Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Speckled Tweed Cropped Shrug

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

I know some readers don’t like shrugs, but I’m seeing more and more of them, and this one almost looks like a suiting blazer, like a Chanel suit. I think it looks very classic and elegant, and I like the nubby tweed pattern. It would look great with a basic black sheath dress or a black silk blouse like the one we featured last Tuesday. The matching V-neck dress is $1495 and the shrug itself is $1095. Speckled Tweed Cropped Shrug

Here’s a more affordable option (on sale).

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(L-all)

Comments

  1. I’m house sitting for some relatives this week. I live in a studio apartment, and there, I’m never worried about being alone at night, even when my husband isn’t there. But last night–my first night alone in their house–I was utterly terrified by every tiny sound. I barely slept.

    I’m already dreading when it gets dark tonight. For the record, this is not a totally irrational fear – my relatives’ town is pretty safe, but because it’s fairly affluent, burglaries are somewhat common. My relatives know multiple families whose homes have been broken into. One of the reasons that I’m here is to deter would-be burglars; apparently they monitor homes and wait until people leave for extended periods of time. I’m also taking care of their elderly dog, who would bark if there was an intruder but isn’t the type who would scare anyone away.

    Having someone over to stay with me isn’t an option, because I don’t know anyone else here (my relatives live a few hours away from my city and I’m working remotely this week). So – has anyone else dealt with this? Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Leave a bunch of lights on, and maybe try to fall asleep with the TV on low volume? that way you aren’t bothered by every little sound, but would still be able to hear the dog barking or a door opening. Do they have an alarm system? Can you have a glass of wine or two?

      • No alarm system, unfortunately. I did leave some lights on last night, had a glass of wine, and turned on a fan, but I just could not fall asleep.

    • similarly minded :

      I recognize this might not be the healthiest possible approach, but when I get this way I like to intentionally get up at least once in the night, turn on all the lights, read a little, and then turn the lights off and go back to bed. I find it helps me cut down on the constant worrying to focus on a brief period of intentional activity.

      • This is the way humans slept hundreds of years ago (a period in the middle of the night when they would wake/read, etc). So what you’re doing is not necessarily weird/unhealthy.

        • Really? That is fascinating! Never heard of this.

          • http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783 I guess it was even more recent than I thought!

        • Lol, I guess my 1 year old is onto something. She loves waking up in the middle of the night, wants to play games & eat for about an hour, and then its like– ok bed time again! (much to the rest of our annoyance/early work meetings).
          I always keep lights & tv on when we are out of town. Also, make sure to answer the door (at least yell ‘who is it’ through the door) if anyone rings. A new technique is to ring the doorbell, see if anyone is home and if no one answers, break in through the back.
          There are also light timers you can get as well- although it’s not your house so probably not worth the effort.

    • Yes – when I first moved from an apartment into a house, it felt huge and scary. What helped me was establishing a ritual at night of walking through the whole house. In each room, I’d turn on the light, check that everything was OK, make sure curtains were drawn and doors were locked, and then turn off that light and move on to the next room. I only had to do that for a week or so before I started to feel better. I think it’s just an instinctual/biological thing of having your “territory” suddenly be much bigger – feels unnerving.

    • Most break-ins take place during the day…. Not at night. That happens on Law & Order.

      Glass of alcohol in the evening.

    • Take comfort that homes with dogs are statistically much less likely to be broken into (even doofus dogs). Just not worth the hassle to intruders all things being equal.

      And, the bark is a great warning even if it does nothing for you. Our dog would always alert us when anyone came up the driveway- it is was the weirdest absence once he was gone.

      • Yay Kat! I love this suit, but at $1495, the manageing partner refused my request. He said I have enough clotheing now. He is probabley right, but DOUBEL FOOEY!

        As for the OP, there is a very simple answer. Rent a Pooch. You can get a housebroken dog to sit with you. With a dog, as noted, peeople will NOT break in. It is easy, cheap and alot better then bringing in a boyfreind who will drain the liquor cabinet (line Sheketovits did) in dad’s house when we house sat. If you do not have a rent a pooch, you can always get a dog from the pound, try him out for your stay, then bring him back afterward if you do NOT fall in love with him. For every question, there is an answer, and this is another answer for you. YAY!!!!!

    • anon a mouse :

      I get that way anytime I’m sleeping somewhere different — every small sound wakes me up. I find a white noise app or a fan helpful to drown out the smaller sounds, but I’d still wake up if there was something loud.

    • Anonymous :

      I leave the TV on in when I’m anxious about sleeping in a new location but also found this study fascinating. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/04/21/474691141/half-your-brain-stands-guard-when-sleeping-in-a-new-place

    • In-House in Houston :

      Leave the TV on in the living room. The noise will help and if someone drives by, they’ll know someone is home and think they’re awake. Are there neighbors you can contact? Just to say…”hey, I’m here alone.” That way, IF something happened….and it’s a big IF, you could call them and they’d be over faster than anyone else. Knowing that neighbors are there might help you sleep better.

      • Good idea, I think I’ll try that tonight. I did meet the neighbors and they know I’m here/offered to help if I needed anything. I know that the chances of anything happening are beyond tiny, but for whatever reason I couldn’t make myself calm down.

    • Is this a symptom of a larger anxiety related issue that you are working on?

      If so, I’d start downloading some mindfulness Apps and try them while you are trying to fall asleep. If you can start to practice and teach yourself how to do this, it will serve you well to do them anytime things seem to be spiraling.

      My favorite place to do a mindfulness breathing exercise is in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

      Because this level of anxiety is high, and not typical. But I think you know that?

      • Actually, I don’t have any underlying anxiety issues. I was really taken aback by my reaction last night. I think that going from 450 sq ft studio to a 2000 sq ft, 3-story house that creaks in the wind and is empty except for me and a dog was more of an adjustment than I thought it would be. I think it also matters that I’ve never lived alone. Before I got married, I always had roommates.

        I do have a meditation app that I use to fall asleep on planes, maybe I’ll try that tonight.

        thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

    • Yes, this is something that actually happened to me and I have had to deal with this kind of fear as a result. The best thing for me to do is wait about five minutes to see if something is actually making noise (instead of my imagination) and if it’s quiet the whole time, get up and go investigate. Turn on all the lights and reassure yourself. Getting over this kind of fearful instinct is a skill you can learn. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be. I think most people experience this kind of fear from time to time, even if there’s no basis in reality.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I feel your pain. I felt a lot safer in my second floor apartment than I do in my single family home with a walkout basement and sliding glass doors. Lots of entry points.

      When I’m alone in our house overnight, I make sure all of the doors are locked and then I lock myself in the bedroom as well. For some reason having that extra locked door really helps me feel secure. I also leave a fan running for white noise.

  2. Anonymous :

    This would be better with a black sheath dress instead of the matching skirt. Totally confused why this is called a ‘shrug’ – isn’t it a sweater or cardigan if they want to be more specific. I though a shrug was sleeves with a piece of fabric of a similar width connecting them in the back.

    • Agree.

      I see a lot of things called shrugs but they are just shorter cardigans, which are exactly what this short waisted, petite on top, extreme pear, needs to wear!

      And agree with your styling preference. Short cardigan + high waisted body con matching skirt is very ladies who lunch / matronly / old-fashioned to my eye. Especially with prints.

    • I so wanted this to have some sparkles in the weave or at least some lurex.

    • Shopaholic :

      I agree – I think this looks longer than a shrug, and it would look great over a sheath dress.

    • Anon in NOVA :

      Like everyone else, I agree. This would look really nice with a black sheath dress. What kind of necklace (if any) would everyone recommend?

  3. Anonymous :

    It’s my wedding week! Any advice you wish you’d had in the few days leading up to your wedding?
    I’m at work today/tomorrow and I can already tell it’s going to be impossible to focus!

    • Anonymous :

      Pick out all your clothes in advance. All, meaning foundation garments too. Don’t get stuck doing laundry because you forgot to wash your spanx like I did the day of the rehearsal dinner.

      Other tips…don’t let others’ opinions dictate how you want this week to go! I had family and friends come from out of town 3-4 days in advance, which was nice because the wedding was DIY but everyone had their own opinion. Make sure you gently (or not so gently) nudge them to follow your plans, not invent new plans at their whim spur of the moment.

      Most of all, congratulations! A wedding is one day. The marriage is the real work!

    • I took a whole week of before my wedding, and I remember being surprised how quickly it went! I also saved a lot of last minute things for the that week (e.g., printing programs, picking up certain items, etc.)
      Make a schedule that allows you some downtime — like plan to run errands in the morning but then relax in the afternoon. Enjoy!

      • I also took off the whole week– but I’m so type A about planning, and so type F about letting things just go with the flow after I prep that I had almost nothing to do week of.
        Go get a massage, go for a hike, spend time with the people who are in town- do things that make you happy. :)
        Something my husband told me a bunch of times leading up to our wedding was “no matter what goes wrong, we’ll be married at the end of it, and that’s the whole poin
        t!”
        Somehow that made me feel a lot better about everything (and everything went great– 5 years and 1 baby later :)).

    • Congratulations!!! I wish I relaxed and enjoyed the day before and the day of more so take some time to just appreciate everything and enjoy every moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff and delegate as much as possible. Oh and if you cry, try to blot inside gently, don’t wipe your nose too hard you’ll take all the makeup off oops.

    • My best advice, which I followed, is that when the wedding starts, the train has left the station. Anything that isn’t picture-perfect or exactly as planned is not a big deal as long as you end the day married to the person you love. Enjoy the party and don’t sweat the details. All these people are showing up to celebrate you and your soon-to-be-DH!

    • Definitely agree that once the wedding starts, don’t even try to fix anything. I would even apply this rule to the whole day.

      However, I found it really helpful to write out a timeline of things I needed to do each day leading up to the wedding. It was out of town and we were there 3 days early to get stuff done, and having a very specific timeline of where I/we needed to be at what time was extremely helpful and reduced my stress a ton. It helped me avoid trying to remember what I needed to do and being worried that I was forgetting something.

    • Protect your own time. I had relatives bothering me, asking what they could do to help, and I pulled aside my mom and said, “I can not be the one delegating to everyone who wants to help. Here is my list. I don’t have the bandwith to address who does what.” My mom then passed out tasks to her siblings who did want to help, but I had more important things to do than figure out whether Aunt Sarah knows how to get to the store.

      We also planned to have everything done by Thursday. We didn’t actually make that happen, but we were close enough that then we only had one thing to do on Friday, and were able to take the rest of the day to hang out and enjoy being with friends and family, before the wedding on Saturday

    • lost academic :

      Sleep as much as humanly possible and practice letting go the things you can’t manage at this point, and delegate everything you can find – wedding and non wedding! There’s going to be so much you can’t delegate or avoid agonizing over, so do your best to push the rest away.

  4. Our office heating was broken this morning. I live in Scotland.

    Who else has Monday morning whines?

    • I got about four hours of sleep, because we had some weird weather and my dog was pacing around whining all night. I need (more) coffee but my 9am meeting is running late and I can’t leave.

    • I’m in Scotland and our heating is working but it’s still freezing. Wrapped up in a blanket scarf at the moment. I meant to get a lunchtime walk but it is too cold!

    • 7am flight out, just to get to the site and find that everything I need had a delayed delivery and won’t be here until tomorrow.

    • Anonymous :

      I couldn’t sleep last night because I was anxious about driving to work today in the snow/ice (I’m in Boston). So, I took prescription sleep medicine that caused me oversleep. I woke up, felt like my eyes were sealed shut with “sleepy sand”, and I feel hungover. I was late to work because the roads were a mess, so basically my anxiety came true. UGH.

    • Anonymous :

      Everybody I know slept weird or badly last night. I had a dream about a friend I recently had a falling out with and I woke up borderline in tears with anxiety in full swing and my heart pounding (nothing like rolling out of bed on a Monday when you absolutely must be in the office to pop a Xanax.)

      I’ve been trying to drink some water and take care of myself, but yeah… I feel you.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m wearing an incredibly itchy sweater dress. I have an undershirt on but I’m still itchy. It’s a beautiful dress but it might get donated after today. The fabric shouldn’t be itchy but it has some wool and I’m starting to conclude I’m allergic.

      • Ugh… tell me about it. I can’t wear any wool anymore, including the beautiful expensive cashmere wraps I bought this year.

        And now I’m allergic….. to my couch.

        Yeah…

      • Do you have eczema? My whole life people have been looking at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I’m allergic to wool, but I was reading a handout from my allergist recently and felt so validated when I read it is very common for people with eczema to have a skin reaction (itchy/dry/red bumps) to wool.

        • P.S. I can and do wear lined wool suits. But wool suiting fabric seems to be less itchy than a wool sweater or blanket or wool socks for example, and I make sure all of my skin is covered by non-wool under the suit. I’ve given up on sweaters. Something about the weave seems to allow the itchiness to go through the undershirt. That sounds nuts, I know.

        • It’s actually not that rare to have sensitivities to wool. I do not have eczema, but I have a ton of topical allergies/seasonal/animal allergies.

          Glad you have an allergist has told you that folks with eczema (an auto-immune condition) are prone to other auto-immune disorders and allergies.

          Eczema can be really, really annoying to control and I have several friends who have it affecting different body parts. My friends with it on their neck/hands have the hardest time.

          Yeah, people are not very empathic in general about things that seem so simple/don’t bother them. It is a flaw in the design of the human brain/condition.

          I have been sensitive to wool for years, but now I just can’t anymore…. I still have a couple of wool coats that I wear rarely, but they are blends, lined, and I always wear gloves that cover my wrists and scarves to protect my neck.

          Good point about suiting. I don’t wear suits regularly.

        • From a knitter – you are probably not allergic to wool. You are more likely sensitive to the fibers sticking out and essentially poking you.

          Wool has all kinds of different fiber lengths. A suiting wool will have a very long fiber length. Those long fibers are spun into long, fine threads and then those threads are woven into a fine fabric. This fine fabric will have almost no ends sticking out to poke your skin.

          At the opposite end, shetland wool will have lots of short and thick fibers that stick out everywhere and poke you.

          You probably also prefer high thread count sheets to low thread count sheets and I’m guessing people have said you were being princessy about it.

          So, longer fibers are your friends. For cotton sheets, Pima cotton has the longest fiber/staple length. For wool, merino wool is going to be the longest-fibered (for instance, you never see a “fuzzy” garment made of merino). If you really like wool, you might try sticking to merino and seeing if that helps.

          • Oh, that’s really interesting about the fibers. That’s probably what I’m noticing but not articulating well about different types of wool products being more problematic. Even the suits will cause trouble if I am not careful to make sure none of the wool is against my skin though. So I wear long enough sleeves, collared shirts, and tights (nude hose in summer). I have asthma, allergies, and eczema and also have super sensitive skin, so I would not be surprised either way if it is actually an allergy or a skin sensitivity. It causes some interesting rashes.

      • Also allergic to wool (very, very allergic) and starting to get allergic to cashmere, which is super sad, because I have an amazing sweater and scarf collection that’s been curated over 15 years. ALL THE SADS re this. I also have pretty severe asthma and allergies and minor eczema too. RAWR.

    • Yup, slept terribly. Bad snow/weather, baby up all night and to top it off had a crazy dream that I found out I was actually legally married to my ex boyfriend instead of my DH. My kids with DH were out of wedlock in this dream and I had no idea but apparently everyone else (all families, ex BF and DH) knew. So, so weird.

      • Very proud to announce to my husband last night I was kicking off a week of getting to bed early – went to bed at 10:15, fell asleep at 12:30 a.m. Baby woke up twice to nurse. Dreamed he could walk and that he ran away from me. Not very restful!

    • It's a Monday :

      My sibling (who has never managed to be financially stable in their life and has been sponging off our parents) asked me for a significant amount of money last night. I told them I couldn’t make that decision without discussing it with spouse. They called me this morning during my workday.

      I sent them to voicemail and didn’t feel bad about it at all.

      • Ouch. Inappropriate requests from siblings who can’t get their sh*t together are my favorite. Best of luck with this.

    • Dealing with an attorney representing a party that has a dispute with my company, and he thinks I’m his godd*mn secretary. If you can’t find the latest version of a document we’re exchanging redlines on, how is this my problem? Also, you’re incompetent.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      I was online working at 5:45 a.m., and will be again for the next few days.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I couldn’t get to sleep last night because I was certain someone was going to break into my apartment. Sixth floor. Secured building. Door was locked. I have lived here since August, not a single problem. But I was absolutely petrified. And then I kept waking up and thinking that shapes in my dark apartment were people. They were, for example, a chair. The microwave. The blanket.

      • Why last night? What’s going on with you?

        I’ve been broken into twice, and it’s always during the day, and it’s always been in old unsecured buildings. Once in Chicago, once in Boston, both in dense urban areas.

        But I do sleep better now that I bought a SimpliSafe alarm system (recommended on here!) that I installed myself, and can take down and bring with me whenever I move, and has a very low monthly charge.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      We got 11 inches of snow yesterday.

    • I just got my period, so of course I’ve been a ragemonster for the past few days. My friends took me out for a nice birthday dinner this weekend, and rather than be grateful for the nice time and the nice gesture, I am mad at them because they seem to think it is their place to tell me how to live my life.

    • School was on a 2-hr delay due to snow/ice, sitter was unable to come, and we had repair guys coming to the house at 7am (on the dot). My husband didn’t understand why I was not comfortable showering with 2 random workers (and our son!) alone, and I had to yell at him before he agreed to leave a little later so I could take a damn shower. Of course repair guys showed up early, but at least I was dressed and showered (albeit with wet hair!).

    • Woke up with a headache. Aleve not helping. Just discovered my blouse is on inside out. blergh

  5. anon sequitur :

    I love my boyfriend but sometimes I’m scared that we want different things out of life. We’ve been dating for two and a half years, and are on track to get engaged in the next year or so. Part of me is so excited: I adore him. He’s smart, thoughtful, stable, and I smile stupidly every time I see him walk in the door. But the other part of me is terrified that I’m hurtling full-speed towards the kind of suburban, 2.5 kids, picket fence, daycare drop-off life that I never thought I wanted. I can see two versions of myself in 10 years: one who’s happy with her funny kids and a beautiful house and a wonderful partner, and one who feels like she’s trapped, screaming to get out and wondering where her life went. Sometimes I even feel like that now, not with our relationship so much but with some of the other directions my life has gone. I’m working to course-correct, and I thought it would make it better, but sometimes I feel like the more I reconnect with the parts of myself that I’ve been neglecting (the weird, creative side, not the Junior League and spin instructor side), the less I want what I’d have to want to be happy with my boyfriend.

    If I told my boyfriend tomorrow that I definitely didn’t want kids, I think our relationship would be over. Sometimes I feel like I should just do it now, so he can move back to his hometown like all of his friends from high school and find a girl who has an uncomplicated excitement about shared life goals.

    But I love him, and the thought of not having him in my life makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. We fit so well in so many ways. And I’m not 100% sure that I don’t want all of the things that he wants, because some days I do. But some days I don’t. And I don’t know how to figure out where to go from here, other than re-reading Dear Sugar’s ghost ship article over and over.

    • creative mom :

      I love that article. One thing to think about though is that a life with kids and a picket fence and even a minivan doesn’t have to be “conventional” in all of the ways that that feels stifling. You can still be a weird, creative, interesting person, who just happens to have to do daycare pick up a couple days a week. You literally never have to join the Junior League or take a spin class. And you don’t have to make any decisions right now.

      Have you talked to your BF about your fears?

    • When I married my husband, we weren’t sure what we wanted to do with our lives. Maybe have kids. Maybe move out of the country. Maybe start our own business. Lots of ideas.

      We ended up not doing 90% of what we talked about. But our life is still good and we like who we are and what we do.

      Straight up: some people are not cut out for marriage or parenthood. It requires a great deal of self-discipline and the ability to put other people’s happiness ahead of your own, if not all the time, then a lot of the time. Some people cannot or do not want to do that, and that’s totally fine. But they shouldn’t get married and have kids. The people I know who are the most miserable in their lives are the ones who did something they were fundamentally not cut out to do, like have children or buy a house. They knew the didn’t want to be tied down and yet they made decisions that tied them down to something. That’s not a recipe for happiness.

      OTOH, I know some people who were nervous about getting “tied down” and because they made careful choices, and chose other things – jobs, hobbies – that would allow them some freedom, they are happy as clams. I have close friend who was very nervous about having kids and turning into the kind of person who lives for her kids (which describes her mother perfectly). She has a job where she travels semi-frequently and a great husband who supports that, and the balance makes it work out for her.

      I don’t know how old you are, but if you are under 30 (and ESPECIALLY if you are under 25), it is totally normal not to be 100% sure about what you want out of life. It’s definitely OK not to know whether or not you want kids. If you are 30 or over, though, and your boyfriend is of a similar age, you probably should have a conversation sooner rather than later about this, so he can make a decision about his life and what he wants.

      You can build the life you want; don’t let anyone tell you different. Once I had a kid I met other families who live in all kinds of ways to make their life work. My son has a friend whose family lived on a houseboat in Seattle for a year a couple of years ago. Friends where the dad stays home because the mom works a high-powered job. Multi-generational families living in one house. Don’t talk about getting sucked into a stereotype 2.5 kids/picket fence life as if you have no agency over your own choices. There are all kinds of ways to have a life and make a life work; you just have to figure out what’s going to work for you. And it may not involve your current boyfriend, but that’s not the end of the world either.

      • Anonymous :

        FWIW – my fiancé and I never thought we would have kids. We dated happily for years and years with no intention of getting married (ever) and maybe moving to a global company where we could relocate every few years etc. We now own a house, are engaged and expecting – and super happy about it. Ha! The point is, what you want can change. Fortunately for us, our goals changed around the same time. My point is – if you love him and you are both respectful of each other, I don’t see why you should leave a relationship where you are happy. If one person is pressuring the other person to change that is a different issue.

      • Anonymous :

        + 1 million to your last paragraph.

        Life and parenting (or not) are what * you * make it.

      • Anonymous :

        This.

        We were married 4 years before we had kids.

        Traveling with our oldest kid was great because it was a new way to connect with other people – we had a blast camping in Italy when she was 18 months old.

        With 3 kids, life is different for sure, but it’s still all what you make it.

        • I married young- at 24- but DH and I waited almost 6 years before having kids. We went to grad school (he did; I was done before we married), bought a house, traveled a ton then had the kids. If we’d wanted we could have waited at least another 3-4 years, but I wanted to be done by 35.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        I was also someone who liked her life, wasn’t sure she wanted to have kids. My DH and I were together for 10 years before we did, married for 6.

        I now have 3 children and love it. I don’t live in the suburbs, and I think you’d be surprised about how much depth some of us dance-and-hockey moms have.

        One child doesn’t necessarily have to change your life all that much. We travelled quite a bit with our oldest when she was a baby. And you can still go live abroad.

        Admittedly, 3 children is a whole other ball of wax. It is tougher to travel, for example, as it is a) very expensive if you are flying anywhere, and b) tough to find hotel rooms that will allow 5 people.

        For me, the tradeoffs have been worth it.

    • MargaretO :

      You don’t have to move to the suburbs to have kids! Or join the junior league, take spin classes, whatever. I don’t have or want kids for unrelated reasons but I was raised in a super unconventional household hiding behind a pretty average looking suburban house and minivan collection. One of my earliest memories is being on my dad’s shoulders at an anti war rally. My mom worked and for a long time when I was little my dad stayed home – and he is the parent who taught me how to cook, sew, and do my hair. I have friends who are only children who grew up in tiny apartments in manhattan, friends who were “unschooled” in rural north carolina with 5 siblings and very few pairs of shoes, and yes friends who grew up behind a white picket fence – they all turned into awesome adults because their parents loved them and cared for them. Can you picture a less conventional life with children and with your boyfriend? Would he want to raise his kids in a way thats different from how he grew up? It sounds like you’re creating a black and white dichotomy between 100% conventional and doing what you’re passionate about. But you can definitely have some of both. If you truly do not want kids you shouldn’t have them, but what if you could have kids and also keep exploring this other side of yourself?

    • The way to figure out where to go from here is to make a decision. Make it, and then don’t tell anyone for a week. Think it through, mull it over, take next steps in your head. At the end of the week, what do you feel? Afraid but energized? Happy with relief? Or anxious and regretful? Upset and miserable?

      Then you have your answer. Or at least a start of one, that you can talk over with BF/close friend/whomever.

      That’s the thing about life. I don’t think it’s like the movies, where you just KNOW from age 3 what you’re going to do with your life. You don’t get some random voice saying “You shall go be an accountant and marry that boy you meet at 25 and pop out 3 kids and get a cat.” You just make decisions and follow them through and deal with consequences and appreciate all the twists that life gives you.

      • This, 1000%. My life is pretty great but not by any kind of master-planned design. I made choices that were true to myself, and I got lucky along the way.

    • When my husband and I decided to give kids a go, we mostly did it because we figured we would regret it if we didn’t. When I actually became pregnant, I was the least excited person in the world. Telling people way awkward because I wasn’t happy about being pregnant or becoming a mom. I felt like I was giving up a huge part of myself and shutting off all of my future opportunity. I didn’t particularly like maternity leave, but my kid was a really good baby which helped me ease through it. 15 months later, I’m expecting #2 and my oldest is fantastic. I really enjoy seeing the world through his eyes and he definitely brings more laughter (and cringing) to the household. (Oh, and not to sugar coat it, daycare pickup/dropoff is the most annoying part of my day. By all means dread that one.)

      TL;DR: It’s okay to not know for sure if you want kids and to be hesitant even when you get to that path. Maybe take small steps and start with a dog or cat?

      • Exact same. I was the least enthusiastic pregnant person I’ve ever met. All 3 times. I also don’t even really like babies. But I love my kiddos and the older they are the more fun they get. The baby phase is just a blip.

        • anon sequitur :

          Thank you for this. Everyone (and I mean freaking everyone) in my office is pregnant or has been pregnant in the last three years. They were all so radiantly happy and excited. I would…probably not be like that. Reminding myself that they don’t stay babies forever is the only way I can even get my mind around having kids. I’ve never liked babies, but I really like kids–I was a summer camp counselor in college, I worked in an elementary/middle school for a year,I volunteered at a community daycare for low-income parents. If I had kids I know I would love them, and I know my boyfriend and I would be good (or good-enough) parents.

      • Me also- I also think that there isn’t just 1 right life. We get hung up sometimes thinking that there is this objective life we should be living, when really everything is a choice– and sometimes there can be some mourning for the other path when you hit a point in life where you are making a permanent decision (a little bit of FOMO & YOLO as the kids say :)).
        I’m pretty sure I would be equally happy or unhappy without a child and could have easily lived either life– my partner wanted a child, and I was open to it, and so we had one.
        Not going to lie- newborns are THE WORST (at least I have never been a fan of them), but now at almost 2, my daughter is a delight and I love every day with her. I was careful about my career choices moving toward this point in my life (and made some bold calculated risks that have worked out well so far), so that part is going well as well.
        I live life on my terms for every other aspect of it and have always figured that having kids would be no different.
        If you 100% didn’t want kids and your partner did (or vice-versa) I’d say that’s a definite deal breaker- but if you are open to it, and it’s something he wants and you adore him– go for it. Also, this is absolutely something you should talk about pre-marriage.

    • Anonymous :

      There is a lot in between the two extremes you describe. Why not have one kid and stay in the city? You still get to experience parenthood but your life will change a lot less than if you had several kids and moved to the suburbs.

    • This is my two cents. And I want to caveat this by saying that this is your life and 100% your decision. But I just want to say those articles you read online about how “life with kids is omg so hard” (scary mommy, I’m looking at you) are really negative and positively terrifying if you don’t have children. Stop reading those now if you are. Everyone approaches parenting differently and, if that is a bridge you decide to cross, you’ll do it your way, minivan or not. And you don’t have to have the life your describing anytime soon. Enjoy your partner for a few more years.

      • TOTALLY. Being a mom to two young ones is actually not that hard for me because I choose to make it not that hard. I focus on being with my kids. I do not do elaborate themed birthday parties (or birthday parties at all, they just happen sporadically if I feel up to it), I do not do elaborate crafts, I do not plan play dates or other appointments for them, I just bought store bought Valentine’s cards (in fact, the easiest looking ones they had), I do not cut their sandwiches into fun shapes. We have a nanny, which helps a TON. I try to be with them at home all weekend having fun. I like this life a lot, and in fact, I think it helps them enjoy the simple things.

    • You need to be able to talk to your boyfriend about these thoughts. If you can’t, then you also can’t be married to this person.

      Are there other things you want in life that are not compatible with marriage and children? It’s not clear from your post what you do want, only that you don’t think you want a picket fence in suburbia. If there are specific things you want, focus on adding those to your life rather than focusing on what you think you don’t want. You can be married without having children. You can have children without moving to suburbia. And even if you do move to suburbia (I am moving to suburbia although I never, ever thought I would and I am actually so excited and relieved that I’ve made that decision) there is no prescribed suburban life that you have to lead just because you live there. Skip Junior League and start an Etsy shop. Skip spin class and go LARPing. There are no rules.

      You and your partner get to decide where you live and how you live and how (and if) you raise children, but you need to be able to talk about those things together for a long term commitment to work. If you can’t talk about it, or he’s not receptive, then yes, that’s a clear sign that he’s not the right one.

      • anon sequitur :

        We’ve talked my concerns about having kids to death. He listens and cares, but I think he’s a little sick of going over it again and again. Maybe I should have discussed this more in the original post, but sometimes I think kids are just the most obvious flashpoint. In his ideal world, we’d be buying a house in the same neighborhood where he grew up, going to the same Sunday football parties with the same people he grew up with, taking the same vacations he grew up taking. I love his family but that’s not the life I want for myself. He understands that and is okay with that–if his dealbreaker is kids, mine is moving back to his hometown–so we’re both compromising. I just don’t know if there’s enough space in the middle of the Venn diagram.

        I already quit the Junior League, so there’s that.

        • Anonattorney :

          I think the issue is the lifestyle he’s envisioning, not whether or not to have kids.

          FWIW, I’m not sure you’ve really articulated in a clear way what your concern is about having kids. What do you think you’re going to lose by having kids? Do you have specific activities that you like, travel you want to do, money you want to hoard to spend on something (or retire early)? As long as you have a supportive partner, you don’t really have to give up . . . anything when you have kids. You just have to manage time differently.

          • anon sequitur :

            Freedom and autonomy over my time and my body. I talked a lot about kids in my original post, since they’re the flashpoint, but they’re not the only one–it’s just that a lot of our other points of divergence come out around kids, and how we’d want life with kids to look. Like, basically all of them.

        • “In his ideal world, we’d be buying a house in the same neighborhood where he grew up, going to the same Sunday football parties with the same people he grew up with, taking the same vacations he grew up taking. I love his family but that’s not the life I want for myself.”

          So. This is a different deal entirely, and I don’t blame you for being nervous about it. I think this deserves some more serious discussion about “this is how I envision my life in ten years (be specific and give examples). How about you? (Make him be specific and give examples.)” These are the kinds of choices that do break down a marriage over time. One of my friends is in a situation where she is basically embedded into her husband’s life and family, which operates indistinguishably from how it was before he met her. She hates it, but they have a kid and he is generally a good guy (and his family is basically nice). But, they are basically in a group marriage where his family and friends get equal say on where they go on vacation, how they’re going to spend holidays, etc. I’m watching her struggles over the years, all I can say is that her situation is nothing I would want for myself.
          You have to be really, really clear about what you want with him. And be clear with yourself, if this is a deal-breaker. If my husband had told me his dream was to move back to his hometown and live like his family did, and he wasn’t willing to compromise, I would have had to gently and sorrowfully say goodbye. Hopefully, being with you means more to your boyfriend. If it were me, I would hate to feel like the woman who got plugged into the equation to make the vision happen – like my individual self and personality mattered less to my husband than what he wanted for himself. One thing about my marriage that I think has made it work for 20 years is that we always agreed that being together was the priority, and that ultimately what we wanted was for both of us to be happy. And, we were willing to do what it took to make that happen. Good luck with further conversations.

          • anon sequitur :

            Thank you for this. Your friend’s situation is the nightmare version for me. My boyfriend is so blessed to have a wonderful, large family and to still be so close to a core group of friends that he’s had forever. He only left his home state because he got an athletic scholarship in my state. If it weren’t for that, I don’t think he ever would have left. It’s pretty clear he’s only still here for me and that he misses being closer to his family and friends, especially now that he’s the only one of the friend-group that isn’t back in their hometown. I hate to be melodramatic but the only way I’m not getting stuck in that life is if there are literally three hours of driving between our house and his hometown. (His friends have also started making passive-aggressive “Oh so YOU’RE the reason he isn’t ever coming back” comments, but that’s a whole other issue.)

            This is another one: my family has a tradition where we’ve always traveled for Christmas. I grew up always getting excited to have Christmas in Germany, or the Caribbean, or NYC, or wherever my parents decided we were going; we’ve re-started it now that I’m in a job where the offices shut down for the holidays. My boyfriend’s parents always had the whole giant clan over to their house. He loves Christmas with his family. I’ve asked if he’d ever be open to traveling with us. No. What about if my family + his parents/siblings/SILs got a giant house somewhere fun? No. The rest of his family is open to it, just not him. He doesn’t mind if we’re apart for the holidays and is fine with me traveling with my family. But I couldn’t just abandon the future kids at Christmas to go sip a mojito in the DR with my sister, and there’s no universe where he’d let me take them somewhere without him.

          • This really doesn’t sound good. You sound like you just don’t want the same things in life, in a really big way. I was there once, and the magnitude of the gap between us wasn’t very obvious to me at the time. They all seemed like little things that we could compromise on. But in retrospect (especially as we’re both married to other people now and I see how different our lives have become) we wanted completely different things, there was no resolution to that problem, and I wish it had become obvious to me a lot earlier instead of me just feeling like “but he’s so awesome! and we’re happy! and every relationship has compromises, right?”

            Turns out I found someone way awesomer, I’m way happier, and we don’t compromise at all in our relationship because we generally want the same things. Obviously we do with minutiae, but it’s really great to be on the same page about virtually everything. I think you’re not seeing the mountain of red flags right now that you will in a few years.

          • I think you guys are incompatible.

            It happens. But I really think you need to listen to your gut.

            You both sound like you have wonderful families. I am quite jealous, as I would be happy to marry either of you just to join your amazing families(!). I need to tell you…. your family situations are not typical. Two wonderful, supportive families happy to embrace a new spouse.

            But they are different. And your boyfriend has expressed reticence in EVER considering something so small has having a joint Xmas together. And he has let you know the only reason he isn’t back home is because of you. So if anything, ever, annoys him/makes him lonely/makes him mad at you in the future, I worry he will start blaming you and resenting you for “forcing” him to live away from his amazing support network.

            It’s no ones fault. Sometimes it just doesn’t work.

            You need to get out. Listen to your gut.

          • Anon Sequitor –

            I’ve been reading the comments as you’ve shared more details, but what you shared above is the dealbreaker in my eyes. You both have traditions and ways of living that are very important to you, but I’m not seeing a happy medium from what you describe above. He wouldn’t *let* you take the kids somewhere fun for Christmas? That in particular signals a lack of desire to find a way to make it work that’s not you compromising to fit into his life. My boyfriend and are now having these same conversation about what we want for our future and the one thing that’s keeping them going well is that both of us approach is as, “I really wouldn’t want to live in XYZ setting, but I know you want ABC, so I could live with *compromised idea* we’re both ok with.”
            From your ends, it sounds like what he wants from you are things that you definitely don’t want either, so I’m not sure how much compromising you could do without setting yourself up for unhappiness.

            I know it’s hard, but I think it’s time to start thinking about what a future would like without this guy. I’m sure he’s wonderful, but he may not be the exact kind of wonderful that fits into your future. I’m usually not a proponent of couples taking breaks, but maybe some space will help the both of you figure out how much you’re willing to compromise to stay together (but don’t go into it expecting your boyfriend will miss you so much over the break that he’ll decide he wants you more than his envisioned lifestyle).

          • He’d never be open to spending Christmas with your family? Dump him. He’s s child.

          • I think you guys will want to keep talking things through and, if possible, find some sort of pre-marital counseling program. Each of your families and upbringings will have a huge impact on how your future life will play out and it’s good to talk though these tough subjects with a moderator who won’t let you sneak around the root of the issue.

            FWIW, my husband and I did not spending holidays together until kids were born, because we were both very close to our extended families. We had agreed in advance that after kids, we would alternate. It seems like anything but alternating is very childish on the part of the person who doesn’t want to alternate.

            When you’re from a very close extended family, it feels very weird to not be there on Christmas day with the whole crazy clan. My first Christmas away was so foreign and I was very sad to not be there, but I know it is just as important to be with my husbands family on the holidays also.

          • Delta Dawn :

            As this conversation has developed, it seems that kids are not really the fulcrum of this relationship. They are one factor you will eventually have to decide upon, but what you’ve described above is a general incompatibility that goes beyond children. And I don’t know if incompatibility is the right word– it’s really the fact that your boyfriend seems unwilling to compromise on basic things like where to spend the holidays. It sounds like he requires a wife who has no Christmas plans with her own family ever again. That will not work. My DH and I both have big close families who live within a couple of hours, and we still have to compromise on Christmas– whose family gets to keep their plans on the actual day, which family has to move Christmas up two days so we can be there first, etc. It sounds like he wants someone to plug into his life without having to accommodate her.

          • anon sequitur :

            Thank you for the responses. I debated whether to include the Christmas thing, because I know holidays can be so polarizing–it’s not an issue right now, but it’s something that would become an issue with kids in the picture. I’ll talk to him about it tonight, maybe. I feel like he doesn’t see it as something that needs to be resolved now, because the kids aren’t there to complicate things yet. I don’t think he’d be resistant to the future kids spending time with my family at Christmas, and I haven’t framed it that way yet, I guess. More of a “come join us for fun travels!” deal. He likes my family too, so it’s not like there’s tension there.

            He tells me that he’s fine not living in his hometown, and seems to pretty much see it as the price of admission for our relationship. Maybe I need to work on believing him. I had a chance at a job about an hour away from his hometown, and he was so, so happy for it to work out; I ended up having a full-on hysterical freakout on him on the way back home, sobbing that I couldn’t do life in [his state]. He was nothing but supportive but I could tell it made him sad. I didn’t end up getting the job offer so it was a moot point.

            I really do want to do some premarital counseling. I think sometimes we aren’t the best communicators and it would be really helpful to have a neutral third party guiding the conversation. We aren’t religious though, and I have no idea how to find a non-Jesus-y pre-cana-type program.

        • lawsuited :

          “In his ideal world, we’d be buying a house in the same neighborhood where he grew up, going to the same Sunday football parties with the same people he grew up with, taking the same vacations he grew up taking.”

          So what happens when, during these conversations about his ideal scenario, you say “I wouldn’t want that at all. My ideal is to live in an apartment in Big City and spend weekends hiking and use our vacations exploring remote treehouses in South America” (or whatever it is that you want)?

          If you’ve talked about these issues a lot together, and you say he’s been receptive and understanding and supportive, why are these conversations not getting the two of you anywhere? If you’re just talking at each other without coming to some resolution, then I think that is a sign that it will be difficult for the two of you to build a happy life together.

    • Talk to him.

  6. Tattoo Question :

    For those of you with tattoos, did you tip your tattoo artist? If so, what percent? I had a consultation with a great local artist (who just opened her own studio ) and we came up with an amazing design I’m excited to get. I dont really know what the etiquette is for tipping when it comes to tattoos…

    Suggestions? Also any tips on getting a tattoo would be helpful, this will be my first one!

    • Anonymous :

      Yep, 20%-ish. Maybe a little less or a little more depending on what bills I have and what I had done. My last tattoo was $200, I was thrilled, I gave him $40.

      Advice? Eat before you go – most shops have candy etc around for clients, but bring some of your own just in case. Don’t be afraid to ask for breaks. If possible, having a friend go with you helps because you can chat and they can distract you. Of course, this is all dependent on overall size – a small/simple black and white tattoo will be over before you know it, but doing outlining and color or a more detailed piece will take longer and get more painful as the adrenaline wears off and they are going over the same spot over and over again.

      But really – it is not that bad. I, like most people, keep going back, after all :-)

      • Tattoo Question OP :

        Thanks for the tips guys! This was super helpful and I’ll be following this thread! :)

        She said my design shouldn’t take more than 2 hours but I’ll consider bringing a friend along. However, she was such a cool person so i might not mind just hanging out with her one on one for 2 hours! =)

        • I loved the guy who did my last one — I met him when he did my friend’s, then I went back with a different friend to get mine, then different friend went back and got one with him! But even cool tattoo artists are working – they make small talk but sometimes need to focus. :-)

    • Midwestern Constituent :

      Following this. I’m also thinking seriously about getting a tattoo this year.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh, and you probably already know this if you had a consult, but most shops are cash only.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Yep, I tip around 20%.

      Seconding Anonymous at 9:25 – EAT! Get some food in your belly and stay hydrated, especially if you’re going to be sitting for a while. My last piece took about 5 1/2 hours and I spent the start of it chatting with my artist, then switched to music and reading on my kindle. Follow your artist’s aftercare advice as closely as you can.

      Enjoy your new artwork!

    • I didn’t, but I was 23 and it was my first and I had no idea that tipping a tattoo artist was a thing so I am probably not the best to ask.

      I am planning to get another one here in a bit, so I will be following this!

    • AnonLondon :

      I’ve got four tattoos (three smaller ones and a giant watercolour back piece). (a) Yes, tip 20%, especially if they’re doing custom work for you rather than one-off flash stuff. (b) As above Anonymous said, have a good meal before hand and bring a friend to chat with you/entertain you if possible. I brought peanut butter m’n’ms and a coconut water to sip during to keep my sugar up last time I went which were the perfect snacks for me, but generally having something to nibble is nice. My artist for my back piece had three sessions with me (and has done big pieces for some of my closest friends), so I didn’t bring a buddy the last time and just caught up with her, but it’s nice to have someone support you, especially if it’s a big session. I made an evening of it with a pal or pals each time where we went to the shop and then went home, had takeaway and a movie night. I find myself pretty sleepy/nest-inclined post-tattoo sessions once the adrenaline wears off.

      Make sure to think about what you’ll wear for the first couple of days that won’t press on the area, and follow your artists’ aftercare instructions as though they were gospel, but basically don’t stress and try to relax!

    • Yes, around 20%. Mine was a custom design, and took some significant time.

      I have henna-style lotus blossom between my shoulder blades that took, all things told, about 5 hours over two sessions (just due to scheduling between my artist and me).

      I second everyone else telling you to eat beforehand. Because of where my piece is, I wasn’t able to easily eat or drink during tattooing (moving my arms would move my shoulder blades = no bueno. I made sure to eat a regular meal close in time to my appointment, and did bring water and a small snack for after.

      Also, depending on where your design is going, I’ll add to AnonLondon’s advice above and consider what you’re going to wear to the session itself. Because mine is on my upper back, I wore a camisole and a bra with straps that were easy to remove. There are private areas in the shop I use, but I didn’t want to use one of them if I could be decent and out with everyone.

      I didn’t bring a friend, but YMMV. And pain-wise, I found that the line work was by far the most painful, and even that just felt like scraping. It was uncomfortable, and healing felt like a sunburn. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and get more work done on this piece, or get one elsewhere.

    • Wildkitten :

      If it’s going to take a while, listen to a podcast.

    • Yes, absolutely. You need to tip. 20% if you’re not a stingy a $ $ h o l e.

    • I have well over 100 hours and many thousands of dollars into my skin, but I’ll make an different claim. I only tip 10%, my artist owns the shop and we usually book 8 hour sessions so my appointments are not cheap. Plus with an 8 hour session hes making money the whole day vs a normal day with down time between clients where he makes 0. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for him to pocket 1k for a days work.

      • Anon at 9:25 :

        Yes, +1 to this also – it scales in some ways. (it also scales a bit the other way if you’re getting say, a small flash piece)

      • I think think that’s a valid point, and if my artist owned the shop, I think I’d feel the same way (or if I were booking longer sits).

  7. Faculty Interview Timeline :

    Help, please! I’ve been invited to an on-campus interview for a (non-tenure, teaching-focused) faculty position. The interview is scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday, but I haven’t yet received a schedule for while I’m there. This makes me nervous, because based on guidance from my graduate school, I understand there is a strong possibility I’ll be asked to teach and/or give a presentation while I’m there, and they haven’t yet mentioned anything like that — whether I’ll need to do it, on what topic(s), etc. When I’ve asked about any further details on the interviews, I’ve been told they will be sent “when available” and “shortly.”

    Is this common? How long do I wait to hear about this stuff? Are they planning to “surprise” me with a teaching scenario? Do I plan options for a variety of topics, audiences, and purposes “just in case”? If they do inform me some point later this week, is there a certain point by which a candidate can reasonably say “this isn’t enough preparation time”? TIA.

    • I would call today and ask if you are expected to prepare a presentation and/or teach a class.

      In my field, everyone gives the equivalent of a lecture on their work, although in some places it is formal with PowerPoint and in some places it is a chalk talk.

      Is there a standard for your field/type of teaching job?

      These types of jobs don’t tend to “surprise” you on the interview.

    • academic job market :

      You should definitely ask if there’s a research talk (and how long and pitched at whom) and a teaching demo (and details about that). It’s odd they wouldn’t have told you this. As for who you’ll meet, etc, it’s not uncommon to get that part of the schedule only a few days in advance. Have you been talking to the search cte chair, the dept chair, or the dept assistant? If one, try the others…

      • Thanks to all for the feedback so far!

        I’m absolutely fine with not yet having a full schedule of interviewers and meetings, but I’m very concerned about anything I will have need to prepare in advance. I guess I will have to ask again more directly. All correspondence has been coming through HR/admins. While I could email the chair (I know him outside of this context), I’m concerned about being seen as “going above” (disregarding?) administrative personnel or accidentally circumventing hiring procedures of which I’m not aware. Any concerns about that?

        The response mentioning disrespect is hitting close to home. I hate that, no matter what, I’ll likely have to surrender large parts of my work week and weekend to compensate for them simply not telling me earlier. Why would they invest so much in the process but not have better communication?!

        • I would contact HR/Admins who has been contacting you. And THEY contact the chair to ask what is needed.

        • academic job market :

          At this point, I would email the chair… admins don’t necessarily always have a sense of these things (although many do). and yeah, it may seem disrespectful, but I would highly recommend keeping that to yourself or you may sabotage your chances… “difficult candidate” is a real red flag for all the hiring committees I’ve been on (academic here).

    • Yes, it’s weird that they haven’t told you what type of presentation to prepare. If this was a tenure track position, I’d be prepared with a research talk. For a teaching position, they may also expect a research talk, but I would definitely expect some sort of teaching demo. At our university, this is in a real class, covering the material they’re supposed to cover that day. Unless this is a position where they don’t care about research at all, I would have a research talk at least partially prepared. If it’s 100% teaching, at least think about how you might handle a teaching demo, though this is obviously much harder if you don’t know the topic at all. I think this is incredibly disrespectful to not be clear about, though I agree with those above who say that you shouldn’t expect a detailed schedule until a day or two before.

  8. Anonymous :

    Wedding vendor tipping question:

    Do we need to tip our photographer? She owns her own business, and her assistant is her husband.

    What about our florist? I imagine there will be a couple people setting up flowers- do we need to have cash on hand to tip them?

    • I think the only vendor I tipped was the DJ.

    • We tipped everyone (wedding planner, photographers, musicians, catering manager and team, on-site coordinator/buddy, hair/makeup artist, transportation, food company, dessert company, chocolate fountain guy, etc). But I’m also a generous tipper overall.

    • Marshmallow :

      I followed the general rule that you tip for somebody who provides you a personal service and does not own the business. I think setting up flowers in the venue is generally included in the floral contract and not something I’d tip for.

      We did not tip our photographer because he owns the business and worked solo. We tipped both our DJs (who do not own the business). Our venue tacked on a mandatory tip for all the servers, but we tipped our maitre d’ on top of that. I tipped the flower delivery guy because he was super nice and helpful when our flowers arrived wrong, but I did not tip the actual florist.

    • I sideline as a wedding photographer and tips are not required when it’s your own business, BUT when you get them, you really want to go overboard for your client. When I get tipped, I’m far more likely to include extras, like using their photos when sampling new frame options and sending that along later. I’d never hold it against someone, but it goes a long way toward buying a lot of goodwill.

    • Team Poodle :

      If you’re into non-shedding breeds, an older standard poodle seems like a good fit. The rescues can be difficult if folks are looking puppies and younger dogs – I ended up buying both of my toy poodles from great, small breeders because I didn’t own a home and wanted younger dogs (but I rescued my cat, so I’m not 100 evil). However, the rescues around here that are poodle-specific seem much more lax on adopting older poodles. Standards can weigh anywhere from 40 – 100lbs, so you can definitely find one in the middle of the range. They are smart, most of them are good with kids and have great personalities/love people & other dogs. BUT they can be manipulative, Velcro dogs who do anything for your attention (for better or for worse), can bark a lot if not trained & can be mouthy like a retriever since they were bred to be water fowl dogs.

  9. Portuguese water dog? :

    I know that the Obamas have one (maybe a gift from a Kennedy)? They seem like lovely dogs and (very importantly) medium-sized. [I met one over the weekend and know it comes from a local breeder who works with therapy dog programs.]

    I have a parent who *really* does not like dogs. I have a spouse who wants a giant one (like 100+ pounds). I’m thinking that something like a well-trained PWD might eventually be OK with not scaring off a grandparent (and old sleepy dog would probably be OK, but nothing aggressive or ill-trained; a larger dog would be intimidating, esp. if ill-behaved).

    My children would really like a dog and I would like for them to have one (we will get getting an after-school nanny soon and with people around the house more, this might be when we investigate the dog more). I obviously did not grow up with dogs but I like them (I never got them b/c I rented forever and was at BigLaw too much to be approved to adopt). I have pet-sat before for several months (deployments of friends) and enjoyed it.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you should set an example for your kids, and adopt a dog. Adopt an older, medium-size dog who is well behaved and mellow. Should please everyone! And will teach your kids a great lesson about adopting vs. shopping.

      • Anonymous :

        The adoption people burned their bridges with me. They wanted basically a SAHW, which as a single working woman, was not really going to happen. Their forms were crazy. I know a lot of people lie, but they were completely unrealistic.

        • Yep, where I live you cannot adopt a dog unless you are home all day.

        • Who are “the adoption people”? I have worked with several rescues and know for a fact that every state in the continental US has several rescues that operate within it, and none of the rescues I have worked with (one of which spans the entire East coast and the other that spans the entire middle of the country) requires a SAHP unless you are trying to adopt a puppy (and then only because they need to go outside every couple of hours). If you didn’t have good luck with one, try another one. My husband and I work 9 hours a day and have adopted two large breed dogs (from two different rescues) and fostered with 3 different rescues.

        • Wildkitten :

          Go to your municipal shelter, not a private rescue.

          • +1 where were you trying to adopt from? Go to a professionally run rescue organization, the municipal shelter, animal rescue league, humane society, places like that. I got my dog from one of these and there was a very basic and minimal screening process, they were ecstatic to be sending her home with a loving family, and I know lots of people who have had similar experiences.

            And do yourself a favor, do not get a working dog as your first dog! I adopted an almost adult dog who was house broken, knew basic commands, and was just generally less crazy than a puppy. She is very sweet and good natured, and not particularly smart (so she doesn’t make a lot of trouble) but she has some mild herding tendencies that can drive me really crazy. The only thing that makes her tired, ever, is running in full speed circles for an hour at a time. I cannot even imagine having an intelligent energetic puppy that is bred to work for 10 hours a day. Even a puppy from a good breeder is still a surprise – if you want to know what your dogs personality is going to be like you should adopt an adult from a good shelter where they are up front about the dogs temperaments.

      • +1 There are lots of adult dogs available for adoption who are low-fuss, low-key, and super duper mellow.

      • +2 most animal adoption agencies are very upfront about the temperament of their animals because they really want the adoption to be successful, so it’s an especially good option if you’re looking for an older, mellow dog.

    • Besides size and looks, is there something else that you really like about this particular breed? It’s a retriever which can mean that it’s going to be higher energy and possibly mouthy. Do you have the time and energy to put into training a dog? I’d probably play around with the dog breed selector quizzes online and see what they suggest.
      We’ve had good luck finding young adult dogs (purebreds) in rescue. The benefit is that they are past the puppy stage and you can skip a lot of the housebreaking and chewing issues. Plus, you have a little bit better sense of personality.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s that they seem to be allergy-friendly (also poodles). That is important.

        • You can also try a local breed rescue to get the breed you want and still make a difference rescuing a dog.

        • Same anon as below, lifelong PWD owner. Look below the non-shedding coat to the opinionated, mouthy, Velcro, intense, thinking, manipulative dog underneath.

        • Anonymous :

          There are lots of other breeds who fit this bill, including low energy dogs. Schnauzers, Scotties, Havanese, and lots of the poodle-mixes (e.g., schnoodles and golden doodles, although these dogs are not necessarily low energy).

          I really encourage you to look through another rescue. Don’t let one snobby rescue organization get you down. There are plenty of wonderful, realistic rescue groups who will have a dog that fits your wants and needs.

    • How involved is grandparent? Why is he/she getting a say in the members of YOUR household? You mention a nanny so it doesn’t sound like grandparent is the glue holding your life together. Why is grandparent a factor here?

      That said, I agree that two people without previous dog experience probably shouldn’t start with a large dog. Get a breed that will likely be 40 pounds or less and then make it a top priority for the entire family to go to dog training classes. For at least the first 6 months, if not an entire year. You ALL, children included, need to learn the techniques and get on the same page for language and routine and expectations.

      Dog training classes aren’t actually for the dogs, they’re for the humans. The problem with an ill-behaved dog is the human, not the dog. So if you’re going to get a dog, since this is your first one, make the commitment to do right by the dog and get thee to training.

      • Anonymous :

        Goodness. I don’t want my parent to be unwelcome in my house. It’s a big deal (to me, to my parent). It is pretty likely that that parent will be either living with us permanently in the next 5 years or in senior care in our neighborhood. And maybe it is cultural.

        My spouse has always had large dogs and my inlaws all have them.

        • Someone who is going to likely live with you is much different than just a grandparent who doesn’t like dogs. If someone just doesn’t like dogs, and that’s such a dealbreaker that they would feel unwelcome in your house if you have one, then maybe don’t get a dog. What is the fear that will suddenly be solved by a smaller dog? If they just think dogs are “aggressive” then you’re going to have problems no matter what. A small low-energy adult dog is probably your best bet, but that sounds like the opposite of what your spouse wants.

        • If this parent is going to live with you permanently don’t get a dog.

    • Anonymous :

      No specific advice on PWD as we’re a Labrador retriever family. But, while I usually suggest adopting from a shelter, if you have a relative who is dog afraid and at your home frequently – I would adopt a puppy. It’s really hard to dislike puppies. If water dogs are anything like the energy level of labs – it’s probably age 3-4 before they settle out of the puppy stage and Labs (unsure about water dogs) rarely live past 12. If you adopt at age 2 you get a high energy puppyish dog without the benefit of the cuteness at the beginning, I think it’s going to be really hard to get your dog afraid relatively to come around.

      • Anonymous :

        you can get a puppy from a shelter….

      • Anonymous :

        I hear you with the shelter / adopt. I would consider that but have had a bad experience trying to adopt when I was single and am open to adopting from friends (or rehoming a dog that has washed out of the hospice training program). Or getting from a breeder (I’d still draw the line at adopting from a mall store).

        Spouse and family are big believers in good breeders and I’ve come around to seeing their point on this. I’m willing to go along, but it would have to be for the right dog for us. It means a lot to me that our hospice dog program gets their PWDs from this local breeder.

        [I mean,when you adopt a kid, there are tons of fees. I get why adoption agencies and breeders both charge fees and ask a lot of questions.]

        • rescueforlife :

          So one bad experience with one shelter means every shelter dog is out of the question for you? THat’s a little extreme. Go pay $2K for a dog you have no idea what it’s temperament is like and is most likely inbred. Cause you know, that one bad experience has shut you down to ever adopting a rescue.

          Really, between that and your parent concerns, just don’t even get a dog. It’ll probably end up in a shelter.

          • This type of attitude is what turns people off to animal adoption.

          • I am squarely team Adopt Don’t Shop, but your attitude is awful and not helpful AT ALL.

        • LOL at not “adopting” from a mall store. In no way is that “adopting” – It is purchasing from a puppy mill.

          Getting a dog is a long term commitment. Some rescues have crazy requirements, but I find that most use them as shortcuts to weed out people who clearly have no idea what is required to help a new dog (even an adult) adjust to a new home. Do a little legwork.

          I’ve adopted two puppies from NYC rescues that had people complaining online about their high standards- they approved our application since we already had researched dog walkers and puppy camps and clearly had a feasible plan in place, despite our work schedules.

        • Another option is to ask show breeders to see if they have any adults to place. Reputable breeders have a clause in their sales contracts that all dogs must be returned to them if the buyer is no longer able to care for the dog. So they sometimes have adults to place, or know of adults needing placement. In addition, sometimes “retired” show dogs are available. That’s how I got my darling corgi – she was a retired show dog. Beautiful, lovely manners, and already trained!

      • I want to share another perspective on puppies. Everyone likes BABY puppies, but a puppy that is going to become a large dog typically outgrows its brain. Then you have a enormous dog that sometimes behaves like a puppy, at least while it’s still learning its manners. I like dogs, but, as a small person, I do get nervous around impulsive pups that are more than half my size.

    • I’m one of those that got a designer dog and would enthusiastically recommend it, especially if you haven’t trained a dog before. I have gotten a lot of flack for it, but honestly it was absolutely the best choice possible for me at the time. I got my goldendoodle puppy at 7.5 weeks and now he’s 1.5 and with flying colors going through therapy dog training. I worked with him extensively both in classes and at home. And it wasn’t easy – potty training, chewing phase, etc. It’s all a process. But from the beginning, he’s been good with all people and with other animals (even with a friend’s fennec fox). Plus, he doesn’t shed and has some hypoallergenic properties, which is important for my family. I wanted to know the parents so I would know their size, temperament, coat, etc. Plus, I called the vet of my breeder and double checked everything. So if you are going to get a purebred or designer dog, do your due diligence. So while I can’t speak to PWDs specifically, it sounds like maybe a goldendoodle might fit your requirements.

      • We have some golden doodles in our neighborhood. One is great. Another one is a jumper and quite large, so one of our children is very skittish around it (which really ramps the dog up). That dog has been through a lot of training, so we’re all hoping it will mellow out (and as our child grows taller, will hopefully not find this so scary) and mature a bit and will get past this with some more work from the owner (who is working on this).

      • +1 I have a goldendoodle who I bought as a puppy from a responsible breeder. Militant “adopt don’t shop” commentators aside, I needed a dog with a particular set of characteristics. She does not shed, she is very smart and was easy to train, and I needed a dog that I could train to be OK with being shuttled to friends/family (some of whom have other pets) when I traveled last minute for my Big Law job.

        My dog is now six, and is really a perfect fit for my lifestyle. She’s about 40 pounds but she looks like a bigger dog. She is perfectly happy to hang out at home or go for a run or go to the house of my friends who have very young children. I researched the breeder extensively and satisfied myself that they are ethical and responsible.

    • I’ve had two great danes around the 100 lb mark and they are the most docile, low energy dogs you’ll ever meet. Think about the personality and type of dog you want long and hard before you lock yourself into a particular breed. We adopted our danes at age 3 and 7, respectively. I seriously loved being able to skip the puppy years and the rescues we used were very open about the types of baggage that our adopted dogs were coming with (separation anxiety for one and fence jumping for the second.)

      • Where did you find adult danes to adopt? My husband is a huge fan, but the only places locally (in about a 500 mile radius) we’ve found have been breeders, and i’d rather adopt an adult dog than a puppy.

    • My uncle has one and that dog is not mellow. He is cute, but is high energy. I think he will eventually mellow out, but at age 3 he is still hyper.

    • I own a PWD. He’s 11 and has the energy level of a 7 year old lab. He would spend every waking moment with me if I allowed him to and would ‘work’ from sunup to sundown. At 9 years old we went on a 10 mile hike on a Sunday morning and he was not tired, did not sleep, and wanted to know what was next on the schedule. He is well-behaved because I spent hours training, socializing and taking him with me everywhere possible. This is not a breed for the faint of heart or those with limited time. They look like labs but are not labs with different coats. I’d be happy to email you if you post an email or have you meet my dog if we live in the same city. They’re wonderful, and I love my dog to pieces, but they’re working dogs, not sporting, and with this comes different challenges and personalities. I recommend meeting many different PWDs, especially young ones, before making a decision. Note that they do very poorly if not socialized (working dog, again) or trained.

      • I’d also add that PWDs end up very bonded to one person. We had one when I was a kid and he wouldn’t let me take him on a walk if my mom was home. He was not interested in being that separated from her because he was primarily bonded to her and my dad. He acted this was his whole life. My dog does the same thing and couldn’t care less about people who aren’t me, generally. If you want a dog that absolutely loves your kids, wants to sleep with them in their room, etc then you probably need a different breed. This is just one more element of working dog vs sporting dog. My dog will not retrieve any object for anyone else but will bring me literally anything i ask/tell him to, including a yard rake. My friends’ dogs don’t act this way, especially the golden and labs. If your kids want a dog that’s ‘theirs’ then I strongly recommend a different breed.

    • If your parents don’t like dogs then they’re not going to like a dog regardless of size or age. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you try to find some middle ground. You’re going to feel like you compromised and your parents are going to be unhappy anyway. That said, as others have mentioned, a huge dog like your spouse wants is not practical for most households. I’d want to know why spouse wanted such a big dog and whether s/he’d be happy with something smaller before I really got my heart set on another breed.

      • +1. Sounds like you have two extremes you’re trying to hit here, and a compromise isn’t going to make either one happy. Hate to say it, but maybe a dog just isn’t right for your family.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      PWD are super high energy dogs, and frankly are also known as not the easiest to train. I highly highly recommend not taking advice from a fashion forum and instead look at AKC’s website or other dog specific websites. They have a breed matcher, based on size, energy levels, etc that would get you much closer to a dog that fits your lifestyle. This being said, I would recommend getting an older dog from a shelter. You can meet the dog and find something the size you want with the energy level you are comfortable with. With puppies (mutt or purebred) you never really know what you are getting. My family adopted a lab mutt that we thought would be on the go 24/7. Well it turned out that he had hip dysplasia and really loved being on the couch more fetching or going to the dog park. It sounds like a non-working dog is probably a good fit for your family, so I would not go with a lab, PWD, etc.

    • I’ll add to the “look into an older dog” voices here – for all the reasons already mentioned. Especially for a first time dog owner, an older dog is a great option you should consider – even one that’s not “old” but is 4-5 and beyond puppy years.

      • +1. I adopted a beagle from our shelter about 4 years ago when she was 5 years old. It was the best decision ever.

        Husband and I both work full time, and while he’s a shift worker and has a variable schedule (so Ms. Olive is never home alone for too long — no more than 5 hour stretches on a bad day), the thought of house-training a younger dog was pretty intimidating with our schedules. I also knew what her basic temperament was when we adopted her. While she’s come out of her shell a little since then and gotten more beagle stubborn/bossy, her basic personality and tendencies haven’t changed. We did a training class with her to address basic obedience, but she was house-trained from the get-go, which was a godsend, really.

        I’m not militant re: adopt don’t shop (I do have a “designer” ragdoll cat, in addition to another shelter cat and the aforementioned shelter dog). But I do think that if you have the opportunity to get an older dog, that would be easier for lots of reasons.

        I know reputable breeders often adopt out their female animals (cats or dogs) after they’ve had a few litters. Could this be a good option, since you’re adverse to shelters/rescues?

    • Jumping on the look-into-an-older-dog bandwagon.

      I have no experience with PWD specifically; my dog is a shelter mutt. She’s _extremely_ high energy, and significantly less well-behaved if she’s not getting enough exercise. Most high energy dogs are this way I think: if they’re not getting enough exercise, they start to act out. I’ll also add that you can’t necessarily tell how high energy a dog will be by breed. My brother has a chocolate lab who is and always has been the. laziest. dog. ever. despite the breed’s reputation for being high-energy. If you look into adopting an adult dog, you’ll have a better idea of its energy level and personality from the start.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Consider rescuing a retired greyhound! Big but not too big.

      • Greyhounds! :

        YESSSS! We had one of these, and he was such a great dog. Very friendly to all people. So sweet. Lazy. We’ll definitely get another one.

        If you have a cat or any other small animals, you’ll have to make sure you adopt one that will get along with small animals. Ours did not, and he would definitely have harmed a cat or rabbit if he’d ever gotten ahold of one.

      • And the blonde ones look like dog-deer hybrids. SO cute!

      • Anonymous :

        This was going to be my suggestion as well. Retired greyhounds are extremely easy to care for and sound like they would be a good fit. They usually aren’t too pushy, so if the grandparent isn’t afraid of dogs, they won’t be forced to interact with the dog.

    • I just wanted to chime in with, you can find a low energy dog by getting a puppy, you just have to know what to look for (and don’t bring your kids along). I got mine at just under 4 months, read everything I could online about temperament testing of puppies, then went in and sought out the laziest one I could find. That’s the fit for my lifestyle, he’s basically a cat in a dog suit, and will happily sleep 20 hours a day, while still weighing in at 50 pounds and having a bark that scares even people who know him.

      The best thing you can do is research research research. That said, I think my future plan is to basically do doggy hospice and adopt the 14-16 year old shepherd mixes that end up at my local shelter. They are my soft spot.

    • shortperson :

      friends of ours have a PWD from a good breeder that turned out to have a lot of congenital problems. a few surgeries, weekly underwater-treadmill PT appts, etc. and it bit me once when i took away a napkin from it that apparently had some meat grease on it that he was enjoying. i actually do like this dog and he’s a lot of fun but is not for a novice or the faint of heart.

      • OfCounsel :

        Chiming in on PWD, they are wonderful dogs. However, they are high energy, are NOT good latchkey dogs and are not the easiest to train. A bored PWD will eat your yard (literally – mine ate chunks out of both the patio furniture and the sprinkler system, and she was just left alone for a few hours at a time). For a first dog, I would not recommend unless you can get an adult dog who is already well trained. There are easier family dogs that are good with kids, medium sized and (if from a good breeder) healthy. Bernese Mountain Dogs are wonderful, but may be too big for you and often don’t live long. Standard Poodles and poodle mixes are also good for new dog owners with kids. Be sure you go with a responsible breeder who does the appropriate testing!

  10. Is Yelp a decent way to find a workable CPA (for taxes) in a major city? Like if I just pick the top rated on there, am I pretty safe? Thanks!

    • I think it can be useful for certain things, like availability, responsiveness, demeanor, etc.

      I wouldn’t rely on it however for an assessment of the CPA’s skills, because the reason people use an expert is generally that it’s not something they feel confident in doing themselves–so they are not well-equipped to grade the job the CPA did getting everything right. Instead, most people tend to judge their CPA on how big the refund is in the short-term. It tends to favor preparers who push the envelope in terms of allowable deductions. It sounds great at the time you pick up your return, which is when Yelp reviews are probably written, but if you get audited it can costs 5x the amount “saved” in penalties, interest, and legal fees to clean it up. (As a former tax controversy attorney, I’ll say that the aggressive tax preparers were less likely to be CPAs because of the additional professional obligations of a CPA, so you are putting yourself in a much better position by going to a CPA, but there were certainly some aggressive CPAs who were playing with big $ amounts and seemed to promote themselves as much as they could).

      If you can, ask around and place more weight on recommendations from people who have used their preparer for at least 7 years.

    • I have my own practice and it never even occurred to me that people would look on Yelp (my whole practice is referral/word of mouth). So I checked Yelp in my midsize city. Of the 20 CPAs listed, only six have reviews. And of those, all the 4-5 star reviews are for practices I wouldn’t work with (fairly shady, at best “envelope pushers” like the other poster suggested). The last two, which are very reputable, and who I have personally worked with very successfully (and one who I actually worked for) have terrible reviews (based on things like unreasonable timing expectations and owing tax). So no, I would definitely not select a CPA based on Yelp!

    • Triangle Pose :

      I wouldn’t use Yelp. Go by word of moouth of trustworthy people who have used their CPA for years without problems and who have given your trusted friend good advice.

  11. Public speaking :

    I’m getting to a point in my career that involves more presenting and public speaking, and I’m looking for resources on how to improve. However, I’ve seen claims that men and women should use different strategies to be seen as a strong public speaker. I’d like to spend some time watching videos of women who are strong public speakers. Towards that, who are your favorite female speakers?

    Fwiw, public speaking doesn’t make me nervous. I think I’m actually a fairly confident speaker, so I don’t think toastmasters or improv is for me at this juncture. I think it’s more my style needs work.

    • Martha Stewart? Her range is impressive and I find her entertaining. She knows how to play to an audience, which is an important part of being a “good” speaker, IMO.

      Do you go to church? Some churches have amazing female speakers (not in a come-to-jesus way, but more like a dymanic social worker). Maybe this is a Whiskeypalian thing.

    • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is my favourite to watch. She has a Ted talk that is just great. (And I typically hate watching videos and prefer to read a transcript – but I find her very compelling.)

      • Public speaking :

        I am the same way – if a transcript is available, I always skip straight to that. I’ll take a look at her Ted Talk, thanks!

  12. I loved Adele’s green dress last night. And the little pin on it. It seemed vaguely Scottish.

    • Edna Mazur :

      She was my “best dressed” for the night. I thought she looked great. I only wish I didn’t look terribly in that lovely color…

    • One of the things I read said that her brooch was a lemon, meant to honor Beyonce’s Lemonade, which she clearly thought should have won.

  13. Thinning hair :

    I just realized that my hair is getting thinner. This isn’t a surprise; my mom has very thin hair. Is there anything I can do about it? What I’ve noticed is that a spot that’s always been thin seems to be getting bigger. I’m 28 and have fine hair that’s always been on the thin side.

    • Been there :

      I’ve had this issue for years and the Aveda Invati shampoo and conditioner has been life changing. For the first time in years my hair looks full and I can wear my hair down without any issues.

      I also recommend taking 10,000 mgc of Biotin daily. Either by itself or you can buy the Hair, Skin, Nails vitamins from GNC.

      You can also try Rogaine, which is supposed to work very well. But note that you need to stop well in advance if you’re trying to conceive.

    • Why not a one time visit with a dermatologist to get feedback?

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I’ve always had fine hair that started to thin in my 20’s. I recommend Viviscal and/or Rogaine.

  14. Who wants to help me plan a Hawaiian vacation? We will have five full days somewhere in Hawaii, sans (our three) kids. It’s our 10-year wedding anniversary. Kauai is off the table b/c I’ve been there before and the deal is that we’re going somewhere neither of us has been. Ideally we want a combination of Doing Stuff and Lying Around. Travel time is end of July/early August.

    Am I crazy to just want to spend that time on the big island? Reason: dying to see Volcanoes National Park. Open to other suggestions, too. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of information on the internet. Thanks!

    • I highly recommend the big island. DH and I spent 5 days there last year and loved it! Plan to spend half the time near Hilo for easy access to the volcanos and half the time on the Kona side of the island. You can go hiking, see waterfalls, and visit the volcano national park on the Hilo side, and enjoy water sports on the Kona side. Fair warning – the big island doesn’t have tons of beaches.

    • anon a mouse :

      You could absolutely spend 5 days on the Big Island. Stay on the West side of the island (Kona or thereabouts) because it’s much sunnier than the east. You could do one day in Hilo (the farmers market there is amazing). One day going up to Mauna Kea at sunset for stargazing. One-two days in Volcanoes NP (depending on how much you want to hike around). A friend recently did a helicopter tour to see the lava flowing into the water and it looked really neat. That leaves 1-2 days for small excursions or beach time. I love it there.

    • Do the Big Island!

      DH and I spent 4 days there after a week in Kauai with my family, and it was amazing. I’ve been keeping a list of what to do next time we go there:

      – Rent a house in Hilo and go to the farmer’s market for crazy tropical produce (1-2 days)
      – Stay at the lodge in Volcano Nat’l Park (2 days in park, 1 night at lodge)
      – Volcano stargazing tour
      – Travel south to the green sand beach
      – Stay in the Kailua-Kona area for 2 days for beach lounging

      • Manhattanite :

        +1000 on the volcano stargazing tour on the Big Island! Highlight of my trip to the Big Island 6 years ago.

    • Yes, there’s definitely enough to do on the Big Island for five days!

    • I went to Volcanoes National Park a few years ago! It was awesome and I’d totally recommend it. There are so many things to do and see on the Big Island. We might have tried to do too much in the time we were there, but everything was so neat to see.

      We spent the front end and back end of our trip in Kona with a couple days in the middle in Volcano.
      On the way to Volcano, we hiked to the green sand beach. We had about a day and a half to explore Volcano National Park, which worked for us; it just depends what you want to do.

      We spent one day at a beach on the Kohala Coast and I wish we had spent more time there. If/When I go back, this is the region I would stay in.

      Have fun!

    • Do yourself a favor and buy Hawaii The Big Island Revealed by Andrew Doughty. I’ve bought the Hawaii guidebooks for several of the islands (Maui, Oahu, the Big Island) on multiple occasions and they are just THE BEST. And I usually dislike guidebooks and prefer internet sources. I think there is an app now, too, that is included with the book purchase (or you can buy it on its own).

    • We just went to the big island in December,it was our second trip (we’d gone for our 10-year anniversary as well). I have not been to any other Hawaiian islands, but I am not sure I want to – because the big island is sooo fabulous!! We have such a good time just lazing at the beach, going out to dinner, etc. The pace there is so relaxed. And honestly, we don’t spend a ton of money once we’re there because we always rent a condo and cook from awesome local ingredients, and then go to the beach during the day. There’s lots of stuff you CAN do if you want, but there’s also a lot of relaxing to do.

      We stayed on the Kona side both times and I think it’s great in terms of access to good beaches, restaurants, etc. This last trip we did go to Volcanoes NP (although we missed the big eruption by just a few days) and then drove back to Kona via Hilo, which was a great way to see almost the whole island. The other highlight of the trip was snorkeling at Hookena Beach.

      I’m happy to answer any questions. I really can’t say enough about the Big Island, I love it there. One of my favorite places on earth. I don’t think you’d have any regrets whatsoever doing what you’re thinking.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      No. 5 days on the big island is perfect. Volcanoes NP is amazing.

    • Yep, agree with others, you could totally do Big Island for 5 days.

      I’d also toss Oahu into the mix, which I feel gets brushed aside because parts of it are more touristy. While that is true, it’s also got by FAR the best food (Hawaiian, Japanese, etc.), which comes from it being home to a wide array of ethnic populations and from it being more urban in general. If you have a car, you can easily venture away from Waikiki/crowds for beaches, snorkeling, and hikes. Lanikai Beach in the north east of the island is routinely rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (for good reason!). The north shore is famous for its surfing and has a bunch of laid back surfer towns. Hanauma Bay is great for snorkeling. Makapuu Lighthouse is a great hike on the eastern side of the island, and Kaena Point state park has some nice hiking on the western side. Visiting Pearl Harbor is also fascinating and the museum there is great.

    • If you do the Big Island, stay at the Mauna Kea! My favorite hotel in Hawaii.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I went to the Big Island with DH a couple of years ago and liked it a lot more than Maui. We spent 3 days hiking in Volcano National Park. We stayed at Volcano House, which is the hotel in the park that overlooks the crater. It’s pretty small and older, but was super convenient. We also spent 3 days at the Mauna Lani resort. There was great snorkeling right off the beach at the resort, and had these really cool fish ponds that children (and my DH) loved. We also took a tour up Mauna Kea for stargazing at sunset, which was incredible. Go Big Island!

  15. High End Hairdryer :

    I would like to get a really good quality hairdryer. My stylist recommends the Dyson. I can’t see paying $400. Is it really worth it? If not, what cheaper but still very good hairdryers do you recommend?

    • Delta Dawn :

      I just got a Babyliss and have liked it– I don’t have to run the straightener over my hair after drying, like I used to. I got the Nano Titanium Portofino, about $140. A friend of mine has the Babyliss one with the Ferrari motor in it, about $200, but I’ve borrowed hers and couldn’t tell a difference between it and the Portofino. Until now I’ve just used a Conair, and the Babyliss is definitely worth $140. I also cannot imagine paying $400 for a hair dryer, but a work friend has the Dyson and says it’s worth every penny.

      • FYI I got a Babyliss at TJ Maxx for $30. I don’t know the exact model.

        • I kind of wonder if that stuff is just branded as Babyliss or if it is actually the same as Babyliss you’d buy from Folica or another retailer. I’ve bought stuff from TJ Maxx/Marshalls where labels have worn off and there was another brand’s label underneath. Really turned me off from shopping at those stores.

      • I have a Babyliss and like it.

      • Marshmallow :

        I also have one and really like it. It’s one of the “tourmaline” models and I think I used a BBB 20% coupon on it.

    • The Sweethome has a review of hair dryers. They do extensive testing and explain their methodology and what they valued most and make alternate suggestions in case your priorities are different than theirs. I would recommend reading the review and going from there.

    • Right now Costco online has the T3 Lightweight dryer on sale for $70 (usually $200 at Sephora).

    • a millenial :

      i bought the dyson, i would not recommend it. i mean it’s nice – it cuts down on drying time by 5ish minutes for me and is very quiet. but is it worth $300 more than my old dryer? i don’t think so

    • I’ve got my eye on a BarBar after using a relative’s over the holidays. I don’t know which model I used (waiting on an answer from her). Anyone have one??

      • I have one. My office gym has one and I love it, and my five year old $20 Target hair dryer just couldn’t compare The one I got for a Christmas present is different somehow from the one in my gym – it’s too hot and too high volume and I usually have to use the hair straightener afterwards. I know my mom got a great deal on it, though, and it was absolutely worth the $60.

        Unfortunately I don’t know the specific details of the model I have versus the one at my gym.

    • I have the Drybar mini hairdryer and absolutely love it. It dries hair super fast and with minimal frizz. It also comes with a cute carrying bag. I also use their round brushes and sometimes add the self-grip rollers for extra volume. My hair has gotten thinner and finer over the years and the extra volume is definitely nice to have.

  16. I did not watch the Grammys or whatever award show was apparently on last night and I do not follow celebrity news. But I need to share my rage about the following comment, said by a man, that I overheard at the gym this morning: “I don’t know why Beyonce had to perform while pregnant. With TWINS. Her belly was sticking out. Not attractive.”

    So apparently pregnant women shouldn’t exist in public spaces because their pregnant sticking-out bellies are offensive to your delicate male sensitivities. A woman should just sit at home during her pregnancy, not, you know, continue to work and advance her career. I just can’t even. I’m so ashamed that I didn’t say something to that man in the moment, I was just distracted and caught off guard and ugh.

    • If you had seen the performance, you would think his comment was even MORE ridiculous– the entire thing was about being a mother, strong women giving birth, being everything like your mother and nothing like her at the same time, etc. The entire performance was based around her being pregnant. That guy is a moron. To Beyoncé’s credit, I spent the entire performance thinking about how awesome it is that she’s drawing attention to her pregnant body instead of hiding until she’s “thin” again. And she looked amazing.

    • But haven’t you heard? Beyonce’s only purpose is to be attractive to men (or this particular man). If she’s not fulfilling that, obviously she should go away.

    • It was an absolutely beautiful performance.

      People need to shut up, seriously. I read a comment this morning from one of my lovely relatives that it was blasphemy because she was imitating Mary. Um, no, she wasn’t. SMH

      And I’m kind of crushed that Lemonade did not win Album of the Year. I suppose Beyonce is too uppity for many people’s taste.

  17. wrap dress :

    Is a plain black wrap dress (one of the BR Gemma dresses) formal enough for a client meeting? If I have to ask, the answer is no, right?

    I love how women in my big law firm get away with wearing dresses instead of suits for client meetings, but my hips are too narrow (and b**bs to big) to be able to wear sheath dresses, so my dress options are limited for business wear.

    • If I were wearing a plain wrap dress and was called into an unplanned client meeting, I would go as is (rather than throw on my emergency suit, which I’m not thrilled with). But if I knew about the meeting in advance, I’d wear something with a blazer.

  18. I’ve never been good at figuring out how things are supposed to fit, and I’m very sensitive/excessively bothered by things not fitting in a way I like. That said, how much heel slippage in shoes is normal? Its one of the things that bothers me, but I’m starting to think that the amount of slippage I experience appears to be normal, and it’s just me who can’t tolerate it.

    So, how do shoes that fit well feel? Do they actually slip zero in the heel? Can you not feel that the shoes are there? Because that’s what I’m going for, but I think it might be unrealistic.

    • No, they shouldn’t slip. Most of the time you can always feel you have shoes on though!

      Just try getting some of the non-slip pads that go in the heels.

      And visit Nordstrom for some pointers on how to get the right shoe for your foot shape.

    • I think exactly, your second paragraph. I get that because I need a wide shoe in front but the heels are usually too wide. Pumps are the worst but I have better luck with boots or sandals. You end up scrunching your toes to keep them on and it’s bad for your feet, so you may need to be more choosy on fit.

      I think there was a thread on this last week. Maybe try ball of foot pads. I also have had some luck with wool – it’s like cottony fluffy stuff ballerinas use in the toes of their shoes, so you pack it in the toe and it scoots your heel back to the right position. I found it at CVS. Also heel grips – I’m liking the foot petals ones the best.

    • I have never been able to wear heels without them slipping! I just don’t know how to do it.

      • They just don’t fit you right – I have to buy shoes with some sort of trap (ankle, t-strap etc) or they won’t stay. I’m wide in the forefoot and narrow in the heel, so have this slipping issue all the time.

    • I like to buy up a half size and add a heel pad. They grab your foot enough to mean zero slipping, and prevent blisters.

      https://www.amazon.com/Foot-Petals-Heavenly-Heelz-Back/dp/B017TZNG7C

  19. Has anyone gotten Sculpsure/similar? Any advice on questions to ask or what to look for when shopping around for a doctor to do it?

  20. Birthday gift drama update :

    An update on last week’s birthday gift drama. For context: husband was informed that contribution for BILs birthday gift was due, asked the Hive whether we could brazen it out with less money due to budgetary constraints.

    Originally another relative was collecting the money but it transpires that BIL has already bought the television. We were asked to transfer the money directly to his checking account at our earliest convenience, essentially reimbursing him for the purchase he would have made anyways.

    We then received another request for a $100 contribution for my husband’s dad’s first wife’s second husband (closer relationship than that sentence would imply, but still…).

    These people are lovely and well-meaning but this gift giving practice is out of control.

    • Yeah, um, I don’t think other people should be policing your gift-giving. If your husband is close with this woman, it’s up to him to be thoughtful about a birthday gift for her, and his thoughtfulness may or may not cost $100. My favorite Christmas gift by far this year was from my sister and it was 100% because she put thought into it and gave me something she thought I would really enjoy, not because of how much it cost (for the record, it was about $45 I think).

    • Anonattorney :

      Just don’t contribute. There will be a period of confusion and irritation on their end, but then it will become the new norm. My husband’s siblings just stopped getting us presents. I think it’s a combination of not wanting to spend the money, and also sort of forgetting because we live far away. I was irritated the first Christmas, sort of annoyed by my birthday, and then a year or two later it was just “oh yeah, they don’t give us presents.” It also makes it easier during the holidays because although we still get them presents, they are much smaller “token” gifts that are more for the thought than for the price.

      Also, maybe this is the passive aggressive approach, but I do things like this and expect that the response I get in return will be rational and at least polite. If they respond in a rude way, just be firm, calm, and rational.

    • So…husband’s dad’s first wife’s second husband…$100…what?

      At first, I thought it was your husband’s ex-step mom’s new husband. I could see that, for instance, if the step-mom raised him, then remarried, and remains in his life. However, if its his dad’s first wife, that implies his mom is the 2nd wife. I don’t see why your husband would have a relationship with his dad’s ex-wife, unless he has a half-sibling that’s the child of his dad and the first wife?

      So if that’s the case, you’re being asked to contribute to a half-sibling’s step-dad’s birthday gift? No. Just no.

    • Remember, “no” is a complete sentence. So is something like “sorry, we can’t make that work right now.” No further explanation needed.

      Setting boundaries makes life so much easier in the long run. Generally, once people understand you can’t be bullied into something, they back down and stop asking. You and your DH can stop this now, or capitulate and have a really hard time stopping it later, when you’re out several thousand dollars you could have done something else with. Your choice. :-)

    • I stopped giving siblings gifts when they graduated from high school. If we happen to be in the same town around birthday time frame, I pick up the tab for dinner. Otherwise though, no gifts. A funny card if I thought ahead, but generally a phone call to wish them well.

    • I am more disturbed by the request to transfer money into your BIL’s account. that seems so…mercenary.

      But in theory, shouldn’t you guys get an equal ROI? If they’re this strict about collections? If not, then I would agree with 11:56 that it’s time for boundaries.

    • You don’t get to call people lovely and well-meaning when they extort money from you. You were not involved with the purchasing decision, and now they have given you a bill.

      I’d send a card that says Happy Birthday, skip the event and give them zero dollars.

    • lawsuited :

      Good grief, I would not transfer the money, and if anyone ever asked I would say “I assumed we weren’t getting X a gift seeing as he’d already purchased the TV he wanted himself?”

  21. anon for this :

    Since we’re already discussing dogs, I wanted to see if you ladies might have some input into our situation:

    We have a 1-year old corgi that we got as a puppy, who is perfect in almost every way. We absolutely adore her and couldn’t imagine life without her.

    However, she is extremely defensive/aggressive around kids (walking age to 10 years old). She wasn’t always like this. There was one day when she was around 4 mos that we spent a whole day around a bunch of rambunctious/loud kids and it scarred her.

    This effectively presents as an aggression toward most children we encounter. This is usually either on the sidewalk during walks, or with the couple of children that live in our building. It’s an intense snarling/barking/pulling at her leash when within 20ft of a kid. If we spot the kid before she does, we’re usually able to distract/pull her to the side/keep her more than 10ft away and she is fine. Since this started, she has never been off leash near a strange child, so we don’t know what she would do. She has had a few opportunities to spend time with particular children, and has no issue with them once she’s familiar.

    It’s been incredibly upsetting and stressful for me. My husband isn’t as worried as I am. We’re planning to have kids in the next 2 years, and neither of us are worried that she will show any aggression toward them since they will be familiar to her (although if she did, we would of course need to figure something out).

    We’ve tried training, but the approach there has been mostly “make sure she’s focusing on your during walks, not her surroundings”– that’s not enough.

    Has anyone experienced this? I feel completely helpless.

    • anon for this :

      Focusing on you* during walks, ugh.

    • Was the training with a behaviorist? If not so that, and get her/his honest opinion if the dog is suitable for house with kids. You could start by reaching out to a reputable no kill shelter and explain the situation and that you want to make it work and get a referral.

      We went this route and the behavior is Told us we could “make it work” if we really wanted do, but it would be a lifetime of separation and always a risk. We made a go of it for a while but ultimately rehomed our pet of 6 years (kid was 2 when we rehomed after it became unfair to kid and dog). Dog went to love with dog walker.

    • FWIW, my dog was pretty dog-reactive on the leash when I adopted her. It took me years of training to get her to calm down. I got her at 1.5 and she was probably 3 before I didn’t need to shove a treat in her face every time she saw another dog. This is not an overnight fix, unfortunately.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. Our pug mix is extremely aggressive towards other dogs. We do the same thing – treat in face, sit, look at me, eat the treat. Sometimes we go through an entire hot dog on our walks. It’s been like this for years and probably will continue.

    • Keep training. Is there a behaviorist that you can work with? It can get better, although maybe not perfect. I’ve got dog who is leash aggressive to other dogs. We’ve done group classes and individual work over the years. While she’s better on a leash, she’s not the dog to take to the farmers market, the pet store, or other places where she’s going to be approached by other dogs. We don’t really like kids coming up to her on a leash either. Off leash, she’s much better. We are still cautious with her around kids and we rarely have dogs come visit. She lives happily with our child and our other dog so I don’t feel like she is missing out on much. We just know her limits and take the appropriate steps to maintain them.

    • anon for this :

      Thanks for your responses so far. Her trainer was probably not a true behavioralist, so I think going that route will be the next step.

      Rehoming her would kill us, so though I acknowledge that sometimes it’s inevitable, we would do everything in our power to prevent that.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Hang in there. It is incredibly stressful and I know you’re worried every time you take her out. I really have to work sometimes to keep myself calm so as not to transfer that anxiety to my girl. Ask around for recommendations on a trainer. In my LCOL city, I paid about $100/hour for one.

      • Definitely keep up with the training. Our dog was dog-reactive on leash for a while after being attacked multiple times. It’s not just focusing the dog on you when the trigger is approaching, it’s trying to form positive associations–so focus on you and giving treats while the other dog (in our case) walked by. Good luck and I hope things work out.

      • I second a true behaviorist.

        Also, most likely you are in some way tensing up when you see the children and she is reading that nervous energy from you. When I was working with my rescue on his leash issues the biggest hurdle was training myself to not react in any way when I saw his triggers. Once he realized he did not have to protect me from the other people/dogs, he became much easier to work with.

        So much of dog training is training people, for real. The awesome news is, she is only a year, so you have way better odds of turning it around than if she was older. Find a good trainer who has worked with problems in dogs, and possibly look into finding a dog walker willing to take her out for you a few times a week. Sometimes having someone else walk them helps you narrow down if its a protective of you issue, or an actual aggression issue.

    • You just aren’t dating me with training yet.

    • I’m not trying to be negative, but it’s definitely not a sure thing that the dog will recognize your future kids as part of the family and react differently towards them. My dog is possibly the most docile creature alive. She’s never shown a single sign of aggression, but she’s anxious. When I had my daughter, my dog was perfectly fine around her…until she started walking. Her anxiety increased significantly once my daughter was mobile, and one night my dog bared her teeth and snapped at my daughter twice, coming very close to biting her. We tried prescription drugs, homeopathic remedies, and we hired a behaviorist. She came very close to snapping at my daughter a second time (bared her teeth – I quickly intervened, since I started watching them like a hawk after the first incident). She’s now living with my sister-in-law. It breaks my heart, but I couldn’t risk anything happening, and it wasn’t fair to have her completely separated from our family at all times. Since re-homing, her anxiety has gone back to its previous levels, and she’s visibly more relaxed.

      I realize anxiety is different than aggression, but these behavioral issues can be very tough to break in animals, even with professional help. And the dog unfortunately may not behave any better towards your own children. I hope it will! But best to have a plan in advance so you’re not scrambling.

      • Second this comment. See a behaviorist and train religiously. We did that with our dog and assumed he would grow to tolerate our kids. Same story: as soon as my oldest started walking, he walked around the side of the couch one day and surprised my dog, who was standing there and couldn’t see him. My dog snapped and bit my son in the face. Luckily it only required a few stitches, but do everything you can now so that you don’t have to deal with that nightmare. Trust me.

      • anon for this :

        Thanks for your anecdotes. I very much hope we don’t experience the same outcome, but it’s good to at least be mentally prepared in case we do :(

    • Anonymous :

      This is going to be a long process so it’s good you’re starting now. Basically you need to recondition your dog to associate children with good things and not danger. I second everyone who recommends hiring a behaviorist and not just a trainer. I also found books that talk about reading your dog’s body language to be really helpful. Specifically I liked the BAT 2.0 book for giving detailed, achievable advice and exercises. Good luck!

    • My puppy was terrified of children and my trainer (a behaviorist) did manage to get him re-trained so that he now sees kids and thinks, “TREATS FOR ME!” He LOVES kids now – to the degree that I have to restrain him when he sees a baby or toddler because he wants to run over, lick them, do his tricks for them (because TREATS!). So there can be hope, but you need a very good trainer and they will need to do a lot of intensive work (my trainer saw my dog 3x a week for several months, but he is now basically totally anxiety-free).

  22. It’s been many years since I’ve been to this site, although I was a regular lurker for many years. I would appreciate some thoughts on the following situation: a glamorous young, up and coming middle-manager new to the company with aspirations to senior management has decided that she has it out for one of her staff. The staff member is a long-term employee with a good work record and no history of performance problems or disciplinary problems. Manager is citing the staff member for poor performance in reviews. She is extremely rude and undermining to the staff member in private meetings (trust me). My question is as follows:

    Would senior management ever suspect that the problem is poor management skills (+ perhaps vendetta) on the part of the manager, or would they automatically assume that the long-term staff member had suddenly started performing poorly and has an attitude problem because the manager says so? Manager has a fantastic CV whereas staff member is sort of a dowdy, average worker who has no desire to be promoted and keeps their head down. There is a union contract in place so it is not an employment at will situation, although it is, obviously, a highly political environment. Manager is very sweet, well-mannered, and soft-spoken toward her other staff and colleagues but behaves with passive aggression toward the targeted staff member. It’s basically a form of bullying, but a type of bullying that is not easy to quantify. From research I have learned that bullies usually target one individual and isolate them from their peers, everyone except their victim thinks they are just lovely. Insights on the politics of this situation from the point of view of the Manager’s manager would be appreciated.

    Also, why do glamorous young women who have every opportunity in life and amazing corporate futures do this to nice, diligent, ordinary staff members who wish them no harm?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Marshmallow :

      “Also, why do glamorous young women who have every opportunity in life and amazing corporate futures do this to nice, diligent, ordinary staff members who wish them no harm?”

      Why do you feel the need to make stereotypical, gender-based generalizations? I sure hope you aren’t the “Manager’s manager” in this situation because I can’t imagine you’re looking at this from a neutral perspective.

      • Agree. The whole way you present this is…. bizarre to me.

      • OP I find two word choices in your post interesting: “glamorous” and “dowdy”. I’m not sure what either has to do with the substance of the situation you’re describing and the fact that you chose them is odd.

        Without more specifics, I don’t know that I have an opinion on the situation itself. What you’re describing could be bullying, or it could be that this manager and her employee don’t like each other (which happens and need not be a poor reflection on the manager), or it could be that the poor performance is real.

      • And what would you deem a “neutral perspective” to be Marshmallow? Someone who agrees with you? LOL.

        • No, someone who doesn’t use obviously gendered terms like “glamorous” and “dowdy.”

          • So people who see the ordinary world as one big Women’s Studies seminar are “neutral”? I don’t think so. We all have our biases and our prejudices, even when we claim not to. I wouldn’t automatically presume ill will or prejudice on your part because I don’t share your exact world view.

        • It’s a little weird to come here and ask for advice and then ridicule someone who tries to help, que no?

          I’m wondering whether this inquiry was made in good faith, or you came here looking to pick a fight with someone; a fight you can’t pick in real life.

        • It’s a little weird to come here and ask for advice and then ridicule someone who tries to help, que no?

          I’m wondering whether this inquiry was made in good faith, or you came here looking to pick a fight with someone; a fight you can’t pick in real life.

          • You are the one who attacked me Anon, when you went off half cocked and assumed ill will on ny part when trying to solve a genuine problem, instead of addressing the facts. I find you reactive, impulsive, and frankly, a little vindictive. My unsolicited advice? Lighten up.

          • Thanks for confirming you’re just here to pick a fight. Hope someone tells you what you’re looking to hear to confirm your own biases. Have a great day.

          • I just realized it was Marshmallow who attacked me, not you – sorry about that. But my point still stands: lighten up.

      • Marshmallow :

        Excuse me? Half cocked and vindictive? Others here have pointed out the problematic and, frankly, misogynistic way you presented this issue. Something about this seems very personal to you and you are either here to stir trouble, or so personally involved that you can’t step back and get any perspective. There was no need to make such a sweeping, gender-based conclusion nor to come back in attack mode spouting about “Women’s Studies” and “world views.” It’s pretty weird and confrontational.

        • I would question your motives, however, in referring to another woman as “weird” and “confrontational,” and who “can’t step back and get any perspective” simply because she made observations about the appeances and demanor of the parties involved (and I agree with Torin, these are probably not germane to the issue, and should have been left out – my bad).

          What’s next? Implying that I am “irrational” because I am likely either menopausal or TTC? In the old days (prior to feminism’s Third Wave), your behavior in this regard would have been referred to as “trashing.”

          • Okay, I think I’m getting that this is a troll attempt. Well played; usually people are more obvious a lot faster with their trolling.

          • Marshmallow :

            +1 Anon. I’m moving on.

          • I guess in your world, “troll” means “someone who disagrees with my definition of misogyny.” LOL.

    • FWIW, although the staff person in question does have a documented history of poor performance prior to my becoming their manager, the above description appears to be how our HR department views me. (Though I can’t imagine our HR folks would describe me as either glamorous or young, tbh.)

      It’s super frustrating, because this person is pretty seriously toxic for the team, but has been allowed to continue without having any consequences for so long that I’m not sure they’re able to change. (I have now invested nine months in weekly coaching with them, and have suggested all kinds of outside resources, but… no dice.) My manager is supportive (it helps that he was aware of the poor reviews from before I started), but since HR takes OP’s perspective, I haven’t gotten any traction on a resolution to the situation.

      Anyway, I guess I’d say that my gut reaction on reading this is that maybe OP is mistaken about what is going on.

      • Anonymous, tough situation – you sound like a good manager. Not sure what’s happening in HR, since the employee’s history, and your demonstrated efforts to manage properly and obvious good will, SHOULD be a red flag to them where the problem lies.

        By contrast, in the scenario I described there is no documented history of poor performance. If there were, it wouldn’t have raised any red flags with me.

      • I’m confused. Are you different from Autumn? Is Autumn the OP? And are you the Glamorous new manager?

        Autumn’s post suggests that she is an outsider commenting on the toxic bullying relationship between the glamorous new manager and the dowdy reliable employee, but your comment suggests that you are the Glamorous young manager and that the dowdy employee is actually a problem…

        • Hi X, thanks for your question, yes, the thread is confusing. Your assumptions are correct about my role here, but I’ve decided to look elsewhere for help.

    • Can’t answer your quesiton because I can’t get past the internalized misogyny. Work on that and then come back.

      • Your dismissive quip sounds like an attempt to tear another woman down, one who is trying to solve a problem involving two women with fairness. So who is the real misogynist here?

        • You’re the manager? You’re describing yourself as glamorous? Tone it down. Figure out how To work with this staff member. Since that is what they expect you to do.

        • nasty woman :

          Why are you attacking people here? The fact that this woman manager is “glamorous” is relevant to the issue how, exactly? Why did you feel the need to comment on her appearance? Answer these questions with reason and logic and people will not suggest that you are displaying internalized misogyny.

          We had a post like yours a few weeks/months ago, where someone presented a management issue and also described one of the women involved by referencing her appearance. Posters here addressed that issue like they are doing now. No one’s trying to tear you down. Being a woman doesn’t give you a get-out-of-jail-free card for misogyny.

          • Like I said above, this is known as “trashing.” Torin raised the issue in a fair way, but the rest of you are engaging in trashing. Thanks for reminding me of why I am now a proud EX-FEMINIST.

          • nasty woman :

            “Like I said above, this is known as “trashing.””

            The h*ll it is. It’s known as pointing out misogyny. Cope with it. I wrote out a comment addressing this but decided not to post it, and only did after I saw you get belligerent with other posters. Heck, all I did was ask you questions (which you didn’t even try to answer) and explain to you why you were getting the reactions you were getting.

            Re; your EX-FEMINIS[M]: How hypocritical that you wish to denounce the movement that allowed you the ability to work outside the home and spout your mouth off on internet fora, while continuing to stand on the backs of feminists who are willing to do the work necessary to ensure you continue to have the rights you enjoy in our society. Sounds like you’ve got it allllll figured out. #byefelicia.

          • Have you ever read the dictionary definition of misogyny? Apparently not. Because in my world, mentioning a detail about an employee’s appearance in an internet comment does not make me a “misogynist.” As regards feminism, I still support many of its goals, but no longer wish to associate with what is has become: a vehicle for demonizing anyone who disagrees with, or even raises a question about, any part of its increasingly oppressive and destructive platform, and, just as importantly, a way of asserting middle-class privilege over the poor and marginalized.

            I suppose it would also make me a misogynist to ask a question about why so many white-collar, middle-class women in high-paying jobs feel a need to treat the female secretaries, cleaners, and cafeteria workers around them like absolute $hit? The late Adrienne Rich asked the same question in one of her essays many years ago, but I am still waiting for an answer. I suppose I’ll be banned for this one, LOL.

          • nasty woman :

            “Have you ever read the dictionary definition of misogyny? Apparently not. Because in my world, mentioning a detail about an employee’s appearance in an internet comment does not make me a “misogynist.””

            You appear to be confused. What we are challenging you on is not *per se* the fact that you mentioned it, but rather the underlying reasons that you mentioned it. We are wondering whether the fact that you are noticing her appearance and chose to mention it indicates internalized gender bias. Internalized gender bias is one facet of systemic oppression of women. Your vehement denial and apparent confusion regarding internalized bias makes me think we’re right on the money.

            You still haven’t answered my question why her appearance is relevant or why you mentioned it.

            Again, the rest of us will continue to fight for your equality even if you continue to insist that feminists are mean harpies who are mean to you. On a related note, good lord, lady, who hurt you? It looks like you’ve got a bone to pick with someone, and you’re taking it out on us.

          • Again, the rest of us will continue to fight for your equality even if you continue to insist that feminists are mean harpies who are mean to you. On a related note, good lord, lady, who hurt you? It looks like you’ve got a bone to pick with someone, and you’re taking it out on us.

            In other words, “another woman disagrees with us? She must be mentally unstable.” – classic trashing at its most misogynistic finest. Goodbye, nasty woman.

    • I strongly suspect there are people who have nothing better to do than come on here with a made-up story to ruffle our feminist feathers. Move along, nothing to see here.

  23. Sloan Sabbith :

    This isn’t on the horizon, but I’m curious.

    I want to have kids, but I am almost certain I don’t want to be pregnant. At one point last year, I was on chemo-strength drugs and vomiting approximately 10-12 times a day. I was on the phone with my mom and said “I am ADOPTING, I NEVER want morning sickness!” My mom laughed it off, which was somewhat fair seeing as how I was not in a great state of mind to make large life decisions, but it’s still how I feel- not just morning sickness, but pregnancy generally. It would be a high-risk pregnancy, I have a genetic disease that I don’t want to pass to my child, and while it’s doable, it’s just not something I necessarily want to pursue. I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time.

    I’m obviously not going to make the decision because it might make my mom sad, and I’m nowhere near this stage in my life (24. Single. Very single. Can barely take care of myself some days), but for those of you who adopted or, for those of us who are older members of this community, if your child adopted or is planning to adopt, do you feel like you’re missing out on the pregnancy/grandma/birth experience? I would be looking to adopt a baby, domestically, and maybe an older kiddo at some point down the line.

    • I don’t have personal experience with adoption, but you cannot have a biological child just to please your mother. Doubly so because of your health condition, but even if you had every expectation you’d have a normal, low risk pregnancy, you should not be getting pregnant when you’d rather adopt because you think your mom would prefer bio grandkids.

      That said, your future partner may have strong feelings about this, and although you shouldn’t get pregnant just because your partner wants you to, his or her feelings should carry more weight than your mom’s. If it were up to me and me alone, I’d adopt, but having a bio kid is important to my husband so I plan to try to have at least one naturally and then if we want a second, we’ll assess bio vs. adoption based on how I felt about pregnancy and birth.

    • I’m 32 and newly divorced. I’ve always wanted to adopt, and my ex husband was somewhat against it. He said we could adopt after having a biological baby. I served as a Guardian ad Litem and saw just how many good kids need homes, and my mom is currently a foster mother. I also have PCOS and experienced a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy, both of which have turned me off to the idea of being pregnant. Honestly, the concept of being pregnant both petrifies and grosses me out, especially after the ectopic experience. I didn’t lose a tube, so I could have a pregnancy although it would be monitored with my history.. I wonder if that’s what you experienced when you mention chemo-strength drugs. I had two rounds of methotrexate injections, which left me sick as a dog with bruises all over my body.

      Anyway, even as a single person I still plan to adopt in the future, either if and when I get married again, or as a single mom. I want to be a mom, but the experience of being pregnant worries me and I’d be honored by the opportunity to care for a child who needs a home.

    • Very interested to hear answers to this question. I’m in the same boat.

    • Wildkitten :

      I feel the same way and am also pretty far off from having kids. I read the book “Child Catchers” by Katherine Joyce about adoption and found it really interesting. She writes about the problematic aspects of adoption, which are good to know about and be aware of if you choose to go down that path.

      • Oh my god, I read that book and it was incredibly, incredibly difficult emotionally to process. I’ve been tempted to buy a million copies just so I can hand them to every. single. person. who says “just adopt!” anywhere in my vicinity ever again.

    • lawsuited :

      I’m 8 months pregnant with my first child. I was never looking forward to pregnancy and had always joked that I would have children when medical science figured out another way of doing it. For the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy I threw up 5-8 times per day. I became very apathetic towards eating/drinking because I just threw up whatever I ingested, and work was so, so difficult (I had to leave courtrooms to run for a bathroom, and take an extra change of clothes when I travelled out of town for work because driving made me so sick I twice threw up on myself before I had time to pull over). I should have been miserable, but surprisingly enough I wasn’t because psychologically throwing up because I was pregnant with my little baby felt really different from throwing up because I was sick.

      I’ve also had a high risk pregnancy, and found the extra monitoring and appointments so irritating at the time, but now that I’m near the end my view of my pregnancy in hindsight is that it wasn’t so bad and that I liked seeing/hearing/learning about my baby more often.

      I’m not saying this to convince you to have a biological baby – it’s a real strain on a woman’s body and every woman is absolutely free not to choose it for her body – but because I was so surprised by my own reaction.

    • Honestly, I hate when people say things like this. Adoption is hard. Adoption is heartbreaking. With private adoption you’re constantly being rejected by birth mothers solely based on your photo book. Adopting from foster care takes years during which that little kid that has been living you may get snatched away at any second. You may skip morning sickness but I wake up everyday wondering if we will still be parents tonight.

    • AnonForThis :

      My husband and I have adopted four children. One infant from Asia, one infant domestically, and two older children domestically. My two older kiddos are twins and were 8 when I adopted them. Adopted in that order. So I have experienced all of the permutations.

      For us, adopting was a no brainer. Our main motivation to adopt instead of have our own was that schizophrenia runs rampant in my husband’s family. A few genetic diseases also run in my family. We were also pretty old anyways when we finally met. I am a total bleeding heart, so the idea of providing children with a home was also a motivation. But I need to emphasize that this is a decision my husband and I reached together.

      And like someone said, adoption is really hard. Our first infant adoption went better than the second. I am no problems BFing and we all felt an instant bond. Our second didn’t go as smoothly, I think because my son was 5 weeks old when we got him. I couldn’t get him to BF and he just cried all the time. Adopting older kids is an entirely different ballgame. We are three years in, and I still feel like they view me more of a mentor to them than a mother. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

      You should also think about whether you would be open to adopting children outside your race. I know a lot of people say “yeah of course,” but really think about it. Having a multi-ethnic family is not for everyone. My husband, kids, and I have a lot of ethnicities covered between us. There are additional challenges, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

  24. Would you let a random person shovel your driveway/sidewalk? Every time it snows, I see tons of Facebook posts offering shoveling. My landlord (friend) who lives downstairs is intrigued, but I told him its way too much liability. What if the random high schooler or guy down the block slips and falls? He/she could sue. My landlord says I’m paranoid, but he hasn’t paid anyone yet. I’m sure there are licensed people, perhaps those that own plow companies, although we don’t need a plow, just someone to shovel our small driveway and sidewalk.

    • Yeah I think you’re being paranoid. I’m not a lawyer, but it’s been normal for bands of middle/high school kids (or dads) to be out roving the streets looking to pick up a few bucks in every neighborhood I’ve lived in.

    • Yes, I always say yes to the high schoolers walking around / posting to shovel. Very normal thing.

    • Of course!!

      How we WISH the high schools got off their butts in our area and offered this. None of them work. Such a different upbringing than mine and I live in the same area where I grew up……

    • Isn’t this why people have home owner’s insurance? It is essentially the same risk of someone slipping and falling on your property even if they are not providing you a service ((kids playing in your driveway, someone coming to knock on your door, people walking on your sidewalk, etc.).

    • Yes, this is super common in the suburbs as a way for kids to make some pocket money. Also, everyone on my block in the city takes turns doing this for each other.

  25. I’m starting a new job that’s more formal than my last one, and I need some blazers stat! I did a quick swing through my usual stores this weekend – Loft, TJ Maxx, J.Crew – and didn’t really see anything. Any links to interesting blazers at an affordable price point?

    (In related news, what in the world is going on at Ann Taylor? Seriously, who are they designing for?)

  26. Women vs. Women :

    How do you deal with women that tear down other women, even if inadvertently? I went to a women’s happy hour and was excited to share my new job prospect (helping a startup company with their legal issues. I’m an attorney.) after having trouble finding work in the legal profession for a number of months. I left the happy hour in tears, possibly an overreaction, but I also cannot control how I feel things. I understand the women were well intentioned (they were concerned that I was acting as in-house counsel, but really practicing as a solo since I’m not an employee & also that I didn’t have the competency to do the job). I felt that instead of advice and mentoring (what I assumed would come from a women’s happy hour) I was basically being told how I was doing things wrong. Those in the trenches of unemployment don’t need to be reminded how we aren’t doing things “right”.

    I wish I could tell the woman leading the group that I really respect her opinion and was hoping for more guidance than just criticism. I would have completely taken her up on an offer to discuss the position further and how I might “fix” my situation, but another part of me thinks that she’s just not the right person for me to be talking to despite her intentions. Thoughts?

    • So I am a very sensitive person to personal criticism (not professional, weirdly), but I don’t think they were tearing you down, but rather giving advice (maybe as gently as they could have) to help steer you in the right direction. Hold you head up and realize that these women may have been saving you from a mess, and ask one of them that you felt comfortable with and trust to meet for coffee. Going solo is a lot of work and full of a lot of pitfalls.

      Want to add that you are the *only* person that can control how you feel things; no one else can.

      • Women vs. Women :

        Thanks, I appreciate the encouragement. I’m definitely the opposite: I’m more sensitive to professional criticism than personal. However, I know I won’t get further in my career if I don’t learn to handle these situations (internally) better. I completely agree that I need to change my perspective, which is why I turned to the hive so I could move past my feelings and act on the bigger picture.

        I just got back from a fantastic coffee meeting with another attorney and have a better idea of how to tackle my situation.

    • Honestly, this sounds like a very valid concern that you should be glad they raised – even if you perceived it as other women tearing you down. Mentoring doesn’t always mean cheerleader; it’s part that, but also part helping you sort through issues and issue spotting based on more experience. Perhaps you could reframe it as they’re trying to help you?

      • Women vs. Women :

        Compeltely agree. I do think that they were trying to help me, it’s the reframing internally that I was struggling with. I really liked your point: “Mentoring doesn’t always mean cheerleader; it’s part that, but also part helping you sort through issues and issue spotting based on more experience.”

        I think removing myself from the situation a bit and getting the perspective of another attorney, who also suggested the LLC route (but for additional reasons), helped me process the whole situation better. I guess my point was more the delivery & unexpectedness, but as someone pointed out below–the happy hour probably wasn’t the place to have the conversation (my fault since I brought up the issue).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      This is a real concern if you do not have malpractice insurance. I think the answer is not to see other women as tearing you down but as offering constructive criticism / advice. Have you examined how you usually take criticism? I for one get defensive and I suspect that is what you did here. Would you have felt as negatively if it was a man saying the same thing or do you expect more brunt honesty from men?

      • anon in SV :

        I had the same thought and would have said the same thing. This scenario has some serious red flags and lawyers are nothing if not instinctive and trained issue spotters. I can also tell you as someone who practices in the valley and deals regularly with start ups – there are a ton of hidden bombs in start-up land that you may not be aware of, particularly regarding employee comp and financial structuring. And typically you’re dealing with a very enthusiastic, very smart person (man) who has a vision for the company and really, really doesn’t want to hear “no, you can’t do that” because he wants to move fast and break things and disrupt the market, so it takes an attorney with a lot of experience, a very firm grip on the law, and a strong backbone to say “No. You cannot do that. You can do this other thing instead, but what you want to do is not legal.” And if the start up has funding, and this thing goes sideways partly on your watch, the investors, who have deep pockets, are going to sue him and maybe you too. This is not something you can safely dabble in and certainly not without malpractice insurance.

      • Women vs. Women :

        Interesting question, Blonde Lawyer. Not sure, but my expectations probably would not have been the same. I definitely need to improve how I take professional criticism, it’s something I’m actively working on. Since you also find yourself getting defensive, do you have any suggestions on how you get yourself out of your own head?

        anon in SV, I don’t disagree with you. I do believe the women were well intentioned and had good advice, I think it was the unexpectedness and delivery that made me defensive. I had coffee with an another attorney today who also suggested getting an LLC, but who was much more positive and constructive.

        Thanks to you both!

    • You’re being too sensitive. They weren’t being mean, they were giving you good advice.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Try to reframe the way you are looking at this. They were trying to help and seeing something you’re not seeing. I don’t think a women’s happy hour was the place to look for excitement about this development in your life – parents, family members or friends who aren’t in law can be your cheerleaders. If you bring this type of situation to a women’s networking group, it’s natural and helpful that they would try to help you.

      • Women vs. Women :

        I don’t agree that a women’s happy hour isn’t a place to share & look for excitement about professional developments in your life (this was a professional happy hour). However, I do agree that this event was probably not an appropriate place to have this particular conversation or to expect a more constructive one once it got started.

        Looking back, I think it was the unexpectedness and delivery of their thoughts that made me defensive.

  27. Tips on how to deal with senior citizen cyberbullies? That’s a phrase I never expected to write.

    I live in a small city of about 100K. I work at a local nonprofit and am involved with civic activities, both as a result of my job and my personal interest. There’s a sizeable contingent of seniors, about 10 women 60+ who don’t work and spend all their time going to meetings and events, only to then go online and criticize, with really nasty comments. I’ve never before dealt with senior cyber bullies, and it bothers me. I’m really disturbed and honestly hurt to see grandmothers insulting me and others.

    For instance, I recently had to attend a public hearing as part of my job. Sure enough, the seniors instantly took to Facebook to criticize me on everything from my appearance, to saying I’m stupid, shout shut my fat mouth, full of myself, etc. I was attending a public hearing to advocate for low income community members (which I imagine may include some of these women or their family members).

    These women have never spoken to me, so maybe I’m being oversensitive, but senior cyberbullies have really thrown me for a loop, and I’m not sure why.

    • Gosh, that’s extreme! Horrible, horrible people. You aren’t going to change their lack of manners but can you filter out the negative comments? Screenshot them and publicly shame them?

      I run community events as well and there are some doozies, so commiseration. There is a older woman who refused to tell me her first name, introducing herself as ‘Mrs SoandSo’. Which is fine but she never registered for the event and our policy is that we record names for all attendees. Another woman berated me for the fact we served pastries with morning coffee given the extent of the obesity epidemic. Please note: I was not sitting on attendees and shoving eclairs in their mouths, they were sitting on the table and people could choose to eat them.. We had to take another women off our mailing list because she’d show up smelling of booze and berate the staff and speakers.

    • My 70 year old mother ran for city council in her town of 15,000 people. The senior cyber bullies are REAL and vicious. My advice to her and to you: disengage. People have always gossiped about others, but the internet lets them say things they’d never say to someone’s face, so just don’t read it. Simply get off social media. (I assume these women aren’t interfering with your personal Facebook, just your work page.) If managing the nonprofit’s social media account is part of your job description, try to pass it off to an intern or someone else, saying it’s difficult for you to face personal attacks (understandably so!). We all choose what media we consume – we can choose not to consume negative things.

      In the meantime, just be glad you aren’t an elected official where those senior bullies attack you in local newspaper editorials. I’ve never seen anything like the cruelty of these old women.

    • Ugh. We have the same thing in my town, except it’s men and women. They seem to have nothing to do all day except be miserable and make other people’s lives miserable. I would hate to be living their lives, which seem bleak and desolate.

      I think the advice to disengage and not even read the comments is good. Block them on Facebook if you have to (you already know they don’t have anything substantive to say; there’s no harm in blocking them). Tell friends and family you have no interest in hearing secondhand what’s being said. Remember, they want to get a reaction and get under your skin. If you give them that, you’ve won. The ultimate win in these situations isn’t getting them to apologize; it’s getting them to realize you don’t care what they have to say. When you don’t react or even indicate you’re paying attention to them, they may pick a different target and move on.

      And this is hard, but in dealing with these people I try to remember that their lives must be very unhappy and empty, if they feel they need to act like this to get attention. It’s very sad, and they deserve pity. Let’s all hope we don’t end up in their situation, mad at the world and taking it out on random strangers. What a vacant waste of our one precious life. Big hugs, I know this isn’t easy.

    • I have encountered this–both men and women, and in a larger city. I just applied the same rule as I did to bullies in school: ignore, ignore, ignore. And never read the comments (if you have a letter to the editor published, are quoted in a news story, etc.). It’s awful and it still bothers me, but I know ignoring them is the best thing to do.

  28. Anyone else have a spouse that doesn’t give any significance to dates like birthdays and anniversaries? I’m happy to be the ‘planner’ for these occasions, as I am for all our vacations, etc., but my husband has an annoying habit of wanting to do things – like visits to his family or work-related trips that could easily be scheduled at a different time – that take him out of town on these dates and then doesn’t understand why I’m upset. Obviously a mandatory work trip is different, and I would be understanding about the rare trip that was for a special family event. But he several times now he has told me he’s going to schedule a routine, easily-moved trip on one of these dates, and then acts like I’m being unreasonable when I ask him to change it. I don’t think it’s abnormal to want to see your husband on your anniversary and I don’t have close friends or family members locally, so if DH is out of town I wouldn’t even have anyone to have dinner with on my birthday. His response is always just “it’s just a date, it has no significance” but I’ve told him over and over again that it has significance TO ME. He acts as if I’m being a huge princess about it and expecting him to shower me with gifts and throw a ticker-tape parade, when literally all I want is his presence for one day – we can eat at Applebee’s, I seriously don’t care! I just don’t want to be ditched while he goes out of town. We had a fight about another one of these trips this morning, ugh…

    • Edna Mazur :

      Sounds like the bigger problem is not that he has a lower priority for these dates than you do, but that he doesn’t accommodate or compromise on your desire to make a bigger deal out of these dates.

      I’m your husband, I need a calendar reminder to remember Valentine’s day. I will never, ever remember a half birthday, and couldn’t care less if we celebrated an anniversary or birthday on a date that is not the actual day. My husband is you. He cares that these days are acknowledged on the day. I acknowledge that and have calendar reminders for anniversaries, half birthdays (god help me), Valentine’s day, etc. and try not to schedule myself on those days and do something special for him. In return, he cuts me some slack about forgetting or not making as big of a deal of an event as he is used to.

      • I am your husband as well, I don’t care about birthdays, anniversaries, any of that. I have never ever remembered a date that I started dating someone for anniversary purposes and honestly, will likely forget my wedding date, knowing me.

        That said, like the poster above, I would do my best to at least TRY to remember a date that is important to my spouse/SO. I can’t promise I will be good about it, but I will at least acknowledge that it’s important to the other person and do my best. That is the difference between us and your husband. He’s telling you that the dates aren’t important and neither is your caring about them (which is the problematic part).

        I agree with the 5 Love Languages suggestion to start.

    • OUCH.

      I’m not a big birthday person. At all. But even I would be a little annoyed if my partner would schedule non-critical trips on birthdays/anniversaries. And if our tradition was to go away, and those dates actually meant a lot to me, then yes…. I would be hurt.

      A lot of guys are bad planners, bad gift givers and sometimes that winds up being the price of admission. But this is a little worse…

    • Seems like a good opportunity for you both to read the Five Love Languages.

    • Sounds like your husband is a jerk.

    • My husband gives little significance to these dates and, if anything, dislikes birthdays. That’s not the way I see it and I notate the day and block out time in the family calendar accordingly. If DH tries to make plans that don’t involve us celebrating together, I just veto it and suggest the prior or following weekend. “No, that’s our anniversary weekend and I want to do something together. Can you visit your family the next weekend?” is my standard script.

    • I do, but I don’t care either way. Nothing for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, and I threw my own birthday party this year (including making my own cake). I went out of town for his birthday two years ago, taking our daughter. I was hurt the first two years, then decided that I was being a princess, and since then have planned my own birthday or anniversary events if I feel up for it. (V day and M day are just sort of dumb IMO)

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m late but can’t resist weighing in here:

      He’s totally being a jerk. But… this, I think, is a situation where you need to invoke “there is no Number Three.”

      What is that? Well, in my view there are two kinds of undesirable characteristics in a mate (with apologies to Dan Savage): 1. Dealbreakers. You get to decide what yours are, and they should be few. One of mine is “practices the silent treatment.” And 2. Things that are the price of admission to the relationship. For example, my former husband couldn’t put a dish in the dishwasher to save his life. He’d put it on the counter, a scant four inches above the dishwasher, but he just would not open the dishwasher and put the dish inside. Bugged the heck out of me, but it was the price of admission to being in a relationship with him.

      It’s tempting to think that there’s a third category: 3. Things that drive you nuts and would otherwise be dealbreakers, but that you can get your partner to change if you just adequately, frequently, and passionately explain why he or she really really REALLY needs to change.

      Repeat after me: There is no Number Three. If it drives you that crazy, it’s a dealbreaker. And if it’s not a dealbreaker, then at some point after you’ve fought about it a million times, you need to accept that it’s the price of admission. (See also Dr. John Gottman, whose research shows that most problems in marriage are not solvable, but perpetual because they arise out of fundamental differences in personalities or needs or what have you.)

      The only one in this scenario whose behavior you can change, sadly, is your own.

  29. Wildkitten :

    Who is the derm y’all like for botox in DC?

  30. Any recommendations for reading on cognitive behavioral therapy? Any light science or layperson books you can recommend?

  31. vday girlfriend :

    LDR boyfriend strongly hinting that something may be sent to my office tomorrow. I’m assuming (hoping) it will be subtle, tasteful and/or edible. I know this is workplace-dependent, but is receiving flowers/gifts at your office normal? I have never seen anyone get anything at the office on Valentine’s Day in the time that I’ve been working here, and I’m (probably irrationally) worried that it would look weird/bad as a younger woman.

    • It’s not super common at my office, but assuming he sends flowers or chocolates or something like that, I can’t imagine anyone would be concerned. I’d only be worried if you think he’s planning to send a gift that would be rated PG-13 or higher.

    • Don’t worry about it. People don’t get flowers in my office that often but it’s really not weird regardless.

    • It’s not weird.

    • It’s very common in my office for v-day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. My Mom once sent me a cake from a well known local cake shop. Not a single person was sad to have a surprise chocolate cake break in the afternoon.

    • It’s only weird if you work with weirdos. As in, when my sister would send me birthday flowers, or I got flowers as a thank-you for some work thing I’d done, and my one juvenile colleague would bring them from the mailroom with all sorts of noisy speculation about recent dates I’d had. You may not be surprised to learn that he’s unhappily divorced.

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