Weekend Open Thread

Chunky Heel Sandals: Splendid JaylaSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

These block heel sandals look kind of perfect — I love the thick straps that give them a bit of an edge. They’re $158 at Zappos. Splendid Jayla Sandal

Two lower-priced options are here and here.

(L-4)

Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    If a hiring manager sends some dates and times she’s free for an interview should you say “any of those times work for me” or should you just say “could we meet at [time within the window she gave]”? I don’t want to seem presumptuous but also want to avoid unnecessary back and forth. Also I should address her as Ms. X, right? Even though she addressed me by my first name and it’s an informal industry?

    • anonymous :

      You should pick one of the times. And it probably doesn’t hurt to err on the side of “Ms.” (as long as you’re sure it shouldn’t be Dr. or Professor), if you’ve never met her.

    • Given what you’ve said, I would address her by the same name she signed her email to you. I hate hate hate getting Mrs. Opal when I’ve otherwise told someone what my name is via email signature or in-person meeting.

      • She didn’t sign the email. The only signature is the automatic email signature which says “First Last, Company, Address, Telephone.”

      • Anonymous :

        “Mrs” is extremely inappropriate. Nobody has any business making assumptions about or discussing my marital status in the workplace. “Ms” doesn’t bother me, even when it’s unnecessary. It only starts to grate when I’ve told someone explicitly “Please call me Sue” and they still use “Ms. Jones.” And even then, it’s just mildly annoying, not something would I ding someone for. But I hire mostly young people who are coming straight out of school and I could see how excessive formality would be more harmful to a more senior candidate.

    • I’d suggest that you say you’re free all of those times, but specify which one works best for you. I’m currently interviewing candidates and it’s helpful to know not just which time is best for them but all times they’re available for the options I gave, just in case a conflicts arises with the best time.

      • Meg Murry :

        Yup, this. “I can make any of those times work, but Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning would be best for me.” or even more specific “Wednesday after 2 pm or Thursday before 11 am” would be better.

        Unless she gave specific 2 hour time slots or something, in which case I would probably send back a rank of my 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Unless she said “pick one of these slots” I wouldn’t assume you are supposed to pick.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      She is giving you dates and times that she is free for the interview. She wants you to pick one. Just pick one. You’re overthinking it. Good luck on the interview!!!

    • If she addressed you by your first name, I would address her by her first name.

  2. Question for the attorneys: I’m considering leaving my executive level job. A lot of my compensation is deferred, but I can apparently vest & keep it in by taking a non-qualified retirement. (Age + years of service requirement). However I’m not wealthy enough not to take another job and the agreement also has a 6 month non-compete.

    I’m considering a lower level job at an employer in my employer’s same industry, where I would do work completely unrelated to the work I do for my current employer. I need to know if it would trigger the non compete. I don’t want to walk a way from $300K + but I’m also miserable at my current job and the misery is bleeding into every aspect of my non-work life.

    I assume I should see an attorney about this. What kind of an attorney should I see? How many hours would you expect I would need to pay for? And are there any recommendations in the SF Bay Area?

    • You need an employment lawyer. You should discuss with them how long they think it will take (depends on the length of the contract and whether they need to do much work studying the industry). I would start with the lawyer who negotiated your contract or hopefully someone here will have a SF recommendation.

    • Yay! Open thread’s! I love open thread’s and these sandal’s, but b/c they are OPEN toe, I cannot wear them at work or to court, b/c the judge think’s they are unprofesional. FOOEY!

      As for the OP, you will want to speak to an employment lawyer, but I spoke with my Dad, who knows alot about non-compete’s, and you must determine:
      1) where geographically you will be working–if the new place is to far away, you can argue it is non-enforceable;
      2) also, non-compete’s are DISFAVORED in California, so that is good for you. According to a CA law firm:
      It is considered a fundamental policy of the State of California that agreements in restraint of competition are to that extent void. The California Supreme Court, in Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP, 44 Cal.4th 937, unanimously held that Business & Professions Code Section 16600 invalidated a provision in Edwards’ employment agreement that restricted him from servicing customers and competing with Arthur Andersen following the termination of his employment. Notwithstanding the general premise that non-competition agreements are invalid, specific Sections of the B&P Code provide certain exceptions to California’s policy against enforcing non-competition covenants which apply in limited circumstances.

      https://www.venable.com/enforcing-non-compete-provisions-in-california-01-13-2012/

      The other thing you can do is, if there is a valid non-compete, and it is to be enforceabel, to COVENANT with your old boss that you will NOT use any of your knowedge in the new job. So if you knew something, you must forget about useing it for the new company.

      I NEVER signed any non-compete, on the ADVISE of my dad, b/c Dad wanted me to be abel to take my business book with me if I left this firm. Dad is VERY smart, even tho he NEVER got a JD on top of his MBA and his PhD, so I would listen to him if I were you.

      Finally, dad says’ to look to IRS Section 280 to see if you are VERY importantand subject to those limitation’s. He said you should NOT look at this yourself, b/c it is very compliecated, and we, as women attorney’s must go to HR attorney’s , who can of course be women. He talked about a FEDERAL THROW BACK RULE that I am NOT familiar with and the “accumulation rules” for UNI and DNI. I have NO idea what he was talking about, but a competent tax attorney should be abel to help. YAY!

    • Non-compete agreements are void in California. If you’re staying in SF, my understanding is that your company can’t pursue legal action against you – “an employer who seeks to enforce a non-compete against a former employee can be held liable for interfering with the employee’s contractual relations with the new employer.”

      • legal history nerd :

        Interesting. They are vaild in my state and we spent a lot of time in law school and in bar exam prep on this.

        Is this how there used to be the studio system for movie stars and now there isn’t?

        How /when / why there was a change would be interesting to know.

      • Anonymous :

        The company may not be able to pursue legal action to enforce the non compete, but it might not have to pay the deferred comp, particularly if the plan is an ERISA plan. The OP needs to talk to a California employment lawyer.

        OP ask around for some recommendations or even look at local listings like the Bay Area “super lawyers.” Lawyers at big firms may have policies against taking employee-side work (positional conflicts) but might not for this sort of matter. In any event, my employer side employment law colleagues always have recommendations for good employee side lawyers.

        Not knowing the details of your situation or the complexity of the plan docs, it’s hard to say what you could expect to pay. This is something you could ask in an initial call (which should be free if it’s around 15 minutes or so).

    • You should still consult with an attorney. You need an employee-side employment lawyer who specializes in negotiating severance agreements for executives.

    • Anonymous :

      When I worked with an employment lawyer (for a broader scope of services, including reviewing/negotiating a bigger severance package and then reviewing the terms which included a non compete), reviewing and advising on the non-compete took 2 hours max. She read it and told me what I could and could not do. And also that it wasn’t enforceable in my state but if it were, here’s the grey area vs “in the clear.” I paid $450/Hr, in Boston.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re going to want to find a firm that has employee benefits people, not just employment law people. Employee benefits is a multi-disciplinary area that handles lots of topics, but executive compensation is a core practice area (the others being healthcare, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and fringe benefits). An EB lawyer can advise you on how to protect yourself from a financial/tax standpoint in ways that an employment lawyer is less likely to be versed in.

      • In that case, recommend Dave Thomas at WSGR or Cisco Palau- Ricketts at DLAPiper. Both are excellent.

  3. Whine whine whine :

    Ugh. We’re having a party for my kid and about 40 people are coming over. We’re having a cake as part of it (fairly standard, right?).

    My sil doesn’t eat gluten, not because of actual intolerance, but more because it sort of goes with her whole anti-vaccine/ gluten-is-evil package. My mil has somehow now got me all freaked out that I didn’t get a separate cake for her- the lone gf attendant.

    I actually wouldn’t mind this, but she is a picky eater and it’s really only 50/50 that she’ll eat it at all.

    The answer is either let it go or let my mil deal, but I just need to whine about how this SINGLE cupcake is somehow the most irritating part of an event for 40 people.

    There. Now I can go back to being a normal person. Actually, I do so much gf baking that I have a special set of fully gf baking dishes, so this shouldn’t really be such a big deal.

    • Anonymous :

      Your MIL is being absolutely cray. You don’t have to make a separate cake for an adult who can’t eat cake, when you’re hosting a kid’s birthday party. Doubly so if the adult is picky and might not even eat the cake you make. It would be nice if there were something at the party she could eat, even if it’s just a tray of veggies or something, but even that is not a requirement when you are trying to focus on preparing to celebrate your kid and accommodate a ton of non-family guests. She’s family. She can go into your fridge to find something to eat. I would deliberately NOT bake this special cake, even if I had the time, just to set boundaries with my in-laws.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d whine too, and assuming you are serving other food that doesn’t have gluten (veggie tray? fruit?), I’d probably let it go. And this is with having actual celiacs in my family. None of them would expect you to make the gesture of a gluten free cupcake for one. They all would appreciate the gesture, but none of them would freak out if you didn’t.

      • Whine whine whine :

        If a celiac friend was coming over, or even if someone was just consistently gf, I’d have made the cupcake. I just…. Frankly, I don’t have the time for her nonsense.

        I feel so much better just letting it out.

    • I am actually celiac, and would not expect a separate cake or cupcake for me at a child’s birthday party. Sure, it would be a nice gesture if you picked up a GF cupcake for me, but depending on the relationship, I’d be mortified if you went to much trouble.

      What I’d probably do in this situation is call SIL and say “hey, do you eat cake? If so, I’ll pick up a GF treat for you”. That way you don’t go to a bunch of trouble for nothing, but she still feels like you thought of her.

    • Anonymous :

      But it is your MIL who is being a jerk. Not the SIL.

    • lawsuited :

      Stop with the whine whine whine, and start with the wine wine wine! :P

    • If it’s my kid’s birthday party and the SIL is anti-vax? She and her un-vax offspring can just not come.

      • Whine whine whine :

        I have nothing nice to say, so I choose to say nothing.

        (Except to my excellent pediatrician who helps protect my child and other children and adults who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons from potentially serious illnesses.)

        • VACCINATE FOR THE LOVE OF G-D :

          I unfriended a friend I’d been close to on and off about a year ago (and cut off all contact) when she told me that she’s anti-vax because she thinks it’s part of Michel Foucault’s “biopower” theory. I have a chronic illness that will eventually necessitate a lung transplant. I won’t be able to be vaccinated post-transplant. Her idiotic government conspiracy theories should not get to come before me not dying of a preventable disease.
          What I’m saying is that when I have kids, if someone is unvaccinated, they won’t be invited into my house and we’ll meet them wearing gloves and masks. Family politics be da**ed.

    • Buy a gluten-free cupcake from a bakery. It’ll cost about $3.

      Seriously. I do this when my allergic/vegan friends come for dessert parties. They get a fun thing to eat and I don’t have to change how I cook for 50 people to accommodate them.

    • Anonymous :

      Pick up a single cupcake? Or piece of fruit or something?

    • Wow. I developed a gluten intolerance in high school and did not expect people to accommodate me to that degree. I’d either bring my own dessert, sit it out, or ask for a reasonable substitue, like fruit.

      I also agree with Me.

  4. Hey Ladies!

    Let’s talk non-euphemism gardening again! So, my daffodils and tulips are on their way out and I need something to replace them (this is my first year with this garden so I’ll be getting annuals and perennials). My issue is that all my little seedlings from my greenhouse are far too small to flower any time soon, and the plants at the garden store that are already in flower are so far ahead of themselves for the season here I worry they will all fade within a few weeks, before their season has technically even started, and I will simply run out of plants and room by mid-summer. For example, the irises available a the store are already in bloom, whereas those planted outside in my area are barely sticking up their foliage right now. How do my fellow gardeners deal with this? I’m in zone 6b, by the way.

    • Flats of annuals are your friend (petunias, begonias, impatiens, violas, zinnia, etc). You’ll have to pay attention to sun/shade requirements, but you can usually get color for several months. Just deadhead the spent blooms and wait for new ones to come.

    • To be honest, I buy perennials and shrubs throughout the year that are blooming at the moment and stick them in the ground. It usually works out that the following year I will have at least a few things blooming at any given time. If I feel it looks a little sparse I will stick a few annuals into the ground and not worry about it too much.

      Gardening (non eubhemistic) should be fun. You don’t have to be too rigid about it unless you’re planning a really formal garden, which isn’t really the American style.

      • Anonymous :

        Similar question: do people have bulb companies they like? I’m going to try planting bulbs for the first time, and I’m having a hard time figuring out which online companies are reputable?

        • I honestly love, love LOVE Old House Gardens, but it can tend to the expensive. Still, I love their mission, the quality, and the amazing customer service. I order twice a year, every year. If you have the right space, I can’t recommend their gorgeous peonies enough! I go Brecks and Michigan Bulb for more general stuff. They always have wacky sale deals.

        • I have my first bulbs from Old House Gardens in the ground right now and I’m so excited. The service was fantastic (I got a handwritten thank you note!) and I can’t wait to buy some fall planting bulbs later this year.

        • Veseys Seeds! Highly regarded small Canadian company

        • In the Pink :

          Brecks! When living in the Mid Atlantic, I bought thousands of bulbs from them, going to more of a “country lot” of acres rather than city living. They were great. Bone meal really helps bulbs. Get yourself a bulb planter, it is a handle with almost a tin can shape attached which is open at both ends. If you are planting and want them in a specific spot, that’s the way to go. If you are doing swaths or mass plantings, dig it up with a shovel, throw in some bone meal or labelled “bulb food,” scatter in the bulbs and cover. Mother Nature knows which way is “up.” I’ve also had suberb luck buying amazing Amaryllis bulbs at xmas from Jackson and Perkins and then putting them in the beds in the spring … returning every year and spreading wildly. Have fun!

          • Second OP here — many thanks to all of you for the recommendations. I had never heard of OHG.

    • It’s going to take a few years and a lot of planning to get constant blooming in your garden. For a quick fix, go with flats of annuals like the poster above suggested. Pansies will get you pretty far right now, and petunias/impatiens can get you the rest of the way. Bulbs and perennials generally, like irises and your daffs/tulips, are going to have a more limited blooming time. I’m in zone 6 also, what particular plants are you worried are ahead of themselves? If it’s any of the aforementioned annuals, they would continue blooming for a much longer time. If you have a shaded area, I’d go with begonias – if it’s mixed or sunny, any of the others are good. I love New Guinea impatiens, but they need a lot of water, so if you are a lackadaisical waterer like me, you need to keep up with the watering, but they are beautiful and look fresh for most of the summer.

      My #1 gardening tip is find a good garden center and don’t waste your time (and money) buying plants at Home Depot.

    • Plant some bulbs now! Dahlias, canna lilies, gladiolus, add in something tall like delphinium, build up your perennials (hosta, hydrangea). My dahlias bloom well into the fall.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Mildly related fun fact – thissite has ruined the word “gardening” for me forever. There’s currently an ad for Penguin Random House audio books making the rounds on my preferred podcasts that talks about how great it is to listen to audiobooks while gardening, and my inner 12 year old dies every time I hear it.

    • Anyone in North Chicago burbs? what are you planting?

  5. My entire extended family is planning to meet in Tom’s River New Jersey over the fourth of July. My Aunt has a super nice place on the river, and in the past we’ve always stayed there, but she’s getting up in years and doesn’t really have the capacity to host the whole family any more.

    I’m in charge of finding someplace for us to all stay. There will be 9-12 adults, some staying for the whole week of the fourth and some for only part of the time. I’d like to get us a couple of condos within 10 minutes of my aunt’s house. The condos don’t have to be particularly scenic, as we’ll spend most of our time hanging out at her place, but I’d like them to be close together and decently large enough for 9 to 12 adults not to kill each other. I’m striking out on vrbo and airbnb. I’m wondering if there’s any Jersey Shore or east coast specific sites I should be looking at that I don’t know about, or if anyone has any other ideas for how this can work. There aren’t very many hotels in the area for a decent price.

    • Anonymous :

      One more site to try: Home Away. Or you can just google “toms river rentals” and see if any local real estate or property management places have something available (I do this for the Outer Banks). It is the 4th though, so everything might just be booked already…

      • Second homeaway. No clue why but most of LBI and the jersey shore beach towns are listed here.

    • how about extended stay style suites with 2-3 brs? they’re hotels nad maybe more expensive but you still have cooking flexibility

  6. I just found out my mom has cancer and is going to start chemo next week. She says I don’t need to come down (she’s several states away from me) but should I? I worry about her and also about my dad. I want to be there to support them but am not sure if visiting will be that helpful. I will definitely visit in a few weeks, but should I go now, and should I take time off from work? Thanks for any advice y’all have!

    • I’m so sorry. My mom had cancer and I couldn’t be there in the beginning (had a trial), but she said (no idea if it’s true) that having me there when friends and neighbors had lost interest was actually better. I consoled myself by sending lots of goody boxes with DVDs, books, etc. (I also hired a housecleaner and gave Uber credit so she could get to and from appointments for free.) It depends on how far away they are, but if you can just go for a 3 day weekend now, it might help both of you feel better.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If you’re definitely going in a few weeks, you don’t need to go now, and the effects won’t be really bad until a bit later. BUT it would be awesome for both you and your mom if you could go now for a short bit, and then come later when she’ll feel weaker and need more help. My “other mother” had cancer, and she was unhappy from the start of treatments, but didn’t start feeling really miserable and weak until much later into the cycle of treatment.

      If what you’re worried about is imposing, DON’T. Your mom wants you there, even if you have to take work with you. Trust me.

      Sorry you’re going through this. It’s scary and awful. Hugs.

    • If you can afford to, go for a quick trip now to have fun with her before she feels awful and to set up things to make it easier for her — like a housecleaner, dogwalker if necessary, recruiting and scheduling other friends/family help, getting them on their church meal delivery service if applicable, etc. When my mom was on chemo, she never missed a day of work despite having to have treatment suspended because her blood counts were so low. Also, my dad had this weird denial that resulted in his failing to take over any home-related responsibilities. If your parents are anything like that, I’d be proactive in getting help set up because they may never ask for what they need.

    • I’m so sorry. Its such a difficult thing for your mom to go through and also so hard for you as a child (even if you are a grown up). My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and before his surgery to remove a lung I went down and got the house tidied up, made food, other things like that because I couldn’t come down for the actual surgery. Then I came down about a week after the surgery when he was getting out of the hospital and helped around the house for the first week he was home. Would something like that work for you and your family?

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m so sorry. I don’t have much experience in this area, but if you want to visit now and can also afford to visit now and in a few weeks, why not? It will make you feel better, and I’m sure your mom will appreciate having you around. Also, this is one of those times where work will be accommodating (unless your job is really unreasonable).

      If you can’t afford to do both trips, I’d go in a few weeks when your parents might need more help around the house, and just keep in close contact with them over the next few weeks.

    • lawsuited :

      If you can swing it, I reckon you should go. I’m sure both your mom and dad could use support dealing with the shock of the diagnosis and the adjustment to chemotherapy. I think you’re unlikely to regret having spent more time with your mom during this process.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry, being away from your family at this time is so hard. I think my mom would respond to me asking if I can come visit (and stay in a hotel) as a gift from her to you – I would pay for the trip and use it as a chance to find out other ways to support her and your father, but the time with her would be the gift

  7. looking for urban fantasy book recs! :

    I’m in a reading rut and would love some urban fantasy book recs.

    My current favorite authors in the genre are Seanan McGuire, Lisa Shearin, and Ilona Andrews. I enjoyed the first few books of the Dresden Files but did not enjoy the later books. I’m not a fan of vampire/werewolves/witches as main characters.

    What are some authors/series that you’d recommend? Bonus if the author is female or POC. Thanks!

    • Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh. Some of the characters are vampires but the series is mostly about angels. A few of the later books in the series feature vampires as the main character but you should be able to avoid those. Until you read the first few books, I’d stick to the order of the series before picking and choosing which books to read.

    • Definitely check out Wake the Vultures which has a female author and mixed race characters

    • I’m currently loving Seanan McGuire’s Indexing series, if you haven’t read it I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Nalo Hopkinson has a number of urban fantasy esque books I’ve been meaning to read. I haven’t read anything novel length by her, but I love her short stories. I saw her speak at a conference recently and she’s now basically my new favorite speaker/personality in the genre. Oh, and it’s not exactly classic urban fantasy, but Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle is a fantasy set in the modern day and is absolutely amazing.

      I only dabble in urban fantasy, but if you’re willing to open this request up to SFF by POC or women in general I would have a lot more recommendations.

      • looking for urban fantasy book recs! :

        Definitely open to SFF – I also liked the Lunar Chronicles series (fairytales + POC characters + scifi) by Marissa Meyer even though that was marketed as YA.

        • Okay, if you are willing to venture from the UF fold, I would strongly recommend NK Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (but not the other books in the series – don’t worry, they’re not true sequels – they deal with other characters in the universe – so the story is complete in the first book) and The Fifth Season (there will be sequels to that, which I’m eagerly awaiting).

          I also love, beyond words, Richard K. Morgan’s A Land Fit for Heroes trilogy (starting with The Steel Remains), which is fantasy that takes standard fantasy tropes and does something truer and more meaningful with them than I’ve seen done by anyone in a long, long time. I am not generally a swords-and-sorcery fantasy reader, because I am tired of reading yet another Tolkien-derivative Epic Hero’s Journey…these books are something very, very different than that.

          • I second the NK Jemisin recommendation. I loved the Fifth Season and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, although I’ve bounced off some of her other books.

            My current favorites are A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (although if weird names throw you off, this is not the book for you). Both of those are the most recent additions to my “Books I will read a thousand times and absolutely love” category. The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu was really good if you want epic fantasy from a non-Western perspective. It sounds like you might also like Persona by Genevieve Valentine, near future sci-fi with non-white protagonists.

            Oh, and the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone. He’s a white guy, but all of his protagonists are POC and the books explore different ways power is experienced and exercised. Plus they’re basically urban fantasy/secondary world fantasy/legal thrillers.

          • @Lynnet: Yeah, I was fairly disappointed with the remainder of Jemisin’s books in that world, as well as the sort of Egyptian-flavored series.

            Oh! The Goblin Emperor. I did enjoy that. It was very much a feel-good read.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        These aren’t specifically urban, but I have similar-ish tastes, it sounds like, to yours, and I loved Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis series. It’s a bit more sci-fi than fantasy, but it’s biology/nature sci-fi, not techie sci-fi, so it had more of a “fantasy” feel to me than the average sci-fi.

        Also, if you’re down with historical fantasy, Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho was excellent (and is written by a POC and the main characters are both POC).

    • I like Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments series – she did sequels and prequels taking place in the same “world”). It’s been marketed to the Twilight demographic so the covers/ summaries can be a bit cringeworthy but I really enjoy these books. You can tell she put a lot of thought into creating the rules and dynamics of this fantasy world, and I like the friendships and family dynamics that she explores in her books. They’re also pretty funny!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I loved Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Got the recommendation from here. Post-bad-flu-apocalypse and really riveting.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Not sure you’re really going to get much fantasy without some kind of witch/werewolf/vampire.

      It’s both a witch and a vampire as main characters, but Deborah Harkness’s All Soul’s Trilogy is very good – excellently written, and thoroughly researched. Bone Season (YA technically) is alternative urban neo-Victorianish, very fun. Anne Bishop’s Written in Red is werewolves, but the main character is human. Jonathan Carroll’s White Apples is amazing. Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is a love-it-or-hate-it series. I loved it.

      If you like “clever” books, read anything by Jasper Fforde. I particularly recommend Shades of Grey (unfortunate name) but the first couple Thursday Next books are also very fun.

      Then, of course, there’s everything Neil Gaiman has ever written. Neverwhere is quite gritty and urban, and American Gods and Good Omens again fall into that clever, poignant category.

      • Anonymous :

        + all the 1s to American Gods. Read it now, before the miniseries comes out (you’ve got some time, they haven’t even started filming yet).

      • Not sure where it falls in the Thursday Next series but I’m listening now to Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair and really enjoying it, even though I’m usually not much for fantasy. Also loved Station Eleven.

      • Women of the Underworld series by Karen Armstrong. It does have werewolves, witches and (to a lesser extent) vampires, but it’s mostly about strong female protagonists. I loved the series. It’s well written with developed characters.

    • I loooooooooove Seanan McGuire. Have you read Every Heart a Doorway yet? I’m waiting for my copy to arrive (I ordered it as a physical book because I’m better at savoring those slowly).

      I recently read, and loved, Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman – she’s an UF author, although that book is more of a weird alternative-history American West. It is fantastic and I’m pushing it on everyone.

      I do not generally like werewolf-y books, but I’ve been gobbling up Patricia Briggs like candy lately. I’ve also started reading these delightfully bonkers Shelley Laurenston books about modern-day Norse God-associated Viking warrior clans. They are seriously light reading, however – more like McGuire’s InCryptid books than her October Daye books.

      Oh! Have you read Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift novels? I LOVE those. The Midnight Mayor is the first one, and I love, love, loved them all, as well as the spin-off series.

    • Amberwitch :

      Wen Spencer writes sf/uf blends that are excellent, try Tinker, the first in her Elfhome series. Otherwise Eight million gods are straight uf.

      Eileen Wilks is apparently a romance writer who has luck with a werewolf series – the first is tempting danger. The main female protagonist is POC

      Sharon Lee usually writes space opera with her husband, but she has a uf series, starting with Carousel tides.

      Tanya Huffs most recent uf series start with The enchantment emporium

      All set in London:
      Kate Griffin has two series in the same universe, The midnight mayor, and Magicals anonymous. As I recall, the female protagonist of Magicals anonymous is POC
      Mike Carey has a series named Felix Castor
      Ben Aaronovitch has the Peter Grant series, male protagonist, POC

      Patricia Briggs have two werewolf Series in the same world – there are werewolves and vampires and witches, but it is the fairies that are the most interesting. She somehow comes of a bit ‘un-feministic’ to me – the pack dynamics are very patriarchal, and the (female)main character of the one series kills all the female villains. The world building is good though.

      Martha Wells write straight up fantasy, but it is all soo good I can’t help recommending her.

      • Interesting – I don’t read Briggs that way. The pack dynamics are definitely patriarchal, but I think Mercy is pretty clearly not a fan of that. (Anna – if you read the Alpha and Omega series – doesn’t seem to note it as much, but because she’s outside the structure the perspective is a bit different in any case). I also like how both series deal with s*xual assault – there’s no quick fix (how much do I hate it when a heroine is “cured” of the aftereffects of her rape by the love of a good man with a magic peen), but both remain s*xual beings and strong women. Both struck me as incredibly realistic.

        • The later Briggs books also specifically address the patriarchal nature and how Adam’s pack is starting to subvert that (females aren’t automatically submissive to the males – they can have standing on their own), which is a break from the traditional structure within that world.

    • Greensleeves :

      I’ll echo the recommendations for Neil Gaiman. Also, try Charles de Lint. He writes urban fairy tales and many have strong female protagonists.

    • The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovich. The main character is a biracial police constable in a division of the London Metropolitan Police that handles magical crime and disturbances. Fun and light.

    • Just read this based on a rec from here, but Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone was great. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one in the series. Note that it’s like 50% urban, 50% other, if that matters.

    • Have you read the Garth Nix Abhorsen series? They are technically YA, but I loved them, and they’re quite adult.
      Goblin Empire was wonderful (if a bit dense at times), I also really enjoyed the Max Gladwell series – especially if you’re interested in contracts.

    • Have you read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern? I recently read the whole series after having read a few when I was growing up.

    • Annony Hippo :

      This might be a little out of your comfort genre, but I love anything by Lois McMaster Bujold,

      In lieu of Ilona Andrews, I’ve really enjoyed the series by Patricia Briggs, Thea Harrison, Anne Bishop. .

      If a male main character is okay, try Ben Aaronovitch or Mike Carey or Kevin Hearne in lieu of Jim Butcher.

      If you want more UF/PNR recommends, I can give lots more…

    • looking for urban fantasy book recs! :

      Thank you all for these suggestions! Looking forward to building up my TBR list just in time for summer

  8. I need a summer casual ‘uniform’. I’ll be buying new things since last summer was all maternity clothing. Suggestions? It used to be linen pants and a tshirt or tank top – it still can be, but the ones I have don’t fit right now.

    • This year mine are long flowy, light tunics over capri leggings and layered tanks with a maxi skirt.

      I get all of these things at Target (or on Poshmark)!

    • Senior Attorney :

      You Look Fab dot com has a great post on a summer “capsule” today. Might be worth a look.

    • Anonymous :

      Altheta skorts. They are great and don’t give me a muffin top. They are my weekend casual attire in the summer.

      • I checked those out when someone mentioned them recently – what is the shorts part like? I like shorts to be close-fitting on the leg otherwise they ride up on me.

        • I suggested these the other day – and I’m wearing one right now! The shorts are tight like a bike short. Some version have a grippy trim at the bottom of the leg of the shorts while others don’t. I prefer the grippy trim, but the legs don’t ride up much even without it. Depending how long you like your shorts/skirts, you might consider a Tall size even if you are shorter – I’m 5’3″ and like the extra length of the Tall.

    • Boden long sleeve Breton shirts in about six colors. Pair with jeans or ankle pants. Converse Chuck Taylors or ballet flats.

      • Any suggestions on good places to find ankle pants? I refuse to acknowledge that cropped flared pants exist but they are taking over the stores and they are atrocious. I prefer skinny ankle pants (think audrey hepburn) to the cuffed boyfriend style ones.

        • Ankle oant options :

          Gap, Banana Republic, and J. Crew all have pants like this. Fabrics vary both within and between brands. Old Navy probably as well, given the first two.

          • Yes, try the Gap “slim crop” or “tailored crop” — whichever they’re calling it this season. I don’t like to wear anything very cropped to the office, so I buy the Tall lengths and they come to just past my ankle (I’m 5’8″).

        • lady journo :

          The essential skinny ankle pants from Loft are fantastic. Unlined, but a good weight that’s not too heavy for summer yet enough for winter (I’m warm-blooded). They are machine wash- and dry-able, and they don’t really stretch out at all. I call them “THE pants” because they are basically the only pants I want to wear. Couldn’t recommend more.

  9. Anon Lawyer :

    Rant: I’m a lawyer in a very specific area of litigation. It is literally all I have done and the procedures are different than other areas.

    I’m currently being asked by my family to assist in an estate issue in another state. My explanation that I don’t know that state’s procedures and I don’t know anything about wills/estates seem to be falling on deaf ears. I get its frustrating but hire a lawyer – don’t expect me to figure it out. I’m just as much at a loss as you are, dear family member.

    • Ally McBeal :

      Hello, family. Here’s the lawyer that my colleagues recommended. I can’t advise you on this, but this person is supposed to be great. If you’d like me to sit in on the first call with the lawyer, I’m happy to do so. Good luck!

      • I love this. I’d suggest a combo of Ally McBeal’s and this from below: “I am not licensed to practice in state X. It is unethical for me to give legal advice in state X. You are asking me to give legal advice in state X. I can not do that.”

    • When asked by my out-of-state relatives for free legal advice I just repeat “I am not licensed to practice in state X. It is unethical for me to give legal advice in state X. You are asking me to give legal advice in state X. I can not do that.”

      I feel your pain.

      • this and “my firm’s malpractice insurance bars me from giving legal advice outside the state I am licensed in, so any comment is a terminable offense from my firm. I cannot help you.”

    • Anonymous :

      I find using medical example helps people understand it more.

      “I’m not licensed to practice in that state plus even if I was, I don’t practice that kind of law so it would be like asking your gynecologist to do your heart surgery.”

    • 2L with law school :

      I’m a 2L and I just took my Ethic finals today :)

      “Representing you/assisting you in this matter is likely to be a violation of my duties of competence under Rule 1.1 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. So sorry but you wouldn’t want be to violate my ethical duty, would you?”

      Ugh finals…

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      So annoying. My response to those types of questions is to cheerfully say “I have no idea! Sounds like you need a good trusts and estates lawyer! Let me know if you want me to ask around work for recommendations in your state!”

  10. I have a first world problem that I’m almost embarrassed to ask help with when other people on this site and in the real world have ACTUAL problems they are dealing with, but since I’m out of time and options, I’ll put it out there . . .

    I’m visiting a fancy spa/retreat in Arizona NEXT WEEK. (Think Miraval/Canyon Ranch.) I’ve known about the trip for a while but been swamped with work so I haven’t really thought about what to pack, and this weekend is the only time I have to buy anything I don’t have. I don’t leave until Wednesday so I can still order online (yay Amazon Prime and Shop Runner!). I’m going with a group of friends who are spa pros and always impeccably dressed, but I am neither.

    I’ve never done anything like this and the dress code information says to pack “workout wear,” and “comfortable” clothes. But dinner is “resort casual.” Any advice on what to pack? My workout clothes are all ratty looking and I have no resort-type clothes, so advice on what to wear for a trip like this and where to get it would be a huge help

    • Anonymous :

      Resort casual is a pretty common dress code so you should be able to G o o g l e for inspiration. Think bright colors, loud prints, flowy dresses (especially maxi dresses) and sandals. Given how expensive those places are, I imagine it’s hard to be too splashy in the designer label direction, but you want to look more relaxed than you would if you were going to a formal event.

    • Ally McBeal :

      If I were you, I would 1) be super excited about this trip, and 2) go to Old Navy and buy a few new workout outfits, a hiking outfit, and a handful of sundresses for dinner. Old Navy has really cute stuff, it’s not that expensive, and I would definitely have more fun at this trip if I felt like I was dressed right. You could also look at the Athleta website — I suspect everything on there would be appropriate for the trip! For hiking wear, I really like the Columbia brand, and I think they sell it with 24 hour shipping on Zappos.

      • Thanks — I haven’t been to Old Navy in probably 15 years, but sounds like it’s time for a return visit!

        • Killer Kitten Heels :

          Yes definitely! Old Navy has been killing it, fashion-wise, for a few years now. And the quality, while certainly not fancy-designer-level, definitely exceeds the price point.

      • I love Old Navy. A ton of my weekend stuff is from there. But I would not go to a fancy spa wearing Old Navy workout wear. If that’s snobby, so be it. Workout wear is one thing that is visibly branded (think the lululemon sign vs. ON/Target). I would get some lululemon stuff for workout wear and save on the other clothes (grab a cheap floppy hat or cute fedora at Target, maxi dress whenever you can).

        • Really? I know most lululemon stuff is obviously branded, but I wouldn’t have thought Old Navy would be recognizable as Old Navy. And looking at it now online seems to confirm that.

          • It all has a silver/white logo that is recognizable as Old Navy, in the same way Lulu has a logo on it (both lines have ‘obviously branded’ items but most things aren’t – just the logo). Now I happily mix Old Navy stuff with my Lulu and Lucy on most occasions, but if you are concerned about a snobbiness factor around you, the Old Navy will stand out in a negative way.

          • I’m with you EE. It’s only recognizable as Old Navy if you spend anytime with Old Navy logos. It doesn’t usually say “Old Navy” just has a little doohicky symbol that sits near the hem. What are the chance that someone who is snobby about lululemon labels would actively recognize an ON logo?

        • Anonymama :

          I’ve actually been to fancy resorts in my old navy workout wear, and honestly felt like I looked just as good as anyone. and I’m pretty sure the only people who would recognize old navy workout wear are folks who shop regularly at old navy. Also, mixing high end and low end is a thing now (thanks Michelle Obama!) no one’s going to judge you for shopping at old navy or target.

    • For workout wear, head to Lululemon and get some cute yoga capris/pants, tanks, and a fitted hoodie type thing for evenings. For resort casual, go to Boden or Nordstrom and get some fun tunics and a couple of pair of leggings and a maxi dress or two. Pair those with wedges.

    • This sounds like a job for maxi dresses! Head to Target (or whatever place is appropriate for your budget) and buy a couple that you can wear to dinner with sandals. You might also get a cardigan or two since the desert gets cold at night.

      • Thank you — I have to go to Target for travel toothpaste, etc. this weekend anyway, so I will check out their maxi dresses!

        • Also, check out their maxi skirts – lots of cute ones that are easily pared with the usually on sale Target tanks (of which I have approximately 15).

    • Young professional :

      Watch an episode of any Real Housewives franchise when they were going on a getaway — obviously they wear designer clothes and you do not need to, but it will give you good ideas for the vibe and putting outfits together

      • Young professional :

        Also Free People and Anthropologie and Club Monacco are good for a slouchy but put-together look and can be reasonably priced if you focus on the sale items

    • I’ve been to Miraval and the advice here is right – maxi dresses or casual dresses will get you through anything in the day or night around the property. Miraval is more active though, yoga and hiking are big, so is horseback riding so if you’re going there, bring something athletic in case. Also it is HOT there so my usual lulu yoga stuff was way too warm – get something light weight if you do yoga.

  11. I think was discussed recently, but could someone refresh my recollection about how long the ramp-up period for a retinol product is? I started a few weeks ago (applying 3 nights per week), and can see some results already (seriously, my chicken-pox scars are now the same tone as the rest of my face!) but the peeling is a little out of control every few days. Will this go away as my skin adjusts?

    • for me it was about 3 months. some things that help with the peeling: do NOT apply to a wet face. i wait 10 mins for all water to be gone before i apply the retinol. then i wait another 20 mins and use a dense moisturizer (i’m not like actually waiting, just plan out your bedtime routine to start earlier). moisturize. use sunscreen generously.

    • Sensitive skin here. :

      You need to ramp up slower. Go down to once a week for a few weeks, then twice a week for a few weeks etc….. There’s no hurry. Thin, thin coating.. Pea sized blob.

      Like other poster recommended, skin should be completely dry before applying. Put on moisturizer after. If it is still peeling too much, use moisturizer BEFORE you apply retinal product.

      It took me at least 3-4 months before I was using it daily.

      Don’t use any other exfoliating creams or electronic devices. Exfoliate with a facecloth or one of those Japanese cloths, carefully, in the shower.

  12. Missing Tali :

    Need comfortable, stylish work shoe recommendations, please!

    I’ve been a huge fan of Cole Haan Air Tali low wedges for the last few years, buying a new pair each spring when they went on sale to replace the pair I’d worn into the ground. Just got my new ones, and they no longer have Air, and are not nearly as comfortable as the old ones (which unfortunately are looking pretty shabby after nearly daily wear for the past year).

    Can you recommend other lowish comfortable black wedges? I walk nearly a mile on my public transit commute, and don’t like changing shoes.

    • No help, but you’ve answered the question I’ve had about the new Tali. I know they look the same (and assume the uppers feel the same), but that lack of Nike Air cushioning.

      There are a fair amount of “vintage” Air Talis on ebay (that are still new).

    • I love all my shoes from the Rockport Total Motion line!

    • So after my beloved Cole Haan Air Tali’s changed and became uncomfortable crap, I went shopping for a new go-to.

      Oddly enough, Payless’ “Daylight” wedge is very similar in appearance to the Air Talis and way more comfortable. I swear by them. I wore them all day at an event I was running for 12+ hours and my feet felt great.

    • Beautifeel has comfy shoes. Some are kind of old lady-ish, but some are cute. I find them very comfy. http://www.beautifeelshop.com/Pumps_c_70.html

  13. Anonymous :

    Looking for a recommendation for a Labor Day weekend getaway with friends. One couple is coming from San Francisco, another from the midsouth, and another from Ohio. We’re hoping for something that splits the travel pretty fairly between the groups, and we’re up for anything in terms of mountains v. beaches v. city… so this is a pretty broad request.

    Any tips would be appreciated!

    • Anonymous :

      Is there any city you can all fly non-stop to? I’d start there, rather than trying to find something that’s roughly equidistant by mileage.

    • Ally McBeal :

      Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver BC would all be gorgeous at that time of year. It might be too hot, but what about Santa Fe or Taos, New Mexico?

      • In early September, Santa Fe and Taos are very temperate, with highs around 80 and lows in the upper 40’s. And the sun shines every day. And green chile is being roasted in every parking lot. And the aspen trees in the mountains are all turning gold.

        Now I want to travel through time and space to Santa Fe in early September…

    • nashville? boulder? chicago? nashville is going to be a cheap trip (maybe not during labor day… i went for “spring break” of grad school and it was very affordable. stayed in east nashville). boulder/denver will be more pricey but more equidistant probably. chicago is a lovely city (from there!) and also good hub for flying.

      • Anonymous :

        Have you gone to Nashville recently? We went last winter and couldn’t find a hotel, even a budget one, under $300 a night and that was a normal, non-holiday weekend. Nashville has a huge hotel shortage right now. I loved the city but it was the most I’ve ever paid for a domestic long-weekend getaway and I would not in any way describe it as budget.

        • we stayed in some awesome bohemian airbnbs (super trendily styled) in east nashville for $150ish a night i believe. there were 3 of us in 2 brs and it was very comfy. we ubered everywhere so we didnt have to rent a car.

  14. I’m heading to New Orleans in a few weeks and have been ploughing through the archives here to help me pick restaurants (current plans for over the three days include Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens, snacks at Cochon Butcher, dinner at Atchafalaya, maybe Seymours for brunch and Cafe du Monde on our way out of town) – thanks for all the great tips!

    I’m planning on a wander down Magazine street and through the Garden district and would love any recommendations for cute boutiques to keep an eye out for. I’m from Canada so the dollar isn’t awesome but I like to try and find some interesting jewelry/scarves/accessories that are packable in my carryon.

    • Anonymous :

      No shopping recommendations, but we did a self-led walking tour through the Lafayette #1 cemetary and the garden district of about 15 homes and it was a great way to spend an afternoon. I just found something on Google. Commander’s palace (right across the street from the cemetary) has 25 cent martini lunches, but they have a dress code. Other restaurant recommendation: The Green Goddess. By the end of a week in new orleans I was dying for vegetables, and this place has a lot of vegetarian/vegan options. There’s almost always a line at Cafe du Monde but it goes relatively quickly. Oh and we got lunch at Cochon, not really snacks. Their sandwiches are pretty filling.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Not exactly in the neighborhood you mentioned, but check out Meyer the Hatter on St. Charles St! We ended up there because I was having a hair emergency and had a great time shopping for hats with Sam, the 90-year-old owner!

    • Some recommendations for craft cocktails and fancy drinks if that’s your thing:

      Latitude 29
      Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel
      Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone

      Joy the Baker has some NOLA info on her blig also.

    • free tours by foot dot com. we went on their ghost tour and cemetery tour while in Nola. both tour guides were awesome.

    • There are a few areas of Magazine St with shops. I happen to like the stretch between Louisiana and Washington (try Sterling Silvia) and then around Magazine and Aline, there are a few of my faves – Orient Expressed, Potsalot, Fleur d’Orleans. Up around Whole Foods (between Jefferson and Nashville) are some cute shops, including Bryan Batt’s home shop called Hazelnut. Good restaurants on Magazine are Bistro Daisy, a new one called Kenton’s, Lilette, then a little higher end La Petite Grocery and Coquette. LPG is great for lunch.

    • Scriptura on Magazine has amazing stationery and paper products. Hazelnut is cute hostess gifts next door. azby, same strip (all around Magazine and Jefferson) has cute clothes. A little further down, As You Like It silver has great estate silver pieces (I love old teaspoons there). In the French Quarter, Fifi Mahoneys is a fantastic wig and hair piece store. Also on magazine, mingion faget is a well known local jeweler. There’s also a great lingerie shop (blanking on the name). Anyway, hard to go wrong as so few chains and so much local to NOLA. If you’re uptown, also look for Maple Street. Maple Street Bookstore is my favorite (garden district books is good too but on magazine) and there’s other cute shops and restaurants on that block.

  15. Baptism gifts from a godparent?

    My BFF’s baby (my goddaughter!!!) is being baptized in July (Episcopal), and I’m looking for budget-friendly gift ideas (under $50) that aren’t generic Things Remembered. Help please?

    • Ally McBeal :

      I recently gave a piece of personalized art from this etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GeraldHawksley?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=paper art baby name&ref=sr_gallery_26

      I framed it and I think it turned out really nicely. I chose a design with a horse because the recipient was born in the year of the horse, but the artist has a ton of options.

    • hoola hoopa :

      A keepsake item (like a nice rosary or children’s bible) for later and some things to entertain at church for now-ish (in a year or so) such as religious board books. Suggestions: All Creatures Great and Small by Naoko Stoop; Inside Noah’s by Charles Reasoner; Fisher Price Little People Noah and the Animals (Lift-the-Flap)

    • I’ve gifted similar things as those already mentioned, but I also have done a piggy bank for the child with a small (like $5-10) gift to get the baby/child started on saving early :)

    • Check out bluedogrose on Etsy for lovely prints that are charming and sweet without being cloying. I love them, own them, and have given them to others.

    • I went with this for my godson a few years ago:
      http://www.shrevecrumpandlow.com/gifts/details.aspx?cat_id=77&itemnum=RBBAN00001

    • In the Pink :

      I always give a Lamb. Welcome to the Flock sort of thing…

      • For this particular occasion, a small, white personalized Book of Common Prayer is an extremely traditional and appropriate gift.

  16. Dealing with Hawkish Coworker :

    How do you deal with a hawkish co-worker?
    I have a co-worker who is junior to me, but has worked in the area of my work more than me. I have enough experience and I was not clueless about what I was doing even when I started. When I started working here, I needed some help and she was assigned to me to help me. She was so hostile and used to humiliate me. I stopped asking her anything. I just found other people who are willing to help. Then over time, I became close to another co-worker and expressed by opinion of the hawkish co-worker. Friend said, she can become extremely jealous and insecure and will do anything to bring down others.

    I took assignments which no one wanted to do as I knew that they will become very important with time. I worked very hard to get them to the state they are now. Time has come and I am getting lot of appreciation and spotlight. Now the hawkish co-worker has eyes on my work and want to “help” me with the work I am doing. By “help”, she just means she wants a piece of the pie. I have not solicited any help. My work can be done in time. She is one of the consumers of my work product. As I didn’t positively respond to her offer, she has become very hostile again. She is trying to find faults in my work and ask questions about minute details in the meetings that I am running. Once she says something, she digs her heels in and gets very argumentative even though she is wrong. I have been able to answer what ever she asked and defend my work till now. But this is getting very annoying and frustrating.

    How do you handle this person? If I have a choice, I would avoid her completely. But I will have to work with her for foreseeable future.

    • Gosh, how very frustrating and unnecessary her behavior is! No real suggestions, but you might use halfsmiles (where you just do a little half smile with your mouth) which help keep your face and brain in a neutral zone. I would have trouble controlling my mouth in your situation.

      My other suggestion is checking out the Ask A Manager blog. She has tons of good advice for dealing with hostile coowrkers without getting their taint on your reputation.

      GOOD LUCK!!!

    • Bewitched :

      I would ignore and/or in my mind imagine she has some sort of personality disorder or disease which causes her to act that way (e.g. therefore don’t be rude to her). That way I could compartmentalize her: “oh, Marcia is going to be negative about this proposed plan, so I just have to politely respond to her and move on.” The same way I might have a polite conversation about politics about someone who supports a candidate I despise-I know I am not going to convince them of my viewpoint, it’s not worth getting aggravated about, but at the same time, I’m not going to listen to the opposing viewpoint without providing my calm response.

    • Promote yourself (a little bit) to everyone who is not her. Acknowledge the contributions of the actual team members, too. That sends the message that she’s not important. For the former, talk about the work over the coffee machine or something – “I’m up to 4 cups a day with this project, so happy I finally finished this part, it took me a while.” For the latter, just publicly acknowledge the contributions during meetings and via email. “Sarah pulled together the numbers and Matt did a great job proofing the final report.” So sorry that co-worker wasn’t mentioned….

      Beyond that, consider a one on one meeting with your manager about it. I would frame it as “This project took a tremendous amount of time; these other things took a backseat to it; it also highlights how much I’ve learned and can contribute to this company. Since co-worker is now trying to hone in on this, I am worried that my contributions and efforts will not be reflected in my performance review.”

      And no matter what, document every single (expletive) thing you do and she does on this project.

  17. The other SA :

    I think I messed up!
    I had a phone interview scheduled for 1:3o this afternoon, I took a late lunch and went to park to do the interview. The clock ticked and no phone call. at 1:40 I sent an email to say “Are we still on for 1:30” and no response. I was annoyed and went through my sent emails and can’t find the email I sent to confirm! I checked my phone’s history and my laptops!

    After I investigated this company I probably wouldn’t have accepted the position but I hate that I was the flake. Can I do anything to mitigate this damage?

    • Coach Laura :

      I think you can reply to the last email chain and state that your reply got “lost” and you would like to reschedule but only if you really want to reschedule. If you’re no longer interested, then there isn’t any need to do this as they probably already realize that you’re not interested. Or alternately, reply that you are no longer interested in the position but appreciate their prior help on your behalf.

  18. First world problem :

    I’d like to hear thoughts on living in an apartment where laundry is in the building (but not in the unit). I’ve been very spoiled and have always lived in a place with an in-unit washer/dryer. We are now moving and the apartment that most closely fits all of our needs only has laundry in the building (a few floors down, with new washers/dryers, all very clean). I have two small kids who seem to go through a lot of laundry (I feel that we do at least 7 loads a week) and I’ve been so accustomed with just throwing in a load while I’m doing other chores around the house.

    Is this that big of a deal? Anything I should consider? I’ve seen the laundry place a few times and it is never crowded so I think one would always be available when I needed it. Would love to hear thoughts esp. from those with kids or who do a lot of laundry every week. Thanks!

    • This is my situation and I strongly dislike it. I would NOT do it if I had 7 loads per week – I do two loads every other week, sometimes three, and that’s annoying enough. The problem is that the machines are not always available (they usually are, but that is not always) and you can’t just leave things there for a while until you get a chance to come back unless you want to be disrespectful to other users. I would love to be able to leave towels in the dryer for a few hours and not have to set a timer to remember to go get them. Also, it makes laundry much more of a specific chore rather than something you can do while puttering around the house.

      Long story short, in-unit laundry is my dream.

      • Also, to add to this, if you have two small kids, are you okay leaving them in the unit while you go spend 10-20 minutes sorting and starting the machines ? If not, consider the difficulty of carrying a heavy load down the stairs with two in tow…

        • Not a parent :

          Would this be much different though than going to a basement in a single story house to start laundry while the kids are in a playroom of the house? I grew up in a time with less supervision though so I’m always shocked when I meet people who won’t leave their kids alone for a minute. My daughter’s best friend drags her kid with her to get the mail and to let the dog out to pee. A kid isn’t going to burn a house down in 3 minutes.

          • Not a parent :

            Edit. Not a parent of small children. Oops.

          • Anonymous :

            It is different in that there are no locking doors or strangers between the laundry room and playroom in a single house (usually) so if there is a problem, the kids can just come downstairs and find mom or no issue with mom accidentially locking herself out.

            To OP – depending on the age of your kids, I think that unplanned laundry will be your biggest challenge – when they puke on themselves because they are sick at 3am or their diaper leaks and you have to wash their pyjamas and bed sheets before breakfast – it’s so great to be able to through the gross laundry in the machine right away.

          • Anon at 4:26 :

            OMG I miss the edit button. Problems are (1) strangers, (2) locking doors with apartment scenario – not the absence of strangers.

          • Anon for This :

            I frequently leave my kids in one room if he house while I go to another. That said, I wouldn’t be comfortable (nor would they) leaving them for 10-20 mins while I go do laundry in a place where I can’t hear them and they can’t get to me if needed.

    • Anonymous :

      I have three small kids and would not be able to function without in-unit laundry. The other benefits would have to be huge to outweigh in-unit laundry.

    • Having my own W/D has been one of the high points of moving from a “laundry in building” condo to “laundry in basement” house, and we don’t have kids yet! We do 2-3 loads per week.

      At first I thought I’d miss the ability to do all the laundry at once (it was a large laundry room with lots of machines) but now that I can, for example, do a load of wash in the morning before showers and then toss it in the dryer before leaving for work, rather than worrying about occupying a public machine for too long, I can’t picture going back!

    • anonymous :

      We live in a building like this, also with 2 small kids. It’s not my favorite thing in the world, but not a deal-breaker either. What it means for us is a new perspective on laundry. Everyone in the family has enough of every type of clothing article to last a minimum of 8 days without washing. We do laundry once a week, on the weekends, and do all the loads at once. Thus the entire laundry experience (sort–>wash–>dry–>fold–>put away) is finished in a single ~3 hour time span. During that 3-hr period, I don’t stay in the laundry room – we go back and forth and do other chores to fill the “in between” time. In a way it’s kind of nice that I then don’t have to think about it the rest of the week, and I never have piles of clothes laying around (unfolded, or not put away, or whatever). The trick to making it work is to know your laundry room times – we’ve figured out a few weekend windows where we are nearly guaranteed to have all the washer/dryers free.

      • anonymous :

        But, we have an elevator to the laundry room. This system wouldn’t work nearly so well if you have to take the stairs. With the elevator, we load all the laundry into a wheeled cart, so it’s no problem bringing the kids. Actually they love the laundry room more than anything, so many spinning clothes….

        • First world problem :

          Oh yes, there is definitely an elevator to the laundry room. No way it could work with stairs.

      • +1 you’ll need to get more clothes and do laundry less often.

    • First world problem :

      Thanks for the responses so far. Good point on going to the laundry room with 2 kids in tow, that’s not workable. I see myself throwing in the laundry on a day when I am teleworking or during the work week when the kids are in bed.

      Also, very interesting re: having enough pieces of a type of clothing to last the week. I think we are covered in this respect but worth making sure.

      I do think it will be a big annoyance given that we have always had an in unit W/D, but it really is a great apt. from a commuting point of view, location, price, etc. Ugh.

      • I’ve tried to do this (laundry while teleworking), but I find that it doesn’t work because I like to fold my laundry right away to avoid wrinkles and ironing (I can’t just quickly grab it and let it sit for a few more hours in the basket). It ends up taking up a big chunk of the workday and since I have billable hours, it just didn’t work.

        • First world problem :

          Yeah, I totally don’t care about wrinkles. :) Even now with in unit W/D, I usually wash/dry and then a few days later fold. I see tossing in a bunch of loads on telework day and then folding at night while watching TV at home…..

      • Anon in NYC :

        I’ve lived in a building with central laundry (sans kids), and I’m currently living in a building without laundry at all (with 1 kid). We do laundry 1x a week. My husband goes to the laundromat (like 1 block away) on weekends and it takes about 2.5 hours in total The upside is that because it’s a laundromat, we have access to multiple washers and dryers so it cuts down on the total amount of time doing laundry. If you go at off-peak hours (early morning on Sunday for us), you can be done pretty quickly. It’s not really feasible for us to go more often because of the laundromat’s hours. As somebody else mentioned, we do make sure we (and our LO) have enough clothes for the week.

        In a perfect world I’d have a W/D in my apartment, but the apartment and location check off so many other boxes, that I was willing to live with this. It’s not insurmountable, it’s just annoying.

      • anonymous :

        Also, I can’t believe no one has mentioned it, but if you’re in NYC, most people just send their clothes out. Personally I don’t because I have other financial goals, but it may be the right choice for you (especially if that’s the factor that makes an otherwise-perfect apartment work).

    • Anonymous :

      I actually like having a laundry room in a building because, if you’re able to wash at a time when others aren’t, you can take all the washers and do 4+ loads at one time instead of it taking all day!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve almost always lived in places with communal laundry, and my favourite thing about going home to see my parents is having my own washer/dryer.

      I’m moving in a few weeks to a place with in-unit washer and dryer, and it’s definitely on my top 5 list of reasons I’m excited to move.

    • Meg Murry :

      Does the building have any rules about times you can use the machines or any kind of system like you have to sign up for a weekly timeslot, etc? I think in-building instead of in-unit isn’t the end of the world, but I have a friend that found out after she moved in that the in-building laundry had a bunch of rules because the machines were noisy and disturbed the apartment next door to the laundry room, so it turned into a disaster where if she didn’t start a load of laundry immediately when she walked in the door at 6 pm she just plain couldn’t do it (or wound up drip drying clothes all over her apartment).

      If there aren’t weird restrictions and it seems like enough machines for the whole building, that’s not too bad. But I think there was a past thread where someone was debating a larger place with more storage but basement laundry vs a smaller place with in-unit laundry and the majority of the commenters voted for in-unit. I feel like you have to tick an awful lot of the “perfectly just right” other boxes to make up for lack of in-unit laundry to me.

      Just before I hit “post” I realized one last thought – we wind up doing a lot of middle of the night laundry due to potty training toddlers wetting the bed or sick kids puking. If the laundry room isn’t open 24 hours that might be a dealbreaker for me – because there is no way I’d be able to deal with leave a load of puked-on sheets waiting until the next evening to wash them. I’m sure there are people who live in houses without in-building laundry that figure that kind of problem out, but I’m happy I’m not one of them.

      • +1 to checking any sort of restrictions. I lived in a building for a while that had plenty of machines, but the laundry room shut down at 9 p.m. The power to the machines literally cut off so if you had clothes in the washer, they sat in water overnight unless you retrieved them. The laundry restarted at 7:30 the following morning. So if you weren’t home to get a load in by 6:30, it wouldn’t get done that night.

        GOD I hated that building.

    • You can always outsource laundry. Most laundromats have drop-off service, many even have pick-up and delivery service. And you can schedule with an app.

      • Ally McBeal :

        We have a washer-dryer in my home and I still occasionally outsource laundry when I get really behind. To me, it’s totally worth the money. I loved it in New York when we just sent all the laundry out all the time.

    • lawsuited :

      In-suite laundry is at the top of my deal-breaker list, so I’d say it’s a big deal. The real inconvenience of not having in-suite laundry is that you have to plan your day around that goddam laundry rather than chucking it in, going about your business and getting back to it whenever you get back to it. I lived in a building where the laundry room was directly across the hall from my unit, and I learned that close proximity of the laundry room does nothing to ameliorate the inconvenience.

      And I don’t even have kids! I remember my mum doing a load of laundry a day when I was a kid – if that’s your life, hold out for in-suite laundry.

  19. Junior Lit Associate :

    Can anyone point me to a very (very) basic primer on municipal (and other public) bonds? I’ve just been staffed on a litigation matter involving VRDOs. I know next to nothing about finance and got pulled in because of a set of procedural experiences/skills.
    Sources I’m finding online either assume a baseline of knowledge I lack or discuss how and whether to invest in such vehicles, not how they work. I’m struggling to keep up with the terminology and just to understand the allegations in the case because of my ignorance of finance, and it’s sending me into a spiral of impostor-y self-doubt. Help, please.

    • Coach Laura :

      I could probably find more if I had time (I teach MBA-level finance) but here’s a good one https://online.citi.com/JRS/popups/Municipal_Securities_Brochure.pdf from Citibank. Can’t get the link to work on this one but it’s from S&P and looks good. Google “Standard & Poors Municipal Bond Primer.”

    • Anonymous :

      Try the SEC website or investopedia.

  20. Does anyone have any experience with modeling? A modeling agency rep (someone I know from a different context) approached me about representing my 15 year old daughter. We live in a smallish media market, think Cincinnati-ish sized. She is interested but it’s not something she would have pursued on her own. I know very little about the industry. Does anyone have advice on questions to ask, pitfalls, etc?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t have direct experience but what I’ve seen is that you shouldn’t have to pay for anything. Not classes, photos, etc. Those are indications that the agency isn’t legit.

      I’d do some research to find out what you can about the agency.

      • Thanks. It’s definitely a legit agency. It’s well established in my city and I know the agent who approached me. I’m a bit unsure about modeling as a part-time gig for a teen.

        • Anonymous :

          I have a friend who did this, as did her sisters, and she’s gone on to a PhD and has a lovely family. However, she is far more appearance focussed than usual for a humanities PhD and honestly I find I have radically different priorities than her. It’s hard to say how much of that led her to the work and how much was caused by it, fwiw

    • I have a few friends with model kids on the young side – for them it’s basically a full time job of taking them around to shoots and auditions and things. For an older kid, you just have to watch all the social issues but if she can get herself there and it’s fun, can be a good way to make some money.

    • Late to this, but I know someone who did this part time growing up and is a full time model as an adult. She’s not doing runways in Paris or Vogue covers, but she books catalog, stock photo, fit model work, ad campaigns for local and regional (and occasionally national brands), extra work in movies and TV (e.g. A spotlighted background type) and various other kinds of mod tier work. She is able to support herself as if she had a 9-5 full time job.

      She really enjoys it but also has reasonable expectations – she’s not expecting to be a super model, she views it as a job and has worked at developing relationships to help book recurring work.

      She’s also a very positive person and is totally unphased by the rejection. If your daughter is sensitive, this might not be a good fit – imagine that you had to apply to 5-10 new jobs a week and were rejected from 90% of them. It can be disheartening.

  21. I apologize if anyone thinks I’m out of it, but I have this really nice, high quality tiger print (and colored) blazer that I really hate to part with. Is this out of style?

  22. Ovulation kit rec? :

    Building on this morning’s comversation–any suggestions for ovulation kits? There are so many brands and a huge price range, but I can’t really tell if there are significant differences.

    • Anonymous :

      Just temp and get the Wondfo (sp?) sticks on Amazon. Cheap and easy and no guilt when you get a little obsessive and use 4 in one day.

    • lucy stone :

      Wondfos can apparently be fake. I used the Clear Blue Easy digital ones, but not the advanced ones – mine either had an empty circle or a smiley face. Once I started understanding my cycle, I only had to use 5-6 a month so the two month supply would really last me four or five months.

  23. Yay or Nay: Direct 4.5 hour flight with an active 19-month-old? It’s for vacation. We could go somewhere else. But the flight terror is the only thing holding us back.

    • Anonymous :

      yay. It’ll be fine. search for posts with travel ideas on the moms site.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Doable, though not a fun 4.5 hours. I’d always rather go direct than have layovers, even if it lasts longer. Bring lots and lots of snacks (piecy ones, like cheerios and goldfish). Assume all rules on snacks go out the window. Bring crayons and paper. Assume all rules on ipads/phones go out the window.

    • Anonymous :

      Have done this before with our very active similarly-aged toddler. It’s doable. You’ll spend the whole time entertaining him/her, but you can manage.

    • anonymous :

      Go for it. Prepare for the worst, and it probably won’t be that bad. You’ll survive and have a fun vacation.

    • You can do it! I just did 15+ hours of flying, plus layover, with my 20-month old. I was terrified but it was actually not bad at all. Have also done 2-5 hour flights several times – there’s no predicting mood but snacks, books, and iPad all help. I’ve had flights where my kid is an absolute angel and flights where he’s…not, but none of them have been so bad that I regretted actually going.

    • If you can spring for a seat for the toddler and put him/her in a car seat, that’ll make it a lot easier (unless your kid hates the car seat).

    • Anonymous :

      Only if you get a seat and are prepared to be fully “on” the whole flight. Our kid is fine as long as we play the whole time!

    • Anonymama :

      Do it! It’s busy but not bad. Bring lots of books, activities, videos, airplane books. I’ve done a one hour flight with only the in flight magazine and emergency guide and been fine (let’s look for pictures of dogs! Let’s talk about the airplane, every part of the airplane and what it does! It has a slide! And a boat! And life jackets! Etc) and with two of you to switch off it will be relatively easy (well, you’ll get to go to the bathroom on your own, which is amazing).

    • Anonymous :

      Do it!

  24. Mortified Anon :

    OMG HALP! Junior big law associate, just had a meeting with a senior partner who sits two offices down to discuss a project. Stood up after our meeting, looked down at his (yellow) upholstered chair and saw a bunch of dark weird stains. Didn’t say anything but had a weird feeling.

    Well I go back to my office and see a melted glob of chocolate covered espresso bean on my chair! I had bits of melted chocolate on my jeans and didn’t notice- well now I am unbelievably embarrassed because he is obviously going to see this stain, know it was me (we are in a small group and it is super slow today)- I am afraid I ruined his chair and also just want to melt into a puddle and disappear forever.

    Do I need to acknowledge it? I feel like that will be even worse than pretending this never happened….PLZ HELP

    • Maddie Ross :

      If you feel like you can’t say something to him, can you say something to his assistant? I think saying “I just realized that I had melted chocolate on my pants and I think it may have gotten on your chair,” is so much less weird that (a) ignoring it, or (b) what I thought you were asking original which involved period stains, which yes, would be super awkward to discuss with a senior male partner.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Please address it. So much more awkward to be known as the associate who left a random brown stain on the chair. Don’t make them have to guess what it is.

        Google chocolate stain removal. Find partner or assistant. “Just got back to my office and realized I had some chocolate on my pants. I was meeting with partner, in case I got any on his chair – apparently ‘stain removal solution’ will take it out.” Keep it light and treat it like you spilled a bit of coffee on his desk. Annoying and embarrassing but not a huge deal.

      • Coach Laura :

        Yep tell him. Chocolate much better cause than blood.

    • Tell him. He’s going to think it is a bio hazard and not chocolate if you don’t.

      • Anonymous :

        +1… Melted chocolate is not where I thought this story was going. So sorry this happened but could be worse?

        • lawsuited :

          +1 I think everyone will just be relieved that it’s chocolate.

          • A friend was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. He had to go to a meeting in Asuncion with the head of the Forestry agency. He wore a suit because that is what one does.

            He had giardia.

            With giardia, apparently you get surprise diarrhea.

            Which he did.

            In his suit.

            In this meeting.

            He asked, “Don Sergio, is there someplace where I can get some paper towels to clean the chair and myself?”

            Don Sergio, the head of the agency, replied, “Drew, you know we are a poor country and a poor agency. We do not have paper towels.”

            My friend had to walk back to his hostel. Dirty. And unable to clean the mess in the chair.

          • Wow, a harsh reminder to BYOPT. Also, I love your blog :)

    • hahaha. This is totally something I would do/something that would happen to me. I’m relieved that it’s not just that I’m a hot mess.

    • Anonymous :

      I did this once but it wasn’t chocolate and I didn’t say anything.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I did this once and fortunately it was a leather chair and I ran in his office after hours and wiped it off! I considered it a triumph.

    • Mortified Anon :

      OK I addressed it with partner. He came to my office shortly after I posted to finish our discussion and I just asked him to shut the door and said, I am so sorry but after our meeting, I realized I had some melted chocolate on my pants- and pointed to the bag of beans on my desk- I think I left a stain on your chair, I am mortified. And he was really kind and told me not to worry about it. Still definitely mortified. And scared that I will look at the stain with shame forever. Ugh I suck!

      • it will be fine! Partner will probably have his assistant call facilities to come clean it, and will promptly forget the whole thing.

  25. Chicago restaurant recs :

    My cousins are visiting from the Bay Area. Want to take them to dinner in the city on a Friday night. Where can I still squeeze in that’s good. They like good food, but I want to avoid Asian, Mexican as they eat this a lot in California. I know I waited too long to make a reservation…. Would prefer West loop/loop/River North. Tx!

    • I’m in the Bay Area now, originally from MKE. If I were going to Chicago, I’d want something truly Chicago like Chicago-style pizza or going to an old-school Chicago steak house.

      The Bay Area does have Chicago-style pizza but, sigh, it just is not the same. It will never be the same. The Californians have messed it up. We also have steakhouses but there is something really special about old-school steak houses.

      I know MKE has some really neat breweries and newer restaurants (e.g., in the 3rd Ward). If Chicago has something like that, that would be really cool to see.

      • My favorite place in Chicago is Eataly. I expect you can get great Italian food in the Bay Area, but Eataly is just so fun. It’s like being in a town square in Italy. A town square with a Nutella bar.

      • Anon at 5:08 :

        FWIW, when I bring visitors from the Bay Area home to MKE, I take them to a Friday Night Fish Fry. If it’s during Lent, we go to the one in the church basement. I’ve also taken them to country taverns for German/Polish/Swedish food and to dinner clubs for … the experience (it really is one of a kind).

      • Chicago restaurant recs :

        We’re going to pizza the next day. I am trying to avoid the steak houses as the price can just sky rocket …. But thanks for the perspective..

        MKE?

    • It’s a little outside your target area, but how about a Greek restaurant in Greektown (S. Halsted St. area)? Very Chicago and you should be able to get in on short notice. Greek Islands, Artopolis are a couple.

  26. Sydney Bristow :

    I have a stupid request. Can someone recommend a kitchen trash can that manages to hold the bag in place? Metal with a foot pedal would be preferred. I’ve looked around and it seems like $100 is the going rate. Does that seem right? It seems really expensive to me and the reviews are all over the map. I’m at my wits end with our current trash can.

    • ok we have one of the $100 Simplehuman ones, but it has the same problem (because I absolutely refuse to pay for Simplehuman brand trash bags). So my cheap workaround is to use one of those super long rubber bands (around the outside of the can) to hold the trash bag in place!

    • We got one of the lower end, plastic Simplehuman ones. It was less expensive than the metal ones, but I’m blanking on the price. We ended up buying their trash bags. We got some kind of mega pack and I haven’t bought trash bags in a couple of years. My friends got one of the metal ones that locks because their dog gets in the trash.

    • We, too, have the Simplehuman (I got it in lieu of an engagement ring), but we never have any problems using regular trash bags. We just tighten the ends of the tie.

      http://diaryofagolddigger.blogspot.com/2010/03/in-which-i-get-engagement-trash-can.html

    • I have the $100 Simplehuman can. I just use regular drawstring bags. I forget the size. I remove the black can liner and put the bag in leaving about 6 inches of overhang on the sides. Then I pull the drawstring and redistribute the bag evenly around the liner. I hold the drawstring against the side of the liner then place it back into the trash can. It almost always works perfectly and only takes a second once you get the hang of it.

      • I also have a metal Simplehuman can (came with my house; I was shocked that garbage cans cost $120!). My can doesn’t have a liner, but tall Glad drawstring bags have worked just fine.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a metal Simplehuman and regular generic trash bags stay in very well. There’s a black plastic insert in the can that you’re supposed to tuck the ends of the bag under. When it goes back in, the plastic is trapped and it holds the bag very well. I don’t need to fuss with anything to get it to work. I think it probably was around $100.

    • I’ve got the Threshold 30L metal step trash can from Target (currently $55) and it’s great. The black plastic inner liner is very sturdy and comes with a very strong rubber band already in place on one side, ready for the trash bag to be tucked through. Honestly one of my favorite purchases for my new apartment.

    • Definitely Simple Human. Expensive for a trash can, but it’s well made and it’s worth it because I use it multiple times a day (and it has a butterfly opening that keeps my dog out of the trash). You don’t have to buy the special bags they claim fit better. I use Costco bags and assume most kitchen size bags would work equally well.

    • Plug for the Costco touchless one. Its like $45 and waving to open the trashcan is surprisingly convenient. It fits normal bags and the bags are very securely held in.

    • Anonymous :

      I got one on Amazon that has a split compartment for recyclables and trash (if you already have recycling covered, you could just use both sides for trash, so it’s not that limiting). Each side has a plastic ring that sits in the top and you tuck the top of the bag around the outside, so the bag is trapped between the ring and the can frame. I stuff my bags to the brim and smash down multiple times to delay taking it out, and I’ve never had the bag slip out. It also has a sensor to open the lid, which I find way more convenient than a foot petal. I think the brand was Nine Stars and it was around $80. It’s a wonderful little Simple Human knockoff.

    • Yep, that’s what a good one costs. I would judge people (silently) when they asked for $200 trash cans on their wedding registry-when we moved into our house I cheaped out and got the Home Depot brand of stainless steel step cans. well the steppers broke within a year, they were really cheap, easily dented, etc. Manned up and spent the hundred bucks on a simple human, had it four years, like new-totally worth it. we don’t buy their special bags but do get stretchy rim bags and those work just fine. it’s literally a pleasure to throw stuff out in that thing. Lesson learned!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thanks all. Now to convince my husband! I’ll try the giant rubber band trick in the meantime.

  27. feed my revenge fantasies :

    Can you please indulge me in my private awfulness? My boyfriend dumped me in an excruciating way recently. I have been good, Doing All the Things (therapy, exercise, filling my social calendar), but today I just can’t take being Good/Strong/etc. anymore. Do you have any sweet stories of revenge — like the time he came crawling back and you were living your fabulous life, or how his attempts to move on failed miserably? I would like to cackle in a villainous way, and then move on to a fabulous new week.

    Thanks in advance ;)

    • Baconpancakes :

      Not quite as wicked as you might want, but my first semi-serious boyfriend broke up with me to date another girl, then played “wait-I-love-you-wait-never-mind” for two months after, and I just ran back to him every time. Eventually I grew a spine and walked away from it. The guy in my playwriting class who’d been making eyes at me all semester finally asked me out, and as we were just getting hot and heavy on an early date, my ex texted, then called, wanting to try again. I rolled my eyes and turned off the phone and never looked back. The guy from my playwriting class and I didn’t end up working out, but he was a wonderful man and a great boyfriend, and loved me in a way I didn’t felt again until my current SO.

    • Anon Anon :

      No real stories, but just chiming in to say that I posted about my recent breakup yesterday, and have been indulging in the exact same line of thinking! Sending lots of good wishes your way.

    • Mine is a bit sad, but here goes. Boyfriend wanted to step back to “just friends” while he figured himself out (i.e., date other women) and for the first time ever, I didn’t sit around hoping and waiting for him to come back. I threw myself into work, plans for my future, and said yes when a new guy asked me out but I didn’t think I was over my ex yet. I just went for it.

      New Guy is now my husband of 13 years, and as for the ex…. Every 2 years or so, he still reaches out to me and wants to catch up, even though he’s married with children and we haven’t seen each other since the breakup so long ago. I’ve heard, “We could always talk about anything! You always understood me!” And, “I was a jerk to you. You were perfect and I was just an idiot.” And finally, one disturbing call where he was crying and said, “I just came from a funeral and can’t stop thinking about you. I should have married you.” Then he hung up.

      I think I’m some hazy, revisionist version of The One Who Got Away. But rather than being romantic or ego-boosting, I can only see a discontent middle aged man stalking a Facebook page at 1 am rather than loving his wife and children. Gross! Man up, you sad sack!

      One day, that could be your ex. Disturbing, huh?

    • My ex blew up our marriage in a spectacular way after meeting someone new. They flaunted their new relationship in front of all of our friends, very shortly after we split. They are married now. A few summers ago, a friend of mine told me that my ex’s new wife had called my friend, drunk as a skunk, while they were visiting our city. She had walked out to go to a bar because… he’d been cheating on her.

    • Anon for This :

      A guy broke up with me and it really stung me. I was pretty into him and he essentially said I wasn’t good enough for him. Well, six months later I met my now-husband (married 15 years, super happy, have kids). Two or so years after Guy A dumped me I’m running a 5K, and he spots me , runs over to chat me up and ask me out. I very nicely said, “Oh, I got married last year,” and enjoyed watching his face fall and him running off.

  28. Probably too late, but here goes anyway– my mom got me a Soma gift card for my bday and I have never shopped there before. I am a little bit overwhelmed by all the options, but really want to buy bras and underwear rather than PJs, since mine are in desperate need of replacement. I’m a short hourglass with a flat but wide bum. My VS underpants tend to migrate into my ass during the day, I think because they are shaped like a triangle and my bum is shaped like a rectangle. Any Soma underpants recommendations for those of you who have a similar shape?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes! Definitely try those vanishing edge panties! They’re all I wear. They really work! I do sleep in plain cotton panties because the silicone strips are a bit much for 24/7.

      • +1

        I also have a wide rear. I got the vanishing edge panties due to recs from this site. However, I will pass along more good advice I got from this site. Try ordering up a size…. Or sometimes even two. You really just may need more fabric. Stay away from hipsters and boy shorts, which will creep more on us. Try bikinis, and try sizing up.

        I wound up buying several sizes and a couple styles until I figured it out.

  29. Anonymous :

    Indulge me in the fluffiness of this post, please :)

    My boyfriend and I are talking about getting married. We’re both mid-30s and divorced. Having both done the big weddings and all that before, we’re planning on not getting formally engaged, not telling anyone, and just simply going away on vacation one week and coming back married. (We like the surprise factor and the no fuss-no muss aspect, too.)

    I’m thinking of not getting an engagement ring, and just getting a modestly priced diamond wedding band instead. Has anyone heard of this? The vanity in me misses my gorgeous e-ring from my first marriage, but at the same time, the thought of spending thousands and thousands of dollars on a piece of jewelry makes me a little ill at this point in my life when there are so many other things (SLs, retirement, down payment) that that money could go to. And we hope to start a family ASAP, and I imagine I wouldn’t be wearing a ring too often that could accidentally stab babies, right? (Moms, please weigh in with your experiences.)

    Thoughts? How would you feel about only having a diamond band?

    • Totally fine. I often just wear my diamond band because I don’t like to wear my engagement ring while doing active things.

    • I proudly wear my baby stabber all the time. That said, I got a thin gold band with my daughters birth stone and diamonds alternating that I wear as a stackable ring with my plain gold wedding band and gold E-ring w round solitaire. So you could just plan on that. Just get a diamond wedding band, and then stack some other sentimental rings if the baby making thing goes as planned.

    • Anonymous :

      I also regularly just wear my wedding band as opposed to both my wedding band and e-ring. My wedding band has tiny pave diamonds. I like it but if I had known how much I would wear it without the e-ring I might have gotten something flashier, more like an eternity band with visible, distinct diamonds.

    • I did pretty much exactly what you describe but I still got a nice ring. I’m not into baby stabbers so I have a 2-piece set, too is sparkly and colored stones, bottom is plain diamond band. I often wear just the band but love having the option of more. But I like sparkle.

    • My mother never had an engagement ring because they were poor when they got engaged. They’re celebrating their 48th anniversary this year, and she’s never worn anything but a wedding band.

    • Wildkitten :

      I love your plan. It sounds perfect for you.

      Diamond bands come in all types: http://www.costco.com/diamond-bands.html

    • I’ve got a channel set diamond band and a solitaire e-ring. There has been very little baby stabbing with the e-ring and I wear it daily. I wear my wedding band alone for sports and other occasions when I don’t want to wear my e-ring.

  30. Younger Man dating future? :

    Not sure if this is too late for this post… Anyway, met a guy on-line. Roughly 14 years younger, he’s 25ish. Went out with him because he seemed interesting, nice. He is. Very much so. If it weren’t for the age gap I wouldn’t really be thinking about it. It doesn’t bother him. But, I’m interested in having a kid. Getting married. Have any of you advice/stories/experience to share about this kind of situation? Thanks!!

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think this is the guy for you. You are 39 now? It may take him a few years to be ready for the things that you are. I think 14 years is a pretty big age gap, especially when one of the people is still in their 20s

      • Anonymous :

        I agree. 14 years is huge gap when one person is in their 20s, especially if you want to get married and have kids.

        • Anonymous :

          And especially when one of them is a dude- sorry, but when he’s a hot 35 year old, and you’re planning your 50th…well…you know, gender dynamics are such that I’d personally be pretty worried about him cheating.

  31. Younger Man dating future? :

    Why can’t a woman be a hot 50 year old?!

    • She can, and I know several of them, but as a 30 year old who wants kids, I would be skeptical about getting involved with a 25-year-old man unless he was actively looking to settle down and have them. And even then, I’d be a little concerned about his maturity level based on literally every mid-twenties guy I know. A lot of my younger guy friends are commitment-minded to be sure, but very few are in a place where they want to have kids in the next couple of years.

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