Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Colored denim is everywhere for spring and summer. Ladies, what are your thoughts? One part of me thinks they’re cute, and another part of me thinks nothing could be less flattering than pastel jeans. Still: if you’re looking, these super skinny stretch denim jeans are marked from $62.67 to $43.87 at ASOS. Vila Jeans Super Skinny

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  1. I love mine!

    Did anybody else watch Scandal last night? I liked it but am not totally sold. Still, I’ll watch again. I love that actress (can’t think of her name).

    • I did not watch it, but can I get a huzzah from anyone else in the hive that Community is back? I love me some Jeff Winger.

    • I did NOT but I am going to watch the NEW STARZ series!!! YAY!!!!! Its’ all about MIAMI beach and the criminal peeple back in the 1960’s. Kind of like a MAD MAN for Miami!!!!!

      Anyway, I was in MODERATION all morning, BOO KAT, but I want to know if anyone knows what I should do b/c I found the manageing partner rumageing through my gym bag at work.

      I do NOT know why he was rumageing in there, but think it is b/c I have my shorts and leggeings in there. He should NOT be doing that but I do NOT want to loose my job b/c of me complaineing to him or someone else.

      Should I confront him or tell him to stop doing that? I am going to my family’s house, but will STILL have access through my I-phone. Happy holiday’s to all!

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I fell asleep during the last couple of minutes. I’m going to try and watch it again, but I think Kerry Washington may be better suited for the big screen. It is nice to see an African-American woman portrayed in a (semi) positive light (I’m not really feeling the affair with the POTUS story line). However, I do think there could have been more balance as far as the race of the characters overall.

      • That’s funny, I actually liked the POTUS story line because it took me by surprise. The fact that the Republican Marine was actually gay — I saw that one coming from a mile away. That story is definitely overused.

        Don’t forget that the guy who initially hired the new girl was also African American. There weren’t that many characters introduced last night, and I thought two of them (including the main one) being of color was fair. You disagree?

        • Yeah, by the 2nd of 9 gazillion time he said “She was my BEST FRIEND!” Ding ding ding! Gay!

          There were not that many characters, though I did notice (probably because I read an article on it the other day) that we only saw white and african american characters. None who were hispanic or asian.

          On the other hand, we saw, what…7 recurring characters? 8 if you count Mrs. POTUS but we only saw her for 5 seconds. Plus at least one, possibly two interracial romances. Although, I thought the hiring guy and the new girl had great chemistry in the first scene or two but then it all fell apart, so maybe not. But I didn’t like her much at all until the end when she sort-of semi-stood up to Olivia.

        • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

          Maybe it was not the number of minority characters, but the fact that outside of Kerry Washington’s character, all of the characters with significant power were Caucasian.

          Growing up it was hard for me because there weren’t many minorities portrayed in positions of power on the screen (big or small) for me to look up to. Luckily, I had my mother and she taught me that you look up to the person and not their color.

          I’m not trying to start a huge race discussion and the thoughts in my head are not fully formed, but sometimes, especially when you don’t have strong role models in your life like I did, it’s just easier to see yourself in that position (and have something to help shut out all the negative influences I feel are depicted more often) when you have a character who looks like you.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I appreciate you mentioning it, Ms. Basil. Something we should all be cognizant of.

          • That’s a very good point.

          • Yeah, I think that’s a good point, except that the only character that someone “wanted to be” was Kerry Washington. You know what I mean? She was the one who was praised the first whole ten or so minutes of the show.

            I’m assuming you mean the president and his chief of staff were white, but I think it would have been a little forced if both the kick-a** main character and the president were black. I hope that doesn’t come off as insensitive. I really think this is an interesting conversation, and I’m glad you brought it up. I’d like to get your thoughts. It just feels like the producers made one of the two powerful characters a minority, and I honestly think that’s . . . I don’t want to say good enough, but I guess . . . good enough.

          • It is a good point, but I have to say, remembering that the actual real life POTUS is a minority (and of interracial origin, no less) makes the television representations seem less important. Regardless of your political persuasion, I think that’s a very exciting thing- I’d rather see minorities in power on CNN than on CBS (or whatever). On the other side of the political aisle, I heard S.C. Gov Nikki Haley (who is South Asian) on NPR this morning and I can really see a bright political future for her. And there is also the relatively recent appointment of Justice Sotomayor to SCOTUS.

            Not that this means all things are equal in positions of power, but the recent real-life progress has me feeling optimistic. TV will have to play catch up.

          • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

            b23, may I asked why having the main character and POTUS both being minorities would feel “forced.” I agree, but I would like to hear your reasoning.

            I agree that it would feel forced because it is not a scene that is portrayed often. It would feel forced the first time, but if we kept presenting shows and movies where there are more and more minorities in power, it would stop feeling forced and become commonplace. If we continue to present these situations, hopefully we (as humans) could get to the point that (1) people do not do a double take when they see it occur in real life and (2) future generations realize that it is possible.

            In my life, I have been fortunate to have the opportunities that I have had, but I have been in positions where I come into a company (through an internship, etc.) and there is a minority already employed. The first time it occurred, I naively thought that the person could/would be willing to act as a mentor and show me the ropes. Unfortunately, I could not have been more incorrect. This person did everything he/she could to remind me of how little power I had and, while he/she did not attempt to sabotage me, he/she did not do anything to help me as a fellow (1) minority and (2) person.

            I share this story because I feel there is a connection to not seeing many minorities in power on the screens and this occurrence. Some, not all, minorities feel like their positions may be threatened if another person of color came in and, as a result, do what they can to make sure they remain the “token.” But if we continue to present the situation, maybe minorities would be able to let go of this fear.

          • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler, that’s an interesting point about expecting/hoping that another minority would be a mentor and not getting the support that you would think you would as 1) minority and 2) human. My mom has mentioned that when she became an attorney she was one of approximately 5 female attorneys in her geographic area, she did start the women’s lawyer association chapter, but really did not reach out to other women either to get or give assistance. Now she says that she wishes she had realized just how unique she was when she started and had cashed in on that a little more now that female attorneys are graduating from law school at a higher rate than male attorneys.

            I think it’s somewhat natural to viscerally feel one’s position is being threatened when the “newer, younger version” of you comes along. But that’s more animal instinct, not human mentality. 1 of something is always perceived to be more special than 100 of something.

          • This is obviously a complicated issue, and my thoughts on it aren’t fully formed either. I guess it would feel forced because 12% (I think this is right) of the population is black. (Of course, things change when we start talking about people of other races.) And, to be clear, I don’t think it is forced when a minority is in a position of power — at all — it would just feel forced when *all* of the powerful positions are filled by a minority. Because even when we get to where we need to be on racial issues, all powerful positions are not going to be held by minorities, because they are only a part of the population.

            In the end, I think television producers have come a long, long way in this department. Kerry Washington is a great actress (and freaking beautiful, by the way), and I think she’s great in that position. Did they need to seek out another minority to fill the president’s role? I don’t think so.

          • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

            b23, I understand your point about the percentage of the population and, honestly, that had not come up before. Thanks for that insight and this thought-provoking conversation. Hopefully, soon I can complete more of my own thoughts on this issue.

          • I’ve really enjoyed this conversation as well, and I’m glad we can have a productive and challenging talk about a sensitive topic. I have general feelings on these topics, but it’s good to have to put them in words and think through my reasoning. And it’s good to be asked why you feel that way. I’ve never been asked why it would feel forced; thanks for the challenge.

            I have warm fuzzies, Ms. Basil. :)

            Although (as I’ve made clear on this board many times – ha ha) I don’t like our President’s policies, I’m glad that children growing up in today’s world have an example that anyone can reach any heights.

        • But Ms Basil. Shonda Rhimes has said in several interviews that when she writes characters for her shows she doesn’t not write them with any ethnicity in mind and that when she goes into casting, she picks the best actors for the roles regardless of race. That mindset is reflected in GA and Private Practice and I respect her for that.

          Of course since the lead character is based on Judy Smith, she would choose an African American actress for that role. But honesly, I don’t have a problem with the racial makeup of the show. And don’t forget, this was just the first episode we don’t know who else will show up to join the cast.

    • I did and liked it as well. I thought the lead actress was fabulous, although at first I wasn’t digging the other actress’ bumbling newcomer part. I had a feeling Olivia was having an affair with POTUS and that’s why she believed him, because otherwise he was completely not believable.

      Also, Paris from GG!

      And TCFKAG, HUZZAH!!!! I love that show. Every time my SO has seen it he’s just “what on EARTH is this show!?!?” I comfortingly just tell him that he doesn’t get it. ;-)

    • Ok, I’ve been trying to resist, but I give up: I just *have* to brag… I totes worked with Kerry in college! And she was awesome, so brilliant and so sweet.. and is it ridic that I feel so special that she is so famous because “I knew her whensies!”????
      braggy mcbraggerson

      • That’s so cool! Where did y’all work?

        • encouragement to keep bragging? OKAY! ;o) it was a play at the Arena Stage while she was at GW a bajillion years ago. She was performing (obvs) and i was the stage manager. we were tight. im that cool (jk, i’m not cool in the least, b23)

        • and I think that means that ALL OF YOU now are 2 degrees away from Kerry Washington! You Are Welcome! (if the rules of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon allow anonymous-internet-lady-blog-friends. Which they should. Does anyone know?….)

          Oh! and i am so proud of her for having a new show, and I am dying to watch it, and I will watch every episode loyally until the end of time. :o)

    • Me and my KitKat bar will be watching later tonight on DVR!!!

    • Anybody else excited for the new Aaron Sorkin series, “The Newsroom?”

      • This is late – but yes! I might start paying for HBO just to watch this. I will watch just about anything by Aaron Sorkin, and I will watch anything with Sam Waterson. Now if only Matthew Perry will show up for a guest role…

        • yes and yes…. and did anyone else squeal when Matthew Perry showed up on the Good Wife!?!

  2. I love colored denim. I have a pair in red and cobalt blue.

    As an aside, my DH is driving me nuts. I’m compiling all our tax documents and he keeps giving me estimates instead of exact numbers.

  3. I seem to recall several ladies including Darren Criss and/or Matt Bomer on their fantasy lists the other day. Thought they would like to know (if they didn’t already!) that MB will be on the April 10th episode of Glee playing Blaine’s brother. Enjoy :)

    • That was me. And I know! Second most brilliant casting move by them since they had Idina Menzel play Rachel’s bio-mom. But my head might explode with all the suave hotness.

    • so excited! Bets on whether Matt Bomer will continue his White Collar shirtless streak?
      I saw a promo clip of the two of them singing, “Somebody I used to know” and it made me very very happy. :)

      ….except I thought that like Darren Criss, Blaine was half-Asian?
      I hope they address that in the episode (oh glee continuity…) through whatever family backstory we get, and aren’t just like “Clearly, they’re brothers! Look how handsome they are! Handsome is an Anderson family trait!”

  4. Eloise Spaghetti :

    This was just on fashion police. Gotta have it!

    Kate Middleton convinced me….

  5. Anyone have any experience with the “Jackie” pullover sweater at J Crew? How it compares to the “Tippi”? There are some colors on sale, and I was curious.

    • I am a huge Jackie cardigan fan and ordered the Jackie pullover in my same size. I found it ran bizarrely large through the waist and long in the sleeves, which rather than ending at a clear 3/4 mark like the cardigan, ended at a weird too-long-for-bracelet, too-short-for-full-length mark. Also, the fabric was different than the cardigan – it felt sort of sticky when I tried on. Needless to say they were a no-go with me!

      Tippi I have heard is good for larger-busted women and more of a woven texture (as opposed to the tightly knit Jackies), though have not tried myself.

  6. Eloise Spaghetti :


    • lostintranslation :

      I am obsessed with both the actual hockey playing outfit and the blazer pumps combo. Am I the only one?

  7. Former MidLevel :

    I have nothing against colored denim in theory, but I don’t like it on me. They dayglow yellow skinnies that I bought for my 4-year-old niece are adorable on her, though! :)

  8. HotChildintheCity :

    About a year ago, there was a long thread on this site taking a poll of non-biglaw lawyer corporettes. I’d be interested in an update to see how the readership of the site has changed, and how the last year went for everyone who posted last year.

    1.) Generally, what type of law do you practice and what is your position?
    2.) What is your billable hour requirement, if any?
    3.) Did you make you billable requirement last year, if you have one, and were there any associated bonuses?
    4.) What are your typical hours?
    5.) What general region do you work (ie: southern, small firm – etc.)
    6.) And if you are comfortable, what do you make?

    I’m a second year employment law associate with an 1800 hours billable requirement, which I barely made last year. I typically work M-F 8:30-6:00 in my small firm’s SoCal office, although working nights and weekends happens more than rarely, and I’m currently making $75k.

  9. Upholstered Bed :

    My husband and I are finally going to get a real bed frame, instead of the metal cheap one that came with the mattress. We are really drawn to upholstered beds, a la the Raleigh at Pottery Barn or the Border bed at Crate & Barrel. We don’t have pets or kids yet, but will at some point during the life of the bed. Despite how very much we like the style, I’m concerned that these beds will look dirty after not too long, and are not cleanable. Does anyone have experience with upholstered beds?

    • Upholstered Bed :

      We are looking at full beds, not just headboards.

      Raleigh: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/raleigh-plain-square-bed-headboard/?pkey=cupholstered-beds-headboards

      Border: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/furniture/beds/border-headboard/f42075

    • I don’t have experience with this particular type of bed, but if you buy from a higher end retailer (I know the place I like does it), you can purchase insurance that’s basically like a permanent fix it or replacement policy for upholstery. Thats what we got when we bought light colored furniture — its not super cheap, but it might be worth it for peace of mind.

      But — in my experience, how much would you really spill on or scratch a head board? I guess you’d balance the worry of damage against the cost of the insurance.

    • I have an upholstered headboard from Pottery Barn. Mine is slipcovered (the Raleigh might not be – isn’t that the one with the nailhead detail?) In theory, I could take off the slipcover and wash it – although I never have felt the need. I notice dust from time to time, which I clean with either a lint roller or a vacuum, depending on how ambitious I am feeling.

    • I think it depends on the fabric and pattern. I am in the market for an upholstered headboard myself, I think it’s a nice look. I have some upholstered chairs and have no issues with the fabric – but the fabric has a slight pattern and I think it is treated with scotchguard or something. I would be nervous getting the PB bed, and maybe even the C&B bed in the lighter color. Esp. the PB bed b/c it’s not just a headboard but frame itself. Take a look at the upholstered beds at Ballard Designs. I think with something a bit more colorful and not all one color any damage/wear that occurs will be much less noticeable. Not for everyone, but I really like the “Samara Spice.”

    • I have one and haven’t had any issues. Got it at Room and Board in a linen fabric, still really like it and haven’t noticed any signs of wear/dirtiness. I’ve had it for about 4 years now.

      • FWIW, I think the fabric might have been treated with scotchguard or something similar, and it’s in a really light beige-y color.

    • In search of Bunkster's New Job :

      Dang Posting too fast –

      Anyway – what I said was 1) I like the ones where the fabric covered piece pops out of a frame for ease of recovering; 2) think twice if anyone uses hair oils or gels that might stain the fabric; and 3) if relevant, beware of fabrics that might cause the headboard to be mistaken for a cat scratching post.

      • Upholstered Bed :

        Where have you seen the fabric-pops-out kind? The only one I’ve seen is a headboard at Pottery Barn which is supposed to be mounted to a very, very expensive bed base. Are there others?

        We’re dog people, so no worries about cat scratching :).

        • Dogs scratch too. And naw. Trust me.

        • In search of Bunkster's New Job :

          There is a catalog called Decorators something-or-other. I’ll email under “Upholstered Bed” if I can find a copy, but maybe you can find it on the i-net.

        • Friends of mine have a cool bed where the pop-outs are upholstered in black leather. If I’m remembering correctly, you could also turn the pop-outs over for all wood. We found it at a local furniture store’s warehouse sale.

    • Not with upholstered beds, but with upholstery generally — whether you’re going to be happy with how it wears really depends on the fabric and use. Generally, a heavier and more textured fabric will wear better than a twill or canvas (both popular Pottery Barn choices, and probably the reason why many people dislike their PB after a few years).

      I’d go with a heavier velvet or chenille type fabric, AND get it treated to resist stains and wear. You can get the treatment stuff separately — its more or less the same as shoe waterproofing spray — and reapply it every 2 or 3 years (after cleaning, of course).

    • Upholstery on a bed frame? Just a question – have you heard of The Return of The Bedbugs?
      Could be an expensive mistake..

  10. Honeycrisp :

    Thoughts on colored denim skirts? For some reason, I really like this one in Aquamarine:


  11. Unadvertised JCrew promo code PSA: Using “OURTREAT” gives you 30% of regular and final sale prices. Nothing mentioned about it in emails or on the website, but I just used it to score the Lillian dress for $63 (orig $198!). Hooray!

    • Thanks!

    • huh. Not working for me!

    • I immediately went to the sale part and clicked suiting. They mix the swimsuit and actual suits. I actually kind of like the Aubrey jacket with a polka dot whole piece underneath…

      • I ordered something from JCrew this morning so I just called to see if I could take advantage of this promo code. I was told it is only for Canadian customers….

        • Damned it, and here I was filling up a cart….

        • Do a test run. I’m in the US & it worked! According to some (yes I’m procrastinating) JCrew customer blogs, a lot of the JCrew customer service reps don’t know about it or are saying it’s Canada only… but it’s been working for a lot of US orders, like mine. Unless it was a system fluke that JCrew promptly realized and corrected…

          • I tried it 3 times, to no avail. Probably for the best.

          • @R: sorry, reading fail. I guess a test run wouldn’t work for an already placed order. Argh.

          • I would even re-order and return the stuff I already ordered but its final sale so non-returnable :(

      • Ha! Now we know what to tell those poor souls to wear next time they ask for advice on office pool party attire.

    • MissJackson :

      I thank you, but my wallet does not :) I’m obsessed with the No. 2 pencil skirt, and I can’t stop buying them when the 30% off codes appear! I also bought Tippi in the leopard print for $20!

      • MissJackson :

        And it absolutely worked for me just a minute ago (I’m in the US). Worth trying again, ladies :)

        • argh, still not working for me! I haven’t ordered from them in ages, maybe it’s just for frequent customers.

          • It is only for regular sale or final sale items. I read it above to mean regular or sale. My regular stuff did not work. Then I got some sale stuff (because I was bummed about teh code) tried it again and it did work.

          • ooooooh. Thanks for explaining!

          • MissJackson :

            also — sometimes I encounter this quirk — you have to enter your zip code first on the “checkout” page, and THEN your code. When I do it the other way, it doesn’t work but I have no idea why. I did order all sale items, though, so that may well be the hangup.

          • oh yeah, regular *sale* and final sale is indeed what I meant. Sorry!

          • Reading comprehension fail. It worked for me this time!

          • meh it denied me by the end. I had the zip code in but once I put in my shipping address it said the code was invalid. Oh well sign from God. Sign from God. Do not need. Must save for new bed.

    • Thanks! Ordered some super-120s suiting to fill out my collection… hope it works out :)

    • Anyone have the cafe capris in wool? I really like them in theory but I’m not really sure when I would actually wear them. What is the appropriate weather for cropped wool?

      • I bought them, love them in theory, and never seem to find the appropriate occasion to wear them. So there’s your answer…

      • I have them in black, and wear very frequently out to dinner or places where business casual is appropriate. I also really like the fabric, it lays/ drapes sooo much better than the normal cafe capris, and I have worn them in weather 40-70 degrees.

    • suneenart :

      AP — thanks so much! $425 poorer..but yay!

  12. Question: Appropriate hostess gift for my boyfriend’s mom? She has welcomed me into her home for Passover, but is less than thrilled that her only child is dating a girl who is not Jewish, so I want to get something pretty in line with what’s traditionally appropriate for the holiday – thoughts? Thanks!

    • DC anonymous :

      You go through a lot of wine at passover, so I’m sure a nice bottle of red would be appreciated. Check with your boyfriend about how observant their family is to find out if it needs to be kosher wine or not.

      But really, as long as you don’t bring anything involving bread or other leavened grains I’m sure it will be fine! And if it’s anything like my Jewish family, if you laugh at their bad jokes it will go a long way toward making them like you. :)

      • Also remember that nothing you bring is going to make her forget that you’re NOT jewish, not even showing up with a jar of gefilte fish. So just bring something nice that you would bring to any hostess (non-grain based of course).

    • I think kosher wine or flowers are always a nice idea. If you want something a bit more holiday-specific and know of a good bakery, get some kosher for passover macaroons. If you say where you are, perhaps someone here can recommend a good place.

    • another anon :

      If you’re not sure how observant they are, I would stay away from food/drink altogether, and go with flowers (already in a vase, or some kind of flowering potted plant, so she doesn’t have to interrupt what she’s doing to take care of the flowers).

    • Equity's Darling :

      I always brought plants to my ex’s grandmother’s seders (regular or for a holiday). They kept kosher, and she loved to garden, so it was a good gift.

      We dated for around 4 years, and though I was not necessarily their (the grandparents, the parents were fine) favourite person in the beginning, eventually his grandmother taught me how to make latkes, blintzes, hamentaschen, borscht, etc. and I still think very highly of her.

      Now I’m a mixed girl who can make amazing jewish food, it’s a little bizarre, but some of the older Jewish partners at my firm certainly love when it’s my turn to make birthday treats.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I’m wondering about seder host gifts as well. We’re going to a non-family seder for the first time, and I’m the shiksa married (and welcomed by the family of) a Jew. My go-to hostess gift is a fancy kitchen candle from Williams-Sonoma. Does that sound ok?

      I was always taught never to bring food unless asked (“What, my food isn’t good enough? I already planned the menu.” or “Darn it, now I have to serve this too or I will look selfish.” secretly thinks the smiling and polite hostess), wine (“I guess I should open it so I don’t look selfish” or “This doesn’t pair with the meal at all.” or “Gosh, these people have very different taste in wine than me.”), flowers (“I’m allergic.” or “Gosh, I hate tulips.” or “Thanks… now I need to stop what I’m doing and find a vase to put these in while I’m still preparing dinner… I’m so busy right now!”), or sweets (“I’m watching my diet.” or “It’s Passover and you brought me chametz?!”).

      Gigi, I survived and won over my MIL, who was very actively and vocally “less than thrilled” on me when we first started dating. She’s my biggest fan now. There’s hope.

      • Thanks, to all of you. This is (1) giving me ideas and (2) making me feel a heck of a lot better!

    • Pretty potted plant from Whole Foods or a really classy bouquet of flowers.

  13. I’m not jewish, so take with a grain of salt, but I’d say a bottle of kosher wine (or manischewitz IF her son tells you that she likes it). But really, a potted plant of some kind almost never goes wrong as a hostess gift (I prefer it to flowers because it doesn’t die). Otherwise its the spring, so tulips are beautiful this time of year.

    • Hmmm…this was for Gigi above.

      • Don’t bring Manischewitz, even if that’s what they drink. It’d be like bringing a liter of Coke to a dinner party.

        • Lol. I’d rather drink Coke than manischewitz, and I REALLY like red wine, but that’s just me.

        • Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine tried to explain to George why he couldn’t take Pepsi and gum to the hostess of a dinner party.

          • Folks: Kosher wine is not enough. It has to be Kosher for Passover (Kasher L’Pesach.) I agree with other posters that unless you are very familiar with kashrut, avoid gifts of food or liquor. Also, don’t touch the wine bottle at dinner without asking the host. It’s hard for me to explain here, but trust me.

        • agree I think it would be really cheesy to bring Manischewitz, especially being non jewish. It just kind seems like here! jewish things!

          • I feel like I should clarify that I agree. Its both cheesy and gross. But if boyfriend said that mom only served manischwitz at passover seder, I’d feel weird bringing something else.

          • TCKKAG, sorry to be critical but it seems odd to me that you are offering advice without the expertise here. I am married to a Jewish person and have learned not to assume much without seeking input on these matters.. which is actually good practice for most things.

          • Well, I’m not Jewish, but I’ve been to several seders and have brought hostess gifts. So I commented on what I brought. I have actually found that when going to going to these sort of cross-cultural things, there is some pretty universal tips.

            But I guess you can be critical as you want. And none of what I said was different than what anyone said above. So I’m not sure what was wrong with my advice (other than the joke about manischewitz).

          • SF Bay Associate :

            So on Friday, we went to a non-family seder. I’d never been to a nonfamily seder before. I grabbed a ~$30-40 bottle of wine from our wine fridge (the hosts do not keep kosher), and my husband whipped out a bottle of Manischewitz he bought earlier to bring, too. I was horrified… cheap, tastes horrible, how embarrassing, what a terrible hostess gift. He said, “We’ll see which one is a bigger hit.” We went to a very fancy home in a very nice town in the Bay Area. The seder had several dozen people and was catered by a fancy company. I handed the host and hostess the “nice” bottle of wine. They thanked me very politely, warmly, and graciously. Josh then handed them his bottle. They were visibly delighted and effusive, and it immediately was placed on the seder table, along with the several other bottles of Manischewitz that other guests had brought. Though there was much nicer wine on the table, which I and the other shiksas drank, every single one of the born-Jews chose the Manischewitz. My husband was kind enough to say “I told you so.” only a few times :).

          • Some Jewish families view manishewitz as an integral part of passover seder. I, as a catholic, know this. I wouldn’t assume it, but if the OP’s BF told her so — well then it would be appropriate. I can’t explain it, since I think it tastes like feet, but shrug.

            They can save the nice wine for another night. :-)

    • I went with a hydrangea plant I got at the local farmer’s market – it was actually a fun night. :)

  14. momentsofabsurdity :

    Colored denim? Heck yes. I posted about it earlier this week but I essentially bought Kate Middleton’s exact outfit, wore it Monday and felt awesome looking. Also, the whole thing cost less than $100.


    And you know what? Me and my coral pants felt FABULOUS all day long.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I love that coral colour! Where did you get yours?!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Wet Seal for $24.95. They’re jeggings (… yeah I know) but they match the color of Kate’s pretty well (maybe sliiiiiiightly pinker but not much).

        • I just bought pastel denim at Costco for $15.95 and they are enormously baggy and unwearable.

  15. Speaking of colored denim–I just bought a pair of bright coral skinny jeans from j.crew. (I’m not posting them here, because the color on the site is different than what it is IRL). Styling suggestions, anyone? All I seem to be able to come up with is white or white/navy. (And I don’t wear yellow, because it looks AWFUL on me). Hrm.

    And as for Kat’s comment–I would have never thought colored denim would be flattering on me (I’m a petite pear- 5’5″, 120 lbs) but somehow it works! I think cut/fit is the most important thing when it comes to jeans, regardless of color. And finally, my last pitch: Colored denim is great because it allows you wear something more fun than just plain jeans yet without looking too “dressed up.”

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      See above — digging the Kate Middleton navy blazer + coral jeans look. I wore a gray tee underneath.

      I am also planning on wearing them with a white or cream sweater, which I also think would look nice.

    • Any shades of blue that you wear should work! and definitely look for patterns. I can’t wear coral At. All. but I love florals with coral. (hee, and it rhymes!)

    • I love my coral skinny jeans; I wear them with white and gray, black, navy and blue.

      Agreed on the “dressy casual” look! I wore my bright blue jeans to the grocery store and stopped someone dead in their tracks– “those are some BLUE jeans!” Yes. Yes they are.

  16. I’m planning a trip to Napa/Sonoma. Any recommendations for places to stay in the Sonoma area , vineyards, or restaurants?

    • Left coaster :

      I’m a local so I have lots of thoughts on this! But it’s probably important to have a sense of your budget and other preferences. How much are you looking to spend on a place to stay? Are you looking for a B&B-type experience or something more modern and high-end? Same cost issues come into play in suggesting wineries — are you looking for more opulent places, or places where the tastings are done next to the wine barrels? Any price restrictions on restaurants, or types of food you are hoping to try?

      • Wow, thanks! I’ve booked a B&B in Yountville for a few days, and my husband wants to move over to the Sonoma area for 2-3 days. We’re open to staying wherever – budget-wise we can be a little flexible, but probably no more than $300-400/night (we’re going in July, so I know the prices are higher).

        For restaurants, we’re aware of the really fancy places, but any hidden gems that wouldn’t come up on most people’s radar?

        And as for wineries – again, we’re flexible. I think just your favorites would be enough to get us started! Thanks again!

        • Left coaster :

          Sure! In Sonoma county (different from Sonoma the town), Hotel Healdsburg is amazing. Definitely the opposite end of the spectrum from B&B, and maybe out of the budget in July, but awesome. Places that might be slightly more affordable are Bella Villa Messina and Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza (can you tell I love Healdsburg?) — I have not stayed at either of these but have friends who have and who loved it.

          Wineries — in Napa my favorites are in the Spring Mountain area: Pride, Keenan, and Spring Mountain Vineyard. I also really love Shafer if you are looking for one to splurge on (their tasting fee is something like $50, but so worth it). For a good tour, I recommend Cakebread and Frog’s Leap. In Sonoma (which I tend to prefer since I like pinots better than big cabs, which most Napa wineries specialize in) I love Merry Edwards, Quivira, Davis Family Vineyards, Unti, Woodenhead, and Papapietro Perry. Kokomo is also a nice place to taste, and Rafanelli makes terrific wine as well, but doesn’t really do “tastings” unless you are looking to buy.

          For food, there are so many options! In Napa, I would recommend Bouchon Bakery or Model Bakery for breakfast or sweets, Gott’s (formerly Taylor’s Refresher) or Oakville Grocery for lunch, Bottega, Bouchon, or Redd for dinner. Yountville in general is amazing and has tons of great options. In Sonoma, I love Scopa, Dry Creek Kitchen, and Zin (all in Healdsburg), the Girl and the Fig and Dorado Kitchen (town of Sonoma), and Zazu (Santa Rosa).

          Have fun! You’ll have an amazing time. Be prepared for it to be hot and dry weather!

        • Is Auberge du Soleil on your radar? Worth going there for a drink on the back porch as the sun sets.

        • Oh, and as for wineries. Visit Del Dotto’s caves in Napa (don’t go to their gaudy place in St. Helena). Take the cave tour. A-MAZ-ING. Del Dotto = my favorite wine.

        • MacArthur Place in Sonoma is lovely.

    • Sonoma is less touristy than Napa, and to my mind, more picturesque. I really like the town of Healdsburg as a base for exploring Northern Sonoma and the Dry Creek Valley. It is also easy to cross over to the northern part of Napa Valley, i.e., Calistoga, St. Helena.

      Favorite restaurants: Girl and the Fig, in the town of Sonoma, Barn Diva in Healdsburg, and for a blow out, Cyrus in Healdsburg.

      In Napa, I like Mustard’s, City’s Back Street Kitchen, Ad Hoc, and for a casual stop, Gott’s Roadside Gourmet (formerly Taylor’s Automatic Refresher).

      Vineyards — others are likely to be more helpful on this than me. My all time favorite, however, is a tour and tasting in the sparkling wine caves at Schramsberg in Calistoga. You have to make an appointment, and there is a fee, but its well worth it.

      • This is a great list – thank you!

        • Also, that should be “Cindy’s” back street kitchen. Not City. Ugh.

      • Also, I forgot to mention, I haven’t stayed in a few years, but I also really like the Chanric inn in Calistoga. It’s more contemporary in style, and the gourmet breakfast they include in the room rate is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Healdsburg is my favorite area of wine country too. I adore Farmhouse Inn. Agree with Anon’s recs except Gott’s which is superoverrated IMHO (I’d much rather go to Oakville Grocery for a sandwich) and add Dry Creek Kitchen.

        There are a million threads on Chowhound about Napa/Sonoma food and winery recommendations. I strongly suggest you take a peek to get some really great ideas.

      • +1 on the Schramsberg tour/tasting. One of the better tours in Napa, IMO. I joined their wine club as a result.

    • Agree with all of the above, esp. the point about the Sonoma side’s being less touristy than the Napa side . . . and I think I posted on a similar question a month or two ago.
      Favorites in Healdsburg area:
      Hotel Healdsburg (Or its sister hotel, H2Hotel.)
      Dry Creek Kitchen (No corkage for any Sonoma County wines!)
      Cyrus (You can also eat at the bar if you don’t want to go all-out on the tasting menu/dining room.)
      Scopa (Phenomenal Italian.)
      Oakville Grocery (Esp. their red velvet whoopie pie.) (NB: The original store in Oakville was closed for extensive renovations in early March and might still be closed.)
      Dry Creek General Store (Good for picking up a picnic.)
      Downtown Bakery & Creamery
      Wineries: Ridge Lytton Springs; Mauritson; Unti; Seghesio (try the Venom — I believe you can only get it there); Quivira; Michel-Schlumberger; Frick; Rochioli; Twomey; Nalle; A. Rafanelli if you are already on their membership list.

      Calistoga area/Napa side:
      Indian Springs Resort and Spa (Even if you don’t stay there, book mudbaths or some other treatment and spend the day at the hot mineral springs pool.)
      JoLe (Farm-to-table restaurant in the Mount View Hotel.)
      Wineries: Schramsberg, Chateau Montelena (for fun, watch “Bottle Shock” before your visit); Duckhorn; Stag’s Leap.
      In general, I like to stay on Silverado Trail and stay off Hwy 29 on the Napa side.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      My favorite vinyard is Iron Horse (up on a hill with beautiful views) and Zin in Healdsburg was amazing – the apple pie with salted carmel sauce was so good that I bought their cookbook to get the recipe!

    • I would also suggest Sonoma over Napa—it’s still touristy, but not as bad.

      If you also like beer, there’s some fantastic breweries and brewpubs in the area. I particularly recommend Bear Republic in Healdsburg; good pub food and some really delicious beers that you can’t get anywhere else. Lagunitas in Petaluma’s is also pretty good, though I far prefer Bear Republic’s beers. I would take any excuse to go eat there again (and, more importantly, not have to drive afterwards…).

    • I grew up in Napa & my parents are still there, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think the “Sonoma is less touristy than Napa” concept was more true about 10 years ago & not so much any more. I think Sonoma is really on the map these days. Some spots I like (& I do stay in hotels up there every now & then when the family has all descended) are:
      – sleeps: the Four Sisters Inns – this is a west coast B&B chain w/ some really nice properties in Napa/Sonoma. The Maison-Fleurie property in Yountville is charming (old brick building) & the rooms are clean/decent – they’re like the Hilton/Hyatt/Marriott of B&Bs. Not the 4S or as nice as Hotel Healdsburg, but definitely nice & the charm of not being a chain. Their rates are half of the popular places too, esp if you book early (think $200ish/night v. $400 average).
      – eats: I *love* Redd in Napa (Yountville) for a nice, splurgy dinner. IMHO better than French Laundry. For a more casual night, they just opened a new spot down the street called Redd Wood – pizza’s & the like. My other favorite is Farmstead in St. Helena – gorgeous setting & they grow most of their food in the garden outside. Lovely for lunch or dinner.
      – wineries: you MUST GO (hi Ellen) to Tres Sabores in Napa, off 29, behind Whitehall Lane. This is a teeny-tiny/old school/real Napa Valley winery. The kind of thing people wax nostalgic about finding. It’s a family run place w/ a little farm tucked next to the vineyard — their sheep keep the vineyards clear, they have chickens for their eggs. The owners are lovely & they do a wonderful tour complete w/ cheese & chocolate tastings. You can also have them do lunch for you. It’s so far from the Mondavi/big winery industrial complex you’ll think you’re in Tuscany. Another cool spot is Swanson Vineyards — this is appt only, as is Tres Sabores, you can book online & they do cheese/chocolate pairings with their wines too. Really pretty/girly space, but even men appreciate the experience as it’s also different from the typical tasting room.

      Have a wonderful time!!

  17. I like *some* color denim. I am not a fan of this color denim. I think it’s too bright and also the front of these pants makes the model’s crotch look weird. But I do like the idea of this color paired with orange. I have a bracelet with these two colors and this reminds me I should wear it!

  18. Advice from the San Francisco ladies? :

    I’m headed to an upscale c*ocktail party next week in Pac Heights. It will be a political and high tech/valley crowd. I want to wear this black and white floral Kate Spade dress I just got on sale, but I worry that b/c its floral it will read girly rather than professional. Thoughts? Too preppy? (Link to follow)

    • Advice from the San Francisco ladies? :

      Picture of the dress:


    • Advice from the San Francisco ladies? :

      trying again

    • Not currently living in SF, but I have spent time there. I think you’ll be fine. If it works with the dress, bring a subdued cardigan or fitted suit jacket.

    • I was waiting to see the link first, but it’s not coming thru yet, so I will just say that I think black and white florals usually read very sophisticated, not girly. Unless it’s a little teeny tiny floral print. So, I think it would be good, for the beginning of spring, and remember, the bay area is sooo casual (compared to east coast cities, etc) … but if the link comes thru, I’ll check it out!

    • trying one more time on the link :

      Hmm, it seems to be caught in moderation.

    • Advice from the San Francisco ladies? :

      Sigh, the link keeps getting stuck in moderation. If you google “kate spade Austin dress” it will come right up at several stores.

      • Oh yeah, I think that’s super-cute. I don’t think it’s too preppy or too girly at all. I hope you have a cardigan or a jacket to go over it though, it’s brr! out there right now!

      • ooooo, i love it! I agree w/ CA Atty, not too preppy or girly in the least. It is totally sophisticated and chic. rock it! you will look fab!

      • Not only do I think its not too preppy or girly, but I WANT it. Like badly. Like I have two weddings coming up that I have to go to and need a dress badly.

        Darn you OP. Darn you.

        • I wore an Ann Taylor dress with a similar pattern (blue with white flower pattern) to a wedding a few years ago. One of the guests made it known that wearing a dress with a white pattern to a wedding was not appropriate and I’ve been mortified about it since. Your comment about wearing this to a wedding makes me think that it wasn’t so bad after all. Thanks TCFKAG.

          • Another guest made that KNOWN to you. At the wedding? Even if wearing something with even the barest amount of white was actually still a social faux pas (questionable in my mind), it is by far a million times worse a social faux pas to mention tell someone that what they are wearing isn’t “appropriate.” So scr*w ’em.

            Also, the first wedding is South Asian Muslim, so the traditional rules definitely don’t apply.

          • I really just cannot buy that the rule is: ‘no pattern containing white at all’ … that is ridiculous and unrealistic. It makes sense to me that ‘no white’ to a wedding means no all-white dresses if the bride is wearing white, cause then she wouldn’t stand out as much. But I don’t see how a patterned dress with white in it can possibly distract attention from a wedding gown. I think the explanation has to be: people getting all cray cray and taking the ‘no white’ rule waaayyy too far.

            And if i ever offended a bride by wearing a dress with white in the pattern to a wedding (particularly a floral dress to an outdoor summer wedding) I would be happy to write that bride off as a bridezilla and be happy to assume I won’t get invited to any of her future weddings….

          • The traditional rule is meant to make sure that no one is “showing up” the bride on her big day. A dress with white in the pattern is NOT going to get you mistaken for the bride. So, scr*w the woman who pulled Flamingo aside and made her feel bad about such a beautiful dress.

            I’m a stickler for the “rules” in formal situations, and I wouldn’t hesitate to wear something like this to the most traditional wedding (provided it was evening, but that’s my own weird thing about wearing black during the day for formal functions. I’m a spaz).

          • Wow, that guest was a real @ss. I think if someone had done that to me, it’d so dismay me that I’d temporarily lose muscle control in my hand and “accidentally” spill red wine on that guest. Yes, I’m quite the delicate flower.

      • That dress is gorgeous. I love it. Perfectly appropriate for a business party, IMO.

  19. Fast Track :

    I’m starting to learn how to run, and I always feel very self-conscious because, well, I am slow (obviously).

    I always worry that people in cars are thinking “that woman is so out of shape and I judge her for huffing and puffing along the sidewalk”, and when I run on the trails near a lake in our town, that the real runners think something similar, but add in “she can definitely not think of herself as a runner”.

    I know that this is probably silly, and most people never even notice me shuffling along, but maybe the other corporette readers can confirm this?

    • I would never notice! And if I did, it would be in a more “You go, girl” way. Getting in shape is hard; we’ve all been there.

    • I suppose there are a few judge mcjudgersons out there who might think something of the sort (I mean, there are people who will think anything!) But who cares! What you’re doing is great for YOU, scr*w them. They s*ck.

    • Former fat kid :

      Good for you! Keep going!

      Every time I see someone out running, I think one of three things: (1) crap, I wish I were out on a run right now, (2) I wish I had made time to run today, (3) I’m so glad I got in a run.

      More seriously, when I first started exercising, I was so concerned that everyone was noticing everything about me. But now that I exercise regularly myself, in a variety of different ways, I’m usually too into what I am doing to pay much attention to others, except to try to stay in my own space and not knock them over.

    • another anon :

      First of all, you probably aren’t as slow as you think. Second, runners tend to be very supportive of other runners. So long as you are not running on the wrong side of the path or doing something else that would impair others’ use of the trial, I doubt that other runners on the trail are thinking about your speed at all.

      As for drivers, they probably aren’t really noticing your speed either. The only time I notice a runner’s speed when I am driving is if they are super fast, or doing something impressive, like booking it up a super-steep hill. Otherwise, you can’t really even tell how fast someone is running when you are driving, because you are usually going significantly faster than the runner anyway.

      Please don’t let this stop you from running. It is seriously one of the most awesome things ever, so keep with it.

      • The only time I notice a runner’s speed when I’m driving is when I am stuck in traffic and the runner is going faster than I am!

    • I’m slow as dirt, and I definitely feel self-conscious at times too. But, I don’t think anyone else is judging you, and if they are, they are probably terrible people. Who would judge someone for making an effort to be healthier?

    • First of all, when I’m in the car and see someone running I’m always impressed. It’s a pita to run and no matter what size you are or how huffy and puffy and flappy and floppy you are you’re out there DOING IT while I’m sitting on my ass in the car. I guarantee there are losers who will eff with you. I’ve had guys do jack off or bj motions at me, or yell something that I usually can’t understand. But that’s actually really really rare.

      Second, when I’m running and see someone who is out of shape (also!) I think “you go girl (or boy)!” I sometimes even give a word of encouragement. Some of my favorite memories when running a race is right about when the 20-40th people in the race come by (on a double-back course). The first 10-20 are usually pretty focused on winning, the next 20 or so are awesome super-fit runners who know they’re not going to win and are there for the fun of it. SO many of them are awesome and will give a word of encouragement to the huffer and puffer (me) they’re passing. That always makes me feel good, like, I may not be as good as them, but I am like them in this way, we both run.

      Like Anony says, there will always be the judgey mcjudgersons, but eff ’em!

      • Well said. The OP may also want to check out a John “The Penguin” Bingham book. For many people, running is not about going fast.

      • OP: No runners (or well, no runners whose opinions you should care about; there are d*cks everywhere) are judging you. Everyone’s been out of shape at some point. As long as you’re out there, doing your thing, you’re golden. I can honestly say that, when I’m out running, I barely notice other people, unless they’re 1. passing in the opposite direction, in which case I smile and wave; or 2. shirtless men with excellent back muscles wearing split shorts. So keep doin’ your thing!

        And CA Attorney: Thank you for saying you appreciate the support! I try and do that on out-and-backs, or at least jog back up the course encouraging people on my cool down, but the last couple of times I’ve just gotten a lot of death glares, so I’d pretty much decided to can it. Now I will continue being (apparently) obnoxiously positive and chirpy.

        • I really really do appreciate it. I did one in July in the valley though along a river and I maybe-okay-definitely had not been training enough, it was blisteringly hot, there was only one water station in the 10 mile course and I’d forgotten my sunglasses. Coming towards me I saw a miracle. A very fit, very fast, very cute man smiling at red faced, lumpy, gasping, dying me. He said “You’re doing great! Almost to the turn around, c’mon, you can catch me!” I started laughing and completely forgot all about my imminent death. (for about 10 steps, but still!)

          I can’t believe you got death stares! I really appreciate support no matter what. I even got lapped by a marathoner once when I was doing a 1/2 (it was an odd course) and I still appreciated their support. Even when I was thinking “jeesh, they must think I don’t deserve to share the road with them!”

        • Death stares? Wow. As a beginning runner myself, I’m always feeling super self-conscious while I’m out running (even though I know the only person judging my performance is me). I’m always super excited when someone (anyone!) calls out anything supportive to me.

          Of course, sometimes I’m breathing too hard to actually respond. But I always try to smile back.

    • Slow Marathons are My Sport :

      I am a runner – and when I drive by other women running I think “you are awesome!”

      I have a funny complex… I feel awesome when I pass guys (stereotypically they can run faster) but I don’t like to pass other women because I don’t want to make them feel bad, I want to cheer them on!

    • You are a runner. Embrace it! I think it’s far more likely that anyone in a car that sees you is thinking (if thinking about you at all) — “Good for her — she’s out there and making it happen. Whereas I am sitting in a car being propelled along.”

      You are doing infinitely better than all the people that didn’t get off the couch/out of the chair.

      Also — I’ve been running for over half my life and definitely think of myself as athletic. I still run *extremely* slowly — as in 10.5-min. miles or so.

      • My “race pace” is a 12:30 mile. Seriously, if I let what people thought about me stop me from doing something, I’ll still be in bed this morning.

        Rock it.

        • And I wouldn’t be posting on C*rporette.

        • karenpadi :

          Wow! You are so fast! My fastest pace is about a 13 minute mile. Yeah, there is always someone worse than you. But unlike others, at least I can run a mile!

        • Also…I walked a half-marathon once. And I STILL didn’t finish even close to last. 12:30 isn’t even close to bad!

        • You’re out there doing it–there’s NO SUCH THING as a bad pace, there’s just YOUR pace which is good. (Sorry for the Ellen caps, just trying to make a point.) I’m no speed demon either and I’ll never be a race winner. But I’m out there doing it and I’m super duper proud of my finisher medals. And you know what the thing I love most about the running community? It is the support of fellow runners. (This isn’t just to TT, this is to the OP as well!) I was struggling in a race once when someone at an aid station said “hey, I know you–great job keep going!” It was a stranger I’d run part of a half with in a pace group several months earlier, but she remembered me. Or the time I was running a half and a teenager was running her first half with her dad and EVERYONE running was giving her high fives and telling her to just have fun. It’s a really great sport and no one is judging you for being “slow”. And if they are, THEY are the jerks.

          Fellow Slow Poke

    • MissJackson :

      Most other runners are incredibly supportive regardless of your speed. I usually look like I’m going to die while running (this fact gloriously confirmed and by the lovely people at marathonphoto), even though I’m super slow. I’ve been running for about 4 years (and frequently racing — at varying speeds ranging from super slow to middle-of-the-pack) and I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced any nastiness from other runners.

      As for people in cars — don’t give this another thought. If it makes you feel better — remember that they don’t know if you’re on mile 1 or mile 18! (Honestly, even the best of runners look worse for the wear at mile 18)

      • Except ridiculously photogenic guy.


        Although, I’m sad! In googling to find the website I saw the guy was “only” running a 10k, I thought he was running a marathon and was much more impressed.

        Anyway, it’s still funny :-)

        • Rose in Bloom :

          Hey that’s my hometown’s 10k you are dissing! : -) It goes over a bridge with a really steep incline, so props to him for looking so ridiculously photogenic.

      • Marathonphoto doesn’t count. According to it, I ran my entire HM last fall with my eyes closed. So you look beautiful when you’re running, MissJackson!

    • viclawstudent :

      There’s a pretty wide variety of fitness levels at the gym I go to, and whenever I think to myself, “oh I wonder if anyone’s judging how fast I go on the treadmill” I remember that I’m always busy mentally congratulating everyone else at the gym for being there and working out, rather than worrying about how fast they’re doing it or how experienced they seem at it, and so then I just assume everyone else does the same. Among runners (or gym-goers or whatever other sporty thing you happen to be doing) it’s not a competition … and as for people in cars, if they’re judging you, meh. They’re in a car. It is, by definition, not a very good high horse …

      • I hesitated at first to join that upscale gym in my city because I thought I’d be discouraged by the super skinny, super fit super-better-than-me people in there.
        After I joined, it turned out I was wrong! We had people of all fitness levels. I’ve always thought I’m slow and run like a “granny” (quoting my coach at college).
        I understand your feeling, up to now I’ve been running in the ladies only fitness room and still didn’t get the nerve to run in the common area. However, the more time I spend there the more I realize people just want to get through their workout instead of laughing at how slow/giggly/disheveled I am.
        Always be proud and happy that you are making a healthy choice for your body.

    • Everytime I see a lady running I always think YOU GO GUURRL! Then, man I am lazy. But, I know what you mean. It’s totally all in your head.

      • Saw an awesome quote that said something to the effect of “You’re lapping everyone who’s sitting at home on their couch!”
        My fastest pace is an 11:23 mile. Who cares if you’re slow? Last race I did I was behind a girl whose shirt said “Please let there be someone behind me to read this!” Hee hee!

        • Ha! Love that idea for a shirt.

          For my next Big Race, I’ll probably get a singlet customized to read “Keep Running” on the back. My favorite shirt from a high school meet says that, and I always get compliments from other runners when I wear it :)

          Also, unrelated, but my good friend is running her first HM tomorrow. I have SO. MANY. SIGNS. Does anyone have any last-minute ideas? I have one piece of posterboard left…

          • There are a lot of great mottos/ideas on the RoadID website. Good luck to your friend! And you are an awesome friend with signs.

          • Reporting back: the most popular one appeared to be “Go, complete stranger, go!” followed by “Kenyans are wimps…they only run for two hours.”

        • A friend has a shirt that says something like ‘last place is the person at home on the couch’. I love it, anything that promotes the sentiment that just being out there is good enough is a-ok with me.

        • I love that tshirt idea! I’ve got great results with “I heard there’s beer at the finish” Every person who passed me commented. I thought people would be more healthy and think I was lazy but it was a huge hit.

    • D Train South :

      I echo all of the comments above. Runners are generally supportive, few if any others are going to notice, and even if they do, who cares? If you want to improve your running, the only way to do it is to start wherever you are. I have to remind myself of this a lot, esp. with respect to exercise. “I can’t ever get any better if I don’t start from here and keep going.”

      • EXACTLY. The other day I was feeling quite discouraged and then remembered something I saw on pinterest, I think, which is “a year from now do you want to be here or do you wish you’d started a year ago?”

        I wish I’d never let my fitness lapse, actually, but that’s neither here nor there. Until someone invents a time machine anyway.

        • Anonymous NYer :

          Ugh I think this ALL the time. I’m doing the couch to 5k program, and I told myself I was going to start it last summer while studying for the bar. Of course, I didn’t. I actually just started it for lent (I gave up being a procrastinating, lazy @ss), but every time I lace up my sneakers I’m like jeez, if I had started this last summer, I’d be breezing through 10k’s by now, instead of struggling in week 4 of my program.

          also, btw, did anyone else who did couch to 5k find the jump from week 3 to week 4 really difficult?? ugh. also, of course I woke up with a nasty cold yesterday so my schedule’s off.

          basically, if I’m in a car, and I see someone running, no matter how fat, silly looking, whatever they are (not saying you are any of those things, btw), I’m thinking, jeez at least they’re out trying, while I’m here in this car sitting on my @ss.

      • I am all over this thread, but: as my (good; not the creepy shirt-stealing one) high school coach said, distance running is one of the few sports where someone untalented, but who religiously puts in the work, has a real chance to beat someone naturally talented. Hooray!

    • I am athletic, but I hate running just for running’s sake- i.e. jogging. When I drive by a runner, I just think ugh, I hate running. If it’s a particularly unathletic-looking person, I think d*mn if that person is out there running, what the f*ck is wrong with me? I should be more like them.

      Am I the only exercise enthusiast who is not a running enthusiast? I love walking, and sometimes I make myself do some running intervals for the cardio, but I would rather poke myself in the eye with a fork than go jogging. I’m all about tennis, kickboxing, yoga, dance classes, etc. I think its mostly too boring for me, even with music (which is the only way it’s ever bearable). I do have a goal of being able to run a 5k comfortably, because I think that’s a good, basic fitness skill. But you will never see me at a marathon.

      • I’m with you on this.
        I’m hyper and have ADD so I always need a coach to make sure I focus a bit.
        My favorite classes are LesMills group fitness classes.
        The few times I have tried running alone in the street, I nearly got hit by cars every.single.time and that without even having music on.
        I did a half marathon once just for kicks with almost no training.. even with music I have to say I got bored

      • To me, yoga is boring while running is heaven. Something for everyone I guess!

      • I’m the same way. I get bored easily. Circuit workouts switch it up every few minutes so that’s good, and I have much more fun playing a game of soccer or frisbee vs running.

      • Totes McGotes :

        I hate hate hate running. I used to try to fight the hate, but now I embrace it and have been swimming instead.

      • HATE to run, and I work out 3-5 times per week – definitely not alone.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I had the same feeling, which is why I made sure to put on my rockin-est tunes and try my best to ignore all potential haters. Since I’ve lost a few lbs and can run faster, I make it a point to smile and nod at everyone I see running, regardless of size or speed.

    • I run, and I am ESPECIALLY impressed when I see an unathletic person run. As someone else mentioned, runners are supportive of each other. I am a pretty average runner (used to be a very slow one) and one of my greatest fans is a friend who runs races in near-pro times. He often waits patiently until I cross the finish much later and is always very encouraging.

      Not to replace one fear with another but I think the bikers tend to be the nastiest (at least in Central Park, NYC) — they have often snarled mean comments at me. But I honestly don’t care.

    • I am a runner. I love seeing other women out running, especially when they appear to be relative novices. I never think “That person isn’t a ‘real’ runner.” If you’re out there, you’re a runner. Own it and don’t worry about what others may think.

      Running isn’t easy for anyone at the beginning, as I’ve learned and re-learned whenever I take an extended break. Getting through the first few months is the hardest part! Stick with it though, and it gets easier and more fun.

      • This! I love seeing other women run. Everyone was a newbie at some point. One of my favorite runs ever was when I slowed down a bit (and I’m Not Fast) to chat for a mile or so with someone training for her first race. Little old slow me got to be encouraging to someone – it totally made my week.

        Honestly, if I’m even in the headspace to notice the body shape non-athletic-looking people running, I tend to be proud of them. Usually I’m just working to keep myself going, and think “Other runner! Other woman runner! Happy!” and then I keep moving.

    • Slow Anon :

      You aren’t alone! Whenever I get passed by another runner I always feel so bad for being in their way. Whenever I’m feeling self-conscious, I just tell myself that there’s no point in even thinking about it. I’m taking care of my health and I’m on the path to becoming a better runner. I also find it helpful to track my progress. In just four weeks, I’ve made such an improvement. I find it so helpful to think how I will only have to look silly for a while and it will all be worth it!

      Has anyone ever felt bad when getting encouragement from better runners? When I did my first 5k, I was definitely going slow, a 12 minute mile, but I felt like I was glowing from start to finish and I was so proud. At the beginning of the race, not even before my face could become bright red like a tomato, another runner flew past me and patted me on the shoulder and said “Keep going, you can do it!” It made me feel so slow and pathetic. Of course, I could do it! I had been running 5ks to train for the previous month. Just wondering if I’m the only one that strangely gets bummed out by words of encouragement.

      • I know what you mean. I’m super sensitive and I often take things way too personally. My goal is to always try to focus on what is most likely the person’s intention. To make me feel good or bad? In this case, I would say they only want you to finish strong so I’d try not to be bummed out.

    • Tired Squared :

      I had the same worry when I was a “newbie,” so I know where you’re coming from. But don’t let it get to you! Keep reminding yourself that you’re doing the run for yourself, and not for anybody else — and it doesn’t matter how huffy and puffy you are, because you’re taking care of your health and getting (back) into shape.

      I’ve been running for 10+ years now, so from the perspective of a “real runner,” I wouldn’t judge you. I have definitely admired other runner’s cute running outfits (probably Corporettes!) and was extra-impressed by a woman who was running extremely quickly up a nearby hill. It is always admiration and a smile, if I can manage it, because you’re out there and you’re going for it and you’re worthy of admiration, d*mn it!

    • Just to echo what everyone else is saying, any time I see someone running–and especially if they look out of shape–I think “You go! Good for him/her!” And then I feel guilty about not working out at that minute. I think this is one of those instances where we are much harder on ourselves while we workout and no one around us is thinking what we think they’re thinking.

      God, that was a tortured sentence.

    • No one is judging you and you are a real runner! I give out a curt wave to drivers (thanks for sharing the road) and a “hi” to other runners/bikers/walkers. A few weeks ago, a walker told me “good pace, keep it up” and I thought that was really klassy and it lifted my spirits, so now I say that, too (except to the doosh that was running with a baby stroller and said “can you believe you’re being passed by a guy with a baby stroller?” I think my response was “yes, I just saw it happen.”).

      Kudos to you for doing something new.

    • I would never ever judge someone who looked like they are trying hard when they are working out! I do, however, judge ladies (just cause have never seen guys do this) who show up to the gym in makeup and big earrings and hog ellipticals/treadmills/bikes while other people are waiting, even though they are barely moving and usually talking on their phones or flirting with guys. Ugh.

      • Tired Squared :

        roses: That kills me too. There was a girl who came to my gym for a few weeks (with a guy she seemed to be dating)… who always wore HUGE* hoop earrings and a string bikini top. She put her tote bag on one treadmill, and stood backwards on another one, so she could make flirty eyes at the weightlifting guys… every day for 3-4 weeks! Thankfully I always got to the gym before her, but several others had to ask her to move her purse/stop wasting space by standing on the treadmill.

        *HUGE = I could put my whole piano-handed fist through the hoop

    • Anon Runner :

      Here’s the deal. Yes, some people are going to think snarky not so nice things. But you know what? Forget them. You’re out there. You’re running! You’re doing something positive for your health. You don’t have to even be good at it and it’s still so awesome for you! And that’s what you care about. The people who are actually fit, focused, and disciplined about their fitness are not the people judging you. I promise. We/they love seeing new people getting hooked on getting fit. Even if you struggle with it and it takes months or years to really find your fitness groove, the fit people are not judging you. They’ve been there, and they know how hard it is and how much discipline it takes. It’s the people who are not out there, who deep down wish they were, who are judging you (I’ll also wonder aloud whether it’s your own judgments about yourself that are coming through and trying to sabotage this great thing you have going on. Either way, same demon). And they are judging you because really, they are judging themselves. So, don’t claim their weaknesses as your own. You’re great. You’re out there and doing something that is good for you and probably makes you feel good too!

    • Been there. It might sound crazy, but sign up for a low-key 5k some time when you think you’ll be ready for it. If you are a regular runner (even the huffing and puffing along the sidewalk type), you will finish, and you may be surprised by how well you do. It’s funny how much less self-conscious I was after I raced.

    • My DH is a very good runner (he’s done a number of marathons with good times).

      And when he and I see other runners out there, he gives them a thumbs up. Once, we were out walking and the weather was awful (drizzly, cold, and miserable), and there was an older man (55+ is my guess) who was obviously overweight who was shuffling, but he got the thumbs up, too. DH said to me, “that man is inspiration to all of us, because we all have days when we don’t want to get ourselves off the couch. It can’t be easy for him, but he’s doing it, and that’s what counts.”

      Hmmm…now that I think about it, maybe DH was trying to nudge me to exercise more. :-)

      But no, a lot of runners will just be glad to see other runners, regardless of their current skill level. Better to go out there as a beginner than to never budge from the couch at all.

      • OK, this discussion is making me feel guilty about reading C*rporette when I should be out there getting my (slow) 10 miles in today!

      • Anon-who-loves-cookies :

        I started running in January, and I’m training for a HM. I’m a slow runner. I’m a huffer and puffer. I’m a little over weight (see above, I love cookies). In the beginning, I worried what my neighboors thought when I was running at night. (Found out later, they told my husband they were impressed with my dedication to run after working all day.)

        This thread was one of the most motivational and uplifting threads I’ve read in a long time. Thank you all! And Thanks to the OP for posting the question!

        I’m so glad I’m a runner, too!

    • I love this thread, and I’m not a runner. The most I ran was on the track team in like 8th grade. It was the only sport I ever did. And I still remember getting encouragement from my team mates and it still means a lot to me, even in my 30s.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      I would notice you huffing and puffing and running slowly . . . and I would be inspired that you are committed enough to run . . . and then I would be ashamed that I do not have the committment that you have clearly demonstrated. and then I would admire you for working so hard for your health . . .

      anyway, so I would notice in a positive way. though I would never think you were out of shape. maybe I would think you had already run 22 miles??? :)

  20. Opening Day!!! Let’s go Oakland!

  21. may I submit another hostess gift advice request?

    I stayed with a friend of mine on a work trip recently. She just recently moved into her apt in a new town, and let me stay with her for a whole week, plus she fed me several meals, made me breakfasts, etc. She was sooo amazingly sweet, and we aren’t super close friends, used to be work acquaintances. I really want to do something to repay everything she did for me, but I can’t think of anything.

    She’s in her 50s, so I feel like I don’t have any idea what she would want. She isn’t that much of a foodie, so the food/coffee/wine type things that are normally my gift standbys don’t seem like a good fit.

    She also still has a sparse apt, since she didn’t want to move things across country.
    But she is kind of picky, she talked a lot about the things she is looking for for her new place, so I don’t feel like I should try to pick something out for her place, since I would probably not get quite the right thing. And I say that because I am picky, and I’m not that excited when people try to buy me “stuff”, b/c they usually don’t get exactly what I would have bought.

    And I’m not that excited about a gift card kind of thing, cause that seems really impersonal. She knows that neither of us make a lot of money, so it’s not like I want to give her a bunch of cash. I just want to do something that somehow repays her hospitality and generosity.

    So, now that I have ruled out all the normal things, any ideas? ;o) thanks in advance, chicas!

    • oh, also, if it wasn’t clear, i am across the country so it has to be mailable/shippable. TIA!

    • This is completely outside the box. But there are several Etsy designers who make custom throw pillows and blankets. We used one who made a custom pillow for a window seat at our house. This was custom as in, you pick the fabric and the design, and they make it and send it to you. You could set her up with that for some pillows for her couch or something, that way she has maximum control.

      Kind of like — look, here’s this Etsy designer — pick what you want and work it out with them and its one me. That sort of thing.

    • I have given personalized notecards (a dozen or 20) in fun colors in the past. There are a lot of paper designers on etsy that have creative designs. It’s one of those things that’s hard to buy for yourself but most people appreciate having on hand.

    • Anonymous :

      just want to say that I have received a gift card in a similar situation from a very close friend. Her note said something like “I know you’re looking for x for your place” and it was for a home store where I could pick out the style I wanted. I really appreciated it. With the note, it didn’t seem impersonal at all.

      I’ve also gotten magazine subscriptions on topics that interest me, and random, silly gifts.

      Having been in her situation more than yours, I’m sure she is not expecting anything and anything you do give will be greatly appreciated.

      • I would send a gift card to Garnet Hill. They have clothes and also great bedding and linens and doormats and rugs…she’ll find something that she likes!

    • Send flowers?

    • these are all great ideas, thank you so much, lovely women!!

      • I am 50. Here are three things I would appreciate: 1. a magazine subscription 2. a gift certificate for a great restaurant 3. a contribution in my name to a charity I care about.

        I’m tired of flower delivery services ripping me off, but maybe I’m just unlucky in that.

    • Personalized/monogrammed tray from laplates dot com. I’ve given those as hostess gifts for people’s summer houses (with house name or number on them) and so far they have been appreciated. Or so I was told.

    • In the harmless-house-gift vein, I like nice dishtowels. Easy enough to fit in with the kitchen color scheme, if they don’t like them they can ditch them easily and you’ll never know, and imho everyone always needs more. Plus they’re one of the few things that can still be exotic in other countries, and they’re really light and packable for the plane.

    • I always give loved ones who have just moved giftcards to Lowe’s. Because they will *always* need it. Or a paint store, if she’s planning to paint any room?

      Flowers are a great idea, too. Or a GC to a local home boutique in her area would be good.

      • many of us hate gift cards so agree with you there. nothing worse than being ‘stuck’ with money you can’t use/don’t want to go to that store + you might lose the card.

        I have recevied before from long-distance people a delivered fancy fresh fruit basket. yes they are overpriced, but most people will eat it or can share it and it says ‘i’m grateful to you and not so annoying as to try to pick out housewares you may hate.’

        my favorite thing to do is ask someone closer to the person for recommendations- if you know someone that may help.
        also, personally think anything from jonathan adler is great- nordstrom website will deliver to her for example cute salt/pepper shaker set. not cheap either, but sooo cute and modern classy.

    • I’d get her a gift carad to Bed Beth and Beyond. With a new place, she is bound to need something there. I’d just say that you hope it helps her get settled.

  22. Ok ladies…. gettting ready to start going hose-less in Missouri. My feet always sweat in my spring/summer shoes and I use baby powder but I keep hearing people mention foot deodorants or special powders…. help?

    • I have something that is the equivalent of a Bodyglide anti-chafing and blister stick (though its not that brand) that I bought at Target and its awesome. It basically kind of looks like a deodorant and you rub it all over your feet. Its not fool-proof but it works better than nothing at all!

      • SometimesStinkyFeet :


        • I looked all over for the link and couldn’t find it! I’ll look around my house tonight to see if I can find the specific product and then post to it. :-P

        • Huh. As far as I can tell, the one I have is off the market (it is called Fab Feet Blisstick Invisible Blister Protection). But it looks like Dr. Scholls and others make the same thing.

          • I’ve found BodyGlide at a sporting goods store in a size that looks like deodorant. The Dr. Scholl’s versions I’ve seen in drugstores near me looks about 1/4 the size for 2x the price.

            In the sporting goods store, I’ve found it in the running section and in the scuba diving section.

    • Dr scholls makes a spray I like. My mom uses the powder version. The spray smells for a bit in the room you use it, but I find the powder always gets on the outside of my shoes!

    • Oh, we talked about that recently – are you wearing all-leather shoes? If not, start there :-).

      • Cosign this. Someone on here mentioned that once, and I realized my feet were only sweating and smelling in synthetic or synthetic-lined shoes. Now I check to make sure any new shoes are leather with leather lining. It’s made a huge difference.

  23. Not In Love :

    I’m happy to see the Weekend Open Thread.

    I am 31. I have a great boyfriend. He was enamored with me on probably our second date. He is educated and has a stable job. He would make a great husband and father, and he wants kids. He is a long-term planner. He cooks. He is a really good guy. He treats me really well. He pays for meals, opens my car door, takes care of me emotionally, and is always anticipating my needs. We have a good time together. Sex is great.

    He is ready to move in together. We talk about the future. He told me he would probably be ready to propose in the fall. At that point, we will have been dating over a year.

    I tell him I love him. But I’m not sure I’m “in love” with him. He’s super sweet, and I don’t really want to hurt his feelings by telling him this.

    Before him, my last long-term relationships were in high school and college. I think the problem is that I don’t feel about him the way I felt about my boyfriends when I was in my teens and 20s.

    I realize that love is different when you’re older. But people talk about meeting people and knowing “He’s the One.” I’m not sure I believe in that. It certainly didn’t happen.

    So my question is: Do you feel that way about your partner? Is your partner your “soulmate”? Or are they the right person at the right time? (I.e., the right person to start having kids with).

    I also dated a lot of jerks and douchebags before I met this guy. He’s like the first nice guy I’ve dated in a while, maybe ever. Throughout my entire 20s, I thought I was looking for someone like my boyfriend, but I just gravitated to guys who treated me badly. (Think Kirstin Wiig in Bridesmaids. I had been dating some uglier Jon Hamms. My current bf is the nice cop. I think I’m having trouble appreciating him.)

    I guess I’m trying to figure out whether this is a normal feeling, or whether it’s an issue with my own emotional availability.

    • I am dealing with something related and will be interested to hear what others have to say.

    • I’m not sure I believe “love is different when you’re older.” I think love is different as your relationship progresses….it changes from that all-consuming (and exhausting) infatuation to a more steady, warmer emotion.

      That being said, I’m not sure I really think of Mr. 30 as my “soulmate” – mostly b/c I never thought that term had much substance. But I was crazy-wild-infatuated with him when we first met. (Who am I kidding? I still am. It’s just not so all-consuming, all the time.) Definitely not just the right guy at the right time. (Also – would you want a guy to marry you because you were there at the right time? I wouldn’t.)

    • The question of what being “in love” should feel like is hard, because it’s so vague. Here are some alternative questions to mull over:

      – How do you feel in a relationship with him? Happier, more stable, less stressed? Bored? How does it compare to how you feel when you’re single or to other relationships you’ve been in?
      – Does he bring out stuff in you that you like? Do you feel more or less like you want to be when you’re with him? (I’d say more or less like yourself, but that’s hard to define, I think).
      – Do you want the same kind of life? Is his long term planning generally in line with yours?
      – Do you respect and admire him as a person? Think he’s smart/handsome/fantastic at something? If that respect isn’t there, I think it’s going to be hard long term whether or not you’re in love.
      – How do you feel when you’re apart?

      I think I was one of those people who “just knew” early on that my partner was right for me, but I wouldn’t say it was because I knew he was “the one.” What I knew was that being in a relationship with him was very different than other ones I had been in, and that being in a relationship with him was also way better than my single life (which I was generally very happy with). Before him, I had dated a lot of arty/emotional types, and I was actually not really sure my relationship with my SO would go anywhere because he was a quiet, stable kind of guy. What I discovered was that I feel comfortable, happy and better able to live my life in a relationship with a quiet and stable person. I thought I wanted excitement, but it turns out I didn’t. Once I experienced a relationship without drama, I was ready to sign on the dotted line pretty much right away because it felt so much better to me. I’m more able to be who I want to be as a person with my SO, and I hope I do the same for him.

      • As someone who is happily married, I just wanted to say your questions are spot on. They are so much more important than necessarily feeling crazy emotional in love feelings. I’d also add that the Respect&Admire aspect is the most important. By far.

      • I cosign all of the questions N. suggests above.

        I don’t believe in soulmates. I prefer to think of a spouse as a “teammate for life”- the person that you always want on your team, whatever life brings you. I would say that Mr. KK is my best friend. I don’t know that there was complete s*x-driven infatuation in the beginning, it was more like he and I just clicked in a way that I hadn’t with anybody else. Before we met, I couldn’t imagine what the future Mr. KK would look like. Like you, I had a thing for bad boys who were not smart marriage material and the nice rule-following young men never did it for me, so I honestly thought I’d just be single forever. A few months after Mr. KK and I started dating, I was amazed to realize that this was, in fact, exactly what I had been looking for. I definitely didn’t recognize it at first sight and I remember that it hit me, randomly, maybe 6 months or a year into our relationship, that this was the first guy I had ever met that I could actually see myself marrying. For the record, Mr. KK is a bad boy at heart and prone to disrespect authority generally, but he is also super smart, ambitious, loyal, and very sweet.

        • Also, having re-read your post, one year really isn’t a whole lot of time to sort through your feelings and decide if you want to marry someone or not. Some people know within a year, but I would think many people would still have some uncertainty at that point. You don’t need to decide to marry him or dump him right now. Maybe you can ask him to just slow it down a bit?

        • KK — I think that Mr. N and Mr. KK are kindred spirits! That is *exactly* how I would describe him.

      • These are great questions to ponder. I don’t think I believe in “soul mates” and as someone who has been very happily married for 7 years, I can tell you that trust/respect/friendship/admiration/and a mutual goal and mutual path to get there are a lot more important than any spark. I knew my husband was the one because he was the first person that I wanted to talk to when something good or bad happened to me, and because he makes me want to be a better and more successful person.

        I married my high-school sweetheart and I remember my mom asking me late in college whether I wanted to date around before I settled down, and my immediate response was “I’ve never met someone that I like and want to spend time with more than Mr. JJ.” I think that’s how you know he’s the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with.

      • “What I knew was that being in a relationship with him was very different than other ones I had been in, and that being in a relationship with him was also way better than my single life (which I was generally very happy with).”

        Me too – this is a great way to put it!

    • Wynn Duffy :

      Your 31 now. Do you want to be 80 with him? Picture yourself at 80. Your wearing your most fabulous corporette approved colored power suit of course. Who was by your side for the last 50 years, making you laugh, listening, being your partner. Who did you go through loss with and build a life with? Can you picture him as that man?

      I dated a guy that was really emotional abusive. I was used to “trying out” for his affections, always doing whatever I could to “win” him. When I met “the one” it was so… easy. We talked about things that were bothering us. he didn’t fly into a jealous rage when I didn’t answer the phone. I didn’t feel like my world was ending when he didn’t answer his phone. We laughed all the time, supported each other, proudly called ourselves bf/gf. I had the same kind of reservations because I was used having to really work for my ex, and that rush of feelings I would get when I would suceed in getting him away from other girls. (yup, it was messed up) I asked myself the questions I just asked you, and was like yes. D*mn yes, I want this one to be who I’m old and wrinkly with.

    • Seattleite :

      Or, c) you’re fine, he’s fine, and he just not The Guy?

      Honestly, it sounds like you’re trying to talk yourself into being with this guy because he’s got all the right qualities on paper. Certain ‘check the box’ qualities are important, sure (hey, flamers, I’m talking about not-living-in-mom’s-basement and not-an-addict, okay?) but they should be a baseline. Meaning, *all* candidates should meet them, not *any* to meet them is Marriage Material.

      So, he meets the baseline. How do you feel when you’re with him? Do you eagerly look forward to seeing him? Do you feel connected to him? Does he ‘get’ you? Do you ‘get’ him? Are you prepared to make significant -and not-so-sig- sacrifices for him?

      Don’t keep a relationship going because he’s a great guy and you don’t want to hurt his feelings. If that’s all you’ve got, cut him loose and let him find the woman who knows she’s in love with him.

      I was on the other end of this. I believe my XH married me largely because I matched the ‘boxes.’ There is nothing more futile, or sadder, than trying to find other boxes to check so that someone who never loved you will love you after all.

    • I am currently trying to bring myself to break up with this exact guy. It will be 3 years this summer. Moved in together. He was a nice guy on the tail end of some real jerks. But, I thought I would learn to like him. Everything else is there. But, I can’t. You need the spark. Are you excited to see him? Because the men at my office are like “no I have to get home. Dont’ want to upset the wife.” w/r to work. I don’t care whether I upset him. I am polite and try to update him but I dont’ care. I put him last. When I think of something funny, I text my sister first, then my boss, then maybe him. It sucks. He really loves me. And I get into it about half the time. The rest is just dreading it at this point. But I am so scared of being alone at 30 even though I know it’s stupid and I am busy with work that I haven’t ended things. If you do not have butterflies now, they probably will not come later is all.

      The problem is I have never been single. I am going to try it and see a shrink to see if it is like you say an emotional availability thing. Maybe you could try seeing someone first then if that is not it, break it off or decide if meeting all of the other expectations is good enough for you.

    • WorkedAbroad :

      I really recommend the book “Is he Mr Right” by Mira Kirshenbaum. It should really help you figure out if this is actually a good relationship for YOU, or not. And if not, why it’s not “it”, and what you need that you’re not getting. Brief synopsis: good relationship has to have: a sense of it being easy and comfortable, fun, respect, safe, and sexual attraction. Seriously, I’ve a voracious reader, and this is one of the best, most useful, helps me figure out what I’m doing, books I’ve ever read. And it’s a fun easy read.

      Second, since you know that you don’t have a history of choosing great guys, if the book doesn’t make it clear, this is something really worth taking to a therapist.

      Third…I’d never felt that “This is it!” feeling until my current boyfriend, despite several good relationships and one awful marriage (which inspired by book reading binges). But I do feel it with him….there’s just that extra bit of “this is great!”

      • I think these five factors are spot-on.

      • Absolutely, sometimes a little regime of self-help books can help you see things differently :-).
        I’d also recommend ‘True love” by Wendy Kaminer.

    • This is how my relationship is. I have been married 6.5 years, with him for 9. And it has been amazing. No, our relationship is not passionate, and never was. But I realized a long time ago that attitude had everything to do with it. Let me explain:

      Sometimes, you get a feeling that there is something lacking because the passion isn’t there. If you dwell on it, then it makes it seem like there is something wrong with your relationship. I have made sure never to do this, and there are always ups and downs, but overall I am extremely content and can’t imagine being with anyone else. I think this feeling is something EVERY relationship goes through. No matter how infatuated you are with a guy, there will always be a time that you notice something about them and think “is this a big deal?” Such as they don’t bring you gifts as often as you like, or they spend money differently than you, or they have a different level of motivation than you. No matter how passionate or non-passionate the relationship is, you can and will always find something wrong with it.

      For me, I was in an extremely passionate relationship before, where I was completely infatuated. It was EXHAUSTING. Yes, I find myself missing that sometimes, but when I do, I don’t dwell on what my marriage doesn’t have, but instead I think of how much happier I am being stable and secure, versus the constant ups and downs. No matter your situation, you can always find things to hate or things to love. Which one you choose to dwell on sets the whole tone.

    • I started dating my husband when I was 17 (26 now), and he’s the only guy I’ve ever dated, so take this with a grain of salt. The relationship you describe sounds a lot like our relationship now. (To answer your questions: Definitely didn’t know he was the one, don’t believe in soulmates) I’m incredibly happy. I wake up each morning thinking how lucky I am. I don’t miss the intensity and drama of our relationship in high school at all.

      But different people need different things in relationships. You might be the type of person who needs a Great Love Story. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’d think carefully about if you’re the kind of person who can be happy just being content, or if you have the kind of personality that thrives on highs and lows and Things Happening. Neither personality type is better or worse, but one type can’t force themselves into the other’s mold.

    • My SO and I have a significant age challenge, and I sometimes worry that we will not have that s*xual spark in 10 or 15 years. But thinking about him, talking to him, texting him during the day…all bring a smile to my face. He’s the only one I ever want to talk to, he’s the only guy I’ve held hands in public with since high school and the only guy I’ve ever held hands with that didn’t feel awkward and wrong.

      I can absolutely see us sitting in our rocking chairs just talking or holding hands when we’re 80. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen (and it might be easier for me to picture him at 80 since he’s more than 1/2 way there!) :-) But being with him does all those things for me in the questions above, makes me feel good, makes me happy because I know I make him feel good, makes me try to be a better person and a better “me.” He brings a light and love into my life that I’ve never had.

      It wasn’t immediate with us, we worked together for a year before anything happened. Our first kiss was awkward and uncomfortable (also his first kiss in 2 years and mine in 1, so we weren’t exactly in practice!) we were a secret at first because we worked together and the age difference. So things moved pretty slowly. But once we “came out” and decided we didn’t care if people judged, we were pretty quickly attached at the hip.

      Really only you know. Does leaving this guy make you feel like you’re going to throw up? For me that’s a sign to stay, for others, that’s a sign that the relationship is too drama. I think it’s really really hard to know upon meeting/1-2 dates if someone is “the one.” Every time I’ve felt like that it turned out I was into it and he wasn’t or he was using me for the obvious. (Or not-so-obvious, I dated 1 guy who was just trying to get closer to my brother’s gf, who would have guessed that??) The only two really good relationships I’ve had (i.e. ones that didn’t end with both of us wanting to kill the other and not liking ourselves much either) are ones that I went into with a LOT of trepidation, a lot of concern…and probably relevantly, a lot of thought as to whether this was a relationship I really wanted to be in or if I just wanted to be in A relationship.

      Also, you guys have been dating about 6-8 months now? That’s not really a terribly long time to know whether this is the future Mr. Not in Love or if this is the future Mr. one-who-got-away or if this is the future Mr. goes-crazy-and-tries-to-stab-my-cat. See what happens as you get closer to this proposal, and be honest with him if he says something about “we’ll have a spring wedding” that you’re feeling a little rushed. You don’t have to say you’re not sure you’re in love with him, but just that you want to have some time to think.

    • I went through something similar to this last year (though it was a shorter relationship). I think that you should slow things down a bit and listen really hard to what your gut is telling you about this man. Think about whether you want to be around him and whether you get excited when you hear from him. In my experience, your gut will tell you what to do–you just have to listen to it!

    • Are you wondering if/when you’ll be in love, or are you wondering “hey when does the crazy start with this guy??” As in, crazy = d-bag or jerky behavior.

      If you’ve dated a lot of jerks, dating a nice guy can be rather surprising. BTDT.

      • Not In Love :

        I’m OP. I think maybe I’m wondering if there are other guys out there as nice and sweet (and cute, and awesome, etc.) and I just haven’t been seeing them because I’ve been dating jerks. Or whether he really is special and one-of-a-kind.

        And after reading this thread, and thinking it over, I think I’m not “Not In Love,” but I’m really more like, “Not Sure How to Figure Out this Really Nice Guy.”

    • Life can be very long. I’d ask yourself if you can grow and change with this person.

    • Westsidebee :

      I’m not a huge “soulmate” person either, but I don’t think the “spark” (or lack of it) should be disregarded so easily. I have it in my relationship with DH (now 12 years), and it seems like it’s been important in keeping us intimate and close.

      I am only speaking from what I know, and this is hugely personal. For some people, the spark probably doesn’t matter as much. But for me, I could never sign on to a relationship that was mostly for convenience — chores, money, kids.

      As sappy as it may be, this reminds me of the film Jerry Maguire — when Renee Zellweger says “On the surface, everything seems fine. I’ve got this great guy. And he loves my kid. And he sure does like me a lot. And I can’t live like that. It’s not the way I’m built.”

    • I am a banana. :

      I just broke up with exact guy. He was the right person for three years. I do love him but I wasn’t IN love with him, and that wasn’t enough for me. I wish I would have admitted it to myself before I moved and changed jobs, but luckily I love my new city and office…

      So when is that SF meetup again? ;)

      • karenpadi :

        How about the last Saturday in March? In SF? Are you on my email list? karenpadi at hotmail

        Can anyone make a decision re: place? I am woefully clueless about what’s cool in SF anymore…

        • you mean last Saturday in April, karenpadi? ;o) not that I would mind if the Doctor had to pick us all up and give us a ride to the meetup, but it would be a little bit easier… but as of now Sat Apr 28 is good for me!

          I don’t have any suggestions for location, tho, I am equally clueless..

        • I am a banana. :

          I’ll be at a bachelorette party that weekend, but so it goes! I e-mailed you, now that I am on the “list” I’m sure it will work out eventually. :) Thank you so much for organizing!

    • Well, I think I’m in the minority because I do sort of believe in soul mates. Not that one person only has one soul mate, but that there are defintiely people out there we connect with on a deeper leve. I married my soul mate at a young age and we’ll be celebrating our 18th anniversary this summer. How do I know he’s my soul mate? Because he completely understands me, and I can be 100% myself with him. I can talk to him about anything. I’d rather spend time with him than anyone else. It was interesting – a few months ago he went through some personality testing as part of some employment counselling. One of the things the counsellor talked about was being introverted vs extroverted – if being with people recharged you or being alone recharged you. For me being alone recharges me, but being with him also recharges me. I’m not sure if I’m explaining this well, but being with him is as comfortable as just being alone, and to me that is important. Fairly early on in our relationship I realized I’d much rather go through the hard times with him than easy times without him. And that hasn’t changed.

      For us, we’ve never had a super passionate relationship, not even in the beginning. We are affectionate, for sure, and do have s3x a couple times a week, but our intimacy needs are met mostly emotionally rather than physically. We meet each other’s needs, and that’s what’s important. kwim?

      I hope you can figure things out with this guy. Good luck!

    • I would respectfully suggest maybe talking to someone (good therapist) about this.

      The lack of excitement you feel isn’t necessarily that you aren’t in love with this good guy.

      My best friend in the world went to therapy for this, because she, too, dated all these “bad boys/jerks” who would sometimes treat her great, sometimes treat her like crap and she was basically caught in an addiction pattern with this sort of treatment. She mistook this uncertainty as excitement, and for awhile, couldn’t “love”/be “into” good guys who consistently treated her well.

      She told me this, “do you all remember that experiment they did with rats? 3 groups of rats, in three different types of cages. Type 1: Press Bar and no food pellets EVER came out. Rats gave up ultimately and resigned themselves to death by starvation. Type 2: Press Bar and food pellets ALWAYS came out. Rats learned to only press the bar when hungry, but not fixated on the bar. Type 3: When rats pressed the bar, food came out at random times. Rats got so fixated on the bar, they pressed it to exhaustion and some died of exhaustion.”

      She said, “I was the rat in the Type 3 cage– not knowing whether my boyfriend would be Mr. Jerk or Mr. Prince on any given moment would keep me so addicted to try to please him and get the Mr. Prince to come out that I was caught in an unhealthy pattern.”

      So, there may be something to do in terms of your own outlook on life. On the other hand, maybe you do want to have a series of mostly monogamous (you, monogamous, jerky boyfriends, most likely not) relationships with a series of bad boys. Some women do and they’re fine with that. But only you can know, and I think it’s easier to know if one does the work of introspection/therapy.

      Good luck, whatever the outcome.

    • Love is not that different when you’re older. However at all times The One is a myth. Another one with other good qualities would possibly do just as well :-). And if this one went for some reason, there’d probably be another one. So let’s try to think about life and not romance novels.

      If I were you, I’d worry much more about this attraction to guys who treat you badly. I’d almost never say any such thing to anyone :-), but it may be worthwhile for you to talk to some therapist about it, not so you embark on 5 years of psychoanalysis, but so you are clearer in your mind about how you fully deserve to be loved by a nice guy. Picking one who has experience with abusive relationships would probably be wise, as in my experience this kind of syndrome often comes from screwed up family thing which needs to be acknowledged and cleaned out before you can move on with a good life for yourself.

      That said, you might gently hint to your bf that you’re not totally ready for a massive commitment yet. Not that you don’t love him or anything, but you’ll take a bit more time at it. This ‘ready to propose’ thing is also bunk, if you’re getting married you’re entitled to control the timing and especially not to get rushed into things. But maybe if you or him are determined to pretend the guy controls the relationship, you could instead agree to a long engagement, like a couple years -)? It’d give you more time to think it over, and more time to learn to feel comfortable in a good relationship.

      On the other hand, be sure you’re not sticking with someone who bores you to death just because he’s not beating you. Sometimes it’s hard to articulate what’s wrong with a relationship when it’s a negative, not a specific complaint. But just because you can’t say what you need or even necessarily think of it doesn’t mean you won’t stay acutely aware of something lacking.. That is not a good way to live life either.

      Good luck in any case! Remember to listen to your gut – sometimes it’s impossible to really reason your way out of things that are partly irrational. But good for you to be thinking about it at all :-).

    • dancinglonghorn :

      I feel that there are two “types” of people when it comes to relationships; satisfiers and maximizers (or optimizers)

      Satisfiers are happy when someone meets all the right criteria. They can generally be happily married to a wide array of people and ususally (from my peer group) have happy, healthy relationships.

      Optimizers are always trying to look for something better. Like, what if there is someone else out there who has all the criteria of your bf but also has the spark. I am an optimizer. By marrying my husband, I chose consciously to become a satisfier because I cannot spend the rest of my life looking for someone better. Type A women are almost always optimizers because this trait is what makes us successful in our career.

      I have a wonderful relationship with someone I once felt the same way as you do about. We are planning kids soon; I can’t imagine the difficulty of raising kids with some of my optimizer choices.

      So my (Biased) opinion is : if you want kids, stay. If you don’t want kids, leave.

    • Not In Love :

      OP here.

      I really appreciate all the wonderful advice. I’ve been given a lot to think about. Thank you all for sharing your stories. It seems some of you believe that your guy is the one for you in the world, and some believe that there would be other guys out there if yours wasn’t around any more.

      I think I might just let him know I need more time to consider this commitment thing. On one level, I want it to move along, too. (I mean, my uterus screams at me every day, WHY DON’T YOU HAVE BABIES YET??) But I need to make sure that I’m emotionally there, too.

      Therapy probably isn’t a bad idea, either. I’m sure there are some underlying reasons why I treated myself so badly for so long, and why maybe that translates into not understanding quite what to do when I’m in a nicer relationship. But that emotional work is hard, and scary.

      For what it’s worth, this relationship is really easy with him. Some of the things that you ladies mention as being signs that you’re in love with him are things that I have. So that’s a good sign. I guess I’m just not sure what this is supposed to feel like. He’s not perfect (none of us are), but I feel secure when I’m around him, and cared for. I love spending time with him. I am constantly emailing him jokes from work and sharing parts of my life that I find happy or sad. He’s pretty incredible – sweet and funny and handsome. If I get to hang out with him until I’m 80, I think I’d be a pretty lucky lady. :)

    • counseling. counseling. counseling. counseling. repeat ad infinitum.

  24. Hey peoples! Going on an arranged biodate this weekend with my family, his family and some middle-men family. I know nothing about the guy, this is going to be superfantastic. But wish me luck anyway? I think I’m gonna live-tumblr this one.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Please do, Ru! That will be all kinds of awesome.

    • Hooray, sending good luck vibes your way!
      Also, I miss your styling suggestions and other comments, since it seems like they are less frequent (which is of course fine and your choice), but whenever you reappear, I think “yay Ru is back!”

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Ha! I’m sure he is very fair, engineer or doctor, very tall, US citizen or greencard yes?

      Just kidding, just some bio-data ribbing! Hopefully it goes well. I’m sure the aunties will be anxiously watching and gossiping.

      • Or he’ll have a wheatish complexion, no?

        • I don’t know yo but he lives like 250 miles away from me and I’m gonna have to wake up in the morning on a weekend. He’s starting out with negative points.

          • Oh, no kidding! NEVER take up with a morning person. Not only will they poison your life’s every morning, but they’ll feel morally superior about it too :-).


      Hope it goes well, bb, and can’t wait to read about it!

    • Knock ‘im dead! But just enough! You know what I mean.

    • Embarrassingly clueless... :

      What is a biodate?

      • It’s a word I made up, playing off the traditional desi matchmaking system of biodatas, where your whole history is written down and shuffled amongst aunties for optimal matching. Aunties are so advanced now that they have started emailing biodatas to each other. What a world we live in. Ummm, and I’m meeting someone as a result of this paper swap.

        • Embarrassingly clueless... :

          Thank you! That is pretty much what I guessed from the other comments. Good luck on your date!

        • Tall, fair, doctor/ engineer ???
          Honestly the personal column ads in India are awful , but good for a laugh any day.

          Didn’t realize the desi sub culture was the same in the US….

    • Tired Squared :

      If it goes anything like the arranged biodates I’ve experienced, he must be an extremely fair, taller-than-me, doctor. Because “no other profession matters” :)

      Good luck!!

    • Try to look at it ad an adventure! And report back!

    • Come on, everybody – obviously this is totally romcom glory. Ru, he is obvs going to be a total stunner with a great sense of humor and an awesome job. Although you will initially be kept apart by a Big Misunderstanding, eventually you will realize that when you thought he said “I never want to get married” what he ACTUALLY said was “I never want to get buried (by work).”

      OR. In the alternative, he’ll be a total dud, but his single cousin who’s coming on the date will be a total stunner with a great sense of humor and an awesome job, and eventually it’ll turn out that Mr. Date is secretly in love with…some random other girl and you and Mr. Single Cousin will live happily ever after.


      • cbackson, I just LOL’d. I think I love you.

      • +1000 LOL points!

        (And I love me a good RomCom)

      • Tired Squared :

        cbackson, you’re awesome.

      • Haha! I fully expect one of these scenarios to happen.

        Ru, good luck, and tell us how it went on Monday (if you’re comfortable; not trying to pry).

      • cbackson, you are my hero(ine!) I laughed so hard, I just woke DH. (Who’s a late-sleeper on weekends.)

        DH: what’s this?

        Me: nothing, nothing, go back to sleep, unless you want to talk about a biodata romcom scenario.

      • Now all we need is a good song and dance to accompany this scenario :-).
        Hope Ru gets good food out of this whole thing at least..

      • I literally LOLed. Getting my princess attire ready now and prepping my skin for tranny levels of makeup in the morning. If you’re more curious, you’re more than welcome to tag along at hijabeng on tumblr :).

    • Legally Brunette :

      Be prepared to sing! I think I sang three songs the first time around. Keep us posted on how it goes. :)

    • muslim anon :

      Hey what is your tumblr? I want to see this!

  25. Law clerk :

    I have a question for corporettes who have been working for a while. Did you spend your early months feeling like a fraud? I did really well in law school and couldn’t wait to clerk! Now I’m at a good clerkship, and I just keep waiting for my judge to realize I’m no good at this. I think some of this is because I work in a little to no feedback job. I haven’t gotten bad feedback (though I have made a few errors here and there) but I also feel like I am constantly stressed out of my mind just waiting for someone to point out a major mistakd I’ve made. I’m worried that if I’m this stressed out so often at my job, I may not be cut out to practice law. Ive always considered myself confident and poised, but even though I think I still project that image, I feel like an insecure mess inside.

    I guess my question is — is this just part of learning to e a professional with real responsibilities, or should I be worried about my competence/toughness (and maybe rethink going into a high stress job)?

    Thank goodness for the weekend thread!

    • Former MidLevel :

      In private practice, a lot of us felt this way at first. It takes a while to get your feet under you. Hang in there.

    • I’m at a firm as well, and a partner actually told me that he still feels like a fraud, and that sometimes feeling like a fraud is the only way you know you’re doing your job well. Basically that anyone who is challenging herself and growing professionally by leaps and bounds is going to realize (maybe frequently to start, and maybe just occasionally down the road) that she has no idea how to do what she is doing, but that she is going to hide that from everyone else by totally rocking her job (and getting help when she needs it).

  26. In search of Bunkster's New Job :

    to TCFKAG – you said something yesterday about the numbers on individual posts. My numbers went away some weeks ago and Kat provided an explanation about why. Have they returned for you? I’d love them back because the weekend thread especially is unmanagable without them – where did I leave off? How much has been inserted when I last read? When I click on a link and then return, it takes me to the top of the thread and I have no real idea of how far down to scroll.

    TCFKAG – do you have any secrets to get the numbers back? And, since I’m talking directly to you – I’ve always wondered what your handle means. Did I miss that? Care to share? I love your comments :)

    • Numbers on individual posts? I’m not entirely sure what you mean. When I want to return to where I was before in a thread, I’ll usually just ctrl-f to my last post or to something I remember reading (like in this case Bunkster) and that will get me there.

      It means the commenter formerly known as guest. Though I’m starting to think the all capital letters thing was a mistake…it seems to stand out and draw attention.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Love your handle!

    • If I may venture a guess – I recall a statement in the morning thread a couple days back about being 237 comments before we got a 2nd comment on the item of the day. I think the number of comments was based on the total at the top of the post, rather than individually numbered posts.

      Does that help?

  27. Personal styling revelation: I had always wanted to be able to wear my work skirts off-hours, but didn’t know how to make them less stuffy. I recently bought a denim button-front shirt and suddenly every single one of them can look chic and dressed-down. The shirt also goes with just about every other skirt or pair of shorts I own. It looks casual but not accidental, as a t-shirt would with most of these skirts.

    If, like me, you’ve wanted a denim shirt for a while but couldn’t justify the price, I suggest finding a good thick one, perhaps with cute snap buttons, and going for it. I recommend thick because if you want to wear it over a dress, it can still be streamlined rather than showing a lot of bunching. I’m thrilled! Have a good weekend all.

    • This is the one I got. It’s thick and stretchy, very comfortable. I don’t recommend it for tall ladies, as I’m 5’3″ and the sleeve and torso lengths are ideal for me, thus I think too short for someone taller. I’m 0P or 00P and the XS is perfect.


    • Try a baggy silk thing too, bright color, not at all button down.

  28. ChocCityB&R :

    Any recommendations for a good place to buy leggings? I’ve recently lost about 45 pounds and I really need new pants, but since I have another 20 to go, I don’t want to spend a bunch. I thought a few pairs of leggings would bridge the gap for a while, but so far every target pair I’ve bought has had a hole in them.

    • Seattleite :

      You didn’t get the memo? Leggings are Not Pants.

    • I like the VS ones!

    • Yes, target’s leggings are cr*p, and it is so annoying.

      I have found my best leggings at places like Marshalls and Ross, but of course, they are not the most helpful stores when you Need Something Right Now. So, if that doesn’t work, I do think Old Navy leggings are a bajillion times thicker and nicer than target’s. I have also heard good things about Old Navy’s jeggings, but I haven’t tried them yet. And they’re only $30, so that could be a good standby pair of jeans until you lose more.

      And congrats on losing the weight! good work!

      • Backgrounder :

        I like the ON Rockstar Jeggings. They are comfy, stretchy and come in a decent variety of colors (including some nice pastels and brights for spring). I have four pair! Plus they aren’t that expensive so you don’t have to worry if they don’t fit as you continue to lose weight. The only thing I will say is ON seems to have a quality control issues with the fit. For some reason all of the sizes and lengths aren’t standard so I would highly recommend trying them on in store rather than ordering online.

    • Anonymous :

      Hue. Sometimes you can find them on discount at DSW.

      • I like Hue a lot. I have the boot cut and the regular. The soft stretch work best for me (dark wash) because they look more like real jeans and they are stretchier at the bottom. The regular denim leggings barely fit over my very muscular calves.

        • Oh and should have mentioned, I’ve bought them at Macy’s, but the Hue website is great. They have a flat shipping rate and send discount codes via email pretty often.

    • I like the Assets ones (Spanx’s less expensive line). Bought them online and have been very happy with sizing/fit per info on the website and they have held up well. (I wash in cold and hang dry.)

      Congrats on losing 45 pounds! Wow.

  29. So I’m pretty sure someone has asked this before but I can’t find that comment anywhere:
    Does anyone here have experience with Dorothy Perkins clothes?
    They look nice on the website and are definitely affordable but I’d prefer to know more before I start ordering them online (I’m in western Canada so no stores here).

    • CA lawyer :

      Awesome 12 years ago, quality wasn’t great last I checked maybe 5 years ago.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I’ve only ordered from them a couple of times, but I find the quality to be acceptable for the price. Much better than clothes I’ve gotten for the same (or more) at Loft.

    • When I first read this, I read it as “Dorothy Parker’s clothing”?

      I’m not sure you can buy them 90 years later. Lover her stories, but I have to disagree with “Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” The more discerning ones do…

    • Uk based. Dotty P is standard high street standard for us (better than h&m, same owners as topshop and probably slightly better standard as it skews to an older market, defiantly not as good as Hobbs or it’s ilk). Completely reasonable quality for the price in my mind. Sizing runs slightly large to high street (say compared to zara)

    • Thanks everyone who replied. :)

  30. I am an idiot. :

    I just replied to opposing counsel with an e-mail making a snide comment, instead of forwarding it to someone in my office as I’d intended.


    • Oh that sucks! I feel for ya.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Yipes, this is my greatest fear. I always put the email address in very last, after reading and re-reading the emails I draft, in hopes of staving off accidental emails. Or, I call the person or walk to their office for particularly snarky comments, that I realllyyy don’t want a paper trail for. I’m all about the CYA.

      • Oh yeah, after working in employment law for 3+ years I am ALL about no paper trail. As one of the most paranoid attorney’s I’ve ever known (of course, he’d been sued for malpractice like 5 times) always said “if you don’t want to see it blown up by a million on a projector in front of a jury DON’T WRITE IT.” Of course, that was a PITA when I actually wanted a paper trail for something and he would still chew my ass. I’m not going to write a letter to a client every time I try to call him and say please call me. But if they’re one of _those_ clients I might send a 1-liner “Just left you a message, please call at 123-456-7890 when you get a chance.” That way I have a paper trail to show that I called, left messages and sent emails every day for two weeks and it’s not my fault when you call up screaming about how you haven’t talked to your attorney in 14 days.

    • Whoops. Depending on the snide comment, I’d guess a “I’m terribly sorry and mortified and of course I shouldn’t have sent that and really shouldn’t have even have said it” e-mail might be in order.

      Also, see this Above the Law post about a Quinn Emannuel partner who accidentally replied all to the entire firm with a snide remark that was apparently intended for one particular other person, in the worst possible situation.


      So it could be worse!

    • bahahahahaha! Happens to the best of us. Give yourself tonight and tomorrow to cringe internally about it; forget about it on Monday.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have a one minute delay on my outbox to catch and retrieve such things.

      • This is BRILLIANT – setting it up now! I feel like you just saved me from some embarrassing moments in the future!

    • I have totally done this. It was awful, but I still work with this person all the time and it’s fine.

    • It happens to everyone. Send an apology if you think one is in order, but don’t flog yourself too much over it. Maybe a break, a nap, something to keep you from making more mistakes?? A bar of chocolate :-)?

    • guys in my high school sent snarky emails to opposing counsel all the time, it was no big deal…

      sorry. couldn’t resist. but I have both sent and received snarky/rude things from opposition. if I were you, I’d move on and pretend like it never happened.

  31. Seattleite :

    This just in – Karl Lagerfield is going to be designing HELICOPTERS.

    I wonder if they’ll be quilted?

    • This might be the awesomest news I’ve heard all day.

    • His wine glasses come with their own coasters.

    • Seattleite- just wanted to say- did you also enjoy the lovel day here? I was mostly running pre-baby errands but sat at Golden Gardens for a bit just marveling at our glorious surroundings (and all the people coming out of the woodworks). Seattle on a sunny day- best place on earth:)

  32. Jacqueline :

    Random threadjack — favorite Trader Joe’s products? I’m heading there after work and could use some grocery inspiration. I’ll start with mine: Thai chili lime cashews, multi-grain pita chips, peanut butter-stuffed salted pretzels, and sesame almonds.

    If you are what you eat, I am a salty, carb-y snack food.

    • I am a banana. :

      The pitted dried tart montgomery cherries. I am also way into the peanut butter salted pretzels, amazing. Their chocolate and yogurt covered pretzels are really good, too. They have this mushroom fettuccine in the frozen aisle that is my guilty bad day favorite.

    • I love the frozen asian style dumplings. Makes me wish we had a Trader Joe’s anywhere, you know, in the state.

    • Sea-Salt, Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds. They are on my banned foods list. They are that good.

    • Snapea Crisps…preferably the Caeser flavored ones.

      • Mushroom risotto (frozen food aisle), vegetarian burrito (frozen food), and the tsaziki (yoghurt and cucumber spread, in refrigerator.) Oh, and the arugula frozen pizza. And chicken lemongrass spring rolls (frozen).

        What can I say. I’m a TJ addict.

      Seriously. Try it.

      I also love their chocolate chips (better than Nestle at less-than-grocery-store-brand price), huge bars of dark chocolate for ridiculously cheap, bags of raw almonds, dried apricots, and thai chili lime cashews (yes!).
      This reminds me that I need to go to Trader Joe’s.

      • I am a fan of the Tea Tree Shampoo as well. It’s better for my hair that some of the Pantene stuff I was using before.

    • All of the frozen indian lunches, but especially the palat paneer and the chicken tikka masala. And the five cheese macaroni and cheese, its AWESOME.

    • TJ brand Biscotti, 100 calorie chocolate bars (there is a god!), dried mango slices

    • Roasted seaweed snack! It also comes in wasabi flavor, but that’s too hot for me.

    • D Train South :

      Rice crackers. I have no patience for my local TJ’s, but when I do get up the will to go in, I go straight for these and buy 5 bags.

    • Shelled salted pistachios!

  33. So after reading some of the comments yesterday, I have to ask: are flared legs considered out of style?? I hope not because that’s basically all I’ll wear. I’ve steadfastly resisted skinny jeans mostly because I’m convinced they would be completely unflattering on me. Do I need to break down and make the switch?? Help me, Hive.

  34. SV in House :

    I need some make up advice. I had breakfast with two former colleagues last week. As it was breakfast and I was staying in a nearby hotel, my makeup was freshly applied. After we hugged hello, I noticed that I had left little smudges on their suit coats. I was mortified and did not know if I should point it out. I used foundation and loose powder. Is this common? What did I do wrong?

    • I have dark skin so my makeup leaves dark spots which are very visible.
      The powder transfers because it’s not set.
      Use a setting spray and you should be fine and as a bonus you’re makeup stays fresh looking all day. An example of a setting spray is MAC Fix+

  35. PS Any thoughts on whether I can read both A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons in 21 days? I just saw that I was next on the list at the library for A Feast for Crows so I requested A Dance with Dragons since I would be 3rd on the list. Somehow, I got Dragons yesterday and Crows today. I can wait till tomorrow or Sunday to actually get/download Dragons, but that’s only going to give me a day or so more…

    • How much free time do you have? What is the bare minimum of sleep that you need on a daily basis?

      Alternatively, what is your library’s late policy, and how many late fees will you rack up if you can’t?

      • I don’t have a ton of free time but work is pretty calm right now. I’m training for a 10k/very involved in my goal to lose 85 lbs this year. I don’t have a LOT going on during the weekends but I do have at least 1 thing every weekend.

        These are e-books so once the 21 days hits they just refuse to open and you have to re-download them. Your page is saved but it’ll probably be a 3 week break before I can re-check it out and possibly as much as a 6 week break.

        I think I’ll return Dragons so that whoever just returned Crows can check it out, then get back on Dragons’ list.

        • I say you can do it! I read them at a steady rate of one per three days, as long as two of those days were weekends. It took me five or six if I could only read them after work.

        • What kind of reader are you using for your ebooks? I have found that with my Kindle that I can keep an “overdue” book as long as I keep the wi-fi turned off. I could still read the file on my Kindle.

          • On my Nook, as long as I keep it set to a page of the book I’ve borrowed from the library, I can read it even after the book has expired. If the power dies or I charge it, then I will lose the book. I recommend charging it right before it expires and you should be able to get an extra week or two.

          • To nona and MelD, that is interesting. I had one experience with a book where it refused to open after the deadline, so that scared me off of trying. But then I was desperately trying to finish a book before midnight and even set my clock on my nook back (not knowing if it would help) and fell asleep with like 5 pages to go. But the next morning I was able to read them. I wasn’t sure why.

            I have a bit of an annoying battery in my nook and it fairly frequently restarts the whole nook, so that might not work for me, but it’s good to know.

            I decided to give up the D of D but saw that nobody has grabbed it yet. Also, F for C is only 700+ pages instead of 1000+ like the last ones. So I think I’m going to grab it. Although I only managed to read about 200 pages over the weekend…

        • Audible.com and listen to books as you do your 10k training. I cannot tell you how much more I “read” now that I listen to books as I run!

          • I just started listening to books as I run! I like it a lot and it actually inspires me to run. Sometimes I yell at the people in the books, like in the last one where the murder suspects were three men and I kept yelling “It’s not the men, it’s one of the two bat-sh*t crazy women!!” Luckily, I run on my own. It does get distracting though, I have my “real” book and my audio book both going at once!

            I get my audio books from the library too thought, not a great selection, but I’ve found some real gems.

    • Well if you’re anything like me, you will start reading it one night and refuse to leave your house until you’re done, up to and including calling in sick to work, so, yeah.

    • Youngster :

      If you’re a Kindle user, download the library books, and turn off your wi-fi. Do not turn wi-fi back on until you’re done reading the library books. At the 21 day mark, they will be considered “returned” and someone else can check them out. But the books don’t fly away on whispernet until you turn the wi-fi back on. No late fees. No negative consequences. This has been great for these huge books.

  36. GRRRR. I’m subscribed to this post, but not actually getting any comment updates via e-mail! Did something change?

    • I had the reverse happen this morning. I didn’t subscribe to any posts, but I got emails all morning.

    • I almost always subscribe when I comment, and I often only receive about half the emails. There are far more comments here than what I see in my inbox. It’s confusing.

      Could it be spam blocker issues?

    • I’m getting comment update emails, but then when I get here the comment isn’t here?!

  37. For the polka dot obsessed, can I just tell you that skirts like this one from White House Black Market (link to follow) make me really miss a business casual work environment? I have no excuse to wear things like this anymore.

    • http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=67&pageId=1&productId=570041254&viewAll=true&prd=Soft+Dot+Skirt&subCatId=&color=&fromSearch=&inSeam=&posId=54&catId=cat210002&cat=Dresses++Skirts&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=1&size=

    • Tired Squared :

      Weekends? Date night? Brunch with the girls?

      (for the record I would wear that to brunch, continue wearing it all Saturday, and then wear it out on a date too!)

    • Not to reveal too much about the RL, but I’ve become friends with another poster on FB and Email an we basically just send each other polka dotted clothing items. She would dig this. :-)

    • ok, this seems like a good place to express appreciation for the polka-dot-obsession-posting in recent months. I have never been that drawn to polka dots, but I guess the enthusiasm must be contagious, cause when a friend sent me the link to this dress, i bought it *immediately*!!! i just got it a couple of days ago and it fits like a dream and is ridiculously cute! i can’t wait to wear it to go to the opera this summer! so, thanks polka-dotters!


      • OMG, that is so cute and I totally want it! But (1) I can’t justify spending the money right now and (2) from the looks of the top, I have a feeling my large-of-b*st self wouldn’t fit into it very well.

        • aw, JessC, if it makes you feel any better, it does indeed have “designated b00b room”* Which is perfect for my A cup and high waistline, but probably would not fit a larger bust-size. But hopefully that means that the right polka dot dress will find you when you have the money to spend! :o)

          *stolen from Sal at Already Pretty, cause i love it!

      • zora, that is fabulous! Love it!!

      • zora, LOVE that Last Call dress. So fantastic.

  38. A friend of mine just sent me this link: http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/marc-by-marc-jacobs-flats-mouse-slingback-ballerina?ID=585978

    Um, what were they thinking?

    • At least one person bought them! I just had my secretary and another attorney in here laughing our tushes off!

    • I mean, they’re……whimsical. Right?

    • Haha, these are actually uber trendy among fashionista types. I have friends who buy them every year (regular ballerinas, not slingbacks, I think).

    • Marie Curie :

      Charlotte Olympia has a matching pair for … um, let’s say a different price:
      www dot charlotteolympia dot com and search for “kitty flats”

    • Ha, I love those! I would wear them all the time if I could afford them.

    • I used to have flats like these! ….. when I was 17.

      • That was my thought – anyone young enough to wear them couldn’t afford them.

        • Exactly what I was thinking! Would be cute for a little girl with rich parents though.

      • I wouldn’t wear, but would smile and be happy if i saw someone else wearing!

    • Um, confession, I have these (as ballet flats, not slingbacks). But, I study mouse models of anxiety, so it’s kind of a little in joke. FWIW, my husband hates them and thinks they look juvenile, and I kind of agree, but they still make me smile every time I put them on.

      • Awwww see now I feel bad for making fun. That sounds like a cute joke. If think if I wore them, they’d be attacked by an adorable black cat.

        • Argh. *I think*

        • Oh, no worries, I know that they’re kind of crazy… and as a fellow corporette I think you can reserve the right to make fun of me if you ever catch me wearing them to work!

      • D Train South :

        I think that is the very best reason to own them. Your husband should get the joke and leave it alone.

      • I love them – if my feet could tolerate ballet flats I’d own them too. So wear them with pride.

  39. purplepear :

    **Question from a first time poster** I’m a recent undergrad and starting my first office job. Is a slight winged eyeliner acceptable? Nothing dramatic of course, basically just a small flick. My office isn’t really conservative but I’d just like some thoughts.

    • Almost certainly. Especially if it looks good on you, you do it right (I’m assuming you do) and it doesn’t look like Cleopatra on crack. At your age you can definitely get away with it. I am an attorney and 30 and girl-next-door style and absolutely could not. Also, on your first day take note of what people in your similar job are wearing as well as that of your supervisor. Take your cues from your supervisor if you can.

      It’s hard for me because at my office the senior female attorneys don’t wear makeup at all and only one ever wears a suit. But the other attorney at my level is my age and has been here for years while I just started in January so I try to take my style cues from her.

      • karenpadi :

        “at my office the senior female attorneys don’t wear makeup at all and only one ever wears a suit”

        Yay! I love being an attorney in California. Make-up? What make-up? And I don’t know if I own a suit that still fits…hmmm.

    • lostintranslation :

      I think it depends on the rest of your makeup as well. I saw some tutorials on youtube where the girls apply liquid eyeliner, wing it, but then blend it in and use other products so it’s more subtle (if that makes sense). That’s the route I would go.

      • my view- not unless you want the repuation as ‘catwoman’ or such. my spouse and i knew a girl who did this (noticeably) and still refer to it a decade later. but we are lawyers and conservative dressers. even so, i think always better to err on side of not drawing attention to yourself in wrong ways, especially in beginning.

    • Yep. Or so I hope….
      Not Amy wine house type eyeliner though I’m sure yours is nothing like that.

  40. Following up on the thread about the British woman who thinks she’s ridiculously, ridiculously good-looking– a man’s retort. Hilarious. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/apr/04/samantha-brick-hated-good-looks?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

    • Ha! I love the Guardian, not to mention Tim Dowling’s soulful, beseeching eyes. Somehow hadn’t seen the original article–but wowwww that woman sounds like she has a very erm, unique and personal relationship with reality.

      • “unique and personal relationship with reality”

        HAHA. I’m going to be stealing that phrase in the future, FYI.

    • lostintranslation :

      So good! I had already seen the piece about Samantha Brick in the Atlantic, but this one is way better. I wonder if people like Samantha Brick with their alternate reality are somehow happier than those of us who are really self conscious all the time, but I guess it doesn’t matter, since I wouldn’t want to be like that…

  41. I’m going to be wearing this dress to a wedding next month. http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi27129&rootCategory=cat400043&catId=cat80018&sortKey=Default&section=Outlet&conceptIdUnderSale=cat400043

    I was planning on taupe shoes like the model is wearing. But now I’m wondering if something more colorful might not be better. Any ideas on how to accessorize?

    • Like the ombre! I could see shoes in the red/coral/maroon range working, but taupe or brown would be lovely as well.

    • The dress is beautiful! Maybe pink shoes?

    • lostintranslation :

      I would wear magenta or bright cobalt shoes. But I would wear those with almost anything :-)

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Maybe shiny instead of bright? How about these (http://www.target.com/p/Women-s-Mossimo-Paisley-Platform-Pumps-Assorted/-/A-13779817) in the Golden. I have them in Pink and I love them. I warn you, they are pretty high (but I’m used to height) and it took a couple of wears to break in, but I love having a pair of sexy pink shoes that make me taller than by 6’1″ boyfriend.

      • Whoa. Better you than me in those sparkly shoes, Basil. I would probably only wear them under pants. To a New Year’s Eve party.

        But, you know what? Rock ’em if you can, baby.

        • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

          IRL, the Golden are not obtrusively shiny. But then again, because I dress so conservatively for work, in my personal life, I like to push the limits. The Pink definitely fit that bill.

      • Want.

    • Anonymous :

      I second lost-in-translation, and nola. I just think the whole thing is just too.. beige :-). Think of what it’ll do to photos. Actually, any bright color you love and may already have would work well with this, also turquoise, yellow, you name it.

  42. question for in-house ladies :

    Earlier this week, someone (I’m not sure who it was) emphasized how she can tell whether or not a fellow in-house mate was “raised” in biglaw or not (this was in response to a junior litigator’s question on going in-house). The replier also emphasized the 3-5 yrs of firm experience before moving in house.

    What characteristics distinguish someone “raised” in biglaw (and presumbly received adequate training) vs someone who was not? Also, as a jr litigator (< 3 yrs) myself, what sorts of experiences at the firm should I be looking for in the 3-5 yr range in case I decide to apply to in-house positions down the line?

    • Left my heart in San Francisco :

      I’m in biglaw, not in house, but I look at the jobs posted on the ACC website to see what types
      of skills companies are looking for.

    • in-hizzouse! :

      I’m interested in the answer to this.

      I work with mostly former Biglawyers and one guy who didn’t do Biglaw. To me, non-Biglawyer just seems to lack work ethic. He never had to go through the hellfire that was Biglaw. Never billed 200+ hrs/month for months on end, never put up with abusive partners, and has never had to sacrifice -anything- for his job. So he gets super-annoyed if he has to stay “late” (air quotes because in-house “late” is laughable in comparison to Biglaw “late”), and he doesn’t seem good at juggling multiple tasks. Also doesn’t seem to have very high standards for his work, I think in part because there aren’t serious consequences for screwing up or making mistakes.

      But, you know, it’s hard to tell. This guy could just be lazy, and it might have nothing at all to do with Biglaw. There are plenty of crappy lawyers in large law firms, just as there are many, many talented lawyers outside Biglaw.

      • Ouch. As a small firm lawyer, the inference that nonbiglaw lawyers don’t work as hard is extremely offensive. It sounds like your guy is just a lazy a-hole.

        • This.

        • in-hizzouse! :

          So, on the scale of extremely offensive, where would you put this between someone not holding the door for you and the Holocaust?

          • Litigator :

            I would say, on that scale, I would put it at Really Ignorant.

            There are many kinds of lawyers that work extremely hard and don’t come from Biglaw.

          • Love this comment. Please be my friend.

      • Yeah, honestly, I don’t think a sample size of one is fair to draw inferences from. I’ve never worked in BigLaw and never billed 200+ hour months for months on end, nor do I have any desire to or think I’d do well in that kind of environment. BUT: I do take the job I have seriously, work late and overtime when necessary, and try not to make sloppy mistakes (not that I’m perfect, but I do care and try).

      • It seems like you have a superiority complex about Biglaw. Why is someone a hard worker just because he/she didn’t bill a certain amount of hours, never put up with abusive bosses, or had to sacrifice for his job? I think it is about priorities. Maybe he is a great father and husband and that is what he cares most about. If someone is not getting their work done or doing a poor job, then that means they are a bad worker, but it shouldn’t be based on whether they were in Biglaw or not. Also, it seems like almost everyone who goes into Biglaw does it just to pay off their loans and get out of it ASAP. Thank goodness I will not have to deal with that.

      • Random question- how many times do you wear your jeans before you wash them?

  43. Double threadjack–
    1. Does anyone have a recommendation for a work appropriate shirt dress?
    2. Weird question: I decided to give my eyes a break from contacts for a week or so due to the post from earlier this week. How long does it take to get used to not having peripheral vision, especially while driving? It is really bothering me and making me reconsider this whole no contacts thing.

    • I just bought the “Callie” shirt dress today from Banana in both a coral-y bright pink and black. It wasnt cheap at $98 (reduced from $130 due to unspecified promotion) but it fits perfectly, came in petite sizes, has pockets, is machine washable, and will never go out of style.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      As for question number 2, I’ve worn contacts for 15+ years and had to take much of the last month off due to dry eyes from allergies. I’ve found that it usually takes me 2-3 days before I get used to the glasses. That said, my eyes are appreciating the switch.

    • Lands End has a bunch of shirt dresses – I think any of their solid-colored ones would be appropriate, although I’d wear a cardi with the sleeveless ones.

    • I find it is much less difficult to get used to the switch if you try to wear your glasses a little each day. I try to put mine on at around 7-8 and usually wear them at least 1-2 days a week, and sometimes 3 if my eyes are getting dry/scratchy. I really have no trouble adjusting with this routine.

    • I think it depends on what frames your glasses have. I wear rimless glasses (think Stephen Colbert) and there’s nothing blocking my peripheral vision. Thick, black frames would make a big difference.

    • I’ve had to choose between contacts and the cat. I still mourn the peripheral vision of contacts, and that way I could see as if I really had good eyes. But I also got a corneal ulcer somewhere along the way (dry and allergies, not omitting cleaning the contacts..) and it was so painful that I never ever want to feel that again.
      Vision actually happens in the brain. So mindset is a lot of it. I’ve been extremely near-sighted all my life, and mostly worn glases. I think I’ve adjusted to the fact that my periphery is blurry, it doesn’t mean that I ignore what’s happening in it. Sometimes it seems that I do better at the periphery than people who concentrate on the sharp center.

  44. sunshinecr :

    Just got this very fun skirt for summer. I think it is perfect for airline travel too because it will keep me warm, but still lightweight (I’m debating whether it will be sheer in the hot tropical sun..), fits curves in all the right places and the way the fabric is cut it swings when I walk, but not too obnoxiously. Now if someone would just put some style ideas with this on pinterest for me. Please. http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X6.aspx?GrpTyp=PRD&ItemID=1db1993&submit%20search.y=0&Ntt=stripe+american&SearchString=stripe+american&hdnOnGo=true&Ne=4+840+877+878+5+961+6+29+3+579+963+1014+1031+8+587+15+12+1011+598+11+506+10+23+585+969+596+1022+586+1007+879+968+1027+18+904+903+833+1545&NOffset=0&SelDim=4~&submit%20search.x=0&Nao=0&N=4294959029+4294966867&SO=0&PSO=0&CmCatId=external|xgn|searchresults

  45. Hoping for good vibes coming my way from you ladies… I’m taking the tax part of the CPA exam tomorrow morning for the first time. I have studied so hard, but I feel like there are so many things I could have studied more… Augh!

    • Rose in Bloom :

      Good luck! In the immortal words of Tom Haverford, be sure to “treat yo’self” after you are done!

    • Good luck! Try not to second guess yourself too much, you know your stuff!!!

    • lostintranslation :

      I have no idea what your exam is like, or how it’s evaluated, but good luck anyways! I took a bunch of high stakes exams too and always had the same feeling about studying more, but you’ll be fine! Good luck to you!!

    • It’s probably over by now, but I hope it went well!

    • Hey, if you studied so hard, you probably did really well :-). The part between the exam and the results is always so painfully anxiety-ridden, do try to treat yourself well during that time. And at least fantasize about how you’re going to celebrate, because it sure sounds like you will :-).

  46. Anonymous for this :

    Hi Ladies,

    I want to start with saying that I’ve always found comfort in having you all (strangers as you are) to share my thoughts and opinions so thank you.

    Here’s my issue: my husband and I have been married for 7 years now and we’re practically in a sexless marriage. We had sex 3-4 times last year and once this year. I am very happy in my marriage and he’s a great father and husband. He treats me like a queen and gives me almost everything I want and more. The secret I’ve kept from him is that I hate the fact that we barely have sex. I’ve told him before but never had a real conversation about it. The funny thing is that he’s very affectionate with me (i.e. sneaking in kisses and hugs all day, cuddling in bed, undressing me, etc) but just no sex. We have two small kids but they are not that much work so it’s not like they drain all our energy. He does have a stressful job which is why I haven’t made a big deal of it. Honestly, he has never said no to me but he’s never made any initiatives so I don’t even bother asking anymore. I know that when he does have sex with me, its only because he knows I want it. After a while, I get tired and fell cheap for dropping “please make love to me” hints to my husband without getting any reaction. I feel bad for making this seem like a big issue when sex is only a slice of the “great marriage” pie. I want to talk to him but not sure if I’m over reacting. Just the other day I told my friend to not be so hard on her husband because he’s a good guy and she can be with worst. Am I asking for too much? My husband is great and there are many women who have it worst than me. I feel like a spoiled brat crying over what seems like such a minor issue at times.

    • Why don’t you just talk to him about it?

      • Yeah, I agree. A lot of things can cause reduced sex drive, especially stress. Bring it up in a non-accusatory way and see if he’s open to taking steps to increase his sex drive. A couples therapist may also have some good ideas to help you two out.

    • Harlot for this :

      You need to start reading Dan Savage ASAP, he actually has really sound advice for people in your situation (both male and female.) His opinion, and frankly I agree, is that part of marriage is agreeing to have s*x with someone. Now, how much on the margins may be an issue of negotiation within any marriage (obviously) but 3-4 times a year (or frankly now once a year in your case) is not “having sex in marriage” its “not having sex in marriage”. A lifetime of abstinence was not what you signed up for.

      There are lots of possible reasons your husband might not be interested in s*x. There may be physical problems, if he’s gained a lot of weight or developed ED. He may be gay. He may be asexual (there’s a website for spouses of asexuals). Depending on the reason for the no s*x, the next actions depend. He could get medical treatment, you could divorce, or you could agree to stay married in a manogomish relationship where you get to see s*xual satisfaction elsewhere.

      But either way, it does NOT make you a spoiled brat to not want to live your life as a veritable nun. Find a s*x positive marriage counselor and talk about this with your husband in a supportive environment post haste.

      • I haven’t read Dan Savage before, but I completely agree that part of a successful marriage is being sexually satisfied. I would first talk to your husband in depth about this. I wouldn’t do it at any time when it looks like you’re asking after he has rejected any advances…maybe during dinner on a date night? Depending on what he says, I’d then seek either couples or individual counseling.

        Good luck! I don’t think anyone here will think that you’re a spoiled brat for this.

      • Yep. She said it all..

    • I’m not married, nor do I have kids, so take this with a grain of salt. But one thing that jumps out to me from reading this is…spoiled brat? That isn’t how it comes across in the least.

      You’re not thinking about leaving, or even threatening any ultimatum. You’re saying you love and appreciate your husband, and are mostly quite happy with the relationship, but something (quite legitimately) feels like it’s missing for you. I think if you present it this way–first to yourself, then to him–it sounds like you’re doing it out of love for him and honor for the marriage, rather than any brattiness at all. There is absolutely nothing unfair about a married adult wanting sexual intimacy with her spouse.

    • Is this a change from how things used to be, or has he always seemed to have a lower s*x drive?

      This isn’t a minor issue at all, and you’re not a brat for caring about it. But my question would be: if your husband is such a great guy (and he seems to be!), why haven’t you talked about this with him yet? I’m curious what makes you reluctant to raise the issue.

    • You are not asking for too much. If you are posting it here, then it probably bothers you more than you are willing to admit. I’d be really mad if we were only having s*x that few times. You want somebody to tell you that what you are going through is normal and ok. It is not. This is not normal. Your marriage depends on all cylinders firing-trust, love, comfort, and intimacy. Talk with him-scratch that-do something(s) with him. The time for talking is LONG past.

    • Honestly, what stands out most in your post is how hesitant you are to ask for what you want and how little you think you deserve. You’ve never told him how you feel, and I assume this has been the same since you got together? I’m concerned that if you confront your husband and he is defensive (because this is likely a sore spot for him and you’ve never raised a concern, so he may have married you thinking this was your natural s*xual set point as well) that you will lack the self esteem to continue pushing this issue.

      I recommend that you go to therapy by yourself for a while, just to deal with the self esteem issue. Maybe think about your relationship with your father, and other men in your life. Maybe some past traumatic experiences? I’m assuming you married very young. And then when you build up some self confidence, then, with your therapist’s support, bring this up to your husband.

  47. lostintranslation :

    Hey guys, thanks for all of the advice last time. I’m keeping my chin up and fingers crossed.

    In the meantime, I have an easier question: does anyone here do tradeshows and have black pumps/wedges they recommend? I know we’ve talked about comfortable shoes in general, but tradeshows are imo an entirely different level (standing around for 10 hours on concrete floors). Last time, my usually comfortable and slightly dowdy Anne Klein Flex shoes definitely did not cut it.

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I don’t have any specific shoe recommendations, but, for comfort, I’ve always had luck with the Sofft brand and I’ve always had luck finding them at good prices at N. Rack.

    • I live in these:

    • Cole Haan Air Talia wedge! I walk to and from work in these, and wear them all day, and have never had any pain whatsoever.

    • Can you take a mat, carpet square or even a carpeted map from your car to stand on? As well as the shoes, the floor surface matters, doesn’t it!

      • lostintranslation :

        Yeah exactly, the surface is the problem. Our booth is having raised wooden floors installed, so I’m hoping it’ll be nicer than the concrete I was standing on last time. Unfortunately, I can’t take anything in to stand on.

        • That should really help. The floor is half of it, and concrete is the very worst. Make sure you work out a break schedule with the coworkers in advance, and that you stick to it..

    • lostintranslation :

      Thanks guys! Oddly enough, these were the exact 3 pairs of shoes I was looking at. I guess it’s a sign that I should get them.

    • Try the Naot Trendy. Uber supportive and comfy.

    • No suggestions but I can sympathize – just finished a show last weekend.

    • lucy stone :

      My mom does tradeshows (that sounds like an ATL comment!) and has had great luck with Indigo by Clarks. She also puts Dr. Scholls insoles in them.

  48. My bag was stolen from the pub yesterday and I’m super annoyed! There wasn’t very much in it, luckily, but it did have my Kindle and my HTC smartphone, both of which I’ll have to buy full price to replace, and my US passport. The US embassy in London isn’t open until Tuesday and after fighting the automated phone menu for 45min yesterday I’ve decided there is actually no way to get in touch with them out of hours. It’s no skin off my nose (aside from identity theft issues, of course) as I don’t have any international travel plans until July, but you’d think they’d want to know right away that a stolen US passport is out there!

    • Do you have renters and/or homeowner’s insurance? It might cover some of your losses. Also, if you have an American Express card, they (I believe) automatically provide some sort of insurance for purchases made with the card. Finally, you can sign up for a service for relatively little money that will keep an eye on your identity to make sure its not stolen for some period of time, if that will give you piece of mind!

      Sorry though, that really sucks!

    • Second the thoughts about 1) credit cards, and 2) home insurance. The insurance may cover thefts, even if they’re not from your home. And American Express isn’t the only credit card that covers purchases that are stolen. VISA often does too.

  49. I’m looking for recommendations for management / leadership books. Recently gained a new direct report who previously reported to an ineffective manager and I’m looking for practical advice on transitioning and managing / mentoring her.

    • No book recommendations but this happened to me recently. In the case of the two people I am now supervising, they had had little communication from above, didn’t know the status of decisions that affected them, and had little structure. I sat down with them and talked about how I wanted things to go in terms of communication and structure, what my expectations are of them, and how I would like then to communicate with me. Then I gave them an assignment to work on a project that would benefit both of them and I took them out to lunch to talk through their work. So far so good. I think they are appreciating more structure and more communication. I don’t micromanage, but they do need to have support.

    • Are you familiar with AskAManager.com? Lots of very good advice in there, very sensible, humane etc.
      Good luck to you! Just having those good intentions from you must make that new person feel a lot better. I’d second nola’s recommendation of just having a talk about it, it’d be interesting for you that she express what she was consciously missing too.

    • D Train South :

      Ken Blanchard books. “The One Minute Manager” is a great place to get very basic do’s and don’ts. This book is old, but Blanchard has updated it and expanded on it.

  50. Seeking advice :

    Ladies (and gents),

    I would appreciate your input. I want to give you as much info as possible, so this may be a little long. I recognize that we are incredibly fortunate to have a strong marriage, financial options, and educational opportunities.

    I am a married 3L, graduating in May with a firm job lined up in another state. In late May, I am headed to the firm state to take an in-person Bar-bri class. I will be living with family for the first part of the summer. Our lease in law school state ends on July 1. Our lease in firm state starts July 1. Movers are already lined up to move us out in late June. We have planned that my husband will stay in law school state and work until July 1 to secure health insurance for July.

    My husband who is very book smart and intellectually oriented, followed me to law school state from firm state three years ago. He put off an interesting graduate degree program with financial support to do so in firm state. Although he has an undergraduate degree from a good school and a prestigious major/honors etc., he was unable to find any work in his area of interest in law school state. Instead, he began working in retail management at store A after my father pulled some strings (~30k/yr). He really didn’t enjoy the culture, and after 2 years an opportunity came up to move to store B (~24k/yr). I supported his move despite the financial stress because I agreed that store A was really toxic to him.

    This spring he reapplied to the program he put off. Because of a previous fellowship, the school had an informal set up that did not require him to take the GRE. This policy changed, and we only found out after my husband had applied. He arranged with the school to take the GRE asap. He did very well. Now we are waiting until April 23 to hear about the formal admission decision and scholarships.

    When I graduate, we will have less than 10K in debt in subsidized loans. Additionally, we have informally borrowed 10k from a family 529 account (not in my name) that is no longer needed by my sibling. If and to whom we will be paying this amount back is unclear (either to my parents who are financially secure, but unemployed or my brother with a great job). If my husband works through July 1, we will run out of money in September. My start date is late October. My parents, his parents, and others have all said they would be willing to lend us money to get through September and October (formally, paying interest).

    My husband wants to stop working on June 1 instead of July 1 and come to firm state. Because we are renting a new unit, we may be able to move our firm state rent up by a month. The moving company may also be able to accommodate the earlier move.

    So what is my problem? We have run the numbers. If he does so, we run out of money at the end of July. (Things get tough because of 2 months on Cobra instead of 1, an extra rent payment in firm state for the month of June and loss of salary).

    We can probably borrow the extra money (4700), but have some misgivings because that money would essentially be for my husband to take a long vacation before he starts school in mid-august. On the flip-side, my husband really hates retail and wants to get out asap.

    Other fun details:
    We talk about everything. We have a strict honesty policy that prevents buildup of tension.

    We are both very stressed about the idea of significant debt. We want to be able to “eject” from the rat race at any time. We plan to order our lifestyle in a way that will allow that to be possible.

    He is supportive but a little jealous of the fact that I have spent the last few years at a very prestigious law school getting a masters and a JD while he has worked retail.

    Though intelligent and personable, my husband has never had a job that he liked (other than being a lifeguard). He has a tendency to crave rest and relaxation, but to brood when he is not occupied or working toward a goal (GRE, marathon, LSAT, organic gardening).

    Over the past 6 months I have sought out therapy for anxiety. I am not good at self-care and tend to want to take care of everyone around me before myself. My education and dreams being the focus of the last few years has stressed me out. I know that my husband is amazing: smart, charismatic, adoring, very fit, learning to run a household and cook (the list goes on). So I feel guilty about having “forced” one of the most giving men I know to put aside his ambitions and opportunities for me. I know that we do have some balance to our relationship because I work hard to be supportive of his sport activities/gardening, to do chores he hates, to put aside school work and focus on him, to have more s*x, watch my acidic tongue. We have both come a really long way over the last three years and are more in love and competent at this marriage thing than we have ever been.

    We live very frugally in comparison to most law students. We try (somewhat successfully) to keep a strict budget. Our big indulgences over the last three years are: two pets, buying new to us furniture to replace stuff we literally found by dumpsters and picked off the sidewalk, a delayed honey moon (entirely paid for by wedding gifts), purchasing a work wardrobe for my summer positions, occasional special event dinners. Of these indulgences, I have been the driver behind each except the honeymoon and the special events. That said, my husband adores our pets and loves the furniture we purchased.

    So what do we do?

    Do we stick to the plan of July? Or do we just “throw caution to the wind” and try to make June work. I am not sure that my husband will be happy with either choice—one way he will continue to work a boring job and the other way he will be a “house husband” living off of borrowed family savings.

    Any thoughts on what to do or how to manage the stress would be great.

    • First, it seems like you guys have really thought through all of your options and communicated with each other, which is fantastic.

      I think you need to just lay out the options for your husband and let him pick the lesser evil (retail or living off family savings) for him. As you said, you’ve have several years where the focus has been on you, and now it’s his turn. For super-wife points, is there any way you can pick up a part time retail/waitressing/bartending job yourself for a few months? Alternatively, can you get a salary advance from your firm instead of borrowing from family?

      • Ah just noticed you are taking the bar this summer, so taking on a part time job won’t be feasible until at least August. I’d talk to the firm about a salary advance.

        As for managing stress, once your husband makes a decision, don’t look back. You’re only talking about a few months of expenses here, not facing long term unemployment or a mortgage you can’t afford or anything like that. Enjoy the few months you guys have off together- it may be a while before you both have that much free time again.

        • Seeking advice :


          Thanks for your thoughts. I had not considered a salary advance as an alternative to a more traditional loan. I will definitely discuss this option with my husband (and really try to let him take the lead on the decision).

          As soon as I finish the bar, I will try to find something asap. I am currently thinking about being a research assistant to a professor I admire.

          Your point about not looking back is well taken. Such a big part of reducing stress is moving forward, not tracing out what could have been different.

          Thanks for taking the time to respond to me. It was really helpful to write all of this out and get some feedback!

          Have a lovely weekend!

        • Anonymous :

          Unless you already know that your firm automatically gives out salary advances (and, if so, ignore my post!), before asking for an advance, I would ask around informally from others at the firm (if you can) whether this is something your firm normally does. At my own firm (DC biglaw, if that makes any difference), these types of requests are met with a lot of hostility and irritation — like a still talking about the person who asked for a salary advance eight years ago kind of irritation. I was surprised by all the vitriol, but I noticed that a lot of the older people at the firm forget how little money they had when they first started working and how much of a financial strain it can be to be taking the bar, moving, etc. Perhaps this kind of request is commonplace at other firms, but I would be careful about making such a request before your first day on the job.

          • Seeking advice :

            Thanks for the heads up! I think we are more comfortable working either with immediate family or a more anonymous lending service. I was wondering exactly what you warned of … do people/talk care about such requests? what kind of impression do you give before you start working?

    • One thing about cobra is that you can retroactively ask for it; so if you don’t have any health issues for 60 days (look in to details) you don’t even have to actually pay for it. We did this when we moved. If your insurance is going to be on hold for more than that, you may have to pay.

      As I read through this, I say – though my vote doesn’t really count — let your husband quit his job a month early. Moving is super stressful and if he’s miserable in his job and has been the giving one for you for several years, then give him this small gift. Yeah, it’s a big vacation, but moving and establishing things in a new city is a huge investment of time.

    • Doesn’t it all depend on the grad school decision? If your husband gets into his program, then YES, take the extra time off. (Also, are you sure you can’t move up your start date?) If your husband doesn’t get in, you have some bigger thinking to do. If I were you, I’d wait until then.

      Also, taking a month off and being a “house husband” are two totally different things. Life is long and a month is short.

    • If you’re young and healthy you maybe able to get cheap temporary health insurance in your new state rather than having to use Cobra, and that could help out financially. Assuming he gets into the graduate program I’m in the camp of letting him decide what will make him happiest.

    • I’d agree with the others that in the end it’s his decision — but if it were my SO, I’d encourage him to take the month off. Your long term position is solid (since you have a job contract already), so if you end up in the hole for the first few months you’re getting set up, IMHO that’s not unusual or a big deal. My SO and I paid double rent for 5 months when I moved for my current job! It’s just an expensive period. Also, opportunities to take a few months off are rare, once you get locked into a career path it’s just so much harder to have an uninterrupted block of time like that. As to whether he’ll enjoy the time off, only he can say, but since he’s brought it up already it seems likely that he’d rather the time off/time away from retail than the money.

    • Wow. I’m amazed that you’re getting out of law school with <$10K in debt. I really admire people that don't have much debt.

      But I know some of my family members are more obsessed with staying out of debt than actually living their lives. For instance, mortgages are good, even though they are debt. Taking out a debt to start a well-panned business is good.

      This month almost seems like a perfect, positive, time to use some debt. Borrow what you need to live. You are going to work at a firm. You will be able to pay it back. A Bar loan isn't a bad idea to cover living expenses for the both of you.

      Not all debt is bad. If it gets you over a hump, i.e., it's truly a temporary/short-term situation, and you know you will have more income in the future to pay it back, then it might be worth it to save you and your husband some hassle.

    • Seeking advice :

      Thank you all for your input. I come from a family where hard work and “clean living” (no debt, few indulgences) is a mark of character. I love my family dearly, but sometimes its good to hear that just because it is the way they do things, it is not the way that my husband and I have to do things.

      I shared your thoughts with my husband, and we are going to followup on some of your ideas. I am actually kind of excited to let him make this decision! I need to remember to enjoy the present a little more.

      Thanks again!

      • A bit late on the comments, but I totally agree that taking time off after a stressful job and before starting school sounds like a great idea. Money isn’t everything, and a month is just a blip. Remember that change is stressful, even good change, so it’s good if both of you can do it easier. And it really, really, should be your husband’s turn to decide this time, you owe him, so you should butt out of this one and just express support for his decision no matter what it may be. Express now that whatever decision he takes will be fine with you, I mean, don’t just wait to express support when he’s decided.

  51. I’m writing a paper and tend to capitalize words which I want to change later or points I want to clarify so right now, it looks like Ellen is writing a very serious paper on FEDERALISM and FOREIGN policy.

    Anyone reading it would think I was very EMPHATIC.

    • You might want to run it by ELLEN herself for copy edits. She has mentioned wanting to be a judge, so I’m sure she is with you in spirit regardless.

    • That is probably a good way of writing a lengthy paper. I usually just star things or make a new paragraph, but capitalizing words would make them stand out more. I might steal your method!

    • I do this, but put unsure wording in bold.

      • I think bold would be better, less chance to allow an unwanted CAPITALISATION sneak by in the final product.. Personally, I use *** so I can just search on that rather than trust my weary eyeballs.

    • Equity's Darling :

      We always put points/questions that we need to address later in a contract or brief after NTD in bold with whatever we are unsure of, or have questions about, need to expand upon, etc. NTD stands for note to draft

      Then, before it goes anywhere outside the firm, we just always just ctrl+f “NTD”, and make sure there are no leftovers. Works for us, esp. when several people are working on the document, and we have questions for specific people who are working on specific parts.

  52. Wynn Duffy :

    Hosting a last minute Easter brunch/lunch tomorrow. Anyone have any favorite (easy!) recipes for a non cook? My friend is making a ham, and so far I am making… Mimosas. please help me round out the meal!

    • Several easy casseroles can be put together today and in the oven tomorrow. Egg, sausage and cheese (look up breakfast casserole recipes). My friends love hash brown casserole (made with frozen hash browns, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and grated cheese – like Cracker Barrel’s). I also have a French toast casserole recipe. I made them for my Christmas brunch because I was running in after church and had about 15-20 people coming. I had almost no food left. Oh, also you can cook bacon today and put it in foil to reheat tomorrow.

      • Scones – easy peasy. A hundred million recipes out there.
        Fresh fruit, cut up, on a platter.
        Purchased pastries, like croissants.
        Perhaps something vegetarian, depending on your crowd – quiche is about the easiest thing ever (get a frozen pie crust, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, chopped spinich that you have microwaved, and some sauteed onions and mushrooms, and boom.)

        You might consider – and I say this because I do it all. the. time. – using a kids’ cookbook. I have one from W. Sonoma that I got years ago, for my actual kids, and it has recipes that are foolproof and quite good.

        • I should have mentioned that for Christmas day, I had one vegetarian coming, so I made a little version of the egg and sausage casserole with cut-up vegetarian breakfast sausage links and mushrooms. She loved it!

    • I love both NOLA and Lucy’s ideas. You’d have:
      The ham
      Scones and/or purchased croissants (You might get some good Irish or French butter like Kerrygold and Bonne Maman preserves plus creme fraiche and lemon curd — Trader Joe’s lemon curd is awesome.)
      Fruit salad or whole fresh fruit
      Quiche and/or egg-based breakfast casserole

      I think with all that, you’re golden. Suggestions for the recipes:
      http://www.joyofbaking.com/scones.html (Cream scones)
      (The Kitchn website also has great recipes for breakfast casseroles.)
      Definitely agree you can just use a frozen pre-made piecrust for the quiche. Nancy’s is a great brand if you have that one.

      Oh, you might also want to buy some good breads (baguette, a whole grain loaf, a walnut-sourdough loaf) and a mix of some good cheeses — those don’t require any cooking at all and will go well with the ham and jams/butter/preserves and everyone can sort of make their own favorite sandwich.

      Now I’m hungry.

    • Rats. I’m in moderation. Re-posting without links:
      I love both NOLA and Lucy’s ideas. You’d have:
      The ham
      Scones and/or purchased croissants (You might get some good Irish or French butter like Kerrygold and Bonne Maman preserves plus creme fraiche and lemon curd — Trader Joe’s lemon curd is awesome.)
      Fruit salad or whole fresh fruit
      Quiche and/or egg-based breakfast casserole
      I think with all that, you’re golden. Suggestions for the recipes:
      Run a search on “cream scones” on the Joy of Baking website.
      Go to www [dot] thekitchn [dot] com and search on “foolproof quiche”.
      (The Kitchn website also has great recipes for breakfast casseroles.)
      Definitely agree you can just use a frozen pre-made piecrust for the quiche. Nancy’s is a great brand if you have that one.

      Oh, you might also want to buy some good breads (baguette, a whole grain loaf, a walnut-sourdough loaf) and a mix of some good cheeses — those don’t require any cooking at all and will go well with the ham and jams/butter/preserves and everyone can sort of make their own favorite sandwich.

      Now I’m hungry.

      • “10 Delicious Breakfast Casseroles”:

        • I second that! Biscuits and scones are easy, but for people who have some experience baking. For a true beginner, I think casseroles are way easier. And tasty, and look like you’ve worked hard :-). And don’t have to be served at a very specific time, which is good when there are guests and time uncertainty.

      • Biscuits would also go well with ham and also with jam, etc. Yum…

        • Mmmmm . . . my Nana’s buttermilk biscuits with either spiral Easter ham or old-school traditional Smithfield (VA) ham. Or butter and honey! Nothing better.

    • Fancy fruit salad – peaches and pears (I usually used the canned stuff), mangos, grapes, kiwis, strawberries, with blueberries and raspberries as garnish on top. Modify to taste. At least, that’s what I usually bring.

    • Wynn Duffy :

      Thanks all! It was a success!

  53. I watched the NEW STARZ series!!! YAY!!!!! Its’ all about MIAMI beach and the criminal peeple back in the 1960′s. Kind of like a MAD MAN for Miami!!!!! Very sexy!!!!! I recomend it!

    I want to know if anyone knows what I should do b/c I found the manageing partner rumageing through my gym bag at work.

    I do NOT know why he was rumageing in there, but think it is b/c I have my shorts and leggeings in there. He should NOT be doing that but I do NOT want to loose my job b/c of me complaineing to him or someone else. FOOEY!

    Should I confront him or tell him to stop doing that? I am going to my family’s house, but will STILL have access through my I-phone. Happy holiday’s to all!

  54. visiting paris for the first time this spring. everything i have read says to wear all black, but i am wondering if this is true for spring time? any ideas?
    also, any recommendations for stylish flats to wear while touring the city?

    • In my (admittedly limited) experience, it is not Parisians that wear all black, it’s New Yorkers. I think you can definitely wear colors. Bonus points if you wear colors in the form of artfully tied scarves. . . .

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I also have a limited Paris experience (2 times, both summer), but like Amy H., I don’t recall Parisiennes wearing a lot of black at all. I would wear what you like, but leave the sneakers and shorts at home if you are concerned about standing out.

      • Agreed about the sneakers thing… that’s a surefire way to pick out North American tourists!

    • You can check out une femme d’uncertain age (www (dot) unefemme (dot) net). She’s older than the average readership here, but she has many posts about dressing for travel to France (I believe she goes yearly, or biennially) including posts about footwear (yes to converse and pumas).

    • Colors are great in Paris. No sweats or white sneakers. Dark denim is preferred over light denim. Added points for scarves.

      • I wear all the time here and on travel a pair of black Puma sneakers I heard were popular in Paris years ago as a way to stay comfortable and look decent. I got them at a stoop sale from a lady who’d just moved back from Paris. I have worn them oh so much it’s ridiculous. They aren’t quite waterproof, but super convenient for long walks under jeans or dark pants.

    • lostintranslation :

      No, don’t wear all black. For comfort and practicality, I would base my outfits on:
      – cute birkenstock sandals
      – slip on chuck taylors
      – an over-the shoulder purse
      – a beige trenchcoat or denim jacket

      I built some outfits around that so you can see what I mean. No one looks Parisienne if they’re not, but this would at least help you blend in with the other European tourists :). I’m in my mid 20’s, but I see women up to their mid 40’s wearing outfits like this in the Central European country I’m living/working in.

      • lostintranslation :

        Links to avoid moderation:

    • Girls, I’m from Paris (although don’t live there right now) and I must disagree – black is always appropriate. It doesn’t mean you can’t do something else too, but you can’t go wrong with black, no matter waht the season. Mixing it with grey or natural linen is perfectly fine too, and then you can add one or two bright colors to lighten it up.
      Mostly, keep in mind that Spring the last couple years has been much hotter and dryer than usual. Even though this week it’s cooled a bit, you should be planning practically a summer wardrobe. One lightweight raincoat/windbreaker, a couple scarves, and the rest all light clothes. Paris is built to withstand cold and rain, it’s really suffocating when it’s hot, as it’s muggy and smoggy.
      As to shoes, flat is mandatory, you should be sure you can stand in them 12 hours in a row, day after day. Stylish will be forgiven as long as you’re not limping, get a stylish bag if you must instead :-). Converse sneakers are in this year, if you need a break from over-stylish.

  55. Hello ladies!

    Can anyone recommend a good alternative to a personal finnce site like mint.com? I’m in the UK and it’s only available in the US/Canada. I want a secure software/app that’ll link to my bank acounts and let me to figure out how much of my income I am spending on clothes and shoes!

    • lostintranslation :

      I’m in the same boat as you, and haven’t yet found a service that’s quite as automated as mint.com. However, I’m pretty happy with YouNeedABudget (mac/paid software) for really active budgeting, and The Birdy for when I was retroactively tracking spending. The Birdy is super simple to use, free, and breaks down spending by personalized categories. You do have to input your expenses, but they make it really easy. I would definitely recommend it.

  56. This may be too late in the thread to get suggestions, but for all of you shoe lovers out there — I am searching and failing for the nude pump of my dreams. Any suggestions? I’m looking for something:
    – nude for me (ie, very pale)
    – soft leather (not patent, I can’t seem to wear it without it cutting me)
    – approximately 2.5 inch heel
    – round toe
    – tall toe box (I don’t quite know how to explain this, but I have a problem with shoes that have a somewhat flat toe box, it cuts the top of my feet).
    – no bows, geegaws, cork heels or other stuff — just a straight up basic pump
    – sub $150 if possible.

    I tried on a whole bunch at Nine West last night that looked perfect in theory, but all made my feet cry in one way or another. Suggestions for other places to hit up?

    • This one has more of an almond toe, but for a comfort shoe, it’s not bad looking: http://www.easyspirit.com/Kalei/53904908,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=JJRK9A0&cgid=50438757&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=easyspirit-catalog

      Naturalizer had some lower-heeled pumps as well, but I didn’t think they looked that great. If you were willing to go higher with the heel, I’d recommend the Enzo Angiolini Smiles pump.

      • Did the Naturalizer ones just look bad in person? Because from the web images they actually seem pretty nice. I might go check this one out:


        The Enzo Angiolini pumps are lovely, but something magical happens to be between 2.5 and 3 inches where I start to lose the ability to walk normally. Sigh, I wish I could wear super tall heels, I could use the height!

        • I didn’t see them in person, just on the website. I’m probably just projecting – they’re not my style because I do wear super tall heels, rarely that plain, and I also have problems with leather covered heels getting completely nicked. But that’s just me! I liked the Easy Spirit pumps because they had a little detail.

          • Yeah, the leather covered heel is not ideal, but I think the Naturalizers are close enough to what I’m looking for that I’ll go check them out. I want something that’s going to look as close to naked as possible, sort of Barbie foot like!

        • I'm Just Me :

          I tried the Naturalizer Deino on. It’s a nice shoe. I ended up not keeping it because it did not fit my foot, but was comfortable on the bottom. I wish it had fit, I’m still on the lookout for black pumps.

          • You could try the Nine West applaud shoe — I liked that one a lot, only problem for me was the nude color only came in patent. I considered trying the black leather on, but I do not need more black shoes!

        • I just got the Deino pair in black and love them — super comfortable. I’ve actually been looking for a nude pump with the same specs you describe, and didn’t know the Deino came in portrait leather — I’m almost certainly going to pick up a pair! Report back if you can once you’ve had a chance to check them out!

    • If you’re willing to forego the round toe, check out the Ivanka Trump Indico in malted milk.

  57. Make up question: I’m looking for a good primer to stand up to long hours in warm weather. Any favorites? I was thinking about Nars, Makeup Forever, or Smashbox, but I’m open to suggestions. Also, do you use a moisturizer under it or just the primer and foundation?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I used to (read: I got lazy and cheap) use Studio Gear Prime Objective primer. I liked it, and it also had SPF in it for extra points. I think I only used moisturizer under it in dry winter months.

  58. Nordie Fan :

    Has anyone tried out the Nordstrom Debit Card?

    This week, the Nordstrom sales associate told me about it. I decided it sounded like a good idea because I’m not so great at paying bills on time, and I end up racking up some interest on credit cards. (Even though I have the money and can pay them off in full. I’m just late some times. I know, I’m bad.)

    But I’m kind of panicked because she took my checking account number and social security number and then was like, “Oops, it didn’t go through. You’ll have to go to the website.”

    Is she going to steal my identity? And if not, is the debit card a good idea?

    • AnonforThis :

      Is there a Nordie’s debit card?

      The reason why I ask is because, I had this happen to me once. The associate convinced me that Nordie’s had a points card, which was NOT a credit card. At the time, I did not want a new CC so I asked her to confirm that she was not running a credit check on me and then proceded to give her my SSN (dumb, I know). I ended up with a new Nordstrom’s CC which I have not been able to close even years later. This is one area where unfortunately Nordie’s customer service has not been so great. But I still LOVE to shop there.

      • Nordie Fan :

        Looks like there is a debit card: http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/nordstrom-card-compare-apply?origin=tab

        The saleswoman told me that you get the same points an benefits as a store credit card, and the same as the Nordstrom Visa, except you can use the Visa other places, for half the points.

    • There is a debit card. I signed up for it last summer in a moment of weakness. Until this month, I never used it because I’m the opposite of you–I pay my credit card off every month, and I like taking advantage of the free float. Then I took a bridesmaids dress in for alterations and the associate told me that the alterations were free if I used my Nordie’s debit card, even though the dress wasn’t purchased there. It’s apparently a new Rewards member benefit for 2012–Level 1 rewards members get up to $100 of free alterations per year. So now I think it might be worth it :)

      I’m not sure what happened with your application but I doubt the associate would steal your identity. Her job probably pays more in the long-term than one identity theft that she would easily be caught and fired for.

  59. Lotto Fever! :

    I received my watch from last week’s Weekend Thread. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It looks and feels like it’s made of the cheapest plastic ever and should cost about $4, but I actually do like it (mostly because it’s BRIGHT pink). But I feel like they owe me $24. I’m wearing my running shoes that have bright yellow, blue, and pink stripes on them and am already wearing blue and yellow, so I feel like it came today to complete my outfit. But ugg it looks so cheap!

    • I didn’t buy the watch but after seeing that post I bought some other stuff from ASOS on sale b/c it was so cheap and there was free shipping, but I ended up sending everything back because it looked absurd in person. A sweater dress came barely to mid-thigh on my 5’2 frame and looked like a Starfleet uniform from the original Star Trek (which I was kind of into, but short of Halloween not sure where to wear it). A pair of red trousers looked like tight, unflattering pajamas.

      Also, curmudgeon alert- what is up with all the “body con” dresses out there? Do 19 year olds not just wear jeans and t-shirts anymore?

  60. Madewell & J. Crew :

    Does anyone know whether there is any correlation between Madewell denim and J.Ccrew denim? Specifically, if I like the way Madewell’s Rail Straight jeans fit me, which J. Crew jeans will fit me?


  61. So back to the lists from earlier this week – HOW COME NO ONE MENTIONED LL COOL J??!!!! I think I need to amend my list .

    • D Train South :

      I said my list started and ended withTyson Beckford, but it actually includes LL, Idris Elba, Lenny Kravitz, and Gavin Rossdale.

  62. Does anyone know how returns work for ASOS from the US? Seems a little complicated on their website – does one have to pay return shipping?

    • Nope, just slap on the label and put in regular mail. You receive email updates leading up to the final return.

    • Lotto Fever! :

      The watch I received from them today came with a return label. Slap the label on the box and drop it in the mail. The only bad thing is that I only have 28 days.

    • i recently had a bad experience returning some things. the tracking info said they received it, but the refund never processed. when i emailed them, they said i needed a receipt from the post office showing the date of return (it had to be more than 10 business days from that day) and then i could fill out another form for the return order.

      i didn’t have a receipt (since i used their return label), but showed them the tracking info, and they so graciously, “just this one time”, processed the return for me. then, the return came back more than $100 short (it wasn’t even the difference in price for one of my items, so i have no idea how they came up with the first number). so i had to go back again and ask them to refund me the rest of the money. i got the return done, but the whole thing just made me really nervous and took a long time.

      my roommate has sent back 2 orders, and never get refunded on either of them — she didn’t have the delivery receipts.

      i returned one order a couple years ago, and it worked fine, but from my last experience, i don’t think i’ll order from them again.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        This sounds super weird, I’ve returned loads of things to Asos and I’ve never had any problems–and I usually just stuff things back into the package they come in and slap on the return label. Have you had other problems with your post office?

        • no, i don’t think it was my post office. the tracking info that asos provided said that it got there fine, just the actual processing was a mess. in any event, my roommate went to a different post office than me.

          obviously it doesn’t happen to everyone, and lots of people return their things just fine (i have before as well) but the whole thing seemed so off that it is enough for me to stop buying from them.

          i guess the moral of my cautionary tale is: make sure you get a delivery receipt when you send out your return.

    • Charlotte :

      This is super-late to this thread, but on the off-chance you see this, I recently had kind of a bad experience with this company. First, there is no telephone number to call, so you are forced to deal with customer service via email. I returned an entire order (>$200) a few weeks ago and received a refund notification for about $50, or only 1 of the 4 items I returned. I emailed them about the discrepancy at least 4 times in the course of 2 weeks and heard nothing. Only after filling out a survey from them last week, and me telling them again about the problem that way did I receive an email crediting the whole amount. I am still waiting for that to clear my credit card. I don’t see myself buying anything from them for a long time. Oh, and the reason I returned my items is that I found the quality to be kind of cheap.

  63. Ladies, take pity on a longtime lurker who is missing that purse/bag gene: Is the Longchamp leather tote bag ( the one that folds up and has a cross-body strap ) worth the splurge?
    Thank you, kind Corporettes!

    • I have a nylon one and like it, but I feel like even that one is overpriced. That said, a leather version is very versatile!

    • No. Get a LeSportsac instead; it will last longer AND it will have pockets.

      • Oh sorry – I only now saw the part about a cross-body strap. I am not familiar with that Longchamp style so I retract my comment.

    • I looked at it in the store this very week, and I don’t think I’d get it. It’s not foldable enough, the leather is too thick. It doesn’t look as good as other Longchamps leather products.

    • Thanks, ladies!

  64. My friend and her wife are going to have a baby very soon. I’m trying to get a baby gift together and would like to get a couple books. I thought about getting a book directed towards children of gay parents and found some through Google searching. But is that a bad idea? I don’t want to offend them or step on their toes as I’m not sure how/when they’re going to explain the whole sperm donor situation to their child. Some of the books I found speak specifically to the sperm donor situation, but some just speak more generally about accepting families of all styles. Should I just go with regular books instead? Or if y’all think this is an ok idea, any suggestions on particular books?

    • A better idea: cookbook on homeade baby food, or something less touchy. That is something they should select, wayyyy down the road. As someone 33 weeks pregnant, I’m not so into stockpiling things I won’t need for 5 yrs or so.

    • I’d probably go with regular books. Let your friend decide how to explain the 2 mommies situation.

    • I think it’s thoughtful of you to have looked into the books. My suggestion would be that if you are at all concerned or unsure about how the parents would react, then it would be a better idea to stick with “regular” books instead. If you know they would appreciate the gesture of you searching for these books, then go for it!

    • The baby is a long way from speaking yet, let alone reading :-). Birth presents are really for the moms and you really should not let your anxieties about their child show that much. How about something practical – babies always need more stuff to drool on like blankets or bibs, and they can be very cute.

    • Baby 411! A fantastic resource for new parents.

    • “Everywhere Babies” is a lovely board book with families of various sorts, including same-gender couples. It’s not about anything except that there are babies everywhere, but if they wish their child to have a sense that their family is a perfectly normal one and that their family structure is represented in books, it would fit into that schema. Plus charming illustrations.

    • I’d suggest a couple of Halo swaddle sacks, a Hooter Hider, and some receiving blankets. If you really want a book, The Baby Whisperer or The Happiest Baby on the Block are good choices. I’d leave the GLBT-oriented stuff up to the parents unless they’re extremely close friends and they’ve asked for this kind of book.

  65. Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

    . . . to TCFKAG (and other virtual shoppers)

    It is a gorgeous sunny day in SoCal. DH and his daughter left this morning on her college trip back east. Leaving me alone for five whole days. But, I have a boatload of work that will keep me inside all day today.

    Nonetheless, I have already procrastinated for a couple hours reading through old posts on three fashion blogs I just discovered:

    wwwDOTthe vivennefilesDOTblogspotDOTcom



    All of which, combined with an already full-blown shoe search in preparation for a week-long trip to NYC in June with days and days of walking and another to Chicago in July, lead me to the following thoughts:

    * days filled with hours of city walking: shoes?

    * one option: some kind of sneaker (other than my running New Balances). What about Chucks in black, Ben Simon lacelets in black or Supergas in black. My feet are completely flat and very narrow.

    * another option: cute comfy shoes. After multiple trips to South Coast Plaza and multiple Zappos deliveries, the best I could come up with was the Cole Haan Air Dina sandal. Very nice. Great sole. But too high to wear all day while walking miles around town.

    * basics. Last week in H&M I saw a Tshirt called “high crew neck basics” (or similar) for $7.95. It was mostly cotton, with some modal. The black, the only one I saw, had a little shimmer to it. I would have bought five if they had had them in my size. Considering going back as they claim it is a staple and frequently restocked.

    * white jeans. Sadly, my Ann Taylor Loft ones from four years ago, which fit me perfectly and were so comfortable, finally sprung so many holes from washing so many times that they are not fit for public. I bought a pair of Madewell rail straight ones last week. They may or may not pass the “are they comfy enough to wear around the house for a few hours, or do they feel as if my b#$$ [email protected]$k is always showing?” test, which I plan to conduct today.

    * one of the bloggers noted above did a “packing for a week” post with black and white that included a really cute white and black floral pattern skirt (kind of like the dress someone posted above that she plans to wear to a party in SF). This one was hundreds of dollars, but it seems to me I should be able to find a similar one for roughly $50-$75. WHBM has nothing. Old Navy? Elsewhere?

    If it matters, I am mid-40s, 5’2″ and about 120. Typically size 4. Shoes: 7 1/2 or 8 narrow.

    • I mentioned these earlier this week. I am not normally a comfort shoe person but I bought these last week: http://www.zappos.com/product/7889047/color/195280
      I think they’d be great for a lot of walking because of the high back (no rub) and they come up high enough near the toes to not rub there either. So far so good and I think they’re cute. Make sure you take more than one pair of walking shoes. I always find that one will rub or something then I need a pair cut differently to make it through the next few days.

      As for the skirt, any thoughts on length or style?

      And for the t-shirts, maybe check H&M when you’re in NYC?

      • Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

        Definitely two pairs. Thanks for posting these. I’m not a huge fan of the gladiator ankle style, but I looked at the other ECCO flats and liked the Vibration Mary Jane II a lot. I am collecting a Zappos box, so that will go in it. Thanks.

        Re tshirts, I’m not in malls very often if I can avoid it, but I think I will just drop in to H&M whenever I am for the next few times. Trying in NYC is also a good idea because they may have more stock than SCP.

        Skirt: knee-length (top of kneecap, really) and very simple (flat front, maybe a front pocket or two) and stiff material (ie poplin or denim rather than jersey).

        • You know, I’m not usually a fan of the zipback either, but it makes these fit better. I was skeptical til I tried them. I should also mention that they ran large. I normally wear a 8-8.5 (39) and I bought a 38 in these.

          • Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

            I will keep that in mind. I never would have tried these on, so maybe I need to suck it up and go to a store with a wide selection and just try them IRL. Thanks for suggesting them.

    • Well, I’m still on the hunt for new “comfy” shoes myself, but when I’ve done long term traveling with lots of walking, Keen has been my go-to brand (available on lone and at REI and I’m sure other places). A lot of the non-leather models can be worn comfortably without socks which is a big plus for me (to be clear, I don’t mean the sandals, though those are cute too, just for different use.)

      I’d check out Target and Old Navy for basic t-shirts, that’s where all mine come from and they hold up very well. In addition to black and white, I find heather grey to be key. (For traveling, I also find long length shorts and a loose skirt to be kind of key).

      I don’t have white pants, but I have a pair of white corduroy pants sort of like these http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=2&pageId=1&productId=570032705&viewAll=&prd=Ecru+Corduroy+Pant&subCatId=&color=190&fromSearch=true&inSeam=&posId=1&catId=&cat=&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=1&size= and find them very useful.

      In terms of the floral skirt, someone posted a black and white polka dot skirt earlier in this thread that might be a nice alternative. I’m also not sure what the one you’re looking at is, but I’d go to shop style and search black and white floral skirt — you can search within a price range — and there are a few options for less than $100 for sure.

      • Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

        Thanks. I can see I have some legwork to do. I am on it.

  66. It’s 79 degrees out and I’m inside working for something like the 40th day in a row. The 17th can’t get here soon enough!

  67. Vacation advice :

    I can’t take it anymore. Someone help me justify blowing $3000 on a vacation my husband and I can’t afford. I need out.

    • Well, being stressed (and upset about not taking it) is going to cost you a lot more than the vacation will – plus, you’ll regret not taking it.

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