Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Mixed Plaid Blazer

red-plaid-blazer-red-fleeceOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Have you guys checked out Brooks’ Brothers’ Red Fleece section in a while? Ton of affordable, preppy workwear with just a hint of whimsy. (This $138 dress is almost sold out, but it’s just straight up gorgeous.) I love this red plaid blazer — I love the way the patterns are laid in different directions, and $228 seems entirely reasonable for a fully lined wool blazer. It’s available in sizes 0-14. Wool Mixed Plaid Blazer

This red cotton honeycomb blazer is on sale and comes in regular, petite and plus sizes.

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(L-all)

Comments

  1. Terrible Wedding Guest :

    Ugh. So I’m supposed to go to a wedding which I have been looking forward to. It’s a good friend, I don’t have any duties other than show up and be a guest, and I know it’s going to be a blast.

    Well, when we RSVP’d, I RSVP’d for me plus spouse. Now spouse’s business trip is extended and he’s slated to return the day before the wedding… that’s IF there are no more delays or his flight gets messed up.

    At this point, I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance he’s going to be able to make it. Do I give the bride a heads up or would that add to stress she doesn’t need?

    Also, $200 sound good? Northeast, small/medium city. Would you go up to $250?

    • lost academic :

      No, leave that be. It’s out of your hands, it’s out of her hands, you’re not giving her information with which she can do anything at all.

    • Anonymous :

      I would tell her. She can probably switch his “yes” RSVP to a “no” with her venue. If he is able to come they’ll still be able to accommodate him but she won’t be out the money if he can’t come. She may not choose to do that, but I’d give her the info and let her choose.
      You’re not a terrible wedding guest. These things happen and are out of your control (and I’m someone who generally takes RSVPs extremely seriously).

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t say anything. As of now, he is coming. His flight gets in the day before.

    • He’s supposed to come back the day before the wedding. Why assume that something will go wrong with that plan?

    • If the wedding is this weekend then no, don’t say anything. It’s very likely too late to change the numbers and $100 is not worth the headache it will cause her this close to the wedding.

      If the wedding is farther out, I think the answer depends on whether hubby would like to come to the dinner if he can. Telling the bride means that you want her to do something, i.e. cancel the seat. Don’t tell her just to give her a heads-up. If hubby is happy to skip dinner and show up for the dancing if possible, then tell the bride so she can cancel his dinner. But if hubby is determined to come to the whole thing if at all possible, don’t say anything.

      Yes $200 is fine.

    • Can your husband change his flight so he flies direct to the wedding location, rather than home first? You could bring his wedding clothes with you…

      • Or better yet, can you get a freind, co-worker, or relative to fill in if they need a man to fill the seat? The manageing partner often can NOT go places with Margie, so he get’s Frank to fill in. And Frank is kind of gross. FOOEY! Im sure you can do better then him.

    • Anonymous :

      Probably going to be an unpopular suggestion but depending on the bride’s personality and how well you know her maybe bring a different plus one if your husband can’t make it.

    • Meredith Grey :

      I’d also add that I think logistically, it’s more difficult for Bride to add someone on day of event than take them away… i.e. place setting, name card, chairs for ceremony. Though thoughtful that you want to save Bride the price per head. Thank g my wedding (and wedding contract) was long enough ago that I can’t remember if Bride would get reimbursed at this point or not if she reduced guest list by 1, but guessing not.

      • Anonymous :

        Our venue asked for a final headcount less than a week before – so if the wedding is this weekend or later she can probably still get reimbursed.

        • Same here. If you find out with any advanced notice that he’s definitely not coming, let her know asap. I was annoyed that people didn’t tell us because if they’d given us even 3-4 days’ notice, we wouldn’t have been out their per head cost. Beyond that, it’s up to you to decide whether you think it’s likely enough that he won’t be able to make it to cancel in advance. Sure stuff happens (like delayed flights) but if it’s reasonably foreseeable that he’s not going to make it, I think it’s courteous to make the call sooner rather than later and accept that he won’t come even if that eventuality doesn’t play out. $200 sounds great to me.

          • I know it’s super late, but thanks for your input. As of now, he can come (as it has been pointed out), but I just have this feeling it’s like 50/50/90. If it starts to tip towards ‘not coming’, I’ll call her ASAP.

    • I’m in NY and always do $200 a couple, which is fairly standard among all my friends.

    • He’s returning the day before the wedding, he’ll probably make it unless he’s supposed to fly through the eye of a hurricane or something. I would not mention it to her.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think if you tell her, you just tell her he can’t make it. Then even if he makes it back in time you go solo. Telling her it’s 50/50 just shifts the decision to cancel his meal to her instead of you.

    • Depends on when the wedding is and how stressed the bride is. The caterer might not need a head count until the week before, but the florist, bakery, and any chair/table rentals might need as much as a month in advance. If you’re sure he’s not coming, then it might be worth giving her a heads’ up, but if there’s a chance he could make it to dinner, I wouldn’t add more stress, because she’s still going to have to prepare for the possibility he might come.

      • But the florist doesn’t need a headcount of guests and the bakery and chair rental vendor just need a rough estimate (rounded to the nearest 10 or so), which this particular guy’s attendance is not going to change. It’s really only the caterer where you’re going to be out a per person cost for a single individual who doesn’t show up.

        • The florist needs to know how many centerpieces are needed. Sure, it’s not as much as the per-head cost, but there are a lot of logistics in addition to individual plates of food. The thing is, it’s probably not going to be just this guy. My guest list, and that of most people I know who’ve planned weddings in the past couple of years, was in flux up until the day of, and I’m not the only one who ended up with extra centerpieces, and awkward tables of 3 people, and entire extra cakes because people RSVPed yes and then told me they hadn’t actually made travel arrangements, had work commitments, etc. If someone was a definite no, I could’ve reworked some seating arrangements and adjusted numbers for chairs, etc., but the people who told me they they weren’t sure if they could make it but would “try” just added more headaches because I’m the one who would’ve looked like a bad hostess if 12 people suddenly didn’t have somewhere to sit.

  2. Moving question: what’s the best way to pack a bunch of framed pictures, diplomas, etc.? They’re too big to lay flat in a box.

    Also, any other moving tips would be much appreciated, particularly those well-suited for procrastinators. I’ve left myself two days to pack my house for a cross-country move. (Gulp.)

    • Bubblewrap.

    • Bubblewrap and move them yourself in your vehicle. If you have to put them on the truck, I look at some of the specialty picture frame boxes that moving supply stores sell.

    • lost academic :

      They make framed item boxes for these sorts of fragile items. The corners that wrap the edges (the foam ones are best, I feel) that both protect the edges and provide some space/depth around the item have served me best – though it means that framed items end up taking up a lot more space in their own boxes. We’ve also used the flatter cardboard wrapping edges when putting a stack of framed items in one picture box, with a LOT of paper wrapped around each item to protect the glass, a good way to get the smaller items in with larger ones. Don’t use a box that will be laid flat – the picture ones are marked clearly as such, and you could make your own that way but it was worth it since we had a lot of framed art last move to just buy those boxes (any UHaul)

    • I just did this a few months ago on two week’s notice. I had “two days” to pack, meaning the weekend when I wasn’t working, but I used the evenings during the week as much as I could. Assuming the two days don’t start today, you actually have more time. Even if you just do 30 minutes per night, you can make a lot of progress. Also, get all your supplies in order first, and buy more than you think you’ll need. Nothing halts a procrastinator’s progress like needing to run out to pick up more boxes.
      Also, get rid of as much as you can during any prep time you may have, but once you start packing, just pack everything (this advice was given to me by a military spouse who has moved on short-notice many times). Yes, it would be preferable to have everything organized before the move, but if you have to, you can sort and get rid of stuff as you unpack. If you’re truly short on time, your biggest priority should just be to get everything in boxes.
      If you can, ask a friend for help or hire someone to help you.
      Good luck!

    • We wrapped the frames in old towels and duct tape and put them in a large box designed for TVs that we got at Uhaul. We put a few other ones inside a wardrobe box between coats, also from Uhaul. As for other tips, be VERY liberal with the bubble wrap on delicate items. We didn’t break a single antique teacup moving all our stuff cross-country.

      • Anon Midwest :

        I did the same for my large framed pictures.

      • This is what I did too. And when I ran out of old towels/rags, I just used my regular towels, since it wasn’t too much of hassle to eventually wash them once I got to my new destination.

    • No Problem :

      Your kitchen will take the longest, so save plenty of time to do that. If you haven’t already, buy tons of boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, and packing paper. This stuff is cheap and can be returned if unused. Remember to pack heavy stuff in small boxes and lighter stuff in big boxes. Use towels or bubble wrap for delicate items. Packing paper should be fine for normal dishes and mugs. Label boxes well, especially the things you will need the first day you are there (shower curtain/set of towels/toiletries, sheets/bedding, change of clothing, can of Raid for any surprise houseguests, etc.). Get a friend to help you if you need more hands. Keep trash bags out for throwing things out, because you’ll find a lot of stuff to get rid of. Pack easy stuff first so you can check things off the list (like all the books off a bookshelf, all the clothes in your dresser, etc.).

      Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        If you have a friend to help, kitchens are a great place for them to help out: there’s nothing too personal in a kitchen and, if they can’t lift, most things are pretty lightweight.

  3. Agree with lost academic. No need to tell the bride, it’s too late to do anything about it, and he might make it anyway.

  4. IDK if it is the high placement of the button, or that it’s a single button, or what, but this jacket would seem to obscure any shape that I do have while magnifying my pear-ness. I’d probably look like a red-plaid version of Grimmace.

    I think I do OK in really structured slightly-cropped jackets as long as the waist is in the right place, but I just can’t seem to make a lot of blazers work.

  5. Looking to purchase a cute pair of black booties that would look good with tights and skirts/dresses for the office. Anyone have a pair they really love? I especially would love recommendations for not super expensive comfortable ones. TIA!

    • Angie Harmon :

      I’m a big fan of Vince Camuto booties. I own an earlier version of these: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-vecka-bootie-women/4414471?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK%20LEATHER (I would remove the tassel, but that’s just me). Super comfortable and cute with dresses/skirts and pants.

      • Love these! I haven’t worn this brand before – do they run wide/narrow/regular? Agree about the tassel too.

        • Angie Harmon :

          I always order medium width and I would say the Camuto booties fit pretty regular. At least, mine did not run narrow or wide.

    • Anonymous :

      Vince Camuto, Sam Edelman, and Lucky Brand all have some really cute low-heel booties this season.

    • I have Donald Pliner black stretch booties and they are very comfortable. I think I got them from Amazon or 6pm, so they were not expensive.

    • Check out the Coach Seneca booties. I have them, they are very comfortable and wear particularly well with dresses and skirts. I found mine at DSW on sale but I have seen them on zappos and 6pm too.

    • anonymous 7 :

      Madewell!

  6. Anonymous :

    Anyone else wearing Rodham Red today?

    • Of course not. I don’t need some corrupt, scandal-ridden Baby Boomer to validate my existence “as a woman.”

    • Anonymous :

      No, but she killed it!!! I was voting for HRC anyway (because #NeverTrump) but I’m so much more excited about her now. I loved how poised and articulate she was in the face of Trump’s interrupting. It was almost like she’s been dealing with men talking down to her for her whole life ;)
      I can’t imagine how anyone can be undecided at this point but apparently a lot of people are and I have to imagine that the debates will help her with these people.

    • housecounsel :

      No but I wish I were!

    • My comment got eaten for some reason but I thought she killed it! I was voting for HRC before the debate, because I’d vote for just about anyone over Trump, but I’m much more enthused about her now. And I really hope there are some undecided voters out there who had the same takeaway (although how could anyone be undecided at this point!?)

    • consultant :

      Just realized I am! My favorite dress which I’m wearing is that color.

      I was thinking she might wear white because of suffragettes and she has worn it for other major events, but that power red looked amazing.

    • I am! And I’m practicing my shoulder-shimmy.

  7. Styling help, please. What color blazer would you wear with gray pants and a navy/gold top?

  8. Anonymous :

    Thanks for the advice and support yesterday to get to my interview. I took charge of the meeting and got it done in time, then did it over Skype in my car. The interviewer was in the airport so it was just fine. It was with a recruiter not the actual company. I’m very interested in the position and it’s ~15% more than my current salary. The problem is it’s contract to hire.

    I’ve never had a contract to hire position before. Am I stupid for considering leaving a traditional full time position for this? What do I need to know?

    • Contract to likely does not have medical/retirement benefits, or at best, has more expensive plans that would negate the 15% salary bump.

    • Anonymous :

      Be sure to ask for a timeline on when you expect to be brought on fulltime. If you like your current role then I would not move for anything less than direct hire.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s the problem, I’m the only person left in my department and I’m drowning, I’m also not sure this company is going to make it to the end of the year…

    • full of ideas :

      I’ve done a contract to hire and it went great. The good part is when/if you go full-time they usually give you a big salary bump. Advice make yourself someone people rely on and they have to keep you!! You may want to check with recruiters in your area, if this company is always looking for temp to hire, they might actually be hiring temp but getting better resume choices by saying it’s temp to hire.

  9. Anonymous :

    Today is National Voter Registration Day.

    Register to vote because your voice matters.

    http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/

  10. all about eevee :

    My best friend got engaged over the weekend. She’s so excited to get married and she is truly in love with her fiance, but she has confided in me that she hates the engagement ring her fiance got for her. I agree with her that the ring doesn’t fit her personality or style at all. It is especially confusing because her fiance had a whole Pinterest board of rings that my best friend likes that he could have chosen from. Oof, awkward. I keep telling her that she needs to talk to her fiance about this and that she shouldn’t wear a ring she doesn’t like every day for the rest of her life, but she doesn’t want to because she thinks it will hurt his feelings. I feel like if she can’t talk to him about this, they probably aren’t ready to get married, but I am keeping that opinion to myself so far. So, Corporette, my question for you is, if you were presented with an engagement ring you truly hated, would you tell your fiance you hated it, or would you just quietly wear the ring?

    • Baconpancakes :

      A friend of mine has an engagement ring she hates. She talks about how much she hates it a lot, in front of her fiance. It makes everyone really uncomfortable. Your friend should really just talk to her fiance, prefacing it with, “I love you so much and I am so excited to marry you. But I’m not super excited about the ring. Was there a reason you chose this one?” It might come down to a style or ring that has personal meaning to him, and that might change her mind, so the conversation should focus on understanding why he chose that one.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        My husband picked a band style that I wouldn’t have picked myself. We had a secret Pinterest board where I showed him what I liked. When he told me the reason he chose it, I found the reason so sweet that it really doesn’t matter to me anymore that I would have picked something different. The reason can be important!

    • lost academic :

      I didn’t like mine. It was so over the top and during my engagement I was constantly doing work that I couldn’t wear the ring during and I was terrified I’d lose it – and my fiancé got very cranky whenever I took it off (sleeping, showering, etc). Luckily for me it was the kind of ring I knew I wouldn’t wear or feel obligated to wear after we got married (asymmetrical, and we weren’t going to do any matching with that ring for wedding bands). So I sucked it up and tried to make him happy by wearing it as much as possible when he was around. I didn’t own a single ring before this one, either – so eventually I realized it didn’t matter if it wasn’t me, it was temporary. I resized it for my right hand after we married and now I just wear it for black tie level occasions, again, to make him happy. I know a ton of people who don’t wear their engagement ring after getting married.

      I don’t think not talking to him about this means they’re not ready to get married, though. Just because she’s complaining privately to you doesn’t mean she can’t talk to him, it could easily mean she knows it’s not that important and isn’t looking to needlessly upset him over something that’s not, at the end of the day, that big a deal.

    • I didn’t actively hate mine but it isn’t what I’d have chosen for myself. DH didn’t have a Pinterest board for inspiration and did all his own research. I had a say/chose my wedding ring.

      Ten years later, I love it. It reminds me how into the wedding he was. And, frankly, he has better taste than I do- the ring was bigger & flashier than I wanted. It isn’t like he picked a diamond when I wanted color, or didn’t go conflict -free when that’s what I made clear I wanted.

      • all about eevee :

        Yeah, the crux of the issue is that the ring is bigger and flashier than she wanted, and she is in a job where she spends a lot of time doing work that requires her to take off her ring (she’s a research biologist).

        • Can she make sure she gets a band that she loves and would want to wear all the time?

        • Then it’s simple. She is never going to wear it day to day, which she can easily explain to husband (can’t do easily with gloves, risk of damage or losing etc…). So it is saved for going out/special occasions.

          I mean, unless it is truly ?ugly… I think she should be able to make it work.

        • Oil in Houston :

          in that case, I wouldn’t say anything. She can choose a wedding band she is likely to actually wear, with maybe some stones, and use that reason to only wear her e-ring on special days.

        • I have a friend who is a research biologist and who didn’t like her engagement ring because she considered it too big and flashy. (By engagement ring norms, it was neither, but she never wore jewelry before her engagement ring.) She actually just wanted a simple band with a tiny inlaid or close-set diamond. Her husband felt like he couldn’t buy that because her parents would disapprove. (Her parents are from a traditional country, don’t speak much English, and didn’t really approve of her marrying outside her ethnicity anyways, although I have no idea what their thoughts on diamonds are.) So, for her wedding band, she bought the ring she wanted with one small inlaid diamond and wore that ring everyday, and she wore the other ring on her right hand for special occasions. That said, her husband gave her a lot of grief about it, even several years after they got married. (FWIW, they ended up divorced, although the ring was the least of it.)

        • lost academic :

          Practically my exact problems! And I know I had to wrestle with bouts of feeling like I wasn’t projecting who I felt I was and who I wanted to be when I was wearing that ring. Everyone wants to look at it and hear how much you love it and the story and everything – you feel like everyone is looking at it for awhile. And it was such the opposite of who I was and wanted to be that it caused a lot of uncomfortable feelings that I couldn’t quite resolve. And taking that thing on and off was a pain! Let alone fearing I’d misplace it or lose it.

          She DOESN’T have to keep wearing it after she gets married.

    • I think you’re overreacting a bit. She hasn’t said she “can’t” talk to him about how much she hates it, just that she won’t. Maybe she’s decided that an engagement ring isn’t that big a deal in the scheme of things and she doesn’t want to hurt his feelings. I don’t think that’s necessarily a sign they shouldn’t get married.

      My husband and I talked openly about rings before getting engaged and if he’d given me a ring I hated after soliciting my input about design, I would have been pretty annoyed. But if he’d surprised me with a proposal out of the blue with a ring I didn’t like I would have said yes to the proposal and not said anything about the ugly ring. I like nice jewelry but I also care about my husband’s feelings and I don’t think a pretty engagement ring is that important.

    • I don’t think this is a “not ready to get married” thing. We avoided this particular issue by skipping a proposal and an engagement ring, but there are things my husband has chosen that aren’t my favorite, but that I don’t mention because I value my husband’s happiness more than whatever. Maybe your friend venting to you like “why’d he pick THIS ring?” but also knowing “this is an opportunity to appreciate a kind thing my partner did for me.” I would be very concerned if she *never* told him she didn’t like something — but if this is just a particular case where she’s choosing to let him be happy right now, I wouldn’t worry.

    • Funny – I could have written this post 2 years ago exactly, including the part where I had concerns about the marriage. She wound up not saying anything about the ring except to me and one other friend. Flash forward to now, she’s very happy and has come to love the ring because it is what he got for her. Think about whether you question their relationship apart from the communication about the ring, and if this is just manifesting that feeling for you. I felt similarly about my friend. I still think she may not have been ready for marriage at that point, but they have grown together and it has all worked out okay. Try to talk out your feelings with another, totally unrelated party (i.e., this was my BFF from law school, so I confided with my BFF from growing up). I’m really glad I never said anything to her about her relationship as I think that would have irreparably damaged our relationship. And again, at least so far, all is well…

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I would just quietly wear it-and learn to like it, or just not wear it all the time. I don’t feel strongly about the appearance of my ring-my husband gave me his mother’s engagement ring. It is not my style, but I appreciate the history. But I have to admit this falls into the things-i-don’t-care-much-about bucket.

  11. Introverts :

    Did anyone else read the recent NYTimes article about how introverts are often just selfish? I strongly disagree with the article and found that the author confused her being rude with others being introverted. I fail to see how her chronic lateness problem has anything to do with how caring and polite introverts are. Will post a link below

    • Introverts :

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/25/opinion/sunday/am-i-introverted-or-just-rude.html?_r=0

    • I thought it rang true. I’m naturally shy and my mother always said that was fine, but it doesn’t mean you get to be rude. I’d be more comfortable not talking to people, but I can and should.

    • Well, describing all introverts as “caring and polite” is painting with a fairly broad brush. I’m sure some terrible people are introverts, too. ;)

      I think the piece was more of a personal reflection on the author’s own tendencies and behaviors than a general statement that introversion is just a fancy name for selfishness.

      (And even though I consider myself an introvert, it does sting when an introverted friend bails on plans at the last minute, often with no other explanation than she just didn’t feel like coming).

      • I also think that the problem is some people have a tendency to fall into the label = excuse not to do something you don’t want to do pattern. I have introverted and extroverted friends who use it as an excuse for all sorts of behavior.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          +1. Same with the Meyers-Briggs nonsense. Few things annoy me more than someone saying “well, I’m an INFP or whatever, that’s just how I am!” to excuse their bad behavior.

      • I’m super introverted, and I frequently want to bail on plans at the last minute. I never, ever do it though. I try to be realistic about how much social interaction I really want/can handle and don’t make plans that are going to leave me emotionally exhausted afterward. Friends are super busy too, so it works out. Being introverted is a personal orientation- it is not necessarily correlated with “caring and polite” or “selfish.” These are addressing two different dimensions of a person and aren’t necessarily related.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Thank you for being polite. I get not wanting to hang out with people. I’m an outgoing introvert, I guess? But if you make a plan with someone, they’re counting on you. If you know yourself, and know you only feel like hanging out sometimes, turn down invitations instead of canceling at the last minute.

          • I feel like many introverted people can go through a process of learning how much is too much, and during that phase, may end up making too many plans and doing the last-minute bail-out. It doesn’t excuse it, but i think a lot of introverts to have to learn to accept their limits in terms of socializing, and when to say no (as well as that it’s okay to say no).

            The person who can’t be bothered to think in advance about what’s too much (e.g., “am I REALLY going to want to go out for drinks after a long work week full of events?” or “do I REALLY want to add a third after-work event in one week?”) is just being rude, though, because they’re refusing to think about the impact on others.

      • Anecdata, but I’m introverted and shy/socially anxious (introversion and shyness are two different things, imo) and I’m very punctual and don’t cancel plans unless I have a real reason. I pretty much only make plans with people I know I won’t need to cancel on even if I’m feeling drained, but I don’t think having a small social circle is nearly as rude as bailing on people at the last minute.

        • +1 – Introverted isn’t an excuse to cancel at the last minute. It means you are self-aware enough to not over-schedule yourself in the first place. You may find you need to cancel occasionally (like anyone would need to), but it’s not a free pass.

          • +1 I’m an introvert who does very well socially (people would never guess I’m an introvert). The key, for me, is knowing my limits and scheduling my social life accordingly. Then I’m happy to get together with friends or date without feeling stressed or overextended.

          • +1. I love people and being social, but I need enough time to recharge on my own. I just choose my social events carefully. No excuse to be rude.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Being late and bailing on plans at the last minute are both rude. I fail to see the connection to introversion. People I know who do either one of those are both introverts and extroverts.

      I’m an introvert and compulsively on time. When I make plans with someone, I don’t bail (at the last minute or otherwise) unless there is some serious reason to do so. I’m less likely to make plans in the first place rather than cancelling.

      I don’t think politely declining to do something is rude, unless there are extenuating circumstances. So if I know a friend is going through a really hard time and needs to talk, it is rude to not get together if I’m declining for my own introverted need for alone time. But if it is just a random get together with a group of people and I don’t think I’ll feel up to it, I think it is more polite to decline in the first place. Perhaps I’m wrong about that though. I don’t decline every time and try my best not to decline important events like friends in from out of town, weddings, funerals, celebratory events, etc.

    • Friendly introvert :

      Thanks for the link.

      I also thought it rang true. I am an introvert, and have other family members that are severe introverts. After reading this article, I see so much of myself in it and that I am clearly on a slippery slope of becoming like my relatives. Right now, I can see how my relatives’ behavior comes off as uncaring at times (and there is some truth here…) and perhaps I need to force myself to be uncomfortable more.

      Signed,
      Someone who didn’t participate in our blocks’ “block party” last weekend.

    • What a load of garbage. Introverts spend our whole lives, at work and outside of work, forcing ourselves to make small talk and go to parties because it’s expected of us and makes other people happy. It is stressful and exhausting. Extroverts just get to do what they naturally like to do.

      The author is late because she’s selfish, not because she’s introverted. Extroverted people can be rude and selfish too, like my jerky extroverted colleague who always leaves introverted me to chitchat with clients he doesn’t like or want to bother with.

      • Anonymama :

        Do you think the research showing that social interactions often make even introverts happier is unfounded?

        Also, I am not an extrovert, but worked with some pretty strong introverts, and often the extroverts are making small talk with you not because they enjoy making painful small talk, but because civility is part of the social contract, which involves acknowledging the existence of others and showing some sign of interest in them and their lives. This strengthens a personal relationship and in return they are more likely to help you out when you need something.

        I hate that people think that because something is difficult for them they shouldn’t have to do it.

    • I had an ex who used “i’m an introvert” as an excuse to be selfish in the relationship. I understand he didn’t like particular social things, but he was able to manipulate it so he had all the power in the relationship w/r/t when we spent time together or socialized. It wasn’t fair.

  12. One more moving question (and thanks for the advice above!): should I dust furniture, vacuum rugs, etc. before they get moved, or once they end up in the new place? I kind of hate to move dusty furniture into a clean new apartment, but I’m guessing they could get pretty dirty over ten hours in the movers’ truck, right?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Dust first. They’ll probably get dirty again but you don’t want to move old dirt with you into the new house too.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Dust first. If you have hired movers, they’ll probably wrap up your big pieces of furniture in blankets, so it should stay relatively clean.

    • Clementine :

      Clean them in the new place!! There’s a good chance they’ll get dusty/dirty on the move.

    • I wouldn’t spend the limited time you have worrying about cleaning things. If you do end up dusting, I’d dry dust. Spray, polish, etc could make the furniture slick and hard to hold.

    • I’d give furniture a half swipe of the obvious dust when you pack the lamp up. Schedule a one-time cleaning once you get into the new house and let someone else do the deep clean dusting.

    • Anonymous :

      Pre-dust before moving. Movers will wrap all the furniture in cello wrap to help protect it! This means that when I moved recently to movers not only moved my couch, but the pound of cat hair my big guy has lovingly placed on it over the years.

      That being said if anyone has a way to get cat hair off of a fabric couch please let me know! I’ve just given up at this point.

  13. Recommend your top! :

    If you’ve bought a long sleeved, machine washable top recently with a touch of stretch that falls in the dressy casual to business casual range, I’d love to hear about it. Stretch is key, I’m sick of feeling restricted in my own clothes! Bonus points if you have a wide torso and broad shoulders.

    • I bought a couple of blouses from Ann Taylor last spring that are stretchy, drape beautifully, and are quite comfortable (i.e., no itchy spots or weird seams). Looks like a lot of their current stuff is 100% polyester and I’m not sure exactly what fabric mine are, but might be worth a shot. Can’t recall if it’s machine washable.

      If you are looking for under sweater/jacket T-shirt type tops, I just stocked up on the long-sleeved Merona ultimate T’s at target. I bought a few to wear to the gym and they have held up really nicely for over a year.

    • Do you have the Pleione mixed media one from Nordstrom yet? Sounds like something that would work for you.

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/pleione-split-neck-mixed-media-tunic-regular-petite/4407753?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=RED%20PEPPER

    • Baby Associate :

      Hi, meee! I am an athlete, so this is relevant to my life (and as a new associate, I have tried on a thousand shirts, generally only to end up buying sleeveless shells because my shoulders are big).

      I have had good luck at Ann Taylor. They have a few tops that are “shell-like” material in the body area and have a little stretch on the arms (different/softer material). It really accommodates my arms and shoulders, but flatters my torso. Even their all shell-like material long sleeve tops work with my arms and I don’t feel like I am in a straight jacket (see blazers).

      I am fairly short though, so not sure if length is a problem for you. Once I find one that fits, I buy it in every color and print.

    • anon anon armani :

      Check the Judy P tops. her own sales place on the web and I know several are featureed on Gumps.

  14. Anonymous :

    At a small law firm, 5 partners. We hired a young female lawyer looking to transition into our rather small area of law. We are open to feedback and two months in and she’s advised she doesn’t feel she is getting enough mentorship and she wants more time to learn and to observe other lawyers. I feel we spend at least three half business days a week having her shadow, follow or work supervised by or observed by someone senior. This is a business not a law school and while she probably needs someone to read over her work and a lot more confidence we had hoped she would be feeling ready to be more independent after two months. Thoughts? Not sure what to do here.

    • Tell her exactly that, and ask if there is something specific she would like to do during those 3 half days.

      • To throw in some more information- she’s female in a male dominated area of law and there aren’t many young people in general at the other firms for her to talk to in this area and no young women.

        We were aware she would require mentorship when we hired her and are open to that. No one has really any experience closely mentoring anyone and there is nothing set up at our firm as a mentorship program. So we are doing the best we can.

        While we don’t have the ability to directly supervise everything she does all her written work is reviewed and her applications are all done with someone else present.

        We find her work to be fine but it lacks confidence and she is not very assertive. We feel she could probably handle more challenging work (under supervision or reviewed after completion) and that this is more of a mental thing than anything else.

        We would like her to be more comfortable and to be successful.

        • Have you told her that? The best way to build an associate’s confidence is by praising their work and telling them they’re ready to take on new tasks. I would also encourage you to do some reading about implicit bias. Feeling like someone is “lacking confidence” is a heavily gendered descriptor, and when a man and a woman behave the same way, people are much more likely to describe the woman as lacking confidence or not being assertive, while a man might get labeled “thoughtful” or “contemplative.”

    • By young do you mean fresh? Is so, how fresh and how different is this small area of law from others she’s more familiar with? Have you made it clear it is ok and expected if she gets things wrong? Can you direct her to resources like books, publications, etc.?

      Based solely on quantity, the amount of mentorship you’re offering sounds amazing!

    • Two months doesn’t seem like a lot of time to learn a new area of law. It depends on how senior she is, but I transitioned areas when I was a fifth year (and not even to a totally new area, just from one litigation niche to another) and it took me a solid year to really feel like I had any confidence in what I was doing. To be honest, it was much harder than being a first year associate, because when you’re a first year everyone expects you to be clueless and is very patient with your questions. It was a lot harder when I basically had no experience in that field but I was five years out of law school and so everybody expected me to know everything. Is she specifically requesting to observe more senior lawyers? Because observing is fun but I learn much more by actually doing something and then having a partner mark up the document or break down my argument and explain what was good and what they would have done differently. I would try giving her that kind of oversight, if you’re not already, and maybe cut back on the shadowing.

      • This is my exact experience. Lateral 5th year changing from one transactional practice to another. It took me a year to feel like I had any idea what I was doing. And people had much less patience with me than they would have it I were a 1st year. People also didn’t think about all of the things they learned in years 1-5 that now seem obvious, so I was expected to learn my-year level work without the prior years foundation. It’s tough to learn a new area of law, and I wouldn’t expect a young associate to do it overnight.

    • 2 months to learn a new firm, new bosses and a new practice area? I’d say a year is more likely.

    • Did you feel independent after two months in practice? I doubt it. I would have a conversation with her and reframe mentorship as a concept that takes place over time. She is not going to be completely independent suddenly one day– she will gradually become more independent day by day, over time.

      Maybe you can do a three month, six month, one year plan of expectations– you want her to be able to do A, B, and C tasks independently by month three, D, E, and F tasks independently by month six, and G, H, I tasks independently by one year. That gives her time to work up to that expectation by observing others do those things before month six comes. Do explain that part of this growth is learning independently, and while your firm wants to create opportunities to observe, you also want her to grow on her own.

    • Don’t ask for feedback and then act dismissive when she gives it. If you think you’ve been giving her a lot of mentoring and she thinks it’s not enough, then you’re probably not giving her the type of mentoring she needs. Just shadowing attorneys might not be effective; I know I learn better by doing than by watching. Ask her for specifics – what areas or tasks do we need to continue to provide you guidance? What tasks are you comfortable doing on your own? How can we transition from shadowing to giving you a more active role?

    • I was in a very similar spot as this woman, about 5 years out of school, starting a completely new type of practice, and not feeling like I got enough guidance. I really wish I had been given more opportunity to shadow — my first time stepping up in court was also *my first time ever setting foot in a court room* but I learned pretty quickly. What my boss did was just push me into things I didn’t think I knew how to do, but make it very clear that (1) he wouldn’t give me anything that I could screw up beyond repair, (2) that he would never be mad if I made a mistake, and (3) that he believed in my inherent smarts and good sense. Are those things true at your firm? If so, do you communicate that to her?

      • Anonymous Poser :

        Yes! Being given permission to make mistakes is crucial in learning how to succeed.

  15. saw a ghost :

    I just accidentally saw some new pictures of my ex. I thought I was making a little progress in getting over him (it’s been 6 months already), but I am missing him desperately and struggling not to cry at the office. It feels just like it did at the beginning.

    I love(d) him, but he’s an emotional mess. The relationship was not making me happy when I was in it, all my friends say he will never get his sh*t together and that it was right to break up with him, I posted about him here before and everyone said the same thing (including a couple posters who said they married men with similar issues which then led to them getting divorced)…and none of this stops me from wanting to be with him or call him and suggest getting back together.

    I haven’t been like this after other break-ups and I am starting to wonder whether I’m just going to love him for the rest of my life regardless of whether he deserves it. I tried going to therapy for a few months but all I did was talk about how sad I was, and basically nothing changed. Talking to friends has been more helpful but I feel like I’ve already burdened them enough over the last 6 months. I’m so tired of feeling this way and I don’t know how to get to the other side.

    • You get over him with time, and time, and more time. I’ve been there, feeling that I’ll love someone forever. I promise, it gets easier with time. Hugs!

    • You keep going. You keep fighting back. You figure out how not to accidentally see photos of him. You find a hobby. You stop telling yourself you’re doomed and clamp down on the moping. You just keep doing it until it works. When you want to have a woe is me moment, don’t!

    • I’m sorry youre going through this and i think its great youre reaching out to people and tried therapy to cope. One thing that could possibly help is to try seeing all sides of him. The side that makes you sad is likely the good you saw in him, positive aspects of the relationship, being with someone you care about/being cared for etc. But you also have to remember the bad (which, im assuming outweighs the good because you broke up) and how if you decided to stay with him you would likely feel trapped right now and more miserable. Try to take what youve learned from this person and remember this is one person. Its okay to still love him and be fond of the memories but you dont want it to get to the point where you feel like the memory of him his holding you back from seeking new partners that could and will be better for you.

      Its easier said than done and it takes some people a little longer to heal from breakups than others. Good luck =)

    • Set everything else aside and ask yourself-
      “Is this someone I want to be with the rest of my life?”
      If you want to get married one day “Is this someone I want to be married to?”
      If you want to have kids one day “Is this someone I want to have kids with?”
      Often when I’m feeling nostalgic about an ex, it’s for the memory of the good times and asking myself these questions helps me realize I don’t miss that ex, I miss the idea of that ex.

      • saw a ghost :

        Unfortunately (I guess), I do want to marry him and be with him for the rest of my life, ignoring the red flags that everyone else (and I) see. But admittedly since he’s not in front of my face demonstrating his red-flag qualities, I don’t feel them as much as the good qualities that I miss.

        • Then, no, you don’t want to marry HIM. You want to marry your idealized version of him.

          Do you want to marry him (complete with red flags)? No, otherwise you would have married him.

          It is also totally normal/human to emphsize the good and de-emphasize the bad when remembering. That’s why you focus on remembering why you broke up with him in the first place.

          • saw a ghost :

            Oh, for sure I want to marry a version of him that is not the current version of him. When the current iteration suggested that we just get married (without him dealing with his issues), I had to say no. I really wanted to be married to him, but not that way.

          • There is only him. There is no current him and future him. He does not want to change. He does not love you enough to change. He will never change.

        • No, you don’t want to marry him. You want to marry a fantasy who doesn’t exist. I do too! But you can’t let fantasy land ruin your reality based life.

          • Still Sad Sometimes Too, Anon :

            YES to Anonymous 10:50a on down.

            “not the current version of him”
            There IS NO other “version” of him.
            The only place that you can create another version of him is in your mind.
            Missing the good parts and not remembering the bad parts means that you are missing someone imaginary.

            It is still very sad.
            But the person in your mind does not exist.

    • Have you tried writing letters to him? Not to send, just to get the feelings out. I did this with a therapist and it was immensely helpful for getting over someone I just could. not. get. over. The therapist was key, in my case, because she was able to help me identify why I was having such a hard time moving on.

      And if you have something you need to say to him (that isn’t please take me back), then maybe try saying it. Having a last conversation was helpful for me, too.

      • saw a ghost :

        I wrote him an email after we broke up–to which he replied a couple months later saying he was never going to find anyone he cared about like me and wanting to discuss getting back together, but predictably he couldn’t get it together in the way I needed him to and so I cut it off again.

        But I could consider writing him a letter and not sending it. I worry, though, that I WOULD send it.

        • That does sound like an unhelpful response on your ex’s part, I’m sorry.

          As for your concern that you WOULD send the letter, I think that’s where a good (and good-for-you) therapist could be helpful. I wrote letters in my journal, she read them, and then she’d say, “I think you need to push more on this point,” and I’d go home and come back with a new (usually angrier) letter. I got the satisfaction of having someone else read the letter, who also wasn’t invested in the situation, and I think it helped me more it would have to have unread “letters” sitting in my journal.

          As for dating again (below) – yeah, I think the trick is to find someone you like. Easier said than done.

          • saw a ghost :

            It wasn’t like that with my therapist, unfortunately. I don’t know if the problem was me or her or the combination of the two. I guess I’m kind of emotionally reserved.

            And yeah, I’m really trying to find someone I like! I would feel a million times better if I could do that. I just…with every ‘meh’ date I get a little more worried about my ability to do that.

        • No, the whole point is that you need to stop trying to get him back.

          • saw a ghost :

            I don’t know why it is so ridiculously hard for me to accept this.

          • Because that is safer, emotionally, than admitting that this is over and that you’re going to have to go out into the world and try again? And maybe be hurt in new and different ways? And let go of the dream of one life, and try to dream a new dream that may contain its own disappointments? Those are all reasons why we hang on to Bad-For-Us-Exes (I speak from experience). Sometimes the pain you know is safer and less scary than the possibility of the pain you don’t know. But it’s also only ever going to be pain.

          • saw a ghost :

            Probably all true in my situation as well…thanks.

    • Have you tried dating again? Going out with someone new, even just casually, might help you realize that there are other, better possibilities out there, and dating is fun and distracting.

      • saw a ghost :

        Yes, a couple times a week, and even once met someone else I liked (though it ended quickly)–and when I was seeing that guy, I really felt much better about my ex. But the vast majority of the time I feel no desire to see the guy again (even if he’s totally decent) and just think about the good qualities of my ex that the new date is lacking. Unhelpful, I know.

        • So it’s been 6 months, you’ve been in contact with him during that time, you’ve been on many first dates and at least one repeater. Girl, that’s great. Idk why you are so distraught. That’s a great dating record. Give it more time before giving up on everything.

          • saw a ghost :

            Really? Okay, that actually made me feel better. Somehow I have been feeling like I am hopelessly behind/defective in getting over him.

          • It took me a year. A year of not giving into despair, a year of zero zero contact, a year of telling myself literally every time I thought about him “no, you aren’t going to dwell on him, he wasn’t perfect, he doesn’t love you,” a year of worrying there was no one else out there. And after a year I stopped wanting him. I still think we could have worked if he had just done some things differently, but he didn’t so we did not work. I’m still single, but I’d genuinely now rather be single than with someone who isn’t capable of being who I need.

        • Honestly, I still feel like this even though I’m over all my exes. I think it’s normal. But it’s also important to keep putting yourself out there – sometimes it just takes a really long time to meet someone you click with. Someone decent may not be enough…

          • saw a ghost :

            Yeah, I don’t think decent is enough for me…I don’t know if I’m especially picky or it’s the way everyone is, but there are very few men I’ve really clicked with.

          • Anonymous :

            No, it’s all of us. You aren’t supposed to really click with dozens of men.

    • How, exactly, did you accidentally see these pictures?

      • saw a ghost :

        I hid him on facebook before…but a mutual friend posted them and somehow they came up on my feed. I wasn’t on hiding in the bushes by his house or anything.

        • Ok, so hiding is a good first step. But not enough. You need to unfriend and block so that you won’t accidentally see pictures. Or remove yourself from FB entirely. I know, I know, you’re thinking that’s too drastic. But you’re a wreck after six months! You need to be drastic. (I didn’t think you were in the bushes! I’ve been exactly as heartbroken as you. And it really did get better but I had to do some hard stuff to get there).

    • I don’t know if this will help you but I hope it does…
      I felt similarly about an Ex a long time ago. We were together for about 8 months but it took a LOT longer to get over him. In fact I dated someone after him for 2+ years and I still thought about Ex alllllll the time. I thought it meant I would just always love Ex and was meant to be with him or something. WRONG. I finally broke up with the other guy and fast forward a little more to when I met my now husband. Now that I finally met the right guy, I don’t think about Ex at all. It’s not an easy process to move on, but what I’m trying to get across is that there is an end to this tunnel and you will make it through. Feel better and good luck.

      • saw a ghost :

        Thanks. It does, to an extent…I just hope I can meet the right guy, which I know is hardly guaranteed. I’m glad you found yours.

        • How funny. Because of these comments I looked up Ex. He got engaged this weekend. I can honestly say good for him. You’ll get there too and you’ll meet a great guy who you won’t need to fix. And when you do, you’ll have that ‘aha’ moment – I never believed in it until I experienced it. Don’t give up :)

  16. Another friendship TJ :

    My friend has been TTC for over 2 years. She’s been seeing a specialist since 6 months into the process. Without getting into too many details, they recently discovered (after over a year of invasive tests on her) that the problem is with her husband, not her, but he’s in denial about it so no progress is being made. This whole process has obviously been very frustrating for her and I’ve done my best to be supportive or take her mind off it as needed.

    Maybe 2-3 months into the TTC process, so now 2 years ago, friend was a couple days late and then had a heavy-for-her cycle. She mentioned at the time that maybe she was PG and miscarried (though she never took a test), so I told her she should go to the doctor. She brushed it off and said she was sure it was just her body getting used to being off the pill after 15ish years on it.

    Now she will not stop talking about how she lost a baby 2 years ago. I’ve asked her, I thought you figured it was just a heavy cycle? She denies it, saying that she grieved the baby then and she’s been grieving ever since. If she had a different personality, I would say that’s totally possible. But she’s not that type of person. She is a huge oversharer. If she had been grieving 2 years ago, everyone and their mother would know about it. Recently, she’s started telling strangers on the street that she “just” lost her baby.

    I have been suggesting therapy for over a year. I’ve told her that there is a really urgent need now. If you’re stopping random strangers to tell them “my baby just died” about an early-term miscarriage from 2 years ago (that didn’t happen, but I don’t say that), you need therapy. But she won’t go. She says she’ll just continue to cope with it “on her own” (umm what am I?). I’m feeling pretty exasperated. I’m tired of our friendship devolving into free therapy. I’m tired of talking about the miscarriage she didn’t have. I find the “dead baby” rhetoric offensive, but she’s pro-life so there’s no arguing with her (“you’re disrespecting my religion!”). I’m also tired of being embarrassed in public. I feel like she treats me and everyone around her like props in the [Her] Show. I’ve been distancing myself and I’ve tried to shut down the conversation with “you need to talk to a therapist about this, I cannot help you” but she gives me a huge guilt trip. Help?

    • Your friend is crazy. She didn’t lose a baby and saying she did is incredibly offensive to all the women who have. Even aside from that, it sounds like she’s leaning on you way too much and it’s becoming exhausting for you (“free therapy” as you put it). Encourage her to get some real therapy and distance yourself, which it sounds like you’re doing. Don’t feel guilty. Friendship is a two way street and your friend is not being a good friend to you.

      • Oh, what an exciting day! Ours finally opened in February and I was estatic. I did buy tons of snacks and that was probably not the best for me but I have no regrets. My favs are the chilli lime chicken burgers (in frozen), the guacamole yogurt dip, the curry chicken salad, the dark chocolate pretzels, the macarons and the $3 flowers. They also have this amazing banana yogurt that’s more like pudding. I also bought a basil plant and kept it alive since then (a major accomplishment for me) so I’m pretty happy about that. Enjoy!

    • anon a mouse :

      Sounds like it’s a coping mechanism for her — clinging to the idea that there was a baby, so therefore there’s a possibility of conceiving again with her husband?

      FWIW, I have a friend who has a similar relationship with reality. In the course of 2 years I knew every detail about her TTC. There was one mc. But somehow now, a few years later, she refers back to the time when she had 6 mc. It makes no sense to me.

      I just say I know that was a hard time and change the subject. I’m not into enabling fantasy grief. Good luck to you.

    • Anon 4 This :

      As someone who is 16 months into fertility stuff and still childless, I say with sincerity – your friend is absolutely nuts. That is attention-seeking behavior through and through. Does she behave like this in other ways in her life? Personally, I feel beat up, knocked down, and utterly hopeless with this process, but I couldn’t fathom her behavior (OR HIS denial. Science people).

      I will say this process is unimaginably invasive – physically, emotionally, mentally. You are not wrong to suggest therapy and attempt to help and listen to her, but as some point you need to recognize this is not your problem to fix and that by listening, even passively, you’re only allowing her to continue to grow whatever exaggerations she has in her head.

      • Anon 4 This :

        Edited to add I agree with the above. “Nuts” might be harsh. This is very likely a coping mechanism manifesting itself in very unhealthy and apparently ‘nuts’ ways. Still, I don’t think this is something you can fix, but something she has to figure out with her husband.

        • Yeah, I kind of wonder if going into deep grief for the baby that wasn’t is her way of giving herself a way to feel all of her fear, anxiety, and grief about the fact that this may not end in success for her. I know lots of folks say that dealing with infertility can be really isolating, and maybe she feels like this is a socially acceptable way of asking for support (if she doesn’t feel able to do that otherwise). Not saying it’s okay or healthy – I think it’s super-unhealthy – but I can sort of see how someone might, in their distress, end up doing something like this.

      • Agree – I similarly went through a lot of fertility treatment and this lady sounds insane (I tried to think of a nicer way to say this, but couldn’t). Fertility treatment is tough and I cried a ton and worried about how much I was relying on my friends – but this is so far beyond that.

    • “As I’ve said, I’m deeply concerned about you and think you need to talk to a professional. I cannot keep having these conversations.”

      And then you hang up, walk away, or leave. It doesn’t matter if she’s truly grieving or making drama- it’s not about her life, your boundary is about you and what you have room for in your life. And it prob means her being mad.

    • Honestly, I think she’s going over the deep end a bit, but who are you (or us internet strangers) to tell her how to grieve what may have been a miscarriage? Yes, it’s more intense of a reaction than I might have but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. And the two years of difficulty TTC might have made the miscarriage more painful to her than it initially was. I had an early chemical pregnancy and while I did know I was pregnant and was very excited about it, it hurt more when I didn’t get pregnant again for a long time. And in terms of calling it a baby…well, I’m as pro-choice as they come, but she can call it a baby if it was a baby to her. Medically accurate, no, but then again, it’s not medically accurate to call it a baby until its born and I’m sure a lot of us would call it that if we were further into a wanted pregnancy. All of this is to say that people grieve in ways that others don’t always understand. If she’s really a friend of yours, I would try to be more understanding. She may be leaning on you more than you are interested in handling, but that doesn’t mean her reaction to her difficulties TTC or her miscarriage are wrong.

      • OMG. Stop. She did not have a miscarriage. Your chemical pregnancy is totally different. You knew you were pregnant. She had a slightly abnormal period and is now, years later, claiming it was a baby with no evidence that she was ever pregnant. If being a couple days late and then having a slightly heavier than normal period is a miscarriage, I’ve had 10 or 20 miscarriages.

        • +1 I’m as pro choice as they come and I think it’s scary and dangerous to pretend a heavy period is a baby in a political climate where women are being criminally prosecuted for miscarriages.

        • Agreed. I went through years of fertility treatments and multiple chemical pregnancies. The only loss I see as a miscarriage though is the one where we had ultrasounds and heard the baby’s heartbeat. The chemical pregnancies were tough but not the same.

          • Different for everyone :

            An ultrasound is absolutely not a requirement for a miscarriage. I miscarried at 6 weeks, two days before my first scheduled doctor’s appointment. Chemical pregnancy or not, it’s not a contest of who feels the most loss. That was absolutely my child that I miscarried. You don’t get to quantify whether a chemical pregnancy is “tough but not the same” for other people.

          • Agreed, but calling the loss of a chemical pregnancy “my baby just died” is simply unacceptable and offensive to people who actually lost a baby. That’s the problem here.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m Anon at 11:16. I’m not trying to draw a distinction between a chemical pregnancy and a late-term miscarriage or tell anyone who has lost a baby how they should grieve. But OP’s friend did NOT have a miscarriage or chemical pregnancy. She had a heavy period that was a couple of days late. She never had a positive pregnancy test or any other indication that she was pregnant. Saying that was a miscarriage, based on nothing else, is like saying you have cancer because you’ve had some fatigue and loss of appetite. You may have exhibited one or two symptoms that could theoretically represent the medical condition, but there are plenty of other explanations for those symptoms and you have no basis for asserting you have the “condition” (for lack of a better word…not trying to compare pregnancy to cancer), and claiming you have the condition makes you seem like a narcissist who is desperate for attention.

    • Honestly… I would be gently encouraging her to ask her husband to accompany her to her fertility appointments, so that hopefully the doctor can help to change his resistance over time. Treating the underlying issue is what is truly needed. I would even encourage her to call her doctor outside of the appointment to mention this issue before the visit, so the doctor is aware ahead of time, saving your friend the stress of having to bring up the issue in front of her husband.

  17. Baby Associate :

    Question about interacting with my secretary:

    I am still getting used to having a secretary. I’ve asked her to do a few duties (that I was told by other associates to ask her to do), but I am super apprehensive about “bothering her.” I know associates and secretaries read here, so what’s the best way to interact with her? What is she expecting me to ask of her (I realize this is firm specific, but what are general guidelines?)? How do I not become “THAT” associate?

    • A good way to approach this is to take her out to lunch and chat with her about what she does for the other attorneys she supports, and what she particularly enjoys doing or wants to learn. You don’t want to imply you’ll only give her fun things, because of course there’s grunt work that has to be done, but asking what she wants to do and giving her some of that is a good way to start off on the right foot. And when she lists all the things she does for others, you’ll probably get a good sense of what you can give her.
      A general rule is that anything that’s exclusively business-related is fine, no matter how mundane, but asking her to do errands that get into the realm of personal (e.g., running out to get you lunch if you’re on a long call) are probably not ok to ask, especially as a baby associate. If she volunteers, then it’s a different story.
      You are not bothering her. It is her job to support you. I know this takes some getting used to, but you will eventually get comfortable with it. It just takes time.

      • This is just such good advice and I wish I had done it when I started.

      • I agree with all of what Anonymous said. I’m a Legal Assistant, and one of our second-year associates is the only one who asks me to get her lunch (the partners do maybe once a quarter, but that is different) once a week, but she never appears so busy that she can’t walk across the street.

        Ask her what she likes to do, if there is anything she’d like more of, and how she takes requests. I appreciate having notice a few days before a big project so I can set aside time for it. And grunt work isn’t as bad as it seems, sometimes it is nice to have an easy project to do all day. It sounds like you’re a very conscientious person, don’t feel bad to ask for work stuff as long as you are polite and appreciative.

      • I have definitely asked my assistant to bring me lunch when I was on a five or six hour call that wasn’t going to have breaks – that feels like a direct business ask to me – but I wouldn’t have done it as a junior associate, TBH. I think you really have to establish a good rapport with your assistant so that when you make that kind of request, it doesn’t feel like overstepping.

      • +1 to anonymous at 10:31 and always say “please” and “thank you” and as much as possible give her as much detail of your expectations – when you need something back, how important, what format, etc.

      • The main thing to avoid being “THAT” associate is to treat her like a person. Almost every morning, I stopped by my secretary’s desk before I went to my office, said “Good morning,” asked her how she was, and followed up on any pending assignments or gave her heads up on what was coming up that day. Ask her to do things with respect, and correct anything with patience. Give her as much time as possible to complete tasks, even small ones. Give clear instructions and clear deadlines. Communicate how big of a priority something is so she can tell you if she gets interrupted. Also, ask about her preferences on keeping files, formatting, processes. If you need this, be self-deprecating but communicate your neuroses. (It’s better she knows if you’re picky about something than for you to just be unhappy with her work all the time. This is true if a partner you work for is particular about something she is handling – tell her if Partner A only likes double-sided printing or Partner B puts everything in a stupid font.)

        As for individual tasks, this depends on the firm. But in general, you can probably ask her (in no particular order here) to draft simple correspondence like cover letters, handle mailing and shipping, make binders or folders, file, make business travel arrangements, fill out reimbursements, handle copies and couriers, and create/format documents. My last assistant (in litigation) also proofread documents, pulled cases from Westlaw or Lexis if we had the citation, e-filed pleadings, helped prepare filings and exhibits for filing by hand, and probably a bunch of stuff I don’t remember. Every couple of weeks, I found a time when neither of us was particularly busy, and my assistant came to my office and helped me clean/organize (mostly by taking papers and files either to the shred bin or to her desk to be labeled and organized.)

        FWIW, I disagree about lunch. If you’re on a long call, or a series of meetings, or a tough deadline (particularly one that’s not your fault), I don’t see a problem with occasionally asking your assistant to pick up lunch for you. That said, I’d ask first if she was busy with work for another attorney, as that would come first. And I would never ask her to do anything off the clock. This is probably a know-your-office and know-your-assistant thing.

        • Anonymama :

          Yes to all of your first paragraph. Treat her like a person. Also, if she’s been there a while and you are new, you can ask how things are usually handled if you don’t have a specific preference.

    • Not sure what duties are normal for your firm, but assuming she does not work solely for you and is balancing requests from a number of parties, start out by trying to make your requests clear and complete. You need x number of copies of this document, in color and 2 sided, bound and returned y 4:00 PM, and will then ask her to courier them to Y. Not: “can you make copies of this?” You will save a lot of time not going back and forth as she tries to clarify exactly what you need, and she will think you have your shit together and respect you for it.

      Also help her juggling act by giving her as much time as possible to do things. If you know you need a conference room on Wednesday, ask her to reserve as soon as you know, not Tuesday at 5:00 PM.

      As for “bothering her”, see if she prefers you to email requests to her she can triage and address them as necessary. Stopping by her desk and expecting her to stop what she’s doing can definitely get bothersome for her if she’s genuinely busy.

    • Be polite in your interactions and clear in your expectations/instructions. What do you want her to do? Enter your time, handle any mailings and document assembly, proof-read for typos? Ask what generally gets outsourced to word processing or the copy center, assuming you are in a bigger office.
      Also, be mindful of what’s really an emergency and what isn’t. If you give her something at 5 and say that it has to be done that night (necessitating that she miss her bus or whatever), she’s going to be miffed if its something you’ve been sitting on all day. Senior partners may be able to pull that off, but not associates.

    • On my first day at my first firm, one of the more senior secretaries gave us a presentation about tasks that secretaries typically do for attorneys. It was probably the most helpful part of orientation. So ask your secretary what she generally does for other attorneys and what she would like her attorneys to have her do. Pretty much every secretary I’ve worked with has something they hate about the partners they work for – they will be more than happy to tell you what that is so you can avoid it.

      Some are really picky about how their files are kept, the formatting of their documents, etc., so they like to do those things for you because it saves them time on the back end. Some are more deferential. Others seem to avoid doing work and will tell you they don’t do X. Figure out what kind of secretary you have and work with that.

    • anonshmanon :

      This is my fairy-tale vision of how this interaction should work. At a regular time (every morning, or once a week, whatever makes sense) where you tell her what you need to be done. She would then give you a sense of when she can be done with the assignment, based her the other work.
      You would make an effort limit the mutual interruptions with questions, extra work (of course sometimes time sensitive things come up) in order to focus. Oh, if only my superviser could do that.

  18. Whine time :

    Can I whine a bit about how hard I’m finding my open office? At any time I can hear at least three conversations and have no idea whether I’m supposed to be able to hear any of them. This feels like middle school worrying about whether people are talking about me.

    • Are headphones ok for your workplace? They’re essential to me getting work done in my open office.

      • Whine time :

        I haven’t seen anyone else with them at all, so I’m guessing not. I’m fairly junior so it’s not my place to test the waters.

  19. A Trader Joe’s just opened up in my area. I’ve heard all about the cookie butter, but does anyone have recommendations for healthy and delicious Trader Joe’s items, particularly snacks and prepared or semi-prepared meals? I’d like to have a plan before I walk in and get overwhelmed or over-excited and just throw everything in the cart!

    • Veronica Mars :

      Go straight for the wine. They have an awesome selection and really wonderful cheap wines. I wouldn’t get anything under $5, but the $5-$15 wine is really excellent. My favorite is a Chianti with a black label in the Italy section for $5, and there’s a great Rose (Griffon, pink label) that’s also $5. For frozen food, I like the pan crusted tilapia (cheap and delicious baked), the indian food (tikka masala bites, curries), the pad thai noodles, many of the pizzas are excellent and I also like their frozen gnocchi dishes. They also have cauliflower rice which is nice (in both fresh and frozen).

    • I haven’t been yet! I heard the first day was pretty nuts. I’m off Friday so I might try to swing by then. I’ve been to TJ’s elsewhere, so I’m looking forward to checking it out.

    • anon a mouse :

      Single-serve nuts.
      Turkey summer sausage is a good high-protein snack (lots of sodium though if that matters to you).
      I’m a fan of their bagged spinach and kale. Cut fruits are much cheaper than at the regular grocery store.

    • Tapas cheese sampler
      Prepared balsamic rosemary chicken breasts (pre cooked, perfect salad topper, in produce section)
      Roasted corn (frozen) – frozen veggie mixes in general (only the ones without added salt)
      Any of the frozen mac and cheeses
      Pasta sauces (options with no sugar, cheaper than regular grocery store)
      Cilantro jalepeno hummus
      Quatro Formaggio mini pizzas
      All of the raviolis
      Vaccum packed marinated chicken (raw, but cut as tenders so they cook fast)

    • Argh, I’m so jealous! The closest one to me is 1.5 hours away. I go there every couple of months and stock up (thank G-d for huge freezers).

    • My house literally runs on Trader Joe’s.

      The pre-chopped veggies are lifesavers for me – mushrooms, the stir-fry mix, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli florets. The riced cauliflower and broccoli are also great to keep on hand.

      I keep hummus, Tzaziki sauce, and feta cheese on hand for easy Greek chicken dinners. All the cheeses are pretty good. Fresh pesto. String cheese for the kids. The PBJ breakfast bars are great for easy snacks/breakfast (for kids or yourself, no judgment).

      Ours just started offering smoked salmon bacon and it’s so weird and fantastic. All our olive oil comes from there. All of the frozen pastas are great, although I don’t like the texture of frozen cooked chicken so I only buy the ones without meat in them. The frozen mac ‘n cheeses, frozen veggies, and risottos are all great to have on hand.

    • I really like their frozen stuff. Specifically: veggie gyoza, the multigrain veggie lasagna (it’s my go-to emergency dinner), and something they call “vegetable mellange,” which is basically peas, carrots and cauliflower in a sauce that’s maybe not the healthiest thing but is great for adding to other healthy things like quinoa for a quick, easy dinner.

      They also have great pre-prepped veggies so I usually get some “stir fry” veggies and that’s one easy dinner with some leftover rice that I can fry up in a few minutes; the canister of diced onion, celery and carrot they sell is a great base for any soup or stew and saves you ten minutes of tiny chopping; “cauliflower rice” is also nice to have on hand for a quick sauté. Also in the veggie section, you can pick up pre-cooked lentils that are great to have in the fridge and the vacuum sealed baby beets are great in a salad (I usually get a bag of baby spinach, some goat cheese and walnuts, add the beats and voila – perfect lunch).

      The cheese section is really good, the fresh pasta is good (I like the butternut squash or pumpkin ravioli), and they usually have good dark chocolate by the register. If you’re looking for more premade stuff, I like the soups.

    • The frozen veggie lasagna with wheat noodles. We always have one in the freezer for a quick dinner and everyone in the house loves it including my meat-eater DH and the toddler.

    • The frozen quinoa melange is great and healthy. So is the broccoli cauliflower romanesco and the frozen cauliflower rice.

    • Baby Associate :

      SO and I make TJ’s crockpot chicken with TJ’s green salsa (2 jars) + tray of chicken breasts = shredded chicken for the entire week (it does keep well the entire week). If you’re not a meal prepper, you can make less (leave cooking all day = yummy dinner or overnight for a great lunch). We shred it super quickly with a hand mixer or whisk.

      We love the mild (and hot) TJ’s pico, pairing it with rice and ground turkey. The TJ’s salad dressings are very good, especially the Tuscan Italian dressing!

      We also buy a lot of the prepped veggies and bake a ton in the oven for the week (or honestly, sometimes microwave them with olive oil and pepper on top–asparagus work super well for this). Huge time saver! They also have pre-made veggies, like the roasted Brussels sprouts, that are delicious and ready to eat.

      From the frozen section, I get some berries for smoothies or frozen mango (I adore mango, but refuse to pay $2 for a mango). The mangoes thaw surprisingly well, so by the time I eat them in the office, they are perfect.

      Not everything at TJ’s is SUPER healthy, but they do have many things that are fairly clean and have few, mostly natural ingredients. If you’re looking to splurge, the cheesecake wheels are AMAZING.

      • +1 to the frozen fruit from TJ’s. I blend with frozen banana (which you can also pick up for 19 cents each!), spinach, and a coconut/almond milk combo for a delicious, healthy morning smoothie. The frozen mango is great for making mango lassis and/or mango margaritas, too!

        I’m also a huge fan of their house brand unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

        Be warned, though – not everything there is a home run. I hate their frozen mac & cheese (too grainy for my taste), the “La Finca” wine (worse than 2-buck-chuck), and cottage cheese (too mushy), and their bagged kale still has the stems on them.

        • Baby Associate :

          How could I forget the unsweetened vanilla almond milk!? YES!

          I also really like their honey Greek yogurt. A little more treat than healthy, but delicious either way!

      • What do you do with the shredded chicken? The only things I can think of is to put it on salad or inside a tortilla.. Maybe nachos…

        • Baby Associate :

          We eat it with rice or quinoa. Sometimes in a salad or as part of a taco bowl kind of thing. We are not super creative, it just saves us time and we don’t mind eating the same few things during the week.

          We also make ground turkey and use it similarly.

    • Some random favorites:

      – All the frozen items – appetizers, veg. gyoza, Japanese fried rice (so, so good), organic berries for smoothies etc., potato pancakes . . .

      – Olive oil, which is good quality and inexpensive, and some of the vinegars, esp. orange champagne vinegar

      – Canned, spiced black beans

      – Charles Shaw sauvignon blanc and a line of more expensive but still super-reasonable wine from Bordeaux whose name escapes me, but the white and rose are both excellent (with the white recently getting compliments from a friend who has lived in France and whose husband is a wine merchant)

      – The dishwasher detergent, which works great even in our hard water and doesn’t have a harsh chemical smell

      – The shaving cream, absolutely the best I’ve used

      – FTO coffee

      – Green dog chews

      – Their fresh flowers are (almost always) beautiful and long-lasting

    • Frozen salmon burgers
      Frozen turkey corn dogs
      Frozen orange chicken
      Frozen mac and cheese
      Nuts, dried fruits, honey, sunflower seed butter, oils, olives, jarred peppers, pesto, and frozen fish are cheaper than at the grocery store
      All the cheese
      Preservative-free, antibiotic-free lunch meats and bacon
      Frozen fruits and veggies, especially haricots verts (thin green beans)
      Frozen sweet potato fries
      Fig and olive crisps (little crackers that are great with goat cheese and honey or basil)
      Edamame hummus
      Hatch green chile salsa
      Sweet chili sauce
      Sriracha
      Thai red curry sauce
      At Thanksgiving time, crispy onions in a can, cranberry sauce in a glass jar, and frozen mashed sweet potatoes
      Tzatziki

    • Look for the recent Cup of Jo post on Trader Joe’s meal hacks. There are some great ideas in the comments–I took like ten screen shots on my phone and ended up saving them to evernote as individual recipes.

  20. Hypothyroid :

    Anyone else hypothyroid? I was diagnosed 6 years ago and religiously take levothyroxine every morning. Has anyone treated it naturally, with diet/certain foods? I’m not crazy about the idea of taking a pill for the rest of my life and was curious if there are other methods to help improve the condition.

    • No, there is no way to treat it with a special diet. No food provides the necessary hormones that are created by the human thyroid. Keep taking your medication.

      • This. Consider yourself lucky you can manage your chronic health condition so easily with one pill a day!

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. I have hypothyroid. There is no other way to treat it. FWIW, I have friends who have tried to go “natural” and really scr*wed up their systems and (in some cases) gained a bunch of weight, before they went back on the synthroid.

      • Please don’t do this. Levothyroxine is relatively painless to take long-term.

    • I have a high school friend who got off the same medication by taking supplements. She is one of those network marketing people, so she takes “greens” by Itworks, but there is probably something similar elsewhere. I didn’t really believe her at first, but she posted her lab results. She was also under a doctor’s supervision and got the ok to go off the meds.

      • Oof. Maybe I’m just a terrible skeptic, but I don’t buy it.

        • anon anon armani :

          Agreed. In fact my endocrinologist insists I get the real Synthroid from the pharmacy, not the generic, so I can’t use mail-in pharmacy and have to go brick and mortar. Out of the 5+ rx I have for all my conditions, this is the only one that requires no generic. Also, he’s quite specific about what I can and annot take with the thyroid rx and that it has to be on an empty stomach in the mornings for best absorption. SO all my supplements and vitamins are in the evenings. Good luck. I find that the dry, thinning skin is my most persistence condition, despite having new, average levels.

          • Closet Redux :

            Did your doc explain why you need to sake the name-brand rather than the generic? Did you have any particular reaction to the generic that made your doctor think that way? I’ve heard this from other folks on synthroid and wondering if i should be worried about my levothyroxine.

          • inhousejen :

            My endocrinologist said there are just slight variations between Synthroid and the generic levothyroxine, but not enough to count as separate drugs. But apparently some patients have bad responses to one but not the other, so the slight variations can actually be important. My doctor started me on the generic to see if I tolerated it well, so that it would be more convenient, cheaper, etc. But if it hadn’t worked, then I would have switched to Synthroid. He said the key is not switching between the two because you might be constantly dealing with the initial side effects.

          • This is very common, and I have heard this preference from multiple endocrinologists. My Mom’s endo also insisted on the brand name. Not only that, he actually only trusted one major laboratory for testing her levels, and sent the blood to that lab in California for that reason. That is also not unheard of, as there can be substantial variability in testing from lab to lab.

            The reason that sometimes a brand name is preferable is that generics do not have to function EXACTLY like the brand name. There is a standard error range (higher or lower function) that is allowable that is a bit too broad for some disorders that require exquisitely precise management. Seizure control is one disorder. And hormonal/endocrine disorders can be another. You should really trust your doctor on this one.

            For the vast majority of problems, generics are just fine.

        • IDK about sticking with brand. I get generic, but asked the pharmacy to make sure it’s always product of the same manufacturer. My endo said consistency is very important, but it’s not critical to get the expensive brand. I’ve been on it for several years and it seems to manage my levels very well. I was concerned about “taking pills daily for the rest of my life” too, until my then-Dr. said that untreated hypothyroidism may result in coma and death. Totally scared me into this! I was also worried about affordability when I am old and on fixed income; but generic is very cheap, so I am not concerned anymore. It is what it is.

          I am with you, however, on managing thyroid via supplements. Even the most crunchy patients take thyroid supplement, but they opt for bio-identical hormones vs synthetic. Going off completely is dangerous!

      • Closet Redux :

        Anything named, “It Works!” definitely doesn’t.

        • anon anon armani :

          My endocrinologist siad that it absorbed better and was more consistent in contents. I’ve never gone generic as a result …. he won’t check off the “generic substitute ok” on the rx.

    • If you have an autoimmune disorder like celiac disease, it’s maybe possible that treating it effectively through diet can decrease the need for medication. Otherwise, changing your diet can make you feel good, but will probably not affect your thyroid.

      • Coach Laura :

        +1 Hypothyroid and celiac go together. Adhering to the diet may help but I doubt it would make the meds unnecessary.

    • I’ll dissent a little. If it’s an autoimmune disease (Hashimodo’s) that is causing hypothyroid, it may be possible to reduce symptoms with changes in diet. I have Grave’s disease, currently in remission, so I read up on the thyroid literature. Obviously, I would make all diet changes under a doctor’s supervision and only adjust meds based on your thyroid levels.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m trying to figure out if this is a problem for me – I’ve been crazy tired for the last 6 months or so. Went to my doc to have my thyroid levels checked, and the findings were kind of inconclusive (TSH was normal, free T4 was on the low end of normal, and free T3 was on the high end of low). I’ll know more once I can get in to see an endo, but I wasn’t able to get an appointment until January.

      Anyone here have experience with levels like this? Everything else they checked (iron, D, B12, etc was totally normal).

      • I had a feeling I had a thyroid issue for years (extremely cold all the time, thinning hair) but my results always came back within the normal range. I just kept insisted on getting tested every 6 months or so and then when I was pregnant, they finally diagnosed me as hypothyroid.

      • Anonymous :

        You are probably hypothyroid. The endo will figure it out for you!

      • I would try to add your name to the cancel list at the endo. A primary care doctor shouldn’t diagnose thyroid, I am under the impression that T4 is what is actually relevant, and TSH does not matter as much so if you are low, then it isn’t good. I have hashimotos and my levels have always been somewhat similar to what you are describing.

        • Anonymous :

          Thanks, all! Yes, I’m on the cancel list for the endo appointment – the office is close to where I work, so I’m hopeful that if something opens up I’ll be able to grab it and be seen sooner. I’m really hoping to get this figured out: I’ve never been so tired in my life.

          • I recommend calling a couple times a week, first thing in the morning, in case last minute cancellations happen, since you are so close.

      • check the reference range :

        If you’re still reading, be sure to check the reference range the lab uses for “normal.” Most endo’s want you below 3.0 for TSH, but some labs have up to 5.0 as “normal.” Your primary care doc may not make this distinction. If you are TTC, you want to be around 2.0. I am hypo and I feel much much better when my TSH is below 2.0 even though my doc is happy when it’s around 3.0.

        • Interesting! I was at 3.13 TSH – the normal range goes up to 4.0 from this lab. I’m not worried about fertility, just want to find an end to my fatigue. My GP didn’t think my numbers warranted treatment, but she referred me to an endo to make the final determination there.

          Y’all have given me hope that it might be as simple as taking synthetic hormone. When I initially heard back from my doctor that my results didn’t indicate a problem, I was anxious that I was about to go down a rabbit hole of idiopathic fatigue with no treatment options.

  21. Not sure if I’m just looking to vent or for advice, but here goes…

    I work in a small department, not exactly legal practice but rather law related (like, legal staffing). We had an extremely high turn over rate in the past few years, but that’s started to settle. At one point, the department was working extremely well. It was a very collective, synergistic environment that lead to a lot of creative ideas and increased productivity.

    But some recent additions to management have changed things, and now I hate it. I’ve been trying to think of why. I’ve narrowed it down to two main factors, an uptick in testosterone and a decrease in diversity. (I think it was the debate that solidified this in my mind) I’m noticing all the stereotypical things that you would imagine happening in a white, male-dominated office: manterrupting, mansplaining , excluding women/POC staff members from “informal meetings,” shooting down ideas quickly, taking individual credit for group ideas, etc. All. The. Things. And when I’ve tried to discuss these, I’m met with dismissiveness and then later my point will be brought up in a sarcastic, glib remark. Like, “oh, that guy is just really stressed out, he didn’t mean that, c’mon let it go” or “Oh, we wouldn’t want to do that, what if they think I’m mansplaining.” The men who were fine and great before are now not fine and great. It’s like the introduction of x amount of testosterone totally tipped the scales and now it’s all over.

    But my own problem is, I cannot contain how much I loathe them. I like my job, but I’m starting to hate the people who surround me. Despite my attempts of restraint, I’m being passive aggressive, active aggressive, and just overall mean in my intra-department interactions. I can’t turn it off.

    • You can turn it off. You’ve decided you don’t want to. Do you need this job? Figure it out.

    • This happened to me in my last job. When I started, there were six female associates ahead of me in my group. They were a diverse group in terms of ethnicity, religion, and background. Most of them were married, about half had children, and about half were the primary earners for their families. When I left, one of those women had made partner, but five had left the firm, and there were two white male associates below me. Needless to say, the culture changed.

    • From what you post, I’d say you need to look for a new job.

      Some people can compartmentalize. I usually can, and if my actual job was good and this behavior was not interfering with my performance/getting work done, I might keep trying to make it work.

    • I know how you feel. My solution has been to look for a new job, doing the same thing I’m doing now. New management is awful and interactions between colleagues have reached a point where there is no going back. I’ve started acting badly, as well, and am trying very hard to remain a positive and helpful person until I’m out the door. It’s very difficult. What has helped me is knowing that I WILL find something else, it might take a while, and that no job is worth treating others poorly.

    • Anonymous :

      I wish I had more helpful advice for you than just “leave,” but I don’t. I’ve been there too, I had a job I loved in a terribly sexist and exclusive environment. I eventually just had to leave to find a more healthy work environment. The good part is, I am so grateful for the positive and accepting office culture we have here at my new job, and that thought alone always makes me feel better when I’m having a bad day at work!

  22. Not only did Hillary take names last night, but I thought she looked especially fantastic. Red is her color!!

    • She was on fire! And +1 to red being her color.

    • I agree on both counts. I was surprised to be not-horrified by “Donald” for the first 15 minutes or so, but it devolved quickly after that. I thought Hillary did well, despite sounding a little canned sometimes. I watched the debate partly to see if trump maybe isn’t as bad as his sound bites, and I was aghast at how completely unprepared he is. The racism and sexism are bad, but seriously this man is inarticulate and doesn’t seem to have even a passing knowledge of important issues! How is his candidacy happening?! I work in cyber security and his response to that question was just…wow.

      It’s really interesting to me how differently the debate is portrayed in different news sources. Looking at you, Fox.

      • Yep. He cannot put a single sentence together. All of his sentences are fragments and he repeats the same thing over and over again. And yet a lot of people think he’s brilliant. How? Just…how? It blows my mind. I seriously think he’s much dumber than Sarah Palin and just as ill-informed about current events and the only reason he’s not being mercilessly mocked like she was is because he has a p*nis.

      • BabyAssociate :

        Agreed on all of this, for the first few minutes he did actually speak in full (uninformed) sentences, I was shocked! And then he devolved into speaking in soundbites.

      • Why is he winning the online polling though?? I feel like people weren’t THAT turned off by him – which is worrisome.

        • Their hatred for Hillary is greater than Trump’s stupidity in their eyes.

        • They’re making a concerted effort to vote in the online polls so they can claim ‘Trump won’ and it’s just the biased ‘mainstream media’ claiming Hillary won.

          Even Fox News called it a tie I think? Can’t imagine they’d acknowledge a Hillary win unless Trump himself conceded that she won the debate.

        • Because alt-right activists are disproportionately represented in uncontrolled online surveys. Similar to why Bernie always won in online polls – young people were more likely to participate in online polls and were also more likely to support him. (Not that I’m saying Bernie supporters are like the alt-right, just that online polls are not representative of the population at large). Live polls all showed Hillary “winning” the debate by huge margins.

        • Those polls where you vote online are ridiculously unscientific. CNN took a more scientific poll that showed that a sizeable majority of independents thought she won. And their overall polling showed that 62% of people thought she won, which is the third-largest margin of victory since they started the polling in the 1980s. Yes, CNN leans liberal, but their polls showed Romney beating Obama in the 2012 debates.
          And really, what matters more than individual’s views is the media narrative that comes out of the debates, because. And the media narrative is definitely “Trump was disappointing even given the low expectations and Clinton won.”

    • My favorite tweet about the debate (via Buzzfeed): I see Hillary has come dressed in the blood of men who have underestimated her.

    • And yet the polling this morning is saying HE won?! I don’t get it and am kind of horrified (and I’m no fan of hers but just want competence in that office). I mean a poll on CNBC of all places with about 900k respondents says Trump victory 66% to 33%!? So it’s not a small sample size and it’s a site that caters to liberal-ish people, I’d imagine being part of the NBC family.

      I have a bad feeling about this . . . .

      And even post debate when MSNBC flipped over to that group viewing from Columbus Ohio, NOT ONE voter in that group changed their mind – either way -post debate. There was a woman who went so far as to say I’m voting for the conservative party (though she was a life long Dem but is Never Clinton) and if that’s the jack*** leading the mules then so be it. Um!? Are these debates just theater that make the Clinton supporters feel good about her accomplishments and intelligence but change nothing?

      • ONLINE polls. Online. The same polls where Bernie beat Hillary like 99% of the time. They are not representative of the electorate.

      • Anonymous :

        Totally anon for this. Sometimes the Republicans call our house, it’s a Donald Trump recording, if you press “1” or whatever it’s to donate money. I did this and when a person answered I told her “I’ve been a Republican my whole life and I would never vote for him” I haven’t. My husband is the reason for the calls but he won’t vote for him either. I just enjoyed messing with them. I’d do it again.

    • My post will be stuck in moderation for a while but does anyone notice or care that TRUMP not HRC is winning the polling this morning? Including a poll on CNBC with a sample size of 900k and he’s winning like 66% to 33% when they ask who won the debate. I have a bad feeling about this . . . and feel like these debates won’t matter at all.

      • Those online things are meaningless. CNN took a real poll that showed 62% thought she won (and they showed Romney won the first debate in 2012 so this is not all based on their liberal viewership). Read 538. I think it will comfort you. Past candidates who had a similar margin of victory in the CNN poll enjoyed a 4+ percentage point bump in the polls. This is good for her. It doesn’t mean she is guaranteed a win or that it will be a landslide, but this is all very positive for her and the fact that Trump supporters are clicking 500 times on a link doesn’t mean anything.

      • It’s easy to fudge online polls and vote multiple times, etc.

    • Agreed.

      I continue to worry that none of it matters.

      Why doesn’t it matter to Trump supporters that he’s serial liar / narcissist / moron? Why??!

      • Because Trump supporters hate women, gays, and immigrants.

        • Making America Racist/Sexist/Xenophobic/Homophobic Again

          I just can’t understand the narrative of, “he’s made it okay to say what we really think.”

          Really? There are still that many people in America who think it’s okay – even preferred – to hold these views? Upwards of 45 – 50% of the voting electorate??

        • Not just immigrants, all minorities. Stop and frisk was not at all relevant to the question asked. The question was about how to improve relations between the police and the public. The answer about stop and frisk said I don’t care about equality, we are going to keep doing what we are doing, and we will continue to profile minorities. It was a not so subtle way of saying black lives don’t matter. The fact that a major police union backed him is disgusting. It will also be interesting to see how the police union endorsement plays out at the local level. There are a lot of departments trying hard to have an open discourse and improve relations. This really sets them back. I don’t know if they can just dump their union on a local level or if they are contractually mandated to stay involved x number of years. They need to be vocal though and say that union doesn’t speak for this department if they want to keep moving in a positive direction. Quick note, there are a lot of different police unions and not all departments are under the one that endorsed Trump but it still makes them all look bad in my opinion.

      • I agree that the fact that she wiped the floor with him is not going to lead to a huge bump in her numbers. But if he had held himself together better and pundits had declared him the winner, I think it would have been disastrous and potentially campaign-killing for her. So although this probably isn’t going to help her as much as we wish it would, last night was pretty much a best case scenario for HRC.

        • That’s not hard to answer. And I’m a Hilary supporter.

          Because they see Hilary as a liar too. Because she can also come off as an intellectual elite, which unfortunately rubs some people worse than a narcissist that claims to be on your side. Because we shouldn’t be using words like “moron” to describe Trump because it’s not really true and that immediately extrapolates that you are calling any Trump-curious voter a moron too.

          But most importantly, a large segment see Hilary as reflecting the establishmentdirection that has only led to increased hardship for many of the working class who are losing their jobs and are grasping at straws and happy to piss off the establishment (Republicans and Democrats alike) …. even if Trump’s ideas are flawed.

          Yes, there are racists etc.. too. Yes, there are ultra-conservatives who vote on one issue (eg. abortion) regardless of any other downsides to a candidate. Those we cannot change at this point.

          But we need to worry the most about the ones who are not voting on racism+ and fear alone. We need to figure out how to give them hope, or else we are really in trouble. And then we actually need to do something.

          I was definitely worried for Hilary in the first 15 minutes of the debate. THAT economic discussion is where she needs to really improve, have detailed answers and a real plan, and then I hope….. actually do it.

          Because if you are fearful for your job and the security of your family…. nothing else matters. That will guide your vote. To worry about issues like abortion or even the role of the US in the world is irrelevant in that situation.

          If we really care about this election, we need to make more of an effort to communicate effectively without using sweeping generalizations, and we need to volunteer/donate now to the campaign in swing states.

          • Yes. Upper middle class dems don’t get this.

          • Anonymous :

            chick,

            You have eloquently written my thoughts. I am terrified of what TPP will do to the jobs we have left, and the never ending abuse of work visas. If you can’t afford to eat, and all the jobs have gone elsewhere, and hope is hard to come by, then none of these other issues matter.

          • @Anon 2:50 :

            Those other issues kinda do matter if you’re pregnant, have no FMLA to save your job, and no family support and not being able to access choice services at all is the same result.

          • Anonymous :

            Of course those issues are important, but if there is no job for you in your community, the buck stops there.

      • It does matter. It is a plus for them. It is why he is doing as well as he is.

    • I just don’t understand why Hillary is perceived as an untrustworthy liar when all Donald does is lie and lie and lie. I don’t know if it’s because he’s a narcissist who lives in his own world; because he’s stupid; because he’s uninformed and unwilling to do the work to become informed; because he’s making a calculated move to pander to the worst angels of American nature; or some combination thereof. I was watching some conservative acquaintances’ social media accounts and one of them said, “like I would ever believe lying Hillary’s fact checkers.” Would she believe a reputable third party like Bloomberg or NPR? I hope so but I somehow doubt it.

      • It’s because there’s not a lot else to attack her about. She’s smart with detailed policy positions and she can coherently explain those positions so they have to revert to imagined theories about lying fact checkers etc.

        Last night the NYPD spokesperson tweeted out that since they cut ‘stop and frisk’, crime has decreased – someone tweeted back ‘you lie’. Like why would the NYPD be motivated to lie about that? Trump supporters can’t deal with reality and facts so they just decide that everything they disagree with isn’t ‘true’.

        • They have the “everyone is against us” view. I follow the Commissioner of Communications for NYPD on Twitter (fastest way to get breaking NYPD news). He literally tweeted out facts re number of murders per yr. And he got “you lie” comments. Um — why would he lie, he has access to official facts tracked by NYPD??

      • I agree with your larger point but I wouldn’t exactly say that NPR is a neutral third party (and I say this as a big NPR fan). It’s unquestionably liberal leaning.

        • NPR is definitely not “unquestionably liberal leaning.” Duke University researched this in 2011 and found NPR was “somewhat to the left of center, but further to the right than Couric, the Post, the Los Angeles Times or Brian Williams.”
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2011/03/22/science-settles-it-nprs-liberal-but-not-very/#42b0c3da99e8

      • Nope bc she’d assume that Bloomberg or NPR are somehow partial to HRC or controlled by her or something. I feel like the true Trump-ers are BIG on conspiracy/us-against-them theories.

      • To some people, the reputable third-party fact checkers are part of the establishment and mainstream media that’s conspiring to rig the election in favor of Hillary. The only sources who can be trusted are the ones that echo their views. And if a previously trusted source doesn’t echo their views, that’s just further evidence of how deep the conspiracy goes.

        • I wish there were more truly neutral media sources. I say this as a Hillary fan through and through. I just hate knowing if I go to CNN it will sway positively and if I go to Fox it will be negative. BBC and Al Jazeera are good but there should be a neutral US based media source.

          • CNN is paying Trump’s former campaign manager to be on the air, I’m not sure they are so left leaning. I think the problem is people now think there are two sides to every issue and use this as a way to disregard facts.

          • I don’t know that a truly neutral media source is even possible. Every decision, including what to dedicate investigative resources to, who to interview, what articles/segments to publish/air, and how to headline it, involves some bias. I also agree with AIMS that many media outlets perceive a need to appear neutral, even when there aren’t 2 sides–see Chuck Todd’s tweet about Trump being unprepared but Clinton being “over-prepared” last night.

            I wish there was more good investigative journalism by media outlets on both sides, but people want their media for free. (I’m guilty, as I don’t subscribe to a newspaper and switch browsers or devices when I hit my monthly limit).

        • Strong confirmation bias.

      • 1. Sexism.
        2. Trump’s base is much less educated and intelligent than Hillary’s.
        3. Hillary has been in the public eye and the subject of attacks from the opposing party for much longer. It all builds up. My father hates Hillary, which is an opinion he formed in the 1990s and it’s just really hard to change beliefs that people have held for so long (fwiw, he also hates Trump and is not voting or voting for Johnson).

        • True. My mother keeps bringing up stuff about Hillary from the 90s. I try to listen, but I usually think, “I was in 5th grade.” I don’t know whether she’s voting or who she’s voting for.

          • Anonymous :

            what stuff though?

            people keep referencing ‘stuff from the 1990s’ and all I can think is that it sounds like people are annoyed at her because her husband cheated on her? I was in high school and paid vague attention to politics and I’m totally confused what she supposedly did that wasn’t okay.

          • Anonymous :

            Because she had the audacity to try to influence/promote/advocate for substantial legislation as First Lady, instead of being the housewife/hostess version?

            (Just a guess, I was also in HS during the 90s, so this is what I’ve picked up from more recent readings)

          • Travelgate. Whitewater. Filegate. (I hate that people use “gate” for nearly every controversy, but whatever.) I believe in all these cases, there were investigations, and there was no evidence that Bill or Hillary Clinton acted improperly. But it sticks. People remember the news reports of scandal and accusations and investigations, not the boring, “Oh, they didn’t do anything wrong” story. And people think, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” So, the more people accuse the Clintons of acting improperly, the more likely it is that they’re shady. Clearly, over a long political career, everyone’s going to be shady. Advantage to the “outsider,” who’s never faced the scrutiny that the Clintons have.

          • Anonymous :

            But why does your mom care about investigations where the Clintons were found not responsible vs. ones where Trump was actually found responsible – e.g. housing discrimination in 1970s?

            Always amazes me that older women are not more impressed with what she’s accomplished – she’s like the original ‘rette!

    • If you read the transcript :

      Here’s a slice from the debate:

      Lester Holt: How can you defend a proposal to cut taxes on the rich?
      Donald Trump: They are going to expand their companies and do a tremendous job. I’m getting rid of the great thing for the wealthy, it’s a great thing for the middle class and for companies to expand and when these people are going to put billions and billions of dollars into companies and when they are going to bring $2.5 trillion back from overseas where they can’t bring the money back because politicians like Secretary Clinton won’t allow them to bring the money back because the taxes are so onerous and the bureaucratic red tape, it’s so bad.
      So what they are doing is leaving our country and, believe it or not, they are leaving because taxes are too high and because some of them have lots of money outside of our country and instead of bringing it back and putting the money to work because they can’t work out a deal and everybody agrees it should be brought back, instead of that, they are leaving our country to get their money because they can’t bring their money back into our country because of bureaucratic red tape, because they can’t get together. Because we have a president that can’t sit them around a table and get them to approve something, and here’s the thing, Republicans and Democrats agree that this should be done. $2.5 trillion.
      I happen to think it’s double that. It’s probably $5 trillion that we can’t bring into our country, Lester, and with a little leadership, you’d get it in here very quickly and it could be put to use on the inner cities and lots of other things, and it would be beautiful. But we have no leadership. And honestly, that starts with Secretary Clinton.

      • Sheer incoherence (as is everything he says). It goes to show that people will literally hear what they want to hear and listen for the buzzwords/catchphrases they want to hear like “make America great again” interspersed with utter nonsense.

        Reminds me so much of Miss Teen USA’s response (for which she was heavily ridiculed): “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

        • Anonymous :

          I hate Trump and think he is a huge idiot and turned in a terrible performance last night, but that Miss Teen USA statement is a thousand times more incoherent than Trump.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, miss teen USA was worse, but I was reminded of it as well. And really, you should never be able to say “that presidential candidate reminds me of the particularly awful answer in a teen beauty pageant.”

      • Wow. it reads worst than it sounded. And it sounded bad.

        “I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul”

        • Anonymous :

          It always reads worse than it sounds because when you hear him speak, it’s so incoherent that the natural reaction is that you must have missed a word or two here or there and that’s why it’s so so so bad but in written format it’s clear that, he is in fact totally incoherent.

          My DH is into European politics and he pointed out that at least the scary right wing Euro politicians are saying something coherent (if offensive/racist etc) so you can respond to them but Trump is literally saying just a string of unrelated words.

  23. OMG. I love Trader Joes. Black bean enchiladas and frozen burritos = great workday lunches. Frozen baked falafel, vegetarian samosas, edamame nuggets, quinoa veggie burgers, sprouted california style bread, precooked beets (in salad section), precooked edamame nuggets (in salad section), fat free pumpkin Greek Yogurt, they also have a healthy guacamole that is made with Greek yogurt. Prepackaged small trail mixes (I like the omega one, but there are 5-6 varieties).
    I could go on.
    Also, they will take anything back, so if try it and don’t like it you can return it.

  24. Meditation :

    Any recs on downloadable guided meditation or gentle yoga (audio only)? I would like something short to do before bed.

  25. hair routine? :

    What is your daily hair routine? How much time do you spend on your hair?

    I used to be wash and go, but lately it seems like it takes SO MUCH TIME to make my hair look halfway presentable. I need to wash it and dry it and set it and then apply product and hope for that magical moment like 7 hours afterward when it has the right amount of oils and lays perfectly… and then it’s greasy and time to start all over again.

    If I do all of this, it takes a good 45 minutes. I want to be wash and go. Is this even possible?

    • i wash it, brush it, and put it in a bun or blow dry it. Consider your standards for “good” are too high for a weekday

    • I wash about twice a week, unless I get really sweaty and need an extra wash day. My hair is VERY VERY thick, naturally curly, and dry. Since I shower at night, I wash it at night, blowdry my bangs, apply some curl product, and leave the rest to air dry while I sleep. I know it sounds crazy but it works for me. I don’t worry about having a “perfect” style because it’s curly and the nature of curly hair is to be unruly and imperfect. If I want “perfect” hair, I get a blow out.

      Wash and go hair is totally possible but you might need to lower your standards!

    • BabyAssociate :

      Are you washing your hair in the morning just because you want to do your hair or because you’re otherwise a morning showerer?

      I wear my hair up everyday, so I shower at night. I part it on the side and do one twist and one French braid into a bun. I’d say it takes about 7 minutes. It looks professional and holds really well and as an added bonus….I only need to shampoo my hair once a week, usually on Saturdays.

    • I wash my hair every morning. I blow dry it and then curl the ends. It takes me about 20-25 minutes total, including showering time.

    • I just got this new product from Eufora, “polish” or something and have been really impressed with it!

      Also, jumbo/hot rollers let you “do” your hair while getting ready? not as much “hands on” time.

    • Edna Mazur :

      Can you wash the night before and style in the AM? I wash the night before, and throw it up in a quick bun if I have to shower again in the morning. If oil is a problem, use a little dry shampoo at night after it dries. I wash in the evening about every other day and then style in the morning the first day (hot rollers, irons, blast with a dryer for a minute if it feels stubborn). My next day hair is usually OK or up.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Over time I started washing my hair less frequently. Now I was it once a week. . I have long hair and a lot of it but the strands are fine.

      My normal routine is to shampoo and condition on Sundays using Number 4’s Hydrate line. This is my magic shampoo/conditioner. My hair used to be fluffy and a mix of wavy/straight/frizzy when it air dried. Now it is fine. It still looks a little nicer if I straighten or curl though. So I wash, condition, and air dry (which takes most of the day). Sunday night I take 15-30 minutes to straighten or curl if I feel like it.

      If I have Sunday plans that would interfere with air drying, I just sleep on it wet and keep it in a low pony or bun most of the week because it’s not quite as smooth as I’d like.

      I sleep with it up in a bun then brush it out in the morning. I normally wear it down early in the week and wear it up by Thursday or Friday.

    • Yep. I wash and go. I rarely blow dry or use product. Your hair probably doesn’t look as bad unstyled as you think it does.

    • It depends. I have three work styles.

      (1) wash and blowout the night before, shower cap and touch up the next morning;
      (2) either wash/wet and condition, then pull into a low pony the night before or wash the morning of, only dry front bits, pull into low bun; or
      (3) wash/wet and condition and roll into a sock bun.

      I wash my color treated hair about twice a week. This is much easier in the cooler weather; however, if I am sweaty or whatever in the warmer months, I will rinse and condition and then use style 2 or 3 above. If it’s blown out, I can usually get 4 – 5 days out of it. I have curly, dry, but not terribly thick hair.

    • I wash my hair at night, 2-3 times a week. Let it air dry as much as possible while I do other things and then blow dry it. (If I blow dry it immediately, it will take 40 minutes, otherwise, with a good towel and good dryer, it takes 10 minutes. This is why I do it at night and not in the mornings.) Then, depending on how nicely I dried it, I will run a straightener over it or a curling iron – but not on the ends. Then I go to sleep in a loose ponytail and take it out in the morning; it never needs anything beyond that- for the work week. No product beyond shampoo and conditioner, so that is probably why I can go so long without washing it. I have also ‘trained’ my scalp to be used to it. I don’t wash it after every workout or sweaty summer day, only the truly sweaty ones, which I time around the hair washing schedule. My hair is very thick and long and dries wavy.

    • I have thick, long hair. I wash it at night (a few times a week, depending on how sweaty I am) and then let it air dry as much as possible — I wear it in a sock bun overnight for “mermaid waves” when I wake up. No products, no heat treatment (ever). I do have kind of low standards for looking “done” though. Even if I’m trying to wear it down, it’s usually up in a bun by halfway through the day.

      • newbinlaw :

        I would love to do this but I can’t figure out how. Do you put the bun at the top of your head? doesn’t it create weird creases/parts? Or at the base? and then doesn’t it bother you while you sleep?

        • I have similar hair. I put the bun at the top of my head, not super tight. No weird creases at all. Doesn’t bother me. It gets really nice waves in the morning.

    • I wash and go. Wash every other day or (on bad weeks) twice a week. In between – no dry shampoo, no product. I don’t own a blow dryer. I recently bought a straightening brush for like $15 which I use on days when I have a really important presentation or interview, so pretty rarely.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Have you thought about getting a different cut? Maybe one that works better with your natural texture so you don’t feel like you’re fighting it every morning.

      I have a pixie – tiny squirt of volumizing mousse, six minutes to dry completely, four to dry enough, one minute to straighten the front part. Dab of “styling clay” to give texture and address flyaways. My “fancier” curled style adds about seven minutes.

      • Anonymous :

        Second the pixie. I wash my hair, towel dry, add mousse, and comb into a “style.” My pixie is shorter than many men’s haircuts so I have no option to curl or otherwise style. Best decision ever.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      I cut it all off and it is glorious. Pixie for the win. Wash in the morning, 20 seconds with some product, and done.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        This. I went from having very thick hair half-way down my back that I would blow-dry, straighten with a flat iron, and then set in hot rollers……….to a pixie. Glorious indeed.

    • Baby Associate :

      I wash at night, hit the gym (still damp from night before), style when I get home (after a shower).

      I have a lot of hair, but it’s a little bit thinner (and has a natural wave), so I have found that styling the top (hair straightener on the face-framing layers and blow-drying the rest a smidge), and clipping it back with a mini hair clip looks well put together and takes me <15 minutes.

      I have noticed other younger associates with similar styles. Haha. We are all pressed for time.

  26. Have you tried the BayBliss Pro hair dryer that was recommended by someone here? It is FAST. I have superthick hair but it cut my drying time by at least half so now it’s totally doable on a work morning.

  27. Life coach :

    Any recommendations for a life coach in Manhattan? Extra points for some one with familiarity with lawyers.

    While I honestly do like the practice of law, im realizing how damaged I’ve become from years of biglaw. I think I need to work out some issues before I can move on.

    • Closet Redux :

      This guy: http://www.benbrooksny.com/#home

    • Anonymous :

      I worked with Rapid Evolution remotely on this exact issue, and I felt like it was really productive and helpful. The owner there was an attorney, in big or mid law, and was great at helping me come to conclusions on my own. I really liked the remote aspect of it because it was effective and I didn’t lose precious time commuting, nor did I raise any eyebrows. I had homework every week that really helped me probe what I wanted.

  28. Thinking back to the discussion about birthday expectations, etc, I’ve realised how important it is to ask for what you need. I had a bit of a crisis and ended up coming home early from a work trip. I was talking to my husband and was a bit miffed that he didn’t offer to come collect me when I returned and finally, I just said, “I think I need you to come and meet me, it feels silly as I can get home on my own, but I just need you.” And he showed up with a cup of tea and gave me a big hug and all feels somewhat more right with the world.

    So the tl:dr on this is to ask for what you need, people aren’t mind readers.

    • I’ve started being more verbal about naming my feelings lately. It’s been very helpful.

      Recently, instead of storming around in my kitchen in a rage because I’d planned my day in a way that involved people getting to my house to eat at a certain time and they were 45 minutes late, I just turned to my husband and said “It makes me really mad when people are late”. And he said “I know” and gave me a hug. And yeah, I was still irritated, but the real anger mostly dissolved.

      It’s been interesting how many times I’ve noticed I’m angry or frustrated and I just stuff down the feelings. But when I can name them they can be acknowledged and let go.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Me too. I’ve found that if I’m in a bad mood and just need some alone time that it’s helpful to just say it out loud. My husband won’t try to fix it but will give me exactly what I need by doing his own thing for awhile or going out to run errands so I can have the place to myself.

        Asking for what you need can be so helpful. Even if you don’t get it, I think it’s better to be upset about not getting what you expressed you needed than to be upset that you didn’t get what you need because someone else didn’t anticipate it.

      • I’ve learned the same thing from watching my friends with young children. The kids are learning to talk and have limited vocabulary. They will get frustrated at something but not have the words to express it. My friend will say “son is mad mad mad because we can’t go to the playground today.” Hearing his feeling expressed, he will calm down. That was a lightbulb moment for me. I text her now jokingly saying I’m mad mad mad that the opposing atty in my case is a jerk and I can’t do anything about it.” It’s surprisingly freeing to just recognize sad sad sad and mad mad mad lol.

        • There’s an episode on PBS of Daniel Tiger where he learns that talking about his feelings makes him feel better. I may or may not play that sometimes when my MIL is around.

    • +1. Communicating expectations is key! Just because he didn’t offer doesn’t mean he wasn’t happy to be there for you.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      This is so credited. I am admittedly really stoic and I generally just don’t talk much. My husband has been getting me to talk more in general, and in particular about my feelings and wants. It is really hard at first if it is not natural, but it does make life go more smoothly. :)

    • This is true, but I think the birthday expectations post was maybe only half about expectations. The rest of that issue was the division of emotional labor.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I was the poster yesterday who someone thought was being sarcastic (because I highlighted the fact that the OP’s husband was an engineer). But I meant what I said: just tell him what you want and tell him how to give it to you. Yes, it would be nice if your partner would deduce what you want, but it’s also nice to make a request and have someone who is more than happy to fulfill it.

  29. What are staples you get at Costco? I know it varies by location, but I recently got a membership, but it can get pretty overwhelming inside (and its perpetually crowded)

    • Dry goods – never have to worry about buying too much and it expiring (toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, garbage bags etc). Love that the large sizes mean I can buy tissues like twice a year and reduce the number of items on my weekly grocery list.

    • Meredith Grey :

      House Hold Rule #1- never come home from Costco without (at least one) Rotisserie Chicken. Best $4.99 you can ever spend
      House Hold Rule #2- never come home from Costco without (at least one) bottle of wine
      – Chicken sausages and/or meatballs. Store in freezer, defrost as needed
      – Paper goods: TP, paper towels, tissues
      -cleaning supplies: clorox wipes, detergent, toilet bowl cleaner
      – grains: full bags of qinoa or ancient grain mix; Microwavable packets of rice/quinoa
      – always check the clothes and kitchen section for something good
      – Produce that I need for the week and haven’t already stocked up on

      • Love those rules. Sadly they are working on the rotisserie machine at my nearest costco and we won’t have any until mid Oct :(

      • The rice and quinoa blend is my life. Works great as a side or as the base for a warm grain salad or burrito bowl. Just had some last night :)

        • Also whole bean coffee (they do have grinders), frozen berry blends for smoothies/oatmeal, mega packs of chicken sausage for the freezer, frozen panko crusted tilapia, organic diced tomatoes, frozen French green beans, giant blocks of Dubliner cheese, and they always seem to have good avocados if you can get through the quantity.

    • Kirkland prosecco
      Fizzy water
      Beer
      Whole bean coffee
      Dried black beans
      Canned tuna
      Frozen berries
      Frozen salmon
      Organic chicken breast
      Eggs
      Butter
      Parmesan
      Detergents
      Contact solution

    • -I buy almost all of our meat and some fish at Costco. I have a vacuum sealer, so I can portion, seal, label, and freeze it when I get home, which typically takes about an hour. I buy enough to fit in my regular-sized freezer, and that lasts about 6-8 weeks. I typically buy a package each of the whole organic chicken (2 chickens, each last 2 meals, organic chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, farm-raised salmon, tuna steaks, ground turkey, and some less expensive steaks (last time, prime top sirloin and prime flank steak). Once every 6 months or so, DH and I also buy a whole strip or whole tenderloin, and DH will trim and cut it into steaks, which we vacuum seal and freeze for use on special occasions. We also have a sous vide, which makes it super easy to take something out of the freezer and drop it in.

      -In produce, I buy avocados, asparagus, brussels sprouts, and bell peppers. Salad greens are a good deal if you’re committed to eating salad pretty much everyday.

      -In the prepared section, hummus, Aidells chicken sausage (which my toddler loves), smoked salmon, cheese (the sharp cheddar and Comte are my favorites), single-serve guacamole, and chicken burrito bowls. The deli chickens are also a great deal–I’ll eat half or so for lunches and use the leftovers for chicken enchiladas or something.

      -I buy almost all our household goods there–batteries, baby wipes, ziploc bags, garbage bags, dishwasher tablets, dish soap, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper. (There seems to be a rotating sale on many household items–buy when on sale or it’s not necessarily cheaper than Target, Amazon, etc. But I purchased many of them on sale last month and noticed that many of the same things will be on sale again starting Sept 29th).

      -I have a diet coke habit, and they’re often but not always least expensive at Costco.

      -In the freezer section, I buy Amy’s frozen burritos for DH, organic chicken nuggets for toddler (I know, I know), frozen broccoli, and if I’m on a smoothie kick, frozen fruit.

      -In the processed foods section, I just buy the organic applesauce for toddler. I wouldn’t consider them “staples” on my trips, but they have delicious parmesan whisps and barkthins for splurges. And in the health section, I buy Honest Co baby shampoo and healing balm, sunscreen and OFF in the summer, razors, vitamins, and painkillers.

      -I can find milk and eggs cheaper elsewhere. In fact, Whole Foods’ 365 brand organic milk is cheaper than Costco’s. If you buy yogurt or really anything from the refrigerated section, check expiration dates against quantity carefully. We’re a family of 3, and we can’t use up most of the produce, bread, chips, crackers, etc before they go bad.

      – Shop with a very specific list. Because of the quantities you’re purchasing, impulse buys add up quickly and are even more likely to lead to food not being consumed. Buying toilet paper “just in case” only to realize you have nowhere to put it is a huge PITA. I go to Costco about 3 times per month, and I typically buy 4-6 things per trip (except for the meat trip).

    • AttiredAttorney :

      La Croix Sparkling Water
      Sheets – Kirkland Signature Brand are the only high thread count sheets that are deep enough to fit my superplush mattress
      Towels- the bath sheets are luxurious and cheap
      Magazines- current editions are always at least 10% off cover price
      Hot dog and soft drink combo -still the best lunch you can get for $1.50
      Rotisserie chickens
      Kirkland Signature brand eco-friendly dishwashing soap and laundry detergent
      Trash bags
      Clorox Clean-up and wipes
      Fresh asparagus
      Fresh organic baby spinach
      Fresh berries
      Frozen organic berries
      Boneless skinless chicken breast packaged in individually vacuum sealed bags to easily stick a couple in the freezer
      Steaks- Costco’s are all USDA Prime (most grocery stores are USDA Choice)
      Marinated baby mozzarella balls (great for making caprese skewers for party appetizers)
      Wine
      Fresh flowers for dirt cheap
      Aveeno body lotion in the super large pump bottles (the only thing that lessens my ketosis pillaris on my arms, and that includes prescriptions offered by my dermatologist)

    • We always buy
      -Boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs (they have both organic and non-organic)
      -Frozen wild salmon
      -Frozen veggie mixes (we especially like the stir fry blend)
      -In season fruit
      -Mixed greens clamshell (we eat a lot of salad)
      -Laundry detergent (All Free and Clear, only when they have a Costco coupon)
      -Pork loin and brisket, which we break down into smaller portions and freeze
      -100 calorie guacamole packs (perfect for lunches!)

      They also have a section of gift cards that they sell in bulk packs and give you a certain % off. I’ve purchased spa and restaurant gift cards and stamps this way. They are really nice for gifts (new baby, thank you/appreciation gift, etc).

      I find that Costco is appealing for the convenience but to be honest, the prices aren’t always the best. I think their meat is generally a good deal but other pantry staples I can often find cheaper, particularly dry goods like TP and paper towels.

    • Gas – the membership fee is worth it for gas alone.

      Medicines and vitamins.
      Hearing aids – please tell you parents and grandparents. An utter bargain – the new Kirkland hearing aids

      Nuts
      Blueberries
      Olive oil
      Balsamic vinegar
      Cheese
      Roast chicken – what a bargain
      Frozen salmon
      Campari tomatoes from Mexico
      Ravioli
      Pasta sauce
      Canned organic tomatoes
      Kirkland k-cup coffee

      Batteries
      Light bulbs
      Kirkland toilet paper, paper towels, small tissue boxes
      Detergent

      The samples!

    • I don’t have enough room to store Costco-sized packages of dry goods. I get cheese, half & half, olive oil, and some produce.

  30. So, related to the birthday question from the other day…. My husband was invited to speak at a conference over the weekend of my birthday (still several months away). He’s in academia and not at a level where each conference is crucial (he has a tenure-track position at a school he’s happy with that seems happy with him, and is not on the job market, nor does he plan to be). He has turned down conference invites before because the dates were inconvenient or the subject matter isn’t interesting to him or whatever. He would attend this trip if it weren’t for the conflict with my birthday, because he’s friendly with the organizers and he’d get to see his parents, but the conference isn’t super interesting to him from a scientific viewpoint. He says he will do whatever I want as far as going/not going. Unreasonable to ask him not to go? If it matters, we were tentatively planning an international trip that subsumed my birthday weekend and we’d have to reschedule the trip to a different week if he went to the conference, but we could reschedule without financial penalty. I’m ok with rescheduling the trip but am really not enthusiastic about being home alone on my birthday weekend (especially given that I originally thought I’d be in Europe that weekend). Going with him to the conference is not an option – it’s in the city where my in-laws live and we don’t have a good relationshp. I’d much rather be home alone with Netflix and wine than anywhere near my in-laws.

    • Delta Dawn :

      It’s fine to ask him not to go! Especially since he has already said he will do whatever you want. Not unreasonable at all to want to spend your birthday with him, and it sounds like he’d be happy to do that.

    • Can you turn this into an opportunity to double your birthday celebrations? Like have your trip with your DH but on your actual day maybe to a full day spa thing with girlfriends?

      • Alas, we’re new to our area and I have no local girlfriends or family. So the alternatives are pretty much celebrating with DH or being home alone.

        • How far are you from your friends? meet up at a destination or go visit a friend? fly in a friend to see your new area and do girly stuff with DH out of town?

          100% fine to tell him not to go but don’t feel guilty about treating yourself to a double celebration if that would be fun for you.

        • Can you double up on trips? Go visit your girlfriends or parents or whoever you’d like? I realize this might be cost prohibitive, but I like using a weekend without DH as an excuse to take a trip by myself.

    • Totally fine!

    • I’d say go on your previously planned trip. He has an easy-out with the conference “I’m unavailable due to previously scheduled international travel, but please keep me in mind for next year.”

  31. Oil in Houston :

    I need shopping help. I’m invited to a beach wedding and there will be a beach party the next day. We’re expected to be in our bathing suits, and I’ve just had a baby and no way am I ok being almost naked in front of strangers all day. I need a cute cover up, but one that would accommodate my large hips… anyone would have anything to recommend?? bonus points if it’s below $100, blue, red or pink, and can be bought online.
    thanks

    • Anon in NYC :

      Check out Nordstrom Rack – they still have some.

    • I got some cute post-baby (ok, a year post-baby) coverups from Lands End at the beginning of this summer. Check out their dress coverups – they still have some cute ones, and they’re on sale. I know Lands End gets a lot of grief around here, and it’s not the height of fashion, but whatever.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Trina Turk has super cute cover-ups.

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