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Tuesday’s Workwear Report – Drystan Jacket

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

I love the nubby texture and snap front on this cotton/poly jacket from Club Monaco, as well as the peplum details. I like it as pictured, with stripes, but also think it would look great with just about any top. It’s $289, at Club Monaco.   Drystan Jacket

Here’s a more affordable peplum option in regular sizes, and one in plus sizes.

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Comments

  1. This jacket :

    I have a really short torso and would usually love a shorter jacket. I would actually like this one if it were a bit longer (it would be bumping out at the narrowest part of my body, which would look odd on me).

    • I have the opposite problem: a long torso. But I’m also short, which means jackets never ever fit me right. I keep trying, but alas. I get nothing.

    • I also have a short torso, but I wish it were longer b/c of my boobie’s. Therefore I wear LONGER sweater’s so that the sweater does NOT acentueate my boobies.

      I want to wish everyone a very happy spring! YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      This jacket is so odd. It either needs a different neckline or to not be a peplum. The neckline won’t work for someone who has broader shoulders or a larger bust – crew necks make you look too top heavy, you need a bit of space around your face. But if you’re a pear then you’re going to struggle with the peplum, especially since it’s a short frilly-er peplum as opposed to one that sort of follows your curves. And you pretty much have to be short/have a shorter torso to make a cropped jacket work. Maybe someone who has a narrow frame and a short waist would be able to rock this?

      As an aside, it’d be great if designers chose models who had the right body type for their outfit instead of continuing to use the same sized models for everything.

  2. Spring Collection Fail :

    I’m a new lawyer trying to build up a business professional wardrobe, and I’ve been having a tough go of it this season so far. I can’t find anything I want to buy in the spring collections from the usual workwear suspects. So much of it seems like it isn’t intended for a business environment, even when they advertise it in the suiting section of their websites.

    I’d love some inspiration/help in building my wardrobe. If you’ve bought anything this season (that is still on the shelves) that you’ve been really happy with, and that would be appropriate for a business professional setting, please share!

    • I haven’t bought anything for work this season, but Macy’s is worth a shot. Some of the styles in suiting are so “proper” they verge on frumpy, but after some searching, I’ve been able to find a few good work blouses, cardigans, and pants.

    • Anonymous :

      MM LaFleur Etsuko dress
      The hot pink pants (Logan fit) from Banana Republic b/c I am a pear
      Julie fit pants from Loft (sizing down 1 size from my BR size) b/c I am a pear

      That is something like a 7% yield on my mail order roulette for the season. I also got a couple of cute blouses, but they aren’t investment pieces, just something to break up the monotony.

      • this season I have liked:
        -Mm lafleur deneuve top
        -j crew martie pants
        -cuyana silk tee
        -mm lafleur mulberry skirt

        In my business casual office, I’m currently wearing black AG prima jeans, pointy black flats, and the deneuve top- it’s both drapey and fitted, and I frequently wear it under open structured blazers with no bunching issues.

        • I love the deneuve top. Very flattering.

          Is it faux wrap? Do you need to wear a camisole?

          • It’s faux wrap- I wear a camisole only because the back is only one layer of material and it’s pretty snug. I like the camisole to smooth out any lumps & bumps around my bra.
            The V Neck is high enough on me that a cami isnt necessary in the front but I’m not sure that everyone would share my comfort with a slightly lower neckline- I’m 5’9 and need the space & skin around my face for balance.

          • This top is gorgeous. I wish mm la fleur would ship up here…

    • CK pencil skirt. You can get it at various department stores. I got it in four colors. It’s very classic. Rarely if ever goes on sale, from what I’ve seen. They have matching blazers, but I don’t need to wear those at my office, so I only have the blazer in one color.

      http://www.dillards.com/p/calvin-klein-pencil-skirt/504540435?di=04275668_zi_heather_taupe&categoryId=-10005&facetCache=pageSize%3D96%26beginIndex%3D0%26orderBy%3D1

      • Yes, good for CK – one brand that actually sticks decent, reliable work appropriate styles year in and year out despite crazy fashion trends. I still wear my dark gray “everyday value ” CK suit from Macy’s once in awhile! Dillard’s also is a good source for somewhat stodgier but often more wearable items. Talbots catalog has Italian flannel and other items at a higher price point than in their stores, that I think are good quality

      • nylon girl :

        My favorite find this spring was the land’s end wrap dress in orange with navy and white block pattern. Packs great, takes up little space in the suitcase and doesn’t wrinkle too bad. I also picked up to Jude Connally dresses that were from winter collection and am wearing in spring. One was a red ponte 3/4 sleeve dress. Her spring/summer line is too casual for me, but may work for others in a more business casual environment.

      • +1 I spent a fortune on clothes this past fall/winter, updating my professional wardrobe and kicking it up a notch. On a whim I bought the CK pencil skirt from Nordstrom Rack for something like $30, and could not believe how good the quality was for the price point.

      • Frozen Peach :

        + 100 for CK separates. Some of the first things I bought for a work wardrobe when I started practicing. Still working hard for me!!

      • I’ve seen the CK suit separates at the Rack a lot, very reasonably priced. And they saved me once when I was in DC for a meeting and found I had left behind the skirt to the suit I planned to wear to give a presentation the next day. I got to a Rack a couple of hours before closing and bought a decent CK suit to get me through it. (I did have to do some “alterations” with iron-on hem tape in a hotel room . . .)

    • Anonymous :

      I almost always am able to find something at Talbots. The fit can be weird so factor I in the cost of tailoring, but after tailoring I am very happy with the fit.

      • Cosign, specifically on the Talbots pencil skirt in seasonless wool. I have it in a couple colors (black, brown, grey). I note that the coordinating jackets at Talbots rarely fit me correctly, but a black pencil skirt with a printed shell and a cardi works for me (and would work for my associates or law clerks) on non-court days in my business formal/business informal office.

        There also are a couple decent cardis in their “Charming Cardi” line. Ignore the stupid name; if they fit you well, then then are worth picking up (particularly if you can get them on sale).

      • My life got so much easier when I realized that Talbots petite dresses fit me perfectly – it is a couple inches shorter, but otherwise seems to be the same measurements. Petites normally don’t work for me since I’m 5’5, but I tried it once when a dress I loved was out of stock in my size – and it was perfect. Now, I just order that all the time.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Talbots business dresses are HUGE go-tos for me. The quality is good and they fit my small-torso-wide-hips shape incredibly well. At this point I think I have almost ten of them.

    • In the mood :

      So far, I bought navy Michael Kors trousers, navy, with golden buttons,with a wide leg. Can’t find them online.

      Anyway, if Massimo Dutti is available in the US (I think it is) do check their website/stores. It’s a sister brand from Zara, with better quality and classic style, and is my usual place to buy office clothes.

      • I got a suit from Massimo Dutti recently that I love. Slim, black ankle pants and a one button long-ish collarless blazer.

  3. Quick rant :

    My manager said he would come in at 8 and I came in an hour early for that at its 8:49am and he’s still not here . .

    • That’s rough – treat yourself to coffee shop coffee today!

    • Ugh! That’s the worst, people wasting your time like it’s worth less than theirs. Hopefully there is a good reason for it.

      • Anonymous :

        Just stop.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          ?

          • I think Anonymous was commenting on Lynn’s relatively frequent / short comments combined with her blog-linked name.

            As long as ELLEN stays away and the fabulicious Glam-Bot remains defeated, however, I don’t particularly care!

          • Agree with Cat… I’m guessing it was a commentary about linking to her b!og, if anything, in which case, yes, please go away.

          • There’s nothing wrong with adding a URL in the comment form… I mean there is a field there for it. That’s literally what it is for.

          • +1 Anon at 11:30 If you don’t want to read her blog, don’t clink on the link. Why is that hard?

        • Ugh, go home, Anonymous.

        • Waaaaaaaa…? I’m pretty sure Lynn was being serious not sarcastic.

        • Not sure what you want me to stop. If you don’t like my picture or that I blog, don’t click on it. If I don’t post about my blog (which I don’t because it is not relevant to this site or the comments), what is the problem? I commented on this because it does suck when people treat others like this. I read Corporette because of my day job, and I like the community.

    • S in Chicago :

      You’re reminding me of the boss I had who used to make me stay extra late to wait for his edits to something–only to walk out without telling me. I’d be sitting there and sitting there until I would realize. (What a jerk!) Definitely treat yourself today!

    • This sounds like the beginning of the end with my last manager. There was a “you better be out here at 8AM” email (I worked at a different location) and then she strolled in sometime around 10:30. By 11:30 she was gone for lunch and I didn’t see her the rest of the day. Total waste of an entire day.

  4. Age Limits :

    There was a thread on here the other day about how your life isnt over at 30 or something. It made me think a lot about how the life I imagined for myself in college ended up being pretty different than the life I’m living now (in a good way) and as I started letting go of what I thought would make me happy/thought I should have or want at a certain age, my life started to really open up in ways I didnt imagine.

    Do/Did any of you hold/held on to a very specific way you wanted your life to go personally or professionally (i.e. getting into X law/med/whatever school, engaged by 30, first kid by 32, etc)? Do you think that helped or hindered you?

    • I always knew I wanted to get married, wasn’t sure about ever wanting kids, knew I always wanted to work and not stay home with kids. I had this kind of vague age thing worked out where I’d be married at 25 and have a kid at 30 if I decided to go that route. I knew I didn’t want to have kids older than that because my mom waited til she was almost 40 and it just kind of sucked to have an old mom. She often said she wished she had had kids younger too, so I know it was hard on her as well.

      As it turned out, I got married at 23 (in retrospect– yikes!), had a kid at 30, husband got the snip, so we’re done. I’m still working full time. I think never questioning whether or not I should step out of the workforce has helped me be very confident in my parenting decisions. On the other hand, I had these really firm ideas that I would be a high powered career woman, but once I started actually climbing the ladder in my industry (not law, but lots of required long hours), I realized that I didn’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to keep climbing. That was a very difficult realization that I struggled with for a long time. I felt like I had failed feminism and I was such a cliche. But whatever, I’m way way happier now in my more relaxed but still full time job.

      • This is a great p’ost, but it points out why we should NOT get married to early. Here is a great ‘RETTE who got married to young, and cut the cord after she had a child at 30. I am now older and STILL w/o a husband or child, so I made a mistake the OTHER way. I think that if I had to do over again, I would date in college, like I did, find a suitable mate in college, but NOT marry until I was 28 or 29, then have 2 kid’s and by my age I would figure out if he was a keeper. If yes, I would drop out of the work force to become a full time mom; but if not, I would DTMFA and become a single mom, hire a nanny to take care of the kid’s and stay a partner at my law firm. YAY!!!! But life was not perfect, and I now have to do all of this at a much OLDER age b/f my e’ggs go stale. FOOEY!

      • +1000 to “I felt like I had failed feminism and I was such a cliche. But whatever, I’m way way happier now in my more relaxed but still full time job.”

      • LOL on the “yikes” to getting married at 23. I was 22, and now at 40 I’m amazed I was allowed to leave the house by myself at that age, much less get married. I had no idea what I was doing. My husband’s six years older, and he was ready to get married, but looking back – not 100% sure I was. I don’t regret it – we’re still together, and he’s still my best friend – but I don’t know that I’d recommend it to people either.

        In high school and college, I never thought I would get married (I had a penchant for dating losers that I recognized as a problem even at that age – my now-husband is the only exception), but I knew I wanted kids and figured that if push came to shove, I would have them as a single mother by choice. My plan in college was to be a journalist and work my way up the chain until I made it to the New York Times. It sounds so naive, looking back, but that was the goal. I had a lot of “plucky young reporter in the big city” fantasies. Then I met my husband in my junior year of college, and it may sound corny but we fell madly in love and I couldn’t imagine not being with him. He got a job in another city after he graduated with his Ph.D. and moved, so we were apart for almost a year until I graduated from college. After that, we moved a couple of times until we ended up where we are now.

        My life is not what I envisioned as a younger woman (which was more Rhoda than Donna Reed, if you’re old enough to get those references) but I’m pretty happy. I have a good marriage, nice home, healthy child and financial stability. I ended up leaving journalism (turns out, I didn’t really have the stomach for handling gory crime stories) early on and ended up in a career I really like, that isn’t world-beating or anything, but that I feel makes a difference and that I have a real passion for. (P.S., I ended up in this field through a career change that didn’t happen until I was 32.) I’m involved in my community and I have a tight-knit circle of good friends that I love spending time with. After some rocky years I worked things out with my parents and we have a good relationship, and they’re very involved in my child’s life, which is a blessing for all of us. I count my blessings every day.

        My one regret, which is more like a wistful wish, is that we didn’t have another child. We tried, but we’d needed $50k in fertility treatments to get our one child, and the limited amount of money we had left to try for a second didn’t get us there. When I feel sad about it, I try to remember what a miracle my kid is, and remind myself to be grateful for what I have.

    • When I was 18 I thought my life would be writing, travel, and adventure. Then I met my husband at 19. He talked me out of writing and out of a semester abroad–but I let him. My life became a great career and kids. Now I’m divorced and happy I have my career and kids–but I’m also returning to my roots of loving writing and adventure.

      So to answer your question…who tf knows. Not sure talking about “what ifs” does anyone any good.

    • Anonymous :

      I found that I was a much happer person once I stopped reading the NYT vows section. I know it’s got slightly broader coverage now. But it just reinforced that there were some people who everthing turned out “right” for and I was the sort of person who would have an uncelebrated life. Letting go of all that has been the best thing ever.

      • I think it ended but they used to have an “Unhitched” column where they did autopsies, so to speak, of marriages that ended. Most of the couples had been together 20 or 30 years before splitting, so I’m not sure how representative it is, but I thought it was really interesting (and it definitely won’t make you feel inadequate).

    • I’ve never been someone who felt like I “had” to do certain things by certain dates. I saw friends say “I have to be married by 30, at all costs” and it always ended badly. Either they weren’t married by that totally arbitrary deadline and they were devastated, or they married the wrong person in a rush to meet the artificial deadline. That said, when I was in college I thought I would likely get married in my mid-late 20s (to someone I hadn’t met yet), buy a house and settle permanently in one place around age 30 and have a baby in my early-mid 30s. That’s basically how it’s played out.

      • +1 to “not having to do things by a certain age.” I actually thought that I would sort of live like my parents did – graduate college and try to make it in NYC, not meet future spouse until age thirty (which for my parents generation was a lot of “wtf is wrong with you that you’re not married at 22?”) and then have kids later. Turns out, I met the love of my life at 19, got married in my twenties, and now am pretty sure that I never want kids.

        It reminds me of that quote “if you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans.”

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yeah I live in a city I had never visited prior to age 25 and I am married – I never thought either of those things would be true. In terms of this “life being over by 30” nonsense, I am about to turn 30 and things are just getting good. You couldn’t pay me to go back and be early 20s again – it was an awful awful period of my life where my back was against the wall financially due to student loans / just being young without a lot of savings and I was working 80 hours a week trying to make my way.

    • I formed a pretty specific view of what I thought my life would look like in my early/mid 20’s. I’ve basically achieved everything I ever wanted and am struggling with it more than I ever would’ve thought possible. I’m overwhelmed with a feeling of – is this it? What now? Now that I have everything I thought I wanted, I’m not happy and I’m trying to figure out what to do about it.

      • I hear you.

        Once I realized “being happy” is not really a goal (what does it even mean, and it’s pretty self-absorbed) and that making a difference in people’s lives is much more satisfying and important, my life has gained more meaning and purpose and is more satisfying.

    • I didn’t have a plan other than to get married and have kids. My life turned out wildly different from how it started out – a different country, different industry, and completely unexpected career path.

    • I got married at 22 to my college boyfriend and we immediately bought a house. I remember thinking we’d pay off the 30 year mortgage in 20 years and live in that house for the rest of our lives. All my visions of the future involved being with that partner, in that location, progressing career-wise at the company I was with at the time.

      Fast forward 12 years and I’m divorced and remarried, I live in a different city with an entirely different lifestyle, I have an entirely different career, and my life is way way more awesome. Oddly enough my current life is the one I would have wanted when I was in college. I feel like I spent most of my 20s taking a detour through this other version of my life.

      I’ve never been focused on certain ages or timelines for certain things though. In my experience, it works best to move in a direction, with the knowledge that that movement will open up other opportunities and that I will likely end up somewhere even better than my initial direction.

      • +1 to the detour in your twenties. It’s weird, isn’t it? The cliche is that you find yourself in your twenties, but all I did was get lost.

    • I was never concerned about timelines, but I’m really interested to see that now, at age 35, my life is EXACTLY how middle school me dreamed it would be. The route getting here definitely did not follow any plan though haha! (I mean, really not even a little bit.) Once I let go and enjoyed the ride, things worked out so much better than when I was trying to control everything.

    • I wanted to be a lawyer in college, but somehow came out a CPA. :) I married my high school sweetheart as soon as I graduated, and we’re still married – I turn 30 next month, our ninth anniversary is in June, and I’m expecting our third child in October. I had our first child at 24, and the second at 27. Believe it or not, that was “later” by the rural standards we grew up with.

      I thought we’d live in the area we grew up in forever (because that’s just WHAT YOU DO), but several years ago we up and moved across the country. It was a wonderful decision for our careers, for us as a couple, and for our growing family, and as disappointed as our extended families were, I’m so happy we went for it.

      My life is largely what I imagined it would be, and I’m pretty darn happy. It’s interesting – I’m in a great place professionally, and I love my husband and our kids, and for once I’m not really striving for anything. It’s forced me to pay more attention to happiness I get from our day to day life, which is so different than the BIG dreaming you do when you’re just starting out.

    • Anomnibus :

      My life is much different than how I planned. When I was younger, and successful in relationships, I thought I’d marry young. Almost 28, not married, not even “on track” to it with my current guy and I’m okay with that, because we’re happy. I didn’t start that career as a legislative aide, in part due to lack of direction and networking in college, but I fell into a career I ended up liking just fine, and it pays well enough for me to pursue other passions in my spare time.

      This guy I used to date would often give me a hard time, saying “how’s that political science degree panning out?” whenever I talked about how well my life was going. I wasted too much time with that jerk.

  5. Parking at Wiehle-Reston :

    I posted yesterday about overnight parking in DC. One suggestion was DCA, another was the Metro stations with overnight parking. If I get to Wiehle-Reston around noon, will I have a decent shot at getting a spot? Planning to pick up my car 48 hours later.

    (I know someone said don’t do the Metro, but W-R station is closer to me than DCA)

    • Anonymous :

      Probably not. The commuter stations fill up early in the morning, although you may get lucky with someone leaving, but be prepared to do a lot of circling and waiting.

    • Agreed. That’s either the last or second to last stop on the Silver Line so it will have more people parking there than other stations do.

    • What about garages attached to hotels? That’s what I usually do in other cities. It’s expensive but I know my car is safe.

    • Not sure where you’re coming from, but another option would be VRE or MARC station lots.

  6. I’m travelling to Paris for work next week, and I seem to have lost my debit cards. Can I pay for everything with credit when I’m there? or will cash be an absolute necessity?

    • Credit will work for most things but you should also have some cash. If you can’t get new debit card in time you can also exchange $ for € at a currency exchange or order € from your bank.

    • Credit cards will be fine. I was there in December, and never came across a machine that didn’t print out the little ticket for me to sign. If someone turns the machine to you to put in your PIN, just wait until the ticket that says “signature required” prints and all will be well.

      Cash is always a good idea, though. I usually get about 300Euros or so for incidentals and taxis.

      FWIW, I would never use my debit card internationally (I don’t really use it domestically either). Too much direct access to my money for me.

      • I have to ask, what do you mean by this last sentence? I live outside the US, and here, debit cards are more the norm than credit. I get the distinction of spending cash vs. plastic money. But using credit vs. debit card – isn’t it all plastic money in the end?

        • No. The debit card directly links to your bank account and does not provide many of the protections credit cards do. Often, if your bank account is wiped out, it will take longer to get the money back and in the meantime you have no cash. If your credit card is stolen, it is a much quicker process to dispute the charges and have them reversed, cancel your account, and no one has direct access to your cash.

          • ah, so you meant the security aspect. I read it as a “self-discipline in spending” comment initially. Absolutely agree that credit cards give you that peace of mind.

          • I wasn’t the above poster, but I assumed that he/she meant it for security’s purposes, yes. :)

    • Just got back from a week there. We could and did use credit cards nearly everywhere. The only cash-only places were tiny shops – sandwiches, fruit, and the like. There are plenty of alternatives that allow for CCs, though, so you won’t have to miss a meal, for example, if you don’t have a debit card. Also, I second the don’t use debit card abroad/anywhere typical sentiment explained above.

      • Yes, I can hardly remember the last time I used my debit card (domestically or internationally). We use our credit cards and get cash out beforehand for all those things you said (taxis, creperies, etc.)

  7. Intermittent Fasting :

    Saw this thread yesterday too late to respond. I’ve tried this a couple of times and it works really well for me. I feel a lot better and it just seems to reset my body. I have small snacks (coffee, apple, crackers) and eat a half portion of dinner. It’s hard but not THAT hard and I am really proud of myself later. I’m thinking about incorporating this once a week.

    • Anonymous :

      How is this not just dressed up disordered eating? Of course people lose weight doing it. Not eating has a tendency to do that

      • + a million.

      • I feel the same way with cleanses. I have a friend who is always doing cleanses. At what point does it become bulimia?

        • Bulimia is eating a large amount of food and then vomiting it up.
          Anorexia is foregoing food.

          • The kind of cleanses my friend does involves her pooping out all her food. That’s another way to do bulimia.

          • I know the difference between the two.

            You can do bulimia with laxative abuse too. Which, to me, is not that different from drinking a “tea” that leaves you parked on the toilet for hours. To “cleanse” yourself.

          • Bulimia is more complex. It can also be laxitives or just starving to offset the binge.

        • Ladies Weekend :

          https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/the-moose-cleanse/272788/

          Always relevant to “cleanse” discussions.

        • There are actually medical definitions for all this.
          Disorders are things that impair cause morbidity, mortality, or impair your quality of life. Eating disorders are disorders- they are linked to mortality and serious health morbidities.
          Intermittent fasting is not an eating disorder- its a technique that some people use. It’s no more an eating disorder than eating 5 meals a day, or 1, or any other lifestyle choice about how you intake food. It only becomes a disorder if it results in mortality, morbidity or impairs quality of life.

          Anorexia kills people
          Intermittent fasting, in select populations, lowers bad cholesterol, results in weight reduction, etc.

      • For some people, it’s easier for them to manage their calories if they do it in set blocks of eating/not eating. Some theorize that excess weight is affected by more than just calories in/calories out- that there are some hormonal and insulin responses that factor in. The fasting may help with that as well.

        • Anonymous :

          So, it’s disordered eating with made up hooey about hormones?

          • I don’t know that it’s disordered eating. It may be how people more traditionally ate: lots of food when there was food and then no food for a while. Sort of like the anaconda (or whatever) slowly digesting the pig?

            Or maybe it’s no more disordered than any other fad?

            But there’s a lot of history to fasting for things beyond disordered eating and civilization survived; maybe some people found enlightenment or clarity b/c they weren’t all OMG must put the roast in the oven. Just ruminating now that Lent is over :)

          • It’s not hooey. Some people get hungrier after eating in the morning because of the interplay between insulin and glucagon coming out of the fasted (overnight) state. I get freaking ravenous if I eat breakfast – almost uncontrollably hungry for the rest of the day. But if I skip breakfast, I don’t get hungry until 12-1 pm, and after lunch, my brain doesn’t scream EAT ALL THE THINGS like it does when I eat in the morning.

            I’ve lived with eating disorders for years; this is the first time since puberty that I’ve ever been able to just listen to my body, enjoy my meals, and not count things, but also *not struggle with my weight*. I know what it’s like to cover one disorder with a more socially-acceptable cover (hey there, orthorexia), and this isn’t that.

            IF combined with keto, which forces you to make peace with higher calories, has changed my life. I’ve never felt so peaceful about food, like eating is actually value-neutral and not something I have to base my self worth on.

          • Hey Nonster,
            I have the exact same issue with breakfast. I am not at all hungry in the morning, but I used to eat breakfast anyway because that is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. Once I decided to not force myself to eat in the morning, I saw that I ate less food rest of the day. I don’t feel ravenous at lunch time (and rest of the day). I don’t have to exercise extreme self control for rest of the day, battle hypoglycaemia or watch every little morsel that goes into my mouth as long as I am eating a reasonably healthy diet. I must say this has changed my life.

          • I don’t think its “hooey.” There is actually a ton of evidence on this. I would invite you to do a pubmed search and peruse just a few of the abstracts on this topic.

          • It’s actually evidence-based.

            There’s a wonderful book called The Obesity Code that is written by an MD and breaks down the scientific evidence in layman’s terms.

      • Anonymous :

        I found that when I was clerking I got home in time for a normal dinner. Then BigLaw hit and I found that what works for me having a big restaurant lunch (usually bean burrito back at my desk, generous cheese and guac). That is a BIG meal, but it will keep me from getting hangry. I snack in the evening, but I’d rather just power through my work than break for dinner. And otherwise, I’d get hungry and then find myself fading / getting hangry. It’s just more efficient for me that way.

        I don’t know if this is legit intermittent fasting. Some days I’d be happy with a food pellet than having to botter with feeding myself. When I have time to dine and esp friends to dine with, bring on the long dinners. But not during the workweek.

        • Lol this is me — also Biglaw. I do accidental intermittent fasting because I don’t like to eat breakfast (never hungry), I eat a huge restaurant lunch because we usually go out and I savor this as my fun part of the day and nice break, and then I just get a (healthyish) snack at work or have a bowl of soup at home for dinner.

      • I think the constant obsession with snacking is more of a problem. People used to eat three regular sized meals a day without constant ‘snacks’ in between.

        Some people do well if they eat every two or three hours (5 small meals a day), others do better with two larger meals. Neither is wrong unless the person becomes obsessive about it.

      • It’s not. You’re basically just skipping breakfast and having two normal sized meals for lunch and dinner. For me, that amounts to about 1500 calories a day. This is nothing at all like a cleanse.

        • No way could I do this. I have breakfast at home around 5:30 am, “brunch” at my desk (often cereal / oatmeal), a later lunch that is big, and maybe graze a bit in the evening when I am home. I’d get too hangry if I skipped the morning meals.

        • Yeah this is exactly the IF model that I’ve been doing. I don’t get hungry until 12-1 pm anyways so it works out great for me. I tend to eat about 400 calories for lunch, another 300 calories before I head home from the office, and then dinner around 8 or 9 pm. I like eating a bigger, later dinner, which was always a struggle when I was trying to eat 3 square meals on a more “normal” schedule.

      • It’s totally disordered eating.

      • I think it’s because I have only seen positive studies published about it. It is unusual, but people and animals don’t necessarily need to eat every day and throughout most of our history, we didn’t eat regularly the way we do now. Anorexia is associated with starving yourself into an unhealthy state, fear of being fat, and a distorted self-image. You’re not necessarily in that state by following a particular diet plan. Lots of people follow all sorts of diets without having eating disorders.

        • +1 – I am constantly trying to convince my husband that sometimes, all I really need for dinner is a small salad or just some cheese and crackers because I’m just not hungry. Most days I eat a large breakfast He doesn’t think it’s a meal unless you’ve got a meat, a starch and a veggie.

        • Isn’t that sort of how toddlers eat? They’ll eat a ton of food one day, and then live on air the next. I believe most pediatricians say that very little kids basically self-regulate when it comes to food, and they don’t really sit down for three squares unless parents make them. So I don’t know that intermittent fasting, if it works for you and meshes with a way of eating that makes you feel good, is necessarily disordered eating.

          • It’s how my toddler eats. He’ll shock us with how much breakfast, second breakfast, and lunch he eats in the morning, then worry us with how little dinner he wants. I have to remind myself and my husband, “It’s OK. He ate about a million calories between 7:30 and 11 am, plus he had 5 oz of whole milk after his nap, so he’ll probably be fine if he only eats a few bites for dinner.”

            That said, I think many people, including a few I know, use IF and other fad diets as a way to justify obsessing about food and hide disordered eating.

          • It’s how I still eat. I ate a ton on Sunday, was not hungry all day yesterday. I still ate, but not very much.

      • I can imagine it’s possible to practice IF without it crossing into disordered eating territory, but something about how OP said she feels really proud of herself later (really proud of herself for not eating?) is giving me pause here.

        • But you don’t know her background. Maybe she is, maybe she’s not. Maybe’s she is overweight and needs to lose a certain amount of weight to reduce her risk of a cancer reoccurring or mitigate her PCOS symptoms or something. Maybe she feels glad because her diet is working for the first time in her life, or maybe it’s because she is anorexic. I don’t think we can really judge.

          • True, you’re right. I just think there can be a fine line between IF and disordered eating and that specific language raised a flag for me. But you’re right, I don’t know her background or whether this is healthy behavior for OP or not. Just based on my own personal experiences, the language OP used gave me pause.

      • Anon for this :

        As a former anorexic, I find this thread very offensive. Is constant snacking disordered eating a la binging? No. Eating disorders involve more than simply food intake and are very serious illnesses that should not be tossed around so lightly. Everyone should examine his or her own relationship with food for disorders, but simply shifting your meals into certain time periods does not mean you have an eating disorder. Not snacking does not mean you have an eating disorder. Skipping breakfast and/or lunch does not mean you have an eating disorder. Cutting out categories of food (e.g. meat, wheat, etc.) does not mean you have an eating disorder. The fact that these can be symptoms of an eating disorder does not mean that everyone who makes these decisions has a disorder.

        • Slow clap. Right on, sister.

        • Yes, agreed. Notwithstanding the name, eating disorders are about SO much more than how you eat. It’s about WHY you eat that way, primarily.

        • Former bulimic, I cosign this 100%. I assure folks that when I was in the depths of my disease, I was certainly not planning my eating and fasting on any level, or making efforts to ensure I was getting adequate nutrition at appropriate times.

        • As someone else who had an eating disorder, I disagree with your offense. Putting yourself in a situation where you’re rewarding yourself for being very hungry is putting yourself on a dangerous path.

          • Wildkitten :

            For some people but not for others. Like if you’re someone surviving with an eating disorder, yes, know your triggers. If you are an alcoholic maybe you can’t go to bars. But that doesn’t mean everyone who has ever had a cocktail is on a dangerous path.

      • I do IF frequently and do not consider it disordered eating. I still eat the same amount of calories in a day (in my case, the macros I’ve set with my nutrition coach.) I just like that if I do IF and my first meal is lunch, I get to eat more food/bigger meals later in the day instead of smaller meals all day long. If you don’t like it don’t do it but there’s nothing wrong with it.

    • How do you structure IF around your workouts?

      • Anonymous :

        When I have tried it I don’t workout in the morning, and aim to have eaten about 40% of my daily calories before I get to my evening workout. If I start eating at 1, then workout from 6-7ish, there is plenty of time for a full dinner after that. I also live across the street from my gym though, so that helps.

        • Interesting.

          I probably have eaten 75% of what I eat in a day by 2pm.

        • Ah that makes sense. I start my weight training between 5-6AM, so usually I will do that fasted, with a cup of Greek yogurt about 20-30 minutes after. I eat almost all calories between 6AM-2PM already, maybe I could just front-load my IF instead of saving it all for dinner.

      • This was part of the discussion yesterday. I didn’t weigh in, but I wouldn’t be able to do IF because of my workouts. I have to exercise in the morning or it won’t happen, my evenings are too unpredictable. On lifting days, I have to eat something before I lift or I feel really faint and dizzy during the workout. On cardio days, I get ravenously hungry about 1.5-2 hours after my run. It’s not pretty if I can’t eat when I need to. I feel awful, I get hangry, and sometimes that hanger can become tearful. I’m not going to put myself through a diet that carries the risk of a daily emotional breakdown.

      • I’ve never had an issue running and biking (easy to moderately – I’m no road warrior) fasted in the AM, then not eating until lunch. I save any weight training for the evening. I eat before any run longer than an hour but I save those for weekends. For that time cutoff, please note – I’ve been running long enough that an hour is easy for me; YMMV (pun not intended, I promise).

        If a morning workout hits me harder than I thought, I’ll eat something. I do IF because I like how I feel, so I’m not going to cleave to the schedule at the expense of my health/body/sanity.

    • Was too late for the conversation yesterday, but there is some research about IF being harmful for women (whereas it’s not for men) due to the hormonal differences between the sexes. Definitely worth googling to find out more.

      • JuniorMinion :

        http://paleoforwomen.com/shattering-the-myth-of-fasting-for-women-a-review-of-female-specific-responses-to-fasting-in-the-literature/#comment-1362

        Actual study done with rats:

        http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0002398

        • Okay, one study done with rats does hardly conclusive evidence make.

          • JuniorMinion :

            I think this is a good overview as well / perhaps better and clearer than that first one I linked:
            http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting-women

            Nothing I have linked to says you shouldn’t do IF if it is working for you – just that there is an additional layer of complications related to fertility to do something like this as a woman. There is an additional layer of complication to playing extremely competitive sports as a woman due to hormones / fertility.

            I think there are studies done with humans on this but perhaps around religious fasting and more in conjunction with menstrual cyles.

      • There’s actually a whole bunch of human studies! No reason to look to rat studies (which I believe that particular one actually looked at calorie restriction, not just IF.

        I would say PUBMED it to look at real peer reviewed articles, don’t google it where you will read a bunch of opinion pierces !

    • Intermittent Fasting :

      Ok, I completely understand when some say that this can lead to disordered eating. It absolutely can if taken too far. Not eating full meals for one day will not do that. Depriving my body of some food and addressing cravings has been a positive experience for me. When I fast it is not just to regulate my body but also done in conjunction with prayer and contemplation on my faith. Sometimes I overeat and that leads to unhealthy habits, which is also bad for me. Fasting by denying myself a lot of food keeps me from overindulging, which for me leads to feelings of guilt later. When I’m proud of myself I mean that I am able to keep a promise that I made to myself and God. Obviously it’s a personal decision and not done lightly. I eat a small snack if I feel sick or light-headed. I wanted to share that the outcome was positive for me and may be for others, whether you have a connection with a faith or not.

    • Wildkitten :

      I just got the Renaisance Periodization meal plan (recommended by my gym) and it looks very interesting. I’m an abstainer so having specific instructions on what to eat when is very appealing to me.

  8. There’s a lot of positive discussion on here about moving in house. Did any of you make the decision to move in house and hated it?

    Fwiw, I’m in the running for a position that I applied to on a whim but I’m nervous about leaving. I have a decent book of business and love the flexibility of being in a firm (my office isn’t big on FaceTime, just get your hours in). I’m be nervous to give up my clients and that flexibility. On the other hand, I loathe my firm and business development, timekeeping, and billing and would love to just practice law without those issues.

    • There are definite pros and cons.

      Pros for me:
      – Sane office hours. I’m in the office about 8:30 to 5:30.
      – Sane expectations of availability outside those hours. Unless I’m in the midst of a hot/important deal, people don’t expect you to be constantly “on” and monitoring email, etc.
      – NOT BILLING. The ability to enjoy a slow day or take vacation without thinking “when am I going to make up that time?!” is delightful.
      – You get different “internal” clients and that somewhat resembles the variety of “external” clients from firm life.
      – I’ve found my days to be vastly more flexible since going in-house (like if I need to step out to go to the dentist, I just block that time on my calendar and let my assistant know where I’ll be). I don’t freak out that someone is looking for me and will see me as “not a team player” because I’m not physically in my office ready to jump on whatever it is they’re asking.

      Cons for me:
      – The work is somewhat less stimulating. My day-to-day is typically filled with a variety of not-too-complicated agreements to review / draft / negotiate. A few times a year, I’ll work on an “interesting” deal like an acquisition, but in those cases outside counsel is usually involved as well and doing most of the legwork.
      – Becoming overhead. At a firm, you are the revenue generator and valued accordingly. In house, the presumption is you’re a necessary evil. As your business clients get to know you, that does change a bit, though :)
      – Pay cut, of course. I make about 80% of my previous salary. But I decided to buy my life back with that money and THAT gives me no regrets.

      • Co-sign all of this.

      • Same for me. I will add one more pro – I have more mobility in-house than I would have had at a firm because I really didn’t want to be around long enough for partner, so would not have wanted to make that push. I don’t think upward mobility is the case in every in-house situation, but we are a small team and the company is growing, and I work directly for the GC. Also, once you are in-house, it is easier to move to another whereas the longer a lawyer stays in a firm, the less interested we are. With in-house salary, it’s a slower game – you catch up eventually and then surpass where you would be as a firm lawyer (especially since I was not looking to be a rainmaker), it’s just not automatic that you are showered with cash like you are as a first year in biglaw.

      • +3 on all of this.

    • In-House in Houston :

      I moved in-in house and love it. I have more flexibility than I had working for a firm and I have coverage when I’m out of the office on vacation. I can really unplug.

    • I moved in-house and love it. I was and continue to be a litigator and the 2 companies I’ve worked in-house at have allowed me to continue to enjoy the best parts of litigation (strategy and trial) without having to draft discovery responses or fight with opposing counsel. For me, it’s the best of both worlds, but I don’t care as much about $$ so the lost income isn’t a big deal to me.

      My husband moved in-house and is so-so on it. He’s one of the rare birds who loves business development and he hates that he’s now a part of a cost center, rather than a revenue generator. And he liked that he could control how much he made just by bringing in new business. But he loves the flexibility of his hours, now that we have a child. So I guess it just depends on what’s important to you. Also, and this is really important, every in-house environment is different and it really does make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in your day-to-day happiness. Do as much research as you can about how the legal team works, how lawyers are viewed by clients and other non-lawyers, how much strategic and proactive work you’ll get to do vs. putting out fires constantly, etc. In my experience (with myself, DH, and several friends who have gone in-house), the environment in which you’re working is more important than anything.

    • I’m in-house and love it after moving from a big firm as a senior associate. But, I have a good friend that hated being in-house and ultimately went back to a firm. I think it depends entirely on the corporate culture of where you’re going, as well. She went to a company that did have very strict hours of when you’re expected to be in the office. Working from home extensively is (generally) frowned upon. She was used to those two perks from a firm, so it was a difficult transition.

      I agree a lot with Cat’s list, above. For me, though, I think my work in-house is really interesting and more productive than what I was doing at a firm (goodbye, discovery disputes!). I’m in meetings with the C-suite and helping determine corporate strategy, negotiating with the other side in acquisitions, managing litigation, and presenting to the board of directors. I make more now (2 years out) than I did when I was at the firm. It is hard being overheard versus profit center, but if you are somewhere that the corporate culture respects Legal’s input, it’s not that bad. And, once you prove you’re responsive and reliable, you do have a lot of flexibility during the day to set your hours. I also travel once a month or so for work, so people are used to be not being “in” the office if I need to run out for doctor’s appointments, etc.

      • You all make it sound like you can pick the culture you end up in. Let’s be honest an in house move is HARD bc that’s what everyone wants to do for perceived work life balance. You take the offer you can get – you’re lucky you ended up at a flexible place where legal matters; your friend is unlucky that she didn’t.

        • Oh I totally agree with this. When I decided to go in-house, I was VERY choosy. I wasn’t about to give up BigLaw money just to wind up at a client that had similar demands!

        • I don’t think it’s that cut-and-dried. I wasn’t looking to move in-house, I had someone make a job offer and I did my due diligence. If I didn’t think the corporate culture was conducive to what I was looking for, I wouldn’t have made this move. I agree you can’t learn everything during the interview process, but if you know what questions to ask, you can learn enough to weed out bad fits most of the time.

        • There are a lot more in-house jobs than you might think. Of course, you have to be in an area where there are larger companies with HQs, but assuming that’s the case, then it’s actually not that difficult. More and more companies are moving their legal functions in-house, which is creating more and more opportunities.

      • Wow, your job sounds AMAZING JayJay. Exactly what I would hope to do. I’m finding it very difficult to move in house as a senior associate and am kicking myself for not attempting to move earlier. How did you find your job?

        • It honestly fell into my lap. I kept in touch (through Facebook) with my associate mentor I had when I summered at a law firm but ultimately didn’t choose to work for after graduation. He went in-house after several years. The company is growing and they created a position that was the specialized type of law I practice. He knew we would get along, and that I did that type of law, so he called me and said the job was mine if I got along with the GC. We got along really well, and here we are.

          I was lucky because I knew the type of guy my contact was, and knew he wouldn’t have stayed at a company for multiple years if he was killing himself. But it’s also a lesson that you really never know what keeping in touch with your network will bring.

    • I left in-house after four years. Now, that was pre-kids, but it had some pretty big cons in my opinion.

      For me, the worst was company politics and turnover. Every week someone was resigning, getting transferred, getting promoted, moving, switching divisions, etc. Just when I would get a client to a place of trust, they would pack up and then I would be at ground zero (and I dealt with 21 offices, so this was a constant). Projects could be on or off, depending upon administration. I do not miss that at all.

      The second worst was that you could not pick your clients. If five people in your group were jerks, then you were stuck with them until they moved (see above) or until you could get them fired (which was a major project). Dealing with business people who did not understand either the legal or business implications of their decisions was a nightmare, especially because guess who got blamed for the fallout? Yes, that’s right, it’s always legal. No thanks.

      Also. my company (F100 financial services company) expected even the attorneys to move and slide in and out of legal and operational positions. Some people liked it, but I had no interest in the non-legal positions that were out there and considered necessary evils for long term employment at the company and women got pushed to the lower profit centers (insurance, HR, compliance), which had less prestige and resulted in less attractive legal assignments afterwards.

      All of that aside, ultimately the boredom did me in. While the job started out as interesting and challenging, I had my primary functions down in 18 months and then found it difficult to expand beyond my stated position. I already had left a federal government legal position because of the deadly combination of boredom and job insecurity (I was the junior in my division and had no chance to move up the chain for at least ten years), so I started looking about 2 1/2 years in (helped along by the promotion of one of my reports to a newly created position that I was not even considered for . . . and then his promotion to be my boss).

      I have been in private practice now for over 15 years and I vastly prefer it. There certainly are negatives to private practice — selling time and billing is not the most fun there is. However, I am not bored (really a relief), I can fire clients that make me crazy, and I work on matters that I like and that interest me (except when my area cycles down every five or six years, and then I try to get out of my comfort zone and learn new things). As a partner (the only woman partner in my Midlaw firm), I have flexibility and a decent amount of autonomy. I do not have illusions that things are all rosy here; there are no women on our management or comp committees and I often feel unsupported. However, I like to tell myself that I am an agent for change just by succeeding.

  9. I bought a sort of flowy top that I wish were more tailored/fitted at the waist. I don’t look good in belts. Is there something along the lines of a clasp that you pin in the back of a blouse to make it more fitted? Never seen anything like this but curious if it exists. Thanks.

    • Yes, there is! I haven’t seen them since the 1990s. They had a metal clip and a piece of elastic. My nana was a seamstress and used them occasionally.

    • I’ve done it with long pins. I have a few from an elderly aunt and this is the main I wear them. Also works great on really loose cardigans to give them some definition.

      It’s a bit of trial and error to find ones that work but you basically you want something that will be long/wide. Maybe along these lines: https://www.etsy.com/listing/239062494/vintage-krementz-brooch?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=brooch&ref=sr_gallery_13

    • I think you’re best off taking it to a tailor. Belts and those cinch clips people used to use in the 90’s are perhaps not such a current look, though with the 90’s resurgence maybe they’ll come back.

  10. Anonymous :

    I’m a non-law professional meeting with a lawyer to set up a will. Anything in particular(documents-wise) I need to bring?

    • Call and ask- they probably have a list of what they need.

    • wills and stuff :

      Agree with calling.

      When I helped my Dad with one, I brought copies of statements for all of his various bank accounts, retirement accounts etc.. If there is any property, I brought a copy of the deed.

      In the end, he just put beneficiaries on all of the retirement accounts/bank accounts, so they didn’t even need to go into the will/trust. So easy, so all of those things essential transfer at time of death. The only thing in the trust in the end was the house and one bank account.

      In retrospect, the trust should have been set up when my mother was still living, as they had initially planned but never completed before she passed. Trusts can help ensure that after one spouse passes, that their personal items/funds can pass to the surviving spouse and then later to the children, if that is what the deceased spouse preferred. Without such a trust, the surviving spouse can of course remarry and dispense differently if they so choose.

      If there are specific personal items that you want to be left to various individuals, you should have a list/clear description of those.

    • In a similar vein, what is appropriate to wear when meeting with a lawyer for the first time? Do I need to wear a suit? I’m doing initial meetings with 3-4 attorneys to decide if they’re a good fit for me. Chicago, mostly boutique firms.

      • As the client? Whatever you want. Just wear what you’d normally wear that day.

      • You’re the client – you get to wear whatever you want! Seriously, I’m an estate planning attorney and clients do wear everything from jeans to suits. I would not worry about it.

    • Diana Barry :

      You need a list of your assets and how they are held, and list of all your family members and their addresses. You should also think about who you want to name as guardian (if applicable), executor, etc.

  11. Off-key Valkyrie :

    Last night I snapped at DH when he told me he would “help with the housework”.

    For context, while I’ve been traveling he kept up with all “his” chores (yard work, recycling) and none of “mine” (laundry, dishes). Then he invited his boss over for dinner on Saturday without telling me. We sorted out that argument, but he still didn’t understand my objection to his original comment.

    Does “helping” me imply that otherwise it would be my responsibility? Like when a dad says he’s “babysitting” his own kids? DH says he didn’t mean it that way. But to me that just sounds like he holds the beliefs unconciusly and hasn’t even examined them yet.

    FWIW, yes, sexist household roles are an ongoing issue for us; no, I’m not questioning my marriage because of them. Just genuinely curious if others see the phrase through a feminist lens.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you’re out of line. You have divided chores into his n hers. “Hers” could reasonably be called “housework.” He offered to help you accomplish tasks you have collectively agreed are yours. It is otherwise your responsibility because that’s how you have arranged your lives. If you don’t like it, change the chore allocation but his comment isn’t the problem.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        We haven’t, really, there’s just the stuff he does, and the stuff that never gets done unless I doften it. Admittedlt, that is a problem

        • This wasn’t as clear from your original post which made it sound like you had agreed on a division of labor. You need to sit down and divide up the jobs to keep the house running.

        • Then you should talk about that, not about his comment.

        • Delta Dawn :

          I don’t think you’re out of line at all. You were traveling, he wore clothes and used dishes and didn’t clean any of them. Him later offering to clean his own messes is not “helping.” It’s adulting.

          We have this issue sometimes. It’s not that we have assigned chores; it’s that there are things DH will sometimes do, and things he will never do, and I do the rest. “Coincidentally,” what he will never do are, like your situation, the housework chores. I’ve never said anything because in the end, he does end up doing about half of the required tasks, so I’m not doing more work than he is, and that’s equitable enough for me.

          He once commented about “helping” me with the baby, and I lost. my. ish. YOU ARE NOT HELPING ME with the baby. This is YOUR BABY. He’s never used the word “help” about household tasks, but I would just find that intolerable. Unless y’all have a specifically assigned task list, every task is a community task. The laundry and dishes he generates– while you are not even there– are in no universe your responsibility.

          Basically, I think your DH, like mine, is operating from an underlying presumption of sexism. He doesn’t mean to, and he probably wants to do better, but things occasionally slip out like “help with the housework” or “help with the baby.” That’s when a resounding “Hell No” usually makes my DH step back for a moment and realize his misfire. It’s a process, but as Senior Attorney says, presume good intentions. And clap back when you need to.

          • Off-Key Valkyrie :

            Thanks for the validation. I lost it a little bit for a moment, and then I hope I pulled it back together to continue the process. A whole ‘nother kind of adulating!

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Cosigned plus a million on the “helping’ comment.

    • Anonymous :

      Generally I would say it’s sexist to refer the housework as the woman’s job but it seems that you have divided up the work so that the laundry/dishes are in fact your jobs so it’s a bit less clear. He should have done his own laundry and cleaned up his own dishes when you were gone just like you wouldn’t let the recycling sit an extra week because he was out of town. If he was referring to ‘helping’ you clean up the mess he had, I would find that kind of sexist.

      Still remember when we shocked the new neighbors because I was outside mowing the lawn and DH was inside doing the dishes. Why don’t you try switching jobs for a couple weeks to change things up a bit?

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        The only job that’s clearly assigned is the mowing, because that would send me into anaphylactic shock from my hayfever. Everything else I have to ask him to help with.

        Obviously I phrased my original post poorly. I was trying to convey that I wasn’t surprised at the state of the house when I came home from my trip.

        • But then actually have conversations about it. His comment is reasonable in light of how you two lives your lives. The comment isn’t the issue.

        • Just trying to understand…did you not make a task list and divide it up when you moved into together? If you’re currently doing his laundry, just stop. When he has to wear the same socks three days in a row, he’ll figure it out. Pay a cleaner to do joint laundry like towels and change sheets weekly. Pay cleaners to clean bathroom and vacuum/mop floors. Have a set night for who cooks and cleans up eat night.

          When you add kids, the list gets approximately one million items longer. Figure this out now.

    • it would bother me, yes. My husband would call these things “doing his part” or “pulling his weight.” If he meant help specifically regarding the things that you agree are “your” chores, I think that’s reasonable. It would annoy me if he meant housework in general.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Thanks for the alternative language.

      • The term “helping out” drives me as bonkers as “Dad babysitting”. Time to have a conversation about the divvying “our” household duties. We have daily/weekly tasks that contain the Must Do items. While we each tend to gravitate to certain parts of the list, we are both responsible for ensuring everything is done. We agree that neither is allowed to be snippy if we get called out on not pulling our weight on the must do’s.

        • Off-Key Valkyrie :

          Hmm…perhaps a Must Do list is different enough from a To Do list that it would shake up our current patterns.
          If I can ask, how do you deal with things that must be done, but with a later deadline, like taxes? Do those count towards someone pulling their weight on a week in March?

          • We have a loose items list that varies based on the week and includes things like packing for travel, car clean outs, taxes, renewing license plates, edging the lawn, etc. We each add to the list and plan our weekends accordingly. We each also maintain separate lists of things that we are doing as tasks because they are important to us (Mine usually includes things like cleaning out my closet, splitting hostas in the yard and his will include dusting the baseboards or washing the cars.)

            We use Trello to keep all of the lists straight and the key is to maintain full visibility to the tasks that are done, need to be done or what is on each of our agendas that might end up sucking away a bunch of time. Grocery lists, shopping lists, packing lists, and “things that need to be done WAY in the future” all live here.

            Our lists have been our best communication device on keeping the household running. We’re both recovering score keepers, so it can easily turn in an argument if we’re not focused on using the lists. The lists have also made certain that either of our crazy items doesn’t wind up on the must do list. We must do the laundry. Cleaning the baseboards is not a must do.

          • Walnut, I admire that system!

            Now if only my SO saw the gloriousness in lists that I do… ;)

    • I mean the chores you listed are in fact housework, so I’m not sure what you wanted him to say?

      • Off-Key Valkyrie :

        Maybe something like, “I’ll be busy Wed, but I’ll be home on time Thursday to clean,” or “If you vacuum, I’ll dust”? That’s how we share out errands and cooking; it works pretty well.

    • anonshmanon :

      I agree that one person “helping” means that the other person carries the responsibility. Which can be objectionable, if by default the first person is the husband and the second the wife. So, I agree with you, that this phrasing can imply that he has a very stereotypical expectations.
      On the other hand, it sounds like you guys have a division of chores already. Have these been discussed or did they “naturally” fall into place? Do you dislike the division because it is an unfair balance of workload, or because you dislike laundry but would gladly trade it for recycling? To me, those would be very real reasons to start a discussion on division of chores.

      • Off-Key Valkyrie :

        We’re still working on the expectations and divisions of chores. I try to keep my obsession with language from derailing our conversations, which is why I came here for this discussion!

        • anonshmanon :

          Absolutely have that conversation with him. We brainstormed what things must get done and how often, and divided them based on preference. I recognize that there is no magic perfect way to deal with this, but we check in with each other regularly on whether our arrangement is working out.
          At my parent’s home, I learned that the mom does the majority of the work, partly because the rest of the family can’t fulfill her unrealistic expectations, and gets to be the martyr. It’s a pattern that I am aware of and trying to break. Not saying this is you, but both of you might in fact be bringing certain biases into the mix.

    • Thisperson1 :

      My ex used to be so proud when he would excitedly tell me he did the dishes “for me” or watched the baby “for me.” Not the key word “ex” in that sentence. If he wanted to help (to use as a reason why he should spend lots of money on something or do something expensive), he would. If he didn’t want to help, well, it was my responsibility and I should get on with it.

    • If I were in your shoes, I’d sort out the below items to avoid fighting:
      1. Officially divvy up the chores.
      2. If one person is travelling and the other wants to have their boss, parents, or anyone that only gets to see a clean house over, then the person issuing the invitation assumes responsibility for the other person’s assigned chores so your home looks presentable for guests. No one should come home from a trip and have to immediately scrub the whole house.
      3. Start having a monthly or quarterly discussion of financial topics – over the year this can capture tax strategy/prep, budgeting, investment accounts, insurance policies, and estate planning. The first year or so may be heavier lifting, then it will likely become an easier review. Definitely make sure you have all the details (including passwords) on these accounts even if it’s not your ‘thing’ – too many women are blindsided by an emergency and trying to sort through paperwork during a crisis (illness, death, divorce…).

  12. BrooklynBride :

    My fiance’s birthday is the week after our wedding, and we’ll be on our honeymoon. Any ideas for how to surprise him for his birthday? We’ll be in a relatively rural part of SE Asia at that point in our trip, at a very nice hotel, so of course it will already feel so special. Since it’s our honeymoon, I think we’ll be having a lot of massages and lovely meals already – are there any other experience-type gifts? Or ideas for a very small gift I could pack to give to him? It’s his first birthday as my husband, so I really want to acknowledge it in some way!

    • wills and stuff :

      A watch?

    • My birthday also fell during our honeymoon. I would just pack a card, and perhaps a little note describing an “experience” gift to enjoy once you’re home, like tickets to something for later in the year, rather than trying to plan a surprise to occur on your trip.

    • Is there an activity that he expressed interest in that the two of you aren’t doing because you weren’t interested in?

      I know when we were planning our honeymoon, we both came up with a list of things to do, and the things that were on both lists we prioritized and some of the things that were on only one list didn’t happen (although some did). Surprising him with one of the items on “his list” (even if you did not have a formal list) would be sweet.

    • Maybe get him tickets to something for when you guys get back from the honeymoon? If he’s a sports guy, tickets to a game are always a solid choice, if not sports, then some other kind of event he’d enjoy. That would be very easy to pack and could be a way to extend some of the honeymoon feeling after you guys return home.

    • Wildkitten :

      Do you need them to be experience type gifts? I would say – Cake! Presents! The former Mr. Kitten once celebrated a birthday during a foreign travel excursion and was really happy to have his birthday be recognized specifically and not just swept into the general travel fun.

  13. Anonymous :

    Considering getting either a TV or a projector primarily for Netflix, and on some occasions DVD movies. I like the open airy feel of my living room currently but also getting abit weary of always watching everything on laptop. If you have both, what are the pros and cons of each?

    • I currently have just a laptop, but one of my close friends has a flatscreen mounted in her living room. The laptop serves my needs just fine, but if we’re ever hanging out for a night in, it’s always at her place largely for this reason (her apartment is also just more spacious overall).

      2 things to consider:
      1 – If the laptop gets tiresome because it keeps you from doing other things while watching TV (paying bills, other routine tasks), consider getting a second screen or portable monitor that you can easily store wherever you store your laptop
      2 – If you like to have friends over for movie nights and such, invest in a flatscreen seems like a good option. You can either get it mounted onto the wall or have it sit a top a stand (and you can find modern looking stands that have shelves to store DVDs/display knickknacks that might currently be taking up place elsewhere in your living room so it wouldn’t be like you lost all of the free space)

    • I love my projector (benq ht1075, paid 500 for a refurb but it’s dropping in price day by day) but it sits in our basement where I can easily block off light. If you have a normal living room you’ll need a brighter (and more expensive) projector, and having a blank wall is sometimes not doable with certain layouts. But it really is amazing and much preferable than mounting a tv on the wall (to me)

    • Consider getting a SmartTV? The quality will be better than a projector and you’ll have Netflix built in, which sounds lazy but is actually really nice to be able to navigate everything from your single TV remote.

      • Don’t get a SmartTV. Get a Dumb TV (flatscreen) with a Chromecast or Amazon Firestick. The app software (Netflix, Hulu, etc) won’t update as often for the SmartTV and will get buggy faster. You can control chromecast from a smartphone, so you don’t need an extra remote.

        • And with a Chromecast, the default screen is usually some gorgeous photos, so it’s almost like having rotating art on your wall.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Worth noting that a lot of the flatscreens available now are automatically smart TVs… I love my google chromecast as much as the next person but its helpful to have multiple connection points in case one goes down. Additionally, sometimes things with Chromecast won’t stream in UHD (because its through my phone / computer) and the embedded Netflix / Prime / HBO smart TV apps have that capability.

          I have a 65″ Samsung flat screen smart TV – I think it was $1100 at Costco when we bought it and it self updates the software etc. and is UHD compatible for streaming content.

          • JuniorMinion :

            Also just to add I am solidly a person who is on team “how large of a TV could I fit in this space?” It does meant my spending at movie theaters is negligible because I’m at a point where the picture / clarity / sound on my stuff at home is basically better than the theater….

          • OP here: I have looked online abit based on the responses here and noticed this most flatscreens are setup with the apps already.

        • Plus the “dumb” TVs aren’t recording everything you say in your home!

      • We’ve had no problems with our smart TV and like having everything built in.

    • For our large TV (which is wall-mounted), the pros are
      – better screen and sound quality (we have a sound system wired in)
      – more people being able to watch together,
      – easier to see and less to worry about when working in the kitchen, and
      – better for video games, which we both enjoy.
      The cons are
      – not being able to watch it in bed,
      – not attractive and takes up a lot of wall space, and
      – expensive to buy and mount.
      The TV is really DH’s thing, and I probably wouldn’t have it if I were living alone. Left to my own devices, I prefer reading or watching Netflix on my iPad in bed .

    • I was very resistant to getting a tv because of how it looks, but when my bf moved in, he brought his big flat screen. We mounted it on the wall and it’s SO MUCH nicer to watch movies on it compared to a laptop. Ended up being worth the trade off, in my opinion.

    • Anonattorney :

      Fire sticks are so cheap, that I’m now in this mindset of just buying screens for ALL the rooms. It’s 10x easier than lugging the laptop around.

      We have a big screen in a dedicated TV room that has the cable box and video games attached to it (yes, I and my husband still play video games even though we are in our mid-30s). We also have a smaller screen in the bigger living room with a Fire stick so we can watch Netflix and all the other apps. And I have grand plans to get an elliptical trainer for another part of the house and want to get another small screen + Fire stick for that.

      I’m working on my sleep hygiene, so we got rid of the TV in the bedroom (that’s the one that’s now down in the living room), but if I were watching TV in bed I would definitely get another screen + Fire stick. Is this overkill? Yes. Do I care? No.

    • Wildkitten :

      I have family with projects and screens and it is so nice how it still keeps the space open until you use it. What’s your budget? Projectors are pretty expensive but if you can afford them, I would go with a projector.

  14. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have their clothes designed and made for them? I’ve heard of people getting suits made but I haven’t heard of anyone getting a more general bespoke wardrobe.

    I get pretty much everything tailored anyway, maybe I should just get a capsule wardrobe made for me. I’d want to keep up with trends, though, so I’d want someone with more of a design eye than a typical tailor. Does anyone use a service like this and if so how did you find them?

    • Ooh, I want to know how you’d find this kind of service, too. In my ideal world (where I had endless amounts of money) I’d get somebody to make me basically the same dress in a bunch of different options and I’d wear that every single day.

      • I’m from Europe, so it may not be applicable to you, but I have a very good seamstress that makes me clothes. The best thing ever was to bring my favourite dress and fabrics in navy, black and grey. She’ve made me three dresses that we’ve been essentially the same (long sleeve, high neck, knee length, defined waist, pockets) and differed by details (neck shape, waste details). I love them and wear very, very often. I’ve had good luck with pencil and fuller skirts, but haven’t found a seamstress who can make a good jacket. The design process is a joint work of me and a seamstress. It’s not always easy and you have to know yourself well. It’s not a store, you cannot try the garment and decide that it doesn’t work for you. So I gravitate towards tried silhouettes and use a lot of pictures (I want a dress like this, but I want it to have x, y, z modifications. The neck should be like this – and another picture).

        • I’m not in Europe but that is exactly what I would want! (I’m also nowhere near being able to afford this kind of service, but it’s fun to daydream about.)

          • It’s very affordable in Central & Eastern Europe. But maybe during the trip to SE Asia? (yeah, daydreams again)

    • My mother had a few skirts made for her during a trip to Hong Kong. The tailor she used makes a once (or twice) a year trip to NY to take orders from clients. No idea how the pricing runs, unfortunately. (Also, one pitfall is that you can’t try things on before committing. The tailor will make what you request and wishful thinking can lead to some unflattering pieces.)

    • I have had a few things made! Reasons are because I’m a pear, and need to tailor things anyways (like you). Also I was having trouble finding formal and nice – but not weird designer – suits.

      I had three suits made from a men’s bespoke suit tailor. Call around, some will do women’s too. Each suit was ~$2,000 for pants and jacket or skirt and jacket.
      I had a dress made once at a different shop. It is a women’s wardrobe consultant/bespoke tailor that I won a gift certificate for at a golf tournament. Even with the certificate, I found the dress to be quite expensive and the dress is not super stylish.
      I have had a few blazers “made to measure” in London, which I love! I think each was probably about $2,000 after the exchange rate, so not cheap either. But I will be wearing them until I’m 100 years old.

      I have another dress which I’m considering asking my usual tailor to re-make for me with new fabric. That is my summer project for this year…

  15. At a dentist appointment yesterday, they took my blood pressure — which seemed weird, but they said it’s a courtesy for younger patients who wouldn’t typically have it done and thus wouldn’t know if there were concerns. Welp, I’m thirty, and my BP was 135/88. It was also elevated at my last MD appointment back in the summer.

    Is this something to worry about? Any advice on how to manage it? I don’t use a bunch of salt as is, and I’m not sure what else I should be mindful of. TIA.

    • Anonymous :

      Make an appointment with your doctor. There are many many reasons your blood pressure might be high. And conveniently doctors are experts at diagnosing them and treating them.

    • Anonymous :

      I would make an appointment with your GP(PCP). Regular exercise is a useful tool to reduce blood pressure. Added table salt is not as much a problem as salt in packaged foods. Cook fresh meals as frequently as possible (yes, I realize life means this isn’t always possible).

    • Definitely speak with your GP. But any chance you were anxious about the dental work or your doctor visit? Last week, my BP was 99/60 at the midwife and, a day later, 125/90 at the OB.

    • Are you under any unusual stress? My blood pressure spiked at a routine doctor’s appointment that I had a couple of weeks before the bar exam, but it went back to normal. And I run regularly now, so it’s generally pretty good. You should probably make an appointment with a family/internal medicine doctor for a second opinion, though. Dentists aren’t really good at helping you with your blood pressure. ;)

    • That is weird, but there are certain dental procedures they can’t perform if you have high blood pressure so taking blood pressure is a thing they do, though usually not regularly like that. You should go get a physical with your GP. There are lots of things you can do to lower it – eat a truly healthy diet, exercise regularly, etc. Blood pressure can also be elevated if you’re sick.

    • +1 for a visit to your general practitioner. Nerves over a medical visit can certainly cause BP to be elevated. Ask your parents/siblings if they have high blood pressure. It’s a good idea to know your family’s tendencies in this regard. Monitoring your BP at home is easy and cheap enough. You can determine pretty quickly if it’s a regular thing or if there are certain things that trigger it (like medical visits, alcohol consumption the prior day, stressful event, etc)

    • No, it’s not really something to worry about, but it is a reminder that you need to see your regular doctor yearly to monitor these things.

      It is bizarre and not appropriate for a dentist to be monitoring this, as they are not trained to do blood pressure properly or what to do with the data once they have it.

      For example, were you sitting quietly for 5 minutes before it was taken?

      Was the cuff against your bare arm, or were they lazy and tried to check your blood pressure through your shirt/clothes?

      Had you emptied your bladder?

      Were you sitting with your legs uncrossed, arm at heart level?

      Were you drinking caffeine at the time it was checked?

      Did they use a manual cuff with a stethescope (the best way), or one of the automatic machines that they bought at Walgreens that can be less accurate?

      Blood pressure is an important thing to monitor and control over years to protect you from heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems and many other things. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to lower it without jumping to meds. Monitoring salt is less important for the vast majority of us, but trying to eat reasonably healthy/cook real food more, get some basic/simple exercise regularly (even just walking is fine), getting enough sleep (and treating sleep apnea if you have it) are the best places to start. That can be very effective. Decreasing stress/meditation can also be very effective for some.

      But for most of us, it is our genetics that will determine our blood pressure over time. The majority of us will be on blood pressure meds at some point (definitely almost all men),

      • My dentist does a blood pressure/pulse check at the beginning of every visit. It’s not a huge deal, and I’m not sure why you think it’s inappropriate. They see a lot of older clients who appreciate the check-in, and it doesn’t harm me at all to have an additional data point.

        • Yeah, and it’s not like it’s difficult to be trained on how to take blood pressure.

        • Yes, at my 2x a year checkup, they always take blood pressure and have at this dentist and my two previous ones. I never thought it was abnormal or inappropriate.

          OP, you should call your doctor and say you want to talk about this and schedule a follow up appointment. High blood pressure, although common should not be ignored. In the short term, HBP can lead to high risk pregnancies (if that is in your future), increased risk of stroke, and longer term things like heart failure, kidney failure, and heart attack. Not to scare you, but if you can catch it and lower it while you are still young, the better!

      • My doctor’s office rarely follows good blood pressure protocols, so it’s not like getting it taken there is inherently better. And that’s been true at multiple doctors in different cities (I always notice because I used to work at a doctor’s office myself as a clinic assistant and our head nurse was very particular about BP readings and constantly telling the other nurses to follow the correct process).

      • I’m an MD and I don’t think its inappropriate at all for a dentist to do a BP check. They might want to know what it is before they do a procedure where a very high BP could add risk. They should definitely know how to do it in case a patient has a vagal episode. If they are expanding beyond that to more routine checks I think that’s fine. They also keep a look out for oral cancer and, although dentists don’t treat it, if they see it they refer you to the appropriate MD. I think this type of awareness is good for patients!

    • If it was with a wrist cuff, don’t get too worried. According to my doctor, those are way less accurate.

      We got to have that conversation because a couple of years ago, I went to the dentist (hate the dentist) for a crown (hate getting crowns) and my BP, on the wrist cuff, was 178/104. You read that right. I made them take it again and it was 140/99. I’ve never seen numbers that high in my life.

      The next day I called my doc in a panic, thinking I was minutes away from having a stroke. He made me come into the office and I sat there for an hour, with them taking my BP on my arm with a manual pump and an electronic machine every 10 minutes. Never got over 125/80. It was the dentist’s stupid wrist cuff. Other factors we’re probably my fear
      and hated of the dentist, and the fact that I’d had a matcha latte that morning. I would follow up with your doctor, but don’t worry.

    • It is standard at my dentist’s office regardless of your age. Especially important if they will be giving you gas or anesthesia. There is something often called “white coat syndrome” where your BP is higher when you are in a medical setting as it makes some people anxious. Stop by CVS or Walgreens a couple of times over the next couple of weeks and check your BP on the machines there. Write down the results. If it is consistently the same range as at the dentist’s office, I would make an appt with your GP. When you go in, give them the BP readings you have been tracking. Hope this helps.

      • re: White Coat Syndrome

        It is important not to “excuse” high blood pressures attributed to White Coat Syndrome, saying it is just an artifact of anxiety while at the doctor’s. Because most people do not have their blood pressure jump that significantly when they are in the doctor’s office, so if yours does, it probably jumps up every time you are stressed/anxious etc.. and probably requires treatment.

    • New Tampanian :

      Listen, unless they give me some fun gas, my BP is going to be super high too because I CANNOT handle the dentist. So, there’s that.

  16. TorontoNewbie :

    I have $100 to Saks in a gift card that I’ve had for a year and I just… don’t know what to get. Money is tight so I don’t want to spend significantly more than $150 or so total, but it’s a present from an old boss on a major work milestone and I want to get something special that I’ll remember and keep as opposed to makeup or food that will get used up quickly. Does anyone have any ideas?

    • If money is tight I’d use it for something useful. New flats. A bra. A nice blouse.

      • TorontoNewbie :

        tight in the sense of “we’re aiming to buy a condo in the next 2 years” as opposed to anything else – I’m trying not to spend money on frivolous things and I just don’t… need anything. I was thinking earrings or similar but I don’t know if that’s reasonable there with the budget.

    • Can you also use it at a Saks Off Fifth store? That’s what I’d do (online) and get something nice for the spring/summer to perk up your wardrobe – maybe a fun top, cute flats, or a dress?

    • What about a pricey picture frame— maybe one that can be used in conjunction with your milestone (a promotion letter or something)? Or just for a great happy photo. They have a very nice selection.

    • Or, what about champagne flutes or a nice office accessory / pen?

    • Cashmere.

  17. Does anyone have or use the Tumi Sinclair Viera Business Tote? It is the only Tumi tote in my beloved Earl Grey color that I can find. I used the Quintessential Voyageur tote in Earl Grey for three years before the stitching came off – they discontinued the line so they’re giving me credit toward another bag. Thoughts on the Viera? Are the handles comfortable? Other Tumi totes that you would recommend? I typically carry a laptop, lots of papers/couple notebooks, sunglasses, wallet, keys, a small make-up case.

    Thanks!

    • I have the Sinclair Tegan in grey and love it. It’s a little smaller than the Viera, but fits my just over 13″ laptop, plus a few legal pads, wallet, bullet journal, etc. Handles are comfortable and the inside pockets are well placed

    • Anonattorney :

      I LOVE my Tumi Sinclair Viera! I got mine in yellow – they had them in the actual store, even though I couldn’t find one online. The handles are the perfect length to sling over your shoulder, which I love.

      Based on what you carry, though, I’m not sure if it’s going to be big enough. It will fit a 13.5″ laptop and wallet, keys, makeup, but it won’t also fit a couple of notebooks.

  18. Tote backpack :

    Can anyone recommend a convertible tote backpack with straps? I need something that will hold a 13-inch laptop (padded sleeve is a must) and a zipper top, but flexible on features otherwise. It needs to be plain black and suitable enough for work and casual use while traveling this summer. TIA!

  19. I’m so tired of men feeling like they have no responsibility for pregnancy prevention. I started seeing a guy a few months ago. Neither of us want kids, I’m on the pill, we’re no longer using condoms (at his suggestion). We haven’t discussed what we’d do if an accidental pregnancy happened. I haven’t told him this because he hasn’t asked but – although I’d likely get an abortion I don’t think that’s a decision anyone can make in the abstract so I’m not willing to promise anyone that I’d abort.

    Somehow we got on the subject of the childfree subreddit. He said he stopped reading it because it’s the same thing over and over. I agreed, and said I couldn’t stand all these men complaining that their female SOs got pregnant and wouldn’t get an abortion; if it was that important to them then they should be using condoms or get snipped. Guy said, this conversation is terrifying. I said you have options – you’re the one who didn’t want to use condoms anymore or you could go to the doctor. He mumbled that most doctors won’t do it if you haven’t had kids. I said we’re over 30, you can find a doctor who will do it, the child free subreddit probably has a list. He just kind of nodded and I dropped it.

    I don’t know what to think. You do nothing to prevent pregnancy, you leave it all up to me, and then you apparently assume without ever asking that I’m going to have an abortion and I’m horrible if I don’t? Idk. It’s sort of tainted how I see him but maybe I’m overreacting?

    • I mean I am tired of it too, so I don’t date men who refuse to take responsibility for it or men who are not mature enough to have conversations about it and what would happen if I got pregnant.

      In your shoes, if you really want to keep dating him/sleeping with him, I would demand he use condoms. End of story. If he doesn’t want to, bye Felicia.

    • No more garden parties until you two sit down and discuss this. His response is childish. If he wants to garden without condoms, he needs to be willing to shoulder some of the obligations or at least discuss it.

      • As an initial matter, I guess I don’t see why I need to be the one to start that conversation? At the end of the day, what happens with an accidental pregnancy is my decision. If he wants to have a say then I feel like he should be the one to broach the topic. If you don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation then ok cool you’re stuck with whatever I decide. I have a problem with this attitude that men should get it both ways.

        Separately, I kind of said what I needed to say. Your options are get snipped or use a condom. I’m not willing to commit to having an abortion so idk what more there is to talk about? Am I missing something?

        • Maybe you’re missing that you’re in a relationship with a person and sometimes you need to talk things through with them instead of just announcing your position and flouncing? It’s your decision but that shouldn’t preclude discussing it.

          • We haven’t had a DTR.

          • Wow srsly? You decided you were comfortable not using condoms without clarifying whether you are in an exclusive relationship? Use your words more.

          • Yikes lots of people are concerned about this. We’re not seeing anyone else but we’re not in a relationship. More like exclusive fwb, although I hate that term. And yes we’ve both been tested.

          • Brunette Elle Woods :

            Ugh you’re not seeing anyone else now. He could meet someone tomorrow and start sleeping with her because you’re not really exclusive/in a relationship. This whole situation sounds problematic. What benefit are you getting from this quasi relationship? It’s not a fun and easy fling at this point. You have no reason to think he is actually monogamous. Use condoms or stop sleeping with him.

          • You’re comfortable not using condoms even though you haven’t discussed whether you are in an exclusive committed relationship?

          • If you’re not exclusive, you should be using barrier methods. Pill does nothing for disease.

          • Did you two have STD tests before you agreed to stop using condoms??? Yikes

          • Anonattorney :

            I’m on OP’s team here. Y’all need to back off. Based on her post above, she’s clearly an adult who understands how contraceptive and barrier methods work. Although she has not yet determined whether she is in a long-term, committed relationship with her sexual partner, she has determined that they are in an exclusive situation and that he is not seeing someone else.

          • Anomnibus :

            OP, I was in this situation for years. Somewhat romantic, but mostly sexual, some dates, mostly bootycalls (“hey, I’m in your neighborhood, wanna see me?), possibility of a commitment was always there but he kept saying he didn’t want to tie me down, but insisted he wasn’t seeing anyone else – only letting me know of his other flings and “open relationships” after they happened. Never wanted to use condoms, but when one of his other hookups got an STD, he blamed me for it, said I must have given it to him.

            Never. Again.

            As a general rule, always use condoms. If you’re in a long-term, committed relationship where you trust each other and you’ve both tested clean, then you can consider ditching them. Otherwise, insist on them, and if a guy refuses, show him the door.

        • nasty woman :

          You’re not the only one who bears the burden of initiating the conversation and considering these issues, but that doesn’t mean that he will. If it is important to you to have the conversation, then you may need to initiate. Not ideal, but then you can share with him your feelings that these issues are shared burdens. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Would it be perfect if he brought it up? yes. Is it good to get on the same page NOW, rather than if you accidentally get pregnant and he freaks out or you two come to an impasse? Yes.

          If you haven’t DTR’d, and you don’t know if you’re exclusive, then why aren’t you using c0ndoms????

        • “Your options are get snipped or use a condom.” <<did he understand this takeaway from your conversation? If so, I think you're fine not discussing it any further, so long as he starts wearing condoms.

        • I don’t know, I kind of disagree with you and I guess most of the other commenters here. You both have equal responsibility to broach the conversation about exclusivity, ‘what if,’ STDs, etc., and it sounds like you were both equally avoiding it because they’re very difficult, vulnerable conversations to have. You mutually agreed to stop using condoms without talking it through. As women we take a risk, but we also at least have control of the outcome; this is an area where I don’t envy men in the slightest. The idea of having a child brought into the world without my consent makes me want to throw up, as does the idea of bringing a child into the world without someone else’s consent.

          Trying to put myself in a man’s shoes, if I were in a new/casual relationship with a woman and I found out there was a chance of her keeping an accidental pregnancy before we mutually agreed to it, I’d probably have a panic attack and maybe even reconsider the relationship. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but can’t you at least understand where he’s coming from?

          • I guess putting yourself in the man’s shoes, is it really a reasonable assumption to make that the woman would definitely terminate a pregnancy? I would hope it that was def what the man assumed would happen, he would bring that up when they talked about going to just the pill. I’m not saying it would be bad for OP to bring it up, just that I tend to agree with what she seems to be saying that it’s disappointing that the man didn’t say anything.

          • I mean, I think in a new/casual relationship its crazy to a) assume that the woman would get an abortion without asking her and b) assume that you would get any say over what decision she makes one way or the other.
            I really can’t understand where he’s coming from at all to be honest.

      • nasty woman :

        +1

        You’re not overreacting, and you’re not alone. I’m so over it. The amount of assuming, even from otherwise woke men, is egregious. Make him face the issue- this conversation is terrifying? Boo hoo. Grow the F up. Every time women garden we take a risk. Having to engage with this ‘terrifying’ risk is the price of admission for women to have a healthy gardening life. To watch a guy ignore that risk is maddening.

        • “The amount of assuming, even from otherwise woke men, is egregious. ”

          Yep. After I had my kid, everything in my hormone system changed so I was having terrible side effects to every birth control I tried. My husband had always planned on getting the snip “someday”, but it took me telling him I was going to quit using birth control because I couldn’t live like this anymore for him to finally go set up an appointment with a doctor to get the procedure. It just did not occur to him to take initiative on the topic, and he’s a generally good person.

    • Nope, not an overreaction by you at all. It takes two to tango and if he wants to dance, then he needs to do his steps as well.

      FWIW, when my college boyfriend suggested stopping using condoms in the 80s, I made him come to the GYN appointment, explain to the nurse practitioner why we were there, and then pay for my BC every month. That made him appreciate things a LOT more and made him a lot more conscious about his responsibility for the process and the potential results.

    • This part: “you’re the one who didn’t want to use condoms anymore or you could go to the doctor” makes it sound like you are not 100% okay with this. If anything went wrong, the decision on how you want to proceed i.e. with a baby or no, would entirely depend on you. I see it as either you continue with the status quo or you bring this up again and have a real discussion about it. I think guys see it this way mainly because women acquiesce and get the pill etc, even when they are unhappy with the side effects or are unsure about what would happen in the event of whatever method you are using failing.

    • I mean, I think you are overreacting in that you’ve never discussed this with him before, so no need to be judging him this harshly because he hadn’t thought it through as much.

      You’ve both been making assumptions. He’s been assuming you’d abort. You’ve been assuming he agrees with you that you can’t be sure of that in advance. Probably a good thing for both of you to be discussing calmly

    • That seems to sum up the ideology and critical thinking abilities of most dudes on Reddit (at least the ones that are the most visible).

    • I guess I get it – I don’t necessarily think you’re overreacting (if you were in an exclusive relationship) but I also don’t have s3x without a condom unless I’m in an exclusive relationship.

      In my last relationship, I had to have a serious conversation with my boyfriend about birth control – he didn’t realize the burden because none of his previous girlfriends had ever been vocal about it. My view is, I’m happy to take the pill because I don’t want to get pregnant, but I’d appreciate some realization that it is a burden that the birth control is mainly/solely on my shoulders.

    • Wait, so you’re reading the Reddit childfree board, enough that you are talking to him about it. Why wouldn’t he assume you’re committed to remaining child free?

      • I read lots of reddit boards for things I am not committing to. I’d be hesitant to make any assumptions about a person based on the reddit boards they read.

    • I would reintroduce condoms, not just because of this conversation but because the two of you are not exclusive.

      This may get me flamed but imma say it. The options for female birth control are better and offer a wider array of choices. Men don’t have the same options. Right now, it’s condoms or vasectomy – that’s it. It’s totally reasonable, in my opinion, for a woman to take responsibility and make decisions that work for her because she has the better options, when it comes to birth control.

      If I was a woman who was committed to being childfree, I would get an IUD or an implant, or get Essure. Your boyfriend’s reaction seems to indicate, to me, he may be on the fence about a vasectomy. In which case, I would want more assurance than the pill offers. And frankly, I think it’s irresponsible to ditch condoms without even having an exclusivity conversation and getting STD tests, just because your guy doesn’t like condoms. That seems like a weak choice made out of a desire to please the guy, at the risk of personal health and well-being. No d*** is worth getting sick or dying for.

    • I’m 100% pro-choice but I always insisted on condom use in every relationship. Period. I was also on the pill. If a guy wasn’t okay with that, he wasn’t the right guy for me. Birth control can fail. I never knew how I would feel about abortion (for myself) once pregnant so no way I would have sex without at least two methods of BC unless I was sure I was okay being tied to the guy for the rest of my life.

      First time without condom and using only one method of BC was wedding night with my husband and that was because we both agreed that we were ready to consider keeping the baby if the pill failed. Some people might call it paranoid but for me it was very freeing to realize that the risk of unintentional pregnancy was so low and I was able to enjoy gardening a lot more.

      All that said, you do you. If you’re okay continuing with one method, that’s a decision you can make for yourself, taking all the risks into account. There’s no answer that’s right for everyone but you should feel happy and confident that the answer is right for you. That’s how you will know it was the right decision. It doesn’t sound like you feel that way about the current situation.

    • Anomnibus :

      So wait, he doesn’t want kids, doesn’t want condoms, knows that no form of contraceptive is 100% effective (even IUDs and IUCs can fail) but he doesn’t want to get a vasectomy? He claims no doctor will do it, but has he even asked? I thought it was relatively easy for men since it’s reversible, it’s tougher for women.

  20. Piggybacking off the will discussion – how do you broach the “will you be our kid’s guardian?” Our preferred guardians are not the default options (2nd cousin + husband or childhood friends rather than siblings) and I’m not sure how to start that conversation with prospective guardians. I’d like to give them time to think / talk among themselves rather than being put on the spot but email feels a bit weird.

    Do we need to tell the people we didn’t choose?

    • TorontoNewbie :

      We’re the potential guardians for a second cousin – it was broached in the middle of a general catch-up-how-are-you phone call as a “is this something you’d be willing to do, take a couple of days and think about it and then get back to us” sort of way. I think email would be fine honestly but you know your people best.

    • Not your loving and involved parents? Why? Or his? Or siblings?

      Choosing a guardian is not an exercise in perfection. You aren’t supposed to choose the people you know who would parent most like you. You should be choosing people who will love your kids as if they were there own, have their best interests at heart, and that’s all.

      You two both have families you are close to. I think it’s strange and not ideal to be going to such distant people.

      • Good questions – it’s definitely not the “normal” choice.

        My parents live in the US and are nearly 60, his are 70+ (UK and Canada), and our baby is still cooking. I’m an only and my husband’s siblings are 13-15 years older (sister – no kids, long and recurrent battle with cancer, brother – kids in late teens, pretty sure his wife will divorce him when kids are through uni).

        The second cousin lives an hour away and we visit regularly, they have young kids with whom we are very close, and are incredible parents.

        • Makes sense! Phone to ask them, and I think you should tell your parents what you are doing and why. Don’t want them shocked and outraged and trying to challenge it.

        • I wouldn’t rule out your parents. We plan to ask my parents, although they are a lot older than yours (67 and 69). It can always be updated if/when your parents become ill or feel they can no longer take on the responsibility.

          • That’s a really good point. I just worry about the Transatlantic dimension – I don’t have anyone on my side of family beyond my parents.

          • I grew up in the US but my family is Australian and I would have returned “home” to my Aunt if anything happened to my parents. At the time I didn’t love the idea but my parents were right: they would have loved me fiercely in a way that friends in the US would not have.

          • For another perspective, my husband and I decided that we would not want any of our parents, with whom we are close, to assume guardianship. Our parents are on the older side, and statistically, it’s pretty likely that they will not all live to see our son graduate from high school. If something happened to both of us, that would obviously be very traumatic. We would want to provide our son with the best chance of a stable household, not one where there was a pretty good chance another adult responsible for him would die during his childhood. Incidentally, we’ve put off having this conversation for 2 years because we are choosing a non-default option (step-sister over biological sister or parents) for reasons that are important but uncomfortable to talk about.

        • FWIW, we are in a similar position and went with two friends (first choice, and back up guardians) rather than my husband’s siblings or any of our parents. Our parents are in good health, but that won’t last for the next 18 years, and we do not want our kids to have to live through two sets of parents dying in their childhood. We have talked about this to our parents, and they are supportive; both sets of friends have also committed to continuing to foster a relationship with our parents.

          We aren’t using my husband’s siblings because frankly, we don’t think that they are great parents. And we specifically don’t think that they would do a good job of helping our kids through the trauma of losing both parents. They are also on another continent, although that’s not the major factor in our decision. I’m an only child, so no siblings there, and I’m not close at all to my only cousin.

          I don’t think it’s weird at all. Our friends will absolutely love our kids fiercely – they already do. And I trust them 100 times more to parent our kids in the way that our kids would need in the awful eventuality that we are not able to be there ourselves.

          • +1. Unless your parents are in their early 40s when your last child is born, you run a pretty big risk that your children will have two sets of primary caregivers die (or have significant health issues) during their childhood or college years. That’s awful.

            And while it’s great that family might love the kid fiercely, you also have to consider the impacts of a move. Pretend you’re a kid whose parents have both died, and now you have to move away from all of your friends, your school, your activities, your entire support system. In OP’s case, even your continent. That’s pretty traumatic. Local friends who provide some kind of continuity during an incredibly dynamic time, esp if you think they would love your children wonderfully, are the best option in that case.

      • Who said their parents and siblings are loving and involved? Not everyone’s family is the Waltons.

        • CB has a great family though! Which I know because she has said so over and over again over her years of delightful posting.

          • It’s true, my family is wonderful! Mom is coming to hang out with me and my baby bump next month and I CANNOT wait. Dad is coming to be our nanny for a few months next year.

            I’ll bring it up with my parents – suspect they’ll agree with the choice but will find it a bit hard. I know the cousins would ensure that the kid would have a relationship with my parents – my parents send their kids treats and postcards from their travels now and we’ve spent days out together when my parents are visiting.

          • You could also chose your parents now and update if and when they get too old.

      • Anon in NYC :

        There are a lot of reasons why one would not choose immediate family, not the least of which is capability. Elderly grandparents might not be the best fit from an age and health perspective. Siblings might be estranged for various reasons or not in the best stage of life to suddenly be saddled with a kid who just lost both of his or her parents. Family, while you love them, may hold views that you find abhorrent and/or do not want passed down to your child.

        My best friend would love my kid like her own and also have my kid’s best interest at heart.

        Cb – I think you should call the cousin + husband’s friend and just say that you want them to consider if they’d be willing to do this. I assume that you will have considerable life insurance so that your kid won’t be a financial burden, and if so, you should tell them that. Then ask them to think it over and get back to you. And, no, you don’t need to tell the people that you didn’t choose unless you want to/they ask.

    • Delta Dawn :

      DH and I would become the guardians of my young cousins if their parents passed away. Similar to what you have described, I am a cousin to a parent, though they have siblings that would have been more of a default option.

      When their mom asked me, it was in person (though a phone call would have been fine; we just happened to be together). She was just very straightforward and said that they had been updating their wills and making plans for the children if something happened to her and her husband, and she valued my friendship and judgment and would like me to consider becoming their guardian if something ever happened. She said I could think about it and get back to her– although I told her immediately that we would be happy to do so.

      I think you are right that email is a little impersonal for such an important topic, so I would probably call them. You can give them time to think it over, though there’s a chance they won’t need to. As far as telling the siblings you don’t choose, I’m not sure you have to tell them. The paperwork and the lawyers will ensure the 2nd cousin + husband become the guardians, and your siblings will figure it out then– and ostensibly, you won’t be around for them to be upset with you. That part can work itself out.

    • I phrased it as, “I have an estate-planning question for you that I think is more appropriate for a phone call” and set up a time to speak with the people I wanted to select. Then, I had a pretty clear script which included a conclusion to the conversation, and a deadline (of a week or so) for them to think about it. As far as anyone you didn’t choose — most estate planning in the States tells you to have guardians and then back-up guardians in your will, and it’s fine to just tell people (if they ask) that you’ve completed your estate planning, thanks so much for their concern.

    • Clementine :

      My husband and I would become the guardians of our friends’ children, even though there are also grandparents and siblings available.

      We were asked via email and they simply said that they had decided that we were their preferred option over family and would be happy to discuss their reasons if they wanted. They explained that there was life insurance that would cover the expenses and gave us a few days to think it over.

    • Eager Beaver :

      Lots of folks are pushing you to choose grandparents, so I wanted to chime in with another reason we didn’t do so. My mother and my son have an incredible and fierce bond. Part of that bond is that she gets to say yes a lot more than his parents do, but the larger part of that bond is that when she visits us or he visits her, she gets to give him 100% of her attention and love. You can’t do that when you’re parenting someone. Life gets in the way too much. I don’t want her to parent him because I want her to grandparent him. I don’t want her to have to become a disciplinarian and rule-enforcer, and I’m not sure she would be able to in the midst of grief anyway. My son would need so much love if his parents dies, but he would also need someone who’s not going to give him chores and say no to the brand new car at 16. YMMV, but I wanted to share the additional perspective.

    • I’m single, but see my friends and their two year old son at least once a month. They asked me to be his secondary guardian if anything happened. I was extremely flattered, and I think the exchange was via text message, but I had known that they were working on developing a will. Between the two parents there is only one sibling who I assume is the “first” guardian.

      You know your friends, but I wouldn’t over think it.

  21. I am graduating law school this May and will be starting at a firm this fall (biglaw). I took out loans for tuition for law school and my primary financial goals for the next few years is to pay my loans off.

    My firm offers a cash advance of 10K in May, and I’m wondering whether I should take it to apply to my loans. I do not need the advance for summer expenses. My offer at the firm is not conditioned on bar passage or anything of that sort, so it’s reasonably certain I will be there in October. Additionally, I have an emergency fund that could reimburse the firm for the advance if something catastrophic happens, though it would be a big hit.

    Any thoughts? TIA!

    • Your loans normally don’t start accruing interest until six months after you graduate. I’d be inclined to only take the cash advance if you need it for summer living expenses and just start paying your loans aggressively once you get your first real paycheck.

      • Almost all law school loans (subsidized loans were capped at 8K a year for me) do accrue interest–it just isn’t capitalized into the principal yet and you don’t need to make payments. But it is still definitely accruing.

    • No. You’re loans don’t accrue interest anyway. Don’t borrow money to pay them off

      • My loans have definitely started accruing interest while in school…

        • Oh okay! I can see why you’re tempted then but I wouldn’t take the money. It won’t really help much and you’re better off just structuring your everyday life to pay off asap.

    • I took the advance because my firm presented it as an interest free loan. I used a small portion on a bar trip and applied the rest to my student loans even though they weren’t accruing interest. I paid down about 8K in principal, which meant 8K less to start accruing interest. It also lowered my monthly payments, which made it much easier to step away from BigLaw and take a clerkship a year later.

      • Or rather–“not accruing interest”–isn’t the right statement. Before the interest was capitalized into the principal is the correct word choice.

    • AnonLondon :

      I took mine initially planning to do the same, and wound up using the cash to pay the absurd deposit and first/last month’s rent on my flat in the BigLaw city I originally worked in rather than pull the money out of my investment/savings accounts. Interest free, it made a lot of sense at the time.

    • I am you, but 3 years later and I know you haven’t mentioned this but…. take it and TRAVEL.
      I am super frugal and risk averse and those massive loans accruing interest terrified me (and still do) but so many people (including people at my own firm – I summered) gave me this advice and I am SO GLAD I took it. I took the Bar trip of a lifetime with my SO all over Europe for several weeks and 3 years later I still hold on to those memories.

      If you are even remotely interested in traveling, enjoy your time off and splurge. the $10k really won’t matter much later, and this is coming from someone with 6-figure debt (refinanced) who is trying to buy a house, super HCOL area. sometimes you need to just live your life, especially because it could be a long time until you get to again.

    • Wildkitten :

      Do you have an emergency fund? I’d spend some on travel and save some so you have an emergency fund and can focus your actual income on the loans right away. It’s totally mental, not math, but money is mostly mental IMHO.

  22. Irregular Choice Shoes? :

    Hello — I have my eye on a pair of Irregular Choice heels. They would be for fun/going out, not work. Does anyone have experience with how they run? Thanks!

  23. Thank you for the information from DMV and Anon on my question of the Maryland suburbs of DC. SInce it was a late post, I’m asking one for time for any more thoughts from natives/ residents etc. Thank you!!!

    I might be moving to DC area and would love to hear from folks who live in the Maryland suburbs or anyone who can recommend a specific one. We’re looking for are own lawn or great parks, solid school system and a relatively (I know) short commute, preferably with public transportation as an option. Money is not unlimited but we own a house in pretty HCOL area now, so we should be able to pay market.
    I lived in the DC metro area in a previous life, and am very familiar with NOVA, but I really don’t know where to start with Maryland… how far out is too far? Is there any diversity in the close-in burbs?

    • I have friends who live in Silver Spring with school aged kids. They enjoy the diversity of the town and say it has a good school system.

      • Two Cents :

        I used to live in Silver Spring (sans kids) and those with kids were all moving out of the area. I agree that Blair HS is supposed to be excellent (strong IB program) but have heard very mixed things about the middle schools.

    • I grew up in the ‘burbs of Baltimore but friends and parents of friends have commuted to DC all my life. Just to give you an idea of hopefully scale. That’s not a great commute, but definitely not “too far” for many many people I know. I recommend looking at Columbia/Howard Country in general.

      • This suggestion is insane. Do NOT commute from Columbia to DC, that is a crazy commute and especially as the OP has mentioned she is wealthy, there is absolutely no reason to suffer through that terrible commute.

        Signed, used to live in Columbia

        • +1 Columbia is 45 minutes away from downtown DC without traffic. I like living in DC proper but would stay within the Beltway if you want to live in MD. We know lots of families with kids in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Bethesda/Chevy Chase. The first 2 are more culturally diverse and have their own downtown areas.

        • Anonymous :

          Just added for another perspective. “Too far” for some is totally fine for others. I took the question as looking for a range of where people have lived and commuted.

          • DMV Native :

            +1

            I have a few friends who took the commuter bus from Columbia to Silver Spring or Union Station and it was fine for them. Depends on what youre willing to put up with/how flexible your job is (some people work from home on Fridays so they only commute 4/5 days a week anyways). Wouldnt be my choice but a lot of people make it work since the schools are amazing/you can get a lot for you money housing wise.

    • This is blunt but – what kind of diversity do you want? If you simply want to be around Asians/south Asians kids with Doctor/engineer/lawyer parents – go for a place like Bethesda ESP since you can afford it. Places like Silver Spring will get you black and Hispanic diversity of the working class variety – are you really desiring that?

      • Your comment really rubs me the wrong way and clearly displays is what is wrong with Bethesda imo. I also recommend Silver Spring or Rockville for real-life communities where you can appreciate and enjoy your neighborhood. Bethesda has morphed into pretentious, self-entitled people with more shopping/restaurant chains than actual independently owned stores.

      • Maybe this will help explain my “diverse” comment:

        I currently live in a suburb that, although still somewhat racially segregated by neighborhood, unfortunately, is much more diverse racially and socioeconomically than most other Chicago suburbs. My kid goes to a non-profit daycare that gives tuition grants and financial aid, ensuring that his class is full of all kinds of kids. We’re white and wealthy, and I do not want my kid to grow up feeling entitled and I don’t want him to go through daycare and school without meeting and befriending all types of kids. I also want him to have a very good public education. These things aren’t and definitely should not be mutually exclusive, but in Chicago proper, they are. DC has similar issues, I believe. I’m not sending my kid to an all-white rich-kid public school, and I don’t want private school.

        • anon a mouse :

          Right. There’s racial diversity and class diversity, and without knowing which one (or both) is important to the OP, it’s hard to give complete answers to her question.

        • DMV Native :

          I think Silver Spring, Rockville, and Takoma Park are your best bets then. Places like Bethesda/Chevy Chase have a lot less racial diversity (although its improving) and not much socioeconomic diversity at all. There is a lot more diversity in the cities I mentioned (I could be leaving out some places but those are the places that are closest to DC/a metro stop) and they have pretty great high schools.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Columbia, MD is the only place I have ever been mugged (at gunpoint), and I lived in the DC area (including suburbs) for many years. VA is way better than MD.

    • I’d look at Takoma Park. It’s much closer in than Columbia/Howard County, lots of diversity, affordable, good schools, and a great community.

  24. Adult acne blues :

    I have more zits on my face now than I ever did when I was a teenager! (I’m 28 now.) WTF, face, why are you doing this to me??

    • Sorry, been there. Went to a dermatologist and got started on spironolactone and tretinoin cream, which apparently has some anti-aging benefits that I now also get to take advantage of, so I guess it’s not all bad.

      • +1

        I’m on this same combo, and it works very well.

        You’re lucky. It has been a lifelong issue for me, and I’m almost 48. My dermatologist said I will probably have it for the rest of my life.

        Acne and wrinkles/grey hair/peri-menopause. Thanks genetics….

    • My skin got worse than ever before around 26, and now at 29 it’s better than ever before (because the break outs spurred me to finally start taking care of it). A combination of prescriptions from a dermatologist (something called Acticlate has been a life saver; highly recommended) plus developing a Korean skin care routine fixed everything, but it took time. I recommend using both approaches. Check out 50 Shades of Snail if you need guidance on the latter part.

      • I totally understand. My skin did a freak out when I was 26. It took about a year before it got better. It was awful. Honestly, I think I was using too harsh of products, like clean and clear continuous control which has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. I stopped using those and I tried prescription topical treatments which only irritated my skin and then antibiotics which actually helped. After taking antibiotics for a while, I was really nervous about going off of them but I’m happy that it’s been manageable. I still breakout, especially struggle with hormonal acne around my chin and upper neck around my time of the month. However, it’s no where near as bad as it used to be.

        What I think helped me: antibiotics, using a gentle cleanser, using moisturizer in the am and pm, and tretinoin gel in the evening. If I stay at my boyfriends for a weekend and forget the tretinoin gel, I notice a difference. I really think this is the product that has helped the most.

    • I was you–I had practically perfect skin as a teenager and then my skin decided to go berserk at 27. Go to the dermatologist.

  25. Cat scratcher help :

    Wondering if anyone has good recs for a cat scratcher with the following criteria: Carpet covered, flat (not upright), won’t move around while cat is using it. I basically need a very heavy carpet square or similar.

    My cat likes to scratch our rugs. She doesn’t like upright scratchers. The closest I’ve gotten is the “wave” scratcher which has a semi-flat surface at one point, but ideally I’d get something even flatter. Not looking to DIY anything.

    • There’s a couple of options if you search on Pet Smart’s website that are flat, though not many. I have one that my mom gave me from her old cat, but you might just be better off making one with carpet remnants and a board from reuse place.

    • This isn’t totally flat, but has several flat surfaces: https://www.wayfair.com/New-Cat-Condos-Premier-21-Post-Stairs-110023-L1177-K~NCQ1025.html?refid=GX99081637522-NCQ1025_7426933&device=c&ptid=116048733660&targetid=pla-116048733660&PiID%5B%5D=7426933&gclid=Cj0KEQjw8tbHBRC6rLS024qYjtEBEiQA7wIDeUd8V3H_VeIM1KH4cZl-hL3l9n9yEdcZRsmY7sSRr-EaAmq18P8HAQ

      My cat loves it – it doesn’t move when he attacks it, he can scratch flat surfaces, and he can use it as a perch. I bought mine from HomeGoods.

    • I got an awesome carpet covered bridge one from target. It’s basically just a half circle covered in carpet. My cat will sit on it and scratch at it all day. I also found just increasing the number of scratchable cat things helped deter him from the carpet.

    • Wildkitten :

      Why not just get carpet squares?

  26. My dog peed all over my weekend sneakers. They are casual New Balances with a mix of fabric and suede. Can they be cleaned? Should I throw them in the washing machine and hope for the best? Dry cleaner?
    Are they a lost cause and I should just drop the $75 on new ones? They aren’t visibly stained, but they did get soaked. WWYD?

    • Well, you can’t wear them now so you might as well try the washing machine and see what happens. I’ve seen suggestions/instructions online for doing it, though I think they don’t recommend putting them in the dryer.

      As an amusing aside, one time I thought my boyfriend’s dog peed on my faux-suede boots. I didn’t even bother trying to clean them, just tossed them. A couple of weeks later my boyfriend woke up mid-drunken pee to find he was peeing on another pair of my shoes, so he was apparently the culprit. Well okay then.

      • OMG that story is amazing. I caught my dog in the act so I know it was him, but I think I’d throw them away even faster if the culprit was human!

      • You can’t just leave us hanging. . is he still your boyfriend after that?????

        (Mine drunk-peed in my sink once. I think we broke up very soon after. I just can’t).

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’d try really dousing them in Nature’s Miracle or a similar enzymatic cleaner. Leave that sit for about 24 hours then a trip through the washing machine.

      • Anomnibus :

        Can’t recommend that stuff enough! Huge life saver when our cat started peeing on stuff. The lingering scent is . . . odd, but better than pee.

  27. Damage control ?:

    Had a resume professional “touch up” resume. I have a long German last name. She added a letter to the email address in the contact portion. I didn’t catch it and applied to a job.

    Assistant to a search committee member called to set up an interview. When she confirmed my email address for calendar invite, I said, “no, it’s [correct email address]. She sounded confused and said, OK, so that’s not the right one?” [That’s how I discovered the error].

    Should I email the assistant a corrected copy of resume (with correct email address) and ask her to pass it along? Or does that just draw attention to the error?

    I’ve made a separate email address for the misspelled version of my name, just in case.

    • I’m not sure what to tell you, but why on earth out a resume professional make any changes to your email address?? I’d be pretty upset about that, and probably get in touch with them to let them know what happened. Not that it will change anything, but I’d want them to know about the error.

      Have you sent this version of your resume to multiple companies? For the one that contacted you for an interview, I think I would just make sure that they have your correct contact info, without sending a corrected resume.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      The assistant might be printing these resumes for filing/use during interviews, so yeah, I’d send her the corrected one.

      And I’d also let the resume professional know about the mistake – that’s one that could have had significant consequences.

  28. Looking for advice from people who don’t know me and aren’t personally invested in my decision:

    I’m 36, income partner at a large law firm in a mid-sized city, single, no children. I was previously married, have been divorced for a while, and am currently casually dating, but no boyfriend at present.

    I had fertility testing done earlier this year because I had some unusual symptoms. Turns out I have very significantly diminished ovarian reserve. My reproductive endocrinologist’s best estimate is that my window for pregnancy is about 3 years. After that, she believes that even IVF would have an extremely low likelihood of success. Egg freezing is a possibility, but there isn’t a scientific consensus on how likely you actually are to be successful in using frozen eggs to get pregnant later (according to my doctor).

    I had never imagined being a single mother by choice, but it is really important to me to have biological children (note that if that isn’t possible, I think I’m open to adoption, but that’s not an easy path and is a very different parenting choice that deserves consideration in its own right, not just as a fallback for those with infertility, so please no “you can just adopt” responses). Even if I met the man of my dreams tomorrow, three years is a really tight timeframe to get from first date to having a baby…and what are the odds I’ll meet the man of my dreams tomorrow. I’m considering switching gears and trying to have a baby, on my own. I might have to switch jobs (long hours, typically big law firm issues), but my family is close by and we have a good relationship and I have a supportive circle of friends/faith community here. But part of me says that I should just really buckle down and try to meet a guy ASAP and not give up on the hope that things will work out that way.

    What would you do?

    • I’m a couple years younger than you and in a similar place. My personal deadline is 37. If I haven’t met him by then, I’m having a baby on my own. I’d not quit your job to accommodate a baby though. Stay as long as you can, get a nanny, use your leave etc. leaving will always be an option when you need to.

    • This hard. But I’m nearly positive I’d go with freezing under your circumstances. I know the technology isn’t a total success story yet, but it’s worked for many. You’re pretty young and you want to be partnered. Your future partner might really want his (you said boyfriend) own bio kids, plus, it will be near-impossible to date!
      Go with the freezing. Even with family, going it alone will be a huge challenge and from your post I don’t think it will fill the needs you are wanting filled.
      Think about going it alone in one or two more years, after a real solid active dating period.

      • original anon :

        My doctor says there isn’t an established consensus on how successful freezing is and studies range from 10% to 40%…so the best case scenario is that it’s more likely than not that it doesn’t work. That is what I’m struggling with on freezing – that the odds are potentially so low. But you’re right that I am really grappling with what this means in terms of partnership because that is super important to me too…thank you!

        • I mean I think it depends on how much you want kids, but I think for me in that situation I would probably do the single mother by choice thing. You have the resources to make it happen, and, for me, having kids is something I want badly and would definitely regret missing out on if I couldn’t make it happen.

          At our age, a lot of people in the dating market have kids. Having a child doesn’t preclude you from meeting the right guy, and you can always try for more kids with him if you do.. but personally I think dating under that kind of time pressure (I need to be pregnant within 3 years!) would be incredibly difficult and stressful. Any break up would be absolutely devastating!

          I wouldn’t change your job in advance- lean out when you need to. The whole getting pregnant process may take longer than you expect and you can job hunt for a change when it is clear that you need to.

    • I don’t see why you’d switch jobs in advance? Go for it. See how it works out – throw money at the problem (which is much much easier as a partner in a law firm) with a nanny or two. Then if it’s still unmanageable, then consider switching jobs. But don’t give up income at the time you’d need it the most.

    • I would and am considering single motherhood for the same reasons you mentioned. 37, no kids, no marriage.

      If it is not too personal, may I please ask what your unusual symptoms were? I am already experiencing some of the perimenopause symptoms and have also been considering fertility testing.

      • original anon :

        My cycle length started getting longer, and I was losing weight and my hair was falling out. Turned out that the cycles and the hair loss were related to this issue; losing weight wasn’t (that turned out to be a food intolerance issue).

    • Would you consider donor eggs as biological children? That is still an option.

      At any rate, my thoughts are with you. I just got the same news and am starting egg freezing anyway (can’t have a kid for 2-3 years), knowing it has a 10% chance of succeeding. At least I’ll have tried. Donor eggs could be my back-up option.

    • original anon :

      To clarify, I wouldn’t switch jobs in advance…I just am fairly sure that at some point my job and single parenthood won’t be mutually tenable because of the hours.

      And thanks to everyone for weighing in so far.

    • I’m a year older than you, one more thing to consider is the desire for partnership. My view of a relationship is not just procreation but also companionship i.e. having someone to share your life with. So yes you can decide to go the single parent route now because it’s all up to you. But also consider if you might want to have someone in your life for other reasons too.
      (Saying this because getting out and meeting people will mean tighter scheduling as a single parent. )If I were you I would do both, try to meet someone i.e. if companionship is important to you. If not, no need to leave the job yet, but talk to family about the decision to have a kid on your own (since you will need their support) and just do it. (And I don’t think three years is a short time either. I’m at the point where I think I can tell pretty quickly if someone’s goals align with mine. People have met and committed to each other in a year and even less).

    • This could just be me and my personal quirks, but in my experience, buckling down and trying to meet a guy ASAP doesn’t really work. Sure, I meet guys, but I don’t stick with them. In my case, I think I’m just putting too much pressure on myself. I’m also not sure it’s an either/or – you could continue to date, while also starting the process of becoming a single mother (or at least exploring it).

    • It sounds as if you really want a biological child and have determined that you are in a position, financially and in terms of social supports, to do so on your own. In your shoes, I’d begin the process of becoming a single parent by choice now. It may take months or longer to achieve a pregnancy.

      If you “really buckle down and try to meet a guy ASAP,” you will be putting a huge amount of pressure on yourself and potential partners that may backfire. You might settle for a less-than-healthy relationship because you feel the clock ticking, or you might scare off a great partner who isn’t ready to move quite as quickly as you are. There is no reason you can’t pursue a relationship while simultaneously pursuing parenthood, or after having a child.

    • With your issues and desires, I would absolutely try to have a baby on my own now.

      I have 3 friends who all had babies on their own similarly around your age or a touch older. All are happy, successful, busy, single Mom’s with wonderful healthy children. Fortunately, you are financially secure and would be able to hire additional help. But I might also evaluate if you are close enough to family/friends to help support you.

      One of my friends had her baby (sperm donor) and her child was so delightful that another friend used the SAME SPERM DONOR and had a child. So now the two children are essentially “siblings”. All friends/families are close and its wonderful.

      I had also planned to have a child myself, as I didn’t have a partner, but then my mom suddenly passed away. I knew I couldn’t manage on my own, so in the end I decided against having a child. I am still intermittently very sad about this, 10 years later.

      • This is awesome. And kudos to you for making realistic choices. There’s always that ghost ship you wonder about but didn’t take.

    • In your shoes, I’d go for single motherhood while actively seeking a partner. You know you have a short window to get pregnant and that having children is important to you. I think trying to find a good partner who also wants kids immediately within your 3-year window is too high pressure for you and the guy. What if in six months you find a great guy, think it’s going great, but after a year or two, it doesn’t work? Now you’re further down your timeline and maybe pregnancy isn’t as much of an option at that point. You have family and support, so you’re well situated. I’d choose single mother by choice over hastily chosen partner who may or may not work out. If you find someone before getting pregnant, great, but I’d pursue single motherhood while looking.

      It’s a hard decision, but what will you regret more? Not having a biological baby or not having a partner during pregnancy/early years? I’m hoping it works out well for you whatever you decide!!

    • Just my own anecdote – I was 35 when I met my husband and 36 when we had baby. It was literally 1 year from when we started dating to when we got pregnant (we got engaged and married in between). So it’s not totally impossible to meet your baby daddy at this point!

    • JuniorMinion :

      If what you really want is to have a child then I think you should go for it as soon as possible. I would just think through being a single mother long term – I would personally argue this is a better option that putting pressure on yourself to partner up and potentially ending up with someone who isn’t a good long term fit. If your financial ducks are in a row I would take the plunge.

      The only thing I would caution you on is I would stick with your job unless once kid is here it’s really not working for you. I have seen a lot of friends make the mistake of taking time out of the workforce / taking a step back when kids are young and then needing to accelerate back into the workforce right in the late elementary school / middle school years when their kids end up needing the most parental TLC. In the early years, there are many solutions to getting care for a kid – as long as the care is loving and good it doesn’t matter who is providing it. When kids are older (again just my experience) is when they need you the parent and no one else can stand in.

    • My general experience is that most men freak out when presented with the idea of “I really like you, and BTW, I need to have a baby like now.” That kind of urgency tends to scare guys off, I’m just being realistic. And setting for “Well, he’s not Mr. Right but he is Mr. Okay With Having a Baby Right Away” would probably result in disaster. After seeing several ugly divorces, I can assure you there’s little in the world as terrible as having a baby with the wrong person. Please remember, having a baby with someone ties you to them – their circumstances, their genetics​, their family – for the rest of your life. It’s not a choice to make lightly.

      I would make plans to have a baby on your own. It’s not easy but I know many women who have done it, either by choice or by circumstance. There’s no need to quit your job until you know you have to. I would get started ASAP as the sooner you start, the better chance you have of the treatments succeeding. Good luck to you.

      • original anon :

        Yeah, that is one of the tough things – I really, really don’t want to make a bad choice in a partner just because I want to have a baby. I did not have kids with my ex-husband (obviously) and I’m incredibly grateful that I could just write him out of my life…which I know isn’t possible once you share children.

    • I would probably go for single motherhood in your shoes. Buckling down and trying to find a guy ASAP very likely won’t work – I find that when I try to do that it usually has the opposite effect. A bl0gger I used to read on Glamour’s webs!te, Alyssa Shelasky, became a single mother by choice, and has written some essays about it. She met a new guy when her daughter was about six months old and they’ve been together for a while now. I’m sure there are other writers in the same boat who have published memoirs/bl0gs about the experience but that’s the first person that comes to mind.

    • In your position, I think I’d have the baby now, and focus on dating single dads after. You’ll be on the same page, and you won’t be tempted to settle or potentially scare them away with your urgency. If you’re open to dating other single parents, then I don’t think your chances or finding a life partner will even really be hindered.

    • I would switch jobs now. A job with less hours commitment would enable you to have more time for either online dating or new activities/interests or rekindling old ones to meet new people offline. If in a year or so you still haven’t met someone, I would be inclined to try solo parenting. With the hours requirements at most large law firms, I think it would be incredibly challenging to be a single parent.

    • I think I would try to meet someone for at least 6 months to a year. I had a baby (somewhat) recently and even with family support and a supportive partner it’s so much more exhausting than I could have ever imagined, even with lots of baby handling experience. And mine’s been an easy baby and an easy pregnancy. I think I’m only now even realizing how beat I’ve been for the last year. I can’t imagine doing it without at least a semi-supportive partner. I know people do every day, and I know that I would, too, if I had to, but it just feels exhausting even as it is and I have a reasonably family friendly work environment and lots of support around me. The most basic things become so much more difficult, like walking the dog late at night or showering or other things you just don’t even think of. I also can’t imagine dating right now what with all the hormonal stuff during and after pregnancy, it would just basically be impossible for me for I’d say at least 2 years (going on pregnancy/first year as my baseline math). And it may be more emotionally difficult than you anticipate. I don’t know that it’s true for everyone but for my friends who are single moms (divorce), they say that one of the more difficult things is not having someone to share milestones, first experiences and just random little moments with. They share with friends and family, but say it’s still hard. And it’s hard to know that you made the decision to have your kid not have a second parent. Not in any rational way even, but I just feel acutely aware of every trade off that I have made and that my kid experiences. It’s hard to articulate but it’s heavy sometimes. And I think it’s hard to know in advance what will be emotional for you. My mom told me that when she divorced my dad that she’d get really sad when she would do laundry in our building and see other women folding men’s underwear. I was really surprised because I don’t think my mom ever enjoyed doing laundry, much less my dad’s laundry, when they lived together and his not helping with lots of everyday tasks was something they fought about but there you go.

      The other bit of anecdata I’d share is I actually know several people who decided that they really wanted to get married and have kids and all made it happen within 2-3 years. I don’t think it’s easy by any means, and I know other friends who want these things and haven’t been able to make them happen, but I suspect that the ones who did all approached it very systematically: figure out qualities you want in a partner (not just looking for someone you’re attracted to or connect with), date lots of people, be prepared to cut your losses quickly, and focus on meeting someone with the same goals (i.e., family/kid soon). I don’t know if these marriages will stand the test of time but then again I’ve seen ones built on nothing but romantic impulse fall apart already and spectacularly so. For the friends who were a bit more “business minded” about this, I’d think that they may actually be happier in the long run and/or at least have much more amicable splits (which is important to me, anyway. I always think about the end, for better or worse).

      Anyway, this is long and rambling but maybe there’s a kernel of something helpful in there. FWIW, I think my answer would have been different before I had a kid. I would definitely talk to some single parents before making your decision. Also: talk to other doctors. I’m sure you have a great doc, but medical breakthroughs are so rapid these days I wouldn’t want to rely on any one medical opinion. Your frozen eggs may be more viable than you think. You may try a combination of options like give yourself a year to meet someone and meanwhile freeze some eggs just in case it’s viable/becomes more viable. Good luck with whatever you do.

    • Do it! And don’t feel a need to explain yourself or your decisions to other people. Build the life you want.

    • shamlet96 :

      This post was super relevant to me because I am in a similar (not identical) situation but slightly older than you (38). I had fertility testing done about six months ago and my numbers came back good (no DOR yet, but FSH creeping up toward high), but not anywhere near as good as when I was 36 (which is when i froze 20 eggs). This is one of those situations where, as my friend put it, all of your choices are sub-optimal. I am dating someone now, and hope to TTC in the next few months, but if he hadn’t been ready, I would have cut my losses and taken the single mother route myself. I have made my peace with the fact that my frozen eggs may not work and if so, I will take the donor egg route. I’ve also accepted that I will probably only get to have one child, not the two that I hoped for.

      I think if i were in your shoes, i would start pursuing single motherhood while continuing to date. You might want to join the single mothers by choice board – I did and have found it enormously helpful. The biggest takeaway from that board for me was that single motherhood is usually not a quick process. Anyway, if you want to chat offline with someone in similar circumstances, shoot me an email at shamlet96 at yahoo dot com. Good luck!

    • Frozen embryos have a higher success rate than frozen eggs. Maybe you could try freezing both eggs and embryos with donor sperm, so you have options?

      Although, I’d totally go for it solo. Just wanted to throw out the frozen embryo idea.

      • That is a really great idea. If you have the cash, I’d freeze both types to give yourself as many options as possible and as many chances to conceive as possible.

        • Anonymous :

          I was going to say this too — I’ve heard embryos have a better chance of success.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, I would go with embryos as well. You may find (as I did with DOR) that the quality of your eggs are poor. Not only did I not produce many eggs, even with ICSI none of the embryos would have made it to freezing in two rounds of IVF. If you manage to freeze your embryos the chances are much better than just freezing eggs. Luckily 3 day three embryo transfers resulted in one very chubby boy.

    • original anon :

      Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful and compassionate responses. It helps that many of the issues you all raised are the issues I’m kicking around in my head (from how hard single parenting would be to how it affects dating to job stuff), because it validates a bit for me that I’m in a tough situation and that all my choices are (as one of you put it) suboptimal. I have to believe that somehow this works out for the best in the end, but I still have to make choices, and that’s hard.

    • Assuming cost is not an issue, I think I’d pursue multiple paths simultaneously to keep your options open for a little bit longer.

      I’d freeze eggs now to keep that option open.

      I’d also re-invigorate all your prefered dating methods and try to be more proactive about finding a potential partner. I’d give keep evaluating this at 6 month intervals to see how this is making me feel and to monitor my health to make sure it wasn’t changing in unusual ways.

      I’d also start exploring what single motherhood would look like. Start looking into sperm banks or consider known donors. Think about how you’d set up your support network and start considering options. Could you move to a bigger place so that an au pair could live with you?

      I’d also start trying to frame it as an exciting adventure as much as possible. It’s so exciting! You’re going to have a baby in the next three years!!

    • I can’t read all of the responses here right now, but this was basically me when I was 34 (slightly different circumstances in that I had just started dating my now-husband). A few things I would consider (and I’m sorry if this is blunt, but I have to write this quickly):

      (1) If you have diminished ovarian reserve, you probably can’t freeze as many eggs as you would need to guarantee a successful pregnancy (not that you can really ever guarantee it).
      (2) That said, a freeze cycle is not a huge commitment, especially with your resources. I would do it anyway, immediately. Maybe 2-3 times if you can. Freeze as much as you can but don’t depend on this as your only way to becoming a mother. Consider freezing with donor sperm.
      (3) While your fertility may not decline as rapidly as you fear, it could decline faster than they’re saying. They have no way of predicting the rate of decline, just assessing where you are at a given moment. Don’t assume that you will have as much time as they’re saying — and if it takes you a year to get pregnant, that could cut into your time frame as well.

      Knowing what I know now, if this were me, I would freeze like hell right now using donor sperm (again 2-3 cycles minimum) and then get serious about dating and accept that I would probably need to use donor eggs when the time came with that partner. I know that everyone feels differently about this, but having had a baby now, I feel way more comfortable with the idea of donor eggs for a second child. I know that is easier to say having gotten to have a biological child but I am convinced that it’s not the biological connection that matters — much of that connection you get from just knowing your child, but I also think some of it can come from carrying the pregnancy, which you get to experience with donor eggs (and diminished reserve shouldn’t impact your ability to use donor eggs successfully). Happy to email more if you post a burner email account.

  29. Make em laugh :

    What comedy podcasts are you listening to? On my way to and home from work, while I’m doing chores I find comedy podcasts relaxing and a good break from thinking. Currently listening to Never Not Funny, Dead Authors and How Did This Get Made. I can’t seem to get on board with Comedy [email protected] [email protected] but loved the related U2 podcast. I’ve run through most of the back catalog of each of these though and could really use some others.

    • Not true comedy, but I really enjoy Penn’s Sunday School (the host, Penn Jillette is an atheist).

    • 2 Dope Queens!

    • I don’t know if I’d call it a “comedy” podcast, but it’s funny – Hello from the Magic Tavern. It’s a guy who gets transported to a magical world, but still has a wifi signal and podcasts to let Earth know what’s going on in this fantastical land.

    • WTF with Marc Marron

    • I like Judge John Hodgman. WTF w/Marc Marron can be very good, depending on the guest. I also recommend the Bull’s Eye Best of Year comedy specials and if I’m doing something like cleaning out my closet, I like to listen to comedy albums on Apple Music (or Spotify).

  30. Has anyone worn Butter shoes? I see them on RueLaLa frequently and they look beautiful and look like a decent price point. Comfortable? True to size?

    • Maddie Ross :

      Yes to both – comfortable and true to size. They use a really nice leather (perhaps that’s the reason for the Butter name). I’ve been happy with them in the past.

    • Got a pair from Gilt or RueLaLa years ago and love them. Very comfortable, seen very high quality. I’m usually an 8.5 or 9 and the 8.5 worked well for me (I got low peeptoe wedges).

  31. Has anyone found any good short sleeve ponte/knit dresses for spring/summer workwear this season?

  32. Smug Family annoyances :

    I don’t ever sign things from “me and family” since everyone can write their name now and sign communal gifts.

    If I send an e-mail, I don’t sign it from “Smug, DH, and Smug Children” when it clearly comes me, the grownup with the computer and the internet connection (Smug Children can’t type yet).

    I keep getting e-mails from someone from “Smug, Smug Wife, Smug Dog, and Smug Child.” Smug Dog always comes before Smug Child. [How do I know? I called the child by the dog’s name. And I got schooled. UGH.] Smug Child is in diapers and Smug Dog doesn’t have digits to type with. Why are they signing random correspondence? I get it if it’s to be cute on a gift to a grandmother.

    • Anonymous :

      Meh, we do holiday cards from “[Wife], [Husband], [Kid], [dog].” Yes, the dog and kid aren’t able to communicate a greeting, but they’re pictured on the card and our family is sending greetings to the receiving family so it just makes sense to me. I wouldn’t sign other people’s name if it the message was really just coming from me (like a thank you card for a birthday gift). I agree that dog before kid is weird.

    • Anonymous :

      agree, I find this strange also. Along with shared emails (smithfamily@…). It’s 2017.

    • Wildkitten :

      Is it an automatic signature? Still weird, but maybe they aren’t typing it out every time?

  33. pugsnbourbon :

    The dog’s name comes before the kid’s? I mean, my dog is the light of my life but I’m side-eyeing that a little.

    And how could they judge you if they weren’t specific about who was the dog and who was the kid? Unless the dog’s name is Rover or something … now I’m hoping you really did call the kid Rover!

    • Smug Family annoyances :

      The names are both of the medieval professions type. They may or may not be on this list:

      Baker
      Archer
      Hunter
      Smith
      Fisher

      • Is it possible that these people are just insufferable?

        • Yeah, I thought you were overreacting a little bit about the names being on the card at all, but I was totally with you on the weirdness of listing the dog first, and now I hate this family.

          • Smug Family annoyances :

            The names weren’t on a card. That’s how the dad sends out HOA and other random e-mails.

          • I overlooked the email part. Yeah, he’s awful.

    • Just guessing here, but the dog may be the “older” sibling.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah that would be the only explanation.

        Although they’re definitely insufferable regardless.

  34. Sloan Sabbith :

    I looooooooooove my outfit today, which is odd because it was literally a “grrrr I have to get dressed…” outfit. Black boots, black fleece tights, black skirt, black sweater, delicate gold pendant necklace.

    It’s still cold and raining in Seattle, so it works. But I really wish I could not be wearing fleece tights in April.

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