Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Rita & Phil Iris Skirt

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

We’ve featured a lot of different custom-fit items over the years, like bespoke dresses, blazers for the busty, and others, and we may have even had a whole thread on bespoke suits — but we’ve never featured custom skirts. I was intrigued to see this company pop up in my Facebook feed, and I thought I’d give them a shoutout in case you’re looking for a custom-fit pencil skirt, or a tulle skirt, which I think could be a great option if you’re petite. I thought it was an interesting idea: They use your height and measurements to make your skirt, plus pictures of you, which is kind of cool. This looks like a great pencil skirt for $145, and you can get it in all sorts of color combinations. They also have a selection of “Try Before You Buy” skirts that you can try free for seven days, and if you sign up for their email list, you can get a discount on your first order (not just on those skirts). Free shipping on all orders, too. Rita & Phil Iris Skirt

For plus sizes (and for any sizes), try this colorblock skirt at eShakti, which you can customize.

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Comments

  1. So Planned Parenthood, like any other heath care provider, is reimbursed for services they provide. If the new health care act defunds PP and ONLY PP, can they sue in federal court saying that their constitutional rights were violated because they were singled out/discriminated against?

    • I don’t know, but it looks like the new bill is unlikely to pass.

    • JuniorMinion :

      IANAL but I am under the impression that this is unconstitutional based on the ruling in Ohio from about ~6 months ago where the judge ruled that you can’t revoke federal funds based on a healthcare provider’s participation in a constitutionally protected activity.

      On the Medicaid side (where PP gets most of its reimbursements), I believe to deny reimbursement you need to show that there was negligence / substandard quality of care / unreasonable expense (and on this front PP is usually the cheapest and best provider). Providers can opt out of taking Medicaid as an insurance, but Medicaid cannot refuse to reimburse for services with a licensed provider without cause.

      This is my understanding of it. Other people jump in if I have misinterpreted.

    • Also read today that the defund PP clause is unlikely to make it to the final bill because it is not strictly budget-related. The only chance this atrocity has of passing is through the budget reconciliation process, although, as anon at 9:30 pointed out, even that is looking less likely.

    • The problem is that fighting these laws is expensive. My state passed TRAP laws that last year’s Supreme Court case declared unconstitutional, but in my red Midwest state, the local PP affiliate will need to sue to get them off of the books.

      • That’s true, but PP is awash in cash right now. I’m pretty sure it has the funds to fight any potentially unconstitutional restriction.

        • Yeah, except how sad is that? That it will need to spend money fighting unconstitutional restrictions instead of focusing on its important mandate?

          • I agree that it’s totally sad that we are still having these fights – I am 100% pro-choice. But to be fair, the court battles are funded through the PP Action Fund, not from the budgets of individual clinics. The funding streams are separate.

          • Actually, the state litigation often is paid for by the local affiliates or their local PACs. And the increased contributions are fantastic, but the estimate to deal with the laws in just my state is over $200K.

            Note also that some of the local affiliates have very tight budgets, so donations to national do not help unless national decides to downstream. If you want to impact your local community most, then give local!

    • PP also receives funding in the form of grants from the federal government, which is usually what they are talking about.

      • Wildkitten :

        Nope. They’re talking about stopping Medicaid recipients, Title X recipients, etc. from being able to choose to access care at Planned Parenthood, which is often the only or most convenient provider in many areas.

      • Wildkitten :

        Longer post in mod. This is wrong. It’s stopping them from being paid for providing services.

      • Wildkitten :

        In mod but this is wrong.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          What is going on with moderation this week? Almost everything I’ve posted has been hung up and I’m normally really good at avoiding the typical words.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Noticed the same thing- read a totally innocent post back over three or four times after it went to mod and I cannot figure out what sent it there.

  2. Yay Kat! I love this color block! I’ve been at Grandma Trudys’ home. She is ill and I’m trying to cheer her up. I hope to be back p’osting soon! Yay!!

  3. Anonymous :

    What does everyone’s skin care routine look like? My bf makes fun of all the products I slather on my face, so I’m trying to reevaluate what I do to see if stuff is necessary or not. I’m wondering if I tend to overcompensate because I’ve had acne my entire life (I’m 27). For reference, here is mine:

    AM: Cleanser (Philosophy), toner (Paula’s Choice), AHA exfoliant (Paula’s Choice), clindamyacin (Dermatologist prescribed), moisturizer (Clinique), sunscreen (Tarte)
    PM: Cleanser (Philosophy), toner (Paula’s Choice), AHA exfoliant (Paula’s choice), Differin .03% (Dermatologist prescribed), Vitamin C serum (Paula’s Choice), night moisturizer (Cetaphil), eye cream (Cetaphil)

    • Anonymous :

      Wow. lol.

      Any cream in the morning. Vitamin C serum (organic) and cream or argan oil at night. Nothing else.

      • Anonymous :

        This doesn’t seem out of line to me at all. I don’t think you’re ever going to regret taking better care of your skin.

        Morning: Clinique face wash and a Clarisonic every other day, SKII (probably won’t buy again), Glytone serum, Clinique eye cream, sunscreen (La Roche Posay, but I’m still searching for my perfect sunscreen)

        Night: Glytone face wash, dark spot corrector that I cannot recall the name of, snail mucin, and Origins night cream

        I want to add a Vitamin C serum.

        • Baconpancakes :

          You’re not impressed by SKII? I was holding off buying it because of the price, but I’d heard such great things about it.

          • No, I’m not seeing much of a difference. It is SO expensive.

          • I recommend using a Korean brand skin toner prior to applying SKII, you may get more for your money that way.

        • I think the misconception here is that putting 6-8 products on morning and night is taking objectively better care of your skin. Color me skeptical, but the human body has been evolving skin for around 200,000 years – do we really think Paula’s Choice is actually that much of an improvement? Moisturizer and sunscreen? Sure. But the rest of this seems like a waste of time and cash.

          • Baconpancakes :

            People also used to look old at 35, even as recently as 40 years ago. There’s nothing natural about an intensive skincare regime, but there’s nothing natural about skin that stays elastic and wrinkle-free into your 40’s, either. Still want it.

          • Sunscreen. That’s all it is. And not smoking.

          • @Baconpancakes, 40 years ago most people smoked and SPF wasn’t a thing. I’m not sure the fancy products deserve that much credit.

          • Baconpancakes :

            SPF and not smoking are the most important factors, sure, but I notice a huge difference when I use specific products. My mom at 65 looks like my grandmother did at 45, but I look better than my mom did at my age. Some people have good skin, and some people (like my family) don’t. If you are happy with your skin, that’s awesome, but my pores look smaller when I use a clarisonic, my skin is less red when I use calming rose toner, and I’m less likely to break out or get super dry patches when I use an oil-based cleanser, and whenever I go back to cheaper products I regret it.

    • With that much work, I hope your skin looks amazing as you age. I’m being serious. Not at all snarky. When a person invests heavily in something, I hope they see a return. Much like women who have beautiful hair because they invest a lot of time and effort caring for it. Anyway, my skin care routine is: AM: Sunscreen; PM: Cleanser followed by Cetaphil moisturizer. When I remember (1-2x/week), Retin-A.

    • Anonymous :

      AM: cleanse with water and a clean wash cloth. If skin is really dry, use Cetaphil lotion. If only average dryness, use day moisturizer (Origins) and sunscreen (supergoop and/or Peter Thomas Roth CC cream)

      PM: cleanse (philosophy), moisturizer (cetaphil lotion), treatment — most nights Curology, my blend being clindamyacin/tretinoin/azelaic acid. Before I used Curology, I used tretinoin + clindamycin as needed.

      Occasionally: Caudalie Vinoperfect serum, just because I have it from a Giltcity thing and am finishing it up.

      Your routine sounds like a lot to me, but if it works for you… whatever makes you happy? I don’t know that using an AHA twice a day is necessary or provides a lot of benefit over once a day.

    • Shopaholic :

      AM: Cleaner, essence, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, SPF in the summer (I’m out right now and haven’t replenished)

      PM if I’m lazy: face wipe, micellar water, different serum, eye cream, night cream (these products are all different than my AM products).

      PM if I’m not lazy: oil cleanser, micellar water or cleanser, serum, eye cream, night cream (and every few days I’ll put an oil on top of this to let it all soak in.

      About once a week: either a sheet mask, or exfoliating treatment before bed. I also use my clarisonic once or twice a week in the shower.

    • Anonymous :

      Given that you’ve struggled with acne, I don’t think your routine is unreasonable. Basically you cleanse and moisturizer morning and night, plus you use your acne products and sunscreen. These are all sensible and reasonable steps. Could you skip toner? That doesn’t seem necessary if you’re also doing AHA morning and night. Do you need AHA morning and night or just do it once/day.

    • Mine is pretty basic. I’m Indian with a medium-dark complexion. Luckily I don’t break out much any more, but I have grayish scars left over from acne.

      Morning
      Wash face with Clean & Clear cleanser. I don’t remember the exact name. I use my Clarisonic every other day.
      Gariner dark spot corrector.
      Oil of Olay moisturizer with SPF.

      Night
      Remove makeup with Simple micellar water.
      Wash face with Neutrogena cleanser. It’s something from their gentle cleansing line.
      L’Oreal youth code all over the face
      Olay regenerist moisturizer
      L’Oreal eye cream

      I turn 40 this year so I’d also like start adding Retinol to my routine.

    • Anonymous :

      I say this with the kindest intentions, but have you asked your bf why he is making fun of your skincare? In reality, skincare is something that any human with skin could benefit from.

      At any rate, that’s less than what I do! I rotate cleansers and double cleanse in the evening, and add in a hydrating toner mist after my AHA and an oil after moisturizer. The only step I would question there is your toner before your AHA. What kind of toner is that/what purpose is it serving? If it’s hydrating you may want to move it to after AHA

    • If your routine is working and getting you the results you want, why change it? That said, I will play.

      Note that I have pretty chill skin, no acne. I get dry around my nose in the winter from blowing it, but otherwise am combination with a very mildly oily T.

      AM: Rinse in the shower, sometimes wash if there is a decent facewash in the shower. Right now it’s a charcoal activated wash that I got in my last beauty box, CeraVe moisturizer with SPF + jojoba oil on top.

      PM: Micellar water cleanser, Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleanser stick, whatever oil is around to remove leftover eye makeup, Vit C or AHA exfoliant (Paula’s Choice) depending on if my nose is peeling from winter nose blowing, then CeraVe moistizer (same as AM) + jojoba oil on top.

    • AM: cleanser, toner, vitamin c serum, moisturizer, eye cream, sunscreen
      PM: oil cleanser, eye makeup remover, regular cleanser, toner, BHA exfoliant, eye cream, moisturizer. Note: I’m close to 40 and no longer have acne so all my products are OTC.
      Do you really need to use your AHA twice a day? Especially considering that you are using prescription products, you might want to use it a little less if your skin seems irritated.

    • Don’t be me. My skin care routine is: Look in the mirror every few weeks and think, damn, my skin looks dry. Slather on whatever lotion is within closest reach. Look for lid to lotion bottle and see that toddler has dropped it in the toilet. Remind myself to only buy lotion with a pump top or attached lid in the future.

      • Anonymous :

        You’re not alone in this. My moisturizer is Cerave Baby because it’s on auto-order from Walmart for the kids so it’s always around.

      • +1 I want to care enough to do more, but I just don’t.

      • If you want something more, try adding one step at a time? Start with moisturizer with SPF. Put it on after you put your contacts in (or some other thing you do every day).

    • Morning: cleanser (tea tree oil stuff from TJs) Vit C serum, moisturizer, sunscreen

      Evening: cleanser, moisturizer, retin A.

      I also have struggled with acne, and I’m 28. All of the above are the inexpensive, simple variety. I don’t think your routine is unreasonable, although I’ve heard that the utility of eye cream is debatable. That’s probably what I would cut, but you don’t really need to cut anything if you don’t want to.

    • I don’t wash my face in the morning.

      I use the R+F soothe line mostly.

      AM: R+F soothe step 2 skin soothing lotion. step 3 moisturizer if needed. Sunscreen on my chest area. I have sunscreen in my BB cream that is good enough for an office day.

      PM: pond’s cold cream to wash. Retin-a every other night. Latisse every other night.

      So, that’s generally two products in the morning, two products in the evening.

      • In-House in Houston :

        Do you like the R+F products? I just spent $500 on it because a friend is selling it. I hope it works!!!

        • You are a better friend than I am. I almost wrote off a good friend when she started shilling MLM stuff again.

          • In-House in Houston :

            I know, it’s a lot of money. But I’m in my early 40s and feel like it’s time to take my skin care seriously. I feel like if I pay a lot of money for it, I’ll use it and use it properly. I’ve used Neutrogena since I was in high school and I guess it’s time to grow-up my skin care.

        • I do. I use the soothe line because I have rosacea. I tried for 6 months so find drug store equivalents and then went back to it. I’m at the point where I have lots of step 3 and am always running out of step 2 so I dont get the full kit every month.

    • I do very little, but I have never had any skin issues at all (not even acne as a teenager). I wash my face in the morning with a foaming wash from the drugstore, and use a moisturizer as a base for makeup, currently one by Clinique. That’s it. I don’t wash my face at night unless I happen to shower for some reason. My Grama who had beautiful skin swore the trick was to leave it mostly alone, but I think we just have good skin (thanks, parents, I’ll take it). I do get Botox (discussed before) and I think that’s more effective than any anti-aging cream though.

      • I feel a little better about my routine now. I use a Clarisonic brush with Neutrogena face wash and a moisturizer around my eyes in the morning, and that’s it. It’s pretty much the same thing my grandmother did and my mother still does, and I’ll be thrilled if I look half as great at their ages.

        • Then I would follow what your mother/grandmother do. Genetics rules.

          BUT….. I would add a sunscreen.

          That’s for health, as well appearance.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Current routine is basically non-existent. I’ve been reading a lot about Korean skincare lately though so your routine doesn’t seem like too much if its working for you!

      I’ve ordered a few products arriving this week and next to try and build a routine. I’m planning to add them in a week or 2 apart to make sure my skin doesn’t hate any of them and I can identify what, if anything, is causing the problem.

      I’ve used Basis Cleaner Clean cleanser off and on for years, so I’ll stick with that for now. I’ve been using it maybe once a week, probably less, so I’ve been trying to start using it every day. I’m adding Joseon Dynasty Cream for moisturizing first. After that, I’m going to switch out the Basis cleanser for Corsx Low Ph Good Morning Gel Cleanser. I’ll stick with those for awhile to build the habit then look into BHA or AHA exfoliants and possibly a vitamin C serum.

      • JuniorMinion :

        I’ve just started experimenting with K beauty as well and have had good luck (for the past week) with both the Joseon and the Cosrx low PH good morning gel. I’ve added in an oil cleanser at night as I wear a CC cream / light makeup every day but I am working my way through my pond’s cold cream for that purpose and will probably try the Bonila oil cleanser that Snow White and the Asian Pear recommends after that.

        I may layer in an ampoule / AHA / BHA toner once I see how this routine is working for me.

        • I really like the Bonila oil cleanser! Also, I really liked both the Mizon and the cosrx AHA/BHA toner. The toner is actually one of my favorite parts about my routine–its surprisingly moisturizing. The step after toner would be an AHA or BHA active. I like the cosrxs for that too!

    • It’s a lot, sure, but if you’re happy with the results, go for it.

      Me, I wash my face in the shower in the morning (usually Aveeno cream cleanser) and then use the Aveeno Positively Radiant moisturizer with SPF. Very occasionally I use the Ole Henriksen Vitamin C serum underneath. At night I wash with Cetaphil (used to be Purity Made Simple but I’m happy with the Cetaphil for much cheaper) and alternate between the Help Me retinol from philosophy, a Garnier night cream, or my daytime moisturizer.

    • How do you like the PC AHA exfoliant? I think my skin might be too sensitive to use twice a day, but I’m wondering if I should do AHA or BHA or both a few times a week.

      Currently:
      AM: Timeless C&E Ferulic Acid, CeraVe moisturizer, sunblock (varies of brand, going to try supergoop next but currently just neutrogena)
      PM: Cetaphil face wash, Ole Herickson overnight (three times a week) or Skinceuticals Retinol .5 (three times a week), CeraVe moisturizer

      • Not OP, but retinol can definitely increase sensitivity when used with AHA’s. I alternate days (AHA one day 2x a day, retinol the next), or use a really, really gentle AHA on days with retinol. I love the effect of both though, so it’s worth it to keep both on rotation.

        Take a look at which acids may be more appropriate for your skintype as well. I’m dry and can handle any AHA’s but no BHA.

    • When my acne was worse, I think that my routine was similar – cleanser, acne product(s), moisturizer. I had different cleanser and moisturizers for morning and night. Now, I’m older (27) and still get the occasional hormonal/stress-related breakout, but I also have just decided that having perfect skin is not a priority for me.

      I try to keep it looking healthy and clean (like, not overly oily or dry/flaky), but I also try to remind myself that “healthy” does not necessarily mean “perfectly clear and evenly-toned all the time.” I think that’s a misconception sold to us by the beauty industry, and I got pretty tired of having my dermatologist try to put me on oral antibiotics and topical prescriptions. I will also echo what others said about being skeptical about the premise that your skin is going to look better with more products. When I quit my topical prescriptions and Paula’s Choice toner cold turkey, my husband told me unprompted one day about a week later that my skin looked awesome.

      I use Cerave pretty exclusively at this point. It’s OTC and works well for me. In the morning, I splash my face with water and put on Cerave SPF 30 moisturizer. In the evening, I use Cerave cleanser and their non-SPF moisturizer. Once a week, I use the Origins charcoal mask, which has really helped my oily skin/large pores.

      • “I think that’s a misconception sold to us by the beauty industry”

        So true. I said something to my SO about wanting to try a new product to even out the redness in my face so it was all one color and he said, “But that’s not what faces look like.” He was genuinely confused. It felt like a bit of a duh moment — like, hey Torin, you’re letting advertising get to you again, quit it. You’re fine.

        • My husband says the same thing. I have a few darker spots here and there from old acne scars that I like to cover up with concealer. Otherwise I don’t really have an interest in wearing make up. He commented that he doesn’t like the makeup look for me because my face is too evenly colored and that’s weird.

          • It is a bit weird. I laugh at myself every time I carefully even out the redness in my face and then add it back with blush.

    • numbersmouse :

      AM: Clinique cleanser + toner (contains BHA) + moisturizer. After shower: Clinique eye cream (will stop using when I run out) + LRP Anthelios sunscreen + Clinique’s Stay-Matte Hydrator (it’s the only thing that prevents my acne).

      PM: Clinique cleanser + moisturizer.

      Your routine seems fine to me, except for the toner step… If you already use a BHA exfoliant I’m not sure you need that as well.

    • Morning: Wash face with cleanser, Cetaphil Gentle Skin. Apply an anti-aging serum called REN Keep Young and Beautiful Firming and Smoothing Serum. Apply Simple Skincare’s Protecting Light moisturizer, which has 15 SPF.

      Evening: Wash face with water and washcloth. Apply prescription benzoyl perozide EpiDuo. Apply Simple Skincare’s Replenishing Rich moisturizer.

      The serum in the morning is a new addition– I told my derm about my routine and asked if there was anything else I should be doing for both long-term and short-term skin health. She said she liked my routine, because simplicity is key, although she did recommend adding an anti-aging serum rich in anti-oxidents. She gave me a list of 4-5 that she likes, and I chose REN, based on what she told me about the choices (she did make fun of the name though, which is fair).

      I never thought of my skin as sensitive, but ever since I started actually taking care of it, I’ve realized how sensitive it is. If I switch products, I can depend on 2 weeks of breaking out and redness, which then goes away. If I skip even one day of my routine (ie, if I’ve been drinking and just fall into bed instead of taking care of myself), I get a big pimple. But with this routine, my skin looks pretty good most of the time.

    • lucy stone :

      I am fortunate to have good skin naturally, so my routine may be a bit minimal:

      AM: Clinique 7 day scrub cream or extra mild soap + Clarisonic in the shower, yellow Clinique moisturizer, SPF in my foundation

      PM: Wash face with warm water, maybe use soap if I wore a ton of makeup. Clinique night serum on face, Clinique eye serum on eye area, yellow moisturizer or moisture surge on top.

    • I’ve always been told that there is no need to use a cleanser in the morning and it ends up stripping too much natural oil from your face. My morning routine is just to splash water on my face, BHA toner and moisturizer with sunscreen. In the evening, I use a makeup remover to take off eye makeup, use a cleanser and then apply lotion.

      • It depends what your skin is like and what kind of cleanser you are using. Some people wake up with a layer of oil on their face & need to work harder than those without.

        • Seattle Freeze :

          Yes, this – I used to use cleanser in the morning, but after 40, it was just too drying. Now with drier skin, mild rosacea, and a recent resurgence of acne (likely related to aging & hormonal fluctuations), I just use water and a very soft washcloth in the morning, and Pond’s cold cream to remove makeup in the evening. If I haven’t worn makeup, then water + washcloth again.

          Other products are:

          AM: Vitamin C serum or metronidazole (alternate days), First Aid Beauty hydrating serum if not using metronidazole, Avene Eau Thermale eye cream & rich moisturizer.

          PM: AHA serum, metronidazole, facial oil if feeling a bit dry, Avene Eau Thermale eye cream, Eucerin redness reducing moisturizer.

    • I think exfoliating twice a day is a lot, might not be necessary, and may actually be detrimental. That said it’s your face, not mine, and if you think you get good results I wouldn’t change it just because of your boyfriend’s teasing.

      My routine is:
      AM: cleanse with jojoba oil, apply CeraVe facial sunscreen
      PM: cleanse with jojoba oil
      once a week (usually monday morning in the shower): activated charcoal + sugar scrub mask
      if face feels dry at night, apply CeraVe facial lotion (I wouldn’t say I use this more than once a week at most)

    • Haven’t read everything yet but mine is similar to the OP.
      AM: Cleanse, hydrate (PC toner), vitamin C, sunscreen
      PM: Remove makeup, cleanse, hydrate, exfoliate, wait 20 minutes, Retin-a mixed with PC’s retinol serum.

      I add a face oil as needed for additional moisture retention, or benzoyl peroxide for zit elimination.

    • I think you are absolutely ruining the value of the Rx creams by layering them over and under other products.

      • Yup, absolutely.

      • The prescription is simply a retinol. That absolutely works with other pieces of skincare. I’ve certainly seen recommendations to wait 30 minutes after retinol application for it to be completely dry, but it’s a bad idea to not use at least a moisturizer over it. That has the potential for even more flaking and sensitivity.

        • Disagree. “Nothing on the face with retin-a” is the mantra most dermatologists use. Rerun-a is most effective when used by itself. If you use a moisturizer with it, you are diluting it. This is recommended for the period where you are getting acclimated to it, but if you want it to really work to its full potential and as intended, use it alone.

          • There are a lot of myths around retin-a, and “use nothing with it” is still one of them. Everyone’s favorite, Paula’s Choice, has two good articles on this:

            http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/myths/_/five-retinol-myths-busted
            http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/anti-aging/_/how-to-use-retinol-products

            To each their own, but there’s nothing about OP’s routine that’s making their retinol less effective.

          • It actually depends on your skin tolerance. There is no absolute rule.

            Talk to your derms.

            I couldn’t tolerate my retin-A on plain, dry skin alone.

            My derm told me to apply retin-A, and then apply moisturizer on top.

            If still irritated, she said to apply moisturizer FIRST, and then apply retin-A. Or mix a bit of moisturizer with the retin-A and apply (I didn’t risk this, as seemed too hard to mix and apply evenly this way).

            If still irritated, she said I should start using retin-A alternate days instead of every day.

    • I’m 46.

      Morning — wash with soap; moisturize with anything OTC (like Aveeno / Neutrogena) with SPF 30ish

      Evening — take up makeup with alcohol on a cotton ball or StriDex pads (summer only). Winter: sometimes Retin-A b/c I still break out. Waah.

    • I’m admittedly at an extreme, but mine is: sunscreen in the morning, and jojoba oil at night to take off makeup/sunscreen. I might consider a prescription product in a few years, but right now (age 35), that’s all.

    • Fellow 27 year-old with a lifelong struggle with acne (and now visible scarring, yaaaay.) my routine varies based on whether I have breakouts or not. If I have pimples, I focus on treating them. If no pimples, I focus on keeping my pores clear.

      If pimples:
      Morning: Creamy tea tree oil wash from the Body Shop, followed by Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream and B0-Oing concealer from Sephora.
      Evening: Squeaky clean tea tree oil scrub (also from Body Shop), followed by Simple light moisturizer (CVS) and some tea tree oil (Body Shop) on the pimples. I love the Body Shop’s blemish fade night cream but it’s so expensive . . .

      If no pimples:
      Morning: Biore baking soda wash (or charcoal wash), followed by aforementioned BB cream and concealer
      Evening: I normally use this smoothing scrub from Bath and Body Works they only sell during their semi-annual sales, I forget what it’s called, but it’s great at keeping my pores clear and pimples at bay!

      During the day I use green tea blotting sheets to manage oil, and face powder made for oily skin.

      If you’re using prescriptions, you should keep the rest of your routine as simple and gentle as possible. Cetaphil is good, stuff from the Body Shop’s aloe line is awesome (I used the day cream religiously when I was using prescriptions).

    • Legally Brunette :

      I’m 37 and am fortunate to have good skin. My mom has amazing skin and never did anything so I hope I inherit her genes.

      Morning: Paula’s Choice or Obagi cleanser (only sometimes, when I remember), Elta MD SPF 46 sunscreen (still looking for a physical sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast on my medium brown skin, if anyone has ideas!)

      Evening: Paula’s Choice or Obagi cleanser, Paula Choice’s BHA exfoliant (every other day), and Paula’s Choice hydrating mask a few times a week. And sometimes when I’m feeling super dry, I will just use a cleanser and slather some olive oil on my face and go to bed.

      I need to investigate Vitamin C and various serums. Haven’t done that yet.

    • I put drugstore lotion on my face after I get out of the shower. It’s SPF 20, I think. Sometimes (a couple times a week?) I use face wash in the shower.

    • I don’t do anything in the morning except sunscreen- I shower and wash my face at night.

      PM: Cerave cleanser, Clinique gentle toner, Peter Thomas Roth 10% glycolic acid serum, First Aid Beauty replenishing serum, Cerave moisturizer.

      I’m kind of obsessed with Paula’s Choice beautypedia and I only use products that are highly rated by her. This keeps my sensitive combination skin ticking along nicely. I also love masks and do a variety of them a few times of month.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Morning: If I remember, Neutrogena moisturizer with some type of SPF. Clear lip balm. If there has been a total skin explosion and I’ll be interacting with persons other than my coworkers (who would probably not notice if I came to work with my trousers on my head), Ben Nye concealer. I was a theatre geek and I don’t see any reason to not go for the good stuff if I need to hide something.

      Evening: Neutrogena face wash, sometimes a night cream in the winter. Usually not. If the skin explosion continues, Spot Remover on the relevant locations.

    • AM: charcoal cleanser, serum, bb balm with spf

      PM: micellar water, foaming cleanser, brightening serum, spot treatment for any acne (I’m currently trying Mario Bedescu), moisturizer

      I have a vitamin c serum on order that I will add when it arrives.

    • Morning: Splash face with water; Keys moisturizer with SPF

      Evening: Cleanse with micellar wipes from Trader Joe’s; PC anti-redness toner; PC AHA or PC retinol serum followed by PC moisture mask; PC eye serum under eyes

    • I am 40-years old, very fair (and didn’t use sunscreen as a kid) and am prone to hormonal breakouts, large pores, sun spots and redness. That said, I have a complicated skin care routine and it works for me to the point where people actually stop me on the street and ask why my skin looks so good and what do I use – so, to me, that’s the answer for why I use sooooo many steps.

      AM: Cetaphil cleanser, sometimes Hanyul balancer, Hanyul toner, Hanyul serum, Hanyul lotion, Hanyul cream on dry areas, Hanyul eye cream, Hanyul White Chrysanthemum sunblock (my best sunblock ever and I’ve tried them all) and bb cream (I don’t wear makeup otherwise)

      PM: Double cleanse with some random Korean oil cleanser then foam cleaner that I found on Amazon (I noticed residue from bb cream is left behind without double step but I’m prone to breakouts so I don’t want just an oil step, but still too dry for a harsh cleanser; I’ve also used micelluar water before Cetaphil cleanser and it was ok but the 2 step seems better for me) – add in clarisonic a few times a week, then alternative prescription retin-a with prescription acne medication (not differin, but something new I’ve forgotten); then lotion and/or cream plus under eye cream depending on skin dryness

      1-2 xs week: glycolic acid peel (fairly strong one, 25% I think); sheet mask (I like these less and less as time goes by because I’m not sure they add much to my routine); clay mask on break-out prone areas (or Pro-Activ sulfur mask)

      It doesn’t take as long as it sounds like – maybe 5ish mins – to do in AM and PM. I add in creams, serums. etc based on any emerging skin issues. I have P50 and use that a couple times per week in AM instead of Korean toner. Really, I think it’s about finding products that work and swapping them around as skin issues emerge to prevent worsening. And SPF. Lots of SPF.

  4. So Planned Parenthood, like any other heath care provider, is reimbursed for services they provide. If the new health care act defunds PP and ONLY PP, can they sue in federal court saying that their constitutional rights were violated because they were singled out/discriminated against?

    • JuniorMinion :

      IANAL but I am under the impression that this is unconstitutional based on the ruling in Ohio from about ~6 months ago where the judge ruled that you can’t revoke federal funds based on a healthcare provider’s participation in a constitutionally protected activity.

      On the Medicaid side (where PP gets most of its reimbursements), I believe to deny reimbursement you need to show that there was negligence / substandard quality of care / unreasonable expense (and on this front PP is usually the cheapest and best provider). Providers can opt out of taking Medicaid as an insurance, but Medicaid cannot refuse to reimburse for services with a licensed provider without cause.

      This is my understanding of it. Other people jump in if I have misinterpreted.

    • IANAL but I am under the impression that this is unconstitutional based on the ruling in Ohio from about ~6 months ago where the judge ruled that you can’t revoke federal funds based on a healthcare provider’s participation in a constitutionally protected activity.

      On the Medicaid side (where PP gets most of its reimbursements), I believe to deny reimbursement you need to show that there was negligence / substandard quality of care / unreasonable expense (and on this front PP is usually the cheapest and best provider). Providers can opt out of taking Medicaid as an insurance, but Medicaid cannot refuse to reimburse for services with a licensed provider without cause.

      This is my understanding of it. Other people jump in if I have misinterpreted.

  5. Anonymous :

    Are manicures necessary to look professional? I never get them and I often wonder if it is one of those fine details that make you look more polished.

    • No. But I keep my nails short and neat and try to give them a clear coat of polish once a week and it helps me internally feel more pulled together.

    • I don’t think they are necessary, but it depends a lot on the culture of your office. At my office, most women get their nails done, and I do too. But I like it, which is why I do it. TBH, I don’t think it makes me look more professional, because I don’t go with neutral colors. I like blue.

    • Having well-groomed nails looks professional, but of course you can do that yourself.

    • I don’t get manicures, by I try to make sure my nails are clean and buffed all the time. I think it works for me.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      This is definitely a ymmv area. I *personally* think painted nails look better BUT as long as your nails are well-kept (not broken, ragged or dirty with ragged cuticles) they are perfectly fine for a professional setting.

      • Anonymous :

        This. I used to do manicures regulary but after 3 kids under 6, I do short/tidy/no polish because I can’t maintain a manicure enough to make it worthwhile. IMHO tidy/short nails look better than a chipped manicure.

        • Heck, I can’t maintain a manicure for more than a day and I don’t have any kids. I go with clean and tidy, though I might occasionally go for a manicure with no polish. I save the polish for my toes.

        • +1. I look forward to the day when I have time again to put my acrylics back on, but I have yet to reach the point where I have 60 minutes to myself every two weeks to keep them in good shape.

    • Anonymous :

      When I worked in Big Law, there were plenty of women who had weekly manicures but plenty of women with unpainted nails. Now I’m in-house at a major university and nobody here gets manicures expect for special occasions like a wedding or tropical vacation. I think unpainted nails look much more polished than chipped manicures, so unless you’re going to get manicures religiously or remove the polish as soon as it shows the first sign of chipping, it’s better to leave them unpainted.

      • “I think unpainted nails look much more polished than chipped manicures, so unless you’re going to get manicures religiously or remove the polish as soon as it shows the first sign of chipping, it’s better to leave them unpainted.” This is my philosophy too. I rarely paint my fingernails for this reason. But, I like the look of painted toenails, so I keep polish on mine about 9 months of the year.

      • Anonymous :

        I work in Big Law in Palo Alto and have a standing 7:00 am manicure appt every two weeks. I get a silk wrap, which means the polish NEVER chips and is smooth as glass. $40, including tip, is a bit steep but worth every penny.

    • Anonymous :

      I go back and forth on this issue. For me, I think my nails look more professional when they are all the same shape, instead of however my nail beds happen to look (all slightly different). So even when I keep my nails short and tidy, I don’t feel that they look as professional as they do when they’re manicured. That said, I completely agree that as soon as it chips, I need to take off my manicure.

    • I think clean, well groomed nails that are unremarkable are most professional (after all, it’s supposed to be about you.

      If you’re going to do a mani, it should be on short nails and the polish should be chip-free. (This is what I do, so I realize I’m not in the top tier of professionalism but f* it. I like polished nails for fun)

      Least professional is long nails, painted or not, but especially unprofessional if pointy, bejeweled or otherwise decorated beyond a coat of regular polish.

    • Anonymous :

      My old coworker got me hooked on doing my own gel manicures, so I do that every week or two. They hold up to my lifestyle (office job + gym rat + ProAm baker) and I can do them sitting in bed watching netflix.

      I actually had a conversation about this with a couple coworkers somewhat recently and my boss commented that I always have my nails done. It’s funny to me because I never considered myself a person who regularly had my nails done, but I guess I have for the entire time I’ve been at this job (9 months or so?). I also used to have a horrible cuticle picking/biting habit which I’ve mostly kicked and also helps.

      +1 to chipped polish looking worse than no polish though, which is why I like gels.

      • KateMiddletown :

        What kit do you use? I feel like they cost as much as a manicure to start up, but the Essie 2 step one is tempting me (~$11ea for color + top coat)

        • Wildkitten :

          I bought a $40 kit at CVS with a light and then I use OPI gel polish ($15/bottle). It costs as much as a manicure to start but you only pay it once, not every two weeks.

        • I use OPI gel polish – ordered online to get started + an LED lamp from Amazon, but now I go to nail supply stores to pick up anything I need (I’m in DC, and there are a bunch out by Eden Center.) I spent about $70 getting set up with lamp, base+top+2 color polishes, and rubbing alcohol/orange sticks.

          I also just broke down and ordered dip nail supplies after having an SNS manicure – stay tuned on that.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I keep my nails super short and just push back the cuticles, and paint them myself. It does give me an element of “polished,” but it’s only one element – my hair is usually just pulled back instead of “done.” Having nails shorter than the tips of my fingers and using Seche Vite is my magic formula for keeping my nails unchipped for 3-5 days, which is a lot better than the 12 hours I would otherwise manage.

    • lucy stone :

      I only notice nails on other women if they have an awesome manicure (like a cool design or color) or a chipped manicure. I think it’s a personal choice thing. I have mine done with some mlm decals most of the time because it helps me feel a little more polished.

    • I rock climb and my nails are pretty much constantly a disaster. I try to keep them short and neatly filed, but my cuticles are constantly trashed (they dry out and crack from the chalk), and sometimes I look down during a meeting and realize my nails are just not really that clean.

      No one notices. I could wear the same outfit three days in a row and I doubt anyone would notice that either. You do you. If you want to paint your nails (I think it’s pretty!), paint them. If you don’t, don’t.

      • working hands :

        Same. Rock climber and cyclist here. Today my nails on my right hand have a small layer of bike grease underneath them. But hey, at least my derailleur is sparkling clean! Fortunately I’m not paid to have pretty nails.

    • Absolutely not.

    • Nope! They may make you look more polished but they are unequivocally not necessary to look professional.

    • Not necessarily. As long as they’re clean and neat, no one will even notice them. Neutral polish doesn’t hurt, but really, most people don’t pay that much attention to finger nails.

    • I don’t think they are necessary but I like the way they look. My problem is that I hate the maintenance of painted nails (I currently have chipped polish now and, yes it looks awful and unprofessional).

      Has anyone tried stick on nails? They look like they’ve come a long ways since I played with them as a kid in the 80s.

    • I don’t think my nails look bad at all when I don’t do anything to them other than keep them trimmed, but damn, do they look soooo much better when I have a manicure. I like to get manicures for special events. I don’t have the energy to prioritize them otherwise.

  6. Off-key Valkyrie :

    Yesterday, DH read my mind on what I wanted for my birthday, and took my favorite print in to be framed! Can’t wait to see it!

  7. Book Recommendation :

    I struggle with spoken communication, particularly anything unscripted. I interview well and give strong formal presentations, but lack the appropriate skills to present ideas in meetings or on the telephone.

    Resource recommendations to address this?

    • How about something like toastmasters?

      I’m a comms person, but I find having my couple “talking points” jotted down before a meeting/call always helps me. The same way I’d prep a spokesperson — what is your one key message/takeaway? What are you three key points you can use to get there?

      Also, becoming a group fitness instructor did wonders for me in this, but I realize that is oddly niche and a huge time commitment. ;)

      • Book Recommendation :

        I seem to do okay in one-on-one settings; throwing in extra individuals who may potentially hijack the conversation seems to throw me off my game. Maintaining control of a conversation so I can get to my talking points and highlight them appropriately is a significant weakness.

        • Anonymous :

          Look up “bridging” and think about practicing that — it’s how we teach spokespeople/execs/etc to get back to the topic at hand. Also, definitely practice out loud to yourself. I will talk things out in my career, while cleaning, to the cat…. etc. Anticipate interruption and plan for it. You won’t be “too prepared”!

        • Is it possible that you struggle with brevity? Being prepared with additional information and answers to questions is great, but make sure that you’re hitting all your headlines first, without unnecessary introduction–that way you won’t have to worry about the conversation going in a different direction before your idea is fully heard.

          (Apologies if double-post.)

    • Practice in the mirror.

    • I used to have the same issue. Now when I’m alone, I talk all the time articulating whatever thoughts I have in a structured way. I find that helps.

    • The Credibility Code by Cara Hale Alter. She is awesome and has very practical, concrete exercises and tips. Good luck!

  8. Anonymous :

    Do you have any recommendations for a good tax preparer in the DC area? We’re looking for someone who can help us file this year’s return quickly (within the next two weeks) and can help us correct a minor error (typo in address) in last year’s return. Thanks in advance!

  9. I’m really curious about this skirt. I love the colors, and as someone with big hips/booty and small waist, I have to get my skirts tailored anyway. Has anyone tried Rita and Phill?

    • BabyAssociate :

      Also really intrigued about this skirt. It’s different, I like it!

    • I’m also curious. I think I might do the free Try Before You Buy thing. I wish you could give them a length though, since all their styles seem a little long for me. Just an inch above the knee, please!

      • Also, looking at the side views, I really do not like the “enhancing seam” that emphasizing your butt… looks too clubby. I think they see this as a plus, but I’m really trying to minimize my booty in the workplace.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m interested in this as well. Hopefully someone has tried it and can report back!

  10. Happy International Women's Day :

    Happy International Women’s Day! The first celebration was in 1909 and I hope we make it to 2509 and beyond. Today is a day to focus on women and highlight the accomplishments of the ones who inspire you.

  11. Walking to the train home last night, fiancé suggested we walk to a different station than usual. The usual walk is through a beautiful neighborhood with lots of nice restaurants (we intended to grab a bite), while the other station is through a kind of sketchy/ugly commercial area, and a little further from home. I was in a bad/exhausted mood and really protested about this alternate route. There was a specific restaurant I wanted to go to, I wanted to get home quickly, etc etc. But he insisted we go the other way. “I know a place,” he said. I agreed but proceeded to be pretty annoyed for a few minutes.

    It turned out he had made an appointment to look at wedding rings at a store near the other station, and wanted to surprise me! I felt like such a jerk! Luckily, he was just amused by my grouchiness and pleased by my being so surprised. Just a reminder to assume always the best intentions in your SO, and to just f’ing go with the flow.

    • +1. If every you notice your partner is being unusually insistent, just go with the flow. My husband surprised me with a beautiful barometer at an antique store that way.

    • The evening I got engaged my now husband had to extract me off of the couch and out of my pajamas. I was cranky and really didn’t understand why he could get himself some takeout if he was so damned hungry.

      • Ugh, typos. *couldn’t

        • Anonymous :

          I love these sweet stories, but…. [email protected], men, respect a woman! Your plans can’t wait a day?! I mean I’m divorced and very much My Own Boss of My Own Life, Thank You Very Much. I do see the sweetness in these stories but in the back of my head I wonder, why men always have to have it THEIR way on THEIR timeline?

          • Eh, I can understand that it takes some planning to arrange a surprise and there can be a few different moving parts. I don’t think it’s because they have to have things their way on their timeline, but YMMV

          • My now-husband was terrified that I would find the ring or he would lose it if he didn’t propose as soon as he picked it up. Both were valid concerns.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Because there is an appointment or a reservation or something pre-planned for the surprise that can’t easily be rescheduled?

          • I think what 9:43 means is that the engagement itself is on their timeline, and I don’t get that either. Why are women waiting for rings and “omg-so-surprised” when they go to the ring store? Why do men have control of this issue? To me it smacks of women and men brainwashed by too many Disney movies and rom-coms.

          • Anonymama :

            Hah, in real life (at least with pretty much everyone I know) the actual proposal is just a ceremonial formality to complete a process of discussions regarding marriage. Like, many women (including me) are surprised by the proposal that particular day, but definitely not surprised that there is a proposal. In fact I specifically told my husband-to-be not to propose until I told him I was ready for it (he is the dramatic romantic type, I am the cautious let’s-make-sure type).

          • Baconpancakes :

            Same reason I get frustrated when I cook a nice surprise dinner and my SO decides to work late at the office that night.

          • My husband got to call the shots for the engagement, I called the shots for the wedding. We don’t apologize for those choices. 10 years later, we are very much equal partners in our marriage.

          • Anonymous at 9:43 :

            Wow, these are really helpful responses. Mira Dry, you were right, that I don’t like women waiting for some metal and rocks to be bestowed upon us as confirmation of our love/relationship/value, but everyone else raised valid points. Thanks ladies!

          • Ugh, are you the new Ellen?

      • Same. Husband insisted we go for a walk after it had just rained and I was totally not into it. He proposed (and had a photographer waiting).

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Before Mr. Pugsnbourbon proposed, we’d had some back-and-forth about where “we” were going. We were about to move in together, weighing job offers, making Big Decisions. We were long distance at the time which complicated things.

          He came up for a visit and before we went out to dinner I said, ” I’m sticking around. Ball’s in your court.”

          He proposed that night.

    • numbersmouse :

      Every time I get unusually annoyed at my boyfriend for being late, it turns out it was because he was getting me a surprise. :)

  12. Is it worth it to buy a point and shoot digital camera anymore? I’m talking about the compact ones that fit in the palm of your hand, not a full on SLR. I have a couple of trips coming up and am trying to decide if I should get a camera that’s not my phone.

    I don’t like having to carry my phone around (and possibly lose it), but as far as I can tell, its quality is just as good as a point and shoot. Phone also has the bonus of auto-uploading to my Dropbox. Another downside for me with the phone is I’m not a huge fan of the interface and prefer the classic “button on top” feel.

    • I bought a point and shoot before my first kid, because I wanted to be able to print out photos for grandparents. The quality difference between my iPhone 6 and an actual point and shoot is very obvious on a printed photo.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      My phone has a crappy camera and I too am not a fan of the interface on phone cameras (I am not coordinated and trying to both hold camera and take a decent picture usually doesn’t work out), so I used to take a point and shoot on trips. I like having a button and a viewfinder (though good luck finding a point and shoot with viewfinders these days). I have since upgraded to a mirrorless digital, which with the basic kit lens is not that much bigger than my point and shoot (fits easily in my travel purse) and takes much better pictures. So another option to consider.

    • Anonymous :

      I think so, especially if you’re willing to buy a point and shoot that’s not the absolute cheapest available. There are point and shoots that have some DSLR-like features and are significantly better than the phone. It also depends what kind of phone you have. I’ve heard the iPhone 7 has amuch better camera than the iPhone 6, but I have the iPhone 6 and when I want to travel w/o my DSLR, I bring along a point and shoot because I think it’s better than the iPhone.

      • This. My point and shoot takes way better pictures than my phone, and regularly does better than my DSRL, too. It’s a nicer model that also has manual settings, so it’s not super compact, but is a nice in-between camera in terms of size and price.

    • I’m curious about this as well. My phone is always almost out of memory, which means that every night of a vacation I have to make sure I upload and delete pictures which is annoying. I have a vacation to Glacier this summer and know I will want to take tons of pics without being worried about whether I have enough space throughout the day. My plan was to buy a simple, but good enough quality point and shoot for the trip. Something around $100 if possible.

      • Just pay the 99 cents/month for extra cloud storage so you don’t keep running out of room!

        • I have the extra cloud atorage. My problem is that I don’t always have service when I am out and about taking pics so I can’t get them backed up quick enough to remove what I need to remove in order to take more pics. Perhaps I am not tech-savy and there is something else I could be doing, but all my pics are backed up. I use a lot of space on my phone apparently! I often don’t have room for more than 150 pics on my camera. If I am out for a full day taking pics, that may not be enough space.

        • Why are all of my comments going into moderation today!??! – CountC

        • That doesn’t help if your phone is full, though.

          • Or if you are in a location where you can’t hook to the WiFi to get it to the cloud to free up space. I have the extra storage, but it doesn’t help when I am out all day in the woods with no service. ~CountC

        • I wouldn’t put anything at all personal on the cloud, given the recent hacking incidents. Vacation photos, sure, but not any documents that have your personal data or any photos you wouldn’t want the world to see. And I don’t know that the iphone has an easy way to select which stuff you want to back up to the cloud.

          • +1 I work in IT and refuse to use the cloud (or Siri) for security reasons.

    • If you don’t already have a “real” camera, I wouldn’t buy one. We have two digital cameras we bought years ago and they still work, but I rarely find myself taking them on vacation. I find it much easier to take pics with my phone. If was more into photography I might take the point and shoot with me. The pictures with my phone turn out well and I’m happy with them.

    • Anonymous :

      I think some of the point and shoot cameras are wifi capable now to auto upload your photos as well. I would consider how many photos you expect to take versus how many your phone actually holds. I would hate to miss a great shot because I have to delete that cat video my sister sent me to make room.

      • Delta Dawn :

        I bought a point and shoot based on the convenience of uploading to wifi– after several hours trying to set it up with the help of customer service who also could not figure it out, they “remembered” that this particular camera can’t upload to Apple products. Caveat emptor….

    • nasty woman :

      I’ve wrestled with this question and wound up buying a small, fairly high-end point and shoot for a trip a couple of years ago. It was the right call. I eventually want to learn to use an SLR, but ain’t no body got time for that right now (and, apparently, not within the last two years, either…). I also didn’t want to drop $500+ to have a ‘learning experience’ with a new SLR on vacation which I’m sure would have been an unmitigated disaster. So I got nikon something or other for around $200 and it was worth it. Your phone photos might look just as good on the screen, but the camera quality is much much much much better at a larger scale- and by large scale I mean bigger than a 4×6 when printed. My digital camera’s photos printed at a very high quality at 16×24 inches (they look awesome), while the iphone photos start to struggle at around 5×7 or 8×8. Plus, the point and shoots are so compact and user friendly there’s almost no way to mess up. I say go for it!

      • Exactly the same as me except I’ve just moved onto the DSLR.

        Eve with my point and shoot, having an optical zoom(instead of a cr*ppy digital one on the phone) is worth its wait in gold. Plus when you are out sightseeing all day you dont run down your phone battery.

    • Running Numbers :

      Thank you for asking this! My old point and shoot has seen better days and I think the quality difference is very evident on printed materials. Any specific recommendations on point-and-shoot cameras? Bonus points if they keep up with moving targets, aka kids…

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I bought one a few years ago when my iPhone camera wasn’t great. It was worth it then, but I found it when I was looking for something else recently and realized that I haven’t even taken it on vacation lately. My phone’s camera is just as good as that one.

      One thing that might make a difference is that my husband is a great amateur photographer with a nice DSLR camera (and takes thousands of pictures on our trips) so I’m not likely to miss a picture if the one I take doesn’t turn out great.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      It is 100% worth it IF you are going to print out the photos. If you are just going to post them online, probably not needed, but the difference in quality between my new Iphone and my 3 year old point and shoot is remarkable. The Iphone photos look fine as a 4×6, but really can’t be blown up any larger. My point and shoot that I got for $200 three years ago can blow up pictures to 11×14 (haven’t tried larger) without an issue. Granted I got a really really great deal on my camera, but I take it everywhere with me now. What I did was I found an older model of a $600 point and shoot, but the only differences in the newer model was a bigger screen that could flip in front. Those features would have been nice, but what matters in cameras now are the sensor and the lense both of which were the same from the older model to the newer models. It was worth the savings to me, especially since I do a lot of hiking/kayaking where I have resigned myself to the possibility of the camera being dropped/soaked.

      Another thing to think about is that if you want group photos. I am personally ok with handing over a $200 camera to a stranger to have them take a group photo, knowing that they could steal it. I am not ok with handing over my $800 phone while I am in a foreign country, because my phone is a really important lifeline including for just basic navigation.

    • I tried going without my point and shoot camera and relying on my phone for my kid’s last sporting event, and missed seeing part of one event and didn’t manage to get video either because I was looking down at my phone trying to find the “record” button. With my point and shoot camera, I can set everything up, frame the shot, and then watch in real life instead of through the camera screen while starting the recording by touch.

    • numbersmouse :

      I personally have had a Leica point-and-shoot since 2009 and I loved taking it when traveling. It had the advantage of being quite small (could easily fit in the front pocket of all but the tightest jeans, I could shoot it one-handed, etc) and having a lovely lens that made up for its sub-par processing. I retired it last fall and bought the Leica D-Lux, which is sort of halfway between a point-and-shoot and a full-frame. Haven’t used it intensively yet, but I can tell it’s going to take wonderful pictures, even if it is a little bulkier.

      To me, taking beautiful pictures is an essential part of any trip, and I’ve even framed a couple of shots I’ve taken in Central America and Mexico. I’m by no means a professional photographer, and until I got my new camera, I didn’t even know the basics about exposure, shutter speed, etc (I’ve read up on all that to put my new baby to good use), but to me it is 100% worth it. If you want something small and easy to use, but don’t care too much about processing and having a true manual mode, I’d highly recommend a Leica C-Lux or a Panasonic (they use the same lenses).

  13. NoVa jury duty :

    This is a bit of a long shot, but for the NoVa readers here: I got a jury summons in Arlington for next week, but they say to check online the night before to see if you actually have to appear (and then potentially get picked). I’ve never heard of this before – what are the odds I actually will have to show up? I’m interviewing for jobs and having jury duty as the elephant in the room is quite inconvenient… also, any tips if I do have to appear?

    • I’m not in NoVa. However, this is a pretty common thing to either check online or call the night before to see if you need to appear. In my jurisdiction, you can ask to be rescheduled one time. If that’s an option on your summons, I would do it because of your interview. Otherwise, I would not be willing to have an interview scheduled on the same day I have jury duty. But I’m highly risk adverse.

      • NoVa jury duty :

        To clarify, I don’t have an interview scheduled for that day yet. I’ve been trying to work around it, and so far that’s been fine, just annoying.

    • I had to go in one day when I was “on call.” The rest of the cases for the week settled or were postponed. Since I get paid jury days from my job, I actually didn’t mind going in. They had water and coffee, I brought my Kindle, and read for several hours. I didn’t end up getting to sit for the case (missed it on the last cut! Was even in the courtroom, then they cut the pool in half), although I kind of wanted to as it looked interesting. The person overseeing us while we waited was very friendly and kind.

      • Every job I’ve had as an adult pays your full salary while on jury duty (you have to remit the pay the court gives you but whatever) — I joked last year when I was burned out at work that I could just a good jury duty selection.

        • My job has paid jury leave AND you don’t have to return any per diem you get from the state for jury duty (our employee handbook is clear about this). Such a good deal!

    • Delta Dawn :

      Not in NoVa, but this is normal– in my jx, you call ahead the day before to find out if you need to go. Here jury duty lasts for five months, but I only had to go in once (they alternate so other people went in at other times, but not everyone every time). I did talk to a lady who said it was her third time, so there’s also some luck of the draw involved. If you find out that you have to go in on a day that you have a job interview (which is statistically unlikely, if that makes you feel any better), I would suggest calling the bailiff as soon as you find out. He or she will probably excuse you.

      As far as tips, I would bring a granola bar, a bottle of water, (see if the courthouse will allow that, though– and they probably provide drinks if you don’t want to worry with bringing your own), and a book just in case. Some courthouses do not allow phones. I would dress in layers, because the courtroom is likely to be either really chilly or really stuffy.

    • I’m in Western Pa and have to call in for potential jury duty this Friday! I can’t call until after 5 pm on Thursday.

      I’ve been in this “potential juror” pool for about 5 years now. Once a year I get the card in the mail, and I get all worked up about it and have to let work know about, then I call and they don’t need me to come in. So I’d say odds are good that I will be coming into work as usual this Friday.

    • in my state, which is not VA, you can postpone. Is that not an option for you?

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1

        Go online and see if there’s an option to postpone. My jurisdiction has this, too.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      In my county, this is standard operating procedure. If it’s a Monday, and you’re number is 200 or below, then you probably have to appear. Odds are you don’t get picked for a jury though, but of course you might. Bring snacks, a sweater, and something to read.

    • Follow-up question :

      How much notice did you get? I’m in the Arlington pool this year, and I travel often enough that I’m worried about it coming when I’m not here for an extended period.

      • NoVa jury duty :

        I don’t remember exactly, but I got something in the mail telling me I had to fill out a questionnaire for possible future Selection about six months ago, and then I think I got this summons a few weeks ago.

  14. A reminder :

    A friend of a friend posted this on FB and I think it’s great considering the convo here yesterday:

    “We should boycott the buses.”
    “Nah. Only privileged women with cars will still be able to go to work.”

    That could have been our history, yawl.

    If I have not remembered anything else this week, Prof. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has reminded me that criticizing the “Day Without Women” on the basis of it being a day for privileged women flattens, ignores, or discards the long history of poor and working class women (and people generally) who have always engaged in protest and strikes.

    I think about all of the families who participated in bus boycotts, white business boycotts, and welfare reform demonstrations. They did not have “privilege.” I am sure it was much harder for them to figure out a way for them to get to work, school, or church everyday. I am certain that it took longer for them to walk across towns to the nearest Black store rather than to use the white business down the street. They figured it out anyway.

    How can we support them, I think, is a better question. I have heard stories of churches sending their shoes to Montgomery so people could walk.

    If you have some of this “privilege,” how about,

    not penalizing your secretary for not coming in today
    cancel your cleaning lady’s appointment, and pay her anyway
    Watch your own children, and pay your nanny anyway
    Watch someone else’s kids who doesn’t have childcare
    don’t buy coffee, but tip the barista anyway
    clean up after yourself and thank people who usually do it
    don’t spend money and make food for yourself
    buy groceries and bag them yourself
    give working class women money without expectation
    pass out metro cards to women on their way to work
    host a next steps meeting (or several, with childcare available) based on the platforms coming out

    How can we give women our shoes today?

    • I like all these ideas, but shouldn’t men who want to be supportive do this? Isn’t the call for women to stop providing childcare and spending money? It’s great to shift a burden from less privileged women to more privileged women, but in all these examples, women are still doing the unpaid labor.

      • A reminder :

        Yeah, I do agree with this. I would prefer to see women’s work (in the household, in childcare, in the workplace, wherever) fully recognized as such and I think males need to do 95% of the work to get us there. Until we get there, though, I like the idea of supporting women with more needs than I currently have.

    • numbersmouse :

      “give working class women money without expectation” WTF. I agree with most of what you said, but working-class women aren’t charity cases.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        As an alternative (because I agree with numbersmouse), how about donating money to an organization that supports advocacy for and on behalf of women- YWCA, Planned Parenthood, your local DV/sexual assault center, your local legal aid provider, your local shelter for women and children, your local transitional housing location for recently released women, etc.

        Giving women who make less than you money just because they’re working class is super, super weird- and risks offending them (with, honestly, good reason). But giving money to places that support women is awesome.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I am so annoyed with the whole “striking is inconvenient! striking is risky!” talk as reasons a strike is a bad idea. I mean, I’m at work (in a red dress) because I couldn’t stomach the risk, but I’m not opposed to the strike because it’s risky. That’s why strikes work!

      • I got in to it a little bit with a friend at dinner last night (our friendship has been rocky to begin with…) because she said it wasn’t fair for teachers to request time off because it caused school districts to shut down and “impacts other people.” (specifically talking about a couple DC-area districts.”

        I just looked at her and was like, “well, yes, that is kind of the point.”

        • I think “impacts other people” is a valid concern. A strike is fine if it impacts the people in power, such as a strike that shuts down a factory or mill so the owners can’t make money. A strike is a bad idea if innocent third parties, such as children or patients, suffer collateral harm.

          • A reminder :

            I disagree with this. It should be highly visible and impactful to everyone. Women are always concerned with making sure those less fortunate are not harmed by their needs, but they shouldn’t be for a women’s strike. Maybe if they don’t show up to teach at schools, their students and students’ parents will start to care more about their concerns and provide widespread political support. The whole point is to demonstrate how much women are taken for granted, isn’t it?

          • Innocent people are always impacted. That factory or mill makes things that people may need to buy. Those kids may have parents in a position of power. We’re all interconnected. That’s part of the point.

          • Is kids having a day off from school “collateral harm”? I am also guessing they probably have built-in weather/snow days left to burn this year since we had no snow…

          • I said this earlier this week, but I think having kids off from school can be “collateral harm” because other women, including those who don’t have PTO and can’t afford not to work, will have to take off from work to provide childcare or may be punished for/lumped in with people who are striking.

      • But I think the risk is disproportionately shouldered by less-privileged women. That’s my issue with today’s strike. Well, that, and the lack of a defined objective. That’s actually probably my biggest problem.

        • Anonymous :

          yup!

        • The lack of a defined objective thing is why I’m just not really moved by this at all. I was fine with the Women’s March as a generalized show of objection to the Trump agenda/affirmation of progressive values, but I think that’s valuable only in limited cases.

        • YUP.

    • but really though…what’s the point of the strike? to point out that 50% of society serves a valuable purpose both in our economy and in the family structure? is that actually a matter in dispute? I am 100% in favor of the march and basically all platform points as a general matter but frankly don’t see the point of the strike…what am I missing (honest question)?

  15. Is any one takeing the day off or otherwise PROTESTING women’s pay being less then Men’s Pay today? I decided NOT to make wave’s at work, after talking to Dad, but I AM wearing RED, which I understand says the same thing. I suggest we all wear RED next week, in case those people in the HIVE were NOT aware of this movement! YAY!!!

  16. Cat sitting :

    Wondering what all the cat owners here would choose in my situation. I am trying to figure out a new cat sitter. My choices are: 1) Her vet tech who has met/likes her, lives 30 minutes away, works closer but would still likely have to drive OR 2) Dog walker who does cat sitting around the corner from us – fully insured/bonded company with great reviews.

    I’ve never used either before. I guess my hesitation is that although I know #1, it might be difficult for her to get here every day so there’s a chance that she’ll miss visits (not on purpose, but it’s a higher risk than the one around the corner).

    • Would the vet tech be willing to serve as a local emergency contact for the dog walker? It sounds like the dog walker/cat sitter is the obvious choice… unless something comes up, in which case you’d trust the person you know who is more experienced.

    • I would go with option 2. I would feel more comfortable having someone close by. You can have the sitter come over and meet with you before you leave on vacation.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’d use the closer options. You don’t want to get yourself into a situation where there’s a substantial drive. While I love my dogsitters and think they do a great job, I wish I would’ve searched harder for one that’s not 30 mins away.

    • I have cats and regularly use a sitter for travel. I’d go with option #2. The dog walker with the bonded company sounds great. I use a generalist pet-sitting company and am pretty sure my person is more into dogs, but that’s OK. I want regular visits for food, water, and litter. If they get some playtime and snuggles, that’s super, but they’re picky about people. If you live in a spot with winter weather, the closer person will be more reliable. Good luck!

    • Are you paying these individuals to do your cat sitting? If yes I don’t think you need to worry about their transportation logistics; that’s their problem.

    • I’d choose whichever is cheaper. It’s a cat. They both sound reliable, and you just need someone to feed it and change a litter box. Your average 12 year old can do that.

      • +1. The 12 year old across the hall comes to scoop the poop, fill the food bowl and snuggle/play for 30 minutes. I assume she’d call her mom if there was ever an emergency, but that would be very unlikely.

    • No idea why my comment disappeared. Trying again.

      I would feel more comfortable with having someone close by. Have the sitter come over and meet with you before you leave for vacation.

    • Spirograph :

      Whenever I go on vacation for more than a long weekend, I just ask a friend or neighbor (or pay a neighborhood kid) to stop in and refresh the cat’s food and water every few days. I do this for my friends and neighbors. Sometimes there’s a thank-you bottle of wine or souvenir involved. I never considered that there was an actual market to pay adults to do this. This is A Thing? no snark intended. I just don’t get what the advantage of a “pro” over a neighbor is.

      • I was totally of this mind until I moved somewhere and didn’t have “cat people” friends and my cats got older. Now I have a cat sitter, she comes by every day to feed them their canned food since they have a combined half a mouth of teeth between the two of them. She leaves me updates, and I generally don’t have to worry that if they die while I am gone that I have traumatized a child or friend. When they were younger though? Giant bowl of food and a teenager all the way :)

      • I think this is a different strokes thing. I prefer having someone I pay for this rather than asking a favor of a friend. I actually don’t have any friends close by who don’t work crazy hours. I’m also not a huge “make friends with the neighbors” type person, and I live in a big city, so it’s not totally necessary.

    • Why only those two? I am sure you could find reputable cat sitters in your immediate neighbourhood. Maybe I am missing something? Does your cat have any specific medical needs that a regular cat sitter could not assist with?

    • numbersmouse :

      They both sound like fine options. If your cat is older or sick and also pretty independent, I’d go with #1. Otherwise, #2.

  17. Property Gal :

    Any recommendations for blogs about buying a fixer-upper house? Bonus points if the blogger is operating solo (i.e., not calling family to fix the sink or something). Trying to get a realistic sense of how ridiculous it would be for me to take on in the future.

    • This is super long, and he’s not done yet (and has been renovating for 3-5 years, I think), but Manhattan Nest is a great one. Every time I read his posts, I’m like, oh, I could do that! I want to renovate a house! When I actually think about it, I could not do that and I don’t particularly want to….

      • Love Manhattan Nest. They published this post at a time when I lacked functional hot water pipes in my current house and I’m fairly certain I laughed until I cried.

        http://manhattan-nest.com/2013/06/19/we-did-something-big/

      • lol I read him too but he’s recently turned a shade GOMI for me due to dropping the story on stuff (Olivebridge Cottage is actually done and on Airbnb I think) and some very odd decisions — trying to justify keeping his fridge in a separate room from the kitchen, and being almost willfully obtuse about building code!

        • I also hate that he posts like, what, once every six weeks? And all the sponsored stuff. That content just isn’t good on Manhattan Nest. I understand the need for it, but at least try to make it interesting?

    • No current blog recommendations, but how much of a knowledge base are you starting with, and how interested are you in the work itself? I’m the child of a professional contractor, and have been around all kind of construction work my whole life, but the idea of a fixer upper is very far beyond me. You have to really want to do the work and have a ton of patience.

      • Property Gal :

        I’m hopefully looking at places that really only need cosmetic bathroom/kitchen updates. I’ve painted/wallpapered/refinished cabinets/tiled before. But I figured reading some blogs that go the whole way would scare me and keep me thinking realistically.

    • I can write a short blog for you based on the experience of myself and every single one of my friends who has attempted this: NO DON’T DO IT RUN AWAY GO GO GO

    • Anon for this :

      I can write a short blog about it, too: IT WILL COST ALL THE MONEY YOU HAVE AND THEN SOME!

    • anon a mouse :

      Old Town Home – it’s a couple, but they bought a second home that needs substantial work and are (slowly) working their way through it.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      We have done this three times now. Unless you or your spouse/partner are extremely handy and has the time to do it – don’t buy the fixer upper. I love old houses but remodeling one will quickly consume your life and ALL your money. Or if you have unlimited income to hire people and are lucky enough to find someone willing and able to do it. We could not have remodeled homes without it essentially being my husband’s full time job. We made great money years later but part of that was luck. HGTV is the biggest lie out there.

      • +1. We’re doing some moderate reno on the house we’ve lived in for five years. So expensive. So time consuming. So awful to live in a construction zone.

        My house is in generally good condition. I would not buy one that needed more than cosmetic updates, given our schedules and hatred of spending large sums of money.

        I’ve been lucky that the kitchen in our home was updated when we bought it. But the second bath is a mess, and I’m dreading biting the bullet and updating it.

        • Property Gal :

          what do you consider cosmetic updates? just painting/molding/carpeting etc.? Updating a kitchen/bathroom is what I was considering. There is no way I’m getting into taking down walls/rewiring/etc. My area has a lot of 80s/90s houses that are well built but haven’t been updated since. All the newer construction is attached townhomes which I really really don’t like.

          • Are you changing the layouts in the bathroom or kitchen? I’ve done kitchens and bathrooms and their complexity depends on if you are moving walls, utilities, toilet stacks, etc. If you’re replacing cabinets and counters within the existing layout without changing the location of the sink, oven, etc, then you’re probably fine.

            I personally wouldn’t DIY much beyond replacing light fixtures and painting, but YMMV. I’ve had good luck with using handymen to do smallish projects for me. My current guy is a former general contractor who is now a SAHD that will do task work between 9:30 and 2PM. Great for things like small tile projects or replacing boards on a deck.

    • Young House Love made a career out of this very concept.

      • And then burned out/flamed out spectacularly when they had to constantly move houses and redo what was already done in order to keep making a living.

    • Senior Attorney :

      As my karate teacher used to say in a different context, if it were easy everybody would do it.

  18. JuniorMinion :

    I imagine you have already heard of them but have you checked out fixer upper / Chip & Joanna Gaines? They are probably the most well known.

    I have completely renovated a fixer-upper house… But using a contractor / professionals to do all the work. Are you talking about doing all the work yourself? If so would caution you to think about what your goal is. While I am all for DIY, stuff like tile work is a really skilled trade and takes YEARS to learn to do well to get that “just right” look and grading of the tile (so it drains properly). If you are planning on reselling the house in the next 5 or so years I would caution you to have at least tilework / major plumbing & electrical work (I am not cut out for jackhammering a new drain) done by professionals.

    My FIL has done a ton of his own renovating, and while he is pretty handy and good at it, you can definitely tell when you look at the tilework that its not done perfectly and if he were going to sell his property he would probably have to have it redone professionally / take a hit on the sale value for it.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Sorry the above is in response to Property Gal.

      • Property Gal :

        Definitely not planning on doing it all myself. I’ve just been in apartments so long where I couldn’t make changes, and my parents changed absolutely nothing about our house growing up (until 20 years later and the real estate agent told them it wouldn’t sell otherwise). So I’m just trying to get a broad picture of what types of things are realistic to take on. Figured reading some blogs wouldn’t hurt.

  19. Hill staffer :

    Apologies if this has been posted already, but I haven’t been reading for a few weeks. This is the best overview of how Congress interacts with constituents that I’ve seen and I think it should be required reading for anyone reaching out to their representatives.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/what-calling-congress-achieves

  20. Lawyer Question :

    I’m going to be sitting on a panel next month that will be discussing the ACA. Sometimes the audience is full of HR people and we tailor our talk to their needs. I have that piece mostly down. Other times, the audience is full of lawyers who want to talk about the more minute legal aspects of major opinions that impact the ACA. The weeds within the stories that are not covered by the media. I’m preparing for that probability and running into two roadblocks. I’m curious if anyone has more info on these two issues. Also, for the purpose of this discussion, we are not getting into the politics, just objectively reviewing the legal decision.

    The first issue is in the Hobby Lobby case. It seems the only contraceptives they did not want their insurance to cover were Plan B and IUDs. Is this correct? The press made it sound like all hormonal birth control. The court then held that they did not have to purchase plans that covered these contraceptives because there was a less restrictive option – the option that was available to religious non-profits. That option is apparently to tell the insurer that you will not purchase a plan that covers these contraceptives but the insurer still have to pay for the contraceptives anyway outside and separate from the plan. Is this correct? If so, the employee is still getting “the coverage” but the insurer is supposed to be providing it at no cost to the employer? Won’t the insurer just preemptively price it into their plan anyway? If the court was looking at least restrictive or otherwise equal options, did they ever address hormonal birth control as an alternative to IUDs? I would think one would argue they are not interchangeable because there are hormone free IUDs. Also, that doesn’t get into the Plan B issue. I’m just surprised because I thought Hobby Lobby was a conservative win but if the same coverage is provided, just outside the plan via the insurer, it seems like there would have been a lot more backlash on ordering a private company (the insurer) to do that. Again, there didn’t seem to be much coverage of the fact that women could still get these contraceptives via the insurance company so I don’t know if that was dicta/suggestions or something that actually was required and happened.

    Second, the Zubick case. The way I read this, the Plaintiffs felt telling their insurance company of their religious objections so that the insurance company would provide the contraceptive was the same as them providing the contraception. They were causing someone else to provide it. So the court said, don’t tell the insurance company then, tell the government. Then, the government will tell the insurance company OR the government will just provide the contraception. Again, are these just hopeful future alternatives or is the government actually providing contraceptives when an employer raises a religious objection? Also, how is this not the same result of telling the insurance company? You tell someone and then they provide an alternative? (Again, I am pro contraceptive for everyone I’m just trying to parse out legal rationale only. It can be a bad decision with a good result.)

    • Have you read the Scotusblog recaps of the cases? I think you’re missing the big picture.

      • Lawyer Question :

        I’ll check that out. Someone also suggested the Wiki’s which I have checked out. I’m getting the big picture (like the issue with allowing a company to hold religious beliefs.) I just suspect that some of the discussion is going to boil down to some of the smaller points. I will definitely read what you suggested though. Thanks.

        • try reading the cases too

          • Lawyer Question :

            Of course. I’m just trying to figure out which smaller points the legal brains debated the most about when they Monday morning quarterbacked the opinion.

    • Wildkitten :

      I think the issue in both cases is not the specific plaintiff, but the general holding. So sure Hobby Lobby only wanted to not provide two types that they erroneously believe are abortion, but a different private company might have a different opinion. SCOTUS cases apply to more than just the plaintiff who brings the case (with the exception of some death penalty issues.)

      • Wildkitten :

        It’s also my understanding that contraception is a money-saver for insurance plans (IUDs are infinitely cheaper than childbirth) so the pricing into plans may not be an actual issue. IANAActuary though.

    • Anonymous :

      In response to this “the option that was available to religious non-profits. That option is apparently to tell the insurer that you will not purchase a plan that covers these contraceptives but the insurer still have to pay for the contraceptives anyway outside and separate from the plan. Is this correct? If so, the employee is still getting “the coverage” but the insurer is supposed to be providing it at no cost to the employer?”: I work for a religious non-profit and my insurance does NOT cover any form of birth control (even when my doctor codes it as “acne medicine”, etc.). I pay the cash price at Walmart now, don’t even bother giving them my insurance information because someone inevitably attempts to process it through and I get a claim rejection notice and multiple phone calls from the pharmacy freaking out.

  21. Does anyone have recs for an affordable source of frames and mats for large photos/artwork? I have a local shop I love, but every time I take something in there it costs $100+ which is not something that’s in my budget to do regularly (most of the art I buy doesn’t even cost that much). I really like these (https://www.amazon.com/Gallery-Solutions-Airfloat-18-Inch-Opening/dp/B00GJO89R2/) for smaller pieces but am looking for something that can fit 16 x 20 or 20 x 24 art.

  22. I am jealous of people with feet that look good in D’Orsay flats, since they seem to be all the rage these days. Mine just end up overflowing in the middle and look silly – I need the structure of sides!

  23. Just saw your Grovesnor shirts comment from yesterday…they have AMAZING sales which are totally worth waiting for unless there’s a certain design you must have. Sale time their shirts go down to $50-$75. The quality is absolutely top notch, better than Hawes & Curtis IMO.

    • Thank you!!! At GBP 120, some of them seemed pricy (but I keep button downs for years, so…worth it).

      Will keep an eye out. I never buy Hawes at full price anyway. I have an extensive cashmere collection and am now pretty darn allergic to cashmere, so I have to wear a button down underneath. But I like the collars to be sharp and well-tailored. Love this new brand, esp. the rainbow buttons! TYTY for suggesting it!

  24. Ugh - car accident vent :

    My husband let his father (living out of state) borrow his car for a period of time. Father needed a car, and husband didn’t need his at the time (was working in a different part of the world).

    Two weeks later, father totals car (is fortunately unharmed).

    Yesterday, we get word that the person my FIL rear-ended is claiming personal injury damages of 100K.

    Awesome. Just what I wanted to deal with!

    (Extra irritating b/c FIL has been in 3 subsequent fender benders – 5 total in the past 16 months – and MIL refuses to take his license away).

    • On the taking the license away, your MIL doesn’t have to – someone (including you or someone else) can call into the police if he’s driving erraticly or badly and they’ll do it.

      I almost had to do this with a family member who was a danger due to health issues. I couldn’t have lived with the guilt if something had happened to someone else while he was driving and I knew it was an issue.

    • Wouldn’t your FIL’s insurance deal with this? I get that it’s your car, but his insurance should be processing the claim, no?

      • No — car insurance insures the car based on the usual drivers (and random occasional drivers). The driver may not have any insurance.

        My cousin was killed by a guy who lost his license for drunk driving. He then drove someone else’s (nominally-insured) car into my cousin and killed him. The next day her insurance company wrote a check for the total amount of the insurance (50K) and there was nothing left to go after (he was a deadbeat, she rented an apartment somewhere). It still sucks.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I’m so sorry. That’s awful.

          The potential liability is precisely the reason why I wouldn’t let my adult brother drive my car. He thought I was making a judgment on his driving and got really indignant, but really I have to protect myself/my kid.

      • 5 accidents in 16 months? Does he still have coverage? Sounds like he needs a medical work-up and your MIL needs some support from the family and maybe his doctor on how to approach him about continuing to drive. Sounds like he is a real liability and doesn’t see that.

        • Call the info line for the local police department, they will tell you the procedure to get his DL revoked. It’s usually a combination of testing and doctor approval. Don’t give him a choice, legally remove his option to drive,

        • Yeah, that’s too many accidents. How old is FIL? How’s his vision?

          Sorry you have to deal with this.

          • Ugh - car accident vent :

            He’s 70. He wears glasses, but I think the bigger issue is his reflexes.

      • Insurance is usually on the vehicle, not the driver. But yes, I’d consider getting his insurance (if he has it) involved.

      • Jitterbug :

        Insurance is on the car, but you add drivers to your policy who are “insured” to drive the car. The driving record (and risk factors) of the insured drivers impacts the monthly premium. That said, I can’t remember what happens if someone who isn’t on your policy drives the car, whether the company won’t cover the damages or if they do but not as much.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      $100K is actually a really low amount for an initial claim. Please say that you have at least that amount in third-party liability coverage. I know there are a lot of US posters here and it always blows my mind that in some states you can have as little as $25K in liability coverage on a car. In Ontario, the minimum is $200K and the vast majority of people have $1M if not more.

      • anon a mouse :

        Would love to hear more about this – I just checked our policy and it’s a max of 250K/person or 500K/accident. Too low? We have a separate umbrella policy of 3M – I guess that’s our extra coverage.

        • We have similar coverage. I sleep just fine, given the umbrella policy.

        • That is pretty good, and the extra umbrella is excellent.

          The thing people forget is that if YOU are hit by an uninsured (or underinsured) driver, then it is your own insurance that covers you. So usually your liability amounts often match your uninsured/underinsured (other driver hitting you) amounts that YOU would receive from your own insurance to reimburse you for your loss.

          My father was hit by a car walking across the street. Now he’s paralyzed with a spinal cord injury and hospitalized for 6 months. Utterly devastating personally and financially. He was hit in a State where you are required to only have a minimum of 50K of insurance. 50k is peanuts when you think about what can happen in a serious car accident.

          Amazingly, we were able to fight with my father’s auto insurance and he had underinsured coverage that covered him when he was a pedestrian hit by an underinsured driver! Amazing. BUT…. they subtract out what you received from the driver’s insurance (sneaky…. check if your policy does this… not allowing “stacking” of insurance), and then the health insurance company will put a lien on the $$ and take out all of the costs of the medical care and then you can get what is left, as appropriate for your personal losses etc… (always have a lawyer here,it’s more complicated than that and often takes years).

          People forget that driving in a car is the most dangerous thing most of us do everyday.

          And crossing streets….

      • California is $15k/person and $30k/per incident. That means if you kill someone while driving, the decedent’s family/estate only gets $15k! It’s insane. I have a $1 million policy because I don’t want my personal assets touched.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      Every state is different but typically the insurance is for the driver and not the car. So your FIL’s insurance should be first coverage. Then possibly your insurance will be triggered. You should notify your insurance and they can tell you how to handle.

      • I don’t think it’s typical – I think it’s more common for the insurance to follow the car, not the driver. But yes, this could be location-dependent and hopefully FIL’s insurance can be involved somehow.

    • I work at a giant insurance company that writes auto policies in every state, and prior to that defended policyholders in multiple states. Insurance goes with the car, not the driver, assuming there is consent to drive the car. It is spelled out in your policy along with some exceptions to this general rule. That’s just part of loaning your car to someone. However, his insurance may be excess to yours depending on policy language. Agreed with Never too many shoes that 100k might not be that low depending on the jurisdiction and how serious the injuries were.

      • Ugh - car accident vent :

        The coverage is 100K/300K (but there was only one individual in the car that was rear ended, so the 300K is moot). I obviously wasn’t there, but given that (1) FIL wasn’t going very fast, and (2) apparently got out of the car babbling about how he was late for his work as a physician, the insurance company doubts the validity of the injuries. They told my husband that they “aren’t going to settle” but my understanding is that they have a duty of good care to the insured to accept reasonable offers as part of the indemnification.

        • anon at 12:20 :

          Ah, so your typical inflated demand for a soft tissue injury ;)
          I’m sure they’ll settle, just not for anywhere near the 100k demand. Soft tissue injuries in non-plaintiff friendly/neutral jurisdictions are usually under 10k, in my experience. Still annoying for you – sorry you’re going through this!

  25. Ugh - car accident vent :

    Reposting – no idea why this got stuck in moderation.

    My husband let his father (living out of state) borrow his car for a period of time. Father needed a car, and husband didn’t need his at the time (was working in a different part of the world).

    Two weeks later, father totals car (is fortunately unharmed).

    Yesterday, we get word that the person my FIL rear-ended is claiming damages of 100K (PI).

    Awesome. Just what I wanted to deal with!

    (Extra irritating b/c FIL has been in 3 subsequent fender benders – 5 total in the past 16 months – and MIL refuses to take his license away).

  26. Heartbreak Hotel :

    I’ve been in a relationship with someone who I love to end of the Earth for going on 2 years now. We moved in together at my place. We’ve gone through many of life’s ups and downs (I was laid off, got a new job, several deaths in the family, etc.). He is approaching 40 in a couple of months and I am hitting 37 in April. He hates his job (he is in finance at one of the big investment banks), is completely overburdened by his elderly parents who guilt him about moving in with me, wanting his own life, “abandoning them”, etc., and has a 50 year old sister who never married and has no children and with whom he has a completely codependent relationship with. Meaning… she tries to step on my territory (for lack of better words) and does power plays all the time where she basically acts like she is his wife (i.e. asking him to move and sit with her on the loveseat and hold his hand and drink out of his can of soda — or ask him to hang up her wet laundry because she’s in a rush and the wet laundry turns out to be her underwear, so here he is hanging her panties to dry while I wait). It’s all very bizarre and has caused a lot of issues. Given that now she hates me, she is constantly in his head making him second guess whether or not I am the right choice for him because she thinks I am not.

    Long story short, he moved out this weekend and has been pretty much silent except for a text about how he’s about to be 40 and he’s back living in his parents basement and his entire life is terrible and he’s nowhere near where he wants to be.

    Does it have to be like this? No. He should learn how to tell his parents to back off and stop making excuses for them because they’re immigrants and need extra help. He has 2 brothers and a sister – they should all be bearing the brunt, not just him because he is the youngest and not married. At this rate, he will never be marrie because I’m hard pressed to believe there’s a woman out there who will tolerate this forever and ever. But I am also exhausted of battling for my space against his sister. I mean, this is not a baby mama or an ex wife. It’s his sibling. It’s all so creepy and weird.

    I don’t know what I’m looking for – I guess just to vent. I am heartbroken and waking up and going to bed in a totally empty house where everything reminds me of “us” is pretty horrible.

    Woo sah.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m so sorry, but I’m sure you know that this man is totally not marriage material or even SO material. He has an SO and it’s his sister.

      Hugs. There are better things out there. I promise. And the only way out is through.

      • First Year Anon :

        I agree.

      • +2

      • +3

      • Heartbreak Hotel :

        Thank you for this. I have never quite encountered this. I have an overbearing family by most people’s standards, but this is codependency.

        His father tells him “not to let a woman come between him and his family” and “family first” and then guilts him for moving in with me, “abandoning” the family, and so on. How could he ever be functional and happy in his own life if he’s been brought up to view his partner asan outsider who he needs to protect himself from at all times?

        I venture to say this codependency and guilt has a lot to do with why the sister is 50 and also alone…

        But they don’t think there’s an issue with this. Or cuddling each other on the couch. Or drinking out of each other’s cans of soda. Or going to your sister for things that normally couples discuss in private. Or your sister telling you to download a text encryption app so that you can text in secret. Or sneaking you info on a psychiatrist so you can get on anti depressants without telling me.

        My grief is pretty intense – if I’m honest. I cry on and off all day. If I could take this dynamic away, our actual interactions are great and I love him. But this is a cloud over our head daily. Every. Single. Day.

        I have felt like #2 – or more like #5 in his life.

        Thank you for the internet hugs. Good to know I am not going crazy—- and that this is, in fact, super weird.

        • Anon in NYC :

          HUGE HUGS. I’m so sorry you’re in this position. This is a Him problem, and no amount of wishing/prodding will make him change unless and until he wants to AND is willing to put in the work.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Oh my gosh! ALL THE HUGS TO YOU!!

          Of course your grief is intense! But I am a firm believer that a relationship stands or falls on its worst parts, not its best parts. And you know darned good and well that this family is nowhere near normal and that, sad as it is, you are dodging a gigantic super weird bullet.

          It is sad! But it will be less sad and then it won’t be sad and then you will be so much happier!

      • +4. As painful as this is, you dodged a bullet.

      • Just went through a break-up with a man-child who had some similar behaviors. It is going to hurt and be awful, no doubt. It just will. But then you will be in a better place, I promise. I was weeping uncontrollably at work for weeks (alone in my office, thankfully) but now I am delighted to be free of that dead.weight. Ugh. You dodged a bullet. Take some time, be nice to yourself, and block him.

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        All of this. In the immortal words of Beyonce, “Boy, bye!”

        • Heartbreak Hotel :

          @Mira Dry

          How do you stop all the crying? I am so hurt that I’m inconsolable.

          On some level, it feels like he didn’t “choose” me. He kept choosing some dysfunctional chaos and making me feel selfish and/or wrong for realizing it was all just a little too much.

          It’s one thing to be deeply involved with your family and help them and be there for them, especially if they’re elderly and don’t speak English. But it’s another thing altogether to be in a marriage with your sister and allow a sibling to literally go to war with your GF/fiance/wife.

          I imagine a decade from now, he’ll be 50 and she’ll be 60 and they’ll move in together and complain about how neither of them could find the right person who “understands family”. In fact, they don’t understand family. Your family is the one you make with your wife/husband, the children you have, and the life you build. At some point, you grow up and leave the nest… and that means your wife becomes your #1 family.

          It got to a point where I started to feel I was, in fact, losing it and that this behavior is normal… but no, it’s just not. It’s just absolutely not!

          The sharing of the can of soda really put me over the edge – as well as the hand holding on the couch and the secret texting app and the need to undermine my whole role in her brother’s life.

          Thank you all for listening and for telling me I’m not nuts.

          • Senior Attorney :

            OMG my first husband is 75 and lives in half of a duplex with his 65-year-old sister (and her seven dogs) in the other half. I am not making this up.

            That’s the thing about crazy relationships — they make you feel crazy. Just go ahead and cry right now while it’s fresh. After I left my last former husband (four years ago tomorrow, TYVM) I literally woke up weeping every day for weeks if not months. I couldn’t wait to get out but I was still absolutely heartbroken, especially when he maintained total radio silence despite purporting to not want the split. As you said, it hurts so much to not be chosen.

            But it will get better. You are the opposite of nuts. The only way out is through. It’s gonna suck until it doesn’t suck any more. You are not the crazy one here and it won’t be long before you really really really believe it!

    • I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, and this has got to hurt so, so much. But if it’s helpful to hear from an Internet stranger: that guy sounds like a disaster, and you deserve to be with someone who will respect reasonable boundaries with his family (like not having a creepy codependent relationship with his sister? and her underwear?? omfg my skin is crawling) and make you, your needs, and your (extremely reasonable) desires a priority. The only way that you’re going to be able to find that man, though, is if the breakup with this one sticks. Listen to the voice that I can hear in your post: you know this is wrong, you know this is exhausting, you know you don’t need to tolerate this behavior, you know you deserve better.

    • I wrote a longer reply and it seems to have gotten eaten. TLDR: You deserve better than this. It’s hard right now, but you will get through it, one 30-minute block or hour or day at a time.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. He’s not being good to you. All this other stuff is noise but at the end of the day he made the decision to move out, that hurts, his situation with his family isn’t fair to him but that’s not your problem to fix.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. Internet hugs!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I’m sorry too! This sucks so much. But that guy does not deserve you.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Nothing more helpful to say than I’m so sorry, and if we lived in the same place I would come over with a bottle of wine and a bundle of sage and we would clean the place out and maybe order a pizza.

  27. I’m finishing my PhD soon. I’m a really informal person and titles aren’t a thing for me in general. That said, I’m proud of this one and I worked for it. While I wouldn’t dream of asking people to call me anything other than Firstname in social scenarios, what are the parameters within which I can refer to myself or be referred to as Dr. Lastname? I’m thinking probably none at all, right? Assuming workplace is on a first name basis and is also informal. Do I just assert my Dr-ness when there are other PhDs around calling themselves (or each other) Dr and me by Fristname?

    • I think it probably depends on the field, at least in professional settings. I don’t have a Ph.D. but I’ve always thought it was kind of bs that people who do don’t get called Dr more often. You worked hard for that thing! Anyway, congratulations Dr. Anon!

    • If you are teaching or in a research position in academia, the title is appropriate though probably not when everyone around you has the same degree and goes by first name. Otherwise, “Dr.” is reserved for medical doctors, and Ph.D. Is appropriate at the end of your name.

      • Oh and congratulations!!!

      • Congratulations! That’s a huge achievement and you are so right to be proud of that accomplishment! And nooo do not use Dr. unless you’re an MD. Technically you can, as Anonymous outlines, but please don’t. I work in academia and everyone judges the f**k out of the PhDs who go by Dr.

        Amusing/appalling anecdote: My old department had one guy who always referred to himself as Dr. Lastname, and had Dr. Firstname Lastname on the nameplate on his door. New leadership came in and had the nameplate taken down and replaced with Firstname Lastname. It became a whole Thing, up to the point that Dr. Lastname ended up being strongly encouraged to take his talents elsewhere and was gone in four months.

        • I don’t remember calling my professors Dr, though they all had PhDs. They were “Professor Lastname” and, because I attended a hippie liberal arts school, often just Firstname after they made class introductions.

        • This depends on both field and location. At my current university in the south, students call us “Dr. Lastname”. At a previous university, professors were “Professor Lastname” or “Firstname”. Congrats!

        • I feel like this depends on the culture of the institution. My ex-H is a professor at a small liberal arts college and the faculty pretty much all are referred to as Dr. ____ by their students and in formal situations.

          • I also went to a small liberal arts college, and we called all our professors who had Ph.D.s (most of them) “Dr.”

    • In industry, I think it would be a little weird to ask to be called doctor, but if you’re doing anything formal where your name is on a paper or presentation then I think “Anonymous, PhD” is the appropriate way of identifying you. In academia, “Professor” is actually a much more prestigious title, because you can’t be a professor without the PhD but there are plenty of PhDs who never get tenure-track jobs in academia. Most academics I know don’t really ask anyone to call them “Dr.” or “Professor” but students and external contacts they don’t know well will typically address them that way until being told to call them by first name.

      • Professor is also preferred because not all academics have the Ph.D. The MFA is the terminal degree for arts fields (a joint PhD is becoming more common for creative writing, but there are plenty of faculty without one). Many institutions will also hire faculty before they complete the Ph.D., so that a first-year professor may not have the degree yet. Community colleges may only require a masters degree to teach. There’s a lot of variation, especially outside the research universities.

    • I would put it in your email signature as a credential but not expect anyone to use it, except in marketing/sales scenarios where they’re talking up the credentials of the team.

    • I don’t think I’d ever ask to be called Dr. Lastname unless it became clear that people were addressing the male PhDs that way but not me. I much prefer being addressed by my firstname. I won’t be in academia or in a research-oriented role. I’ll be working with a few other PhDs but mostly people with other degrees. One of my friends who’s also a PhD has had issues with not being recognized as such when her male counterparts are, or having mail addressed to Dr. and Mrs. Hislast when it would either be Dr Herlast and Mr. Hislast or Mr. Hislast and Ms. herlast depending on whether you think dr is an appropriate title in those circumstances or not. Anyway, I don’t really care, and I’d probably limit my commentary on the matter to situations like this.

      It’s too bad though, because it would be cool to have some kind of title.

      • All the above are correct (and congrats). Yrs ago when I got my stem phd my elderly British advisor told me , “of course one does not ever use this socially” (the dr title). So while you can’t use it, you can privately savor this little bit of elite smugness. He was a great advisor and it always makes me smile to remember this. Very Downton Abbey!

        • Senior Attorney :

          And I always feel like it’s worth it for that moment when people find out you have the title and don’t use it!

    • Baconpancakes :

      I think it is appropriate on formal correspondence, even of a social nature, but never out loud. Eg, when addressing formal wedding invitations.

      • PhD here.

        I only use it in formal situations, when I go by Agurk, PhD. If it is a bio, I will sometimes also use “Dr Agurk” rather than “Ms Agurk”. I occasionally receive formal mail addressed to “Dr Agurk”. I would never ask someone to call me Dr under any circumstances.

        Do be proud of it, though! You earned it!

        In a particularly rage inducing period, when I had my PhD and my husband did not yet, I sometimes got mail addressed to “Dr and Mrs Hislast”. I did not take his name. I am glad he has a PhD now and we are both “Dr” as it is much better for the blood pressure to have only one s**ist assumption on the envelope!

  28. I work with a lot of PhDs, and none of them insists on being called “Dr.” They ask clients to call them by their first names, and won’t correct clients who call them “Mr.” or “Ms.” (but will privately express annoyance later on). Insisting upon being called “Dr.” is considered to be obnoxious.

  29. Senior Attorney :

    I am too old to engage in workplace drama about who has lunch with whom. If you, my supposedly close work friend, are going to snub me in the parking lot because you think I went to lunch with some other co-workers yesterday and didn’t include you (which I didn’t — I ate Whole30 chicken salad in my office, but that’s not the point), I am not going to dignify your snub with a response.

    Good grief.

    That is all.

    • A wise woman once told me to assume good intentions. Speaking as someone who has most likely unintentionally snubbed someone when lost in thought or when i forgot my glasses for a walk- is it possible that would work here?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Thank you. I will do that. I am doing it outwardly and I will work on doing it inwardly as well!

  30. I can’t judge this skirt because I’m too distracted by the awful styling.

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