! free time! independent play! I am all about leaning in, but with a touch of reality. The fog and sausage fest that is life right now *may* ease a bit down the line. Can you punt for a few/six months?

        • Thanks — I say small, but they are finally both in elementary school (so: needing after-school supervision and tending to). But I don’t think that their need for an involved parent will go away until late in high school (and even then, they’d need a grownup driver if they do any sort of activities), if then, so I don’t see the schedule flexibility need going away for about 13 years. I mean, that’s my choice and what I see as ideal. It may not work out, but I don’t want to rush back into the craziness (just stay in just enough to keep the good work coming in and in a volume sufficient to keep a roof over my head and the junior associates with enough good work for them to grow on).

          I think I’ll get a PT summer helper this summer to help with camp pickups (so many end at 4, which would involve leaving my desk around 3ish, which doesn’t work well with west coast / Chicago clients).

          • Yeah it’s really just a choice of what you want. You can be a great lawyer and do the afternoon driving. You can be a great mom and hire an after-school nanny. Just because jobs are available doesn’t mean you need to take them.

          • They don’t have to need a driver for afterschool activities when they’re in their teens. I wasn’t allowed to do anything I couldn’t get myself to – on foot or by bike. (although this does depend on where you live!)

          • Leaning steady? :

            I totally get that, Runner 5. I was a village kid (think: small walkable town, maybe 2 miles x 4 miles, with all schools within the town boundaries) and walked or bummed rides or waited for a parent starting third

            I am in a bigger suburban city, so the elementary school is .75 miles from our house, but the high school is off of a road that I would not bike on myself or walk on after dark (not enough lights, too many distracted drivers, no significant foot traffic). So while I am not in the get-them-a-car camp, I see how if they are responsible, I would likely give them the use of a family vehicle as a privilege to them and a treat to me.

          • Oh, driving themselves totally works too – I’m in the UK where we don’t start driving until 17 (I didn’t pass my test until I was 18) so it just didn’t occur to me.

        • BiglawOutlaw :

          Yes. I agree with this. I was so burned out from that pace of little kid and biglaw that I almost left the practice of law completely. Instead, I went in-house and slowed WAY down (legit parttime, and I’m a better lawyer for it. I’m not exhausted all the time, and now can focus on my kids and the work. My work product between 8:30 and 11:30 at night was bad and getting worse. It was only a matter of time before it all caught up to me.

    • Anonymous :

      Um, I would take a well-rested brain surgeon who has been working 30 hours a week for the last 10 years over one who has been working 60 hour weeks her whole career and is burned out and exhausted. Lawyers aren’t brain surgeons so mistakes made from exhaustion aren’t as harmful, but it doesn’t mean they’re good. And it’s crazy to think that being part time doesn’t mean you can’t keep on developments in your area or that you fall out of practice. And you’re not even part time! You’re more than full time. Big Law wants you to think you can only be a good lawyer by working 90 hours a week. It’s totally false and (in my opinion at least) completely harmful and destructive. Don’t buy into this terrible culture!

      • Anonymous :

        I meant: “And it’s crazy to think that being part time means you can’t keep on developments…” I’m tired. LOL.

    • Part time :

      I have two children, practice part time, get to work at 10:00 and leave around 3:00. I take a limited case load, read law and research in spare time when kids are otherwise occupied (early elementary school). I know my area of law just as well if not better than the big firm race horses. Because I have a limited case load I know my files better than OC. I get some disrespect from other attorneys due to my part time status but once they face me in court, even if I don’t win the case, they knock it off and start to take me seriously. Plus my family isn’t giving me stress because I have a decent work life balance. Sounds like you have something that works. Why mess with that?

  5. Sydney Bristow :

    What were your favorite books you read in 2015? I’d love some new ideas for future reading.

    Fiction-wise, I’m behind but I loved Gillian Flynn’s books. I’ve also enjoyed Janet Evanovich’s newer series O’Hare and Fox. Ready Player One was also fantastic. I also loved the Veronica Mars books. They picked up nicely where the show/movie left off.

    For nonfiction I liked Steven Johnson’s How We Got to Now, the Elon Musk biography by Ashlee Vance, Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman, and On Writing by Stephen King.

    • I liked Gillian Flynn’s books as well, and also enjoyed the Wayward Pines series.

      Otherwise, didn’t really read as much as I wanted to.

    • anon reader :

      Many of these took place outside of the US, so I guess I was indulging my wanderlust through reading this year:

      In The Country, a collection of short stories by Mia Alvar
      Lust, Caution
      Telex From Cuba
      On The Move (the Oliver Sacks memoir)
      All the Elena Ferrante books
      We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
      The Great Inversion
      This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage
      Between The World And Me
      Big Magic

      Can I also share the worst books I read this year? I hated several that everyone else loved:

      Fates And Furies
      The Girl on The Train
      The Vacationers

      Also thought Modern Romance (Aziz Ansari’s book) was really overrated.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        I also hated Girl on the Train. everyone compared it to Gone Girl and I just didn’t see it!!!

      • I really enjoyed The Vacationers (I didn’t think it was great literature, but it was a fun beach read) but I thought Fates and Furies was waaaaay overrated. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t get the hype that this is the Next Great American Novel at all. I’m starting the Girl on the Train tonight, ha!

      • Another vote for hating Girl on the Train. Glad to not be the only one!

      • Liked Girl on the Train, HATED Fates and Furies. Such unpleasant characters and such a ridiculous story.

      • Also didn’t care much for Girl on the Train. It was ok. Mostly unlikeable lead character. Too heavy on the maternal themes. Nowhere near on Gillian Flynn level.

      • Elena Ferrante :

        I just started the first of the Elena Ferrante books last week and I’m entranced. Almost finished the second. They are more thought-provoking and searingly beautiful than anything I’ve read in a long time. The prose is stark and unornamented, and I’m fascinated to know more about the narrator than she gives us (the author too, for that matter).

    • Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
      The Valley – John Renehan
      Unbecoming – Rebecca Scherm
      A Window Opens – Elizabeth Egan
      In the Language of Miracles – Raijia Hassib
      The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
      The Last September – Nina de Gramont
      Descent – Tim Johnston
      Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll
      Alys, Always – Harriet Lane
      The Half Brother – Holly LeCraw
      Ghettoside – Jill Leovy
      Confessions – Kanae Minato
      Girl at War – Sara Novic
      Boy, Snow Bird – Helen Oyeyemi
      The Children’s Crusade – Ann Packer
      Re Jane – Patricia Park
      Reunion: A Novel – Hannah Pittard
      Goodnight, Mr Wodehouse – Faith Sullivan
      The Daughter of Tim – Josephine Tey
      Petty: The Biography – Warren Zanes

    • The best book I read this year was What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell.
      +1 for The Vacationers and Luckiest Girl Alive.
      Also Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff, Landline by Rainbow Rowell, and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      The Girl with All the Gifts! Get it as an audiobook.

    • Stalin’s Daughter, hands down. Possibly one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

    • I probably read 30 or so books this year. My favorites (most of which did not come out in 2015):

      Non-fiction
      Waking Up, A Guide to Spirituality without Religion, by Sam Harris
      Slouching towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion
      Catherine the Great, by Robert Massie (all his biographies are excellent)
      The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hahn

      Fiction
      Middlemarch, by George Eliot
      Euphoria, by Lily King
      My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
      Stoner, by John Williams

      I thought these were overrated:
      The Martian
      Alexander Hamilton biography by Chernow
      The Road to Character by Brooks (yick not even sure why I bothered)
      Station Eleven

    • loveReading :

      Fiction: Three stand outs
      The Nightingale›Kristin Hannah
      The Little Paris Bookshop: a Novel by Nina George
      All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr
      Historical fiction ( I love a story with some real history!)
      Wrath of the Furies: A Novel of the Ancient World (Novels of Ancient Rome) Steven Saylor
      The Taming of the Queen Philippa Gregory
      Mightier than the Sword: A Novel (Clifton Chronicles Book 5)Jeffrey Archer
      Non fiction:
      Alexander Hamilton Ron Chernow (great style, easy to read)

    • If you liked Ready Player One, try Armada! I just finished it.

  6. I went through a really devastating breakup about six months ago with someone I thought I would marry. He said he didn’t think he would ever get married and that he needed time alone, that maybe relationships just weren’t for him.

    Cue his new girlfriend. I know I shouldn’t look, but they both keep Instagramming pictures of each other with horrible inspirational quotes. She keeps putting up pictures of him smoking (a habit I tried to help him quit) with subtitles like “a life without risks isn’t a life worth living.” He just posted a picture of her at an event that used to be our annual tradition. It is so gross but also so heartbreaking. Aahhh.

    He has blocked me on all social media (even LinkedIn! haha), but these are both public photo accounts. I am torturing myself looking at them, but it feels compulsive. Therapist is urging me to stop, of course. How do you deal with someone you thought was The One finding a New One? I feel sick to my stomach.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      When you have a moment of strength, you really need to block their accounts. Or get a friend to do it for you. Continuing to look will just make you feel so much worse.

      • +1 You also need to uninstall all of the apps that would even tempt you. You can live without IG, FB, etc. for a little while, trust me, I’ve done it. You need a clean break to move on and you are not doing that for yourself. He has moved on, it’s time for you to do the same. As someone down thread said, if he was the person you were supposed to spend your life with, he wouldn’t have broken up with you and wouldn’t be dating someone else. You have to accept that. It’s sad and it’s upsetting, but it’s been 6 months. Have you explored the possibility of anti-depressants to get you over this hump?

        • Basically YAAAAS (that rhymes, right?) :

          I agree that the best thing to do is block the and delete Instagram for a while. look at pictures of cats instead!

          • I can help with that. I have two of my own and two fosters. I have ALL THE CAT PICS.

      • What she said. Where are you? I’ll block him for you, give me your phone.

      • Yes! Stop torturing yourself! This is silly, you need to just stop looking him up, cold turkey. This is bad for you, it won’t help you get over him, and you’re just stewing.

        And, he doesn’t want to be with you, so…why are you continuing to give him any more of your thoughts or time or energy? Not worth it.

      • it gets better :

        Hi, I am your future and it is fabulous and bright and wonderful. I received a devastating blow, too, and became so sick about it I lost 10 lbs and couldn’t sleep. I shake my head now to think I let such a d*bag have that control over me (he didn’t know, of course, but still). First, block. Consider it an accomplishment that you get through each day without actively seeking how to find him or her. It will get easier the next day. This I 100% guarantee. It was around this time of year that I signed up for Match, which was free for the new year. (Pick whatever s*te is light and fun in your area and not going to scare you away.) I think I didn’t go on a first date for a month because I was just getting used to be back into it and practicing flirting. It was helpful to just look at some eye candy and envision that I could be attracted to someone again and then start to go on some first dates. I honestly looked at it as practice– for me to get back into dating and flirting again. Then I met my fiance and haven’t looked back. The dramatics I felt for scumbag feel like the “love” you felt for Justin Timberlake when you were 12. It all seemed so silly! Finally, I felt what love was like when it was easy and effortless and real. And happy ALL THE TIME not just “well we are happy BUT/EXCEPT FOR these things I wish he didn’t do.” Dating should be easy. But here’s the best part – even before I met fiance and was just going on some casual dates that ran the gambit of just fine to odd to terrible, I felt like my happy self again just by myself. I focused on things that made me happy and content.

        You will get over this. I promise promise promiseeee!!!! Make a list of fun activities to do, join meetup, join a dating s*te/app, and go chase down what makes you happy.

        • Senior Attorney :

          YES YES YES!!

          SO MUCH THIS!!!

        • All of this!! I could have written this!! But also – if you think he was the one, and he thinks someone else is/is doing all these things with her, then he must not have been the one. Hang on to that. He wasn’t the one.

        • thank you for this. I’m not the OP but I just got dumped by someone I thought was the one. the support and advice on this site is fabulous.

        • Anonymous :

          Not the OP, but thank you! this really helps.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe travel down the road a bit longer in your head (or reread Great Expectations, just the Miss Havisham sections). It is tough! Tough, tough, tough! But think of it this way: all that time and energy, you are doubling down on your misery and not moving through it. And your being stuck in the past will not only keep you from moving forward, it will be a very terrible thing for the Mr. Next (or Mr. Right, who knows) to stomach. Yuck. Rip off the bandaid and move on.

      Signed,
      Someone who has a family member who is on Year 3 of the Miss Havisham route, ugh

    • Anonymous :

      Girl. Get a grip. Delete Instagram from you phone immediately. Right this instant. See if you survive the day. Then work on tomorrow.

      He wasn’t the one because he wasn’t actually into you. Or you would still be together.

      Do you want to be a sad mopey sack going over the same nonsense at therapy every week or grab yourself by the lady-balls and at least attempt moving on? It has been 6 months. Do not let a breakup destroy you.

      • I think that’s a good point from Anonymous: “He wasn’t the one because he wasn’t actually into you. Or you would still be together.”

        It can be hard to differentiate between how you saw the relationship, and how he saw it, especially if you were blindsided by the breakup (just inferring). Seeing pictures of him being happy with his new girlfriend just reminds you that you used to be that way with him and reminds you of your happy times. Remember that you’re only seeing a curated part of their relationship, and that things between you two weren’t always perfect. Think of him as the jerk using examples from your relationship, and then move on. Block him and her, and moratorium with friends on any talk of him. Realize that while you planned on getting married, you now have more freedom and start envisioning all the routes your future could take. Best of luck! Everyone grieves differently, but don’t twist the knife through IG.

    • Anonymous :

      Also, it isn’t gross for them to post pictures, or do special things together. It’s gross for you to be creeping on them when you know he wants you out of his life.

      • Actually you’re gross to post something this bizarrely snide when she’s just looking for some support, the kind of support most of us have needed at one time or another. You sound awful- so glad I’m not like you.

    • I’m not sure what kind of advice you’re looking for, because you already know you should quit looking at his Instagram but you’re not doing it. It’s easier to hang on to your last relationship than it is to pick yourself up and move on to the next thing, but it’s not better. Your ex appears to be doing well post break-up, so start following his lead – block him on all social media (I get that everyone’s different, but this in Rule 1 for me post break-up) and see who else is out there. It’s been 6 months, so not too early to start having casual (or not so casual) fun with someone new.

    • This is so hard. Yes, you should stop looking at the pictures but for the ones you already saw, maybe there is a way of reframing it. You two didn’t bring out the best in each other. When you see pictures of him happy, remember that you now have the ability to find someone that you can be truly happy with, not just working to be happy with. The problem wasn’t you, or him – it was that together, you just didn’t work for some reason.

      One of my friends was married to a guy that just wanted to sit home playing video games every weekend. She wanted to hike, go camping, go to the beach. They eventually divorce and within a month or so he is dating a new girl, posting pictures hiking/camping/beaching. She was devastated. But then she realized together they were a mess, depressing each other, losing motivation to do the things that used to make them happy. Apart they were each able to enjoy life the way they used to.

      Those things that will make you happy also don’t have to be with another person. I bet there were hobbies you put on the back burner because your ex didn’t like doing them with you. I’m a skier but my husband can’t ski (like has tried and massively wiped out going up (yes up) the bunny slope). So with my limited free time, I ski maybe once or twice / year so that we can spend time together on the weekends. He encourages me to go ski but I’d rather hang with him. If God forbid we were someday not together, the first thing I would do is get a season pass and spend the entire winter (when not at work) on the slopes.

      Find the thing you love that makes you not care about him anymore.

      • An ex morphing from video game sloth to beach/hiking adventure guy would set me into a rage. Sometimes I wonder if those “awakenings” happened because the ex realizes NO ONE wants to sit around on a couch watching him play video games, or he finally realizes that there is more to life than wasting his free time mouth-breathing in front of a fantasy world. Or, he’s just stepping up his game for the new girl before the relationship stales and he sinks back into weekend gamer.

        TL;DR: I seriously doubt new girls inspire exes to be better, happier people. I think the exes are simply putting forth more effort because they know they have to.

        • Yea that is totally a honeymoon phase. In 6 months new gf will have a bf who spends all his time on the couch playing video games.

        • “Or, he’s just stepping up his game for the new girl before the relationship stales and he sinks back into weekend gamer.” I think it’s totally this.

    • espresso bean :

      You already know this, but you have to stop! As of right now, he no longer exists in your world. Take the time you would have spent looking at his social media accounts and spend that time on yourself.

      If you’re not ready to date yet, and it sounds like you’re not, find some other distractions and be kind to yourself. Go for a walk, try a new cafe, get a mani/pedi, sign up for a class in an area that interests you, make plans with a friend that always makes you feel trusted and supported.

      Sorry you feel this way. I know it can be really hard. However, you’re making it unnecessarily harder on yourself by torturing yourself this way. Take the one big step of unfollowing him so you can start to move on.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Call your most stern friend – not the one you call for hugs when you’re crying, the one you call when you know you need a kick in the pants – and hand her your phone. Have her change the password recovery email address to her email address, have her change your password, then delete the app from your phone. In six months, she can give you back your Instagram. If you find yourself compulsively checking the pics again six months from now, repeat the process, and try again six months further on. Continue until you no longer do this to yourself.

    • Get a hobby that you can get really into and start dating a lot – Tinder, OKCupid, etc. Go travel a little with a friend. It takes time.

    • So this happened to me. He was married to her nine months to the day of our break up. A break up I initiated because he wasn’t into marriage and saw himself as an “adventurer.” I saw the ceremony and reception on Instagram. It killed me. My friend sent me a quote that I think saved me from a lifetime of anger. “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

      That did it for me. I made a firm rule to NEVER look him up again. It is verboten for me. I owe that much to myself. I am not even a disciplined person but I have been able to stick to this because of the great amount of pain it would cause me otherwise. Also, be prepared that you may have questions of him that you will never get answered. Why her? Why not with me? There is nothing you can do, and closure is only something you can give yourself. Please give yourself the kindness of never looking again.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Just delete him on all social media and move on! I know it’s tough, but their relationship doesn’t matter. New Years is the perfect time to start dating again, set some goals, meet new people, etc.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      As much as I agree with the “block and delete” folks, I realize that is really hard to do. But try anyways. I went through something similar a few years ago.

      More importantly, anyone who says this is not worth your time: “He said he didn’t think he would ever get married and that he needed time alone, that maybe relationships just weren’t for him.” Anyone who says that and then has a new girlfriend fairly soon is nothing other than a d-bag.

      • it gets better :

        preaaaaaaaaaaaach

      • THIS. He’s a jerk. You deserve better.

      • I had an ex say this to me–that he “was realizing he didn’t think marriage or kids would ever be in the picture for him.” He said this purposely because he knew I wanted both of those things, and he thought by pulling them off the table he could get me to initiate the breakup because he was too much of a coward to do it. IOW, yes, someone who says this is a d-bag and these are not words to mope over. Do not let yourself go down the spiral of “why wasn’t I enough to make him want a relationship and she is?” IT’S NOT YOU. You are awesome and will be so much more awesome without him dragging you down.

      • Ah, sometimes I think this is just what people say under the pretense of letting you down easy. What they really mean is “I don’t see myself marrying you”. It’s hard to see in the midst of a breakup, but that’s really not a bad thing at all. You want to marry someone who wants to be with you badly. Not someone you have to convince to get there.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’d focus on how hilariously juvenile it is that his girlfriend is posting pictures of him smoking with quotes like that. I bet they both think they’re pretty deep. Then be glad you’re done with his stupid self. Good snark fodder, no?

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Focus on what an idiot he and his girlfriend must be if they’re posting pictures of him smoking with “inspirational” quotes like that. They sound like idiots.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Oh yeah and this. I am not making light of your pain, but I giggled when I read the “inspirational” YOLO-like quote you provided. Jeebus.

    • Agree with all prior posters with one more suggestion: Can you give yourself one more day to wallow and obsess, then tomorrow get dressed up, buy some great champagne, and delete/block all this stuff immediately after midnight? Nye could be the push you need to do it and I think it will help to seize the moment for a fresh start in 2016 ( which is why I suggest don’t it right after midnight- positive life changes achieved in first hour of new year!)

    • Been there :

      I’ve been doing this with my ex of 3.5 years. Even though everybody told me that he was not good enough for me when we were dating…I haven’t found anybody as good as him since he left me. Like, nobody. Or at least nobody who is actually interested in me for anything other that $ex.

      It is really hopeless out there. Last night I had a first date with a guy who started to get too physical toward the end, costing him a second date. He just unloaded on me via text message, “enjoy being single,” etc. I wonder if he is right…man, I wish I had skipped the whole grad school/career thing and just married a nice guy. All I have in this life is money and nobody to spend it on.

      • No, you don’t. Where is cbackson when you need her? I specifically remember her wise words: better to be not married than married to the wrong guy.

        Put that money on you – buy some things you like and invest the rest like bad*ss knowing you are investing in your (future) self.

        • To the rescue! Girl, miserably married is the WORST. I’ve told this story before, but I will never forget the day I was standing at the sink washing dishes and looked out the window at my (now ex-) husband, and realized that he didn’t love me anymore and would never love me, that I would never feel affection or love or even real kindness again, for the rest of my life. It was a desolation unlike anything I had ever experienced.

          What I’ve since realized is that when you’re single and wish you were in a relationship, you can still make other parts of your life happy and awesome. When you’re married and miserable it infects everything, and it’s really hard to find happiness in other parts of your life. I know how hard it is out there on the dating front – if you feel like it’s hopeless, take a break from the dating and nurture yourself a bit.

          • Anonymous :

            This is so true. I never thought about it that way, but oh my gosh! That is exactly right! I tried for YEARS to be happy in other parts of my life while in a miserable marriage, and honestly? It didn’t really work. I still came home to somebody who was awful to me and I not only had to put up with it, but I had to keep it a secret and put up a brave front most of the time, and I lost friends who didn’t want to socialize with me any more because they just couldn’t take hanging out with my awful husband, and it was pretty much just awful. And as cbackson said, the worst part was the hopelessness of the whole thing.

            When I left I was heartbroken and scared and disoriented, but at least I was the captain of my own ship and I was living an honest life and at least I had a teeny, tiny little glimmer of hope. And things have just gotten better from there.

            Repeat after me: There is nothing, nothing, nothing worse than being in a bad marriage. I would so much rather be alone forever than go back to that place.

      • He’s just mad he got rejected. It is hard out there though. I feel your pain. I have a boyfriend now but he is “sick to his stomach” all the time and because I have dated so many idiots, I have to basically punch the little voices that are like “He is lying, he doesn’t like you” but maybe I’ll end it if he doesn’t get help because for real we live a mile apart and I see him once a week or less. I am stalling because he’s not that bad and it’s SO bad out there. And atleast I’ll have a plus one tonight for my work party. Guess who has a stomach bug. Face. Palm. Wine.

        • anonymous :

          Are you dating my ex? Careful — stomach bug was code for drinking problem.

      • Debbie Downer :

        Ummm, I know I’m probably going to get shouted down for this as being mean or whatever, but honestly? I don’t see how you have space in your life for a decent guy if all you’re doing for 3.5 years is social-media-stalking your ex and wallowing in how “it really is hopeless out there.”

        It’s hopeless because you’ve decided it’s hopeless.

        And “all this money but no one to spend it on?” I’m sorry, have you heard of these things called non-profits? I can think of dozens of organizations who’d be more than happy to do something good with your apparent excess of money, and who knows, using your free time to volunteer instead of dwell on losers you’ve broken up with might just improve your outlook. Just saying.

        • Been there :

          Thanks for your tough love. I go on dates. Many dates.

          I donate hundreds of dollars to charities every month (yes, really). And save for my old age, since I will be 100% alone. I’d love to volunteer but since taking my current job 4 years ago I just cannot commit to regular volunteering time-wise.

    • shamlet96 :

      I feel your pain and was in your exact shoes about four years ago – six months out from the worst breakup of my life, with the person i thought was the man of my dreams, who repeatedly made promises of us getting married, having a future, etc., every time we discussed it. The breakup literally almost destroyed me because I no longer trusted my judgment – how could i not have seen that this guy was not what he said he was? Worst of all, we worked together, and I ultimately left my job in part because I couldn’t deal with seeing him (it actually worked out for me career-wise and personally speaking since I landed in the city I had hoped to be in from the get-go, and was therefore closer to friends/family).

      Literally nothing anyone said to me or did for me helped much, though I can tell you I would not be alive if not for the support of a few close friends and my family. It took me a few years, but i eventually found someone terrific a little over a year ago, and we just got engaged. I still think about my ex more than I should (particularly because the rel’ship with him plus recovering from the breakup cost me precious fertile years in my early-mid30s), but it has diminished greatly and I have finally come to a place where I realize things worked out for the best. It may take you a long time to get there too, but you will. In the meantime, block him and the dumb gf from every site, and do everything within your power to think about other things. You will get through this, and you will be stronger for it.

    • Inspirational quotes? Smoker? Gross.

    • Hey there. I was broken up with by my bf of a couple of years (thought he was the one, we went to 6 weddings together, etc etc.) a couple of weeks ago. it hurts and it’s so hard and I’m sorry.

      I’ve been toying with the notion of surrender. Just being so desperate to move on that you will try something, anything else, anything new, ANYTHING. For me it was acupuncture (strange I know). And signing up for a half marathon. for someone else it was volunteering with dogs. it may be poetry. whatever! A lot of it is replacing old thought patterns and emotions and making room for more “you” in your life. try not to let him take up space.

      Think about what you want the most and what you want your life to be like a year from now, without someone in it. it helps me to think about new possibilities.

      hugs!

  7. Montreal alone? :

    I’m thinking about taking a long weekend in February to see Montreal. I have airfare credits, so it would be a cheap trip. Two questions:

    1. Is it normal to feel a little weird about telling people that I’m taking a trip alone? I’m not worried about the actual weekend; I know I’ll be fine. But I worry about people asking me why I’m going alone or assuming I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me (not true). I’ve spent time alone traveling before when going to meet up with people or extending trips after a friend had to fly home, but I’ve never gone out and planned a trip totally on my own. I guess I have some anxiety about it.

    2. Would two days in Montreal be fun for a 30something single woman on her own? I love art, culture, museums, long walks in cute neighborhoods, and good food. I won’t be going to clubs or anything.

    • I think you’ll have a great time. It’s a very safe city, accessible, and if you like exploring it will be a great time. Make sure you pack really good boots though- Montreal in February can be bitterly cold and snowy.

      I think it’s normal to feel a little weird but don’t let that stop you! If anyone asks just say you felt like an adventure.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      On the “going alone” aspect of it, keep in mind that you don’t have to tell everyone up front, if you’re feeling some weirdness around it – You can just say you’re going on vacation to Montreal. Some people might ask who you’re going with, but I’d bet most casual acquaintances won’t get to that question at all – if, say, a coworker or a casual acquaintance tells me they’re going on vacation, my questions are usually “where?” “why that destination?” “have fun!”

      Also, for folks you do end up mentioning it to, keep your tone upbeat – people respond to tone way more than words, I think. If you sound excited to be travelling alone, most people will react accordingly.

    • Are you me? I spent last week planning my January solo Montreal trip when my office was slow!

      • Montreal alone? :

        !

        That’s crazy! Would love to hear how it goes for you and if you have any good recs. Have a great time!

    • Re #1, who cares what people think? Solo travel is actually pretty common now and people who think a 30-something woman is weird for wanting to travel alone are the ones who are actually weird. Agree with KKH to be positive about it, e.g. “I’ve always wanted to have a solo adventure and I can’t wait to explore Montreal,” not “Well, I couldn’t find a travel buddy so I guess I’m going alone…” If you act really enthusiastic about the trip and not sad about the fact you’re going alone, people will respond in kind.

      Re #2, are you kidding!? If you like “art, culture, museums, long walks in cute neighborhoods, and good food” Montreal is PERFECT for you!

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Taking a trip by myself is on my list of things to do in the 1st quarter of 2016. I’ve never taken a trip by myself and I’m wrapping up a long bucket list of things to do before I turn 40. Enjoy yourself!

    • If number 1 is weird, then I’m weird, because I booked a weekend in Vancouver in February and I’m so excited . And I’m single, so I get plenty of time alone, but I’m excited for the break from life. But, I travel alone often, so it’s normal for me.

      And Montreal is awesome, you’ll have plenty to do. I’d personally recommend just eating a lot, since the food there is fantastic. And yes, it’s very cold and snowy there in Feb, bring all the winter things, and good waterproof boots.

    • Traditionalist :

      I admire you for going alone and I think that many others will too — and oh well if they think it’s weird! Sounds like you have a great plan in mind and I’m excited for you!

      I’m considering something similar (i.e., traveling solo) but honestly I’m pretty nervous about it. I don’t mind being myself at all but I wonder if I’ll just kind of get lonely in a new place and feel like I should have spent my time/money on something with friends. Any tips for a n00b? I’m thinking February for 4-5 days, and I’m in DC — open to any locales though I think somewhere warm would be pretty lovely after a couple months of slush.

      • Are you ok with dining alone in a restaurant? That’s always been the biggest hang-up for me in traveling alone. So I’ve avoided destinations where the primary goal would be “eat all the things” and focused on places where I wouldn’t mind just getting take-out or fast casual food for most of my meals. I really enjoy wandering cities, taking pictures, seeing wildlife, and going to museums and shows by myself, so I look for places where I can do some or all of those things. I also think I’d enjoy a beach vacation because lying on the beach reading and snorkeling are good solo activities too (although those places tend to be romantic and have lots of couples, so it could be awkward).

        I’ve never felt lonely on a solo trip. Actually the loneliest I’ve ever felt while traveling was on a business trip where the colleague I was traveling with didn’t want to hang out with me. I was wandering the streets of a beautiful city by myself (which is something I normally really enjoy doing!) but I felt lonely because I wasn’t on a solo adventure, I was there with someone who didn’t want anything to do with me.

        • Traditionalist :

          Thanks, this is very helpful! Actually I don’t really mind eating in a restaurant alone, as long as I have something to read. I think I’m more nervous about knowing what to do next after each part of the day — maybe you’ve helped me tease out that this is more of a planning/itinerary issue than a “I’m by myself” issue. I guess I’m worried I’ll be like, well, that was a nice two hours at a museum… not sure what to do next… guess I could go back to my hotel…?

          My favorite parts of travel have been making a plan with others about how we should spend our time after seeing a little of what the city/resort/etc. has to offer. Maybe I should give myself limited unstructured time and really plan in advance so I don’t feel that. I suppose I can always deviate later if the mood strikes me!

          Maybe I’m asking for trip-planning advice instead? Any particularly good cities for wandering?

        • Some of my favorite trips have been the ones I’ve taken by myself. The hardest parts can be dining alone – I found that instead of taking a book to read, I take a magazine and sit at the bar & I usually end up chatting with someone else who’s dining alone and it makes for a fun social meal. The other hard part is later in the evenings – when I travel with my husband or friends, dining takes longer and you can get drinks after and that always feels a little lonely when your night is ending after a meal. I’ve found that going to english-speaking countries or citites makes this a little easier as I can go to the movies or a show of some kind and understand what’s going on. In terms of where to go, I say just pick a place you’ve always wanted to see and go for it! The best part of solo travel is not compromising on anything.

          • Baconpancakes :

            I actually love dining alone at the bar. You can read without it being awkward, bartenders are usually fun to chat with, and you’ll inevitably get hit on a couple times, which can be an ego boost if you’re in the mood for it.

            Part of the appeal for me is going in looking like a boss who knows exactly what she wants and is going to thoroughly enjoy this fabulous time to herself, and thinking that everyone’s wondering about this mysterious, attractive lady. Who knows if they’re actually thinking that, but it’s fun to pretend!

          • Baconpancakes – me too! I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise! I was trying to say that sitting at the bar v. alone at a table with a book can be a really fun, great way to dine. I still do this when I get the chance, even in my home city.

    • Wildkitten :

      I hate people who look down on traveling alone! I went to Costa Rica by myself for a month and my sister’s BF asked why I went by myself.

      Uh because going to Costa Rica for a month sounded more fun than sitting on my couch alone? F people like that!

      • +1 To the people who look down on travelling alone!

        Most people treat it just like any other vacation, but sometimes there’s a random person who will drop the “didn’t you have anyone to go with?”. You’re right, *I’m* the pathetic one because I’m not waiting on others schedules to see the world.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Montreal is great but Quebec City is even better! ;)

      But yes, you would have a great time in Montreal! We stayed at the Le St-Martin Hôtel Particulier Montréal and it was great. The restaurant in the hotel is divine! Don’t miss the Basilica — and be sure to go behind the altar to see the small chapel, which is amazing! And if you like to shop, check out Danier Leather, which has all kinds of cute leather jackets at great prices.

      Don’t feel weird about telling people you are going solo — they will take their cues from you so if you are excited and upbeat, they will be too!

    • I travel alone a lot! I have a bunch of standard replies I give whenever I get the “ohhh you’re going ALONE?” question:

      My favorite: “Yep! I love traveling alone because I never have to admit when I’m lost!”

      Others:
      “Yeah, I had no takers on my ‘4 museums per day’ itinerary!”
      “Yep, that way I can pretend to be my mysterious alter ego who doesn’t speak English.”
      “I’m going alone so I can try all the great food and not have to share with anyone.”
      “Yeah, I’m going alone so I can be sure that what happens in [Montreal] stays there since they don’t have an official policy like Vegas does.”

    • Oops, lost my reply.

      1. Solo travel is wonderful. You’re not relying on anyone else and you’re not on anyone else’s schedule–that walking tour is on the agenda but it’s -30? Sounds like a latte and a museum instead. Especially if that’s how you frame it–I did a solo trip to another European country when my friends had to go home and for every, “aww, why alone?” i got to say, “They had to go and i”m super excited and sad they’re missing out on this.” I understand the anxiety, but it’s almost entirely societal–I rarely feel unsafe or lonely when travelling alone.

      2. Montreal is amazing, and there is everything to do! The metro is easy to navigate and the food is great and the shopping and history and I love Montreal so much. Language is rarely an issue, most people are fluently bilingual. Have fun!

    • Anonymous :

      1) it’s not weird to worry what other people will think of you, and yes, some people will judge you or pity you over this. BUT. Although it’s not weird to worry what people will think of you, past a certain point (eg, basic courtesy, professional behavior at work) it’s nhot healthy and it’s not worthwhile.

      personally I love solo travel and think people who have never tried it are really missing out.

      2) Don’t know much about Montreal so I can’t help with this one.

    • Some of my favorite past trips were ones I went on by myself. For me, trips to a new city by myself were perfect. Going to the beach by myself was a one time only thing though. What I tell the questioners is that I am having a selfish vacation, doing what I want, only what I want, for as long or short of time as I want, without having to be considerate of someone else’s interest, lack of interest or energy levels. They either get it or they don’t. And if they don’t, well, bless their little hearts.

  8. Yesterday’s thread was really interesting! Let’s play the flip side – what do you really like about yourself? I really like how bossy I am. Any situation, with any type of people, I’m somehow in charge. I also like that I easily make friends wherever I go.

    • Ooh, this is fun.

      *Make friends easily and maintain a lot of strong relationships
      *Financially responsible
      *Give generously of myself to family, friends, and my community
      *Nurture my creative interests, creating a more fulfilling life

      I missed yesterday’s thread, so I’ll just add what I don’t like about myself here as well:

      *Hold myself and others to very high, sometimes unattainable standards
      *Complete inability to be spontaneous
      *Way too sensitive
      *An overthinker/overanalzyer to my own detriment

      • Oh, hi! I think we may be the same person. I felt like I was reading a description of myself in both your sections. I have made a conscious effort to address the first two items (particularly holding my husband to unattainable standards) over the past couple years and have made significant improvements (although a lot of that is probably attributable to a course on Lexapro).

        • Baconpancakes :

          Ok, except I’m not married, seriously, that’s creepily exactly me, right down to the Lexapro.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I love how organized I am and relatedly that I so rarely misplace things. I can only think of 1 thing I misplaced over the last 2 years. The flip side of that is I get super frustrated when I do misplace something since it so rarely happens.

      I also love that I am always on time.

      • Haha, this is me too. I never lose things and never break/damage them either. I think it stems from our parents not buying us many toys, so if you lost it or broke it, you had to deal. As a result, I always take care of my belongings and don’t lose them!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Haha I’ve always assumed it came from being the child of a hoarder. But now that you mention it, my mother couldn’t afford to buy us much so our clothes and toys were hand me downs, which meant never being able to replace things.

      • Christineispink :

        Haha – As soon as I left my building yesterday morning, I realized I had left my wallet and keys in the apartment (TBF I recently moved and don’t have a “perfect” wallet/keys spot by the door yet). I know this is an everyday thing for many people – but I raised it with my therapist as “OMG I’m losing my mind!” because it never happens to me (except once now!).

    • I love being a mom, and I love the type of mom I am.

    • I like that I am always on time.
      I like that I am comfortable being alone.
      I like that I have matured to a place where I have the patience to figure out how to do small home improvement projects on my own.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      I like my independence, resilience and self-sufficiency. Being raised by a single working mom taught me a lot.
      I like my sense of adventure and that I’m comfortable being and traveling alone.
      I like that I’m a planner.

      Missed yesterday’s thread, so here are my dislikes:
      I dislike how reserved I can be in group settings, and how I always ruminate on what I said/did.
      I dislike how I overthink everything and how hard I can be on myself.
      I dislike how thoughtless I can be sometimes with family and friends.

      • Anonymess :

        We are the same person. Can I ask what you do for a living and how you’re enjoying it?

        • Mary Ann Singleton :

          I’m a transactional attorney in private practice. I’s a pretty good job for me. I like drafting concepts into contracts, and I enjoy completing tasks. I don’t do great with the social activities and political games that are endemic to law firm life, and I probably won’t make partner as a result, but my bosses recognize and appreciate that I work hard and keep the clients happy, and they just let me get on with my work (and pay me well). I am better at being social in my private life, but it will always be something I need to work on.

      • We’re also the same person. Curious to hear from anonymess too.

        • Anonymess :

          I’m an analyst in a niche consulting industry. I’m currently in the middle of a quasi mid-life crisis regarding my career though. Forcing myself to act extroverted doesn’t work. I enjoy project management but only if I am managing projects and not people directly. I don’t perform well in “groupthink”/brainstorming sessions unless I can come to the table having spent time independently preparing on the topic at hand. This brings me to a realization that I may actually be well suited to an administrative mgmt type role. But my first few jobs out of undergrad were spent as a receptionist and admin assistant. I always went around with a chip on my shoulder because I didn’t feel respected and wasn’t directly contributing to any of the company business lines. I also have a master’s degree and worry that I would be “wasting” it (not knocking admins – it is hard, important work using a skill set not many have honed). Thus my catch 22!

    • I’m a good and reliable friend
      Financially responsible
      I have strong values and like the priority structure in my life
      I’m hard working

    • Yeah, I didn’t really want to play yesterday, but I’ll play this one!

      -I like that I can talk to anyone. As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed that it’s a very hard skill to learn and the fact that I can fit in anywhere and talk to strangers effortlessly has really helped me socially and in my career. Over the years as I’ve gone job hunting, I’ve noticed people have highlighted this skill, too.

      -I also like that I am generally a happy and upbeat and content person. If I’m not bubbly I’m still content – even when things are falling apart for me, I’m still content and happy with what is going right and it just feels that life is richer that way.

      -I’m also an excellent saver/financial planner. Again, I think this one stems to my parents making us save money and only allowing us to buy one item with spare cash, so I not only took care of those belongings, but thought extra hard about buying and saving.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Oh, I missed this too!

      I like how honest I am. Sometimes people think I’m too frank, but I like being the person who says what needs to be said.
      I like how crafty I am.
      I like that I’m usually the one in the room not looking at my phone.

      I dislike how little effort I put into building and maintaining friendships. I always (and still do) initiate friendships easily, but with jobs, families, and distance it’s getting harder to maintain and so they never get off the ground.

    • Clementine :

      These have been fun!

      I like that I am a kind human being.

      I like that I have a good attitude and generally don’t complain about day to day things.

      I like that overall I am able to be thankful for what I do have rather than lamenting or being the victim of my situation.

      I like that I work my butt off, and my resulting reputation.

    • I both believe and live by really high ethical standards. I love that I am a psychological anomaly, but I notice the shortcomings of others and just end up disappointed that there aren’t people like me

      • lawsuited :

        Lol, oh man, I initially wrote downthread that I was so loyal I’d help bury a body and make it look like an accident. You would be so disappointed!

      • Forgiving others for their failings and having a charitable outlook on society is a good quality too…

    • Not sure where my comment went – I guess it got eaten! I wasn’t interested in playing yesterday, but I like this, so I’ll play.

      – I can talk to anyone
      – I am optimistic and a happy person
      – I am great at saving/financial planning

    • lawsuited :

      I love how loyal I am. I am the most ride or die daughter/sister/friend anyone could hope for.

      • I hope you know how much your siblings/parents/friends appreciate that – I’ve got wonderful incredibly loyal friends and family and they are the BEST.

    • Oh, I’ll play! I am fiercely independent and have learned that I can handle pretty much anything thrown at me. Relatedly, I have held up and been the anchor for my family through my husband’s severe depression. I am optimistic, sarcastic and feisty.

    • Baconpancakes :

      -I love that I’m willing to put in the work to make things excellent. It’s more work to source great coffee beans, freshly grind them, boil water, and pour it over in steps, but a Keurig just doesn’t taste as good. Same with making a presentation or preparing a report.
      -Due to the above, I love that I’m an excellent hostess. I put a lot of time and effort into hosting, particularly for out of town guests. I find the idea of “sure, the couch is over there, oh you need a blanket? Not sure I have one,” personally offensive.
      -I love my imagination.
      -I know I can get through anything. I’m resilient, thanks to my single-working mom, and I know that even though I might break into tears when something silly happens, when it’s actually crisis-management time, I can think clearly, get into action, and get it done.
      -I am fundamentally kind. I won’t martyr myself, but I also won’t hurt anyone on purpose if I can help it. Probably this comes from being bullied severely as a kid.

  9. Good morning ladies, does anyone have recommendations for touch screen gloves that don’t look super techy and still look like regular, more feminine gloves? Thanks!

    • I have last year’s version of these (if link doesn’t work, they are the LAUREN RALPH LAUREN Three-Button Touch Gloves) – they aren’t “I walk 5 miles to work uphill in the snow” thick, but comfortable for me down to about 30 degrees.

      http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/three-button-touch-gloves?site_refer=CSE_GGLPRADS001_LT&prod_id=0106-410244&CAWELAID=120178030002317762&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=120178030001415819&cadevice=c&gclid=Cj0KEQiAno60BRDt89rAh7qt-4wBEiQASes2tS-99pRsMRxNtz4etsdFKnOBBbl76cr3qHfUbxBztFwaAmoB8P8HAQ

    • Gap had/has some nice ones which should be pretty cheap in the sale now

    • Elma touchscreen gloves on Amazon. Seriously, they are so nice and I can’t believe the price. Soft leather, cashmere-lined, and three tech fingers/glove. Gave them to everyone on my gift list!

  10. Travelling in India :

    I am going to India next month for a week and would love ideas. I will be in Delhi for a few nights and then Agra for two days and Jaipur for two days. Favorite things to do/places to eat? Accommodations in Jaipur (I have the other cities figured out already)?

    • I really enjoyed the National Museum in Delhi. Bear in mind that you may need to dress even more conservatively than you think – I wore a pashmina scarf as a scarf most days which I turned up to cover my head when I felt uncomfortable, for example in the museum where a whole school load of teenage boys on a school trip were staring at me (I was 16 at the time)

    • Anonymous :

      Delhi: qutb minar, humayun’s tomb, national museum ( has stuff from 5000bc), red fort. Shop at khan market
      Agra: Taj Mahal, red fort and if you have time, tomb of ittimad ud daulah
      Jaipur: ambar fort and pop into the erstwhile royal palaces (all hotels now) for coffee and check them out!
      Buy: all the Jewellery especially in Jaipur. The gorgeous tie-dye clothes.

    • teslagirl :

      I hope you are still checking this thread. I stayed at the Meridien in Japiur and it was one of my favorite hotels in India – a bit outside the city but gorgeous, and amazing food. Anokhi is a chain that sells beautiful textiles and is based, I believe, in Jaipur. You will also find Fabindia throughout the country for clothing and textiles. I loved Rajasthan and would recommend spending less time in Delhi/Agra and more time in Rajasthan. But it’s all good and you will have a great time. Definitely dress conservatively (long tunics over pants – you can buy them there!) and a long scarf.

  11. I need coffee :

    Question from the hive…what coffee system are people loving these days? I was really happy with my Keurig, but it broke a year and a half ago and I don’t like the newer models at all. We just bought a Nespresso, but the coffee seems really strong and bitter to me (even when I use the lightest roast). Any other suggestions? Does anyone have the Ninja and care to share their thoughts?

    • Honestly, coffee from those systems is probably always going to taste pretty bad. Have you considered switching to a regular coffee maker (or if you like espresso, a machine/stovetop device for that)?

    • Can you add some water to your Nespresso coffee? I don’t have one but I’ve had ones from other peoples’ and I thought it was fine. Keurig coffee tastes watery and weak to me, so if you want a lighter tasting coffee you should be able to duplicate it by just adding more water after it’s done brewing.

    • Toddy Cold Brew! Make coffee for a week (or two) without even boiling water? Low acidity? Yes, please.

      • +1 I have this and it’s great. I drink iced coffee though (even in winter). It seems like it would be kind of annoying to have to take the additional step of heating the coffee once it’s made.

    • Maybe try the non-Nespresso brand capsules, or even get one of the refillable capsules which you can put any ground coffee into?

    • We have an old-fashioned drip coffee maker and a fancy burr grinder for whole-bean coffees. It’s easy, programmable so I can set it at night to make coffee each morning, and I can buy whatever type of coffee I want and not worry about whether it’s compatible with my coffee maker.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Gentleman Friend gave me a DeLonghi Magnifica for Christmas and I am so in love with it I can’t even stand it. Makes one or two cups at a time, grinds the beans in real time, steams the milk, and no pods to fill up the landfill. It’s stupid expensive but oh so amazing!

      http://www.delonghi.com/en-us/products/coffee-and-espresso/coffee-makers/automatic-coffee-makers/magnifica-esam-3300-0132213012

    • Electric kettle + burr grinder + Aeropress. Although I once thought that this was too many steps to accomplish before coffee, it now takes about 2 minutes (including the water heating) to make a damn good cup of coffee. Add a milk frother if you like.

      • +1 — The Aeropress really does make the best coffee ever.

      • AttiredAttorney :

        +2 for the aeropress! The burr grinder certainly helps, but I find it even makes “bad” preground coffee taste better.

    • Stovetop kettle + cheap grinder + pourover (either single cup or bodum pot). I replaced my Tassimo with this about a year ago because I had a lot of guilt about the environmental impact of discs.

      On that note, it’s almost my birthday: any burr grinder recommendations?

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Technivorm Moccamaster. It makes any coffee taste good.

      • Mischief Managed :

        +1000 to this. Love my Moccamaster.

        • Wild Chicken :

          But not programmable? How can you have a coffee maker that is not programmable? (Must have coffee the moment I wake up in the morning; cannot bear the thought of having to make it first thing).

    • Seems counter intuitive, but maybe try a darker/stronger roast instead. I find light roasts bitter and darker roasts to have a smoother/not bitter (not sure how to describe it) taste. And cream/sugar certainly help too . . .

  12. I always complain about how there are never any nice shoes in my size left in the Clark’s sale (I wear a UK 7.5 which I think is a US 9.5-10?) but today I was browsing their online sale and found that I was the lucky size in the specific shoe and colour I wanted! Air punch!

  13. That second blue one is divine!

  14. My husband decided to apply to business school kind of last minute this cycle and the people who know him best weren’t available to write him a rec. He got one of the letters back and it’s pretty awful. Now he’s wondering whether he should wait until next cycle to apply. He may be able to get a better letter writer with more notice, but part of my concern is that none of his potential recommenders have ever written a b school rec (or probably any other non-internal rec) before, as that’s just not something that’s “done” where he is (in government). He has some ideas for his essay, but just two weeks to put it all together.

    If you were him, would you go ahead and apply this cycle, even though you knew that one of your letters did nothing for you? I’m concerned that because of where he works and who his colleagues are, this may be a problem next year too, albeit less of one. Thoughts?

    • Go for it. If his grades and test scores are good one meh letter won’t matter. If his numbers aren’t good enough for the programs he wants may as well find out now.

    • Can’t hurt to apply now. I have a friend who applied to the top 10 or so b-schools (with stellar credentials including a perfect GPA from MIT) and didn’t get in anywhere and applied again the next year and got into a bunch of top programs. There’s just a lot of luck involved and I don’t think applying twice is frowned upon or anything. Also, if he doesn’t do well this year, he’ll know to get a different letter writer next year.

    • What types of schools is he applying to? If they’re mid ranked types of schools and his GPA, GMAT, and work experience are solid — I’d go for it. A lot of admissions is formulaic and letters don’t really matter unless you’re really on the cusp. If OTOH he’s applying to Wharton, HBS, and the like — I’d wait. No matter what your numbers are, no one is really solid for those schools and everyone is on the cusp so small things like recs matter more to separate candidates.

    • anon a mouse :

      It depends on whether he is looking for something local or whether he’s really gunning for a top-tier school with scholarships attached. If the latter, it’s better to wait a cycle and have him work with his recommenders to try to get better letters (and/or better essays or test scores). If he’s pretty confident that his numbers/work experience get him in where he wants to go now anyway, it’s worth going forward and not waiting.

    • Thanks all. He’s going for a top tier school. Drawbacks of applying now are that it’s a busy time that he could put toward other things he’s doing- he’s looking at moving jobs in the next little bit here, and that makes a lot more sense if he’s not applying this cycle and he’ll have more time to devote to it. Plus it makes most sense for us financially and otherwise to wait at least until next cycle, but it’s not a problem if we don’t.

      He’s also planning on applying two years from now if this doesn’t work out, especially if the job change actually happens.

      • I think it’s pretty easy to defer once you get in, so if he gets in somewhere now he can probably still start in 2017.

      • Anonymous :

        I’d wait a cycle. It sounds like he would be going in with a pretty weak application right now, given the state of the recommendations.

        A few observations:
        -It is a really big issue that his recommenders are not familiar with MBA recommendations. MBA programs have their own language, and it really helps if recommenders speak it. Your husband should be actively coaching the recommenders on his story and points of emphasis.
        -As a more non-traditional candidate from government, your husband will need a very clear story on where he wants to go post MBA. I would vet the story with a friend who has an MBA to ensure its achievable. For example, going into I-banking might not be realistic. MBA programs think about ease of career placement when considering applicants, so someone with an I-banking background has a huge leg up on sometime who went to an ivy league school, has great GMAT scores, but worked in education. There are still spots for the latter, but they are few and far between.

        • Anonymous :

          Thanks, this is super helpful. He did attempt to coach recommenders and it still turned out awful, which concerns me. It sounds like it’s better for him to change jobs, get a bit more experience and then apply again in a cycle or two. It’ll be a few years before he’s too old.

          • Anonymous :

            I think if he has one recommender who ‘speaks MBA’ and another who doesn’t, he is fine. Again, if you have anyone in your network that can coach him on applications, I would reach out to them. MBA admissions work differently than other grad or professional school admissions, so advice/experience from law, etc. does not really translate.

          • suomynona :

            I highly recommend waiting, even with good grades and scores, etc. My partner applied (and was accepted!) to MBA programs this year, so I have some second-hand experience with it. He has a similar background- lobbyist in DC. His GMAT score was good, grades on the low side, but he had his pick of the program due to his excellent letters of recommendation and his essays. Interviewers actually brought up those letters in interviews, and referenced them in questions. Letters of rec speak so much to the intangible things that a resume, scores, and grades do not.

            I suggest your husband wait, no step of the process should be rushed. I’d have him make a list of colleagues, past clients, contractors, vendors – pick which ones he did impactful, longer-term projects with and have them write a letter. My partner sent his resume, program highlights, and got a chance to read/coach his references, and I think it made all the difference. Best of luck!

    • I personally wouldn’t.

      These schools are looking for ANY REASON to throw someone out. A poor rec letter will be one of them. It’s only 8-9 months until the next cycle. It will fly by. Is everything else super strong? Why jeopardize chances with a bad rec?

      I suggesting spending next year visiting campuses, meeting admissions officers, and getting smart on schools. I wish I had visited more schools and gone to more admission sessions. It is also a concrete way to demonstrate interest and knowledge that you can talk about in applications (schools will ask you what you have done).

      Would also spend more time doing some reflection, interesting activities, experiences he can talk about and that will make him a more attractive candidate. Extracurricular activities and taking on leadership opportunities he can speak about are very important. Essays need more reflection and work than 2 weeks IMO.

      This also gives an extra year to save up money (and better prep for scholarship opps).

      FWIW I got into Sloan with a 60k scholarship and am applying to HBS and Stanford next week. I would rather have waited than gamble it on a poor recommendation letter (my thorn that made me wait a year was the GMAT).

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, everything else is very strong. His undergrad GPA was 3.76, grad (MS in Computer Science) is 3.86, both from top tier schools. 750ish GMAT, hoping to retake it for a higher score. Good volunteer history and has had some leadership experience at work, but not a lot (but then, he’s only been in the workforce for a few years).

        It seems like he’d be a strong candidate according to the statistics, but given the unusual background it seems like a meh letter just makes it not worth it now, especially if he can apply round 1 next year.

        To be clear, the letter isn’t negative–it’s actually very positive–it’s just that the writer didn’t answer the questions and didn’t give any examples. It’s basically a litany of “extremely smart, great potential” but no substance.

        He’s shooting for HBS/Stanford/Sloan as well.

        • Ah, I thought the letter was *actually* really bad… he sounds like a STELLAR applicant with an awesome and unique background.

          What might be able to help is if he sends through specific examples for the recommender to elaborate and say something like, “the admissions committees are usually looking for specific past examples, so I thought I could share some that might resonate with you for inclusion…they like to have the applicant really come alive in a room and learn from detailed descriptions of behavior that demonstrate these qualities.”

          I (personally!) don’t think he would need to retake the GMAT (anecdotally) since 750+ is already above the average (720-730ish for those, he will blow Sloan’s average out of the water!).

          See if he can grab time with a consultant MBA Mission or Stacy Blackman on the phone for half an hour for an experienced point of view. These are usually free offers – I did that with both of the companies and there are others that offer this (Veritas for one). They usually get back to you really fast and were able to provide me with super super helpful, objective information on thoughts re: GMAT. They do a free initial consultation and they will go out of their way to provide value on the whole package.

          Good luck to your husband!

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks all. This is all good information and I’ll pass it along!

  15. Anyone familiar with neighborhoods in San Francisco (or just outside the city)? My husband and I (and our 4 month old baby) are considering a cross-country move there. I know it is expensive – we would be looking to rent for around $3,500-$4,000/month in a safe but interesting place. Any suggestions/recommendations appreciated!

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I recently moved away from SF. If you are going to live in the city, you are honestly going to need to up your budget. It is hard to get a nice one-bedroom for that amount, let alone enough space for 3 people. Where are you and your husband going to be working? Have cars?

      • Thanks for your response! We are primarily looking outside of the city – maybe the East Bay area, Alameda, etc. Husband would be working in the financial district, we’d have 1 car but plan for him to take public transit into the city if that is a workable option. Any recommendations on neighborhoods with easy commutes into the city and less expensive housing?

        • I left my heart... :

          I think the easiest commute into SF from outside the city is anywhere along a BART line, particularly if you live close enough to the BART station to avoid parking there or your station doesn’t have impacted parking. Rockridge/Claremont in Oakland are walkable, family-friendly, and a quick BART ride into the city.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          I am more of a fan of the East Bay than the peninsula, but both would be open to you since you are both in the city. Rockridge (part of Oakland) is a family-friendly and nice area, and right by a BART station. Parts of Berkeley are also very nice as well and convenient with public transit (i.e., North Berkeley).

          As for the peninsula, San Mateo seems to be a popular choice, but it is still pretty far from the city.

          • Anonymous :

            I would second the recommendation for close to north Berkeley or rockridge BART. You might also consider close to Ashby station, as the neighborhood has been getting better, or close to El Cerrito plaza station.

            You might find some options in the outer sunset or outer Richmond in your price range… But you are so far from the financial district, you may as well be in the east bay.

          • Long time Berkeley resident/SF financial district worker here. I have done ALL the commutes (BART, casual carpool, ferry, driving, and AC Transit buses) and my personal opinion is that AC Transit transbay service is the way to go. Look at the AC transit website for routes. You can live in El Cerrrito, Albany, Kensington, Oakland etc and easily live within walking distance of a stop.

          • I agree with this; on the peninsula, you might also want to look at Burlingame (cuter than San Mateo, but more expensive, but perhaps not as bad as SF), Millbrae (more stuff there now than there used to be and historically cheaper than SM or Burlingame and BART is there), or Belmont (not much commercial there, but pretty, tree-lined streets) – all are generally the same distance from the FiDi as San Mateo. Rent is going to be shocking in SF – I don’t think you’ll find much in your price range for a family, but it should be more do-able outside the city proper. Even the outer Richmond/Sunset is getting really expensive because there are generally larger homes and flats out there.

      • Plenty of people in SF put 3 people in a 1 bedroom, because of crazy housing costs, especially if it’s an infant. It’s not a permanent solution, but might be a good option until you’ve lived here a while and know what suburb you want to move to. The east bay is a brutal car commute, but could be doable if you live right near BART.

        • Wildkitten :

          A 1 bedroom with an infant is totally do-able short-term and a great idea since you’ll be getting to know a new area.

    • I left my heart... :

      Yes! Been here for 10+ years, added an infant this year. The “most” kid-friendly neighborhoods in SF, judging by parks and kid activities, seem to be Noe Valley/Glen Park, the Marina/Cow Hollow, Laurel Heights/Inner Richmond, Cole Valley, and West Portal. But I think as long as you are close to main transit arteries, you can get most places in a reasonable amount of time without a car.

      Outside of SF really depends on where you and/or your husband plan to work. I would not live in the East Bay and work on the Peninsula, for example.

      • Ditto this. My husband works in SF and I work in San Mateo. I would love to live in Oakland, but that would put my commute at an hour, which isn’t worth it to me (despite the significantly cheaper rent.) Living in SF keeps my commute at about 35-40 minutes, which is more reasonable for me.

  16. Ladies who do Weight Watchers, what are the pros and cons? I want to lose some weight this year, but I loathe tracking since I cook a lot. I know WW recently changed their system. Is it still heavy tracking?

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, it still requires that you track everything you eat. The recent changes are to how points are calculated- broadly, nudging you towards healthier food choices.

      Personally I find it easier to track when I cook than eating out. I already know exactly how much of which foods went into a dish, and it’s easy to save recipes etc. but if you aren’t into tracking it’s not a good plan for you.

    • lawsuited :

      WW has 2 streams – you can either track points and eat your regular foods while staying within your point allowance, or you can eat unlimited amounts of “good” foods from their chart. The “good” foods are fruits, vegetables, some high-fibre grains, lean proteins, etc. so it is still pretty restrictive if you want to cook with sauces, cheeses, starches, proteins not on the list, etc.

      • I think they got rid of the non-tracking thing– now it’s all points. But, you can probably find the old program materials on eBay.

    • Anonymous :

      A few of us are doing the Whole Life Challenge if you’re interested. Look it up, we’re on team 2016 January Healthy Hive

      • No tracking, awesome! I was taking a quick look. Are there any cheat days at all? It was hard to tell.

        • Anonymous :

          No. None. That’s the whole point of whole 30.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            The Whole Life Challenge is not the same thing as whole 30.

            For the challenge, you start with 5 nutrition points each day and deduct 1 for each food you eat that is not on the list for the plan you’re following. So you could have a “cheat day” and just not get any nutrition points that day. At the end of the challenge, the total number of points you have goes into your final ranking along with some other factors.

  17. Is anyone else here an east coast skiier? What resorts do you all go to? I am so psyched that cold temps and snow have finally arrived!

    • I am an East Coast skier. The issue is that there’s no base right now. So if you want to ski, you can, but it’s dust on rocks right now/a lot of man-made snow on just a few runs. You can definitely book a vacation on faith, but it’s a little soon to believe that it’s actually ski season. Remember, it was in the fifties last week.

      I prefer Vermont resorts – Mad River Glen (which is not open yet) or Sugarbush or Stowe. My friends like Loon a lot. I also like Killington during the week. I’ve never done Okemo. MRG is not groomed. It’s only for experts. You may want to join the FB group Northeast Ladies Shred if you’re looking for ski or hiking buddies. Jay Peak is also great, but it’s a haul.

      I disliked skiing in Maine because it has been crazy awful cold every time I’ve been (Sugarloaf and Sunday River). They’re nice resorts, and I’ve lived and skied on the East Coast, but if you are extremely uncomfortable and have to go in to warm up every two hours, not the best ski day. (I have great gear and am pretty hardy).

      • Thanks for the tip on the Facebook group! I am looking for snowboarding buddies. I have a season’s pass to Sugarbush. My husband bought a brand new, really nice pair of skis in November and lo and behold, no cold weather until now. Sugarbush isn’t looking great right now, but we’re feeling impatient to go. Fortunately we live only an hour or so away, so if it sucks, we can just go drink with our friends in Moretown.

  18. Secret sale! :

    Austin Reed is having a ‘secret sale’ on suiting right now. FYI

  19. Suggestions for laptop backpack that is “sleek” and would work for a petite (5′) person? I have a 13 inch Macbook Air and would like a minimalist and not too pricey (e.g. < $100 or so) option. Thanks so much!

    • Wildkitten :

      Check timbuk2. They have some pretty compact laptop backpacks and will have pictures with various people so you can see what it looks like on a petite person. They are under $100 on sale.

  20. Can you make yourself more resilient? Like how do you keep from falling apart (immediately and for months after) when things don’t go your way – whether it’s a promotion you got passed over for; a job you didn’t get etc. Seems like a lot of people here are high achievers – they’ve always worked hard and things have generally worked out positively; so what do you do when they don’t?

    • Anonymous :

      Therapy helped me a lot with this, but basically, self-compassion (recognizing all the things I HAVE accomplished, and giving myself a break rather than beating myself up over things not going quite right). I’ve always been a high achiever, and the few things that have gone wrong, really used to tear me apart, but I’ve gotten a lot better over the past year.

    • Baconpancakes :

      A couple people I’ve talked to about it were horrified by my method, but when I am terrified something bad is going to happen, I picture it happening, force myself to feel what I would feel, then can step back and say, “Hey, that wasn’t the worst thing ever. I can get through this. What should I do to avoid that? Barring any control over the situation, what can I do after it happens?” I’ve done it with situations as varied as getting fired to no one coming to my party to losing my parents in a tragic accident.

      When something does happen that I can’t control that requires emotional healing, I let myself have the pity party for a designated amount of time, then after that time’s up, go through the motions of what I know I should be doing, even if I don’t want to do that thing. When I ended a 4-year relationship, I took two days off from work, cried my face off, ate a lot of takeout, watched BBC’s Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones, stayed off all social media, and when the time was up, forced myself to go to a party with friends, where I let my friends sign me up for Tinder. After the party I went home and cried, but having taken that first step, it got easier.

      • Anonymous :

        This actually seems very similar to some Buddhist traditions, like meditating on your dead body being consumed by maggots. Gross and weird, yes, but the idea (as far as I can tell, I’m by no means an expert on Buddhism) is that we all fear death and by accepting and sitting with that fear (i.e., not fighting it), then it will lessen its hold on us.

      • What you’re doing is actually a psychology technique called “fear-mapping.” I’ve likewise found it to be extremely helpful. The idea is that you’re removing the fear of the uncertainty.

  21. anonymous :

    I bought a vitamin C serum with some vitamin E in it, and the color is sort of cloudy. It’s not dark, though. Is this normal? I read that it’s gone bad when it turns brown, which it hasn’t, but it’s not clear.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Is it cold? Warm it up and see if the cloudiness disappears. Oil gets cloudy in the cold. Otherwise, I’d return it and see if the other ones they have of the same brand aren’t cloudy.

    • suomynona :

      Did you buy it on Amazon? It may be well expired or counterfeit, it happens often through their storefronts. I would see if you could get another.

  22. How do you say? :

    Poll: How do you pronounce Cartier?

    • Anonymous :

      Car – tee – a (pronounced like the letter “a”)

    • Anonymous :

      The way it is supposed to be pronounced!

      • So, you use the actual French pronunciation? For those of us that took Spanish instead of French in high school, what is that?

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, the French pronunciation. Are you saying Cart-I-RRR or something?

          Just YouTube a Cartier perfume ad they say it in them. I can’t do phonetic spelling.

          • I say Car-Tee-Ay, but I feel like a cowgirl or a pirate and assumed it was wrong (then started over thinking it and and dreww out the “aaaaaaaaay”–this is all in my head, but still). In my hilarious pre-day-off brain haze, it didn’t occur to me that there were ads I could listen to… thank you!

          • That’s how I learned to pronounce Hyundai when I bought one. Heh. I figured I should know how to say it if I’m going to own one.

    • Cah-tee-eh!

  23. Anonymous :

    I’ve been laid of twice this year. My old firm ran out of money and my new firm was boughtout and I was tossed right before Christmas. Am waiting on a call about a job after a decent interview and I have an interview tomorrow about some temporary work that might last a few months. Id appreciate anything encouraging. The spouse and I work in the same very small field and he is succeeding while I am floundering. Of the two of us I have higher billables and more experience but he is definately more charming and might have made some safer career decisions. Not blaming anyone but myself and the economy here but I feel so lost and without hope. It’s so hard to have this happen twice within such a short span of time and I know it will look horrific on my resume. I did everything I was supposed to do- I hit my target, I had good results for clients, my supervising partner was very hapy with me but I’m apparently redundant and disposable in the buyout.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry. This is a terrible time of year to go through something like this. It’s a great sign that you already have some job leads. If it helps, once you find the next job, this bout of unemployment probably won’t matter much. You don’t have to make it clear you were laid off (you can use years rather than months when describing the jobs to make it less clear there was a gap between them) and changing jobs twice in the span of a year isn’t unheard of. It’s just not a good idea to do it again and again. Most lawyers also recognize this is still a terrible economy and will be sympathetic to your situation. Is it possible to explore jobs in a slightly different field? Being in the same tiny field as your spouse seems like it could be very tough.

  24. Lawyer Question :

    How many years do you think a lawyer should practice law before applying to be a judge (assuming the state does not have a minimum)? Does your opinion change based on the amount of actual court room experience the lawyer has? For example, in my practice, cases tend to settle and rarely actually go to trial. Even though I’ve been practicing 7 years I think I’ve had only 3 or 4 cases go all the way.

    • Anonymous :

      15.

    • Anon for this Judge :

      I think 7 years experience with only 3-4 trials is a little thin. I only had a few trials but I had other highly relevant experience and I was appointed after 12 years of practice. I think the minimum in my state is 5.

      • anonymous :

        Not the OP but, out of curiosity, would you mind elaborating on “other highly relevant experience”?

        • Anon for this Judge :

          Don’t want to be too specific and out myself, but I’d worked in the court system for quite some time in a non-judicial capacity.

    • Lawyer Question :

      Thanks for the responses! We have openings here pretty frequently so I think I’m going to wait a few more years before I apply. Interestingly, many of the judges where I am have very narrow pre-bench experience. Criminal only or were in-house for the last 10 years. Where I am, the same judge does civil and criminal but rarely the judge has pre-bench experience in both. However, most have been practicing 15+ years (as far as I can tell). There is no requirement but the application does ask things like “in the last 10 years” but so do all background checks for people with security clearance.

    • Wildkitten :

      Is there a downside to applying? Like, if you apply but don’t get it will you be blacklisted or can you apply now and apply again later? If there’s no downside, Lean In.

    • depends on the type of judge.

      municipal court – less than 10 years experience
      county court – depending on the size of the county, larger counties 10+ years, smaller counties maybe less
      district court – 10+
      associate judges – less than 10

      also depending on your area of practice. I would say less than 5 trials is probably too few to preside over a trial.

  25. Help please! I’m seriously frustrated at work today. I work in a team structure (like most people) and have seniority over a colleague, in title and experience. Any time she does work, it’s TERRIBLE quality and I end up either having to redo it myself or spend so much time walking her through it that it would have been faster to just do it myself. It’s not a matter of lack of experience – anyone can see in a Word doc that there are 10+ typos or that something is definitely not what the clients asked for. As a result, I’m redoing her work (again) alone in the office, while she is out of town for the holidays.

    I’m not so senior over her that I can provide performance, but I don’t think our manager is aware and my manager has asked me why it’s taken so long to get X project done (because I had to redo it). I’m thinking about asking my manager if I can have a talk with jr coworker or if this would be overstepping or how I can funnel feedback. Does this seem too mean? I am seriously frustrated that I am working today on a project she should have finished in a decent manner and will be working over NYE and NY as well as a result. Or does the hive have any other suggestions on how to handle? I’ve already tried providing one off feedback on projects, but she just ends up fixing that one little mistake and not carrying that through to other projects.

    • Anonymous :

      “Why has this taken so long?”

      “Because Sandra’s work is consistently so poor that I need to redo it to meet client standards.”

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        Yup, this.

        Based on the description you’ve given here, it sounds like it’s not your job to manage Sandra’s performance, it’s your job to get projects done on time. Sandra is an obstacle to that. Report the obstacle and let your manager manage it.

        • Thanks – I wish I could say this, but the only times she’s asked this is either in a group setting (e.g., in front of Sandra) or asked it almost rhetorically (e.g., “Why has this taken so long? I’m headed off to a meeting now but let’s not have this happen again.”).

          Yes, it’s not my job to manage Sandra’s performance, but somehow I end up with the blame if she does it incorrectly. For ex. my manager will say “Curious, did you review this? This is not what I wanted at all. I’m relying on you to do first round of review.”) so I feel somewhat justified in providing my manager with feedback on jr’s performance…. no? This may be the frustration talking, so really – please let me know if you don’t think that’s the case!

          • Anonymous :

            You can say this. After the meeting, walk yourself back over to her office and tell her.

            And when your manager asks if you reviewed it, say “yes, and that took xyz hours longer than it should have because I basically have to redo her work and do mine.”

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            You’re ending up with the blame because you’re not saying “Manager, I can’t both meet your deadline and systematically rewrite and redo every single thing Sandra does. If you want me to ensure that projects are done on your specified timeline, I need Sandra’s work quality to improve dramatically – do you have any suggestions for how we can make that happen?”

            Set a special meeting with your manager if you need to – “Hey, Manager, I notice you’ve been frustrated with our timeliness/work product lately, and I need to speak with you one-on-one about our work flow.” Your manager can’t manage what she’s not aware of – give her a chance to do her own job, which is to manage both you and Sandra, before martyring yourself on the cross of “Junior Person Sucks, Must Do All The Work.”

            Also, if a Sandra-caused issue comes up in a shared meeting, deflect to Sandra – you’re not a monster for saying “Oh, well ::insert SandraTask:: wasn’t completed until ::date that is unacceptable::, so that’s the reason for the delay,” or “actually, that work product was handled by Sandra.” It’s not mean, it’s the truth. Seriously – this is how the Sandras of the world end up in charge, because people like you are so interested in being nice or polite or conflict-averse or whatever you want to call it that no one ever tells anyone who makes the real decisions that Sandra sucks.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes to everything KKH says. You are not being a good employee by doing all your work and hers, too, while covering for her incompetence.

          • Thanks for all the great advice! The thought of the Sandras ending up in charge is terrifying enough to shake me out of this funk and speak with my manager.

    • lawsuited :

      I think a lot of juniors fall into the mindset that their work is a first draft and will be looked at by many others before being finalized so it doesn’t need to read like a finished product. If your manager gives you the go ahead to speak with junior coworker, I’d consider saying something like, “I’ve noticed that there are consistently a high number of careless errors in the work you give me. You may think that the work you give me doesn’t matter as much as the work you give [manager] or [partner], but you need to treat any work you give anyone on this team as a finished product you would give to a client, not just a first draft. You’ll never be cleared to prepare [documents] on your own if you don’t demonstrate that you’re able to do error-free work on your own. “

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s a good point. Many many years ago (before the earth was cool), a senior partner had to give that speech to me. I was mortified but I cleaned up my act and was grateful for the heads up.

  26. fake coffee snob :

    Worst question to have to ask ever :(

    A dog I was in the midst of rescuing/possibly adopting wriggled free of her collar last night, in the middle of Manhattan. I’ve spent every second since doing what I can, but everything is already starting to feel futile…if you ever lost a pet, how did you know when to give up? I hear these stories about people posting signs for weeks or months and I just don’t know how much of this I can take.

    I feel sick over it. I’m kicking myself for waiting until her second vet appointment to do the microchipping…

    • This website is a good source for all things about lost dogs.

      http://www.granitestatedogrecovery.com/Search—Recovery-Tool-Box.html

      I hope your potential pooch is found soon.

    • Anonymous :

      So sorry to hear this. I have no real advice but I will think good thoughts for you. <3

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Reach out to all of the shelters and rescue groups working in Manhattan, and ask them if there’s a way to check their recent intakes, or if they’re willing to alert you if a dog matching your dog’s description comes in. Post signs in the immediate area where she ran, and post on community websites where people in your area are active (like, for example, if there’s a message board for “Manhattan runners” or a mom’s group or similar). Also, all the things Woof’s recommended resource suggests.

      I’m so sorry this happened, and I will absolutely be thinking good thoughts for you and your dog! Going forward, I’d vote for using harnesses on any future dogs – I just adopted a wriggly little dude over the weekend myself, and I’m pretty sure I would’ve lost him at least once a day since we got him if we’d been using a collar instead of a harness.

      • Wildkitten :

        This is great advice – reach out to shelters.

        People send lost dog emails to my neighborhood listservs all the time (in DC) and often find them.

        Good luck!

    • I’ve never lost a dog, but did lose (and recover) a cat.

      It was horrible – I felt so guilty the whole time he was gone. After a few days, the signs probably aren’t going to help much and you’ll want to start calling animal shelters. Also, I’m not sure about Manhattan, but a lot of smaller places have lost pets Facebook groups where you can post about lost / found animals. (It looks like there is one for “Manhattan NYC Lost and Found Pets”.)

      The only other recommendation I have is that you go out searching at night with food and name calling. It will be tougher if you dog doesn’t really know you yet, but I have heard that nighttime is better since things are calmer and your voice can carry further.

      Good luck!!

    • Bess Marvin :

      Far from Manhattan, but findtoto.com has been very successful for several rescue groups I know. Also sharing on every social media link possible–lost pet pages, rescue groups, neighborhood groups, craigslist etc. Good luck and good thoughts for you.

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