Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Stretch Wool-Twill Little Black Dress

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

Red Fleece is a great line is to check out if you’re looking for preppy clothes that are more affordable than the rest of Brooks Brothers’ offerings and have a slightly more youthful edge than you might normally think of the brand as providing. I like the sleeves here, the seaming details, and the belt that defines the waist. And — huzzah! — it does not have an exposed back zipper (and the seaming on the back is really great). It’s $148 at Brooks Brothers — and the Red Fleece shoes it’s styled with are $178. Stretch Wool-Twill Little Black Dress

Right now, Brooks Brothers is offering up to 50% off select fall and winter styles as well as an additional 15% off clearance.

Here’s a plus-size option at Nordstrom.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Any recommendations for dermatologists in DC or NOVA?

  2. My husband has a week off between jobs and so far has met with decorators, done some overdue DIY, made a menu plan for the week, and done the shopping (interlaced with computer gaming). Later in the week, he’s going to meet me for lunch at the office. This is why people have stay at home partners, isn’t it?

    • Looking at the long list of people I need to call and appointments I need to make, and I wish dearly for a househusband.

      It always cracked me up when my former boss (who is a lesbian married to another woman who works full-time) joked that she really needed a wife at home.

      • Yeah, I had a conservative slightly sexist coworker with a SAHM wife and he would get SO uncomfortable anytime any of us working women/moms suggested we needed a wife. Which we did frequently to amuse ourselves. Ah. Memories…

    • Heaven!

    • Yeah, but it gets expensive after a while! My husband was a SAHD for a few years and he developed all kinds of pricey hobbies.

  3. pugsnbourbon :

    This dress is lovely and I even like the shoes!

    • I also love this dress. When I was in my 20’s, I used to have the body that literaly was MADE for dresses like this, but over the years, my tuchus grew in a way that makes it a touchy subject. I MUST now try on any dress like this to make sure my body fits it.

  4. Apt issues :

    Anyone have experience requesting a rent reduction from a mgmt company? We’re renting a condo from the owner through a mgmt company and upon move-in had significant issues. The heat wasn’t working, mailbox was broken, some outlets didn’t work, etc. So we had to spend significant time sorting these issues out and taking time away from work to wait for repair people, etc. Any advice on how to make a request for reduced rent next month as a result of the inconvenience of the apt not being move-in ready would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Eh….. That’s apartment living, particularly renting condos from absent owners. It sounds like they fixed things quickly. How long was the heat broken, and what do you mean by wasn’t working? They other things are not a big deal.

      • Apt issues :

        It was freezing cold in our apartment for about 4 days. This coincided with a very cold snap in our city. The apartment was vacant for at least 2 months before we moved in, so I feel like these things should have been taken care of then.

        • More specifics….

          I rent a condo in pretty cold Chicago and last winter…. all winter…. The heat was poor. Always in 60’s sometimes mid 60’s and my kitchen went as low as the 50’s some days.

          It took months for some addition of some insulation, with only mild improvement. Old, leaky building. They bought me a space heater and decreased my rent for the extra electricity use for the space heater. No decreased rent.

          What do you think you deserve? You can always ask….

          • FYI, these temps are in violation of Chicago city ordinances.

    • Laws vary from state to state, but some things are considered necessary, so you can withhold rent if they are not completed. In Florida (not usually a generous state when it comes to such matters), the owners has three days to fix AC. Is there a tenants council you can contact?

    • If it’s a big condo place, they’ll argue that you didn’t need to take time off – their maintenance could have let the repair people in.

    • Just email them with a general request for some money off your next month’s rent in consideration of the significant issues you experienced with the apartment not being move-in ready. Let them give you a number and then you can negotiate. I’ve done this twice before with success each time. The management company wants you to be happy… This is definitely one of those times where there is no downside to asking. If they say no, then I would point out that the lack of heat was a code violation, etc. and see if that changes their mind. I’d be surprised though if they don’t offer you a couple hundred bucks off the next month’s rent.

  5. Can anyone recommend a mattress recycling service in DC? I have a queen-sized mattress to get rid of. It’s not nice enough to donate, but I know that there are services that will pick mattresses up and recycle the material inside them.

  6. Pumping room -- what works and what doesn't :

    Y’all: I posted on this over at the mom’s thread. Pls chime in over there if you have any thoughts / gripes / etc.

    • FrankieCat :

      Our F500 firm recently redid out and the moms were more than unhappy.

      A few requested items that came out of the email discussion:
      – wall clock, sink, soap, drying rack, microwave and large enough fridge to accommodate all the pumping mothers
      – a way to schedule in Outlook the various 30 minute appts, make them recurring and to check for any last minute cancellations, someone to manage this
      – large enough table to spread out all the pumping related stuff, comfy chairs, electrical outlets
      – regular cleaning staff to tend to the room
      – subdued lighting (opposed to neon bright lights)

      We made the mistake of going ultra minimalist and had small chairs and tiny coffee tables with bright lighting.

  7. Reiss Report :

    Wanted to report on a few things I picked up from my fave UK brand Reiss. Got an olive green midi skirt for €40 (woot!), a 100% silk blouse that has some olive green in it for …more (E120?). Sending back a strangely stiff blue mock turtleneck though. Links to follow.

    • Reiss Report :

      The skirt – like all Reiss clothes, they are cut for pre-baby waists, i.e. the waist is tighter and the rest looser than it looks on the model. Still cute, though. https://www.reiss.com/eu/p/boxpleat-midi-skirt-womens-bevan-in-olive/?category_id=1127

      In luuuv with the shirt, which reads greener than in the picture: https://www.reiss.com/eu/p/printed-silk-blouse-womens-petra-in-multi-blue/?category_id=1122

      And the return, because it felt super stiff and the collar sat strangely: https://www.reiss.com/eu/p/high-neck-knitted-top-womens-lulia-in-sapphire/

      Still. All in all pretty good.

    • givemyregards :

      I loooove Reiss! I was in London two weeks ago and picked up a gorgeous wool coat for £190 – it was practically worth the cost of the flight.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I struck out at Reiss when I was in London over New Year’s, but I stumbled into Hobbs across the street and hit the jackpot! Highly recommend for short-waisted petite ladies with bosoms!

      • Anonymous :

        PSA for those in NYC – some Hobbs stuff end up at C21 (not a huge selection, but it was exciting to find there).

  8. Anon for this :

    I turn 37 tomorrow and my mum has recently been pressuring me alot about getting married and having kids. She recently said that even without marriage I should have kids because they will always be there. I would like those things for myself but this month I am moving to a new location and country for a new job. This is like a fresh start for me after being unemployed for 3 years and being depressed for some of that time. The only thing I really want this year is to have some peace of mind and to be in a position to support myself. I have no desire to rush to marry someone or even to have kids on my own if I don’t get married. Sometimes this kind of talk leads to alot of anxiety at a time when I just want to take things one step at a time. Some of these feelings also have to do with the fact that my parents marriage has generally been an unhappy and this is the image of relationships that we all had as kids growing up. How does one deal with this?

    • Thanks for your thoughts mom. I’m really excited about the positive developments in my life and I am going to focus on those right now. Then change the subject. Repeat.

    • In-House Europe :

      One of the most put-together and well-adjusted women I know has zero contact with her birth parents due to their unwillingness to STFU about her life. Look at the great things you are accomplishing (moving abroad is so much fun!) – have you told your mom how that kind of talk makes you feel? If you have, and she won’t stop, I’d try to limit my contact. Also, the usual advice – therapy. May help to adjust your expectations of the role your mom can have in your life. Perhaps she is projecting her unhappiness onto you and/or jealous of your new beginning?

    • Anonymous :

      “Mom enough! You’re making anxious and depressed. I too want kids, but that hasn’t happened and right now I want to focus on being happy and healthy and stable. I’m not talking about this any more.”

      “Mom, I told you, I don’t want to hear it about kids.”

      “Bye mom!”

    • Anonymous :

      “This year I’m focused on my move and new job. I may (or hope to) have children on my own or with someone in the future.” Change Subject, repeat if needed.

    • Anonymous4 :

      I feel your pain a bit. I’m in a different place in life – but I did just accept a new job after a long period of challenge. My mom is pressuring me on when I’m going to have my next child. I found the most blunt answer to be the most helpful. “Well, mom, because of my new job I don’t have FMLA or short-term disability for 12 months, so we have to wait. You know, it’s funny, my generation actually considers questions like that to be very rude.”

      It led to an interesting conversation on how different generations communicate with one another. And changed the subject.

    • Your story gives me hope, because your last three years sound like mine, and your new start is what I want to do, except I have a kid, who is also dealing with depression (yes, I’m giving Prozac to a teen).

      It’s hard to know what to say to your mom without knowing more about your relationship. Is she trying to get a second chance at a good marriage by living through you? My guess is that you should tell her straight up that you aren’t interested, or even play the Old Maid card and say “that ship has sailed” when she mentions kids.

      But for yourself, hard as it is, separate. When you hear her voice harping on what you aren’t doing, when you need her support in what you are doing and it isn’t there, I know it’s hard. My mom supports the idea of me being a “career gal”, but definitely not the reality of what that entails. It has taken (is taking) me a long time to move away, emotionally. The best thing I did was move to another country for three years when I was around 30. When I came back, I fell into it again. What has helped, and what I’d recommend to you, is to conscientiously recognize that you have different tastes/wishes/desires. Last night I tried on a new outfit–a stripey shirt and floral skirt. I started to feel disapproval closing in and was able to turn it around into a giggle at how she would not like the pattern mixing, but for a first try, I think I’ve done it well. Doing it for little things like that gives me practice for big things–she would find the way I want to set up my apt bewildering, she sees my son’s depression as a bad attitude, etc. really stepping aside and looking at it as two separate people commenting on the same thing (instead of her commenting on me). I hope that is helpful to you, and I wish you all the best in your new start!


      • Just reread your post and had a snip-snappy comeback come to mind:

        “You should have kids because they’ll always be there”.

        “Unless they have to cut themselves off because mom won’t repect boundaries”.

        Maybe better to think that than to say it, but there is:

        “You should really think about getting married”

        “Once I’m settled in x, maybe I’ll find someone there” (idk if it would work on your mom, but the idea of me being overseas for good stops mine in her tracks).

        • Anonymous :

          I’m totally confused by the cognitive dissonance that allows you to suggest that OP should rather harshly to her mom who meddles. Yet, down thread you’re totally unable to see you asking basically the same questions of your nephew is just as inappropriate as this OP’s mom.

    • shortperson :

      if you’re 37 and think you might want to have kids one day in the future, i suggest you seriously consider freezing some eggs. it will give you extra time and allow you to take your time and be less anxious. of course if you dont want kids ignore that.

  9. Wedding wear :

    What colors would you wear to a destination beach wedding? Trying to pick a dress and somewhat flummoxed.

    Would bright colors be too harsh (cobalt, coral, etc.)? But then pastels run the risk of blending with the bridesmaids. I sadly cannot do yellow/orange hues with my skin tone.

    • Anonymous :

      I did a white/pale purple/grey print dress. Bridesmaid dresses are rarely print, so you can go with paler colors if you use a print.

    • I think any color other than black is appropriate. Those bright colors you mentioned are what most people will be wearing, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pastels either. You don’t need to avoid the whole of pastels just because the bridesmaids might be wearing one of the (many) pastel shades. You could also ask the bride what color the bridesmaids are wearing.

      • Or white. Don’t wear white. I think bright colors like cobalt and coral would be fine! But I live in the South..

    • Anonymous :

      Lilly Pulitzer

    • Anonymous :

      Of course bright colors are fine at a beach destination wedding! What are you even worried about? I’d wear anything but black.

    • I’d go with jewel tones or a print. I think an emerald, deep sapphire blue, or vibrant purple dress with colorful or metallic strappy shoes would look great.

    • Anonymous :

      Almost ANYTHING works – even black. Definitely bright colors. Be comfortable.

    • What makes you think the bridesmaids will be in pastels? The last two beach weddings I attended, the maids were in bright turquoise and hot pink, respectively.

      Anything but black.

    • numbersmouse :

      Coral in particular will work well. There’s sort of an unspoken tradition I think for people to dress in colours that are associated with the sea, but I’d be careful with cobalt. Personally, I would just pick a light blue dress in a non-bridesmaids-y cut and fabric (no chiffon, fit-and-flare, prints, eyelets, etc). You could also do purple or green? I feel like purple is a popular colour for formal dresses but it’s not very summery, so there’s little chance of the wedding party wearing it.

    • Wedding wear :

      Thanks for clarifying things, everyone! I was confused because when I think of beach weddings, I think of flow-y, light colors and wasn’t sure if I could rock a cool jewel tone.

    • Coral or turquoise/aqua. Any bright colours really!

    • Goatsgoatsgoats :

      Anything that makes you excited to be on a beach! For my last beach wedding I wore a purple dress with a floral print (it looks more tropical than I’m making it sound).

  10. Any recommendations for where to stay in the Bahamas? Not taking the kids so prefer child free or at least not child focused.

    • FrankieCat :

      One & Only.

    • Harbour Island is fantastic. One of my favorite vacations of all time. Recommend Coral Sands, Pink Sands or the Dunmore.

    • Bride to be :

      If you like quiet, Compass Point.

      • I’ve spent more vacation in the bahamas than anywhere else, and nearly all of them have been in the Abaco islands. It’s nice and quiet with some really lovely small resorts (Abaco Inn, Hopetown Lodge) and some larger more resort type places in Treasure Cay and Guana. You’ll see some kids around, but it’s not at all kid centric – lots of more retirees and couples. I’ll be going this spring to see my parents who winter there now they have retired. Snorkeling there is great, lovely beaches like the famous Tahiti Beach and Coco Bay, plus lots of opportunities for deep sea fishing if that’s your thing. The Abacos sit between the sea and the Atlantic ocean and most of the islands are quite narrow so you can enjoy wave surfing on one side and easy snorkeling on the other

  11. Family members shouldn’t ask when a married couple is having kids. Or tell them they’re “expecting 3 of you when you visit next time!” It’s especially infuriating when wife can’t physically perform the babymaking deed yet. End rant.

    • Can’t?

      • Well, if you said that, I bet your in-laws wouldn’t ask about babymaking again for a while….

    • Anonymous4 :

      No one. No one should ask this question. It’s rude. And nosey.

    • So, I’ve only done this with a partner I worked with on occasion (who, btw, had no business asking), but in response to his ‘when are you having another kid?! was to say, flatly ‘that isn’t possible’. And then walked away.
      If I was particularly annoyed (and not at work) I would have totally fake-cried while saying that I wasn’t able to.
      Grr – why do people think this is an ok thing to ask about?!?

    • How infuriating! Don’t people realize they are asking about your most intimate activities, and your health, and gah it’s SO PERSONAL. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this rudeness.

    • Been there, done that :

      Depending on your reasons for “can’t” and providing you do want kids, home insemination kits are your best friend. And, hugs! if you want them.

      • Didn’t know about this. Thank you!

        • Been there, done that :

          Due to vag*inismus (trying to avoid moderation) I still can’t perform the babymaking deed (aged 30, married for five years). Had my second child four months ago! :-)

          Best of luck to you!

          • Same here!!!! It is so helpful to hear that it is possible to have babies without the deed (yet)! Best of luck to you on your quest! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Eyeliner question :

    Morning ladies! I’ve recently realized that my liquid eyeliner ends up getting inside my eyes (and, apologies if this is TMI, my sinuses) because I tightline. I’m suddenly worried about the long term effects of eyeliner cycling through my body like this since I wear it every day. Any thoughts on this? Any recommendations for what ingredients to avoid in eyeliners? I currently use wet n Wild because it’s cheap and it works, but should I be worried about ingredients at all?

    • I don’t tight line for exactly this reason. I just think it’s creepy and not great.

    • I tightline with a pencil eyeliner which doesn’t migrate on me (I only use liquid on the top lid). I like the Urban Decay one. YMMV depending on how oily the skin under your eyes is.

    • What do you mean in your sinuses? Like when you blow your nose it’s the color of your eyeliner?

      I line my lower lash line (I assume that’s what you mean), but at most it leaks to the corner of my eyes. I have never worried about this as I figure the amount of alcohol I have put in my body throughout the course of my life is far more damaging to me than the make up I wear. Also, I would assume that your body absorbs it no matter where you are putting it as skin is porous, so that would cause me to not worry about this. YMMV.

      • Marshmallow :

        Tightlining means lining the waterline part of your eye, like in between your lashes and your eyeball. It can look good if you want to really darken up the look with a smoky eye but I wouldn’t do it every day because it’s irritating. And IMO only looks good with an already-dramatic makeup look.

        • Okay, that’s what I thought. Thanks! I line my waterline every day with a pencil. My eyes are pretty tough and my eye doc has not mentioned anything about it.

          • Oh derp, I line my bottom waterline, not the top. I use eyeliner above my lashes on the top.

      • Eyeliner question :

        Yup, when I blow my nose in the morning black stuff (I assume eyeliner) comes out. But the thought that it gets into my body no matter what is strangely comforting, thanks!

        • I… have never heard of that before. Are you sure it’s eyeliner? Have you tried taking allergy pills?

          • Eyeliner question :

            Haha yup, I have had chronic allergies my whole life, been to many specialists who all conclude there’s nothing really wrong with me, I just have to live with a runnier nose than most. I wonder if this is maybe more common than people realize and I only realized it because of my weird allergies? Otherwise I’d have no idea that eyeliner is getting into my nose!

          • Eyeliner question :

            And to answer your other question, I’m pretty sure it’s eyeliner because it doesn’t happen when I take a break from makeup.

            It’s not like when I blow my nose, everything is black, there’s just tiny bits of black color that I think is from eyeliner. I’m realizing now my original post made it sound much more alarming than it actually is!

        • This has happened to me before. With blue eyeliner. YES.

        • Yeah, it’s your eyeliner. I don’t buy the porous argument. Your skin is a much better barrier than your mucous membranes, which are meant to be permeable. It’s probably not the worst thing you could get in your eye, but it’s not great either. I stopped tightlining for this reason.

    • Marshmallow :

      Just tightline with a pencil. Liquid eyeliner gets everywhere if you try to tightline with it– I am surprised you even kept doing it after it got all over your eyeball the first time. For me, I tried this once, it went everywhere, and I stopped!

      I know you’re not asking, but FWIW, I think tightlining only looks good when the rest of your eye makeup is very dark. Like a weekend smoky eye. Tightlining and eyeliner underneath the eye in general look dated to me for daytime.

      • Not sure where OP is, but eyeliner underneath is a pretty common look in Europe, even for the younger generation (e.g. Kate Middleton). Does read as dated in North America though. Agree that tightlining is more for evening.

      • I disagree that tightlining the top lid looks dated. Maybe if you have a darker complexion you can get away with not tightlining there. For super pale me, though, my eyes look super sloppy if I don’t tightline – you can see the space between every lash. I just can’t get between the lashes unless I come up from underneath. Also, most of the “natural” looks I’ve seen in insta tightline the top lid but don’t use any liner above the lashline.

        I agree that tightlining the bottom lid looks dated or is best for a nighttime look.

        • Lol. Nah bro my normal eyelashes gaps and all don’t look sloppy. I look natural by looking natural, and human eyelashes grow with spaces in between them.

          • Looking natural means wearing no liner, though, right? Imo it looks sloppy/odd to use a liner above the lashes then have a bunch of gaps under the liner, which is what I meant (and should’ve specified).

        • I disagree that not lining there is something to “get away with.” Nobody cares about the spaces between your eyelashes and it doesn’t look sloppy to be a human being with normal eyelashes.

        • Marshmallow :

          Yeah, I have never looked at somebody and thought, OMG how sloppy! She has spaces between her eyelashes! Do it if you like how it looks, but it’s not something I’m “getting away with” by not doing.

          But agree that tightlining the top does not hold the same dated associations as doing just the bottom (especially when paired with heavy liner on the bottom but not the top).

      • Eyeliner question :

        Thanks. It doesn’t actually get all over my eyeball because I’m careful to stick close to the lashline and only put eyeliner on my upper lid, but I’ve noticed that when I wash it off, some of it inevitably ends up in my sinuses (so when I blow my nose in the morning there’s often some stray bits of black in there).

        • Marshmallow :

          Yikes– that would weird me out too. I think the solution is pencil or stop tightlining.

        • It’s annoying but not the end of the world (fellow allergy sufferer who wears eyeliner here). I tightline with pencil, gel, or clay eyeliner. Liquid is too annoying and some pencils are too waxy and smear all over my contact lenses. Do whatever works for you. When I wear liquid on top, it migrates down into my eye crud and I still sometimes get colorful snot. Shrug.

      • South Asian :

        Tightlining on the bottom or tightlining + bottom eyeliner only is NOT a dated look, it’s a classic look. Asian and African women have been doing this for millenia. Please, get over yourselves.

    • I don’t know about it coming out in your sinuses, but a couple years ago when I went to the eye doctor to get my prescription updated and I complained about my eyes being dry all the time as an aside. She told me to quit tightlining. She said it was really bad for your tear ducts. I quit, and she was right. I never have dry eyes anymore.

    • http://stylecaster.com/beauty/bottom-eyeliner-tips/

      Here are some tips for lining below your eye. This article says tightlining there is a bad idea.

      • Marshmallow :

        Also, see this picture for a good example of what to do/ not to do: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/COZRieRUYAASPLU.png

        You would be surprised how many women I know who wear their eyeliner like the right-hand side of that photo.

    • Hey — couple of things.

      I have had the same issue with seeing eyeliner (and mascara) when I blow my nose. You’re not alone. (Side note: In my case, the runny nose is explained by a slight dairy allergy — clears up if I don’t drink milk, eat pizza etc.)

      I’m pale and, like anon above, thought tightlining was the only way to avoid gaps between my lashes. But I followed the recs for tubing mascara I saw here, and it makes my eyelashes thick enough that I don’t feel the need to tightline anymore. It also doesn’t seem to migrate into my eyes/ sinuses as much. Might be something to try!

  13. I like some of the styles in the Red Fleece collection but find them to be too short for work. This dress is only 37 inches.

  14. Does anyone have recommendations for really great salad/meal in a jar recipes? I have committed myself to bringing my lunch everyday (both to save money as well as watch what I eat) and so far it’s going well. But I’m worried I’ll get bored of the same old stuff, and the idea of just a plain salad with veggies isn’t my favorite. So far I’ve done a spicy peanut noodle jar, a burrito in a jar, and a quinoa mint thing with cucumber and tomatoes. There are a ton of recipes out there, but I’m looking for the tried and true.

    • what is the burrito in a jar recipe, please?

      • OP here! Here’s the site I got the recipe – http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/mason-jar-chicken-burrito-bowl#comments

        I left out the cheese and the tortilla chips. I really really like it. I cook up a bunch of rice and beans in my Instant Pot and freeze them so I’m ready to make these at any given moment.

    • Try adding in some soups, especially over the winter! I make a big batch of a few rotating recipes every week and freeze single servings in jars, so I always have options and don’t have to eat the same one every day. My standard set is:
      -Budget Bytes sweet potato tortilla soup
      -Cookie and Kate vegan chili (or turkey chili if my SO is being needy)
      -Cookie and Kate vegan black bean soup
      -Family recipe for veggie barley soup (sautee onions and garlic until fragrant, throw in frozen broccoli/cauliflower/carrots and sautee ~5 minutes, add 1/2 cup barley, pour in ~28oz can diced or crushed tomatoes and 4 cups veggie broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 30-45 minutes until barley is tender. Add 1-2 red kidney beans with enough time for them to warm thoroughly. Season to taste.)
      -Tuscan kale and white bean (haven’t found a recipe I love yet)

      • *1-2 CANS OF red kidney beans. 1-2 beans would be pretty pathetic…

      • I was going to suggest soup as well. I basically just throw a bunch of veggies into a pot, cover them with water, bring to a boil, add a can of diced tomatoes, some seasoning (I use vegeta soup mix, pepper, red pepper flakes) and a can of beans.

        Super healthy, easy, freezes well and pretty delicious.

      • how do you transport soup without spilling?

    • Constant Reader :

      I’ve just started doing mason jar salads also, so not a lot of data yet, but this one is a keeper for me (but might be very similar to the burrito one):


      I used tomatillo salsa and sirloin cut like I was stir-frying it instead of ground turkey, but I could see subbing in a lot of different meats.

      I love Thai Beef Salad, so I’m planning on layering this in a jar this week: http://www.recipetineats.com/thai-beef-salad-2/

      I rely a lot on soups, and these are ones that have been very successful for me as lunches – frozen in serving size containers, defrosted the night before or in microwave at work. If they are frozen, they don’t spill. I have one of those extra ceramic big soup mugs with a rubber top at work that I use to heat up the soup in the microwave. If I wanted to bring it hot from home, I highly recommend Zojirushi containers for non-leaking and keeping things very, very hot. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003DZ0H9S/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_c_x_1_w

      Lentil Sausage Soup: I use chicken sausage instead of kielbasa: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lentil-sausage-soup-recipe.html

      Roasted Parsnip/Carrot soup (make the lemon ginger cream, it’s worth the extra trouble): http://kitchenetteblog.com/2012/02/roasted-carrot-parsnip-soup-with-lemon-ginger-cream/

      Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup: http://damndelicious.net/2014/04/25/lemon-chicken-orzo-soup/

      Roasted Cauliflower Cheddar soup: http://www.cookingclassy.com/roasted-cauliflower-white-cheddar-soup-homemade-bread-bowls/

      This would also work in a jar, I think. I roast parsnips, carrots, tiny red potatoes, cauliflower (whatever you have and sounds good to you) together with cooked chicken sausage (sweet or hot Italian) mixed up with pesto sauce from a jar. It’s one of my favorite lazy dinners and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as a microwavable one jar/container meal.

  15. Exfoliating advice :

    I am in my 40’s and had oily skin with acne my whole life, untilI I got it under control 3 years ago with spironolactone/retin-a. Never before did I understand what exfoliating was for. Now, I realize I need to optimize it, or I get flakey junk making a mess when I moisturizer/put on make-up.

    How do you exfoliate?
    How old are you?
    What type of skin do you have?

    Currently, I just use a face cloth at night, and in the shower in the AM I use one of those Japanese exfoliating cloths. About twice a week I use Murad exfoliating cleanse in the AM (salicylate, lactic, glycol in acids) and I use retain-A most nights.

    I am 47.

    I also have sensitive skin. It took me about 1 year to be able to tolerate daily retain-A, and many additives to moisturizers make my skin burn.

    What should I try to get rid of the flakes better? Or am I doing too much?

    • Yeoch. I think you’re doing a lot // too much. I have oily skin that isn’t even particularly sensitive and I can barely tolerate using facial cleansing cloths once per day. So you’re doing that twice per day, plus an exfoliating cleanse and Retin-A?

    • What does the rest of your routine look like? I’d strongly suggest a gentle cleanser (I really like CosRX good morning cleanser) first, to make sure you’re not over stripping your skin. I use primarily acids to exfoliate (BHAs nightly, 10% glycolic once a week). If you’re already using retin-A and manual exfoliation I’d step up your essences and moisturizers and/or sheet masks. I LOVE Korean skin care, and a favorite blog of mine is below, but really if nothing else, I’d add in gentle moisturizers and sheet masks for some extra TLC.


      • skin care enthusiast :

        I’ll second the recommendation for using Korean/Asian skin care. The Asian Beauty reddit is particularly helpful. Have a look at the sidebar on that reddit to understand how it works all together. Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese skin care brands really focus on using good ingredients that give results, often without a lot of the useless filler ingredients that you find in western brands. Even though the Asian skin routine is often longer than a western one, it really will help you balance between hydration and exfoliation without damaging your skin barrier, and the products are so much cheaper! For example, there are many great Asian products with ceramides for under $20 while western brands (Elizabeth Arden, for example) will charge so much more. I’m 39 with many of the same skin issues as you, and Asian skin care changed everything for me.

    • I think you’re doing too much. I’m 28 and I use retin-A at night and a vitamin C serum in the mornings. That’s it. Occasionally I do a baking soda and lemon juice mask, but I think even these three things all the time is a bit harsh.

      • givemyregards :

        Have you asked your derm about the baking soda/lemon juice? Each of those are pretty strong ingredients that can mess with your acid mantle and damage the skin.

    • Get rid of the physical exfoliation and go chemical. Instead of exfoliating when you cleanse (since it’s just on your skin for a second and goes down the drain), you could use an AHA lotion or serum like glycolic acid. AHAs help the dead skin slough off. I wouldn’t use it at the same time you apply the Retin-A. If your skin is very flaky though (and you can’t tolerate many moisturizers), you may need to use the Retin-A every other day instead. Also, it may be time to find a better moisturizer.

    • You might be doing too much (scrubbing too hard, not letting skin ‘rest/breathe’ enough, not pacing yourself, etc.) Then again, the philosophy of women in my family is to not fuss too much with hair or skin and they have fantastic hair and skin, but that could also be diet and genetics, so what’s right for me may not be right for you.

      I get facials regularly and am late 20s, so keep that in mind. I exfoliate maybe 2-3 times a week and only at night. Any retinoid products are similarly 2-3 times a week, and maybe overlap with the exfoliating once a week if I think my skin can handle it. It’s winter with dryer air now, so it’s not happening lately. I use a liquid exfoliator and again, only at night. If an area is sensitive, like around my nose, I will avoid it and go heavy on moisturizers, because it is winter. Maaaaaaybe once a month (likely 2-3 weeks after my facial), I will exfoliate with a “scrub” but generally, the liquid exfoliator does the job well enough without making my skin dry and tight.

      During the day, I use a serum about half the time and a thicker moisturizer half the time with the air being more dry but always, always, always wear sunscreen on top. Buy one that makes your skin feel hydrated and doesn’t sting. You need to listen to your skin and what it is telling you.

    • Shenandoah :

      I’m late 20s and tend to have dry skin, and I had a problem with flaky skin made worse with wearing foundation. I was exfoliating every night and thinking I needed to be doing more. But backing off the exfoliation and only using a gentle cleanser (Cerave) every morning and night made a huge difference. For about 5 days my skin looked terrible but then it adjusted, and my skin feels much better using just Cerave followed by a facial moisturizer (currently using Cerave’s daytime with SPF). My skin doesn’t feel overly dry or tight. And it looks brighter. I only exfoliate once a week to every other week now, depending on how my skin feels and the season (my skin seems to tolerate exfoliation better in the summer).

      • We have similar skin, but I’m a few years older (31). I have mostly dry skin, but do produce a little oil around my nose. I do very little physical exfoliation, and opt for gentle chemical exfoliation.

        I use Cerave or Neutrogena Ultra Gentle cleanser in the AM and PM. I tone with the magical Pixi Glow toner, then apply serum. In the AM I use a vitamin C serum. In the evening, I rotate between retinol and a peptide serum. I apply a light peptide moisturizer after both times of the day. In the AM I then use the Cerave’s SPF moisturizer (50, because I am PALE) and at night I use Keihls ultra moisturizer.

        During the summer, I use my clarisonic with a very soft brush for one of those cleanses. During the winter, I may use it one or two times a week, depending on how my skin feels.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I have a Clairsonic that I love. I use it 2 times a week with my normal cleanser. I do a clay mask once a week. If my skin is extra dry, I use a serum, with Vitamin C, at night under my moisturizer. I also have a tiny cool mist humidifier at my desk during the day (Smart Frog). It makes a huge difference.

      (40 Years old)

    • It sounds like the exfoliants might be causing some damage/dryness, which is causing the flakes. You might need to up your moisturizing game. A commenter here, I want to say Marshmallow?, posted a great moisturizing skin care routine a couple of weeks ago.

    • I now get my retin-a through curology, they blend it with clindamycin and azaleic acid for me. It’s great. they’ll also prescribe your spironolactone if needed. I was using tretinoin cream before this with clindamycin as needed; I much prefer to have it all in one step and the chemical exfoliator is great. I wash my face at night and apply this, and a night cream after if I need. morning just wash with water and put on my moisturizer and sunscreen. I highly recommend it.

    • You need moisturizer! I have special snowflake skin and I really like pure argan oil. It’s soothing and my oily skin just drinks it up. Because I supply the oil, my face has stopped overproducing oil.

      • I do this with jojoba oil with quite good results. I’m completely converted to the idea of using natural oils as moisturizers instead of lotions and my skin has been a lot softer since I did this. Jojoba oil on the face, baby oil on the rest of my body.

        I would not exfoliate more than once a week. I don’t have particularly sensitive or oily skin, but I think the advice to not over-exfoliate isn’t confined to one particular skin type. When I exfoliated more often (using both scrubs and chemical/acid methods), my skin was significantly worse and I had chronic acne.

    • Paula's Choice? :

      To piggyback off of this, I know many ladies on here use Paula’s Choice for exfoliation. Which specific kind? I know this has been addressed before, but I can’t find it! TIA

    • I think you’re doing too much. Give your skin a rest. Moisturize more than you’re doing right now and live with the flakes for a week. I will bet they go away.

    • I’m in my mid-30s, and have whiny special snowflake skin that I largely leave alone. Wash with water, mild retin-a some nights, high SPF in the mornings. Like twice a week, though, I exfoliate with the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Charcoal & Black Sugar Mask. I put it on my face before I turn the shower on, then leave it on while I wash my hair, then I scrub scrub scrub and rinse it off. My face feels sooooo smooth the next morning when I put my SPF lotion on. Love it. I also love that it’s cheap!

  16. Charleston/Savannah :

    Any ‘rettes in Charleston or Savannah and interested in a meetup? New to the area and welcoming any excuse to explore either city more. Thought this might be a better time to post with the holidays winding down.

  17. fitness apps :

    what is your favorite fitness/food tracking app? I generally eat pretty healthy and work out 4-5x per week but am still steadily gaining weight. I’m thinking greater accountability for what I’m eating/portion size may make the difference for me. Any recommendations?

    • I use the WW app because I’m in the program but you can probably get similar results with the MyFitnessPal app. Whatever app you use, the main thing is to measure your portions every single time. Keep my baking measuring cups accessible and use them to scope a 1 cup serving of pasta or risotto. Made me realize how often I was serving myself two cups when I didn’t measure. Same with cereal as a snack in the evening – I was often easily double the package serving size.

      I also rarely use our 10″ dinner plates unless it’s half filled with salad. I use our 6″ dessert plates. Years ago, dinner plates were actually 8″ so the newer larger plates can also distort portion size.

    • Marshmallow :

      Rise, if you can afford it, because you are interacting with an actual human being who is trained to provide nutrition advice. Otherwise MFP and try to find friends who are also doing it for accountability.

    • Hips don't lie :

      Get an old-fashioned tape measure. Or an unforgiving pair of pants. They’re not going to lie to you as to whether you’re gaining muscle or flab (I get that you could CrossFit yourself to tree-trunk solid thighs, but that crowd seems to know who it is).

      Or get a fitness pro to measure you with calipers regularly or do the water-immersion thing to really check body composition.

    • I third MFP. Remember it’s junk-in, junk-out, so you must be true to yourself and write down every lump of sugar, pat of butter, pour of fat-free milk, and m&m.

    • MyFitnessPal and similar are useful, but using them can be a lot of effort. I write down how many vegetables/fruits I eat (starchy vegetables like corn do not count) and that is a pretty good indicator for me if I’m eating healthily. I try for at least 6.

  18. UGH, I finally got around to seeing what the price of my anti-depressant will be under our new insurance structure (no copay, HRA/HSA only) and it’s $900 for a three-month supply via mail order. No generic for this brand and it’s been my favorite one so far. I can go back to the generic Prozac, although I didn’t like it as much. I just can’t with the $900. Not the end of the world, but a giant PITA and yet another health related frustration in 2017!

    • I would research Blink Health to see if you can get your medication cheaper through them. It sometimes works for my (insured) husband versus running it through our insurance. It’s worth a try.

      • Thanks for the tip! I will check it out. The drug maker does offer a discount card, but that only brings me down to about $210 a month, which is still more than I am willing to pay.

        I guess the good news is the only reason I went back on it after years of being good to go without medication was because I was in a really bad relationship and attributed it to my own emotional instability (which was really not the reason the relationship was terrible). It’s been almost a year since that relationship ended and I feel great. I started to feel better immediately after I ended the relationship, so removing the environmental stressor was the most effective thing most likely. I will talk to my doc and see if she supports dropping it entirely and then reevaluating options if I feel it’s necessary again.

        • Yes it’s expensive but you need this! How often do we drop $200/month on shoes or other [email protected]?

    • Check to see if the manufacturer has a patient assistance program that will give you discounted meds.

    • A lot of manufacturers have prescription assistance programs that can get you free medication IF you qualify as low income. See http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_depression_pap

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Check your yearly out of pocket max too to see if that would kick in at a reasonable point for you.

    • This is awful.

      Always check the prices at Costco, as I buy all my meds put of pocket because I can buy them cheaper via Costco than using my huge deductible insurance that doesn’t even get me a decent price.

      I agree with checking to see if the manufacturer has an assistance program.

      Or…. Good luck with your taper!

      Now that many health plans (and all of the Obamacare plans I have been on) are stopping medication co-pays and moving towards high deductibles in the medication part of your plan too, prices for health care are going up and up.

      No one is talking at all about this change in health care coverage, so thanks for bringing it up OP.

    • Thanks everyone. The manufacturer’s discount program only gets me to $210/mo and I don’t qualify for low-income programs.

      The Blink option was more expensive than the mail order program unfortunately. I will look into Costco, but I think for now I am going to work to moving off of it. My deductible is $2k, then co-insurance kicks in until OOP at $4k. I am healthy, single, no kids, so it’s unlikely I will hit my OOP any time early in the year unless something major happens. I give a major eyeroll to my company who tried to tell us the insurance plan switch was to encourage wellness. HAHAHAHA, SURE. It’s to reduce your costs, at least be upfront about it.

      • Costco is also a little more than the Express Scripts. I feel terribly for people who do not have the option to drop a med under our new plan.

      • I don’t understand. If you’re going to hit your max out of pocket no matter what, why don’t you hit it buying the scrip that you know works for you?

        Is it too late to set this amount aside in an HSA?

        • I would not hit my OOP unless something major happens. I am healthy, single, have no kids, and rarely need to go to the doctor. I do my ACA wellness appts and that’s about it. I put a small amount into my HSA each pay period as a result of the above. They didn’t allow us to see the exact out of pocket meds cost pre Jan 1 and honestly, I forgot to look before bor me, it’s not life threatening but it certainly could be for others.

          • Anonymous :

            If it helps any, your plan should allow you to change your HSA contribution level at any time during the year.

      • “I give a major eyeroll to my company who tried to tell us the insurance plan switch was to encourage wellness.”

        OMG it is so inappropriate that they said this! I am so sorry! That is just so ridiculous! As though one’s health is entirely a self-control issue?!? Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Also, if you don’t have to do mail-order, goodrx.com compares pricing at various pharmacies and will show coupons/discount options, etc.

  19. Our Biglaw office is doing new photos for the website, and they will be from the hips up and standing. (Ugh). What should I wear? I was thinking jewel tone dress and navy jacket. Thoughts?

    • I go with a navy suit jacket and plain white button down for these kinds of things. Boring, but I don’t really want anyone to remember me for the clothes I wore in my law firm profile picture.

      • Diana Barry :

        I disagree. No white shirts, they will wash you out. What color dress are you planning on wearing? I would take a few test photos and see how much contrast there is – too much contrast in the colors can jar in photos. For mine I wore a charcoal suit and burgundy sweater, with silver necklace.

    • jewel tone dress with navy jacket is perfect. Very professional but not boring.

    • A suit. You’re a lawyer.

    • A beautiful well-made dress in a great color. Think purple, green or navy. Suits with white shirts wash you out unless there is something unusual about the suit.

    • I like the navy jacket; it’s my go-to suit. I wear red or pink with it. Light pink might wash you out, so…yeah, your idea sounds dead on. Wear your hair down, if you have longish hair. Pulled-back hair always looks so severe, unless you have bangs.

      • Pulled back hair does not always look severe. It can look elegant and sleek. Wear your hair how you like it.

    • I’d do a skirt suit with a shell in a flattering color. Fwiw my firm specified no white shirts because they’re universally unflattering.

    • I think a dress makes sense for this– although yes, I agree that a full suit is more formal than a professional dress + jacket combo, if the dress is formal enough for your office on a regular-to-nice day, it’s formal enough for the photo. Also, since the photo is from the waist up, the dress will either look like a shell or prevent some weird photo cropping/proportions. I’m picturing a weird sliver of skirt/pants waistband just at the bottom of the picture, instead of the continuous line the dress would provide.

    • My firm does this. I would take some time in front of a mirror to see what you look like from some side angles, how to cross your arms, arms on hips, etc. I what the photographer said, but my proof sheet was a disaster. Also, when you send your chosen shot back in, asked to be airbrushed to high heaven. I’ve literally never looked better, thanks to the airbrushing.

    • Yeah, if it’s biglaw, I’d do either a matching suit in colors that flatter you (gray suit with a white shirt looks great on me, but on other colorings may wash someone out or navy looks great on me too, but I won’t wear it if the background is also dark because my hair is dark, too) OR do a suit dress (i.e. the suit and dress are of the same fabric and meant to be worn together) OR do a formal dress that you would wear to a client meeting in a suiting fabric. No patterns.

      What you are describing sounds like the dress and jacket do not match and more like “I need a jacket so I threw this on over my dress” which isn’t a look I’d be going for.

  20. Neiman Marcus brand shoes – can anyone speak to their comfort, quality, how they fit? (small, narrow, tts?) Specifically looking at flats.

  21. Can anyone recommend a down comforter or a good brand? I’m so overwhelmed by the choices!

  22. For those of you who grew up in unstable homes with anger/instability/parental betrayals…. Would you want to know information about one parent that was…. bad…. If it served to take some blame off the other?

    My parents had a very unhappy marriage from the beginning. Both from poor families, lots of financial stress, job insecurity and marrying too young to escape…… and having 3 kids immediately in 4 years (all unplanned….). I remember a house filled with anger and fear. My father was mentally ill, and attempted suicide when I was 9. My mother was quiet and sad, my father was angry and terrifying. They separated on, and off, but never divorced and wound up together in the end. My father also had a terrible childhood of poverty, early death of his father, and a mentally ill mother and sister. Fortunately, he was very bright and made it to college etc…

    My father had a complete breakdown recently. In this setting, he revealed to me very upsetting things about my mother, who I always treasured. He claimed she had been unfaithful for many years, and many other painful things, including that she was going to abandon the family to move overseas with the married man she was cheating with, but then he Jilted her He claimed that he was uncertain if my brothers and I were even his biological children.

    My mother died 6 years ago. I never, ever had any hint of any of this from growing up with her. She worked full time, did almost all the home management/cooking etc…, and was a good mother.

    When my father would tell me these things about my mother, I would try to shut them down immediately, tell him that they were inappropriate and cruel to share with me, and walk away when possible. But I heard them, and they can never be forgotten.

    My father’s mental illness is now treated, and he is like a different person. He has apologized for what he put me through, he has never brought it up again. I have told him not to tell my brothers…. and told him to tell his psychiatrist if he ever has the compulsion to bring them up again.

    My younger brother was exposed to some of my father’s breakdown, but never heard “the secrets”. He knows there at secrets, but has not asked me for more details. Honestly, I have no idea what is true, and my mother cannot defend herself. So I have decided to bury it, forgive my father for exposing me to this, and move forward. I have forgiven my father because of his mental illness, and many hardships in his life. If my mother was truly doing some of the things he claimed, it does take some blame off my father for our unstable childhood.

    Am I doing the right thing by not sharing anything with my brothers, particularly since my mom cannot defend herself? My brothers both have a relationship with my father, with a lot of repressed anger towards him.

    • Yes, you are doing the right thing. Your father is lying. Whether he knows it or can’t remember. He’s being cruel and vindictive and lying.

      • Agree. Do not tell your brothers as it is very likely that what your father has said is totally untrue.

        It is highly likely that your father is presenting as ‘truth’ what he just had unfounded suspicions of. With 3 kids under 4, I can’t imagine your mom has much time to leave the house, let alone cheat. Don’t let him destroy the memory of your mom for either yourself or your brothers. A distant uncle in my family was like this. If his wife ever left the house without him, she was ‘cheating on him’.

        Trust your own memories of your Mom.

        • Honestly this was sort of my thought. I don’t know your situation AT ALL, but ongoing affairs take time and emotional energy. I’m not saying it is impossible, but if your mom was working full time and also running a house with multiple kids, it would be a real feat for her to also maintain a long term extramarital affair. Since you probably cannot find out the truth and there is a good chance what your father told you is not it, I would suggest doing everything you can (therapy, etc.) to ignore what he told you.

    • potatochip :

      I think you’re doing the right thing not to pass this on to your brothers. You’re absolutely right that it’s only one side of the story and it’s impossible to know the truth at this point.

      I really hope you have someone to confide in, however. I can’t imagine carrying the weight of these confessions around without being able to unburden myself. Can you tell a friend (ideally one who has never met your parents)? A therapist?

      • Is it impossible to know the truth? Not that I’m recommending this, but couldn’t you test DNA?

        • potatochip :

          It’s possible to prove that the mother was cheating, but not that she was faithful. That is, a DNA test could show a biological relationship to her father, but not eliminate cheating. TBH, I tend to agree with the previous posters that her father is making this up out of whole cloth. It sounds like a bid to discredit her beloved mother and gain standing in the OPs life.

          • Adding to this – a DNA test wouldn’t prove she was cheating. Maybe OP’s parents were separated but still living together? Maybe they were non-monogamous? There could’ve been a lot of behind the scenes things happening in their relationship that OP would not have been privy to and that her dad could now deny.

    • That’s a common thing for people with mental illnesses to lie about. I would not pay it any mind.

    • Would I want that information? Heck no.

      That said, I agree that he’s probably lying. My husband had a fraternity brother in who married young, they had three kids immediately, and then he went off the deep end and said all kinds of stuff like that about her. He threatened to kill them all. He said she was cheating on him and that the kids weren’t his. He left them and is now wandering the country and is declaring himself “voluntarily homeless”. He has received some medical treatment including an involuntary commitment, but always stops treatment. Everything he said about his (now ex) wife was a lie. He was paranoid and delusional and THOUGHT he was telling the truth, but he wasn’t.

      And even if he were not lying, I would not blame your mother one bit. Having to deal with him and his issues while trying to raise three children and keep everything together? If she could find some bit of happiness or comfort, good for her.

      But still, no, don’t tell your siblings any of this.

    • You are doing the right thing. Even if your mom was terrible to your father, that doesn’t excuse how he treated you and the environment he created in your home. We are responsible for our own actions.

      • +1 – that doesn’t excuse how he treated you.

        My mother was the source of the instability in my own house, and I don’t give credence to the horrid things she says about my father, many of which I believe she says in an attempt to excuse her own inexcusable behavior. He’s living, so I could certainly ask him for his side of the story, but, why? I don’t care. I know how he has treated _me_ and my siblings my entire life, and I know how _she’s_ treated us, and that’s all I need to know.

        I also don’t know why you would care now that you’re all adults if you share two biological parents. It’s also a possibility that I don’t share two biological parents with all of my siblings, but confirming that one way or the other matters not at all to any of us. It would change nothing and we don’t care.

    • I hate to sound like a lawyer, but this is incredibly inflammatory and you can’t even tell if it is true. If it is true, what would the point of sharing be? It may *explain* things (although I don’t think they do here) but they in no way justify them. Maybe they make your dad feel better?

      I’d sit on it.

      If my father were awful and had untreated mental illness and then revealed that my mom was heroin addict (unknown to me), why would he do that? To hurt me? To hurt my memories? To feel better about his failings? My $ is in on #3.

      If I were compelled to share, it might be like this: “Dad told me a crazy story once that doesn’t mesh with how I member things. I don’t know if it is even true and Mom’s not around now. I am not sure why he told me and it was very hurtful to hear and still not know the truth. What I know is how awful he was and I think this just reminds me of that even more.” Or something like it.

    • Whatever the ‘truth’ of the situation with your mother was, it was an incredibly dysfunctional dynamic that is not worth dissecting to dole out blame, in part because I’m SURE both of them contributed to the dysfunction in their own ways. A dynamic is always the product of two people. Part of growing up is realizing that these things are complicated and there are no true villains. It sounds like that’s a big part of what you’re wrestling with.

      So I don’t think you should feel obligated to tell your brother as if it’s some unspoken truth he’s entitled to, but you also shouldn’t feel obligated to ‘protect’ him from it and carry the burden on your own. Can’t you just talk to him about the big picture of what you’re processing right now and how it’s affecting you? You don’t need to share the details, because I the details are impossible to verify and don’t matter anyway. The main takeaway is that in the process of lashing out at you, your father claimed that the situation wasn’t as cut and dry as you had always assumed, and you don’t know whether to believe him or how to feel about it. Let it be an ongoing, open-ended conversation with your brother.

      • And, FWIW, I’m dealing with something very similar currently. I needed to see one of my parents as a sadistic monster, not a flawed human, because it’s a coping mechanism that I used to make sense of their destructive behavior. If I saw them as a flawed human, I’d need to see things from their perspective and empathize with them, and that made me far too vulnerable, so I kept them in the neat box of ‘villain’. Seeing the situation for its full complexity has been very challenging, but also quite liberating. Keep yourself open to this revelation and allow yourself to fully process it.

    • Thank you thank you thank you thank you…..

      I can’t confide in people I know.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I know we recommend this A LOT here, but have you considered therapy? My therapist knows all the things I can’t confide in people I know, including details about childhood and relationship abuse. She’s a GD lifesaver.

        • Seconded on the therapy. Or at least put this in a mental box, put it on a mental shelf, and never trouble yourself with it again.

    • I think you’re doing the right thing here. Your father’s claims are entirely unsubstantiated and could have been the product of his mental illness and might have no basis in reality. If it would put your mind at ease, you might want to discuss this incident with your father and see if he recants what he said.

      All that said, I hope you’re seeing a therapist. I found out that my father was having an affair which he claimed was purely emotional (lie) and he told me that if I told my mother that I would be responsible for the breakdown of their marriage (it ended anyway because he had multiple affairs). It ruined my relationship with him and really messed with my head for years. I should have seen a therapist to help me handle all of it.

    • Your dad may very well believe what he’s saying due to his mental illness issues, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  23. I have an interview tomorrow and would love some insight.

    I’ve been desperate to leave my current position almost since I was hired 14 months ago. They overhired and there’s no work to do, so I’ve been basically twiddling my thumbs for over a year now. I’ve acquired zero professional experience, so coming up with resume bullets was beyond difficult. For perspective, in a good week, I’m billing only 15 hours; I only billed 15 MINUTES last week. (I work for a major multinational professional services firm you’ve all heard of, so they can afford to pay our group’s salaries while we do nothing.)

    I’m so self-conscious about the fact I’ve done nothing for a year. I’m ambitious and industrious and doing nothing for a year has been he11. (Had to get an anti-anxiety prescription, I just can’t handle not being productive.) The job I’m interviewing for is a policy role with some of the greatest minds in my field. So how on earth do I speak about my current experience when I’m SO conscious that I’ve accomplished nothing for the last year?

    • OMG. I’m in the same boat — different field. I haven’t even started looking bc I don’t even know what I’d put on my resume or what I’d say to people! Yet a recruiter reached out via LinkedIn last week and we have a call scheduled for Friday. I know it’s not a job I want — and would require a move I don’t particularly want to make — and yet, I know I have to do this call to jumpstart the process. Any tips??

    • Don’t get too in your head about it – yes it would be better if you’d accomplished big things but you are still talented and CAN accomplish big things. Make sure you have some examples of “stuff” that you identified and worked on even if it wasn’t billable. Don’t lie obviously, but maybe you “optimized” an internal system or researched and developed findings on an issue, or something. Focus the interview on understanding what their needs are and how you can help them.

    • Well you have a great answer for “why are you looking after only 14 months?”

      Focus on what you’ve done in your past roles, what you hope to do in this role, why the company is a great fit for you, and, to a lesser extent, what you were hoping to get out of your current role that you’re not getting.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Talk about what you did before this job and use your desire to want to do more as a reason for leaving. You don’t have to highlight exactly how little you do now.

    • I am in the same position and am desperate to get out of my current role. I added what I could to my resume and then asked for old contacts to recommend me on LinkedIn. I have been in touch with recruiters, but that has not been as helpful as I had hoped. I have only had one screening interview so far, but I was able to get through the hundreds of resumes submitted online for the position and speak to a real person, so I feel like it is a win even though I may not end up with the role. Good luck!

    • If I were interviewing you and you said you were looking around because there wasn’t enough work to keep you busy, I’d regard that as more favorable than someone who said they were looking to leave because they were overworked. Just focus on the work you did (even if not a full year’s worth) and your work ethic.

    • I was in a very similar boat a few years ago (in law). I came up with bullet points based on work I had worked on and left out the part that I had done it once, instead of regularly over the course of 18 months. It helped that I was moving into a very different role in which I didn’t need experience from my previous role. I got the impression my new employer was impressed with the status of my previous firm and since I had a good reason for leaving (wanted to move to private practice) they didn’t ask many questions about the technicalities of what I did, much less how much work I had.

    • When I was in a role like that I got very involved with the Diversity work stream and corporate social responsibility

  24. Has anyone had laser resurfacing done to diminish the appearance of acne scars? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and am interested to hear about people’s personal experiences with it, especially if you’ve got darker than average skin. I’m South Asian, and while I’m probably on the lighter side, I’ve read that it may not be advisable for darker skin.

    • I had a couple of treatments on a scar from a mole removal gone bad. (got infected) I think it helped flatten the scar but it did not eliminate the scar, and the discoloration had to fade on its own.

      Are you worried about color or texture?

    • palmtrees33 :

      I did Fraxel resurfacing twice for indentation scars/discoloration. I’m Latina with slightly darker than olive skin. I’d recommend it. It wasn’t a miracle procedure, but I saw a marked improvement. If you do it, I would recommend you plan for your recovery to take longer than expected. I thought I’d look okay after a few days, but it took about a week for the swelling to go down fully and the flaking/peeling to clear.

  25. Recs for dry shampoo?

    • Tresemme

    • Meg March :

      Living Proof Perfect Hair Day.

    • Anonymous :

      Khloranne – so expensive, so effective.

    • Oribe. My hairdresser’s salon sells Keraste and Bumble products, but when I asked her for dry shampoo recs she whispered to me to skip their stuff and buy the Oribe. I ordered it from Amazon. It’s really nice.

      • Anonymous :

        I love the entire Tribe line but not the dry shampoo. It doesn’t really do anything, in my opinion. I prefer Living Proof.

    • Honestly, the only one that has ever worked for me is Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder. The spray dry shampoos get sticky and make my hair feel limp. The Bumble and Bumble is basically like a shaker of baby powder. It smells great, absorbs quickly, and leaves no sticky residue.

      • I’m a huge fan of the Garnier Fructis dry shampoo. I spray it on at night and I wake up with nicely fluffed hair. Inexpensive too, so going through a bottle or so every month doesn’t even come close to breaking my budget

    • applesauce :

      Batiste forever – cheap and just as good as Khlorane.

  26. DH and I hang out with my sister often and are pretty close; she talks to us about all kinds of personal stuff (health; relationships etc), as do we. When it comes to money though, she totally downplays. No one is asking about anyone’s finances – and we’re all in the same boat – all MC/UMC, all attys working in gov’t for financial regulators. This weekend the topic came up re the total speculation that regulators salaries could go down to the GS scale – she shrugs it off and says it wouldn’t be a big deal. Same thing 2 yrs ago when moving from biglaw to gov’t — the pay cut wasn’t a big deal. She doesn’t seem at all uncomfortable about money – just shrugs it off. DH was the one who noticed bc he can’t believe that a pay cut would be no big deal. Me – IDK – she’s single with no kids and lives nicely but not extravagant – maybe her near decade in biglaw set her up as the millionaire next door. What would you think?

    • Do you have kids? If so and she doesn’t, I could see her shrugging it off. She’s an attorney so she wouldn’t be destitute (I’m a govt attorney on the GS scale…most are 14s and make over $100k so no one is poor). You must be SEC or something, because EPA regulators are on the GS scale. Interesting. Personally I’m DoD so would love to go back to pay-for-performance; anyone who wasn’t a total waste of oxygen apparently made out well!

    • Why do you care?

      “No big deal” doesn’t necessarily mean “doesn’t make a difference to me” or “is totally irrelevant.”

      Maybe she just doesn’t value money like you do. I am by no means set up after years in biglaw, but I just took a big pay cut to go to a smaller firm. Based on everything else that informed that decision and what I value in my life, I can honestly look at that $60k pay cut and say “not a big deal” in casual conversation. In fact, I have. Internally, I’m acknowledging the importance of factors other than money, and that I’m lucky enough (as compared with the rest of the world/America) that I have the ability to do this.

    • I would think she doesn’t want to talk about money and I would make a point to avoid talking about salaries with her in the future.

    • I think you and your DH should quit being nosy and judgy. Either she just doesn’t want to discuss it with you or she’s telling the truth, is good with money, and it won’t be a big deal for her. Idk why you need to speculate about this.

      • Right. There are plenty of people for whom a slight pay cut would not be a big deal because they make more than enough. I am I am in this boat (and my salary is <$100k, fwiw). I just live frugally and put most of my earnings in the bank. I would be annoyed about a pay cut but it would in no way affect my daily life, unless it was huge, like 50%. I don't know why this is so hard to comprehend, and it doesn't mean she's a millionaire. Also she may not want to talk money with you and that's her prerogative. You sound very nosy.

    • Is she shrugging it off or trying to change the subject? Sounds like maybe both.

    • I’m not sure what you expect her to do – have a temper tantrum about it? Anyone leaving biglaw for govt will obviously know the difference in compensation. Perhaps she is a reasonable human being who understands how the real world works and doesn’t get disproportionally upset about things that she can’t control. I think your husband’s insistence that she must act a certain way is very strange.

  27. Sometimes in policy, there are solely policy wonks with zero real world experience, aka the ivory tower. You currently are in the real world. You may have you learned things by simply observing. Like, about how things really operate? Or how contracts are structured (in general, not particular provisions) so you know how they could be changed? Hopefully this can jump start your thinking!

  28. I’m 32, recently divorced. I got married at 27, which was pretty young for my peer group. I met a guy last week at an alumni networking event. He asked my for card, then my cell, said he’d text me, and he did. We went out over the weekend, had fun, and he said he wanted to see me again and take me to a specific restaurant. I’m taking it all as a good sign.

    However, I think he’s younger than me. I googled him (of course), and I found an article about his gradution. Based on the typical progression of undergrad/professional school, I think he’s about 5 years younger than me. At the alumni networking event, year of graduation didn’t come up because I went to there for undergrad while he was in grad school there.

    I’m not that concerned about our age difference, its more that I assume he hasn’t been married and may be weirded out dating a divorced woman, especially if I’m older. At what point do I say I’m divorced? I don’t want to freak him out prematurely!

    • I’d just let it come up. I find that naturally somewhere in dates 1-3 romantic history tends to come up, do just be matter of fact- divorced, no kids, it was rough but ultimately for the best.

    • Just work it into a convo casually and see how he reacts! If he has a problem with it – its his loss!

      • OP here, thanks for the commonsense advice! Sometimes its nice to have that external validation!

    • Unless you had some dramatic divorce where your ex husband is disrupting your life/stalking you then I see no reason as to why this should ruin anything with this new guy. Things dont work out for various reasons and I think the bigger deal you make of it the weirder it will seem. Like Anon at 11:23 said, just bring it up casually and if he has a problem thats HIS problem not yours. =)

    • My SO was divorced a few years before I met him. He brought it up casually on about our third date. I appreciated that he brought it up but otherwise didn’t really care. I would do the same with this guy. I think having been married before is important enough that it merits mentioning but it shouldn’t be a big deal.

    • When I’m dating a divorced guy, the issue is never that he is divorced. The issue is that he’s still in love with his ex or has issues stemming from the divorce.

      If it’s no big deal to you anymore, it won’t be a big deal for him.

      If he makes it into a big deal, well, you’ve dodged a bullet.

  29. AttiredAttorney :

    I might be too late to get good responses, but what are your favorite meals to take to friends who just had a baby? This family is no beef or seafood…

    • No meals ideas but I’d love someone to bring me a fruit platter (in general, I’d love it if people showed up at my house with fruit platters). It’s something easy to nibble on, requires no prep or clean up, and is a healthy snack. That or sushi, still cooking this baby but when I give birth, I’m going to have a big plate of sashimi delivered to the hospital.

      • +1 the BEST food we received after I had my son was a giant fruit tray, veggie tray, and meat and cheese tray.

    • Enchiladas!

    • Vegetarian lasagna. Usually reheats great as well.

    • I’ve made an orzo salad for friends. Grilled chicken (chopped), feta, tomatoes, olives, scallions. Cook the orzo and after it’s done, spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool and liberally douse it with olive oil and salt/pepper. Then mix together all of the ingredients. It can sit at room temperature, can be eaten like a cold pasta salad, etc. It’s super easy and requires no effort on their part. Only caveat is that it contains dairy (some babies are sensitive), but you can omit the feta or put it in a separate container.

    • I recently took a pan of chicken enchiladas and a separate container with lots of fixings that could be thrown on top (lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc.). A bonus is that all of the fixings could be mixed together to make a salad as well.

    • Pasta salad or pad see ewe with tofu.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I always bring a quiche (can be eaten any time of day, hot or cold), soup, a salad kit (Taylor Farms makes good ones), cheese and crackers, and a fruit tray.

    • Anonymous :

      pumpkin chili

    • marketingchic :

      The Dinner a Love Story blog just did a post today on a week’s worth of freezer meals to bring to a friend. There were several that could work for you.

  30. Purse anon :

    I saw we talked about 13″ laptop bags last week…any recs for 15″? The Dagne Dover 15″ is about .25″ too small for my 15″ macbook pro. Tory Burch thoughts? I don’t travel a lot, so the OG/OMG don’t really appeal.

    • I have the Dagne Dover Charlie, which should fit a 15″ bag, I believe the Lo & Sons Brookline will as well. I love the Charlie, it is a gorgeous bag, but it is heavy. I don’t mind that it doesn’t zip, but I know that’s a dealbreaker for some. I travel with it, and I’m not precious with it and it has taken wear really well.

    • Lo & Sons’ Seville has a 15 inch option. I got the 13 for christmas and have owned the OG for several years. I love how well organized the inside of the Seville is, even when I’m not using it for travel, and IMO it’s much cuter than the OG/OMG while still very practical inside.

    • The OG is still really good, esp. if you take a lot of stuff back and forth each day. I have the 15″ Seville and used to use the OG daily (now just for travel).

    • The Dagne Dover 15″ tote fits my 15″ Macbook pro just fine. If that is what you like the most, go for it.

  31. Bra fitting :

    Where are some good stores to go to for a bra fitting? Also if I go for a fitting am I obligated to buy something at that store? NYC based if that matters. TIA!

    • Town Shop on the UWS or Linda the Bra Lady. IMO yes, as long as they find you a bra that fits, you should buy at least one.

    • I like Linda’s at 3rd Ave and 34th(ish?), they got me into a correctly-sized bra, which was amazing! I have always bought at least one bra when I’ve gotten a fitting, but they have always put me in bras that I WANTED to buy.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 for Lindas or Iris Lingerie in Brooklyn. And yes I think you should buy a bra from them if they find you a good bra. (And they will). You might be able to find the same bra on sale elsewhere, but buy at least one from them to help them stay in business. They’re doing god’s work!

    • I recommend the subreddit for this topic r/abrathatfits

  32. There are a couple questions in this thread about family pressuring people to have kids. I do NOT want to be that auntie, but I am curious what my nephew and his fiancé are thinking about for their path. I don’t care if they have kids now, later, or never. I have a loose relationship with my nephew. I send him care packages at the end of the semester (he’s in grad school), and forward him stuff that I think might interest him. When we see each other, he sometimes wants to have a deeper discussion with me than most of our family is willing to get into (i.e. He asked what I think about gun control. He hunts deer, so it clearly wasn’t an entirely neutral question). So I’d like to know, but want to be clear that I’m asking for info so I can be a better aunt, not because I want to pressure them.

    Any suggestions on phrasing/what not to say?

    • Uh no? Don’t ask. You don’t need to know, your reasons are silly, if he wants you to know he will tell you. Jeeze Louise, this is why this is a problem. Everyone somehow thinks they are special And entitled to ask these questions. You aren’t. At all. Don’t do it.

    • Do not say anything. I’m unclear how you can “be a better aunt” with this information. They may or may not want to have children. They may or may not be able to have children biologically. They may or may not be able to have the number of children they want.

      If you have a close relationship, he will talk to you about it when he is ready/wants to. Just like when he asked you about gun control.

    • Don’t. How could this possibly have any relevance to your relationship with him now? Take him as he is today and do not worry (or ask) about unknown futures that are none of your business.

      Taking this a step further – what if they tell you they desperately want children ASAP and then a year after the wedding still nothing? You don’t want to be the person to ask how things are going *wink wink* when they’re in the middle of a fertility crisis.

      • F** no I wouldn’t say that! Did you read my OP? I don’t care if they ever have kids. My family knows my plans for the next few years. When someone is considering starting a career or educational step we know that. But you guys are making it clear that you don’t see talking about plans as the same as talking about plans.

        • We read it. Chill out and quit being nosy.

        • You can’t both ask the question and claim you don’t care about the answer, because that’s not how conversations work. If you ask, you are implying that you care about the answer.

        • You’re right. That is EXACTLY what we are all saying. Asking about career and educational plans is not AT ALL like asking about whether or not they plan to have children or are trying to have children or are having trouble trying to have children. The latter are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

          Sorry for the internet shouting, but your defensiveness is truly baffling.

          • Anonymous :

            I think OP is so defensive because she came expecting kudos for being an involved and caring aunt and suggestions on how to ask. She doesn’t want to hear that she shouldn’t ask or hint at all.

        • MargaretO :

          I am a woman in my 20s whose family talks about long term plans like that. I hate it. My siblings hate it. Everyone in my generation of the family is driven nuts by it. It’s never just curiosity, it opens up a space for discussion of our life decisions and its awful. You younger relatives life plans are none of your business! They will tell you what they want to share.

    • I have close relationships with several of my aunts. We don’t discuss our reproductive systems. Think about if your nephew started asking you invasive about menopause/hysterectomy/mammograms, etc.

      Instead ask about professional aspirations, research topics of particular interest, if he and his finance have any travel plans coming up, and since you’re pretty close, I would say politics and religion would be more on the table than reproductive systems.

      • Walnut, you just brought up how very different families are. Two of the topics you suggested as “safe” is very touchy in our family. So I should not have asked a bunch of strangers about this. Thanks for pointing that out.

        • No, you just shouldn’t do it. At all. Are you really this clueless? Its just not okay.

          • Again, did you read? Your other examples of what is and isn’t ok are off-base.

          • you’re being incredibly obnoxious here.

          • @shopping, you’re missing the point. Walnut was saying EVEN TRADTIONALLY HOT BUTTON TOPICS like politics and religion are more appropriate than asking about reproductive planning. Butt Out.

          • No, her examples are not off base. You asked this group if you are special enough to be nosy about your nephews plans to have children. You received a resounding and unanimous chorus of “no.” You don’t like that answer, and now you are spewing.

            The fact remains that it is never, ever appropriate to ask someone about plans to have children. You are not a special snowflake exemption. Knowing his plans would not make you a “better aunt.” Minding your own business would make you a better aunt.

          • Shopping, I think you’re missing that there is a bit of hierarchy that Walnut is laying out. Reproductive plans are at the very end of the list of things to talk about. If it isn’t safe to discuss religion or politics in your family because it’s too touchy, you are light-years away from discussing reproductive plans. Reproductive plans are pretty much only a safe question from the very closest of close people (I’m legit best friends with my mom and I still don’t want her asking). He will volunteer the information in conversation if it’s something he wants to discuss. Otherwise, don’t touch it with a 10-foot-pole. He will be able to tell when you’re fishing and that will make it 10x worse because either he or his fiancee will be uncomfortable with the pressure.

        • Anonymous :

          If politics and religion are topics to be avoided in your family, then fertility/family planning falls into both those categories. Fertility issues often and easily combine both politics and religion. Avoid.

          Your nephew will tell you if he has anything that he wants you to know. If he does not tell you it is because he does not want you to know.

        • I don’t think I was clear – I meant that I consider religion and politics as more “safe” with a close relative than talking about reproductive systems. By no means should most people discuss religion and politics at a general family gathering!

          With relatives that I am particularly close with, though, those items are very much on the table because we can have thoughtful conversation around it, even if our opinions are different. Reproductive systems are STILL off the table.

    • huh, most of my conversations with my nephew are like, “don’t knock that girl up, dude, that’s for life.”

    • No no no no. If they want to share their plans or lack thereof for kids, they will bring it up. If they don’t, it’s completely inappropriate to ask.

      • Right, “we’ve really been trying to have kids but it’s not working” is a thing people say when they’re hurting. I don’t think so! Just look at how many times people post on here that they have been trying and insensitive so and so somehow accuses them of not wanting what they really long for.

        But if, for example, they say they want kids right away, and have none in a few years, and I see something particular to how people whose other life circumstances are similar to theirs deal with infertility, I’d know to say “this might interest you” vs. if they’ve said they’re waiting or aren’t sure if they ever want kids, in which case I’d click on past.

        • Senior Attorney :

          OMG if I were struggling with infertility and my well-intentioned aunt forwarded me articles about how to deal with it, I would seriously just want to punch a hole in the wall. Honestly. If people want you to know about their reproductive situation they will tell you.

          • +10000000 to “If people want you to know about their reproductive situation they will tell you.”

          • Yeesh no! Medical info they can get from a doc.

        • Anonymous :

          The other poster is right – if they want to share, they’ll bring it up. I don’t understand what you’re trying to say here – they’re definitely not going to want you sending them stuff about infertility in the future! Step away from this topic with them.

        • Anonymous :

          No. No no no. No one needs a meddling auntie “helping” them. You are the problem

        • When my family knows I’m planning a trip, they will send me articles and advice on travel to that location. But I don’t think the same type of thing is appropriate for family planning. Infertility is very emotional, and while your article or advice may be good, if it arrives at the wrong time it could just upset everyone.

          In my family, the question of “do you guys plan to have kids?” is OK to ask, but my answer to everyone until I was about 3 months pregnant was always “we don’t know yet.”

        • OMG do not do this. Stop. DH and I are having trouble conceiving now and if, say, my grandma sent me a WebMD summary of the ovulation process I would block her from my contacts.

        • As a late 20s, relatively recently married person, I can tell you that I would absolutely not appreciate a) even close family members inquiring about my plans to have children or b) assuming that I’m dealing with infertility and then trying to “help” me cope with it by sending me articles. That would absolutely, without a doubt be overstepping boundaries.

        • Anonymous :

          Actually, people do talk about infertility. Several friends have brought it up to me. If they want to share they will. You can ask them how things are going and what’s new, which gives them an opportunity to share if they want to. If they don’t bring it up, they do not want to talk about it with you, period. Asking point blank is extremely rude and it will result in them pulling further away from you, not growing closer.

        • lost academic :

          We’re all trying to tell you that while you may mean well, it doesn’t matter: you still need to not do any of these things, say any of these things.

    • The way to be a good aunt in this situation is not to ask.

    • If they have children, then after the child is born you can ask what you can do to help.

    • You're kidding? :

      This has got to be a troll? Please be a troll. I fear you’re not a troll.

    • This is a weird, weird thread, but I still feel compelled to throw in a vote for not asking.

    • My last post on this topic and I really wish I could delete the question. I have basically separated from my family as much as possible. I don’t know if this girl (she will be 23’at the wedding) knows it, but she is marrying into a very heirarchal patriarchy, supported by religion and money. I would call it disfunctional, but it functions very well for certain ends. They could and would take actions to make it difficult for her to continue in her career if they so wished. If they have kids, the amount of travel required for her to continue her career would trigger such actions. In that case, I would argue for her a couple echelons up the patriarchal ladder from her. It’s not quite The Godfather, but it is definitely not the everyone-makes-their-own-decisions, respectful environment people expect. And that’s why I shouldn’t have asked.

      • Anonymous :

        Then do this “In that case, I would argue for her a couple echelons up the patriarchal ladder from her.” after they have kids, and she stays in a job that requires a lot of travel, and extended family members give her a hard time about it.

        You’re like 17 steps ahead of yourself here.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh my god. No stop. She is making her choices. She chose your nephew. She can figure this out. If they ask for help or advice by all means give it, but thinking it’s okay to be talking to a 23 year old woman about her family plans is insane.

      • I come from a family where everybody is in everybody’s business. You are not helping.

        If you were earnestly and honestly trying to help, you (1) wouldn’t refer to a woman as a girl and assume she cannot make decisions for herself (2) take the advice and do NOT ask these questions — seriously, this is just as bad as the family you are separated from and (3) make a real attempt to be a friend to your nephew and his fiance. As in, invite them to dinner at your house, have real but polite conversations with them. If you want to be an ally to them, be an ally. But it sounds like you are being nosy just so that you can stir the pot and create more gossip by “arguing for her a couple echelons up.” Serious, butt out of the family drama and be kind (and not nosy) to them.

      • See, you assume that your nephew and future niece have naive to the way your family operates. Give them some credit that perhaps they recognize it and will take actions to move in their own direction despite the fallout.

        • As a case in point, I’m catholic married to an atheist. Two months prior to the wedding, a relative I am close with asked me if I was sure in what I was doing because it would be difficult long term to have such different religious perspectives in the house.

          I was SO steamed and told her that asking that sort of question really undermined just how carefully my now husband and I evaluated this topic. We dated for 5+ years and OBVIOUSLY we discussed our religious differences. The catholic church requires wedding preparation and – SHOCKER – the difference in religion came up.

          It really soured my relationship with that relative, because she thought I was being so naive, when she knew straight up that it isn’t in my nature to not be very careful about life alternating decisions. It’s not like we were shotgunning a wedding and barely knew each other.

          So, a takeaway for you, don’t sour your relationship with your nephew by discussing their reproductive plans and assuming that your nephew is naive to the “traditional” family expectations. If he brings it up, have a thoughtful conversation at that time.

      • I was a little younger than her when I married DH. While we probably had a passing “kids are a someday thing, right?” conversation, we were not prepared (and still are not prepared, several years later) to discuss or decide what our family plans are. At 23, she probably has not decided what path her career and life will take. Don’t add pressure to it. DH and I are reaching a point where people are starting to really wonder about us having kids – I resent those that mention it, even in the nicest of ways, because they aren’t giving me the space to figure it out. As I mentioned above, my mom is my very best friend and I still appreciate that she doesn’t mention the topic other than when I bring it up, and even then her response is a generic “if and when, I’ll help you.” That’s all you should say in response but ONLY IF your nephew or future niece bring it up.

      • She’s not a girl, she’s a woman.

      • lost academic :

        So you’re also white knighting. Stop. You really need to look at what you just wrote.

    • You won’t be a better aunt by asking this question. Your nephew and his wife’s reproductive plans are none of your (or anyone else’s) business. Just keep doing what you’re doing and they’ll let you know when she’s pregnant.

    • lost academic :

      No. Don’t ask, and don’t hint.

  33. Anonymous :

    I was in a car accident this Saturday. My friend was driving and rear ended another car. Immediately afterwards my collarbone/chest was sore from the seatbelt but that was the only pain. Now my collarbone and chest feel okay, but it seems to have caused a flair up in nerve pain shooting down my arm. This is something I sort of constantly fight, but had been fully under control for one or two months prior after I fixed some ergonomic issues with my desk.

    I have three options (that I am aware of) that I see:

    1. go to $40 chiropractor out of pocket (nbd) and see if they see anything majorly wrong and if there is I would proceed to a real doctor
    2. call her insurance, who I haven’t talked to because I wanted to wait it out and see if it would clear up on its own, and see what their process is
    or 3. Try and get an appointment with my GP this week which I would just use my insurance for.

    Which one should I go with? I have luckily never had to deal with anything like this before. Part of me thinks I am just getting in my head about how bad it is but the other part of me is a little worried. I also feel like going to the doctor is making a mountain out of a molehill but everyone else in my life is telling me that I need to go see someone.

    • Don’t start with her insurance. She might end up with higher premiums just for a well check on your part. If you have health insurance I’d just go to your doctor first.

      • Bewitched :

        FYI, doctors are required to ask if your injury is related to work or an automobile accident. If either of the two, they cannot bill your health insurance, they have to bill the motor vehicle carrier or the workers comp carrier. So, you may have no choice. With no-fault, a minor medical bill or two should not adversely affect your friend (any more than rear-ending someone else and damaging two cars will).

    • Anonymous :

      Go to your doctor and see. Send her insurance the bill if you want.

  34. Camera Shy :

    Any recommendation for a good mirrorless travel camera? I’m just tired of lugging a DSLR around when traveling.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Sony alpha. I have the alpha a6000, but there is a newer version. It’s my first “real” camera, and I love it. Small enough it fits in my person with body+kit lens and I can usually fit the zoom lens in my bag as well.

      • Camera Shy :

        Thanks! I’ve read some really good reviews about Sony Alpha A6000 and A6500 (newer version). I want something light, fast and takes amazing photos. It seems to fit the bill.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          It’s great! I also seriously considered a Fuji and I think an Olympus (don’t recall the exact model #s), which seemed equally good in terms of picture quality/speed, but the alpha was the most comfortable to hold.

  35. Favorite things: Men assuming you’re admin/support because you’re one of the only women in the room at your large, flagship annual industry event. Even more favorite? When they start complaining, borderline yelling, at you because of said assumption and feel the need to tell you the food is terrible and the event disorganized. PS: I had a name tag with my title and “industry household name” on it.

    Serenity now.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s the worst!

      I just started reading ‘Feminist Fight Club’ by Jessica Bennett and kind of loving it because there are great scripts for how to handle different situations. Like, other than just wine – because more wine is pretty such how I handled this stuff before.

    • My favorite response to men yelling at me: “Do you feel better now?”

    • +1 to this. It happened to me (a VP responsible for an business line that does eight figures in revenue every year), and the person who assumed I was an admin was a senior partner at a Top 10 law firm. I’m not in law, but it gave me new respect for what you ladies who practice in Big Law must go through sometimes. I’m still kicking myself for not properly standing up to him, but it caught me so off guard that I couldn’t even react properly.

      The worst part? My older male boss witnessed it and shrugged it off (“Eh, it happens”). Yes, but it doesn’t happen to you because you look like him.

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