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Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Martha Dress

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

This Boden dress looks like a great ladylike sheath dress — sort of Audrey Hepburn–inspired, with a wide roll collar. It’s fully lined with a hidden back zip. It comes in solid black and navy, but I really like this green pattern. I think it would be a fun pop of color under a black blazer or black cardigan, or navy or white; I think it would go well with a lot of neutrals (and because I do enjoy a purple pump, I’d probably wear it with that as well). The choices also include a really nice yellow/blue/black/white version that’s a fun pattern. Sizes are 2–18, regular, petite, and long, and the dress is $120-$150 at Boden, depending on color/print. Martha Dress

Here’s an option that’s available in plus sizes.

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Comments

  1. BR Ryan fit pink and green pants :

    OMG — love these! Wool pants that are lined!

    I have several BR Logan (the straight leg pants) that I hem for 2″ heels.

    How do I get the BR Ryans hemmed? I’m 5-4, so I think that the legs are too long off the rack and need to be shortened. Do I get them hemmed to show ankle? Or to the top of my foot (so no break)?

    I would probably be wearing them with some 2″ wedges. I’ve never mastered a skinnier leg and/or short pants after some regrettable attempts at capri pants when we first went casual on Fridays in the summer. I’ve seen our fashionable first-year do a shorter leg but once you hem, you can’t go longer if you get it too short.

    Help, y’all!

    • I like to do it right to the top of the ankle bone, if that makes sense. But go to a tailor you trust (or if you have gap/BR silver card, you can get it done for free in store) and see what they recommend. FWIW, you can certainly go a little longer if you find the alteration is too short. It’s a bit of a pain but very doable.

      • Anonymous :

        If the leg is really tight I hem right at the top of the ankle bone. Straight-leg pants that are a little wider and don’t show the contour of your calf can go to the top of the foot with no break. Do not go above the top of the ankle bone unless you want them to look like capris.

    • I’m going to hem mine to just above the ankle bone & narrow the leg slightly – this works better with the lower kitten heels I tend to wear.

  2. KateMiddletown :

    How do you focus on work when things at home are occupying a lot of mental real estate? We had an argument last night that wasn’t resolved (the kind that brings up more questions) and now I’m having a hard time plugging in to anything unrelated.

    • I don’t know but I’m right there with you, trying very hard to focus on onboarding my new hire while mentally back at home still in the middle of a fight.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG that was my life for years. I got to be good at just compartmentalizing.

  3. I semi-gave up on Boden after the dresses seemed to make me look pregnant and the pencil skirts had a short slit in the back so I felt very hobbled when walking / getting into cars (or husband’s giant man-truck).

    I do think I love the skirt that comes in this dress’s print.

    How’s Boden running on my fit issues these days?

    FWIW, I’m 5-4, thinnish, but a definite pear.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I can only wear their tops and their flare dresses. I gave up on all things sheath. Even with their flare dresses, the waist tends to hit me a little higher than I’d like. I can’t decide if I have a long torso or they just are cut short in the top.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I’ve found their tall sizes to be true talls, in that they’re cut for a longer torso and not just a few extra inches on the bottom. Even if you would consider yourself a regular or petite normally, I’d check that out as it made a huge difference in terms of fit. (Although I’ve given up on Boden after having to pay for returns. I’m spoiled.)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Ah that makes sense! I’ve had better luck with their dresses fitting lately now that I’m a size 18 instead of a 14 or 16 and it makes sense because size 18 almost always is only available as a tall size.

      • I am 5’8″ and long waisted and have found the opposite — their tall dresses are long enough for me, but they do not seem to lower the waist proportionately AT ALL. It’s very frustrating, because they have some lovely dresses, but I have learned the hard way that absolutely none of them are flattering on me.

    • Me too. The dresses are all too high waisted for me yet still too long.

    • I tried this cut of dress on (and returned it) in a solid red color. It was, as seems typical for Boden sheaths, very high waisted, and the rolled neck looked like I was in costume as an extra from mad men. Not for me.
      I find that the red fleece line at Brooks Brothers works really nicely for sheaths for my pear-ish (mom tummy) body.

    • As a 5’4, high waisted, hourglass, I have found their dresses seem to fit well and usually garner compliments.

    • I’m 5’6″, ~200lbs, hourglass shape, relatively short torso, and I wear their US14. Everything I buy from there seems to fit perfectly and I get tons of compliments on everything I wear from there. I have 4 dresses, a pencil skirt, blouse and some casual clothes from there. Needless to say – I have a bit of an online shopping problem and am obsessed with their stuff. I go by their measurement chart, and I feel like it’s pretty accurate.

  4. Anonymous :

    I am in a position at work that has me leading others that have substantially more experience in the industry than I do. The person hired as my backup has many times the experience I do. I imagine we will go to meetings and industry events and people will assume that this person in the one in charge and I am the backup, rather than the other way around. All that being said, I want to ensure a positive working relationship that is respectful of this person’s knowledge and experience and not threatened by it. Any recommendations for books or other specific actions that can help? I guess I am looking for the confidence that I really should be in the role I am in and not this other person. Stories from others in similar circumstances welcomed!

    • Anonymous :

      No advice, but the fact that you recognize all of this is huge!

    • It’s been pretty common for me to lead small groups where others have more technical expertise (though all at s fairly low level). I’d say be sure to introduce yourself first to people outside the company and act like “the boss” but then intro your juniors and point out their area of expertise. Don’t do the opposite- let folks think your reports are in charge and then surprise them with, “actually it’s me”. It’s much more natural for everyone to just be relaxed and understand where everyone is upfront. You’ve been assigned this position for a reason and you’ll be great!

    • For conferences and such, I’d make sure I’d have my 10 second introduction queued up that clearly identifies you as the lead. For example, “my name is x and I’ve recently taken the lead for department y”. Not sure if backup reports to you but you can also include that somehow if you really wanted to, for example: “my responsibilities include x, which backup person over here leads / has a lot of experience/ etc”. Make sure your name tag and any attendee listing also has your appropriate title (assuming that’s the norm for your industry, of course).

      General advice: I’ve managed people who have kids older than me so was intimidated at first. BUT I’ve come to realize that the reason I have my job and the value I bring is not in years of experience but other things senior management values more for my role – e.g. Strategic vision, people management, etc. that my directs don’t do as well. So first maybe figure out why you were placed in your position and the expectations. Then solicit the people with industry experience to help make informed decisions (e.g. Pick their brains often) and let them run their own shops without micromanaging (assuming you manage them) and spend your time adding value in ways that align more with your managers’ expectations.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Sometimes when I am in this role on a call or in a meeting I will introduce myself and my role and invite everyone else to do a quick role call/ intro (which is generally nice anyway). Then I will say something like “I’m here to facilitate this discussion, and our goals during this time are to figure out X and Y…” Which sets me up as the leader but also doesn’t make it seem like I think I’m better than everyone. Something about the word “facilitate” seems to help people swallow the ego / age issues easily. I’ve seen men who started a meeting defensive and slightly hostile visibly relax after that intro.

  5. Keeping it Casual :

    Has anyone been in a “long-term” casual relationship? If so, how do you view the choice in retrospect?

    • Anonymous :

      I was with my FWB on and off for 7 years! It ended very abruptly when he got married and didn’t tell me about it initially (but still wanted to sleep with me…so charming). It was a lot of fun for awhile, and we did get along well and had a good time together, but looking back I realize he didn’t view me as actually worthy of dating. I’m glad I got some self-esteem and got over it.

    • I’ve had a FWB off and on for 11 years. (Ok when I type that out, it seems crazy).

      We just have this insane chemistry but I don’t think we would be good together. It’s still going, although we don’t see each other really when one of us is in a relationship.

      Things are better now that I’m a bit older and more secure but it does get messy at times. Honestly, it’s probably not the best situation in the world but the LGPs are good and it’s fun to hang out.

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      I have. It sucked because I wanted more, but settled for casual. I completely regret the huge waste of time and self-inflicted pain.

    • lucky anon :

      As the absolute best thing I’ve ever decided to stop doing. Once I gave up, I could focus on seeking the right partner for the serious and committed long-term relationship that I actually wanted, and I found the best man for me shortly thereafter.

    • Not personal experience but the only time I’ve seen this work without a friend getting hurt is when a friend has amazing LGP chemistry with someone that she has zero interest in as a long term partner. The ‘long term’ part is more about the reconnecting when they are both not in a relationship.

      A casual LGP relationship never turns into the real thing in my experience. If it’s casual, it’s because one or both of the participants has zero interest in something serious.

    • I’m with lucky anon. I was with my FWB for three years, and I just view it as a huge waste of time because he never saw me as a potential partner, and I knew all along that I wanted more.

      • I had a long term casual relationship (probably a little more than that, more like an un-BF) that was on and off for 10 years including multiple moves, shared friends, etc. He ended things when he decided to enter into a committed relationship. That was hard at first, but I came to the conclusion that we had so much history that I didn’t want to lose him as a friend. He felt the same way- we’ve been friends only for 2+ years now and I wouldn’t go back to the previous situation. Turns out he’s rock solid as a friend- WAY better than he ever was as a FWB. I wouldn’t do anything different.

    • Off and on for about a decade.Geography and our age made it make sense to keep it casual at first. I thought I was always clear that I was open to an upgrade if we could sort out the geography, but we never made that work, and I eventually made it clear that a monogamous relationship was my desired endstate, even if it wasn’t him. I don’t regret the first 5 years, I do regret the second 5 years of him attempting to sabotage any relationship I enterred into because he didn’t want to lose me, but also couldn’t man-up and communicate what he really wanted. After almost 2 years of radio silence, I allowed him to re-add me on FB and he sends me pictures of his dog.

      Lessons? If your FWB doesn’t hold you back, it can be ideal, for a while. Under no circumstances should this person become your best friend/closest confidant without becoming your actual partner.

    • Yeah and we both got our hearts broken, in different ways.

    • I had a FWB situation with someone for about 5 years. We were friends first, then had good chemistry. We didn’t live in the same place, and I don’t think we would have been good together romantically anyways, so neither of us wanted more. It naturally fizzled out as I had more serious relationships and then met my now-husband.

      I also had a friend who lived several states away from me but occasionally visited family in my area. We were very good friends, had one whirlwind romantic weekend + LGP, and remained very good friends afterwards. It might have turned into a longer-term FWB thing, but I met my now-husband shortly after that. I actually think that particular weekend did a lot for my self-esteem and gave me some focus on what I was looking for with actual potential SOs.

    • anonforthis :

      I have been seeing a man in an open marriage for a couple of years now (when I have been single, so not the entire time). I went it to it knowing 100% that it would be casual and happy with that – for a lot of reasons he is probably not someone I would date otherwise. We do get along well but not in a romantic way. the LGP aspect is fantastic. We have amazing chemistry, and I find that aspect of the relationship incredibly satisfying. Some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s a great arrangement for me, partially because he is getting his emotional needs met elsewhere and doesn’t do the emotional labor without commitment thing I have experienced from other men in the past.

    • Anon for this :

      Yes, I’ve had one for about three years. It only works because my partner is not someone with whom I could have a long term relationship–he doesn’t have a lot of the qualities I am looking for and could not be the kind of supportive partner I want. The conversation and the chemistry are both off the charts, though, so I don’t at all regret it; the experience has taught me quite a lot about what I want and don’t want in a partner, both relationship-wise and in terms of LGPs. I have been able to totally start falling for other people despite having him available to me in the background (and obviously we don’t have a physical relationship while I’m dating someone else exclusively).

  6. Any advice on parking in/around NYC? BF and I are coming up for a long weekend over Easter and would like to drive up. The place we’re staying at suggested The Parking Spot at Newark, but I was wondering if anyone else had a suggestion for long-term parking. TIA!

    • I used to leave my car in Hoboken in one of the garages near the PATH station.

    • Wait, are you flying into Newark? And where is your hotel? I don’t understand why you’d park in NJ and then take train in with luggage? There are multiple long term lots in NYC, most with coupons on their website if you print or pre-pay.

    • Where are you staying? Every neighborhood is different, down to a few blocks. One thing you can check is the Spothero app/website. I don’t know if you can do it far in advance but it’s by the far the cheapest parking lot option I’ve found. I would not park in NJ unless you’re staying in NJ, too. You can definitely find comparably priced parking in some far corner of NYC that will be infinitely easier to get to/from (NJ requires a toll).

      • We’re staying in Hell’s Kitchen (I think). We’re dog-sitting for my uncle and I already checked that he doesn’t have parking in his building.

        • You can find parking nearby, maybe even on the street depending on where he is and how much you’re willing to walk. Put in his address in spothero and see what comes up.
          Also: NYC has alternate side of the street parking, twice a week in manhattan, which basically means you cant park on one side of the street twice a week from 9-11 am or whatever time, but that gets suspended on holidays so check the parking calendar online (google “NYC alternate side calendar”).

    • Marshmallow :

      No way would I park in Newark and then take the train to Hell’s Kitchen. That’s just a longish, annoying train ride with luggage and I don’t think you’ll save that much money. There are a thousand paid garages in Manhattan that you can park in.

      Is it that driving in NYC bothers you? If so, park in Hoboken or Jersey City near a PATH station. Much closer.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Do you need your car while in NYC? I can understand not wanting to fly in but why not rent a car that you can return at the start and end of the trip. You can always uber or take public transportation to his apartment. Otherwise, I usually park in Jersey City right near the Grove street path train station. Weekends it’s free but I think it is residents only M-F.

    • Where are you driving in from? From the south, you can take the NJ Transit train (I would not park in Newark though, try Metropark or one further south like Princeton or Hamilton. Newark Penn is not a nice area and if they mean the airport, not all the trains stop at the airport stop, plus you have to take the monorail thing) or if you want to drive pretty much the whole way, drive to Jersey City and park in the garage attached to the Newport PATH station, which you can take into the city and switch to the subway.

  7. Anonymous :

    I’m quitting my job. Before I do, I have ordered a few books for everyone on my team as going away gifts.

    One girl is slightly my senior. However, she goes out of her way to dish out food for senior management (men), took one man’s fork to wash it for him, etc. Would it be offensive if I gifted her the book “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office”. She’s 25. I’m 23.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. Don’t do that. Also don’t give going away gifts.

      • +1

      • Anonymous :

        Really? Is it that bad? I really appreciated them hiring me and (somewhat) enjoyed my time with them. It’s something memorable.

        • Sassyfras :

          What is the point of gifting her that book other than to shame her for behavior you don’t approve of?

          • Anonymous :

            To help her. She is very talented intellectually and she might have never known about how her characteristics are downplaying her talent. I would appreciate it if someone gave it to me.

          • Anonymous :

            Consider that you are the one who needs help understanding office norms. Going away gifts are not done, and no one likes the gift of a self help book from a colleague.

          • Anonymous :

            I’d roll my eyes so hard at someone with less experience trying to educate me about how to behave in the workplace even if the advice was good in practice.

          • anon associate :

            You do not know that she “needs help.” For all you know she’s killing it in a bunch of other ways and her talent is shining through to the people who matter. I am totally on board with the premise of NGDGTCO but helping someone out isn’t per se downplaying her talent.

        • Because you’re younger than her it comes across as extremely condescending. You’re not really in a position to be giving her advice.

          • +1 – unless you are her friend outside of the office, I would not recommend that you do this. And even if you were, I would think twice about giving her that book.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t know that it’s bad exactly, but it would be super strange. Write them a nice email about what you enjoyed about working with them and be done.

          Also, if you want to help the other woman in your office, have you talked to her about what she’s doing? That would probably have a lot more of an effect than giving her a book and hoping she isn’t offended and also actually reads it and gets something from it.

          Finally, my experience with this kind of thing has generally been that people don’t appreciate being told, and will find their own path to success. If she wanted help with this, she would have asked.

        • Maybe read Nice Girls don’t get the corner office, yourself

      • The only thing I ever do when leaving a job is write thank-you cards to people I worked with.

        And buy myself a really nice bottle of wine.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, very offensive.

    • anon associate :

      No. No need to do going away gifts– this is a professional relationship, not something you need a keepsake or memento for. I don’t mean this meanly, but they will remember you for the work you did and who you are– giving gifts so they can remember your time there comes off as self-absorbed.

      Please PLEASE don’t give NGDGTCO to your senior coworker. Please. It’s tone deaf and presumptuous. For all you know, she’s given this a lot of thought. You’re both so young… I’d be mortified/really irritated if a 23 year old thought I needed help managing myself around the office.

    • If she’s 25, and you’re 23, then she’s not a “girl” and neither are you. Pretty sure they mention that in NGDGTCO.

      Yes, giving her this book would be offensive as a “going away gift” from a junior employee.

      The idea of giving your co-workers “going away gifts” when you quit your job is weird and sort of condescending. “I’m leaving, good luck finding and training my replacement, also here’s a meaningless gift and some advice? Byeee xoxo”

      Spend the money instead on some professional development books to read yourself.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Agree with everyone else. No going away gifts when leaving a job. I’d take offense at being given NGDGTCO from someone who wasn’t already a mentor. And please stop calling adult women “girls.”

      Make sure to take any time you have to wrap up your current projects, make notes and help pass off anything else to the coworkers who will be taking over, and just generally leave everything in good shape.

      The ONE time I did anything special when leaving a job was after an internship at an office that had a big food culture with everyone taking turns bringing things in. The male intern and I brought in bagels on our last morning. It was actually his idea and he did all the work and I just contributed financially.

      • I think giving books is a nice idea.

        • KateMiddletown :

          I did this once for a very specific book, but it seems extremely intimate to gift someone at work.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I often give books as gifts, but I still don’t think it is appropriate to give gifts to people upon leaving a job.

        • S in Chicago :

          Giving books is a nice idea for friends and to children. I find the random book gift from someone who hardly knows me to actually be kind of rude (and I love to read) because it’s inherently an ask for how someone spends time. If you have a convo and they express interest in the topic, fine. But otherwise, no. Just no. And in this circumstance, heck no.

      • I really don’t get why people get so up in arms about the term “girl”. I take it as simply denoting gender and it has nothing to do with age.

        • Because if you’re female and 18+, you’re a woman.

        • Unless you refer to male co-workers as “boys” (and not in the context of “the boys went out to eat” but individually the way OP did, as in “this boy is slightly my senior”) you shouldn’t call your female co-workers girls.

          • Op here.

            I suppose I used the word “girls” because we are both relatively young as compared to everyone else around us. Everyone else is in their 50s+ except one person who is maybe 37. But, you all are correct. We are women, not school girls.

        • It didn’t bother me until I heard a 25 year old (male) professional refer to two 60 year old secretaries as ‘girls’. It came across as extremely condescending – these were professional women doing their job, not friends helping him with some silly paperwork. I think it’s hard to refer to adults as girls without a hint of condescension.

        • How do you feel about the term “boy” to refer to a 40 year old man?

          • No problem with it. It denotes gender.

          • So there’s in your mind there’s no difference between “man” and “boy”? You would refer to a “5 year old man” and and “80 year old boy”? Are you a native speaker?

          • Senior Attorney :

            Anon at 11:15 a.m., you’re either lying or being willfully obtuse. And I hope you never refer to a 40 year old man of color as a “boy,” because you will be in for a world of hurt…

          • How about if he is a minority?

            See….?

          • People tend to say “guy” for a man, but there’s no corresponding casual term for “adult female”. Regardless, “girl” is offensive.

          • I think the female equivalent to “guy” is “gal.” I have had male coworkers use the term a lot, and I find it just as offensive as girl. “The gals are going to lunch” “Ask the gal in the legal department” “the gals on my floor” GAG

        • I think you are in the minority then. I expect most people take it as a term denoting both gender and age (i.e. a female child who has not entered adulthood) because that is the meaning of the term according to every dictionary I’ve seen.

        • Anonymous :

          Because SA doesn’t like it, and the plus-sized people here worship/emulate SA.

          • So unnecessarily rude. And did you notice all the women saying it was sexist before SA piped up?

    • Frozen Peach :

      I think giving books can be nice depending on the culture of your team. It’s a lovely thought — though I agree with everyone above: 1) No self help books, period, definitely not NGDGTCO, and 2) be very careful with giving going away gifts. Ive never seen that from anyone who wasn’t a mentor to me, and it can easily be more trouble than it’s worth in the professionalism department.

      • thank you/goodbye gifts? :

        So is the consensus no going away/thank you gits when you leave a job? I’ve been with my boss my entire career since he hired me as an intern in law school. He taught me a ton and has been a true mentor. He also brought me with him to a new firm, which completely changed my career opportunities. I’m leaving my job and moving to a new city at the end of the month and I was thinking of giving him some sort of gift as a thank you for everything he has done for me. Should I not do this?

        • I think this is fine and totally different than OP’s situation.
          1) You’re gifting one mentor, not an entire team.
          2) OP is 23 so she’s presumably been at her office at the very most a couple of years. You have a much longer relationship with your boss.
          3) You’re presumably not going to gift him something rude and condescending.

          I know people say “don’t gift up” but I think this is a situation where a small gift and a heartfelt note are appropriate.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I think this is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish than the OP’s idea of randomly handing out self-help books to everybody she worked with. A gift to a longtime mentor is fine, although not necessary. Honestly, the best gift is a sincere handwritten note of thanks.

    • Here’s how to quit your job.

      Quit.

      Let everyone know how to reach you.

      Leave.

      Do not give gifts. Do not give passive aggressive unsolicited advice to your now-former coworkers. Do not refer to women as girls.

      jeez.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. This. Times a million. OMG.

        I’m trying not to use the t-word but I really, really wonder if one particular poster here could possibly be as clueless as she comes across. Because WHOA. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after reading that original post.

    • Anonymous :

      OP – Congratulations on quitting your job. I hope your next move is joining the Peace Corps, going to teach in an inner-city school, working with clients in a non-profit, or doing something else that will allow you some significant personal growth, where you have to focus on the needs, thoughts and feelings of people other than yourself. I’m honestly not saying that to be snarky. I went to work for a non-profit when I was your age and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Because I got exposed to people who had real needs, who were very different than me, and I had to learn to understand and communicate with them in order to help them and do my job. Relating to others doesn’t come naturally for all of us. Whatever your next move is, please consider some personal growth opportunities that will help you understand why everyone is telling you your idea is terrible. Best of luck to you.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you for the advice. I am definitely not going through with that plan anymore.

      Anonymous at 1:47PM. Wonderful advice. Thanks!

  8. What happens if a party turns over responsive documents to a subpoena well in advance of the deadline and then subsequently receives notice of a motion to quash, filed after responsive documents submitted but before the deadline? This issue almost arose at work today, though turns out we didn’t send over the docs yet. Just want to satisfy my own curiosity.

    • Anonymous :

      At least in my state, all our notices say not to produce before xyz date so this doesn’t happen.

      • Anonymous :

        Interesting. I haven’t seen anything like that on the subpoena duces tecum we receive. Jurisdiction is Virginia.

        • Funny you should ask that. I just looked at a VA subpoena we received and there’s a page with the details stating not to produce until you are notified there was no motion to quash, and if there was, you send it directly to the clerk of the court.

  9. Phone interview :

    I have a phone interview for a summer internship with a company I previously turned down an offer at. The previous offer three years ago in a different state and a different division (I would have liked the job, but I turned it down for a better-paying competitor). Should I mention anything about having applied before when they ask me what I know about the company and how I heard about the position?

    • I think you could mention it briefly; depending on the HR department they might be using the same file for you again and I would find it slightly weird if I was interviewing someone who had some previous history with the company and didn’t mention it.

      You can turn it into a positive, like “I’ve been very interested in the company for quite some time; I was actually offered a position in X division a few years back; it was a tough decision to pursue a different path, but I’m happy to be talking to you today” or something like that.

  10. SuperSecret :

    Husband and I are considering swinging… we both have experience with group play, but never together and never in the context of a serious relationship. Even talking about it has given things a boost! Anyone tried this? Any advice?

    • I would think twice before actually doing this. The thought of having some other guy doing stuff to me while my SO watches is NOT something I would be comfortable doing. Moreover, me watching as my SO was doing stuff to another woman is NOT something I am comfortable with. I think it can DESTABLIZE relationships, NOT strengthen them. When I was dating Sheketovits, he suggested that I bring my freind into our relationship, but I refused. Besides, Im certain that Laurie would be REPULSED by him w/o his clothes on. I only put up with that b/c I thought he would MARRY me. DOUBEL FOOEY on him b/c he never did.

    • Doing this with a SO is very different from a FWB situation. I think the best thing to do is set your boundaries before you do it. Be open and honest about what could make you uncomfortable in the moment. Maybe be conservative the 1st time to see how it goes. Then explore more territory if the next time if it goes well.

    • Friends of mine did. They enjoyed it for a while (maybe a year or so), and then she wanted to slow down and he wanted to ramp up. He started seeing a lot of other partners without her knowing (they had previously agreed that they would tell each other about the other partners). He also got more into the party scene in order to meet the other partners so started using alcohol and drugs a lot more. It turned out to be a Pandora’s box they couldn’t close once they’d opened it, and they are going through a very, very ugly separation and divorce right now.

      Apparently they had talked a lot about boundaries and agreed that they would stop if/when either one of them wasn’t into it anymore, but when that moment came, they were no longer on the same page.

      • This. Maybe it’s bias because I wouldn’t be told about it if it’s going well, but every situation I’m aware of has seemed to end poorly. Primarily because one partner wanted to slow down while the other wanted to ramp up, and neither was willing to compromise on their preferred speed.

        You know your relationship best, but I’d carefully consider whether you think one or both of you could stop, even if you desperately wanted to continue, when your spouse said no.

    • Take a deep breath and sit down until the urge to swing goes away _completely_. Ideally, wait out this terrible idea with your DH and while holding each other’s hand or hands.

      I’m not a prude, a religious fundamentalist, or a troll–but I am horrified at the idea. Swinging as a fantasy is fine. Enjoy your spiced-up private time! But swinging in real life is asking for trouble as in “very, very ugly separation and divorce” as described by lawsuited. Think of it this way:
      1) S*x releases powerful emotions, sometimes in very unexpected ways. Yes, life hands out explosions, but why would you voluntarily park your marriage in a fireworks display?
      2) Consider the company you’d be keeping: a bunch of other people who have already declared their willingness to deface their own dignity and that of their “significant” other (if they are already in a long-term, “committed” relationship) with super-casual, try-it-for-the-h*ll-of-it, s*x. What makes you think that any of these folks would respect either you or your marriage, when they have already signed up to trash their own souls and relationships (if any) and those of anyone else whom they encounter?
      3) Consider your other values. Most of us try our best to treat other people with courtesy and respect. How on earth does swinging s*x–fast and happy–square with this interpersonal approach? What happens when you get older, or one of you develops a chronic or terminal illness? Will these good-time folks be supportive when you have no time for swinging because you’re always sitting in a hospital room or shuttling between cities?
      4) Consider that the world really is a small place. What are you going to think and feel when you meet one of your fellow or sister swingers…in line at the grocery store? …in the next seat at a football game? …on the other side of a desk when you are interviewing for your next job? How do you expect them to react to you? Don’t say it won’t happen.
      Okay, rant over. TLDR: No! No! Run far away! Life hands out enough drama and heartache. Why on earth would you give them an engraved invitation?!

      • Deface their dignity? What on earth is that nonsense? Casual s*x in no way defaces anyone’s dignity. Reducing a person’s value to what they choose to do with their g*n*tals does.

      • SuperSecret :

        I appreciate your input but I don’t really see how dignity comes into it and certainly wouldn’t expect these people to be there for me in times of illness or need. That’s what my family and friends are for. And if someone recognized me from elsewhere… what leverage would they have, since that implies they were there as well?

      • nasty woman :

        Are you sure you’re not a prude or a religious fundie? Because I rarely hear secular, non-prudish people clutch their pearls about casual s*x like you. Good god, woman. Deface their dignity? Their souls and relationships? Total lack of respect? Lack of values? Where did you get these ideas? Why did you feel the need to completely sh*t all over others? Sounds like you are the one who has objectified and devalued people by tying their value to their s*xuality, rather than their innate worth. Next you’re going to tell us that a woman who isn’t a virgin before she’s married is like a chewed up piece of gum.

        FWIW, swinging may or may not be good for a relationship. But if it’s bad, that won’t be because people have shed their dignity, respect, or souls.

        “Will these good-time folks be supportive when you have no time for swinging because you’re always sitting in a hospital room or shuttling between cities?”

        Dafuq? You think it’s like a contract, where you have to swing on a regular schedule or you’re banned from the club? Or do you really just think that everyone who wants something other than vanilla s*x with one person is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad lecher?

        “In line at the grocery store? …in the next seat at a football game? …on the other side of a desk when you are interviewing for your next job? How do you expect them to react to you? Don’t say it won’t happen.”

        OMG like the sheer, unmitigated, heart-stopping, career-ending horror of running into an ex (ie, a person who has seen you naked) around? They’ll be professional. And normal. Or do you think that these slimy lechers will judge OP as a slimy lecher for engaging in the same activities that they also engage in?

        You are just so gross.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          nasty woman, I think I love you.

        • I should have expected this! Some people cannot have their assumptions challenged without displaying total disdain for their questioner. Because I dared to query casual s*x or make even a passing reference to religion I am immediately slammed as an intolerant fundamentalist.

          Fine. You do you. I’ll do me. You may have flamed me but you have not changed my mind.

    • Anonymous :

      Every single couple I’ve ever known who tried swinging ended up divorced. The issues involved here are numerous, including: curable and incurable disease (happened to someone I know); a third party getting pregnant and demanding child support (ditto); extreme jealousy that lead to threats of violence and subsequent arrests (ditto); and the always popular threat of exposure/blackmail, which is worse if you are prominent in your community, high-profile in your profession, or live in a smaller city.

      I do know a couple that is polyamorous, which is different, and it’s working for them for now.

      I would think very, very carefully about this. Dan Savage has some old columns about how to integrate the fantasy of third parties into your relationship, without introducing the real risks of going through with it. I am not a prude either, just have seen this go horribly awry every single time it’s been tried.

      • SuperSecret :

        Thank you for the recommendation, I will look up the Dan Savage columns. We have discussed the possibility of a poly relationship as well but are more excited about the idea of doing something together. Also, the prospect of him developing some sort of emotional relationship with someone else feels much more threatening than anything physical.

        • Anonymous :

          Three book recommendations: (1) The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton; (2) Opening Up by Tristan Taormio; and (3) The Jealousy Workbook by Kathy Labriola.

      • You said it better than I did. OP” “Think very, very carefully” indeed.

    • Anonymous :

      Idk I think it sounds hot. I have no advice for how to actually go about it. If you both have experience in group settings then it seems like you’re in a better position to assess the risks than most people. I second the suggestion to read Dan Savage’s column.

      Not to jack your thread, but suggestions on getting into the group thing as a single person? I want to be safe but also want discretion, so I’m a little uncomfortable asking a friend to go with me.

      • SuperSecret :

        One of the things we are considering is going to a “lifestyle club”. Generally they allow couples or single women. We figure a safe way to dip our toe in the water is to go to the club and commit to just watching the first time, or playing by ourselves of course. No pressure to participate with anyone else. Actually, our true fantasy is to invite another woman in with us but we have no idea how to find a single girl to participate!

        • Anonymous :

          Standard advice I’ve seen is to hire a professional. Reddit has some subforums that you may find helpful.

    • Anonymous :

      You will likely be divorcing in the next 2 years, so perhaps start putting money aside and asking friends for lawyer recs. But in the meantime, good luck.

      • SuperSecret :

        LOL. You know nothing about my marriage so that’s a bit of an assumption to make. Our marriage is not in trouble but I appreciate your concern ;)

  11. Anonymous :

    Suggestions for a small gift I can bring co-workers from a trip to Italy? There are six of them so it needs to be small in terms of both money and size. 4 women, two men, ranging in age from 25 to 60.

    • Anonymous :

      People always like getting food. What about small bottles of olive oil or something? Also, I love getting fridge magnets from different places.

      • I would be worried about the olive oil bottles leaking/cracking in my suitcase and getting oil everywhere. Of course, we’ve handed our freedoms away in the name of security so taking the bottles as carry on would not be an option.

        • Anonymous :

          There are special padded, sealable bags made specifically for this purpose. Amazon has several versions.

    • Anonymous :

      Nice olive oil! Food products in general have always seemed to go over well.

    • In my office (small) we have a tradition of bringing back some food item from where we went, chocolate being the most popular. Before anyone gets all “NGDGTCO” on me, everyone does this, men and women. I’d suggest something like that as individual gifts seems a little odd. I’ll do that for friends.

      • Yes, keep it food-related and generic. Also consider one snack for the whole group, like a pannetone or zeppole or even a really good olive assortment.

    • Anonymous :

      Buy a tin of biscotti, put it out to share.

    • A bit random but I bought wonderful packets of local sundried tomatoes from Italy.

    • Anonymous :

      Small bottles of olive oil? For my office, I usually just bring back a communal snack, put it in the kitchen and let everyone know it’s there for them to grab that morning/afternoon, but you know your workplace best of course.

    • A friend of mine brought me a packet of sea salt and a beautiful little porcelain sea salt dish from Sicily. Small enough to pack in a suitcase!

    • Thanks for the great ideas so far! I should have mentioned, I’d prefer not to do food because I have a co-worker who has had weight loss surgery and she’s on a restricted diet that I don’t know the specifics of, so I fear I’d be leaving her out if I brought a food item. But maybe olive oil is ok?

      • Veronica Mars :

        I’ve found some really nice pottery pieces in Italy–things like wood salad tongs with ceramic handles, or spoon rests, or trivets. They were pretty inexpensive (5 euro maybe) and there were deals for buying more from the same shop. You’d have to pack them in your clothes well, but that’s an option too.

      • KateMiddletown :

        But you can’t consume olive oil at work (unless you bring in bread, which is more complicated, and won’t be from Italy.) I like the idea of something shareable that isn’t specific to any one person and that is authentic to your travels.

        If there are so many issues to consider, you might want to skip an office-wide souvenir. It’s certainly not expected in my office, at least.

        • People normally bring something back when they take a big trip, and they’ve done individual gifts on occasion so I’m fine with either that or a group gift. I don’t think it’s “so many issues” – just one co-worker who has food restrictions and a moderate budget.

          • I would be surprised if co-worker’s diet it strict enough that they can’t nibble a small piece of biscotti. Could you ask co-worker about it before you left? Biscotti is the best solution because it’s durable for transport, classically Italian, and goes great with coffee at the office.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I had weight loss surgery and foregoing the generic office treats is par for the course. Seriously, it’s sweet of you to be concerned but I would have preferred to be treated the same as everyone else rather than consulted about every little thing like that.

      • Last time I was in Italy, they sold this lovely paper everywhere. Maybe some sort of office-friendly Italian paper, like notepaper? If you could do food, I’d of course suggest Baci (hazelnut chocolate).

    • Food to share like biscotti or chocolate. Frankly, get something at the duty free.

    • My office culture is this way, too: everyone brings some sort of small consumable treat back from travels. I love to travel, but I pack light…so I cheat and buy the stuff online (or at World Market) ahead of time. No one knows better. Saves room in your suitcase, avoids the issue of things breaking, avoids customs issues.

      • derp…edited to add that you can usually find some consumable healthy things, OR nonconsumable little things that way. Tiles, pencils, whatever.

    • For the women, you could also look for nice leather pouches (or even fabric). Last time I was in Italy I found some for $10/each and gave them out. And can’t we all use extra makeup/organizer bags?

    • GirlFriday :

      Try buying small notebooks that say “notebook” or something in whatever language. A friend brought me one back from Greece and I still have it! Seems office appropriate too since I have notebooks strewn all over my desk atm…

  12. No Problem :

    Has anyone’s company gone to an open plan workspace, and then realized later how terrible it is and changed back to a more traditional workspace? My org has announced that this is what we’re doing, and everyone is dreading it. They’re starting with a couple other offices but will be doing this to my office location probably in the next 3-4 years. I’m really hoping that there will be such a negative reaction in the first offices to change that they’ll give up and not do the rest.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard of this happening, but having trouble recalling who/where – I think it was in some place trying to mimic Silicon Valley. I feel your pain!

    • Yes. We went to an open space plan and when we move buildings, we are going back to traditional offices. The majority of people are thrilled – the open space was not well received.

    • Well, my management heard all the complaints and issues (cannot talk with coworkers about work without interrupting everyone else/ increase in colds and flu spreading/ impossible to take care of short but important personal calls without leaving the buildings) and just didn’t care- we’re the last to get them after others hating them in different buildings for years! On the other hand this stuff goes in waves and may be really out of style by then, which was apparently actually important to my company, so you might luck out!

      • No Problem :

        Our management has also heard all the complaints and is going forward anyway :( I thought this stuff was already out of style.

    • We moved to an open workspace a few years ago. Everyone actually really liked it. There was a lot of backlash at first, but over time, the general opinion is that we should keep the layout. Personally, I don’t think it would be easy to change back as they have invested a ton of money into the new setup.

      However, the attorneys (I am not one) at my company did NOT move and maintained their office space. I think it depends on your role and how important collaboration with others is in your day-to-day responsibilities.

      • No Problem :

        Interesting. I think part of the reason for the backlash is that we’re not a very collaborative workplace. I’m sure there are some teams or departments that are more collaborative than mine, but my projects generally involve a team meeting once or twice a week and then we all go back to our offices or desks to work. If even that. A lot of communication takes place over email. And I actually work with several people who aren’t in my office, so I’m on the phone or Skype with them all the time.

        I’m also personally against the idea because I’m probably on the bubble in terms of getting an office in the new layout. I’m mid level and have had an office for several years, but if they dramatically reduce the number of offices I may not make the seniority cut. Going back to a cubicle (or worse, a desk where I can see everyone around me) would be awful. I’m not sure how anyone is supposed to manage other people or talk to clients in an open plan office when nobody else is supposed to hear half of your conversations.

        • Anonymous :

          The thing I love about “open, collaborative workspaces” is when you walk into them and everyone has headphones on and is desperately avoiding eye contact with each other. Which seems to be how most of the open workspaces I’ve seen operate.

    • The company I used to work for (where I had a large corner office) is moving to a new building and is currently building out the space as an open floor concept, like a tech company (this is a finance company).

      Everyone hates the idea. There are many people who have worked for the company forever and have accumulated a lot of “stuff,” and they will have no personal storage space. In fact, the open spaces will not be assigned. Employees are encouraged to work from home and only come in as needed, and they will have to reserve a space as one would reserve a hotel room. My understanding is that there are no assigned spaces because there are going to be fewer spaces than employees.

      I’m really glad I no longer work there. I’m obviously hearing about it daily from my former coworkers as we are all friends.

      I have been working for 30 years and the first office I worked in was just a sea of desks with no walls or cubicles. It’s always seemed like a quaint, outdated memory to me, and now we’re back to the future.

    • We are an open plan hot dealing office, mainly due to being over headcount and there not being enough desks for everyone to be designated one. I actually like it as it’s easy to chat and work collectively, but generally we are not dealing with sensitive information as it’s not a law firm.

  13. I need to vent because I can’t do this in real life and.I.want.to.scream.

    I had uterine surgery in the fall as part of my infertility treatment. I was put on BC after it to regulate my wacky, irregular cycles post surgery (without BC I’d get my period anywhere from every other week to once every 12 weeks).

    Now I’m healed and ready to start the IUI at my next cycle, which could start any day now (or ya know, in 3 months… because I’m that irregular). RE took me off BC in Feb. in anticipation of the upcoming IUI and cycle. This has been a 17-month profess to date.

    Insurance is now telling us that they’re requiring a fresh panel of blood tests in order to approve the IUI, and they need it the cycle before the IUI. This means that I could be waiting up to, I don’t know… 6 month?? for the IUI because it has to now be two cycles from now because of how messed up my cycles are.

    I’m exhausted by this. I know my insurance will cover the majority of the procedure, so it’s worth waiting but my god. I just hate that insurance needs a freaking blood test to prove that I am in need of this when it’s been going on for 17 months. Sigh.

    • Anonymous :

      That stinks. Can the RE give you progesterone to induce a period if it doesn’t happen at a reasonable time, or will that mess up the blood work? And can they do the same thing for the IUI cycle? That could take the total wait time down to two months instead of six. My doctor gave me progesterone before Clomid, and I got the impression that this is pretty standard.

      • Thanks for the idea. I will ask.

        I’m just so exhausted, borderline numb, by this. I can’t even put it into words.

    • Just wanted to say hugs and doesn’t the hurry up and wait process of infertility treatment suck ! I am going through something similar. Second the suggestion for progesterone. I just went through this – took 4 days of oral progesterone and then period came within a couple days.

    • Wildkitten :

      Can you doctor fight with your insurance company? Insurance rules are always horrific to fight, but are not always impossible to defeat.

    • GirlFriday :

      I just wanted to say I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I’m about to do my first round of IUI (after four years of infertility) and my insurance did the same thing. Luckily my nurse caught it and got my to do the blood panel in time for insurance to approve. It’s garbage that you even have to do it. Ask for progesterone: the doc suggested this for me because of 40 day cycles. Good luck!

  14. Caroline Kennedy :

    Ugh — lots of FB posts from my Pantsuit Nation friends encouraging her to run for Senate in NY. Can I just say No to this? I think she should support politicians who have been already doing work for the people of NY. Maybe she should write a good candidate a big check (and introduce them around to her influential friends so maybe they may write checks, too). But I remember her thinking about getting in for what is now Gillibrand’s seat (where her record was sort of “I’ve been a private citizen for decades but I’m a Kennedy”). I get that now she’s added former ambassador to Japan on her resume, but to me, that is just the job you get b/c of your family anyway. She wants to serve New Yorkers, maybe she should start by being a mayor or on a school board or something first? I think this country is probably down on New Yorkers with no political experience getting into politics right now.

    • Also, run for senate in NY how? We have two really popular democratic senators.

    • She has some political experience. I believe she was ambassador to Japan, if I recall correctly.

      But man, yesterday’s tape of Gillibrand grilling that general about the Marine secret FB s*tes where female Marine’s pictures were posted. She was a bada$$ boss. I loved it. Google it if you didn’t see it.

  15. Isometric exercise? :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a video of isometric exercises? Looking for something I can do in my office with just body weight/resistance. I appreciate it!

    • Check out Fitness Blender on YouTube. They have a lot of body weight only and low impact exercises.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Seconding FitnessBlender! They have a variety of workout lengths as well. I’ve been doing their programs at home for about ~2 years and have really been pleased

  16. Sloan Sabbith :

    I’m pretty sure I pinched a nerve in my neck while coughing last night. At first the pain was intolerable- after about half an hour it calmed down to just highly uncomfortable.

    I have to go to work this morning (only for about 3 hours). Any ideas or tips to make it less uncomfortable? I have a doctor appointment where I can ask about it this afternoon.

    • Anonymous :

      Heating pad or one of those stick-on heat things. CVS will have options.

    • KateMiddletown :

      My chiro says nerve pain needs heat and ice in about 10min rotations. Good luck, and don’t be afraid to take an ibuprofen or two.

    • Try stretching? I tweaked my neck last Friday, not sure if it was nerve related or not, but I spent the weekend stretching my back and core it helped a lot. I was mostly back to normal by Monday. I also put heat on it Friday night.

    • Ibuprofen. You can take up to 800 mg (4 tablets) at a time, short term.

      • Agree with this advice. Try to eat something with it because ibuprofen is hard on the stomach.

        Basically for neck pain, you need a good long period (days) with no pain to allow your muscles to stop tensing up and release the knot or nerve or whatever. Don’t wait until you’re in pain again before taking the next dose.

  17. More Boss Trouble :

    What do you do when you’re accused of submitting a project late? My company mail of Google account has it time stamped over a day before it was due. But that’s not good enough for my boss who isnt tech savvy and thinks that can be manipulated.

    • What? Who did you submit it to? Just boss, or other team members? If Boss won’t look at actual evidence, then there’s probably nothing you can do.

      Short-term, does Boss have an assistant or another person who manages his or her email? Would hard copy submission be a better (or decent supplemental) form of communication if Boss is not tech savvy? Are there co-workers or team members you can reasonably copy on emails? When I submit work to my boss’s boss, I copy my boss, our assistant, big boss, and his assistant. Depending on the timing/whether big boss and/or his assistant is in the office, I will also walk a hard copy down to his office. I do it to make sure everyone is in the loop and has copies of our work though, not to prove that I beat a deadline.

      Or, get a new job :-/

    • Screenshot that email before your boss finds a way to tamper with it.

    • That is crazy. Do you have an IT department who can talk him down?

    • I think if your boss has accused you of fraudulently manipulating an email time stamp you have bigger problems than whether or not a project was submitted late. Time to start job-hunting…

  18. Sydney Bristow :

    I keep putting this dress into my cart and then taking it out. I love the print but I don’t think the neckline would work with my large chest. Has anyone bought it who can comment?

    I can’t remember if there is a pencil skirt in this print. If the dress doesn’t work I think I’m going to buy the skirt because I just keep thinking about this print.

    • I am somewhat chesty and this kind of neckline is usually good because it’s not a high crew (which looks awful on me) but more of a boatneck. I think the elongated split at the top helps balance the proportions. I’d try it.

    • If you mouse over the print/color on Boden’s site the name comes up (in this case, “Drake wisteria”). You can then search the site for that name and see everything available in that print. There are several other pieces in this print, including a skirt and a different dress. HTH.

    • I thought it was sequined before clicking through and thought Kat had lost her mind suggesting wearing this with a blazer (for work, presumably). It is beautiful now that I see it is not sparkly. :)

  19. Skin Regime :

    Young professional (on a budget) in need of recommendations for skin care routine (preferably drug store brands) to prevent wrinkles and premature aging.

    I’m 26, wear very little make-up (undereye cover up + loose powder + a little mascara) that I take off as soon as I get home, sunscreen, and face moisturizer (with added SPF) religiously, including my neck. I use Neutrogena make-up remover at night and St. Ives apricot scrub in the mornings. I am lucky to have good genes, a mother who didn’t let me wear makeup until I was in the 11th grade/made me take it off religiously before bed, and I’m a total gym rat/healthy eater.

    I’m curious if I should add some kind of eye cream or other “dedicated” product to prevent premature aging. I don’t know much about makeup/skin care and I like going bare-faced anytime I’m not in the office, so it’s important to me that I can keep my skin healthy enough to pull that off.

    • The only way to “anti-age” is to stay out of the sun (wear sunblock like nothing else), don’t smoke, and don’t drink. That is it. Those are the only non-reversible things. Everything else can be fixed.

      I hate the scrub. I think it tears the skin. If you really want to exfoliate, I would try a liquid exfoliator.

      For someone your age (young) with a healthy lifestyle & sunblock, you are in the best possible position.

      Again, the only way to prevent aging is to stay out of the sun. There is no cream that will do it. (Retin-A is considered an anti-aging thing, but it is not cumulative.)

      My recs would be mostly what you do already:
      1. Cleanse (in the PM, remove makeup first)
      2. Replenish moisture lost in cleansing process via an essence or something
      3. Exfoliant (at night, a few times a week)
      4. Anti-oxidant serum/moisturizer/oil etc

      As you age, you will want to add a retinol product to your nightly routine. But you probably don’t need it now.

      Always remember to maintain the lipid barrier of your skin for optimal health, ie, don’t strip it with SLS or things with a high ph. You skin should feel slightly tacky or almost squishy. That is properly hydrated skin.

      • I think it’s never too early to add Retinol. Due to acne, I’ve been using Retin-A since my early 20’s (maybe before?) and I am now 39 and have exactly one slight wrinkle. That could be genes or something else too, but I know my derm swears by it for herself as well.

        • Can you recommend a specific Retinol cream? Do you use it all over or just around the eyes? Do you have to wear sunscreen everyday if you use Retinol? Even if winter/inside all day?

          I’m 37 and I need to start taking my skin care seriously. I probably needed to do that ten years ago but better late than never I guess.

          • Get a prescription for tretinoin from your doctor. A dab is all you need, and it’s much more concentrated than the over-the-counter stuff.

          • AdvertisingAnon :

            Agree it’s never too early for retinol. Differin is available in Target and Walgreen’s. It used to be prescription-only and it’s a great place to start. Sunday Riley Luna is in oil form, is very gentle/soothing and a great place to start. Luna is available at Sephora in a few sample sets and smaller sizes to try. Paula’s Choice also has a few strengths to choose from and offer sample sizes of everything.
            Take any retinol all over the face, and yes always wear a suncreen the next day, it makes you very sun-sensitive.

    • Marshmallow :

      Your routine generally sounds good! I’m around your age and have a similar routine, but would suggest two changes: 1) replace the apricot scrub with a gentle acid exfoliant, like Pixi Glow Tonic (sold at Target); 2) add a retinol product at night. CeraVe and Neutrogena both make retinols that are well-reviewed.

      I just re-read your post: are you using the apricot scrub every single day instead of cleansing your face? Oh good lord, don’t do that. The apricot scrub is super harsh and is putting teeny weeny cuts all over your skin, and it’s not meant for every day anyway. Use any kind of gentle drugstore cleanser (Cetaphil, CeraVe, Simple, etc.) and then follow up with the glow tonic to lightly exfoliate. Keep anything harsh and scrubby away from your delicate face!

      • Marshmallow :

        Oh, re eye cream: meh. It’s nice but as long as you remember to gently pat your moisturizer with SPF in that area, I think you’re fine without it.

    • Agreed about replacing the scrub with a liquid exfoliant. Use it in the evening and follow with a moisturizer. During the winter, I use a heavier overnight cream and a lighter version during the summer. No need to use a cleanser in the morning, just splash with water and apply moisturizer and sunscreen.

    • Also in Academia :

      When I was around your age I stopped using the St. Ives scrub every day (I can’t imagine using it every day now but for a long time there it worked fine. I don’t know, it was the 90s, no one knew about the micro-tears). I started using Regenerist products about this time, and I haven’t gone out without sunscreen since then. I used the moisturizer with sunscreen in the AM and the night cream in the PM. Sometimes in my 20s, particularly in the summer, I’d use just the moisturizer again at night because the official night cream was too heavy. Fast forward to my early 40s now, and I am so glad I followed this routine. My skin looks pretty good! I attribute this mostly to the sunscreen, but overall I really like the Regenerist products. I use more products now – I have added an OTC retin-A (retinol? not sure which name is OTC) at night and the Regenerist serum under my moisturizer in the morning.

    • There is a class action lawsuit against St Ives alleging the apricot scrub damages skin. I’ve hear it’s not good for you (causes micro tears) from several sources.

      • Skin Regime :

        Thank you for the suggestions and recommendations! I had no idea about the micro-tears/lawsuit. I’ll make sure to curb my exfoliant use. It honestly has worked really well for forever, so I never thought to Google the product and learn more.

        • Wildkitten :

          Check the reddit r/skincareaddiction. They have lots of inexpensive product and routine suggestions.

  20. Let's Talk Serums. :

    I’ve read a lot online to try to find good recommendations for a Vitamin C serum, but find it hard to tell who is receiving credit for recommending products, so here goes –

    Does anyone here have a Vitamin C serum they use and love? I’ve heard only mediocre reviews of Glossier (and I do like their other products), and I know the Drunk Elephant has a strange smell (which I know I’ll dislike).

    Go!

    • Marshmallow :

      I was using and liking the Ole Henricksen but my derm said it’s not the right formulation to really penetrate. :( He suggested Glytone but it’s $$$. He also said to just take a vitamin C supplement if I really want antioxidants, so maybe I’m just wasting my money on things that feel nice and don’t do anything…

      I just ordered The Ordinary vitamin C oil-based serum. It seems scientifically sound, has great reviews, and is crazy cheap so if I don’t like it I haven’t really lost much. It comes in the mail today! I plan to run it by my derm when I see him on Friday for something unrelated.

    • I like Mad Hippie. I hate scented products and Mad Hippie doesn’t smell at all.

      • Midwest Mama :

        I ordered this after Kat recommended it, and my bottle is almost gone. I agree that it has no smell and seems fine, but I’m not sure it’s doing anything. What benefits should I be seeing?

    • First Year Anon :

      It’s not a serum but a cream- Neostrata’s brightening lotion (something like that).

      The key with Vit C is that it has to be in an airtight container that doesn’t let in sunlight otherwise it degrades. I cringe seeing people spend $$$ on products that aren’t packaged properly.

    • I love Algentist’s but it is very expensive. Excellent, hydrating, etc, but pricey.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Whole foods has a bunch of reputable brands that are waaay cheaper than Drunk Elephant and usually have fewer scents, etc. Doesn’t have to be from a big beauty store.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think I read that you shouldn’t layer anything over Vitamin C serum for 20 minutes so that it can fully do its thing. Is this true? It seems like it would be impossible to work into my morning routine if that were the case but I might be able to add it to an evening routine.

      • For maximum effectiveness, true. What some people do is cleanse their face & apply the Vit C as soon as they awake, then go about the rest of the morning (make coffee, etc) before coming back to finish up hair & makeup.

      • I was reading something that it takes 48 hours or so to dissipate, so you don’t even need to wear it everyday.

    • I am in my early 50’s and started using eye cream at 25. Aside from sunscreen, this is my biggest recommendation. I have very few eye wrinkles compared to others my age, and believe this is why.

    • AdvertisingAnon :

      I hate the smell of the Drunk Elephant one but just breathe through my mouth for a minute and it dissipates because it’s the best I’ve used.

      I’m dying to try the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum, it has the best recommendations from all the skincare people I follow. Zelens Power C is also highly touted.

      Totally understand the issue with who is being compensated for product reviews. My favorite sources are Caroline Hirons (very explicit with her disclosures) and Beautypedia.

    • AdvertisingAnon :

      I hate the smell of the Drunk Elephant one but just breathe through my mouth for a minute and it dissipates; it’s the best I’ve used.

      I’m dying to try the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum, it has the best recommendations from all the skincare people I follow. Zelens Power C is also highly touted.

      Totally understand the issue with who is being compensated for product reviews. My favorite sources are Caroline Hirons (very explicit with her disclosures) and Beautypedia.

    • I bought quite a few pricey Vitamin C serums over the years and recently started using TruSkin Naturals from Amazon. It’s much cheaper ($20), and it seems to do just as good of a job as the more expensive serums I was using.

    • I think Clinque have just released some new Vit C products, a powder cleanser that’s activated by water and a serum that you add to your moisturiser that has some odd contraption so it doesn’t degrade over time?

    • Timeless Vitamin C with E & Ferulic. It’s a dupe of the very expensive Skinceuticals serum and it’s great. I’ve been using it steadily for three years now. It doesn’t oxidize quickly (if I keep my bottle in the fridge, I can get 4-5 months out of a single bottle), it works well, and absorbs quickly. The price is reasonable and Timeless often has sales around different holidays if you shop from their website directly. I think the next sale is usually around Memorial Day. You can also find it on Amazon.

  21. Where does one go to buy reasonably priced furniture that isn’t IKEA? I really like IKEA’s simple aesthetic but I’m looking for something one step up in quality/conveniece. I live in the D.C. area if that makes a difference. Thanks for any recommendations!

    • KateMiddletown :

      Big box furniture stores. I bought my first couch at one of these, and got a great deal. You probably have to go out to the suburbs but in my area many deliver for free. That or thrift/consignment sales. Check out EBTH for amazing consignment auctions.

    • Honestly? Craigslist. They have great items that are sometimes free (and unique).

    • Try the Crate & Barrel outlet in Alexandria–it is “scratch and dent” but I’ve found some really nice pieces there. For best selection, arrive at opening on Saturday mornings. Within 40 minutes to an hour, a lot of the good pieces have found new homes. If what you like about the “simple” Ikea aesthetic is the midcentury modern/scandinavian lines, try Peg Leg Vintage. She has beautiful finds at very reasonable prices.

      My personal preference, however, is to buy nicer stuff on craigslist. You can get lightly used Room & Board or vintage solid wood furniture, and DC typically has a nice craigslist because it is such a transient city.

    • No Problem :

      Value City Furniture, Bob’s Discount Furniture, and maybe Macy’s. If you’re willing to trek out there, Belfort Furniture near Dulles has some good stuff at reasonable prices. I hear you, though. I’m in the same boat on wanting something nicer than IKEA but not really having the budget for much more. Craigslist can be good if you have a way to move the furniture yourself when you buy it.

    • Thanks for all the suggestions! I’ve seen nice pieces on Craigslist but I can’t figure out how I would get the larger pieces home. I don’t have a car big enough to fit any real furniture and always feel bad asking friends to help with this kind of thing. Has anyone used task rabbit or something similar to get Craigslist furniture picked up and delivered? It just seems like it would be a hassle and would eliminate the cost savings of Craigslist.

      • Ask a small furniture show how they deliver stuff. We bought a used credenza and the furniture shop had it delivered by a one-person delivery operation. We got his number, and have subsequently used him to haul home many Craigslist/estate sale finds.

      • So this is my CL problem as well. Someone here posted that they’ve also hired “man with van” type movers for this, which I guess could work if the price is right.

        But that’s too much coordination for me. I just use AptDeco for buying/selling used furniture. It’s basically CL but with movers. They have DC version I think.

      • Anonattorney :

        It’s really cheap to rent a UHaul van or pickup truck like $20 plus $1/mile.

        • Senior Attorney :

          +1 and they’re surprisingly easy to drive

        • Not sure if it’s everywhere, but the local home stores here (Lowes, Home Depot) have pick ups you can rent. Pretty sure that you can use them for whatever.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Also sometimes home depot rents trucks – its like $20 / 3 hours or something like that. I’ve used it to pick up large tv’s and furniture from costco to deliver to my house. Of course this method is predicated on all three places being close enough together….

        • I usually rent mine from Home Depot or Lowes. Pricing is a bit better than from U-Haul.

      • Wildkitten :

        Zipcar truck or van.

        • +1 Enterprise CarShare used to have a cargo van out by the NoMa metro station. I rented it several times last year, not sure if it’s still there.

      • I have used both Dolly and Ghostruck and liked both.

  22. Has anyone ever just felt bored? I’m single, 30ish, work in biglaw (trying to get out but am not having much success), and I just feel bored. I’ve lost motivation at work, lost motivation to train for races (which used to be what gave me structure and a sense of accomplishment), and just generally feel bored. My life is objectively great – I’m healthy, have a great family and great friends but can’t seem to get out of this rut. Has anyone else been here and have advice? Maybe a goal they set to work towards or a new hobby they started to dig themselves out of a rut?

    • I don’t have an answer, but I’m in the same boat as you.

    • Hey! Me too. I’ve been in this rut for the past six months or so. Going away for a weekend helps, temporarily, and going on a longer vacation (still ruminating about it) might help, too. I feel like I need a hard reset, but I don’t know how to get one.

    • Shenandoah :

      Been there. What about setting a goal for yourself to try new things? Each week/month you have to go try something new – maybe the barre class you’ve wondered about, that new museum exhibit, a wine & painting class, a festival you’ve always missed, etc. A friend did a “30 things before turning 30” challenge that included these types of experiences, and she loved it. And it might reveal a new hobby/passion for you, or spark some inspiration and motivation to get back on track with a current hobby.

    • I would sign up for a race so that you are (somewhat) locked into it and then map out your training. Make it a race in a fun location or with a friend or a new type of terrain (trail vs. road).

      Do you have time to volunteer with your schedule? What about taking a class for something that you are interested in – painting maybe? A language class?

    • Skin Regime :

      So much.

  23. Agree that sun and smoking are the absolute worst . There is absolutely no substitute for sunscreen – and sunglasses and hats! I am in my 40s now and it is so obvious who tanned and smoked and who didn’t.

    I would definitely start using a dedicated eye cream early. I started with Botox in my crow’s feet at about 35 and wish I could have put it off longer.

    Neutrogena has a Healthy Skin line with an anti-wrinkle/anti-blemish cream I really liked during those “bridge” years between worrying about acne and worrying about fine lines.

  24. Marshmallow :

    Ugh– I bought some new sheer tights from Target the other day and was so happy when I put them on this morning because they were very soft, and slightly thicker than other sheers. They felt really durable and comfy. On my first bathroom break there was a huge hole, like the size of a quarter, on the side of my hip with a run going down the leg. >__> So much for Maidenform tights that I was really excited about. Bye bye $14.

    Back out in the snow, in bare legs, to find a drugstore and buy some tights, because I already used my backup desk pair last week. Blah.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I bought a random pad of socks at target and there was a hole in one almost immediately. Never again. Im a huge fan of ann Taylor tights when they go on sale. They are incredibly soft and comfortable.

  25. Warm weather wardrobe :

    I’m moving from a climate that rarely gets higher than 75 degrees to one where 80-90 in the summer will be the norm. At the same time, I want to level up my business casual wardrobe. Any tips on how to look polished and powerful in hot weather? For example, I would like to wear a blazer-like layer over my base layer but don’t know what would work. And yes, there is A/C inside but also walking back and forth between buildings and professional lunches out.

    • IMO the only way to stay cool is to take off the blazer when walking outside and to wear light colors. When it gets really hot, offices tend to crank down the A/C to sub-Arctic so you really have to dress for two climates.

      • +1. And hot climates tend to use the AC more. Conference rooms in Miami are much colder than conference rooms in Minneapolis in the summer.

    • Don’t buy too many summer clothes until you see what others are wearing. In some places, women wear linen and seersucker during the summer; in other places, it’s tropical wool. In general, avoid tight-fitting pants and heavy linings. Look for breathable fabrics. It should be fine to remove your jacket outdoors, even if you are wearing a sleeveless dress or top.

    • Plus be sure to take humidity into consideration. 80 and humid feels a lot different than 80 and dry.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I agree with this advice. I live somewhere that is *seriously* hot (was 94 degrees yesterday) and I wear the same thing in the summer and the winter: sheath dresses with elbow length sleeves. I have some longer sleeved/heavier dresses and a sweater dress that get retired for the summer, but mostly it’s just the difference of bare legs and no other layers. If you don’t have big ol’ tattoos you need to cover with sleeves, a sleeveless dress + blazer/cardigan should be fine, and you can carry the outer layer when you’re walking around outside.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        The humidity thing is a great point — it’s dry heat here which makes long sleeves tolerable for the brief amount of time I’m outside.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      My biggest tip is, assuming this is in the US, don’t even try to dress for the outside weather, because the air conditioned building is going to be freezing. Just wear a blazer or cardigan over short sleeve/sleeveless top or dress and remove to walk outside. I keep a blanket in my office for my legs in the summer when I’m wearing a skirt with no tights.

  26. Phantom Tollbooth :

    I would love to frame and hang a couple of illustrations from The Phantom Tollbooth in my house. I’ve checked Etsy and Art com and have utterly failed at finding such a print. Short of printing out a G**gle image, any ideas on where I might find such a print?

  27. Grad school :

    So, the good news – I got into the best grad school in my field with a full ride. Hooray!

    The bad news – my husband’s job is not portable. He needs to stay in our home city. The school is about 3 hours away by car or 3.5 hours by train.

    The program is only 2 years long, and I would be back in our home city for a summer internship between the first and second years. He does have a lot of flexibility in terms of working remotely, so he could come to see me relatively frequently (a few weekends a month for 3-4 days at a time), and I could also come home for the occasional weekend.

    Has anyone done this? We’ve been married 3 years and our marriage is rock solid, but we also have never done long-distance. I think that it would be hard but also doable. Would love to hear experiences and advice.

    • Congrats! My first two years of marriage were long-distance SF to NY so what you’re describing sounds ridiculously easy and do-able to me…it’s all relative :)
      My biggest advice about long distance is having a definite end date, which you do. Focus on getting your work done during the week so you can maximize your weekend time with him, but also make sure you’re participating in grad school social activities and making friends and encourage him to keep up with his existing friends and hobbies. Nothing is harder on LDRs than when one person is just moping around by the phone waiting for the other person to call and the other person is out doing stuff with friends and participating in their hobbies and just generally living their life. Instead of just always visiting each other, I’d recommend taking the occasional weekend and meeting up somewhere new, just to keep that sense of adventure alive. Being long distance can actually be good for a relationship, assuming you’re both fairly independent and you do a good job at communication. It’s a cliche, but absence does make the heart grow fonder and you may find that although you’re spending many less hours/week with him, the hours that you do spend are much higher quality.

      Good luck! I’m sure you’ll miss him and he’ll miss you, but I’m confident that in the long-term you’ll be very glad you did this temporary time apart so that you can both advance in your respective careers. Life is long, hopefully you’ll be together for 50+ years and two years is really just a blip in the big scheme of things.

    • I’ve been married 2 years and my husband lives across the country for grad school. I’d kill for him being 3 hours away, and I think this is totally doable. To be fair, though, we’ve been together 8 years and did long distance for 3 to 4.

      I honestly don’t think it’s hard at all. I think it requires a lot of trust and communication, but at least for us that hasn’t been a problem either. I miss him when he’s not around and I’m very much looking forward to being together again, but we both have a lot going on and there’s plenty to occupy myself with when he’s not around. We’re both very independent people, though, and I think the it takes a certain type of person to make long distance work. There’s not a ton of room for insecurity or anything like that

      As far as advice- we talk/email/facetime every day. I highly recommend that. Honestly what you suggest doesn’t sound hard at all and it’s only two years. I think you should do it. And congratulations!

    • Congratulations! We did long-distance for several months when we were first married. My husband had a short-term job about a 3-hour drive from home. He rented a little apartment near the job and came home every weekend and one night during the week. I thought the one night during the week was crazy. I was working long hours and it was actually nice to have the evenings to myself. Later on, I went to grad school an hour away and lived at home. That was much harder because I had to run the house, take care of the dog and later a new baby, and get schoolwork done. I often wished I could live in the graduate dorm, focus on studying during the week, and just come home on weekends. My advice would be to spend as many weekends together as possible, and to make sure that no work or studying happens during those weekends. If you are living on your own at school and are disciplined about staying on top of things, there’s no reason you can’t get your work done during the week and be fully present at home every weekend except perhaps for a couple of weekends at the end of the term.

      If you are in a program that requires a lot of group work on weekends (MBA?), then I would be much more hesitant about the long-distance aspect.

      • I disagree that you should try to enforce a blanket “no studying on weekends rule.” One of the things that can be tough about a long distance relationship is the pressure to always be “on” when you do see your spouse and to make every weekend together a perfect, romantic min-vacation. That’s unrealistic for most couples, and doing normal stuff together (studying/working, errands, cleaning the house) can be surprisingly nice. I agree you should manage your workload so you have plenty of time to spend with him on weekends (barring something like upcoming finals) but sometimes just sitting on the couch side by side for a few hours and working/studying (or you working and him reading/playing video games) can be nice.
        I was in a long-distance relationship where I only saw my spouse one weekend/month and I still couldn’t always keep those weekends entirely work-free, though I did my best to minimize it. If you’re seeing your spouse almost every weekend as OP seems like she will, it seems almost impossible to never work on weekends and I think trying to do that sets up unrealistic expectations for what a long-distance relationship should look like.

    • DH and I did long distance early in our relationship. If you can, try to spend part of the week together. Try three day weekends. If he can work remotely, have him work in your city on Friday or Monday (or both if his work allows it). – Train/car to your city on Thursday evening, works Friday in your city, spend weekend together, train/car home on Sunday evening. You do the same the next weekend. Try to arrange you classes so you have Monday or Friday off, or at least Friday afternoon/Monday morning.

      • Grad school :

        Yes, this is something that we definitely want to do. As long as he isn’t traveling for work or doing lots of in-person meetings in our home city, we should be able to make this work several times a month.

    • No kids now or during the next 2 years? Then you’ll be fine, as long as you both are 100% enthusiastic about your decision and willing to put the work in to keep your relationship strong.

    • We did 3 years long distance (interncontinental!) while I was in grad school. Got married right at the end of that stretch. I’m sure it varies, but our keys to success were:
      1 – Skype every day (the visual element was key for us. My spouse is British and a man, so not used to long phone conversations. Seeing each other made it much more natural).
      2 – Never say goodbye without a plan for seeing each other again.
      It was hard, of course, but it also forced us to take our communication skills seriously, which has served us well in the eight years since we moved back together.

    • Congratulations! When I was in business school there were a lot of couples doing long distance as you described. I was quite skeptical of it, but many made it work. You can do it. Enjoy the good news about getting in with a free ride!

    • Marshmallow :

      Congratulations! You will be fine. Husband and I did one year of long distance (8 hour drive) while I was in law school, just before we got engaged. It was harder for him than for me because I was so busy all the time, so keep that in mind– even though he was home with family and friends, he had more free time to miss me and mope around.

      We texted throughout the day, talked every night at least once, and visited every 2-3 weeks. We got into a habit partway through of watching the same show on Netflix while Facetiming or leaving the phone on speaker. We had to do the “1.. 2.. 3.. play” thing like back in the day when your friends all wanted to listen to the same CD, which was kind of annoying and funny. But it was nice to unwind together with an episode of something we could watch at the same time and hear the other laugh or comment about the show just like we would in person.

    • lawsuited :

      I think this is doable. My husband and I spent a year in different cities during our second year of marriage so I could finish law school and he could attend a post-graduate program at a university 7 hours away. We talked or texted most days, and saw each other once a month. It was difficult at the time, but I still attribute some the current strength of our marriage to that year. It made each of us really appreciate that other, and we were so grateful and happy when we were able to live in the same place again that petty grievances fell away.

    • I spent four years commuting across the country most weeks – Monday evening through Friday evening. I’m married with two kids.

      It’s a lot and it was difficult, but we did it. There were positives and negatives. Once my husband had to do my share of the heavy lifting on the weeks I was gone, he had greater appreciation for all I do. (And I still did some of it from the other coast, like electronic bill paying, filling out school forms online, making appointments, etc). The negative of course was the stress and trying to cram everything into the weekend, and my own loneliness when traveling. I missed my kids so much.

      The best cure for me was just to keep really busy while I was away so that I wouldn’t be lonely, and to cram as much work into the “away” work week as possible, so I had less to do when at home. And I really didn’t make any plans on the weekends. I spent every moment I could with my husband and kids on the weekend.

      We did all of this so that we didn’t have to move our family. The job opportunity for me (i’m in a niche field) was in NY and we live in the SF Bay Area. I’m really glad we didn’t move, because then I was available for an opportunity that came up here in the Bay, just this year.

      You can do this. Just be really organized and committed and you’ll make it through.

    • Yep, this is very doable and others will be in your position. I did long distance with my then-boyfriend now-husband during law school. We were about a 5 hour drive apart and saw each other once or twice a month. I didn’t spend the summers in the city he was in either, but did spend time during breaks with him. We’re also doing long distance now, internationally, and see each other about once a month for a long weekend. In my office it’s very normal to be in an international long distance situation. It’s not ideal but tons of people do it and make it work. Like others said, you’ll probably be very busy and since your situation will change in lots of ways at once, this might be an easier transition for you than for him.

      We text a bit most days, and it is key for us to talk a little bit every day – even if it’s just a three minute call before bed to say “today was crazy, I’m so tired, goodnight”. It’s nice to have a set time or two during your day to make this a habit – I call my husband when I’m coming home from work, and he calls me when he wakes up in the morning. Because we talk so often and for a short amount of time, if one of us can’t pick up on any particular day it’s no big deal. We also did the watching TV at the same time thing when we were in the same time zone.

  28. NYC gov position :

    Just heard that I got an interview for a position with the City of New York for what sounds like an amazing job. I’ve worked in academia and industry before, but never government or anything policy-related. This is for a job in program development and policy within my field of expertise, at the “Experienced Non-Manager” level. I’d very much appreciate any thoughts or tips anyone has on ANY aspect of working for the city: the interview process, career progression, work-life balance, what to expect generally. Thanks!

  29. Rainbow Hair :

    Hey, anyone want to talk some sense into me about this dress? I think it’s really cute, but I am a little concerned that I am nuts? My workplace is on the very casual end of business casual, like any-pants-that-aren’t-jeans and any-top-that-isn’t-clearly-a-tee-shirt. I am one of the fanciest dressers in sheath dresses every day. It looks like it would pack well and be kinda *~fun~* but again maybe I am ridiculous.

    Link to follow.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      https://www.amazon.com/Eliza-Womens-Printed-Popover-Dress/dp/B01AISF7L0/

    • I think it’s cute! Popover dresses can be so flattering. And you could dress it down a little by wearing with sandles, ankle boots, etc.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      In all honesty, I think it is kind of ugly, but if *you* like it then go for it. Based on your description of your workplace, it seems perfectly appropriate for the environment.

    • It’s a little short for my taste, but if you’re short then I’m sure it’s fine.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m not a huge fan of it- short, the back is kind of low for what I like to wear at a similarly-dressed office, and I think it looks a little bit like a party dress. I wouldn’t mind it for a night out, but for work, not sure it’s quite there.

  30. Paging Derm OP :

    I saw the chain from yesterday and wanted to pipe up that a skin check is easy and fast, mine was totally covered by insurance, and is a good habit. My derm tracks the various moles I have, which is great because you don’t always see things change on yourself over time.

    I have had other doctors be judgmental and make me cry so I super empathize. However, skin cancer is scary, but also super treatable if you catch it early.

    Good luck!!!

  31. Unemployed & feeling low :

    Please, someone tell me that eventually I will have a job that I will love to complain about. Please. Down day, ugh.

    • Hugs. You will. Except you may not want to complain about it because you may be so appreciative just to have it. Ask me how I know…

    • Literally everyone I’ve ever known who was unemployed and feeling how you’re feeling eventually found something. This too shall pass.

    • You will find a great job! Stick with the searching, your hard work will pay off! Job searching is aweful in so many ways but something will come up for you. In the meantime, do something that will make you happy today.

    • BabyAssociate :

      This was me a year ago. You will get through it! Keep your head up and take care of yourself.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’m also job searching right now and the thing that makes me feel better than anything else is getting some exercise. It makes me feel human again when nothing else does.

  32. baltimore laser :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for laser hair removal in the Baltimore area? I used to live somewhere that always had great groupon deals for it, but here everything seems really far away or has terrible reviews online.

  33. Please be kind…

    I am dealing with some jealousy and it’s an emotion I really hate and can’t say I’ve felt in a very long time. My father died when I was a young girl and I am getting married, which has brought up a whole slew of emotions. When you are a bride the whole father element is somewhat ever-present from who walks you down the aisle, to the father-daughter dance, to the father of the bride speech, to who pays for the wedding. It is a question that comes up with every vendor.

    Because my father died at a young age, I will admit that I am extremely budget conscious. My dad died unexpectedly and thankfully my mom had a degree and career and scrimped and saved at every turn and somehow put us through college, which has been the most generous gift. We are lucky that we have enough money to be able to afford the wedding, but it will be a huge chunk and we hope to buy a home soon. Again, I am always worried about money given my upbringing so no matter how many times my fiance assures me we can afford it, I worry. (I also worry about future things – I don’t have paid mat leave, so that will mean that as we build up savings, I will go three months without any pay.)

    At some point when the guest list was being determined, it was decided that both of our parents would help contribute. I had this conversation with my mom, who despite being a single working mom, has set aside a large chunk to pay for more than half of the wedding. In fact, she will cover the entire venue cost (the majority of the cost) and even paid for my dress. Our family is large by nature (Thanksgiving is usually 30 people and other holidays have up to 60 or 70) and of course the list included some relatives of my dad’s that I don’t see as often, making the list even bigger. I had been bugging my fiance for months to talk to his parents about how much they wanted to contribute. In my mind, if we were paying for it entirely ourselves, we would have a bigger say on the guestlist, but since everyone was contributing, we couldn’t push as hard. The wedding drew closer, we booked our venue, made down payments, and had to send out save the dates and invitations. He was under the impression they would be contributing a certain amount, about enough to cover their guest list. This weekend, they wrote him a check and it was much less than what we thought, only covering about 20% of their guest list.

    Again, I admit that money will always worry me given that the primary breadwinner in my family died one day without warning. I feel jealous, though, and I hate it. It is the ugliest feeling. My fiance’s younger sister got married a year ago and they paid for everything, all in, 6x more for hers than what they contributed to ours. They also paid for her honeymoon. They also contributed substantially more to the other brother’s wedding. All the kids all successful and married to successful people. The sister is the only girl in the family and for a long time, everything revolved around her, like her parents have taken vacation days to help her move apartments down the street – but not for the brothers – so she didn’t have to pay movers. When I first met my fiance, he had just taken a vacation day to help her sell something on Craigslist – not just be there when a stranger came, but actually take photos and list it and communicate with buyers. Nevermind the fact that she had a phd and (is my age) and knows how to post something on Craigslist, but when I asked why her own fiance wasn’t doing that, my then-boyfriend hadn’t even thought about it. They are a very loving and sweet family, but they treat the boys (and definitely my fiance as the oldest boy) differently than their only girl. (In contrast, we are a family of three sisters and my mom.)

    My fiance should have talked to his parents earlier (before save-the-dates and invites went out), but we can’t do anything about that now. I know I have an irrational fear about my world shattering, losing my husband and financial security in one fell swoop and he has a clearer picture on what we can afford. And I trust him. I am just… jealous that his sister had a dad to dance with her. Jealous that her dad gave a loving speech that started talking about how he has waited her whole life to give it. I am jealous that of course! whatever she wanted was paid for. I’m probably even jealous that for 30 years, the boys dropped everything to help her do the smallest things and nobody helps me unload groceries, haha. I am jealous that she didn’t have to stress about who was supposed to walk her down the aisle and that all I have is a locket of my dad’s picture. I am jealous that his brother’s wife got all those things, too, and because he is the baby brother, that fiance’s parents kicked in a little more. I love my mom dearly but she doesn’t want to do those father-of-the-bride things and while my fiance’s dad has volunteered, to me it sorta feels like it spotlights that my dad is missing.

    Not really looking for advice as I know we can’t go back and un-invite people. I know the thing to do is go with the flow and enjoy the day. It would be silly to hold this against them and it will be a happy occasion. And I know I am probably being a selfish brat and irrationally worrying about money. Of my older sisters who got married, the first married rich and the couple paid for everything (but she let my mom buy her dress) and my other sister eloped. My mom was thrilled to have a more traditional wedding and insisted on contributing so that she could invite more of my dad’s family even though we could afford a nice enough wedding on our own. All this is to say, I don’t know any other brides I can talk to about this awful feeling.

    • I don’t think you’re really dealing with jealously. The sister sounds spoiled and immature but that’s not the real issue. The real issue is that their contribution doesn’t begin to cover their guest list and I think that’s a perfectly valid feeling. Unfortunately since invites have gone out it’s too late to remove anyone from the guest list. Can your fiance pressure his family for more money, and tell them “Hey we invited all these second cousins and family friends because you implied you were giving us $X and then you gave us $.2X, so now we’re going to have to go way over budget.” But I don’t think you should communicate with his family about this at all, let him do all the talking to them.

      • Marshmallow :

        What? No, do not have your fiance go pressure his parents into giving more money. It sounds like they told him they would contribute but didn’t actually discuss a number, and OP and her fiance just assumed it would be more than what they actually got. His parents are not obligated to cover any particular number of guests unless they made it crystal clear what they were contributing.

        My opinion would change, of course, if the parents had actually promised $X and then wrote the check for $0.2X. Maybe if the money isn’t there it isn’t there, but that might be at least worth mentioning once. I don’t get that from OP’s post, though.

    • Hugs. I’m so sorry that you’re struggling with this. It’s absolutely unfair. Don’t lose sight of the good when you are feeling overwhelmed with hard things. A couple of points to focus on:

      1. Your wedding is one day. It seems huge now but trust me, in 5 or 10 years, you will barely remember some of the things that seem stressful and important now.

      2. Your mom is really happy about your wedding. Enjoy celebrating with her.

      3. Your future SIL’s journey in life is very different than yours. Everyone has a different journey in life. There are challenges my sister has faced that I will never experience and things I’ve gone through that she won’t. No one has a charmed life, not even your SIL, even when it looks like that to others.

      4. Find a way to remember/incorporate your Dad that feels special to you. There is no right or wrong way to do this.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I got married without my Dad as well, so I truly understand some of what you are going through. Various people offered to “fill in” for my father but I turned them as down as I did not want a replacement. Instead, I found whatever small ways to honour him that felt natural to me…my bouquet and accessories were all his favourite colour and instead of throwing the bouquet (a tradition I loathe), I left it at the cemetery instead. My mother, after some coaxing, walked with me down the aisle, although I was prepared to do it myself. A lot of these traditions are pretty ridiculous in the modern context, so you should not feel forced to follow them if they make you uncomfortable.

      Above all, try and keep in mind that the wedding is just one day. It will not define your marriage or your life.

      • If your mom doesn’t want to walk you down the aisle, what about your two sisters? That might be really lovely.

        • Yes — I’m a little misty-eyed reading this.

          I am cheering for you. And I’m sure your Dad is, too.

          Sorry the future SIL is such a . . . needy person. To your mother (and father’s credit), you sound like a lovely person and your future husband has found a lovely person to be his bride.

      • I walked down the aisle alone. It felt symbolic–each of us entered the church alone and we left together.

      • Oh my goodness. Your idea of leaving your bouquet at your father’s gravesite is probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve read on this site — actually on any site — in a long time. I hope the OP adopts this idea. It’s beautiful.

        To the OP: I’m glad you vented about all this. You can’t help how you feel. As someone whose parents pretty much want nothing to do with her, I feel the same way any time my friends tell me about the great, generous, loving things their parents did for them. My heart goes out to you.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Aw, I’m sorry you are feeling this way!

      I agree that your fiance needs to go back and ask for more money from his family if you and he relied on it in inviting more of his relatives.

      As for the day itself, is there someone in your dad’s family who can walk you down the aisle in his stead? Like a paternal uncle or grandfather? Or it’s a lovely idea to have your mom do it. I am not close to my dad so when I married last year I had a dear friend (of both my husband and me) walk me down the aisle and that was great, too.

      And I know it gets recommended here all the time, but maybe a session or three with a therapist to talk through these fears, which you know are irrational but still are putting a damper on what should be a happy time?

      • Marshmallow :

        See, I get from the OP that the couple just assumed his parents would give a certain amount, invited people based on that assumption, and then were disappointed with the real amount. That sucks, but IMO it’s on the couple for making assumptions. I would not go back and ask the parents for more money in that case.

        • Anonymous :

          Agree. Don’t go back and ask for more unless they were specific and gave significantly less (e.g. “we’ll definitely be able to make a five figure contribution” and wrote a cheque for $2000). If you were hoping to get $20, 000 and got $15 000 – do not ask for more.

          • Anonymous :

            She said it was 20% of what they were expecting, so definitely a much more significant difference than 15k vs. 20k. I agree though that they shouldn’t ask for more unless the in-laws told them they would give more. If she and her fiance just sort of assumed it would be a much higher number, then that was their mistake.

    • Marshmallow :

      Yeah, I think what you’re feeling is less jealousy and more just missing your dad. I’m sorry, and you’re entitled to that, and it sucks. It’s not going to stop sucking, but you are right: you should go with the flow and enjoy the day.

      Re money. The sooner you learn not to count on money from your family, and if you do decide to talk about money to keep it CRYSTAL clear, the better off you will be. My parents did not have money to contribute. My ILs offered a small amount of money (less than 10% of our whole budget), but withdrew the financial help at the last minute. It was our mistake to count on it before we had the money in hand. Am I angry about it? Yeah. Did it change the trust in our relationship? Yeah. But nobody is entitled to have their parents pay for their wedding. You are very fortunate that your mom and FILs can contribute at all. Your fiance seems to have a good attitude about it– it sounds like you can afford to cover the rest, so you will do yourself a favor by relaxing about it a little.

      • OP here.

        We have enough money as a couple to be able to pay for a nice enough wedding, but we would have cut the guest list drastically because we also want to buy a home and my fiance is finishing up grad school and we have money carefully earmarked for that so we aren’t going into debt.

        When we got engaged, we were not counting on anyone contributing, and wanted it to be a ‘show up and have fun’ party, so no bridal party, no rehearsal dinners, no speeches, no first dance, no splitting bridal party up from their SOs or dragging them off for hours of photos, no waking up at 6am for makeup because of a huge bridal party. Just a really fun party where we we had an awesome day. If we were paying for it ourselves, the guest list would have been much stricter. I, too, believe nobody should count on anyone to pay for anything for themselves, but my mom insisted and wanted to be able to invite some of my dad’s family that wasn’t invited to the other two weddings and wanted to be able to pay to ensure that. (This wedding is also the first in our hometown among the sisters.)

        My fiance was socialized within his family to not be comfortable accepting help or asking for it, as you can probably tell. I was not part of the discussion between them initially about how much they would contribute, but I was told it would be between $15-20k. I don’t know if he was told that or assumed because that is how much they contributed to the other brother’s wedding. They invited about 50 non-family friends, who my fiance does not know and neither do I. At the time I agonized over the guest list and my mom ensured me she would pay enough so that she could invite all the extended family and my fiance assured me his parents would contribute so they could invite these folks we don’t know. If we were paying for this entirely ourselves, those friends would have been cut. That was months ago. Over the weekend, fiance’s dad asked him, “is 5k ok?” and fiance felt uncomfortable saying no and/or asking for more, so that is what we got. (Again, I was not there.) My mom will be paying around 60k. Now my fiance’s family is pushing for things we never planned on having that are non-essential to me (rehearsal dinner, day-after brunch, transportation between venue and church) and were never in our budget, because we are paying for everything else.

        It’s really a communication error. I love my fiance dearly but he is not great about accepting generosity or asking for help and he admits this is something he should have discussed with them when the guest list arrived, like I did with my mom. We can’t do anything about it now, but at least now that we know the number, we know what we are paying and can respond “it’s not in the budget” when they ask where the brunch and rehearsal dinner will be.

        Thank you to everyone who responded. I think my mom might be close to walking with me down the aisle. Otherwise, my fiance will meet me at the front and we will walk in together. PS- I am really not into the whole “I’m the bride everyone stand and stare at me!!!” but there isn’t really a way to sneak in through the side at a wedding :) It is hard to incorporate my dad in ways that won’t make me burst into tears (especially when everyone else is already crying at even the bridal showers!) so I think I’ll have the locket sewn into my dress. I really love the idea about leaving the bouquet at the cemetery. My flowers, by the way, will be the flowers we had in our garden growing up that I have specific memories of my dad with – him reading to me in the shade of the trees by them.

        • Marshmallow :

          Your idea of using flowers that were special to your dad is so touching and appropriate and I’m getting a little misty at work thinking about it and I don’t even know you! That’s a lovely idea.

          Yep, it was a miscommunication and it is lame but there’s just nothing you can do about it now. Your fiance and my husband sound kind of similar: uncomfortable with direct conversations with their family. File this away in the future as something to know. If you need a really direct answer, make sure your fiance asks a direct question and gets a number/ yes or no/ whatever the necessary response is.

          Regarding the extra events they want, tell them no.

          This is coming from my personal experience and feel free to think I’m being snarky. But you are having a six-figure wedding, for which you are paying less than half. Consider that this falls under the rubric of “first world problems” and really work on practicing some gratefulness. Your mom was generous. Your ILs were generous. You and your fiance are in a financial position to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $40-50k on a wedding, as well as grad school, and not go into debt?! You have a lot to be thankful for.

        • Anonymous :

          “Over the weekend, fiance’s dad asked him, “is 5k ok?” and fiance felt uncomfortable saying no and/or asking for more, so that is what we got. (Again, I was not there.) My mom will be paying around 60k.”

          I would go back to his parents and let them know that you had a look at the numbers again and that the $5K doesn’t cover the 50 people that you don’t know who they wanted to invite. Ask if they have any flex on helping with those guests. (Does it really not cover them? It’s $100/head for 50 people).

          – rehearsal dinner, day-after brunch, transportation between venue and church – tell them that you’re open to these if they would like to pay the cost (assuming you want these events) after they have helped to cover their wedding guests but you are unable to contribute and your mom is unable to contribute as she is paying for the majority of the reception. Their $5K towards the wedding may have assumed they were paying for the rehearsal dinner as that’s traditionally paid for by the groom’s family.

        • Marshmallow :

          Longer response is in moderation but ditto lawsuited on gratefulness. Your flower idea is really sweet, and I also like the idea of meeting your fiance at the top of the aisle and walking in together if your mom is not comfortable doing it.

        • Wow 65 is a huge budget! It sounds like most of your fears are very disproportional which is understandable, weddings bring up a lot of stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe this is because there have been a lot of posts lately on needy in-laws, but I am more concerned that he has ties to his family such that he will go running when needy sister calls.

    • lawsuited :

      The only cure for jealousy I’ve ever found is gratefulness. Try to focus on the fact that everyone in this whole scenario is so very lucky. You are so lucky to have the conscientious mom you do, who is making a significant financial contribution to your wedding despite being a single parents of 3 daughters. Your fiance is lucky to have parents who are also happy to make a financial contribution. Your fiance’s younger sister is lucky to have parents and siblings who rally around her and help her with the things in life a lot of us would love willing help with (moving – blech!) It sounds like you both come from very loving families who both offer a lot of support, financial and otherwise.

      I’m so sorry you’re missing your dad during this process. I encourage you to express some of this sadness to the other people involved in the process – your fiance, your mom, your sisters, your in-laws, your friends – and get that emotion out in the open where you can be comforted rather than keeping it inside where it can turn to resentment and jealousy.

      • Very good point. I really like my in-laws. They are very loving and as someone who did not grow up in a two-parent household, it is nice to see it in them. I believe very much that they set a model for my fiance to loving and kind and to be devoted to making a marriage and family work, because life will throw curve balls at you!

        (and to the person above – he doesn’t go running when sister calls anymore. That Craigslist thing was years ago and he was like “yeah! she should be asking her own fiance for help!” ha! Her parents will still do anything at the drop of a hat, but that is their family dynamic.)

        And fiance and I have talked about this a lot. It’s a really ugly feeling and not something I like voicing but I have told him that I don’t like it and he is comforting and sweet and listens. We all have faults – I worry about losing him the way my mom lost my dad and he is not great at accepting help. Thanks for letting me voice it here and for the good perspective.

    • I'm SUPER jealous of you!! :

      I am SO, so sorry about the loss of your dad.

      But honestly – my overall sympathies changed when I read that you are accepting $60K from your single mom, $65k from parents total, and are still complaining.

      Signed,
      Single woman who shares your fear of destitution and supports her parents (as in, I own their house free and clear, but have zero in liquid savings.)

      Seriously who ARE all of you people who regularly get financial and other assistance (like free babysitting) from their PARENTS?! Mine cannot manage or pay for basic daily living, and consume my entire non-working life.

      • Marshmallow :

        Yeeeahhhhhhh I’ve been suppressing those same feelings here. Signed, married woman who paid for her own wedding in the most expensive city in the world and spent only 1/4 of OP’s budget.

        I’ve gotten to a point where I’m genuinely happy for friends whose parents have the means and desire to be generous with them. I’ve attended several lovely weddings and spent time in lovely homes that were paid for by parents. What I don’t really have patience for is complaining about those same parents. I recall a certain friend whose wedding cost was approaching half a million dollars (100% paid for by parents) complaining that her parents were inviting so many people she had to “sacrifice” her vision from a small $600 per plate venue to a larger $350 per plate venue. I had to unstick my eyes from the back of my head after that one.

  34. I need the hive’s input on whether I’m unreasonable wanting to have input on the timing of when my SO and I get engaged. We are in a very healthy and happy relationship but we’re stuck on this issue, largely because we’re struggling to draw the line between our progressive values and an inherently conservative practice.

    We’ve been together for over 4 years, living together for almost two. We have a dog, do holidays together, want to get married. Commitment isn’t the issue. The bigge issue is when, though to some extent how.

    I’m in my final year of law school, and after my summer at my firm, I really want to get engaged before starting. I totally understand this is silly to some, but to me, it’s important. I got to know six first years that had gotten engaged since starting, and I don’t think that’s how I want to present myself when I’m in a new work environment. (Applying Amy Poehler’s “good for you, not for me!” slogan here). They were all constantly asked about engagement planning at firm receptions, and it seemed to be how others identified them. I want to be excited when I get engaged, and if I were already at the firm I’d feel a need to hide the celebration or downplay it. To me, there’s a distinction between getting engaged while working and starting already engaged. Feel free to tell me this is totally wacky.

    For my boyfriend, he wants to wait until I’ve taken the bar. Mainly because of optics (he thinks it’s better to say his fiancé is an attorney rather than a law student) because he’s a few years older. We work in similar practices so there is overlap in our professional circles, which makes it matter more to him.

    We are adhering to some elements of tradition in getting engaged. He wants to surprise me and propose, and he will be buying the ring (though we share all other finances equally). We also picked out the ring together.

    I think we’re both stuck on what to do with this timeline impasse. I’m bothered that I can’t control the timing of such a big moment in my life. It also makes me question how other big life decisions will be made in the future. Im not sure if the engagement issue is a one-off in how male-dominated the decision is due to convention, or if this has implications for bigger issues. We say now that we would decide together when to have kids, buy a house, move, etc, but I recognize that we don’t really know what we’re talking about until we see the circumstances at the time. Help! Any input is greatly appreciated.

    • I think wanting to get engaged before you start at the firm is a little silly but your BF’s reason (“he wants to wait until I’ve taken the bar. Mainly because of optics (he thinks it’s better to say his fiancé is an attorney rather than a law student) because he’s a few years older”) is even weirder and honestly makes him sound like a huge DOOSH.

      Unfortunately, timing is by default what the person with the later timeline is comfortable with. So you can explain to him why you want to get engaged now, but if he’s not on board, you’re not going to get engaged now.
      And I don’t really think this question has anything to do with progressive values vs. traditional engagement practices. You just have different timelines and unfortunately you’re stuck with his unless you can get him to see your perspective.

      • First Year Anon :

        Honestly both of your reasons sound silly.

        • +1. His reason sounds really prestige-obsessed in an obnoxious way (would he not want to marry you if you weren’t about to be a lawyer?). And IME, yours is not going to work the way you want–we had several new associates start at my firm who were already engaged, and wedding planning was *all* people asked them about from day 1. I think it can actually be better if you start when you’re not engaged and have something memorable that people associate with you, because that will always stick–I started as “the runner” and years later that’s all people ask me about.

          That said, if you’re both firm in your timing, why can’t you get engaged during the period after you take the bar and before you start? You’re not truly “an attorney” then per his criteria, but if he just said after you pass the bar, this window seems to work. Most associates don’t start until a few months after the bar, and even better if you’re planning to take a bar trip.

        • +100

        • lawsuited :

          Both reasons are silly, but BF’s reason is also kind of gross to me. BF insisting on waiting until OP has reached a certain professional status level because being engaged to her otherwise would be embarrassing is really soul-crushing.

          • nasty woman :

            THIS. What’s so hard about saying “My dearest OP is finishing at Harvard and will be joining X firm in the fall” or “she’s in her last year of law school.” People know that law students grow up to be lawyers.

            Both of these reasons are silly. Also, please don’t delude yourself into thinking that your coworkers (most of whom will be middle aged men #lawfirm) care that much about your wedding plans. Or the fact that you got engaged. They don’t. It astounds me that you think your coworkers would pay this much attention to the timing of your engagement.

            It IS totally wacky to think there’s a distinction in getting engaged before/after starting your job. Either way, at some point you will be seen at work as a woman who is engaged. Most reasonable people do not connect the timing of an engagement to something like this, which serves no logistical purpose, and will not expect that others did so. Literally no one but you will remember when you got engaged. Your relationships with your coworkers and your reputation at the firm will be based entirely on who you are, your work, and how you react, and not when you get engaged.

            “I want to be excited when I get engaged, and if I were already at the firm I’d feel a need to hide the celebration or downplay it. ”

            This doesn’t make sense. You can be excited when you get engaged. Do you think that getting engaged before you start will entitle/allow you to experience several weeks of constant, unbridled, in-your-face glee that you could not experience if you were working? Because I’m here to tell you that you will have to mute your excitement to a reasonable degree in certain circumstances even if you get engaged before you start work. Sry if my response sounds grumpy but gd*mn.

          • Anonymous :

            Gotta be the wet blanket here. What happens if you fail the bar? Is the engagement off entirely?

      • Yeah, agreed completely. Your reason is a little silly (and in practice, it won’t matter at all — you’ll have the exact same conversations: either meeting new people, telling them, “yes! I’m engaged” versus telling those new people 3-6 months later that you just got engaged over the weekend, is basically the same). His reason makes him sound like my ex-H, whom I married during grad school, and he was older than me, and he turned out to be a total DOOSH.

    • In my circle, it’s common for couples to agree on the when of the proposal – before/after move to new house, before starting new job etc. And fiance surprises with the ‘how’ – dinner date/balloon ride/romantic weekend away etc.

      This:
      “(he thinks it’s better to say his fiancé is an attorney rather than a law student)”

      And This:
      “We say now that we would decide together when to have kids, buy a house, move, etc, but I recognize that we don’t really know what we’re talking about until we see the circumstances at the time. ”

      would give me a LOT of pause. He should be excited that you want to marry him, not considering the ‘branding’ to others. Plus, you definitely can talk through different scenarios about the future. Does he see himself doing daycare drop offs in the morning, or relieving the nanny in the evening. Does he want to be listed as parent to call first on the school forms or does he assume that will be you? His insistence on complete control of the engagement timing would cause me to want to have a lot more discussions about how decisions will be made in the future. John Gottman’s 52 questions before you get married (not sure of exact title) is a good starting point.

      • Yeah, I agree with this. Can you ever know for sure that life will go to plan? HA, no. But you should choose a partner that you’re confident will be on “team us” decisionmaking. This arbitrary, weird reason to hold off proposing — especially when you won’t be a barred “attorney” until after you start at your firm regardless, does he realize you don’t become an attorney the day you sit for the bar exam? — is concerning to me.

      • Anonymous :

        I read this:

        “(he thinks it’s better to say his fiancé is an attorney rather than a law student)”

        And wondered is he on Medicare? If not, I really do not think anyone cares. If he is that old, people will talk regardless unless you are also on Medicare.

    • I agree with Anonymous at 12:13. Your reason is silly. His is even weirder, and definitely comes across as being very shallow/superficial. (If you don’t pass the bar, then are you two not going to get engaged because he won’t be engaged to an attorney?! Something seems off about that to me.)

      I understand the “good for you, not for me” mentality, but I think you’re making a big deal out of something that isn’t really. For my two cents, it really was good for me – I got engaged within months of starting at my firm, and I had a wonderful experience with it. If you’re wedding planning, people will ask you about it no matter when you get engaged – it’s just small talk – so I don’t think you will avoid that issue by getting engaged beforehand. My firm also does a lot of activities with spouses and significant others, so it was just a natural thing that would come up at events. But my firm also got to know me as a person and as an attorney, and I feel like I have very deep connections here because of that. Just before my wedding, the entire office threw me a surprise shower (coordinated by my very senior partner boss) and a lot of people from the firm came to the wedding.

      As far as the idea that he is controlling the timeline, I agree, that is super annoying. I’m always a little put off by the fact that we often tell women we need to wait until the man is ready to get engaged, but no one ever tells the guy – “hey, you need to get it together, she won’t wait forever.” I think the bigger issue is that he’s so concerned about how it looks to others. I could definitely see that being a running theme in other decisions later on. I.e. – will you have to have a bigger/fancier wedding because of “optics”, send your kids to a certain school? That kind of thing seems like it could get out of hand fast.

    • For me, husband and I had always agreed on the timeline for marriage (the summer after he finished graduate school) but I definitely had to push him into talking engagement/looking at rings about a year and a half before then. Part of it was just being a guy and not realizing how long weddings take to plan (when I asked him how far in advance of the wedding date he wanted to get engaged, he said “I don’t know – 3 months?”) Once I explained how long weddings take to plan, he was more on board with getting engaged earlier. Once we had looked at rings and chosen one together, I just sat back and let him plan, although I was definitely anxious about it. A couple months after we looked at rings we went to Hawaii together and everyone (including all my friends, my parents and his parents) were sure he was going to propose there. He didn’t, and ended up proposing at the restaurant where we had our first date a couple weeks after we got back from the trip.

      Your BF’s statements about wanting to be engaged to an attorney not a law student would be very off-putting to me. An engagement should be about the two people involved and maybe in some cultures the families as well. It should NOT be about what his professional contacts will think, and I can’t imagine professional contacts judging him anyway if you are a graduating 3L who has registered to take the bar. It’s not like you’re a str!pper. Also, fwiw, depending on jurisdiction, it make take six months to be admitted after taking the bar, even if you are successful on the first try. I successfully sat for the bar in July and was sworn in in December.

      • Anonymous :

        Why is he embarrassed about the idea of being engaged to a law student but not embarrassed to be living with one? What is the difference?

    • It sounds like you have many wonderful things ahead of you. There is much to be happy about in this situation. With regard to timing, both reasons sound odd to me. That said, you can only control yourself, you cannot ever change how he feels. So, my advice to you would be that you can decide how you act when you get engaged and how you behave at work. If you don’t want to be defined as “newly engaged” at work then don’t be. Downplaying your excitement at work is probably a mature thing to do. This could mean not wearing your ring or not discussing plans with anyone or not making a big deal about wedding stuff or not engaging with others on the topic when they ask you questions. All of this is within your rights. Note that even if you are already engaged when you begin, people will ask you about your plans because it’s an easy, happy thing to use as a subject of conversation. So I don’t see how getting engaged earlier really helps.

      As for the larger relationship issues, I think that if you have a strong egalitarian relationship than this is not a terrible sign. When my husband proposed it was a bad time for me (he was backpacking through Europe for weeks; I was working and flew to Europe to see him for a 3 day weekend). So I told him that we weren’t engaged until he came home. I didn’t want to deal with his mother all by myself (although she’s great), and so when he came home we announced our engagement. These things are what you make of them.

    • givemyregards :

      This is what kills me about our society’s traditions surrounding engagements – and that’s not a criticism I just feel bad that you’re even having to deal with this. My personal perception is that you already are engaged in that you have decided to get married, bought a ring, etc. So I can understand why it’s so frustrating to wait for some formal confirmation of this fact from your significant other. I wish I could offer some some concrete advice, but I’m so hung up on the fact that he doesn’t want to get engaged until after the bar so he can say you’re an attorney. I’m not in law, but that just sounds…insane. I understand that’s one thing about him that is taken out of context for the purpose of your question, but your value as a partner is not determined by your job. What if you fail the bar? What if you get sick and can never work again? Never mind that he could just say, “she’s about to be an attorney, just waiting to hear back from the bar!” if the idea of saying he’s marrying a law student is so crippling. Presumably all the other attorneys he works with were also once law students, and it’s not like no lawyer has ever married someone younger?

      Anyway, my tongue-in-cheek suggestion is to just start your new job saying you are engaged and that your ring is getting resized or whatever. Is that insane? Obviously. But so is this tortured dance that you’re already doing over the engagement date.

      • Senior Attorney :

        All of this. If you have a ring and have agreed to get married, you are engaged for all practical purposes. And yet you have to wait to tell the world until the MAN decides he’s darned good and ready. Makes me crazy. Especially given his (ridiculous) reason for waiting.

        When we got engaged, Lovely Husband initiated the discussion by (indirectly) broaching the topic of moving in together, but I am a person who wants things and is not afraid to say so, and I was not shy about making it known that I would be happy to move in together if we were married. We always laugh and say it was less a proposal than a negotiation, and for us that felt good and right on both sides.

        All of which is to say I feel for you and I think you’re wise to be concerned about how major decisions will be made going forward.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree with this so much.

        OP, what does “being engaged” mean to you? To me, it meant that we talked about it together and decided that we were moving from “yes, we really will get married some day” to “let’s plan a wedding and tell our families and friends that’s what we’re doing.” We got to that point through a series of adult conversations, and then when my parents happened to be in town, we held hands and told them “we’re getting married!” So to me, “engaged” was being in the public place of intending to get married on a set timeline. No ring.

        We bounced the idea of a proposal around a little, but it made me too frustrated to seriously contemplate: if we want to get married, why should I have to wait for him to put together some sort of surprise gift-giving event for me in order for that decision to be official?

        Finally, the fact that he doesn’t want to say he’s engaged to a law student is a huge red flag. Either there’s something inappropriate in your dynamic (is he your professor or something?! but I doubt this is it) or he cares far, far too much about what other people think. Tread carefully!

      • I was going to post a grumpy reply on this same topic yesterday. A poster said she and her boyfriend were “planning to get engaged”

        No. If you’ve agreed to marry each other, you’re engaged. There isn’t an engagement ceremony. You don’t have to plan for it.

        I feel bad for the guys in this situation (and I’m a raging feminist and rarely feel bad for the menfolk). The bar is really raised on engagements. They have to be memorable, p1nterest-worthy events where the bride can one-up her friends with the extravagance of the moment he popped the question. Flash mob, anyone?

        What? What happened to sincere, private, mutual understandings? Why is everything a show?

        • +1 million.

          My husband wanted to do the whole show, but it was too much pressure for him. In the end, we got engaged by having a conversation on the couch, without a ring. After he bought a ring, he talked about going out and doing a proposal, but it felt hollow (because it would have been).

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          This. “What happened to sincere, private, mutual understandings? Why is everything a show?”

          I also “got engaged” by having a conversation at home on the couch while we were watching TV. My now-husband and I agreed to get married. I didn’t want him to buy an engagement ring. A few of my friends told me I wasn’t engaged until he bought me a ring. It was lame, but since I don’t give AF it didn’t take away from my happiness.

        • Yea, this was my reaction to both these things too. I just chalked it up to thinking I was just not very traditional because my husband and I considered ourselves “engaged” once we talked and decided to marry each other. Rings were just a conversation (do you want one? what kind? how much should we spend?), not the formalizing of anything.

        • Nudibranch :

          Total rabbit trail, but…

          I always think of Almanzo’s proposal to Laura and then their simple wedding (brown dress! no family present! awkward interaction with minister and his wife) in these discussions. Too me, that was minimal by modern standards, yet incredibly romantic.

        • Old cranky lady :

          My husband and I agreed to get married in a cheap barbecue restaurant after we bought a car. The salesman had asked if we were engaged and my not-yet husband answered “yes” before I even had a chance to open my mouth. I didn’t say anything at the moment, figuring he was just either trying to look more stable so we could get the car loan, or he didn’t hear the question. But I brought it up when we were eating lunch, in a joking way, and he got really embarrassed and said he had wanted to ask me for months but couldn’t figure out “what kind of proposal I would like.” I said, “just asking the question would be fine.” He did. BOOM, done. We set the date the same day and got married a year later. I didn’t have a ring for a month because I got a family ring that he had to get from his mom.

          I very frequently wonder what marriages would be like if people invested the time they spend on engagements, parties, the wedding, honeymoons, etc. on the relationship instead. Honestly, it’s like so many people just see a wedding as this finish line they have to cross, and they run for the goal! as fast as they can! don’t stop to think about or negotiate anything! just GO GO GO!! And then on the other side of the honeymoon, it’s like, oh no. Things are not like I thought they would be. What did I do? But by then, it’s too late.

          I got proposed to in a barbecue restaurant. Our wedding cost $3,000. We honeymooned for three nights at a cabin that a friend of my mom’s let us borrow. Been married for 18 years this year. Still happy. YMMV.

    • Is he always this status conscious? Are you always this anxious? Neither of your reasons make any sense at all.

      • Anonymous :

        This. And it sounds like a loop where you exacerbate each other’s issues. Is this really how you want to live your life? It sounds like you both take yourselves way too seriously and that is going to make for a very difficult existence and relationship. I’m sure you will have all the boxes checked so that no one on the outside will be the wiser, though, which may be what matters to you both.

    • I’m with the other posters – you guys have been together for 4 years, but it sounds like you hardly know him. Is your relationship an equal partnership or not? It sounds like not.

      I can’t tell you how much the “I want my fiancee to be a lawyer” thing bugs me. Btw, you won’t get the bar results until Oct/Nov – is he planning on waiting to propose until after your results?

      There are just so many red flags here. Are you sure this is the man you want to be with for the next 50+ years?

      • Anonymous :

        Also, like what if you don’t pass the bar? Is he waiting until you successfully pass? What if you don’t want to be an attorney down the road? Is that okay?

        • lawsuited :

          +1 I was just wondering what would happen if she lost her job at some point, or switched careers? Would her husband be mortified and not willing to tell people? Overall, I think men who care more about what other people think of their wife than they do about their wife herself do not make awesome husbands.

          • Anonymous :

            In my experience, that type of man tends to have no problem “trading up” or “trading in” their current wife for a newer, shinier, more-impressive-to-their-chauvinist-friends model about 10-15 years after the wedding. IMO, the OP should watch her back. If she gains weight, gets wrinkled, stops having an impressive job, or otherwise doesn’t live up to his expectations, he will probably have no qualms about dumping her and getting someone else who better fits his idea of who he wants to be married to. Because that’s all a wife is to someone like that – an idea. The person is interchangeable.

      • Marshmallow :

        This. Both of your reasons sound ridiculous to me, but the waiting until you’ve passed the bar for status reasons is really awful. What if you fail? And remember, you still have to pass character and fitness, have an interview, and get sworn in– a process that takes months or even close to a year in some states. So you won’t actually be “a lawyer” until significantly after you start working anyway.

        Is your fiance/boyfriend ashamed that you are younger? Really think about that.

        Also, there is nothing wrong with becoming engaged while working. If you are worried about being identified solely based on wedding planning… don’t talk about your wedding at work.

    • OG Monday :

      You are already engaged because you’ve agreed to marry. Everything else is performance, and I agree with other comments so far about why the thought process (for both of you) seems “wacky.” I encourage you to reorient yourselves around the actual relationship.

      • Wildkitten :

        I don’t know that they have agreed to marry? It seems like they have a lot of stuff to still figure out.

      • Anonymous :

        Disagree. My mom always said “You’re not engaged until have a ring and a wedding date.” That’s admittedly old-fashioned and I believe couples can be engaged without either (I was engaged without a firm date, as were almost all my friends, and I know couples who were formally engaged before they got a ring) but you are not engaged when you have merely looked at rings and/or discussed getting married in the future and you continue to hold yourself out to friends and family as a couple who is just dating, not engaged.

        My husband and I talked about how we wanted to marry each other on our third date. Were we engaged then? Of course not. We became engaged two years later when he bought me a ring and we announced our plans to marry to all our family and friends.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that you all are engaged already. Why not shove it to the marital industrial complex and just get married at the courthouse and be done with nonsense? Then H can say “my spouse is the attorney / law student / whatever” and you can be a boring married woman compared to all of those flightly first years planning their wedding (although when you are pregnant or engaged, that’s all anyone will talk to you about, regardless of your preference).

    • Delta Dawn :

      Why in the world is he worried about the “optics” of saying his fiancé is a lawyer? I have trouble imagining a decent person saying such a thing.

    • I think a lot of you may be misunderstanding her “attorney” not “law student” point. I read it as “He’s older than my peer group, so if he says student, everyone’s going to think he’s marrying a 22 year old, which might look unnecessarily bad on him as a 40-year-old.” Still not great, but much less status-conscious.

      • Anonymous :

        ?? I don’t see how this is better/not status-conscious.

      • That’s exactly how I understood it, and it sounds status-conscious and silly to me.

      • lawsuited :

        They apparently work in the same industry, so the people he’s speaking to will know that “law student” does not mean “undergrad student”, although age-wise its the difference between a 22 and a 25 (in either case, if BF is 40 he just needs to own the age difference) unless OP is a mature student.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s part of why I think it’s so weird. A law student can be in their 30s or 40s. If a 40-year-old guy told me he was dating a law student, my first thought would probably be “I wonder if s/he went back to law school after having another career.” Not that there’s anything wrong with a 40 yo and 25 yo dating or being engaged – I just think lawyers know that it’s not uncommon at all to be a 35 yo law student.

      • Anonymous :

        He should be proud to marry her no matter what the situation is. She’s not 14 years old!

    • As for worrying about your perception at the firm when you get engaged, it’s really common (as you point out, you know six first years who got engaged) and not a big deal. I got engaged, and then got married, as a junior associate, and everyone was happy for me and then we all moved on.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, if you are going to be worried about perception, worry about their perception when they realize he’s been with you for YEARS before he deigned to confer a ring on it.

    • Anonymous :

      You both sound like idiots, honestly. Thank you for taking each other off the market.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Ok, I think both of you are being weirdos, but going to break this down.

      “I got to know six first years that had gotten engaged since starting, and I don’t think that’s how I want to present myself when I’m in a new work environment.”

      Why not? WTF is wrong with getting engaged as an associate? I know plenty of people who have. Some people are just in LTRs and not married. Some people have kids outside of marriage. Some people are divorced. So what?

      “They were all constantly asked about engagement planning at firm receptions, and it seemed to be how others identified them.”

      What on earth does one ask someone about engagement planning? I can’t even imagine this conversation. Who are these weirdos that do it?

      “To me, there’s a distinction between getting engaged while working and starting already engaged. Feel free to tell me this is totally wacky.”

      Sure there is a distinction, but it doesn’t matter.

      “For my boyfriend, he wants to wait until I’ve taken the bar. Mainly because of optics (he thinks it’s better to say his fiancé is an attorney rather than a law student) because he’s a few years older. We work in similar practices so there is overlap in our professional circles, which makes it matter more to him.”

      As others have said, DOOSH alert. He seems overly concerned with prestige and public image. But then again, you do to based on your comments here.

  35. Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

    As with many other brands, Boden does not offer my size in a long. Disappointing as I love this dress.

  36. Save the Date :

    Help please!
    Is it polite or rather potential gift-grabby to send paper wedding invitations to guests that have already firmly responded “no” to the text Save the Date due to ongoing health issues, old age, vacations already booked & nonrefundable, college exams etc. ?

    • … you texted your Save the Dates?

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Eh, I’ve gotten email save the dates. I don’t think text is that different. I mean, my mother would have a conniption fit if I did it, but among my generation, wouldn’t phase me. Heck, the most recent wedding I was invited to had email invitations. All I really need is the link to your wedding website with details (because it’s just going on my electronic calendar anyway) and all the couple really needs to know is if I’m coming.

        But yes, I think it’s polite to send invite if you sent save the date.

    • Polite. Always always send an actual invite following a save the date.

      • I disagree given that they’ve already stated they can’t come. No reason to invite them given that.

        • Anonymous :

          +1

          If they replied no to the Save the Dates, it’s gift grabby to send an invite. Send a card with a wedding picture after the wedding to any older relatives who won’t see pictures on FB/insta

      • Marshmallow :

        +1

      • Agreed. What if their circumstances changed and now they can come?

        • Anonymous :

          They would contact you to let you know that.

          • Anonymous :

            What if their plans change between the time the invites are mailed and the RSVP deadline (which is usually 4-6 weeks)? If I had RSVPed no to a save-the-date and then didn’t receive an invite, I certainly wouldn’t email the couple “hey, guess what I can come now!” That seems horrifically rude, because they’ve removed you from the guest list by not sending you an invitation.

          • Anonymous :

            But they’ve removed you from your guest list because they thought you couldn’t come.

    • Lazy lawyer :

      If these are relatives, especially older relatives, I’d send an invitation with a note that it is “for the memory box” or something (if they are sentimental). My aunt recently sent me a baby shower invitation for my cousin and noted that it was a keepsake, since she knew I wouldn’t be attending the shower. I appreciated it.

    • Anonymous :

      I say polite and not gift-grabby.

      I received a save-the-date for a friend’s wedding last year. I emailed him to wish him well and told him that my husband and I had already booked international travel over his wedding date, so we’d be thinking of him and his fiance but wouldn’t be able to be there. I was a little thrown for a loop when we didn’t receive an invite. Rationally, I knew it was because I’d informally RSVPed “no” to the save the date, but I admit I did wonder if I’d done something to offend him because I’d always thought it was standard practice to send an invite to everyone who receives a save-the-date even if someone has said they can’t come. I also wanted to give them a gift, and the save-the-date didn’t have their webs!te with their registry info on it. I found it by googling but felt a little creepy and stalker-y. If I hadn’t cared about giving them a gift, I would have tossed the invite in the trash without looking at the registry, but I certainly wouldn’t have felt like it was a gift-grab, just the formal follow-up to the informal invitation (the save-the-date).

  37. Probably too late in the thread…but in case not: Managers – do you give out personal references for job-seeking employees even if your company has a no-reference policy? Ask a Manager seems to say that everyone does this even if it’s against HR guidelines. I want to help my employee if I can but don’t want to run afoul of the HR rules. For some reason, this has never come up for me before.

    • lucy stone :

      Yes. I’m one of the authors of our policy, and I “get around it” by giving out my personal contact info and making it clear that I’m speaking as one person and not for the employer. It’s crazy not to.

  38. NeedIdeas :

    Hi Ladies,

    This is my first comment ever on any website and after struggling with a question for a long time, I feel the hive might have the answers! So I recently turned 30, and have sorta crossed off all the items on my list of things to achieve by this time. Over the last few years, and after a hard childhood and many years of very very hard work, I could save enough to go to a top school, ace the program I wanted, get a dream job, marry my long time partner, buy a house and was recently promoted to the top position possible in my work line. My work line is not very high paying (am not a lawyer haha) but money is not what drove me in the first place. I love my job, it is very flexible, allows me to travel the world and do what I love. As someone who has always worked towards a goal, I am now not sure what I should work towards, and as a result I think I am becoming too lazy. I have never lacked a drive like I do now. Not to sound thankless, I do appreciate what I got in life but again although it sounds all very rosy now, this is after years of absolute back breaking hard work and darkness. There are other areas of my life where I am behind: fitness, family, friends, hobbies, etc but I have been unable to push myself on those as all my life school and career were my priorities and what drove me. Please share ideas/resources on how I can get the will to do more and go further? I have been toying with the idea of a side hustle but can’t decide on one. I already volunteer a lot. Not ready for kids surely. Please help, I am driving myself (and my husband) crazy!

    • You should read The Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Seriously! I am feeling the same (although I have kids and am 35) and this book completely changed my perspective on happiness.

      • NeedIdeas :

        Thank you @EB0220, buying it NOW!

        Part of the problem is exactly that: I am afraid that I can not be happy by just continuing to do what I am doing now for the next 30(!?) or so years, as so far I have always had somewhere else to be, something to run towards…. and while I can understand how buying a house and getting married helps you do the opposite and stabilize, am very worried that am just becoming complacent about my career, just leaning out/ sitting down… whatever one calls it, and will regret it in 5-10 years from now!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Good Lord. You should be so lucky.

          I promise you that life will throw you some curve balls between here and the grave. How about taking a breather for the moment and letting the next step reveal itself to you?

          • Wildkitten :

            “I promise you that life will throw you some curve balls between here and the grave.” – Add this to your book of wisdom, SA.

          • EmmyLou Harris once told a funny story about talking to Arlo Guthrie when she was first starting out – she came from a really lovely, stable middle-class family, and she was worried that she couldn’t make it in country music because she had a background that didn’t really involve hardship. He said, “Don’t worry. Life will happen to you.”

          • Gabrielle :

            A bit rude to imply that she should wait around for a hardship, especially when she mentioned that she worked hard and overcame hardships on her way to this “lucky” position. I think her question is really a what next question. I don’the have any answers, but I am sure you’ll figure it out!

    • Anonymous :

      If you plan kids one day but not now, I would focus on fun adventures that you will find harder to do after kids:

      You mentioned travel – maybe plan to visit a few locations that are harder/less easily accessible if you have kids. Take a class in the language of the location. Audit a university class about the history of the area.

      What are your hobbies? If you enjoy running, maybe focus on a new distance/better time? Use some of your drive for non-work activities that you enjoy and are passionate about.

      • NeedIdeas :

        Thanks @anonymous yes that’s what I have been trying, without much success.

        Love to travel: traveled a ton last year including exotic places in Africa and Asia. As well as to some of the national parks I wanted to in the country.

        I hate running and do need to find an exercise I like and can stick to. Still nervous if I am simply “settling” at work and need to aim to at least earn higher (nowhere near 6 figures yet).

        DO I simply think “money is not that important” now as I don’t have responsibilities/ kids and will regret not trying to “climb the ladder” later when I could need more money?

        • Anonymous :

          I wouldn’t worry about ‘sticking to’ a certain exercise! Try all the different stuff! Have fun! Belly dancing/aerrial yoga/barre class/ice skating/indoor rock climbing/mountain biking/pottery/painting/whatever – many places have intro offers at a low rate.

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