Thursday’s Workwear Report: Pom-Pom Flower Top

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

Talbots has been making this top for a really long time — I remember I had one in dark green about 1,000 years ago. The ruffled V-neck is wonderful for layering under lightweight sweaters, particularly ones with V-necks so that you’re matching the neckline shape, and it’s a really cute top, especially in yellow. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I love wearing yellow with gray because it bypasses the “bumblebee” look that can come with yellow and black and also avoids the preppy or sports-team vibes that you often get when you wear yellow and navy. The top comes in four colors in misses, petites, woman, and woman petites sizes at Talbots. It’s $89.50 full price and is currently marked down to $67.12 — and right now, Talbots is having their Spring Style Event, which gives you 25% off your entire purchase. (Have you seen our post “How to Build a Work Wardrobe at Talbots“?) Pom-Pom Flower Top

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  1. Anonymous :

    My coloring is similar to the models (maybe with slightly ruddier skin) and yellow looks good on her. I always thought that it would look wretched on me. Too much Color Me Beautiful from the 1980s? A hangover from If There Be Thorns and a tendency to binge-read VC Andrews while babysitting?

    I don’t I’ll convert to Team Yellow at this point.

    +1 for models smiling and looking happy — you rock happy models!

    • Dark hair and pale skin here – the shade of yellow really matters. I’m a “winter” in Color Me Beautiful, so I need a really vibrant yellow with no green or orange tones. It’s really tricky to get yellow right, but when I find the right shade, I feel completely radiant.

      • Winter here, too! Total snow white complexion. I just don’t wear it near my face, and I’m good. I have one pair of canary yellow earrings, but if I wear those, I wear them with my hair down.

      • Same! I had a pastel yellow sweater years ago that was a really pure yellow and I was always surprised by how good it looked on me. Other people would even say that they didn’t expect me to look good in yellow, but they thought that sweater was really flattering.

      • Yup, dark hair (warm brown) and extremely fair skin, but warm-toned vs. cool toned (not ruddy) and I look my absolute best in some yellows — and like death in others. A very light butter yellow is amazing for me, or a goldenrod like this appears on my screen — bright with some orange in it. But a true bumblebee yellow is too cool and looks awful. Same for a true mustard (vs. goldenrod).

    • Anonymous :

      I have fair skin and brown hair (like the model, actually) and I look good in yellow. See also: Michelle Williams’ yellow Oscar dress with the red lip. Classic.

    • Legally Brunette :

      This is a lovely pick and I agree that it’s great to see a happy smile on the model! And I love this shade of yellow — I have medium brown skin, black hair, and this is one of my power colors.

    • Yellow is a funny color. I am medium brown, somewhere between halle berry and gabrielle union coloring and lemon yellow = way to much light reflected on skin, sunflower yellow = beachy, mustard yellow = two days dead. My poor father has lighter skin with olive undertones and looks the most awful of awfuls any shade between lemon yellow and orange.

      • “two days dead”

        You win for wordsmithing this morning. This is my yellow-family fear and why I seem to resist it.

        • KS IT Chick :

          I’ve come to the conclusion that yellows can’t be ordered online. They must be purchased in person. Every attempt I’ve made at ordering yellow clothing online has resulted in returns due to colors not working for me.

    • I love your references, Anonymous OP. We must be around the same age!

    • I love yellow and am loving a yellow Boden dress right now, but alas, it’s a no-go. I look awful in yellow. Dark hair, blue eyes, neutral/cool skintone with some ruddiness in the cheeks. I wear a lot of navy, so I’m thinking a pair of yellow shoes might be the way to go …

  2. Are there any AUSAs here? To keep it short, I graduated law school in 2013 from a top 30 school (top in my region) but it was a bad market so I had to take what I could get. I’ve been doing corporate law since then (both at a firm and in house) but have always thought about being an AUSA. I did intern with local prosecutor’s office during law school and have done some volunteer work so I can show a continued interest but no clerkship. Is there any chance I could get a job as an AUSA or is that just impossible at this point? I have a contact locally but don’t want to talk to him until I have a better idea of how unrealistic this is as. Thanks in advice for your brutal honesty.

    • So much of this depends on the market. Are you in a large city or smaller area? What were your law school grades like?

      It’s definitely not impossible, and there’s absolutely no harm in talking to your contact, but these jobs are competitive. Depending on where you are, you might want to look into a state prosecutor’s office first and then try to swing up once you have experience. But again, whether that is feasible (or even a good route to an AUSA job) depends a lot on the office/market.

      • +1 It’s worth talking to your contact to get the lay of the land. It’s very common for people to want to move to government after a few years in private practice, so having a good spiel about why you want to make the switch will be key – your internship and volunteer work should help with that.

        • I will also add that some people are looking to make the switch because they think the hours will be a lot more humane as an AUSA than in private practice. That may be true of some USAOs, but definitely not all of them. The one I am familiar with has people working firm hours for very little pay – less pay even than attorneys in regular agencies making GS-scale wages. So definitely talk to your person to see what your particular office is like if you are motivated by lifestyle factors.

      • Law school grades were okay but of stellar. Mid 3s GPA. I’m in a small city but am willing to move to DC or a west coast city if that would help (have been considering a move anyway so it wouldn’t just be for this). Not sure if that would make it harder or easier?

        • Anonymous :

          I think that DC/big city would make it harder.

          Who doesn’t have an AUSA pipedream? Lots of people submit on a lark.

          I know someone who went from EEOC–>DOJ–>State Department. Same drama, but it just seems so cool to be able to say “I work at the State Department.” To me, at least, in flyover country.

        • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      What’s your local docket like? Ours has a lot of white collar / human trafficking / drugs (with an international angle). But more financial / white collar than many other places.

      One thing I think about is appellate brief-writing as a probono activity. If you can do it for state law criminal matters, that may help show that you are very good at a specific task and help you know people.

      Go to the local CLEs they go to and try to see who really does what, talks about what, etc. We get some transplants in our AUSA office (my neighbor is one). But sometimes it’s just from within the local bar.

      • The CLE thing is a great idea I hadn’t considered. What types of organizations would I contact for the pro bono brief writing? I’m in VA if that’s helpful.

    • Anon for this :

      Does your firm offer a DA rotation where you can work in the DA’s office for a few months? When I interviewed for an AUSA position that experience was highly regarded. In my big city, having a contact was crucial to getting the job. I would reach out to your contact and ask him for advice and an honest assessment of your chances.

      If you’re open to relocation some offices are much less competitive than others. DC and other large cities are extremely tough.

      I agree with another poster about how the hours are long and the pay is poor, so be sure this is what you want.

      • +1 on making sure this is what you really want. I nearly took an AUSA job but ultimately realized it wasn’t what I wanted and I haven’t looked back. Working in an USAO seemed glamorous to me (in theory), but at the end of the day it was going to be a lot of hours and a huge paycut, plus a lot fewer perks and less administrative support than I was used to at a law firm.

        Everyone’s different and some people love these jobs. But they have their drawbacks, like everything.

      • No, I’m in house now but my firm did not have that. It sounds awesome! I understand the hours aren’t great and the pay isn’t either. That’s something I’m considering.

        • Former AUSA :

          The pay in my HCOL city is abysmal* – five figures.

          *Abysmal in comparison with other attorney salaries and in consideration of typical attorney student loans and AUSA workloads. Not objectively abysmal.

      • just FYI – I’m in a very large office and my hours (other than during trial) are amazing. 9-6 most days, very little weekend work. Once you are out of the intro rotation (where hours and micromanagement are brutal), you really do, for the most part, have the ability to work as hard or not as hard as you want. This is true for most of my colleagues at my level (all 8+ years out of law school).

      • Anonymous :

        Two cents about ease of getting the job, while the big cities are more competitive in terms of credential sand experience, they also have more turnover/openings. It can be just as hard to break into a small city due because the AUSAs there tend to stay for their whole career…

    • Can someone talk money? I know people say less than GS but how much less? For example how much are you coming in at say after 5 yrs post grad experience or 10 and what are raises like — like if you come in 3 yrs post law school but stay 8 yrs, where are you at at that point? Is it a 160k max like GS 14 (15? – can’t recall). You can assume big city for salary purposes – dc, nyc, la etc.

      • This is all public info. Here’s the base rates:

        Here’s the locality adjustments:

      • Stuck in mod, but this is public info. Google AUSA salary and all the info you need comes right up.

      • I don’t know any AUSAs making 160k or even anywhere close to that. But I’m not in NY/DC so I’m sure it varies.

        • I’ve known AUSAs in DC making $85k with 5+ years of experience.

        • 160K is when you are maxed out, which typically only occurs after you have a lot of experience. Also, no one should rely on those tables – each office makes its own decisions about where to put you on the AD scale and there’s a huge band for each AD year, so you really have no idea how much you will make until you get hired.

      • Reg posting anon :

        I work at DOJ and considered leaving for an offer at the DC-USAO. It would have been a 20% pay cut (I think I was a GS-14 at the time (this was several years ago), and their first offer was around 80k and I talked them up to 100k tops).

    • There’s a lot of misinformation in this thread. I’ve been an AUSA for almost a decade (in two offices) and am happy to answer questions offline. Can you post a burner account and I’ll email you?

  3. 60th Birthday Gift :

    Anyone want to help me come up with a gift for my impossible to shop for father’s 60th birthday? He has no hobbies to speak of and doesn’t really have A Thing. Typical men’s gift list items are all non-starters (no fancy watch, golf, whiskey/beer, ties/socks, slippers, etc.). The only way I can think to describe his general persona to internet strangers is if you imagine an easy-going/personable Sheldon Cooper who spent most of his life as a high-ranking corporate exec in a decidedly non-nerdy industry and would like to retire as Ron Swanson. We normally forego gifts, but given the milestone and the very recent loss of my grandmother/his mom, I really want to get him something more than dinner and a card.

    Some additional color: He has a coin collection, some nice pens, and some Scrooge collector items, but is not super serious about any of those things. Enjoys a good meal, but doesn’t get excited about fancy restaurants. Well-traveled, but seems to be done going on trips. Appreciates gadgets/tech items to the extent they are useful/truly innovative. Book selections skew toward math/science/history non-fiction and sci-fi/spy fiction (a la Heinlin and Clancy). Enjoys cerebral activities with a goal/prize element (poker tournaments, escape rooms, HQ trivia).

    • Clementine :

      A Yeti Cooler or yeti tumblers
      A pair of Adirondack chairs for the yard
      A wireless bluetooth speaker (Bose?)
      Bose Noise cancelling headphones
      A box of Omaha steaks
      A weekend workshop on fly fishing

      • Anonymous :

        +1 on Bose noise cancelling headphones if he doesn’t already have a pair. My grumpy husband who does not like stuff and does not like spending money absolutely loves the Bose headphones I gave him and uses them all the time.

    • Meg March :

      What about a blank of the month membership? My father enjoyed his bacon of the month club, in part because trying the new flavors was fun for him, and in part because he enjoyed having something to look forward to. I ordered from Pig of the Month BBQ, but there are tons of companies out there. There are also steak of the month, lobster of the month, book of the month, etc.

    • Garmin Fenix… techy, but looks pretty good, too.

      • My dad is similarly hard to buy for. One year for his birthday, our family all chipped in and we bought a “memorial bench” at the park where he grew up playing as a boy, in honor of his late parents. It has a plaque on it with “in loving memory of Dad’s Mom’s Name and Dad’s Dad’s Name”. I’ll never be able to top that gift for my dad – he burst into tears, and it’s meaningful to our whole family. Whenever we visit, we go to the bench and reminisce. Perhaps something along those lines might be special to him, and then you’re not cluttering his home with “stuff”.

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds very much like my dad. I like giving him experiences as gifts since he’s so hard to shop for, like tickets to something. One year it was a dog sledding expedition which he loved. He’s also a big fan of his Google Home device – maybe he would like a similar techy gadget (Google, Alexa, etc).

    • We once bought coins from his birth year and had them mounted and framed for my grandfather. I love the bench idea above though!

    • My dad is impossible to buy for. A couple years ago I started making him a specific cake receipe he loves that his mom used to make. I use her receipe for it which is very specific. I give it with tickets for him and I to go to an event together. Usually a live comedy show as we have the same sense of humor – you just have to chose carefully to ensure the comic’s act doesn’t focus on ‘gardening’ because that’s awkward. I don’t spend a lot of one-on-one time with him otherwise so we both enjoy the time together.

    • My 60 year old similar father recently asked for a high-powered telescope so he could look at stars in the back yard. In the past, we’ve gotten him pizza delivered from his favorite Chicago restaurant. Not fancy but a favorite.

    • Recently got my hard to buy for dad a 23 and me kit. Seemed to go over well!

    • A new possibly fancy version of something he uses all the time? Does he have any guilty pleasures you could indulge? Does he have a horrible task that you could do/pay someone to do?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I got my husband the NY Times birthday book for his 70th. He really liked it although the only downside is you have to wait until after his birthday to get it if you want to include the front page from his 60th.

    • Ouch that hurts! :

      So I’m going to be 60 this year. When I turned 50, my DH was asked by my parents about a gift… I’m cerebral and generally buy the things I want. So he asked them to name a star after me. International Star Registry. They framed the certificate AND the star chart (which has the star in my zodiacal constellation. What else do you get someone like me …. something unique. It’s a big hit in my waiting room actually.

      There’s also places where you can get a map of your favorite city or a street map with longitude/latitude of a favoured place like a birthplace?

    • Anonymous :

      Your dad sounds a lot like mine, except mine is just unabashedly nerdy, more Sheldon Cooper and less Ron Swanson. What about:

      – 23and Me kit
      – Magazine subscription (Scientific American, Smithsonian)
      – History non-fiction: Max Boot has a new book out about Edward Lansdale and the Vietnam War
      – Euro board games if there’s anyone else in your family who will enjoy them with him (my FIL is *quite* competitive about Settlers of Catan)
      – Google Cardboard and some app suggestions if you think he’ll be into that

  4. pugsnbourbon :

    If he wants to retire as Ron Swanson – maybe woodworking equipment? The only problem is space; you need a dedicated workshop area for a lot of this stuff.

    I know you said he’s not traveling much anymore, but what about a trip with an emphasis on history? The WWII museum in New Orleans is excellent. Or maybe Revolutionary or Civil War sites.

    • Anonymous :

      Weird idea: a nice pond yacht kit. You build it (get some Ron Swanson on without a huge amount of gear) and can display it or take it out on your local body of water.

  5. I love the look of eyelash extensions but I can’t justify the time/expense of getting them filled. Are there any products out there that actually make your lashes longer or are all those serums, etc. basically snake oil?

    Apologies in advance if this has already been discussed, I can never figure out how to search the comments on this site.

    • Anonymous :

      Latisse works.

      • Latisse (also known as bimatoprost or Careprost) really does work. You can get it in the US with a prescription, or there are some places where you can buy it the generic online without one – depends on your risk tolerance. I’ve done the latter a few times and will do it again when my supply runs out.

      • Does Latisse mostly make your lashes longer? Or does it do anything for thickness?

        Also, I have light eyes and am paranoid about the risk of eye color darkening.

    • Get the prescription Latisse. Everything else is basically snake oil that costs as much as the prescription.

      If you buy it online, the site’s doctor will have to write you a prescription. The site I used required a photo of my bare face and a picture of my drivers license. Or you can get it in person from your dermatologist if they do cosmetic stuff.

      It does really work. I have to use it less often than daily or my lashes will get too long!!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Try Urban Decay Subversion lash primer. It’s magical.

    • I’ve been wondering if RF lash boost actually works. I keep reading that it does but I’m still skeptical. Has anyone used it?

      • I’ve been using RF serum for four weeks and my lashes are insane. Totally works for me and my friends that use it.

        • Did you have any side effect issues?

          • No side effects. Well, I guess my eyes are a bit dry. I am on my first tube, but I use very little every night. My friends that have been on it longer report a tube lasts 4 months. They reduced usage to three-four nights a week after a while.

        • I just looked up the price and made a squeaky noise when I saw $150. How long does a tube last for you?

          • Also, (and you may not know this) – how long do the lashes last? I guess until they fall out? I have no idea how often mine fall out so I would wonder how long I would have to use it

          • Not moonstone but I think Latisse works by preventing your lashes from falling out as soon as they otherwise would. So they get longer before they fall out. They do eventually fall out but one at a time like normal eyelash loss so they still look quite long.

            Not sure how the R+F works.

          • I absolutely hate R+F since it is a MLM, but I buy their LashBoost because it really, really works. One tube lasts 6 months for me, as I don’t need to apply every day. It is 1000 percent worth it for me, and zero side effects. I’ve been using it for a year, and people compliment my lashes all the time.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        I use the RF last boost. It’s amazing! I’ve had the same tube for 6 months and going. People literally stop me and ask me if my lashes are real.

      • I’ve been using GrandeLASH MD Lash Enhancer since summer. No negative side effects. Good results. No dealing with MLMs.

      • I use and love lash boost and constantly get compliments on my long looking lashes. My eyes were a little dry and itchy the first week or so of using it but then that resolved.

    • Ladies who actually get lash extensions, do you find them worth it? I love the look but have been hesitant due to the price and how often you have to get them topped up. Also, it’s so hard to find places online that don’t have a smattering of terrible reviews for being sketchy / infecting someone’s eye, etc. Does anyone have a place they really like in NYC?

      • biglawanon :

        I find them worth it in theory, but do have trouble finding time to keep getting them refilled, so I go through phases where I have them and where I don’t. When I don’t have them, I usually wear Lilly Lashes falsies (they are the best!), just with the Ardell glue. Falsies are just more work on a daily basis, but it is easier to wear eyeliner with them.

      • Anonymous :

        YES. I love mine. I have tried a million different brands/types/styles and now get russian volume. They are amazing and lifechanging.

    • Stimulash Fusion. It’s a hundred bucks a tube but it totally works. I have blue eyes and the potential eye color change with latisse freaked me out. So I bought the Stimulash and I’m really happy with it.

      • I’m worried about that too! So the Stimulash Fusion doesn’t have the same risk?

        • Lash lift or perm? :

          I have heard good things about a lash lift or perm. Anyone have experiences with this service? I have straight lashes and would love them to be curved…..Am thinking of pairing that with RF lash boost.

    • Eeertmeert :

      L’oreal Voluminous Lash Primer. It thickens and lengthens. My hairstylist asked if I had eyelash extensions when I wore it under my drugstore mascara.

      For $10ish it’s a solid option.

      I had eyelash extensions done for my wedding and loved them. But yeah, expensive.

  6. Fancier than basic shower curtains :

    The only thing I can upgrade in my tiny bathroom is the shower curtain. And I’ve wasted hours of clicking looking for one that is just posh and beautiful. Is there a go-to place for the Rolls Royce (or even Odyssey Touring Elite) of shower curtains? I just want to make it more spa / oasis / tranquil feeling.

    Due to garish wallpaper from prior owner, it really needs to be white.

    [Can’t do a run even b/c the door is cut so low to the floor and swings in that there is no space for anything but a tub mat that you put over the tub when not using it.]

    • Anonymous :

      Last time I was at Pottery Barn they had a lovely waffle pattern white shower curtain. It was very spa-like and I seriously considered getting it but my budget was tight.

      • I have one in our guest bath like this and it was from Target! I always found it funny that people would compliment it all the time, but when I think of it, it really is nice. I think because a few things – (1) You often see waffle weave in spa robes, (2) it was clean and steamed so no wrinkles, and (3) perhaps most important of all was that it was lined with terry cloth on the inside so it was thick and luxurious and draped nicely/pulled close smoothly. Get a clear plastic liner and replace it when it gets gross/keep it clean and you are good to go!

      • I have a nice waffle pattern shower curtain from Target. It washed well and looks spa-like as well.

        My favorite one I ever had was from Ballard, I think. It was a white quilted look with a brown twill bottom border. It was really pretty and a great white. Unfortunately, the brown part was ruined by bleach.

        Ballard only has a few but the monogrammed one looks pretty:*&af=cat3:bedampbath_bath_bathshowercurtains cat2:bedampbath_bath cat1:bedampbath pagetype:products

      • Yes, consider Target! I was on a shower curtain hunt and loved one from Anthropologie that was way more than I wanted to spend on a shower curtain. I found a really nice one from Target! The Threshold line.

    • I’m not sure what a Rolls Royce shower curtain would do, but I like the idea! When I think “awesome shower curtains,” I tend to think Society 6, but those will not be white ( There may be a subtle artistic pattern that you could go with to lean into the cray wall paper? The marble ones?

      Other than that, the french pompom/tassel trim white one at Serena and Lily could be cool!

    • I have a shower curtain from Garnet Hill that I’m really happy with. I also have one from Pottery Barn but I can’t say it did much to elevate my bathroom.

      • I think a waffle-textured white shower curtain is exactly what you need. I made the same upgrade in my last apartment and thought the space seemed more tranquil. I don’t think you even need to spend much on it – mine came from Target! If you have room for a pretty candle or a succulent in the bathroom, perhaps that might help, or if you have a towel bar, maybe upgrading to a pretty or luxuriously fluffy towel hanging there might be nice.

    • anon a mouse :

      Anthropologie has a few that might work for you.

    • I heard a tip to make room look larger mount your shower curtain rod higher and get a longer curtain 96″. I heard it on young house love has a podcast. It really does elevate the look of the small space. +1 for a chic waffle texture white

      • Came here to say this. It makes a dramatic difference.

        I have also enjoyed fancy shower curtains from Anthro.

    • Take down the garish wallpaper and get the shower curtain of your dreams! Wallpaper removal is annoying but you can easily knock it out in a weekend, especially if the wallpaper is old.

    • Crate and Barrel makes a really nice waffle shower curtain. I’ve had mine 3 years. Washes well.

    • We have a bathroom used by our kids that is painted “antique ivory” which reads yellow, and it has a claw foot tub that is about 1/2” from the wall on three sides so there is no way to repaint without moving the very heavy tub. So rather than painting we’ve tried to decorate around the yellow walls.

      Our first attempt was a patterned shower curtain that included yellow. We used it until it ripped but it never gave off an elegant vibe (and the kids were little so it was fine)

      Once my daughter was a teen, she wanted the bathroom to be prettier, so we bought all new accessories. We bought off-white because it went with the wall color. Our shower curtain was from target and it is off-white eyelet, lined with a standard clear vinyl liner. The back side of the tub also has a liner in a typical claw foot tub/shower arrangement. That is also clear vinyl.

      I like the shower curtain best of all the accessories so i thought I’d mention it.

    • I don’t know what your budget is, but it should not be expensive to get a carpenter or handyman to shave the bottom of the door so you can use a rug.

    • Two ideas: first, just paint over your wallpaper if you don’t like it. You’ll have some texture on the walls, but it won’t cost the extra fortune of stripping the paper offf and you can get a background you love. Second, Etsy for shower curtains always and forever. Same prices as the big box stores, but you can get beautiful fabrics and custom lengths. That’s your Rolls Royce option at Honda prices. I get mine from this shop:

    • I use a pair of curtains with curtain tie backs on either side of the tub as my shower curtain. It looks super cute I think and opens up the world of curtain patterns if that would help you find something to go with the crazy wallpaper.

      Also, you could always remove the wallpaper … if its a small bathroom, which it sounds like it is it wouldn’t be that hard to do yourself. Or if that is unappealing what about putting removable wallpaper over the ugly wallpaper?

    • Frontgate

    • Belgian Linen shower curtain from Restoration Hardware. Doesn’t look like much on line, but in person the fabric is lovely.

    • If you really want to upgrade, I suggest the pebble matelasse shower curtain from Crate & Barrel. It will have an effect similar to a waffle weave (also a fine choice) but be less predictable.

  7. This site basic b*tch :

    Yesterday I was a basic b*tch for this site:

    MMLF dress
    OG bag

    When I got home from work, my JCrew popover from a couple of Fridays ago had come in the mail.

    I then changed into some Zella leggings.

    • Anonymous :

      Today I am wearing pointed-toe Rothys and the J. Crew Going Out Blazer. I wore my Zella leggings to the gym this morning.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      My OMG is going strong after daily work use for more than 4 years.
      All my leggings are Zella.

      • My OG kicked the bucket after just 1.5 years. Both zippers broke and the straps looked flaky and terrible. I’m surprised when I hear people can get years of daily use out of those!

        • I routinely put a ream or two of paper printouts in my OG and a computer and some drinks in my OG and regulary abuse the heck out of it. It is 3+ years in and still trucking.

          I have a Seville I got b/c fancy but I seem to keep using the OG months after my last trip b/c it holds so much and I am loathe to bag-switch.

          • Hello me. I tend to switch to my OG when I fly (because so much better to travel in!) and take about a month to switch back to the Seville which is my day-to-day bag

        • My OG is two years old and the coating on the handles is peeling a bit but otherwise it is fine. I would try sending it back as they seem to have good customer service.

        • Patricia Gardiner :

          My zipper broke after 6 months and they exchanged the bag, no questions asked! Might be worth a try!

    • Hahaha I love that term. I’m the CBB today, plus version – mmlafleur deneuve top, universal standard skirt, Caslon cardigan, Aquatalia boots.

  8. I just started trying to conceive and I can’t focus on anything else. Any advice? It’s becoming a problem at work and I can’t help but wonder if this is just my new normal. How will pregnancy and having a child be any less distracting than this? Plus, I’m terrified it won’t work and I can’t get pregnant, and I’m not sure how to deal with that.

    • Anonymous :

      You deal with this the same you do any other anxiety that is interfering with your life. Walk. Journal. Meditate. Breath. Positive self talk. If all that doesn’t work, therapy.

    • Anonymous :

      IME this is totally normal while TTC. I found that I was actually less distracted during pregnancy and after the baby arrived than I was while TTC. In fact, it was really nice to go back to work and not have to think about the baby 100% of the time. In the meantime, the Pomodoro method can help with focus and compartmentalization. Good luck!

    • TTC is very different from pregnancy because it’s so time-dependent – you’re either waiting around or trying to piece together various signs to figure out if you are ovulating or pregnant. When you’re pregnant, it’s just waiting around (and if you’re unlucky, enduring the side effects). I’d just accept the fact that it’s kind of stressful and treat it like any other stressor. But if you do get pregnant and have a child and find yourself worrying about every little thing and assuming the worst, I would seek professional help – I know parents that function like that and it’s really not good for the kids.

    • Try not to worry about whether it will happen right away or not. Other than that, I think it’s normal to be distracted by it at first. After several months (if you don’t get pregnant right away) I think the excitement will wear off and the whole thing will be less distracting. That’s how it was for me anyway.

  9. Talking in my Sleep :

    Oddly, I seem to be talking in my sleep lately. My partner complains as my fairly loud range of one liners- “Well, Joseph was a carpenter” to long conversations that inevitable wake him up unhappy/amused.

    Falling asleep is not a problem, unsure if this is a medical thing? I hate to have to move to another room to sleep… any suggestions?

    • No advice but I love that you were discussing Jesus’ father in your sleep.

    • Does he mention if you are acting out in your dreams? Moving arms and legs if your dreaming that you are running etc…? That is more concerning as a potential medical condition (and potentially dangerous for your bed mate!).

      Some people do this. It is not a medical concern as long as you are sleeping well and not injuring others. But if he cannot sleep, then mention to your doctor. Sometimes a low dose of a medicine at night may decrease the frequency of this.

    • See your doctor or sleep separately. Maybe the second until you do the first. Spouse and I had this go round and he was finally diagnosed with sleep apnea. Getting his CPAP was a game changer for him and us.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I did this too, including some punching and kicking in my sleep, until I got my CPAP. There were a few memorable ones. I think my husband’s favorite is in college, I said “I’m not from California. Do I smell like a Californian?” – in my sleep. Him and his roommates were so curious if smelling like a Californian would be a good smell or a bad smell. I have no idea and I apologize to any Californian’s I may have offended. Let’s go with a good smell, like sunshine and the ocean!

    • People hear the secrets that you keep when you’re talking in your sleep.

      Or so I’ve heard.

      • Shout out to 80s new wave/power pop!

      • I think more often than not it’s weird, random things that don’t make sense outside of the dream world. But I love the idea that OP has been trying to keep secret the fact that Joseph was a carpenter :)

        • Talking in my Sleep :

          The other night I apparently was the leader in some kind of war as I was giving military commands “troupe 3- flank to the west of the forest”. According to my husband we lost the war.

  10. AnonForThis :

    I was offered a position with a solo practitioner in the area of law I want to break into. I would be leaving a secure position in BigLaw for this opportunity. What are some of the specifics I should ask about the practice? Other than the normal salary questions, I want to make sure I fully evaluate this before making a leap. The lifestyle change and schedule flexibility are motivating me to make this change, as well as the ability to develop my own clients.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      This comes from my experiences working for a solo practitioner and then a very tiny firm. My experiences weren’t positive, so here’s what I wish I’d done:

      Really make sure the solo is stable. Financially, emotionally, psychologically stable. If it’s at all possible, I’d want to ask around to find out what her reputation is like. You won’t have an HR department to rely on if things go south.

      Are there any other employees, like a para or admin? That can bode well for her ability to work well with others. It can also give you an indication of how much admin work you’ll be expected to do.

      Does she plan to outsource payroll? (You’d be surprised at how many small/solo firms think it’s no problem to have their associates work on 1099s!)

      What’s the deal with tech? Being your own IT department is a drag.

      Consider asking for a base salary + something determined by your billables. When you’re the only associate, it’s likely that everything that needs to be done “now!” will be on you, so you’ll want to be sure you’ll feel adequately compensated. I had a deal like $X as base, and then $Y for every hour over ABC billed per month.

      Benefits? Insurance? Retirement? Paid time off?

      How will you handle scheduling? You mention flexibility, but let’s say there’s an emergency motion in your case that conflicts with your kid’s dance recital — is this attorney someone you think will take one for the team and cover for you, or are you just screwed?

      • +1 to all of this. I worked for a solo out of law school, and don’t regret it because I gained experience I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else, but there is not enough money in the world to make me do it again. He was a disaster in every aspect of his life. There was no malpractice insurance (I didn’t realize how bad that was at the time), customer service wasn’t great which meant I was constantly dealing with angry customers, the finances were a mess (thankfully all my paychecks cleared), his messy personal life was regularly spilling into the office, and I was frequently asked to do personal assistant tasks (mail, pick up his dry cleaning, etc.).

  11. Two Cents :

    You are all so good at finding dupes so hoping someone can help me. I bought a cropped cardigan (17 inches long), the brand is Glint, at Nordstrom several years ago. It is amazingly flattering and I’ve gotten so much use out of it, wearing it over sleeveless sheath dresses. It hits my waist at just the right length to make it look much smaller. This is the exact sweater.

    Sadly Glint is not selling this anymore. Any ideas on a good dupe? I want a crew neck, not a v neck. The key is that it needs to be 17 inches — many cropped cardigans are much longer. I’m an XS up top. Thanks!

  12. London -where to stay? :

    Looking for suggestions for areas of London to stay for a four day visit in May or June- fairly central for basic touristy sightseeing and good Underground access- main consideration is walking distance to good affordable (<100$ for 2) restaurants in the evening- any type of food. Budget up to $450/night…Kensington seems to pop up?

    • The Marylebone or Mandeville Hotels. Marylebone is a great neighborhood, lots of good restaurants, very walkable.

    • The Gore in South Kensignton is really nice if you don’t want a boring business-type hotel. I walk past it very often and I like people watching there. You’ll see the vibe it gives off. It’s close to most museums etc.

    • The last time we went to London, we took my mother in law for her banner year birthday and stayed at The Grazing Goat hotel in Marylebone near the Marble Arch. It was great, and I would totally stay there again (which is saying a lot I was with my mother in law.)

    • I recommend checking out One Fine Stay (it’s fancy Airbnb stay places run by a company that’s professional and offers other services too) and renting a flat in a London. I’ve done this a few times (I like Notting Hill for proximity to hinges and a cute neighborhood. Also loved Hampstead Heath – it’s further out by a lot, but feels like a country village in the middle of a city) and I love having a flat to come back to. The OFS flats are pretty luxurious too so you don’t feel like you’re giving up the hotel amenities (which I tend to find lacking overall in Europe unless you go really high end).

    • In mod, look at One Fine Stay’s flats

    • I enjoyed the Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell area. It is in a walking distance from the Underground/buses/even city center. It is a more quiet area, but you can feel the local atmosphere. I stay there during business trips as it is close to an agency I need to visit as well as to the city center (note, I like to walk a lot), theatres, shopping etc. I have already seen all the conventional must-have touristic spots and like to venture out and discover less travelled routes/spots.

  13. Nashville :

    Good morning!

    I’m looking for recommendations for dinner during my sister’s bachelorette weekend in Nashville. We both went to college there but have no idea what’s hot right now. Admittedly, I am looking for sort of a scene-y, of the moment place. Any suggestions?

    • wildkitten :

      I was in Nashville in December and went to Merchants and it was very nice, pretty scene-y, and on the main drag.

    • Check out reviews and lists in the Nashville Scene.

    • I went in June and I loved Husk, Etch, and Marsh at the Thompson Hotel.

      • Nashville :

        Husk (Sean Brock) for lunch is awesome (get reservations). Butchertown Hall, 5th and Taylor, Butcher & Bee, Rolf & Daughters, Henrietta Red, Adele’s (Jonathan Waxam) or Bastion. There are so many great restaurants, it’s wild.

        Check out StyleBluePrint or Garden & Gun guides AND always make reservations!

    • Nashvillian Not Cool Enough to Hang Out Here Anymore :

      Check out the website called Nashville Originals for local restaurants.

  14. Short v. long waisted :

    There has been a lot of discussion recently about how some brands are ideal for short waisted women — so far it seems like Boden, Lands End, and LK Bennett (and maybe more British brands generally?) fall into that category. This was an ha moment for me. I have dresses from all of these brands and tend not to reach for them often, now I understand why.

    For those of us who are long waisted or just regular waisted, what are your go to brands?

    • I think people go overboard with this. I’m long waisted and I love all the brands you just listed.

      • Yes, I’m very long waisted and the only time I have issues is one-piece bathing suits and sometimes pants. Pants that are supposed to be high rise won’t be very high rise on me because my torso is just so long.

        • This is absolutely a real issue. I am long-waisted, and the waist of a dress inevitably hits at my rib cage, where it is too tight. The hips of the dress hit at my waist, which means that the widest part of the dress hits at the narrowest part of my body. Now that J Crew no longer offers talls in my size, I have to have every single dress I buy altered. Styles with darts and without a separate waistband or a lot of horizontal seams tend to work best with alterations.

        • No idea why my response is in mod, but this is absolutely a real thing.

      • Same. I have a long-ish torso and my Boden dresses are my favorites. I look great in them.

    • I’m 5-4, but my waist is closer to my armpits than most standard sizes sew for (like it falls over my stomach / high hip area). For me, it’s a combo of waist-relative-to-shoulders and also being cusp-petite.

      I can’t wear:
      Brooks Brothers (at all)
      DVF wraps

      I can wear:
      Jcrew Petite dresses (but skirts can be shorter than is work-appropriate sometimes)
      Boden shifts only
      DVF non-wraps
      Leota faux-wraps
      MMLF Etsuko

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you — this matters not just for waist placement, but darts as well. I have ordered and returned shirts where the bust area was 2-4 inches from where my bust area actually is. It made me look deformed.

    • It really just depends on what you are comfortable with. I don’t like short-waisted dresses because they just feel weird and bunch at the back of my waist. I like to buy long or tall sizes, if they are offered, from jCrew. Banana Republic is ok and so is loft. It really just depends on the style.

    • I always thought J Crew was better for my longish waist.

    • I have a long torso and love Boden, but I also have a very high waist (despite overall torso length).

      • Ooh maybe that’s why Boden works so well for me. TBH I’ve never spent that much time thinking about the proportions of my torso.

    • I’m one of those people who can not wear Boden. My favorite these days is Maggy London.

    • Anonymous :

      Banana Republic talls work for me. Unlike most other “talls,” they actually adjust the drop from shoulder to waist — not just add extra skirt length.

    • Anonymous :

      Maggy London, Universal Standard, and Eloquii have all worked for my long-waisted self.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m on the tall side and long-waisted and can’t wear Boden or Reiss.

      Go-to brands for workwear:

      — Nora Gardner (certain styles; let them know you’re long-waisted and they’ll steer you)
      — MMF (only certain styles work though; the Masha is really good)
      — Elie Tahari
      — Boss
      — Theory
      — Lafayette 148 (although I have to get it tailored)

  15. Does anyone have experience as an adult with travel groups, specifically in Spain? SO and I would like to go to Spain and like the idea of a travel group so we can meet other people and have guides, etc., but I am not sure if they would be good for us. We are early 30s, like to drink but not really party all night. I have no overseas travel experience; SO has traveled extensively, but always with a group (he did a travel group right after college and has also traveled with friends and family). Neither of us enjoy planning, he prefers to not have a lot to think about while traveling, and I don’t mind being in charge of getting us places, but my inexperience with international travel makes me nervous. What would you all do to have a great vacation?

    • Not travel with a group! Spain is easy. You don’t need a travel guide to do it and you’ll have a better time on your own. If you don’t want to plan it use a travel agent.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I detest traveling in groups because you can’t do everything at your own pace. So I propose the best of both worlds–hire a private guide. I don’t know about Spain, but these are surprisingly cheaper than you would think and so worth it for a lot of places. You can use a travel agent to arrange (just make sure you’re clear you want a private tour), or you can hire someone yourself. is a website for hiring local guides someone on here (I think Senior Attorney?) has recommended before.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Sorry,, not tourbylocals

      • +1

        Travel on your own–so easy to do in Spain–and do day tours. Devour is a fantastic food/culture oriented company in cities all around Spain. Did a great food/walking tour with them in Barcelona (which I know very well) in 2016 and it was stellar.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        On the not wanting to plan front, I should add that my private guide trips have been arranged by a travel agent, so while I gave a lot of direction on “here’s what I want to see and do,” I didn’t have to do logistical planning of “how do I get from point A to point B.” I just had to successfully arrive at the destination airport and had transportation waiting, which was awesome.

    • I like G Adventures. Small groups – like 10 people and lots of opportunity to explore on your own. I love traveling on my own as well but sometimes I don’t want to do all the work of planning and figuring out how to get from point A to point B and what to see there. Small group travel is great for that. They have tours for 18-39 year olds as well.

      • My husband and I did a GAdventures trip in SE Asia. Our group was 7 nineteen year old girls and us, in our mid-30s. It was not optimal.

    • Caveat that I’ve never done this- but you might look into a Rick Steves group. I plan my own trips – but I end up using a lot of his suggestions and they’re usually spot on for what I’m looking for. They seem to get excellent reviews. Alternatively, DH and I prefer to instead mix in some half-day or full day tours once at our destination to make things easier for us – but I love planning. If you go with a fun group and get more comfortable on this first trip, you may plan your own next time. I used to look down my nose at travel tours but there’s no shame in letting someone plan for you if that suits you sometimes!

      • I actually did a Rick Steves tour in Spain in 2015 and it was excellent. There are afternoons and evenings off built into the schedule so that you do have plenty of time on your own in each city in addition to the schedule tour outings. The tour guides are locals and are really knowledgeable. I highly recommend it, and this is coming from someone who traveled Europe (including Spain) fairly extensively on her own during college.

    • Buy a guidebook and plan your own. I’m sure groups are fine, like G adventures is very well-regarded, but it’s also going to cost about twice as much.

    • You’ll be the youngest couple, probably, but you can always go out at night after the group dinner.

      • You’re getting a lot of feedback to go without a group, and for sure you could, but it sounds like that doesn’t feel right for you. This tour just arranges hotels, transport and has a “tour manager.”

    • There was a comment discussion a few weeks ago with a lot of people looking down on group travel but I really do think it can be delightful. I’ve done a variety of group trips as well as solo and long-term travel. I’ll give the pro-tour group view here because I’m sure lots of people will weigh in on the other side.

      I did a Rick Steves tour of Italy with my mom when I was in college. It was so much fun. There was one other person my age; she and I were definitely the youngest in the group, but we had so much fun with the entire group. I forget exactly how many people we had total, but there were about a dozen of us who would consistently go out and have fun after the group dinner, while others went back to the hotel. I’m still in touch with some of those people today, more than a decade later.

      Some other pros of a tour group:
      – very little tension/conflict with my mother because someone else was planning and managing
      – also less friction because we weren’t each other’s only company for two weeks
      – logistics all arranged, including tickets to things that needed to be scheduled/bought far in advance
      – lots of free time structured into the tour
      – our tour guide was great and very knowledgeable, and also brought in site-specific guides for certain places
      – some “authentic” experiences that I would have been uncertain how to arrange on my own – for example, on one tour we had a hands-on cooking class at a local restaurant (Italy); on another, we had a traditional dinner cooked for us in a local family home (Morocco).

      I have done tours with both Rick Steves and Intrepid. The Rick Steves tours tend to skew a little older and more “academic” – lots of museums and a sort of educational aspect to things. Intrepid definitely skews younger and is more active/experiential. I would recommend either. You can also always tack on a few days at the end if you think you’d like to have some independent time.

    • I just went to Spain for the first time last year and I suggest doing a mix of tours/on your own. For me, that meant staying in the bigger cities and then taking organized tours to smaller places. For example, I was in Madrid and did organized day trips to Toledo and Segovia (which I loved). It’s really the best of both worlds. Also, Madrid and Barcelona both have Sandemans free tours (you just tip the tour guide) around the city. I recommend doing those on your first day there to orient yourself to the cities. They also offer paid tours too, and we did a tapas tour in Madrid and Gaudi architecture tour in Barcelona through them too. I learned so much more than I would have on my own. Very affordable, really enthusiastic tour guides. I’m jealous, I want to go back to Spain so much. It’s my favorite country I’ve been to so far!

    • Tour Advice :

      I’ve been all over the world with tour groups and I primarily use G Adventures or Intrepid. I like that I don’t have to plan anything and it’s been a great way to meet new people – in fact, I’ve met friends from the UK and Australia that I now routinely travel with (with or without a group) because I like them so much.

      Tips – always call ahead and inquire about your group. Some of the tours cater to different age groups – i.e., G Adventures Nat Geo tours are for people a bit older (tend to be 50s-70s), whereas there are other trips that cater to the backpacking under 35 group. I tend to avoid both of those spectrums and stick to the middle range, though I still call ahead to make sure I’m not the only one on the trip or that there are other single people my age (I also don’t want to get stuck with all couples). You also may want to skip tours where only a few other people are signed up (I once had a tour with only 4 other people on it and it was one of my least favorites because I hated 3 of the 4 other travelers – your odds are better with bigger groups).

    • cat socks :

      I went to Spain with my parents on a Gate 1 tour. They booked the trip because they liked the ease of having someone else plan everything. I would recommend going to their website and looking through the itineraries to get an idea of what all you will see. They do a pretty good job of noting when you will be with the group vs. having time on your own.

      I liked having a single tour manager throughout the trip. He was very knowledgeable and as we were traveling across the country via bus he talked a lot about the different regions of the country, history, etc. Stuff that I would not have learned on my own.

      The trip was busy. Sometimes we only spent one night in a place before traveling to the next destination. I was a little burned out at the end from getting up early to make the bus.

      We usually ate breakfast at the hotel and had lunch on our own. There were also a couple of dinners provided.

      I liked the local guides that would be at each destination. I enjoyed having someone discuss the history of the city, cathedral, etc that we were seeing as opposed to just walking around looking for stuff on my own.

      Overall I like the trip I went on. I felt like I saw all the highlights on the 10 day trip. However, if you prefer to go at your own pace, I would not recommend a tour like this.

    • cat socks :

      Longer comment in mod…check out Gate 1 travel. You can view their detailed itineraries online to get an idea of what the tour will be like.

    • I lived in Spain, and didn’t do group travel there, but I just got back from a group trip to Latin America with Flash Pack (a UK based company, though I’m in the US), and it was fantastic. It’s geared specifically to people in their 30s and early 40s who are professionals. I made great friends on the trip and loved, loved, loved the itinerary (and built in free time). It’s pricey, so that’s a factor/detractor, but I found it totally worth it. I think there’s a similar US-based company called Travendly, but I haven’t traveled with them.

    • In tourist areas, I have had good luck using Viator tours for day trips once at my destination. They actually seem to be a hub for booking available local day trips, so you may be on the same tour that booked through someone else. Generally, if you are not in your destination’s high season, they can be booked the day before. So, for instance, you can arrive at your hotel at the Amalfi Coast on Tuesday and decide you want to go on a cruise to Capri on Thursday, take a tour of Pompeii on Friday, learn to cook pizza on Friday afternoon, and see of the coastal towns by bus on Wednesday, and then book the trips/events online. The guides have been great and fun. I’m not saying this is the very best way to see a place (there are better independent guides, for example), but it’s super low effort and generally provides some alone time plus some group time.

  16. Lunch at The French Laundry Shopping Help! :

    Shopping help! My husband and I have lunch reservations at the French Laundry in Yountville in April for a milestone anniversary. What would you wear? I’d like to own something, as opposed to RTR.


    • JEALOUS.

      Men are supposed to wear jackets for both lunch and dinner at the French Laundry, so you should dress accordingly. That said, Yountville is very walkable (and pretty casual) and hopefully you will have a chance to stroll around the garden across the street, so pick your shoes carefully.

      I would avoid anything that is constricting around the waist, like a pencil skirt. My instinct would be cigarette pants, an elegant blouse with an interesting neckline, and sleek shoes.

    • lucky you! :

      Nothing too fancy. A spring dress that you love. It’s lunch. In “the country”.

      I was dressed fairly casual when I ate there for dinner.

      • lucky you! :

        Actually, what ohc posted is what I wore! For dinner.

      • Agreed. I’ve spent tons of time there (my parents live in Napa) and people look ridiculous in RTR type stuff. A cute sundress or jumpsuit is perfect. Get something comfortable in the waist or for sitting down too, because it’s a long meal. It’s really nice to pause in the middle of lunch too and go for a walk in their garden.

        • Ps – I love doing a white outfit for an anniversary, saw this on Gal Meets Glam (there were more ideas there) and it fits the comfy jumpsuit but anniversary white idea:

        • And I just ordered this for my own April anniversary:)

          It’s dressier but fun – I’d be tempted to wear this to lunch too.

          • Because I’m still having fun shopping for this, if you don’t go the white route, I’d do a midi length floral dress with sandals – this one caught my eye:

        • People don’t look ridiculous. It’s the freaking French Laundry — of course they’re going to dress up! If you feel good in what you’re wearing, go for it.

          • Anonymous :

            Agreed! I dress nicely for special occasions in special places!!

          • Yea, but it’s not fancy that way – it’s expensive but you will probably feel out of place super dressed up, not to mention uncomfortable. It’s casual elegant not fancy because it’s expensive.

          • Anonymous :

            Agree with Scarlett. It is a rustic vibe, simple decor, although once in a lifetime experience for many. You want to be comfortable for a 3+ hour meal.

            My pants were a little bit …. confining…

    • Eating pants.

    • Lunch at The French Laundry Shopping Help! :

      Thank you all!

    • Anonymous :

      Nothing too fancy. I’d say “Sunday best” sort of attire. You want to look nice, but you will look super out of place in a cocktail dress and stil*ttos, especially at lunch. And definitely something loose around the midsection — that meal is no joke.

    • Cornell Med :

      I would just wear one of my dresses that I feel comfortable in.

  17. Cell phone by bed :

    I have a weird dilemma I could use advice on. I made a New Year’s resolution to keep my iPhone out of the bedroom since it’s so distracting/such a timesuck and since the scientific consensus is that it’s not great to have a radiation-emitting device so close to your head for such a long period of time. However, I realized that my phone is my only connection to the outside world in case of emergency since we have no landline. If I were to leave it in the living room overnight and then we had the Big One (earthquake) or I heard someone breaking in through the back door, I would have no way to call for assistance. Any suggestions for how I should handle this?

    • Can you have it in the room but not next to you? Far corner, adjacent bathroom, etc? This is what I did when I was detoxing from my phone.

    • Small box specifically for your phone. Put it next to the door or inside your dresser, somewhere you can’t see it or reach it from your bed.

    • Um put it in your bedroom but like literally anywhere other than next to your head?

      • Cell phone by bed :

        My concern with keeping it across the room is that in an earthquake situation, you aren’t supposed to get up and run around. You’re supposed to stay in bed and cover your neck, which I would theoretically do after grabbing my phone off the nightstand just in case. If I didn’t live in an earthquake zone, that risk would be negligible, but since I do, I want to plan for it adequately.

        • Then put it next to your bed and stop being so crazy and anxious! Your phone isn’t radiating your brain overnight. Slide it in a drawer.

          • Cell phone by bed :

            You must not work in public health where we research the risks of long-term radiation exposure. It’s your choice to be ignorant, but in the meantime, feel free to scroll right on by if you can’t stop your fingers from typing insults.

          • Ok hon. Then buy a landline. Idk why you think the magic solution is going to be.

          • Out of curiosity, are there any studies you can share? I have no opinion about whether or not you should keep it in a drawer but I’d like to learn more about the health risks of cell phone radiation.

          • There are no health risks of cell phone radiation. The OP is a bit anxious, and is misinformed.

          • Saying “there are no risks” is misinformed. In fact, the California Department of Health (where there’s a decent chance OP may live given the earthquake risks she’s describing) issued a warning about the dangers of cell phone radiation just a few months ago.

            At this point, there are some concerning studies and some less so. There’s really no consensus or way of knowing. I don’t think placing reasonable limits on exposure by not sleeping next to your cell phone is crazy. It’s probably smart, given the lack of a scientific consensus on this issue.

          • Again – you are wrong. Just because California gives guidelines of things people can do “if they are concerned about decreasing the risk of cell phone radiation” does not mean there actually ARE PROVEN risks DUE TO cell phone radiation. This is a general information guideline for those who pepper them with questions.

            Honestly, you would do more for your health but not driving, and taking public transportation everywhere. Being in a car accident is probably the greatest risk to most of us every day.

            There is no good data. At all. And with the incredibly high number of people using cell phone devices throughout the world and the number of studies ongoing, if there was a clear risk it would have made itself clear by now.

            If you are worried about your health, you should be focused on eating well, exercising regularly, sleeping, managing diagnosed medical problems and doing age appropriate cancer screenings, not smoking and not drinking too much, treating depression/anxiety/sleep disorders early, keeping social contacts and learning meditations. And if you are really really really worried about cancer risks, I might say don’t drink alcohol at all, use condoms always, don’t dry clean your clothes, avoid nitrites in foods, don’t fly in airplanes etc….

            And remember – untreated anxiety is also bad for your health. The effects of elevated endogenous steroids on memory/cognition, cardiovascular risks, cancer and more are very well established. If people choose to brush this aside and worry about cell phones, well…. to each her own.

          • Not the OP so not sure why you say “again.”

            Based on the studies that are out there, I agree that cell phones are probably safe – but you can’t say definitively that there are “no risks.” The fact is that this technology hasn’t been around long enough to truly know it’s potential long-term effects, and there have been some studies that give me pause (while there are many that are more comforting).

            I agree that we all have to decide what risks we are comfortable with because there’s a risk to every single decision we make every day.

            I’m familiar with the literature and have made a decision to sleep with my cell phone across the room. I haven’t gotten rid of it or wrapped it in foil or anything that is even remotely a disruption of my life. In fact, I don’t worry about it at all, it’s just my routine. So I’m not sure why you’re assuming “anxiety!!!!!” I’m not anxious, I just did a cost-benefit analysis based on what I know.

            You can disagree and sleep with your phone wherever you want, but this is still an area that’s being actively studied.

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          I suppose you could get landline – just one phone by your bed.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I actually think this is the best idea since in a real disaster the power is likely to go out and you won’t be able to use your cell phone. Also print out your telephone list and have it next to the land line since nobody knows anybody’s phone numbers any more.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            Yes, especially if you can still get a real landline on a copper wire (which will still work if the power goes out), not a FiOS/VoIP/etc house fine.

          • We had a real coppper landline phone until very recently for safety reasons (poor cell reception, frequent power outages, etc.). When the cheapest service got up to nearly $100/month we went to VOIP.

        • In the event of the “Big One”, if it’s so dramatic that you can’t get to your cell phone across the room – i.e. your whole house has collapsed – I’m guessing that emergency response and cell systems will not be functioning normally. Not to try to make you worry more, but this seems like a very, very narrow band of earthquake severity you’re planning for.

        • anon a mouse :

          15- or 20-foot charging cord. Plugged in by the bed but stored across the room. In an emergency, reach down for the cord and pull it back to you.

    • Why don’t you get a landline? When we had one, it was $20/mo.

      • Get a landline! If you ever need to call 911, calling from a cellphone will not route you to your local PD. You’ll waste valuable time being transferred. Calling from a landline possibly saved a friend’s dad’s life during a heart attack. They live on the Long Island sound and calls from cell phones bounce to Long Island, rather than Westchester, where they live.

      • Mind if I ask where you got that deal? I just got rid of ours because we couldn’t get a rate less than $75/month

        • Wow! I’m in NYC. We may have had a slightly cheaper rate because of a company benefit program, but certainly not from $75 to $20!!

    • There is no such scientific consensus. You are mistaken. But of course not using your phone before bed is recommended for good sleep hygiene.

      Leave it across the room, charging.

      Even in the most severe earthquakes I have been in, you will get out of bed. You have time. And a phone isn’t much use at that moment anyway. And I assure you others will need more urgent help than you. You are not dialing the phone during the seconds of shaking.

      You mention a “we”, so I take it you are not alone. So someone else will be able to assist you as well. Have them keep a phone nearby, if you are worried.

      I live alone and have a security system (my apartment has been broken into twice), and keep the emergency button next to my bed. Phone charging across the room.

      You are worrying out of proportion to the risk of these events occurring. Is this typical for you?

      • +1
        Out of curiosity, just ran this scenario by an actual radiation physicist (ie the people responsible in research, medical, power, and other industrial/occupational situations for calculating radiation exposure, shielding, and implementing safety protocols and response), and you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you’re concerned, put it in a drawer, or get a landline.

        I’m sorry this is worrying you! The ever present earthquake risk must be unnerving.

    • Apple watch synced to your iPhone?

    • Well, I guess you have to ask yourself if your anxieties outweigh wanting to distance yourself from your phone.

      You are not going to get brain cancer from having your phone near your head.

      • Can you cite a medical study proving this? If not, then you don’t actually know any more than OP does.

        • Hmmm…. there’s no study showing that wearing MM LaFleur clothes does not cause cancer. Therefore, it has not been proven, and I must modify my behavior accordingly.

          Is that how you live? Really?

          You can readily search online from the NIH/CDC for their recommendations.

        • That’s not really how the studies work, they’re not proving a negative. A quote from the NYT article linked below, though, says: “The statement, from Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the F.D.A.’s center for devices and radiological health, also said, “Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumors.””

    • Cell phone by bed :

      For those who have asked, this NYTimes article links to some of the evidence. You’ll see that the actual risk of brain cancer and other conditions is under research and that there are suggestive, but not major, linkages at this point in time. However, consumers are advised not to sleep with their phone next to their head, at least in the state of CA.

      I understand that some of you may not adhere to the “precautionary principle” style of managing risk. If that works for you, great! This works for me. This post was asking for practical tips, not armchair diagnoses about anxiety in my life, so thanks to those of you who suggested landlines and/or other approaches. I’ll see how much they cost in my area because if it’s really only $20, that’s better than I expected.

      • KateMiddletown :

        You could also get an Alexa/something similar that would allow you to call a friend who could notify emergency services w/o getting out of bed. (I’m pretty sure Alexa can’t call 911 but there are apps that let you “notify” a friend or drop in on someone else that has an Alexa.) Can’t speak to Google home, etc. (They should really have this feature!)

      • Sorry you got so many rude responses to this one. I think it’s easier for people to tell themselves you have anxiety issues than it is to accept that there are potential risks associated with their own behaviors.

        Fwiw, I sleep with my phone across the room partially for this reason. (I don’t live in an earthquake zone, though.)

      • It’s confusing to me, because the consensus per that article is that there is not a clear risk. It mentions that nearly 20 animal studies on this subject have been done, “with the vast majority coming up negative with respect to cancer.”

        • This is correct.

          There are a few animal studies that blast them with HUGE amounts of radiation that are disproportionate to any human exposures. Those show more results but you can’t extrapolate from that in a meaningful way.

      • For what it’s worth, a quick google suggests the California guidelines were draft guidelines not intended to be released until they were ordered to by a judge and the CDC states “There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question. Some organizations recommend caution in cell phone use. More research is needed before we know if using cell phones causes health effects.”

      • I just did some quick research for this. Phones emit radiation with a frequency of ~300 GHz, which is about 1.2 meV. Frankly, this is extremely low energy and is readily absorbed by air/ material. Even 1 foot of distance will dramatically reduce the radiation from your phone. If you’re really concerned, try putting your phone in a metal-lined box. It doesn’t have to be lead, even Al foil will help (it creates a Faraday cage).

      • So, in my area it is cheaper for us to have TV+Internet+Home phone than it is to just have TV and Internet. Essentially, this means we have a free landline. I’d suggest checking, a landline may not even be $20 a month, it may be free.

    • Put it in airplane mode overnight and put it in a drawer by your bed.

    • I’m one of the anons that’s been trying to conceive for 2+ years. I started wondering if all the years of having my laptop on my lap at home or my cell phone in my hand or next to me (I’m rarely more than a foot from it) could be a cause of unexplained infertility. If anyone’s seen any studies on that, I’d be interested.

      • lmgtfy dot com

      • Not for women, but I remember seeing something about BPA linings? I didn’t do more research so can’t say more, but it made me stop buying cans with BPA and I try to avoid plastics, esp. in microwaves. Of course, no one knows the long term consequences of BPA substitutes either but it’s something?

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I cannot speak to your specific situation, Anon, but has your partner been tested? I ask because when we were starting investigations, we were told in no uncertain terms that long-term use of a laptop on a man’s actual lap can cause a decrease in sperm count, not because of radiation but because of heat (same reason why they suggest boxers rather than briefs).

    • LOL cite your sources on the radiation, please.

  18. I saw an article this morning about a proposed bill in Iceland to ban c!rcumcis!on of infant boys for non-medical reasons. As might be expected, the bill is being widely interpreted as an attack on Jewish and Muslim communities.

    I am neither Jewish or Muslim, but not having the relevant plumbing, I’ve never thought about male c!rcumcis!on as a controversial issue. For those of you who are parents of children born male, how did you navigate this question?

    • We didn’t. We’re in Canada and it’s not covered by the public health system. People from religious communitites or who decide to have it done pay out of pocket. Not done in most of Europe either, except for religious communities. American Pediatric Association is the only western pediatric assocation that doesn’t recommend against it.

      • +1

        I’m Canadian, I’ve gardened with a lot of men and I can only think of one who was cut. It’s not recommended here and not regularly performed for non-religious reasons. Personally I think it’s barbaric.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I was born in 1973 and had never seen an un c’d man until I moved to Europe. Things have changed pretty dramatically in the other direction in recent years. My son is au naturel and so are almost all my friends’ children who are not Jewish. The only c’d boys I know in my circle are the sons of a man who *insisted* that his kids look like him even though he is a doctor.

    • I’m expecting a boy, and I’m leaving the decision up to my husband who want to do it, no question.

    • It’s pretty controversial in some crowds. Why remove healthy tissue from a baby? The fact that the bill, as proposed, does not expressly provide a religious exemption also makes it antisemetic and antimuslim.

      • Religious beliefs aren’t a get-out-of-jail free card for laws that benefit children, though. There are plenty of laws on the books that (correctly) do not provide religious exemptions, such as laws against child labor. I think that a democratic society can choose to enact a circumcision ban without it being a specific attack on Jews or Muslims, even if they have the biggest protests against it.

        • No they can’t.

          • So then what are your thoughts on female genital mutilation? Should religious groups get a free pass there?

          • That it’s a completely different procedure, as you obviously know, and that sometimes laws shouldn’t have religious exemptions and sometimes they should.

            Also that you seem really hostile for this early in the morning.

            Also that when a marginalized group voices a concern it’s worth listening to.

          • No one is getting hostile – it’s a legitimate question. I agree that FGM is far riskier and way worse from an ethical perspective, but Iceland is citing the same international human rights standards for its proposed ban as activists cite for FGM bans. There needs to be a real debate on the rights of the child, including in situations where religious parents are practicing their traditions. My point is that religious beliefs don’t get to shut down the debate automatically.

          • Really? They just “can’t?” That’s convincing. I honestly do not believe that the people who are pushing for anti-circumcision legislation are truly doing it to attack religious groups. It seems to me like its a bodily autonomy issue. While the disproportionate impact on religious groups might be an effect–and whether that’s okay and/or how to treat that is a separate question–I don’t think it’s the motivation.

        • The attack may not be specific or intentional, but such a ban without religious exemption is still discriminatory. Also aren’t there some benefits (like std transfer, better cleanliness for the young/old/disabled who are unable to properly clean un*cir, etc.) that outweigh the negatives of a minor procedure with rare bad outcomes?

          • I mean, I don’t think shearing off someone’s body parts is worth it just to help them keep clean. We don’t shear off women’s labia when they’re old so it’s easier to keep clean. It’s really not that hard to clean an uncut p*nis. Plus, loss of s*xual pleasure is a definite downside.

          • Nope. There is no medical reason to have it done. American is the only place that does it for non-religious reasons.

            It’s not dirty and there are no issues with STD increase in areas with sufficient access to fresh water. Sub-saharan Africa is the only area where there has been an recommendation that it be considered re: HIV because there is less availability of access to clean water for appropriate washing and there is a higher rate of HIV.

          • Anonymous :

            Wouldn’t you tell your kid to use condoms, though? Not sure the STD argument holds any water.

          • joan wilder :

            I am sure you know but Sub-Saharan Africa is not one country, it is about 46 countries, at least two of which have a lower HIV prevalence rate than the Washington/Baltimore area.

          • Anonymous :

            @joan wilder

            Of course I know that Sub-Saharan Africa is not one country. Are there actual adults that don’t know that? The Canadian Pediatric Society statement on the issue discusses the research in S-S Africa and applicability to developed countries.

            C may be appropriate in certain high risk populations. That does not mean it is appropriate for every newborn or as a standard medical practice.

        • Hmm. I agree that there are probably intents behind the bill that aren’t meant as an attack on those communities, but I’m not sure that its democratic adoption would then make it okay. Lots of democracies–including the one I live in–have long histories of explicitly or implicitly excluding Jews and Muslims from positions of power. I’m guessing that Iceland may be similar, although I’d hope there’s someone in office who has the sense to be more attentive to all their constitutents.

      • Would you say the same about female circumcision? Because I wouldn’t. I don’t know that I am against a religious exemption (leaning not against) but when I was doing research about this, shockingly little information is known about how a baby feels during the procedure. So while I see a huge difference in lasting effects for male vs female here, I also recognize that it’s a largely unnecessary procedure to perform on an infant that likely causes great pain. This is something I really struggle with, so again I don’t know that I have a position (and I am half Jewish so it’s complicated by cultural factors, too) but it gave me a lot of trouble when I was considering it. And I also largely deferred (or initially said I would, which is not the same) to Mr. AIMS on this but I don’t know why that makes sense either. If someone wanted to do something I disagreed with to my kid I wouldn’t defer to him, dad or no. Like I don’t like the idea of piercing baby ears either, and when his family proposed it for our daughter and he was like sure, I had zero issues saying F no.

    • I remember few years ago, there were similar controversies in several countries e.g. Egypt because of excision. When officials would ban the practice, it would still be done in secret with even worse health complications. To some, it was part of their culture, others thought that it was religious, and others said it was downright mutilation.

    • I just recently had this conversation with my husband. I felt that since I do not have the relevant plumbing, it would be a decision that he would have to make if we have a boy (currently 16 weeks pregnant). He did his research and decided that it didn’t sway him off of his initial position of “well, I’m circumcised and I want him to look like me.” But I know there are people out there that have very, very strong feelings against circumcision. I will be making sure that the doc knows what he or she is doing before allowing it to be done however. I’m not particularly crazy about the idea of someone doing it that doesn’t do it on a very regular basis.

      • Sigh. The doctor knows. This is easy and routine.

        • I mean, yes, in theory. But I’ve heard enough stories of doctors messing it up, boys needing to get it re-done, etc. that I understand wanting a doctor who does this all the time.

          I’m generally not skeptical of the medical profession at all, but I view it the same way as you’d want to go to someone who does LASIK all the time.

        • It is routine, but for mysterious reasons the babies are often not given anesthesia. You want to make sure that is not the case.

        • Anon @ 10:36 :

          I may be overly sensitive to this type of thing. I’m in a relatively rural area and went to my regular ob/gyn for an IUD placement. Nurse commented that they had to order the IUD because they “don’t do them very often.” Doc couldn’t place the IUD after two rather painful tries. I changed my doctor to a larger practice a little distance away. New doctor assured me she places IUDs multiple times a week. Absolutely no problem with insertion.

        • anonymous :

          Ive been with two guys who had some form of damage from circumcision. One had an adhesion that persisted into adulthood; the other had too much foreskin removed and had issues from that. Those types of problems happen more often than people think.

    • I never thought about it either until I had to with my son. Prior to that, I always assumed it was a non controversial subject. It’s not. Some US localities have discussed similar bans, though I’d guess with a religious exemption. The trend does seem to be going away from circumcisions as the default in a lot of places where they were the norm for cultural but not religious reasons. According to my doctor, the perceived medical benefits are really not all they have been touted to be, at least in the US, and she said her patients are about 50/50 split on this issue. She said a lot of people tend to go ‘like father, like son’ on this because it’s easier to have dad look like kid, but that never made sense to me because a 5 year old’s you know what and a grown up’s are going to look different regardless.

      I don’t know anything about the Iceland law but it doesn’t strike me as anti anything given the context but of course there may be a different context involved there.

      • Where I live, in the SEUS, my pediatrician said it was about a 50/50 split among his patients. He also said there wasn’t a significant benefit either way.

        I left the choice up to my husband, and he wanted to circumcise because “like father, like son.” It didn’t seem like a compelling reason. But my child is 2 now, and a few months ago, he became very, very interested in my husband’s plumbing, and his own of course, and in my lack of it. (Now that he knows, that has mostly passed.) But I can see the benefit of “like father, like son.”

    • my comment was eaten, but I said that the female excision was banned in some countries only to have the concerned demographic carry the practice illegally making it even more dangerous.

    • My husband and I had this conversation recently. He feels very strongly that if we have a boy, he needs to be c’d.

      I have heard c’ing is supposedly “healthier” as a way to prevent infection / eliminate dark places for bacteria, yeast to grow. My grandfather was not c’d, and his hospice nurses made a very big deal about cleaning that part thoroughly daily.

      • There’s really zero maintenance necessary beyond washing it like you would any other body part.

      • As far as I’m aware, in developed countries where its easy to maintain proper hygiene, circumcising a boy does not make a meaningful difference in infection prevention.

        Speaking as to hygiene alone, how hard is it really to clean your junk? Women have lots and lots of folds of skin- we manage to do it. If you’re already at the hospice level, your care needs are so extreme that careful cleaning of an uncut p*nis seems like a small addition. I’ve had a disproportionate number of long term partners who are not circumcised and hygiene has literally never been an issue based on my observations. I dunno, I just feel the need to add my anecdata to the perception that uncut p*nises are covered in yeast and smegma.

        • IDK but I have girls and they are not yet good at cleaning every fold. It gets gunky and can get outright vile.

          • Okay, and did anyone suggest shaving it off to help them? No. Do you think your girls will eventually be able to learn? Yes. You sorta missed my point. It’s just a ridiculous argument- like someone said below, it takes a sledge hammer to a minor “problem.”

          • But that’s why you teach girls to wash themselves properly? And boys can be taught too. Hospice care just needs to be proper. It’s not like all the men in Europe are getting it done when they enter care homes. Proper hygiene regardless of cut or uncut and male or female is a thing all kids need to learn and that all seniors deserve in their old age.

          • Yes you should definitely cut off your girls’ genitals since they get gunky.

            See how that sounds?

      • It’s easy (and necessary) to teach your son to wash himself adequately. Billions of uncircumcised men worldwide manage to get through life without constant, rampant infections. I don’t like the cleanliness argument since it offers a sledgehammer approach to a really minimal “problem.”

    • We have no religious reason to do it so i asked our pediatrician. She said there’s not really a medical reason either so we didn’t. It seems cruel to me.

      My son has no issues. It’s about 50/50 where we live.

      • I should have mentioned that I went to a bris a few years before my son was born and honestly it seemed Middle Ages barbaric to me, that swayed my personal opinion as well.

        • Probably not your intent, but can we be mindful of referring to religious rituals as “barbaric”?

          • nasty woman :

            Characterizing a practice as a religious ritual doesn’t give it a free pass from being subject to critical thinking or criticism. Sorry (not sorry), I strongly disagree with the idea that an act is moral or permissible or humane simply because it is a religious ritual to some people who perform it.

            No one is calling it barbaric because it’s a religious ritual. That would be problematic. But the fact that it’s a religious ritual does not change the fact that you’re cutting off part of a person’s g*nitals without pain relief. In any other context, it would be reasonable to characterize that as barbaric.

          • Not that person, but there is a difference between having it done at a hospital instead of doing it at home. I think a lot of people think that it always gets done at home during a party because they saw it on Seinfeld or whatever.

          • Amberwitch :

            Why? Since they are barbaric and Middle Ages practices I think it males perfect sense to naming them as such.

          • @Amberwitch: Well, that’s true of basically all religious practices, but in my (atheist) circles it is still considered impolite to demean someone else’s faith. It works for them; it doesn’t need to work for you.

          • Amberwitch :

            @anon 11:50
            If it only worked for them, I would be less inclined to call out the basic fact that organised religion has no place in modern society. But since too many religions seems to make it their business how other leads their lives, or regulate behaviour that there are perfectly good legislation regulating, I feel zero inclination to ‘respect’ them

        • I am not trying to be insensitive to a cultural practice, but the world moves on and changes practices as we get more information – why should there be religious exceptions to knowledge and scientific progress?

          An old guy in someone’s living room who cleaned his scalpel under the hot water tap in the kitchen, and who only uses a kosher wine-soaked gauze pad in the baby’s mouth as anaesthetic…. that does seem pretty Middle Ages to me.

          The baby was definitely shrieking in pain. That’s why it seemed barbaric to me.

    • I talked to a few doctors about this when I was pregnant with a boy. Two were neutral, two leaned slightly “no” (minimal but not zero risk of complications of elective surgery.) So we didn’t have it done. In my region (liberal mid-size city) I think slightly more parents are against than in favor of having the procedure done on their boys.

    • One of my close friends is a reform Jew married to an agnostic son of more conservative Jews. Their son was born with a serious heart defect and required three surgeries within 2 months of his birth. As soon as he healed from those, the husband’s parents started putting a lot of pressure on them to get the son circumcised. Both parents put their feet down and said no. He’d been through enough. They also didn’t want to take any infection risks given his health issues.

      It caused a family rift for a while but everyone is ok now. The kid is a teen and healthy and still intact. He had a normal bar mitzvah – I guess no one was checking!

      My friend’s philosophy is that he can get it done when he’s an adult if he feels strongly about it.

      • I don’t really want to google this at work. What is the religious rationale for C?

        • As a Jew, I find this question insulting in this context. I’m probably reading too much into this after reading many other comments about Iceland’s new law, which felt really anti-Semitic (both the comments and the law, which is essentially saying that Jews are not welcome to give birth to boys in Iceland). Asking for an explanation of an ancient Jewish ritual on the same board where people are calling it barbaric just does not make me want to explain. I feel like you are only asking so that you can then say our rationale is not sufficient in your mind to justify the act.

          • Wow, that’s defensive. Ever consider that maybe she’s just not Jewish, doesn’t know, and wants to hear it from someone who is? Aren’t we always wanting to respect other people’s experiences? Want me to start talking about a religion I’m not a part of? No. How on earth is that insulting. (And not everyone on this board is calling the practice barbaric.) You have no basis to believe that this poster is looking for reasons to mentally tear down Jews or your practice. I’m sure I’ll get flamed for saying this, but this is just a stunning overreaction.

          • I indicated that in my second sentence. I am mostly frustrated at this debate in general. Also, I’m tired after a lifetime of having to explain my “weird” Jewish traditions to random people. Do your own research (maybe in your off-the-clock time, on your personal computer) if you really care. Also, it makes me uncomfortable to even approach these topics with people who don’t understand their nuance because there is not “one unified Jewish perspective” — there is debate on many issues even within the Jewish community, so there is no way these questions can be given the weight they deserve when asked so offhandedly.

    • Well, after I saw how the doctors did circumcision at “the best hospital in the country” while I was in medical school, I was so disturbed that I swore I would never do it to my child.

      The baby screamed and screamed and screamed. No pain control. None. The doctor was talking about her ?lunch or ?vacation or ?the weather the whole time and paid no attention to the baby and did nothing to soothe to baby. It seemed cruel, barbaric, unnecessary. I realized the mother had no idea, of course, what was really happening to her baby. It was really scarring for me and was one of my most vivid memories from medical school. There are many times in medicine, unfortunately, where it seems like we are torturing people. And to do it to someone so helpless, and unable to tell anyone what just happened, or have any say in the process just seemed wrong.

      Yet, there are some medical benefits, especially with aging. Hate to be graphic, but particularly as men get older, there are definitely hygiene issues and lots of infections/skin breakdown/complications that can develop. A family member had to get a circ as an adult due to these issues. A bigger deal as an adult for sure, but fairly straightforwards. And zero pain for him.

      So if you are going to have it done…. ask what they will do for pain.

      • I don’t understand why it is legal for people to do these without anesthesia. It’s cruel and unnecessary.

        • Anesthesia poses health risks too.

          • Absolutely, but it seems bizarre to refuse anesthesia rather than cancel the procedure because someone is so worried about the risk. Nobody would even think of doing it on an adult without assuming that anesthesia would be involved.

      • This. There are studies that show pain management is needed and babies have more crying and poorer feeding outcomes for up to 6 months afterwards if pain mangement is not used.

      • I actually heard a doctor rationalize…. “well, they wont remember it!!!”

        Is that a good reason?

        They could use topical anesthetics, local anesthetics etc..

        • They used to think that babies couldn’t feel pain and didn’t do pain management for any type of surgery until the late 80’s. I had a friend who had a string of heart surgeries as a baby and when she was older they realized that some of the mental issues she was having was likely PTSD from the surgeries.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Wading into this one… I have a girl, thank goodness. Before her, I always figured if I had a boy he’d get it done, because of my religious background and so he’d match dad. But when I was pregnant I had this overwhelming, worshipful feeling toward the baby, that she was so precious and perfectly made, exactly how she is supposed to be — and how could I change that for aesthetic purposes? That feeling remains so strong, to the point where “not having to fight about this topic” is a check mark in the “reasons not to have another” column.

      • My Jewish pediatrician said she was glad she only had girls so she didn’t have to decide. This was when she was advising me about my as yet unborn son and trying to be properly neutral.

      • This is why I’m terrified of having a boy. My husband is very strongly pro-c and I feel exactly how you do. I really don’t know how we’ll agree one way or the other. I’m trying to slowly get him to budge– he really doesn’t want the boy to feel weird or different like he knew his un-c’d friends did in high school when they were first exploring their s*xuality. I’m trying to explain that since now more than half of babies are un-c’d in our liberal city, our son might feel more singled out if he is c’d.

        • Anonymous :

          I would definitely encourage him to look at the stats if he’s worried about social exclusion – it’s definitely trending towards un -c’d almost everywhere.

    • I’m having a boy in June and lean towards not doing it, although just as a note, I know someone who had it done when he was a teenager – contrary to what I’d always heard, he said pleasure increased after the procedure. Not sure that negates all the downsides, but something I was surprised to learn from someone who’d been on both sides.

      • This isn’t surprising though because if he had it done as a teenager there was likely some medical issue that arose that made the procedure necessary. So it’s not surprising that he wasn’t having a lot of pleasure before.

        • I knew someone who had it done as a young teen because of religion, so I wouldn’t jump to medical issue right away.

        • No medical issue – two older brothers both had the procedure done, but then his parents decided they didn’t want to subject him to it. They were always open about it and let him make the decision when he was older. I think he was 16-17 when it was done.

      • It’s almost like people are individuals.

    • Question: why on earth would a feminist s*te even THINK to compare circumcision and FGM? They are not the same, either in terms of history, religious reasons, health reasons, or ultimate effects. One is circumcision; one is castration.

      I mean, if you want to be against male circumcision, go ahead, but comparing it to FGM actually makes me support circumcision…..

      • I don’t follow. Why would comparisons of body mutilations make you more likely to support them when performed on boys? I don’t think anyone is arguing that female genital mutilation is the same as circumcision, but there are still obvious parallels.

        • This. FGM is an extremely wide range of practices. The more extreme forms are clearly not analogoyus to circumcision but there are less invasive forms that are similar to circumcision in impact (e.g cutting on but not removal of outer [email protected]) and with a similar lack of medical necessity.

        • I’m anti circ AND anti FGM. I think the FGM issue is more urgent and the reasons for FGM are worse than the reasons for circ, but that doesn’t mean they’re not both wrong.

        • Anonymous :

          Because bad arguments tend to indicate that there are no good arguments, and this particular brand of bad argumentation has the effect of justifying or downplaying FGM.

          (Circumcision has been medically proven to reduce the spread of STDs. If you don’t think that’s enough of a reason to do it, I respect it, but FGM increases infection and is done for the explicit purpose of reducing sexual pleasure.)

      • nasty woman :

        It’s like this. One of the bases for objections to male circ and FGM is that it is a violation of bodily autonomy, just as FGM is. It is obvious that the physiological and cultural impacts (and the reasons it is done in the first place) of FGM are 99% of the time far, far worse. It’s like saying that groping someone’s breast is wrong because it’s a violation of their autonomy in the same way that rape is wrong because it’s a violation of their autonomy. That doesn’t mean that groping someone’s breast is as bad as or has impacts as severe as rape, but simply that they are wrong for the same fundamental reason. (Or, that they share at least one fundamental reason for being wrong.) Different actions, same spectrum.

        “I mean, if you want to be against male circumcision, go ahead, but comparing it to FGM actually makes me support circumcision…..”

        This makes no sense.

        • Anonattorney :

          Eh, babies don’t have bodily autonomy. They just don’t. Parents make decisions all the time about medical procedures for their child. I don’t think bodily autonomy is really the right argument.

          There is a question about medically necessary procedures vs. those that aren’t medically necessary. Under most definitions and circumstances, circumcision is not medically necessary. So then the question is–should parents be permitted to perform (or allow doctors to perform) medical procedures or body modifications on their children that aren’t medically necessary? What if those procedures cause pain? What if they are purely aesthetic?

          I honestly don’t really know the answer. I had my son circumcised, primarily for religious reasons, but also so he’d “look like dad.” He cried for 10 minutes, then nursed and was fine (again, he was 10 days old – he cried at everything). I understand a lot of the arguments against circumcision, but I also don’t think that I’m a terrible parent who horribly scarred my child by choosing to have him circumcised.

        • nasty woman :

          No, it is the right argument, but more importantly, it’s one of the biggest common issues in the debate for both FGM and male circ, which is specifically what I was addressing. It’s not the only argument against either, but it’s one of them. Babies do have bodily autonomy- just because parents can make medical decisions for their minor children doesn’t obviate bodily integrity/autonomy in general. Can they exercise it the same way as adults? No. Do the issues play out the same way? No. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

          There is a difference between a medical procedure intended to ameliorate a condition and fundamentally altering a persons body for no discernible medical reason. The fact that the procedure is not medically necessary is exactly what makes this a question of bodily autonomy, simply because that’s the only interest really at play (v. the child’s interest in being healthy). All of the examples you gave— the reason those are questions is because we recognize the child’s right to bodily autonomy and to make decisions about his own body (not now, of course, but later when he can) that shouldn’t be taken away by the parents deciding for him. Deciding to consent to your child’s meningitis treatment is not making a decision for them that alters the body that they will have as an adult. It serves his interest in a tangible way. We generally accept that parents have a right to do this for the purpose of keeping their child healthy, or that they will make decisions to further their child’s best interest. (Obviously sometimes what is in the child’s best interest is sometimes up for debate, but we’ve decided that parents make the call in the tough cases unless there’s some reason to take that right away from them.) But no one would say that my parents have the right to carve decorative scars into my body because they’re my parents. There is no reason to think circumcision further’s a child’s interests– it serves the parents’ (want him to look like me, religion, their idea of social stigma, apparently not feeling competent to train their child to wash his crotch).

          No one said you were a terrible parent. I don’t understand men’s fixation with ensuring that their son’s g*nitals look like theirs– what are they doing, pulling out their d*cks and comparing? Yes! He looks like me!! I just don’t get that. Maybe I’m missing something. BTW, when erect (or even partially), cut and uncut men look pretty much identical.

          • Anonattorney :

            You’re right, I misspoke. I agree that bodily autonomy is an issue–the thumb on the scale against allowing parents to make decisions regarding their children’s bodies that are not medically necessary. I also don’t really think anyone was saying I was a terrible parent.

            I actually didn’t give any examples, because I didn’t want to go too far down that path. But obviously there are examples of procedures that are similar to circumcision (not medically necessary; may further some preference of the social group to which the child belongs, at least initially; perhaps have some subjective aesthetic value). Examples include: pinning ears back; ear piercing; birthmark removal or amelioration; scar removal; orthodontics; removal of extra toes or fingers; etc.

            I think it’s just a tricky area. We make lots of decisions about our child’s appearance and things that dictate or signal their belonging to specific groups. You say that “no one would say that my parents have the right to carve decorative scars into my body because they’re my parents.” But we also think it’s pretty common and normal for parents to get their 10-year old kids braces that (often painfully) permanently align their teeth. Because it looks good. And because our social norms say that straight teeth are a sign of belonging to a certain socio-econonic group.

            I’m not saying that braces are the same as circumcision. But I do think that it’s worth recognizing that there is a gray area here. Or maybe not. I don’t know.

    • Our son was born in 2006. We didn’t circumcise him, as we honestly didn’t see the need to. DH is, but grew up in a family of men who weren’t. It was “normal” to him either way. As DS has grown up and been on teams, gone on camping trips, etc with other boys, he’s far from the only boy who’s uncircumcised. There’s some evidence that having a foreskin increases risk of STDs and penile cancer, and so we agreed that if DS ever wants to get circed, we’ll pay for it for him. But most men in the world are intact and to me, I would have needed a really compelling reason to circ, vs. a really compelling reason not to.

    • I have 3 girls, but my husband and I have been on the same page since day 1 I found out I wa sprefnant the first time. It is his call.

      He’s c’d. He was 100% from the beginning in favor of leaving things natural for the baby. We don’t have religious ties to the practice; he’s c’d because he was a male born in the 80s in New England.

      I was 50/50 and don’t know what choice I’d have made on my own, but DH has very strong opinions.

      • Oh, I did say “you’re not concerned he will look different?” To which he said he has no idea what his father’s penis looks like, and even if he did, no, it’s not a big deal.

    • My sons are not circ’ed. The decider for me was a cousin had to have her son’s circ redone at age 4 because they did not take enough skin and it was causing problems. My SIL, a doctor, said this was not uncommon.

      I’ve never understood the “looks like dad” argument. Past early childhood, are your sons comparing their gentials with their father? In the early years, it came up exactly once and we said “daddy’s is bigger” and that was that. Once they were older, we explained the circumcision difference and the boys were horrified anyone might cut it off.

      • Anonymous :

        Right. When we explained circumcision to my son (after a camp trip where he and other boys noticed that everyone’s “equipment” wasn’t the same) he was horrified. He’s never had a problem with his foreskin and could not understand why someone would cut it off.

        To me, it is absolutely a body autonomy issue and to the person who said “infants don’t have body autonomy” – I feel sorry for your kids, if you have them. My son is not my property. Me making a decision for him to undergo a medical procedure that would save his life is different than me making a decision for him to be circumcised – a medically unnecessary procedure that will affect him the rest of his life. It’s his body and if he wants to get circumcised later, that’s his choice. I wasn’t going to make that choice for him because I don’t have dominion over his body.

  19. Legally Brunette :

    Another Nordstrom PSA — Dagne Dover bags are now being sold at Nordstrom. I swear that Nordstrom is taking over the world….

  20. I don’t have children yet, but I am not going to circumcise my son. I see no reason for surgical interventions that are not medically necessary, carry some risks, and have no benefit (and possibly future harm) to s*xual pleasure. Many of my friends are Jewish and are planning to circumcise, no questions asked. I don’t think there is much, if any, debate in the Jewish community over this question.

  21. Charity Fundraiser :

    I am on the planning committee for a charity fundraiser that involves a tournament where each team is involved for 1-2 hours. Partners of the players have started to attend the event and we are looking for side activities to engage them during this time and increase donations to the cause, as well as just provide fun activities for them while their partner is participating in the tournament. We currently do a silent auction and food and drinks are provided (cash bar with two drink tickets but the charity does not get any revenue from the food or drink). Has anyone attended any charity events in the past with activities like raffles or side competitions that you enjoyed?

    • I work in fundraising and have had success with a lotto ticket (scratch ticket) tree raffle. I saw it on Pinterest years ago. You buy $50 in scratch tickets of various denominations, punch holes, and tie them to a fake tree/branch. I get a nice colored bottle and a home decor fake branch. People seem to like this more than a regular raffle.

    • I like a silent auction with free flowing wine and lots of donated items of various values to drunk-bid on. My kids’ elementary school PTA did this and always raised quite a bit of money. Things you could bid on ranged from a week at a time share in Hawaii all the way down to a large pizza from a local shop. Some of the more active PTA moms were relentless about getting donated items from local businesses. And honestly, giving away a large pizza is a great way to get customers in the door.

      At the same event, one of the moms set up a table selling jewelry from the company she worked for (a brand that sells at Nordstrom) – her employer donated the jewelry and all proceeds went to the PTA. I still have a lot of that jewelry years later.

    • Also a fundraiser and I agree with the first Anonymous, a tree or pull idea is always a big draw. Wine or beer pull is the most common and easy for your membership to donate individually and you can ask a local store to donate product. I have had the largest success with a sunglass pull from a local optometrist during an outdoor sporting event.

      Also a certain current popular brand of jewelry that sells in her own stores as well as Nordstrom is very philanthropic. If you approach a store they can set up a pull of their last season pieces if you think it would be a good draw for your event.

    • I just went to one with a “stock the bar” raffle. Members each brought different bottles of premium liquor so there was a variety, and they sold tickets for $5 each for a chance to win the whole set up. My friend won and we split it…each of us took home about $700 worth of premium alcohol. Loved it!

  22. I’m volunteering to be a judge at a high school STEM competition this weekend! I competed in it when I was in high school and I’m so excited to start giving back since it’s a big part of why I’m in STEM now. How do you guys like to give back/volunteer?

    • My grandmother was a hospice volunteer for most of a decade. When she became sick, she in turn received hospice care from wonderful nurses and volunteers that allowed her to stay in her own home until the end. As a tribute to her memory, my mother and my sister and I all got certified as hospice volunteers to give back to something so incredibly beneficial to so many.

    • I am on the Executive Board of the women’s alumni group at my alma mater, I mentor students from my old department, I volunteer with a program for female science and engineering students at my alma mater, and I am on the fundraiser planning board of a local charity that supports area residents with a long-term degenerative disorder as well as their care partners. I am also about to start acting as a mentor to women in my field.

    • Is it a FIRST competition? Those are so fun!

      • This was my thought, too! I love getting to volunteer with these.

        • Yes! I wish had the time to mentor a team. My company lets you take 2 paid days of volunteer time which is perfect for one of these competitions so I will definitely be doing this every year.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a foster parent for both long term and short term kiddos.

  23. I’m buying a home that has carpet in the bedrooms. I’m debating whether it would look better to add a rug under the bed over the carpet or whether I should just leave it be. Anyone have thoughts?

    • Rug! I love that look, assuming the carpet is neutral.

    • I think both are fine. I personally have carpet and love it. I thought we’d rip it out and put in hardwoods at some point, but now that I’ve lived with it, I really like it.

      It’s also nice if you have little ones. Of course they can learn, but I don’t know how many times my son has fallen hard on the carpet and I’ve been grateful that it was carpet and not something hard.

    • I’m not a fan of rugs on carpet, but it’s your bedroom, so if it looks good to you, go for it.

    • I think it depends on the room. If it’s a larger bedroom I think a rug can really help define the area. In a smaller bedroom, I think a rug would have less of an impact but could still look nice.

    • I sure hope I don’t start the shoes on in the house vs shoes off in the house battle, but if the rug is on top of plush carpet and anyone wears high heels, the heels can punch through the rug.

  24. Can anyone recommend a jewelry store in NYC where I won’t get ripped buying an anniversary band? Thanks!

    • Diamond district or fashion jewelry? For fashion jewelry, Catbird in Williamsburg. They do also have some diamond eternity bands.

  25. I am so excited for Loft’s new plus size range! Has anyone ordered anything from the plus range and can speak to the fit? How does LOFT straight sizing fit? Does LOFT do % off coupons or is the $25 off the best deal I am going to get?

    • They do sales as frequently as Old Navy. Wait 30 minutes ;)

      They run very generously. I’m a 10 elsewhere but can easily fit in an 8 and sometimes a 6 there.

      • Thank you! I was watching Youtube videos of women try the clothes on. and I was surprised to see what sizes they said they were wearing, but you never know how camera angles affect how a body looks.

    • I’m cusp sized (16) and I can fit into an XL and sometimes an L at Loft.

    • You can usually get 40% off, so if you get about that with the coupon it’s fine price-wise. The fit is huge and compares to other vanity sized stores.

    • I ordered several things!

      I liked most of the shirts. However, they all need 1 extra button in my opinion — too low cut, *especially* for work. I put a safety pin, and they’re fine, but I wish companies wouldnt make me do that!

      I’m sending back the pants though because they looked kind of lumpy on. The material felt thick enough in my hands but they weren’t very smoothing.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Never order anything at full price at Loft. Sign up for their mailing list and there is basically a 25%-40% off code every week.

  26. I bought a wool rug, and it is shedding. I was googling and saw apparently you aren’t supposed to regularly vacuum wool rugs. I also have a dog, and I wonder if she scratches it when I’m not home.

    There are inch sized wool balls, for lack of a better term, coming off it. It clogs the vacuum. I’ve resorted to scraping the chunks off by hand, but it looks messy.

    Can I salvage it? Its an 8′ x 10′ rug that is quite beautiful.

    • I have a wool rug that shredded like this for the first few months and I had forgotten all about it until I saw your comment. It did eventually stop. I think the shedding is loose fibers that didn’t get woven in. When those are gone, the shedding will stop.

      And we do vacuum the rug. I don’t really see the point of a rug you can’t vacuum.

    • I bought a wool rug that shed for a few months and then never again. I would just give it time. I do vacuum it though – I’ve never heard that advice.

    • Does the rug have a lot of shag/texture to it? We had a gorgeous moroccan rug but it did not play well with our dogs and we had to sell it and get a Persian rug. Still wool, of course, but not shaggy. I think it depends on the animals, but ours never stopped significantly shedding and ultimately started unraveling. If you aren’t too attached, maybe sell it while you can still get some $ for it.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Is the rug tufted, as opposed to knotted or woven? Tufted rugs typically shed a LOT, but it does go down over time. I can’t imagine not vaccuuming if you have a dog, but do avoid using the vacuum’s beater bar.

  27. I’m an active alum and often get requests from current students for informational interviews, etc. Some students’ emails are written in such a formal, old-fashioned way it makes me question their social skills…(and their school’s career office.) I’d love to hear from others about the (possibly shifting?) norms around business emails.

    – Do you address business emails with Mr. or Ms.? The only time I use those titles anymore are in a respectful way for the elderly at church.

    – Do you use contractions in business writing? Unless I’m writing something to the federal gov’t, I try to always use contractions to sound more engaging.

    – If your name is Catherine, but you go by Kate, do you sign your business emails Catherine? (This student did the equivalent – I realized afterwards when a later email was signed Kate.)

    Here’s the email I received yesterday that made me think of this. FWIW, this is a student getting a terminal degree in our field, so not a 19 year old just starting out.

    Dear Ms. X:

    My name is Full-First Last, and I am currently pursuing a [degree] in [X] at [school]. [Name] suggested that I contact you as someone knowledge about how to break into the [X] field, particularly in [city].

    I was wondering if you might have 20 minutes to meet with me (either in person or on the phone, at your convenience). I would be very interested to hear about your career path, and to get any advice you may have for me at this stage of my career.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Full-First Last

    • That email sounds fine to me. Formal but not weirdly so.

    • I’m pretty sure that kid was following a template given to him/her by the career center. I’ve received a nearly identical email. I usually get “Mrs” which is weird but whatever. I feel bad for the student – I remember how unsure I was at that age, and how ancient a 40 year old seemed to me.

    • I *hate* getting emails in any setting that begin “My name is . . . ” Yep, I know your name: it shows up in the “sender” field! (I also really hate this in cover letters.)

      Other than that pet peeve, I agree with 11:08 that this message seems fine. As someone who spends probably 95% of my professional life writing, I notice that people with less text-heavy lives tend to be a little more formulaic in their correspondence, so that may also be at play here.

    • They should be formal! That is appropriate and you are being extra. Mr. or Ms. is appropriate for an initial email to someone you don’t know. Contractions don’t “sound engaging.” People can use their full names if they want.

      That email is gold. Professional and polite and perfect. Quit being weird.

      • This is the same template career services was giving out 5 years ago. It’s probably exactly what they’ve been instructed to do. I sent many like this when I was job searching. If you were to respond less formally, then I bet any student with social skills would follow suit. If you’ve sent a bunch of informal responses using your first name and they’re still writing “Thank you Mrs. Anon. I very much look forward to meeting you at coffee shop on Main Street at 2:00. Thank you again for your consideration” then I might side eye that.

        For each person who thinks this is overly formal, there’s someone else who would be annoyed to get an email that was informal.

      • Disagree on the Mr./Ms. (as long as we’re talking general corporate business like I say below). As soon as I see that in an email, I automatically assume I’m dealing with a much younger, much less experienced person. That may be the case, but I wouldn’t want to project that so clearly in an email. I call all my colleagues above and below me by their first name – why would the letter writer want to be seen any differently?

        • Anonymous :

          Because you are not a colleague. You are a stranger they are imposing on to ask for a favor.

        • I’m a healthcare lawyer in my mid-30s and still use Mr./Ms./Dr. when I’m introducing myself by email to people I’ve never met or corresponded with, especially if I’m asking for favors.

    • I mentor students from my alma mater and this email sounds fine to me. Much preferable to text speak. I can imagine the students being intimidated and wanting to make a good impression and not offend you by being too casual.

    • This would not strike me as overly formal at all. Maybe this is an industry/region thing? I’m federal government in DC.

    • I always get emails like that but then they’re all from Moroccan and European students. At least in Morocco (can’t speak of EU), we are taught to be very formal as a sign of respect.

    • Agree that this email isn’t overly formal. I’m 34 and am just now feeling comfortable calling people by their first names. It was just so grilled into me as a child/teenager to use Mr or Ms/Miss/Mrs that I’ve had a really difficult time breaking out of that habit.

      Other thoughts:
      Contractions – no I don’t use them in business writing. I would in an email, but not a document.
      Nicknames – I don’t have one, but I would use whatever name I go by. I think it is confusing when you go by one name, but sign a different one.

    • Disagree with all the comments here. Here is my ideal template for a note from a student requesting time with me:

      Hey [assumed shortening of my name],

      Whaddup? Heard you are totally fire at [Industry] and wanna pick your brain. LMK when we can get coffee.


      [First name]

      • I know you are /s but i would totally meet that kid for coffee.

        • Haha! I’d meet them only if they used the fire emojis instead of the actual word. Plus they probably know some really cool coffee shops to meet at.

        • Lol, me too! And I know what the OP is talking about. I get a lot of awkward sounding emails from law students. I also hate when they’re addressed to me as “Mrs.” (come on, at least go with Ms. and why assume I’m married). I think the advice to err on the side of formality leads to weird email because it’s really unnatural. I don’t hold it against the person for an initial contact, but once we’ve met and I’ve responded less formally, I will if they keep it up.

    • I think this sounds fine and would probably write an email exactly the same way. I would worry more about coming off too informal than too formal so I’d go the same route as the above. Kind of like dressing nicely…it’s always better to be a little bit overdressed than under dressed….does that apply here?

    • I think you’re being overly critical. It’s hard to reach out to someone like that, and there’s nothing objectively wrong with this email. I normally don’t use Mr./Ms., nor do I start emails with “my name is..” but neither of those things are rude or troubling.

      • Right? I’m sure most students writing these emails are nervous, worried they’re bothering someone, worried their email is going to be judged, anxious about the meeting, anxious about the job interview process in general… ideally, the emails take forever to write because they’re proof read a million times, 50% of the time people don’t even respond…

        • I know! I always tried to tell myself “don’t worry so much, they aren’t spending hours analyzing your email or critiquing it like you are.” But maybe I was wrong!

    • If your biggest problem with students is that they are respectful of you, your career, and your time…..

      • This. I participate in a student mentorship program and many of the students schedule appointments with their mentor and then just don’t even show up.

    • I think that email is fine, but disagree that it couldn’t be improved. The U.S. is a first-name business culture, so I would always go first name only. I realize this may be different in government or non-profit, but if you’re writing to a run-of-the-mill corporate person, use their first name.

      I don’t really care whether they sign full first name or nickname, but I would keep it consistent through all interactions.

      • Lots to Learn :

        I disagree that they should refer to a corporate person by their first name. When I receive an unsolicited email from someone I’ve never met, it turns me off if they use my first name. It’s way too informal and presumptuous. I was always taught to use Mr./Ms. in the first communication to someone and then later, if they signed their first name, you could use that.

      • Lots to Learn :

        I strongly disagree that they should refer to a corporate person by their first name. When I receive an unsolicited email from someone I’ve never met, it turns me off if they use my first name. It’s way too informal and presumptuous. I was always taught to use Mr./Ms. in the first communication to someone and then later, if they signed their first name, you could use that.

    • Anonymous :

      I am shocked that people think it is appropriate to address strangers in a business context by their first names. In my experience, dealing with adults and not students, many of whom are lawyers, the first e-mail is usually addressed to “Ms. Lastname” and signed “Firstname.” I address the reply to Firstname and sign it with my first name, and then we are on a first-name basis.
      Unless the other party is a judge. Then her first name is “Judge” and she is welcome to call me by my first name.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        This is my approach.

      • I think this is a “you can’t win” situation. Some people will judge you if use Ms./Mr., some will judge you if you use their first name. I don’t use Ms./Mr. personally and I admit I have a tendency to assume that people who do are either really young, inexperienced, or a little uptight (which is probably unfair).

        Based on the comments here, I’m now on team “either one is fine.”

    • This email doesn’t seem weird or inappropriate.

  28. Legal recruiter in Boston :

    I live in DC and am thinking about moving back to Boston, where I grew up. Any suggestions for legal recruiters in Boston, preferably focused on smaller plaintiff-side employment or class action type firms (though I realize this may be a tall order)?

    • In addition to looking for recruiters, I suggest starting with the website for Mass. Lawyers Weekly, which has a classifieds section for legal employment that is actually used. Welcome back to Boston, where old habits die especially hard!

  29. I’m looking for something to even out my skin tone. I have a medium complexion with red undertones and I can’t find a BB/CC cream or lightweight foundation that works for me. I’ve done the skin matching at Sephora, and that didn’t work. It was far too yellow, and the makeup artist took it off. Any suggestions?

    • I like the Origins Ginzing. That said, the best redness solution for me since Clinique eliminated its Redness Solutions powder has been religious and upgraded sunscreen usage topped with Bare Minerals Mineral Veil with SPF.

    • I have red undertones and I like Clinique’s Even Better foundation.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I really like IT cosmetics. Their shades seem to blend well (I’m 2nd to lightest)

      • Second this recommendation. I’m on my third tube of IT CC cream and I have very, very few things I re-buy (VIB Rouge at Sephora so take that for what it’s worth). I have very pink undertones and IT really works for me. Also very full coverage for a CC cream, if that matters to you. I highly recommend their finishing powder as well as the Bye Bye Redness base if you’d really like to cancel out that redness. (Also they have a tinted moisturizer I’m able to wear in lieu of CC cream/foundation on the weekends, it’s that good.)

        /not paid by IT Cosmetics, I swear

      • Longer reply caught in mod but highly second this recommendation.

  30. I’m looking at getting something in the Rainforest color from MM LaFleur, probably the winfrey top which I already have in black. I have a warm skin tone (I think I’m an autumn?) Black hair, medium to dark brown skin. Has anyone seen the color in person and have any thoughts about whether it would be flattering on me? I’d rather not go through the effort of purchasing and sending back if possible.

    • I love that top, and have it in black. I am also considering the top in that color (the only other color?).

      I’m actually a cool skin tone – Brown hair with grey, fair complexion with a touch of red. Also curious about the color, and was hoping it was a rich jewel tone.

      Many of their “colors” disappoint me, and I still long for more of their blouses in white.

  31. Ugh 2 of my posts are in mod.

    Looking for a BB/CC cream or lightweight foundation to even out my skin tone. Medium complexion with redness and red undertones. Tried the Sephora matching tool, the suggestions were far too yellow, and the makeup artist couldn’t find a good match for me. Suggestions?

    • I have this problem too and add green cream to mine to make them more cool toned.
      But am liking the Perricone No Foundation Foundation serum. I got a small bottle at NR to try it out and like it pretty well. But again I pretty much have to add green cream (I use the L’Oreal one) to all of them to make them cool but also to counter redness.

  32. I need pants help. I’ve lost some weight and am in that no-man’s land where size A is still a bit too tight, but size B is ill-fitting and comically large. Belts are not helping and I’m constantly yanking up my pants. These are not worth altering, trust me. I’m a pear (curvy hips), but don’t have the booty. I do have thighs at any size, though! Here’s what I have that currently isn’t working:
    Express editor: Size B is too big in the butt and hips. Size A is working OK, but I think the rise is too short for me.
    Loft Marisa: Size B is huge. Not sure about size A.
    Calvin Klein modern fit: Size B fits OK in the waist if it’s belted, but the legs are really baggy. Size A was much too small in the waist.
    H&M slim fit: Size A is perfect in the legs, but I can barely button the waist. The rise is also low on me.

    Do you think Loft Julies in size B work? Or something from Target, ON or Banana? Since I’m hoping to lose another 5 pounds, I’m looking for inexpensive options to get me through this in-between stage.

    • Can you switch to skirts? I went through the same thing a few years ago and didn’t find any solution to the pants issue. I also have low tolerance for shopping, though, so didn’t do an exhaustive search for new pants. Skirts are much more forgiving.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      The A/B thing is confusing me – but in Loft, I wear a 4 Julie and a 6 Marisa. I have thighs (everyone has thighs…but I guess I have thick thighs?), a pretty round rear, more of a tummy than I’d like, and a small waist.

    • Coach Laura :

      If it’s a short term solution while losing weight, what about using a belly band? A lot of people use these in the early months of pregnancy to keep pants from falling down or to relieve the waistband when they are a bit too tight. You can find inexpensive versions at Target.

  33. Female Founders :

    Hi ladies,

    I’ve been asked by my law firm’s managing partner to put together a NYC based lunch specifically for female founders as a part of our new business efforts targeting younger clients. This is huge for me! It’s going to be run by two female partners (t&e and tax) and is going to be great exposure for me inside and outside the firm. The three of us are going to be the only representatives of our firm. My group can feel like an old boys club, and I feel like this is finally a reward for hanging in there during a few years that felt like a pretty isolating grind.

    I was hoping to get your collective wisdom on interesting companies or brands that I should consider. I just got back from maternity leave so I feel like I’m neck deep as a consumer in new products, but want a diversity of industries represented. I have a handful of relationships, but I feel like to get to 25 attendees, we’ll need to invite almost 50. The focus is going to be tax and t&e planning before a big liquidity event, so I’m looking for women who fit that profile and would find the content compelling. Ideally based around NYC because I don’t think it’s going to be compelling enough for anyone to travel far.

    Thank you so much!


    • The founders of Finery. It’s made my commute more fun because I can plan outfits and keep track of who I met when wearing what (I have a small wardrobe of things I love, but some are memorable- I don’t want to accidentally be wearing my favorite yellow sheath dress for the third time when I’ve met with someone a handful of times spread out in over the year).

      • Ha! Just realized that’s the dress that inspired my name here!!

      • Also one is Brooklyn Decker who is hilarious! (And should play well w/ male partners, as she’s a former VS model.)

        • I love Brooklyn Decker! She is so cute! And funny! I wish I was as spontenus as Brooklyn Decker! And she has such a cute name!

          BY the Way, OP, can you invite me as a WC Partner? I live and work in NYC, and am sure we do not overlap with your T&E practice, even tho I do know all about wills in NYC since I studied it for the NY Bar, which I am a member in good standing with! YAY!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Crains magazine probably has lists that might be useful to you in your research.

    • Anonymous :

      Satya Tweena.

    • The founders of Universal Standard. Two women smartly serving an underserved market.

  34. Has anyone taken L-tryptophan to improve their mood? did it have any effect?

  35. MM Lafleur Jardigan hand wash? :

    I just purchased my first MM Lafleur piece, a viscose/nylon blend Jardigan. The tag says hand wash only. Any experience hand washing this fabric (with no rinse wash, squeezing in towel, and drying flat)? I hate spending money on dry cleaning but also don’t want to risk shrinkage or other damage.

    • I use Dryel on mine.

    • Anonymous :

      I get my jardigan dry cleaned but have used Soak no-rinse detergent on lots of stuff more fragile than the jardigan (hello, daughter’s $200 rhinestone-encrusted mesh gymnastics competition leotard) and have never had an issue. In fact, I think Soak might be safer than dry cleaning because the dry cleaner’s press seems to be wearing out the cuffs of my jardigan. Just be sure that your detergent is designed for synthetics. Eucalan and others that contain lanolin will break down synthetic fabrics.

    • MM Lafleur Jardigan hand wash? :

      Very helpful. And thank you for reading past the mistake in the original post (label says dry clean only).

      • Anonymous :

        Someone posted about this in the past and one poster indicated that she almost never needs to wash it. Air it out well between wearings, spray the armpits with alcohol+lavendar oil. Good to go.

        This is what I have been doing so far. Minimal washing. Still looks good. I think I will dry clean it…. rarely.

  36. Does anyone have a recommendation for a reasonably priced and trustworthy cat sitter in DC?

    I’ll start by saying I recognize this question sounds like I’m a crazy cat lady…but maybe I am. I feed my cat twice a day (morning/evening), and change the litter box every day. But, at $25 per visit, is it okay to have a cat sitter come once per day instead of twice a day? I’m not sure why but I’m being hit by guilt about leaving her alone for a four day trip…

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, I have a similar feeding/ litter cleaning schedule with my 2 cats and we’ve always decreased to one visit/day with cat-sitters.

      I don’t have a rec at the moment in DC, as my sister had always done this for me. Now that she moved and I’m traveling to visit her next week, I’m trying out my first cat-sitter in DC for the trip. I can check back here next week and let you know how it went :)

      In the meantime, I used care (dot) com to find the person I will be using. We had an in-person interview where we showed her where all the supplies were, etc. which helped calm my nerves.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes I was looking at Care dot com!! I will see if I can find someone who looks reasonable this weekend. And yes, please report back if you don’t mind!

    • Anonymous :

      So I have a similar feeding schedule for my cats – do you feed wet food twice a day and then go down to once a day when you use a cat sitter? I’ve had my current cat sitter come twice a day because that’s they’re schedule, but dang, those checks hurt sometimes…

      • Anonymous :

        Yep, I just have the cat sitter put out the full day’s amount of wet food during her one visit.

    • Anonymous :

      Wow, props to you for changing the litter so much! I sprinkle fresh on top to simulate a fresh litter box and change it on Sundays whether it needs it or not!

      • Anonymous :

        By “change the litter” I (anon at 1:01) just mean scoop the litter box. I only fully dump everything and start fresh once every other week or so.

      • Anonymous :

        Original anon here…yes I just scoop the litter box every morning…it’s part of my routine now

    • cat socks :

      No recommendations for DC, but I have a cat sitter come once a day when I’m on vacation. My kitties usually get a half-can of food in the morning and evening and litter boxes changed twice a day. They have done fine with once a day feedings. I put out extra bowls of water and a feeder with dry food. You can set out an extra litter box if you’re concerned about that.

      I feel bad leaving my cats too, but they sleep the majority of the day. On of my kitties is very senstive to changes in the environment and will not eat as much when I’m gone, but she’s fine once I get back.

      Consider getting a PetCube if you want to check in on her while you’re gone!

    • yes it’s fine

    • Anonymous :

      dcdogsitter (dot) (com) Don’t let the name fool you, they love cats too. Company founder/owner is cat owner. They are impeccable – cannot recommend them highly enough.

      Your cat will be more than fine with once a day visits for four days. Probably a little needy when you get home, but fine.

    • Anonymous :

      I put a DC recommendation in for you – but in mod…

  37. Vacation rental :

    Favorite vacation rental sites?

    I’ve tried booking, vrbo and airbnb but not great options on any of them. Is there somewhere else I should look? Looking for something in Europe if that matters.

    • I use Home Away but have only used for domestic US travel. I used Air BnB for an apartment in dublin and it was fine.

    • I mentioned it above, but One Fine Stay is my favorite for Europe.

    • biglawanon :

      I often use airbnb to find things, and then rent directly with a property manager instead so I don’t have to deal with airbnb and pay the extra fees. (You can often google the property management company’s website and find them, and either book through them online or give them a call. I just don’t mention airbnb.)

    • In House Lobbyist :

      VRBO and HomeAway are owned by the same company now and they are terrible. I own a vacation home and use VRBO but hope to be completely off them in next few years. Almost everyone I know that owns a vacation home prefers to rent to you directly if you are able to contact them directly. VRBO has really cracked down on that lately so you have to dig around to find the owners contact info. Depending on where you want to go – search for your location plus something like “book direct” or “non-booking fees”. There are a lot of smaller rental sites popping up to fight against VRBO. Or use VRBO to find a place and then search for the house name to see if the person has a personal website or facebook page. I have a facebook page for my beach house and most people do now.

  38. Thank you all! :

    I just finished the bar exam-woohoo

    I wanted to thank you all for being a bunch of wonderful, brilliant, kind, strong, bada$$ women. Growing up, the women in my life were all homemakers and the mentality that a woman’s place is in the home/kitchen is still often preached to me. During the last week before the bar exam, my mom was providing me tips as to how I can balance cooking dinner for my husband while studying. I am grateful for your collective inspiration, support, kick-in-the-behind tough love, and general presence. This kind of a community is not generally accessible to me in my real life.

    Today, I celebrate you all.

    • Anonymous :

      Huge congrats! Celebrate yourself, friend! You overcame a lot of implicit bias and gendered expectations in your family to get where you are. I come from a family like this too, so I know what it’s like. So glad you found this community. You got this!

      Now go out and celebrate!

    • Congratulations! Tonight may be a good time for our friend Shots Shots Shots :-) Assuming you consume alcohol, of course.

    • Anonymous :

      Congratulations on finishing, and I hope you report back in a few months that you passed!

    • the yellow one is the sun :


  39. Cobalt blue :

    I asked this yesterday and loved the responses but I posted kind of late and am curious what others ideas are. I’m going to a wine party in a few weeks. I need to bring an appetizer/wine pairing. Would prefer to bring a white wine. What would you bring?!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Dates wrapped in bacon!! Yum yum!

    • A tart, light white like pinot grigio or vinho verde with proscuitto wrapped breadsticks (the skinny snappy ones, not like olive garden ones), and cured olives. Easy to assemble, fun to snack on, no cheese!

    • joan wilder :

      Fig and goat cheese crostini (recipe is at Epicurious) and I might look at pairing it with a Pinot Grigio or a dry Riesling as that zing of acid could work nicely with the sweetness of the fig jam.

  40. Gosh dang I’m feeling frustrated and like I’m on a treadmill going uphill….

    The partners I work for are quick to criticize but give no positive feedback. I’ve been here for almost 2 years. During my review back in June (which lasted all of 7 minutes) and was with two partners they said you’re doing fine BUT you need to work faster and be less detailed in your workpapers (I’m a CPA…never been told I’m TOO detailed…thought that was a good thing). They keep saying “people work here for about 2 years and then they leave and we have no idea why”. I want to say “Because you’ve worn them down with the lack of positive feedback by that point”. I think I’m going honest in my review this year. Dish it right back at them.

    Then on the home front (I have 3 year old twins and I work 35 hours per week), my husband will come home from work and say- why are there toys everywhere? why didn’t you make dinner (on my day off..not on days I work)?

    I seriously and I mean this SERIOUSLY feel like telling both my job and my husband to f off and get rid of them. I’m not kidding. My husband and I have counseling on the calendar for next month.

    Not sure what I’m wanting out of posting here but just feel like bit*ching about this to someone.

    • Anonymous :

      So much hugs. I have 3 year old twins too. I work a 35 hour a week law job with a short commute. DH and I did counseling last year. Keys to sanity for me:
      – weekly cleaning service who folds laundry and changes sheets as well ($100/week is cheaper than marriage counseling)
      – three week meal plan rotation with DH and I assigned specific nights for specific meals
      – my parents pinch hitting with sick kids
      – three week wardrobe rotation for myself so I never have to think about what I’m going to wear.
      – biweekly date night with DH
      – specifically assigned chores – make sure you include non-physical work like rsvps to birthday parties and gift buying and sports/activities registration/organization – one person tidies toys, the other does the dishes.

      And I still feel like I’m behind on everything all the time.

    • Anonymous :

      I have found that when something in one aspect of my life is very stressful, I have almost no tolerance of it in other areas of my life. It might be justified to be frustrated with both, or the latter might be something I could normally handle. Food for thought.

      My suggestion for work is to not “dish” it right back at them, but to basically say – look, the feedback should reflect the work, and if 90% of the work I am doing is good, then 90% of my feedback needs to reflect that.

      For your husband, you seem to have different expectations of your days off regarding dinner. That’s one issue. A different issue is how he handles it. (There are plenty of things I wish people would do differently, but some of my interpersonal growth came from understanding that I don’t have to be silent when I am bothered, but neither do I have to be harsh.) Snapping at you is wrong. It’s also wrong to, per above, not balance the “feedback.”

    • Ups and downs :

      In my opinion, you are at one of the hardest stages of raising children – and you have twins! Everyone talked about the terrible two’s but my two year old was delightful – until she turned three. Take a deep breath, hang in there and remember that everything is so much easier when your children can dress, toilet and get in the car COMPLETELY independently. Three is a strange age where they argue more, are toilet trained yet still need help with certain parts, still need to be buckled in the car, bathing has to be monitored etc.

      As far as work, I’m a CPA, too. They must be having to write off more of your billable time than they would like. There’s no such thing as being too detailed but there is such a thing as spending too much time on matters that will be reviewed by partners anyway.

      Dinner wears me out. I try to have things on hand that can be prepared in 20 minutes flat in a pinch. Roasted salmon, refrigerated mashed potatoes, and salad. Spaghetti is also easy. Good luck!

      • I’m trying to be really objective when looking at my work. Asking myself, could this be done correctly but more quickly? Could someone else do this more quickly than me? And the answer in most cases, I believe, is no. I’m working on one specific client right now with 15 different partnerships. They’re a disaster. And since you’re a CPA, I’ll tell you what this disaster entails: 1) booking only some of the prior year entries, 2) booking the PY entries that they do book to the CY P&L, 3) Notes from the CFO that state: “oh by the way, partner 1 transferred part of their interest to partner 3 back in 2015, can you push that through this year?”, 4) PBC asset rollforwards detailing asset additions that do not agree back to the trial balance (entire account left off or in some cases duplicated). Also of these issues plus two states returns and the partner is billing $1,300 per return. This miiiiight be a$1,300 return if it were clean but the fact of the matter is it isn’t. So don’t B at me when you have to write off all my time fixing it. I’ve CYA’d myself…I send the partner emails and let her know that it’s a mess and that it’s taking time to fix. During my review they didn’t pull out specific projects I worked on, they just said, your realization is 73%, we need it to be higher than that. I’m just done.

        • OMG is my company your client? Ouch and you have to get yourself assigned to a different project!!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a lawyer, not a CPA, but I would only tell an associate to be less detailed if 1) I was having to write off too much time AND 2) the work was always correct, so I trusted the associate’s instincts. If you’re getting this feedback, consider whether it means that they trust you and want you to trust your own work instead of belaboring points. That’s all related to getting work done faster and getting it client-ready sooner.

    • Hang in there! Are twins in day care on your day off? I would definitely consider this if you can afford it. I have to take a day off work every six weeks or so. I must have a tiny bit of time where I can do NOT WORK and be NOT MOM for one day (which usually means I am doing FSA paperwork or scheduling dentist appointments, but still!).

  41. Buy a wig? :

    Maybe too late for today… I think want to buy a wig. I have super short hair (buzzed at 7 – 8) but would like to occasionally have long hair down. Would this send some message that I don’t realize but maybe don’t want to send? How does one buy a wig? What should I look for? Should I spring for human hair? My natural hair color is black / dark dark brown, if it matters.


    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t wear a wig at work. But for fun, yeah sure!

      • There was a great Ask a Manager recently about a woman who used to completely change her appearance during her lunch break (like hair color, hair length, clothes), even on days where they had external clients who thought she was two separate people.

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