Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Twist-Front Fit-And-Flare Dress

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

This black dress looks really great, and it’s part of some crazy sales Talbots is having right now. This looks very comfortable and easy, and I like the fit and flare. It’s machine washable, which is always nice, and it has a concealed back zip. The dress comes in sizes S, M, and L and is on sale for $104 from $129 — but at checkout it comes down even more to $42. Twist-Front Fit-And-Flare Dress

Do click around the site, because they’ve got some other interesting things. Here’s a similar top in plus sizes for $16; this desk-to-dinner dress is marked to $38 and still available in four size ranges.

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Comments

  1. I did something that was on my bucket list but never dared to do in my home country: I cut off my hair to a tiny tapered cut and died it blonde (I am black). Never felt so bold.
    I figured I can do this while I am still on my pro-bono case and it is still summer is ending.
    It’s silly, but I am happy about it… the little things… (otherwise I’m dressed very formally so it is not a style change).

    • Cornellian :

      Fun!

      I sort of wish I had shaved my head or dyed my hair some crazy color in college. Now it all seems so high stakes. Maybe I’ll do it when I retire :)

    • Anonymous :

      Good for you! I can just tell it looks great. :)

    • That’s awesome! Not only do you look fabulous, but I bet you’ve got that extra confident glow that comes from doing what you please with your appearance. :)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Needless to say I’m a proponent of unconventional hair choices. Esp. when they maybe feel more unconventional than they actually are! My hair has been rainbow for 6 months now, and no one has said a peep at work (where it’s always in a bun), but when women compliment me at bars I die of joy.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Y’know, I might be able to get away with that, too. My boss has already told me that I have to have a hair color that could ostensibly be “natural” but I always have my hair in a bun. How would they know if the ends are blue?

      • I’m about to put maroon in my hair and when I was researching upkeep I found an article that suggested that “mature-aged” women who are dying their hair red should stick with natural red colors. Not sure how they define “mature-aged” but excited to give a big middle finger to that author.

      • all about eevee :

        I dyed my hair a really, really dark blue recently and so far, no one has said boo.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Woo hoo! That’s great!

  2. extensions? :

    Anyone have subtle extensions for thickness? My hair has gotten a lot thinner over the past few years and I miss its old heft. I’m wondering if there are any good sources for realistic extensions that would add fullness, not length. Definitely do NOT want to look like a Real Houswife here.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Clip-in extensions are great for this. I use them for special occasions. You may have a bit of trial and error finding ones that match your hair color and texture well, but there are lots of options available.

    • How permanent do you want them and what is your hair type? Curlier and drier hair can stand sew-in extensions, slicker hair may need taping or microlinks for some amount of permanency (think 3 to 6 mths).

      I’ve also heard good things about these hair extensions that are on a ring with combs that you place on the crown of your head and cover with hair on the top of your head (easier removal and insertion than clip ins)…but can’t remember what it’s called. Anyone remember?

    • I would caution you to not do this everyday as it can pull out/weigh down the hair you do have. This created a nasty catch-22 for a few of my friends, so they now only do it for certain occasions and take special care to be very easy and gentle on their hair.

    • Wanderlust :

      Yeah, I would caution you- this is something that I did for about a year with sew-in extensions, and it was really really hard on my hair, and I ended up losing a lot of my actual hair. Maybe other methods are less destructive, but, I’d be more likely to just limit myself to clip-ins for special occasions now than consider the sew in extensions.

      Tape extensions can also be hard on your hair, same with the microloop ones (I did a LOT of research).

      I would look into biotin supplements (I take Biosil, it’s awesome), and I’ve heard really good things about Phylia de M

    • Anonforthis :

      If you are in NYC, try Angelo David salon. They have something called fillers – sort of a fancy tape-in solution, which is not at all damaging to your hair and looks natural. They take a sample of your hair to match the extensions to your hair’s texture. Each set of hair lasts about a year and you need to get them redone every 4-6 weeks.

    • my hair secret! :

      I do this with great lengths. I’ve done it for about 3 years now and no damage to my own hair- in fact my own hair is much thicker and healthier because I’m not constantly styling it to try to cover up the thin spots. I love being able to just air dry my hair and go and feel confident that it will look good.

      I think the reasons it works for me:
      – light weight. It’s not long, it not heavy on my own hair. Its for fullness, not length (just past my shoulders). It looks very natural.
      – I go to someone VERY experienced in using extensions as a bridge to growing out damaged hair or to cover up thinning hair. She had a nice portfolio of similar hair experiences, she is incredibly gentle, and she doesn’t hesitate to say no to me if I want something bad for my hair. The first few times we took them out to put new ones in I was so anxious that I would see damage, but each time my hair actually looked thicker and stronger!

      Over the 3 years with this, plus rogaine, the thickness, health and texture of my hair has improved. I’m even thinking this might be my last set of extensions at least for a while since my hair is now thick enough that I think it will look good even without extensions. I’ve been slowly weaning them out for the last year or so and I’m just about ready to cut the cord.

      It is crazy expensive though. And when your hair is thin you have to get them done more frequently because they show once the bonds grow out more easily. I can only last 4 months at the most before I need to get them redone. And its pricey. For me, its worth it to feel normal and confident in my appearance (my hair was quite thin before) but it is a lot of money.

  3. Anonymous :

    I work in consulting and would like to be based in a different city for specific personal reasons. How can I start this conversation? I have good reviews but am relatively new.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’ve been at the company for less than a year, I don’t think you can have this conversation until your annual review.

    • If you head over to AskAManager.org, she has posted a bit about this topic.

  4. Anyone watched this video: https://news.vice.com/story/how-the-charlottesville-attacker-became-radicalized?

    My heart breaks. This is so appalling.

  5. Anonymous :

    In Boston for a couple of days with my family will be my first time there. My kids are 12 and 7, any recommendations for places to visit, eat, best museums?

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s this weekend, avoid the Common because the clash between the right wing demonstration and the counter-protests is not going to be pretty. It won’t be a good weekend for trying the whole freedom trail.

      Museum of Science is great for most kids. Depending on your family’s interests, the Museum of Fine Arts is probably another safe bet. They have a huge Ancient Egypt collection that’s appealing to a certain kind of kid.

      If you like Italian food, it’s hard to go wrong in the North End. I’m partial to Lucia and Nico’s, which are side by side behind the Paul Revere Mall and Old North Church.

      • The head of the “rally” was on the radio this morning saying it was just a free speech rally and that they were not inviting white supremacists or nazis and that anyone from BLM who wanted to come speak about the first amendment was welcome. The same station was going to have the mayor on later about it. This is a hip hop station, not the news. I didn’t find the organizers words convincing. He contradicted himself, a lot. It sounded more like everyone was welcome if they kept the message on free speech, not hate, but it didn’t sound like he was agreeing that none of the speakers were from white supremacy groups, just that they would be limited to speaking about free speech.

        He claims his rally was planned for months long before VA. He claims that he is going forward because he thinks it will be worse if he doesn’t. He thinks he can control the message more if he stays in charge of it and if he doesn’t worse groups will show up. If that’s true, it sounds like it is going to be a mess no matter what happens, if it goes forward or if it is cancelled.

        • To be clear, I am not at all supporting it. Just adding the info I heard this morning. My advice is also to stay far away from it, whatever it turns out to be.

    • We were just there last weekend, but no kids.

      The USS Constitution (old wooden boat from the Revolution) would normally be fantastic for kids, but it’s closed for renovations. The same dock though has a WWII destroyer that you can tour that would be cool for kids. There are museums there with really interesting movies and interactive displays. The whole thing’s free. And you can walk there from the main part of town if you’re an active family (it’s a bit far if you’re sedentary).

      I’ve heard good things about the Tea Party museum, but we didn’t go.

    • Definitely recommend the Museum of Science and MFA. As a kid, I really liked the Harvard Museum of Natural History (google the glass flowers) and visiting the MIT campus (the stories of all the “hacks” are very entertaining).

      Your kids might also like the duck boat tours. If I recall correctly, there are some that depart from the Museum of Science.

    • Linda from HR :

      MoS is a fun place, but there’s not a lot of stuff by it, save for a mall full of chain stores. The Children’s Museum is also fun, and it’s closer to more stuff, the Barking Crab is nearby and if the family digs seafood, that’s a pretty good place for it; the Daily Catch is right by there as well, the food is great but the service stinks.

      If you go to Faneuil Hall, Newbury Comics is a fun store to check out, there’s all sorts of cool pop culture merch, t-shirts, and novelties to look at, and games too (there’s one on Newbury St. as well if you happen by that area), I personally like the Salty Dog and Durgin Park for food, although the North End is right there and you can’t beat the Italian food over there – if the line for Mike’s Pastry is too long, go to Modern, it’s just as good. Also in that area is a carousel on the Greenway, your 7 year-old might dig that. The aquarium is fun, too, and that’s nearby as well.

      • Yes to the Harvard Museums, glass flowers etc. The you can walk around Harvard Square – lots of cool shops and food.

        • JP Licks ice cream! (There also several locations outside of Harvard Square.)
          Clover and Spice (thai food) are also good lunch options.

      • Anonymous :

        Do not take 7 and 12 year olds to the Childrens’ Museum. They will be glared at by all the caretakers of little kids and won’t be able to enjoy anything. Plus it’s not all that cool for older kids. The MoS is world class and is super close to the T.

    • If you have time, do the whale watching tour! We were in Boston a couple of weeks ago and it was the highlight of our trip. Well worth it.

    • Flats Only :

      There are tours at Fenway Park if your kids are into sports.

    • During the summer, each Friday a different set of museums is free, so may be worth googling around to see if there’s anything like that you’d want to take advantage of! I’d also recommend the Boston Harbor Islands – specifically Georges Island has an old fort on it, and it’s an awesome boat ride out there; I always take a picnic and they usually have kid activities too.

    • Codzilla! It’s a giant speed boat which does a tour in the harbour, but includes donut spins and other crazy fun stuff. I went as a compromise for my DH when we were on vacation a few years back, and it was really a lot of fun (caveats – it has been a few years, and I’m not sure how the demonstrations which are planned would impact the harbour as I’m not from Boston…)

    • You should go to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. They have good stuff, and it is not to expensive. I have a schlepper with their name on it. I carry my dirty gym stuff in it so I figure they owe me for advertising. Have fun!

  6. (Posted on moms site too)

    What is your best TTC advice? We decided last night that it is time :)

    Relevant info:
    – both 37
    – i am very Type A / a planner
    – husband is not and is also not fond of too much personal info (in other words, conversations about cervical mucus are not going to happen!)

    I’m excited and nervous :)

    • Anonymous :

      Start taking prenatal vitamins now if you haven’t already. Try to do it every other day whenever you might possibly be fertile (I.e., when you’re not on your period). I don’t think tracking mucus is super important unless one of you travels regularly without the other. If that’s the case, keep track of your mucus or use ovulation predictor kits to make sure you’re not apart on ovulation days.
      Good luck! I conceived the first month trying at 35 so it does happen quickly for some of us mid-30s women. And if it doesn’t happen relatively quickly, don’t hesitate to call the doctor. Definitely call if it hasn’t happened after 6 months.

    • 1. Do it every other day, especially right before the middle of your cycle (b/c his guys can live up to 72 hrs whereas your egg is only around for 24)
      2. Try to not overthink it or make it stressful. If it happens right away, fantastic. If it doesn’t, that’s ok, too.
      3. A subset of no. 2 – don’t be pregnant before you’re pregnant. There is no medical reason to avoid wine or sushi or coffee in the second half of your cycle while you wait to find out if you’re pregnant. I know lots of women who insisted on doing this and it made the entire process more stressful for them.
      4. But do start taking vitamins now. Prenatals aren’t that great for you long term if you’re not actually pregnant, plus they are often expensive, so my doctor said it’s fine to just find a good multi vitamin that has all the key nutrients you need (folic acid, etc.) in the right quantities and just take that until you actually get a positive result. I liked Garden of Life.
      5. If you’re the type who wants to pay attention to your mucus, by all means. I find that stuff overwhelming and stressful. The most I ever did was buy a thermometer and take my temperature in the morning (to see if I was ovulating) and then record that into an app. I used the same app to keep track of my period. But everyone deals with this stuff differently.
      6. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        The sperm can actually live up to five days. I’m 95% sure that in the cycle I became pregnant, I ovulated after my husband had been away for 4 days. Plus, fun fact – there is some evidence that female sperm outlive male so if you’re hoping for a girl it’s best to do it a couple days before ovulation, whereas if you want a boy it’s best to try to do it on ovulation day. I did indeed have a daughter.

        • True, they can, but your best odds of success come from the every other day method, especially if (like many women) you have a slightly off cycle and don’t ovulate precisely on schedule!

      • Anonymous :

        Women often ovulate 14 days before their period. For those with short or long cycles, that can be different from the “middle” of the cycle.

    • Anonymous :

      I got pregnant at 35 with my first in the first month. We just conceived #2 and it took us 4 months (I’m 37 now). If you’re a Type A planner, I highly recommend Take Charge of your Fertility. It was super informative and I learned SO MUCH about how my body and cycle work. We had tried for 3 months without luck, I bought the book and started tracking my symptoms, and here we are. It could be coincidence that it worked out that way, or it could be connected, who knows. Either way, it was reassuring to be tracking everything to know exactly what is going on with my body, to ensure I’m ovulating, etc.

      • Anonymous :

        …and if Taking Charge of your Fertility is too long-winded, try reading The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant. Same info, quicker to the point.

        • Anonymous :

          It is pretty long. I skipped to the relevant chapters (at least half are related to trying to avoid getting pregnant). But the info was really very helpful. I think it took me about an hour total to read and it was a great resource once I started charting.

      • +1

        I loved the book. I learned a lot about the menstrual cycle and am grateful for the info.

        It’s very helpful to know when you actually ovulate and your body will show signs but you need to know what those are. I found the book to be pretty straightforward in explaining everything.

    • If you’re very Type A/planner, my best advice is to try and relax and do nice things for yourself if it doesn’t happen right away. I’m extremely Type A and have an OCD spectrum disorder/pretty bad anxiety and it took us the better part of a year with our first and I was not as kind to myself as I should have been during that time. Sometimes you do everything “right” and it still doesn’t happen on time because bodies are weird! But that’s all ok!

    • Anonymous :

      I have heard from doctors that having s3x three times a week is more than enough to get pregnant for most women. By all means, do it more if you want to, but it can start to feel like a slog to *have* to do it every other day, especially if it takes a long time.

      I would also second the advice that you see a reproductive endocrinologist if it takes more than 6 months (not just your OB/GYN, who honestly isn’t equipped to do much here and will only lose time).

      And another recommendation for Taking Charge of Your Fertility–I didn’t bother with the temperature taking too much but the cervical mucus thing is legit. That said, I think you can read up on it and then just notice when you’re ovulating based on that. I didn’t test every day and it was super obvious when I was ovulating. But also use the ClearBlue Ovulation Predictor kit (recommended by my doc) if you want to be extra efficient.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1, 6 months given your age.

        I also liked TCOYF – I couldn’t figure out how to measure cycle by mucus etc. but temping was VERY accurate for me – I could tell when I ovulated and didn’t. (For #1, my cycle just went up and down in temp with no pattern, no spike and then no drop – that was the one we needed fertility treatments for.) Easy to pop in the thermometer first thing in the am before you get up.

      • Three times per week IS every other day. I guess technically if you do it every other day you’ll do it 7 times in two weeks and if you do it 3 times per week you’ll do it 6 times in two weeks. But I don’t really understand trying to draw a distinction between these methods.

      • Fellow Type A-er in fertility treatments now. I wish you all the luck!

        I would keep good notes about your TTC efforts in the first six months (thirding above advice that in month 7, given age, skip from ObGyn and go right to RE). Because of my good tracking, my RE was able to get down to business because she had good data. Tracking for me meant I downloaded an app – lots out there, but I used Glow – to track my periods, uh “gardening”, and other things. It has some weird chat functions and whatnot, but I just stuck to the calendar tracking feature. Without the app/tracking, I would have been like “uh, my period was like 7 days maybe 8 long.” In the fertility treatment world, those little details – a day here or there – are significant, so the accurate record keeping the app offered me was key.

        I also used ovulation kits for two consecutive months before seeing my RE. Because of this I was able to say that over the course of two cycles, I didn’t get a single positive. This gave my RE targeted information to zero in on as they worked to diagnose/treat me.

        Again, I hope it never ever gets to the point that you have to use that data with a RE/fertility clinic, but arm yourself with good data so if it comes to that you’re in as good of a position as possible.

    • Be mentally ready for it to happen soon, especially if you have a mom or sister who got pregnant quickly. My mom got pregnant the first month but I just assumed it would take a while, largely because of all the infertility struggles I’ve read about here. It was a bit of a shock when I missed my period less than two weeks after we had unprotected s*x for the first time.

      • But also be ready for it to not happen soon at all. I had to do five rounds of IVF at 35. Hope it works quickly for you, though!

      • Um, your experience is definitely unusual.

        • It’s really not! Several of my friends also conceived the first or second month (and all of us were over 30 at the time, some close to 35). 80% of people conceive in under 6 months.
          This board really convinced me that most people struggle with infertility (and also that most people have at least one miscarriage) and both statistics and anecdotal experience in my friend group just don’t support that. Those events are very painful for the people going through them, but they’re not the norm.

          • +1 I had the exact same experience. I started TTC assuming it would take 6 months to a year, because of what I’ve read on this site. I was shocked when we got pregnant the first month. Then when I started talking to other mums, it turned out my experience was pretty common.

            I think the point is: there are so many factors that go into TTC that it happening immediately is normal and it taking 6 months is normal. My advice is to enjoy the months that you don’t get pregnant – celebrate one more month of alone time with your husband by going to a fancy restaurant for cocktails or a long dinner, going to a movie or a play without having to worry about a babysitter, or getting a spa treatment.

          • Current statistics: 15%-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Not most people, but it is a lot more common than I expected.

          • A pretty sizable portion of those miscarriages are what’s known as chemical pregnancies, where a woman gets a positive test (often before her period is even due) and then a few days later gets what appears to be a normal period. If you read BabyCenter, you know a lot of women test obsessively from ovulation to period day and consider it a miscarriage if they get a faint line on a test 5 days before their period is due and then end up getting their period. A woman who’s not testing wouldn’t even know she was pregnant in that scenario. My doctor told me <10% of pregnancies end in what most people would call a miscarriage (the embryo successfully implants, the woman misses her period and knows she's pregnant and then she loses the baby). It's still relatively common but not as common as reading here led me to believe.

        • I was 35 and I conceived in first month. So not totally unusual

          • Yeah, I think fertility runs in some families. My mom had me and my sister when she was 38 and 40, and then my sister got pregnant on her first try. And then I got pregnant on my first try. I was 30 though, so still pretty young.

      • I agree with being prepared for it to happen immediately. After all of the infertility talk around here, exposed to me via friends on social media and just general media buzz about infertility in general, I felt a serious pang of guilt when I got pregnant on the first try. YMMV (I was 27), but it can happen!

      • I agree with this. We got pregnant on the second month of “not preventing” without tracking or frequent gardening. I just figured it would take longer but even though we were technically ready, it was still a surprise. We just started our attempts for #2 and I’m taking it a little more seriously now (the cheap ovulation prediction tests from Amazon), but really just be prepared or anything. Could happen immediately, could never happen.

      • I agree with this. We got pregnant on the second month of “not preventing” without tracking or frequent gardening. I just figured it would take longer but even though we were technically ready, it was still a surprise. We just started our attempts for #2 and I’m taking it a little more seriously now (the cheap ovulation prediction tests from Amazon), but really just be prepared for anything. Could happen immediately, could never happen.

      • Yep. First kid took us about a year of trying at age 29, second was a complete (very happy!) surprise when we didn’t use the goalie ONCE two years later.

    • Anonattorney :

      Took me about 7 months to conceive both times. Get a period app and start tracking right now. Buy ovulaion predictor kits (just get dip strips online) to figure out when you ovulate. Although they always say there’s no link between stress and infertility, in my anecdotal experience it’s better to try and find ways to eliminate unnecessary stress in your life. I agree with AIMS on the “don’t be pregnat before you’re pregnant” advice. Alcohol won’t affect the baby before you test positive on a pregnancy test, so don’t worry about it. Give yourself treats if you get your period – go out for a big sushi dinner; splurge on a cute tight-fitting dress; etc.

    • Very happy for you! Children are amazing.
      I am a fellow type A. Just as background it took about 7 months of TTC for my first, and 3 months with my second (which included a MC at 5 weeks).
      Relax… x1000! Anything you need to do to relax. Massages, a vacation, reading, music, yoga, etc. Enjoy “trying”. Do everything you can to keep your cortisol levels low. DH and I conceived our first after a beach vacation and a round of acupuncture, and I don’t think it was a coincidence. Many of our friends conceived once they stopped thinking about it, or stopped formally trying if that makes sense.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Try to have fun! We went on lots of dates and had uncareful s*x and then got pregnant! And it just makes me smile to think of how she came to be in this really silly, joyful time in our lives. (I know that the carefree-dates way doesn’t work for everyone — I legit didn’t think it would work for us! — but I think it’s worth trying at first.) I had the app P-Tracker on my phone just because, and I marked when I got my period and when we got it on, and that’s about it — made it handy when I did miss a period because I knew when my last few were.

      A thought on his not wanting to talk about mucus… it’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better. Is he gonna be ok in the moment when you’re in labor or lactating or etc. etc.? I suspect he’ll step up, but it might be worth reminding him that there is lots of gross stuff about making/having/caring for a baby, and maybe he should be willing to face/talk about some of it.

      • I think there’s a really big difference between not wanting to know about your wife’s mucus during TTC and not wanting to see bodily fluids during labor and nursing.
        1) The mucus monitoring is way less necessary than everything that happens during and after labor. Plenty of people get pregnant without tracking anything at all, and even if you need to track your ovulation, there are strips you can use so you can just tell DH “I’m ovulating” and don’t need to go into detail about bodily fluids. I’m a woman who has given birth and frankly I find the whole idea of tracking and discussing cervical mucus to be pretty disgusting and uns*xy.
        2) My husband REALLY didn’t want to know when I was ovulating, but for him it was less about being grossed out and more about having performance anxiety if he knew today was the day and he had to be “on.” I had several friends whose husbands felt the same way. That concern doesn’t really apply to anything that happens after you’re pregnant.

    • Midwest Mama :

      Not to be a downer….but also try to emotionally prepare yourself for if it doesn’t happen quickly. We conceived #1 the first month trying almost 7 years ago. Now, we’ve been TTC #2 for almost 2 years, and the emotional rollercoaster has been something for which I was totally unprepared. (Yes, we’ve seen an RE and are taking steps to remedy the issue.) I hope for your sake though that it happens quickly!

    • Read “Expecting Better” and “Taking Charge of Your Fertility.” Period.

    • Be prepared for it to happen quickly, but also be prepared for a miscarriage. I conceived on the second month of trying (first month actually timed well) but it looks like I am miscarrying. I’m in my late 30s so I knew this was a real possibility. But by being prepared for it I’m also optimistic about trying again, and figure the fact that it happened so early can only be a good sign.

      • Anonymous :

        Hugs. So sorry. I think you have a great attitude about it and the fact that you got pregnant quickly is definitely a good sign for your ability to have a biological child.

  7. Anonymous :

    This came up late yesterday after the DJT press conference as the question arose of why DJT is bending over backwards for hate groups. The theory is that they elected him. Yet I’m thinking the white working class/rural poor/economically marginalized who aren’t on either coast aren’t necessarily burning crosses on the weekend either. So what’s really the overlap btwn the working poor/working class and actual racists? Thoughts?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Racism isn’t just burning crosses and carrying torches.

      I think a lot people are racist and just don’t care. Sorry if that’s flip but I’m so disheartened and disgusted by the president.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1 Racism comes in many forms, and a lot of them are not in your face racist. They’re videos on Facebook about “sharia law,” fake news articles about what’s REALLY going on in Charlottesville (“Libs were paid to dress up as Nazis to make people hate trump even more and create discontent”), “like if you agree that REAL Americans don’t use food stamps!”, “If they didn’t commit so many crimes they wouldn’t be in prison….”. People don’t like to be known as racist, but many many many views held are a product of racism- institutional and otherwise.

        • Agreed, except the part about prisons. Of course people don’t usually go to jail when they commit crimes, and of course people who commit crimes get caught and suffer the consequences of their actions and go to jail! Nothing racist about that!

          • Go home, watch 13th on Netflix, and get back to us about how there’s nothing racist in the criminal justice system. Or if you’re more into reading, try Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Mm, the overcriminalization of POC is a real thing. Disproportionality in our criminal justice system is a real thing.

      • Anonymous :

        This. I work with several college-educated white people who I’m nearly 100% certain (I’m afraid to ask) would offer explanations for the alt-right activities this weekend. They also make off-hand comments about people on welfare, Muslims, etc. They seem like normal people. They may not burn crosses, but they’re most definitely racists.

      • Yep. My parents voted for Trump. They’ve been casually racist my whole life. I had to ask my mother to stop forwarding super-offensive racist jokes to me. My parents know how I feel. I told them I was deeply disappointed in them, especially considering that I personally experienced a really horrid sexual harassment situation at work, that they would support someone like him. LIttle did I know that casual misogyny was the least offensive, offensive thing he believes in. Le sigh.

    • I think most white people are racist. I think that takes different forms- many people who I would call racist would not want to see a black person physically harmed in anyway. However, they dismiss black lives matter, think the protests in fergason were “too much”, go out of their way to defend the police use of force, think there are more minorities in jail because they commit more crimes, do nothing to combat institutionalized racism, have passed on hiring a minority because they “just weren’t the right fit”, have asked the question “but where are you really from” to non white people who were born in the us, have not said anything when they hear the N word.

    • In this instance, as in many, I don’t think DJT is thinking in a strategic way about protecting his appeal to his base or anything so logical/structured/savvy. I think he was just saying what came to mind. He is your run-of-the-mill racist white grandpa. “Yeah, the Nazis were acting out, but the other side was really asking for it. We all know ‘those people’ are inclined to misbehave. When they don’t comply, they are demonstrating that they are equally racist against White people, which we really really can’t have, and so both sides are really to blame here.” As for the working poor/working class and racism: I think a lot of people are perfectly tolerant of others, or better, right up until they feel like they might have to compete on an even playing field with those other people for $$/status. Having a Black president was symbolic of the possibility that a truly even playing field could be on the horizon and it freaked people out.

  8. Two Year Old :

    Suggestions for a birthday gift for a nephew turning two? He’s into cars, music/dancing, really big for his age (wearing 4T clothes!), and is bilingual (Spanish/English). I usually try and go for consumable goods (art supplies/projects, bath crayons, etc) or books but am open to any suggestions to help make me the cool aunt. Budget is under $50 and preference for anything I can get from Amazon Prime. Gift will also include $$$ for college/savings, but I want something fun to wrap too.

    • Previously recommended here were stomp rockets. I bought some for my niece and nephew and they were a huge hit.

    • I like Lego Duplos for this age and you can get a set that suits his interests (cars, etc.).

    • There were a bunch of gift suggestions on the Moms page yesterday afternoon. Dress-up clothes are a lot of fun and last for several years.

      • Two Year Old :

        Ooo that post from the Moms site yesterday is exactly what I needed! My mom friends always have a leg up in finding good gifts for the kids in their lives. As someone with no children, having all the useful tips in one place is really helpful. Thanks!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      How about a car mat rug? I’m pretty sure my brother used his until he was like….10 from around age 2.

    • We got our niece a cool play tunnel from IKEA, and she LOVED it.

    • Anonattorney :

      Melissa and Doug instrument set?

    • Books. Always books.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      An Ikea circus tent. They are so fun to sit/lie in and play or look at books, They collapse for storage and they are like $20.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yes, I was going to suggest that! That + one of those kids digital cameras are the only two things I really hope someone gives our 2 yo. (I guess I could get them for her myself. Eh.)

      • A friend had this for her daughter, and I went into it to play with her, fell asleep, and missed like 30 minutes of a party, with my legs sticking out into the living room.

        A ringing endorsement.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I used to crawl in their and fall asleep with my son all the time…he would wait and then crawl out and escape. My husband thought it was *hilarious*.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          There was one at daycare and Kiddo convinced herself that if she couldn’t see anyone, no one could here her… so she’d go in there, with her back to the door, and belt out Country Roads at the top of her lungs. Another ringing endorsement.

    • Magnetic tiles. https://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Blocks-Building-Tiles-Educational/dp/B06Y438L7B/ref=sr_1_2?s=toys-and-games&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1502896107&sr=1-2&keywords=magformers&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011

  9. Anonymous :

    One of our summer interns, who doesn’t report to me but comes to me constantly for help, is driving me CRAZY. She’s sweet but not the brightest bulb, and there’s a language barrier as well that makes a lot of work difficult for her (she can’t talk on the phone to clients, for example, which should be a big part of the job). She just can’t do her job competently, and when I talk to her she’s nodding along but I don’t think she’s actually understanding everything I say. I feel bad for her because I know she’s struggling, but I am so tired of being interrupted every 30 seconds. This has been going on since May.

    OK, rant over.

    • I’ve had this intern! I was lucky because she ultimately realized she wasn’t a good fit (also for language barrier reasons, which made me sad) and resigned, but one of my coping strategies was this: when we reviewed an assignment or task, at the end of my spiel and her nodding and not-enough-note-taking, I’d say “ok, tell me about how you plan to accomplish the goals we just discussed, and how you’ll manage your time.” And then we’d discuss when it was appropriate to check in with me, and when she needed to know how to look things up on her own.

      At first it was a bit jarring for her, I’m sure, but dangit if I was missing a deadline or having a task done completely wrong! It forced me to check that she understood and gave me the opportunity to make corrections and clarify directions, but also to give positive reinforcement when she was headed the right way. She caught on quickly that she needed to take notes, ask questions at the start of the assignment, and start to stand on her own two feet if she wanted to be trusted with anything.

      I wish you lots of intern luck!

      • That’s a wonderful idea. Thank you. I guess the tricky part is not seeming condescending.

        Three times since I posted my original comment I’ve had to explain super basic things to her.

        • Anonymous :

          why did your company hire her if she doesn’t speak English well enough to understand tasks/speak to clients?

          • That is a great question I have been asking myself constantly. I had nothing to do with hiring.

          • Flats Only :

            My old firm hired any number of interns whose English wasn’t great. They were hired because they were smart, very well educated, and had insight into their own countries that was valuable to our firm and clients. It did mean that sometimes language or cultural barriers sometimes had to be worked around, but since their knowledge was valuable, folks were willing to help them when it came to smoothing out the English in deliverables.

        • Look at it this way: internships are meant to be experiental learning experiences. She should expect a greater level of instruction and guidance, more than just a junior employee, so while tone is really important, don’t feel bad about speaking to her in a way that could feel condescending if it were a junior employee. Don’t be condescending, but feel free to be educational and pedantic.

    • Is there a reason the other people she is actually reporting to do not invest in her training?
      It is very nice of you to put in the effort to coach her but the others should also pitch in.

      • My manager is barely in the office, she has no idea what’s going on.

        No, I don’t like my job and I’m looking for another one, ha.

    • Having previously been the intern who didn’t speak the language well enough for the role, something that was really helpful was summary emails. In my case, I would meet with my manager and talk things through and then she would send bullet points of the key takeaways, though you could also ask the intern to do it. This gave me a chance to consult a dictionary as needed.

      I would handle it so much better as an adult, but as a 20 year old I was caught in this awkward place of knowing I didn’t understand well enough, not wanting to constantly be asking for clarification (I knew my manager was busy!), and not knowing how to fix the language issue in the time I was there.

      If listening specifically seems to be a problem, see if you can find a podcast relevant to your industry. Tell her to listen to it and make a list of the vocabulary she doesn’t recognize and work on learning the terms.

    • lost academic :

      Depending on the intern’s original culture, there is sometimes a predisposition to agreeing outwardly when someone, especially a superior, is talking to you, and that can masquerade as understanding when it’s not. Verbal instructions in your non-native language are also going to be harder to parse and remember immediately. I’ve had success with always following up in writing, clearly and specifically, to cut down on bad assumptions for whatever reason.

  10. Based on yesterday’s conversations about both table manners and getting kids involved in housekeeping, and the suggestions for books about the topic, I recommend “Piggy Book” by Anthony Browne. It was an absolute favorite, and I think many moms–especially the high-achieving busy ones here!–can relate (…my mother loved it).

    Excellent message, but also a fun book to read as a kid because of the visuals.

  11. BigLaw Exit Options :

    I’m a Litigation BigLaw Senior Associate and (like so many people) want out. In an ideal world, I would leave for a government litigation position. But after searching on and off for a few years, I’m starting to accept that it may not happen for me. I don’t really have any interest in going in house, not that those jobs are any easier to get. I think I would like something doing internal investigations, or maybe compliance (but I have no relevant experience).

    So, I’m starting to consider what my other options are. Any recommendations for books that discuss non-traditional legal jobs? Please not anything that recommends completely unrelated jobs, like go into communications or become a ghostwriter. (If I have to break into a completely new field, it may be nursing.) Or any ideas on where to search?

    • Anonymous :

      The old 90s book of “Guerilla Interviewing — getting the legal job of your dreams” I thought was excellent.

      FWIW I think about nursing a lot — our city has an adult re-entry program that I want to look into more.

    • Several people I went to law school with do this kind of work with companies like Amex or JP Morgan. Can you search your alumni network for people who may doing the kind of stuff you are interested in and reach out to them for coffee? I think that’s the best way to get more info and it might even help get your foot in the door.

      • Another idea – if you have any friends who are current or former prosecutors, ask them about this sort of path. I think it’s sometimes a common path for former ADAs and so they may have some ideas of where you should look.

    • The only thing I would say is get rid of the mindset of “I have no relevant experience.” My employer just hired a former bankruptcy litigator to do corporate work (and it’s going just fine). It may not be what you want to do, but people are often a lot more flexible around this than you think.

    • What is your practice area?

      • BigLaw Exit :

        I don’t have much of a specialty, just do a lot of general commercial litigation. I’ve done contract cases, tort cases, trademark cases, etc.

        • If you are in DC, there are government agencies that have administrative litigation positions, which are basically trial lawyers. Based on what you listed, you could probably fit in at PTO, FERC, or SEC. You could definitely play up some experiences that you have. Gov lawyer positions are usually not posted, so you need to start reaching out to contacts (perhaps law school alumni).

          • BigLaw Exit :

            I’ve been applying for these types of things, and had no luck yet. I’m not sure if its because I don’t have an in or if they are just many people interested and therefore not a option for everyone who wants these types of positions.

          • You need an in. Someone to pick your resume out of the pile. Contact your career services and see if any fellow alums are in those agencies. Then ask them for coffee.

    • I’m in a somewhat similar position.

      Have you read “Life After Law” by Liz Brown? It profiles a lot of different people, including Kat, who left law firms and branched out from traditional legal practice. Some of the people profiled made more of a career switch than what it sounds like you’re looking for, but I liked that she organized the job profiles by skill area (e.g., analytical, entrepreneurial), and it gave me some insight into what other people have done after they left law firms.

      Also, I think someone here recommended a book with a title like “What Can You Do With a Law Degree,” which is more geared towards lawyers who want to remain lawyers. I haven’t checked it out yet, though.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Any specific reasons you object to in-house roles? I ask because our company and many in my industry (and really any industry regulated by the FTC and FCC) have hired many internal investigations/government investigations folks who come from general commercial lit groups in Big Law.

      • BigLaw Exit :

        No real reason I’m not looking in-house, I just haven’t seen many that interest me. I don’t have any background in transactional work and don’t have any interest in it. But I would be interested in the type of role you describe, but haven’t seen them advertised. Are those in the GC office? Any recommendations on how I would find them/where does your company advertise them?

        • Rainbow Hair :

          My path was BigLaw litigation –> unrelated thing –> small commercial litigation –> other small commercial litigation –> in house generalist.

          Very little of my work now is what I would describe as “transactional work” in the BigLaw sense. Yes, I assist on transactions every day, but they are things like: “we need to end our relationship with this vendor, how do we do it without getting sued?” and “if we are going to license this IP to ABC, but we want to make sure we protect XYZ, and [Political Considerations] is in play, what are our options for how we structure the relationship?” There’s also a ton of “will this press release come back and bite us?” and everything employment related. I write the occasional demand letter or takedown notice, and my work touches on copyright and trademarks. Parts of our business requires accreditation and I help the relevant staff comply with applicable standards to maintain our accreditation. We hire outside litigation counsel when we’re straight-up sued, of course, but I interface with them heavily.

          I like my job (a lot!) and think I’m pretty good at it, but in my moments of honesty I think that any smart, personable, and diligent lawyer could excel here.

          TL;DR if there’s an in-house generalist position, you might find plenty to enjoy.

          • Please please please share how you marketed/described your litigation skills to get this job, particularly in a cover letter.

          • I have this job and came from biglaw general commercial litigation but had some in-house experience before biglaw. I played up the in-house experience (though OK if you don’t have it) and focused on areas that were relevant to them. Generalist means everything from employment to IT to HR complaints to regulatory compliance to lawsuits to vendor contracts and everything in between. Start by focusing on the industry (pharmaceutical? finance? manufacturing?) and what is specific to that and then focus on the areas that every company no matter the industry has to deal with. Then there are your traits (ability to work with others, organization on so many different issues, looking at your work with a business lens, etc.) that come into play.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            The part that’s hard to replicate is that I had an inside track because I knew someone who knew someone who knew that the spot would be open. “Networking” is I guess what that’s called. I was also lucky in that the people in charge of hiring understood that anyone with the right fundamentals and attitude could do a good job, so they hired me because I had the basic chops and because they liked me.

            Oh, though in conversation I definitely played up my small-business contract-dispute litigation experience (“I file these lawsuits, so I know how to avoid them/prepare us to come out on top”), every time I had the opportunity to counsel someone to avoid litigation, and a small bit of regulatory/compliance work I did with startups. I also hammered on how often in litigation something totally new comes up (“we’re doing adverse possession now? in downtown chicago?
            ok I thought that was just for the bar but here we go!”) and how that made me confident in getting myself up to speed on anything they could throw at me. The truth is that all of what I’m talking about came from my small firm litigation experience, though — I didn’t have the independence or client contact necessary to build those skills in my BigLaw job (but I hope yours is better than mine on that front).

        • Triangle Pose :

          Yes, they are in the legal department and report up to the GC. I would say that Biglaw commercial lit is relevant experience for government investigations, compliance, internal investigations roles. My company puts postings on the careers page of their website as well as on LinkedIn.

          I’d look also on LinkedIn for other folks who have similar backgruond as you do to see what they do. Ther e must have there been senior folks in your group who have moved on – check them out on LinkedIn for additional ideas and networking opportunities.

    • I left my litigation job to work at an insurance company handling claims. The insurance companies hire attorneys for the more complex work, which can involve public entities (side-way of working with the governments), prof. liability, high level commercial losses. It’s been really great for me and I recommend it as a great alternative to traditional lawyer roles. A friend of mine left practice to work at a private banking company – I think more in compliance like you’ve already been thinking … there are opportunities in that area too. Good luck!

    • You may have zero interest in this, but have you looked at military law at all? DoD hires lots of civilians, or you could commission (benefits are quite good right now and the initial commitment is only four years for active duty). You could also split the difference and become a reservist – once you’re trained, you can pick up active orders in a location of your choice rather than where the military wants to send you. I’ve done this and gotten to live in some fun places and do interesting work.

    • Anonymous :

      Did you look at State Attorney General Offices>

      They’re always hiring, every state. Some positions are public, others are not, and most have the freedom to create new jobs when a good person comes along. You should feel free to reach out and inquire with every state AG office in every state that you’d be willing to move to, wholly apart from applying for specific jobs.

      The money won’t be there, but the government litigation work always is.

  12. Anonymous :

    An unknown person in my office is apparently very persistent about having Fox News on in the lunch room. My office culture emphasizes courtesy and politics is only talked about in hushed tones among people who agree with each other. It’s pretty shocking to have such a divisive channel on at all, it’s definitely shocking that someone(s) keeps turning it back.

    In the past, I would change it maybe once during the day. Yesterday I changed it three times. I’m not the only one who changes it from Fox News so maybe yesterday was just luck of the draw. I don’t begrudge people watching whatever they want during lunch, but I don’t understand why someone(s) insists that it has to be on all day when they know other people in the office don’t want to watch it. Fwiw, I’ve tried changing it to the weather channel, any other news, C-SPAN, and whatever random thing happens to be on when I press channel up or down, usually HGTV or something else benign. It keeps getting changed back. Any way I can put a stop to this passive aggressive feud that doesn’t involve listening to Fox News all day or me looking petty to the powers that be?

    • Anonymous :

      +1 to Weather Channel. It’s our white noise at home. And . . . ECLIPSE!!!

    • Instead of changing the channel, maybe just turn the TV off?

      I like to assume good intentions, so rather than think that I have a coworker who’s passive-aggressively forcing Fox News onto the office, I’d assume whoever it is wanted to take a few minutes to catch up on the news. It may be a fan of Fox News, or it could be someone who just wants to see how Fox News is trying to spin it, then they get back to work and leave it on that channel. Intentional? I think it’s a stretch. I’d assume thoughtless.

      I’ll admit it–when crazy stuff is happening, I check out various news outlets to see the coverage. It’s eye opening to see CNN take one stance, Fox News lean completely the other way, and the BBC hitting middle ground.

      Regardless–in this situation, I’d turn the TV off.

      • Yes, you should get a TV-B-Gone and secretly turn it off every time you walk by the room. That would be fun.

        • Yes! Also, you can probably configure the tv so that that channel doesn’t come up when you press the channel up/down buttons (though it still will if you browse to that channel by typing in the number). My siblings and I used to remove our hated channels that way, to try to prevent each other from watching them.

    • Anonymous :

      If you can hear the tv and it’s distracting, I’d just ask that it be turned down so you can’t hear it. That seems pretty reasonable. If it bugs you because it’s Fox News that’s on but you can’t hear it, I’m not sure that’s a real problem or a fight worth picking.

      • +1 to Turn it down and turn on closed captioning, if it’s just the noise that’s bothering you.

    • Anonymous :

      Change it to CNN and hide the remote.

    • EmilyPostImitator :

      Can you ask your office that the TV never be tuned to the news? Perhaps asking your boss to make a policy on this (and posting a sign, etc). “I really value the culture of civility we have here. It’s an oasis of politeness in a very polarized atmosphere. To maintain the atmosphere I’d like us to not have the tv turned to any new channel, whether Fox news or MSNBC.”

  13. BensonRabble :

    I’m going to the Galapagos and trying to decide on an itinerary (southern western or northern cruise). How was the activity level? Did you get seasick? Thanks!!

    • I’ve never been but just want to say that this sounds like an amazing trip. Adding to my bucket list.

    • Lots to Learn :

      We went on a Galapagos cruise a few years ago. Didn’t have a choice as to which itinerary – they alternated and it was luck of the draw on which one we got. Both have things that the other won’t have, so either way, there is good stuff. Ours was the western half. The activities depend strongly on which cruise line you take. We were on one of the biggest boats that goes – the Celebrity Xpedition. Strongly recommend a bigger boat – more naturalists, more options, less sea motion. Every day, they had a morning and afternoon excursion and two options for each – one for more adventurous and mobile people and one for more sedentary and older people. So one group would go on a hike up a mountain on an island while the other would take a rubber boat ride around the island. One group would go to a beach and hang while the other would go snorkeling off the boat (which was a challenge but FUN!). Food on the Celebrity was great, too. I have a friend who went on a much smaller boat and they didn’t have many options for excursions, only had maybe 2 naturalists (we had 6), only had one or two rubber boats, and had much more rockiness.

      I did get seasick twice – once at the beginning before I got my patch on and once at the end when it was running out and I hadn’t put a new one on yet. But I’m much more prone to motion sickness than the rest of my extended family – no one else was affected. I did give my kids the pills recommended by the pediatrician, because one of them is pretty prone to motion sickness, too.

    • SF in House :

      We went on a National Geographic trip and it was hands down the best trip we have ever taken. It was the only time ever that my night owl husband would be up and ready for an early (6:30) excursion. I loved being on a small boat and having experts on the trip. There were always options of varying degrees of exertion. We were on the young side for the boat and always chose the more active option, but there were definitely options. We did not have a choice on the itinerary, but don’t feel like we missed anything. I am so glad we got to see Lonesome George!

    • I visited the northern islands this past December on La Pinta (through Metropolitan Touring). It was FANTASTIC. It’s a 48-passenger yacht, so a happy medium between the larger Celebrity ship and the tiny boats that go out. The ship had a couple of lounges, a formal dining room, a large deck with hot tub, a library, wifi, etc. I never got seasick and think only 1-2 passengers did the whole time. Like the larger boats, we had 4 naturalist guides, two options in both the morning and evening (usually an easier one and a harder one) – and a couple of the days there was a 3rd activity as well. Highly recommend snorkeling whenever that is offered as an option, and bringing an underwater camera – we saw multiple penguins, sea turtles, sharks, rays, and sea lions in the water while snorkeling. Truly an amazing trip.

      Unless you have a specific species you MUST see, try not to get hung up on which of the islands you visit – focus more on the reviews of the particular touring company you’re with, which dates work for you, and which features are must-haves. For us, it was (unfortunately) wifi, given that our jobs require us to monitor email once a day. Basically all itineraries will allow for seeing the giant tortoise, sea turtles, boobies, pelicans, sharks, sea lions, etc.

      Also, consider flying from Quito rather than Guayaquil – we found Quito to be a vibrant, fascinating city to visit for a couple of days.

    • Did a land-based tour with Red Mangrove a few years ago. We’re not cruise people, so it was awesome finding out this is an option. We stayed at beautiful small resorts in Santa Cruz (for 4 nights) and on Isabella (3 nights), and took a small boat in between (maybe a 2-3 hour ride?). Highly recommend!!

      • To clarify, by land-based I just mean we stayed at resorts on the island. We still did plenty of boating day trips for snorkeling, etc. And a couple members of our group did extra trips for some serious diving, if that’s your thing. It’s a great option if you’re concerned about seasickness!

  14. Date night outfits - 40s and Tired Edition :

    Any thought for date night outfits?

    I usually have this on for dates:
    something clean
    killer boots (so cooler weather: jeans, lizard boots, some sort of black top; summer: dress or winter outfit with black or white short-sleeved blouse)
    attitude of: “I work FT, have young children, in tolerable shape, and you are lucky to have me”
    it’s a look that works (but might be a bit rowdy), but maybe it needs a refresh

    Thoughts? Husband is in his 50s and dresses, ahem, like someone going to watch golf. Think Gretchen Wilson meets Luke Wilson. Mismatched a bit.
    I could do dress + boots, but that seems like a C- effort.

    I don’t want to be Tragic Trying to be Hot Mom. I just want to be . . . younger Helen Mirren? And not veer into something from AbFab. And not the Peggy Sagal character from Sons of Anarchy (but I could pull that off for Halloween if you gave me some AquaNet and some cleavage).

    • Anonymous :

      I would stop wearing boots. Boots in the summer is just not a good look for most people, especially people over 25 who are not at a music festival. Get some nice summer dresses (like a shirt dress) and nice flat sandals or wedges. For winter, well-fitting dark-wash jeans and a flattering sweater or blouse and some jewelry.

      • Anon 41 yr old :

        +1. Boots in the summer is off for most people bc sweaty feet!

        But killer boots with jeans in cold weather is fine. Date night is your excuse to wear them! I see date night as my excuse to get out my nicer clothes that aren’t office-y.

        • Anonymous :

          What are your date-night activities and what is your look?

          I see a lot of 20s/30s women trying to look s*xy (and guys in jeans and untucked shirts, so the mismatch is permanent). And the activity is drinking in bars, maybe dancing, maybe watching a band, maybe sporting event, maybe going out to eat. The outfits are all the same. [My office is in our city’s going-out district, so I spectate a lot.]

          For older . . . I’d love to wear something like a revealing DVF dress or something fancy/pretty. But that looks so odd with how my dude dresses (which is to say, denim; maybe sans-a-belt khakis if we’re going to a steak restaurant). It’s like my clothes ideal is maybe better for girls night out?

          Is there an Oprah’s Master Class on this? Or something? I’d totally watch it.

          My “fun” default is sometimes the prettiest bus-cas work dress I own with non-work shoes (open toe, etc.). I know — walking on the mild side. Or something too short to wear to church.

        • Anonymous :

          I like boots in the summer, but I think I am susceptible to Frye’s marketing people. Also, the leather matters — should not black leather but something lighter. And with a swingy dress (not shorts, but I know we know that already). It has to be the right boot/dress and varies by season.

          It could be a music festival look, but I think of it a look that works from maybe Texas to Nashville (maybe elsewhere) as a casual look for women. Sort of like our version of Lilly Pulitzer?

      • +2 I think a dress plus nice sandals is a great date night look.

      • Anonymous :

        Booties have become year round IMO.

        • Especially open-toe booties with cutouts, sort of like a sandal with a very high vamp – date nights are precisely the sort of situation they’re designed for, because you can’t really wear them to work and they’re not quite as casual as lower-heeled walking sandals, but they’re still comfortable.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I just…love all of your references. Thank you for this.

    • I think that maybe the issue is . . . if you are not going to a tractor pull, but you look like you could at the spur of the moment, that is not a city going-out outfit. I have no idea what is though for the Olders. For the 20s/30s, I see way too many ill-fitting rompers that I yearn for the days of maxidresses with beer-soaked hems (I still think that the only maxi dress fit for evening is a full-on ballgown and that most maxidresses are for brunch / beach / etc.).

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Aw I think that’s unnecessary. Where I live (not a tractor in sight), a boho dress + light brown boots would totally play for date night.

      • Totally agree. Sounds very rural to me or maybe just unsophisticated.

    • If it helps, when I see a mismatched couple (I work near Times Square so the sidewalks are full of tourist dads in jeans and polos accompanying their wives dressed to the nines to the theater), my only thought is that it’s sad that the dude couldn’t be bothered to put the effort in to living up to his kickass wife. I definitely advise wearing what you want and to heck with him.

      • But also, feel free to tell your partner that you’d be very appreciative of him dressing nicer. Obviously, he’s a grown man and can do what he wants but it’s nice to get that feedback.

        • Date night outfits - 40s and Tired Edition :

          He seems to have no idea either what “nicer” is other than a suit (he knows formal-formal, not formal-festive). In the winter, I’d say nice pants and a merino sweater and real shoes (or sweater + nice jeans + nice shoes that aren’t work shoes).

          • When you see mismatched couples, do you point them out to him? I started noticing them out loud to my DH a few years back, and he took notice. Similarly, when I pointed out and praised the matched couples, and the man outfits, he noticed, and started saying things like “I want a pair of those soft looking loafer things for going out” (driving mocs). He’s now got a great capsule wardrobe of good looking middle of the road outfits for work and play, and he is secretly loving it. I now feel like the schlumpy one by comparison!

          • Go shopping with him? My husband is into clothes, but appreciates a second opinion and that way I can keep him firmly out of golf land. For you, I think it depends on what you’re doing, but we do a lot of dinners out (we live in a casual big city – SF) and I just use it as an excuse to wear dresses I like with fun shoes and accessories. I don’t really worry about being on-trend, and I’d say my style veers classic/artsy so I just go with it.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah, give him some gentle encouragement. My husband has always cared about clothes but hated to shop, so I hooked him up with Trunk Club and OMG he is right out of GQ these days!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Here’s what I wear:

      If we’re going somewhere really low key (spoiler alert: we almost definitely are)
      – either my sexy new sandals (black wedges, but the heel is real high. They’re more biker/witchy than it sounds like your style is, but I feel hot when I look maybe a tiny bit spooky) or my favorite, worn in low-heeled teal sandals
      – some cute jeans and a flattering-but-casual top, or a summer dress + a leather jacket (my favorite!). Honestly, every piece individually is something I would wear to the park, but it’s the nicest possible combo of clothes I would wear to the park.

      If we’re going somewhere fancier (read: husband is wearing jeans instead of shorts)
      – high wedge sandals for sure or booties if it’s fall/winter/spring (our lives are so casual that pumps are basically never appropriate)
      – a dress that doesn’t look right if my bra strap shows (huh, my bar for ‘fancy’ is pretty low). I have a cuuuute black dress that’s a little strappy and shorter than what I’d usually wear, and I feel haaawt but low-key when I wear it with high sandals and a funky braided bun.

      And to echo some of the posters above, life is short and you are lovely — if you want to dress up, who cares what your husband is wearing!

  15. Anonymous :

    Is there any chance that it always defaults to Fox News when turned off and back on? That has happened to me multiple times in hotel rooms, which I hate.

    • Good thought but I don’t think so. The TV stays on all day. I initially thought someone was watching it during lunch, which is 100% fine and I don’t expect anyone to change it when they finish lunch. But no, it gets changed back mid-morning and mid-afternoon too, which is really where my frustration comes from.

      • In the vein of presuming good intentions, I don’t think most Fox watchers think they are turning on a divisive, misleading news source.

        • Anonymous :

          Hahahahahahahaha you’re right, and THAT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

          • slightly off topic, but at my high school reunion, I was talking to a former classmate about getting the kids to sleep. Her secret is letting the 4 year old have a TV in her bedroom so the kid can fall asleep watching Fox News (which is apparently both soothing and educational, in her view).

          • Anonymous :

            To get back to one of the discussions yesterday, this is a glimpse into how racism is learned young!

        • No, but they might be thinking it’s The One True News Source that everyone should watch whether they like it or not. OP, I agree with just turning off the TV or keeping it on mute unless someone is actively watching.

  16. Manhattanite :

    Like the dress, but I know that even in the petites it would be so long! Maybe at this price point it would be worth it… Wish Talbots did more free shipping.

  17. What’s the budget these days for a bridal shower gift? Is $40 ok? Is splitting a $130 saute pan 3 ways between friends acceptable or is that cheap? (I’m more likely to be invited to a grade schooler’s bday party than a bridal shower these days and I’m feeling so out of touch!)

    • Anonymous :

      That’s fine. You can afford what you can afford.

    • Both sound totally acceptable to me.

      • For my bridal shower, my very closest friends gave close to $75-100. My regular friends gave somewhere around $40-50. Baby shower was about the same for close friends, and more like $30-40 for regular friends. This was in NYC, but I don’t run in Big Law salary-esque groups. Most incomes are around $60-100K in my friend group.

    • I vote for the group gift. I got married young and most of my friends had budgets under $25 so I got a lot of hand towels and cake pans and none of the fancier electronic kitchen gadgets. I wish some of them had gone in together on a bigger item.

      • Lol, this reminded me that I got a wash cloth from our registry as a wedding gift from one of our guests!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      In all honesty, I think it depends on both how close you are and what the expectations are in your community. In my cultural group, $40 would be considered too little for someone close enough to be invited to a shower/wedding.

      • There’s no amount that’s “too little” for a gift and any bride who says otherwise is awful. You can say it’s lower than the average gift and that may be true, but if OP can afford $40 and/or wants to give $40, it’s perfectly acceptable for her to give that amount. Brides aren’t entitled to gifts period and certainly not to gifts of any particular dollar amount. I got wedding gifts ranging from $5 to $1000.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          She can give whatever she wants, obviously. Her question was whether it might be perceived as “cheap” (her word) and I simply pointed out that in some cultural circles that it might be,

        • Anony Mouse :

          +1 Two out of four of my bridesmaids didn’t give us a wedding present, let alone a shower gift. They both make around $30K and traveled halfway across the country to attend the wedding (didn’t make it for the shower). As far as I’m concerned, their presence was their gift to me.

          • Same. We got married in our early 20s and a pretty large percentage of our guests were in graduate school or right out of school with big student loans, and our wedding was in an expensive and hard to reach corner of the US. Most of our friends (and some of my parents’ friends!) who came didn’t get us a gift or got us something homemade or one of the $10 registry items. I was so touched by their presence, I didn’t think twice about the size of the gift. I see a wedding as a chance to celebrate with all the people you love, not a fundraiser, and I would so much rather a friend attend and get us a heartfelt card than not attend and send a big gift.

    • If what you can afford is $40, spend that. If you are just looking for points of reference, I spend about $100 in DC – same as I spend for baby showers

    • $25-40 for a shower gift was standard in my mid-20s. Since turning 30 and becoming more financially secure, I usually give more like $50-75 depending on how close I am with the bride.

      • This is what I did & do (biglaw Chicago), but echo other commenters that you should give what you can afford and not feel self-conscious.

    • I try to keep shower gifts under $50 because I give larger gifts for weddings… how much am I supposed to spend on your life choices?!

      • Pen and Pencil :

        So much this. For a close friend $50 for shower present, $100-150 (maybe more depending on what else is going on) for wedding present. For a not close friend $30-40 for shower and $50-75 for wedding.

        • lawsuited :

          Similar to Pen and Pencil, I spend approx $50 for shower gift and $125-$175 for wedding gift for all weddings we go to because if the invitation is from someone we’re not close to then we don’t go. The exception is destination weddings that cost over $1000 for us to attend, in which case I don’t give a gift.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Thank you. I got chewed out here before for my bridal shower gift questions, so I dare not say how much I’m spending on my future SIL, but it’s not a ton. Our budget is tight, I’m renting a place for two nights, hiring a sitter out of town, outfitting my kid in a one-time-use dress, prob buying husband a suit, taking a day off work, and planning to get them a nice gift (or check) for the wedding — I’m doing it all joyfully, because I am thrilled for them, but I have to look realistically at my budget and there just isn’t room for a gift above $X.

        • I remember that thread. People told you not to go off-registry, not that you should spend more money. I don’t think a single person told you there was anything wrong with a $20 gift, so long as it’s something the bride and groom have said they want.

    • That’s fine. If you’re worried it’s not enough, get a sentimental gift, like a bottle of inexpensive champagne or a bottle of wine or two and attach a tag that says to open it after a certain event (first month anniversary of wedding, first fight, etc)

    • I usually get something that’s in the $20ish range off the registry and then I’ll get them a wedding gift that’s more like $100-250 depending on how close friends they are.

  18. Distracted DH :

    DH started playing a new video game again. Whenever he does, he becomes incredibly helpful while the kids (ages 3 and 5) are awake (empties the dishwasher, helps prepare food, sorts laundry, picks up around the house), and then as soon as the kids go to bed, he returns to the video game with vigor. I don’t get to spend any time with him — we don’t have family meals together during the week, and for the 2-3 hours from when we get home til when the kids are asleep, we’re focused on them. I don’t want to turn into a narcissist, but like, SPEND TIME WITH ME. (Suggesting or straight-up requesting physical intimacy is a non-starter, as DH says he prefers to be spontaneous. Our s3x life is decent – usually 2x/week.) Any ideas for how to talk to DH about this?

    • Could you say something like, “hey, it doesn’t seem like we have been spending much time together just us. How about tonight/tomorrow/etc. we [do fun activity other than video game – watch movie together, cook, etc.]?”

      I would try not to focus on the “he ALWAYS does this” point of it if you can avoid it.

    • “Husband, I miss you. Let’s make plans to hang out on x night this week and do y activity.” For us this means no screens including phones. We can listen to music and talk, play a game, work on a house project, etc Or, if the siren song of the game is too loud, schedule an out of the house date. Get lunch or coffee during the day while the kids are at school, get a sitter and have a date, whatever.

      • This is a good answer, but I would just be happy if I had a husband. Yours sounds good so do NOT knock him if he plays video games. He is good with the k’ids, so that is so nice. You will be able to spend time with him once he get’s bored with the video games. Stay in the game and you’ll see that he will come over to nuzzel you like a horse. Keep the faith, Mascot!

    • When my S/O gets very into a new game, I try to plan at least one or two activities that require him to put it down for some time. Or I try to ask questions and look up what game he’s playing so I can be involved. I’ll sit with him while he plays, reading a book, watching my own show, etc. I find that if I’ve been physically sitting next to him and engaging, he’s more inclined to put it down and spend time with me once he’s played for an hour.

      • Distracted DH :

        This is really interesting. Thanks.

      • This is actually good advice. And oddly, you being nearby when he plays makes it oddly more fun/satisfying for him, as if you are actually participating and not criticizing him for enjoying this.

        • Does anyone really get married in 2017 without having already had their first fight? That is crazy to me.

          • Oops wrong place! That was supposed to be in response to the Anon who suggested a bottle of wine to drink after the “first fight” as a bridal shower gift.

      • lawsuited :

        I do this too, except I give him 2 weeks with the game before planning any activities. The worst of it is usually over by then.

    • Unrelated to getting him to talk to you, but have you considered scheduling time with your friends when he gets into his rut of videogames? I assume he plays in the house and is present for any kid-related emergencies, seems like a good excuse for you to get out!

      Related – schedule a sitter once a month? Or every 2 weeks? Do you have any dates when he’s not playing games? Good luck!

  19. Financial Noob: :

    I’m sorry to ask this annoying question – but I’ve tried googling my buns off and I cannot figure out a simple answer for the situation. I’m working on finding a financial planner/CPA person to help me, but I was just wondering if a financially-savvy ‘rett could provide a quick answer.

    – my company does not offer a 401k plan
    – my husband adds to his work 401k plan
    – I would like to plan for retirement separately (no ill-intent, I just want a retirement account of my own, dangit)
    – but, when Married Filing Jointly, we make too much money (actually, he makes more money which pushes us up; lets round it to 200k together)

    is there NO WAY I can contribute meaningfully to an IRA? If I’m reading correctly, I can only contribute to a non-deductible Traditional IRA – right? and the problem with those is that the money gets double-taxed over its life, thus making it ill-suited for stock/equity investing?

    so how is a married woman supposed to protect herself for retirement when she makes “too much” money? I’m getting frustrated, but also realize I could be dumb and reading this wrong.

    • For the IRA, you can roll your IRA contributions into a Roth IRA via a backdoor transfer (google backdoor Roth IRA, and lots of info will come up).

      Otherwise, I don’t know. It’s not something I’ve paid attention to since I have a work 401K. Sorry

    • Others may be savvier, but my understanding is that in a traditional IRA, your contributions are not taxed, but your distributions are. Whereas with a Roth IRA, your contributions are taxed, but distributions are not. So you can contribute to a traditional IRA, and it’s only taxed once.

      • Well – I think the OP has a non-deductible contribution to a Traditional IRA. So her contribution is made with after-tax money and she makes to much to take the contribution. So her Traditional IRA is “taxed” going in, and then taxed again on the distributions.

        I’m not sure about the tax implications on a backdoor Roth IRA here – whether your after-tax contribution to a Traditional IRA gets taxed again when you rollover to a Roth IRA< or if you get the benefit of already having used after-tax money. But after it converts to a Roth IRA, you don't pay any tax on the distributions.

        And I believe the taxes are in addition to the contribution amounts, and not paid by the contribution (but confirm that with a tax lawyer/CPA). So that if you contribute $5500, that goes in your IRA account, but you get a tax bill on top of that to pay separately.

        Does your employer have any sort of plan for deducting pre-tax from your paycheck to contribute to an IRA? Any chance of getting them to set up a 401K or a SEP/SIMPLE plan (depending on employer size)?

    • Nothing gets double taxed if it’s specifically identified as retirement savings; what are you talking about? You pay taxes one time: EITHER when you put the money in (it is taxed as income and then you invest the remainder) OR when you take the money out (because it was deducted from your paycheck pre-tax).

      • OP has to make her contribution to an traditional IRA with after-tax money instead of pre-tax money like most other people do. That’s what a non-deductible contribution means. And can’t contribute to a Roth IRA with after-tax money to avoid paying tax on the distributions.

        • But she can, via the backdoor Roth IRA. She contributes post-tax money to a traditional IRA, waits a few days/weeks/months, converts to a Roth IRA, pays taxes on any growth before the conversion (so maybe a few dollars), and then anything taken out of the Roth IRA doesn’t have taxes

    • Okay, if you make non-deductible contributions to your traditional IRA, they will be non-taxable when they are distributed. But you need to keep track of those contributions because your CPA (or you if you self prepare) will need to do a Form 8606 once you start taking distributions.

      • Financial Noob: :

        Thanks all for the insight! I definitely will be asking a CPA about backdooring a roth. I guess my understanding was that a *non-deductible* trad IRA was 1) my only option but also 2) the worst option available in IRA world

        …because the money going IN is after-tax and also that when the money (or I should say, the growth money on contributions) comes OUT it’s also being taxed.

        but ultimately, I can still open one, throw money at it, play around with investments, and make sure I keep my CPA in the loop ?

    • Spousal IRA? saw the term on a personal finance blog somewhere but don’t actually know what it is – maybe it’s worth looking into for your situation?

  20. Put an at-home date night on the schedule? “Hey honey, I want to watch Y movie/play Z game with you this week, which night do want to do that?” Maybe make it a weekly/biweekly thing?

    How long does the new game focus last? A week or two and then he resurfaces? How often does it happen throughout the year? 1-2 times? 5-10?

    • For Distracted DH, obvs.

      • Distracted DH :

        It seems to happen once every 3-4 months, and lasts about 2-3 weeks. We have a family vacation coming up (visiting DH’s family over Labor Day weekend), and I am spending my spare time preparing for that (figuring out kid activities, clothing needs, packing, etc.). So I don’t know if the 2-3 weeks will actually last longer (i.e., now, and restarting when we get home from our family vacation) or if the upcoming family vacation will shorten it.

        • Anonymous :

          Man, 2-3 weeks every few months is A LOT of time. I think you’re very justifiably annoyed by this.

    • Ours happens 1x a month because our son’s daycare offers an evening babysitting once a month. If it weren’t for them keeping us accountable, we would do something maybe once a quarter.

  21. A looooooooooong time ago I asked about moving in-house and asked people where they looked. Just want to give a shout out to whoever recommended Indeed. The postings have been so plentiful lately.

  22. Can you recommend a storage system for gifts/gift wrap/ribbons/bows/etc? I keep a stash of hostess gifts, baby shower gifts (everyone seems to be having a baby in the past two years) and wrapping supplies for all gifts. I keep them in two Sterlite drawer containers. Looking for something less flimsy and more “put together” looking because it’s going to have to be in my guest room as we don’t have much closet space in the house.

    • My mom kept all of that stuff in a slim underbed storage container (link to follow) that slid under the guest bed. https://www.amazon.com/Slimfit-Wheeled-Underbed-Storage-Box/dp/B00D8GXDSE

      Long enough to fit a roll of wrapping paper.

    • The Container Store has some great wrapping paper storage totes. I just got this and I’m obsessed. https://www.containerstore.com/s/gift-packaging/organizers/grey-wrap-tote-organizer/12d?productId=10034146&country=US&currency=USD&utm_source=tcscompshop&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=google&cid=cse:PLA Fits my wrapping paper, bows, tissue paper, and gift bags. Love it!

    • Google “gift wrap organizer” or “gift wrap station” – lots of options if you have the space.

    • Is there a dresser in the guest room that you can steal a drawer from?

    • Any cute/quirky baby gifts? I have also been inundated with friends’ spawn.

    • Wrapping Paper Cart :

      My favorite wrapping paper organizer is the elfa cart at container store. But it’s so expensive. Has anyone seen something similar for under $50? Holds rolls of paper but also has drawers for bags and ribbons?

  23. Help me not mismanage my mat leave: I’m in week 2 of being out. I did a warm pass-off of my projects to my boss, my team, and outside counsel (I’m in-house). I still check my email and forward when necessary (still getting occassional emails even though I have an away message up). I was planning on a lunch with my boss after the first month and then calling in to occasional conf calls and update calls plus a catch up lunch with my team before coming back after 3 months. This was all before finding out that our group paralegal is leaving (we have 2 out of 8 members total). One of my direct reports wants to move into that position and told my boss and not me. Two members of very closely related cross functional teams also announced their departure while I’ve been out. My boss wants to handle it all and said he’ll just call me for input as needed, but I feel like I should be very involved as my direct report is involved. I’m a little anxious about all the movement affecting our group.

    • What are you worried about? Why do you feel the need to be involved? For your own benefit or someone else’s? (Honestly asking, not sarcasm))

      • Fair question! I’m worried that I’ll come back to a mess. I am concerned that my remaining team member will shoulder the load due to the changes and then quit too. When I first heard about the changes, I thought I’d just wait it out and see where the chips fell in 3 months. But I woke up in the middle of the night last night thinking, am I mismanaging this whole thing by not being involved?

    • Stop calling. Stop reading. Stop meddling. You are on leave. Which means you don’t work. Full stop. They will handle this. Your boss literally told you to stop.

    • You are on maternity leave. You can void your FMLA leave if you’re doing work. Stop. Pay attention to your baby and your recovery from childbirth. YOU HAD A CHILD LESS THAN 2 WEEKS AGO? Go see your doctor and say you’re concerned about postpartum anxiety.

      • Yes to potentially voiding your FMLA. My boss and HR are both very vocal about employees being 100% offline during maternity leave.

        Trust me, the office will not fall apart while you’re out and things that are hosed up can be fixed when you come back. The latter happened after my first leave. Two direct reports came to me the first day back with, “You’re going to be pissed off when you hear…”, but I was able to unravel what had gone on. Trust yourself that you’ll be able to roll with it when you get back as well.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This doesn’t sound like anxiety to me. This sounds like someone that values her work and her career and is concerned because it is falling apart in her absence. I agree she should back away but I don’t blame her for being worried about it. You don’t stop caring about your job just because you had a child. That leave is very short and soon you are back in dealing with it all.

        • Yeah…this is not postpartum anxiety. It’s really hard to see a lot of important work stuff going on without jumping in, especially if you’re being cc-ed on emails.

  24. i know we're sick of venting about 45 :

    But this anecdote from the end of today’s front-page NYT article really got me:

    “Soon after Mr. Trump was done speaking, he wandered close to the velvet rope line that held a group of about 20 reporters and photographers, his mood noticeably brighter. A reporter asked if he planned to visit Charlottesville after the tragedy there. Mr. Trump replied by saying he has a house there, and provided an endorsement of the Trump Winery nearby. Then he disappeared into Trump Bar, taking a shortcut to his residence next door.”

    So this is your daily reminder, I guess, that anyone who voted for this psychopath should be taken off your Christmas card list. (Among other things.)

    • nasty woman :

      I read the transcript of his “speech” (read: drunk, racist, senile, molester-uncle’s late night ramblings) last night and apropos of nothing switch to his gd*mned winery just made my jaw drop. I could see the rusting, greased-stained gears in his head change direction as soon as he landed on a way to promote himself. Squirrel!

      Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to be related to or work with someone with narcissistic personality disorder, as I have, can immediately see what’s going on.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Right? OMG it so reminds me of my former husband. The whole “I know you are, but what am I?” thing just drives me so insane. And the absolute inability to be touched by any kind of reason, or logic, or compassion. And the false equivalence, and the requirement that the other side be absolutely perfect before it can comment on even the most egregious bad behavior. I am seriously having post traumatic relationship symptoms in a big way this week!

      • Anonymous :

        I watched it and texted friends to say – hey he’s reminding me of that drug addict managing director we worked for at our I bank. Not only the vile message but the tone, the lack of organization, the barking at the media, and just the hostility of – no you define alt right, define it right now, let’s go. Uh – it’s your press conference buddy, you get to answer the questions. I have always wondered and now even more so – is he blowing lines?

        • Anonymous :

          Oh, absolutely.

        • Anonymous :

          There’s no way he’s not on coke during those manic middle-of-the-night Twitter rants.

        • nasty woman :

          I suffered under a former boss with NPD (well, according to me) and the similarities are striking and make me so physically uncomfortable:

          1. Total disoranization
          2. Disheveled physical appearance
          3. Insecurity combined with/grandiose sense of self
          4. Everyone else is at fault- always shifting blame, never taking responsibility, lying if necessary to deflect blame
          5. Constantly lying, even if not ‘necessary’
          6. Attacks others for flaws he suffers
          7. Gaslighting, spreading misinformation so you’re disoriented and can’t even begin to refute assertions. He’d dream up elaborate fantasy scenarios that never happened to explain stuff, even if it could be objectively challenged.
          8. Hostility/rage
          9. Suddenly turning on people
          10. Demanding unquestioning loyalty
          11. No apparent ability to empathize
          12. Would produce viscous, rambling written diatribes lashing out at others

          My boss was smarter than Trump appears to be, but was struggling mightily to keep up his practice. The closer to failure he got-big or small-the more he lashed out at others. The need to be correct/superior was paramount above all else. I am always appalled by what he says but never really surprised. It all fits.

    • I’m starting to wonder if its possible that any of them regret it yet? I’m thinking specificity of my Jewish friends who supported him, in light of the past few days. Maybe they’re scared now? Maybe they hate him too? I don’t know. Maybe they’ll cheer the stock market until they’re dragged from their homes.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        This topic is SO not funny, but I snorted at your last sentence.

      • top tweet last night was Clay Aiken apologizing for all the times he had defended Trump and said Trump wasn’t a racist. So… there’s that.

        • Clay Aiken was never a Trump supporter though. He’s said all along that Trump is a disaster and has been pandering to racists, he just didn’t think (until last night) that Trump himself was *actually* racist. So I don’t think it has a great deal of significance. When someone who voted for him is repulsed, I’ll be more impressed.

      • I am Jewish and I know several Orthodox and conservative Jews who still support him. Because of Israel more than stock markets I think. Reform/cultural/non-religious Jews (incl me and DH and all members of both our families) almost uniformly didn’t support him to begin with.

      • I’m sure this wasn’t your intent, but just wanted to say that the last sentence here is uncomfortably close to anti-Semitic stereotypes, for future reference. (I’m Jewish.)

        • Never too many shoes... :

          With respect, it was a dig at a local troll who always says that everything is fine because the market is up and nothing else matters, nothing else.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yeah it made me wince a little, though I completely believe it was unintentional.

        • I’ll acknowledge that and I apologize. THe stock market comment was a reference to yesterday’s thread. As I said yesterday, I have Jewish heritage, my dad is Jewish, as is my surname. So it’s my own family I’m thinking of here.

          • Fwiw, I’m Jewish and realized you were making a reference to the tr0ll, not the stereotype that Jews like money, and I was not offended at all.

    • Yeah. I’m done with people who support this guy. A Facebook friend (a former boss and friend who lives in another state that I rarely see or speak to) posted something trying to tepidly defend what 45 said at the press conference, and I was like NOPE. Unfriend and block. There is no excuse or rationale for defending racists and Nazis. None.

      I am honestly so exhausted by this presidency. I know I am privileged to feel exhausted vs. frightened but actually, I am both. I feel like I just can’t deal anymore. Let the people who voted for 45 feel the effects of their terrible decision; maybe they’ll learn something. Maybe.

      • I pretty much unfriended everyone who supported him on Nov. 9. I have no problem with people who support Republican policies, even though I disagree, but I cannot be friends with people who support racism, misogyny, Islamophobia and xenophobia, which all Trump supporters do at least implicitly.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I feel like the people who voted for him are not the ones that are going to feel the consequences. They are not the targets of his hate. This is what they wanted.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, although all this BS is a huge distraction from his agenda and I think some of his supporters are beginning to get frustrated that he has not yet made America great again (lol). They don’t care about the racism, but they are beginning to care about the fact that he has not brought back the coal jobs or whatever.

        • My Trump-supporting family members agree that “both sides were responsible.”

          My dad told me on Sunday morning that the killer wasn’t really a white supremacist, and that it’s all a fake media conspiracy. Fortunately I was able to debunk that one with a Fox News piece, which is a believable source for him.

          I just don’t have the emotional energy to handle them right now. But I’m the only person who is not in their echo chamber that they might listen to. And white people need to handle their own spaces, so. I just don’t know how to possibly manage to get through to them.

      • Anonymous :

        Just to ensure I got rid of everyone who voted for him, I posted a message yesterday along the lines of “I think I’ve successfully cleared my friends list of his supporters, but if you’re still out there, please do me a favor and unfriend me” So far no one has taken the bait

    • I was married to someone with NPD. I was diagnosed with PTSD and had worked through it. Everything about this presidency is reviving my PTSD and I’m losing my sh!t.

    • Anonymous :

      I watched it. It was bizarre. He finishes yelling at the media, starts walking, they yell out – will you go to Va – and he launches into – you know I have a house there, it’s a winery, one of the biggest in the world etc. Also bizarre – he leaves, Gary Cohn who today is claiming to be disgusted is chatting it up as if he is finishing up a Monday morning staffing meeting with associates at his bank. Media asks him will you take questions and he’s joking around and saying – oh I thought you all (reporters) would be tired so I didn’t offer, yeah I can take questions. I’m sorry but I saw no disgust in the moment.

      On a different note – being from NJ and having only gone to law school/college and worked in Pa/NYC I have only a few social media friends who are hard core DJT supporters – 1-2 ppl from high school who are evangelical and/or have moved to the Bible Belt and would rather forget where they were raised. I honestly don’t want to delete them. I’ve hidden their updates but I do check their pages from time to time bc I think it gives me a window into what the non liberal crowd outside the tri state area is thinking.

      • Agree with most of this but did just want to note that PA voted for Trump in 2016. Which I think actually highlights some of the geographic polarization that has emerged…my guess is that your experience of PA was heavily blue, even though the state went red, to a degree that you mentally consider that a liberal place to live. Meanwhile, all those DJT voters probably don’t know anyone that voted for Hillary and think of PA as a totally red state. FWIW, my city is so blue that I literally don’t know anyone that would admit (even right after the election) to having voted for Trump, and yet the remainder of our state (with a few other cities as exceptions) went heavily Republican in the election. I think the purple states and cities and fewer and fewer.

        No broader implication but just an observation.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, pretty much all states in the US consist of blue dots with red everywhere else. Even very blue states like MA and CA have lots of Republican voters in rural areas. The primary difference between red and blue states is how the population is distributed – blue states have more people in cities and thus go D, red states have more people in rural areas and thus go R. That’s why I’ve always found it a little disingenuous when people fixate on red state vs blue state or say they don’t want to live in a “red state.” Bloomington, IN and Atlanta, GA are a million times more liberal than Bakersfield, CA and most people’s daily lives are much more affected by the beliefs of their co-workers and neighbors than by their state government.

  25. Has anyone tried clothing from Of Mercer? Seems to be very similar to MM. LaFleur but slightly less pricey.

    • a summer associate had their dresses and cardigans and I’m totally buying from them when my current sheaths get worn out.

    • I own their Madison dress in blue. The fit isn’t quite ideal for me, even after alterations, but I do wear it and the dress really works for me for certain days and events.

      I think the real issue is that I’d need a petite, which they don’t do; not a length issue so much as waist- and armhole-placement. In any case, I’d really recommend trying them. If they work for you, I think they’ll be a great option.

    • Anonymous :

      Oooh, I like the way those look!

  26. I love this dress but have never ordered from Talbots before? Does anyone know how their stuff tends to run?

    • Slightly large, occasionally boxy.

      • +1, I love Talbots in theory, but everything I try is always too big and boxy for me.

        • Dang, that’s what I was worried about. I feel like I’d have to place a massive order with several different sizes to try to get the right fit, and then deal with the hassle of return shipping and it’s just enough to put me off the whole thing.

        • I have a few pieces from Talbots, but I have to get everything tailored. The jacket I got was a bit boxy but my tailor did an excellent job taking it in and giving it some shape. The quality is good though, so I think it is worth it and I get something that fits perfectly after.

    • Flats Only :

      I find that it is not oversized like Lands End, but is definitely cut to accommodate what I would describe as a more mature figure. So order your size, but it you are very athletic vs. somewhat curvy some of it may not work.

      • This, down to the Lands End comparison. I am a cusp size and very curvy, so I appreciate the literal wiggle room in Talbots, but my waist can get lost sometimes. Of course, the store near me (all stores?) only carry the “fashion suiting” and colorful retired lady leisure outfit side of Talbots, which kills me. They are my reliable source for suiting, otherwise.

    • It also runs long. I’m 5’4 and like things to hit right at the top of my knees. I often order the petite, because the normal size is too long. From what I can tell, the only difference between petite and normal sizes is the length, i.e. it’s not like other places were the petite is smaller all over.

      • Have you ordered from them recently? I’m 5’11” and Talbots used to fit me great, but everything I’ve ordered from there in the last few years has been WAY (way way) too short.

        • Yep, I only started shopping at Talbots in the past few years. The normal all hit just under my knees, which is not technically too long. But My preference is for stuff to hit just above me knew, and the petites do that. So, only a difference of a few inches and I can see how the normal sizes might be too short if I was taller.

        • Anonymous :

          Same problem for me. I tried Talbots and am two inches shorter than you at 5’9 but everything is way too short. I wish they had a tall line.

        • Luckily I’ve gotten larger and now order X or 1X, so you get a few inches there. I agree though. I’m 5’11” (short torso though) and their stuff is often far too short. But plus sized dresses are not.

    • Need a cool name :

      I ducked out to the store at lunch to see if I could find the dress, with no luck. This was surprisingly cute on my pear self: https://www.talbots.com/online/petites/dresses/casual/miter-stripes-elbow-sleeve-dress-prdi43125/N-10192?conceptDim=4294966556&selectedConcept=Petites&isConceptFirst=true I could see wearing it on a Friday in the summer in my higher ed workplace. Or maybe tomorrow. 38 inches is a good dress length for me, it hits about at the knees.

  27. Decide to TTC :

    Related to TTC thread above – when did you decide you were ready? We’ve just got married and honeymooned somewhere in Zika, so could start trying in January. I’m 27 but my husband is 39. Part of me thinks we should wait a year or two, just enjoy marriage (and my last days of my current body), but a lot of me thinks we should start as soon as we can and embrace it. Life is short and I want us to pack it with as much joy as possible. FWIW, husband is raring to go. Twins run in my family, and he thinks the more the merrier! It’s pretty endearing.

    Also, Zika question. I know in women it can last 8 weeks and for men, 6 months in sp*rm. So we can start trying after the 6 month mark, right? Is there any way I would catch it in month 5 or something? Can’t find this info online anywhere.

    • I think you are okay starting after 6 months. Maybe make an appt to talk to your OB/GYN about it before you start, just to be sure? Unfortunately (at least when I asked) they don’t seem to offer testing to you or your partner while you are still TTC, which seems silly because, wouldn’t it be better to get tested before being pregnant? But I digress, and maybe there is a different policy by now / in your practice.

    • Go for it in 6 months!

    • You’re good to go after being away from Zika for 6 months, per CDC guidelines. To avoid the issue you mentioned (catching it from DH’s swimmers in month 5 and having it still be in your blood post-6 month mark) I would probably use barrier methods towards the end of the six month window. That’s probably overly cautious though.

      I got married right after turning 27 (DH is the same age). Getting pregnant in our 20s was never something we really considered, since we had to move around for DH’s career for a while, and we were just enjoying traveling and being carefree 20-somethings too much. When we were 30, he secured a permanent position and we bought a house. At that point, we were ready on paper, but I was in an absolutely miserable job and was so depressed and anxious I couldn’t imagine having the physical or emotional strength to bring a child into the world. When I was 31, I got a great new job. We decided to wait one year so I could establish myself in that job and then started trying. We used that year to take a couple of bucket list vacations and generally mentally prepare ourselves to become parents. We started trying on my 32nd birthday and I was very lucky and got pregnant that first cycle (I have a family history of excellent and late fertility so I was more comfortable than many waiting until into my 30s, YMMV).

      We had been married almost 6 years when our daughter was born and although we both adore her and are so, so glad we had a child, I’m also super grateful that we had 6 years to ourselves first. We traveled so much, got a dog and just really enjoyed life as DINKs. We travel a fair amount with our daughter too, but vacations look very different than they did pre-baby and probably will for a while. Some of this just may be luck or my personality, but I feel like I have sacrificed less than some of my other friends who had kids slightly earlier, and I don’t really relate when they lament about how much they miss pre-kid life. We had that life and it was great, but by the time we started TTC I was ready to say goodbye to it and start a new life as a mom. (The fact that we only have one child may also be a factor in this, as we travel and dine out a lot more than most of my friends with 2+ kids.)

      People have asked me if I wish we’d had our daughter earlier and truthfully the answer is no – sure, it’s tempting to wish I’d her earlier so I’d have more time with her, because she’s so great, but I feel like waiting until we were really ready to say goodbye to pre-kid life has made us much better and happier parents, and I don’t regret indulging ourselves in our late 20s and early 30s. If you feel a pull to postpone kids for a year or two so you can travel and enjoy life as a married couple first, I’d strongly advise you to do that. 30 or 31 is still pretty young fertility-wise (yes there are horror stories about 25 year olds who can’t get pregnant, but there are also 40 year olds who get knocked up accidentally, and statistics are on your side in your early 30s).

      • You’re very lucky. This is what my ideal life would have been like!

        • Anonymous :

          Thank you. And yes I know I’m very lucky and I feel very grateful! My life is definitely not perfect and there have definitely been some struggles – I had a lot of career instability (including a layoff) and general career dissatisfaction from college graduation until I got my current job at age 31. But I know I was super lucky with respect to finding my husband early and getting pregnant easily.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I had my child at 27 and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I’m 58 now and he’s grown and out and I still feel young and healthy and I’m footloose and fancy free while a lot of my friends still have kids in high school. There are trade-offs in everything, of course, but it’s great to be an empty nester while you’re still relatively young.

      • I guess somewhat related to Senior Attorney’s point – you’re only 27, so I think you could wait a year or three, if you wanted to. But your husband is 39. How old of a dad does he want to be?

      • +1 to this logic, I don’t have kids but one of main reasons is I didn’t want to have kids in the house when I was older (and I didn’t meet my husband until I was 40). I think late 20s is about the last time I would want to start with kids – that way they go to college during your peak earning years, and they get out of the house while you are still young enough to travel and enjoy the next generation, too. My parents had me in their late 20s and it’s been great having them be young enough to enjoy as adults. Most of my late 30/40s parent friends had kids later because of circumstances (didn’t meet their spouse until later) and had kids later because of it. If you’re in a position to do it now, your relationship is solid, do it now.

        • Anonymous :

          Eh, you can also just travel before kids. The idea that you’ll be done having kids by 30 and only be 50ish when they get through college is nice, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be healthy enough to travel (or even alive) in your 50s or 60s. It’s likely, but definitely not guaranteed. I have friends whose parents made plans like this and then one of the spouses passed away pre-60.

          If you choose to have kids, you have a roughly 20 year window when you’re responsible for them and the rest of your adult life you have more freedom. I’m biased, because I chose to have kids pretty late (despite meeting my husband at 22), but I’m not convinced that putting the kid window from 25-45 is better than putting it from 35-55, especially if you make really good use of that 25-35 time. Even the most healthy and active 50 year-olds aren’t as active as 30 year-olds (although they probably have more money).

    • I was in your situation. We waited a year to start TTC–wanted some time to just be married together (but we had also not lived together before we were married, so lots of adjustments). We also wanted a bigger family than average (~4+ kids at the time) but still wanted to retire earlier than average, and, given that, knew that time was of the essence. The huge surprise was that I’m infertile, so now, even with our significantly reduced ability to have children, I am so grateful we didn’t wait. I had only been in a new job 6 months when I became pregnant via IVF, but new job was/is very flexible and I had already made an excellent impression. Not saying you’ll be infertile, or even that you should TTC based on that possibility–as mentioned above, the odds are in your favor–but I mention that only to say that my priorities shifted dramatically in the balance between job/family when I realized I could never conceive “naturally.”

      YMMV, but you and your spouse need to discuss a few things: how big do you want your family to be? How old do you want to be when you have your last kid/when your last kid leaves the house? What is your/your husband’s current job situation/status/comfort? How is your health, and are there any indicators of infertility? And most importantly, which of the above is the highest priority for YOU and your family?

    • Anon for this :

      In case you’re still reading – I got pregnant 5 months after my husband traveled to an area with a Zika alert. He was there for 24 hours, wore long sleeves and pants, used bug spray, and had no mosquito bites or signs of virus. After disclosing this to my OB she referred me to maternal fetal medicine who took blood and urine. It was up to either the CDC or the Dept of Public Health (dont remember which) to decide whether our risk was high enough for them to test the samples. They accepted the samples and tested them. I was negative. Even though the MFM doc thinks it’s an extremely low risk and the test was negative, there’s debate about the accuracy of the test so we’re having extra ultrasounds. All this to say – if you get pregnant sooner than 6 months, you’ll be in for some additional bloodwork and ultrasounds which can be nerve wracking. Knowing what we know now, I would have waited until month 6.

    • I’m 29 and pregnant now with our first; DH is 35. We’ll have been married about 2.5 years when our little one arrives later this year. I ideally would have waited another year or two to TTC (I love our DINK lifestyle, to be honest), but at DH’s age, he was ready to get started. It ended up taking us almost 7 months to get pregnant, so I’m actually glad we started TTC when we did.

      I think your relationship does change after you get married (in a good way), so I think it would be nice to have some time to enjoy your new status as a married couple together before TTC. And don’t think being pregnant means you have 9 months to enjoy newly married life before baby arrives. My pregnancy has definitely not been a cake walk (8 weeks of nonstop nausea and vomiting, bed rest, back pain, and now health scares for the baby). I am very grateful to be pregnant, but it’s definitely not an enjoyable or easy phase of life for me.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a good point. I’ve had a much easier pregnancy than you and a pretty easy pregnancy in general, but I’ve had NO s*x drive and have been really exhausted and not doing a whole lot except working and sleeping. It’s not the way I’d want to spend the first year of marriage if I could avoid it.

  28. Such a difficult question. Listen to your heart, and talk to your husband. Your age is great biologically for having children, but I understand the desire to experience things like travel before having kids. DH and I waited 7 years of being married before having kids. We never really had much discussion on the topic. We were just both on the same page and then suddenly at year 7 we both just “knew” we wanted kids and started TTC. I have friends though that came to decisions on this topic with more vigorous negotiations with spouses. Visit your OB to consult on the zika topic. He or she will recommend a timeframe to stop birth control and start TTC.

  29. Starting a conversation about race: :

    Right now, I will do anything to get white people talking about race across party / belief lines, because Black people are saying that’s a part they need us to play. But it’s hard and gets heated fast (see: yesterday). So this was cool.

    A friend got a bunch of white people talking about race successfully on Facebook with the following question:

    “If you are white, do you identify as white? What do you think/ feel when you hear the phrase ‘white people’?”

    I copied it and it worked for me, too. People are talking a lot about processing our discomfort with the term. Some people are totally down with talking about race; others are saying they don’t see color and thus opening conversation about how that can be harmful. So if you have been trying to start a conversation about race, this might be useful.

    Just wanted to share.

    –curious

    • Rainbow Hair :

      cautious toe in the water — genuinely not looking to start another debate here (and kudos for you for getting your folks together to talk) but — what’s the source of discomfort with saying/knowing/acknowledging you are white? are we talking like ‘white pride’ nonsense or just like, ‘yeap, i’m white’?

      • Starting a conversation about race: :

        <3 Part, but not all of it, is that right now there are a lot of articles that say "white people X" and list something problematic (micro aggression, ignoring race, etc). Since something negative normally follows the term, a lot of people have started feeling defensive and are trying to figure out how to get past that to listen.

      • Also, even “yeap I’m white” is scary to say for some of us (including me) because race was such a taboo when we were kids.

        • Are you comfortable going into more detail about this?

          • Sure, totally. Marshmallow summarized it pretty well below — we just didn’t talk about race except by euphemism, just like we only talked about gardening in terms of bases and female pleasure was totally, totally taboo. I learned more about talking about gardening in college and less about talking about race, so it still feels uncomfortable.

            What would you like to know? You can email curiousette2 at the mail of g if you don’t want to talk publicly.

      • I am also curious. I mean, I am white. Not sure how else I would identify in that space?

      • Marshmallow :

        So interesting. I think the concept of discussing race at all as being “taboo” when we were kids (this was basically true in my public school, though not at home) has a big role in the backlash to BLM. A lot of white people grew up being told to ignore race, don’t see color, everyone is equal here– and that would be great, if everyone actually *were* treated equally already. But they aren’t, of course, so ignoring race just papers over the problem and perpetuates the current state of inequity. So when an oppressed group draws attention to their race as the reason for their oppression, a bunch of (white) people are so uncomfortable discussing race that their only reaction is *BLM is r a c i s t !*

        Along this vein, I can say that I certainly identify as white but it’s not really something for me to be either proud or ashamed of. I’m proud of my specific ethnic heritage, proud of my ancestors for fighting for this country’s independence, then for the Union, etc. I think POC can legitimately be proud of their skin color because (i) if you are descended from slaves, you have been cut off from your nationality and your skin color is all you have and (ii) darker skin tones have historically been, and still are, denigrated in society, so it’s reasonable to want to celebrate that and counter all the negativity. I don’t feel the same way about white people. Proud to be Irish or Russian or whatever? Awesome, that’s your ethnicity, celebrate it. But celebrating having white skin basically feels to me like celebrating the fact that you *aren’t* a POC, and that is just… icky.

  30. Where can I find an almond-toe flat in plain black leather? I really am looking for a totally plain shoe — no suede, no patent, no bow, no buckle, no cap toe, no scallops, no ruching, no nothing . . . .

    I know pointy-toe is more on trend, and I have found several pointy-toe options (Rockport, Ecco, Cole Haan, etc), but where are the almond-toes hiding?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/shoes-of-prey-ballet-flat-women/4456761?pathAlias=shoes-of-prey-ballet-flat-women

    • https://www.target.com/p/women-s-post-paris-brielle-leather-almond-toe-ballet-flats-black-9-5/-/A-50409032?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Shoes+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Shoes&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9016137&gclid=CjwKCAjw2s_MBRA5EiwAmWIac-XhpggjfjZP08DQz4eUDdNy407b-4rJwG9NwIQKTZ82zY6XviJgUxoCDgsQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

      Also Dr. Scholl’s Really. I don’t want to include multiple links to stay out of m0d, but just a google search for black almond toe flats turned up several completely plain shoes.

    • Apparently my post disappeared anyway, but just a search for “black almond toe flats” turned up several plain options. Dr. Scholl’s Really look nice, also a Target pair.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I was just about to post these…https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Scholls-Womens-Rain-Work/dp/B01LZKYV1N

    • I just ordered this – and it comes in two widths

      https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/easy-spirit-getcity-leather-flat/289111

      Dr. Scholls also has good options

      https://www.shoes.com/dr-scholls-really-flat/654507/1626872?cm_mmc=googleproductads_pla_with_promotion-_-none-_-none-_-none

      • Anony Mouse :

        I’ve had the Dr. Scholls Really for just under a year. I wear them probably twice a week to work (I’m not a shoe person, and only have a few pairs I rotate regularly). The toes are quite scuffed and the leather on the heels is beginning to wear through.

  31. SO and I are in a serious long distance relationship and moving towards engagement, and then marriage, once we can figure out who will move to whom or if we’ll both move to a new place. We have always been long distance, which has been difficult, but worth it because he makes me happy. However, never having lived in the same town as him is making me hesitate because I’m worried that we’ve spent so much time and energy missing each other instead of having some of those difficult/serious conversations. I’m not looking for advice on whether we should take a break or anything – I feel solid about us. But I would gladly appreciate advice/suggestions on the important conversations we should have before we decide to move or get engaged.

    • Reading and discussing 1001 Questions to ask Before You Get Married by Monica Leahy was really helpful to me.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      When my husband and I started “dating” (I use the term loosely) we were on two different continents with five time zones between us. The very first thing we discussed before we got too deep was whether either of us was willing to move to either the other’s country or to a third option, because otherwise what was the point? Once we agreed on that, it was far easier to move forward. I was not at all interested in moving to his country for both work and personal reasons but he was willing to come to me, or there was a reasonable third option. Ultimately, he decided to come to me and we started moving forward on that.

      So, I think you need to get that cleared up right away. If you are both in the same country, it is a little easier as you could settle anywhere, but if neither of you is willing to move at all, then, well, you have a serious problem.

      Long distance is so hard, but if there is one good thing, it is that a lot of time is spent just talking without the physical distraction of being together and, for us at least, we were far more intimate than a lot of other couples we knew in a shorter time because we spent it in discussion of both mundane things but also the big picture.

    • Baconpancakes :

      You won’t know until you try it.

      Could you plan on a long engagement, and move in together?

      A lot of those conversations come up organically, but if you’re more Type A, you might plan out when to have them a little in advance. There was a list of really great conversations to have before getting married posted here a couple weeks ago – I’ll see if I can find it.

    • Thank you – some reading to do for me!

      @ Never too many shoes – I agree with you so we had this discussion early on. We’re both willing to move for the relationship; it’s more of figuring out whose career can handle it better and which town is best for our shared future. I’m looking to address my hesitation over the fact that we haven’t had some of the important conversations before I go from “I’d be willing to move to your town once we’re ready for it” to “I am ready to start job searching next month” or ask him to do the same.

  32. Long shot, but does anyone know if there is a real difference between the Cole Haan Juliana and Amelia pumps? They both come in black leather, same heel height etc. I’ve been staring at the pics all morning trying to see if there is any noticeable difference (other than the price). Were they just different seasons of the same style?

    • Is one Cole Haan and the other Cole Haan Outlet? The main store and outlet stores can have very similar (identical) styles, but they get named differently to differentiate and might have some small construction/material differences.

      Like the Tali/Elsie wedges.

  33. Turning 40 :

    What advice to those who passed the 40th birthday milestone do you have on living life to the fullest in your 40s and preparing for your 50s? I’m happy and content but also realize as my 40th approaches just how quickly time passes. I’m looking forward to the future but am wondering what thoughts people have or what they wish they would’ve been told when they turned 40. Thanks!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Make sure you’re saving enough for retirement. Realize you’re still young in your 40s. If you’re unhappy about something in your life (marriage, career, whatever) do something about it! It won’t be too late to change it in your 50s but it will be harder. Oh, and have a serious talk with your parents about what they want to have happen when they can no longer live on their own.

    • Anonymous :

      Take extra care of your physical self. This feels to me like a make it or break it decade on that front.

  34. Accepting Money from Family :

    My grandparents offered to give me a lot of money to help with grad school expenses,emergency fund, etc. Theyve been retired since their mid 50s and are really frugal/invest their money but I was not expecting them to offer me that much (around $6k). I’m really close to them but feel strange taking their money and I guess I’m conflicted because my mom (their daughter) has a volatile relationship with them/raised me to want to do everything on my own. But I’d be a fool not to take their money right?

  35. I’ll be in SF for 3 days with my husband. I’ve visited many times for business, but haven’t done the proper “touristy” things. My husband has never been. We’ll likely stick to the city and save the Bay Area/Napa for a separate trip. Suggestions on top things to do?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Musee Mecanique! It’s right by other touristy things (uh I’m not an expert) and it’s weird and great and free to go in.

      Oh I also really liked taking the boat to Alcatraz.

    • a millenial :

      here’s where I take people:
      – lands end hike (if they want a long walk, i start at trouble coffee + coconut with THE toast and a coffee, walk to ocean beach, walk north to hte trail start and end at lands end. then circle up to legion of honor. if they arent interested in the museum we take a lyft from there to the richmond for burmese (burma superstar, mandalay) or dim sum with a bigger group (i like dragon beaux) or arsicault if you just want a bakery stop
      – bike across golden gate and have brunch in sausalito + ferry back
      – walking around north beach/telegraph hill – up to coit towner and then down the filbert steps on the east side. you may get to see the flock of parrots
      – sfmoma is good if you want a cool indoor museum. or the deyoung + cal academy of sciences
      – hayes valley is great for shopping + a cute neighborhood. there’s a cat cafe, ritual coffee, smitten ice cream, marine layer (my fav casual sf brand)
      – the mission is also fun and has great food: tartine, dandelion chocolate, ritual coffee, dolores park, yamo burmese (janky but in the best way), mission chinese, sooo many burritos (la taqueria or taqueria cancun are my favs)

      • SFAttorney :

        Good suggestions. From the Filbert Steps (east side) go through Levi’s Plaza to the Embarcadero and on to the Ferry Building. Best to go on a weekday or in the morning if it’s Saturday. I’d add Golden Gate Park — just to walk around or go to the museums or Japanese Tea Garden.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Dottie’s Blue Note Cafe for breakfast/brunch You will have to wait in line but it will be worth it.
      Cartoon Art Museum if either of you likes that sort of thing.
      I am a dork and I love Fisherman’s Wharf even though it is super touristy. I have a particular weakness for the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum.
      Definitely Alcatraz.
      City Lights Book Shop and the Beat Museum, which is right around the corner. Again, if you like that sort of thing.

  36. This dress is adorable!
    -gabby
    www.orcuttfamilydentistry.com

  37. Gail the Goldfish :

    Starting to think about a honeymoon and I need some planning help. We’re both lawyers and therefore of the opinion we should go somewhere you really need two weeks to do well, since law firms notoriously frown on more than a week off except for honeymoons. We’ve been thinking perhaps an African safari, but beyond “I’d like to see lions and elephants,” I have no clue where to start, or even what country would be best. Any suggestions? Has anyone done the National Geographic trips? Are they good? I’ve also considered Australia or New Zealand as alternative destinations, so if anyone wants to convince me why one is best, I’m open to it.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Oh, and what’s a realistic average budget for this sort of trip? I see a wide range on various travel sites, so it’s hard to tell (beyond the very cheap and very expensive) what’s a reasonable cost.

      • Andbeyond is a great safari company, options all over, call and talk to someone about timing and locations. Except to spend 10k.

      • What I have learned from talking to others who have travel in Africa, it is that the costs in Africa vary significantly based on the type of trip you are doing. If you want to/are willing to camp, I would think you could do everything but flights for is little as $5k for both of you, more realistically $6k assuming you want to do many activities. If you want to do a private tour, stay in high-end lodges, and stay in South Africa which is more expensive, it could be as much as $10k per person.

      • Anonymous :

        I would probably budget close to $20k for two weeks in Africa for 2 people, assuming at least two-three stops within Africa (city, safari, beach, etc.) I don’t normally stay in luxury hotels but I like extra comforts when I’m traveling in developing countries. I have no desire to camp and would want to stay in high-end safari lodges and I would imagine you might need to spend a lot on lodging in Cape Town to be in a safe place.

    • Do Africa or Australia, my personal vote would be Africa. I think in two weeks you could spend a few days in Cape Town, do a safari in S. Africa or a neighboring country (Botswana is supposed to be really good for elephants) and then maybe even head to a beach destination like the Seychelles or Madagascar for a few days.
      New Zealand is relatively doable in a week, especially if you’re on the west coast. Most of the good stuff is on the South Island and it’s pretty small and easy to navigate.

      • Australia is also wonderful with kids.

        • +1. Australia is amazing for kids. I went when I was 9 and it is one of my best childhood memories. DH and I deliberately didn’t go pre-kids because we thought it would be so fun to go with our kids once they’re elementary school age. They’re 4 and 6 now and we’re hoping to make it happen in the next 2-3 years.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m a New Zealander, so biased, but I don’t think it’s doable in a week! You could see all the cities in a week, but people go to NZ for the outdoors, not for the cities. You could do a roadtrip around in the South Island in a week, as the other commenter suggests, but it would be a *lot* of driving plus 4-5 half-day activities which happen to be located on the major highways.

        If you go to NZ (and I think the same applies for any country whose selling point is its scenery), go for at least 2 weeks, rent a car, and *especially* do the side trips that cost 1-2 days because they are down little dead-end roads, or are 3 hours’ walk off-road.

        • Anonymous :

          Don’t get me wrong, I loooooooove New Zealand and I could happily spend months there exploring every nook and cranny of your beautiful country. I just think because of its physical size, it is easier to see the highlights in a short amount of time than it would be in Australia or South Africa. I’m sorry if I offended you, NZ is truly one of my favorite places in the world and if my husband’s job weren’t so tied to the US we would seriously try to emigrate there (especially given our current political situation).

          • Anonymous :

            Oh, don’t worry, I wasn’t offended. I really do hold the opinion that most travellers could benefit by going a bit slower/deeper, and that most true “highlights” are way off the major highways. But this a bit of an idée fixe for me, and something I think is true for every country. I certainly I didn’t see your comment as belittling NZ in any way! :)

        • I did a quick trip to New Zealand when I was studying abroad in Australia, and was there for a week. I really only managed to see the North Island (flew into Auckland and out of Wellington) and did a bus tour in between, with stops along the way, so I’m going to echo the NZ above and say even with the size, I don’t think you could do even the highlights justice. MAYBE if you stuck to one island (probably the South), but even then…my philosophy is that if you are going to visit the Southern Hemisphere, plan for at least a 2 week trip to make the travel time and time change worth it.

        • Anonymous :

          Not the person you’re responding to but… what’s the best time of year to do a road trip in NZ?

          I’m considering going to Australia/NZ for 2 weeks sometime next year. It’d be a solo trip. I like hiking and the outdoors, but since I’ll be alone, I don’t want to go anywhere *too* remote. I’m also a pretty speedy solo traveler, I did the Ring Road by myself in a week and felt like I had plenty of time for hiking.

          • Anonymous :

            I would go in February, perhaps early March. You still have great summer weather then (think Northern Hemisphere August/September), but the kids go back to school in early Feb and the tourist facilities calm a bit down. I hope you go for it! If you do, have a great trip!

    • I used GAdventures when I went to Africa on my bar trip. It was the trip of my dreams, and I can’t recommend visiting Africa highly enough. But it all depends on what style you want. This was a camping trip, and we spent most but not all nights sleeping in tents. Which may not be what you are looking for on a Honeymoon.

      In terms of locations, I loved the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The Namib Desert and Victoria Falls were also cool. And it was fun relaxing in Zanzibar on the beach, but I might skip that given that you will only have limited time. If you could take three weeks (standard at my firm for Honeymoons, but understand that is not true everywhere), I would recommend Cape Town, Namibia, and Botswana. But only if you are willing to do a tour. If you want to rent a car and travel alone, I would probably stick with South Africa. I’ve heard good things about the parks there, but they are significantly busier so you will be seeing other people also (which I didn’t in the Okavango Delta and only a little bit in Serengeti).

    • Anonymous :

      A friend and his wife did a week in Cape Town, then a two week safari in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and then a week at a Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles. Their photos are amazing. They were there almost a month total and I’m pretty sure it cost at least $30,000 and maybe closer to $50 (just based on how long they were there and the kinds of the places they stayed in).

    • National Geographic trip to Galapagos is awesome but $$$. We recently did a safari in Kenya through BaseCamp explorer (Obama stayed at their camps when he was a Senator). Cannot recommend enough. Best trip I’ve ever taken.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Thanks, everyone (and keep them coming)! We’re somewhere in between the entirely camping and Four Seasons spectrum… Don’t mind camping some, but we are not luxury resort type people. (Subscribe to more of the “here to see things, not spend time in a nice room, so why spend a ton on accommodations?” travel philosophy)

      • Anonymous :

        Not to be super, super cliche, but if there’s any vacation you want a nice hotel room for, it’s your honeymoon. You will spend more time inside than you normally do on vacation ;) We are normally Holiday Inn-type people and I was so glad we splurged on nicer places on our honeymoon.

    • lawsuited :

      Go to South Africa. In 2 weeks you could go to Kruger National Park for a safari, spend some time beaching along the east coast, go up Table Moutain, tour wine country in the western cape. It’ll be an amazing trip you never forget. And your money converted will get you pretty far.

  38. You could do a safari and then do Mauritius for a mini-beach vacation. I have friends who are doing that for their honeymoon and I am super jealous!

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