Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I’m curious to hear from you guys — are you looking for a denim jacket for spring for weekends? Or is it one of those trends that you just won’t repeat if you had something similar in the late ’80s or early ’90s? This one is very highly rated — 4.6 stars with almost 100 reviews — and it comes in a bunch of colors. It’s available in regular sizes XS-XL and petite sizes XXS-XL, as well as plus sizes, for $74.50 at Nordstrom. Helena Denim Jacket

(Of course, if you’re on the hunt for new jeans in general, don’t forget to check out Wednesday’s roundup of the most-loved denim at Nordstrom. Some are even on included in the big winter #Nsale that just started!)

(L-all)

Comments

  1. Senior Attorney :

    “A denim jacket for skin for weekends?” I have no idea what that could possibly mean.

    Anyway, I have a Levi’s denim jacket from the 80s that I plan to wear forever.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I was sitting here trying to figure out what it could possibly mean. I’ll stick with my own skin, thanks.

      I have no desire for a denim jacket although not because of any desire to avoid repeating trends. I never found them comfortable.

      • +1 I don’t find them comfortable. I also just don’t really … get them? They’re not good outerwear because they’re not waterproof, windproof, or even really that warm, and they’re not good next-t0-skin-wear because they’re not comfortable, so I don’t really understand their purpose.

        I have no strong feelings about the look though.

        • Anonymous :

          They’re a lightweight coat that is ideal for fall or spring weather. Not meant to be a windbreaker, raincoat, or parka.

          • Maybe my lack of comprehension is because Houston does not have fall or spring — just hotter ‘n hell and cold n’ rainy.

          • Some people wear them indoors to – like instead of a blazer in more casual environments.

        • Also good for keeping shoulders warm in cold, casual restaurants.

        • I agree on these points. The one thing I appreciate about denim jackets is that they’re somewhat protective without being warm (if I fall off my bike or while hiking, I’d rather be wearing a denim jacket than something thinner). I still prefer canvas though.

      • Yay! Open Thread’s! I love Open Thread’s and this denim jacket. I have too much of a pooch in front to wear such a short jacket, tho Rosa can wear this. And FOOEY b/c she has had 3 kids and STILL has a flatter midriff then I do. But she work’s out 3 hours a day 3 days a week with a PERSONAL TRAINER. I supose I could look like her if I did that, but I have to work to pay the rent. DOUBEL FOOEY!

        Anyway, is anyone in the HIVE takeing off Monday for the holiday? I have to come in and bill 35 hours this weekend so I will come in on Monday in the afternoon to do that. I wish the ENTIRE HIVE a happy President’s DAY! I will be at MACYS on Sunday all day to take in the Sales!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!

    • I bought one last year and I love it! It’s such a good summer jacket (Scotland over here)

      • I use mine quite a bit here in Pittsburgh (which has very similar weather to Scotland much of the year, as we learned when we honeymooned there!). It’s a great mid-layer that I don’t feel weird wearing inside (unlike an actual coat) and looks cute with a dress. Cardigans look schlubby on me so I prefer something more structured and this is structured and casual.

      • Me too! I like wearing mine with dresses for a nicer looking casual outfit.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I love to wear mine with my fancy skirts to dress them down for dressy-but-not-too-dressy occasions.

    • My guess is “A denim jacket for spring weekends”

    • I’m in the market for a cropped moto style denim jacket. I have my heart set on one, actually, that’s on clearance at Macy’s, but… I really ought not to buy more moto jackets.

      • I have 2 of the Halogen ones – blue and black – and I wear them constantly in the spring and summer as toppers.

        I’m over jean jackets 4 eva. I’m filing them in the same bin as that hobo bag from yesterday. Too 90s for me. And too 80s.

      • S in Chicago :

        Check out the “trucker” style one at Macys. It’s cropped with no collar. I don’t usually shop Macy’s but this was a total winner. Super stretchy and comfortable and perfect with a casual dress. And technically not moto…

        • Anonymous :

          I own a similar jacket by Lucky in blue denim, distressed at the hems/collar, that I liked until I wore it with a black jersey dress in LA and a homeless guy looked at me, and then looked at the license plate on my rental car, and I suddenly became extremely self-conscious that he was confirming I was not a local.

    • I hate denim jackets. So uncomfortable.

  2. Instruments :

    For those of you who play instruments, how did you pick which one?

    I got handed a violin b/c 1) orthodontist said “no wind instruments,” 2) parents had a subcompact car, so no cello or bass, 3) offered at my school.

    I liked violin b/c you always got the melody line (and I worked my way up to first violin over second violin to ensure I always had the melody line). I’m not really that musical, so having the melody line helped me know what things were supposed to sound like.

    Neither parent was remotely musical. I can see it being somewhat helpful to have an adult in the house to help you when you’re not with an instructor. And it would be nice to play with other people without having to be on stage.

    • I play piano…because we had a piano. I stuck with it because I liked it. Elementary school band had me at trumpet (don’t know why), but when I stopped playing and my brother took up band, it was decided he would play trumpet…since we already had one.

      I like piano because you don’t need any other instruments to have a complete sound. Which is also true for other band/orchestra instruments, but I think the piano has more options in that regard.

      • Marshmallow :

        I have always wished I learned to play the piano (I know, never too late). In my fantasy brownstone there is a piano in the front room and I know how to play it.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        We had a piano growing up but I never learned to play. None of my siblings did actually. I’d like to learn someday.

      • My dad plays the piano, so I did to! I also tried the flute in middle school, wasn’t so great at that and switched to the oboe where I ended up first chair in HS (not hard when there are only two of you). I still sit down at the piano when I go to my parents house although my left hand is quite slow these days. I need to brush the cobwebs off a bit when it comes to reading music after 20 years, but push comes to shove and I can do it!

        I’d love to learn the guitar, but that stems from my desire to be a singer in a country cover band!!

      • My great grandmother was an excellent pianist and piano teacher. All her kids played, and I started playing the piano at my grandparents’ house when I was about 4. So then we got one, too, and the rest is history. My dad is not musical, my mom played a little piano but I was better by halfway through elementary school. I picked up violin because I wanted to learn a string instrument when orchestra started in 4th grade, it was cheaper than a cello, and my mom thought learning to read a new clef for viola would hurt my already-terrible music reading abilities even more. And then I learned clarinet because I wanted to be in band for social reasons and my grandparents still had my mom’s old clarinet. (My siblings picked up brass instruments that used to belong to my uncles.)

        I still play piano and my kids will learn. I’ll veto drums, but they’re welcome to pick any other instruments that interest them.

    • Marshmallow :

      My neighborhood school was the arts “magnet” school for my district, so we all learned to play the violin in second grade. I liked it so I just never stopped all through college. I also enjoyed having the melody line and being in the spotlight. I was eventually concertmaster of my college orchestra and really enjoyed getting my own entrance, tuning the orchestra, minor solos, etc. You don’t get that no matter how great a viola player you are.

      Are you thinking of helping your kid choose an instrument? I don’t think it’s particularly important to play the same instrument as your parent. Neither of mine were musical and it worked out just fine. I’d probably encourage my hypothetical child to try several different instruments at school and see what they like. They’re only going to stick with it out of genuine enjoyment.

      • Anonymous :

        OTOH, when you go to audition for local symphonies (esp. youth symphonies), you realize that smart compliant girls who play violin are a dime a dozen. At that point, it felt so . . . basic? Something? Living the stereotype?

        I still wish I could play something practical. I am amazed that people play instruments without looking at sheet music. I totally need it.

        But I really enjoyed violin, even if now I just play show tunes and roots/folk music.

        • Marshmallow :

          Yeah, there’s nothing particularly unique about playing the violin. But I genuinely enjoy it, and while I don’t play much anymore, it’s nice that I can pick up solo sheet music or play folk tunes and the violin tune is the melody of the song. I imagine that’s more of a challenge with instruments that don’t typically carry the melody like viola or trombone or something.

    • I’m very curious about how one gets started playing the bagpipes. Is it something you have to learn as a kid? How do you convince a kid to play the bagpipes?

      • Anonymous :

        I notice a high prevalence b/w bagpipes and wearing Doc Martens. Start in the shoe department :)

      • Senior Attorney :

        My husband went to a high school whose mascot was the Highlanders, and they have a bagpipe corps. I’m quite sure they all (or almost all) pick it up for the first time when they get to high school (after, perhaps, playing other instruments earlier).

        • A school in the area I grew up also was the Highlanders, and they had bagpipes as part of their marching band (not a separate corps). I think that their bassoon or oboe players picked up the bagpipes for marching because they used the double-reed variety.

      • My sister played the bagpipes. She randomly decided it would be fun and did the research in her area to find a teacher. I don’t think it was all that hard for her to find someone, but we were in a pretty populated area.

      • I believe bagpipes are not something picked up by ‘kids’ but teens at the earliest due to the lung capacity needed and the physical control involved in it. As for that, I have not heard of the mascot thing, but I have seen them picked up for every reason from having Scottish heritage to ‘I’m a teen and want to be interesting.’

        When music was offered I was very excited to play the saxophone; I just thought it had a cool sound. My hands were declared too small and I was resigned to the clarinet. That lasted about 3 years. I picked up (classical) guitar and bass guitar in later years.

        If this is for your kid in hopes of a scholarship someday, the answer is french horn.

        • I am interested that your music teacher thought your hands were too small for the saxophone (I’m assuming alto) and not the clarinet (I’m assuming standard B flat).

          I say this because I play both, and picked up both in middle school. I don’t find the “reach” to be different, with maybe the exception of pinky keys (and even then the reach is only slightly larger with the alto sax).

          I picked clarinet by process of elimination. We didn’t have a string program (I wanted desperately to play cello). I did not want percussion. I couldn’t buzz to play a brass instrument to save my soul. The flute was “too girly” and the oboe was frustrating when I tried it.

          So that left clarinet and later the saxophone for jazz band. I still play both, though not nearly as well as I used to. Along the way, I’ve picked up guitar, though not proficiently. I have small hands myself, and find that the reach needed is sometimes frustrating.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I used to play flute and piccolo because that seemed like correct societal choice as a kid. I really wish I’d played drums.

      We had to take either band or chorus in middle school and I hated singing so band won. I did enjoy playing the flute and played through most of middle school. Sometimes I think about trying to pick it up again.

    • Senior Attorney :

      When I was a kid in the late 60s-early/mid-70s, it was quite usual to have a piano in the house, and almost everybody took lessons, including me. I didn’t like my teacher and it didn’t stick, which I have always regretted.

      On another note, Lovely Husband and I were at the symphony the other night and talking about how some instruments are gendered. Less so now, but definitely when we were growing up. Flutes were for girls. Brass was for boys. Clarinets could go either way, but mostly girls. String instruments were less gendered except bass violins were definitely for boys. Percussion was boys all the way, except Karen Carpenter playing drums. LH played the tuba, which was all boys, all the time.

      • I think instruments were gendered a lot still in the ’90s and ’00s, too, and was a big reason why I wanted to play guitar and drums (though the drums never materialized) — because I was a tomboy! :)

    • SoCalAtty :

      Band started in my school district at 4th grade. The music teacher would have you try all of the instruments and see which one seemed to “fit.” I matched with clarinet, and played all the way though high school and did honor band and all of that. We had a piano, and when my grandma said “learn to play or I’m selling it,” I learned to play. That worked out well because I was able to fill in for our high school jazz piano player when she was out.

      I kind of wish I had learned a string instrument – my dad is an AMAZING guitar player and has traveled the world, and it seems like guitar is more transferable to other instruments than clarinet is.

      I am super rusty on both clarinet and piano. I have my old piano in storage and I really need to get that moved here!

    • marketingchic :

      I played piano because we had one – and I looked up to my cousins who also played. I then added violin because that and oboe were supposed to be the most difficult instruments – and violin started one year earlier in my school. Now my son has started and dropped piano, but I’m glad he did it because it’s a good 1st instrument. He also plays violin- his school has all third graders learn, and so far is sticking with it. Having played myself, I like having an understanding of what he’s learning, but he has zero interest in Mom helping him out.

      I’m looking foward to playing violin in a group again when my kids are a little older and I get some free time back.

    • Anonymous4 :

      My (non-musical) parents insisted I learn the piano. I think to my mom (who grew up too poor to afford luxuries like music lessons), the piano was something all well-rounded, wealthy children did, and while we were by no means wealthy, we were comfortable enough to afford music lessons. She was definitely fulfilling childhood dreams with us, but speaking as professional musician I can say that piano will give basic fundamental musical skills that will be applicable throughout life and are transferable to almost any style of musical interest.

      I selected flute as a 5th grader (when band started), simply because I’d heard it once in grade school and thought it was pretty. There’s a lot of joy in selecting something just because you like it. I hold a degree in flute performance, and still love it, although use it far less that I’d like.

      I wish I would have learned guitar, as it is the most transportable and best suited to singing in a social context or with children.

    • anonymous :

      I’ve played trumpet since I was 10. Honestly, I picked it because my mom told me that it’s a boy’s instrument and I should play it. So naturally, I did.

    • I played the piano because my daycare had a visiting instructor once a week and she had candy, so obviously I wanted to partake in the lessons. I thought the piano was a great first instrument as you could learn to read music without worrying to much about coaxing the “right” sounds from the instrument.

      I then took up the flute because it was “pretty” sounding and, to be honest, probably because it was girly. I played the flute for a few years until middle school, when it became apparent that there were just too many flute players. Our band director was trying to diversity the instruments and for a flute player, either the oboe or the piccolo were the obvious answers because of the similarity of the key combinations. Piccolos are terrible so it was an easy choice.

      I loved the oboe — I think it has a beautiful sound and, like some people said, often has the melody line. Lots of solos. However, it is a difficult instrument and ideally you learn to make your own reeds. I had to take private lessons in addition to my band classes.

      A good friend of mine picked her instrument because her parents surveyed college band directors and figured out what was likely to get a scholarship — and she did!

    • I play piano well and clarinet formerly well and guitar badly.

      I started with clarinet in 5th grade and went through high school. I was in an award winning competitive marching band in high school (like, we played games and pep rallies for the football team but we were better than the football team! The cheerleaders should have been cheering for us – haha) and I had a leadership position in the band. This was a super important formative experience for me and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

      I didn’t pursue the clarinet in college and I could kick myself for doing that. I just thought I’d be too busy. I had an opportunity to play with a volunteer orchestra last fall so I took a whole summer’s worth of private lessons to get my chops back. It was a great experience.

      We had a piano in the house when I was growing up, because my mom had played piano as a kid and wanted to get back into it. She never really did, and the piano was a project – wildly out of tune and some of the keys didn’t work but she got it for free. Because I had learned how to read treble clef in school playing clarinet, I figured out how that translated to the piano and I taught myself bass clef / left hand. I also taught myself some bad habits with no teacher to guide me! When I was an “adult” at 24 I bought myself an old upright piano and started taking lessons. I took lessons for 20 years and can play pretty well now, but I have slacked off for the last few years due to travel and because I really want to find a good jazz teacher (my lessons were classical.)

      And guitar. My dad played guitar and sang in pick up bands. My husband does the same. I bought my own guitar and learned some chords so that I can play and sing my favorite old songs. This is just for me and just for fun.

      My kids both play instruments in school and both seem to have talent. My daughter is concert master for her high school orchestra.

      Most of my friends’ kids don’t do music. It surprises me because I thought it was just something everyone did.

      If you have any inclination AT ALL to try an instrument or take a few voice lessons, DO IT. Music is such a lovely antidote to work and political stress and all the other garbage. I can be having an absolutely awful day and then pick up my guitar or sit at the piano and feel a lot better after 30 minutes or so.

      • 100% behind the “DO IT”. I had a scholarship that allowed me to take voice lessons while I was in law school and my voice lessons and the 45 minutes or so I eked out in a practice room each day were the highlight of most of my weeks.

      • +1. True story: I started up piano lessons again as an adult when, after blowing through Guitar Hero a few years ago, I found myself needing to practice one of the songs to beat it on “expert.” I had this epiphany that if I were going to practice something it damn well better be a real instrument so I could enjoy the result. It took a couple months to knock the rust off, but now playing Chopin solves everything wrong with the world for me. Also, my grandpa gave me his mom’s old music books from when she was studying in a conservatory almost 100 years ago and it’s so cool to play from them.

    • Anonymous :

      I played flute and picked it because my babysitter at the time played flute and I thought she was the coolest person alive and wanted to be like her. Not kidding. I was in 4th grade and she was in high school. My mom paid her to give me some lessons, pretty basic stuff then in middle school and high school I played in band. My parents were both very musical. My mom played piano and sang and my dad played guitar and sang. They even recorded some kind of awful folksy music in the late sixties, haha. (Just for themselves it wasn’t released or anything like that.) So it was kind of assumed that me and my siblings would play something.

    • Still bitter :

      I played the violin because my dad bought one, took 2 lessons and quit and had to justify the purchase. There was zero discussion. I hated every minute of those 5 years and can barely listen to classical music now.

    • I come from a family of singers, but both my brother and I played instruments. My brother played drums as a kid (through high school and still some today) because he had what my parents called “nervous habits” – most likely a mild tic disorder and mild OCD and playing drums helped him get out some of that energy.

      I learned piano from my grandmother when I was really little then switched to a different teacher because my mom didn’t want to mess up my relationship with her mother. I always joke that I have to practice a lot to be mediocre at the piano, but I still own a piano and can pick out my parts that I’m learning.

      I played bells in elementary school (came to the school after they did the instrument sorting) but switched to French horn in junior high because my band director said that I had musical ability and should play a more challenging instrument. I played horn until college, but by then, I was pursuing vocal music. I feel like playing horn made me a better singer. I am a better musician for having played an instrument and have a better ear due to playing horn.

    • Calibrachoa :

      When I was little, my dad bought me a violin but my mother didn’t want me to have lessons because they were useless in her opinion / “let the child play!”; then we moved to a small village where there were no chances of lessons of any kind, and we also left the piano behind.

      I am still bitter after all these years I never learned the violin or the piano.

    • In my childhood school district, everyone in 3rd grade had an assembly where they watched a small orchestra perform in the auditorium, and then we could go up on stage and look at /try/talk to the musicians about the instruments. Then we could pick any instrument we wanted and we had group lessons at school “for free” once a week. Maybe a nominal charge to rent an instrument. Really amazing.

      So I was a bit young to start (7), and while I thought I had been drawn to the violin, my Mom years later told me that she nudged me towards the violin. My mother had played the piano as a child, and she purchased a piano soon after I started playing the violin. I had a bit of innate musical talent, and was pretty coordinated/sporty, which I think helped with the violin. So I moved on to private violin lessons with a serious teacher after the first year. When I was 9, I started piano lessons as well. This was my choice, more to help me learn music theory, ear training etc…

      Learning music has been the most transformative experience of my life. I met lovely children, many of which were bright, a little quirky, and outside of the mainstream like me. My music teachers gave me support and encouragement, and subsequent years of orchestra/music camps/competitions taught me discipline and helped with my general feelings of insecurity. I have traveled the world giving concerts with the orchestras I was in, including two pan-European tours in High School, and two southeast Asian tours in college. And the incredible, heartbreaking music I have learned….. the amazing and talented musicians I have played with…. the appreciate I have fostered for the Arts in general…. is something that I will always be grateful for.

      I continued to play very seriously throughout college (music double major), graduate school, professional school, and still have reunions around the US with musician friends where we play chamber music (string quartets, piano trios and quintets etc….), and eat and drink and reminisce like we have never been separated.

      But I’m a doctor/scientist now. Many of us are musicians too!

      It was a dream that my children would each play the viola/cello/violin, and we would have a string quartet within the family. Alas, not to be…

      • I’m surprised the orthodontist vetoed *all* wind instruments. I had a terrible overbite, so when I started the flute I breathed “into” the flute more than “across” it –but there’s no pressure on the mouth. I had braces for almost four years, and learned the trumpet with braces (while continuing the flute). I added the French horn, after the braces came off. I had a blast in all the music groups in high school, and I played in the college orchestra. Even though I don’t play any more, my experience as a musician makes classical music concerts so pleasurable. I listen for specific instruments and enjoy picking out “my” parts from when I played something back in the day.

  3. Wrestling :

    Lunchtime convo re elite wrestling and boys struggling to make weight / arbitrarily change their weight. Never so happy to be a girl. We do crazy things, but this seemed to be vastly worse b/c it seems so normalized and applauded in that world.

    • Wildkitten :

      Every single female is expected to make weight every single day of her life. Males only have to do it on meet days and only if they are wrestlers.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1,000

        • Also – women are expected to come by it naturally and not speak of restrictive diets or drastic exercise regimens. A wrestler can brag about eating nothing for 2 days, spending 3 hours alternating between a stationary bike and a sauna (while wearing trash bags), make weight, and then chug pedialyte to applause.

          • Anonymous :

            If I did sentence #2 as a wrestler, I’d be encouraged by my coaches and applauded.

            If I did sentence #2 as a nonwrestler, I’d be admitted to having an eating disorder and people would encourage me to get help.

            I get that some sports / activities are lookist, but there don’t have to be disordered means to those ends. Wrestling seems to be only work with disordered means.

          • Anonymous :

            One of my friends was a nationally-ranked lightweight rower in high school. He’s not a big guy but left to his own devices he’s kind of stocky, and he had to do the same kind of crap to make weight. He quit before college because he said it was giving him an eating disorder.

      • Thank you.

      • Wildkitten, I have a son and he and his friends go through all kinds of tortuous starvation while sweating to make weight. There is no comparison to what boys do to wrestle unless you are comparing them to sick women who suffer from anorexia. My husband carefully monitors our son’s food intake for safety.

        • Good for your husband, but that wasn’t the norm with the wrestlers that I know. I coached (other sports) in a high school with a competitive and well-regarded wrestling team for a few years and yeahhhh they did a lot of really, really unsafe things.

          But also, yes to women having to make weight every day of their lives.

      • If your point is that there is and has historically been more pressure on women to be thin, I absolutely agree. However, men have never, and do not currently, receive a pass on fitness by virtue of being men. I wouldn’t find a man with a belly or flabby arms attractive; I’m attracted to a fit man who has biceps and abs, works out consistently, and avoids unhealthy foods 95 percent of the time. Magazines don’t put chubby shirtless men on their covers, either. There’s a reason why the male biglaw associates with whom I work leave our NYC office at 11PM and go straight to the gym for an hour or two — its primarily because of the pressure they feel to look good naked. It isn’t exclusively felt by women.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I was a competitive gymnast so…yeah.

      • anonymous :

        I pole vaulted in high school and we had weigh-ins before every meet because your weight cannot exceed the weight allowance of your pole, lest you illegally overbend it to an advantage and/or risk snapping it and seriously injuring or killing yourself. It was the first year the state allowed a high school girls team (before, we were practicing with the boys’ team and unofficially competing against other girls at other schools), so our school only bought three poles – one for each of us at 110, 120, and 130 lbs. We were building muscle like crazy at the time and while it wasn’t an issue for me, the other two had to go on a “don’t tell anyone” diet plan based off the wrestlers’ plan to make weight. Poles aren’t cheap, but it was annoying that we were touted as the first girls’ pole vaulting team and couldn’t get a fourth pole crikey.

      • Ex-dancer. Holla!

      • Anonymous :

        Eh, I’m a former figure skater who knew a lot of gymnasts and dancers and wrestling stands out to me for their crazy eating habits. Dancers, gymnasts and skaters are all pretty much watching their weight 24/7, but so are most teenage girls. But wrestlers did all kinds of super unhealthy diets (way crazier than what our skating nutritionist recommended, which was actually a pretty reasonable number of calories and good balance of food groups) and then binged to lose weight before meets. I did know skaters who had an eating disorder but it was a small minority of people and other people referred to it as what it was – an eating disorder. Wrestlers ALL make themselves throw up to make weight and nobody calls it an eating disorder.

    • Yeah one of my HS best friends was a wrestler who won states so I remember some of this. He fortunately was always underweight which was easier. His peers – ugh – not eating for days; working out in heated gyms in sweatsuits etc. But it really is only in THAT world – the rest of the world looks at them like they’re crazy which they are.

    • nasty woman :

      Not sure if serious.

    • I had a younger brother who was a serious wrestler and a sister who was a serious ballerina. Wrestling was waaay worse with respect to food issues. My sister was naturally thin, so she was able to maintain her size just by eating a normal healthy diet. It probably would have gotten harder if she’d kept going into her 20s, but it was fine in HS and immediately after.

      By contrast, my brother constantly had to cut weight for meets, but he was also doing crazy amounts of growing and had to fight to stay on the varsity team. If he grew and wanted to go up a weight class, he couldn’t unless there was a spot. This meant he often had to try to keep from growing for months while he waited for the other kid to grow (which didn’t always happen if they were already a senior and done growing). He had violet 20-30 pound weight swings throughout high school. My father is a crazy sports parent and former wrestler and he didn’t have a problem with it. I though it was all nuts and I would never let a kid treat his body that way.

    • coffeeandcronuts :

      Female weightlifters (the US had THREE go to the Olympics last summer, compared to only one male) have to do the exact same thing.

  4. Broken Record :

    Seriously, at this point, Kat should quit blogging and just become the curator of the Nordstrom Museum. The blog is now the Nordstrom Work & Casual Wear Blog for Chicks Too Lazy to Visit Nordstrom.com

    • Anonymous :

      honestly though – have you tried to visit Nordstrom.com? I get so overwhelmed with options I give up. I appreciate a little direction, even if it’s from the same sources – so tired of defaulting to the BR tall section for my entire wardrobe because I don’t have the time/patience to browse department store websites.

    • I mean… I am basically that demographic. I love Nordstrom in theory but hate their website.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Ditto. I like it.

        • Broken Record :

          What bugs me is that there is no way to know whether the featured items are real recommendations or just money-grubbing. It’s not exactly transparent that these are glorified advertisements.

          • Anonymous :

            the “(L-all)” is pretty prominent and hyperlinked

          • Anonymous :

            Basically all shopping-related links on all blogs and websites are affiliate links. FYI.

          • Anonymous :

            I have no idea what L-all means until I click on the link though. I think FTC rules are pretty clear that disclosures need to be clearer and more explicit than that. Most bl0ggers I follow say something like “I have used affiliate links in this post. If you click on an item and purchase it, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.” It’s not that hard to copy and paste those sentences into every post.

            Also, Nordstrom is a sponsor of this bl0g, which really should be disclosed in every post that features a Nordstrom product, even if Nordstrom has not specifically sponsored that post.
            Tons of bl0ggers flaunt the FTC disclosure rules, but as a former lawyer Kat should really take this stuff more seriously.

          • This is true. I don’t really care that Kat uses affiliate links when it’s specifically a shopping blog, but that “disclosure” is not clear at all. It should be highlighted with a specific sentence on every post; the explanation for what “L-all” is supposed to be shouldn’t be buried somewhere in the About pages.

          • lawsuited :

            What does “real recommendation” mean to you? I can’t think when I last saw a personal recommendation from Kat, so all her recommendations are essentially “I saw this on a website and thought it looked nice”. I don’t see why Kat looking primarily on the Nordstrom website versus other websites for things to feature here would make the recommendations any less or more “real”.

    • marketingchic :

      Nordstom and Loft must have the most lucrative affliliate programs out there. It seems like they are all over every fashion blog I read. That said, I don’t have time to wade through the store or the site so I apprecaite the curation.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I always try to use a shopping portal to get extra airline miles when I shop online and Nordstrom has actually stopped showing up on the portals for the past several months. Nordstrom Rack still appears though. I’m curious about their affiliate program now that I think about it. Not because I’m upset about Kat getting a percentage from me but because I wonder why they aren’t on the portals but are popular picks with bloggers.

      • Again, I’m not Kay, but my understanding is that many bloggers use Nordstrom because the photos have a consistent look and a blank background.

        I like Nordstrom and I have no issue with Kat making money off of her recommendations.

    • FrankieCat :

      If you don’t like it, then go find another forum. I am happy to support Kat’s blog by giving her whatever small commission she gets through referral linking. Blogging, paying for servers, security, etc is not cheap.

      • Broken Record :

        I want her to make money too! But this is lazy. She wants to be a fashion / style blogger and she only shops at ONE store.

      • Anonymous :

        The lack of express disclosure is illegal though. I don’t mind Kat profiting of this s!te and I know she spends a lot of time on it, but I wish she would follow the law in doing so. Just because many fashion bl*ggers break the law does not make it ok.

        • Then stop reading.

        • Anonymous :

          I can enjoy the community Kat has developed here and want to keep reading for that and still be annoyed that she doesn’t follow the law (especially bc she and a sizeable number of the readers here, myself included, are lawyers). They’re not mutually exclusive. I don’t believe that bl*gs have to be criticism-free zones where you’re only allowed to say gushing things about the author.

  5. Anonymous :

    Ladies who are slaves to the billable hour: How do you track your hours? Timer? Sheet of paper? Spreadsheet? I’ve never been good at this, and I realize I’m losing time that should have been billed. I’m curious to see what others do, and if there are any genius systems out there.

    • Marshmallow :

      Spreadsheet. I invested a little time in Excel and created some formulas so my columns look like this:

      Matter # // Task Description // Start Time // End Time // Minus minutes // Plus minutes // Total

      I use the minus for breaks, and the plus for time spent on that task at a random moment when it doesn’t make sense to start a fresh row (ex., I’m on lunch but I pick up a phone call, I’d just add the phone call minutes to an existing row).

      Ctrl Shift + in Excel enters the current time. It helps me track most efficiently when I just use the keyboard shortcuts to stamp in my start and end times as I go, instead of remembering later.

    • My office uses Bill4Time. The program is great, but I think it has to be used firm wide.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I use the timers that our billing system comes with. I enter descriptions as I go and close out my time daily.

      I probably had a leg up though because I used them from day 1. I also do doc review and don’t switch tasks often so it’s pretty easy to keep up with.

    • When I billed time I had a two step process:
      First, a large post it or small notebook always by my phone. Whenever I switched tasks I would scribble the time and a brief note about what it was. It was helpful to have it by the phone because that was where my interruptions came from. So like, “8:05-8:40 Draft Thing; 8:40-9:00 Kevin call discovery, email; 9:00-9:30 Thing; 9:30-9:40 Tom call re issue…” All day. MessyAF but kept live.

      Then the hard part. No day was finished until I had entered my time. It was the worst after an endless day to tack on 10 more minutes of typing, but so so worth it to never have a ton of billing to catch up on.

    • When I billed, my office used Juris Suite. Good for tracking goals and could run pretty sophisticated reports. Dual monitors, and I kept the software open in one window all day long. At the end of the day, I would look back through sent emails to try and recapture any work I missed (email to paralegal summarizing a phone call, email to paralegal approving a letter so I knew I reviewed it, correspondence with clients and opposing counsel, etc.).

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I enter directly into the firm billing system after each task is completed. All day, every day. Take a call, hang up, enter docket. Emails and mail is docketed when I deal with it so I only touch it once. At the end of the month, I go back through the emails for the month and docket for anything that, for whatever reason, is still hanging around. Sometime it feels like drudgery but for me it works much better at capturing my time. We also have codes for client development and CPD and so forth so you can see where your time went even if it was not on billable work.

    • I use electronic sticky notes to keep track, like a notebook, but digital. I erase after I enter the time.

    • I run old school. I have a piece of paper that runs from 7 to 7 with the entire day marked out into six minute increments in two columns. I write down everything I do during the day. I then dictate my time, combining entries as I go, and my assistant types it up.

      I am sure that there are faster ways of keeping time out there, but I have a written record of every day and do not lose time. Also, I run my to do list in the margins of each day, so that helps me keep on task.

  6. fashion freeze :

    Stumbled onto an episode of dawson’s creek, which aired when I was in high school (the characters and I are the same age) and I’m finding some of the fashion is terrible but some makes me want to shop, not sure if that means some looks are classic or if I’m frozen in a time when I had the free time to think/care about such things. Wondering whether the fashion of our high school years is something we always gravitate toward or if I’m just individually ridiculous.

    • MargaretO :

      Sort of related – I once read a study that showed that the vast majority of people spend the rest of their lives listening to whatever they liked by their early 20s. There’s definitely something to having the free time to keep up with every little trend/new band/tv show/etc. And with clothing I suspect a lot of us feel like we looked best at a certain period in our teens or 20s and gravitate towards what we were wearing then.

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        This is me. I still love all the music from the time I was coming of age. Very rarely does new music “move me” in a way that those other songs do. One day I realized it is not because one is better or worse, it’s just becuase the associations with the older music are much stronger; the old music takes me back. :-)

        • MargaretO :

          Yeah I’m only 5ish years past what this study named as the cutoff point and I am already majorly seeing this tendency in myself, I think my musical tastes will probably be about 75% stuck in my college years forever.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t wanna wait for our lives to be o-o-over….

    • Anonymama :

      I also think the fashion cycle right now is in a very similar place to Dawson’s Creek/my high school era, so things that were popular then are legitimately back in style. I keep seeing all the clothes I had in high school in the stores again, it’s sort of trippy. Really trying to avoid the overalls thing again.

      • Anonymous :

        The 90s /early 2000s are back in a huge way and it also trips me out. I saw overalls and a striped mock turtleneck sweater in H&M the other day, an exact replica of my outfit from 1998.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe striped mock turtlenecks are just incredibly flattering, ok?
          …or i came of age in the 90s.

    • (not that) Ellen :

      High school was the mid-to-late 80s for me, so in my case… no. Not gravitating back towards distressed denim, white Reeboks and fluorescent colors. ;)

    • You guys, my 16 year old daughter is super into buying “vintage” 90s clothing on Etsy.

  7. narcissistic personality disorder relationships :

    We talk sometimes about being the child of someone with NPD, but what about romantic relationship experiences with partners who have NPD? How long did it last? What was the breaking point for you? Thoughts/Insights in hindsight?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Gah. I was married to that guy for 15 years. It was beyond horrible.

      The worst part was that it took me YEARS to get through my head that no, he did not have any empathy at all. He could not understand how I was feeling. He did not have one single bit of compassion, or feelings of fairness, or remorse, or any of that. And it was so far outside my experience or comprehension that I kept thinking he just didn’t understand what I wanted and needed (rudimentary civility) and if I could just find the right way to explain it, he would magically get it and all would be well. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

      Strangely, we got along reasonably well as long as I was falling all over myself to be accommodating and loving and above reproach myself. Once I started standing up for myself, things got worse because he pushed back hard and started blaming me and gaslighting me. The breaking point was when he did something super egregious and when I had the temerity to ask for an apology, he looked me in the eye and demanded an apology from me for… what? I don’t even remember. For being critical of him, I guess. Anyway, it wasn’t anything he hadn’t done a million times before but for some reason on that particular day I realized that he was never going to change. I went out and rented an apartment the next day.

      My thoughts/insights/hindsight is this: Run away, run away fast, don’t look back. Being with someone with NPD is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. You are better than that and you deserve more. I am remarried to the loveliest man in the whole wide world, but even when I was alone I was so so so much happier just being alone and at peace and not having somebody mentally torturing me on a regular basis.

      • “Strangely, we got along reasonably well as long as I was falling all over myself to be accommodating and loving and above reproach myself.”

        SA, you’re describing my disaster of a relationship from a couple of years ago. I can’t even count the number of times he was an insensitive @ss, I tried to talk to him about how/why he upset me, and he fired back that I should just think better of him and my feelings wouldn’t get hurt.

        OP, the breaking point for me was when we took a trip together and spent 6 days pretty much completely alone together after dating for about 8 months. I was miserable the entire time and just couldn’t do it anymore when I got back.

        The insight I would offer is this: if you’re anything like me, you’ve been telling yourself for months that this is not working and that you deserve better. Listen to yourself. Because you do deserve better, and it’s out there. Just tell him it’s over, and don’t look back.

        • Anonymous :

          Yep, my NPD’s answer to any request for change or compromise was “I expect you to love me for who I am.” I think he really did expect the world to revolve around him and didn’t see the problem with this (i.e., he wasn’t gaslighting, he was just a true narcissist, or “self-referenced” if you’re feeling generous).

          • Totally — I think my ex’s feelings were actually hurt that I “didn’t think well enough of him” to just interpret everything he said in such a way that it wasn’t mean-spirited and d*ckish of him to say it/think it. His hurt feelings were genuine. They just weren’t reasonable, in my opinion, because if _everyone_ hears what you say and thinks that was a sh*tty thing to say, _everyone_ is not just interpreting you wrong, it was actually just a sh*tty thing to say.

          • Anonymous :

            The hard part for me was trying to reconcile how I had constant problems with him and everyone else thought he was great. That was his narcissistic charm at work, of course, but it took me a long time to really “get” that. Ugh. Someone not too far below on the thread said dating should be easy, and I wish someone had told me that.

        • Torin’s breaking point was my breaking point… eight days together on a trip after several months of dating. The entire trip from day to night was about him and his needs and his wants. It was unbelievable and really woke me up about how I wanted to be treated. After I broke up with him and had a bit of distance, I realised the extent of the gaslighting and control while we were dating.

          I’m actually grateful for the relationship however, because it made me realise that my father is what is called a “covert narcissist” and that helped me process what was happening in my family of origin as well. Covert narcissists have a similar lack of empathy and total self-absorption, but are missing the obvious and spoken grandiosity of an outward narc. Horrible, horrible people, all of them, and very unlikely to change.

      • Wow this is too familiar. My ex was like this.
        Me: I want to be in a relationship where eventually we can move in together and think about getting married.
        Him: No.
        Me: Well if that’s not something you’ll consider, we should break up, because that’s what I want.
        Him: OH so you’re blackmailing me into moving in with you?
        Me: [promises to accept him as he is, blah blah]

        Etc. etc. x far too many years.

    • Melania?

      Seriously, though, I have not been through it, but my BIL has all the NPD symptoms plus a bonus dose of BPD. He can be very charming, but his relationships never last more than 10 years, they go through horrible rocky periods, including cheating, before they end terribly. Every time he starts a new relationship, I want to tell the poor woman to run and don’t look back.

    • Anonymous :

      Melania, is that you?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Right? That is one of the (many many) reasons I am finding the Trump presidency so traumatic — it is bringing back all the crap from my marriage!!

        • (former) e_pontellier :

          Same.

        • And it’s seriously bringing back all kinds of horrible memories of my father! My therapist says that this is a suddenly very common issue – for anyone who has a past history with narcissists, this presidency is bringing up some very real trauma for them to experience in real time all over again. #ThanksTrump.

        • YES. Trump is really triggering in so many ways!

    • Anonymous :

      WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS

  8. Words of Wisdom? :

    What are the best words of wisdom you’ve ever gotten? Why do they stand out to you?

    • “I believed that I had conceived the vastest dream of my generation: I wanted to be a magician. That was my idea of glory. Here is a plea based on my whole experience: do not be a magician, be magic.” But that’s more just like, if I were into cross-stitched quotations, what I would have on my wall.

      The best words of wisdom have been from my father, about love. Once when I said, “oh of course I won’t marry [non-citizen bf] just so he can stay in the country” he said, “I can’t think of a better reason to marry someone than wanting to be with them.” He also told me, about another bf, “you know, [bf] isn’t as bookish as you, he’s not academic and intellectual” “but your mom isn’t wired like me, and she’s been a great partner and a wonderful parent to you all, and that’s what matters.”

      • Sydney Bristow :

        My dad’s advice about marriage: “test drive the car before you buy”

        Yours sounds so much sweeter, although I truly believe my dad’s advice was great.

      • huh my punctuation looks nuts there because between “intellectual” and “but” i had a note about how I was bracing myself for my dad to tell my my BF wasn’t up to snuff — which as you can see he did not do.

        it’s funny because no one would say my dad is “sweet” but i guess on certain topics he is.

    • Senior Attorney :

      “When people tell you who they are, you should believe them.”

      I didn’t follow that advice, but I remembered it over the years when I recalled my former husband telling me, long before we were married, something like, “Well, if you don’t like [unacceptable thing he’d just done, the specifics of which are lost in history], maybe I’m not the right guy for you!”

      • Sydney Bristow :

        “People are not improvement projects” is my favorite Senior Attorney advice because it perfectly sums up something that took me a long time to figure out. I’ve definitely passed it along to others who I hope realize its importance as well.

      • S in Chicago :

        I always liked the advice to not just tolerate a dysfunctional relationship, job, whatever:

        “If you see crazy coming, get over to the other side of the street.”

      • sweetknee :

        As a corollary to this … ‘You teach people how to treat you.”

      • +1. Applies to politicians too.

    • About love: “Dating should be easy”

      About decisions: “How did you feel afterwards? Like you made a huge mistake or relieved? If relieved, it was the right choice, even if you feel bad about doing it.” (this was a breakup)

      About fitness: “You are stronger than you think.” (applies in big life milestones, too)

      About perseverance: “[Our family name] don’t quit.”

      About accepting people for who they are: “Well we can’t kill them, so… I guess we’ll just have to work it out.” (my mom is a goofball – this was to encourage us kids to resolve our own conflicts even when HATED each other haha)

      On communication: “Always apologize. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. You are probably both right and wrong. If a person you care about is hurt by something you did, don’t excuse it, apologize.” (note: this is not about apologizing for nonsense things women are trained to like someone bumping into YOU, but for owning to up your honest mistakes)

      On perspective and finding happiness in the present: “If everyone threw their problems into a pile and saw everyone else’s, they’d run back in and get their own again.”

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      “Everyone else is on Team Sloan. Let yourself be on Team Sloan, too. Not for us. But for you.” It nearly made me cry.
      Also: don’t make yourself indispensable.

    • On travel: “Accept all invitations.”

      Because it taught me that most of what I was afraid of in the world wasn’t real.

  9. Anonymous :

    Posted this too late yesterday, reposting for more responses – Any tips on living with a procrastinator spouse without ending up doing everything and feeling resentful?

    • Laura Vanderkam wrote a review on her blog about a book called “drop the ball” which might be worth checking out?

    • Marshmallow :

      There was a thread on that question this morning, I think.

    • Someone posted you a response on the morning thread.

    • I haven’t figured out the not being resentful part besides being very forward when I am feeling resentful. “Hey, could you do the dishes that have stacked up? I’ve been taking them on quite a bit lately.” Thankfully SO is very understanding and never defensive when I point these things out, so that helps. But I think the biggest thing for me has been letting him procrastinate on things that are technically “his” up until they directly affect me. He bought a car, that I’m insured on and also use occasionally, and waited until the temporary plates had almost expired to go get the car inspected. Well, then there was a sticker on the FRONT of the car saying it had an extra two weeks, but not on the BACK of the car. So when I was driving the car and got pulled over because of the date on the back, I was PISSED and told SO as much. I don’t care what he does with the car, but I should be able to drive it without dealing with his procrastination. He profusely apologized and fixed it right quick!

  10. Best Compliment Ever Received? :

    A friend posted to fb asking and I thought I would ask here too; what is the best compliment you have ever received?

    • hmm probably that I’m in tune with my emotions and what I want in life instead of others/society’s expectations.

      Little do most know, I put in a lot of work (and therapy) continuously over the past years to get to this point and still work on it.

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      That I walk with direction. I was just a kid, and I has stuck with me for 20 years. Still true, too!

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I get this all the time! It’s served me well – if you walk with purpose and carry a clipboard, you can go just about anywhere.

        • Off-key Valkyrie :

          Many other people have said it since, NOT as a compliment, but I just smile because it reminds me of that childhood compliment.
          I haven’t tried the clipboard myself, but I bet it works like a charm!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have a note taped to the wall in my office from when I was working with a low-income population and helping them navigate the system:

      “My name is [Joe Blow] and I would like to thank you for your great attitude, consideration, and joyful spirit. I pray that God blesses you and those dearest to you. Have a blessed day!”

      I’m not religious at all but it gives me a lift every time I look at it.

      • MargaretO :

        I don’t have any notes (sadly!) because I was working with a population that didn’t speak English, but their thanks and compliments, and even just boasting “that’s my lawyer” to their friends if we ran into each other on the street (I am not a lawyer but was mistaken for one constantly in this particular job) have really stuck with me. Especially the ones that were speaking to me through a translator and made an effort to thank me directly in a language I understood, even if it was just those two words. But the one I remember the most clearly is the man who cried on me and told me I saved his life after I got him a work permit. He would come back into my office regularly just to reiterate it and to ask allah to bless me. I’m a Jewish atheist but I think about him all the time, years later, and remembering his blessings always makes me smile/get a little teary eyed.

        That and the multiple interns I’ve had who came up to me on their last day and told me they always liked my outfits and one who even said she stepped up her personal style game because of me (I am also pretty shallow).

    • The best for me isn’t a word or sentence, it’s been being invited to friends’ once in a lifetime experiences (graduations, weddings) where I know the guest list was heavily limited. For me, it meant that I was chosen to be a part of that memory, chosen over other options, chosen to be worth the money for the meal, etc. I don’t have any family and I work remotely as a freelancer, so I’m never on a guest list out of obligation, which means my invitations are truly because someone chose me.

      Maybe this sounds weird, but it leads me to think about the events often and to feel gratitude all the time and to think about the fun I had, how great my friend looked, the memory of their big moment (crossing the stage or 1st dance, etc.) I live for those moments and for those memories.

    • From a male friend (not a co-worker) that he thought I would be intimidating to work for.

    • Marshmallow :

      “Nothing ever seems to phase you. I don’t know how you stay so calm.” –one of my high school students. Runner up: “I can tell you actually care.” (Runner up not because it wasn’t moving but because I think caring is bare minimum for a teacher… at least, it should be.)

      “When I hear that something’s on your plate, I stop thinking about it because I know it’s being handled.” –Biglaw partner

      • Anonymous :

        Re the first one, I get that a lot and it makes me super proud, but only after I realize the compliment giver is not f*cking with me. I generally feel like my life is completely out of control, so I appreciate hearing that I seem like I’m handling it!

        • Marshmallow :

          So, this feeds into my impostor syndrome a bit, because I also never feel like my life is under control! A male friend once told me that he never feels like he knows what he’s doing, either, but he just assumes everyone feels that way instead of second-guessing himself because of it. I think people who have told me I seem to have it together/ am able to accomplish tasks are not f*cking with me, and in fact maybe this is actually what “together” feels like. It doesn’t mean you always feel great about every decision, just that you can look at all the options and stay calm while executing what you need to.

          • Anonymous :

            Totally agree. I think what they really mean, is wow, you bit off a lot (basically, biglaw and motherhood), and you seem to still be surviving, which is very impressive. And I’m like, yeah, I’m just as awesome as you think I am. Heh.

    • I don’t have a best, but I have ones that stick out in my memory.

      I inherited a contract when a former coworker quit. He had told the client it had been approved at all levels on our end. It hadn’t. By anyone. The customer needed it done in two weeks. I had to run it through everyone and the customer’s contract administrator was so upset with us she cussed at me multiple times. I stayed professional and did my job to the best of my abilities. The contract got signed before the deadline. The customer’s contract administrator emailed our whole team and said that it was clear I was an asset to our company and that she was incredibly impressed with my professionalism, clarity, and competency. That was great to receive.

      Another is when my therapist of many years told me that she thought I was wise and incredibly self-aware.

      From a guy I recently went out on a date with, “I am impressed and intimidated by you, and both of those are compliments.”

      • CountC did he get a second date? Cause he sounds like he might be worth one ;-)

        • Marshmallow :

          Yeah, I like the sound of that guy.

        • Yes! We are hanging out tonight in fact. He is super cute, and we nerded out together for hours on Tuesday. Grabbing a drink turned into 5 hours of talking and closing the bar/restaurant down (sorry servers!). He is into maps, which I find super interesting and am looking forward to learning more. He works in policy in government, which I also find super interesting. He asked me intellectual, but not pretentious questions and was perfectly happy to let me do my tangential talking and story telling. When I brought my wallet out to split the bill at the end of the night, he wasn’t at all forceful about paying and instead said something along the lines of, if you would like to pay for your share, I will let you, but it would be my pleasure to pay for your drinks.

        • Count D!

        • BAHAHA, I just remembered that he also said that I am not at all boring which he has unfortunately experienced a few times while using Bumble. Oh! And while we were messaging on Bumble said that I am one of the wittiest women he has ever had the pleasure of corresponding with.

          Now the person who got on my case about talking about my FWB is for sure going to roll up and tell me to knock it off, we get it already. LOL

          I’m done!

          • Get it girl! He sounds awesome I hope you have a good time!

          • Thank you! I hope you have a great weekend :)

          • Getting ahead myself, but I’m

            Making up rhymes/rap battles to myself re:

            “screw the FWB’s/ I’m into LGP’s/ with Count DEEEEEE!”

            Mic drop.

          • Amazing.

          • Anonymous :

            Didn’t that person just say it sounded like a bf not a fwb? if its the same guy it still does but thats a good thing! sounds like a good one

    • My two favorites from my professional life:

      From a thank-you note sent by a client (and his wife) whom I represented before a civil service board and then in court:

      “Not only did we like you as a person, but you are a total bad*ss in court!”

      And from an opposing party to my client, offering to settle a case and cancel a hearing:

      “Okay, if we do this, will you call off the Doberman?” Within that client group, I am now officially known as the Doberman (or Miz Doberman, to a couple of Southern-gentlemen types).

    • Anonymous :

      My mom once told me I’m the most compassionate person she knows. I know it’s my mom and she loves me, but that one really stuck with me because I believe in being a good and empathetic person above all.

    • BabyAssociate :

      In a previous job I used to work with patients. I once called an older British gentleman to give him some good news and he said “thank you, you are a lady and a scholar!”

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve had multiple people tell me over my lifetime that I am really logical. Sometimes it is a compliment, but not always. I like to take it as one though.

      I like …’s one too. Depending on the wedding I often feel like it is a compliment to have been invited.

      My former boss at my pre-law career told me about 2 months after I left that the place just wasn’t the same without me and he ended up leaving for another job not too long after that.

    • A colleague said to me yesterday at the gym, “Even if Jesus was my liaison, I would still call you if I needed help.” Pretty good!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      My mentor told me I showed grit and initiative, which are not things that can be taught- they’re just things that a person does. It meant a lot to me and still does.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Also, my mom told me I reminded her of Sloan Sabbith. Awesome.
        This is in moderation for the synonym for awesome that has E l l e n in it.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      “Pugsnbourbon makes it happen” – “it” meaning any number of strange projects, tasks, etc.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Also, my mom told me I’m just like Sloan Sabbith. Excellent.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      One of my SMEs said, in reference to an editing project, “You made my vision a thing of beauty—-could have been a nightmare.”

    • compliments :

      I think the greatest “compliment” I’ve received is one of my best friends named her daughter after me. She kept it a secret until the day she was born, and it was one of the best surprises of my life!

    • Such a great question. My favorite was a former boss: “You know what I admire about you? You’re never afraid to fail.” Which isn’t true — I’m always afraid to fail — but I just suck it up and go for it anyway.

  11. Probably a long shot, but thought I’d ask you ladies anyway – does anyone have restaurant recommendations for The Hague? I have a free day there tomorrow.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Down by the water there is a place called Simonis. Yummy, fresh seafood.

    • I ate in a British houseboat I don’t know the name of there 2 years ago but it was cool

      This may be unhelpful

  12. PrettyPrimadonna :

    I have had and worn some form of a denim jacket for the last thirty years, lol. I thought it was a classic?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Related re: classic denim jackets – my mom wore one all through her child-rearing years (we’re a big family). When she finally retired it, one shoulder had worn completely white from the strap of her diaper bag!

  13. where to shop? :

    Help! I have no idea where to shop anymore.

    Context: I’m 36 in a very casual industry (think tech). Jeans to work is the norm, although skinny pants with blazers (nonmatching but like a suit) also works. If you dress up, you do it with ankle boots or flats; pumps will get you a weird look.

    I suddenly hate everything in every store. I used to find good pieces at Zara, Loft, or H&M, but now either I’ve changed or they have, because it’s like every trend exploded in there. Zara is all ruffles and trumpet sleeves. H&M seems to have declined noticeably in quality. Loft is very hit or miss and also not great quality.

    It also could be that spring in general seems to be a trendier time with wilder prints, patterns, and colors, whereas fall clothes are more classic, like blazers, sweaters, oxfords, scarves…

    If money were no object, I’d shop at Club Monaco and Aritizia, so that gives you an idea of my style. Am I missing some obvious stores? I’m in a major city, so every chain is here.

    • Anonymous :

      J Crew?

    • I used to buy a lot at Banana and Ann Taylor and I just don’t like anything they currently have at all and haven’t for awhile so I feel you. I can’t figure out where to shop anymore either.

      I just bought a coupe of tops off of Boden, but they haven’t arrived yet. Maybe give them a look?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Boden usually has some cute jackets. I find the quality to be much better than other places. Aside from a couple of outlet shops, it doesn’t have brick and mortar stores though.

    • I really loved several pieces in the latest Talbots catalog. May be a little too preppy but worth a look.

    • Anonymous :

      When this happens to me, I wait 3 months and spend money/time on other things, and then revisit the stores. Unclear how it happens but sometimes, all the options are terrible. Wait it out. (also check JCrew, Banana Republic, maaaaybe Brooks Brothers — they have randomly good stuff for women — and maybe Tomy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors??)

    • Boden. Fashion is going through a phase that does not work for me, so I also find that I don’t like anything at most stores.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve started finding the next tier up in clothing (DVF, Ted Baker, Kate Spade) in second hand stores and on Poshmark… so figure out the general fit/sizing of the expensive brands you like and find them online second hand.

    • That’s kinda my style too – try Uniqlo, loft (sometimes), Nordstrom rack and neiman marcus last call.

  14. Marshmallow :

    I am sitting at my desk wanting the work day to be over and suddenly I have a big painful bug bite on my face. MY FACE. I have been inside this office all day, including lunch. We have an intruder! Get me outta here!

  15. Sydney Bristow :

    What is your favorite tv show that is on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime/HBO that has completely finished its run already? I’m in need of a new show to watch but I hate trying to keep up with things that are still coming out with new seasons and episodes.

    My favorites that I keep rewatching as a combination of background noise and paying attention:
    The West Wing (although I can’t bring myself to watch it right now)
    Alias
    Gilmore Girls
    Star Trek (Next Generation and Deep Space Nine)
    All the series of Stargate
    Battlestar Gallactica
    Veronica Mars
    Friends
    Firefly

    Others that I’ve really enjoyed but don’t typically rewatch:
    Haven
    Hart of Dixie
    Friday Night Lights
    Revenge
    Continuum

    • Calibrachoa :

      Did you ever watch Babylon 5? Glorious 1990s sci-fi goodness! :D

      And of course, I always recommend Leverage :D

    • MargaretO :

      I recently watched all of the Good Wife and enjoyed it a lot. If you have hulu all of SVU is on there…..

    • Anonymous4 :

      We’re rewatching White Collar – I think it has completed it’s run. Bones has been another favorite, and I think it may have finally finished its run?

      I’ve also enjoyed Eureka and Warehouse 13 – both of which may intrigue the SciFi side I see in your list. Definitely more lighthearted than Stargate, Battlestar Gallactica, etc…

      • Marshmallow :

        +1 White Collar. It’s the right mix of procedural with a decent long-term story arc, and just a dash of camp.

        • Anonymous :

          And really really really pretty Matt Bomer

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh yes indeed. Matt Bomer!

          • Marshmallow :

            My husband has the biggest man-crush on Matt Bomer. Matt Bomer is also his inspiration for recently cleaning up his style and buying clothes that actually fit him instead of being oversized, so… thanks White Collar.

          • Not That Anne, The Other Anne :

            That man knows how to wear a suit. I know part of that is wardrobe, but part of it is him.

      • Calibrachoa :

        +2 White Collar, I haven’t watched the last season but everyone in that show does an amazing job and it has one of the absolute best on-screen happy marriages i’ve seen!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oohh White Collar sounds like a great place to start. I like USA shows in general. I forgot to put Psych on my list, but its one of my favorites.

        I’ll check out Eureka and Warehouse 13 too. My friend who recommended Haven recommended both of those as well.

    • On Netflix, did you watch Daredevil and/or Jessica Jones? The two series are in connected universes, but they each stand on their own pretty well. So though they’re continuing to expand the universe, watching the series based around other characters isn’t necessary for enjoyment if you don’t want to. I found Jessica Jones considerably more compelling than Daredevil, but did quite enjoy Charlie Cox’s abs so.
      Also: Farscape

      On HBO, give Rome and Deadwood a look. I’m also waiting for The Young Pope to finish airing and plan to binge. I was really surprised to find the first episode really compelling (SO insisted on watching it despite my conviction that there was no way it would interest a couple of atheists), and watch to watch the rest of the show.

      • MargaretO :

        If you are only interested in shows that have finished airing the young pope just got a second season! I was under the impression that it was a one off but I guess it was so popular they are making more (I loved it).

        • Oh I hadn’t heard! Cool. It’s such a different show (though am only judging by the first episode) than I would usually go for or have ever seen before, and I found the first episode fascinating.

          • MargaretO :

            Yeah definitely one of the weirdest things I have ever watched outside of straight up experimental video art installations. But also amazing. Basically a 10 hour Italian music video filmed at the vatican.

    • OK:

      Downton Abbey
      Good Girls Revolt
      Goliath

    • catastrophe :

      on Amazon, check out Catastrophe. The premise sounds cheesy, but the dialogue is so, so biting and funny.

    • Marshmallow :

      How I Met Your Mother
      American Horror Story (still coming out with new seasons, but each season is a new story so you don’t need to keep up)
      The X Files!

    • The Sopranos
      The Wire
      Breaking Bad
      Better Call Saul
      Fargo

      Enlightened
      Master of None
      Kimmy Schmidt

    • Anonymous :

      Please Like Me! On Canadian Netflix and American Hulu, I think. Very funny/ moving comedy about Australian 20somethings and their misadventures. The main character is gay and dealing with a bipolar mother. It just finished its 4th season which is the last.

    • Anonymous :

      Or you can do what I do for background noise, which is watch Friends over and over and over.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I basically go through my top list over and over again. I was about to start watching Stargate SG-1 again and my husband begged me to find a new show!

      • Anonymous :

        Me too! It is the only show I don’t mind starting at any point in a season or even an episode.

      • I do this every few years with Frasier. Just watch the entire series start to finish in the background for months.

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      Inspector Lewis, which just wrapped up their last season, and the related show, Endeavor are both infinitely rewatchable IMO. Lewis just finished up its last season, and Endeavor ended the season without a cliffhanger, which makes me think it’s likely over.

    • Anonymous :

      My So-Called life and Freaks and Geeks might fit your bill. I think at one point both were on Netflix, not sure if they still are.

    • Anonymous :

      Six Feet Under is all on HBO GO. I’m watching it now for the first time and really enjoying it.

    • The Wire
      Greek
      The Sopranos
      Red Oaks
      30 Rock

    • Team Poodle :

      X-Files for sure, they’re all great (except the reboot).

      Also, if you’re into campy, trashy TV, TrueBlood (HBO) is the TV version of junk food for me.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    • Just started watching the Santa Clarita Diet and laughing my as S off.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      You all are awesome. I think I’m going to start with the USA shows (loved both Psych and Monk). And Leverage. And Eureka and Warehouse 13. And The X-Files. Now I just have to pick what to try first!

      My husband would be so excited if I got into Rome. But he’d want to watch it all with me and that’s not conducive to my binge watching and background tv habits. I’ve seen several episodes and it’s great. I’ll watch it all eventually.

  16. For those of you who travel a lot, I need some jet lag advice. I’m going to a conference in Hawai’i (I live on the East Coast), and when I come back I’ll be leaving 1:45pm Hawai’i time/6:45pm Eastern time and arriving at roughly 2am Hawai’i time/7am Eastern time. Should I try to sleep on the plane and stay up all day when I get home?

    • Calibrachoa :

      I would definitely recommend sleeping on the plane and staying up the next day, even if you end up making an early night out of it. It’s a long flight and chances are you are going to end up at least napping unless you’re actively trying to stay awake.

    • Anonymous :

      Sleep

    • Yes, sleep on the plane and then stay up as long as possible the day that you get home.

      I always set my watch to the time of my destination as soon as I get on the plane. Then I’m reminded to go to sleep when my watch says 10 pm or whatever. Then when I wake up, I think “Oh, it’s 7 am” instead of “Oh, it’s 2 am and now I have to stay up all day.”

      I do usually need a 30-45 minute nap in the afternoon in order to make it through the day. And coffee. Way more coffee than usual!

  17. Who bought those leggings from Amazon discussed earlier this week? worth it?

    anyone bought cheap black swimsuit bottoms from Amazon? It pains me to spend $50-60 on bottoms because they have a matching piping or something. I finally just decided that I’m a grown aZs woman, and I’ll wear matching but not perfectly matched bottoms and spend that extra $50 on some poolside drinks.

    • I did! They’re incredibly soft and comfortable. Definitely only for wearing under longer tops, though (I admittedly do wearing thicker leggings as pants sometimes, and you could not do that with these).

  18. I was born in 1980. I doubt I’ll ever wear a blue jean jacket again. I have never once been able to feel like it looks “fresh” on a model or anyone, no matter how it’s been styled. I’m no fashion plate, but I think I’ll always see the blue denim option as dated and dowdy.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup, I see the denim jacket as something I wore with capri pants and platform sandals in the 90s.

      I think a military/army inspired jacket is a more trendy option for spring.

    • I used to have an orange twill jacket that was structured like a denim jacket and I felt fab in it, but have never had the same love for a blue denim jacket. I’m too girly for the style I think.

    • I’m currently wearing a jean jacket from gap, olive skinny jeans, white tee and chunky necklace. I may look dowdy and a bit like a tom boy but I’m ok with it.

      I feel like the jean jacket pictured looks really dated.

  19. hug substitute? :

    i am very recently single and am living across the world from my friends and family. Some days I find myself desperate for a hug or the ability to just be held for a while. I have been considering the idea of a weighted blanket since I hear they simulate those hormones that happen during hugs but they seem very expensive and I do not know if they will solve the problem. Any insight or other ideas? I do not have much money but I emotionally need something here.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m really sorry! Sending you internet hugs, even though I know it’s not the same. If you need human contact, what about scheduling a massage? Or get a pedicure and splurge for the 10 minute chair massage?

    • Senior Attorney :

      What about one of those scented, microwaveable stuffed animals somebody posted at Christmas? They wouldn’t hug you but you could hug them.

      https://www.amazon.com/Intelex-Fully-Microwaveable-Hooty-Warmer/dp/B0087D6VNC/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1487367862&sr=8-1&keywords=microwaveable+owl

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        These are really nice. They’re big enough to hug.

        Not sure how DIY you are (I would screw this up), but you can make your own weighted blanket. Rice and fleece down together.

    • Calibrachoa :

      Are there any cat cafes or similar you can visit where you can cuddle something soft and fuzzy for a while, if you are not allergic?

    • Sorry to hear this. Some people seek body work for the sensation of touch alone. Do you like massages? I would think most masseuses would be happy to give you a nice hug after a good massage.

      The weighted blankets came out of occupational therapy for kids with sensory integration disorder (sometimes tied to autism, sometimes not.) my son had SID and loved weighty things. He seems to have grown out of it causing any real issues, but still likes and gives a heavy touch. You might read about SID and see if any of it rings a bell for you.

      Another suggestion I would give you is to give a pet. If you have something to care for and love it might fill that void for you. I’m imagining a big dog might give you that physical presence you miss.

      Last, virtual hugs to you from rainy San Francisco.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      So this would be the opposite, but what about a body pillow?

    • Marshmallow :

      Seriously, if you are not allergic go adopt a cat this instant. Find a cat in the shelter that will approach you and rub on your hand, as it is likely to be a good “people” cat. You will have the responsibility of taking care of it, of course, but cuddly cats are the best.

      • anonymous :

        +1. I got a dog a couple of years ago and he has done so much for my anxiety issues. I love spending time with him so much that the fact that I’m responsible for his care never really feels like an imposition. I highly recommend getting a pet.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have a hospital with a pediatric unit near you? Usually there is a newborn cuddling volunteer opportunity; hugs and cuddles are great for them to normalize body temp, heart rate, etc. and you could get your oxytocin boost too.

      Because the kids are in the hospital there is a emotional heartstring component, but if you feel up to donating hugs they would very much appreciate it.

      Virtual hugs to you.

    • Get a massage. This was advice my mom actually gave me after a long-term relationship ended. To get regular massages. She was divorced and said this had really helped her – it’s normal to need a hug/physical human contact.

    • Anon for this :

      I don’t know where you are living so this may not apply to you. I agree with massage and bodywork recommendations.

      Google “cuddle therapy.”

      I got a referral to my person: it was a referral for massage/bodywork, actually, and I then discovered they offered cuddle therapy as well. So I don’t have advice on how to vet someone. But I have found it very helpful, in a way that massage therapy and bodywork alone were not, for me.

      I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. You are not alone in that way.

  20. work from home :

    Rant/PSA/How Do Others Do It?

    I work from home as a freelancer and am single, in my mid 30s, and without children. Somehow, this translates to many as me being lazy or always available for babysitting or running an errand or being at someone’s house on a weekday afternoon to let the cable guy in or the like. I get comments about how I couldn’t possibly need a vacation because my whole life is a vacation, about how easy my money must come to me because I don’t have a commute or some boss breathing down my neck. (FYI, working freelance means I don’t have one boss, I have dozens, each who want different things and each with different expectations., thankyouverymuch)

    I understand that I work from the couch in my pj’s and that sometimes I work with the tv on in the background so sometimes it seems like I’m a little too updated on the tv shows I enjoy. However I’m sick of being seen as some lazy person who doesn’t have the right to be annoyed/frustrated/stressed about work. I understand that these fancy clothes will never work for my job situation but it doesn’t mean I don’t get to have struggles regarding making enough income or chasing clients or the like.

    Why is working from home seen as such a lazy person’s thing rather than the equally stressful experience (though maybe for different reasons) that it actually is?!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t work from home, but if I were in your shoes I would just smile and nod and disengage. And maybe say something like “Heh. It’s adorable that you think that. How ’bout that weather we’re having!?:

      And absolutely protect your boundaries around babysitting and errand-running and similar favors: “So sorry but I have to work!”

    • Huh. I work from home 1-2 days a week and left a job working from home whenever I wasn’t traveling mainly because I hated working from home all the time. It’s nice to occasionally skip the commute and be able to get a few non work things done during the day, but the reality was that I’d hop on a conference call at 6am (I’m on the west coast, The Man is on the east) and find myself still in pajamas with unbrushed teeth and hair at 3pm and hating myself.

      I think the word “no” is going to be your friend here in terms of the favors you’re asked to provide. You shouldn’t have to justify yourself with your friends or family but you might say “must be nice to have benefits and a steady income” to those a-holes who comment on it. Mostly I think you need new friends and a thicker skin.

    • Anonymous :

      Say no to people who are asking you to do stuff in the middle of the workday, that’s just weird.

      Although I will say that having worked (a not terribly high-stress job) both full time from home and full time from an office (with a normal ~20 minute commute), I found working at home waaaay better for my work-life balance. In addition to saving the commute time, it’s so easy to throw in a load of laundry or put a meal in the slow cooker when you’re at home. Those little tasks took just a few minutes out of the workday, so they didn’t affect my productivity (in an office I would just take an equivalent amount of time internet breaks instead) and then you don’t come home from work to have hours of chores ahead of you. By spending just 10-20 minutes each day or so per day on little household tasks, I did wonders for my mental health and energy levels in the evenings after work. I think I was actually more productive at work too, because taking short breaks to do physical chores re-energized me and made me more focused on work when I returned than taking short breaks to read the internet does. I don’t think you’re lazy but I do see why it could be frustrating for your friends if you don’t see the perks of your situation.

    • I think the people who are asking you to do these favors are way out of line, but you might need to draw some clearer boundaries. My husband works from home full time, but he treats it as a regular 8-5 job. Tell people who ask you to do them favors that you can’t, because your clients expect you to be available during the workday. No one who doesn’t share your home needs to know that you work with the TV on or in your pajamas. As far as the wider world is concerned, you are “at work” and just as unavailable as you would be if you were in a standard office.

    • Calibrachoa :

      I think a big part of it is the fact that “being able to set your own hours” is one of the benefits of freelancing that gets touted frequently – and for a lot of people it is true, especially people who do to-spec creative work or dev work. This translates to a lot of assumptions about people’s availability during what are regular working hours for most people.

    • Socksberg :

      I’ve been working remotely for years and I do still have friends who with very different schedules (wait staff who work evenings and weekend days) who will want me to ditch work for several hours on a random Tuesday, or who don’t understand why I can’t just stop working whenever I want to hang out because “your boss wouldn’t be able to tell”. I always say no, and just remind myself I have a great group of colleagues who work remotely who can commiserate.

    • I WFH, and if someone asks me to do something like you mention and I don’t want to, I just say “sorry, I can’t, I have a meeting/conference call”. No one questions this.

  21. Dealbreaker? :

    It might be too late in the thread for a new post, but here goes. So, I met this really great guy a few months ago and we started dating. He’s wonderful: smart, interesting, kind, attentive, adorable, ambitious but not too much, financially responsible, literally everything I’ve wanted. We have an awesome connection, intellectually, physically, etc. I never have to wonder what he’s thinking or if he’s interested, he’s made it clear he’s fallen hard, and for my part, I’m getting there too. In pretty much every way, things are great so far.

    Here’s the issue: he cheated on his last girlfriend. And not a drunken, one-night thing, or something relatively innocent like a kiss. It was a sustained, physical (including actual s*x) and emotional relationship with another woman while he was in a (as far as his ex knew) long-term, monogamous relationship. I haven’t really talked to him much about it yet because he just told me and I’m still processing. Before I met this guy, if you had asked me, I would have told you that this would be a complete dealbreaker. I’ve never cheated and believe I would never cheat on someone. I know that life is messy and complicated, though, so maybe I wouldn’t walk away if someone told me they cheated when they were 17, or a week away from breaking up with someone and took the (incredibly cowardly, immature) way out and have since grown, etc. But this was a much more serious breach of trust, it took place over several months, and it wasn’t that long ago. And she was just his girlfriend, not his wife, no kids, they didn’t live together, so it’s not like it would have been hard to just LEAVE if he wanted to be with someone else. Oh, and he’s in his 30’s (so am I), so, not a youthful mistake. He told me about this himself, which is good, I guess (although we have mutual friends I could have heard it from, so perhaps he was worried about that). He’s really upset and ashamed that this is in his past, and was clearly very nervous about telling me. He’s afraid I’m going to leave him now that I know this (I’ve previously voiced some pretty black-and-white views on cheating). I’m really not sure. FWIW, I want to get married/have kids someday, so I’m not really interested in staying with someone at this age if I don’t think it’s headed there, and, well, I’m not sure I want to marry a guy who cheated. But is it crazy to let this one (admittedly huge) thing overshadow everything else I know about what kind of person he is? The part that I can’t get over is that he must have lied to his ex every. day. Who knows what else he was/is lying about, if being truthful means so little to him? On the other hand, in the past few months I’ve gotten to know him as an incredibly kind, wonderful person, and I just can’t imagine him ever lying to me like that (but then maybe that’s what she thought). Am I over/under-reacting? Thoughts?

    • If you continued to date him/ever got serious with him, would you ever fully trust him or would you always have a twinge of uncertainty because he’d cheated before on an epic scale?

      I’m with you in my views of cheating and I think the extent of his would be a dealbreaker for me, but that’s because I know it would lead me to be insecure and feel nervous too often, which would not be good for me. If everything else about him checks out and you could truly be ok and trust him completely, then it might work for you. However, you know yourself and if you think this would be in the back of your mind, don’t waste your time building more with someone you can’t have a calm/stable future with.

    • I’ll play devil’s advocate here & say you shouldn’t just walk away, given your hesitations, until you actually discuss with him every thing you just wrote. Maybe there’s more to the story — is there literally no extenuating circumstance that would change this for you? What if his ex was terminally ill & unavailable physically / emotionally, but he felt he couldn’t leave her? What if he was going through some sort of addiction? What if she did it to him first & he was being vindictive? I’d need an explanation to rest my mind that either wow, he’s a terrible person, or huh, life is complicated & I don’t think he’d do that again. But only you know if you need / want that info, or if it could change anything. Good luck.

    • Anon for this :

      I don’t see past cheating as an automatic dealbreaker (probably because I have done it) but I would have a hard time trusting someone who had cheated in these conditions you describe – recently, sober, and on a long-term basis, with emotional involvement as well. I think it’s easier to excuse if it was long ago (he’s changed), he was drunk (he can make a choice not to drink to excess or not to drink when you’re not around) and/or if it just happened once (one-time lapse in judgment).

      I cheated on a college boyfriend (one time thing, no s*x but much more than just kissing, alcohol was consumed but I was not super drunk and I went out with the BF for two years afterwards without ever telling him). I have never, not once, even THOUGHT about cheating on my now-husband. In retrospect, I really just wasn’t that into that BF and was looking for a way out. My feelings for my husband are totally different. It obviously doesn’t excuse my behavior, but it does help explain it.

      I told my husband about it pretty early on in our relationship but I kind of fudged the facts a bit and made it sound like it happened when my BF and I were still in the process of defining our relationship (we weren’t – it was early in our relationship but we were definitely in an official and exclusive relationship). Eventually I told him the whole truth and he was pretty upset, but I think more about the fact that I misled him about it than about the cheating itself. Fortunately we got past it and like I said I would never dream of cheating on him. (FWIW, I met my husband about two months after breaking up with the college BF so the cheating was only a couple of years in the past at that point – but DH and I have now been together 12 years.)

    • Anonymous :

      I would have a very hard time with this. It would be one thing if it happened when he was 20 but it was recent and prolonged. I think it would be a deal breaker for me, but if it weren’t I would need to know why he cheated (instead of breaking it off), if he ever confessed to her (the only thing worse than cheating is a cheater who makes their SO feel insane for suspecting them) and what he has done since to work on himself (therapy?). I am such an honest person it would be very very hard for me to be with someone and trust someone who didn’t share that value. Best of luck- it is not an easy position to be in

    • He didn’t cheat on YOU, so give him a chance for goodness sakes. If he does cheat on you, then you can say it’s a deal breaker!

      • oh yes because the best judge of character is solely what a person does to you… I think thats how we ended up with this president (and how people date murderers from prison) Huge eye roll.

    • Life is long and complicated and cheating is incredibly common. I’m not proud to say I’ve done it in a past relationship that was very dysfunctional and very difficult. I’m now 52 years old. I’ve now been married to my husband for 17 years and have been 100% faithful. I think the key is that your boyfriend feels it was a mistake and feels remorse about it.

      People are human. We live and learn. This would not be a deal breaker for me.

    • This would be a no go for me. Sure, maybe it would work out, but trust is just too fundamental to toy around with in any close relationship.

    • Rural Oregon :

      Before you decide on moving forward with him based on this information can you talk it out with him? What did he learn from the experience? About himself or relationships…
      Does he feel he’s changed since then? How?

    • Not sure if this is too late or if it will be helpful. From psychology today once a cheater, always a cheater?”
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surprised-love/201201/once-cheater-always-cheater-maybe-not

    • At some point when you are not in the middle of an argument but when you are just talking, say, “hey, can we talk about this? It doesn’t seem like you at all and I really want to understand it better.” If he shuts it down, that tells you something. If he is open about it, get your questions answered without judging and then move on or break up.

  22. I would never continue with a person like that. This guy lied to someone every single day for weeks/months/maybe years. He let her be unaware, he was likely still sleeping with her, so he let her be at risk for infections, and he likely lied to her about where he was and what he was doing every time he spoke with or spent time with the affair partner. This wasn’t a momentary lapse, this wasn’t an idiot kid, this was someone in his 30s who began to treat someone he claimed to love this way. She thought she was building a life with him and he was having no issues continuing to undermine her beliefs and feelings. You are right, there was no reason that he didn’t walk from the relationship other than because he seemed to enjoy having the attention and affection of two women. That type of behavior does not typically change without major therapy and soul searching, if ever. I would always wonder if I was the affair and he had a secret life I did not know about or, if I could figure out he did not, I would always wonder if he was having an affair. The paranoia would wreck me and it would ruin the relationship, leaving me with no relationship and a giant hit to my self-esteem. No thank you.

  23. Let’s talk about ….. bunions……

    I never knew what these were. I was at a physical therapy clinic yesterday for a family member getting therapy, and randomly the therapist turned to me and started making comments about my feet. Kinda rude/inappropriate, but there it is.

    To me, my feet look totally normal.

    She asked how long I had had bunions. I didn’t even know what a bunion was and don’t have any foot pain/problems that I knew of. She made a couple comments that I wear heels regularly (I wear chunky heels/wedges commonly – never very high and never stilletos), as if I was causing them by poor footwear, and then started implying that even if I don’t have symptoms now, I will….

    So anyone out there with bunions? When did they start, and what did you change?

    Is my future orthopedic footwear, or can I keep trying to be comfortably stylish?

    • I think you should have one visit with a podiatrist to see what an actual professional says. I realize physical therapists are generally professionals but this one sounds completely unprofessional.

      You can also just bring it up at your next MD appointment.

      Bunions are usually painful, Bunion sufferers tend to have pain whenever the edge of a shoe goes right over a bunion.

  24. Hi ladies, I’m doing a (totally anonymous!) survey to collect data about bra cost and value–basically the 538 approach to the “ugh, how much should I really spend to get a good bra?” question. I’m posting it here partly because I think y’all are more willing to invest in clothes than a lot of the people I know IRL, and I definitely want that perspective! Would you be willing to fill it out? The link is in my name!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I spend a lot on my bras. I like the Prima Donna bras. I can usually get them on sale at Herroom.com for about $100. I baby them and they last a long time. The lady at the lingerie store suggested washing them on delicate with baby shampoo and air drying, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

      • I wear a size that necessitates specialty shops (34G+). I never spend less than 60$ on a bra. Actually, $60 would be a good deal. I expect a bra to last at least a year or more with regular wear, once or twice a week. I try to have 3-5 in rotation at any time.

        I spend that much because it makes a huge difference. Well built bras last longer, look better under clothing and are more comfortable. The difference between a good bra and a bad one can mean back pain, skin irritation, and a visual 10+ pounds.

        That’s my person strategy and it works for me. If I was smaller I might buy a few cheap frilly bras now and then. Maybe not. I tend to be pretty utilitarian in many areas of my life.

  25. I’m in a slump. I have a birthday coming up, mid 30’s, and I’m going to be closer to 40 than to 30. Starting to see gray hair, wrinkles, and a few more pounds. Almost all my friends are married and having babies. I’m single and work in a rural area with long hours. Not dating or even sure where I would meet a guy. Anybody relate?

    • Turning 34 next month, officially in the chunk of life that’s “mid 30s” without a spouse or kids (though I’m kid free forever), no home ownership (though I don’t want one), and I freelance, so no office job with great benefits or something. I wish there was as much support and love for us as there is for mommy groups or couples events or the like since meetup seems to be those or groups meant for dating (meh, not wanting to socialize with people whose only known common thread is singledom). Where are the “awesome super great non-judgy yay women” types out there and how can we create some sort of haven or compound or something so we can support and care for each other, darn it?!

    • Yes. I just turned 33, several of my local friends are getting married this year (with babies soon to follow, I’m sure), and one of said “friends” is really more of a long-term unrequited love (it took a long time, but I finally moved on last year – but it still hurts that he’s getting married soon and I’m as hopelessly single as ever). It’s sad. I’ve dated a lot, at this point, and it doesn’t seem like I’m ever going to get lucky. I wanted kids, too, so I think it’s more of a question of “give up and have a baby alone in a couple of years,” or move someplace else and start my adult life over (if that’s even possible).

  26. (not that) Ellen :

    FWIW, I did the same thing once– mid-20s, in a relationship for ~4 years that we both thought was heading towards marriage (but had become a stressful and not-very-fulfilling LDR). At the time, I hated myself and what I was doing, and felt “this is not me. Why am I doing this?” but still couldn’t bring myself to end either relationship for almost a year. I won’t go into the circumstances surrounding it all; I’ll just say that having been down that road once, I don’t feel like I’ll ever go down it again. I’ve been married for ~13 years now (to someone completely separate from that part of my life) and have never for an instant felt any desire to cheat.

    Just one data point, but for me… it’s something I did. It’s not who I am.

  27. FYI for those trying to cut grocery bills. The no-frills Aldi chain now has lots of organic choices at really low prices.

  28. Calibrachoa :

    Moving house is the worst. But, ladies, I feel like the queen of th world because my new – alas still rented – place has a tub big enough to cover my toes, knees *and* bosom at the same time! :D

  29. Idk if you’ll read this thread this late in the weekend, but here are a few more suggestions: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/7-larger-than-life-wall-art-ideas-on-a-little-budget-230937

  30. Sloan Sabbith :

    Unsure if anyone will see this, but the Fitbit alta is on sale, $30 off, on Amazon this weekend. I think the other Fitbits are on sale, too.

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