Tuesday’s Workwear Report: The Mona Dress

This gawgeous dress from MM.LaFleur is available in a ton of sizes in the dark navy, but the pictured cherrywood is down to lucky sizes only. This is one of their bestsellers that they’ve added sleeves to, and they still have the sleeveless version, in case you prefer that. It looks like a fabulous dress, and I love that the seams and darts seem like they’d be really flattering for curves. I like the V-neck, the non-exposed back zipper, and the seams and darts and little cool touches like notched sleeves. It’s made from a stretchy, breathable fabric (that “packs beautifully and molds to your shape”) and it looks really comfortable. The dress is $265 and available in sizes 0-16. The Mona Dress

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    I posted yesterday about a work trip to Toronto in mid May, the work event is on a Mon and Tues. Spoke to my boss this morning and it turns out I can stay for the rest of the week. Haven’t been to the city before and I will probably get Air BNB for the 2 or 3 days after the event, which areas are good to stay in? Work won’t cover this so affordability is important. I won’t have a car so will rely on public transport. Also planning on going to Niagara Falls, ON where I have family before leaving TO. I’m looking for suggestions on things to do, is it better to do 3 days or two? I am in a very small town so I would like to balance out some window shopping/real shopping and sightseeing. So yes I am missing that aspect of being able to walk into nice places to shop? When I visit big cities I gravitate towards museums but would really love suggestions on other things I can look into or just nice places or neighbourhoods to walk around in.

    One other thing, what should I wear? I’m always in T-shirts and jeans for work. But would like to be more put together for this. For context it’s an event with lots of people from academia, people don’t dress that formally but still I want to look nice but weather appropriate. Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry typo above meant….I am missing being able to walk into a mall or nice shops.

    • Canadian Anon :

      So you’ve posted three times at this point, but I’ll still entertain you. Your conference is at UofT which is right downtown Toronto. You can basically walk to everything and anything from there. Personally love the ROM and China town but ymmv. There is great shopping in Toronto, notably the eaton centre which has a new uniqlo. Toronto is not cheap so I’m not too sure about affordable lodging options, the housing crisis means even air bnbs are pricy. Niagara is 3 hours driving from Toronto and St Catherine’s is 2 hours. Are you potentially mixing up the cities or do you have family in both? I’d recommend getting doughnuts at Beechwood doughnuts in St Catherines and visiting a winery in Niagara

      • @Canadian Anon, the suggestions are helpful, I appreciate it, not mixing up the cities, turns out I had the wrong name for where they actually live. I also respectfully want to point out that this sentence:”So you’ve posted three times at this point, but I’ll still entertain you” just comes across as snarky, others have posted more than once here and did not get such comments. Also I do acknowledge in my post that I have posted before so anyone reading will already know this, and can choose whether or not they want to respond, so I think that was unnecessary.

        To everyone else who responded, thank you.

      • She probably does NOT have a lot to do at work. Do humour her! I suppose Kat is also busy. I too am busy, but am leaveing early to go to Grandma Leyeh’s for Passover Seder. She invited some freinds of her who want me to meet her freind’s grandson. She said his name was Noodel, but it can’t be. I will report back if his name is Noodel, but I hope not. I can NOT fathom the thought of having a guy like Noodel as a husband, tho if he is nice and has a decent job, perhaps I could accomodate him.

    • It will be full on spring in May. The weather will be ideal- mid to high 60s. Possibly warmer if you’re lucky. I would wear a nice pair of cropped pants, a shirt and a blazer.

      As for where to stay, there are some funky/trendy areas but I (personally) think the best bet is to stay in a convenient spot for the subway and then take the subway or streetcar out to those areas. I don’t know much about hotels in Toronto though. A lot of people stay in the downtown core- there is a Hilton that’s centrally located which might be good. You can get on transit to get to the cute areas- Queen West (and West Queen West- yes this is a thing), Yorkville, The Annex, Queen East has a different vibe of its own, distillery district is cute and has art galleries if you are into that, St. Lawrence market if that’s your type of thing (kind of like going to Pike Place).

      • I would also only stay 2 days in Niagara. Going to some wineries would be fun, but would probably require you to organize transit or a car.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I would recommend walking queen street – I’m partial to west queen west but east side also has some amazing little stores. On weekends when its nice, I often just wander up and down queen street and duck into stores.

        You’ll be fine without a car in Toronto, although I’m not sure what air b&bs are like now, but I would assume expensive since housing prices have spiked recently.

        I would also wander around the St Lawrence market and the distillery district. The annex is close to U of T so if you want to be in that area, that may be good. It really depends on where you want to be – I find each area of Toronto is really different and has its own vibe and personality.

    • I wish there was internet-based platform that you could search that would have answers…

      • Wildkitten :

        For what to wear to an academic event in Toronto? There is. It’s here. But not especially searchable so we ask questions and give answers instead.

    • It’s my first time seeing your posts, sorry if I missed them yesterday.
      The areas around U of T should have some affordable Air bnb options. Check out the Annex neighbourhood for a nice and walkable area, not too far from the university (real estate prices are high, but I think Air bnb should be not soooo bad??)
      You’re pretty central for shopping – Queen West is a great street – west of University/Bathurst/Spadina has more of the unique small shops, although there are more and more chain stores. The Eaton Centre is a great mall for all of the usual chains and window shopping. Yorkville (Bloor Street and just north of Bloor around Yonge/Bay) is the high-end shopping.
      Other sightseeing – the ROM or the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) are great options, and Chinatown (Spadina south of Queen) is interesting, if you’re from a small town. Other ideas – get tickets to a Blue Jays game if you like baseball, and St Lawrence Market or Kensington market are great too. Personally I don’t love the distillery district… it’s nice, but it’s out of the way and there isn’t much to do when you get there.

      Walking and public transit should be fine. I live in a Toronto suburb and I almost never drive into the city. It’s so much easier to use the subway or streetcar.

      For Niagara, depends on what you like. Niagara Falls is beautiful but the city is really crowded and tacky. I would say that one day is enough. Personally I love the boat rides around Niagara – the Maid of the Mist is the classic, but Niagara Jet Boats is super fun. The latter is super wet, so I would only recommend it on a warm day (and bring a change of clothes).

      On what to wear, can’t speak to your event itself but Toronto is a pretty informal city. For the sightseeing component of your trip, jeans and a tshirt is totally fine.

    • Also Niagara Falls is uber tacky, kind of like a teeny tiny Vegas but the next town over, Niagara on the Lake has most of the wineries and is a cute town to mooch around in. Using GO transit to get there will be about 3 transfers, one train and. 2 buses. So if you are comfy driving, I would drive. I would spend one day in each. There is also a shopping outlet before the Niagara area, I can’t think of the area but close to White Oaks Confernce Centre ( a decent hotel) Google the hotel and shopping centre. There are ‘outlets’ in Niagara Falls but I find the one near White Oaks much better. It ‘s not amazing big city shopping but I grew up 30 min from there and my friends and family like it. It has Coach, Kate Spade etc and built to mimic US outlets.

      I hope your weather is nice as both Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake can best be experienced on foot.

  2. Anonymous :

    Lawyer moms (especially in NYC) – do you pay your nanny on the books?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes.

    • Anonymous :

      OMG yes.

      When you file your 1040 or whatever, you sign under penalties of perjury. If you know about the nanny tax concept and don’t comply and sign your tax return and file it, that looks like a minimum 18 USC 1001 “fraud or false statement” to me.

      Please, please pay your nanny on the books. Yes, it is more $ to you. But otherwise, you are exploiting her by not having social security / medicare taxes withheld for her and when she is older she won’t have the social benefits that you and I enjoy. Chances are, she’s not going to be paying much taxes on her income, but if she’s not on the books, she may not be eligible for things like EITC to which she’s entitled.

      Don’t be a chump. Don’t commit federal felonies. Follow the d*mn law and pay your nanny on the books.

      • housecounsel :

        I did (big city, not NYC), despite many people telling me that “nobody” did. When the nanny was injured in an accident unrelated to her job, I was deposed as her employer. I was very, very, very happy when that subpoena came that I had nothing to hide. True story.

        • I’ll pile on here, but ABSOLUTELY yes! In my state, paying under the table in violation of the law could also be seen as a violation of our rules of professional conduct, so the last thing you want is a disgruntled employee reporting you to the state bar.

      • MMLF questions :

        Something else to consider is that if your nanny gets hurt on the job (all that lifting — could strain a back muscle, etc.)? Or gets into an accident while driving your child or on transit? You don’t want to leave yourself / your assets / your earning potential exposed. If you follow the law, you can easily and cheaply insure against these risks (and provide for your presumably valuable employee). Otherwise, I’d really expect to get raked over the coals if something even slightly bad were to happen.

        Manage your risk!!!

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        When I was a nanny, the only nannies I knew who were paid off the books were immigrants from the Phillipines being taken advantage of by their employers.

    • My son is in daycare rather than with a nanny, but 99% of the people I know (in a Boston suburb) pay their nannies off the books. The only person I know who does pay her nanny on the books is an employment lawyer. It’s really a problem around here because nannies talk to each other about going rates, benefits, etc., and a lot of them ask to be paid off the books because they want more take home pay. So if you want to comply with the law, it ends up being a lot more expensive because you have to pay both sides of the tax bill, plus social security/medicare, unemployment insurance, etc. It’s a big issue around here, for sure.

      All that said, if you’re a lawyer, I think you have to pay on the books. I’m a lawyer and I didn’t want to deal with any of it, which is a big reason why we do daycare.

      • This. We do daycare precisely because it was much more expensive to “gross up” a nanny’s pay to make up for both sides of the tax bill. All the nannies around here vastly prefer being paid off the books, so you have to make the amount comparable if you want to pay legally.

        I’m an employment lawyer, so I knew I couldn’t take the chance.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Yep. As an attorney, I was unwilling to pay a nanny off the books, and daycare was more affordable.

    • Anonymous :

      We just hired a nanny and will be paying on the books, but it was actually kind of hard to find one that was willing to be paid that way. In my area (California) it appears most people are paying under the table, and most nannies prefer to be paid that way. It was sort of frustrating how much it limited our candidate pool.

    • I asked may dad and he said OF COURSE!!!!!! Dad says that if any of us in the HIVE ever expect to have a political career, you can NOT pay a nanny OFF THE BOOKS any more. There was this person who could NOT run for office b/c of this, and the illegal alien’s can ALWAYS hold you for ransom in the future, if you become important. So pay the Social Security taxes, and withold for Income Tax, dad says. He knows b/c he has freinds in DC who had illegals as nannies for their kids, and now they are stuck in GS 16 level jobs in Virginia rather then getting patronage job’s in the Trump administration — all b/c of a few bucks they saved 10-15 years ago with their illegals. FOOEY!

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes, always. Some of my lawyer friends do not, which really boggles my mind.

    • Yes. Also, have been pretty happy with homepay, which is a nanny payroll service. And we have workers comp insurance. Beyond the legality, I think it’s the right thing to do. If you go through a nanny service, I think it’s more likely you can find someone who will expect to be paid above board.

    • Yes.

    • Anonymous :

      In my former nanny life I was paid on the books (by a lawyer mom). I made too much money to get away with being paid under the table. It was also good for me because I was able to receive unemployment benefits when the job ended.

  3. Looking for some advice.

    After working at a series of not-for-profit institutions, I’ve given up my former, public sector oriented job path in favor of a stint in the private sector. I’m pretty excited about this because I think it’s genuinely the right choice for me. It became clear that my previous jobs were just not a good fit at all for me (not very many growth opportunities, work was not as interesting as I expected, most interesting projects were frequently farmed out to large firms rather than handled internally). Money was not a factor in this decision.

    I’ve gotten a job at a place that I suspect might be a much better fit for me, and I’m excited to start working there. But recently, I was at a dinner where someone asked me where I had worked previously. I told them, and although they were very polite, it was definitely a needle-scratching moment in the conversation, and I could see a little bit of confusion. It also occurred to me that this is likely to happen again.

    Any tips for handling moments like this in polite conversation? I don’t want new job to think that I’m not serious about the change, but I’m not sure which moments call for explanation versus marching on ahead.

    • Anonymous :

      Ignore it? It’s not a big deal don’t make it one.

    • Anonymous :

      Tell them, and then ask where they worked prior to their current job. It’s a needle-scratching moment because they don’t have a natural follow-up, so you need to redirect the conversation.

    • nasty woman :

      What do you think the reason is? Are they wondering if you’re there for the money? Was the non profit work diametrically opposed to the private sector’s mission? Are they worried that you’re a do-gooder who won’t be happy in corporate america? That will help figure out what the best response is.

      Or just give the answer, and say that you’re excited to transition because __________. Or say “it was great experience and I’m looking forward to __________” That way the onus isn’t on your listener to keep going on that topic.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s probably just a lull in the conversation, there’s nothing really shocking about your previous job.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you’re overthinking it. It sounds like conversation came to a natural end point. Ask them something about themselves to get it going again.

    • Um, what?

    • You owe no one an explanation.

    • Anonymous :

      Eggplant, if you don’t mind, how did you make the transition? I am current working in a legal capacity for a non-profit and am finding the transition to private difficult. I typically get dismissed at networking events as soon as I mention working in-house at a non-profit.

  4. It’s kind of funny that I have the rachel dress and love it, but when I tried on the mona dress, it didn’t look great on me. Something about adding the sleeves made it not work (but I love sleeved dresses so much)

    • Anonymous :

      I’m firmly on Team Etsuko for v-necked MMF sleeved dresses with defined waists.

      • I love my black estuko too. somehow the silhouette on that is perfect for me. I’ll probably buy another color in the fall.

      • But etsuko isn’t v-neck??

        • I know!

          I posted that and then looked at the website and was all OMG it’s not a V. And I have *two* of them. Need more caffeine . . .

          • ha! maybe i’ll try one on, you must not feel like the neckline is so high it’s choking you (which is why i tend to veer v-neck)

    • Yep. I prefer the alexandra, if I’m looking for a belted v neck dress. Same material as the etsuko, slightly different waist and skirt shape.

      I have an Annie dress and it is far and away my favorite MM dress- a little bit longer, and a narrower V neck. If they put sleeves on it, it would be a perfect holy grail item.

  5. pugsnbourbon :

    This morning, one of the radio DJs mentioned Lily Pulitzer. She pronounced it “pew-LIT-zer,” and I realized I’d never heard anyone say it out loud before. I had assumed it was pronounced like the award. How do y’all say it?

    • Anonymous :

      You don’t pronounce the prize that way?

    • Anonymous :

      I pronounce the clothing line PULLitzer.

      I never say the prize, but I read it as PEWlitzer in my head.

      I don’t know that that’s right. I live in the SEUS and can confirm that even if PULLitzer for the brand is technically incorrect, it is still market.

      • Same. I always thought the two individuals pronounced their names differently, hence the difference in the two “brands” as well.

    • Anonymous :

      My mother knew the Pulitzer (as in prize) family growing up and they were PULL-itzer not PEWlitzer. I’ve always said Lily the same way but only because I assumed it was pronounced the same way as the prize.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I’m home this morning for a surprise plumbing repair (yay) so I looked it up. Lilly Pulitzer was married to the grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, originator of the prize. So they should be pronounced the same. According to wikipedia, it’s “POO-lit-zer.”

      • Wildkitten :

        I know people love this s i t e for the supportive ladies but I love that there is a community of women equally interested in Lilly Pulitzer and the Pulitzer Prize.

    • Pronounciation aside, I just do not get the love for Pulitzer (the clothing.) what do you like about it? The pastels? The prints?

      Maybe it’s because I’m in the Bay Area but I don’t know anyone who dresses that way.

      • Agreed. Its like Vera Bradley on steroids – they should have an epilepsy warning in that store…

      • all about eevee :

        I’m in the South. I just love the prints. There’s always little hidden animals in them. They’re just great comfy dresses for outdoor parties in the spring and summer, or for the beach or vacation. Everyone I know sizes up in Lilly since they are intended to be worn a little loose.

        • all about eevee :

          Also, here’s a great piece about Lilly: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2003/07/lilly-pulitzer-200307

  6. Random PSA :

    I tried on new 2-piece bathing suits after years of avoiding it. OMG there is nothing worse than trying on a bottom that is too small. 360 degrees of muffin top. Also, variations in rise can have wildly-different results on those of us with non-model %s of body fat — a higher rise was perfection (which I would not have expected). At any rate, I found that #perseverence and trying on a variety is the trick.

    • Anonymous :

      There are a lot of things that are worse than trying on a bikini bottom that is too small. It’s just an article of clothing. Let’s can it with the fat talk.

      • Things that are worse: having to look at fat people in unbecoming bathing suits. Just ew.

        • this is gross, but I don’t think OP’s original comment was… she was laying the hate on bathing suits, not bodies. also, clearly it’s a degree of comic exaggeration, which I, who have a bunch of bathing suit bottoms waiting to be returned because of various crimes against fit, appreciated.

        • Things that are even worse: being a fat-shaming jerk taking out their insecurities on other people.

          • +1. I’m hoping Anonymous above is a sarcastic troll. Otherwise, what a terrible, awful sentiment.

          • Wildkitten :

            Yeah – I’m choosing to believe this one was supposed to be a joke because it’s so over the top.

        • Ohmygawd, how dare any woman have the gall to exist in the world–appear in public, even!–if their body and choices aren’t up to your standards?

      • This is not “fat talk”. This is just real woman talk. “There’s nothing worse” is a figure of speech and very often used for things that are, in reality, not the end of the world. “There’s nothing worse than when my coffee gets cold before I drink it/the printer breaks down when I’m in crunch time, etc.”

      • My god, this schtick is obnoxious. Just please stop. Just because other people have bigger problems doesn’t mean others (or OP’s) should be diminished.

    • alexisfaye :

      I do not read this as fat talk. And even if it is, it’s among a group of women who are here to share a variety of issues. Even their insecurities about being fat. Which is a thing. Whether you are a fat activist or not, you probably can identify some things about your body that you are insecure with. Learning to love (or live with) those things does not come by way of belittling those feelings.

      Random PSA, congrats. Glad you found something that you loved.

    • I find that swimwear hasn’t quite succumbed to vanity sizing the sane way that other clothing has recently. I routinely go up 1-2 sizes in bathing suits. Actually it’s probably closer to 3 sizes because I am smaller on top than on the bottom so counting from that.. Anyway, don’t sweat it. I just assume it will always be an unpleasant experience and then anything that isn’t terrible is just a pleasant surprise.

    • I haven’t bought a suit for three years (made do with athletic tanks and running shorts), and I think I probably need one this summer. I’m not opposed to a two-piece, but I’m so short-waisted and busty that I think a higher-waisted bottom (which I would definitely want) is going to end up being about two inches below my bosom. Anyone have any one-piece recs?

      • This one is very flattering, comfortable, and (ahem) secure, but it runs small, so you’ll probably need to go up a size or two (I went up two sizes higher than my normal size and it fits great).

        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4H9VOY/ref=twister_B0061IBVEY?th=1&psc=1

    • I had a fun ’emergency’ need for a bathing suit recently that led to a frantic trip to a walmart in the middle of nowhere, and for $12-ish I got a surprisingly OK bathing suit. I think what helped was that I knew my options were limited to that walmart, so it was just “out of these 8 bathing suits you grabbed, what will function?” Anyway, TLDR, I found that having extremely limited options led to much less bathing suit angst.

    • I don’t read it as fat talk either. Swimsuit bottoms are hard. Too tight and you get muffin too, too loose and they can fall off in the water. I bought a tankini recently to avoid wardrobe malfunctions while playing with the kiddo and it was hard to find out that provided coverage without making me feel like one of the Golden Girls. :-)

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I found boyshort bottoms last year and they’re totally my unicorn bottoms- I found two colors of them and bought in both colors. I also found a ruffly deep (deep) V-neck tankini that makes me feel awesome wearing it.

    • Wildkitten :

      Wanting clothes that fit isn’t necessarily fat talk. Every body – from the smallest to the largest – deserves clothes that fit.

    • I don’t know anyone, thin or not, who really enjoys trying on bathing suits. I think the OP’s message was positive – just keep trying different styles and you’ll find one.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Yeah, this. Also, I think I might be one of those people with model %s of body fat. I am 5’11” and a size 2. Too tight bathing suit bottoms create muffin tops/weird butt issues on thin people too. Why I generally prefer the sort of bathing suits that tie on and have minimal elastic bans….you can adjust the tightness on the rear/tummy.

  7. SEC football for novices (South Carolina) :

    YAY — child is going to an SEC school in the fall (or so said the giant hulking stadium when I drove by it). I went to a tiny college where one (alumni, student, or unaffiliated) could just go to football games. And I rarely went to games; I was all about the tailgate scene. Fantastic! Also, my college town had more than ample hotel rooms of all classes due to non-college attractions in the area.

    For SEC schools, I suspect that this this very, very different. One cannot expect to just go to games. Or to get hotel rooms when one wants. Or parking for tailgates. Or dinner reservations.

    Is there an easy way to figure this out as a parent? [Also, does one dress for games? And we’d be going with other children, so want this to be a fun outing and not a giant parental fail.]

    • Not USC specific, but lots of UGA/AU tailgate and game experience and I’ve been to games at USC. Do you just want single game tickets? Those you can probably find for some of the less popular or non-conference games. Season tickets are much more expensive and usually have preferences/tiers for alumni who donate money. Tickets for big rivalry games can be hard to come by. Students also should have access to seating in the student section although I highly doubt that anyone else can use those tickets. For tailgating, some of it depends on how early you show up. Some people shell out for reserved spots (or fancy cockabooses), but some spots are first come, first serve. Your student may be able to assist with securing a spot if they can get up early or do some legwork. I’d imagine you can also find people who rent out spots in parking lots around town so do some google searching for those options.

      • Oh, and for dress, it’s warm for at least the first half of the season so shorts and sundresses are popular. You’ll see a lot of people dressed in cute, casual outfits that are in school colors. People also wear the printed team tee-shirts and jeans/shorts, but to a lesser degree.

    • wintergreen126 :

      Not SEC, but I went to a Big Ten school, and I imagine it’s somewhat similar. The athletic website is usually pretty good about parking information and tickets.

      Hotels are trickier because they get booked fast! There are already a few games for which the hotels near my alma mater are already sold out–these are usually the big ones, like rivalry games. Call or check out the websites for hotels near the school. I know several near mine had reservation forms for football weekend. Depending on the game, places up to an hour away will be booked. Make reservations for hotels and dinner as early as you can.

      Dress comfortably! Wear school gear and have fun. If you’re sitting in general admission, anything will be fine.

      • SEC football for novices (South Carolina) :

        Too funny — that there are conferences and rivalries is totally new to me. My school had rivalries, but for half of us, we tended to have siblings or BFFs at that school.

        I know that someone at, say, Michigan is unlikely to have a sibling at Ohio State. But if you are from Alabama, you could have a sibling at Auburn (perhaps that is just not done?). I have no idea. It’s like another culture.

        My school was Division 1-AA, so real-ish football but more like Division 3 where it was a fun community event with good food and fellowship.

        • Nope, you are either Alabama or you are Auburn. That rivalry is huge and made bigger by the fact that they are both in the same division of the conference. South Carolina/Clemson, UGA/GT, UF/FSU in-state rivalries are a bit different because they are in different conferences.

        • Wildkitten :

          There’s a whole cottage industry for what happens when you have a kid at auburn and a different kid at alabama, or if you went to Auburn and you marry a Bama. Google Auburn Alabama House Divided.

    • I went to two different SEC schools for undergrad and law school, so here are some tidbits based on my experience: You will see a lot of people that are dressed fairly well for games (think cute dresses and shoes in team colors for women/girls, and polo shirts and khaki shorts/pants in team colors for men/boys). Book hotel rooms well in advance and expect to pay a premium. Parking will likely be a nightmare, so you should plan to be there hours before the game or book a hotel room close enough to walk to the stadium. A lot of people grill out at tailgates, play games like corn hole, drink, and watch other college football games – people take tailgating very seriously. If you aren’t able to purchase tickets directly from the school, you should expect to pay a significant markup on stubhub or another ticket resale site. I can’t speak to dinner reservations, as I always avoided going out to eat after games. Evening games are the most fun – they tend to be between better matched teams, have more energy (thanks to a full day of drinking), and fewer kids.

    • UGA grad here. Most of the students and alumni dress up for games. Cute dresses, jewelry, the works. Most of the people I know do not wear school gear but wear school colors. It’s pretty obnoxious I know, but we dress up for football games. Hotels go incredibly quickly and so do restaurant reservations.

      • Also a UGA grad – I haven’t been to a UGA game since I graduated from college 10 years ago, but I was always amazed by the number of women who wore heels and hiked up the hills. Meanwhile, I was decked out in jeans and flip flops (and was decidedly more comfortable).

      • UGAttorney :

        Another UGA grad here. X2 to the dressing up for games. I don’t think I ever wore pants or shorts to a football game. Dresses -sundresses or sweater dresses depending on the weather- were the norm. Always in school colors.

        For UGA games, it’s pretty easy to buy single game tickets for the less popular home and away games. And, depending on kickoff time, I think it’s easier to drive in for the game itself, park far away, and drive back after the game for most SEC stadiums.

    • I went to an SEC school for law school. I can’t speak to South Carolina since we’re an SEC West school, and I think things are a little less intense in the East ;), but researching is a great idea to get a feel for how things are done.

      There are only like 2 hotels in our town, so the locals rent out their homes. I used to rent out my 3/2 townhouse for $900 per weekend ($1100 for big rivalries). I used to advertise on Craigslist starting in July.

      My school had enterprising students who had set up companies with game weekend packages of townhouse/condo + tickets + tailgating spot. I’m not saying you need one of those packages, but that you could check out those websites to see how things are done locally.

      Restaurants were IMPOSSIBLE (they didn’t take reservations), so many people plan to cookout at the home they’re staying in. Plan to bring food with you because local grocery stores will be swamped.

      Wearing school colors is a big deal. My school actually publishes a schedule of which of our school colors they want you to wear to which games. Wearing athletic gear is uncommon – dressing up and looking cute is part of the deal. For warm games, white jeans with a school color blouse plus cute accessories is the norm for women. For cooler games, switch to dark jeans and boots plus school color tops. The only time it’s acceptable to be dressed really casually at my school is for bad weather games. Try image googling for photos of the tailgate to see what the local culture is.

      It’s a blast! Welcome to the SEC :)

      • This is wild. I feel like an anthropologist.

        I have a ton of black, so I think I’m already ahead for USC colors :) Garnet is sort of red, which I think is rotten with black. Maybe garnet / white?

        DOES LILLY PULITZER CARRY THINGS IN USC COLORS? Or is there someplace that has some sort of cute tunics (USC bookstore was not helpful, but was all basketball stuff when we recently went).

        • The easiest way to amass school colors is just keep an eye out for it when you’re shopping. Obv now isn’t garnet season, but you should be able to find some things in the fall.

          I’ve only been through Columbia once, and I remember the area around campus being very urban, but see if there are any boutiques in the area that cater to the university. We had an entire industry of shops that sold Greek items and cute clothes and dorm items.

        • It disgusts me to even talk about this as a Clemson grad, but you’re going to have to get over the garnet and black ick factor!

        • There is a cute shop here with lots of game appropriate clothes in school colors. It’s next to a tavern called the Thirsty Fellow. There is another store here that carries lots of school color clothes— its called Palmetto Moon. I think they have an online presence.

        • Try the website Twelve Saturdays for some cute gameday options. Not the highest quality, but there are some fun items.

    • Big 12 undergrad here – tailgates are a bigger deal than the game sometimes. If your son joins a fraternity, ROTC or another large student group, it’s likely they’ll have their own tailgate activities going on, or at least an area for refreshments/socializing/booze. Our school puts out a tailgating map with parking/shuttle options, tailgating areas and event areas. The tailgating is a free-for-all & many people have “claimed” the same spot for years – they usually find an undergrad and pay them to “claim it” with their pop up tent on Friday morning/Thursday night for a Saturday game.

      At my school, sun dresses with boots or wedges were good until it got colder then it was jeans/boots/cute sweaters & jackets in school colors. Now when I go back, it’s skinny jeans and booties/boots/wedges and a school color nicer top & a scarf or jewelry. Expect to see full blow outs, full faces of makeup on all ages of women -from the undergrads to older alumni coming back. Although, the younger sorority girls were the ones who were normally the fanciest – I wouldn’t wear half of the things that I did back then, now.

      • wintergreen126 :

        I had no idea fans got so dressed up for games! Is this an SEC or southern thing? I went to a Big 10 school, and we kept things casual. I guess it’s because it didn’t take too long for bad weather to set in.

        • SEC/Southern thing for sure. I remember the first time I took my B1G boyfriend to an ACC game and had to send him back upstairs to change…

    • I am a USC undergrad and law school grad! Go Cocks! Keep in mind that unless it is a night game, it is going to be HOT here. A sundress or cute shorts and top in school colors with flats and accessories is perfectly appropriate in terms of what to wear. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must.

      In terms of tailgating, the Fair grounds is adjacent to the stadium, so there are lots of spots there, plus the whole Carolina Walk area across the street from the Stadium. Those spots are usually for high donors though. Keep in mind traffic is TERRIBLE !

      Hotels should not be too much of a problem. The Vista area has a really nice Hampton Inn, and a new Hyatt has just been built there too. There is also a good Sheraton downtown as well as a Hilton near the Colonial Life Arena. If you know now what games you want to come for, book ahead. I prefer the night games, as it gives you more time to tailgate. The noon games are hard to tailgate for, and its always too hot.

    • Delta Dawn :

      The first thing I would do get very familiar with the USC ticket office’s website. You will see links to buy single game tickets as well as season tickets (tickets for all the home games at SC). Use the website to decide how many games you want to go to, which games those are, and how much you are willing to pay. It sounds like you are looking for four or so tickets (you plus other parent plus other kids), so be prepared to spend. Your freshman child will probably want to sit in the student section, and he/she can get student tickets independently through the ticket office. (He/she should do this the very first week of school if not before.)

      SC’s season is not sold out, so you should be able to get tickets at this point. Waiting until the week of the game is a completely different story and is usually only possible for a nonconference game. Everyone’s comments above are correct about day games v. evening games, though they won’t announce kickoff time until usually two weeks before the game because of TV schedules that change depending on if the teams are ranked. (They want to air, say, a #3 Alabama v. a #8 LSU at 6:00 pm, but if LSU loses three in a row, that game might get bumped to 11:00.)

      Looking at your schedule, your nonconference games are: NC State, LA Tech, Wofford, and Clemson. Clemson may as well be a conference game (in-state rival plus National Champs) and will be very difficult to get tickets to. If you are committed to going to all or even most of the games, and the money doesn’t bother you, I would call the ticket office and tell them you’re thinking of buying four (?) season tickets and ask what is available. Priority builds over the years, so if this is your first year as a season ticket holder, you may get to move to better seats by the time your student is a senior. And if you buy season tickets, you can always sell the ones for the games you don’t go to.

      The ticket office should also sell parking passes. Some of them are for tailgating areas, some are just parking lots where no one hangs out. You can always walk to a fun tailgate if you’re not parking in a tailgate area, but it may take you a few trips to know where you really “want” to park and tailgate. I would suggest buying an affordable parking pass this year, scoping out the tailgate scene, and next year buying a pass in the lot where you’d like to throw your own tailgates.

      Hotels and dinner– this can be tricky. After you know which games you’re going to, I would start calling Columbia hotels. You should be able to get reservations for the nonconference games, but as others have pointed out, the conference rivalry weekends may already be booked up. When you call the ticket office, you might ask them if they have any suggestions, nearby towns you could try, etc. Dinner is also hit and miss– I have eaten many late night delivery pizzas after a failed attempt at dinner after a game. But that’s part of the fun!

    • Gamec0ck Alumna :

      Check out downthread for some specific Columbia recommendations re: restaurants, etc.
      Also, for gameday wear, I always, always wore skirts of dresses. There are lots of shops in Columbia that cater to this crowd, specifically the boutiques on Saluda in 5 Points and Devine in Shandon. Saluda is closer to campus and those shops will skew younger. The shops out further east on Devine in Shandon are still super close, but (at least when I was there) skewed a little older and more up-market.

    • Vanderbilt alumni here! You can do what other SEC schools do when they can’t get into town for a home game: come to an away game here in Nashville, where hotels / tailgates are generally easier to handle. Or as the above poster says – try a non-conference game if tickets to SEC games are impossible.

      For gameday, I always wore dresses in VU colors. Draper James has some cute SEC school specific color items to look at that don’t scream “SPORTS!”Coming from the northeast I didn’t understand tailgating at all – but now I love it and totally get the appeal! It’s a party outside all day.

      • AnonMidwest :

        From an MU grad who came to Vandy (and then got beat) yes, this was a great travel trip. Though the stadium itself is not particularly SEC -like and they only let the visting team fans into one tunnel so there was quite the back up.

        Alternately, Since Columbia, MO is my football base. Come on down. Lots of space for tailgating and parking. reasonable ticket prices, and since we were just Big 12 a few years ago a good mix of girls in “SEC tailgating dress” and more midwestern tailgating dress.

    • B1G fan, so no specific advice for you. That said, this thread is getting me all excited for college football. 4.5 months until kickoff!

    • gingersnap :

      This makes my Gamecock heart happy.
      (I currently live about 800 miles away from Columbia, and was breaking out my garnet & black a few weeks ago for the men’s & women’s basketball teams). It’s amazing- I remember stepping out of class one day and ESPN’s Gameday film crew was there. The Carolina- Clemson rivalry is epic (there is an annual tiger burning). You can find a surprising amount of cute school clothing in the bookstores (the main one is on Greene St, in the Russell House, next to Starbucks; there are some other options in the smaller bookstore at the intersection of Greene & Main St). What I didn’t love was how aggressively + carelessly people drove after big games (One year after U of SC beat Alabama I was nearly hit 5 times in a weekend, another time after the Florida game a giant pickup truck was barreling down my generally quiet neighborhood street near campus)

    • Lifelong USC fan here- GO COCKS! For football games definitely go with a cute dress or skirt in school colors. I’ve seen people pull off a cute shorts or pants outfit, but the key is outfit- not just a school t-shirt with jeans. If garnet isn’t your thing, stick with black and throw in some garnet accessories. You can’t go wrong with a semi-casual black dress and a garnet statement necklace. The tailgates are definitely “the thing,” but I like that a lot of Carolina students actually do go to the game itself and make a great student section. Welcome to the SEC! Your life will never be the same :)

  8. Anonymous :

    The blue is only available in size 10.

    I do not understand why MM LaFleur still has trouble keeping sizes in stock. My size always sells out right away whenever a style is released or restocked. Surely by now the company is established enough that it should be able to predict demand a little better. Unless this is a deliberate strategy to create a perception of scarcity so that customers feel compelled to buy immediately whenever their size happens to be available.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. Navy is available only in size 2 when I look at it? Nope.

    • I’ve had surprisingly good luck DMing them on twitter or emailing the staff. Both occasions even though the size/color was OOS on the website, someone got back to me directly saying they had one. I think possibly their web software sucks or they aren’t good about keeping the quantities updated. Either way best of luck

      • Thanks, that’s good advice. I don’t understand their lack of inventory management either. My stylist just told me on a few styles I asked about, don’t expect more stock until fall at the earliest.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have this frustration too, and I’m smack in the middle of their size range so you’d think they’d be better about stocking. They’re not in my budget right now anyway, but in the past when I’ve shopped with them, I’d be waitlisted for stuff for a few months and then not want it anymore when it finally came in stock. Boo.

  9. Has anyone had luck letting out the hem of their mm lafleur dresses? It looks like there is space to do so but I’ve never done this before. Thanks!

    • I have not tried. One of my MMLafleir pet peeves is that the dresses are almost all too short for me (and i’m only 5-8). The Mona model is either short, or this dress was altered for the photo, because it was several inches shorter on me.

    • Yes, I had an inch or two let out on the hem of the Lydia and it worked well. The stylist at the pop-up I went to showed me that the hem is made to be easy to let out. There isn’t a ton of fabric to work with, but enough that you can get an inch or two, which made the difference for me.

  10. Dining Tables :

    Looking for a dining table that has a pedestal not legs and seats 8 with an option to extend to 10. All the pedestal style tables seem to seat 6 and extend to 8. I don’t mind a double pedestal but I want to avoid legs because a pedestal gives more sitting options – we have a lot of family and little kid cousins to squeeze around the table. Any suggestions?

    • SEC football for novices (South Carolina) :

      Maybe google expensive wood brands like Duncan Phyfe? You can find in antique / consignment shops for less than new tables of lesser quality.

      • Dining Tables :

        Thanks for this! Vintage is totally the answer – I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. Phyfe with the multiple leaves is exactly what I’m thinking.

      • Definitely look at good consignment shops. That’s how I got my 6-10 seater pedestal dining table (with chairs and a glass protective top).

    • Anonymous :

      We have the Benchwright Extending Pedestal Table from Pottery Barn and usually keep it round for the two of us. But when kids and grandkids come, we can get ten around it when extended. We also have six chairs and bought the matching bench, which seats four kids or three adults.

    • I own the three years ago version of this table and am a fan. We normally have six chairs around it, but it easily extends to 8 or 10 comfortably with the leaf out. If I found the correct table, the leaf folds itself under the table, which is far more convenient than one that comes all the way out.

      https://www.nfm.com/DetailsPage.aspx?productid=40994345

    • This one seats 10. There are some other options at wayfair too. https://www.wayfair.com/East-West-Furniture-Plainville-Extendable-Dining-Table-EWFR1417.html

  11. Work blouses :

    I am realizing that I have lots of sleeveless work blouses but not many short sleeve blouses. Since cardigans look terrible on me and I have trouble coordinating jackets and pants that don’t match with the sleeveless blouses, my wardrobe is full of tops I can’t really use. Has anyone found any nice short sleeved blouses recently that are somewhat tailored? Everything I find lately seems to have a very flowy or boxy fit, which is really not flattering on me. TIA!

    • Boden Ravello top?

    • Something that cinches, perhaps?
      https://www.anntaylor.com/tie-waist-tunic-tee/436079?skuId=22973962&defaultColor=2210&colorExplode=false&catid=cata000010

    • Or, a short-sleeved sweater
      https://www.anntaylor.com/extrafine-merino-wool-short-sleeve-sweater/430719?skuId=22597779&defaultColor=2222&colorExplode=false&catid=cata000011

    • Short sleeve blouses always seem off to me. I prefer elbow length to short sleeve. Have you tried different cardigans? Longer open cardigans look best with pants IMO.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I found super lightweight short-sleeve sweaters at Gap last summer that I’ve worn like crazy. They’re literally tissue-weight (so, okay for summer wear), slim cut, and really soft.

    • Foxcroft makes some shaped styles. You might go to Nordstrom and try a bunch on to find your size, they may run a bit large. They have long sleeve and 3/4 length styles pretty much all the time, they’re well made and hold up well. I don’t care if there’s a mumsy association with the brand. They make beautiful stuff.

    • This is the quest of my life

  12. I’m going to Dallas for a conference in May and was thinking of extending my trip beforehand for a long weekend. Would Austin be a good place to spend a long weekend? I’d be on my own.
    What are things I should do there? Any advice on where to stay? Would I need a car?

    • Austin is far. You either have to drive the 4? hours to or fly. Lots of flights from DFW to ATX though.

      I think it would be a fun place to spend a long weekend. G**gle this site you will find lots of old threads on Austin.

    • I think Austin is like a 3 hour drive?

      In Dallas, there’s plenty to do, and plenty of Ubers to get around. I’m actually considering ditching my car. To stay, I really enjoy the Omni downtown (excellent pool & bar), but the Joule has a great pool- cantilevered so it hangs out over traffic, if avant-garde architecture is your kind of thing.

      Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum are fun, artsy neighborhoods to walk around in, and there’s great BBQ in both (Lockhart and Pecan Lodge, respectively).

      To do: check out what’s going on in Klyde Warren Park, there’s always free exercise classes and often festivals, music, movies, etc. Go to the farmer’s market, tour the Old Red museum or Dealey Plaza museum. You can also go to Ft. Worth for a rodeo, that’s definitely an experience. Parking is cheap, but an Uber won’t break the bank, either. Tix very affordable.

      • Also, if you like a spa–The Joule has a FABULOUS spa. It’s essentially my favorite place in the universe. I highly recommend staying there, too.

        Dallas also has some wonderful restaurants. I spend a lot of time in Dallas (not from Texas) and always have a great time. I’d do the long weekend there rather than driving/flying to Austin and back.

        The Rustic has good food and live music most nights. For restaurants, Americano (in the Joule) is great, as are FT33 and Uchi if you want something fancier. Lots of great BBQ as others have mentioned. If you like pie, check out Emporium, right next to Pecan Lodge.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Sorry, threadjack, but I’ve seen pictures of that type of pool and am pretty sure I wouldn’t swim in it for a million bucks. To each their own, but I like…things that aren’t hanging out over traffic many stories below. :)

    • alexisfaye :

      Shameless plug for Dallas…We actually do have some stuff here. Live music every night in Deep Ellum, museums (Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Garden, Perot Museum, George Bush Presidential Library Crow Collection, etc…), not far from Fort Worth, good dancing in lots of flavors (Swing, pop, salsa/bachata/merengue)… Just sayin. : )

      • I lived in Austin for 10 years and always preferred Dallas. In addition to this list, I would recommend the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth.

    • Austin is about 3.5 hours drive away.

      But, Dallas is awesome, and there’s plenty to do. If you don’t rent a car, there’s also plenty of Ubers around. For lodging, I enjoy the Omni downtown (great pool and bar) and the Joule is pretty cool (has a canti-levered pool that hangs over traffic).

      Look at what’s going on in Klyde Warren Park, there’s always free exercise classes, music, movies, festivals, etc. Also check out the JFK museum at Dealey Plaza, Old Red museum, and the Dallas Farmer’s Market.

      Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum are fun, artsy neighborhoods (with excellent BBQ, Lockhart and Pecan Lodge, respectively).

      Ft. Worth for the rodeo! It’s a unique experience, and getting there by uber won’t break the bank.

  13. Wearing the Rachel in black today! Woke up to no electricity, so that dress and a blazer was an easy grab from my closet, and it doesn’t even look like I got dressed in the dark.

    Now, my hair/makeup on the other hand….

  14. How do you pack your toiletries for an international trip? We are flying with baby internationally and I want to limit items that I take with me. Do you wear make-up on the plane? I was thinking to have a few items with me for the flight and pack the rest in the checked in suitcase. What are your must have toiletries and make-up you take with you on the plane? Can anyone recommend good facial cleansing wipes? Thanks!

    • Ok, crazy traveler here, so bear with me. I use two separate toiletry bags. One for the flight in my carry on with liquids and one in my bag with solids/makeup. I put foundation, facial sunscreen and moisturizer in contact lens cases. I use Aveeno sensitive skin wipes but I also use cerave cleanser after. Just the wipes aren’t enough to remove makeup for me. On the plane I only wear makeup if it’s a shorter flight, so 5 hours or less. Longer and I won’t wear makeup. If it’s overnight I always change into pajamas and follow my usual evening routine (wash face, apply moisturizer). I take my own pillowcase, slippers, socks, kleenex, toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, eye mask and deodorant. I change half an hour before landing and do the basics on the plane. Once I land I will go to the ladies and freshen up and apply basic makeup, if I feel like it.

      • +1. Ditto if it’s a shorter flight I wear light makeup, but anything over 5 hours none or the bare minimum. I also don’t wear contacts for long flights, but put them in when I brush teeth and freshen up before landing. Really helps with the transition for me.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        On overnights, I also always change into pajamas, brush teeth, etc., and then change back to “real” clothes in the morning as soon as they turn the lights on (cue the entire cabin making noises like vampires in the sunlight).

        I got this tip from a friend who flies first/business class and is used to having airline-provided pajamas on her overnights. I don’t fly FC, but it’s amazing how much more human I feel after a 14 hour flight if I follow my pajamas routine.

      • I’ve never changed in an airplane bathroom, but I always see people suggesting it. Is it not super tight/kind of gross? I usually avoid airplane bathrooms as much as possible. I like this in theory though.

        • Anonymous :

          This sounds like such a pain, and first class bathroom aren’t any bigger than the ones in the cattle car. I wear ponte pants and layers, with are very comfortable to sleep in on overnight flights. Light makeup if any, and a Colgate Wisp for cleaning teeth. Easy, and doesn’t disturb my fellow passengers with a lengthy self-care routine.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Agree. Sometimes I feel like I am overly simplistic in my ways when compared to other ladies on here.

        • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

          Most planes of the type they send on transcontinental/intercontinental routes have a handicapped lav or one with a changing table somewhere. The handicapped lav is definitely larger than usual, and the changing table lav sometimes is, so I look for one of those.

          Kind of gross is harder to avoid. :)

    • Marshmallow :

      I like Simple micellar wipes. I don’t wear makeup on the plane except for maybe a tinted lip balm. I like to be able to apply moisturizer partway through the flight if I feel dried out.

      Everything goes in one bag if I’m checking, all items travel size unless noted:
      — Tarte stick face cleanser
      — Serum
      — Eucerin cream. I’ll use this on face or body, day and night.
      — SPF (mini face one and a larger size packed separately in the suitcase if going to a sunny destination)
      — Nighttime AHA product (might be a toner, pads, whatever I have around)
      — Venus travel razor
      — I didn’t used to pack toiletries that the hotel would have, but now that I have allergies I have to. Shampoo, John Masters organic hair milk, soap
      — Face wipes
      — Deodorant. Allergies will make this an adventure because I can’t find a fragrance-free travel size. I might start melting the full sizes and pouring into travel size containers.
      — Makeup: Minimal and involving few to no brushes. Cushion compact, two eyeshadow sticks, a lip and cheek pot, powder and a puff or mini powder brush.

      On the flight with me:
      — My usual mini makeup bag which includes a single packaged makeup wipe, all-purpose moisturizer for hands or face, hand sanitizer, tinted lip balm, mascara sample, Muji powder blotting papers. After the plane lands I go in the airport bathroom and wipe my face, moisturize, blot, and maybe apply the balm and mascara.
      — A big scarf or Turkish towel
      — Grippy socks, which I change into as soon as I’m in my seat
      — Empty water bottle which I fill up as soon as I go through security
      — Whatever work or entertainment I want for the flight

      • For deodorant, I actually take a sharp knife and slice off the top of my regular stick, and put it in a tiny ziplock bag.

    • I tend to embrace minimal makeup or be makeup free when I travel for simplicity purposes. I would say to wear whatever is the minimum level of makeup you are comfortable with and pack the rest into checked baggage. If a bit of moisturizer and a swipe of mascara makes you feel a little more human after a long flight, toss that into your bag, but keep it minimal. The reality is that your carry ons are going to be packed with your kids snacks, toys, stuffed animals, blankets, sticker books, surprise toys and there won’t be a whole lot of room left over.

    • Baby Travel :

      For a longer flight (including international) I do not wear makeup on the flight and I use layers of moisturizing skin care instead (toner, serum, lotion, cream, eye cream, few drops of facial oil on driest areas of my face).

      For on plane toiletries I pack travel/trial sizes of:
      – this complete routine
      – light makeup (I only use BB cream and brow pencil anyhow)
      – cetaphil cleanser
      – SPF 30 moisturizer (gentle one like Eurcerin so baby/child and I can both use it)
      – heavy duty cream (Aveeno, cetaphil, etc)
      – toothbrush with travel cover or one that I don’t mind tossing plus tooth paste
      – moisturizing eye drops
      – ALL prescription meds
      – Baby/child pain reliever and nasal aspirator (it can be remarkable hard to get this overseas and the couple of times I’ve needed it for a sudden cold/teething/etc but didn’t have any packed I learned my lesson – this one is overkill, I admit)
      – lip balm

      Prior to landing I wash my face/baby’s face with cetaphil and apply SPF moisturizer; apply makeup (for me); change baby/child from PJs to clothes and brush teeth/hair.

      During the flight, having cream for me/children is good for the dry spots as is lip balm, moisturizing eye drops. I also pack a ton of those organic veggie baby food pouches (and kept doing this until kids were nearly 4-years old) as healthy easy snacks for littles. For older ones I packed full on lunch box (yogurt tube frozen, various fruits, sandwich, etc) along with a couple of juice pouches, some individual cereal packets, lollipops for air pressure pains in ears, and a special treat (like single serving cookies or whatever).

      After too many international flights without DH and with 1 or 2 littles, my goal is to keep everyone hydrated, fed and comfy. I have never had any meltdowns or misery on any of these flights (although I did have to race through LAX WHILE BFing at least once).

      Also I strongly suggest brining at least 1 extra shirt for you just in case. Consider a straw or sippy cup as well, which will minimize the changes of needing that shirt, at least with older babies/children. Clearly, extra outfit(s) for baby. I would dress baby in PJs for flight, hopefully you have an overnight flight bc that makes everything easier, then change prior to landing (or sooner as needed).

      Bring plastic bags to gather trash at your seat so you can give it to attendant when they pass through, store dirty clothes, etc.

      Disposable hotel slippers for wearing at your seat if your flight doesn’t distribute them.

      Blankets. Lightweight muslin for baby- lots – you can drape over the seat to block light, wrap when plane gets chilly, etc.

      I pack more travel sizes of all products in my suitcase and toss as I use up. With a baby, stroller and car seat I could never manage just a carryon. I think it really helps to check as many things as you can to leave your hands free.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      How I pack my toiletries depends on what the carry-on allowance is. Some international flights have very low carry-on limits, meaning you have to check a bag. Then I just pack them however-still small sizes, just not as strategically. But some international flights will let you bring a rollerboard on. Then I pack them in small sizes in a clear ziploc.

      Yes, I wear makeup on all flights. I may touch up my powder and lipstick on longer flights, but the rest stays put just fine. I just keep powder and lipstick handy.

      For makeup cleansing wipes, I like Estee Lauder Take It Away.

      I just wear my regular clothes even if the airline provides PJs. I just wear something comfortable and wear slip on/slip off shoes.

  15. “Do you wear make-up on the plane?”

    Uhhhhh….not really sure you should be responsible for a small child.

    • Why are you so mean?

      I don’t wear makeup to fly because I find it just gets yucky and feels gross. I usually bring concealer and mascara in my carry on.

    • What? I don’t wear make-up…ever. Does that mean I’m not allowed to reproduce?

      • I’m not the person you’re responding to, but I read the comment to mean that someone who overthinks something as mundane as whether to wear makeup on a plane shouldn’t be responsible for small children. Not that people should or shouldn’t wear makeup.

        • I like to overthink everything when it comes to flying with my kid right down to the mundane so I don’t end of forgetting something critical. Nothing worse than being trapped on a plane without the One Thing that would make everything easier.

    • Uncalled for :

      Your comment was really uncalled for and I’m very disappointed in you.

      • Haha, I don’t agree with that obvious t r o l l comment, but your response is pretty hilarious.

    • nasty woman :

      Ah, but YOU, Anonymous at 10:11- a person who mocks and lashes out at random internet strangers for asking innocuous questions- definitely sound like a person who is equipped to raise a child and to comment on the intellectual/emotional abilities of others.

    • I think this is one random person – possibly two – who have shown up here in the last couple of weeks and are intentionally making provocative, nasty comments to get attention and cause trouble. Best thing to do is ignore this id iot and eventually they’ll wander off and find some other community to torment; that’s how it’s worked here before. Since Kat won’t require any kind of login system for contributors, or use moderation to weed these types of comments out, it’s up to us to be nonreactive so these people don’t get what they came here for, and move on.

  16. Anon for this :

    Women who are the main breadwinner in the family. Any practical and emotional type tips for keeping the relationship strong? Husband is staying at home with our three children at the moment and I feel our marriage, communication, everything that was rock solid starting to slip away. We are starting counseling however would love any anecdotes.

    • JuniorMinion :

      The biggest things are to 1) practice gratitude and be sure to appreciate your partner for their contributions (cooking meals, the fact that my husband due to being unemployed does all cleaning / errand running / other things that I would rather not do) 2) Give a mental big middle finger to people / societal judgment of your particular situation

      Does your husband enjoy being home? One of the hard parts of my situation is that my husband desperately wants to be working and has been applying to / attempting to secure anything / everything he is qualified for. This is probably the biggest stressor – that neither of us really consider non-remunerative work to be a great use of our time and we would rather both be working.

    • My husband stayed home for a few years with out three kids before the youngest started school. This was always our plan, as I have always made more money than him and his job was easy to switch to a part-time/contract basis. So he did some of that when he quit his full-time job. He also kept up with his hobbies (he likes woodworking, fixing up old cars, and random projects around the house.) He also played on a rec league baseball team with his friends. We constantly communicated about whether things were working well or not and how we could make changes to make things run more smoothly (we still do, especially now that we both work full-time or really more than full time.) We also tried to have date nights once every few months. I think it helped that he never felt less manly or whatever by staying home and honestly having s3x regularly helped both of us connect and feel desired by the other person.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Thoroughly agree with JM above.

      I have always had a habit of saying Thank You to my husband for things like making dinner, but now that he makes dinner every night, he hears it a lot more. It also helps that we talk to our daughter about work, and “mommy works in an office, and daddy works at home” — it’s a chance for me to talk about how valuable his work is, without like, sucking up to him?

      When we first moved out here (for my job) everyone we met (like, car salesmen, realtors, etc.) made A Comment on the breadwinning situation when they found out, but we talked about it afterward like “what are they, stuck in the fantasy 50’s?” Explicitly acknowledging that nonsense, and agreeing that it was nonsense, helped too.

      But what really helped was his getting into the groove of an entirely different way of supporting the family. Now he texts me pictures throughout the day like, “I finally took down that awful tree in the back yard” or “built those planter boxes!” and I can see that he’s starting to take pride in his work at home the same way he did with his work outside the home. And that makes him much less grumpy.

      • JuniorMinion :

        The best is when my husband has to explain to a recruiter that he can’t take a job in very distant location x (I’m open to him taking something within 4-5 hours from where we currently live) because I work here… the level of incredulity that he gets in response baffles me. One recruiter even went so far as to tell him “well this position pays very well – your wife might not have to work” – my husband, at this point angry said “well actually my wife has a job that pays more than this position so that’s not a great solution for us.”

        • My husband got a lot of incredulity when he moved 1000 miles away for a post-doc position and I did not move with him because I wasn’t about to give up my existing job for a temporary location. When he told people “her bonus is way more than my salary”, that typically shut down the conversation.

    • This was us until last year and I can’t up-vote everyone’s posts.

      What also helped hubby was going out during the day and not be stuck at home. He’d take the kids to parks multiple times a day. He went grocery shopping, he roamed Toys R Us, etc.. We’re fortunate to live in a city that offers tons of free or low-cost community classes that were “mommy-me/gymboree” type. And I managed to convince hubby they weren’t bad and very relaxed. Once he realized this, he signed up for ones he thought would be interesting for him and the kids. The library offers free storytime and there is no pressure to sign-up and show up at each one. All the moms in the classes loved hubby, btw. If your hubby is worried he’ll get a negative reaction from the moms, he has nothing to worry about!

      A surprise for us was my hubby’s feeling of failure for not having the traditional office job. This was early on and totally caught us off guard b/c he was totally on board with the arrangement. We made sure to keep open lines of communication and I repeatedly told him that at any time if it wasn’t working for him, for any reason, we come up with another solution asap. And I told him if it doesn’t work out, it’s not a reflection of him as a parent (aka: he’s bad or failed).

      Finally whenever he wanted a ‘bro’-night on the weekend with his buddies, I never said no or got bitter.

      Maybe b/c I’ve babysat extensively when I was younger or maybe it’s the subliminal messages from society but I was always sympathetic to his need to re-charge and have a free weekend or night. I think those times are really important too.

    • I’m getting divorced because my husband who didn’t make money refused to do the house husband thing. So I made all the money and then paid a babysitter to pick up kids/ drive them to practice. And I did most of the cooking and all the planning. I think we could have made it work were he willing to contribute in non financial ways.

      • Anonymous :

        Lobbyist, I’m sorry you’re going through this but happy you are moving forward in a positive way. I know way too many “married single parents” and I’m always glad when one of them changes their situation for the better. Hugs.

    • You’ve probably heard this. But you have to let your husband parent his way, not yours. You can’t be the one who makes all the rules. Let the small stuff slide and focus on the big stuff.

      The small stuff is like the timing of laundry, coming home to dirty dishes, what the kids eat and when, what they are wearing etc. In my experience, dads do this differently than moms and if you have strong opinions about these things it’s going to wear at both of you.

      For the big stuff – My husband stayed home for about 3 years. We had some tensions because he was always trying to do home improvement projects in addition to watching the kids – projects were more interesting to him and he felt like he was “accomplishing something” (as if raising two children isn’t accomplishing something) and there were times when the kids were basically unattended, which was decidedly not ok with me. I’m not going to be specific but my son got himself into a really dangerous situation while my husband was “accomplishing something” and no, I’m not over it. I’m just saying, make sure parenting is his top priority if he’s staying home with the kids. This is the big stuff.

      We ended up getting some babysitting help 3 hours per day 4 days per week so that husband could pursue other interests. It was cheaper than full time daycare, obviously, but further stressed the finances.

      We were both pretty glad when my husband found a job and our kids went to preschool full time. But looking back, my husband regards those days with the kids as really precious and feels fortunate to have had the opportunity. Our marriage did survive it, but not without wounds.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with so many of the comments here.

      Since your initial question was about your relationship rather than simply how he is faring: I was also SAH for a stint, and I think that gave me such great perspective on what it’s like not only to be home with the kids all day, but to have a spouse be late, be tired after work, etc. The way something is worded, the expectation outside of work, etc can really, really make a difference in how annoyed you get with your working spouse – even if on paper it makes sense. For example, saying “what can I do for you before I leave in 5 min?” is much better than “Good bye!” Or a heads up that the next day you need to get out the door a bit earlier than usual (or truly on time) or may need to stay late, so that he knows what’s up.

      Find ways to be involved in the household management in a way that’s helpful to him. For example, my husband does the cooking and grocery shopping, but he hates meal planning so I do it. He does the laundry and puts it away, but we fold together over a movie after the kids go down.

      Give him days off! Use PTO to literally just give him the day off. Or, even better, find alternative childcare for a couple of days and do things together.

      My husband was also taken aback by how he felt like a failure, even though he elected to be SAH, was excited to be SAH, and I was enthusiastic. That expectation runs very, very deep in the psyche. I compliment him and thank him for all his contributions, but also remind him of how valuable his work at home is to the household budget (food money saved because we’re not eating out or buying convenience items, etc). It sounds cold, but he genuinely does appreciate a reminder of the way he ‘brings in money’. Make sure that he knows you value what he’s doing.

  17. Headed to the NAC in South Carolina soon. Has anyone been to the basic trial advocacy course? Any advice? I’d also love any more general words of wisdom about the NAC or about what to do in Columbia — ten days is quite a while to be there. Thanks!

    • I am a local in Columbia. I am happy to give you pointers about Columbia, or even do a meet up! One of our readers came to NAC last year and we met for drinks. I am at ksullivan37 at the google mail.

      I am a civil defense attorney, so don’t know too much about NAC.

      The NAC does have a shuttle to the main dining/social area, the Vista. There are several good restaurants there. Try Bourbon or Oak Table on Main Street, or Motor Supply Company on Gervais Street (pronounces Jer-vay). Cola’s is a good restaurant on Assembly Street. There’s a cute and pretty good deli on Main called Michaels, as well as a vegan café, called Good Life. The best deli is not too far from the NAC and called DiPrato’s.

      There is an independent movie theater on Main called Nickelodeon that’s cool, and if you are here on a Saturday the Main Street farmer’s market is nice ( called Soda City by the locals).

      Our zoo and Botanical Gardens is really beautiful. You would probably need to Uber there. The West Columbia riverwalk is a hiking/walking area that is pretty too.

      Don’t both with 5 Points. . its a college drunkfest hangout.

      Hope you have a great time.

      • I meant don’t bother with 5 Points. .

      • +1 to the botanical garden (contiguous with the zoo but the address is in west columbia)

        and also for the nickelodeon (lots of fun walking up and down main street; older buildings, etc.).

    • 1. Congaree National Park is a 20-minute drive. Go now while it’s not buggy. Their facebook page is a bit more helpful than the website. Rangers are very friendly.
      2. Surprisingly good local restaurant scene. Try Motor Supply Company and anything else nearby.
      3. Stay at the Carolina Inn (on USC’s campus). You can walk to just about everything from it. The breakfast is good. Front desk staff if very helpful with recommendations.
      4. Tim Tiebow is playing for the local minor league baseball team and its season has started.
      5. Other National Forests are short drives away.

    • Gamec*ck Alumna :

      My exception to the recommendation that you avoid 5 points is Goat’s on Devine Street. It’s my favorite bar—at least on this continent, maybe the world. It reopened a little more than a year ago under the helm of the long time barkeep, Opie, who is as knowledgeable about wine as he is kind and hospitable. A seat at Goat’s bar would be great option for a solo female traveler. Other recommendations would include Hunter Gatherer, a great brewery that also has excellent food and is a nice walk through the Horseshoe from the NAC. Go on Thursday night for live jazz (I’m guessing they still do that? Been a while since I lived in Cola). For fine dining, I second the recommendation for Motor Supply, and also the recommendations for Cola, Bourbon, and Oak a slightly less fancy dinner.
      On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve had many a pleasant night eating raw oysters by the dozen and drinking cold beer at the Oyster Bar, also in the Vista. And regarding the recommendation above for DiPratos, I would recommend Devine Foods over DiPratos
      I also join in the suggestion to check out the Nick, and if you wanted to do dinner and a movie you could dip in at the Whig on Main Street or Hunter Gatherer, which are both nearby.
      If you’re not looking to be outside, but looking for ways to pass the time this weekend, the art museum is really impressive for a city that size. And the theatre scene is kind of amazing, especially for a city that size. The whole town’s got a bit of a chip on its shoulder in the best possible way.

    • I did trial ad in DC, before the NAC existed. Yes, that was a long time ago. I find the NAC extremely inconvenient. That said, it was courtroom-formal attire, and I recall working every single night with no free time. I was getting ready for your mock trials, arguments, etc., but I already had cases assigned to me and was working on those in my off-hours. It’s also a networking opportunity; it’s great to get to know the lawyers from other offices; those contacts may come in handy in the future.

    • I have been to this course and made a good friend the first week– at that time, there were not a lot of women and we connected very quickly. By Friday, we had decided to rent a car and drive to Charleston for the weekend, which was a lovely spontaneous trip and still a dear memory. That was years ago, but I still email with that new friend every couple of years. Even if you don’t make a friend that you’re comfortable driving a couple hours with, if you wanted to daytrip to Charleston on the weekend of the course, I highly recommend it.

    • You’ll make friends to eat dinner with but otherwise will be busy. It’s easy to gain weight at the NAC: morning donuts, southern lunch buffet and afternoon cookie breaks. The rooms are nice and there is free flowing coffee. If you go during the summer, it gets VERY hot and humid.

  18. MMLF questions :

    Two questions:

    — any recommendations for a short sleeve / sleeveless dresses for a pear? [I have an Etsuko that I love; would prefer something w/o a belted waist if possible.]

    — anyone have the O’Keefe sweater? This is so what I needed last winter.

    • The Annie is a favorite of mine- I’m a tall pear.

    • I just tried on the Masha 2.0 dress at a pop-up and purchased it. I think the pinstripes are really forgiving- they are vertical on the skirt and horizontal on the top. When I put it on, the stylist and I both agreed that it was the most flattering dress I tried. It looked pretty with a big belt, but it wasn’t necessary.

  19. There’s a Rent The Runway dress that I want to buy. It looks like it’s an exclusive colorway, not for sale elsewhere by the manufacturer. Apparently, you can only purchase rentals if you’re an Unlimited Member? Has anyone ever found a workaround for this? Unlimited membership is $139/month, so hoping there’s a better way?

    • BabyAssociate :

      Is this something new? I bought a rental dress last summer and I have never been an unlimited member.

      • What was the process? You rented it and then called to purchase? Maybe you discovered a loophole that I can take advantage of! The customer service associate I spoke with said you couldn’t purchase, so I’m all ears!

        • BabyAssociate :

          For all I know they no longer do this, but when I bought mine I just went to the “sale” portion of the website and bought it like I would any other item of clothing. I do believe it was final sale.

          There really was no “process.”

          • Yeah, that’s a whole different thing. A few times a year they’ll sell off excess inventory.

    • RTR does periodic sales of their merchandise. You could keep an eye open for that. Alternately, do you have a friend who is an unlimited member?

    • They have a store in Secaucus, if you’re in the greater New York area.

      • An outlet store, I mean, where they sell dresses. You can possibly call and see if they have some there.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you really really want the dress, you could become an unlimited member for a month, buy the dress, then switch back to not-unlimited.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Katelin Gibbs has made some lovely things for several friends. Google her name and her website should pop right up.

    • Anon for this :

      I’ve never used RTR but what happens if you lose or ruin a dress you rent? I presume you pay the cost of it? Is that a work around to buying it?

  20. let's talk rings :

    Exciting news – my partner and I have had “the talk” about next steps and have decided we’re ready to move toward engagement/marriage. We’ve decided that doing some ring-shopping together is what would work best for us (rather than him surprising me). I’m trying to gather some preliminary information on ring-shopping, because I don’t even know where to begin. I’d be interested in tips on specific vendors, what we should be asking, signs that we’re getting scammed, etc. We live in NYC so the diamond district is readily available to us – is that where we should be heading? I’m also pretty into the idea of conflict free diamonds if anyone has tips on where to look for those in particular. Thanks in advance :)

    • My DH purchased my ring on his own, but specified to the sales person that he was only interested in seeing Canadian diamonds. The jeweler had no problem accommodating the request.

    • Marie Curie :

      There are two types of conflict free diamonds – those from certain mines/countries (e.g., the Canadian diamonds Walnut mentioned) and those which are grown in a lab instead of in the earth. Lab grown are chemically and physically identical to natural diamonds (it’s not like getting cubic zirconia). Lab grown are dropping in price. At this time I believe they’re less expensive than natural diamonds.

    • Anonymous in NYC :

      Check out Ken & Dana Design. We purchased my engagement ring and both of our wedding rings from them 3-4 years ago and had a great experience. Their designs are gorgeous, and they use only conflict-free diamonds. They have a lovely studio in midtown where you can try on rings in a relaxed setting – my husband and I found it much less intimidating than figuring out where to go in the diamond district. He went back later to pick the actual diamond, and they actually helped him pick one that was less expensive than he might have chosen without their advice.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Once you figure out what style of ring you like, you can also consider buying a ring secondhand/pre-loved. Some people don’t like that option, but it is very cost-effective and doesn’t support the blood diamond industry. I have some favorites that specialize in antique diamonds (old european cuts, old mine cuts, etc) although they do also have more modern pieces that have been consigned- check out Jewels By Grace (google for link).

      • +1. I have a vintage ring (c 1900, old mine cut, set in platinum) that I adore and am complimented on almost daily.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Or a vintage diamond. I have a new (but vintage inspired) band but old european cut diamond.

        • Anonymous :

          Same. My fiance picked the band out and worked with a jeweler to get an Old European cut.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yep. I have an antique cushion cut diamond that I love. I had it in my head that older cuts weren’t as sparkly but that turned not to be true at all!

      • anonjrassociate :

        Another +1. I have a 1930’s-era vintage engagement ring (old european cut solitaire, with wheat engraving on the band — it’s prettier than “wheat” sounds!) that I love to pieces. Bonus, it’s a larger diamond than we would have been able to afford in a new ring.

      • all about eevee :

        +1 for a vintage ring. My ring is an Edwardian 2.15 Old Mine Cut in a platinum setting. The only downside is that many vintage settings, there will be some sort of gap between your wedding ring and your engagement ring.

    • I highly recommend Bario Neal: woman-owned, ethically sourced, and very intentionally feminist and LGBTQ-friendly. Their flagship store is in Philadelphia (and it’s charming), but they also take appointments in New York.

      My engagement ring and our wedding bands are both from there, and in addition to the fact that the pieces are lovely, the jewelers and designers were a joy to work with. (We actually had a hilarious moment shortly before our wedding–we’d each taken custody of the other’s wedding band in order to have secret messages engraved on the inside, and I told my partner not to expect me home one evening because I had Important Wedding Errands to run. I didn’t specify to partner that I was picking up my dress from the tailor and taking his ring back to Bario Neal to be engraved. So I was happily ensconced at Bario Neal, leaning over the counter to look at font options with my newly-tailored dress draped over the counter . . . when suddenly the designer helping me grabbed the dress and pulled it behind the counter. Partner had just walked in to get my ring engraved! Another designer took him out on the sidewalk so that we could each do our business in private.)

      • I recently got my wedding band (half eternity) from Bario Neal in Phillyand love it. On our next anniversary, I think I want to get a simpler travel band from them as well.

    • Can you tell me how “the talk” came up? I decided by the 4th date that I wanted to marry my boyfriend and I feel now like I’m just waiiiitttiiinnng for him…to come to the same conclusion? to feel enough time has passed? to think of it? haha, idk, but insight into this discussion would be very illuminating!

      • Not the OP, but we had “the talk” when I was a bottle of wine deep at a lovely dinner on vacation and blurted out “when are we getting married?” Context: we knew we wanted to get married, already lived together, etc. At least for us, it was a question of timing, not “do you feel the same.” If that’s you, I suggest a bottle of wine.

      • Anonymous :

        perhaps you could use your words and ask him? Why do you need to wait for him to bring this up if it is bothering you?

    • There it no such thing as truly conflict free natural diamonds. Even Canadian diamonds exploit native Americans. Lab grown gems are a great option though. Make sure to get recycled metal too. Good luck and congrats

      • JuniorMinion :

        There’s also, as we have seen often in oil and gas, problems with relying on corrupt regimes / countries with these sort of issues to make claims of lack of exploitation / corruption.

      • I agree that the situation in Canada is nowhere close to ideal but the North does better than a lot of the rest – the land claim agreements require that a certain proportion of revenues are shared with communities, who also have quotas on hiring/training and a role in the environmental monitoring of projects. Compared to other options, its not so bad.

      • Marie Curie :

        Lab grown gems are diamonds! Diamonds are carbon atoms arranged in an Fd-3m pattern. The exact same thing is grown in the lab. We’re not talking cubic zirconia. (Should say, I was surprised how much this is misunderstood. My now husband looked at me like I was suggesting a ring-pop when I started talking about lab grown diamonds.)

    • Absolutely go to the diamond district. If you want, you can try on for looks/style at the stores you know (Tiffany, Cartier, etc. or antique), but purchase should not be from big box. I strongly recommend trying on because you really don’t know what will look right on you until you do. Be open to your partner’s thoughts, you want him to be be proud of something you love, but ultimately you have to wear it! I would not recommend doing your trying on in the diamond district until you are ready to buy as you will get hassled. It is fun to window shop there, though, the sheer amount of quantity means you will have plenty to see. But you will have to be firm to ev.er.y.one. and say you are just looking and not go in – not a problem as there is a lot in the windows. Just keep walking! (If you go as a couple, they will pick up on so much as a point of the finger and hassle you to get in, so don’t show too much excitement, haha!)

      I strongly recommend not buying big box in NYC as you will get something extremely marked up on just OK quality. Some places to check out either online or when you are ready to buy – but again, *one simply does not walk into the diamond district to try on* :) – are Bijoux de lee and Lauren B is very popular (also sells moissanite). Both are very different in styles. Doyle & Doyle has beautiful antique jewelry, too.

      When you are ready to buy, if you want to go diamond district/wholesaler, ask around for recommendations or your boyfriend can ask around – chances are someone has worked with someone and can make a recommendation.

      • Senior Attorney :

        A huge +1 to trying on different styles. I have little hands and always thought I should therefore wear delicate rings. Imagine my surprise when I tried on a chunky ring and it looked amazing! Go in with an open mind and you may be pleasantly surprised as well!

        • Also recommend this for wedding dresses. Unless you are a bridal model or an actress, you’ve probably never tried on a lot of wedding dresses either!

  21. Bermuda w Baby :

    Thoughts on going to Bermuda for 4 days with a 4 month old baby? I want to surprise DH for our anniversary. It’s a short (direct) flight and right now baby is very easy and sleeping through the night, not cranky, etc, but I known that could change.

    We love sitting under the umbrella at the beach listening to the water and reading, so I’m hoping we can take turns holding baby and have him nap in the shade or on our laps. Is this a terrible idea?

    • Bermuda w Baby :

      Should add- we’d stay either at Coral Beach Club or MidOcean if anyone has any experience with either. Thanks!

    • This is a genius idea. Do it!

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think you should be fine. Just be aware that your son may not sleep well in a new place. We went on a long weekend with a 9 month old and she slept horribly. She’s slept horribly on every vacation since then! But, honestly, if your plan is to hang out on the beach and just relax, it sounds great.

    • See if the hotel offers babysitting so you can have a relaxing dinner.

    • When my LO was 6 months old we took him to the beach. We bought an umbrella stroller for traveling (a good one, not a cheapo one) and it reclined and had a great cover. He took naps in that on the beach and at the pool.

  22. I have to buy a dress for a wedding in the northeast in early May. The only recent weddings I have been to, I was part of and therefore had someone tell me what to wear. I’m terrible with fashion. It is a Friday night if that matters, no church and NOT blacktie (which I DO understand from work functions). What should I be looking at? Long? Short? Spring colors? What kind of shoes? Yes, I am really this bad at this.

    • Short cocktail dress any color other than white.

    • Where in the northeast? I would go short in spring colors with dressy sandals or heels. Like a nice date. I like these:

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/chelsea28-print-faux-wrap-dress/4242112?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=PROSECCO

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/maggy-london-fit-flare-dress-regular-petite/4577182?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=SOFT%20WHITE%2F%20AQUA

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/dress-the-population-gwen-midi-dress/4252752?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=NAVY

    • A cocktail dress. Doesn’t have to be spring colors, and in fact I’d go for something on the darker side so you can get more wear out of it- navy would be perfect. Metallic strappy heels. Bring a pashmina that coordinates with the shoes but (if it’s going to be truly chilly, I’d bring a nice trench coat). Depending on neckline of dress, either blingy necklace or earrings, and a bracelet/bangles/fancy watch.

      • Yes, weather this time of year in the NE is so hit or miss. Black and navy I like, I should never have let colors entered the picture, way too much for me to handle.

    • Marshmallow :

      A dark cocktail dress. Spring colors will look too casual/daytime. Go for black or navy, short or knee length, with either some skin or sparkle.

    • In New York, I would go for a short cocktail dress. I’ve done black, navy or a bright, deep color (not pastel, though some of that is that I don’t wear pastels), depending on what I’m feeling. I like strappy heels, but I’ve also seen lots of dressy closed toe pumps at weddings recently. Definitely bring some sort of wrap/jacket.

  23. What’s the starting salary and the overall long term salary range for AUSAs? Assume they’d have 4-5 yrs of biglaw experience and would be in a large city like NYC, DC, Boston. Are they GS employees maxing out at 160k or is it a different scale? And more importantly where do they start out salary wise?

    • It’s a different scale, but maxes out at about 160k for managerial positions. The range varies depending on locality pay. There is a chart on the justice department’s website that has all the information.

      • shamlet96 :

        non-supervisors also max out at about 160K (eventually), just FYI. The starting salary can range widely, but most people (depending on experience) start out under $100K.

    • AUSAs are on the AD (Administratively Determined) scale, which should be available via google. They are paid based on years of experience but with a wide range. There is a specific cost of living adjustment for the cities you mentioned, also available online. With 5 years experience, probably about $90K plus COLA.

    • Anon for this :

      I got an offer in the DC office a few years ago. I would have been going from Main Justice (so already a federal prosecutor for 4 years) to the USAO. Their first offer was a 40% pay cut. After some hardcore negotiations, their final offer would have been a 20% pay cut. If I remember correctly, they started at 80k and ended at 100k. That was with the COLA included. They said I could expect a 5k raise in the first year or so, depending on budgeting factors. They commented that at Main Justice, I was already making more than some of their supervisors.

  24. Married Ex :

    I’m getting married in a few months and am happy, so excited. I just found out that my ex eloped on Friday and feel a little sad. That’s normal, right?

    He and I broke up about 5 years ago after dating and living together for several years in our very early 20s. The break-up was sad (I had cheated) and I regretted it for a long time – tried desperately to get him back, etc. Plenty was wrong with our relationship (and we were so young!), but he is truly one of the best people I know. We had talked heavily about marriage and I do think we may have ended up happy together.

    My fiancé and I ran into him and his now-wife at Costco about a year ago. It was the day after we got engaged and bizarrely, we ran into my fiancé’s major ex the next day. It felt like the world telling us all to move on and have some closure. I remember feeling kind of sickly sad afterwards. I also have a lot of guilt still about cheating on him.

    I don’t feel like I’m settling with my current partner or anything like that. We are right for each other in ways my ex and I weren’t. Still there are of course some qualities in my ex that I do miss. I’m not sure why I feel sad about it, but I think it’s probably a really common feeling? I also suspect she might be pregnant (eloping is out of character for him), which perhaps makes it extra “real.”

    • Anonymous :

      Totally fine to feel a little sad or regretful about it. But don’t be “that person” and send him a note of congrats that’s really an attempt to remind him of what you had, or rehash old situations best left in the past. One of the greatest life lessons I’ve learned is that it’s best, 99% of the time, to leave things in the past where they belong. He moved on and is happy; you moved on and are happy. Not much else to discuss. Your feelings of guilt over cheating are something you need to get over on your own time; rehashing that with him now or apologizing again aren’t going to solve or fix anything. Have a glass of wine, play some of the songs you listened together, maybe have a little cry, and then pick yourself up and get back to planning your own future. Keeping busy will be a big help to not brooding over settled issues that need to stay settled. Ask me how I know. ;-) Hugs.

    • anonymouse :

      I wish I had more experienced viewpoint to offer you b/c this is such a sincere question, but I will say that yes this is a very normal feeling. There’s nothing wrong with hearing news like this and feeling a little sad – it doesn’t necessarily signal that you wish you were the one ending up with your ex, it just reopens the sadness you once felt. I’ve certainly been a little bummed when I found out significant exes were in serious relationships, getting engaged, etc. In my experience, if you don’t fight it, the feelings will naturally dissipate.

      I also think you should try to really forgive yourself for your past indiscretion. Everyone makes mistakes – if it’s not that one, then it’s something else. Cheating is obviously very painful for everyone involved, but you’re clearly a sensitive person so I suspect there were a lot of reasons that drove you to that decision – it wasn’t that you just didn’t care about your partner. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to handle it, but hey, like I said, people make mistakes. I think if you focus some energy on being gentle with yourself and not resurrecting the guilt over cheating, you’ll forget about it and be refocused on your own impending nuptials in no time. Good luck!

      • Late to the party :

        “. . . it just reopens the sadness you once felt.” This is such profound phrasing. I feel compelled to say thanks for that thought. It’s illuminating beyond the particular context of this question and has given me so much to think about.

        OP, I agree with what everyone else said. Your experience is completely normal. I think your sadness is more about your own misstep and not so much about your ex. Sounds to me like you’ve done a lot of reflection since. It’s okay to let whatever regret you’re carrying go and to re-focus on the present. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials!

    • Probably too late to reply, but :

      Totally, totally normal. Even if you didn’t have and lingering sad feelings or regret about the relationship at all, it’s still a very weird feeling when someone you imagined marrying marries someone else. No matter how happy you are. If it helps… one of my good friends, a gay man, was pretty sad for a while when his female ex of many years got married, even though he broke up with her because he only wants to date men and definitely had no regret about that. It’s completely normal to be sad.

  25. This is a REAL gardening question. Specifically, a container gardening question.

    I want to plant a 4-season container and need some guidance. My thought was to get a fairly large container (5-7 gallons) and plant a dwarf evergreen in the center. In the winter I would cover the visible surface with large river rock, in the spring I would plant annuals, but for the summer and fall I am at a loss. I saw somewhere a bunch of mums planted around an evergreen in a container, but have trouble in the past digging holes large enough to accommodate plants once there is a root system. I would prefer to have some perennials, anyway.

    Has anyone done something like this? Suggestions, advice? Thanks.

    • Pinterest.

      I agree that mums are too big for this. Go for annuals for fresh color. Pansies in the winter and fall. Petunias in the spring and summer. (Get the Wave petunias in the pink container. They perform amazingly and people always stop to ask about mine.)

      • I pinterested like crazy and found this from proven winners: https://www.beauty.provenwinners.com/four-seasons-container

        But I can’t figure out the mechanics of how they squished the mums in there, much less mound in that graceful circle. Particularly when you notice how small the available surface is in the winter image.

        So I began to suspect that photos weren’t “all that” and was looking for real world experience.

        Anon above, how long do your pansies last into the winter? Mine die (zone 7) in September.

        • Are you sure you’re zone 7? It’s still warm in September in zone 7…is it perhaps too warm for pansies where you are and they’re dying from heat? I’m in 7a and they’ll overwinter if they’re not buried under snow.

          Oh, the reason mums won’t work is that those aren’t mums pictured :) They’re calibrochoa (sp?) – they’re mini petunias.

          • I am in 6b/7a. OK, you’ve got me, I don’t remember quite what happened with my pansies. I actually planted them in the spring. They died off in the heat of the summer but regurgitated themselves in the fall. I don’t remember how long they lasted, but I do remember that I thought they looked ratty and I was supremely unimpressed. They didn’t overwinter, but I had them in a container on a railing so between the cold and wind (which made it colder) they didn’t stand a chance.

          • Botox and fillers :

            They look like begonias to me.

        • Yeah, I’m calling total bs on those photos being realistic. More like they took a few already blooming plants and propped them in to take the photos.

        • I have to be honest. Not only are these photos fake, but that arrangement is hideous. The tall conifer and then a uniform ring of flowers. Looks like a clown hat. You can do better. Get some stuff of varying heights to make it more naturalistic and natural looking.

    • You’re going to want to go with the largest planter your space can handle for this if you want to include a tree in it. I’m thinking minimum of 20-25 gallons, but go larger than that if you can.

      If you’re planting perennials, you’re going to have a hard time swapping things out by season. I’d stick to annuals year round or just accept that the perennials you put in are not likely to handle being repotted so often.

      • The thing that irritates me about mums & asters as annuals is that they have a root system going, whereas pansies and petunias and the like are mostly little pellets. You don’t really have to even dig to get them into the ground. So I was trying to figure out a way to have the mums or asters be a perennial because they are such a pain to plant.

        I don’t know what to do but I am equally irritated that I don’t think those plant images are real. Talk about non-truth in advertising.

    • Depends on your climate but honestly, if you’re just filling in with annuals, go to your garden center and see what annuals they have in bloom that work for your sun exposure.

      I have lots of containers for color and I typically go like this – late winter/early spring, pansies and violas to cover wilting bulb stems (if I planted bulbs in the fall). Summer, petunias and zinnias. Some lobelia around the edges if I’m in the mood to have flowers trailing over the edges of the pot. Fall, cyclamen and mums, plant bulbs if I’m motivated. Winter, pretty sparse. I think you’re good with your evergreen alone there, but your cyclamen may survive if you live in a more temperate climate.

      Biggest rule of thumb, don’t feel bad about pulling out annuals that are still alive but not looking good. That’s what annuals are for. Compost them and move on.

  26. Where do you find fit and flare dresses that are appropriate for the office? So many seem suited to social events.

  27. I’ve tried searching the archives but not finding anything for this question – I’m a handful of years out from undergrad. I’ve always known I was going to go to some type of graduate school and have landed on law school.

    Now that I have some perspective from my undergrad years, it is looking that in my small city, regional law schools trump the T14. Is this normally the case? Not wanting to go to BigLaw, but would like to work in corporate law/ transaction law and stay relatively close to where I am now, so I’m pretty settled on my city, but would move for a few years for school. Does anyone have any experience with going the route of a tier 2 law school that is well regarded regionally over a higher rated school? Obviously, financially it makes more sense if I get zero financial aid, but all things equal, I’m leaning toward my regional law school vs. moving.

    Any advice/thoughts/help would be much appreciated!

    • I wouldn’t choose T2 over a T14 absent some major financial considerations or something like that. As much as you think you want to work for x firm in x regional market – things change; plans change; economies tank and then that firm isn’t hiring any more juniors etc. You have to plan for the worst case scenario – and a T14 degree (really a T10 degree- I wouldn’t go to Georgetown) gives you the best shot at employability anywhere. And if it turns out that things go exactly as you want and you want to be in your regional market and they’re hiring – great – you start networking at a 1L, get a 1L summer gig there and a 2L one there and land yourself an offer and save yourself the headaches of NYC or LA biglaw recruiting that all your peers will be doing.

      • Whoa there–Georgetown is too lowly for someone looking to do transactional law, not necessarily in biglaw. Wholly disagree. The OP didn’t say she wanted to work at Cravath–she just wants to get a job in transactional law at a midsized firm.

        This really depends on the market, and I say that having significant experience in NY, SV, LA, Denver and Boston. For instance, Santa Clara in Silicon Valley bats way above its average in corporate law, but only if you’re top of the class. In Boston, BU or BC will likely get you to corporate biglaw if you are in the top third of your class, etc. In LA, USC is very well regarded, and will often open doors beyond an “East Coast” top tier school would because the alumni network is so clubby. In Denver, CU-Boulder is much more well-regarded than outside firms because Colorado is a really insular market that doesn’t want fancy-pants outsiders. I know from personal experience that having attended HYS as undergrad was counted against me in many interviews. So this is not a one-sized fits all answer at all!

    • Some of this depends on the region and some of it depends on you. When you’re looking at regional schools, figure out how many graduates actually get jobs in your preferred location. Some areas are really good at supporting local graduates and some aren’t. I considered going to school in San Diego until I found out that local grads generally go to LA for a few years before they can get a job in San Diego. That was ~10 years ago so maybe the market’s changed. If you feel comfortable posting your region here, people might be able to comment more specifically.

      Then there’s the part that depends on you. Be honest with yourself about whether you’re going to take advantage of networking opportunities with a local school. The benefit of being local is that you can meet lots of lawyers before you start looking for a job in earnest. The drawback of course is that you have to put in a lot of networking hours. If that’s something you’re cool with then great, but if it’s going to be a huge chore then you might be happier working your tail off to get great grades at a higher ranked school.

    • Check the local firms’ websites and see where they hire associates from. (Ignore the partners – my firm’s partners are often from state schools, but our firm has grown in stature enough that they mainly only hire T14 now.) Are they hiring from your school?

      Let’s say you don’t like corporate/transactional – what do you imagine your alternate route being? I thought as a 0L that I would do estates work, but I’m actually a lobbyist now, and I’ve loved politics my whole life, so it makes sense. My state law degree would have been for Plan A and is fine for Plan B that I did take.

    • Anonymous :

      Generally speaking, if you can get in to a T14 school, unless you have a full-ride at a more local school, that’s going to give you the best chance of employability in your local area and other areas. If you are not in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic though and you are keen on staying in your specific locality forever, then a T2 school (particularly with financial aid/scholarships) is going to be a very valid choice. A T2 or lower school that is not in the region where you want to practice (and not just region really, but definitely the state and even better the same city) is really a waste of time and money IMO.

      • I think this is right, especially for the first part. I wound up in a smaller city, and there is only a subset of the legal market that was really interested in the T14 schools. The other firms viewed me with suspicion, like I would get out the first chance I got (which, in all honesty, would probably have been correct).

    • Anonymous :

      My state only has one law school. I knew I wanted to practice here and knew that it would be relatively easy to get a job here with a law degree from our state school, so that is what I did. It was a h3ll of a bargain too.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I went to Columbia for law school and did very well academically, and when I moved to Chicago I found that people who went to Northwestern, U of C, and even John Marshall had an easier time getting their foot in the door than I did. A recruiter looked at my resume and told me she was only interested in working with people with “top academic credentials” (again, top of my class at Columbia…?) so… I think locally important schools might be the way to go.

      • Anonymous :

        Similar — I went to a public ivy and in my current state, employers tend to favor the graduates of a local T4. I mean, I have no problem ultimately getting jobs, but I get a lot of “why did you move out of state for law school” questions.

    • Also, if you don’t know about the Top Law Schools Forums and lawschooltransparency.com those are great places for you to start researching job placement stats and how kids did at switching markets. You can post their anonymously and ask, “How hard is it to get into the St. Louis market if I attend school elsewhere?” or whatnot. Do know that many of the kids on the TLS forums are biglaw or bust, and many are very young/don’t have work experience, but they can tell you about recent application experiences (both to schools and jobs).

    • That’s what I did. I got a scholarship, so it was way cheaper than T14. I landed a great job my 2L summer – partly because my school was well known in the town, but also because I was top 5%. Working there still and love it. Not sure what would have happened at T14, but I’m really happy how it turned out so far. No ragrets :)

      • Anonattorney :

        Was in the top 2% of my T2 regional law school and had my pick of jobs in the city where I went to school. Got hired over candidates from T10 schools, and graduated with only $20k in debt due to scholarships. But, if you’re going that route, research your specific location and job market, and make sure you graduate at the top of your class. Otherwise you end up un- or underemployed.

  28. For those of you in conservative business casual skewing formal offices, would you consider this a neutral color?

    https://mmlafleur.com/shop/this-just-in/tory-3-0-true-olive

  29. Walk this way :

    There is a high profile female executive (this GC level) that works on my floor and while there is a lot of respect for her position and contribution… one comment that I always hear is how she walks like a cow. Granted this is something that I have noticed too, unsure if it’s a medical issue or not but it really should not matter right?

    However, it is very noticeable… kinda like a cowboy.. the comments have an undercurrent of sexism.

    What would you guys say to respond to that. Or would you just let it go?

  30. united quandary :

    We have about $1000 in United travel credits after canceling a trip last year. The credits have to be applied by the end of May (the anniversary of the initial purchase), and we were going to use them to take a much-needed, otherwise-less-financially-feasible vacation. There is no way to get back our original expenditure–it’s either use the credits or get nothing.

    I know a lot of people are boycotting United after this weekend’s display of corporate violence, and I know we’ve also talked about the fact that shopping boycotts are only accessible forms of protest for some of us, some of the time. How would you feel about using United credits at this juncture? Is there a way to use the credits (cause they have our money anyway and we might as well take advantage of their services) while making clear the unacceptability of corporate violence?

    • Of course you should use the credits. If you don’t, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. There’s no way I’d throw $1000 down the drain just to prove a point. If it really makes you feel guilty to give them money, look for a location you can fly to without having to pay anything beyond your credits.

    • You aren’t giving United money by using the credits for which you’ve already paid, but by NOT using them you are.

    • I think that the United fiasco, while completely and utterly horrifying, was also a sort of roulette that it happened to United, specifically. I think any of the major US carriers would have easily been guilty of this (except maybe SW on a really good day).

      I considered a boycott (I fly often, and mostly United), but in the end, I really felt it was luck of the draw. Really, I only expect major subsidized international carriers to be more careful (Emirates, etc) with their overbooking situations. My upcoming tix are all on United, and I’ll go ahead and fly those, maybe reconsidering for my future bookings.

      You should take the credit, though. The revenue is already theirs, might as well have them give you what’s due.

      • Anonymous :

        I think all major airlines routinely boot passengers involuntarily, but I don’t think the passengers get bloody most of the time. The physical escalation seems to not be United’s fault though. If I were United I would have thrown the Chicago airport police under the bus in a big way and said they never should have handled the passenger this way.
        As a frequent flyer, I’m appalled by the assault but not by the booting someone. Also more info is coming out about the guy, and I do think he may be a bit of a con artist. He’s not really a doctor (suspended medical license) so he was probably lying about having to get home to see patients, and it seems like he probably goaded them into attacking him. Doesn’t make it ok that they knocked him out and dragged him off the plane – couldn’t they have just handcuffed him or something – but I do think the additional facts make it more reasonable that United staff called airport security.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Really though, those additional facts don’t warrant what happened to him. Even if he was lying about who he was / why he needed to get home, I don’t care. He doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for why he wanted to fly home on a flight that he paid for.

          I’m not saying that United did not have the right to remove him from the plane – but I think they could have handled the entire situation better before the incident itself (for starters – doing this before people boarded, or offering passengers more money to get off the flight) and also after the incident (passing the buck and basically blaming the passenger for being assaulted).

          • Anonymous :

            I totally agree they could have handled the situation better, but I do think whether or not he was lying is relevant. I’ve heard lots of people say “they shouldn’t boot anyone, but they REALLY shouldn’t boot a doctor who needs to administer life-saving care.” So I think whether or not he was lying about actively practicing medicine and needing to get home to see patients is relevant to that. But I agree 100% they should have offered more money to see if someone would get off voluntarily. Apparently airlines are by law capped at offering $1,300 per person, which seems crazy in and of itself, but United only went up to $800.

          • China Anon :

            You’ll probably call me racist, but does your mind change if you know that in China this kind of shenanigan happens all the time so that the customer can get companies to pony up $$$. I’ve seen passengers/customers hold up all sorts of transport, or lines by throwing tantrums, refusing to leave, and they can get the companies to bribe them into behaving. I think United clearly has some poorly thought out policies in place (like letting people board before figuring out that they needed to free up seats!!!) but it’s the reason I’m much less sympathetic to the customer in this situation.

          • This is so the internet cycle. Someone is a hero for a day (hello Ken Bone) and then the next day everyone starts looking for ways to trash them (goodbye Ken Bone)

            I don’t care whether the guy was a doctor, a plumber or a gigolo. A large global corporation like United ought to be able to figure out how to get their crew to where they need to be without bloodying a paying customer. They should have the expertise to figure out routing and timing and how many seats to book because THIS IS THEIR BUSINESS. Not the business of a 69 year old playing customer, whether he is a doctor or not.

          • Anon in NYC :

            I don’t see his lying as relevant to United’s position / actions. A person is not more or less “entitled” to a seat because they have a purportedly noble profession. He paid for that seat. It shouldn’t matter if he is a doctor, a non-practicing doctor, a zookeeper, a convicted felon, or someone who has literally zero obligations waiting for him or her on the other end of that flight. The fact that the general public saw him as being “worthy” of a seat because of his profession (or now, not so much because of the lying) still doesn’t make what United did better.

          • “A large global corporation like United ought to be able to figure out how to get their crew to where they need to be without bloodying a paying customer. ”

            +1million

          • @China Anon, yes, you are racist. He isn’t even Chinese. He is a Vietnamese-American.

        • Dr. Dao’s suspension was lifted in 2015, and he currently practices at an outpatient clinic.

          I’d also recommend not jumping to conclusions about his intentions just because of his previous suspension. One criminal act doesn’t make a person “all bad” and being an otherwise “good” person doesn’t make a person “all good.”

          Moving on, regardless of a person’s intentions or reason to need to get home (who are we to judge?), having a passenger bloodied is just bloody uncalled for. The victim blaming in this case is so blatant and ridiculous that you’d think it was a woman who was assaulted at a frat house.

          Millions have seen the video- United can’t explain this one away. He wasn’t a violent, physical threat to anyone, and yet wound up physically injured. Something is deeply wrong with our business environment for this to happen and the company to remain defiant.

        • Wildkitten :

          You shouldn’t be able to goad the police into attacking you. If he was goading, the police should have been better trained in de-escalation instead of beating the cr*p out of him.

          • Anonymous :

            i agree you shouldn’t be able to goad the police into attacking you, and i definitely think the police did something wrong. but if the guy is misbehaving and trying to provoke staff, it makes it more justifiable that united staff called the police.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          I agree the officers most likely used excessive force. He didn’t seem to be a physical safety threat. But we also don’t know happened before that. Three other passengers deplaned. What did he say/do before the officers removed him? Etc.

          Also, why doesn’t he have to obey crew member instructions? I am surprised that I am not seeing more about this point in the news, particularly since there are federal laws and regulations on this.

          • The time to negotiate the finer points of a contract of carriage is not when the cops have been called. I had the same question about disobeying crew member instructions.
            Although United screwed this up so badly from the get go…

      • a millenial :

        but i think united’s response to this was particularly callous. the man deserved it? if i dont want to give up my paid seat and get knocked unconscious and bleeding they should drag out my limp body instead of calling for first aid an dmaking sure i was okay first?

    • Just take the trip.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I have a United flight booked in a few months and I’m not planning on canceling it / losing my money. So, in my opinion, use the United credits and enjoy your vacation. If you feel strongly about expressing your opinion to United, write a letter to the CEO and don’t fly them in the future.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I would personally use them as if you don’t its basically throwing away your money (which really only affects you).

      On the broader points I don’t personally think this falls under “corporate violence” given that the violence was perpetrated by Chicago PD (becoming belligerent / refusing orders from police officers never tends to end well for anyone – we can debate whether this should be the case but in the current world it is the case) – rather this was a series of bad decisions that cascaded into an explosive situation. United is absolutely at fault for their handling of this situation and should have to answer for it however some stock analysts have made the point that since all airlines have abysmal customer satisfaction ratings nothing that isn’t safety related (think plane crash) has any effects on long term purchasing behavior in aggregate.

    • Wildkitten :

      Use (or donate) the credits. Wear a political statement tee while you are on the plane. Write them a letter letting them know that after you use these credits you will never fly with them again.

    • Look at it this way. United’s customer service is going to make a big improvement for probably the next six months, until they start taking us for granted again.

      I’m a million miler and have three upcoming trips already booked and paid for on United. I would love to switch airlines at the point but I can’t take the hit on canceling and rebooking the tickets (corporate travel) so I’m just going to bear with it.

      I do think what United did was absolutely awful, and yet as a million miler I’m not in the least surprised. United sucks. I’m in deep with them because I live at a hub and they have the only nonstop to my most frequent business destination, but if I could start all over again I’d probably go Delta.

      • Wildkitten :

        If you switch airlines they’ll usually match your status, so you might not have to start all over again if you switch to Delta.

        • Anonymous :

          They may do a status match of something to start with, but they sure ain’t gonna match million miler status.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah. Although if Delta and American were smart they’d offer a million miler match right now, just to take advantage of this fiasco.

          • If they matched million mile status I’d do it in a heartbeat. Delta, are you listening g?

  31. Anonymous :

    Reached out to a dog sitter on Rover about taking our anxious dog for a week this summer, while we vacation out of the country. Dog sitter said “Sure, I’m available on those dates” so we sent the dog over to her house for a trial weekend so our dog could get comfortable with her. We were local, there was no reason for the dog to be boarded that weekend except to get comfortable with this dog sitter before our trip. It cost $50+fees. When we went to collect the dog, the sitter told us that her plans have changed and she’s going to be out of town on the dates we’d agreed upon for the summer. She said she’d be agonizing over how to tell us for weeks. I understand plans change and we can find another dog sitter for our trip, but I really wish she’d told us before we wasted the money for the weekend visit. In fact, I suspect she didn’t tell us before the weekend trip because she wanted to collect the $50 and that annoys me. Since then, she’s sent me repeated emails asking me to write her a review on Rover and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be a b!tch but I don’t really feel like she deserves a positive review from us. I want to just not write one at all, but she keeps hounding me about it. I did politely tell her that we were disappointed that she let us know of her unavailability for the summer only after taking our dog for the weekend, but she didn’t seem to get the hint. What would you do? Keep ignoring her emails? Cave and write the review? Something else?

    • Anonymous :

      I’d respond to her that while you’re sure she’s fine with taking care of dogs, that because of her issues with scheduling, you do not feel you can leave a positive review on Rover and leave it at that. And plan to never use her again of course.

    • Wildkitten :

      Tell her that any review you’d write would be negative and so you think it’s best for both of you that you not write the review.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Is there any way you’d use her again in the future? If not, I’d probably tell her that you can’t write a wholly positive review but you’re willing to write one since she seems to really want one.

    • Anonymous :

      I would tell her that you cannot write a positive review because of the unavailability issue/taking your dog for the weekend. Ask her if she would still like you to write a review knowing that it will not be positive. She probably will not. Do not cave – how would you feel if you read a positive review and then later found out about the situation you were just put in? Not great, right?

    • I’d tell her you can’t write her a positive review because you did not have a positive experience.

      I have had the worst experiences with pet sitters. I swear. One pet sitter left my door open (open! While we were away) and my car got out. I wrote her a bad review on yelp and she repeatedly threatened to sue me. She was cuckoo nuts. A little googling found very weird internet comments from her all over the place, using her full name (which is unique) with the general theme of everyone is out to get me.

      The next pet sitter did a good job, but lent my housekey to someone who showed up one day to take a shower and was surprised to find me working from home. I wish I were making this up.

      • My *cat got out. Calm down, autocorrect.

      • Anonymous :

        And you have just confirmed for me why I board my dog outside the home when I travel.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’ve had excellent luck with petsitters I found through the local vet offices. They are usually vet techs and qualified to give injections and charge no more than those found on Craigslist.

      • Also in Academia :

        We had a really frustrating pet sitter who would always say, “I can do that whole week except the Wednesday!” What even is that, as my kids have started saying.

  32. Sloan Sabbith :

    Extraordinarily wonderful moment in my work life: I get to move offices! Into an office with a WINDOW! And a heater!

  33. I can’t see any pictures on this site anymore!! What is going on?

  34. Anonymous :

    I asked a while earlier about how to fill out online application questions that ask for minimum salary requirements, but I’ve run into another snag: the online portal for one application won’t allow me to submit without entering a range and doesn’t recognize $00,000 or $xx,xxx. For another, the application directions state that applications without a range will be considered incomplete and that simply writing “negotiable” does not suffice.

    I currently make $75,000 and have researched the salary range for this position and expect it to be $50-60,000, which is a paycut I’m more than willing to take for a job that doesn’t give me weekly anxiety attacks (said anxiety situation also makes me somewhat desperate for a better job, so I find myself second guessing myself at every turn of the application process). I got my first job out of school via OCI at a company that hires batches of new grads each year and pays us all the same amount at this level and haven’t applied like this before, so am unsure how to handle this salary aspect of the application in a professional way without damaging my chances of getting the job. If offered the job, I will try to negotiate for something as close to $60-65,000 as possible, but would ultimately take the job for any salary above $50,000. How do I fill out this application question without a) pricing myself out of their interview pool or b)sabotaging my negotiating leverage if I am offered the job?

    I really really want to leave the stressful hellhole where I currently work before I have a full on meltdown from the stress and toxic environment and the 3 opportunities I am currently applying to all have this annoying question! I’m afraid that if I don’t answer the question in the way they want with numbers/a range, that I’ll decrease my chances of getting an interview, but I also don’t want to lowball myself. Help!

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